The previous post in this serial was an introduction to Andrew.
Andrew, Andrew, Andrew.
I kind of love him.
I love Jackson, too, mostly because he’s based on a guy I dated and loved in that way you love someone when you’re young and free and full of fire.
But Andrew is the person you meet when life gets interesting. Meaning, it starts getting complicated and too fast and you either let the madness swallow you whole or you meet it head on. And deal.
Andrew is all of the fuckery, tatted up, sexy, and smart AF, coming at you full speed ahead.
And to that, I say bring it.
All of it.
CHAPTER TEN – ANDREW
I saw her long before she saw me, mostly because I was looking, completely incapable of casting my glance anywhere but the door every time it opened.
Dax was right. Even from across the room, Jackson Rashard Davis was a force to be reckoned with, stealing the show the minute he and Amal crossed the threshold and entered the party. But she was just as brilliant, maybe even more so in her slight hesitance and discomfort with the introductions and salutations. She smiled and laughed and charmed everyone Jackson knew, but here and there her jaw would clench or she would glance around as if somewhat bored by the fuss. It was in those moments I knew she and I were somewhat alike. Both of us here, at this party for people we loved so much, we slogged through the inanity of the bourgeois because it mattered to them.
I wondered if Jackson knew what a lucky fuck he was?
Maybe he did, but most likely he was past the point of such ruminations. I did my research, Amal and Jackson had been a couple for more than three years, with some slight breaks here and there, but always coming back to one another. So yeah, I’m sure once upon a time he viewed her through the same prism as I, but based upon his body language with the attractive older woman who couldn’t stop touching him and fawning over every word he uttered, I gathered Amal was no longer the center of his everything. Not that Jackson didn’t love her, but he probably loved himself a little more.
Just my two cents.
“Has no one ever told you it’s incredibly rude to gawk at another man’s woman?”
Laughter and a smack on the back brought me face-to-face with one of my oldest friends, Philippe Narcisse, Afro-French beautiful bastard but for the gash running down the side of his face, care of a terrible childhood car accident. We met during a skateboard camp in London the summer we turned twelve and had been thick as thieves ever since. While I was busy learning the ropes at Maynard Brothers, he was running one of the most successful custom tailors in the city. Bespoke was that motherfucker’s middle name.
“Fuck you,” I tossed back the remains of my whiskey and set the glass down on the bar.
“You mean fuck her,” Philippe laughed and ordered a scotch. “And if you don’t, goddamn, I will.”
I raised a brow and shot him a look.
“You’re taken,” I informed as I brought another whiskey to my lips, “and last time I checked, so is Ms. Naipaul.”
“Yes, yes, so I’ve heard a million times since she walked into the room,” Philippe cast a glance Amal’s way, his eyes resting on her ass because seriously, how could they not. “Apparently, she doesn’t do these things. Ever. But she’s here tonight and for some reason it’s a big, fucking deal.”
Philippe laughed mischievously before adding, “I don’t care why she’s here, I’m just glad she is because fuuuuuuck, that ass makes me think some wicked shit. I’m not even an ass man and she’s got me wanting to put my face all up in it.”
“All right, all right,” I glared at my friend and he grinned.
“I knew it, Maynard,” Philippe tossed his head in Amal’s direction. “Spit it out. I know you, motherfucker, and I know you know her.”
“I don’t know her any more than you do.”
“You cannot bullshit a bullshitter,” Philippe insisted. “I want the story, with all the juicy bits, like how that ass feels when you’ve got your hands all over it.”
“Fucking christ, man,” I laughed. “Ease up.”
Philippe leaned back on his heels, studied me for a second, then burst into deep peals of laughter, so loud several heads at the bar turned our way, curious as to his amusement. I tossed back my whiskey and ordered another, delighting my friend even further. He smacked me on the back again and kissed my cheek, long and loud and sloppy.
“Come on,” I pushed him off me, “control yourself.”
“I believe one Amal Naipaul has gotten under the skin of New York City’s most eligible bachelor,” Philippe said with a grin. “So as much as it pains me, in respect to you and because I love you like a brother, I shall cease making vile cracks about her splendid ass.”
“I’m certain the very lovely Sylvie,” I raised a brow in Philippe’s direction, “who last time I checked, remains your very devoted and stunning girlfriend, would love to hear all the filth escaping your lips concerning a certain derriere.”
Philippe stole another glance at Amal and sucked in his breath. “Mais oui, Sylvie would love to hear it and then join in my admiration, being the ass woman that she is.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. He was incorrigible.
“For the record, her name is Amal Warrier Naipaul,” I tipped my drink in his direction and smirked, “and she is the most stunning woman ever created.”
Philippe let my words sink in for a second, took a sip of his drink, and shook his head while shaking a warning finger in my face. I pushed his hand away and waited for whatever advice I knew my friend could not help dispensing.
“Did you fuck her, Andrew?”
“Nah, man,” I shook my head. “Not at all.”
He squinted his eyes and waited, as if by doing so he could tell whether or not I was being truthful. “Did you think about fucking her?”
“The second I saw her and every second afterwards,” I admitted to him and myself, “until I learned of Jackson. And then I forgot her.”
“Now you’re lying, Maynard,” Philippe squeezed my shoulder affectionately. “No one forgets an ass like that. But if you didn’t fuck her, what’d you do? Dinner? Drinks? Spill it.”
“Just a chat, and if I’m being honest, it probably didn’t last longer than five minutes.”
“Longest five minutes of your life, my friend,” Philippe noted, “that much is written all over your face.”
I started to protest when long, lean arms circled my waist and warm lips pressed to my neck. Sylvie. Only Sylvie could make the simplest hello so goddamned sexy.
“Mon cher,” she whispered in my ear as she ran a perfectly manicured hand down Philipp’s arm. “My two sexies. The things we could do together,” she whispered as she slipped between us and settled herself onto Philippe’s lap. He pulled her close and sucked on her ear while Sylvie practically purred in delight. It was sensual and endearing and so very Philippe and Sylvie.
“Get a room,” I groused.
“With Amal’s name on it? Happily,” Philippe joked and immediately pricked Sylvie’s interest, something I knew he intended.
“Amal?” Sylvie’s eyes widened as she played with the rim of her champagne flute, “as in Naipaul? As in Doctors for Hope?”
“As in Jackson Davis’s girlfriend,” Philippe added with a laugh.
Sylvie rolled her eyes as she kissed his cheek. “Ignore him, Andrew, he’s a horrible gossip and probably loves the fact you haven’t been able to take your eyes off that woman all night.”
And now it was Sylvie’s turn to look rather impish and incorrigible.
“Fuck both of you,” I replied and they laughed as Sylvie pulled me close for a kiss.
“She is lovely and her behind has me captivated,” Sylvie whispered in my ear, “but she is very taken and Jackson is very tall and incredibly strong and impossibly fuckable. Just please watch your heart.” She kissed me again before leaning back into Philippe’s embrace.
I touched her furrowed brow as if to smooth it out and smiled. “You have nothing to worry about, Sylvie. My heart is as cold and dead as ever.”
She smiled sadly and kissed my hand. “Well, in that case, my concerns are all for naught, mon cher.”
We chatted a bit longer before Sylvie begged off due to an early-morning photo shoot and Philippe happily trailed after her, thankful for the excuse to leave the festivities.
“Don’t shut the bar down, Maynard,” he smacked the back of my head and disappeared into the crowd, leaving me to my whiskey and thoughts.
Which explained why, when I saw her sitting all alone, I couldn’t resist the temptation. I came up behind her, leaned close, and paused. Not because I intended to but because she smelled like heaven and I got lost in her for a second. Recovering before she was any the wiser, I held my breath and took a leap of faith.
“Amal Warrier Naipaul, have you fucked your professor yet?”
Andrew knows better, he just can’t help himself. Amal is all kinds of magic. Happy weekend, gorgeous people.