The Heat is On
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She blinked, trying to stop the tears from falling.
“So here you go,” he said in a tone lined with resignation. “You’ve got your wish. A couple of weeks of casual, no-string sex. Hope you had fun.”
Without another word, not even a goodbye, he turned his back on her and left the apartment.
“Are you drinking?”
The shrill and outraged female voice jolted Matt from his catnap. Cranking open one eyelid, he saw two pretty faces hovering above him. His fuzzy eyesight recognized Annabelle, but it took a few seconds to register the petite brunette beside her as Holly Scott, Carson’s wife. He wasn’t used to the haircut yet. Holly had recently chopped her long brown hair into a chin-length bob, which emphasized her emerald green eyes and the delicate angles of her face.
Propping himself up on the couch cushion with his elbow, he glanced at the half-empty beer bottle on the coffee table and mumbled, “It’s from last night.”
Annabelle planted her hands on her hips. “I can see the condensation dripping down the side. This was just opened.”
Holly rolled her eyes. “It’s ten in the morning, Matt. That’s so pathetic.”
No, what was pathetic was telling a woman he loved her for the first time in his life only to be shut down big-time.
But he decided not to say that aloud.
“Since when did you two become my mother?” he grumbled, sitting up with a tired yawn.
“Since you promised you’d let us borrow your SUV for the wedding today,” Annabelle snapped. “I texted you about it last night and you texted back yeppers. I took that to mean you’d help out.”
He straightened up, rolling his shoulders to get the kinks out. He’d been lying on the couch for about three days now, only dragging himself up to get a beer or use the john. Empty pizza boxes were stacked on the floor and he wrinkled his nose at the stale odor of old beer emanating from the empty bottles littered all over the room.
“Shit, I forgot about that,” he said, shooting them an apologetic look. “Do you just need the keys or am I driving you over to the banquet hall?”
“There’s a ton of stuff to carry in,” Holly said, “so it would be cool if you can come and help unload.”
“You don’t have to stay for the wedding obviously,” Annabelle added.
He lifted his arms above his head and stretched. “Okay. Let me hop in the shower and then I’ll take you.”
Leaving the two of them in the living room, he headed to the bathroom, where he took a quick shower, brushed his teeth, and shaved three days’ worth of stubble off his face. Holly was right, he realized as he stared at his tired eyes in the steamy mirror. He was pathetic. So things had ended with Savannah. Big f**king deal. It only went to show that his initial decision to stay single had been a smart one. Love made people go nuts. His sisters had turned into mushy, sappy idiots, and so had he, the night he’d told Savannah how he felt about her.
He was better off alone. Better off reverting back to his old lifestyle, making sure things stayed light, and keeping his damn feelings to himself.
After dressing in jeans and a T-shirt, he reentered the living room to find that it was now spotless. In the ten minutes he’d been gone, Annabelle and Holly had carted off the pizza boxes, gotten rid of the beer bottles and even wiped down his coffee table. The flowery scent of air freshener hung in the large space, and both women were sitting on a couch now cleared of the random items of clothing previously strewn on it.
“Jeez, you really are my mother,” he muttered.
Holly looked over at him with sharp green eyes. “What happened with Savannah? Did she dump you?”
“No.” He set his jaw. “I dumped her.”
Two pairs of wide eyes.
“Why would you do that?” Annabelle demanded.
“None of your business.” He swiped his keys from the little basket on the table by the couch and jiggled them. “Do you want a ride or not?”
He could practically feel the curiosity radiating from them, but to his extreme surprise, neither female pushed him for details. He chalked it up to the wedding they were heading to, knowing that if the two weren’t occupied with something else right now, they’d be all over him, prying information from him like a dentist extracting teeth.
“We need to stop by Shelby’s bakery,” Holly said as she slid into the backseat of the SUV. “We stored all the food there.”
Annabelle slid into the passenger seat, and she buckled her seatbelt and shot him a sideways glance. “Thanks for doing this. Ryan was going to lend me the Jeep but it’s still in the shop.”
Matt wrinkled his brow. “He wrecked it?”
“Jeez, were you in an alcohol-induced coma for the past three days? He called you the day before yesterday to tell you about it. A dog ran right in front of his car and he had to swerve to avoid hitting it. He crashed into a tree, remember?”
Matt had a vague recollection of Ryan’s voice bitching in his ear about a dog or something. Fuck, how much had he drank in the last seventy-hours?
“He’s okay, though, right?”
She sighed. “He’s fine.”