“Bait?” Cassie coughed, then half-shrieked, “Bait? You think it’s funny? Jack—you promised!”
Jack tried to tuck her behind his shoulder and interrupt, but Cassie leaned around him and jabbed an accusing finger at Memphis.
“No more bait, no more turkey shoots! You tell him no, Memphis, or answer to me. Find another way, whatever. He comes home in a body bag, and I come after you.”
She glared, the silence stretched, and she wanted Jack’s buddy to know she meant it, every word. Bad enough that they went willingly into danger, no reason they should play high-stakes games with their lives. No operation was worth that.
Memphis raised his eyebrows and Jack seemed stunned.
Cassie exhaled in a gust and muttered, “I think I just grew a few gray hairs.”
Memphis surprised her with his softened, sympathetic expression. “It takes a strong woman to love a soldier. You’ll get used to it, honey.” He nodded his head, “We always come home. Don’t worry.”
Jack sputtered then argued, “Oh, we’re not—It’s not–”
“You’re gone, bro. I give it two months, max, and we’ll all be in our dress whites.”
Cassie looked between them, confused, then hacked into Memphis’ thoughts to discern he meant their formal Navy uniforms, for the occasion of her and Jack’s supposed wedding. Wow.
Memphis winked at their twin shell-shocked expressions then wisely retreated a step.