I never knew my parents. They died in a car crash when I was under a year old. My aunt and uncle raised me. Although my parents were dead, I had a very loving family environment. My aunt and uncle were childless, so doted on me. They sent me to the best private schools and then to Yale, where I majored it business.
My parents vacationed every year in Europe and had left me with my aunt that fateful year. They were in Switzerland when my dad lost control of the car sending them over the side of a mountain. My aunt doesn't talk about my mother very often, as she was my aunt's favorite sister.
We haven't heard from the oldest sister since the day or the funeral, oh so many years ago. When I got out of collage I got a job with the firm of an old family friend. I don't hate it, but I can't wait until I can get out of it. I am not sure what I want to do, but I know my heart lay elsewhere.
My name is Victoria Trammel and this is my story. Well part of it anyway. I was raised by my Aunt Judy and Uncle Charlie in Charleston. My parents died in a car crash in Switzerland when I was a few months old. They had left me in the care of my aunt and uncle that year. Dad was driving when he lost control of the car and sent them plummeting to their deaths at the bottom of a mountain.
Judy doesn't talk much about it, because my mother was her favorite baby sister. The other sister, Daise, is a black sheep and so Judy doesn't talk about her either. I did find an old picture of Daise in Judy's things. She looked beautiful. I envied her being able to get away from here and see new things.I was an only child and so was doted upon but never spoiled. I strove to be the best in my class so I could follow Daise's footsteps and get out of this town. I wanted to travel the world. When I was done with high school I went to Yale and got a doctorate in business. I figured that would be helpful to my goal.
A couple of years after I started working in my uncle's consulting firm he retired and turned over the business to me. Oh how I hated him that day. He had effectively shut down all my plans to travel. I was stuck running the business. When I confronted him he just looked at me with eyes full of innocence and told me that I was the only one he could trust to not run the business into the ground. My relationship with Judy and Charlie grew distant as I threw myself into work to keep from killing someone. I seemed to have an instinct for knowing when to sell and when to hold, so make money I did. The employees started joking about magic and witches telling me about the investments, but I paid them little heed as I tried to figure out how to get out of this town. I got the idea to expand my business and so set about trying to figure out good locations. I knew that I would have to run each new office for about 6 months to make sure it was not going to collapse so my dreams of leaving Charleston would come true at last. Over the next few years I opened offices in San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, Tampa, Denver, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Chicago and New York.
It was while I was in Chicago that I ran into Daise. Well to tell the truth, she hunted me down. She was standing outside my building one night when I got off work. She invited me for a couple of drinks to catch up. I told her I would meet her at the bar and went back to my hotel to change. I got to the bar and went inside. It was dark, but quieter than most bars. It seemed to me the kind of place people did serious drinking, without a lot to distract them. I spotted my aunt at a table and walked over. On my way I saw several couples making out. It seemed that everyone was having a neck nuzzled by someone else and I felt myself blushing. I got to the table and sat down and my aunt pushed a drink towards me. I took a sip while waiting for her to speak. We talked long into the night and I told her about my business. She suggested New York for my next office. She even knew someone who could help me get started. I liked the idea from the start. I had been told that New York had everything and it sounded perfect.
I told her it would be about a month before I could leave the Chicago area. She laughed and said that time was of no importance. I glanced at my watch and realized it was 4am. I told her I had to go and stood up. She said that she would find me again before I left town to make arrangements. I agreed and headed towards the door calling a cab on my cell phone.
A week before I could leave, Daise found me again and gave me the name of a bar in New York that I could find her when I arrived. I asked her to fly with me and she said that she had her own arrangements and just to meet her at the bar in ten days at midnight.
After I got everything taken care of in Chicago I flew out to New York and checked into a hotel. That first night I slept like a baby. The next day I headed around trying to find a place to set up office. I worked day and night, but couldn't find a good spot. The night I was supposed to meet with Daise came and so I went to the bar. My aunt walked in and sat down at the table. I asked where the guy I was supposed to meet was and she said he would be in tomorrow night at midnight. She told me to be here then she got up and left. I stared after her in surprised that she would be so rude. I had second thoughts at that time, but I was having such a hard time finding a place that I figured it couldn't hurt to meet this guy at least.
The next night I was seated in the back corner of the bar when I saw them walk in. My aunt pointed at me and then left. The guy started walking towards me. Watching him move towards my table I was reminded of a predator stalking its prey and I shivered. When he got to the table he sat down across from me. He had the most striking eyes I had ever seen. When I met his gaze it was as if he could read my every thought and was gazing right into my soul.
"So you're Victoria…….."