From Single Mum to Secret Heiress. KRISTI GOLD

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Название From Single Mum to Secret Heiress
Автор произведения KRISTI GOLD
Жанр Современные любовные романы
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Издательство Современные любовные романы
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the annuity’s existence.

      She picked up a fork and began moving lettuce around on the plate. “That old internet is a great resource for checking people out.”

      He only wished she would thoroughly check him out, and not on the computer. And where in the hell had that come from?

      He cleared his throat and shifted slightly in his seat. “I take it you’re satisfied I’m not some reprobate posing as an attorney.”

      “Yes, but frankly, I’m curious as to why you relocated from Dallas to Cheyenne, Wyoming. That must have been quite a culture shock.”

      He didn’t want to delve into his reasons for leaving his former life behind. “Not that much of a shock. You find cowboys in both places.”

      “Were you a cowboy in another life, or just trying to blend in now?”

      “I’ve ridden my share of horses, if that’s what you mean.”

      She smiled again. “Let me guess. You were born into an affluent ranching family.”

      “Nope. A not-quite-poor farming family. Three generations, as a matter of fact. My parents ran a peach orchard in East Texas and raised a few cattle. They’re semiretired now and disappointed I didn’t stick around to take over the business.”

      “What made you decide to be a lawyer?”

      He grinned. “When I wore overalls, people kept mistaking me for a plumber, and since clogged drains aren’t my thing, studying the law made sense.”

      Her soft laughter traveled all the way to her striking green eyes. “Something tells me you’re not going to let me live that one down.”

      Something told him he could wind up in hot water if he didn’t stop viewing her as a desirable woman. “I’ll let you off the hook, seeing as how we just met.”

      “And I will let you off the hook for not giving me fair warning before you showed up on my doorstep.”

      He still had those great images of her branded in his brain. “You know, I’m really glad I didn’t decide to handle this over the phone. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have met you, and something tells me I would have regretted that.”

      Hannah set down the fork, braced her elbow on the edge of the table and rested her cheek in her palm. “And I would have missed the opportunity to get all dressed up for a change and have a free meal.”

      She looked prettier than a painted picture come to life. Yep. Trouble with a capital T if he didn’t get his mind back on business. “After you learn the details of your share of the Lassiter fortune, you’ll be able to buy me dinner next time.” Next time? Man, he was getting way ahead of himself, and that was totally out of character for his normally cautious self.

      Hannah looked about as surprised as he felt over the comment. “That all depends on if I actually agree to accept my share, and that’s doubtful.”

      He couldn’t fathom anyone in their right mind turning down that much money. But before he had a chance to toss out an opinion, or the amount of the annuity held in her name, Chuck showed up with their entrées.

      Logan ate his food with the gusto of a field hand, while Hannah basically picked at hers, the same way she had with the salad. By the time they were finished, and the plates were cleared, he had half a mind to invite her into the nearby bar to discuss business. But dark and cozy wouldn’t help rein in his libido.

      Hannah tossed her napkin aside and folded her hands before her. “Okay, we’ve put this off long enough. Tell me the details.”

      Logan took a drink of water in an attempt to rid the dryness in his throat. “The funds are currently in an annuity. You have the option to leave it as is and take payments. Or you can claim the lump sum. Your choice.”

      “How much?” she said after a few moments.

      He noticed she looked a little flushed and decided retiring to the bar might not be a bad idea after all. “Maybe we should go into the lounge so you can have a drink before I continue.”

      Frustration showed in her expression. “I don’t need a drink.”

      He’d begun to think he might. “Just a glass of wine to take the edge off.”

      She leaned forward and nailed him with a glare. “How much?”

      “Five million dollars.”

      “I believe I will have that drink now.”

      Two

      She’d never been much of a drinker, but at the moment Hannah sat on a sofa in the corner of a dimly lit bar, a vodka and tonic tightly gripped in her hand. “Five million dollars? Are you insane?”

      Logan leaned back in the club chair and leveled his dark gaze on hers. “Hey, it’s not my money. I’m only the messenger.”

      She set the glass down on the small table separating them, slid her fingers through the sides of her hair and resisted pulling it out by the roots. “You’re saying that I can just sign some papers and you’re going to hand me a fortune.”

      “It’s a little more complicated than that.”

      After having the five-million-dollar bombshell dropped on her head, nothing seemed easy, including deciding to refuse it. “Would I have to go before some probate court?”

      “No, but there are some stipulations.”

      She dropped her hands into her lap and sat back on the cushions. “Such as?”

      “You have to sign a nondisclosure waiver in order to claim the inheritance.”

      “Nondisclosure?”

      “That means if you take the money, by law you can’t disclose your connection to the Lassiters to anyone.”

      She barked out a cynical laugh. “I refuse to do that. Not after living my entire life in the shadow of shame, thanks to my biological father’s refusal to acknowledge me.”

      “Then you have reason to believe J. D. Lassiter is your father?”

      Good reason. “Yes, there is a chance, but I don’t know for certain because I have no real proof. Regardless, I do know I won’t take a penny of his hush money.”

      Logan downed the last of his coffee, sat back on the opposing sofa and remained quiet a few moments. “What does your future hold in terms of your career?”

      A little hardship, but nothing she couldn’t handle. “I’m going to teach high-school human physiology and probably health classes as well.”

      He released a rough sigh. “It takes a lot of guts to stand in front of a room full of teenage boys and talk about the facts of life, especially looking the way you do.”

      Hannah appreciated his skill at doling out the compliments, even if she didn’t understand it or quite believe it. “I assure you I can handle whatever teenage boys want to throw at me.”

      “I don’t doubt that,” he said. “But it’s not going to be easy. I know because I was one once.”

      She imagined a very cute one at that. “Most men still retain some of those prepubescent qualities, don’t you agree?”

      He grinned, giving her another premiere dimple show. “Probably so. Do you have a job lined up?”

      That caused her to glance away. “Not yet, but I’ve had my degree for less than two weeks, and that’s when I immediately started the search. I expect to find something any day now.”

      “And if you don’t?”

      She’d harbored those same concerns due to the lack of prospects. “I’ll manage fine, just as I’ve been managing since my husband died.”

      He sent her a sympathetic look. “That must have been a struggle, raising a child and going to school.”

      She’d been lucky enough to have help. Begrudging help. “My mother looked after my daughter when necessary until Cassie turned two. I lived off the settlement from my husband’s work