“I don’t want you seeing her.”
“That’s your answer to my question about her friend? You quit seeing the friend, hoping that’d make me not see your sister? Yeah, that’s not gonna happen.”
“She’s not my sister.” His knuckles whitened around the beer before smoothing out again. “But you are? Seeing her?”
“I don’t know. We don’t even know.”
“You’ve been gone. I mean, how would that work?”
I frowned. “Phone. Texting. I’d think the normal way.”
His neck was getting red. “That’s what you’re doing? You’re sexting with my sister?”
“Like you said, she’s not really your sister.”
He rolled his eyes. “Whatever, man, she’s Hunter’s sister.”
“She doesn’t seem to have a relationship with anyone in your family besides Hunter.”
I was waiting.
I hadn’t cut him off. He stopped himself.
The red was crawling up. Chad was getting pissed. “She’s a fucking mental case. You got no clue what she put my family through in high school—”
“She told me she had a crush on me in school. Did you know?”
He looked away.
So, he knew and he hadn’t told me. I asked, “Did she ask you not to say anything to me?”
His eyes lit up, and he sneered. “Ask me? Fuck no. We never talked. Like never. I barely saw her myself. Mom wanted Hunter and me out of the house, and that was for a reason. Her mom—”
“Was a junkie.”
His head reared back.
“She told me. She told me a lot, actually. She was trying to scare me off. Thought I’d bolt at the first red flag.”
His eyebrows furrowed. “She did?”
“Chad, baby.” The woman from his side in the kitchen came out, wrapping herself around him. She rested her head against his shoulder, smiling up at me. “Hey, Cut. How are you? You played great both nights.”
I nodded, but didn’t reply. I said to Chad, “I’ll be upstairs.”
“You coming out tonight?” It was the woman.
I looked her over, flicked my gaze to Chad and left.
I heard her pfft behind me, and I didn’t care.
I didn’t know what was going on with Chad. He’d been my best friend for so long, we were brothers, but this side of him? It only came out when he talked about Cheyenne, and she’d been referred to as ‘that girl’ in the past.
My phone buzzed when I was putting my water and food on the desk.
Hendrix: Your boy texted, saying he’s got a party going to Bresko’s tonight. You going?
Hendrix: Want to come over here? Could watch the game.
Me: Let me check with someone quick.
And I texted to Cheyenne.
Me: You around tonight?
She didn’t waste time getting back to me. My phone buzzed right away.
Cheyenne: Was planning on heading to Tits tonight. My friend runs it. You’re back?
Me: Fucking love that you hang out at a strip club.
Cheyenne: Want to come? Hang out? I’ll give you a private lap dance, just make sure you bring those dollar bills.
And my dick was hard.
I stifled a groan but typed back.
Me: We still need a first date. Let’s save that for the second date.
Me: I’m going to go to a friend’s, but I could swing by your place after? How long do you stay at the titty bar?
Cheyenne: I’ll be there till about 9. You sure you don’t want to come? How many girls have you dated that try to entice you to a strip club?
Me: None. I don’t date.
She didn’t respond right away.
I waited a little bit more.
Cheyenne: Maybe the lap dance can be tonight at my place?
I was full-on smiling now, and I didn’t care.
Me: I am holding you to that.
Me: Text more later?
Cheyenne: Sounds good. I’m heading to the gym now.
Me: Be safe.
We ended it there, and the same feeling I had over the last few days, between our texting and our phone calls, was the same. This was new to me, but it felt good. It felt right. And I’d never felt that before either.
The music went up a whole decibel level, and I was done.
I texted Hendrix.
Me: You at your place now?
Hendrix: Yep. Game’s on.
I chuckled. If anything else, we were a predictable lot.
Me: Heading over now.
Hendrix: Pick up a pack, would you? I’m out.
I glanced at the food I grabbed, and none of it looked appeasing.
Hendrix: I stocked up on the way home. Just bring the beer.
Me: On it.
A girl’s ass was bouncing in my face.
And it was close enough that I could tell she put a strong dose of vanilla cupcake perfume right there. If I looked close enough, I could probably identify which self-tanner she used, and she preferred purple glitter rather than the regular all-color glitter.
Yep. Too close.
I focused on Sasha who was sitting next to me, lounging back in one of her booths, with an arm resting over the top of it, her hand dangling, and her other hand stroking her glass on the table.
“Why is Juna giving me a lap dance?” As I asked, the dancer in question turned and hooked one ankle around my neck, and her whole body fell backwards. “Oh! Whoa!”
“Don’t touch her,” came from Sasha, but she wasn’t too upset. She wasn’t even looking.
I looked down and past a thong that I did not want to see…there, in all her glory, I saw Juna looking up at me. She was laughing.
I asked, “You okay down there?”
She unhooked her ankle, sliding to the floor, and came back up to slide in on the other side of our booth. It was a round booth. It was Sasha’s special booth. She used it when the club wasn’t too full, and one of us was here.
“Yeah.” Juna winced, rotating her arm in a circle. “I was trying a new move, but it didn’t work. Everything else up to then was good, wasn’t it?”
“You don’t need the new move.” Sasha was still not watching us, she was looking out somewhere else. I didn’t think she was even seeing the main stage, or all the other booths that were spread out before us and below us. We were at the highest spot in the club. The rest was shitty seating, or really great private seating, depending on how you viewed it.
“You don’t think?”
“No.” Another monotone answer from Sasha.
Juna rubbed at her arm, frowning at her boss before looking at me. “What do you think?”
“I’m not a dance-expert, but the shows I’ve seen you do, I don’t think it’s needed either.”
She sighed, standing. “Okay. Maybe I’ll think about doing something else.”
“You don’t need anything new. Stick to what you do. It’s already perfect.”
“New tricks mean new tips.”
“The regulars like what you’re doing already.”