Betrayed (Whiskey Nights #4)

By: Suzannah Daniels

“Thank you,” she whispered. I heard her talking to someone else before she came back on the line and gave me the address. “Please hurry.”

Hanging up, I thought about what a hell of an evening it was turning out to be. I’d dealt with two weeping women in a matter of minutes, and I was actually on my way to pick up a baby. If someone had told me twenty-four hours ago that this was my future, I would have placed a hefty wager that said otherwise.

I hurriedly plugged the address in my phone and raced toward the Kentucky border, wondering how the hell it worked out that I was the only person Jessica could call. I’d heard about the new trend of families searching for male nannies or mannies for their sons, but if one looked at my resume, the word, manny, was nowhere to be found. Yet here I was driving like a bat out of hell to pick up a tiny human who couldn’t speak and, even worse, had to relieve himself in a diaper.

What was I going to do with a baby?

I drove as quickly as I dared, though I had no idea why. Any love that I had once felt for Jessica died the day she turned to my brother. In fact, that same day had all but destroyed my relationship with Cade. We’d only recently returned to the brotherhood we once had, and the last thing I wanted was for Jessica to somehow destroy it all over again. I reasoned that she was no longer a threat. Cade was now married to Seren, and Cade and Seren were both friends with Jessica. I didn’t see how Jess could pose a threat now, but at the same time, women always had a way of coming between Cade and me.

My thoughts turned to the first time she and I had made love. I’d marveled at her body, how incredibly beautiful she was. I’d had no patience for taking it slow. With our raging hormones and our need to be together, everything had happened quickly, and I’d taken her fast and hard. I could still picture the smile on her face as I collapsed beside her, both of us breathing heavily, and I could still hear the first words she’d whispered as she placed her palm on my cheek, “Pax to the max, baby.”

Damn, that girl had made me feel like a king, even though looking back, I’d known virtually nothing about how to pleasure a woman.

She’d called me Max ever since that day, mostly when it was just the two of us. And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that hearing her call me that affected me, even now.

I drove faster, mostly because the memories of her were making me uncomfortable. It had nothing to do with the plea in her voice. Not a damn thing.

Jessica lived in a tiny town in Kentucky not far from the Tennessee border. When I pulled into the parking lot of a small drugstore, I scanned it, searching for her.

A police car was parked near the entrance, and I parked in an empty space not far away. I got out of my car and walked toward the cruiser. It was running, most likely so the air conditioner could relieve him from the scorching August heat, and I could see him behind the wheel. As I got closer, I spotted Jessica in the back seat, a baby in her lap.

She spoke to the policeman, and his head snapped up as he looked at me.

I paused as he opened the door. “Paxton?”

“Yes, sir.”

He got out of the car and motioned me over to the covered walkway along the front of the drugstore. Once there, he opened the back seat and motioned for Jess to get out of the car.

“Ms. Beacham says she has a child’s seat in her car.”

Jessica scooted out of the back seat, shifting her baby to her hip as she stood. A voice came over the officer’s radio, and he took a couple of steps away from us as he responded.

“What happened to you?” I asked, unable to tear my gaze away from her face. “You look like hell.” She was wearing a pair of yoga pants, a wrinkled oversized tee dotted with wet spots, and a pair of flip-flops. Her hair was pulled into a messy ponytail at the base of her neck, and her eyes were red and puffy from crying.

She tucked the unkempt strands of hair that had come loose from her ponytail behind her ear, her eyes raking the length of me. “Kinda fitting, don’t you think? Since the devil himself is standing in front of me.”

“Hey, you called me, remember?”

Pursing her lips together, she nodded. “Thanks for coming, Paxton.”

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