As soon as the words are past my lips, I know they were the wrong ones to say.
Her eyes go wide, then narrow. She folds her arms and takes deliberate steps toward us. It’s her court stance, defense attorney mode—and it’s sexy as fuck.
“I’m sorry,” she says, not sounding sorry at all. “Did you just say, ‘It’s a maaan thang’?”
“I don’t talk like that.”
“Well, that’s how Neanderthal sounds in my head. I’m just waiting for you to grunt, pound your chest, and rub some sticks together. Or have you not discovered fire yet?”
“Soph . . .”
Now she raises her hand. “Don’t Soph me. I didn’t see either of you putting the screws to Marshall about the name of the girl he was spending time with in your truck—with his pants down at his ankles!”
Mary gasps. “Who were you with, Marshall?”
He backs up a step. “I’d rather not say.”
Mary looks to Jenny, who supplies the information. “Norma-Jean Forrester.”
“I knew it!” Mary squeals, then smacks Marshall’s arm. “She is so skanky!”
“She is skanky!” Jenny agrees. “Her whole family’s skanky.”
I raise my arms. “Can we focus here, please?” I pin Sofia with my gaze. “The reason we’re not interrogating Marshall is because Norma-Jean Skanky didn’t leave a horde of hickeys behind her.”
Sofia nods. “So it’s the hickeys you have a problem with?”
Not really—but it sounds better than being enraged at the thought of my sister doing the same things I could care less if my brother does.
Unfortunately, there’s a reason Sofia is a top-notch attorney—because she can see straight through bullshit.
“You’re sure?” she smirks.
“Yes, Regis, that’s my final answer.”
“I see.” She grasps the collar of her shirt and pulls it down. “So then I guess you have a major problem with all of these hickeys too?”
Four—no five—fading hickeys and two bite marks mar Sofia’s otherwise flawless skin. Looking at them makes the blood rush straight to my crotch.
“My word!” my sister exclaims. “Did you turn vampire while you’ve been in DC?”
Jenny adds her two cents, laughing. “For Christ’s sake, Stanton!”
It should bother me that Jenny’s not more upset by visual evidence of my dalliances with another woman. But . . . it doesn’t.
I point to the hickeys at hand. “That is totally different!”
“Why?” Sofia asks, her gorgeous eyes burning with challenge.
“Because you are not my sister.”
“Well, she’s someone’s sister,” Mary counters.
Keeping her eyes on me, Sofia holds up three fingers.
“Three!” Mary catches on. “She’s three someones’ sister!”
“And my oldest brother could kick your ass without breaking a sweat.” Then she folds her arms, pacing like she’s giving a closing argument. “So, Mr. Shaw, it would seem we are at an impasse. You can let your sister go to her room without further pressure to produce a name. Or . . . the womenfolk and I will go into the other room and take photographs of my hickeys—and send them to my brother. To see if he agrees with your allegation that it’s a man thing.”
For a minute, I forget that Sofia and I are not the only ones in the room. “I love it when you get all defense counsel on me.”
She just smiles back.
I sigh. And roll my eyes. “Go to bed, Mary.”
“Yes!” She gives Sofia a high five as she passes. “You go, girl!”
Marshall announces that he’s going to bed too, and follows Mary up the stairs.
Carter yawns. “I’m beat. The couch is calling my name.” He crosses the kitchen, peeling off his clothes as he goes. By the time he exits the room, the last view I have of him is his lily-white ass.
I rub my eyes, to erase the image and because I’m exhausted myself.
“Hey, Stanton?” JD asks. “Since we all have to get up in”— he checks his watch—“two hours to reseed the field, would it be all right if Jenny and I crash here?”
Without thinking, I shrug. “Sure.”
And the four of us head out to the barn. After Jenny and JD are settled in Carter’s old room and Sofia and I are under the covers in my bed, she whispers to me.
“Is this weird? This is weird, right? Does it bother you that they’re . . . there?” She points to the open door to the bathroom that connects the two rooms.