Home > Watch Me Follow(21)

Watch Me Follow(21)
Author: Harloe Rae

We both start coughing loudly as the liquid fire burns down our throats. I gag as the liquor threatens to make a reappearance but clamp my lips while swallowing several times.

“Holy shit,” I sputter.

“That was fucking brutal,” Ryker adds.

“First and last tequila shot?”

He scrubs a hand over his mouth before saying, “Making it rain was a bad idea.”

“But at least we have the story to tell.” I laugh at his slightly green complexion but my skin tone probably matches.

We finish the rest of our meal with easy conversation as all hints of alcohol leave our systems. Crumbs from a giant piece of chocolate cake we shared linger on the plate between us as Ryker pays the bill. He guides me to his truck with a gentle hand on my back before opening the passenger door for me. He leans in for a gentle kiss on my cheek that leaves the skin blushing bright.

My stomach sinks as we arrive at the apartment building and walk toward my door. I don’t want our date to end but it’s almost midnight. At least Ryker doesn’t have far to go to his own place.

Effing wild.

All this time, he’s been living right next door. The surprises keep popping up but nothing has caused the terrified tremors I typically get around men. Even when he pushes limits and boundaries, my heart and mind trust him. Ryker is different and I accept his unusual methods of persuasion.

Someday I’ll tell him how much he turns me on.

I turn to face him before dragging him close with our connected hands. “I had the best time tonight. Thanks for taking me to Mustavoe’s. Their cheesy mac was fantastic,” I whisper while looking into his sparkling blues.

“Best first date ever,” Ryker murmurs before pressing his forehead to mine.

I lift my chin as my pulse triples. “More dessert?”

Ryker groans and softly caresses my lips with his. I roll up on tiptoes for more and he opens his mouth eagerly. My arms wrap around his shoulders as he strokes up my legs. Our tongues mesh in an erotic curl, gently curving and gliding together. I can taste a bite of spearmint from his gum but mostly it’s sweet and sinful like pure sugar. His hands roam up my hips before dipping beneath my waistband. I moan into him as his seeking fingers skim along my lower back. Ryker bumps us into the wall before yanking me deeper into his body. Every inch of him is solid and meant to defend, just the way I love it. I rock into him slightly, my core ruling my brain, as my nails dig into his scalp. Ryker sucks on my bottom lip, adding more pressure as he starts pulling away. He releases my tender flesh with a wet pop.

“Fuck, you’re so sexy.” His breath is cool along my mouth.

“Then why did you stop?” I playfully pout.

The lust lapping my veins instantly chills with his reply.

“Sunshine, before we go any further, there’s something you need to know.”


The darkness is strong, a mighty beast set on ruin, but the light of day is just as powerful, if not more so. She’ll be the one to prove it.

IT WAS AN impossible decision to pull away from Lennon, particularly after she bumped her body against mine, but she deserves to know the truth. Her lovely blue-green gaze doesn’t falter as she waits for me to speak. I breathe deep, asking for courage, hoping for understanding, but knowing I deserve nothing except contempt. Regardless of the consequences, I need to do right by Lennon.

I loosen my hold from her trim torso and reach for her hands. My tongue sticks to the dry roof of my mouth, as if I ate too much peanut butter. Lennon must notice my struggle because she speaks before I get shit figured out.

“It’s okay, Ryker. I know what you’re going to say,” she whispers sweetly while gripping my fingers.

My eyes widen as I consider the possibility. “You do? How?”

“It’s not that difficult to figure out and I’m actually really glad you’re bringing it up. We should talk about this stuff. I mean those kisses are so . . . hot.” She bites her lip, which has me reeling for an entirely differently reason. “Our first time will be even more special if we take it slow.”

“Holy shit, hearing you talk about sex is so fucking distracting.” I clench my eyes shut before groaning.

A bright red flush races up Lennon’s neck before settling on her cheeks.

“Uh huh. It’s fun to think about, right? But wait, distracting from what?”

“There’s something else I need to say and it most definitely doesn’t involve us getting naked. Unfortunately,” I mutter as the mood between us shifts. “Can we go inside for a moment?” As my chin juts toward the door, she lifts a brow then nods before unlocking the deadbolt.

“Want anything to drink?” Lennon asks as she saunters into the living room.

“No, thanks. I don’t need a reason to delay the inevitable.” My conscience barrels forward, determined to give Lennon the truth, while my heart thunders with concern.

“Um, okay. Wanna sit down?”

I take a seat next to her on the couch and rub my clammy hands together. Lennon turns to face me but my nervous gaze keeps darting to the colorful walls.

“Please don’t be mad. I swear this wasn’t me being an asshole . . . or anything.” I blurt as my blood pressure shotguns from a barrel.

“Ryker? What’s going on? You can tell me anything.” Her calm seeps into my chaos and I recline into the cushions. Her steady mood anchors me.

“I set up the studio space in Denten and paid for a portion to lower the rent.” My voice is barely audible.

Lennon sucks in a gasp.

“Wh-what?” Her posture stiffens, shoulders tense and straight. “Why would you do that? I didn’t need help with money.” Her tone cracks, fracturing my courage to admit everything. She claps a palm over her mouth before shaking her head. “That came out harsher than I meant,” Lennon mumbles between fingers. “But what the hell, Ryker? I don’t understand.”

My chest cinches, knowing my words need to spill fast.

“I completed the interest form and submitted it for you. The listing was another site you frequently visited so I found it that way. The rent was steep, especially for a small town, so I wasn’t sure if that was holding you back.” My pitch is practically a rasp as I push forward. “Based on the number of times you went to that page, this was something you really loved and my purpose is to make you happy.”

Her jaw hangs open and her turquoise eyes bore into my soul. When Lennon stays silent, I take it as a hint to keep talking.

“The software I created is extremely profitable and the companies who use it pay me a small fortune. Money isn’t important to me. I make a lot, spend a little, and want to give everything to you. This is a way I can provide for you.” My tone wobbles when Lennon’s posture stiffens. My muscles coil tight, ready to snap.

She exhales heavily.

“Okay, let’s stop for a minute. This is not a turn I thought our evening would take.” Her palm rests against her forehead. “I’m not really sure how to react. This is a pretty big deal to me, Ryker. Why didn’t you ask me first so we could talk about it? And you let me yammer on about it at dinner without saying a word?”

Lennon’s fingers spear into her hair as she sputters, “My father always uses money as a weapon to get his way. I hate that control he forces on me and have been working hard to get out of his financial grasp. I don’t need your money and didn’t need you to swoop in to pay for a lavish loft, whether it was an amazing spot or not. I’ve been saving for a while and was going to get a place within my budget.”

My hackles rise at her defensive tone.

“I know you can do this on your own, Lennon. I’ve been watching you succeed independently for years and I wasn’t trying to suggest you couldn’t. Fuck.” My fists jam into my eye sockets while I attempt to keep her sunshine under my skin. “I’m screwing shit up left and right. I’ve done too much behind your back, and I know it’s wrong, but that was the only way for me. And with a few clicks on the keyboard, it was a done deal. Splitting the rent with you was an easy choice, another big gift,” I explain while watching for her reaction, my stomach sinking like a rock.

“Wow, there was a better way to go about this.” She bites down on her lip. “I’m so grateful for all you do and extremely happy we’ve been hanging out. This situation is making me a tad frazzled so now isn’t a great example but . . . Urgh. It’s very important to me that I’m able to pay for my own way. After my parents tried keeping me home by offering loads of cash to start what they consider a pipe dream, I became determined to prove them wrong. There’s not much I’ve been able to control so this is important to me.”

There’s lead weighing me down as I nod slowly, my face holding no expression. Lennon sighs.

“You want to share the cost? Help me get a stellar studio? Let’s talk about it. You were a secret for years but we’re finally out in the open. I don’t want to hide anything. I need you to trust me and tell me what’s on your mind rather than finding out this way,” she says as she shifts closer.

“I didn’t want to lose you.” My shoulders slump.

Lennon sets her palm on my knee and the connection pauses the turmoil raging inside me. When tension seizes my limbs, she squeezes my thigh.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
Most Popular
» Watch Me Follow
» Meet Cute
» Don't You Forget About Me
» Daisy Jones & The Six
» California Girls
» I Owe You One
» Normal People
» Make Me Bad