“My mom’s not married,” Kate blurted out. “She just wears her wedding ring so she doesn’t have to get set up on dates.”
“Catherine!” Cara groaned. “For crying out loud!” She pinched the bridge of her nose and squeezed her eyes shut.
John nodded sagely. “Good to know. I promise not to set her up with anyone. Although,” he peered at her, “pretending to be married seems a little extreme?”
“No, no.” Cara waved her hands. “It’s my old wedding ring… my husband died when Kate was three. I just wear it sometimes when I go out. I know it’s probably silly.”
John inclined his head to one side. “I know how that is. I lost my wife too.” The look they shared thickened the air around them with intimacy.
Carmen and Michael joined them then. “Hi, guys. We saw you, um, shaking hands with Cara, John,” Carmen said, her eyes glinting with amusement. “Yes, Cara, we thought we’d better come fill you in on this guy.” Michael’s grin was devilish. John stared hard at him. Cara thought she heard him say, “Leave. Now.”
She would have preferred privacy as well but Michael and Carmen seemed disinclined to leave them alone. Which didn’t need to deter her from making conversation, she decided. “So,” she addressed John, “at which university do you currently teach marine biology?”
He frowned. “Marine biology? Who told you I taught marine biology?”
Her eyes widened. “I have met approximately four thousand of your relatives, and with the exception of Carmen here, every blasted one of them is a marine biologist. So, I figure you’re either a marine biologist or you’re not really related to these people.”
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