Knocked Up by Brother's Best Friend(7)

By: Amy Brent

“I know, but–.”

“No buts, Quinn. No more fucking excuses!” Jonah was shouting again and it had my temper spiking. He had no idea how hard it was. To be a stranger in a new place. All alone. No friends. No family. I had tried. I really had. But, things had just gotten out of control so fast.

Jonah was still yelling when the doorbell rang, cutting them both off. A tense silence filled the kitchen and then the doorbell rang again, and then once more.

“Is someone going to answer that damn door?” The muffled voice floated down from the vent in the ceiling followed by several thuds. Mrs. Peterson, the crazy landlady who lived upstairs, pounding away with her old broom.

“I got it, Lola!” Jonah yelled back, letting out a soft huff and a tossing a look in my direction that said we weren’t done with our previous conversation, if anyone could call our screaming match a conversation.

The bell rang again and Jonah walked forward, jerking the door open with a sudden snap.

“What?” The tone of his voice was enough to let anyone know that he wasn’t going to take any bullshit, and the man standing on the front step must have picked up on it because he took a hasty step back before stopping himself.

“Is this the, ah, the Moore residence?” He was wearing a suit, too nice for the neighborhood and I leaned around the corner to get a better look the newcomer. He looked mid-forties with a series expression behind his dark-framed glasses.

“Who’s asking?” Jonah’s words were brimming with suspicion and I took a few more steps forward.

“I’m looking for Jonah and Quinn Moore, children of Johnathan Moore and Rebecca Mayhew?”

“What is this about?” I asked, about to ask more but Jonah shot me a warning look before turning back to the stranger on the steps.

“What’s this about?” Jonah repeated my question, casting me another warning look but I knew better than to open my mouth again. A terrible feeling had settled in the pit of my stomach at the mention of our parent’s names. Anything to do with them was bad news.

“You are Jonah and Quinn Moore?” The suit asked again and we both nodded impatiently. He gave a sigh of relief. “Had a hell of a time tracking you down. I’m Trevor Hawkins. I’m your grandfather’s lawyer.”

“Grandfather?” I asked. The word slipping out in confusion. Mr. Hawkins nodded.

“Jacob Mayhew, your mother’s father. When he passed away seventeen years ago his property was willed to his daughter. There was a contingency in his will that automatically transfers the deed to the next oldest relation upon her passing.”

The lawyer’s words twisted and tumbled in my head but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t quite make sense of them.

“Wait, grandpa left property to mama?” I whispered, trying to understand but Jonah was already shaking his head. He swept a hand through his hair as the lawyer stood, waiting impatiently. “It transfers to the next oldest relation upon her passing? What does that mean?” I turned to Jonah, who was standing still, his green gaze staring unfocused.

“She’s…She’s dead?” I didn’t know what I expected to feel, but not this. This emptiness that suddenly filled me. The lawyer cringed, looking from Jonah to me and back again.

“I’m sorry. I thought you already knew. The accident was three months ago. Like I said, you were hard to track down.”

“We weren’t in contact with our parents,” Jonah said simply, still staring blankly.

“Three months?” I repeated dumbly, “What accident?”

The lawyer cringed again, suddenly looking uncomfortable. “There was a car accident. Your parents…Your mother was driving, they had taken a cocktail of drugs. She overdosed and crashed into a tree. Both of your parents were killed instantly.”

My gaze switched from the lawyer to Jonah and back again, that empty feeling growing like a black hole inside me.

“They didn’t suffer,” Hawkins said suddenly and I choked out a laugh.

“They didn’t suffer.” I whispered softly, “Well, good for them.”

The lawyer shrugged, shooting us another apologetic look, “I truly am sorry. I thought…I assumed that someone would have notified you of your parent’s deaths before now.”

“They haven’t been our parents for a very long time, Mr. Hawkins,” Jonah said, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard him sound so old or so tired. He was only eight years older than me but, in that moment, it might as well have been decades. “Thanks for letting us know.”

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