Bayou Baby (Butterfly Bayou 2) - Page 91

“Are we sure about that?” Zep asked. “I’m not saying she won’t want to see Luc, but is it all that bad to have a rich-as-sin grandparent? Celeste isn’t Ralph. I know she’s been nasty to Sera from time to time, but she loved her kids.”

That was a big part of the problem. “Yes, I’m worried she’ll love Luc so much she’ll decide she can raise him better than me.”

Zep’s eyes flared. “You honestly believe she’ll come after you for custody?”

“I think it’s a possibility I should be prepared for. The truth of the matter is this is one hundred percent my fault and I need to deal with it. I should never have gotten involved with Harry knowing who his family is. I was crazy about him and I convinced myself it wouldn’t be a problem. No one’s ever connected Luc to Wes. Well, no one who mentioned it to me.” She was thankful her younger brother knew how to keep a secret. “I should have gone with my first instinct and stayed away from him altogether. I should have fixed up the house and sold it and moved.”

That had Zep sitting up in his chair. “Moved? Why are we even talking about you moving?”

Remy looked to their brother. “What did you expect her to do? I’ve always worried that the situation would come to this. Luc is growing up and he’s going to ask questions at some point. He’ll go to school and hear the rumors.”

“Kids can be mean.” She knew she couldn’t keep him from all pain, but she had a choice in this. “And we don’t know that he’ll continue to look like our side of the family. I think he already has Wes’s eyes. It was always a matter of time before I had to make this decision. It looks like my time is up.”

“You do not have to move,” Zep insisted. “I’m not going to allow freaking Celeste Beaumont to run my sister off.”

“What are you going to do about it?” Zep had even less money than she did since he spent it all on beer.

“I could seduce Celeste, make a tape of it, and then we blackmail her,” Zep announced triumphantly.

Remy’s eyes rolled. “You’re going to seduce Celeste Beaumont?”

Zep gave him a shrug. “Haven’t found a woman yet I couldn’t seduce. Maybe we should get Momma in on this. And Miss Marcelle. Those two always have a plan, and it’s never bad to have the mayor on our side. Can’t Sylvie make a law or something?”

Her brother hadn’t paid attention in government class, and bringing her mother into it would turn the whole thing into some sort of long con. She couldn’t hide behind them anymore. “The best thing I can do now is make sure I’m ready for when Harry tells his aunt.”

“Why does Harry have to tell her at all?” Remy asked. “Did you ask him not to?”

“Of course I did, and he said he wouldn’t, but I know him. He’s not going to be quiet forever. At some point he’ll decide it’s for the best and he’ll say something.” Had she kicked him out too quickly? Should she have talked to him longer? Tried to make him understand? “I’m hoping he holds off long enough for me to get Guidry Place finished and ready to sell.”

“I wanted you to keep it,” Zep said with obvious regret. “I really thought you would like running a B and B. Of course, I kind of thought Harry would be there with you.”

She had, too, and that had been the most foolish thing of all. “Well, I’ve got to grow up.”

“This didn’t happen because you’re not a grown-up,” Remy corrected. “You love him, don’t you? We can’t help who we love.”

“And he can’t help who his family is, which is why I should have stayed away.” She stood up. “If you don’t mind setting up a call with Lisa’s brother-in-law, I would appreciate it. I know this probably isn’t his area of expertise, but he might be able to give me some pointers. And tell me how much it’s going to cost.”

“Don’t worry about that.” Remy stood and she was enveloped in a bear hug. “We’ll make it work. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to, and that includes selling the house. I know you’re panicked right now and it feels like you don’t have choices, but you do.”

“I could choose to kill Harry.” Zep was still frowning. “I feel responsible because I talked to him about asking you out. I might have been pulling some strings like the ruthless manipulator I am.”

She rubbed a hand over her younger brother’s shoulder. “I always knew your plots would get me in trouble.”

A forlorn expression crossed her brother’s face. “I thought he would be good for you.”

Tags: Lexi Blake Butterfly Bayou Romance
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