Author's Note: Okay, I'm seriously hooked on writing and sharing serialized short stories, but I depend on YOU to give me feedback. So, please comment! To read Parts 1, 2, and 3, scroll down to OLDER POSTS and click on that.
"You have to be kidding! What is that woman's problem?" He dipped a coconut shrimp into one of the two sauces. "This is the apricot preserves sauce. The other is a sweet red chili sauce."
"I'm her problem. She can't seem to get over the fact our parents married, had me, and went on to live happy lives. Now she's decided that Poppy is giving me this property, and that she deserves a portion of it. Or money. I think she'd take the money if it was on offer."
Jay chuckled. "But it's not. She's forgetting this is your grandfather's place. He can do what he wants with it. She can stomp around all she wants, but she has no right to it. Neither do you. It's Dick's to do with as he sees fit."
I agreed with him there. Since Jay owns a string of assisted living facilities, he's seen first-hand how families can come apart over inheritances. I've seen that, too, because at The Treasure Chest, we buy up estates. "Only last week I had a woman come in and scream at me, because her sister had sold off part of their mother's belongings. Turns out the screamer lives in Maine. The sister lives here and takes care of their mother. As you might imagine, it's expensive to care for their mom. She needs a walk-in bath unit, so the Florida daughter sold stray pieces of silver and furniture to pay for the renovation. Maine daughter thought she was getting swindled."
"Welcome to Florida," said Jay. "Home of the aged, the infirm, and the shuttled aside. I bet you five bucks that if Maine daughter had to live with Mom for a week, she'd be singing a different tune."
"I'm sure of it."
"But let's go back to the subject at hand, Cara. You need protection. Jodi is one card short of a full deck. I've never met her, but I observed her at the gathering at Martin Gardens. That's a very troubled young woman. I don't like the idea of you being at her mercy."
I chewed my shrimp carefully. Was he suggesting that he move in? Our relationship wasn't there. Not yet. I hadn't even promised to date Jay exclusively. He glanced over and read my thoughts. "You need a big dog, Cara. What's wrong, don't you like big mutts?"
I thought about Sven, the golden retriever I'd put to sleep before coming to Florida. "I love all animals. You should have figured that out by now. But I'm not sure I can stand having my heart broken again, and it about killed me to have him euthanized. Goldens get cancer easily. Rottweilers have problems with hip and elbow dysplasia, plus heart problems. Dobermans have problems with their spines. Labs have dysplasia problems as do Weimaraners. Great Danes die young from flipped stomachs. German Shepherds have a whole host of problems."
Jay shook his head. "Sounds like you've investigated almost all the large breeds."
~ To Be Continued ~