The Family Simon Boxed Set (Books 1-3)(6)

By: Juliana Stone


His eyebrow shot up.

She swallowed hard. And then cleared her throat.

“Your…thingy.”

Oh. My. God.

If the floor opened up and she fell through all the way to hell she wouldn’t care. In fact, she wished it would open up and suck her into another realm, because she did not just say--

“My thingy,” Tucker said, his grin huge, his eyes practically dancing.

Abby’s scowl deepened as she slipped off the bed and moved past him, careful to make sure she wasn’t anywhere near his—

“My thingy?” he repeated.

“Well, I don’t know you well enough to call it Hank.”

He snorted.

Jesus! Where was all of this coming from? She’d known Tucker for nearly a year, and he’d never gotten under her skin like this.

He ran his hands through the wet hair that hung down into his eyes and when he pushed it back, his biceps tightened, his abs rippled—hell everything rippled—and for one precarious second, the towel slipped so low that she held her breath.

But then he grabbed the edges, and she blew out a mess of hot air as he chuckled.

“Close call,” he said with a wink. “Nearly had a peek at,” his voice lowered. “I don’t call him Hank. I call him—”

“I don’t want to know.” She slammed the bathroom door shut behind her and leaned back against it, chest heaving, coffee sloshing up and over the mug in her hands.

Tucker Simon was insufferable. He was a smart-ass, and trouble should be his middle name. For all she knew it was. Tucker Trouble Simon. TTS.

She bit her lip and groaned softly.

Oh god was he hot.

And gorgeous.

And totally lickable.

“An hour, Abby.” His voice was muffled through the door.

She stuck out her tongue and then took a good, long swig of coffee before locking the door behind her and turning on the shower.

Tucker’s toiletries were on the counter—a brown leather bag though his toothbrush was left beside it. Something about seeing his stuff next to hers made her insides go all funny again.

Give your head a shake, girl. It’s not as if she’d never shared space with a guy before. Once. In college. For about five minutes.

But the twenty year old Daniel, an aspiring Arts major, was nothing compared to a man like Tucker. Her current ex? He didn’t even come close.

Abby slipped out of her pajamas and decided not to think about any of it. Twenty minutes later, she was blow-drying her hair, eyeing the door because she knew she had to go back out there, and worrying her bottom lip because of it.

Once she was done, she set the dryer onto the counter, careful not to touch any of Tucker’s stuff, and put on some mascara and lip gloss. After studying herself for a moment, she grabbed some liner and applied it. Good. Now her eyes popped without being too overdone.

She unlocked the door and pushed it open an inch or so. Earlier, she’d rushed into the bathroom like an idiot and her bra and underwear were in the walk-in closet, along with a fluffy white robe the hotel provided and everything else she needed.

Widening the crack a bit more, she spoke hesitantly, “Tucker?”

No answer.

“Tucker?” she repeated inching her way out, towel clutched to her chest.

But there was only silence, so Abby crept into the room and once she was past the bed, dashed into the walk-in closet. She slammed the door behind her, grabbed fresh underclothes and was about to reach for the robe when she paused.

Someone was outside.

“Hello!”

The voice was female and Abby assumed it was the maid. She scooped the robe off its hanger and slipped into it.

“Coming.”

She stepped back into the room and froze when she caught sight of the brunette perched on the end of the bed. She’d never met the woman before—not personally—but she knew who she was. It was kind of hard not to; her face graced the gossip rags in the supermarket and was all over the internet and TV.

Still, she was surprised at how gorgeous she was in person—the woman being none other than the infamous Betty Jo Barker, Beau Simon’s girlfriend.

Clear blue eyes studied Abby for a few seconds before a smile slid across Betty Jo’s face. Her skin was like porcelain, her hair shiny and black, and her generous mouth was glossed over in a shimmery clear coat. She wasn’t overdone and looked natural, but there was no doubt the woman had that extra bit of something. Abby was pretty sure that Betty Jo Barker could walk around in a burlap sack and look amazing.

Betty Jo tucked a long piece of hair behind her ear and leaned forward.

“Well, hell, you’re a bit of a surprise.”

At Abby’s sharp intake, Betty Jo held her hands up. “Trust me, that’s in a good way.”

Her voice was husky, not at all what Abby expected, but the smile seemed genuine and Abby relaxed a bit. Wasn’t everyday that she found a bona fide celebrity in her room.

“Hi,” she said hesitantly. “I’m Abby.”

The woman nodded. “Tucker’s girlfriend.”

Okay, that wasn’t exactly the response Abby had been expecting.

“No,” Abby cut in. “I’m not—“

Betty Jo’s perfectly shaped eyebrows shot up.

“I mean, we’re not—“

Betty Jo cocked her head to the side, her smile even wider. “Uh huh,” she said getting off the bed. “That’s what Tucker said too.” She pointed to the pile of clothes on the bed. “These are for you, and, I gotta say, for a woman he claims he’s not sleeping with, he sure as hell knows your size. They should fit...perfectly.”

Betty didn’t give Abby a chance to say anything as she continued, that husky voice of hers sounding like honey over burnt toast.

“We’re in the restaurant having breakfast. Do you want me to wait?” There was also a pair of golf shoes on the floor.

Throat dry, Abby barely got her words out. “Um, no. It’s fine. I’ll meet you guys down there.”

“Okay,” Betty Jo answered lightly.

Abby watched her cross the room and pause at the door. Betty Jo glanced over her shoulder, a wicked glint in her eyes that put Abby on alert. There was a reason the woman was in the news all the time, and it wasn’t just because she was dating one of the most famous movie stars ever.

“So, about Tucker and you just being friends…”

Abby watched her warily. “Yes?”

Betty’s face broke wide open into a grin. “It’s okay honey, I didn’t believe him either.”





5





“Your girlfriend is hot.”

Tucker glanced up as Betty Jo slid into the seat across from him and reached for the piece of toast his brother, Beau, held.

“She’s not my girlfriend,” he retorted.

Betty Jo kissed Beau’s cheek, murmured something in his ear and grabbed the half-eaten slice. She took a bite and then made a face.

“What the hell kind of peanut butter is this?”

“The natural kind,” Beau replied. “The healthy kind.”

She dropped it like a hot cake and with a scowl, chewed the piece she’d bitten off. She washed it down with a swig of coffee and muttered, “natural and healthy sucks.”

But Beau wasn’t paying attention to his woman. Nope. He was focused on Tucker, his gaze curious.

“Girlfriend? I thought you said she was just a friend?”

Shit, now Beau was gonna be like a dog with a bone. Tucker leaned back in his chair and shook his head. “Like I already told you, she is just a friend. Nothing more.”

“Uh huh. You also told us to stay the hell out of your business,” Betty said with a chuckle.

“Yeah,” Tucker retorted. “I did.”

“Like that’s gonna happen.” She smiled and reached for Beau’s toast again and almost took another bite before remembering she wasn’t so fond of what he’d spread across it.

Tucker glared at the two of them and thought that agreeing to golf in their foursome was probably the stupidest thing he’d done this weekend—other than coming to the damn wedding in the first place.

“What’s gonna happen?” a male voice said.

“Shit,” he muttered under his breath. He couldn’t catch a break.

Tucker reached for his coffee as their cousin joined them. Maverick Simon—or Rick as they called him—was a year younger than Tucker and had been a pain in his ass for as long as he could remember.

It wasn’t a bad pain—far from it—but a pain nonetheless. Rick had grown up a mile down the road, and they’d attended the same schools, shared the same girlfriends, and, along with Tucker’s brother Teague, had gotten into all kinds of shit.

For a while there, they were always in trouble and if it hadn’t of been for the firm hand of a father who cared, things might have gone south after their last escapade. The one that involved Senator McDaniel’s daughters, the borrowing of a boat, a case of beer, a bottle of fifty year old scotch, and a bag of weed that Teague had eventually taken the blame for.

Rick was like a brother to him, and Tucker shook his head, a grin on his face as he eyed up his cousin. He was dark like Tucker, but where Tucker’s looks was more GQ these days, Rick looked like a surfer from California. His hair was too long, he needed a good shave and there were at least three new tattoos on his forearms, from what Tucker could tell. But his eyes were light, his smile genuine and Tucker couldn’t shake the stupid-ass grin off his face as he gazed at him.

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