40. Priorities

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"I just know one of them will make a crack about ten-gallon hats," Jenny said as she and Wynter finished getting ready in her bedroom.

"That will be Jesse," Wynter predicted.

There was no way Wynter could persuade her brothers to dress up for the occasion, but she and Jenny had decided to add some cowgirl touches to their outfits. Jenny wore a tied chambray shirt, a suede-look tassel skirt, short at the front and long at the back, fancy boots, and a long turquoise necklace. Wynter chose a slim-fit t-shirt with a vintage "Wild West" logo, denim cut-offs, and mid-calf embossed leather boots she'd found at a second-hand store. Jenny lent her a silver-and-leather choker that looked good with the low V-neck top. And she helped with Wynter's makeup, because Wynter was still learning.

"Ladies!" Jesse jumped up from the breakfast bar when they came downstairs, giving them a tip of his imaginary hat and an exaggerated once-over.

"You still eating breakfast?" Wynter said.

"Let's call it brunch. Spent the last hour helping pack our gear into the truck while you girls were making yourselves gorgeous." He hooked a finger under Wynter's choker. "Caleb's not gonna like this."

"I bet Caleb looks sexy as hell, so why can't she?" Jenny said with a laugh.

"Cuz she's sixteen, and his sister."

Wynter batted his hand away. "I wore purple vinyl for Crunch's performance."

"And he wasn't thrilled about it. Also, he wasn't standing on stage next to you. I'm not gonna tell you what to do, Wyn—"

"No you are not."

"I'm just saying, he won't like." He tried to ruffle her hair like a little kid. She managed to dodge. "I have a plastic cowboy hat somewhere, from when I was five. Want me to dig it out?"

"Sure. You can wear a plastic hat if you really want to."

Caleb walked in from outside looking several notches finer than usual in newish jeans, a dark gray t-shirt, and Chelseas. Wynter knew exactly what he'd say about her outfit, or at least what he once might've said, but would he dare, now they were... colleagues?

"Jenny, that's a lovely skirt," he said.

Indio was on Caleb's heels and said nothing at all, but Wynter saw him check out Jenny as he walked past them to fetch the last of the gear from the basement.

"We're leaving in five minutes," Caleb said, grabbing a six-pack of water bottles from the refrigerator. "You comfortable in those shorts, hun?"

"Anything goes when it's a costume, right?"

He tipped his head to one side and Wynter waited for him to say what he was really thinking.

"Do you want me to change into jeans?" she said after a moment.

"I'm not telling you to change, no."

"Whoa, passive-aggressive much?" Jesse said, earning himself a scowl from his older brother.

Wynter chewed her lip. She'd spent her entire childhood in shorts, and wore them around the house all the time. This was different, though. She was going on stage and her outfit was sexy—and maybe suitable for Rule212, one day, but not today. Today was a birthday party with families attending. Jenny's skirt and blouse were pretty and tasteful. The shorts were possibly too much. Or too little. Caleb's disapproval made her feel underdressed.

Not that she had to listen to a word Caleb said. But...

"You're the band leader," she conceded. "I'll change."

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