That was a low blow. I look at him, and my gut is telling me to do it, to give him a second chance, but my brain is screaming at me, telling me that if I do it, then it will be the end of life as I know it.
“We can be friends,” I compromise, and he grins.
“Sure, baby. Friends,” he mutters then steps closer to me, and I cover my mouth again when I see his eyes drop to my lips. “Don’t worry. I won’t kiss you until you’re begging me to,” he says, and I scoff, take a step back, reach up with my free hand, and open the cupboard that holds my plates. I pull two down and shove them at him, and then remove my hand from my mouth when I open the fridge to grab two beers.
He opens the box of pizza, and the smell filters to my nose, causing my stomach to growl. “Ewww, you got Hawaiian and supreme.” I scrunch up my nose. His eyes come to me and he blinks as I press my lips together to keep from smiling.
“You’re a pain in the ass,” he mutters, shaking his head and smiling as he slides a slice of each on a plate and hands it to me, then does the same for himself. I walk back to the living room, and he comes with me, setting his plate and beer on the coffee table and looking around. “Where’s your TV?” he asks, confused.
“In my bedroom,” I tell him, taking a bite of pizza.
“You only have one TV?” He frowns, and I frown back.
“Yes, why? How many TVs do you have?”
“A couple.” He shrugs.
“When I’m home, I usually hang out in my room,” I tell him, watching as he takes a bite of pizza. How can eating be sexy? I think, and then realize I forgot napkins, and I will definitely need them. I set down my plate, get up, and go to the kitchen, grabbing some paper towels off the roll before coming back and handing one to him.
“Thanks,” he mumbles, taking a drink of beer.
“So what do you do?” I ask, sitting back on the couch and pulling my feet up under me.
“Me and a few of my brothers have a parts store and bike shop.” He says then wipes his mouth.
“Brothers, like brothers, or brothers, like ‘This is my brother’?” I ask, doing a fist bump in the air.
“It’s all the same.” He smiles. “We were all in the military together, and when we got out a couple years ago, we decided to settle down and start a business together.”
“That’s cool,” I murmur, taking a drink of my beer then pulling the crust off my pizza before finishing it off.
“What about you? How long have you been a vet?”
“A couple years.”
“How old are you?” he questions, and I feel my skin heat as his eyes roam over me.
“Twenty-six.” I shrug then continue when he looks at me doubtfully. “I graduated high school at seventeen then started college right away. I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian since I was a little girl, so I worked extra hard until I got my wish.”
“Why?” he asks, and my heart squeezes painfully in my chest.
“We had a dog growing up, and his name was Beast. He was a black and white Great Dane, but to me, he was my best friend. When he got older and became sick, I knew one day I wanted to be able to help other people who loved their animals as much as I loved Beast,” I whisper, taking another sip of beer, hoping it will help wash away the pain of talking about my best friend.
“Is that why you don’t have a dog now?” he asks, reading me, and I nod.
“I don’t want to replace him.”
“I get that,” he says gently, setting his empty plate and beer on the table.
“How old are you?” I ask, setting my own plate down but keeping my beer in hand.
“Twenty-nine. So how long have you been riding?”
“Since I was fifteen. My mom is actually the one who taught me to ride. My dad hates it, but knows he can’t stop me. It was one of my mom’s hobbies, and something that only she and I share, so it makes it that much more special.”
“You have brothers and sisters?” he asks.
“I have four sisters, all younger, all in college.” I smile. “What about you? Any siblings?”
“No, I’m an only child, raised by a single mother.”
“How did you end up in Tennessee?”
“My mom lives in Nashville, and when I came out to visit her, I drove through this town and liked the feel of it, so I talked to my boys and we packed up, got on our bikes, and drove out here from California.”
“That must have been scary, huh?”
“None of us had anything to lose,” he says, and I try to think of something else to say then look around my living room, wondering why the hell I didn’t just buy another TV.
“Do you want to go to bed with me?” I ask then cover my mouth and feel my eyes grow large.
“Sure.” He smiles, and I cover my face.
“I mean do you want to watch TV with me?” I say peeking out from behind my hands.
“I know what you meant.” He chuckles, and I feel his hand on my knee. I remove my hands from my face and look at him, shaking my head.
“Let me just clean this stuff up,” I mutter, standing and grabbing my plate.
“I’ll help,” he says, picking up his plate and taking mine from me, so I pick up his beer bottle and follow him into the kitchen, watching the way his ass moves as he walks. “Are you checking out my ass?”
“Definitely.” I smile, walking past him to the garbage can.
“Pain in the ass,” he mutters, but I hear the smile in his voice. “You kept the bird,” he says, standing in front of Taser’s cage.
“Yeah, he probably won’t be able to fly again. His wing didn’t heal like it was supposed to.” I smile when Taser tweets at Wes as he sticks his finger into the cage. “Do you want another beer?”
“Sure.” He nods, and I open one for him and another for myself then lead him back into my bedroom. I set my beer on my nightstand before climbing up on my bed. I watch as he walks around to the other side, his presence making my room feel small. My insides start to twist thinking about how my ex-boyfriend was allergic to cats, so we always spent time at his house, and the only guys who have been in my room since I moved here are my cousins.
I try to see what he sees as he takes in my room. I painted the walls a light blue that matches an antique chair I set in the corner of the room. My dressers and night stands are all antiques, as well as being all different in design, the old cream paint chipping and peeling, giving them character. My bedding is ruffled white duvet that covers the large down comforter I have inside it. You can tell it’s a girl’s room, but it isn’t covered in pink flowers.