The treasure hunt with a twist

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Jan 3, 2019
East Coast USA
Braden MacCloud was anxious and he disliked the feeling. He stood on the upstairs balcony off the master bedroom watching the road for her to drive up. He had known her for sometime by now but the last three years she had been away. She would be twenty-one soon and those the reason for his anxiety. He was merely the caretaker for her estate and once she became twenty-one she could take all he had away. He was diligent enough, he had seen she had a substantial stipend each month and he had grown her fortune substantially over the last five years. It was nearly twice what it was when her mother died. Still her Mother had allowed nothing for his efforts after this interim period. He received a living allowance as long as he lived in the mansion and a sort of salary. His problem was he was an honest man, so he had taken nothing not specifically allocated to him. He was certain his late wife knew that about him.

Braden was only thirty-nine years old and he was looking at rebuilding his life without the money he was accustomed to. He sighed as he looked out over the expansive estate, forested all around and even a large pond on the West side. He had married an older woman not knowing she was wealthy. She had a daughter just becoming a teen back than. He had no more become part of the 'family' when his wife was killed in an accident. He had been there and dealt with the details, He was close to the daughter when she went away. He had been named executor and his life had become what it was now.

A bird flew across the yard, he recognized it as one of the hawks that lived here. They were not tame any more than he was but they lived free here just as he had the last few years. Braden was a big fellow at 6'3" and he still had a powerful body at a solid 200 pounds. He ran every morning and he worked out twice a day. He seldom left the mansion anymore. He just sort of enjoyed it. There was certainly everything he ever needed here. He laughed at the thought of what people he grew up around would think. Braden had been a loner, no friends, no real enemies. He was too big to pick on so the bullies left him alone. They knew he was into martial arts as well so many feared him even. He had joined the military at eighteen and done ten years in the service. He enjoyed the discipline and travel. Mostly he found the combat thrilling on a weird level of facing life and death for real. Sort of proving his valor. The downside of course was people died, some where his friends. Many times he had seen the families of the slain enemies mourn their loved ones as well which finally got to him. He had left the military to go to school.

He had met his wife though and it was a whirlwind romance. He knew she had a daughter but not that she was very rich. He had learned from her how to handle the investments and to this day followed the exact formula she had devised herself. So he had no real marketable skills other than being a soldier. He had no intention of going back to that life.

He saw the car coming toward the house and it had to be her, no one else ever came here. he had given the servants a two week Holiday so it would be just her and him in the house. Well for a few days anyway. He had a plan but he was still hesitant about putting it into play. He turned and went downstairs to meet her at the door. He wondered if she still had long blonde hair? Woman often dyed their hair at her age. He knew her deep jade eyes would be the same. She had her mother's eyes and they were enough to melt his heart.
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