Home > The Will (Magdalene #1)(8)

The Will (Magdalene #1)(8)
Author: Kristen Ashley

“And last,” Ms. Baginski carried on. “My most precious possession, the thing I treasure above anything else in this world, that being my granddaughter, Josephine Diana Malone, I hereby bequeath to James Markham Spear.”

After these words were read, unprepared for them and even if I had been, I would still be unprepared for them mostly because they were just plain mad, I gasped.

James Markham Spear muttered a rumbling, amused, “What the f**k?”

Terry Baginski didn’t even look up. She kept reading.

“Jake, my Josie is quite awkward and I don’t mean simply that she’s a complete klutz, though she is that as well. I find it adorable and I hope you do too. She’s also aggravatingly tidy, so I do hope you’ll teach her how fun it is to be a slob once in a while. Further, she doesn’t know how to enjoy herself, and I’m sure,” Ms. Baginski put a strange emphasis on this word before she went on, “you’ll be able to teach her how to do that and do it well. But under all that, she has the kindest soul you’ll know, the lightest touch you’ll feel, and, if you find your way to coax it out of her, she gives off the sweetest light that will ever shine on you. I’m trusting you, my Jake, in my absence, to take good care of her. But even saying that, I know you will.”

I was blinking rapidly.

Ms. Baginski was finishing up.

“Those are my wishes and I will them to be done. And just a warning, if they’re not, I’ll know and it’ll make me very upset. I know neither of you want that. Now, be blissfully happy my Josie and my Jake. That is my final, most important wish. Please do what you can to give that to me.”

Terry Baginski quit reading and looked at us.

“Did Lydie give me you in her will?”

This came from my side and it was no less rumbling or amused. In fact, it was far more rumbling and amused, and slowly, my breath coming in fits and starts, my head turned his way.

Yes, he was amused. I knew this because he was smiling a large smile, his even, strong white teeth stark against his dark stubble.

My stomach again twisted in knots.

“Obviously, the bequeathal of a human being isn’t binding,” Ms. Baginski put in and I thankfully tore my gaze from Mr. Spear and looked to her. “This bestowal, however,” she continued, “is also in the legal document. Regardless if it isn’t binding, the rest of it is.”

She picked up a legal-sized manila folder and plopped it across the desk my way.

“Copies of Mrs. Malone’s official last will and testament,” she carried on, pointing at the folder. “The letter I’ve just read, and information about deeds and the like are in that folder. Should you not desire to join us here in Magdalene, there’s also contact information for Stone Incorporated, a firm that has approached Mrs. Malone in the past to share they’re interested in purchasing Lavender House.”

What did she say?

Someone had approached Gran to buy Lavender House?

Gran hadn’t told me that either!

“That folder is yours to take,” she announced, her eyes on me, and she stood but did it leaning forward, hands on her desk. “Now, if there aren’t any questions…” she rudely uttered a thinly veiled prompt for us to stop wasting her time.

I had a million questions, of course, none of which I spoke because I didn’t act fast enough.

“Paper isn’t legally binding but blood is,” Mr. Spear declared and I looked his way to see he was addressing Terry Baginski.

“I’m sorry?” Ms. Baginski asked.

“Words on paper might not be legally binding.” His gaze came to me and his voice deepened as he concluded, “But blood is.”

I found my chest rising and falling rapidly as he held my eyes and the meaning of his words assaulted my ears.

“You can hardly think you can own a woman, Jake,” Ms. Baginski snapped dismissively.

“Own her, no,” Mr. Spear stated, his eyes still holding mine captive. “Do precisely what Lydie wanted me to do with her, yes.”

Oh my God.

The way he said those words sounded suggestive.

Very suggestive.

My breathing grew even more rapid and additionally it became erratic. I decided to ignore the suggestive part of his words and focus on something else.

“Gran was…she was…” I searched for a word and found it. “Protective of me.”

“I’m gettin’ that seein’ as she left me you in her will in order to keep that shit goin’ on,” he replied and my back again went straight.

“I’m quite capable of seeing to that myself,” I informed him.

Something shifted through his features so swiftly I couldn’t catch the meaning of it before he whispered, “Not from what I hear.”

At that, I felt my eyes get big.

“What has Gran told you?” I inquired sharply.

“With respect, could I ask that perhaps you two continue this conversation elsewhere?” Ms. Baginski requested. “I actually do have other business to see to today.”

I thought that was an excellent idea. Not continuing the conversation. I was quite done with this conversation. Instead, I wanted to get myself elsewhere.

Therefore, I jumped to my feet and sensed Mr. Spear rising to his. But I didn’t sense his hand coming my way as if to spot me should I tumble.

I saw it.

When I did, my eyes slashed his way. “I’m adept at rising from a chair, Mr. Spear,” I snapped.

“Just bein’ careful,” he muttered, studying me and doing it grinning.

Albeit attractive—his voice and his grin—I found both annoying.

I didn’t share that.

I looked from him to Ms. Baginski. “Is there something I need to do in order to get the funds my grandmother wished to be put in trust for Mr. Spear’s children to Mr. Spear?” I asked, hoping there wasn’t as I intended to leave that office and Mr. Spear behind and never see either again.

Terry Baginski shook her head. “No. Mrs. Malone has already made those arrangements. This office will take care of that money transfer.” Her eyes went to Mr. Spear and she warned, “And Jake, you’ll need to report this gift to the IRS.”

“No shit?” he asked and it occurred to me in a vague way that they seemed to know each other and not get along.

Or, at least, Ms. Baginski didn’t like Mr. Spear all that much.

This didn’t concern me.

Escape concerned me. That as well as dealing with Gran’s estate and getting to Rome (or Paris) as soon as I could.

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