Once the cats were finished, Bex headed back to the house and ran into Ronnie, her handyman. She had been able to earn a little extra money in the last month, and was able to hire Ronnie to do some of the heavier work she couldn’t handle. He was putting together some outbuildings and installing cat doors so she would have more room. She left him to his work and went inside.
Bex checked her email to see if she’d gotten any responses. As she thought, so far there was no one who knew of an attorney who could help her or would be willing to work for free. She made a quick call to one of her clients to confirm that the brochure she had created was ready to go to the printer, and then called the printer to get the job started. She sat back and wondered what to do next.
She tried searching on the Internet for information about wills and how contesting a will worked, but found the information to be too general and vague. She decided that she had enough time to head over to the county court complex and visit the law library. She wasn’t sure what to look for, but thought maybe she could find a way to slow down the proceedings as much as possible. Didn’t they do that on television? File motions to continue or something like that? Not that she thought TV would be anything like real life, but occasionally there had to be a grain of truth in there somewhere, didn’t there?
After several fruitless hours looking through law books she didn’t completely understand, Bex left the courthouse feeling discouraged. She needed to go have a chat with Linda, so she backed out of the parking lot and drove down Main Street through the center of Byrd’s Mill. She arrived at The Brew-Ha and walked through the front door. The jangling of the bell on the door brought her friend out to the front.
“Hey Bex, what’s happening?”
“Not much.” Bex tried to smile, but knew it wasn’t very convincing. Linda’s dog Fubu came from behind the counter and approached Bex, tail wagging. She smiled as she knelt down to pet the dog. “Hey Fu, how’s it going? Come out to smell all the good kitty stink on me?” She smiled up at Linda as the dog buried his nose her shirt and began sniffing deeply. Fubu loved it when Bex came to visit, because she always smelled like the cats and outdoors.
“O.k., Fu, that’s enough,” Linda waved the dog away so Bex could stand up. The two women looked at each other. Linda squinted for a moment then said, “Right. Coffee. Strong.” And disappeared behind the counter.
Before long the two women were sitting together at a table, and Bex was pouring out her heart to Linda. Linda had had her own issues with the law when she had divorced her husband, and she was sympathetic to Bex’s struggles.
“What a jerk,” she said when Bex finished telling her about her first meeting with Kyle. “Lawyers. They’re all the same if you ask me. You can’t trust them.” Bex smiled at her friend. This was one of the reasons she loved Linda. Although several years older than Bex, she inherently understood many of the “rules” Bex had for good friendship. This was one of them. Bex knew that Linda’s father had been an attorney, and her sister, stilling living in Seattle, was an attorney.
“Thanks,” Bex said smiling. “I’m sure there are a few trustworthy ones out there somewhere.”
“Yeah, well,” Linda took a sip of coffee and looked away. “Listen, Bex, I can ask my dad or my sister about this, but you know it isn’t their area of expertise. And I’m guessing the laws in Washington are different from the laws in Virginia. Maybe they can recommend someone though. Do you want me to ask?”
Bex shook her head and took a sip of coffee. “Thanks, but that’s part of the problem. I just can’t afford to hire anyone. And I can’t afford to keep going to the courthouse because I need to keep my paying clients. I just don’t know what I’m going to do.” She sighed and looked down at her coffee cup. She could almost feel the struggle the woman across from her was having in her attempt to find a way to help. Bex looked up and smiled, and this time it was genuine. “I’m so glad I have a good friend like you to talk to though. I don’t know how I’d get through it without that.” Linda smiled and seemed to relax a little.
They finished their coffee and Bex left. She needed to get back to the refuge and she needed to get some work done.