“Fucker,” Shep says with an easy smile.
“She’ll ruin our game,” Tristan says unapologetically. “Trust me, I’ve done this before. Shep used to be my wingman. Now he brings a cock blocker with him and she ruins everything.”
“Did you just call me a cock blocker?” Jade sticks her tongue out at Tristan. “You are so incredibly mean.”
He shrugs. “Just stating the truth.”
They go at it like this all the time. I’ve come to discover it’s their thing. I’m the nice one, the one Jade likes the most. Besides Shep, that is. That’s our thing.
“You don’t care if I go out with the boys, do you?” Shep asks, his voice low and intimate. He sounds like he’s asking permission—or being respectful of Jade’s feelings.
I can’t quite tell the difference.
“No, go out. Have fun. I’ll stay home and roll around in bed naked, waiting for you.” She slips out of Shep’s arms and turns to face him, kissing him on the cheek. “I need to go. I’ll see you later?”
“You know it. Love you,” Shep murmurs before he swats her on the ass and sends her out of the kitchen.
I shake my head the minute she’s gone. “You are so gone over her.” I hadn’t seen it much in action since I was away all summer but those two seem to have it really bad for each other.
Shep shrugs. “I’m in love with her.”
He says it so matter of fact, like it’s no big deal while I’m standing here trying to wrap my brain around the concept of love. What the hell is love anyway? My parents act like they were forced to be together most of the time. None of my friends have ever admitted to falling in love before. Not until Shep.
Makes me wonder if there’s a chance at love for me.
“The more time I spend with her, the more I know that I want to be with her. Like, all the time. I genuinely like her. I value her opinion, she makes me laugh, she makes me think. And the sex is fucking unbelievable,” Shep explains, a sly grin on his face.
“She sounds like the perfect woman,” I say. His description of Jade reminds me of how I felt about Lucy.
That particular realization makes me miss her more than ever.
So freaking stupid.
“Jade is the perfect woman for me,” Shep say with a nod.
“They’re disgusting together,” Tristan mutters, causing both of us to turn and look at him. He drains his beer before he opens the fridge and grabs another one, twisting the top off so it makes a hissing sound. “All lovey dovey and shit.”
“You’re just jealous,” Shep says, making Tristan scowl at him.
“Not even close. You couldn’t pay me enough money in the world to be tied down to one woman.” Tristan waves his beer bottle in my direction. “And I know Gabe here feels the same.”
“Right,” I say automatically though…I’m envious of what Shep has with Jade. If you’d told me a few months ago I’d feel that way about my friend’s committed relationship, I would’ve laughed in your face.
But now I can’t help but think of what could’ve been for Lucy and me. Could we be as happy as Jade and Shep? We were having a pretty good time together this summer. I had to cut it off because I didn’t want to break her heart.
More like I didn’t want to break my heart either.
“So you can be the real wingman tonight,” Tristan says to Shep. “Gabe and I will be on the hunt and you can lure them in.”
“You two are going to use me so you can find chicks to bang?” He shakes his head. “Unreal.”
“You don’t want to bang them anymore so that’s our new rule. You’re our official wingman,” Tristan declares. “Not that we need your help. We can do this shit on our own, but it’ll be fun. Like old times. Right, Gabe?”
“Yeah,” I agree, knowing that this is the right thing to do. Finding a girl, flirting with a girl, a complete stranger. Buying her a drink, getting close to her, flatter her, touch her, kiss her, take her back to my place and get her naked and in my bed. That’ll push Lucy out of my head once and for all. I haven’t been laid since the last time I saw her. That’s my problem. I’m stuck on her because it’s been so long.
Now I can only hope I find a sexy little dark haired girl with a banging body at the bar tonight. With flashing dark eyes and full lips and killer tits, a tiny waist and bull hips and an ass that I want to grip. A girl with a throaty laugh and an easy smile and a way of touching me that makes me feel so damn alive…
Fuck. I’m thinking of Lucy.
“Tonight at ten at Jack’s they’re having a back to school special,” Tristan says, pulling me from my semi-depressing thoughts. “All girly drinks are half off.”
“What about us?” Shep asks, making a face. “No beer specials? I hate girly drinks.”
“Nope. Not even the shitty stuff on tap is discounted. They’re doing it on purpose. A new plan they have going on. Get the girls into the bar to buy all the cheap drinks and get them good and drunk so we can start picking up on them.” Tristan grins and raises his eyebrows.
“Great. That’s not creepy or anything,” Shep drawls and I think the same thing.
The same exact thing.
Drunken college girls aren’t high on my list. They get silly. They get a little loose, which I usually have no problem with. But when they drink too much and they’re all together, they get mouthy. Loud. Opinionated.
I’m starting to regret tonight’s events already.
The bar Gina brought me to is completely packed, full of mostly women around my age. They all have vividly colored, fruity looking drinks clutched in their hands topped with bright little umbrellas, crowded around the bar wearing as few articles of clothing as they can get away with without being completely naked.
I feel downright overdressed in the soft yellow sundress I chose to wear. But Gina had insisted it was perfect when she saw me in it. Strapless and with a ruched bodice that my breasts can hold up quite well, I’m showing off a hint of cleavage and a lot of leg, all while being mostly covered.
“It really shows off your tanned skin,” Gina had said, which made me laugh. Yes, I’m darker than usual from all the time I spent in the sun over the summer, but my skin is about this shade of brown pretty much year round.
This is what happens when you’re Mexican and no one realizes it. They automatically think you have a great tan.
“This place is crazy,” Gina shouts in my ear. “I love it, don’t you?”
Not really but I don’t want to burst her bubble so I nod, deciding I shouldn’t bother answering. The music is loud, the insistent, throbbing beat seems to move right through me, vibrating just beneath my skin. The girls are all swaying and moving together, almost like they planned it and I notice a group of guys lined up against the opposite wall, clutching beers in their hands and watching the women in rapt fascination.
We showed up because a flier somehow ended up on our apartment door. Considering Gina and I are on limited incomes and Gina was feeling a little down about Chad leaving, we thought going out for a half-off drink was a great idea.
I didn’t realize it was going to be such an obvious meat market.