Home > Fallen Too Far (Rosemary Beach #1)(15)

Fallen Too Far (Rosemary Beach #1)(15)
Author: Abbi Glines

I tapped on contacts and saw that I only had three numbers saved in my phone. The first one was Bethy, then Darla, and then Rush. He'd put his number in here. That surprised me.

The phone started playing a Slacker Demon song I'd heard on the radio before and Rush's name flashed on the screen. He was calling me.

"Hello," I said, still not sure what to think of this.

"I see you got the phone. Do you like it?" Rush asked.

"Yes, it's really nice. But why did Dad want me to have it?" He hadn't cared much about anything else I'd needed over the years. This seemed trivial.

"Safety measure. All females need a phone. Especially ones that drive vehicles older than they are. You could break down at any moment."

"I have a gun," I reminded him.

He chuckled. "Yeah, you do, badass. But a gun can't tow your truck."

Point made.

"Are you coming home?" he asked. The way he said "home" like his house was my home too made me feel warm inside. Even if he hadn't meant it that way.

"Yes, if that's okay. I can go do something else if you need me to stay away."

"No. I want you here. I cooked."

He'd cooked? For me? "Oh. Okay. Well, I'll be there in a few minutes."

"See you soon," he said and the line went dead.

Here he went being incredibly strange again.

When I walked into the house the distinct smell of taco seasoning met my nose. I closed the door and headed for the kitchen. If this was actual homemade Mexican food then I was going to be seriously impressed.

Rush's back was to me as I entered the kitchen.  He was humming along to a song I didn't recognize playing over the sound system. It was smoother and slower than what he normally listened to. A bottle of Corona was opened on the bar with a slice of lime on the rim. I'd fixed many just like that while working on the course.

"Smells good," I said. Rush glanced back over his shoulder and a slow smile spread across his face.

"It is," he replied, wiping his hands on the hand towel beside him. He picked up the Corona and handed it to me. "Here, drink up. The enchiladas are almost finished. I need to flip the quesadillas and they need a few more minutes. We should be ready to eat soon."

I put the Corona to my lips and took a small sip. Mostly for courage. This was not how I expected our next encounter to go. Rush was a puzzle that I might never figure out.

"I'm hoping you eat Mexican," he said as he pulled the enchiladas out of the oven. Rush Finlay did not look like someone who belonged in the kitchen cooking.  But dang, if he wasn't sexy doing it.

"I love Mexican food," I assured him. "I will admit I'm really impressed that you can cook it."

Rush looked up at me and winked. "I got all kinds of talents that would blow your mind."

I had no doubt. I swallowed a larger gulp of the Corona.

"Easy girl. You gotta eat something too. When I said drink up I didn't mean for you to gulp it down."

I nodded and wiped off the small drop that was clinging to my bottom lip. Rush watched me intently. It made my hand shake a little.

He turned his eyes away quickly and started taking the quesadillas off the skillet. He put them on a platter full of hard and soft tacos. There were even burritos. He'd made some of everything.

"Everything else is on the table already. Grab me a Corona out of the fridge and follow me."

I quickly did as I was told and hurried after Rush. He didn't stop in the dining room. Instead, he stepped outside onto the large back porch overlooking the ocean. Two hurricane lamps stood in the middle of the table so that we could have candlelight without it blowing out.

"Sit. I'll fix your plate," he said, motioning for me to take a seat at the first seat we came to. There were only two out here.

I sat down and Rush began to dish one of everything onto my plate. Then he put the tray of food down and placed the napkin from beside my plate on my lap. His mouth was so close to my ear that his warm breath made me shiver.

"Can I get you another drink?" he whispered in my ear before standing back up.

I shook my head. I wouldn't be able to drink if he was going to do things like that. My heart was racing like crazy already. I couldn't swallow a thing like this.

Rush picked up his drink and took the seat across from me. I watched as he fixed his plate then his eyes lifted to mine. "If you hate it, don't tell me. My ego can't handle it."

I was sure nothing he made would taste bad. I grinned and picked up my fork and knife to cut off a small piece of the enchilada he'd placed on my plate. There was no way I could eat all this but I could taste some of everything.

The minute it touched my tongue it surprised me. It was as good as any I'd eaten at a Mexican restaurant. Smiling, I looked at him. "It's delicious and I can't say I'm surprised."

Rush put a forkful in his mouth and smirked. His ego could never be crushed. It might even need to be brought down a few pegs. I started to taste the other things and found myself hungrier than I'd first thought. Everything was so good I didn't want to waste anything.

After my fourth taste of everything on the plate, I knew I had to stop. I sipped my Corona and settled back in my seat. Rush was washing down his food as well. Once he finished he set the bottle down and his eyes went serious. Uh-oh. We were about to talk about last night. I had wanted to forget last night. Especially since tonight had been so nice.

"I'm sorry about how Nan treated you today," he said with a pained sincere voice.

"How did you know about that?" I asked suddenly feeling uncomfortable.

"Woods called me. He was warning me that Nan would be asked to leave the next time she was rude to an employee.

Woods was a nice guy. He could be a little too much at times but he was a good boss. I nodded.

"She shouldn't have spoken to you that way. I've had a talk with her. She promised me it wouldn't happen again. But if it does, somewhere else, then please come tell me."

This had been an apology meal for his younger sisters bad behavior, not a mending of fences between us. I wasn't on a romantic date like my imagination had managed to concoct in my head. This was just Rush apologizing for Nan.

I pushed my chair back and picked up my plate. "Thank you. I appreciate the gesture. It was very nice of you. I assure you that I don't intend to tattle to Woods if Nan is rude to me in the future. He just happened to witness it first-hand today." I picked up my drink. "Dinner was lovely. Nice to have after a long day at work. Thank you so much." I didn't make eye contact with him. I just wanted to get away from him.

Hurrying inside, I rinsed off my plate and placed it in the dishwasher before rinsing out my bottle and putting it in the recycle container.

"Blaire," Rush said from behind me and his body was suddenly right there caging me in. His hands were on each side of the counter and all I could do was stand there and look down at the sink in front of me. His hard warm body brushed against my back and I bit my tongue to keep from making a whimper. I would not let him see how he affected me.

"This wasn't an attempt to apologize for Nan. It was an attempt to apologize for me. I'm sorry about last night. I lay in bed all night wishing you were there with me. Wishing I hadn't pushed you away. I push people away Blaire. It's a protective mechanism for me. But I don't want to push you away."

Walking away from him and keeping him at a distance was the smart thing to do. Rush wasn't and never would be anyone's Prince Charming. I couldn't ever let myself think he was the one who would love me and cherish me. He would never be that guy for me. But my heart had grown a little attached to him. It didn't mean forever but for right now I wanted Rush to be my first. He wouldn't be my last. He'd just be a stop along the path of life. A stop I might never forget or get over. That was what scared me the most. Not being able to move on.

He reached up and brushing my hair from the side of my neck and then pressed a kiss to the curve of my shoulder. "Please. Forgive me. One more chance, Blaire. I want this. I want you."

Rush would be my first. It just felt right. Inside I knew he was meant to be the guy that taught me about life. Even if he broke my heart eventually. I turned in his arms and slipped my hands around his neck.

"I'll forgive you on one condition," I said, gazing up into his emotion-filled eyes that made me hope for so much more.

"Okay," he said cautiously.

"I want to be with you tonight. No more flirting. No more waiting."

The worried expression was instantly gone and replaced with a hungry gleam.

"Hell, yes," he growled and pulled me against him.

Chapter Eighteen

Rush didn't start off easy. His mouth was forceful and demanding. I was glad. It was romantic. It was real. He was also wearing his tongue barbell. I hadn't noticed it earlier but I felt it. The flick of his tongue was wicked with that thing involved. I liked tasting something I knew was unattainable.

Both of his hands cupped my face. His kisses slowed and then he pulled back still holding my face in his hands. "Come with me upstairs. I want to show you my room," he flashed me a naughty smile, "and my bed."

I nodded and Rush dropped his hands from my face. He slipped one of his hands into mine and threaded our fingers then squeezed. Without a word, he led me to the stairs pulling me gently up them in his hurry to get there. Once we got to the second floor, he pressed me up against the wall and kissed me fiercely, nipping at my lips and stroking my tongue. He jerked back and took a deep breath. "One more flight of stairs," he said in a gravelly voice and pulled me toward the door at the end of the hallway. We passed my room and he paused. At first, I thought he might want to go in there instead but he didn't stop until we reached the narrow door at the end of the hall. I'd wondered if that was the staircase leading to his room. He pulled out a key to unlock it, then opened the door and motioned for me to go ahead of him.

The stairwell was hardwood like the other set but there were walls on either side as we climbed the steep steps.

Once I reached the top step, I froze. The view was breathtaking. The moonlight highlighted the ocean giving the room the most fabulous backdrop imaginable.

"This room is why I had mom buy this house. Even at ten years old I knew this room was special," Rush whispered from behind me wrapping his arms around my waist.

"It's incredible," I breathed in a hushed voice. I felt as if talking too loud would ruin the moment.

"I called my dad that day and told him I'd found a house I wanted to live in. He wired my mother the money and she bought it. She loved the location so this is the house we spent our summers in. She has a house of her own in Atlanta but she prefers it here."

He was talking about himself. His family. He was trying. My heart melted a little more. I should stop him from edging his way any more into my heart. I didn't want it to hurt when it was over and he walked away. But I wanted to know more about him.

"I'd never want to leave," I replied in all honesty.

Rush kissed my ear softly. "Ah, but you've not seen my cabin in Vale or my flat in Manhattan."

No, I hadn't and I never would. However, I could picture him in those places. I had watched enough television to know what they looked like. This winter I could see him by a roaring fire in an elaborate cabin in the mountains with snow covering the ground outside. Or relaxing in his flat overlooking Manhattan. Maybe from his windows he could see big Christmas tree they always put up every year.

Rush turned me to the right until I was facing a king size bed. It was solid black. The bed itself and the quilt that covered it. Even the pillows were black. "And that's my bed," he said walking me toward it with his hands on my hips. I would not think about all the girls who had been here before me. I would not. I closed my eyes and blocked that thought out completely.

"Blaire, even if all we do is kiss or just lay there and talk, I'm okay with that. I just wanted you up here. Close to me."

Another little inch or two wedged into my heart. I turned around and looked at him, "You don't mean that. I've seen you in action Rush Finlay. You don't bring girls to your room and expect to just talk." I tried to sound teasing but my voice cracked when I mentioned the other girls.

Rush frowned, "I don't bring girls up here at all, Blaire."

What? Yes he did.

"The first night I came here you said your bed was full," I reminded him.

He smirked. "Yeah, because I was sleeping in it. I don't bring girls to my bedroom. I don't want meaningless sex tainting this space. I love it here."

"The next morning a girl was still here. You'd left her in bed and she came looking for you in her undies."

Rush slipped a hand underneath my shirt and began rubbing small circles on my back. "The first room to the right was Grant's room until our parent's divorced. I use it as my bachelor pad room now. That's where I take girls. Not here. Never here. You're my first," he paused and a grin tugged on his lips, "well, I let Henrietta come up here once a week to clean but I promise there is no hanky-panky going on between us."

Did this mean I was different? I wasn't one of many? God, I hoped so. No... no I didn't. I had to get a grip. He would be leaving me soon. Our worlds did not converge. They didn't even come close to each other.

"Kiss me, please," I said, standing on my tiptoes and pressing my mouth against his before he could protest or suggest we talk again. I didn't want to talk. If we talked I'd want more.

Rush pushed me back onto his bed and covered my body with his while his tongue tangled with mine. His hands ran down the sides of my body until he found my knees. He pulled my legs apart and settled in between the space he'd created.

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