Rogue's Revenge - By Gail MacMillan Page 0,1
him, I knew I had to have him. Myra, tell your father never, never to fire that magnificent creature. And that ridiculous scare I had added just the right amount of seasoning to the whole adventure.”
“What scare?” Myra asked.
“Oh, come on now, Myra. You know. Almost being caught? The intrigue is half the fun. But enough in front of the child.” She waved toward Allison.
Allison had stifled the urge to scoff. Magnificent creature? That skinny kid with the rotten manners charming a sophisticated woman like Candace Breckenridge? Preposterous! Now, as she looked at him, she mentally revised her opinion of the possibility.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of a Lincoln Continental. The big black car bumped up the dirt road into the churchyard and lurched to a stop close to the hearse. Its driver stepped out, a middle-aged man of medium height, his iron-gray hair, well-tailored charcoal business suit, pearl-white shirt, and silk tie presenting an impeccable appearance.
“Mrs. Armstrong?” He strode over to Myra. “James Wilcox, ma’am, National Realty. Allow me to express my sincere condolences on your loss.”
He would have been a handsome man if it hadn’t been for something hard and measuring in his expression. Smooth, calculating, probably ruthless. As CFO of one of Canada’s leading corporations, Allison had no trouble recognizing the signs.
“And this must be your lovely daughter.” He turned to Allison. “First woman to crack the higher echelons of the Shawville Corporation. Quite an accomplishment, young lady, but being the child of one of Canada’s leading neurosurgeons must have helped.”
Anger shot through her. She’d worked seventy-hour weeks. She’d denied herself a social life. How dare he imply—
“Thank you.” Myra shot Allison a silencing glance. “Have we met?”
“No.” The smile that tilted the corners of his mouth didn’t reach sapphire-cold blue eyes. “But I had approached your father with an offer to purchase his holdings shortly before…the tragedy. I still have a client prepared to make a handsome offer for his lodge and grounds.”
“Buy the Chance?” Myra’s astonishment rang in her voice. “I…really, I’m not…this is hardly an appropriate moment to discuss…”
“Mrs. Armstrong doesn’t want to talk business.” Heath stepped between her mother and the stranger. “I suggest you leave…now.”
“I’d prefer to hear that decision from the lady herself.” James Wilcox held his ground.
“Shove off, Wilcox. Jack wouldn’t do business with you, and neither will his daughter.”
“Mrs. Armstrong, are you going to let this backwoods hoodlum turn away an excellent offer—”
“Please.” Myra held up a hand and lowered her head, shaking it in weary confusion.
Heath’s hands shot out and grabbed James Wilcox’s lapels. So fast it made Allison gasp, he dragged the man to his car and stuffed him inside.
“You can’t do this!” Wilcox yelled, but the door slammed on his words. He shook a fist and yelled muffled threats through the glass. Heath turned and walked back to the group at the hearse.
“You haven’t heard the last of this, Oakes!” The man lowered the window and shouted. “I’ll be back.” Tearing up the church yard lawn, the big car whirled and headed off into the fog.
“Thank you, Heath. I can’t bear to discuss disposing of Dad’s property, especially not today.”
“No problem. We’d better get started.”
He turned away into the mist. Allison watched as he climbed into the dilapidated Jeep he’d indicated earlier and revved the motor.
“Come on, darling.” Myra took her daughter by the elbow to urge her toward their rental car. “We’ll meet Heath at the lane, Mr. Jenkins,” she informed the undertaker, “just as soon as we pick up our luggage at the motel.”
“Are you sure you can manage, Mrs. Armstrong?” The tall, thin man furrowed his pale forehead and rubbed gloved hands together. “I’ve taken care of every detail that I possibly can, but this is a highly unusual arrangement.”
“You’ve covered all the legalities, Mr. Jenkins. Heath can manage the rest.”
“Mom, what do you mean, ‘all the legalities, Heath can manage the rest’?” Allison hissed as mother and daughter started toward their car. “What haven’t you told me? Gramps is going to be buried in the church cemetery, isn’t he?”
“No, dear, he isn’t.” Myra paused, a slender black-gloved hand on the handle of the driver’s door, and turned to look at her daughter. “He’s going to be buried at Adam’s Landing. It was his last wish. I’ve secured the legal clearances.”
“Mom, no! That canoe landing is in the middle of nowhere. It’s only accessible by the river route. This is crazy, especially at this time of year, with a full freshet