“So, this purchase was a birthday present, huh?”
Hannah visibly cringed. “Yes. My uncle prides himself on giving… unique gifts. This is just one of a long list of doozies.”
At her tone, Walker Jacoby actually chuckled. “What were some of the others?”
“Well, let’s see… instead of the pony I asked for on my seventh birthday, he gave me a retired Kentucky Derby race horse. When I was ten and wanted a magic kit, he took me to Vegas to meet a magician. I was terrified when they called me up on the stage to participate in a magic trick. I thought the man was truly sawing me in half.” She laughed at the memory now, but at the time, it was traumatizing. “There was a full circus production in our backyard on my… fifth, I think it was, birthday… and a really cool private concert for me and five of my closest friends when I turned sixteen. And then there was the egg incident.”
Walker sent her a sharp look, but the corners of his mouth lifted in amusement. “You say that with such drama. What, pray tell, was the egg incident?”
“For my twelfth birthday, JoeJoe gave me a dozen eggs, each in their own incubator. He claimed it was educational, but it turned into a science project that quite literally ate itself.” The memory of it skittered over her skin, rippling her arms with gooseflesh. “In typical JoeJoe fashion, he had no idea what creatures would hatch forth out of those shells. Just my luck, I was living with my mother at the time, in a very swanky LA condo, where they had a strict no-crocodile/no-snake/no-duck policy.”
She failed to mention that the fiasco offered her mother the perfect excuse to send young Hannah back to live with her father in Texas. Again.
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