in which Emily is a young adult. She is an employee at a thoroughbred training/breeding farm and is checking in guests at a charity event at her employer's estate.
Emilychecked the fancy folks in, as they arrived in their finery. Everyone was in acheerful mood; what was not to celebrate? A great party, delicious food, music and adance floor, plenty to drink, art, and the noble feeling that it was all forthe horses. There was a gap in the stream of arriving guests, so Emily leaneddown to retrieve her Chapstick from her ever so inappropriate purse, whichshe’d stuffed under the chair. She buttered her dry lips – a leftover from herchildhood, when her lips were always so chapped that they would bleed – stillleaning over her bag, replaced the Chapstick and closed her scruffy purse.When she sat upright, a man stood smiling at her, waiting on the other side ofher table. She thought for a moment that she had forgotten how to speak.
“Could I have your name,please?” she finally sputtered.
She thought he must be fromHollywood. She rarely watched TV and almost never went to the movies, but thisguy… She felt herself blush, something she hadn’t done since the eighth gradewhen that stupid Tommy Boyle had snapped her bra strap through her shirt andshe had punched him and split his lip. The blushing part didn’t come until theprincipal said he had to call in her foster mom. She had never caused troublebefore and dreaded the notion of her foster mom having to come to school.
She blushed even hotter. Whatwas she thinking about stupid Tommy Boyle for? She scanned the list, which wasin Mrs. Trent’s neat, but unfamiliar handwriting, looking for ‘Emerson’ withoutfinding it.
“Have you paid?” she asked, notdaring to look up.
There were four couples waitingbehind Mr. Hunk, er Hunt. Where the heck was his stupid name on thislist? And why the heck was she blushing, and when did it get so hot and stuffyin the dumb tent?
“May I look?”
He leaned over the list, and sheturned it partially sideways so he could see better. His arm brushed hers, andelectrical sparks jumped back and forth, creating what Emily was sure was anaudible hum. She started to sweat. Oh for the love of God.
“Here I am. Lucy wrote me downas ‘Edgar.’ That’s my real first name, only no one uses it. No one butLucy. In addition to being my aunt she’s my godmother, and feels it’s herduty.”
He wondered why on earth he wastelling this beautiful young woman about his family history.
“Itis my duty and my privilege,” said Lucy Trent walking up behind Emily.
Lucy's blond hair was streaked with natural silver, and she had a warm, open smile.Emily felt strangely safe around her. Even though she could feel the womansizing her up, assessing her, this Lucy Trent felt comfortable, familiar.Normally Emily would feel threatened by Lucy’s interested and penetratingstare, but she surprised herself by basking in it.
“You were named after yourfather, who was named after his father - who just so happened to be my father, and they were both excellentmen.”She had a drink in one hand, and a leash in theother. At the end of the leash, was the most charming, enchanting little dogEmily had ever seen. It was a female, black with a white neck, legs and blaze,and big brown sparkling eyes. She looked like she had worn her own little blackformal dress to the party. As soon as Emily smiled at the dog, it launcheditself into her lap, sticking its pointy nose in her ears and licking her face.