Gabriel's wolf takes what his.
Garrison and Alicia's face, he was right.
"It was wonderful, Mrs. Garrison. It's been a long time since I've had a decent Southern meal," he replied, looking at Alicia, who shifted nervously.
"I'm so happy you enjoyed it. My Melissa did most of the cooking, and from scratch! Can you believe it? I don't know how she does it and still manages to look fabulous," Melinda gushed.
"Hmm." Gabriel was barely listening to her. "So, Alicia, how long have you been with the Garrisons?"
Alicia glanced up from the glass she was sipping out of, hoping she didn't look as crazy as she felt. For some reason, when it came to the opposite sex, i.e. any good-looking male, she was extremely shy. But Mr. Kirkland took the cake; the man was a walking fantasy. He was at least 6'4", with his jet-black hair and striking blue eyes, and even with that suit on, she could tell he was built. When her Uncle spoke of Mr. Kirkland, she pictured a fiftyish business exec with gray hair and a potbelly, not him. Definitely not him.
For once, she could understand why Melinda and Melissa wanted to look their best tonight. Hell, she wished she had put on something a little more eye-catching, but the way he was staring at her, obviously, he didn't mind. Then again, when it came to the opposite sex, she was completely clueless. Maybe her feelings were one-sided; after all, her Uncle did mention to him that her major was business. He was probably just being nice. Before she made a fool of herself, she took a deep breath and tried to calm her nerves.
Just as she was about to speak, Melinda cut in, "Oh Alicia has been with us for about three years now." Putting her hand on her chest in a show of sympathy, which she clearly didn't have, she went on. "It was tragic really. After her parents died, she had nowhere to go. She would have been out on the streets, doing God knows what."
Melinda sighed dramatically before she continued, "Poor thing, we just knew we had to take her in. And Melissa, the darling that she is, took Alicia under her wing and guided her. You know schooling was a little tough for her and then there was her weight problem. Thank goodness she's doing so much better now."
Mr. Garrison cleared his throat in an attempt to shut Melinda up. Alicia sighed. Once again Melinda had managed to make her look like some stray dog she let in off the streets.
Gabriel fought back a growl. Garrison needed to get his wife under control before he put her ass in check. "Well, from what I've observed, it seems like Ms. Monroe is a very strong and intelligent young woman who would've been okay regardless of where she ended up."
Alicia smiled shyly at Gabriel, embarrassed yet thankful for his comment.
Melinda couldn't believe this man. The whole night she had been trying to get him to take an interest in Melissa, and here he was, going on about Alicia. It was bad enough her husband had to take in the little black reject off the streets. The women at the Country Club had a field day with that, and now this. The last thing she needed was this nobody taking away from her daughter, which was exactly what Alicia was doing. Melissa might not have been smart, but she was damn sure more stunning than Alicia's fat ass. Melissa was exactly the type of woman Gabriel needed on his arm, a good showpiece.
If only she could get him to take an interest in Melissa. Hell, she really only needed him to sleep with Melissa and knock her up. From what she read, Mr. Kirkland came from old money and with a family as reputable as his, the last thing they would want was a bastard child born out of wedlock. A marriage to Gabriel Kirkland would put them on the social map, not to mention the financial benefits. I need to do something quick so I can get his attention off of that cow and onto my daughter.
"Alicia, dear, do you mind helping me with the dessert?"
"Sure, I don't mind."
"Excuse us," Melinda said, smiling sweetly.
**** Alicia knew something was up, Melinda never asked for help with anything.