Home > Some like It Wild (The Wild Ones #2)(7)

Some like It Wild (The Wild Ones #2)(7)
Author: M. Leighton

SIX: Jake

“I’m taking care of it, Jenna. Would you stop worrying?”

“It just kills me to think of those two losers living in our house, destroying everything Mom and Dad worked so hard for.”

“I know, Jenna. That’s why I told you to stop worrying about it. I’d never let that happen. I’d burn this place to the ground before I let her ruin it. Now stop aggravating me about it.”

“I’m not aggravating you about it. I just feel helpless being up here in Atlanta, not able to do anything about it.”

“You couldn’t do anything about it even if you were here. I’m doing what needs to be done. Atlanta with Rusty is where you belong.” I hear her sigh. She knows I’m right. “Control freak,” I mutter teasingly.


“But you love that about me.”

“Not hardly.”


I hear her light laugh. We play rough, as we always have. But if I was ever going to love someone in life, it would probably be Jenna. Guys like me, though, we’re better off without much love in our life. Keeps us focused, keeps the edge sharp. And that’s the way I like it. That’s the way it works best for me. Why change it? I get what I need without complications. End of story.

Or at least that’s what I tell myself.

“Fine, have at it then, dick.”

“I was going to anyway, wench.”

“Call me next week.”


“Love you,” she says.

“You, too,” I reply. It’s all I ever say.

I stick my phone back in my pocket and turn toward the door of the barn. I stop in my tracks when I see Laney standing there. She’s backlit by the sun, making it seem as though she’s surrounded by a golden halo. She looks every bit the angel I’m sure she is. That only makes me want to corrupt her that much more.

“Please tell me you came looking for a little afternoon delight,” I tease, walking slowly toward her.

Laney squares her shoulders, clears her throat, and ignores my comment, which makes me smile. “I’m sorry to interrupt. I was just coming to tell you I’m driving into town for lunch.”

Her head is held high and her expression is as unaffected as she can make it, but still, she can’t hide from me what she’s feeling. She’s attracted to me, and disconcerted by me, whether she’ll admit it or not. I can see her nervousness in the way her fingers are fidgeting with the hem of her blouse.

“Are you sure you wouldn’t rather stay here? I’m sure I could come up with something to . . . satisfy you.”

Her cheeks turn bright red and her eyes round ever-so-slightly, making me want to pull her into my arms and kiss her senseless. But I won’t. I promised I wouldn’t until she asked me to. And I have no doubt she will. I’ll just have to make sure it’s sooner rather than later. She’s giving me an itch that I don’t want to wait to scratch.

“Thank you, but no. I’ve got some errands to run as well.” I say nothing, just shake my head as I study her. Her eyes dart away and I know she’s looking for some way to ease the tension. “So, I couldn’t help but overhear part of your conversation. If neither you nor your sister wants to stay here in Greenfield with the orchard, why not just let your aunt have it?”

I feel like sighing. Every time I think of my aunt Ellie, I get angry. And right now, in Laney’s presence, there are several other emotions I’d much rather be focusing on.

Another day . . .

“My parents wanted it with either me or Jenna. They’d roll over in their graves if we let Ellie take it.”

Mom especially. She always dreamed of her grandchildren playing in the orchard. She’s the reason I’m so determined to keep it with us, just like Dad is the reason Jenna wants to.

“Why? She’s family.”

“Not all family is the good kind.”

“And you think your aunt falls into that category?”

“Yes. She’s nothing like my mother. My mother was a kind and caring woman, and she loved this place. When my grandparents retired and moved to Florida, they left the house and the orchard to her as the oldest. We only found out after Dad died that Ellie was given a portion of the income. And now, true to the selfish person that she is, she wants it all.”

“Why now?”

“Ellie never liked the orchard to begin with. She and her husband had big plans to get out of this place and make a shitload of money. I guess she always thought the orchard money would just be extra. But things didn’t work out the way she had planned. She could never do anything about it while Dad was alive, though. But with him gone, and just me and Jenna left . . .”

“She’s contesting that she should have the right of survivorship, rather than you two,” Laney finishes.

I nod. “And that’s why you’re here, inventorying everything my family has ever owned.”

It’s Laney’s turn to nod. She casts her eyes down, like she’s afraid to meet mine. Finally she speaks. “I’m sorry, Jake. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to go through something like this right after you buried your father.”

She’s sweet. And sincere. I can feel compassion rolling off her in waves.

And it makes me distinctly uncomfortable.

So, I do what I do best, and I deflect.

I step closer to Laney, close enough to smell her perfume. It’s light and sweet. Sexy. Like sunshine and sin.

I take her chin between my fingers and wait until her eyes meet mine. “Don’t feel sorry for me. Unless you plan to do something to make me feel better.”

Her cheeks turn pink again. “You really are a bad boy, aren’t you?” she whispers, almost like she’s thinking aloud.

“I can be as good or as bad as you want me to be.”

“I’ve always wanted the good guys,” she muses. I’m not a bit surprised. I’d be willing to bet she’s never broken a rule in her entire life.

“Maybe it’s time for a change.”

“Maybe it is,” she says softly, her blue eyes flickering down to my mouth and back again.

“Tell me to kiss you,” I say quietly as I lean slowly toward her.

Like I poked her with a cattle prod, I see her eyes widen and a startled look come over her face. She steps back, as though she’s stepping away from danger. “I need to go. I’ll be back after lunch.”

And with that, she turns and walks quickly to where her car is parked, slides behind the wheel, and drives away. I step out of the barn to watch her go. And I see her watching me through her rearview mirror.

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