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Forgive me callaway book.., p.5

Forgive Me (Callaway Book 2), page 5

 

Forgive Me (Callaway Book 2)
 


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  "Ha, I knew it. John is definitely handsome, and I can see why you would lean toward him. He's got that protective streak about him." She was telling her the truth. All the Callaway men were protective of women, but there was something more intense, more primitive about John. He was always so quiet, but you could tell there was a lot more to him than he let on.

  "He really does, but Drew has sex appeal written all over him," Abby responded, snickering away like a school girl.

  "Oh, yes, he does," Amanda replied with longing in her voice, because that was the one word best used to describe Drew: sex. There was just something about that man—the way he walked, the way he stood, the way he breathed—that was so…sexual.

  "Amanda…." Abby tried to interrupt her, but she kept talking.

  "Oh, no, you are totally right. Drew was hot back in the day but today, the man is just pure sex. I mean, that body of his is just insane." When Amanda saw Abby's brows lift, she closed her eyes and knew he stood behind her.

  She didn't have to turn around; she could feel him close to her. That was one thing that apparently hadn't faded with time: the connection their bodies felt for one another. She slowly turned around and gasped at the lust in his eyes. They burned with an intensity she hadn't seen before, and God, it turned her on big-time. "Should I just stay here and be quiet while you two objectify me, or should I strip and let you get a good look?"

  She watched as Abby left the room, giggling with her face red with embarrassment, leaving Amanda alone with the one man she didn't know how to resist. Traitor.

  I shouldn't be here, Drew thought to himself. I should have just called her. But the urge to check on her had been stronger than his will to resist. That was how he'd ended up in Amanda's diner, listening to her describe him as sex on a stick. The more she talked, the harder his cock became, and the more he wanted to push her against the wall and take her like he should have done five years back.

  He knew the moment she felt his presence; her whole body stiffened and relaxed at the same time, a contradiction, just like everything else about Amanda. She wanted more than Montana, yet there she was making friends, being a part of the community. It was part of her and in that moment, he realized this was exactly where she wanted to be.

  "Drew." His name on her lips was not helping his self-control.

  He backed against the wall, bracing his palms on the hard surface, keeping himself from reaching for her. "Amanda."

  "I didn't know you were there," she said breathlessly, and he knew she was feeling the pull just as much as he was.

  He grinned and watched as she licked her bottom lip, and damn if he didn't want to lick it himself. "I got that."

  "Why are you here?" Right, why was he there again? He could barely think past the press of his erection against his zipper.

  Her eyes trailed down his body as he shifted his weight, trying to alleviate the pressure building. "After hearing that, I'm seriously considering kissing you. I miss you so fucking much. After all these years, I can't stop missing you."

  "I highly doubt you came here to kiss me." She took a few steps toward him, and he knew her brain no longer controlled her body. He could kiss her, lift her around his waist and sink deep into her, and she wouldn't object.

  But he wanted her head to be on board with her body. Right then, she was filled with lust and that wasn't enough for him, not this time. "Don't underestimate the power you have on me, Amanda."

  "Why are you here, Drew? I'm really busy, so unless there's a reason you're standing in my kitchen, I need to get back to work," she told him. However, he noticed a hitch in her voice, giving more away than she probably wanted.

  "I heard you accepted Cole's offer, so I thought I would drop by and check in."

  "Your brother really doesn't give you the option to say no. When he has his mind made up, there's no changing it. I guess you inherited that trait, too. " He knew Cole wouldn't let her leave without saying yes. But deep down, he knew how stubborn Amanda could be, and there was a moment where he doubted she would accept.

  "No, I guess he doesn't. I was in town, so I thought I would stop by and ask if tomorrow is a good time to drop by the house." The truth was he had created a reason to come into town because he needed to see her, but it was not the time to tell her that.

  "That's fine." He could tell she wasn't smitten with the idea of spending time alone with him. They were going to have to work on that, one day at a time.

  He smiled at her. "All right then, I'll see you tomorrow."

  "Okay."

  He headed toward the back door, smiling at how affected she was by him. It was good to know he wasn't alone in this. To know she felt even half of what he was feeling was enough for him.

  In that moment, he decided to push his luck. Back in high school, she had loved his straight-forwardness, so it was as good a time as any to see if she still liked it. "Amanda."

  "Yeah?"

  He spun around to see her face. Her cheeks were flushed, and she looked like she was on the verge of jumping him, exactly what he wanted.

  "I ever hear you talk about me like that again, I won't be responsible for what happens next." He smiled when he heard her gasp.

  Chapter Four

  The sound of his alarm woke Drew up from one of the many dreams featuring Amanda he'd been having for days. Rolling over to the side of the bed to stop the noise, his erection reminded him of how much he wanted the woman who was fighting like hell to keep him at bay. Ever since their encounter in the diner's kitchen a few days back, all he could think about was kissing her sweet lips, and making love to her.

  He was about to stroke his cock, desperate for relief, when his bedroom door swung open and Cole stood in the doorway. "Get your lazy ass out of bed. We have to be at Amanda's in thirty." Drew threw his head back on his pillow, running his hands over his face as he listened to his brother's footsteps head downstairs. It was a good start to the day.

  By the time he had finished his shower and had given himself some much needed relief, he felt in control of the situation. As they started driving out to Amanda's house, he was overwhelmed by the same wave of emotions he always had when he got close to her.

  He stared out the passenger window, trying to reel himself in, when Cole spoke up for the first time since leaving the ranch. "You sure you're up for this?"

  Drew glanced at his brother, hesitating between spilling his guts and turning the cab of the truck into an episode with Dr. Phil or brushing it off. The second option seemed much safer. "Why wouldn't I be?"

  "Oh, I don't know, Drew. Because doing this means spending a lot of time with the woman who broke your heart, maybe?"

  Drew took a deep breath. "I'm fine, Cole. We were kids back then. She did what she needed to do and I did the same, but I won't miss the opportunity I have here. She's back, and I intend to use that to my advantage." Saying it out loud made him feel a little better, but he still didn't have a clue how he was going to go about it.

  "You still love her?" Cole asked as they pulled up to Amanda's house.

  He didn't hesitate to answer. "Never stopped. Now, are we going to stay here and braid our hair, or are we going inside?" Fuck, they were turning into a bunch of women.

  "Asshole." He watched as Amanda stepped outside onto the front porch that could fall down any minute. He stopped dead, blown away by how beautiful she looked. She wore cut-off shorts with a pink t-shirt and one of her black aprons, which was covered in flour. He found himself fighting for air. Even with her hair all messy on top of her head, and streaks of flour on her face, she was the most gorgeous woman he'd ever seen.

  "Hey, guys." She waved to them and he couldn't tear his eyes away from her.

  "Amanda, are you all right?" He bit back a laugh at the look on his brother's face because if you didn't know Amanda, you'd think a hurricane had hit her apron and face. He always enjoyed seeing her all dirty from cooking; it made her look so happy and beautiful. Well, that was how she looked to him anyway. To others, s
he just looked like a mess.

  She glanced between Cole and him before looking down at herself, and when she blushed, he groaned loud enough for his brother to glare at him. He loved seeing her blush, but he would enjoy it even more if she were naked and beneath him. Shit, his cock was also down with that scenario. He shifted his weight, trying to ease his erection as he listened to her speak. "Oh, yeah, I'm fine. I was just messing around with a recipe for the wedding, and I get messy when I cook. Are you guys hungry or anything?"

  "We're good, Mandy," Drew said, probably a little too fast and too rough because she looked at him like she'd just done something wrong. Shit, this was not going the way he had planned.

  Before he could try and redeem himself, she stepped up to them. Her eyes avoided him as she focused on Cole, and that just pissed him off. "All right then, so what's up first?" Amanda queried.

  He stepped between her and Cole as he spoke up. "We need to fix the foundation before we start doing anything else. It's going to take a while because we can't be here full time."

  She blushed again. Her breathing sped up, which told him everything he needed to know. She felt it as much as he was, and that was when he figured out his plan. She was clearly still attracted to him, and he wasn't past using her attraction to get to her. Tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, she looked up into his eyes as she spoke. "That's okay. I really appreciate you guys doing this, and I don't want to be a burden to anyone."

  The word 'burden' needed to be permanently deleted from her vocabulary; every time she used it, it made his skin crawl. He moved toward her, their lips close enough to touch if he wanted to. "You could never be a burden, Amanda." He made sure to reflect how pissed off he was about her using the term.

  She stayed silent for a minute. He thought he might have taken it too far, but when she nodded, he smiled and took a few steps back, giving her space. "When do you think you can start?" she asked them, her voice a little breathless.

  "We'll get everyone together tomorrow, and start there. Josh and his brothers said they would help, too." When he had mentioned asking the Thompsons for help, he already knew Josh and his brothers would pitch in. Amanda was like a sister to them, and there was no way they would ever leave her hanging.

  "Maybe I should film this renovation," she told them softly, with a big smile on her face and a twinkle in her eyes.

  "Why?" he asked, more curious than anything about where she was heading with this.

  "I could make a fortune off women seeing the four of you and Josh and his brothers working on the house." Drew wasn't a jealous man by nature, but the thought of Amanda finding any one of his brothers attractive made him see red. The only man he wanted her eyes on was him.

  "I feel used now," Cole told her, his hand running through his hair while smiling like a five-year-old.

  Why is he here again?

  "Oh, come on, it's like every woman's fantasy. You guys are what romance books are made of. Women would love it." She glanced at Drew as she spoke, and she must have seen the look in his eyes because she breathing increased and her cheeks flushed. He took a few steps closer, careful to gauge her reaction. When she didn't flinch or back away from him, he closed the distance between them. As he spoke to her, he saw her shiver and, he fought back the urge to haul her off the ground and kiss her.

  "Is it your fantasy, Amanda?" She must have heard something in his voice, because her hands went to his shirt, tugging like she didn't know if she wanted to push him away or pull him closer. Too bad he didn't have a say in her decision.

  "Hmmm, maybe." The sound of her appreciation from how close they were hit him like a freight train. When he heard Cole laughing behind him, he remembered they weren't alone. Having her so close made him forget everything except the feel of her body against his.

  "All right, kids, I don't want to be traumatized by watching my brother and the woman I consider a sister get it on, so can we keep this PG-13?" The instant Cole spoke, Amanda took a few steps back, shaking her head as if she was brushing off the trance they were in. And just like that, their moment was gone.

  "I'll be inside if you guys need anything," was all she said before running inside the house. He wanted to go after her, wanted her to admit there was still something there. But he also knew she needed time to process, so he let her go.

  He and Cole spent three hours going over the house and making a list of supplies needed for the renovations before calling it a day. When he walked inside the house to let Amanda know they were leaving, he found her sitting at the kitchen table, hunched over a laptop with her hand rubbing the back of her neck. He fought the urge to pull her back to his chest and touch her himself. He sat down beside her and she smiled, making him feel like he'd just won the lottery. "We're just about done. We'll be back tomorrow morning."

  "Okay." Her attention was obviously focused on whatever she was looking at.

  "What are you doing?" he asked her.

  She bit the inside of her cheek, and he remembered that was one of her tells when things weren't going her way. "I'm trying to find a vendor for fresh fruits and veggies for the diner and for the wedding, but every farm is far out. I know Jamie wanted to use your mom's veggies, but I'd like to use a variety."

  There was a big chance he would end up regretting what he was about to say, but seeing the defeated look on her face didn't sit well with him. "Not every farm," he told her, running his fingers through his hair. He watched as her eyes followed his hand and he smiled at her clenched fists on the table, like she was trying to stop herself from reaching out to him.

  "What do you mean?" God, she was so damn beautiful, even more so every time he saw her.

  When she tilted her head to the side, he realized he hadn't answered her yet. "About three years ago, we built a greenhouse for my mom to grow veggies and herbs. She's been talking about selling more of it. You should talk to her about buying from her. She supplies to some restaurants outside the city. And honestly, you don't need to worry about variety. Mom's been on a growing mission."

  "Really?" She sounded surprised, both that he would suggest she work with his mom and because of the scale of her production. Her reaction reminded him just how much history laid between them.

  "I'm sure she'd like that," he told her honestly. His mom would be happy to have something extra to do and she'd always cared for Amanda, so this was an easy fix for everyone. Plus, if it meant seeing Amanda on Callaway land more often, there was no way he was letting that opportunity pass him by.

  "This is great. Thank you, Drew." She leaned forward and kissed his cheek, stunning him in the process. As quickly as she had moved to him, she was gone. Her face was flushed, and he could tell she was embarrassed by her reaction, but he sure as hell wasn't. He wanted to haul her off the chair into his lap and hold her tight.

  "No problem." His voice was huskier than he wanted it to be, but she was turning him on, and there wasn't much he could do about his body's response to her.

  "Thank you for doing all of this, too." She waved her hand around as she spoke. "I don't know what I would do if you guys hadn't offered."

  "You're family, Amanda." She was his everything. He hated the thought of her feeling alone, like she didn't have anybody she could depend on. He wanted her to depend on him, to know she could call him day or night and he'd be right there. He wanted her to know he would give anything to make her happy.

  "Not anymore, Drew. I haven't been family in a long time." He hated the sound of defeat in her voice, but he also knew better than to push her at the moment. So, he took a few steps closer to her and pulled her into his arms.

  "You're always going to be family. You're my family, Amanda. You are all that matters." He kissed the top of her head, letting his lips linger a bit longer than he should have, inhaling her scent before walking out the back door.

  "You okay?" He jerked his head up at the sound of his brother's voice. Was he okay? He honestly didn't know how to answer that.

  "I'm fine." He knew Co
le saw right through his lie, because he was the last thing from fine. They drove home in silence and for the first time in a long time, Drew fell asleep later that night, hopeful for the future. Hopeful for a future with the woman he loved.

  Amanda woke up determined not to let the moment she'd shared with Drew the day before get to her. Something had shifted between the two of them, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it. She knew she couldn't avoid going to the Callaway Ranch, since she really needed those fresh fruits and veggies, but she also knew there was a strong possibility Kathy would chase her off her land. Any mother had the right to hate the girl who broke her son's heart, but Kathy was in a whole other class of mothers. She was the mama bear.

  "You can do this, Amanda," she told her reflection in the bathroom mirror as she finished getting ready. She grabbed an old pair of cut-off shorts and a light blue tank top before heading out. The sun was already making the temperature almost unbearable, sweat dripping on her forehead. The summer heat was one thing she definitely hadn't missed while she was gone. Although she had to admit, it had its perks, like watching Drew working sweaty and shirtless.

  She rolled the windows of her dad's old pickup truck down and cranked up the radio to the only country music station. When George Straits' "Check Yes or No" came on the radio, she smiled at the memory of the first time Drew had asked her out. She was fifteen, and she'd been crushing on him for weeks when he slipped her a note in the hallway. When she'd opened it, she remembered getting butterflies in the pit of her stomach as she read what he had written: 'Do you wanna go out with me? Yes or No.' That note had changed their lives; after that first date, they'd become inseparable. He might have been her best friend's brother to start, but he'd become her family.

  By the time she pulled up at the Callaway ranch, she'd managed to make herself even more nervous about seeing Kathy. Her trip down memory lane to the sound of George Strait had only increased her fear that Kathy would despise her. She thought about turning right back around but just as she was about to put her truck in reverse, Nick came out of the barn and waved at her. Well, there went my escape plan.

 
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