Home > The Will (Magdalene #1)(11)

The Will (Magdalene #1)(11)
Author: Kristen Ashley

If I’d left all the lights in the light room burning at Lavender House, I would have been able to see that too.

I knew this because Gran and I had been to Breeze Point often. We’d experimented once and found this to be true.

Breeze Point was an oft-visited destination for me and Gran. From when I would visit her as a little girl to when I took her there the summer before, we would dress up and come here to eat their superb lobster bisque, sublime crab cakes and their elegant take on whoopee pies.

All of which I’d eaten that night, remembering Gran and maybe not enjoying it as much as when she’d partaken of the same with me, but still enjoying it.

I was also there because it was not close to the Lobster Market where James Spear would be. I deduced I had probably at least a week of avoiding him and I did not delay in putting that in motion.

I drew in a deep breath as I drew the soft shawl closer around me to keep the evening chill of an early Maine September at bay.

I did this thinking that the day started out with a variety of surprises and it continued in this vein.

This being, I had gone to Magdalene Bank and Trust, spoken with the manager and found that I was in error about Gran’s assets.

She had fourteen thousand some odd dollars in her checking account.

She had twenty-seven thousand some odd dollars in certified deposits.

But she also had over five hundred thousand dollars in her savings account. And if that wasn’t enough of a surprise, she had over five million dollars in investments.

Further, the bank manager shared that a recent appraisal of Lavender House put it at over seven million dollars.




The house had a great location, five bedrooms and was fabulous, but seven million dollars?

I had not stopped at Lavender House to pick up the key to her safe deposit box and I was glad of it. Knowing Gran was worth nearly thirteen million dollars was enough to take in for one day.

As promised, when I got back from the bank, I’d phoned Henry to check in. I’d told him of the rude Terry Baginski. I’d further told him of the money I’d found in Gran’s accounts and the appraisal of Lavender House (to which he’d whistled low in shock).

I had not, of course, told him my grandmother left me to an unknown, extremely masculine, quite attractive (okay…exceptionally attractive) man who had three children. Nor did I tell him of Gran’s gifts to his children.

I’d wait until later, when we were together in Rome (I hoped) or Paris (I vowed) and all of this was behind me.

“My Josephine is loaded,” Henry had remarked when I was done sharing my surprising day with him and he was not wrong.

I was. Between Gran’s money, as well as mine, I was loaded.

This was because I was paid well and I traveled so frequently and was so busy with Henry’s life, I’d never had a home of my own so I’d also never had that expense. When we settled for the brief periods of time that we did, I stayed in the pool house at Henry’s home in Los Angeles. And Henry paid for everything when we traveled. Therefore, with very few expenses of my own, I’d saved a great deal over the last twenty-three years.

A great deal.

So much, many could retire on what I had in my own accounts.

Add the money in Gran’s, I could be a lady of leisure.

Of course, this would bore me out of my skull so the thought entered my mind and left it precisely one second later.

That didn’t mean I wasn’t taken aback by what I’d learned that day about Gran’s finances.

She’d divorced my grandfather before I was born and he’d died before I was old enough to know him.

She had shared about him, of course, when I was much older and could take the stories she had to tell, stories she told in order to try to explain my father’s behavior and why I, too, seemed to make poor choices when it came to men.

Not excuse it. Explain, “for understanding a soul, buttercup, can settle a soul.”

It hadn’t settled mine but I’d hoped it settled hers.

It was, however, my understanding that in order to be done with him, Gran had left my grandfather and done it taking nothing with her.

She’d also worked, doing so until she was seventy-eight years old. She was the receptionist for a doctor’s office. She’d loved it. They’d loved her. And she’d been so sharp and sprightly, she had no problems working well past retirement age and only quit so she’d have more time to cook, knit, play bridge with her cronies and meddle in everyone’s affairs.

But apparently her parents, who had a fabulous home on the water, also had a goodly amount of money to bestow on their daughter for there was no way she made that kind of money as a receptionist at a medical practice.

And as I stared into the dark night, I found all this disquieting.

It wasn’t that my grandmother was wealthy and I didn’t know it. I was glad she was comfortable but I knew that. She’d never given me any indication not to think precisely that.

That said, the fact remained that there seemed to be a good amount about my grandmother I didn’t know and I thought I knew her very well.

But that wasn’t all it was.

I just couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was.

“May I join you?”

I turned my head, looked up at the man standing beside me and recognized him from inside the restaurant. Prior to retiring to the veranda with my liqueur, I’d eaten alone inside. He, wearing a quite nice suit, had eaten with three other men in what was clearly a business dinner.

He was not unattractive. However, unfortunately for him, I worked for Henry Gagnon, who was extremely attractive, and I’d that day met James Spear, who was extortionately attractive, so this man most definitely didn’t compare.

But that wasn’t the reason I didn’t want him to join me.

On the whole, I preferred my own company and had since I was a little girl. I had friends, all of them were good friends, but they were few.

Truly, the only two people in my life who I spent any amount of time with and shared anything deep with were Henry and Gran.

I also wasn’t in the mood for company. I had a variety of things on my mind. I wanted my mind to be on those, not on trying to pull up meaningless conversation with a stranger to pass the time.

And lastly, I was in no mood for sex and it was clear he was approaching because he was interested in me.

If the need arose, I’d take a lover and I’d do this no nonsense, finding a man who I was attracted to, who suited me and then I’d take him to my bed. On occasion, this activity would be repeated or I’d exchange contact information and when I was again in his locale, I’d seek him out.

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