Heiress and the Cowboy (Justice Book) - Page 27

“Mom!” I laugh.

As always, Mom is all done up. She doesn’t have a hair out of place, and her makeup is impeccable. I don’t know if it's good genes or good doctors that have her looking this good, but I really hope it’s the genes. People who don’t know us often mistake her as my older sister which always tickles her.

Thankfully, my ma isn’t like a lot of other mothers that run in the same high society circles. There are no backhanded compliments with her. If you look like shit, she’ll tell you when you’re alone but only because she loves you. She also doesn't expect me to dress and be a cookie cutter anything. Her mama did that to her, and she made sure to break the mold.

I think that’s a bit why she and Daddy never worked out. He wanted a bit of the more typical Texas wife. I think she tried for a while but realized she didn’t want her only daughter to end up walking that same path. I’m grateful that she didn’t stay just because of me. My parents are better off apart.

“What? I’m only stating the obvious. Your cheeks have a good color. They’re fuller too.”

“Are you saying I gained weight, Mama?” I lift a brow at her. She steps back to get a better look at me.

“I don’t think you have, but a few pounds of love weight is good for a woman, honey,” she says, making me laugh again.

“Thanks.” I kiss her on both of her cheeks before I introduce her to Maria and take a seat at the table, where Mom orders for all of us.

“A princess, you say?” As always, when someone brings up Maria being a princess, she blushes and tilts her head down, trying to hide it.

“It’s only a title. I don’t have any real power.”

“Don’t be so modest, child. I can’t wait to see that Debra McBride tonight so I can tell her I had brunch with a princess and my daughter who has a Justice man on the chase. I love riling her up.”

“He is always chasing her around.” Maria chimes in, trying to turn the focus off her being a princess. She doesn't know my mom very well yet because changing subjects never works on her. She’ll let you do it for a little, but she’ll circle back around soon enough. She’s all about the little details, and she’s not going to let anything slide.

“This isn’t surprising. I ran into Tucker a few months ago, and he grilled me about what my daughter was up to. I remember how he always looked at you when you two were in school together.”

“What? He did not. He didn’t pay me any attention.” It was me always trying to get his. Tucker claims the same as my mom: that he’s been into me from the beginning. How the heck did I miss this? Maybe I miss more than I realize when it comes to him.

“He did. All the boys always looked at you, but none could ever keep you. Yet, somehow Tucker has you out on his ranch in the middle of nowhere.”

“I’m in love with him,” I tell her flat-out. I’m not hiding my feelings for him. Enough time has been wasted between us.

“Why isn’t he here then?”

“He hates the city.” I shrug.

“She likes to make him chase.” Maria chimes in again.

“I do not.” I'm quick to defend myself but also quick to think back. “Do I?” There must be something to what Maria is saying if she notices it already.

“I mean, in the short time I’ve known you, it’s kind of what I see.”

“Give it to her straight, honey,” Mom encourages Maria. I nod, agreeing with my mom. I want to hear it.

“Okay, then. Tucker is hard to miss. I saw you two at the party before everything went down, and he was always chasing after you. I noticed, and I think a lot of the other ladies that night did because of the way he was looking at you. Every girl wants a man to look at them that way. His eyes never left you. Even when he did step out. He still had a clear shot of you standing on that balcony. You kept moving, and he kept following.”

“See? It’s hard to miss. Even was all those years ago.” Mom lifts her champagne, taking a sip.

“Since we’ve been back, I’ve been staying at the main house.” Guilt starts to settle in on me. “You should see the house he built, Mama.” I can’t help but tell her all about it.

“Honey, I know I told you the world is for your taking, but just because I didn’t want to be the typical wife with a bunch of children doesn't mean that I think there is anything wrong with someone wanting that. You know that, right?”

Tags: Ella Goode Erotic
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