Still, I see what Delores is trying to say.
This time last week, I offered her casual, but the days that followed have been anything but. They’ve been intense. Consistently frequent. And it’s obviously freaking her the f**k out.
When hanging out with the same person every day becomes routine, it’s difficult to remember what your life looked like before . . . or what it might look like after.
Although I’m cool with the time Dee and I have been spending together, I don’t want to seem needy. Desperation is a reek that’s impossible to wash off once it’s been sniffed.
“You need space—sure—I get it.”
She opens the door and steps inside. And she turns back to me and smiles insincerely. “I’ll . . . call you.”
Then she slams the door in my face.
She doesn’t call.
Not the next day. Or Monday. Or even on the most-holy third day. I haven’t been checking my phone every five minutes or anything . . . but I’ll admit, the sucker’s been fully charged.
Delores blew me off. Just . . . f**king wow.
Yes, I’ve ditched girls in the past—nice girls who didn’t hold my interest. Yes, this is the first time I’ve been on the receiving end of a blow-off.
And no—it doesn’t feel good.
I should forget about her. There are plenty of alternates waiting to step up to bat. I should move onward and upward. Downward is always fun too.
I should . . . but I don’t want to. It’s not just that she’s beautiful, wild, and her tits are the stuff wet dreams are made of. More than all of that—Dee’s interesting. Fascinating. Different than any other girl I’ve dated before. The way her mind works, how she teases, challenges me—I could spend day after day just talking to Delores and never get bored.
She makes me think, she makes me laugh . . . she makes me hard.
And just like a baseball scout can look at a Little Leaguer and see an MVP in the making, I know Dee and I could be great together. Legendary. I feel the potential every time I’m close to her. That’s what keeps my thoughts—and my fantasies—coming back to her. Because with a little time and some extra effort, we’ll both be reaping some sweet rewards.
By Tuesday night, I take the bull by the horns—or in this case, the bitch by the ears.
I skip the gym and stake out Delores’s apartment building, hell-bent on catching her on her way home from work.
She’s walking down the block now, briskly striding in shiny, open-toed heels, a flowy white blouse that billows with every swing of her arms, and a green, snakeskin skirt. I trot down to her. Her chin rises determinedly when she sees me, not missing a step.
I walk beside her. “How have you been?”
“Too busy to pick up the phone, huh?”
“Someone call an exorcist—you’ve been possessed by my mother.”
I grasp her elbow, bringing her to a stop. At first she’s annoyed, but when her eyes meet mine, I feel it. Electricity. Excitement. Her eyes dance over my face, drinking in every detail. And my own relief at seeing her again—after days of settling for paltry memories—is mirrored in her gaze.
“I’m not him, Dee.”
“Whatever jerk-off made you so ready to run—scared of relationships. Of letting yourself actually f**king feel something . . . want someone . . . the way I know you want me.”
She crosses her arms and cocks her hip. “You must not fly very often—the airline’s baggage weight limit is forty pounds. Your enormous head must weigh at least a hundred.”
Depends on which head she’s referring to.
I smile. “Very funny.”
She turns away, watching the passing cars. And when she speaks her voice is somber. A mixture of sadness and fear. “It wasn’t a ‘who,’ Matthew . . . it was a them. I’ve been here before. There’s no point in sitting through the drama when you already know the ending.”
I cup her jaw, brushing the warm, petal softness of her cheek with my thumb. “But I’m not like them.”
“That’s what they all say, and I let myself believe them. But eventually, the truth comes out, and the guy I cared about—the guy I thought I knew—turns out to be a loser, or a gambler, or married, or just a plain old son of a bitch.”
My chest tightens at her wounded expression. At her hurt. And a part of me wants to hunt down every one of the idiots she referred to and smash their faces in for their stupidity.
I lean in close, ghosting my lips along her neck. Because I want to overwhelm her so she’ll forget about her doubts and her fears and all the ass**les she’s ever known. And I’ll be the only one she feels—the only one she’ll remember.
“Come out with me tonight, Delores. One more time. Even if it’s the last.”
She wants to say yes. It’s there in her eyes, in the way her body turns toward me and her hand naturally gravitates to my arm. But what comes out of her mouth is, “I don’t know . . .”
I press my lips to her ear and whisper, “Give me one more night and after that, if you want, I won’t bother you again.”
She tilts her head back and runs her fingers along my jaw. “You’re a tough guy to say no to.”
“It’s a gift.”
She sighs. “All right—one more night. But the clubs are going to be empty.”