“Gabe! I’m here! Where the fuck are you?”
I jerk back from Gabe at the sound of the male voice.
“On the terrace,” Gabe calls to him, seeming unfazed.
Tate appears through the door, wearing a white T-shirt, dark blue shorts, sneakers, and Ray-Bans over his eyes. He looks really different from the last time I saw him when he was wearing his white doctor coat and scrubs.
“Hey, Ava. Good to see you again.” He smiles at me. “How’s the patient?” He jerks his head at Gabe.
“Frustrating. Annoying. Bitchy. Aside from that, he’s fine.” I give a light, teasing smile even though, inside, I feel anything but light. I feel like I’m about to climb out of my skin.
“Funny. Speedy’s a comedian nowadays,” Gabe says dryly.
“Are you joining us for breakfast?” Tate asks me, holding up a brown bag with the name of some deli on it. “I brought pastries and muffins.”
“Sounds delicious. Sure, I’ll join you, if you don’t mind?”
“Course I don’t. I’ll just grab us some plates.”
“I’ll get them,” I say, getting up. “Would you like a coffee?” I ask Tate as I move past him.
“Coffee would be great.”
“Sure.” He drains his coffee and hands me the cup.
“Scottish?” I ask him.
He smiles. I feel that smile everywhere.
I grab the bottle of scotch from the floor and take it back inside with me.
I rinse my and Gabe’s cups out and get a fresh one for Tate. I pour out three coffees and put them on a tray with creamer and sugar, as I’m not sure how Tate takes his coffee. I get three small plates, some cutlery, and napkins and put them on the tray as well.
When I go back outside, they are sitting at the seating area. Gucci is sitting on Tate’s lap. Well, she’s laid out on him, and he’s rubbing her belly.
“You’ve met Gucci.” I smile. “I think she likes you.”
My little hussy is rubbing herself all over the doctor.
Seems us Simms women have a thing for the Evans men.
“Yeah, it’s just me she hates,” Gabe mutters.
“She does not hate you,” I tell Gabe as I take the seat next to him.
“I’m just really fucking loveable.” Tate smirks.
“That’s why you haven’t gotten laid in two months.”
Tate’s eyes briefly flick to me. I avert my eyes and make Gabe’s coffee.
“It’s called being busy with work, brother. And it’s not like you’re getting any at the moment, so don’t be giving me shit.”
They’re talking about sex. I start to get hot again. And it’s not just because of this fucking sweater.
I hand Gabe his coffee.
“The only reason I’m not getting some is because of this fucking thing on my leg,” Gabe says to him.
And, now, I’m thinking about sex. With Gabe.
“Tate, do you take creamer and sugar?” My voice is high-pitched. I clear my throat.
Gabe chuckles lightly next to me.
“Just creamer,” Tate tells me.
I make Tate’s coffee and hand it over.
I pick my black coffee up and take a sip when Gabe says, “Talking of sex, Speedy showed me her nipples this morning.”
I almost choke, and coffee sprays from my mouth.
I slap a hand over my mouth, and my head whips around to Gabe. My eyes are as wide as saucers.
The bastard is grinning.
I grab a napkin and start to dry my mouth, hand, and then the table. “God, I’m so sorry, Tate.”
“You didn’t get the food. It’s fine.” He smiles, but I can tell he’s dying to laugh.
Gucci hasn’t moved an inch from her spot on Tate’s lap.
I turn back to Gabe, who’s still wearing a winning smile that I want to wipe from his gorgeous face.
“I can’t believe you just said that.”
“Me? What did I say?”
I open my mouth to say it, but then I realize, that’s exactly what the big jerk wants. He wants me to say nipple in front of Tate.
The perverse asshole.
“There’s something seriously wrong with you.” I shake my head and turn back to Tate. “Was he dropped on his head as a baby?”
Tate laughs. “Quite possibly.”
“Well, I think you should get him tested. I’m pretty sure he has mental problems.”
“Speedy?” Gabe’s voice prickles the back of my neck.
I slowly turn to look at him. My eyes are like lasers burning a hole in his skull. “What?”
He dips a nod at my chest. “You’ve got coffee on your sweater. You might want to change it.” Then, he smiles big as he picks up a muffin and takes a big bite.
I want to kill him. Dead.
I hope he chokes on that muffin.
I need to move out of his apartment, and the sooner, the better. Before the hot bastard drives me insane.
I’ve been living here for three days so far, and it’s been pretty much more of the same.
Gabe seems to be getting crankier as the days go on. Honestly, I think he needs to get out. He must be going stir-crazy. I know I am. I’m used to going out to work every day, so working and living in the same place is driving me nuts.
I keep making excuses to go out just to get some air and sun on my skin. I’ve been to the store about a hundred times already.
Gabe’s in his office at the moment. He said something about calling his manager.
I’m on the terrace with Gucci, and I’ve drunk three cups of coffee already. I’m starting to get a caffeine twitch.
Gucci loves it out here. She seems to be a sun queen. I am worried about her spending so much time in the sun though. It can’t be good for her skin. I hope goats can’t get skin cancer.
God, it’s warm today. I gaze at the swimming pool. I haven’t been in yet.
Maybe I’ll go in today. Once Gabe’s done with his call, I’ll see what he needs me to do, and if nothing, then I’m getting my bathing suit out and taking a dip.
I hear the buzzer go on the internal intercom.
Knowing Gabe’s busy and not the fastest on his feet at the moment—well, foot—I get up to go into the living room and pick up the phone.
“Hey, Miss Ava.” It’s Harry. “The cleaners are here.”
“Oh. Do you know if they are scheduled to come today?”
“Every Monday and Friday,” Harry tells me.
“Oh, right. Well, send them on up. Thanks, Harry.”
I replace the receiver and then look around the place. It’s pretty tidy. I’ve been keeping on top of it, but I still walk around, tidying things up before the cleaners arrive. I move the sports magazine that Gabe left on the sofa to the top of a neat pile on the coffee table. I take his empty coffee cup into the kitchen and put it in the dishwasher.
I’ve just shut the dishwasher door when I hear activity in the foyer.
I head through the apartment to introduce myself.
There are two women. One older, one younger. And they both look surprised to see me.
“Hi,” I say, lifting my hand in a wave. “I’m Ava.”
The older woman smiles warmly. “Nice to meet you, Ava. I’m Barb, and this is Sadie.” She points to the younger woman.
Looking at her, I’m pegging her to be around my age, maybe a little younger.
She doesn’t smile. Just regards me with narrow eyes.
She’s a really pretty girl. Brown hair tied up into a messy bun. Taller than me. Slender figure. Clear, fresh skin.
The way she’s staring at me is starting to make me feel uncomfortable.
Maybe she thinks I’m with Gabe. And maybe she likes Gabe.
Can’t blame the girl. I mean, who doesn’t like him? Dude is hot as hell. And he’s a movie star to boot. Just a shame about his crude mouth and disgusting smoking habit.
“Gabe’s just in the office,” I tell them, moving my eyes back to Barb. “I’m not his girlfriend or anything. Just a friend. He broke his foot. I’m here, taking care of him, until he’s healed.”