"Why didn't you tell me?"
"That you'd hired security."
"I told your mother."
Brittney bit down the terse response that was begging to spill out.
She was on the phone with Andrew. He was in New York, and she was in Denver, trapped in wedding prep hell and having to deal with her mother every waking minute.
When she'd flown to Colorado, she'd planned a two week trip, where she'd arranged to interview caterers and florists. Fourteen days was such a short amount of time. She'd thought she could tolerate Jacquelyn for the brief interval, but she was already feeling as if she couldn't breathe and longing to escape her mother's clutches.
She was angry with Andrew for being in New York, for waiting twenty-four hours before he'd returned her call. She was angry with herself for traveling alone to Denver, for not bringing Andrew to serve as a barrier against Jacquelyn's constant barbs. She was angry at her brothers for not visiting her.
They both knew she was in the city, but neither of them would stop by the mansion while Jacquelyn was in residence. Their rift with her was that horrid.
Brittney was particularly furious with her brother, Dustin. He was getting married over the weekend, in a small, private ceremony up in the high country.
She'd been invited, but didn't see how she could attend.
Jacquelyn had adamantly insisted that Brittney ignore the event as she, Jacquelyn, intended to do. Brittney was in an untenable position, caught between her mother's snobbery and her brother's unshakeable resolve to marry a woman their mother loathed.
If Brittney went to the wedding, her mother would never forgive her. If Brittney stayed away, her brother would never forgive her.
She was incensed over her mother's arrogance and how it had split the family apart. Jacquelyn was such a cold and callous person. She'd never exhibited any maternal tendencies toward her three children, and her attitude hadn't softened as she'd aged.
With Brittney's father having passed away, she felt that everyone should be trying extra hard to get along, to get closer. But instead, everyone was fighting more than ever.
"Mother never mentioned the security guard," she peevishly said to Andrew. "He showed up with no warning."
"I'm sorry. I assumed she'd inform you."
"I don't need him watching over me."
"Well, I hope to fly out there next week, and if I can make it, I'll be more comfortable if we have someone local in place."
"I always have security."
"I never noticed."
"That's because they've been discreet. I didn't want to worry you."
"Why would I worry? What aren't you telling me?"
"I simply like to be cautious."
In the background, people were speaking to him. He pulled the phone from his ear, his hand over the receiver, and there was a lengthy period where he was distracted.
Her temper flared, and she was confused by her bad mood. He was an international financier. He had more important problems than the petty details of their wedding or Brittney's stupid spats with her mother.
She knew that fact and understood that fact, but often, she seemed to be an afterthought, which left her wondering why he was marrying her.
He claimed he was madly in love with her, that he'd fallen for her the moment they'd met. She claimed she was in love t