Bethy was waiting on me at the club for drinks. I had fed Nate and left him with Rush so that I could go have some girl time. She also wanted me to officially meet Della. I waved at Jimmy as I passed by the kitchen and hurried into the dining room.
Della and Bethy were over by the windows that overlooked the gulf. Della turned and smiled at me when she noticed me approaching. I wasn’t sure exactly what happened with the police, I just knew that it had been a very bad misunderstanding The rumor was that Woods threatened the officer who’d arrested her. Grant said he’d thrown him up against the wall. Reminded me of something Rush would do.
“About time you got here. I was about to have my second mimosa without you,” Bethy said cheerily.
“Sorry, I had to feed Nate before I left him. He was more hungrier than normal. But you know I can’t drink mimosas. I’m nursing. However, I will take a tall glass of orange juice.”
“Nursing does not sound fun at all. Except for those amazing knockers you have I see no reason to do it,” Bethy replied.
I chose to ignore her. She wouldn’t understand. Instead, I looked over at Della. “I’m glad we are finally getting to talk,” I told her.
“Me too. I’m sorry about the last time we met. I can’t imagine what you thought of me after…,” she stopped and trailed off.
“I thought that there had been a horrible mistake and while in labor I ordered Rush to get in touch with Woods and let him know there was an emergency,” I assured her.
Della let out a sigh. “Yeah, it was a crazy day. But thank you. I didn’t know until later that you’d gone into labor that day.”
Bethy ordered another mimosa for herself and Della. I told the new waitress that I just wanted orange juice.
“So, you aren’t working for Woods anymore I hear,” Bethy said to Della.
She frowned and shook her head. “No. He won’t let me. He likes to keep me with him most of the time. We’re dealing with some things…” she trailed off again. I could tell she didn’t want to talk about her personal life and I couldn’t blame her. She’d just met us.
“I can’t keep you bitches in the kitchen. What am I supposed to do if all my good help keeps hooking up with the rich ass men in this club and leaving me behind?” Jimmy said as he pulled out the fourth chair at the table and sat down.
“I still work here,” Bethy reminded him.
“You don’t work in the kitchen so you’re no help to me. I’m almost scared for Woods to hire any more attractive females. I need someone helping me who doesn’t catch these horny ass sexy f**kers’ eyes,” Jimmy hissed then winked at us.
I looked around the table and smiled. A year ago I was lost. I didn’t have anyone. Walking into Rush Finlay’s house that night had changed everything. I sat back and listened as Jimmy told us about his bad date the night before and how he wanted in Marco’s pants. Marco was apparently the new chef. Bethy agreed that Marco’s pants were very fine. I looked across the table at Della smiling as she listened to them talking and I recognized that look. I think she’d found a home too.
“So, Blaire, how’s the sex after marriage and baby? We gotta know, girl. Is Rush Finlay still smoking up the sheets?” Jimmy asked his eyes twinkling with anticipation. He had a serious crush on my husband.
“Not your business, Jimmy. You need to move on from your fascination with my man. It’s too late now. I have him,” I replied.
“Hell, you’re no fun. I just want details. Really descriptive details. What about you Della? Wanna tell me how the boinking is with Woods? Is he all bossy and shit? That just sounds hot.”
Della’s face turned bright red and she laughed. “I’m not going there with you either, Jimmy,” she replied.
Jimmy stood up and stuck out his bottom lip. “And here I always thought female gossip was naughty and fun. Y’all are boring me to tears.” He waved a hand dramatically at us before turning and heading back to the kitchen.
“Now he’s gone I’d like to know how sex is with Rush and Woods,” Bethy said with a smirk
I shook my head and glanced over at the door as Grant came sauntering in by himself. He looked like he was deep in thought. He hadn’t been around lately and I figured it was because he was out of town again. Something looked like it was bothering him. He glanced up and his eyes met mine.
A small smile touched his lips and he winked before walking over and taking a seat at a table by himself.
“Grant’s back in town for the summer. He seems different though,” Bethy said, apparently thinking the same thing I was.
“Yeah, he seems off,” I agreed.
“You play with fire and you get burned. Nan is all kinds of screwed up. She had to f**k with his head. I still can’t believe they were messing around though,” Bethy whispered.
“Nan came by the other day,” I said, looking back at Bethy then Della. “She still hates me.”
Bethy sniffed. “Who cares? Bitch.”
Della’s eyes went wide and I realized we were talking about people she didn’t know. It was rude.
“So, Della, I’ve been gone and I missed all the action. Tell me how exactly did you meet Woods? By working here?”
Della shook her head and smirked. “Not exactly. We met back in September… it was… kind of a one-night stand,” she said her cheeks turning bright pink.
This was going to be juicier than I thought. “Oh, this sounds fun,” I replied and leaned forward to hear the rest of it.
Nate was now taking a bottle. Bethy’s aunt, and my old boss, Darla had agreed to babysit for us so we could go down to the club’s bonfire tonight. It was the kick off to the summer season and it was a members’ only event. Rush hadn’t wanted to go but Bethy had called and begged. I felt guilty for not having enough time to spend with her anymore so I’d talked him into it.
Tomorrow was my doctor’s appointment and Rush’s patience was very thin. I was expecting him to go with me then attack me in the parking lot. I wouldn’t complain but I wasn’t going to give him any ideas.
Grant had called to see if we were going and so had Woods. He’d wanted to see if I would help keep Della company in case he had to deal with anything during the bonfire. Bethy was also supposed to be sticking close to her. They’d become friends, which only confirmed my belief that she’d be a good friend. Bethy was picky.
The fire was larger than any other bonfires on the beach because the city couldn’t control what happened on club property the way they could on the public beach. Bethy had said this party was the ‘don’t miss’ of the season. Which sounded good to me. Rush and I needed to get out.
“You sure you don’t want to go change into something else before we get out of this car?” Rush asked, looking over at me.
Frowning, I looked down at my new outfit. I’d bought it last week. It was a white linen skirt that hit mid thigh and a pale yellow off the shoulder top that just met the waist of my skirt. It only flashed skin if I raised my arms. “You said that at the house. Do you not like it?” Maybe my body wasn’t ready for me to wear something like this yet.
Rush grabbed my chin and locked his gaze with mine. “You’re mouthwatering, Blaire. I don’t like knowing that other men are looking at you.”
Oh. Well, in that case. “I am sure I don’t want to change. I like it when you get all possessive. Turns me on,” I told him with a wink and opened my door.
“You’re killing me, woman,” he said with a slam of his door.
Rush reached down and took my hand in his as we walked down to the beach. The sun had already set but the bonfire lit up our path once we got halfway. Bethy was waving at us and jumping up and down as soon as we stepped into the light.
“Guess she wants us to come over there,” Rush said with an amused tone.
“Good guess,” I replied.
Bethy was already three sheets to the wind when we got over to them. Jace only rolled his eyes when she staggered over to hug me. She smelled like tequila. “Hey you, you’re late!”
“No, they’re not. You just started drinking the hard stuff right off the bat and now you’re too drunk to know how long we’ve been here,” Jace piped up from his seat. He also looked a little annoyed with her.
I glanced around for Della but I didn’t see her. “Where’s Della and Woods?” I asked Bethy who smiled at me like she had no idea who I was talking about.
“I saw them a little bit ago but Woods had to deal with some of the staff smoking pot. Not sure what happened to Della,” Jace said.
Crap. We were supposed to be watching out for Della. “I might need to go look for her,” I whispered to Rush.
“I’ll go with you. Not sure I want you walking around alone,” he said.
“No. Just sit and visit with Jace. Get a drink. I’m just going to make one big sweep of the area and come back. You don’t have to come with me.”
Rush frowned and I pushed him toward the free chair beside Jace. “Go,” I ordered and looked back at Bethy. “I’m gonna go find Della,” I told her.
“Me too! I wanna go too!” Bethy said, raising her hand like she was in school.
“Nope. Your drunk ass is staying right here,” Jace replied.
Bethy stuck out her bottom lip and plopped down on Jace’s lap. “You’re no fun,” she whined.
I didn’t wait on her to ask again. I turned and made my way down closer to the fire. I saw several familiar faces. I got a hug from Jimmy and met his date for the night but I still didn’t see Della. I circled around and headed up to the outer reaches of the bonfire light to see if she was hiding in the darkness. I didn’t see anyone.
I started to turn around and head back to Rush when I heard a high pitched voice screeching. It wasn’t a frightened voice, more like one that was upset about something. I took a step closer to the parking lot and heard another voice, definitely female and very southern trying to calm the other voice down. I glanced back in the direction I’d left Rush but he didn’t see me.
I headed back to the parking lot following the voices. The closer I got I could make out more words. There wasn’t anyone in the parking lot so where were they? I walked over to where we had parked our car and stopped.
“No, please. Just, talk to Woods. I didn’t do anything. I swear. Don’t, ohgod.” The softer voice was scared.
“I’m done talking to Woods. You took what was mine. He chose you. Fine. He can have your skanky crazy ass. But first you’re gonna f**king pay for taking what was mine.” A loud slap and a cry of pain followed her words. “Hurts, don’t it, bitch? You’re a psycho. Why Woods thinks you can make him happy I don’t know. He’ll learn. He will f**king learn to screw with me,” the angry female said again and another cry of pain came from who I now knew was Della. I had no idea who the other woman was but she was hurting Della. I thought about going to get Rush but then she could have seriously hurt her by then.
I didn’t need Rush. I wasn’t sure who the psycho was but I could handle her. I reached into my purse and pulled out my key and quietly unlocked the door. Slipping my hand under the seat, I pulled out my gun and made sure the clip was empty then checked the safety.
I didn’t intend to shoot anyone. No need for it to be loaded. I just needed to scare the bully off and then call Woods. Hopefully, she hadn’t hurt Della too bad. Another cry from Della made me move faster. I followed the voices around a building.
I saw the other woman first. She was holding Della by the hair of her head and calling her crazy again. She was real hung up on the fact she thought Della was crazy. This bitch was pissing me off.
I held the gun and pointed it at the woman before letting her know she had company.
“Let her go,” I said and watched as the woman spun around still holding Della’s hair.. Della let out another sob.
“What the fuck?” the woman said, looking at me like I was the one who was crazy.
“Let go of her hair and step away from her,” I said, loud and clear so she didn’t misunderstand.
She laughed. “That’s not even real. I’m not an idiot. Go mind your own f**king business and stop playing Charlie’s Angels.”
I flicked the safety off and cocked the gun. “Listen, bitch. If I wanted to I could pierce both your ears from here and not mess your f**king hair up. Go ahead, test me.” I kept my voice even and cold. I wanted her to believe me because I really didn’t want to have to shoot at her to prove my point.
Her eyes went wide and she dropped Della’s hair. From the corner of my eye, I watched Della quickly move away.
“Do you have any idea who I am? I could end you. Your ass is going to sit in jail for a very long time for this,” she snarled, although I could hear the fear in her voice.
“We’re in the dark and there are three of us. You don’t have a scratch on you. Della’s bleeding and bruised and it is our word against yours. I don’t care who you are. This doesn’t look good for you.”
She moved back away from me some more while keeping her eyes on my gun. “My daddy will hear about this. He’ll believe me,” she said with a shaky voice.
“Good. My husband will hear about it too and he’ll sure as hell believe me.”
The woman let out a hard angry laugh and shook her head. “My daddy can buy this town. You have f**ked with the wrong woman.”
“Really? Bring it on ‘cause right now you’re looking at a woman with a loaded gun who can hit a moving target. So please… bring. It. On.”
Della was curled up with her arms wrapped around her knees as she sat silently watching us.
“Who are you?” the woman asked, for the first time taking me seriously.
“Blaire Finlay,” I replied.
“Shit. Rush Finlay has married a hick with a gun. I find this hard to believe,” she spat.
“I’d believe her. She’s holding the f**king gun, ” Rush’s voice came from behind me.
The woman’s eyes went wide. “Are you kidding me? This town is insane. All of you.”
“You were the one beating up an innocent woman over a man in the dark,” I reminded her. “You’re the one who looks insane here.”
The woman held up her hands. “Fine. I’m over this. I’m done,” she yelled and walked up to the parking lot. I lowered the gun and put the safety back on before handing it to Rush then running over to Della. Her big blue eyes were wide with disbelief.
“Did you really just hold a gun on her?” she asked with awe in her voice.
“She was putting a beating on you,” I reminded her. She buried her face in her hands and let out a shaky laugh. “Ohmygod. She’s crazy. I swear I was beginning to think she was going to beat me until I was unconscious. I kept thinking I was going to zone out and then she’d really hurt me.” She glanced up at me. “Thank you.”
I held my hand out to her. “Can you stand up? Or do you want to sit here while I call Woods?” She slipped her hand in mine.
“I want to stand. I need to stand up,” she said.
I pulled her up. “You got a phone?”
She nodded and pulled one out of her pocket. I waited while she dialed Woods.
“Actually, no not really. I had an incident with Angelina.”
“No… no… she’s gone. Uh, Blaire showed up and… uh scared her off.”
“Blaire is still here and so is her husband.”
“Behind the parking attendant building.”
“Okay. I love you too.”
She hung up and looked up at me through thick eyelashes. “He’s on his way.”
“Good. We’ll wait with you.” I opened my purse and pulled out a wet wipe. I was a mommy now so I had those on me at all times. “You want to clean the blood off your lip before he gets here and goes after Angelina?”
Della nodded and took the wipe from me. “Thanks.”
I turned around to look at Rush who was watching me closely but not speaking.
Two headlights came barreling up the road and slammed on their brakes just beside where we were standing. Woods jumped out of the truck and came running down to where I stood with Della.
“Dammit!” he roared pulling her into his arms. “God, baby I am so sorry. She’s gonna pay for this,” he assured her as his hands ran over her checking to make sure she was okay.
“It’s okay. I think Blaire scared her,” Della said against his chest. Woods looked back at me and frowned.
“What did Blaire do?” Woods asked.
“She pointed a gun at her and threatened to pierce her ears,” Della said.
Woods cocked an eyebrow. “So, Alabama pulled her gun out again? Thanks, Blaire,” he said before kissing Della’s head and whispering into her hair words that were not meant for anyone else.
“I’m glad I found them. You need to do something about that woman; she’s a crazy bitch,” I said before turning to walk back to Rush. He slipped his hand around my waist and held me against him.
“Thank you,” Della called out.
“You’re welcome,” I replied then Rush and I turned to head back toward the parking lot.
“I’m not gonna be able to wait until tomorrow. You f**ked that up when I came around the corner and you were standing there like a badass holding a gun on Angelina. I think I may have come in my damn jeans when you told her you could pierce her ears from there. I’m f**king that sweet little badass p**sy tonight.”
I tried to bite my lip to keep from laughing but I couldn’t.
Rush grinned. “Glad you agree there’s no more waiting. I’m ready to get lost up in my heaven again.”
I stopped walking and stood on my tiptoes to kiss his cheek. “I love you, Rush Finlay.”
“Good ‘cause I’m not ever letting your sexy ass get too far away from me again.”
“How far is too far?” I asked.
“It’s all too far. I want you right here beside me… forever.”