North of Light(6)

By: J.M. Paul

If she knew Connor agreed to go on a coffee date with me only minutes ago, she might have a different opinion of the prick.

Cami picks up a bar napkin and starts to twist and shred it. “I could use someone like him right now, but I’m not sure he’s interested in more.”

“Why’s that?” I’m a horrible person for feeling a small flutter of hope brought on by Cami’s doubt. She’s been my faithful best friend for years, and I literally met Connor minutes ago.

I knew I was going to hell, but after this conversation, I’m sure the current tenants are building a slide for my grand entrance.

“I don’t know.” She pushes the torn pieces of paper into a pile and grabs another napkin. “I mean, we’re having fun, but am I stupid to hope it could possibly turn into something more?”

I want to scream, YES! Walk away now!, but besties don’t do that. They give up their wants for their friend’s desires. I just met Connor, and Cami’s had him long enough to develop feelings for him. She wins.

“Maybe he’s playing hard to get?” I suggest, although I have no clue what I’m talking about.

Except for my minor glitch in asking out Connor, I haven’t taken many dips into the guy pool in the last two years. I’ve learned other things are important.

“Maybe. He’s pretty awesome. Connor could have his pick of the litter, men included.” She eyes me. “What could he want with a girl like me when he could have almost anyone? And have no doubt, the girls are chasing.”

Cami focuses across the bar and slouches in her stool. My gaze follows hers and lands on Connor leaning against the granite, smiling and talking to a group of four girls. They’re beaming and batting their eyes at him, and he’s eating up the attention.

Connor has a larger-than-life personality and effortless charm. Women are probably always drawn to him.

“Screw the other girls.” I turn back to Cami because the display at the end of the bar makes my stomach turn. “If you want Connor for you alone, then ask him. You’re hot, smart, and talented, and if he wants to whore himself out to floozies like that bunch”—I swish my arm toward the display of obnoxiousness occurring at the end of the bar—“then he doesn’t deserve you—or anyone else decent for that matter.”

I rope myself into the last portion of my statement. At least I have enough respect to walk away after finding out my number one gal pal claimed Connor’s leg as her scratching post.

Connor must feel my death stare because he glances over at me, then Cami, and then at me again. His smile falters, and I pat myself on the back. I lift my hand in a drinking motion and raise my brows.

Taking the hint, he turns to the pawing girls, says something, and knocks against the bar before moving away.

Good boy.

“You’re right,” Cami says.

Of course I am, but about what?

My interaction with Connor made me lose track of the conversation.

“I could ask him to be exclusive, but I’m not ready after what the douche bag did to me. And I kind of get the feeling Connor has commitment issues.” Her eyes wander toward the group of girls Connor was conversing with. They’re talking among themselves now, but each of their attention drifts to and lingers on Connor, who’s making drinks for the wait staff.

“You never know until you try.” I twirl my pen on the bar top. “If you’re just playing, then use him for his willy and boink until you both can’t walk. When you’re done, toss him back into the lake and hook another guppy. There’s no shame in playing the dating game.”

Cami snorts out an unladylike laugh. “Did you really just use the words willy and boink together in a sentence?”

“They’re totally making a comeback, CC. I’m a writer, so I should know,” I say haughtily.

“Whatever.” She shakes her head and then releases a heavy breath. “I have no idea what I want. For now, I’m happy with the way things are with Connor. To hell with serious relationships.”

“Cheers to that, sista.” I knock knuckles with Cami since we don’t have beverages.

“What are we cheersing?” Connor delivers another Grinch cocktail for me and a Stella for Cami.

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