“What about him Dee?”
I wasn’t really eavesdropping. I just happened to be sitting close enough to hear the conversation. I was at a table with Mitch and Ben while behind us, Adrian and Tammy were sitting with Dee.
“Blue shirt, drinking a cocktail at the bar.”
I almost snorted at that.
“He has beady eyes.”
“You sure are fussy,” Tam’s voice had a touch of sulk to it. No wonder though, she’d been picking out men for Dee to reject for the last twenty minutes.
“Give it up babe.” Adrian advised her. “Dee doesn’t date.”
“Of course she does,” Tam said with a laugh. “What was Mark?”
“An aberration,” I muttered and Ben gave me a ‘what was that?’ look. I shrugged at him and held up my empty bottle. “Isn’t it your round?”
“Mark was…” I heard a sigh, could picture Dee smiling and shrugging. “He was different. We had a lot in common.”
Like what? I wondered as Adrian joked, “Yeah. They were both scared of commitment.”
“Not quite,” Dee said with a laugh but didn’t elaborate. “Anyway, maybe I’m changing. Seeing you two so happy could give a girl ideas.”
I heard Tam giggle and Adrian laugh but didn’t hear what else was said as Mitch’s hand landed on my shoulder.
“Are you going to make a move?”
I followed Mitch’s eyes to a blonde at the bar who had been eye fucking me for the last ten minutes. Her attention is vaguely annoying because I haven’t so much as locked eyes with her, I’ve stayed focused on my friends and my drink because no, I don’t want to make a move on the blonde or any other woman here. Except Dee. I had tried to craft a reason for me to stay with her and Tam and Adrian, but apparently us single men had to sit apart so we’d be more approachable.
My problems with that? First, I didn’t want to be approached because I’d rather be with Dee. Second, I didn’t want to be approached because as much as I was for women’s rights and equality, I liked to do the chasing in a relationship.
I shook my head at Mitch. “No I’m not.”
“Really?” he raised his brows. “You’re not holding back because of your fuck buddy are you?” He pitched his voice low and leaned in closer.
I totally was. “Sort of,” I admitted and Mitch swore under his brief.
“Dude,” he started, his hand clamping hard on my shoulder.
“Relax Mitch,” I interrupted. “I’m just not interested in dating yet. I’m having great sex whenever I want, hanging out with my friends. What else do I need?”
Mitch tilted his head towards the bar and the women there. “A little distraction.” He shrugged. “You never know Jay, she could be the girl of your dreams.”
Nope, I had her already. I just didn’t know how to keep her.
“You never know,” I echoed as Ben returned with our drinks. I took mine with a nod of thanks then watched as Ben and Mitch preened for all the women in the vicinity. Eventually they caught the eye of a couple and went to try to impress them up close and personal.
“Hey.” I turned to find Adrian leaning over the back of his chair alone. “The girls have gone to the ladies. How are you?”
“Great,” I said honestly.
“So you and Dee,” Adrian asked.
“Me and Dee?” I repeated surprised.
“You two okay? After that time at the restaurant things were awkward for a while?”
“They were but we’re fine now,” I assured him even as I flashed back to another time Adrian had asked the same question. A group of us had been out at a bar, we had been playing pool and I had been helping Dee make a shot.
She’d gone to the bathroom and Adrian and asked, “So you and Dee?”
“Me and Dee?” I repeated and took a drink.
“Are you two are a thing or …?”
I choked on my drink, not prepared for that question.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to make you choke man.”
“It’s okay, just, me and Dee? That’s hilarious,” I managed to say.
I took a cautious sip of drink and nodded. “We’re just friends, always have been.”
Adrian shook his head, his eyes went wide. “I totally misread it then. I thought she was into you.”
“Hah, I wish,” I said with a short laugh. “She’s smart, funny, gorgeous,” I added with a shrug. “What’s not to like.”
“So why not ask her out?”
“I’m not her type. Dee dates blondes only. Also, she doesn’t think of me that way,” I said with another shrug. It stung but it was old news, nothing I could do to change things.
“As in?” Adrian gave me a little go ahead finger wiggle.
“I heard her talking with my sister a few years ago.” It had been right after Suzi’s prom and she and Dee who like me was a year younger, had been discussing who Dee would like to go with. Suzi named names and Dee kept shooting them down. Then Suzi had said, “Well that’s just about everyone except my brother and that would be wrong.”
“Your bother? Jay?” Dee said hesitantly.
“He’s the only one I have,” Suzi said with a laugh. “But he’s my brother, so no.”
“Of course no,” Dee giggled, then laughed hard for a minute. “He’s your brother, ugh!”
I didn’t relay the conversation to Adrian or the fact that from that moment on I’d forced myself to look at Dee as just a friend, not as a potential girlfriend.
“Well look at that.” Adrian’s voice drew me from my memories. “Maybe Dee was serious before.”
“How so?” I looked to see what Adrian had seen and my mouth went dry as my heart thumped hard in my chest. Dee was standing far too close to a familiar looking man.
“I’ve seen him before haven’t I?” I managed a nod when Adrian looked to me for confirmation. “Maybe she really is ready for a relationship.”
As I watched she tilted her head back and laughed at something the blonde man said. His name was Trent I remembered, and the night Dee had heard me saying I would avoid her in the stupid game Ben made us play, she had left with him. That was at least twice she had seen him. Was Adrian right? Was she suddenly looking for more? And was it my fault? I’d told her I thought she had more to give than just her body and I’d meant it. But I’d hoped she’d want to give it to me.