Waiting in a library for a writer seems fitting. Her collection of books tends toward classic, organized by author in a haphazard way. Plath next to Austen, Shakespeare sharing space with Stephen King. To one side, there are two rows of books with blank covers and spines. I reach into my pocket for a pen, intending to make a note to ask about the mystery books when I hear the oak doors swing open.
A man nearing old age, wearing a gray suit adorned with a lavender tie enters and stops at attention a few feet from me.
"Welcome to Holden Farms West," the man says, making a stiff bow.
"Thanks," I say, looking around the library. My eyes lock on a wet-bar near the wall, but I don't see a refrigerator. "Can I get a beer?"
The man tilts his head to the side, studying me. Does he think I'm telling a joke? Get my fucking beer.
"I shall see to your request. She will join you in a few minutes. First, Saul will check you for weapons."
A giant gropes me in a thorough fashion and finds I have no weapons. I have no need for them today. He pushes me toward the old man and disappears into a hidden panel in the wall.
"Woah, James Bond around here," I say, but the old man doesn't seem amused. He makes another bow before attempting to take leave of me. I hold up my hand to stop him. "Tell me a bit about her. What can I expect? And will she be meeting me alone or can I expect her husband as well?"
Without a moment of hesitation he answers me, "I wouldn't mention her husband if you value living."
With a small bow and no explanation of his cryptic statement he makes a quick exit and shuts the door. I think on his words and walk to the wet-bar to grab a bottle of gin. Shaking up a martini, I sit on a stool and sip the drink, waiting for Ella.