Completed: a Devoured novella
Although I try my hardest to avoid mentioning my mother again over dinner, it doesn’t stop me from worrying over what Gram had told me over the next several hours. I should have known mom wouldn’t leave without wanting something, and I feel stupid for not realizing she’d ask for money before finally skulking away from Nashville. I’m just relieved that my grandmother had shot her down this time. The last thing we need is Gram getting another loan, putting herself back in debt just to appease my mother.
When I pick up Lucas from the airport, I plan to question him about whether my mom has asked for money the second I see him, but that idea flies out the window when I actually lay eyes on him. Wearing dark, slim-fitting jeans and an olive Henley with the sleeves pushed up far enough to showcase the sexy star tattoos on his muscular forearms, he takes my breath away as he slings his bag over his shoulder and heads in my direction.
“Welcome home,” I mouth, and he grins, quickening my pulse. Once he’s within earshot, I can’t help but smile like an idiot. “God, we’ve got to stop meeting like this,” I whisper in a husky voice. A powerful jolt of emotion slams into me when he pulls me to him by the first thing his long fingers come in contact with—the belt loop on my jeans—and he kisses me rough and hard.
Right in the middle of the airport.
“I love meeting you like this, Red.” I shiver as he runs one hand up the side of my body, not stopping until he’s touching my low ponytail. With a practiced flick of his fingers, he unravels my hairband and slips it into my back pocket. He backs away from me, wearing a mock frown. “But we should probably get home before I tear your clothes off right here.”
I laugh. “Yes, because your rabid fan club needs something new to hate me over.”
Our conversation on the way home is light, everything from Lucas teasing me about getting a new car—in my opinion, my old sedan is still perfectly functional—to him telling me about a huge charity event the band has agreed to play in a couple weeks.
“It’s a big deal to Sin, so that makes it a big deal for me,” he explains, as I slow my car to a stop at the red light that leads into our neighborhood. I turn to him with one eyebrow raised.
“Did you tell Sin that?” Even though he’s in love, I can’t imagine my surly drummer friend letting Lucas get by with such sentimental words. Sure enough, Lucas chuckles.
“He told me to fuck myself.” He tilts his head to the side, and automatically, I reach out and tuck a lock of his messy dark hair behind his ear. He catches my hand and traces his lips over my palm before lifting his hazel eyes to mine. “And that you’re making me soft. I believe the term he used was pussy-whipped.”
Noticing that the light has turned green, I make a right turn. “God, that Sinjin Fields is a charmer.” I roll my eyes. “Did you tell him to go fuck himself right back?”
Lucas snorts. “Did you expect anything else from either of us?”
“Never.” Turning into our driveway, I turn off the ignition and take a deep breath. “Welcome back home, Lucas.”
“It’ll feel a hell of a lot more welcome once you’re out of those clothes and I find out why you’re so…”
I stiffen. “So what?”
“Stressed. You look stressed, Red, which tells me your mom’s been fucking with you again.”
I swallow hard. “That obvious?”
He points down at the steering wheel. “I’m surprised you haven’t yanked that goddamn thing off with the way you’re gripping it.” Then he nods at the house in front of us. “We’re not going in until you’ve told me what it is. I’m not letting that woman ruin our night.”
Inhaling, I count to ten before releasing a heavy breath and blurting out, “Did my mother come to you asking for money?” I switch on the interior light to see his face, and when there’s not even the slightest hint of confusion in his expression, I feel my heart sink. Not this shit again. “Jesus, Lucas, you can’t just throw money at people like my mom, expecting that it’ll be enough for her to just go away—”
But he cuts me off when he gets out the car. Sucking in my cheeks, I watch as he comes around to my side of the vehicle. He opens my door and tells me in a rough voice, “Turn off that light and get out the damn car.”
“Why? I thought we weren’t going inside until we talked it out.”
“Turn off the light, Sienna,” he repeats in a low voice.
When I do, he draws my hands in his. He pulls me against him, nudging the door shut with his knee. Framing my face with his large hands, he tilts my gaze up to his and stares down at me intensely. “Just because she came at me with her hand stretched out, doesn’t mean I gave her shit.” When I tremble under his touch, he growls against my mouth, “But maybe I should’ve. I fucking loathe seeing you like this. Makes me want to take you back to L.A. where I know she won’t come to bother you.”
Before I can respond, he literally sweeps me off my feet. “The neighbors are probably looking out their windows at us,” I say, but I wrap my arms around his shoulder.
“Don’t grind your teeth.” Then he shrugs and grins. “And fuck the neighbors. Just wait until I’m blasting music at midnight to cover up the sounds of your screams, Red.” He manages to effortlessly unlock and open the front door without loosening his grip on me, not putting me down until we’re in the living room.
He places me on the couch, spreading my knees apart and positioning his body between my legs. “I didn’t give your mom anything,” he tells me again, planting a hand on the couch to support himself when he bends over me. He kisses my neck, and I moan. “I’m not going to give your mother anything.” He drops his mouth lower, and my nipples harden the closer he gets to my breast. “But I’m sure as fuck going to help you take care of this situation.”
“How? When?” I whisper, but he shakes his head, tangling his hand in my hair and bringing our lips together.
“Later,” he promises.