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Make me whole, p.11

Make Me Whole, page 11

 part  #1 of  Callaway Series


Make Me Whole

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  “I thought you’d never ask.” She grinned. Kissing him, Jamie wrapped her legs around his waist and he carried her up the stairs to the master bathroom. He put her down on the bathroom counter, kissing her softly and urgently before stepping away from her to turn on the shower.

  He took off his jeans and grinned like a teenager about to get lucky for the first time at the appreciative once-over she gave him. He walked over to Jamie, took the edge of the shirt she was wearing and lifted it over her head, leaving her as naked as he was. “You are so beautiful, Jamie.”

  He kissed her lips then pressed kisses to her cheeks and nose, slowly and torturously making his way down to her neck. His lips found her breasts and she wrapped her legs around his waist again, arching her back, giving him the green light to keep driving her to the edge.

  Cole’s lips found her hard nipples and when his tongue swirled around one, he smiled at the moan she couldn’t hold back. He would do anything to have her make that sound over and over again.

  “Cole, that feels so good.” Before lifting her off the counter and walking them to the shower, he reached down into the drawer and pulled out a condom, easing it on his erection.

  “I need to feel you.” He held her up with his hands on her ass, pressing his erection against her core. She needed this as much as he did.

  “Then do it,” was all she said before he entered her with one thrust, slamming inside her hard and fast, as if his life depended on making love to her. Her hands were braced, one on his shoulder and the other on his lower back, as he fucked her harder and faster. “Cole!”

  He caught her cry against his mouth and groaned in satisfaction. He savored every moment, every gasp and every touch. Once showered, they moved back downstairs and spent the rest of the afternoon tangled in each other, sitting by the window, and for the life of him, Cole couldn’t think of one reason why they should leave. Peace settled in him as he watched Jamie asleep in his arms with the sunlight hitting her face. He smiled up at a picture of his mom and dad sitting on the mantle. “You’d like her, Dad.”

  Becca was arriving that day and Jamie insisted they head back for dinner with the whole family. Cole argued, saying they should stay at the cabin and christen every room, but she wasn’t having it. They drove back to the main house and when they pulled up, she grabbed his hand. “Thank you for the best date I have ever had.”

  “Plenty more where that came from, babe,” he told her, kissing her softly, and she never wanted to let him go. When he pulled back, she tugged at his clothes, desperate to keep him close to her. “Tomorrow is the town Christmas party. Would you like to go with me?”

  “I would love to.” She smiled at him. When they walked into the house, Becca and his brothers were all sitting in the living room, drinking coffee and laughing. He pulled her close to his side as they sat down.

  “Well, look who’s back.” Jamie blushed at Andrew’s words, well aware they all knew what she and Cole had been up to at the cabin “Did you two have fun?”

  Before she could answer, Becca threw herself at Jamie, hugging her like she hadn’t seen her in years. “I know that since we’re best friends I should ask you all the nitty-gritty details, but since those details involve my brother, I don’t want to know.” Becca took her hand and headed for the den.

  “So, you want to tell me about Josh?” Sitting in the den drinking coffee, it felt good to have her best friend with her.

  “How did you figure it out?” Becca didn’t look shocked that she’d figured out Josh Thompson was who she had been running from all these years. But Jamie had a feeling that talking about the man Becca had been in love with for a long time, wasn’t on her list of fun things to do. Jamie knew there was a lot more to the story than what lay at the surface, but discussing it would open a can of worms she didn’t think Becca was quite ready for.

  “It wasn’t hard, actually. I knew it had something to do with a man and then last night, when Cole and I went out, we ran into Josh and he asked about you. That’s when the pieces came together. He’s really hot, Bec.”

  Becca laughed and Jamie joined in. “That he is. He’s always been good-looking but time has made him hotter, if that’s even possible.”

  “So, what’s the story there?” Jamie sipped her coffee, waiting for her to begin.

  “No story, really. I’ve known Josh forever. He and Cole were best friends growing up, and since I used to follow Cole, that meant I was always with Josh. He was older than me but the first time I saw him when I was five, I knew he was the man I was going to marry. I kept following them and even when I was a third wheel, Josh would never send me away or make me feel bad about it. Then I turned sixteen and Josh was twenty-five. I got really drunk at a party and Josh was there. He drove me home so Cole wouldn’t find out, and I kissed him in his truck.”

  “Okay, wow.” Jamie shifted the weight off her leg on the chair and extended it to ease the pinching nerves as she listened to Becca tell her story.

  “Oh, that’s not even half of it. We never really talked about that kiss, but about two years later, at a Fourth of July party, Josh was over with his brothers and, well… one thing led to another and he took my virginity that night. We had a secret fling that summer, hid it from Cole, and then when I had to leave for college, Josh broke it off, telling me I was too young and that it would never work between the two of us. I was devastated, so I left and I’ve been avoiding him ever since.”

  “Have you seen him at all since then?” Jamie noticed the sadness in Becca’s voice and it troubled her to see her best friend so heartbroken.

  “At family gatherings, but I always steer clear of him. And I don’t tend to stay home for more than a day or two. I love it here, but just the thought of seeing him…. It’s just too much, you know?”

  “Maybe you should talk to him, honey. When he asked about you last night, he seemed genuinely concerned. The weight of the guilt he’s been carrying around is taking a toll on him.” Jamie switched sides and sat down beside Becca, pulling her into a hug.

  They didn’t talk about Josh or about Cole anymore. They focused on talking about Jamie’s therapy and her progress.

  They must have fallen asleep at some point because when she was lifted into a pair of strong arms, she opened her eyes to find she was cradled against Cole’s chest as he climbed up the stairs. “Did you have a good chat with Becca?” he asked her softly.

  “I did.” She laid her head on his chest and closed her eyes, finding comfort in his embrace.

  She woke up the next morning alone, feeling refreshed and energized. Getting up, she showered and dressed in a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt. She could hear voices coming from the kitchen, talking about the town Christmas party.

  When Jamie walked into the kitchen, she saw Cole and Becca chatting in a corner, while Nick and John discussed some paperwork and Drew helped his mom pack up the food for the party. Nick saw her first and stood to hand her a cup of coffee. “Morning, Jamie. How’d you sleep?”

  She accepted the cup from Nick and smiled as she took her first sip. “Very well, actually. I haven’t felt this refreshed in a while.” Jamie sat down at the end of the table, grabbing a muffin on her way.

  “That’s probably because it’s the first night since you’ve been here that you haven’t had a nightmare, honey.” She looked up at Kathy and smiled at the realization that she hadn’t woken up during the night at all.

  She spent the day with Becca and Kathy, helping set up the community center for the party, meeting so many people there was no way Jamie was going to be able to remember all their names. Still, she held her own and made small talk with everyone who approached her, feeling like she was part of their community. Around four o’clock, they headed back to the ranch to get ready.

  To her surprise, Becca had brought a dress for her from one of their favorite stores in Austin. It was a deep red, off-the-shoulder, knee-length gorgeous dress. “Oh, God, Becca, this is beautiful.” She held the dress over herself, lo
oking in the mirror.

  “My brother is going to have a heart attack when he sees you in that.” Becca was already dressed and looked beautiful in a strapless purple dress, which went down to her ankles with a small slit on the right side.

  “You think so?” she asked her friend hesitantly. The dress was a bit different and way sexier than anything she would normally wear.

  “Oh, yeah. Now, go put it on so we’re not late.” Becca rushed her into the bathroom as she put the final touches to her makeup. Five minutes later, Jamie came out of the bathroom and Becca let out a whistle. “Damn, look at you. I knew this dress was perfect!”

  Jamie looked at herself in the mirror and had to admit she was pleased by what she saw. The dress clung to her curves, making her look sexy but not trashy. Her hair was pulled back, and Becca had done up her makeup. She looked hot.

  “I do look pretty good.” Both women laughed as they made their way downstairs, but all laughter stopped when Jamie’s eyes landed on Cole standing in the foyer, wearing black jeans and a black button-down shirt, looking like he wanted to eat her up.

  She could feel Cole’s eyes on her as she walked down the stairs. When she was a few steps away from him, he closed the distance between them, put his hands on her cheeks and softly kissed her lips. “You look beautiful. Breathtakingly beautiful.”

  Jamie blushed, slipping her arms around his waist. “You look pretty handsome yourself. You clean up nice, Callaway.” She laughed before kissing him softly.

  She heard Becca say, “What are you doing here?” Jamie stepped away from Cole to see what was going on.

  When Jamie rounded the corner, she saw Josh standing in the middle of the kitchen between Nick and John, trying to pick his jaw up off the floor. There wasn’t a straight man within a twenty-mile radius who wouldn’t stare at Becca, but Jamie got the feeling Becca didn’t want Josh looking at her at all. When Josh spoke, Becca’s body started to shake. From the looks of it, whatever demons she was trying to run from were coming out to play.

  Jamie knew Josh was trying to keep his voice cool and calm, but when Cole and his brothers stepped into the kitchen, she saw how nervous Josh became. There seemed to be a lot of history she still had to learn. “I thought I’d come say hi before the party.” Becca shifted as Josh spoke, her hands tightly fisted on each side of her body, and Jamie knew this was not going to be easy for Josh.

  Becca walked to where Josh was standing. Irritation flashed across her face. “You’re a piece of work, you know that, Thompson.”

  “You’re a pain in the ass, Becca. I’m just trying to make nice here.” Josh took a step forward, standing a few inches away from Becca, and Jamie watched as Cole took a protective stance beside his sister. He was ready to throw Josh out of the house, no doubt.

  “Fuck you, Josh.” Becca stormed out of the kitchen. A moment later, Jamie felt Cole’s presence behind her. His hands wrapped around her waist and she leaned back into him.

  He bent his head closer to her ear. “Do I want to know what that was about?”

  Jamie giggled before turning around so she was facing him. “Probably not.” She kissed him, grabbed his hand and headed for the door.

  By the time they got to the community center, it looked like most of the town was already there. Cole helped her out of the truck, sliding her down his body. “That dress is making me want to take you home, lock the door and make love to you until morning.” He pushed her back against the door and rested his forehead against hers.

  “I think that was the goal.” Jamie smiled as she cradled his face between her hands, softly pressing her lips against his, nipping at his lower lip. She slid her hands around his waist and grabbed his ass, pushing against him, feeling his erection. The kiss got heavier as his hands tilted her head back, giving him greater access to take her mouth in the most possessive, intense way possible.

  “Callaway, get a room!” They pulled away, panting, at the sound of Josh screaming in the parking lot. They looked around, noticing they had caught the attention of a few people, and they started laughing hysterically.

  “We better go inside before we give them an encore.” He laughed again before taking her hand to head to the party.

  An hour later, Jamie came to the conclusion that everyone loved Cole. It felt a little overwhelming being surrounded by people she didn’t know, answering questions about her job and her relationship with Cole. Questions she didn’t have the answers to, so she excused herself and headed for the bathroom, desperately needing some alone time.

  The bathroom was empty, so she took a few moments to gather her thoughts. “Oh, hey. Jamie, right?” She turned at the sound of her name only to find Sandy in the bathroom doorway, looking at her like she was the devil.

  “Sandy, how are you?” She could be polite to the woman who had been hanging all over Cole two days before, even if her blood was boiling.

  Sandy stepped inside the bathroom, standing beside her to apply lip gloss. “I’m good. So, I hear you and Cole spent the night at his cabin. Nice place he’s got up there, don’t you think? All the women who come through the clinic always say how beautiful it is… but I’m sure you got an up-close view of it.” Sandy grabbed her purse from the counter and headed for the door. “Well now, you have a good night.”

  Jamie took the time to process Sandy’s words. Did Cole bring all the female patients up to the cabin? Oh, God, had she been stupid enough to believe she was different, that they had something special? She needed to find Cole and ask him. She knew Sandy had been after Cole for years, and she would probably stop at nothing to get him for herself, but the shock and the fear that Sandy had told her the truth stuck in her head. Barging out of the bathroom, she ran straight into Josh.

  “Hey, Jamie, you okay?” Josh’s hands were on her shoulders, keeping her upright, and Jamie could feel the tears coming. She really needed to get out of there.

  “No, I’m not. I need to find Cole,” she told him, still trying to wrap her mind around what Sandy had told her.

  Chapter Eight

  Jamie took a deep breath but she couldn’t hold back the tears. Humiliation hummed through her, and she hated that she doubted Cole. She listened to Josh’s voice as he told her to take deep breaths. When she had her breathing under control, he asked her what happened. All she wanted to do was crawl into a ball, but she had to get this out in the open. “Sandy was in the bathroom with me, and she told me Cole took every female patient to the cabin, that I was nothing special to him.” Tears trickled down her cheeks, no longer able to hold them back. Her emotions were no longer cut out for drama. Her hands covered her face, trying to hide her shame and embarrassment.

  “You’re in love with him, aren’t you?” Josh took her in his arms and held her as she cried. She didn’t know if she was crying about Sandy or about the fact that she was head over heels in love with Cole.

  “Yes.” The word came out as a sweet admission, like a weight being lifted off her.

  Josh pulled her away from his shoulder. “Then you have to trust him, Jamie. Cole never takes on female patients, and he’s never brought anyone up to the cabin with him—not even his brothers or me, not since the renovations. So he sure as hell never took any woman up there.”

  “What?” She could barely speak over her tears and the emotions rolling through her. Sandy had lied about everything, and like a fool, she’d let her insecurities get the better of her, and allowed herself to believe Cole would hurt her.

  “The cabin is Cole’s oasis, Jamie, so the fact that he brought you there means more than you could ever imagine. Cole is a good man. He would never hurt you, and I know you would never hurt him. But you have to talk to him. Running away from your feelings never fixes anything, just makes things worse.”

  When she looked up at him, Jamie could tell he was talking about more than just her and Cole. “Is that what you’ve been doing with Becca? Running?”

  “You’re smart, you know that? Me and Becca, it’s never been easy, but y
eah, we’ve both been running. And look where it’s gotten us.” Before she could say anything, Cole appeared in the hallway, looking distraught and off-balance.

  “What happened? I went looking for you and then someone told me they saw you crying with Josh. Is everything okay? Are you not feeling well?” Cole looked at her. She knew her eyes were puffy and her nose was red. “What happened? Why are you upset?”

  “Well, I’m going to leave you kids alone. Jamie, it was nice talking with you. Cole, man, you have a keeper here.”

  She watched Josh tap Cole on the back and headed back to the party, and finally said, “Thank you, Josh.” Jamie turned to Cole. “Can we go home? I want to tell you what happened, but not here.” She hoped he wouldn’t press her for answers in the middle of a town party.

  “Sure.” He looked as confused as she felt, which made her heart ache. She might not know the truth yet, but she knew she wasn’t about to let Sandy’s words come between her and Cole.

  “Jamie, what’s going on?” Cole unlocked the front door and motioned her to step inside. He took off his jacket, taking the time to really look at her, and he noticed how shaken up she seemed. Jamie removed her coat and sat down on the sofa, her elbows on her knees and her face in her hands. She looked so vulnerable. He hated not knowing what had happened to make her cry, and he hated that Josh had been the one who’d been there for her when he should always be the one she came to when something was wrong.

  “When I was in the bathroom, Sandy came in and she started talking to me about how nice the cottage was and how every woman you took there thought the same thing. I was so angry, thinking I’d been played for a fool.” She didn’t look at him. Cole’s anger boiled to the surface as he listened. He knew Sandy had a thing for him, but he’d never thought she would go so far as to go after Jamie like that. But what hurt even more was that deep down, Jamie had believed Sandy.

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