The Way I Hate Him: Chapter 21

HAYES

“You promise she won’t hate me?” Hattie asks as we make our way to Gran’s apartment.

“No, she’s going to be thrilled to meet you even though she technically knows who you are.”

“How do you know? What if she thinks I’m some sort of fangirl trying to get pregnant so you’re attached to me forever?”

“Honestly, she’d welcome the idea.”

“Huh?” Hattie asks, the cutest crinkle to her nose.

“Gran has been a little nutty recently. She’ll tell you she’s dying in the next six months, but trust me when I say she’s not. And she’ll also most likely ask you if you’re pregnant, but for her benefit because she wants a great-grandchild.”

“Oh God, really?”

“Yes. She’ll hammer home the idea of you getting pregnant. Just be prepared for that.”

I pull into the parking spot for Gran’s apartment and put the car in park.

“And if she says anything that offends you, I’m sorry in advance. Like I said, she’s a little nutty. Just be mentally prepared for that.”

“Nutty I can handle, but angry with me for having sex with her famous grandson? Not sure I can handle that one.”

“There won’t be any anger, I promise.” I round the car and open her door for her.

Dressed in a pretty light green dress with her hair styled up into a high ponytail, she looks so damn beautiful that I keep telling myself how lucky I am to have her in my life. I take her hand in mine, and we walk up to Gran’s apartment, wondering if I should start thinking about a single-floor place for her to stay. Although, she loves the second floor because she has a better view. Seems like I might need to look into one of those chairlifts for the stairs. That way she gets her view and doesn’t have to worry about walking up and down the stairs.

When I reach her door, I squeeze Hattie’s hand, and I offer a knock.

“Why do you always knock? Just come in,” Gran shouts from her chair.

Turning to Hattie, I whisper, “Prepare yourself.”

I open the door and step in first, Hattie trailing me. “There you are,” Gran says. “But where is your lady friend?”

I tug Hattie forward who smiles and waves at Gran. “Hello, it’s so nice to meet you,” Hattie says.

Gran adjusts her glasses on her nose and gives Hattie the most thorough once-over I’ve ever witnessed. Slow and observant, Gran scans her from her feet all the way up to her face. And when she’s finally done, she says, “Great hips for having a child.”

Yup, I fucking knew it.

“Oh, uh, thank you,” Hattie says awkwardly.

“Are you pregnant?” Gran asks.

“Can you please not start with that?” I ask her. “Maybe say hi and get to know Hattie before you start asking her about her uterus?”

Gran shakes her head. “We don’t have time for pleasantries. I’m dying, and I need great-grandchildren. So, are you pregnant?”

Thankfully, Hattie handles Gran with grace. She walks into the room and sits across from her in the seat I normally occupy while visiting. “I’m not pregnant. I’m sorry.”

“What a shame,” Gran says. “You seem like you could handle a pregnancy well.”

“You know, I’ve thought the same thing,” Hattie says. “But your grandson doesn’t want to get me pregnant. Told me to my face, can you believe that?”

What the hell?

“Hayes Richard Farrow!” Gran yells. “How dare you say you don’t want her children when you know damn well she has the hips for it?”

“That’s what I told him,” Hattie says. “I pointed at my hips and said, ‘these were made for your baby.’”

“Stand up,” Gran says. Hattie stands in front of her, and to my horror, Gran grips Hattie’s hips and gives them a good shake. “By God, they’re sturdy.” She looks up at Hattie. “Has he implanted his seed?”

“Okay, that’s enough,” I say, moving Hattie away from Gran. “Jesus. I didn’t bring Hattie here so you can berate her about having my baby.”

“Then why did you bring her here?” Gran asks as I take a seat on the chair across from her and pull Hattie down on my lap.

“Because I wanted to introduce you to my girlfriend.”

Gran waves her hand dismissively. “Oh, I know who Hattie Rowley is. She dated that pipsqueak Matt for a while. She leveled up if you ask me. Although she might be a little out of your league, Hayes. Have you thought about that?”

“Yeah, have you thought about that, Hayes?” Hattie asks, looking back at me.

Oh, is she going to pay for this later. “I have, and I’m just going to be grateful for every minute she gives me.”

Gran shakes her head. “He says those kinds of things in his songs. Make sure you stay on your toes.”

Hattie chuckles. “Oh, I will.”

“Good.” Gran takes a deep breath. “Well, I am glad to see that smile on my grandson’s face. Not sure I’ve seen a genuine smile in a while. It means you’re doing something right, Hattie Rowley.”

“She is,” I say, giving her a squeeze. “I like her a lot, Gran.” I kiss Hattie’s cheek, and that perfect blush of hers creeps out over her cheeks.

“Yes, I can see that. He’s had quite the thing for you for a while now. Told me you were off limits a little bit ago, but it doesn’t look like you were that off limits.”

Hattie chuckles. “We had some complications to work through, but I’m glad we figured it out because as much as I don’t like to inflate his ego, I’ve liked him for a while too.”

“Then it’s settled.” Gran claps her hands together. “You’re going to get pregnant.”

Jesus.

Christ.


“YOU GOOD, GRAN?” I ask as I sit her in a chair that overlooks the party at the inn.

“Yes, this is great. Just keep Ethel away from me, or else she’ll find my cane up her butt.”

“She’s been properly warned,” I say, which was an awkward conversation to have with Ethel. I just told her Gran was not in the mood for conversation, and unless she wanted to have an old lady go off during her event, just stay away. Ethel understood, thankfully.

“Can I get you anything to drink?”

She shakes her head as she holds her cane, staring out toward the ocean, and I can tell this is exactly what she needs. I wish she’d come out of her apartment more, and maybe that’s on me. Perhaps I need to encourage her more. The moment I told her I was taking her to this event, she didn’t put up much of a fight. I think the stairs are a challenge, though, and I’ll look into a chair that will get her up and down the stairs without a problem. It’s the least I can do.

“Okay, well, holler if you need anything, okay?”

“Hayes?” She reaches for my hand. I squat in front of her. “I like Hattie for you.”

“I like her too, Gran.”

Cupping my cheek, she says, “Are you okay? I know you can self-sabotage when things are good.”

“I don’t self-sabotage.”

“You do, dear. When you got your first record deal, you started doing drugs. When you hit the Billboard, you decided to test your luck on your bike and got in a huge accident that could have ended your life. With your first stadium tour, you decided to drown your days in alcohol because your fame skyrocketed. You’ve found a way to drown, numb, and tamp down your success. Hattie is a success, and I don’t want you to do the same thing.”

Wow, from insane pregnancy to dying talk to this. Leave it to Gran to be able to bring in the serious tones when needed.

I roll my teeth over my bottom lip as I glance over at Hattie. She’s twirling around with Mac out on the lawn, blowing bubbles. “In the back of my mind, I do fear I might fuck it up.”

Gran forces me to look at her. “Don’t put that fear in your head. You are right for her. You deserve her.”

“Do I?” I ask softly. “The only love I’ve truly had in this world is yours. I was raised to think I wasn’t important enough, good enough. You’re the only one who has loved me.”

“For good reason.” She grips my cheek tighter. “Because you bring light to this world, Hayes. I don’t care what your father said to you on his way out the door. I don’t care what your mother said to you when you were seeking out her unnecessary approval. You deserve the world, Hayes. You deserve the good. You deserve the love. Hattie is everything I could ask for you. Recognize that and hold on to it.”

I nod. “I’m going to, Gran.”

She softly smiles and strokes my cheek. “She’s so beautiful. Witty. She joked right along with me. And I can see the way you look at her. You love her, don’t you?”

I don’t even have to think about it as I say, “I do. It happened quick, but I love her.”

“Have you told her?”

I shake my head. “No. It’s too soon.”

“It’s never too soon to tell someone how you feel. It’s something I should have done a lot sooner when I took you into my home.” Her eyes soften. I swear I’ve never seen Gran like this. Not sure if it’s the fresh air, or her seeing me with Hattie, but her demeanor has completely changed. “I’m so proud of you, Hayes. Everything you’ve done, everything you’ve gone through. I’m very proud of you.”

Well . . . Jesus.

“Thanks, Gran,” I say, feeling weird that we’re having a heart-to-heart in the middle of a Five Six Seven Eight event.

“Now, go have fun. I want to sit here in silence as I contemplate the rest of my time on this earth.”

Annnnd she’s back.

I lean over and press a kiss to her cheek before standing and heading over to the bar for a drink.

I nod at the bartender. “Diet Coke, please.”

“Not putting anything in that Diet Coke?” a voice says from the side of me. I glance to the right and find Abel and Ryland with drinks in their hands.

“Do you have something in your drinks?” I ask them.

They both nod and bring their glasses to their lips at the same time.

I turn back to the bartender and I don’t have to say anything, he just nods and says, “I got you, man.”

“Thanks.” I reach into my wallet and pull out a twenty. I slip it across the bar as he hands me my drink, then I join the boys . . . something I didn’t think I’d ever do . . . again.

“I didn’t think you guys went to these events,” I say as we step off to the side.

“Mac wanted to come,” Ryland says. “I forced Aubree who forced Hattie, who I’m assuming forced you.”

“Yup. But then I invited Gran because she needs fresh air.”

“And I have serious FOMO, so that’s why I’m here,” Abel says.

“So basically, we can blame this all on Mac,” Ryland adds. “Although, Ethel did corner us the other day and told her there would be cotton candy and carnival games. Of course Mac begged to come, so in reality, this is Ethel’s fault.”

“It’s the whole Society’s fault,” Abel says. “Meredith, my nurse, overheard Dee Dee and Keesha talking about a friend they know who works at Lovemark.”

“The romance channel?” I ask.

Abel nods. “They want to bring business to Almond Bay, have some movies made here. Apparently, a small town in Maine, Port something or other, has truly made a name for itself from some of the movies that have taken place there. And you know the Peach Society will do anything to make sure Almond Bay remains a popular tourist destination. So putting on more events like this is something they’ll continue. And pressuring the community to join is part of it.”

“Wow, and here we thought Ethel was just trying to bring the town together for a fun event,” I say, shaking my head. “There’s always motive behind everything.”

“I don’t know.” Abel shrugs. “Could be kind of cool. Maybe we could be extras in some of those romance movies.”

“Hayes Farrow as an extra in a Lovemark movie, now that’s something I have to see,” Ryland says.

“Why is that so funny to you?” I ask. “Don’t I look like the Lovemark kind of guy? Maybe it’s what I need for my acting career to launch. Jennifer Lopez had to start somewhere, so maybe this is where I start.”

“Nah, you already started with those shirtless fragrance commercials,” Ryland says with a teasing smirk.

“For someone who’s hated me for the past decade, you sure know a lot about me.”

He chuckles. “Hard to avoid you these days. If it’s not your music on the radio, or my students talking about you, it’s the fragrance commercials on the TV, or the mention of you in town. Pretty hard to avoid.”

Abel rocks on his heels. “I think he’s secretly been harboring feelings for you. Everyone says there’s a thin line between love and hate.”

“We’re not even text acquaintances yet,” Ryland says. “There’s no fucking love.”

“Not yet.” I tip my glass toward him just as my phone buzzes in my pocket.

“He’s easy to win over,” Abel says. “Just bring him some donuts from The Sweet Lab, and he’s sold,” Abel adds as I pull my phone out of my pocket and see that it’s a text from Hattie.

“I stopped eating the donuts,” Ryland says as he pats his stomach. “Pants were starting to get tight.”

“Says the guy with the eight-pack,” Abel scoffs.

I glance at the text and read it just in case she was looking for anything.

Hattie: You look so hot right now. I want your cock in my mouth.

I nearly choke on my drink as I quickly turn my phone down, terrified that Abel or Ryland might have seen that.

“You okay?” Ryland asks as I cough out my rum and Diet Coke.

“Yup,” I say in a high-pitched, I’m actually not okay tone.

“You sure?” Abel asks.

I nod as my phone buzzes again.

“All good. Just swallowed wrong.”

“I once snorted Diet Coke, and I swear it stung for a week,” Abel says.

“Why were you snorting Diet Coke?” Ryland asks.

“Not like . . . snorting snorting,” Abel says as I glance down at my phone.

Hattie: I want you to come down my throat . . . I’m thirsty.

Jesus.

Fucking.

Christ.

I glance up at where she’s sitting in a lawn chair watching Aubree and Mac play a bean bag tossing game. When her eyes catch mine, she mischievously smiles.

With one hand, I text her back.

Hayes: Knock it off. Your brother is like two feet away.

“You still like baseball, right?” Abel asks, elbowing me.

“Huh?” I look up. How did we go from snorting Diet Coke to baseball? “Oh, uh, yeah. Haven’t been following it too much. Why?”

“Coach Disik from Brentwood is coming to one of Ryland’s games. He’s interested in a few of his players.”

“Oh shit, really?” I ask. “That’s the school Knox Gentry went to, right?”

My phone buzzes.

Mother of God.

“And Carson Stone,” Ryland adds. “Yeah, I’m pretty excited. We’ve built the program to the point we’re now gaining national attention. I have a left-hander on the mound that Disik really loves.”

“Wow, that’s amazing,” I say, my phone buzzing again.

“Look at you two,” Abel says, glancing between us. “It’s like . . . we’re family all over again. Just like old times.”

“Only a few more wrinkles,” Ryland says.

“Speak for yourself,” Abel replies. “I have a solid skincare routine that keeps me young.”

Buzz.

Christ.

I peek at my phone.

Hattie: I’m wet just thinking about swirling my tongue around the tip of your cock. Uncomfortably wet.

Hattie: Meet me in the bathroom next to the registration desk. Knock three times so I know it’s you.

I glance up from my phone to where she was sitting, but she’s no longer there.

Shit.

“Maybe we can have a sleepover sometime,” Abel says, pulling my attention again.

“What?” I ask.

He shrugs. “A sleepover. Don’t you think that would be fun?”

“We’re in our fucking thirties,” Ryland says. “Grown-ass men don’t have sleepovers.”

“If tents are involved, they sure do.” Abel sips his drink. “You can’t tell me a camping trip isn’t just a grown man’s version of having a sleepover.”

“You want to go on a camping trip?” I ask.

“Wouldn’t hurt for us to spend more time together now that you two are talking to each other. Also, it wouldn’t hurt you two to buy me something. I’m looking for a new tent.”

“Why the hell would we buy you something?” Ryland asks.

“Isn’t it obvious?” Abel asks, my phone buzzing in my hand. “I’ve dealt with both of you for the past decade, and I’ve handled it with grace. So yeah, you two owe me something. I like blue tents.”

“Jesus,” Ryland mutters as I glance at my phone. This time, it’s a picture.

Holy.

Fuck.

I swallow hard as I stare at it for a second too long, Hattie’s bare tits on full display.

Her small nipples are hard and pointed, her hand dragging down her cleavage, her tongue wetting her lips.

That’s all it takes for me to go hard right in front of her goddamn brother.

“What are you looking at?” Abel asks, starting to lean over.

“Nothing!” I practically yell, sweat forming on my lower back as I slide my phone in my pocket. “Nothing.” I nervously laugh as Abel and Ryland exchange confused glances.

Jesus, did Abel see her?

Can they see my bulge?

Can they tell that I’m sweating?

“You okay?” Abel asks.

“Fine, yeah, great.” I take a huge gulp of my drink, trying to will my erection to fucking settle down, but it feels like an impossible feat with Hattie’s tits branded in my brain.

“You don’t look fine,” Ryland says as my phone buzzes again. I have a feeling it’ll keep buzzing until I show up in the bathroom.

“Actually, I, uh, I have to take a leak.” I pat Abel on the shoulder. “Good luck with the tent and all; not sure you earned it.”

“The fuck I didn’t,” he says.

Ryland asks, “When did you start camping?”

Perfect, I got them talking about something other than my awkward exit.

Fucking Hattie, she’s going to be in so much trouble.

I set my drink down on the bar, and with a half hard-on, I make my way into the inn, past the registration desk, and straight to the single bathroom, where I knock three times.

I have no intention of getting my dick sucked at a town event where anyone could hear us, but I do intend to tell Hattie what she can and cannot text me while I’m talking to her brother.

The door opens, and I push through, only for the door to be slammed and locked behind me. When I glimpse Hattie naked except for a thin thong that wraps around her hips, my mouth goes dry.

Okay, uh, what was I going to say to her?

She pushes me up against the bathroom counter, and her hands fall to the zipper of my jeans.

“Hattie, what are you—”

“I was serious when I said I was thirsty.”

And then she pushes my jeans and briefs down at the same time, releasing my cock. She kneels in front of me, and she has me in her hands, massaging me to my full length before I can blink.

You should stop her.

You were supposed to lecture her.

But Jesus . . . the way she’s pumping me . . .

I grip the counter behind me and hold on as her mouth moves between my legs. She kisses my balls, lightly licking them, then sucking them into her mouth.

“Jesus, Hattie,” I growl out. No way I’m fucking stopping her now.

Her hands run up my cock, move over the tip, and then back down again where she positions me at her mouth. Without giving me a second to catch my breath, she brings me all the way to the back of her throat and swallows. That’s the moment when I lose all sense. She places both hands on my hips and moves her mouth over my length. Taking me all the way in, she then smoothes her lips over the tip when she gets to the end. It’s such a delicious, toe-curling sensation. I’m quickly getting lost in the warmth of her mouth and forgetting everything else.

I stare down at her, her cheeks hollowing out as she sucks, her sexy tits bobbing with her movement, her puckered nipples needing my attention. I cup her cheek and watch as she takes me farther, gagging before she pulls away, and Jesus Christ, that feels so good.

“Again, baby,” I say, and she does.

She takes me all the way back until she gags, and it sends a shiver of pleasure down my legs.

“Again.”

She pulls me in tight, her tongue running along the bottom of my cock, and when she gags this time, I feel my balls tighten.

“Close,” I mutter as my mind swirls with euphoria, my muscles contracting as my body prepares for what’s to come.

Her mouth pulls to the tip, and her hand finds my length, where she starts pumping me hard, her lips only sucking the very end of my cock.

And she sucks hard, her lips pulling, tugging, fucking owning me.

“Fuck, baby,” I groan as I hold on tightly to the counter.

She sucks.

She tugs.

She sucks . . .

And with her last tug, I still as a ferocious orgasm rips through me, buckling me forward as I hold back my moan, my chest and forearm muscles flexing as I try to control myself despite my dick convulsing in her mouth.

“Fucking hell,” I say as I try to catch my breath while she licks me clean.

When done, she stands and presses a kiss to my jaw. “Thank you,” she whispers before she picks up her dress hanging from a hook on the back of the door and slips it on.

“Wh-what are you doing?” I ask, feeling like she just sucked the life out of me.

“I told Mac I’d do the ping-pong toss with her. Trying to win her a fish Ryland will have to take care of as well.” She has an evil grin on her lips as she attempts to move past me, but I stop her with a hand to her stomach.

“You said you were wet,” I say.

“Yes, I took care of it before you got here.”

“What?” I ask, my eyes flashing to hers.

“I was really horny, and you took too long. I came in seconds just thinking about how I’d suck you off.”

My eyes narrow. “You touched yourself without me?”

She pats my chest. “Next time, don’t take so long.”

That doesn’t fucking settle well with me.

Sure, I was hesitant, but I don’t ever want her coming without me.

I don’t let her move as I lower my lips to her ear. “I don’t fucking like that,” I growl.

Her eyes meet mine. “Well, I don’t like that you took so long.”

“You were sexting me when I was talking to your brother. What the hell was I supposed to do?”

Her fingers dance along my chest. “Forget my brother and fuck me.”

Jesus, this woman.

In a deep, tortured voice, I say, “Don’t do that again, you hear me?”

“What are you going to do about it?” she asks, testing me.

I lift her chin and say, “Punish you.”

“Is that supposed to scare me?”

“When I tie you up and edge you all night, never letting you come, yeah, that should scare you.” I move my hand between her legs and cup her. “This is my pussy. No one touches it, not even you. If you want to come, you ask me. Don’t ever take your pleasure without me again. Understood?”

Her heated eyes stay locked on mine as she says, “Understood.”

She moves again, but I stop her. “And tonight, you’ll come to my place and sit on my face until you scream my name. Got it?”

There’s a hitch in her breath as she nods.

“Good.” I lean down and kiss her gently on the lips. “Thank you for the orgasm, baby, but don’t make me hard in front of your brother next time.”

“But that was the fun part.”

“You’re evil,” I say as she chuckles and exits the bathroom. I follow her, and when no one is around to see us walk out together, I link my hand with hers and bring her knuckles up to my lips. I press a light kiss to her hand, and she smiles up at me.

That smile.

Those eyes.

Fuck me . . . I’m so in love with this woman.

“You deserve the world, Hayes. You deserve the good. You deserve the love. Hattie is everything I could ask for you. Recognize that and hold on to it.”

I hear you, Gran.

And I’ll make sure I do everything in my power to keep her as mine.

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