Kyrie pulled the bottle out of the little wine fridge behind the bar. It was the last of the case she’d bought on her celebration trip to Napa a few years ago. Smiling, she thought back to that trip. She’d just gotten the job offer from AppWare with its amazing (for her) salary and benefits. This was what she had dreamed of since discovering her talent for writing apps that people loved and used. Her best friend, Kenzie, had gotten an offer as well from her dream company, and so the two of them had splurged and headed up to Napa for a weekend of spa time and wine tasting. Kyrie had indulged even further and purchased a case of wine from one of the fancier wineries in the valley. She’d been waiting for a special occasion to open the last bottle and figured this was it.
Today had officially marked the beginning of her tenure as the owner and chef at The Dragon’s Tale, the pub she had inherited from her parents. After some rather ugly back and forth, that ended up involving the legal system, with one of her siblings who’d decided that Kyrie didn’t deserve to have the pub, no matter what their parents’ wills said, Kyrie had finally taken formal, legal possession of the pub. She put the bottle on the bar and let her gaze roam around the empty pub, finally coming to rest on the large painting hanging behind the bar depicting a dragon wearing glasses and holding a pen and a scroll, as if he (Kyrie was certain the dragon was a “he”) were writing a story. She knew from what her parents had said that this was the inspiration for the name of the pub.
The door to the stairs leading up to the second-floor apartment opened and her brother Xander strolled into the pub.
“Hey, lil’ sis. Whatcha doing?” he asked, wandering over to settle himself on a barstool opposite Kyrie.
“Celebrating. Want to join me?” Kyrie said with a smile. “I saved this bottle from a case I bought a few years ago. I think today’s events call for a celebration.”
“Of course I’ll join you, and that’s a really good bottle of wine,” Xander said.
“I know. I’ve already had the other five. I’m glad I saved this one.” Kyrie pulled the cork and ran her hand over the label before turning to pull two wine glasses from where they hung on racks above her head. She gave each glass a swipe with a clean towel before carefully pouring the red zinfandel. She slid one across the bar to her brother and raised her glass in salute.
“To The Dragon’s Tale,” she said.
“To The Dragon’s Tale.” Xander echoed her statement and raised his own glass. “And to the best damn owner and chef this place will ever have.”
Kyrie smiled just as the building gave a small shudder. She felt a wave of happiness and contentment flow through her and turned to Xander.
“Did you feel that?”
“What?” he asked.
“The building… it feels happy?”
Xander glanced around the bar. “It does feel a little lighter, I guess you could say, in here. But I dunno…” He shrugged, but Kyrie saw a gleam in his eyes that told her he knew something she didn’t.
“I know you felt something,” she said.
He shot her a look from narrowed eyes. “Maybe. What do you know about this place?”
Kyrie looked at him, puzzled. “What do you mean? Mom and Dad bought it ten years ago. When they… died last year, they left it to me and left you guys all the cash. Well, okay, they left me some cash to run the place. And for some reason, Gabe, our oh-so-loving big brother, may boils grow on his butt, decided that I wasn’t the ‘right’ person to have the pub and made me… us, use up a lot of that cash fighting his challenge to the will. Stupid s.o.b. that he is,” Kyrie said, not bothering to hide the venom in her voice. Xander had backed her in her fight against Gabe and it angered her that because of Gabe, Xander had used up most of his inheritance to help her out.
Xander shook his head. “Yeah, yeah. I don’t mean that stuff. And I wanted to help you so stop feeling guilty. It was my money to what I wanted to with it. I mean, what do you really know about this place? Didn’t Mom and Dad ever tell you any stories, drop any hints? Anything like that?”
“No, why? What are you getting at?” Kyrie asked.
Xander sighed. “Okay. Now I know what Mom meant when she told me that it would be my job to make sure you truly understood the pub.”
Kyrie stared at her brother. What in the hell was he talking about?
Xander stood up and gestured toward the stairs to the apartment. “It’s more comfortable up there right now. Bring the wine and let’s go talk.” He smiled. “I promise it’s good, but I know it’s going to be a lot to take in.” He picked up his wine glass and started toward the stairs.
Kyrie nodded, picked up her own glass and the bottle, and followed him back up to the apartment.
This week my More Odds Than Ends prompt came from Fiona Grey: They were waiting to use the last of it for a special occasion. My prompt went to AC Young. Need a bit of a break? Head on over to see what he came up with. While you’re there, check out one of the spares and see what you come up with! It’s fun and it’s free!