Woman and Flame Part 1

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Ch. 2

My eyes flutter open and squint seeing the bright sunlight already breaking through the light material of the drapes. I sit up pulling my tangled mess of brown hair up onto my head and tie it off with a scrunchie that is laying on my nightstand. I notice the hour on the Bose radio on my nightstand which reads 10:30 a.m.

I haven’t slept this late in over a year.

Stretching my arms above my head and letting out a yawn, I climb out of my bed and turn fixing the sheets and white duvet, adjusting the pillows so the bed is nice and neat, and then use the bathroom. Finishing my morning routine by grabbing my thin waffle fabric robe.

My home has a wonderful natural light that shines in from the large floor-to-ceiling windows in my living room, with views of my back porch and the city beyond it. Following the hallway around, I passed the two spare bedrooms, which consist of my sister’s room for when she decides to crash here, and my music room. I shuffle down the hall and glance out the large windows, noticing the vivid blue sky, trees, and the highway in the far distance.

I need coffee and breakfast. But before I could make my way across the house to the kitchen, I hear the sound of my front door unlocking and, seconds later, it swings open.

Elle squeezes through the large doorway with multiple colorful shopping bags that take up both of her forearms.

A bright pink striped bag gets snagged as she tries to shove her way through, “Oh c’mon, Victoria!“, Elle grunts and yanks it hard. Then, she pops through the doorway slightly tripping into the small foyer area.

She rights herself quickly and I notice one hot coffee in her left hand and a half-empty iced coffee in her right. “Wow, busy morning?” I ask, even though this is normal damage for my sister.

“On the contrary, I needed some retail therapy”, Elle sighs and hands me my usual hot black coffee, and then walks away heading towards my formal dining room where I hear her dropping the bags onto the wooden dining room table. “I just need to keep busy, Towns. I’m trying to give David his space, but it’s really hard.”

I walk into the kitchen, blowing the rim of my coffee, all while looking at the piano who is silently calling my name like a siren, waiting to be played. Deciding to make breakfast, I open the fridge and look at the contents. “You’ve given him three days?“, I keep from chuckling because I know she is pretty torn up about this one. I hear Elle sifting through the shopping bags in the nearby dining room.

“Yes, but he still won’t return my ‘good morning’ text messages.”

“Uh-huh.” Setting my coffee down on the quartz counter, I grab the egg carton from the fridge.

Clearly, Elle didn’t understand what space meant.

“Are you hungry?” I call to her and fish out a small pan setting it over the preheated burner.

She ignores my offer to make her some breakfast and continues on in a whine, “Maybe somethin’ is wrong with my phone and he’s not gettin’ my messages?”

Poor girl, she’s clueless, I think while shaking my head, cracking two eggs into the pan and then discard the shells into the trash can.

Elle’s footfalls come through the short hallway until I see her and her sad dark blue eyes. “I’m making you some breakfast”, I tell her, gesturing towards the two eggs before me quickly grabbing a spatula from the utensil drawer next to the sink.

“Are you gettin’ my messages? I mean you never write me back so...” she says, while she pulls her bright pink phone from her designer jeans pocket and swipes her finger across the screen.

“Yes, I just don’t hold conversations through text messages”, I state. Not only is it ridiculous to me, I just don’t have the time. Well, at least I didn’t. “Nothin’ is wrong with your phone, Elle”, I add seeing my words do upset her slightly.

I wasn’t sure why she was so torn up about this David guy. She had a new guy monthly, all she has to do is go out and get a new one. Boom, problem solved.

“Then, you’re sayin’ I should call him?”

“What? No. How did you come to that, you know what, do whatever you want.” The eggs in front of me begin to sizzle so I flip them both, being sure to crack hers.

I didn’t know why Elle came to me for man advice. Sure, I was her older sister, but only by six months. However, she had a man collection that was larger than her Prada bag filled closet.

My lovely adoptive parents struggled to get pregnant, so they opted for a Closed Adoption after their money couldn’t help them successfully with IVF. Not until my adoption was finalized, and the entire community was bustling about how wonderful and charitable it was of my parents to adopt an unwanted child, did Momma find out she somehow got pregnant naturally.

So Momma and Daddy were unable to take me back to the baby store even with a receipt. They were blessed with Elle five months after I arrived at their wealthy Nashville home.

Elle is gorgeous, of course, with long platinum blonde hair that is always styled perfectly. Big dark blue eyes with full lashes, perfect brows, and puffy lips. She is a spitting image of Momma. She’s tall with an athletic build that she got from doing yoga three times a week. And the girl is funny. A tad superficial and spoiled, but hell, we all have our flaws.

Elle groans loudly, “This is mental torture. Tell me how to not care.”

“I care”, I protest and cross my arms quickly. Okay, maybe I didn’t. I just got bored easily.

Unlike my sister whose problem is getting attached after the first date, I suffered from a self-diagnosed form of relationship A.D.D. I lose interest quickly if I was mentally or physically bored.

Elle snorts a laugh and sets her phone down onto the counter plopping down into a bar stool on the other side of the island to watch me cook. “All I want is for him to text me back. If I can convince him to-”

“Why on Earth would you want to be with some dude if you have to convince him to be interested in you?”

“Ughh” Elle moans and sets her heavy head into her hands that are propped up from her elbows. She quotes a lyric from one of her favorite songs and I know it instantly.

I set my spatula down quickly and skip a step over to the piano, jotting down the quoted lyric to use as inspiration.

“Seriously?“, Elle huffs knowing exactly what I’m doing. It’s not the first time her unfortunate love life has been an inspiration for me. “I expect thirty percent,” her lips finally crack into a smile and I chuckle.

Elle stands from her stool and flips the eggs for us and then her brows rise quickly, “Oh snap, you had a package this morning. I stuffed it into one of my shopping bags.” She turns and saunters away into the nearby formal dining room.

A package? I wasn’t expecting any mail. And I don’t remember having a drunk online shopping spree any time recently.

Elle appears just as I reach the oven and scoop the cooked eggs off onto two separate white plates. She sets a white cardboard box down with my address on the front, littered with postal codes and stamps, as well as my name.

“Hmm, so it is for me?“I verify after noting my name and address on the package.

I read the label in the left corner wondering where it was sent from:

Law offices of Blackwell & Mason L.L.C.

114 Main St.

Spillwater, WA 98331

Weird, why is this Law office sending me something? And some place in Washington State, no less. I pull the serrated edge of the package and then dump the contents out.

A Manila envelope spills out, along with a clank of a large iron decorative key.

“A key?“, Elle questions, swiping it then begins to study it, while I open the orange envelope and remove a small stack of thick white printed paper.

There’s a cover letter at the top of the stack and a short message written on the thick stamped letter stock business paper.

Dear Miss Walker,

I regret to inform you of your Uncle’s passing. Robert ‘Cash’ Wolfe passed away in his home on the tenth of June. Words can not describe the shock I feel towards my dear friend’s death and it’s my sincere apologies that you are finding out this way.

Attached you will find Cash’s Last Will and Testament, along with all assets and documents he has left to you.

Please reach out to me at my office anytime.


Benjamin Blackwell

Blackwell & Mason L.L.C.


Here we are! This is where the story gets put into motion, and Townsend’s life flips on itself.

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