Kyra Anderson and Simmons Caruthers have been inseparable best friends since they started Liston University, and he just abandoned the bar, dragging his boyfriend Lucas upstairs. “Guess it’s just you and me, babes,” Kyra shouts to Lucas Brown’s BFF-since-kindergarten, Samantha Tryon. She drains her cocktail of the evening, some glowing shit Simmons concocted out of absinthe. “Shot?” she yells to Samantha. Samantha shrugs. “Why not?” she yells back. “What?” Kyra shouts. “I said, ‘Why not?’” Kyra pours two shots of absinthe straight from the bottle and hands one to Samantha. “Bottoms up, girlfriend!” she yells. They clink glasses and throw them back. Samantha wipes her mouth on the back of her hand. “Goddamn, that shit is potent,” she shouts. Kyra shakes her head in frustration, reaches over and turns down the speaker next to them. “Sorry, I can’t fucking hear a word you’re saying.” “I said that shit is potent,” Samantha says. “N
Ellis prays Quinn will show up the next day; he must have picked up his car sometime last night. He feels fairly sure Quinn will come. But you never know, with the kind of hurt Quinn’s been through. You just never fucking know. He tries reading, but Fitzgerald’s short stories swim on the page. He tries cooking, uses up all the flour, makes a pasta salad, and can’t figure out what else to do. So he resorts to cleaning, even though he pays a maid for that. He’s changing the sheets when he hears a knock at the door, sometime around three. Ellis lets out a breath he didn’t know he was holding. He opens the door to Quinn standing on the front steps, all dressed up like a frat boy. “I brought a suit before you bitch,” he says. “And I’m clean.” He hands a piece of paper to Ellis. “Here’s the proof. Happy now?” Ellis kisses him on the forehead. “Good,” he murmurs. “What a good boy.” It slips out before he can stop himself, and he curses inwardly. “Have y
Henry’s friend Isabel had an art opening that night. That was as safe as it could get, so East went out with both Jax and Henry. They dressed her up, argued about her underwear, and took her to the gallery, where they ran into all of Henry’s friends, other than Audie. East suspected they’d told him she would be there, especially since his boyfriend Calhoun had turned up. He carefully told her that Audie said hello, and she asked him to convey the same to him. She wanted to see him. But they’d both break down. How do you see someone you shared such a hellish childhood with? But all Henry’s friends knew about the three of them. They didn’t have to fake it. So while Henry wandered around and said hello, Jax kept his arm around her waist and showed her the pictures. They didn’t look at the pictures. They delighted in touching each other in public: in East stroking the slight stubble on his cheek, in their hands locked together where he held her. His lips brushed her ear.