About: Nora, Saul, Sarah, Kitty, Tommy, Kevin, Justin
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything
Extra: This an AU (Alternative Universe) story, so remember : The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here are part 01, part 02, part 03, part 04, part 05, part 06, part 07, part 08, part 09, part 10, part 11, part 12, part 13, part 14, part 15, part 16, part 17, part 18, part 19, part 20, part 21, part 22, part 23, part 24, part 25, part 26, part 27, part 28, part 29, part 30, part 31, part 32, part 33, part 34, part 35, part 36, part 37, part 38, part 39, part 40, part 41, part 42, part 43, part 44, part 45, part 46, part 47, part 48, part 49, part 50, part 51, part 52, part 53, part 54, part 55, part 56, part 57, part 58, part 59, part 60, part 61, part 62, part 63, part 64, part 65, part 66, part 67, part 68. part 69 and part 70
PS I don't have a law-degree, so go with me on this one and please don't nit-pick, it IS AU, everything is possible. ;)
HALFWAY APRIL 2008 – THURSDAY, DAY AFTER THE FUNERAL
“Mom? Where can I put these?” Kitty yells in the direction of the kitchen.
“Upstairs in your room, honey.” Nora replies. Kitty places the box with books on the floor and looks at the stairs. How come stairs suddenly look so high if you have to carry a heavy box? Nora sees the look on her face.
“If I were you, I’d wait half an hour. The boys will be here for the reading of the will. Then they can help you carry those boxes upstairs.” Nora advices.
“Ah. Good plan….” Kitty agrees, with a smile. “Are you sure it’s alright that I come and live here? I could at my friend’s place a bit longer.”
“Honey, this is your home. Of course, it’s alright.” Nora smiles, although she feels weary about Kitty moving in with her. It’s nice to have one of her children in the house again, now that Justin lives with Jordan and Tyler, but Kitty would not have been her first choice. She’s been at odds with her daughter too many times.
At the same time, Nora has to ask herself if the foundation for her strong negative feelings for Kitty, is not so much in Kitty herself, as in the jealousy she feels that Kitty always loved and admired William more than Nora. So maybe it’s good too, because in this way she can get to know Kitty again.
The first car stops in front of her house. It’s Kevin, looking serious, in lawyer-mode. Nora always finds it stunning how his entire being changes. He asks if they can all sit in the dining-room, as if he’s a stranger to this house and it isn’t the same table he sat at for last 33 years.
Saul, Tommy and Sarah immediately ask if Kevin can keep it short, it’s busy at Ojai, and while Kevin professionally explains that he has to read the entire will to them and not just a memo, Justin comes in as well, and the whole family is ready to listen to what Kevin has to tell them. This after Nora distributed the coffee and tea, of course.
Kevin clears his throat and in a warm voice he starts with the information that the will is a little over a year old and it starts with the obligatory information that William made this will while he being of sound mind etc., so the family waits patiently until Kevin comes to the part they’re interested in.
“There will be no change in the management of the company. Saul, Tommy and Sarah will remain in charge as they were before, but Nora is to become president of the company, in the knowledge that she will get advice from the other three and that she can build her decisions on that advice.
Dad did this, because he felt that you two, Tommy, Sarah, were both good at your work, in the position you have, but he could not choose which of you two could take over the control of the entire company….”
“Basically, neither of us is as good as Mister William Walker himself.” Tommy sums up.
Sarah gives his brother a reprimanding look, but cannot help agreeing with him.
“Furthermore, it is stipulated that Kevin Walker will remain the lawyer for the company. He wanted me to continue to have an income, I presume, so, sorry, you guys, you can’t fire me….” Kevin grins, at the quasi-upset faces of Sarah and Tommy.
The shares will remain the same as well, except mom now own the full 50%, that was once equally divided between her and William. We, as their children will each own 10%. Sorry, Saul, dad made no provisions for you to get any.”
“I didn’t think he would. I’m not a Walker.” Saul nods.
“Dad has left not further instructions on how the company should be run, if and when you die, mother.”
“Thank you for the ‘if’, Kevin, that was very sweet.”
“You got it. But this also means that you will have to make a will of your own, mom.”
“I hate that.” Nora sighs.
“I know, it’s never fun, but he entrusted you with Ojai, and he could understand that things would change after his death and he… he also considered the possibility, that you would want a different division of shares with regard to Saul, should you die before him.”
“Can we go on? There are things we shouldn’t be thinking about now.” Saul says.
“Sorry, just explaining dad’s reasons, as he explained them to me… Moving on to the personal assets. Each child will get an amount of ten thousand dollars, as you and he had decided, mom?” He looks at Nora, wondering if she knew.
“That is right. We have quite a lot of money saved. I knew about this and I support it.” Nora confirms.
“The partners of each child will get an amount of five thousand dollar, provided they are legally married, so that goes for Julia and Joe….”
“What about Scotty?” Kitty asks.
“We are not legally married.” Kevin replies quickly and quietly, immediately moving on. “Also will Paige and Cooper each receive two thousand five hundred… This was not restricted to Paige and Cooper only.
The same would have applied if either Tommy, Kitty or Justin would have had a child in the period between the date of this will and the moment of his death, or if Sarah, Kitty, Julia or Justin’s wife would have been pregnant at the time of his death.”
“What about you?” Justin asks.
“This doesn’t apply, because I wouldn’t have wife, nor would I be pregnant myself.” Kevin presses his lips together.
“What if you and Scotty had adopted a child?”
“The will is strict. It only goes if the child is either of Sarah or Kitty or of his sons’ wives.” Kevin calmly says.
“That excludes you.” Sarah frowns.
“No, I could get married to a woman.”
“Which you would never do.” Justin points out.
“If I wanted the cash, I should have, I presume… Can we go on?” Kevin asks, starting to feel uncomfortable.
“Yeah, sure.” Everyone agrees, noticing Kevin’s feelings and so Kevin reminds them of the list of charities that his father wanted continued support for and he reads out the list of smaller legacies, some of which go the employees at Ojai, who with William since the start of the Ojai.
As the reading comes to an end, all of them can feel the closure coming. William is dead and they need to move on and they can, now that they know where they stand financially and how the company should be run.
“Before anyone leaves… “Nora says, raising her hands, thus telling her children and brother to stay where they are. “I am not happy with this. Not at all.”
“Mom, this is dad’s will, I can imagine it’s daunting to suddenly be in charge of Ojai…”
“No, Kevin, I’m not talking about Ojai. I’m talking about you.”
“Your father left so many restrictions for you… Why didn’t you argue those?”
“Mom, I don’t argue with people about the fairness of their will, that is not my job. I only look at what is legal. And what father did is not illegal.”
“Your dad made it impossible for a partner of yours to get the same share as Julia or Joe. And this when Scotty is the one who stands by your side, just like Julia or Joe. It is unfair… And now that there’s just us…. Just me, my brother and my kids… I want Scotty to get the same amount.”
“The rest of the money is all yours, mom, you can decide to do with it whatever you want.”
“You know, just as well as I do, that Scotty will not accept my money. Not unless he thinks it’s part of the inheritance???”
“You want us to collectively forget that this stipulation only apply to Joe and Julia?” Tommy asks.
Nora nods, looking expectantly at her children. It’s quiet for almost a minute, where each has to question their own decision. To Nora’s surprise, Kitty is the first to break the silence.
“I’m glad that, thanks to Daddy’s will, Scotty gets the same share as Julia and Joe. Seems right to me. I mean, he is Kevin’s husband as far as we are concerned.”
“Yes, of course, he should. Was there ever any doubt?” Justin shrugs.
“Nah, ‘course not.” Sarah waves it away.
“The thought alone would be ridiculous.” Tommy laughs.
“I just wonder if Kevin can agree with this.” Saul, asks with a little smile.
Kevin is clearly torn. He has his father’s will before him and he knows that this exactly, what William did not want, but he is touched by his mom’s suggestion.
“William’s will be honored.” Nora says softly. “Not a letter of what he wanted will be changed. Everyone will get exactly what William wanted them to have.
No one is contesting it… I need to think, that had he been given more time, had he known about Scotty and you and how happy you are with him, that eventually William would have made the right decision as well and added Scotty to his will. He just didn’t have the time to do it. That’s all.”
“You make a good case, mom.” Kevin smiles. “I’ll go tell Scotty that, he too, will inherit. But, please, don’t let him know, that I lied about William’s will. He would not accept the money from us, if he knew.” But they all know this and promise not to talk about this to Scotty.
END OF PART 71