Rush Too Far (Rosemary Beach #4)(9) by Abbi Glines

“Get dressed, I’ll take you home,” I told her, and headed for the bathroom where I could wash my hands. Blaire had run out. Why did she run? The last time, she’d gone to her room. This time, she ran out and slammed the door.

It was the kiss. I didn’t kiss. I fucked. But I’d kissed Blaire. I knew her mouth was clean and sweet. I had wanted it. More.

Always more with her. I always wanted more.

I couldn’t have more.

When I stepped out of the bathroom, I headed for the door. I jerked it open, and my heart sank when I noticed that Blaire’s truck was gone. She had been here and left. She’d worked in the sun all day. She had to be exhausted and hungry. She needed to come home and get something to eat. She probably wanted a shower. But she was off doing what? Riding around? She didn’t even have a damn cell phone. Fuck that. I was getting her a phone. She needed a damn phone.

“Why was she here? Did you double-book?” Bailey asked in a sharp tone. I’d upset her. But I couldn’t keep touching her while thinking about Blaire seeing us. I hated the idea of Blaire seeing us.

“No. Let’s go,” I said. I didn’t owe her an explanation about Blaire.

“I don’t care. I know this is a one-night thing. I’m aware of how Rush Finlay works. I want that one night, Rush,” Bailey said, walking up to me and pulling on my shirt. “I need to be fu**ed hard. Wherever and however you want it.”

Great. Now I had her worked up, and it was going to be even harder to get rid of her. “Listen, that girl . . .” I paused. What was I gonna say? I was using Bailey to get that girl out of my head. Now all I could do was think about her. “She—she’s special. I need to check on her and get her back here. She’s staying here, and what she saw . . . she didn’t deserve to see that.”

Bailey took a step back. Her heels clicked against the marble floor. “Are you in a relationship?” she asked, incredulously.

I shook my head. “No. I’m not in anything with anyone. But she’s . . .” I stopped. Fuck this. I didn’t have time for this. “I need to take you home now and find her, or I need to call someone to come get you. I don’t have time for this.”

Bailey spun on her heels and headed for the door. “Fine, Finlay But don’t ever call me again. This was it. Your one chance. It’s over.”

Best news I’d heard all damn day.

I took Bailey home and then drove through town, with no sign of Blaire. I hurried back to the house, hoping she’d be there. It was almost midnight, and I was about ready to call the f**king police. She could be hurt somewhere, or someone could have her, or . . . no. I was letting my imagination get ahead of me. She was upset. I had upset her. My stomach knotted up. She had to understand that we couldn’t do this. That kiss was it. No more. I wasn’t ever going to let there be more for us.

Her truck was still gone when I parked in the garage and headed inside. I would wait for her for fifteen minutes, but then I was calling for backup. I would have a search party looking for her within ten minutes of my call. It was too dangerous for her to run off late like this. Even in Rosemary Beach.

Headlights filled the driveway, and I let out the breath I was holding. She was home. I waited until she was out of the truck and at the door before I opened it. I wasn’t giving her a chance to run from me.

She stood there in front of me then glanced around at my feet as if she were expecting to find something.

“Where have you been?” I asked, trying not to sound as frustrated as I was.

“What does it matter?” she asked. She wasn’t angry. She looked confused.

I closed the little bit of space between us. “Because I was worried,” I said honestly. She needed to know. She’d scared me.

“I find that real hard to believe. You were too busy with your company for the night to notice much of anything.” The distaste in her voice was obvious.

“You came in earlier than I expected. I didn’t mean for you to witness that,” I said, knowing it sounded bad as I said it. But I didn’t have an excuse. Even if I wished I did.

She shifted her feet and let out a sigh. “I came home the same time I do every night. I think you wanted me to see you. Why, I’m not sure. I’m not harboring feelings for you, Rush. I just need a place to stay for a few more days. I’ll be moving out of your house and your life real soon.”

Damn her. She was going to make me feel. I couldn’t f**king feel. Not with her. Closing my eyes, I muttered a curse and tried to calm myself down. “There are things about me you don’t know. I’m not one of those guys you can wrap around your finger. I have baggage. Lots of it. Too much for someone like you. I expected someone so different, considering I’ve met your father. But you’re nothing like him. You’re everything a guy like me should stay away from. Because I’m not right for you.”

She laughed. She f**king laughed. I was being honest with her, and she was laughing at me. “Really? That’s the best you’ve got? I never asked you for anything more than a room. I don’t expect you to want me. I never did. I am aware that you and I are on two different playing fields. Your league is one I will never measure up to. I don’t have the right bloodlines. I wear cheap red dresses, and I have a fond connection to a pair of silver heels because my mother wore them on her wedding day. I don’t need designer things. And you are designer, Rush.”

That was it. She had pushed me too damn far. I grabbed her hand and pulled her inside my house and backed her up against the wall. Caging her body in with mine felt good. It made my body hum with excitement that it didn’t need to be feeling. “I’m not designer. Get that through your head. I can’t touch you. I want to so damn bad it hurts like a motherfucker, but I can’t. I won’t mess you up. You’re . . . you’re perfect and untouched. And in the end, you would never forgive me.” There, let her laugh at me now. The soft O of her lips only had me craving her taste again.

“What if I want you to touch me? Maybe I’m not so untouched. Maybe I’m already tainted.”

I wanted to laugh this time. Did she not know that I was aware of what kind of girl she was? I caressed her face, needing to touch her somewhere. “I’ve been with a lot of girls, Blaire. Trust me, I’ve never met one as f**king perfect as you. The innocence in your eyes screams at me. I want to peel every inch of your clothing off and bury myself inside you, but I can’t. You saw me tonight. I’m a screwed-up, sick bastard. I can’t touch you.”

“OK,” she said, looking almost relieved. Had she been frightened that I wanted more with her? “Can we at least be friends? I don’t want you to hate me. I’d like to be friends,” she said, looking hopeful.

Friends? She thought I could be her friend? I closed my eyes so I couldn’t see her face. So I couldn’t get lost in her eyes. Being her friend wasn’t something I was sure I could do, but I knew I couldn’t tell this girl no. She was under my skin, and I was done for. I opened my eyes and looked at her heartbreaking, beautiful face. “I’ll be your friend. I’ll try my damnedest to be your friend, but I have to be careful. I can’t get too close. You make me want things I can’t have. That sweet little body of yours feels too incredible tucked underneath me,” I said, before lowering my head until my lips brushed against her ear. “And the way you taste. It’s addictive. I dream about it. I fantasize about it. I know you’ll be just as delicious in . . . other places.”

She leaned into me, and her breathing hitched. How was I supposed to be friends with her? She was so tempting.

“We can’t. Fuck me. We can’t. Friends, sweet Blaire. Just friends,” I whispered, then moved away from her and headed for the stairs. Space. We needed space. I was going to touch her if I didn’t get more space.

I reached the stairs, and the idea of her sleeping underneath them sliced through me. It was bothering me more and more every damn day. But how would I move her closer to me? We needed the space. She was safe under there.

“I don’t want you under those damn stairs. I hate it. But I can’t move you up here. I’ll never be able to stay away from you. I need you safely tucked away,” I explained, without looking back at her. I wanted to see if she believed me. I wanted to see her one last time. I wanted . . . more.

I couldn’t. I ran the rest of the way up the stairs and to my room, slamming and locking myself inside. I had to stay away from her.


Grant was meeting me at the gym early this morning. We hadn’t gotten into a routine for our workouts yet this summer, but since I wasn’t sleeping that great, with Blaire haunting my thoughts, I figured I could get to the gym early with Grant before he went to work.

Blaire was still in her room when I pulled out of the driveway that morning, but the sun wasn’t up yet, either. I had to work out some of this aggression. If sex wasn’t going to happen anytime soon, then I would beat my body into submission with the weights. Maybe I could sleep after this.

Grant was waiting for me outside the gym in town. It wasn’t the one at the club, because Grant said that gym was for pussies. Real men worked out at real gyms, according to him. “About time you got here,” he grumbled when I walked up to him.

“Shut up. The sun’s not even up yet,” I replied.

Grant just grinned and took a swig of his bottled water. “You hydrate this morning?” he asked.

“No. I need some coffee. They have that in this place?”

Grant laughed loudly. “It’s a gym, Rush. Not Starbucks. Here,” he said, tossing me a bottle of water from his bag. “You need water right now. Coffee later.”

“I’m not liking your choice of gyms,” I informed him.

“Stop being a girl.”

We worked out for more than two hours before I was allowed some coffee. My lesson had been learned for the future: drink a cup before I leave the house.

“Party tonight?” Grant asked as we stepped outside the gym.


“Your place. Just a few people. You need the distraction from your roommate, and I need an excuse to persuade that friend of Nan’s—Bailey, I think—to visit my bed,” he said.

I winced. “A party at my place isn’t the way to make that happen. I had Bailey over last night. Didn’t end well.”

Grant stopped walking. “What? You didn’t get any? She seemed like a damn sure thing to me. I was sure she’d be all over you.”

“Blaire saw us before it got too heated, and it got screwed up. I sent Bailey home.”

Grant let out a low whistle. “Wow . . . so Blaire caught you, and you sent a girl away,” he said, shaking his head. “Dude. We need a party. We need girls over. Not Bailey, since you already went there, but some new girls. Nan has friends. You need to get your head out of Blaire Wonderland. Can’t happen. You know that.”

I nodded. He was right. It couldn’t happen. “Sure. Whatever. Invite who you want.”

The crowd was small. I was impressed with Grant for keeping it intimate. I kept my eyes toward the door, waiting for Blaire to get home. She wasn’t prepared for guests. She had to be tired after the late night last night. I intended to keep the music down and to keep people off the stairs so she could sleep. I considered letting her sleep in one of the guest bedrooms just for tonight so she could rest. People could be here late. It could get louder.

No. No. I wouldn’t be able to stay away from her. Not a good idea. She had to stay under the stairs. It was safer there. She could sleep; I’d make sure she could.

“Rush!” Grant called from the balcony. I glanced back at the door before heading outside to see what he wanted. I couldn’t stay out there long. I had to get back to watching for Blaire.

“Yeah?” I asked Grant, who was sitting on the lounge chair with a new girl in his lap. He pointed with his beer bottle toward Malcolm Henry. I hadn’t seen him since he had arrived in Rosemary Beach. His parents lived in Seattle, and the last I heard, he was attending Princeton.

“Malcolm can’t get tickets to Slacker Demon’s Seattle stop next month,” Grant said, grinning.

I didn’t normally get people tickets to see my dad’s band on tour, but Malcolm had been a friend of Grant’s growing up. He’d also been close to Tripp Montgomery, and Tripp was my friend. Even if I hadn’t seen him since he’d run off a couple of years ago.

“I’ll make a call,” I told him, and Grant’s grin grew.

“Tell anyone, and I’ll beat your ass,” Grant warned Malcolm, still grinning. “He doesn’t dish out tickets for just anyone. He’s doing this for me, so don’t f**k it up.”

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