He quickly pushed away the memory, knowing if he let the erotic images surface, he’d soon be standing in the middle of Carson and Holly’s big, glorious kitchen with a big, glorious hard-on.
Best to focus on the anger, and not the arousal the night had left him with. He’d been so close, so f**king close to finally getting the woman he’d dreamed about for the past fifteen years.
Why was she fighting it? Even after they’d experienced the best sex of both of their lives, she still wouldn’t let him love her.
Damn her. Hadn’t he proved that he would stick by her side? That he didn’t care about her visions, or think she was a freak?
Yet she had convinced herself she would lose him if she crossed the line from friendship to romance. A part of him didn’t blame her, given her past relationships. But all those men she’d dated, well, they were cowards. What kind of man walked away from a woman he cared about because she had a few gruesome visions? As a SEAL, Will had seen his share of gruesome. Hell, the images he encountered on his job were probably far nastier than the ones Mackenzie saw in her head. And still she foolishly believed he was like all the others, that her visions were too tough a pill for him to swallow. She’d deluded herself into it, so deeply, that she’d had the nerve to ask him to leave—after he’d proven he could turn her on like no man ever could.
And he had no clue how to change her mind. Hot sex hadn’t done it, so really, what f**king more could he do?
“You can help Garrett bring in the boxes from the truck,” Carson said, interrupting Will’s thoughts.
“No,” Holly protested. “I need Will to help me and Shelby unpack the kitchen boxes. You help Garrett.”
Will was wary as Carson nodded and hurried off, leaving him alone with Holly. The barely restrained smile on her face told him she was up to something, and when Shelby Garrett walked into the kitchen a second later with a smile of her own, Will knew exactly what was going on. These infuriating females had cooked up another matchmaking scheme.
“Sit,” Holly ordered, pointing to one of the tall stools by the island.
He crossed his arms over his chest. “No.”
Shelby marched up to him, curled her fingers over his arm and dragged him to the chair. Her blue eyes twinkled as she forced him to sit. “Come on, just hear us out.”
Hear them out? No, thank you. For the past six months, the two women had tried setting him up with a half dozen of their friends, and no matter how hard he fought the interference, they couldn’t seem to accept he wasn’t interested. He supposed this was all his fault. Up until six months ago, he’d avoided forming deeper friendships with the guys on his SEAL team. Not that he was antisocial or anything. He just tended to keep to himself, enjoyed driving up to Hunter Ridge in his free time and hanging out with Mackenzie, rather than staying near the base with the other guys.
But after John Garrett married Shelby, things changed. Suddenly Will was forced to attend a bachelor party, and a wedding, and then Carson, for some reason, decided to start inviting him to play golf and go out for drinks. Before he knew it, he was eating dinner at Shelby and Garrett’s every Wednesday night, and helping Holly and Carson move into their new Coronado bungalow.
Whether he liked it or not, they were his friends. Though he didn’t quite understand why Shel and Holly had decided to focus all their matchmaking attentions on him. Ryan and Matt, two other guys from SEAL Team Fourteen, were also single, but he didn’t see them getting harassed.
“Okay,” Shelby began, flipping her blonde ponytail over her shoulder. “There’s a new waitress at the restaurant where Holly works, and we think this girl is perfect for you.”
Will rested his elbows on the cedar counter and sighed. “Really?”
“Really,” Holly chimed in. “Her name is Lisa, she’s gorgeous, and she’s studying to become a massage therapist.”
“A massage therapist!” Shelby echoed. “Think of all the things she could do to your body!”
Will had to laugh.
“Oh, and she’s a really good cook,” Holly added. “Also, she speaks three languages.”
Shelby wiggled her eyebrows. “Dirty bedroom talk in three languages, Will. How can you pass this up?”
Well, their pitch was pretty good, what with the massages and foreign dirty talk, but unfortunately, Will had no desire to go out with this woman. His heart would always belong to Mac.
“Although it sounds…tempting,” he lied. “I’m going to pass.”
He was met by two identical crestfallen expressions.
“Why?” Holly burst out.
“You know why,” he said quietly.
Shelby let out a frustrated sigh. “Aren’t you over that woman yet?”
“If anything, I’m more in love with her than ever.” He hadn’t planned on revealing what happened between him and Mac, especially not to these two nosy women, but somehow the entire story spilled out. Fists clenched to his sides, he told them about his night with Mackenzie, and the disappointing way it had ended.
“What is the matter with her?” Holly grumbled, shaking her head.
“She takes him for granted, that’s what,” Shelby answered angrily. “Seriously, Will, how are you still putting up with this? She doesn’t deserve you.”
“Yes, she does.”
Shelby leaned back against the counter, frowning. “You honestly think Mackenzie is worth all this heartache?”