“I’m looking for Jensen,” I tell her. Her smile fades a touch, and her eyes go from smiling to a flicker of something else I can’t put my finger on. “I’m renting one of his properties,” I tell her, and her smile returns.
“Of course,” she says as she picks up the phone and presses a button. “I have someone here for Walker, but I think she needs to see you,” she says. She nods her head and hangs up the phone. “Brody will be right out, if you want to have a seat.” I smile at her as I walk over to one of the chairs and have a seat, but a second later, a big, burly man comes through the back doorway. He is about six-foot-four, his hair past his shoulders, and I take in his huge chest. He looks like a huge lumberjack. His plaid shirt rolled up his arms, he ducks to come out. “Hey there.” He smiles at me as he reaches his hand out. “I’m Brody.”
“I reach out my hand to shake his, and he nearly shakes my arm out of my socket. “I’m Hailey,” I say, pulling my arm back. “I’m the one renting the house on Pine Street.” And as soon as I say the address, his eyes go big.
“If you would follow me.” He turns and walks back down the hallway. I take in the offices on each side, and after we walk all the way to the end, he turns right into his office. “Please sit down.” He motions to the two chairs in front of his big wooden desk. A deer head hangs on the wall right in front of me. “So you are the one?” he asks as I sit down.
“I’m the one.” I raise my eyebrows, smiling, not sure what is going on. “Um,” I say, reaching into my purse. “We made a list of things that need to be done in the house.” I unfold the papers and hand them to him just as the door on the left opens. I turn my head to see the man from this morning.
He looks at me and then looks at Brody. “We don’t have time to do anything with that house.” His voice comes out harsh, and I watch as Brody glares at him.
“Well, Delores told me to come by and give it to Jensen, and he would deal with it. So perhaps if someone got him, then maybe we can settle this,” I say as I lick my lips, my mouth a little dry as my hands start to shake.
“I’m Jensen, but you can call me Walker,” the man says. “No one calls me that except Grams.” He comes in and snatches the list from my hands and looks it over. “No way in fuck we are doing any of this. You should just load your car up and go back home. You know, to your house that isn’t here.” My back goes up straight, and I stand as Brody follows suit.
“I don’t know who pissed in your cornflakes this morning, or if you’re just always this kind of, well, asshole, but I have a lease. A lease that is a binding contract.” I swallow. I don’t know where I get the courage, but I advance on him and snatch the list right out of his hands. “So if you aren’t going to abide by the lease, and I have to live in deplorable conditions, then this is something that my lawyer may need.” I turn back and look at Brody. “I’m sorry I wasted your time. I’ll tell Delores to contact my attorney.” I shrug my shoulders as Brody looks at Jensen and then back at me.
“Give me the list and I will send the guys over first thing tomorrow. It will be done by Sunday. I guarantee it even if we have to pitch in,” he says, and I nod at him.
“Thank you for your help, Brody.” I turn to walk out of the room but stop first. “And this is my home,” I tell them and then walk out. Tears start to form, but they aren’t sad tears this time. This time, they are angry tears. I storm out of the office as the receptionist thanks me for coming, but I’m about to flip her off as I slam the door and make it to the car. “Fuck you,” I say to the empty car as I close my eyes and wait for Crystal to come back to the car.
I wait until I hear footsteps go out the front door and then the door slam before I hang my head. My own hands digging into my hips. “Dude, what the fuck was that? I thought you were going to eat her head,” Brody, my cousin and business partner, says as I look over at him. I shake my head.