Home > Bound to the Bachelor (Montana Born Bachelor Auction #1)(10)

Bound to the Bachelor (Montana Born Bachelor Auction #1)(10)
Sarah Mayberry

He’d never live it down. Especially with Heath here to witness it. He pulled the program from his suit pocket and checked. He was last in the running order. What were the odds that the women would be all tapped out by then?

Pretty good, in his estimation. He pulled his phone from his pocket and typed a quick message to Andie.

You have to buy me if the bidding is slow, he wrote. I’ll give you the money. Just don’t leave me hanging.

Andie texted back almost immediately.

You can’t be serious. These women are going to eat you up with a spoon.

Beau frowned. He wasn’t sure he liked the sound of that, either.

Promise you’ll step in if it gets embarrassing, he wrote.

You really want it to get around town that your sister bought you at a bachelor auction????

Beau thinned his lips. He hadn’t thought of that.

Good point. Maybe don’t buy me, then.

Excellent plan, Einstein, Andie wrote back.

Beau slipped his phone into his pocket and tried to look as though his palms weren’t sweaty with fear.

The sooner this was over, the better.

*

Lily felt like the ball in a pinball machine for the next hour and a half, bouncing between the action downstairs and the men upstairs, checking in with Reese and Jason on how the kitchen and bar were handling the record crowd and keeping tabs on Buck as he alternated between auctioning bachelors and drawing prizes for the various raffles they’d organized to maximize the fundraising opportunities from the night.

Despite how harried she was, every time she stopped for more than a few seconds, her thoughts gravitated to the letter she’d received and the legacy Luther had left her. It made her feel sick and angry, and she was more than happy to let the auction distract her. Which was why she resisted so strongly when Molly insisted she take five minutes to have a drink and rest her feet in between bachelor number four and bachelor number five.

“I’m fine. I’m enjoying myself,” Lily insisted as Molly tugged on her arm, trying to pull her down into the spare seat at her table.

“You’ve been running around like a crazy woman since the moment we got here. Everything’s going great. Stop being an overachiever and take the weight off for a few minutes,” Molly said.

“I can’t. Not yet.”

“Lily…”

“How’s this for a deal? I need to check in with Carol on the door. Once I’ve done that I’ll grab a drink and chillax,” Lily bargained.

“Promise?” Molly insisted, her hand still firm on Lily’s wrist.

“Promise.”

Molly didn’t look as though she fully agreed with her, but she released her grip. Lily aimed a quick wink at Josh before slipping into the crowd. She was well aware he had his own agenda for tonight’s auction, and for both his and Molly’s sake she hoped he was successful. Molly had been stretched too thin for too long. She deserved a break.

She could hear Gabriel Morales being invited to the stage as she wove her way through the crowd. She glanced over her shoulder, smiling at the hoots, whistles, and foot stomping of the crowd as they responded to their first sight of Gabriel in his well-washed jeans and red plaid shirt. In all honesty, she’d been a little ticked off when she saw some of the men’s interpretation of her instructions to “dress nice” but she now realized that offering up a variety of bachelor flavors just meant that there was something there for everyone.

Funny that the person who had gone to the most effort, was also the person who’d been the hardest to recruit. Beau might have turned up late, but he’d pulled out all the stops with his beautifully cut suit. There wasn’t a doubt in her mind the audience was going to go nuts over him the moment he came down the stairs. He’d put together a great date, too – a day skiing at Big Sky Resort, complete with lunch at the Resort’s fanciest restaurant and door-to-door transport.

She resumed weaving her way to where Carol was guarding the front entrance with her roll of tickets and petty cash tin. They’d charged everyone a modest cover fee to attend the night, and Lily had a quick conversation with Carol before finding herself a quiet corner of the bar to perch at, her way of honoring her promise to Molly. She eased her weight onto one foot and lifted the other for a few seconds before reversing the action just as Reese slid a glass of red wine in front of her.

“Molly sent this over,” he said. “No arguments.”

Lily smiled wearily. “Thanks, Reese.”

He gave her a mock salute before heading back to the other end of the bar. Lily took a sip of wine, savoring the rich flavor as she listened to Buck talk up Gabriel’s selling points. Inevitably, her thoughts turned to Luther, and she took a long pull on her wine as she thought about what he’d done for the hundredth time tonight.

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