“You’re here,” she blurted out.

His dark eyes softened at the sight of her, but then his expression grew shuttered. “Couldn’t miss the carnival,” he said lightly.

“I…I called you.” The twinge of desperation in her voice made her want to cringe. “I left a message.”

“Did you?” His tone was cool. “I haven’t checked my messages today.”

Okay, so he was still angry with her. The stiffness of his impossibly broad shoulders and that distant look in his eyes confirmed it. And he hadn’t shaved in days, she noticed. Thick stubble dotted a jaw that was visibly tensed. She wished she knew how to make it better, how to bridge this awful distance between them.

“Will,” she murmured. “I’m…sorry.”

“Yeah, you said that last week.”

“I still feel it.”

That dark gaze swept over her face. For a second she glimpsed a glimmer of regret there, a flash of desire, but then it snapped back to chilly and distant. “So do I, Mac.”

She opened her mouth to respond, but whatever she’d been about to say—she wasn’t even sure what—died a fiery death when a flicker of movement caught her eye. Shock barreled into her as she watched someone get out of the passenger side of Will’s Jeep.

Not someone.

A woman.

And not any woman, but a gorgeous one. A beautiful green-eyed brunette in Capris and a tank top, who marched over to Will’s side and possessively linked her arm with his.

“Are you going to introduce me to your friend?” the woman asked with a teasing lilt to her voice.

Mac was frozen in place, unable to take her eyes off their interlocked arms. Will had brought a woman with him? In all the years she’d known him, he’d never shown up in town with someone on his arm. Never.

Something fierce and ugly reared up inside her. She suspected that something was jealousy, but there was also a spark of resentment. He was dating someone? He’d had sex with her last weekend and now he was dating someone else?

“Holly, this is Mackenzie,” Will said gruffly. “Mac, Holly.”

“It’s nice to meet you.” The lie flowed smoothly out of Mac’s mouth, while the anger flowed just as smoothly through her veins. Damn him for bringing a woman home. How could he do that after everything he’d said and done last week?

I want you, Mackenzie. Now. Always.


“So you’re the friend Will told me about,” Holly replied with a warm smile.

A genuinely warm smile. Which meant that Will hadn’t told his new girlfriend about that body-numbing sex he’d had with his friend.

Mac pressed her hands to the sides of her jeans, resisting the urge to use those hands to wring Will’s neck. “Will and I have known each other for years,” she answered with forced casualness. “How do the two of you, uh, know each other?”

Holly tightened her grip on Will’s arm, her green eyes twinkling as she got up on her tiptoes and brushed her lips over his stubble-covered cheek. Mac noticed how short the other woman was, and a pang of insecurity tugged at her gut. Compared to Holly’s petite, pixie frame, Mac felt like a giant. Suddenly her height of five-eight seemed terribly enormous, all wrong for Will. Will and Holly looked perfect together—tall, muscular Will and little, perfect Holly.

It made her want to throw up.

“We actually just met, um…” Holly tilted her head thoughtfully, “…last Sunday. I work at a restaurant near the base, and Will showed up for lunch. He came back to the kitchen after his meal and complimented my cooking.” Holly’s cheeks flushed in an annoyingly cute way.

And she was a cook. How delightful. Mac couldn’t even make an omelet without burning something.

Before her confidence could take another hit, her brain stumbled on what Holly had just said—last Sunday. Will had met this girl the day after he’d rocked Mackenzie’s world during that storm. One day! Was that all he’d needed to put the entire incident out of his mind? Was that why he hadn’t called her this week, he’d been too busy rocking someone else’s world? And to think, she’d been frantic about his safety! Obviously he was quite safe with his new flame.

“Holly just graduated from culinary college,” Will said, shrugging his arm from Holly’s and slinging it around her shoulder instead.

Mac tried not to stare at the careless way his fingers caressed Holly’s bare shoulder. “That’s nice,” she said. “So…you two are in town for the carnival?”

“Yep,” he replied, expressionless.

“Will was telling me all about it,” Holly added as she snuggled closer to him. “I had the weekend off, so when he said he wanted to show me where he grew up, I couldn’t pass it up.” With a naughty smile, Holly trailed one finger across Will’s chest. “I want to know everything about you, baby.”

Okay, she was officially going to be sick.

Taking an awkward step back, Mac feigned a smile. “Well, you’ll have fun. The carnival is always, um, fun,” she said again. Another step backwards. “I’ve gotta go. I left my car running.” Right, because there was actually a chance one of the straight-laced Hunter Ridge residents might hop into her beat-up Chevy and commit grand theft auto.

“Will you be at the carnival tonight?” Will asked politely.

She continued inching away from the perfect couple. “Um, I’m not sure yet.”