Jack spit coffee across the table. “Seriously, how do you get so many women?”

“I’m a doctor and I’m hot. Or at least that’s what I’ve been told.” Beck waggled his eyebrows and dodged the napkin Jack threw in his direction. “We already know she’s into you, Lucky. Just show her the best reasons to stay in Elliott and you’re golden.”

Lucky tossed it around in his brain. Maybe this was the chance to figure them out.

“Don’t tell me you’re actually considering what this goofball said?” Jack’s voice cut through his thoughts.

“Yeah, I think I am.” He had to, because he either had to get her to stay or give her up for good. “I think he’s right. The time for action has arrived.”

Beck stood by the table, jingling his keys in his hand as he contemplated his next topic. Lucky wondered what he could say or ask that would top the last two minutes.

“You going out to the farm?” Beck asked.

“Yeah. I told Dad I’d help him with the repairs.” The words “if he’ll let me” hung in the air between them, Beck understanding what he didn’t say. The tenuous relationship with his father was one of the things he was here to fix, and repairing it was harder than patching the hole in the old barn.

Beck hesitated for a moment, keys jingling at faster pace, the look on his face transparent—he had dirt, but he was wondering if he should spill.

“You wanna tell me something?” Lucky asked. Beck was like a brother to him, and had actually lived out on the farm with the Landons the last two years of high school when his own father went to prison.

“Yeah.” Beck shifted, his glance flicking over to Jack, the plea for help as clear as day. What the hell was going on? “Summerfield Farm Corporation made another offer to your dad for the farm. It’s a good offer and I think he’s considering it.”

Damn it. He’d found out through his high school buddy who worked at the bank that the farm, Promised Land, was seriously upside-down in debt. Mounting costs for equipment, fuel, feed for the horses, and paying for help to work the land had taken their toll. He had the money to pay the arrears and had arranged a loan for the balance with the bank. His father didn’t know it yet, but it looked like he would have to approach him as soon as possible. His father was a proud man, and it wasn’t going to be an easy conversation.

“When did it come in?” Lucky cleared his throat, unwelcome emotion forcing him to clear his throat and televising to everyone how much this news upset him.

“Yesterday. I saw him picking up your mom last night and he’d just received the offer from Teague.”

“Why Teague?”

“He’s the lawyer for Summerfield, or at least his father was before he took off. I thought you knew that.”

“No. I didn’t know,” Lucky said.

“Did you tell your dad that you know about the debt?” Beck asked.

“No. I didn’t want to upset him when I know I want to buy the farm anyway. It’s specifically why I came back to Elliott. Taking this burden off his shoulders is an added bonus.”

“Well, it looks like you need to move fast. It was a good offer.”

Lucky took another gulp of coffee. When he returned his gaze to Beck, he knew he had to say something to relieve the concern he saw there. This wasn’t Beck’s problem to carry around all day. “Thanks for telling me. I’ll talk to Dad about it later.”

With a “see you later” to the both of them, Beck waved at Dolly from the door and left for his shift at the hospital. Lucky watched him walk down Main Street and get into his car, the upbeat of his steps relaying just how right he was with his world. Not for the first time, Lucky admired his ability to shuck the baggage of past mistakes and live in the here and now.

“Other than corporate America trying to steal your birthright and a case of blue balls, you okay?”

Jack’s comment—the asshole thought he was so funny—banished his musings and brought him back to the cheerful, rumbling bustle of the Southern Comfort. With another flip of the bird, Lucky settled back in the booth, trying his best to push his concern about the farm to the back of his mind for now.

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