Dirty Together (The Dirty Billionaire Trilogy #3)(10)


by Meghan March

Logan looks from me to Creighton and does exactly that. The men both carry in armfuls of grocery bags.

“Damn, you planning to feed the whole neighborhood?” Logan asks before pausing and adding, “Or are you planning on staying a while?”

“Staying as long as Holly wants.” Creighton’s response is matter-of-fact.

I’m following them up the steps of the front porch and trip as the words come out of his mouth. I would have fallen on my face, but Crey drops an armload of bags and grabs me before my forehead connects with the porch’s wood planks.

“Shit, Holly. Are you okay?” he asks as he carefully spins me to face him.

Stunned, I stare up into his dark brown eyes, wondering when everything changed. I expected him to still be furious, as furious as he looked this morning. But instead I’m caught up in the arms of a man who is looking at me like not letting me fall is the most important thing in his life.

No man has ever dropped anything—literally or figuratively—to catch me from falling.

So in that moment, my two options become very clear: continue to hold up my walls and be afraid to rest easy in the safety of his arms, or lean into him and let the walls crumble around me.

Blind trust is a new concept for me. Actually, it never occurred to me to trust a man. They rotated in and out of my childhood, and except for Ben, no man has ever shown me that my trust would be safely placed with him. But Creighton might as well be a breed of his own.

“Holly?” Crey asks again, and I realize I’ve totally checked out.

“Yeah. I’m fine. Sorry. Just . . . missed a step.” Maybe missed a lot more than a step.

Creighton’s stare intensifies. “I think we’ve both missed several steps. And that’s something we’re going to rectify.”

He sets me on my feet and gathers up the bags. My gaze cuts to Logan, who is watching us both. His eyebrows are drawn together as if he’s trying to dissect what the heck is going on.

I pull open the door, and the men both carry their bags inside. “You can just put them on the table.”

Logan sets his down and looks to Creighton and then to me. “You need anything from me while you’re in town, just holler. You still want me to fix up the car? It’ll sell better if it runs.”

“You can tow it to the junkyard. Holly will have a new car waiting for her in Nashville.”

Okay, so maybe my trust is a gradual thing, and not so blind or immediate. Baby steps.

“Whoa. No one is selling my car or towing it to a junkyard. I need it.”

Logan is leaning against the cupboard, and Creighton is standing near the wall. Both men are looking at me with nearly identical expressions.

“You can’t drive that piece of shit,” Logan says.

“Says who?” I ask.

“Says me,” Creighton replies.

“Not your call.” My tone is adamant.

Logan pushes off the cupboard. “This sounds like a domestic issue. I’ll let you two sort it out.” He touches the brim of his baseball cap. “Call me when you decide.”

I open my mouth to tell him I’ve already decided, but Creighton moves to stand beside me and reaches down to thread his fingers through mine. When he squeezes lightly, the move silences me.

“Thanks, Brantley. We’ll be in touch.”

Logan crosses to the door, pulls it open, and gives us one last glance. He’s smirking, and I’m pretty sure he’s seeing something I’m not.

“See you around, Karas.”

When the door shuts behind Logan, I’m left in the kitchen with piles of Piggly Wiggly bags and my husband’s hand wrapped around mine.

Creighton releases his hold on me slowly, but his eyes never leave mine. He’s daring me to ask him the question that’s burning on my tongue. So I do.

“You’re staying?”

He doesn’t answer right away, just continues to hold my gaze until the urge to fidget has me shifting where I stand.

“We’re going to get one thing straight.”

“Okay,” I whisper.

“This whole disappearing act bullshit? It’s not so much fun to be on the other end, is it?”

I knew there would be consequences for my actions. I break his stare¸ looking down at my feet. “No. It’s not.”

He drops my hand and raises it to my jaw. Tilting my chin up, he forces me to meet his eyes. “No, it’s fucking not, Holly. And I’m done with it. No more running. This isn’t a game.”

My stomach flops wildly, and I know he’s right. “Okay. No more running.”

His grip on my chin tightens. “You have a problem, you feel the need to run, you come to me and we’ll figure it out.”

I nod, but instantly know he’ll want the words. “Okay. I . . . I’ll come to you. I won’t run. I swear.”

“Good girl.” His touch turns soft, his thumb smoothing across my cheek.

“So you’re staying?” I ask again, needing to hear those words from him.

“Yes, I’m staying.”

“You’re sure?”

He nods again, a smile tugging away the serious expression he had only moments ago. “Yes. Because you’re here.”

“As simple as that?”

“Not everything has to be complicated, Holly. We don’t have to be complicated.”

Creighton releases his hold on me, but his eyes never leave mine. I’m processing what just passed between us. I open my mouth to say something, but words desert me completely. Instead I reach into a bag on the table and start removing the contents. I freeze when I pull out a box of Lucky Charms.

Staring at the brightly colored cereal box, I mumble, “You bought Lucky Charms?”

“I thought you liked them. You mentioned them in your first single.”

This time my stomach flops again, but it’s a completely new emotion fueling it. My reference to the cereal was one fleeting mention in the second verse. Most people probably wouldn’t really notice.

“You actually listened to the lyrics of my first single?”

Creighton straightens. “Holly, I’ve seen you perform live almost a dozen times. I know every word of every song at this point.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah. Oh.” He turns, and instinctively I back up until my spine connects with the fridge.

He doesn’t touch me, just presses a palm to the fridge on either side of my head.