I hate that these crutches slow me down so much. It makes escaping near on impossible.

“Whiskey. Neat.”


She stops and puts the goat down on the floor. “Don’t you think it’s a little early to be drinking?”

I keep moving. “It’s five o’clock somewhere.”

“But you’re here, and it’s ten a.m.”

I stop and sigh. “I like a drink every now and then, Speedy. And, right now, I’m in pain, and I could do with taking the edge off it. If you’ve got a problem with it—”

“I haven’t,” she cuts me off.

I don’t even know what I was going to say at the end of that sentence. It’s not like I’d kick her out for having an issue with the fact that I want a drink.

“I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to be a bitch. You’re right; it’s your business. I’ll grab that drink for you.”

She’s backtracking. She’s not being herself. Speedy of half an hour ago would have called me a jerk and told me to stick it. But she’s in a different position now. She feels vulnerable, and she can’t be herself.

I don’t like it.

“Speedy.” I catch her wrist as she moves past me. “I’m a grouchy asshole most of the time, and apparently, I’m worse when I’ve got a few broken bones. You don’t have to worry that I’ll kick you out for voicing your opinion. Oddly, that’s one of the things I like about you—when you bitch back at me even if it does drive me nuts ninety-nine percent of the time. So, just don’t stop being you because I’m being an asshole. Tell me to shut the fuck up. Okay?”

A smile edges her lips. “You like me,” she says in a singsong voice.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake.”

“Gabriel Evans likes me!” she sings, throwing her arms in the air.

And the damn goat starts jumping around her feet.

“Did you hear that, Gucci? He likes me!”

“You’re so fucking odd,” I say. But I’m smiling.

She stops singing and grins. “And you’re an asshole.”

I laugh, shaking my head, and I start moving toward the living room.

“Gabe?”

“Yeah?”

“I like you, too.”

That makes me pause, and something weird happens in my chest, spreading all throughout my body. A tingling sensation.

Maybe I’m having a heart attack. The drinks and smokes have finally caught up to me.

“Now, go sit your grumpy ass down, and I’ll bring you that drink.”

She walks past me, but it takes me a long moment before I start moving again.

Gabe

Speedy brought her stuff up from her car, and it required two trips. God knows how she got so much stuff in that miniature car of hers. The alpha male in me was frustrated at not being able to bring her stuff up for her. Then, she disappeared off to the store. You know, ’cause, apparently, we needed more food even though the last trip she’d made could have fed an entire African village, but she didn’t have the ingredients she needed for tonight’s dinner.

That meant, I was left alone with the goat.

I shut it in the utility room, but all it did was make noise, so I let it out.

I swear to God, the moment I opened the utility room door, she gave me a dirty look, head-butted my good leg, and then proceeded to run around the apartment like a lunatic, looking for Speedy.

It was actually pretty funny. That goat is as crazy as Speedy is.

When the goat realized that she wasn’t here, she came down into the living room where I was sitting, watching hockey on TV and enjoying a whiskey and a smoke—without any grief from Speedy—and she plopped herself down onto the rug. She hasn’t moved since.

I look over at the goat, who seems to be fast asleep.

She’s cute, I guess, for a goat.

But I mean, who the fuck gets a goat for a pet? And calls it Gucci?

Speedy—that’s who.

“Honey, I’m home!” Her tinkling voice and laughter ring through the apartment.

It’s like I just magicked her back by thinking of her.

I’m surprised at how my body reacts to knowing she’s back. My cock twitches, my pulse picks up, and I start to feel warmer.

Gucci the goat hops up from her spot on the rug and starts jumping around. Then, she bolts across the room. I put my cigarette out in the ashtray and finish off my drink.

“Hey, baby girl!” she coos. “You miss Mama? I missed you, too.”

The click of her heels on the floor has me turning my head.

I suck in a breath.

Fuck, she’s stunning.

Nothing’s changed. She’s still wearing the same dress as she went out in, but her hair looks windblown, and her cheeks are flushed, her eyes bright. Just how she’d look if I got my hands on her and my cock inside her.

“You were at the store for, like, thirty minutes. How the hell did you miss your goat in that time?”

“I didn’t miss you, if that makes it any better.” She grins. Then, she wafts her hand in front of her nose. “God, it stinks in here.”

She puts the bag of groceries down on the coffee table, and she bends, so I get a spectacular view right down the front of her dress.

Fuck, her tits are gorgeous. I bet her nipples are pink and perky.

My mouth starts to water.

“You really should open a window when you smoke.” She walks over to the window where she reaches up and opens it.

And, now, I’m staring at her ass, and my cock is starting to get a chub on.

“And, not to be a pain, but I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t smoke around Gucci.”

She turns around, catching me staring, so I raise a brow.

“You’re asking me not to smoke around the goat?”

“I’m asking you not to give my baby girl lung cancer.”

“She’s a goat. And can goats even get lung cancer?”

“She breathes, doesn’t she? Therefore, she has lungs.” She folds her arms over her tits, which pushes them up.

And, of course, my eyes go to them.

How can I not look at them? They’re magnificent.

And then my mind starts to imagine just what I’d do with those luscious tits of hers.

I’d start at the base of her neck. I’d lick my way down to them, and then I’d take one in my hand and the other in my mouth. I’d tease her nipple, licking and biting it—

“Seriously, Gabe! Will you stop staring at my boobs?”

I blink myself free of their hypnotizing hold. “I’m sorry.” A laugh bursts from me. “I don’t mean to stare.”

“Sure you don’t. God, you’re such a pig! Do you always stare at women’s breasts like you do mine? Because you should really consider not doing it. It’s really insulting.”

“I’m not trying to insult you. Actually, it’s a compliment in an ass-backward kind of way. And, no, I don’t always stare at women’s tits. I’m not a total asshole. I’m just a tit man, and, Speedy…you have the best rack I’ve ever seen in my life. Seriously.”

“Thanks. I think.”

She doesn’t look as angry as she did a moment ago, so I think I’ve managed to smooth things over. But she’s right. I really need to stop staring at her tits. If not for my own sanity, then for the sake of my cock because he keeps getting all excited, thinking he’s gonna get some action, only to be left disappointed when nothing happens.

Speedy picks up the grocery bag from the coffee table, and I keep my eyes averted from her tits.

“Why’d you let Gucci out of the utility room anyway?” she asks.

“She was making noise, so I let her out, and she quieted down.”

“Oh. Sorry. It’s probably just because it’s a new place, and she’s not used to it.”

“It’s not a problem.”

“Okay. Well, I’ll just put these groceries in the kitchen, and then I’ll take her down to the garden for some fresh air. I’ll start dinner when I get back up.”

“I’ll come with you. I could do with some air.” I grab my smokes and put them in my pocket, and then using my crutches, I get up.

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