She taps her chin. “Oh…um…hmmm. It is my graduation and you haven’t taken me anywhere in two years, so I am thinking something good like a steakhouse.” Damn she’s been keeping count, but I have too.
Christ on a cracker. I should have left after the ceremony without seeing her, but I’m a glutton for punishment. I couldn’t be so close to touching heaven and not see her. I know some would say she’s eighteen and fair game, but this is Wylla Mae. She’s not just anyone.
Hell, I dated her mom for a couple years. It isn’t right. I’m a dirty old man for even thinking these thoughts. I had always viewed her as nothing more than a kid until that night she came into my room, wearing a thin tank top and shorts that barely covered her ass. I could see her nipples hardened through the material. Wylla Mae has curves that make her look all woman. She’s built like her mother, all tits, ass, legs, thick hair, and those doe eyes that hold me captive.
She has no idea the thoughts that are racing through my mind right now. Would she think I’m a filthy bastard if she knew that night that I wanted to say to hell with right now and take her to my bed.
Guilt courses through my veins. I should turn around and take her home right now. Walk away and vow to never see her again. After tonight I won’t. I swear this is the last time. I’ll take her to dinner and drop her back home with her graduation gift. Then I can let her go for good.
My heart cracks and sinks at the thought but it’s the best thing to do. I don’t need to go tempting myself further and thinking the impossible. That I could have her. She has her future ahead of her. I’m a no-good biker on my way to forty. She’s barely legal and on her way to college.
I know if I gave into desire, she’d never leave this place. I want more than this for her. I want more than me for her. She deserves to be young and free. To live her life and find herself.
“East? Was I right?”
I blink and stare ahead. I spaced out while driving. Fuck. I don’t know how to be around her now that she’s here and my body is damn fuckin aware of how grown and close she is. I want to pull over
right now and say fuck the consequences and show her what a man like me would do with that body. I’m like a live wire.
I see a sign ahead for The Outback. It’s located in the Town Center. It’s not my first choice, but it will be crowded and keep me on my best behavior. I park in the parking garage and Wylla Mae fiddles with her hair, flipping the visor mirror down and checking her makeup.
“You look beautiful,” I assure her, squeezing her hand in mine. Damn that was a bad idea. Her warm fingers lace through mine and she hits me with her megawatt smile.
“Thanks, East. This is nice. Like old times.”
“Right.” I drop her hand. “Let’s see if we can snag a table.”
We exit my truck and walk side by side. She’s swinging her arms; her left hand keeps grazing mine. It’s damn tempting to hold her hand but that’s the gateway to more. I can’t keep flirting with temptation.
We’re in public. I can only imagine what people would say. I know the score. I’ve been there before. People thinking the worst of me because I was a single man watching a little girl, but it was never inappropriate. I never ever fucking looked at her like she was a woman until that night, but I knew it wasn’t right then like it still isn’t now. So I keep my distance but when we go to cross the street, the traffic is heavy on this roadway. It’s Saturday evening. Everyone is either going to the mall or the civic center.
Wylla Mae nearly steps into traffic, and I grab her wrist, her hand naturally slides into mine, like it is meant to be there. I ignore the way my heart races at her touch and wait for the crosswalk light to change.
The moment we get to the other side of the street I drop her hand and guide her to the steakhouse.
It’s going to be a two hour wait. The place is packed. We can’t even get a seat at the bar. I should have made reservations.
“You could just cook me my favorite…I’ve not had your mushroom and Swiss cheese chicken in a long time.”
I swallow hard and the vein in my neck pulses. Fuck no. I can’t take her back to my place. Just the two of us. Even I’m not that damn strong.
“Don’t think that’s a good idea and we’re already here. We could go walk around the mall or something.”
“I’d much rather have you cook for me.” Her bottom lip juts out and I look away. She knows how to work me. That fucking pout travels straight to my dick.
She’s had years of practice at getting her way where I’m concerned.
“Please, East. I’ll wash the dishes even and make dessert.”
If I take her to my place, the only dessert there will be is her naked in my damn bed and that’s not how I planned for this night to go.
“Can’t. Stove’s messed up,” I lie.
“Really? I thought you bought new appliances like six months ago. I specifically remember you saying that Lynn helped you pick them out.”
“New shit can still tear up.”
“East, is there a reason you don’t want me at your house?”