More from Hedge House, a paranormal/urban fantasy that I hope to have out later this year.
Jacob and Cara are discussing Belle’s will. (Belle was Cara’s grandmother.) Cara has been comparing the one she got from the attorney handling the estate with one kept in a safe at the house.
“The will was tampered with. And her signature was so badly forged a third grader could tell the difference.”
Jacob nodded. “Once she was gone they figured no one would know – Tamira and I wouldn’t be likely to see the new one and they figured you wouldn’t be familiar with her handwriting. They didn’t figure on you reading everything over – or comparing it to the original.”
“I don’t think he even knew I had the original.” She sat down and rubbed her forehead. “Even if they thought there was a copy here they wouldn’t have thought I’d have had time to find it.” She sighed and stared at the papers and computer.
“How bad were the changes?”
She shrugged. “The main part wasn’t touched. It was just the rider about what was to happen if I didn’t want to take possession, or if something happened to me before I created a will of my own. In the original, the shop and everything associated with it was to go to Tamira in the case of my turning it down, and the estate and everything associated with it was to go to you. In the revised version, if I don’t take control it all goes into a trust organization – one headed by Jonas Blackthorn.”
Jacob nodded, seemingly unperturbed by the news – and certainly not surprised. “I kinda suspected that Henry Rupert was in Jonas’ pocket,” he said.
“Is there anyone in this town who isn’t?”
“A few. You. Me. Tamira. [Belle’s original lawyer*]. Belle wasn’t. There are a few others in town that aren’t, but mostly because he hasn’t deemed them important enough to try to buy. Trouble is, they aren’t strong enough to cross him – if he wants them to look the other way they won’t see anything.”
*I still haven’t named her.
When Cara Hawthorne returns to the childhood home she had been torn away from twenty years earlier, she thinks it will be to do nothing more than settle her grandmother’s estate and return to her job as a junior lawyer at a prestigious law firm in Tulsa.
But every nook and cranny of the house and gardens unearths long-buried memories, and when the town’s mayor sets his sights on her and the property she finds herself caught up in a centuries old battle with powers she has only barely begun to understand