“It’s made of stone,” he replied, walking closer to the rail to join her. “And it’s drafty and cavernous. I guess you could call it a castle. You know, if you wanted to sound pompous and have people laugh at you.”
“It’s a castle,” she cooed, delighted at the thought of exploring it. “When was it built?”
“It’s been around for a few generations,” Zach offered without elaboration.
“Early 1700s,” said Dylan. “The Harpers believe in honoring their roots.”
Kaitlin’s delight was replaced by an unexpected pang of jealousy deep in her chest. How many generations was that? Was there nothing not perfect about Zach’s charmed life?
“I can’t wait to see it,” she said in what came out as a small voice.
Zach glanced sharply at her expression.
“The Harpers restore and preserve,” Dylan explained. “The Gilbys prefer to bulldoze and start fresh.”
“Philistines,” Lindsay proclaimed as she breezed out onto the deck. In blue jeans and a green blouse, she somehow looked completely relaxed and at home.
Kaitlin, on the other hand, was now feeling awkward and jumpy. “How’s the pie coming?” she asked, turning away from Zach’s scrutiny.
Though she couldn’t control her reflexive reactions, she had long since learned not to wallow in self-pity about her upbringing. It was what it was. She couldn’t change it. She could only make the best of here and now. Well, maybe not exactly here and now. She only wanted to make it through the weekend.
“We’re all invited, or should I say ‘commanded’ to stay for dinner,” said Lindsay.
“That’s Auntie,” said Dylan, with a stern look for Lindsay. “You know she’ll be fitting you for a wedding dress over dessert.”
Lindsay fought with her unruly blond hair in the swirling wind, making a show of glancing around the deck and into the great room. “No problem,” she informed him. “I could easily live here.”
Dylan rolled his eyes at her irreverence.
“I’ve got nothing against living off the avails of pirating,” she added with a jaunty waggle of her head. Then she tugged at the gold chain around her neck and pulled a gold medallion from below her blouse, swinging it in front of Dylan.
With a start, Kaitlin recognized it as the coin her friend had purchased from the antique shop. Lindsay was wearing it around her neck?
“What’s that?” he demanded.
“Booty from your ancestor’s plundering.”
“It is not.” But Dylan took a closer look. “From the Blue Glacier,” she informed him in triumph.
“Okay. That’s it.” Dylan captured her arm and tugged her back across the deck. “Come here.”
Kaitlin watched Dylan hustle Lindsay through the open doors into the great room. “Where’s he taking her?” she asked Zach with curiosity.
“My guess is that he’s showing her the Letters of Authority.”
Kaitlin shook her head in amazement over their willingness to engage in this particular contest. “Lindsay spent two thousand dollars on that coin from the Blue Glacier,” Kaitlin told Zach. “Apparently, it was sunk by the Black Fern and Captain Caldwell Gilby.”
“I know the story,” said Zach.
“So, when do I get my ten bucks?”
He gave her a look of confusion.
“The bet at the baseball game,” she reminded him. “Lindsay has unrefutable evidence that Dylan is descended from pirates. I believe that means she’ll win the argument. And I believe that means you owe me ten dollars.”
“Signed by King George…” Dylan’s voice wafted through the open doors.
“Here we go,” Zach muttered in a dire tone.
“It’s still not legal,” Lindsay retorted.
“Maybe not today.”
Curiosity getting the better of her, Kaitlin settled to watch the debate through the open doorway.
Lindsay and Dylan were turned in profile. They were both obviously focused on something hanging on the wall.
“Forget the fact that Caldwell Gilby plundered in international waters,” said Lindsay. “Just because a corrupt regime gives you permission to commit a crime—”
“One point to me,” Kaitlin murmured to Zach.
“You’re calling the British monarchy a corrupt regime?” Dylan demanded.
“That one’s mine,” said Zach, leaning back on the deck rail and crossing one ankle over the other.
“Your great, great, great, however many grandfathers held people at gunpoint—”
“Go, Lindsay,” Kaitlin muttered, holding out her hand for the ten.