“I don’t just call you when I need you,” her sister said.
“Okay, I’ll rephrase,” Sophie said. “Hi. I’ve already heard from you this week and I know how busy you’ve been, so I’m guessing something’s come up.”
Her sister laughed. “You could say so. Listen, I have this idea for you. It’s a little crazy, so I don’t want you to say no until you’ve heard me out.”
“Uh-oh,” Sophie said. The last time her sister had come up with an idea, it’d been for Sophie to go out with some gorgeous, rich dude named Lucas…
“Okay,” Brooklyn said. “Remember Jimbo?”
“The guy who graduated in your class who was arrested for being a pimp the week before you got your diplomas?” Sophie asked. “Yeah, I remember. He was my middle school current event that week.”
“Yes, but technically he wasn’t a pimp,” Brooklyn said. “He was just keeping a few of his friends…organized. Business-wise.”
Sophie laughed. “You should’ve been his publicist. Let me guess, you ran into him.”
“Facebook. He’s in Vegas now, running a legit business, making big bucks. And he’s got a job opening for you. One you can do from home.”
“I can hardly wait to hear this,” Sophie said.
“It’s easy. You can do it from the comfort of your own home—er, boat—and you would make big bucks per call.”
Sophie blinked. “Phone sex?”
“Well, it’s not like it’s real sex,” Brooklyn said.
“You didn’t even think about it,” Brooklyn said.
“Yes, I did. I gave it great consideration. It’s a terrible idea. And it’s not just phone sex anymore. It’s also video sex. They live stream themselves.”
“Do I even want to know how you know this?” Brooklyn asked. “And anyway, you don’t have to do the live streaming part. And did you not hear the big bucks part? Look, it’s mostly late-at-night work. All you’ve got to do is sigh and pant a little bit, mention a few body parts and do it in a breathy Marilyn Monroe voice, and you’re golden.”
This time Sophie paused. “No,” she said less convincingly.
“Big bucks, Soph.”
She sighed. “Okay, maybe I’ll think about it.”
“I’m not thanking you yet,” Sophie said. “And for God’s sake, don’t tell Mom and Dad.”
Body still humming with the need for something he wasn’t going to get tonight, Jacob left Sophie’s boat and strode toward the cabin.
He could taste her. Feel her. And it hadn’t been enough.
He’d had to forcibly remind himself he wasn’t here for this. For her. He had a limited amount of time before he had to go back to his duty, and he needed to get on with what he’d come to do. In light of that, he pulled out his phone and stared at his list of contacts.
At one contact in particular.
He hit the number before giving himself a chance to change his mind.
Hud answered on the first ring, sounding a little breathless. “Jacob?” he asked.
“Yeah.” Jacob scrubbed a hand down his face. “Uh, you busy?”
“I’m at the Slippery Slope. You remember it?”
“Yeah,” Jacob said. “I—”
But Hud had disconnected. Okay, then. He walked. It wasn’t far, maybe two miles. When he opened the door to the bar and grill, he was hit by the scent of fried food and the sounds of loud country music and a boisterous, happy crowd.
He was also hit with his past and present as they collided inside his chest.
Across the room, Aidan and Gray were bent over a pool table, in the midst of what looked like a vicious game. Kenna was on the other side of the table, darts in her hand, staring intently at the dartboard. Next to her was a man Jacob didn’t recognize.
Hud stood at the bar, pushing forward money for a pitcher of beer. As if he could feel Jacob’s presence, he quickly turned, and his eyes went straight to his twin.
Jacob took a deep breath and started toward him. He’d never in his life felt more out of his comfort zone, and he wasn’t good at that. It made him itchy, as itchy as if he’d headed into combat without being loaded up with weapons.
At the pool table, Aidan hit a shot that had him shoving his fist in the air and pumping it in triumph. Gray snagged Aidan, hooking his arm around Aidan’s neck and giving him what looked like a painful noogie.