Hard to Love Page 10

Suddenly I couldn’t wait any longer to touch him. I leaned forward and trailed a path of soft, damp kisses along his shaft. His scent was musky and decidedly male, and I wanted more. I craved it in a way that was primal and entirely new to me.

I eased the head into my mouth, and suckled at the smooth skin. His breath released in a hiss from between his teeth. My hands joined in the fun, stroking up and down as I devoured the length of him.

“Damn, baby.” He groaned, his head dropping back against the couch.

I never knew this could be so pleasurable, but I found myself getting lost in the rhythm, sucking and licking and trailing my hands along his shaft.

“Just like that, angel. Stroke it.” He watched my hands work up and down his length and groaned a deep growl low in his throat. My heart jumped. Hearing those sounds come out of him was so sexy. “I’m going to come,” he gasped.

Seconds later, hot jets of semen exploded down the back of my throat and Cade released a final groan.

A satisfied smile crossed his lips and he looked down at me with wonder. “Damn baby, you didn’t have to swallow it.” He stroked my jaw with his thumb, studying me carefully.

It wasn’t like I’d had a well-thought-out plan. I’d just done what I needed to do. I wasn’t about to go running for the bathroom, my behind jiggling in his face as I jogged away. No thank you. Besides, it hadn’t been that bad.

He smiled a sleepy grin. “In case you’re wondering…that felt fucking amazing.”

I no longer blanched at his overeager use of the F-bomb, it only endeared him to me more. Cade was all male. There’d be no changing him, no tempering his ways. Maybe it was my strict upbringing, but something inside me envied that.

Warmth flooded my cheeks at his compliment, and I lifted my chin to meet his eyes. He continued tracing lazy circles along my cheek, working his hand behind my hair to massage my neck, not bothering to tuck his softening cock back inside his pants. Since he didn’t care about our semi-nude state, I relaxed into his caresses, resting my head on his thigh.

“That feel good, cupcake?” he whispered.

“Mm-hm,” I mumbled, tilting my head to give him better access. His fingers reached nearly all the way around my neck and he used a strong but soothing pressure. I would go down on him every day if it meant getting a massage like this afterwards. I relaxed into his touch and soaked up the loving attention.

Several minutes later, and on the verge of falling asleep, I stood and redressed. Cade straightened his clothes, pressed a quick kiss to my lips and then went down the hall, I assumed to check on Lily. Above all else, he was a good big brother, and that was all that really mattered.

Unsure of what to do with myself, I gathered up the empty beer bottles and brought them to the kitchen to rinse them out. I set them on the counter by the sink, wondering where he kept the recycling bin, or if he had one at all. Cade entered the kitchen behind me.

“Just leave it. I’ll clean up in the morning.” He pressed a kiss to the back of my neck and I turned to hug him, comforted by his warm embrace. “Let me walk you out. I want to make sure you get to your car safe and sound.”

I didn’t comment that my car was only thirty feet away, I simply nodded and allowed him place his hand on my lower back and escort me to the door. Maybe it had something to do with us sharing chicken wings, and football, and oral sex. Whatever it was that had brought out his protective streak, I wasn’t about to complain. It was nice.

Chapter 13


Having Alexa’s willing body that close nearly sent me over the edge. Watching her small hand close around my shaft had sent a throbbing rush of blood to my cock. Was I crazy enough to believe that something would become of this, other than a friendship centered around Lily and the side benefits of worshipping her sweet body once the sun went down? Surely she had to realize that I didn’t fit into her life, not by a long shot. But I’d take what I could get, for as long as I could have it.

That night I fell asleep to the memory of Alexa’s gentle voice reading from Lily’s favorite book, and the way she animated the voices of each different character to make Lily chuckle. With a sleepy smile planted on my lips, I rolled over and fell asleep.

On Saturday Alexa called and asked if she could pick up Lily for a girls day. After I recovered from my stunned silence, I’d agreed. This girl continued to level me. It was like she knew the way to my hardened heart—through Lily. Maybe I never considered a serious relationship before because no one had ever shown an interest in developing a relationship with Lily too. Once they found out about my sister, they usually bailed.

An hour later, Lily chanted Lexa’s name as she watched the little BMW SUV pull up alongside the curb. We met Alexa on the sidewalk. “So what are you girls up to today?”

“Well, I was thinking I’d leave it up to Miss Lily. We could have a beauty day at the spa, or we could go to this boutique where you get to choose a ceramic figurine to paint.”

“Yeah!” Lily’s face lit up.

“Which one, baby doll? You have to choose.” Alexa’s generosity was too much as it was.

Lily’s face scrunched up in concentration for a moment before she looked up at Alexa. “Can we do both?”

Alexa grinned that crooked smile I’d grown fond of and nodded. “Sure can, sweet pea.”

I helped buckle Lily in the backseat and placed her walker in the rear cargo space, then meet Alexa at the driver’s door. “You sure you’re okay with this?”

“Absolutely. Go enjoy your Saturday. Just keep the booty calls to a minimum.” She patted my chest.

“Will do.”

I watched them drive away. The little girl who owned my heart and the beautiful Alexa who was pulling it in an entirely new direction.

I took advantage of the rare opportunity for an extra gym session with Ian, but coming home to an empty house felt too weird. After about an hour of aimless pacing and puttering I decided to call Alexa and check on them. Maybe she was going crazy. It was definitely time to check on her. I dialed her cell and she answered on the first ring.

“Hi Cade.” She sounded out of breath. “We finished at the ceramics place and grabbed some lunch. What’s up?”

I heard a squeal of laughter in the background. “Where are you guys?”

“At the spa just down the road. Is it okay if Lily gets her hair cut? It’ll just be a trim.”

“Ah, sure.” My neighbor lady usually cut it, but what the hell. “Where are you guys? I could swing by and see Lily.”

“Sure. She’d love that I’m sure.” She gave me the directions and I set off in my truck, needing to get out of my too-quiet house.

When I walked in the spa, I was greeted by the sounds of new age music mixed in with bird calls and the babble of water, and the scent of lavender that was so strong it slapped me in the face.

I turned a corner and found Alexa and Lily seated in a large chairs, their feet propped up in front of them.

“Caden!” Lily squealed once she spotted me.

They wiggled their pink toenails at me. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be noticing. “Look at that. Two very pretty girls.”

They smiled at my compliment, so it appeared I’d said the right thing and we made our way to the front.

“Here.” Alexa handed me her credit card. “Will you check us out? I want to run over to the bakery next door. I’ll just be a minute.”

“Sure.” I took the card, but planned to pay with my own once Alexa was outside. She’d done too much for us already. But when the girl at the counter told me the bill came to three-hundred dollars, I reluctantly handed over Alexa’s card. Three hundred dollars for toenail polish and a couple of haircuts? Their hair didn’t even look any different to me. One thing was clear—Alexa led a lifestyle I’d never be able to afford. And I sure as shit didn’t need Lily getting used to this kind of treatment.

Alexa came back a few minutes later carrying a little pink pastry box, looking smug. She signed the credit card slip and took her card from the counter, then headed outside to her car with Lily in tow. “See ya back at the house,” she called.

I stood by uselessly until they drove away, then stomped off to my truck. I stopped on the drive home to pick up dinner for the three of us, needing to do something to get things back under control.

Once I got home I could hear Lily singing and playing in her bedroom and found Alexa sitting on the couch waiting for me. I set the bags of food on the table and turned to her. “You didn’t have to do all that today.” My voice came out sterner than I intended.

She stood and placed her hands on her hips. “I know that, Cade. I wanted to. I never had a little sister. Did you ever think that maybe I like spending time with her?”

Shit. I sounded like a real prick. I rubbed the back of my neck. “Sorry, it’s just this is new for me.” There was no denying that the way Alexa was with Lily complicated things between us. It twisted my insides, and brought out my protective instincts.

Her expression softened. “It’s new for me too.” She leaned her hip against the counter, drawing herself unconsciously closer to me.

I brought my hand up to cup her cheek, unable to resist touching her soft skin. I brushed my callused thumb along her jaw. “Hey.” Her eyes met mine. “I’m sorry. I get sensitive about her.”

“Yeah, I noticed. That’s the last time I try to do something nice.” Her tone was serious, but she looked up at me with that crooked mischievous smile of hers. I wanted to kiss the smirk off her gorgeous face.

“Aw, don’t be that way, cupcake. Come on. Stay for dinner.”

She checked her watch. “That could probably be arranged.”

“You got somewhere to be? Don’t tell me it’s another hot date with that country club schmuck.”

She chuckled. “No, actually Peter hasn’t called. It’s just my mom’s been hounding me about coming over for dinner. Let me step outside to call her and see if I can postpone till tomorrow night.”

“Sure. Come inside when you’re done.”

Lily came tearing down the hall to show off her matching pink fingernails and toenails and the pink ceramic fairy she’d painted. It was like an explosion of pink had invaded my house—hell, my life.

“I’m gonna go put it in my room,” she announced, already heading down the hall.

Alexa returned and headed straight for me, a smile on her face. I pulled her into a hug. “Well? Can you stay?”

She nuzzled into my neck and inhaled. “Yeah, but I had to make a deal with my mother.”

I kissed her lips then pulled back to look at her. “What’s that?”

“I told her I was at my friend Cade’s and she insisted that you join us for dinner. Are you free tomorrow?”

“Dinner? With your parents?” I held her at arms’ length, looking her over. She couldn’t be serious. I thought we were just having fun, but this…meeting the parents was something more, wasn’t it?

Her bottom lip jutted out. “Is that okay?”

“Ah, sure. I can probably get Sophia to come over.”

Her smile momentarily faltered at the mention of Sophia’s name. “Okay.”

Alexa helped Lily wash her hands while I set the table. I’d stopped at the neighborhood diner, and not knowing what Alexa would like, I’d picked up a burger and a grilled chicken salad for her, along with my usual burger and Lily’s grilled-cheese sandwich.

Once we were all seated around the table, Alexa chose the grilled chicken salad for dinner and Lily announced she wanted salad, too. Alexa graciously shared the salad, dividing it onto two plates while I stuffed the extra food in the fridge for dinner another night.

We made small talk while we ate, Alexa and Lily both reminiscing about their girls’ day. Once we finished with dinner, Alexa hopped up from her chair. “Oh, I almost forgot. I got dessert.” She retrieved the pink bakery box from the counter.

I shook my head slowly. “You spoil us. What’d you get?”

“Cupcakes, what else?” She grinned.

I chuckled and Lily clapped her hands, completely unaware of Alexa’s nickname. I leaned back, draping an arm across the back of Alexa’s chair and watched as Alexa removed a pink-frosted cupcake from the box and placed it in front of Lily, peeling off the paper cup. Lily’s eyes went wide and she wasted no time biting into the enormous treat. By her enthusiasm, you’d think I never fed the poor kid. Alexa chuckled and wiped pink frosting from the tip of Lily’s nose.

We watched Lily demolish her cupcake in relative silence. “You didn’t have to do all this you know.”

“I wanted to,” she returned.

I knew there was no use in arguing with her, but something about it didn’t sit quite right with me. Was she here caring for Lily and hanging around me because she felt bad for us? We were not a fucking charity case for her to take pity on.

Seeming to sense my mood, Alexa dipped her index finger into the frosting of a cupcake and brought it to my mouth, her eyes sparkling with challenge. I reached out and gripped her wrist, my eyes locked on hers as I swirled my tongue gently across the pad of her finger.

Alexa let out a ragged moan. Lily giggled at the sight of us, pulling our attention back to the fact that we had an audience.

I cleared my throat, trying to regain some composure and stop the throbbing ache low in my balls. “Do you want to show Alexa how to start your bath water while I clean up the kitchen?”

Lily hopped up and with one hand holding her walker, she grabbed for Alexa’s hand with the other. “Come on, Lexa. I’ll show you where I keep the bubbles.”

Watching the two of them together had me wondering if Lily needed more a more stable female role model in her life. The thought was sobering.

I cleaned up the kitchen to the backdrop of pleasant sounds of feminine laughter and splashing water coming from down the hall. Once I was through I peeked into the bathroom, finding Lily covered in bubbles, playing with her bath toys and Alexa kneeling over the side of the tub, wiggling that fine little ass at me. I took a moment to inspect her shapely backside, the way her jeans hugged her curves and the way her shirt had ridden up, exposing the curve of her lower back. She was sexy as hell and didn’t even know it. And seeing her nurturing side with Lily—hell, that just set off all kinds of alpha male in me. I wanted her.

Source: www_Novel22_Net

Prev Next