Have you seen Tate?” Her heart jumped. “I saw him last night, in fact.” “Is he well?” She grimaced. “Very well, thanks. He doesn’t like it that I go out with Colby Lane.” Leta lifted an eyebrow expressively. “It isn’t like that, Leta. He’s concerned for me. Colby used to drink a lot. He doesn’t anymore, but Tate thinks he’s a bad influence.” She sipped coffee. “Big brother Tate, to the rescue.” “He cares about you a lot.” “Like he’d care about a kid sister, Leta, and we both know it,” she said curtly. “Audrey is the woman in his life, and she shows no signs of going away. If it hadn’t been for his obsession about not marrying into another race, she’d probably be wearing a ring right now. She’s gloriously beautiful.” “She hates Native Americans,” Leta said coldly. “Just like another socialite I once knew. I’ve heard it all before-we’re dirty, ignorant, primitive savages who sit down and let the government support us…” Cecily got up and put her arms around the woman who’d taken the place of her mother in her life. “You’re a clean, intelligent, modern woman with many skills and a great big heart!” she said. “And I’ll knock down the first person who says different!” “You do a lot for us, Cecily,” Leta said solemnly. “More than you know.” She studied her adoptive child with a puzzling scrutiny. “How did your face get scratched, there on your cheek?” She remembered the faint rasp of Tate’s unshaven cheek against hers the night before with shocking clarity. She flushed. Leta pursed her lips. “So that’s what’s been going on,” she mused. “I thought so. I was making sandwiches and it got real quiet in the living room that night before Tate left…” “Stop that,” Cecily muttered, sitting back down. “It didn’t mean anything to him.” Leta shook her head. “He wants you.” The younger woman took a sharp breath. “Wanting isn’t enough,” she said firmly. “I’m not going to become a diversion.” The dark eyes that met hers were wise and sad, full of bitter wisdom. “You stick to your guns,” she said unexpectedly. “It’s easy to give in, Cecily. But then you pay the price. Sometimes it’s very high.” As Leta had reason to know, left pregnant by an ambitious politician who married to advance his career. Cecily could feel Leta’s pain. She reached across the table an gently clasped Leta’s hands. “Perhaps it is,” she said. “But there are some rewards worth the price.
Topics : Paper Rose Quotes