“Ha-ha. You’re hilarious. And twenty years? You’ll be lucky to see another ten if you keep smoking your nicotine sticks at the rate you do.”

“I’ll outlive you, Speedy. The way you drive, especially in that golf-cart car of yours”—he rubs his chin in thought—“I give you two years. Three, tops.”


Eyes narrowed, I tip my head to the side. “Want to bet on that?”

A grin spreads across his face. “Oh, I’m all for betting, Speedy. But you wouldn’t like the stakes. And, also, there’ll be no satisfaction in my winning because you’ll be dead, and I won’t be able to claim my win or flaunt my victory in your face.”

I give him a smart smirk. “You keep telling yourself that, Hoppy. And, as nice as this conversation is, we can’t sit—sorry, I mean, I don’t want to sit here all day with you. So, let’s get you inside and to your brother.”

“I told you, I don’t need your help.”

“And I told you, I’m coming. So, unless you want me to take out your other foot as well, you’ll stop arguing with me and get out of the car.”

“Fine,” he grunts. “Just let me get ready before we go in.”

“Aw, do you need to do your hair and makeup before we go inside in case you get papped?” I laugh at my own joke.

“Ha. You’re a comedian,” he says in a droll voice. “No, I need to put on my ball cap and sunglasses just to prevent me from being recognized.”

I watch as he opens the glove box. He pulls out a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses and slips them on, followed by a Lakers ball cap, which he fits on over his hair.

“Ready?” I ask.

He nods.

I climb out of the car. When I make it around to his side, he’s already out, resting on his good foot, holding on to the car with his hand.

“How are we going to do this?” I ask him.

“If you don’t know the answer to that, then I can’t do this with you.”

I look up into his face and see the smile edging his lips. Surprisingly, I find myself smiling back.

“I mean, you’re the size of a giant, and I’m normal-sized, so—”

“I am big; that’s true. But you’re not normal or normal-sized. You’re under-sized.”

“I am not. I’m a normal size for a woman. And, anyway, didn’t anyone ever tell you that the best things come in small packages?”

“No. Because it’s a lie. Big is better. Just ask all the women I’ve fucked.”

“Jesus Christ!” I scowl. “Do you have to be so crude?”

“It’s not crude. It’s called being honest. You’re just a prude, Speedy.”

“I am not a prude.” My hands find my hips. “And sorry to burst your bubble, but not all women want big.”

He barks out a laugh. “Yes, they do. They just say they don’t to make their small-cocked boyfriends feel better about themselves.”

“Well, maybe the women who told you that you were big only did so to make you feel better about being tiny.”

“You’re hilarious. And they definitely didn’t. I’m more than happy to prove it to you.”

His hand goes to his zipper, and I slam my hands over my eyes.

“I don’t want to see your…thing!”

“Cock. And you can uncover your eyes. I wasn’t actually going to get my big cock out in front of the hospital.”

I slide my hands from my eyes and give him a dirty look.

“Speedy, as much fun as this is, can we get moving? I’m in agony here.”

I see the pinch of pain around his mouth and feel a shot of guilt.

“Shit, of course.”

I move beside him and slide my arm around his back. Even with my heels on, he’s still ridiculously taller than me. Next to him, I must look like a toddler playing dress-up.

“Okay, put your arm around my shoulders, and then put your weight on me.”

“If I put my weight on you, we’ll go down like dominoes. You weigh, what? One twenty?”

“One thirty, and I’m stronger than I look.”

“Yeah, well, I’m as heavy as I look.”

“Stop arguing with me, and let’s do this.”

“But I’m enjoying arguing with you. It’s almost like foreplay.”

I look up at him. He’s not smiling this time. His eyes look darker. Lustful. A thrill runs through me.

“You’re hilarious. Now, put your arm around my shoulders, and let’s get moving.”

He drapes his arm over my shoulders, and it’s heavy. God knows what the rest of him weighs.

“Ready to move?”

“Yep.”

We start to walk, and, Jesus, he wasn’t kidding. He weighs a freaking ton, and I don’t think he’s putting much of his weight on me.

But it’s a ton of pure muscle.

Under my fingers, I can feel the ridges of those muscles in his back.

I bet his stomach is like a washboard that I would want to scrub my face all over.

And he smells good. So good.

The annoying thing about this is that I can smell the cigarette smoke on him along with the mints he ate in between smokes and the clean scent of his aftershave. Somehow, mixed together, it just works. I want to hate it, but I can’t.

It’s making my girlie parts tingle with excitement.

He smells exactly like I’d want to after a night of amazing sex.

I have a flash of being in bed with him. Him hovering over me as he moves inside me. My fingers digging into the hard muscles in his back, like they are right now.

And, now, I have a sweat on, and it’s not from lugging him around.

Great.

We reach the main doors. They whoosh open, and we walk straight into the busy reception area.

I feel Gabriel tense.

“You okay?” I ask him.

“Yeah, I just don’t want to get noticed.”

“Okay, let’s keep moving. Where’s the emergency care department?”

“We need Pediatrics, on the fifth floor.”

I stare up at him. “Pediatrics?”

“That’s where Tate works.”

“Tate’s your brother?”

“Yes.”

“He’s a doctor for kids?”

“What gave it away? When I said he worked in Pediatrics?”

“Funny, Hoppy.” I pull a face at him. “God, I hope your brother is nicer than you,” I add as I steer him in the direction of the elevators.

“He is. A lot nicer. And don’t call me that.”

“What? Hoppy?”

“Yeah. It sounds like something a cartoon character would be called. It’s very emasculating.”

I laugh. “And Speedy is so flattering.”

“I mean it in the nicest sense of the word.”

“Sure you do. Okay, I’ll make you a deal. You stop calling me Speedy, and I’ll stop calling you Hoppy. What do you say?”

“Fine,” he grumbles.

And it makes me smile.

Reaching the elevators, I hit the button, ready to wait, but luckily, the doors to one of the cars open immediately. I usher Gabriel inside, and using the railing, he shifts and leans back against it.

I push the button for the fifth floor and move to stand next to him.

“I need you to do me a favor when we see Tate,” he says as the elevator starts moving.

“What’s the favor?” I turn my head to look at him and get an eyeful of his shirt-covered chest. Straightening up to my full height, I still have to tip my head back to look into his face. The height difference is very annoying.

“When Tate asks how I broke my foot, tell him a tank ran over it.”

Laughter bursts from me. “A tank? You want me to tell your brother that I was driving a tank when I ran over your foot? Somehow, I don’t think he’ll believe that.”

He pulls his sunglasses off and hangs them in his shirt pocket. Cool brown eyes stare back at me. “I don’t care if he believes it. I just don’t want him knowing that your golf-cart car did this. If he knows, I’ll never hear the end of it.”

“Wouldn’t it be more believable if you just told him that I was driving a big car, like, I don’t know, a truck or something?”

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