The day of the reading of the will arrived and there had been no new information about the investigation surrounding Jaime’s death.
Tara dressed in a black-and-white striped skirt with a simple black blouse. She wore a delicate silver chain around her neck and spent some extra time on her hair. She pinned it in a French twist and left a stray tendril curl along each side of her face.
“You look beautiful, Tara,” Allen said when she came down the stairs. “Dressed to impress anyone special?” He winked.
“Of course not. It wouldn’t be appropriate to be inviting anyone’s attention so soon after Jaime’s passing,” she answered, but she could feel the heat of the blush in her cheeks.
“Tara, dear, don’t worry so much about what other people think. You have been without a man’s affections for most of the past two years. If you find a suitable gentleman offering his attention, don’t be too quick to brush him off.”
“Really,” both Allen and Eva answered.
Tara felt better having their approval, but still didn’t really know what she thought. She decided to simply take one step at a time.
When they arrived at Trenton Davis’s office, Melody and Hunter were already there. Melody’s father was also there. Sergeant Olsen was present as well, hoping to find a possible motive for murder in the reading of the will. Trenton greeted Tara, and Jaime’s parents, and escorted Tara to a chair.
Trenton read the will in a very professional manner. Jaime had left the house and everything in it to Tara, and with the event of his death, the mortgage would be paid in full so Tara would not be responsible for monthly payments. He also left two-thirds of everything he had to Tara.
He left the remaining one-third to Hunter, in addition to a trust fund he had set up for Hunter, but there was a stipulation that Hunter would receive the money in increments, none of which would be given to him before the age of eighteen, and the size and timing of the payments would be determined by Trenton Davis based on guidelines that Jaime had provided for this purpose.
Trenton put down the papers he was holding and looked at the group before him, “That’s it. It’s a pretty simple will.” “Ms. Fleming,” he addressed Melody, “you will need to keep me informed of any address changes you and Hunter make until the time of his eighteenth birthday, at which time, I will want to have a private meeting with Hunter.”
“What? Why can’t I be a part of that meeting? I am his mother.”
“Yes, you are, but the age of eighteen is recognized as the legal age of adulthood. Therefore, Hunter can have meetings without your presence, and that is part of the guidelines set in the will.”
“Fine.” And Melody, Hunter and Mr. Fleming left Mr. Davis’s office.
Sergeant Olsen took his leave as well, slightly disappointed that there were no motives to be found here.
“Mrs. Richardson, I do have one more thing to give to you.”
“We’ll be in the hall, dear,” Eva said, and she and Allen left.
Tara stood and so did Trenton. He handed Tara a sealed envelope. “He had given me this not long after we wrote his will. He told me to give it to you, if something were to happen to him before his old age.”
Tara took the envelope and recognized her name, written in Jaime’s handwriting.
“Mrs. Richardson, would you please let me know when you feel ready to spend some time with a gentleman again? I would be pleased to just have an occasional dinner and talk, just to get to know one another and become friends.”
“Mr. Davis, you are very kind. I appreciate your seeking permission and not being too forward. Right now I just cannot think about even just being friends with a gentleman, and I suspect, that with you, it wouldn’t remain a simple friendship for long. Why don’t you start by simply calling me in three months and see how I’m doing. You see, it is tempting to take you up on an offer of dinner and conversation, but I do not want to jump into something as though on the rebound. I need to see what happens with Jaime’s murder investigation, and I hope that it will be solved quickly as that will give me the closure I feel I need to properly grieve and come to grips with losing him, which is quite necessary in order to be ready to move into any kind of relationship with any other man.”
“I understand. You are quite gracious, and I will be happy to call you in three months. In the meantime, I will pray for you.”
“Thank you. Do you mind if I ask you something?”
“No, please, ask what you will.”
“Well, it’s actually a two-fold question. How is it that in four years, you haven’t found a woman to have a relationship with, and whatever made you think you would have a chance with a married woman?”
Trenton blushed a bit and said, “After speaking with you at that dinner party, I was just so impressed with you, and you would constantly invade my thoughts, and sometimes my dreams. I had noticed that Jaime was quite preoccupied and didn’t pay much attention to you, so I thought there may be trouble in your relationship. I did try to date other women, but none of them made an impression on me like you did. I actually had resigned myself to the fact that I would simply remain single forever because I had no intention of trying to interfere in a marriage. I certainly would never have wished any ill upon Jaime and am so sorry for what has happened to him. He was, quite obviously, a man of integrity.”
“Thank you, Mr. Davis.” And with that, Tara turned to leave his office.