“Hey, if you have any questions, text or call me.”
They traded numbers.
“Thanks, Nathan. Oh, and I’m excited to watch you lead the Sabers as quarterback this season.”
“Thanks. I’m pretty pumped about it.”
Easton said the ribs were ready. Grant went inside and came out with several serving trays. They piled the ribs on those and went inside.
“Those can go on the dining room table,” Lydia said. “We’re all set up.”
He had no idea what else they’d been fixing in here, but whatever it was smelled damn good. When he made his way to the dining room, Mia waved him over, so he sat next to her.
There were also a lot more people who’d showed up, including a few older guys who looked a lot like Easton. Mia introduced Nathan to Easton’s brothers—her uncles—along with their wives, though his brother Elijah was single.
The food spread was spectacular. Besides the ribs, there were baked beans, green beans and salad and corn on the cob, along with corn bread and fruit salad. There were pitchers of iced tea and lemonade, along with pitchers of lemon-infused water. Nathan poured a glass of water.
“Dig in, everyone,” Lydia said.
Nathan and Mia waited while the elder members of the family took their portions. Then they served themselves. Nathan dove into the ribs and devoured several of those before he even began to tackle the side dishes.
“Hungry?” Mia asked.
He used one of the napkins to wipe his mouth and chin. “I’ve been smelling these ribs for a couple of hours now. I couldn’t wait to taste them.”
“My dad makes pretty exceptional ribs.”
“Yeah, he does.” He made sure to tell Easton how good they were.
Easton beamed a smile.
Nathan was pretty sure he could have devoured every rib Easton had pulled off the grill. But the competition was fierce with all these guys and he kept eyeing the plate, sure they were going to run out.
They didn’t. Obviously the Cassidys were used to feeding hordes of hungry mouths, because by the time everyone was finished, there was still food left over.
Nathan was so full he could barely stand.
But then everyone got up and started carrying dishes into the kitchen. It was a lot like hanging out at his grandparents’ when all the family came over. When Flynn and Grant and Tucker and the rest of the guys began to put food away, Nathan dug in to help. There were so many of them it didn’t take much time at all to get everything cleaned up and put away.
Teamwork, man. Worked every time.
Flynn handed him a beer from the fridge, and he followed the guys outside onto the back porch. Plenty of places to sit, so he pulled up a white Adirondack chair and settled in.
“When do Barrett and Harmony and her family get in?” Flynn asked.
“Tomorrow morning,” Easton said. “Harmony had some last-minute business things to finish up this afternoon, and they didn’t want to rush into a flight tonight, so they’re flying in early tomorrow morning. They should be here by noon.”
Mia had told him that Barrett and Harmony had decided to get married here on the ranch. They had already decorated a couple of barns for the ceremony and the reception, and there were plenty of guest cottages for those who’d be staying over at the wedding. Plus they had a block of rooms reserved at one of the hotels in Austin for the rest of the guests.
He’d heard a lot about Cassidy weddings lately. Two of her brothers—Grant and Tucker—had gotten married last year, so Mia had shared details about the weddings and showed him pictures.
She’d looked pretty in the wedding photos. Then again, Mia always looked pretty. In or out of clothes. He probably shouldn’t be thinking about her not wearing clothes while he was sitting around with her brothers, but it was hard not to think about her. He heard her laughing inside and damn if he didn’t want to go in there, wrap his arms around her and kiss her. He craved the taste of her lips on his.
His dick quivered just thinking about it, which meant he needed to stop thinking about it. At least until he could get her alone.
He wasn’t sure how he was going to accomplish that. On the flight here, Mia had explained to him that she wanted to keep their relationship private, not tell her family they were dating yet. She didn’t want probing questions from her family.
He totally understood that and he was more than willing to respect her terms. This was her ground, so she could play it however she wanted to.
Which didn’t mean he wouldn’t try to grab some alone time with her. And enjoy being her date at the wedding.
Time to direct his thoughts elsewhere. He thought about all these Cassidys. All these weddings in such a short time must have been a whirlwind of crazy for the Cassidys. Mia had loved it, had spent hours talking to him about the weddings.
This was the first one Mia had invited him to, though. He wasn’t a wedding kind of guy, but he’d gone to plenty of them over the years with the Riley clan. And this was important to Mia. He was happy to be here with her.
Between hanging out with the guys and with Mia, he was going to have fun.
The group broke up about an hour later. He was bunking with Leo, which suited him just fine. He liked the kid and they had plenty in common. He tossed his bag on the double bed upstairs in the main house, then went downstairs to grab a glass of water.
Mia was in the kitchen.
“Did you find your room okay?” she asked.
“Yeah. I’m with Leo.”
She grinned. “Leo is awesome.”
“He is. Where are you bunking?”
“Not too far from you. In my old room. By myself.”
That gave him ideas. “Oh, yeah? You’ll have to give me a tour.”
She arched a brow. “Thinking of invading my inner sanctum?”
He looked around but didn’t see anyone. The TV was on in the living room, but that was far enough away that no one could see them. Still, he didn’t want to risk someone walking in on them, so he kept his distance. “Maybe. If you invite me.”
She reached out and skimmed her fingertips across his chest. “Well, we could—”
Flynn walked into the kitchen and Mia snatched her hand back.
“I hope you didn’t drink all the beer.”
Nathan maintained a casual pose, as if he and Mia had just been chatting. “No guarantees.”
Flynn grabbed three beers from the fridge. “Luckily for you there are still beers here. So I don’t have to kick your ass.”
“And why aren’t you guys in here watching the game with us?” Flynn asked. “It’s the bottom of the seventh and L.A. and Texas are tied.”
Nathan looked over at Mia, who shrugged. “I wouldn’t miss it.”
So much for having some alone time with Mia.
“Me, either,” Mia said.
Nathan nodded. “Yeah, let’s go watch some baseball.”
MIA ADORED WEDDINGS. SHE WAS NOWHERE NEAR ready for her own, but there had been so many Cassidy weddings in the past year they had filled her heart with love and absolute joy.
Having watched her brothers Grant and Tucker marry the women they love had been wonderful. She already felt like Katrina and Aubry were her sisters. She loved them both so much. And now her brother Barrett was going to marry Harmony, and she’d gain yet another sister.
After growing up with four annoying brothers, having all these women become a part of her life was nothing short of a miracle.
Hopefully sometime soon Flynn and Amelia would be planning their wedding and then she’d have four sisters to counteract the effects of all that Cassidy testosterone.
They’d celebrated Flynn and Amelia’s engagement last night with a round of champagne for everyone. Amelia said she didn’t want to make a big deal out of it because this was Harmony and Barrett’s celebration, but Mom had insisted that it was still a big deal and they should at least do a toast.
She was so happy for her brother, who had showed some smarts by asking Amelia to marry him.
As soon as Barrett and Harmony arrived on the ranch this afternoon, it had been chaos. But it was wonderful chaos. Barrett was his usual laid-back self, and Harmony was excited. They all dragged her upstairs to ogle her wedding dress and talk about the plans for today.