WARNING: Do NOT read this if you haven’t read Fallen Too Far and Never Too Far. It contains spoilers.
NEVER TOO FAR – The Bonus Chapter
(YES, I have agreed to write Rush and Blaire ONE MORE book. So this is not an epilogue. It is a special bonus chapter that will lead into book #3. I am not sure yet when that book will release.)
It was a kid. A baby. Rush’s baby. How fucking crazy did that sound? It wasn’t something I ever imagined I’d see. Rush, a father, sounded like the most ludicrous thing on the planet. Sure he’d been Nan’s stand in parent all her life but this was different. This was an actual baby.
I stood across the bar watching him as he showed anyone who would stand still long enough the picture in his hand. He and Blaire had been to get one of those things where you see the baby in her stomach. Now, Rush was armed with pictures of his kid and he was showing them to the world. Who knew a damn woman could make him go so soft. Not that I was complaining. I liked the new Rush. He had something he wanted to live for now.
I was itching to go outside and sneak a smoke. My nerves were on edge. I’d called Nan twice in the past two days and she still hadn’t returned my calls. Since she’d been released from the hospital she’d been different. Everything had been different. I wasn’t okay with it. And if she kept this up, I’d chase her down.
“What put that snarl on your face?” Blaire asked as she came to stand beside me. Her voice always had such a thick drawl to it. You couldn’t decide if she was going to go all southern badass on you or sweet talk you into doing naughty things when you heard it.
I forced thoughts of Nan out of my head. I’d deal with her later. Tonight was about my brother, his fiancée and the baby they would be bringing into the world in a few months. “Sorry. I need a smoke. Guess it shows,” I whispered. Blaire knew my secret. She also knew Rush hated for me to smoke so I hid it. A pinched frown touched her forehead but she didn’t scold me.
“That baby has got him all kinds of wrapped up. He’s amusing as hell to watch,” I said nodding toward the man we were both looking at while he retold the story of the baby kicking during the ultrasound.
“I never expected this of him… you know this kind of reaction. If I didn’t already love him completely this would make me love him more,” she replied in a dreamy voice.
“I hear there’s gonna be a wedding in just a few weeks instead of months. That’s exciting.” Yet another thing that baffled me. Rush as a smitten daddy was one thing but Rush getting married was another. The man was in deep with this girl.
“I don’t want to be big and fat in my wedding dress. Rush may change his mind if I’m waddling down the aisle.” The teasing tone in her voice was masking a real fear. I could tell by the way her voice cracked.
I looked away from my brother and down at Blaire. “I hope you’re kidding. Because nothing could send Rush running away from you. You’ve got to know that. He chose you. When he had to choose, it was you he chose. I’m proud of him for thinking of himself for once and taking what he wanted. You’re good for him Blaire. He’s never had anyone to care about him the way you do. I mean… I love him and all but it’s different with you.”
Tears pooled in her eyes and she sniffled. I hadn’t meant to upset her. I was just being honest. The guy needed her like he needed air. His life had been about being available for everyone else and holding down the insane that ran in his mother’s veins. With Blaire he was just happy. I liked seeing him happy.
“Don’t cry. Please. Think of me and how badly Rush will hurt me if he sees me making you cry.” I begged as I reached down and squeezed her hand.
A soft laugh escaped her lips and she sniffled again then wiped away the tear that had escaped. “It’s happy tears. I get those a lot lately. It’s the pregnancy hormones.”
Blaire shifted her eyes from me back toward Rush. The amusement in them had me following her gaze. Jimmy, a server at the club, was openly flirting with Rush. He wasn’t being serious. He knew Rush was taken and it was obvious Jimmy adored Blaire.
“I need to go rescue Rush. Jimmy has a naughty streak. He does this just to make Rush squirm. I wish you wouldn’t smoke, but if you need to take a break I’ll cover for you,” she said with a small smile before going over to Rush.
Rush Finlay was actually doing this. He was acting like a proud daddy. I was glad. He should be. He’d wanted the girl and he’d won her. I hadn’t ever stood a chance. Once she was pregnant, I didn’t want a chance. I just wanted Rush to take care of her. It wasn’t right for her to deal with all this alone.
Blaire was like a wounded little bird that needed special care. Men were drawn to that. Hell, I was drawn to it. The male gene wants to protect. But the responsibility that comes with it isn’t something we all want. At least not me. Even if it means you get a gorgeous blonde in the package.
I’d rather go shop for a fun, strong, wild female that just wants a good time. Right now that was all I needed. With the stress my dad was laying on me with this job and the need to prove myself to him, I couldn’t deal with a woman who was fragile. But I did need a distraction. A sexy, long-legged, bad girl distraction.
Taking a sip of the bourbon I’d poured myself, I walked out from behind the bar at the club and toward Rush and Blaire. It was time I properly congratulated them and saw the pictures they were so happily flashing around.
Blaire’s green eyes lifted to meet mine as I approached them. They were hard not to get lost in. That was my first mistake with Blaire. Getting too taken in by her looks. The girl lucked out in the gene pool because her dad wasn’t that attractive.
“Let me see him,” I said as Blaire’s face broke into a grin and she held the picture in her hand out to me. I didn’t miss the way Rush’s arm slipped around her waist and pulled her closer to his side while he shifted his focus off of the conversation he was having with Jace to watch me.
He was protective or either crazy jealous of Blaire. Maybe a little of both but I couldn’t blame him.
“Let me see this baby,” I repeated taking the photo she held out to me. It was surprisingly clear. Rush had obviously paid to have that 3D thing done I’d heard about. “So, it’s a boy. You think you can handle two Rush Finlay’s?” I asked Blaire.
She giggled. “Yes I think I can manage. I just hope he’s as pretty as his daddy.”
Rush cleared his throat. “I’m not pretty, Baby. Stop calling me that.”
Blaire sighed and shook her head in exasperation. “You said to stop calling you beautiful. You never said I couldn’t call you pretty.”
“Both are off limits,” he replied.
Blaire shifted her feet and stared up at him. “Then what do I call you?”
Rush smirked. “Smoking hot or fucking sexy. Either of those work.”
Blaire laughed and slapped his arm.
I envied them. A little. Not enough to want that too. It was work. They had a world of issues still to overcome. Rush’s mother. Nan. A new born. Rush’s dad. Blaire’s pain. Blaire’s father. The list went on. I hoped their future was a happy one.
Even if it seemed as if they had a mountain of obstacles in their way.
If I hadn’t been so taken in by Blaire and the way she lit up the room, I would have seen him walk in. But I hadn’t. It wasn’t until the talking surrounding me went silent and eyes all stared at the door my back was to. Glancing down at Blaire who was still talking to Woods and didn’t notice the change in the room, I moved her behind me in a protective measure before turning around to see what had captured everyone’s attention.
The same silver eyes that I saw every day in the mirror were focused on me. It had been awhile since I’d seen my dad. Normally we kept in contact more but with Blaire coming into my world and completely turning it on its axis I hadn’t taken the time and energy to track my father down so I could talk to him.
It looked like he had come to find me this time.
“That’s your father,” Blaire said quietly beside me. She’d moved from where I’d tucked her behind me and was holding onto my arm now.
“Yeah, it is.”