Rush Too Far (Rosemary Beach #4)(5) by Abbi Glines

I looked down at her and wished I didn’t still see the sad little girl I wanted to save. It would make it so much easier to be hard on her. But she was my baby sister. She always would be. I loved her for better or for worse. She was my family.

“It’s all my fault. Blaire’s problems and yours,” I said, and jerked my arm free of her hold. I grabbed my wallet off the coffee table and headed for the door. I had to get away from my sister. She wasn’t helping my mood.

“Where is she working?” Nan asked.

Pausing at the door, I decided that was something Nan would eventually find out herself, but I wouldn’t tell her. Blaire needed more time to settle in before my sister went after her. I would see what I could do to be there when that happened. “Don’t know,” I lied. “Go visit your friends. Go play tennis. Go shopping. Just go do what it is you do that makes you happy. Forget about Blaire being here. She’s my problem, not yours. Trust me to do this right.”

I opened the door and left her before she could say anything else. I was done with this conversation. I had shit to fix.

CHAPTER SIX

A text from Anya said that two dozen yellow roses weren’t necessary. That was it. Nothing more. I knew it was the clean-cut end to our occasional fucks. My guilt eased where she was concerned, as I stuck my phone back into my pocket and continued running.

I ran when I needed to think and clear my head. I also ran when I’d had too many drinks the night before. Tonight I just needed to run. I didn’t want to be home when Blaire walked inside. I didn’t want to face her. I didn’t want to hear her voice. I just wanted distance.

She deserved my help. But that was it. I didn’t want to get to know her. I sure as hell didn’t want to be her friend. The day she left, I would be able to breathe easy again. Maybe go visit my dad. Get away from here and enjoy life a little.

But then, fate had a way of laughing at my plans.

I slowed down as my eyes adjusted to the darkness, and I easily made out the silhouette of Blaire in the moonlight. Fuck me.

She didn’t see me . . . yet. She was staring out at the water. Her long blond hair was blowing back off her face and dancing around her shoulders. The moonlight made the color of her silky strands look silver.

Her head turned, and those eyes of hers locked with mine. Shit.

I should have just nodded at her and run up to the house. Not said anything. Just kept going. I was letting her live here; I didn’t have to speak to her. But damn, I wasn’t going to be able to help doing that.

I stopped in front of her and watched as her gaze focused on my chest. The fact that I was suddenly glad that I was shirtless wasn’t good. I shouldn’t care that she was staring at my chest like she wanted a lick. Fuck. Fuck. No! She didn’t want to lick my chest. Where the hell had that idea come from? She was f**king with my head. Dammit. I needed to get her eyes off my body. Now.

“You’re back,” I said, breaking the silence and snapping her out of her thoughts.

“I just got off work,” she replied, lifting her gaze back to my face.

“So you got a job?” I asked, needing to keep her attention on my face.

“Yes. Yesterday.”

“Where at?” I already knew the answer, but I wanted to hear how she had gotten it. What she was doing and if she liked it. Wait . . . was she wearing makeup? Holy hell, she had mascara on. Those eyelashes could actually get longer.

“Kerrington Country Club,” she said.

I was unable to stop looking at her eyes. They were amazing without f**king makeup. But damn, with just a little, they were unreal. I slipped my hand under her chin and tilted her head up so I could get a better look. “You’re wearing mascara,” I said, as explanation for my strange behavior.

“Yes, I am,” she said, moving her head so that she was free of my touch. I let my hand fall away. I shouldn’t have touched her. She was right to stop that. I had no right to touch her like that.

“It makes you look more your age,” I said, taking a step back and looking down at her uniform.

I knew that uniform well. I had slept with more cart girls over the years than I wanted to admit. It was the reason I had picked up golf in my teen years. Once the college-age cart girls found out who my daddy was, they were very interested in taking me for a ride in their carts. In many ways.

“You’re the cart girl at the golf course,” I said, lifting my eyes to look back at her. I already knew that, but seeing her in the uniform made me smile. She wore it well.

“How did you know?”

“The outfit. Tight little white shorts and polo shirts. It’s the uniform. You’re making a f**king killing, aren’t you?” It wasn’t really a question; it was a statement.

She shrugged, then straightened her shoulders, moving back a little more from me. She sensed the need to keep her distance from me. Good girl. She might be tougher than I thought. “You will be relieved to know that I’ll be out of here in less than a month.”

I should have been relieved. Hell, I f**king wished that was what I was feeling right then. It would mean I had one fewer problem. But I liked her here. I liked knowing I could keep her safe. Or that I was doing something to make up for the wrong I’d done to her already. Unable to stop myself, I took a step toward her. “I probably should be. Relieved, that is. Real f**king relieved. But I’m not. I’m not relieved, Blaire.” I leaned down until my mouth was just a breath away from her ear. “Why is that?” I asked in a whisper, before inhaling her sweet, clean smell. Would she smell like this between her legs? Would she be as sweet and fresh? A new kind of sweat broke out on my body, and I moved back. I was getting off track. “Keep your distance from me, Blaire. You don’t want to get too close. Last night . . .” Fuck, why was I talking about this with her? I needed to forget it had happened. “Last night is haunting me. Knowing you were watching. It drives me crazy . So stay away. I’m doing my best to stay away from you,” I said in a harsh tone meant for myself more than anything. But I couldn’t explain that to her. I just turned and ran. I had to get away.

Once I was safe in my room upstairs, I went to the window and stared down at the beach below. Blaire was still there. But she wasn’t watching the waves this time. She was looking back at the house. What was she thinking? Had I scared the shit out of her? Or was she waiting for me to change my mind and come back? I reached up and touched the cool glass with my palm and watched her. It seemed like forever and not nearly long enough before she walked back to the house.

That night, I dreamed of her for the first time. Vivid images of her underneath me. Both of her long legs were wrapped around me, and her head was thrown back as I brought her to a release we both felt.

I was so fucked.

CHAPTER SEVEN

Rush!” Jace called out from his perch on a bar stool as I walked into the club. This wasn’t normally my scene, but when I’d gotten three texts from people telling me that everyone was meeting up here tonight, I decided the distraction was needed.

“Finlay’s here,” someone else called out. I headed for the bar, and Jace slid a shot toward me as I approached him. Jace was Woods Kerrington’s best friend. He was a good guy. I just wouldn’t call us close. I wasn’t close to anyone other than Grant. He was the only one I trusted.

“Drink up,” Jace said, smiling. The blonde on his arm looked familiar, but Rosemary Beach wasn’t a big place. I’d probably been with her at some time myself.

“Hey, Rush,” the girl said with a flirty smile, and I realized I did know her. Couldn’t remember her name, though.

I nodded and threw back the tequila. I wasn’t much for shots, but if I was going to have to endure this place, I needed to have a few shots of something.

“You lost?” Grant asked with a chuckle as he walked up beside me.

I smirked. “Probably,” I replied. “Are you?”

He glanced back over his shoulder. “No. I’m here because of Nan.”

Frowning, I followed his gaze and saw Nan stumbling around and laughing loudly while some guy I didn’t know held on to her barely clothed body. “What the fuck?” I had started to move around him when he grabbed my arm.

“Don’t. She likes him. They’re dating. But she’s been drinking a little too heavily lately. Thought I’d come check on her, and this is what I found. Just stand back and watch. If either of us does something too soon, she’ll leave with the dick, and we’ll both be dealing with more drama than we want.”

He was right. Nan was an adult. I wasn’t her daddy, and I needed to let her make her own mistakes. Clearing her path was exhausting, and it wasn’t helping her. “You ask around about him?” I said.

Grant put a beer in my hand. “Let’s go sit and wait. I think she’s fine. He’s Charles Kellar, Old Morrison’s grandson. Goes to Harvard. Here visiting his grandparents this week.”

At least he was her age. I took a drink of the beer and watched as Nan pulled the guy out to the dance floor and kicked off her spiked heels. At least she wouldn’t break her damn ankle.

“She’s not taking the Blaire thing well, is she?” Grant asked.

I shrugged. I wanted not to give a shit that Nan was upset. She needed to grow the f**k up and realize she wasn’t the only person on the planet. But I couldn’t not care. “No. But she needs to accept it. It’s not like I’m sleeping with Blaire. I’m just giving her a place to stay,” I replied.

“But you wanna sleep with her,” Grant said, grinning.

“Shut up,” I snarled, and shot him a warning glance.

“Damn, Rush, I want to sleep with her. No, I take that back. I want to f**k her gorgeous brains out. She’s—”

I was out of my seat and in his face so fast I surprised myself. “Don’t!” I yelled. I took a deep breath to get control of the sudden anger boiling inside me. “Stay away from her. Do. You. Understand. Me.”

Grant didn’t shrink back or nod in fear of pissing me off. Instead, my brother chuckled. “Holy fuck,” he muttered, and shook his head. “She’s gotten to you.”

That had me backing up and shaking my head. He didn’t know what he was talking about. I just didn’t like someone helpless and sweet being talked about like that.

“Rush, I didn’t think you’d come t’night,” Nan slurred as she sauntered up to our table and grabbed the empty stool in front of her to steady herself. “You’ve met Charles? Or no? I can’t remember,” she said, and pulled herself up to sit on the stool.

“No, I haven’t,” I replied, glad for the interruption, even if it was a drunk Nan.

“Charles Kellar,” the guy said, holding out his hand. “Are you Rush . . . Finlay?” he asked, his eyes going a little wide as he said my last name with an almost reverent tone. He was a fan of my father’s. I knew that look.

I nodded and took a drink of my beer while ignoring his hand. I wasn’t shaking the fucker’s hand. I knew his kind. He’d found out Nan’s connection to Slacker Demon and managed to squeeze his way into her good graces. Stupid shit didn’t realize he was one of many. I’d been down this road before. A sober Nan would have spotted this bullshit right away.

“He’s a big fan of Dean’s,” Nan said, rolling her eyes and waving her hand toward Foster. “I already know. He’s using me to meet you, and I’m using him because he’s a really good fuck,” she said way too loudly.

Grant was out of his seat and moving before I could say anything. “I got her,” he told me. I nodded in his direction before looking back at Foster. Nan squealed and fussed at Grant, but he used his charming ways to soothe her as he moved her toward the exit.

“I don’t take well to douchebags using my sister. You do yourself a favor and stay the f**k away from her. I like your grandparents, but I don’t give a f**k who they are. Don’t f**k with my family. Understood?” I kept my tone low and even, as Foster’s eyes went wide and he nodded. Slamming down my beer, I stood up and followed the same route Grant had taken with Nan earlier.

Grant’s truck was gone when I finally made it to the parking lot. He was taking Nan home. I didn’t have to call him to check on that. I headed for my car and decided it was safe to go home now. Blaire should be in bed. I wouldn’t have to see her.

The relief I felt at seeing her beat-up truck safely parked in the driveway was something I wasn’t in the mood to admit right then. Yes, I was getting obsessive over her safety, but that was because I was a f**king protector. My mother had forced that role on me at a young age, and it was in my damn blood now. I couldn’t help it. Nothing more.

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