“Well, if it isn’t my favorite couple!” Eva beamed when Naomi and Sebastien arrived at the restaurant. She got up and made a path straight to Naomi and pulled her into a tight hug.
“I’ve missed you so much, girl!” Naomi chimed, returning Eva’s embrace.
“I can’t believe I haven’t seen you since the wedding! It’s been what? Eight or nine months now?”
“It’s been eight and a half months,” Sebastien answered with a warm smile. “It’s good to see you again, Eva. Naomi’s been excited for this dinner since we first made plans to come here.”
“Wow, time flies!” Eva shook Sebastien’s hand after she finally let go of Naomi and nearly bursted out laughing when she stepped back and got a better look at what they were wearing. It appeared that the couple coordinated their outfits. Naomi wore a mustard off-the-shoulder dress that fell below her knees and Sebastien’s stripped button-up shirt had lines of the same color to complement the brown and white.
“I know that face,” Naomi commented when she saw Eva’s expression. “This was not on purpose.” She gestured at her and Sebastien’s outfits. “It’s just been happening a lot lately.”
“Probably because you’re the one who’s been picking out my clothes whenever we go shopping, love. If you want to coordinate, just say so,” Sebastien teased.
“Whatever, babe…” Naomi playfully rolled her eyes and followed Eva to the table. “I just needed to get you out of those plaid shirts.”
“I thought you loved my plaid shirts?” Sebastien gasped, feigning offense.
Eva giggled and shook her head at their exchange as she took a seat at their table. “Anyway… I know that both of you enjoy Thai food and this is my favorite spot in the city.”
Naomi and Sebastien joined her and she had a small smile on her face looking at them. Sitting side-by-side, they appeared to have locked hands under the table and shared a menu as they looked for what to order.
Eva remembered in college when Naomi swore off dating after assuming that she would never find love and it wasn’t worth expending the energy for a lost cause. When Eva learned on a visit to Atlanta that Naomi was dating Sebastien Laurent, and upon hearing more about him and their relationship, she was ecstatic that her friend had found a good man.
“You always pick such great spots,” Naomi said. “So, how have you been? I remember you telling me that you took on a big project for your family recently?”
“I’ve been good. And yeah, that um… Research project has been going really well, actually, Everything is lining up even better than I originally planned.”
“I’m not surprised, you’re one of those people who always seemed to be good at whatever you do!”
“I don’t know about all that,” Eva chuckled. “But I’ll admit that my skills all happen to fit perfectly with this project. Anyway, enough about me, how have you two been? How’s married life and building empires and all?”
“Married life has been good.” Naomi moved her free hand across herself to rub Sebastien’s arm. “And I don’t know about empire building, I just want the app to continue to do well and Seb’s investments to keep prospering.”
“I agree with Naomi,” Sebastien replied. “Empires are overwhelming and stressful, so we’re just enjoying our ongoing projects, as well as each other.”
Eva looked between the two of them and let out an entertained huff. “You are perfect for each other, I swear it… And speaking of ‘enjoying each other,’ did you fill out that stuff I sent you?”
“For The Scarlet Lounge?” Naomi questioned with almost a whisper. “Yeah, turns out Sebastien is friends with the owner, and we’d been thinking about going on our next trip to New York, so it works out well.”
“Perfect! My friend Jade has been hounding me about it and this guy I actually met when I was leaving Atlanta after your wedding is a member and we were talking about meeting there tomorrow night.”
“Oh?” Naomi raised a perfectly arched brow. “And what is this man’s name?”
“It’s nothing serious, girl… I just think I need to change things up with someone new. His name is Logan.”
“You’ve been moping every day since we got to LA. Go get laid or something,” Caleb said to Justin. The two of them were with Adrian in his hotel room in what was meant to be a time for them to unwind after several days of meetings. However, the three men were still deeply frustrated about what’d occurred before their trip.
“No!” Justin replied. “I’m still with Ashley and I’m not going to cheat on her.”
“Yeah,” Caleb scoffed. “I doubt she feels the same. It was her idea to go on a ‘break,’” he used the term mockingly. “She probably went out with her friends this weekend and already hooked up with another a guy. You should be doing the same. Go out and get some pussy.”
“Shut the fuck up,” Justin chided. “Why do you always have to say such rude shit all the time, bro?!”
“Because it’s obvious that you don’t like Ashley and the only reason you’re so upset about this ‘break’ you guys are on is because you feel like it’s some type of fucking failure on your part and you’ll disappoint your parents. You need to start living for yourself and that’s what I’m trying to get through your thick ass skull.”
“Why the hell do people keep saying that I don’t like Ashley?!”
The room went quiet after Justin asked the question. Adrian stirred his glass of whiskey, avoiding eye contact, while Caleb slouched back in his seat with his hands clasped on the top of his head.
“What?!” Justin exclaimed. “Adrian? What do you think?”
Adrian’s gaze finally went from his glass, and he first exchanged a glance with Caleb before meeting Justin’s eyes. His jaw tensed and he let out a long exhale through his nose.
“I mean… There’s not really much chemistry between the two of you and it’s been obvious for a while now, to be honest with you.”
Justin took a sip of his rum and looked between Adrian and Caleb as he considered their words. He couldn’t admit it out loud, but they weren’t wrong. He and Ashley immediately hit it off when they first met, but as months went on, that spark gradually diminished. However, they’d been together for two years at this point and he wanted to make things work because Ashley had earned his parents’ approval and he didn’t want the time invested in there relationship to go to waste.
“See!” Caleb gestured toward Adrian. “Even Adrian agrees. And you said other people have told you the same thing? Obviously, it’s true.”
“Okay, so not exactly ‘other people,’” Justin clarified. “More like the two of you and Eva have said it.”
As soon as Eva’s name came up, both Adrian and Caleb again turned tense. Adrian downed his whiskey and Caleb his vodka.
“Sounds like you and Eva are getting pretty fucking close,” Adrian spat.
“Sounds like she’s overstepping,” Caleb commented with his eyes narrowed at Justin. “I still think we should consider firing her.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa...” Justin held both his hands up defensively. “Why are you guys getting all combative? All I said is that Eva had the same observations as you guys. She’s very perceptive, you know. And why do you keep suggesting we fire her, Caleb? She’s the best assistant we’ve ever had. Did something happen with you two?”
“No, nothing fucking happened,” Caleb quickly answered. “I just think we should try out someone else. I need better eye candy.”
Adrian stood from his seat and walked over to pour himself more whiskey. “We’re not firing Eva. Justin is right that she’s the best assistant we’ve had.”
“Yeah, yeah… That’s because she gives you a hard-on, Adrian. You think we don’t see you staring at her ass all the time? Yeah, I’ll admit it’s fat, but that only makes sense because so is she. And you always have her in your office, laughing and shit together.”
After downing another whole glass of whiskey, Adrian shot a snide look at Caleb. “Jealous?” he sneered.
Justin shook his head as he huffed his annoyance. “Once gain, I’m asking you two to deal with your shit. You know what?” He rose to his feet and walked toward the door. “We usually have fun in LA, but this time’s a fucking a bust. I’m going to bed and sleeping until our afternoon flight tomorrow. And then I’m going to directly to Ashley’s place.”
“Wait!” Caleb called and quickly went up to Justin. He placed a comforting hand on his friend’s shoulder and looked him in the eyes. “I know that I don’t always word shit the best way, but all I was trying to say was that I care… And I can tell that you’re never going to be happy with Ashley.”
Justin placed his hand over Caleb’s and gave him an affirmative nod. “I know that you care, bro… I just need to get my head together. I’ll see you guys tomorrow.”
“See you tomorrow,” Adrian said.
After Justin left, it was just Adrian and Caleb in the room. Caleb walked over and stood next to Adrian at the counter as he poured more vodka into his glass before drinking it down.
“Why do you keep making those snide ass comments?” Caleb questioned.
Adrian’s gaze snapped over to him. “Are you serious? You’re the one who keeps talking shit, all I’m doing is responding. What’s up with you? It’s like over the past year or so you’ve been such an asshole. I mean, you were kind of a jerk before, but it’s even worse now.”
“You can’t really be asking me that question. Did you really forget what happened a year ago?”
“Jesus, Caleb! Why do you always act like you’re the fucking victim here?”
“Because you never explained anything to me! It was like we were fine one day and then the next, you acted like nothing happened.”
“That’s because nothing happened,” Adrian replied softly. “Nothing needed to be explained.”
Caleb put down his empty glass and walked in closer to Adrian with his arms crossed. His blue eyes bore into Adrian’s brown ones. “That’s really all you have to say to me?”
Adrian analyzed Caleb’s face. His brows were tense and jaw clenched as his nostrils flared with the deep breaths he was taking. His Adam’s apple bobbed when he swallowed, appearing as if he was trying to hold something back.
Caleb let out a huff and shook his head before turning around and walking away from Adrian. “This is such bullsh—“ He was cut off when Adrian grabbed him while he was still within arm’s reach and pulled him in for a deep kiss.
Holding Caleb’s face as their bodies pressed against each other and mouths moved eagerly, Adrian was in complete control of the kiss. He took Caleb’s bottom lip between his teeth and pulled it, earning a groan of pleasure before he made a path to Caleb’s neck.
Caleb’s fingertips traced along the bottom hem of Adrian’s shirt before making their way under it and caressing his bare skin.
Suddenly, Adrian pushed him away and Caleb stood there in almost a daze before blinking rapidly regaining his focus. Just as he was about to go off again, Adrian stopped him.
“Take your shirt off.”
“What?” Caleb gulped. “A-are you—“
“Don’t make me fucking repeat myself,” Adrian interrupted.
Caleb removed his shirt and Adrian his before their lips connected again, now as they walked toward the couch. The two of them fell over, into the sofa, Adrian on top and between Caleb’s legs as the two of them ground against each other. Caleb’s breathing was hard and ragged when Adrian finally broke away and lifted himself up to look down at Caleb.
“You’re hard for me already,” he said, his voice low and raspy.
Caleb reached down and cupped Adrian through his jeans. “And so are you, for me.”
Adrian grabbed Caleb’s wrists and pinned them above his head before going back down to kiss and suck at his neck. Caleb couldn’t help the light moans that came from him as they continued to grind against each other.
“Please,” Caleb breathed.
“Hm?” Adrian hummed inquisitively, knowing exactly what Caleb meant with that single word.
“Please…” Caleb pushed Adrian back and reached for his belt. “I—“
He was interrupted when his phone went off in his pocket. Not wanting the two of them to stop, he pulled it out and threw it on the floor. However, when it landed face up and Adrian saw who was calling Caleb, he came back to his senses and took a deep breath.
“You should get that,” he said coldly as he stood to his feet and went toward the kitchen to retrieve his shirt.
“Yo, what the fuck?!” Caleb snapped. “You started this and now you’re—“
“Yeah, I’m stopping it. I’m not about to make this fucking mistake again. Just get your phone, some chick named Rachel is calling you.”
“So? I don’t give a fuck.”
“You should, because that the only way you’re getting your dick wet tonight.”
“You serious right now?” Caleb stood up and walked toward the kitchen. Before he could get there, Adrian threw his shirt at him.
“Yeah, I’m serious. Now, get out. We should just keep shit between us platonic and business-focused. Besides… You and I have had too much to drink.” Without another word, Adrian turned away and went into the bedroom.
Caleb contemplated following him and protesting further, but instead, he quickly put on his shirt, snatched his phone off the floor and unlocked it to call Rachel back.
“This is bullshit.”
A/N: Oop! Look at Adrian gettin a lil dominant 👀
Thank you for reading!