Small Town Bachelors Collection
Small Town Bachelors Collection
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- Grumpy Hero
- Women Friendship
They called them misfits, troublemakers and upstarts…..they grew up into Small Town Bachelors.
Patti Chance had a heart of gold. She ran a foster care that took in children no one could manage. When she passes away the boys come back home. They come back to heal, to remember, and find love. Meet Patti Chance’s boys, brothers of the heart, as they return to Inheritance Bay.
Intro into Chapter One
Intro into Chapter One
Grayson Chance had given up on hope
at the age of five. No one would have blamed him. He was a three-year resident
at the Boy’s home in Westchester, NY. He had been told by many that if he
wasn’t adopted in the first year, he was going to have to go into a lot of
foster homes. He might get lucky and find a family that wanted him, but it
That was the same year that he met
Patti Chance. It was the year that he discovered hope again and the year his
life changed. He had to admit, he hadn’t made it easy for Patti. In fact, he
had done everything he could for her to return him back to the orphanage. He
had learned his lesson about getting comfortable at a foster home only to have
them take him back.
Patti was a round, robust woman who
had a smile on her face no matter the time of day. When Grayson asked her why
she was smiling, she told him she was waiting to see what wonders he would
surprise her with next.
For the next four months he pushed
as hard as he could to get Patti to take him back, but to no avail. She had
withstood it all and no matter what, she had kept him and loved him. It was
because of that tenacity and open heart that Grayson had a hard time
understanding the telephone call that had come from his sister Kendra. She was
saying the only mother he had ever known, Patti, had passed away from heart
complications that he hadn’t even known about.
Grayson sat in the lawyer’s office
and thought over all Patti had done for him. She had given him her last name
and made him feel like family. She had taught him that it was better to give
than to receive. Patti had always told him the truth, and until today he would
have said they had no secrets. When he had asked her what he could be when he
grew up, Patti didn’t pull any punches, she told him and his brothers what she
“Gray, you have the gift of gab. You
could probably talk a desert dweller into buying premium sand. Find something
where that skill will help you help others, and you’ll always feel fulfilled.”
“Filled with what momma Patti?” a
young Grayson had asked. Patti had just laughed and patted him on the
“You’ll see Gray, you’ll see.”
As a result, Grayson participated in
the debate team in school, and then marketing and advertising. He learned about
Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion. It spoke of reciprocity, doing for
others with no strings attached and what others would like to do for you.
Scarcity, the less there is of it, the more people want it. Be Authoritative,
people like to do what authoritative people say. People will commit and be
consistent with their perceived self-image. The last two were liking and social
proof. It turns out that people are more likely to follow people they like if a
lot of people are doing it.
All of the principles in the world
didn’t help him now because the one person he would have needed to persuade to
tell him about her condition was gone. Patti was gone.
Grayson sat in the worn leather
chair in front of the lawyer. The eagle-eyed man gave Grayson another look, and
it took all Grayson had in him to not to shift in his seat under the scrutiny.
He didn’t like lawyers. Lawyers never delivered good news. A lawyer had
delivered him to the boy’s home when he was younger and now a lawyer was about
to read to him the last wishes of his mother. Patti wasn’t his birth mother,
but she had earned the title as far as Grayson was concerned.
The smell of furniture polish
permeated the air. It was as if all the items had been staged for the moment.
Tomes lay about on his desk as if the lawyer read them. How much reading did it
take to deliver bad news all the time? The walls were decorated with degrees
earned and conferred honorarily upon him. It looked impressive but when Grayson
remembered why he was here, all of the documents mean nothing.
“I don’t want to rush you Mr. Dane
but I wasn’t privy to my mother’s will, and I’d like to catch up with my sister
today and go over whatever she needs help with, as well as be there for her
during this time of grief for our family.”
The lawyer nodded sagely and then began
to shuffle the papers on the desk around as if they have somehow changed in the
last hour. He looked up at Grayson and the empty seat next to him and then back
at the papers.
Grayson began to think the lawyer
isn’t so bright after all.
“I guess I’m still not clear on why
the will couldn’t be sent to us all via email since she’s already been buried,
and we were willing to comply with the terms of her will regarding who should get
Mr. Dane nods again and then grunts.
“Mr. Chance, I don’t know if you
were aware, but Patti and I went way back. We knew each other when she was
married. I was there when she received the news about her husband dying in
‘Nam. I say this so you’ll understand my familiarity with her.”
Grayson shifted in his seat. This
wasn’t going the way he thought it would at all.
“Patti was a family person and she
decided that she wanted her house to go to the first person who showed up.”
“That doesn’t seem so difficult, as
I’m already here.”
Mr. Dane nodded his head.
“She wanted to ensure that you were
on the right path, you see. She left me a note saying you’d be the first one to
show up and it turns out she knew you all well.”
Grayson smiled. Of course, she knew
he would be here first. He was always the one to get the news from Kendra and
then he would update his brothers. Also, out of all of the brothers, the home
he grew up in was the one thing he had ever wanted to save from his childhood.
He had already talked about it with his other brothers, and they had agreed he
could have the house and keep the foster care program running as well if he
wanted to. For Grayson, it wasn’t just a house, it was a safe haven. So yes, he
was here first to make sure it was taken care of. However, there was a stalling
that was going on that Grayson sensed in Mr. Dane that something unexpected and
very mom-like was about to happen. The little shadow of fear manifested when
Mr. Dane said she wanted the best for them.
“She knew us better than we knew
ourselves,” Grayson murmured.
When Mr. Dane smiled, Grayson gave
him a sideway glance and prepared for the other shoe to drop.
“I’m so glad you agree that she knew
you well. This is why she also made the stipulation that you could move in with
The other shoe hadn’t just dropped,
it had slammed to the ground. Mr. Dane hadn’t moved, so much for it being
lawyer humor. A wife. Okay, it was true he was thirty-eight and he had told
Patti that he’d be married by thirty-seven. Grayson wanted to roll his eyes
when he remembered he hadn’t told Patti that he had broken up with Sheila, his
latest girlfriend. The reason they had separated was that he wanted a wife who
would stay home with their kids for at least the first six months. Sheila
thought the idea was archaic and walked out. It didn’t matter they had been
engaged for a year and he had been telling her this from the beginning. In the
end, Sheila’s answer was she thought he would grow out of it.
“Well, I don’t have a wife… yet,”
Grayson said. “I mean I will have one but just not now.”
Mr. Dane frowned as Grayson
stammered. Grayson can see this is not going to be a quick laugh and we move
“I’m afraid that the conditions to
get the house were very specific.”
Grayson clenched his jaw in a
perfect smile. It was the smile he gives donors who are on the fence about
donating to his charity.
“I completely understand your
position. I think we got off on the wrong foot. I’m not married now but I’m
engaged. We were trying to work things out to get the family together and … you
Mr. Dane shook his head.
“Actually, I don’t know,” Mr. Dane
Grayson kept his smile in place and
started mentally scrolling through all of the women he knew that he could call,
and they wouldn’t mind being a stand-in fiancée on the phone or maybe making
one public appearance.
“Well, what I’m trying to say is my
fiancée didn’t come here today as I didn’t know she would be required,” Grayson
said, “but I can assure you that she would be able to confirm our plans.”
Grayson kept his smile in place and waited for Mr. Dane’s next move. He kept
eye contact, looked sincere, and tried not to crowd the desk so he doesn’t
appear threatening. This wasn’t Grayson’s first rodeo.
Mr. Dane closed the papers in front
of him and then gave Grayson a smile. Mr. Dane pulled out a drawer and produced
a key. Grayson didn’t want to sigh in relief, but he was glad the lawyer was
going to be reasonable. Perhaps this encounter would change the way Grayson
“Here is the key to the house. You
can get settled and invite your fiancé. I understand you didn’t know the terms
of Patti’s will so your fiancé couldn’t be here. Also, having a wedding so
close to a tragedy doesn’t seem like the way to go, either.”
Grayson nodded his head and took the
“Thank you for being so understanding.
My fiancé and I appreciate the compassion you’ve shown us today.” Grayson pulled
the key towards himself and a piece of him clicks into place. The world is
right and then he hears Mr. Dane clear his throat.
“I do understand and appreciate your
situation, which is why I’m going to allow you some latitude. I’ve given you
the key, but we won’t sign the deed over to you until I meet your fiancé and
I’m comfortable that all is the way it should be.”
Grayson wondered how long a person
could really survive if their heart stopped. Certainly, they would just keel
over to the side and expire. He was waiting for that to happen to him but there
was no darkness clouding his vision, no light in the sky and no angelic voices
in the background.
Mr. Dane gathered up the papers on
“I think when I meet your fiancé and
spend a little time with her, I’ll feel better that the intent that Patti had
for you is being fulfilled.”
“Of course,” Grayson said. Then Mr.
Dane stood up, and Grayson followed him.
“Do you know when your fiancé will
Grayson shakes his head no and that
is the first truth about his mystery fiancé he has said. He’s going through his
list again and now knows he will have to call his brothers if he plans on doing
“I’ll reach out to her and see what
her availability is.”
“Great plan. I think this all falls
right into Patti’s plan. She wanted you to be happy and knew how important the
house and family were to you.”
“Umm, you don’t say,” Grayson commented
as he followed the lawyer out of his office and into the waiting area that is
Mr. Dane pats Grayson on his
shoulder and gives him a smile.
“I know this would have put a smile
on Patti’s face. I can’t wait to meet the little woman,” Mr. Dane said as he
directed Grayson to the elevator. Grayson kept his smile in place and just
nodded. When the doors closed, he leaned against the elevator wall. He also
wondered to himself who would be his mystery fiancé.
“I can’t wait to meet the little woman myself,”
Grayson said to himself as the elevator doors opened.