“So, have you bagged your cowboy yet?”
Seraphina Martinez whipped the rented convertible onto the open road leading to Blackwood Hollow Ranch and punched the accelerator, ignoring Lulu’s squeal of surprise at the sudden burst of speed.
“Slow down, Fee. I don’t want to die on a lonely road in East Texas,” Lulu grumbled.
“Relax, it’s an empty road, Lu,” Fee replied, glad she’d wrangled her thick hair into two fat braids—as opposed to Lulu who was fighting, and losing, the war with the wind.
Lulu held her hair back from her face and glared at Fee. “I’m going to look like I’ve been dragged through a bush when we get there.”
Perfect makeup, perfect clothes, perfect hair…being a reality TV star took work, dammit.
“Well, have you?” Fee demanded.
“Found a cowboy? No, not yet,” Lulu replied.
“What about the lawyer guy who seems to be everywhere we are lately?” Fee asked. While scouting filming locations for Secret Lives of NYC Ex-Wives, the attorney for the Blackwood estate had been everywhere they looked, keeping his lawyerly eye on Miranda Blackwood and the rest of the cast and crew.
“Kace LeBlanc?” Lu asked, aiming for super casual and missing by a mile.
Fee darted a look at her best friend, amused. Of course she had noticed the looks Lulu sent Kace when she didn’t think anyone was looking. Lu thought the attorney was hot. And, with his unruly brown hair and those gorgeous brown eyes, he was…until he opened his mouth. Then he acted like she and her costars and the crew were going to break his precious town of Royal or something.
“The guy is a pill,” Lulu said before sighing. “God, he’s hot but he’s so annoying.”
Fee agreed but she also admired Kace’s determination to look after the late Buck Blackwood’s interests and to ensure the terms of his will were followed to the letter. And the terms of the will were, from the little she’d gleaned, astonishing. She couldn’t blame his kids for being pissed off at Buck for leaving everything he owned to Fee’s co-star Miranda, who was his ex and as New York as she and Lulu were. It had to be a hard slap to their born-and-bred Texas faces.
If they’d scripted this story for Secret Lives, their viewers would think they were making it up—aging billionaire leaves much, much younger second wife everything at the expense of his children. Buck also, so she’d heard, had an illegitimate son and this news didn’t seem to surprise anyone. Buck, apparently, had liked the ladies.
This plot twist was ratings gold, pure made-for-TV drama.
Lulu looked to her right, her attention captured by a herd of Longhorn cows.
“Did you ever live in Texas?” Lulu asked her, still holding her hair back with two hands.
Fee took some time to answer, trawling through her memories. Being an army brat and having a father who jumped at any chance to move, she’d lived all over the country and attended fourteen schools in twelve years. But she couldn’t recall living in Texas.
“I think we did a stint in New Mexico,” Fee replied. “But I was young. I don’t remember much of it.”
Lulu turned in her seat and Fee felt her eyes on her. “I’m still amazed at your excitement over visiting a new place. We’ve been doing this for years, Fee. Aren’t you sick of all the traveling? Don’t you miss your own bed?”
Fee sent her a quick smile. “I rent my apartment furnished, Lu. You know that I don’t get attached to things or places.” She might live in Manhattan but she wasn’t as attached to the city as her co-stars were.
“Because you moved so often when you were a child.”
“I learned that if you get attached, it hurts like hell when you have to leave.” Fee shrugged. “So, it makes sense not to get attached.”
“Do you think you’ll ever settle down?”
That was a hell of a question. Maybe, possibly, she might one day find a town or city she didn’t want to leave. But, because she was a realist, she knew that, while she might stay in a place a couple of months or a few years, she would probably end up moving on. It was what she did.
The grass was always greener around the next corner…
And if you didn’t get attached, you couldn’t get hurt, especially by people. Her nomadic parents and her own brief marriage to the philandering son of one of NYC’s most famous families had taught her that.
She loved people, she did, but underneath her exuberant personality still resided a little girl who knew that relationships (and places) were temporary and believing that any commitment would last was crazy.
She was currently living in Manhattan, in a gorgeous but expensive fully furnished rental in Chelsea. Her practical streak hated the idea of renting when she could easily afford to buy an apartment but Manhattan wasn’t a place where she could put down roots. When Secret Lives ended, she’d move on, but for now she was comfortable. Not settled but, yeah, temporarily okay with where she laid her head.
She was the captain of her own ship, the author of her own book. And if she was using Secret Lives to feather her own nest, to make bank, that was her business. She might be loud, frequently over-the-top, but she was also pragmatic and fully understood how quickly things could change. And if her situation did change—Secret Lives was popular now but that could change tomorrow—she wanted her nest to be well feathered.
Because, as she knew, moving from place to place, town to town, wasn’t cheap.
And that was why she took every opportunity to maximize her little taste of fame: first with the line of accessories she’d created using her husband’s famous last name. Her Not Your Mama’s Cookbook, written last year, was still on the bestseller lists. Maybe she should think about doing another cookbook…or something else entirely.
It was something to think about.
“Have you decided on your Royal project yet?” Lulu asked her, breaking her train of thought.
“I have no idea what you are talking about,” Fee answered, injecting a healthy amount of prim into her tone.
Lulu rolled her eyes. “You can’t BS me, Fee. I know it was you who organized giving last season’s intern a makeover. Who set Pete, our lighting director, up with Dave, the sound guy. Who read the scriptwriter’s—what was his name?—screenplay? Miranda might be our Mama Bear but you are our Little Miss Fix-It.”
Fee wrinkled her nose. Little Miss Fix-It? She opened her mouth to speak then realized she couldn’t argue the point. She did tend to identify a need and try to meet it.
“I don’t know if I’ll find anyone to fix in Royal. I think I’ll take a break from meddling while I’m there.”
Lulu’s laughter danced on the wind. “Yeah, right. That’s not going to happen.”
Fee frowned at her. “What? I can back off!”
“You cannot!” Lulu retorted. “Honey, we’re always getting into trouble because you can’t leave a situation alone! We nearly got arrested when you jumped between those two guys fighting in Nero’s, and we did