As the last unmarried daughter in her family, Gera has only one choice left—a trip to the Crossroads to find a mate before her sister’s wedding seems like a good idea.
Riox has been at the Crossroads helping his brother set up the new bed and breakfast. He was there to assist and to flirt with all the pretty ladies.
Meeting the first guest surprises him. Instead of the fun-loving females he had already met, Gera is shut down and solemn. The worst thing is she is immune to his charms.
At his brother’s urging, he offers to help the young lady get prepared to go into battle, and once he helps her choose some heels, his fate is sealed.
Gera clapped her hands over her eyes. “Sorry, sorry, sorry.”
She backed out and closed the door behind her. She winced. Six. Now, she had seen six of her sisters and their fiancés in the act. She had collected the voyeur’s full set.
Gera retreated to the family room, and her mother started to laugh the moment that she appeared.
“I told you not to go up there. They were not discussing the china pattern.”
“I didn’t think they would be... they got their clothes off so fast.”
“You are not the youngest, Gera. You know how it feels when the blood rises.” Her mother sat and put another stitch in the tapestry she was working on.
“Uh, right. I am going to check on the fields. Lily will have to forgive me for the intrusion.”
Gera headed for the door when she heard her sister’s shout, and she picked up speed until the house was behind her along with her irate younger sibling.
Fields of lavender and roses stretched out in front of her. The herbal-ingredient market had surged, and pesticide-free plants grown in natural sunlight were all the rage. Williams’ Herb Supply was in excellent form and running in the black.
Seven daughters and five weddings with one looming in the future meant that her parents were successful in all aspects of their life. Gera was the only black spot.
How could she let her mother know that she had never gone into heat? It was a rite of passage that had completely slipped past her. Her father knew the truth, but he wouldn’t tell her secret if she didn’t want it known.
Gera headed to the seedling house to speak to her father. He was going to need to know she had prodded Lily a little before he went in for dinner.
The moment she walked in, he smiled as he lifted his head. “Who did you walk in on this time?”
“Lily. She is a little outraged right now.”
“You have an instinct for it. I have to admit that I have been the beneficiary of your timing on occasion. My darling Rose can’t get herself in an uproar with you butting in.”
She thought about all the times she had stepped between her parents and her mother’s face, and slumped and went to the planting table, sitting on a stool and pressing her head to the tabletop. “Why do I have such bad timing?”
“You will have to figure that out for yourself.” He patted her on the shoulder.
Robert Williams was a good father. Stubborn but that went with their animal.
“This is so stupid. Mom keeps asking why I haven’t chased down a man yet, and I am getting tired of trying to answer her.”
“If you want me to tell her, I will.” He patted the back of her head.
“Yes. No. I don’t know. I want her to know, but I don’t want her to be disappointed in me.”
“Oh, baby. There is nothing to be disappointed about. You are a talented woman with an instinct for nature. Your ability with plants is stunning, and you have skills that I am sure you haven’t even tapped into half of them.”
She raised her head. He brushed at the soil on her forehead. “Why do I have to do it alone?”
Her plaintive whine made him smile. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a card. “You don’t. Call this number.”
He pulled out another envelope. “Use this as partial payment and charge everything to the family.”
She scowled at the name on the card. “Who is Eberhart?”
“A transporter. She will send you to the Crossroads, and you can find someone who will love you back.”
Gera stared at him. “Are you joking? The Crossroads is a last resort.”
“Your point being?”
She blinked at the obviousness of his comment. “Right. I am desperate.”
She dug her phone out of her back pocket.