“I want to buy a house,” Ryan announced as Gale lifted the bar over his head.
“Okay, buy a house.” Mick focused on his bicep curls.
“I thought you were living here with Taylor. Are you breaking up with Taylor?” Gale asked.
Mick stopped mid-curl. “Do not tell me you are breaking up with Taylor. We just released a statement saying you were starting a family.”
“I’m not breaking up with Taylor. I want to buy a house for her and the baby.” He needed to pull his weight in this relationship. When he moved in with her, she didn’t want to talk about money. She could cover everything. Now she was going to be carrying their child and what was he doing? Nothing. Standing next to her while she did all the real work. They weren’t even going to let him protect her on the show and that had pretty much been his job for the last two seasons.
“Oh.” Mick resumed his curls. “Then buy a house. What’s stopping you?”
“She is. She doesn’t want to move out of here.” Ryan studied a patch of floor a few inches above the toe of his shoe. The weight room in Taylor’s building was so much nicer than the lifting in the living room of that house he, Gale, and Mick had rented together when he landed the part on Space Odyssey. All of it was light years from the shitty apartment they’d had in Harvard Park.
“I thought you guys were going to have a kid,” Gale said between presses.
“Are you kidding?” Mick asked. “Have you been in a cave? It’s all over the news.”
“Some of us don’t live and die by TMZ and Perez Hilton.” Gale shot back. “Your place is nice, but it’s not really big enough for a kid. You will be amazed at how much space kids take up.”
“So how do I convince her to move?” Ryan asked. “She really likes this building.”
“It’s a great building, but that condo isn’t going to be big enough for a family.” Gale dropped the weight bar into the rack. “You’re never going to get a housekeeper and a nanny in there, let alone a kid.”
“Taylor’s still hoping Devi will take on babysitting duties. She lives two floors up and the Sunlight gig is pretty light duty.”
“Has anybody heard from her since she left for Hawaii?” Mick asked. He picked up a second hand weight to do tricep lifts.
“No, and leave her alone for five minutes,” Gale said. “She hasn’t had a vacation in forever.”
“I will. I just wondered if everything was going okay.”
“Guys,” Ryan broke in. “I have a problem.”
“Right.” Mick set down the weights. “You need to convince Taylor to move out of here and buy a house.”
“I want to buy the house so she can live with me for once.”
Gale mopped sweat off his face. “See now that puts a different spin on things. Is she getting antsy about you living rent free?”
“No.” After he’d moved in with her he asked about splitting the bills at least because he never wanted to be like that freeloader she’d been living with before, but he was freeloading and it had to stop. “I just want to have something between us. Something permanent.”
“Like a child?” Mick asked. “Because property is really easy to split.”
“Why don’t you get married?” Gale offered. “You asked her years ago. Set a date already.”
Mick snapped his fingers. “That would be a huge promo opp. We could set up the whole wedding for you. Just get her to the right place at the right time. Imagine the press.”
“Imagine Taylor decking him when he springs a wedding on her in front of cameras.” Gale shook his head. “That is the worst idea you have ever had.”
“Are you kidding? It would be incredible press. You star in a long running television series and a Disney movie series as a couple. Now you’re going to get married and have a kid? Ovaries would explode all over the world. We could get everything paid for by sponsors, too. Imagine what dress designers would pay to have Taylor get married in one of their designs.” Mick pulled out his phone. Why he had it in his gym shorts was a mystery, but that was Mick.
“Marriage would be more of a commitment.” Ryan sat down on the weight bench beside Gale. After they got engaged, he’d asked about setting a date, but they had always been heading off to shooting and Marty had made dark comments about a laundry list of things they needed to do before they could marry. Marty had been married a couple of times, so he probably wasn’t joking about how much they needed to do beforehand. So Ryan had let it drop and Taylor had never brought it back up. He’d been waiting on her and she’d been doing what? Second-guessing choosing him? Deciding marriage was too much of a hassle? Why did Devi have to go to Hawaii right now? She would have been a much better source of advice. “I think I’d rather just start with a house.”
“That would make good press too, I guess.” Mick stabbed at his phone.
“No. No press. This is my life, not a publicity stunt.” Ryan ground his teeth.
“Yeah, let’s focus on getting you guys into a big enough house.” Gale cocked his head. “Maybe you could start showing her how inadequate your place now is? Talk about what you need to adapt to fit everything you’re going to need.”
“You guys should have a bigger house to suit the world you’re in now anyway,” Mick mumbled, still on his phone. “That condo screams has-been.”
Gale caught Ryan’s gaze and rolled his eyes. “You’d have to convert your guest room into a nursery and with a baby you’re going to need a sink in there which means plumbing. You’ll need a nanny too so you need a room for her or him unless you find someone willing to sleep standing up in a closet.”
“There is no way I could spin a story like that to make you look good. No, what you should do is track down a couple of really good options. Houses she can’t say no to.” Mick stashed his phone back in his pocket. “You need a property that will blow her away. I can hook you up with a real estate agent.”
“Do both,” Gale said. “Get her freaked out about all the work you’re going to have to do to get the condo up to snuff and then show her places where all she has to do is unpack her stuff.”
“Are you kidding? Stars at their level don’t unpack their own stuff.” Mick smirked. “They’ve got people for that.”
Ryan stood before they could start bickering. “I’ll do both. Mick, hook me up with that real estate agent and soon. We leave for Greece in nine days. Gale, how do I figure out what renovations we’d have to do?”
“Pintrest,” Gale said.
“Pintrest? Really?” Mick sighed heavily. “How does Lisa put up with you?”
“Just fine, thanks.” Gale turned to Ryan. “You could get an interior designer to come over for a consult.”
“That is a terrible idea.” Mick glared at Gale. “The designer will leak pictures of their place when he doesn’t get the contract. You think Taylor was upset about the baby news leaking, imagine what she’ll say when her house are all over the internet.”
“I don’t want to drag somebody out to give me an estimate on work I won’t have done.”
Gale shrugged. “So pay a consulting fee. If you’re paying the designer, you can make them sign a non-disclosure and sue them if any photos show up on the internet.”
“Of course if pictures do get leaked, Taylor’d be more likely to move.” Mick narrowed his eyes.
“Let’s just start with what I can find online and hunting for perfect places.” And end this conversation before it develops into a brawl.
Might have been easier to surprise Taylor with a wedding.