Tatum and I went and dropped the vial off last night. Doc split it into samples before sending it off to the labs, and this morning I was taking Everly to the accountant, deciding after last night I didn’t want her on her own anywhere.
Everly had been nervous all morning about something, and I could tell she wanted to ask me something. She was weird when I got home last night, making me wonder if she argued with her father or something.
Glancing at her, I decided to ask her because her weird mood was freaking me out. “What’s wrong?”‘ I asked as we pulled up at a set of traffic lights.
“I am worried about the accountant,” she answers.
“Because I wasn’t expecting you to come with me,” my brows pinch together wondering what she meant.
“It’s that bad?”
“No. But I did something when I inherited everything, and I was hoping it remained hidden, but now you will find out,” she says.
“What did you do?”
“I got even. And also I was angry at you, so just don’t be mad. But it was a lot of money, and I had this stupid idea, but it may p**s you off.’ She shakes her head.
“You won’t tell me?” she shakes her head. “And you told no one? And how much money did my mother leave you?”
“Zoe and Macey know. We had a good laugh about it, but I wasn’t expecting you or anyone to find out.”‘ I was going to ask her what it was when she spoke again.
“I also wanted to ask you about the hotel. Macey said something to me last night, but I worry it may upset you also,” she says.
“Why would it upset me? It’s your hotel,” I tell her.
“Well, legally, yes. But it was your mother’s,”
“You don’t want to continue the rebuild or sell it?” I ask, wondering what she is getting at. My mother left it to Everly. I would never interfere with the hotel. Mum wanted her to have it. Therefore Everly was free to do as she pleased with it. Though I hoped she wouldn’t sell it off.
“No. Not sell it, sell it, I will still own it, but…” my brows furrow, and I accelerate as the light turns green.
“Just say it, Everly,” I tell her, D2}-W}F= she sighs.
“I was planning on doing it anyway before you came back into the picture. But now you are, I thought I should ask,” she says.
“It’s your Hotel. That doesn’t change, so tell me what you want to do,”
“I am running out of funds for the rebuild. The insurance didn’t cover everything, and the savings set aside for emergencies are running out. Everything else is locked down in term deposits and trust funds which I don’t want to touch unless necessary. I know you offered to help, but…”
“But you refuse to take money from me,” I growl. We have a kid and live together, yet she never lets me pay for everything, she is always contributing even though I don’t want or need her money. But hearing all this made me wonder how much she did have?
“I don’t want a handout, and I don’t want to owe anyone,’ she says.
“I’m your mate,” I tell her.
“I have never needed help, and I don’t want it, but Macey and Zoe have been pooling their money to invest,”
“You want to split the place three ways? Change ownership into three titles?” I ask, and she nods, glancing at me before she starts nervously defending herself.
“I know it was your mother’s, and I will still own it. But Macey was telling me last night, she and Zoe were looking into buying something investment-wise to leave to their kids, and I was already going…”
“I think it’s a good idea,” I cut her off, and she turns in her seat to look at me.
“You do?” she actually seemed shocked.
“It may have been my mothers, but you three girls built that place. But I have one condition if you go ahead,” I tell her, and she clicks her tongue.
“I’m not losing ownership, just partnering up…” she starts to say.
“Give it to them,” I tell her, and she gapes at me.
“I think you’re missing the point, Valen. I kind of can’t afford to unless I touch Valarian’s money which I don’t want to do. And I don’t know how much they have, but anything will help with the rebuild, and the money will only be going back into the hotel until we can open, and I would hand it back,”
“I know that, but my condition is, either I buy it off you, or you give it to them and let me cover the rest of the cost.” I tell her.
“No. I don’t want your money, and Macey and Zoe wouldn’t agree to that anyway. They would think they owe you,” What is with these girls and settling debts and even gifts?
“Then split it four ways. We don’t need their money Everly, and they are like your sisters. You three built it. I can get contracts drawn up so they know I can’t interfere with the hotel. I will merely be an investor but hold no control,” I tell her.
“Once Valarian comes of age, I can transfer any title I have to his name,” I tell her.
“Just let me ask the girls first,” she says, and I nod.
I would rather she take the money, but she is too headstrong. Maybe I could speak to the girls and get them to convince her. The way I see it, they helped build it to the way it is. They should have equal shares. Besides, they may not believe or think it, but I owed them for being there when I wasn’t. So if this helps them and clears my guilty conscience, it is a win-win.
Pulling up at the accountants, my father was there waiting already, and Everly climbed out of the car and waved to him. I grab the box of files off the backseat when the back door opens, and Everly snatches a pink folder off the backseat.
“I can take it,” she shakes her head, making me confused. What had she done that she didn’t want me to see? She almost looked embarrassed. When she closed the door, my father hugged her, and I could tell he was tickled pink about her pregnancy. John also met us, and we all walked into the accountant’s office, along with my accountant that arrived at the same time. Not that I didn’t trust John’s accountant, but I wanted to be sure.
We moved into a room with a huge oval mahogany desk, and I took a seat next to Everly, who was clutching the pink folder.
The accountants start chatting among themselves and going over paperwork while my father has a silly smirk on his face as he stares at her. Turning slightly in my chair, Everly’s eyes go to his, and her lips part.
“You know?”she asks, and he nods once. “Honestly, it is something Valarie would have done,” he chuckles, and the room falls silent as everyone looks between my father and Everly. The door swings open, and Everly shrinks down in her seat as her accountant walks in.
“Joseph,” my father says in acknowledgment. My eyes narrow at my father and Joseph smiles and sits next to Everly. He squeezes her hand. I had no idea who he was but she said he would be here.
“Joseph, this Valen,” Everly says, and he nods.
“Nice to meet you. Your mother was a wonderful woman,” he says.
“You knew my mother?”
“Yes. I was her lawyer. Everly kept me on after she passed,” he says, and I s*****w, trying to figure out what was going on. All the accountants talk, trying to find the best approach to deal with Alpha John’s pack, which was now technically mine and Everly’s. But Everly didn’t want to take control off him completely, which shocked me. Instead, her father would be running things.
“You still want me to run the pack,” John asks.
“Yes. You’re nightshade pack, I have my Hotel and Luna stuff. You know the pack; I may be their Alpha now, but it’s still your home,”
“What’s the catch?” John asks.
“For starters, no g******g. And you don’t handle finances. Joseph will. And you answer to Valen now,” she says, and my eyebrows raise. The room falls silent, and you can hear a pin drop. It was so quiet. Everyone looks at John, waiting to see what he says. Our packs have been rivals for decades, and I didn’t expect him to agree.
“Okay, but can we please see Valarian? Claire has been asking every day, and Everly won’t bring him to see us unless you say so,” John tells me, and Everly looks at me.
I know she was trying to make up for not telling me of the pregnancy by letting me decide that, but I knew she secretly wanted her parents in her life. Despite having their differences, she still loved them. Everly was just no longer a child and had no problem cutting people out of her life now. She didn’t have time for the b******t.
“You want this?” I ask her, and she nods.
“Valen, they are her parents,” Dad mind-links. I sigh and nod.
“Fine. But, if he doesn’t want anything to do with you, you won’t force a relationship with my son or our babies,” I tell him, and he nods and lets out a breath.
“Wait! Babies?! As in more than one?!” John blurts, and I pale. We were trying to keep that on the down-low for now.
“Yes, dad. I am having triplets,” Everly admits. John gapes at her before regathering himself like he was doing the math in his head on the diaper changes.
“Can I tell your mother? She is going to love this. More grandbabies, she will be so excited,” John says, seemingly quite happy about this information.
“Yes! Yes. I agree to your terms,” John says, and I raise an eyebrow at his enthusiasm when my father mind-links me again. He probably saw the look on my face; I was about to demand the reason for his sudden change of heart toward his daughter.
“Valen, leave it,” Dad says.
“What?! He wants to pick and choose whose kid’s lives he will be in? Where was the b*****d when Valarian was born?”‘ I tell my father, watching John.
“No. I get it.” Dad says.
“Get what?!” I snapped through the link. Everly looks over at me, probably feeling my sudden anger.
“He is trying to make up for his mistakes. He can’t go back in time to fix things with his daughter, but he can with your kids. Just like I am doing with you and Everly. That is what I get, Valen. You don’t have to trust him straight off, but let him. Everly is a smart girl. She isn’t someone that will let someone hurt her twice,” Dad says when I feel Everly squeeze my hand under the table. I nod to my father, and he turns his attention back to the accountants.
Dad brought a few of the businesses himself to get rid of the debts, those he thought would be suitable investments. A heap was going to be put up for sale, but Everly made it clear they were not to be pack bought and would sell to pack members or even sold to any of the rogues. Yet that still left the debt to Nixon and also a backlog of debt from pack loans. Some I would sort out, but John really buried the pack deep and was stupid enough to take out loans from human banks that were out of state, which would be the biggest issue.
“You should have enough to cover those debts if you sell the land off without touching the trust fund,” Joseph whispers to her. My father snickers to himself, and Everly glances at me nervously.
“What trust fund? And what land? She owns the hotel and its land. She was a Rogue. She couldn’t have purchased land within the city, only inherited it,” I ask, confused. Rogues didn’t own in this city once the packs took over. So my mother wouldn’t have been able to purchase once the packs moved into the city and put the laws in place.
“Correct. Everly couldn’t buy more land within the city. And the trust fund is Valarian’s. Half the money your mother gave her is in that trust, Everly set it aside for him. Everything else went on the land she brought and into the hotel,” Joseph says, and now everyone in the room was looking at her. Joseph wore the same smirk my father had, and Everly looked like she wanted to run from the room.
“I was mad at you and you…!” she said, looking at her father. Okay, now I was intrigued.
“Spill. What have you done?” I ask her, but she presses her lips in a line.
“It is actually pretty funny. Checkmate,” dad laughs.
“It is kind of funny. Well, Macey, Zoe, and I thought it was anyway,” Everly laughs.
“Okay, can someone tell me what is going on?” I ask, and John also leans forward, but my father is the one that answers.
“Since she was rogue, she couldn’t purchase within city limits,” he says.
“I know that,” I tell my father.
“Nothing says she couldn’t purchase the land outside of the city,” Dad laughs. John and I look at each other.
“I own all the forsaken lands,” she chuckles, and dad laughs.
“You what?” I asked.
“Remember when we initially were all looking for a treaty agreement, and we’re looking at purchasing outside the city limits to start mining by the mountains?” Dad asks.
“Yes. None of the packs could purchase the land. The werewolf council said it was a forsaken habitat.” I answer, what a complete waste of time that was, months of planning only to not be able to purchase the land.
“I checked into that, and it was already brought,” Dad says.
“Wait! You knew the land couldn’t be bought and didn’t tell me?”
“At the time, I knew it would lead you back to Everly and your mother, so no, I never said anything,” dad admits.
“So you own all the vacant land at the back of my pack to the mountains?” I ask her, and she snickers.
“No,” she answers.
“She owns all the land outside the city borders, behind every pack,” Joseph laughs.
“Wait, how much land is that?” I asked.
“Enough to build an entire city on. Your mother was a very wealthy woman. Before her father started selling it off, they owned nearly all the state, and Everly brought a sizable chunk back,” Dad laughs.
“But why would you want all the land?” John asks her.
“So no one could grow their packs,” I grit out and Everly laughs.
“Not one of the packs could extend their border limits because I owned it. So technically, when you all did your border patrols, you were all trespassing on my land,”‘ she chuckles.
“You cunning little…” I growl and shake my head.
“As I said, I was angry. So I purchased all the vacant land outside the city, spanning all around the city limits. All that empty farmland is mine and Valerians, with the city becoming overcrowded I knew the packs would want to buy into that land, I made sure they couldn’t,” she laughs.
“You are why we couldn’t purchase the land for mining,” I growl at her. That was a big deal three years ago.
“So that is why Nixon couldn’t build that mall,” her father laughs, and she nods.
“Every pack looked into why the werewolf council wouldn’t sell the land. Said it had an anonymous buyer and was for the preservation of the forsaken habitat. We thought they were being jerks since they weren’t part of the city,” John laughs.
“Wait! You stopped my skate rink idea,” her father growls, pointing an accusing finger at her.
“Yeah, and the subdivision I was planning out the back of the reserve,”
“I said I was angry,” Everly says.
“Angry? You plotted behind every pack and bought out their land!” I tell her.
“Smart,” my father says.
“Or stupid. What if the packs found out?” I ask her.
“They would have k****d me. But at the time, I didn’t care, and I just wanted to hit back at the packs. They owned the city. I just made sure they couldn’t extend it, ” she says, folding her arms across her chest.
No wonder she refused to let me pay. After going over her books, in assets alone, she trumped everyone here. She owned more land than all of us. Had more money and net worth than anyone in the room. It astounded me and, quite frankly it was a little intimidating. We were all played by one little Rogue who outsmarted all of us. Dad was right, checkmate! She had us all by the b***s and not one of us knew it!