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Last resort, p.27
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       Last Resort, p.27

           Jill Sanders

  Chapter Thirteen

  By the time Luke finally had a moment with his father later that week, he’d had enough of the Wallaces. It seemed everywhere he went, there they were.

  When he worked in the smaller conference room on the second floor, Jenna just happened to be walking by after her massage three doors down. When he went for an early morning swim, there Angela was, lying by the pool, pretending she didn’t remember he swam every morning.

  The pair had breakfast, lunch, and dinner with his mother and father, so he couldn’t get a meal with them if he tried.

  It took hunting his father down in a restroom to finally get a moment alone with the man.

  “Luke.” His father looked shocked to see him in the lobby’s men’s restroom. “I was just heading—”

  “You mean hiding,” Luke interrupted.

  “What?” He watched his father wash his hands quickly. He leaned back on the marble countertop.

  “Face it, Dad, you’ve been using Mom and the Wallaces as a shield. We’re going to have to talk sometime.” He watched his father’s face as realization came.

  His father dried his hands and nodded. “Quite right. Why don’t you come on up to the office now.”

  As they rode the elevators to the top floor, he built the courage he would need to say what had to be said. His father walked into his office and walked around his desk and sat down.

  “Carolyn, hold all my calls,” he barked into his phone and then turned to Luke. “Okay, what’s all this about you buying land in Surf Breeze?”

  Luke smiled a little. He’d known that his father had heard the news. After all, it’s what they had been fighting about when Cassey had broken in.

  He took his time and sat down in the chair across from his father. “I told you.” He paused, waiting for the irritation to leave his father’s face. Instead, it intensified. “I’m using my inheritance to build a hotel.”

  “The hell you are.” His father slammed his hands down on his desk and stood, his face going a deep shade of red. “You’ve known my plans for over a year. This goes against the family, and I won’t stand by and watch you destroy everything I’ve worked hard for.”

  “You.” He watched his father start pacing in front of the large windows overlooking the clear-skied beaches. “Everything you’ve worked hard for. Great-granddad won this place by chance. Grandpa worked his whole life to make it what it is today, and you’ve maintained it.” He stood. “I don’t want to be a maintenance man. I want to set out on my own, using my own skills. If I succeed or fail, it’s on me.”

  “You’re doing this because of that girl.” His father turned on him.

  Luke shook his head. “No.” He thought about it. “Well, maybe Cassey had a little to do with it. I’m doing this because I’m tired of being in your shadow. Of being in Calvin’s shadow. He was the son who was supposed to be by your side, not me. I want to make something of myself. Find out who Luke Callaway is and maybe make a living out of something I love.”

  That seemed to throw his father off. He stood across from him, looking at Luke like he was someone he didn’t know.

  “What about the plans to expand Crystal Shores?”

  “You’re fighting a losing battle in Surf Breeze. Besides, you’re going to need the locals behind you and destroying something that’s been around longer than most of them isn’t the way to go about it.”

  His father crossed his arms and turned his back on him to look out the windows. Luke walked up beside him, looking down at the people and families playing on the cold beach. As they stood there in silence, he realized that for the first time in his life, he’d told his father exactly how he felt.

  As he drove the lone road to Surf Breeze later that day, he wondered what it would take for his father to trust him completely. He wasn’t going to fool himself into believing his father would stop trying to persuade him to follow his plans. He knew it was only a matter of his father recovering before he would try his next scheme.

  If he knew his father, by the time he made it back to Cassey, he would already have a new plan in place. Which got him thinking about how he could secure his future, their future.

  He’d fallen for her, and hard. There was hardly a moment that went by during the day that he wasn’t thinking about her. He knew she was still under the impression that they were just having a physical relationship, but he had plans to show her he meant to stick around.

  Deciding to make the first move tonight, he tried to stay within the speed limit, though he wanted to rush back to her and start their future.

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