Seducing Simon - Maya Banks

Maya Banks - Seducing Simon

Chapter One

The living room erupted in cheers as the wide receiver ran into the end zone. Toni watched as her brother and their two roommates, A.J.

Spinelli and Simon Andrews began high-fiving.

“Toni, why don’t you come sit down. You’re missing the game,” Matt called out to his sister.

She smiled and shook her head. “I’m fine right where I am.” She continued to watch from her perch on a barstool from the kitchen bar.

The kitchen opened up into the living room, and from where she sat, she could just see over the three heads on the sofa.

The three were embroiled in the game as it wound down to half time.

Matt lounged back in the sofa, his brown hair, the exact color as hers, flopping around his ears, screaming for a haircut. A.J., Mr. Greek God, the golden one, was busy stuffing popcorn into his mouth. His sun-streaked blond hair was spiked on top, hinting at the amount of mousse that went into his styling. And Simon the Serious sat forward on the sofa watching the TV intently as play resumed. His dark hair, not brown, but not quite black fell lazily across his forehead. He turned, saw her watching, and winked at her, his leaf-green eyes twinkling.

Sighing, she looked back down at the pad of paper she was writing on and chewed her lip in consternation. Beside the pad was the rental section of the classified ads. She fiddled with the pen she’d circled a few

ads with, her heart not really into choosing which apartment suited her best.

The fact was she didn’t want to move out of the home she’d shared with the guys for three years at all, and she couldn’t really afford to. But she had to. And soon.

She shoved the paper under the nearby phone book when the guys got up and headed into the kitchen.

“The Texans blew a fourteen point lead,” Simon said in disgust as he walked toward the guys’ bathroom.

“Hey, Toni, you care if I use your bathroom?” A.J. asked as he ambled over. “Simon’s got ours tied up.” She nodded, and he flashed her a sunny grin.

“Whatcha doing, sis?” Matt asked as he took another beer from the fridge. “Want one?”

She controlled the urge to puke and waved him off. He shrugged and popped his open, taking a long swig from it.

He came back over to stand by her and ruffled her hair. “You’ve been quiet today. Not interested in the game? You’re usually over there screaming louder than anyone. Something bothering you?” She took a deep breath, knowing she had to confront him sooner or later, and she’d rather do it when Simon and A.J weren’t staring at her as well. “I’m going to move out.”

He wouldn’t have reacted more violently if she’d knocked him in the head. His brown eyes popped open and his mouth dropped. He set his beer down with a resounding thud. “You can’t be serious. What’s wrong?

What happened?”

“Nothing’s wrong. Nothing’s happened,” she said quietly. “It’s just time for me to get my own place.” She immediately regretted bringing up

the topic. She’d expected resistance, but she hadn’t bargained for Matt’s vehemence. “Can we talk about it later?” He stared hard, studying her. “Something is up,” he said, ignoring her request. “You aren’t telling me everything. I thought you were happy here. We decided together to let Simon and A.J move in when mom and dad died and left us the place. Do you regret doing it now?” She closed her eyes. This was going to be more difficult than she thought. “You know I love you guys. I don’t regret letting them room with us, but it’s time that I got my own place. Spread my wings a bit. Time to prove I don’t need you guys taking care of me all the time.”

“Is that what this is about? Do you think we’re overbearing? Because I can talk to the guys. We can lay off.” She smiled and laid a hand over his. “Yes, you’re overbearing. You all are, and I love you for it. This isn’t about you or the others. I just think it’s time for me to get out on my own.”

“I don’t like it.” He crossed his arms over his chest and set his lips in a firm line. “And you aren’t telling me everything. I can see it in your eyes.”

“What’s going on?” Simon asked as he approached the bar.

Guiltily, she raised her eyes to see his concerned expression. She flushed and