My body hummed with unquenched desire. I was pretty sure that if Demetri or Alec touched me I was going to freaking throw my fist through the wall — or my body. That sounded good too.
Guilt gnawed like a poison. I shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting her — I shouldn’t feel guilty for needing her. Yet, I’d rejected her again. When did I go from taking every flipping chance I had to bed a girl?
To pressuring one to wait?
“I want to wait.” Hell, those used to be my least favorite words. All freaking four of them. And now? Now, I was the one spouting them out.
I could blame Nat’s pregnancy hormones being too close to my vicinity causing me to be overly sensitive. The truth? Maybe I’d been that guy all along. I’d just pushed him so far beneath the surface that I’d lost him.
Funny, because Pris had a way of reaching into my soul and plucking him right back out.
“You ready?” Demetri tossed me a bottle of water.
“As ever.” I ran my fingers through my hair. “Are you guys just going to hang out?”
“Yeah, we’ll stop by a bit later. It’s probably best to split up. We don’t want to cause utter chaos.”
“Must be so tough,” Alyssa said from the couch, not lifting her eyes from the magazine. “Demetri, I love you! Marry me! Make me yours!” Her voice was whiney. “Back off, bitch, he’s mine.”
Demetri smirked. “Babe, she was twelve.”
“Should have let me fight her.”
My eyebrows rose while Demetri started laughing, walking over to the couch and taking Alyssa into his arms. “Babe, she was hardly a threat.”
“She looked older.” Alyssa sniffed.
Demetri threw up his hands in a helpless gesture. “Want to marry me and make it all better?”
“I already said yes.” She glared.
“So pick a date.”
I watched their exchange with interest. It was like watching an old couple bicker — only you knew that after said arguing was over there’d be a hell of a lot of making up.
“During the second tour break.”
Demetri burst out laughing, then sobered when Alyssa didn’t join in. “Holy shit, you’re serious.”
Alyssa looked back at her magazine.
“Babe, that’s in four weeks.”
“Twenty-eight days…” She sighed. “What about this dress?” She pointed to a dress that looked more like lingerie. I covered my smile with my hand as Demetri groaned out loud.
“Woman, you’ll be the death of me.”
“I’ll wear heels.”
“Four weeks it is.” He clapped his hands. ”But cover up, babe. We aren’t running a brothel.”
Her response was to smack him in the head with a magazine, and then I saw arms flying, legs wrapping, some kissing, heard some disturbing moans, and yeah, by then I just turned my head and stared at the door waiting for Pris to emerge.
“Whoa.” Alec coughed coming up from behind me. “They need to hurry up and get married before they have a child out of wedlock.”
“Ah, I always wondered what the pot sounded like when it stopped shouting accusations at the kettle,” I said aloud.
Alec barked with laughter. “I forgot how much I liked having you around, England.”
“Foreign charm, and admit it — you think my accent is sexy.”
“True.” Alec nodded solemnly. “Sometimes I even hear it at night as my wife lulls me to sleep with her—”
“—you can stop now.”
Yeah, I’d never seen Alec smile so many different ways. Marriage had been way too good for him. His playing was better, his song writing amazing, and I was pretty sure that by the time he was fifty he was going to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Just a hunch.
“How’s she holding up?” Alec walked over to the breakfast bar and pulled out a stool.
“She’s alright,” I said in hushed tones. “Sad, upset, confused, but… she’s doing better than I’d be doing.”
“She seems strong,” Alec mused, looking at the door. “Kind of makes me feel like an ass. I had to do how many drugs and be responsible for my own son’s death before I got my head out of my ass — and even then it was Nat doing the saving. For Priscilla to just accept and fight…” He shook his head. “I admire that.”
“Yeah, well.” I winced. “It’s going to be a long road.”
“And this road… are you going to be driving on it with her?” he fished.
I knew what he was asking. Funny, because I could answer with complete confidence. “Alec, c’mon, you know I hate it when women drive my car.”
“I’m ready.” Priscilla came out of the bedroom, her long dark hair pulled into a tight ponytail and a grey sweatshirt over her leggings.
“You look great.” I kissed her forehead.
“I look horrible.” She managed a tiny smile. “But I love you for lying.” Her eyes narrowed, “This time.”
The room fell completely silent.
I took another step so she was in my arms. “Yeah, well, I just love you.”
I heard choking, a gasp, something that sounded like a chair tipping over, and then crying.
Turning around, I saw Nat wipe tears from her eyes as a stunned Alec picked up his stool, and Alyssa helped Demetri clean up the water he’d apparently spit all over the couch.