Fallen Too Far (Chapter Five)

The sun was exceptionally hot. Darla didn't want me to pull my hair up in a ponytail. She seemed to think the men liked it down. Unfortunately for me, it was so freaking hot today. I reached into the cooler for an ice cube and rubbed it down my neck and let it slip down into my shirt. I was almost to the fifteenth hole for the third time today.

This morning no one had been awake when I'd come out of my room. The empty plates had still been sitting on the bar. I'd cleaned it up and thrown out the food in the pan he'd left out all night. It made me sad to see it wasted. It had smelled so good last night when I'd come home.

Then I'd thrown away the empty wine bottle and found the glasses outside on the table beside where I'd watched Rush going at it with the unknown female.  After putting the dirty dishes in the dishwasher I'd turned it on and wiped down the counters and stovetop.

I doubted Rush noticed but it made me feel better about sleeping there for free.  I pulled up beside the group of golfers at the fifteenth hole. They were a younger crowd. I'd seen them when they'd been on the third hole. They bought a lot and they were really good tippers. So I put up with their flirtatious behavior. It wasn't like one of them would really date the cart girl at the golf course. I wasn't an idiot.

"There she is," one of the guys called out as I pulled up beside them and smiled.

"Ah, my favorite girl is back. It's hotter than hell girl. I need a cold one. Maybe two."

I parked the cart and got out to go around the back and take their orders.

"You want another Miller?" I asked him proud of myself for remembering his last order.

"Yeah, baby I do." He winked and closed the distance between us making me a little uncomfortable.

"Hey, I want something too Jace. Back off the goods," another guy said and I kept my smile on my face as I handed him his beer and he handed me a twenty dollar bill. "Keep the change."

"Thank you," I replied tucking the money into my pocket. I glanced up at the other guys. "Who's next?"

"Me," a guy with short curly blond hair and pretty blue eyes said waving around a bill.

"You want a Corona, right?" I asked reaching into the cooler and pulling out the drink he'd ordered last time.

"I think I'm in love. She's gorgeous and she remembers what beer I drink. Then she opens the damn thing for me." I could tell he was teasing as he stuck a bill in my hand and took the beer from me. "Change is yours beautiful."

I noticed the fifty as I stuck it into my pocket. These guys really didn't mind throwing money away. That was a ridiculous tip. I felt like telling him not to give me so much but I decided against it. They probably tipped like this all the time.

"What's your name?" one asked and I turned to see the dark haired one with an olive complexion waiting to give his order and hear my answer.

"Blaire," I replied reaching into the cooler for the fancy beer he'd requested. I popped the top and handed it to him.

"You got a boyfriend, Blaire?" he asked, taking the drink from me while running a finger along the side of my hand in a caress.

"Um, no," I replied, not sure if it might have been better to lie in this situation.

The guy took a step toward me and held out his hand with the payment and tip inside of it. "I'm Woods," he replied.

"It's, uh, nice to meet you Woods," I stammered in reply. The intense look in his dark eyes made me nervous. He could be dangerous and he reeked of expensive cologne. Expertly bred. He was one of the beautiful people and he knew it. What was he doing flirting with me?

"Not fair, Woods. Back off, bro. You're going all out with this one. Just 'cause your daddy owns the joint doesn't mean you get first dibs," the blond with curls kidded. I think he was kidding.

Woods ignored his friend and kept his focus on me. "What time do you get off work?"

Uh-oh. If I understood them correctly then Woods daddy was my ultimate boss. I didn't need to be spending time the owner's son. That would be a very bad thing.

"I work until close," I explained and handed the last of the four his beer and took his money.

"Why don't you let me pick you up and take you for something to eat?" Woods said, standing very close to me now. If I turned around he would be only a breath away.

"It's hot and I'm already exhausted. All I will want to do is get a shower and crash."

Warm breath tickled my ear and I shivered as beads of sweat rolled down my back. "Are you scared of me? Don't be. I'm harmless."

I wasn't sure what to do about him. I wasn't good with the flirting and I was pretty sure that was what he was doing. No one had flirted with me in years. Once I broke up with Cain, my days had been consumed with school and then my mom. I had no time for anything else. Guys didn't bother with me.

"You don't scare me. I'm just not used to this kind of thing," I replied apologetically. I didn't know how to respond properly.

"What kind of thing?" he asked curiously. I finally turned around to face him.

"Guys. And flirting. At least, I think that is what is happening." I sounded like an idiot. The smile that slowly stretched across Woods face made me want to crawl under the golf cart and hide. I was so out of my league.

"Yes, this is definitely flirting. And how is it that someone as fucking unbelievably hot as you is not used to this kind of thing?"

I tensed at his words and shook my head. I needed to get to the sixteenth hole. "I've just been busy the past few years. If, uh, you don't need anything else the golfers on the sixteenth hole are probably angry with me by now."

Woods nodded and took a step back. "I'm not done with you. Not by a long shot. But for right now I'll let you get back to work."

I hurried back to the driver's side of the cart and climbed in. The next hole was a bunch of retired men. I had never looked more forward to being leered at by old guys in my life but at least they didn't flirt.

When I walked out to my truck that evening I was relieved to see no sign of Woods. I should have known he was just teasing the help. I had made a couple of hundred dollars in tips today and I decided that treating myself to an actual meal was okay. I pulled into the drive-thru at McDonalds and ordered a cheeseburger and fries. I ate them happily on the way back to Rush's. There was no car outside tonight.

I wouldn't walk in on him having sex tonight. Then again, he might have brought someone here in his car. I walked inside and stopped in the foyer. No television. No sound at all, but the door had been unlocked. I hadn't had to use the hidden key he'd told me about.

I'd sweated too much today. I had to have a shower before I went to bed. I stepped into the kitchen and checked the front porch to make sure it was free of any sexual escapades. Getting a shower would be easy.

I ducked into my room and grabbed the old pair of Cain's boxers and a tank top that I slept in at night.  Cain had given them to me when we were young and silly. He'd wanted me to sleep in something that was his. I'd been sleeping in them every since. Although now they were much tighter than they had been then. I'd developed curves since the age of fifteen.

I took a deep breath of the ocean air as I stepped outside. This was my third night here and I had yet to actually make it down to the water. I'd come home so tired that I hadn't had the energy to go out there. I went down the steps and put my pajamas in the bathroom before slipping off my tennis shoes.

The sand was still warm from the sun's heat. I walked across it in the darkness until the water's edge rushed up to meet me. The cold startled me and I sucked in a breath but let the salt water cover my feet.

My mom's smile as she told me about the time she'd played in the ocean flashed in my memory and I tilted my head up to heaven and smiled. I was finally here. I was here for both of us.

A sound to the left broke into my thoughts. I turned to look down the beach just as the moonlight broke free of the clouds and Rush was spotlighted in the darkness. Running.

Once again, he was shirtless. The shorts he was wearing hung low on his narrow hips and I was mesmerized by the way his body looked as he ran toward me. I wasn't sure if I should move or if he was done. His feet slowed and then he came to a stop beside me. The sweat on his chest glistened in the soft light. Oddly enough I wanted to reach out and touch it. Something that a body like his made couldn't be gross. It was impossible.

"You're back," he said as he took a few deep breaths.

"I just got off work," I replied, trying hard to keep my eyes on his and not his chest.

"So you got a job?"

"Yes. Yesterday."

"Where at?"

I wasn't sure how I felt about telling him too much. He wasn't a friend.  And it was obvious I'd never consider him family. Our parents might be married but he didn't seem to want to have anything to do with my father or me.

"Kerrington Country Club," I replied.

Rush's eyebrows shot up and he took a step closer to me. He slipped a hand under my chin and tilted my face up. "You're wearing mascara," he said, studying me.

"Yes, I am," I pulled my chin out of his grasp. He might be letting me sleep at his house but I didn't like him touching me. Or maybe I did like him touching me and that was the problem. I didn't want to like him touching me.

"It makes you look more your age." He stepped back and did a slow appraisal of my clothing.

"You're the cart girl at the golf course," he said simply looking back up at me.

"How did you know?" I asked.

He waved a hand at me. "The outfit. Tight little white shorts and polo shirts. It's the uniform."

I was glad for the darkness. I was positive I was blushing.

"You're making a fucking killing aren't you?" he asked in an amused tone.

I'd made over five hundred dollars in tips in two days. That wasn't a killing to him but to me it was.

I shrugged. "You will be relieved to know that I'll be out of here in less than a month."

He didn't respond right away. I should probably leave and go get my shower. I started to say something when he took a step closer to me. "I probably should be. Relieved that is. Real fucking relieved. But, I'm not. I'm not relieved, Blaire," he paused and leaned down to whisper in my ear, "why is that?"

I wanted to reach out and grab his arms to keep from crumpling to the ground in a heap of mush. But I refrained.

"Keep your distance from me, Blaire. You don't want to get too close. Last night." He swallowed loudly. "Last night is haunting me. Knowing you were watching. It drives me crazy. So, stay away. I'm doing my best to stay away from you." He turned and jogged back up to the house as I stood there trying to keep from melting into a puddle on the sand. 

What had he meant by that? How had he known I'd seen them? When I saw the door to the house close behind him I walked back and got my shower. His words were going to keep me up most of the night.