The hotel’s restaurant was white linen fancy. Not somewhere he’d get a plain burger and fries. He felt under-dressed in his jeans and t-shirt, however, no one commented about a dress code. After the maitre’d brought him to his table he called Tyler and let him know the situation.
“If I had done it my way, Felicia wouldn’t be a problem,” Tyler said.
“So this is my fault?” Bailey asked.
“You’re being easy on her.”
“I don’t want her hurt.”
Bailey sighed. “And that isn’t your fault?”
“I’ll own my part. Proudly. Especially since I told her where you were.”
“You told her?”
“I told her the city, didn’t tell her where exactly. I planned for you to be home by now sucking me off. Then she’d be in Ann Arbor on a wild goose chase. Perfect plan, until you started gushing over this new girl…”
“I’m not gushing, but you should see her, Tyler. She’s unearthly beautiful. It almost like she was made for people to stop and stare. So weird.”
“That’s not gushing?”
“No. Observing. You have nothing to be jealous of.”
“Are you sure?”
“For me, its like… Looking at a beautiful car you never plan to drive because its just a concept.”
“And what if that car goes from concept, to production?”
“I’m not going to win with you…”
“And her name is Cody…” Tyler had the calculating tone that made Bailey groan.
“Ty, it’s nothing. I don’t want to touch her or hold her or…” Bailey chuckled wishing to be inside of his brother pumping so deep, the guy understood the depths of his feelings.
Bailey doubted Tyler was going to let it go, but he warned his brother, “Meet her first before you judge.”
“You know I will.”
“And be nice.”
“Oh?” Tyler purred making Bailey’s stomach clench and his balls twitched. “How nice?”
“Got to go,” he said and hung up when Felicia and Molly came walking into the hotel restaurant. He didn’t want Tyler making him hard with a group of females around him. He stood and waved the two over. Molly’s face didn’t show worry, but Bailey knew her well enough to know her walk was tense. Molly didn’t seem relaxed in the least. When she approached, she kissed his cheek.
“Where’s George?” Bailey asked, pretending he expected his friend.
“I wore him out last night?” Molly grinned wickedly.
Bailey chuckled before sitting back down.
“Hi, Bailey.” Felicia smiled looking cute and innocent. But he knew better.
“Felicia. What brings you to Ann Arbor?”
She grinned batting her long lashes. “Shopping!” But the girl didn’t have one bag. She took one of the empty seats beside him, while Molly took the one across from him at the round table. “Why are you here?” Felicia asked leaning close to him with interest.
“It was supposed to be a double date with me and George,” Molly spoke up lying easily. “But of course my George…” Molly giggled. “Where is your girlfriend, Bailey? I thought I would finally get to meet her?”
Bailey cleared his throat. “She… She’ll be here.”
“You’re girlfriend?” Felicia asked blinking her eyes way too many times to make Bailey comfortable. She began to play with a lock of her dark hair.
“Yeah…” He paused looking toward the door. “I think…”
A woman in a fitted solid purple maxi dress walked in wearing heels that made her as tall as him. She walked pass the maitre’d without hesitation, strutting like the queen of the world. No supermodel could touch her. With each step, one of her long toned legs flashed under the splits of her skirt. Her make-up was subtle yet accented her already extraordinary features. Even her coiled hair seemed more polished and defined. Bailey couldn’t help but stand as if her very presence demanded it. He kept his teeth clenched to stop his jaw from hanging open in awe. Molly was the most beautiful girl he’d ever met, but Cody was a goddess.
The natural copper tone of her skin shimmered slightly under the chandelier’s glow when she approached. Her hand hooked around his arm as she came to kiss him. “Sorry I’m late.”
Bailey cleared his throat, not expecting a peck on the lips. He knew Cody was okay with touch as long as she did the touching on her terms, but he wondered how much that feather-light touch cost her.
“Well, aren’t you going to introduce me?” Cody laughed that musical sound when Bailey cleared his throat again. “I’m Cody Lynn Delarosa, but you can call me Lynn. And you are?”
Felicia said nothing as she just stared in total horror. She looked like she might be sick.
“Hi, Lynn, I’m Molly Walthour.” Molly held out her hand as if she’d never met the girl before. “My dad actually owns this hotel. That’s why we’re meeting here. Free food!” Molly cheered.
“Oh, right, Bailey mentioned you. Thanks for dinner.”
“Unfortunately my boyfriend couldn’t come. He’s home…resting,” Molly said the last part devilishly.
Cody’s eyes lit with amusement. “I’m so sorry to hear that. And you are?” She shifted to Felicia.
“This is my friend Felicia.” Molly introduced.
Felicia nodded, smiling weakly. “Nice…nice to meet you.”
“Felicia…” Cody held out her hand to shake and then paused. “Isn’t that the name of your ex-girlfriend?” Cody asked thoughtfully retracting her hand.
“She is my ex-girlfriend,” Bailey said the obvious.
“And she’s a good friend of mine. I hope it’s not awkward?” Molly added.
Cody frowned turning her gaze to Molly, “It’s fine…” Cody shrugged as if to say Felicia could never compete on the goddess’s level, ever.
Cody pointed to her chair.
Bailey lifted an eyebrow, then remembered his role and quickly pulled the chair out for her.
After sitting and getting drinks, the night floated by in a weird haze. Molly and Felicia tried to talk fashion and television with Cody. Of course, Cody, pretended to be suspicious of both girls and kept the chatter to a minimum. Bailey had a feeling Cody’s unwillingness to talk was probably because she had no clue about fashion or pop culture. Though she wore that dress like it was her skin, Molly probably picked it out for her, just like Cody taught Molly everything she needed to know about sports.
The waiter was so attentive to Cody, offering all he could, Bailey nearly laughed at the huff Molly was giving the girl. Clearly Molly didn’t like being ignored by her father’s staff and wasn’t used to it. Then again, how often did Cody actually dress like that? Not often if Molly was getting exasperated. Later, Molly gave a sigh of resignation that made Bailey believe the girl wasn’t going to make a big deal about it. That or Molly realized this was going to be a one time thing.
When the food came, Bailey ate robotically. Yeah, he dined with some of the most beautiful and distracting females he knew, yet his thoughts kept wandering to Tyler.
His wicked smile.
His husky deep voice.
His skin against Bailey’s-
“What are you thinking right now?” Cody asked leaning in to him.
Bailey cleared his throat realizing he made himself hard.
She placed a hand over his on the table, and Bailey nearly burst with laughter. Instead, he played it off as if shy or embarrassed or anything other than amusement. He laced his fingers with hers. She tensed but only enough that no one could tell but him.
“Are you thinking about…that?” She whispered in his ear and Bailey gritted his teeth, trying so hard not to double over in hysterical fits.
“When you say that…” Bailey whispered back, cleared his throat, and tried to steer the conversation away from his love life, “Do you mean the hockey game tonight?”
“Yessss,” she hissed nuzzling his cheek lightly. “And how football is soooo so rugby.”
“Is that jealousy?” He kept his gaze down not wanting to show his inner laughter.
“No, that’s me telling you American football stole the name from a genuine sport and-”
“The hell?” Bailey jerked his head back from her and tried to keep his voice low even while the outrage demanded to burst free. He glanced at her evil green gaze. “You know very well, that football is a genuine sport.”
“But you can’t deny that it has very little to do with actually putting your foot on the ball,” she murmured seductively.
He didn’t want to agree with that, so instead he whispered, “Are you saying you’re not a football fan?”
She leaned in, their foreheads touching. “No, I’m saying you should admit hockey is better than football.”
He pretended to think about it before saying, “No. Hell no.”
“Do you two need to be alone?” Molly asked with real genuine suspicion and interest.
Bailey released Cody’s hand, kissed her cheek, and continued to eat.
Cody gave a cute soft snort as she held back her unease.
Felicia stabbed at her food as if trying to poke it to pieces.
Towards the end of dinner, Cody checked her watched and balked. “Almost time.”
“Oh, um, we have a movie to catch!” Bailey lied.
“Oh?” Molly asked lifting an eyebrow. Clearly she knew they lied.
“Don’t mean to be rude…” Cody stood and took Bailey’s hand. He rose. “Nice to meet you both.” She tangled her fingers with his as she stared daggers at Felicia. “Maybe we can do this again sometime.” She gave them a billion dollar smile and pulled Bailey behind her helping him wrap his arms around her.
He hugged her waist and chuckled when she stiffened again. “If you can’t stand the heat, don’t play the game little girl.”
“And the name of this bullshit game? Save your ass.”
He broke out with laughter. They separated when they got on the glass elevator. Cody slouched in her easy relaxed posture he learned to associate with her and he honestly liked her better that way.
She held up her fist and he gave it a pound. “You’re welcome. But you have a problem. That damn girl’s crazy.”
“That’s a little harsh isn’t it?”
“Nope. I’ve seen it before. I’ve had enough stalkers to know what I’m talking about. Men and women. And the women usually stalk me because their boyfriends or husbands are obsessed with me…” She shuddered.
He could believe it. A girl as gorgeous as she was couldn’t go unnoticed even in her slouching manner and clothes. Was that why she hid herself the way she did under those frumpy clothes? To try and hide from the creeps of the world…the creeps that probably touched her without her permission. A protective instinct rose up inside of him.
“Bailey, do yourself a favor. Stop being nice. And start keeping record. If it starts to escalate, get a restraining order. Record how many times she calls and how often she shows up where ever you are. Make sure you are never alone with her. Ever. Got it?”
He nodded. “Are you saying, she could attack me? I think I could handle myself.”
“There are worse things than her attacking you. If there are no witnesses, it could be her word against yours and she could claim anything…lie about anything… I hate to say it or even think about the women who do it but some women lie about…violence.” Cody shook her head in obvious disgust. Then visibly shuddered. “Are you understanding?”
He thought about what she was implying. “You think she’d… No… Not Felicia.”
“Bailey. That girl’s off. It’s always the nice ones you least expect.”
He thought of Tyler and how everyone saw him as nice and charming in public. But the truth was far darker and yet Bailey still couldn’t help but love his brother. He loved and took responsibility of that darker nature.
Then he remembered what Laura said about Felicia being fake.