"I'm sorry Emmett, but we're gonna hafta let ya go. I hate to do it. The bank ain't givin' us any options. They're takin' the place. Beth Anne and I'll give you a nice reference letter if ya need it. You're a good worker. You should be on your feet in no time. You can stay here fer a while. At least until the auction."
Well didn't that beat all? What the fuck was he supposed to do now? FBR Acres had been his home for goin' on ten years. Fred hadn't told him things had got that bad.
"Is there anything I can do?" Emmett took his hat off and ran a hand through his hair. He was uncomfortable about money talk as it was, but this was the only family he had and he'd do anything for them.
"It's too late. We just can't do it anymore. We're gonna retire down Florida way. The kids are puttin' us up for a bit."
"Shit, Fred. You should have told me. I would have helped." He hit his hat against his leg to get rid of some of the dust, and put it back on his head.
"Couldn't let ya do that, Em. Even with your help, we would have gone under and we weren't takin' ya with us. Things just ain't what they used to be," Fred lamented.
"When's the auction?"
"We got two weeks to get everything ready. We ain't takin' much with us. The bank is takin' the rest. Lock, stock and barrel. We get to keep the vehicles and of course the personal items. Red is yours free and clear. Also have a little cash set aside as your last payment. We worked it out the other night. I hate that I have to do this, Em." Fred frowned and squinted--a sure sign he was upset with the way things had gone down. Emmett had seen that look a time or two over the years.
"Not your fault. Like ya said, I'll get back on my feet in no time. I have chores to get done and should finish working on the tractor so it's ready for next week. I assume that goes in with the auction."
"Yep." Fred looked down at his feet.
"Thanks for Red. I appreciate it. And don't worry so much. In two weeks, you'll be seeing your grandbabies and living a life of leisure. You deserve it." Em gave Fred a slap on the back and left for his day of chores.
Just because life was going to hell didn't mean he could let the chores go. He'd worry about what to do later. Not like he had a lot to pack anyway. His life didn't lead to much in the way of personal items and he never really went anywhere. The ranch was his home. His day consisted of getting up, working and going to bed, with the occasional trip to Austin for a quick lay. He loved the ranch life or he wouldn't still be here. It was all he knew.
Fred and Beth Anne had helped his momma raise him. Summers had been the best because he got to spend them at the ranch. Sure, it was work, but he loved the animals and he loved feeling needed. When his momma died, he'd moved in full time to help out and he'd never looked back. Now he would have to leave.
"Hey, Nick. I'm gonna go take a ride and check the fence. I'll be back around lunch time."
"Got it, boss."