Home > Down on Me (Man of the Month #1)(9)

Down on Me (Man of the Month #1)(9)
Author: J. Kenner


She opened her suitcase and started to unpack. She pulled out her make-up case and took all of her cosmetics into the bathroom, then laid them out for the morning. She hoped the familiar travel routine would distract her.

It didn't. Reece was still in her mind. Heated thoughts. Sensual meanderings. And maybe she shouldn't try to shut it off. Maybe she should just go with it.

Back in the bedroom, she got undressed, slipped into a nightshirt, then climbed into bed. Because she'd decided to give in to temptation. To close her eyes and remember a night when she'd gotten way too drunk.

A night when Reece had taken care of her, then carried her to bed.

A night he thought she didn't remember.

But she did. Some of it, at least.

And as a warm blush spread over her body, Jenna closed her eyes, breathed deep, and let herself fall backward into the memories of that delicious, forbidden night.

 

 

Chapter Four

 

 

Eight months ago

 

"You and Brent should just quit working and move to LA with me." Jenna took another long swallow of the rum and Corona concoction, then sighed with pleasure, her head spinning a little more than it should. Correction, a lot more than it should. "These are amazing. You're putting them on the menu, right?"

"If you say so, I will. Your wish is my command."

"You're teasing me, aren't you?" She narrowed her eyes, saw two of him, then narrowed them some more until Reece merged into one man. A man who was smiling indulgently at her from across one of the wooden two-tops in the back section of The Fix on Sixth.

Seven Percent, a local band that had gathered a nationwide following, was playing on the wooden stage up front, and normally she'd be sitting at the bar up there, listening to the music and chatting with the bartenders or a girlfriend while Brent and Reece did their jobs. Tonight, however, they'd both taken the night off. Because tonight was Zero Hour. The last hurrah.

Tomorrow at noon she was getting into her car and driving to Los Angeles.

"Where'd Brent go? He's not off doing work on my last day in town, is he?" She swiveled in her chair to search for her errant friend, tilted awkwardly, and then smiled gratefully when Reece reached over to steady her.

"You're drunk," he said. Not in accusation, but as one might state the weather.

"It's your fault." She lifted the beer bottle. "Your invention. Your fault. And I do say. In honor of me."

"You do say?" he repeated, rubbing his beard as his brow furrowed in confusion before clearing. "Oh, about the drink going on the menu. All right. In honor of you. I'll call them Long Neck Jennas."

She wrinkled her nose. "That's horrible."

"Got a better name?"

She squinted at the longneck bottle. Rum. Corona. Lime. One bottle, all loaded up. She smiled up at him. "Loaded Coronas."

His mouth twitched. He reached across the table, then brushed his fingertip over the tip of her nose. "Done."

"Yeah?"

"Assuming Tyree agrees."

"Let's ask him."

"He's with Brent, remember?"

She shook her head to clear it, trying to play back the last half hour or so.

Watching her, Reece laughed. "You are so wasted."

"So? Last hurrah, remember? Besides, it dulls the pain."

He took her hands. "Hey, none of that. This is a good thing, remember? Just one month ago, you told me so yourself."

The memory of the phone call offering her the job in Los Angeles set off a fresh storm of emotion. "You're right. It is. I mean, the company's got an amazing reputation, and I'm going to get so much experience. It's a dream job—working with a premier event planner in Beverly Hills. It's exactly the kind of job I was hoping for when I quit teaching to go back for my marketing degree. I mean, a company that's behind most celebrity charity events? Half of my graduating class would kill for this job."

"But?"

She raised a shoulder. "Just nerves, I guess. I'm almost twenty-nine, and I've never lived anywhere but Austin. And, well, I'll miss you guys."

A shadow flickered in his eyes. "Yeah, I know. We'll miss you, too. But it's not forever. You get the experience, you move back to Texas, and you take the city by storm."

Laughter bubbled up in her. "Is that the plan?"

"Written in stone, baby. I've got all sorts of faith in you."

"I know you do," she said softly, meaning the words with all her heart. "And it helps."

For a moment, a pleasant silence lingered. Then she tilted her head toward the hall leading to the office. "Should we go find Brent? We're supposed to meet Amanda at the Broken Spoke." Jenna was lousy at country-western dancing, but there was no way she was leaving Texas without another go. And besides, Brent could two-step like a pro. If anyone could make her look good on a dance floor, it was him.

"Probably should. But you've had four of those things, and that's a lot of rum. Not to mention the beer. Are you sure you can dance?"

"Oh, please. We both know I couldn't dance before. There's no place to go but up." Laughing, she slid an arm around his waist, for both camaraderie and support. He stiffened, then relaxed, and she was about to ask what was wrong when Brent came toward them, his expression grave.

"What is it?" Reece demanded.

"My babysitter called. Faith has a fever. I'm sorry, Jen, but I need to go."

"Sure. Of course. We'll come with you."

"No, you guys go on. This is your last chance to see Amanda before you head out, right? She can't do breakfast tomorrow?"

Jenna nodded. They were supposed to meet up at the Magnolia Cafe on South Congress before Jenna hit the road. "But if Faith's sick, I won't see you tomorrow either."

"I'll make pancakes. Come to the house. I already told Tyree, and I'll text Nolan and Tiffany and everyone else. I can set Faith up in my bedroom with her videos if she's still sick, and we'll give you a banana pancake send-off."

"You sure?"

"Are you kidding? Not see you off? Not a chance. Ten o'clock?"

She nodded. The plan was to be on the road by noon, stay the night in Van Horn, the next night in Phoenix, then get to her new—sight unseen—apartment by mid-afternoon. She had a thermos for coffee, an ice chest for sandwiches, and a ton of playlists downloaded to her phone. She was as ready as she'd ever be, but no way was she leaving without seeing Brent and Faith and the rest of her friends.

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