Monday, February 20, 2012

Excerpt from Stone House Farm

At the end of the business day, Amanda walked to her car. A sense of uneasiness assailed her as Grant emerged from the car parked next to hers.

“I don’t want to talk with you,” Amanda said, unlocking her car, her movements jerky and uncoordinated with her agitation. She opened the door, but Grant was next to her. He must have run around the back of her car.

“Please, Amanda, just listen.”

“You can’t say anything I want to hear.”

“I know, but your situation has changed, and as hard as you might find it to believe, I want to help you.” His hand grabbed the edge of her car door, blocking her entry.

“You’re right, I don’t believe you. Get out of the way, Grant.”

“Come on, Amanda. I only want to help.”

“How? Can you build me a new house? Get away from my car and stop causing a scene.” She tried to return to the office, but he caught her wrist.

“There is no scene, Amanda unless you make one. There is no one else in the parking lot, and no one on the road will notice anything unusual. I only want to talk to you, and you’ve refused to answer the messages I’ve left. And yes, I can help you find the wherewithal to have a new house. I heard Preston rescinded his offer to buy your farm.”

She jerked her arm free of his grasp, angered by his persistence. “What? How did you learn that?”

“That’s not important,” he said. “What is important is that I can offer you good money for it.”

She gasped in disbelief, her jaw dropping for a moment before she regained her composure. “You want to purchase my acreage? Over my dead body, Grant!”

Grant frowned. “Be sensible and less emotional. The house is gone, but I know people who are only interested in the land.”

“Who? And what’s in it for you Grant?”

He looked uncomfortable for a moment, watching the sparse traffic on Highway 31. “I’ve been offered a percentage of the sale if I can get you to agree to the purchase.”

At her prolonged silence, he finally looked at her with a pleading expression. “Rillema Construction has an offer on my land, but it is contingent on the purchase of yours.”

She gave him a nasty grin, suddenly enjoying herself. “Sorry, I’m not selling.”