“Go on inside,” Savannah said, wanting to ensure her daughter couldn’t be called as a witness when Savannah was brought to trial for murder.
“No way, Mom.” Katie shook her head.
“Go,” Savannah said, giving her a hard look until Katie sighed dramatically and finally left.
Savannah flew into the bush.
“What the hell are you still doing—”
Sweat ran down his back. His very naked back. Suddenly Savannah felt every degree of the midday heat.
“Here,” she finished, trying to end strong. Trying to keep her eyes off his smooth skin.
He turned, dropping the scythe and wiping an arm across his brow. “Working,” he said, his eyes totally empty. “I’m going to finish what I started.”
“It’s not necessary,” she insisted.
“Trust me, it is,” he answered, and she got the sense he was talking about something else.
Not that I care, she reminded herself. Not that it matters one bit.
“Talk to your grandmother.”’ He blinked for a moment, and his dead eyes flared with life. “I am sorry,” he said. “I never meant to hurt anyone.”
“Well,” she snapped, hating that he knew he hurt her, “it’s what happens when you lie to people.”
She left quickly, relieved that her battle lay with Margot.
Margot was stretched out across her bed, Matt’s files around her and Katie tucked up beside her.
“Did you know your brother Carter has been promoted to Mayor Pro Tempore of Baton Rouge? He’s the president of city council.” Margot put down the files and beamed, the proud relative. “Isn’t that incredible? So smart, that boy. I always knew—”
“It would be incredible if he picked up the phone and called to tell us himself,” Savannah barked, feeling raw and pissed.
“Well, I imagine he’s busy,” Margot said. “Chief of—”
“Why is he still here?” Savannah demanded, unwilling to be sidetracked.
“I can only assume you are talking about Matt.” Margot put down Carter’s file and took off her reading glasses.
Savannah blinked, speechless, stunned by Margot’s insensitivity.
“He lied to us, Margot. He had us investigated.”
“With due cause, I think. He was trying to get justice for his father. It’s pretty noble, once you think about it.”
“Noble? His father’s a thief and Matt is a fraud!”
“He was a fraud. And now, we have a very contrite handyman.”
Savannah could only gape.
“Shove over.” Margot gave Katie a jostle and Katie scrambled to make room. “Come sit down,” Margot invited, patting the bed right beside the picture of laughing Savannah.
“Tell me you’re joking,” Savannah said through numb lips.
Margot shook her head. “We need the work done.”
“We’ll get someone else.”
“We tried that already,” Margot said, stretching out her legs.
“I don’t want him in my home.”
“I’m not dead yet, honey,” Margot said, a hundred percent resolved, and a resolved Margot was an unshakeable one. “So it’s still my house.”
Savannah felt betrayed down to her toes. She finally sat on the corner of the bed, defeated and tired. “What are you doing?”
Margot reached out to touch her hair. “You liked him, honey,” she whispered as if he were a puppy in a window.
Savannah shook off the touch, horrified. “You’re matchmaking?”
Margot shrugged and winked at Katie, who was watching the exchange like a starved dog watched a chicken bone.
Savannah, overcome on all sides, fell backward on the bed.
“Come on, honey,” Margot said. “It’s only a few days and we really do need to get that work finished. And considering his guilt and his profession, I think it’s safe to say we’re going to get far more than we paid for.”
We already did, Savannah thought, her unruly flesh tingling.
“Mom doesn’t want him here,” Katie said, the little pit bull, and Savannah squeezed her leg.