“Nothing,” she chirped, walking ahead of me.
Shifting the bottles under my arm, I found myself smiling when my gaze dropped to her heart-shaped ass. Damn. She made standard, Covenant-issued sweatpants something to dream about.
“Doesn’t seem like nothing,” I replied.
“Sometimes I just like to smile for no reason.”
“Smiling gives you premature wrinkles.”
“And resting bitchface doesn’t. Yeah. I know.” Stopping in front of the door to her room, she glanced over at me. “Or maybe I’m just smiling because I like being around you.”
I stared at her.
The corners of her lips tipped down. “Too much?”
Slowly, I shook my head. “No. Never too much.”
That smile returned in full force. “Good.” She unlocked the door and said, “Just remember that.”
My brows rose as I followed her and then stopped in the middle of the doorway, my jaw unhinging as I stared into the room.
“Surprise!” One—no, two or three voices shouted in unison, and I think I heard Josie giggle and say, “Happy birthday!”
I couldn’t stop staring at all of the . . . balloons. Red. White. Yellow. Some were shaped like . . . penises? My gaze narrowed on a red one that was a good ten inches long with—yep—with balls as the base. Penis balloons. My gaze tracked down, and there was Deacon St. Delphi, Aiden’s younger and definitely not as saintly brother, under the penis balloon, blond curls sticking out everywhere and silver eyes full of laughter.
“You’re awestruck, aren’t you?” he said, smirking. “Told you, Luke. The balloons sealed the deal.”
Luke was leaning against the wall, ankles crossed. “I had nothing to do with the balloons.”
“That was all me.” Jerking his thumb back at his chest, Deacon smiled proudly. “All. Me.”
Josie placed the basket of fries on an end table next to a small loveseat in the sitting room area. Then she took my chicken tenders and the drinks, placing them next to the fries.
She smiled weakly. “I might’ve, um, mentioned that you had a birthday coming up.”
“Really?” I murmured.
“Cake,” Deacon interjected, springing toward the coffee table. “We got you a cake.”
“I also had nothing to do with the cake,” Luke announced, and when I looked at him, he shrugged. “I’m pretty much just here to bear witness to your reaction.”
I had no words.
“You have no idea what I had to do to get Libby to make this cake. By the way, Libby is one of our awesome cooks in the cafeteria,” Deacon explained. “And I think it’s a really awesome cake.”
At that moment, I looked at the cake, really looked at it, and my eyes widened. “Spider-Man?”
Josie dipped her chin, unsuccessfully hiding her grin.
“You seemed like you’d be into Spider-Man.”
I opened my mouth. Yep. No words as I stared at the small, round cake. Libby should go into the cake-making business, I thought, because that was one hell of an accurate representation of Spider-Man, down to the blue tights and webbing.
“Solos was going to try to come, but he’s been out scouting all morning,” Josie said, twisting her hands together. “But he sends his birthday wishes.”
Now I was staring at her again, absolutely . . . flummoxed, and I couldn’t believe I was actually using that word, but I was shocked.
“So let’s eat cake before you guys have to do important stuff like train, and I have to go to class and pretend to pay attention,” Deacon said, turning to the cake. Beside it were plates.
They even got plates.
Penis balloons. Spider-Man cake. And plastic plates with the words HAPPY BIRTHDAY written in multiple colors—colors that matched the Spider-Man cake.
“Happy birthday, man.” Luke clapped his hand on my shoulder as he walked past me, toward Deacon. Coming up behind him, he circled his arm around the slimmer pure’s waist and leaned down, kissing his neck. “I want an edge piece.”
Deacon straightened, and with a grin he lifted his icing-covered pinky. Holding Luke’s gaze, he sucked the white icing right off his finger, causing Luke to stiffen . . . in probably a lot of areas.
Someone was getting way lucky later.
A soft touch on my arm drew my attention. I looked down and found Josie staring up at me, nibbling on her lower lip. Made me think of me doing the same thing, and that sent a jolt of awareness straight to my cock.
“Are you okay with this?” she asked, voice low. “I just wanted to . . . you know, celebrate your birthday.”
I blinked, snapping out of it. Still standing just inside the door, I hadn’t said more than two words. I’d just stood there and stared. Total dick move.
“I . . . I think it is great. Thank you.” Clearing my throat, I glanced over at the guys and spoke louder. Relief flickered across her face. “Thank you.”
Luke nodded as he stepped to the side, a slice of cake on a plate in his hand.
As Deacon got to work slicing up the rest of the cake, I reached around Josie and gently tugged on her ponytail. When she leaned into me, I circled my arm around her and lowered my mouth to her ear. “No one has . . . has ever done this for me.”
Josie pulled back, her eyes searching mine. “Done what? Celebrate your birthday?”
I shook my head. “No. This . . . this is a first.”
The hue of her blue eyes deepened and then she stretched up, kissing my cheek. “It’s the first of many, Sethie. Get used to it.”