Updated: Jan 22
Be With Me
by Jennifer L Armentrout
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
Book 2 in the Wait for You series
Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year
—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, change-your-life kiss. She got out of a terrible relationship. And now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for Plan B – college. And maybe a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.
Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone. Especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.
As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Tess can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together, and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not…
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy New Adult Happy Ending
Trigger Warning: This book deals with domestic violence. It may be disturbing for some readers, so please be advised.
Be With Me by Jennifer Armentrout is the second book in her Wait for You series, and follows Teresa Hamilton, Cam's sister (from Wait for You and Trust in Me), who is struggling with a possible career ending knee injury, taking her from the dance stage, to college. Here, she comes face to face with her long time crush, Jase Winstead, her brothers best friend, and the man who gave her one amazing kiss a year before dropping out of her life. With Jase and Tess see more and more of each other, they can't deny their feelings for one another for long.
I loved this book, just as much, if not a little more, than the first book in the series. The story didn't lean on Wait for You, and was unique in it's story, and story building. Just like with the first book, Be With Me deals with some heavy material. Domestic Violence happens more often than you think, and Jennifer does a great job showing the reality of abuse, and the effects of it. A sad fact is, victims are in danger even when they are able to walk away from the situation. Be With Me shows both sides of the coin. This book isn't all about that though. Be With Me's central romance is intense, beautiful, and sexy as hell.
I really loved Tess's character. She is young, but has really grown from her past. Her struggles with her injury, and the possible loss of her dream career in dance, don't stop her from at least preparing for a plan B (college), and doesn't hold her back from Jase. And what can I say about Jase? I liked him as Cam's best friend in the first book, but I kinda fell for him in this book. Did he make me want to shake him sometimes? Sure. But much like Avery frustrated me in the first book sometimes, I understood why. Jase is intense. He is passionate, loving, protective. He is also smart, and strong. I think the only thing I didn't like about him was his love of country music. His story is a bittersweet one. In a lot of ways, these two books are the Hamilton siblings, while dealing with their own issues, saving Avery and Jase.
And can I just say, how freaking adorable is Jack?
Be With Me is a great sequel to Wait for You. We get to focus on a new couple, new, very complicated, issues, while still getting to see our first couple of the series, Cam and Avery, and get little updates on them (spoiler alert, they are very happy together). We get some new side character introductions, and as I know there are more books in the series, I suspect some of them will be upcoming features. I totally recommend Be With Me ... the whole series.
Tess meeting Jack
Jase going to Tess's dorm when he was drunk
Jase picking up and throwing Tess over his shoulder when she was arguing against getting a ride with him when her knee was bothering her
All the cupcakes
Tess meeting Jase's dad, and them feeding the horses
What happened in the Jeep after Tess left the party
Jase bringing soup to Tess when he thought she was sick, and being there for her when she went to the doctor about her knee
Jase introducing Tess as his girlfriend
Cam finding out about Jase and Tess
The first time they make love
Jase saving Tess
Jase showing up at the hospital with a cupcake
Tess going with Jase to the graveyard
Tess spending Christmas Eve with Jase and his family
Where to Buy
Sinewy muscles in his arms flexed as he lifted Jack out of the driver's seat, holding him into the air above his head. He spun around in a circle, laughing deeply as Jack shrieked and flailed.
Ovaries go boom.
A small hand tugged on the hem of my shirt and I looked down, into gray eyes that were both young and soulful.
Tess: "Hi to you."
Jack: "You're pretty."
Tess: "Thank you."
A little laugh escaped me. It was official. I liked this kid.
Tess: "You're very handsome."
Jack: "I know."
I laughed again.
Jase: "All right, that's enough, Casanova. Stop hitting on the girl."
Jase: "You have no idea what you make me want. You have no fucking clue."
Tess: "You're basically saying you wouldn't have kissed me if you hadn't been drinking?"
I slid off the fence and faced him, resisting the urge to plant my fist in his stomach.
He opened his mouth, but I rushed on.
Tess: "Was it really that disgusting to you?"
His head swung toward me and something flared in his gray eyes
Jase: "That's not what I'm saying. It wasn't gross. It was -"
Tess: "Damn straight it wasn't gross! You kissed me. You touched me. You said I had no idea what I made you -"
Jase: "I know what I said."
His eyes flashed an angry quicksilver now. He looked me dead on as he hopped off the fence with the kind of grace that was almost predatory.
Jase: "I just don't know why I said those things. It had to have been the beer, because there is no other reason why I would've done or said those things!"
A red-hot burn replaced the hurt. My hands closed into fists. No - no way did two beers make him do those things.
Tess: "You're not a lightweight. You'd been in full control of yourself. And you had to have felt something when you kissed me, because you couldn't kiss me like that and not feel anything."
Jase: "You've had a crush on me for how long? Of course you'd think it meant something amazing. Jesus Christ, Tess, why do you think I haven't talked to you this entire time? I knew you would think there was more behind it."
Heat poured across my cheeks
Jase: "It was a mistake. I'm not attracted to you, not like that."
I jerked back as if I'd been slapped.
Jase: "Shit. I didn't mean it like that. I -"
Tess: "I think you did. You couldn't be more clear."
He cursed again as he crossed the distance between us, dipping his chin and causing several locks of waves to tumble forward.
Jase: "Tess, you don't understand 0-"
I barked out a short laugh as mortification burst through me like a dam breaking.
Tess: "Oh, I'm sure I understand completely. You regret it. Got it. It was a mistake. You probably don't want to be reminded of it. My bad. And it doesn't matter. Whatever."
Tess: "It's not like you're the only guys thats -"
Jase: "Kissed you?"
At the sharpness of his tone, I looked up. His eyes were narrowed until only thing, silvery slits were visible.
Jase: "How many guys have you kissed, Teresa?"
Not many. I could count on one hand and only needed two fingers to count how many went beyond that, but pride sunk its claws in me.
Tess: "Enough. More than enough."
Something flashed across his face
Jase: "Really? does your brother know this?"
Tess: "As if I would talk to my brother about that. Or like he actually has a say on whom or where I put my lips."
His head cocked to the side as if he had to work that single word through his mind. The moment he decided on what that could possibly mean, his broad shoulders stiffened.
Jase: "Where are you putting your lips?"
Tess: "Uh, like that's any of your business."
His stare sharpened
Jase: "It's totally my business."
Tess: "I don't think so."
Tess: "Is that yours?"
He followed my gaze and then grinned
Jase: "Shit. I forgot about it. Brought you a present."
Tess: "What is it?"
Jase: "Something as yummy as me."
Jase: "This .... this is unexpected. Tess, I ..."
His eyes closed, and he let out a deep breath
Jase: "You feel good under me, too good. Good isn't the right word. Maybe perfect?"
He sounded almost like he was talking to himself.
Then his hips rolled in a slow thrust, pressing against the part where I ached the most. My toes curled and I gasped. A trembled coursed through his large body.
Jase: "Do you believe in fate?"
Tess: "I don't know. Do you?"
Jase: "I mean, do you believe that some things are just meant to happen?"
He dropped his head and his lips brushed his neck. Another strangled gasp parted my lips
Jase: "Like no matter what you do, what you tell yourself, things are just going to happen? Some things I don't think you can stop."
Jase: "You never knew."
Tess: "Never knew what?"
Jase: "I didn't always ... come up to see Cam. He wasn't the only reason why I made that trip every weekend."
Tess: "I always limp. And I need the exercise."
Calla: "What the hell ever, my thighs need the exercise. You need a hamburger."
Tess: "Have you seen my ass? It's known a lot of hamburgers up close and personal. And it's on speaking terms with french fries."
Calla: "That's okay. My thighs make out with milkshakes."
Calla: "This class is really boring. I'm Calla, by the way."
Jase: "I'm -"
Calla: "Jase Winstead. I know you. Well, I don't know you. I've heard of you."
A faint pink stained the tops of his broad cheeks.
Jase: "You have?"
She nodded and a private, almost knowing smile formed on her lips
Calla: "I think every female on this campus has heard of you."
I rolled my eyes
Jase: "Ah, I see ..."
Tess: "You do?"
I arched a brow
Jase: "Some would say I'm quite popular ..."
Tess: "With the ladies?"
Thick lashes lowered as he sent me a sideways look
I grinned as Jase shifted in his seat. He was uncomfortable addressed his oh-so-stellar reputation?
Tess: "So. Would these ladies have good or bad things to say about you?"
Jase: "Depends on who you ask."
Tess: "What would it depend on?"
His grin spread on one side again.
Jase: "Several factors, but I can assure you that most of them would have many good things to say."
His light gray eyes sought mine out again as he bowed his head until his warm breath danced along my cheek.
Jase: "Actually, great things."
My heart stumbled. Was he flirting with me? I swallowed.
Tess: "Like what kind of things?"
Jase shifted in his seat, and I stiffened as I felt his breath on my neck, just below my ear, teasing that sensitive spot that made me want to wiggle around - the same spot he'd nipped, licked, and then kissed.
Jase: "I think you know exactly what kind of things they'd say good things about."
Jase: "I'll drive you. I'm parked over here anyway, in the back lot."
Tess: "But -"
Jase: "It's not a big deal. I'm heading over there anyway."
Calla: "That's really nice of you. Her knee is really bothering her."
I flushed out of embarrassment.
Tess: "My leg isn't bothering me that much. And i need the exercise. Walking is good -"
I squealed as Jase hooked an arm around my waist and bent, lifting me over his shoulder like I weighed nothing more than a sack of sugar.
Tess: "What are you doing?"
Jase: "Standing here discussing your ability to walk over to east campus in this heat makes me really impatient."
I gripped the back of his shirt, unable to see though my hair.
Tess: "Then leave! What the hell does that have to do with picking me up like a caveman?"
Jase: "Because you're not walking over there."
He clamped his arm over the back of my thighs, dangerously closed to getting hands-on with my ass.
Jase: "That's why."
Calla: "Well, that's on way to settle the issue."
Jase: "How you doing up there?"
Tess: "How do you think?"
As we passed a group of student, they burst into laughter.
Guy: "So that's how Jase gets his girls!"
My entire body went rigid.
He turned suddenly, causing me to squeal. Walking backward, he chuckled.
Jase: "Some require a more hands-on approach."
Girl: "I'd be done for a hands-on approach. When you're not so busy."
Jase tsked when he spun
Jase: "Language, Tess, language."
Holding on with one hand, I jabbed him in the kidney with my other.
My lips split in a wide smile.
Jase: "If my other hand was free ..."
Tess: "If you even consider for one second you think you can -ompf!"
I gasped at the sudden extra hop in his step
Tess: ; "You asshole."
Jase: "I think you do need a spanking."
He lowered his head, so dangerously close to grazing my cheek with his lips as he spoke.
Jase: "There's something about you that I've noticed."
Jase: "You blush a lot more now."
And that made my cheeks burn brighter
The lopsided grin grew.
Jase: "It really makes me curious about what you're thinking."
Tess: "I'm not thinking anything."
Jase: "Tess, you're coming?"
Tess: "Yeah. Yes, I can go."
Cam: "Wait. What? You are eighteen -"
Tess: "I'm almost nineteen."
Cam: "Yeah, still, you're not legal."
Cam glanced over at Jase
Cam: "You seriously just invited her to a frat party?"
Jase popped a fry in his mouth
Jase: "You're taking your girlfriend to a frat party."
Cam: "That different."
Tess: "Cam, can you shut -"
Cam: "I don't like the idea of you hanging out at a fray house. Those guys there -"
Jase: "Like me."
he interrupted, winking at me
My cheeks heated
Cam: "Exactly. Enough said."
Drawing in a short breath, I nodded, but I'd probably agree to play inside a wood chipper if he touched my lips again.
Dad: "You cannot be relate to Cam. There is no way a pretty girl like you shares DNA with that ugly mug."
A surprised laugh broke free. I think I liked this guy
Dad: "And there is also no way you're here with this one."
He nodded his head at Jase, who frowned.
Dad: "You must be lost."
Tess: "You're right. I don't even know who this person is."
Jase: "What the hell?"
His father winked
Dad: "Well, I'm going to be out back if ya'll need anything."
Jase: "We'll be fine, Dad."
Dad: "Wasn't tellin' you."
He looked over at me, mischief in his eyes.
Dad: "If this boy's improper with you, you let me know and I'll take care of him."
Jase: "Oh God."
He groaned, rubbing a hand down his jaw.
Jase: "She's a friend, Dad."
Dad: 'Uh-huh. Friends with a pretty gal like that, then you're doing something wrong, son."
My smile reached my ears as I turned to Jase slowly.
Jase: "Don't even think it."
He looked like he wanted to strangle his dad as he reached down, wrapping his hand around mine.
Jase: "Come on, before I embarrass my father with a good ole-fashioned redneck thumping."
His father chuckled as he gave our joined hands a pointed look
I giggled as he tugged me toward the fence and his father disappeared back into the barn.
Tess: "I like your dad."
Jase: "I'm sure you do."
Tess: "They're not carnivorous, right? Because at their size, they could eat me."
Jase laughed deeply as his hand shifted up, resting in the center of my stomach, just below my breasts.
Jase: "Horses do not eat people, you little idiot."
I started, eyes narrowing.
Tess: "There's always a first."
Tess: "When did you get so wise sounding?"
Jase: "I've always been extremely wise. So much so, I consider it a curse."
Jase: "I'll be with you. The whole time."
I felt hot. I needed to throw the brakes on the porn train before my mind veered into triple X land.
He chuckled, the sound deep and sexy, as he moved closer. His snekers brushed mine, and I had to crane my neck to meet his eyes.
Jase: "I can tell you like that idea."
Tess: "What? No. I was thinking about music class tomorrow. Aren't we covering the baroque period? Stimulating stuff right there. I'm all kinds of excited."
A smirk formed on his lips
Jase: "I don't think that's what you are all excited about or what gets you excited."
Tess: "It's not you."
Jase: "Whatever. You were thinking about me."
I snorted. Like a pig.
Tess: "Yeah, I don't think so. I don't think about you at all."
Jase: "You're a terrible liar."
Tess: "And you have a terrible ego. Worse than my brother and that's saying something."
Jase: "You can say whatever you want. I know better."
He dipped his head and his lips grazed my cheek, blazing a small fire across my cheeks.
Jase: "See? You're flushing and I haven't even done anything,"
Tess: "It's the sun. I'm getting heatstroke."
He choked out a laugh
Jase: "The sun isn't even out."
Tess: "Like that makes a difference."
Jase: "You know what?"
Cocking my head to the side, I waited.
Jase: "It's cute."
Tess: "What is?"
Jase: "You. This whole act - you pretending that you don't sit and think about me all the time. You probably sit in your dorm and write my name all over your dry-erase board."
Tess: "Oh my God."
Jase: "And then you dream about me, right? You sty awake and -"
My laugh cut him off as I swung at him with my free hand, aiming for his chest. What he was saying was beyond ridiculous. Okay - maybe not the dreaming part. He did star in quite a few of them. My hand never landed though. He snatched it out of the air with his other hand with startling reflexes and hauled me against his chest in one quick, smooth move.
Jase: "Hitting is not nice. And neither is deluding yourself."
Jase: "I never said I regretted kissing you."
Tess: "I'm pretty sure you did."
Jase: "I'm pretty sure I didn't. And I don't regret kissing you."
Tess: "You don't?"
He looked away for a brief moment, jaw working, before his gaze latched onto mine again.
Jase: "I should. I wish I did."
Tess: "I don't. I don't regret it at all."
He stared at me a moment as his hands on my wrists spasmed. His arms extended out, putting a few inches in between our bodies.
He dragged me back against him.
Jase lowered his head and his mouth was on mine before I even realized what was happening. My brain was way behind what was going on, but he kissed me - he was kissing me. His lips were on mine, and there was nothing soft and sweet about this kiss.
I was branded in seconds.
Jase: "You don't understand, Tess."
I rolled my eyes, about to make a smart-ass comment, but stopped when my throat closed up.
Tess: "You're right. I don't. You're attracted to me. You want me, but you keep pushing me away. Is it because of Cam? Because seriously, that's lame, Jase. He's my brother, not the holder of my chastity."
Jase's face puckered as if he'd tasted something sour.
Jase: "Okay. That's an imagine I never wanted to picture."
Tess: "Oh, shut up."
Jase: "All right, it's not Cam. Maybe in the beginning it was, because hooking up with his little sister is crossing all kinds of lines, but I c an get over that."
Tess: "Obviously you did. Or your cock got over it real quick like."
Jase swallowed a strangled cough.
Jase: "Tess, I ... it's just you don't want to be with me. You really don't want that."
I barked out a short laugh
Tess: "Wow. So this is a new attempt. You're not rejecting me, but it's more like I'm rejecting you? Smooth."
Jase: "It's not like that. Trust me. There are things you don't know about me and if you did, you wouldn't be sitting here."
Returning my gaze to him, I arched a brow.
Tess: "Did you kill someone? Cut up their body and feed it to hogs?"
Jase: "What? No."
Tess: "Have you beaten or raped a girl? Have a stash of kids locked in a basement somewhere? Or you're secretly a terrorist?"
His face contorted into disgust.
Jase: "Fuck. No."
Tess: "Okaay. I'm not sure exactly what you could've done that is so terrible then."
He looked away, shaking his head.
Jase: "You don't get it, Tess. I can't have you."
Tess: "But you do have me."
Jase: "He's my son! Jack's my son."
Calla: "I think he's an education major, which is strange. He's too hot to become a teacher."
Tess: "Hey. I'm going to be a teacher."
Calla: "But I don't want to make beautiful babies with you."
Jase: "Brandon Shriver?"
Tess: "I think I'm missing the beginning part of this conversation because I have no idea why you're saying his name."
His jaw tightened
Jase: "You were talking to him."
Tess: "Yeah. So was Calla. I really don't even know him."
Jase: "Didn't seem that way to me. You do know he's older than I am, right? Too old for you -"
Tess: "Are you fucking serious?"
Jase: "You don't need to cuss."
Tess: "I'll fucking cuss if I want to fucking cuss. Fucker."
Tess: "I'll be amazed if you guys make it out of college without having procreated a soccer team's worth of kids."
Avery's brown eyes widened.
Avery: "Oh, God, no ...
Guy: "Keg's outside, brow."
His dark gaze moved over Avery and then stopped on me. Taking a sip from his bottle, he grinned.
Guy: "And I think a game of beer pong is on."
I smiled back. The guy was cute, even if he didn't have dark hair or gray eyes. Right then, I decided that was a good thing. My smile started to spread.
Cam: "Awesome. And stop staring at my sister, jackass."
My mouth dropped open.
The guy chuckled and winked
Guy: "Yes, sir."
Jase: "Get in the car, Tess. And do not argue with me."
He started to turn, but then whipped back toward me.
Jase: "Fuck it."
He didn't even give me a chance to follow him. Like the first day he joined music class, one second I was standing and the next second I was over his shoulder. The world tilted and my hair fell forward in a tangled mess.
Tess: "What the hell? Put me down!"
Jase: "Hell no. I'm not standing out here arguing with you."
He stalked over to the Jeep and yanked open the door.
Jase: "You and I are going to talk -"
Tess: "I don't want to talk to you!"
I slammed my palm into his back. He didn't make a sound as he turned around, dropping me onto the front seat.
Tess: "You -"
Jase: "You move out of that seat, I swear to God, I will sit on you."
Tess: "I don't - what? Sit on me? What are you? Two?"
As I moved up, I swirled my tongue along the head.
Jase: "Holy shit, where did you learn that? Fuck. Don't answer. I don't want to know. I prefer to think you were born with that talent."
Oh my God. I shouldn't have done it. There was a thousand - no, a million - reasons as to why I shouldn't have done that. So many I could write an epic guide on how to do the wrong thing. Maybe you shouldn't give guys who had kids road head? How was I to know?
I immediately started working up excuses. I'd been drinking. And I was buzzing. I hadn't eaten much today. Maybe I had diabetes and was prone to random acts of head. Oh yeah. that sounded believable. Must write that one down for later.
Jase: "Keep saying my name. And I'll never stop. I swear to you."
Tess: "If you say we should have done that or if you apologize ... I will punch you in the balls."
Jase: "I wasn't going to say either of those things."
Jase: "No. I was just going to tell you that was the best ... the best goddamn drive down these roads I've ever had."
Tess: "You regret it, don't you? I'm not plastered. I know exactly what I was doing. I wanted to do it. Maybe it wasn't my smartest idea-"
Jase: "I fucking disagree with that. It was brilliant, but ..."
His features softened as he placed his large hand against my cheek
Jase: "If I'd known you'd been drinking, I would've stopped you."
Tess: "And if I wasn't drinking?"
Jase: "I think you know the answer to that."
Tess: "But I'm not drunk. I wanted to do that to you. I wanted -"
Jase: "You have got to stop talking like that."
Tess: "Like what?"
Jase: "Telling me that you wanted to. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad to hear that, but it makes me want to let you do it again. And for me to do it again. But I wouldn't want to use just my tongue."
He pressed his forehead to mine
Jase: "I'd start with that, but I'd want to use my hands and I wouldn't stop there."
His words scalded my cheeks
Tess: "I wouldn't stop you."
Jase: "Right now, let me just get your not-drunk-but-slightly-tipsy cute ass upstairs."
Tess: "You think my ass is cute?"
He pulled away, laughing
Jase: "Baby, your ass is like my own personal holy ground."
Jase: "You're better than that and you deserve more than that. I know that doesn't mean a lot, but it wasn't the right way, and in the end, it was fucking pointless because here you are and I can't stay away from you."
Jase: "Did you tell him?"
Tess: "No. He still thinks I'm sick. Did you?"
He shook his head
Jase: "I figured he'd ask why I was with you and not him. And then that would lead to other questions, and well, I figured they'd best be answered not over the phone."
Tess: "You think answering some questions would be best face-to-face?"
Jase: "I'd have to deploy my charm again."
Tess: "I don't think that kind of charm will work on my brother."
Jase: "Ye have little faith."
Tess: "You don't have to carry me."
Jase: "I know. Now hold on."
I folded my arms around his neck. My fingers fisted the shirt along his shoulders.
Tess: "I could use my crutches."
Jase: "And I'm using my brawny, spectacular muscles."
Tess: "They are quite spectacular."
Jase: "Damn straight they are."
Jase: "I can't forget the taste of you. And I've been dying to know how you feel."
Tess: "Jase, I've had feelings for you since you came to my parents house - that very first night. And I know that sounds stupid and childish, but you ... well, you were like a hero to me."
He blinked and opened his mouth
Tess: "Wait. Like I said, I know that sounds stupid, but it was how I felt. That night you kissed me, well, all it did was cement the way I felt. And when I didn't hear from you or see you until I showed up here, I did see other people.
Jase: "I'm not sure I like the sound of that."
Tess: "But none of them compared to you. And I did compare everyone to you. I couldn't help it. They ... they just weren't you. They were never you."
Jase: "That sounds better."
I narrowed my eyes at him
Tess: "Anywho, what I want has nothing to did with my knee or dancing. I've always wanted you, regardless of the time we didn't see each other or because you have a son. That hasn't changed how I feel."
Jase stared at me a moment and then gave a little shake of his head. My heart stopped and then skipped a beat.
Jase: "When I saw you for the first time, I thought you were absolutely beautiful."
Two spots on his cheeks flushed
Jase: "Man, I felt like a dirt bag. You were my best friend's little sister. You were only sixteen and you had just gotten out of a terrible situation."
Tess: "Not exactly relationship material, huh?"
Jase: "And I .... well, I always knew you deserved someone better than me."
When I opened my mouth, he went on.
Jase: "It's the truth, Tess. And I haven't met a single guy who deserves you. You know, I've tried staying away from you. I've tried ignoring how I feel about you, which isn't how I should feel. But it's like fighting a losing battle. And I don't want to fight it anymore. I don't want to ignore this. And I'm going to be honest, baby, things won't be easy with me. There's going to be a lot of bridges we're going to have to cross when we get to them. And I really don't know what 'this' is. I gave up a long time ago when it comes to figuring out why we do the things we do. Or why we want the things we want. Truth is, we've known each other for years, but we don't really know each other. Not like that. But I need to know you."
Jase: "We need to tell your brother."
And the would be terrifying. For Jase. But I smiled.
Tess: "Maybe I'll just update my Facebook to 'in a relationship' and tag you?"
Jase snickered and dropped another kiss on my forehead.
Jase: "That should go over well."
Jase: "Anyone hungry? I'm starving and I'd do some terrible, nasty things for some Aussie cheese fries."
Avery: "Do we want to know?"
Jase opened his mouth.
Cam: "No. You do not want to know what Jase has already probably done for cheese fries."
Jase: "All I have to say is desperate hookers aint got nothing on me."
He winked when Avery flushed the color of the throw pillow I was leaning against.
Tess: "Wow. That's .... well, that's disgusting."
His grin turned mischievous.
Cam: "Are you guys coming?"
Cam's voice floated up the stairwell.
Cam: "Or is Jase doing some of those hooker acts of desperation for cheese fries?"
Tess: "What exactly will you do for extra cheese and bacon?"
Jase: "I'd get on my knees and get right up between your pretty thighs and eat you out like you can only dream of."
My mouth dropped open.
Jase: "You keep looking at me like that, I'm going to strip the clothes off you and get so far deep inside you that I'll never get out."
Tess: "I don't see anything wrong with that."
Jase: "You make this so hard."
Tess: "I do?"
I reached for him and as my fingers brushed the visible line in his jeans, he caught my wrist in a gentle grasp. In confusion, I raised my gaze to his.
His eyes squeezed closed
Jase: "Yeah, you make me hard. All the fucking time. I'm a constant walking erection around you, but I ... I want to do this the right way."
My fingers curled in as he held my hand near his chest
Tess: "The right way?"
When his eyes reopened, a slight pink flush stained his cheeks.
Jase: "The right way. You know. Us not being just all about sex. As hard as it is to go slow with this, because damn, baby, I want you in every way imaginable."
He lowered my hand and pressed his erection against my palm, proving his next words.
Jase: "I want you so badly right now it's killing me, but every girl I've been with since .... since a really long time has only ever been about sex. Getting in. Getting off. Then getting out."
Tess: "Like Steph?"
Jase: "Yeah, like Steph. And that was okay with her - with them. Because as much as a dick as this makes me sound like, I didn't care about them. Not like I care about you, Tess. I want this - I want us to be different. I want us to mean more than sex. I need us to mean more than that. Okay?"
As I stared at him, a knot climbed up and got lodged in my throat. Tears filled my eyes.
His pupils dilated as he dropped my hand and cupped my cheeks
Jase: "Baby, why are you about to cry? Did I -"
Tess: "You didn't do anything wrong. You didn't everything perfectly."
Jase: "You sure? Fuck what I think is right and wrong. Because I can get naked in like two seconds flat and be inside you quicker than that."
I nodded and laughed again
Jase rested his forehead against mine and closed his eyes
Jase: "I want to take you on a date. I want to take you horseback riding. I want to tell your brother. I want to take you home to my parents and introduce you as my girlfriend. I want to prove this means more to me. I want to do this the right way."
Tess: " Cam's proposing to Avery!"
Jase: "He's done lost his damn mind."
I smacked him on the chest
Tess: "he hasn't lost his mind. He's found it."
Jase: "I'm kidding. And I already knew."
Tess: "What?" I slapped his chest again
Tess: "What do you mean you already knew?"
He rubbed the spot.
Jase: "Does it disturb you that I'm kind of getting turned on right now?"
I shook my head
Jase: "Maybe? I'm pretty erect right now to be honest."
Tess: "Oh my God ..."
I rubbed my hand over my hot cheek
Tess: "Okay. Back to the proposal. When did he tell you?"
Jase: "About a month ago. Want to smack me again? You could try my ass. I'll probably like that."
Mr. Winstead: "Well, darn, if I was about twenty years younger and there wasn't your mom ..."
Jase's head whipped toward his father.
Jase: "Come on, Dad, that's my girlfriend you're trying to hit on."
Mr. Winstead: "Girlfriend?"
Mr. Winstead: "Well ... That's good to hear."
He smiled, causing those stunningly familiar eyes to light to a beautiful silver. He looked at his son and nodded in a way I felt meant more that I could understand.
Mr. Winstead: "That's really great."
Jase: "Jesus Christ, Tess ..."
He caught my wrists, pinning them down. His chest was rising and falling rapidly.
Jase: "We are not going to do this."
I rocked my hips and he pulsed against me.
Tess: "I think he disagrees."
He choked on a laugh.
When I moved against him again, his grip on my wrists tightened.
Tess: "Don't you want me?"
Jase: "Fuck. I always want you. I've wanted you for years. I want you in every position known to man. But our first time isn't going to be after something like that, when you just want to forget what you saw and what you're feeling."
Heart pounding, I stared up into his eyes.
Tess: "Our first time?"
Jase: "I want you to be only thinking about me. I want you to be focused on me because you want to be and not because you're trying to escape something. I don't want what will happen between us to ever be overshadowed by something else."
Tess: "We're together. Jase and I are together."
My brother stared at me like I'd told him I was now dating his pet turtle.
Cam: "Bull. Shit."
Tess: "Excuse me?"
Cam: "You're not with Jase. No girl is with Jase - not longer than a night or a hookup here or there."
Jase: "It's not like that with Tess."
My brother cut him a dark look.
Cam: "That's my fucking sister, Jase. This isn't some fucking random girl. Don't forget that I know - I know shit and you're not getting my sister -"
Tess: "Whoa! I'm not 'some fucking random girl,' and it's different between us."
Cam: "Fucking Christ, Teresa, are you stupid?"
It was literally a nanosecond. One moment Jase was beside me, and the next he was off that bed, standing in front of my brother.
Jase: "Now, you can be pissed off at me all you want, Cam, but don't get in her face. Not after what -"
Cam: "Don't fucking step to me."
Cam got up in Jase's face, and my stomach plummeted. I scrambled out from under the covers, tugging the shirt down as my brother's face reddened.
Cam: "That's my little sister -"
Tess: "I'm not a kid, Cam! And you know Jase is a good guy, so stop being such an ass. We were going to tell you, but -"
I gasped as I put my weight down hard on my right leg and my knee started to turn
Jase whirled and started toward me
Jase: "Tess -"
Tess: "I'm fine."
I bent over slightly, placing my hand over my knee.
Cam: "Look at what you did."
Avery: "He didn't do anything. Cam, I think we need to step out for a few and give everyone time to cool off."
Jase: "I agree."
He gently pushed me down until I was sitting, which put me at eye level of his crotch, and this whole situation just got fucked up on multitude of levels.
Jase: "I think we both need to calm down."
Cam: "Like I give a fuck."
He turned halfway, shook his head, and faced us.
Cam: "How long? How long has this been going on?"
Jase straightened as he turned to my brother
Jase: "The first time I kissed her was a year ago -"
That was all he got out.
Like a speeding bullet, Cam shot forward. Avery shouted in alarm, and I lurched from the bed, but it was too late.
Cam's fist connected with Jase's jaw, spinning him back. He hit the wall with a loud curse and slid down, clutching his jaw.
I cried out, dropping onto the floor next to him.
Tess: "What the fuck is wrong with you?"
Cam: "He shouldn't -"
Tess: "He shouldn't what? Be there for me? Treat me like I should be? Be with me? Because he's doing all those things. So too fucking bad, because he is and I love him. So you can go fuck ..."
I trailed off as tingles swirled down the back of my neck. Slowly I turned to look at Jase. Blood drained from my face so fast that I thought I might pass out. What did I just say?
Tess: "Oh god ..."
The right side of his jaw was red, but he stared up at me, his eyes a bright silver.
Avery: "Come on, Cam, let's give them some space."
I watched the door close and debated on running out of the apartment.
The tips of Jase's fingers pressed into my cheeks, and he turned my head toward him. The look on his face, a mixture of wildness and stark vulnerability tripped up my heart. I opened my mouth to blurt out something else that probably didn't need to be said.
Jase's mouth captured mine, and there was nothing calm or gentle about the kiss. Our lips and teeth mashed together as his tongue thrust in. He slanted his head, spreading his hands as he devoured me. The kiss was rough, intense and sensual, overwhelmingly powerful. Shivers raced through me.
Tess: "Wait. Your jaw ..."
Jase: "I don't give a fuck about my jaw right now."
Tess: "Jase. My brother is right out there."
Jase: "Fuck your brother."
His hands moved up, closing over my breasts. Finally.
Jase: "Fuck everything outside of this room."
Jase: "I wanted to make this perfect. I wanted to wait, but I can't now."
My heart and pulse pounded, my core already rippling. I lifted my behind, pleased when the growl of approval rumbled through him.
Tess: "I want you. I've wanted you for so long. I lo -"
A soft knock on the bedroom door intruded.
Avery: "Teresa? Jase? I have a bag of ice for you."
It was like that bag of ice had pressed between both of our legs. We stopped, breathing heavily.
He dropped his forehead on mine and swore swiftly under his breath. A hard shudder rocked him, and he rolled off onto his back.
Jase: "I can't go to the door."
My gaze dropped to his pelvis and his arousal was so visible it made me want to weep in more than one way. Cursing her timing, she reined in my hormones and cleared my throat.
I smacked him on the chest, and he laughed, curling up his knees, and once he started, he didn't stop.
Jase: "That didn't go as planned."
I laughed in spite of everything
Tess: 'No shit."
A smile turned up his lips and he groaned, pulling back.
Tess: "Don't smile."
I pressed the bag back to his jaw
Tess: "Some of it wasn't bad."
Jase: "Wasn't bad?"
Slipping an arm around my waist, he tugged me forward and down, so I was sitting on his bent legs.
Jase: "Some of it was stuff wet dreams are made of."
I made a face.
Tess: "That's romantic."
His lips sealed over mine in a slow, languid kiss that stroked the unspent flames of desire. The kiss deepened as his tongue met mine, twisted and spiraled and, damn, this boy could kiss -
The bedroom door burst open and Cam barreled in
Cam: "For shits sake, do I need to hit you again, Jase?"
I moaned, breaking away and casting Cam dirty look
Tess: "DO you know how to knock? It isn't that hard."
He looked unrepentant as he glared at Jase.
Cam: "I came in here to try to talk this out and I walk in, and she's in your lap and you're fucking her with your tongue."
Cam: "Yeah, okay, I might've overreacted, but it's just because I care about you. You're my sister and I'm supposed to act like a douche when it comes to guys you're with."
Jase: "You got that part down to a science."
Jase: "I think you should walk around like this at least twice a day when I'm around. Once in the morning. Once at night."
Tess: 'You just want me to prance around in a towel, then?"
Jase: "Prance. Walk. Sit. Stand. Breathe. I'll be okay with any of those things."
He moaned against my lips
Jase: "I want you."
Molten lava flowed through my veins.
Tess: "You are what I want. I'm yours."
Jase: "Do you know how beautiful you are? How it affects me? I don't think you really understand, because if you did, I don't think you could just stand there. God, Tess, there isn't a part of you that's not perfect in my eyes."
Wrapping his arms around me, Jase drew me tightly to his chest, burying me against him as he jerked against me, running his hand idly up and down my back, tangling in my hair.
I didn't want to ever move. Not when he turned my head gently and his lips were a hot brand against my neck as he whispered the most powerful words I'd ever known.
Jase: "I love you."
Tess: "We can't be friends. I can't be friends with you, because I love you, and you've hurt me."
Avery: "You have to babysit Michelangelo and Raphael this weekend."
Tess: "The turtles?"
She grinned as she nodded
Avery: 'We're getting this one large habitat, so, you know, they can ... I don't know, head bob at each other and Cam wanted to go to this move, but I'm afraid they're going to kill each other."
Tess: "So you want me to be like a turtle bouncer? Break them up in one of them gets out of hand?"
Tess: "Okay. Deal."
Avery: "Oh, and I'm pretty sure Michelangelo is a girl, so try to stop them if they happen to look like they're getting it on. Cam and I aren't ready to be parents to a bunch of baby turtles."
Groaning, i flopped on my back.
Tess: "Oh God ..."
Cam: "You're really in love with him, aren't you?"
He shifted and then cursed under his breath
Cam: "I know you didn't want to hear this before, but you're going to listen now. The fucker is stupid, but the fucker loves you."
I opened my mouth
Cam: "Yeah, I know he pushed you away or whatever, but he's a guy and he's stupid. Hey, I can admit that. We do stupid shit. He sort of reminds me of Shortcake - of Avery - you know? She was like that in the beginning. For different reasons, but she ... she had her own issues she had to work through. And I think that's what he was doing."
Tess: "I love you like I love cupcakes."
Cam: "You dork, I love you too."
Jase: "I have had issues with getting lose to any girl because of Kari and Jack, but you ... you were different. You got under my skin and dug your way into my heart. Probably that first time we kissed, you got there and I though I could handle this - handle these feelings, but when I realized how deep they ran, it scared the shit out of me. I didn't want to get hurt again. I didn't want to lose someone like I already did. But then I almost lost you today. For real. And that's what I've been scared of. I would've lost you before I even had you. And the very thought of that kills me."
Tess: "Will ... will you stay with me? As long as they let you?"
Jase: "Baby, I'm all yours if you want me to be."
Those words seemed to be heavy with meaning and I felt my chest spasm
Tess: "I do."
Jase: "I think your father looks like he wants to take me hunting. Like a special, scary hunting trip where I'm the game."
Avery: "You know, you're probably not too far off with that assessment."
Jase: "Great. Your dad used to love me."
Jase: "I'm sorry. If this is too rough, if this hurts, you've -"
Tess: "It doesn't. I won't break."
Jase: "Damn good things to hear. Because you're the kind of toy I plan to play with for a very, very long time."
I arched a brow, and he sent me a wickedly mischievous wink as he extracted my legs from around his waist and settled my feet onto the floor.
Jase: "I wanted to talk to you first."
He tugged my cardigan off, tossing it to the floor. At this moment talking was so overrated.
Jase: "Before it got to this, but I can't wait. I need to be in you. If you don't want that, you stop me now and I will back off. I'll do whatever you want me to do. If you want to talk, we'll talk first. If you want me to get the fuck out of your face, I will, but if you tell me to stay, I'm going to be so deep inside you, you'll think I'll never come out again. But know this. I made a huge mistake by pushing you away. I was a fucking coward, too scared of being hurt again, and I was hurting the moment you walked away. I id that to myself and to you, and I've never been more sorry in my life bout anything."
He dropped his forehead to mine and with a silky soft kiss, he gently parted my lips, working his velvety tongue against mine.
Jase: "And I'm more than willing to spend the rest of my life making it up to you, because I love you, Tess. I am so fucking in love with you in a way I've never loved someone before. Please let me prove that to you. Please, Tess."
His nimble fingers found their way under the sweats Cam had picked up for me to change into. As Jase slid them down my hips, my pulse pounded.
Jase: "There we go."
He kissed just below the band of my cotton panties.
Jase: "You know how I like to eat sweet things."
Tess: "Oh God ..."
Jase: "I love you, Tess. I love you so much."
My body clenched. Hot, tight shudders racked me.
Tess: "I love you, Jase."
Jase: "Say it again. I need to hear you say it."
Tess: "I love you. I love you."
I repeated it over and over, lost in pure sensations. My hips surged forward, grinding against his thigh and his hand.
Jase: "Fuck, I love hearing that."
Jase: "You ... you are amazing, Tess."
Tess: "No, I'm not. I just love you, Jase."
Jase: "I think I owe you a thank-you kiss."
Tess: "You don't owe me a thank-you, but I'll take the kiss anyway."
He smiled as his lips brushed over mine once and then twice, as soft as the snowflakes falling around us. His hand held me in place as he coaxed my mouth open, teasing the seam with his tongue. Heat flowed through me, causing my muscles to tense when he flicked his tongue over the roof of my mouth.
This was the kind of thank-you kiss I could get behind.
And Jase, well, he simply didn't just kiss. He tasted. He devoured. He promised pleasure with his lips and teased more to come with his tongue. The boy could offer a class on kissing. He made it an art form when he drew a soft moan from the depths of my core.
Mr. Winstead: "Now, come on, son. I taught you better than to kiss a pretty gal out in the cold."
His father's voice interrupted, spreading a hot flush across my face as Jase pulled back.
Jase: "I'm keeping her warm."
Mr. Winstead: "Come on. Yer mom has Jack in the kitchen, baking cookie for Mr. Santa."
Jace: "Is it a disaster?"
Mr. Winstead: "Boy, it's about as bad as you being in the kitchen. So, yeah, it's a disaster."
I laughed at the face Jase made
Tess: "Come to think of it, I've never seen you cook anything besides soup from a can yet."
His father laughed as we stepped into the house
Mr. Winstead: "Honey, that is not something ya'll want to see."
Jase: "Can I steal her away now? I want to show her the tree."
Mrs. Winstead: "Only if she wants to be stolen by you."
Jase: "Oh. she wants to be stolen by me."
I smacked his arm
Jase: "Don't be embarrassed."
Jase: "I wonder what Santa will put in your stocking. And under your tree."
I kissed his lips
Tess: "I already have everything I want for Christmas."
Jase: "Mmm. I don't. Because I'm greedy, I want to wake up with you tomorrow morning. That's what I want."
Tess: "But -"
Jase: "Cam's already left with Avery and I was taking you up late tomorrow morning. So why should I take you back to the apartment tonight? You can stay here with me. My parents wouldn't care. We can pretend we're sixteen and having quiet, dirty sex so no one hears us."
Tess: "You're such a perv."
Jase: "I am. Stay with me?"
Tess: "Like I'd say no."
Jase: "I never could picture myself married, you know. After what happened with Kai and spending these last couple of years watching my parents raise Jack, I didn't see a family for myself in the future. But that's changed. And it changed because of you. Now I can see myself married, and I cn see myself having my own family. With you. And that's the best gift I could ever have."
I opened my mouth, but I was beyond words.
He cupped my cheek
Jase: "Say something."
Tess: "God, Jase. I love you. I love you so much."
Jack held out a half-eaten chocolate chip cookie.
I took it and broke it in half, holding on half up. Jase's lips brushed my fingers as he took the whole thing in his mouth, causing Jack to burst into giggles.
Tess: 'These cookies are the best."
A proud smile puffed up his round cheeks
Jack: "Cuz I made them."
Jase: "That's right. You've got mad cooking skills."
Jack: "I wanna make Krispie treats next year for Santa."
Jase: "I don't have good luck with those things."
Tess: "That's okay. I can teach you. I make some really good rice krispie treats."
Jack's eyes widened
Check out the rest of the Wait for You series below
The Proposal - A Cam & Avery Extra Read (takes place after Be With Me)
Believe in Me - Short story with Ollie & Brittney