Once everyone was settled and my guests were comfortable, I set myself to spying. I’d never heard about most of these people before, and found it strange that they were here with Law, which could only mean that they were involved somehow in whatever it was that was giving Colton fits since his visit to Law’s.
I’d been plotting since the moment he told me that they were coming, and though I was more than happy to have them, that joy was twofold. I wanted answers, and since I knew none of the men were going to be forthcoming, I knew just where to get them.
Colton wasn’t being his usual gruff self whenever there was anything carrying testosterone in my vicinity, so I knew that he was preoccupied, the only thing that would do that in my opinion, was if this thing whatever it was, had to do with one of us, even one of the kids.
I know him very well he forgets that I was there when that crazy girl was after me years ago, and the way he’d reacted. If I were the one in danger, I’d be strapped into a chair somewhere with an armed guard on twenty-four hour duty. That could only mean one thing, it was one of the kids, but try as I might I couldn’t put it together.
He’s been keeping a close watch on Caitlin since that night, even going so far as to have someone posted outside the school while she was there, but I’d put it down to the thing with Todd and had even gone so far as to tease him about it. The thought that she might be in danger made my stomach hurt, but I didn’t want to jump to conclusions.
I kept things light and played the hostess while the men were inside, but all the while I was biding my time, sizing up the women. I knew from little snippets here and there that these women were at Law’s place when Colt went there, and that’s where they’d met. But I also gathered that they didn’t know much more than I did. These men; still, they were close to the action and I know that if they were anything like me, they must know something.
“So you’re all planning weddings? That must be stressful with all that the guys have going on.” I started in as soon as I saw Colt leading the guys outside. Colt was outside and the kids were off showing baby Zakira around. I didn’t miss the looks that passed between them, or the way they all checked to see where their men were same as I had.
“I know one thing, if they don’t get it taken care of come May I’m gonna go hunt these fools down myself.” Gabriella folded her legs and took a sip of her ginger ale while the others snickered. “Yeah, and Logan would skin you alive, you’re in enough trouble as it is from the last stunt. Me, I’m not about to step on Zak’s toes anytime soon, he’s already acting like a wounded bear and he’s only gotten worse since we came back from Law’s.”
“Nice little getaway my butt; that’s what they tried to sell us, that the trip out to Law’s was just to get away. Then the first night we were there they disappeared.” Dani rolled her eyes and sniffed. I knew I liked these women. They might look like southern belles and runway models, but they weren’t stupid.
“Wait, go hunt who down?” There was dead silence as the women all exchanged looks before sizing me up themselves. I didn’t feel anyway, didn’t take it personally, after all, they didn’t know me from Adam, but it was obvious they knew something and if me, and my family were involved I wanted in.
“Look ladies, I know we’ve just met and you have no reason to trust me, but our husbands are obviously working on something together and you know some if not all of it. My house has been an armed camp for the last month or so and I’d like to know why. So if there’s anything you can tell me…”
“If Ty knew we were talking about this he’d have a fit, but I’m with the rest of you. How much do you know Katarina?” Victoria-Lyn was the most forward of the bunch though a little reserved. Vanessa was like a mother hen watching out for the rest of them. Even from her seat in the chair it was obvious she was on alert, probably some kind of military training.
Dani and Gaby played the debutante role very well, but they weren’t fooling me, these women were smart, they had to be with the men they were marrying, they’d need to know how to hold their own. Dana Sue, Ginger Lee, Melissa, Illyana and Suzette seemed a little rough around the edges, like they’d seen more than the others. I knew they were from Law’s place and though I didn’t know too much about the goings on there, I knew that he’d seen some trouble not too long ago with the loss of his family.
Jessie if I remember correctly was Creed’s wife, she seemed young, and bore a slight resemblance to me at that age in her behavior and mannerisms. I liked them all, but there was something about her that touched me. She gave off this aura of innocence that made you want to protect her from the big bad world.
And then there was Susie, the youngest of the bunch. It was cute the way her eyes followed the muscle bound SEAL and the way he kept her in his sights at all times. The others were always strategically placed near their women when in the same room, kinda like Colt, and it was good to see that I wasn’t the only one married to a nut.
“I know that Colton left here one day to visit a friend and came back and put us all under lock and key. For a good week I was expecting I don’t know what, but I do know he’s been trying really hard to act like everything’s okay when I know it ain’t and his answer for everything is ‘it’s nothing for you to worry about baby.” We all had a good laugh at my impersonation of Mr. Lyon.
“Oh he’s one of those too is he? They’re all the same. Law just tells me not to worry my pretty little head about anything like that’s all that’s needed.” Dana Sue glared towards the French doors where we could see the men standing around in deep conversation.
“Sounds like Clay, but ladies, as an author I do a lot of observing and snooping around and I make no excuses for it. I can tell you that Clay has been working overtime on something.” Ginger looked pensive as she sat back in her chair and tapped her fingers on her knee.
“I didn’t say anything before because I wasn’t sure, but mom said something was going on before the guys snatched her. Some guy from Georgia was coming, he’s related to my grandfather but he’s some big shot or something. I heard Brandon mention that guy’s name after everyone came to visit.”
“Illyana you’re holding out?”
“No Ginger, I just didn’t think it meant anything at the time. We were all just worried about Jess remember? And the guys were being so hush-hush about everything…”
“When aren’t they being that way? So we’re all agreed that something’s up and all our guys are involved. What was the name Illyana?” Melissa had trouble written all over her face, the kind of fun type that would keep you in the best kind of mischief.
“Stanton, Stockton, one of those I think.” The girls from Georgia went on high alert and you could feel the tension in the room go up a few degrees. “What? Who is he?” The rest of us looked towards them as they became restless.
“Okay maybe we should start at the beginning. The guys don’t know we know this so keep it between us promise? I don’t want to deal with Connor and his craziness. Ever since I told him about the baby he’s been like a raving lunatic, I’m lucky I’m allowed to step out the front door these days.” The conversation turned to the craziness that ensues when one of our men hear the word pregnant.
“Okay Dani, we all know our boys are way past gone in the head, now what do you know?” Gaby moved to the edge of her seat as the rest of us waited with baited breath.
“Now understand, I only know bits and pieces, and you guys know most of what I know, but maybe we all know enough to piece this mess together. When the guys first moved to town there were whispers about stuff going on down by the water at night. No one ever had any real evidence to support anything, but after the guys came, I noticed at night that Con and the others would go down there to stake out the place.”
“Then Gaby there was that night you and I went looking and dragged Vanessa with us and those guys almost nabbed us. They were military, Vanessa you told us about the woman who used to work for me, and dragging her back but we never saw her, so we assumed that she was part of whatever was going on.
Then there’s Stockton, that’s Victoria-Lynn’s story.” Our attention turned to Vicky who had been quiet ever since the name came up. She cleared her throat and looked uncomfortable before she started.
“When he was working me over in that room he kept asking me about Ty. I thought he’d somehow found out that I was in love with Ty and was just jealous because I wouldn’t give him the time of day. It was only after that I kinda thought it might be something else. You all know how tight lipped these guys are, but I’ve heard bits and pieces which I’ve shared with my sisters. Stockton is involved in some kind of trafficking deal, I don’t know what, drugs maybe, but I have no proof.”
“I don’t know, drugs, don’t do it for me.”
“Well what do you suggest Vanessa?”
“I don’t know, but the other night the guys were in my kitchen. They thought I was asleep, but I had to get up to check on the baby since she’s been teething and I heard something.” She stopped short and checked the French doors where the men were still visible.”
“Well don’t leave us in suspense, what did you hear?” Gaby knocked her leg with hers. “I heard a name, one I’ve never heard outside a closed room with people who have the highest security clearance. Mancini.”
“Who is he?”
“Not many people know, but I do know if our boys are playing around with him, then whatever is going on here is bigger than drugs.”
“I’m almost sorry I asked, all this talk is only make me more paranoid, what are we going to do?” I’m not sure what I’d been expecting them to say, but all this talk was making me more nervous that my Colt might be involved in something that could get him hurt or worse.
Once we realized that each of us had little bits and pieces and when added together came up with a whole, the picture started to come into focus, but there were still big gaping holes needing to be filled.
It was amazing even with the subject matter, how easy it was for all of us to sit around like this, like old friends. Elena wasn’t here she’d only stayed around long enough to meet everyone and welcome them ahead of the big day.
I hadn’t shared my suspicions with her I didn’t have anything to share. I think Colton had shared what was going on with his father and mine because of all the secret meets in the study. Of course us little old ladies were too soft to get involved. Now I had to find a way to put all this new info to good use.
“I don’t know about you ladies, but I’m thinking we need to keep in touch. It’s blatantly obvious that if we want to know what’s going on with these men of ours that we’re gonna have to be sneaky about it. So what do you say we keep our ears to the ground and see if we can finish this puzzle.”
“Sounds good to me Katarina, we already exchanged numbers and emails with Dana Sue and the others when we visited a few weeks ago, we’ll be sure and do the same before we leave.”
“Thanks Vanessa that sounds like a great plan. Oh crap Colt’s watching, let’s change the subject.”