The gardens are beautiful this time of year, with flowers in full bloom and the scent of sage wafting through the air. The humble English sun warmed Eadie’s spine, as she wandered along the grass path that leads to the stream, leaving the grandeur of the main house behind. She could hear birds singing from the tops of the lush oak trees, and the sound of flowing water put her mind at ease.

Eadie had ventured here on a whim, with little but a desire to see the world. Originally, she intended to visit London, and get swept up in the vivacity and savoire faire of the city. But instead, fate had led her down the narrow winding roads to the serenity of Surrey, and for that, she was glad.

As she walked, her fingertips grazed the lavender bushes, still damp from the morning dew. Then she saw his masculine frame slightly further downstream, and silently wished she had changed out of her white linen robe. As she continued forward, the man’s features became clearer. Eadie could see the slight curl of his chestnut hair as it fell over his eyes. His beige shirt fell open slightly as he picked sprigs of mint.

Momentarily, she considered returning to her room, to change and have some breakfast, but something drew her further towards the elegant stranger. The grass thinned as she drew closer to the bank, her feet kicking at a pebble. At the sound, the man looked up, his green eyes meeting her own.

‘Morning,’ he greeted. His strong English accent distinguishable from the single word.

She smiled in reply. He continued piling the herbs in his woven basket. Dirt apparent under his fingernails.

‘What are you using all this for?’ she couldn’t help but ask, observing the various plant cuttings alongside him.

‘I make my own tea,’ he said, voice smooth, ‘I live just around the corner, if you would care for some?’ She gazed back to the familiar manor behind her. It wasn’t wise to follow this near stranger to his home, and yet, she longed too. Together they walked under the apple blossoms to a quaint wooden cottage. Wild daffodils shone yellow outside the front door. Once inside, the man laid the basket on the centre table and filled a pot with water. Eadie scanned the space. The deep hues from the rug brought out the red in the wooden floor, and velvet pillows filled the lounge. The gentle scent of mint and chamomile guided her back to the kitchen. The charming man passed her a mug of the soothing brew.
Maybe she’d stay here awhile.

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