Until November (Page 31)
I take a breath, hoping that the answer to my next question is a big no. “Are you in town for long?”
She looks around and scrunches up her face in disgust. “No, it was a one day trip. My flight leaves in a few hours.” Well, thank God for small favors.
“Okay,” That was all I could say. I wasn’t sad that she was leaving.
“You look like you fit in here with these people,” she says, looking down her nose at me. The words “these people” was said like they were, in fact, not people at all, but a secret alien race trying to take over the world. She takes a step away from me, pulling her bag closer to her body like I’m planning on ripping it out of her hands and taking off down the street with it. I almost laugh. I look down at what I am wearing and I do fit in here. I have on a pair of dark jeans and long sleeve black shirt with a puffy pink vest over it. And on my feet, I have a pair of plain black boots. I look normal. Not New York upper west side normal, but Tennessee normal.
“Thanks.” I smile.
She huffs out a breath then looks around. Obviously, I didn’t give her the response she wants. “I need to go,” she says and I feel tears sting my nose. Stupid, I know, but she is the only mother I have and I hate that we aren’t close. For my whole life, I wished for her to act like she cared about me. It killed me each time she proved that she never would.
“Okay, have a safe fight,” I mumble, realizing that I’m not a kid anymore. I don’t have to explain to people why my mother was never around like all the other kid’s moms. Realizing that I have family and friends here, people who love me, gives me strength. She has no part in my life. I don’t need her. With that thought in my head, I walk around her, down the sidewalk to my car, get in and call Asher.
“Hey, baby. I’m in the middle of something. Can I call you back?”
“No. Uh…um…that’s not necessary. I just wanted to tell you I love you.”
“Are you okay? You sound freaked.”
“I’m great, actually. Really, really great,” I tell him truthfully. I know happiness because of him, his family, and mine.
He is quiet and I hear him take a breath. “Love you too, baby.” His voice sounds gruff.
“Good,” I whisper, closing my eyes.
“Good,” he whispers back. He is quiet a minute then he tells me, “I’ll see you at home.”
“Okay,” I whisper again.
“Later.” He chuckled and that made me giggle.
“Yeah, later.” I hang up before I am an even bigger dork. I look in my rearview mirror and see my smile. I am going home. Home. To a home I have with Asher and Beast. I put my car in reverse and drive.
“No,” I whine to Asher, who is behind me in bed. It’s Saturday and he’s been trying to get me up for the past hour. I’m ready to strangle him.
“Baby.” He laughs, shoving his face in my neck.
“Asher, I’m telling you right now, if you don’t leave me alone, I’m going to kill you.”
“That’s not very nice.” He chuckles.
“I don’t care. Go away. Geez, you have three brothers and a boat load of friends. Can’t you find someone else to bother?”
“I’m not going to ask one of them to shower with me.”
“Oh my God!” I yell. “Go away. I’m sleeping.” I shove my head under my pillow, trying to block him out.
“You sound awake to me.” I hear his muffled reply and I can tell he’s smiling just by the tone of his voice.
“That’s it.” I roll over and straddle him. His face lights up and he smiles. I smile back then grab my pillow and hold it over his big, stupid face. His hands run up my sides and start tickling me. When I finally call mercy, we’re both breathing heavily.
“Now, are you going to shower with me?” he asks, his eyes shining with laughter.
“You are seriously relentless, you know that, don’t you?”
“I like showering with you.” He shrugs.
I shake my head and start laughing. “No, you don’t. You like getting off in the shower.”
His face goes serious and I hold my breath. “No!” His voice is a low. “I like taking care of you. I can f**k you anytime. I’m not always able to take care of you.”
I feel my face go soft. I swallow against the lump in my throat then lift my head, pressing my mouth to his. “Let’s go shower,” I whisper against his lips.
He carries me to the bathroom and takes his time taking care of me. Then, I take care of him. It’s beautiful.
Standing at the kitchen counter, I watch Beast eat while I finish my coffee. Asher walks around the corner wearing his overwashed jeans that hang low on his hips, no socks, and the T-shirt he’s going to put on is in his hand. My mouth goes dry. I squeeze my hand into a fist at my side to avoid reaching out and running it down his chest and abs. He shakes his head and I know he knows what I’m thinking. It is really unfair. No one should have that much power over another person.
Once he reaches me, he bends over and kisses me softly. Then, he kisses my nose and grabs a mug from behind me to make himself a cup of coffee while crowding me against the counter. His jaw has a few days of stubble that makes his face look more rugged, and something about that look makes my tummy melt. I can’t help myself, so I run my fingers from his hair, down the side of his face, feeling it prickle against my fingers. I remember how it feels when it rubs between my thighs. I squeeze my legs together and drop my hand.
“You okay, baby?” I nod my head, but don’t say anything. I’m happy, more than happy. Some days, I wake up and wonder how I spent the first twenty-five years of my life. I had no clue what real happiness was. Or maybe that was happiness, and now I’m living in bliss. “You look like you’re really in your head. What’s going on?” he asks, taking a bite of a bagel.
“Nothing.” I grin. “So, what are we doing today? Can we go riding?” I ask excitedly.
“No, someone’s coming over in an hour,” he says, wiping his mouth.
“O…kay,” I say slowly, waiting for him to tell me who is coming over. He doesn’t say anything, just smiles. “So, who is it?” I ask after he still doesn’t say anything.
“You’ll see.” He shrugs.
“So, you’re not going to tell me who it is?”
“Nope,” he says, putting his cup and plate into the sink without rinsing it. He starts to walk away, so I clear my throat to get his attention. When he looks at me, I nod my head in the direction of the sink and he raises his eyebrows. So, I nod my head in the direction of the sink again. “Do you have a tic, baby?” he asks, his mouth twitching.
I narrowed my eyes. “I’m not your maid, Asher.” He straight out smiles, giving me the dimple, then walks to the sink, takes his plate and cup out, still without rinsing them, and places them in the dishwasher. “You have to rinse it before you put it in the dishwasher,” I tell him, feeling and sounding like a total nag.
“It’s a dishwasher,” he says slowly, walking towards me.
“Ye—” Before I can get the words out, his mouth is on mine. The kiss is deep, wet, and so yummy, that when he pulls his mouth away, my hands are wrapped around his neck and my legs are around his hips. I’m in an Asher fog so deep that he could tell me that it’s not a dishwasher, but a microwave, and I would agree with him completely.
My eyes flutter open. He’s looking down at me with a cocky smile and mumbles, “That’s better.” Then, he squeezes my ass in his hands, sets me on the counter and leaves the kitchen, putting on his shirt as he goes.
“Holy crap,” I whisper. Beast looks at me, grunts, then walks to his dog bed and lays down, completely disappointed in my lack of willpower. “It’s not my fault,” I mumble to my dog. He lets out a breath and shuts his eyes, completely dismissing me. “It’s not,” I say, still mumbling. I hop off the counter, take Asher’s dishes from the dishwasher, rinse off the cream cheese so it doesn’t harden onto the plate, rinse out the cup then place them both back in the dishwasher. The whole time, I’m smiling.
I go to the bedroom to get dressed. I pull on a pair of leggings and choose a loose, off-the-shoulder cream shirt, and throw a black open front, oversized sweater on over it. I know Asher says he loves my body, but I need to stop eating everything that is placed in front of me before I need a whole new wardrobe.
Yesterday, I had to lie down to button my jeans, and let’s just say walking around all day and having my toes tingle from lack of circulation is a hazard to myself and those around me. I flop down on the bed, exhausted from getting dressed. I’m so tired that I feel like I could sleep for the next week. I close my eyes just to give them a rest. I feel a feather light touch run down my cheek. My eyes open slowly and I see Asher’s face.
“Time to get up, sleepy head. Our guest is here.”
I take a deep breath and stretch. “Okay, who is it?” I grumble, thinking that this guest better be awesome enough for my sleep interruption.
“You’ll see.” He smiles and pulls me out of bed. He tucks me under his arm and walks us out to the living room where there is a guy about Asher’s age. He’s wearing jeans and a black shirt with the words, Crystal Clear Pools and Spas written in white on the breast of his shirt.
“Oh my God!” I screech and start jumping up and down. My tiredness is a long forgotten memory. The guy takes a step back and looks nervously to Asher for help.
Asher starts laughing. “Don’t mind her, Jack. She does this when she gets excited.” I look at him and I can see he’s thinking about when he told me he was taking me four-wheeling. I bite my lip when I see his eyes turn hungry.
Jack clears his throat. “Nice to meet you, November.” He sticks out his hand and I place mine in his.
“Nice to meet you, Jack,” I say then take a step back. “Sorry about scaring you. I’m just so excited,” I mumble, slightly embarrassed by my outburst.
Asher pulls me back into him and his arms wrap around me, his chin resting on top of my head. I feel his body shaking with silent laughter behind me. “I think he got that, baby.”
“Whatever,” I say quietly, wondering if it would be rude to elbow him in his ribs in front of a guest. I give Jack a big smile after I see him shaking his head.
“So, do you guys know the type of set up you want?” Jack asks, looking between us.
“Um, it has to be childproof,” I say, remembering Asher’s pool requirement.
Jacks eyebrows shoot up. “You havin’ a baby, man?” he asks and I wonder if it’s normal in Tennessee to ask a stranger that you’re going to be working for such a personal question. In New York, that question would surely get you fired, maybe even shot.
Asher must feel me go still, because he starts talking. “Me and Jack have been friends since high school, baby. He used to spend every summer break with my family up at the cabin. Now he owns the pool and spa company with his old man and does jobs for us when we have a client who wants a pool put in on their property.”