"Waiter, a round of tequila shots for the table." Iris' high pitched voice rang through the crowded bar.
"Now the two of you better get off your phones and get your drink on with me." She said turning her attention onto Claire and Miriam. "And just for the record, you both make me sick with all this lovey-dovey shit."
Claire sheepishly set her phone to vibrate. Iris was right, she had been glued to it since she arrived at The Rose Hotel. It was her first time at the bar and she knew she shouldn't spend it looking at her phone. Claire didn't want to become one of those girls who became so absorbed by their relationship that they missed out on the other great stuff life had to offer – Like a girls night out, with amazing friends at one of the most spectacular bars in Toronto.
Claire was happy to bring her attention to her surroundings; she was thoroughly impressed by The Rose Hotel. It's massive chandeliers, marble bar top, purple leather furniture and gold accents made the bar one of the most over-the-top glamorous spots she'd ever been to.
"Sorry about that Iris. I put my phone on vibrate." Claire said appeasing her friend. She then looked over to Miriam, who was still focused on her own phone, and was even beginning to blush. "Miriam! Are you seriously blushing? Are you sexting over there or something?"
This caught Miriam's attention. "Even better! Adam sent me a dick pick!" She said, finally looking up from the device.
"I'll forgive you for being a terrible date if you let me see." Iris said, eyes gleaming.
"Yeah, let's see!" Claire chimed in.
"No way, his privates are private." Miriam objected, her blush creeping further up her neck.
"Dick pic! Dick pic! Dick pic!" Claire and Iris began chanting, in an attempt to coerce their friend into showing them the goods.
"Shhhhhh! You two are so embarrassing!" Miriam hissed, absolutely mortified by her friends.
Miriam's humiliation only egged them on, and their chanting grew louder until Miriam relented and handed over her phone to Iris. "If you ever tell him I showed you this I'll kill you both in your sleep."
Claire scurried over to Iris' side of the table so she could get an eyeful of Miriam's man. She felt a little guilty for teasing her friend, but figured Adam deserved them seeing his manhood for being stupid enough for taking the photo in the first place. They lived in an era of celebrity naked photo scandals after all. He should have really known better.
"Nice!" Iris exclaimed.
"Eeeek I know right?" Miriam squealed excitedly, clearly thinking of the last time she experienced it in person.
"Very well done." Claire complimented. "It's time to give her back her phone Iris." Claire said, deciding they'd tortured Miriam enough for one night.
Iris obliged and turned her attention onto Claire. "So update. Work. Gabe. Why the hell you turned down my once-in-a-lifetime-sexy-real-estate-tycoon offer."
Claire let out a sigh then told the women about her week. About her trials with her boss and how amazing Gabe had been. Partway through her story the tequila shots came to the table and they ordered another round of drinks.
"Shit. He really had your back after that boss crap. Most guys run the other way when they see girl-tears." Iris said. "Luckily for me I don't cry." She quickly added.
Miriam stayed uncharacteristically quiet. Claire knew that meant she disapproved. It had been Miriam after all that had agreed with Claire's concern about her compatibility with Gabe when they'd been at brunch the Sunday before.
"Spit it out Miriam. Tell me why you think I'm fucking up my life."
"No, no. It's great. I'm happy for you." Miriam said through a tight smile.
"Miriam, tell the woman your opinion. We can both see you're dying too." Iris pushed.
"Well it's just that on Sunday we talked about you figuring out how Gabe would fit in your life..." she started.
"Go on." Claire urged. Iris and Miriam were like yin and yang, and she usually found that listening to both of their opposing points of view helped her to make the best decisions.
"Fine, fine. It all seems too fast. You jumped from wondering if Gabe would fit into your life to suddenly being his girlfriend." Miriam explained.
"What about you and Adam. You were calling the guy your soul mate after one date!"
"I know, but Adam is exactly what I've been looking for, for years. You're not even sure if Gabe is your type."
"Have you seen that man?" Iris interjected. "He's everyone's type."
"You know that's not what I mean Iris." Miriam retorted.
"What was I supposed to say to Gabe when he asked me to be exclusive? After he saw me at the bar with Brandon he wasn't up for the 'don't ask, don't tell' routine we had going anymore."
The bartender came back to their table with a second round of drinks before Miriam could give Claire an answer. The three pastel coloured drinks were as ridiculously stunning as the bar itself. Claire's blush hued cocktail even had little bits of gold floating in it.
Miriam took a sip of her lavender tinted drink before answering Claire's question. "Make sure you do what you had initially planned and really try to figure out if he belongs in your life."
"And how is she supposed to do that?" Iris asked, vocalizing what Claire had been thinking.
"Well for starters, don't keep him hidden in your bed for so long that you're too far down the rabbit hole to break up by the time you realize you can't take him out of the house."
"We have that CFA alumni dinner next week. Why don't you invite him? Lots of people will be bringing dates." Iris suggested.
"Gabe would hate that. It's a bunch of uppity bankers and execs at that thing." Claire objected.
"Then that's exactly why you need to invite him. Claire, our world is filled with uppity bankers and executives. He's going to have to deal with them at some point. Wouldn't you rather know if he can handle it before your ovaries dry up?"
"I for one would love to see how he makes out at the dinner." Iris said, clearly amused by the prospect of watching the poor guy crash and burn.
"You're so mean Iris." Claire scolded.
"Who me?" Iris said with false innocence.
"So it's settled? Gabe will be there on Thursday?" Miriam asked.
"Fine. He'll be there." Claire agreed in spite of the pit that had been developing in the bottom of her stomach since Iris suggested the idea.
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Love Like a Man - CHECK OUT THE REVISED VERSIONRomance
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