Pals before Gals
“This one?” I hold up some bright yellow lacy thong, dangling it on the edge of my finger. Chaz getting comfy on the couch in the store where I’ve been browsing; some swanky, high end place, price tags totally ridiculous.
I had wandered into the first shop I spotted after walking several blocks, kind of needing to clear my head, attempting to find a dress or something to wear tomorrow night. Fuckboy not paying me any mind, saying yes to each and every thing I hold up, too preoccupied with a potential pussy. What else is new?
“Yeah, sure, that one’ll work.” With his arm extended over the back of the sofa, in the middle of the small rectangular space, his eyes fixated on the flirty little brunette who was supposed to be helping me. Using any and every excuse to bend over in his eyesight, not leaving much to the imagination. We get it... you’re offering your ass—literally and figuratively.
She’d been extremely attentive, bubbly and sweet, pulling all kinds of outfit options out for me. The second this ho walked in, she did a one-eighty, trying to figure out if he was with me. Please! Clearly no, he immediately stared at her hiked up tits, cleavage almost to her chin, and offered his signature let’s fuck look.
I roll my eyes, letting out a huff. Honestly, I’m not really annoyed. He couldn’t give less of a shit about this stuff, and neither could I. Nonetheless, I don’t have a choice.
Moneybags rented out some rooftop venue for tomorrow. Private catering, DJ, full bar—he sold me with the last bit. But anyway, I didn’t necessarily come with party attire. My suitcase housed one or two outfits for going out and what not, the rest of my things were being delivered in Philly, hopefully on Saturday. My mother already overseeing that all the proper plans were in place. I’ve got a thing for ‘P’ words today.
Chaz turns his head towards me, finally granting me a small portion of his attention. Not before licking his lips at the chick, in a totally let’s go in the back room, type of way. I respond with a tight pressed smile—pretending to be perturbed—and a raised brow. I don’t really care, nothing in here feels like me, anyway.
“Such a slutbag,” I say, shaking my head. I notice the daggers being thrown my way from the brown-haired neglectful worker. “No, no,” I tell her, “pipe down.” Her arms, crossed over the front of her incredibly tight black dress, fall to her sides. “I’m talking about him.” I throw a lazy, unamused glance to Chaz, who just laughs it off. Zero shame, zero fucks.
The scrunched up look on her face relaxes a bit, but her eyes stay narrowed, I don’t know if she thinks I’m competition or what? I notice her dress, a cute little black strapless, small dip at the top, It’s actually perfect.
“Do you have another of that?” I gesture my head towards her with a hopeful smile, flashing my teeth, eyelashes batting for added effect.
“We only sell one of everything,” she replies in a snippy tone, plastering a shitty smile on her face. “This is a high end boutique, we don’t need tourists running around with the same outfit on. So no, we—”
“You’ll have to take it off then,” Chaz interrupts her, grinning at me with a devilish look before just barely focusing on her, lifting his shoulder. She blushes at first, curling the side of her lips at him with a suggestive brow raise, till she realizes he’s deadass.
“I don’t think we’re the same size,” she replies in a snide tone.
He stares at her, not a smidge of amusement on his face as his jaw clenches. I notice the smile attempting to play on the corner of his lips. But this is him, his role.
See, the thing about Chaz... he’s a douche sometimes, sure. But he’s always been a good friend. And I’d never doubt that he wouldn’t let someone treat me like trash on his watch.
So here we fuckin’ go.
“I...” Her face screws up. “I don’t think that’s... it’s not...”
“Customers get what they want, right?” he questions, keeping his now completely indifferent gaze fixed on her, lips pursed. A few other customers glancing our way.
His eyes shift back to mine with a quick raise of his brow. And this is why I love him. Though he may have just been trying to get in her pants, or up her dress, or whatever... he won’t let her be pissy with me.
Okay, buckaroo, let’s have some fun.
“Actually...” I shoot him a quick side eye. “I’m not sure that would look right on me?”
He stands, lifting the waist of his gym shorts, palm fluttering back through his hair. “You’re right. You need something that would look spectacular.” He looks around with a bored expression. Another woman with slicked back hair and a much more conservative dress walks out, her eyes darting between us before giving her associate a death stare.
Both their eyes zeroed in on the black AMEX I hand back to Chaz. “Shame.” I shrug, giving him a sideways smile. “I was looking forward to spending a lot of your money.” I’m totally joking about that. I couldn’t give a shit about it and he knows that.
“I really do have so much of it.”
Letting out an exaggerated sigh, arms crossing right over my chest, I take the few steps towards the brunette who looks like she wants to crawl into a hole. And I gotta admit, this is something I’ve always wanted to do.
“Do you work on commission?” I ask, keeping my eyes on her. A light shade of red creeping up her cheeks.
“I... yeah. I mean...”
“Big mistake.” I click my tongue at her, giving a dismissive eye roll. “Huge.” I drop the insanely priced underwear onto the floor. Okay, that’s a shiesty move, but fuck it.
Throwing my hands out to the side for additional dramatic effect, I turn back. “Let’s go Daddy Warbucks,” I say, stomping off towards the exit. “Looks like you missed out on your commission”—I tilt my chin, gesturing to Chaz, following behind me—”and your bonus.”
We leave the store, which was honestly way too fucking uppity for me in the first place, and head back out to the concrete jungle.
“I just pretty woman’d the shit outta that bitch!”
“Huh?” Chaz asks, scrunching his nose, giving me a confused look.
“Don’t tell me you’ve never seen it? A flipping classic!”
“Nope.” He shrugs, covering his eyes with a pair of shades.
I link my arm with his, walking down the sidewalk towards the next row of shops, seeing if anything catches my attention. “Well, I know what we’re doing tonight! Anyway... thanks for having my back, in there.” I can’t fight the grin spreading across my face. “Pals before gals,” I say with a nudge to his side. Chaz lets out a soft, amused grunt. “Chicks before dicks.”
His face screws up, giving me a funny look, shaking his head.
“Yeah, you’re right. That one doesn’t work.” I think it over for a second or two. “Reputation before ejaculation?”
“No,” he replies. “Just no.”
“Respect before gettin’ your dick wet.”
“That doesn’t even rhyme.” He groans as I look over at him with an extremely exaggerated smile, and a chuckle, clearly not as amused by my antics as I am.
“It kinda does. Hmm, how ’bout... no one puts baby in a corner before getting their dick warmer?” I cheese a hopeful grin, sliding my arm from his, lifting my palm in front of him.
“I’m not high-fiving you.”
“Camaraderie before sodomy.” I click against the side of my cheek, nodding my head, that’s the one.
“Why does this random shit live in your brain?” he asks, stopping next to me when he sees me turn to face a store window. The perfect dress on one of the mannequins right in front.
“Dunno?” I reply with a quick lift of my shoulder, pointing to the short little number that most definitely screams me.
“Done,” Chaz says with an approving nod. “And, Briar...” He pulls open the door to the smaller scale store, the perfect place to find amazing things, way better than the huge chains and that snobby rodeo drive wannabe shit. You know those places where you’re paying for a label. Can we be real honest here and say that half the shit is ugly as sin? Also... who the fuck is we?
“A simple bro’s before ho’s would have sufficed.”
Ugh... here we fucking go, again.
Chaz looks over with a quick smile, gently bumping into my side. “I’m sorry about earlier,” he begins in a soft voice, stopping with a heavy sigh. “I hope you know, I didn’t mean it to hurt you. It’s just...”
“I actually hate that you constantly refer to me as one of the guys,” I cut him off. We walk back to his apartment, both agreeing on a night of takeout and a movie... someone obviously needs to be acquainted with the lovely story of Edward and Vivian.
“You do?” he asks, stopping on the sidewalk, pulling me over with him, out of the way. It is proper etiquette. You just do not stand in the middle anywhere and disrupt the flow. The sidewalk, the mall, the grocery store... unacceptable. “I wasn’t even apologizing for that... but what? You never told me that before?”
“Yeah. I mean, I know that’s how you see me, but I don’t necessarily think you need to go around telling other people...”
“You mean Trey?”
“No.” I cross my arms over the front of my t-shirt, letting out a low Pfft. “No, I’m just saying in general. I mean, how’d you like it if I preached to everyone how you get mani-pedi’s like it’s your job? Or that—”
“Alright, I get it. I’ll cut that out.” Chaz leans his back against the outside wall of his building. I stop in front of him, staring at myself in the reflection of his sunglasses.
“Good,” I respond. But not gonna lie, now my mind is wandering to Trey, again.
I lied when I said I had to go meet Chaz. Truth is, he’d texted saying he wasn’t going to be finished for a little while longer. There was something about how comfortable I felt around him... something about how he just let me say whatever, didn’t try to dull me down, laughed along with me...
Something about that was screaming at me to get away from him. Truth is... In college, I was always in relationships, and I really do need this time to just be me, to go wild, or whatever.
And in that pale light green of his eyes, which I could see staring at me... studying me in a way that honestly felt unnerving, I realize that there’s something maybe there... and I don’t think casual would be a part of that equation.
“I realize that what I said, this morning, came out kinda shitty, and I want you to know... it’s not that I don’t think you’re good enough for him,” he says with a sigh, hand scrubbing over the light stubble on his chin. “In all truth, if I could hand pick someone for you, it’d be a guy like Trey.” His lips turn up briefly, before falling flat.
“I’m not looking for you to pick someone for—”
“I know, but that’s not even what I mean.”
Turning my head towards Chaz as I prop my back against the building, mimicking his stance. “I’m seriously not interested.... Why do you keep going back to—”
He looks up, shaking his head with a knowing smirk playing on the corner of his lips. “Right.” His brows pull together over the rim of his shades. “Do you think I’m dumb?”
“Nope.” I shift my eyes straight ahead, trying to avoid the stare I can feel burning into the side of my face.
“You don’t think I realized... that first night at that bar, when the two of you were acting so weird? Or even last night... the way you guys kept looking at each other? He’s been acting strange, and you’re well... you.”
I deliver a solid elbow jab.
“It’s true,” he says with a laugh. “And it’s so totally obvious.”
I swallow softly, hopefully quietly, frowning a little, playing this confused role. Let’s be real, he won’t buy that shit. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. He seems cool, but like you said, he lives far away and he’s not into the casual scene, and I’m not looking for anything.” I shrug.
“Exactly,” Chaz agrees, nodding his head. “But I watched him get so head over heels... before. And I worry, I don’t know, I see how he looks at you. So, do you get what I mean? I just... ya know... I wouldn’t want anything to happen.... Because the truth is, and I know it’s going to sound selfish, but fuck it.” He draws in a long breath before letting it out slowly.
I’m thankful at the moment to still have sunglasses covering my eyes, which I’m sure are a little wide. So it seems the little flirty glances weren’t unnoticed, but I know for sure, he doesn’t have an inkling of anything else that went down. I give a slight nod, urging him to continue.
“I honestly want what’s best for the both of you. But the two of you... the two of you are my people... ya know?”
Clearly someone’s been keeping up with Greys. I let out a light chuckle, giving him a nod. “I get it, I definitely do,” I reply, leaning into his side. Let’s be real, there’s nothing worse than being stuck in the middle of things if shit gets awkward.
“Go for a guy... or a girl.” Chaz smirks. God, he won’t ever let that one go. “Just go for someone that doesn’t have all these... what’s the word I’m looking for?”
Tilting my head to the side, I stare back at him. It’s extra, for sure... but I get him, I truly do. I actually love the fact that he’s looking out for him, or... both of us. And like I’ve said before, plenty of fish in the sea.
“Hmm.” I think on it for a few more seconds. “Ties?” I offer, giving him an understanding smile.
“Yeah, that’s it.” He drapes his arm over my shoulder, pulling me into him, steering us towards the front entrance of his building. “Ties.”
A/N: ahhh, couldn’t help but put in that super not sneaky Ties reference. Alright. Chaz is almost finished w this portion of the story. But I love him. Who knows how down and out Trey really was??? Chaz, that’s who lol. And I agree being in the middle when two friends have something go on legit sucks. Anyway... keep in mind y’all know how their story ends... but the road is twisty.
Thanks for reading😈 fun times ahead
Side note... I’ve been totally preoccupied with trying to get my ig page looking pretty. That shit takes ridiculous time. Big thanks to those helping me and getting annoyed af with my indecisiveness 😍😹😘😘