Oliver rolls to his side, propping himself on one elbow. Seriously it’s absurd. On the white rug in his blue boxer briefs he looks like he’s posing for Playgirl.
I glance at the cock—CLOCK on the cable box. “Eight nineteen.” I need to get out of here.
He stretches: muscles shaking, fists clenched, head thrown back in the relief of it. After an enormous happy groan, he asks, “You gonna show me what you did?”
“That’s a yes? Now I really want to see what you drew.”
“You will,” I tell him. “Eventually. I want to go a little edgier with the next project.” I duck my head, tuck my hair behind an ear. “You helped with some ideas for that. Thanks.”
Is it awkward right now? It doesn’t feel awkward but maybe I’m just terrible at reading these kinds of things. It felt really easy. It feels easy.
He stands, finds his jeans, and begins putting them back on. I bid farewell to the most perfect half-hard cock I’ve never seen. “Just helping a friend out,” he murmurs. “As one does.”
“Hope it distracted you a little, at least.”
I catch his eye as his head reappears from inside his shirt as he pulls it over his head. “Distracted me from what?”
Oliver laughs and comes close enough to reach out and muss my hair. “I’ll see you later, Lola Love.”
He’s out of the apartment and heading down to his store before I remember the Martian Razor and that the Variety article has been posted sometime in the past hour.
HARLOW TOSSES HER purse onto the bench and slides into the booth across from me. “Sorry I’m late.”
“No worries. I ordered you the salmon Caesar.” I look back to the entrance to the restaurant. “No Finn? I thought he was flying in late last night?”
“He had to stay up for the week. Something about the fuse box or control panel and—” Harlow pretends to fall asleep on the table.
“I can never keep track of where he is,” I mumble into my water glass.
“Here’s a trick. When I look like this?” She gestures to her perfectly styled hair and makeup. “He’s not here. If he was here this morning, I’d be too worn-out to—”
“Got it.” I love my girl but she is Empress of the Overshare.
“So what happened to you guys after you stumbled out of Hennessey’s last night? I couldn’t tell who was propping up who.”
I lean out of the way when the waitress drops off our food, and thank her. “I don’t remember how we got back to the loft, but Oliver slept over,” I say once our waitress is gone.
I’m not looking at Harlow when I say this so it startles me when she slams her palms down on the tabletop, already halfway out of her seat. “He what?”
A few customers are looking over at us, and I hiss, “He slept on the goddamn couch, will you put your ass in your chair?”
Her face falls and she sits back down. “God. Don’t do that to me.”
I try to read her expression but she’s gotten better at keeping her mouth shut since she’s been with Finn, and even though I know she’s thinking something, it isn’t written all over her face.
“Well, okay, about that . . .” I start, and Harlow leans forward with her hands clasped together, forearms resting on the table, and two perfectly sculpted auburn eyebrows raised in interest.
I debate how much to tell her here. I have no idea what Oliver’s dating life looks like and he may be perfectly busy without me, thank you very much. We hang out most days, but not most nights. By the number of stories Finn and Ansel have about Oliver back in the day—as well as Oliver’s enviable poker face—I suspect he’s getting a lot more action these days than I am, I just never hear about it. And, admittedly, with the book launch and travel and events, dating hasn’t been at the forefront of my mind in months. Harlow’s new marriage and Ansel’s imminent stateside move have been the most common topics of conversation when the girls are together.
So . . . I haven’t really mentioned my Oliver attraction to Harlow or Mia. Oliver has just been a nice, happy place for my thoughts to wander in times of stress—a relieving reminder to myself that I have someone I can talk to, that there is someone I can seek whose emotional beat mirrors my own when life gets crazy. Besides, Harlow, Mia, and I have known each other since elementary school, and I’ve learned over the years how quickly Harlow becomes invested. Oliver had a chance in Vegas, and didn’t take it. I can’t imagine he’d be interested in complicating our friendship now that it’s obviously working well for both of us, and I don’t want Harlow to feel resentful toward him for not reciprocating my feelings. Harlow’s strength can also be her weakness: she is the most fiercely loyal person I know.
God, things get complicated when a group of friends is involved.
But with the books published, and travel getting lighter, and in the calm before the movie storm, I have more free time . . . which means Oliver-as-a-sexy-person is more and more on my mind
and this morning I saw him almost naked