Nobody But You (Cedar Ridge 3) - Page 83

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And yet here she was, wanting to know that Jacob was okay.

It’s not the same, she told herself. Jacob didn’t require her to be at his beck and call, and he certainly wouldn’t want her mood depending on his.

And he hadn’t asked her for anything. Not a single thing…

One of the donations for the day had been from Nelson Rentals, who’d provided the canopy, chairs, and ramps that they’d used to ease the way for the people in wheelchairs. That company was owned by Josh Nelson, who was one of Lucas’s good friends.

Josh’s wife, Leanne, showed up midday to check out the event and make sure Nelson Rentals was properly represented. Sophie knew Leanne well. They’d been at many society functions together in the past, but Sophie no longer ran in those circles, and she hadn’t seen Leanne since before the divorce. She wondered if Leanne was in Camp Lucas or Camp Sophie. Or maybe she was in Camp I-Don’t-Give-a-Crap.

Leanne moved through the event, smiling, introducing herself to the guests, effortlessly charming everyone. That pretty smile was still on her face when she came up to Sophie. “Look at you,” she said. “Looking for your next husband?”

Camp Lucas, then. “Good to see you, Leanne.”

Leanne’s smile didn’t slip. “I’m going to tell you right up front, there’s no need to pretend to be friendly. I think what you did to Lucas was despicable. And what you’re doing now, stepping on his toes in this way, is even worse.”

“What I did?” Sophie repeated. “Are you referring to me divorcing him for being a cheating liar, or for taking the high road and not taking out an ad to tell everyone he was a cheating liar?”

“For stealing his boat away from him, the one thing he loved above all else.”

“Ah,” Sophie said. “So you’ve heard his side of the story, then.”

Leanne snorted. “I’ve heard the truth. His grandpa bought him that boat only a few months before he died. It was the only thing he had of the man who practically raised him.”

So that was the story Lucas had spread to gain him sympathy. It should’ve pissed Sophie off, but she’d realized something over the past few months. She no longer cared about Lucas and his games. “I need to get back to work,” she said, and started to walk off.

“How do you excuse what you’re doing now?” Leanne asked.

Sophie turned back to her. “Which is what exactly?”

“Going after one of the Kincaid brothers. That is what you’re doing, right? Though you’ll have to hurry. There’s only one single brother left, and I hear he’s emotionally unavailable.” She cocked her head. “Or maybe that doesn’t matter to you.”

Kenna appeared at Sophie’s side, eyes on Leanne. “What’s up?”

“You,” Leanne said, transferring her carefully controlled hostility to Kenna.

Sophie looked at Kenna for an explanation on that one.

Kenna smiled politely at Leanne and turned to Sophie. “Mrs. Nelson and I had words at a charity auction last month.”

“Yes,” Leanne said. “And after which Gray promised me I wouldn’t have to deal with you again. Honestly, does a Kincaid’s word mean nothing?”

“You can’t even imagine the immensity of the fuck that I do not give,” Kenna said. She turned to Sophie. “I need your help.”

“Of course,” Sophie said, and she and Kenna walked off.

“So what’s up?” Kenna asked.


Kenna gave her a long look. “Didn’t look like nothing.”

Sophie shrugged. “She was wondering if I was trying to catch my next husband, one with a last name of ‘Kincaid.’”

“Why didn’t you tell her to go to hell?”

“I was implying it with my eyes,” Sophie said. “It’s a new thing. I’m trying to be calm and steady. Subtle.”

Kenna laughed. “Us Kincaids don’t really do subtlety. Outspoken and obnoxious is our specialty.”

Sophie looked at Jacob, who was in the water up to his waist, steadying a kayak for one of the guests and his brother. “Not all of you,” she said.

Kenna followed Sophie’s gaze to Jacob, and some of her smile faded. “You’re right. He’s learned to hold things in. But he’s working his way back to us. It’s harder than he thought it would be, I think. He’s seen and done things in the years he’s been gone that we can’t even imagine. It’s changed him. But I’m pretty sure we can bully him back to us.”

Tags: Jill Shalvis Cedar Ridge Romance