Balls to the Wall
Chaz sticks his head out from the bedroom, scrunching his nose under a single raised brow. "Tits?"
"Agreed." I nod, lifting a shoulder. "I need to come up with a better catch phrase." Laying back on one of the two leather sofas in the large living space, I chuck a piece of popcorn in my mouth. "This place is a what the fuck pay day like whoa, you cashed in." I stare up at the ceiling before nodding, turning to him with a smile, satisfied.
Letting out a single laugh, he walks over to the couch, sitting by my feet, leaning back, and loosening the tie around the neck of his collared shirt.
The place really is nice, though. Fancy as fuck. Not something you'd see your average twenty-five-year-old in... but Chaz is far from average. A massive open area spans the top-floor apartment. More black than should be allowed; sofas, floors, countertops—marble, of course. I swear, men can't decorate. Honestly, the place screams bachelor pad. Why not though? He is.
"Figured I might as well get myself a graduation present," he replies, looking straight ahead with a quick frown before he shifts his eyes back to me.
"I'm sorry I missed your birthday, this year." I frown. My heart drops a little at the revelation that I've not been the greatest friend over the last few years. I'm not exactly sure why? The transition from youth to actual adulthood is a really strange fucking place.
"S'okay, I've missed your last few."
"Yeah." I prop myself, elbows sinking into the cool leather sofa. "Still, I feel—"
"We've talked about this before. You have nothing to feel bad about. You were halfway across the country, not one state away." I can hear the hurt in his voice, but he forces his lips to a smile. "I'm not upset."
His birthday was two weeks ago, and mine's in a few days. I know he's not mad about me not being there, but he should have someone.
"Okay." Sitting up, kneeling next to him on the couch, I shove my pinky in his face. He rolls his eyes. "Hook it, dickhead." I nod to my hand.
A few breathy chuckles escape, and he wraps his finger around mine—been at this shit since we were kids. "New promise," I declare. "No more missed birthdays." The smile grows wider across his lips, that baby face I've known for years looking more mature, sprinkled with a light stubble.
"Deal," he says, both of us kissing our thumbs before pressing them together.
Slumping back on the sofa, I prop my feet up on his shoulders as he gives me a fake irritated look. He knows he loves me.
"So what's new with—"
"Yeah, fuck that," he interrupts with a snort. "You call me yesterday and say you're moving home? Not that I'm not glad, I am, I'm always happy to have you stay with me. But spill it."
"Ugh," I groan, ultra dramatic. He'd been fairly quiet and non-questioning on the drive here, but he knows me, probably better than anyone on this planet, he won't buy any bullshit, and I guess I'll stop selling.
"I snapped," I tell him, throwing a piece of popcorn up and catching it in my mouth. "I was just sick... of everything." He continues studying me, a hint of concern in his eyes, lips pressing to a frown. "Don't look at me like that."
Chaz swats at my feet, jerking his head as I rub my toes on the side of his face. Don't stress, they're clean. First thing I did was take a shower in that ridonk walk-in with auto-tint glass—rich people problems.
"Am I gonna have to call lifetime?" he asks with a laugh, though the look on his face is still fairly unsure. "I mean, you flipped two people off walking out of the airport."
I sigh with a smile, staring up at the white, vaulted ceiling. "Felt fucking great."
"You told my doorman to get bent."
"He gave me a dirty look."
Chaz sputters out a laugh. "Anything you wanna talk about? Did something happen?" He grabs my ankles, putting my feet on his knees, scooting back on the leather to ensure there is ample space between them and his, um... yeah.
He seriously is like a brother. As we got older, people always thought we had something going on. But nope, never. Okay, we kissed once; we were like five and it was probably foul. I just got along with him. It was easy; he isn't catty like some women—and men—can be. Plus, he'd gone through some rough shit as a kid. I think his f was more a mother to him than his.
"So, I was having sex," I begin, "well, really I wasn't taking part. Austin—"
"What!?" He jumps up, my leg flinging off to the floor. Fists clenching against the sides of his legs. "Did that fucker... did he?" The little vein on the side of his forehead makes an appearance.
"No!" I stand up, grabbing his arms. "No. And if he did, I'd have skewered the pig." Chaz blows out a relieved breath. "I just realized that I was sick of the same shit. The coffee shop is closing, and I've been living the same dull-ass life... I missed home. It's time for a change."
Shoving a hand through his hair, he takes the psycho mode down a notch. "I'd still like to knock him out. That guy was such a dickhead."
"You deserve better." A crease forms between his brows, the corner of his lip turns down to a slight frown.
Chaz met him once. I limited the things I told him because if he knew that he never wanted to be exclusive, that he slept with other women... Well, it wouldn't be cute. And with his expendable income, I'd bet that he'd book a ticket in a heartbeat just to give him a right hook.
"I told him he sucked in bed."
"Ouch." He clenches his teeth with a laugh, sitting back down.
"It's not a lie." Flipping my hair up from underneath me, trying to give it a decent share of air dry, I lift a shoulder, tilting my head. "It was not good. At all." I let out an annoyed laugh. "I'm thinking sex just isn't all it's cracked up to be."
Okay. Chaz's face looks all kinds of crazy right now. His jaw dropping before slowly shaking his head.
"Seriously." I lower my eyes from his, focus back on my nails, now with a fresh coat of black polish. "I can't... I never... like, I haven't..."
"Hold up. Are you telling me you don't..." His brows slam together, wiping a hand down his jaw so his mouth hangs open, again. "You don't—"
"Finish?" I throw out the word I know he wants to say. Talking about sex with him isn't necessarily something we do often, but Chaz has developed somewhat of a reputation since he left Philly. Okay, he's a fuckboy, a typical one at that. Thinks he's God's gift, or at least acts like it, occasionally. I know him, and he's the furthest from an asshole, but whatever. Every time I visited him and stayed in whatever apartment he was in that year; I'd been subjected more than once to the ultra pornstar moans.
"But you have before?" He tilts his head questioningly. To say there's a look of concern on his face would put it mildly.
"Of course I have. A ton, yes. God." I cover my face. "Can we not talk about my dysfunction?"
"Briar," Chaz says, pulling my hand from now covering my face. "There's nothing, nothing wrong with you. You just obviously haven't found the right guy."
"Or girl," I offer, raising my brows.
"You switching teams on me?" he asks, leaning back from my face, relaxing back on the sofa. How have I lived so far from him for so long? This isn't even shit I'd talk to girlfriends about, back in Arizona.
"Honestly?" I sit up, scrunching my lips from side to side. "I think I'd marry the first person I meet, male or female, that can make me have an orgasm."
We got ready to go out, not a super late night, per the responsible and currently employed adult. Chaz, opting to stay in his suit, telling me all about how it's a pussy magnet, making me roll my eyes. Though, I'm sure he's not wrong.
I set him straight. I'm fairly certain it's just men I'm about, or attracted to, though I've got zero problems saying if a woman is hot. Reserved or not, there were a few times in college things got a little... experimental. It happens.
I filled him in on how I wanted to say the things I thought, and he was all for it. Told him I needed a little balls to the wall before I went back home with my tail between my legs. If there's one person who is a wholehearted supporter of shenanigans, it's Chaz. He endorsed my new uncensored approach to life, or at least the attempt. Telling me I likely needed a good lay... of course, that'll fix everything. Cue the eye roll.
So, he was all for this new Briar shit. Well, till we walked into the first bar.
A way too scantily dressed, and I'm not shaming because the top I have on shows more than ample cleavage. But there is a difference between classy and trashy. Anyway, the barely clothed and far too thirsty looking woman comes right up to Chaz, doing some heavy petting as we take a spot at one of the high tops.
"She looks way too hungry for it and has a bad nose job. Plus, her boobs are mad overdone," I say with a not-so-subtle lift of my shoulder. Chaz chokes on the sip of his drink as botched glares at me.
"S-s-sorry," he coughs out the words, shooting me a dirty look before making apologetic eyes at the poorly dyed blonde, rubbing the bridge of her nose. Oh well, purple shampoo could help a girl out with the brassiness.
I smile, blinking a few times before slugging down one of the three shots in front of me. He looked at me nervously when I told him my biblical drink line up. Because while yes, I'm attempting a change, let's be real, I just made a knee-jerk decision and transplanted across the U.S. I'm kinda shitting a brick. And a gargantuan amount of alcohol may not be the wisest choice.
Oh well, fuck it.
"Ground rules," Chaz says, raising his eyebrow before letting out a long breath. "No cock blocking."
"Fine, but you know it was true."
Shaking his head, he smiles. "I didn't even have time to look before you spouted off. But yeah"—sipping on his drink, eyeing me as I take another quick slug of the honey colored liquid—"she was a three."
We ordered more drinks, well... I did. Was pretty impressed to see how my friend has matured and taken this whole adulting thing rather seriously. Not that I didn't. I rarely drank back in Arizona; I rarely did much of anything.
Another round of three wise men and I was feeling warm and just slightly fuzzy.
Chaz lifts his phone, typing away to someone. "My old roommate is in town."
"Ohhh, the Jason guy?" I ask him. That guy was fairly hot.
I'd visited Chaz once, maybe twice each school year, and he'd done the same until grad school. I'd never had the chance with any roommate because one, I was almost always in a relationship, as dead-ended as they all were. And two, I think Chaz threatened them all, because they avoided me like the plague.
"Elijah?" I think that was his name? He'd be an acceptable one.
"Dave?" I think there was a Dave? He was decent on the eyes, from what I remember. Not that I'd be the best judge at the moment.
"Who's hungry now?" he jokes.
But seriously, just because I can't cross the finish line doesn't mean I don't enjoy the stroll towards it. Well, there's the possibility. Whatever.
"Trey?" I crinkle my nose, staring across the wooden high top at him. "I don't remember a... wait... the weird one?" Am I thinking of the right one? Super short hair, slightly overweight, always in his room? Couldn't even talk to me without stuttering. And I think he had braces?
"He's not weird." Chaz slides a hand over his chin, making fucking eyes at a chick across the room before redirecting his attention to me. "He's a good guy. He's up from Georgia, has some finance stuff to handle, so he's in town for a few days. Maybe you could..." He looks over at the blonde who gives an inviting look.
"Ugh." I groan. "I knew I shouldn't have told you."
"He just broke up with his girlfriend, they were together for a long time. Can you just..." He can hardly keep his focus on our conversation. Licking his lips at the woman. Okay, she is hot though.
"I'm not getting with him," I snap. Clear picture in my head of the one he's talking about. Super awkward. That would take mercy fuck to an entirely new level.
"Hell no!" He snaps back into our discussion. "Any of my friends are off limits for you," he says, dead-ass serious. "I was going to say, maybe you can just be... nice."
I drop my jaw, faking offense. "I'm always nice." Plus, way to come hard with those protective vibes. It's true, though. In high school, if a guy made me cry, or broke my heart—which happened way too often—Chaz felt the need to break something of theirs, it's just how he rolls. It also meant that my prospects, around him, were always limited.
He lets a little snort escape his nostrils, back to the licking lips and staring at the definite game on chick. "Usually." He narrows an eye. "But whatever you got goin' on"—I lean my head back, flinging my hair behind me, catching a few up and downs myself—"just take it down a notch."
I let out a short-lived huff. "Fine," I muttered. "But I got a rule for you, too." Chaz quirks a brow with a smirk. "No cock-blocking me. If I meet a guy—"
"Or a girl," he interrupts with a snort.
"Whatever." Squinting my eyes, making a face at him. "Shouldn't have even told you that. But for real, if I do, no cock-blocking from you, either. I'm trying to live it up." He nods his head, throwing up a shocker.
"Scout's honor." He side-eyes the woman, keeping his three fingers lifted.
"You're such a prize," I mumble, shaking my head. "Now grab me a tequila then go talk to that chick before she has an aneurism." I wave my hand, shooing him, as he laughs. "Make it a double," I call behind him.
Might as well strip all these inhibitions away.
Placing the drink in front of me. "I'll be back before he gets here," Chaz yells out, as the crowd starts amping up.
"Fine, fine. At least one of us can have fun." I wave him off, giving a quick smile so he knows I'm kidding-ish.
Lost in a little scroll through my phone, I'd waved off two douchey looking men not paying much attention and sipping on the nectar of the Gods. That's a lie, I think tequila is the devil's juice, but I'm cool with some horns, tonight.
A short cough drags me away from the screen. Amongst the large gaggle of people drinking, flirting, dancing, some guy... No, not some guy, a man. A very tall man with dark brown hair and a sexy stare catches my eye. Or maybe I caught his? Because he's only a few feet away from me. Those eyes... framed by incredibly thick dark lashes, making me wanna jump in and swim in them.
Oh, fuck, that's the Johnnie, Jack, and Jim talking.
Anyway, his lips curve up to a sexy smile, well-manicured dark facial hair surrounding them. Raking a hand through his hair as he approaches the round pub table, a loose strand of a slight wave falls to the side of his face, down his chiseled jawline.
"Hey." His deep and smooth voice cuts through the music, my senses honing straight in on him. Something else honing in straight between the legs of my overly tight jeans.
And suddenly, I'm overtaken by the velvety sound of his voice and well—I look him up and down, not a shred of shame—his obviously well kept body. The sleeves of his shirt rolled up past his elbows, his skin an olive type of complexion, making his light eyes stand out even more against the dark contrast of the rest of his features.
Before he can get a word in, I stand from the chair, raising a—for sure—naughty brow. May as well get a little wild, not like I'll be in the city for more than a few days. "You're hot," I say. Okay, definitely out loud.
His head tilts back, jaw dropping. His eyes widen as I grab his hand, not wasting a second, and also trying to do this whole balls out, no filter, shit. The alcohol flowing through me, no doubt adding a heaping dose of liquid courage.
Grabbing his arm—his well-defined arm—pulling his hand to my mouth, I slide my tongue over the top, tapping a dash of salt on his skin. He stammers and stutters a few times, but before he can say anything I look up at him smiling, biting on my bottom lip.
"What are you... what—"
I stick the rind of the tiny lime wedge in his mouth to silence him. Go big or go home... right?
He holds it between his teeth, a surprised look grows stronger on his face, a nervous swallow ticks down his throat.
Who am I right now?
Licking the salt from the top of his large hand, then shooting the drink, the glorious burn heating everything up along with the sexy sound that growls from his chest. Wiping my mouth quickly, and before either of us has any time to process, I grab the base of his neck, the ends of his hair tickling my fingertips as I bite down on the lime.
Balls to the wall!