Minutes, the exact number of which completely escaped Pippi, must have passed by the time Pippi gradually reclaimed her senses. She heard the sound of the shower running and knew she should be doing the same. If she didn’t get moving now, there was every chance they would be late for—
“Your panties are on the floor, Pip.”
“AAAH!” Pippi sat up with a cry of shock, and she was aghast to see Mynt and Rue’s nosy heads poking into the room from the doorway. “Y-you…” But words failed her, and Pippi simply ended up glaring at her sisters. “Privacy please!”
But the two only ignored this and came traipsing in.
“Here you go,” Rue said oh so helpfully as she picked up Pippi’s underwear from the floor.
Pippi could feel her face turning red even as she snatched the offending garment from her baby sister’s hands. “Thank you.” She shot them a pointed look. “Now, can you go?”
But these words were also ignored, with a sly-looking Mynt asking with great interest, “You do it a lot, don’t you?”
“Oh my God, guys!”
It was at this point that Acheron came out of the shower, and to his credit, the billionaire simply took everything literally in stride. His hair wet and his body naked save for the towel wrapped around his hips, he crossed the room to stand next to Pippi and greeted her sisters like it was normal for them to show up in his bedroom. “Morning, ladies.”
“Morning, Acheron,” the two simultaneously chirped with cheerful smiles.
“Anything I can do before I kick you two out of my room?”
“Yes, there is,” Rue said without hesitation. “Do you think I can intern in your company this summer?”
Pippi was aghast. “No, you cannot!”
Rue grinned. “Good thing I was just joking then.”
As Acheron held the door open for Rue, he turned to Pippi’s other sister in askance. “Mynt?”
“Just one question,” was the rather earnest reply.
“Is it true Pippi’s still a virgin?”
“Ne,” Acheron answered. “But if it were up to your sister earlier, I might have to answer in the neg—” A dainty foot slamming extra hard on his toes had the billionaire halting mid-sentence with a wince.
Pippi relished the pained expression on Acheron’s handsome face. Good! But because she also wasn’t the type to take any chances, she quickly turned to Mynt with a determined smile, saying, “We’ve both overstayed our welcome, don’t you think?”
Mynt suddenly found herself being dragged out of the Monarch Room. “B-But—”
“Shut up or you won’t have an allowance for an entire month,” Pippi threatened under her breath.
“Pippi’s right, Acheron,” Mynt declared without missing a beat. “We have overstayed our welcome. Sorry about that!”
She even managed to put on a forlorn look, but as soon as Pippi pulled the door shut on an amused-looking Acheron, Mynt couldn’t help grinning. “You do realize I’m old enough to get what he said, right?”
“Get what?” Pippi tried to bluff her way out as she marched past Mynt.
“Oh, come on.” After sprinting to beat her sister to the stairs, Mynt started climbing the steps backwards so she could continue teasing Pippi. It was just so fun to see her eternally pragmatic sister act like the most lovable ninny where Acheron Simonides was concerned.
“Just admit it, Pip.” Mynt’s tone was sly. “You’re obsessed with the man.”
“Yes, you are, and there’s nothing wrong about feeling that way. You’re a girl, he’s a boy, and that’s how virginities are lost—”
Having reached their room, Pippi threw a pillow at her sister, but a giggling Mynt was able to duck in time.
“Fine, fine. Just admit this at least – he’s fantastic in bed, isn’t he?”
“Oh, for the love of…”
“Okay, okay, another question then.”
Mynt was still smiling, but this time Pippi detected a faint trace of worry in her sister’s gaze.
“He makes you happy, right?”
“I know he’s an impossibly good catch, but then…you’re a Jones, and it’s in our blood to attract the most desirable men—”
“Who, more often than not, also happen to be the least trustworthy,” Pippi finished with a grimace.
Mynt’s expression turned anxious. “Is that your way of saying Acheron’s a jerk like the rest?”
“Of course not!” Seeing her sister breathe a sigh of relief made Pippi realize rather guiltily just how much her happiness meant to Mynt and the others. Which was something she should have known from the start, Pippi thought with a mental wince, only she had been too busy making out with Acheron to notice.
“It’s that Amelia woman, isn’t it?” Rue grumbled. “I’ve been following the news, and I know that woman’s still leeching off him, living in his apartment—”
“Rue.” Pippi felt obliged to give her sister an admonishing look. “The woman’s been through a lot, and more than that, she was instrumental in helping Acheron leave the gang…alive.”
“So?” Rue’s tone was challenging. “Doesn’t mean he has to pay her back for the rest of his life, does he?”