Shreds of mists tickled the mirror-smooth surface of the lake as she rowed towards the horizon.
The blood-red sunrise made her look twice, but she did not moderate her pace, her strict training schedule left no place for contemplation. 'Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning,' they said, but Elyse Nordstrom had never been one to pay attention to omens.
The congresswoman pushed through her workout without a single wavering breath. She attached her boat to the dock behind her cottage and finally allowed herself to wipe her brow. It seemed no one else was awake in the neighboring cottages, except for M. Gloomsdale who waved at her from his porch. She gave him a slight nod and climbed the stairs towards her cottage. High windows, rich wooden exterior, many would have been happy to call this their primary home, but Elyse Norsdtrom was fortunate enough to use it as a sanctuary and she felt as though she could never give it up.
Rather protective of her privacy, she felt her muscles tense when she noticed an unfamiliar figure standing close to the door. A quick glance and Elyse identified the woman, her new employee and yet she did not relax. "You are early," hours early, many of them. The Congresswoman's icy glare perused the woman's figure. Of course, Parker would arrive early, she had requested to see Elyse in her natural environment claiming it would help her guide her campaign. Elyse had been so reluctant to grant her access, that the woman had likely seen through her strategies. Fearing she might only be presented with the carefully crafted appearances of Elyse's life she had chosen to show up early so that she would really get a glimpse of the real Elyse Nordstrom. The Congresswoman tilted her head and pushed her a sweaty curl from her forehead. "Let me offer you coffee and I will floo my assistant," she offered in a more dulcet tone. Emily had been told to come at 10, not 6.