Rush Too Far (Rosemary Beach #4)(3) by Abbi Glines

The smell of perfume hit my nose, and I squinted against the sun, cursing whoever hadn’t closed the damn curtains last night. I rolled over, and the na**d body beside me made a noise. She’d stayed all night. Shit. I hated the ones who didn’t leave. They were the clingy ones. The ones who thought this was more than a fuck. Did she really think getting on her knees and sucking me off without telling me her name was going to win her points?

I stood up and found my jeans, then jerked them on. The girl yawned, and I decided I’d forgo the shirt and get the hell out while I had time. She’d get the hint when I was nowhere to be found. I opened the door slowly, slipped out into the hallway, and headed for the stairs. If I went to my room, she’d come knocking on my door. I could take off down the beach and get in a morning run. But first, I needed coffee.

I fixed a cup quickly, then headed toward the French doors leading outside. The moment I reached the door, I spotted her. That long, silky hair of hers was blowing in the breeze as she stood on my porch looking out at the water. I loved that view. It was peaceful. I wondered what she was thinking. Did she worry that Abe might not come back? Was she really going to find a way to leave? Or was she the mooch her father was?

After a night of sex with a nameless friend of my sister’s, I wondered what it would be like to get close to Blaire. She wouldn’t throw herself at me, and she sure as hell wouldn’t get on her knees and suck me off because I told her to. Why the f**k did the idea of innocence appeal to me? That was complicated. I didn’t do complicated. I couldn’t ignore her, though. Not this morning. I needed to see her face again and see if that sincere look was still there. Was she angry about sleeping under the stairs? Would the claws come out now?

“That view never gets old,” I said, causing her to spin around and gape at me.

I had startled her. I started to laugh when her gaze traveled down my bare chest and focused on my abs. What the hell? She was checking me out. Maybe she wasn’t that innocent. The idea made my stomach sour.

“Are you enjoying the view?” I asked, masking my disappointment with amusement. She blinked rapidly as if waking from a trance and lifted her gaze back to my face. I hated the idea of her throwing herself at me. I didn’t want her to be like the others. Why the f**k it mattered, I didn’t know, but it did. “Don’t let me interrupt you. I was enjoying it myself,” I told her, unable to keep the annoyance out of my voice. I took a sip of my coffee. Her face turned bright red, and she spun around to face the water again. Why did the simple fact that she’d been caught looking and gotten embarrassed make me so f**king happy? Damn. I couldn’t keep from laughing with relief.

“There you are. I missed you in bed this morning.” I recognized the voice from last night. Shit. I’d wasted time, and she’d found me. Blaire turned back to look at me, and then her eyes went to the girl pressing up against me. This was good. She needed to see what a sorry-ass piece of shit I could be. This was what I wanted. She’d stay away from me if she saw this. But the flash of interest in Blaire’s eyes as the girl ran her fingernails down my chest did things to me I didn’t want to admit.

“It’s time for you to go,” I said, moving her hand off of me and pointing in the general direction of the front door.

“What?” she asked with surprise in her voice, as if I hadn’t told her last night that this wasn’t happening again.

“You got what you came here for, babe. You wanted me between your legs. You got it. Now I’m done,” I reminded her.

“You’re kidding me!” she replied with an angry snarl. Maybe she hadn’t believed me last night. Her mistake.

I shook my head at my own stupidity and took another drink of my coffee. One day, I would learn that these hookups with a sleepover were trouble.

“You are not going to do this to me. Last night was amazing. You know it,” she said in a whiny voice as she reached for my arm, which I pulled out of her grasp. It wasn’t “Beg Rush” time anymore. We did that last night. It was fun. She got off more times than she could count. But for me, it was mediocre.

“I warned you last night, when you came to me begging and taking off your clothes, that all it would only ever be was one night of sex. Nothing more,” I said, annoyed that I even had to remind her.

I didn’t look back at her. I kept my eyes on the water and drank my coffee as if she’d already left. With a dramatic stomp of her feet, she left.

The horrified look on Blaire’s face made me quickly get over the interruption of last night’s mistake. “So how did you sleep last night?” I asked. It had to be cramped in that room, plus the stairs and the noise in the house probably sucked. This was her chance to complain. Show her true colors.

“Do you do that often?” she asked with an annoyed look on her face. That was adorable . . . dammit.

“What? Ask people if they slept well?” I wasn’t going to let that face get to me. She was leaving as soon as I talked to Abe. This was his problem, not mine. The fact that I enjoyed looking at her was even more of a reason to get her the hell out of here.

“Have sex with girls and then throw them out like trash,” she replied. Those big eyes of hers went wide, as if she were shocked at the words that had come out of her own mouth.

I wanted to laugh. She made it hard to stay focused. I set my cup down and stretched out on the lounge chair beside me. The best course of action was to get Blaire to hate me. I’d be doing us both a favor. If she hated me, I could easily keep my distance. “Do you always stick your nose where it doesn’t belong?” I asked.

Instead of the anger I expected to flash in her eyes, I saw remorse. Really? I had been an ass. She wasn’t supposed to look as if she were sorry for calling me out on my shit.

“Not normally, no. I’m sorry,” she said with an apologetic half-smile, and she hurried inside.

What the fuck? Had she just really apologized to me? Where did this girl come from? Women didn’t act like her. Had no one taught her not to back down from bullies?

I stood up and turned to look inside and found her picking up empty bottles and garbage littered all over the place from last night. I hated a mess, but I tried to overlook it when Nan wanted to party.

“You don’t have to do that. Henrietta will be here tomorrow,” I said, hating to see her clean up.

She put the bottles in with the trash she had collected and glanced back at me. “I just thought I’d help out.”

I was calling her father this morning. I needed to get her out of here. Until then, I had to make sure she hated me. “I already have a housekeeper. I’m not looking to hire another one, if that is what you’re thinking.” The harsh tone in my own voice made me want to wince, but I kept the bored look on my face. I had perfected it years ago. I could not look at her right now.

“No. I know that. I was just trying to be helpful. You let me sleep in your house last night.” Her voice was soft and pleading, as if she needed me to believe her. Fuck that.

We needed to set some ground rules before I fu**ed up. “About that. We need to talk.”

“OK,” she said in a whisper. Dammit, why did she look so defeated again? I hadn’t kicked her damn puppy.

“I don’t like your father. He’s a mooch. My mother always tends to find men like him. It’s her talent. But I’m thinking you may already know this about him. Which makes me curious. Why did you come to him for help if you knew what he was like?” I needed her to tell me something real. Or I needed to catch her in a lie. I couldn’t keep her here much longer. Those f**king long legs of hers and her big blue eyes were driving me crazy .

“My mother just passed away. She had cancer. Three years’ worth of treatments add up. The only thing we owned was the house my grandmother left us. I had to sell the house and everything else to pay off all my mother’s medical bills. I haven’t seen my dad since he walked out on us five years ago. But he’s the only family I have left. I had no one else to ask for help. I need a place to stay until I can find a job and get a few paychecks. Then I’ll get my own place. I never intended to be around long. I knew my dad wouldn’t want me here.” She paused and laughed, but it wasn’t real. It was filled with pain, which only twisted my gut. “Although I never expected him to run off before I arrived.”

Holy f**king hell. I was going to kill Abe Wynn. The motherfucker had abandoned his daughter while she took care of her ill mother? What kind of sick monster did that shit? I couldn’t kick her out. I was, however, about to make Abe’s life a living hell. The as**ole was going to pay for this. “I’m sorry to hear about your mom,” I managed to say through the blood boiling in my veins. “That’s got to be rough. You said she was sick for three years. So since you were sixteen?” She’d been a kid. He’d left her, and she’d just been a kid.

She simply nodded and watched me cautiously.

“You’re planning on getting a job and a place of your own,” I said, wanting to remind myself that this was her plan. I could help her long enough so that she could achieve this. Someone needed to help her, dammit. She was f**king alone. “The room under the stairs is yours for one month. You should be able to find a job and get enough money together to find an apartment. Destin isn’t too far from here, and the cost of living is more affordable there. If our parents return before that time, I expect your father will be able to help you out.”

She let out a small sigh, and her shoulders sagged. “Thank you.”

I couldn’t look at her. It made me want to murder Abe with my bare hands. Right now, I couldn’t focus on Nan and her need for a father. The man she wanted as a father was a bastard. A bastard I was gonna make pay for this shit. “I’ve got some things to do. Good luck on the job hunt,” I said, before walking away from her. I had a phone call to make.

CHAPTER FOUR

I let the phone ring three times before hanging up and dialing again. I would call my mother’s phone until she answered. She’d better not f**k with me, or I would turn the damn thing off and cancel her credit cards. She’d be calling me then.

“Honestly, Rush, is it really necessary to call me incessantly? If I don’t answer, leave a message, and I will return your calls when it’s convenient for me.”

“I don’t give a shit about your convenience. I want to talk to the motherfucker you’re married to. Now.”

Mom huffed into the phone. “I most certainly will not listen to my son talk to me that way, or to my husband. You can call back when you’re ready to speak with respect and—”

“Mom, so help me God, if you don’t put that man on the phone, your phone and credit cards will be shut down within the next ten minutes. Do not f**k with me.”

That shut her up. Her sharp inhalation was the only response I got.

“Now, Mom,” I repeated firmly.

There was muffled whispering before I heard Abe clear his throat. “Hello,” he said, as if he wasn’t ignoring the fact that he had abandoned his daughter.

“Understand one thing. I control it all. The money. My mother. Everything. It’s mine. You f**k with me, and you will be cut off. I brought you here because I love my sister. But you’re showing me that you’re not worth her time. Now, explain to me how you told your other daughter to come to my house and then just left the motherfucking country.”

Abe paused, and I heard him take a deep breath. “I forgot she was coming.”

The f**k he did. “She’s here now, dipshit, and she needs help. You and my mother need to get on a plane and get your asses back here.”

“I haven’t seen her in five years. I don’t . . . I don’t know what to say to her. She’s an adult now. She can make her own way. I shouldn’t have told her to come to your house, but I needed to tell her something. She was begging for help. If you don’t want her there, then send her away. She’s a smart girl. She has a gun. She’ll survive. She’s a survivor.”

She’s a survivor. Had he just said that? For real? My head started throbbing, and I pressed my fingers against my temples for some relief. “You have got to be kidding me,” I managed to say through my complete, horrified shock. “She just lost her mother, you sorry piece of shit. She’s f**king helpless. Have you seen her? She’s too damn innocent to be walking around unprotected. You can’t tell me she’s a survivor, because the girl who showed up on my doorstep last night looked completely broken and alone.”

The hitch in his breathing was the only sign I had that he gave one shit about his daughter. “I can’t help her. I can’t even help myself.”

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