Woman and Flame Part 1

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Ch. 5

Townsend's POV:

Benjamin Blackwell offered to meet me at Wolfe House at 3 o'clock later today. Which gave me plenty of time at the cemetery.

Sitting in my jeep looking out the rain-splattered window at the moss-covered rock-walled cemetery, located on Middle Road. A white dirty sign marks the entrance of it, reading Middle Brook Cemetery.

The rain continues to fall so I stuff my keys into my coat pocket and pull the wool hood up and exit the jeep. The cemetery is surrounded by a rock wall that looks like it's been here for two hundred years. And it's the only thing I can see on either side of the road. My ankle boots slosh against the wet pavement, and I almost slip and fall on the wet mossy grass as I reach the gate.

Catching myself, I grip the gate, and then open it. The headstones all have a gracious layer of moss growing on the tops and corners. It's a decent sized graveyard so I scan the stones for a newer clean one. Surely, a two-month-old granite stone can't collect moss, even with the amount of rain I know this place gets.

My eyes spot off in the corner, a black slate marker, so I drudge off quickly being sure to hold my hood in place to keep the rain from hitting my face.

I zig-zag through the headstones, keeping my eyes glued to the shiny black stone until I read in large engraved writing, Robert Cash Wolfe.

My heart dips a little, then I find myself staring while standing in front of it, looking down at Robert Wolfe's fresh headstone.

My head snaps over to the marker next to his. This headstone is older with a thick layer of moss but the engraving on this one hits me like a jackhammer, Rebecca Anne Wolfe, and then, immediately, beside hers is James Christopher Cline.

I step over and feel my hand cover my mouth for some reason. These are my birth parents.

And by Cash's note, they had loved me.

Growing up, I often wondered where they were in the world. And who I was. Was I some Russian adoptee? Did I come from a teenager who couldn't keep me because of her religious parents? Or was I just unwanted by the single person who was, by DNA, supposed to want me?

And now, here I am. In the Pacific Northwest, standing in some wet cemetery, six feet above my birth mother and father.

I let out a sigh and read the stone out loud, "Rebecca Anne Wolfe, born October 12th, 1975. Died-" I literally stop breathing.

And then blink, unable to look away from the date.

Still... Unable to breathe.

It's silent, the only sound is the rain pinging onto the granite headstones, wet grass, and leaves by the surrounding trees.

I exhale loudly after my eyes read it for the twentieth time, October 13th, 1997.

One day before my birthday.

How does that even make sense?

Hoping for some clarification, I look over to James's headstone. Reading it, I see that the date of death is also October 13th, 1997. It only validates the questionable date even more.

Looking back to the one in front of me, I shake my head "How?" This can't be right.

Unless my birthday is wrong.

I stand there in the rain, racking through all the thoughts that are bombarding me for who knows how long. It's long enough to where the shoulders of my wool coat are now seeping through with chilled water.

Only when I feel the burn on the back of my neck do I turn from the gravestones and gaze across the cemetery to my jeep beyond the rock wall. The rain is falling, and I'm sure I'd felt someone watching me. But, the only car in sight is my own, so the hairs standing on my neck relax and I let out a breath I didn't realize I'd been holding.

I need a glass of wine, a cigarette...or coffee. I let out a tired huff, rubbing my temples, and then turn and walk quickly back to the jeep. I pull out my phone and quickly search for the closest café, which is back in town, and head straight there before I start day-drinking by myself.


I order a black coffee and take a seat at one of the two-top tables near the front bay window of the little café on the main drag of the shopping district. I'm the only one inside, meanwhile, the city center begins to come to life as other customers are all outside soaking up the sun that has finally poked out from its hiding place. The fog and the rain have all but disappeared and the town seems so different in the sunlight. It's buzzing with activity. People are lounging on chairs outside, exercising, and chit-chatting with each other.

I have more than an hour before my meeting with Blackwell at Wolfe House, which is about a twenty-five minute drive from here. So, in the meantime, I sip my warm coffee and try to do some research on my phone...

Either, Rebecca and James's date of death was incorrect or my birthday is.

It's doubtful my birthday is wrong. I combed my birth certificate a million times before, I knew it by heart. Plus, with most of the information being left out, I found it very unlikely to be wrong.

By the time my adoptive parents got me from the adoption agency, I was a month old, the pediatrician had confirmed that, and had told my adoptive parents I was premature but otherwise healthy. No drug or alcohol addictions, just a small but healthy baby girl.

Doing some research, I use my music journal to scribble down some notes of names or anything useful I could find online. Near the back of the journal, I bullet point my birth parents' names, and my Uncle and Benjamin's names.

Using the internet, on my black iPhone, I search for my parents' names and the date of October 13th, 1997.

Not much pops up that is of any importance to me. But I do read a short old newspaper article from the Seattle Times about drunk driving accidents in the state of Washington and how they were on the rise.

So I scribble that down, along with the URL of the website.

I go to the Spillwater newspaper website and try to search either parent's names in the search bar but it yields zero results. No articles and no obituaries. Strange.

I'm a little surprised, I guess 1997 was a while ago, but not even an obituary article on either of them?

I let out a loud aggravated sigh, knowing with my luck I'd have to go to the local library to get some answers, and by the looks of it, nothing would be filed electronically.


"How could such a sad sound come from such a beautiful girl?" A voice cuts into my thoughts and instantly pulls my attention up from my messy note-taking to the form that just spoke.

Physical chills ripple from the backs of my ears, down my spine, and fizzes out among my extremities. It's like when I hear two chords create a harmony , opposite in their polarity, with overtones and undertones in the harmonious combination. Making my skin rise into bumps and my stomach flutter.

Just the sight of him feels like I've been struck by lightning.

I'm urged to twist around to see if there is someone else nearby he's talking to, but those green eyes framed by dark lashes, hold me frozen in place, hostage in my own body. The intensity in them is overwhelming and has me fighting the impulse to look away.

"Sorry," I half-laugh hiding the fact I'm struggling to breathe, let alone to speak. I pull the coffee closer to me and let my journal flip closed.

"I hear a good dose of Vitamin D does the body good in releasing endorphins." This time his British accent, mixed with the low smooth sound of his voice sparks another wave of chills.

Holy shit, this guy is the most gorgeous human being I've ever seen. If God let me design someone, this guy would be it.

He's standing at the coffee mixing station and adds an incredible amount of sugar to his scolding cup.

"I think I may have heard that somewhere." My lips stretch into a grin watching him. He's tall, taller than six feet. He looks away to cap the lid back to his coffee while I shamelessly take in his lanky backside. Then my eyes move up to his brown hair which is slicked back perfectly, being longer at the top and tapered back. He is dressed in a dark grey business suit that is perfectly tailored to his long limbs. He's thin, but by the tightness of the suit jacket around his biceps and the perfectly fitted slacks shaping tightly across his ass, I can tell he is toned. He turns back to me, and I snap my eyes back up to him before he catches me checking him out.

"Are you not tempted like the rest of us?" He leans back against the mixing station and crosses his ankles keeping those intense eyes on me.


"The sun?" He clarifies, revealing body melting dimples before he takes a casual sip from his coffee. I watch his Adam's apple bob in the chord of his throat as he swallows the coffee.

I freaking can't deal with this guy. No one should be allowed to look and sound like this. It's a lethal combination. The mischievous glint in his green eyes tells me how he is very aware of what he does to the female population. Hell, even the male population.

Shit, he said something. What was it again?

Right, why I'm not tempted to be outside in the sunshine.

"I don't mind the rain, I get plenty of sunshine."

"I can see vat'," he nods, gesturing towards me. I'm not entirely sure what he is getting at, but I don't even care. I just want him to keep talking, I'm enamored with him. "Are you visiting, or jus' passing through?"

I'm a little surprised at his question, he's aware I'm not a local. Granted, the town of Spillwater isn't large.

My eyes flit away from his gaze, so I quickly take a sip of coffee and then look back to him, "Uh, just visiting...for a month or so," I smile and watch him push off from the mixing bar station and glance back to the back deck of the café where the customers, and now the barista, are all soaking up the sun, and then sucks onto his bottom lip when his eyes find mine again.

"Don't let the shit weather prevent you from staying longer." He walks over and my eyes follow him until he stands next to the table I'm at. "May I join you? Or are you meeting someone?" I sense the curiousness in his inquiry and it makes me want to giggle like a schoolgirl, but I nod instead.

He sits across from me, and I steal a quick look at his beautiful veiny hands, specifically his left, and notice his ring finger is free of any bands as well as indents of recently removed rings.

I am officially interested.

He sets his coffee down onto the table and I mirror his action by doing the same. Now that he's closer, my pulse has risen and I can feel it strumming in my neck. His green eyes are a grey-green color, and I notice a scar set in his right eyebrow where a patch of brown hair doesn't grow. My eyes move around his face where I spot several other scars. Both are round in shape compared to the small slash on his brow bone. One is located near the center of his forehead and the other is just to the left of his lips.


Those lips. My eyes look back up to his eyes that are watching me with humor laced through them.

"Beau," he holds out his large hand across the table for me to shake. Beau? That's an interesting name for a British guy.

I stretch mine out and take his, ignoring the surge of electricity that fires up my arm from the simple touch, "Townsend."

"Townsend." He repeats and grins assaulting me with those deviant dimples, and slowly shakes my hand.

I pull my hand away and grasp my coffee holding it to my chest needing something to anchor myself. "Where are you from? I hear a hint of an accent?" He asks.

I feel my cheeks heat and buzz, but shake the slight embarrassment from my face, "California, but I was raised in Nashville, Tennessee." I pretend to take a sip, "You?"

"I was born here." He grins, "Accents not fake though. Mum is British and I lived in the UK six months out of the year, up until ten years ago." Well, that's a little strange. Was he homeschooled or something?

"Which part of the UK?"

"London," he answers quickly and shifts the conversation back to me, "so, why are you visiting for 'a month or so', Townsend?"

I suck on my bottom lip, thinking of how I'd go about explaining that my long lost dead family lived here, and how I'm going to restore this old ass run down mansion to find out how my parents died and where they came from because my uncle's mysterious note told me to.

The 'I'm adopted' topic is usually avoided, especially when meeting someone for the first time. It's always awkward. And with this God before me, I didn't want to reveal my baggage.

Beau's eyes look down to my mouth and the corner of his mouth curves up.

My Lord.

He's not even trying to conceal the fact he's staring at my lips. I was way, way out of my league here.

I'm not a shy person, especially with the opposite sex. At least I never thought I was. I felt like I always had the upper hand, and I thrived on it. I like games and keeping the guys on their toes. However, right now? I felt mentally unable to do so with Beau.

"It's kind of a strange story," I shrug and watch the intrigue in his eyes grow as he continues to watch my mouth.

Beau finally breaks his gaze from my lips and pretends to look at an invisible watch on his wrist, "I've got time."

"Mmm," I nod once and narrow my eyes at him, he smirks and narrows his own eyes as if to mock or mimic me. "Truth is, I didn't know this place existed until three days ago. I received a package in the mail, sent from a local attorney here, telling me I was left a property by my recently deceased uncle." I pause, but he just continues his fierce, unmoving stare on me. "So...I drove up and here we are." I force a half-laugh and wave my hands around.

"The property is here? In Spillwater?" He asks me, the playfulness in his mannerisms now slowly being replaced by something much more serious.

I nod, thrown off from the sudden vibe change.

"Who was your uncle?" His voice is deep but quiet like he's telling me a secret. I glance around seeing we're still the only ones in the café.

"Robert Wol-" Even before I can finish, Beau stands quickly from the chair, sending it scratching loudly across the tile floor and into a chair behind it.

I jump at his quick and loud movement and feel my face heat and the hairs on my neck and arms stand on end.

This guy's chest heaves up and down as he glares down at me with fury in his eyes, freezing me to my chair like I'm a squirrel staring at an oncoming vehicle.

Beau turns, leaving his nearly full coffee behind, and heads for the swinging door. He gives me one last look that nearly burns a hole through me, and then barges through the door and charges off out of sight.

I'm left clutching the table tightly and completely flabbergasted.

"What the fuck was that?" I let out a breath as if I'd just been holding it for an hour.


Who could have been watching her at the cemetery?

How does that make sense with her birthday being after her mother's death? Hmmm? Give me your thoughts!

And, Hello Beau😍

Who is this guy and what is his problem? Could he know something because it seemed to be going rather well up until a certain point?

Comment, vote, and share if you are liking this story guys!

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