Mac took me to Joe’s Soda Shop and Diner.  Joe’s was the place we hung out at in Jr. High and High School. We would do our homework and drink strawberry malts, several times a week.

As we walked in, I saw Micky behind the grill. We went to school together. “Wow, Micky’s running the place now?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Mac led me to the booth in the back. It just so happened to be the same one we spent so much time in. “His dad passed away a few years ago. But, he had to take over even before then.”

I slid into the booth and he slid in beside me, “I really missed a lot while I was gone.”

“Hey, no regrets. Just this day forward,” He kissed me, “and lots of making up for lost time.”

I nodded and smiled. A waitress came to the table to take our order. She looked familiar, but I couldn’t place her.

“What would you like today, handsome?” She was clearly flirting with Mac. Would he flirt back with her? He had to be at least 10 maybe 11 years older than her.  My heart skipped a few beats before I could speak.

“Um…” I looked at the menu, “I’d like a Jackie Burger, no onions, fries, and a strawberry malt with extra malt, please.”

“And for you, Mac?” She asked smiling at him and leaning on the table in front of him.

“Becky, first let me introduce you to my fiancée, Allyson Yates. Al, this is Becky. She’s Amber’s little sister.”

I noticed she was no longer leaning on the table, and now I knew why she looked so familiar.

“Oh, Amber was a good friend of mine,” I said.

“Yeah…” Becky replied, “until she overdosed. So, Mac what would you like?” She was frigid now.

“Give me a JFK Burger with extra onions, fries, and a strawberry malt, extra malt,” He put his arm around my shoulder as she walked away.

“Amber passed away, what 13 years ago. Becky was all of three. Does she even remember Amber?” I asked.

He looked at me, “I don’t think she does. But, her parents have reminded her every day how bad Amber was. I think they’re just waiting for her to go bad, too.”

I shivered, “Yeah, and I think she likes you, Mac.”

He kissed my cheek, “I don’t come here very often because of that very thing,” He looked at me, “Sam likes her, and she won’t give him the time of day.”

Hoping to lighten the mood I asked, “Do you remember all the time we spent in this very booth?”

He turned to me just enough to put his hands on my face, “I do. Some eating. Some homework. And a whole bunch of this,” He leaned in and took my lips with his.

He ran his tongue over the seam between my lips and I opened for him. Our tongues danced back and forth. All time stopped for me. No one was around. Just me and Mac.

I sighed when he broke the kiss, “We never did that back then.”

“No, and there are a lot of things I want to do with you. Things we didn’t do then either. That kiss is just the start.” He took my hand and kissed each of my fingers, before sucking my thumb into his mouth. Again, my heart skipped a few beats. “I want to get reacquainted with every inch of your sweet body.”

Becky brought our malts and walked away. Mac took one and put two straws in the glass, “Your malt, Milady.”

“Oh god. So good!” I looked into his eyes, “Were they this good when we were in High School?”

He smiled that smile. The one that melted my insides to jello. He put his forehead to my forehead, “I don’t remember. I just know I can still taste you from this morning and I want more,” He moved to my lips. I moaned as I ran my fingers through his hair.

“Wow! You two, really! Do I need to get the fire hose to cool y’all off?” Patty asked.

Mac released my lips but didn’t turn away, “Half Pint, I thought I told you to have a buddy.”

“Um… Humm… She does,” Jake laughed.

This time Mac moaned and turned around, “Jake, what are you doing here during the day on a Tuesday? Don’t you work on a ranch?”

Patty sat in the booth and Jake slid in beside her, “Well, I came this way to pick up Miss Allie’s truck. But, as it turned out we had to have it towed to Mike’s. So, I thought I’d take my best girl to lunch.”

“So, big brother, you can make out in public, but I can’t?” She was looking him straight in the eyes, “That’s just a load of crap.”

“Okay, Half Pint. I never said you couldn’t make out in public or in private.” Now Mac was looking at Jake, who had dropped his head into his hands, “What I told Jake was, ‘you had better not get pregnant’!”

Mac’s arm was leaving my neck and I felt the loss to my toes. Patty had a look of total shock on her face, “You can’t tell me I can’t have sex if I want to. I’m eighteen years old.”

Now Mac was looking at Patty, “I can tell you not to have sex if I want to. I’m your legal guardian!” He raised his finger up to her before she started in on him again, “But… I just told Jake you better not get pregnant.”

“Oh.” She sat back in the booth to look at Jake, who was looking like a cornered calf separated from his mother.

“Now please, can we talk about something else?” Mac was not a happy camper. So, I put my hand on his leg. He sighed, “Thanks.”

Becky came over with our burgers, “Jackie burger no onions, and a JFK burger with extra onions.” She looked at Patty and Jake, “What can I get for y’all?”

“I’ll have a Rock n Roll dog with onion rings and a coke,” Patty said.

“I’ll have a JFK burger, fries, and a coke, please,” Jake said never raising his eyes from the table.

When Becky left Jake looked up, “I’d love to move on from all the brother-sister sex rules while we eat. Please, and thank you.”

“Fine by me, Jake. I’m not the one who brought it up in the first place,” He looked to Patty, “Half Pint, what I do with Al is between me and Al. What you do with Jake is between the two of you. Just so long as you both remember the rules.”

He picked up his burger and started eating, “Yum, onions!” He turned to me, “Kiss me.”

“You know I don’t like onions, Mac!” I was about to take a bite of my burger when he kissed me.

“So, Jake, how bad was the truck?”

Jake didn’t answer until Becky walked away from bringing their drinks.

“Well, it was up on cinder blocks. Whoever took the rims knew what they were doing. There was a broken tip from a knife on the ground. But, Sheriff Clay doesn’t think they’ll get much from it.”

“Okay, good to know. Half Pint can’t be alone for any reason. So, if you’re the one out with her you don’t leave her side.”

Becky came back with their burger, hot dog, fries, and onion rings, “I understand Mac. I don’t know this Cindi.” He turned to Patty, “I assume you do, baby.”

“Yeah, I remember her. I never liked her.” Patty said with a shudder.

Mac put his burger down and sighed, “Yeah, I know. I wasn’t thinking with a clear head back then. Garth and Randy tried to warn me. But, I wouldn’t listen to them until it was almost too late. I put us all in danger and for that I’m sorry.”

I put my arm through his and leaned my head on his shoulder, “Hey you didn’t know she was a sociopath. None of this is your fault. It’s all on her.”

He turned and kissed the top of my head.

We were all quiet while we ate, until Jake said, “So, I hear you two are getting married on New Year’s Eve.”

“Yep, we are. We’ve spent too much time apart to wait any longer,” Mac said. “We’ll party at the Rusty Nail after the ceremony.”

Jake looked up at Mac, “So, where to for the honeymoon?”

“We don’t know yet,” he looked at me, “nowhere until after the spring calving season is over.”

I smiled, “Maybe just a few days in Fort Worth.” I kissed Mac’s cheek, “I’ve been on the road for a lot of years. Being home helping with the ranch, sounds like heaven to me.”

Becky came over and asked if we needed anything more.

“Will you please put the strawberry malts in to-go cups? Then we can take them with us.”

After she brought them back, Mac pulled out his wallet and left a hundred-dollar bill on the table, “Jake make sure you get my sister home safe,” He pointed to the bill. “Lunch is on me. The rest is for Becky.”

I saw Patty nod her understanding as we walked out the front door.