"Youwant me to do what?" Luke Galloway demanded, while focusing hard on his friendSam. "Have you totally lost yourmind? I'm not going to tell yourdaughter you're dying!"
"It's the only way she'll come." Sam Paris held Luke's gaze and refused toback down. He ran a hand over his redand silver whiskers, took a long drink of bourbon, then set the empty glassdown on the kitchen table. "You oweme."
Luke hated it when Sam tried to make himfeel guilty, which the old coot did often enough. Of course, Luke owed Sam. For a lot of things. But the implication still rankled him.Releasing his breath in a huff, he said, "Fine.I'll do it. But what are yougoing to do when she finds out you lied to her?Do you actually think she's going to stick around then?"
Sam grinned, and his green eyes twinkledwith satisfaction. "We'll worry aboutthat when the time comes. All I wantright now is for you to go get her and bring her back to the farm. This is where she belongs. Right here, with me. I'm the only family she has left now."
Reaching into the breast pocket of hisplaid flannel shirt, Sam pulled out a folded piece of paper. "Here's the last address I had for her, andthe name of that race car driver she's been seeing, in case you run into aproblem finding her."
Luke scowled. He knew all about Burke Marcell and hisreputation with women. The man had a newbabe attached to his arm every few months or so, according to those rags Samread. After shaking his head, Lukestared at the slip of paper. It would bea miracle if Sam's daughter was still in Palm Springs. And if she weren't, she could be anywhere;the Greek Isles, Rome, Switzerland, Rio.Hell, she'd lived all over the world.What made Sam think she'd want to give up her high society life and comelive on a small, struggling horse farm in Kentucky? Refolding the scrap of paper, Luke tucked itin his shirt pocket. "I'll go sometimenext week--"
"Like hell," Sam said, cutting Lukeoff. "You need to go tomorrow. I already made a plane reservation for you."
"But your surgery's tomorrow."
Sam waved a hand in the air. "I'm having my heel spurs removed. You think I can't handle that without youhanging around the hospital?"
"The way you've been swearing, moaning andcarrying on lately, I wonder." Lukereached across the table, grabbed the bottle of bourbon and poured himself adouble shot.
"Pour me another one, too," Sam said,nudging his empty glass forward.
Luke tossed his drink back. "Nothing doing. You're not allowed to eat after nine, ordrink anything after midnight.Remember?" He made a show oflooking at his watch. It was already aquarter past twelve.
"Who died and made you my mother?"
Grabbing the bottle from Sam's reach, Lukelaughed as he scraped his chair on the hardwood floor and stood. "And you'd better get to bed. You don't want to be cranky for those prettylittle nurses in the morning."
Sam mumbled something under his breath,and Luke had a pretty good idea what he'd said.Sam was right. Luke was abastard. And Sam's daughter Rusty wasabout to find that out, too.