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Maya’s Triple Dare(Divine Creek Ranch 6)(3)

By:Heather Rainier

Then Morgan had been killed in a freak auto accident. Kendall’s role as “go-to” guy had taken on a different quality as she’d mourned. Over the last couple of months their conversations had concerned her getting involved socially again. It was right about that time that Boone and Richard had begun taking a more focused interest in her.

“I don’t want him like that. I think Frank’s…okay, and he was supportive after Morgan’s accident, but I have the impression he’s becoming impatient. He didn’t leave happy last night.” Her silken voice held a note of hesitancy. “If he pulls that again I think I’m done with him. I was actually a little scared when he left so angrily.”

Her words and her tone got Kendall’s attention. “You’re scared of him? If that’s the case, you need to stop seeing him now. Don’t give him the opportunity to hurt you. I’ve never liked the smarmy bastard, but I was glad you were feeling up to dating again. If the guy scares you, cut him loose.”

He’d just lied to her. If Kendall had been in the area, Frank Reeves never would’ve had a chance at dating her. Kendall noticed Boone’s demeanor had changed, and the kitchen had grown quiet again.

“I didn’t mean to get you all riled up.”

“If Reeves is scaring you, I want to do more than get riled up.” He wanted to get in the truck and go get her.

“Maybe I’m making too big of a deal out of it. He did stop when I asked him to—”

“Stop what? What did he do?” Kendall saw red and sensed it when Richard came to stand behind the couch to listen and Boone sat up at attention.

“Kendall, calm down. It was no big deal. He was trying to get my top undone. Feeling me up. You know.”

“Anyone who dates you should treat you like a lady, Maya. Do you need me to come teach the bastard a lesson?” Please say yes.

She was silent for a moment, and then said, “That’s him on call-waiting right now. I’ll let it go to voice mail. No, I don’t need you to come teach him a lesson, I need—” He thought he heard a hitch in her breathing.

Say me. Please say you need me.

“Maya?” He could picture her sitting in her living room all alone, looking like she needed his arms wrapped around her.

“Never mind. Listen, don’t mind me. I’m not going to see Frank anymore. I’ll call him back and tell him we’re through. It’s just hard, Kendall. It was a year ago yesterday. I–I have…regrets, and it’s making me oversensitive. I’ll be fine.” She sounded anything but fine. Forlorn was more like it.

“Maya, I can be there in three hours.”

“No. I’m a big girl.”

They spoke of other, safer topics for a few minutes, and then he ended the call, dissatisfied and hungry. But not hungry for supper. The hunger he’d always felt for her burned in his belly. If she knew how her voice on the phone affected him, how her velvety tone caressed his neural pathways, she’d…what? Freak out? Laugh?

Boone sighed heavily and said what was on his mind. “Bro, how long are you going to torture yourself? If she’s dating again, you need to act on whatever it was she told you before some other unworthy asshole comes along and steals her away permanently. You got mail.” Boone nudged it to him with the heel of his boot on the coffee table.

Richard shifted quietly behind Kendall and said, “Someone’s giving our girl a hard time?”

“Yeah. Frank Reeves.” God, how Kendall wished she was their girl. That had been the topic of recent conversation as well.

“Is he the peckerwood who drives the Jag?” Boone asked, scrubbing a hand over the short beard on his jaw.

“That’s the one. He tried to take advantage of her last night. She said he’s gotten pushy, wanting more attention than she’s willing to give.” He lifted a letter written on heavy stationery from the stack to open first. The return address was a law office in Austin. “Shit. What now?”

He sliced open the envelope with his pocketknife as Boone sat forward and Richard hovered nearby with his arms crossed over his massive chest.

Richard asked, “Is it about the claim on the house?”

“No, I heard from them this afternoon,” Kendall said as the contents of the heavy envelope fell into his lap. They had been in limbo, waiting to hear from their insurance company regarding the pile of broken lumber that currently sat where the old JWB Ranch house had once stood.

“What did they say?” Boone asked. “The storm was last month, and they sure are taking their sweet-ass time.”

“Our policy has a wind exclusion because of the history of storms in our area. It won’t cover the loss at all.”