Tempting Love - Haley & Eddie (Crossroads #5)

By: Melanie Shawn

Her sisters (who were the only people privy to her long standing love-slash-crush-slash-infatuation of Eddie Thomas) made some valid points in their argument that she shouldn’t be wasting her time wishing things could be different between herself and Eddie. But Haley had finally come to the conclusion that she couldn’t reason with her heart. And even if Eddie never returned her feelings, Haley didn’t regret the years she’d spent loving him. Because she knew it was true love.

Her cousins might have given her a front-row view of how disgusting boys could be, but she’d also had a great seat as she’d watched all of them fall in love with their significant others. Oh boy, had they fallen and fallen hard. Luckily to amazing women—one of whom was Eddie’s sister Chelle, another was Haley’s boss Amber. All of the women seemed to return her cousins’ love, having fallen equally hard themselves.

Sure, Haley wished that she had what her cousins had, that her true love loved her back. But the way she looked at it, it had taken Jason and Katie over twenty years and Riley and Chelle over ten to make it to their happily-ever-afters. Maybe she still had a shot.

“Are you having a birthday party too?” Emily asked as she busily worked on separating Haley’s hair into three sections, just like Haley had shown her on her Barbie.

“Yes, I am.”

“Can I go to your party?” Emily’s voice sounded hopeful.

“Oh, I wish you could, but you have to be twenty-one to get in where my party is.”

“But you’re coming to my party, right?” The tone in Emily’s voice sounded unsure and Haley didn’t want anything, especially something that had to do with her birthday, upsetting her.

“Ab-soooo-lutely,” Haley assured her. “I am going to be here all day. I already found my princess dress. My party doesn’t start until after yours is over. In fact, it doesn’t start until after you will be sound asleep in bed dreaming about all the gifts you got.”

Haley and Emily shared the same birthday. They liked to call each other ‘birthday twins.’ The last few years since coming home from college, Haley had spent their shared birthday celebrating with Emily in the day and then going out for her celebration at night. This year would be no different. Well, except for the fact that she would be dressed like a princess because that was the theme that Emily had chosen this year.

“Is Daddy going to your birthday?”

Good question. One Haley would very much like the answer to. “I don’t know.”

“Does he have a girlfriend?” Emily asked, her voice sounding curious but a little hesitant.

Another very good question. Again, one Haley would very much like the answer to. She knew that he hooked up with random women, but were any of them serious? Did he see one more than the other? Did he think about one when he went to bed at night and woke up in the morning?

“I don’t know,” Haley answered honestly.

“Well, do you know what you want for your birthday?”

Yes. Your dad.

“Um well, I like jewelry and books, so it would be nice if I got something like that.” Haley honestly didn’t want anything but Eddie for her birthday, but she wasn’t going to ruin Em’s fun by saying a boring ‘nothing.’ “What do you want pretty girl?”

“A bra,” Emily quickly blurted out as if she’d been waiting for her to ask that.

Haley had no idea how to respond to that.

“Can you make me one?” Emily asked in her sweetest voice.

“Um…well…let me talk to your dad first, but—”

A heavy, defeated sigh sounded from behind Haley’s head. “Never mind.”

“Did you already ask him if you could have one?” Haley was pretty sure that she already knew the answer to that.

“Yes,” Emily begrudgingly confirmed.

“And he said ‘no’?”

“He’s a boy!” Emily plopped down beside Haley and spoke animatedly. “He doesn’t understand.”

Haley just nodded in understanding as Emily rested her head against her shoulder. Tilting her head, she leaned her cheek against the top of Emily’s head as they once again turned their attention to the movie.

“I love the nights you come and stay with me.” Emily’s voice sounded sleepy.

“Me too, bugaboo.” Haley wished she was here every night. With Eddie and Em. “Me too.”

* * *

Eddie pulled up his boxer briefs as he crossed the darkened room, bent over, and snatched his pants off the floor. He was still catching his breath from the physical exertion he’d just expended. Usually on his nights out, he spent several hours in bed with his dates, and he used the term ‘date’ loosely. They were casual hook-ups. That was all.

Still, Eddie normally didn’t treat them as such—at least between the sheets. But tonight he just didn’t want to be here. Physically, he’d gotten off, but to say that he’d enjoyed himself would be an exaggeration of epic proportions. He was nowhere near satisfied.

“Where are you going?” Claire’s voice sounded behind him as he was stepping into his jeans. He felt her naked breasts press up against his back as her arms encircled his waist. Her touch made him want to move away.