Fallen Race

Chapter One

It was early. Kaira had been waiting out front when the manager of the Local Steam espresso shop arrived. She had just drove into town about thirty minutes earlier in a Uhaul pulling her volkswagon behind. An older woman in her early fifties smiled at her as she opened the shop door and motioned her to come in. Kaira got out of the truck slowly and stretched her legs. She needed a latte in a bad way.

"Long night"

"More like a long week" said Kaira.

"I'm Shelly. Come on in and I'll get a brew started for you."

"That sounds too good to be true." Kaira gave Shelly a tired smile.

She followed Shelly to the counter. "It'l take things a minute to get up and running, but I'll have your coffee soon. What's your flavor?"

"I'll have your largest vanilla latte with an extra shot in your best glass mug."

"Coming right up." Said Shelly cheerfully.

Kaira found a cozy leather chair in the corner. Soon Shelly brought her the latte. They chatted for a moment about the town. Kaira wasn't ready for anyone to know who she was yet. Her great aunt would be well known in these parts. Her roots went deep. All the way back to the 1700's.

She held her cup with both hands and lay back in the overstuffed leather chair positioned in the corner where you could see eveything. With her head rested on the soft back she looked at the ornate tin tiles on the ceilings which had to be about twelve feet high. There were four ceiling fans and the entire building was old red brick which looked original. A long wooden shelf made from a beautiful timber held books and beneath it little espresso cups of different colors and design hung in a row.

A line was beginning to form at the front counter. She wondered what the people were like in this town. It was going to be her town. A good mix of young an old stood in line. Kaira was only twenty nine, but sometimes she felt much older than that. She wanted a family and a home. She had just inherited half of that equasion but the other half would take some time. Time was something she was running out of when it came to having children.

 

Kaira sipped her latte and thought about the past three months. She had never dreamed her great aunt would leave her an inheritance, much less a manor on the side of a mountain with so much acreage.

Ralph, an attorney from Drake Swanson a& Bell and the executor of the will, had shown up in her east coast town surprising her family with the news. It had been a little bit comical to see her mom and dad taking offense. As far back as Kaira could remember they had never had a good word to say about her great aunt and that side of the family. Her mom and dad had eloped just out of High School and estranged themselves from the family name. As Kaira had grown up they had only come to visit every two years during the summer months.

Now, as she sat in the quiat espresso shop in Westonville, a new adventure lay ahead. She had always been adventurous. Some people like to read about adventure, but Kaira wanted to experience it first hand.

She took another sip of her latte and watched as the shop door opened and Ralph walked in with a young man. She hoped he wouldn't notice her. Both men were in nice suits and looked very much like lawyers look. At least that's what she imagined lawyers looked like. In reality they probably wore casual attire too. The young man was animated and passionate as he spoke with Ralph. Probably one of the young professional, ambitious type.

Ralph found a table at the front window of the shop and Kaira felt relieved. More than likely they would never notice her they were so engrossed in conversation. She wasn't exactly prepared to see anyone, not even an aquaintance after sleeping in a Uhaul all night. Kaira had a full day ahead and would be meeting with Ralph at one o'clock anyway. She had to get the keys to her great aunts manor and there was probably a ream of paperwork to sign. First she needed breakfast and then a shower. Kaira ordered a bagel and cream cheese, but was careful to keep her back to the two men sitting next to the front window. Luck was with her.

She savored her bagel and took her time. Finally the men left and Kaira gathered her mug and plate, and deposited them in the tub which sat next to the kitchen entrance. She googled her iphone to get directons to the office of Drake Swanson & Bell. Her iphone said she was standing in their offices. She walked outside and looked at the directory posted on the building wall. Well, what do you kno. The entire upstairs was Drake Swanson & Bell. Her one o'clock would be right back here in the same place. Good enough. That made things easy.

Her Uhaul was becoming an eye sore out front. It was taking up two prime parking spots in front of the building. The main street downtown was narrow and needed to be widened, but when you want to hang on to the historical look that wasn't an option.

Kaira found a clean Best Western on the edge of town right off the freeway. She quickly got her room, took a shower and laid down for a short nap hoping to be refreshed for the meeting.

She woke with a start. A dreaded feeling in the pit of her stomach told her something was wrong. She hated that feeling. It was something she had become familiar with, but always hoped it would go away. Once awake, she couldn't remember what had jolted her out of her sleep. Looking around the room she began to remember where she was. The hotel....she had a meeting....what time was it?

 

 

Once Kaira was outside the building a burst of heat from the euphoria of freedom flushed her cheeks. Bouncing her way toward the car she flipped her ponytail and a smile cracked the corners of her mouth. She looked up at the second floor when she opened her car door. Yep, there he stood. She was glad, but she didn't know why. She wasn't sure he was her type. Spoiled rich guys could be a handful. She was very satisfied that she didn't back down and take the lousy deal he had offered. More than likely that had been Ralph's doing. It was best to make strong first impressions.

 

Kaira gave the velvet bag a shake and felt glee at the sound of the keys rattling together. Would she stay at the manor tonight? She sat in the car for a moment collecting her thoughts. She was still pretty tired even though a brief thrill of energy had filled her body. Maybe one more night at the hotel was a good idea. She could always get up early have some coffee and get off to a good start. That sounded like the right plan. She started her car and headed toward the hotel. Kaira paid the front desk manager for one more night and headed for her room. She had already showered, now she just needed some hot soup and that would probably knock her out for the evening.

 

She ordered tomato basil soup and an assortment of cheese and crackers. Turning the television on she watched the five o'clock news. There were no shootings or murders. Just small town news. The port was allowing some larger ships to dock, downtown was marketing to young professionals, teachers in the school were getting a much needed raise. She liked he small town feel. It was comfortable and safe.