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Chapter One


Lexi Sorcee stood looking out to the ocean’s fiery waves and burst of upsurges while thinking it was just like she had been feeling since hearing the shocking news about her sister. The sky was cloudy and the wind blew cold on Lexi’s shoulders which sent a chill through her body. In Montecito is where she had lived most of her life, and in the same estate where she lived while growing up she had just unpacked her last box and was once again home. Although it didn’t feel like home anymore, nevertheless, here she was. Montecito is directly adjacent to Santa Barbara along Fernald Point. There were so many memories she thought as she took one last look at the fiery sea. Her mother had died of a heart attack only three months ago and she was feeling angry. Angry at her mother for not telling her she had a twin, in fact, an identical twin. Her long glossy chestnut hair blew into her face, and as she lifted her hand to push it back and over her shoulder, she saw a man wandering along on the ocean’s edge with his German shepherd running out into the waves and then back to the man, shaking his dark fur and spraying his master with the dampness. She noticed he was kind about it and began running down the beach with the shepherd behind him. She stood a while longer, watching them, and then climbed back up the steps leading to her estate. She knew she had to go into Summerland to buy groceries because the refrigerator was bare of anything except dried up and rotten produce, and a half gallon of curdled milk. Her mother’s housekeeper and assistant, Maxine, who Lexi had hired, said she’d come later in the day to clean out the refrigerator and reline the cabinets. Most of the can goods had been tossed, therefore leaving the cabinets as empty as she felt inside. She was planning a dinner party with her two best friends and their mates. She wanted to establish her newly willed home as hers instead of her mother’s, or the home she grew up in. She never knew her father, and was told that he left two months after she was born and didn’t want contact with Lexi’s mother or her - ever again. That always hurt her as she was growing up, but by her teens she had accepted it.

     She looked out the window while standing in her bedroom dressing in white silk slacks and a pastel blue linen top. The sky was still cloudy, but nevertheless she had to get dressed and drive to the market to restock her cabinets and refrigerator. She turned away from the window as she heard Maxine unlocking the front door and yelling out that she was back. “I’m back Lexi, and when you get a chance I want you to take a look at this lining for the cabinets. I got pastel yellow and orange since that’s the color of the kitchen.”

     Lexi applied the last layer of her lip gloss, grabbed her handbag and hurried into the kitchen where Maxine was unpacking. “I am sure I will love what you picked out,” Lexi said as she moved over to the counter where Maxine had laid out the lining. “Oh yes, it’s perfect. Oh, and Maxie, I was wondering if you’d like to move into your old room that you had when you worked for Mom. I’m sure it needs some updates, and if you do want to live here, then you can pick out the colors you’d like for the walls, and we of course will replace the bedroom set because I know it’s the same one you slept on for years.”

     “I would be honored to move back into the house Lex, but you don’t need to go to any trouble for me.”

     “No, no, I want it remodeled Maxie.”

     “Thank you Lex. When do you want me to move in; before or after the remodel?

     “Tonight,” Lexie said as she turned and wrapped her arms around Maxine.

     “Tonight it will be then. You are having that dinner party this weekend, so that will be perfect for me to be here to help you.”

     “Great,” Lexi said as she pulled out her keys and stepped over to the door leading out to the garage. “I am going shopping and then when I get back, we can load the refrigerator and cabinets – that is if you have the lining of them done.”

     “I’m sure it will be ready for you honey,” Maxine said as she turned to slip on her orange rubber gloves, and backed over to the sink to fill it with soapy water.





Before the arrival of the guests, Maxine and Lexi sat around the white wrought iron table in the trellised garden at the back of the estate. Maxine was already dressed in her long flowered pastel, cotton dress with her bib apron tied around her waist. She was a tall beautiful woman, with salt and pepper colored hair she always worn in a bun on top of her head. She didn’t look her sixty five years with her trim figure and smooth dark skin. She had arrived in the United States from Columbia three weeks before Lexi’s Mom had hired her.  She always had a smile on her face, and usually in good spirits which made Lexi reach out and hire her after she left the house when her mom had died. It took her several weeks to locate her after the will was read and decided to move into the house. It was a beautiful old mansion, and her mom had always kept it maintained well. The long driveway lined with red and white Crate Myrtle trees were always trimmed and barked, leaving them with smooth trunks. There were over 50 of them on both sides of the driveway. The mansion had three levels to its construction with a brick tower looming out of the middle of it. In the front was a pebbled courtyard with a six foot fountain of a Victorian lady holding a bouquet of flowers trimmed in antique gold, with four white wrought iron benches setting around the fountain. The double front door was over twelve feet tall with a copper lining placed on the oak doors, and on the left set an old but refined swing where one could set while waiting to be invited in. The foyer floor had  burnt orange/brown granite flooring that glowed with elegance, and an old antique brass chair with a hand carved ten feet brass sculpture setting beside it.

     “You have everything looking so good Maxi, but I knew you would,” Lexi said as she sipped on her glass of her freshly poured Chardonnay. “I had better do my last touches before our guest arrive.”

    “Thank you Lex, and I had best go make sure my Cream Cheese Cake is hardening as it should.” 

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Peter & Pattimari

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Joyce is going into the hospital for hip surgery~ Make sure you don't forget to email her. It always feels good when people feel you care~

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