“We’re not rich, Max,” she scoffed. “Far, far from it.”
Maxwell directed a harsh look my way. “You haven’t told her?” He crossed those massive arms over his even wider chest.
I wanted to slink down into a puddle of goo at his feet. There had been way too much drama to deal with to be having this conversation right now. First Millie, now Max and Maddy. Criminy.
“Told me what?” Maddy pressed.
“Max, we’ve had some pretty severe shit going on. The last thing I needed to do was add yet another complication.”
“What complication?” Maddy asked.
“It’s really not a complication. More a benefit,” Max added.
“And that would be?” she asked.
Instead of participating, I was just too damned tired to figure out a way to ease into it, and Max seemed gung-ho, so why the hell not? Sipping on my coffee, allowing the creamy liquid that admittedly always tasted better when someone else made it—or it could be the addition of cream and sugar—I watched as Max explained to Maddy that we were all three going to own a piece of Cunningham Oil & Gas, though I did get him to agree to split Maddy’s and my amount in half so he’d still carry fifty percent of the company. It was his birthright and his legacy, not something we ever grew up wanting a piece of. The two of us would each have twenty-five percent, which would give us a crazy amount of money, but also not force us to make the everyday decisions and work the business if we didn’t want to. I sure as hell didn’t want to. Maddy on the other hand, with her degree, might be interested in the option in the future.
After Max spilled the details, she stood there, maybe in shock or lost in thought. I couldn’t be sure at that point. Eventually, the lights turned on and someone was home because her face lit up. A rosy hue covered her cheeks, and the sunny personality that was my baby sis came to the surface.
“I own twenty-five percent of one of the largest oil and gas companies in the nation.”
“Yes, ma’am.” A little smirk stole across Max’s lips.
“Get out!” Her hands came to her chest and she clenched them together. “That’s unreal.”
“Having sisters is unreal. It’s your birthright to be part of the family business,” Max announced proudly.
“So when I’m done with college, if I want, I could just come work for the company?” Just as I suspected, my book-smart, scientist sister would be all over that.
Max laughed. “Of course. I’d love for both of you to come work at the headquarters in Dallas.”
I cringed and shook my head. “Sorry, this Vegas girl is now a Cali girl.”
“We’ll see.” Max grinned and put his arms around Maddy and me. “For now, though, I need to get a real meal into both of you.” He sniffed my hair. “And showers. And at least four hours of sleep.”
Both Maddy and I were going to protest, but he walked us right past Pops’s room. Nothing had changed in the fifteen minutes or so we’d been in the cafeteria and he’d been alone.
“We can’t leave Pops alone,” Maddy said.
“You’re not going to. I ran into your fella. He and his mother we’re heading in to relieve you both anyway. They’re going to sit with your dad while you guys rest of up for a bit. No arguments. You’re no good to him like this. He’d be mad as hell if you weren’t taking care of yourselves, I’m sure.” Max’s tone was firm.
I made a sound that was between a laugh and a huff but didn’t respond. Pops cared. He definitely loved us, but usually he was so far gone in the drink that he wouldn’t notice if Maddy and I had gone days without food.