With a frustrated laugh, he jerked his hands into the air. “I don’t know, man. You tell me. Something is definitely bothering you. You haven’t been typical annoying Ten since...fuck, I almost can’t remember when.”
“Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you,” I snapped. “Nothing’s fucking wrong. I’m not fucking sick. And the world’s not fucking ending. But I am beat. I’m going home to take a nap before I have to put up with you losers for the rest of the night.”
A sudden smile lit his face. “Oh, so that’s what this is about. Your midnight visitor been keeping you up too late lately?”
I almost choked on my own oxygen. “What? No. Fuck, that’s over. She’s not...she’s not coming back again.” I had to glance away when I said that. My face felt hot and shit. But when I did look away from Gam, I accidently met Ham’s gaze.
When my roommate narrowed his eyes and frowned sternly, I blinked in confusion. What was up with him?
“As I live and breathe,” Gamble murmured beside him. “I never thought I’d see the day a woman could tie you into knots.” His grin died as he studied me longer. “So what’d you do to piss her off and send her running?”
“Nothing,” I muttered, pissed he instantly thought I had to be the reason for my imaginary break-up with my imaginary midnight visitor. “And for your information, I am not tied in—”
I kind of forgot the next thing I wanted to say when I spotted Caroline and Blondie strolling our way. The knots in my stomach expanded, letting me know just how securely they were indeed tied.
Jesus, this girl owned me completely, and she probably had no clue.
Heat raced across my skin. The urge to go to her swept over me, and it took everything I had not to just...go. But Hamilton bumped me—hard—in the arm, making me stumble off balance and break my gaze from her.
I scowled at him, but he only mouthed two words my way, which looked like Stop staring.
Fuck, I had been staring at Caroline right in front of her brother, and getting turned on, unable to forget last night, or the night before that, or the fucking Friday before that.
“Hey, kiddo,” Gamble called when he noticed her. “You ready to get home? Aspen said she was cooking lasagna for supper.”
“Mmm.” The unintentional seduction in Caroline’s voice about made me go cross-eyed. I kept myself from looking at her directly, but I could tell by watching her from the corner of my eye that she was rubbing her belly. “I could die fat and happy from Aspen’s lasagna.”
And I could die fat and happy from her little moans.
Gamble’s woman really did make a kick-ass lasagna, though. In fact, if I’d been acting as my usual self, I’d step in right about now and finagle my way into getting an invite to supper, or fuck, I’d resort to outright begging for one and end up inviting myself over whether Gam said yes or no.
But I had this sense that if I opened my mouth right then, I’d say the first thing on my mind, which would be to tell Caroline how good she looked, or ask her when I’d get to see her again...alone, in my bedroom.
So I kept my lips clamped firmly and my attention on a fucking tree next to us as the other four members of the group chatted a few minutes before Gamble slung his arm around his sister’s shoulders, called a goodbye to us and steered her away.
She had to walk right past me to leave, though, and I just couldn’t handle it. As soon as she passed, I shifted out my arm that had been hanging down at my side and flexed the backs of my fingers so that they brushed across hers. I kept my attention on Gamble, making sure he saw none of this. Caroline responded by weaving her fingers through mine so they interlaced for the fraction of a moment before she pulled them away and was gone.
I stared after her, pulverized. She’d been right fucking there, and the only thing I’d gotten to do was barely brush my hand against hers?
Not fucking right. That had sucked ass. Majorly.
Turning away, edgy and cantankerous, I jerked to a stop when I found both Blondie and Ham watching me quite openly, and sternly.
Shit. I’d forgotten about them.
Ham lifted a disappointed eyebrow. “Really? Do you think you could’ve been any more obvious?”
I blinked, confused but worried what he might suspect. “Huh?”
“You’re going to get yourself caught if you keep staring at her like that. And what was up with that hand thing? Noel’s definitely going to figure out she was Midnight Visitor if he catches you sneaking in crap like that.”
My mouth fell open as I stared at him, unable to say anything. But, yeah...mind blown.