Colters' Lady(6)

By: Maya Banks


“You should come visit before you go back to work, Seth. We don’t see enough of you anymore.

After you go back to work, you’ll never make it over.”

14



“I’ll see what I can do. Promise. How are the dads?” he asked.

She sighed but allowed him to change the subject. “They’re as good as ever. Ethan is in town helping your brother do some repairs on the pub. They had trouble last night.”

Seth frowned. “What kind of trouble? Is Dillon all right?”

“Oh, he’s fine. Just a bunch of drunk college kids. Broke out a window. Lacey locked them up and they spent the night in jail.”

Seth smiled. Life in Clyde. It never changed.

“Adam and Ryan are here. Did you want to speak to them?”

Though it was voiced as a seemingly innocent question, it was anything but. It was a command, and one he didn’t dare ignore. His mom was about the sweetest woman on earth, but she was also a tyrant when it came to her family.

“Sure, put one of them on.”

Seth sighed and waited.

“Son, how are you doing?”

Adam Colters’ voice, as gruff as ever, came over the line, and Seth smiled. Damn but it was good to hear their voices. His mom was right. He didn’t call often enough.

“I’m good, Dad. How are things there? Is Mom doing okay?”

Adam sighed. “It’s not your mother you need to be worried about.”

Seth laughed. “What’s she on your asses about now?”

“You,” Adam said bluntly. “You know, if you’d just come see her, our lives might go back to being peaceful.”

“Is it my fault you married a tyrant?”

“Don’t sass me, boy,” Adam growled. “I can still whip your ass.”

Seth laughed again and felt the tightness in his chest ease. A tightness he hadn’t realized he’d carried around so much lately.

“How is everyone else? How is Michael’s practice doing?”

“Good. Real good. He’s busier than a one-armed paper hanger. Your mother stays after him about sleeping enough. Ryan and Ethan and I keep telling her that the only way the boy is going to make a success of his practice is if he gets out there where the animals are. You know your mother, though. She’s only concerned that he’s eating and resting.”

“Yeah, I hear you on that,” Seth said in amusement. “Mom said that Dillon had some trouble at his place?”

There was silence for a moment and Seth tensed.

“Dillon wasn’t there when it happened. Your sister was. Your mother doesn’t know that part of it, so you don’t need to mention it.”


15



“What? Callie’s back? When did this happen and why did no one tell me?”

“She didn’t stop in at your place when she flew in to Denver?”

Seth frowned. “No, this is the first I’ve heard of it. I thought she was still in Europe. I got an email from her a couple weeks ago and nothing since.”

“Your mother’s convinced something happened to her. Callie’s tightlipped, though, and isn’t talking.

She just showed up a few days ago and asked Dillon if she could work behind the bar at his place.”

“Damn,” Seth murmured. He and Callie were close. All his siblings were, but he’d always shared a closer relationship with his little sister than his two brothers. And she hadn’t said a word to him about coming back.

She always crashed at his place when she flew in or out of Denver. She’d been the one to stay after he’d been released from the hospital, only leaving for Europe when he’d sworn he was fine and didn’t need her coddling anymore.

The fact that she hadn’t stopped on her way home could only mean she had something to hide.

“So you said Callie was working last night and Dillon wasn’t around. What happened? Was she hurt?”

Adam chuckled. “Oh hell, no. Not our girl. When the idiots tried to start some shit with her, she tossed one of them through the window.”

There was a note of intense pride in his dad’s voice that made Seth smile. That was one thing Seth could say about Callie. Growing up with three dads and three older brothers? She’d learned early how to kick ass and take names. She didn’t take shit off anyone.

“Lacey is thinking about retiring,” Adam said abruptly.

Seth rolled his eyes. “Dad, she’s been thinking about retiring for the last ten years. It’ll never happen.

They’ll pry her stiff carcass out of the sheriff’s office at ninety.”

Lacey England was the long-time sheriff of Clyde and also Seth’s godmother. She doted on all the Colter children, but from the time he was old enough, Seth had followed her around, always interested in who she was arresting.

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