Kelli nods, her face crumpling right before she bursts into tears. She covers her face with her hands, sobbing into them and I immediately leap to my feet, going to her side so I can wrap her in a comforting hug.
I’m confused. She’s been after Steven for weeks and now that she finally landed him, she’s crying?
“Was it that bad?” I ask.
She removes her hands, baring her tear-streaked face. “Of course not. It was amazing.”
When she starts crying again I push her face against my shoulder, patting her back and totally baffled. “I thought this was what you wanted,” I murmur.
“It was. It so was.” She pushes away from me, waving her hand toward my empty chair. “Go sit down. This is ridiculous. I’ll keep it together. I promise.”
“Sit,” she demands like I’m her dog.
I do as she says, hoping she explains herself better.
“Okay, let me tell you what happened.” She takes a deep breath and exhales shakily. “I was all over Conrad the entire night. And when I realized that he was hooking up with Felisha, I gave up on him. So I started flirting with other guys. I had a bunch of them to choose from, considering there were so many there, you know?”
I nod, slightly horrified by what she’s saying. She was putting herself in a sketchy situation, especially because she was drinking.
“Don’t give me that look. You took off with Tristan to go fuck around so Gabe was watching over me, I promise. He even got in one dude’s face and told him to back off.”
Thank God for Gabe.
“Anyway, Steven was watching me the entire night but he never said a word. Never spoke to me, never did anything. Let Gabe be the macho man and bail me out and that pissed me off, you know? He should’ve stepped in.”
“Maybe he was scared,” I say in defense of poor, quiet Steven.
“Please. I don’t know what his deal was but I finally decided to give up on all of them. Told everyone I was going home. Gabe was like, oh hell no, and was going to give me a ride but Steven stepped in and said he’d be the one to take me home.” Kelli finishes off her drink and looks toward the counter. “I want another PSL.”
“No, you don’t.” I snap my fingers in front of her face. “Focus. What happened next?”
“So we get into his car and he said he was driving me home but he lied.” She presses her lips together and ducks her head. “He took me back to his place instead. And…attacked me in his car.”
“Wait,” I interrupt. “Attack in a good way, or a bad way?”
“In the best way possible. My God, the boy can kiss.” Kelli’s eyes go hazy as she remembers and I recognize the look. I bet I wear the same expression every time I think of kissing Tristan. “The next thing I know we’re walking into his house, our lips still attached and we end up in his room. Where he proceeded to strip off my clothes, push me onto his bed and give me the best orgasm of my life.”
“Sounds hot,” I tell her, unable to imagine Steven actually doing everything she just described, which is probably best. “So why are you crying and down in the dumps?”
“Because I left his house in the middle of the night and haven’t heard from him since! Why hasn’t he texted? Called?” She throws her hands up into the air. “He hated having sex with me. I’m sure of it.”
“Please. He likes you. Why would he hate it? He gave you the best orgasm of your life. That means he was into you,” I reassure her.
“Has he been at your house since Saturday?” she asks.
“I don’t know. I wasn’t home yesterday. I was with Tristan.”
She sighs, looking so incredibly down I want to get up and give her another hug. “You’re lucky. At least you’re with a guy who isn’t afraid to let you know how he feels.”
“Are you fucking serious?” I start to laugh, like uncontrollably. She watches me oddly, not laughing at all. “We’re talking about Tristan Prescott.”
“He told Gabe we were just friends Saturday night,” I say.
Kelli frowns. “What a jackass.”
“I know. He’s not comfortable with letting me know how he feels at all. So don’t think I have it easy with Tristan just because we’re having regular sex.” What we have is good but it also feels shaky. Like one tiny mistake will cause it to collapse beyond repair.
“Regular sex sounds pretty dreamy right now,” Kelli says, making us both laugh.
“It’s great, but it’s not everything.” I can’t believe I just said that, but it’s true. I want more from Tristan. I know we haven’t known each other very long and this is all shiny and new, especially to him, but I can’t help the way I feel. I want a commitment.
I want to call Tristan Prescott my boyfriend.
“I think you should call him,” I tell Kelli.
“Who? Tristan? What am I going to say to him? Stop being a jackass to Alex or I’m going to kick your ass?” she asks, smiling.
Seeing that smile is such a relief. I don’t like it when Kelli’s upset. She’s our cheerful, always funny, always sarcastic girl. “You need to call Steven.”
“Oh.” Her smile fades. “I can’t call him.”
“Then text him.”
“I don’t want to do that either.”
I roll my eyes. “You’re being ridiculous. Just bite the bullet and do it. Unless you enjoy sitting around in misery wondering why he won’t reach out to you.”
“Fine.” She sighs heavily. “But what should I say? ‘Oh hey, Steven, had a rockin’ good time with you Saturday night. Had no idea you knew all those tongue tricks and that your dick is so big.’ I’m sure he’d just love to hear that.”
I blink at her. “Um, I’m fairly certain he’d definitely love to hear that.” I didn’t need to, but too late.
She stares at her clenched hands resting on the table. “I’m nervous.”
“Have you ever considered that he’s nervous too?” I ask her gently.
Her head lifts, big eyes staring at me. “He probably is huh.”
“Totally.” I nod. “This is Steven we’re talking about.”
“He said he hated seeing Conrad’s hands all over me.” She makes a face. “I felt bad for making him jealous. He said the sweetest things to me. How beautiful I am, how I always make everything fun whenever I’m around.”
“That’s sweet. And true,” I tell her.
Kelli smiles though it’s tinged with sadness. “I’m not just nervous, I’m scared. I really, really like him, especially after everything that happened. I think we could be something amazing, if he would just give us a chance.”
I reach out and grab her hand again, giving it a firm squeeze. “Text him. Just say hi. See what happens next. It can’t hurt.”
“You’re right. It can’t.” She glances over at the counter again. “I really want another PSL.”
“You do not. You’re jittery enough. But you can sit here and watch me finish mine.” I smile, taking another sip and she sticks her tongue out at me. “Listen, you need to make this right with Steven so we can all go to his parents’ house for Thanksgiving and it’s not all awkward and weird.”