J O R D A N
“I didn’t know you’re dating Charlie Abbot?” Nadine chirped, looking from Charlie to me.
“We’re not dating,” I quickly replied, walking around the counter and tugging on Charlie’s sleeve to leave the damn building already.
He smirked down at me, before turning back to Nadine.
“We’re not.” He winked, and I rolled my eyes.
“Let’s go, Charlie.”
He pulled his eyes off my coworker, placing his hand on the small of my back as we walked out of the building. I resisted the urge to slap it away, secretly enjoying the gesture. Until I saw a couple of people on the street look our way.
“People will see,′ I hissed, but Charlie just hummed, sliding his hand down to my ass, completely ignoring the attention we were getting.
I could finally breathe when I sat safely behind the tinted windows of Charlie’s Camaro, waiting for him to round the car and get behind the wheel.
“Are you ok?” he asked, turning in his seat.
“What about ′we have to keep it a secret from everyone′ do you not understand?” I scolded, my heart thumping loudly in my chest as I looked at his stupid handsome face.
“Jordan,” he said calmly, his tone annoying the fuck out of me. “Calm down.”
“Jordan.” He cupped my face with both hands, rubbing his thumbs over my cheeks.
I took a deep breath, closing my eyes as I focussed on Charlie’s touch.
Was I overreacting? Probably.
“I’m ok.” I sighed, and Charlie released me, facing the wheel and turning on the engine.
“Good, because nobody cared. It’s going to be fine.”
Leaning back in my seat, I let my head roll to the side, watching the tall buildings move as Charlie pulled out of the parking spot.
“Why did you come to pick me up?” I asked softly, continuing to stare out of the window.
I jumped slightly in my seat when I felt his hand on my thigh, his fingers sliding under the fabric of my skirt.
“I got you a little something.”
“What?” I questioned.
“It’s a surprise,” he added, and I turned to face him.
I rolled my eyes when he didn’t elaborate, and shifted in my seat when my stomach rumbled, making me realise that I hadn’t eaten anything since lunch.
“Ok, but can we get something to eat first?”
“We can order something,” Charlie offered, but I had a different idea.
“Can we go to the diner on my street? Nobody will recognise you there.” I pleaded, grabbing his hand with both of mine and the diner’s strawberry milkshake appearing before my eyes.
He frowned, giving me a quick look before he focussed on the road. “That diner looks...not safe.”
I rolled my eyes. “But I want their homemade milkshake,” I whined, pouting like a child.
Twenty minutes later, Charlie parked his car in the secure parking lot behind my building, the both of us thinking it would be best to walk from there.
I had a small skip in my step as we made our way to the diner, ready to enjoy a strawberry shake— the best on the planet.
Sometimes the best food comes from the shabbiest of restaurants.
“Hey, Larissa,” I greeted the lady behind the counter as Charlie and I walked into the diner, the place surprisingly full for a Monday night.
“Hi, Jordan. Long time no see.” She smiled, crossing her arms.
I glanced over my shoulder, chuckling and rolling my eyes as I watched Charlie look around with a disgusted expression on his face.
“Who’s this princess?” Larissa asked, nodding to Charlie.
“He’s—” I actually didn’t have a good answer to that question. “It’s complicated?”
She shrugged, accepting my answer as she moved behind the outdated register.
It added to the authentic vibe, I guess.
“What can I get you?”
“Of course, I’m going to need a strawberry milkshake,” I beamed, “And a cheeseburger with fries.”
Larissa nodded approvingly, typing away on the register, knowing all the prices by heart.
“Charlie?” I called over my shoulder, and he walked up to us, tucking his hands in his pockets as he stopped next to me.
“Do you have white wine?” he asked with raised brows, and I snorted.
“I don’t, actually. But I can lace your milkshakes with vodka if you want?” Larissa retorted and Charlie and I shared a look.
“Sure,” we said in unison, and Larissa shook her head, grinning as she typed.
“What milkshake do you want?” she asked Charlie and he shifted his eyes to mine.
“Strawberry,” I whispered.
“Strawberry,” he told Larissa, and she looked from him to me.
“Actually, I’ll just have whatever she’s having.” Charlie said, and Larissa nodded.
I led Charlie to one of the last tables available, a small booth by one of the windows— even though it was beyond me why anyone would want to look at the dirty street and scruffy looking people.
The sun began to set, and it created a gorgeous warm glow, the last rays of sunshine fighting through the trees to bathe the restaurant in its beautiful radiance.
I smiled at the number plates that covered the entire wall behind the counter, at least one from every state.
“This table is dirty,” Charlie complained, running a finger over the surface before rubbing his thumb and pointer finger together.
I ignored his comment, narrowing my eyes at him as he looked around.
“Your milkshakes.” Larissa appeared next to our table, placing two tall glasses in front of us. “With a little extra on the house,” she whispered, grinning as she walked back to the register, the empty tray now flush against her side.
“Yes!” I exclaimed, grabbing the red and white straw and placing it between my lips, moaning softly when I tasted the sweet drink on my tongue.
“Stop that,” Charlie stated, sitting back in his seat, apparently giving up on the hygiene.
“Stop what?” I asked innocently, looking at him over the rim of my glass, gliding the straw a little deeper in my mouth.
“Moaning and stuff,” he explained, shifting in his seat. “You’re making me hard.”
I almost choked on my next sip, the milkshake nearly coming out of my nose as I tried to catch my breath.
“Charlie!” I scolded, wiping my mouth with my napkin.
He just shrugged as Larissa returned with our food.
“Thank you,” I beamed, my stomach audibly growling as I smelled the fries.
“If you need anything, just give me a wave.” Larissa smiled, nodding to Charlie before she walked away.
As much as I wanted to dive into my dinner, I held back, staring expectantly at Charlie, excited for him to taste the food.
“What?” he asked, grabbing one of the fries and bringing it to his nose.
I grabbed his hand and pulled it down, looking over at Larissa to see if she noticed him fucking smelling his food with a disgusted look on his face.
“Just put it in your mouth.”
“That’s what she said,” he smirked before he ate the fry, his eyes widening slightly as he chewed.
I sighed at his immature remark and mirrored him as he started to stuff his face with food, noticeably surprised by the quality.
“Good, right?” I asked with my mouth full cheeseburger, the juices of the patty dripping on my plate.
“Hmm,” he just hummed, closing his eyes as he took in the food.
We finished our dinner with lightning speed, leaning back in our seats when we were done.
“Jordan.” Charlie cleared his throat as he wiped his mouth with his napkin. “I hate to be proven wrong.” I smiled. “But you did it.”
“Yes!” I shrieked, throwing my napkin on my plate, making Charlie chuckle.
My phone vibrated against the table, and I picked it up to look at the text.
My hands instantly got clammy and a sudden surge of adrenaline went through me when I read Ashley’s ‘SOS’, and I quickly slid off the bench.
“I need to make a call,” I said, not waiting on Charlie’s nod as I turned to the restrooms.
I immediately dialled Ashley’s number when I closed the door behind me, bringing the phone to my ear with shaking hands.
“Jordan?” she answered, and I scoffed at her calm tone.
“Are you ok?” I asked, my heart no longer in my throat.
“No! I’m not ok,” she whined and I sighed. “I have to go to this charity gala on Friday and Ryan can’t come with me and I don’t want to go alone and—”
“Ashley,” I interrupted her. “Breathe.”
I heard her take a deep breath before she continued. “Ryan has some dinner with his boss, so he can’t come with me to the charity gala.”
“So I need you to come with me.”
I rolled my eyes, looking up at the ceiling as I mouthed oh my god, scolding myself for expecting Ashley to not make a big deal out of something minor and using the emergency signal for it.
“Ash, I don’t think—”
“I need you,” she pleaded softly, and I bit the inside of my cheek as I thought about my reply.
Honestly, a gala is something I secretly really liked— or rather the idea— but it was that world that I didn’t fit in. Those people.
There was no doubt that Ashley’s parents were going to be there, and I couldn’t see myself socialising with other snobby rich people.
“Please, Jordan. I don’t want Charlie to keep me company the whole time,” she added, and I shook my head in defeat.
“Okay, but you’re paying for my ticket.”
“God, I love you.”
I chuckled, absentmindedly kicking a bottle cap away.
“I love you, too.” I smiled.
“Oh! The theme is Hollywood by the way,” she said, her voice dripping with excitement.
“Sounds expe— good.”
I really needed to stop thinking about money as much. Ashely was paying for my ticket, and I was sure I had something in my closet that would fit the theme. It wouldn’t be Versace or Dior, but I had a certain red dress in mind that I never got to wear, and it would be perfect.
“You’re the best, Jojo. We’re so going to enjoy that open bar,” she chirped, making me scoff.
“You should’ve led with that,” I retorted, and she chuckled.
“I wanted to see if I could convince you this way.”
“Hmm, well, I have to go.”
Charlie would probably have insulted half the staff by now, so I quickly walked out of the restrooms when I realised that I didn’t come alone and had a toddler waiting for me.
“Took you awhile,” Charlie stated as I walked up to the table, raising my brows when I noticed a third milkshake glass.
“Looks like you didn’t mind,” I retorted, sliding into the booth, pointing at his empty glass.
“I’ll go pay,” he said, avoiding my eyes.
I watched him walk to Larissa, radiating confidence, grabbing everyone’s attention. Not just the women, but the men too.
It made sense, since he clearly didn’t come from this neighbourhood with his tailored suit and perfect haircut, but I didn’t expect him to turn this many heads.
I couldn’t deny that he was very easy on the eyes— one of the reasons I wanted to keep him around— plus he just oozed sophistication and, well...money.
“Ready?” he asked when he returned.
I rolled my eyes at the waitress clearing our table, bending a little too far over for it to be natural, but surprisingly enough, Charlie didn’t even look at her.
It made me question his true intentions with me, a weird feeling creeping up on me as we walked home. I tried to shrug off the thought, thinking about the gala instead, but it was no use.
For some reason, I needed to know.
“Why didn’t you look at her ass?”
Charlie stopped in front of the door to my apartment building, his hand resting on the handle as he froze, watching me with one brow raised. “What kind of question is that?”
“The girl. Her ass was almost in your face,” I explained, attempting to take a step towards the entrance, Charlie’s hand still gripping the handle.
He studied me for a second, his icy eyes boring into mine with a mysterious glimmer in them, as if he was trying to figure me out.
“Should I have looked?”
“I— no. That’s up to you,” I stuttered, a little taken aback by the intensity of his gaze.
He didn’t say anything, instead, he opened the door, letting me step inside first, before he closed it behind him.
We made it up to my apartment in silence, the air feeling weirdly thick, but I ignored it.
“I think that it would’ve been disrespectful,” he spoke when we went inside.
I took off my coat, walking into the kitchen to make some tea. “Why?”
Charlie followed, leaning against the counter next to me with his hands in his pockets.
“What would people think if I was staring at someone else when I was already out with a beautiful woman?” he elaborated, surprising me for the millionth time this evening.
“I’m not that much of a dick, Baby,” he smirked, grabbing a glass of water and walking to the couch.
I refrained from contradicting him, making my tea and joining him on the couch.
“Well, what did you get me?” I asked, referring back to Charlie’s justification for picking me up.
His eyes lit up like a Christmas tree, the mischievous sparkle appearing back in them as he fished something out of his pocket.
My eyes widened as I looked at the shiny toy, the big red diamond on the end sparkling at me as he held it up.
“You got the one I wanted.” I beamed, taking the tiny butt plug from him.
“It’s part of a set. We’re going to have to stretch you out.” He grinned.
“It’s so pretty.”
“Wanna try it out?”