She was marrying him. Rory James was going to marry him and he couldn’t wait. He knew that if they finished the project tomorrow that she’d marry him. It killed him to have to wait, but he wasn’t going to rush this and screw everything up. She needed him to prove to her that he loved her and he would do just that, but the moment that the project was over, she was marrying him.
“We need to get going, because the faster that we get dressed, the faster we can put some space between us and my brothers for a few hours,” Rory said, not sounding any happier than he was about spending the day with her family.
“Okay, baby. I’ll go get dressed,” he said, giving up on trying to talk her out of going and heading for her patio.
“You really should just leave some stuff here, Connor,” Rory pointed out with a shrug as she pulled on a pair of light gray lacy panties which he’d really like to tear off with his teeth, but unfortunately for him, they didn’t have time.
He cursed softly as he watched Rory continue to get dressed. He’d been avoiding this kind of thing since he decided to drop the subject of selling her house. Truth be told, he’d been hoping to avoid talking about this sort of thing until after they were married and it was time to move her into his house and stake a “For Sale” sign in her front yard.
“I’ll think about it,” he said, hoping the vague answer would be enough for her to drop it.
“Okay,” she said with another careless shrug as she focused on pulling a shirt on, reminding him why he loved this woman so damn much. There was no drama, no pouting, no whining to get her way. She hated that bullshit almost as much as him, and that made him breathe a little easier because he knew when it came time for her to make some changes that she would do them without a problem. Rory was a smart girl, she’d realize that selling her house and merging her business with his would be the smart thing to do.
“I’ll meet you outside in ten minutes,” he said, moving once again towards the patio door.
“Five minutes! You have five minutes!” Johnny yelled from the other side of Rory’s bedroom door, earning a sexy eye roll from Rory.
“Ten minutes,” Rory said with a wink.
Fifteen minutes later he was leaning back against his truck, waiting for Rory and ignoring her brothers.
“You’re f**king dead,” Johnny said.
“Keep pushing us by touching our sister and see what happens,” Craig, who’d just arrived, said, between sips of his coffee and a yawn.
“Better watch your back, bitch,” Bryce said as he stole Sean’s coffee. Sean, who had just opened his mouth to take his turn threatening Connor, quickly forgot all about Connor and focused on bitch slapping the hell out of his brother and stealing back his coffee while Connor let out a bored sigh.
Oh, he was sure that they meant it and would love to pound him into the ground. Any other man would probably be pissing his pants and running the other way, but after listening to this bullshit day in and day out for the past month it had lost its effect. Not that it ever really had much of an effect on him. It didn’t. He’d gladly take an ass whooping for Rory. She was more than worth it.
“Hey, ass**le? Did you hear me?” Brian called out, sounding pissed.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re going to tear my throat out and kick the shit out of me or some other bullshit,” he said dryly, daring a glance down at his watch and wondering what was taking Rory so damn long.
“Um, actually no. I was wondering if you had any cream and sugar that I could borrow. They messed up on my order,” Brian said, sheepishly as he gestured to the coffee in his hand.
“Help yourself,” Connor said, focusing his attention back on Rory’s front door.
“Thanks, man,” Brian said, walking towards his front door only to pause and add with a shrug, “You know you’re a dead man, right?”
“Good, good,” Brian said with a nod as he headed for Connor’s house.
“That’s right, your ass is grass, you little prick,” Johnny said, sounding smug which was a little sad.
Connor was just about to go see what was taking Rory so long when her front door opened and she walked out, smiling sweetly when she spotted him. He pushed away from his truck and walked past her brothers, ignoring their muttered threats to keep his “dirty hands off their sweet little sister” and met her halfway down her walkway. He didn’t care that her brothers were watching or half the neighborhood who still hadn’t moved on and gotten over the initial shock of the relationship was also watching, he had to touch her, had to kiss her and he did just that.
“Ow!” he winced, stepping away from Rory as he rubbed the back of his head where it suddenly throbbed. He looked over his shoulder and found all five of her brothers watching them with innocent doe-like expressions on their faces.
“It was a squirrel,” Craig said, somehow keeping a straight face.
“Vicious little bastards,” Bryce added solemnly.
“You should really be careful,” Johnny added before mouthing “bitch.”
Oh, this was going to be a long f**king day.
“Can we stop at Henderson’s?” Rory asked, noting that it was almost six in the morning and the little dinner/convenient store should be open by now. At least she thought it would. Granted, it had been more than ten years since she’d been allowed within thirty yards of the store, but she was pretty sure that it still opened early and closed late.
Connor took a left on Long Pond Road, pissing her brothers off if the sounds of their horns blaring was any indication. They weren’t happy that Connor was going with her and they were pissed that their pathetic little attempt to get rid of him failed.
They yanked out the battery from Connor’s truck along with the spark plugs, a few hoses and let the air out of his tires, probably thinking that would stop Connor from coming with them. Just in case that didn’t work, they did the same to her Jeep and explained with smug smiles that they only had room for one more passenger. It was an amateur move.
She knew that Connor really didn’t want to spend the day with her brothers and she really couldn't blame him. Even though she wanted him there, wanted to spend a whole day away from work with him, she’d understood and was willing to go without him. Just as she opened her mouth to let him off the hook, he flipped off her brothers and set to work. It wasn’t exactly surprising to discover that Connor kept spare parts in his garage. She did the same thing. They’d screwed each other over enough in the past that they were pretty much prepared for anything and everything.
“Do you want to go to Henderson’s or do you want to hit McDonalds when we get to the highway?” Connor asked, gently caressing the back of her hand with his thumb as he took a right at the lights.
“McDonald’s is a half hour away,” she pointed out, starting to feel giddy at the prospect of going to Henderson’s for the first time in years. It used to be her favorite store as a child and she’d missed going there every Sunday for a stack of pancakes, bacon and a cup of hot cocoa.
As much as she would have loved to blame Connor for getting banned from her favorite store, she couldn’t. Getting banned from Henderson’s had been one hundred percent her fault. Then again, the ban probably would have been shorter if Alex, her boyfriend at the time, hadn’t decided to get in her face and call her a f**king bitch for getting him tossed out as well. That’s not what pushed Henderson into banning her for life though. It was Connor grabbing Alex by the throat and shoving him into the shelves of penny candy that got them the lifetime ban, which had been lifted on a probationary period a week ago.