Home > Misbehaving (Sea Breeze #6)(7)

Misbehaving (Sea Breeze #6)(7)
Author: Abbi Glines

Or I could leave. Get away from the lovebirds so I could think about my life some without having Jax’s life forced down my throat. “I’m leaving,” I replied.

“No need to. We’ve got a plane to catch in an hour. You’ll have the place to yourself. Maybe then you can figure out what the hell is eating at you and get over it.”

I could see the concern on Sadie’s face. She didn’t like seeing us like this. Normally, Jax and I got along well. I loved him. But right now everything in my life revolved around Jax and his fame. I was tired of it. I needed to figure out what I wanted for my life. My mother was convinced I was going to be a damn politician, and I was unhappy with life at school. Going back for the fall semester was gonna suck. Even at Harvard, everyone still seemed to care more about Jax than actually getting to know me.

“I’m sorry I’m being an ass. I just need some time alone to think,” I tried explaining.

Jax nodded. “I know. Figure it out. Then come home. I’m used to having you around in the summers. I miss you.”

Chapter Six

JESS

Momma was pacing back and forth in front of me while she smoked her third cigarette in a row. “I can’t believe you let that boy stay the night. Seeing his truck parked outside when I got home . . .” She shook her head, then took another long drag.

“Momma, he was passed out on the sofa. It ain’t like I had him snuggled up in my bed,” I replied, wishing she would sit down. It was never a good thing when Momma was pacing. It’s a miracle she didn’t put a bullet in Hank last night.

“He’s trash, Jess. You know this. What is wrong with you? I thought you’d finally got that out of your system. He’s got a kid, for God’s sake. What more does he have to do to you before you wake the hell up?”

I ran my hand through my tangled hair and sighed. She wasn’t listening to me. She didn’t believe that I had let Hank sleep over because he’d been drunk. She thought it meant something more. “I don’t want Hank. It’s over. But he needed to sleep it off. I didn’t see any harm in it.”

“Any harm in it? Really, baby girl? That’s what you’re gonna say? Do I need to remind you that when that boy snaps, he goes to swinging his fists like you’re his damn punching bag? I won’t do that again. I won’t. I’ll go to jail for shooting his ass before I let him back into your life.”

She never did understand Hank. No one did. Not even the woman he shared a kid with. “I’m done saving him. He can’t be saved. I know that.”

Momma crushed her cigarette into the small dish sitting on the table and stalked over to the coffeepot. “I’ve told you since y’all were kids that he would end up in jail one day or he’d end up dead. You never listened to me, and he hurt you over and over again.”

Hank had been a point of contention with me and Momma most of my life. Momma wanted me as far away from him as possible. I, however, couldn’t seem to turn my back on him. “I know.”

We sat there in silence as she sank down into the chair across from me. “You’re beautiful. You’ve always been a looker. Use those looks, baby. Use them to get the hell out of this life. Don’t waste them on the likes of Hank. This ain’t a life I want for you.”

“I went out with Jax Stone’s brother last night,” I blurted out. I hadn’t been going to tell her that. I doubted I would ever hear from Jason again. I had tried hard to get him to make a move on me and he’d turned me down over and over. He had been so polite about it too. Like he didn’t want to hurt my feelings. Which had only made it that much worse.

“Jax Stone, the rock star? His brother?” Momma asked, to clarify.

I nodded.

“So that’s who you were skinny-dipping with last night?”

Rolling my eyes, I took a drink of coffee. Figures Momma would have already heard about that. “Walt come to Jugs last night?” I asked.

She nodded. “Yeah. Told me he gave you another warning. I made it go away, though. He’s forgiven you.”

I didn’t want to think about how Momma made it go away. I tried not to think about that part of her life.

“So he wasn’t here when Hank’s stupid ass showed up?” she asked.

No, Jason wasn’t here. He had dropped me off and run. I shook my head.

“You invite him in?”

I could hear the unasked questions in her voice. She was wondering if I had slept with him. I stood up and walked over to the sink, then rinsed my cup before setting it down.

“Did you?” she repeated.

“Outta my league,” I replied, wishing I hadn’t told her about him. She would expect him to call me. She would question how I had messed that up. Momma didn’t understand that I couldn’t just make all men fall at my feet. Jason wouldn’t be my ticket out of this life. She didn’t need to get her hopes up.

“No one is out of your league,” she replied angrily.

I started to argue, when my phone rang. Holding my breath, I picked it up from the table and looked down at it. I had texted myself from Jason’s phone last night so I would have his number too. Not that I ever intended to use it.

His name lit up my screen. He was calling me. He had said he would call, but I hadn’t believed he ever would. Why was he calling?

“Is it him?” Momma’s voice snapped me out of my thoughts, and I glanced up at her curious expression. I simply nodded.

“Well, you gonna answer it or stare at it?”

She was right. I needed to answer it. I wanted to answer it. Didn’t I? Nervously, I slid my finger across the screen and lifted the phone to my ear. “Hello.”

A pause. One just long enough to cause my stomach to drop. I had waited too long to answer.

“Jess?” Jason’s voice replied on the other end. It was him.

“Yes.”

“Hey, it’s Jason. Seems you left your bat in my car again,” he said in an amused tone.

My small amount of joy plummeted. Of course. He was calling about the bat. It was why he had come back yesterday. “Oh. I’m . . . Yeah. Sorry about that.”

“What are you doing today?” he asked.

“I have a class. I’m taking some summer courses,” I replied.

He didn’t reply right away. It was almost as if he was surprised. “What about later? Tonight?”

I knew I should tell him he could drop the bat off and that my mom would be here. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to see him again. “I have to go to my cousin’s kid’s football game. He’s eleven and he asked me to come. Rock would also come get me and drag me there by my hair if he thought I was going to let his boy down. But . . .” I stopped myself. Should I invite him? Was that stupid? It was a youth football league game.

“I like football,” Jason said.

“Oh, well, then would you like to come . . . with me?” I had never been this nervous with a guy in my life. But then, I had never asked a guy to something that didn’t involve me ending up in the back of his truck later.

“Love to. What time should I pick you up?”

He wasn’t going to meet me there. He was going to take me. I stared at my mom, who was watching me with a pleased grin on her face. I couldn’t think like her. It would get me hurt. I had to remember who this was I was talking to. He wasn’t permanent.

“Six,” I finally told him.

“I’ll see you at six,” he replied. “Have a good day, Jess.”

“Uh, yeah, um, you too,” I stammered, before hanging up the phone and letting it fall to the table.

“So, he invited himself to the game. Guess he ain’t so outta your league after all. But he’s just for fun. Enjoy him, baby girl, but remember he’s just a man. He’ll marry a girl with a trust fund. Watch your heart.”

I looked up at her, suddenly confused. “I thought you were all for me landing a wealthy man.”

She frowned. “There’s wealthy and there’s filthy rich. He’s just your Logan. Don’t forget that.”

Who was Logan? I started to ask and changed my mind. Listening to my mother’s logic could confuse anyone. Momma didn’t trust men.

JASON

There were things you expected from a girl like Jess. Her waiting on me outside when I pulled in the driveway and not giving me a chance to get out and open her car door before she jerked it open was one of them. Her wearing a tight-ass pair of jeans hugging every curve she had was another. But I hadn’t been expecting to see Jess bend down and open her arms for a little girl to run into.

It made her softer. The walls she had built up around her seemed to vanish the moment the girl called out her name and wrapped her small arms around Jess’s neck.

“You came to see me!” the little girl exclaimed happily.

Jess laughed and pulled back so she could look into the little girl’s eyes. “I just saw you a few days ago, Daisy May. You act like we haven’t seen each other in a month,” Jess teased her.

Daisy May was Preston’s little sister—I knew that much from my time with Amanda. Daisy had been the flower girl in Marcus and Willow’s wedding. Rock had adopted Daisy May and her brothers when Preston’s mother passed away. Which meant that Amanda and Preston were going to be here. Shit. I hadn’t thought about that when Jess had said “my cousin’s kid.”

“Manda and Preston are here. Come see,” Daisy May said. Jess, apparently, was unaware of my past with Amanda. I was relieved by that. I didn’t want it to be awkward. Seeing Amanda and Preston the other night at Sadie’s dinner party had been our first real encounter in a long time. The dinner hadn’t been hard. It wasn’t like I was hung up on Amanda. I just didn’t think Jess was the kind of girl who would get along well with girls like Amanda. Even if Amanda had been the one openly defending Jess the other night when everyone was discussing her antics.

That was just Amanda. She was sweet and accepting of everyone.

“Lead the way,” Jess told her, and she glanced back at me. “Rock’s little girl,” Jess explained.

I started to tell her I knew who Daisy was because of the wedding and then again at Sadie’s dinner party the other night, but I closed my mouth. Bad idea. I just nodded. “She’s cute,” I replied instead.

“Yeah, she looks like Preston. Rock and Trisha couldn’t have kids, so they adopted Preston’s younger siblings when their momma died.”

I nodded again, feeling guilty for not admitting I already knew all this. It was strange that Jess hadn’t been at the wedding. I would have remembered her. She was hard to miss.

“Have you met Amanda? Marcus’s sister?” Jess asked as we reached the bleachers.

Here it was. My time to lie or tell the truth and explain.

“He was her friend at Marcus’s weddin’,” Daisy May informed her for me. I was surprised the kid remembered me.

Jess stopped walking and looked up at me. “You were at Marcus Hardy’s wedding?”

This was not where I wanted to discuss this.

“Yeah,” I replied, not able to lie to her.

She frowned. “I wasn’t even invited to their wedding. How did you get an invite?”

I glanced up at the people in the stands and saw Amanda watching us. Preston wasn’t there, but I knew he was here at the game. “I, uh . . .” Glancing back down at Jess, I forced a smile. “I was Amanda’s date.”

Jess’s eyes went wide. “What? And you walked away from that without Preston Drake beating the shit outta you?”

She didn’t seem mad. Maybe she liked Amanda. They couldn’t be friends . . . could they? The two of them couldn’t be any more opposite.

“Yeah, he wasn’t a fan, but it all ended well. For everyone,” I replied.

“Come see Manda,” Daisy May said, tugging on Jess’s hand. Jess glanced down at the girl, then back at me.

“Sadie fixed y’all up, didn’t she?”

I just nodded. No need to tell her I had been the one to pursue Amanda. I’d had Sadie help me, but it had been my idea.

Jess laughed and shook her head, then turned to walk up the steps.

What was so funny? I didn’t get a chance to ask before Jess’s ass in those jeans caught my attention and completely distracted me. I followed her up the stairs, and she led us straight to Amanda.

“Hey, I’m so glad you’re here. I haven’t seen you in weeks.” Amanda’s voice distracted me from being fascinated by Jess’s body in those jeans, and I jerked my gaze up to see Amanda standing up, smiling at Jess. She was shorter than Jess and thinner. Jess had curves that went on for miles. Amanda had the girl-next-door look.

“Drake’s got you all wrapped up. Wouldn’t be surprised if his possessive crazy ass wasn’t keeping you as far away from me as possible,” Jess drawled.

“Got that damn right,” Preston said as he stepped over the seat in front of us and went directly to Amanda’s side as if she needed guarding from someone.

Amanda slapped his chest. “Stop it. Jess is my friend and you know that.”

Really? Interesting.

Preston scowled and pulled Amanda closer to him before shifting his scowl to me. Then slowly, understanding lit his eyes as he glanced between the two of us. A smirk touched his lips. “So that shit was true? Dewayne said the two of you showed up together at Live Bay. I didn’t believe him,” Preston said, looking more than amused.

“Shut up, Drake,” Jess snapped, sitting down beside Amanda and then glancing up at me. “I’d introduce you, but seeing as how you dated his woman, Jason, I assume y’all have met.”

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