Home > Just for Now (Sea Breeze #4)(17)

Just for Now (Sea Breeze #4)(17)
Author: Abbi Glines

Daisy nodded, and I handed her the remote to the flat-screen on my wall that I’d won last month in a poker game.

I looked back at Amanda and nodded toward the door. She walked toward it and I followed her out. Yeah, that skirt was way too short in the back. If she bent over, someone would see her sweet little ass. She was going to have to change. No question.

Closing the door behind me, I moved quickly and grabbed her waist, then turned her around to face me and pressed her up against the fridge.

“You were gone when I woke up,” I whispered before kissing the corner of her mouth.

“I woke up early,” she replied.

“I missed getting to see you all rumpled from sleep, touching you while that sexy, sleepy haze was still in your eyes.” I slipped my hand up her thigh and easily cupped her almost bare butt, thanks to the barely there panties she was wearing. “Manda.”

“Yeah,” she replied a little breathlessly.

“You’re gonna have to go change.”

She went still in my arms.

“I can’t let you go out like this. It’ll drive me crazy. This skirt’s too short, sweetheart. Guys will be looking, and I don’t want them looking.”

A slow smile spread across her full red lips. Thank God. She wasn’t going to get all pissy about this, because I really didn’t want to force her to do anything.

“You’re jealous?” she asked, almost as if she didn’t believe it as she said it.

“Hell yeah, I’m jealous,” I replied, running my hand over the soft skin of her bottom. “I’m not sharing this. I don’t want to think about other guys looking at you in this.”

Amanda’s smile got bigger, and I was real close to ripping these panties off and taking her against the fridge. The fact that my little sister was in the other room was the only reason I wasn’t inside her right this minute.

“I’ll change,” she replied, reaching up to touch my face. She kissed my cheek, then took in a deep breath as if she was smelling me. “So, last night . . . it wasn’t just a onetime thing?”

I would question how she could think that, if it wasn’t for the fact that I’d had sex with her before and walked away. She had every right to think I was going to walk again. She didn’t realize that I was incapable of pushing her away anymore. We’d gone too far.

“Last night changed everything,” I assured her before kissing the corner of her mouth. “I’ll never be able to get you out of my system. I don’t want to. I need you, Manda.” I covered her mouth with mine and slipped inside to taste her. This connection with her was the first thing in my life I was scared of. I’d never feared anything else—I could handle it. My brothers and sister I knew I’d be there. I could take care of them. I’d do whatever I had to, and I knew they’d love me. But this thing with Amanda—if I lost it, if I lost her, I would lose it all. In the screwed-up life I’d been dealt, she was my only source of comfort. Just being with her made everything else seem like it would be okay. I’d always be honest with her about everything . . . except the one thing that could take her from me. She’d never understand. Even if she did, she’d never be able to accept it. If she knew I slept with wealthy women for money, she’d leave me. She could never know.


Jason: Have you thought about that dinner in NYC yet?

The text from Jason came during my literature class. I stared down at my phone and tried to think of what I was going to tell him. If the decision was between him and Preston, then it was Preston. I liked Jason, and he was probably the safer of the two guys when it came to protecting my heart. But that was just it. I wasn’t worried about Jason hurting me, because I knew he didn’t have that power. We’d only gone out one time, and that was to my brother’s engagement party. It wasn’t like I’d led him on.

Tucking my phone back into my backpack, I decided I’d deal with him later. I needed to think about the proper response. The professor dismissed class, and I hurried back outside to my car to get back to Preston’s. I had promised to do Daisy’s hair, and if I was completely honest with myself, I was anxious to see Preston again. Last night and this morning almost seemed like I’d walked into one of my dreams.

Having Preston look at me with emotion in his eyes was amazing. And him telling me I had to change may have been a little barbaric, but honestly, I’d put on a pair of sweats if he asked me to. The fact that he was possessive of me and didn’t want other guys to look at me made my silly heart soar.

The bad thing was, I kept waiting for my alarm clock to wake me up. This didn’t seem real just yet. My phone started ringing, and I reached into my backpack to get it out. Preston’s number lit up the screen.

Smiling, I answered and put the phone to my ear. “Hey.”

“Hey. You out of class yet?”

Was he checking up on me? Really?

“Yeah, just got out.”

“You coming back here?”

“Um, I was planning on it. I promised to do Daisy’s hair, remember?”

He paused and sighed. Oh no, it was already ending. Time to wake up.

“That’s right. I just wanted to make sure your plans hadn’t changed. I need to run up to the gym and meet with Coach. I can’t leave Daisy here alone.”

Oh . . . he wasn’t trying to get rid of me.

“I just hate to ask you to come here and stay with her while I’m out.”

Smiling, I opened my car door and got inside. “I’m glad I can watch her for you. I was planning on spending the rest of the day with Daisy, so it’s no problem. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

Another pause. What was wrong with him?

“Okay. Thank you, Manda.”

Was he really this unused to people helping him out with the kids? “No need to thank me. See ya in a sec.” I clicked off and turned the car toward Preston’s.

The door to Preston’s apartment opened before I could knock. Preston reached out, grabbed my hand, and pulled me inside. His mouth was on mine immediately. It was different this time than it had been the other times. Something about it was desperate. Like he was trying to hold on to me. Was he worried that I was going to change my mind? After the way I’d chased him for months? I let my backpack fall to the floor, and I slid my hands into his hair. He needed some kind of reassurance from me. I was sure of that. So I gave it to him.

“I don’t want to leave you,” he said against my mouth as he closed the door behind me, then pressed me up against it.

“I’ll be here when you get back,” I assured him, then took a nip at his bottom lip before stroking the inside of his mouth again with my tongue.

“But I don’t want to leave,” he repeated. His voice was a little panicked sounding as his hands ran up the inside of my shirt and cupped my boobs. “I want you, Manda. Just you.”

I couldn’t help but smile. That sounded so good. “It’s just a workout, Preston. I’ll even give you a massage when you get back.”

His arms tightened around me, and I felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. He muttered a curse and then pulled away from me. He ran the pad of his thumb over my bottom lip. “I gotta go. I wish I didn’t.”

This clingy Preston was something new. I liked it, but then, it also bothered me a little. I didn’t want him to worry every time he left me that things would be different when he got back. Was he insecure? I’d never pegged Preston as insecure.

“The sooner you go, the sooner you get back,” I told him, biting down on his thumb that was still touching my lip. “Now go.”

Preston nodded and dropped his hand from my mouth. He started to say something more and stopped. I moved away from the door and watched as he opened it. He glanced back at me one more time before he left. I gave him a reassuring smile, and a slow, sexy smile touched his lips. I liked it when he was smiling. I didn’t want him worried or anxious. When he closed the door, I realized he hadn’t taken a bag with him. That was odd. Maybe he kept a change of clothes in his locker at the gym.

Chapter Fifteen


I couldn’t do it. Cassandra Gregory was one of my biggest clients. She’d sent many more wealthy women my way too. But damn if I could leave Amanda at my apartment and walk into this woman’s beach house and screw her. It would be a f**king miracle if I could even get it up. The guilt of having lied to Amanda and left her there taking care of Daisy was bad enough. Remembering how good it felt to be inside Amanda and having her cling to me and call out my name while she found release was a whole other issue. No one else was going to measure up to that. I’d see her and feel wrong. I couldn’t do this.

I pulled my Jeep into the parking lot of Cassandra’s beach house. I was going to have to tell her something. Anything to put this off. I needed the money. Jimmy had another orthodontist appointment for his braces next week, and I needed at least a thousand dollars for that. Then I needed to get new windows put in the kids’ rooms. Two of them were cracked. Jimmy had said it was wetting the wall and floor when it rained. The last thing I needed was for the trailer to get a rotten floor.

My phone rang. I glanced down to see my mom’s name light up the screen.

Shit. Not who I wanted to talk to right now. But if I ignored her, she could go over to the apartment while I was gone and Amanda was there.

“What?” I said angrily into the phone. It was all her fault I was even in this predicament.

“Bring Daisy home. She’s better by now. And my car’s got a flat tire. I need new tires.”

“I’ll bring Daisy home tonight if I think she is okay. And if you want new tires, get a damn job.”

Stupid bitch hated for me to pay the bills, but she sure didn’t mind asking me for money.

“You want me driving around on those bad tires of mine with your brothers and sister? Fine. I’ll drive ’em to school. They hate the bus anyhow.”

It was a threat she’d keep because she was just that vicious.

I glanced up at the house in front of me. I needed the money. I always needed more money. I should have forced the prick who Dewayne had invited to the poker game to pay me cash and not taken that damn flat-screen. It wouldn’t have been enough cash, but it would have helped.

“I’ll get your tires. But you better not drive the kids anywhere until I do.”

I hung up the phone and threw it in the passenger seat. Shutting off all emotion and locking any feelings I had for Amanda deep inside, I opened the door to my Jeep and stepped outside. I’d been doing this for three years now. I could do this. I had to.

Three hours later I parked my Jeep back at my apartment and got out, slamming the door behind me. I’d had enough time on the drive home to get very worked up. I kicked at my tire and slammed both hands down on the hood. Deep breaths. I needed to take deep breaths. My chest hurt, my stomach was twisted in knots, and the f**k money in my pocket was heavier than it had ever been. Before I’d let Amanda in, this had been easy. Now it was sick. I was a screwed-up son of a bitch, literally. I needed to feel whole again. I needed to be near Amanda. I stalked across the parking lot and made my way up the stairs, taking them two at a time. Seeing her and holding her would make it better.

The woman I’d just been paid well to entertain flashed in my mind, and I froze. I couldn’t touch Amanda right now. I had to get clean. I needed a shower. The hottest f**king shower I could stand. Amanda didn’t need to be close to the cheap, meaningless sex I’d just had.

I opened the door and walked in. The television in my room was on, and I could hear the girls talking. Before either of them realized I was home, I headed for the bathroom.


I heard the click of the front door closing and watched the bedroom doorway for Preston to appear. He didn’t. Glancing over at Daisy, who was now watching the television again after explaining to me that this girl was a bunch of kids’ nanny and a couple of them were adopted, I eased off the bed.

“I’ll be back,” I assured her when she turned her head full of curls to look at me. She smiled and went back to watching her show.

I closed the bedroom door on my way out and walked into the living room. The sound of the shower answered my question. Preston had come home from the gym all sweaty, and he wanted to get clean first. That was a shame. I’d have liked to see him sweaty.

I went over to the fridge and pulled out the fried chicken and biscuits that Daisy had helped me make earlier. Preston was sure to be hungry after being at the gym for three hours. I turned on the oven and put a chicken breast and a leg along with a couple of biscuits on a cookie sheet, then slid it inside. I wasn’t a fan of the microwave. I was more than positive it was the cause of all kinds of health problems.

The water in the shower turned off, and the butterflies in my stomach started up as I waited anxiously to see him again. It was ridiculous that I was so excited about it. He’d only been gone three hours.

When the bathroom door opened, Preston stepped out with nothing but a towel around his waist. There were no words for this. Nothing compared. His eyes met mine and a smile touched his lips.

“Hey you,” he said as he walked over to me. I was cemented to my spot in the kitchen.

“Hey,” I managed to reply. Keeping my eyes off his body and on his face was another problem.

“Something smells good.” He looked over at the oven, then back at me. “Did you cook?”


Preston lowered his head until his mouth hovered above mine. “Sexy as hell and she cooks. Dayum, baby, it don’t get no better.”

Giggling, I stood on my tiptoes to kiss his mouth before stepping back and checking on his chicken.

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