Rush Too Far (Rosemary Beach #4)(10) by Abbi Glines

Grant had already had one too many tonight. He got very giving and jolly when he was drunk. Which meant he drew me into his charity. I shook my head and walked back inside.

Someone called out, “Hey Woods,” and I stopped walking and jerked around. What the hell was Kerrington doing here? I hadn’t invited him, and Grant would have said something if he’d invited him. He knew I wasn’t happy with Woods right now.

I stalked to the window and glanced outside to see Blaire’s truck parked toward the back of the drive. That annoyed me. They shouldn’t have blocked her out. I should have thought about that.

But she was here. And so was Woods. Fuck.

I ignored people and moved past Woods to go directly to the pantry. Blaire was in there. Was she changing? Had she invited Woods over? What the hell was I going to do if she had? We were . . . friends now. Shit. Fuck friends. That didn’t even sound possible.

Stopping in the pantry, I watched as she stepped out of her room as if she were leaving. Maybe she was going to see Woods.

“Rush? What’s wrong?” she asked, looking sincere.

I waited a moment to respond. I didn’t want to scare her or sound harsh. “Woods is here,” I finally said, as calmly as I could manage.

“Last time I checked, he was a friend of yours,” she said.

Last time I checked, he was hot on her trail. “No. He isn’t here for me. He came for someone else,” I said.

Blaire’s confused expression became annoyed and she crossed her arms under her breasts, which she really didn’t need to do if she wanted me to keep my eyes off them. “Maybe he is. Do you have a problem with your friends being interested in me?”

“He isn’t good enough. He’s a sorry-ass fucker. He shouldn’t get to touch you,” I replied without thinking. The idea of him doing anything with her made my blood boil.

Blaire seemed to be considering what I had just said. Damn, she was adorable when she was frustrated. “I’m not interested in Woods that way He is my boss and possibly a friend. That’s all.”

I wasn’t sure what to say to that. I couldn’t order her to stay under the damn stairs.

“I can’t sleep while people are going up and down the stairs. It keeps me up. Instead of sitting in my room alone, wondering who you’re upstairs screwing tonight, I thought I’d talk to Woods out on the beach. Have a conversation with someone. I need friends.”

Motherfucker. “I don’t want you outside with Woods talking,” I said. I wanted to tell her there was no chance I was taking anyone upstairs and f**king them. She had somehow ruined me, and all I’d done was kiss her.

“Well, maybe I don’t want you screwing some girl, but you will,” she shot back at me. The fierce look on her face made me want to laugh and kiss her senseless at the same damn time.

She was pushing me. I was too close to forgetting why this was a bad idea. I moved toward her, and she backed up until we were back inside her little room. Safe from Woods Kerrington. I wanted to keep her here. “I don’t want to f**k anyone tonight,” I told her. Then I couldn’t keep the amusement off my face. Because that was a lie. “That isn’t exactly true. Let me clarify. I don’t want to f**k anyone outside of this room. Stay here and talk to me. I’ll talk. I said we could be friends. You don’t need Woods as a friend.”

She shoved me back without much force. “You never talk to me. I ask the wrong question, and you stalk away.”

But she had said we were friends. I would play that card all damn night if I had to. “Not now. We’re friends. I’ll talk, and I won’t leave. Just, please, stay in here with me.”

She glanced around and frowned. “There isn’t a lot of room in here,” she said, her hands still flat on my chest. I wondered if she could feel my heart beating. It was hammering so hard I could hear it pounding in my ears.

“We can sit on the bed. We won’t touch. Just talk. Like friends,” I told her. Anything to get her to stay in here away from Woods.

She relaxed and sat down on the bed, her hands leaving me. I wanted to reach out and grab them and hold them against me. “Then we’ll talk,” she said, as she scooted back on the bed and crossed her legs.

I sat on the bed and leaned against the other wall. We weren’t far apart, but it was as much as this room would allow. The situation made me laugh. “I can’t believe I just begged a female to sit and talk to me.”

“What are we going to talk about?” she asked, studying me. I could tell by her expression that she expected me to bolt at any moment.

“How about how the hell you’re still a virgin at nineteen?” I said, before I could stop myself. She was just too damn beautiful to be that innocent. It made no sense to me.

She stiffened. “Who said I’m a virgin?” she asked, sounding upset.

I’d known she was a virgin from the first time I had caught her checking me out. The blush on her face had been all I needed to know. The girl was innocent. “I know a virgin when I kiss one,” I told her instead.

She relaxed again, then shrugged as if it wasn’t a big deal. When it was a f**king huge deal. I didn’t know nineteen-year-old virgins who looked like her. “I was in love. His name is Cain. He was my first boyfriend, my first kiss, my first makeout session, however tame it may have been. He said he loved me and claimed I was the only one for him. Then my mom got sick. I no longer had time to go on dates and see Cain on the weekends. He needed out. He needed freedom to get that kind of relationship from someone else. So I let him go. After Cain, I didn’t have time to date anyone else.”

What the hell? She loved this dick, and he left her? “He didn’t stick by you when your mom was sick?”

She tensed up again and fiddled with her hands in her lap. “We were young. He didn’t love me. He just thought he did. Simple as that.” She was defending him. Fuck that. He needed an ass-kicking.

“You’re still young,” I told her, but I was trying to remind myself more than anything.

“I’m nineteen, Rush. I’ve taken care of my mother for three years and buried her without any help from my father. Trust me, I feel forty most days,” she said. The weariness in her voice hurt my chest. I was wanting to beat some unknown kid’s ass when this shit was my fault. My gut twisted and reminded me of how I had played a part in her pain.

I reached for her hand, because I needed to touch her somehow. “You shouldn’t have had to do that alone.”

She didn’t say anything at first. The frown line in her forehead eased before she lifted her gaze from my hand on hers to my face. “Do you have a job?” she asked.

I laughed. She was changing the subject and directing the questions at me. Smart move. I squeezed her hand. “Do you believe everyone must have a job once they’re out of college?” I asked, teasing her.

She shrugged in response. I could tell that yes, she did think that. My life was something she wasn’t used to.

“When I graduated from college, I had enough money in the bank to live the rest of my life without a job, thanks to my dad. After a few weeks of doing nothing but partying, I realized I needed a life. So I began playing around with the stock market. Turns out I’m pretty damn good at it. Numbers were always my thing. I also donate financial support to Habitat for Humanity. A couple of months out of the year, I’m more hands-on, and I work on-site. Summers I take off from everything that I can and come here and relax.”

I hadn’t meant to tell her the truth—or at least all of it— but I did. It just came out of my mouth. She put me at ease. Women never put me at ease. I was always on guard for their ulterior motive. Blaire didn’t have one.

“The surprise on your face is a little insulting,” I told her. I was teasing, but it was also the truth. I didn’t like her thinking I was a spoiled brat, even though I’d been pushing that idea on her the whole time she’d been living under my roof.

“I just didn’t expect that answer,” she finally replied.

I needed distance. I could smell her again, and holy hell, she smelled good. I moved back to my side of the bed. Touching time was up.

“How old are you?” she asked.

I was surprised she didn’t already know. All she had to do was Google me. “Too old to be in this room with you and way too damn old for the thoughts I have about you,” I replied.

“I will remind you that I am nineteen. I’ll be twenty in six months. I’m not a baby,” she said. She didn’t appear nervous at all that I had just admitted to fantasizing about her.

“No, sweet Blaire, you are definitely not a baby. I’m twenty-four and jaded. My life hasn’t been normal, and because of it, I have some serious screwed-up shit. I’ve told you there are things you don’t know. Allowing myself to touch you would be wrong.” I needed her to understand that. One of us had to remember why I needed to keep my hands off her.

“I think you underestimate yourself. What I see in you is special.” Her words made the ache in my chest catch on fire. She didn’t know me. Not really. But damn, it felt good to hear her say she saw something other than the rock star’s son.

“You don’t see the real me. You don’t know what all I’ve done.” Because when she did know, moments like this would just be bittersweet memories that haunted me the rest of my life.

“Maybe,” she said, and leaned toward me. “But what little I have seen isn’t all bad. I’m beginning to think there might just be another layer to you.”

Holy hell, she needed to move back. That smell and those eyes. I started to say something but stopped myself. I wasn’t sure what to say to her. Other than that I wanted to strip her na**d and make her scream my name over and over again.

Something she saw made her eyes go wide, and she moved even closer to me. “What is in your mouth?” she asked, with a touch of amazement in her voice.

I was wearing a barbell in my tongue tonight. I didn’t always wear something that could be seen, because I had outgrown the piercing, or at least I felt like that at times. Females, however, enjoyed it. I opened my mouth and stuck out my tongue so Little Miss Curious could see. She had already angled her head to peek inside my mouth. If I didn’t show her, she was going to climb into my lap to get closer.

“Does it hurt?” she asked in a whisper, still inching closer to me. What the hell? She was gonna get a real personal view of it when I licked her damn neck if she didn’t back up.

“No,” I replied, keeping my tongue in my mouth for fear that she was going to actually touch it and make me lose my mind.

“What are the tattoos on your back?” she asked me, moving back some. Her smell still clung to me. I was inhaling more frequently than necessary just to get her scent inside of me. It was pathetic. Focus on something else. Answer her damn questions, and stop thinking about her skin. And her taste. Tattoos . . . she wants to know about my tattoos.

“An eagle on my lower back with his wings spread and the emblem for Slacker Demon. When I was seventeen, my dad took me to a concert in L.A., and afterward he took me to get my first tat. He wanted his band branded on my body. Every member of Slacker Demon has one in the exact same place. Right behind the left shoulder. Dad was high as a kite that night, but it is still a really good memory. I didn’t get a chance to spend a lot of time with him growing up. But every time I saw him, he added another tat or piercing to my body,” I explained.

Her eyes instantly went to my chest. Fuck, she was wondering about my ni**les. Cold shower. I was going to need a very long cold shower. Or maybe hot, with some damn baby oil and my fist. God knows her smell and the view I had down her shirt were enough to send me over the edge.

“No piercings there, sweet Blaire. The others are in my ears. I put a halt to the piercings and tats when I turned nineteen,” I assured her. She needed to take her eyes off my damn chest. Now.

She looked unhappy or worried. What had I said? Fuck, I hadn’t verbalized my shower plans, had I?

“What did I say to make you frown?” I asked, touching her chin to tilt her eyes up so I could see them.

“When you kissed me last night, I didn’t feel the silver barbell thingy.” That was what was making her frown? She was going to kill me. I couldn’t take much more of this.

“Because I wasn’t wearing it,” I said, moving closer to her. Her scent was pulling me in.

“When you, uh, kiss someone with it in, can she feel it?”

Holy f**king hell. Showing Little Miss Curious was so tempting. She wanted to experience it, and I sure wanted to show her. “Blaire, tell me to leave. Please,” I begged. It was the only way to keep from kissing her. “You would feel it. Everywhere I want to kiss you, you would feel it. And you would enjoy it,” I whispered in her ear, then pressed a kiss to her shoulder and inhaled her deeply. Fuck, that was good.

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