IN THE STUDY
You might call me a lucky man to have a wife of such stunning beauty. And you would be correct. What I did to deserve this fate must have happened in another life, for nothing in all my memories makes me worthy to call Ella my own.
The door to the study opens and George enters with Ana and a severe looking short man wearing a pin-striped suit and matching vest. I smile because the man must be suffering in such attire, for even though the calendar states it's almost October the temperature is over 100 degrees today.
"Why must we meet in Ray's study? It feels odd being in here without him present." I ask.
George places a chair opposite me and I watch the visitor place documents on the desk with little paper arrows taped to various spots.
"We do not receive official visitors in your area of the mansion, Mrs. Holden, as you know. This man is a justice of the peace and has documents awaiting your signature."
I let out a low whistle and look over the papers. It must be important for George to address me as Mrs. Holden. The papers include deeds and titles and permits for building and other details associated with my project in the Nevada desert. I nod and without asking questions, begin signing at each spot I find a paper arrow on the pages. The man flips through the documents with aplomb and I can see he possesses experience in these matters.
The business takes only a few minutes and I lift my eyes to gauge Ana's reaction. Most of the papers concern her assuming control of my interests in the desert, yet I can't find the least bit of emotion on her face. Her beauty remains placid and face immobile while I read through the last pages of fine print to be sure I understand the entire affair.
The man in the suit begins to gather up all the documents into stacks and inserts the pages into several file folders.
"I will make copies for your records and send all necessary correspondence from the city to your attorney and accountants in this matter."
"So it is done?" I ask him.
"As far as my part of the proceedings, I am quite satisfied. Good day," the man responds and takes leave without waiting for me to answer.
I do not know if he intends insult or the brusque nature of his exit is simply his manner. No matter. I open the cabinet, remove a bottle of scotch, and grab three glasses. Pouring three large servings, I hand a glass to George and Ana.
"I think a toast is in order." I lock eyes with Ana and smile. "To my Ana, the first mayor of Her-city."
"To the mayor of Her-city," George says.
Ana drinks and laughs, pretty dark brown eyes searching my own. "Only in Nevada."