Today's Reading

Bryce frowned, having an idea where this conversation was going. "It means nothing. Kaegan can tidy up his own place. Besides, I'm sure that woman over there in the white top and jeans would be glad to stay back and help him. She's been keeping her eyes on him the entire night."

"You noticed, I see."

"How could I not notice?" Bryce refused to consider the tinge of resentment she was feeling had anything to do with jealousy. She dated and so did Kaegan. They meant nothing to each other anymore.

"I noticed you've been keeping your eyes on him a lot tonight, as well," Vashti pointed out. Deciding not to give Bryce time to say anything, since it was obvious that she was in one of those bash-Kaegan moods, she said, "Now back to the issue of helping Kaegan tidy up. With the three of us working together it won't take long to get his place back in order. You and I can pack up the food while Kaegan breaks down all the patio tables and tents."

"Why can't he do it by himself?" Bryce asked.

"Because we're his friends and should help him."

"Speak for yourself, Vash."

"No, I'm speaking for the both of us, Bryce. Stop being difficult."

"I'm not being difficult."

"Yes, you are."

Okay, maybe she was, but when it came to Kaegan Chambray, she felt she had every right to be difficult. She'd told Vashti some of what had happened, but she hadn't told her all of it. Bryce frowned at Vashti. "Honestly, Vash. There are times when you really do push the bounds of our friendship."

"I do not."

"Yes, you do."

"What's the big deal, since you claim you're over Kaegan?" Vashti quipped.

"I am over him."

"Then act like it and not like a woman still carrying a torch after ten years."

Bryce didn't say anything. Did she really act that way? That was the last impression she wanted to give anyone, especially Kaegan. "Fine, but I still plan to ignore him."

Vashti shook her head and smiled. "You always do."

* * *

KAEGAN CHAMBRAY GLANCED around and saw that everyone had left. It had been another great party. The food was good and there had been plenty of it. The September weather had cooperated. Tents had been set up outside, and huge buckets of seafood—blue crabs, shrimp, crawfish and lobster—had been served, as well as ribs cooked on the grill.

When he had a cookout, it was for his employees, although he always included his friends. He liked rewarding his workers whenever they broke sales records or if the company got a big business deal. He felt it was a good incentive. He also believed in giving his employees bonuses. That pretty much assured he was able to retain workers who were dependable and loyal.

He turned to look out at the bayou, which was practically in his backyard. As far as he was concerned, there was no better place to live. Those who called the bayou their home had a culture all their own. The people were a mixture of influences, such as Spanish, French, German, African, Irish and, in his case, Native American. Those with predominantly French ancestry still spoke the language. Together all the various groups made up the foundation of the Cajun culture.

"If you need help with anything, Kaegan, I will be glad to stay behind and help."

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