I pulled my hair up in a messy ponytail upon leaving the bedroom and didn’t change from my blue and white shorts and red tank top I wore to bed the night before (Go, USA!). The shirt is tight and the shorts are short, but I'm completely comfortable. Graham is presently glaring at me like he doesn’t like me too much, so I'm thinking he is not comfortable with my outfit—or he still isn't over last night.
I don't think he's ever been so angry with me before—well, except for maybe that time I accidentally put salt in his girlfriend's coffee instead of sugar.
I pour myself a cup of coffee, showing him my back. And I wait. He doesn't make me wait long.
His voice is brittle as he snaps, “Do you have to dress like that?”
“I always dress like this. You never seemed to care before.” I give my behind an extra wiggle just to irritate him. I know I've succeeded when something thumps loudly against the tabletop.
“I think you should dress like that more often,” Blake immediately replies.
“Did anyone ask you?” is Graham's hotheaded comeback.
“In fact, I think you’re wearing too many clothes. You should remove some.”
A low growl leaves Graham.
When I finally face the Malone boys, it is to find them staring one another down from across the small table. Graham’s wearing a white t-shirt and black shorts; his brother is in jeans and a brown shirt. Their coloring is so different, as are their features, but they are both striking in appearance, and their expressions currently mimic one another’s.
“Graham, you're being an ass,” I calmly inform him.
He grabs a piece of toast off his plate and whips it at me. I duck and it lands in the sink. To say I’m surprised would be an understatement. Toast throwing now? This is what our friendship has resorted to?
“I will not live with someone who throws toast at me in anger,” I announce, setting my untouched cup of coffee on the counter.
Blake snorts, covering his mouth with the back of his hand as he turns his attention to the world beyond the sliding glass patio doors. Graham blinks at me, like he doesn’t understand what I just said or maybe he doesn’t understand what he just did. Either way, I grab my mug and stride out of the room and down the hall to my bedroom. I’ll drink my coffee in peace, away from the toast throwing.
Only peace is not to be mine.
The door immediately opens after I close it, and there is Graham, staring at me, his head cocked, his expression unnamable.
“This coffee is hot,” I warn, holding the white mug out. “You wanna be a toast thrower then I can be a coffee thrower. Just saying.”
“Put the coffee down.”
He takes a step toward me. “Come on. Please.”
“You threw toast at me,” I point out, in case he forgot.
“I don’t know why I did that,” he mumbles, looking down. When he lifts his eyes to me, they are pleading. “Please?”
With a sigh, I comply. I am putty in his hands—or I could be. I keep the mug within reach on the dresser, should I need it as backup. As soon as I let the cup go, I’m pulled against his hard chest, his strong arms wrapping around me, his chin on the crown of my head. His scent cocoons me; a mixture of soap and Graham, and I inwardly sigh.
He should throw toast more often if this is the end result.
“I’m sorry—for last night, for the toast.