“Sure, I can do that on my way to the hardware store,” Cloe said, immediately regretting the slip when Christofer’s head snapped back in her direction.
“Why are you going to the hardware store?” Christofer demanded.
Marta of course answered. Cloe was willing to bet the woman was enjoying thumbing her nose up at her brother.
“She’s picking up the supplies to paint the house.”
“The hell she is! That’s my job.”
“Uh huh,” Cloe sighed. Just like everything else, he only wanted to do it so that she couldn’t. “I’m ready to go if you are, Marta.”
Marta pushed her empty plate towards Christofer and grabbed her purse and cane. “I’m ready.”
Christofer dug his hands into his pockets to keep from strangling little Miss Perfect whose muffins always came out looking like muffins, making his look like dog shit on crack coc**ne.
He almost ran into Cloe when she suddenly stopped in front of him. “Marta, do you want me to pack you a sandwich?”
No, she doesn’t, Christofer thought smugly. Granted, it was his fault that his sister couldn’t stomach eating sandwiches any longer, but that was beside the point. There was finally something that little Miss Perfect could offer his sister that Marta wouldn't accept.
“No, thank you, dear,” Marta answered from the front hall.
“Guess she doesn’t like your cooking after all,” he whispered close to her ear, deciding to rub it in.
Cloe looked over her shoulder at him, giving him a knowing smile. “I bet she never asked for seconds when you used to cook, now did she?”
He glared at her, feeling his teeth try to push through. She was getting on his last damn nerve. He should just do the world a favor and put her over his knee and spank that beautiful ass of hers.
She reached back and petted his cheek with a coy little smile that instantly set his blood on fire. “Just because she eats my cooking doesn’t mean that she likes yours any less,” she said, somewhat appeasing him. She started to walk away only to pause and look over her shoulder with a teasing smile as she added, “Of course, it doesn’t mean that she likes it any more either.” She gave him a wink before walking away, leaving him fuming.
He was still fuming a minute later when he followed Cloe and Marta outside. Cloe raised an eyebrow in his direction. “And what do you think you’re doing?”
“I’m coming with you,” he said as he walked past her, snatching her keys out of her hand. “And I’m driving.”
“That’s fine with me. I never turn down a cute chauffer,” she said teasingly as she climbed in the backseat, leaving him stunned.
Did she just call him cute? The horn honking startled him and brought his glare to Marta who gestured at her watch impatiently.
“They start Bingo in twenty minutes. Hurry, Christofer!”
He rolled his eyes as he climbed in the driver’s seat and adjusted it and then readjusted it. Damn, she was a short little thing. Of course he liked that. He liked that she looked small and made him want to wrap his arms around her and-
“Comfy?” she asked wryly from the backseat.
His eyes met hers in the mirror and she smiled sweetly and, definitely, innocently back at him.
“Christofer!” Marta said impatiently.
“Give me a minute, woman, while I adjust the seat from midget to man-sized,” he grunted as he shifted the seat again.
“Too bad everything in the driver’s seat isn’t man-sized,” Cloe muttered under her breath, too low for the human ear to catch, but not for him.
“I heard that!”
Her brows arched as she frowned at him. “No, you didn’t.”
“I assure you, sweetheart, everything is sized correctly,” he said, looking in the rearview mirror, shooting her a wink as his words hit home.
Christofer decided then and there that he really liked it when she blushed. Marta sputtered something about him moving his butt and Cloe looked out the window. Her cheeks were still bright red when he pulled in front of the Senior Center ten minutes later. Before he could get out and help her, Marta was climbing out and a man in his seventies was standing there smiling at her and giving her a hand.
Before Christofer could demand an introduction to the man who was manhandling his sister, Marta waved him off and headed inside the building.
“Stop it. I think it’s cute,” Cloe said as she climbed between the two front seats to get to the front passenger seat. No doubt she feared that he would drive away if she stepped out to switch seats. He probably would, he thought with a smirk.
“I don’t know why, but that little smile is making me nervous,” Cloe mumbled.
“As it should, sweetheart. As it should,” he said with a grin as he pulled out of the parking lot and headed for the hardware store.
“What about-” Cloe started to say only to be immediately shot down.
“No, I want white,” Christofer, the most stubborn man on earth, said.
“Don't you even want to look at any other colors?” she asked, gesturing to a plethora of color samples set up on the back wall.
He pursed his lips up thoughtfully as he stepped closer. Instead of stepping around her to look at the samples though, he stepped up right behind her.
Cloe tried to step away only to find herself boxed in by his large body. He put a hand on her hip and leaned over her like it was the most natural thing in the world to do. She sucked in a breath and closed her eyes, trying to force herself to remain calm.
“Hmmm, these are okay I guess,” she heard Christofer say, sounding as though he was far away instead of right behind her.
She could feel her heart pounding against her chest as she tried to convince herself that she was not locked in place. She could move. She could. She had the entire store to move around. There was no way that she was trapped in this small space. None. If she wanted to move she could.
“Are you okay?” Christofer suddenly asked, breaking through the tension that threatened to bring her to her knees.
“Yes, I'm fine,” she lied, stepping away from him and headed towards the paint accessories. “Why don't you think about it before you decide?” she suggested, trying to sound casual as she tried desperately to calm her frayed nerves. “It's going to take a while before the house is ready to paint anyway.”
“But I want white,” he said in a sulky, somewhat cute, tone that made her smile and somewhat calmed her nerves.