Strange Bedfellows


Dara awoke to the smell of fresh Belgian waffles – her favorite breakfast dish.  She stretched and moaned appreciatively.  “Mmm…”


The dry cough jarred Dara from her sleepiness and her eyes fluttered open to see an expressionless older woman standing beside her bed bearing a tray laden with breakfast food.  For just a moment the young woman was disoriented.

“Who?…” Dara shot upright as awareness of her surroundings dawned.  “Good morning,” she greeted the waiting woman hesitantly.  This must be the housekeeper Stefan Cassadine spoke about, Mrs. Landsbury.

The idea that the other woman had unrestricted access to both the room and her belongings was a bit unsettling to Dara.  She briefly scanned Mrs. Landsbury’s face and wondered just what opinion of her the housekeeper might have formed after handling the contents of Dara’s ‘private’ drawer.

“Good morning, Miss.  I trust that you slept well.”  The housekeeper placed the tray across Dara’s lap.  “Master Stefan left instructions regarding your morning schedule.”

“Has Master Ste-” Dara shook her head and began again.  “Has Mister Cassadine gone somewhere?”

Mrs. Landsbury tapped the white envelope on the tray.  “Master Stefan’s instructions are all in here, Miss.”  She resumed her unyielding stance.  “Now, I will return in exactly one hour and forty-five minutes to collect your breakfast dishes.”

The former Assistant District Attorney doubted that the timetable Mrs. Landsbury quoted was just a random figure drawn from the other woman’s head.  The housekeeper appeared to run a tight household.  And that was not surprising, based upon the identity of her employer.

Dara also clearly understood the implications.  She was to be finished with breakfast by the time cited or she would have to answer to the stone-faced woman standing before her.

“One hour and forty-five minutes,” she nodded.

She waited until Mrs. Landsbury left the room to begin eating.  Out of the corner of her eye Dara took note of the time before examining with interest the contents of the various containers upon her tray.  Beside the oversized Belgian waffles, the tray held a glass container of whipped cream and fresh fruit – blueberries, mango, bananas and sliced strawberries.  A crystal decanter of warm maple syrup sat upon the tray as well.

Dara closed her eyes and inhaled the various scents.  She had never smelled anything so heavenly.  The young woman was almost afraid to taste it.  Surely there was no way the food on the tray could equal its amazing aroma.

“Oh, my…” she sighed as she placed the first forkful of whipped cream-covered waffle in her mouth.  “I have died and gone to heaven.”

Stefan’s white envelope was put aside as Dara concentrated on enjoying her meal.