You are such a fucking bastard.
He didn’t even care. Jessie was a grown up. She wanted this, same as he did. If they were in quicksand and sinking fast, well at least they were going down together.
He reached her hip and froze when he didn’t encounter the band of fabric he was expecting. Jake lifted his head, a small part of him noting her flushed skin and the way her eyes were too wide and her breath came too quickly—a perfect match for him. The rest of him was hyper-focused on the soft skin beneath his fingers. “You’re not wearing underwear.”
She blinked and then blinked again. “I’m not.” Some awareness came back into her eyes, and she managed a smile. “I never really did, though.”
He knew. Fuck, he knew that better than anyone.
Jake twisted his wrist to slide between her thighs. She was soaking wet and shaking before he pushed a finger into her. He met her gaze as he pumped slowly. “I used to live in fear that you’d do one of those fucking high kicks at a game.”
“You know better.” She cupped the back of his neck and arched her back, spreading her legs wider and giving him full access. “I only took off my panties after the game. For you.”
He worked her, wanting to kiss her again, but wanting not to miss the look on her face when she came. “You need to find some fucking underwear for this weekend.” He withdrew long enough to spread her wetness up and over her clit and then pushed two fingers in her while he worked her with his thumb. “Unless you want me dragging you off to every empty room we come across.”
“That doesn’t sound…so bad.”
“I know.” He kissed her, quick and brutal. “Come for me, Jessie.”
“I—” She moaned. “Jake, please.”
A knock on the door made him freeze. He had half a second to see the panic in Jessie’s face before she shoved him hard enough that he hit the bed a few feet back. He sat down hard and snatched one of the ten fucking pillows to cover the cockstand he had going on.
The door opened, revealing Jennifer Jackson. She gave them the stink eye like she suspected they’d been doing exactly what they were doing, but she’d gotten over her earlier hysterics. That had to be a new record. Normally when she retired to her bedroom, she stayed there until the next day. “Dinner’s ready.”
“Thanks, Mama.” Jessie didn’t sound even winded, and he glared at her sitting so primly on the desk as if she hadn’t just been seconds from coming on his fingers.
Jennifer gave them one last long look before she turned and walked back down the hall, leaving the door open.
Jake flopped back onto the bed and stared at the ceiling. What a shitshow. It was his fault and he couldn’t pretend otherwise. Jessie had voiced her concerns, and he’d turned around and proven exactly how legitimate they were. He huffed out a breath and sat up. “So that was—”
“If what you’re about to say doesn’t involve ‘I will totally be finishing what I started later tonight’ I don’t want to hear it.”
He raised his eyebrows. “Pushy.”
“Maybe.” She shrugged. “If you change your mind, that’s fine, but I suggest you get better control of yourself, because I will be masturbating to take the edge off.” She stood, smoothed down her dress, and strode out the room, leaving him staring at her like an idiot.
When he’d thought that he wanted to see some of the old Jessica again, he hadn’t put much consideration into what that would look like. Jake shook his head. If the last hour was a good indication of how things were going to go this weekend, he wasn’t sure either of them would survive the next three days.
Jessica barely made it through dinner. She didn’t know what she ate—something leafy and green—but she was so busy dodging her mama’s verbal swipes that she didn’t have much appetite. It didn’t help that Drew had cancelled at the last minute, so there was no one for her mama to focus on except her. Lucky Jessica.
You look like you’ve gained weight. A long sigh. I just knew you couldn’t be trusted to handle your own nutrition. You always did skew hefty.
And what exactly have you been up to, Jake Davis? I heard that you got fired from assistant coach for a football team.
Jessica, don’t you dare eat that. You’ve had enough.
Humiliation had her slouching in her seat until a sharp comment about her posture forced her to straighten. God, how did I live like this? She’d been a little firecracker more often than not, but never at home. At home, there was only room for one drama queen, and that was Jennifer Jackson.
Her therapist had a field day with that. Jessica could even agree that she acted out and misplaced her rage because she was so damn impotent in what should have been the safety of her own home. It seemed like she should be better than some rote mommy issues bullshit, but she wasn’t.
Add in her distant father, and she was a mess.
Her mother turned to smile at Jake, and though her voice was as sweet as honey, her eyes were as cold as a snake’s. “So, Jake Davis, how many illegitimate children are you up to these days?”
Enough is enough. “Mama, stop.” She didn’t mean to yell, but her mother had crossed a line. “Jake is my boyfriend, and I love him, and you’re being unforgivably rude.” Lie, lie, truth. Mostly. She ignored her father’s reproachful look and lifted her chin. “If you can’t be polite, we’ll go get a hotel.”
“Do you hear that, Benjamin? Our own daughter, threatening me.” Her chin quivered in a move that would have pulled at Jessica’s heartstrings if she hadn’t seen it a million times growing up. Her dark eyes jumped from one person at the table to the other, but no one rushed to tell Jessica to apologize. Her mother nodded, almost to herself. “I see how it is—how it’s always been. Selfish ungrateful daughter, and a selfish ungrateful husband. No one talks about the sacrifices I’ve made for this family. No one even notices. I just work myself to the bone, and all you care about is yourself.” She stood, shaking visibly.
Jessica’s first instinct was to rush to her mama’s side and apologize, but she smothered the urge with every bit of strength she had. Part of coming back to Catfish Creek was facing down her parents, and she couldn’t move on with her life if she didn’t do that.
This was the first step, no matter how much it turned her stomach.
Her mother nodded again. “Well, in that case, I’m going to retire for the night.” She sniffled. “I wish I could say it was nice to have you home, Jessica, but it appears you’re just going to break my heart all over again.”
Jessica barely held herself in place until her mama shuffled out of the room. Then she shot to her feet. “I’m going for a run.”
Jake narrowed his eyes. “You hate running.”
She ignored that, because it was true. She loathed running. She always had. But it quieted the crap in her brain better than anything else did—even yoga. These days, she found better activities to do the same thing, but there wasn’t a convenient gym in Catfish Creek of the variety she preferred. Even if there was, gossip was a tedious thing, and she didn’t feel like running the gauntlet just to burn off her excess anxiety.
I know one way to burn off that anxiety.
The thought brought to mind what she and Jake had been doing before her mother’s crappy timing put a stop to it all. His mouth on hers, his fingers between her thighs, her orgasm so close she could practically taste it.
In that stolen moment, she hadn’t once thought about her fears surrounding the reunion or worried about dealing with her mama. There had only been Jake and her and the perfection that lay between them when their clothes and the rest of the world fell away.
But she couldn’t ask him to screw her into mental silence, so running was her only option.
She looked at her daddy, but he was focused on his meal. Missed you, too.
She couldn’t stand it any longer, so she rushed up the stairs, barely
waiting for the click of her bedroom door closing to strip out of her dress. She’d thrown some workout clothes into her suitcase on a whim, and now she was pathetically grateful for it.
Jessica had just pulled on her shorts and sports bra when Jake opened the door. She threw a hand up. “Knock!”
He knocked on the door and then stepped into the room, closing it behind him. “What the hell is going on, Jessie?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Yes, you do.” He started for her.
She had to get out of there. The walls were too close, and Jake filled what little space there was in the room. “Jake, please. I have to go.” If she didn’t get out of there—now—she might start screaming. Or, worse, crying.
He stared, his green eyes seeing too much. “How much time do you need?”
“I don’t know.” She fully intended to run until she was too tired to think. Sometimes that was a mile, sometimes it was five. Jessica had a feeling it would take at least the latter before her mother’s comments faded away.