Author’s Note: Just a bit more to wrap up the one subplot.
“You one of those greedy bastards that want my mineral rights? Get out of here.”
“Did any of those greedy types pull up in one of those?” Mackenna asked, pointing behind her to the Airstream, and Carson frowned. He didn’t know that showing off a classic car like that would help get them past the man at the door.
“That’s a thirty-eight?”
“Thirty-six, actually. Belongs to my grandfather. You should see the wreck that this guy drives,” she said, giving him a smile. He rolled his eyes, and Myers smiled as he saw it. He opened up the door, leaning out.
“What are you doing here, then? If you’re not after my mineral rights—”
“We’re not. I have to be upfront and tell you that I did, in fact, work for the company that’s after your rights,” Carson said. He fidgeted. “I cleaned my desk out earlier, and the box is in the back of the car, so… um… Yes, I know what they were doing. I disagreed with them, and to be honest, I don’t know that there’s much that you can do to fight them, but I thought I should offer what little advice I might have while I still can.”
Myers nodded, pushing his glasses up his nose. “Yeah? Why would you do that?”
“My grandfather just died, and his farm went to my uncle. That farm is where I spent most of my life, and I went to school to get a degree in agricultural business to help keep farms like his running. The company I ended up working for didn’t have the same ambitions, though.”
“You get anything when the old man kicked it?”
“Um… what was in the barn, mostly scrap metal. Nothing that’s going to make me rich. Why?”
“Wanted to see what you’d say.”
Carson nodded. Right. This was a test. He should have known. “I also ended up with a Maxwell, one that doesn’t run and needs a lot of repairs. That’s one of the wrecks I own. It’s about all I have to my name at the moment. I’m not an expert, I’m not a lawyer, and I probably won’t be able to help you with your claim, but I am here to do what I can.”
Myers grunted. “Guess you can come in. You and the lady with the real car.”
Mackenna smiled. “They used to know how to build them, didn’t they? My grandfather has owned this one his whole life. He loves it. I only got to borrow it because Carson’s vehicle shouldn’t have been driven after it was hit by a drunk driver. At least it was just the car and not him.”
“Might not be such a loss for me, Missy. I’d have a lot easier time stealing you away if he weren’t around.”
She laughed. “Oh, you old men. You are almost all the same. If Carson was my boyfriend, he’d be fighting off at least ten of Mac’s friends from the Legion. They all seem to think I’m going to marry them. Some even tell me I won’t have to wait long to inherit.”
Carson shook his head. “Wow. Such incentive. If I were trying to make you my own, I’d never be able to compete.”
She smiled. “Nope.”
Myers took her by the arm, and she walked with him, leaving Carson on his own to trail after them. All the old man cared about now was her, and he didn’t know that it mattered. He hadn’t thought he could do much here—he was just hating himself for being a coward and not doing something for Myers, even if it was just this visit.
Carson would rather be brave enough to unlock the memories in his head, but he didn’t think that would happen any time soon. He needed to do it, but he didn’t know what would make it possible. Mackenna was helping, she’d done so much for him, but even she didn’t have the keys to unlock those recesses in his head. Only he did, and for some reason, he wouldn’t use them. He pretended that he couldn’t find them, but some part of him had to know where they were.
He felt a hand on his arm and looked down, frowning. He turned to Mackenna, and she gave him a worried glance. “Did you get lost?”
“In thought, maybe. Sorry. You know me and my tendency to find some kind of tie back to the past. Got caught up in it for a moment. Let me just get the file, and we can start looking at it.”
She shrugged. “I don’t know that it matters so much to Myers. He’s determined to flirt me up.”
“Doesn’t that bother you?”
“Before I went to the Legion with Mac all the time, yeah, it did. It doesn’t anymore because I’m comfortable with them and used to the way the old guys work. It’s not like being hit on by some young guy who thinks he’s all that. It’s kind of a game to them, but also a part of their generation. They weren’t supposed to leave a girl standing alone, that wasn’t the gentlemanly thing to do. It’s a bit patronizing, but they can’t help themselves. Some of them are real sweethearts.”
“You gonna marry one of them?”
She shook her head. “No, I’m not the marrying kind.”