Read My Unexpected Forever Online

Authors: Heidi McLaughlin

Tags: #Romance, #Music, #Contemporary, #Young Adult, #Adult

My Unexpected Forever (8 page)

BOOK: My Unexpected Forever
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“Let’s go on a ride together,” Harrison suggests. I shake my head rapidly, expressing a giant no thanks. I like to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground.

“Yeah, we’re going on a ride.” Harrison pulls my hand into his, with his other hand attached to Elle’s who is holding Peyton’s who’s attached to Quinn. We’re a train.

“Are you kidding me?” I ask when we stop in front of the haunted mansion. “No way.”

“It’s a kid ride with dancing ghosts. The most harmless ride out there.”

“There’s no one to watch the kids,” I reply, letting go of his hand. I place my hands on my hips for good measure to show him I mean business. This is my mom stance, which makes him laugh. I roll my eyes and throw my hands up in the air.

“Liam and Josie are right there, plus the bodyguards are here. Let me take you on this ride.” Harrison sticks out his bottom lip and bats his eyes. I thought only women and a set of twins did this. The kids are jumping up and down clapping their hands begging me to go.

“It’s not scary?”

“Not at all. Quinn rode it when he was four.”

“Dad’s right. It’s a dumb ride, to be honest.”

“Fine.” I relent and follow Harrison in line. Thankfully, it’s short and we don’t have to wait too long. Once we are in the seat and buckled in, I regret it immediately. I hate ghost and horror stories.

“I can’t do this.” My hands start to push on the bar holding me in.

“What are you talking about?”

“This, I can’t ride.” Our car starts to jerk forward, leaving me with no way out. We enter a dark tunnel and something brushes against me. I scream and clutch onto Harrison’s arms, my fingers digging into his flesh. We round a corner and pause to watch ghost perform a dance for us.

“Want me to distract you?”

“How on earth are you going to do that?”

Harrison shrugs and turns his baseball cap around. His lips are on mine before I can take my next breath. As the car moves, jerking us back and forth, his tongue glides against mine in a relaxed state. My hand cups his cheek and my fingers play along his jaw, rubbing the scruff that has grown since his last shave.

His arm wraps around me, protecting me from whatever lurks in the dark. He pulls away slightly, only to bite my lower lip before going back to my mouth. My lips tingle with desire, yearning for more even though this shouldn’t be happening. My body curves to into his like it’s meant to be there. I should be scared, but I’m lost in the way his mouth moves against mine, bringing out new sensations that I didn’t know existed. My body sighs, urging him on. I shift so I’m closer, leaving no gap between us. People scream around us and that only spurs him deeper into this kiss. It’s not urgent, but soft and tantalizing. I could spend days like this and not need to breathe or even move from this position.

Harrison kisses down my jaw. I let out a little squeak showing him my displeasure of him leaving my now swollen lips. I know I’ll have red lips from razor burn, but at the moment I’m going to welcome them. He pulls at my top lip, whispering my name as he does. His lust filled voice makes my toes curl and I want to demand more. I want to stand-up and tell him I need more, but I’m too lost in my own head to let that happen. He’s distracting me like he said he would.

I almost cry out when he pulls away. He sits forward and pulls my hand into his. He links his fingers with mine and sets our hands down between us on the bench. No one can see the connection we are sharing at this moment. I can’t see it either, but I can feel it. Our bodies are in tune with one another. Mine wants his to touch me, to feel him pressed up against me in the most intimate way. My skin, it feels scorched from his touch. How can a simple kiss make me feel like this? When the ride stops, he gives my fingers a squeeze before helping me out of the car.

My steps are shaky. He puts his arm around my waist, steadying me. His lips brush against my ear. I feel like my skin is about to catch fire. “I hope you enjoyed the ride.” He steps away and waits for me to lead the way out.

“How was it?” Both girls ask at the same time.

“It was great,” I say and that’s not a lie. What I felt in there, what I’ve been feeling since earlier this morning… no man should be able to elicit those types of feelings from me. They are only for Mason, whether he’s here or not.

W
alking
down the ramp from the Haunted Mansion, I try to eliminate the big ass grin that has taken over my face. Taking Katelyn on this ride was a total ploy because I wanted a chance to hold her and knew by listening to her talk that this would be the perfect opportunity. But making out with her twice, within a ten-hour span, definitely ranks high on my list of accomplishments. After she left my room in the early hours of the morning, I thought her walls would be up. That she’d be closed off and attached to Josie all day. So, when she started walking with me – when she would touch me without thinking about it – I knew she was letting her feelings come through.

I don’t know if she realized what she was doing. She’d brush her hand down my side after giving Elle water or the she’d grab my shirt to change my direction. I caught every single moment. These weren’t friendly gestures, at least not in my book. Most important, though, was the way she asked if I was hungry and that was the only time I couldn’t hide my reaction. She knew I caught the underlying meaning and I tried to play it off for her sake, but inside I was rejoicing.

I purposely chose a table that sat five. I wanted to see what we’d look like as a family and the picture in front of me was one any man would be proud of. Now that I’ve seen it, I want this even more.

Liam is standing at the exit when I come around the corner. I look over at Katelyn, who is now back to completely ignoring me, fucking perfect. I reach for my sunglasses and realize that I had turned my baseball hat backwards. I’m damn lucky that I didn’t lose them on the ride. Not that it would’ve mattered, kissing her is so worth the cost of replacing them. I turn my hat around and stop in front of Liam who’s watching Katelyn as she walks by and up to Josie and the kids.

“What’s with her?”

“She got scared.”

Liam laughs. “I can’t believe she even went in there. Mason could never get her on a ride during the fair. He tried enough times though.”

“Yeah, it was fun,” I say, rubbing my cap back and forth.

Liam and I walk behind the girls. Noah and Quinn are a few steps ahead of them. Josie is holding Elle’s hand and Katelyn has Peyton. The picture from earlier – the five us – holding hands like a family sticks in my mind. No one balked. Not even Peyton, who I thought for sure, would refuse to be silly. It felt good to be like that.

“Are you serious about her?”

My steps falter with Liam’s questioning. We’ve never discussed women before, except for Quinn’s oven, but he knows that I’m interested in Katelyn. I’ve not exactly hidden how I feel.

“I am,” I reply confidently.

“How serious?”

This time, I stop so I can look him in the eye. I know I don’t have to answer to him, she has parents for that, but he’s her friend and he’s fiercely protective of those he loves. “For a brief moment today, I saw us as a family and it didn’t scare me, it made me happy.”

“You can’t dick her around. She’s not one of those that you can date for a few months and push aside when you’re bored.”

“Where the hell is this coming from?” I scoff. “You’ve known since the moment I met her that I wanted to be something… anything to her. I haven’t been with anyone since the night I was blessed with shaking her hand.” I shake my head. “Fuck, man, seriously? You think I’m going stick my dick in her and bail? Why, because she has two kids, or because she’s still dealing with losing her husband? Or, because every time I think we are getting close, she fucking shuts me out?” I stuff my hands in my pocket and kick a pebble on the ground. I thought I’d made my intentions pretty clear, but apparently not.

I walk away from Liam before I say something that I’ll regret later.

“Quinn,” I yell out. He stops and turns. He’s such a happy boy. I’m lucky to be his dad.

“I’m going back to the hotel to pack. You can stay or come with me.”

“I’ll come back with you.”

I nod and walk away from the group without saying anything. I’m tempted to look back at Katelyn, but I don’t want to see what expression she might have now. If its relief, I’d be done for. She’s my own personal rollercoaster, and right now I’m feeling a bit sick from the jerking back and forth.

Quinn and I walk back in silence. He stays right next to me as we navigate the crowds. I want to take him back to the others so he can hang out with Noah, but I am happy that he’s come with me. Sometimes I just need to spend time with my boy. He calms me. Keeps me centered and gives me something to get up for each day. Without him, I’m not sure where I’d be.

He sits down on the couch when we enter the hotel room. We don’t have much to pack - a few bathroom things - but that’s it. I needed to get away from Katelyn and her cold shoulder and Liam with his preaching. Where the hell does he get off? I’ve never been close to the player he was before he reconnected with Josie.

I sit down and pull Quinn into my arms. Sometimes I just need to hold him. One day he’s going to push me away. Not sure how I’ll react when that happens, but until then, I’m going to be a sap and enjoy every minute I can with him.

“You told Aunt Yvie about Katelyn, huh?”

He shrugs.

“You’re not in trouble.”

“Okay.”

I try not to laugh. I never want him to think he can’t talk about his feelings with Yvie, even if he’s ratting me out.

“Do you like Katelyn?” I’m curious how he feels. If he doesn’t like her, maybe I shouldn’t even pursue anything with her. I’ve never brought a woman home before, not that I’m bringing Katelyn anywhere, but clearly he sees something between us. I’ve always kept Quinn separate from my love life. I don’t want him to get attached to someone that isn’t going to stay around. Liam’s right in the aspect that I haven’t dated anyone longer than a few months because I get bored, but with Katelyn, it’s different. From the moment I saw her eyes, I knew she was the one for me, the one that is going to make my life complete. I made a change in my life because of her. I really can’t see myself doing something to screw it up.

Quinn snuggles into my shoulder more. I rest my head on top of his. “I like her a lot.”

“Yeah, me too, buddy.”

“Is she going to be my mom?”

I’m taken aback by his question. He’s never asked me about his mom and if he’s asked Yvie or my mom, they haven’t said anything. If I ever see his mother again, I don’t know what I’d do. Who drugs someone so they can get knocked up, only to abandon their child the way she did? She didn’t know jack shit about me as a person. She carried him for nine months and just left him in my living room with nothing. No clothes, food or even diapers. I had a lot of growing up to do when he arrived.

“Do you want to meet your mom? I’ll find her if you want to know who she is.”

Quinn pulls back and looks at me. “No, but Katelyn would make a good mom. When you’re working and Josie isn’t home, she makes me and Noah lunch and she cuts the crust off my sandwich, even though I don’t ask her to.”

I start laughing and ruffle his hair. “Is that what makes a good mom? What if she’s evil and makes you scrub the floor with a toothbrush?”

Quinn smiles. “I don’t think so, Dad.”

“No?”

He shakes his head. “I think she’s a good mom. Noah loves her and says nice things about her and she makes you smile even when you think no one is looking. I see you smile and I like that.”

He’s right. She makes me smile. “Can I tell you a secret?”

“Yes.”

“I like Katelyn, a lot, but sometimes I feel that I can’t be enough for her.”

“Why? I think you’re a great dad.”

“Quinn, you make being a dad the easiest thing I’ve ever done, but that’s not it. I don’t think she likes my tattoos and I’m very different from her husband.”

Quinn rolls his eyes. He’s far too smart for his age. “I think your tattoos tell a story, maybe she should learn to read.”

I lean back and study my son. “You’re right, maybe we can teach her.”

“I think she needs her own so she’ll like everyone else’s.” Quinn gets up and heads toward the bed and starts packing, reminding me of the fantasy I had of Katelyn with ink on her body. The thought of seeing something delicate, in a place for my eyes only, arouses me. I have to push those thoughts away. It’s never going to happen if I can’t keep her walls down for longer than a two-minute haunted house ride and some stolen kisses.

T
he
bus is quiet as it speeds down the highway to our next stop. Only a few more shows and we’ll be done. DeVon seems to be having fun, although confused as to why he’s not traveling with us. For one, there’s no room, and two, this is a family trip for us. Katelyn made it clear to his manager that he’d be on his own, though I do feel bad for the kid. His first time on any type of tour and only sees us during sound check. For the most part, he seems nice, just lost. I suppose that has to do with his manager being glaringly absent from the tour, which I find extremely odd.

Once again, it’s a sleepless night for me. I tried lying down, but my mind is swimming. Since we’ve returned to the bus, she’s avoided me. I don’t get it and I’m starting to get frustrated. I get the chase is supposed to be there and that I need to be patient, but is it too much to ask for a simple smile or a brief acknowledgement?

I pull the song lyrics from my pocket and unfold the scribbled out piece of paper. I hate song writing with a passion. My words don’t flow as easily as Liam’s and I’m not easily moved by situations in my life that I feel the need to jot everything down. Music – yes – I can add a beat to just about anything he throws at me, but not words.

“What’s that?”

I fold the paper haphazardly before Liam can see what it is. I clutch it in my fist and look out the window. We’ve had misunderstandings before, like the time he was with Sam. That relationship, as short as it was, screwed up the dynamic of our group. He became withdrawn and she became more of a bitch. It didn’t take long for JD and I to ditch him and just do our own thing, and at one point, I started looking for a new gig.

But this is different. He knows how I feel about Katelyn, so the outburst in the park is completely unwarranted. I’ve never been clearer about my intentions than I have with her.

“It’s nothing,” I say as I slip the paper into the pocket of my hoodie.

He sits down next to me and sighs. “I’m sorry about earlier.”

“All right.”

“No, it’s not all right. I was wrong. Here I’ve been harping on Katelyn to let you in, and then I jump your shit and accuse you of trying to use her. I was wrong.” He turns and faces me, but I continue to stare out the window. “I’m scared for the both of you. I’ve only seen her love one person and you… you’re so shut off from females after Quinn that I don’t know what to expect.

“But, I see the way you look at her and that’s the way I look at Josie. Like you just know she’s supposed to be in your life. I’ve all but begged her to give you a chance – to get to know the Harrison that I know - but I’m not sure if she can.”

“I’ll wait.”

“For how long?”

“As long as it takes, I guess. I don’t know, Liam. I’m trying to be respectful and give her the space she needs. These past few days she’s acted like she wants things to progress, but then she shuts down and I’m back to the drawing board.”

I get up and start to pace as much as the bus allows. I hate talking about my feelings. If this was anyone else, I’d clam up, but I know that he has hers and my best interests at heart.

“I want to do right by her, Liam, I do. But if she doesn’t want me, I’m not going to keep chasing her. I respect her too much to keep on forcing myself in her life if she’s not interested.”

“Does she know how you feel?”

I run my hand through my hair, pulling my hood off. “I don’t know if she does, she hasn’t asked and it’s not like I’m going to offer up my feelings on a silver platter. Rejection isn’t an emotion that I like to experience.”

Liam stands and pats me on the back. “For what it’s worth, I think she does like you, she’s just afraid to open up.” I watch as Liam disappears behind his door. He doesn’t realize how lucky he has it, knowing that there was one girl for him. I want that. The only problem is the one I want belongs to someone else, and there isn’t a single thing I can do about that.

BOOK: My Unexpected Forever
2.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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