“We’ll see,” I managed to say but he wasn’t an idiot. He knew where I stood at that moment.

“I see.”

His shoulders stiffened and he exhaled in a breath of anger.

“I-I’m sorry, Hunter,” I mumbled, knowing my face was bright red with embarrassment. I’d never done well with confrontation and in this situation, it was a hundred times worse. His face twisted in anger and he folded his arms over his chest.

What a waste. He’s got a washboard on his stomach.

“Whatever. Can you get out so I can get dressed?”

I nodded quickly and turned away, grateful to have been given an out but I knew I was just walking out one door and entering another dragon’s den.

I hurried into the kitchenette and poured myself a coffee, carefully averting my gaze from Queenie’s piercing stare but I knew that avoiding her wasn’t going to help me now.

“You guys are disgusting,” Queenie spat. “Couldn’t even keep it in your pants for a couple weeks, could you?”

I glanced at her, hearing the contempt in her voice and a dozen retorts jumped to my lips.

No, Queenie. Human people like sex—not that I expect you to understand that.

“There’s nothing going on between Hunter and me,” I muttered, taking my spot at the computer.

Queenie snorted rudely.

“Yeah, right.”

I pretended to busy myself with my research but it was hard to concentrate with all the animus flying around, none more so than when Hunter stormed out of his room, determined to make as much noise as possible.

What is happening? Am I in hell?

On a whim, I reached into one of the desk drawers and removed my earbuds, slipping them into my laptop and found the Modest Mouse album in my playlist. The only surefire way to drown out misery was with music, after all.

It worked for a few hours as I somehow forgot about my boss and disastrous one-night-stand-turned-scorned-ex.

I probably would have gotten through the day in my own little world if my Skype phone hadn’t started ringing around one.

“Alex!” I breathed aloud, forgetting that I wasn’t alone in the room. Her deceptively serious face appeared on the screen and I jumped up to disconnect the computer from the charger so I could get myself some privacy.

I made my way inside the room I was sharing with Queenie and shut the door, flopping on the single bed as Alex’s smile lit up the screen.

“Oh well look at that! You haven’t been consumed by snow monsters or whatever it is that gets you in Iceland!” Alex chortled.

“You have no idea how glad I am to see your face,” I sighed. “How’s it going over there?”

“The entire city has shut down without you, Sash. The roads have closed. The post office is on strike—”

“Shut up,” I laughed. “Have you spoken to my mom?”

“You’ve been gone four days, Sash. Everything is fine, I promise. Don’t worry about us. Focus on yourself.”

“No,” I muttered, keeping my voice low. “Everything is not fine.”

Alex’s dark eyes widened but her brow knit with worry.

“Why?” she demanded. “Is it that bitch still on your case? Do you want me to send her some anthrax?”

I kind of did. I groaned and flopped back on the lumpy mattress, pulling the laptop onto my stomach as I propped my head up on the pillows.

“I made matters way worse,” I confessed. “I slept with Hunter last night.”

Alex’s face instantly brightened and she squealed with happiness.

“It’s about damned time!” she cheered. “Give me deets!”

I shook my head.

“No. Trust me, you don’t want any.”

Alex’s face turned to surprise.

“That bad? I wouldn’t have guessed it. He always looked like he knew what to do.”

“He does—for himself,” I breathed, worried that Queenie or Hunter might be listening in. They couldn’t hear Alex since I still had my earbuds in but if they wanted, they could still hear me.

That’s on them, not me. I shouldn’t have to worry about where I’m getting my privacy.

I shouldn’t but I did.

“Shit, that’s too bad. Are things really awkward?” Alex asked and I nodded.

“He was acting like we were in a relationship this morning and when I set him straight, he started storming around like a three-year-old.”

Alex howled with laughter.

“And they call us emotional, right?”

“God, Alex, I don’t know how I’m going to get through the next few weeks like this.”

Alex paused, her brow furrowing.

“Do you want to come home?” she asked and I scoffed.

“Of course not!” I growled even though that was a big, fat lie. I wanted nothing more than to hop the first flight home but I was an adult, not some high school freshman.

“You sure?”

“Of course I’m sure. Alex, this project is my baby. I’m not going to let a little bit of personal friction scare me off.”

Alex shrugged.

“If you change your mind—”

“I won’t,” I assured her. “I just need to throw myself completely into work and forget about their drama.”

Tags: Nicole Casey Romance
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