“Door was open. Don’t jump me cause you’re horny and hurting,” Cody snapped. “You know, the rest of us have to deal with that shit too. At least you’ve had girlfriends before and can get some relief. So far, my sex life has been palm action. Got no sympathy for you—none. She may not get a boner every time she sees you, but it’s not easy for Paisley, either. And you haven’t had the shit in your life she has. So, before you become an even bigger prick, think about that for a second.”
Cody had never spoken to him like that before. Kai wasn’t sure how to respond, so he didn’t. He knew his brother was right and it made him angry that his behavior was commented on by a kid. Instead of hitting Cody, which was his first impulse, he shoved past him, trotting down the stairs. He paced the living room impatiently while he waited for Cody and Paisley to come down. Eventually, they were ready and the three of them headed out.
Cody had let Marianna choose the restaurant. She chose a steakhouse over on beachside. As it happened, they pulled up and parked next to Eduardo just as he turned off his engine. He drove a vintage Jaguar 340 sedan. Kai wasn’t sure of the year, but he knew old and expensive.
“Ed restores and customizes cars,” he explained to Paisley as she admired the pale green vehicle.
“It’s magnificent,” she gasped, running her hand over the sleek fender.
“Meet Briar Rose,” Ed said proudly.
“I thought your girlfriend was Kali,” Paisley said with a puzzled frown.
Ed laughed as he walked around to the passenger door. “She is. In fact, this is Kali. The car is Briar Rose.”
Paisley giggled, covering her face with her hands. “Oh! I never was introduced to a car before! She’s beautiful.”
A tall, attractive blonde got out of the car with Ed’s help. “Ed swears he’s giving the car to me for a wedding present. But he’s already gotten six offers on her.”
“Eight, got two more this morning.”
Kali raised an eyebrow, tossing her head. “Well, if I actually get her, I’ll be shocked. Hi, I’m Kali. He introduces the car, not me. If he wasn’t built like a god, and hung like a horse, I’d ditch his sorry ass.”
Eduardo laughed loudly as he pulled Kali toward him. Kissing her loudly on the cheek, he held her as she tried to get away. Paisley could tell she wasn’t really trying, but the punch she caught him in the gut with, was real. Ed woofed slightly, holding his abs.
“Baby, you didn’t give me a chance. Seriously, I’d never forget you, Kali,” he gasped. “The tall one’s Kai. The shorter one’s Cody, he’s with Marianna. And the woman who’s as pretty as you, is Kai’s girlfriend Paisley.”
“He’s being kind,” Kali said as she took Paisley’s hand. “You’re prettier than me.” Tossing her head, she grabbed Paisley’s arm and strutted toward the door.
Marianna walked shyly over to Cody. He held out his arm and she took it with both hands, leaning in close. Ed and Kai followed, watching he younger couple closely.
“He’s gonna behave, right?” Ed asked.
“He’d better, or you and me will gank him.”
Ed tapped his knuckles, grinning. “I knew I liked you. So, what do you think of her?”
“Which her?” Kai said with a smirk. “Got a few to choose from.”
“I think she’s beautiful and a handful. And if I’d seen her first, we wouldn’t be friends.”
Ed laughed, nodding. “Ditto. So, when’s the wedding?” He winked at Kai.
“Haven’t even dated two weeks yet, Ed.”
“Kali and me, we’ve been together just over a year. She’s the greatest thing that ever happened to me.”
“Ditto,” Kai replied absently as he watched Paisley walk into the restaurant.
The women and Cody were already seated when they walked in. Based on how many people stood around outside, Kai was surprised. At this time on a weeknight, there was usually a 20 minute wait.
“Kali called ahead,” Ed said somewhat self-consciously. “She throws my name around like I’m somebody.”
“They must think so, or we wouldn’t be sitting down yet,” Kai said with a grin. “Be happy. The rest of us peons would still be standing.” He gave Ed a playful punch on the shoulder.
The powerfully built Mexican man chuckled. “That all you got, chico?”
“No, but since you could fking kill me one handed….”
Ed eyed him critically. “No, it’d take both hands.” He laughed, shoving Kai. “You’d hold your own. Not that I ever wanna find out. You could put the hurt on me at least six ways.”
Kai smirked, shoving his hands in his pockets. “I figure at least twice that on a bad day.”
Ed chuckled, dark eyes sparkling merrily as he took his seat beside Kali. She and Paisley sat next to one another with Cody and Marianna across from them. Kai and Ed took their places as the waitress approached with menus.
“What can I get you to drink?”
The men exchanged a look. “I’m driving,” they said in chorus.
“I’ll have a Mojito,” Kali said. “And tell the bartender to bruise the mint, not molest it.”
The waitress grinned. “One unmolested Mojito. Got it.”
© 2019 Dellani Oakes