Authors: Aurora Rose Reynolds
“Kiss me,” he whispers his mouth brushing mine.
“No,” I whisper back, watching his eyes darken.
“Okay, then. I'm going to kiss you,” he says against my lips. My brain is screaming, ‘Yes, yes. yes.’ Then I feel his lips touch mine softly. My hand moves to his bicep to hold on. When his mouth moves away from mine, I want to pull him back. Then he licks the seam of my mouth and the minute his tongue touches me, my lips part.
I kiss him back, first softly then wildly. My other hand reaches for his hair and I run my palm against it, feeling it prickle my skin, happy to know it feels as good as I thought it would. When his hand went to my hair, I could feel him pull out my hair tie and grab a fist full of hair at the back of my head. The bite of pain felt so good that I moaned into his mouth. He bit my lip softly then sucked my tongue into his mouth. I followed him, doing the same. He growls and his other hand travels along my side until I feel his fingers near my breast. I press myself into his hand and he growls again. My other hand goes from his bicep to his back. It is so smooth and hard at the same time. I’m mesmerized by the sensation of his thumb traveling across my nipple, I whimper, arching into him. He pulls his mouth away from mine, shoving my face into his neck. “Fuck!” I was so turned on that I didn’t realize what was happening until I heard his mom from the kitchen.
“I'm making coffee, kiddos. Where is the dog food?” she asked through the door.
“Oh my God,” I whisper into his neck and I can feel his body start to shake. “This is not funny,” I tell him and he laughs harder.
“You’re right. This shit is not funny. I'm harder than I’ve ever been in my life and I know Ma’s not gonna leave until she see for herself that you’re okay.” I didn’t want to think too much about it but the thought of me turning him on and making him harder than he’s ever been makes me smile and I can’t help but giggle.
“Are you laughing at me, baby?” he whispers in my ear. I start laughing louder. Then he starts tickling me. “Don’t laugh at me, baby.” I was laughing so hard that I thought I might pee my pants so I started begging him to stop. “Please, I won’t laugh at you anymore. I promise, I promise,” I say through my laughter. He stops and looks down at me and both of his hands cup my face.
“Jesus, you’re so fucking beautiful.” The way he said it, and the way he is looking at me, makes me believe that he really thinks I’m beautiful. I can feel my face go soft at his words. He bends his head and kisses me again. This time, it’s soft and sweet. When his mouth leaves mine, we are both breathing heavily.
“You’re the one who’s, beautiful,” I tell him softly, running my fingers down his jaw. His face goes soft and his eyes warm. His mouth is coming toward mine again.
“Alright, kids, coffee’s on and I still can’t find the dog food.”
“Ma, Jesus! We’ll be out in a minute to feed the dog,” Asher yells.
“Asher James Mayson, you watch your tone and don’t use the lord’s name in vain,” his mom says.
I have to bite my lip but when I can’t hold it and start laughing, I have to cover my mouth so his mom doesn’t hear me.
Without warning, he knifes up and pulls me up with him. We are suddenly standing next to the bed. He bends to kiss my nose then turns and walks towards the bathroom. I’m stuck in place, looking at his back muscles as he moves. I was still standing in the same place when I heard the toilet flush and he walks out. Then I was in a complete Asher fog because he was still shirtless and the tattoos on his arms and chest were on full display, along with his eight pack abs and the sexy v leading into his loose sweats.
“You gonna feed Beast or do you want to stand there and stare at me some more?” he asks. I look into his face and see a very arrogant smile with his dimple out.
“Whatever,” I muttered and hear him chuckle as I walk around the bed with my eyes to my feet.
Once in the bathroom, I shut the door and look at myself in the mirror. My green eyes look brighter, my lips are swollen from kissing, my cheeks are pink and my hair is wild. I remember how I ended up looking like this and smile then quickly frown. Asher is hot but I’m not the kind of girl that sleeps with, then makes out with, a guy after one date. Plus, we weren’t even on an actual date. Then again, I didn’t know that we were going to sleep together.
Shaking my head at my own crazy thoughts, I decide that I’m just going to be honest and tell him that I don’t do casual. I'm sure that will scare him off. I brush my teeth and pull out a bra and zip up sweatshirt from my bag. After putting both on, I head out of the room to the kitchen. When I get there, Asher is sitting on a bar stool, still shirtless, with a cup of coffee in front of him. Once he notices me, he does a full body sweep. I get a smile out of him but it’s a small smile. This time, there is no dimple. Hummm.
“Hi, I'm Susan, Asher’s mom.” At the sound of her voice, I jump. I’m so caught up in Asher’s missing dimple that I forget his mom is here. She comes around the island and takes my hand in hers.
“I'm November,” I say, smiling back at her. She is very pretty. She has short, dark brown hair that is cut into a cute mom bob. Her eyes are the same color as Asher’s. She’s wearing a white button-up shirt with a large turquoise necklace, dark blue jeans and brown cowboy boots. She looks very county chic and I’m instantly in love with her. Then she grabs me into a tight hug. The instant that her arms wrap around me in a motherly hug, I want to cry.
“It’s nice to finally meet you, November,” she whispers into my hair. I hug her tighter, closing my eyes against the tears that want to escape. She steps back and hold’s me at arm’s length. “Well, you are as beautiful as everyone said you were.” I was taken off guard by her comment. I mean, my dad calls me beautiful and Asher told me that this morning, but that was in the heat of the moment. I’m not ugly but I’ve always just been cute. Even my ex-boyfriends have only ever said that I was cute and my mom never once in my life has called me beautiful.
“Thanks,” I mutter, feeling awkward. I can feel heat rise up my cheeks. She smiles brighter and turns towards Asher. They both share a smile and I feel like I’m intruding on a private moment.
“Do you like coffee?” she asks, walking back into the kitchen.
“Like is not the word I would use for how I feel about coffee,” I say. She tilts her head to the side, giving me a questioning look.
“Um… I love coffee,” I say, feeling like a dork. “I'm pretty sure that my coffee consumption alone is helping to get the United States out of debt.” I’m rambling and both she and Asher laugh. I hear scratching and look to the side. Beast has his big paw on the glass door, wanting in. I walk to the door and when I open it, Beast comes in with such force that he knocks me on my butt and starts licking me like he hasn’t seen me in weeks. I’m laughing when I look up and see Asher and his mom watching me with the same smile on their faces.
“Alright, let her up,” Asher says, pushing Beast away. He stands over me with his legs on either side of my body, looking down. “You’re too much,” he mumbles. His hands take mine to lift me off the ground. His words hit me hard for some reason. My mom used to tell me that I was too much, but every time she said it, she would get a look on her face that said she didn’t know why she even bothered with me. I didn’t want to look at Asher and see the same look on his face so let go of his hands, avoiding his eyes. I walk to the island where his mom has a cup of coffee waiting for me. I pour in some milk and add two scoops of sugar. She and Asher are both watching me. I need to get away so I can pull myself together.
“Thank you for the coffee,” I say, looking at Asher’s mom with tears clogging my throat. “I’ll be right back. I just need to get Beast’s food out of my bag.” Walking out of the kitchen and down the hall, I feel like an idiot. My mom isn’t even here and she is making me feel like crap. I’m at the door of Asher’s room when I feel an arm around my waist and I’m flying through the air. I let out a girly scream then land in the bed with Asher on top of me.
“Wh… Wha… What are you doing?” I asked, stuttering and trying to shove him off me.
“What happened back there?” he asks, holding me down. I can’t tell him that my mom has made me a total nut case so I just press my lips together, trying harder to shove him off. I didn’t want his mom to hear me scream at him that it was none of his business. “You were laughing once second and then you closed up. What happened?”
“Nothing. I just need to get Beast’s food. Now get off me,” I say, shoving at him.
“Tell me what happened. Did I hurt you?” He really looks worried.
“When I pulled you up, did I hurt you?” he asks again, making me feel even worse.
“No, you didn’t hurt me. I'm fine now. Can you please move so I can feed my dog?” I ask, shoving him again.
“So what was it then? One minute you were rolling around on the floor with your dog, laughing. Then you looked like someone smacked you. I'm not letting you up until you tell me what happened.” I feel tears and I don’t want to cry in front of him. How can you tell someone that had an amazing mom that yours totally messed up your head.
“You wouldn’t understand,” I say because he really wouldn’t. No one could understand how it feels to have the person who is supposed to protect and guide you through life makes you feel completely worthless.
“Try me,” he whispers. His hand moves from where he was holding me down to glide through the hair at my temple. I feel tears start to fall and I try to look away but he’s holding my face in his hands and bends over to kiss each eye. “Please tell me, baby,” he whisper. I can’t help it. His voice is so soft and his warmth is all around me and I feel safe in that moment. Maybe safer than I’ve ever felt.
“My mom’s not like yours. She’s not sweet, she doesn’t hug, she doesn’t tell people that they’re beautiful, she would never make anyone coffee.” Tears are falling harder and I feel like I have sand in my throat. “I know that it’s stupid, but my whole life she has made me feel bad about myself. My mom is abusive. Not physically, but verbally and emotionally. She has cut me down my whole life. It took me a long time to realize that what she has drilled into my head wasn’t true but those wounds are still there and they run so deep that there are times I can still feel them inside me. Even when someone makes a passing comment that anyone else would laugh at, to me, it feels like a cut.” I realize that I have my eyes closed so I open them and see that Asher looks pissed. His whole body is tight and his teeth are clenched. I started to get scared and he must have read my face. He looks into my eyes and I feel his whole body relax. His jaw unclenches and his thumb travels over my bottom lip.
“It was what I said about you being ‘too much.’” He didn’t ask, it was just a statement. I nod my head because I can’t talk. “You’re beautiful when you laugh. Not too many women would get tackled to the ground by a dog, even their own, and laugh about it, definitely not in front of a man. That’s why I said you were too much. I love that you don’t care what people think and that you act like yourself around me. I'm sorry that your mom is a bitch. I bet that she’s jealous of you so she cut you down, hoping you would always feel infer to her. Hopefully, we can work on filling all the marks she left,” he says softly. His fingers wipe away my tears. I feel it down to my soul. The words that he said feel true but then I remember that I can’t trust it or believe him.
“I can’t do casual,” I blurt out. I wanted to cover my face or go hide in the bathroom. Instead, I close my eyes. His body is shaking so I open my eyes and he’s laughing. “What’s funny?” I ask, irritated.
“Do you think I would try that with you, knowing that your dad, uncle, and cousins would come to kick my ass if I wanted something casual?” he asks, searching my face.
“Ugh…” That never crossed my mind.
“This isn’t casual. Christ!” He growled. “You’ve met my brothers, mom, dad, and grandma. No woman I’ve ever dated has met my whole family. I’ve wanted you from the moment I saw you in the club, hanging on your dad. That’s why I was pissed when I caught you outside. Then when I saw you with my grandmother, I knew I was fucked. She’d been talking about you for weeks, telling me that I need to meet this girl that’s so beautiful and sweet. She told me that she just moved into town and I should ask her out before someone else did. She was right. I realized yesterday that I needed to stake my claim before some stupid fuck got to you. That’s why I did what you called ‘kidnapping.’ I like to call that ‘securing my future.’ We’re going to see where this goes, November, and while we’re doing that, it’s not going to be casual.”
“Okay,” I say, feeling excited and a little scared from the tone of his voice and the look in his eyes. I can tell he’s dead serious.
“Okay.” He kisses me softly. “And just so you know, if your mother ever comes to visit, I won’t be nice.”
“I don’t think my mother will ever come to town.” I’m looking over his shoulder at the same time as I’m praying that I’m right. I truly hope my mother never shows her face in this town. My dad would flip and my grandmother would probably shoot her.
“Alright, now we need to get up before Ma comes in here. She’s worried about you after what happened last night and the look on your face when you walked out of the kitchen. Let’s go have breakfast then go meet your dad at your house.” As if Asher summoned it from thin air, my phone started playing Highway to Hell, my dad’s ring tone. Asher stands, bringing me with him, then walks to his jeans on the floor and pulls my cell out of his pocket and hands it to me. I turn around and put my phone to my ear.
“Hey, baby girl. How are you feeling?”
“Um, I'm good. I'm getting ready to feed Beast and then I'm going to eat breakfast with Asher and his mom.”
“His mom is there?” he says, sounding surprised.
“Yeah, she came by this morning. Mr. Mayson told her about what happened last night and I guess she wanted to make sure I was alright.”
“Hum,” I hear my dad say then he’s quiet.
“Dad, you still there?”
“Yeah, I'm here, baby girl. So what time are you going to be home?”