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Second chance holiday, p.3
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       Second Chance Holiday, p.3

         Part #4.50 of Until series by Aurora Rose Reynolds
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  “Sorry,” he says, and I try to step around him, but he blocks my way again.

  “Move.” I glare, and he smirks, shaking his head.

  I look around me and see a sliding glass door not far from where I’m standing. I’m just about to make a run for it when Mike comes storming back into the house carrying my purse, which I left in Conner’s truck.

  “Let’s go,” Mike says, and the tattoo guy in front of me smiles before stepping out of the way. When Mike reaches my side, his hand slides around my waist and his eyes go to the tattoo guy. “Thanks, Nico, and tell November I’ll call her,” he says before leading me out of the house.

  “What are you doing?” I ask when I finally find my voice.

  “We’re going to my house so we can talk,” he says, opening the passenger’s side door to his car and pushing me in before slamming the door closed.

  “What just happened?” I whisper to myself as I watch Mike slide behind the wheel.

  “Seatbelt, babe,” he says as I sit there, stunned. His arm comes across me, pulling the belt across my body before locking it in place.

  “Mike.”

  “We’ll talk soon,” he tells me, starting up the car and putting it in reverse.

  “Mike.”

  “Just a minute, babe,” he mutters, pulling out his phone and pressing a couple of buttons before putting it to his ear. “I won’t be at the club tonight. Can you handle it?” he asks into the phone while turning his car onto the main road. “Good. Thanks,” he mutters before pulling the phone from his ear and putting it in the cup holder between us.

  “Can you take me home?” I ask softly.

  His hand comes to mine in my lap. He twines his fingers with mine before pulling my hand to his mouth and whispering, “No,” against my fingers.

  “I just kissed you when I was out on a date with someone else,” I tell him.

  “I know,” he replies, pulling my hand to his thigh.

  “I feel really horrible about that, Mike.”

  “I know that, too.”

  “I need to apologize to Conner.”

  “No, you don’t,” he says firmly.

  “Mike, you know about my past, about my ex and what he did to me. I doesn’t sit well that I did that to someone else.”

  “Did you sleep with him?” he asks on a growl.

  “What?”

  “Did you sleep with Conner?” he repeats, sounding even angrier.

  “No,” I whisper.

  “Do you like him?”

  “He was nice.”

  “Nice?” he says, his face showing disgust.

  “Yes. Nice.”

  “Could you see yourself with him in five years?” he asks, and I turn my head to look at him, noticing that his jaw is clenched.

  “No,” I say quietly.

  “Then you don’t need to call him.”

  We drive the rest of the way to his house in silence. My brain keeps repeating everything that just happened and I have no idea why I’m not fighting him or why I don’t have more of an issue with his telling me that I can’t call Conner. All I keep thinking about is that, every time he touches or kisses me, it feels right.

  When we pull up to his house, he shuts down the car and immediately gets out, walks around to my side, opens my door, leans in across me, unhooks my belt, and pulls me out with him.

  “Um,” I mumble, not sure what I’m going to say as he shuts the door behind us.

  He grabs my hand, dragging me with him into the kitchen. “Sit here,” he says as his hands go to my waist, hoisting me up on to the counter. Then he kisses me on the lips before going to the fridge and getting two beers.

  I watch him, at a loss for words, while he pops the tops on both beers before coming to stand in front of me, pushing my legs apart, and then standing between them.

  “Now, let’s talk,” he says, setting his beer down at my hip. His hands slide around me, pulling me closer to him. “First, I fucked up, but this is how it’s supposed to be. There is supposed to be an us.”

  I can feel my mouth opening and closing, but no words are coming out.

  His eyes search my face, his voice drops and his hands go to my face, holding it gently. “I love you. You love me.”

  I double blink and feel my insides melt.

  “I messed up.”

  What the hell is going on?

  I look around the kitchen, making sure that I’m not getting Punk’d. Men do not do this—at least not the men I know. Then again, Mike has never been normal—hence my not being able to get over him.

  “Do you forgive me?” he asks softly, his eyes pleading.

  I take a deep breath, holding it in. I still can’t form words as I look into his eyes. I know we have a lot to work through, but I want to be with him. So I take my hands off the counter, place them on his shoulders, and lean in, pressing my mouth to his. His hands hold my face more firmly while he takes over control of the kiss by tilting my head farther so he can get deeper. His tongue tangles with mine and the feel of his hand skimming down my side to run smoothly over my breast causes me to lift my hips and circle my legs around his waist. Then he pulls his mouth away and rests his forehead against mine with his eyes closed.

  “We have a lot to work out,” I say softly.

  He nods, his hands sliding around me.

  “If we’re going to do this, I want all of it, not just the sex.” I know deep down that I’m just as guilty as he is for what happened between us before. I should have told him sooner that I wanted more before flipping out and jumping ship.

  “You got me, Kat.”

  I search his face and see the truth and love in his eyes.

  “You love me too, right?” he asks, sounding worried. “I didn’t get that wrong, did I?”

  “I do love you,” I whisper. This is not what I thought would happen between us.

  “So all the rest can be worked out.”

  “All the rest can be worked out,” I repeat as his arms wrap around me and he pulls me into his chest.

  “Now, is it time for make-up sex?” he asks with a grin, making me tilt my head back and laugh at the hopeful look on his face.

  When I get control of my laughter, I search his face. The look in his eyes makes me pause. He’s still smiling, but he looks vulnerable. He’s not used to the things he’s feeling, and I know that, if we’re going to do this right, we need to take it slow for both of us.

  “How do you feel about watching a movie and making out with me?” I ask with a smile.

  “We can do that,” he says softly, helping me off the counter and grabbing our beers before leading me into the living room.

  We are just getting comfortable when my phone rings from my bag in the kitchen. I know from the tone that it Brandon. I get up off the couch and go to my bag, pulling out my phone.

  “Hey, honey,” I answer, putting the phone to my ear.

  “Where are you?”

  “Excuse me?” I ask, hearing the anger in his voice.

  “I heard you were with Mike.”

  “I am with Mike.”

  “Mom, what the fuck?”

  “Brandon, you’re the child. I’m the parent,” I remind him. Since we have been on our own without his dad, he has been stepping over his boundaries more and more.

  “Whatever,” he says before hanging up on me.

  I pull the phone away from my ear and look at the screen.

  “Everything okay?” Mike asks, making me jump.

  I sigh and turn to look at him. As much as I want to hang out, I need to go home and talk to my son.

  “I need to go home,” I tell him, shaking my head.

  “Brandon okay?” he asks, looking concerned.

  “Yeah. I just need to go home and have a talk with him.”

  “I’ll drive you.”

  “Thank you,” I whisper, getting my bag and following him out to his truck.

  Chapter 4

  KAT

  I answer my phone, my voice cracki
ng. “Hello.”

  “What’s wrong, baby?” Mike asks, his voice softening as my body collapses back onto the bed.

  “I’m sick,” I tell him, pulling the covers over me.

  “Where’s Brandon?”

  “He’s staying the night at a friend’s house tonight,” I mumble, cuddling deeper into my pillow. I woke up with a headache, and throughout the day, I have slowly gotten worse. My nose started running, and then I started getting chills. “I took some medicine,” I say absently.

  “I’ll be over in an hour.” His concern comes to me though the phone like a soothing caress.

  “You don’t need to come,” I say immediately, not wanting him to get sick. Working from home, I’m able to make my own schedule, but I know he doesn’t have the option of being sick. His club is very important to him and his brother.

  “Do you like chicken noodle soup?” he asks, ignoring me and my protest.

  “I don’t want you to get sick.”

  “I’ll be fine. Now answer my question.”

  I smile at his bossiness and nod into my pillow as I tell him, “Yes.”

  “I’ll see you soon, baby,” he says, softly making my heart swell. Since we got back together, he has been all in and our relationship couldn’t be any better.

  “’Kay,” I whisper, falling asleep.

  “Kat, wake up, baby,” I hear then feel a cool rag on my forehead.

  I open my eyes slowly. They feel so heavy.

  “Hey,” Mike says, running a finger down the underside of my jaw. “I need you to sit up and take some medicine for me.”

  I blink and slowly sit up with his help. “Thanks,” I tell him, taking the pills from his hand and putting them in my mouth before taking the cup from him and swallowing them down.

  “You got a thermometer?”

  “In the bathroom,” I whisper.

  He gets up and leaves, coming back a few seconds later with it in his hand. “Open up, babe,” he says, sitting on the side of the bed near my hip.

  I open my mouth before closing my lips around it. When I hear it go off, I open my eyes, not even having realized they were closed.

  He removes it from my mouth and shakes his head. “One-oh-two,” he says, looking at me worriedly.

  “I’ll be okay.” I lean my head against the headboard and pull the covers up to my waist.

  His hand comes up, his fingers running along my hairline. “I’d feel better if you didn’t have a temp.”

  I smile. “You can’t control everything.”

  “I don’t like you sick. How about you take a shower while I make you some soup?”

  “Okay,” I sigh. I can tell by the look on his face that he’s not going to give up until my temperature is down. I sit up completely, and he helps me into the bathroom, starting the shower for me before helping me remove my clothes. There is nothing sexual about it, and I can tell by the concentration on his face that he is just focused on taking care of me and helping me get better.

  “You gonna be okay or do you want me to stay in here?” he asks, helping me into the shower.

  “I’ll be okay.” I nod, tilting my head back under the water.

  The feel of the warm water running over me makes me sigh in relief. I open my eyes when I don’t hear him say anything else. His hands are above his head, holding on to the shower rod, the muscles of his harms flexing. The look on his face has me swallowing hard.

  “I was good until you made that sound,” he says, his voice raising the hairs on my arms.

  “What sound?” I ask. Even though I’m sick, I feel my body react to the look in his eyes.

  “It’s this noise you make when I slide inside you. I haven’t heard it in so long. When the sound left your mouth, my boy woke up,” he says, tilting his head down toward his crotch.

  I lower my eyes and see the large outline of his erection through his jeans. We haven’t had sex since we got back together. Between Brandon, work, and Mike’s schedule at the club, we haven’t been able to spend more than a few hours together. Now, after not having had him for so long, my body is waking back up. It never took much for him to get to me. I swear I can feel myself get wet just by thinking of him.

  “I’m gonna go make your soup,” he growls.

  I nod, licking my lips, my eyes tracking his movements. I want to lean out of the shower and wrap myself around him.

  “Motherfucker,” he mumbles before turning and leaving me standing in the shower.

  I hear him as he goes down the stairs and listen as cabinets open and close. I can’t help it; the smile that spreads across my lips gets bigger the louder he becomes downstairs. I can imagine him muttering under his breath while slamming the cabinets.

  I finish washing up then get out. I twist my hair in a towel before wrapping up in my favorite robe and climbing back into bed. I turn on the TV just as Mike walks into the room carrying a tray I didn’t even know I owned.

  “Where did you find that?” I ask him as he walks around the bed, setting the tray down on my lap.

  “Brought it with me.” He smiles. “Ma was over at my place when I called you. She told me what you would need.”

  My heart flutters. No one has ever looked after me when I was sick before—not even my ex-husband. He was always too busy. Of course, later I learned that it was difficult for him to be married to me while carrying on a relationship with his girlfriend and her children.

  “Thank you,” I whisper, looking down at the tray. Not only did he bring me soup, but he also brought me crackers and ginger ale. I dip the spoon into the soup, coming up with broth and tiny stars. I smile bigger as I swallow a spoonful.

  “You feel better after your shower?”

  “Actually, yes.” I nod, watching as he takes off his boots and pulls his shirt off over his head. I don’t think I will ever get over the sight of him.

  I’ve never had any problems with my weight. My whole life, I have been the same size. Even when I was pregnant with my son, I didn’t gain more than twenty pounds. But Mike’s body is something different altogether. His muscles are defined. You can tell just by looking at him that he takes care of himself.

  After he is down to his boxers and his clothes are neatly placed in the large, oversized chair in the corner of my room, he climbs into bed next to me, careful not to spill my soup as he wraps an arm around my shoulder.

  “You got the remote?” he asks.

  Without thinking, I hand it to him. Then he turns on a football game and kisses the side of my head. The whole thing feels surreal. It feels like we have done this a million times.

  “What time do you have to go into work?” I ask him. I don’t want him to leave, but he works nights and being the owner of a strip club doesn’t come with a normal schedule.

  “Joe’s got it covered tonight,” he says absently, his eyes focused on the game.

  My insides are turning liquid. He is having his brother take over so he can be with me.

  “I’ll be okay if you need to go to work,” I tell him, scooping up another spoonful of soup.

  “He’s got it, babe,” he says, looking over at me. “The club’s not going anywhere. It’s probably gonna be a slow night anyway, and Joe can handle it.”

  “Okay,” I whisper.

  “Eat,” he says, his tone gentle.

  I nod and finish eating. When I’m done, he takes the tray downstairs only to come back up carrying a plastic shopping bag. When he gets back into the bed, he dumps the bag out and I start to laugh. There is every kind of medication you could think of, from stuff for colds, period pain relievers, and stuff for gas and bloating.

  “I didn’t want to have to leave after I got here, so I got a little bit of everything.”

  “I can see that.” I smile then start putting stuff back. “I don’t need any of this,” I tell him, handing him the bag.

  He takes it and puts it on the floor. I pick up the Nyquil and he takes it from me, opening it and pouring it into the little cup before handing the cu
p to me. I take it immediately before handing him the empty cup back. He puts the stuff on the table next to him before lying down, pulling me with him.

  “Thank you for coming and taking care of me.”

  His hands wrap around me tighter and his lips touch the top of my head. “It’s my job to take care of you,” he tells me, and I can hear the seriousness in his tone.

  “And I get to take care of you.”

  His body stills and he takes a deep breath. “I’d like that,” he says quietly.

  I know about his dating history, and I know that he never wanted to get close to anyone again. However, I also know that, even if he told himself that all of his previous bed partners were long term and that he might not have been looking for love, he was not sleeping with a different woman every night. He wanted to connect with someone, but somehow, he never did.

  I burrow deeper into his side and angle my face towards the TV.

  “Night,” Mike says, his lips resting on my forehead briefly before pulling away.

  “Night,” I whisper back. My eyes close completely, and my only thought is that this is the thing I’ve been looking for.

  “What the fuck are you doing here?” I hear Brandon say.

  I sit up quickly, looking at the open door of my room. My eyes meet my son’s angry ones. Then his go back to Mike, who is now sitting up as well, wrapping an arm around me.

  “Brandon Tim, watch your mouth,” I tell him, running a hand through my hair.

  “Seriously, Mom, this is bullshit.”

  “Mind your mom,” Mike says in a tone I’ve never heard from him before.

  Brandon glares at Mike then looks at me. “I’m taking the car,” he states, his jaw clenching.

  I start to nod when Mike cuts in. “Ask.”

  “What?” Brandon asks, confused.

  I hate to admit it, but since my husband left, I have let Brandon do his own thing. I know it’s stupid, but I hate fighting with him. I feel so guilty that he no longer has his father in his life, and sometimes, it’s just easier to go with the flow than to go head-to-head with an eighteen-year-old man-child.

  “Ask if you can use your mom’s car. Don’t tell her you’re taking it,” Mike says, not taking his eyes off Brandon.

 
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