No, Liberty. Turn it off!
“She’s right,” Roman said, his hand gently touching Teagan’s elbow to draw her attention.
Teagan swallowed hard, then reached for her champagne flute on the bar. “Thank you,” she said, though her voice was much softer than before.
“That better be tonic in your glass,” Nixon said, eying Roman.
“And what if it was Gin, boss?” Roman smiled. “What would you do?”
Nixon shrugged. “I’ll run it out of you in the morning, then.”
Roman laughed, shaking his head. “It’s tonic. I’m not a masochist.”
“I am,” Hendrix said, raising his glass tumbler filled halfway with an amber liquid.
Nixon sighed. “You’re going to puke on the field tomorrow.”
Hendrix laughed and took another sip. “Wouldn’t be the first time.”
Nixon glanced down at me. “Ginger ale?”
“Yes, please.” Luckily, since moving in with Nixon the sickness had gone down by about fifty percent, and I could only pray to the pregnancy gods that they’d give me a reprieve tonight. Still, I’d marked all the bathrooms the second we’d walked in, just in case.
Nixon ordered two, then handed me the glass. I sipped it, my stomach instantly sighing in relief at the bubbly liquid. I chased a few stray drops from the corner of my mouth, only to find Nixon’s eyes on mine. The heat that churned behind them coiled everything in my body like a tight spring. It didn’t help that his all-black suit hugged his carved muscles in all the right places. It also didn’t help that he’d been nothing but caring, considerate, and downright funny these past few days. I hadn’t laughed this much in a long time, and considering our circumstances, laughing was the last thing I thought we’d be doing.
Weren’t accidental pregnancies supposed to be more stressful than this? More fights or struggles to mold two lives that clearly were never meant to be together? I mean, Nixon was the quarterback for an NFL team, and I was an aspiring psychologist with dreams of bringing mental health awareness around the globe. And this baby…this baby was one string holding us together in a tapestry of fate no one could possibly understand.
“What are you thinking?” he asked, smoothing a hand down my bare arm.
I parted my lips, then shut them. “Who says I’m thinking about anything?” I finally asked.
He cocked a brow at me. “You’ve got that look.”
“What look?” I laughed.
Nixon stepped closer to me, the heat from his body curling around my own. He smoothed a finger down the center of my brow, his touch feather-light, and yet somehow branding.
“Whenever you’re battling something internally, you get the sexiest little grooves right here.” He drew his finger back after another pass, and my entire body whimpered at the loss of contact.
“I do?” I asked, my voice cracking slightly.
He nodded, his eyes open, churning with something I couldn’t place. Hope? Worry? Regret? God, I was usually better at reading people. Why was Nixon so hard to get a handle on?
Maybe because he had so many versions of himself—the quarterback for his team, or the quarterback for the media, or the twin brother Nixon, or the one I’d met in Vegas, or the one who’d asked me to move in with him.
“So?” he pressed.
I opened my lips and shut them a few times. Maybe I should just be honest with him. Let him know I not only can’t figure him out, or what he wants, but I can’t stop thinking about that damn kiss too.
“There you all are!” A masculine voice edged with irritation cut off my words, and Nixon shifted his stance, electing to stand just a hair in front of me instead of at my side. It was such a subtle move I wasn’t even sure he knew he’d made it.
A large, muscular man in a gray suit—Rick Baker—stomped up to the bar and clapped Roman on the back with a little bit too much force, if Roman’s clenched jaw was any indication. “Thanks for bringing my girl here, Romo,” he said, immediately taking the flute from Teagan’s hand and throwing back the contents. He smacked the flute on the bar, raising two fingers at the bartender before turning to face Teagan.
“Anytime,” Roman said as he rose from his stool. He nodded toward a group of guys across the room, and he and Hendrix headed their direction, leaving Nixon and myself at the bar with Teagan and Rick.
Rick slid his hands over Teagan’s hips, his eyes trailing the length of her body. “Blue, huh?” he asked, a slight edge to his tone.
Teagan nodded rapidly. “I know you don’t normally like blue, but I went shopping today and—”
“With who?” he interrupted her.
“With me,” I said.
Teagan’s eyes flashed to mine for a brief second, and before I could blink, Rick whirled around, his tense features relaxing as he noted the proximity in which I stood to Nixon.