“Okay, I need a plan,” I mutter to myself as I quickly sift my eyes through the crowd. “A scheme, a strategy, a ruse...” Though it’s not actually to myself. I get a few looks as I say the words, standing in front of the elevator, the doors having just closed on Trey, who looked a for real combo of excitement, nerves, and I don’t know... hormones.
Me too, dude. Me too.
Wiping my palms down the front of my dress, I shake my hands out. Am I nervous?
Nah, def not.
Coming up with some sort of coverup to go and bang this guy, this totally random—okay, he’s not random—but for sure never someone on my radar before. Anyway, trying to make a plan so I can ditch a party, thrown in my honor, so I can walk downstairs, then hoof it to wherever to have a romp... right, right, typical Friday.
Why has this become such a goal? Why has he—Trey—become like the lost city of Atlantis!?
Is it some weird subconscious vendetta I have for Chaz? Payback for all those years he’s been a little cock-block? I roll my eyes, looking over at him like there’s a fucking petting zoo happening on the black sofa off to the side. Gross.
Also, as if he even cares. And let’s be real, I’ve spent plenty of time with him over the last few days—maybe a little too much.
I chew it over, tilting my head from side to side, trying to figure out what exactly is drawing me to him so much. But anyway, it’s not a Chaz challenge. Because if I wanted to throw it in his face, I’d do just that. Not give a shit about what he said, not heed any of those warnings—not that I am—but I’d have just blatantly gone for it. Yeah... no, I wouldn’t have.
Whatever, chill bitch, it’s one night... one fucking night. One night of those eyes, that hair, those abs. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t absolutely dying to see the tip of that V... and then some.
I squeeze my thighs together, again having an adverse effect, the reminder, the feeling, the irresistible urge that makes my mind travel back to those wandering hands. I shoot a finger up. “Yes, Jeeves, that’s it!”
Fuck, that was out loud, again. Anyway, yeah, duh, all about that proficient pointer. Those meticulous man-paws. Okay, enough.
Blowing a strand of hair from my face, my eyes travel across the dimly lit space, littered with people and meet Sunny’s, the actually super friendly—and it’s not lost on me as to why—female, who I’ve spent the last hour dancing with.
Yeah, I’ll admit it. I played the super stupid catty little game. Seeing Trey sitting with that chick, I don’t know why, but I felt... jealous. So yeah, anyway, I did the dumbass reversal play which of course, doesn’t get anyone anywhere.
So Sunny, who told me her parents had been ultra-hippieish back in the day, made it fairly obvious that she had an interest, and like I’ve said before, I’m not totally against that. But I just feel it in my bones, and definitely in my vag, that she’s not gonna be able to deliver what I need.
And like the flick of a switch, the turn of a bulb, it clicks. And my mind cooks up a plan.
“Hey, you alright?” She walks over with her long, heeled up legs, placing her palm on my upper arm, other hand brushing her hair from her face, delivering a blinding smile. “Do you need anything?”
“Um, well, yeah.” I shift off of one wedged foot to the other, grinning at her and batting my lashes. I know that my lips are probably curling up in some grinchy type of wicked smile. Oh well. Modern problems require modern solutions.
“Ahem.” I clear my throat, calling the attention away from the groping groupies after filling Sunny in on the situation at hand, on hand, God... with the hands!? She was cool with the plan, said why not, was my birthday and if that’s what I was down for then she was more than happy to help out.
I love when you meet people that just so happen to click with you like that.
“What’s up?” Chaz brushes the two off of him, like they’re yesterday’s news. Self respect ladies, pass it on. Some people will really go to great lengths to get a little...
Okay. No judgement. For reals.
Quickly fixing my face to a widened smile, staring him straight in the eye. “I’m gonna... umm...” I turn around, looking for my wingman, who is nowhere to be seen. “I’m gonna get out of here.”
His brows pinch together, head tilts to the side with a scowl. “What? No.” Standing from the sofa, Chaz takes a step towards me. “You can’t leave, this is your party. We’re just getting started.” He redirects his gaze to the elevator, before narrowing an eye at me.
“She’s leaving with me.”
Both he and I shift our attention to her—to Sunny. And I’m not gonna lie, when I look back at my friend, I can see a tinge of jealousy glint in his eyes. I plaster on a full cheese grin, lifting my shoulders.
There’s absolutely no lie there. That’s part of the plan, sure as fuck is. I firmly intend to walk out that front door with her.
She wraps her arm around my back, hand reaching, fingers teasing, sliding to my upper thigh. Oh Christ, inner thigh. I jerk away a bit, shooting a wide-eyed look at Sunny whose lip is turned up on the side, her blue eyes intent on mine.
Oh, God... maybe this wasn’t the best strategy.
Chaz coughs a few times, head shaking as she brushes a piece of hair from the front of my shoulder, her fingertip trailing over my collarbone. Definitely going for the hard sale here.
“Yup,” I blurt out. “So that’s that, see ya.”
“Are you coming back or...?” He studies both of us, the beginning of a smile playing on his lips.
“I think she’ll be gone all night,” Sunny tells him, not even turning her eyes from me.
I gulp a little. Okay, this is doing absolutely nothing to help with my influx of nerves. And before I can say anything else, or chime in, or breathe, she traces her fingers up the side of my neck to my cheek, and before I can object, her lips crash over mine.
“Well, that’s that.” Sunny shrugs with a little frown as we leave the building, heading out onto the sidewalk. Trey looking about the same as me, a little wide-eyed, a little shaky palms.
I bat my lashes a few times.
“Th-thanks.” I look at her with a hopeful smile, adding in a cringe at the end. Though the full on lip service was a bit more than I’d intended when I told her the plan, I can’t lie... she had a really delicate mouth, promising even. But I didn’t get that feeling. The same one I have now.
Filling in Sunny on Chaz and his protective ways, and that whole scoop. How I figured—and I was right, by the way—that he’d have zero objections to me leaving with anyone else. Anyway, she said she was cool to help a girl out.
I look down at the little charm dangling from my wrist and out of nowhere... a gush of nerves suddenly takes over.
“Have fun.” She shoots me a grin before raising her brows at Trey. “I’m sure you will.” With a slow finger, she traces over my bottom lip. This is very forward. Also, I’m a little mesmerized. “If he can’t get it done for you, you have my number.” She super casually throws it out there, and Trey lets out the sharpest coughing noise I’ve ever heard.
We stand in the elevator in his hotel, both of us nervously dancing back and forth on our feet, almost a full foot of space between us as the little sound dings out with each floor we pass.
Why does it feel like this?
What the hell?
What happened to gung-ho? Balls to the wall?
I’ll tell you what.
“Can I be honest with you?” I bite down on my bottom lip, turning my head towards Trey who looks down at me. Not too far, only a few inches of a height difference thanks to my heeled shoes.
He nods quietly, a loose wave falling to the side of his face. His green eyes lock to mine, those dark lashes making my heart beat faster.
“I’m nervous,” I admit, scrunching my nose.
He almost chokes on the air that seems to be diminishing in the small rectangular box, taking us up to the sixty-ninth floor. Okay, that’s a joke, it’s the forty-third, but wouldn’t that have been funny?
I let out a few breaths as we stand there in silence, and it’s uncomfortable, awkward, and immediately makes me think that maybe this was a bad idea.
See, the first bathroom bash, well that was brought to you by alcohol. And then the second one.. well, I’d already done it once, so what the hell was the difference. But the one thing that happened, each of those times, even though I initially took charge. He stepped up to the plate, took over. Well, not really, but he wasn’t a bundle of total nerves.
And now I’m worried that maybe I put too much pressure on this moment, on him? Maybe I have been way too dominant in this entire situation. Maybe this new found attitude is just a little too much for—
“You have nothing to be nervous about.” Trey shakes his head, mouth opened before he swallows a little loudly. “I’m nervous.”
“You shouldn’t be.” We both stare at each other, the doors ding open to his floor. I shake my head. “I think I was a little too forward.” I feel the crease between my brows. I don’t want him to feel like I’m a bulldozer. In reality, I’ve never had an actual one-night stand. I mean, I’ve had a few partners, sure, but usually it was with at least a bit of a relationship. A few dates. Not a bang that I know will never amount to anything. Someone who literally lives multiple states away.
I put too much pressure on this moment. And now I’m gonna fuck it up.
“I’m sorry, Trey.” I shake my head, looking down. “I think maybe I’m a bit too much of a mess, for someone like you.”
I tried to get it together standing outside, waiting for Briar. It took me a few minutes, but I figured out what she meant, confidence. There’s that word, that key thing so many people preach that you should have. But the truth is, I think it’s something most lack, at least truly.
And now I’m standing here, outside of the elevator as the doors begin to close, looking at those brown eyes that seem so... unsure, uneasy. My chance is literally getting smaller by each fraction of a second.
The person who—at least in the last couple of days—seems like the flipping spokesperson for confidence is faltering.
And I’m going to let her?
In a burst, like a swift kick in the ass, I hear Kate’s voice telling me to go for it. I see the dark hair around that face, cheeks flushed as she frowns, keeping her eyes off of mine.
And I know. I without a doubt know if I let these doors close, if I don’t make a move, I’ll never get the chance again.
A/N: at this point you should all know how I am🤷♀️
But here’s how it goes in my head. If you read Ties... if not, spoiler alert... anyway, you already know their end game. But Briar, while she presents at times like she’s super confident, I think she probably is the most insecure, as revealed a bit in the last chapter. So to me, for a couple to work, they need to compliment where the other one falters.
Have faith lol.
And above all you know I like to picture your faces going 🥴🥴🥴