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“What do you know about her?”
He rolls his eyes but humors me. “Emery Elaine Winters. She’s an attorney. Excellent references. Even better credit score, and she signed a one-year lease. And she, and her pussy, are to remain in pristine condition, or so help me God . . .”
I can’t help the inappropriate comment just hanging on the tip of my tongue. “I could make sure her engine is running properly, give her a tune-up, if necessary.”
Hudson growls out a curse.
When I glance up at her again, I see Roxy, another of our residents, has joined Emery on the sidewalk. They appear to be making small talk, shaking hands, exchanging words, and smiling at each other. There’s something I strongly dislike about these two women talking. Roxy is an exotic dancer, and she and I have a bit of a rocky past. Which is a huge fucking understatement, but not something I care to dwell on now. Hudson mentions something about fourth-quarter taxes, and I tune him out, sure I just heard my name on Roxy’s over-glossed lips.
“Excuse me, I’ve got business to attend to.” I step around him, heading straight toward my new prize. Roxy spots me and takes off for the parking area.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Hudson calls after me.
“Just being neighborly. Someone’s got to properly welcome Miss Winters.”
“Damn it, Hayden,” I hear him shout.
“I’ve got this, buddy,” I shout back over my shoulder.
I can control myself around her. I have to, according to Hudson. I don’t like being told what to do, especially where my cock is concerned, and hell, it’ll probably only make me want her more. But as I close the distance between Emery and me, I make a plan.
I will become friends with the so hot I want to bend her over and fuck her in broad daylight new girl.
This is either the best plan I’ve ever had, or will end with me sporting a black eye, courtesy of my best friend.
It’s go time.
The blazing sun beats down on me, causing little beads of sweat to form at the back of my neck. My hand is damp where I’m holding the clipboard, and I wipe my forehead with my other arm. I feel a little ridiculous, sweating like a pig while I’m just directing the movers, who are doing all the actual work.
I’d known that Los Angeles would be hot, especially in June, but nothing could have prepared me for this. To a born-and-bred Michigan girl, “shorts weather” is pretty much anything above freezing. A hundred degrees might as well have been a million, for all it meant to me. Seeing a number on a weather report is completely different from feeling it in the flesh. I lick my chapped lips for the umpteenth time—the humidity, or lack thereof, is yet another thing I have to get used to.
“Hey there!” calls a bubbly female voice. “You look like you could use this.”
I turn to see a tall, dirty-blond woman holding out a bottle of water. I swallow at the sight of the cold droplets beading along the plastic. “Oh . . . thank you.” I accept it and drink fast. Before I know it, the bottle is half-empty.
She cocks her head with a slight smile. “You’re new to these parts, right?”
“How could you tell? The lack of tan?” I look down at my fish-belly white arms that sharply contrast with this woman’s perfectly bronzed skin. My skin is already starting to turn pink with the first hints of sunburn. Damn it. I thought I put on enough sunscreen.
“I was going to say you still look bright-eyed and hopeful. Plus you weren’t carrying your own water.” She holds out her hand. Her nails are deep scarlet, perfectly manicured, and way too long to be real. “I’m Roxy. Looks like we’ll be neighbors—I’m in unit 3C.”
I shake her hand firmly. “I’m Emery. Unit 4B.”
Now that I’m not ready to die of thirst anymore, I can get a good look at my new acquaintance. She has legs all the way from her ass to the floor, as my mother would say, although her stiletto sandals made me think that she’s taller than she really is. She’s wearing Daisy Dukes and a blue halter top that defies the laws of physics to contain her huge fake breasts. She’s also wearing enough makeup to spackle a wall—heavy foundation and bright blush, shimmery hot-pink lip gloss, a lush forest of false lashes, and plucked and penciled brows arching high over turquoise-shadowed eyes.
Overall, not the kind of person I’d usually pal around with. But she seems sweet. And in my sweat-soaked tank top, yoga pants, and tennis shoes, it’s not like I’m exactly dressed for success either.
“So, what brings you to the city of angels?” she asks. “Looking to make it big in Hollywood?”
“Actually, I have a summer internship at a law firm downtown. I start on Monday.” That’s as much as she needs to know. I didn’t uproot my whole life and move across the country to dwell on the past. I want to put my shiny new diploma to use, dive headfirst into my career—and leave a certain douchebag in the dust.
“Oh, wow! I could never do a high-powered job like that . . . way too much stress. I work long enough hours as it is.” Her dark brown gaze drifts over my shoulder, and her expression suddenly sours. “Ugh. Don’t look now, but . . .”
Of course, I look now. Over by the outdoor stairwell, two men in dress shirts and creased suits are talking. They’re both attractive, and one of them keeps stealing glances at us.