Home > Holding His Forever(13)

Holding His Forever(13)
Author: Alexa Riley

“Stay away from Sam,” Tracy growls next to me as I start a new batch of coffee. I look over at her, and if looks could kill I’d be six feet under.

“There is nothing between Sam and me,” I tell her. I don’t want to argue with her about it because it’s not worth fighting over. None of it is. It’s silly.

“Just watch yourself, or maybe I’ll go tell your flavor of the week over there about how you sleep around to get what you want.” I just stare at her. Do people even talk like that? Flavor? “Guess it doesn’t matter. Someone like that isn’t going to stick around with the likes of you,” she huffs before turning to leave with a smile pasted on her face like she just won something.

The woman is in her mid-fifties and is trying to fight over a man with me. I’m not ever fighting for Sam, but she’s trying to take me down a peg or two. And as much as I hate to admit it, the cuts sting a little.

I look down at my cheap waitress uniform that makes me itchy and irritates my skin. This one is even smaller than my normal one. This was all that was left, and I undoubtedly look like I’m stuffed into it. It really brings home how different Derek and I are. We’re from different worlds, but I hadn’t seen that. I’d just been lost in him.

I glance up and see it’s finally time to go. I counted my money earlier and saw that I’d made enough to cover a hotel room if need be. I’m done for the night. I make my way to the front to get Derek, a nervous excitement coursing through me. I’m not sure what’s going to happen.

I don’t know if I’m going home with him. I have to find a place to stay tonight, and it seems rude to just assume that I’ll go to his place. It would be even odder to ask him if he wants to go to whatever hotel I check into. My excitement starts to turn into anxiety. I’m not sure how to handle any of this.

Caught up in my thoughts, I run right into a wall of a man, and I know from his smell that it’s Derek. His hands go to my sides, making sure I don’t fall on my butt. I look up at him. Jesus, I’d have no idea what to do with this man if I went home with him. I want to. God, do I want to. But my experience with men is less than zero. Heck, I avoid them as much as I can.

“Careful,” he says, pulling me closer to him, his warmth seeping into me, going all the way to my bones.

“Fia, I need you in my office before you leave,” Sam yells across the diner, bringing me out of my Derek fog.

Derek makes no move to release me. Instead, his fingers sink deeper into my waist, his head starts to lower, and his mouth takes mine in a soft kiss. I easily open to him as his tongue enters my mouth. My body comes to life once again. I want to push further into him, but I’m already plastered to his front. When he pulls back, I’m breathless and have forgotten where I am or what I was doing. I didn’t know a kiss like that was possible.

“She can’t. My fiancée and I have plans.”

I’m so knocked by his words I don’t speak as he pulls me from the diner and shuffles me into a truck, quickly shutting the door behind me. When he enters the other side, he locks the doors before putting his key in the ignition and taking off.

“Fiancée?” I finally find my words. Derek’s hands grip the steering wheel so tightly I can see his knuckles turning white. He glances over at me like he is trying to read my face.

He just shrugs. Maybe he said it so Sam will leave me alone. If he thinks I’m with someone, he might back off. I don’t think that will work, but I know him a little better than Derek. I don’t think Sam will stop until he gets what he wants or I quit. I can feel it. I should have seen it before and paid better attention. Maybe I should have had a few job possibilities lined up and not let it get to this point.

“Has a nice ring to it,” he says, his little tease making my whole world tilt. His hands loosen on the steering wheel and he gives me a playful smile. I can’t help but blush and look away out the window.

I feel his hand take mine. I look back at him, but his eyes are on the road. His fingers lace with mine and give me a little squeeze.

“Where are we going?” I ask.

“Home,” he says simply, like it’s my home, too. I haven’t had a place that felt like home in forever. Maybe I never really did. I’ve had places I stayed with my mother, but I will never call the house I lived with my father a home. That wasn’t a home at all.

“Where is your home?”

A sheepish look crosses his face, and I could swear he blushes a little, but it’s hard to tell in the dark interior of the truck.

“Yeah, about that.” A moment of panic hits me at what he is about to say. That sweet little bubble I’m in with him might be about to burst. I try to pull my hand from his, but he only tightens his hold. What if he’s married or something?

“Where you slept last night is my home. Well that, or the firehouse, and I’m sure as fuck not taking you back there.”

“You said”

“I know. I just didn’t want you to be unconformable and wanted you to have a safe place for the night,” he admits, and the now-familiar warm feeling wraps around me.

“You make me feel safe,” I confess. I feel the furthest thing from uncomfortable around him.

“You make me feel whole again.” He brings my hand up to his mouth, kissing it, never taking his eyes off the road. It almost sounds like he was in pain and I’ve taken it away. The idea that I have that kind of power is intoxicating. I wish I could see his face right now because that was the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me in my whole life.

   
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