“Yes, the same Meredith from high school. We’ve reconnected with each other.” I sit and tell her everything, from the minute I saw her at Addie’s funeral to our conversation last night. “I’ve been nervous about this trip.”
“You don’t seriously think she’d leave you again for a dance job?”
“I don’t think so,” I concede and cringe when I think of the way I broke out into a cold sweat when Mer told me that she and Jax were going to LA for this job.
“Building trust in a new relationship is a process,” she says and checks her own phone when it buzzes. “My turn to be rude. Colin’s calling. Hey, babe.”
I pull the photo back up of Mer and Starla and smile at my girl. God, she’s so gorgeous. Her hair is up in a messy knot, as usual. She’s in a tight tank and yoga shorts.
Her body makes me want to sit up and beg.
Just as Lena is finishing up her conversation my phone rings.
“Hey, baby, what are you wearing?” I grin, excited to hear Mer’s voice.
“Uh, sorry, Hot Tamale, it’s just Jax. But I’m in shorts and a Nike tank top. How about you?”
“Is she okay?” I ask as ice forms in my stomach.
“Oh yeah, she’s still working.”
“I’m stealing half your burger,” Lena announces and snatches my burger away.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Jax says. “I didn’t mean to interrupt anything.”
“You didn’t. I’m having dinner with an old friend.”
“Anyway, Mer’s still working, but she promised to call you no later than five-thirty, so I’m letting you know she’ll be a little late.”
“Thanks for that, man. Everything going okay?”
“You eat pickles on your burger?” Lena groans loudly. “Ew.”
“Yeah, we’re good. We’ll be home tomorrow.”
“Okay, great. I’ll see you then.” Jax clicks off. “She’s working.”
“I heard.” Lena happily munches on my burger, now missing pickles, so I reach for her chicken burger.
“Do you steal Colin’s food often?”
“His tastes better than mine.” She shrugs and grins smugly. “When are you coming to work in the lab?”
“I don’t get it. You’re a brilliant scientist. I’ve never known anyone who can do what you do, or as quickly. Your brain never shuts down.”
“So you’d rather waste all that brilliance on building houses? You could be doing so much more.”
“There’s nothing wrong with my career,” I say and scowl down at the chicken. “This is disgusting.”
“I like my job, Lena. I’m glad you and Colin are happy in the lab. By the way, when are you going to start having babies?”
“Not you too!” She groans and hangs her head in her hands. “Between you and my mother you’d think my vagina is shriveling up by the day.”
“I really don’t want to think about your vagina doing anything.”
She giggles and wipes her mouth off with a napkin. “Colin appreciates that. No kids for a while yet.”
I nod and eat the rest of my fries.
“Are you thinking about kids?”
I scoff at my friend. “I’m not even married.”
She simply raises a brow and watches me quietly.
“I’d marry her tomorrow and have a house full of kids with her if that’s what she wants.”
“What if that’s not what she wants?”
“One day at a time,” I mumble. “But I think she does. She’s mentioned that she can see us having a family one day. In the meantime, we’re good with taking things one day at a time. It’s early days yet.”
“I’m happy for you.” She rests her chin in her hand and watches me with this goofy, dreamy look on her face. “It’s kind of romantic.”
“God, you’re a girl.”
“Hence the prior conversation about my vagina.”
“There was no conversation. And stop saying vagina.”
She laughs loudly then raises a brow when my phone pings again.
Thought you’d like a video of Mer doing what she does. Jax.
I tilt the phone so Lena can see and press play, and suddenly there’s Mer, counting the rhythm for Starla and calling out moves. Finally she stops her and dances it herself, telling her where she’s getting her feet wrong. The video stops right after Starla says, “Fucking A!”
“She’s pretty,” Lena says with a smile. “And did you see what she can do with her leg? Holy shit.”
“It doesn’t suck,” I agree and smile at my friend.
“This was fun. I want to meet her soon.”
“We’re heading to Vegas this weekend, but maybe next week?” We stand and throw our garbage away and step out onto the street.
“Sounds good. I’ll make my nerdy husband poke his head out of the lab long enough to interact with real people.”
“Tell him I said hi, and thanks for sharing his nerdy but gorgeous wife with me today.” I give her a quick hug and kiss her cheek, then watch to make sure she gets into her car safely and pulls away.
Just as I sit in the driver’s seat of the Jeep, my phone rings.
“Who the fuck are you having dinner with?” Meredith demands. She’s panting and I can hear Jax in the background say, “Not cool, KitKat.”
“I’m sorry, is this my loving girlfriend?” I raise a brow and push the key in the ignition but sit and wait for her reaction. I don’t think I should drive and have this conversation at the same time.
“Oh, you remember you have a girlfriend? Great. Answer my question.”
“I was having dinner with Lena.”
“Why haven’t I ever heard her name before? I don’t believe this, Mark. I leave for a few days and you can’t keep it in your pants?”
“That’s enough,” I bark and clench my fist around the steering wheel. She goes quiet but I can hear her breathing hard and I know it’s not from dancing. She’s fucking pissed.
And so am I.
“I don’t remember being on a leash, but I was having dinner with a very old friend, Meredith.”
“Have you ever fucked her?” Her voice is small and quivering. I lean my head against my headrest and clench my eyes closed.