Back during the first season of "Royal Pains" (2009), I invented a girlfriend for Boris. Her name is Annabelle; she's a novelist. Annabelle and Boris met at a party. At that party, a drunk tried to put the moves on Annabelle; he got rough, and Boris intervened, rescuing Annabelle.
This was my very first fanfic. It takes place a few days after the party. The original had 674 words; I decided to go back and re-work it. This is my first posting to this site – Enjoy!
I don't own "Royal Pains", or any of the "Royal Pains" characters.
"Ouch!" Annabelle gingerly touched the goose egg on the back of her head. She still had a bit of a headache, but Boris's concierge doctor, Hank Lawson, had checked on her this morning, and was satisfied that she didn't have a concussion. Annabelle was more concerned about the bruise on her face; makeup just didn't cover it completely! Annabelle shook her head, and chuckled. "Ha! Vanity. . .thy name is Annabelle!"
"Bugger!" Someone was knocking on Annabelle's front door. Annabelle wasn't expecting anyone. . .and she really didn't want to see anyone. She just wasn't in the mood to explain the nasty bruise on her cheek. The knocking continued; her mysterious visitor was impatient! "I'm COMING! Don't get your knickers in a knot!" She reached the door. . .and pulled it open.
He was impeccably dressed. His flawlessly tailored suit, done in a gray pinstripe, was elegant – and expensive. His shirt and tie were perfectly coordinated. . .and his bright silk pocket square was a happy little finishing touch. She glanced down at his custom-made Italian loafers; they were nicer than any shoes she had in her closet! No doubt about it; the man knew how to dress! The breeze coming off the ocean ruffled his silver-streaked hair.
"Annabelle! I hope I am not catching you at a bad time?"
"I. . .I. . .NO! No. . .I. . .no, not at all!" Bugger! She was stammering like an awkward tweenager. She took a breath, trying to calm herself. "Please. . .come in!" She stepped aside, and he stepped into the entry hall. Annabelle saw the burly bodyguard waiting by the car.
"I wanted to see how you were feeling. . .and I thought that you might enjoy these roses!"
Boris handed Annabelle a bouquet of flawless apricot-colored roses. "Oh. . .Boris! They're exquisite! Between the color and the fragrance. . .they're just. . .they're delicious! Thank you SO much!"
"Sehr gut! I am glad that you like them. They are quite rare."
"And you grow them at Shadow Pond?"
"Well. . .color me impressed! Come back to the kitchen with me; I'll put them in a vase."
Without even thinking, Annabelle took his arm and led him back to the kitchen. He sat on one of the barstools and watched while Annabelle put the apricot roses into an elegant Waterford cut crystal vase – her favorite. She poured two glasses of fresh mint iced tea, and handed one to Boris. They playfully clinked glasses. "Well. . .I don't grow rare roses. . .but I did grow the mint for the tea!"
"Yes. . .really! You sound surprised?"
"Not at all!" She arched an eyebrow – the look on her face was skeptical. It was easy to see that she didn't believe him. He gave her one of his rare smiles. "All right. . .perhaps. . .a bit surprised."
"Ha! I thought as much. You need to come down from Mount Olympus more often and hobnob with us mere mortals!"
He considered her comment. . .and smiled again. "Perhaps I should! Bitte. . .tell me more about growing mint!"
Annabelle couldn't help but smile back. "Oh. . .I have a whole container garden going on out on my deck. I even have a tomato plant! Would you like to see it?"
Annabelle led Boris out on to the deck. They walked side by side along the deck, chatting companionably about her little garden. Boris was curious, and asked a lot of questions; Annabelle was only too happy to answer. When they finished the grand tour, they sat down, sipping their iced tea.
"I am so glad to see you smiling, Annabelle. I trust it means that you are feeling better!"
"Better than the other night, at Declan's party? Yes. . .MUCH better! And Hank was here this morning; he gave me a clean bill of health!"
"Boris. . .I want to thank you. . .AGAIN! You didn't have to get involved the other night. . .but I'm awfully glad that you did! It's not often that I have a white knight riding to my rescue; in spite of the circumstances, you gave me a little. . .princess moment!"
Boris chuckled, and raised his glass to her in a mock salute. "Ah! Rescuing princesses is a special talent of mine! I am pleased that I could be of assistance."
Annabelle shook her head, and sipped her tea. "Other than the fact that the guy was drunk off his arse. . .I really don't know why he got so angry with me?" Boris didn't respond, and Annabelle couldn't quite read his expression. "In my own defense. . .I wasn't trying to lead him on; I'm NOT that kind of girl!"
"No. . .you are not."
Annabelle opened her mouth to respond, and then closed it again, not sure what to say.
Boris saw the unanswered question on her face. "I am a very good judge of character, Annabelle!"
"Oh. . .well, then." Annabelle wasn't quite sure what to say; she wasn't quite sure what to make of this beautiful, complicated man. "Yes. . .moving on. Boris. . .do we even know who that guy was? I mean. . .other than that his name was Sutton? What was he doing at Declan's party?"
"His name is Andrew Sutton Parks III. One of the executives from Castle Publishing brought him as her. . .ah. . .'plus one', ja?" Annabelle nodded, and Boris continued. "Apparently – that did not work out well. He appears to be a social-climbing leech; nothing more, nothing less. He is currently between jobs. . .and, between girlfriends!"
"So. . .what ended up happening to him? The last time I saw him. . .he was face down on Declan's patio."
"Mr. Parks has been dealt with; you need not concern yourself with him."
"He's been. . .'dealt with'? What the. . .HECK. . .does that mean?"
"Perhaps it is best if you do not know."
"Annabelle, nothing. . .untoward. . .has happened to Mr. Parks. I assure you; my bodyguards can be VERY persuasive. . .without resorting to physical force. But I believe that Mr. Parks now understands that it is not acceptable to mistreat a woman! Now. . .bitte, let us put Mr. Parks in the past, where he belongs, and find a more pleasant topic of conversation!"
Annabelle was skeptical, but she sensed that Boris was NOT going to brook any further discussion of the matter. She hesitated for a moment, searching for a topic. "Hmmmmm. . .all right, then. . .let's talk about YOU!"
Boris shook his head. "Thank you. . .no!"
"Boris! I get the distinct impression that you know a lot more about me than I do about you!" Boris shrugged his shoulders, but didn't answer. "Turnabout's fair play. The LEAST you can do is satisfy my curiousity!"
"You are aware, my dear, are you not. . .that curiousity killed the cat?"
The corner of his mouth quirked into a little half-smile. God. . .this woman was going to be trouble! The last thing he needed in his life right now – the VERY last thing – was this woman. Complications; that's what he saw when he looked at her – too many complications. His life was already unbelievably complicated – he did NOT need a whole new set of complications! He had fulfilled his social obligation; he had checked on her recovery, AND he had brought her roses. His conscience was clear. Now, he could just say auf wiedersehen, and walk out of her life. He could. . .and he would!
"What exactly is there about me that piques your curiousity, Annabelle?"
"Oh, come on, Boris – you're like the Great and Powerful Oz! And I SO want to look behind the curtain!" Boris smiled, but shook his head. "And curiousity isn't necessarily a bad thing. It is, after all, one of the forms of feminine bravery."
"Ahhhhh. . .Victor Hugo, ja?"
Annabelle smiled, pleased that he recognized the quote. "Yes! You're very well read!"
"Danke schön. Now – I have a question for you, curious Annabelle!"
"Do you think that you are brave enough to look behind the curtain?"
"Well. . .I guess there's only one way to find out!"
Boris watched Annabelle for a moment; she returned his gaze without flinching. Damn! He should have left when he had the chance!
"I still do not understand – what is it about me that so piques your curiousity, Annabelle?"
"Ha! Well, for starters. . .your persona!"
"My. . .personsa?"
"Yes! Your persona! You're the 'eccentric recluse' who lives at Shadow Pond!"
"Eccentric. . .recluse?" He sounded surprised. . .and slightly offended.
"Well. . .that IS your public persona – and I think you've worked very hard to establish and maintain it! Personally. . .I just don't see it. I mean. . .your socks match. . .you're not wearing your underwear on your head. . .you're not talking to an imaginary pet. . ."
"Ahhh. . .danke schon?" She saw his lip quirk. . .just a little. . .into a half-smile. "You are teasing me, ja?"
She couldn't help grinning at her handsome visitor. "Yes, Boris; I AM teasing you! But I'm deadly serious about your dungeon and your collection of human heads!"
"My. . .excuse me?" The look on his face caused Annabelle to dissolve into a fit of giggles. Boris shook his head, and wagged his index finger in Annabelle's direction. "A curious cat – and a naughty one!"
Annabelle got her giggles under control. "Again – meow!"
Annabelle threw her hands up in mock surrender. "All right, Boris – I'll behave myself. And, honestly, I don't want to talk about your dungeon. What I REALLY want to talk about is your home!"
"Well – that is your home! And it's almost as much of a mystery as you are!"
"Ja, it IS my home! And I protect what is mine."
Annabelle studied Boris for a moment before she answered, trying to read his expression. "Good to know! Now. . .Shadow Pond. I did some research. . ."
Boris held up an elegant hand and stopped her. "Please. . .do not tell me; you 'Googled' me?" He couldn't keep the disdain out of his voice.
Annabelle gave Boris a sheepish smile. "What can I say – I was curious!"
"Oh, there is that word again!"
"Ha! As I was saying. . .I was curious. I've been fascinated with the old Gold Coast mansions since I moved out here to the Hamptons. And Shadow Pond is the jewel in the crown! The second largest private home in the United States? Very impressive!"
"Ja; 127 rooms, as it was originally configured. It has since gone through several renovations."
"I understand that Shadow Pond has quite a . . .colorful history. What brought you to that particular house?"
"Well. . .that is a rather long. . .and personal story."
"OK. . .you DO know what I do for a living? I write novels – historical novels – about people, and houses, and historical events! Long and personal stories are like a drug to me! I consider picking people's brains to be an Olympic sport. I always have to warn people. . .I can be a real pain in the arse!"
He hesitated. . .for just a moment. He seemed to be having some sort of inner debate. "Perhaps. . .you would like to pick my brain over dinner. . .at Shadow Pond?"
She wondered. . .briefly. . .if that faint buzzing in her ears meant that she was maybe having a stroke? "Does. . .the dinner come with a guided tour of Shadow Pond?"
"Would you like it to?"
OK. . .now she was pretty sure. . .she was having a stroke! "Dinner. . .AND a guided tour. . .with the King of the Castle? I'm all yours!" His aquamarine eyes widened. . .just a bit. And there was that damn little quirk of his lip again. DEFINITELY. . .a stroke – but she was going to die happy! "OK. . .that didn't come out quite right. Let me try that again. . .dinner and a guided tour. . .how perfect!" She clapped her hands together. . .she just couldn't bloody help herself!
He gave her one of his rare smiles. "Done. . .and done. Tomorrow evening? My car will pick you up at 7:30."
"Oh. . .that's not necessary! I can drive myself."
"No. . .I would rather you let my driver pick you up."
"But that's just silly. I'm perfectly capable of driving."
His frustration level was mounting quickly. "I insist!"
She could have argued indefinitely. . .arguing was another Olympic sport for her. . .but she didn't want to die on this particular hill. "Micro-manage much?" She wanted to bite her tongue the instant the words popped out of her mouth. Judging from the look on his face. . .she started to wonder if her impending stroke was contageous; Boris was starting to look a bit apoplectic? "Sorry! Sorry sorry SORRY! That was just. . .bitchy. . .wasn't it?"
"Boris – I AM sorry! That was uncalled for. But. . .are you sure that I can't just drive? I just hate to have your driver go to all that trouble!"
"My – car – will – pick – you – up – tomorrow – evening – at – 7:30!" He snapped out each word.
She hesitated. . .then, dropping a quick curtsey. . .graciously said "I thank you, kind sir! I shall be waiting."
They had just had their first fight. . .and they hadn't had their first date yet. She couldn't help but wonder. . .how might they make up. . .the next time they had a fight.
He looked relieved to be back in control. "All right then! I shall be looking forward to your arrival. It should be an interesting evening!"
She watched him walk to his car. "Oh, Boris. . .you have no idea!"