Submitted Date 11/08/2018

The sky was dark as the rain began to wet the earth. Candlelight shown through the stained glass of La Flor Manor. The castle seemed to float in the clouds rising over the mountains. Movement was visible inside the old castle, and Lizette hoped that someone would be willing to let her rest inside until the rain passed. She had left her hotel for a mountain ride, unaware of the coming rain, and now found herself lost, wet, and a bit scared. She approached the grand doors, raised the knocker and let it go. It hit with a thunderous boom that shook her to her core. Then she waited………….


Chapter 1

Lizette Montclaire, a thirty-four-year-old attorney, had left her home in Colorado, to escape her job, cheating boyfriend, and hectic life. She traveled to a small town in Mexico in hopes of hiding away for a month or two, to figure out her life. She had the world, or so she thought, and in one day she lost it all. She was a very successful attorney working at her dream job, she was on the verge of making partner, and engaged to her college sweetheart. She began working at Carmichael’s Law Firm as a bright-eyed intern while she was still in law school. After ten years with the firm, her hard work was finally paying off. The firm had announced a few days earlier, that they were adding a partner and given the impression that Lizette was top in line for the position. She had the clientele, experience, and success rate with the firm. The announcement came, and in a matter of minutes Lizette’s dreams turned into nightmares. Her dream position had been given to her fiancé Bradley. Bradley and Lizette had dated through college and both interned at Carmichael’s. Bradley however, had gone to work with another firm after law school, saying he could not work at the same firm as his girlfriend, because it would just cause problems. Four years ago, he had finally proposed, and then decided to go to work at Carmichael’s, to have more time with Lizette. He used the hectic hours of work as an excuse why he needed to work closer to her. He really was a great attorney, but Lizette could not understand why he got the partnership she rightly deserved. After demanding answers from Mr. Carmichael, himself, she found the final shards of her life shattered into sand. She wished now, she could forget the conversation she had that day. The one that destroyed her dreams and changed her life forever.

“But Mr. Carmichael, I do not understand how you could overlook me like this. I will admit Bradley is a wonderful asset to the company and a very competent attorney, but I have a longer history, with more clients, and have been successful and loyal to the firm for the last ten years. I deserve to be partner. I at least deserve an answer as to why with all that you chose Bradley.”

“Lizette, this is nothing personal You are one of our top attorneys and greatest assets. We are very impressed with your work and abilities. You have proved yourself capable of taking on whatever we throw at you. We just decided we wanted to keep the firm in the family.”

She stared at Mr. Carmichael in a confused daze. “Then why Bradley? He is not a Carmichael.”

“Not yet my dear, but very soon. He has finally made it official with a proposal.”

Again, confused Lizette stumbled through her next question. “A proposal…what do you mean?”

“I am sorry dear, I thought everyone knew. Bradley and my granddaughter Christine have been dating for about three years now and last week he finally asked the question. Of course, we had no problem accepting him, he is a great man and has shown a lot of ambition and we know he will go far. Who better could we ask for? So, when we started talking partner, we decided that he would be the perfect person to carry on the family business. My granddaughter has no interest in law, so naturally we turned it to him. Has the husband of my dear Christy, he can carry on the family business and she won’t have to be bothered.”

Lizette stared at him as if he was a ghost that just appeared. Horror and disbelief filling her face. Her knees went weak and she found it hard to stay standing and even harder to move. Then the room went black.

“Lizette….Liz are you okay? No, don’t try to get up. The doctor is on his way.” Mr. Carmichael was looking down on her from the side of what she found to be his office chaise. Her head ached terribly and her vision was a little blurry. She fought hard to wipe away the daze she was in and get up, with no success. “Don’t get up dear. You hit your head pretty hard when you fainted. It is best to wait for the doctor to check you out before trying to move.”

Lizette heard the words, but did not quite process them. She was trying to remember what had happened and brought her to this place. As she began to remember the horror began to fill her again. Again she tried to rise, she managed to pull herself to a sitting position, against the wishes of Mr. Carmichael, who insisted she wait for the doctor. At that moment the door opened to reveal the doctor, followed by Bradley. Panic set in and Lizette knew she had to escape this scene before any more damage was done to her already fragile emotional state. As the doctor accessed her head injury, she kept her eyes closed, hoping nobody would obligate her to talk or look at them. She was unsure of her ability to do so rationally. When the doctor had finished Lizette, rose and left the room, assuring the men that she fine. She half stumbled to her office, quickly gathered her purse and jacket and escaped before the men had finished talking with the doctor. Outside the bright sun shot pain through her head, but she pressed on. Starting her car she pulled out of her spot just in time to see Bradley exiting the building and headed her way. She drove away, avoiding eye contact, knowing she would have to stop if she looked at him. Racing away she drove to her condo. Half running, she took the stairs in twos. Fumbling to unlock the door and relock it once securely inside. Not taking time to think she entered her room. Opening the closet,, she threw a suitcase on her bed and started filling it with clothes. She was on autopilot, her body was making the moves with no thought from her mind. Her thoughts were still frozen on her conversation with Mr. Carmichael. She went in the bathroom and gathered the essentials, then did the same in the living room and kitchen. Closing the suitcase and grabbing her purse, she headed back to her car. With everything loaded she started it and backed out of her space. The phone rang. By the ringtone she knew it was Bradley. She pulled back in and put the car in park.

“Hello.” Her voice was shaky and she tried to control it.

“Honey, where are you?” His words made her cringe. “I tried to catch you before you left so I could drive you home. Are you alright?”

He obviously didn’t know of the conversation she had with Mr. Carmichael, or he was just playing innocent. Either way, she was not going to tell him she knew. “I am fine. Just have a headache and need to rest. I am outside my house now, getting ready to go in.” She lied.

“I will come over and check on you as soon as I finish up here at the office. Do you need anything?”

“No I am just going to rest, I am fine.”

“Okay get some rest and I will see you in a little while. I love you.”

His words caused a lump to swell in her throat and she knew she was about to cry. “I will” she choked out and hung up the phone, before he could say anything else. As she drove down the road the tears filled her eyes. Reality started to take hold. She went from anger to devastation back to anger and settled into determination. She knew that she had to leave and she was determined to do it before anyone could change her mind. She drove to the airport and asked where the next available flight was going. It was going to Acapulco, Mexico. She paid the ticket, checked her bags and found a quiet seat to await her boarding call. She grabbed her phone and began searching hotels outside of Acapulco. Having been there before, she had no desire to be in the hectic tourist life right now. She found a hotel in a small-town North of Acapulco. Surrounded by mountains and trails it seemed like the perfect place to escape and rethink her life. She made a reservation for thirty days and settled back in her chair to rest.

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  • Tanya Marion 3 years, 6 months ago

    This is really great, Mary! I actually read chapter 2 before making this comment because I got so caught up in the story that I didn’t want to stop and type! 😊

    • Mary Jaimes-Serrano 3 years, 6 months ago

      Thank you so much. That means the World to me. I hope everyone likes it that much. Now to her it finishes. I am about halfway there.

    • Mary Jaimes-Serrano 3 years, 6 months ago

      Sorry, that was supposed to say to get it finished. Auto correct on a phone is sometimes a real menace.

  • Catherine Rohsner 3 years, 2 months ago

    I was listening to Sibelius's Violin Concerto when I read this, and I don't know about you, but I felt the music fit this chapter well. This is a great beginning to a drama!

    • Mary Jaimes-Serrano 3 years, 2 months ago

      Thank you, Catherine. I will be doing some editing later and will have to try this music with it. Thank you for your support.