His One and Only(10)

By: Theodora Taylor

He hadn’t even needed her to tell him who she was. Her smell, her voice, her undeniable presence—he recognized it all in an instant. And despite his worries about whether he could still get it up after the concussion, he immediately knew it was all bullshit, because his dick had gone hard as a rock as soon as she touched his arm.

He mentally cursed his mother. It was one thing not to show up to see to him like any decent mother would have. He had long ago stopped expecting even a minimum of maternal behavior from her. But to hire Josie Witherspoon of all people…

His cock throbbed with almost painful need just knowing she was here, in the same house. It was even worse than when they had been teenagers and Josie had decided to go and sprout some serious curves the summer before she started at Forest Brook Senior High. The summer she turned seventeen.

He’d tried not to look, reminded himself Josie and he had practically been raised together, like brother and sister. But he definitely didn’t feel like her brother that hot afternoon when he watched her plump, heart-shaped butt swaying back and forth underneath her jean shorts as she walked out to the shed with a green apple and a stack of sci-fi books.

The airy shed held special meaning for her, too. It had been her favorite place to read since she was eight, and often when he saw her walking out there, he’d join her with one of the “great men of industry” biographies his father was always haranguing him to read. But that afternoon, instead of grabbing a book and joining her, he’d stood frozen on the back porch, hypnotized by her beautiful backside, to the point that he didn’t hear his father come up behind him.

“She isn’t for you, Son.”

He turned, startled, to find his father staring at him. Hard. “I was just…” Then he trailed off, not wanting to lie, but not knowing how else to explain why he’d been ogling Loretta’s daughter.

“I know exactly what you were doing, Junior, and I’m telling you, she isn’t for you.”

Beau Sr. was a few inches shorter than his son, but that didn’t make him any less intimidating when he stepped out onto the porch. “That Mindy LaSalle girl, she’s fine. A good girl from a good family. But you’re a Prescott and Prescott men don’t need to be associating with the help. Do you understand?”

“She’s not the help,” Beau answered. “I mean, I wasn’t planning on getting with her or anything, but she’s not the help. She’s Loretta’s daughter.”

His father leveled him with a censorious look. “You know what I mean. And if you don’t want to listen to me on this, think about Loretta, the woman you claim to love like a second mother.” He nodded toward the shed. “Loretta’s put just about near everything she’s earned in a college fund for that little gal. And she wouldn’t want you sniffing around her daughter.”

Beau looked away and felt his face grow hot. He would never want to jeopardize her future, nor did he want to disappoint Loretta. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw his father give him a grave shake of his silver head, “She isn’t for you, Junior. Leave her alone.”

And though Beau managed to stand up to his father about all sorts of things, including playing football, that short conversation had left him feeling guilty and uneasy. Not just because he got caught checking out Josie, but because of the how his father had made it sound like him having any kind of feelings for Josie would somehow ruin her. Plus, he already had a girlfriend, Mindy, the cute cheerleader who was a shoe-in for homecoming queen that year.

As a result, shunning Josie had felt less like a dick move and more like something he had to do when she came bouncing up to him on the first day of the school year to ask if she could catch a ride home after football practice. He was standing with his teammates, and Josie, it seemed, still hadn’t figure out that her new curves made not only him, but also other guys look at her as more than the knobby and bespectacled kid who liked to tag along with him from time to time.

His buddies all slid knowing looks at him, and one even asked, “How’s Mindy gonna feel about that?” just low enough that Beau could hear it, even if Josie could not.

“Look,” he said to Josie, shifting his backpack to his other shoulder, “you can talk to me when I’m at home and I need a plate of cookies or whatever, but when we’re here, I don’t know you. You’re gonna have to take the bus.”

His friends had snickered, and for a moment, Josie looked incredibly hurt, like a puppy who had been kicked. But to her credit, she quickly rearranged her face to a neutral setting and walked away with her chin up, like Beau wasn’t worth her hurt look or another moment of her time.