“Gin and tonic, that says your classy,” Steve said as he set Maddie’s drink in front of her.
“Does it?” She took a long sip.
Steve said the obvious, and Maddie thought it was because he was nervous. Why would a man that good looking be nervous?
“What have you got?” Maddie asked.
“What’s that say about you?”
“I like bourbon. Here, try it. I think you’ll like it better.”
“No thanks.” She’d had Old-Fashioneds before and hadn’t liked the smoky taste.
He put his arm around her and moved her drink to the side and put his in front of her. “I promise you won’t be disappointed.”
He spoke into her left ear while his right arm curled around her body. She liked the sexy feel of his possessiveness. Did she drink something she didn’t like to get him in bed, or did she refuse?
“If the purpose,” she said choosing another path, “of forcing your drink on girl is to get your arm around her, the ploy worked.” She reached for own drink and had a long pull. The cool bitter liquid slid down her throat. “Damn, that’s good.”
Steve stayed where he was and took a sip of his drink. “You know, gin is made from juniper berries.”
“Oh?” She knew that, but was surprised he did. “Cocktail expert?”
“I know my alcohol,” he said, and held his drink up in a toast. She raised her glass as well and they drank.
A man walked up to the bar to order a drink, and Steve slid between Maddie and the man. Steve pulled out his phone for a selfie and Maddie leaned in close and gave her signature good-times smile.
“Slide over to my seat,” Steve said. “You won’t be bothered by drink orders there.”
Maddie slid her glass down and hopped to his stool. She couldn’t stay long, and she wished she could. She folded the corner of her drink napkin over then unfolded it. She folded it again. She repeated the action several times until Steve’s hand gently slid over hers.
She looked at him in surprise. He was leaning in, but it didn’t look right for a kiss. Maddie held her position, waiting for some cue from Steve.
“I’m going to steal you from him,” he said, whispering in her right ear. His lips brushed her ear, and warmth blossomed in all the right parts of her body.
“Him who?” she whispered back.
“Your boyfriend,” Steve said, firmly seated on his stool again. “A woman like you wouldn’t be alone.”
“No boyfriend. Right now.”
Steve grinned. He still held her hand.
Maddie’s phone buzzed. “That’s Roxanne. She’s picking me up out front.”
“Sure you still want a girl’s night out?” he said, sliding his hand up her arm and around her shoulder.
Maddie bit her lower lip. One rule. Girls rule. “I made this date with her before you asked me. I warned you I couldn’t stay.”
“I thought I could change your mind. I see your loyalty is strong. Maybe I’ll have it someday.”
Maddie leaned and put her lips on his warm lips, and he responded with a quick chaste kiss.
“Maybe,” she said, and flew out the door and caught Roxanne at the curb, then jetted off to their dancing spot.
“I’m surprised you’re here with me,” Roxanne said as they walked up to the club. “I thought sure you’d be in bed with him.”
“Oh, he’s shivery all right, makes everything flow the right way, you know.”
“Why’d you hold back?”
“Oh, bullshit. We’ve dumped each other plenty of times for a good fuck,” Roxanne said as they walked in.
“He’s smart and…” the wall of music from the dance floor hit them, and Maddie felt the beat in her chest.
Roxanne shrugged her shoulders and held out her arms. That was her signal for, “Can’t hear a word your saying.”
Roxanne grabbed Maddie’s hand and threaded through the crowd. Maddie watched Roxanne’s head swing around, and her eyes search the crowd. She knew what was coming. Roxanne had an invited her latest hottie to their girls night out.
Roxanne’s head snapped to the right, and she tugged Maddie along behind her. Maybe she should have stayed with Steve.
Roxanne waved like she was trying to shake her hand off her arm. Maddie saw a corresponding wave from a table and recognized Roxanne’s friend Mary. She had her brother, Brian with her. And he was a Wow! on their list that went from Bleh! to Meh, through Interested and up to Wow!
Roxanne threw Maddie at Brian and hugged Mary. Maddie stumbled and Brian grabbed her arm.
“OK?” he shouted into her ear.
She nodded. She’d seen Brian a few times, and each time he’d looked delicious. With one hand on her arm and the other on her waist, she shivered.
“Cold?” he shouted again.
She shrugged. He took her hand and gestured for her to walk ahead of him. He moved in next to her and slipped his arm around her waist. This time, down-below lit on fire.
He led her to the bar, where the music was only a dull roar and they could almost have a conversation. He ordered a beer and looked at Maddie.
“Whatever you’re having,” she said to him. He finished the order and turned to her.
“Roxanne didn’t set us up,” he said, speaking into her ear, even though that wasn’t necessary now.
“Oh?” Of course she had. But Maddie didn’t mind.
“I did. I made my sister bring me.”
“Really?” She’d thought he was sexy the first time she’d met him, full of grease from his mechanic’s job. And now he was dressed up and looking fine!
He put his hands her waist and put his lips on hers. She felt pressure, a want, and the tip of his tongue slide along her lower lip. Their beers arrived and he handed Maddie hers. She took two big gulps. She needed to cool down after that kiss.
Brian smiled at her. She leaned in slightly, hoping he’d get the cue. He leaned in, by-passed her face, and place his hot lips on her neck just below her jaw.
She wanted to wrap her legs around him.
“I’m going to explore every inch of you,” he said working on her neck and throat.
Roxanne appeared out of the crowd and grabbed her arm. She was rudely jerked away from Brian.
“The fuck!” Maddie yelled.
“Bathroom, now!” Roxanne said in Maddie’s ear. Maddie cast a hungry look over her shoulder at Brian.
“This had better be good,” Maddie said.
“You like him?”
“Ooh, he’s so hot. I wish he looked at me like that. You have two. Now what are you going to do.”
“Yeah, how do I choose?”
“Have them both!”
“That is how you always get into trouble. Unlike you, I’m not afraid to make a choice.”
“Then which is it? It looked like you two couldn’t make it to a room and were aiming for the bar!”
Hmm. How could she choose? Men had presented themselves one at time in the past. She studied her frowning face in the mirror.
“Make a list,” Roxanne said.
“That’s really sensible. How’d you come up with it?”
Roxanne slapped her arm and they laughed.
“Well,” Roxanne started, “Brian will be damn fine in bed. Steve has money and I’m sure he’ll be good in bed too.”
Would they cheat on her? she wondered. What did they want from her? What did she want from them?
“I know you want to sleep with both of them,” Roxanne said.
Maddie shrugged. That’s not news. She liked sex. Roxanne had it. Maddie wanted sex. What did the men want? Aside from what every man wanted.
“Good lord,” Maddie said.
“It’s not a shocker, Mads.”
“One wants to own me, the other wants to conquer me.”
“Interesting, but not unexpected. What are you going to do?”
“What Roxanne would do. Sleep with both and then run for the hills.”
“That’s what you’ve learned from me?”
“Ooh, I hear my favorite song!” Maddie said.
“Let’s go!” Roxanne said.
J = juniper