Excerpt for The Senator's Baby: A BWWM Pregnancy Romance by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

 

 

 

 

The Senator’s Baby

 

A BWWM

Pregnancy Romance Novel

For Adults

 

 Published by Nina Ford at Smashwords



1st Original Edition

Published November 2017



Copyright © 2017 Nina Ford

 

This book is a work of fiction. Any similarities to real people, places, or events are strictly coincidental. This book may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without the expressed permission of the author. Exception is made in the case of brief quotations used in published reviews.

 

 

 

Dedication

This novel is dedicated to my husband, Jason, without whom I would not be the woman I am today. Thank you for being such an amazing husband and father.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 PROLOGUE

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8

CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 10

CHAPTER 11

CHAPTER 12

CHAPTER 13

CHAPTER 14

CHAPTER 15

CHAPTER 16

EPILOGUE

CONTACT ME


 

 

 

~ PROLOGUE ~

 

Everyone let out a collective ‘aww’ when Kiana held up a tiny onesie with adorable little reindeer all over it. “She's going to look so precious in this,” she said, referencing my yet to be born niece. I was hosting a baby shower for her at her favorite Italian restaurant, and right now my job was to keep track of who bought what so that she could send out the appropriate thank you cards later. With that in mind, I scribbled Andrea’s name across my notepad, jotting a quick description of the onesie down beside it.

 

“This might be yours pretty soon,” Kiana said when she saw me staring at it, nudging me in the side.

 

Mom gasped. “Do you have something you need to tell me?” she asked from the couch, focusing in on my stomach.

 

I laughed and shook my head, turning my attention back to the task at hand. I had a feeling that hosting this shower would leave me emotionally drained, but as Kiana’s only sister I knew that it was expected of me. Plus, she and Noel had been trying for a baby for years. They deserved this. My yearning for a second child could take the backburner for at least one afternoon.

 

Jack and I agreed that we wanted more children, it was just the issue of when we kept butting heads over. He wanted to wait until he’d been in office for a few more years, while I would have been content to start trying right after Theo’s birth. It felt strange to admit, but I was the horniest I’d ever been in my life those few weeks after the fact. All I could think about was how amazing it was that I'd come together with the man I loved to create this beautiful little person.

 

I didn’t hound Jack too much about it though. I understood that his career was very important to him. He always stressed that he wanted to be in the White House by the time he was forty, which meant he needed all the energy he could get.

 

Jack was in the kitchen when I arrived home later that afternoon. The summer heat was really starting to take its toll on me. I felt hot and tired as I got out of the car, but luckily he rushed out to help me carry in the leftover party supplies as soon as he heard me pull up.

 

"How’d it go?" he asked.

 

"Great,” I said, plastering on a smile as I handed him a box. “She got a lot of really cute stuff."

 

If Jack noticed the insincerity in my tone, he didn’t comment on it. I followed him inside the house, and Theo pounced on me as soon as he saw me. "Did you remember to bring me candy?" he asked.

 

"Sure did,” I told him, pulling a bag of gummy worms from my purse. “Dinner first though.”

 

Theo pouted, but he knew better than to fight me on it. After heating him and Jack up some leftovers from the party, I cleaned the kitchen and retreated to my bedroom, locking the door before reaching for the locked box I kept buried in my underwear drawer. I slid in the key to open it and was greeted by a stack of baby registry catalogs, which made my heart ache as soon as I saw them. I ran my fingers over a picture of a pair of infant twins in matching onesies, and I was just about to save the page when Jack jiggled the doorknob.

 

"Babe?" he questioned, knocking on the wood.

 

"One sec,” I called out, rushing to hide the box again.

 

Jack continued to jiggle the handle, growing increasingly more frantic. "Are you alright?”

 

I was just about to respond when the lock gave, allowing him to enter.

 

"What were you doing?" he asked, eyeing me rather suspiciously. He’d just seen me close the drawer, and he walked up to look inside it before I could protest.

 

“It’s not what you think,” I said as he examined the box. “It’s just some stuff I’ve been collecting…”

 

Jack raised an eyebrow. “Stuff huh? Mind if I ask what?”

 

"Just some magazines,” I said, attempting to pry the box from his grip. “A little privacy would be nice.”

 

“What’s the big deal?” Jack asked, giving me a sly smile. “Are they pornographic or something?”

 

"Of course not,” I said, rolling my eyes. Enough was enough. Realizing that he wasn’t about to let up, I unlocked the box for a second time and opened it up to reveal the stack of baby magazines.

 

Jack took a moment to flip through them before looking up at me again. "Why do you have these?"

 

“They give me ideas for stuff to buy Kiana,” I lied, hoping he wouldn’t pick up on the dishonesty in my tone.

 

"Yeah, but why hide them?"

 

"I’m not hiding them. This is just where I keep them."

 

Jack seemed satisfied by that answer and closed up the box.

 

"Where’s Theo?" I asked him, taking a seat beside him on our bed and beginning to massage his shoulders.

 

"Outside,” Jack said, nodding towards the window. “I just came in here to change so that I could mow the lawn. I’ll make sure to keep an eye on him."

 

I nodded. I was beyond exhausted from the afternoons affairs. All I wanted to do was take a nap. I laid back and rested my head on my pillow, watching from my peripherals as Jack changed his clothing and came over to give me a kiss on the cheek. "You okay?" he asked me, stroking my hair back away from my face.

 

“Yeah,” I said, giving him a small smile. “I’m just going to take a quick nap.”

 

Jack nodded and left me alone to sleep. It was a couple of hours before I finally emerged from our bedroom, grabbing my purse and keys before going to track him down. "I’ll be back,” I called out across the back lawn to him. "We need a few things from the store.”

 

“Can I come?” Theo asked, bounding up to me from the swing set.

 

I took a moment to study him. He slowed me down tremendously whenever I brought him to run errands, but then again, I hadn’t been able to spend much time with him today. Plus, Jack looked like he needed a break. “Alright,” I said, scrunching up my nose at how filthy he was. “But go change your clothes and wash up first.”

 

Theo took off to do just that. We left shortly thereafter, and he surprised me with a very outlandish question when we were about halfway to Costco. "Are you and dad going to have another baby?" he asked, his voice rich with curiosity.

 

Taken somewhat aback, I glanced up at him in my rearview mirror.  "Maybe someday,” I said, smiling at him. "Do you want a little brother or a little sister?"

 

"Neither,” Theo said, crossing his arms in protest.

 

I frowned. This was not the reaction I’d been expecting from him. Everything I’d read in my parenting books said that children were usually excited by the prospect of becoming an older sibling. "Why not?" I asked, keeping my tone as lighthearted as possible.

 

"Because,” Theo said, glancing out the window. "You and dad won’t care about me as much if there’s a baby around.”

 

“Theo, that’s not true at all,” I informed him, shaking my head. “Your father and I love you. Having another baby doesn’t mean we’d love you any less.”

 

"Are you sure?"

 

"Positive,” I said, taking one hand off the wheel to reach back and pat his leg.

 

Theo studied my face for a second longer before looking back out at the passing scenery.  I could tell that he was mulling over everything I’d just said, and the rest of the car ride was a silent one.

 

When we returned home, Jack came out of the house to help me carry in the groceries. As we were putting the food in the cupboards, Theo made sure to point out all the stuff he couldn’t wait to dive into tomorrow. I smiled at him, but Jack seemed to notice that my mind was elsewhere. "We need to talk,” he said once Theo retreated to his room to get ready for bed, lightly touching my shoulder to get me to stop loading the dishwasher.

 

I frowned and turned to look at him. “About?”

 

“Moving,” Jack said, waving a hand around the room. “This place isn’t exactly baby friendly.”

 

It took me a full minute to process what he was alluding to. I just couldn’t believe that he was speaking so casually about something he was so adamantly opposed to not even twenty-four hours prior. "What?" I finally questioned, sure I hadn’t heard him correctly.

 

“You heard me,” Jack said, giving me a small smile. It was obvious that he was aware that he was lifting my spirits just that much more with every word that left his mouth. “I think it’s time we try for another baby.”

 

It was music to my ears.

 

"I don’t get it,” I said, still skeptical. “Why now?”

 

Jack pulled me in closer then, wrapping an arm around my waist. "Why do you think?" he said, giving me a soft kiss on the lips. “I’m not completely dense. I know you’re not just hoarding those magazines because of Kiana.”

 

A wide smile broke across my face. "You’re serious? You really want to start trying?"

 

Jack nodded. “I didn’t realize how badly you wanted it until I saw your little stash,” he said, once again alluding to my collection. I was embarrassed that he’d seen right through me, but the longer he spoke, the more excited I became. The circumstances surrounding Theo’s conception were so unfavorable. I wanted nothing more than for us to get a second chance at doing it right.

 

"So we’re really going to start trying?" I reiterated, crossing my fingers that he wouldn’t have an abrupt change of heart.

 

“Yep,” Jack said. "If that’s what you want."

 

I frowned, pulling back to look him in the eyes. “What about what you want?”

 

“All I want is for you to be happy,” Jack said, giving me another soft peck on the lips. “That’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

 

~ CHAPTER ONE ~

 

I saw Jack naked before I ever saw his face. He’d just come in from surfing and was using the garden shower to rinse the last of the salt from his bronzed flesh, but that wasn’t all he was doing. From where I was standing in the grass, partially hidden by overgrown palm trees, I could see that he was stroking his length with an impressive vigor.

 

I should have run while I still had the chance. Instead I continued watching, memorizing every stroke for future reference. He had his fist wrapped firm around his base, fingers slick with soap, and his sturdy buttocks flexed with every tug.

 

Up until then, the only men I’d ever seen naked were the ones mom brought parading home from various cocktail bars. They were always half her age, always assholes, and always too comfortable walking around in the buff. When I was real little she’d introduce them to me as friends from the industry, but I wasn't dense. I knew just how “friendly” they really got with her.

 

To me she was just my mom, but that wasn’t how the rest of the world saw her. To them she was the infamous Imani Woods. The world’s first black super model and arguably one of the most beautiful women to ever walk the planet. She could have had any man she wanted, but instead she chose Robert Fitzgerald. They’d met at an event back in D.C. and had made the long distance thing work for awhile, but it ceased to be casual the day we made the cross-country move out to Kailua to live with him.

 

Robert, like all mom’s more long-term men, was ridiculously wealthy. What made him standout from the masses was the fact that he was actually born in the same decade as her. He was also one of Hawaii’s two senators, making him one of her most influential men yet.

 

When mom informed me that Robert had a son about my age, I assumed he’d be no different than all the other spoiled WASP brats I’d grown up with back in D.C. Boringly obedient, meticulous, and terrified of doing anything that might ruffle their parents feathers.

 

The very last thing I was expecting was the national crisis that was Jack Fitzgerald.

 

When Jack came, he came hard, spitting copious amounts of seed in every direction. He remained hard for a full minute afterwards, and I was able to get a clear look at his glorious length when he let go of it to wash his hands. It was about the size of a cucumber, uncut and fairly thick, offset by a patch of coarse pubes that were the same shade of ash brown as the hair on his head. If the male genitalia could be beautiful, his was deserving of some sort of award.

 

I was so distracted by it that I didn’t realize he was staring at me too. It was the first glimpse I’d gotten of his face, and I could feel my own turning hot with embarrassment as his lips curled into a suggestive smirk. “Well don’t just stand there,” he said, speaking his very first words to me. “At least come over and introduce yourself.”

 

I don’t think I’ve ever run as fast as I did then. I was short of breath by the time I made it back inside the house, so much so that mom took a break from unpacking to scrutinize me.

 

“What?” she asked, crossing her arms. “You’re not smoking that shit again, are you? Because you know how much Robert hates that. He still hasn't gotten over the last time.”

 

She was referring to the night he’d caught me finishing off a roach in my car after work. He was visiting us in D.C. to help us prepare for the move, and though I wasn’t doing anything that concerned him, that didn't stop him from taking it personally. He went bitching to her about it under the guise that it would lead to bad press for him, and she sided with him as if she hadn't been the one to introduce me to pot to begin with.

 

“Oh really?” I challenged, nodding towards the window. “Well maybe someone should tell his son that.”

 

Mom followed my gaze and gasped when she saw Jack walking towards the house clad in nothing but a towel. He was also smoking one of the fattest joints I'd ever seen. Poor Robert. He could control his committees, but he sure as hell couldn't control his son.

 

Mom laid into Jack as soon as he entered the house, not seeming even remotely fazed that the outline of his dick was visible through the thin fabric of his towel. Then again, why would she have been? She’d seen a small arsenal of them in the past year alone. This whole domestic thing she had going with Robert was cute, but it wouldn't last. She’d managed to sweet talk him out of a prenuptial agreement, which meant it was really only a matter of time before she helped herself to half of everything he owned and got the hell out of dodge.

 

I just hoped it wouldn’t happen until after I left for college. I wasn’t sure how many more cross-country moves I had left in me.

 

Jack laughed in mom’s face, grabbing a beer from the fridge on his way to his room. I couldn’t really blame him for having a hard time taking her seriously. She was the third woman his father had married since his mom’s passing, making her just another notch on Robert’s very-expensive bedpost in his eyes.

 

Mom turned her attention back to me once Jack’s door slammed shut. She had this look on her face like she was trying to find something to scold me about, so I took off to my room before she could get the chance. Any normal mother would have been concerned about her daughter sharing a roof with a self-entitled prick like Jack Fitzgerald, but not mom. Seventeen years of being pseudo-raised by her had made it clear that she didn’t have a maternal bone in her body.

 

Collapsing on my bare mattress, I took a moment to gather my thoughts, but they kept drifting back to Jack. I suppose I should have expected him to be attractive considering Robert certainly wasn’t bad looking for his age, but in retrospect, I think part of me didn’t want him to be. If living with total strangers wasn’t nerve-racking enough, having a stepbrother who looked like he belonged in Playgirl was the final nail in my coffin.

 

I went out that night. Spending the day unpacking had taken something out of me. I needed the chance to unwind, and I was given it when my older sister Kiana informed me that her and her roommate Andrea were in town for some festival. She’d made the decision to transfer to the University of Hawaii in Honolulu after finding out we were moving here, and I was more than a little grateful. Knowing she was just a short drive away whenever I needed her made the prospect of living with Jack seem a whole lot less daunting.

 

The three of us spent the night exploring downtown Kailua, immersing ourselves in the culture and street food. Eventually we ended up in a club, and they managed to sneak me past the bouncer with little effort. I might not have been legal yet, but I was at least blessed with a face that didn’t give that away.

 

The club was dimly lit and packed from wall to wall with gyrating bodies. Beautiful Hawaiian music filled the air, drowning out any conversation, and our both became littered with empty cocktail glasses and weed residue within an hour of being there.

 

Some of it was mine, but most of it wasn’t.

 

Kiana smiled at me from across the table, exchanging a peculiar look with Andrea. It almost seemed flirtatious, but I didn’t overanalyze it too much. College had a tendency of bringing out the more adventurous side of people.

 

“I’m really glad you decided to come out with us,” Kiana slurred at me, reaching for my hand. She was already on her third or fourth drink of the night. If she wasn’t drunk yet, it was really only a matter of time now.

 

“Yeah, well, I couldn’t stand being around mom for much longer,” I told her, running my hand over my hair to ensure that it wasn’t starting to frizz up from the humidity. By some miracle, it wasn’t. “And Robert’s son is a real piece of work too. The guy has no couth whatsoever. I’ve barely known him twenty-four hours and I’ve already seen him naked.”

 

Kiana laughed, swallowing back the last of her drink as the music tapered off into something a little more mainstream. Beside her, Andrea bent to snort a line off the table, completely disregarding the judgmental looks a few people in another booth were giving her. “Yeah?” Kiana said, sloshing around the ice at the bottom of her glass. “Well if you think that’s bad, you should have seen this guy Andrea brought home the other night. He looked like he was still going through puberty, but that sure didn’t stop him from climbing into bed with her.”

 

Andrea lifted her head and wiped the excess powder from her nostrils before giving Kiana a firm shove in the shoulder. “I told you. I saw his school ID. He was born in 1987, meaning what we did was perfectly legal, thank you very much.”

 

“Sure,” Kiana said, giving her a disbelieving look. “I’m just glad you’re finally getting back out there again.”

 

Andrea shrugged and rubbed the pad of her thumb over the lipstick stain she’d left behind on her glass, briefly catching sight of herself in the reflection. Her pupils were somewhat dilated, making it clear that her high was setting in. “I figured it was time,” she said, waving her acrylics in the air. “Michael has been moved on. I heard he’s back to fucking with this girl he cheated on me with in high school.”

 

“Fuck him,” Kiana said. “You were too good for his ass anyway.”

 

Andrea gave her a grateful smile. “What about you?” she asked as she turned towards me, steering the conversation off of herself.

 

I frowned. “Me?”

 

“Are you dating anyone?” Andrea elaborated, giving me a look like I was thick in the head. “And don’t tell me you’re not. There’s no way you’re out here looking this good without getting hit on left and right.”

 

“Nah,” I said, shrugging. “I messed around with a couple guys over the summer back in D.C., but nothing ever came of them...”

 

Kiana looked intrigued by this. “Yeah? Any of them cute?” she inquired, resting her chin in her hands.

 

I took a moment to think over my roster of failed dates. The first guy was named Kevin. He was a graffiti artist with a pretty large following on the east coast, and he treated me like an absolute princess. He was always buying me thoughtful little gifts and taking me on unique dates. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only girl that he was wooing, and we ended up breaking up when I discovered that he already had a girlfriend.

 

That wasn’t even the worst of it though.

 

The next guy on the chopping block was a gym rat by the name of Mateo. He gave new meaning to the word gorgeous, but it was made clear to me upon our second date that he was also very gay. He showed up looking more polished than I was, waxed eyebrows and all, and he spent the entire night texting his “homie”.

 

I wasn't one to throw in the towel that easily though. Cuffing season was right around the corner, and I didn’t want to be alone for it. I went out with five more guys after that, but all of them came with similar clauses, and eventually I became so frustrated that I gave up on the endeavor all together.

 

“Nah,” I said, deciding to keep it simple. “I mean…they were alright. There just wasn’t really a spark with any of them.”

 

“Well were they at least any good in the sack?” Andrea asked.

 

“It never got that far,” I said, avoiding making eye contact with her. Kiana knew that I was saving myself for marriage, but she didn’t, and I certainly wasn’t about to break it to her in our current setting.

 

Andrea gave me a look like she wasn’t quite buying it, but Kiana rushed to my rescue before she could say anything else. “Well I have some news to share,” she said, a coy smile pulling at her lips. “Pretty big news actually....”

 

I welcomed the change of subject and waited for her to continue, but Andrea was too distracted with scouting out a prime candidate to take to bed that night to show any interest. Ignoring her altogether, Kiana turned her attention solely to me and smiled before proceeding to unleash a cavalcade of details onto me.

 

“His name’s Noel. He's one of the doctor’s I’m completing my residency under. At first I didn’t think anything would happen between us, but he asked me out for dinner at the end of my first week and we’ve been dating ever since. I know I only just met him…but I don't know. I really think he might be the one.”

 

Kiana smiled rather bashfully, taking a moment to catch her breath. It was a lovesick look I’d seen on her face at least a dozens times since her freshman year, all for different guy’s she swore up and down she’d end up marrying.

 

“He sounds great,” I said with forced enthusiasm, but deep down I was already placing a silent bet with myself as to just how long this guy would last.

 

“Yeah, we get it,” Andrea chided in without looking at us. She almost sounded jealous. “He’s great. Absolutely incredible.”

 

Kiana's smile disappeared as soon as the words left her mouth. She fidgeted with one of her Marley twists to keep from going off, but eventually her irritation got the better of her. “What's that supposed to mean?” she challenged, narrowing her eyes. “If you have something to say, why don't you just stop being passive aggressive and say it?”

 

Andrea wasn't that easily shook though. She laughed in Kiana's face like it was nothing, keeping her eyes glued to a booth full of surfers in the corner of the room. They were the epitome of corny, yet somehow their bronzed flesh and unkempt hair was enough to draw the attention of every basic bitch in the room. Aside from Andrea that is. Kiana let me know she really only behaved this way when she was drunk.

 

“Whatever,” Kiana said, waving her off. She turned her attention back to me and spoke frankly. “I really want this to work out. He’s perfect.”

 

I was quiet as I listened to her gush. Regardless of how adamant she was that this guy was the one, they were always perfect, and she always wanted it to work out with them. She lived with her head in the clouds and was about as far from rational as they came, but there really wasn’t any use in telling her that. Hopeless romantics rarely ever changed, which was good in a way, because the world wouldn’t have felt quite the same without them.

 

~ CHAPTER TWO ~

 

Kiana wouldn't stop staring at Andrea. She’d made herself at home in some bored looking surfer’s lap, and his palm had long since disappeared beneath her dress. It was a display that reeked of desperation, and yet, like a car accident, neither one us could look away.

 

“She can be so messy sometimes,” Kiana said, watching as Andrea allowed herself to be pulled out onto the center of the dance floor. Her movements were clumsy and disoriented, and all the men back at the booth she’d just abandoned made no attempt to hide their amusement.

 

“She’s fine though,” Kiana said, sounding as though she was trying to convince herself more than me. “She’s been like this ever since her break up. It’s nothing new.”

 

I nodded, following her gaze over to a guy nursing a drink up at the bar. He looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn't quite make out his face in the darkness. I could, however, make out the fact that he had the stature of a Greek God. He had to be at least 6’2, if not taller, and his body looked as though it was sculpted out of pure marble. “Yeah, he’s alright,” I said when Kiana commented on how fine he was. “But what about that Noel guy?”

 

“Noel?” Kiana gave me a perplexed look, but it didn’t take long for it to click. “I don't mean for me! I mean for you, you big goof!”

 

“Me?” I snorted, glancing up at the bar to get another look at the guy. “I don’t know,” I said, pulling back when I wasn't able to see his face. “He doesn’t really seem like my type...”

 

“Your type?” Kiana laughed like I'd just told her the joke of the century. “What, you mean because he’s not black?”

 

“Of course not,” I rushed to respond, feeling all the blood drain from my face. I really hated how well she could read me. “It’s just…he’s not…”

 

“Not what?” Kiana cut in. “Clean cut? Boring as all hell?”

 

I faked a scoff, but deep down I knew she had a point. The guy’s I’d dated in the past had been what one would call boring. I just felt most comfortable when I was playing it safe. It hadn’t exactly brought me a landmine of success, but at least I never ended my weekends feeling lonely and used.

 

Kiana continued speaking when I didn't say anything. “You're only young once kid,” she said, giving me a light pat on the back. “You might as well enjoy it while it lasts.”

 

“I don’t know,” I said, shaking around the last of the ice in my glass. “I guess I’d have to get a better look at him.”

 

“Well what are you waiting for?” Kiana asked, nudging me in the side. “Go over and get him to buy you a drink.”

 

When I didn't budge, Kiana lifted my chin so that we were once again eye- to-eye. “Here,” she said, reaching for a lone shot and holding it to my mouth. “A little liquid reinforcement never hurt.”

 

I reluctantly swallowed it down, clenching my jaw at the burn. She was right. It took the edge off almost immediately.

 

“I promise I wouldn’t tell you to do it if I didn’t think it was a good idea,” Kiana said, giving me a reassuring smile. “Besides, he’s been checking you out all night.”

 

“Uh-huh.”

 

“He has!” Kiana insisted. “I’ve caught him looking back here at least three times since we got here. He thinks he’s slick, but he’s not. Just be yourself. Mom’s genetics will do the rest.”

 

I rolled my eyes at that last part, but I couldn't fight the smile that pulled at my lips. “Fine,” I agreed, standing up. “So long as you promise not to leave without me.”

 

Kiana held up two fingers in solidarity. “Oh, and one last thing,” she said, coming over to grip hold of my chin. I tensed up as she applied a coat of lipstick to my lips, taking her time to get it just right.  “Perfect,” she said, stepping back to admire her work. “Now go fourth and slay.”

 

Allowing my slight buzz to lead the way, I clawed through a mass of bodies and let out a breath of relief when I finally reached the bar. It was who I saw when I turned to get a look at this mystery guy’s face that managed to get my heart racing again.

 

“Hey sis,” Jack said, giving me an amused smile before sliding down the bar so that we were shoulder to shoulder. He laced a strong arm around my back, and I tensed when I felt his breath graze my neck.

 

“Fancy finding you here.”

 

~ CHAPTER THREE ~

 

“What?” Jack asked when I wouldn't stop staring at him. “Do I have something on my face?”

 

I shook my head and tossed back the last of my drink. It must have been the fifth one I’d allowed him to buy me. I could only imagine what his tab looked like at this point. “No,” I said, breaking his gaze. “You’re fine.”

 

I watched as he swallowed back the last of his screwdriver, admiring the way his Adam’s apple bobbed in his throat as he did. Drunk or not, it took everything in me not to lean forward and kiss away the leftover moisture on his lips.

 

“Weddings,” I blurted out.

 

Jack looked at me like I was crazy. “What?”

 

“You asked what I wanted to do after high school,” I clarified. “I want to plan weddings.”

 

“Really?” Jack furrowed his brows as he digested this.

 

“What?” I asked him. “Not what you were expecting?”

 

“Not exactly,” Jack admitted. “A child of divorce bringing people together through the sanctity of marriage. That's some Freudian shit if I've ever heard it.”

 

That got me laughing. Again, it was probably just because I was drunk, but I was starting to come around to the idea that he wasn’t half bad. He was actually kind of charming. His hand grazed mine on top the bar, marking the first time I ever understood what everyone meant when they said they had butterflies.

 

It was in that moment that a group of scantly dressed women in what appeared to be a bachelorette party approached the bar, but Jack’s eyes never once left mine. “Do you want to get out of here?” he asked, not bothering to mask the obvious fog of desire in his tone. “I know a place...”

 

He didn’t wait for me to respond though. Instead he flagged down the bartender to pay his tab and reached for my hand. We were halfway to the door when someone barreled past us, but he caught hold of me by the waist before I could fall.

 

Jack closed the distance between us once we were outside, bringing his hand down against my cheek as he studied my face. It caught me somewhat off guard, but there was no ignoring the electricity passed between us. It sent a warmth straight down my spine despite the fact that it was freezing out.

 

“Come on,” he said, pulling me towards his car. “Let’s get out of here.”

 

The ride to wherever he wanted to take me was a quiet one, and I took the opportunity to soak in the passing scenery. My thoughts began to drift, however, when I felt his free hand snake its way up my inner thigh. I knew I shouldn’t have wanted him, but I did, and I began to want him even more with every unsubtle glance he stole my way.

 

We pulled into an isolated spot on the beach a few minutes later. I took a moment to stretch my limbs before following him out to the water, where we took a seat in the damp sand.

 

“I love it here,” Jack said after we’d been sitting in silence for a few minutes. “It’s easily one of my favorite spots on the island.”

 

I looked over at him. “Yeah?”

 

“Yeah,” Jack said, scooping a handful of sand into his palm. “I’ve been coming here since I was a kid. This was my place when my mom first got diagnosed. There’s something therapeutic about it.”

 

I couldn’t help but admire the level of honesty in his words. I was quiet as I digested them, but I didn’t have a chance to before he jumped up and began stripping of his clothing. It was an action that left me void of any words, and it must have showed in my face, because he laughed before running towards the water.

 

“What are you waiting for?” he called out to me. “Get in!”

 

Normally I would have said no without so much as a second thought, but the way he was staring at me made it clear that he had no intention on backing off. Throwing caution to the wind, I stood up and began to strip, feeling his eyes graze my flesh all the while. I didn’t appease him by getting fully naked though. I left my undergarments on, making a quick dash into the water before he could get too close of a look at any one part of my body.

 

It took me a moment to adjust to the temperature. I looked around for Jack as soon as I did, but it wasn’t until I felt something brush up against me from behind that I found him. We frolicked in the water for a bit, but we ended up back on the shore when it became too cold for our liking.

 

“What were you doing there?” I blurted out once we were both fully dressed, unable to keep the question unspoken any longer.


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