Nate had given her a lot to think about on their drive, and no matter how much Mieka tried not to, her eyes kept drifting to his finger. Yeah, that finger as it gripped the steering wheel. Then, when she’d realize she was staring at his hands—particularly that finger—she’d move her gaze elsewhere, and of course, her eyes drifted down to the front of his jeans where a big peg apparently lived.
Damnit, she was in a dry spell. Like a major dry spell. Her stubborn cat was starting to pace and meow and demand attention. Not to mention those horny hornets in her belly that buzzed every time Nate smiled at her, or she imagined those big hands of his holding onto her hips as he plowed into her from behind over a hay bale.
Even though she’d been sleeping with that bartender back on the ship, it’d been over a month since they’d done anything, mostly because their shifts didn’t align. And when they did do things, he’d been mediocre at best. The man had no tongue skills, and zero stamina. Most of the time, Mieka had to get herself off after he came.
Yeah, Nate was right. A gentleman should always let the woman come first so she’s not riding a soft dick, limping her way to her own finish line.
Staring out the window, determined not to look at his finger or crotch anymore, she wasn’t even aware of the fact that she was chewing her nails until Nate’s voice broke her out of her trance. “I didn’t know you had ADHD,” he said. “When did you get diagnosed with that?”
She spun around to face him, but then dropped her eyes to her hands and the horrible chewed, red and tender fingertips. “When I was five.”
“And dance helps?”
“It keeps my mind focused and my body busy. I’m also medicated, which helps, too.” She shrugged. “It’s just a part of my life and who I am.” Her gaze slid to his. “But it’s also responsible for my fidgetiness, mood swings, impulsiveness and how my self-esteem can quickly take a massive nose-dive in a literal second.” Heaving a big sigh, she balled her sore hands into tight fists. Well, she did it with one hand and attempted to with the other. “I just do the best I can. Every day is a struggle. Just some days are more of a struggle than others.”
“If I’m doing anything to exacerbate that struggle, please let me know.” The sincerity in his blue eyes and his voice was touching.
“You’re not,” she said. “You’re keeping me distracted from wallowing… for the most part. So, thank you.”
They were already back at the ranch, so he turned off the road and rumbled the big truck and horse trailer down the laneway. A quick glance at the clock on the dash said it was just after five-thirty, so of course the petting farm would be closed to the public by now, which explained the empty yard and parking lot.
Nate exhaled. “I know it brings in money, and it was my idea, but fuck, it gets claustrophobic when we have the petting farm open. People, big and small, are everywhere.” He pulled the truck up in front of the barn, put it in park, and turned off the engine before hopping out.
Mieka did the same and met him behind the trailer.
“Feel free to go do what you need to do, Minx. I’ve gotta get this stuff out of the trailer and into the corresponding crates.” He grinned wide at her. “Good thing you were organized enough to color code everything ahead of time so I know which chair goes to which cabin.” He opened the trailer door to reveal boxes piled up to the ceiling. The bed of the truck was full of bedding, kitchen stuff, décor and everything else. The furniture was in the trailer and even then, not everything fit, so they paid for express shipping and the rest would arrive by tomorrow.
And just like he said, she had given each cabin a corresponding color code and put a big sticker of that color on the appropriate furniture. She wasn’t always this organized, but she was really passionate about this project, and appreciative of the trust Nate and Asher had put in her, so she was determined not to mess it up.
“I can help,” she said, watching Asher and Triss come down the front steps of the house.
“You’ve already done so much,” Nate replied. “It’s all good. Besides, we don’t want to hurt your arm.”
Asher sidled up beside his brother and whistled when he looked inside the trailer. “Don’t want to know what this cost us.”
“Then don’t ask,” Nate chuckled, hauling out a huge box that was part of a bed frame.
The two men went to work removing everything from the trailer and truck, while Mieka grabbed her leftover lunch and followed Triss inside.
“How was your day?” Triss asked, gauging Mieka carefully.
“It was good. We got everything we needed.”
Triss’s eyes fell to the fast-food bag. “Ah, you stopped at Gus’s. I take it you’re not hungry, then?”
Mieka puffed out her cheeks and shook her head. “I still haven’t even finished this. But it’s so freaking good.”
“I know. I’ve gone to Denver with Nate a few times and he always stops there. It’s good, but it’s definitely a treat. I’m like a snake after I eat there. That’s my meal for the week.”
“You’re okay that I’m going to skip dinner?”
Triss lifted a shoulder. “You’re an adult and free to do as you like. It’s why I haven’t put the meat on the barbecue yet.”
“The day here was good?” Mieka asked, pulling out the rest of her burger, taking a seat at the table and diving in. “We feel bad. We left when it was so busy.”
“Great day,” Triss said, taking up an abandoned spot at the counter to continue preparing a salad. “It was busy, but everyone had a good time. Fumble escaped again, so that was fun. Asher is so close to barbecuing that goat, I swear it.”
Mieka chuckled. “Apparently Ray’s auntie has a great recipe for jerked goat.”