Who wants another sneak peek of A PLACE TO CALL OUR OWN? The next installment in The Friessens family saga will be released this week, but you can read Chapter 2 now!
Brad Friessen knows he has to sell the ranch, but not everyone is on board with his decision or open to a new beginning. He has a plan: Find a nice place with some land where he can retire—but for his children, life has suddenly become much more complicated.
Katy and Steven have called the ranch home and aren’t inclined to see the adventure in their upcoming move. While Emily, Jack and Trevor, and Fletcher are somewhat open to the possibilities, what Brad doesn’t know is that Katy and Steven had a plan, too. The life they’ve always wanted is the kind of life Brad and Emily have, with the ranch, the land, and eventually more children.
Finding a cheap, rundown house to rent wasn’t in the cards for Katy and Steven, nor has it been easy for either to be practical when their dream of having a ranch of their own to run, to raise a family on, seems to be moving ever further out of reach.
As the countdown begins to the date they have to leave, to the sale of the one place they’ve all called home for what’s seemed like forever, Katy and Steven, Brad and Emily, and the rest of the Friessen family might just be crazy enough to find a way for them all to have what they truly want.
A PLACE TO CALL OUR OWN (The Friessens, Book 28) is available for pre-sale at:
Did you miss your sneak peek of Chapter 1? If so, click here.
“I still can’t believe this is happening,” Katy said, pacing at the foot of the bed in the same bedroom she’d grown up in, only now Steven’s clothes were crammed into the dated closet with hers. “I mean, how can my dad even consider selling to someone like that? He loves this place, I love this place, we love this place. It’s a desecration, that’s what this is. How can he consider money over the knowledge that someone is going to come in and bulldoze everything, destroy everything he loved in this place? What about the horses, all the cattle, this house, our bedroom?”
Katy was gorgeous in a pink nightgown with spaghetti straps, which showed a generous amount of breast. She was barefoot, her blond hair hanging loose just past her shoulders. He could see their image in the mirrored glass of the sliding closet doors from where he was in bed, two pillows propped behind him, the duvet pulled up, his arms crossed over his bare chest.
“Steven, you haven’t said anything else. How can you not be upset?” Katy stopped pacing and stared at him, and he wondered for a minute what she expected him to do.
“This is your dad’s place, not ours, and ultimately, it comes down to his decision. What do you want me to say, that I would rather he didn’t sell and we could keep living here? Sure, but that isn’t realistic.” He lifted his hands and pulled up his knees, feeling the sheet run over his bare skin.
“No, but you have an opinion. You always have an opinion, Steven…” Katy crawled onto the bed on her stomach, and just the way she was looking at him, he had an idea what she was going to say. “I mean, I never expected this place to sell. When dad listed it for nine million plus, I thought he was out of his mind. Who has that kind of money in their back pocket?”
There they went with this conversation again, the same one he was still trying to wrap his head around. “Katy, it’s kind of a moot point. Why don’t you just say it, that you wanted this place?”
She reached over and touched his wrist. “We both wanted this place, or someplace like it. This has always been our dream.” She sighed.
What could he say? Yeah, he loved this place, even though it wasn’t theirs and it never would be. They had lived there longer than he’d ever expected.
“And then we move where?” she continued. “In two weeks? This is crazy.” She dropped her head into her hands, into the mattress, and groaned.
“One, you’re getting ahead of yourself,” Steven started. “Brad just had an offer…”
Katy lifted her head, and her look reached out to him. He knew his words were just that, just empty assurances.
“Fine, you want me to say it?” he said. “He’d be a fool not to take that money. That’s once-in-a-lifetime cash, the kind of offer you don’t get every day. Of course he’s going to take it, but are you happy? Because I’m not.”
Katy groaned and reached out to him, then ran her hand over his arm. “You should talk to my dad and convince him not to sell, or even just keep a piece of it, like…”
He tossed back the covers and pulled away, stepping out of bed naked. “Katy, stop, seriously. I’m not going to tell your dad not to sell. Come on, that’s crazy. You and I both knew this was going to happen, although I didn’t expect it to happen so soon. We’re going to have to get our heads around the fact that he’s going to sell, and a two-week deadline leaves very little time to find something for us. And keeping a piece…? No, that’s not even realistic. That requires subdivision and applying for all kinds of permits, and then you need to add in the everlasting hoops to jump through. It would take years to make that happen.”
She was really looking at him, her gaze heavy, as she sat up and patted the spot on the bed where he’d been, but he just stood there a second, stubbornly, as he tried to figure out what to say.
“Look, I should have been looking for a house, something for us,” he said, “but I didn’t. If I’m being honest, I was dragging my heels because I knew you and Fletcher were happy here, and yeah, it’s easier here. I knew you didn’t want to leave, and you know what? I don’t want to move either. I mean, your dad has made it really easy for us to stay, and I’ll admit I love this ranch. I love helping your dad out on weekends when I’m not working my own job. I know you love this ranch, and yes, Katy, way back when, before we even got married, this was always our dream, to have something like this.
“But then shit completely hit the fan for us,” he continued. “We made different choices…and nine freaking million dollars? No, wait, I’m sorry. It’ll be over ten million once your dad finishes negotiating. I mean, prices are through the roof. We can’t afford anything like this. This is not the kind of place we can ever have, not anymore. I’d have to buy one of those Powerball tickets for any hope of buying this, and then what? I love being an electrician and taking the jobs I do. Maybe that’s what I’ve been trying to get my head around. I’ve looked at some properties, but even a small, manageable five acres isn’t in the budget. We’d be looking at a starter home or a condo. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is. I think we both need to get our heads around the fact that the ranch is going to sell, and your dad’s right about one thing: We can’t think of what we can’t have.”
He didn’t miss the twist of her lips, the hint of a smile. She patted the spot in bed again, and this time he walked over and climbed in, and Katy ran her hand up his thigh and settled her gaze on him. He couldn’t fight the feeling that she had something else in mind.
“Well, it’s not sold yet,” she said. “I know my dad wants to sell, but even Becky was a little bothered by the offer and the fact that some wealthy foreigner is planning on tearing all of this down. Something doesn’t sit right. I think if we give my dad some time to think about it, he might just decide he can’t sell it for any price if it’s going to be destroyed. I know he wants to sell, but do you really think, even after what happened in Cancun, he’d be okay with letting someone come in and destroy all this?”
He just took in Katy. He knew this wouldn’t be an easy decision for Brad, but at the same time, with his need to sell and the fact that this kind of money wasn’t going to come again any time soon… He just shrugged, and Katy scooted closer as he said, “One way or another, we’re going to have to find our own place. I think you and I both know Brad’s not okay with someone coming in and taking this apart, but it’s time that I pull my head out of the ground. If he takes the offer, we have two weeks. If he doesn’t, there’s going to be something else down the road. Katy, any ideas you have for this place, I think you need to get them out of your head. We can’t afford this.”
“But what if you just talk to my dad and see if there’s something…” she started again.
He knew what she wanted to make happen, for her dad to realize the mistake he’d made in deciding to sell this place. “Katy, stop. Even if your dad has a change of heart and decides not to sell, this was never going to be yours anyway. It was going to go to Jack, and you know that—even though you love this place more than anyone.”
This time when Katy pulled back, he didn’t reach out to her. “Maybe so, and maybe Brad isn’t my real father, but he’s still my dad. I love this place, all of it. It doesn’t hurt to ask.”
He just stared at her as if she’d lost her mind. “Ask him what, to sell us the ranch?” He couldn’t fight the laugh that burst out, and he could see how that set Katy on edge, as she moved to leave. He reached for her arm and pulled back. “Wait. Seriously, Katy?”
“Steven, don’t laugh at me. I’m serious. All I’m asking is for a conversation with my dad, because I don’t think he realizes how much we love this place and how much we both want it. I think if we sit him down and tell him what it means to us, maybe we can figure something out, some way we can buy this place or find a way to have just a piece of it. It could make us and my parents happy.”
As he stared at Katy another minute, he realized she was serious. He was about to say no way, but he took in the imploring look she gave him. “Fine,” he said. “I’ll talk to Brad tomorrow—”
“We’ll both talk to my mom and dad tomorrow,” she interrupted him, scooting closer again.
“Yes, we’ll both talk to your parents tomorrow and tell them how we feel about this place, but realistically, Katy, I don’t know what your dad is going to say or if he’s going to laugh us out of the house.”
She leaned in and kissed him, looping her arms around his shoulders. “He won’t laugh at us.”
“No, he’ll think we’re crazy, absolutely, certifiably crazy, because we have no money other than enough for a down payment for some old condo that’s not even on the good side of town.”
“What’s the worst that can happen?” Katy said. “Steven, if my dad takes this offer and we don’t say anything, we’ll regret it down the road.”
He took in how gorgeous she was and knew that in some ways, she was right, so he just shook his head and then leaned in. He kissed her again and rolled with her until she was under him, and she giggled. “Shh, don’t wake everyone,” he said. He kissed her again before pulling back. “So tomorrow we talk to your parents, and then we need to start looking for a place.”
“Oh, have some faith, Steven. You just never know what my dad will say.”
He took her in, his wife, the love of his life, and wondered at what point she’d realize that they were all going to have to say goodbye to this place they loved.
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She never realized until she lost him that he was the only man she'd ever love.
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