“Finally,” she says, answering my call. “I was getting worried.”
I check the time on my dashboard. “My shift ended six minutes ago.”
She lets out an impatient sigh. “I know, but when your boyfriend is a cop, and you don’t hear from him, one tends to get worried.” She reminds me of this regularly, which makes it hard to get mad at her when she gets like this.
“All right, I’m sorry. I’m fine. Everything’s fine.”
“Good. So, when are you heading up here?” Her tone changes, and I smile.
“Probably in an hour or so. I have to head home first, shower and pack; then I’ll be on my way.”
“You haven’t packed yet?” she scolds. “Why didn’t you pack before work? You knew you were coming after your shift,” she whines, sounding panicked.
“Mia, relax. It’ll take me two minutes.”
“Well, I just really miss you,” she says, her voice softening. “I want to spend as much time with you as possible.”
“Don’t worry, baby. I’ll be there before you know it.”
We hang up as soon as I pull into the driveway, and I notice my roommate’s Jeep is parked in my spot. Dammit, Courtney.
As soon as I walk in the door, I smell her blueberry muffins baking in the kitchen. It’s something I’ve become accustomed to since she moved into the house a year ago, and although I don’t eat muffins, she pushes me to try them every single time. She knows my routine with working out before or after work and my daily protein shakes, but she doesn’t give up trying. She’s persistent; I’ll give her that.
The oven begins beeping as I walk into the kitchen, the smell getting stronger. Courtney isn’t around, and the constant beep noise is making me panic.
“Court!” I shout, looking around for an oven mitt. “I think your muffins are burning! I’m going to feed them to the dog if you don’t come and—”
“We don’t have a dog!” she yells from the living room. “Just turn off the timer and quit being a baby.”
“Not wanting the house to burn down doesn’t make me a baby. Now, which one is the timer button?”
“Oh, for goodness sakes,” she spat, marching into the kitchen in only a sports bra and short spandex shorts, and finally presses the damn button. She turns around and flashes me a look. “And you call yourself a police officer?” She grabs the oven mitt, pulls them out and places them on top of the stove.
“Sorry, I don’t get a lot of baking hazard calls.” I open the freezer door and grab a bag of frozen fruit.
She rolls her eyes, adjusting her straps over her shoulders. Her face is flushed, and her hair is pulled back with sweat.
“Wouldn’t you rather have a delicious, warm, homemade blueberry muffin instead of your smoothie that tastes like wood?” She waves her hand over the pan, pushing the scent closer to my nose.
“Muffins don’t create abs,” I tease, pulling my shirt up and flashing her my stomach. She blushes immediately, and I laugh.
“I might not have an eight pack, but the girls have gotten their fair share of free drinks.” She waves a finger over her chest, arches her brow, and now I’m the one blushing.
I clear my throat, looking away. “Why are you in workout clothes anyway?” I grab the ingredients for my fruit protein smoothie and turn away to the other side of the counter. Her walking around like that wasn’t something I had anticipated when my little sister, Viola, suggested this arrangement. They’ve been best friends since college, and when Viola and my childhood best friend, Travis, shacked up, I was left with an empty room, and Courtney’s lease had just ended.
“I’m trying yoga,” she explains, and I snort. “It’s harder than it looks.”
“Aren’t you supposed to do yoga in a class or something?” I pour all the ingredients I need into my blender and hit the button.
“I watched a tutorial on YouTube!” she shouts over the noise. “I think I’m finally starting to get it!”
I switch the blender off and lift the lid. Grabbing a spoon from the drawer, Courtney comes and stands right next to me, wrinkling her nose. “That looks like something the garbage disposal ate.”
I ignore her comment, as I usually do when it comes to anything I make, and stir it up before pouring it into my glass.
“Should you be sweating that much?” I ask as she dabs her forehead with a towel.
“Isn’t yoga supposed to be relaxing and calming? Why are you so sweaty?”
She narrows her eyes at me and glares. “I broke a mental sweat.”
I chuckle and shake my head as I start chugging my smoothie.
“The guy on the video said—”
“I can’t believe you YouTube everything,” I interrupt, shaking the cup in my hand to mix the protein powder better. “Just go to a class, and they’ll teach you properly.”