“I’m confused,” Mitch said, turning to face the captain, body parts going along with the force of gravity. “Get in the shower! Wash the windows! Which is it, Cap?”
The captain turned so red that Aidan started to fear that he might actually stroke out.
“Go! Just go!” the captain bellowed at Mitch, shooing him with wild hands.
So Mitch, with the rest of the crew still laughing their asses off, turned and calmly walked back into the shower.
He was back out five minutes later, fully dressed, hitting the chores as hard as the rest of them.
The captain didn’t say another word.
At the end of their shift the next morning when Aidan and Mitch walked out to their vehicles, there were no less than three notes taped to Mitch’s truck.
With phone numbers.
Aidan stopped by Lenny’s place on the way home to check in with him, which wasn’t hard since he lived in the resort’s employee housing building.
Lenny didn’t answer, so Aidan called him.
“Better be good,” Lenny answered, sounding groggy and pissed.
“I’m at your door. Let me in.”
“I’m … indisposed.”
Aidan dropped his head and stared at his boots. “You said you were going to stop drinking.”
“Indisposed with a woman,” Lenny said. “But good to know where we’re at with the trust. I told you I would quit drinking and I have.”
Aidan shut his eyes. “I’m sorry—”
“Save it,” Lenny said, and disconnected.
Aidan went home to crash but once again found Gray with his big, fat head in Aidan’s fridge and Kenna on his couch using his laptop.
“Could’ve sworn you have a wife to take care of you,” Aidan told Gray, tossing his keys to the counter. “And you,” he said to Kenna. “What’s wrong with your laptop?”
“Died. But don’t worry, I’m not looking at your browser history. I don’t want to see your selection of porn.” She leaned back and met his gaze. “I’m looking for work.”
“You have work,” he said. “You work here at the resort helping Gray.” Aidan looked at Gray.
“Yep,” Gray said, nodding.
“So you don’t need to look for work,” Aidan said to his sister.
She just rolled her eyes.
Gray’s glance to Aidan said he was baffled but not delegating much brainpower to the situation. “Given all we have on our plate,” he said, “I’ve filed this under the Ain’t Broke column.”
“Okay, yes, I get a paycheck,” Kenna said. “But no one lets me do jackshit. I wanted to drive the big Cat and Gray nixed that. I wanted to teach mountain biking. He nixed that too.”
“You wanted to teach the biking team how to navigate Killer Alley, a triple diamond run,” Gray said.
“I’m not some fragile little flower, you know,” she said. Maybe yelled. “I used to snowboard at neck-breaking speeds off cliffs for a living.”
Aidan slid a look to Gray. “I’m sure we could find you something more … challenging to do.”
“That’s just it!” she burst out, standing, tossing up her hands. “I don’t want you to ‘find’ me something. I want a real job, not one my brothers give me with a pat on my head.”
Gray had been steadily shoving food into his mouth this whole time, but when Aidan gave him a level look, he sighed and swallowed his mouthful. “We can give you a real job. A job without head pats.”
“Too late,” Kenna said crisply. “I’m applying at all of our competition. You’ll have to steal me back if you want me.” She shut the laptop and walked out.
Aidan looked at Gray. “You’re going to find something good for her, right? Before she really gets another job?”
“Hmphl,” Gray said around a bite of Aidan’s leftover pizza.
“That was my breakfast.”
“Pizza for breakfast’ll make you fat,” Gray said, mouth full. “And you’re single. You can’t go fat until you’re married.” Gray stuffed in another huge bite. “I’m just saving you from yourself, man.”
“Well done.” Aidan shoved Gray away from the fridge and bent to peer into the depths himself. He was so hungry he could eat a horse. “Hey, you ate Hud’s pizza too. He’s going to kill you.”
Uncharacteristically, Gray shrugged instead of launching into his usual “I can kick both your asses at the same time with my hands tied behind my back” speech.
Aidan narrowed his eyes. “What’s up with you?”
Gray shrugged again and opened Aidan’s last soda.
“Listen, I’m gonna need you to spit it out because I’ve gotta date with my bed—and you better not have been a dumbass and let anyone into it again.”
Gray just shook his head.
That he didn’t hit back on the dumbass comment had Aidan straightening from the fridge to look at him. “Okay,” he said. “I’m going to ask you again and you’re going to answer me with the CliffsNotes version, you got me? What’s wrong?”
“She’s undercover trying to bring down a gang of boat smugglers.”
“Who, the Black Widow?”
“Penny.” Gray threw the now empty can of soda across the room, where it landed with perfect precision—not—in the window sill above the sink, knocking over the dead flowers someone had brought Hudson on his birthday a month ago.
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