Home > The Will (Magdalene #1)(10)

The Will (Magdalene #1)(10)
Author: Kristen Ashley

“She disagreed,” he replied quietly, his voice now reflecting the warmth in his face.

“She would be wrong.”


“Josephine,” I cut him off to stress.

“Whatever,” he returned impatiently. “I’ve known Lydie for seven years. This means that letter we just heard was written sometime in the last seven years. My guess, recently. This means she felt the way she felt about you in order to include that in her last wishes and she felt that way recently. Are you honestly gonna ignore that?”

“Yes,” I answered immediately and his face changed again, his eyes changed, everything about him changed.

I just couldn’t put my finger on how he changed.

Until he whispered, “Don’t.”

My entire body froze solid.

“Don’t do that, Josie,” he went on. “She wanted me for you.”

He couldn’t be serious.

“Are you saying—?” I began to force out through stiff lips.

“No.” He shook his head. “What I’m sayin’ is, the least we could do is get to know each other. Give her a little of what she wanted. We both owe her that respect and, I don’t know you outside of what she told me about you and the last twenty minutes I’ve been with you, but I’m gettin’ that you know we do.”

A little of what she wanted.

What, exactly, did she want?

Gran had known this man for seven years. She’d given his children large amounts of money. And she’d given me to him.

And yet, she did not mention him once.

I didn’t understand this.

What I was coming to understand as my bizarre morning trundled on, was that it didn’t feel very nice.

“Dinner,” he encouraged softly. “Just dinner. You think I’m a dick, that’s it. Sayin’ that, I’m not gonna be a dick to Lydie’s girl because that woman meant a lot to me, to my kids, and that’s just not gonna happen. You feel that from me anyway, we’re done. But give it dinner.”

I could give it dinner.

In actuality, I could tell him I could give it dinner because it was clear he wasn’t going to give up until I did so.

Then I would not go to dinner. The town was not big but Lavender House wasn’t exactly on Main Street. In the brief time I was there, I could avoid him.

Then I’d be gone.

Therefore, I decided to do just that.

“Fine. Dinner,” I lied.

His lips curled up. “Great.”

“Where shall I meet you?” I asked and his lips turned down but his brows inched up.

“Meet me?” he asked.

“Meet you.”

“Josie, a man takes a woman to dinner, he picks her up at her door and he returns her there,” he decreed and I found this decree troubling.

I found it troubling because, although I didn’t date, had never really dated, that didn’t mean I didn’t frequently spend time around a goodly number of females who did date. And these days, men and women more often than not met places for said dates.

I disliked this. If I were to date, I would not abide a man who told me he’d meet me somewhere. A man who couldn’t act with gallantry, in other words, make the effort to come collect me and see me safely home, wasn’t worth my time.

And it was troubling that James Markham Spear agreed with me.

“I’m uncertain what my day will bring,” I told him and this was the truth. “I have some things to do for my employer.” This wasn’t the truth. “Not to mention a variety of things having to do with Gran’s passing.” And with that I was back on the truth. “I’d rather be free to take care of all that without having to worry about meeting you at Lavender House since I’ll likely be in town anyway, we’ll be coming back to town to have dinner, so I can just meet you where we’re to eat.”

He looked at me again like he was studying me.

“So, when and where shall I meet you?” I asked when this went on for some time and he said not a word.

This lasted longer and I was about to say something again when he finally spoke.

“The Lobster Market, six thirty.”

Six thirty.

I didn’t like this. I never ate dinner until after seven thirty. I was a night owl. I usually didn’t get to bed until after midnight.

Eating this early meant I’d be needing a snack before bedtime which would be annoying since I wouldn’t have one and not because there was very little food in Gran’s house but because I never snacked.


The fortunate thing was, I wasn’t actually meeting him so this wouldn’t be a problem.

“I’ll see you there,” I stated. “Six thirty.”



He didn’t move.

I was about to open my mouth to tell him I wished for him to do so when he finally did.

He stepped back half a foot and stopped, locking his now-blue eyes with my sunglasses.

And it was then he said quietly, “It’s real good to finally meet you, Josie.”

And when he said it, he meant it.

And him meaning it, the tone in his voice, the intent look in his eyes, it gave me that feeling on my skin again. All over. A feeling that felt like an urge for me to do something, say something. I just didn’t know what.

I also didn’t know what to say.

So I inclined my head.

“The Market, see you there,” he murmured.

“Yes,” I replied.

“Later, Josie.”


He lifted a hand in a low wave and walked away.

I watched him thinking it was quite remarkable how he moved that big body of his without it looking like it took any effort.

But in the back of my head, it occurred to me that this was so fascinating I could watch him move for a long time. Minutes. Hours.

An eternity.

On this utterly unhinged thought, my stomach twisted yet again and before I went off my lunch, I hit the button on the key fob to open the car so I could get in and get to the bank in order to begin my business that would conclude my time in Magdalene.


Thus taking me to what I dreaded the most.

My final farewell to Gran.

Chapter Three

The Fourth Mrs. Jake Spear

I sat sipping Chambord on the veranda of Breeze Point, an excellent restaurant one town over from Magdalene. It, like Lavender House, sat on a cliff and its views were stunning, by day and, as it was now, by night.

In the clear, inky, star-filled night, I could see the lighthouse jutting out from Magdalene beaming its rotating beam.

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