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Just for Now

Abbi Glines

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  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty-One

  Chapter Twenty-Two

  Chapter Twenty-Three

  Chapter Twenty-Four

  Chapter Twenty-Five

  Chapter Twenty-Six

  Chapter Twenty-Seven

  About the Author


  “Well, if it ain’t li’l Manda, all dressed up and coming out to play.”

  The water I’d been sipping chose this moment to strangle me. Covering my mouth to muffle my hacking cough, I turned away from the warm breath against my ear. I had shown up here tonight for one reason: to see Preston Drake. Wasn’t it just my luck that when he finally decided to notice I’m alive, I started coughing up a freaking lung?

  Preston’s amused chuckle as he patted my back didn’t help my humiliation any. “Sorry, Manda, I didn’t know my presence would get you all choked up.”

  Once I was able to speak again, I turned around to face the guy who had been making a grand appearance in my late-night fantasies for a couple of years now. All the primping I’d suffered through so that I looked irresistible tonight was pointless. Preston was grinning at me like he always did. I amused him. He didn’t see me as anything more than the innocent little sister of his best friend, Marcus Hardy. It was cliché. How many bad romance novels had I read about the girl falling hopelessly in love with her brother’s best friend? Countless.

  “You startled me.” I wanted to explain my sudden burst of coughing.

  Preston tipped a bottle of beer to his lips and took a drink while keeping his eyes cut toward me. “Are you sure it wasn’t my sexy-as-hell voice whispering in your ear that caused your momentary lack of oxygen?”

  Yes, that was probably it. But the guy knew he was beautiful. I wasn’t going to add to his ego. Crossing my arms over my stomach, I struck a defensive pose. I never knew how to talk to Preston or what to say to him. I was so afraid he’d look me in the eye and know that I closed my eyes at night and imagined doing very bad things to his body.

  “Damn, Manda,” he said in a low, husky voice as his eyes lowered to my breasts. I’d worn a low-cut white blouse tonight, and a really good push-up bra, in hopes of at least getting Preston to see that my body was all grown up. Besides, I knew he had a thing for boobs. It was obvious by the girls he dated. . . . Well, he didn’t really date. He just screwed them. My boobs were not big, but a good push-up bra and the right position and they weren’t too bad.

  “That’s a real nice shirt you got on.”

  He was really looking at me. Or at them—but they were a part of me, so it was the same thing. “Thank you,” I replied in a normal voice that betrayed the fact I was breathing a little faster now.

  Preston took another step toward me, closing the small area that had separated us. His eyes were still directed at the cleavage I had pushing up in full view. “Maybe wearing a shirt like that ain’t real smart, Manda.” His deep voice caused me to shiver. “Aw hell, girl, don’t do that. No shivering.”

  One large hand touched my waist. His thumb brushed against my stomach and gently pushed the hem of my shirt up. “I’ve been drinkin’ since four, sweetheart. You need to push me away and send me packing, ’cause I don’t think I can stop this on my own.”

  Small whimper. Oh, yes. Should I start begging now?

  Preston lifted his eyes to meet mine. His long, pale blond hair that girls everywhere wanted to get their hands in fell forward over one of his eyes. I couldn’t help it. I reached up and tucked the loose strands behind his ear. He closed his eyes and made a small, pleased sound in his throat.

  “Manda, you’re real sweet. Real fucking sweet, and I’m not the kind of guy you’re supposed to let get this close.” His voice was almost a whisper now as his eyes bore into mine. I could see the slight glassy look that confirmed he’d had too much to drink.

  “I’m a big girl. I can decide who I let get close,” I replied, shifting my hips so that he had a better view directly down my shirt if he wanted it.

  “Mmmm, see, this is where I think you might be wrong, ’cause untouched little bodies like yours, all fresh and sweet, shouldn’t tempt guys who are only looking for another hot fuck.”

  Something about hearing Preston Drake say “fuck” out of those full, pink lips of his was a major turn-on. He was too pretty. He always had been. His lashes too long, his face too sculpted and you add that in with his lips and hair, you get one lethal package.

  “Maybe I’m not as untouched as you think,” I said, hoping he didn’t detect the lie. I wanted to be one of those bad girls he didn’t mind taking in a back room up against a wall.

  Preston lowered his mouth to barely graze the skin on my shoulder that was revealed by the shirt I’d chosen. “You telling me that this sweetness has been played with?”

  No. “Yes,” I replied.

  “Come take a ride with me,” he asked close to my ear as his teeth pulled gently on my earlobe.


  Preston moved back and nodded toward the door. “Let’s go.”

  That probably wasn’t such a good idea. If Rock, Dewayne, or any other of my brother’s friends saw us leaving together, they’d stop anything from happening. And I wanted something to happen. Alone time under the covers thinking about Preston Drake was getting old. I wanted the actual man. I wonder why Preston hadn’t thought about our exit. Did he want the guys to stop us? I glanced over at their usual table, and Rock wasn’t paying us any attention. Dewayne winked at me, then went back to talking to some girl.

  I looked back at the bartender. “I have to pay my tab first.”

  Preston nudged me toward the door. “I got your tab. You go get in my Jeep.”

  Okay. Yes. I wanted to go get in his Jeep. This would also have us leaving separately. Nodding, I hurried for the door, thinking I may have just won the lottery.

  Glancing around the parking lot, I searched for Preston’s Jeep. When I didn’t see it out front, I headed for the back of the building to see if he’d parked back there. Most people didn’t because there were no lights around.

  Stepping into the darkness, I wondered if this was smart. A girl really shouldn’t be out here by herself at night. Maybe I should just go back to the part of the parking lot were it was well lit.

  “Don’t you back out on me now. I’m already going half mad thinking about this.” Preston’s hands came around my waist and pulled me tightly up against his chest. Both of his hands slid up and covered my boobs, squeezing them, then tugging on my top until it was low enough that he could feel the exposed skin of my cleavage.

  “Sweet God Almighty, real ones feel so damn good,” he murmured.

  I couldn’t take a deep breath. Preston’s hands were touching me. I wa
nted him to touch more. Reaching up, I undid the buttons on my shirt and let it fall open. I found the front clasp of my bra and quickly unfastened it before I could back out. We were in the middle of a very dark parking lot, and I was being a complete slut.

  “Damn, baby. Get your ass in my Jeep,” Preston growled as he pushed me forward a few more steps, then turned me left by directing my hips. His Jeep appeared in front of us. I was pretty sure we couldn’t do this in a Jeep.

  “Can we, uh, do this in here?” I asked as he turned me around to face him. Even in the dark his light hair stood out. His eyelids were lowered, and those long lashes of his almost brushed his cheeks.

  “Do what, baby? What is it you wanna do? ’Cause showing me these pretty titties has me going a little crazy.” He pressed me back up against his Jeep as he lowered his head and pulled one of my nipples into his mouth and sucked hard before flicking it with his tongue.

  No one had ever kissed my boobs. The immediate explosion that went off in my panties as I cried his name hadn’t been on purpose. My head was pressed back on the Jeep window, and my knees had completely given out. Preston’s hands holding firmly to my waist had kept me from ending up a heap on the gravel.

  “Motherfucker,” Preston growled, and I started to apologize when his hands cupped my butt and he picked me up. I grabbed his shoulders and wrapped my legs around his waist, afraid he would drop me.

  “Where are we going?” I asked as he stalked deeper into the parking lot. Had I made him mad?

  “I’m getting your sexy ass back here so I can strip off your clothes and bury my dick into that tight little pussy. You can’t go do shit like that, Manda, and expect a guy to control himself. It don’t fucking work that way, baby girl.”

  He was going to “fuck” me. Finally. Not exactly what I wanted him to refer to it as when we finally did it, but Preston wasn’t one for roses and candlelight. He was all about the pleasure. I knew that already.

  Preston reached out and opened a door behind me. We stepped into a dark and slightly chilly room.

  “Where are we?” I asked as he sat me down on a box.

  “Outside storage unit. It’s okay. I’ve used it before.”

  He’d used it before? Oh.

  I could hardly see him, but I knew from the shadow of his movements that he was taking off his clothes. First his shirt. I wanted to see his chest. I’d heard from girls giggling about it around town that he had one of the tightest, most ripped stomachs they’d ever seen. Rumor was, even Mrs. Gunner, the wife of one of the city council members, had slept with Preston. I didn’t believe that, though. He was just too pretty to have sex with someone her age. I heard a crinkle and started to ask what he was doing when it dawned on me—he’d opened a condom wrapper.

  His hands started running up the insides of my legs, and I didn’t care so much about Mrs. Gunner or the other rumors I’d heard about his sex life.

  “Open up.” His husky demand got the desired effect. I let my legs fall open. His hand slipped right up to the edge of my panties. With one finger he ran down the center of my warmth. “These panties are fucking soaked.” The approval in his voice eased any embarrassment I might have felt from a comment like that.

  Both his hands reached up and slipped my panties down until they were at my ankles. Preston knelt down and slipped each of my high heels through the holes. Then he stood up and leaned over me. “I’m keeping these.”

  My panties?

  “Lay back,” Preston said as his body came over mine.

  I reached back to make sure that the box was large enough for me to lie all the way back. “You got plenty of room, Manda. Lay back,” Preston repeated.

  I didn’t want him to change his mind or possibly sober up, so I did as I was told. The cardboard was sturdy and full of something firm and heavy, because we didn’t even put a dent in it.

  Preston’s mouth lowered to mine and I prepared myself for our first kiss, when he stopped. His lips hovered over mine only for a second before he moved away and began kissing my neck. What had just happened? Did my breath smell bad? I’d just had a peppermint inside the bar.

  The little licks and nibbles he was making along my collarbone made it hard for me to think too clearly about it.

  Then his hips lowered and both of his hands shoved my skirt up around my waist. I didn’t have too much time to prepare myself before he was pressing against my entrance.

  “Tight, fuck, fuck, it’s so tight,” Preston whispered, and his body trembled over me, making the sharp pain between my legs a little more bearable. “I can’t hold back, Manda. Fuck it . . . I can’t.”

  Pain sliced through me, and I screamed and bucked underneath him. He was cursing while saying my name as he slid in and out of me. The pain slowly started to ease, and I felt the first tremor of pleasure.

  “AHHH, holy shit,” Preston cried out, and his body jerked over me. I wasn’t sure what exactly had just happened, but from the small moans coming from him, he enjoyed it.

  When he didn’t move anymore and the hard length inside of me began to go away, I realized it was over. Preston pushed himself back away from me and slowly pulled out of me as he muttered more curse words. He moved, and from what I could see, he was putting on his shirt. Already?

  I sat up and pushed my skirt down. The fact that I was on display suddenly mattered. When I heard the zipper on his jeans, I quickly fastened my bra and started buttoning my shirt.

  “Manda.” His voice sounded sad. “I’m sorry.”

  I opened my mouth to ask him what for, because what we’d just done I’d completely asked for, when he opened the door and walked off into the darkness.

  Chapter One

  Three months later . . .


  The bottom step was rotten. I needed to put fixing that on my priority list. One of the kids was going to run down them and end up with a twisted ankle—or worse, a broken leg—if I ignored it. Stepping over it, I walked the rest of the way up the steps to my mother’s trailer.

  It had been a week since I’d stopped by and checked on things. Mom’s latest boyfriend had been drunk, and I’d ended up taking a swing at him when he’d called my seven-year-old sister, Daisy, a chickenshit for spilling her glass of orange juice. I’d busted his lip. Mom had screamed at me and told me to get out. I figured a week was enough time for her to get over it.

  The screen door swung open, and a big gap-toothed smile greeted me.

  “Preston’s here!” Brent, my eight-year-old brother, called out before wrapping his arms around my legs.

  “Hey, bud, what’s up?” I asked, unable to return the hug. My arms were full of groceries for the week.

  “He brought food,” Jimmy, my eleven-year-old brother, announced, and stepped outside and reached for one of the bags I was carrying.

  “I got these. There’s more in the Jeep. Go get ’em, but watch that bottom step. It’s about to go. I gotta fix it.”

  Jimmy nodded and hurried off toward the Jeep.

  “Did you get me dose Fwooty Pebbles I wyke?” Daisy asked as I stepped into the living room. Daisy was developmentally delayed in her speech. I blamed my mother’s lack of caring.

  “Yep, Daisy May, I got you two boxes,” I assured her, and walked across the worn, faded blue carpet to set the bags down on the kitchen counter. The place reeked of cigarette smoke and nasty.

  “Momma?” I called out. I knew she was here. The old beat-up Chevelle she drove was in the yard. I wasn’t going to let her avoid me. The rent was due. I needed any other bills that may have come in the mail.

  “She’s sweepin’,” Daisy said in a whisper.

  I couldn’t keep the scowl off my face. She was always sleeping. If she wasn’t sleeping, she was off drinking.

  “The dickhead left her yesterday. She’s been holed up pouting ever since,” Jimmy said as he put the other groceries down beside mine.

  Good riddance. The man was a mooch. If it wasn’t for the kids, I’d never show up at this plac
e. But my mom had full custody because in Alabama as long as you have a roof and you aren’t abusing your kids, then you get to keep them. It’s some fucked-up shit.

  “You bought free gaddons of milk?” Daisy asked in awe as I pulled out all three gallons of milk from a paper bag.

  “’Course I did. How are you gonna eat two boxes of Fruity Pebbles if you don’t have any milk?” I asked, bending down to look her in the eyes.

  “Pweston, I don’t think I can dwink all free,” she said in another whisper. Dang, she was cute.

  I ruffled her brown curls and stood up. “Well, I guess you’ll have to share with the boys, then.”

  Daisy nodded seriously like she agreed that was a good idea.

  “You bought pizza rolls! YES! Score,” Jimmy cheered as he pulled out the large box of his favorite food and ran to the freezer with it.

  Seeing them get excited over food made everything else okay. I’d gone weeks with nothing but white bread and water when I was their age. Momma hadn’t cared if I ate or not. If it hadn’t been for my best friend, Marcus Hardy, sharing his lunch with me every day at school, I’d have probably died from malnutrition. I wasn’t about to let that happen to the kids.

  “I thought I told you to get out. You caused enough trouble ’round here. You run off Randy. He’s gone. Can’t blame him after you broke his nose for nothin’.” Momma was awake.

  I put the last of the cans of ravioli in the cabinet before I turned around to acknowledge her. She was wearing a stained robe that was once white. Now it was more of a tan color. Her hair was a matted, tangled mess, and the mascara she’d been wearing a few days ago was smeared under her eyes. This was the only parent I’d ever known. It was a miracle I’d survived to adulthood.

  “Hello, Momma,” I replied, and grabbed a box of cheese crackers to put away.

  “You bribing them with food. You little shit. They only love you ’cause you feed them that fancy stuff. I can feed my own kids. Don’t need you spoilin’ ’em,” she grumbled as she shuffled her bare feet over to the closest kitchen chair and sat down.