Caged Heat (Black Meadow Pack)(2)

By: Milly Taiden

Jones raised his voice. “Mrs. Suarez’s will is very clear. All three versions of them name Ms. Samira Suarez the inheritor to the bulk of her estate. She did leave each of you one million dollars in individual accounts. If Samira Suarez dies within 30 days of Mrs. Suarez, each of Mrs. Suarez’s female children, Cecilia, Maggie, and Luisa would get a lump sum of twenty million dollars. Her son, Juan Sr. is in the will but has been disinherited. According to Mrs. Suarez’s will, he has his own inheritance from his father’s side. Mrs. Suarez’s grandchildren, Antonio, Robert, Marco, and Lucas would get ten million each and the rest would go to her designated charities.”

“One million dollars!” Juan Junior jumped to his feet. Sam’s older cousin’s face was tomato-red and mottled. And that was saying something because his skin tone was a lot darker than Sam’s caramel-colored flesh. The button on his collar looked ready to burst along with the seam of his pants.

“That’s correct, Mr. Suarez.” Jonas sounded exhausted. The poor guy must have a hard time dealing with her horrid relatives on a regular basis.

“Mi abuela—my grandma—was a billionaire, and she left us a mil a piece, but the rest to Sam?” He slapped his hands on his waist. She thought he might pull the gun he carried out of his holster and shoot her. For the first time since she’d gotten there, a flicker of unease crawled up her spine. She stopped eating, drank some water, and focused on the group.

“Mr. Carson, are you sure?” her Aunt Luisa asked softly. Luisa seemed confused, but at least she wasn’t actively glaring at Sam. Instead, Luisa was pale and her lip trembled as she spoke. Luisa had always been the quiet one. She’d allowed her family to drag her into the mess of being mean to Sam, so Sam didn’t really hold things against the frail woman.

“Quite sure, Mrs. Tate. If any of you disputes the will, there’s a clause that automatically takes away your million dollars and gives rights for Ms. Samira Suarez to disallow anyone from using any of the properties under the Suarez Holdings.”

“This can’t be possible. Ginny had enough money to leave everyone at least ten million apiece and still have tons left over,” added Kurt, her Aunt Maggie’s husband. Kurt turned to Sam, his look so chilling it made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end.

Sam sat there, frozen in place, watching them mull over the implications of fighting a losing battle. She, on the other hand, was just happy to be home, back to the place she’d always wanted to return to. After years of volunteering for her grandmother’s favorite charity, she had no real income to call her own.

As one group, the relatives stood to depart the room. More than a few sniffed and muttered under their breaths while others ignored her and marched out.

Juan Junior stopped in front of her on his way to the door with his wife Marcia. Junior’s large belly hung over his belt. His dark face was still crimson from anger and probably high blood pressure. For a man in his early forties she’d swear he was a heart attack waiting to happen. And with his white beard, he looked like a seething version of Saint Nick.

She lifted a brow and stood her ground. He always acted as if he were better than her and bullied her for most of her youth. Anger simmered in her blood.

“You got something you want to say to me, Junior?” Juan Junior was the biggest jerk in Black Meadows, but she wasn’t intimidated. She’d grown thick skin around her family and had learned to push back.

“This isn’t over, prima.” His hillbilly drawl went against his sad attempt at trying to look like a businessman.

“Oh, I think it is, primo.” She curled her hands into fists on her lap. “Ginny’s will, all three versions, have spoken. Enjoy your inheritance, and try not to waste it in one day.”

She winked. Juan Junior growled. He turned and tugged Marcia out of the meeting room.

She sat there, trying to calm the disappointment and anger being around the family filled her with. Her heart jumped in her chest when Jonas pulled a chair, yanking her out of her momentary break. He sat down in front of her, sighing as he lowered his body onto the wooden, padded chair.

“I can see you’re exhausted, so I want you to go home, rest, and if you have any questions, give me a call.” He patted the hand she’d laid over one of her knees. “Ginny was a great woman. She loved you and always mentioned how proud she was you’d grown up to be different than all her other children and grandchildren.”

She cleared her throat. It was hard to blink away the tears that gathered in her eyes every time she thought of her Grandmother Ginny. The last time she’d spoken to her, Ginny had been happy and excited that Sam was coming home soon. It was difficult to know she’d missed out on her dear grandma’s last moments. Pain and pressure squeezed at her heart. If only she’d known, she’d have returned sooner.

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