The Hotel Magnate's Demand(71)

By: Jennifer Rae

She was every bit as young as he had thought at first, pretty and petite with midlength auburn hair, green eyes that were slightly almond shaped and porcelain skin. She even had a little smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose. Surely she was too young to be in such a responsible position.

He rose, worry for his sister crowding out everything else.

“How is she? Is her ankle broken? How are the babies?”

“You were right to bring her in. I’m sorry things have been taking so long. It must be almost the children’s bedtime.”

“They’re doing okay for now. How is Tricia?”

Dr. Shaw gestured to the chair and sat beside him after he sank back down. That was never a good sign, when the doctor took enough time to sit down, too.

“For the record, she gave me permission to share information with you. I can tell you that she has a severe sprain from the fall. I’ve called our orthopedics specialist on call and he’s taking a look at her now to figure out a treatment plan. With the proper brace, her ankle should heal in a month or so. She’ll have to stay off it for a few weeks, which means a wheelchair.”

His mind raced through the possible implications of that. He needed to find a housekeeper immediately. He had three new green broke horses coming in the next few days for training and he was going to be stretched thin over the next few weeks—lousy timing over the holidays, but he couldn’t turn down the work when he was trying so hard to establish Evergreen Springs as a powerhouse training facility.

How would he do everything on his own? Why couldn’t things ever be easy?

“The guest room and bathroom are both on the main level,” he said. “That will help. Can we pick up the wheelchair here or do I have to go somewhere else to find one?”

The doctor was silent for a few beats too long and he gave her a careful look.

“What aren’t you telling me?” he asked.

She released a breath. “Your sister also appears to be in the beginning stages of labor.”

He stared. “It’s too early! The babies have to be too small.”

Panic and guilt bloomed inside him, ugly and dark, and he rose, restless with all the emotions teeming inside him. She shouldn’t have been outside where she risked falling. He told her she didn’t have to go out to the bus to pick up the children. The stop was only a few hundred yards from the front door. They could walk up themselves, he told her, but she insisted on doing it every day. Said she needed the fresh air and the exercise.

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