Drunk on You
Kendrick Brothers, Book 2
Copyright © 2018 by Aliyah Burke
Sometimes you have to lose it before you realize what you had…
Cade Kendrick has a reputation of being a playboy in town. One he’s proud of and has worked to keep up. Women were a blur until he shared a night with a woman who’d always had a more important place in his heart.
Cora Sunderland had been crushing on Cade since school. Aware he was how he was, she’d kept it strictly flirtatious. The night that changed, everything did. However, she wants more than to be just another notch on the belt of a playboy and takes matters into her own hands.
Unwilling to let her go, he struggles to find her and accepts that to keep the woman of his dreams, he will have to stop being the playboy he’s seen as and grow up.
Cade headed for the first floor, taking the stairs two at a time. He had to get out of the house. Fast. Stat.
He slammed the door on where his mind swerved. She would use stat. And he couldn’t afford to think of her.
Too late for that, jackass.
He skidded to a stop and smiled at the leggy black woman with amazing curves who stood in his living room, a dusting rag in hand.
Leandra Brice had been their housekeeper and cook now for going on five months. He loved her. The house was always spotless, and the food couldn’t be beat. The added bonus was her attitude and the cheer she brought to his life just by being there.
“There’s breakfast in the oven if you’d like some.”
He veered that way—unwilling to turn down one of her meals. “You joining me?”
She wiped her hand along her brow. “No, I was up early. Already ate. But thank you for the offer.”
“It’s always there, I offer, you refuse. When are you going to give in?” He batted his eyes at her and was rewarded with a brilliant grin.
“I don’t have what it takes to give in to you, Cade Kendrick. I’d best keep my distance from you.”
He crossed his arms and shook his head. “Crushed. And before breakfast. You’re breaking my heart, Lee.”
She reminded him of his brother Zane’s fiancée, Zoë. He viewed her as a little sister and loved picking on her.
“Have you seen Nate?”
Her lips pursed while she thought then gave a slight shake of her head. “Not since last night when he went to pick up Angela.”
“Thank God, maybe him getting laid will ease his disposition.”
Lee shook her head conspiratorially as she watched him. “I have more work to do.”
Cade let it go and helped himself to a large plate of food. For a moment, she faded from his thoughts.
“Good morning, Zane.”
His brother popped in shortly after. “Morning. Where’s Nate? He’s usually up before either of us down here at the table.”
Cade shoveled an entire forkful of eggs so fluffy it wasn’t fair into his mouth. “Hopefully out getting laid.”
One shoulder rose and fell in a laconic motion. “That’s what Lee said. I wasn’t home last night when he left, but he’s not here, so who knows.”
Zane fixed himself a plate and joined him at the smaller kitchen table. Picking up a biscuit, he broke it open and leaned back in the chair. “Where were you last night?”
Shrugging as he swallowed, he struggled to stay calm and relaxed under his brother’s scrutiny. “Went to The Roadside for a bit. Why? Need some pointers in keeping your woman happy?”
Without missing a beat, Zane flipped him off. “No, but you may want some for Cora.”
His heart stilled then kicked back into high gear at the mere mention of that woman. Swallowing his last bit of food, he dropped his fork and mimicked his brother’s relaxed lean.
“Why? She’s not mine.”
Three words that burned the hell out of his craw to say.
“Okay.” Zane finished and pushed up from the table. “You going to keep using that story, may want to close your bedroom door at night. You do have a voice that carries.” A shrug. “Just saying.” Plate in hand, he dropped it off by the sink and headed for the door with a, “I’ll meet you at the barn.” Then Zane was gone.
“Fuck,” he muttered, thumping a fist on the table. He didn’t need his siblings to know how much this woman was under his skin.
“Love it when a guess works out,” Zane said from behind him.
Because that made it any better? Only if snowflakes survived in hell.
“Fuck off, Zane.”
There wasn’t any response, and he whipped around in his chair to find he was alone. Cade took his dishes to the sink as well and stood there, fingers curving around the edge and the cool steel of the basin.
One night. It was one fucking night, months ago.
Perhaps, but it was a night he couldn’t get out of his memory banks. Not that he wanted to. He replayed it on a loop in his mind.
It was the night of his birthday, and the drinks and food flowed with easy abandon. Dancing and games. Once the adults who’d come had left, the party got a bit wilder. More drinking, no one was driving but would all crash there at the Rocking K Ranch. He recalled that some people were pairing off to different parts to have a more one-on-one kind of party.
“Did she leave?” Cade asked, scowling at the curvy blonde who hadn’t walked away when he’d shown up. Also, the one who didn’t seem all that caring it was his damn birthday.
“I don’t know,” she snipped. “I’m standing here with you.”
Her blue eyes sparked in the low hallway light and behind the feistiness, he could see her desire. Shaking his head, he tried to ignore it. They had a thing, they flirted but it never went farther than that because she was the best friend to Zoë. No matter the long-heated looks that came from her, not the way she undressed him with her eyes, how she would stare at his cock like it was the tastiest treat in the world and she wanted nothing more than to unwrap it and push it between her lips.
He shifted his stance and tried to readjust himself without bringing attention to the fact he was getting harder standing here looking at her.
“Did she say anything to you?”
She cocked that blonde eyebrow with the new piercing with the rainbow hoop. “Are you drunk? I’m wondering where she is. If she’d said something to me, would you not think that I would know where my best friend was?”
He narrowed his eyes, trying not to notice how her teeth weren’t perfectly straight but had a slight crookedness if he stared. It was fucking adorable, and he hated it with the pain of a thousand suns that he noticed.
“Maybe she’s off hiding somewhere screwing Zane’s brains out. What would you say to that?”
Her full lips twitched and for a brief moment, perhaps two, he wondered what flavor gloss she had on the shine.
“I’d tell you to go find him, watch, and perhaps learn something because I saw the way she walked after being with him and I’m damn confident that man knows what he’s doing. So you should probably get some pointers.”
That challenge jumped from her lips and smacked him in the face so hard it made him see stars. On one hand, he wanted nothing more than to challenge her back, but on the other he wanted nothing more than to prove her wrong.
“What’s the matter, Cora? Trouble with the men?”
“I don’t have any problem with men. In fact,” she looked at the activity tracker on her wrist with a hot pink band as her lips curved up in a smile that would haunt him for days and give him a case of blue balls, “I should get going so I’m not late for my date.”
“You made a date on my birthday? Anyone who’s anybody is here. Is your date just not wanting to be around? Are you embarrassed by him?”
“Tsk tsk. Now you’re starting to sound petty, Cade. You and I can stand here and argue all night, hell, we’ve done it before. But I have a nice, thick cock waiting for me and I really don’t want to waste time on you even if it is your birthday. So, buck up, admit defeat and if you put on your little puppy dog sad face I’m sure you’ll find a girl out there who will be willing to ignore the fact that you have pretty much slept with everybody in town and give you a chance.”
Her words ripped into him, but he couldn’t respond without looking even more like an ass. She was right, no bones about it. He was a flirt. He loved women. But the one that he wanted was one he had to stand here and watch walk away. It killed him to think of another man touching her.
“Anytime you want to go with a real man, give me a call.” He reached out and grabbed one corkscrew curl that hung down around her face, tugged twice before releasing her. He had to before he drew her close to kiss her. “Good night, Cora.”
The rest of the party raced by in a blur and as the last few people were struggling off to find a bed, or haystack, he gave a nod to his brothers and walked to the door one last time heading outside make sure everybody was okay.
The only light came from the embers from the fire pit casting a very soft golden glow around a tiny area. Exhausted, probably more than slightly buzzed, he made his way there to ensure there was no chance of a fire spreading. He could be as tired as he wanted, but he still knew steps that had to be taken. Crouched on his haunches he had one hand on the ground to balance himself, when across the fire pit into the light stepped a pair of feet covered in open-toed sandals with lovely lavender toenail polish.
He didn’t have to look up, hell he wouldn’t even had to have seen her feet on the other side of the fire. His body had a radar, perhaps some would call it a tuning fork. All he knew it was for this woman and this woman only.
Exhaling slowly, he tipped his head up and watched as she stepped into view. Their eyes locked, entangled over the embers between them. The tip of her tongue flicked out and skated along her lips, and he bit back his groan. Without a word he cocked an eyebrow and waited for her to speak.
She blinked twice before opening her mouth. “This is me giving you a call.”