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In Love With The Proper Stranger - Chapter 9
| Title: In Love With The Proper Stranger|
Chapter: Nine of Twenty-three
Summary: AU - Their's is a love story which happens quite by accident, in the midst of a dangerous whirlwind of mystery and deceit sparked by the death of Luke's mother-in-law
Characters: Luke, Noah, Reid
Genre: AU, Action, Adventure, Romance, Angst
Disclaimer: This site is no way associated with "As the World Turns", CBS, P&G, or Van Hansis and Jake Silbermann. This is not for profit. No copyright infringement is intended. Authors submit and write their own work.
Noah was wrong.
Reid did care that his mother was gone. He wasn't totally devoid of emotion. He did suffer a moment or two of loss at her funeral; thinking back to all the times his mother had kissed his cheek or tucked him into bed or read him a story.
She was a good mother. There was never any doubt about that. Even in those bad times after his father's death, when money was really tight, she always found a way to make life easier on her kids.
The problem was when she had turned into one hell of a ***** in her old age; making his life more and more difficult. She judged his every move until their relationship broke down all together.
She always preferred his sister over him. Reid was convinced she wished it was him and not Charlene who died all those years ago.
It was clear Juliet never really loved Reid's father with the same burning passion she held for Charlene's.
After all, it was Ian Wilson's smiling face beaming from practically every surface Juliet could place a photo frame.
Not a picture of Reid's father in sight.
In his mind, she certainly loved the little b*stard Noah more than him! She doted on that kid from the moment he was born. It was sickening to watch.
Anyway, now that Reid had suffered through those few minutes of regret and his mother was finally laid to rest, he had other things to worry about... important things.
He'd had to take out a loan for the funeral. He was penniless… never bothered to save a dime. Why would he when his husband was a bottomless pit of dough?
At least Reid had thought it would be bottomless. Dammit! He should have been more careful!
His personal bank account was bone dry. Until Luke kicked him out, Reid emptied it every month on fine dining, silk shirts and expensive shoes. God he missed his old life!
He needed the money from his mother's estate like… yesterday! There were already a handful of potential buyers lined up for the theatre. A bidding war had taken place and the offers were already at least twice the value of the property. He itched for that cash.
Once things were settled he planned to move out of that dump and into a grand apartment all aimed at getting back Luke.
Reid was convinced that Luke loved him still. He just needed to use all his charms to win him over. He'd done it before and Luke, after all, was the forgiving sort.
Even Reid had to admit asking his grieving nephew to leave right after his grandmother's death was a little on the harsh side.
But he had no other option. Why should he take on the responsibility for Noah, anyway?
Besides, the kid was street smart. He was bound to get a decent job in no time and survive just fine.
On that thought he dialed the kid's cell.
"Noah, it's Reid."
"Yes." The voice was deadpan.
"We need you to come by the house in two hours. The will is being read at 3 sharp!"
Such a long pause followed that Reid wondered if the line had gone dead.
"Why do you need me there?" a shaky Noah finally asked. "We already know she left you everything."
"I don't know! I'm not a f*ckin' mind reader, Noah! All I do know is that the lawyer insists you be here!"
"Whatever Reid. I'll be there at 3."
Reid stuck the phone back in his pocket. That kid always had a way of putting him in a bad mood.
However, he was curious about his nephew. Where was the kid staying? He'd arrived at the funeral in a brand new designer suit similar to what Luke always wore. Where had the money coming from for that?
Reid resolved to find out but first he needed to sort everything else out.
The real estate agent, shuffling his tape measure and iPad, walked in on Reid in the living room.
"So?" Reid asked.
"I'll need a day to work on some calculations and I'll have a valuation for you by tomorrow."
"What? You can't just give me one now?"
"Not if you want an accurate report." The real estate agent slipped on his coat.
Reid walked him to the door. As he opened it, Attorney Nigel Pinter, appeared, his hand raised; about to knock.
"Afternoon Dr. Oliver. I'm here to do the reading of your mother's will?"
"Yes." Reid said in greeting, "I've been expecting you. Come on in."
The Lawyer squeezed by the exiting realtor.
"Goodbye Dr. Oliver," the realtor said. "My office will be in touch with you tomorrow regarding the valuation."
With barely a nod, Reid closed the door and escorted the lawyer to the living room.
"I'm rather confused. The last time I spoke to you, you said the will was clear cut. I get everything. If that's the case, why did you insist we meet like this and include my nephew?"
"Apologies Dr. Oliver," Pinker answered. "Something has since come to light that…"
Before he could continue they were interrupted by a loud knock at the door. It was Noah.
"You're late." Reid spat, eying his nephew critically as Noah removed his coat. Was that a new shirt?
"Well geez sorry, some of us have to take a bus, you know!" Noah countered.
Even as he fingered a pair of subway tokens in his own pocket, Reid didn't let on he was now one of those people too. He couldn't even afford a damn cab anymore.
"Could we get started please?" asked the lawyer. "I'm afraid I only have an hour and then I must be off to another appointment."
"Yes." Reid answered, muttering "finally" under his breath.
"Anyway, as I was saying before the arrival of Mr. Mayer, some new information has come to light regarding your mother's estate."
"Come to light?' Reid asked with irritation, "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"Mr. Mayer sent me a document that changes everything."
"Mr… Noah sent YOU a document?"
"Yes, two days after your mother's sad death."
Reid actually felt the blood rush from his head. "What?"
"It would seem Juliet Oliver had a second will drawn up shortly after the stroke that rendered her bed ridden," Pinker said holding up the document in his hand. "This will is valid and therefore negates the first will."
Reid glared at Noah. What had this kid done?
Noah shifted uncomfortably and held Reid's gaze with nervous apprehension.
"I, Juliet Ann Oliver, of sound mind, do hereby bequeath my house and all property therein held to my nephew Noah Winston Mayer, son of..."
"Son of a b*tch!" Reid lunged at Noah.
But after years of learning to dodge Greg's unwanted advances, Noah quickly moved out of his uncle's reach.
"You!" Reid shook his fist at his nephew. "You did this!"
The lawyer rapidly stepped in between Reid and Noah.
"Dr. Oliver, I have solid evidence your nephew was unaware of the contents of this will. It was sealed on its arrival to my office and I've spoken to Brendan Anderson, your mother's lawyer at the time. He confirmed your nephew was not involved in any way. Your mother acted alone."
"The theatre… what about the theatre?"
It was Reid's last hope. He already felt the floor opening up beneath him.
The lawyer scanned the document. "Ownership passes to Mr. Mayer. Your mother named her grandson as the sole heir of her entire estate."
"Why would she do this? She wouldn't have done this in her right mind! I'll contest it!"
"I'd advise against that, Dr. Oliver," said Pinker looking over his bi-focals at Reid and then at the document in his hand. "Your mother made provisions guarding against that. I'm afraid any attempt to contest her wishes would be thrown out by a judge."
Reid fell back into the sofa. "Where? Where did you find it?"
"She told me she had something hidden under her bed," a staggered Noah answered. "I didn't know what it was. She said I should retrieve it after she passed. So I did."
Was the kid for real? Was he innocent or just playing a really clever game? Was he really that smart as to orchestrate and manipulate the situation to his advantage?
A part of Reid wanted to believe Noah had somehow played a part in it all.
But his instinct, not often wrong, was telling him the kid was on a level.
The lawyer clicked closed the latches on his briefcase.
"Well, my job here is done. I'll file this at the courthouse. If you have any further questions or you should like a copy, just contact my assistant at the office. In the meantime, Mrs. Oliver left you each a letter."
He handed separate white envelopes to Reid and Noah.
"Again gentlemen, my deepest sympathy for your loss."
Reid would have given an arm and a leg to read what she had written to his snot-nosed, winy little nephew.
Noah got up to follow the lawyer, pulling on his coat and telling his uncle, "You can stay here for now if you like."
Reid seethed at the smirk of satisfaction on his face.
So… the kid didn't want to stay in the house?
Finding out the reason behind that; and the source of his obvious good fortune had suddenly become Reid's main priority. That and winning back the love,
support and funds provided by his little honey of a husband. A divorce was now certainly out of the question!
The moment he heard the front door close after his nephew, Reid tore open his letter.
If you are reading this, then I am dead and you are most likely confused and angered by my need to secretly rewrite my will in favor of Noah. I hope you are not too disappointed.
Please understand darling that this is in no way a dismissal of my love for you, my son. I can see that you have done well for yourself. Your future is secure and you have no need of my meager portfolio.
However, Noah is still young; too young really to be left alone in this world. I regret that deeply.
Hopefully by leaving him this small sum he can find his own way in life.
Your loving mother,
Thanks so much for reading...
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