Things moved quickly once Rowan agreed to join the Daley Scholars. Arrangements were made to come pick him up from his dorm that Friday, and on the afternoon of that day, he was greeted by Leo and two other men, dressed in their usual blazers and slacks and apparently there to help him with his stuff.
“Rowan, let me introduce to Robert and Erik. They’re the other two Daley scholars.”
“Pleased to meet you,” the two men said in turn, each grabbing Rowan’s hand for a quick shake. The two men were both astoundingly handsome. Robert had long, black hair resting on his shoulders and the bronze skin of a Native American. His features were very smooth and boyish, almost as if he had still not lost the last hints of baby fat. Erik on the other hand had a nordic look. He looked like a tall, blue-eyed, blond-haired viking, with a light sprinkling of freckles on his cheeks and the rigid seriousness of a soldier in formation.
Rowan had been forced to hastily pack up the few possessions he’d only just recently unpacked, and they had been reduced to two large duffle bags and a rolling suitcase.
“Need any help?” Leo asked.
“I just have these three,” Rowan said. He picked up the two heavy duffel backs in his hands and lifted them up onto his shoulders.
Leo was left with the rolling suitcase, which he grabbed, saying, “Surely we can take one of those.”
“Nah, I got this,” Rowan said and strolled out of the room.
Stuart was there to say his goodbyes and shook Rowoman’s hand, reminding him as he did so, “Don’t be a stranger, now. You’re not going to look down on your old roommate now that your made man, are you?”
“Of course not,” Rowan said as he left.
Rowan walked out the door and through the halls of the dorm, out to a black car that was waiting for them. He placed the bags in the trunk, and three of them sat in the back, while Erik sat in the front seated next to Sophie, who was driving. She looked at Rowan through the rearview mirror and smiled. It was a warm, friendly smile, the first he’d seen from her. “Welcome!” she said.
Rowan simply nodded at her, and the car pulled out of its parking space. There were some moderate snatches of conversation during the drive, and Leo tried engaged in Rowan in conversation about their economics class.
Soon, they were pulling into the private drive of the Daley Estate and passing through a set of automatic gates. It was thick forest on both sides of them of the private drive, and a quiet permeate the area. They pulled up to a circular drive in front of the house and everyone stepped out of the car. In front of them was a huge, white mansion. Everything about it was grand, with a grand entrance and huge bay windows looking out through the front of the house.
Rowan picked up the two duffel bags once again and was led through the front door of the house, which opened into a massive entryway. Sounds reverberated on the stone-tiles floor and a giant chandelier dangled above him.
“Am I going to meet Miss Daley?” Rowan asked as he looked around the house and saw its beautiful adornments
“Ms. Daley is not available,” Sophie said. “She’ll be by later tonight or perhaps tomorrow to greet you. But don’t expect to see too much of her. She’s a busy woman. Come now, we’ll show to the dormitory.”
“Dormitory?” Rowan asked.
Sophie led Rowan down a hall that led to the back of the house. They exited through a back door, greeted by yet more of the dense forest in the back of the house. And off to the right, he saw a brown, single-story structure, built somewhat like a large cabin, made of wooden boards and stone. It had a single door in front and several windows looking out of it on all sides.
The group of them walked to and opened this door and led Rowan inside. The interior consisted of one large room with eight beds in it, a row of four beds against the wall on the left, and a row of four bed against the wall on the right. The beds were spaced out, with freestanding wardrobes between them.
Leo nodded to the bed furthest away from the main door on the left and said to Rowan, “That’s your bed.”