~Chapter Four~

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I was greeted at the front door at Carrington Ranch, by the scolding eyes of Aunt
Ava. She looked at her wrist watch, "Did you forget that The Thatchers and their
niece, Astrid, are here? You were supposed to be here for dinner."

"Aunt Ava, I'm so sorry. I ended up staying late at work. I was trying to make progress on something important." I'm being pulled in so many different directions, with this Winthrop situation.

I gave my aunt my irresistible smile, hugged her, and kissed her cheek, "Did I at least make it in time for dessert?"

"What am I going to do with you, Shayne? You are such a charmer! Everyone is in the dining room, dessert is being served." Her eyes softened, and she touched my face like Mom always did.

I wrapped my arm around Aunt Ava's waist, as we strolled toward the formal dining room. The aroma of delicious smelling roast chicken, came wafting out into the hallway. My stomach started growling. I made a mental note, to head to the kitchen for left overs after dessert.

"Shayne, there you are!" Bianca exclaimed.

Her big brown eyes lit up, "You remember my cousin, Astrid?"

"Of course I do. It's so nice to see you, Astrid." I moved in her direction, and sat in the empty chair beside her.

A dark blush quickly stained her cheeks, as she looked up at me, "Hello Shayne, I can't believe it's been two years since the wedding."

"Catherine, it's always nice to see you and Andrew. I know Baby Colin, is thrilled to have you here as well." I wanted to acknowledge everyone in the room.

Catherine smiled widely at me, and blew me a kiss across the table, "You must have all of the women falling at your feet, Shayne."

"Some, but not all." I chuckled thinking about, Sabine Harlow.

Colin eyed me curiously, he knows me, "Did you finish your project at work?"

"No, it's a work in progress, big brother. In fact, I'm going into the office early tomorrow morning." I winked at him, as I got ready to dig in to my dessert.

"I was hoping you could show Astrid around tomorrow." Bianca stated with disappointment in her voice.

What is Bianca up to? I already told my brother, that I'm not interested in Astrid, at all.

"Sorry, Bianca. I have my hands full at Carrington Enterprises, as Colin and Andrew can both attest to." I'm sure she already knew, but was up to matchmaking.

"Yes, Shayne is buried trying to help with financial recovery efforts. How are things working out with your new assistant, Sabine?" Colin had the nerve to ask me, as he put his arm around the back of Bianca's chair. He studied me, as I answered.

Suddenly, all eyes at the dining table were on me. . .

"Oh, I didn't know Sabine was your new assistant. I've always liked her. She's a lovely girl, she speaks her mind." Aunt Ava chimed in laughing to herself.

"Yes, she certainly does. Today, was her first day working with me. She used to work for an accounting firm and since I'm the CFO, I needed someone with an accounting background. Bianca recommended her for the job." I glanced at her with a smirk, as I ate a bite of my chocolate cheesecake.

I took a sip of water, and sat my glass down on the table. I directed my next statement to my sister-in-law, "I didn't know Sabine had a boyfriend. She told me about her date tonight." I tried to sound like I was just sharing small talk. But I was still curious for some reason.

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