Breaking Hollywood(5)

By: Samantha Towle



He gives me a pointed look and takes another long drag of his cigarette, letting the smoke filter slowly out of the corner of his mouth.

God, he’s so sexy.

Stop it, Ava. Focus on the matter at hand.

“Mine was by accident. And I didn’t kill you.”

“Just broke my foot. And I’m not killing you.”

“But you’re purposely putting my life at risk with your cancer stick.” I jab a finger in its direction.

He puts the cigarette between his lips, leaving it there, dangling.

Dear God. He looks like James Dean or a young Marlon Brando. All beautifully bad and cool.

Ugh. Why does he have to look so good with the grossest thing in the world hanging from his mouth?

“Don’t worry, Speedy,” he says, cigarette still between his lips. “I’m sure you’re far more likely to kill yourself in your golf-cart car than die from the inhalation of my smoke.”

“Well, if I do die of lung cancer by smoke inhalation, then my death is on you.”

He takes another long drag of his cigarette and then removes it from between his lips. Holding it between his thumb and index finger, he flicks the ash out the window. “I’m sure I’ll find a way to live with it.”

Ugh. Bastard.

“Not when my pissed off ghost comes back to haunt your smoking ass, you won’t.”

“Did you just make a dirty joke, Speedy?”

I run my words back through my head, hearing them how he heard them, and my face floods with embarrassment, my cheeks burning.

“You think my ass is smoking hot?”

I have nothing, so I do what any grown woman would. I flip him the bird.

He laughs. It’s deep and sexy, and I feel it everywhere.

“I’ll take that as a yes.”

“Take it as a no. A big fat no. Now, will you be quiet and let me drive? I’d hate to have another accident.”

I flick a glance at him and find him grinning at me.

“Sure thing, Speedy.” He winks at me. Then, he puts his cigarette between his lips and takes another drag, looking every bit the gorgeous movie star that he is.

And my girlie parts shimmy in response.

Uh-oh.





Ava


Two more cigarettes, three mints, four drinks from his hip flask, and what feels like five years later, I pull up outside of Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center.

Who knew being stuck in a car with my celebrity crush could be so painful? Especially when I was aware of every single thing he did, down to every inhalation of breath he took.

I bring the car to a stop in the patient drop-off zone.

I’ll leave it here, help Gabriel inside, and then come back out to move it to the parking lot.

I take my seat belt off at the same time as Gabriel.

I open my mouth to speak, but he beats me to it.

“You can just leave my car here. I’ll have Tate move it. And here’s some money for a cab back to your car.”

I hold up a hand, stopping him. “I don’t want your money for a cab. I can pay for my own cabs.” For now at least. “And, as much as I’d like to leave you here, my conscience won’t allow it. I have to make sure you’re okay.”

“I’m okay. There. Your conscience is eased.”

“Funny. I didn’t know you became a doctor in the five years it took to drive here.”

“That’s weird because, the speed you drove, it felt more like five seconds to get here.”

“I did not speed! I stuck to the speed limit the whole way. And I got you to the hospital in one piece, didn’t I?”

He eyes his broken foot with a raised brow.

“That doesn’t count because it was already broken before I got in the car with you.”

“Your logic is screwed up.”

“It is not! God, you’re so annoying.” I glare at him.

“And smoking hot, Speedy. Don’t forget that.”

Argh!

“I never said you were smoking hot! I said I would haunt your smoking ass! As in the fact that you smoke—which is a disgusting habit, FYI—and I was using the word ass as an insult, you ass! I do not think that your ass is hot! Seriously! I would rather kiss a toad’s ass than ever think that your ass is hot! I do think that you’re vain, crude, argumentative, and seriously annoying though!” I break off, breathing hard. I’m pretty sure I have steam coming out of my ears.

Jesus, I barely know him, and I want to strangle him! No one has ever annoyed me more than he does. And it’s so disappointing because I thought he was awesome. That was before I got to know him, of course.

“Has my hair gone gray?” he asks, pressing a hand to his head.

“No.” I frown. “Why?”

“Because I feel like I just lost twenty years of my life after listening to your little rant. Seriously, Speedy, you should consider getting help with that verbal diarrhea that falls out of your mouth. I know a good vocal coach who might be able to work on it with you. He normally just works on accents and word pronunciations, but he should be able to help you learn to speak properly.”

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