Read Uncovering Hope (Uncovering Love Book 3) Online

Authors: Kacey Shea

Tags: #Uncovering Love series, #book 3

Uncovering Hope (Uncovering Love Book 3) (4 page)

BOOK: Uncovering Hope (Uncovering Love Book 3)
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“Wanna sit?” Kate nods to the open lounge chair and couch not too far from the band.

“Yeah.” I follow, and a few beers later our seating arrangement includes my brother, Evie, Kate, Jon, Melissa, and Drew. I’m having a great time. Kate’s retelling stories that have my eyes filling with tears from laughing so hard.

The next song ends and Trent and Derek pack up their instruments and walk over. I panic and clamber from the comfy chair. “I’m going to get another beer,” I say to no one in particular and head straight for the bar. Sliding onto an empty stool I wait, trying to make eye contact with the busy bartender. I twist my half empty beer in my hands while my fingers trace patterns across the glass.

“It’s you again.” His voice is just as I remember and sends goosebumps across my flesh. He slides into the neighboring chair and turns so his knees touch my legs. The simple movement heats my entire body.

“Wanna get out of here? Maybe get under me?” He waggles his brows with that knowing smirk. Derek leans close, his words fall softly, a sweet seduction at my ear. “I’d love to watch you fall apart underneath me. First I’d lick you ’til you’re screaming my name.” My heart hammers in my chest and I hold my breath, both wanting and not wanting to hear what he says next.

“You’d taste so good. I love eating pussy. You know that? I’d be so turned on that I’d slam into you, balls deep. Filling that sweet, sweet pussy to the brim. You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” I lick my lips, a feeble attempt to wet my parched mouth. Squeezing my legs together because another part of me is having no trouble staying wet.

“You know. This tongue piercing is for your pleasure.” He licks the shell of my ear, sucking on my lobe and flicks the skin with his stud. I bite my lip and moan. “And FYI, it’s not the only thing I have pierced.”
Wow
. “So what do you say?”

I bring the glass to my lips and chug until the warm beer is gone. I’d love to forget life and spend my night in the arms of this rocker but that’s not my reality. I can’t play hooky, even for more than a few hours. I’m Mom twenty-four, seven. It’s just me. And those boys, they’re my world. More important than any one night stand.

Pushing from my stool, I smile politely at Derek. “I’m sorry, I’ll have to decline your offer. Thanks, though.” I turn and walk back to where my friends and family are still gathered.

“What?” I hear him guffaw, a loud snort coming from his laughter. He’s by my side in two seconds. If nothing else, he’s persistent.

“Did you just snort?” I smile. He stops short, grabs my arm, forcing me to face him.

“Yeah, but let’s backtrack here. Why won’t you come home with me?”

“Because I have to go home to my children.” I raise my brow and place one hand on my hip in a silent challenge. Clearly, he’s surprised; it’s written all over his face. The information will send any man running. Always does.

“You have kids?”

“Yes. That’ll douse a man’s hard on, right?” I laugh but he studies me with a smirk.

“Tell me about them.”
What?

“No.”


No?

“No. Look, I don’t know you. You’re hot, but obviously have some mama issues because you’re still hitting on me.” He laughs, mischief written on his face as I rant. “I’m just a mom, a woman trying to do right by her children. I’ve got no room for you in my life. Not even for a night.”

“I doubt that. You’re much more than you give yourself credit for. And for the record I don’t have mother issues.” He teases with a grin.

“You have a healthy relationship with your mother?” I raise my brows. I’m not buying it.

“I did.” He smiles sweetly. “Until she died.”

“Oh, my god! Derek I’m so sorry—” He bursts into laughter and draws attention from the entire room. Crossing my arms over my chest, I scowl.

“Sorry, couldn’t resist. You should’ve seen your face. I really do have a good relationship with my mom. She lives in Peoria and I call her every week. She’s the strongest woman I know. Swear.” His fingers trace a cross over his heart. I give his teasing eyes a hard glare.

“I don’t joke about death.
Ever.
I’m a nurse for the oncology floor at Children’s.”

Something passes over his face. The silly demeanor drops a split second before it eases back into a grin. “Yeah? That’s pretty cool. So, I’ve got to know. You ever fantasize about playing nurse and patient? ’Cause I feel a cold coming on.” His poor attempt at a cough has me laughing.

“You never stop, do you?”

“That’s what the ladies tell me.” He winks and I roll my eyes.

“I’m not sleeping with you tonight.”

“That’s fair.” He wraps an arm around my shoulders like we’re the best of pals and leads us back to the bar. It’s sad how much I revel in his touch. My entire body lights up, craves more. It’s been too long since I’ve been with a man. Yup. That must be it. I should pull away, or go back to our group, but I’m interested to see what comes out of his mouth next.

“Two of whatever’s on tap.” Of course, one look from him and the bartender bustles to fill our order.

“I accept that you won’t sleep with me tonight.” He drops his arm and I immediately miss the warmth. He pulls out a twenty, lays it on the bar and grabs both glasses. He hands me one but doesn’t release the glass right away. His eyes widen and my breath catches as our fingers touch. His mouth dips to my ear again. His words cover me like honey. “Not tonight. But one night soon. I don’t give up easily when I want something. In fact, some might say I get a little obsessed.” He pulls back, a cheeky grin on his face, and flashes that stud in his tongue before he takes a sip from his beer.

I pull my glass to my lips and take big gulps—a futile attempt to cool my body and hopefully regain my ability to speak. He laughs.

“Slow down there, Nurse Betty. Let’s get back to your friends.” He grins and we make our way back to the group.

“My name’s not Betty.”

“Yeah, although that’s a shame. I’ve always had a thing for Betty.”

I pause to study his face.

“Boop.”

“Huh?”

“Betty Boop.”

“Wow. You really do have a thing for older women.”

“So, do I get to know your actual name or am I gonna have to jerk off later to Betty the nurse?” He lowers his voice as we rejoin our friends. My brother and Jon cast suspicious glowers in our direction.

“Well, we can’t have that, can we?” I shift my glass to my left hand and wipe my palm across my leggings before extending it to Derek. “Carly Reynolds. Nice to officially meet you.”

He smiles and I return it with an authentic one of my own.

“Derek Taylor. But you already knew that.” He grins wider at the last part.

“Yeah, like, ’cause everyone knows your name, ’cause, like, you’re totally famous!” I use my best Valley Girl impression.

“Totally.” He grins.

“Back off the groom’s sister. You’re supposed to do me a favor, not make a scene!” Kate hisses between us and I drop my hand. I didn’t even realize he was still holding it.

Derek’s eyes widen as he looks from Tate to me and then back again. “Shit.” He swears under his breath. “You never told me
he
is your brother.”

I giggle because yes, Tate looks intimidating when he wants to. The muscles and tats give the illusion he’s a tough guy, but underneath the exterior he’s a big softy. My little brother all grown up and ready to get married. Hell, when did that happen? I remember making him cry just by playing the Michael Jackson Thriller soundtrack.

“Must have missed my chance, what with your unsuccessful attempts to get me in your bed.” His eyes widen and he sputters.

Kate laughs. “Ouch. You should probably work on your game. The famous rock star guise only goes so far.”

“I have no problems getting laid!” He shouts, earning attention and a few giggles.

“Having a rough night, big guy?” Trent punches him in the shoulder and races off, catching up to some blonde in a short skirt.

“It’s okay. Everyone has bad days.” Kate pats his head as one would a dog and winks my way.

“I’m voluntarily taking the night off.” Derek draws out and lifts his glass in the air. “Apparently, there’s more to life than getting off.”

“Speak for yourself.” Tate chuckles and wraps his arms around Evie to pull her flush against his front.

“Where are Melissa and Drew? They leave already?” I look around. Evie and Kate giggle. Jon rolls his eyes.

“She had to go to the ‘bathroom’ and I guess that’s now a two person job.” Evie uses air quotes, then gags, “It’s my sister so it’s still gross, you know?”

“Melissa and Drew have this weird thing about public bathrooms.” Tate clarifies, as if anyone wasn’t sure of what she was referring.

“I want to applaud them, but it’s so unsanitary.” Kate adds matter of fact. “I get the overwhelming need to fuck, but why not storage closets, or cars, or alleyways . . . but bathrooms? Like is it the toilet seat covers or the automatic hand dryers that turns them on?”

Laughter turns to more conversation and I settle into Derek’s presence. He’s fire, I know. I shouldn’t even play with matches. Yet here he is and I can’t help but stand close to his heat.

Glancing at my cell confirms it’s nearing midnight. Shit. I need to go. I stand and the skyline tilts back and forth before centering. Crap, crap, crap. I can’t drive.

“Hey, little brother, congrats again. Great party.” I give him a hug and kiss on the cheek before doing the same to Evie, “I can’t wait ’til we’re officially sisters. Love you.”

“You’re not driving.” Tate reprimands.

“No way. I’m gonna cab home. See you tomorrow?”

He nods with a smile. They booked a hotel suite for the night. I don’t blame them. It’s gotta be annoying sharing a home with your sister and her kids.
Fuck
. A sadness washes over me and clouds the party spirit from earlier. Things are changing. I can feel it approaching like a storm. I give a little shiver as a cool breeze blows through.

“Later, everyone! Have a good night!” I yell over the chatter, earning a few waves. I turn, and Derek’s at my side.

“I’ll make sure you get home okay.” he says.

“It’s okay, I’m taking a cab.”

“Good, we can share. I’m too fucked up to drive.” He beams.

“Whatever.” I roll my eyes and power walk down the stairs to the hostess stand. He follows with a lazy jog and I do my best to ignore the thrill that comes from him not leaving me alone.

“We need a cab,” he interjects before I can open my mouth.” The hostess nods, eyes wide and rendered speechless, pointing to the row of cabbies just outside the gate.

“Thanks, love.” He winks and I swear the poor girl almost faints. She scrambles for her phone as we walk out the archway.

“You’re in a rush, Cinderella . . . your clothes gonna disappear if you’re not home by midnight? ’Cause I wanna be around for that.”

“No, dumbass. I have a sitter and I promised her I’d be home by midnight.”

“Right. Kids.” He opens the door for me, and I sit inside, scooting as he slides in as well. I rattle off my address and main cross streets to the driver.

“You’re a good mom. I can tell,” Derek says sincerely.

“How can you say that? You don’t even know me.” I laugh.

“Well, you’re passing on this.” He dramatically sweeps his hands up and down his body with a wry grin.

I laugh and shake my head. “You’re really full of yourself.”

“Why, thank you.”

“I didn’t mean that as a compliment.” I lift my chin to meet his intense gaze. The passing street lights cast his face from dark to light and back again. He looks dangerous and sexy as fuck. The comedic entertainer disappears somewhere along the ride.

I lick my lips and anticipate his kiss. His eyes follow the movement and he’s transfixed in their wake. I want him. I shouldn’t. I won’t.

The car pulls to a slow stop. “Fifteen,” mutters the driver.

“I’ve got it,” Derek whispers and dips his head close enough that our lips barely don’t touch.

He leans his strong male body over mine to pull the door handle and push open the door. I don’t miss how his arm grazes my breasts, or how my nipples harden at the touch. I inhale, and savor the scent that is pure male and a suggestion of mint. Derek leans back into his seat with a satisfied smirk.

“’Night, mama.”

“’Night, Derek.” I step out of the vehicle and he mutters something to the cabbie as I walk to the door. Twisting the key in the lock, I turn to look back.

“I’ll see you around!” Derek yells out the open taxi window.

“I’m not so sure you will!” I fire back sweetly.

He laughs. “We’ll see about that!” He slaps his hand outside the cab, and the driver whisks him away from my drive.

I’ll probably never see him again. I wish that left me with satisfaction instead of disappointment.

BOOK: Uncovering Hope (Uncovering Love Book 3)
9.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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