I reached for my water and drank, wishing it was something stronger so I could quiet the raging need in my body. Living with the woman I loved for the past month had me strung out in a way I’d never felt before. Not only was I trying like hell to hide my feelings for her—which was getting harder by the day, but I wasn’t sure how many more nights I could spend with that delectable ass curled up against my dick before she felt my feelings for her.
“You know I’m just here temporarily, right?” Teagan offered her mother a sturdy smile, but her fingers trembled slightly as she set down her fork, leaving her cheesecake half-eaten.
She was losing weight. I knew it was pretty much unavoidable given the stress she was under, but I still wanted to slide her dessert toward her or hell, feed it to her bite by bite.
Holy shit, I needed to get laid, but the last thing I wanted to do was leave Teagan for the night—or fuck some random in the backroom of a bar. Rick had nailed it on the head this morning—I wanted what I couldn’t have. Fuck, did I want her.
“Well, of course,” her mother answered, and I snapped back into the conversation, forcing my attention off Teagan. “But it doesn’t mean a girl can’t dream, right, Emma?”
“Absolutely.” Mom laughed. “I mean, we’ve only been planning this marriage for what? Twenty years?” Her eyes danced with humor, and I tilted my head in a wordless plea for her to cut me just a little slack.
It was one thing to hide my feelings from Teagan.
My mother? I never stood a chance. Her sharp, eagle eyes had seen it from the moment I turned thirteen.
“Twenty-two,” Mrs. Hall countered with raised eyebrows.
“Mom,” Teagan begged.
“Oh, honey, don’t deny an old woman her dreams. You two have been inseparable since you were four, so we always just assumed we’d be raising our grandkids together.”
My stomach twisted, but it wasn’t like Mrs. Hall knew that wasn’t ever going to happen.
“Right,” Mom interjected smoothly, barely looking my way. God, she was good. “I mean, you two have already seen each other naked,” she teased.
“Mom!” I sputtered.
“We were five!” Teagan exclaimed, hiding her reddening face behind her napkin.
“Oh, Emma, don’t you remember how they refused to bathe separately for a year?” Mrs. Hall laughed.
Fucking kill me now.
“And we had to trade off nights?” Mom laughed.
Teagan and I found anywhere to look besides across the table.
“Things have changed a bit since then,” I drawled, willing myself to relax. Funny, for thousand-dollar chairs, they were sure uncomfortable to fidget in.
“More than a bit.” Teagan’s blush crept down her neck.
“Still, we certainly wouldn’t complain if one of you decided to creep down the hall in the middle of the night while you’re living together,” Mom’s smile shifted to a sly smirk.
My gaze locked with Teagan’s since she’d been doing that very thing for the last month.
“Not at all,” Mrs. Hall agreed. “In fact, you two would make the cutest couple if you decided to help us out with our little in-law plan. Maybe we should put on a little Marvin Gaye and get out of your hair?”
“Oh my God! Mom! I don’t think of him like that!” she blurted.
My stomach fell through the dining room floor, but I managed a laugh. “Give it a rest before T has a coronary.” I shifted forward in my seat. “Besides, like I’d ever be good enough for her.” My grin was forced. “She prefers her guys a little more in shape.”
Both our mothers laughed at my obvious joke.
Teagan’s face fell slightly, but she played along.
“Talk about our moms making it weird,” she said an hour later as I put the last of the dishes into the dishwasher.
“Right?” My answer was quick, but not enough to cut through the awkward tension that had settled between us since our moms left. T handed me the dishwasher soap, and I started the machine, but that only took a couple of minutes. I folded my arms across my chest and leaned back against the counter as the pink returned to her cheeks.
“Look, about what they said—” she shifted her weight on her bare feet. God, I loved how comfortable she was here. She simply…fit.
I don’t think of him like that! Her words rung in my ears like the funeral dirge they were, but I couldn’t rip my eyes away from hers. I’d read Dante and knew all about the different levels of Hell, but he’d somehow neglected to write about the one where you spent a lifetime in love with your best friend while she…didn’t think of you like that.
“Don’t mention it.” I shrugged it off.
“You know you’re good enough for me, right?” She asked softly, the skin between her eyes wrinkling in concern. “I mean, not that we’d ever…you know.”