Home > Crave (The Gibson Boys #3)(17)

Crave (The Gibson Boys #3)(17)
Author: Adriana Locke

“So you’re where we get it.”

“Get what?”

I look at her and try not to laugh as reality settles over her cute little face.

“Well, I guess it could be true …” She smiles sheepishly.

My laughter comes quick and loud as I hop off the stool. “Lord, I love you.” I pull her into a one-armed hug and kiss the top of her head. “Thanks for dinner.”

She wraps her arms around my waist and doesn’t let go. “I love you, Machlan. Even if you’re ornery.”

“I love you especially when you are.”

She smacks my stomach. Despite her playfulness, I sense something else on the cusp of spilling over. I do quick math and wonder if I can get out of here before she brings whatever it is up.

The answer is no.

“I’m worried about you, sweetheart,” she says.


“When was the last time you brought a young lady over here?”

I bite my lip. “Two thousand fifteen? Fourteen, maybe?”

She smacks me again. “I’m being serious.”

“Me too.” I dodge the next slap and step away. “I’m fine.”

“I know you are. But I want you to be great.”

“Fine. I’m great, Nana.”

She rolls her eyes. “Your brothers both have a woman in their lives, and Blaire might even have a man.”

“What makes you think I don’t have someone?”

“Because you’re at your grandmother’s way too often to be a man with a lady waiting.”

This is true, and I have a hard time disagreeing with her logic. I am here more than most mid-twenties men who are in good shape and make decent money. I also never bring women around. This is mostly because I don’t fuck around too much, but I heard she thought Lance was gay once and really don’t want to have to spend time making her believe I’m not.

“Maybe I like you better than her,” I offer with a shrug.

“Or maybe she doesn’t exist.”

“Are you saying I can’t get a woman, Nana? Wow. What’s with you and the hurtful comments tonight?”

“I’m not being hurtful. And I wasn’t saying that either.” She goes to the cabinets and takes out a container. “I’m just saying I want you to have someone to look out for you. And I definitely want to see some grandbabies from you.”

My heart drops to my knees. I grab the side of the counter and force a swallow. “Maybe someday.”

She thrusts a container at me. “This is for later.”


“Are you ignoring that grandbaby comment?”

“I said maybe someday. What did you put in here?” I ask, shaking the lidded box.

“You didn’t eat enough tonight.”

“Did you give me cake?”

“No, but if you come see me tomorrow, I’ll make a lemon pie just for you.”

“You know,” I say, draping an arm over her shoulder, “if I get a girlfriend one of these days, she probably won’t want me coming over this much.”

“I’ll still cook for you and drop it off at your house. And if she doesn’t like that, then she’s not the right one for you.”

“I’ll add that to the checklist.” I wink. “Good luck with Lance.”

She frowns. “A part of me hopes Mariah is pregnant. The other part of me just hopes it’s not bad news.”

“There’s some optimism for you,” I joke. “Why don’t you just hope for something good?”

“That’s what I said.”

“No. You said you hope it’s not bad. That’s not saying you hope it’s good.”

She shoos me toward the door. “Get out of here. You’re giving me a headache.”

“Night, Nana.”

“Love you, sweet boy. And get a haircut before Sunday, will you?”

“I’ll think about it.”

I trudge down the back steps. The sun is almost completely over the horizon, the night sky a deep blue with stormy looking skies. Silver stars begin to sparkle despite the clouds, and I wonder if Hadley is looking at them.

I imagine holding her in my arms as we sit on the swing on my back porch and having her point out all the little shapes she can find in the sky. Stopping in my tracks, I look up at the bright flecks and smile.

“Hey!” Lance calls out as he and Mariah turn the corner of the house. “What are you doing here?”

“Eating your dinner,” I tease. “Hey, Mariah.”

“Hey, Machlan.” A bouquet is in her hand. “How are you tonight?”

“You warming Nana up for something?” I ask, nodding at the bouquet.

“Yeah. No. Maybe?” She looks at Lance. “Maybe this is a bad idea.”

He whirls his girlfriend around and plants a loud, wet kiss on her lips. “It’s not,” he tells her. “Go work your magic with her, and I’ll be inside in a second.”

Mariah grins as she gives me a little wave and heads up the steps to the back door. Lance, though, stops beside me.

“You got Nana all fucked up,” I tell him. “She tried to get me to rat you out.”

“You don’t even know why I’m here.”

I shrug. “True, but I almost made something up just to look like the hero.”

“Well, I should’ve told you so you could get a feel for her reaction before I go in.” He rubs his forehead. “She’s not gonna like this.”

“What’s happening?”

“Mariah and I want to elope.” He cringes as I burst out laughing. “Stop it, asshole.”

“She’s never gonna go for that. As a matter of fact,” I say, cutting off Lance’s attempt at interjection, “she was just trying to get me to settle down.”

He jabs a finger my way. “Now that’s funny.”


He sticks his tongue in the side of his cheek, his eyes sparkling with some dickhead comment that I try to brace myself for.

“How are things with Hadley, anyway?” he asks.

I roll my eyes, my heart clamoring at the sound of her name, and head to my truck.

“Oh, come on,” Lance calls from behind me. “I was just kidding.”

“It’s really not funny.”

“No, it’s not.”

I stop walking and turn to face him. “Can I ask you a question?”

“You just did.”

I sigh. “What made you stop fucking everyone you met and want to just be with Mariah? And elope now, apparent-fucking-ly?”

“Why do you care?”

“Don’t you wonder if you’re rushing this?” I ask. “I mean, why do you need to get married right now? It seems like only yesterday we were looking at some sex app and now you’re getting fucking married?”

Lance just laughs and heads up the porch. “First of all, it was a dating app.”

I lift a brow. “I believe you used it for sex, not dinner parties.”

He looks at the house guiltily before turning back to me. “Will you please lower your voice?”

“Fine. Dating app. But how do we go from that to this?”

“Because if I don’t marry her, someone else will.” He stops and flashes me a smug smirk. “Better think about that, Machie boy.”

I watch him disappear inside the house, his laughter at my expense trailing behind him. As I climb in my truck and buckle in, I pause. Looking up into the night sky once again, I wonder if he might be onto something.

Or not.

The gravel flies behind my truck as I pull on the road.



A shot of lightning catapults through the air. It illuminates the sky before a crack of thunder roars through Emily’s backyard.

“Looks like rain,” I note.

“Feels like it too. I think the temperature just dropped ten degrees.” Emily refills her wine glass with a light pink Moscato. “We’ll be switching this out for hot chocolate soon.”

“I’d take hot chocolate over that stuff now.”

“I can’t believe you don’t like wine. How are we even friends?”

I squish my nose. “Wine is so bitter. Or flat. Or … something. There’s nothing to it.”

“Ever had Moscato?” she asks.

“No. And I’m quite okay with that.”

“Your loss.” She takes a long sip before resting her head against the deck chair. “I told Josh to go fuck himself tonight.”

Twisting in my chair, I feel my eyes bug out. Her eyes close. I’m not sure if she’s in complete thought or blocking out thoughts altogether, but she seems peaceful.

“What happened?” I ask her with a heavy dose of caution. “I thought things were going great?”

“They were.”

“And then …?”

She lifts her head and looks at me. I scan her eyes for tears or a sign that she’s unsure about her decision, but there’s none of that. We could be talking about anything factual—Pilates is overrated, buttercream icing is better than whipped, or how no one really looks good in orange.

Or, apparently, how she and Josh weren’t mean to be.

“I’m so confused,” I say after a long silence.

She pulls her knees to her chest. “He never wants to do anything I want to do. It’s always about him and, to be honest, I’m sick of it.” She looks at me and makes a face. “Everything is what he wants—what we do on the weekend, where we go for dinner, how we have sex. I mean, sometimes I really want to be bent over a damn chair! Is that too much to ask?”

I know she’s being serious, but I can’t not laugh. I also can’t formulate a good response. Luckily, my reaction seems to settle her in some way because, before my chuckles end, she’s shrugging.

“Well, it’s true,” she says.

Most Popular
» Nothing But Trouble (Malibu University #1)
» Kill Switch (Devil's Night #3)
» Hold Me Today (Put A Ring On It #1)
» Spinning Silver
» Birthday Girl
» A Nordic King (Royal Romance #3)
» The Wild Heir (Royal Romance #2)
» The Swedish Prince (Royal Romance #1)
» Nothing Personal (Karina Halle)
» My Life in Shambles
» The Warrior Queen (The Hundredth Queen #4)
» The Rogue Queen (The Hundredth Queen #3)
romance.readsbookonline.com Copyright 2016 - 2023