White Knight(8)

By: CD Reiss


“Yeah, duh.” The granola tinkled into the bowl.

“He sent me a letter.” I peeled the top off the yogurt container and plucked a spoon out of the rack.

Her eyes went as wide as her bowl. “Really? What did he say?”

“Lance died.” I dropped a lump of yogurt into her bowl and gave her the spoon.

“Aw,” she said, poking her spoon against the bottom of the bowl. “Percy’s the last of that litter.”

I didn’t give myself a second to doubt my next question. I just spit out what was on my mind, too late to sound casual. “I was wondering if you’d look Chris up on the computer? See how he’s doing?”

She put her back to the counter and held the bowl in front of her, swirling the granola into the yogurt. “Why?”

“Because I’m asking.”

“Yeah, but I don’t know what you’re asking for exactly? Do you want to know where he works or do you want his bank account info?”

“Harper Barrington!” I scolded. “You said you stopped that!”

She shrugged. Did I like that she was a hacker? No. But I could only make her promise she wouldn’t steal or cheat. She’d never promised to stop hacking. At this point, she was a grown woman and I was so ignorant of the digital world, I didn’t even know what the promise meant.

Besides, she needed to exercise her mind, not shut it down.

“I don’t want his bank information,” I said.

“Too bad.” She ate like a prisoner of war.

“What do you mean?”

She scraped the last of the yogurt out of the curve of the bowl. “He’s loaded.”

My heart twisted and my skin got hot. Not because he had money. She could have revealed that he was a schoolteacher and I would have had the same reaction. My body reacted to the fact that she, my sister, anyone in the same room as me, knew anything about him. It was like touching him from a universe away.

I didn’t know how much further I wanted to go, but Harper wasn’t one to slip through a door quietly; she burst through.

“Has his own hedge fund and a seat on the Exchange. Ex-wife but no kids.”

He’d gotten married? That seemed impossible. How could what we had be replicated in the same lifetime?

“Really?” I held up my chin. I didn’t want to show her that I was tripped up.

“Italian model. I forget her name. He’s got a sweet penthouse on Central Park West and a net worth around—”

“Stop!”

She obeyed, washing the bowl with a roll of her eyes. My own sister was closer to him than I was. And the ex-wife…

I had to swallow a lump of jealousy before I spoke again. “You’ve been talking to him?”

“Hell, no!” She put the bowl in the rack. “But I’ve been watching, more or less. He can’t see me do it and it’s mostly legal.”

“Mostly?”

“I won’t get caught and I don’t touch anything.”

“Fine, I guess.” I pulled a towel off the rack and dried the bowl. “He seems all right?”

“Yeah. Kinda. Healthy, wealthy. He doesn’t go out much. Just big events.”

“And he’s divorced?”

“Yeah. Recently. She’s dumb. I can tell.”

I laughed a little but not a lot. The jealousy was pushing its way back up my throat. “As long as you say so.”

“Why are you asking?”

I would have to tell her at some point. The minutes before she ran out the door were as good as any. “He’s coming back to bury Lance.”

“Wow.” She shook her head a little, staring at me as if the shock kept her from averting her gaze. “We have to clean up.”

“I can manage it.”

“And the thorn bush?” She indicated the backyard with a flip of her fingers. “That’s not going to go over well—oh.” She froze as if realizing something unpleasant. “Reg.”

“I keep telling you there’s nothing between Reggie and me.”

“But I keep hoping.”

“You’re sweet. But no.”

With a glance at the clock, she started out. She gave me a list of things to pick up when I went shopping, including a strange men’s toiletry item. I assumed it was for Taylor, and as she drove away, I felt that little bit of jealousy well up again. My sister was performing mundane tasks for a man she cared about. I longed to do the same.