Home > Rush Too Far (Rosemary Beach #4)(15)

Rush Too Far (Rosemary Beach #4)(15)
Abbi Glines

“Don’t wait too long,” she said, then closed her eyes. Her mouth fell open with a soft snore.

I locked the door and closed it tightly behind me. She was right. I had to fix this before it was too late.

CHAPTER NINETEEN

Your room is upstairs now,” I reminded her once we had stepped inside the house and she headed for the kitchen. We still hadn’t spoken. I wasn’t sure what to say to her or even how to talk to her now.

She paused, then turned and headed for the stairs. I couldn’t just let her go like this.

“I tried to stay away from you,” I said.

She stopped and turned to look down at me. The hurt in her eyes was too much. I didn’t want to hurt her. Yet I would be her biggest heartbreak. I hated myself. I hated what I was, who I was.

“That first night, I tried to get rid of you. Not because I disliked you.” I laughed bitterly at the truth. “But because I knew. I knew you’d get under my skin. I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay away. Maybe I hated you a little bit then because of the weakness you’d be able to find in me.” I had known from the first moment that she was trouble. She’d break me. But I hadn’t known she’d own me.

“What is so wrong with you being attracted to me?” she asked, a tear glistening in the corner of her eye. Shit. I hated knowing she didn’t understand.

“Because you don’t know everything, and I can’t tell you. I can’t tell you Nan’s secrets. They’re hers. I love her, Blaire. I’ve loved her and protected her all my life. She’s my little sister. It’s what I do. Even though I want you like I’ve never wanted anything in my life, I can’t tell you Nan’s secrets.” If she could just take that as her answer and give me time. All the things I’d done had to be fixed. There had to be a way to right the wrongs.

“I can understand that. It’s OK. I shouldn’t have asked. I’m sorry,” she said in a soft voice. She meant that. She was fu**ing apologizing. To me. “Good night, Rush,” she said, and turned and left me there.

I let her go. She was telling me it was OK to have my secrets but that I couldn’t have her, too. How would I do this? I had tasted her in my arms. I knew what her smile could do to me and how the way she looked at me controlled my fu**ing moods. It was like she’d become the sun, and I’d started revolving around her. She was my center.

Yet I was the reason she had lived through hell. I had given her father a place to run to. I had gone to him when he was weak and needed to be with his daughter and his wife. I’d given him somewhere else to go. Another life to walk into. Another daughter to claim and another family to belong to.

And he’d left her. All alone. If I had just cared enough to find out who I was taking him from . . . but I hadn’t cared. I had just wanted to give Nan what she wanted so badly. I hadn’t thought of anyone else. Only Nan. It was always Nan.

Or it had been. It wasn’t anymore.

I couldn’t ignore the truth. Blaire’s happiness and safety meant too much to me. Protecting Nan was no longer my number one priority. Blaire was taking that spot. She had moved right into my life and changed it all. I should hate her for that. But I couldn’t. I would never hate her. That was impossible.

I climbed the stairs and stopped at the door to the bedroom where she was now tucked away. I had wanted her in my bed tonight. But knowing that she was in sleeping in luxury meant I would be able to rest easier. The regret in my chest would be my only companion in bed tonight.

The sound of a phone ringing broke through the sweet darkness, and I forced my eyes open to reach for the offending sound. I had lain awake most of the night. Of course, now that I’d finally fallen asleep, my damn phone had to ring. Grabbing it, I noticed the sun through the blinds. It was later than I thought. Maybe I had been asleep for longer than I’d thought.

“Hello,” I snarled into the phone.

“Are you still asleep?” Woods’s annoying voice didn’t put me in a better mood.

“What do you want?” I asked. It was none of his business if I was still asleep.

“It’s about your sister,” he said.

I sat up in bed and rubbed the sleep from my eyes. I wasn’t in the mood to wake up and deal with Nan’s problems. I had my own. “What?” I barked.

“If she speaks to Blaire or any of my other employees with disrespect, I’ll make sure her membership is pulled. You may not care that she’s a spoiled brat, but when her venom causes a scene and embarrasses the best server we’ve had in the dining room in months, then it becomes an issue.”

Blaire? What? “What are you saying? Did Nan do something to Blaire? Or one of your servers? I’m confused.”

“Blaire is one of my servers. I moved her to the dining room last week. And your bitch of a sister called her white trash and demanded that I fire her today. In front of everyone.” Woods’s voice was getting louder. He was pissed but nothing close to the level of angry I was dealing with. “I realize you don’t care about Blaire. It’s obvious from the fact that she’s sleeping in your damn pantry. But she’s special. She works hard, and everyone loves her. I won’t allow Nan to hurt her. Do you understand me?”

I didn’t like Woods saying that Blaire was special. I fu**ing knew she was special, and he needed to back the hell off. And why had he moved her inside from the golf course? Had he wanted her near him? Was that it? As much as I wanted to be relieved that she was out of the heat, the idea that he had moved her inside to be near him infuriated me. And Nan. Fuck. She’d pushed me too far. I was going to have to deal with her. I wasn’t OK with her talking to Blaire that way, either. No one was going to call Blaire names. Ever. Another problem I had to fix. Yet another thing that was my fault.

“Do. You. Understand. Me.” Woods’s voice reminded me that I hadn’t responded to him. If it weren’t for the fact that he was angry over how Blaire was treated, I would remind him exactly who he was talking to. But just this once, I was going to allow him to be angry at me. Because he was right. This was my fault. I’d created the monster my sister had turned into.

“She isn’t in the pantry anymore. I moved her to a bedroom. I’ll deal with Nan,” I told him, then decided he needed to understand something else, too. “Blaire is mine. Don’t touch her. I will kill you. Do you understand me?”

Woods let out a humorless laugh. “Yeah. Whatever, Finlay I’m not scared of your threats. The only reason I’m not touching Blaire is that she doesn’t want me. It’s fu**ing obvious who she wants. So calm the hell down. You’ve had her from the beginning. You sure as hell don’t deserve her, though,” he said, and then the call ended.

Woods thought she wanted me. God, I hoped he was right.

I stood up and called Nan.

“Hello,” she said in an annoyed tone.

“Where are you?” I asked as I headed for the bathroom.

“The club. I’m playing tennis in ten minutes,” she replied.

It would take me thirty minutes to take my shower and get some coffee in me. “My house, thirty minutes,” I said, and hung up, not waiting for her to argue. She knew not to piss me off, and I had no doubt she knew exactly what this was about.

I would make sure my sister left Blaire alone. Then I was going to get Blaire a phone. She needed a damn cell phone. I wanted to make sure she was OK when I didn’t know where she was.

And I was going to cook for her. I wanted to watch her eat. I wanted to feed her. Make up for how badly I’d fu**ed things up before.

I also didn’t want her sleeping in that bedroom tonight. I wanted her in mine.

CHAPTER TWENTY

I was standing on the balcony when I heard Nan’s voice from inside. “Where are you?” she called out. She wasn’t happy about being here. Good. She really wasn’t going to be happy about it when I was done with her.

I walked inside as she came into the living room wearing her tennis skirt and looking pissed off. I was expecting her to be angry, but it pissed me off that she thought she had the right to be. After the way she had treated Blaire, did she think I wouldn’t call her out on it?

“You ruined my plans. This better be good,” she snapped.

I set my coffee cup down on the nearest table and turned to look at my sister. “Let me get something straight, because you must need reminding. Unless you want to get a job and pay for all your shit, then I have a say in how you act. I’ve let you act like a brat most of your life because I love you. I know that life with Mom was unfair for you. But I will not . . .” I paused and took a step toward her and leveled my gaze on her so she could see just how serious I was. “I will not allow you to hurt Blaire. Ever. She has done nothing to you. You blame her for the sorry excuse for a father you have. Blaire is a victim of that man just as much as you are. So do not speak to her like you did today ever again. I swear, Nan, I love you, but I won’t let you hurt her. Do not test me.”

Nan’s eyes went wide with surprise, and the fake tears I was used to her springing on me immediately glistened in her eyes. “You’re choosing her over me. Are you . . . are you fu**ing her? That’s it, isn’t it? That little slut!”

I was in her face so fast that she stumbled backward. I reached out and grabbed her arm to keep her from falling and jerked her back up. “Don’t you say it. I swear to God, Nan, you are going to push me too far. Think before you speak.”

She sniffled and let the tears she could turn on like a damn faucet roll down her face. I hated making her cry. The sick knot I got in my stomach when someone hurt Nan was forming. “I’m . . . I’m your sister. How could you do this to me? I was . . . You know what she did? Who she is? She kept him from me! My father, Rush. I’ve lived this life because I didn’t have him.” She was sobbing now and shaking her head, as if she couldn’t believe I could forget all this.

She would never see the truth. She was determined to blame and hate someone, but she refused to hate the person who deserved it the most. “Blaire was a child. She did nothing to you. She couldn’t help that she was born. She had no clue you even existed. Why can’t you see that? Why can’t you see the kind, honest, giving, hardworking person your sister is? No one can hate her! She’s fu**ing perfect!”

“Don’t you . . .” She pointed her finger at me, with horror on her face. “Do not call her my sister!” she screamed hysterically.

Sighing, I sat down on the sofa and held my head in my hands. Nan was so stubborn. “Nan, you share a father. That makes her your sister,” I reminded her.

“No. I don’t care. I do not care. I hate her. She’s manipulative, and she’s fake. She’s using sex to control you.”

I shot back up out of my seat. “I haven’t fu**ed her, so don’t say that! Stop accusing her of shit you know nothing about. Blaire isn’t a whore. She’s a virgin, Nan. A virgin. You want to know why she’s a virgin? Because she spent her teen years taking care of her sick mother while running the household and going to school. She had no time to be a kid. She had no time to sow any wild oats. She was abandoned by her father for you. So if anyone should hate someone, she should hate you.”

Nan straightened her spine, her tears now dry. Which made this easier on me. I was all Nan had in the world, and I knew that. I didn’t want her thinking I had abandoned her. She was always going to be my little sister. But she was an adult now, and it was time she started acting like one. “And you. She should hate you, too,” Nan said, then turned and headed for the door. I didn’t call her back. I was too exhausted to deal with her any more today. I trusted she would leave Blaire alone for now.

I spent the rest of the day pushing Nan’s words from my head. I focused on getting Blaire a phone and then buying the things that I needed to make her a meal. A good one. Something to impress her and get her to talk to me. To forgive me for completely shutting down on her last night.

I knew she wouldn’t accept the phone from me, so I left a note in her truck telling her it was from her dad. I hated giving that stupid f**ker any credit, but I wanted Blaire to take the phone. I needed her to have a phone for my sanity. If I was going to keep her safe, then she needed it.

Glancing at the time, I realized she was more than likely in her truck by now. I picked up my phone and pressed her number, which I had saved in my phone.

“Hello,” she said softly. I could hear the confusion in her voice. Had she not read the note?

“I see you got the phone. Do you like it?” I asked.

“Yes, it’s really nice. But why did Dad want me to have it?” she asked. That was why she was confused. She didn’t expect the selfish bastard to do anything for her like this. She wasn’t an idiot.

“Safety measure. All females need a phone. Especially ones who drive vehicles older than they are. You could break down at any moment,” I replied, deciding that I would tell her why I wanted her to have a phone instead.

“I have a gun,” she said, with determination in her voice.

She was so sure she could take care of herself. “Yeah, you do, badass. But a gun can’t tow your truck.” There, let her argue with that. “Are you coming home?” I asked. I hadn’t thought about the fact that she might have plans tonight when I’d decided to cook her a meal and set up a seduction scene.

“Yes, if that’s OK. I can go do something else if you need me to stay away,” she replied. She still didn’t get it. She thought I wanted her to stay away. That there was anything else in the world I would rather do than be near her.

“No. I want you here. I cooked,” I said.

She paused, and I heard a surprised little intake of breath that made me smile. “Oh. OK. Well, I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

“See you soon,” I said, and I ended the call before she heard me laugh from pure fu**ing happiness. She was coming home. Here. To spend the night with me. I was fixing this. I was going to find a way to make her understand. I couldn’t lose her.

I went back to my food preparation. I didn’t cook for people often. Mostly just myself, when I really wanted something. Being able to cook something for Blaire was different. I enjoyed every damn minute of it.

She wasn’t used to being taken care of or pampered, and that was a damn shame. Blaire was the kind of female who should be cherished. I opened the fridge, pulled out a Corona and opened it, then sliced a lime and put it on the rim. Most girls I knew liked lime with their Coronas. I wasn’t sure Blaire was going to like beer, but I was making Mexican food, and you had to have a Corona with this meal.

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