7 ~ Ryan

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Ryan rounded up a blanket for Felix and gave her one of the pillows from his bed. She had insisted on sleeping on the couch despite his numerous offers to trade with her. He even changed his sheets out of courtesy and because she pulled a disgusted face when he first suggested it. By the time they said their goodnights, it was close to four AM, but Ryan was far from shutting down, despite his vigorous workout with Shelly and her prodigious tits.

He chuckled, remembering Shelly's meltdown in the hallway. Felix held her own. Further proof she had made a significant attitude adjustment since high school. She also fit the description of someone in need of protection, but the FBI couldn't provide assistance without details. Ryan would have to keep Felix under wraps until she trusted him. Despite her tough-looking exterior, she was scared, and the fact that she had feelings for one of the criminals made her a flight risk.

Ryan's alarm went off before he found any kind of REM sleep, and he dragged his tired ass out of bed to the shower. On his way, he checked on his unexpected roommate. She was lying on the floor in the fetal position, hugging one of the couch cushions, looking more like a frightened child than a biker chick. What kind of trauma had she endured since hooking up with this boyfriend? Where was her family? Ryan guessed she had cut ties to protect them. Felix might have a foolish heart, but she was not an idiot.

The shower had only been off a few seconds when Ryan heard Felix yelling at someone. He quickly deduced she was talking on the phone, based on the lack of response to her curses. "My whereabouts is none of your fucking business, Shane! Let me talk to Andy again."

With his ear to the door, Ryan heard Felix's feet pounding the floorboards as she paced the kitchen. Clearly, she had learned that a more direct approach to communication suited her better than silence.

"I told you why I turned off my GPS. I don't want a bunch of assholes breathing down my neck. I haven't had one minute of privacy since Andy and I moved into that place." More pacing ensued, and Felix's fist come down on the kitchen counter. "Don't you dare throw that in my face. I gave up a free ride to MIT to play your game. You people couldn't pull off half the shit you do without me. Put Andy on the phone right now, or I tell Carlos you're the one responsible for his missing cigars."

As Ryan waited for the next explosion, he realized his heart rate had sped up. Was Felix more than just an innocent bystander in these illegal activities? What had she been using that brilliant mind for? Ryan dried his hair and got dressed as he listened to Felix continue her rant.

"Andy, you need to tell him to back the fuck off. I told you I wouldn't rat anyone out and I'm keeping that promise. I know how serious this shit is, but you gotta give me a chance to absorb it. I caught you screwing someone else in our bed, for Christ's sake. I'll call you when I get home, but I don't want Jordy or Carlos there. Tell them to get the fuck out of my house."

After a moment of silence, Ryan walked casually into the kitchen, fetching a glass from the cupboard and pouring orange juice into it. When he finally looked at Felix, she was sitting at the table glaring at her phone.

"Are you all right, Felix? Do you want to talk about it?"

"No, on both accounts, but thanks for your concern." She glanced up, giving him permission to see her bloodshot eyes. "You got any more of that juice?"

"Of course. Are you hungry? I've got eggs. You want me to make you an omelet or something?"

"An omelet sounds freaking amazing. You cook?"

He nodded as he opened the fridge, grateful for something to do. "I'm under orders from my mom that I know how to feed myself and any woman who might deem me a suitable mate."

"She sounds like an intelligent woman. I wish I had gotten to know her better, but I wasn't very social back then."

Ryan completely agreed, but he wasn't going to point it out. "You want green pepper and onion in your omelet."

"Sounds perfect." She abandoned her phone and walked into the kitchen. "Where's your cutting board. I'll help."

"Under the sink. The knives are in that drawer." Ryan pointed with a spatula after slapping butter into a pan. "I'm afraid we're going to have the abbreviated version of breakfast this morning. I've got court at nine."

"Oh. Is it cool for me to stay here while you're gone?"

"I would prefer it. I shouldn't be more than a couple of hours. I've got a laptop you can use, and cable and Xbox. I do a lot of work from home."

"Hence, the cable and Xbox." Felix grinned as she sliced the end off the pepper, and within minutes, she had both pepper and onion diced and sizzling in the pan.

Ryan watched as she moved easily around his kitchen, locating the plates and silverware and setting them on the kitchen counter. She rummaged through the fridge and pulled out the ketchup, walking the bottle to the table. Damn, she wore jeans well.

"I hope you aren't offended, but I like ketchup on my eggs," she said.

"I've always put ketchup on my eggs."

After breakfast, Ryan gave Felix a small tour, showing her where to find towels in case she wanted to shower. He set up his laptop, and instructed her on how to operate his entertainment system, which she seemed perfectly capable of operating without his instruction. By the time Ryan left the apartment, Felix was smiling, and her blue eyes had returned to a non-bloodshot state. A guy could meet his doom through those eyes, and Ryan suspected the woman behind them was going to put him through his paces.

PLAYLIST SONG: Young and Unafraid by The Moth and The Flame

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