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|Hook Me(Men of Inked #2) by Chelle Bliss|
I wanted to buy a new outfit for tonight. I had a closet full of clothes, but screw it, I deserved something special. I worked my ass off and didn’t feel ashamed to splurge on myself every once in a while. International Plaza called my name.
I straightened my hair; the humidity in Florida wreaked havoc on my long brown locks, before starting my makeup. I didn’t wear much to work; the long hours typically had me questioning their claim that make-up was twenty-four hour wear. It never stayed put and caused my eyes to look more tired than they did naturally.
I took my time, gave my lids a smoky treatment to bring out their color before applying an obscene amount of Barely There mascara. It made my eyes look bright and my eyelashes long and lush. Lori texted me that she was almost at my house as I spritzed my body with Gucci Guilty and stared in the mirror, giving myself a once over.
The short, tight black tube top showed off my stomach and hourglass figure perfectly. My tits didn’t stick out too much but would be noticed without flashing a sign that read ‘lookie’ here. My form-fitting denim capris made my ass look perky. The leopard print stiletto heels caused my calves to tighten and pulled the entire outfit together.
I sat on the front step as I waited for Lori to pick me up. The neighborhood was bustling. People waved as they walked past with their dogs and sat on their front porches enjoying the warmth of the Florida air. Summer would soon be arriving in full force and people would be scarce at this time of day. The summer sun felt like a flame against my skin and even the mornings were stifling from the humidity.
Closing my eyes, Lori’s headlight blinded momentarily, as she pulled in. The car shook from the loud bass of whatever hip-hop song she had blasting inside.
“Oh my god, I’m so excited. Fuck, you look amazing, girl.” She bounced a little in her seat and held the steering wheel with a giant smile on her face as I climbed in.
I leaned over and planted a giant kiss on her cheek. “I’ve missed you.”
“Me too, Mia. Got everything?” She applied a layer of lip-gloss before smacking her lips together and checking her reflection in the rearview mirror.
I nodded at her with butterflies in my stomach. “Yep, let’s hit it.”
Lori and I met in college. I was pre-med and she was pre-law. We became thick as thieves sophomore year. Any free moment we had, which weren’t as many as we wished, we spent together at the beach or clubs. We danced our asses off and loved every minute of it.
When college ended and the real world sucked us in, we didn’t have the time to hang out together and drink Corona’s on the beach. We were lucky to see each other once a month and to get everyone together had become virtually impossible.
We could go without speaking for weeks and pick up right where we left off. She was that kind of friend. I envied her beauty though. Her blond hair had a wave that I couldn’t achieve no matter how hard I tried. Her crystal blue eyes sparkled in the light and her teeth were so white they almost glowed in the dark.
“Did I tell you I started seeing someone?” she asked, as she turned the radio down when Justin Beiber started to sing. His high-pitched girl voice made me cringe.
“No. You’ve been holding out on me.”
When most people were getting married and starting their families, we were still in school, finishing our degrees before starting our careers. Families and marriage were put on the back burner. Now that we hovered around the big three zero, we both felt a pang of jealousy and remorse that we may have missed out on so much for our careers.
“His name is Sal and we work together. We’d been eye f**king for months before things got interesting one night when we both worked late.”
“Dirty girl, doing it at work.” I shook my head and laughed.
“Jesus, I can’t even describe what it’s like being with him. The first time I could barely think. We were going over a case. We argued about how to win and he went all cavemen and threw me on the table. It was f**kin’ hot.”
“Mm, that sounds nice. So are you guys casual or are you officially a couple?” I felt a big jealous. Hospitals weren’t sexy.
“We’re not officially dating. We are seeing other people, but then again who the f**k has the time with our schedule?”
“So, you picked a Guido. Hmm.”
“What’s your issue with Italian men?” She looked at me, wrinkling her nose, before returning her eyes to the road.
“I don’t have a problem with them. They’re typically bossy and believe a woman’s place is in the kitchen.”
“He’s not like that.” Her blond hair swayed as she shook her head.
“Mm hmm, not yet maybe.”
“Bitch, don’t rain on my parade.” She laughed.
I loved Lori. “Never, doll.”
“You seeing anyone?” she asked, just like she did every time we spoke.
My answer was the same. “No.”
I tried the online dating sites and they ended in disaster. I didn’t want to date someone that lived with their parents or enjoyed sitting at home playing video games.
My world consisted of doctors and nurses and I wanted to escape that at the end of the workday, not date someone that would want to talk medicine.
“Haven’t found the right one,” I stared out the side window, watching the palm trees sway in the breeze.
“It’s not easy for girls like us.” She threw the money in the toll box and waited for the green light. We were close to Tampa and Ybor City. Ybor is one of the oldest parts of the city with a unique history. Cigar factories used to line the streets, but were replaced with nightclubs and bars.