Match Made: Bad Boys and Show Girls
“You didn’t sleep with him, did you, Gem?” Brooke said in a sleepy voice laced with undisguised disapproval the second I answered.
I snorted, though I wasn’t surprised at Brooke’s question. I had jumped into sex and asked questions later during the time she and I lived together. Sex made me feel better when I didn’t feel good. But later I felt empty. “No, I haven’t. I’m in the spare room.”
She sighed into the phone. “Good.”
“Who’s fucking?” I heard Dylan’s voice in the background.
“Private conversation here,” she grumbled back at him.
“No. I’m over at his house. I was drinking at Fuel, and he showed up,” I said, explaining a little of what was going on with Benjamin, leaving out the gambling, and my lack of funds.
“I thought you broke up a while ago?” she said confusion evident in her tone.
“We did. He disappeared for a while and then came back, and I made the mistake of giving him a second chance. He’s still on the lease,” I grumbled.
“Just tell the manager and move out,” she suggested.
“Yeah. I suppose I could,” I muttered. I could if I hadn’t moved in and been added to his lease. Since he’d practically cleared my bank account, I didn’t have the last, or first months’ rent, nor the security deposit that most places required up front. I couldn’t even afford a place of my own once he left. It had gone tits up, but that was for me to sort out.
“As for Knox,” she continued, “you don’t want to rebound with him. I hate to be selfish, but my wedding plans are at stake. The two of you sleeping together and it going bad could make for an awkward wedding day.”
“I’m not rebound hooking up with Knox. He offered to let me stay over tonight. That’s all. Your wedding is saved, Bridezilla,” I joked. Half-joked. Brooke was being a right fairy princess when it came to her wedding.
“Okay. That came out wrong,” she said apologetically. “I just don’t want you hurt. Knox likes the ladies. He’ll sleep with you, but it won’t go any further than that. He’s not boyfriend material.”
The phone muffled.
I heard Dylan’s voice faintly say, “I’ll go if you let me speak to her.”
“Dylan wants to speak to you,” she said. Her voice was strained.
“Alright,” I agreed. Dylan was fine. I didn’t mind his insight.
She switched the phone over to him. “Gemma. Ignore Brooke’s cock-blocking. Knox wouldn’t mind the rebound fuck. Trust me. He’s over that silly shit from that dinner. You go on. Just don’t be weird at the wedding and we’ll all be good.”
“No, that’s terrible advice, Dylan,” Brooke said once she was back. “She’s my friend, and I want her to find someone who wants a relationship.”
I sighed. Brooke was deliriously happy with Dylan, and I knew she wanted me to have the same. I agreed with her. I didn’t see how Knox and I would go together apart from sex. I wanted more than that for myself.
“Seriously,” she said. “If you’re a little interested in Knox…I know you just saw him again. But now that you have…”
“He’s surprisingly nice.” And gorgeous. Although annoyingly narrow-minded about a few drinks out. I hadn’t been off my head or anything.
“It all just came as a shock, him stepping in and carrying me away to his home.” I explained what happened.
“Dylan would have done the same. Some of the players are a bit out there. Nice could hold an ulterior motive.”
I laughed. It was Brooke’s way of saying “sleazy.”
“But they have good hearts. They’re very protective of and caring about each other’s families. If Knox hadn’t been there and Dylan had seen you, he’d have done the same thing. You know, since you’re not going to have sex, he could be a good friend in the city.”
I glanced over at the door. I had my doubts, though I told her, “Yeah. Maybe.”