AJ stood on the landing, gripping Foster’s hand. “What’s this pile of garbage about you marrying Jack Donohue?” AJ demanded.
“It’s not garbage.” Keely clapped her hands and Foster ran into her arms with a heart-melting little boy giggle. She lifted him and spun him around to more giggles. “Didja miss your Auntie, Fos?”
She looked him over, completely smitten. With his dark hair and lanky build, Foster would be the spitting image of his father, Cord, if not for the silvery hue of his eyes, which he’d inherited from AJ.
He slapped his palms on her cheeks. “Play Legos?”
“I swear you only love me for my toys.” She kissed his forehead before setting him down. She grabbed the box out of the toy closet and dumped the contents on the rug. “He’s either gonna grow up to be a bricklayer or a house builder.”
“You are avoiding the question. I want all the details, Keely West McKay, and I want them right now.”
Keely sighed. “I know you can’t have coffee in your condition, but do you want a glass of juice?”
AJ folded her arms across her chest in a belligerent posture. “Nope. Spill. Now.”
“A few months back I bought a building in Moorcroft to turn into a clinic—”
“And you didn’t tell me that either? Geez, K, I thought I was your best friend and now I find out—”
“You are my best friend, but this was something I couldn’t talk about to anyone.”
“Anyone except Jack Donohue?” AJ retorted.
How was she supposed to convince AJ, who could sniff out a lie at twenty paces, the engagement to Jack was real? In AJ’s hormonal state, joking, cajoling and dodging would only annoy her. Best to go on the defensive. Keely offered a brittle smile. “Hard to believe, but I do have a life outside of Sundance and the McKay family. Since I spend half my time working at the VA in Cheyenne, you wouldn’t know anything about that part of my life.”
“So fill me in.”
After rambling on about her need for secretiveness she sighed. “Long story short, I contacted an approved historic restoration company, only to discover that Jack owns the company. We got to talking and the more time we spent together, the more things…changed between us.”
“How long since this ‘change’ has taken place?”
“Two months. Give or take.”
“And you didn’t think to mention to me or anyone else in the family that you’d fallen for the man you used to hate?”
“It’s not like that—”
“It is for me. I still sorta hate him on your behalf, K…” AJ’s nose wrinkled. “I cannot wrap my head around the fact you’re marrying him.”
“Hate is a strong word for the man who’s your landlord,” Keely said sardonically.
“My landlord?” Her eyes widened with understanding. “For Healing Touch Massage?”
“Yep, which means he’s also Macie’s landlord for Dewey’s Delish Dish, and India’s landlord for India’s Ink, and Skylar’s landlord for Sky Blue.”
“You’re kidding me. Jack owns the Sandstone Building?”
“Uh-huh. Jack Donohue is Western Property Management. Evidently he owns a half a dozen different rental properties across several states.”
After a minute or so, AJ snapped, “So Jack’s been having a big chuckle keeping that information from us?”
“You’ll have to ask him.” And Keely couldn’t wait to witness India’s reaction. Talk about ripping him a new one. That woman redefined in your face and she was ten times worse when she was knocked up. Heh heh.
The bathroom door creaked. Both Keely and AJ spun toward the sound. Jack strode out.
Keely clenched her jaw to prevent it from falling to the floor. Holy freakin’ shit. Jack was shirtless.
His upper body was a mass of defined muscles—his pecs, biceps and triceps were as perfect as the smooth bronze skin covering his immense frame. His waistline tapered into a flat abdomen and slim hips, hugged by the low-slung jeans. She’d never seen Jack wear jeans. The man who lived in suits looked…well suited to 501s.
The tips of his dark, wet hair brushed his shoulders, reinforcing his wild look. His mouth curled up in a sultry smile when his gaze connected with Keely’s.
A powerful lust steamrolled her.
Jack crossed the room with panther-like grace.
Her body stiffened when he nuzzled the side of her neck and circled his big hands around her upper arms.
“You didn’t leave me any hot water again, babe. I had to take a cold shower.”
Oh hell. He smelled delectable. Despite his claim of cold water, his chest felt hot enough to scorch her clothes. “Sorry. Maybe you oughta sweet-talk the landlord into replacing the tiny overworked water heater.”
“Your sweet-talking gets you whatever you want with me. And a cold shower was probably in my best interest this morning after last night.” Jack straightened and smiled at AJ. “Mrs. McKay. Nice to see you.” His gaze momentarily dropped to the swell of her abdomen. “Congrats. When are you due?”
“Four months. Take that into consideration when you’re picking a wedding date. Keely does not want her matron of honor to be nine months pregnant in the wedding pictures.”
“So noted,” Jack murmured.
“Look!” was shouted behind them.
They turned toward Foster, who’d stacked the Legos in the shape of a house.
“That’s great.” Jack crouched down and admired Foster’s creation. “Interesting how you used red at the bottom and yellow at the top. Very original.”
Foster blinked silvery eyes at Jack.
“He’s a little shy,” AJ said.
“Nah. He’s just thinking. You’re a craftsman, aren’t you? Me too. Let’s see what we can come up with. I used to spend hours playing Legos. I forgot how much I loved them.” Jack settled next to Foster and grabbed four long sections of white block and lined them up on the base.
Keely melted a little, seeing Jack engrossed in playtime with her nephew. She never imagined he’d be the type of guy who’d sit on the floor and play Legos.
Don’t fall for his softer side. It’s not real. It’s part of the scam.
AJ tugged Keely into the kitchen. She whispered fiercely, “Okay. I’ll admit I see his appeal. Not only is he unbelievably good looking, he’s got an amazing body and he likes kids—”
“And don’t forget he’s loaded,” Keely added.
AJ whapped her on the arm. “That is not how you choose a man you’ll spend the rest of your life with. I imagine the sex is pretty rockin’ too?”
Keely’s gaze skittered away and she prayed AJ would drop it.
No such luck.
“Oh. My. God.”
She couldn’t look at AJ, fearing her best friend had guessed the truth about the Jack situation.
“This is the real deal for you, isn’t it?”
“What makes you say that?”
“Because you’re not regaling me with tales of the size of his penis, or how he screwed you in the bathroom at Coors Field, or how you went down on him on a twisty mountain road, or the wicked tricks he can perform with his long tongue.”
“So, keeping the intimate details to yourself means what happens between you two is too personal to share.”
Or there aren’t any down and dirty details to share.
AJ hugged her and sniffled in her ear. “I’m happy for you, K. Even if Jack isn’t the man I’d choose for you.”
Me neither. “Thanks.”
Keely silently breathed a sigh of relief. If she’d convinced AJ about the legitimacy of the engagement, she should be home free as far as the rest of her family buying it.
“What’s going on?” Jack rounded the corner with Foster, burning Keely with a pointed look.
“Girl talk. AJ has great ideas for the centerpieces for the engagement party. A bouquet of Wyoming wildflowers—”
Jack held up his hand. “You promised no party details, remember? I need the keys to your truck for my trip to Spearfish.”
Keely opened her mouth to belt out, Oh hell no, you ain’t touchin’ my truck when she noticed the challenge in his eyes. “Jack, darlin’, I can drive. In fact, I’d love to go with you since we’ve spent so little time together recently.”
“See how sweet she is?” Jack said to AJ with a totally fake smile. “But I realize you have tons of stuff to do around the apartment today—cooking, cleaning, pressing my work shirts, organizing my side of the dresser before we pore over the plans with West Construction this afternoon.”
“That is true.” She heaved a dramatic sigh. “Swapping cars today will work out great.”
Alarm danced through Jack’s eyes.
She bit her cheek to stop the laughter. Jack babied his 760li Series BMW. The notion of handing her the keys would give him a nervous breakdown.
Which would serve him right.
“I see some things haven’t changed between you two,” AJ said. “There’s a fight brewing and I don’t wanna be around for the making up part.” She took Foster’s hand. “Come on, son. Aunt Domini has a bowl of Cheerios with your name on it downstairs at Dewey’s.”
Foster didn’t hug Keely goodbye. The only thing that interested the kid more than Legos was food.
The door slammed.
“Did you tell her the truth?” Jack demanded.
“No. She thinks because I haven’t been regaling her with tales of our kinky sexual exploits that this must be wuv, twue wuv. ”
“Quoting The Princess Bride will not steer my focus from the fact you are not driving my car today or any other day, buttercup.”
“Why not? We’re engaged. It is my right to drive it, especially if you’re taking off in my truck.”