As promised, we stopped by a couple of shops and bought her some new clothes. She couldn’t spend the rest of her time with us dressed in her work uniform, and I even though she looked comfortable in all of Jeremy’s spare clothes, I didn’t like that she never asked for anything from me. I’d gladly give her the shirt off my back if she wanted. Then again, I’d be cold, so maybe not. Besides, I liked watching her face light up every time I purchased her a new shirt or a pair of jeans. She obviously went underwear shopping by herself because Jeremy and I didn’t think she’d appreciate any input in that department.
We were sitting in a booth along the wall of the bar. I didn’t say anything, but I really wanted to sit next to her. Unfortunately, the honor fell to Jeremy. He’d occasionally place his arm over her shoulder –a friendly gesture, or was it something more? I couldn’t be quite sure. Sitting across from Alice had its benefits, though. I could better admire her face, her dazzling smile. I was really growing fond of the way she laughed. It kind of reminded me of a little flute.
The world didn’t seem so dark when Alice was around. She just had a way of brightening up a room.
“Let me grab us another round,” she said, getting up from the table.
“I can do it,” I offered. “You already got us the first three.”
She shook her head and stood before I was able to. “No, no. It’s okay. If you’re not going to let me pay you for the room, I get to at least treat you to drinks.”
I put my hands up in mock surrender. “Okay, okay.”
As she walked away, I couldn’t help but watch her ass. Alice had bought herself a cute little dress. It was black with white polka dots. Over top, she wore a simple jean jacket to keep things modest, though it did little to hide her supple breasts. Simple, really, but Alice made it look phenomenal. The ensemble accentuated her small waist and round ass that bounced as she walked. She was pint-sized and curvaceous, a seriously dangerous combination now that I was a third of the way finished my first beer.
Across the table, Jeremy attempted to suppress a chuckle. “Oh my God, you’re checking her out.”
I glared at him. “Am not.”
“We’re not doing this.”
Jeremy kicked my shin under the table. “You think she’s hot, don’t you?”
I gripped my glass and brought the rim to my lips, swallowing down the last of my drink. I had a very nice buzz going on, which was probably why I wasn’t as annoyed with Jeremy’s antics as usual. “So do you,” I countered.
“Was it that obvious?”
“Obvious is your middle name, cabrón.”
“We’re not going to have a problem here, are we?” he asked cautiously.
I adjusted my posture, straightening my back for a second. Jeremy and I rarely fought. Whether he left a mess in the kitchen sink and didn’t clean it up, or if he forgot to take out the trash –it didn’t matter. Those were little problems, easily fixed. But we never fought over women. In the past, we had very different tastes in women. Jeremy liked them chatty and outgoing and with legs for days. I preferred women who were a little more reserved, less into the party scene and more into fine dining. There was rarely any competition between us.
But now that Alice was in the picture, things were slowly starting to shift. I’d seen the way he looked at her. There was a glimmer of excitement behind his eyes, something mischievous in his expression. Every other sentence out of his mouth was an attempt to flirt with her. Alice was just too sweet and trusting to pick up on anything he was laying down. I didn’t think they’d get along as well as they did, but there was an undeniable chemistry between them.
It made me kind of jealous.
But there was no way either of us would act on our feelings, right? Alice was living with us, and things were already so complicated for her. It would be right for either of us to ask her out when she literally just lost her home, her things, and was potentially being targeted by a psycho ex-boyfriend. Still, I didn’t feel like lying down and letting Jeremy take a shot when I was just as interested. Maybe even more.
I sipped at my beer. There was nothing but a bit of foam left. “Why would there be a problem?” I mumbled.
Jeremy smirked. He looked like he was ready for a challenge. “It’s just that I think she’s cute.”
“So do I.”
“And I’ve been thinking about asking her out.”
I set my jaw and put my glass down. “I saw her first.”