“Drew,” I say between hot, searching kisses.


“Mmm?” He suckles my upper lip before licking my bottom one.

“How did your talk go with your coach?” I have to ask. If I let him distract me, I’ll forget and it’s important.

Drew, however, stiffens and lets me go with a frown. “So you did know he was coming over.”

I’m not going to apologize about it. He needs someone to talk to besides me. Someone who might understand how it feels. Sympathetic I am, but I haven’t been there. I’m not a competitive athlete.

“Did you discuss therapy?”

“Jesus,” Drew snaps, running a hand through his hair. The golden-brown ends stick up at the top. He falls back against the counter and glares. “I don’t want to talk about this.”

Of course not. He never does. I open my mouth to tell him as much when the door opens.

“Hey, hey, hey!” Gray saunters in with a big bag of groceries under his arm. Oblivious, he sets it on the counter. “You,” he says to me, “forgot to pick me up.”

I cringe. “Oh, hell, Gray. I’m sorry. I got distracted.”

“Yeah, yeah, just leave the poor, defenseless tight end sitting on the curb while you get busy with the QB.” He grins though before giving me a kiss hello on the cheek.

Over his shoulder, Drew’s scowl deepens as he glares pointedly at my cheek. A flush of annoyance hits me. So I can overlook his slutty ex rubbing herself against him but he’s pissy about a kiss on the cheek? I glare back as Gray turns and gives Drew a pat on the shoulder.

“Hey, man. How’s it going?”

“Great.” Drew sounds like he’s grinding down a tooth.

If Gray notices, he doesn’t mention it. “Cool. But hold up, I’ve got to piss like you wouldn’t believe.”

Drew rolls his eyes as Gray runs off to the bathroom. “Why did you invite him here?”

“Hush.” I give his waist a quick pinch, and he yelps, skirting away from my reach. “He’s here because he’s your friend, you ass.”

“He’s just feeling sorry for me.”

“Well, who wouldn’t when you’ve decided to revert to being five?”

Drew gives me a warning look, which I ignore.

“He’s here because he cares. And since when have you not liked Gray’s company?”

“Since he started kissing my girl?” he offers with false pleasantness.

I gape at him. This isn’t Drew. He isn’t overly possessive or irrational. He doesn’t turn on friends.

“You’re going to regret that statement,” I tell him quietly. “You’re going to realize what a shit you’re being.”

His lips flatten into a line, but Gray’s already walking down the back hall. He eyes us but doesn’t miss a step. “Now, then,” he says as if nothing’s wrong. “Let’s get cooking.”

Drew is sullen as Gray cooks. He’s sullen when we sit down to dinner. And he’s sullen when we eat it.

My hand clenches around my napkin, the urge to chuck it at his head running high. All I can do is struggle to keep the strained conversation going with Gray.

“All right,” I tell Gray, “you make an admirable lasagna. It’s not as good as my mom’s, but it will do.”

“Don’t kill me with praise now.” Gray laughs then shakes his head. “I’m not trying to beat your Italian momma in a lasagna cook-off, Jones. That’s just crazy talk.” His brows waggle. “But I accept the compliment.”

Drew snorts. The sound sudden and harsh. “‘Jones’?” Jones is his nickname for me. But I hadn’t thought he’d be territorial. He levels a look at Gray, and my chest grows tight. “And here I thought you didn’t like my girl.”

I frown at Drew. So, being a dickweed is on the menu for tonight. Good to know.

Gray doesn’t flinch. “Naw, man,” he grins at me as he answers, “it’s all good. Anna and I worked out our issues over pie.”

He’s trying to reassure Drew, but even I know he’s said the wrong thing.

The high crest of Drew’s cheeks turn rusty. “Apparently so,” he says with a sneer.

Gray’s shoulders bunch as he goes still and stares at Drew. When he speaks, his voice is cold and flat. “What are you implying, man?”

“Gray, he doesn’t…” I begin, but Gray holds up a hand, not taking his eyes off of Drew. “Let him say what he wants to say, Anna.” Gray’s nostrils flare a bit. “So tell me, are you accusing me of trying to make a play for your girl?” He’s pissed, more than I’ve ever seen him, but behind it is intense hurt. I hurt for both of them.

The corded muscles along Drew’s forearms stand out as he clenches a fist. They stare each other down, a combined four hundred plus muscled-pounds of growing male aggression. Neither of them appears to be willing to break eye contact first. Then Drew moves, so fast, I flinch.

His fist slams down on the table, rattling the plates. “No,” he snaps, then takes a harsh breath before shoving back from the table. “No, all right?” His movements are not with his usual grace when he rises, bumping his leg on the chair. “I’m just f**king tired of you two sneaking around trying to fix me.”

Sneaking around? I almost shout the words, I’m so irate, but I’m not going to fight with him in front of Gray.

Gray snorts. “We’re trying to help you.”

“Well, don’t.”

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