Captivated by You

Page 54

Gideon pointed at the fridge with his tongs. “Bottom drawer.”

I shook my head at my best friend. “Hair of the dog this morning?”

“Hell, yeah. My head feels like it’s splitting in two.” Cary pulled a beer out and joined me at the island. He popped the cap off and tipped the bottle back, gulping down half the contents at once.

“How’d you sleep?” I asked, mentally crossing my fingers.

He’d stayed the night in the attached single-bedroom apartment, and I hoped he loved it. It had all the beautiful prewar details of Gideon’s penthouse and was furnished similarly. I knew Cary’s style was more contemporary, but he couldn’t fault the view of Central Park. All the rest could be changed, if he just said the word.

He lowered the bottle from his mouth. “Like the dead.”

“Do you like the apartment?”

“Of course. Who wouldn’t?”

“Do you want to live there?” I persisted.

Cary gave me a lopsided smile. “Yeah, baby girl. It’s a dream. Thank you for the pity f**k, Gideon.”

My husband turned away from the stove with a plate of bacon in his hand. “There is neither pity nor f**king included in the offer,” he said dryly. “Otherwise, you’re welcome.”

I clapped my hands. “Yay! I’m stoked.”

Gideon snagged a piece of bacon and stuck it in his mouth. Leaning forward, I parted my lips. He bent toward me, letting me bite off the end.

“Come on,” Cary groaned. “I’m fighting nausea as it is.”

I shoved him gently. “Shut up.”

He grinned and finished his beer. “Gotta give you guys a hard time. Who else is going to stop you two from singing ‘I Got You, Babe’ in a few years?”

Thinking of Will and Natalie made me smile. I’d discovered even more to like about Will and found that I got along well with his girl, too. “Aren’t they adorable? They’ve been together since high school.”

“Exactly my point,” he drawled. “Spend enough years with someone and either you start bickering or you fall down the lovey-dovey hole, never to be seen again.”

“Mark and Steven have been together for years, too,” I argued. “They don’t fight or moon at each other.”

He shot me a look. “They’re g*y, Eva. No estrogen in the mix to cause drama.”

“Oh my God. You sexist pig! You did not just say that.”

Cary glanced at Gideon. “You know I’m right.”

“And with that,” Gideon declared, grabbing three strips of bacon, “I’m out.”

“Hey!” I complained after him, as he exited to the living room.

My best friend laughed. “Don’t worry. He hitched himself to your brand of female.”

I glared at him as I munched another piece of bacon. “I’m giving you a pass, because I owe you for last night.”

“It was fun. Megumi’s good people.” His humor fled, his face darkening. “I’m sorry she’s going through what she is.”

“Yeah, me, too.”

“You make any decisions about how you’re going to help others like her?”

I set my elbows on the island. “I’m going to talk to Gideon about working with his Crossroads Foundation.”

“Hell. Why didn’t you think of that before?”

“Because . . . I’m stubborn, I guess.” I glanced over my shoulder at the living room, then lowered my voice. “One of the things Gideon likes about me is that I don’t always do everything he wants just because he wants it. He’s not like Stanton.”

“And you don’t want to be like your mom. Does this mean you’re keeping your maiden name?”

“No way. It means a lot to Gideon for me to become Eva Cross. Besides, it sounds kick-ass.”

“It does.” He tapped the end of my nose with his finger. “I’m here for you when you need me.”

Sliding off the stool, I hugged him. “Same goes.”

“I’m taking you up on that, obviously.” His chest heaved with a deep sigh. “Big changes happening, baby girl. You ever get scared?”

I looked up at him, feeling the affinity that had gotten us both through some hard times. “More than I let myself think about.”

“I have to run to the office,” Gideon interjected, stepping back into the kitchen wearing a Yankees ball cap. He’d kept the same gray T-shirt on but had swapped out his pajama bottoms for sweats. A ring of keys twirled around his finger. “I won’t be long.”

“Is everything all right?” I asked, backing away from Cary. My husband was wearing his game face, the one that told me his mind was already on whatever he was going to deal with.

“Everything’s fine.” He came to me and gave me a quick kiss. “I’ll be back in a couple of hours. Ireland won’t be here ’til six.”

He left. I stared after him.

What was important enough to drag him away from me on a weekend? Gideon was possessive about a lot of things when it came to me, but our time together topped the list. And the key-twirling thing was kind of weird. Gideon wasn’t a man given to wasted movement. The only times I’d seen him fidget were when he was completely relaxed or the opposite—ready to throw down.

I couldn’t shake the feeling that he was hiding something from me. As usual.

“I’m gonna take a shower,” Cary said, grabbing a bottled water out of the fridge. “You want to watch a movie when I get out?”

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