It's another 20 Days of Love, and today Nia Forrester is dropping in to tease our imaginations with a tempting, sensual love. The kind of love that tickles our senses and causes us to keep turning the pages for more. A love between best friends. Read on...
About The Makeover...
Samantha has been best friends with Colton since they were toddlers. His NBA career has never impressed her, nor would he want it to. Their friendship is based on two things: a long, shared history, and Sam's tendency to keep things real with him, even if the rest of the world doesn't.
They’ve got the ‘friends’ part down pat. But after one reckless night, they have to learn how to be lovers. For him, it means they go on as before, except now … there’s sex. But for her, it means they need a total relationship makeover.
“Is this a habit with y’all?”
Sam looked up at Aidan. “Is what a habit? And who’s ‘y’all’?”
Inclining his head toward the other end of their table, he indicated Colt and Janelle, apparently deep in conversation.
“You, and your boy. Hooking up with folks and making a group date out of it.”
“Oh, are we on a date?” Sam asked. “I thought we were all just hanging out.”
Aidan shrugged. “I guess I just wish we were someplace quieter. So you and me could get to know each other better.”
They had all left Bar One and met up again at the tapas restaurant in Metro Center. It was larger, and noisier than the bar, and they had ordered a feast—ten small plates—with two pitchers of sangria, and a bottle of white wine for the table.
“We can do that some other time,” Sam suggested.
At that, Aidan grinned. He had been brazenly monopolizing her since they were seated, staking out his claim to the chair next to hers. His cousin, Rich and Rich’s fiancée had Janelle’s friend occupied; and Colt and Janelle were talking with heads close together at the other end of their table. Janelle’s hand had been resting on Colt’s arm, not moving for what had to be the past half hour. But who was counting?
“Lemme see your phone,” Aidan said holding out a hand.
Sam reached down and fished into her purse, pulling it out, and unlocking it. Aidan took it from between her fingers and entered his information before handing it back.
“Because I have a feeling you’re going to disappear like Cinderella at midnight.”
“What makes you think that?”
“Because your boy down there? He’s not really into ol’ girl.”
Sam glanced in Colt and Janelle’s direction. To her, it looked like very much the opposite. The way they were leaning in like that, the whole thing. It was all very … cozy. She reached for her wine and took a long sip.
“What makes you say that?” she asked when she put it down.
“He’s looking down here. Out of the corner of his eyes. Been doing it since we got here. He’s not really paying attention to her.”
Sam looked again. And this time, she paid attention, seeing past the obvious and focusing on the details. Colt was leaning in to Janelle, sure. But his face was angled away from her. He wasn’t making eye contact.
And Janelle’s hand, though it rested on his forearm, now looked less than intimate. Now, it looked grasping, and almost desperate, like she was struggling to hold Colt’s attention, and knew that she wasn’t succeeding.
Sam almost smiled.
“See?” Aidan said.
Sam nodded wordlessly, then looked at her “date” again. “Interesting,” was all she could muster without sounding too pleased.
Aidan shrugged again. “I’m a dude. And I know how dudes act when we’re into someone. He’s not into her. The person he’s into, is down here.”
Sam pulled back. “Down where?”
“What makes you think …?” She shook her head, picking up her wine again, horrified by how much delight Aidan’s observation caused her. “Colt and I have been friends since we were kids. He’s just overprotective, that’s all.”
“Okay.” Aidan sounded unconvinced. “How about we make a bet?”
“What kind of bet?”
“If he makes it till …” Aidan looked at his watch. “If he makes it till midnight without telling you it’s time to leave, then we go on a real date. Just the two of us. If he asks you to leave before midnight, then we go on two dates.”
Sam laughed. “Wait. What? I don’t get how you lose with either option.”
“If he asks you to leave before midnight and you do it, then that tells me I’m going to need at least two dates with me to get him out of your system.”
“He’s not in my system,” Sam said. “He’s like a brother.”
“Cool. So then scratch the bet, and just agree to go out with me.”
Sam laughed again. “You’re a tricky one, aren’t you?”
“Nah. Just determined.”
“We don’t need the bet,” Sam said. “I’d love to go out with you.”
Eleven fifty-three p.m.
That was a respectable time to head home on a Friday night. In just a minute, Colt planned to put the kibosh on this whole night. After fixing her latrine, he should have just posted up at Sam’s and watched ‘Homeland’ or something. Watching shows like that with her was as exasperating as it was amusing. She always lost the narrative thread and asked questions that she should have known the answer to if she’d been even half-assed paying attention.
‘Wait, who’s Nasir now? Is it that guy who just got blown up, or the curly-haired kid?’
What made it cute was that she always asked at a volume just below a stage-whisper, like they were in a movie-theater, instead of alone in her living room. And when something exciting looked like it was about to happen, that was always when she had to leave the room.
‘Pause it, pause it! I have to refill my glass. You want something?’
And then there would be an awkward freeze-frame on her television—a partly-exploded car, the main character’s face stuck in a farcical grimace, while Colt rolled his eyes. Then she’d return, settle on the sofa next to him and rest her feet in his lap, and asking, ‘Where were we?’ before un-pausing the show. Of course, by then, the dramatic effect was lost, and Colt would have to rewind a few minutes’ worth just to get in the spirit once again.
Colt reached for his glass of water and took a long sip. He had laid off the alcohol more than an hour ago, and now was just hoping to piss it all out, so he could be straight for his workout the next morning. Next to him, Janelle was still chattering up a storm. And he was dutifully nodding and responding when it seemed like a response was called for.
It was funny how he’d never known this about her—that she liked to listen to herself talk. But, why would he have known that? They met in the gym, where conversation was, by necessity, kept to a minimum. And maybe the talking wouldn’t have bothered him as much if the restaurant wasn’t already so doggone loud, and if he wasn’t preoccupied with Sam and her summer-suit-wearing Casanova down there.
Sam didn’t know men. She didn’t know game. But Colt did.
Dude was not the settling-down kind. You could tell by that suit, and his watch. The suit made him look like he was harmless, and that was probably by design. But the watch gave him away—it was showy and expensive, and, Colt believed, probably betrayed his true nature. All sizzle, no steak.
Colt wore a very sensible 88 Rue Du Rhone himself. Moderately expensive, but only expensive because it was high-quality. Not expensive because it was flashy.
He couldn’t believe Sam was falling for dude’s bullshit. And he knew she was falling for it because she was down there at the other end of the table, kiki’ing it up with him, in between guzzling that monster-glass of wine in front of her. By Colt’s count it had been refilled three times. Roughly eighteen ounces of wine. And that wasn’t counting whatever she had to drink at Bar One.
Yeah, it was definitely time to go. He turned to look directly at Janelle for the first time in maybe a half-hour.
“Excuse me,” he said before pushing back from his seat.
Nia Forrester lives and writes in Philadelphia, PA where, by day, she is an attorney working on public policy and by night, she crafts woman-centered fiction that examines the complexities of life, love and the human condition.
If you reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, she will respond.
Visit with the Author at: www.niaforrester.com
And check out her books on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2EGAXPD
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