Evan jumped out the shower and dried as quickly as possible. He brushed his teeth and made sure his room and bathroom were tidy. There wasn’t anything that needed to be hidden. Evan heard her as Jacob let her in. He cursed under his breath. Elani and Brie had done lunch and it had run longer than he had expected. It had made him late. Evan hated having to deal with Elani’s schedule when she relied on his free time.
“Hm just getting ready? What’s been up with you lately? You’ve been late several times for the last few weeks,” Gabby point out as she entered his room.
“Dealing with my sister and her crazy friends. I’m almost ready.”
“Good. Trystan is waiting for us. You know if she doesn’t get a drink soon she’ll melt or something,” Gabby laughed as she leaned against his doorframe and watched him dress.
“It’s just a causal restaurant right?”
“Yup jeans will be fine.”
Evan dressed and they headed down. Jacob had already left to meet the others. He locked up and followed Gabby down to her car. They headed to meet everyone at the restaurant. Gabby smiled and hugged everyone. Alicia was as gorgeous as ever, Rachael was connected to Aaron as if they were conjoined twins, Trystan was in Michael’s lap and Jacob was nursing a beer.
“Hey guys. So what is the plan for this evening?” Evan took a seat.
“To get tipsy and then get laid,” Trystan said as she kissed Michael’s cheek.
“What happened to Darlene?”
“She was a buzz kill,” Trystan waived over the waitress, “shots of Jose Silver for everyone on my tab.”
“At least she kept to the code and waited for you to show Evan.”
Trystan and Evan went back to the school yard in years. They had been best friends since before they could drink. They had made a rule in college that neither would start drinking until the other showed if it was an event they would both attend.
“Hey I never break a vow. We’ll be 80 and I’ll wait for him,” Trystan smiled softly.
“What started this ritual?”
They looked at each other quickly then back at everyone else. Trystan shrugged then threw back her shot.
“Well a very long time ago one of us got a little too drunk, then was slipped something and was put in a situation that we didn’t like. We ended up being taken down to the police station and we promised each other since that we would always have each other’s back before drinking,” Evan explained.
“Wow. You both have a record so I’m not even sure who it was,” Aaron shook his head.
“You don’t need to know. That wasn’t the question.”
“Okay whatever you say.”
They ordered dinner and more drinks. They laughed and danced for a very entertaining evening. Gabby drove them back to his place. Evan kissed her goodnight and left her in her car. Gabby frowned as she watched him go inside. It wasn’t like Evan to end the evening without an invite in. Gabby sighed and headed home.
Elani brushed her hair and looked in the mirror. She applied a light coat of lip gloss then grabbed her bag. She slipped on her heels and headed down the stairs. Elani got in her car and headed to the mall. She needed a few new clothes and a new pair of shoes. Elani wished she could order things off line but she knew that she could not because everything had to be tried on. She entered her favorite designer store and went straight for the tall section. Elani waved at the sales woman.
“Elani, I have some things for you. When they came in I just knew that you would love them,” Diane walked to the back and returned.
“Thank you so much Diane.”
“Not a problem. You’re always one of our best clients and I know how hard it is to find clothes for your size.”
Elani went into the dressing room and tried on the clothes that Diane had handed her. She smiled as the clothes fit perfectly. Diane was skilled at picking out Elani’s clothes. Whenever Diane was there Elani never had to get them fitted. She loved the way the pants fit and gave her curves where she was slightly lacking. The blouses and skirts were just as perfect. Elani loved that her day had been cut in half without having to search for too much more. Elani found a few more things on the racks then checked out. She moved onto the shoe store. Elani bent down and grabbed a pair of shoes off the bottom shelf as she stood back up someone ran into her. Elani immediately dropped the shoes and caught the person before they fell.
“Oh god thank you. I am such a clumsy girl sometimes,” the brunette said as she blushed.
“Not a problem. Glad that I was here to catch you so you didn’t get a nasty bump.”
“Yeah,” she blushed.
Elani winked at her and grabbed her shoes. The brunette moved on to her shoe size for her tiny feet. Elani grabbed two more pairs of shoes and went to the register. She sighed as she headed to The Smoothie Joint. Elani people watched as she ate and enjoyed her smoothie.
“Hey Brie how are you?”
“I was just gonna call you,” Brie sat across from her.
“Small world,” Elani forced a smile.
“So are you going to the Tipton benefit this weekend?”
“Oh I wish. I actually have to fly out of town with Evan. Family event this weekend.”
“Oh bummer I guess I’ll have to call Erika and see if she’s free. So what did you do today?”
“Just got some shopping done. I’m heading home to pack and clean house,” Elani stood and disposed of her trash.
“Oh when will you be back?”
“In a few weeks. I’ll make sure to give you a ring,” Elani gathered up her bags to signal her departure.
“Oh sure. I’ll see ya later then.”
Elani quickly left the mall. She put her bags in her convertible and headed home. She put all of her bags in the back of the closet in the hall then headed to the shower.
Evan dried off and went to his closet. He dressed and went back to the bathroom and pulled out the hair dryer. Evan made sure to spray a little of his musk cologne in the bedroom since Gabby arrived. He padded down the stairs and went to the den. Jacob had already occupied the Playstation and was too loud for him to even think about trying to play the Xbox. He watched as he played with his friends and shouted at the screen. Once he was finished he turned and acknowledged Evan’s presence.
“Hey dude I thought Elani was here?”
“She finished her errands and is napping.”
“Oh okay. What time is the gang coming over tonight?”
“In a couple of hours.”
“So is Elani seeing anyone?”
“Jacob,” Evan smiled, “how many times are we going to go over this?”
“I know. I was just curious. Not for myself. I have a friend Jen who is interested.”
“Oh okay. I’ll let her know.”
“Is Trystan and Michael still together?”
“Crazy enough they are. I have no idea how it’s working out but those crazy kids are perfect for each other.”
Gabby checked her watch and sighed. Evan was late getting her. She was pissed it was not the first time that he was late getting her and he had not called or text. Gabby tapped her foot and began to pace around her apartment. She had talked to her friends and they agreed that there was no way he would have time to cheat as she suspected between work and her. Gabby had believed them for a few weeks but it had become a habit. Evan had made it three times on time in the last week. She was worried. Evan seemed to be distracted and preoccupied a lot of the times they spent together.
Gabby sat down at the bar in her kitchen and tried not to look at the clock again. Her phone buzzed on her hip. Gabby pulled out the phone and checked the notification. It was a text message from Evan canceling their date for the night. Some sort of family emergency. She sighed and immediately sent a text to Trystan. She usually had the in on what was going on with Evan. Trystan hadn’t heard anything either. Gabby grabbed her jacket and left her apartment. She got on her bike and headed into the city. Gabby didn’t want to brood around her place alone.
Elani sat with Aaron on the couch and held his hand as he cried. He and Rachael had a fight and he was not taking it well at all. It have never come up but something had triggered a extremely loud argument over who made more money. Elani was friends with both but knew that Rachael had many people to run to and Aaron was far away from his family and had only a few people that he could lean on. Elani had already been on the way to that side of town so she was agreed to stop by for him.
“Th-thank you s-s-so much for coming by. I just don’t know what happened. It had never been a problem before. She’s always brought home more money during the peak seasons. I’ve always brought home the most money on a normal basis. I’m not sure what happened or what triggered her.”
“You know she’s been having a lot stress at work with Mrs. Dominic back in the world. She has lost a few major accounts and just needs a big project to bring her back around. I can help with that.”
“You think that’s true?” Aaron looked at her hopefully.
“Definitely. She’s feeling insecure because she hasn’t had a strong job but we’ll make sure she gets something.”
“Okay if you think that will help. Thank you so much for being here with me.”
“Not a problem. I was thinking about order a pizza how does that sound?”
“Get me a beer and I’ll order.”
While he was in the kitchen she grabbed Evan’s phone and sent a text to his girlfriend. She grabbed her phone and called for delivery.
Aaron smiled at her and they sat back down in front the tv.