David nestled the last of his clothes in the drawer, then slid it shut. He stepped back. Perfect. His presence barely showed on the suite.
He pulled a chair at the sitting table in the next room and hunkered under a lamp. It doused the walls with rich light. Orange light. The entire inn glowed with the same toasted hues. Mission style architecture had that quality: rugged brown oak and straight lines, leaded glass lamps with canyon colors. Every ember of atmosphere crackled with warm firelight. It soothed the spirit and slipped a leather book in your hands. David gladly succumbed.
Spreading his papers, he began practicing for his presentation. Rows of statistics. Pie charts with too many slices. Ridiculous. He flipped to the raw data. More ridiculous. Making money or losing money, that's all they cared about. Anyway, he hadn't treated himself to a historic inn to spend his evening on work crap. He salivated when he saw the library and the sitting rooms a short time before. A few of those secluded corners might've escaped the last century.
A little company might be nice too.
Rising, he retrieved his sports coat, passed the dark television, then slipped out into the halls and sharp staircases. Just outside his door, he bumped a rocking chair. Curious. Placed as if someone awaited him.
David didn't bother to stop it. He walked on. And the sleepy motion swayed long after his footsteps had sunk into silence.
On to Part 2