When Jaxon James, a sexy rock star and struggling single-father, is invited to ditch California and spend Christmas in Tennessee with his estranged family, he hesitantly accepts for his young daughter’s sake.
But his attraction to his best friend’s baby sister, Lily Elstone, threatens to unravel the bonds he’s made for his daughter. The honorable thing to do would be to give up Lily. But his instincts are telling him she’s exactly the one who could bring light to his life and the missing fire to his bed.
Unfortunately, Lily's too sweet for his world. He fears his rock and roll life style will taint her. How far are Jaxon and Lily willing to go to find what’s missing at home?
Jaxon watched Lily’s hands sinking down into the sand from behind as hesitancy chopped up his steps. Years of ending up in dire situations had made him a decisive man when he needed to be. He was making one of those executive decisions right now. It didn’t matter why she’d come. And he was close to dismissing his reluctance over whose baby sister she was. Not when she wore that swishing angelic lavender top that covered her from neck to shoulder to fingertip, driving him insane with curiosity. God, and that flaming hair which had gone from neon just yesterday to a flattering shade of cinnamon temptation tonight. His grip tightened around the folding chairs he’d gone to fetch. Purposefully, he slowed down.
Wanting her was one thing, but hurting this young woman was not okay.
Standing back, he took another couple minutes to contemplate what could happen tonight. What he could control and make happen.
He knew they should talk. He just hoped she didn’t mind how close he intended on being to her while that happened. His grip loosened and one of the folding lounge chairs fell to the sand. There would be plenty of room for the both of them on the one. He walked until he made it back to her side and unfolded the chair to its full length.
“Uh, hi,” she said shyly, her brow furrowing in concentration.
“Hey.” He sat down and held his arms out to assist her. “Sit with me?” He hadn’t given her much of a choice and caught her eye scanning the sandy trail where he’d come from. “Yeah, I figured we didn’t need that one.”
“Oh, okay. Wait, just so we’re clear here. You want me to sit, where exactly?”
God, she would kill him tonight. That amount of cute couldn’t be faked. “Here, with me.” Her eyes widened in disbelief so he scooted until he was flush with the back of the nylon chair and then opened his legs, letting one straddle each side. “There’s room.”
“You’re crazy,” she said shaking her head.
He let out a faked huff. His quick decision had been too fast for her and she wouldn’t believe this was his way of comforting her. “I’ll go fetch the other chair.”
She gouged her hand into her hip. “Wait. It’s just…I really don’t think I’m gonna fit.”
A hurricane couldn’t have swayed her decision to stay put. But she eventually bent her knees, bracing herself with strong hands, and lowered herself until her squeezable bottom met the chair. Because he wanted her closer, he took the liberty of placing his hands at each side of her waist and scooted her back until she was flush with his chest and his lap.
On second thought, that was way too close.
Someone would kill him for the throbbing going on so close to their little sister. He wiggled an inch of space between Lily and his now obvious and straining erection. The last thing he wanted to do was leave her thinking he was incapable of a conversation without sex ending up front and center. He had amazing amounts of control in that department. It came along with all the years he’d practiced on the road. Tonight, plainly put, he just wanted to be close to someone, to Lily. And this was the way he knew how to do that.
“So what did you want to talk about?” he asked.
“I, I don’t know.” It sounded like nerves had her.
They didn’t have to start with words. Fuck him for his appetite but he could say more by doing this anyway.
Hey you, horny fucker. This is the part where you pat her on the head, say you’re sorry, and send her back to her big sister. This is not the time for indulging. Pack it up, Jaxon.
Yeah, no questions about it. That’s what he should do.
He leaned in to her back until his nose brushed up against her sweet neck, nuzzling little circles in her fine baby hairs. Tiny goose bumps rose across her skin so he breathed his warm breath in an effort to chase away the chill. She squirmed, sending his muscles into tight spasms. God, this was so wrong but he needed it so bad. Fucking bananas karma.
“Oh, I, uh, so you met Tris when she was sixteen. How old were you?”
“I was twenty-six,” he said, dropping into her neck a fraction more with each word.
“And you never wanted to kiss her?”
He should pull back from her, at least an inch or two, to answer but he was so close to finding the exact right spot. “No, I can honestly say I didn’t.” He waited to plant his lips in the sweet spot since tickling her with his nose seemed to be so pleasing. He should not be doing this. The craziest part was that he knew it. But just like during the talk they’d had in his room, he couldn’t seal himself off from her right now and she wasn’t saying no.
“Well knowing my sister, I bet there were times when she wanted to kiss you.”
“There may have been a couple times but she quickly got over it.” Even he could hear the haste in which he’d delivered that one. To keep the slow rhythm he refused to lose with her, he slowed to a pause and then answered. Hell, maybe he was just trying to scare her straight. This is the real me, I will take you and you will regret it. Here’s a little taste.
“You know I never wanted to kiss your sister, but you on the other hand. I’m not gonna lie, I could definitely kiss you. I won’t, of course.”
He paused again to consider the green light she’d just given him with that hopeful lilt tagging the end of her response.
“You have a great accent,” he said. As much as he’d love to keep her talking just so he could hear her southern quirky drawl, it was time to start winding down.
“So do you,” she said.
“I really like your voice, Lily.” He was about to say But I can’t lick and talk at the same time so let’s shush now and we’ll get to that talk later, when she made a tiny movement that pressed her neck into his lips. Their little word play was helping her relax so he held off on asking for her silence.
“I like yours too.”
“I like your mouth,” he said.
“I like your…lips.”
“Lily, I changed my mind. I am going to kiss you.”
“Jaxon, what are we doing?”
“Talking.” He blew another breath into his favorite little place on earth right now.