Because of Low (Chapter Eight)


I finished the last bite of my omelet. It had been delicious.

I'd been a little embarrassed by how ravenous I seemed after the first bite but Marcus obviously seemed pleased by my gobbling up the omelet so I thought, screw it, and enjoyed myself. The boy could cook. Larissa had long since finished her cereal and her chocolate milk. She was currently sitting on the floor with Marcus as he stacked up her blocks just so she could knock them down again. He'd moan and act like it was the worst thing ever that she'd knocked down his blocks causing her to giggle louder. He was sweet, he could cook, he was good with kids, he was smart, he had goals, he was freaking perfect. No doubt he'd make some country club daughter a very good husband. That thought felt like I'd just swallowed a brick.

A knock on the door interrupted my dark thoughts and I stood up to go get it. Surely Tawny wasn't already here. I wanted her to get groceries first. Larissa needed food.

It wasn't Tawny.

Outside the door stood two girls exactly like the country club member I'd been picturing in my head as Marcus Hardy's wife. Both were blonde, dressed in clothes I knew hadn't been purchased at Target or thrift stores. One was by far the more beautiful out of the two. She was striking with long blond curls and blue eyes framed in thick black eyelashes.

Lord please let that be Marcus's sister. She was model perfect.

"Hey, um, Will ow right?" The less intimidating girl said. I forced a smile and nodded. Maybe they were here for Cage. That had to be it.

"Is Marcus here?" My stomach fell.

"Hey Manda everything okay," Marcus said coming up behind me. Close enough so that his chest pressed against my back.

The less intimidating one gave him a sad smile and shrugged, "Yes, as good as they can be." Crap the gorgeous one wasn't his sister.

"Can we come in?" Amanda asked when Marcus didn't step back allowing me to move.

He paused a moment and I was beginning to get a weird vibe here.

"Uh, well, um, I guess," he stepped back from me and I quickly retreated to the floor to take over the job of entertaining Larissa.

"Low this is my sister Amanda," he motioned to the girl I'd already figured out was his sister, "Manda this is Low."

"It's nice to meet you Low," Amanda gave me a friendly smile then her eyes shifted to Larissa and I could see the questions in her eyes.

"And the little princess over there tearing down my blocks is Larissa, Low's niece."

The relief on Amanda's face was obvious. I almost wanted to laugh. She'd been worried I had a kid.

"Low this is a friend of mine, Sadie" Miss Perfect was the beholder of the musical voice from yesterday morning in the washroom. Fabulous. "Sadie this is Low." Sadie stepped forward and squatted down to smile at me and then Larissa.

"So you like tearing down blocks too, huh?" Larissa bobbed her head.

"Well I've got a little brother at home who has just found the exact same thing entertaining."

Larissa knocked the blocks down and turned back to smile at Sadie as if she understood what the girl had said and wanted to show off.

"You're really good at that," Sadie cooed. The girl was going to be really hard to dislike.

Marcus walked over and sat down on the couch directly behind me. His foot pressed against my hip.

"How's Sam doing these days? still a pretty boy?" Sadie laughed and her voice actually reminded me of soft tinkling bells. Ugh!

"Sam is a handful and yes I'm afraid he's only getting prettier. However, Jax is determined to make him a baseball player. The kid is seven months old and has more autographed baseballs and baseball bats than an actual collector."

Jax… Sadie… why do those names ring a bell?

"I wouldn't expect anything less with Jax Stone as his future brother-in-law."

My jaw dropped open. This was her. The girl. The one who Jax Stone, the hottest rocker in the freaking world had fall en in love with this summer. Oh. My. God.

"Doesn't mean he has to spoil him," Sadie chimed in reply.

Marcus began playing with my hair and I forgot all about being star struck.

I began stacking the blocks again hoping no one noticed my flushed cheeks from Marcus's attention.

"Mom's fixing lunch and wants us to go eat with her today.

She has some things she wants to talk to us about. Sadie brought me here so you and I could ride together. She's on her way to the airport."

Marcus hand paused a moment then went back to wrapping strands of my hair around his fingers.

"Yeah, okay."

I chanced a glance over at Amanda and she was watching Marcus play with my hair with an amused grin on her face.

Marcus cleared his throat, "You picking up or taking off Sadie?"

I watched as Sadie smiled up at Marcus. He had to be affected by her. That thought bothered me. Even as stupid as that sounded. It did.

"Taking off. Jax is a guest judge on American Idol tonight.

Then back here tomorrow for a concert in Pensacola." Holy shizz.

Marcus chuckled and ran a finger down my neck causing chil bumps to break out on my very bare arms.

"You're acclimating to his life well. See you had nothing to worry about."

Sadie shrugged then grinned, "He makes everything worth it."

"GAG! Okay stop with the mushy," Amanda interrupted.

Standing up Amanda motioned to Marcus, "Come on I need to swing by Dad's and pick up my car. He's just giving me a new one. Figures. Kiss ass."

Marcus's hand froze and I could feel the tension in his body rolling off him in waves. Something had upset him. Was it his dad giving his sister a car? Or because she called their dad a kiss ass?

Sadie stood up, "I have to go too. I promised Kane I'd be there ready for take off at ten," her gaze dropped to me, "It was really nice to meet you Low." I could see the sincerity on her face and dang if I didn't like her. She flashed her hundred watt runway smile on Larissa, "And it was wonderful to meet you too Larissa. I don't get to meet princesses often."

Larissa clapped happily at the word Princess no doubt.

"Good luck you two," Sadie said looking from Marcus to Amanda.

"Thanks," Marcus replied in a tense tone as he stood up behind me.

"Thank you for everything. I'll miss you this weekend but I'm going to watch Idol tonight so wave to the camera when it zooms in on you." Amanda pulled Sadie into a hug and Sadie squeezed her. Something was definitely going on with Marcus's family and I'd bet money his Dad was the cause.

Amanda walked Sadie to the door then turned back to me,

"I loved meeting you Low. Really I did. We need to spend some more time together."

I simply nodded surprised by the other girl's enthusiasm.

"I'm going to walk Sadie out and get my things from the Hummer. I'll meet you in the truck," Amanda told Marcus with a strange expression on her face. It was as if they were having a conversation without words.

"Okay," Marcus replied.

Once the door shut behind them I stretched my legs and stood up.

"Martus pay," Larissa demanded.

"No sweetie Marcus can't play right now. He needs to go bye bye."

"Bye bye too" she demanded raising her arms up like the queen of Sheba.

Marcus chuckled and I could feel the tension in him ease some.

"You make it really hard to leave princess but I gotta go.

We'll play again. I promise."

Larissa frowned then nodded her head as if she was okay with this and went back to her blocks.

"Thanks for breakfast and helping with Larissa," I said standing up.

"I enjoyed every minute of it."

I felt my face flush again and I bit my bottom lip to keep from grinning like an idiot.

"Come here Low," he whispered reaching out and taking my hand and pulling me to him until my body was pressed up against his. He draped my hand over his shoulder before releasing it to grip my waist.

Marcus Hardy's mouth was on mine before I could take in the fact I was touching him.

His lips were warm and soft as they played gently against mine. He nibbled my bottom lip and I gasped, opening my mouth just enough for him to slide his tongue inside and begin to leisurely stoke mine. The moan that escaped me was followed by me clinging to him. Both his hands left my waist so they could cup my face while he tilted my mouth and explored it more thoroughly. No one had ever kissed me like this. The minty taste of his toothpaste was the most delicious thing to ever touch my tongue, I swear. His right hand slid down my arm and around my bare back pulling me up even tighter against him as he continued to nibble and lick every inch of my mouth. His left hand slowly slid down my neck in a gentle caress and stopped right below my collar bone. I whimpered. I couldn't help myself. His big call oused hand was so close to covering my breast.

Breaking the kiss Marcus took a deep breath and moved his hand to my arm while putting some distance between us. I couldn't keep from breathing erratically. I didn't have enough practice with this to keep my reaction under control.

His eyes met mine and we stared at each other. The excitement in his gaze made the fact I was a complete withering mess a little better.

"Martus tiss" Larissa called out loudly reminding us both where we were and that we weren't alone.

A giggle erupted out my mouth and I shifted my eyes from Larissa who was looking up at Marcus expectedly.

Marcus let out a dramatic sigh, "The ladies, they all want me," he teased and bent down and kissed Larissa on the top of her platinum curls.

"Bye bye," Larissa said apparently pleased with his kiss.

"Bye bye princess. I'll see you again soon." He stood back up and studied me a moment before reaching out and rubbing my bottom lip with his thumb.

"I'm not done here. I'm just beginning Low. But I couldn't walk away again without that kiss."

My knees felt like jell o. How sweet was that? Guys didn't talk to me that way. Marcus Hardy was straight out of those gushy romance novels my mother used to read.

"Okay," was all I could say. Piecing words together right now was impossible.

His hand dropped and a sexy smirk touched his lips before he turned and left.