“Well, it's getting late,” Jenna finally says.
“Yeah. I still have a few things I need to take care of too. There's no down time in a farmer's world. I'll leave my number on the fridge in case you need me for anything.”
I start to shut the door, when she suddenly says, “Thanks for this, Ryder. I do appreciate it.”
“This isn't a favor; this is a trade for work. But you're welcome anyway.” Winking, I take a step back into the hall. “We have an early day tomorrow, so get some rest.”
Closing the door behind me, I leave her with a smile on my face. There's something about this that excites me. She's here. She's so close. Jenna Snyder has walked back into my life, even if it's only for a little while.
My excitement is a mix of lust and torture. The opportunity for revenge is in the palm of my hand. And in the same dark breath, having her under my roof opens the door for a different kind of trouble.
A trouble that's forged in my blood. The lust burns in my gut like one hundred proof alcohol. I'm hot all over. My dick pulses in my pants. Sweat is beading up on the back of my neck as I think of all the things I could do to her.
I'm not the boy she left behind. I'm a greedy man with no remorse.
And I'm willing to watch her sweat a little to get what I want.
This is going to be fun.
As soon as I think Jenna's settled, I hop in my truck and head to town. Shoving the door open at the motel, my sister perks up and smiles the second she sees me.
“Hey, what are you doing here?” she asks, setting her book down on the counter.
Shaking my head, my jaw crooks to one side. “What the hell were you thinking?”
Her brows furrow instantly as she cocks her head into her shoulder. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“You know what I'm talking about.”
Holding out her hands, she drops her eyes. “Look, it was only one drink. I swear I didn't drive either. I spent the night, and—”
“What?” I cut in. Melody's gaze shoots back up, and there's confusion all over her face. “I'm not talking about whatever it is you did. I'm talking about Jenna. But we are going to talk about your little confession later.”
“Jenna?” As if a light pops on in her head, she laughs. “She told you? What did she do? Run right to you to rat on me? Wow, what a little cry baby. The girl doesn't get her way and she thinks telling you will change something. What a joke.”
“This is serious, Melody. You shouldn't have done that.”
“And why not?” Stiffening her shoulders, she lifts her chin in protest. “I saw what she did to you. I might have been young, but I wasn't stupid. You were hurting, and it was all her fault. And now she's here trying to take the farm from us?” Her voice is getting louder and louder as she speaks. “I'm not going to let someone like that around me or you or anyone else. She's an outsider, and she needs to just go back home. We don't need her here.”
Stroking my jaw, I take in a slow breath, choosing my words carefully. “Look, I appreciate you looking out for me and for the farm, but let me handle this. This isn't your battle, it's mine. And doing childish things like refusing her a room, it doesn't solve anything.”
“Maybe not, but it sure did make me feel good.”
“Well, maybe this will make you feel even better. Because of your little trick, she's staying at the farm.”
“What? You're kidding me?” Her jaw hangs open wide, eyes bulging from her head. “Please tell me you're joking.”
“I'm not, she's there right now. I told her she could stay.”
“For how long?”
“Until it's time for her to leave.”
“And when is that?”
“I don't know, Melody, but it's done.”
She side-eyes me, her lips pursing tight. “There's more to this than you just coming to her rescue. What are you not telling me?” Her eyes jump around my face. “You still have feelings for her, don't you?”
“No.” Slicing a hand through the air, I cut her down. “It's not like that at all. I just don't want her sleeping under a bridge because of you. You turned her away, and I made it right.”
Smirking, she drops back into her seat and puts her feet up on the desk. “Bullshit,” she says with a giggle. “You still like her, I can see it.”
“I do not like her.”
Grinning big, she sings, “Ryder and Jenna sitting in a tree—”
“Stop it,” I say firmly.
“K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes—”
“I said stop it.” Shoving her feet hard off the desk, she spins in the chair. Melody is laughing hard, rubbing her eyes as they tear up. “It's not that funny.”