To have feeling.
I have that now with Elena. I don’t need the sex club trappings to experience it, although I have to say it’s still a hell of a lot of fun to go there with her.
“Benjamin,” Walsh says with a wide smile of greeting, sticking his hand out. I expertly take the weight onto my bum left leg, flipping my cane to hold it under my arm, and transfer my drink into my left hand. My right hand grips onto his for a hearty shake.
“Good to see you,” I reply smoothly, then lift my drink slightly. “Congrats on the award.”
Walsh snorts. “You know I don’t give a shit about that stuff, man.”
I can’t help but laugh, because yeah… even though Walsh plays the game, I know hanging with the Vegas elite on an enjoyable level really isn’t his thing. It’s only business.
Jorie and Elena start chatting, even sidestepping a few feet away from us. I don’t like the distance between us, and I’m wondering why. Because I’m now forced to talk to Walsh or because I just like having her near me?
Regardless, Walsh doesn’t give me an opportunity to analyze it further. “You up for some golf next weekend?”
I blink in surprise. I haven’t golfed since the accident or even considered it. The excuse comes quickly to my lips. “I’m so out of practice. I’d just hold you back.”
“Got to get back into the swing of things sooner or later,” he replies, his gaze holding steady to me before dropping briefly to my leg. “Unless that thing’s holding you back?”
Some would take offense, but I like he’s not afraid to call it as he sees it. I look down at my leg, my cane still under my arm before giving him my regard again. “Probably not. I mean… I use it more for taking weight off to keep the pain away, so I don’t have to take any medicine. Sort of just used to it now.”
“So pop a few Tylenols and let’s do it,” he replies, his tone of voice suggesting he’s not going to take “no” for an answer.
“Okay,” I reply on a whim. I mean, why the fuck not? I like Walsh, and I’d love to get back to golfing. I’m probably going to be hurting like a motherfucker after, but so what. “But how about we start out with just nine holes?”
“Sounds like a plan,” Walsh replies with a laugh, then his gaze slides over to Jorie and Elena for a moment. “I know you’ve been through a lot. Elena’s a strong girl, but you need to be careful with her.”
I jerk in surprise, moving the end of my cane back down onto the floor for support. It’s just more of a natural feeling to me.
My eyes study Walsh’s face, who is still regarding the women. A pleasant smile to go along with the words that are clear in their intent.
“You don’t have to worry about me breaking her heart if that’s what you’re worried about.” I take a sip of my bourbon. “Elena and I are both the same. We don’t want a deep involvement. We’ve actually had quite a bit of discussion about it.”
Walsh turns his attention back to me, a sly smile on his face. “And that’s exactly why you have to be careful. The mere fact you need to have discussions about it tells me it could become a problem. And I know how great Elena is. It could become a big problem for you.”
“That’s not something you need to tell me,” I mutter as I take in her beauty while she talks to Jorie. I never can seem to get enough of looking at her. “I figured that out all on my own.”
“Just don’t lie to yourself, Benjamin,” Walsh says, then starts to move toward Jorie. He gives me one last lingering glance, so his words sink in. Then he smiles. “See you on the links—Saturday, okay?”
After I nod, Walsh whisks Jorie away to make social rounds.
Elena moves back to my side, giving me a sympathetic smile. “That didn’t look too painful.”
“Really?” I reply with an undercurrent of sarcasm. “Because he was all up in my business.”
“Poor baby,” she coos, and I snicker.
“Actually, he wants to play golf so I’m going to give a try,” I say blandly.
“Oh, that’s awesome,” she replies with a full-on blinding smile.
“He also thinks you and I are fooling ourselves,” I say.
The smile slides away, and she tilts her head in confusion.
“That you and I are just about the sex,” I explain. “That’s all we’ve got.”
Elena waves her hand in dismissal. “Well, that’s simply not true. We decided we’re friends with benefits.”
“We’re more, and you know it,” I reply, shocked by my own whim of an admission.
Elena’s eyes go wide. “Are we?”
I give a sigh, unsure of myself again. “I don’t know. I just know it’s more than sex, and it’s more than just a friendship. But what that means, I have no clue. Do you have any brilliant thoughts?”