Bearfoot and Pregnant(6)

By: Milly Taiden

Ivy threw her arms around Cassie and hugged her tightly. The sweet scent of her cousin’s perfume drifted to her nose and made her smile. Ivy loved her sexy fragrances. “I haven’t seen you in weeks. Sucks that you didn’t come down for the holiday parties. Victoria actually made this place look amazing.”

Cassie knew. She’d seen the photos in the holiday edition of House and Garden magazine. The theme for this year had been ice blue and silver. The entire house looked like it was made of ice. On one hand it had been stunning, but on the other it didn’t look homey. Cassie missed when she was a kid and her dad let her decorate the tree with Estrella, Ivy, and Ivan.

“I want to change,” Cassie threw out suddenly, looking through her closet for something else to wear.

“No!” Ivy screeched, stopping her on her tracks. “You look great in that dress. I’m just not feeling up to wearing a dress or I’d be in one too.”

That part was true. Ivy never gave up the chance to dress up. “You sure it’s not too much?”

Ivy raised a dark brow over her perfectly made up brown eyes that reminded Cassie of her own. “Are you crazy? Have you forgotten where we are? Victoria will probably be wearing something from the Paris Fashion Week.”

Cassie giggled and nodded. “You’re right. Like I could ever be overdressed next to her.”

“Come on, there’s someone Ivan wants you to meet,” Ivy said, tugging her toward the door.

“Really, Ivy. Did you not listen the last time we spoke about what happened with my ex?”

Ivy stopped, turned to face her and sighed. “I know and I’m sorry. He was a douche. But you deserve so much better.”

“I need to figure out my finances before I go trying to find a man.”

Ivy made a dismissive gesture with her hand. “Just ask your dad for your trust fund.”

She shook her head. “Hell no. That money will be for my kids one day.” She scrunched up her nose as she walked arm in arm with Ivy. “If I ever have any. Or for my retirement. One or the other.”

“But you need it now.”

“No. I am still young. I can work and take care of myself. I don’t need someone to take care of me,” she said with authority. “I certainly don’t need my dad’s money when I can work and make my own.”

Ivy’s bold red lips curved into a smile. “This is why I love you. You never take the easy way out.”

She rolled her eyes and chuckled. “Yeah, okay. I don’t know how commendable that is, considering I let myself get taken for a sucker by a man.”

“You’ll figure it out,” Ivy said. She led her into the parlor next to the formal dining room where dinner would be served. “Now come on, Ivan brought a friend he’d like you to meet.”

They entered the parlor where Ivan stood talking to another man. A really big guy. Tall, broad-shouldered and smiling at her like he’d known her all his life, the man instantly made her comfortable.

“Cassie, get over here,” Ivan prompted with a wave of his hand. “This is Massimo,” he said, introducing man. “He’s a good friend of mine and happens to be in town for a few meetings so I thought we could all hang out this weekend.”

Cassie smiled at Massimo. “Hi, nice to meet you.”

He took her offered hand and brought it to his lips, placing a soft kiss there. It was new, a man doing that to her. The blue in his eyes turned bright. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Cassandra.”

She stared openly at his eyes. They reminded her of Gerri’s which meant he had to be a shifter. What kind though? With his size and that smile, she would believe him to be a feline for sure.

“Oh, good,” she heard Victoria say from the door. “You’re all here.”

Cassie turned to face Victoria and her father and frowned. Her dad watched her intensely while at the same time curling an arm protectively around Victoria.

“We have some news to share,” Victoria gushed and glanced up at Cassie’s dad, Ricardo.

“We’re going to have a baby.” He said the words with pride and bent down to give Victoria a kiss.

“Can I get you a drink?” Massimo offered.

“Scotch for Cassie, Massismo,” Ivy said. “She loves her dad’s super expensive scotch.”

Cassie nodded, her throat dry and her head spinning. Victoria had always made it clear she didn’t want children. Hell, even her father had been adamant about no more children due to his older age and inability to keep up with toddlers. Now they were changing things.

The look of triumph Victoria gave her made Cassie want to leave then and there. She wouldn’t though. Her father was a grown man and if he wanted to have kids with someone one third his age, that wasn’t Cassie’s business. It still would make for an awkward weekend. “Make it a double.”

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