Not for the first time, Tobias Archer was glad to be a lawyer. Real estate wasn't his specialty, but he was learning quickly. He'd just closed on his fourth house, a quaint little Colonial in desperate need of some TLC. Toby had thirty days and thirty thousand dollars to make that happen.
He'd gotten stuck in court for most of his last project, and he'd had to entrust the schedule and the money to his contractor, Ven Parrish. Luckily, the man had turned out to be up for the challenge, and the project had come off without a hitch. They'd gone seventy days from closing to closing, and Toby had made a thirty thousand dollar profit.
He was putting that profit into this new project. This round, he had the time to actually be involved in the work. Since things had gone so well last time, he'd hired Ven to be his contractor again, and they'd arranged to meet after the closing to do a walk-through of the new house.
The whole drive over, Toby was tapping on the steering wheel, his impatience getting the better of him. He'd been living in a hotel for the past month since his last project sold and he was ready to finally have a place to live; not that the hotel wouldn't have been more comfortable. He'd be sleeping on an airbed and living out of suitcases until the house was ready for staging. Then he'd be out again when it sold, heading back to another hotel room.
When he pulled into the driveway, Ven's pickup was already there. Toby got out of the car and walked up to cross his arms on the open driver's side window. Ven had a travel mug of coffee in one hand and was tapping at the keyboard of a laptop with the other. The smell coming from the mug made Toby's mouth water and his stomach growl, reminding him that he'd skipped breakfast and lunchtime was flying by.
"Hey, thanks for coming out to meet me," Toby said, over the sounds of indie rock coming from the truck radio.
"No problem." The laptop snapped shut and Ven reached out to turn off the radio. "I had a walk around already. Let's go have a look inside."
"Great." Toby backed off so Ven could get out of the truck. He dug around in his suit pocket until he came up with the keys, and then shook them in the air. "I went through this morning before closing. The place has a lot of potential." ENDEXCERPT