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Skipping ahead a bit. Taliya is meeting with Aelind Osbert, the attorney her mother sent her to about her inheritance.
“Miss Swann. Mr. Osbert is expecting you.”
The receptionist was efficient, polite to the point of being disrespectful, and Taliya did not even attempt to smile at her; she merely bobbed her head briefly in acknowledgement and opened the door to Aelind Osbert’s office.
Ostentatious was too mild of a word for the décor, but Taliya paid no attention to it; she had long ago learned that the gilded woodwork tended to nauseate her, and the chandeliers induced migraines of epic proportions.
Aelind Osbert rose to meet her as she crossed the red, black, and green hand-woven carpet. He was a short, thin, balding man with a pinched face and a predatory air about him. “Ah, my dear Miss Swann. Please accept my condolences for your loss.”