Kade said, “Would you mind packagin’ up a couple of them pierogi Sky likes so much?”
“No problem.” The waitress smiled at a sleepy Eliza. “I’ll put in a slice of chocolate cake and toss in one of those soft sugar cookies for sweet baby too.”
“What’s a pierogi?” Edgard asked.
“Meaty, potatoey goodness wrapped up in chewy crust. Domini here, makes the best pierogis this side of Budapest.”
Domini blushed prettily. “Mr. McKay. You flatter me.”
“How many times have I told you to stop callin’ me that?” He gestured to the trio in the booth. “Have you met my cousin and her husband? Domini, this is Chassie and Trevor Glanzer. They live on Chassie’s family’s homeplace out west of town. This is their friend Edgard…didn’t catch your last name.”
“Mancuso.” Edgard reached for Domini’s hand. “Pleasure to meet you, Domini.
Forgive me for being so blunt, but where are you from?”
Domini blushed harder.
“Never mind. Why don’t you wrap us up about half a dozen of the pierogis?” Edgard winked at Chassie. “Be all right if I cook tonight, sweetheart? I’m looking forward to an easy, fast supper because we’ve got some issues to deal with afterward.”
“Then I’ll come up with something warm, sticky and sweet for dessert,” Chassie cooed.
Trevor choked on his hash browns. The cheeky bastard was flirting with his wife.
And she was flirting back? In front of her cousin?
Domini blurted, “I’ll throw in a couple of sugar cookies for you too,” and practically sprinted away.
“You rodeo guys are horn dogs. I swear to God Eliza ain’t ever datin’ a cowboy.”
His hold tightened on the sleeping baby.
“What goes around comes around, cuz.” Chassie chomped a bite of toast and her eyes twinkled at the Brazilian. “So tell me about Domini, Kade. She new around here? I think Edgard’s interested.”
Edgard’s fork froze halfway to his mouth and Trevor hid his smile behind his napkin.
Lord, that woman was just plain ornery. But the joke was on her because Edgard had such…inventive ways to discipline ornery.
“You know Macie’s friend Kat?” Chassie nodded. “Kat brought Domini here from Denver last fall.”
“I’ve never seen her.”
“She’s a helluva cook, always in the kitchen, which is too bad ’cause she’s mighty easy on the eyes, ain’t she?”
Edgard didn’t answer, even when Kade addressed the last part of the question to him.
Kade brushed his lips over Eliza’s head. “Anyway, Kat is in Eagle River while Macie is on maternity leave and Velma is wintering in Phoenix. Kat put Domini in charge.”
“Domini doesn’t act like she wants to be in charge.”
“She’s shy. But I think that’s more from her circumstances than her personality.”
“She’s a Bosnian refugee, immigrated four years ago and has only been speakin’ English that long.”
“And how is it you know so much about the beautiful, mysterious, shy Domini?”
Trevor teased. “Does Skylar approve of you tastin’ her pu…rogue-ees?”
“You’re f**kin’ hilarious, Glanzer. I know her because she and Nadia, another Bosnian woman who works for Sky, are sharin’ a house since Nadia’s divorce. And my nosy sister-in-law has taken a special interest in Domini. Which means the potential for Domini turnin’ into a mouthy, tattooed pain in the ass has skyrocketed.”
Kade hadn’t noticed India enter the restaurant, nor that she stood right behind him.
Chassie and Trevor kept a straight face when India said, “You’re sliding, Kade. You didn’t mention I’ve corrupted sweet, innocent Domini into getting pierced in some interestingly intimate places.”
“Jesus Christ, India. Why the f**k are you always sneakin’ up on me like that?”
“Because I can. And I’m telling my sister you’re still swearing in front of the baby.”
India stepped forward and propped her hand on her hip. “Or maybe I won’t tattle because I’d totally pay to see the look on Sky’s face when Eliza’s first word is cocksucker. And by pay, I mean see you pay. For years, McKay.”
“Ha ha, you wish. Eliza’s already said her first word.” He beamed at Chassie. “It was Daddy.”
“Figures,” Chassie muttered.
“It was doo doo and you extrapolated from there, daddy-o,” India inserted.
Trevor grinned. India was as funny and rude as he’d heard. Lord, he’d be afraid to be in a room with her and Keely McKay.
Kade stood and shifted sleeping Eliza, turning his shoulder when India tried to sneak in and steal the baby from him. “Huh-uh, this girl is all mine today. We’ll go before India ruins your meal.”
“Great seein’ you guys. Keep in touch.” Kade managed to slip Eliza’s hat on with one hand without waking her. “Indy, would you go up to the register and grab the to-go package for Sky?”
“Did you pay for it?”
“Nope.” He winked and strode out.
“Cheap bastard,” she shot at his back.
“Are they always like that?” Edgard asked.
“Yep. Don’t let their sniping fool you. They’re crazy about each other. Kade has always wanted an annoying little sister and India is more’n happy to oblige.” A wistful look crossed her face. “I’m jealous actually. Trev’s fallin’ out with his family means I’ve lost my chance for any sisters-in-law.”
“That ain’t such a great loss,” Trevor mumbled.
After they’d finished and requested another coffee refill, Chassie grabbed the newspaper. “Guess what? There’s a rodeo in Gillette this weekend.”
“So? There’s a rodeo every weekend.”
“But this one has a guaranteed purse of ten grand. Plus, the entry fee is like next to nothin’.” Her gaze flicked between him and Edgard. “You guys bein’ former ropin’ pros could win it.”
“Seriously. You guys could walk away with a pocketful of cash and we’d be closer to the down payment we need.”
“We’d still be short and it’d just piss me off.” Goddamn, it rankled he couldn’t get a handle on that situation. Time was running out, too.