The cab driver turned around, confirming Dunhill's suspicions. He already knew well enough that the road was only going to get worse ahead. It was overly generous at times to call it a road, really. Russ rolled down the window, inhaling delicately from the end of his nat sherman. The smoke tasted of cloves and dead skunk. As it hadn't mentioned anything about roadkill on the box, he sniffed curiously for a moment before confirming the smell was coming from somewhere outside.
He flicked the largely untouched cigarette out onto the dewy grass as they left civilization behind. Russ rolled up the window quickly, a scowl forming on his pouting lips. He had been told he had the bearing of a young Adonis in the right light.
This was not the right light.
Dreary and grey, it was the sort of weather that was only good for sleeping. He checked his blackberry for the fifth time since he'd left the airport. Before it had gleefully reported to him that the weather back home was bright and pleasant. He'd started believing that the blackberry was deliberately enjoying his misery. Now, as he checked it, he was greeted not with the weather back home, but with a vibrant red "No Signal".
His scowl deepened. The trip stirred mixed feelings in him from the get go. He knew he was adopted, of course. Russ outweighed his father by a sizeable margin, his golden curls standing in stark contrast to the rest of the Dunhill family's dour black. He might as well have been Asian or the milkman's kid. Everyone could tell at a glance, he wasn't quite one of the group.
But now, with word from a family he'd never known and a sister he'd never met... he was starting to wonder if maybe he was less alienated at home than he had thought. The family home was apparently out in the middle of nowhere. He could see it at last, a two story house with too many stories in it's walls. It looked like it hadn't been painted since the Truman administration, the structure leaning ever so slightly to the side as it's foundation apparently had settled a touch crooked over the decades.
The cab came to a halt, and he stepped out onto the sparsely graveled road. He unbuttoned his coat, reaching for his wallet as the cab driver brought his bag out of the trunk. This wasn't how he envisioned spending the first week of his summer vacation. It was sophomore year after all. He had planned to spend it evenly between the yacht club and the night clubs.
Instead, he would wasted a chunk of it being disappointed. And yes, there was certainly something... disappointing about discovering your roots were laid out at the end of a bad stretch of road in the middle of nowhere. Clutching his leather messenger's bag, he slung it over his shoulder, holding out a twenty to the driver. Walking up the drive, he check his blackberry again, desperate for some tangible connection to home. There was still no signal...
The steps creaked under his Italian loafers as he strode towards the door. Open already, he pulled aside the mosquito screen door, stepping inside out of the dewy air. Russ stamped his feet irritably on the welcome mat, calling out, "... hello? Hello? Anyone home?"
Without any response, he made his way inside with the leery caution of an evening guest looking for the bathroom in a strange house. It was just like that, actually. He was a stranger in a strange house, but what he was really looking for was the kitchen. Russ clutched the note from the law firm that had contacted him, as if it were his ticket in and eventually OUT of this house, "Hello?"