Born to Be Wild

Born to Be Wild by Catherine Coulter

Book: Born to Be Wild by Catherine Coulter Read Free Book Online
Authors: Catherine Coulter
slacks. “Yeah, well, I didn’t get pregnant, no thanks to him.”
    Now this was serious. “You mean he refused to wear a condom?”
    Kelly jumped to her feet. “I’m hungry. You sure are skinny, Mary Lisa. Oh yeah, did you know? Mom called Monica, asked her to dinner. With Mark of course. You’re not going to make a scene, are you?”
    Oh joy. Mary Lisa shook her head. “Nope. I left all my scenes in L.A.” She shoved her sister out of her bedroom and shut the door.
    Kelly had been very busy. But why had she moved back home? To lick her wounds? But wouldn’t their mother be all over her? Well, maybe not. She’d see about that at dinner.
    She hadn’t brought any dress-up clothes with her. Her mother would notice. Did she care?
    If Mary Lisa had harbored the notion she could make it unscathed through a meal with her entire family plus her ex-fiancé, Mark Bridges, she knew now she’d been as bright as a Russian lightbulb. Three years was a long time, but since it appeared that no one and nothing ever changed, it ended up being like yesterday. The pot was still bubbling gaily under the lid.
    MARY Lisa chewed slowly and lovingly on a blackened shrimp so deliciously hot and spicy it set her mouth to smoking. Mrs. Abrams had studied Creole cooking under Paul Prudhomme himself. Mary Lisa couldn’t imagine the great man preparing the shrimp any better.
    She sipped a crisp dry Chardonnay, one of her father’s favorites, as she listened to her sister Monica talk about a cocktail party in Salem that the party bigwigs were throwing in her honor in a couple of weeks to introduce her to the important political rollers. “But most of the money’s in Portland,” she said. “Mark knows enough of the big-money people there to give us a start.” She gave him a tender look, lightly touched her fingertips to his cheek, and then she smiled across the table at Mary Lisa.
    â€œShe can charm lemon juice out of an onion,” Mark said. He toasted his wife, taking her hand and kissing her palm.
    You obnoxious snake, Mary Lisa thought, you shed your skin so well, I’ll bet no one ever notices all the rot you leave lying in your wake .
    She caught herself, surprised her feelings were still so strong. She’d perhaps expected some lingering rage, perhaps a dollop of remembered humiliation, but no, this was bone-deep disgust. How nice. She gave all her attention to her father, George Beverly. Ah, but he was handsome, tall, lean, auburn haired, with eyes so blue that some people who met him for the first time thought they might be colored contacts. She watched her father continue the conversation with his eldest daughter. “What do you think your opponent will do? Might he retire?”
    Bless her father for giving her his wonderful voice—melodic, light and dark by turns, always compelling. She remembered how he could always talk her and her sisters out of teenage snits. As if he felt her staring at him, he looked up and smiled. She gave him a thumbs-up. He was dressed in black slacks, a fine white chambray shirt, and an Italian geometric tie. She’d always thought he was the finest-looking Beverly. To the best of her knowledge he’d never strayed from her mother, though he owned one of the largest construction companies in northwestern Oregon and had spent nearly all of his fifty-five years surrounded by women at home, where all her mother’s friends congregated, playing bridge late, she knew, so they could see him when he got home from work. He’d been the only boy in a gaggle of five sisters, and then the father of three girls. His mother, Aurora, had given both her son and her granddaughter her red hair and blue eyes, and her height. And her acting ability as well had come through to Mary Lisa, thank the good Lord. Aurora had never been in a movie or on Broadway, but she’d always acted in local theater productions in

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