Jaci worked on the fish in silence, using a flat rock as a table and another as a knife.
She glanced up briefly to see Ricky approaching. Leaving the raw fish on the stone, Jaci flattened herself on the river bank to wash her hands in the running water. “Yes?” She fought to keep her tone neutral.
“Now that we’re with your friends, you’re just going to ignore me?”
“I’m not ignoring you.” She stood up and wiped her hands on her jeans, which were already caked with mud anyway. “I don’t want to cause any problems.” She needed to get away from him.
He stopped her as she started past, grabbing her forearm. “I just spent three days with you. Now it’s like I don’t know you.”
Jaci kept her eyes on the ground. “I don’t know what you want me to say.”
“Did I imagine it? I thought we connected back there.”
Jaci’s head shot up. Anger flashed through her, anger that he dared insinuate a stronger link between them. “I don’t know how we can connect, Ricky. You always pull something like this.”
His brows knit together. “Like what?"
Did he think she hadn't seen him with Amanda? “You know what I'm talking about.” Her face burned as the words slipped out of her mouth. Just saying it implied that she cared, and she so didn't want him to think that.
“You mean Amanda? We went on a walk, that’s all.”
Right. She knew all about his walks. “Did you kiss her?”
“Uh, what?” he said, face flushing.
Why did she have to be right? “You did.”
“No! No, I didn’t. Your question surprised me. Why would you ask that?"
What could she say? She couldn't exactly admit to spying on him.
He answered for her. "You knew we kissed before.”
That about summed it up. “Yeah.”
He let go of her arm. “Sorry.”
Her throat ached. “That’s okay, Ricky. I won’t come between you.” She started past him again.
“She’s not the one I want, Jaci.” His voice made her stop. “I was stupid. I’m a guy.”
She turned around. “I’m not the one you want either, Ricky. So let’s just keep our distance here.”