Kenna narrowed her gaze on Mitch. “We both agreed that night was stupid and that we’d never tell another soul.”
“The move is yours,” Mitch repeated. “Use it or lose it.” And then he walked away.
Kenna stared after him.
“You going to use it?” Sophie asked.
Kenna was still watching Mitch go, her expression filled with both longing and fear. “I can’t.”
Sophie reached out to touch her, but Kenna shrugged her off. “Sorry,” she murmured. “I need a moment.” And then she, too, was gone, leaving Sophie sure of only one thing.
She wasn’t the only chicken in Cedar Ridge.
When the sun began to sink in the sky, Jacob lit a bonfire and then sat with Hud and Chris. He was feeling a little sunburned and a whole lot tired, but also pumped up, like he’d been a part of something really great today, something that had reached deep inside to the heart he’d kept locked up as tight as he could get it.
He and Hud had nearly killed themselves behind the boat earlier, trying to best each other, and it had felt so much like old times that he could hardly believe it.
How had he stayed away so long?
Why had he stayed away so long? It was getting so that his reasons no longer made any sense at all.
And having Chris here today meant the world to him, showed him that in spite of not being able to see it for so long, there was life after combat.
And he wanted that life, badly.
His gaze sought out Sophie, who was with Kenna—and shit, Hud was right: That combo was guaranteed trouble. The two of them were directing what looked like a very serious competition of horseshoes.
As if she could feel his gaze, Sophie turned her head and unerringly found him. Right in the middle of her horseshoe game, she cocked her head at him and silently but effectively asked across the span of one hundred feet, What’s wrong?
Was she kidding? She’d given him this. Chris. Laughter with Hud. The feeling of being important to her.
Don’t let your glass be half empty…
Remembering that, he shook his head and smiled at her. In response she sent her best, sexy, happy, two-hundred-watt smile before she turned back to her game.
A local band that was donating their time had set up on the dock behind them and was warming up. More food had arrived and was being barbecued and spread out for dinner. They all ate together, laughing at the pics Sophie had gone around and taken during the day and then projected with her laptop onto a makeshift screen of canvas she’d commandeered from one of the tents.
She amazed him, completely amazed him.
“You should marry her,” Hud said, coming back from the food table with his second plate, sitting next to Jacob with their old ease. “Because if you don’t, I know at least two guys who would.”
Hud grinned at him.
“Who?” Jacob demanded.
“Mitch and Chris, for starters.”
Just because Mitch was an old family friend who’d become invaluable to the resort over the past few years wouldn’t stop Jacob from pounding him into the ground if he made a move on Sophie.
Chris would be tougher to beat, but he’d find a way.
The band had kicked into play and more than a few people were dancing. Chris tugged one of the resort workers out there and made a move, pulling her along to the music. Gray did the same with Penny.
Mitch approached Kenna and Jacob braced for Kenna to punch the guy, but to Jacob’s surprise, she stood up. “You want to dance with me?” she asked.
“Actually,” Mitch said, “I want to date you until you’re convinced you’re mine, something I’ve known forever. And then I want to put a ring on your finger so the whole world knows. But yeah, I’ll settle for a dance for now.”
Kenna stared at him for a long beat, and then she did the most amazing thing. She smiled a warm, sweet, adorable smile that Jacob hadn’t seen for a very, very long time. And then she put her hand in Mitch’s and let him lead her to the dance floor.
“What the hell?” Jacob asked.
Hud grinned. “Love’s in the air, man,” and with that, he went after Bailey, snatching her by the wrist, tugging her in to him.
Everywhere, guys were claiming their women left and right. Or, more accurately, their women were allowing themselves to be claimed. Jacob knew one woman he wouldn’t mind being claimed by and sought her out in the crowd, finding her slow dancing with—shit—Chris now.
They were looking pretty cozy too. As Jacob walked up to them, Sophie was laughing at something Chris had just said while Chris held her way too close. The ass saw Jacob coming, too, and kept Sophie tight to him, shooting Jacob an innocent grin over her shoulder. “Go get your own woman, Kincaid,” he said.