and uncut cocks are my kryptonite

and I’ve heard the stories about Oliver’s oral skills amid Finn and Ansel’s snickers

and holy shit I am losing my mind.

Across the table from me, Harlow clears her throat, setting her fork down with heavy intent. I look up from where I’ve been unconsciously doodling on a napkin.

“Testing my patience, friend,” she says.

I clearly need to talk about it . . . and Harlow would understand my hesitation—wouldn’t she?—because she’s been around for every single one of my epic relationship failures.

“I mention that Oliver stayed over last night,” I start again, “because, as it turns out . . . I find him to be rather attractive.”

Harlow leans in even more, and I know her well enough to know that she’s schooling her expression. “A fucking armadillo would find Oliver Lore to be rather attractive, Lola.”

I shrug and she looks at me like she wishes she were a drill and could dig down into my thoughts. I get that look a lot, actually. In truth, she wouldn’t have to go far; they’re right there beneath the surface. It’s just that the surface is pretty solid, like granite.

“Do you think Oliver might also find you attractive?” she asks evenly, sitting up and spearing a piece of lettuce.

I shrug. “I don’t think so. I mean, he didn’t seem all that interested in Vegas.”

She mumbles something about trying real hard not to meddle and then shoves the bite in her mouth.

“There isn’t any meddling to do,” I tell her, but she stares up at the ceiling, avoiding my eyes. “Harlow, what the hell is wrong with you?” I reach across the table and poke her in the forehead. “I just need to talk this out a little,” I tell her. “Because with you married and Mia married, Oliver is kind of my go-to buddy, and you know I have a really, really terrible track record with guys once they become . . .”

Harlow drops her eyes back to me, swallowing a bite of salad before saying, “Once they become more?”

“Yes,” I say, and poke at a spear of asparagus. “Oliver and I see each other almost every day but we’ve never discussed dating or hookups. It’s this odd conversation vacancy in our friendship, this topic we both seem to actively avoid. Maybe that’s for a reason.”

“Should I call Finn?” she says to herself. “I should call Finn. He’ll remind me to keep my fucking mouth shut.”

“But I don’t want you to keep your mouth shut! My friendship with Oliver is probably the easiest of my life.” She looks up at me, eyes flashing, and I laugh. “Other than you and Mia. I just . . .” I put my fork down. “Do you remember how much Brody hated me for like a year after we broke up?”

She nods, laughing. “And you were together for maybe two months? God, what a head case.”

I shake my head. “I don’t know . . . he was a nice guy and we’d been friends for so long. I still don’t really get what happened, but it just . . . fizzled.”

I feel Harlow’s attention on me and then it diffuses when she looks down to her lunch.

“Well, to be fair,” she says, “you did blow him, right?”

“I mean blow it,” I say and then groan when she giggles. “I blew the situation.” Harlow chokes on a bite of lettuce. “Jesus Christ. I’m just trying to say I fucked it up. I always fuck it up. Either I say the wrong thing or don’t say the right one, I’m too busy or too available—whatever, it’s always something.” She’s got her head resting on her arms on the table, shoulders shaking in laughter. Sighing, I stab a bite of chicken, muttering, “God, you’re a troll.”

She pushes herself up, and wipes beneath her eye with a long, manicured finger. “I’m just saying, you’re not the same person you were when you were eighteen or nineteen or twenty. You and Oliver are really good friends, and also really attractive people. That’s all. I am shutting up now.”

“I drew him this morning,” I say. “Whorelow, he took his shirt off.” Her eyes dart to mine, and I whisper, “He took his jeans off, too.”

“He took his clothes off,” she says, voice flat with disbelief. “Oliver did this. In your apartment.”

“Yes! I saw him nearly naked,” I tell her. There’s really no point in telling her that he obviously did it to distract me, because then she would want to know why, and quite honestly Harlow doesn’t really know a thing about my comics other than she likes Razor’s muscles under the scales. “I want to say it was a little weird except it wasn’t. He’s . . . yeah. He’s real fit, is all I’m saying.”

Harlow presses her fist to her mouth in a dramatic gesture of restraint.

Leaning in, I whisper, “Can I tell you a secret?”

My best friend looks at me, and her eyes soften. Harlow pretends she’s made of steel but she’s not. She’s all marshmallow. “You can tell me anything, Peach.”

I take a deep breath, steadying myself for the admission. “I think I might really like Oliver.”

She laughs, resting her forehead on her perched fingers. “Lola. Sometimes you’re so clueless it’s painful.”