Heiress and the Cowboy (Justice Book) - Page 13

I run my hand down the armrest on one of them. An image of him and me sitting in them, watching the sunset flashes through my mind. But I push the thought aside. I can’t allow myself to think things like that.

“I built them,” he admits, coming up the stairs, setting my bags in front of the double doors to go inside. “I did it all. Took me a few years, but I managed.”

“Tucker. You built this house yourself?”

“Had to call in for a few extra hands here and there but pretty much.” He shrugs like it’s no big deal.

“Show me.” I throw the front door open before he gets a chance to show me in. I smell fresh paint when I enter. “I love how open the layout is. It’s gorgeous, Tuck.” It really shouldn’t surprise me that he built this. I already know the man is skilled with his hands.

I continue to look around wanting to see it all. You can almost see through the whole first floor. The living room, kitchen, and dining room are all connected, though. This house is built for a family. That said, it's pretty much empty. It doesn’t have any real personal touches besides the rocking chairs on the porch. I mean, it’s gorgeous nonetheless, but it needs a few small touches to make it a home.

“What do you think?” he asks. I turn to find him staring at me. “You like it?”

I’d almost guess he’s nervous waiting for me to answer. I also think I know now why Tucker rushed out yesterday from my place saying he’d be sending someone to collect me. He came to make sure this place was ready.

“I love it, Tuck.”

I’m starting to think I don’t know Tucker Justice as much as I thought I did. What I do know is with each new thing I learn, I fall more in love with him than I already am.

CHAPTER 11

TUCKER

I built this place for Cam. I realize that now as I watch her flit from one part of the house to the other. Cane and Sterling would ask me what I need with all this space when I was the only one who ever stayed out here. I think Calder knew or at least he kept his questions to himself.

I was building it for a family with Cam. I guess that’s why other than the rocking chairs, there isn’t much going on inside. It’s been waiting for her.

“It needs finishing.” I carry her two trunks down the hall toward the large master bedroom that overlooks the valley and the river that snakes along the border of the property. She pads behind me, a very curious cat, cataloguing the number of doors, the lack of anything on the walls, and the sparse furnishings. “You can open any of the doors. They’re just closed because I don’t have anything in them or they’re closets.”

She doesn’t need to be told twice. She checks out room after room. “Why do you have two washing machines in here?”

“Clothes get dirty? It was in the plan and it seemed like a good idea.” The architect had mentioned that it would be good if you had a lot of boys. He must’ve been under the impression that the Justices were brothers and not cousins.

“Two washing machines and an empty linen closet. That math is not mathing,” Cam declares. “But this room looks done.”

I set the cases down inside the large walk-in closet and lean against the doorjamb to watch her inspect the bedroom. The master is almost in its own wing with a study, a small kitchenette, and a spacious bathroom with enough showerheads to wash a whole troop of kids. There’s a giant bed placed in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows. Two overstuffed chairs and a low fuzzy ottoman covered in cowhide flank a fireplace big enough for Cam to walk into. It’s a masculine room, and it suited me, but now I see that it’s not right for Cam. She needs brightness and light.

“It’s just a bunch of pieces I ordered off the internet. Saw a set and thought it would look good here. You can change it.”

“No. I like it.” She smooths a hand over the colorful quilt my maternal grandmother made for me. “Is this one of Claire Goodbody’s?”

“Yeah. How’d you know?”

“Your grandmother’s quilts are famous. If I didn’t know, you should’ve shipped me right back to Dallas.”

“I didn’t know you were into the quilts.” That seems too homey for a girl like Cam, who I associate with diamonds and sequins and stilettos.

“There’s a lot you don’t know about me, Tuck.”

“Good thing you’re here so we can rectify that.” I cross the room, pulling my shirt off as I go. Her eyes widen as I approach, and she tries to scoot away, but I’m too fast for her. “Where you going?” I whisper as I capture her in the circle of my arms.

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