Authors: Hadley Quinn
(The McCallans, Book 2)
By Hadley Quinn
Photo: Jim Cauthen of Jim Cauthen Photography
Model: Corbin Garner
COPYRIGHT © 2013 by Hadley Quinn
The characters and events in this work are entirely fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or deceased, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author. No parts of this work may be coped or reproduced without the author’s permission.
This book contains adult material, including sex and language. Not suitable for readers under the age of 18.
Camryn and Teague’s Wedding,
Lots and lots of moss green. Low lights and fragrant candles, and a very cool mix of background music playing.
Melanie sighed and looked around the
beachfront club that had been shut down to the public just for Camryn and Teague’s wedding. It was beautiful. Simple yet creative; casual yet elegant. It was just like her sister. She was so happy for Cam, and Melanie loved Teague like a brother already. He was the perfect fit for
of their lives.
“Can’t I fucking get drunk yet?” a familiar
voice groaned over her shoulder, and Jay appeared at her side looking miserable.
“No,” Melanie chuckled. “You really want to give the best man toast as a drunk ass loser?”
He smiled without looking at her, took a few seconds to think about it, and then turned his head to face her. “Yeah, kinda. Bad idea?”
She laughed and shook her head at him. “For you? Yeah, kinda.”
He let out a breath of air and paused again. “Well at least I’d have an excuse for when I fuck up the speech. I’m seriously not good at that shit.” Melanie turned in her heels to study him for a moment but he was already shaking his head at her. “No, I don’t want to hear any jokes.”
“I wasn’t going to say any. I was just thinking that no one could ever share the thoughts that you could, you know? You’ve known Teague your whole life—you’re practically brothers instead of cousins—and Teague wouldn’t want anyone else.”
“Even though I wanna be a drunk ass loser?”
She smiled, unsure if he was taking that comment personal or not.
Probably not. Jay wasn’t too big on drama. Or caring what people thought of him, for that matter. “He loves you for you. That’s the bottom line.”
pensive for a moment before asking, “What about you? Got your perfect little speech prepared, Ms. Maid of Honor?”
She shrugged a shoulder. “Not really. I’ll just say what’s on my mind.
and ran a hand through his dark hair. “I need another damn drink. This clear mind shit is getting ridiculous.”
scantily dressed blonde practically skipped up to him and grabbed his arm. “Dance with me, sexy.” She dragged Jay away before he could even respond, but he went with her willingly with only a quick glance back at Melanie and a pleased smirk on his face.
“Ugh,” Melanie sighed.
She knew the girl’s name was Natasha and she was the daughter of some Hollywood bigwig. Her fake boobs barely fit in her tight, short dress, but Melanie couldn’t help but admit that she was gorgeous. In fact, every female in the room made her feel self-conscious. At sixteen weeks pregnant her figure hadn’t changed much, but she knew it was only a matter of time before men would glance at her baby bump and run the other way.
“Would you dance with me?” another familiar voice asked.
She turned around and smiled at Brandon, who was Camryn’s best friend and almost like a brother to the two of them.
“I’d love to,”
she answered, looping her arm through his. “Just know that my shoes are already trying to murder me slowly.”
With a cute half-smile he glanced down her legs. “And you thought five-inch stilettos would be cozy for the day?”
“Hey, they’re cute as hell. How could I
wear them? Fashion over comfort today.”
“Hm, I hear that might change in a few months,” he said, sliding
a hand around her waist as they stopped at a spot on the dance floor. “My friend had a baby six months ago and she still complains about living in sweats and flip-flops for, like, the last year.”
“Yeah, I’m sure I won’t be runway material
in a couple months,” she answered playfully.
“Oh, hey, that’s not what I meant,”
Brandon smiled. “You’re always gonna be a looker, I have no doubt about it.”
“I’m not fishing for compliments.”
“Even if you were, so what? I’m an honest guy. You’re gorgeous, Mel. And you’re like my little sister, so there’s no ulterior motive whatsoever.”
There was truth to that.
Brandon had always been friendly with her in a completely platonic way. There hadn’t been a single second since meeting him that she thought he could be interested in her. He just never displayed the signs. And even Teague’s friends didn’t bother with her, either. There was no flirting with her or constant sexual innuendos being thrown into every conversation like she was used to. But being the preggo of the clan could probably do that to a girl. No one wanted to be stuck with her. Not that she could blame anyone. She’d avoid the situation, too.
But all the guys in Teague’s
circle really were nice to her, and they were respectful. Teague had pretty much placed himself in protective older brother mode from the beginning, and because of the eating-for-two condition she’d be in for the next five months, it felt nice to be around such a comfortable group of people.
for Jay, the little shit.
She glanced over at him, dancing smooth and
confident while Miss Boobs was all up in his space. Jay had been a hard one to figure out. He claimed he wasn’t. All he’d really say about himself was that he was a total asshole, an inconsiderate bastard, or a selfish prick. Sometimes those descriptions were the honest truth because he really didn’t try to hide it, and he was ornery as hell to her. She wasn’t innocent either, but sometimes Jay was a bit harsher and she’d had to channel some of her sister’s tough nature just to endure him. They mainly went back and forth with facetious comments, but just when she thought she would come out on top, Jay would fire back something even better. When they rode with Camryn and Teague, she felt like the two little kids fighting in the backseat.
And those were actually the
But damn, she
couldn’t deny his sex appeal was drool worthy. He was hot and he knew it, and that arrogant ass complex that he loved to exude had made her want to punch him in the face more than once. The McCallans were a beautiful family, no doubt. And if she were to have her pick out of any of them, Jay would definitely be her number one—tatted, pierced, and smart mouth included. It wasn’t just his looks, either. There was something about him that knocked any other competitor out of the running—
happened to catch her gaze at that moment. Cocky smile? Yep, there it was. And then he lifted his eyebrow as he gyrated her direction. When she gave him the middle finger he only laughed, just like she knew he would.
“You having a silent
hate conversation with Jay again?” Brandon asked, interrupting her exasperated glare.
looked at her dance partner and shook her head with a smile. “Nah, he’s just being shy over there.”
laughed at her sarcasm. “Yeah, Jay and shy don’t go together. Is Natasha still laying it on thick?”
“Have no idea,” Melanie shrugged. “She seems to always shove her boobs in his face whenever she’s got the chance.”
“Yeah, Jay’s a tolerant guy,” he joked dryly.
“Tolerant?” she scoffed
, even though she knew he was kidding. “You’re talking about the guy that pounds on the bathroom door singing stupid, made up songs about what I could be doing in there?”
With another laugh
Brandon said, “That’s just Jay. It’s how he interacts with people. If he was patient in silence, nobody would notice him.”
“Jay doesn’t care if anyone notices him,” she retorted. “He does
crap like that because he’s got A.D.H.D. Also because he’s an A-S-S.”
laughed again and shook his head. “You two never stop, do you?”
“I’ll stop when he stops,
so yes, that will be never.”
guys are like an old married couple.”
Jay would end up dead within the first year of someone being married to him.”
“Then it’s a g
ood thing he’s not the marrying type,” Brandon agreed.
Barefoot, Melanie loaded the last of the gifts into
Brandon’s truck. The day had been amazing and she was so happy for her sister. As little girls they used to make up stories about what their husbands would be like in the future. It was funny how Camryn had always wanted a cowboy and constantly talked about how many horses she would own. Melanie wanted to live in a huge house with a pool, and her husband would be a pilot so he could fly her wherever she wanted in their private jet.
But no matter their differences in lifestyle, they both wanted to be married to the most gorgeous guy in the world. Camryn pretty much nailed that one, and Teague was definitely a cowboy in his own way. Bo
ttom line, he adored Camryn to pieces and Melanie couldn’t be happier for her sister. After years of dysfunctional family situations and broken hearts, she definitely deserved her happily ever after. It wasn’t in Melanie’s plans to ever ask her sister for anything again. Camryn had done more for her than she ever deserved, and Melanie would now stand on her own two feet.
gonna take off more than just your shoes?” a familiar voice said when she entered the club again.
Jay was sitting on a chair against the wall, and even though she could tell he was drunk, his face still held that classic McCallan smirk.
“Wasn’t planning on it,” she replied as she turned to him. “You need some help there, skipper? You look a little…slow.”
He smiled again and then let out a little laugh as he stood. “I’m perfectly fine,” he answered, stepping closer to her.
Melanie was close enough to the wall that she felt for it behind her in case she needed its support. His presence did funny things to her.
“Hey, I can help you with your dress if you want,” he winked,
moving even closer.
He placed his hands against her sides and tilted his head to look at her closely. But the glassy look in his eyes was telltale, and Melanie sighed despite her racing heart.
“Brandon is taking us home, so whenever you’re ready, I’ll have him haul your ass to the truck.”
“You never danced with me,” Jay told her
, almost like he hadn’t even heard what she said.
Melanie had been ready to break away from him but that caused her to stop. “You never asked me to.”
“Sure I did. You told me to go to hell.”
“You mean when you told me that my ass was filling out along with my chest and you wanted to hold it on the dance floor to make sure? That was asking me to dance?”
He lightly laughed. “I believe I said, ‘I’d like to dance with you so I can hold it.’ What is wrong with being honest?”
“Well drunk-honest isn’t always fun with you, Jay.”
“Ahh, but you said ‘isn’t
.’ That means it is sometimes.”
She rolled her eyes, especially because he started to sway a little bit and leaned forward to put his forehead on her shoulder.
“God, you smell good,” he practically whispered.
“Please don’t puke on me.”
He laughed again, and even though Jay’s drunk giggle was somewhat amusing, she didn’t like him being so close to her right now. After seeing Camryn happily married to Teague, she wasn’t in the mood for her heartstrings to be yanked.
“You do look gorgeous,
” Jay said. “I wanted to tell you that earlier. I like seeing you this way if it’s once in a while, but I really love your everyday look instead. You’re a hot mama, sweetheart.”
He was still leaning against her and she slowly allowed herself to press against the wall
for support. He was at least six inches taller than her but not only that, muscular and beyond her ability to keep upright if he couldn’t hold himself up anymore.
“Thank you,” she replied. Whether he remembered this moment or not, she at least needed to answer honestly. But all she wanted to do was wrap her arms around him and pretend he wasn’t drunk right now.
He pulled his face off her shoulder and looked her in the eye again. He was quiet for several seconds, but Melanie couldn’t tell how inebriated he really was.
“You have fun tonight?” he finally asked.
Surprised, she nodded her head. “I had an amazing time. Everything turned out great and I think Camryn and Teague really enjoyed it.”
He barely nodded, but those glassy eyes were still looking her over. “Yeah, they’re kinda meant for each other, huh,” he stated. “I’m happy for them.”
Pleased, Melanie smiled and nodded her agreement. She was happy that he wasn’t as wasted as she feared, and especially happy that he’d share such sentiment with her.
“Jay?” a sultry voice pierced the moment.
Melanie took her time looking to her left, knowing it was Natasha. Jay didn’t even bother looking up but leaned his arm up against the wall with a sigh.