Sadie had told the truth about some things. This time around, Zach hadn’t held back, using all the resources at his disposal when it came to investigating her. She’d used her real name. According to her tax records, she’d indeed been an employee of Beddingfield Senior for several years. And her mother had held the same position for the same employer until the year Sadie took over. Her mother had no employment records since then.
The few things Zach had been able to find out about Sadie’s younger sister’s illness had confirmed what he knew: she’d been ill a very long time and her prognosis was terminal.
The most eye-opening portion of his investigation had been his inquiries into Sadie’s finances. That’s when he’d started to feel dirty. She didn’t have the usual expenses of a woman her age. No apartment or housing loan. No car loan, either. Two maxed-out credit cards that hadn’t had any activity recorded in two years, other than payments. And astronomical debts to several medical institutions in the Dallas area.
Sadie was apparently financially responsible for all of her sister’s medical bills.
As much as Zach didn’t condone lying and dishonesty, factoring Beddingfield’s huge fortune into Sadie’s crippling financial situation didn’t add up to a woman spying on him on a whim. He wanted more information before he confronted her about the little bombshell he’d discovered at the B and B after she left.
Feeling restless, as thoughts about Sadie often made him, Zach stood up. He prowled around the empty area for several minutes before coming to a stop in front of a long bank of windows overlooking busy traffic on the streets below. Coming to the office at the end of the day, he’d known he would wait for an extended period of time. Probably until after Timberlake’s last client left.
But he’d see Zach—the man about to take the place of his, and his firm’s, biggest client.
Zach heard a rumble down the hallway, the sound of a raised voice behind a closed door. He glanced over at the receptionist, who looked uneasily toward the glass wall behind her. When she noticed him watching, she flashed a strained smile and pretended to get back to work.
The rumble increased, and Zach realized other voices had joined the fray. One of the lawyers must have a very unhappy client. Just as a door in the back hallway opened, the receptionist’s phone rang. She answered with a clipped, “Yes, sir.” Then she immediately hung up and redialed. “We need assistance on floor four near the conference room, please,” she said in a slightly raised voice.
The commotion in the hallway got louder. Zach wasn’t sure what was happening but decided to offer his assistance regardless until security could arrive. Just as he reached the receptionist’s desk, a man’s voice rang out.
“I will get you for this. You will never work in this city again, you hear me! Not only will you not see a dime from me, but I’ll see to it that you’ll never find a way to support that dying brat, either.”
The sound of men’s voices protesting and the shuffling of dress shoes carried through to the reception area. One was louder than the rest. “Mr. Beddingfield, stop right now. There’s nothing to be gained by this behavior.”
“There’s nothing to be gained by me being a Goody Two-shoes, either. This bitch just cut me off from my inheritance. She’s gonna pay.”
The elevator dinged as the doors opened, heralding the arrival of two security guards. But the raucous group in the hallway now appeared around the corner, plainly visible through the glass wall behind the receptionist.
Zach saw Sadie jump backward just as a male hand grabbed for her. A sharp cry rang out. The men around her dropped their polite facades. Yelling commenced as they tried to force Victor Beddingfield back. The security guards waded into the fray, quickly subduing the man Zach now knew was his half brother. He watched as they cuffed the tall man, whose blond good looks made him Zach’s polar opposite.
As did his spoiled attitude.
A stocky, gray-haired man guided Sadie back with an arm around her shoulders. For the first time in a month he glimpsed her wealth of auburn hair and full features through the wavy glass. He couldn’t make out her expression with precision, except to tell that her lips were pulled into a frown. By the time he looked back at Victor, the security guards were leading him back down the hallway.