Provocative Professions Collection(2)

By: S.E.Hall & Angela Graham

His guest attempts to sit on his lap, but is brutally rebuffed as he's already sauntering toward me with that signature cocky gait of his.

Widening my stance defensively, I cross my arms over my rapidly rising and falling chest and narrow my eyes at him. "Why did Dylan move out of his apartment, and why the hell is he staying here?"

He walks right past me, leaving me waiting, which I hate, until he reappears a moment later, beer and pizza in hand.

"You're cute when you're pissy, Moe." He winks at me and taps the end of my nose.

I make to knock his finger away but it's already gone. God knows where it's been today. I grimace at the fleeting thought.

"Thanks for dinner, but the beer…you know I don't drink this girly shit. Although tonight…." He dangles the six pack of Bud Light Lime from his fingers like it's toxic.

I try to grab it but he isn't letting go. I'm well aware they don't drink it, precisely why I brought it. I like to actually enjoy a drink or two, not watch them chug it all down, so I'm shocked when he cracks one open.

"What the—"

"All day in the operating room. Gimme a break. But if you say please, I'll pour one for you myself," Brady says smugly.

"Let go and I won't spit on your slice," I quip back. No way am I saying please.

He thinks it over, still holding the beer in one hand, pointer finger tapping his chin with the other. "Hmm, something tells me I've tasted your spit before and yet I still live so—"

"Not like you never deserved it, Mr. Come On In, the Water's Only Waist Deep!"

His lips curl up into a reminiscent smirk, eyes bright as he releases his death grip on my refreshments. "Poor Dylan almost drowned, holding me up while you debated forever. Fuck, was that funny, though. Three steps and whoosh, you were totally under."

"Bring me a slice already," Dylan yells, never breaking his trance on the screen.

"Get your own!" Brady and I yell back in sync.

I roll my eyes, laughing softly with Brady. The ease of our amusement is cut short, though.

"Oh, that's my favorite!" the pouty lipped bimbo squeals, strolling over with a broad, eager beam, eyeing my beer. Hell no! "Hi, I'm Candace. You must be Moe."

My scowl is back. "My name is Addison," I grit out.

"Only since your hair grew out, Moe," Brady tugs on one of my curls playfully.

"I don't get it?" Bimbo says, looking even more confused, if that's possible.

"The Three Stooges? Moe used to rock a bowl cut when she was little." He grips his side, laughing.

She still doesn't get it and never will, given her blank stare, and the whole conversation's grating on my nerves. "Let me guess, you go by Candy?" I ask her.

"I do, yeah." She affirms proudly.

Shocker. I have no words nice enough to respond with so instead I step around her, plopping down on the couch, tossing one of the pillows at Dylan's head.

What grown man hangs out in beanbags, in the early evening of a workday, while his best friend, also grown, mangles a co-ed? Am I the only one (the youngest to boot) in our little trio who ever grew up?

"Here," I look up to find Brady holding out the frozen mug he keeps in the freezer for me, "don't make me eat alone."

I glance at the girl in his kitchen opening and closing cabinets, wondering what the hell she's looking for and when she's leaving.

"Where's your plates?" she finally calls out.

"You're far from alone but feel free to bring me a slice." I grin, then turn my attention back to my brother's game.

Brady's hot breath hits the back of my ear. "I knew you'd be coming so I picked up your favorite."

I tilt my head his direction, finding him bent down, his face inches from mine. I can't deny that the man drew the pretty stick. With enough alcohol in me, you might even coerce a confession that I once had a semi-crush on him. Thing is, when I say once, I mean over fifteen years ago when I was about eleven. That all disappeared when he decided to join my brother as the dynamic duo of tormentors who created their very own version of Fear Factor…where I was the only contestant every damn episode. Since then, he'd become the bane of my existence.

"Strawberry Jell-O," he murmurs, his lips twitching upward.

Damnit, I do love Jell-O and he's the only one that makes it exactly how I like, adding a thin layer of banana slices on top. Despite his massive kitchen, it's the only thing he can make and I've never been able to resist.

Huffing loudly, I accept, allowing him to pull me to my feet and into the kitchen. "He get fired?" I ask lowly, as though my brother's even listening over his enthralling game in there.

"It's not what you think." He grabs the biggest, cheesiest slice, shooting me the knowing grin that I took inventory and noticed. "Have a little faith in him, would ya? His manager's been gunning for him since he figured out Dylan's better than-"

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