Coats

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            “So,” Tyler said when she returned to her apartment. “How was your time at the hell basket?”

            “Hell basket? That’s a new one. It was ok, but there was this guy—I don’t know how to describe him—who was there the whole time and just made me feel uncomfortable. I think he might have been hitting on me, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t genuine. Also, two of those men still haven’t showed up. What about you? Did you have a fun time eating my ramen?”

            “I had an extremely fun time eating your ramen. I expect to get a headache from the sodium, but it’s always worth it.” He grinned, looking lost in memories of ramen-eating. “But forget about me. Let’s think about TV. Or movies. Whichever.”

            Chacia groaned and threw her head back. “Nope, sorry. Not tonight. You can watch the movie or whatever without me, ok? I am too tired to stay up another minute.”

            “Did you have dinner yet?” Tyler reminded her.

            “I almost want to skip dinner at this point. Seriously, I might as well have been dinner to Luca, the way his eyes were feasting on me. Lord, that man makes me want to hightail it back to that boring town I came from.”

            “You’re on first name-basis with this guy? Congratulations, Chacia, for finally graduating middle school. You’re finally looking at guys like they’re guys, and not things.”

            Chacia narrowed her eyes at him and kicked off her shoes.

            “I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear a word you just said. Didn’t you hear me? He was looking at me like food.”

            “Trust me, Chacia, that’s not a bad thing. You need a sex life. Not only do you need a sex life, you need one really, really desperately.”

            Her cheeks burned as hot as Hell. Tyler, on the other hand, was completely unfazed by what he had just said.

            “If my mother could hear you, she would take me straight back home and put soap in my ears. I know you think I’m too inactive in that area, but that’s my personal choice. Honestly, the last time a guy tried to kiss me, I felt disgusted.”

            Tyler, who seemed totally submerged in the world of the Kardashians, suddenly turned and gave her a wide-eyed stare.

            “A guy tried to kiss you?” He asked in disbelief. “You let a guy try to kiss you? When did this happen?”

            “It was a long time ago. My mother told me not to kiss guys, so I was going to reject him anyway, but then, when he leaned in, I felt gross. This weird panic fizzed up inside of me. I can’t exactly explain it, it just seemed wrong. It was like it was something I wasn’t supposed to do.”

            “Remind me again why you live in Vegas.”

            “You know the story. I was bored and I have mama problems. It’s not something I really want to talk about right now, not at this time of night. I am ready to pass out.”

            “Be my guest! Pass out on the floor if you want to.”

            She rolled her eyes at him.

            “Thank you for giving me permission to sleep wherever I want in my own home. I really needed it.”

            Tyler laughed. Chacia simply glared.

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