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Jordan issued his apology as he hurried into the office. “Sorry I’m late. We were chasing a lead.”
“Of course you were,” Graham said with a roll of his eyes.
Anger flared inside Jordan, and he lashed out at his brother. “They’re missing kids, Graham. I think that’s a little more important than whatever Dad may or may not have left us.”
Graham held up his hands in surrender and Mr. Keyes, the attorney, cleared his throat as if hoping that might ease the tension in the room.
“It’s no problem, Jordan, we were just getting started.” Mr. Keyes adjusted his tie before placing his hands on either side of a stack of papers. “I’m sure you know that I called you in today for a reading of your father’s will. Most of it is rather straightforward, but there is something I wasn’t sure you were aware of.” He picked up the top sheet of paper and scanned it before flipping it around to them. “Did you know your father owned a bar?”
“A bar?” Graham asked leaning forward.
“That’s not possible. Dad was an alcoholic. Why would he own a bar?” Jordan asked.
“It hasn’t been a bar in a long time. In fact, it hasn’t been anything for a long time. I drove by the other day, so I would have current information for you both. It appears to be boarded up currently.” He pulled a picture from the stack and slid it across the table to Graham who glanced at it before handing it to Jordan.
“So, we should try and sell it, right?” Jordan asked. He had no use for a bar or the rundown building in the picture.
“No, we can’t sell it,” Graham said shooting him an incredulous look. “Dad obviously kept the bar for a reason.”
A reason? Jordan doubted it. Their father had spent most of his life so drunk that he rarely had a reason for anything. “He probably forgot he owned it and therefore had no presence of mind to sell it. What would we do with an old building?”
Mr. Keyes said nothing but shifted his gaze from one brother to the next as they argued.
“What would we do?” Graham turned in his chair to face Jordan, his face a picture of contempt. “We fix it up, give it new life, take it back to how it once was.”
Jordan shook his head. Obsessed with focusing on the positive, Graham always wanted to fix things, even when the better option would be to stay out of it. “No way, I’m not opening a bar. I won’t encourage drinking and enable the same behavior that claimed Dad.”
“Fine, we’ll turn it into a family restaurant then. A place where cops can hang out and have a sense of community.” Graham had added that last part to try and persuade Jordan but he wasn’t biting.
“I have no time to fix up a restaurant. Nor do I know anything about running a restaurant. And what about the money? Did Dad leave any money to fix this place?”
“Your father left you the proceeds from the sale of the house and he had a few stocks and bonds, but it isn’t much.”
And there it was. Their father hadn’t kept the house in good enough condition to turn a profit and he hadn’t thought about his sons’ future either. He’d only thought about his next drink. “See? It isn’t much. Probably not enough to renovate an old bar and turn it into a restaurant.”
Graham folded his arms across his chest and turned away from Jordan. “I’m not selling. Dad could have sold the building years ago, and he didn’t. That tells me it meant something to him, so I’m going to restore it with or without you.”
Jordan turned fierce eyes on the lawyer. “Can he do that? Can he make me keep it?”
Mr. Keyes shrugged and offered an apologetic half smile. “He could offer to buy you out, but there is no stipulation that he has to sell.”
Before he could say anything else, Jordan’s phone buzzed. He swiped the screen and shook his head. Another kid had gone missing. “I have to go, but this isn’t over. We are going to discuss this, Graham.”
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Lorana Hoopes is an Award-winning and USA TOday best-Selling Author
About the stories
I grew up reading Christian romance, but I hated how preachy the books were and I didn't like how the characters seemed perfect.
So, I decided to write stories with a little more grit. My characters are flawed, but they find their way with God's help.
I started with just romance, but when I read my first romantic suspense, I was hooked. I wanted to test my hand at suspense too, and it's been a good decision. The latest book in the series won the silver medal Reader's Choice award.
I don't live in a town like Fire Beach, but I wish I did. These characters are my friends, and I bet they'll become yours too. Firefighters, doctors, nurses, detectives. I wanted to honor those who give so much.
I love writing and creating new stories, but the best part of my life is being a mom. I write these books to show my kids what they can do if they put their minds to it and to hopefully leave them a legacy one day.