“Oh, come!” Holly said with another real-looking smile. “I’d love to get to know Will’s best friend.”


“We’ll save you a seat on the Ferris wheel,” Will added.

She swallowed down a hysterical laugh. Yeah, like that would inspire her to show up. Sitting on a Ferris wheel with Will and his new girlfriend was about as appealing as sticking pins in her eyes.

“Yeah, maybe,” she said noncommittally. “If I decide to go, I’ll find you guys. Anyway, um…bye.”

Tearing her gaze from the two of them, she stumbled back to her car. As she slid into the driver’s seat, she was irritated to see that Will and Holly weren’t even paying attention to her anymore. Will had planted his hands on Holly’s slender hips, and the brunette’s arms were now locked around his strong, corded neck. Their bodies were pressed together, their faces inches apart. Mac averted her eyes before she could witness something she didn’t want to see—Will kissing another woman. But the mere thought of it sent waves of jealousy to her gut.

Damn him.

Clenching her teeth so hard her jaw ached, she pulled out of the parking spot and drove away from Main Street as fast as she could.

Damn him.

Will stared at the rear bumper of Mac’s car as she sped off. Satisfaction settled in his chest, along with a knot of pain that tightened his throat. He’d been so tempted to pull her into his arms when she’d hurried over to his Jeep. She’d looked so relieved, so happy to see him, and as annoyed as he was with her, he’d been happy to see her too. He always felt so empty when he was away from her.

But he’d restrained himself from embracing her, or planting a usual peck on her smooth, ivory-colored cheek. He’d brought Holly here for a reason, and he wasn’t about to blow the charade in its first five minutes. Mac needed to see he wasn’t kidding around. He’d waited more than a decade for her. Any other man would’ve given up already, focused his attentions on a woman who actually wanted to be with him. But Will had exercised patience, waiting for Mackenzie to get over her unfounded fears, hoping she’d finally open her eyes and see that he was the only man for her.

Not even amazing sex had managed to sway her. Even after he’d shown her the pleasure he had to offer, the love he was willing to give, she’d pushed him away. And the relief he’d glimpsed in her pale blue eyes when she’d walked up to him just now told him she assumed things could go back to normal, that he could put the sex out of his mind and go back to being her best bud. Well, that wasn’t going to happen.

Mackenzie would either get all of him, or none of him, and hopefully seeing him with another woman would be the kick in the butt she needed. The catalyst that pushed her to take that final step and admit she loved him.

“She is pissed,” Holly said with a grin, dropping her hands from his neck.

He stepped back, his gaze still on the now empty road. “Furious,” he agreed.

“Should we high-five?”

“Not yet,” he said with a laugh. “She’s still not ready to make a move. I bet right now she’s probably trying to convince herself it didn’t bother her to see me with you.”

Holly shook her head, looking frazzled. “If this was me and Carson, and I saw him with someone else, I’d bitch-slap the woman and claim my man.”

“She’s scared.”

“To be loved?”

“To be abandoned.” He swallowed. “Every guy she’s dated has dumped her when the visions got too scary for him. And this last break-up…it hurt her pretty badly. Dan—the guy she was with—said some seriously shitty things when he broke up with her.”

“Like what?”

“She didn’t give me all the details, but I got the feeling it was bad. The vision she had really freaked him out.”

He frowned, wondering if maybe he ought to pay a visit to dear old Dan in the hardware store. Normally he tended to avoid the men Mac dated, but Dan had always rubbed Will the wrong way. And after Colin Garber died in that fire, Dan had definitely made Will’s shit list. Instead of comforting Mackenzie, the bastard had shoved her away like a piece of trash.

Then again, the break-up was the reason Mac had kissed him, and the reason he’d driven to her house last weekend, where they’d finally acted on the uncontrollable attraction between them. So maybe he should be thanking Dan.

He paused. Naah. He still wanted to unleash a right hook in that creep’s jaw.

“Doesn’t she know you’re a Navy SEAL who doesn’t freak out easily?” Holly asked.

“All she knows is that I’m the only man who’s always stood by her. She thinks she’ll lose me if she opens herself up fully.”

“Well, I think she’s silly.” Holly glanced around the quaint little street. “Is there anywhere good to eat around here?”

“There’s a bar around the corner. Serves some pretty decent chicken wings. But the diner is where I usually go. All-day breakfast.”

“Are you buying?”

“Of course.” He chuckled. “Don’t tell me Carson makes you guys go Dutch.”

“We don’t usually go out to eat. The food I cook is better than anything you’ll get in a restaurant.” She grinned. “Well, my restaurant is the exception, but that’s because I’m the chef.” She slung her arm through his and pushed him toward the curb. “Come on, let’s go. I’m starved.”