Getting up, Jay muttered under his breath sarcastically as he headed for the kitchen. He’d obviously reached his Mark limit for the day. I couldn’t blame him. Nick sat up, shuffling over to sit next to me…needy boy. I settled obligingly against his shoulder as Mark stared at us thoughtfully.

“Up until recently, I would’ve said that casual acquaintances beat having a relationship.”

All traces of humour seemed to have fled as Mark eyed us. “But then at one time, I also would have said that the chances of Nick ever settling down were miniscule…but look at him now; he’s like the poster boy for being pussy whipped.”

Nick raised an eyebrow at Mark while I just laughed.

“No one likes blue balls, Mark” I grinned, making myself more comfortable in my seat.

Nick smiled knowingly. “It’s all worth it when you put it in perspective, Sweetheart.” He kissed the top of my head.

Mark stroked his chin thoughtfully. “Interesting.”

His usual playful grin returned. “You know, I don’t mind being whipped, Sweetcheeks” he winked.

I rolled my eyes, even as Nick threw the nearest cushion at Mark’s head.

“Watch it” he threatened, not quite able to cover the amusement in his voice.

Mark deflected the cushion as he laughed. He was so predictable.

Jay returned, a glass of water in hand, took one look at us and sighed. “What did he say now?”  

When we finally got back to the matter at hand, it was Mark who decided that he wanted to go find the nearest park. Was the park somewhere that hot girls tended to congregate? I wasn’t sure but Mark seemed hopeful, and I really didn’t care as long as I was outside and with my friends.

The rest of us had barely risen from our seats when Mark skipped out of the apartment yelling “day drinking!” at the top of his voice.

I frowned. “Did I zone out again? Was there a discussion about whether we were going to drink?”

Jay shook his head. “Nope, Mark’s just getting carried away.”

We hurried after him, stopping only to lock the door behind us. He was halfway to the gates and already chatting up an unsuspecting (and confused-looking) girl by the time we caught up to him. We rounded him up, apologising profusely to his first victim of the day as we dragged him away.

Despite the ridiculousness of the situation, I felt my spirits soar as I soaked up as much vitamin D as I could. Nick slipped his hand into mine and I smiled over at him, even as Mark once again turned an imperious finger in my direction.

“I’m afraid I have to lay down some ground rules here.”

My mouth dropped open slightly. “Why are you singling me out? That’s not fair!”

He shrugged. “You’re a girl.”

“How very sexist of you” I sniffed.

He completely ignored me…or maybe he just didn’t know what the word ‘sexist’ meant. I couldn’t be entirely sure.

He launched into a fairly long list of rules for the day, from “sexy sunbathing” to “no cockblocking”. I was more than slightly baffled.

“Mark” Nick said tiredly, a muscle beginning to tick in his jaw. “Give it a fucking rest or you can bloody well go to the park by yourself.”

“Seconded” Jay agreed.

I sighed at the sudden blissful silence, choosing to ignore the childish pout Mark had adopted as he marched on ahead. I let go of Nick’s hand in favour of wrapping an arm around his waist.

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