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2: A Series of Very Fortunate Events

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"You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from." 

~ Cormac McCarthy


Silvia Praxton entered her house and kicked off her new pair of Zanotti sandals.

The search for husband number four was proving futile.

No matter how low her shirt or how high her heels, none of those rich country hicks would take one look at her. It seemed that word had gotten around that she was a black widow of sorts, and even the most sultry look wasn't enough to convince some cowboy to buy her a drink.

Speaking of drinks, she needed one.

The money she got from her last husband was handsome indeed, but her exorbitant lifestyle called for one too many pairs of shoeswhich weren't cheap. Nothing was cheap in this two-bit town--rather, former two-bit town--not after rhodium had been discovered deep in the earth; all the manufacturers in the industry had flocked to the town like a dying man to water.

Pouring some dark red wine from the decanter into a glass, Silvia threw herself upon the living room lounge chair with a dramatic sigh. Nothing was going according to plan.

Given, she wasn't as young as she used to be, but she still had her looks and her body. It shouldn't be that hard to make men fall in love with heras long as she told them exactly what they wanted to hear. Unfortunately, none of the men in this town seemed even open to the idea. It must be something in the water.

Maybe she should pack up and move to another cityone without so much gossip.

When she first came to the town four months ago, it was with the sole purpose of finding some lonely old hermit, ready to kick the bucket in a year or two. She wasn't counting on the gossip-mongers who took one quick look at her fake tan and labeled her as a power-hungry gold-digger.

It didn't help that her late husband's attorney had tracked her down to Rinshawn and rather publicly announced his unexpected passing.

It was a shame though. The rustic colonial style home she had purchased at half the market value was suiting her well. While its classic style screamed 'homemaker' to those passing by, it was fully equipped with the latest and greatest technological applications: the surround-sound system she had installed during the move-in was barely visible on the peach-colored walls of the living room. The antique fireplace had been a hassle to clean, but when it was lit, it cascaded the whole room in a cozy warmth. It was the perfect house to showcase to future suitors.

Or it would have been . . .

She tipped back her glass and swallowed the remaining wine lingering in the bottom. Rising from the lounge, she headed to the kitchen. Her feet tapped against the buffed amber floor in a rhythm that serenaded the empty house. She set her wine glass on the counter edge with a clink and glanced out the window.

The arched dutch windows stretched across the entire wall, large enough to let in natural light, but small enough to hide from meddlesome busybodies. Her business was hers and hers alone.

With one last pondering gaze out the window, she retreated to the bathroom.

The open format of the bath was one of the only reasons she chose to buy the two-story house. It wasn't the location of the house that had first intrigued her—but the fully equipped and renovated master bathroom which called to her. After all, it wasn't like she was going to die in this house; it was just a stepping stone until she met her next husband.

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