Page 11 of Happy Ending (Fisher Brothers 4)

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The stranger coughed out a laugh. “My apologies. It’s not the deed to the bar. It’s the deed to the land the bar sits on. So I’m going to need you boys to close up shop. You’re not welcome on my land.”

My blood chilled as it ran through my veins. When we’d negotiated the purchase of the bar from Sam White Jr., the son of the original owner, he’d never said anything about not owning the land it sits on. If he had, we would have bought both, because who wouldn’t?

Why would Sam keep that from us? And why would he sell the land to this asshole who looked like a mobster, and the bar to us?

Giving the man a hard look, I said, “We’re going to need to call Sam.”

The stranger put the paper back into his pocket and folded his thick arms across his chest. “Good luck trying to reach him, considering he’s dead.”

“He died?” Nick asked.

“Couple weeks ago now.”

Even though Nick never met Sam, he knew about the bar’s original owners and namesakes. Sam Sr. opened his bar right after prohibition ended and kept it afloat for decades until his son took over. Then Frank and I came along and offered to buy it from Sam Jr. at more than a fair price. Despite the outdated fixtures, we saw the business’s potential, and the location was beyond prime.

Since then, we’d updated most of the interior, but we kept the original name and some of the original fixtures. Frank and I wanted to pay homage to not only the family who originally owned the bar, but to the bar’s history as well.

We knew a lot of shit went down here back in the day, although we had no idea what, exactly. Only random stories fueled by the Hollywood rumor mill and online gossip; nothing that could ever be verified. But this bar started as Sam’s, and we were determined to keep it that way.

“This doesn’t make any sense,” I said mostly to myself, but everyone heard.

“We’ll get our lawyers on this, sir, but there’s got to be some sort of compromise.” Frank’s demeanor changed as he started to negotiate.

“I’m a fair man. I’ll compromise by giving you thirty days to vacate.”

“Thirty days?” Frank nearly choked, probably thinking about all the things we had coming up in the next month—like the baby and his wedding. “I’m sure we can work something out. We’ll buy the land back from you.”

The stranger laughed again, sounding more sinister than he had the first time. “No deal. I’m going to tear apart this bar brick by brick.”

This couldn’t be happening. There had to be some sort of misunderstanding.

“Why?” I asked, unable to imagine a single reason why anyone would want to destroy Sam’s Bar.

“None of your damn business. And don’t go sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong, kid. It might get cut off.”

As my brothers and I exchanged shocked looks, the man slammed a twenty on the bar top.

“Keep the change. You’re going to need it, considering you’ll be out of business soon.”

“You can’t do this,” Frank shouted at his retreating back.

The stranger stopped cold and turned back to level a hard look on us. “Thirty days, pretty boys,” he growled, then turned and disappeared outside.

The Bar Is Our Baby

Ryan

Nick and I turned toward Frank. “What the hell was that?” we asked in unison.

He shook his head. “I’ll go call our lawyer.”

“Is that even legal?” Nick asked, his eyes wild. “That can’t be legal. That can’t be right, can it?”

“Yeah. I mean, it could be,” Frank said, sounding more than a little concerned. “I have all the paperwork for when we bought the bar in the back. I’ll go grab it.”

“It doesn’t make any sense.” I braced against the bar top, digging my fingernails into the wood.

“What part doesn’t make sense to you?” Frank asked.


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