He twisted and did his best to hug her back. She tightened her grip and…didn’t let go.
“I thought maybe we’d had enough hugs,” he managed to croak out past the arm around his neck.
She still didn’t let go.
Jacob loved her. Ridiculously. But he needed to get inside, needed to know if Sophie was in there. Seeking help, he looked at Hud.
“He’s turning blue,” Hud told Kenna.
Hud winced and backed up against the door, hands up.
Shit. Jacob wrapped Kenna up as tight as he could. “Hey,” he said. “I’m done. I’m out. I’m not leaving again.”
“You swear it?”
“I swear it.”
“And you’ll buy me breakfast?” she asked soggily. “At least twice a week?”
Ah, there she was. “You’re wearing a ring. You have Mitch for that now.”
“It’s just a promise ring and he’s a boy, which means he could muck it all up at any moment. You’re my brother. Say it, Jacob. Promise me.”
“I promise to buy you breakfast two times a week.”
“In perpetuity,” he said.
“And you’ll take over as events manager?” she asked. “And be codirector with me of the ski school, seeing as the resort has been saved and so have our asses?”
Jacob pulled back. “What?”
“Oh yeah,” she said. “Forgot to tell you. Lucas went on a whole fix-his-bad-karma thing and was able to work out a deal with the bank so we’d have more time and lower payments. All will be paid off in two years, with the resort still making a comfortable profit if we’re careful. We’re rebuilding and we need you. Plus, we already had the plaque made for your office door.”
Jacob looked at Hud in the dark ambient light of the truck’s cab. “You know about this?”
“We all do,” he said. “We want you back where you belong. With us. And if those jobs don’t appeal to you, then we’ll find something that does.”
“They appeal,” Jacob said. More than he’d imagined they could.
He got out of the truck.
He entered his cabin, tension curling through him. He was beyond exhausted after traveling for the past seventy-two hours to get back here and had no idea what to expect. He and Soph had communicated via email and Skype here and there, but connections had been spotty and she’d been vague about her plans.
Was she here? Would she stay? And if so, for how long? He wanted forever, but he didn’t very often get what he wanted.
The cabin was dark, and he didn’t turn on any lights as he dropped his duffel bags and walked straight through the living room to his bedroom.
The glow of the moon slanted in through the window, casting the room in blue shadows. He moved to the bed, his knees nearly giving out when he saw the mass of long red hair scattered across his pillow.
Sophie lay sprawled in the center of the bed, deeply asleep, taking up all of the space. It took him a few seconds to realize what was different about the room.
The closet was open, filled with her clothes. She had several pairs of shoes scattered on the floor. One peek into the bathroom assured him that she’d taken over there as well, bottles and brushes…How many brushes did one woman need?
Moving back to his bedroom, he noticed the blanket on the bed was hers. There was a plant in one corner and her jewelry box was on the dresser. And a pair of undies on the floor by the bed gave him hope she was in there naked.
That she was there at all was a miracle on its own.
His hand shook as he shut and locked the door, doing the same for the window, making them safe for the night.
Then he sat down heavily on the chair by the bed and just watched her breathe. She was here.
She was his.
And he was absolutely hers…He closed his eyes for a second and then opened them.
And found her looking at him.
Sophie had been waiting for this moment for so long she could scarcely breathe. She’d done her best to go on with her life and continue to make it as good for herself as she could. She’d started her concierge service and had more business than she knew what to do with.
She’d spent time with Kenna and the other Kincaids. She’d settled into Jacob’s cabin, feeling warm and safe and deeply attached to the place, unlike anywhere else she’d ever lived.
That was all Jacob.
He wasn’t there, but she could feel his presence, and she thought about him a lot. Thought about what it would be like when he returned home.