Taming MeganBy: Natasha Knight
Jake Roark sat his wife down in the center of the sofa in the living room. He gave her a long look. She swallowed, opened her mouth to speak, but only hiccupped instead. He shook his head and went to the kitchen to get a glass of water and brought it along with some Advil to her.
“Here,” he said, handing her the water along with two little pills. “So you won’t be so hung-over tomorrow.”
“Thanks,” Megan said, taking it. She barely met his eyes as she popped the pills into her mouth and took a sip of water to wash them down. She set the glass on the coffee table.
“Uh-uh, drink it all. Dilute some of that alcohol you put in you tonight.”
“I’m not thirsty, Jake.”
He gave her a look as he reached to pull off his boot. “I don’t care. Drink it. All of it.”
“Fine.” She tipped her head back and drank until the glass was empty. “Happy?” she asked, hiccupping again. She set the glass on the coffee table again and slumped against the back of the couch, laying her head on it while still looking at him.
“No, not happy,” he said, sliding off his other boot. “I don’t much like getting called out of a dinner meeting by a friend who finds my wife drunk at a bar at…” he checked his watch, “what was it, barely nine o’clock?”
She inhaled and lowered her lashes. “Sorry,” she mumbled.
At twenty-six, Megan was ten years younger than Jake. They had been together just over a year, married for the last three months. Jake had known she was the one the moment he had laid eyes on her. She just needed a little guidance. He could hardly blame her. She’d been on her own since she wasn’t quite eighteen and since he had met her parents that one time, he figured she had pretty much raised herself given the state of things with them.
“Mind telling me what happened?” he asked. “I thought you were having dinner with Anna.”
“Can I have another glass of water first please?” she asked, sitting up to pick up the empty glass and holding it out to him.
He stood and took it from her, refilled it in the kitchen and brought it back. He waited as she drank it down, glancing at him from the corners of her eyes.
“Well, it was just supposed to be Anna and me but then Lacey and Josie showed up and when Anna had to go, well, you know how things go when I get together with the girls from my old neighborhood.”
Lacey and Josie were friends of Megan from her childhood. Anna worked for her at the bakery. Anna was older, more responsible and a true friend as far as Jake saw it. Aside from Anna, Jake preferred she had nothing to do with the other women but he knew she would have to come to that realization on her own. “That’s no excuse, Meg.”
She hunched her shoulders, her eyes downcast.
“How were you planning on getting home?” he asked. She had driven herself to the restaurant and he didn’t even want to think of her even contemplating getting behind the wheel in the condition she was in.
She took a deep breath. “I’m tired. Can we just talk about this tomorrow?” she asked. She lay down on the sofa, resting her head against the arm. “Or never,” she mumbled.
Jake exhaled and rose to his feet. “Come on, darlin’,” he said, pulling her to her feet. She slumped against him and he lifted her into his arms. “You can sleep this one off.”
“Thanks,” she managed, one hand touching the stubble of his jaw for a moment before coming to rest on her belly as her eyes closed and her face bobbed against his chest with every step. He hadn’t even gotten all the way up the stairs when he heard her little snore. He looked down at her, grateful for his friend having been there. He couldn’t imagine what could have happened if she had gotten into her car and driven off—or tried to.
Once in their bedroom, he pulled the sheets back and set her on the bed. He then slipped her sandals off her feet and tucked her in. She turned over instantly, smiling and mumbling something in her sleep as she tucked her knees up and hugged the comforter to her. He brushed the hair from her face and kissed her forehead.
“Sleep well, baby. We’ll have our reckoning tomorrow.”