The Sheriff's Son

The Sheriff's Son by Stella Bagwell Read Free Book Online

Book: The Sheriff's Son by Stella Bagwell Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stella Bagwell
rapidly. “About the twins?”
    One corner of his mouth curled mockingly. “What else?”
    What else indeed, she thought, as heat colored her face. “All right. We’ll be there.”
    He touched his finger to the brim of his Stetson, then turned and walked away.
    Justine watched him until he was out of sight, then forced herself to go back inside to work. But forcing him out of her mind was another matter.

Chapter Three
    T hat evening, when Justine got home from work, she scraped her hair back into a ponytail, donned a pair of old, faded jeans, a worn chambray work shirt and tennis shoes with paint splotches on the toes.
    When Roy Pardee showed up, he was going to see that enticing him was the last thing on her mind, Justine assured herself as she walked down to the kitchen.
    As she stepped into the room, Kitty looked up from her task at the cabinet. “What are you going to do, clean the attic?” the woman asked, her eyes running over Justine’s grubby clothes.
    â€œNo. Just getting comfortable,” Justine said offhandedly, then walked over to where the twins were seated, in two high chairs. Bibs were tied around their necks, and damp vanilla-wafer crumbs were scattered across the trays in front of them.
    â€œWhere did the high chairs come from?” Justine asked.
    â€œRose found one in the attic, and Vida brought the other one over this morning,” Kitty said. Vida was an old friend of hers, who lived a few miles down the road, toward Picacho.“Her grandbabies have all grown out of the high-chair stage, and she said she wouldn’t be needing it.”
    â€œShe knew about the twins being here?”
    â€œI told her last night on the phone. But I think the whole Hondo Valley must know by now. The telephone has been ringing all day.”
    Justine tweaked both babies’ cheeks with thumb and forefinger. “I guess it would be impossible to keep the news from traveling. Especially with Roy’s deputies asking questions all over town.”
    Kitty turned her attention back to the cookbook lying open on the cabinet counter. “How do you know this?”
    â€œRoy told me,” Justine answered. “He came to the clinic this morning to have me sign a legal document about keeping the twins.”
    â€œSo that part of it is already settled?”
    Justine walked over to the coffeemaker sitting on the small breakfast bar. “Yes. It’s all legal now. We keep the twins until Roy finds the parents.”
    Kitty looked up from the cookbook. “Sounds like Sheriff Pardee works fast. But, to be honest, I don’t really know how he plans to find who the twins belong to. What does the man have to go on?”
    Justine filled a pottery mug full of coffee and took a cautious sip. “Frankly, I don’t know. But he seems confident. By the way, he’s coming back out to the ranch this evening to speak with Rose and Chloe.” Justine refused to add herself to that list. “Did I tell you?”
    Glancing over her shoulder, Kitty frowned at her niece. “You knew the sheriff was coming out to the ranch and you dressed in that getup?”
    â€œWhat do you mean? Roy isn’t coming out here to see what I’m wearing,” she said with faint irritation.
    â€œWhy, Justine,” Kitty scolded lightly, “I didn’t imply anything of the sort. It’s just that you’re usually so consciousof your appearance. And Sheriff Pardee is a very good-looking man. Single, too.”
    Justine wasn’t surprised at the direction Kitty’s mind had taken. Her aunt was always trying to find husbands for all three of her nieces. “I heard he was divorced.”
    â€œHmm…I think that’s true. Someone—maybe it was Vida—said he used to be married to the past sheriff’s daughter. But the marriage only lasted two or three months. Strange, isn’t it, two people go to all the trouble of getting married

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