The Return of Cash… Part 2

“Hands off.” The dangerous growl came from Henderson’s local Army Ranger.

“Thor.” Missy’s head whipped around in surprise while Cash’s hands tightened on her hips.

“Yeah. Me.” Thor approached with a determined stride. “Your boyfriend, remember?”

Missy giggled as she stepped out of Cash’s grasp. It was a nervous giggle but her grin was huge. She immediately carried on as if the situation called for a proper introduction. “Thor, you remember Crain’s brother Cash, don’t you?”

“You mean the Cowboy, right?” Thor’s voice may have seemed a tad more friendly, but he didn’t stop coming until just before he bumped up against the other man’s chest.

“Y’all talk about me, do ya?” Cash grinned, obviously pleased by this news.

“Used to,” Thor told him. “Not anymore.”

“That true, darlin’?” Cash peered around Thor. “My name doesn’t come up in conversation? Or, say, in your dreams?”

Thor’s scoff was anything but amused. “Cash is it?” He pretended to flick a piece of lint off the Cowboy’s shirt. “Bein’ as you haven’t been back in town for a good four months, let me set you straight on a couple of things. Sweet Melissa over here? She’s not your girl. She’s not your darlin’, she’s not your baby, she’s not your sweetheart. Definitely not your quick trip into the friggin’ coatroom downstairs. No. Melissa is my girl.”

Cash took the short step forward to actually bump chests. A collective gasp could be heard around the room. “No ring on her finger,” he said low and tight.

Thor stood his ground. “All in good time.”

“Good luck with that.” Cash stepped back. “How ’bout I buy the two of you a drink? Clear the air.” He moved toward his seat at the bar.

“Members-only club,” Thor reminded him. “Your money is literally no good here.”

“Thor,” Missy chided. “Stop giving the man a hard time when he’s trying to be nice.” She settled in the seat next to Cash. “I’ll have a white wine spritzer, thank you, Cash. And my brooding boyfriend will have his usual, Harry.”

“Coming right up.” Harry tried to hide his smile.

“You hear that Cowboy? I’m the boyfriend. Even though the woman has a fickle streak a mile wide.”

Missy rolled her eyes. “Come. Sit. Drink. Make friends with Cash.”

“I don’t want to be friends with Cash.” Thor rolled his head toward the Cowboy. “No offense man,” he said gruffly, “but it’s bad enough I’ve got to make nice with Pinks.”

“Oh, him hI remember,” Cash said holding up a hand. “This little filly was pining for the Pink One pretty hard when we first met. It took pulling out the ol’ Texas two-step to finally turn her head.”

“Two-step,” Thor scoffed. “Your hands were all over her at that wedding and you didn’t even know her.”

“I didn’t know you,” Missy countered. “That didn’t stop me from crawling into your lap on the ride home.”

“Excuse me?” Cash’s brows rose as he choked on a sip of beer. “Exactly when did you crawl into his lap?”

Thor gave Cash a commiserative scowl. “You get me now, right? About the fickle thing?”

“Aww, look at you two bonding over my double winning-lottery-ticket night.” She licked wine from her lips and addressed Cash. “I needed a ride home after both you and Davis left me at the club.” She threw a thumb at Thor. “That one was waiting for me with a glass of champagne and a big red truck I’ve since fallen in love with.”

“Hold on,” Cash said. “You’ve fallen in love with the man or his truck?”

“Both,” Thor interjected. “She loves the man and the truck.”

Cash looked at Missy. “I’ve got a truck.”

“You do? What color?”

“Miss, what the fuck are you doing?” Thor asked.

“I’m socializing,” she said. “With my friend, Cash. Please, stop shooting strategic missiles from your eyes and join us.” She patted the seat next to her.

Cash drew Missy’s attention by pointing to himself. “Cowboy. Black truck. Lots of rope.” He gave her a head tilt. “Just sayin’.”

“Jesus Christ,” Thor muttered under his breath.

Harry held up a Guinness for Thor, then placed it on the bar next to Missy. Thor stomped over and took a seat.

“And the belt buckle?” Missy asked.

“The belt buckle is my All-Around Cowboy trophy. Like I was tellin’ you, I haven’t lost since my brother’s wedding. I credit you with my good fortune.”

“Me?”

“Kissin’ you started my winning streak. Haven’t kissed another since.”

“Did you hear that, Thor?” Missy grinned. “I started his winning streak.”

“Hmm-hmm. And then you had your tongue down my throat not thirty minutes after I had Harry run him off.”

“Oh. So you’re the one,” Cash said, his eyes squinting at Thor.

“I’m the one,” Thor smirked.

“Good on ya, then.” Cash toasted Thor. “Still—” he glanced down at Missy’s hand as Vance, Brooks, and Pinks walked in the door. He gave Missy a determined wink. “Ain’t no ring on her finger.”

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