Albear picked up his
drink looking intrigued. "So what? You kissed a guy, it's hardly
a crime." He was baiting her and she knew it. But she fell for it
"I didn't just kiss
him. We kissed for like, hours, we fondled, we
"Then I don't give a
shit!" He said. You are entitled to do whatever and whom ever you
want, that's the point of being single. So why are you so
hormonal about all of this?"
Lourdes slouched back
in her chair and crossed her arms. "That's easy for you to say,"
she pouted, "you have like, a different trick every
Albear took a drink.
"Okay, I'll be serious for a minute." He grabbed Lourdes' wrist
and looked at her watch. "Starting now."
Lourdes rolled her
eyes again and smiled. "I did everything but have sex with a guy
that I haven't seen in a million years, he might as well be a
total stranger, and now I'm going to dinner with a guy that I'm
spending a lot of my nights with. Just help me to get through
this successfully, please."
"You're going to
dinner with which guy?" Albear said being a smart ass. It was a
loaded question. She hadn't mentioned to him that she had spent
the wee hours of the morning with Alex, even though he could
"Look, you were the
one who told me that I could handle this. That it was possible
for a girl to successfully live the Albear Sebastian lifestyle
without reaping the consequences-"
"So you wanna know how to pull off having dinner with your
boyfriend without him realizing that his best friend wants to do
you?" Albear said cutting her off.
"He's not his best
friend. And he's not my boyfriend. But...something like that."
Lourdes said sheepishly.
"I think our minutes
"Focus please." She
"I still have two more
"Go on then." Lourdes
tossed her head back bracing herself.
"Are you doin' the
actor or not?"
The actor. That was
Alexsander. Once Albear found out his occupation, he loved to
make wise cracks. "Isn't everyone an aspiring actor these days?"
He loves to say. Total star-fucker, of
"We had dinner last
night. I made him Tuscan Fusilli with the dark ragu
"Ahh, dinner that's so
sweet," Albear said, "and did he give you his cream sauce
Lourdes tossed her
cocktail napkin at him. "No. That was for dessert." She
"No shit?" Albear
contemplating what to say. "We spent the night together but we
didn't fuck. I let him...do things to me, and we slept in the
same bed. Him naked and me with my underwear, but officially
there was no genital penetration."
"Thank you for that
clinical definition Dr." Albear said sarcastically even though he
was smiling from ear to ear. "So basically what I hear you
saying, is that you sucked him off?"
Lourdes shook her head
refusing to answer.
"That counts as some
penetration." He laughed.
Lourdes shook her head
"One more question."
Lourdes repeated, finishing off the last of her
"How soon do you think
he will to make another move on you?"
"Well Halloween is
coming up and we are both invited to the same parties all week.
And, we will both be completely
"That's my girl."
Albear smiled clinking her empty glass.
Lourdes walked alone
down the block, away from the bar and back to the residential
neighborhood. She passed Albear's car, leaving him to his wicked
ways with the waiter. She was sure that she would hear all about
it later...but now she had to get her game face on for
she came to approaching the home of Thomas and Emma, the more
people she could see arriving. She was only a few feet away from
the house, when she saw Gabriel and Alexsander turn a corner.
They were heading her way, talking and laughing. They were both
in t-shirts and jeans with no jackets, Gabriel was wearing black
and Alexsander was wearing blue. Lourdes assumed they had been
drinking. It was too cold to be outside with such little
clothing. They had to be
intoxicated. They would be in good
walking and took a deep breath. She locked eyes with Gabriel. He
and Alex both stopped talking. He began walking faster, until he
reached Lourdes. He stopped right in front of her, cupping his
hands around her face and drew her in to kiss
walked up the rest of the way slowly, and stood off to the side
of them. As Gabriel withdrew from their kiss, he grabbed her hand
pulling her up the steps to the house. "Alright then?" He said in
his thick British accent. The sound of his voice never got old.
She was a sucker for accents. Gabriel's soft brown hair was a
little too long and he needed a haircut, but it was brushed back
perfectly into place. He was a little pale and looked like he
only survived on beer and nibbles the whole time he was away.
Lourdes hadn't seen him for two weeks. A sports writer. Gabriel
was her main man. He was the closet thing that she had to a
boyfriend. But his hectic traveling schedule made their
relationship unofficial. They were
friends...with benefits. The benefit being, when Gabe was in
town, it was understood that Lourdes was
But when he was away,
she could play.
The same rules applied
to him, and she was pretty sure that Gabe had a different girl in
every port. But this worked for her. She was finally with a man
that wasn't looking to make her into Betty Crocker. He wasn't
trying to force her to meet his mother and they hadn't talked
about marriage or children once.
Lourdes was in
"Don't say hello or
anything." Alexsander said.
Lourdes turned around
at the front door and let go of Gabriel's hand. She was in heaven
at least until Alex came into the picture.
Alex was a total
cluster fuck. He changed her mind completely of what she thought
about men. He made her see the world differently. That didn't
happen very often with Lourdes.
She had known Gabriel
for over a year, when out of the blue, Alex arrived in town one
day, looking to chill out. Originally from Europe, he split most
of his time between there and Los Angeles, but he said L.A. was
getting so blah, blah, blah, and he needed a break. So here he
was in the Bay. Gabriel had told her that he was an actor friend
of his that he knew from back home and he was fresh off of
wrapping up an acting gig.
He seemed nice enough,
but Lourdes wasn't impressed. She was born and raised in
California and living here, actors were a way of life. A dime a
dozen. Real life breathing celebrities roaming the streets. What
else was new? It was a normality.
But suddenly, life had
gone from Lourdes and Gabe, to Lourdes, Gabe and Alex. Then most
days it was Lourdes and Alex when Gabe was out of town. And
somehow, Alex's bullshit and charm started to rub off on her.
Their interest in the same activities made them fast
Lourdes never saw him
He was her
boys homie, so automatically he was placed in
the off limits category and
she assumed that the same went for her. They had no expectations
of each other, which made it easy for them to get
Boy was she
Fast friends had
turned into something else. They started having private dinners,
where both of them consciously forgot to mention, that they saw
each, other to Gabriel. They stopped being seen in public
together when Gabe was out of town. They stopped going out to
mutual friends dinner parties if Gabe was out of town. Both of
them knew that something was there, but they just wouldn't talk
Until one night, Alex
He arrived at her home
late one night, scaring the shit out of her, because he had never
done that before. It was one of the last hot evenings of the year
before the seasons changed and he wanted to go for a drive. What
could she do? He was lurking in her stairwell, looking very euro
chic, and she was thanking her lucky stars that she hadn't taken
off her make-up. He never seemed like he needed her more than
And refreshing to be
around somebody so sure of himself. Almost unnerving. Sure Alex
was cocky and arrogant, but he had the goods to back it up. And
he didn't use it like an assault weapon. He made you feel good to
be around him. He made you feel good about yourself. He made her
want to be a better person. It was almost as if he stopped time
when she was with him. And when he focused on you, it was as if
you were the only person in the world.
"You seem restless."
She remembered saying to him once they were in his
"Do I? Yeah, I may be
a bit wired." Alex said drumming this thumbs on the steering
"So where to?" She
"The Mallard isn't
far." She offered.
"No." He said. "No
They were only about 4
blocks away, when he pulled over on a dark street corner and
stopped the car. She watched him stare straight ahead looking out
the window. He was silent for a moment. He wouldn't make eye
contact with her.
"Gabriel called me
"He said that, he'd
been a bit of a prick to you this week and he thought that
flowers and something girly would do the
Lourdes looked around
the vacant street, wondering where this was going. "Sounds very
thoughtful of him."
"Yeah, he is a
thoughtful guy." Alex said half-assed.
Lourdes sighed. "Alex,
He avoided looking at
her. "I gave him every excuse in the book about why I couldn't be
Lourdes watched Alex
adjust his car seat so that he could stretch out his long legs.
He turned and looked at her. "Don't you want to know
She swallowed hard.
Suddenly her mouth was dry. Was this really happening? She slowly
nodded her head.
"I had a bouquet of
flowers sitting on the table right in front of me. I was out at a
street fair and saw them and I thought, Lourdes would like these.
Just like that. And so I bought them without thinking. I was
going to give them to you when we saw each other tomorrow and the
very same day my friend calls me and ask me to send his girl some
flowers. I lost my shit."
"Why?" Lourdes asked
Alex looked at her
with disbelief. "You know why." He said.
Lourdes exhaled slowly
before speaking. She had to be very careful about what she said
next. He was being cryptic and she didn't want to make a fool out
of herself. "Alex, you have to help me out here. You come to my
house late at night, you're acting strange, your talking about
flowers, I'm just trying to get up to speed
"Why are you doing
this?" He asked.
"Acting as if you
don't know what's going on here?"
"Alex if you have
something to say to me, I wish you would just say it. Because I
really don't see what the problem is."
"How often do you
think about us sleeping together?" He asked.
There it was. Finally
the first admittance, from one of them. But it came like a slap
in the face.
She sat back in her
seat, having no idea what to say. She couldn't believe he was
asking her this. She had to be dreaming. She, had this dream
before, only without the dark vacant street. After pausing for
what seemed like forever, she turned to look at him. "What color
were the flowers?"
Alex let out a nervous
laugh. "White. They were white." He said, drumming his hands on
the steering wheel again.
"Were they lilies or
"Did you not hear a
word I said?" He asked.
Lourdes looked down at
her hands in her lap almost defeated. She studied her dark red
fingernails. This was going to happen and one of them finally had
the balls to do something about it. She couldn't run from it
anymore. Didn't want to. It was time to face up to the demons
that tempt her. "I think about it all the time." She spoke
his seat belt and leaned over and kissed her. It was just like
she thought it would be. Soft and passionate. He smelled like
baby powder. He pulled back in his seat. "If you want me to stop,
you have to be the one to say so right now, or else this really
means that we're gonna do this."
Lourdes leaned over
and kissed him back. This time his kiss wasn't so soft, it was
wet and hungry. He put his fingers around her neck and pulled her
close to him. Alex was always so gentle with her, but being with
him like this, she could feel the full strength of his size. His
power. Lourdes knew in that very moment, she was a goner. She was
hooked. Ever since that night in the car, they had only been
contemplating sin. Up until last night...
With the heels she had
on, she was so tall that she was almost face to face with
Alexsander, so she quickly gave him a peck on the cheek. "I'm
sorry love, hi, how are you?" Lourdes asked.
Alexsander didn't get
a chance to answer, Emma opened the front door. "Three lovely
people all at once! Please come in." Lourdes walked in first and
gave Emma a hug. Gabe and Alex followed in behind
"Thomas is in the
kitchen making a mess, or at least it'll do until the mess get's
here. We could really use a professionals help, if you don't
mind." Emma pleaded.
"Looks like my
services are needed." Lourdes smiled at the guys, excusing
herself. She put her jacket in the coatroom and let Emma lead the
way to the kitchen with Thomas.
After the tiny crisis
was averted, Lourdes and Thomas joined the guest in the dining
room. There was assigned seating and as luck would have it, she
was placed in between Alex and Stacy, another friend of
Thomas and Emma were
good friends of Gabriel's. His grown-up friends. Gabe would say.
Married up right and proper. Good influences. Lourdes had seen
them at least once a month since she and Gabe started hanging
out. She thought that they were hilarious and they adored her.
They owned a very upscale doggie day care, but had no pets of
their own. Total laugh riot.
Thomas was sitting at
the head of the table and Emma opposite him. Everybody was
starting with soup and salad and chatting amongst
Alex reached under the
table and put his hand on Lourdes' leg. It gave her quite a
fright and she tried not to let it show. He smiled to himself
without looking at her. She kicked his leg softly but firmly
under the table and wiggled her thigh free.
"Did anybody hear the
news today about that poor boy at Pride Diner?" Emma asked to
anybody in the room.
"Yes I saw it on the
news this morning." Keith, the guy that Gabe was sitting next to
said. "What did they say, he was strangled or something
"Hmm, no he was shot."
Lourdes said volunteering what she knew. "I was there this
"You were?" Gabriel
and Alex both said, in shock, in unison. They both looked at each
other. Emma started laughing.
"Yeah, I was meeting
some friends for breakfast," Lourdes continued, trying to bypass
that awkward moment, "and when I arrived they were bagging and
"Wait, so you saw him
up close?" Stacy asked in her mousy voice.
"Where was he shot?"
"What time were you
there?" Gabe asked.
at her also, raising one eyebrow wanting to know the answer to
that question too. Around the time I skipped out on
thought to herself.
"More importantly, you
eat at Pride Diner?" Thomas asked.
laughed and Lourdes chimed in with them, even though she was
cringing on the inside. She knew what he meant. She was sure none
of them would be caught dead on that side of
town. With those type of
people. She sighed
and looked down at her food. She'd lost her appetite. Fifteen
minutes into the party and she wished she was with
street from Thomas and Emma's, Lourdes walked silently next to
Alexsander. It was late. After 10 pm The night was ending or just
getting started, depending on how you looked at it. He told her,
he would keep her company while she walked to the store to get
some smokes. Gabriel was wasted back at the house, having a very
intense debate about golf with Thomas. Normally he wasn't this
boring, but it was his job, and it made him happy. Lourdes was
climbing the walls wanting to put a gun to her head if she had to
hear another word about the green, or par 4,
"You haven't said much
tonight." Alex said studying her.
"Hmm?" Lourdes looked
up, coming out of her thoughts. God he was gorgeous.
Unfortunately, he arrived in town the last time, with almost no
hair. The beautiful blonde locks were gone. But he was still hot.
His chin had the makings of a goatee and he was smiling at her
with his icy blue eyes. Alex was hot in a completely different
way from Gabriel. They were both tall, but Alex had Gabe beat by
at least 5 inches. Gabe's British accent was hotter but Alex's
Swedish accent came very close. Alex on the other hand, spoke
most days without an European accent. And she found it comical
that he needed a southern accent for the show he's
When they go out, Alex
will only talk with an American accent, complete conversations
with him never talking in his Swedish voice. In the beginning she
was a little weirded out by it, but he liked people mistaking him
for an actual American. Perish the thought. Lourdes thought it
was ridiculous, but of course, she would never have to know what
it's like trying to crossover and be accepted in that
She was born
But all in all, she
thought the American southern accent was almost hotter than his
Of course Gabe and
Alex's personalities were totally different. Sure they have
things in common, being friends for so many years, but Lourdes
thought of them like night and day.
"Did you hear me? I
said you haven't said much tonight."
"I'm sorry, I feel
like I haven't stopped talking."
He laughed, shaking
his head. "You've barely said a word tonight." He playfully
nudged her with his shoulder. "Is it me?"
"No of course not."
She said quickly. But maybe...it was...him.
"Because we agreed to
act normal." He said.
"But you're not acting
"It's okay to talk to
me when we get back."
"Alex, I said I'm
He gently grabbed her
arm to stop her from walking, turning her to face him. They had
stopped in front of the liquor store.
"Look I know last
"Last night was
"Will you stop saying
fine." He said.
She let out a nervous
sigh. He was still holding her arm. He released his grip but took
a hold of her hand. She looked around quickly making sure nobody
was watching. They were too far away from the house to be seen by
"Let's just clear the
air right now before we get back." He said.
She stared into his
eyes. The way he was looking at her made her feel light
This definitely wasn't
"I thought we were
going to have some fun." He said.
He was searching her
eyes for something. Any kind of
"I guess you want to
start playing." She smiled.
He smiled even bigger.
"Yes I want to play. I want to, bad."
She took a step closer
to him. "Well I love games."
He put his hands on
her hips and closed the gap between them. She couldn't breathe.
She tried to look around inhaling the cold night air. No oxygen
was going to her brain.
"After the party-" He
started to say.
"Alex no." She said
cutting him off.
"Come on, Gabe's
wasted, we can drop him off and then we'll go anywhere you
"Alex no." She could
barely choke the words out. It was all she could do from
fainting. His hips were pressing so hard against hers. It was
obvious that he didn't want to wait.
"I'm on a mission." He
"Yeah, I know!" She
said giggling. She took a step back. She couldn't help herself.
Finally, the blood was rushing back to her
He let out a relieved
sigh, happy to see the girl he thought he knew. He grabbed her by
her coat and pulled her back close to him. He leaned in as if he
was going to kiss her, but he stopped inches away from her lips.
"Listen," he said speaking very soft and quietly, "can't we
"Can't we just what?"
She gushed. "Drop off Gabriel and then go back to your place and
fuck our brains out?"
He was still holding
her by her coat, not letting go. He tilted his head and kissed
her right ear with his wet lips. Then he gently bit down softly
on her earlobe. And to think, she was kicking herself for
forgetting her earrings.
"Yeah, something like
that." He whispered in her ear.
It sent a rush of
tingles through her body. She was on fire. This is how they got
into trouble the night before.
"We had an agreement."
She said. "No fucking around when Gabe is in town." She closed
her eyes inhaling his sent.
"He's three sheets to
the wind, we'll drop him off and he'll take us out for breakfast
in the morning thanking us for tucking him into bed
back from him, amazed that he could be so worry free about all of
this. "That still doesn't make it right. And the first thing that
he's gonna want to know is who tucked
into bed after him. Listen," she said
slinking back closer to him, wanting him to keep interest but be
patient, "you've indicated your interest, and I've acknowledged
"And now I want it
bad." He said clearly not willing to be
"You don't hold back."
"Is that a problem for
"No." She said
smiling. "Promise me you'll always be like
walked away from her giving her a devilish smile and went into
the store. When he came back out, he slipped the smokes in her
pocket, then he looped his arm around hers without saying
anything and they walked back to the house arm and arm. Once they
reached the bottom of the steps, Lourdes could hear music still
going and people laughing on the inside. They both stopped and
paused. Her cell phone chimed. She opened it and saw a text from
Albear. Just left Hardy Boys. On my way to Sin City,
I'm coming to get you. Still at the same
texted back yes.
"No, all good." She
smiled, quickly slipping her phone back into her pocket. They
walked up the stairs and went into the
Back inside, everybody
was having a good time. Thomas and Gabe were still deep in
conversation but they had moved on to football. They were a
little loud off the fumes, but in high spirits. Emma and Stacy
were standing over by the fireplace gossiping about something,
and Keith was in the hallway talking on his
Lourdes walked away
from Alex and over to Emma.
"Lovely time ladies,
but I think I'm off."
"So soon?" Stacy
"They've been here for
hours." Emma laughed. "No seriously, Lourdes we didn't mean to
keep you here all night." She leaned in and kissed her on each
cheek. "Call me next week, we'll do lunch."
"Thanks for having me.
Everything was great." She said. "Bye
Stacy waved goodbye
and Lourdes turned to head towards Gabriel. She was a few feet
away from him when Alex stopped her.
"My phone battery
seems to be dead. Can I use yours?"
She pulled her phone
out of her pocket and handed it to him.
"Thanks." He said
walking away from her dialing a number.
She turned back to
Gabriel and Thomas. They both looked up as she approached
"I think I"m gonna
call it a night boys."
Gabe stood up taking
both of her hands with his. "Need a lift
She shook her head no.
"I got a ride coming." She leaned close and he kissed her
goodnight. She pulled him closer for a hug and signaled Thomas to
cut off the alcohol. He nodded his head, pushing up his glasses
She pulled back from
Gabe and began heading for the door. Once her coat was on and she
was back down the steps, she glanced at her watch. It was coming
up on 11p.m. but things would just be getting started at Sin
The door slammed
behind her and Alexsander came jogging down the steps. He handed
her back the phone.
"Oh thanks, it slipped
my mind." She said.
"Maybe you have other
things on it." He offered.
She smiled, he was
"Going home?" He
She smiled again and
he laughed. "You know," she said standing very close to him,
"there is something terribly consistent about
"I'll take that as a
compliment." He said sarcastically. But he took a step
They were standing too
close to be just friends. Lourdes knew she should take a step
back, but she didn't want to. She was almost daring him to do
something. He wouldn't dare, not with Gabe on the other side of
that door. She leaned in closer to him, giving him her best come
Just then a car honked
it's horn. Lourdes spun around and recognized Albear's black
classic Mustang immediately. His tinted windows were rolled up
and fogged so you couldn't see inside. She turned back to Alex,
Alex started to open
his mouth to stop her, but Lourdes turned and walked away. If she
didn't get into the car that very moment, Albear would be all
over them in ten seconds flat.
"Yeah bye." He
Lourdes walked to the
car, opened the door and hopped in. She turned to say hello and
was greeted with a very big kiss on the mouth by Albear. She let
out a nervous laugh. "Hi, hello!" She tried not to blush. She
wasn't flustered because he kissed her. In fact, Albear kissed
her all the time, but never before in front of
This was the first
time that they had gotten a look at each
"Let's go babe."
Albear said looking past her at Alex.
She closed the car
door, catching a glance of that same raised eyebrow from
"You think he's
jealous?" Albear laughed and sped away down the street. "So how
was dinner?" He asked politely, even though he wasn't the
slightest bit interested.
"It was fabulous."
Lourdes said looking out the window.
Albear grunted as if
he didn't believe her. "That's swell." He
"How was your little
slice of cake?" She asked referring to the
"Do you really want to
"Not at all." She
said. "Spare me the explicit details."
"Okay, well I'm
waiting." Albear said. He was quiet for a moment.
"Well what?" Lourdes
asked stalling for time, she knew what was
"Are you going to tell
me who that was you were talking to?"
They stopped at a red
light and he turned to face her.
She began to smile
"Oh shit, that was him
"It was wasn't it?" He
said starting to playfully poke her.
"Stop!" She screamed
trying to knock his hand away. "Albear stop, yes it was him, it
was Alex, now focus on the road!"
pulled off at the green light. "I knew it." He said. "So what
were you doing out there
"He borrowed my phone,
he was giving it back."
like he was giving you more
than that. And it didn't look like you two were talking about
"That's because we
weren't." She looked at Albear smiling proudly. "So what do you
"Ha!" He said, "You
didn't tell me he was so hot!"
Lourdes laughed. "Was
that ever in question?"
"Well you know how it
is when you want cock, all your morals and values go right out
the window. But considering the risk you are taking to your
current relationship, and the type of expectations you have with
men, I thought he might be mind-blowing."
Lourdes smiled. If
Albear was impressed then she knew that she had done
"You know," he said,
"if it was me, my dick would have been up his ass the first time
I met him. What the fuck are you waiting
"I'm not interested in
fucking him up the ass." She said smartly. "And I'm not looking
to do him in poor taste."
Albear stopped at
another red light. He put one cold hand around the back of her
neck and yanked her over to him. "Well see, that's what you're
doing wrong. Because you don't want a piece of ass in good taste,
you want an ass that taste good."
screamed again slapping his hand away. "Stop being gross and let
Albear let go laughing
and started driving again. "So where was Mr. ESPN in the middle
of all of this?" He asked referring to
sports." She replied flatly.
"Wow," he said, "I'm
surprised you didn't call me to come and get you
Lourdes smirked. She
nodded her head in agreement.
Stacy the bartender
was looking out the window at Alexsander. He was watching Lourdes
drive off down the street with some hot guy. Good of him to see
her off safely. Everybody had nothing but good things to say
about Alex, but she was skeptical, being that he was an actor.
She wondered if he could be a bad boy in other ways. She thought
that they had shared a moment together earlier that night and she
was looking to see if he was interested. He was still staring
down the block. The car had to have been gone by now. She
wondered what he was thinking about.
"Go on then." Emma
said coming out of nowhere, long blonde hair flowing down her
back and hugging her from behind. "This is your
"Shh." Stacy said,
"He's not gonna bite,"
Emma said, "not unless you want him too." They both started
"Go on." Emma urged
her. "You may not get another chance to be alone with
Stacy straightened out
her jeans and tank top, pushed up her boobs and fluffed out her
short brown hair. She opened the front door and came bouncing
down the steps. Alex turned and watched her walk down the last
"Got a light?" She
He pulled out his
lighter and handed it to her.
"Got a cigarette?" She
He smiled at her and
offered her one. He was being friendly, but he seemed
"Thanks." She said
putting one hand on his while pulling the cigarette out. He was
watching her but she couldn't tell what he was
"You wanna go back
inside and have a drink?" She asked.
"Actually I was on my
way out." He said.
"Oh." Shit, she didn't
think he would blow her off like that.
"Thought I check out
this club. Sin City? Have you heard of it? Do you know where it
is?" He asked.
"Oh yeah, I love that
club!" She said. "And someone like you would go right to the
front of the line."
He smiled at her. "Do
you want to come and check it out with me?"
"Yes!" She said
beginning to go up the steps. "Let me get my jacket and we'll be