“Wait, my bad. I didn’t mean to…” I let that apology trail away, as Bianca headed for the front of the apartment without even glancing my way, or acknowledging that I’d said anything else.
Shooting me a scowl, Raisa rose from her seat on the couch to intercept Bianca’s path to the door. “Wait a sec, B. I mean… do you want me to give you a ride or something? Like you said, it’s late, and you’ve been drinking.”
Bianca shook her head, waving a hand to dismiss Raisa’s concerns. “I’ll be fine. I’ll get a cab or something.”
“Are you sure? Cause—”
“Yes, I’m sure.”
Raisa turned to glower at me for a second, then back to Bianca. “I’m so sorry about him.”
“Don’t sweat it. I’ll see you later.”
The next moment, she was gone, and Raisa gave me a death glare as she stomped out of the living room. “Get your rude ass out!” she yelled from her bedroom, just before she slammed the door.
Gabe, who’d had one too many and had been watching in silence, groaned as he dropped his head onto the back of the couch. “Damn, Shad. You know I’m the one that’s gonna have to calm her down, right?”
“Sorry, future brother in law. I owe you a drink next time we’re out,” I said, stopping to shake his hand as I started my exit.
He sucked his teeth as he sat forward. “You owe me three drinks, bruh.”
I chuckled, heading down the hall where Raisa had disappeared. “Whatever you say Gabe.” I knocked on their bedroom door, two raps with my knuckle, three with my palm, then another with my knuckle.
“The hell do you want, Rashad, I said get out!”
I rolled my eyes at Raisa’s yelled response. “I’m sorry I offended your friend,” I said back, raising my voice so she could hear me through the door.
“Yeah, you should be! Bye!”
I shook my head. “Okay baby sis. I love you.”
The door swung open enough for Raisa to peak her head out, delivering another glare. “I love you too… with your dumb ass.” The door closed in my face, and I laughed as I turned away, leaving Raisa and Gabe’s apartment.
I really wasn’t trying offend Bianca, I was just curious. Especially since she didn’t “seem” like the type to fuck a dude up. Hell, even with the piercings and tats, she didn’t look like the type to do it. So, by my estimation, either she was crazy as hell, or ole boy screwed her over pretty bad… or some combination. Either way, the shit was interesting. Why wouldn’t I want to know?
Downstairs in the lobby, I spotted Bianca standing in the middle of the floor, staring down at her phone like before. She had her eyebrows pulled to the middle of her forehead as she paced, her fingers flying over her screen, tapping away. She gave it a harsh final tap — presumably hitting “send” — then dropped the hand holding the phone to the side as she used the other to wipe her face.
The sound of my footsteps drew her attention in my direction, and she cursed under her breath when she looked up. Shoving her phone into her back pocket, she headed for the door, but I jogged up, intercepting her.
“Hey, listen,” I said, trying to get her to look me in my face. When she did, she crossed her arms, heads tipped to the side in annoyance. I ignored that — and her watery eyes — to keep talking. “I didn’t mean to cross a line, or whatever I did. I was just being nosy, I didn’t mean any harm. I’m sorry.”
“Okay. Can you move, so I can leave?”
I raised an eyebrow at her. “That’s it? Just… okay, move?”
Her face wrinkled up like something smelled bad. “Uh… yeah? What did you expect?”
She shoved her way past me and out the door into the early fall air as I thought about that question. What did I expect?
The same thing you expect from other chicks, fool.
Maybe that was right. This certainly wasn’t the first time I’d been checked for crossing a line, but typically an apology — a sincere one, because I really hadn’t meant to upset her — and a smile was usually all it took to get makeup sex on the agenda. Now, it wasn’t like that with me and Bianca, but she didn’t even give me smirk or anything. Hell, now that I think of it… she hadn’t even actually accepted the apology, just acknowledged that it existed.
Interesting. Really damned interesting.
It almost seemed like she wasn’t really feeling me, but she was trying too hard for that to be true. Even though I knew damned well I should just leave it alone… I pushed open the door and followed her outside.
“So what part of the city you headed to?” I asked, catching up with her on the sidewalk. “You wanna share a cab?”
She stopped her stride as I stepped in front of her, blocking her path. Eyebrow raised, she replied, “None of your business… and no thanks. I can pay for my own transportation, you know?”
“I don’t doubt that. Just… throwing out a suggestion.”
She pressed her lips together in a line, then gave me an absent nod. “I see.” Stepping around me, she continued her journey down the sidewalk, glancing up and down the street for an unoccupied cab.
“Bianca, come on,” I said, catching up to her again.
She groaned, pressing a hand to her forehead before pushing it backwards through her hair. “What? What is it, Rashad, what do want?”
“Damn, I’m just trying to talk to you. I think we got off on the wrong foot.”
Frowning, Bianca shook her head a little. “And you think tonight was better?”
“I mean…,” I blew out a gust of air through my lips, then pushed my hands into pockets. “I guess not, and that’s my bad. How about this — tell me what would be better.”
I smiled at her after that, turning up the wattage just enough to charm, but not so much that I looked like an idiot. To my surprise, her expression softened, and she stepped closer to me, tipping her head back to look into my face.
“You wanna make it better?” she asked, her voice softer… sexier.
“Yeah… what’s up?”
She smiled then, lifting her hands to cup my face. “You can… leave me the hell alone. Thanks.” She dropped her hands, then rolled her eyes, brushing past me as she continued down the street. A few seconds later, she flagged down a cab, and was gone before I could even move.
She played the fuck outta me.
Guess she wasn’t playing hard to get after all.