Home > Stay Over (Kincaid Brothers #1)(8)

Stay Over (Kincaid Brothers #1)(8)
Author: Kaylee Ryan

“I asked you to come back, Palmer. That means I want you here.” There’s something in his tone, it’s laced with confidence and assurance, and it’s impossible for me to say no.

“What can I do? Do I need to bring anything? Pick anything up that you might have forgotten?”

“No. Just you, Palmer.” His eyes are dark blue pools of something that I can’t name, but I damn sure wish I could.

“Okay. Well, I guess I’m going to run home, and I’ll be back. Um, you have my number now, so if you think of something….” My voice trails off.

“Drive safe. I’ll see you soon.” He nods and begins to unbag all his groceries.

 

 

My arms are loaded down with bags, because I’m that person who will overload herself to the point of falling over to prevent making more trips. Why, I have not one single idea, but that’s how I’ve always done it. My cell phone rings, but by the time I get all the bags untangled from my arms and hands, it stops, only to start again.

I dig it out of my back pocket and swipe at the screen. “Hello,” I say breathlessly.

“Hey. How’s your car?” Ramsey asks.

“Brooks thinks it’s the alternator.”

“Are you at Declan’s shop? Do you need me to come and get you? I got held up earlier, but I could slip away now.”

“No. Thanks though. Brooks let me have his truck.” I’m greeted with nothing but silence. Pulling the phone away from my ear, I check that we didn’t get disconnected. “Ramsey?”

“I’m here.”

“Oh. I thought that I lost you.”

“Did you just say that Brooks let you have his truck?” Her tone does nothing to hide her shocked reaction.

“I did.”

“That’s his baby.” I can hear the surprise in her voice.

“Men are crazy about their trucks around here. I asked him several times, and he insisted it was fine. Wait, do you think he’s just trying to be nice because you and I are besties, and it’s really driving him insane right now that I have his truck?”

“Palmer, I… no. If I know anything about Brooks, hell, any of my cousins, they’re honest people. He would have told you he’d drive you if he had an issue with it, or he wouldn’t have offered at all. I’m just shocked, I guess. He loves that truck.”

“It’s not like I’m going to be out tearing up cornfields with it. I’m actually just driving back to his place tonight, and then I’ll come home and wait for Declan to call me, telling me my car is ready. I’ll go pick up Brooks and take him to the shop with me so he can get his truck back when I pick up my car.”

“Wait. Wait. Wait. Hold up. You’re going back to Brooks’s house tonight?”

“Yeah. We went to the store together, and my client canceled, and he invited me back to show me this meal prepping he does.” I try like hell to keep the excitement out of my voice. The thought of spending more one-on-one time with Brooks has me giddy, but I won’t let that show. Not even to my best friend.

“Am I dreaming?” Ramsey asks.

“What?” I laugh.

“This is just… wow. So you and Brooks went grocery shopping. Together?”

“We did. Let me back up. So, my car broke down, as you know. When I was on the phone with Deacon, Brooks drove by. He stopped and told me he would take care of it and to tell Deacon not to worry. He talked to Deacon, and they said, well, whatever it is they said, and then he texted Declan while he was at the shop, and after he looked at the car, he realized it was nothing he could fix there on the side of the road, so Declan sent a truck. Then Brooks was headed to the grocery store, and I was too, needing to get some things done before my shoot tonight. So we shopped together. Then he drove us back to his place. I helped him carry in his bags, and I got the call that my client had canceled while I was there. When we were shopping, I questioned him about this meal prepping he does, and he invited me back to watch and learn how he does it.”

“And you’re going back?”

“Yeah. I came home and unpacked my groceries, and I’m heading back over in a little while.”

“In his truck?”

“Yep.” I can’t see her, but I know my best friend. Her mind is spinning, trying to determine whether this little impromptu get-together means anything. There isn’t a single angle she can analyze in that head of hers that I haven’t already thought about. The conclusion? Brooks is just being the nice guy that he is. That’s all this is. Sure, I’d love for it to be more, but that’s not what tonight is about, and I’m okay with that. I’d just be sitting at home editing images or maybe reading a book or binge-watching a new series. No way in hell am I passing up an opportunity to hang out with Brooks Kincaid for any of that.

Pulling out of my thoughts, I realize there is nothing but silence greeting me on the other end. “Rams?”

“I’m still here.”

“It’s not a big deal. We were talking about cooking for one, and he said that he meal preps, and I’d like to see how he does it.” And spend more time with him, but I don’t let those words escape.

“You chose him,” Ramsey states.

“What?”

“The night that Deacon proposed, the reopening for the Willow Tavern. You, Piper, and Jade were talking about the guys, and when I asked who had your eye, Jade said Orrin, and you said Brooks.”

Shit. “I had to pick one of them. You insisted.”

“Palmer.” Her tone tells me she’s not buying the shit that I’m selling.

“Fine. Yes, I chose him. It’s nothing. He’s a nice guy who helped me out today and offered to teach me how to do this meal prepping he’s so fond of. That’s it.”

“Why, Palmer? Why does that have to be it?”

“Because he’s Brooks Kincaid. He’s gorgeous and nice and has a good job. He has his shit together and could have any woman that he wanted.”

“And yet he invited you to come back to his place.”

“He was just being nice.”

“Let me tell you something about my cousins. They are good men, fiercely loyal, and they don’t play games. That means that they don’t invite just anyone into their homes. That’s not how they operate.”

“But I’m not just anyone. I’m your best friend, and like his cousin, you are the closest that clan has to a sister.”

“This is going to be fun.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Oh, nothing. So, you’re good? You don’t need me to come and get you? You don’t need to borrow my car?”

“I’m good. Declan should have my car fixed tomorrow, and I’ll be able to give Brooks his truck back, and then all of this will be like it never happened.”

“Uh-huh.” She chuckles. “Call me when you get home tonight.”

“I’m fine. I’ve driven big trucks before.”

“That’s not why I asked you to call me. I want details.”

“There are no details. Unless you and my brother plan to start meal prepping.”

“Just call me, Palmer.”

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