“So you’re really back in the game, huh?” Eddie pushes the last piece of the mulberry tart towards me with his fork. I shrug. We’re both killing some time by grabbing a bite before heading out to a singles’-slash-benefit event in the Mission. I nudge the last bite towards him. Eddie’s got an insatiable sweet tooth. I wouldn’t even think of depriving him of this last choice morsel. He grins widely. “Just for that, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.”
“What’s that?” I reach for my purse. Eddie playfully swats my wrist with one hand and slips a crisp ten-dollar bill under our dessert plate. He’s quick.
I wrinkle my nose, then stick out my tongue. We’ve known each other since grade school. I’m allowed. He wags his finger at me knowingly. Eyes crinkle, followed by his killer grin flashing perfect pearly-whites. “Do NOT ever forget that EVERY single thing a guy does is ultimately motivated by getting more sex or reproducing.”
I blink twice. Really. No kidding. I roll my eyeballs and start to collect my things. Pashmina. Purse. I’m always forgetting something. Eddie snatches the coat I’ve left by the window ledge. The book tucked in my coat sleeve tumbles to the floor. It’s Steve Harvey’s latest concoction ACT LIKE A LADY, THINK LIKE A MAN. I grin sheepishly and try to grab it from him. “Funny you should say that, Ed.” I playfully punch his arm. “Steve says the same exact thing.”
Eddie’s got an iron grip. He flips open to the page I’ve bookmarked. “What’s this 90-day thing?”
“Kinda-sorta along the lines of what you’re saying.” I’m beet red. Eddie scans the chapter. “Hey, we’re going to be late.”
He doesn’t look up. I try not to fidget. I clear my throat. No response. Eddie’s still poring over the pages. “Actually, this guy is right. Never give up your ‘cookie’ right away. It’s your most precious gem.”
We lock gazes. I’m silent. Then I tap the back of my left wrist to indicate the time. He ignores the gesture and continues, “You definitely should save it for that special someone.”
I blush. Again. I’m pretty certain he’s poking fun at me. “You’re my own personal PSA.” Actually, more like one of those afterschool specials. What am I, thirteen? Eddie hands me the book. I stuff it in my purse. Time to switch gears. Sort of.
“Hey, thanks for heading to this singles’ shindig with me.”
“Sure. Anytime. Do you have your game plan down?”
“I have to have a game plan?”
“Of course.” He jabs the the crosswalk button with his fist. “You’ve been complaining about how you don’t want to be a buddy-collector anymore. You need a plan so that you don’t make the same mistakes.”
He’s right. Friendliness is both my biggest blessing and constant curse. I sigh. “What do you suggest?”
“Flirt.” Eddie stoops down to play with the labradoodle tied to the corner lamppost. He’s as much of a sucker for leggy-brunettes as he is for all of GOD’s four-legged friends. “Just a little. Learn how to use your eyes to flirt with a guy.”
I grimace. Flirting is not my forte. Especially not when I’m conscious of it. “And how do you suggest I do that?”
Eddie chuckles. The light turns green. He’s got a long, lazy gait that keeps me tottering in my four-inch CFM-heels just to keep up. “As you’re saying something funny, basically advertise the POSSIBILITY of sex and you’ll have many guys all over you.” He stops at the corner turns around to look at me and grins.
I reach his four strides in sixteen steps. Pathetic, I know. The cost of cute kills me. He gently grabs my elbow to avoid tripping over a nasty pothole, “But NEVER have sex with anyone quickly or easily.”
“Wait,” it’s my turn to push the button to cross to the other side of the intersection. “I’m confused. You tell me to flirt with the guy. Promise him SEX…”
“… the POSSIBILITY of sex.”
“Nope, it’s not.”
“So you’re telling me to be a tease.” I’m sure that my cheeks are fire-engine red at this point. Not so much from exertion.
“No, I’m just giving you advice on how to get guys to fawn over you.” We’re outside the venue now. He reaches for his wallet and motions for the bouncer to reject my attempt at paying. “Guys will bend over backwards if they think they have a chance… however slight.”
Eddie hands the coat-check girl our belongings. I slip the claim ticket into my purse and glance up at his six-foot-four frame. I quickly bat my eyelashes. He grins like a proud Papa and rumples my hair. “Ready?”