To Tame Her Tycoon LoverBy: Ann Major
Bos and Grandpre’s enmity had sharpened over the issue of Bos’s cockfighting. Once fighting cocks had become illegal, the two had had fewer issues to quarrel over.
“Cici said she wants to live somewhere quiet, and you of all people know the garçonnière is mighty quiet.”
“You gave her the garonnire? My old rooms?” He was shouting, and he never shouted. Not even when someone as hard as Mitchell Butler tried to screw Claiborne Energy for millions.
“Mr. Pierre, he be the one who rent it to her,” she defended herself softly.
Remembering the cute red Miata parked by the two-story octagonal building, Logan’s pulse began to thud. So, the dangerous, flashy sports car was hers. Why was that a surprise? Cici had a reckless streak. And no wonder…with that trapper cockfighting, swamp-rat of an uncle who’d raised her, mainly by neglecting her.
If his grandfather had been himself he would know that Cici couldn’t be dedicated to him in any real way. No, she probably had some secret agenda.
“Sorry I raised my voice,” Logan whispered, straining for control. “This isn’t your fault. Or hers. It’s mine—for not moving Grandpère sooner. I’ll deal with her now.”
“Oh, Miss Cici, she don’t like anybody bothering her in the afternoon. Not unless it’s an emergency. You see, she writes when Mr. Pierre naps. Then at four she and Mr. Pierre, they give the last tour together. I reckon she be free to talk around five.”
“How can he manage walking so far in his condition?”
Noonoon’s sharp look made him wince as he remembered he hadn’t seen his grandfather in a month.
“Miss Cici got him off his walker. Gave him a cane and bought him a new, lightweight wheelchair. She hired Mr. Buzz to build ramps everywhere. She pushes Pierre when he be tired. With the ramps he can get up to all the slave cabins now.”
More ramps? Logan’s pulse in his temple had speeded up. He didn’t believe Cici had come home to care for his grandfather. She had never known how to take proper care of herself. No way could she take care of Pierre. Not for the long haul.
His grandfather needed dedicated nurses and the latest, modern, long-term care, and he was going to have them.
More to the point: his grandfather was his responsibility.
The sooner he dealt with Cici and sent her packing, the better.
Cici turned off the hot water and sighed. For the first time in a long time, she felt good, surprisingly good. Almost at peace with herself.
Maybe taking a break from her cameras and all the death she’d seen in war zones and coming home had been the right decision after all.
She stepped out of the shower, grabbed a towel from the rack and flung it on the floor. Planting her bare feet with their hot pink nails on the thick terry cloth, she sucked in a breath and savored the sensual feel of warm water rushing down her breasts and belly and thighs onto the towel.
Her toes curled into the soft terry in sheer delight. She, who’d lived for months in tents with no running water, appreciated a hot shower in a safe, familiar locale as the luxuries they truly were. Whipping a second towel free, she wound it around her curly, wet hair and began to rub.
The windows were open. The sweetness of the faint breeze that brought the scents of magnolia and crepe myrtle and pine through the second-story windows caused her to shiver.
Frogs sang. No, they roared in chorus right along with the bull alligators after the rain last night when she’d taken Pierre’s pirogue and had paddled it out into the brooding swamp to watch the herons and egrets and buzzards flying home to their nests.
She squeezed her eyes shut and listened. She could almost hear the stirring of moss in the cypress trees.
“Aah,” she murmured, sighing heavily and yet very happily. She knew she was procrastinating, that she should be at the computer writing, but she couldn’t resist taking a moment to appreciate fully the bliss of being home after years of exile.
Writers had so many excuses for not writing. Life versus work was a biggie. How could you write if you did not let yourself experience life?
Content to procrastinate, she took in a deep breath and then another. Until this particular, miraculous moment, for such moments of true awareness were small miracles, she’d never let herself admit how much she’d longed to come home and see Belle Rose again. For always, always Belle Rose, ever since she’d been orphaned at eight and brought to live in her Uncle Bos’s shack on marshy land that bordered the Claibornes’ superior property Belle Rose had stood like a vision of paradise in her imagination.