He makes a happy sound and steals my fork.
Drew’s soaking it all in, and though his smile is large, there are shadows in his eyes. “So you guys know Anna well.”
Iris helps. “We’ve been together since freshman year.”
“Roommates,” George says around his mouthful of food.
Drew’s brows rise at that. “All of you?”
“Until George moved out last year for fear of ‘being overrun by estrogen.’” Iris makes a face. “His words, not mine.”
George nods to confirm, his expression lofty. “A man can only take so many feminine supplies in his bathroom before it’s time to cut and run.”
“I have my own bathroom, you tool,” I say.
“Yes. And you give me food. Now I’m wondering why I moved out.” Quick as a flash, George leans forward and lands a smacking kiss on my cheek. He’s f**king with Drew, seeing if he’ll care.
And it’s working. Drew’s expression goes completely neutral. He picks at his frittata before setting his fork down. “So… you guys…?”
He looks from George to me. Iris makes a horrified face, and George laughs. He’s a stinker, but he isn’t a jerk, and he puts Drew out of his misery. “This might be hard to believe, cuz you’re obviously into our girl, but the thought of doing anything with Anna kind of turns my stomach.”
“Ditto,” I snap back dryly, noticing that Drew looks way too pleased.
George grins at me. “She’s like the sister I never had.”
“Hey!” Iris gives his arm a punch. “I’m your sister!”
“No, you’re my twin. Totally different, 'Ris.”
As George and Iris debate whether there is a distinction between “twin” and “sister,” I lean in close to Drew. “Their constant bickering may have factored into George moving out.”
He chuckles and takes another bite. “This is good, by the way.” He glances at my plate. “You sure you have enough?”
I stop his move to offer me some of his with a touch to his hand. He’s warm, and I want entirely too much to twine my fingers with his and tug him out of here. I pull back.
“That’s sweet, but this is fine. I cooked this more for you.”
His expression is soft. “Thank you, Anna.”
The space between us grows close, quiet, as if Iris and George aren’t squabbling, as if we’re alone. His large thigh presses against my smaller one and heat blooms along the connection. When he speaks, it’s low and just for me. “So, ‘Banana’, huh?”
I give him a look. “If you call me that, you’ll lose a finger.”
A little dimple forms along his left cheek. “Why a finger?”
“Isn’t that where the bad guys always start? Lose a finger, then an eye, maybe an ear…” I shrug. “Seemed appropriately threatening.”
“Oh, very. Don’t worry, Jones. I’ve learned my lesson. No nicknames for you.” His index finger taps the tip of my nose. “Our relationship is special that way.”
There it is again. That “R” word. I take a bite of frittata. The eggs have gone cold.
“Well, I’m out of here,” announces George.
Iris’s face scrunches up. “You said you were going with Henry and me to the movies.”
“You don’t need me being a third wheel, 'Ris.” George wears the same expression I’m sure I do when talking about Henry: valiantly trying to hide disgust. “And I’m not in the mood to be one.”
Iris plunks her fist on her hip. “Hasn’t stopped you from going out with us before. Besides, it was your idea to go to the movies.”
George simply shrugs. “Changed my mind. It happens.” He turns to Drew. “Good to meet you, Baylor. I gotta say, you do some impressive work on the field, man.”
Et tu, George?
Drew takes the praise in stride and simply smiles, a polite smile, not like the ones he gives me when his eyes light up and a dimple graces his cheek. “Thanks. I try my best. Good to meet you too.”
George isn’t gone for more than a few minutes when the lock to the apartment door turns and Henry walks in, key in hand.
“You gave him a key,” I hiss at Iris. There is no way I’m letting Henry have open access to our house.
She has the grace to wince. “Not permanently. I’ll get it back.”
“Now,” I snap in a low voice. Beside me, Drew is frowning, having heard the exchange.
Henry saunters up to the breakfast bar. “Sweetness.” He gives Iris a messy kiss, but his eyes are on the rest of us. Mainly Drew. He does a double take as recognition sets in.
“Battle Baylor.” He sets a hand on Iris’s hip. “I thought I was seeing things.”
“Nope,” says Drew, his tone bland, his eyes watchful.
Henry laughs, as if they know each other. I’m not sure that they do. I’ve never seen them exchange any words. Henry ends my suspicion by saying, “Henry Ross. I play midfield on the lacrosse team.” His gaze shifts from Drew to me. “And here I was, beginning to think you didn’t like guys, Anna.”
“Henry,” Iris snaps.
“What?” Henry says, all innocence.
“No,” I say lightly, “you got that wrong. I don’t like ass**les.”
Iris glares at me, as Henry leans his forearms on the bar and gives me a nasty smile. “I figured you were too uptight to put out.”