Yet the idea of leaving was no longer as appealing as it had been.
I glanced over to where Cade had sat down. Mirabella’s sister, Cora, was talking to him and must have asked him to dance because he rose from his chair and followed her onto the dance floor. When he took her by the hips, she curled her arms around his neck and crushed her body up against his. Something close to possessiveness raced through me. I could live a million years and never be okay with seeing him in the arms of another woman. I looked away and drained my glass. Stupid heart. Staying the extra week had been a mistake. It was making me feel things I had buried a long time ago.
When I glanced back at them, Cora was looking up at Cade with starry-eyed affection.
Oh Christ. She didn’t just want to fuck him. She had a crush on him.
“She’s always had a thing for him,” Mirabella said, sitting down next to me. “But he’s never shown any interest in her.”
“Until now.” I went to take a sip, but my glass was empty. Leaning forward, I refilled it from the open bottle on the table.
“Oh, that’s nothing. He’s just being sweet, is all.” Mirabella’s beautiful brown eyes found mine. “I’m sure it would be different if you were out there dancing with him.”
“We’re not together,” I said.
“He’s in love with you.” Mirabella leaned in so her shoulder nudged mine. “And I think you’re a little bit in love with him, too.”
I didn’t get a chance to respond because Jacob appeared beside us with an open bottle of champagne in his hand, asking his wife to dance.
“You and I are going to continue this conversation soon, okay?” she said with a broad smile as her giant man of a husband swept her away.
I watched them on the dance floor. Jacob and Mirabella’s love was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. They were a perfect match and I couldn’t help but feel envious. Theirs would last. Mine was already over.
Abby sat down in the chair Mirabella had just vacated.
“They look great together, don’t they?” she said, talking about the bride and groom.
“They’re the best,” I said, trying not to look at Cade and Cora still out on the dance floor. I took a mouthful of wine but felt Abby’s eyes on me. “What?”
“I can’t believe it,” she said.
“What can’t you believe?”
“How much of a coward you are.”
I looked at her. “Gee, Abby. Why don’t you say what you really mean?”
It was the second time in a week someone had called me a coward and I was beginning to see a trend. Unfortunately, somewhere deep inside I knew they were right.
She shrugged. “You asked.”
“Okay, I’ll bite. Why are you calling me a coward?”
“Because you still have feelings for him, yet here you are, sitting here like a wallflower as another woman crawls all over him.” She poured herself a glass of wine. “You know, the old Indy wouldn’t put up with another woman pawing her man.”
“Yeah, well, the old Indy grew up.”
“I don’t think so. I think she is in there somewhere. Begging to crawl out and go and get her man.”
“Don’t hold your breath.”
We were quiet for a moment, both watching Cade trying to keep Cora at arm’s length.
It was Abby who broke the silence. And just like I suspected, she wasn’t going to let it rest.
“Boy, you were wild once,” she said, bumping her shoulder to mine. “Wild Indy Parrish. Fearless and as cool as a cucumber. The original Nature’s Child.”
“I don’t even know what that means.”
“You’re kidding, right?” She looked at me like I was crazy. “Steppenwolf? Born To Be Wild? Like a true nature’s child . . .”
I laughed. “And now?”
She looked at me, her eyebrows raised. “Now . . . not so much.”
I looked away and sighed. “We’ve all got to grow up sometime, Abby.”
“Yeah, but it’s not just that. You’re so grown up and . . .”
My eyes shot to hers. “And?”
“Some would say you’ve got a bit of a pole up your ass.”
Her response was classic Abby. She had always been brutally honest, and I loved her for it.
I looked at her sheepishly and cocked an eyebrow. “A pole, huh?”
She grinned. “A fucking giant pole!”
I looked horrified. “Ouch.”
We laughed and she put her arm around my shoulders. “I’ve missed you. Have I told you how pleased I am that you are back? Not that I understand why you left in the first place.”
“You know why.”
She took a sip of her wine. “No. Not really.”
I watched Cora rest her head on Cade’s shoulder. The one I’d grabbed onto only five nights ago when he’d given me a mind-blowing orgasm.
I looked away and focused on the floral arrangement in the center of the table.
Being in love sucked.
“It got to be too much,” I said. “Being in the MC. The lifestyle, the expectation…”