The Real Estate Agent

Warning – spoilers if you haven’t read The Heir yet!

Here is another outtake. I originally had the following scene earlier in the book, when Sarah was still in the early stages of grieving the loss of her father. She and Dan went to see a real estate agent together.
Enjoy!

I was straight back into it when I went down for breakfast.
“Know any good real estate agents?” I asked Dan as he prepared my breakfast for me. He had done that every morning since I had taken up residence in his house, and although I had objected at first, it hadn’t done any good, so I had decided not to waste my breath.
Without hesitation, he produced the real estate section from his father’s morning paper, putting it next to my bowl of cereal.
We launched into it, spending the morning discussing different agents, how much we might get for the house, and how long it would take to sell. After lunch we’d begun to call a few, and later in the afternoon went to see a couple who we thought were good prospects.
Neither of them were very impressed to discover that house on offer was the site of a recent homicide, but Dan did convince one of them to come and check it out. I had turned off for that part of the conversation, but I had to go to the house with them. I knew it best.
The police had finished with it by that stage, so it was empty and quiet. Walking inside was terrifying. Everything I’d been trying to suppress began to bubble to the surface. I started hyperventilating, and could hardly bear to look around me. Thankfully, the spot in the dining room where my father had laid had been cleaned, although there was still a mark on the floor.
“That’ll have to be fixed before you can sell it,” the agent commented, gazing emotionlessly at it.
I gagged. Putting my hand over my mouth, I turned and bolted for the front door, which was still open. I raced into the garden, knelt down at the base of the nearest maple, and threw up. I was still sitting there, sobbing, when I felt hands on my arms.
“You don’t have to do this, you know,” Dan said softly. “Not now.”
I could hear pain in his voice, but even that could barely pierce the numbness that I quickly pulled back around my brain. I avoided looking around me. I didn’t want to remember where I was.
He turned me towards him, his hands still on my arms, and gave me a long, penetrating gaze, but I wasn’t about to let him take me home.
“Where’s the agent?” I said, trying to stay as disconnected as possible.
He wasn’t about to give up. “Remember what I said about needing to grieve? Why don’t you wait a few days, at least –”
I pushed his arms off, and stood up. “Is he still in the house?” I forced myself to walk back towards it. I tried to keep my eyes distant, unfocused on my surroundings. I could be in anyone’s garden …
Dan sighed in frustration, but gave up the fight and followed me.
The agent had gone upstairs to the bedrooms. I could hear him moving around up there. Fortunately, I found him in my room. I could handle that.
He didn’t seem to notice what had happened downstairs, but began to talk prices and possibilities. I was fine with that. The sales price he anticipated was a little higher than I’d thought, but Dan had said he would probably talk it up. He let the agent continue, with no greater reaction than raising an eyebrow.
I was anxious to go back to the agent’s office and spend as much time as possible filling out what I hoped would be pages of forms, but when Dan told him that the will had not yet been settled the agent growled in frustration and told me point blank not to call him until it was.
“There’s no point in me trying to sell a house for you when you don’t even own it,” he snapped, climbing back into his BMW convertible.
I could hardly register his unpleasant attitude. I was too busy trying to overcome my disappointment. I had intended to spend the rest of the day filling out intricate legal documents. Now my plans were ruined.
But I paid a lot of attention once I noticed the look on Dan’s face.
He was glaring at the man, his body rigid with fury. His eyes flashed at the agent, who was busy plugging his cell phone into the dashboard.
The shock froze me in place, but only for a moment. I stepped forward as Dan suddenly came to life and strode towards the car, a murderous glint in his eye.
Without even realizing what I was doing, I put a restraining hand on his arm. “Don’t. Just leave him.”
He turned his gaze to me, the anger melting into a look of surprise. I gazed up at him for a moment, a little surprised myself. Why had I done that? It wasn’t like he was going to do anything more than yell at him.
Looking down at my hand on his arm, Dan’s expression dissolved into calm. Then he looked grimly at the BMW as, tires squealing, it disappeared around the bend in the road. “I think we’ll find another agent.”
I nodded, happy to think of more hours spent running through the time consuming lists of names and properties.

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