Clara and Albert became friends over the next few months she helped him get bits of shopping and often invited him to dinner. He and Gable got on well too they could often be found out at the lake a couple of ales in hand fishing.
He’d lost a lot of weight since his arrival and his clothes where always a mess she began to grow very worried. the most concerned she got the more frequently she began calling upon him.
However every time Clara called upon him to see if he was ok or to invite him over for dinner, he’d stand protectively over the door and wouldn’t let her into the house, at first she thought nothing of it but as the month rolled by she got more and more curious as to what he was hiding.
Eventually Clara had enough, she wasn’t a shy woman and she was really very worried. The next time she called upon him she barged past him into his cabin. Looking around she gasped “ My lord Albert, what have you done to the place” she said, looking around.
The cabin was in a terrible state dish’s unwashed piled up in the wash bowl, clothing scattered everywhere and vermin crawling all over the floor. Albert just stood there stunned feeling very ashamed. Clara turned to him and smiled “ Albert dear why ever did you not tell me you needed help”
Albert shrugged “ I didn’t like to bother anyone, my backs been giving me terrible trouble and I can’t bend down, I’m sorry”.
Clara patted him on the shoulder “ No worry’s we will have to get this mess sorted out, give me a couple of hours I’ll go and get my daughter and we’ll set to work”. “Really I don’t want to cause you any trouble” he protested feebly.
A few hours later Clara and Taye returned, Taye was carrying a small bag and really wasn’t looking too happy. Clara smiled as she entered, “ I had a wonderful thought on the way home, I’ve been looking for a husband for my daughter for a while, and looking at the state of this place you are in desperate need of a woman about the place, so I thought we could solve each others problems as it where”.
Albert looked a little confused “ You want me to marry your daughter?” he asked cautiously looking at the very young girl standing before him. “Well only if you agree” Clara said. Albert sighed rubbing his head “ Aren’t I a little old for her?” he asked, he really didn’t want to cause offence but Albert had given up on women years ago, he’d been married twice before and now he just wanted to live a quiet life.
Clara nodded “ yes I admit its not exactly what I call a perfect arrangement, but there simply aren’t any boy’s her own age and I know you would treat her well, you’re her only hope of marrying unless she waits ten years and prays one of the younger boys takes a liking to her. You really need the help and she’s a good worker, she’ll do you proud”.
Albert looked at the young girl “ what do you think of all this?” he asked her.
Taye shrugged “I dunno sir, its ok by me I guess” Taye really didn’t know what to think, the man before her was REALLY old as far as she was concerned, but the cabin was nice, or at least she thought it could be under neither the dirt, he was obviously fairly wealthy so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad as long as he didn’t actually want an intimate relationship, Taye shuddered at the thought of his wrinkly body touching hers.
Getting no real protests from the girl Albert nodded “Ok I guess I do need the help, she can stay”.
Later that day Clara and Taye had finished for the evening, the house was greatly improved it still needed some work but a good start had been made. Clara left leaving the couple alone.
Taye was tired but she was terrified at the prospect of going to bed, what if he expected her to share his bed. Almost as if he’d read her thoughts Albert yawned “ time for bed I think”.
Taye looked like a startled deer she stood quickly trying to gather the dishes from the table hoping he would just go off the bed and ignore her. Albert laughed sensing her discomfort “ Don’t worry love, im too old for that sort of thing, you can sleep up in the loft take some of the cushions off the couch there are blankets in the cupboard. We’ll buy you a bed tomorrow.
Taye nodded relieved “ thank you” she said.
“I can’t tell you what’s up there, I’ve never been” he said “ I can’t climb the ladder” laughing he turned to head down to the basement “ but at least you know you’ll be safe from me, I couldn’t even get to you, even if I wanted too”.