Have you ever had one of those moments where you thought ‘life can’t get any better than this’? When I had whispered ‘let me’ and Dee had parted her legs for me, I had that thought. Then I’d brushed against her silk panties, felt the heat of her and I’d reviewed that thought. I’d lost my mind then, crazy with the scent of her, the feel of her. I’d pushed her too far, slipped my finger under that silk to find silky smooth flesh, the proof of her arousal a wet kiss against my skin.

What had I been thinking? Dee. Mine. More. But before I could do more than pet her lush flesh once, she was gone. Escaping, no running, to the bathroom with Tam. She couldn’t even look at me, her voice cheerful she said, “Wont be long.”

“Well, when you gotta go, you gotta go,” Adrian said with a ‘women, what can you do?’ shake of his head. “I guess we get to finish dessert. Did you drive?”

I shook my head since my mouth was full of food and mimed walking with my fingers.

“Give you a lift if you like?”

I shrugged then swallowed so I could talk. “Up to Dee.”

“You really going to make a move on her?” he asked softly.

Was I? “I don’t know.” I sighed. “I don’t want to fuck up our friendship, you know?”

“But?”

I thought of how she’d let me touch her, her comment about finding out what all the fuss was about.

“But what if it doesn’t? What if she-”

“Hey! You ate my dessert!”

Tam slid into her seat and swiped a finger through the chocolate sauce on her plate.

“Well you weren’t going to eat it.” Adrian caught her finger and licked the sauce, making her laugh. “Once Dee’s back, we’ll get going,” he added, lifting his hip to slide his wallet out.

I threw down some notes as Adrian checked the bill.

“Oh here.” Tam placed some notes on the table. “From Dee. She left already, said she had a headache.”

“What?” Adrian turned to look towards the entrance with a frown.

“I told her you’d drive her but she insisted.”

I heard Tam’s voice from a distance because I was freaking the fuck out. What had I done? I had made her literally run away. Why? Had I scared her?

“Jay?” Adrian snapped and I realised he’d called me more than once.

“Yes,” I said with certainty and he nodded.

“We’ll give you a lift.” He stood up and helped Tam to her feet.

A few minutes later we were in the car and I was never so grateful that Adrian pushed the speed limit as I was then.

“Want us to wait?” he asked as I climbed out and ducked down to look in through the passenger window at him.

“No need,” I said with a smile for Tam. “I’ll just make sure she’s okay.”

“I’m sorry I let her leave,” Tam said, obviously feeling guilty.

“Not your fault Tammie, no one can stop Dee doing what she wants,” I assured her.

“You sure?” Adrian’s look let me know he wasn’t talking about them waiting.

“Yeah,” I nodded and stepped back from the car, waving as they drove off.

I used my ’emergency’ key to let myself into her building then took the stairs to her place and knocked on the door. There was no answer and the place sounded quiet so I figured we’d beaten her back. I planted myself against her door and tried to plan what I was going to say to her but I kept going back to one fact. She’d run away.

I closed my eyes and replayed the night through, saw the way she looked at me, was that a flash of jealousy, a flare of desire? Remembered how she’d let me touch her, how soft and wet she’d been. Was that because it was me touching her, or had she just been turned on by the conversation we’d had?

If it had been any other woman looking at me the way I’d caught Dee doing a couple of times, I would have been sure she was interested. But it was Dee, and she always looked at me like that didn’t she? If any other woman had stared at my mouth the way Dee had when I’d told my fantasy, I would have thought she wanted me to kiss her. But it was Dee.

It was Dee who had run too. With a lame ass ‘I have a headache’ excuse. Did she think I was stupid, that I wouldn’t realise she was running away from me? The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. Wasn’t our friendship stronger than that? Couldn’t we talk about what had happened like adults?

I heard footsteps on the stairs, recognised her laughter, the low mummer of her voice. Some headache she had there. Another laugh and my blood turned to ice. Did she have someone with her? Had the headache excuse really been an excuse to hook up with someone else.

She came into sight then, turning the corner, her head down as she dug in her bag for her keys, her laugh fading as she looked up and stopped walking.

I saw the surprise turn to panic in her eyes so I guessed I looked as angry as I was feeling.

I tried to keep my voice gentle as I asked, “Something funny baby?”

Her shoulders went back and her chin lifted as she moved towards me, her keys in her hands. “What are you doing here Jay?” she asked coolly.

“Hmmm, let’s see?” I pretended to think, tapping my index finger against my lower lip. “Could it be that I was worried about you?”

“Well.” She spread her arms a little as she came to a stop before me. “As you can see, I’m fine. So you can go.”

“I don’t think so baby.” I pushed away from the door so she could open it. “It must be a pretty bad headache if you had to leave without saying goodbye. I don’t think you should be alone.”

“I live alone, I’ll be fine.” She gave me a little eyebrow arch and a cool smile.

Who was this woman? Where was the teasing comments, the warm looks? I had seen this distant polite version of Dee when she was blowing someone off, usually a man she wasn’t interested in. Was that who I was to her now? Had I fucked things up so badly? If I had, she was going to have to tell me, I wasn’t willing to walk away from her over this.

“You might be but I wont,” I muttered and her smile slipped a little.

“Jay-”

“Do you really want to talk about this in the hall?” I interrupted.

“Talk about what? My headache?” She gave me another ice queen look. “Because you’re really not helping with that,” she said archly.

I hated the attitude, the look of dismissal in her eyes. If she wanted to be nasty, I could do nasty, I’d had months of practise with Roxie after all. I shifted forward, invading her space, let my eyes drift down to her mouth and stare until she licked her lips nervously then I looked into her eyes, a smirk on my face and said, “I hear orgasms are a good cure for headaches, maybe I can help you with one of those.”

She narrowed her eyes and tilted her head, giving me a once over. “Hmm, let me think.” She lifted her hand and pushed one finger into my chest so I took a step back and she put her key into her lock. Her door opened and she slid into the space. “Since everyone else has had a go with the go-to guy, I think I’ll pass.”

She smirked at me and started to close her door, which worked well until the door hit my foot. “It didn’t feel like you wanted to pass when I had my hand between your legs,” I said with my own smirk.

She shrugged. “We were talking about sexual fantasies, it wasn’t personal.”

It felt like she’d stabbed me in the chest but at least I had my answer. Except… “So what, you were embarrassed? So you left without saying goodbye?”

She sighed and stopped trying to close the door on me. “Of course I was embarrassed Jay, I got caught up in the moment and started to use you to fulfil my fantasy.”

“I didn’t mind being used,” I pointed out half-heartedly. So much for making any move but I could at least salvage our friendship. Couldn’t I?

“Well you should mind, you’re worth more than that. Adrian used you, Mitch wanted to use you, then there I was, doing the same thing.”

“You make me sound like a victim. I didn’t do, I don’t do anything I don’t want to,” I said with a scowl and she smiled at me gently.

I looked at her framed in the doorway, everything I wanted and could never have and I wondered how I was going to go on seeing her with that knowledge. Until now I’d had the faintest of hope that she might feel the same. I needed space and time to adjust my thinking so I took one last long look.

“Well I just wanted to make sure you were okay and you obviously are.” I smiled as she dipped into a little curtsy. “Talk to you soon baby,” I said and took a step back, then another one.

“Night Jay.” She smiled and I lifted a hand, not able to speak past the lump in my throat. I made myself turn and walk away from her, one step at a time…

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