Rose gaped. “Are you fucking kidding me?”
“I wish. She was a real piece of work. But his last real girlfriend dumped him for being ‘boring’ and ‘too nice.’”
“That’s not a thing,” Rose said and took another sip of her scotch.
“I guess it is a thing, but only if you’re an asshole. Anyway, that’s why he moved in with me. He lived with her and didn’t have anywhere to go when she dumped him.”
Bayleigh sighed. “How do you share a bathroom with someone that hot and not hook up? I’m dying to know.”
Rose shook her head and propped her elbow on the bar, drink hanging in her hand. “It’s not easy. I’ve lived it, and I have to say that the outcome is inevitable. My bottom dollar is on you guys banging at some point, but don’t beat yourself up if you cave. It happens to the best of us.”
I laughed and waved them off, though I could feel the hot flush in my cheeks. “We’re just friends, guys.”
Bayleigh’s brow bent in confusion. “But he hangs out here all the time. Comes to our events. Like, you guys are close, right?”
“Like I said, we’re friends.” I absently twisted a bottle of Fireball so the Devil on the label faced me with that wicked smile on his face.
“It’s not often that the chick gets friendzoned.”
“No, friendzoned by a guy means that you just end up a fuck buddy.” I chuckled. “I guess I’m just one of the lucky ones. It’s unfathomable to me that the two of us could ever be together, even in that daydreamy, pretend sort of way. We’re too different, even down to our height. He’s six-foot-six, which makes him sixteen inches taller than me. That’s almost a foot-and-a-half. Can you imagine having sex with him?”
Bayleigh wet her lips. “Yeah, I could.”
I rolled my eyes. “Ha, ha. I mean, he’d basically crush me. My nose barely comes up to his nipples. I bet having sex with him would split me in two, if his junk is as big as I think it is based on seeing him in sleep pants.”
“Oh, my God,” Rose laughed.
“So you have daydreamed about it,” Bayleigh said as she crossed her arms.
“You’ve seen him. How could you not? But it’s like fantasizing about a book boyfriend. One-hundred-percent of the time, it’s fictional, which makes it harmless.”
Rose snickered. “Right. Totally harmless, you imagining Tyler’s giant hammerhead and what it would do to your lady parts.”
“Nah, I imagine way more of him in the shower than anything,” I joked, not really joking. “Anyway,” I started, anxious to change the subject, “it’s nothing like you and Greg. The two of you have been through a lot, especially with dating. He’s caring and giving, and so are you. You work together, which makes getting to know each other easy, and you’re equal levels of hot. You get along. Your height difference isn’t ludicrous. Should I go on?”
“None of that means that we’d be good together,” Bayleigh argued. “He’s not even into me.”
“Absolutely not true. I’ve seen you guys talking, and I can just tell. Something in the way he looks at you, the way he smiles. Just because he’s not all googly-eyed or tripping over himself to get to you doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you — he’s not quick to jump into something these days. Rose, tell her.”
She put up her hands. “Hey, don’t drag me into it. Just because we dated for a minute doesn’t mean I know much of anything.” She took a sip of her drink and narrowed her eyes. “I should probably have an opinion about the talk of you dating one of your managers, but alas. I’m out of fucks to give.”
“So,” Bayleigh said, lost in thought, “what should I even do about it?”
“Talk to him,” Rose answered. “He skates, maybe you could ask him for lessons. It was one of Patrick’s tricks to bag me.”
Bayleigh brightened up. “I’ve always wanted to learn to skate.”
“Just think,” I said as I pulled her into my side and waved my hand toward her dream future, or the doors of the bar, whatever. “Greg’s hands around your waist to hold you on the skateboard. Sunshine and Central Park, all smiles.” I glanced over and found her looking dreamily in the direction I’d gestured. “You should make a move on him. Let him know you’re interested.”
She shifted and looked away. “I dunno, Cam.”
“Psh. What is there to know?”
“Maybe that he actually likes me? That would be nice to know before I throw myself at him,” she said, exasperated. “I’m kind of a relationship idiot. I took a job at Habits from a guy who only wanted to have sex with me, and once he did, I got shipped off to Rose to get rid of me.” Her cheeks were pink, and she sniffled, her eyes shining. “I don’t want to get hurt again or taken advantage of. That’s kind of my track record, you know? I just want a good guy who loves me and brings me donuts when I have a bad day. Is that too much to ask?”
I pulled her into a hug, and she sighed against me. “No, it isn’t too much to ask. But Greg is a good guy. He’s not going to hurt you. He’s one of the most stand-up guys I know.” Next to Tyler. I almost said it out loud, but hesitated. Not sure why. I just saw Bayleigh with Greg before Tyler. Maybe it was those high standards.
Bayleigh sighed and pulled away. “That’s true. I’ve just ended up with a long line of scumbag douchers, and I’m kind of done.”