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2136 – New York City, New York
The water fountain’s chiming sounds soothed her heart as she walked into the elegant lobby. The edges of the fountain gleamed of gold with a marble statue of a mystical Queen in the middle.
Jessie looked around the lobby. She wondered how much that gold marble cost and how it was made. Did one person sit there and chisel out the silhouette of the imperious Queen looking down at the peasants gathering at her skirts? Can you even chisel gold? Maybe she is thinking of marble. Her thoughts kept tumbling one after another as she looked around.
“Can I help you, Miss?” a cultured voice speaks out to her left. Jessie looks over and notices an older gentleman standing behind the gold desk. The opulence of this hotel was a little overwhelming. She tried to smile, and forced her legs to walk over and greet him.
“Yes, I was looking to meet Dimitri Maletski. I have his business card here along with some paperwork that I need to speak to him about.” Jessie explained, holding up her manila folder as justification for her request.
The gentleman looked intrigued as he eyed her folder. Jessie hugged it close to her chest. After cleaning out her mother’s files, these papers were a mystery she needed to solve and she didn’t want to lose them. She was being silly. She smiled at him sweetly and forced her arms to lay down next to her sides with the folder clutched in her left hand.
“Ahh, and your name please?” He asked politely. His graying hair flopped over his eyes as he typed into his computer, presumably looking up an appointment calendar.
“My name is Jessamyn Lacross, however I don’t have an appointment. Is he available?” She asked, equally polite. Good manners never hurt when asking favors.
“Mr. Maletski is currently in meetings all day. I would be more than happy to help you, or leave your papers on his desk. I am Vasily Savin, the General Manager of the Golden Crown Hotel, and can help you with anything you need.” He smiled urbanely and held out his hand to shake mine.
Jessie left her folders clutched in her left hand next to her side, and held out her right hand to shake his hand. She thought about what the best course of action was. She had already debated all of her options endlessly during the time it took to travel to New York City to locate the Golden Crown Hotel and Mr. Maletski.
“Thank you so much, Mr Savin. However, I do need to speak with Mr. Maletski personally. His name is on these papers regarding the Golden Lottery Commission and if you could let me know the best time to come back and meet with him, that would be great. I can give you my contact information and return when he is available.” Jessie explained nicely.
His hand kept shaking hers while he looked Jessie up and down. He seemed surprised. Jessie wanted to remove her hand from his and gently tried to pull it back.
“The Golden Lottery Commission, you say?” He murmured. He slowly looked back up into her eyes. His eyes were a dark gray and they studied her intently. Her smile froze and she felt uncomfortable. Should she not have mentioned the lottery? She couldn’t find any information in Google about it which was why she felt compelled to travel into the city to find out more about why her mother had these papers hidden away in her lock box.
Mr. Savin glanced down to the folder Jessie held by her side. She finally tugged her hand out of his and reached down to put the folder away in her bag. She adjusted the strap on her shoulder and put a smile back on her face and looked back up at Mr. Savin.
He smiled at her again. “Miss Lacross, why don’t you have some lunch in our award winning restaurant here,” he gestured across the lobby, “and I’ll talk to Mr. Maletski’s secretary about getting you an appointment today.”
“Thank you.” Jessie replied. “I have someone joining me, so I’ll just go and wait for her.” She looked around and started to walk toward the restaurant.
“I recommend the prime rib.” Mr. Savin called behind her.
Jessie looked sharply behind her. Seriously? The fact that the restaurant had steak available was amazing. She wondered which area they were getting their beef from. The news reports had been relentless about the shortage of beef around the Eastern States, not to mention the rest of the world. Considering she could probably only afford water with lemon, she knew the steak would be out of her budget. Although if her Mother’s papers on this mysterious Golden Lottery were correct, she might have a change of fortune soon.