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     I take a second to look around my downtown Birmingham apartment. The one that is now currently filled with boxes, suitcases and random assortments of other moving containers.

     I remember when I first moved into this place. I remember feeling like this is where my adult life was really going to start. And looking back, it did. I started my business here. This is the place where I learned about myself and who I wanted to be.

But every chapter must come to a close, and while I’m going to miss this place and the people I love here, I can not wait to start the next part of my life.

     My life with Jake in Rolling Hills.

     I can’t help but let out a happy sigh as I make my way back to my bedroom, needing to put the finishing touches on my makeup before Jake and I meet my parents for a goodbye brunch.

     Also known as the brunch where Jake meets my parents for the first time.

     Yeah, I realize they probably should have met him more than a few hours before Jake and I put the final boxes into the moving truck, but in our defense, we’ve been busy.

     And not just the naked kind of busy. Though we have been doing that every time we get the chance. What can I say, when you date a man who is known for how his hips move, you take full advantage of it.

     But in the month since the night that changed it all, we have been moving in twenty different directions. I’ve been trying to figure out how to transition my business to a virtual setup to be able to work from Rolling Hills. Jake has been looking for a new place for us to live because even though we both love his house, it’s simply not big enough.

     I told him I had a lot of shoes. He didn’t believe it until he saw it.

     Now we have a cute three-bedroom house that gives me plenty of space to work and him plenty of space to keep creating his dance videos.

     Everything has been going according to plan. That was until my mother dropped the not-so-subtle hint that she would like to meet the man who is “taking her baby girl away from her.”

     Francine McAvoy has always had a flair for the dramatics.

     I make my way to my en suite bathroom and the image in front of me melts my heart in an instant.

     Jake is leaning over the counter, his hands braced on both sides, and it looks like he’s whispering to himself. I don’t mean to eavesdrop, but I’m pretty sure he just said, “don’t fuck this up.”

     “Are you still stressing?” I ask as I make my way into the bathroom, immediately wrapping my arms around his midsection.     “You know they are going to love you.”

     “Yes I’m stressing,” he says, taking my hand from his stomach and bringing it to his lips. “I’m about to meet my girlfriend's parents for the first time hours before I whisk her off to a town in Tennessee that barely registers on a GPS.”

     I place a kiss in the middle of his back before he spins me around so I’m now against the counter, his arms on each side of me. “I’ve instructed Daddy to be on his best behavior. And he got rid of all his guns years ago, so you don’t need to worry about that. Mama will love you. She might ask you how many grandbabies you plan on giving her, but she doesn’t mean tomorrow. At least I don’t think she does.”

     “Well that’s good to know.”

     “Don’t worry,” I say, hoping he really hears this and it will calm his nerves. “At the end of the day, they will see how happy you make me. And that’s all that matters. That you make me happier than I have ever been.”

     And that’s true. I am the happiest I’ve ever been. To be honest, happy doesn’t feel like a strong enough word. This man makes me feel a way I didn’t know was possible.

     He lets out a sigh and gives me a quick kiss. But I can tell my words haven’t soothed him at all.

     “While I know your parents want you to be happy, all I can think about is what if our daughter told us she was about to move in with a man we had never met? I’d want to murder him. So pardon me for being a little nervous.”

     My eyes grow wide at his words. Did he just say what I think he just said?

     “What did you just say?”

     He lets out a heavy sigh and brings his arms tighter around me. “I said, I can’t imagine our daughter moving in with a man we hadn’t met. I know I’d want to rip him to shreds. They are going to hate me.”

     I know my reaction is the wrong thing to do right now, but I can’t help but smile.

     I know he’s worried. I know he has lost sleep over meeting my parents. But right now, at this moment, I don’t know if I’ve ever been more in love with this man.

     “I’m glad my stress is bringing you joy,” he says, trying to break from me. That only makes me grab on and hold him tighter.

     “Your stress doesn’t bring me joy,” I say, rising on my tip toes and placing a kiss on his cheek. “But talking about our future? Knowing how much you want my parents to like you? Well, it’s working for me.”

     This takes him off guard. “What?”

     I begin running my fingers up and down the buttons of his white collared shirt. “I don’t want you to be nervous.”

     He lets out a humorless laugh. “That’s easier said than done sweetness. I’m about to go meet your father, in which there is a good chance he is going to dismember me for taking his daughter away, so yes Whitley. I am still nervous.” 

     I flash him a mischievous smile. “Well then, let me help you with that.”

     Before he can say anything else, I’m sinking to my knees and making quick work of the button and zipper of his pants. 

     “Whitley,” he groans, though I don’t know if he’s trying to stop me or urge me on. I don’t get to do this often — normally he is way too focused on me to let me have my fun. Not that I’m complaining.

     But right now? Now is the time for me to do this for him.

     I take his length in my hand and slowly lick under the base from root to tip, and judging by the way he immediately needs to grab on to the bathroom counter, this is doing exactly what I want.

     “Oh fuck Whitley.”

     His words send shivers down my spine as I slowly circle my tongue around his tip before taking him in my mouth. I have never been a girl who understood why some women liked giving blow jobs.

     Then I came to realize it’s more than just the act. It’s about the person you are giving it to.

     And not only that, but the way they make you feel while the act is happening.

     Take right now. I am working Jake’s dick like I’m trying to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, doing my best to make him forget things like meeting my parents, and he’s gathering my hair and bringing it away from my face. While one hand holds my hair back, the other has traveled down to the front of my sundress as his fingers find my nipple through the fabric.

     I’m trying to please him and he is still thinking about me.

     I swear to the Lord above I am going to marry this man.

     “Fuck sweetness. Just like that. Fuck yes.”

     His words spur me on and I pick up the pace even more, each time trying to take him a little farther into my mouth. It must have the desired effect because the sounds he is making from his mouth are both erotic and unintelligible.

     “I’m going to come Whitley. Stop now.”

     Like hell I am. Birmingham could be sinking into the ground right now and I wouldn’t stop this. But I have a feeling he’ll do something stupid like pull himself away.

     Like hell he is.

     To make sure he doesn’t, I take each of my hands and grab onto his delicious ass — the one he makes money shaking — and hold on for dear life.

     “Fuck! Whitley!”

     Before I know it, I feel his release in my mouth and his body shaking before me. I know for some women this is a turn off. But right now? I feel like the sexiest woman alive.

     I just made the man I love come to pieces. And there are few better things in the world than that.

     “Did it work?” I ask as Jake helps me to my feet before readjusting himself. “Are you relaxed?”

     He laughs, leaning in and placing a kiss on my forehead. “A blowjob like that is enough to put me to sleep. But now instead of worrying about your dad being mad that I’m taking his little girl away, all I’m going to think about is what she just did to me just a few hours before.”

     That makes me smile. “Well good. Because now you definitely won’t worry about the other thing.”

     He quirks an eyebrow at me. “What other thing?”

     I bite my lip as I grab the mouthwash. “I might have let it slip you were an Auburn fan.”

     His eyes grow wide. “You did what!? So not only am I the man taking away his little girl, I’m also the traitor.”

     I spit out the mouthwash, turn back to Jake and give him a quick kiss before pulling him toward the now empty bedroom.

     “Just don’t bring up the 2013 Iron Bowl and you’ll be fine. Come on. It’s time to meet Bo and Francine.”

* * *


     “Sit down. You and I need to have a talk. Whitley, go see what your mother is getting into. I swear I heard ruckus from the back porch.”

     On any given day, a million people could watch me dance on the internet half naked.

     I have grinded on assorted household furniture. I have taken my shirt off more times than I can count for strangers to watch on their phones. Hell, I even re-enacted the original dance on ForU that I gave for Doris and Daisy because, in their words, they are the reason I’m famous and the world needed to know who they were.

     They now have their own account.

     In none of those videos, or in the times that I’ve been noticed due to my sudden social media fame, have I felt nervous or self conscious. It has been a very long time since I’ve been this unsure of myself.

     Then again, I’ve never sat next to the father of my girlfriend and the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with as he’s about to interrogate me. Hell, I’m pretty sure if he could, he'd shine a light in my face like in the old detective shows.

     “You got this,” Whitley says, whispering in my ear. “And later, I’ll finish what I started today.”

     She places a quick kiss on my cheek and I have to actively tell myself not to adjust myself in front of her father. This woman… she’s going to be the death of me.

     And it will be the best way to die.

     Whitley closes the door to Bo’s study and I can’t help but look around at the shrine I’m sitting in. Signed footballs and pictures adorn the shelves on the built-in bookcases. Jerseys in frames hang on the wall.

     And on the corner of his desk, I can’t help but notice a picture of a younger Bo with a little girl sitting on his lap wearing a Crimson Tide cheerleader uniform.

     “She was four there,” Bo says, seeing what I’m looking at. “When Francine and I found out we were having a girl, she was obviously ecstatic. But me? Hell, I didn’t know anything about being a girl dad. I played football. I have three brothers. What did I know about raising a girl?”

     He stops for a second but I don’t say anything. It just feels right as I watch him gaze at the picture of him and Whitley.

     “Then she was born, and right then I knew that I would give her anything she asked. That girl had me wrapped around her finger from the moment she came into the world.”

     The smile on his face is not what I would come to expect from a Hall of Fame football player. But it is exactly what I would expect from a father who loves his daughter with his whole heart.

     “She has that way about her.”

     I didn’t mean to say that. It just slipped. It’s true though. Anyone who has ever met Whitley McAvoy for more than a minute can attest to that.

     “That she does. And there’s no easy way to ask this, so I’m just going to come right out with it. What are your intentions with my daughter? She’s clearly smitten with you. My girl wouldn’t be moving away just for any guy. Hell, I didn’t even know how to act today. I’ve never had to do this. But I need to know. I need to know my daughter is in good hands. I might do a shit job of showing it, but I love my kids. Can I have your word that she's safe with you?”

     I let out a sigh of relief, because this is what I was expecting.

     “I love your daughter sir. You say she had you wrapped around your finger from the moment she was born? She had me under her spell from the first time I saw her. I want her to live her best life with me. I want to see her succeed in ways she never thought possible. And one day, I hope to be back here asking you for your blessing to make her my wife.”

     I don’t know what I was hoping for after that speech. But some kind of reaction would be nice.

     Was it too much? Not enough?

     “You know what you’re getting into with her?” he asks, finally breaking the silence.

     “Yes sir. I’ve seen her shoe collection.”

     That earned me a laugh. “She gets that from her mother.”

     “What does she get from you, sir?”

     The look on his face clearly says that he wasn’t expecting that. Part of me wants to pat myself on the back for throwing him off. The other part of me is scared that I overstepped.

     Damn… can I go back to dancing in front of a camera? That is much easier than meeting the father.

     “I always wondered that,” Bo says, standing up from the chair he’s been sitting in and walking toward a mini bar he has in his study. “In almost every way, she’s Francine through and through. From the shoes to the looks to the sass. Then, just a few days ago actually, I finally figured it out.”

     “And what was that?”

     He stops for a second, pouring two glasses of brown liquid into glasses before offering me one of them.

     “Whitley never took chances,” Bo begins, but not before taking a sip. “She went to the family legacy school. She wasn’t a rebel teenager. She turned connections she already had into a business that came easy for her. That was me. I played it safe. Went to Alabama because that’s where my daddy went. Played football because I was good at it. Retired when it got hard. I didn’t take chances either.”

     I’m not sure where Bo is going with this, but I just sip on my drink as he gathers his thoughts.

     “Then I realized she might have been like me growing up, but my beautiful girl is her own woman. And I’m so glad for it. She’s taking the chance. She’s not doing what would be easy. And son, even though I can not believe my daughter is uprooting her life for an Auburn fan, I’m glad she’s met you. Because I don’t want her to be like me. I want her to be like her.”

     I set my drink down on the end table and extend my hand for Bo’s. “I’ll make sure of it, sir.”

     He returns the handshake and gives me a nod. “I’ll hold you to it.”

     “Are you boys done here?”

     Whitley’s voice breaks our handshake as she and Whitley stand in the doorway.

     “Just about,” Bo says. “I was just about getting ready to lecture him on why--

     “You can talk football later,” Francine says, busting past Whitley, through the door and grabbing me by the arm. I stumble as she all but drags me out of the study.

     “Mom!” Whitley yells, trying to catch up with us. “What are you doing?” 

     Francine doesn’t stop until we are a few steps away from the door that, from what I can tell, leads to a back patio.

A back patio that has no less than ten women sitting on chairs, all trying to look inside.

     “My book club is meeting,” Francine says, smoothing out her dress. “And well… they want to meet Jake. The least you can do is let me introduce him to my friends since he is taking you away from me.”

     Whitley gives her mom a questioning look. “Cut the crap Mom. You’ve been keeping me away from looking outside since we got here. What are you up to? And I thought y’all met on Thursdays?”

     Francine just shrugs. “It’s an emergency session.”

     “Emergency session? Of a book club?”

     Francine lets out a sigh. “Fine. Emmilene’s mother, you know Edith right? Well, she was going on and on about how she could never let her daughter date a man who danced on the internet. And of course I defended you Jake. My Whitley is happier than she ever has been. And though I hate she’s moving away, I’ll learn to deal with it. So, I told Edith she didn’t know what she was talking about. So naturally, the girls wanted to meet you for themselves.”

     I can’t help but laugh as I realize what Francine is asking me to do.

     Apparently Officer Sexy is giving an impromptu performance.

     Then I look at Whitley, who has nothing but fire in her eyes.

     Uh oh. I know that look. Whitley McAvoy is now on a mission…

     “Hey,” I say, turning her away from her mom and lowering my voice. “I don’t have to. I can just go out and say hi.”

     “Oh no you aren’t,” Whitley says, her voice fill with determination. “Edith is going to talk smack about you? We’re going to set that record straight right now. You are going to show those biddies what Officer Sexy is all about.”

     I can’t help but laugh. “You sure?”

     She takes my face in her hands, giving me a chaste kiss.

     “Better. I dare you.”

Thank you so much for reading Jake and Whitley! Now, I know you're thirsty, so go get some water. It's always important to stay hydrated when watching, and reading, thirst traps =)

Ready for your next stop in Rolling Hills? Knox is up next in Match Maker! You won't want to miss this blue-collar boy falling for the female billionaire. Yup, you read that right. 

Jake and Whitley's story isn't done quite yet. Their wedding is a pivotal point for every couple in the next series, which follows four best friends who live in Rolling Hills.

Get started FOR FREE with The One I Crave, an age gap, instalove romance! 

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