She smacks my free arm playfully. “Well, fall out of it. Go get your man.”
“Are you seriously telling me to go after your brother?”
She nods. “Uh, yeah. Can you please, please, please put him out of his misery?” Ally clasps her hand to her mouth, careful to avoid touching her freshly glossed lips. “Oops. Didn’t mean to be so pushy. But seriously, you guys are destined to be together.”
Hope flutters through me. I’m so damn lucky she’s behind me on this count. But just to be sure, I ask, “Are you absolutely positive you don’t hate the idea of me being with your brother?”
She rolls her eyes. “I’m positive.”
“And you think we’re meant to be?”
“Like peanut butter and chocolate. I don’t care about the whole opposites attract thing. There’s enough in your core and his core that’s the same.”
I reflect on her words, thinking back to our texts last night, to all our texts, all our conversations, our easy way of talking. Even when we don’t see eye to eye, Kirby and I seem to enjoy not seeing eye to eye.
“You might be right,” I muse.
“Maybe give him the kick in the pants he needs, then?”
A huge smile crosses my lips. “I’d like to. I’m ready to try.” I tap her shoulder with a makeup brush. “Also, I still think you should go for it with Miller.”
She whips her head back and forth. “No, we’re only going to be friends. I don’t want to lose him.”
I grab a tube of mascara. “Are you saying friends can’t be lovers?”
She taps her chest. “For me. I’m saying it for me.”
“Ah, so you admit you have a thing for him?” I say like I’ve caught her red-handed as I finish a quick touch-up on her lashes.
She growls. “Nope. Did not.”
“That’s okay. I know you did.”
“But none of that matters, Macy. The night we met we agreed to be only friends.”
I stare at the ceiling as if I’m deep in thought, then back at my friend. “Did you actually agree, or did you decide in your head you wanted him to be your friend so you would never be tempted to pursue anything more and get hurt?”
She hisses. “She-devil. You’re always trying to trip me up on semantics.”
I flash a smile. “It’s easy to do because you keep holding yourself to this arbitrary, silly, ridiculous rule. The very same one you want me to break.”
“It’s a rule that makes sense.”
After I put the finishing touches on her cheeks, I tuck my brushes away and zip up my makeup bag. “I think you should break your rule.”
Kirby strolls into the rehearsal space. “What rule should she break?”
I flash him a smile. “I think she and Miller should go for it. Do you agree?”
“And risk the friendship?” Kirby arches a brow.
“Is that worth the risk?”
Confidently, I raise my chin, even though nerves flitter everywhere inside me. “Some things are worth the risk.”
“Like telling someone how you feel,” I say, and I want to say more. To tell him everything. That I want him to be mine.
Every year since I’ve known him, I’ve hoped he’d be mine.
I want him to tell me he’s been crazy about me too, then pin me against the wall and kiss the breath out of me. He could take my wrists in his hands, slide them up the wall, and plant kisses all over my neck. He could bring his lips to mine and devour me. And I’d let him. I would let him devour me because that’s what I want more than anything. I want red-hot kisses and dirty, naughty sex with my friend. I want my friend to become my lover.
But right now, I want the latte he hands me. One for me, and one for his sister.
“Best brother ever,” Ally declares as she takes off the lid.
When I remove the lid from my cup, mine has a heart drawn in foam. Mine’s the only one with a heart on it.
And the presence of it makes the organ in my chest somersault.
We spend the next few hours recording their video series. Every now and then when they’re at the keyboard, when he’s singing, I swear he looks at me.
Like maybe he’s seeing me in a different way.
Like maybe that heart means something more.
Are you man enough to give the woman you love a latte with a heart on it?
Hell yeah. I manned all the way up.
But that’s not enough.
Once we’re done with the videos and Ally leaves, the night is still young.
“That latte was fantastic,” Macy says, and there’s a hint of something more in her voice.
I seize the chance. “Want another? We can go to Doctor Insomnia’s and—”
“Have a piece of cake instead?”
“Cake is definitely a good idea. Is cake one of your ways of making me talk?”
She smiles at me, a coquettish look in her eyes, like we have a secret. “I suppose we’ll see.”