“Aw shit!” The man swore and slapped his hand on the table. “What else can go wrong?”
Her excitement died a little. Perhaps, he wouldn’t be great roommate, but she’d had worse. Time would tell.
Instead of soothing words, or quoting legal jargon, Oliver picked up his cup and sipped it slowly. Finally, he replaced it in his saucer. Clearing his throat, he gained both their attention. ‘I expect the two of you feel like Roy McDaniels did you wrong, but he didn’t. He was a man who had a great deal of hardship and loss in his life. I am proud to have been his friend. I imagine the two of you are feeling sorry for yourselves so stop it right now. You’re alive and have a future, which is a hell of a lot more than Roy has. He loved you both dearly. What he wanted was to give you both a home. He felt you both desperately needed one, but he only had one to give. Initially, I tried to discourage him from making the two of you co-heirs, but he wouldn’t listen to me.” He shook his head as if remembering.
“He wanted the two of you to meet. Even thought, the two of you would be friends. I explained anyone would hesitate at sharing a home. Roy finally agreed to the clause that after a year if things didn’t work out one could buy the other out. That was my doing. The rest was all Roy. The way I see it you both need a home. Plenty of people share lodgings and it isn’t costing you anything. A couple of months ago neither of you had a house. Now you both have lakefront property. After a year, the house will sell for a pretty penny with the proceedings split. Is that such a hardship, really?”
Levi hung his head. It was hard to say if he was ashamed or despondent. Part of her was thrilled to be able to remain in the house. Still, it would be difficult living with a sullen sexy man. She would definitely have to wear more clothes around the house. Did Roy actually think to match the two of them? If he did, she could have explained why it wouldn’t work.
“Okay,” she volunteered her agreement since it didn’t look like Levi was talking. “I am sure we can work out some ground rules so the two of us can co-inhabit the house.”
Oliver grinned. “That’s why I am here. I thought it would be easier to do that with an impartial third party.”
It was hard to know how impartial the lawyer was. She knew for sure that he was presenting Roy’s interest as opposed to what she or Levi wanted.
Levi sighed, then, raised his head. “You knocked me down more than a few pegs. I suspect Uncle Roy gave you lessons.”
Oliver snorted at the assertion. “Who do you think taught him?” He gestured for Levi to continue talking.
He blinked once, slowly turning his head to face Melody. “I was too reactive. Always one of my worse faults. If Roy trusted you, then he had reason. With two bedrooms, I am sure we can work out a livable arrangement.” He gave a nod and tried to smile. Too bad his eyes didn’t know what was happening. They remained the same cold distant grey.
It was a start. Oliver reshuffled the papers, pulling out a clean sheet already printed with roommate agreement and numbers with blank sections in them. Clicking his pen, he put it beside the numeral one. “Let’s get to the meat of the matter. Melody, what room are you using?”
It felt rather awkward to talk about bedrooms and sleeping, but there was no help for it. After all, it was the only practical way to deal with things. “I am staying in the same room that I used as Roy’s nurse. It was easier that way, which means the bigger bedroom is open for Levi.”
Truthfully, she could not bring herself to move into Roy’s room. The small second bedroom suited her, especially since she’d made changes in that room.
Her sullen roommate, instead of being surprised at her generosity in yielding the larger room to him, instead just stared at her. “You’re sleeping in my room? In my bed?”