“I’m heading home. Can you cover me tonight?”
“Sure. I’ll see you in the morning.” He waved me off.
I walked home, more certain than I’d ever been that I wanted Maya. There was no question. She wanted me too. Nothing could convince me otherwise. As I walked back home, to what would surely be another restless night, I resolved that whatever had changed in our lives wasn’t enough to keep this from working.
MAYA. I’d spent nearly every weekend in recent memory at the club, partaking in all manner of drunken fun. Eli, Vanessa, and I would glam ourselves up and dance the night away, rain or shine. Every weekend was an adventure. Who would we meet, and what vodka-induced debacle would we get ourselves into? Between the three of us, we’d usually be able to get a good story and a few laughs out of the night. Some nights I’d rather forget, of course. At the rate I was going, tonight could very well be one of those.
While I usually relished the inevitable air of excitement before going out, tonight was different. Bringing Cameron into my world would be strange, and a part of me dreaded it. I didn’t want my world to revolve around his presence, but whenever he was near, it inevitably did. Maybe tonight he’d realize I wasn’t girlfriend material and back off. Where there was drinking involved, anything could happen.
“Almost ready?” Eli poked his head in and handed me a fresh glass of wine. I eagerly accepted it. I needed to take the edge off. The edge was getting duller by the minute but my stomach was still in knots.
“You look hot.” He smirked, looking pretty fresh himself in leather pants and a tight black v-neck. His hair was expertly gelled and his eyeliner rivaled mine.
With my free hand, I tousled my hair once more. I’d chosen a tight red mini dress and put enough product in my hair to ensure that I looked perfectly windblown and sexy for a night of gyrating. I caked on the eyeliner, eye shadow, and mascara, making a mental note to periodically check myself for raccoon eyes throughout the course of the night.
“I bet Cameron’s never seen you dressed for the club.”
I ignored his comment and put on some sparkly hoop earrings.
Eli leaned against the counter, staring at me. “What’s up with you two? Are we still pretending that you aren’t hot for each other?”
“We can’t keep our hands off each other. Everything’s just moving too fast.”
“That’s never been a complaint of yours before.”
I rolled my eyes.
“Sorry, but I’ve seriously never seen you agonize over a guy like this. Ever.”
“That’s because no one else has been Cameron.” I blew out a breath and fidgeted nervously with the mascara. “I almost pulled a nutty on that yoga chick at the gym. She’s got a thing for him, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. We’re not even officially in any kind of relationship and I’m ready to cut a b***h. It’s too much.”
“Whatever goes on between you is going to be more intense because you’ve already been in a relationship with him.”
“I know that, but I thought I could keep this under control. It’s not under control at all though. I’m already starting to have feelings for him again and it’s way too soon for that.”
“You’ve always had feelings for him.”
“I wasn’t always falling in love with him, and at least for now, I’d like to keep it that way.”
“Don’t you want a second chance at…you know, whatever you had?”
“Part of me wants that, I’ll admit.” I sighed, my heart sinking with what I was about to say. “But if I let myself fall in love with Cameron again and it doesn’t work out, there won’t be enough pieces of me left to put back together.”
Eli’s eyes softened and he held my hand, giving it a small squeeze. His silence spoke volumes. I was a hot mess on a normal day. I couldn’t crawl out of that kind of misery again and possibly survive. I wasn’t letting him anywhere near my heart again. I couldn’t.
“What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know. I feel like the sexual tension is seriously affecting my ability to think clearly about any of this.”
“Maybe I’ll get belligerently drunk and sleep with him tonight. And that’s it. Get it out of my system and move on.” I leaned toward the mirror, rolled light gloss onto my lips, and smacked them together. What had this week been other than a series of opportunities to heighten the already acute attraction between us? Sleeping with Cameron had seemed inevitable. If I ended up drunk and wound up, dragging him to bed with me, then so be it.