Philip Buckley looked around Enchantment Resort’s dining room. It was not the coziest dining room in Sedona, but that was exactly why he chose the secluded retreat for this meeting with his two nieces. He hoped the elegance of the room would remind them what money brings and that the flawless service would prompt them to act with a modicum of grace and dignity, qualities they usually lacked. Besides, Philip was uneasy in cozy settings.
The Enchantment, a spectacular resort nestled in Boynton Canyon about five miles from the heart of Sedona, was filled with tourists this time of year. That was the other reason he picked this site. Philip knew there would be little chance of anyone from within the community lunching there.
Philip specifically requested a table at the far end of the room, next to the window. He took a quick, cursory glance at the stark formations of red rock outside the dining room window, but carefully eyed all who came into the dining area as he sipped his gin and tonic. Philip never did understand all the excitement about Sedona’s red rocks. He would have preferred to be in the glass and steel Buckley corporate building in downtown Phoenix for this meeting, but time was of the essence. He knew he would never be able to get Jessica and Natalie to Phoenix on the same day.
Amid the tourists in their shorts and T-shirts, Philip looked out of place. He was carefully dressed in his usual business attire: a conservative black suit, white long-sleeved monogrammed shirt, and dark tie. His coal-black hair and mustache was carefully trimmed. He sat ram-rod straight in the cushioned chair, searching for his brother’s daughters.
“Ah, here you are,” he said as the pair finally arrived. He did not rise to greet them on purpose, but instead gave a quick smile, which faded to his usual expression of no expression at all.
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