The Counterfeit Bride(7)

By: Liberty Blake


“This could be your way out of the marriage,” Jax said in a lowered voice.

“It could mean the end of Evadne Island,” Theron muttered back.





3





Cassidy’s hat skimmed across her hotel room to land on a table in front of the windows. A toss worthy of John Wayne, the actor that cute old priest admired so much. She walked over to the bed and collapsed onto the side of it. Her energy level; zilch.

“Cassidy, you look beat,” Lynda Davis, said from the doorway of the adjoining room. The woman had some frightening tattoos, but nothing could hide the love and loyalty in her soul. “How’d things go at the church? Did you stop the wedding?”

Cassidy struggled into a sitting position and started yanking her boots off. As they unceremoniously hit the floor, her poor, aching feet celebrated their liberation. If her toes could sing, there’d be a hearty chorus of Hallelujah. The poor things hadn’t been freed since she had left her house and boarded the puddle jumper in Lubbock, Texas. Well, except for that humiliating search she had to go through at the international airport when the TSA people did everything but a cavity search on her.

She never dreamed it would be forty-eight hours before she would see her Pretty Kitty socks again or that she had to wear her bar clothes into the beautiful old cathedral.

Lynda and Moose had insisted on accompanying Cassidy to Greece. There was no way they would let “their girl” travel all that way alone, especially once they had seen how upset Cassidy had been. She would rather they had stayed home and cared for Zio while she was gone, but they had been overprotective towards her ever since Rico died six months earlier.

After Rico’s funeral they gathered the remnants of their old motorcycle gang, to guard Cassidy and acted as doting grandparents to Zio. Cassidy knew there was no way they would allow her to walk into what they feared was a trap without suitable backup. That’s what family was all about. They took care of each other. They loved each other. They protected each other. They stuck together in times of adversity as well as the good ones. Cassidy had learned the hard way family wasn’t about blood; it was about love and trust. She had loved and trusted Rico and now she relied on friends like Lynda and Moose to help her protect baby Zio.

“Oh, babe, you should have seen her. She was magnificent. She fluttered her pretty pansy eyes and told her tale. She only allowed the Yankee frost to slip into her sugar-will-melt-in-her-mouth voice a few times. She even snapped her fingers at me like she was one of those high falutin’ society babes.” Moose smiled from the suite’s living room door. “Cassidy, when we go to the embassy do you want me in my leathers or my lawyers’ duds?”

Cassidy sighed. She didn’t want to go to the embassy. She didn’t want to be in Athens. She wanted to be home with her son. “We decided to present ourselves as professionals, not a bunch of rowdies from the Wild West.” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “I guess it’s too late to worry about that.”

Moose swaggered into the room on legs, bowed, not from riding a horse all day, but his years riding a hog. “Well, little lady, that bull has already escaped the chute,” he said in his best cowboy imitation. No one would guess he was from Hoboken, New Jersey, never mind that he was a former motorcycle cop turned lawyer. “Maybe instead of a prim and proper appearance we should stick with the bush whacker look. The groom looked like he’d be more than happy to trade you for that mess of a cousin of yours. If you’d shown up looking like a virgin princess, in a white satin gown and tiara, he’d have scooped you up and we’d have to pry his cold dead hands off you.”

Lynda laughed along with Moose and Ari, the other pseudo bodyguard. Ari’s parents were Greek, so his linguistic skills were invaluable on this trip, especially since Cassidy didn’t want to tip her hand and speak too much Greek. She wanted to know what her adversaries were saying without them knowing she understood them. She was in their territory and she needed every advantage she could get.

“You’re not funny. The man looked at me as if I was a particularly smelly microbe of swamp water.”

“Cass, you are as innocent as a child when it comes to men. I’m afraid we’ve done you a grave disservice keeping all the scum away from you. Men are careful around you because there is always one of us nearby and we scare the crap out of ’em. You may be pint sized, but you have a body that makes men lick their lips, and think of all the things they want to do to you,” Lynda laughed. “Was it the eyes or the legs?” She asked her husband.