Craving molly, p.1
Craving Molly, p.1Nicole Jacquelyn
The Aces’ Sons
By Nicole Jacquelyn
Copyright © 2016 by Nicole Jacquelyn
All Rights Reserved
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
For the single mamas
the mamas of special needs children.
You’re doing awesome . . . even when you think you aren’t.
Don’t forget to grant yourself a little grace.
Table of Contents
“He’s looking at you.”
“Shut up,” I hissed, refusing to turn around.
I was uncomfortable as hell in a pair of tight jeans and a tank top that showed more of my boobs than had ever been available for public viewing—and that was saying something, considering I’d spent a year breastfeeding.
When my best friend since grade school had begged me to go out with her, even going so far as getting a babysitter lined up, I hadn’t had the heart to tell her no. I’d known that my day-to-day wardrobe of scrubs wouldn’t cut it in a bar setting, but I hadn’t expected to be so . . . on display. Frankly, I just wanted to sit at the high table in the bar and nurse a few beers before going home and opening up my laptop to watch a couple hours of tipsy Gilmore Girls.
Unfortunately, Mel had different ideas. She’d been scoping out the guys in the bar all night, pointing out the ones she thought had big dicks and rating facial hair on a ten point scale. She was nuts. Outgoing to my introverted. The brunette to my blonde and the angles to my curves. Normally, we balanced each other out pretty well, but I was beginning to wish she was a little more like me and a little less . . . her.
“He’s so hot. So hot. His facial hair is an eleven. Absolutely,” Mel said seriously, looking over my shoulder. “I mean, he was hot in high school, but not that hot.”
“Jesus, will you shut up?” I hissed again.
The back of my neck was burning. I didn’t need her to tell me that Will Hawthorne was staring at me. I could freaking feel it.
I’d only seen him once since high school, even though we lived in the same town, but I knew he was hot. Jesus, he’d been drool-worthy when we were fourteen, and that kind of thing didn’t just go away. Some guys just had it, whatever that it was. It didn’t even matter what they looked like, they were just . . . attractive. They had that undeniable pull that made every woman take a second look. It was the way they held themselves, the way they moved, their confidence.
I think it was referred to as swagger—though I’d never intentionally say that stupid word out loud.
Will hit the jackpot and got both good looks and that magnetic pull. He was at least six feet tall and the lankiness I’d remembered from when we were kids had turned into very broad and muscular shoulders. He had his mom’s dark hair and light brown eyes that I assumed must have come from his dad, though I’d never met the man. He also had a neatly trimmed beard that drew attention to his lips like a freaking flashing neon sign.
“Why the hell is he staring?” Mel murmured.
“Thanks,” I scoffed, giving her a glare.
“No, I mean, you’re hot, but . . .” she trailed off as she glanced over my shoulder again. “He’s really not looking away.”
“For God’s sake,” I finally snapped, turning slightly to look over my shoulder.
It took me a second to find him in the crowded bar. There were a ton of people between us and it looked like he’d come in with a group that he was sitting in the middle of, but the minute I found him, his eyes met mine. Holy shit.
He really was staring.
And then he was slapping some guy on the shoulder as he edged around him, not looking away from me as he started toward our table.
“Now look what you did,” I snapped under my breath as I spun back around in my seat.
“He’s coming over here,” Mel said excitedly, her eyes widening.
I opened my mouth to say something back, but the words caught in my throat as a hand settled on the back of my stool.
“Molly,” Will said, leaning in slightly so I could feel the breath of his words against the side of my forehead.
“Oh, hey, Will,” I replied.
I wanted to pat myself on the back when my words came out all nonchalant, like I hadn’t been talking about him for the past ten minutes.
“What’s up, Melanie?” he greeted my best friend with a little chin lift, making her smile wide.
Oh, hell. She was totally getting off on this. We’d both known Will since we were kids. I’d started kindergarten with him in Mrs. Nelson’s class, and she’d joined us in Mrs. Hallen’s third grade class. We’d all gone to the same schools, shared a lot of the same classes and had graduated high school together, but to say we hadn’t been on Will’s radar would have been an understatement.
Mel and I hadn’t been social outcasts, not at all. We’d had our little group of friends that we’d hung out with, and we’d done all the things that you were supposed to do—kissing boys and going to dances and bonfires and football games. But Will had been in a completely different social strata. We’d grown up parallel but never really intersecting after the fifth grade, so the fact that he’d remembered her?
Yeah, she’d be dining on the rush of that for weeks.
“How ya been?” Will asked me, his voice dropping as his face tilted toward me again.
If I just raised my head, we would have been practically kissing, but I didn’t. Instead, I stared at my glass of beer, twisting it around with my fingers like a socially awkward freak.
“I’m good. Just working and stuff. You?” I asked my half-empty beer.
I think I might have blushed a little when he chuckled.
“Same,” he said in amusement. “There a reason you’re not looking at me?”
But it wasn’t like I could tell him that.
“Uh, no?” I mumbled, the inflection making it come out as a question as I met his light brown eyes.
Then, because I’d realized what I’d done, I started thinking of Stewie from Family Guy talking about one of Brian’s girlfriends phrasing everything with an upward inflection, like she was asking a question every time she opened her mouth.
Will was saying something, but just like every other time I met someone’s eyes as we had a conversation, I’d completely blanked out what he’d just said.
“Sorry, what?” I asked dumbly, looking back down at my beer.
“I asked if you wanted to come sit with us,” he said with a teasing smile. “Damn, you’re shit on my ego.”
“Oh.” I glanced at Mel, who had a dreamy expression on her face. “I don’t think—”
“We’d love to!” Mel said quickly, cutting me off with a wide-eyed look in my direction as she slid off her bar stool.
I gripped my beer in one hand as I slid off the stool, stumbling a little when Will didn’t move from his spot next to my chair and I ended up practically on top of him.
“You got a purse or somethin’?” he asked as his hand came to rest at the base of my spine.
“She never carries a purse,” Mel replied helpfully, smiling at us like she’d just been invited to the cool kids’ table. “She just keeps everything in her pockets.”
“Musta been a tight fit,” Will mumbled, pressing a little on my back so I’d start walking. “Not much room left in those jeans.”
“Hey,” I complained, looking up at him.
“That’s a good thing, sugar. Believe me.”
I tilted my head back down and caught sight of Mel raising her eyebrows up and down. Oh, God. She was going to embarrass the shit out of me. I knew she was.
“Everyone, this is Molly and Melanie,” Will said with a smile as we reached the group he’d come in with. Then his arm wrapped a little further around my waist, one of his fingers sliding between the waistband of my jeans and the bottom of my tank top. “Molly and Melanie, that’s my cousin Cam and his girl, Trix.” He pointed to the couple then gestured to the men. “And these assholes are Rocky, Matt and Homer.”
“Homer?” I asked under my breath.
“That’s cause I always round the bases, darlin’,” Homer said with a slimy smile, making me stiffen.
“Ignore him,” Will ordered, glaring at the guy. “He’s an idiot.”
“Moose, you’re gonna hurt my feelings,” Homer joked, his face transforming so much as he chuckled that I realized he’d been testing me before.
I just didn’t know what the hell the test was.
“You can call me Mel,” my best friend chirped happily.
“Did he just call you Moose?” I asked as Will helped me into a seat. I tried to keep my voice down, but it was so loud in the bar that whispering was completely out of the question.
“Nickname,” Will replied, sitting down next to me as Mel found a place between a couple of the guys. I swear, that girl had never met a stranger.
“’Cause he gets shot and just keeps going,” Matt said jokingly, making me freeze.
“What?” Mel asked in confusion as Will’s cousin glared at the younger guy.
Will’s hand slid up my back and rested at the base of my neck as he turned his eyes to Matt. “You’re done.”
“What?” Matt asked, throwing his hands up unsteadily, giving an indication of just how drunk he was. When he’d been sitting still, I hadn’t really noticed, but now that he was moving, it was perfectly clear that the guy was plastered. “That’s how you got the nickname.”
“Get him the fuck outta here,” Will ordered Homer, whose face had gone from jovial to livid in an instant.
I wasn’t sure where to look. Rocky’s face was impassive, Trix looked like she was about to throw up, Cam was scowling, and my poor best friend was watching everyone in confusion. Mel leaned toward Rocky as Homer muscled Matt to his feet and started frog-marching him across the bar.
“He’s such a dipshit,” Trix murmured angrily as Cam kissed the side of her head.
“Ignore him,” Will told the table, his thumb starting to slide back and forth across the side of my neck. “Moll saw me at the hospital—she knows what’s up.”
“At the hospital?” Mel asked, looking at me accusingly.
“It was nothing,” I ground out, making Will’s hand squeeze my neck gently. Why was he still touching me? My muscles were so taut that I felt almost brittle.
“I call bullshit,” she shot back.
“We’re not talking about this here,” I said, mortification setting in as the group around the table watched us argue.
“I was her patient,” Will said quietly, looking at me with a small smile.
“For one night.”
“You were?” Mel said in surprise. “She didn’t say anything.”
“Of course I didn’t say anything,” I blurted, leaning away from Will’s hand. “It’s not my business to talk about the people I take care of.”
“Oh, please,” Mel said in astonishment. “You told me all about the guy that stapled his fingers together. And the lady that got the wine bottle stuck up her hoo-hah.”
“I didn’t tell you their names,” I argued.
“Wait, a woman got a wine bottle stuck in her cunt?” Cam asked, chuckling as Trix elbowed him in the side. “I think we need to hear this story.”
“Yeah, sorry,” Trix said, her earlier look of devastation replaced by a small smirk. “I want to hear this, too.”
“You can’t stick things up there that have a, well . . . it suctioned, okay?” I could feel Will’s amusement as I tried to explain the scenario. “Like . . .” I looked at the table and picked up my glass, pressing it against my mouth and chin and inhaling until I could hold it there with just the force of the suction. I dropped my hands to my lap, the glass still hanging from my face and shrugged my shoulders, making the entire table burst into laughter.
“Okay, we get it,” Will said into my ear, gently pulling the glass from my face.
“How the hell did you get it un-suctioned?” Trix asked, leaning forward.
“The doctor drilled a small hole in the bottom,” I mumbled, wiping my face off.
“Wait, is this someone we know?” Mel asked, eyes wide.
“No,” I said automatically. “It doesn’t matter!”
“So you work the emergency room?” Cam asked as Mel said something quietly to Rocky, making him chuckle.
“No.” I shook my head. “Well, sometimes. I float around the hospital.”
“She was one of my nurses when I was on the second floor,” Will told them. “It was good to see a familiar face.”
“I bet,” Trix said softly, giving Will a small smile.
“Well, I still have no idea what the hell is going on, but I’m out of beer!” Mel announced, standing from her seat. “Anyone want one while I’m up?”
“I’ll get ’em,” Rocky intervened, rising beside her. “You can help me carry.”
They took our orders and disappeared through the crowd, leaving me with Will, Cam and Trix.
“You don’t seem old enough to be a nurse,” Cam said once they were gone.
“I hear that a lot,” I replied with a nod. “I’m actually not. I mean, I am a nurse. I just got my associate degree at the same time that I got my high school diploma, and I rushed through my bachelors.”
“Holy crap,” Trix said in surprise. “That must’ve been insane.”
“It wasn’t easy,” I said with a laugh, growing mor
“Aw, a daughter! We have twin boys. Holy terrors—both of them.”
I laughed, ignoring the completely stiff man sitting next to me. “My girl’s pretty easy. Busy—but sweet.”
Trix opened her mouth to reply, but Will cut her off. “Mason’s?” he asked gruffly.
“Yeah.” I nodded, looking at him briefly before glancing away.
“Molly’s boyfriend in high school was Mason Flanders,” Will told Cam and Trix.
Whenever people heard Mason’s name, especially in Eugene, it always took them a moment to place it. But they always did. They knew who he was. The local kid who’d gotten onto the Oregon Ducks football team, only to drop dead of a heart attack during practice before he’d ever played a game. Fourteen years of playing football, fourteen years of running track and getting yearly physicals, and no one had ever found the heart defect until it had killed him.
I’d been five months pregnant.
Thankfully, he hadn’t passed his broken heart onto our daughter. She had enough medical problems to deal with that were all her own.
“Oh, my God,” Trix said quietly. “That sucks. I’m sorry.”
“Thanks,” I mumbled.
“Wait, that’s the guy who—” Cam’s words cut off. “Tough break, girl,” he said softly.
“I had my dad and Mel, so we made it through,” I replied with a tight smile.
“You’ll always have me,” Mel sang as she came up behind me, setting my fresh beer down on the table as she sloppily kissed the top of my head.
“And Mason’s parents,” Will said, grabbing a beer from Rocky. “They were always pretty cool, right?”
“Cunts,” Mel replied, making the word come out as a cough.
I snorted, reaching for my beer. “Yeah, they’re not around.”
“That’s crazy,” Trix said, leaning against Cam as he wrapped an arm around her shoulder. “Especially if they lost their kid. My mom and dad would never let the boys out of their sight if something happened to me.”
Craving Molly by Nicole Jacquelyn / Romance & Love have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes