Breaking Bones(5)

By: Amanda Washington

Why had I done it? I don’t know. Maybe because I felt suffocated and helpless in my own damn life. Maybe I wanted to feel like I could do one thing on my own, even if that one thing was as simple and stupid as getting to work without a babysitter. Or maybe I was immature and acting out. What the hell did they expect from me? I’d been happily living on my own before they invaded my life and started bossing me around. Making a mental note to analyze my motivation further when I was more awake, I reached for the sugar.

Bones beat me to it, clapping down the lid as he watched me. We were inches apart—so close I could feel his body heat—and he gave me a cocky half-smile that made my brain short circuit. “I’m taking you to work today,” he repeated.

The challenge in his voice had an interesting effect on me. I couldn’t decide whether to cower in a corner, come out swinging, or wrap my legs around him and rake my fingers through his military-short dark hair as I kissed him into submission. I would have been all over that last option had the sexy bastard not friend-zoned me early on, but there was no way in hell I was cowering in the corner. Swinging was my only option. I held his gaze and stepped into him. I hadn’t put on a bra yet, so only the thin fabric of my night shirt and his tank top separated me from his delicious wall of muscle. He raised his eyebrows in surprise as I reached around him and plucked the sugar container from his grasp. His eyes darkened, betraying the fact he wasn’t as immune to my advances as he pretended to be.

My lips were inches from his when I repeated my earlier answer. “Whatever.”

His crooked smile faltered and he stepped away. He always backed down first. I didn’t like to play games, but Bones was forcing my hand. Knowing I’d affected him, I smiled and sweetened my coffee.

“You got time to hit the gym?” he asked. He’d moved over by the fridge, putting the entire kitchen between us, the chicken.

“Yeah, yeah. Give me five.”

I crept back into the bedroom and threw on my workout clothes between sips of caffeine. By the time I reemerged Bones stood by the door, still wearing his tank top, but had swapped his pajama pants for athletic shorts and sneakers. I downed the rest of my coffee and we headed out. Neither of us had the gift of small talk, so the elevator ride was blissfully silent and charged with sexual tension. Regardless, he didn’t even twitch when I “accidentally” brushed against him on my way out of the car.

The condo building had an incredible gym, made up of three separate spaces. One room held weights and cardio equipment, one held an indoor lap pool and hot tub, and the last was stocked with punching bags, yoga mats, and Pilates balls. It seemed a bit much for an apartment building, but Angel’s dad owned the place and he clearly had money to spare.

Bones and I stretched, and then warmed up with cardio and weights before he asked, “Feel like trying some boxing?”

By that time I’d woken up enough to return to my smartass self, so I settled into a fighting stance, thumbed my nose, and put up my dukes. “Sure. I think I can take you. Let’s do this.” Besides, I’d been trying for weeks to get my hands on Bones. If this was what it took, I was willing to get a few bruises.

He chuckled, shaking his head. “How about we try the bags first?”

He led me into the room and positioned me in front of the nearest bag. The scent of Bones—a delicious blend of shower gel, sweat, and metal—invaded my senses as he leveled my fists, adjusted my shoulders, and situated my upper body. My pulse skyrocketed and goose bumps sprouted across my skin. The rock-hard muscles of his chest tempted me to explore every dip and curve. Hoping he wouldn’t notice my body’s many reactions to his proximity, I said the first thing I could think of to distract us both. “This is the part where I fly like a bee, right?”

He chuckled again. “Float like a butterfly; sting like a bee.”

I loved Bones’s laugh. His deep, throaty chuckle caressed my senses, making me want more of it. More of him. I did not, however, want him to be laughing at me. Trying to play it cool, I refused to be embarrassed. “Psht. That’s totally what I said. Shouldn’t I be wearing gloves?”

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