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Home > Who I Am with You (Unexpected Heroes #1.5)(7)

Who I Am with You (Unexpected Heroes #1.5)(7)
Author: Melody Anne

“I’m fine to get my own damn towel, Travis. Get out!”

Her voice rose as she shifted on her fabulously curvy legs, drawing his eyes to the edge of the towel.

“I guess I can give you a few minutes, Taylor.”

“Thanks. You’re a real peach,” she snarled as he finally ripped his devouring eyes away and turned to leave. Pausing at the door, he turned back around with a cocky half grin and winked before leaving the bathroom.

He didn’t know why he wanted to rile her up; he just knew that he loved seeing the fire in her eyes, loved hearing the outraged gasp from her luscious lips, and loved a good brawl with her. When he’d met her, she’d been too young. Not anymore. Now she was all grown up.

She was no longer a love-struck teenager, and as far as Travis was concerned, she was more than fair game. He was going to make sure he won whatever match she decided to throw down. Because time hadn’t erased this girl from his memory—and he’d never been one to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Shivering as she tossed the soaked towel onto the floor of the tub, Taylor didn’t know whether she was more enraged with Travis’s ridiculously pompous attitude or because he’d caught her with her pants down, so to speak.

Yes, he’d seen her naked before. Once. And she’d vowed after his rejection that the man would never again see her like that or catch her in such a vulnerable position. She’d been in love with him from the time her brother had brought him home to hang out when she was only twelve years old, and as the years passed, her feelings had only grown stronger.

His rejection six years ago had been mortifying. Sure, she could understand his holding off when she was a teenager. She’d been too young then. But the night of that party . . . that fateful night when she’d finally made love to him . . .

It had felt so right. She could still practically feel his arms around her after they were done and she’d begun to drift off, whispering the words she’d said to no other. I love you. The lovemaking had been perfect—they were perfect, or so she had thought.

When he immediately leapt from the bed, apologizing profusely, saying he’d drunk way too much, that he’d crossed a line and they should have never done that, she’d been humiliated.

For a brief moment, she’d begged him to stay, but when she knew the battle was over, she’d sat there in agony. At least she hadn’t shown him tears, hadn’t allowed him to see such a weakness. She’d shed enough tears when she was a teenager to last her a lifetime. No. Instead, she’d dressed, lifted her head high, and walked from the room.

She’d seen him only one time after that—a year later, when she was visiting her parents in Sterling. He’d tried to speak to her, tried to act as if nothing was wrong. She’d shunned him then, and she would shun him now.

He was no better than any of the other males in her life who wanted to treat her like nothing but a weak female incapable of making up her own mind. The next morning, he’d hung his head as he’d apologized, telling her he’d taken advantage of her, that it shouldn’t have happened, that she really didn’t know what she wanted. She was sick and tired of people telling her she didn’t know what she wanted. Who in the hell did he think he was? At least her brothers weren’t quite that bad, but if they could surround her with bubble wrap and keep her locked away, she wouldn’t put it past them.

When would the people in her life realize she was an adult? That she was more than capable of making her own choices, whether they were good or bad? Even if she failed sometimes, and she knew she would—just like everyone else—she would learn from those mistakes. No pain, no gain, right? It was frustrating always to be the baby of the family, and to always be coddled because of her gender.

Sure, she’d fallen hard for Travis way back when, but she was older now, wiser. Never again would she be taken in by his tricks. He was probably putting on this act now only because he was bored. He’d fooled her once, but he certainly wouldn’t do it twice.

The cold was beginning to seep into her bones, so she found a dry towel and then peeked out the bathroom door into the bedroom. She was really wishing she hadn’t just tossed her bags onto the living room floor. In her defense, she’d assumed she was alone and could walk around naked if she wanted to.

Dammit!

Creeping into the bedroom with the small towel wrapped around her body, she moved over to the closet and opened the door, sighing with relief when she found some T-shirts hanging. She didn’t know whether they were her brother’s or Travis’s, and she didn’t care. For tonight, one of them was going to be her pajama top. She had always loved sleeping in her older brothers’ T-shirts. There was just something oddly comforting about it. Slipping it on over the towel, she moved to the dresser and found a pair of large sweatpants with a drawstring. Pulling them up, she had to tie them as tight as she could and then roll the waist down and the legs up.

Warmth began to return to her limbs by the time she found wool socks. Now she was decent enough to walk into the living room where Travis was waiting. Sure, it wasn’t going to be a pleasant conversation, but she’d had many worse talks in her years of racing.

She was in a world where more men competed than women. That was okay with her. She liked to be different—it made her feel important. Even if she had to constantly defend her chosen career path. And she would still continue to pursue her dreams. If she ever got a release to race, that is. Hell, at the rate she was going, she might never see a dirt track again. No, she refused to consider such a frightening thought. She was too young to give up the life she’d made all on her own.

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