My eyes come down to the ashtray perched on the edge of the bath. “It already has two cigarette butts in it.”

“Or three. I was bored, and you took ages to come.”


“Good Lord.” I lift my eyes skyward. “So, what can I do for you, Smoky?”

“I need help getting out of the bath. Seems getting in was easy—well, not easy but easier. Getting out, not so easy.”

My eyes flash down to him. “But…you’re naked.”

“Naked is how people usually are when in the bath, Speedy.”

“B-but I can’t help you get out. I mean, you’re naked. I’ll see you naked.”

“You’ve seen me naked before.”

“I have not,” I gasp.

“You’ve watched my movies. You’ve seen me naked before. I’m not shy, Speedy.”

“No shit.”

“Are you a…prude?” His voice is teasing, but there’s a definite challenge to his tone.

“No, I am not a prude!”

“Then, what’s the problem?”

“Well…I mean, sure, I’ve seen you naked in your movies, but this is real life, and your thing…” I nod my head in the direction of his southern region.

His eyes go down. “My cock?”

“Yeah.” I swallow roughly.

“Say it.”

“What?”

“Cock, Speedy. Say it.”

I frown at him, my hands unfurling from my chest and finding my hips. “Cock. Cock. Cock. Cock! Better?”

“Much.” He grins, eyes flashing at me. “So, you’re afraid of seeing my cock. It’s not gonna bite you. Not unless you ask nicely.”

“Ugh. God, you’re such a pig.”

He snorts. “And you’re so easy. Look, if you’re that worried about seeing my massive cock, then hold up a towel. I just need a hand with getting out and making sure I don’t get my boot wet, is all.”

“Fine,” I huff. I grab a towel from the rack.

The thing is, I’m not afraid of seeing his cock. I’m more afraid of what my reaction will be if I do see it.

I walk over to the bath. He stubs his cigarette out in the ashtray.

I pick it up to move it out of the way and put it on the vanity unit.

“So, how are we going to do this?”

“Honestly, I’m not sure.”

“Okay, so how about I move the stool, you sit up, and I help you stand in the bath as you keep your boot out? Then, I’ll quickly wrap the towel around you to stop the water from running down your body and soaking the boot.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

I toss the towel over my shoulder. Putting my hand under his leg, I move the stool away.

“Okay?” I ask him.

“Yeah.”

“Right, well, sit up, and we’ll get you out of here.”

He sits forward. I keep a hand on his leg, and I realize the logistics don’t seem as straightforward as I thought. I thought I’d be able to pull him up with my hand, but I don’t think it’ll work.

He’s going to have to put his arm around me.

Dear God.

I squeeze my eyes shut.

“You okay?” he asks me.

“Yeah.” I open my eyes. “You’re gonna have to put your arm around me, so I can get you up.”

A smile glimmers in his eyes. “I’ll get you wet.”

I bite the inside of my cheek. “It’s fine.”

“Okay. If you say so.”

Taking the towel off my shoulder, I tuck it between my thighs, and I lean closer to him. He puts his arm around me.

Sweet Jesus.

He smells so good, and he’s all wet and soapy and hot as hell.

This is torture. I swear, I’m in hell.

The best kind of hell.

“Can you push yourself up, using your hands on the edge of the tub?”

“Sure can.” His words whisper over my neck, setting off goose bumps everywhere.

“Okay. Count of three. One…two…three…”

As I lift myself, Gabe pushes himself up, lowering his leg to the floor. His wet side presses against me. And I know I’m dangerously close to his cock.

It takes everything in me not to look.

Look at the wall. Not the cock. I repeat, not the cock.

I need to cover him. I grab the towel from between my legs, keeping my eyes high, and I shake it out. Holding it up, I press it to his chest.

“Dry off,” I tell him.

“You mean, you’re not going to do it for me?”

I give him a less than amused look. “Funny.”

He starts drying his chest and stomach to stop the water from running down to his boot. I avert my eyes.

My shirt is soaked. I’ll have to change it. Maybe he has a T-shirt I can borrow.

“You dry?”

“Yep.”

“Okay, let’s get you out of the tub.”

I look at him, and he’s got the towel wrapped around his waist.

I grab his crutches from beside the tub and hand them to him. He sets the crutches on the floor and tucks them under his arm. I can see the strain it puts on him as he gets his good leg out of the tub and onto the floor, putting his weight on it.

“Okay?” I ask.

“Yeah.”

“Let’s get you dressed then.”

We head into his bedroom, and with his directions, I get him some boxer shorts and a T-shirt to wear.

I help get the boxer shorts on over his boot, up to his knee, and then I let him do the rest himself, turning my back to give him privacy.

“Do you have a T-shirt I could borrow? My shirt’s a little wet. I’ll bring it back tomorrow.”

“Knock yourself out. Top drawer of the dresser.”

I walk over to it and grab the first T-shirt I lay my hand on. It’s black, and the material is really soft.

“I’ll just change in the bathroom. You finished with your towel?”

“Yep.”

I take the wet towel in the bathroom with me and close the door. After I hang it up, I remove my wet shirt and pull Gabe’s T-shirt over my head.

It almost hits my knees, and it smells of him. I’ll just ignore that fact.

I tuck the T-shirt into my skirt and go back into the bedroom, taking my wet shirt with me.

Gabe’s sitting up against his headboard. His hair is still damp from the bath. The TV that’s mounted on the wall is on with what sounds like sports on it.

His eyes go to me. Something flares in them.

“This shirt okay to borrow?” I check.

He nods slowly, eyes still on me.

Okay.

“You hungry?” I ask him.

“Yeah.”

“I’ll get you some of the soup I made and bring it through.”

“Can you grab me a beer as well?”

“Sure.”

I go to the kitchen, dump my shirt in my bag, and reheat the soup. I pour some into a bowl and grab some bread, a spoon, and a beer. I put it all on a tray and carry it through to him.

“Dinner is served.” I rest the tray on his lap and take a seat on the edge of the bed.

“You’re not eating?” he asks.

“I’ll get something at home. Will you be okay if I head off soon?”

For a brief moment, I actually think he looks disappointed, but if it was there, it’s gone now.

“Sure I will. I’m a grown-ass man, Speedy. I can take care of myself.”

“Just can’t get out of the tub on your own,” I tease.

He tears off some bread, dips it into the soup, and puts it in his mouth.

I watch as he chews.

“This is good,” he says, a moan of appreciation in his voice.

And it’s embarrassing how much I light up at the compliment.

“It’s just soup,” I say, downplaying it.

“It’s good. You made this?”

“Yep.”

“I’ve never had homemade soup before.”

“Your mom not a cook?” I ask.

“No.” His abrupt answer tells me not to ask anything more.

“Both my parents are chefs. They have a restaurant. Jayce and I were cooking before we were walking. The soup is just a quick, basic meal. I’ll rustle you up something a little fancier tomorrow.”

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