“She would be proud of you,” he whispered. “She would love the fact that you are finding your real place even after all these years.”
She reached up and smoothed back his hair. “You, too. She would love Sera. Speaking of Sera. I wanted you to know what I’ve done.”
The tiniest bit of trepidation flared through him. “What?”
“When Ralph died, I took all of the stock he owned and split it three ways. I kept a third, Cal a third, and Angie a third. We sat down and made a decision. We would like very much to cull a fourth piece of stock from ours. It’s Wesley’s share, and we’re putting it in trust for Luc.”
If what she said was true, Luc had just become a wealthy man. “That’s amazing. I think Wes would have wanted that, but Luc might not want to work at Beaumont.”
“He doesn’t have to. It’s his stock to do what he wants with. It’s his legacy from his father. Well, from one of his fathers,” she said. “Wes would also be happy that Sera found you. You’re going to make an amazing daddy to that boy. Watch Delphine. I think she’s already planning to bring Luc into those short cons of hers. That woman is a menace.”
Yet he’d seen his aunt laughing with Sera’s mom. They bickered and laughed and argued over their shared grandson. He’d learned to stay away from the book club because it was more like a drinking club. “I’ll do what I can. Sera will be happy Luc has something from Wes.”
Celeste winced slightly. “There’s a little more to it, and that’s why I want you to tell her. He’ll need someone to be his proxy at board meetings until he’s old enough. I’ve made Seraphina the guardian of his trust.”
That made him stop in his tracks. “What?”
His aunt looked up at him. All around them couples were dancing. “Sera now has the right to vote Luc’s shares. She’ll be invited to all the meetings, and she’s going to need to learn some of the business. It will be up to the two of you to invest what you make off the stock, but I’ve made sure there’s a generous stipend because the trust is going to take some work. The first check is for twenty thousand.”
“That’s exactly what it’s going to take to finish the house and get ready to open the bed-and-breakfast. Someone read my business plan. You know we were going to the bank on Monday,” he said, but there was a warmth in his heart.
“Now you don’t have to. And it’s not a loan. It’s payment for all the work you two will do,” she assured him. “Unless you just want to let me vote his shares. That would be helpful.”
He shook his head. Sera would want to learn all about her son’s inheritance. “I think Sera will insist.”
“I do, too. She’ll be a breath of fresh air at those stuffy meetings. She, Angie, and I are the only women on the board. We’ll have to drag those men into the modern age.”
If anyone could do it, those three could. “I look forward to it.”
Celeste stepped back, her eyes on something behind him. “Well, I’m going to go and make sure your future brother-in-law stays away from the punch. I swear I would spank that boy but I think he would like it.” She winked. “You two have fun, and I expect to see my grandson tomorrow afternoon. Bring Shep, too. I miss him and he makes such a good nanny.”
Sera waved as she stepped up to Harry. “She doesn’t really leave Luc with Shep, right? It’s not like the dog nanny in Peter Pan.”
She always made him smile. “I don’t think so. I think she barely lets Luc’s feet touch the ground while she’s around. Dance with me.”
She moved easily into his arms. “I will admit I like all the babysitting. How about we work on the house tomorrow? Specifically the bedroom.”
“The bedroom’s done . . .” Ah, that’s what she meant. He leaned over and kissed his almost bride. She didn’t mind that he wasn’t the most graceful dancer. All he could really do was sway. There were plenty of people in his position who taught themselves how to dance, but he hadn’t been that great before he’d lost his leg. None of that mattered because there was one place where he moved with perfect harmony. “Yes, we need to work on the bedroom. All afternoon. Come here.”
He kissed her again. He had a story to tell her, but for now he let the music flow over him.
He’d roamed the world, but Papillon would be his home.