McKettricks of Texas: Garrett

McKettricks of Texas: Garrett by Linda Lael Miller Read Free Book Online

Book: McKettricks of Texas: Garrett by Linda Lael Miller Read Free Book Online
Authors: Linda Lael Miller
you right now!”
    If it hadn’t been for Nan and the kids and the golden retrievers—hell, if it hadn’t been for the people of Texas, who’d elected this man to the U.S. Senate three times—Garrett would have told Morgan Cox what he could do with the job.
    â€œSit tight,” he replied instead. “I’ll call off the dogs and send Troy to pick you up. You’re still going to need to lie low for a while, though.”
    â€œI want you here, Garrett,” Cox all but exploded. “ You’re my right-hand man—Troy is just a driver.” Another pause followed, and then, “You’re on that damn ranch, aren’t you? You’re two hours from Austin!”
    Garrett had recently bought a small airplane, a Cessna he kept in the ramshackle hangar out on the ranch’s private airstrip. He’d fire it up and fly back to the city.
    â€œI’ll be there right away,” Garrett said.
    â€œIs there a next step?” Cox asked, mellowing out a little.
    â€œYes. I’m calling a press conference for this afternoon, Senator. You might want to be thinking about what you’re going to tell your constituents.”
    â€œI’ll tell them the same thing I told the group last night,” Cox blustered, “that I’ve fallen in love.”
    Garrett couldn’t make himself answer that time.
    â€œAre you still there?” Cox asked.
    â€œYes, sir,” Garrett replied, his voice gruff with the effort. “I’m still here.”
    But damned if I know why.
    H ELEN M ARCUS DUCKED INTO J ULIE’S OFFICE just as she was pulling a sandwich from her uneaten brown-bag lunch. Having spent her lunch hour grading compositions, she was ravenous.
    At last, a chance to eat.
    â€œBig news,” Helen chimed, rolling the TV set Julie used to play videos and DVDs for the drama club into the tiny office and switching it on. Helen was Julie’s age, dark-haired, plump and happily married, and the two of them had grown up together. “There is a God!”
    Puzzled, and with a headache beginning at the base of her skull, Julie frowned. “What are you talking—?”
    Before she could finish the question, though, Garrett McKettrick’s handsome face filled the screen. Commanding in a blue cotton shirt, without a coat or a tie, he sat behind a cluster of padded microphones, earnestly addressing a room full of reporters.
    â€œThat sum-bitch Morgan Cox is finally going to resign,” Helen crowed. “I feel it in my bones!”
    While Julie shared Helen’s low opinion of the senator—she actually mistrusted all politicians—she couldn’t helpbeing struck by the expression in Garrett’s eyes. The one he probably thought he was hiding.
    Whatever the front he was putting on for the press, Garrett was stunned. Maybe even demoralized.
    Julie watched and listened as the man she’d encountered in the ranch-house kitchen early that morning fielded questions—the senator, apparently, had elected to remain in the background.
    Helen had been wrong about the resignation. Senator Cox was not prepared to step down, but he needed some “personal time” with his family, according to Garrett. Colleagues would cover for him in the meantime.
    â€œSo where’s the pole dancer?” Helen demanded.
    â€œPole dancer?” Julie echoed.
    Garrett, the senator and the reporters faded to black, and Helen switched off the TV. “The pole dancer, ” she repeated. “Some blonde the senator picked up in a seedy girlie club. He wants to marry her—I saw it on the eleven o’clock news last night and again this morning.” The math teacher rolled her eyes. “It’s true love. He and the bimbette have been together in other lives. And there’s our own Garrett McKettrick, defending the man.” A sad shake of the head. “Jim and Sally raised those three boys of theirs right. Garrett

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