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Authors: K. Renee

Lyndley (3 page)

BOOK: Lyndley
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I gasp. Why didn't he tell me? Oh, that’s right. I told him never to speak to me again.

"Momma, I'm such a bad person,” I whisper, my tears soaking her shirt.
 

"Sweetie, why did you come back home? You always swore you'd never come back here."
 

Her question makes me think about Tyler and the downward spiral my life has taken since I left. Everything I do seems to end in disaster, and if they know the secrets I’ve been keeping, I’m sure they will shut me out.
 

Sniffling, I take a deep breath. "For the last few years, I've been dating a guy named Tyler. He was perfect, Momma. He had a wonderful job, and we had a great apartment. We met during college and I was swept off my feet. Everything was going great until the other day. We were getting ready to go out for lunch when there was a knock at the door. The men said they were FBI and that they were there to arrest Tyler for embezzling and insider trading. As they were taking him away, he blamed everything on me. He told me it was my fault he was going to prison. How can it be my fault?” I bury my face into my mom's shirt and cry even harder.
 

"Oh, baby girl, if that boy really loved you, he wouldn't have blamed you for
his
stupid decisions. You aren’t the one who made him take that money or trade insider information. He did it all on his own. You deserve better than that. I just hate it took something like that to bring you home."

Wiping my nose with my hand, I pull away. She smiles. “Sweetie, I promise that everything will be okay. Who knows? Maybe you and Jaxson can rekindle that old flame.” She winks and my stomach flips.
 

No. No way. I can’t go there. He’ll just break my heart all over again.
 

My mom and I spend the rest of the afternoon together, just talking and laughing. I didn’t realize how much I missed her, and I need her now more than ever before.

Making my way to my old bedroom, I look at all the pictures on the walls. They start at kindergarten and end at my senior prom. Looking at that picture of Jax and me makes me sad. That night was perfect. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better date.

I have spent months looking for the perfect dress. With only two days left, my best friend, Michelle, and I spend the whole afternoon scouring the racks at all the best shops a few towns over. Right before I give up hope, I spot a dress that screams at me to try it on.
 

It is a beautiful red strapless. The beadwork is amazing, shimmering in the light. It is the perfect blend of sexy and naughty I was looking for. I want to knock Jax off his feet, and this dress will definitely do the job.
 

When I try it on, it fits perfectly. It is almost like we were meant to be, just like Jax and me.
 

The dress comes to the floor, and I have the perfect pair of heels to wear with it. When Michelle tells me how perfect the dress is, I know Jax will love it. I am even more excited for him to peel it off.
 

Once we pay for my dress, we make our way to the lingerie store. I have to get something so sexy, Jax won’t be able to keep his hands off me.

Looking around, I’m flooded with memories, and almost every single one has Jax in it. Maybe coming here wasn’t such a great idea. Throwing my bag on the bed, I grab some clothes and head to the shower, deciding I need to get out of the house for a little while.
 

Once I shower and get ready, I tell my mom I’m going to go into town when, in all reality, I’m going to the bar to get drunk and get laid. Heaven knows I need both right about now.

The best part of this stupid town is that everything is within walking distance. Making my way into the bar, I sit down on a barstool and order a beer. Smiling slightly, I realize all my friends in New York would turn their noses up at me.
 

I think about everything that has happened in the last few days. I won’t let this define me. I will strive to better myself and show everyone I can bounce back after what Tyler did to me.
 

After a few beers, I can feel someone watching me. Before I can turn around and see who it is, a barstool pulls out next to me.
 

“Heya, sweet thang.”
 

I look over and see my worst nightmare staring back at me. Keegan Phillips. He was the first boy I ever had a crush on. When he found out, he pushed me down and told me I was ugly. Oh, how the tables have turned. His dirty blonde hair looks like he hasn’t washed it in a few days, and he has a beard bushier than a nun’s vagina. Holy crap. Has he ever heard of a shower?

“Hi,” I say, smiling.
 

He orders us another round. Hell, I can’t say no to free alcohol. It’s not like I have very much money. When our drinks arrive, he leans in closer.
Did he just sniff me
?
What did I ever see in him
? I can feel the alcohol in my stomach churn, and I try to keep it from coming back up. In order not to gag, I chug my beer and order another.
 

Two-and-a-half hours later, I’ve had four beers and I’m so tipsy, I don’t even mind that I’m still hanging out with Keegan. He isn’t too bad when I’m drunk. He has a few funny moments, but I’m just glad I don’t have to talk about Tyler or Jax. He doesn’t care why I’m here, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even remember me.

He’s standing in front of me talking about something when I see Tate Stevens walk by. Tate and Jax have been best friends since we were kids. If you see one of them, the other isn’t far behind.
Please don’t tell me Jax is here, too.
Scanning the room, I don’t see a sign of him, so I let out a breath.
 

After a few more beers, I’m ready to go. When I tell Keegan I’m leaving, he says he’ll take me home. Shaking my head, I try to walk around him, but he grabs my arm. As he leans in, he’s suddenly yanked away and somebody steps in front of me.
 

Breathing in his familiar sent, my heart starts pounding. He grabs my hand and pulls me closer. Why can’t he just leave me alone? As I struggle, he yanks on my arm.

“Stop it, Lynd,” he growls. My body instantly obeys and I can’t help but take a deep breath, memorizing his smell.

“What the fuck, Jax? I was talking to this sexy woman and we were just about to leave,” Keegan spits out. Keegan is about half Jax’s size, so I doubt he will be able to do anything to him.
 

“Stay the fuck away from her,” Jax grinds out.
 

I gasp, looking at him. I don’t ever remember a time someone has defended me.
 

“What are you? Her fucking father?” Keegan yells.
 

Part of me wants to laugh at that statement, but I’m sure Jax won’t appreciate it. Instead, I snort. Jax leans down and whispers in my ear, “Lynnie, I’m gonna take you home, okay?” I nod and rest my cheek against his arm. Man, his arms are so
big
. I don’t even think I can wrap my hands around one of them.

He looks at Keegan again. "Fuck you, Keegan. Stay the hell away from her. You so much as touch her, I'll fucking kill you." Bending down, he picks me up so he can carry me out to his truck. Burying my face in his neck, I wrap my arms around him like I’ve done so many times before. Tate stands between Keegan and us, causing Keegan to start talking shit.

"You need Tate to fight your battles for you now?" Keegan sneers.
 

"No. I just have more important things to do than deal with your punk ass," Jax says as he walks us outside.
 

I hear boots on the gravel behind us and I open my eyes to see Tate walking over. "You're still in love with her, aren't you?" he asks.
 

Jax opens the door and sets me inside the truck, then turns. "It's not something I can just turn off. I've loved her most of my life. To see her again after all this time is like a fucking punch to the gut."
 

I can’t believe it. I know I shouldn’t be listening, but I can’t help it. Part of me wants to know how he really feels.

"But you're not the same man you were when you ended things, Jax. I don’t get why you are even trying. She seems different. Maybe she isn’t the same girl you fell in love with. Move on.”
 

Closing my eyes, I can feel a few stray tears fall down my cheeks.
 

“I’ll deal with things the way I see fit. I don’t need your advice, Tate. You’ve never been serious about a girl in your whole life.”

"Fuck you, asshole. I know your secret. Don't make me tell the whole town."

My head turns towards them. How does Tate know? I never told anyone, not even any of my friends in New York.
 

"How do you know?" Jax asks, looking between the truck and Tate.

"Jax, I know you better than anyone. We've been best friends since diapers. When you both came back from spring break, you were giddy as hell. How the hell did you guys get it done? Neither of you were eighteen."
 

I see a smile cross Jax’s features. "Lynnie convinced them we had just lost our IDs, but insisted we were eighteen. I couldn't believe they let us do it, either."

"Shit, the girl always could convince anyone of anything. I guess that doesn't surprise me."

I don’t even know what to think. My mind is racing. I just hope I can keep it together until I get home because I refuse to let him see me cry. Not after all this time. I watch Tate walk away, and Jax gets in the truck. He grabs the wheel, takes a deep breath, and lays this head on it.

"Jaxson…,” I start. Slowly, he looks at me. “Um… Thanks for keeping me from doing something stupid."

"Lynnie, I'll always protect you. You want me to take you back to your parents’ house?"
 

I nod and he starts his truck. The ride is so quiet, it’s awkward. I close my eyes and pretend I am anywhere else. I have no idea what to even say to him, so I keep my mouth shut. When the truck stops, I hear him get out and walk over to my side. He opens the door and picks me up. As he strides up the front walk, I move closer to his neck. I don’t know what comes over me, but I kiss him right below his ear. Maybe I did it to see if there is still a spark there. Little did I know, it would be like the Fourth of July. I feel his body tense up and his breathing change, but he doesn’t say a word.

He grabs my keys out of my purse, which he must have grabbed before we walked out of the bar, and unlocks the door. Walking to my room, he sets me on my bed and pulls my shoes off. I think I hear him set them next to the bed, but he could have tossed them anywhere. It’s not like I care at the moment. The only thing I can think of in my alcohol-induced state is kissing him again.

His fingers gently move the hair off my face and he kisses my forehead. "Night, Lyndley,” he whispers.

"Night, Jaxson. I love you,” I whisper back without thinking. Before he even walks out the door, I’m asleep.

Chapter Three

BOOK: Lyndley
5.9Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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