Prologue IVMature

Evette crossed her legs and waited patiently as the gates to the Rodanthe Estate opened. She placed a cigarette in between her lips, letting it dangle carelessly. She rolled her window down and stared at the monolithic mansion that sat atop the hill. Even Evette was impressed with the architecture of the mansion, which slightly reminded her of Versailles, just smaller. One last time, Evette observed her outer surroundings, and indulged herself with such elegance. She slid over to the right passenger seat as the chauffeur opened the door.

“Welcome to the Rodanthe Estate.” He said.

Evette kissed the chauffeur on the cheek, “Merci.”

Standing atop the marble stairs leading to the entrance, was Christian. He stood tall and had his arms behind his back. He smiled as Evette walked towards him. This was the first time he had ever seen her do anything with her hair, rather than having it down or in a ponytail. He extended his hand and took her hand in his, and walked her through the large mahogany doors of the estate. Christian looked over at her and smiled, letting go of her hand, he pointed her in the direction of the kitchen, and slipped her a key.

“Mother, this is Evette.” Christian said elegantly.

Enchanté.” Mrs. Rodanthe said, kissing Evette’s hand.

“Your son is quite the charming man, you must be so proud of him.” Evette said, kissing Christian on the cheek.

“We’ve never been more proud of any of our children.” Mrs. Rodanthe said kindly, patting Christian on the shoulder.

“Mother, stop it. You know you have two more.” Christian said, laughing.

“He’s going to be the next CEO of the company, you know. His father has raised him right.” Mrs. Rodanthe said, smiling at the two.

“Truly?” Evette said, raising her eyebrow and looked over at Christian, “Hm.”

Christian looked over at Evette and a slight frown crossed his face, making him slightly less attractive. But Evette knew why she was here, and that was to finish the job. Evette smiled at the two and then broke from the group. She pulled up the map of the house that Christian had sent her after their little game of wrestling. Christian had circled where she would find everything she needed, and then some.

“I’ll be goddamned.” Evette said, as she pushed the door opened.

Quickly, Evette shut the door behind her, and walked over to the black crates. Quietly, she knelt over one and undid the latches. She smiled once she saw the firepower she was dealing with. She took her leather gloves out of her purse and slid them onto her hands, and then picked up the gun. She became even more happy when she saw that it was a modified Desert Eagle with a silencer. Evette proceeded to then open all the other crates, taking what she needed, and leaving what she didn’t.

“Oh, Mr. Rodanthe, you shouldn’t have.” Evette said, giving a small laugh.

“Is everything to your liking?” Christian asked.

Evette jumped, and then turned to see that it was Christian, “Jesus! Don’t walk up on me like that, I could’ve shot you. And yes, it’s all very pleasing.”

“Anything else you need before dinner starts?” Christian asked.

“Your father’s heart medication.” Evette said, walking around Christian, running her hand across his waist.

“Very well. I’ll slip it to you before dinner.” Christian said.

Evette walked back towards the foyer and observed everything down to the wire. Everywhere she turned, there was a portrait of one of the Rodanthe men, and one woman. She looked at all the expensive art and statues that had somehow accumulated within the foyer of this magnificent mansion. Although, Evette knew that it was nothing compared to Versailles.

“So, you’re the one my baby brother has been talking about.” A woman with a sophisticated tone said.

“Must be, I’m the only out of place one here.” Evette responded without looking at the woman.

“I’m Emeline, Emeline Rodanthe.” Emeline said, extending her hand to the back of Evette.

Evette turned and looked at Emeline; a young woman, who could be no older than twenty six. She had long curly auburn hair and emerald colored eyes. Evette smiled at Emeline and shook her hand. For a moment, neither of them spoke. Both were in some sort of draw, one observing the other, trying to find any motive for anything within life.

“Evette, Evette Stanton.” Evette said kindly.

“You have truly caught my brother’s heart, which I can assure you is not an easy thing to do.” Emeline said, looking over her shoulder to make sure Christian was no where in sight.

“Your brother is quite the charming man.” Evette said quickly, checking the clock, it was 7:40, “Should we go into the dining room?” Evette asked.

“I don’t see why not.” Emeline said softly.

The two walked into the dining room, which exceeded Evette’s expectations. Evette broke away from Emeline once she saw Christian sitting, and she saw something in his hands; the pills. Evette sat next to Christian, and he passed the pills quickly to her, and she tossed them in her purse.

“Christian, if you’d like, I can leave you two alone until dinner starts.” Emeline said, not waiting for her brother to respond.

“Which glass is your father’s?” Evette asked quietly.

Christian pointed to the glass at the far end of the table. Evette took six of the 500mg pills and crushed them with her spoon. This wasn’t her first time doing something like this. Though she had preferred using the gun, she knew there would be too many risks; tracing it back to Christian, the blood, and something that didn’t look like an accident. Evette gathered up all the white powder, and dumped it into Mr. Rodanthe’s glass of Pinot Grigio.

Evette heard the grandfather clock ring on the third quarter of the hour. Dinner, was served. In that moment, maids came out with silver and gold platters with food on it, and the remaining Rodanthes entered the dining room. Mr. Rodanthe was a man that could have been no older than fifty, and very well kept for a man of his age. It almost shocked Evette that he was on heart medication. Following behind Mr. Rodanthe was his wife and the other two children.

“Father, mother, Emeline, Evan, this is Evette.” Christian said, forgetting the fact that Emeline and his mother had already met Evette.

“My son has never been happier, thank you.” Mr. Rodanthe said, sitting in his chair.

“Yes, you must understand, Christian has hard a hard life. It wasn’t always easy for us as a family.” Mrs. Rodanthe said, smiling at Evette.

“Well, your son is very kind. I am glad to have met him.” Evette said cooly, glancing over to Christian.

“Well, shall we eat?” Mr. Rodanthe asked.

Within minutes, everyone had food in front of them. It was a four course meal, and the first course was salad. Evette smiled at the family as she poured some ranch onto the salad and took a bite. For being what she would consider a side salad, it was surprisingly good, but after all, she knew when a family practically bled money, everything was good. Evette looked over at Mr. Rodanthe, who was bringing the glass of wine to his old, puffed lips.

“Pinot Grigio, 1907.” Mr. Rodanthe said, after taking a small sip of the wine, but not nearly enough to kill him.

“Are you a wine enthusiast, Ms. Stanton?” Mrs. Rodanthe asked.

“What Parisian, is not?” Evette said, smiling at her.

Mrs. Rodanthe nodded at Evette and went back to her salad. Evette placed one of her hands on Christian’s leg and squeezed it gently. For the first time, Evette was nervous. This was one of the largest jobs she had ever taken, aside from her assassinating a Prime Minister, which was intense.

“Honey, is something wrong?” Mrs. Rodanthe asked.

Mr. Rodanthe had started to cough mildly, almost in a choking like manner. Evette looked at the ration of wine left; he hadn’t drank enough for it to start effecting him. Evette remained calm, and so did Christian.

“Just went down the wrong pipe, that’s all.” Mr. Rodanthe said, still coughing mildly.

Evette grabbed her lipstick out of her purse and put on another layer of it, which she claimed wouldn’t hurt. Evette’s philosophy on life was that vanity wasn’t actually a sin, and those that wrote that just weren’t very pretty.

Minutes had passed, and the room was still resonating with the coughing of the patriarch of the Rodanthe household. Maybe it was enough, Evette thought.

“Sweetie, are you okay.” Mrs. Rodanthe asked again, this time sounding more concerned, and scared.

Mr. Rodanthe’s face began to turn a deep shade of red, then purple. His coughing got more violent and louder. Mrs. Rodanthe flew back, her chair tipping backwards as she rushed to her husband. The Warfarin mixed with the alcohol content of the Pinot Grigio had started its violent reaction. Mrs. Rodanthe screamed as she tried to help her husband, her blonde hair, now a disheveled mess.

“Get her out of here, she doesn’t need to see this!” Mrs. Rodanthe shouted.

“C’mon, Evette. I’ll have you taken back to your hotel.” Christian said, kissing her forehead.

Christian walked Evette out of the dining room and back into the foyer. Both of them kept their composure, giving no suspicion that either of them had anything to do with such an accident. The sun was setting over the Pacific, and for a moment, the two of them looked at something so innocent and beautiful. Christian kissed her once more, and she hugged him tightly. For the last time, he smelt like sophistication and a hint of cigar smoke.

When Evette heard the final scream, she knew that it was over. She looked at Christian and smiled; the deal was complete. She got into the limo slowly, looking at the estate one last time. She waved at Christian as the chauffeur shut the limo door. She looked back at Christian and the estate, as they both got smaller, she had some thought that she hoped to see him one last time.

“See me tonight -E.”

“Round two? -C”

“Maybe. -E”

The End

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