Home > Model Behavior (Wrecked Roommates, #1)(8)

Model Behavior (Wrecked Roommates, #1)(8)
Author: Kelsie Rae

“Don’t start––”

“Why? Because he’s been messing with your head for years now?”

“Milo––”

“Fine. We’ll discuss that later,” he concedes grudgingly. “Like you said, you’re a big girl, but that doesn’t mean I can turn off the big brother attitude either.”

“I know that, and you’re the best big brother a girl could ever ask for, but I still want to pull my weight around here. I already feel bad enough that I’m bumming a room off you. Please don’t make me feel even more guilty by not allowing me to pay for my own food,” I beg.

There’s a weighted pause as Milo watches me carefully.

Licking my lips, I murmur, “Please?”

“Where you gonna get the money?” he challenges. It’s not like I’m stupid enough to keep working for Ian’s family. But without them, I’m kind of screwed in the financial department, and it’s not like I had a lot of money saved when Ian had a habit of spending his paychecks more often than contributing to our expenses.

I’m such an idiot.

Another sigh escapes me. “I don’t know yet. I’m going to go job hunting tomorrow and see what I can find.”

“And how long are you planning on staying?”

I shrug. “How long am I welcome?”

“For however long you need me. Just as long as you don’t go back to that asshat––”

“I thought we were going to discuss that later,” I grit out with a narrowed gaze.

“You were,” Jake interjects, reading the situation like a seasoned pro. “Right, Milo?”

Milo stays silent, but his glare is louder than a damn foghorn.

“It’s late,” Jake points out. “I’m sure she’s tired and could use some rest. Let’s wrap this up, and we can all get some sleep, okay?”

Finally, Milo nods. “Yeah. Sure.”

“Come on. We’ll show you upstairs,” Jake prods, guiding us back to the front of the house.

The stairs creak slightly from our weight as Jake continues the little tour. When we reach the second floor, he points to the right. “Mine and Milo’s rooms are over here.” Then he veers left and motions to a shut door. “And this is Sonny’s room. You’ll rarely see him because he works nights, so he sleeps a lot during the day, and when he isn’t sleeping, he’s usually writing music and kind of keeps to himself.”

“A musician?” I inquire, studying the closed white door curiously.

“Yeah. And the corner bedroom is”––Jake coughs as the familiar sound of moaning seeps beneath the closed door––“River’s room. He’s uh…”

“Yes! Yes! Right there! Yes!” a girl shouts.

“Kind of a slut,” Jake finishes. “If you want to swap rooms so you don’t have to listen to this every night, let me know.”

My cheeks redden as the girl on the opposite side starts to whimper in rhythm to the bed butting against the wall. It’s followed by a low masculine groan that I assume belongs to River.

Clearing my throat while praying Jake and Milo don’t notice my bright red face, I reply, “It’s totally fine. I’ll just buy some noise-canceling headphones or something. And I assume this room’s mine?” I motion to the closed door sandwiched between Sonny’s and River’s rooms on the left while doing my best to ignore the crescendo of a job well done starring one of my new roommates whom I’ve yet to meet with all his clothes on.

Milo doesn’t seem particularly bothered by his friend’s sexcapades which only raises more questions for me. Does River always have girls in his room? And are they always so freaking loud?

“Yeah, this is your room,” my brother answers, reminding me of my question from two seconds before. “There’s a spare bed in here from when Fender moved out a few months ago to go on tour, so you should be good to go.”

“Another musician?”

“Yeah. He’s Sonny’s brother.”

“Half brother,” Jake corrects Milo. “You saw him tonight at SeaBird. His band was on the stage.”

The haunting melody from earlier echoes through my head before I shake it off. “And he doesn’t want to move back in? I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes––”

“You’re not,” Jake interrupts. “He’s been back for a few weeks and has been sleeping on his buddy’s couch. I think living with Sonny was a little much.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah.” Reaching around me, Jake twists the handle then pushes the door open. “Welcome home.”

The room is simple, with plain white walls and a bare queen-sized mattress tucked against the back corner. But a hole near the lightswitch is hard to miss. I drag my finger across the cracked sheetrock and mutter, “Why is there a hole in the wall?”

“Fender,” Jake answers simply. “We’ll get it patched tomorrow.”

“I can fix––”

“Not a big deal, Reese. I’ll get you taken care of.”

I nod, then continue my perusal. There’s a window on the opposite side with the blinds pulled closed and a long, waist-high empty dresser beneath it. My guilt rears its ugly head for the thousandth time tonight as I take in Milo’s generosity that’s laid out before me.

“Are you sure you’re okay with me staying here?” I grimace.

“Stop asking stupid questions. The bathroom is right here.” My brother points to the door opposite mine. “You share it with River and Sonny. Keep it locked when you’re in there so no one walks in on you.”

Jake adds, “Any questions?”

I scan the empty bedroom another time. “Um…sheets?”

“I’ll get them for you,” he answers before disappearing to rummage through a hallway closet.

“You’re gonna be okay,” Milo rumbles. His scruff tickles the top of my head as he pulls me into his chest. “Get some sleep. I’ll see you in the morning.”

Squeezing him with all my strength, I breathe in deep and soak up his affection like a dry sponge. “Goodnight, Milo. And thanks––”

“Stop thanking me,” he orders before letting me go. “We’re family. ‘Night.”

“Goodnight,” I repeat.

Satisfied, Milo saunters to the opposite side of the long hallway toward his room as Jake returns with a set of white cotton sheets that smell like laundry detergent.

We make quick work of putting them on the mattress in silence. I think he knows I’m too emotionally drained to make small talk, and he’s awesome enough to respect that. After examining our handiwork, Jake tucks his hands into his pockets. “Do you need anything else?”

“I think I’m okay. Thank you, though.” I sit on the edge of my freshly-made bed while Jake heads to the hallway, ready to call it a night.

“Anytime,” he replies over his shoulder. “See you in the morning.”

“Okay.”

He disappears from view, following my brother from a few minutes before until I’m left alone, and the day finally catches up with me.

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