Say It Isn't So

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Chapter 11

M A X

I’ve been inundated with messages from the dating site, and had summoned Charlotte for help sifting through the madness. We were currently sprawled out on my sofa, glasses of wine in hand and enough chocolate between us to make Willy Wonka proud. Charlotte was laughing her ass off at one message in particular, where a guy had asked if I would watch him masturbate on camera.

“I mean, at least he didn’t ask you to do anything,” Charlotte snorts, throwing her head back with a cackle. I rolled my eyes, taking the laptop from her before locating the ones I had been analysing prior to her coming over.

“Andy sounds nice, look.”

I push the laptop towards her, watching as her eyes narrow with concentration.

“Andy. Short for Andrew? I don’t like the name Andrew,” Charlotte declares, before yawning. “He seems a bit boring, Max. Is he hot?”

“Char!” I scold, reaching over to take some chocolate. I thought Andy was interesting, personally, but Charlotte seemed to think otherwise.

“Long walks? I mean, that’s fine when you’ve been married for years, but it’s hardly how you want to spend the wooing stage is it?” Charlotte tilts her head over to one side, before continuing to examine the message. “Harry made me laugh so much when we spoke over messenger.”

I smile faintly.

Harry was as rare as rocking horse shit, though.

“He has a dog, that’s cute,” Charlotte mutters. “Okay, these messages are just polite, Max. You need to call him on the phone, speak to him for real. You need to hear his voice.”

“I do?”

I slug my wine, knowing that Andy was well up for any further communication. I had his number, and his email address for zoom. I push my nail into my mouth without thinking, nibbling at it until it breaks off between my teeth.

“Can you call him?” Charlotte smiles.

“What, now?” I panic, sitting up straight.

“Why not. What is he doing tonight? My husband is at work,” Charlotte pouts, tugging out her phone. “He should be picking me up soon though.”

The excitement in Charlotte’s voice was sickening; wasn’t that supposed to go away after so long? These two were obsessed with one another, and as a single pringle, it was difficult to be around at times. I took the opportunity of Charlotte being distracted to seize the day and just call Andy.

I glance down at my phone, my pulse quickening as I dial Andy’s number. What if I didn’t like his voice? What if he was asleep? Or worse- on a date?!

“Max?” The voice in my ear was pleasantly surprising.

“Hi, Andy,” I swallow, my nerves threatening to destroy my immaculate telephone voice.

“Well, this is a nice surprise,” Andy chuckles, exhaling as though he was getting up. “I didn’t expect you to call.”

“I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting to,” I confess, sweeping my hair across to the other side of my head out of habit more than any practicality.

Charlotte grins at me, draining her wine before herself pouring another.

“I’m glad you did,” Andy says brightly, before groaning. “God, sorry, my dog has just jumped up and knocked my wine over.”

“Oh no! What wine is it? I hope it isn’t red…” I grimace, biting my lip as Charlotte gives me the thumbs up.

“It is, actually,” he admits gravely. “My floor is used to it though.”

“Tell me it’s not a white carpet?” I laugh, liking his sense of humour.

“It was, once. But now it is red.”

We both laugh then, and he clears his throat.

“So, what is a woman like you doing calling a singleton like me on a Saturday night?” Andy asks, intrigued.

I make a face, which makes Charlotte hold her hands open with confusion. I could hardly admit that I was sitting here going through my dating inbox.

“Well, I too have had some wine, and I guess it made me feel brave.”

“You should drink more often,” Andy declares, “because I love your voice.”

Oh, this was awkward.

“Shit, that came out wrong,” Andy groans. “I sound like a serial killer. Can we erase that from the memory bank?”

‘I’ll have to rely on my memory then. I may well be disgusting, but I’m also the best, remember?’

Cain’s words came from nowhere, invading my brain, making the air leave my body as I recalled the memory in question.

“Max?” Andy asked nervously.

“Sorry, I just remembered something. Of course, that’s fine.”

“Phew. Thought I’d lost you there. I hate to be a bore, but I have to get to bed soon. I have to be at work early tomorrow despite it being a Sunday.”

“Oh, not at all, I totally understand. Work comes first,” I smile, as Charlotte frowns.

“Can I call you tomorrow after work? It will be in the afternoon?” Andy asks hopefully.

“Of course. I don’t have any plans other than sitting here, reading my books and binge watching Netflix,” I laugh easily.

“Great, I’ll call tomorrow. It was good to speak to you, Max,” Andy said softly.

“You too! Bye, Andy.”

I hang up, throwing the phone onto the sofa as Charlotte grins at me wickedly.

“That went well, I take it?” Charlotte sighs, gathering her things.

“Are you going? Is Harry here?” I ask, sitting up straight.

“Yeah, and he is cranky and tired,” Charlotte yawns. “Call me after you speak to Andy tomorrow afternoon, let me know how it goes.”

I nod, following her to the door. She tugs me into her arms, her eyes misty with alcohol as she gives me a lopsided smile.

“You’re amazing, Max. You deserve a happy ending too.”

Charlotte opened the door, and we both jump back in shock when Cain stands there grinning at us with his handsome fucking smile.

“Evening, ladies. Harry is waiting for you in the car, Charlotte,” Cain smiles, his eyes locked on me. His hand slips around my waist, as Charlotte tries to stop staring at me with astonishment. I sent her an apologetic smile, aware it was clear that Cain and I had become more intimate recently from the way he was holding me. Oh, and the fact I wasn’t exactly resisting him. His aftershave filled the air surrounding us, and Charlotte held her thumb and pinkie to her ear as she moved towards the stairs.

“Erm, call me, tomorrow, first thing,” Charlotte directed at me, before glancing at Cain. “Good night, Cain.”

“Night, Charlotte,” Cain drawled, pushing the door closed softly before turning his grey blue eyes to mine.

“What- what are you doing here-” I stammered, as he ignored me, his hands tugging me towards him silently. “You can’t just turn up, what if-”

Cain stopped then, cocking an eyebrow up at me with amusement.

“What if what, Maxie?”

That voice. It should be used as a weapon.

“What if I had someone here, Cain?” I huff, my teeth sinking into my lips as he moves me around so that I’m pressed against the wall. I should be telling him no, asking who the hell he thinks he is, turning up like this, unannounced. Instead, I am melting like putty in his hands. Damn this man.

“Then I’d leave. Or they would. Whoever you wanted to stay, would, I guess.”

Before I could reply, he moved his lips towards mine, crushing them together. My arms are around his neck, and the kiss deepens. His tongue is in my mouth now, dancing with mine like it was doing the fucking tango. His hands are in my hair, and my hands are tugging on his belt. The chemistry between us was dynamite, and I couldn’t deny that the fact Cain was here with me on a Saturday night made me feel a tiny bit smug.

“I must have something you like,” I smirk against him, as his lips silence me once more.

“You have everything I like,” Cain growls, his hands slipping up my silky black vest. “Except you are wearing clothes. Take them off.”

I didn’t hesitate. Cain had a way with words.

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