Roman (Raleigh Raptors 2) - Page 26

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“It reminded me of you.”

“It what?” My jaw dropped a bit.

“He gives her an art studio.” Her cheeks pinkened, and she looked away, leaving me dumbstruck for a second. “Look, we can watch something—”

“He gives her an art studio? Spoiler alert,” I teased, hating that flicker of self-doubt that clouded those blue eyes. If I didn’t already want to kill Baker for putting his hands on T, the way he’d systematically broken her down until she questioned every choice would have gotten me there.

“Speaking of the art studio…” A wide smile spread across her face.

“Yeah?” I leaned over and grabbed a handful of popcorn. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a post-practice Wednesday afternoon than bantering with Teagan.

“I sold another one of my pieces today!” She practically glowed with happiness.

“No way!” That was the third this month. “Congrats, T. That’s awesome!”

“As soon as that check clears, I’ll have enough to get out of your hair!” Her smile softened. “I never meant to stay this long, you know.”

My stomach dropped. “Don’t rush on my account. I know you’re just getting back on your feet, and I’d hate to see you scrambling for cash just so you can pay rent.” The minute she left, this would all end. The dinners, the movie-matinees, the sound of her singing as she worked in the art studio. It would all end just as I’d finally gotten her back in my life. The last year she’d been with Baker, I’d barely been allowed to see her. “Honestly, you’d be doing me a favor if you stayed a little longer.”

“Oh?” Her eyebrows rose.

I nodded toward where Walt had consumed the love seat. “I have to admit, it’s nice that he hasn’t run off another house sitter during away games. I went through five last season, alone.” I cringed.

“What?” She laughed. “Walt’s a marshmallow!” Her laugh picked my stomach off the floor, but tension still ran thick between my shoulders.

“He can be a bit…imposing.” Especially to strangers in the house. “Seriously, T, I love having you here,” I admitted softly, rubbing the top of my head and looking away. “It’s been nice getting to spend some real time with you again. So like I initially told you—stay as long as you want. But if you’re ready for your own space, I get that, too.”

She swallowed and glanced from me to Walt and back again. “Maybe just a little longer,” she said softly.

I nodded.

Awareness stretched between us, just like it had in all of our interactions since she’d kissed me. There had been a subtle shift from that awkward, just friends convo in the kitchen after dinner with our moms, to…well, whatever the hell this was. Not that it was anything. She was fresh out of a long-term, shitty relationship, and I might have wanted her more than I wanted my next breath, but that didn’t mean I was going to act on it.

She tugged her bottom lip between her teeth and faced the television, fumbling quickly for the remote. “And on that note…” She pressed play, and the movie began.

It wasn’t half bad. Cheesy at points, sure, but I had to give the guy props—he’d dangled his ass off a Ferris wheel to get the girl, which was something I could respect.

Not that any of the girls who had texted me over the last few months were worth falling to my death over. None of them were Teagan. That was always the problem, wasn’t it?

“He’s going to get them electrocuted.” I leaned forward slightly, bracing my elbows on my knees as Ryan Gosling paddled the shit out of that little canoe.

“Just wait,” Teagan said breathlessly.

“Is this where he dies? Someone always dies in one of these.” It was why I made it a rule not to watch them. I had no problem with death in movies. I just preferred it more Die Hard, less Dying Young.

“Shhh!” her eyes were locked on the screen.

Ryan Gosling kissed Rachel McAdams like she was his last chance at life, then took it upstairs…literally. Had to admit, it was pretty damned hot.

Teagan shifted next to me, her cheeks pink, her breaths a little on the shallow side, and her lips parted. Guess she thought it was pretty damned hot, too.

We made it through the rest of the movie, and I even managed not to lose my shit that they died together.

“That’s the last time I let you pick the movie,” I told her as I cleaned up our snacks and headed for the kitchen.

“Tell me it wasn’t the most romantic thing you’ve ever seen!” She gushed, coming after me with our drinks. We’d fallen into such a domestic rhythm that we didn’t even get in each other’s way as we cleaned up. Everything with her was like that. Easy as breathing.


Tags: Samantha Whiskey Raleigh Raptors Romance
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