Home > Rush Too Far (Rosemary Beach #4)(5)

Rush Too Far (Rosemary Beach #4)(5)
Abbi Glines

“Drink up,” Jace said, smiling. The blonde on his arm looked familiar, but Rosemary Beach wasn’t a big place. I’d probably been with her at some time myself.

“Hey, Rush,” the girl said with a flirty smile, and I realized I did know her. Couldn’t remember her name, though.

I nodded and threw back the tequila. I wasn’t much for shots, but if I was going to have to endure this place, I needed to have a few shots of something.

“You lost?” Grant asked with a chuckle as he walked up beside me.

I smirked. “Probably,” I replied. “Are you?”

He glanced back over his shoulder. “No. I’m here because of Nan.”

Frowning, I followed his gaze and saw Nan stumbling around and laughing loudly while some guy I didn’t know held on to her barely clothed body. “What the fuck?” I had started to move around him when he grabbed my arm.

“Don’t. She likes him. They’re dating. But she’s been drinking a little too heavily lately. Thought I’d come check on her, and this is what I found. Just stand back and watch. If either of us does something too soon, she’ll leave with the dick, and we’ll both be dealing with more drama than we want.”

He was right. Nan was an adult. I wasn’t her daddy, and I needed to let her make her own mistakes. Clearing her path was exhausting, and it wasn’t helping her. “You ask around about him?” I said.

Grant put a beer in my hand. “Let’s go sit and wait. I think she’s fine. He’s Charles Kellar, Old Morrison’s grandson. Goes to Harvard. Here visiting his grandparents this week.”

At least he was her age. I took a drink of the beer and watched as Nan pulled the guy out to the dance floor and kicked off her spiked heels. At least she wouldn’t break her damn ankle.

“She’s not taking the Blaire thing well, is she?” Grant asked.

I shrugged. I wanted not to give a shit that Nan was upset. She needed to grow the f*ck up and realize she wasn’t the only person on the planet. But I couldn’t not care. “No. But she needs to accept it. It’s not like I’m sleeping with Blaire. I’m just giving her a place to stay,” I replied.

“But you wanna sleep with her,” Grant said, grinning.

“Shut up,” I snarled, and shot him a warning glance.

“Damn, Rush, I want to sleep with her. No, I take that back. I want to f*ck her gorgeous brains out. She’s—”

I was out of my seat and in his face so fast I surprised myself. “Don’t!” I yelled. I took a deep breath to get control of the sudden anger boiling inside me. “Stay away from her. Do. You. Understand. Me.”

Grant didn’t shrink back or nod in fear of pissing me off. Instead, my brother chuckled. “Holy fuck,” he muttered, and shook his head. “She’s gotten to you.”

That had me backing up and shaking my head. He didn’t know what he was talking about. I just didn’t like someone helpless and sweet being talked about like that.

“Rush, I didn’t think you’d come t’night,” Nan slurred as she sauntered up to our table and grabbed the empty stool in front of her to steady herself. “You’ve met Charles? Or no? I can’t remember,” she said, and pulled herself up to sit on the stool.

“No, I haven’t,” I replied, glad for the interruption, even if it was a drunk Nan.

“Charles Kellar,” the guy said, holding out his hand. “Are you Rush . . . Finlay?” he asked, his eyes going a little wide as he said my last name with an almost reverent tone. He was a fan of my father’s. I knew that look.

I nodded and took a drink of my beer while ignoring his hand. I wasn’t shaking the fucker’s hand. I knew his kind. He’d found out Nan’s connection to Slacker Demon and managed to squeeze his way into her good graces. Stupid shit didn’t realize he was one of many. I’d been down this road before. A sober Nan would have spotted this bullshit right away.

“He’s a big fan of Dean’s,” Nan said, rolling her eyes and waving her hand toward Foster. “I already know. He’s using me to meet you, and I’m using him because he’s a really good fuck,” she said way too loudly.

Grant was out of his seat and moving before I could say anything. “I got her,” he told me. I nodded in his direction before looking back at Foster. Nan squealed and fussed at Grant, but he used his charming ways to soothe her as he moved her toward the exit.

“I don’t take well to douchebags using my sister. You do yourself a favor and stay the f*ck away from her. I like your grandparents, but I don’t give a f*ck who they are. Don’t f*ck with my family. Understood?” I kept my tone low and even, as Foster’s eyes went wide and he nodded. Slamming down my beer, I stood up and followed the same route Grant had taken with Nan earlier.

Grant’s truck was gone when I finally made it to the parking lot. He was taking Nan home. I didn’t have to call him to check on that. I headed for my car and decided it was safe to go home now. Blaire should be in bed. I wouldn’t have to see her.

The relief I felt at seeing her beat-up truck safely parked in the driveway was something I wasn’t in the mood to admit right then. Yes, I was getting obsessive over her safety, but that was because I was a fu**ing protector. My mother had forced that role on me at a young age, and it was in my damn blood now. I couldn’t help it. Nothing more.

If we were lucky, Blaire would be asleep.

CHAPTER EIGHT

Two days had passed since I’d seen Blaire. Avoiding her hadn’t been easy. Fighting the urge to come downstairs and see her every morning was hard. But that wasn’t why I was breaking my rule today. At least that was what I was telling myself.

Grant had shown up drunk with one of his regular girls. I didn’t know if they would be up early, but I didn’t want Blaire encountering them in the kitchen. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t want her getting the wrong idea if the girl was there alone. She’d already made her feelings about my sex life very clear. I should have let her think this was another one of my hookups . . . but I was heading downstairs anyway. Unable to stop myself.

“Did you just come out of the pantry?” the girl, whose name I couldn’t remember, was asking Blaire in a confused tone. I took longer strides, needing to get into that damn kitchen and shut the girl up. Blaire didn’t have to answer to her.

“Yes. Did you just come out of Rush’s bed?” Blaire asked. Her soft voice curled around the words, making the question seem innocent. I slowed down, surprised to detect a territorial undertone.

“No. Not that I wouldn’t get into his bed if he’d let me, but don’t tell Grant that. Never mind. He probably already knows,” the girl said.

I stopped at the doorway and searched the kitchen for Blaire. She was standing on the other side of the island. The girl was between us, hindering my view.

“So you just got out of Grant’s bed?” Blaire asked. I bit back a smile. The confusion in her voice sounded awfully like relief to me.

“Yep. Or at least, his old bed.”

“His old bed?” Blaire asked.

I fought the urge to remain and listen to just how far Blaire would go with her questioning. I fu**ing liked it. She gave a shit, and I liked it. Damn, this was bad.

The girl moved, and Blaire’s eyes shifted until they locked with mine. I was caught. Conversation over. Time to fix what was becoming an issue. Me dealing with interest in Blaire was one thing; her having interest in me was another. She knew nothing. I couldn’t let her like me. Not even a little. In the end, she’d hate me, and I never needed to know what it felt like to have her feel anything other than lack of interest toward me.

“Please, don’t let me stop you, Blaire. Continue to give Grant’s guest the third degree. I’m sure he won’t mind,” I told her, as I leaned against the doorway and acted as if I were getting comfortable.

Blaire’s eyes went wide before she ducked her head and dusted crumbs off her hands into the garbage can. I had never actually seen her eat. I was glad to see signs that she was eating.

“Good morning, Rush. Thanks for letting us crash here last night. Grant drank entirely too much to drive all the way back to his place,” the girl said.

“Grant knows he has a room when he wants it,” I said, without looking at the girl. I kept my eyes on Blaire, then made my way over to the island.

“Well, uh, I guess I’ll run back upstairs, then.” The girl was still talking, but I ignored her. She wasn’t of any consequence to me. I’d prefer it if she left. When I heard her footsteps fade away down the hall, I closed the distance between Blaire and me.

“Curiosity killed the kitty, sweet Blaire,” I told her, loving the way her cheeks turned pink. “Did you think I’d had another sleepover? Hmmm? Trying to decide if she had been in my bed all night?” Fuck, I wanted to touch her. She was shifting nervously, but for just one goddamn minute, I wanted to feel her close to me. No! I had to remember who she was. What I’d done. That keeping her away from me would save us both in the end. “Who I sleep with isn’t your business. Haven’t we gone over this before?” She was supposed to be angry with me. She wasn’t supposed to be looking at me with those big, defenseless eyes. Unable to keep my hands off her, I reached over and wrapped a lock of her hair around my finger. The silky texture made me tremble slightly. I was getting too close. This was wrong, and it was dangerous. “You don’t want to know me. You may think you do, but you don’t. I promise.”

If she would just see that, this would be easier. But instead of running from me, she kept looking at me like there was something more here. Something other than an arrogant as**ole. How the f*ck was she seeing through the persona I was projecting for her? She wasn’t supposed to see anything other than the spoiled brat the world assumed I was.

“You aren’t what I expected. I wish you were. It’d be so much easier,” I whispered, realizing I had said it out loud. Dropping her hair, I stepped back, then turned and left the kitchen. I needed to stay away from her. But how the f*ck could I do that with her in my house?

It had taken me hours to finally fall asleep, only to be woken up by my phone ringing. Rolling over, I grabbed my cell phone off my nightstand and squinted against the light of the screen. It was Will. My little cousin. Shit. Not again.

“What?” I snarled into the phone, already knowing why he was calling. He had either run away again and was on his way to my house, or he was already at my house and needed to get inside. My mother’s sister was a bitch. A raging bitch. I understood that completely, but the kid couldn’t keep running away. Especially to here.

“I’m outside,” he said.

“Shit, Will. What is it this time?” I asked, throwing the covers back and searching for a pair of discarded sweats to pull on.

“She’s making me go to camp. All fu**ing summer,” he replied. “In Ireland!”

Which translated into: she wanted a summer free of the burden of motherhood and was getting ready to ship him off. It would probably be the best summer of his life. A summer free of her.

I ended the call and threw the phone down before making my way downstairs to the front door. Opening it, I winced at the sight of Will holding an overnight bag as if I would actually let him move in. I had raised one kid; I wasn’t raising another.

“You’re going home in the morning. You will fu**ing love Ireland. Go to Grant’s room for the night. Sleep there,” I grumbled, closing the door behind him.

“I don’t even speak Irish,” he complained.

How the f*ck had this kid made it to high school? “They speak English, you dipshit,” I said, slapping him on the back of the head. “I’m exhausted. You woke me up. Now, go the f*ck to sleep.”

He nodded and slumped as if I had just ended his world. I ignored the pouting and followed him up the stairs. This wasn’t a first for us. Will ran away to my place whenever I was nearby. His mother liked to visit Rosemary Beach in the summers, so it happened most often then.

“You ever been to Ireland?” he asked, as he reached the door to the room he would be crashing in for the night.

“Yep. Gorgeous country. Now, go to sleep,” I replied, then headed back up to bed.

He was going home tomorrow, but I’d have to call Grant to come get him. As soon as I got to my aunt’s and he started fighting with her, I would cave and bring him back here with me.

Grant would be able to take him home. He had done it for me more than once.

CHAPTER NINE

My bedroom door slammed, and I sat up in bed, rubbing my face and trying to block out the sunlight.

“He’s back home,” Grant announced.

“Thanks,” I muttered. I had texted Grant last night about Will’s appearance and asked if he’d take Will home before he went to work that morning.

“Little shit is a handful. He tried to take Blaire home with him.” Grant chuckled.

At the sound of her name, I dropped my hand and looked at him. “She still here?” I asked.

Grant nodded his head toward the windows. “Out there. In a fu**ing bikini. I may stay here all day instead of going to work, if you don’t mind. Besides, you owe me one for taking Will home and dealing with the evil witch.”

I grabbed my discarded sweats and yanked them on quickly before walking over to the window.

Miles and miles of empty beach stretched just beyond my front yard. Blaire was lying out there with her eyes closed and her face tilted toward the sunshine. Yeah . . . Grant’s ass was going to work. He wasn’t staying here to sit around and stare at her all day.

“She’s gonna burn,” Grant said in a hushed whisper, and I tore my gaze off Blaire to see him staring down at her just as reverently as I was. Fuck that.

“Don’t look,” I snapped, and moved back from the window.

Grant let out a laugh. “What the hell does that mean, ‘Don’t look’?”

It meant not to fu**ing look. “I don’t . . . just . . . you remember who she is. She’ll hate us, and she’ll leave soon. So don’t.” I wasn’t sure what I was saying. I just wanted him to stop looking at her. She was barely covered up, and all her smooth skin was right there for anyone to see. I didn’t want anyone to see it.

“She won’t hate us, just you. And Nan. And her father. But I didn’t do shit,” Grant said.

My hands clenched into fists at my sides, and I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. He was doing this on purpose. He wanted to see if I reacted to her. He was trying to piss me off. “Don’t you have work to do?” I asked calmly.

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