Becca exited her father’s office and into the open area that held the rest of the firms workspaces. Andrew sat at his desk and looked up as she passed. “Are you okay?” he asked.
(Start at the beginning? go to: 1. a beginning)
She didn’t know if she wanted to walk right past him or stop to drink him in a bit. Her emotions were all a mess with him. But one look into his eyes and she stopped. “Yeah,” she said. “I just stepped on some glass. It’s no big deal. Just on a weird spot of my foot.”
“Oh,” he said.
They both stood in silence for a moment. Looking at each other. Thoughts raced through her mind. “Actually,” she said. “Do you have a minute?”
“Sure.” He reached over to his desk and closed the folder he had been working in. He slid it into a drawer and followed her into the break area. “What’s up?” he asked.
She took a deep breath. “Did you tell my dad about what happened to me?”
“What? Why would I do that?”
“I don’t know,” she said. “But he found out and there were only two people who knew the truth. You and my sister.”
Andrew didn’t say anything but they were both thinking the same thing.
“I would have nothing to gain from it,” Andrew said.
They stood for a few more moments breathing in the space between them.
“What are you doing later?” he asked. “Do you want dinner with me tonight?”
“I have to work,” she said. She wished in that moment she could just quit, he could just quit and they could run away together, never looking back. But she didn’t say anything.
“Okay, maybe another time,” he said as if it was nothing.
The door felt a little heavier, but maybe it was just the burden she was carrying now that she owned the house. She knew there would be more work ahead of her. Jenny was already talking about the changes they could make to draw more value into the house. Bo, of course, could do the work.
The wallpaper would need pulled out, a few fresh coats of paint and some new hardware. Becca waited for the right time to pull Jenny out of her whirlwind, she was having way too much fun going through the house and making her list of things to do. She rambled on also indicating she had a realtor friend who could help with the sale when the time came.
“Did you tell dad about Gerard?” Becca blurted out.
“What?” Jenny asked. “Why would I do that?” She barely paid attention to Becca and continued to inspect the wood. “There are some really great designs in the wood. We could probably just leave it and paint it white. It would look really good white with a contrasting color on the wall.”
“Well, dad found out and was pissed,” Becca added. “I only told a couple people about it.”
“It was probably Andrew,” Jenny said. “I told you, you can’t trust him. He’s only out for himself.”
Becca cringed on the inside. Either she had completely misread Andrew and Jenny was right or she was outright lying. Either way, she couldn’t shake the horrible feeling that her intuition was off and she couldn’t even trust herself.
Her phone vibrated in her hand. “Hello, this is Morgan,” sat on the screen.
She texted back. “Hello.”
“Are you free to chat?”
Becca walked out of the room, leaving Jenny to her inspection. Becca made her way to the greenhouse and the back deck that was connected. The warm sun beat down on her and she could see the plants were also feeling the heat in their withered state. She picked up the watering can and began filling it with water before clicking on Morgan’s name to call her.
“Hello,” Morgan said. “I don’t mean to bother you.” Her voice was so welcoming and sunny.
“Not at all,” Becca said as she began tipping the water into the pots.
“This is going to sound very strange,” Morgan said.
“No,” Morgan added. “Very, very strange.”
“I need you to listen to me anyway.”
“Sure,” Becca said. Confusion swam through her thoughts.
“You need some protection.”
“That is strange for you to say.”
“I know and it’s only going to get weirder, but please listen to me. I can help you.”
“Okay,” Becca repeated.
“Gerard said there was some activity in the house.”
“That guy is a lunatic,” Becca’s body instinctively went into defensive mode.
“I know it seems that way, but hear me out,” Morgan said and went on, “For whatever reason, there was something released. It could be just energy, it could be an entity, we don’t know. That day you passed out. He didn’t drug you.”
“Wait,” Becca stopped her. “I never said he did.”
Morgan ignored her. “He gave you the house without strings attached in good faith and now your sister is trying to sell it and we both know, we all know, that is not what you want.”
How could she possibly know that I was reconsidering? “The house is beautiful,” Becca started, “But there is no way I can take care of a place like this.” Without a lifetime of drama and family being pissed off at me. They are already asking what I could have possibly done, who am I to think I…..
“You do deserve this house,” Morgan said finishing Becca’s thought. “And I want to help you.”
Becca was silent. “What do you want?” she finally asked.
“Nothing,” Morgan said. “I loved your Aunt Jo. I still do. She took care of me and made me who I am. I can find no greater honor than assisting you and your sister.”
Becca’s thoughts were going insane. She was simultaneously thinking of how she and her sister could find any other use to the house, while also trying to figure out how this Morgan could know so much and what she could possibly do to help.
“You’ve seen the scraping on the door?” Morgan asked.
Becca felt a cold chill pass through her and she sat the watering can down as she lowered herself into one of the outside chairs that littered the empty deck.
“Yes,” Becca said.
“It’s trying to get out,” Morgan said. “I have no doubt that you have been experiencing things that you haven’t before.”
“Yes,” Becca said again.
“Could I come tonight?”