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Never Too Far (Chapter 36)

Blaire

Rush's face went pale. I grabbed his hand but he didn't react. He sat there listening to the person on the other line without speaking. The more they talked the whiter he got. My heart was racing. Something terrible had happened. I kept waiting for him to say something. Anything. But he didn't.

"I'm on my way," he said in a flat voice before dropping his phone to his lap and moving his hand from my grasp to grip the steering wheel.

"What's wrong, Rush?" I asked more scared now than I had been while he was on the phone.

"Go inside the house, Blaire. I have to go. Nan's been in an accident. Some damn sailboat." He closed his eyes tightly and muttered a curse. "I just need you to get out of the car and go inside. I'll call you when I can but I have to go, now."

"Is she hurt? Can't I go with you?"

"NO!" he roared, still looking straight ahead. "You can't go with me. Why would you even ask that? My sister is in ICU and unresponsive. I need to go to her and I need you to get out of the car."

He was hurting and scared. I understood that. But I wanted to be there for him. I loved him and I didn't want him hurting alone. "Rush, please let me go with you – "

"GET OUT OF THE CAR!" he yelled so loudly my ears stung. I fumbled for the door handle and grabbed my purse.

He revved the engine and continued to stare straight ahead while his knuckles turned as white as his face from gripping the steering wheel so tightly. I wanted to say more but he was so upset I was scared of what he would do. He didn't want to hear me speak nor did he want to look at me.

I didn't want to cry in front of him. That wasn't what he needed right now. I got out of the car as quickly as I could. Before I could get the door fully closed he threw the car in reverse and spun out of the drive. I just stood there and watched as he drove away. I couldn't help him. I wasn't wanted.

Tears ran down my face freely now. He was hurting. My heart broke for him. Once he got there and saw her he would call me. I had to believe that. I wanted to call him and make him talk to me but my ears still rang and my heart still hurt from his words.

I finally turned to look back at the house. It was large, sprawling and dark. Nothing was welcoming about it without Rush. I didn't want to stay here alone but I didn't have a car to drive to Bethy's either. I shouldn't have moved from Bethy's. It had been too soon. Everything with Rush had moved so fast. Now, it was all about to be tested. I wasn't sure I was ready for that test. Not yet.

Calling Bethy and telling her I needed a ride to work and that Rush had left wasn't something I was up for tonight. She would find something wrong with this and make me feel even worse. I understood Rush's fear and the way he reacted and left but Bethy wouldn't. At least I didn't think she would. Rush had won some points in his favor when he put the ring on my finger in her eyes and I wanted to keep it that way.

I opened my purse to get out the keys when I realized I hadn't brought them. Rush had taken me to work. I hadn't thought I needed them. Looking back up at the dark house I was almost relieved I wouldn't have to be staying there alone tonight.

The club was only three miles from here. I could walk that. Then Bethy's was just a short walk from the club. The evening breeze had cooled things down and it wasn't so bad. I slipped my purse back over my shoulder and started walking down the brick paved driveway toward the road.

It took about an hour and fifteen minutes to get to Bethy's. Her car wasn't in the parking lot. There was a good chance she was staying with Jace tonight. I guess I should have thought about that. I stopped and looked at the door to the condo. I didn't have the energy to walk back. My stubbornness not to call for a ride was biting me in the butt.

I bent down and lifted the mat. There on the cement slab was the spare key. She must have put it back out after I moved. She'd only stopped hiding it there because I had asked her to. Tonight it came in extremely handy. I doubted she was coming home until tomorrow anyway. I didn't have to tell her about all this tonight.

I carried the key inside with me and then headed back to my bathroom to take a shower. Rush had insisted she keep the bed he'd bought in the second bedroom instead of taking it when I moved out. Something else I could be thankful for tonight.

I managed to get to work without Bethy ever knowing I'd needed to crash at her place last night. It wasn't that I thought she'd care but I wasn't ready to answer her questions or hear her opinions.

After changing into a clean uniform from the supply room I made my way to the kitchen. Just before I reached the door Woods stepped out and leveled his gaze on me.

"I was looking for you," he said and nodded his head toward the hallway that led to his office. "We need to talk."

He more than likely knew about Nan. I was sure everyone in their circle did by now. Was he going to ask me about her? I really hoped he wasn't. Admitting that I knew nothing made me sound like I didn't care. Did Rush think I didn't care? Was it my responsibility to call him? He was the one hurting. His reaction last night had scared me but if he needed me I had to get over that.

"Did you sleep at all?" Woods asked looking back at me.

I nodded. I hadn't really slept well but I had gotten some sleep. The three-mile walk had helped exhaust me to the point that I couldn't keep my eyes open once I lay down.

Woods opened his door and held it so I could go inside. I went in and walked over to stand beside the chairs across from his desk. He stood in front of his desk and sat on the edge of it while crossing his arms over his chest.

A frown wrinkled his forehead as he studied me. I was beginning to wonder if this was about something else. I'd thought it was about Nan but maybe it wasn't. Had I done something wrong?

"I got a call from Grant this morning. He's at the hospital and he's worried about you. He said Rush showed up in the middle of the night and was in a rage. Seeing as how for the first time in their life Nan and Rush aren't on speaking terms and now she is in this condition, Rush isn't taking it well. Grant was concerned as to how he left you and if you were okay."

My heart hurt. I hated to know Rush was in so much pain and there was nothing I could do. He wasn't calling me and that only led me to believe he didn't want to talk to me. I was the reason for his rift with Nan. I was the reason he hadn't spoken to her in weeks. I was the reason he was going through this. Tears stung my eyes. As much as I didn't want to admit this, I was the reason this was even harder on Rush. If I hadn't caused their fight then he wouldn't be living with the guilt I knew he was swimming in right now.

This was why Rush and I would never work. Pretending the fairy tale was real had been amazing. But it hadn't been real. We'd been biding our time until the fact I didn't fit into his world sent it crumbling down. He needed his family right now. I wasn't his family. I wasn't even accepted by his family. How did I fit into this?

"I… I don't know what to do." I choked out, hating that Woods was going to see me cry. I didn't want him to see me cry. I didn't want anyone to.

"He loves you," Woods said gently. I wasn't even sure he believed those words. Not now. Maybe Rush had thought he loved me but how could he still love me? I'd caused him to turn on Nan and now he might lose her.

"Does he?" It was a question I needed to ask myself, not Woods.

"Yes. I've never seen him with anyone the way he is with you. Right now… the next few days or weeks however long this lasts it may not feel like it. But he does. I'm not telling you this because of Rush. He's an ass and I owe him nothing. I'm telling you this for you. It's the truth and I know you need to hear it right now."

I shook my head. I didn't need to hear it. Thinking clearly and deciding what was best for me and my baby was what I needed to do. Could I bring a child into a family that might never accept it? If I never fit then how would my child?

"I can't tell you what to believe. But if you need anything, I'm here. I know Rush has a garage full of cars but if you don't want to drive one then I can give you a ride to the doctor or the store. Just call me if you need me."

My next doctor's appointment was in five days. How was I going to get into the house? And he'd never shown me where the keys to his cars were or given me permission to drive them.

"I'm locked out of the house. He thought I had my key when he left," I told him.

"Where did you stay last night?" he asked dropping his hands from his chest and standing up. He looked angry. I hadn't meant to make him mad. I was just stating a problem I had. All my clothes were in Rush's house.

"Bethy's."

"How did you get there?"

"I walked."

"Shit! Blaire, that is three and a half miles at least. It was dark last night when Rush left. You have a phone now, use it." He was yelling.

"I wanted to walk. I needed to walk. Don't yell at me," I raised my voice and glared at him.

The tension in Woods' shoulders left and he sighed. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have talked to you like that. It's just that you're so damn determined to be independent. Let me make myself clear. Call me if you ever need a ride. I like to think we're friends. I help my friends."

I needed friends. "I like to think we're friends too," I replied.

He nodded. "Good. But as your boss I'm not letting you work today. I'll have you in Rush's house within the hour. I'll drive you there."

Before I could ask him how he had his phone to his ear.

"I've got her in my office. She's locked out of the house." He paused.

"No shit. She walked to Bethy's last night. I'm going to take her there if you can get Rush's housecleaner to go unlock the place." He paused again.

"No problem. Happy to help. Keep me updated, I'm thinking about y'all." He hung up and looked at me. "Grant's having the housecleaner open the house. You go get something to eat from the kitchen and then we can head that way. He said to give her about twenty minutes."

I wasn't hungry but I nodded. "Okay." I started for the door then stopped and turned to look back at him. "Thank you."

Woods winked. "My pleasure."

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