But I was already regretting having answered the door.
“No regrets for the paint,” I said, flashing a thanks and we’re done grin.
He chuckled and clapped me on the back. “That should be my new corporate mantra.” He sighed deeply, pleased, then snapped his fingers. “Let me just have you sign off on the invoice.”
“Great.” That was what I wanted, so I could return to Nina.
He reached into his bag for a clipboard then flipped through some pages, whistling under his breath. He found mine and took his time tugging it gently from the holder.
Kill me now.
I snagged a pen from the counter, and the second the paper was free, I scrawled my name.
“Now, just a little green and we’ll be good.”
I located my platinum card, and he slid it through a card reader. But the credit card company decided to be a douchebag and spent its sweet time verifying that this wasn’t fraud.
I mean, that was all well and good, but was tonight the time for Chase to call and verify I was me?
Thirty minutes later, David left, my condo still smelling of fresh paint.
Nina would be hungry, and I needed to feed her, not to mention find a way to figure out what the hell to say.
But when I returned to her apartment, the place was quiet. A stillness floated through the air. An empty protein bar wrapper was on the kitchen counter.
I padded to her bedroom.
My heart raced to my throat. There she was. My sweet Nina, curled up on top of the bed, her laptop open, her yoga pants and T-shirt on, sound asleep. Good sex had a way of doing that to you. It was the best medicine for an excellent night of rest.
I lifted the corner of her covers, tucked them diagonally over her, and dusted a kiss to her forehead.
Her breath came steadily. In, out, whoosh.
I tried on her name in the faintest of whispers, too soft to wake her, but needing to test it.
“Nina, I fell in love with you.”
Her breath stayed at the same pace, and I turned out the lights, left the room, and shut the door.
Tomorrow I’d have to find a way to say it for real.
I did not want to be startled awake by the Rolling Stones. Not now. Not at this godforsaken hour. Because it could only be a disgustingly early time of day.
I squinted, reaching for my phone next to me on the guest bed.
Morning light shone through the blinds, the sun blaring its arrival. Grabbing the phone, I silenced Brandon’s ringtone then answered.
“Hello,” I grumbled.
“Bonjour! Also, where is my parade? My motorcade? My marching band?”
I groaned. “My bad. Forgot to order one.”
“I forgive you, I suppose. Well, as long as you pick me up at the airport.”
I scoffed. “There is this thing called Uber. You download it, use it, and it takes you everywhere.”
“I know. Just messing with you. I’m in my Uber now, on my way to your place. The only room I found was a master suite at the Bellagio for two grand a night, so I’m all yours today. See you in ten.”
I sat bolt upright. “See you.”
Scrubbing a hand across my jaw, I tried to make sense of my day, and how my plans had been upended. Well, technically I didn’t have any plans till tonight when the crew would hit our favorite spot at The Luxe, but I needed to work, go to the gym, see my sister, and, oh yeah, one more thing. Find a way to tell Nina I had fallen for her without, y’know, screwing our friendship.
That was all.
I dragged myself out of bed, peered down the hall, and saw her door was still closed. I wandered over and pressed an ear to it. I didn’t hear any stirring. My sexy angel was still asleep.
And that sucked.
In the guest bathroom, I took a piss, brushed my teeth, washed my face, and then pulled on my clothes from last night.
Her home was still painfully silent as I padded to the living room, images of what we’d done there last night flickering before me.
My friend on her knees, waiting for me.
Nina taking me in her mouth.
My sweet, dirty girl losing control on the butterfly.
My shaft twitched, like a dog longing to be let out.
But it would have to get in line.
I headed to her kitchen counter, spotted the owl notebook, and grabbed a sheet of paper, scribbling out a quick note.
Brandon is here, and I need to go. And you said you have a client. But I want to see you later. I need to see you later. And don’t forget—we’re all going out tonight.
I don’t know how I’m going to look at you without thinking of how absolutely beautiful you are on your knees, on your stomach, on your back.