Ty looked at me like I had lost my mind. “Why can’t I bring Blayze here? Mama had a pie to give to the girls, and he wanted to help deliver it. Hell, Brock, he doesn’t remember anything about this place.”
I pointed to the house. “She was talking to him about Kaci. She ain’t none of her damn business.”
Ty looked down and shook his head, his hand coming up to rub the back of his neck. “Brock, at some point, you’re gonna have to start talking to him about his mama. He’s getting curious about her.”
My shoulder hit his as I pushed past him.
“He has a right to know about his mother!”
“Fuck you, Ty.”
“Yeah, fuck you, too, Brock. You’re so damn scared to talk about her. It was an accident. Stop acting like it’s all your fault.”
I stopped, then turned and rushed him. I grabbed on to his shirt and shook him. I couldn’t control the rage that was quickly building up inside of me. “Shut up! Don’t talk about it. Don’t you fucking talk about it! And stay away from me while I’m here.”
Ty pushed me away from him. “You need help, brother. You’re carrying some pent-up guilt, and if you don’t get it out soon, you’re going to be asking for trouble. You think riding a bull and the occasional one-night stand is going to keep it at bay? You’re wrong. You’ve got to talk to someone about it.”
“I’m fine!” I shouted, balling my fists. I’d never wanted to hit my brother like I did right then.
He shrugged. “If you say so.”
I watched as he turned back to the house.
“Where are you going?” I asked.
Without looking back at me, he said, “I’m about to ask a beautiful woman out for a dinner date. Some of us still know how to treat a lady.”
It felt like someone had punched me in the chest. Knowing Ty was going to take Lincoln out made me green with jealousy. Then the idea that I was jealous annoyed me. Yes, Lincoln was attractive. Hell, she was beautiful, and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t had a rush of confusing emotions when she first looked into my eyes. But jealous?
What in the hell was wrong with me?
“Daddy, why are you and Uncle Ty fighting?”
Somehow, I felt her watching me, so I turned to look at the house. Lincoln was standing at the window, observing the entire scene. I frowned, knowing that her first impression of me was that I was a complete dick. When she took a step away from the window, I looked down to Blayze. “It’s okay, buddy. Brothers sometimes fight.”
He nodded and took my hand as we walked over to my truck. “Miss Lincoln is real pwetty, ain’t she, Daddy?”
Glancing back over my shoulder, I watched as Lincoln motioned for my brother to come into what had once been my house. “Yeah, she’s pretty.”
“You got a cwush on her, like me?”
Looking down at him, I laughed. “You’ve got a crush on Lincoln, huh?”
“Well, I don’t really know her, and from what I can tell, she’s stubborn as hell and probably a pain in the ass.”
“Grams is gonna wash your mouth out with Ivory, Daddy.”
I kissed my son on the forehead as I buckled him up in his booster seat. “Come on. I believe I promised you a roping lesson.”
His eyes lit up, and I couldn’t deny that the warmth in my chest made me forget almost everything. No matter what everyone thought of me, I hated being away from my son. Every time I had to pack up and leave, I felt a piece of me being left behind with him.
I shut the door and rounded my truck, and, being a glutton for punishment, I looked back at the white house.
The one thing I couldn’t forget were those deep-green eyes. I’d never in my life seen anyone with eyes that color. The way they’d sparkled and seemed to catch the light sneaking into the barn . . . I’d literally had to catch my breath when Lincoln’s eyes met mine.
Once I was in the truck, I shook the image away and smiled back at Blayze. “Let’s go ropin’.”
“Yes!” Blayze called out.
The conversation at the dinner table went in one ear and out the other. It was good to be home, but my mind was spinning, and it seemed to keep landing back on one thing.
“So, Brock, Ty told me you made an impression on Lincoln today.”
My head snapped up, and I looked at my brother and then back over to my mother. “Um, yeah. I headed over there after you told me where Ty and Blayze went.”
Smiling, my mother said, “She’s a nice girl, isn’t she?”
Ty chuckled. “He wouldn’t know. The last words she told him were to not let the barn door hit him on the ass when he was leaving.”