“That right there—those are the things you can’t say around Chelsea!”

“Speaking of my future roommate, any tips for living with her?”

I made a face. Late last night, Easton had shared the plan for Aaron to move in with Chelsea. I wasn’t in love with the idea, but did appreciate having some physical space from him, given that we’d just had a genital jamboree. “Got a chastity belt?” I said dryly.

“I can handle Chelsea. Though, to be honest, I’m probably the only guy she’s never made a move on.”

“Never?” Easton raised his brows. “You’re kidding.”

“Maybe I’m not her type.”

I swallowed a snarky response about everyone being her type and searched for some helpful advice on living with Chelsea. We’d shared a dorm room freshman year, then an apartment in our junior and senior years. Other than an annoying obsession with reality TV, she was pretty easy to live with. “She’s not a morning person,” I managed. “I’d avoid playing loud music or using power tools before ten.”

“Not an issue.” He took his coffee cup to the sink and rinsed it out.

“And she doesn’t wear a lot of clothes around the house.” The first time Easton had popped by unannounced, he’d walked in to find her ironing butt-naked in the middle of our living room.

“Also, not an issue.” I saw a grin break his profile, one that gave me pause. I’d always heard Chelsea’s inappropriate comments about Aaron, but had never thought about his potential attraction to her. I’d had them in the friend zone for so long that cement had dried around the words.

“Oh, my GAWD, take this thing before I drop him off at the pound.” Chelsea’s entry into the house was punctuated by Wayland’s paws, which skittered across the wood floor at a frantic pace toward me. I crouched to receive his love and was knocked back hard on my right hip. His tongue swiped from my chin to my eyebrow and I craned away from the contact right as a paw plowed into my breast.

“Hey!” Easton said sharply, pulling on Wayland’s collar and getting the dog off me. The Great Dane gasped against the collar, his nose lifting in the air as he sniffed in my direction. “Here.” Easton held out his hand and helped me to my feet.

“Jeeeez, that dog is a pain.” Chelsea collapsed on a stool and eyed Wayland, who had latched on to one of Easton’s belt loops and was tugging on it with short jerky motions that would quickly snap it off. I opened the back door to distract him, then moved out of the way as he galloped through it.

“Don’t get an irrigation system,” Chelsea advised. “The sprinklers came on at seven and Wayland clawed through my curtains trying to get through the windows and attack them.” She spotted the coffee pot and stood. “Do you have any—”

“Almond milk is in the fridge.” I leaned back against Easton’s chest as he wrapped his arms around me. “We’re out of Splenda.”

“Let me guess, Wayland ate it?” She opened the fridge and grabbed the milk. “You guys owe me a box of Wheat Thins and a new head for my toothbrush.” She gave me a withering look, and I snorted.

“Hey, you’re the one who offered to watch him. I am ninety-nine percent sure I said it was a terrible idea.”

“He’s my godson,” she said indignantly. “I wasn’t going to have you stick him in a kennel. By the way…”—she glanced around—“did they fix the vent thingy?”

“Yep. All taken care of.” I picked off dog hair off my shirt and hoped the action would hide the telltale blush that crawled along my cheeks. We’d had to invent something that required Wayland to be out of the house. I had been the one to come up with some elaborate issue that required our floor vents to be repaired. Chelsea had half-listened to the flimsy excuse before asking if the Chick-Fil-A near our house was still closed for remodeling. “And thanks for watching him.”

“No problem.” She poured a generous helping of milk into her coffee. “Making everyone’s lives easier is what I do. Right, roomie?” She gave Aaron a bright smile.

“Don’t trust that smile,” Easton warned. “She’s about to ask for something.”

“I’m not asking for anything.” Chelsea gave E a withering look. “My friendly nature has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that my thermostat control isn’t working right.”

We groaned and E let out a shout of victory. Chelsea smiled, and I took the moment of distraction to kiss Easton goodbye.

“Meet me for lunch?” he asked quietly.

“I can’t. I have an open house.” I gave him an extra kiss to make up for it. “But dinner tonight? That Mexican place with the half-price margaritas?”

“I’m getting Margarita Elle?” He smirked at me, and maybe I should lay off the drunk sexual antics if it was earning me my own drinking nickname. “Done. Six?”

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