Tease (Page 50)

Tease (Take It Off #2)(50)
Author: Cambria Hebert

I groaned. Asking me to get up this early was seriously inhumane. “I tired,” I whined.

He kissed me on the nose. “I can call and cancel.”

“No. Just go without me.”

“I don’t know,” he murmured, brushing the hair off my cheek.

“I’ll be fine. Adam’s here.”

“Are you sure?” I growled. He chuckled again. “I’ll come back when I’m done.”

“M’kay.”

He kissed my cheek and tucked the blankets up around my chin. “I’ll bring you a coffee.”

Even after he was gone, the sheets still carried his scent. I breathed it in and slipped right back into a blissful sleep.

Unfortunately, my plan to sleep in and wallow in bed was short lived. Apparently Adam was a morning person like Cam (damn those early risers) and he started banging around in the kitchen, making me wonder what in the world he was doing.

With a groan, I rolled out of bed (I literally rolled out of bed and fell on my ass) and saw Cam’s T-shirt lying on the floor. I picked it up and tugged it over my head, enjoying the way it smelled and felt against my skin. Then I grabbed a pair of yoga pants and put those on too.

I didn’t bother combing my hair or brushing my teeth. Call it Adam’s punishment for waking me up. I stumbled out of the bedroom and into the living, wiping the sleep from my eyes. Roxie’s bedroom door opened and she came out looking as disgruntled as I, with a silk robe flapping behind her as she walked.

“What in God’s name are you doing?” she grumped. “And what is that smell?”

“Your coffee maker is a piece of crap!” Adam yelled from the kitchen.

In guy speak, that meant he broke it, but he was blaming the poor appliance.

Roxie and I shared a glance and then went to survey the damage. I didn’t know coffee makers could produce smoke. But ours was doing just that. It was also in the sink with water pouring over it from the faucet… which led me to believe that it had been on fire…

“I’ve actually never met anyone who couldn’t use a coffee maker,” I said, staring at the smoking, waterlogged appliance.

“Shit,” Adam swore softly and ran a hand over the top of his head. “I’ll buy you ladies another one.”

Roxie giggled.

Adam looked at her sharply. “Are you laughing at me?”

She laughed harder. It made me laugh too.

Adam grinned. “Where the hell is Cam? And what’s with all the chick food in the refrigerator?”

I sighed. “I bought guy food. Beer, bacon, eggs…”

“Yes, but those require actual cooking,” Roxie said, stifling another giggle. “And it’s clear that Adam knows nothing about cooking.”

He wasn’t amused.

“What do you usually eat, Adam?”

“I usually just hit a drive-thru,” he muttered, and we both burst out laughing again. He scowled.

“Since I ruined the coffee maker, coffee’s on me this morning. Even though you two hyenas don’t deserve it, I’ll even spring for donuts.”

“I’ll go with you,” Roxie said, heading for her room where I assumed she was going to change out of her PJs.

“Well, that’s a first,” I said, watching her go.

“What?”

“I’ve yet to see her willingly leave the apartment this early in the morning.”

Adam’s chest puffed out. “I have a way with the ladies.”

I snorted, hiding the fact that I secretly agreed with him.

“What do you want in your coffee?” he asked.

I shook my head. “You don’t have to get me one. Cam’s bringing one over for me after his surf lesson. But I won’t argue with a donut.”

He studied me a minute. “Want me to wait ‘til Cam gets back before I go?”

I sighed. Everyone’s concern was sweet, but I was an adult. I didn’t need a babysitter. “No. I’m fine. Last night was scary, but I’m certainly not going to fall apart.”

Roxie reappeared wearing a pair of cutoffs and a fitted tee. She had sunglasses already over her eyes. I laughed. “You better get the coffee. Looks like waking up this early isn’t doing a body good.”

Adam grabbed his keys off the counter and placed a hand on the small of Roxie’s back as he led her to the door. “Lock this behind us,” he called.

“Okay.”

When the door closed, I let out a sigh. I loved my friends, but a few minutes alone seemed kind of appealing right now. I hadn’t lied when I told Adam (or Cam) that I was okay. I was. But that didn’t mean I didn’t have some feelings to sort out in my mind for my own well-being.

I pushed away from the counter and spun, planning to go lock the door, but something on the counter caught my eye. It was the jar of rice that Cam had given me.

With everything going on, I had completely forgotten about my cell phone. Curious, I fished it out of the jar, snapped the battery into the back, and then hit the power button.

A few seconds went by and the screen flashed, coming to life. I smiled. It actually worked. Who’da thunk it?

I turned the phone over in my hands, making sure there weren’t any scratches or damages, and then it made a series of small beeps. I flipped it back over to see that I had several voicemails.

All of them from my mother.

Crap. I had completely forgotten to call her back. She was probably worried to death. I glanced at the clock and noted that it was still a little early to call her so I went into my message box and played back the first voice message—the one that she left right before I dumped my phone in the melted ice.

I pressed the speaker button and my mother’s voice filled the kitchen. “Hi, honey, it’s your mother. Seems we’ve been playing phone tag a lot lately. I hope everything is okay. I just wanted to let you know that John—the boy you went to high school with?”

Yes, I remembered John well. He was the guy that told everyone I cheated with him, thus shooting down the whole tease rumor.

You’re nothing but a little tease… The words from last night echoed in my head and I gasped.

My mother kept talking, although the room was beginning to tilt. “John came by the house the other day. He hadn’t realized you went away to college, and he thought he could speak with you. When I told him you weren’t here, he asked me to pass along a message. He said he ran into Brody at a bar and he let your secret slip.”

Oh, this wasn’t good. In fact, I was beginning to put together a puzzle I hadn’t even realized I was assembling. As the pieces fit together, it revealed a very ugly picture.