All I COULD think at this moment was how good it felt to hit my bed and snore under my sheet.
Not with the blonde who talked a lot— Emily.
She kept batting her eyelashes as she told me about her first photoshoot experience. She was a boudoir model according to her profile on HeartRated owned by my brother Skipper. She was a bit of a dish, I must say, but too dishy to be my type.
Skipper and his girlfriend, Arella created an account on my behalf. What so funny there was the not-so-original username they could ever come up with.
BritBond69. Seriously, who does that? The number 69 made it sound dirtier and naughtier to my fine personality.
Back to the fake blonde. I could see the evidence right before my very eyes—D cup to be precise. They jiggled when she giggled. It rhymed, huh?
I didn’t know if she did it on purpose to get attention from her date, or they just jiggled.
I wasn’t a boobman, but I knew women’s breasts if they were real or enhanced. I wondered if it felt uncomfortable when she ran on a treadmill. I thought they were pretty heavy, eh.
“Hey, you’ve been staring at my cleavage,” she flirted, and oh, they jiggled again.
I cleared my throat and smiled politely. “My apology.” They’re kinda distracting. “So how long have you been modeling?”
Bloody hell! Just bent up, Clyve.
Truth to be told, I didn’t date much back in college, and I barely able to graduate to even have time to fool around like my brother. I had one serious relationship since I was sober. Sadly, it didn’t work out. Then I got into trouble over fraternizing my co-worker, and things got nasty between us until I got fired.
This was how my brother came up with this idea—in getting me into this thing. Now I chatted up with my first date.
She sighed. I suddenly remembered her mentioning it earlier. She’d been modeling for two years. “So, you love photography?”
What? Oh yeah, the profile.
“Yeah, I love photography, and I paint as well. Been doing it for years as part of my therapy. I’m planning on building my own studio—”
Her eyes slightly widened. “What kind of therapy? Wait, do you have PTSD sort of thing?” I didn’t miss the shake in her voice.
“Um, nuh.” Shouldn’t I mention that on a first date?
She checked her watch, and I knew what would happen next. I wouldn’t be disappointed if she jilted, besides I didn’t want to go out on a blind date if this wasn’t for Arella and Skipper who didn’t give me much of a choice.
I shouldn’t be too ahead of myself, but dating apps like HeartRated were a site for people who were into one-night stands. I wasn’t like those—I didn’t want to end up in a hotel room or a woman’s loft that I barely knew. And God knows what will happen next.
“Thanks for tonight, Clyve. I had fun.” Did she really? She took her clutch and slid off the barstool. Her exposed knee brushed up against mine. Then she finally stood up.
“Me too, Emily.” I nodded and smiled. “At least let me send you to the parking lot.”
“No, no. That won’t be necessary.” She forcefully smiled. “Bye!”
That was it. She was gone in a flash.
The music suddenly became too loud for my taste. The air thickened with a mix of perfumes and alcohol that could tempt me to order a drink. I gulped my lemon-lime drink, faced the bartender, and tossed him some bills.
Time to go to bed, Clyve. I sighed in dismay.
My brother forced me to come to New York with him. That arsehole believed my destiny was here. I knew he loved me and might have promised Dad to take care of me. No doubt, he would do anything in a heartbeat if I’d ask anything.
Since our dad passed away, he’d been an argy-bargy and asked me to go on a vacation and have fun. By the meaning of having fun, to gallivant and shag around like he used to do.
I couldn’t let him run the businesses alone, so I had to take some lessons and attend some training. I wanted to help him, and that was brother should do.
And that arse was with the love of his life that he’d been in love with for ages. Funny was, they had a kid. The cute little thing, Rynna just looked exactly like them.
I walked out of the bar, ignoring the tiny throb inside my chest.
I GROANED when my phone rang because I knew already who was it.
“How’s your date?” Brill! It was Arella, the love of my brother’s life I mentioned earlier.
“She ran away before I could explain. Why do American are so frightened of someone who suffered from PTSD?”
“What? Why did you say that? You don’t have PTSD, CC.” CC, she calls me that.
“Well, I mentioned I’ve been painting as part of my therapy. Then that’s it, she just thanked me and left like her arse was on fire.”
Her voice echoed through my ear as she laughed out loud. “Really? She thought you’re violent? God, you could barely harm a fly. And so what if you’re suffering from PTSD? People get through it without harming someone. I guess she watched too many psycho-thriller movies that affect her tiny brain. You deserve someone better.”
“I won’t go on a blind date again. That’s terrible. It said on the app that we’re 75% compatible, and guess what? She doesn’t like me, and I can’t tell that she’s unattractive because she is, but she’s too attractive to be my date, you know. This whole thing is rubbish.”
“CC, that’s not exactly a blind date. Don’t give up too easily. You’ll find a woman who can blow your mind.” She laughed again.
“That’s the thing. I don’t want someone to blow my mind.”
“You know what I meant, CC.”
I scratched my head as I tried to make her understand my point. “I know, but dating doesn’t have to work like that.”
“Gah, you’re such a man! Going out on a date can start as friends, you know. It doesn’t have to be love at first sight. Love can start with friendship. Just be yourself and treat your date as if she’s one of your friends. It makes it an easier way of getting to know each other. Unless you want to shag her.”
The word shag made me grimace. I should be feeling comfortable talking about sex with Arella, but it felt awkward since I hadn’t had fun in a long time.
“I’m really not comfortable doing this thing. I don’t know. I’m not aloof, and I’ve been on a share of relationships without using a dating app to go out on a date with someone.”
“A share of relationships? Do you mean only two girlfriends in your lifetime? One was cheating on you and the other was, what happened? When was that?” I heard Skip yelling from the other line, then he barked into laughter. “You need to get laid, brother. I’m a little bit worried about your biological clock!”
I rolled my eyes. Of course, he was listening throughout my conversation with his girlfriend.
“Go to hell, brother. Men don’t have a biological clock, you daft!”
“I will go to hell as long as Arella will come with me!”
“I will deactivate my account. Your app is rubbish!”
“Try going out one more time. If it still doesn’t work, then you can uninstall it for good,” Arella agreed. I couldn’t say no to her. She was too good for my brother that he almost didn’t deserve someone like Arella. She was the reason why he stopped gallivanting around.
“Fine. Just one time.”
“Clyve, put that charm to good use, mate. Trust me, it always works and—”
“Just bent up, Skip!” Arella must have hit him or something because he groaned loudly, then a faint sound of them snogging followed. Jesus! Couldn’t they stop just for a sec while I was listening?
“Okay, guys. Cheers!”
I scratched my scalp in irritation. I was not desperate to be in a relationship. Am I? I’m not a sex-starved bloke as well. Well, I missed it if I was honest.
Since when the last time I had mind-blowing sex? Six months ago? And my hand was not really that useful. I grabbed my laptop on the nightstand that I used earlier to send some emails.
When the windows opened, I quickly searched for the history on the browser and clicked the link of the HeartRated.
I hated this site as it had plenty of ads. Skipper and his best friend were getting richer because of those though. I leaned myself comfortably on the pillow as I focused on the screen. I clicked on the log-in button.
Pop-up ads flashed on the screen with different videos of women, wearing insufficient dresses. Some were just talking, but there were no sounds. Some were—
Holy! The message popped out Wanna talk to these girls and have your dreams come true? Funny!
I snorted. “Nah! Thank you, mate.”
I found myself swallowing hard though. I would not get tricked by this shit again. I shifted on my seat as something reacted to what was on the video.
Poor bloke, it had languished in limbo for months now. And the very first time I put any effort into dating again was a spectacular failure.
I was about to click the close button when another ad appeared.
What was with this preview? It was narking.
Another group of women, this one was more daring than the previous one. One was pinching her nipple through the thin camisole she was wearing.
Cam girls. Huh!
One preview that caught my attention though. A cam girl was licking a chocolate spread from the cucumber. Seriously, a cucumber?
I burst into laughter. Doesn’t she own a spoon? But I was not so daft not to know what cucumber represented.
Were there really men got horny out of these? Or some lonely bloke who couldn’t find dates? Like me.
I could feel my pulse increasing as I was about to click the close button. Instead, I clicked enter. Shit!
I swallowed again. What am I doing? I scanned quickly for some options, then I hit the register button.
My brother would laugh his arse out when he found out about what I just did. He thought I was out of my goddamn mind. But he would not know, would he? I was just curious. Who am I fooling?
Okay, I was more than curious, and I thought this was way better than going out on a date that only gave me false hope.
I quickly signed up with a new username. Then I hit the preview of the Nutella girl. Nutella girl? That’s cute.
I read it aloud, making me laugh like a twit. It sounded like the word syndicate.
Then there she was, live in the flesh. She had a slim figure, almost skinny, but her arms were toned though. Her round face had a little hint of makeup, not too much—that was what I liked in a woman. Her full lips painted with glossy pink.
She’s just a cam girl, Clyve, and you’re not going to hook up with her, are you?
As if she’s willing to meet you, mate. Since when did I think of hooking up? I pushed the thought out of my head.
Her creamy skin looked flawless, and there was no way it was from the lighting effect. My skin tingled to feel if it was soft and smooth against my fingertips.
She was fully dressed though. Her unruly blonde cascaded down her shoulders to her chest, but one thing I was sure of was, her voluptuous breasts were real, unlike my date earlier because they bounced naturally. Her nipples were poking against her white tiny dress when she changed her seat into Indian style—probably a request by one of her viewers.
I had to clench my jaw to stop from getting a hard-on, the longer I looked at her, but this was the main purpose, yeah?—to entertain.
She looked no older than twenty-five—younger than me.
Why did she choose this kind of job? That question somehow bugged me.
But those eyes—were big and hypnotizing. I didn’t know if she was using contacts because it was a shade of forest green.
Then she stopped talking and stared at the camera. My heart pounded in my chest when it felt like she was staring right back at me.
I felt my jaw was slowly falling.