Completed: a Devoured novella
“I have a bad feeling about this,” I let Lucas know as soon as I open the door to see him. It’s been three days since my mother promised to behave herself in front of his parents, and I’ve spent all seventy-two hours worrying about whether she’d follow through and give me one night of peace. I glance behind Lucas toward his black Audi, but his parents aren’t in it.
“They’re driving from their hotel.” He tucks his finger under my chin, tilting my face up to his. “Breathe, Red.” With his other hand, he splays his fingers over the small of my back, jerking me to him. “You smell good—like cranberries. Bet you taste just as good. Makes me want to—”
“Is that Lucas?” Gram’s voice interrupts from the steps behind me. Reluctantly, he drops his hand from my back, his knuckles innocently grazing my ass in the process. Tucking a red strand neatly behind my ear, I face Gram with fiery cheeks. Lucas, on the other hand, casts a ridiculously charming grin at her. She leans against the banister for support and tugs her lips into a tiny smile. “Happy Thanksgiving, Lucas.”
“You too, Mrs. Previn,” he responds in a professional voice that completely belies whatever sexiness he was about to say to me. And I want to hear whatever that was. He’s been out of town so much recently my body is already going crazy with anticipation.
“Your mother and father are still coming for dinner, aren’t they?” Gram walks down the last couple steps, waving me away when I try to help her. “Sienna’s been cooking since the sun came up.”
Lucas stares down at me, one of his thick dark brows lifted in mock surprise. “You cooked, Red?”
I roll my eyes. His reaction is similar to the one I received from my younger brother an hour ago. “I swear if one more person looks at me like that—” Lucas laughs, and I cross my arms over my chest. “You should be thankful my mother’s not the one cooking.”
Gram winks at me, giving me a pat on the arm as she passes. “I know it’s going to be wonderful, sweetheart.” She disappears in the living room where Seth is watching the football game with my mother—who claims to know what’s going on, even though I can’t remember her watching football ever. Just when I think we’re in the clear, Gram calls back, “By the way, Lucas, you smell good—like cologne.”
I automatically clench my teeth, but he doesn’t seem the least bit phased because he draws me close to him again. “You’re doing that teeth thing again. You know it drives me abso-fucking-lutely crazy,” he says in a rough, low voice that makes my skin warm.
“Um, because my grandmother just pointed out she heard what you were saying to me,” I argue, immediately releasing a sigh a couple seconds later when his lips cover mine. Of course, the moment I mold against him, the knock at the door breaks us apart.
“That must be your parents.” I trace my fingertip around the outline of my lips to fix my gloss and wipe the shimmery pink color from Lucas’ mouth with my other hand. When I’m finished, I hold my arms out and look down at my black skater dress. “How do I look?”
“After dinner tonight, after my parents have gone back to their hotel and I’ve got you back where I’m staying, I’m going to peel that little dress off you.” His hazel eyes seem to darken while he skims his gaze over the length of my body. “But to answer your question, you look beautiful.”
A hot tingle wiggles through me, but I reach past him to open the door. “I’m surprised you didn’t say you were gonna do it with your teeth,” I tease, peeking up at him.
He gives my waist a gentle squeeze and bends so that his mouth touches my ear. “I figured that was implied.”
I’m still struggling to catch my breath when I let his parents in and when we exchange hugs. I’d met them before—back in February when we went to Atlanta—but this time is different, and his mother makes sure she lets me know when she throws her arms around me.
“I never thought he’d settle down, but I’m so happy it’s with a good girl,” she whispers fiercely in my ear. She kisses my cheek, and her brown eyes—eyes just like Kylie’s—are dancing when she leans away from me. “I’m sure my daughter has already inundated you with planning questions—”
“Not too much.” I try not to cringe at the thought of Kylie’s constant Facebook check-ins. For some one who eloped in lieu of a big ass wedding, she’s scary obsessed with wedding plans. When I see Lucas and his dad slipping into the family room, I give his mom an apologetic smile. “I’ve got to take the turkey out, and—”
She quickly nods in understanding. “I’ll help.”
Having Shannon Wolfe—who insists I call her Shan—in the kitchen is awkward at first, but she quickly puts me at ease by telling me about the Thanksgiving where Lucas and Sinjin managed to ruin the contents of the spare fridge (food meant for turkey day) when they unplugged it.
“All to plug in an amp in the garage?” I ask, wrinkling my nose.
“And I didn’t find out about it until the very last minute. You should have seen me—”
My mother’s voice interrupts Shannon, and both our gazes whip toward the kitchen entrance as Mom marches into the room with a cranberry and vodka tipped to her lips. “You should’ve told me you needed help, baby girl.”
“Didn’t want to interrupt the football game.” I smile at her, and I’m sure it looks pleading because she responds with a smug little grin. “Mom, this is Lucas’ mom Shannon. Shannon, my mother, Rebecca.”
“We’ve met already,” Mom says as she sits at the table with Shannon. Then she shrugs and laughs. “Well, we’ve sent each other letters.”
Gee, thanks for the reminder that you went behind my back and sent mail to Lucas’ parents.
I hold my breath as they exchange pleasantries. Keeping a cautious eye on them, I put the finishing touches on dinner, but thankfully Mom is shockingly nice today. I almost think my first real holiday with my mother in forever won’t be an absolute clusterfuck, but then my brother pokes his head in the kitchen.
“Did you invite a guest to dinner, Rebecca?”
Mom looks up from her conversation with Shannon and blinks a few times. “Is he here?”
Seth tilts his head to the side in disbelief before finally shaking it. “You’re a piece of work. You know that, don’t you?”
Frowning in confusion, I toss the oven mitts on the counter and edge closer to my brother. “Seth, what’s—”
But I stop short in my tracks when I spot a familiar face—a face I haven’t seen in years—standing in my grandmother’s foyer.
The ex-boyfriend from hell.
What. The. Fuck?
“Are you kidding?” I blurt out.
“Relax,” Mom speaks up from the table. “We ran into each other at the grocery store and when he told me his mother passed away a year ago, I invited him here. Everyone wants to be around familiar faces for the holidays.”
If anyone else had said that, I’d believe they hadn’t intended to be a bitch. Mom, on the other hand…
Slowly, I turn to look at her, digging my nails into my palms. “Didn’t really think the familiar face rule applied to ex-girlfriends and her future in-laws, but thanks for looking out, Mom.”