Home > Fallen Too Far (Rosemary Beach #1)(11)

Fallen Too Far (Rosemary Beach #1)(11)
Author: Abbi Glines

"What are your plans for today?" Rush asked once I swallowed.

I shrugged. "I don't know yet. I thought I'd look for an apartment maybe."

Rush's jaw ticked and his body tensed up again. "Stop talking about moving out, okay? I don't want you moving until our parents get home. You need to talk to your dad before you run off and start living alone. It isn't exactly safe. You're too young."

This time I did laugh. He was being ridiculous. "I am not too young. What is it with you and my age? I am nineteen. I'm a big girl. I can live on my own safely. Besides, I can hit a moving target better than most police officers. My skills with a gun are pretty impressive. Stop with the unsafe and too young thing."

Rush cocked an eyebrow. "So you really do have a gun?"

I nodded.

"I thought Grant was just being funny. His sense of humor sucks sometimes."

"Nope. I pulled it on him when he surprised me my first night here."

Rush chuckled and leaned back in his chair crossing his arms over his broad chest. I forced myself to keep my eyes at his face and not look down.

"I'd have loved to have seen that."

I didn't respond. It had been a bad night for me. Rehashing it wasn't something I was up for today.

"I don't want you to stay here just because you're young. I get that you can take care of yourself or you at least think you can. I want you here because... I like having you here. Don't leave. Wait until your dad gets back. It sounds like you two are way overdue for a visit. Then you can decide what you want to do. For now, how about you go upstairs and unpack? Think of all the money you can save living here. When you do move out then you'll have a nice padded bank account."

He wanted me here. The silly smile that tugged at my lips couldn't be helped. I'd stay and he was right I could save money. Once Dad got back I'd talk to him and then move. There was no reason to go if Rush wanted me here.

"Okay. If you really mean that then thank you."

Rush nodded and leaned forward to put his elbows on the table. His silver stare was leveled on me. "I mean it. But that also means that the friend thing with us needs to remain in full effect."

He was right, of course. Us living together and getting involved in any way would be difficult. Besides, once this summer was over he'd move off to another house somewhere. I didn't need that kind of heartache.

"Agreed," I replied. His shoulders didn't ease and his body remained strung tight.

"Also, you are going to start eating the food in this house when you're here."

I shook my head. No I wasn't. I was not a mooch.

"Blaire, this isn't up for argument. I mean it. Eat my damn food."

I pushed my chair back and stood up. "No. I will buy food and eat it. I am not... I'm not like my father."

Rush muttered something and he pushed back his chair and stood up. "You think I don't know that by now? You've been sleeping in a damn broom closet without complaint. You clean up after me. You don't eat properly. I am aware that you're nothing like your dad. But you are a guest in my home and I want you eating in my kitchen and treating like it's yours."

This was going to be an issue. "I'll put my food in your kitchen and eat it in here. Will that be better?"

"If all you intend to buy is peanut butter and bread then no. I want you eating properly."

I started to shake my head when he reached out and grabbed my hands in his. "Blaire, it will make me happy to know you're eating. Henrietta buys the groceries once a week and stocks this place expecting me to have a lot of company. There is more than enough. Please. Eat. My. Food."

I bit my bottom lip to keep from laughing at his pleading look.

"Are you laughing at me?" he asked with a small grin tugging at his lips.

"Yeah. A little," I admitted.

"Does this mean you're gonna eat my food?"

I sighed, "Only if you let me pay you weekly."

He started to shake his head no and I pulled my hands from his and started to walk away.

"Where are you going?" he asked from behind me.

"I'm done arguing with you. I will eat your food if I pay for my part. That's the only deal I will agree to. So take it or leave it."

Rush growled, "Okay fine. Pay me."

I glanced back at him. "I'm going to go unpack. Then take a bath in that big ole tub and then I don't know. I don't have plans until tonight."

A frown puckered his brow. "With who?"

"Bethy," I replied.

"Bethy? The cart girl who Jace messes around with?"

"Correction. The cart girl that Jace used to mess around with. She wised up and is moving on. Tonight we're going honky-tonking to pick us up some hard working blue collar men."

I didn't wait for him to respond. I hurried to the stairs and ran up them. Once I reached my new room, I closed my door behind me and sighed in relief.

Chapter Twelve

I might not have the clothes for Rush's parties but I had everything I needed to go to a honky-tonk.  It had been awhile since I'd worn my blue jean skirt. It was shorter than I remembered but it worked. Especially with my boots. 

Rush had left this morning while I was taking my bath and he hadn't been back since. I wondered if my room was off limits to his friends if he had a party here. I didn't like the idea of strangers having sex on my bed. I didn't really like the idea of anyone but me having sex on the bed I was supposed to sleep in. I wanted to ask but I wasn't sure how to go about asking something like that.

Leaving before Rush got back meant I wouldn't know what to expect. Should I plan to wash my bedding when I got home? The idea made me cringe.  When my foot hit the bottom step the front door swung open and Rush walked inside. When his eyes found me he froze and slowly took in my appearance. I wasn't dressed to impress his crowd but there was a crowd out there that I might get some attention from.

"Day-um," he muttered and closed the door behind him.

I didn't move. I was trying to figure out how to approach the strangers having sex on my bed thing.

"You, uh, wearing that out to go clubbing?" he asked.

"It's called honky-tonking. I'm pretty sure it's a completely different thing," I corrected him

Rush ran his hand over his short hair and let out a sigh that sounded somewhat frustrated and somewhat amused. If he was about to start making cracks about my clothing I might throw my boot at him.

"Can I come with y'all tonight? I've never been honky-tonking."

What? Did I just hear him correctly?

"You want to go with us?" I asked in confusion.

Rush nodded and his eyes trailed down my body once again. "Yeah, I do."

I guess he could go too. If we were friends then we should be able to hang out together.

"Okay. If you really want to. We need to leave in ten minutes though. Bethy is expecting me to pick her up."

"I can be ready in five," he said and took the stairs two at a time as he ran up them.

That was completely not what I had expected. Strange turn of events.

Seven minutes later, Rush was back down the stairs and dressed in a pair of snug jeans and a tight black tee shirt that had Slacker Demon written on the front in a white gothic print. The emblem that was on his shoulder also graced the tee shirt. The silver thumb ring was once again on his hand and for the first time since I'd met him he had a couple of small hoop earrings in his ear. He looked more like the son of a world famous rock star than he ever had. His black lashes made it permanently appear as if he were wearing eyeliner and that only added to the effect.

When my eyes made their way back up to his face he stuck out his tongue to flash his silver barbell at me and then winked. "I figure if I'm going to a honky-tonk with guys in boots and cowboy hats I needed to stay true to my roots. Rock and Roll is in my blood. I can't pretend to fit in anywhere else."

I laughed as he smirked at me. "You're going to look as out of place tonight as I do at your parties. This should be fun. Come on, rock star spawn," I teased and headed for the door.

Rush opened the door and stood back so I could walk outside. The guy could be so strange when he wanted to.  "Since your friend is riding with us, why don't we take one of my cars instead? We'd all be more comfortable than in your truck."

I stopped and glanced back at him. "But we'd fit in better if we took my truck."

Rush pulled out a small remote and one of the doors on his four car garage opened up. A black Range Rover with metallic rims and a perfectly shiny paint job sat in the spotlight. I couldn't disagree with him. We'd be much more comfortable in that vehicle.

"That's certainly impressive," I replied.

"Does that mean we can take mine? I'm not crazy about sharing a seat with Bethy. The girl likes to touch things without permission," Rush said.

I smiled, "Yes, she does. She's a bit of a flirt, isn't she?"

Rush cocked an eyebrow. "Flirt is a kind word for her."

"Okay. Sure. We can take the badass Rush Finlay's killer wheels if he insists."

Rush shot me a cocky grin and headed toward the garage. I followed close behind.

He opened my door for me, which was sweet but made this feel more like a date. I didn't need him messing with my head. I was firmly set that we were just friends. He needed to play the game right. "Do you open all your friend's car doors?" I asked, standing there looking at him. I wanted him to see the error of his very polite ways.

His easy smile disappeared and a serious expression took its place. "No," he replied, stepping back to head for the driver's door. I felt like a complete jerk. I should have just said thank you and overlooked it. Why did I have to be the one to remind him of his own rules?

Once we were inside the Range Rover Rush cranked it up and pulled out without a word. I hated the silence. I'd made it awkward. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to sound rude."

Rush let out a sigh and his shoulders eased. Then he shook his head. "No. You're right. I just don't have any female friends so I'm not good at balancing what I should do and what I shouldn't."

"So, you open doors for your dates? That's a very chivalrous thing to do. Your mother raised you right."

I felt a twinge of jealousy. There were girls out there that got that kind of treatment from Rush. Ones that he wanted to take out and be more than friends with.

"Actually, no I don't. I... you... you just seem like the kind of girl who deserves to have her door opened. It just made sense in my head at the moment. But I get what you're saying. If we're going to be friends I need to draw a line and stay behind it."

My heart melted a little more.

"Thank you for opening it for me. It was sweet."

Rush shrugged and didn't say anything else.

"We need to pick Bethy up at the club. She'll be at the office back behind the clubhouse at the golf course. She had to work today. She's showering and dressing there."

Rush turned toward the country club. "How did you and Bethy become friends?"

"We worked together one day. I think we were both in need of a friend. She's fun and free spirited. Everything I'm not."

Rush let out a laugh. "You say that like it's a bad thing. You don't want to be like Bethy. Trust me."

He was right. I didn't want to be like Bethy but she was fun to be around.

I sat quietly while Rush messed with the very expensive and complicated looking stereo system. We drove the short distance from his house to the country club. "Lips of an Angel" by Hinder began to play and it made me smile. I almost expected to hear some Slacker Demon.

When the Range Rover came to a stop outside the offices I opened my door and stepped out. Bethy wouldn't be looking for this ride. She'd be looking for my truck.

The office door swung open and she sauntered out in a pair of tiny red leather shorts, a cut off white halter-top, and white leather boots up to her knees.

"What the hell are you doing in one of Rush's rides?" she asked, all smiles.

"He's going with us. Rush wants to check out a honky-tonk too. So..." I trailed off and looked back at the Range Rover.

"This is seriously going to cramp your chances at picking up a man. Just saying," Bethy said as she walked down the steps and did a quick look at my outfit. "Or not. You look hot. I mean, I knew you were gorgeous but you look really hot in that outfit. I want me some real cowgirl boots. Where'd you get those?"

Her compliment was nice. I hadn't had girlfriends in so long. When Valerie had been killed the girls we'd been close to kind of faded out of my life. It was as if they couldn't be around me without remembering. Cain had become my only friend.

"Thank you, and as for the boots, I got them for Christmas two years ago from my mom. They were hers. I had loved them since she bought them and after she got, after... she got sick... she gave them to me."

Bethy frowned, "Your mom got sick?"

I wasn't in the mood to put a damper on things tonight. I nodded and forced a bright smile. "Yeah. But that's another story. Come on let's go find us some cowboys."

Bethy returned my smile and opened the back door on my side of the Range Rover. "I'll let you ride up front because I have a sneaky feeling that is where the driver wants you."

I didn't have time to respond before Bethy had hopped up in the Range Rover and closed the door behind her. I climbed back inside and smiled over at Rush who was watching me. "Time to go get our country on," I told him.

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