The Inheritance

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Summary

Never let your fear decide your fate. Charlotte "Charlie" Layton has led a very lonely life. Having been dumped on her grandparents to live on the Texas ranch as a child she was forced back under her father's control in New York and locked away until she receives a call from her grandparents lawyer that her grandfather has passed away and has left the family ranch in Texas to her. She returns home for a week to settle the family estate after being gone for the last ten years, but quickly find things are not the way she remembers them. Ryan Crawford has worked the Layton ranch as manager for the last five years. His father was ranch manager before him. Running this ranch is in his blood and he was considered as much of family to the older Layton's as their granddaughter, who never cared to visit. He's a hot headed cowboy and doesn't believe that Charlie cares about the family, much less knows enough about the ranch to settle the estate. Can they put their differences aside to work together as family secrets suddenly puts Charlie's life in danger as she finds things aren't as they would seem. Mature content readers advised

Genre:
Romance / Drama
Author:
LyonMom
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
36
Rating:
4.8 17 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

Prologue


Sitting here on the plane waiting for it to take off all I can think about is not being there for my grandparents in the end. I always promised I'd come back after prep school, after college, when I got time after I got my big job, for the holidays. It seems I was always putting off coming home. It was really the only place I ever called home.

My parents left me there when I was five. They said they would be back for me after their business trip. I never saw them again. My father stayed in New York, his business was there, he needed to run things, pay for my mothers alimony after the divorce. Going back to the ranch was never something he wanted. My mother is somewhere in Europe with her new husband and his money that she found more appealing than me. My grandparents raised me without a question about why they would leave me. Now I'm going home for the first time in ten years and I have no idea what I will find.

Charlie

I need another drink.

"Can I get another Jack and coke please, just hold the coke." I give the stewardess a strained smile. I don't think there's enough whiskey on this flight to get me home to face what's waiting for me.

I should have gone back for Christmas like I promised, but I was so busy with the catering business I didn't have time to think much less take a few days off. This is what I get for going into business for myself. As long as I work I make money, but taking time off means no income. This trip alone is costing me a fortune. I had to cancel three jobs and pass four others to a friend that at least was willing to give me a finders fee. It wouldn't even cover my flight. At least I know I have enough in the bank to cover the week. I'll check out the ranch, pack up what's needed, meet with the family attorney and a realtor and get home by Sunday night just in time for to prep for the Lewis wedding on Thursday night. I can do this.

"Please fasten your seatbelts we are experiencing some turbulence." The pilot says overhead.

Shit! I really hate to fly! I swallow down my drink and wish the flight attendant would come back so I could get another one. My knuckles are turning white as I grip onto the armrest tight. If only it didn't take so long to drive from New York City to Texas, I would have driven in a heartbeat. I close my eyes and hope I can fall asleep for the rest of the flight. I hate this.
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