Trust Me:Rivers Edge - Book 1(3)By: Lacey Black
Will nudges my shoulder with his to break the spell of memory lane as the crowd in the family room bursts into loud cheer. “Shall we go see what the excitement is all about?” he asks.
“Lead the way.”
As we walk into the family room, I see my dad, Michael, standing in front of his favorite easy chair, hands thrown in the air, celebrating the Cowboys’ recent touchdown. He catches our movement out of the corner of his eye and turns to face me and Will. A huge smile creeps across his handsome face. My dad is one of those guys who actually gets better looking the older he gets. His brown hair is graying quickly at this point of his fifty-three years, and his emerald green eyes shine with both adoration and kindness and just a hint of mischief mixed in.
“There’s my baby girl,” he says as he walks his six foot frame towards me. I may be the spitting image of my mom, but I have my dad’s personality. Calm yet passionate, quiet yet ornery as hell, I inherited all of the best traits.
“Hi, Daddy,” I mumble as my face is crushed against his broad chest. My dad is in great shape. He’s worked all his adult life - and quite a bit of his youth - in the family company, Stevens Construction. His father started it way back when, turning it over to his only son ten years ago. My dad has grown the business into the leader in the construction industry in three counties. My brother, Travis, joined the family business after his college graduation five years ago and has encouraged my dad to grow the business into new home construction. Now they cover everything for outbuildings, new homes, home remodeling, roofing, and concrete work.
“Where’s my little Bean?” he asks as he eases up on his tight embrace.
“She’s with Mom and probably suffering from her first sugar high of the night,” I tell him with a smile.
“Better her than me,” he proclaims with a chuckle.
I look around and notice that the living room seems to have more testosterone in it than usual, and considering my four brothers that is saying something. While they all give each other high-fives and congratulate each other on their ‘Boys most recent touchdown resulting in a last second win, I spot the familiar face that has haunted my dreams since I was sixteen years old. The guy I’ve secretly watched, dreamed about, and crushed on for what feels like my entire life. The boy who doesn’t even know I exist. The one I can never have. My oldest brother, Jake’s best friend, Maddox.
Nothing puts a smile on my face quicker than a last second win against the damn Eagles. Well, except a gorgeous and eager woman who agrees to accompany me to bed. At that thought, I contemplate making a phone call after I leave to one of the handful of numbers I have in my phone for just such instances which makes me smile even fucking more.
I catch sight of a smaller figure in my peripheral vision. Turning slowly my eyes slam into the crystal blue eyes of Avery Stevens, Jake’s little sister. The annoying little girl I’ve watched grow into the most beautiful woman. ‘Quit acting like a damn douche, asshole,’ I scold myself and try to turn my focus away from her endlessly long legs. ‘She’s your best friend’s little sister, and she’s only twenty-two.’
I watch her make her way around the room, hugging her brothers Nate and Travis. She’s listening to her brothers give a recap of the football game with her arms around Travis’s waist. She must be telling them a story because suddenly her arms are flying around animatedly and the guys laugh. She pats Travis’s chest and keeps moving, working the room.
She goes up on her tiptoes and kisses Travis’s friend, Clint, on the cheek giving him a friendly hello. My gut tightens as she smiles up at Clint and chats openly. I want to punch him in his damn face just for smiling back down at her, which pisses me off even more. Why am I having this uncontrollable urge to go ape-shit on Clint? Why am I even upset about this? She’s nothing to me but Jake’s little sister. If she wants to kiss someone else, even if on the cheek, who am I to stop her? I take a long pull from my beer bottle just to keep myself from saying something stupid and run my fingers through my hair to keep from grabbing Clint by the shirt and kicking his ass.