Author: Nancy Jardine
Genre: Mainstream/Contemporary Romance/Ancestral Mystery
Inside the tin were two long velvet cases.
“You open them!”
His smile was puzzled since she’d been quite happy to do all the investigating before, without any reference to him.
“What is it?” His words faded as he opened the first – a dark crimson velvet box, the plush so stained with dampness it almost looked white. Most of the loft contents were still in good condition, but this looked to be one of the oldest items they’d uncovered so far.
Keira’s legs trembled. A cool shiver coursed down her spine, the anticipation making the unveiling seem almost creepy.
His voice was a broken hush. “Is this what I think it is?”
“Good God! Look at that!”
Four strands, made from tiny green stones, joined the most exquisite centrepiece clasp of diamonds, the whole necklace gleaming on the faded cream silk interior. At each end of the box lay two different earrings. All the earrings were pear-shaped; one set made from small sparkling bezel-set diamonds, and the other vibrantly coloured. In place of diamonds, the second pair of earrings was enamelled in red, green and blue on a white background. Teun almost dropped the box as he passed it over for her to have a better look, his arm trembling.
“Oh… sh**! I can’t believe it!”
Keira was in shock. It was the most intriguing jewellery she’d ever seen, but she was mystified by the extra coloured set of earrings. Although totally gorgeous in themselves, they didn’t match the floral cluster of sparkling diamonds. Tentatively lifting the necklace, she realised the significance of two sets of earrings. The whole necklace was double-sided. It could be worn showing a deep centre clasp which was a sunburst of small diamonds, with two additional rows of tiny diamonds set below – and in the ultimate central position was a teardrop pendant of three layers of tiny diamonds. If the necklace was worn in reverse, there lay a masterpiece of red, green, blue and white enamelling.
“This is so amazing! And it looks Indian.” Her throat was raspy, her words the tiniest whisper.
They dragged themselves back to the chest and fumbled their way back down onto it, the velvet case in front of them, neither capable of speaking.
She caught Teun’s glance. His swallow had been so awkward, a metaphorical boulder lodged in his gullet. Awe. Amazement. Shock. Trepidation. They were all there in his eyes as words eventually seeped out.
“I didn’t expect this, Keira. How could my grandmother have hidden these away like this?”
She wasn’t sure an answer was needed, but she gave one anyway. “Marijke must have had her reasons for keeping them secret, Teun.”
“Secrets? Damn right she had secrets!”
Website: http://nancyjardine.blogspot.com http://nancyjardineauthor.weebly.com