Having no idea what Bates had planned for that evening, she wanted to check with him. After looking over the menu, she felt assured that all was well. She went to her office and gathered her things to go home. That was when Andrew found her. "Sara is looking for you, seems to a bit upset."
"Thank you Andrew, I'll find her. I'm sure it is nothing serious." Anna Belle made her way through the dining room, checking the buffet as she did, making sure it was replenished. Moving into the game room, she took in the sweet smell of cigars, the dark wood paneling, and oriental carpets. It always gave her a feeling of peace. Although, she had a feeling that 'peace' was about to be broken.
She made her way through the game room, speaking with members on her way to the hall. This was Anna Belle's MO when moving through the house. She was very good at keeping a demeanor of calm, especially when there may be an 'issue' she needed to handle. No need to give the members any idea something was amiss. She accepted a glass of Sherry from Wilbur, an older gentleman who was no doubt sweet on her, excused herself, and quietly made her way up the back stairs.
Sara was standing at the top of the stairs. Seeing the countenance on her face, Anna Belle knew this may be serious after all.
But Sara shook her head. "I'm afraid we have a small issue."
"Issue? Like what kind of 'issue'?" She paused. "Sara, please don't tell me something has happened."
"I'm afraid so."
"In Alessandra's room," Sara said as she moved down the hall, Anna Belle following a few steps behind. She opened the door. Alessandra was standing there, wearing silk a dressing gown loosely tied at the waist.
Her face said it all. Anna Belle's eyes moved to the bed where a man was lying there - very still. Before she could say anything, Alessandra started crying. "Anna Belle, I don't know what happened. I excused myself for just a minute or 2 and returned to find him . . ." She whimpered a bit, "Like this."
Anna Belle walked over to the bed to get a closer look. The man was definitely dead, no doubt about it. She took a deep breath to calm herself, and turned to the girls. "Sara, take Alessandra to your room, get her calmed down, and dressed."
She gave Alessandra a reassuring hug, "It will be OK, I promise. Now run along."
"But what are you . . ."
Anna Belle gently smiled, "We are going to take care of it. Now don't you worry."
The girls left the room and Anna Belle walked over to the body on the bed.