“Hey, get your own.” Diamond took it back, setting it back down on the floor between her and Knox.
“There’s enough for ten people,” she argued.
“When I get scared, I eat. The movie just started.”
“Fine, I’ll make mine own.”
Penni went into the kitchen, aggravated she was missing the movie.
“You need some help?” Jackal asked, coming in behind her.
“No!” she snapped, listening to the microwave begin to pop the bag of popcorn.
Jackal reached inside the refrigerator for a couple of sodas then set them down on the counter. “I’m beginning to see the problem with Train.”
Penni looked away from the microwave. “What do you mean?”
“He’s a man to snuggle with a pretty girl, not a bitch.”
“I’ve told you not to call me a bitch.” Penni opened the refrigerator door, banging Jackal’s shoulder with it as she took out some butter.
“You know what? You need more help to get Train than I can give you. Later.”
Jackal went to leave the kitchen, but Penni jerked him back.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know why I snapped at you.”
She stared at the floor, ashamed of herself, then forced herself to meet his eyes. “I was in high school when I found out Shade belonged to a motorcycle club. I heard terrible things about clubs like his, so even though I didn’t get to see him often, I blamed them for how he treated me.”
“Shade mistreated you?” Jackal tried to shake her hand off his arm, but she held on more tightly.
“Not like that, no. You don’t know him well, so you don’t understand how remote he can be. Do you have any brothers or sisters?”
“At school and at softball games, several of my friends had siblings. They didn’t act the way Shade and I do. At first, I blamed my mother and his father’s divorce. Then I blamed The Last Riders. Then I realized what was wrong. It was us.”
“What do you mean?”
“We don’t feel the same way other people do. It never bothered Shade. I still don’t think it does. But it bothered me.” Penni put her hand on her heart. “I mean, I felt my heart beat, so I knew it was there, but I couldn’t feel it. I know it sounds stupid, but it’s the truth.”
Jackal reached out, slipping a hand to the back of her neck then pulling her close to his body. “I believe you think that, but it’s not true.”
She tried to pull out of his arms. “I know that now, but it took Lily coming into our lives to prove it.”
“She’s special. She helped Shade find the part of his soul that was missing, and she gave me hope that I could find that, too.”
“You think you can find that with Train?”
If he couldn’t, who then? She had dated so many men she had lost count. She had believed Train was the one as a young girl, but when he had showed no interest, she had begun to doubt herself, losing interest in the party atmosphere at college. Then, after she had graduated and found the job with Mouth2Mouth, she had accepted any date if she was attracted to the guy. One date with them would prove her wrong, though.
Now she was older, and she had never had a serious relationship. She had become a social butterfly in Queen City, and now she had more friends. Grace was among them, but none of them filled the yearning to fill the hole in her own heart.
She succeeded in pulling away from Jackal. “I think I burned the popcorn.”
Penni set the scorched bag in the sink, setting another one in the microwave and turning it back on. Not staring at him, she watched the numbers count down.
“I’m sorry I kidnapped you.”
She felt as if a weight had been lifted off her chest. Penni had hated Jackal for kidnapping and holding her hostage four years ago. It had taken him a long time, but this time when he apologized, she sensed it was sincere.
“I forgive you.” Before she could burn the popcorn again, she hastily removed the bag, dumping it out in a bowl she took out of a cabinet. “I may even share with you.”
Jackal took one kernel, holding it to her lips. She opened her mouth, letting him feed it to her.
“You want me to ask Knox to rewind the movie for you?” she asked when they sat back down on the couch.
“No, I watched it before.”
Penni and the others in the room looked at him.
“You’ve watched this movie?” Diamond asked, taking some off Penni’s popcorn and dumping it into her own bowl.
“Yeah, I’ve seen all three of them. My Boyfriend Is a Zombie, I Married a Zombie, and I’m Having a Baby with a Zombie.”
“I heard they’re making a fourth one.” Diamond took the bowl away from Knox. “I Killed My Zombie Husband.”