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Authors: Marquita Valentine

Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary

Driving to You (H1.5)

BOOK: Driving to You (H1.5)
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Driving To You

Copyright © 2013 by Marquita Valentine

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, transmitted downloaded, distributed, stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, without express permission of the author, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages for review purposes.

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to any person, living or dead, or any events or occurrences, is purely coincidental. The characters and story lines are created from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

Cover Image under license from iStockphoto.com

www.marquitavalentine.com

 

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Chapter One

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Billingsworth blinked up at the ceiling, deliberating the best way to slip out of bed. And
his
embrace. She tried sliding out from under his arm, but he tightened his grip, mumbling something in his sleep as he threw a heavy thigh over her legs.

She sighed.
So much for that idea. 

Rubbing her feet together, she glanced down
and edged a foot out from under the covers. One hot pink high heel shone in the morning sun.

“Leave o
n the shoes, babe,” he had ordered.

Her dress slipped to the floor
, but the shoes stayed on. “Don’t call me ‘babe’,” she snapped, then went willingly into his arms.

“It’s
a glorious morning,” Finn said, his hand coasting down her side to cup one of her butt cheeks. “Damn fine morning.” He gave a little squeeze. “Of course
you’re
frowning.”

Turning her attention to the sexy Irishman who
’d slept fully nude beside her, she allowed a smile to curve the corners of her mouth. She was really happy, ecstatic even, because he was in such a good mood. Although, it seemed Finn was always in a good mood.

In any case she had really big, scary news and wasn’t sure how to tell him
, but starting the day with him smiling was a good thing.

“Now that’s something you don’t see every
day,” he said, kissing her nose. “I’ll have to spring for a hotel room more often.”


I’ll take you as my date to one of my sorority sister’s wedding in June. It’s going to be on Jekyll Island, down in Georgia, so overnight accommodations are a must,” she said and his smile disappeared. Oh, crap. She wanted to die for being so careless with her words. Still she maintained her smile. No matter what, her flipping smile would stay. It always had. One didn’t have a father in politics and not learn something.

He rose above her, all lickable
broad shoulders and tight abs while his sexy blue eyes studied her face. “That’s sounds quite serious, Miss Billingsworth. You sure about that?”

A couple of minutes ago, heck even a day ago, she would have said yes, she was totally serious about him. But now, with his serious expression and lack of smile, she had to say, “What’s there to be sure about? I thought
that since I’d most likely be bored, you could ride along and keep me…amused.”

Brows r
ising, he tilted his head to one side. “Did you now?” Before she could answer, his phone rang and he groaned. “Mind if I take this, babe?”

A sarcastic reply almost broke free of her lips, but she tampered it down
. Don’t screw this up
, she reminded herself. “Go ahead, but stop with the ‘babe’, I hate it.” Actually she loved it, but most of her girlfriends would think it was demeaning and sexist.

She didn’t give a damn
, but Finn didn’t need to know that.

“You’re a corker, April. A real corker,” he said, kissing her softly on the lips. Grabbing the phone and sliding out of bed, he walked away
, speaking softly, and her stomach did a little flip at the sight of his fine butt and hard thighs.

“I’ll be waiting,” she called out in a sing-songy voice. Something the old April would have never done, but she was tired of being her.

Finn paused and turned, his eyes widening a little. That sexy mouth of his kicked up at the corners and he winked. Then he slipped inside the bathroom and shut the door behind him.

She sat up in bed, pulling the cover
s up and over her breasts, then tucked the sheets under her arms. Sunlight poured into their room now and she grinned like a Cheshire cat. After years of falling for the wrong guy, then falling for what on paper should have been the right one, she was in love with the “one”. Totally, completely in love.

Finn had been
the rebound guy, but not anymore. He had become more than one night stand turned twice a week date and had morphed into serious boyfriend. Unlike the relationship with her ex-fiancé, she and Finn weren’t toxic for each other. She didn’t feel a need to make Finn jealous or lie to him just so she’d know that she was number one.

With Finn, she was number one and
he didn’t keep things from her. He was a good guy, a cop or bounty hunter or something like that. She never could keep it straight, because he didn’t like to talk about work. He wanted to know about her: What she liked and what she didn’t.

Not that her ex hadn’t be
en a good guy, he had been and still was one. When she’d broken up with him, it had truly been an ‘
it’s not you, it’s me’
moment. She had been scared to death of getting married, of settling down and becoming another family pimped out to voters for her daddy’s campaigns.

Worse, she had been
scared to death of turning out like her mother. Oh who was she kidding—she still was terrified.

Taki
ng a deep breath, she closed her eyes and began to rehearse what she’d say in her head.
Finn, I know we’ve only been together for four months, but—

The door to the bathroom banged open. “Get dressed.” He picked up her clothes and threw them at her, then began to t
ug on his own. His movements were angry and hurried while she sat there frozen. “Dammit, woman. Get. Up.”

April blinked at him. She’d never seen Finn like this. “But…I—”

“Look, there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you, babe—”

“You’re married,” she shrieked, her heart plummeting to her toes.

“God, no.” He made a face. “I’m completely single.”

Okay, so not married, but did he have to sound so opposed to it?
“You’re not really twenty-nine?”

“Have you been drinking this morning?”

“No.” Then it hit her and she wanted to cry at the injustice. “You’re gay, but you’ve been told it’s wrong and that if you just sleep with a woman like a “real” man then you’d be cured. Don’t listen to those people. Be yourself!”

“Seriously?”

“There wouldn’t be any shame in it if you were.” But she would be heartbroken. Oh, good grief, gay men didn’t sleep with women.

He rolled his eyes. “My brother’s gay.”

“You never told me that.” She narrowed her eyes. “Is it because you’re ashamed of him?”

His head fell back and he pinched the bridge of his nose. “I was his best man, at his wedding. An
d I’m a godparent to his daughter.  He adopted her, with his partner, who’s a man, in case you’re still assuming things about me.”

She winced. “Sorry.”

“You’re a strange woman sometimes, with strange ideas, but you’re forgiven. Now back to the subject at hand.” He placed a knee on the bed, looking around the room before fixing his blue eyes on her. “I should have told you sooner. And I want you to know that what we have means something to me. It’s real. Me and you are real. Together. We’re good together and—”

She felt herself go all soft at his nonsensical speech. This was too perfect. He could admit his feelings and then she could tell him.
“Are you trying to say that you’re in love with me?”

“No!”

She jerked back as if he’d slapped her. “Oh.”

He held up his hand. “What I mean is that I’m not sure. I could be. Maybe? I know I like you and the sex…” He let out a whistle and gave her a wicked grin.

“I’m exceptional at sex,” she said with a confident smile. “And flexible. Oh, and willing to try
things
.”

His mouth flattened. “I would agree, only I feel so bloody jealous that—”

Someone pounded on the door to their hotel room.

“Who in the world would be—”

“Open up,” a man called out, sounding vaguely familiar to April.

Finn muttered
a curse, then raised his voice and said, “You remember what I told you, yeah?” Without waiting for an answer, he strode to the door and yanked it open.

The governor’s security team walked in, followed by their boss, her father
, the current governor of North Carolina. She stifled a scream and schooled her face. “Can I help you?” This was more than a little humiliating.

“Sweetheart,”
Chad Billingsworth began, his blue eyes, so like hers, sad. “I’m afraid you’ve been misled into believing—”

“That I’m an adult,
and don’t need my daddy and his men to check up on me?” she asked sweetly and flicked her eyes to Finn. She wanted to mouth an ‘I’m sorry’, but that would show weakness to her father, and a Billingsworth never showed any weakness.

Finn stood to the side, pants on and shirt off. “Sir, I’m sorry you had to find out like this.”

Her father’s gaze snapped to Finn. “I’ll deal with you later.

“You two know each other?”

Chad didn’t take his eyes off of Finn. “He works for me. Or rather he did work for me.”

“It’s not what you think, sir,” Finn said, pulling on his shirt and strapping on his gun holster.
Something that had never failed to give her a little thrill. “Your daughter and I—”

“That’s right.
My daughter
. Someone you were paid to protect and keep tabs on, not screw in some seedy motel,” her dad snapped.

“The Rise is three hundred a night,” Finn shot back, but she noticed he didn’t deny or correct anything else Chad had said.

Her vision suddenly got fuzzy, black spots and white lights dancing in front of her eyes. “You work for him?” Her voice sounded strange, whispery light. Nausea rose, the first of its kind since she’d discovered her little predicament.

“You look a little pale.” Finn crossed the room, sitting beside her on the bed, where she was nude and still only had on one shoe.
A less confident woman would have collapsed in tears.

She would not cry.
She never cried. “Get. Away. From. Me.”

 

Blowing out a breath, Finn stood and took a step back. “Don’t do this, April.”

She stared straight ahead, her shoulder rigid and a little haughty look on her face. How she could manage to look so in control while wearing not
hing but the bed sheets was one of the things he admired about her. Mostly because when she allowed him to take control, she surrendered so completely that it humbled him.

“Don’t do what, Mr. Burke?”
she asked, in her drop-dead-asshole voice.

Dammit.
He wanted to slam his head against the nearest wall. Repeatedly. He’d screwed up, plain and simple. He should have told April before they’d fallen into bed together. Although, he conceded, she had had her way with him on the rug in front of her fireplace, not a bed.

Still
… “Remember what we talked about earlier?” he asked, clenching his jaw. He did not need an audience for this. “That what we have is real and…” Raking a hand through his hair, he let his words trail away and adjusted his stance. If only he could have had five more minutes alone with her. Sure, she would have been mad as hell, but at least he would have been the one doing the telling. “April, please.”

Finally, finally she looked at him. He would have preferred she hadn’t. Her eyes were beautifully blue and blank. Completely and utterly blank. Emotionless. “
Your services are no longer needed, Mr. Burke.”

Chad raised his brows. “I’ll be sending your employer a detailed report of this incident
today.”

Finn shook his head. The son of bitch still didn’t know.
“I’m sure you will.”

“Time to go, buddy.”
One of the men on the governor’s security team grabbed his arm.

With a simple sidestep and twist, he freed himself.
“Not your buddy.” He gave April one last, lingering look, but she’d turned her attention to the window. He’d been dismissed. His gut clenched. “I know the way out.”

The governor and his
security team watched as he gathered his things and pulled on his boots. A bright pink shoe lay haphazardly in the floor near the dresser. The urge to take that shoe, just so she had to come to him and get it, rode him hard. But the problem with dating a woman like April, rich and independent, was that she wouldn’t bother. She’d just buy another pair. Or three hundred.

Finn sliced his gaze to April, wishing like hell he could take her in his arms. Instead he walked out the door.

BOOK: Driving to You (H1.5)
10.79Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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