Read Only for You Online

Authors: Marquita Valentine

Only for You (10 page)


Here you go.” My momma
passes the baby to me, all bundled up in a blue blanket. I kiss his
sweet head and breathe in his baby scent.


Samuel Davis Givens was
born last night at exactly 9:59 PM, healthy and full of himself,”
my dad proudly says.

My nana smiles, waiting her
turn to hold my brother. “Looks just like you, Davis, and your
daddy would be proud to know you named that baby boy after
him.”


He’s beautiful,” I manage
to say on a swallow. “He’s perfect.” This time, my voice breaks
over the word. I feel their gazes on me, but I smile. Tears run
down my face.


Oh no. Don’t cry,
Violet.” My momma rushes to me, hugging me and kissing my cheek.
“Give Sam to your Nana and let me hold
you
.”


These are happy tears,
Momma. Not sad ones.” Mostly I’m telling the truth, but the pain I
thought I’d feel… it’s not a deep as it would have been, without
Cole in my life.

My dad hugs the three us
and my brother opens his eye, squinting like a little old man at
me.


This’s your big sister,
Violet,” he says.


And I love you very
much,” I whisper and kiss his sweet head. “No other little boy will
have a big sister that loves him as much as I do you.”

My mom takes Sam and my dad
pulls me into his arms. I hear Nana and my mom talking in soft
tones to each other and my baby brother, but that’s fine with
me.

It’s the comfort of a
father I need right now, not my mother, who already smells like
motherhood.


I’m proud of
you.”

Leaning back in his arms, I
look at him. “Even after all’s that happened. Even though I chose
Cole?”


Well,” he says, “we all
can’t be perfect.”

I laugh, he joins in, and
then I let go.

We move to sit in large
chairs on either side of a big window. The post-birth room has
everything we could need, including snacks, a small kitchenette,
and a flat-screen television. Plenty of room for visitors and the
new parents.


Speaking of Cole. Where
is he?” she asks, settling back into bed.


He had to work.” Not a
complete lie. The bar wasn’t open, but would be tomorrow, and he
did need to check on it every day, even on holidays.


A strong work ethic is a
good quality to have,” my dad says.


He has tons of good
qualities.”

My dad glances at my mom
and Nana, and then at me. “You’re allowed to bring him around,
Violet. I won’t be a butthole to him.”

I slap my hand over my
mouth, wanting to giggle. My parents never cuss, never drink, and
never watch anything over a PG-13 rating, so when they start using
substitution words, I want to die laughing.

But I don’t, because I
respect them too much to make fun. And I’m almost just as
bad.


Stop laughing at me,
Violet Rae Givens,” he says with a mock frown.

I shake my head. “I’m not
laughing.” My words are muffled by my palm.


This is nice,” she says
with a smile. Sam is in her arms, wrapped up tight in his little
blue blanket.


This is how it should
be,” he points out. “The Givens family sticks together—happy or
sad.”

I lower my hand and exhale.
“And we’re not afraid to let in someone new,” I say
solemnly.

My mother smiles at me.
“That’s the very best part, I think, letting in someone
new.”

Thinking about how Cole’s
been acting lately, makes my heart skip a beat.


I don’t know… sometimes,
it’s the scariest,” Nana says and I nod my head in
agreement.

Chapter Ten

 

 

 

 

 

Violet

It’s New Year’s Eve, and
I’m celebrating with Cole at The Double Deuce. Only it’s a private
party, completely made up of his friends and their dates instead of
the customer that could have come (and paid for a cover charge and
drinks) from the surrounding area.

And it’s all my
fault.

Instead of things getting
better with Cole since Christmas, it’s gotten worse. It’s like a
flipped switched between the time he dropped me off at my nana’s
and when I came back from visiting my parents. He’s moodier than
ever, and I’m constantly weighing my words, wondering if what I
have to say or want to do will set off our next fight.

The headlines have gotten
worse, too. The lies, the flat-out name-calling, and speculation
about my possible future involvement with Jaxon—is something that
Cole’s having a hard time ignoring.

Last week, they ran a story
about his mom, about who her parents are and who Cole’s dad
actually is. Everyone knows, and no one will leave him alone about
it.

The connection with Jaxon,
along with Crystal selling him, has weirdly not made any headlines.
I know this has to be Everett’s doing. To be sure he has all his
I’s dotted and all his T’s crossed. Plus, he and Kathy have always
been open about their son being adopted.

But none of that matters
about Jaxon because Cole’s barely speaking to me, and if he hadn’t
already promised to take me to a real party, with normal people, I
doubt we’d be here tonight.

I’d be at home, without
him, like usual.

I stir the ice in my drink,
with a green novelty straw. Lacey brought straws that were shaped
like cupcakes at the top, for the girls, but Beau snagged one, and
in the past few minutes has gotten all lascivious with
his.


Damn, this cupcake is
good,” he says, sliding his tongue down the center. His date, some
random chick that apparently no one has ever met before, looks
longingly at the straw.

I shudder, thinking that
his tongue has probably been on Callie, whose tongue has been on
Jaxon.

Maybe I ought to stop
thinking about that right now.

Lacey taps her fingers on
the table; the tips of her fingernails are glittery. Earlier today,
we had our monthly mani/pedi. For the most part, the owner leaves
us alone except to do our nails.

Sometimes though, her
curiosity gets the better of her, and she starts asking about all
the country music stars that played at the Grand Ole Opry. Most of
them are dead and I’ve personally met fewer than half, but I know
just enough to make her smile.

If the owner’s smiling,
then she’s not prying into my personal life.

Besides, I like to think
George Jones would forgive me for telling a teeny, tiny lie about
eating at The Cheesecake Factory with him.


This is my favorite
song,” Lacey says, her eyes on the dance floor.

Parker’s out there, with
his date, along with his BFF, West, and his date, a girl named
McKenzie. They’re staring into each other’s eyes like no one else
is around. And by they, I mean West and McKenzie, not
Parker.

Although, according to
Cole, Parker and West have a bromance like no other. But I’m pretty
sure that he and Wyatt give them a run for their money.


Why don’t you dance,
then?”


Because Wyatt is playing
darts with Cole, and I don’t want to interrupt his
game.”

Wyatt glances over his
glass of beer, checking on Lacey. I grin. “I’m pretty sure he would
be okay with it.”

She shakes her head, pretty
auburn hair cascading over one shoulder. “Not anymore.”

My grin falls. “Why is
that?”


Mr. and Mrs. Tanaka said
they’ll fire me if I keep seeing him.”


But that’s not
right.”

Lacey stares at me, with
sad eyes that make me want to hug her, but I won’t. She’s not a big
fan of touching, unless she’s the one to initiate it, and I always
keep that knowledge tucked away. “For him it is. Wyatt deserves to
be with a woman who wants to be a doctor or lawyer, not some
small-town veterinarian’s assistant with no other ambition in
life.”


Is that what they said to
you?”


His momma did.” She looks
down, drawing a circle on the table. “She’s right. I would hold him
back.”


But you love
Wyatt.”

Her head jerks up, auburn
bangs falling in her eyes. “Don’t tell him what I told you. Promise
me, okay, because I was supposed to keep it a secret. But you’re my
best friend and best friends don’t keep secrets, right?”

I look up at the ceiling,
my heart breaking for Lacey, then back at her. “I thought Wyatt was
your best friend, too.”


Not anymore.” She goes
back to drawing a circle. “Things changed once we kissed. Plus,
he’s not speaking to me now.”


Lacey,” I say
softly.


Yes?”


Would it be all right to
hug you?” Dear God, please let her say yes. This girl needs a hug,
and Wyatt’s momma needs to keep her nose out of their
relationship.

She looks at me out of the
corner of her eye. A tear splashes on her cheek. “Yes.”

I hug her, tight and
fierce, like she needs, like I need, but there’s no one to give me
one. I’m afraid to complain to my parents about what’s going on,
because I’m pretty sure they’d be disappointed in me.

And I can’t complain to
Nana because she’s off visiting her sister down in Florence, South
Carolina. I’d like to think that she’d understand. That she’d hug
me and tell me Cole would come around, that he’s not doing the very
thing I accused him of doing less than two weeks ago.

Cole’s gaze catches mine,
his sexy lips smashing together. He strides toward us, and I let
Lacey go. She whispers her thanks before wishing me good night, and
slides off the stool, heading in the direction of the front
door.


What was that about?” he
asks. Tonight he’s dressed in dark jeans and a graphic t-shirt that
has The Double Deuce’s logo printed on it. The ear gauges are new,
a Christmas present from me, made of onyx. He likes them but I
don’t share how much they cost. I mean, I wouldn’t anyway, but
money is yet another ocean forming in this new space between
us.


Lacey’s sad, is
all.”

Cole takes a drink of his
beer and sets it on the table. “Maybe she shouldn’t have changed
the rules on Wyatt without talking to him first.”


Maybe he wasn’t willing
to listen.”

Dark blue eyes meet mine.
His gaze rakes over me, over my face, my throat, and down my chest.
It feels like he touching me, and then he is touching me, his hand
on my skirt, sliding up and under the hem.

He teases me, skimming his
fingers along my inner thighs, and my heart starts to beat between
them. We haven’t been together in four days, because of his work
schedule, but it feels like four months.


How bad do you want me?”
he asks, his head dipping forward to nuzzle at a spot below my
ear.


All the time.”

I gasp when he touches bare
skin, my hips rocking forward to meet him. He takes a step forward
and then another, until his hard body is flush with mine. “You’re
driving me insane.”


Why?” I let my head fall
against his wide chest. He’s blocking my view of everyone and
everything. When Cole touches me, he becomes everything and nothing
matters.


Because I know what
you’re not wearing.” He uses his other hand to lift my chin,
sealing his mouth over mine. I’m hungry for him, desperate for his
taste. Without my permission, he stops kissing my mouth and nips at
my jaw. “Let’s see how wet you are.”

He slides one finger inside
of me, and I grab his wrist. “Someone might see.”


Very wet,” he pronounces,
ignoring my protest. But his hand doesn’t move and my entire being
focuses on that one place where he’s inside of me. “And no one can
see you. I think you picked this table on purpose, right in the
corner and beside the bar. Worst table in the house.”

He kisses me, lazy kisses
that are driving me as wild as the finger he won’t move. Then he
adds another finger, and I bite him. He growls a little, but that’s
all.

I want more. I want him to
move, damn it.


Oh God
… please,
Cole
,” I pant. “
Please
.”


Pretend I’m your favorite
toy.”

I barely register the
meaning of his words, before my face flushes hot. Then I grip his
wrist harder, my fingers not even able to wrap the whole way
around, and try to move him.


Use both hands.” He
pushes up my skirt, so that I’m bared to him, and I look down. My
hand on his, his fingers inside of me.

Immediately, I grow
wetter.

Licking my lips, I use both
hands, watching as his fingers disappear and reappear. I don’t
think I’ve ever been so turned on in my life. We could get caught
at any moment. Anyone within a foot of us has to know what we’re
doing.

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