Read My Once and Future Love Online

Authors: Carla Krae

Tags: #my once and future love, #contemporary romance, #jacob and beth

My Once and Future Love (6 page)

BOOK: My Once and Future Love
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He smiled. “S okay. Long day.”

I snorted out a laugh. “Yeah.”

“Do you want me to let you sleep?”

“At…” I glanced at the clock. “Eight? No.
What kind of self-respecting eighteen-year-old would I be if I did
that in perfect health?”

He laughed. “Then what would you like to do,
love?”

“Um…got any movies?”

He tugged my hand for me to follow him off
the bed. “That I do.”

We went downstairs and outside.

“You store your DVDs in the garden?”

“In a manner of speaking.”

We walked through a maze of hedgerows and
came out to open grass on the other side. In the back corner of the
property was an old gardener’s cottage.

“No one had used this for years, so when I
moved back two years ago, I claimed it as a place no one would find
me.” He took an old key out of his pocket.

“Secret hideout, eh?”

He grinned in the dark and nudged the door
open. “Exactly. Let me find the lights…”

I heard the flick of a lighter, then light
spread from a lantern. The cottage was one open room, save for a
door that might lead to a bathroom. A stone fireplace sat center in
the back wall. He had set up an inflatable mattress, an older TV,
and a writing desk by the window.

“No electricity wired back here, so I use a
portable battery. Lanterns or candles are enough to see by. Don’t
have much to trip over.”

“Yeah. This is…unexpected, but pretty cool. I
thought you liked your creature comforts.”

He got the TV and DVD player running. “I
do…but every so often, it’s nice to have the quiet. Sit. I’ve got
snacks and a box of movies.”

“Why do I feel like there should be a ‘Boys
Only’ sign on the door?” I teased.

He plopped down on the mattress next to me.
“Because you’re a dork. Pick something.”

Looking at the titles, I gasped. “Someone has
a thing for ‘80s flicks…”

“What of it?”

“Oh my God,
The Breakfast Club
…my mom
loves this movie. Aww,
Superman
one-through-four…I haven’t
watched any of those since my brother left.”

“Then pick one.”

“It’s your secret hideout.”

“And I’m bein’ a good host. Pick a bloody
movie, Bethie.”

“I don’t know. Recommend something.”

He rolled his eyes and lay back on the bed.
“Wake me when you decide.”

“Okay, okay… Well…out of the movies I
recognize…here.” I handed him the case.


Goonies
? Somehow that does not
surprise me.”

I play-shoved him. “It’s hilarious.”

“No question, but it’s also almost two hours
long.”

“Most movies are two hours long. If you’re
worried I’ll fall asleep, I’ll just go back inside. We can watch
something another time.” I started to get to my feet.

He tugged me back down. “Don’t think I said
you could leave, love.” He held my wrist.

“Gonna hold me prisoner?
Very
mature.”

He slowly shook his head. “Temper, temper…”
And kissed me.

Thoughts of running away fled my mind. His
lips were soft against mine, yet they demanded I join in, coaxing
me to yield to his dominance.

Jacob was always naturally confident in the
time I’d known him, but Adult-Jacob had a mastery of his life. He
was one of those lucky people things just worked out for, but more
than that, he’d figured out how to get what he wanted and
knew
he’d have it. He kissed in the same way, overwhelming
my senses with his touch and his scent. I needed
more…
something
.

Not close enough…

He’d tugged me to sit sideways on his lap,
but twisting to kiss him was uncomfortable. I straddled his
hips—much better.

“Want you,” he said, his voice rough with
passion.

I shook my head. “Not yet.”

He nodded, and the next kiss was slower. The
rhythm he intended to cool things down with backfired on me,
though. My heart pounded in my chest and heat suffused my body,
focusing deep in my belly.

He broke away. “Beth, you keep rubbin’ on me
like that and I’m not goin’ to be responsible for the
consequences.”

“Huh?” This must be what they meant by
“lust-addled brain”.

He placed one of my hands on his fly. Whoa.
That was, um…

“I’m hard enough to hammer nails, love, to
borrow a phrase.”

There’s no way that’s fitting in-- “Oh,
um…sorry. I should go, um…” I gestured toward the house.

“Maybe. Yeah.”

It’d work better if you got off the boy’s
lap, Beth
.

We stared at each other, breathing in unison.
“I’m gonna leave. Any second now.”

“Uh-huh.” He leaned closer, his reply
touching my lips as well as my ears.

“Yep.” Speaking with our mouths touching
might’ve been the most erotic thing I’d experienced this
weekend.

Sighing, I made full contact again, a junkie
for his kisses. He moaned and pressed me closer with a hand on my
low back. If I could crawl inside him, maybe I could satisfy this
ache…

I sucked in a breath. He dipped his head to
bite my neck where it met my shoulder.

“I need…”

“Tell me, baby.”

Baby…I liked that. “Unh…I can’t think with
you this close.”

He rolled me onto my back. “Thinking’s
overrated.”

Okay…wait, I was going to do something…I
needed to… “Go. I mean, I should go.”

He lifted his head to stare at me.

Now?

I nodded. This was about to go where I
couldn’t come back from.

Rolling onto the mattress, he said, “Better
run, then.”

Scrambling to my feet, I glanced at him. His
blue eyes were dilated black and naked longing was written on his
gorgeous face. Part of me wanted to throw sense to the wind and
learn what he could teach me.

I ran out, not slowing down until I reached
the other side of the maze.

****

When I woke up the next morning, his
motorcycle was gone. Vivian and I had a light breakfast, then set
out for more sightseeing. We took the tour of the Tower, I shot
photos of the Bridge, then we explored the British Museum.

“Tomorrow, we can drive over to
Stratford-upon-Avon, and perhaps Jacob can take you on one of those
ghost tours this week.”

“I’m all for the Shakespeare. Not so much
with the scary stuff.”

She shrugged. “Just a thought. Really,
there’s more to do around London than you’ll have time for, so I’m
sure we can keep you entertained.”

“That’s why I packed a guidebook.”

She put a hand on my arm. “Would you rather
go off alone? I don’t want to…crimp your style?”

“You’re not,” I assured her. “I might take a
day before I leave, but I love spending time with you. My mother
would be wandering the parks taking pictures of strangers, Dad
would drag me to every war museum, and Jacob would be bored to
tears looking at old books. You like what I like.”

She smiled. “Lucky for us, then, isn’t
it.”

“Absolutely.”

As the day went on and she was so nice, I
felt guilty about kissing her son behind her back.

“Can I ask you a hypothetical question?” I
asked at lunch.

She set her fork on her plate. “Of
course.”

“Say you had feelings, and even kissed
someone, but you’re not sure if it can work. How do you know?”

“Hmm, does the hypothetical object of that
affection share those feelings?”

Stirring the straw in my soda, I watched the
ice float in circles. “I don’t know. Maybe.”

“Well, you would only know if you tried, but
the effort would have to be equal from both sides. If you want
different things, that’s something that has to be settled.”

Figured as much
.

Hypothetically
, is it okay to put off a relationship for a
while, then? Can a person be asked to wait?”

“Elizabeth, is there something you want to
tell me?” Her right eyebrow arched just like Jacob’s did when he
had a hunch.

I shook my head, maybe a little too hard.
“No, no. Just thinking...”

She smirked. “Hypothetically.”

“Yeah.” I felt the blood rushing to my cheeks
and tried to relax before I blushed like a beet.

“Well…” She picked up her fork to resume
eating her salad. “It’s just my opinion, but I think Jacob should
court you properly, or not at all.”

“J-Jacob? What— I mean, there’s…there’s no
Jacob,” I sputtered.

“Mmm-hmm.”

“I didn’t say anything about--”

“Elizabeth. I’m not blind. Only the
incredibly oblivious would miss the flirtation between you two
since we arrived.”

This time, I did blush. “Oh.” What all had
she seen? “What do you think?”

She reached across the table and took my
hand. “I’m quite fond of you, I hope you know that. I’d be happy to
welcome you as a daughter…when you’re ready. However, I promised
your parents a wholesome and educational trip, and I’m pretty sure
a summer fling doesn’t fall under those guidelines.”

“I don’t want a
fling
.” I pulled my
hand away.

“Forgive the way that sounded. That was not
my intent. You’re a good girl, dear. I worry more about my son’s
intentions more than yours.”

Hey
.
“Jacob is a good man.”

She nodded. “He is. He has a good heart. He’s
also young, and usually gets his way, and I don’t think he’s mature
enough to be what you hope, Elizabeth.”

“What does that mean?”

She smiled kindly. “That I don’t think it’s
the right time for you, dear. Maybe in a few years. Maybe ten--who
knows? But, I’d hate to see you hurt unnecessarily when the
distance wasn’t realistic in the first place.”

Logic sucks
.

“Maybe I won’t like UCLA.”

She sighed, but the smile was still in place.
“Maybe you won’t.”

 

Chapter Six

Jacob stayed away Monday. When he called the
house on Tuesday, he discovered they were already gone and would be
out the whole day. Now, it was Wednesday, and Beth hadn’t called,
either. He knew—he made sure his voicemail worked.

Maybe he’d scared her into avoiding him. Be
easier, perhaps, if they could put the weekend behind them and be
best friends again. Easier…but lacking, maybe. He didn’t know what
it was that made the two of them a combustible entity when in the
same room alone, but he’d never felt something so powerful. So
amazingly sexy.

If they could just

Well, there he went, thinking with his dick
again. Bethie, because she was
Bethie
, deserved better.

She deserved a guy in a time zone less than
eight hours ahead, frankly. Someone who could take her to movies
and dinner and that sci-fi convention she secretly wanted to
attend. A guy who would carry her books to class and rub her neck
when she got stiff from studying for finals. Someone that
remembered the chocolate sprinkles on her hot chocolate. A bloke
who was friggin’
there
.

And that wouldn’t be him for years, if
ever.

Could he tell her that? Could he be selfless
enough to let her go?

Question of the bloody year, mate.

****

Thursday morning, and I hadn’t seen or heard
from Jacob since Sunday night. Guess that was it, then…no sex, no
interest. Of course, he could be busy with the band or whatever,
but still…couldn’t a girl get one phone call?

Ooo, maybe his mother got to him! That could
be it. It was a nicer thought than him only wanting me for my body,
so yeah…sticking with that one for now. I’d blame Vivian!

Then again, that might be unfair to my good
friend and he really was an asshole when it came to women.

See how my brain works? Help me! I groaned
and dropped my head on the table.

“Miss Elizabeth?” One of the servants.

“I’m fine. Sorry for the noise.”

She smiled. She was young, maybe just a
couple years older than me. “I find a nice walk or bicycle ride
helps when my mind is overburdened.”

“Probably a good idea. Thank you.”

She nodded and left me to finish breakfast.
I’d slept in today, so Mrs. Lindsey was already out of the
house.

I left a note on the refrigerator saying I’d
be back by dark and set out alone. A dusty bike from the garage was
my getaway. Didn’t know how far I’d go, but the scenery of
manicured gardens and stately mansions was worth wandering. The
scent of roses carried on the warm breeze.

Rode for a half hour or so when a familiar
motorcycle passed going the opposite direction. Hoping he hadn’t
spotted me, I kept going. Got about five minutes further, and the
red bike pulled up next to me.

“Whatcha doin’, love?” Jacob asked.

“What does it look like?”

“Okay…serves me right for askin’ an obvious
question. Where are you going?”

“Nowhere. Anywhere. What’s it to you?”
Couldn’t I get one afternoon of peace to myself?

He accelerated the bike to cut off my path.
“Why are you biting my head off?” He removed his helmet.

“I’m not.”

“Uh, beg to differ, pet.”

I rolled my eyes and sighed. “Fine, think
what you like. Can I continue now?”

“Can I get a clue why you’re mad at me?”

I crossed my arms over my chest. “Haven’t
heard from you in four days. It’s a bit rude.”

“You didn’t call me, either.”

“Been busy. Try leaving a message.”

“I called on Tuesday.”

He did? “I didn’t hear about it.”

“Not my fault.”


Fine
.”

He shut the bike off. “I missed you.”

“Huh.” Don’t give in, don’t give in…

He dismounted and walked the few steps to me.
“I see you, and I don’t want to let you go.”

Gulp.

“You didn’t feel for me at all before
Saturday.”

“So you say.” He placed his hand on mine.
“You know how I am—once I decide to do something, I jump head
first.”

“That doesn’t change the fact that I’m going
back to L.A. and you aren’t.”

BOOK: My Once and Future Love
8.17Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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