“Yeah.” Rhys waved his fork at Joe. “But it would have been nice to know we both had signed up.” Rhys sat back in his chair. “Look, never mind. The past is the past.”
Joe smiled and held Rhys’s gaze. “And the future is the future.”
The whole table erupted into hoots and laughter.
“Alright guys, let’s leave Joe and Rhys alone.” Roman’s deep voice of authority caught everyone’s attention. “We better not scare Joe off just yet. Tourist season is starting. We need him to keep the horses in top condition.”
“So you are saying that we can scare him off after the tourists quit being stupid?” Santos teased.
“Naw,” Jimmy piped up. “I’m thinking Joe will have Rhys hog-tied and tattooed by then.”
“Little bit,” Roman warned, frowning down at his husband.
“What?” Jimmy crossed his arms over his chest. “That seems to be the way the alpha men around here operate. It’s a good thing us smaller guys know how to handle you.”
“So you think you’re handling me?” Roman challenged.
Jimmy licked his lips. “Of course.”
“And that just sealed Jimmy’s fate for the afternoon,” Reese commented.
Roman stood and held out his hand. The bond between the two men was so strong, Joe could feel it in the air. Amid more laughter and good natured catcalls, Jimmy placed his hand in Roman’s.
Just before the two men left the room, Jimmy looked over his shoulder and stuck his tongue out at the group around the table inciting more laughter.
Joe had never seen such a display of two men openly demonstrating their attraction. It was an epic moment. Wow.
“Does this happen often?” he whispered to Styx.
“Wait for it,” Styx murmured.
On the other side of the table, Tristen reached up and traced his thumb over Santos’s lower lip A look of pure love shown on the striking man’s face. Joe couldn’t tear his gaze away.
“Ah, amorzinho. You tempt the strongest man to your will.” The next moment, Santos had Tristen over his shoulder and was striding out of the room.
The table emptied further when Garrett stood, and without a word, ushered a limping Tolliver away from the table. Joe glanced around and wondered what would happen next.
Isaiah, the deadly weapons expert put his arm around quiet Carson’s shoulders. “Come on, love. Let’s go take a nap.”
The tenderness on Isaiah’s face as he looked at his scarred husband was astonishing. When Joe had been introduced to Isaiah, he had made a mental note to be careful around such a lethal, hard-edged man. The transformation was phenomenal.
Beside Joe, Styx stood and waited. Joe held back a chuckle when Flyer grabbed another bun and took a last bite of tortilla, before he stood and lead the way out of the room.
Not sure what to do, Joe looked at the remaining single men. His face must have shown his confusion because Reese laughed, before saying, “Get used to it, my friend. This happens all the time around here.”
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Joe remarked.
“That’s what makes this place so special,” Parker responded. “We can be who we are.” Joe found the medic a quiet, soft-spoken man.