Author’s Note: Mackenna needed to share a bit of her thoughts on what Carson just did. 🙂
He shouldn’t have kissed her, but then she shouldn’t have kissed him, so they were even. She didn’t know that she’d ever consider it a mistake, though. She had known for a while that she wanted to keep him around, and while she’d never admitted—not even to herself—that she’d wanted this, she would be a fool to let it go. Where else was she going to find a man who dressed up for a car run for her? She wouldn’t. She knew he was damaged and full of issues, but so was she. They fit. They made each other better.
This kiss made everything better. She almost laughed at that, knowing it was a silly thing to think, but things had been leading up to this for a while. Both of them had tried to say they weren’t, but they had. Things had changed. They wouldn’t be the same again, but she thought she could get used to the way they were now.
The horn bleeped, and Carson jerked, almost falling over in his panic. Mackenna reached for him, holding him steady. She put her hands on his face, getting him to look at her. “Easy. It was just Mac beeping the horn. I think he wants us to get ready to go. That’s all. You don’t have to panic now. We’re just going to get the car started again and be ready to go.”
“It’s all right. You don’t have to jump at every little thing. No one here wants to hurt you,” she told him, and some of the panic seemed to leave his eyes, his body relaxing a little as it did. She glared at Mac, not sure why he’d felt he had to do that to them. They would have responded if he’d just said something—true, Carson was a surprisingly good kisser, not that she had much experience with that, but since they already had a rather deep bond, the physical stuff had been even better—so he didn’t have to beep the horn. They still had ears even if they were lost in a kiss.
“Time to go.”
She sighed, taking her hands off Carson’s face. Of course it was. She already knew it was. She had only meant to get Carson his cufflinks, but then things had… happened. Now their relationship had changed, and it was a bit awkward—worse because Mac had interrupted him the way he had. “I know, Mac, but you didn’t have to honk the horn.”
“It was my idea. I wasn’t sure either of you would come up for air again.”
Carson frowned, looking over at Larry. Neither of them had been expecting to see either of his brothers before the run, but Larry must have changed his mind. “What are you doing here?”
“What a thing to ask.” Larry shook his head. He gave Carson a long look, studying him for a reaction. “You really that upset about me being here?”
Carson let out a breath. “I’m just… It’s been quite a morning.”
Mackenna put her hand over Carson’s mouth before he could tell his brother that he was a killer. She wasn’t willing to let him go around saying that. He wasn’t a killer, and she knew that his memories would prove it when he had them all back. She waited for him to glare at her before she let go. “Let’s get the car started.”
Mac went to the crank, turning it like the expert he was, and it caught on the first try. She rolled her eyes. The car always did that for him. Larry looked at Carson and then at Mackenna. “You know, if you hadn’t insisted that this wasn’t what it was all this time, I wouldn’t have—”
“It only was this morning that it became… that,” she said, wrapping her hand around Carson’s. “It’s very, very new. Different, but good.”
Carson gave her a smile, but it wasn’t much of one. She refused to let go of his hand. He was not allowed to give up, not now of all times. She had just kissed him, hasn’t she? That was worth staying strong, another reason to keep going, and she could give him plenty more, too. She would make sure that he made it through this because she needed and wanted him just as much as he needed her. “Come sit down. I’ll make Larry navigate. We get the backseat.”
Larry laughed. “I see how it is. You two gonna make out?”
“Maybe,” Mackenna said, shrugging. She saw Carson frowning again, and she dragged him over to the car. In a minute, they’d be all lined up, ready to fire the starting gun, and she didn’t think it was a good idea to have him standing when it went off, not after the way he’d reacted to the horn. No, she wanted him sitting down and in her arms when that happened.
“I’m…” Carson couldn’t find words, so he sat down, looking like he was in a mood again. “This is so weird.”
“I know, but it’s not bad,” she told him, sitting down and arranging her skirt. She grabbed the blanket and put it over their laps while Larry climbed in next to Mac. “It’s good.”
Carson nodded. “About that whole—”
The starting gun went off, and he buried his head in her shoulder, shuddering.