I spare them one glance and then return my attention to the grass. “Why aren’t you cozied up in your suite like you usually are at this time of the day?”
“Because this is more entertaining.”
“Kind of like when you were crawling around because Birdie had left you?”
“I didn’t leave,” Birdie objects. “I was kicked out.”
“What? No. I never kicked you out,” Calder protests.
“Yeah, you did. You specifically told Tucker to take me back to Dallas. You did come and carry me back to your lair here on the ranch, but I was sent away at first.”
It’s my turn to smirk. She is never letting that go.
“When you retell this story at your next party, please include that I dragged you by your hair while grunting me, Calder, you, Birdie.”
“Oh, I do. And I saw that your knuckles scrape the ground when you walk,” she teases.
Calder shoves away from the table and hauls Birdie to her feet, throwing the smaller woman over his shoulder. “I’ll show you caveman, baby.”
“Wait, I want to be here when Cam arrives.” She stretches out a beseeching hand in my direction, which I ignore.
Calder strides off with a laughing Birdie pounding his back. The laughter is shortly drowned out by the sound of blades whipping through the wind. She’s here.
I step out onto the porch and wait for the copter to land. After the co-pilot gives the signal to approach, I duck down and jog over to the door.
Cam pulls off her headset and yells her thanks before taking my hands. I help her down and grab her two giant suitcases. She winces when I drag them out of the cabin.
“Sorry,” she shouts. “I can’t go anywhere with fewer than ten full changes of clothing.”
I can tell she’s trying to laugh it off but that she’s also a little chagrined. “I don’t care. Bring as much as you want. You’re going to be living here soon. Might as well start moving in now.”
She scrunches her nose and says something that I can’t make out, but it’s probably a denial which I’m not interested in hearing. She’s here. I’m going to take her to my cabin and make love to her until she says “I do.” It’s a simple plan.
Besides, it’s not like these cases are heavy. I’m used to carrying calves, foals, and sometimes the occasional small cow. These trunks are nothing. I throw them in the back of the golf cart and gesture for her to climb on.
“Aren’t I staying in the house?” She points in the direction of the two-story log and stone structure with its wraparound porch. Her frilly dress with its yards of sheer fabric layered on top of each other billow behind her like a cape as the copter lifts off and flies away. She looks like a storybook heroine. Cam’s too pretty for her own good.
“Nah, it’s crowded.” The ten-bedroom structure was built in the twenties by my great great great great grandfather. He had five sons, which is basically how I ended up with five cousins. Each one of them had one son and so on until you got to the current brood of Justices. Calder’s the oldest followed by me, and then there’s Cane, Blake, and Sterling, who’s the youngest and a few months away from graduating from high school.
“There’s only five of you, and that place is huge. How can it be crowded?” She shades her eyes and starts to count the windows.
“It’s six. Birdie’s with us now.”
Cam drops her hand to her side and shakes her head. “Hard to believe that Ladybird Rodgers moved all the way out here. She’s a clothing designer. You’d think she’d need to be in the city.” Cam cocks her head and squints at me. “Do you guys own a home in Dallas and I don’t know about it?”
Her tone is aggrieved as if the possibility of gossip exists that she’s missed.
“Nope, but I haven’t been staying at the main house. I’ve got a cabin in the southern part of the property. We’ll stay there.”
Dismay and maybe a little worry creeps across her face. “You’re not making me go glamping, are you? I’m not cut out for that.”
“Hell you aren’t. You rode across the Mongolia plains. Saw all your photos on your Instagram page.”
“I had a chef and attendees who set up my yurt! It was as nice as a hotel.” But Cam climbs onto the golf cart, pulling her skirt up away from the ground.
“Cabin’s got running water, electricity, and even fiber optic cable. I have a good connection out there.” I start the engine and ease off the break.
“We didn’t need to take the cart,” she says as we motor along. “I can ride a horse. I’m not that citified.”
“I know. Like I said, I saw all your Insta messages. I’m just saving your pretty ass and thighs for later. There’ll be plenty of time to ride when we arrive at the cabin.” I whistle a tune in anticipation.