Sunny wants Jesse to set a date for their wedding but so far, it’s a no go. Love potion-laced sweet tea, moonshine in his potato salad, and even mistletoe kisses don’t get him on bended knee. Clearly, in no hurry to wed, he’s easily led—to bed—but not to the altar. Getting him to commit is like nailing Jello to a wall. What’s a girl to do? Does she have to sing her own version of Will You Marry Me, Bill? She definitely is suffering from wedding bell blues. Not known for her patience, Sunny is desperate to get that ring and heaven only knows what she’ll do next.
Unfortunately, her many misadventures like falling off a ladder into another man’s arms, and an innocent afternoon tubing which results in a white-water rescue by still another man, doesn’t exactly encourage Jesse to put a ring on it. Apparently even dying her black curls blonde doesn’t cut it either.
What more does it take—a chance sighting of the legendary Ghost Stag—rumored to unite lovers for eternity? Currently, Sunny is out of options and may have to rely on herself—as is—and that fact scares her silly. Can she become the catalyst Jesse needs or will she wait, cut bait, and bail?
Sunny shook her head, straightened her shoulders, and gritted her teeth. Ugh. Stop thinking about it.
She looked at the piles of drop cloths, ladders, rags, tools, paint, and stain cans and sighed. How could she hope for—let alone want—Jesse to make his proposal official when so much was left to do to restore the family Lodge before the clock ran out? If she and her sisters failed to meet the bank’s deadline, they’d lose their inheritance. Wishing there was something she could do to speed things up, she lifted a paintbrush, dipped it into the terra cotta paint to paint the trim.
“Put. The. Paintbrush. Down.” Jesse’s tone was like sudden thunder.
Her hand—the one holding the paintbrush—shook, flicking terra cotta paint over the old plank floorboards. She scowled at him. “Now, look what you’ve made me do!”
“Damnit! I just finished that floor.” Jesse was short-tempered lately. Everyone was. “That’s another fine mess you’ve made for me.”
“This was an accident! And the last time, it wasn’t technically my fault. The scaffolding buckled, you know…when Storme barged in and…things just went helter-skelter like they always do when she blows in.” Tears welled in her eyes, and her lips trembled, signaling a big, howling, ugly cry. “I’m just…trying”—she gulped back sobs—“to…help…”
Her tears weren’t only about the mess she’d just made. The pain of losing Gram, the pressure of trying desperately to keep their inheritance and feeling powerless to get anything concrete done, plus a lifetime of wreaking havoc on her sisters, overwhelmed her. Her pranks were not limited to Storme. They aggravated Skye, too.
Lifting his hardhat back, and looking like he was making a lame attempt to keep his head from exploding, he was saved when Storme rushed in, brushing him aside.
“What’d he do now?” she asked. “Did he make you cry? Again?” Jesse made a move toward Sunny, but Storme stopped him. “Let me a handle this! Sisters before misters, buddy.”
Frustrated, Jesse let his arms fall harmlessly to his side, and said nothing. He let Storme bear her away from the mess. The culprit, the latex paint can, stood there a silent testimony to the current crime.
“Chill,” Storme said. “Fortunately, the paint is water-based and will clean up easily.”
Jesse scowled. The mess sucked up precious time—time they didn’t have. Tension lined his face. He looked stressed, anxious, and exhausted. The looming deadline was taking its toll on him…on all of them.
Storme took Sunny outside, out of harm’s way, grumbling, “Men!”
Sunny nodded, her smile wobbling. “Your man got your goat, too?”
“You and your goats!” Storme chuckled, then answered her question. “Not yet but give him time, he will. Men! Can’t live with ’em, can’t shoot ’em.”
Storme led her into the office. It was a Weathers Girl safe zone, nothing there the girls could wreak havoc on.
Sunny leaned into Storme’s hug. In the past, she wouldn’t have, but since Gram’s death, the will, and working together to get the Lodge up and running, Sunny was willing to become, well, sisterly again. She was trying to make up for her past sins with her sisters. She could be a brat, but there had to be a way to make amends. One way was to redouble her efforts and use her other skills.
After all, she was a writer, and her words could help market the Lodge. Too bad the words I do were said in Las Vegas at the Romance Writers Conference. Storme was ranting while Sunny was contemplating. Okay, I have ADD. What’s she talking about?
Storme raised her fists in the air as if demanding an answer from the heavens. “Seriously, what is their problem?”
Sunny’s shaking hands stilled. She looked upward in concentration, some photos she planned to use for marketing, lay forgotten on the countertop. She pursed her lips and nodded. “I think it’s the Y chromosome.”
Her twin stopped short. “Huh?”
She raised a finger to tick off her remarks. “First, women have two X chromosomes…”
She raised another finger. “Second, we have no Y so…”
“You know, you’re onto something there.”
“I know. We have two Xs, and we’re fine. They have one measly X and a Y, so now we know why men are so, so, men-ish!”
Storme laughed. “I hate when that happens.”
Sunny poked her sister’s arm in complete accord. “I know, right?”