He raised his eyebrows at my outburst then grinned. “Okay.”

Blinking, I replayed that in my head several times. Did he know what that word meant? Or was he agreeing to something else.

“No other women. Only you,” he confirmed.

“Really?” I asked, studying his face to see if there was any sign he was joking. He couldn’t be serious.

“Yes. Really. Now get your dress on before one of my brothers sees your naked ass. Because someone’s coming. And I would bet on my life it’s one of them.”

Panicked, I jumped up and grabbed my dress getting it back on quickly while Bray took his time dressing. I didn’t have time to pull my panties on before Steel drove into the clearing. I kicked them under the truck instead. Bray was buttoning up his shirt and smirked at my attempt to hide them.

“Ain’t like he don’t know what we’ve been doing,” Bray drawled then winked.

My cheeks flushed as Steel stepped out of his truck and walked to us cautiously. “Jesus, Bray! You couldn’t keep it in your pants long enough for Asher and Dixie’s reception?”

Bray lifted a shoulder in a shrug. “Don’t look like it does it,” was his response.

I wanted to hide under the truck with my panties.


“GET IN THE truck, Scarlet,” I said, turning my back on Steel.

She didn’t need to be asked twice. This was embarrassing her and damned if that didn’t make me furious with my brother. He knew what was going on, why the fuck did he have to come out here and be an asshole. Walking over to the truck after Scarlet was inside I got on my knees and retrieved her panties then stuck them in my pocket before getting back up and going to get in the driver’s side.

“They’ve all noticed you’re gone. Both of you. Dixie looks concerned. She shouldn’t have to be worrying about Scarlet on her wedding day dammit!” Steel called out.

“Fuck off,” I replied as I climbed into the truck.

I got that today was about Dixie and Asher, but damn. Did we have to bend over backward to make sure they were fucking happy. Shouldn’t they just be happy they were hitched and shit. What did our fucking have to do with Dixie’s happiness?

Scarlet was sitting quietly with her hands tightly balled together in her lap. Steel had reminded her that our absence at the wedding would be noticed. In the midst of our hot sex she’d forgotten. Or just didn’t care like I hadn’t cared.

“It’s okay. No one is out looking for us. Steel just needed an excuse to leave. He used us as his excuse.”

She barely glanced at me then nodded.

“Don’t do this, Scar. Don’t you go and get all silent on me. That was amazing, and you know it. Completely worth taking off from that boring as hell party going on. We both wanted that, and you can’t tell me you regret it.”

Scarlet sighed and laid her head back on the seat. “I don’t regret it.”

Of course she didn’t. She’d screamed my name too many times for me to believe she did. Denying she enjoyed what we’d done was pointless.

“I just . . . don’t want to make a mistake. I’m good at those,” she said in a soft voice.

I wanted to promise her that we weren’t a mistake. But I couldn’t. Because fuck if I knew. Did anyone ever really know? Right now, she was all I wanted. That’s what I did know. That was all that mattered.

“Can’t see the future, baby. You have to enjoy the ride and live for the present.”

Scarlet frowned. I watched as she finally turned her head my way. “You don’t know me, Bray Sullivan. All we did was have sex.”

With a grin, I leaned over to her and got close enough to kiss her but didn’t. “I know you, Scarlet. I know you’re softer than you appear. Tough when someone you love needs you. Smart although you try to hide it. And fucking sensitive right inside your left thigh.”

Her cheeks flushed, and she inhaled sharply. If I wanted, I knew I could have her again right here in the truck. Steel, however, would end up banging on the door and potentially seeing Scarlet’s naked ass as she rode my dick. I wasn’t going to let that happen.

I traced her jawline with my finger, then leaned back in my seat and started the engine. “Let’s go back to the damn party. Dixie can relax, and everyone can look at us and wonder if I’ve been fucking you for the past hour.”

Scarlet covered her face with both hands. “Oh God,” she groaned.

Chuckling, I backed out of the grassy spot where I’d parked the truck and followed Steel who had been sitting there waiting on us like a douchebag. He was going to escort us back it seemed. How valiant of him. If he was honest with himself he’d admit this wedding was hard for him to witness, but he never would.

“Dixie is going to wish I hadn’t come.” Her voice was sad.

“No, she won’t. Dixie is your best friend. She knows you wanted to leave with me.” At least I hoped so. If Dixie said something to upset Scarlet, I wasn’t going to care that it was her wedding day or that she was my sister-in-law now.

“She puts up with a lot from me. I don’t deserve her.”

“Fuck,” I muttered. “Dixie hasn’t been an angel. She had Steel and Asher so damn torn up they were a mess. Stop beating yourself up. You left, Scarlet. Took the hell off. Alone. Tell me why you did that.” I already knew why. Accepting her reasons and understanding them had been what got me out of the damn dark room I was locked in after she left. Her leaving meant she cared. It took me a while to understand that. It had been very Asher of her.

“If I had stayed it would have gotten worse. I had to go.”

“Exactly. A selfish, heartless female doesn’t do that. So stop claiming you’re so damn messed up.”

My eyes were on the road, but I could feel her gaze on me. I didn’t meet it. I just let her look. She was thinking. I remained silent and continued toward the house behind Steel. He would let Asher know where he found us. I’d get scowled at by Asher. Possibly questioned. More bullshit. At least he wasn’t coming home tonight. He was headed to Hawaii on his honeymoon. When they got back they would be moving into their apartment in town.

“Okay,” Scarlet said simply.

I wasn’t sure what she was saying okay to. Taking a quick glance at her, I asked, “What is okay?”

“Okay, I will think it through,” she said softly. Her eyes didn’t say the same thing. There was sadness there. She didn’t trust me. This. Us.

The grin that spread across my face was because I had a chance to change everything. That’s what I needed to hear. Because I didn’t have the time to take off work and chase her ass to Robertsdale. And if she tried to leave me that’s what I was going to do. She was saving me the trouble.

“Good,” I replied

“Are you sure it’s good?”

I reached over and grabbed her thigh, then pulled her toward me. She laughed and scooted over until her body was against mine. “Want to suck me off before we go back to this shit?” I teased.

“We don’t have time for that.”

I shrugged. “There’s always time for that, Scar.”

With a giggle, she laid her head on my shoulder. The empty hollow dark hole that was always in my chest wasn’t there with her beside me. I wasn’t controlling any anger that always seemed to be just under my skin ready to explode. She centered me. Calmed me.

Tags: Abbi Glines South of the Mason Dixon Romance
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