“I didn’t think I would either.”
“What happened?” Ashlyn asks with wide eyes. I don’t know her well, but I know the look. It’s the same one Olivia had each and every time the police brought her home.
Lyric frowns, apparently, he’s familiar with the look as well. “Someone made a hole in the fence out at my brother’s farm and all his goats got loose.”
“Wasn’t me,” Juniper and Ashlyn shout at the same time.
Lyric ignores them. “Those goats got everywhere.”
“They didn’t get into the wildlife refuge, did they?” Juniper asks, but she’s already walking toward the door. “I’ll be back.”
Maverick catches her before she reaches the door. “We’ll be back.”
Ashlyn sighs. “You know we’re not going to see them again today.”
“Lucky them,” Ellery mutters.
“Anyway,” Lyric clears his throat. “I’ve spent the past four hours rounding up Phoenix’s goats.”
“Phoenix is your brother?” Gabrielle asks.
“One of my younger brothers,” Lyric explains. “Have you met him?”
“We did,” Cassandra answers on Gabrielle’s behalf. “As I recall, his goat took quite a liking to Gabrielle’s skirt.”
Gabrielle’s cheeks darken and she ducks her head to hide her face behind her hair. Is she embarrassed or is she remembering Phoenix who she appeared interested in at the time?
She clears her throat and asks, “Did you find all the goats?”
“All but one. Of course, the one we couldn’t find is Phoenix’s favorite goat.”
“He has a favorite goat?”
“It’s the one he brings to all the Winter Falls’ celebrations. It’s probably the one that decided to eat your skirt for lunch.”
“You mean Pan. Pan’s missing? Oh no. We should go help.”
“I’m sure Pan is fine. The little shit was probably hiding from Phoenix. Let me call him and ask.” Lyric winks at Gabrielle before walking off while dialing his phone.
“Since when do you like goats?” Cassandra asks, and I have to remind myself tackling my sister is a bad idea.
“I like goats,” Ashlyn says before skipping to Gabrielle. “Come on. Let’s go talk about goats in the kitchen.”
“You better not nibble on the fried chicken while you’re in there,” Ruby hollers after them.
Ashlyn winks at me before she disappears behind the door.
Ruby grunts. “She’s going to eat the chicken.”
Before she can follow them, the sliding door to the back porch opens and a man enters the house. “It’s about time you returned, Daniel,” Ruby says before she rushes to him. “Come meet Lilac’s beau.”
“Beau? This is not 18th Century France and Beckett is not my suitor come to meet my father to ask for his approval.”
“Why not?” I ask Lilac.
“Suitor is someone who pursues a relationship with a view toward marriage.”
I smirk. “I’m aware.”