“I did not beg you for anything,” I said, my face redder than ever. “Well, just not to leave you alone in your big bed,” he says. Oh, God, it’s worse than I thought. No drinking on an empty stomach ever again!
“I did not say that, you, you jerk!” I’m not sure why I’m so angry with Mike. Maybe it’s because I know I’m the one who acted like such an idiot last night and I’m mortified. “I did not beg you to sleep with me. I — I wouldn’t.” My cheeks are so hot I know I must be bright red.
“Oh, okay, Princess. I guess I totally didn’t get the little strip tease. I thought it meant maybe there was something between us. You had your boobs in my face and you were about to take it all off when I put a tee-shirt on you because I knew you were wasted. I figured we could talk about it today, but I guess not,” he says, his voice hard.
“I’ll just go,” I say, standing quickly. “Thanks for breakfast and, uhm, the ride last night and everything…” My eyes are tearing up and I don’t want him to see.
“Wait a sec,” Mike is holding a hand up, imploring me to stay. “I’m sorry, that was a shit thing to say. Jamie…”
But I’m out the door, stung to the core by his words. What if he’s right? Why would I act that way with Mike if I didn’t feel anything for him? God, no girl wants to be thought of as a cock tease. I need to get things together and get this story written already. I’m not a good drinker and hanging out in bars is a stupid way to get a story. And it’s making me do stupid things. I’ll just do my office job and see if Reggie wants to go out with me Thursday night. We can try a different bar. I hear what sounds like Mike’s fist hitting the wall in frustration, but I don’t stop hurrying down the hallway.
I make it back to my apartment and slam the door shut before I remember it’s only 9 a.m. on Sunday morning and people might still be sleeping. I decide I can do laundry and clean. So I put in my headphones and turn on Meghan Trainor. That should help me burn off some of my mad.
The rest of the week is like every other week at work. I answer phones, get coffee, set up meetings, type and try and work on my writing when there’s time. On Wednesday I call my friend Regina, or Reggie to most every one, and ask her if she wants to hang out Thursday or Friday night. She knows about this freelance assignment and she’s up for trying out a different kind of place. I still haven’t gotten the stain out of my new silk blouse so we decide on a more casual place, Dirty Nellie’s, up in the north suburbs.
Luckily I haven’t run into Mike this week at home and I figure he’s probably had clients to see. I’m over my mad, but I’m not sure if I want to face him just yet. So when Thursday rolls around I’m kind of looking forward to hanging with Reggie and catching up while I try my flirting out again with a different kind of crowd. I’m going for a casual look with jeans and boots with a tank top and a long open sweater. I straighten my hair, then add some big earrings and a long necklace. Nighttime makeup, more eyes, nude lips, lots of gloss. Not bad if I do say so myself. My doorbell rings and I figure it’s Reggie, so I fling open the door. It’s not Reggie.
All I see is a huge bouquet of flowers — red roses, pink carnations, white baby’s breath, huge yellow Asiatic lilies and purple alstroemeria. Mike sheepishly peers around the side of the glorious array. He runs one hand nervously through his dark hair, those gold-green eyes just a little wary. “I didn’t know what your favorite was, so I asked for a little of everything,” he says. “Just to say I’m sorry about last weekend.”
“Oh, God, it was all me, you have nothing to be sorry for,” I say. “Come on in for a minute. Those are the most beautiful flowers, you didn’t have to do that. They are so gorgeous!” I realize I’m babbling and take the flowers from him. “Let me find a vase.”
We go into the kitchen and as I search under the sink for a tall vase I’m sure is there, I feel his eyes on me. “Got it,” I say, turning quickly and, sure enough, his eyes move quickly up to mine from where he had surely been checking out my denim-covered ass. I see the appreciation in those warm hazel eyes and he clears his throat. “You look great. Were you going out?” he asks.
“Oh, well, actually we’re going up to Dirty Nellie’s. Reggie will be here any minute. If you’re not busy tonight maybe you could join us,” I offer. “Join you? You and your friend, Reggie? Uhm, no, thanks, probably not a good idea,” he says, shaking his head slightly. “Guess I’ll just be on my way so I don’t hold you up.” He’s turning away but I see how his jaw tightens slightly.
“Thank you so much for the flowers, Mike,” I say, catching his arm as he’s going out the door. “That’s really the most beautiful bouquet I’ve ever seen. It was so sweet of you.”
He’s still looking at me with that hard look on his face. “Yeah, sure, hope it doesn’t cause a problem for you with Reggie,” he says cryptically and strides down the hall toward his apartment. Too late I realize he doesn’t know my friend, Reggie, is really Regina.
Hmm, he’s kind of cute when he’s jealous…