Wild Ride: Lance and Tammy

Wild Ride: Lance and Tammy by Lietha Wards

Book: Wild Ride: Lance and Tammy by Lietha Wards Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lietha Wards
her attention.  She turned to him still in awe over her father’s behavior.  He seemed to know what she was thinking.
    “I wasn’t worried.  You shouldn’t stress so much what people think.”
    “It wasn’t about me.”  She didn’t like people believing in lies about someone she cared for.  Again that just reinforced why she left.
    “I know it wasn’t.  I don’t care what people think of me either, Tam.  I’m a big boy.  I can take criticism from the worst of them.  I grew up in this crowd.”
    What?  How could he? He’d told her that the Lansdowne Ranch was a bust when her father took it over.  He and his brothers would talk about how hard their father would make them work.  She really wanted to ask him, but they were interrupted by numerous congratulations after the crowd recovered from its shameful belief in the gossip.  Her mother looked like she was about to faint.
    Over the next few hours, she just went through the motions that she was trained to do from an early age.  Her mother even acted as though Lance was now a part of the family and she could have screamed.  Why couldn’t she just accept her choices because she loved her?
    ***
    Soon they were heading home in the car, and Tammy couldn’t contain herself any longer. “I thought you said your dad inherited a ranch that wasn’t breaking even.  How could you possibly be raised in that crowd?”
    “Yes I did say that,” he agreed, “and it’s true, but he’d struck oil on his ranch in Texas in his mid-twenties before he got married—before any of us were born.  The ranch was inherited at a young age from the death of his parents, my grandparents.  He was poor, from a poor cattle rancher but we , as a family, never were.  The oil deposit was one of the biggest in Texas.  My father is the CEO and owner of BT Energy.  He’s a billionaire.”
    Her mouth fell. She’d met him once, but he dressed like a cowhand.  Her eyes searched his to see if he was teasing her.
    He shook his head, telling her he wasn’t. “That didn’t mean he didn’t teach us the value of a dollar.  I never lied to you.  I just didn’t tell you everything.  He made us work for every cent we have today.  He demanded we get an education to learn the value of life, work, and our own successes.  I got into Harvard on my own volition.  He did not influence the decision.  Jacob and Colton too.  They made their own way.  Of course we all own shares in the company, but I would never trade my life for anything else. Neither would my brothers.”  He placed his hand on her thigh. It contracted as if it helped her to accept what he just told her.
    No wonder he could just afford to live in his penthouse a couple of days a month.  It was just pocket change to him.  Yet, you’d never know that he was so wealthy if you’d run into him working the ranch with his employees.  “I’m having a really hard time absorbing this.”
    “Not many people know that about us, Tam.  It’s not something we like to tell people. Those close to us know, like Tess and Elaina, but we don’t like to be treated any differently.  We all had a choice.  I could be still living here, but like my brothers, I chose a more humble life.”
    God, look at you.  Of course you are going to be treated differently.  Your genetics made you that way , she thought. “Why didn’t you say something?”
    “It wasn’t necessary,” was his response.
    And that was it.  Nothing else. She took a deep breath, angry at him and angrier at herself.  She began to think she was a spoiled rich girl with the way she whined about being around money.  There were people that would give anything to have what her family had even with the issues.  She needed to stop the pity train.  Money wasn’t the issue, it was the people that money created. “Why are you telling me now?”
    “Because I know it doesn’t matter to you.  If anything it’s aversive because of your history. I guess I’ll

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