Harper reached out and took Lucy’s hand. “I know, and I’m sorry. If I’d thought for a moment that Aunt Alice was going to toss you into this viper pit, I would’ve warned you. But know it’s not personal. They’d go after anyone. They all wanted their piece and they’ve been waiting decades for her to die so they can get their hands on it.”
“What a warm family you have,” Lucy noted. “I bet Thanksgiving was really special at your house.”
“It’s not as bad as I make it sound. Everyone had their own money, it’s just that most of them were mentally decorating their new vacation homes and planning what they’d do with the money when the time came. Then nothing. In their minds, you yanked it out from under them, whether you meant to or not.”
“Can’t you talk some sense to Oliver?” Emma asked.
“I’ve tried. He’s avoiding my calls. I think we just have to let the case run its course in court and hope the judge sees in Lucy what we all see. Once the judge rules in her favor, there’s nothing any of them can do about it. But I didn’t know he was bothering you, Lucy. If he shows up at the apartment again, you call me.”
Lucy nodded. “I will.” Looking around the crowded room, she was relieved not to see him loitering around the party. “But enough about all this. We’re here to celebrate Emma and Jonah’s baby, not to rehash all my drama. We can do that any day.”
“I’m actually starving,” Emma admitted. “Every time I think I should make a plate, someone starts talking to me or wants to rub my belly or something.”
“Well, I’m pretty sure it’s almost time for you to cut that beautiful cake. We can at least get you some of that to eat without interruption.”
Lucy smiled as Emma’s eyes lit up with excitement. “It’s a vanilla pound cake with fresh berries and cream inside. At the tasting, Jonah had to take the plate from me so he could try a bite.”
“Ooh…” Violet chimed in. “That sounds amazing. I’ve been nothing but hungry the last month. Beau keeps chastising me for eating too much. He says I’m going to overdo it, but I say pregnancy is my only chance to enjoy eating without feeling guilty. The baby and I are ready for some cake, too.”
“Well, it’s settled then,” Lucy said. “Let’s get these pregnant ladies some cake.”
“What are you doing here?”
Oliver could only grin at his sister’s irritated expression as she opened the door to the apartment. A large portion of his life had been dedicated to goading that very face out of her. It was an unexpected bonus to the day. He hadn’t actually been certain she was at Aunt Alice’s apartment; he hadn’t seen her since the baby shower the week before. But when he saw the Saks Fifth Avenue commuter van unloading downstairs, he knew that Harper was involved somehow. Where expensive clothes went, his sister was sure to follow.
“I saw the people from Saks unloading downstairs and I thought I would pop in to say hello. Personal shoppers coming to the house. It’s as though someone has come into some money. Is that for you or for Lucy?” he asked, knowing full well that Harper was far too particular to let someone else shop for her.
“It’s for Lucy.”
Harper made no move to step back and let him into the apartment. Fortunately, the elevator chimed behind him and a well-dressed woman stepped out with a rack of plastic-wrapped clothing pushed by two gentlemen.
Harper’s entire expression changed as she turned from her brother. “Hello, come in!” she said, moving aside to allow the crew in.
Oliver took advantage of the situation by going in after them. He happily took a seat on the sofa in the living room, waiting for what would likely be an interesting fashion show. After seeing what she’d worn the few times they were together, he knew Lucy needed a new wardrobe. Anything she wore that was remotely high quality was a hand-me-down from his sister. Honestly, he was surprised it took them this long to start shopping.
What would she buy first with her pilfered millions?
The two men from Saks left the apartment, leaving the rolling clothing hanger near the fireplace. He watched as the woman moved quickly to unwrap the clothes and present them to what she presumed was her wealthy client.
Lucy spied him the minute she entered the room, despite thousands of dollars’ worth of clothes on display beside her. “What is he doing here?” she asked, echoing Harper’s question.
Harper turned to where he was sitting and sighed. “I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter. We’ve got to find you an outfit for the gala. Perhaps a man’s perspective will be helpful.”