I'm Charlie, and these are my truths:
1) I should have been a doctor
2) One stupid decision changed my life
3) My best friend, Frankie, kept me sane when I thought I'd crumble
4) A new career running a dating website helped save me
5) Steady routine and burying myself in work became everything
6) A drunken dare on a boring night caused a spark in my routine
7) Cherry pie and a deep, sexy voice made the spark ignite
8) A date at the movies and country songs made me swoon
9) His kind heart, affection, and faith in me made me fall in love
10) The secrets he kept broke my heart
11) Good friends helped me understand his reasons
12) Unexpected circumstances threaten to ruin my life
....Travis has his own truths.
“Seriously though, Charlie. I think it’s time you get out there. Play the room. There’s tons of cute guys in here tonight.”
“No,” I state firmly. Finding a random guy to fuck takes way more effort than I have to put forth.
“Fifty dollars.” I take a sharp breath at Frankie’s insane wager. She knows I love to gamble, and I hate her so hard right now for putting money on this.
“Oh damn, did she just bet you fifty dollars?” Kevin asks, setting our glasses in front of me.
“Why yes, Kevin the Intern, she most fucking did just bet me.”
“Shiiit.” He laughs. “What’s the bet?”
“Grab the next man that walks by and pretend to know him. Smile, laugh, and touch him. Touch him like you know him.”
Kevin laughs and Frankie nudges me. I clench my drink as I bring it to my lips. It’s been a long time since I touched a guy in any other way than friendly.
“Fifty bucks is a hell of a deal just to talk to a guy, Charlie,” Kevin states loudly. “Don’t be a pansy.”
I take a deep breath and spin towards Frankie. Grinning, I open my purse and slide out a pair of reading glasses, throwing them on.
"What the fuck are those for?” She laughs. “Charlie, why the hell do you have those?”
“Why the fuck not is the question you should be asking me.” I adjust the accessory on my face. Every girl needs a cute pair of glasses in their life. Sure, I've had these since high school, but they're cute!
“Kevin, our girl’s lost her damn mind.”
Kevin chuckles from across the table. "She's not gonna do it."
“I’m doing it," I blurt, "And I’m doing it right now. Now… which one?” I hum and spin towards the exit of the booth.
“NOW!” Frankie blurts, shoving me out of my seat and directly into the arms of a very hard body.
“Oof!” I slam into him, then stand straight and smile. “Hah, sorry about. Oh god! Steven?! Oh my god, I haven’t seen you in forever!” I grab ahold of his arm and things tingle inside me when my fingers grasp his very muscular bicep.
"Uh... hey..." His hands are on my wrists like he's actually preventing me from falling. It's probably a good thing, too. Those drinks have done a number on my balance.
"It's so good to see you again!" I let out a laugh and all my focus goes to where our skin is touching. Damn. "So…uh.” I giggle and flip my hair. It's surprisingly easy to play the 'flirting' card with this stranger. "How have you been?"
"God... I'm sorry. Do we know each other?"
"Oh, Steven, you're so funny! Always the trickster." I give his chest a light pat and sigh. "You never change, do you?"
"Um." His deep laugh resonates through me and I grin as he starts to talk again. "I'm not much of a trickster. And my name's not Steven. But your friend Steven has got to be an awesome dude if we look similar. It's the tattoos isn't it? And, um, your glasses..." His hand comes in contact with the frame of my glasses and I inhale while he fixes them. Is that smell…cherries? "I think you knocked them loose with your stumble there. All set." His hands fall and I sigh audibly.
Good lord. Who would have thought the scent of cherries could be such an aphrodisiac?
"Thanks." I bring my fingers up to the rims of the glasses and smile. "Damn things never work right anyway." Suddenly I’m feeling way too awkward to be standing here and everything feels like it's spinning. "I'm sorry I mauled you. Can't say I regret it though." I let out a giggle and wobble a bit.
He chuckles. "Me either. So, uh, I'm not Steven, but I'm Travis, and..." He shifts and I can't hear what he says as he mumbles something about a friend. "I got a few minutes," he says coming close again. "Can I get you a drink?"
I smile and just as I'm about to accept, Frankie barges in. "Jesus, Charlie! Leave you alone for a minute and I almost lose you for the night!" Her arm wraps around mine and I try not to seem annoyed. She's the one that wanted me to do this anyway, and now she's intervening?!
"Hey." I paste on a smile. "Sorry, I thought I recognized this gentleman."
Frankie scoffs at my words and laughs. "Well, you must have been dead wrong. Fuck, are you blind woman?! We don't associate with men that look like him!" Her head comes to rest on my shoulder and I close my eyes, taking a deep breath.
"That's rude, Frankie," I sigh.
"And what do I look like?" His voice is cocky and I like it. "Her friend Steven?"
"Hah! No, my sir. You look like nothing but trouble." Frankie clicks her tongue. "The ink, the attitude...that grin. Nope. Trouble. I bet you have it spelled out on your knuckles."
"I didn't have an attitude until you came along, lady. Sorry I'm not your friend Steven." He touches my arm. "You have a good night."
I reach out and grab his arm before he can walk away. "I'm really sorry about my friend," I insist, feeling mega embarrassed.
"Girl friend, Charlie. Lord." Frankie states, twisting her hand in mine. I shake my head and growl. "Come on, babe. He's gone," she mutters. "Not a good pick, man. Not. At. All."
As we turn to sit back down, Kevin's talking to some girl and she sounds like a bimbo. Great.
I'm still stunned by fake Steven. That voice. It wasn't like the hesitant men in the area I've been listening to nonstop lately. It was confident and clean with a little grunge to it. And tattoos? Yes please. Jesus, why can't all of our clients be like him? I'd have a much easier time matching people.