“Got the platter,” his dad announced, drenching their lurid conversation in ice water. Paige smirked and flashed him a smile that promised him a whole lot of fun…later. “Let’s get this loaded up. I’m starving.”
Austin carried the platter and set it on the food table, then turned and stuck two fingers in his mouth, then issued a long, loud whistle. The same one he and his brothers used in the field every day. Instantly, the hum of conversations ceased.
“Thank you all for coming to celebrate our engagement and for the support you’ve given us and hopefully will continue giving us in our new life together. Paige and I are grateful and blessed and hold a lot of love in our hearts for each and every one of you.”
As a collective round of cheers and applause went up, he bent and kissed his girl softly. Forcing himself to give up her lips, he looked out to all their friends and family and grinned.
“Grab a plate and dig in.”
As Paige fixed Raymond a plate, Austin filled Emmett’s. When they went through the line again to prepare their own, he sidled in behind Houston, who was holding two plates in one hand.
“Dude, you do know you can come back for seconds, right?”
“Oh, I know, I’ll be back for seconds and probably thirds. I’m fixing Al a plate.”
Whoa, whatever you said to piss her off must have been a doozy if you’re sucking up by fetching her food.
Austin thought it best to keep that assessment to himself. But when he saw Houston put nothing but a roll on one of the plates, he scowled.
“Why aren’t you putting any food on Al’s plate? Is she a vegetarian or something?”
A flicker of guilt darted across Houston’s eyes. “Oh, no. She just isn’t hungry. She ate earlier.”
Ate before coming to a picnic?
He knew his brother, knew he was lying out his ass. But with Jeb and Billy across from them, loading up their plates, and Bubba beside him, already back for seconds, Austin decided to keep his mouth shut.
But he intended to keep his eyes open…open wide.