Fix Her Up (Hot & Hammered #1) - Tessa Bailey Page 0,1
woman now, she pictured him during far less innocent endeavors, which usually required a charged device and twenty minutes alone.
But she digressed.
Her infatuation with Travis was impossible to miss. Even her siblings were aware of it, but they wrote it off as their pesky little sister’s silly crush. So be it. She’d be the best damn pest on this side of Long Island. An effective one, too. Hopefully.
“Hey!” Georgie reared back and threw the full container of melted dessert at Travis’s naked back, watching in fascination as it spread into a Rorschach painting on his shoulders. And hair. And headboard. It was almost beautiful. “Get up!”
Travis must have gone to bed wasted, because it took a full five seconds for him to register the liquid mess seeping down his skin and onto the bedsheets. His head came up, right wrist swiping at the ice cream on his forehead. “What the fuck?”
His gruff tone made Georgie think of teeth marks and massage oil—seriously, God bless the internet—but she ignored the reaction. “I said get up. You’re disgusting.” She bent down and picked up a pair of stiff boxers, dangling them at the very tip of her index finger. “Only two outcomes are possible here. Your face is eaten by rats. Or this place gets condemned by the fire marshal.”
“Georgie?” Facedown again, Travis turned a little to confirm her identity. There it was. An expression she’d had thrown at her since birth. The perfect combination of irritation and dismissiveness. It screamed, Go away, you are irrelevant! without making a sound. Georgie hated that expression but, somewhere along the line, had been given no choice but to lean into it.
If you can’t beat them, join them, right?
“I’m surprised you recognized another human being through your own self-pity.” Georgie sighed and sat on the edge of the bed, taking the opportunity to memorize his concrete-slab buttocks. “I saw a container of lo mein on the way in here. Figure I’ll throw that next. It’ll pair nicely with vanilla. Probably. I’m not a chef.”
“Get out, Georgie. What the fuck? I’m not even wearing clothes.”
“I’ve seen naked men. Tons of them.” On the internet, God bless it. “You used to be a nine point five, but you’re slowly bottom-ing—ha—into a seven.”
“Really? Because I can feel you staring at my ass.”
“Oops. I thought that was your face.”
Cool. Good one. Five minutes around this man and you’re ten years old again.
Travis’s snort sent Georgie back out into the living room. She toed open a bag of Chinese food, confirming the lack of vermin before extricating the lo mein. One step into the room and she let it fly, noodles and rotten chicken raining down on her brother’s oldest friend. “Might need a pinch of salt to bring it all together.”
“I can’t believe you did that,” Travis roared, sitting up and throwing his legs over the side of the bed. Anger radiated from every inch of his baseball player body, veins protruding from the sides of his neck, his cut biceps. She’d never seen him with a beard before, but the uneven state of it told Georgie the facial hair was definitely the product of laziness instead of a style change. “Go!” he shouted, dropping his head into his hands. “Don’t make me throw you out.”
She refused to acknowledge the sharp pain in her chest. “I’m not going anywhere.”
“I’ll call your brother.”
Travis surged to his feet, turning a storm of rage in her direction. The noodles in his hair would have been comical in any other instance but this one. Clearly remembering his naked status, he whipped a T-shirt off a nearby chair and held it over his lap. “What do you want?”
Now, that was a loaded question that could be answered in two parts. She wanted one person in her life to see her as more than the annoying hanger-on. As far back as she could remember, she’d always wanted it to be Travis who listened to her. Told her she was special. Right now, none of those hopes and dreams would be useful. Probably never would be. “I want you to stop being a selfish asshole. Everyone is worried about you. My brother, my parents, the local doe-eyed groupies. Spinning their wheels, trying to figure out how to cheer you up. Maybe you just enjoy being the center of attention whether it’s negative or positive.”
His arms shot wide, bringing the T-shirt along for the ride.
There he sat. Long and thick and crowned like a king. They