Home > Model Behavior (Wrecked Roommates, #1)(4)

Model Behavior (Wrecked Roommates, #1)(4)
Author: Kelsie Rae

Flustered, I suck my lower lip into my mouth then turn back to the trainwreck that’s about to unfold a few feet away from me.

But there isn’t one. Gibbs’ hands are raised in the air, surrendering before Milo even opens his mouth. My brows pinch in the center as Milo leans forward, placing his hands on the bar top while keeping his voice low. The music is too loud for me to overhear what he’s saying, and I kind of want to throw my shoe at the band to get them to stop for two seconds. Unfortunately, I’m not sure it would do me any good anyway.

Nostrils flaring, my brother cocks his head toward me as his lips continue to deliver what I’m sure is an unnecessary threat. Gibbs’ gaze snaps to mine. Then he looks back at Milo and raises his chin in a single nod.

Message received.

Satisfied, Milo taps his knuckles against the bar top before he swaggers toward me with the triumph of a gold medalist.

Cocky asshole.

Throwing his arm around my shoulders, he gives me an actual hug. One that’s warm and welcoming and is almost enough to make me forget his barbaric behavior from two seconds ago.

Almost.

“Ever heard of answering your phone?” I ask, my tone full of snark. “I’ve been calling and texting all night.”

“You know how much I hate electronics and shit,” Milo answers.

With a pointed look at his best friend, I accuse, “And what’s your excuse, Jakey Boy?”

He grimaces. “Out of battery. Sorry. What brings you to our neck of the woods anyway?”

Waiting for my response, both men cross their arms. One set is burly and tatted, while the other is a little leaner and ink-free. But they both showcase their muscular biceps and their lack of patience for me showing up unannounced.

This would’ve been so much easier if either of them had answered their freaking phones.

“I uh…” I gulp, hating the desperation that slips into my response. “I need a place to stay.”

Milo quirks his brow. “And why’s that?”

Rocking back on my heels, I tuck my thumbs into the back pockets of my ripped jeans while hating Ian more and more by the minute.

“Tell me,” Milo demands, his anger simmering just below the surface.

“You were, uh…” A bitter taste floods my mouth as an image of the tall blonde slut in my kitchen rises to the surface. “You were right about Ian.”

“What kind of right?” Milo pushes.

Close to tears, I shrug and choke out, “All of it?”

“He cheat on you?”

My face floods with shame as I bite my lip until the sharp tang of blood explodes across my taste buds. Then, I nod.

With a curse under his breath, Jake pulls me into another hug, but it only fans the flames of my imminent breakdown.

How could I have been so stupid?

Resting my head against Jake’s chest, I soak up the offered comfort and watch my brother’s face turn red with anger.

Three, two, one––

“That sonofabitch,” he growls. “I told you he was bad news, Reese. I told you. Lying, cheating, motherfu––”

“Hey,” Jake barks. “Calm the hell down. She hates it when you get pissed.”

Milo scrubs his hand across his face before releasing a deep breath. “Sorry.”

“It’s fine,” I whisper, although a small part of me wants to point out that he’s already gotten pissed tonight because of me. Twice. But it’s not entirely his fault that he has a short fuse. It’s our dad’s. Yet another thing we can thank our crappy parents for.

“You have every right to be pissed,” I add, my sadness morphing into frustration. “And to say you told me so.”

There’s a slight pause before Milo reaches forward and tugs me away from Jake’s embrace. When my face smacks against his hard pec, he tightens his arm around me and mutters, “Doesn’t make it any better, Reese. I’m sorry I was right, though.”

And I know he’s sincere because no matter how much fun it is to say, I told you so, it’s never fun to see your family in pain. And right now? I’m hurting. Bad.

“Me too,” I breathe. “He’s an ass. I’m just mad that it took me so long to see it.”

Milo lets me go. “Don’t beat yourself up about it. You can stay with us.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah. There’s a spare room.”

“What about your other roommates? Will they be okay with that?” I press, hating that I even have to ask this of him. But I guess that’s what happens when your world revolves around a selfish asshole before it all falls apart because of said asshole.

His chest rumbles with amusement. “I don’t give a shit if they’re okay with it or not. You’re staying. And that’s final.”

Peeking over at Jake, I ask, “And how ‘bout you? Are you okay if I stay for a little while?”

His honey-colored eyes are as warm as I remember as he studies me carefully. But he doesn’t answer me. Detecting his hesitation, I open my mouth to retract my request when he cuts me off.

“For however long you need, Reese.”

My relief spreads from my chest and out to my limbs like the shot of whiskey I swallowed earlier. Then I release the air I’d been keeping hostage in my lungs.

If he’d said no, I would’ve understood. I would’ve probably slept in my car for a few days before coming up with Plan C since, ya know, Plan A was to continue my relationship with an asshole, and Plan B existed because I have an awesome, albeit prickly older brother who is always looking out for me.

But I would’ve figured out a Plan C if I’d needed to. Besides, I wouldn’t blame Jake if he wasn’t cool with it. Who wants to live with their best friend’s little sister?

“Thank you,” I whisper to Jake. It’s so loud in here that I doubt he even hears me, but he gives me a single nod in acknowledgment anyway. My hesitant smile turns into a full-bodied yawn in an instant as the last of my adrenaline seeps out of me.

I. Am. Exhausted.

Covering my mouth, I let the yawn take its course before a laugh escapes me. “Wooow. Sorry about that.”

“You look like shit,” Milo points out with a wry grin. “Come on. We’ll take you home.”

“No. Stay. Seriously. I don’t want to ruin your night out just because I showed up unannounced. I’ll go take a quick nap in my car or something until you’re ready to––”

“Stop arguing,” Milo interrupts. “Did you drive?”

“Yup.”

“Then lead the way.”

With his arm tossed over my shoulder, Milo guides me back out the front door while Jake trails behind us. As we squeeze through the crowd, I look toward the bar, but Gibbs is nowhere to be found.

Huh.

Shaking off my curiosity, I step outside and breathe deep. The air is cool and calm at this time of night, and I let it wash away my insecurities. Well, some of them anyway. Call it a hunch, but I think the burn from Ian’s betrayal won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Pointing my finger at my dark blue beater car beneath the streetlight parked a few spaces away, I tell them, “My car’s over there.”

“Where are your keys?” Milo asks.

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