“Where are you?” Grayson asked playfully.
“I told you.” She laughed and told Veronica who she was talking to. “Do you need something? We’re in the middle of finding some awesome deals and can’t afford to be distracted.”
“You can afford to miss the deals,” Grayson scoffed. “It’s not like you don’t have the money.”
“Yes, but why should we?”
“Because we’re bored and we miss you,” Grayson replied.
“We?” Kelsey’s voice broke slightly. There was a long pause before she spoke again. “We’ll be . . .” she began unsteadily, then cleared her throat and tried again. “We’ll be back in a few hours, Grayson. I’m sure you can manage to entertain yourselves until then.”
Patrick’s ears perked up slightly at the uncertainty he’d heard. What had caused that? Was it knowing that he was with Grayson? It wasn’t like he had anything else to do. And why would that bother her so much?
Grayson rolled his eyes. “Fine, but I was wondering if you could bring me dinner.” He described a small BBQ place in the area. Kelsey knew of it and agreed to his request.
A few hours later, Grayson called her again, even after Patrick warned him not to.
“What, Grayson?” she answered sharply.
“I’m hungry,” he whined.
Patrick shook his head and turned his eyes to the television while keeping his ears on the conversation.
“We’re not on our way back yet. I promised I’d get your dinner and I’ll call you the second I step off the elevator.”
Patrick smirked. He could clearly picture Kelsey’s face as he heard her voice dripping with irritation. He imagined her narrowed eyes and clenched jaw. He had to admit, it felt good to have that irritation directed at someone else.
“You’d better get back soon or I might waste away,” Grayson groaned and sank down on the couch.
“I could live with that.”
Patrick stifled a laugh until he saw Grayson’s chin on his chest. Then he laughed out loud.
“Do you have me on speaker?” Kelsey snapped. “I told you, I’ll call you when we get back. Good-bye.” She hung up and Grayson sat motionless.
“That was so not nice,” Grayson said to his phone before he tossed it on the coffee table.
“You deserved it,” Patrick said through his laughter. “She obviously wants to be left alone. I warned you.”
“Yeah, you did,” Grayson mumbled. “But, I really am hungry.”
Patrick shrugged and tried to turn his attention back to the television. He wasn’t that interested in the football game, but it served as enough of a distraction for Grayson to leave Patrick alone with his thoughts.
Two hours later, as their stomachs started to rumble, Kelsey finally called Grayson and told him that she and Veronica were back. He rushed out of Patrick’s room and met her at her door. Patrick waved to Veronica as she passed, on her way to her own room, and stepped into the hallway. He watched as Grayson tried, albeit unsuccessfully this time, to get Kelsey to dance with him again.
“Just take the damn dinner, Grayson. My arms are full, the bags are heavy, and I’m tired,” she snapped at him.
“Need help?” Patrick asked, taking a step in her direction.
She glanced at him and shook her head as Grayson relieved her of his dinner. With a weak smile she went into her room and Grayson looked at him with a huge grin on his face. He walked straight past Patrick, to the table in the room, and pulled out two small containers.
“Oh, awesome,” Grayson said as he opened the first one, in which he found a chocolate cake. “Dessert!” He opened the second container and frowned. “Bleh, it’s fruit.”
Patrick pulled the cobbler closer and inhaled deeply. Blackberries. His favorite. He stared at the open container, trying to remember when he’d told Kelsey that he liked blackberries. The memory came to him in a flash. He hadn’t told her. While they’d been grabbing food between sets one day, they’d eaten together. There had been a fruit tray on the buffet, and he’d taken almost all of the blackberries on it.
Kelsey hadn’t said anything, but she’d obviously noticed. The corners of his lips threatened to turn up even as Grayson slid an open dinner toward him. She may have been trying to avoid him, but she’d obviously been thinking about him. His chest swelled with a pleasantness he wasn’t accustomed to but was getting more used to where Kelsey was concerned. It made the meal she’d brought him one of the best he’d ever eaten.
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