“You are not going to the carnival,” Mackenzie muttered to herself, absently wandering around her kitchen looking for something to eat. Her pantry was stocked with canned food, her freezer loaded with homemade lasagnas that Paula brought over once a month, but nothing seemed appealing at the moment. Hard as she tried, she couldn’t stop thinking about all the junk food she could have if she went to the carnival. Greasy hamburger, spicy fries from Walter Halton’s booth, cotton candy.
She refused to give in to her stomach’s demands, though. The last thing she wanted to do was see Will and Holly, arms around each other, secret smiles, kisses…oh God, she didn’t even want to imagine them kissing.
Sighing, she opened the fridge again and peered inside for the third time, but like the two previous glimpses, it remained empty save for a carton of milk and a few condiments. She was just closing the fridge door when her hands started to tingle. Her temples ached, and a wave of dizziness sent her swaying toward one of the tall-backed oak chairs by the kitchen table. She sank down, breathing deeply, helpless to stop the vision from slamming into her.
A wet tongue flicking against her nipple, hands sliding down to squeeze her bu**ocks.
His head was buried in her br**sts. Licking, kissing, biting, filling her with white-hot pleasure and making her clit swell.
Deft fingers moving under her waistband, into her panties, seeking her aching clit.
An explosion of bliss.
Mackenzie gasped, snapped back into the present, back to her big empty kitchen. Her brain hummed erratically, like the engine of her old Chevy. Her fingertips tingled.
The dull ache in her head signaled that the vision was over, and for the first time in her life, she experienced disappointment at the notion. She didn’t want it to end. These erotic visions were far better than the grisly ones. And this one had been too good, the feel of Will’s mouth and tongue on her br**sts, his fingers stroking her.
But what did it mean? She never had visions of the past, only the future, which meant that what she’d just seen, Will’s delicious exploration of her body, was actually going to happen again. When? How? He’d brought a woman home with him, and Will wasn’t the type to cheat. He was too honorable to f**k around with another woman when he was in town with someone else.
Yet Mackenzie had no doubt it would happen. The sights and sounds had been too vivid, the scent of cotton candy on his breath, the faint melody of the merry-go-round in the distance. Whatever she’d just seen would happen at the carnival. Tonight or tomorrow.
With a sigh, she stumbled to her feet and headed upstairs to get dressed. An hour later, she was back in her car, driving to town again. Call her vain, but she hadn’t been able to resist dressing to the nines. In place of her usual ratty jeans and baggy sweaters, she’d worn a tight, long-sleeved shirt, the same shade of blue as her eyes and with a deep ‘V’ neckline that showed a generous amount of cle**age. Skintight jeans and knee-length black leather boots showcased her long legs, and she’d even dabbed on some red lip-gloss. Her long hair was loose, the way she knew Will liked it, hanging down her back in shiny waves.
He’d probably know she’d dressed up for him, maybe even take it as a sign of seduction, but she didn’t care. This time she wasn’t going to be caught with unbrushed hair and old sweats while in the vicinity of beautiful little Holly.
What she was trying to achieve with the get-up, she still wasn’t sure. In fact, she should avoid the carnival altogether, making sure this latest vision didn’t come true.
Yet she couldn’t stay away.
He brought another woman home. You’re just setting yourself up to be humiliated.
She shoved away the thought. Fine, so maybe he was seeing someone else. But she and Will had sex last week. And they were still best friends. Holly or no Holly, Mackenzie needed to fix things between her and Will. She needed to look him in the eye and know that the sex hadn’t destroyed what they had.
And she needed to tell him about the vision, the one of his helicopter crashing. Maybe if he knew…maybe he wouldn’t take the assignment. He’d stay home, with her. He’d stay alive.
She sighed again, knowing the chances of Will not going on the mission were slim. He was an enlisted officer. He couldn’t tell his commanding officer to screw off. And even if his superior gave him leave, she knew Will would do the mission anyway. He loved being a SEAL, and he took his duties seriously.
Fifteen minutes later, she reached the heart of Hunter Ridge and easily found a parking spot in front of Paula’s general store. Most of the other residents lived in the quaint residential streets surrounding the town; Mac was one of the few who lived on the outskirts of town. She liked the distance, though, the privacy and peacefulness of her rambling farmhouse and rolling acres of land. Her sister Alice had left Hunter Ridge when Mackenzie turned eighteen. Alice had always hated small-town life, fleeing to San Diego the moment she didn’t need to be Mac’s legal guardian anymore. Mac didn’t blame her sister. Small towns weren’t for everyone, and her sister’s move hadn’t hurt their relationship. They still spoke often, and saw each other whenever they could.
And when they did, Alice always made sure to chastise Mackenzie for not dating Will. Her sister was still convinced—as she had been for fifteen years—that the two of them belonged together.
Letting out a breath, Mac shut off the engine and got out of the car. Maybe Alice was right. Maybe she should be with Will. But just as the thought floated in, a memory did too. Her last vision, the one that had finally scared Dan away.