Author Note: Here is the next installment in the rewrites. Remember, leave some feedback to tell me how I'm doing. Thank you. Enjoy! -Marilyn


Chapter 29

JULIE

We were sitting on the hard, wooden benches in the city courthouse. The auction was about to begin. The room was filled with different representatives from real estate agencies, many of them ready to bid with paddles in hand. I watched Peter grip his, sliding his finger along the smooth word of the handle, a black printed one twenty-nine on the white paper surface. The other heads ranged from balding middle-aged men to librarian like clerks on cells, waiting to represent an interested client. It did not look good. We could loose everything.

A hush fell over the group as the judge walked into the chamber. He walked to the bench, moving his black robes behind him, and sat down. Moving his notes from a folder, he adjusted his glasses as he looked out to the crowd of bidders. "I see everything is in readiness. Let's make this go right the first time, okay?" He grabbed a piece of paper from his pile of notes, and began to read. "This is the auction for the Drecker mansion property as according to his will. The city was in violation for not selling the property in accordance to the will, and that buyer of the property is now present along with other possible buyers to bid. This is the actual stipulation in the will that was required if the city deemed it necessary to sell the property."

I looked over at Peter's face. He looked like a rock, his jaw set with a determination that made me feel hopeful. Maybe we could get the mansion back after all. I had to believe it.

The judge continued. I turned back to see him look up over his glasses to say. "I do apologize on the city's behalf to all parties involved in the illegal sale that has been deemed null and void. The money from that purchase was returned electronically, and we can now proceed with the auction. The auctioneer can begin." He waved to the side as a man stood and started walking to the podium. "I'll oversee the proceedings to make sure the will is followed correctly this time."

The grey haired man in a dark suit and blue tie grabbed the edges of the podium as he began. "Today's auction will be for the Drecker Mansion estate property on the corner of 14308 Wayfarer Lane. The bidding will begin at $100,000."

Peter raised his paddle. The auctioneer pointed at him, acknowledging his bid. "I see one bid. Do I see another to raise to 110?"

Other paddles were raised and drove the bidding higher. My head bobbed back and forth like at tennis match as I watched paddles bob up and down to bids around the room. The auctioner's voice counted each one by pointing his finger and saying the bid. "110, 120, 130, 140 150..."

It was up to 220,000 when Peter bid again. He raised his paddle and nodded when the auctioner acknowledged his bid. It kept going higher. "230, 240, 250..."

Finally, there was a voice that shouted, "500,000". All heads turned to an older grey-haired man in the back. He had his arms folded with a paddle held in one hand. It said one hundred fifteen. There was a brief silence as no one bid. Peter looked around the room as the auctioner did a dramatic countdown. "Going once, twice...sold to the man in the back, number 115."

I stared at the man, shock freezing my body. "What happened? Is the mansion really gone?" I could feel tears forming in my eyes.

"Don't worry." Peter leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. The man strolled over, a smile crossing his face. I chest tried to remember to breath as he crossed towards us.

He came over and shook Peter's hand. "It worked. We were right that the other bidders would drop out once that last bid came along."

I looked at the man and then at Peter. "What just happened?"

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