give a big congratulations to Todd Murray,' Annabelle said, clapping and then hugging the guy who ran up to the podium to accept the award.

'That's the kid whose father damn near burned this place down, isn't it?' Yank asked.

Sophie nodded. 'Roy's in a psychiatric facility but Annabelle and Vaughn said Todd's worked hard to make him proud anyway. He really deserves this.'

Yank assessed the kid's height and build the best he could judge from a distance and with his sight. 'Maybe I'll be representing him one day.'

'I sure hope so. Which reminds me. Have you given any more thought to the procedure the doctor told us about? You're at an early enough stage of the disease to be a perfect candidate ' Sophie said and he heard the hope in her voice.

Yank patted her cheek. 'We'll talk,' he promised.

Sophie glanced at the stage and Yank followed her gaze. He couldn't see clearly but he was certain the two shadows sucking face were Annabelle and Vaughn.

'Annie looks so happy,' Sophie whispered, sounding completely thrilled for her sister.

One of the things Yank adored about his nieces was how genuinely they loved each other, even if occasionally they fought the good fight. They were wonderful girls.

'I always knew Vaughn was the right man for Annie. They fit each other, you know?' Yank asked.

Sophie inclined her head. 'I sure do. Just like you and Lola.'

Yank cursed. 'Not you, too.'

'Forgive me for just stating the obvious. How long before you cave in? The only reason you let so much time go by at all was because she went on a cruise, spent time visiting an old friend in London, and then the three of us agreed to keep tabs on her for you,' Sophie said.

'And fat lot of good the three of you did me. Lola ended up working for Spencer Atkins!'

Sophie shrugged. 'You only asked us to make sure she was safe and happy. You didn't say anything about keeping her away from other men.'

Yank stiffened. 'There've been other men?'

Sophie hugged him tight. 'You really need to get your act together, Uncle Yank,' she said, repeating Micki's advice, then took off to go talk to Annabelle.

Yank looked around for Lola and Atkins but they'd packed up and gone. The woman had him tied up in knots and had since she'd left him. He'd expected her to come back, but she'd stayed away.

Damn women. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

His nieces were wise women and they were right.

Yank could no longer put off admitting that he had to make a decision about Lola. And he'd be damned if he'd let Spence Atkins have his woman.


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