Home > Rush Too Far (Rosemary Beach #4)(10)

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

That was it. She had pushed me too damn far. I grabbed her hand and pulled her inside my house and backed her up against the wall. Caging her body in with mine felt good. It made my body hum with excitement that it didn’t need to be feeling. “I’m not designer. Get that through your head. I can’t touch you. I want to so damn bad it hurts like a motherfucker, but I can’t. I won’t mess you up. You’re . . . you’re perfect and untouched. And in the end, you would never forgive me.” There, let her laugh at me now. The soft O of her lips only had me craving her taste again.

“What if I want you to touch me? Maybe I’m not so untouched. Maybe I’m already tainted.”

I wanted to laugh this time. Did she not know that I was aware of what kind of girl she was? I caressed her face, needing to touch her somewhere. “I’ve been with a lot of girls, Blaire. Trust me, I’ve never met one as f**king perfect as you. The innocence in your eyes screams at me. I want to peel every inch of your clothing off and bury myself inside you, but I can’t. You saw me tonight. I’m a screwed-up, sick bastard. I can’t touch you.”

“OK,” she said, looking almost relieved. Had she been frightened that I wanted more with her? “Can we at least be friends? I don’t want you to hate me. I’d like to be friends,” she said, looking hopeful.

Friends? She thought I could be her friend? I closed my eyes so I couldn’t see her face. So I couldn’t get lost in her eyes. Being her friend wasn’t something I was sure I could do, but I knew I couldn’t tell this girl no. She was under my skin, and I was done for. I opened my eyes and looked at her heartbreaking, beautiful face. “I’ll be your friend. I’ll try my damnedest to be your friend, but I have to be careful. I can’t get too close. You make me want things I can’t have. That sweet little body of yours feels too incredible tucked underneath me,” I said, before lowering my head until my lips brushed against her ear. “And the way you taste. It’s addictive. I dream about it. I fantasize about it. I know you’ll be just as delicious in . . . other places.”

She leaned into me, and her breathing hitched. How was I supposed to be friends with her? She was so tempting.

“We can’t. Fuck me. We can’t. Friends, sweet Blaire. Just friends,” I whispered, then moved away from her and headed for the stairs. Space. We needed space. I was going to touch her if I didn’t get more space.

I reached the stairs, and the idea of her sleeping underneath them sliced through me. It was bothering me more and more every damn day. But how would I move her closer to me? We needed the space. She was safe under there.

“I don’t want you under those damn stairs. I hate it. But I can’t move you up here. I’ll never be able to stay away from you. I need you safely tucked away,” I explained, without looking back at her. I wanted to see if she believed me. I wanted to see her one last time. I wanted . . . more.

I couldn’t. I ran the rest of the way up the stairs and to my room, slamming and locking myself inside. I had to stay away from her.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

Grant was meeting me at the gym early this morning. We hadn’t gotten into a routine for our workouts yet this summer, but since I wasn’t sleeping that great, with Blaire haunting my thoughts, I figured I could get to the gym early with Grant before he went to work.

Blaire was still in her room when I pulled out of the driveway that morning, but the sun wasn’t up yet, either. I had to work out some of this aggression. If sex wasn’t going to happen anytime soon, then I would beat my body into submission with the weights. Maybe I could sleep after this.

Grant was waiting for me outside the gym in town. It wasn’t the one at the club, because Grant said that gym was for pussies. Real men worked out at real gyms, according to him. “About time you got here,” he grumbled when I walked up to him.

“Shut up. The sun’s not even up yet,” I replied.

Grant just grinned and took a swig of his bottled water. “You hydrate this morning?” he asked.

“No. I need some coffee. They have that in this place?”

Grant laughed loudly. “It’s a gym, Rush. Not Starbucks. Here,” he said, tossing me a bottle of water from his bag. “You need water right now. Coffee later.”

“I’m not liking your choice of gyms,” I informed him.

“Stop being a girl.”

We worked out for more than two hours before I was allowed some coffee. My lesson had been learned for the future: drink a cup before I leave the house.

“Party tonight?” Grant asked as we stepped outside the gym.

“Where?”

“Your place. Just a few people. You need the distraction from your roommate, and I need an excuse to persuade that friend of Nan’s—Bailey, I think—to visit my bed,” he said.

I winced. “A party at my place isn’t the way to make that happen. I had Bailey over last night. Didn’t end well.”

Grant stopped walking. “What? You didn’t get any? She seemed like a damn sure thing to me. I was sure she’d be all over you.”

“Blaire saw us before it got too heated, and it got screwed up. I sent Bailey home.”

Grant let out a low whistle. “Wow . . . so Blaire caught you, and you sent a girl away,” he said, shaking his head. “Dude. We need a party. We need girls over. Not Bailey, since you already went there, but some new girls. Nan has friends. You need to get your head out of Blaire Wonderland. Can’t happen. You know that.”

I nodded. He was right. It couldn’t happen. “Sure. Whatever. Invite who you want.”

The crowd was small. I was impressed with Grant for keeping it intimate. I kept my eyes toward the door, waiting for Blaire to get home. She wasn’t prepared for guests. She had to be tired after the late night last night. I intended to keep the music down and to keep people off the stairs so she could sleep. I considered letting her sleep in one of the guest bedrooms just for tonight so she could rest. People could be here late. It could get louder.

No. No. I wouldn’t be able to stay away from her. Not a good idea. She had to stay under the stairs. It was safer there. She could sleep; I’d make sure she could.

“Rush!” Grant called from the balcony. I glanced back at the door before heading outside to see what he wanted. I couldn’t stay out there long. I had to get back to watching for Blaire.

“Yeah?” I asked Grant, who was sitting on the lounge chair with a new girl in his lap. He pointed with his beer bottle toward Malcolm Henry. I hadn’t seen him since he had arrived in Rosemary Beach. His parents lived in Seattle, and the last I heard, he was attending Princeton.

“Malcolm can’t get tickets to Slacker Demon’s Seattle stop next month,” Grant said, grinning.

I didn’t normally get people tickets to see my dad’s band on tour, but Malcolm had been a friend of Grant’s growing up. He’d also been close to Tripp Montgomery, and Tripp was my friend. Even if I hadn’t seen him since he’d run off a couple of years ago.

“I’ll make a call,” I told him, and Grant’s grin grew.

“Tell anyone, and I’ll beat your ass,” Grant warned Malcolm, still grinning. “He doesn’t dish out tickets for just anyone. He’s doing this for me, so don’t f**k it up.”

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 br**sts, 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 f**ker. 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.

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