He’s sniffing my aftershave right here in his doorway. “Like it?” I rasp out.
“It’s not so bad,” he says.
My lips twitch in a grin. “I dare you to take a bigger hit.”
He grins too. “You’re on,” he says, then he comes closer, dipping his face against my neck, running his nose along my skin.
I want to skip the concert and spend the night with him.
I want to fuck and get food and just hang out with my friend.
But I also really want to go out with him in public to the concert, as the guy he put on his best date outfit for.
A door snicks open somewhere nearby. Luke tears himself away from my neck, clears his throat, then steps out of the doorway and into the hall. I do too.
Blinking off the fog of lust, I turn in the direction of the noise. From several feet away, Elsie Rubenstein is wagging a stern finger at Luke.
“You better not let my babies escape,” she warns, pointing to the open door.
“Shoot. Thanks, Elsie,” he says, then spins around and shuts the door before his cats can slink out. “I was distracted.”
She rolls her eyes, tutting him. “You can’t let a dapper man distract you.” She looks to me. “Same to you.”
“I won’t, ma’am,” I say, hiding my amusement at the word dapper.
Hiding it too because…did she see us? Did she catch that near-kiss-in-the-doorway moment?
No idea, but I do my best to act normal as I head down the hall with Luke and Elsie.
“Now, listen, Luke. I need you to leave out some kush this time,” she says.
What the what?
“Noted. Kickoff likes her kush,” he says. “I’ll leave it on the counter. Food and catnip are life.”
Ahhh. So that’s what the kush is. “Your cats need two dinners and a little nightcap before bed?” I ask, but it’s not the cat behavior that fascinates me. It’s the Luke behavior.
“They do. But not last night. I didn’t give it to them after the pasta. They only have it when I’m out of town,” he says, and it’s so offhand, so casual, I barely realize what he just did.
Until I do.
He, probably unknowingly, dropped a little hint about our late-night escapades. I steal a glance at Elsie. Did she pick up on it?
I can’t read her.
“Thanks again for taking care of them when I go to California,” Luke adds, clearly unaware that he nearly broadcast Tanner was over late last night.
“Anytime.” When the elevator arrives, the silver-haired lady shifts her focus to me as we step into the lift, ladies first. “Now, do me a favor and please, for the love of all that is holy, try to represent New York well at the All-Star game.”
“I will,” I say, heading to stand by the back of the elevator. Luke moves near me. Elsie takes a spot in front of us, staring straight ahead, chattering on about how I need to watch out for Chance Ashford from the Cougars and his cut fastball.
As the elevator chugs downward, I sense Luke shifting closer to me. When his hand covers my ass, I bite my lip to stifle a groan. He squeezes my cheek, then his finger drifts lower, inching closer to where he’ll be later.
I slam my fist to my mouth, sealing in the groans rumbling in my body.
Out on the street, we say goodbye to Elsie, and as she trundles off, I turn to Luke. “Think she saw us in your doorway?”
He shrugs like it doesn’t matter. “Maybe.”
“I thought you didn’t want anyone catching on?”
Another casual shrug. “I don’t. Apparently that Silas Sports Talk dude said something about me going to the game last night. But it’s not like we made out at the ballpark.”
“True,” I say, but that’s a nice image. I keep that thought to myself. “We’ve mostly behaved in public.”
“Exactly. And Elsie’s not anyone. She’s kind of like…a priest.”
I laugh. “Tell me a little more about what you’ve been confessing to her then.”
He wiggles his brows. “Pretty sure you were there last night, Tanner. I don’t need to confess to you.” But then he scratches his jaw, his tone turning serious as we walk to the music venue. “She’s a vault. I don’t worry about her. And I kind of don’t mind her knowing. You get me?”
He stops in his tracks. I do too. He’s looking at me intensely, like he’s trying to tell me with his eyes that he wants someone to see what’s happening with us. I’m not sure why he wants that, or what’s happening exactly. And I don’t want to ask. Don’t want to open my own wounds. I just take the admission for what it is—another private truth he’s giving to me. “I get it,” I say.
Sometimes you just want to feel seen, even if the thing you’re doing is temporary.