Breaking Hollywood(2)

By: Samantha Towle


“That’s a cheery story. Did you break your brother’s foot as well?”

“No! Of course I didn’t. He broke it after falling out of our tree house.”

“I don’t give two shits how your brother broke his foot! Did you not hear me say, my foot is fucking hurting? I don’t think it can get any worse! Now, will you just take my goddamn shoe off?”

“Okay. Jesus. You’re so damn testy.”

His response is a growl.

I untie the laces on his shoe and very gently start to ease his shoe off.

“Ah, fuck! That hurts!”

“I told you this wasn’t a good idea. Do you want me to stop?”

“No, just keep going.”

“Should I do it like a Band-Aid?”

“What?”

“Should I just rip it off like a Band-Aid?”

“No! Just take my shoe off like a normal fucking person takes a shoe off. No ripping off anything.”

“I didn’t mean that I’d literally rip it off. I just meant, quick, like a Band-Aid. God, you’re prickly, and you do curse an awful lot.”

His dark brows come together in an unfriendly frown. “You just ran over my fucking foot, and you’re complaining that I’m prickly and I curse too fucking much? How about this, Speedy? I’ll get in my car and run over your foot, and then we’ll see how that goes for you.”

“Jeez, I was only saying,” I mutter. “And please stop calling me Speedy.”

His lips tighten, his brows rising.

“Okay. We can discuss the use of nicknames later. Let’s just get this shoe off, and we can assess the damage on your foot. One…two…three.”

I give it a good tug, and the shoe is off. All the while, Gabriel yet again curses like a sailor.

“Motherfucking cunt of a son of a bitch!” he yells.

“Does it hurt more?”

He pauses, giving me a dark look. “What the hell do you think?”

“Well, I told you—”

“Don’t you fucking dare say I told you so.”

“I wasn’t going to.” I so was. I press my lips together. A beat later, I ask, “Do you want me to take your sock off as well?”

“No, I can do it.”

I sit back on my haunches and watch while he carefully peels off his sock.

“Ah, fuck,” he groans.

“Ooh, that does not look good at all.” I move in close, looking at his foot, which is a spectacular shade of blue. “It shouldn’t be that color and not this quickly. I definitely think it’s broken.” I glance up at his face.

God, he’s pretty.

“No shit, Sherlock,” he mutters.

And he’s an ass.

I stare back at his foot. “I don’t think that bone should be sticking up like that.” I point at it with my finger.

He bats my hand away. “Don’t touch it!”

“I wasn’t going to touch it! I’m not stupid.”

“You sure about that?”

“Hey!” I lean back, affronted. “That’s not nice! I know I ran over you with my car, but it was an accident. I didn’t mean to. I’ve never run over anyone with my car before. I have crashed into another car before, but I’d call it more of a bump, and it was the other driver’s fault, not mine. He’d pulled out in front of me. And there was this one time when I clipped this dude’s side mirror, and he was pissed, but if he’d parked his car better and not left it sticking out in the road, then I wouldn’t have hit it. It’s not my fault there are incompetent drivers out there.”

Gabriel is gaping at me.

“What?” I ask, a little self-conscious.

“Do you actually hear yourself when you’re talking?”

“Of course I do.” I frown. “I’m not deaf.”

“Good. Because, for a moment there, I was wondering if you were actually aware of the crap that comes out of your mouth.”

Ugh. Asshole.

He starts to get to his feet—well, foot. I stand and offer him a hand because I’m a nice person, unlike him, but he ignores my offer, choosing to struggle instead.

So, I watch as he gets up, balancing on one foot, his hand resting on the roof of my car for support.

He’s so tall. Six-four, according to his website. I’m only five-three. He’s a whole foot taller than me. Even with my heels on, I still have to crane my neck to look up at him.

His face is pinched in pain.

“We need to get you to a hospital. I think Presbyterian is closest.”

He lets out a hard laugh. “No, thanks.”

“Why? What’s wrong with Presbyterian?”

“Nothing’s wrong with Presbyterian. It’s you that’s the problem. No fucking way am I getting in a car with you.”

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