“The front door was unlocked,” she commented. “And I heard rumors that if the front door is unlocked, women can walk right on in.”
“Bullshit. So go ahead and walk right on out. Take off my clothes and leave them here too.”
Well, this is uncomfortable.
I stood there frozen during the most awkward situation of anyone’s life. The woman looked defeated as she moseyed over to her clothes and switched into them quickly before heading outside into the rain.
If I were a turtle, I’d be an awkward one standing there.
Ian brushed his hands against his face and released a weighted sigh as I counted the water droplets still rolling down his toned chest.
One, two, skip a few . . .
Each water droplet cruised down his abs to hit the top of the towel, and there I was, staring once again, at his crotch.
I shook my inappropriate thoughts away and cleared my throat. “Do you often have random females crashing into your house uninvited?”
“You’d be surprised to know it happens a lot more often than not. Now, what are you doing here?”
I bit my thumbnail and tried to control the nerves rocking inside of me. “I was wondering if that room was still available for me to take on?”
He cocked an eyebrow. “What? You get spooked out there or something?”
“No,” I lied, crossing my arms. “Your roofing skills just aren’t as impressive as they should’ve been.” Gah, Haze. Stop being so sassy and sarcastic. He offered you an olive branch. Don’t piss on it and end up back in the shed with the psycho killers. “Sorry. My instant reaction is sarcasm.”
“It’s fine. My instant reaction is asshole.”
“Well, as long as we both know who we are, rooming together should be fine. But I do have a few rules about us living together.”
“Why doesn’t that surprise me one bit?”
I smirked a little and kept my arms crossed. “I pay rent. Whatever you’re paying, I’ll pay half of it.”
“Done. What else?”
“I like to cook, and if there are leftovers, you can have them. I hate leftovers.”
“Okay. Any more things, darling?”
“Oh yes. Don’t call me ‘darling.’”
“Chicks love being called ‘darling,’” he countered.
“Women don’t like being called ‘chicks’ or ‘darling.’ Really, for a rock star, you sure are ignorant to what women want.”
He took a few steps closer to me and lowered his brows. His deep-chocolate eyes pierced me and forced my stomach to flip upside down and sideways. The stubble on his chin was so perfectly groomed, and his lips looked soft enough to kiss. He slid his teeth slowly against his bottom lip before brushing his thumb against it and raised a brow. “And what exactly is it that women want, Hazel Stone?”
The way he used my full name made me dazed and confused. Gosh, I hated him. I hated how cocky and confident and moody and sexy he was all at once.
“Th-they w-w-want to be called anything in the world other than ‘chick’ or ‘darling.’”
He eyed me up and down and placed his hands against the top of his towel, securing it in place. “Duly noted. Any more rules?”
“Yes, and this one is important.”
“I’m all ears.”
“We lock the door at night. The last thing I need is some Amber, Reese, or Sue sneaking into the house, looking to find you for a round of sexual escapades, then taking a wrong turn and ending up in my bed.”
A wicked smirk hit his lips. “That doesn’t sound so bad to me. I could always head over and join in on the party.”
I felt my face flush and tried my best to shake off the nerves. “I’m serious, Ian. I don’t want some random person walking in. That makes me nervous.”
He rubbed the back of his neck, still staring at me as if he was trying to dissect my mind. Then he moved away from my side and walked over to the front door and locked it.
A whispered breath left my lips. “Thank you. Do you want to show me which room is mine?” I asked, taking a step toward the hallway, but his hand landed on my shoulder.
“Now hold on there a minute. You’re not the only one with house rules. I got some of my own.”
“Oh? And they are?”
“You can’t judge me on the number of women I bring in and out of this household. We all got our hobbies, and mine happen to involve a lot of intimate moments with different women.”
“Ignore your manwhore ways. Got it. What else?”
“I’m more music than man. When I’m inspired, I might start playing or singing at odd hours of the night. If I don’t get it out, I’ll drown. I don’t want no noise complaints.”
“Makes sense. What else?”
“This is the most important one of all. I’ll stay out of your affairs, and you’ll stay out of mine, but if Big Paw asks you—you and me? We’re friends. Good ol’ pals.”
“Why would it matter if Big Paw thought we were . . .” My words trailed off, and I arched an eyebrow. “Did he tell you to befriend me and to let me move in with you?”
His quietness told his truths.
“Unbelievable.” I sighed. But then again, was it really that unbelievable? Of course there was a reason Ian wanted me to crash at his place. I was well aware that he hadn’t liked me from the jump, so the complete one-eighty of him inviting me to stay with him made no sense whatsoever. “Why would Big Paw do that?”