Font Size:  

“Well, do you think he wants in on the family business?”

I snort. “Grandfather, Jax seems pretty determined to do what he is doing. He’s happy at Harvard.” Pushing back my plate, I turn my face to the sun, closing my eyes and letting my food digest.

“I love it like this: warm yet still able to sit outside without the bugs eating you.”

“Yes, it’s very beautiful… Reed?”

I open my eyes and look at him. “Listen to an old man. Men like us, we love only once.”

I swallow, getting that ominous feeling again. “You don’t have anything to worry about. I love her. She will be my wife. There is nothing she could do that would make me not love her, nothing!”

Silently he nods raising his glass to drink. “Good, because life throws things at you unexpectedly. You need to think before you let the famous Saddington temper get in the way. Take it from an old man who wishes he could have a redo.”

“She’s my life. It shouldn’t be hard. I never lose my temper with Tess.”

He laughs, his eyes far away. “You’d be surprised,” he says, swallowing a huge sip of his whiskey. “I fight for my family, Reed, always have. We’re hotheaded. Just remember to love her. All the other stuff falls into place.”

I don’t know what to say, so I stand up. “How about you show me the family jewels. I know whose ring I want to give her.”

That seems to have lightened his mood. He stands, smiling as he walks us into the house, hand on my shoulder again, and we make our way to the vault.TESSI’m running around like an idiot, grabbing way too many clothes for our four-day stay in Los Angeles. We both overslept, and I didn’t pack last night after I spent extra time studying.

Reed decided that I can miss a couple of days, and at the time that he mentioned it, I happily agreed. What was I thinking? Finals are coming up. I’m not a genius like him. I have to put the work in to get the grades I want. So I was up late finishing a paper and now I’m dead tired.

“Jesus, Tess, we’re going for four days. What the hell are you packing?”

Lifting my hand, I say, “Don’t start, Reed Saddington. I’m a nervous wreck. Brance is going to be all over me because I look pale and skinny. So, I need a lot of options.” I say it like he should know all this.

“In other words, you are making yourself sick, so that you don’t upset Brance because you’re not tan and fat?”

“Yes! I mean, not entirely. We’re going to LA. They have the most beautiful people in the world there. I want to… you know, look good.”

He laughs at me. “God, I love you.” Pulling me in tight, he kisses my neck.

“Even at your worst, you look better than everyone at their best. How many times do I have to tell you that?”

“Reed, let me go. I still need to pack my cosmetic bag.” He does but follows me into the bathroom.

Crossing his arms, he says, “Kitten, all kidding aside, we need to get a move on. I have the pilot and staff waiting for us.”

Huffing, I turn to him. “I know, so let me do this.”

“Tess! We are going to LA, not a third-world country.” Closing my bag, he takes my hand. “Anything you need we can buy in Los Angeles. Let’s go. You know Brance is going to make you go shopping anyway.”

Taking a breath, I stop my preparations. “You’re right. I’m excited, that’s all. It’s been so long since we’ve seen him. And now he has a boyfriend. I hope it’s not going to be… different.”

“Well, he sounds serious about this one. I know you aren’t used to sharing him, but I think you might have to adjust.”

Grabbing my new Marni bag, I push my straightened hair out of my face.

“Don’t be ridiculous. I couldn’t be more excited about meeting Logan.”

And I mean it. I have never heard Brance this into someone ever. Reed is right though. I can’t help but feel a slight prick of jealousy. After all, Brance has been mine for years now.

He smiles. “Keep telling yourself that, Kitten. Now let’s go.” I scowl at him while he smirks. Clapping his hands, he guides me to the door.

He motions for the guy waiting for us to grab our bags while we make our way into the elevator.

Squeezing his hand tightly, I whisper, “Do you think we should have flown commercial? After all, Brance says Logan comes from a very middle-class family. I don’t want him to think we’re rich.”

“You’re kidding me, right? We never fly commercial. And I don’t give a shit what Brance’s boyfriend thinks about us. We are what we are. You can’t get any more ridiculous than Brance. He’s a complete prima donna.”