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Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain #3)(10)
Author: Kristen Ashley

“Your woman, she likes clothes.”

Walker’s chest released.

“Already know that,” he lied. He didn’t know it but the weight of her bag meant she stuffed that f**ker so full, the instant she opened it, it would explode all over the room.

Luckily, he’d given her her instructions and took off so he wasn’t around when that happened.

So he reckoned it was a good guess.

And now he knew Jackson had pulled her credit.

Guess confirmed.

He listened to Tate’s low laughter.

Then, “I bet.”

“That all you got?” Walker asked.

“Yep. She’s clean. No record. Four speeding tickets the last five years and a shitload of parking tickets. Your woman’s got a need for speed and thinks she can park anywhere she wants and she does.”

Walker would have guessed that too considering her ride. Not many women with classy shades, shoes and purses had rides that sweet. Hinted at a wild side. He thought it explained her connection with Shift but apparently it was something else.

“She carries debt, not a lot of it, “Jackson continued. “Over two credit cards a little over a thousand dollars. All payments current though. She rents. Works steady. Saw her DMV picture, brother. The State employee who took that should win an award. Best driver’s license picture I’ve seen in my life.”

Lexie was photogenic. Also not surprising. Though, probably the picture was actually shit, she was just so beautiful even a shit photo looked good.

Though the debt, not good. Not smart. She should have worried less about clothes and more about getting herself out from under Shift’s thumb.

“Sucks about her folks though,” Jackson went on.

Fuck.

He found shade and moved under it.

Then he demanded, “Talk to me.”

Silence then, “You don’t know?”

“Don’t know what you’re gonna tell me,” Walker evaded.

Pause then, “Right.” Another pause then, “She’s clean. Her parents were not.”

Fuck.

He was silent. Jackson kept talking.

“Caught that, did a little digging and called a couple of guys. They’re digging too. I’ll know more but what I got, they were junkies. Made the news in Dallas thirty-four years ago. She was born in a crack house. Mother so gone, don’t know she even knew she had a kid and probably a miracle the baby survived and wasn’t f**ked up, considering what the Mom was doin’ to her body. Someone in the house was together enough to phone emergency, they went in, got her, placed her with her grandparents. Don’t know what went down after that until I get callbacks but I do know the Mom OD’ed five years later. Dad died four years after from internal injuries when he got his ass kicked by a loan shark.”

He was right, it was definitely f**k.

“She was placed with her grandparents?” Walker asked.

“That’s why I’m diggin’. It was the Mom’s parents. Death records show the Grandma died when your girl was six. The Grandpa died when she was thirteen. I don’t have access to those kinds of files but my work takes me to Texas, got some people I know so I’ve contacted those who can access the files or know people who do. May take a couple of days.”

“What about her Dad’s grandparents?”

“That was easy. Traced him, found out they died in a car accident when he was sixteen.”

“Aunts? Uncles?”

“Mom, an only child. Dad had a sister but she didn’t step in. Don’t know why.”

Foster care.

Walker looked across the street to their hotel thinking about Lexie and her shades and high heels and short-shorts and bright smile in foster care then, thirty-four years later, finding her shit tied to the likes of Shift.

Fuck.

Jackson spoke in his ear. “Ty, you’re marryin’ this girl, you don’t know this shit?”

“Both of us prefer to look to the future,” he lied again though he had no clue what Lexie preferred. However, that statement was pure bullshit from him. He was living in the past and would until mistakes were rectified.

Then, if he had a future, he’d look to it.

“That’s good news,” Tate said quietly, misreading him and Walker thought it was good this conversation was happening on the phone. He’d learned a lot in prison but he didn’t expect part of that was pulling shit over on Tatum Jackson. “Though, that’s true, why am I doin’ what I’m doin’?”

“Can’t be too careful.”

“She know about you?”

“She picked me up outside the penitentiary yesterday.”

Silence then Tate started digging, this time somewhere else.

“You meet her in Dallas before you came home and that shit went down with Fuller and Misty?”

“Yep.” Another lie.

“Again, brother, seen her picture. How the f**k you leave that behind?”

“I think me bein’ an idiot was proved in a courtroom, Tate.”

This was no lie.

“Don’t wanna stir up demons, Ty, but that shit, it’s not on you and everyone in town knows it. That was all Fuller.”

He knew that. Oh yeah, he f**king knew that.

He didn’t respond.

“It was me they targeted, f**k, anyone would have gone down,” Tate told him. “Don’t get buried under that shit. Rise above.”

Again, Walker didn’t respond.

Jackson waited for it then gave up.

“I’ll keep diggin’. Call you back. It’s tomorrow. When’s the wedding?”

“She’s shoppin’ for a dress.”

Or at least he hoped she was. He gave her a wad of cash and he had the valet ticket. The ticket was not insurance. All he had was hope she wouldn’t bolt but he wouldn’t blame her if she did. The fact that she didn’t walk out the door when he gave her the chance still surprised him. It sucked but he had Shift to thank for her not leaving. She was desperate, he played on that. He didn’t like it but it worked in his favor and he had a mission, he was focused, so he used it.

That said, this was done, he’d set her up and, she was smart, she’d go onto a life where she never again had to make desperate, f**ked up decisions like marrying an ex-con she didn’t know.

His response got a low chuckle from Jackson then, “I’m sure she is.” Pause then, “I suspect she’s good people, you’re marryin’ her so I’m glad she gave you a second chance, saw through that shit, knows what she’s gettin’.”

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