Sweet Liar (Montgomery/Taggert 18) - Page 90

It was in the early evening, when the children were getting sleepy and the men had gathered away from the women to talk, that Samantha had a chance to sit quietly on a chair and look at the group. There were more people here named Taggert than Montgomery, but there were enough of each, and she’d spent enough time around both families that she was beginning to be able to tell them apart.

The Montgomery men and the Taggert men were very different from each other, both physically and in their personalities. The Montgomerys were taller, but the Taggerts were prettier. The Taggert men, ranging in height from five eight to just six feet, were all big men, big and thick and heavily muscled. The men together looked like a convention of weight lifters or a crew of construction workers. What made them different, what set them apart from other brawny men, was the prettiness, in a way, of their faces: big eyes, full lips, the sweetest smiles imaginable. For all their size and muscle, not one of them looked as though he could hurt a fly.

The Taggerts were men that a woman could curl up with, men a woman could go to for help, men a woman could trust to protect her, to pull her from a burning building without giving a thought for his own life. They were sexy men. Samantha had no questions as to why each woman who married into the family seemed willing to bear a countless number of children. She had no doubt that every Taggert father was close to his children from birth to first love to grandchildren. These weren’t men who went off with the boys on Sunday afternoons. In fact, looking at them, Samantha wondered if any Taggert man who had children ever went anywhere without one of them. These were men who knew how to give and receive love, not just tell a woman he loved her, but really, truly love her through sickness, through the good times and the bad, through turmoil and peace, through sadness and happiness. The Taggerts were men a woman could depend on to always be there, men a woman could trust.

The Montgomery men were different from their cousins, for the Montgomerys were as elegant as the Taggerts were down-to-earth. Samantha thought that a Montgomery man would know if one made a mistake and said an opera aria was by Puccini when it was actually by Verdi. They’d know when a person goofed and used the butter knife on the fish. They’d recognize a Chanel copy from a Chanel. They were, without exception, quiet, reserved men, all of them tall, all of them handsome in a sharp sort of way, with unreadable eyes, sculptured cheekbones, and jaws that were almost belligerent. The only softness in their faces was their mouths. Samantha couldn’t help wondering if, when they fell in love, their whole faces softened. All in all, they were rather fierce-looking men, men who could lead in wars, men who would die protecting the men under them—or their wives and children, she couldn’t help thinking.

She wondered what the private lives of the Montgomerys were like, did they love with all the fierceness she saw in their eyes? She had no doubt that when they did fall in love the recipient was selected very carefully. Did the Montgomery men laugh? Did they cry? Did they play ball with their sons and talk to their daughters about their Barbie dolls? She wondered if she’d ever know the answers to her questions, for she knew without being told that a Montgomery would allow a person to know only what he wanted a person to know about him.

“And what have you decided?” Pat Taggert asked, taking a chair next to her, making Samantha aware that she had been watched and that Pat knew what she was thinking. Maybe when Pat had been contemplating marrying Mike’s father, she too had compared the two families.

“That I wouldn’t mind having an affair with a Montgomery but I’d rather marry a Taggert,” she answered, then realized that what she’d said shouldn’t have been said.

Pat smiled, seeming to like the honesty of her answer. “Exactly the same conclusion I reached some time ago.”

Samantha looked down at hands. “You didn’t…I mean…”

“I didn’t, but I do like to mention Raine’s oldest brother to Ian now and then.” The women laughed together.

Later, as it began to grow dark, people started taking their leave of each other, and Samantha realized that she felt at home with these people. As she helped clear the tables, all the leftover food to be taken to a homele

ss shelter, she chatted companionably with them.

Coming up behind her, Mike slipped his arms about her waist. “Okay, everybody, Sam says she’s never changed a diaper so who’s going to lend us a kid overnight?”

“Me,” said a Montgomery cousin.

“I will.”

“Mike, you can have both of my boys for as long as you want.”

“How about my twins? She ought to learn on twins.”

“I use cloth diapers, Mike. And safety pins with little ducks on them. Sam should learn on cloth diapers.”

As Samantha stood blinking at the deluge of offers, Mike said, “Take your pick.”

“How many children may I take?” she asked.

That response brought a hush to the Taggerts, for if there was one thing they were serious about, it was children. There were no wives in the Taggert family who didn’t have children, in fact, it was a joke of strutting pride that Taggert men could impregnate any woman in the world, no matter what doctors had told her. They had impregnated women who were on the Pill and women who’d had IUDs inserted. One Taggert, after six children, had had a vasectomy. When his wife became pregnant two years later, he’d had some doubts about her fidelity. After the child was born she’d insisted on having a DNA test to prove the child was his. He had apologized with a new house and a three-week trip to Paris where she’d bought a trunk full of new clothes. (Since then, some of the other Taggert wives had been suggesting that their husbands get vasectomies.)

“You can take one or two or all of them,” Mike said in response to her question.

Samantha looked at the nearly silent group of people, at all of the children, ranging in age from a tiny creature that looked to be only minutes old to big, hulking teenagers who looked as though they were dying to get away from their relatives. She was seriously tempted by a fat, smiling baby about eight months old, but at last she pointed. “Those two.”

Her choice was a couple of little boys about four years old who were far and away the dirtiest children at the picnic, their faces sticky, their hands and clothes looking as though they’d rolled in mud. But under the dirt were cherub faces with black curly hair and big, innocent eyes and mouths of sweetness.

When Samantha chose the two boys, Mike let out a groan that made the whole family burst into laughter. She looked at Mike in question.

“Do you have to have those two?”


“Those brats are Kane’s boys, and they’re bad even for Taggerts. How about Jeanne’s little girl? She’s adorable.”

Samantha glanced at Jeanne’s little girl, at the pretty child’s clean dress, her angelic smile, then back at the twins who were at that moment trying to kill each other. “I want the boys.”

As Mike groaned again, Kane put his arm around his brother. “Ah sleep,” Kane said. “Sweet sleep. That’s what I’m going to get tonight and you’re not.”

Tags: Jude Deveraux Montgomery/Taggert Historical
Source: readsnovelonline.com
readsnovelonline.com Copyright 2016 - 2023