Never Too Far (Chapter 22)
This was the second day that I had woken up without getting sick. I'd even had Bethy cook bacon to test me out before I came in for the lunch shift. I figured if I could survive the bacon then I could do this. My stomach had rolled and I'd gotten nauseous but I hadn't thrown up. I was getting better.
I called Woods and assured him I would be fine. He told me to come on in because they were short staffed and he needed me. Jimmy was standing in the kitchen grinning when I walked in thirty minutes before the lunch shift.
"There's my girl. Glad that stomach virus has gone. You look like you lost ten pounds. How long were you sick?" Woods had told Jimmy and anyone else who asked that I had a virus and I was recovering. I'd only worked two shifts on the course and I never ran into kitchen staff while on the carts.
"I probably did lose some weight. I'm sure I'll gain it back soon enough," I replied and hugged him.
"You better or I'm shoving donuts down your throat until I can wrap my hands around your waist and have my fingers not touch."
That may be sooner than he realized. "I could use a good donut right now."
"It's a date. After work. You, me, and a twelve pack. Half chocolate covered," Jimmy said and handed me my apron.
"Sounds good. You can come see my new place. I'm staying with Bethy in a condo on the club property."
Jimmy's eyebrows shot up. "You don't say. Well, well, well aren't you highfalutin'?"
I tied my apron on and tucked my pen and pad in my front pocket. "I'll take the first round if you prep the salads and make the sweet tea."
Jimmy winked. "Deal."
I headed out to the dining room and luckily the only guests were two older gentlemen I'd seen before but I didn't know their names. I took down their orders and poured them both a cup of coffee before heading back to check on the salads.
Jimmy had two already made for me and was holding them up when I walked back into the kitchen. "Here ya go hot stuff," he said.
"Thanks gorgeous," I replied taking the salads into the dining room. I delivered the salads and took the drink order of new guests. Then I headed back to get their sparkling water and spring water with lemon. No one ever just ordered water around here.
Jimmy was heading out the kitchen door when I got there. "I just got the two women who look like they came off the tennis courts. I think I saw Hillary… isn't that the hostess today? Anyway I think I saw her talking to more guests so there should be a table waiting to be greeted."
He saluted me and headed back to the dining room.
I quickly finished getting the special waters and put the two orders of crab bisque the men had requested onto my tray thenreturned to the dining room when Jimmy's panicked expression caught my attention.
"I got this," he said, reaching for my tray.
"You don't even know where it goes. I can carry a tray Jimmy," I replied rolling my eyes. He didn't even know I was pregnant and he was being silly…
Then I saw him… or them. Jimmy wasn't being silly. He was protecting me. Rush's head was tilted forward as he talked about something that caused that intense serious expression on his face. The woman had long dark hair. She was gorgeous. Her cheekbones were high and perfect. Long heavy lashes outlined her dark eyes. I was going to be sick. My tray rattled and Jimmy was taking it from me. I let him. I was about to drop it.
He wasn't mine. But… I was carrying his baby. He didn't know. But… he'd made love to me, no he'd fucked me, in Bethy's bathroom just three days ago. This hurt. So bad. I swallowed but my throat felt almost closed. Jimmy was saying something to me but I couldn't understand him. I was unable to do anything but stare at them. He leaned in so close to her like he didn't want anyone to hear what he was saying.
Her eyes shifted from Rush's and they met mine. I hated her. She was beautiful and refined and everything I wasn't. She was a woman. I was a girl. A pathetic girl. Who needed to get the hell out of here and stop making a scene. Even if it was a silent scene, I was still just standing frozen staring at them. She studied me and a small frown creased her forehead. I didn't want her asking Rush about me and pointing me out. I spun around and fled the dining room.
As soon as I was out of the guests' view, I broke into a run and ran right into Woods' hard chest. "Whoa there sweetheart. Where are you running off to? Still too much for you?" he asked sticking his finger under my chin and tilting my head up so he could see my face.
I shook my head and a tear escaped. I was not going to cry about this, dammit. I'd asked for it. I'd pushed him away. I'd walked out on him after the amazing sex. What did I expect? That he'd sit around pining for me? Hardly. "I'm sorry, Woods. Just give me a minute and I'll be fine. I promise you. I just need a moment to get myself together."
He nodded and ran a hand up and down my arm in a comforting way. "Is Rush in there?" he asked almost hesitantly.
"Yeah," I choked out, forcing the tears filling my eyes to go away. I took a deep breath and blinked them away. I wasn't going to do this. I was going to control my crazy emotions.
"Is he with someone?" Woods asked.
I just nodded. I didn't want to say it.
"You want to go to my office and chill out a bit? Wait until they're gone?"
Yes. I wanted to go hide from this but I couldn't. I had to learn to live with it. Rush would be in Rosemary for another month. I had to learn to deal. "I can do this. It was just a surprise. That's all."
Woods lifted his gaze from mine and a cold expression came over his face. "Go away. This is not what she needs right now," Woods said in a hard angry tone.
"Get your mother fucking hands off her," Rush replied.
I stepped back from Woods' embrace and kept my eyes down. I didn't want to see him but I also didn't want him and Woods fighting either. Woods looked ready to fight for my honor. I had no idea how Rush looked because I wasn't going to check and see.
"I'm fine Woods. Thank you. I'll get back to work," I mumbled and started to head back to the kitchen.
"Blaire, don't. Talk to me," Rush pleaded.
"You've done enough. Leave her the hell alone, Rush. She doesn't need this from you. Not now," Woods barked.
"You don't know anything," Rush growled and Woods took a step in Rush's direction. Woods was either going to blurt out that I was pregnant and make it very obvious that he did know something or he was going to start throwing punches with Rush. It was once again time for me to get over this and fix it.
I turned back and went to stand in front of Rush. I looked up at Woods. "It's okay. Just give me a minute with him. It'll be okay. He didn't do anything wrong. I was just being emotional. That's all," I told him.
Woods' jaw worked back and forth as he ground his teeth. Keeping his mouth shut was proving difficult for him. He finally nodded and stalked away.
I had to face Rush now.
"Blaire," Rush said gently as his hand reached out and grabbed mine. "Please look at me."
I could do this. I had to do this. I turned around letting Rush continue holding my hand in his. I should remove it but I couldn't just yet. I'd seen him with a woman who was probably keeping his bed warm at night while I continued to push him away. I was losing him. So was our baby. But then… had we ever really had him?
I lifted my eyes and met his worried gaze. He didn't like upsetting me. I loved that about him. "It's okay. I overreacted. I was just, um, surprised is all. I should have known you'd have moved on by now. I just – "
"Stop it," Rush interrupted me and pulled me up against him. "I haven't moved anywhere. What you think you saw you didn't. Meg is an old friend. That is all. She means nothing to me. I came looking for you. I needed to see you and I went to play golf. You weren't there. I ran into Meg and she suggested we have lunch. That's it. I had no idea you were in here working. I'd have never done that. Even though I wasn't doing anything. I love you Blaire. Just you. I'm not with anyone else. I never will be."
I wanted to believe him. As selfish and wrong as it was I wanted to believe he loved me enough not to need anyone else. Even if I was pushing him away from me. I was lying to him. I hated liars. He would hate me too if I didn't tell him soon. I didn't want him to hate me. But I couldn't trust him. Did lying make that okay? Was lying ever okay? How could he ever trust me?
"I'm pregnant." The words came out of me before I realized what I was doing. I covered my mouth in horror as Rush's eyes went wide. Then I turned and ran like hell.