A/N: Due to the overwhelming influx of faves and follows (like 4), I am posting the next chapter, yay! I see all these faves and stuff, but seriously guys, REVIEW! Even just a smiley :)!
xxx He Who Descends xxx
The next day, bright and early I took myself and Renesmee over to the local historical society. I was greeted by a short woman with pixie-like features and short, black hair.
"Hi, how can help you today?" she asked as she opened up the main house. "You're earlier than anyone I've ever come across."
I laughed, "Hi, my husband and I have just bought the house on Valor Avenue, number seventeen."
Her face dropped. "Oh, unfortunately the historical society has no interest in re-purchasing the house. I'm sorry you'll have to list it and sell it through an agent."
"Oh, no, no. We don't want to sell the house, we only moved in yesterday," I told her, "I was just wondering if anyone here could recommend a business to get the missing stained glass windows and door inserts replaced, but I want ones that match the remaining ones," I explained.
"Oh," she looked me up and down. "And does your… daughter live in the house with you?"
"Of course," I answered, not understanding. "Now, about the stained glass…"
"There's a gentleman," she began, "Over in Oregon. He does stained glass, nice quality. I have some of his work inside, if you'd like to see?"
"Yes please," I smiled again.
She led me inside where there were other women and two men. Most of them were in their mid forties all the way to the age where they needed hearing aids, walking sticks and big, thick glasses.
"Missus Stevenson?" she asked one of the younger women.
"Yes Alice, dear," the woman had dark hair and looked to be about fifty something.
"This lady has just moved her family into number seventeen," the woman said.
"The number seventeen?" the woman said.
I felt all eyes on the room on me.
"Yes, she'd like to sample one of Mister Lakewood's stained glass. She's thinking of renovating the house I believe," Alice said.
"Renovating or restoring?" Missus Stevenson asked.
"More restoring really," I said.
"Oh everything, right down to claw footed tubs," I giggled, trying to lighten the mood.
"Well, come this way," the short, round woman waved me into the next room. "Mister Lakewood is an excellent artisan who puts the utmost pride into his work."
Alice followed us.
We came to a stop in a study where a gorgeous stained glass window was set in the window above the desk. It depicted two large, round cats – a ginger tabby and a black and white splodge-y one – seated in the grass looking most content.
"Oh, this is gorgeous!" I exclaimed. "And how much did this cost?"
"This one was about three hundred dollars," Missus Stevenson said. "But it is much larger than the ones at the house you live."
"How do you know?"
"The historical society used to own the property at Valor Avenue," Missus Stevenson explained. "We sold it after only three months of operation."
"Why?" I asked.
"It just didn't work for us, dear," she said. "Anyway, I'll find you a card for Mister Lakewood."
She disappeared down the hall.
"If you have any issues in the house, you can contact me at this number," Alice slipped a card into my pocket.
"Oh, ok, thank you," I said.
Missus Stevenson returned and gave me Mister Adam Lakewood's card. I thanked her and Alice and left the historical society.
In the car, I phoned Mister Lakewood and he mentioned that he was already in the area today and offered to come and do a measure and quote for me around two o'clock. I agreed happily, gave him the address and hurried home to prepare lunch for myself and Renesmee.
We had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches then milk and cookies. I then watched a little TV while researching local workmen who might be able to assist us and Renesmee drew some pictures.
I was interrupted by a knock on the door. I answered it and was met by a tall, older man accompanied by a young man.
"Missus Mason?" the older man asked.
"Yes," I said, "Mister Lakewood?"
"That's me and this is my apprentice, Eleazar," he introduced the younger, Hispanic looking man. He smiled and said hello quietly.
"Please come in," I said, opening the door wide and allowing them to step in.
"Thank you," Mister Lakewood said.
They both looked around and appraised the stripped and remodel-prepared home.
"This house is just as beautiful as when I last saw it," Lakewood said. "Pam Stevenson from the historical society let me know you might be interested in getting some replacement windows and door fittings for the ones that are missing, correct?"
"Yes," I smiled, "My husband and I are looking to restore this place, so we want copies of the original ones."
"Of course," Lakewood smiled, "Nothing but the best, it's what I pride myself on. Are there any originals left?" he asked.
"Yes, the kitchen door still has its original door fitting." I led them to the door.
Lakewood studied it and touched it and hummed and ha-ed.
"This is a nice piece of glasswork. Hand-made by the first owner, if I'm not mistaken," he said, "But you'd know that."
"No," I quickly shot in. He seemed like he wanted to drop hints.
"No?" he raised his eyebrows.
"No," I shook my head, "The previous owners sold because they ran out money to renovate and the house is unlivable if you can't finish the place."
"Are you sure?"
"Well, they didn't say that, but they sold it to us dirt cheap and processed everything twice as fast as we were expecting," I explained, "We moved in only three days after paying them."
He smirked. "This house was owned by a young man and his various help. Maids, gardeners, you know."
"He loved the place. Built it for his dead mother," Lakewood peered around at the stately home that was in sad condition, but the sad condition it had to be stripped back to in order to bring back the grandeur of it.
"Do you know his name?" I asked, eager to hear of the wondrous history of my new abode.
"No," Lakewood shook his head quickly. "I don't, I only know he didn't stay long. Only two years after the house was finished, then he was gone."
That made no sense, if he loved the house so much, why leave after only two years of living there?
"But I thought you said he loved this house?" I asked.
"Well, I don't want to rip you off," Lakewood ignored my comment. "Let's take a look-see in the basement and make sure some of the other fittings aren't just down there waiting to be put into new doors," he said, leading himself to the basement door in the kitchen.
He opened it and lead the way down, using his cell phone as a flashlight. Eleazar took up the rear and was last to step down into the chaos of the basement.
Dirt floor, fallen beams, boxes and boxes of stuff and several door fittings leaning against a wall in the corner.
"There you are Missus Mason," he said triumphantly.
"Bella," I corrected.
"Seven door fittings, complete and undamaged," he smiled at me, "I just saved you about five hundred dollars or more."
"We'll take them upstairs for you," Eleazar said, moving past me to assist his mentor.
And they lugged all of them upstairs and into a corner where they were easily accessible but out of the way.
"Thank you so much for that," I said.
"Shall we also get the boxes up here?" Eleazar asked.
"Oh, sure if you don't mind," I said.
And they brought up two cardboard boxes and two wooden crates.
I thanked them again and Mister Lakewood began to take sketches of the only remaining stained glass window on the second floor and counting the missing ones.
I was left downstairs with Eleazar.
"Is that your daughter?" he asked, motioning to Renesmee who was watching a children's program on TV.
"Yes, her name's Renesmee," I said.
"She's so sweet," he smiled, "My wife, Carmen, is pregnant with our first child."
"Oh, congratulations," I smiled, "It's so much stress but so much fun to muddle through parenthood."
"So do you like it here, in the house?" he asked.
"We've only been here one night, but it took us as soon as we saw it," I smiled. "My husband and I are thrilled with our new project."
"Well," Lakewood came back downstairs. "You're missing seven windows and I believe there are eleven door fittings needed and you've got seven, so… eight, nine, ten, eleven… you need four more. I usually charge ninety to one hundred dollars per door fitting, however, I like you and I like this house so I'll charge you eighty five. For the missing door fittings, that will be three hundred and forty dollars. The stained glass windows are worth two hundred and twenty dollars each so for seven that's… one thousand five hundred and forty dollars plus the door fittings will total one thousand eight hundred and eighty dollars," Lakewood explained.
"Ok, how do you prefer that to be paid?" I asked.
"In installments," he said, "It'll take me a few months to finish all of the glass for you so say you pay three hundred dollars a month, then three hundred and eighty the final month for six months, that'll be it," he smiled.
"Sounds like a deal, so I owe you three hundred dollars," I said, going into the kitchen and taking out my check book. I wrote out a check to him for the money and handed it to him.
"Lovely," he said, "If at any time you'd like to come and see your products or check on them, give me a call and I'll book you in."
"Wonderful," I beamed.
I showed them out and was feeling great. Windows and door fittings organized. Another thing to check off my list.