“Life,” Lindsay elaborated in a singsong voice. “What do you want? A mansion? A jet? A billion dollars?”
“I told you, I said no to the money.” Kaitlin hadn’t changed her mind about the money. She didn’t want what she hadn’t earned. “And what do you mean a billion? He was talking about two million.”
“It’s more than just two million.” Lindsay shook her head in what appeared to be amazement. “It’s Sadie Harper herself.”
Kaitlin lifted her hands, palms up, to signal her incomprehension. She assumed Sadie Harper must have something to do with Zach Harper, but that was as far as she got with the connection. What did the woman have to do with his money?
Lindsay lowered her voice, sounding decidedly conspiratorial as she moved closer to Kaitlin, her gaze darting dramatically around them. “Sadie was the matriarch of the Harper family. She died a month ago at the Harper house on Serenity Island.”
The pathway split, and Lindsay eased Kaitlin toward the route that skirted the pond. Their high heels clicked against the smooth, sun-warmed concrete.
Kaitlin still didn’t understand Lindsay’s point.
“I read a copy of her will,” said Lindsay. “You, my girl, are in it.”
“How can I be in it?” This conversation was making less sense by the minute. Kaitlin didn’t know Sadie Harper. Up until this minute, she’d never even heard of Sadie Harper.
“In fact,” Lindsay continued, a lilt of delight in her voice, “you are the sole beneficiary.”
Kaitlin instantly halted, turning to peer at Lindsay with narrowed eyes. Traffic zipped past on Liberty, engines roaring, horns honking. Cyclist and pedestrian traffic parted around them, some people shooting annoyed looks their way.
Lindsay tugged on Kaitlin’s arm, moving them off to the side of the pathway. “She left her entire estate to Mrs. Zachary Harper.”
“Get out,” Kaitlin breathed.
“I am dead serious.”
Kaitlin stepped farther aside to make room for a pair of cyclists skirting the edge of the path. “How did she even know about me?”
“She didn’t.” Lindsay gave her head a shake. “That’s the beauty of it. Well, part of the beauty of it. The whole thing is truly very beautiful.”
“Lindsay,” Kaitlin prompted with impatience.
“The will holds her estate in trust until Zach gets married,” said Lindsay. “But he’s already married so, in the eyes of the law, you own fifty percent of Harper Transportation.”
Kaitlin’s knees went weak.
No wonder Zach had seemed desperate.
No wonder he was in such a hurry to get rid of her.
“So, what do you want?” Lindsay asked again, a giggle at the end of the question.
Speechless, Kaitlin shoved the envelope back at Lindsay, overwhelmed by the thought of what was at stake. She took a step away and shook her head in silent refusal.
“I don’t want anything,” she finally managed to reply.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Lindsay cajoled.
“The wedding was a joke,” Kaitlin reminded her. “It was a mistake. I didn’t mean to marry him. And I sure don’t deserve half his company.”
“Then take the money instead,” Lindsay offered reasonably.
As if that made it better. “I’m not taking his money, either.”
Lindsay held up her palms in exasperation. “So, what do you want? What’s the payback?”
Kaitlin thought about it for a moment. “I want him to sweat.”
Lindsay chuckled and linked her arm with Kaitlin’s, turning her to resume their walk. “Trust me, honey.” She patted her on the shoulder. “He is definitely sweating.”
“And I want a job,” said Kaitlin with conviction. That was what she’d lost in this debacle. She needed her career back.
“I don’t want free money,” she told Lindsay, voice strengthening. “I want a chance to prove myself. I’m a good…no, I’m a great architect. And all I want is a fair shot at proving it.”
The path met up with the sidewalk, and Lindsay tipped her head and stared up at the Harper Transportation sign on the pillar-adorned, ten-story concrete building across the street. “So, ask him for one,” she suggested.
Kaitlin squinted at the massive blue lettering. She glanced to Lindsay, then again at the sign. Suddenly, the possibilities of the situation bloomed in her brain.
A slow smile grew on her face. “There’s a reason I love you,” she said to Lindsay, giving her arm a squeeze. “That is a brilliant plan.”
And it was exactly what she’d do. She would make Zach Harper give her a job. She’d make him give her the job that should have been hers in the first place—developing designs for the renovation of his corporate headquarters.