To Tame Her Tycoon Lover

By: Ann Major

“Mr. Pierre, he be napping upstairs. But he’ll be mighty pleased, he will…that you’re here…since we don’t see much of you these days, you bein’ such a busy, important man and all and living in New Orleans.”

“Napping? Where is she, then?” Logan asked.

“Miss Cici?” Noonoon inquired a little too innocently.

Logan nodded. “Who else?”

“I knew it wouldn’t take you long…as soon as you heard about Miss Cici. There shore isn’t nothing like a rich older man taking an interest in a beautiful, younger woman for getting the rest of his family’s hackles up, now is there?”

“That’s not why…”

Her intelligent, black eyes regarding him intently, Noonoon placed her hands on her wide hips. So, Cici had already won Noonoon over.

“When you heard about Miss Cici, you come down here faster than that lazy hare sprinting at the last second to catch that tortoise in that story I used to read to you two boys. Why, I’ll never forget that last summer she was here. Miss Cici, I mean. She was eighteen and just the prettiest little thing I ever saw.”

Logan wished to hell he couldn’t remember the way slanting sunlight had washed Cici’s breasts with light and shadow as she’d stood in her pirogue the first day he’d come home. When she’d seen him, she’d jumped out of the boat and had run into the woods, her long legs flying gracefully. When he’d followed her, she’d said hi and her dark eyes had sparkled with such joy, she’d bewitched him. After that, she’d been too shy to say more, and, hell, so had he.

Logan’s eyes narrowed, and Noonoon changed tack.

“She only be here a week, Miss Cici, and Mr. Pierre, he already plum crazy about her.”

“He told me,” Logan said coldly, imagining Cici preying on the vulnerable old man.

“He been doing real good. I know you wants him to move to New Orleans and all…”

“To a fabulous assisted living arrangement near my house that I can personally supervise.”

“But places like that aren’t home, and we all know how busy you be. How often could you get yourself over to see him? Mr. Pierre, he be happy here. Old people at those homes just sit and stare.”

“You can’t take care of him day and night. You have your own family.”

Since the house was open to the public, Noonoon’s main job was as a housekeeper, not a caregiver to his grandfather. She’d agreed to help with him temporarily.

“Well, now that Miss Cici is here…”

“She’s not staying.”

“Well, she sing and play the piano for him every day. She talk to him. Most nights they eat dinner together. She cooks. You remember how she loves to cook.”

“The way she runs around all over the world, she won’t be here that long.”

“You sure about that? She shore is settlin’ in. Says she’s tired of all that running, that she’s had enough pain to last her a lifetime. And she have her book to write.”

“Not another book. I hope she’s focusing on something that has nothing to do with me this time.”

“She hasn’t mentioned you.”

He wasn’t reassured. Cici’s book on the oil industry in Louisiana after Katrina had made Claiborne Energy look bad. Had she mentioned even once how many people had jobs because of Claiborne Oil? No, her book had been full of pictures of rusting pipelines and oil-covered wildlife and shots of boats on water that used to be land with captions blaming companies like Claiborne Energy for the state’s vanishing marshlands.

“And she wants to see about her uncle Bos and all,” Noonoon was saying. “He’s not too strong, you know, after his treatments. Stubborn cuss, though. She calls and calls him, but he still won’t speak to her. You’d think after all these years, he’d forgive her. All she ever did was be friends with you and Jake.”

Guilt made a muscle in his jaw pull. So, she was still estranged from her uncle. Just like he and Jake were estranged from each other…because of that summer. Not that most decent people in these parts thought Bos was worth knowing. Still, he was her uncle. He’d taken her in when she was orphaned.

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