“You ready to go?” I ask Viv, cradling the phone on my shoulder as best I can as I look in the closet. I’m only going out with my sister, but I still want to look my best.
“Almost. Jasmine can’t make it. Bob is having a bad night.” Viv’s tone is so acerbic, I have to ask what her problem is. I know she doesn’t like Bob, and she has a good reason, but this is over the top even for her.
“I know you have a beef with Bob, but what’s up with the attitude?” I pull out a see-through red top over a tank top and black jeans. It’s the perfect combination of sexy and casual, and I struggle into them as I’m talking on the phone. Onyx and Jet are mewing at me, and I shake a finger at them to quiet them down. It doesn’t work, of course, so I give up and let them meow to their hearts’ content.
“I just don’t like the guy,” Viv says, breathing out in a loud exhale. “He’s a self-righteous prick.” She pauses and adds, “Look, I know he’s gone through a difficult time what with being kidnapped and all, but that doesn’t meant I have to like him. He was fine all day until Jasmine said she was going to go out with us. Then, all of a sudden, he had a panic attack, and she decided to stay home.”
“That sucks,” I say, choosing my words carefully. “But, you know, panic attacks come out of the blue. I saw him the night I rescued him. It was a terrible experience, and I think his panic attacks are real. That said, I wish Jasmine could have come out with us.”
“Yeah, I’m probably being too hard on Bob,” Viv agrees. “I’ll be ready when you get here.”
“I’ll be there in half an hour.” I hang up and finish dressing. In the back of my mind, I’m hoping to get my flirt on. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’m feeling a bit antsy after spending three nights with Rembrandt. I had plan on coming home last night, but I stayed one more night. It was really cozy, and Onyx and Jet love playing with Ginger, but I was worn out by the time I got home this morning. Am I sabotaging my relationship with Rembrandt? Probably. Should I? Most definitely not. Am I going to? That remains to be seen.
“Meow.” Onyx stands in front of my with her ears flattened to the side. She and Jet are not pleased that I’m going out, even though I’ve given them several Temptations each.
“I’ll be back before it’s too late, guys,” I say, kneeling to pet both of them. “I promise.” I boop Onyx on the nose and stroke Jet between the eyes. I grab my purse and slip by them, squashing my feeling of guilt. I make it to Jasmine’s in good time, and I go up to the door ten minutes early.
“Hi, Megan. Come on in.” Jasmine opens the door, a strained smile on her face.
“You ok, Jasmine?” I ask, stepping inside. She’s pale, and there are circles under her eyes.
“I’m ok,” she says automatically. “Bob had a rough night last night, and he had a panic attack today.”