Coldwell Banker Realty
The office had to look perfect. His secretary, Linda, who also did the cleaning at the end of the day, had stayed late to make sure that the small space looked as immaculate as possible. The window listings had been refreshed, everything dusted, and even the bathroom had a fresh toilet paper roll in it.
The only thing that hadn't spiffed up much was Brian. He was staring at himself in the bathroom mirror and grimaced slightly. The paunch over his belt was partially covered by a leather jacket above blue jeans and a pair of newish cowboy boots. His thinning hair was hidden beneath a black cowboy hat and he shaved off his ridiculous moustache. There was no hiding his advancing age.
"You're fussing." Linda said from the front room. There were only five rooms after all, the main reception area and display board, the bathroom, and and three offices. Both his partners were away on a fishing trip and when the call had come in from Hall and Hall he had nearly dropped his cellphone into his coffee.
The man on the other end, Jason Perry, had informed Brian that he was coming up Sanctuary way in two days, that was two days ago, and he was bringing up a client who was interested in a number of properties. This wasn't the first person who had showed up in the last year looking for a piece of the quiet town, but it was the first such person who was bringing their own realtor.
Hall and Hall was well known for handling the sale of large properties, notably Ranches. There were three such places for sale in the area and he had pulled up the details on all three and printed them off, organizing them in neat folders on his desk.
The first was the KBO Ranch. Just over 310 acres of amazing countryside, pastures, river access, and unbeatable hunting. It came in at a cool $2,000,000 and was the closest to town. Most of the young folk who had grown up in Sanctuary had undoubtedly enjoyed their grad party on the property courtesy of the owner, Jake Baldry. The man had died recently and his kids, long moved away to the big city, were selling the property.
The second was the Eagle River Meadows Ranch, a stunning 3,300 acres about ten minute drive from town. Known locally for its delicious beef and pork products, it was currently owned by the Stevensons, all of whom wanted out of the business as uncertainty shook the market. Coming in at $8,500,000 it had recently been viewed a couple of times by developers looking to break it down into smaller acreages but nobody had bit yet.
The last property was, by far, his favourite. The Royal Antler Ranch, an epic 26,000 acres of mountains, rivers, lakes, fields, and thick forest, it was a property only a true rancher could love, but only a rich man could afford. It was a soft sale, meaning the owner had voiced interest but wasn't committed yet. The property was completely self sufficient, off the grid, and a 45 minute drive from town. John Williams, an old Texan, currently owned it, and like the KBO, his kids intended to sell it when he kicked off.
Brians thoughts were interrupted when the phone out front rang. He refused to run out and listen, instead waiting until Linda appeared in the doorway, a smile wreathing her handsome forty something face.
"I think your client has arrived!" She was fairly bursting to share the news.
"Outside?" He asked, still refusing to get up.
"No, no. Joyce from the market across from the Fox called and told me an incredibly expensive rental car just showed up. She had some choice things to say about how much she fancied the driver, but I don't think you need to hear those."
"No, thank you." He grimaced. "Did she recognize him?"
Linda gave him a pitying look. "Linda wouldn't recognize Joe Biden if he walked into her shop. No, she did not. Says he was a handsome enough fellow, late forties maybe. Well dressed, bald with a beard."
He nodded distractedly and she retired to the front room again. The news would fly through the older generation quickly enough and they would try to get a look at him. Maybe someone else would call with an update.
His cellphone buzzed and he started slightly, glancing down to see Jason Perrys name appear, the Hall and Hall man. He let it ring twice and then picked it up. He was trying to avoid seeming eager but the sale of any one of the ranches, with his ten precent commission, was going to make retiring a lot more appealing.
"Brian Johnson, Coldwell Realty."
"Yea, hi Brian, Jason Perry here." There was one heck of a noise in the background and he could barely hear the man.
"Hello Jason, I can barely hear you."
"My bad, sorry, forgot to call before I got in the helicopter. Where can we meet you?"
Helicopter!? Jesus Christ, who the fuck was this guy? He dug deep into his memory for a suitable spot and then recalled there was a seldom used sporting airstrip just on the edge of town; it served as an emergency field for the Federal Aviation Administration.
"The airport? It's more of a field, east side of town?"
"Great, I'll be there in fifteen. The client will meet us there. Hope that works?"
"Yes, of course." What else could he say? "I'll see you then."
"Great, thanks Brian." The line went dead and he rose quickly from his desk and walked into the front area, hurrying back to grab his car keys.
"You're going out?" Linda seemed incredulous.
"The client hired a helicopter, I have to go meet it at the airfield."
"A helicopter..." Whatever else she was about to say was lost as the door closed behind him. He climbed behind the wheel of his 2020 Ford F-150 and pulled out into the street.