He’s torn between loving her and the memory that she’d been his brother’s girl.
Cadie thought she would be with Mattie and love him forever. Losing him and being attacked herself put her in a coma for four weeks. When she wakes up, she finds that fate, the fickle bitch that she is, has devised another future with her with another man. It was hard for her to deal with the fact that that man was Jack, Mattie’s oldest brother.
"Why haven't you married?" she asked suddenly.
"Married, you know, tuxes and lots of people crammed into a church. Some beautiful girl in a long white dress waiting at the end of a decorated aisle. Why haven't you taken the plunge?" She leaned back against his arms, her gorgeous blue eyes staring up at him. He could see the bruised smudges under her eyes, the hollow of her cheeks. He'd known she wasn't sleeping but now it seemed as if she'd missed a few or more meals as well.
"The right girl hasn't become available." He shrugged his wide shoulders.
"Well, if she's told you no, she had to be an idiot."
She snuggled close to him again, and Jack moved his arms so that she felt encased by them. He let his cheek rest against her hair, marveling again at how she fit him so perfectly. Emotions soared through him and he felt her breasts brush against his chest. They felt like an electric charge or maybe a spark from a match being lit. He barely managed to hold back the groan of pleasure that cried to be let free. He wanted to lift her face, to let her see the emotions he'd been hiding from her and then kiss her, to take her lips and show her that not all men are frightening. But it was too soon. He knew if he pushed her too hard she would run from him. He had to be her friend and then go on from there.