We walked into the dark, quiet bar and found Brody, Kacie, and Darla already there, seated at our usual table in the back corner. Kacie waved us over as Darla stood and skipped over to me, pulling me in for a hug.
“Hey there, stud.”
“Hey.” I squeezed her back, hard.
Being with Darla was easy. She used me just like I used her, and there were no expectations when we said good-bye. Not only was she one of the women who I’d break rules number two and three for, but I didn’t cringe when I rolled over in the morning and she was still there. The fact that she loved sports just as much as I did was a huge bonus. Being with her was like having a best friend I could fuck anytime I wanted. I knew she saw other men, and she knew I saw other women, but that didn’t matter. We were what we were with no promises.
We all sat down at the table as the waitress walked up and passed out menus that we probably wouldn’t even need.
“Portland!” I jumped up when I realized just who our waitress was and pulled her into a bear hug.
The force of my hug made her drop her pen and paper as I lifted her off of the ground.
“Hi, Viper. Put me down.” She giggled, squirming out of my arms. She bent down and picked her stuff up. “What can I start you guys off with? A pitcher?”
“Make it two,” Brody answered.
“Got it.” She punched my arm and winked at me as she walked away.
“Your tongue is hanging out of your mouth,” Darla teased, nudging me back to reality. I hadn’t even realized I was staring at Portland as she walked away.
“Seriously, dude. Control yourself,” Mike teased.
“I can’t help it.” I finally turned back to the table. “She has an ass that keeps me up at night. Shit, that ass gets me up whenever I think about it too long.”
Kacie and Michelle groaned and rolled their eyes.
“I’m gonna get her. Mark my words, I’m gonna get her,” I said confidently.
To everyone else, she was Anna, but to me, she’d always be Portland. She’d moved here a couple of months ago from Portland, against her parents’ wishes, to live with her boyfriend. Before she’d even finished unpacking, she found out he was cheating on her and he moved out. Trying to save face with her parents, she’d decided to stick it out and keep the lease for a year. I met her shortly thereafter and was attracted instantly. Her long jet-black hair and tattooed arms were my ultimate weakness, and I’d vowed to spend that same year trying to get her into bed, but she resisted every advance I’d made. Little did she know I hadn’t brought out the big guns yet.
“I don’t get how you put up with this hornball,” Kacie said to Darla as she nodded her head toward me.
Darla shrugged. “He’s not mine.”
“Whatever.” Michelle grabbed a peanut out of the bowl and tossed it at Darla. “You are the closest thing to a girlfriend he’s ever had.”
“Actually, that’s not true,” objected Brody. “Remember Kat? She lived with him for like what… five minutes?”
“Don’t remind me about that crazy bitch.” I groaned as I dropped my head onto the table.
“That’s the same nutjob that called my phone, right?” Darla asked.
“Wait, she called you?” Kacie asked incredulously. “You never told me that!”
“Really? I thought I had,” she answered. “Yeah, right after we started fooling around, she called me to warn me about his evil ways.”
Michelle’s mouth hung open in shock as she reached over and grabbed another peanut. “What did you say?”
“I told her that she better not call me again or I’d show her what evil really was.” Darla laughed.
“Okay, here you guys go.” Portland walked back up to the table carrying a pitcher of ice-cold beer in each hand. Between the beer and her perky tits in the same eyeshot, my dick was getting hard right there at the table.
She set the pitchers down and took our food order.
“Can I get a water too?” Kacie asked.
“Sure thing. I’ll be right back with that and then put these in.” She smiled and walked away, disappearing through the saloon doors into the kitchen.
“Okay, enough about Viper’s deranged relationships with women. What else is new with everyone here?” Brody asked as he started pouring beer into glasses and sliding them around the table.
Portland returned with Kacie’s water and set it down.
“Maura’s sleeping through the night, finally!” Michelle said cheerfully.
Mike raised his glass in the air. “I’ll drink to that.”
We all raised our glasses and bumped them together in the middle.
“How old is she now?” Darla asked.
Big Mike sighed. “Six months. Took her forever.”
“Wait,”—Michelle narrowed her eyes at Kacie—“why are you drinking water?”
Like someone turned the dial up on her face, Kacie’s cheeks flushed instantly. She cleared her throat. “Uh… I’m driving.”
“Bullshit,” Darla called her out. “Brody drove here.”
“And I’m driving home,” Kacie shot back defensively.
Brody looked down at the table, playing with an empty peanut shell as he tried to hide his smile.
“No way.” Darla looked from him to her. “You two did it again, didn’t you?”
“Did what?” I was clueless.
“Are you?” Darla ignored me as she pushed Kacie to answer her. Kacie turned her head toward Brody, silently begging for backup.
“Don’t look at me.” He laughed, holding his hands up defensively. “I’m not the fertile one.”
“Oh my God! You are!” Michelle squealed as she clapped her hands together.
“Are what? What the hell is going on?” I growled as I looked around the table, annoyed that I was obviously the only one who didn’t know what was going on.
Brody peeked down at Kacie, who’d covered her face with her hands. “Kacie’s pregnant.”
Darla and Michelle hopped off of their stools and ran around to Kacie’s side of the table, wrapping their arms around her.
“Pregnant?” I blurted out. “Isn’t Emma like… a newborn still?”
Kacie giggled as Darla and Michelle released her. “She’s almost one and a half.”
Brody grinned. “They’ll be a little over two years apart.” Kacie rested her cheek on Brody’s shoulder, staring up at him. She closed her eyes as he gently kissed her forehead.
“I’m happy for you guys, truly.” Mike had a tear in his eye as he raised his glass again. We all lifted our glasses one more time.
“You’re such a fucking pansy ass,” I teased as Mike wiped his eye.
“He’s not a pansy.” Michelle leaned over and kissed his cheek. “He’s a sweet, sensitive man who appreciates family.”
“If by sensitive you mean he has a vagina,” I joked before turning my attention to Brody and Kacie. “Really though, I am happy for you guys. Is this one gonna have a penis, unlike Mike?”
“We don’t know.” Kacie laughed as Mike reached over and punched my arm. “Still too early. And because it’s so early, we’re asking you guys to keep this to yourselves. You all know how it can be when the media catches wind of something personal in our lives, and I’m not ready for that yet. Not until I’m further along.”