I sat on the porch, watching the driveway for Cage’s headlights. Dad had gone to bed an hour ago and Jeremy had sat out here with me for a while. He had just left to go home. The barn bedroom was ready this time. I’d put sheets on the twin mattress and pillows and a blanket. I’d even made sure we had towels and soap for the shower. Daddy would take his pills to help him sleep and he’d be asleep all night. But even if he wasn’t I knew he looked at things differently now.
He wanted to know I was safe. That I had someone to love me and protect me. He also knew I had chosen Cage. I didn’t tell him we’d be in the barn tonight but I knew he had probably guessed. When he didn’t say anything about it before he went to bed I figured that he had accepted it.
I had shaved my legs and all the other areas that needed attention. I had even given myself a pedicure and manicure. I straightened the yellow sundress I was wearing and smiled. I couldn’t wait to see Cage’s face when he realized I wasn’t wearing panties.
Two bright headlights turned down the dirt road leading down to the house and all other thought left me. I jumped up from the rocker I was sitting in and took off running. Cage’s car came to an abrupt stop in the driveway and his door flew open as he jumped out. His tall body had barely gotten out of the car when I flung myself into his arms and burst into tears.
I hadn’t meant to do that. But I couldn’t help it. He was here. I was glad I hadn’t put on anything other than waterproof mascara and some lip gloss. Cage’s arms tightened around me and he held me against his chest.
“You feel so good,” he whispered huskily into my hair. “Missed you so bad, baby.”
He pulled back enough so that he could bend his head down and capture my lips with his. I leaned into his kiss and savored it. The minty taste on his tongue was delicious. He was delicious. I moved my arms up to his chest and buried them in his hair. Cage dropped his hands to cup my butt. He froze and then ran his hands over the outside of my dress before slowly pulling the dress up until his hands were on my bare bottom.
“Damn,” he growled, breaking the kiss and looking down at me. “You’re not wearing f**king panties.”
I smiled up at him wickedly. I knew this would excite him. As if we needed any extra excitement. Just seeing him and feeling him was making me crazy.
“Barn, now,” he said in a low rumbled bending down to pick me up. I wrapped my legs around his waist and realized this might have been a mistake. The hardness in his jeans rubbed against me and I cried out. It had been too long.
“God, baby, where’s your daddy,” he asked holding my bottom in his hands as he walked toward the barn in long purposeful strides as I moaned from the pleasure the friction was causing.
“Asleep,” I managed to reply.
Cage pushed open the barn door and set me down as he closed it behind him. He grabbed my waist then slipped his hand between my legs and let out a pleased sound while my knees buckled from the brush of his fingertips.
“Naked. I need you nak*d,” he said as he took the bottom of my dress and jerked it over my head and tossed it on the nearest hay bail. “You deserve a bed but I can’t make it that far,” he said as he unsnapped his jeans and gently pushed me back on the wooden sawhorse behind me. His jeans fell off his h*ps and he reached for me picking me up and filling me in one swift move. He leaned me back against the wall with my bottom resting on the sawhorse as he grabbed my h*ps and began pumping in and out of me. His dark blue eyes were locked with mine.
“So damn good. Fucking heaven,” he swore as he looked into my eyes. He licked his lips making me shiver before he pulled out of me and dropped to his knees between my legs and began tasting me like a starving man. The first growl of approval from his chest sent me over the edge. I grabbed his head and cried out chanting his name over and over. Cage kissed my pulsing cl*t before standing back up and slamming back into me.
“Nothing tastes that perfect. Nothing.” His words only excited me more. I had just had an orgasm but I was about to have another one. I felt it building as I watched his h*ps in the dark barn. The glow of excitement as his pleasure built in his eyes made me pant as I drew close to losing it again.
“Gonna come, baby. I want you with me,” he said in a strangled breath.
I nodded and he plunged into me one more time. “Now,” he roared in a loud cry of release. I met his with my own as I clawed at his back and screamed his name.
Cage let go of my h*ps and wrapped his arms around me then picked me up. He kicked off his pants and walked back to the bedroom. I had the window unit going and the cool air hit our sweat-dampened skin as we stepped inside.
Cage hadn’t pulled out of me yet and as he slowly left my body while he set me down on the bed I moaned from the tenderness and loss.
“I swear I was gonna make love to you slow and easy. That was my plan but damn baby you weren’t wearing panties,” Cage said as he smiled down at me.
Laughing I reached up and ran a hand over his bare chest. “I wanted it wild. We have plenty time for slow and sweet.”
He looked around and noted the sheets and blanket on the bed and his grin widened. “Looks like my girl got the place ready for us.”
“Yep. Now lets take a shower and get the saw dust off my ass then we can try it again in bed.”
Cage reached down and took my hand pulling me up against him. “Only if I get to wash that sweet little p**sy. I’ve missed her.”
I leaned into him. “She could tell. You made her feel very missed.”
“Mmm, let’s get her clean,” he said as he kissed the soft skin behind my ear. “Then I’ll kiss her until you scream out so many times you think you can’t take anymore.”
I was trying real hard not to constantly touch Eva. It wasn’t easy. Letting her put clothes on this morning had been hard enough. Now I had to sit and watch her cook breakfast without touching her because her daddy would be walking in the kitchen at any minute. Plus when we touched we tended to forget everything else. I grinned thinking about me kissing her before we left the barn and how quickly we’d ended up making love against the damn door. Jeremy had walked in as I was buttoning my jeans back up. Yeah. . . I better not touch her in here.
“Daddy won’t eat much if he eats at all,” Eva whispered as she set a plate of biscuits on the table. “But Jeremy will come in and eat with us.” She walked back over to the stove and poured the gravy she’d made into a bowl and brought it over to set beside the biscuits. “I tried making light breakfasts like oatmeal and Daddy won’t even touch that. I have gotten him to eat a plain biscuit some days with his coffee. So, I make those every morning now. I made the bacon for you. I know he won’t touch that.”
I could see the anxious worried frown on her face and I hated it. I wanted to do something to make it go away. This was what she was dealing with everyday while I was away. Making sure her dad ate. Making sure he drank enough. Making sure he was alive. My chest hurt. How was my being away from her during this time good for us? I should be here.
“You want some milk with that?” she asked opening the fridge. I stood up. I was going to touch her. I couldn’t not touch her.
“Sit down. I’ll fix the drinks. You go eat,” I told her taking her by the waist and turning her toward the table.
She shook her head. “No, I have to keep busy in the mornings. It helps keep me from thinking too much.”
“Do you eat?” I asked reaching for the glasses before she could.
“No. Not enough,” Jeremy replied as the screen door slammed behind him. “Look at her. She’s lost weight. Feed the woman. Please.”
“Jeremy, hush. I do to eat,” Eva said glaring at Jeremy.
“She drinks orange juice and coffee in the mornings,” Jeremy said as he took his glass and filled it up with the milk sitting on the counter then went to sit down at the table.
I knew what the hell she drank with her breakfast. We’d been living together for eight months up until two weeks ago. He didn’t need to tell me what she drank. “I know,” I snapped taking a glass and pouring her some orange juice. “Go sit.”
“Stop fussing over her. She’ll kick both your asses if you keep that up,” Wilson said in a loud booming voice as he entered the kitchen. I was glad to hear him sound like he always did. He didn’t sound sick. I turned to look at Eva’s father. He was thinner and the dark circles under his eyes were worse.
“Thank you, Daddy. You want a biscuit?” she asked, hurrying over to get a biscuit and put it on a napkin.
Wilson didn’t look like he wanted a biscuit but he took it from her and smiled. “Thanks, I’ll take it and my coffee outside. Not sure I can stomach these two acting like mother hens.”
I was positive he wasn’t going to eat that biscuit. He was going outside to hide that fact from Eva. She only nodded and handed him a thermos of coffee that I’d watched her prepare for him.
“Don’t take too long boy, we got a calf gonna come today.” Wilson barked at Jeremy who just nodded his head.
When the screen door closed behind him, Eva walked over and sank down into a chair. “At least he took a biscuit. That’s good,” she said forcing a smile.
I fixed her a plate and buttered her biscuit before I put gravy over it just the way she liked it then set it in front of her. She frowned up at me. “Eat it or I’ll set you in my lap and feed your cute little mouth myself.”
Jeremy chuckled and Eva tried to frown but a small smile curved on her lips instead.
“Fine. I’ll eat it but only because I missed you.”
“Good,” I replied sitting back down in my chair and taking a bite of my bacon. I didn’t take my eyes off her. I watched as she cut up her biscuit and gravy with a fork before taking a bite. She glanced up at me as she began to chew.
I leaned back and relaxed. I could watch her all day long.
“Listen, if you two are gonna eye-fuck each other during breakfast, I’m not gonna be able to sit here and eat,” Jeremy said.
“Good. Go on,” I said without looking away from Eva. Her cheeks turned a bright pink and she ducked her head.
“Jeremy, ignore him and eat your breakfast,” Eva said in a soft voice lifting her eyes to look at me again. I winked at her and she bit down on her bottom lip. I’d have to suck on that bottom lip as soon as Jeremy got his ass out of here and make it feel better.
“I’m done anyway. I need to get out there and help Wilson. He’ll be trying to do all the prep by himself. Stubborn man,” Jeremy said as he stood up and headed for the door.
“Please call me if you need me down there,” Eva told him as he left the kitchen.
Once the door closed behind him I pushed my chair back and patted my knee. “Come here,” I told her. She looked down at my lap and up a the door. Then she stood up and walked over to sit in my lap.
“What are you doing?” she asked in an excited voice.
“I’m feeding you. I can’t watch you eat so far away. I need to be able to touch you. Been too long,” I explained.
She beamed down at me and my world was right.
* * *
I didn’t want to waste time with people when I could have Eva all to myself. But Amanda had called Eva and invited us to go to the beach with the gang and Eva had said yes. Damn friends.
The summer crowd was covering the beach in Sea Breeze. Amanda already had chairs and umbrellas rented for everyone and placed in a semi circle facing the water. Eva had worn a red bikini that I didn’t like the idea of her wearing but I was trying to remind myself that she needed this distraction. She needed to have fun. Her life right now was stressful enough. If she wanted to wear a tiny little bikini on the beach I would let her. I’d just be her f**king shadow and scowl at anyone who looked her way.
“Hey, y’all!” Amanda beamed when she turned to see us approaching. Low jumped up out of her chair and ran over to hug Eva then me.
“Didn’t know I could miss you so bad,” Low whispered in my ear and I smiled.
“Sit down and get a beer then tell me all about the baseball set up at Hill State. I bet it’s bitchin’.” Preston said leaning back and pulling Amanda to sit between his legs. Preston had turned down a baseball scholarship to Florida. He’d decided to take one closer to home at South Alabama. I wish I’d had the same choice. I’d have chosen home too.
“It’s nice. Team seems cool. Haven’t spent much time with them other than working out. The summer season is busier than I was expecting it to be. I wish I could stay home more.”
Preston’s eyes shifted to Eva then back to me. He got it. He was probably the only person here who didn’t understand why I left Eva. Would he have left Amanda?
“I need to come up and check things out. Make sure they’re ready for the badass that is Cage York,” Preston said then took a drink of his beer before nibbling on Amanda’s neck and making her giggle.
“You need sunblock,” Marcus informed Low as he walked up to the group with a bottle of sunscreen in his hand. I grinned because once it was me that had to remind Low to wear her damn sunscreen before she burned.
“Then put it on me,” she chirped back.
I missed this. Holding Eva in my arms and listening to my friends. As if she could read my mind Eva tilted her head back and smiled up at me. “I love you,” she whispered then kissed my chin.
“I love you more,” I replied tipping my head down so I could kiss her lips.
“I realize you two have been away from each other but if you could refrain from making out in public we’d appreciate it.” Dewayne’s amused drawl made me smile against Eva’s lips. She pulled back and looked over at Dewayne.
“And to think I missed you, Dewayne,” Eva said.
Dewayne winked and threw his towel down in an empty chair. “No need to miss me, pretty girl. You can come see me any time you want to.”
If I didn’t know he was joking I’d be pissed. Instead I focused on tasting Eva’s neck that she had so helpfully arched in my direction.
“Where’s Rock and the fam?” Marcus asked Preston.
“They’re coming but loading up that crew takes awhile. I normally expect them to all be an hour late. Trisha spends as much time fixing Daisy’s hair as she does fixing her own. I swear that kid has more damn bows.”
The pleased sound to his voice as he talked about his little sister’s abundance of bows and Trisha spending time on her hair didn’t go unnoticed by anyone. Rock and Trisha had adopted Preston’s little sister and brothers. They went from Trisha not being able to get pregnant to an instant family. Preston still played a big part in their life but he wasn’t having to be the big brother slash dad slash mom any more. He’d done that long enough.
“I can’t wait to see Daisy. I haven’t seen her in months. I bet she’s grown a foot,” Eva said as she moved her neck away from my mouth. I just grinned and followed it.
“She has and she’s not lisping anymore either. Trisha’s had her in speech therapy. She’s doing great,” Amanda replied.
Eva finally turned around and looked at me. “Would you stop it,” she whispered.
“Probably not. You smell too good,” I replied back in a louder whisper.
“Visit with your friends. They’ve missed you.”
“I’ve miss you more,” I said, and took a small nibble of her earlobe.
“What if we go swim a little. Then will you pay attention to everyone else?” she asked.
“I doubt it but let’s go try it and see.”