Home > Up in Flames (Rosemary Beach #13)(9)

Up in Flames (Rosemary Beach #13)(9)
Author: Abbi Glines

Guilt seeped into my veins and spread throughout my body. This job wasn’t supposed to be so emotional. It was supposed to be cut-and-dried. How was I going to do this if I let myself care too much? Nan had already become more important to me than a mark needed to be. I was concerned for her. She wasn’t exactly lovable, so I was safe there, but she was broken. Vulnerable. I had a hard time doing what needed to be done to someone as damaged as her. I was grateful that they’d given me my first job, but they were asking for way too much.

“How can I fix this if I can’t find her?”

“You sure you’re man enough to fix it? Nan isn’t easy. She can chew up and spit out pretty boys all damn day long. I’m not sure you’ve got what it takes. She needs a man who’s stronger than she is. Who isn’t scared of her emotional baggage. And you”—he pointed at me with the hand that held his beer—“you fucked your stepmother. Which tells me you’re not in this shit for more than a fuck. It’s what you do.”

Ouch. I’d have to thank Mase for sharing that piece of information with Rush.

Sleeping with my dad’s wife hadn’t been my finest moment, but she had been closer to my age than my dad’s, and she was smoking hot. And it wasn’t as if my dad hadn’t fucked older women in his past. My mistake was that I’d picked up the wrong woman.

“That was a weak moment. I was mad at my dad, and she was coming on to me heavy. I cracked and took what she was offering. Don’t act like you didn’t fuck your fair share of women you had no business touching before Blaire.”

Rush smirked. “I had no business touching Blaire, but I’m damn glad I did. Gave me my life.”

I’d heard this story already. Blaire had been the one person Nan hated most in the world. Daddy problems or some shit. Rush was supposed to get Blaire out of his and Nan’s lives when Blaire showed up to stay with her dad, who had just married Rush and Nan’s mom. But instead, he’d fallen in love with her. That shit hadn’t gone over well with Rush’s sister.

“Yeah, everyone can see that,” I replied. I hoped that thinking about his wife would make him more open to telling me what I needed to know.

“She’s not going to be easy. She’ll make you pay for whatever you did. It will be a brutal payback. That’s her way. You up for that?”

He was cracking. I held my breath and nodded.

He hesitated, and I began to worry that he was changing his mind. I needed him to talk. He was the only person I could think of who would know the answer.

Then he said, “I’m only telling you this because I’d like to know she’s being looked after where she’s run off to. I’ve been worried about her. She’s a tornado when she’s upset.”

“Yeah, I’ve noticed.”

Before he could respond, footsteps pounded up the stairs from the beach.

A little version of Rush hit the top landing, and the kid’s eyes zeroed in on his dad as a massive grin lit his small face. “Daddy, I found a crab!” He ran to throw himself into his dad’s lap and proceeded to pull a hermit crab out of the bucket he was holding.

I watched as the rock star’s son held his own son and listened with rapt awe and adoration to everything the little boy said. As much as I never wanted that for myself, Rush made it look nice. I’d never had a relationship with my own father resembling anything like that. Ours was pretty much the opposite.

“I think that makes three this month,” said a voice with a soft Southern drawl. I turned my attention to the gorgeous blonde standing on the landing.

“I believe it does,” Rush agreed. “You feeling OK?” he asked her, and she touched her swollen stomach with one hand and smiled.

“Yes, I feel fine, and so does she.”

Rush and Blaire were having a girl. The idea was hilarious, but I didn’t laugh like I wanted to.

“Hello, Major,” Blaire said, as she moved her gaze from her son and her husband to me. “I see Rush has gotten you a drink. Can I get you a sandwich? I’m going to make us a snack now. All that walking and chasing has made me hungry.”

I liked Blaire, but all this family small talk was keeping me from finding Nan. I needed to get Rush focused on my problem.

“No, thank you. I’ve got somewhere I need to be,” I replied, with the smile that charmed most girls out of their panties. I knew it wouldn’t do anything for Rush’s wife, but I still gave it to her.

“Vegas,” Rush said, then stood up with his son in his arms. “She’s gone to Vegas.”

Damn. Not what I wanted to hear.


My legs were weak, and the area between them was sore, as if it had been ravaged by more than just a hand. My inner thigh stung from what would be a bruise soon. I’d already looked down to see the red imprint of his hand. Again, though, instead of terrifying me, it excited me. I liked the feeling of being dominated. I’d never experienced that before, but it made everything feel deeper, more intoxicating. Like a drug you couldn’t get enough of.

That hadn’t been my first helicopter ride, but it had definitely been my most memorable. Nothing I’d ever done sexually compared to what I had just experienced. The orgasm that tore through me had left me trembling and unable to catch my breath. That had just been from the rough touch of his hand. What would happen if I let him do more? Would I survive it or die of pure ecstasy?

The trip back to the hotel wasn’t easy. There was an electrical charge between us that confused me. I didn’t know him well enough to climb on top of him in the back of a car, but that was all I wanted to do. I had to close my eyes tightly to block out stray thoughts and to keep from moaning out loud at the ideas my imagination was spinning. After what we had just done in a small space with a witness to hear and smell it, I would think he’d be as sexually needy as I was. He hadn’t been the one to get off. I had. Did I even affect him?

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