Beneath Her Heart – Ch 05
The meeting room was normally quite spacious, with seating for eight people. However, the presence of the glowering Mr. Logan seemed to fill the air with oppression.
Sitting several chairs down from him, Brody sat quietly with her hands in her lap. Only she knew that her hands were twisted together and clenched from all the tension in the air.
Mr. Maggiore sat across the table, with a leather-bound portfolio in front of him. He took a quick sip of water before speaking.
“Mr. Logan, even though you are invited here, I want to remind you that the trust was correctly created and properly documented by the Swansons and Ms. Harper. There will be no changes to anything. If you decide to contest it, you have the option of filing in civil court, but I will say that this trust is airtight and you will be wasting your time.”
Collin shuffled a bit but said nothing. After a moment, the attorney continued.
“As you know, Ms. Harper, Sophia and Andrew were quite specific in their estate. The deed to the property located at 328 Pacific Avenue in Richmond will be signed over to you once probate is done. It is completely lien free, and the property taxes have already been paid for the year.
“Also, all the Swanson stocks in Whittier Investments will be placed in your name, making you a 30% shareholder and a member of the Board of Directors.”
“Wait, what?” Collin was confused. “Sophie only had 25% of the shares in our mother’s company.”
“That is correct, Mr. Logan. However, she purchased an additional 5% of the stocks from one of the retiring directors about a year ago. She chose not to make you aware, using a proxy for all voting.”
Shocked, Brody eyes flitted between the two men. Was this the “birthing day surprise” Soph had planned to give her? She had mentioned that she wanted Brody to be financially stable after the baby was born. And everyone knew that an annuity from Whittier Investments was as secure an income as almost any other financial plan.
Collin’s mind was also in a whirl. Although he owned 53% of the shares, the woman next to him had the potential to form an alliance with other Board members and possibly take over as CEO if she wished. Why would his sister give them away instead of keeping them within the family?
“All other investments and monies are also given to you. I understand that Mrs. Swanson had already put your name on her Credit Union accounts and her safe deposit box. Is that correct?”
Brody could only nod, her mind in confusion over the sudden windfall. Sophia had laughed that her box only contained a few pieces of cheap jewelry that Andrew had given her, and the titles to their two…now one…vehicle. She had gone to the bank building just a week ago to get the paperwork on the damaged car and ignored everything else in that box. Now she will probably need to go through it completely.
A sudden noise jolted her, as her friend’s brother stood up and slammed his hands on the table.
“Did they leave everything to this woman? Why would they do that? What kind of hold did she have on them? It doesn’t make sense.”
The attorney looked over at Brody. “Is it okay to tell him?” he quietly asked.
Brody sighed, suddenly feeling exhausted. She pulled her hands apart and grabbed a water bottle. Taking a sip to soothe her throat, she nodded before looking up at the man towering over her.
“Mr. Logan, the three of them had a surrogacy contract. One that is successful.”
Collin felt now-familiar confusion in his mind. “Surrogacy?”
“Congratulations, you are going to be an uncle.”