Duke's Redemption

Page 1

Chapter 1
“MissMathis?”Thenewoffice assistant pokes her head into my office.
She’s a mousy little thing. Half the time, she looks like she may run away from me at any moment. I don’t know why. I’m not mean to her.
“Yes, Danielle?” I ask without looking away from my computer screen.
“There’s a lawyer that’s here to see you.”
“Lawyer?” I ask. “I’ve got nothing on my calendar. Tell him he needs to make an appointment with you.”
I assume that’s the end of the discussion, but Danielle clears her throat, gathering up her courage to speak again.
“I tried that, but he said he’s already made two appointments, and you’ve cancelled on both.”
Oh, it’s THAT lawyer.
I’ve been dodging this guy for a month now. He says he has an estate matter to discuss with me. I figure he has to have the wrong Avery Mathis because I have no family to leave me anything. I’ve tried telling him that, but he’s persistent.
Danielle adds, “He says he’s not leaving until he gets a moment with you.”
I close my eyes and let out a small sigh. “Fine. Send him in.”
She disappears, and a moment later, a short, portly man comes waddling into the office. He's balding on top but has a thick white mustache.
When he opens his mouth to speak, his words drip with a strong Southern accent.
“Hello, Miss Mathis. I apologize if my intrusion seems rude, but I’m only here in Boston one more day before heading back to Texas. I’d like to get this matter taken care of before then.”
“It’s fine,” I reply, trying to hide my annoyance. “Please have a seat.”
“Thank you. I’ll try not to take up too much of your time.” He clicks open the latches on his briefcase before pulling a handkerchief out of his pocket to wipe a couple beads of sweat off his brow.
Too late.
“It’s fine, Mr.?”
“Abernathy. Clyde Abernathy.”
“Alright, Mr. Abernathy. What do you have to show me?” I ask, anxious to get this show on the road.
“I’m representing the affairs of Mr. Samuel Whitmore—your father.”
“My?” I stammer. “Mr. Abernathy, my father left my mother when I was born. I haven’t heard from him since. I can’t imagine why I’d be included in any affairs of his.”
“Well, he’s always kept a close eye on you. In his will, he listed your address as well as your job. It’s how I found you so easily.”
Should I be flattered or creeped out?
“When did he die?” I ask.
“About a month ago.”
“Cause of death on his death certificate is listed as a heart attack, but honestly, I’m not certain.”