Games of the Heart (Crimson Romance)

Games of the Heart (Crimson Romance) by Eva Shaw Read Free Book Online

Book: Games of the Heart (Crimson Romance) by Eva Shaw Read Free Book Online
Authors: Eva Shaw
Tags: Romance, Contemporary
colored chalk flew from the top of the arts and craft cabinet and willy-nilly-ed right on my head, face and shirt, I’d given up. Never thought about it until I got the call from He Who Was Marrying at Caesars. Apparently this … this doxy had already impressed him with her impressive chest and other bodily parts, of which as a minister I tried not to think about, but as a woman I certainly was aware of. And now was coercing my gramps to marry her without any regard for his own family, which consisted of only me.
    Well, you’ve got to do more than that to shut up this minister, this granddaughter, this woman. I am woman, hear me snarl, at least when it comes to protecting my grandfather. I’d tell her a thing or three. Mark my words, I thought, dusting chalk from my bangs, it wouldn’t matter how I looked, even if I really truly wished I looked like a million bucks. I was ready to fight fire with a blaze of fury.
    What kind of woman was she? Wait, make that a child. The answer could be spelled in four letters: S-C-U-M.
    Get this. They had the supreme gall to just leave a message and invite me to be part of the ceremony. Not have me call back and tell me the news, no way, not even that consideration. I flopped back in my chair and thought how about I’d always harbored a secret hope that Gramps and my dear friend, Senator Geraldine English, would marry. What did Geraldine think? Did Gramps’ longtime friends from the university even know? Had he called the guys from the band? Would we all end up there to celebrate the nuptials of Gramps and an underage, wannabe Playboy centerfold?
    Oh, those stupid, calming breaths that a yoga teacher tried to get me to do. I sounded more like the Little Engine that Couldn’t, and besides, they never worked, especially when I was jumping to conclusions. There was no doubt in my mind that I could now qualify for the Olympic pole-vaulting event, minus the pole. In and out, I breathed; huff and puff, the train went up and down. Whatever was going to happen at five that night was something I wasn’t going to like, that was a sure bet.
    • • •
    A Kansas, “Help me, Auntie Em” Tornado Alley tornado had nothing on me for the rest of that day. Dropping Harmony at the condo, she assured me she’d watch TV or sleep. “I didn’t get much last night.”
    “Girls always love bubble baths, so help yourself to the stuff in the bathroom.” Nice way to say, “You need to freshen up, girlfriend.” I thought so, then added, “Frozen dinners you can microwave and popcorn and stuff like that. You’ll find ice cream and yogurt. Oreos and chocolate in the cupboard, too.” See, I can share.
    These were my favorite cozy comforts, so I thought they’d work for her, maybe. I lead a pretty clean life, but hey, okay, I didn’t tell her about the stash of Godiva chocolates with only two pieces left in the second box. A girl has to have something to come home to.
    “Not hungry.” She was far too skinny, but I had more on the George Foreman grill that was my life than to get a teenager a square meal. She’d have to wait for a future date if there was going to be a lecture on nutrition.
    “If that changes, Harmony, help yourself. We’ll eat when I come home with my grandfather.” And I didn’t add, “And his new child bride.” She waved. I waved and made a quickie U-turn on the cul-de-sac, sped along the lines of tan stucco, red-roofed condos of the same ilk as mine, and headed toward the Strip.
    I may stretch the truth, but the gridlock in Vegas is so bad, the male crap dealers who shave before they head for their shift have stubble when they arrive at the casinos. That sizzling afternoon was no different. Traffic moved like a snail on Tylenol PM. I shunned I-15, where there was even gridlock at the on-ramps, and inched to Caesar’s Palace on the surface streets. Tires squealed as I pulled in front, I tossed my keys to a cutie-pattootie valet, took the ticket, and said, “Park it with

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