Breaking Hollywood(7)

By: Samantha Towle


But it’s a ton of pure muscle.

Under my fingers, I can feel the ridges of those muscles in his back.

I bet his stomach is like a washboard that I would want to scrub my face all over.

And he smells good. So good.

The annoying thing about this is that I can smell the cigarette smoke on him along with the mints he ate in between smokes and the clean scent of his aftershave. Somehow, mixed together, it just works. I want to hate it, but I can’t.

It’s making my girlie parts tingle with excitement.

He smells exactly like I’d want to after a night of amazing sex.

I have a flash of being in bed with him. Him hovering over me as he moves inside me. My fingers digging into the hard muscles in his back, like they are right now.

And, now, I have a sweat on, and it’s not from lugging him around.

Great.

We reach the main doors. They whoosh open, and we walk straight into the busy reception area.

I feel Gabriel tense.

“You okay?” I ask him.

“Yeah, I just don’t want to get noticed.”

“Okay, let’s keep moving. Where’s the emergency care department?”

“We need Pediatrics, on the fifth floor.”

I stare up at him. “Pediatrics?”

“That’s where Tate works.”

“Tate’s your brother?”

“Yes.”

“He’s a doctor for kids?”

“What gave it away? When I said he worked in Pediatrics?”

“Funny, Hoppy.” I pull a face at him. “God, I hope your brother is nicer than you,” I add as I steer him in the direction of the elevators.

“He is. A lot nicer. And don’t call me that.”

“What? Hoppy?”

“Yeah. It sounds like something a cartoon character would be called. It’s very emasculating.”

I laugh. “And Speedy is so flattering.”

“I mean it in the nicest sense of the word.”

“Sure you do. Okay, I’ll make you a deal. You stop calling me Speedy, and I’ll stop calling you Hoppy. What do you say?”

“Fine,” he grumbles.

And it makes me smile.

Reaching the elevators, I hit the button, ready to wait, but luckily, the doors to one of the cars open immediately. I usher Gabriel inside, and using the railing, he shifts and leans back against it.

I push the button for the fifth floor and move to stand next to him.

“I need you to do me a favor when we see Tate,” he says as the elevator starts moving.

“What’s the favor?” I turn my head to look at him and get an eyeful of his shirt-covered chest. Straightening up to my full height, I still have to tip my head back to look into his face. The height difference is very annoying.

“When Tate asks how I broke my foot, tell him a tank ran over it.”

Laughter bursts from me. “A tank? You want me to tell your brother that I was driving a tank when I ran over your foot? Somehow, I don’t think he’ll believe that.”

He pulls his sunglasses off and hangs them in his shirt pocket. Cool brown eyes stare back at me. “I don’t care if he believes it. I just don’t want him knowing that your golf-cart car did this. If he knows, I’ll never hear the end of it.”

“Wouldn’t it be more believable if you just told him that I was driving a big car, like, I don’t know, a truck or something?”

He purses his lips in thought. “You know, Ava, you’re smarter than you look.”

Ava.

That’s the first time he’s said my name. It does something strange to me. It makes my heart beat a little faster, and my stomach flips.

“I think there was a compliment in there somewhere, Gabriel.”

His eyes warm, crinkling at the corners. “Call me Gabe.”

“Gabe, it is.”

His brown eyes seem to turn a shade darker, and all of a sudden, it starts to feel a hell of a lot warmer in here.

I look away. “So, Tate. Is he older or younger?”

“Younger.”

“How many years?”

“Five.”

“My brother’s four years older than me,” I tell him.

“You close?”

“Yeah, we talk on the phone all the time, but Jayce lives back home in New York. He’s a corporate lawyer, and he consults for a lot of big firms, so he travels quite a bit with work. I don’t get to see him as often as I’d like.”

The elevator reaches the fifth floor. Gabe slings his arm around my shoulders, and I put my arm around his back.

“You know”—I tip my head back to look at him—“that’s the longest we’ve had a conversation without arguing or hurling insults at each other.”

His eyes meet mine. “Felt really weird, right?”

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