The Real Estate Connection Ch. 01bykiwiwolf©
After 8 years overseas, I was finally coming home. It had been a long flight and I was looking forward to collapsing into bed in a house, which I owned but had never seen. I was looking forward to exploring my new home and my new hometown. I was looking forward to a new start. No ties, no encumberments… just me. I had forged a reputation in the last 8 years as a loner. I was good at it… I enjoyed it. Having never been a social animal it was no stretch for me to carry my loner attitude into my work. In my line of work it was an asset. I had spent the last 8 years operating as a mercenary in the hill country of several Central and South American nations whose unofficial national export was the by product of the Coca plant. I had made a small fortune running search and destroy and intel gathering missions. The pay was good and that, combined with a few cunning and lucky investments had left me with a few bucks more than what I would need for the rest of my life.
After 8 years overseas, all I wanted was quiet anonymity and more than a few of life's creature comforts. I wanted big screen TV, stereo music, and movies on tap. I wanted clean sheets and soft pillows, hot showers at the twist of a tap and clean clothes every day. Most of all, I wanted peace from the screams that echoed in my dreams every night.
My nightly nightmares had been a feature of my sleep for the last year or so, and they were a big factor in my decision to retire at the tender age of 37. They were souvenirs from the many firefights and skirmishes I had been part of. They were accompanied by the faces and bloodied bodies of teammates and foes alike. I wanted escape and figured that a completely new start would be the way to go about it. To that end I had figured out where I wanted to live, then contracted a real estate agent to find and secure a house and some land for me. After 8 years as a mercenary I had the cash reserves to afford a quite reasonable 210 acres with a near new house, just outside of Richmond, Virginia. Maybe with a bit of rest and relaxation I could lay my ghosts to rest. As I picked up my duffel from the baggage carousel I began scanning the arrivals lounge for the real estate agent. Stupid really as I had never met him. All of our contact had been by e-mail; no phone calls or letters. I had arranged to have him pick me up at the airport, but didn't have any idea what he looked like.
With a sigh, I headed towards the Starbucks in the food court area. My priority was a coffee and a bathroom stop. I had the time for both as my flight had arrived in 20 minutes early. After ordering my coffee I headed for the rest room. After splashing water on my face I made the mistake of looking in the mirror. Staring back at me was a face aged beyond its 37 years. Not a pretty face but rather a rugged face, heavily tanned from constant exposure to the elements. Clean shaven with the lines of wear and tear very evident. A firm jawline and full mouth. I was proud that I still had all my own teeth and that they were in really good condition; large and white. I suppose if I had to pick an outstanding feature, it would have to be my eyes, piercing blue. Women had always told me that I had sexy eyes. Personally I couldn't see it. A full head of sandy blonde hair completed the picture.
Standing 6' 3", I was in good physical condition. Heavily muscled stopping short of a body builder physique; it was a body I was happy with. I had earned every ripple the hard way; constant hard physical graft. God I was tired. I needed that coffee. I finished up in the bathroom and walked back out into Starbucks.
"Would Mr. Craig Miller please come to the information desk." The announcement barely made it through the fog in my brain. I made my way out of the coffee shop towards the nearest skycap and asked directions to the information desk.
"Ten yards that way." he said with an ironic but sympathetic grin. I turned in the direction he was pointing and realized that I had walked past it as the announcement was being made.
"Thanks mate" I managed to mumble as I turned to the info desk.
"You paged Craig Miller?" I said to the bright-eyed young thing behind the counter. Before she had a chance to answer I heard a voice behind me.
"Craig Miller?" I turned and came face to face with a guy in his mid 30's. Well dressed in a casual way he was a couple of inches shorter than me and looked to be in superb shape. Blonde and curly with a dark closely trimmed goatee, he looked every inch the young professional. He grinned and thrust out his hand. "Matt Grey" he said by way of introduction. We shook hands as I asked, "I thought I would be meeting a Stevie Grey."
"My step-sister," he replied, "She got called away late this afternoon and sends her apologies. She said to let you know that she will be out first thing tomorrow to show you around properly and to complete the formalities. In the meantime, I am to give you a ride out to your place and make sure you get settled in for the night. Is that okay by you?"
"No problems at my end. Shall we get going? This is the sum total of my baggage, so I'm ready to roll any time you are." He grinned and with a 'follow me' gesture made for the doors. Slinging my duffel over my shoulder I followed in his wake.
Outside he ushered me to a mid eighties Mustang convertible. It was in immaculate condition, which I mentioned to him as I tossed my bag into the back seat and clambered into the passenger seat.
"Thanks. It was all I managed to salvage from my marriage, so I look after her to remind myself to be more careful in the future." He said all this with a big grin. He came across as being very straight up and open. I found myself warming to him. "Careful… no attachments." I reminded myself. I settled back into the leather upholstery as he pulled out and drove out of the airport. The next 15 minutes were passed in near silence as he drove me to the property I had never viewed except in photographs delivered via email. He obviously sensed that I wanted to be left alone and respected my wishes. Dammit! I was starting to like the guy. Maybe I could let him in enough to become a drinking buddy.
He was first to break the silence. "The house is totally bare as per your instructions, but Stevie and I thought you might appreciate the loan of a bed until you can get yourself sorted out. I had a spare in my guest bedroom so we dragged it out here. It is in the garage if you want to use it. It's nothing much but it's clean and firm. You can use it 'til you get sorted out. A car crate arrived for you 3 days ago, but as there was nobody here they brought it into town. It's in the vacant lot behind the office. Should be okay for a few days, so there is no hurry to get rid of it."
He paused, chewed his lip thoughtfully, and then went on hesitantly. "You have caused quite a bit of gossip around town. The property you bought was quite a high profile piece of land, so when it was sold, for cash as well, a lot of tongues started wagging. I'm sorry if this is none of my business but I thought you should know that you have reached celebrity status already. Relax… nobody knows what you do, but there are a few people speculating. So far Stevie and I have heard Hollywood producer, drug lord, Mafia kingpin, and disgraced plastic surgeon to name a few of the juicier ones." He laughed and carried on. "To tell the truth, there are only a few busybodies in town, but they do have a fearsome reputation for getting to the facts. Just thought I should warn you."
I sat in silence thinking about what he had said. I hadn't thought about the gossip angle simply because it was non-existent in the jungles of South America. Never mind… I would deal with it when I had to.
After another 10 minutes of driving though the lush Virginia countryside, Matt announced that we had arrived. The photos Stevie had e-mailed me hadn't come close to doing this place justice. As we drove up the gently curving cobbled driveway I stared in awe at the house. It was enormous, with natural timber and huge windows everywhere you looked. On one side, the windows extended from the ground to the gables capping the second floor.
"That would be the library," I thought in amazement. "I'm going to have to buy more books." The house was surrounded by well-maintained gardens filled with roses and brightly colored annuals. About an acre and a half was fenced off with the house sitting in the middle. The lawns were putting green quality. As we pulled up to the door I felt nervous, excited, and strangely peaceful. According to the run down Stevie had sent me, the house was only seven years old, yet it had an Old World look about it.
Turning to Matt, I said the first thing that came into my head. "Jesus." This brought a gale of laughter, which I joined sheepishly.
"C'mon man… lets show you around." We clambered out of the car and Matt went to unlock the door as I grabbed my bag from the back seat. I climbed the short flight of steps and entered the foyer of my house. It was beautiful. It was everything I had ever dreamed about growing up in small town New Zealand, and more. Standing in the marble foyer, all I could think of was bed. I turned to find Matt looking at me with a concerned look on his face.
"Look buddy, I may be out of line here, but you look like you need a good feed and a good nights sleep. Hang on a minute, I'll be right back." He was out the door in a flash, and back just as quick. He had a small basket in one hand and a six pack of Miller Genuine Draft in the other.
"Stevie put this together for you. She thought you might like a snack before you get your head down tonight. Do you want me to grab that bed from the garage?"
"Thanks man. Food would be great about now, and no… don't worry about the bed. I'm used to bunking down in the rough, so a nice thick carpet will be like a feather bed. Thank you and your stepsister for everything you have done for me. This sure as hell goes above and beyond the call. You guys have impressed the shit out of me. The house, the land, the service… you guys must do well if you treat all your clients like this. Look I have to come into town sometime this week, maybe I could take you folks out to dinner?"
"Tell you what," he said with a grin, "my girlfriend is having a bit of a party on Friday night. How about you come along? The cream of local society will be there and best of all they all know how to mind their own business. What say you?"
"I'll be there and thanks. The dinner offer still stands though."
Good-byes were said and as Matt drove off, I moved through in the general direction I thought the kitchen would be. It was the right way and soon I was dining on a selection of cold cuts and salads, sitting cross-legged on the kitchen floor.
Sleep was my next priority and in no time, after stripping down to my boxers, I was stacking zzzz's in my trusty sleeping bag.
"Hello… anybody here? Hello?" It was a female voice, and that fact just added to my sense of dislocation. It was the norm for me to be woken in hushed male tones, usually with a Latin American accent. It was also the norm for me to wake in the darkness of the early morning with the sounds and smells of the jungle, with a rifle, pack and webbing as a pillow. Above me was a decorator ceiling, and beneath me, a plush cream colored carpet. Where the fuck was I, and who the hell was calling. The sun was streaming in the masses of windows that this place had, and it was into this torrent of sunlight she stepped.
She was in silhouette, and the effect was breathtaking. This, more than anything, jolted me awake. I couldn't make out her features but I could tell she was tall. Even from my perspective from the floor she looked to be around 5' 10". She carried her height well, with a long legged, slim figure. Then she moved and I saw all of her in glorious Technicolor. She was incredible. Masses of honey blonde hair fell in waves to the middle of her back. Clear ice blue eyes smiled down at me. Wide set in a beautiful oval face, they were captivating. They radiated warmth and intelligence, with just a little touch of the Devil. Her full lips were parted in a wide smile, showing brilliant white even teeth. A small dimple in her firm jawline just set off the rest of her face perfectly.
I knew I was staring but couldn't help myself. I figured I would apologize later if I got the chance, but at that moment I just lay there and drank this vision in. My eyes roamed lower to her long graceful neck and wide shoulders. Then down to the open V of her open necked denim shirt. The shirt concealed but strongly hinted at the pair of large firm looking breasts that lurked high on her chest. Her shirt was tucked into high waisted tight jeans, and this told me she had a tiny waist. The long legs with feet clad in brown cowboy boots completed the picture.
She was doing her fair share of looking as well. Her eyes roamed from my chest to my stomach closely inspecting the tattoo I had picked up as a souvenir in Hong Kong when I was on leave a few years back. I had a Japanese style vest depicting a koi, or Japanese carp on the left side, and a tiger appearing from a forest of bamboo on the right. The tattoo carried on around to completely cover my back, which featured a blushing Geisha and a rampant Samurai. The leave had lasted for a full 8 weeks, and the tattoo had taken up nearly every third day of the leave. The tattoo had been a test of my will. I had passed.
"Likewise" was my snappy comeback. This brought a widening of the grin and a flick of her hair. I just lay there and carried on staring.
"You would be Major Craig Miller," she said. She had the most amazing throaty voice. "Did Matt tell you I was going to be coming in the morning?" Click thump! It all fell into place. Where I was, how I got here, and who my gorgeous visitor was. The mist cleared from my fog-effected brain and I was ready for action.
"He did. You would be Stevie. Jesus what time is it?" A quick glance at my Omega Divemaster told me it was 10.15. "Oh my God. I haven't slept this late for years." Modesty prevented me from rolling out of my bedroll. Nevertheless, I desperately needed to take a piss. Stevie noticed my squirming and said, "I've got some coffee in a flask. You get yourself organized and I'll meet you out on the deck."
"I've got a deck?" I mumbled stupidly.
This earned me a laugh. "Out through the French doors in the library." I was none the wiser, as I had no clue where the Library was. She saw this and pointed to a door coming off the foyer. "Through there." There was that grin again. Then she turned and walked the way she had indicated.
I decided right then and there that I could watch her walking away for hours. She had the most spectacular ass I had ever had the pleasure of ogling. Smooth, firm, and heart shaped, it filled out her jeans beautifully. Watching it move with every stride, was a thing of beauty. As she reached the door she turned and caught me drooling. She laughed and stepped through to the library. I lay there for a moment, then shook myself and rolled out of my sleeping bag, immediately discovering I was sporting a hard on capable of driving in nails. There was a noise and I looked up to find Stevie standing in the doorway to the library looking directly at my hard on. She looked shocked. She looked up and saw me watching her, blushed and stammered, "Do you want sugar and cream in your coffee?" Her eyes kept on flicking back to my dick. The evil side of me took over and with a flex of my pelvic muscles I made my dick bob up and down. Her eyes bounced up and down to follow it.
"No thanks… just black." I said with a grin. It was her turn to be flustered. Finally she tore her eyes away from my flexing, bouncing cock and bolted back through the library.
With a chuckle I turned to use the toilet. Where the fuck was the toilet? After a couple of frantic minutes searching I was finally sending a steady stream against the porcelain. Happiness is an empty bladder. There wasn't much I could do about the bleary eyed mess that stared back at me when I got up enough courage to look into the mirror. But throwing a couple of handfuls of water over my face and hair at least elevated me past Elephant man status. Pulling on a pair of jeans and a tank top, I headed out to the deck.
Christ! What had I bought? The deck was huge, and overlooked an Olympic sized swimming pool with pool house and a tennis court.
Stevie was sitting sipping her coffee and gazing out over the fields and hills that made up my purchase. She hadn't seen me yet so I just stood watching her. She was stunning. The sun caught her hair, and it came alive; copper highlights in the otherwise blonde mane flashing at every movement. At that moment I had never seen anything as beautiful in my entire life. I wanted her… what sane man wouldn't.
At that moment she turned and saw me. "C'mon… your coffee's getting cold. After breakfast I thought I could show you around then take you into town. You will probably need to pick up a few things, and we can get the formalities out of the way. Matt says you only have the bag I saw in the kitchen. Do you have any other stuff being shipped? If you do, let me know the shipping agent and I may be able to smooth the way for quicker delivery."
I sat down and grabbed the mug that sat on the table in front of me. She made a mean coffee… rich, strong, and with a hint of chicory. After 8 years of jungle brews, this was like ambrosia. This woman was rapidly gaining points.
"I have a bit of stuff in my crate along with my car and music collection. My books and movies will be coming by DHL carriers in a few days hopefully. As for the rest… well I am going to have to start from scratch."
"Look I am taking this week off. You are going to need a bit of a hand doing your stocking up and buying furniture and things. How about I give you a hand with it and that way I'll earn that dinner you mentioned to Matt last night. What do you reckon?" An opening made in heaven. Of course I turned her down, being determined to start my life of solitude.
"I would love to have you help me Stevie… that is if you don't mind. A bit of local knowledge will come in very handy, and a woman's opinion will probably be invaluable." So I'm weak… what can I say? It's not every day that a bona fide goddess offers to spend time with you. My solitude could start next week. Again we traded grins and with that the deal was sealed.
After a tour of the house I was more apprehensive than ever. The house was amazing. As we toured through I started making decisions on which rooms would be for what. The master bedroom was the size of two large normal bedrooms, with a huge walk in wardrobe separated into his and hers, and a bathroom with a huge spa bath, power shower, and his and hers vanities. The kitchen was a gourmet's wet dream. Lots of counter space and loaded with state of the art gleaming stainless steel appliances. The library took my breath away. The French doors leading to the deck were set into the two-story wall of windows I had marveled at last night. The other three walls in the two-story room, were basically banks of built in shelves going as high as the glass skylight capping the libraries second floor. A spiral staircase ascended to a mezzanine floor running around the three walls of shelves. I loved reading, and could see myself spending a lot of time in this room.
Stevie was watching my reaction to the house as we walked through. She kept the comments to a minimum, letting me make my own impressions instead of trying to sell me the place again. The music room and home theatre were beautifully set up, just needing the componentry and furnishings to get them going. Finally we finished our tour.
"It's everything I wanted and more." I told her. "Let's go and do the paper work."