I never thought a movie night could be any worse than the time Roxie and Jay had a fight because of me. I was wrong. Tonight it was me, Jay, Mitch, and Billie. Adrian and Tam were doing date night and Ben was at a club since he hadn’t had much luck with Tessa. I wasn’t sure how much luck Mitch had had either to be honest since Billie was flirting with Jay. Flirting, groping… same-same right?
Right now she was stroking Jay’s biceps. “Some ink right here would be amazing on you.”
“I’m going to get a drink.” I said to no one in particular and got up from the armchair leaving Billie happily sandwiched between Jay and Mitch. I opened Jay’s fridge and stared at the bottles of beer and wine, the carton of milk, the lack of food… not exactly a balanced diet. I didn’t really want a drink anyway. I closed the door and moved to the snack cupboard in search of chocolate. I grabbed a bag of m&ms and ripped it open then I leaned against the bench and watched the show.
I usually loved Jay’s apartment with its open floor plan and great views but right now I would have preferred my place where the kitchen was a separate room and I could close the door. At least I was far enough away that with the music and the distance I couldn’t hear what was being said as she turned to Mitch and he pulled up his sleeve to show his tattoo, then turned back to Jay and started pulling at his shirt. Jay laughed as Mitch stood up and walked over to the dining area that sat between the living area and the kitchen. He picked up the bag Billie had left there are looked over at me, giving a jerk of his head.
Was I coming back over? Uh, no thanks. I held up my bag of candy and shrugged then threw a few into my mouth and crunched. Mitch walked back over and handed the bag to Billie then he headed my way.
“Whatcha doing Dee?” He propped himself beside me and held out a hand for some candy.
“Not much,” I said as I poured some into his hands. “You?”
He gave a non-committal grunt. “Billie wants to draw on Jay, show him how a tattoo would look on him.”
We both looked over to where she was all but sitting in Jay’s lap, one hand on his stomach as her mouth moved. Jay shook his head and looked over at us with a frown, one eyebrow lifting along with his chin. Jay speak for, ‘what the hell are you two doing over there?’
I held up my bag of m&ms and Mitch opened his mouth to show the half chewed contents as Jay clamped his hand over Billie’s and shook his head at whatever she said.
“Why doesn’t he just tell her he has one?” I wondered aloud, watching as she tossed her head and laughed while Jay grinned.
“Who knows.” Mitch shrugged and looked at me curiously. “That doesn’t bother you?”
“What? About his tattoo?”
“Ah no. Billie flirting with Jay.”
“Me? Billie’s your date.” I cringed as I had a flashback to dinner, Mitch holding up three fingers. “Wait.” I grabbed Mitch’s wrist before he could fill his mouth again. “Should I go?”
He sounded confused and I sighed and tried to ignore the feeling of panic I had at having to spell it out. “I saw you at the restaurant.” I looked over at the couch to see that Jay and Billie had stood up and Billie was looking up at Jay as she traced a finger along the neckline of her t-shirt. “The threesome thing,” I said quickly. “If that’s why you’re here I can go.”
Mitch flushed and looked lost for words as he shook his head. “You saw?”
“Yeah so, if you want to follow-up on that, I can go.” I spoke quickly aware Jay and Billie were moving closer to us.
“Geez Dee. And that doesn’t bother you?” he said incredulously.
I shrugged, my eyes on Jay as he smiled at whatever Billie was saying. “Jay’s an adult, it’s his choice. I don’t judge,” I added with a shrug as I put the bag on candy on the bench behind me.
“I saw that!” Jay laughed as he stopped in front of me and placed a hand on the bench on either side of my hips. “Chocolate thief!” he accused with a growl and snagged the bag.
“Drinks?” Mitch grabbed Billie’s hand and led her to the fridge. “Pick a bottle,” he instructed as he snagged two beers and placed them on the counter.
“We’ll get the movie ready.” Jay held out the bag of m&ms and started to walk backwards, as if he were luring me with them.
“Give me those!” I took two quick steps and snagged them from his hand.
“Hey!” he laughed and grabbed for me but I was already out of reach. “Brat,” he said with a tug of my hair then he collapsed on the couch and picked up the remote.
“So, I’m going to go,” I said and held the bag out to him.
“You’re what?” he said absently, his eyes on the screen.
I looked back at Mitch and Billie in the kitchen where they were talking intently. “I think Billie wants to do that thing, from the restaurant,” I muttered, annoyed at myself for not even being able to say it.
“Say that again?” Jay said slowly as his hand closed on my wrist and tugged.
I resisted, staying on my feet to look down at him. “I don’t want to get in the way.” I managed a smile and he smiled back.
“Well in that case…” he let go of my wrist to grab my waist and pulled down next to him.
“Jay,” I hissed glaring at him.
“Dee,” he mocked me then he sighed. “Look, I don’t want to do anything with Billie okay. So if you could just sit there and be… my protector. That would be great. And if you could pretend to fall asleep before the end of the movie, even better.”
“Drinks!” Mitch announced his arrival before I could respond. He sprawled on the other couch with Billie while Jay slouched down next to me.
I watched the movie and part way through, took off my shoes and threw one of the scatter cushions into Jay’s lap to use as a pillow. I let my eyes drift shut a bit before the end, thinking Jay was lucky I had seen it before, and feigned sleep.
“Well that was pretty good,” Mitch said as the music for the credits played.
“Yeah,” Jay agreed softly and the volume went down.
“Oh. She’s asleep.” Billie sounded disappointed.
“Yeah,” Jay said again and I felt him stroke his hand over my hair.
“You going to wake her?” Mitch asked, his voice softer than before.
Jay’s thighs tensed under me as his hand came to rest on my shoulder. “I have to get up because my legs are falling asleep. If she wakes up she does.”
I kept my eyes clamped shut as he wiggled to the side then gave a little moan as he lowered the cushion to the couch.
“She’s really out of it,” Billie said with a sigh.
“We should get going anyway.” Mitch’s voice faded so I guessed he was moving towards the door.
“Oh but,” Billie protested weakly as Jay spoke over her.
“Okay man.” I heard a thump, could imagine Jay and Mitch doing that one armed man hug thing. “Nice to see you again Billie.”
“Talk soon,” Mitch said then the door thumped closed.
I heard Jay’s footsteps approaching and he said, “They’re gone, you can stop pretending.”
I kept my eyes closed though. If I opened them we were probably going to have a conversation about Billie, we couldn’t just ignore the situation could we? Maybe if I just stayed ‘asleep’, we could forget about it. Jay’s couch was comfy enough, I could sleep here.
“Dee?” His hand brushed my cheek. “Baby?”
Okay, time to be an adult I thought. Though not too much of an adult, I braced myself to rear up as a soft tapping sounded. A moment later I heard the door open and Mitch’s voice.
“Billie forgot her bag. She’s waiting in the cab.”
“Here it is.” By the sound of it Jay was over at the table and then Mitch was with him.
“So what the hell happened with Dee?”
What was Mitch saying? My breathing suddenly sounded loud as I waited for Jay’s reply.
“Nothing happened,” he said with a heavy sigh.
“You didn’t say anything?”
“No I ah, I made a pass. She shot me down.”
A pass? Is that what he called it. I guess it sounded better than saying, “I offered her an orgasm.” Well now I was going to have to stay ‘asleep’, no way did I want Jay to know I’d heard this conversation.
“A pass? I thought you were going to tell her how you felt.” Mitch’s voice moved closer to me then away, back to the front door.
“She made it clear she didn’t think of me that way so I didn’t say anything.”
“Fuck man, I’m sorry.”
The door thudded closed and even with my eyes closed I could tell the room got darker. Jay’s footsteps faded away then came back and a soft warm weight settled over me.
“Night baby. I love you.” Jay’s lips brushed over my cheek then I laid there and listened to him moving around his apartment. I heard a door close then reopen a few minutes later, then the low murmur of the television he had in his bedroom. Only then did I roll to my back and let my eyes open.
What feelings had Mitch thought Jay had told me about? And what way didn’t I think of Jay? I had thought about that night so many times, attributed Jay’s behaviour to his very recent break up, the drinks he’d had, the conversation we’d been having. My own behaviour I put down to wishful thinking. Could I have been wrong on both counts and how was I going to find out?