Insert Cheesy Love Title About Mr. Johnny Toews

Chapter Five

“Are you okay?!” Andrew burst through the door, Kris and Jon in tow. My brother had wild eyes and he was directing them towards me.

Sharp muted the program we were watching and rolled his eyes. “Does she look like she’s foaming at the mouth anymore Laddie? I don’t think so. Shut up and come watch American Pickers or get the hell out of here.”

I couldn’t help but smile at Sharpie and his joke. He compared me to a rabid dog last night unintentionally and I started laughing uncontrollably until I was on the verge of tears.

“What happened?” Kris asked, pushing his way in front of my brother.

I shrugged. “Not much. Went all crazy white bitch on a guy that I used to think I knew.”

Sharp snorted. “You make it seem so casual, like I didn’t have to restrain you, by the way you’re pretty strong for a petite little girl, and carry you out to the car. Without the groceries.”

I shrugged and smiled sheepishly. I ended up telling Sharpie my whole story this morning over a cup of coffee.

“So he’s here in Chicago?” Jon asked.

I raised my eyebrow and my eyes darted to my brother and Kris.

Andrew smiled and shrugged, much like what I did seconds ago. It was weird to see how much we were alike sometimes. “He pulled Captain card on me. Couldn’t exactly fight that leadership role, eh?”

I sighed. “Yeah, yeah. Excuses, excuses. Go start the washing machine with your dirty clothes.”

Sharp offered to help Kris and Andrew bring in all their shit, while Jon took a seat next to me. “I wish Sharpie would have let you go at him.”

“If he didn’t I’d be sleeping in a jail cell.”

He smiled, putting an arm on the back of the couch, dangerously close to wrapping an arm around me. “I would have bailed you out Little Laddie.”

“Thanks Johnny,” I dragged out the thanks. “Because I really want to get arrested with no money.”

He sighed, his face turning serious. “He really took everything from you?” he asked.

I nodded, fiddling with a bracelet on my wrist. “Everything except for the things he left me in our apartment, which obviously wasn’t much. I was lucky I had my laptop on me when he cleaned out.”

“I’m really sorry Tessa. No one deserves to have their dreams destroyed by someone like that. It just isn’t right.”

“You’re telling me,” I snorted, standing up. “Well I’m going off to bed Mr. Johnny Toews. I’m sure the boys will be down in a second so you just get cozied up on the couch.”

He smiled. “You sure are an interesting character Miss Tessa Ladd.”

I couldn’t suppress the grin from overtaking my face. “Interesting people make for an interesting life.”

His chocolate eyes stared into my blue ones. “Well then I’m glad you’re here.”

I blinked slowly, bending down until my lips brushed against his soft, then warm, cheek. I pressed my lips to his warm skin. “Good night Johnny Toews.”

And I didn’t need to look back to know that his face was bright red and that his brown eyes were as wide as hockey pucks.

Interesting people make for an interesting life after all.


“What is that smell?!” I said, worry seeping into my voice as I tried to locate the smell that held a combination of burning hair and bacon. It was only six in the morning and I really just wanted to sleep after my week with Sharpie. It was fun, no doubt, but we ended up doing a lot of chores and such and I was exhausted. And waking up to that smell was not what I wanted. Now if only I couldn’t decide if it was pleasant or delicious.

“What are you doing?!” I screeched at Kris who was making bacon. . . with my straightener.

“You freaking demanded I make you bacon! Here’s you bacon bitch!” he shouted back, waving the meat in my face.

“What are you talking about you dumb oaf?!”

“You came into my room at like three this morning and ordered me to make you bacon!” he yelled.

“I was friggin asleep at three in the morning you dumb oaf!”

“Obviously not if I’m making your damn bacon!” he cried out.

“Get it through your thick skull Kris Versteeg! I was asleep you dumb oaf!”

“Stop calling me a dumb oaf!” he pointed my straightener at me, the threat quite obvious.

“What is wrong with both of you?!” Ladd came in, rubbing his eyes, trying to wake up. “Steeger. . .” he trailed off at the sight of the hockey player. “What in God’s creation are you doing with bacon and a hair straightener?”

“She said to make her breakfast!”

Andrew turned to me and I threw up my hands. “I so did not. I mean it’s a nice thought that I came into his room and ordered for him to make me breakfast with my freaking hair straightener, but I didn’t!”

“And you hit me with your pillow when I said no,” the blonde pouted.

“What time was this Steeger?” Andrew asked, unplugging my hair product.


He turned back to me. “You might have been sleep walking again.”

“Whoa!” Steeger yelled. “You sleep walk?! That is wicked awesome.”

I rolled my eyes. “I haven’t slept walk since I was a kid.”

“What were you dreaming about?” he asked.

“Pancakes. I was their queen and picked strawberries and chocolate chips and got whip cream from the river and I lived a happy life eating my subjects,” I said in a matter of fact tone.

“That was what you first asked me to make you but you said bacon had a crisp to it and said ‘make me bacon. Make me bacon like you mean it!’ It was honestly pretty damn scary.”

Andrew turned to me. “There. It’s fixed. Throw away your straightener and I’ll order a new one.”

The front door opened. “What the hell is that smell?” Johnny’s voice floated up the stairs.

He found us standing in the bathroom. “I was going to ask you all if you wanted to come to breakfast, but I see you’ve already had bacon. . .” he trailed off, looking at me funny.

“Steeger is a dumb oaf and I gave him orders in my sleep,” I sighed. “One of those things that just stays in the bathroom.”

“Unlike your straightener which is now going in the trash,” Andrew said, taking it and going to chuck it in the garbage can. “Yes Two Toes. We would love to have breakfast with you and Kaner.”

“Kaner’s not in here,” I told Andrew.

“He’s asleep in the backseat,” Kris answered. “Like always.”

“Oh,” I said. “Okay. Be ready in ten.”


“I’ll have the chocolate chip pancakes and a side of crispy bacon,” I smiled at our waitress.

Kris and Andrew just stared at me.

“What?” I shrugged. “I’m living out my dream. Literally. Isn’t that fantastic?”

Kris shook his head, ordering an omelette. “I hate you sometimes Tess. I just really do. I’m locking my door from now on.”

“No,” Andrew said. “Last time you locked your door, you freaked out because it wouldn’t open when you had to pee in the middle of the night. So you stood there banging on the door for me to let you out.”

“I was sleep walking,” he stated.

“Sure Steeger,” Johnny snorted.

While everyone laughed above the table, Johnny’s hand brushed mine under the table and I felt my cheeks turn slightly hot at his touch.

We didn’t make eye contact, but our fingers danced along each other’s hands, just barely touching. But that was all we needed.

Pancakes with a side of bacon and a slight touch to make me a happy girl. Oh how Chicago was changing me.
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