Chasing you, p.1
Chasing You, page 1part #5 of Love Wanted in Texas Series
Kelly Elliott is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author. Kelly lives in central Texas with her husband, daughter, and two pups. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.
To find out more about Kelly and her books, you can find her through her website www.kellyelliottauthor.com
For exclusive releases and giveaways signup for Kelly’s newsletter at http://eepurl.com/JoKyL
About the Author
First published in Great Britain in 2016 by Piatkus
Copyright © 2016 by Kelly Elliott
The moral right of the author has been asserted.
All characters and events in this publication, other than those clearly in the public domain, are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
Cover designer: Lisa Jay | Lisa Jay Studio
Photographer: Sara Eirew | Sara Eirew Photography
Editor: Nichole Strauss | Perfectly Publishable
Interior Design & Formatting: Christine Borgford | Perfectly Publishable
An imprint of
Little, Brown Book Group
50 Victoria Embankment
London EC4Y 0DZ
An Hachette UK Company
IT HAPPENED AGAIN yesterday evening. Another knock on my dorm room door. Another guy asking about a blowjob. What in the fuck is going on?
Ever since James asked me to the frat party, things had been different. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but even he was acting strange.
As I made my way to class, I tried to work it out in my head. Three girls approached me with smiles on their faces. I’d recognized the one girl from the party the other night. James told me it was his ex, Claire.
All three girls stopped and waited for me to get closer. “If it isn’t the blowjob queen herself,” Claire said with an evil grin.
I stopped directly in front of them. “Excuse me?”
With a smirk, Claire slowly shook her head as she looked me over. “Please, like you really think someone like you could catch James’ attention.”
So this is about James? With a smile, I tilted my head and said, “I see what’s going on here. The jealous ex doesn’t like the guy she can’t get over showing up with another girl on his arm?” This wasn’t the first time I’d dealt with jealous bitches. Although, I had hoped all this shit would stop when we graduated high school.
An evil look spread across Claire’s face as she took a step closer to me. “You don’t want to fuck with me, sweetheart. I will make your life a living hell.”
Little did I know my next words would cause four years of relentless bullying and endless rumors.
With a wink, I laughed and said, “Bring it on.”
GRAYSON RUBBED HIS thumb across my hand while we drove in silence. What am I doing?
I turned and looked out the window as I slowly took in a deep breath before exhaling it ever so slowly. I loved spending time with Grayson. Even when we weren’t between the sheets, I had fun with him.
“What are you thinking about, Meg?” Grayson asked as he squeezed my hand gently.
With a turn of my head, I took in Grayson’s features. His strong jaw, beautiful face, and hair that I wanted to just run my fingers through. Never mind his rock-solid body. It never bothered me that Grayson worked as a stripper to make his way through college. I even fantasized about him doing a little strip show for me, not that I would ever admit that to him. I loved giving him hell about his stint as a male dancer.
Clearing my thoughts, I forced a smile. “Nothing.”
“Liar. Have you forgotten I’m trained to be able to tell when someone is lying?”
With a chuckle, I shook my head and stared out the front window. “What are we doing, Gray?”
Lifting my hand to his lips, he kissed the back of it as my stomach clenched. Ugh. Why did he have to do little things like that? It made me feel all silly inside.
“We’re going back to my hotel to fuck like rabbits.”
Ah. There is the Grayson I know.
My eyes closed and I turned my head.
“Hey, Meg, I’m kidding. I wouldn’t care if you wanted to sit and talk all night. I just want to be with you.”
Anger built up inside as I thought about overhearing him earlier today talking to his cousin Noah about Claire.
My head snapped back to him. “What about the new girl at work?”
Grayson turned and looked at me with a shocked expression. “What?”
“Listen, I’ve changed my mind. Let’s just drop you off at your hotel and then I’m headed to my parents’.”
Grayson immediately pulled the car over and put it in park. “Meg, what just happened here?”
With a halfhearted laugh, I shook my head. I can’t believe this. I cannot believe that Claire Watkins is coming back into my world and turning it upside down again.
“I overheard you talking to Noah.” I glanced over to Grayson and smirked. “Seems to me you have a date waiting back in Durango for you.”
Grayson’s mouth dropped open as his eyes searched my face. “Claire?”
Her name off his lips caused my skin to crawl as memory after memory of guys walking up to me in college, asking me to give them the Meagan Special, hit me full force.
Swallowing hard, I pushed the car door open and got out. My hands went to my knees as I dragged air in.
Damn it! This hadn’t happened to me in a few months. Breathe in, Meg. Dragging a deep breath of air through my nose, I slowly blew it out.
I jumped when Grayson’s hands grabbed my shoulders. “Baby, talk to me. What’s going on?”
Tears built in my eyes as I quickly got my emotions under control. I loved
With a quick spin around to face him, I tried to plaster on a smile. The moment his concerned eyes met mine, something in me broke. The shock of seeing him with Claire that day and the idea of my past coming back to haunt me hit me like a brick wall. My smile faded and I lost the battle I had been fighting. Tears pooled in my eyes as I felt the first one fall.
I’d never in my life cried in front of a guy, anyone for that matter. I’d gotten so good at hiding my emotions; I was a pro at keeping myself strong.
Grayson’s eyes widened in disbelief as he watched the tear slowly move down my face.
“Meg,” he whispered as his thumb wiped the tear away.
I quickly snapped out of it and pushed him away. Wiping my tears away, I let out a curt laugh. “Listen, if you’re dating this girl Claire, fine. Just don’t think I’m going to be your little side hook-up, asshole.”
Grayson’s eyes pinched together. “You really think of me like that? That’s what you think we have here, Meg?”
Now I felt the anger coming back. Yes. This is the emotion I need.
My hands folded across my chest. “You tell me, Gray. One minute you’re talking to Noah about a date you’ve got with the new girl at work you’re attracted to, and then next you’re bringing me to your hotel to, what was it you said?” I lifted my eyes up like I was thinking. With a snap of my fingers, I pointed to him. “That’s right. We were going to fuck like rabbits.”
Grayson slowly shook his head. “I was kidding.”
My head tilted as I stared at him. “About what, Gray? Fucking like rabbits or the new hot girl at work you’re taking out to celebrate the new year?”
Grayson closed his eyes and pushed out a frustrated breath as his hands combed through his hair. “Fucking hell, Meg. I don’t understand you. What is it you want from me? I’ve tried like hell to have some sort of relationship with you and you push me away. I’ve been chasing after you for months, only to get mixed signals. So you tell me, what is it you want out of this?”
I swallowed hard and looked away. A part of me desperately wanted to open my heart fully to Grayson. Could I risk being hurt by him if things didn’t work out? Between my father’s expectations of me and the fact that Grayson could easily rip my heart out, I wasn’t sure I was willing to take the chance. “You wouldn’t understand if I told you.”
Grayson grabbed onto my shoulders again and gave me a slight shake. “Talk to me, Meg. How do you know I wouldn’t understand? I want to understand. I want to be with you. Stop pushing me away.”
Grayson’s phone rang. Who in the hell would be calling him this late?
Without taking his eyes off of me, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. “This is Gray.”
His face drained and my heart dropped. With Grayson being a detective now, I couldn’t imagine the phone calls he got.
“Oh hey. Um, yeah, happy New Year to you too.”
Grayson turned away from me and walked back toward my rental car. “Yeah, no I was still up.”
Seriously? He’s going to chat with someone now?
When he lowered his voice, curiosity got the best of me and I moved closer to him.
“Listen, Claire, I’m in the middle of talking with a friend, can I call you back tomorrow afternoon?”
I stopped walking the moment I heard her name.
Friend? So I’m a friend now?
My hands balled up into fists as I watched Grayson walk a little ways away from me.
Heading around the front of the car, I got into the driver’s seat, put it in drive and took off. Never once looking back at the asshole on the side of the road.
Two weeks had passed since New Year’s Eve. Grayson had called me almost every single day. The first week he left messages, now he just hung up.
I took a sip of my coffee and glanced around. My favorite spot to be on Saturdays was Durango Coffee Company on Main. I’d sit outside if the weather was nice and read while eating an omelet and sipping on my favorite coffee . . . Nitro Cold Coffee.
With a smile, I settled back into my story. Two minutes later, my phone buzzed. With a quick glance down, I saw Grayson’s name flash across. My stomach dropped as I sat up straighter.
I swiped my finger across the screen and pulled up his message.
Gray: Why won’t you return my calls? I should be pissed that you left me on the side of the road in the middle of the night.
I rolled my eyes and set my phone down. I tried to get back into my story when it pinged again.
Gray: Are you not even going to say you’re sorry?
My mouth dropped open. How dare he!
Me: Fuck you, Gray. You took a fucking phone call from that bitch while pretending to care about what was going on in my world. So imagine me giving you the finger right now asshole. That is your apology.
I set my phone down and gave it the finger as I whispered, “Asshole.”
Gray: That mouth. What would the kids you work with think of that mouth of yours? I’m disappointed.
I’m pretty sure my eyes popped out of my head.
Me: You know NOTHING about what I do or me for that matter! I hate you.
Tears filled my eyes as I dropped my phone on the table and started giving it the double finger. My perfect morning just went south.
WITH MY LIPS pressed together, I held back my smile as I watched Meagan shoot her phone the finger. She looked pissed.
I was still a little butt hurt from her pulling off and leaving me on the side of the road stranded, although I deserved it. The moment I realized it was Claire, I should have ended the call. Total dick move on my part that I owned up to and called Meagan and left a message to apologize.
I had been racking my brain for the last two weeks trying to figure out how in the hell Meagan even knew about Claire. I didn’t tell Noah what her name was, so how did Meagan know?
Once Meagan settled down and buried her nose in her Kindle again, I headed her way. Kam glanced up and saw me walking toward the coffee shop. I held up my hand and gave her a thumbs-up as I pointed to Meagan’s table. I’d been here enough times for her to know what my regular drink was.
With a quick turn, Kam walked back into the coffee shop as I stopped and stared down at Meagan.
“How was the omelet?”
Meagan’s head snapped up as she glared at me. I placed my hand on the back of the chair and stood there while her eyes quickly did a once over. I didn’t normally work on Saturdays, but I’d been working all night with Derrick on a case. I knew with the weather being unseasonably warm, Meagan would be here this morning, so I decided to end this silent treatment of hers once and for all.
She swallowed hard and then straightened her shoulders as she narrowed her eyes at me. “How did you know I was here?”
I pulled the chair out and sat down as I loosened my tie. Meagan’s eyes flickered for one moment as I pictured her dirty little mind going into a fantasy.
“I’m a detective, Meg. It’s my job to know things.”
She let out a curt laugh and rolled her eyes. “I’d hope you were tracking down the bad people and not what I’ve had for breakfast.” Her mouth dropped open and she tapped her finger on the side of her mouth. “Oh wait. You’re sleeping with one of them, so . . .”
Her voice cut off as she looked away. What in the fuck did that mean?
“Excuse me?” I asked as I leaned closer to her.
Kam walked up and set a black coffee down in front of me along with a piece of banana nut bread. “There ya go, Gray.” Turning to Meagan, she smiled. “Do you need anything else, sweetie?”
Meagan flashed her that beautiful smile of hers and shook her head. “Oh wait! The check please. I’m being chased away.”
“Put it on my tab, Kam,” I said as
She flashed me a dirty look and gathered up her things. I knew from following her, she normally sat here for a few hours and read as she people-watched. She’d leave Kam a more than generous tip for taking up a table all morning, and then she headed to her office.
“I can buy my own breakfast.”
With a nod, I said, “I know that.”
Meagan grunted as she stood. Her next stop would be her office. She worked for a non-profit organization called Helping Hands. Meagan worked as a counselor to middle and high school kids dealing with issues like bullying. I’d never seen anyone so passionate about their job. From the little I gathered from Grace, Meagan had a hell of a time in college dealing with bullying of her own.
“Why don’t you spend the day with me, Meg?”
With raised eyebrows, she smirked. “What’s wrong, Claire busy today so you’re going for your backup?”
My body jerked as if someone had slapped me. “I’m sorry for taking that call. I didn’t know it was her.”
Something passed over Meagan’s face. “It doesn’t matter. It’s over and done with.”
I stood and reached for her arm. “Spend the day with me . . . as friends.”
Meagan lifted her eyebrow. “Friends?”
“What are you playing at, Gray?”
With a puzzled look, I flashed her the smile I knew she loved. Her breath would hitch every time.
Meagan sucked in a breath as she quickly licked her lips. Bingo.
“Why do you think I’m up to something? You think all I care about is fucking you; I want to show you that’s not true. I want to show you how much I enjoy just hanging out with you.”
Meagan glanced around, worried someone had heard what I said. Turning her head back to me, she narrowed her eyes.
“What did you have in mind?”
I could see her holding back her smile. We may do some magical shit in bed, but we had just as much fun hanging out with each other. Standing, I remarked, “I plan on showing you what real fun is.”
Meagan laughed as she shook her head. “Oh really? Would that consist of dancing on a stage?”
I placed my hand over my heart like she mortally wounded me. With a crooked grin, I said, “I could add that to the list of things to do today if you’d like.”
by Kelly Elliott / Romance / Contemporary / Historical Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes