After being stuck in my rut for two years, I'd generally come to the conclusion that I wasn't dating material any more, let alone anything more than that; I'd become as infamous as Cayden once the weekend rolled around, but admittedly I didn't have as much of a reputation as him. After all, he had roughly ten years to establish himself as the biggest slut in Hollywood, whereas I'd only had two years. But nonetheless, people still recognised me when I walked in the bar, and people knew my name. I know I'd said that Cayden must have been so lonely spending his nights in an alcohol fuelled blur, fucking whoever was drunk enough that night, but it didn't half make you feel wanted. Even if you did end up going home with a total creep, someone wanted you. I knew I’d promised Caleb I wouldn’t go out that night, yet there I was, leaning against the bar and observing the crowd. I'm an awful friend. A few guys had come up to me, but I hadn't been interested, and settled for telling them they weren't my type. I didn't really have a type. I tended to just go for whoever made the best impression, or put the most effort in. And it was no different when I met him. The man that would ruin my life.
I'd been eyeing up this particularly sexy little guy on the dance floor when I felt someone standing next to me. I was used to it, what with leaning against the bar til I found someone I liked the look of, but whoever was stood there this time wanted my attention, I could feel it. I bit back a sigh and turned to face whoever it was. Probably just some desperate guy that was expecting me to be like my brother. He smiled sweetly at me, which was a little surprising. People only smiled at me like that when they wanted something. I took the opportunity to check the guy out, and he wasn't exactly bad looking. He was a little too muscular for my tastes, with short black hair, and these dazzling eyes; one brown and one green. His skin had the typical Californian tan to it, and I could vaguely see what looked like a tattoo gracing his right bicep. Not my type, but gorgeous all the while.
"Can I buy you a drink?" he asked, that sweet, innocent smile still pressed to his lips.
"Sure" I shrugged.
He all but grinned, before ordering a couple drinks; a beer for me and a cocktail for himself. Great. I thanked him as he handed me my beer, watching as he sipped at the brightly coloured concoction he'd gotten for himself.
"I'm Andrew, by the way" he said, once he'd had enough of whatever it was he was drinking.
"Hadley" I said, a little curiously. What was he trying to do? In my experience, names were rarely exchanged.
"Nice to meet you" he said, offering me his hand to shake.
Now that was definitely odd. The only times I shook people's hands were if I had to go to a board meeting or when some parents were thanking me for helping their kid. He laughed a little when I looked at his hand like it was a foreign object.
"Not one for introductions, huh? That's okay" he said, taking his hand back and taking a rather nervous looking sip of his drink. "So, what do you do?"
Why did he want to know what I did? "Sorry?"
"What do you do? Y'know, where do you work?"
"Oh, uh, I'm a doctor" I said, still thoroughly confused as to why he was talking to me. Maybe he was new to all this or something, and thought you actually had to talk to the people you fucked.
"Wow, smart and cute" he smiled.
I arched an eyebrow at him. "Look, if you just want to fuck me, can we get it over with?"
"I appreciate the extra effort, but if you're just looking for a quick fuck, I'd rather we just cut to the chase"
"You think I want...? Hadley, I came over here to get to know you, not treat you like a whore"
"Because I think you're cute and I wanted to find out if your personality was as attractive as you"
"You think I'm...?"
"I think you're attractive, Hadley. Why do you seem so shocked?"
"It's just... It's been a long time since..." I trailed off, my gaze falling to the beer bottle in my hands.
"It's okay, I get it" he smiled. "How 'bout we go get something to eat? This place isn't the best for getting to know people"
I nodded, and the both of us finished out drinks, walking out together. I felt the place's eyes on me as I left, almost feeling ashamed that I was leaving with a guy that didn't want to fuck me. Forgive me for having a twisted view of things; being a slut tends to do that to you. You know that people want you, but it's not you they're interested in. They're more interested in how good you are in bed, how big your cock is, things like that. The last time anyone was interested in me, for me, was probably Sarah. I mean, John was only in it for Cayden, so that didn't really count. No, that was shallow of me, I shouldn't say things like that. Now, given the time of night that it was, the only place that still had an open kitchen was iHop, so that was what we settled for. I hadn't been to an iHop near enough since Cayden died. I tried not to let it bother me, nor to let the memories of sneaking out for pancakes late at night with Cayden swamp me, as the two of us sat down in one of the booths. We both had pancakes, and this Andrew guy kept quizzing me about myself. He seemed more determined that he get to know me than the other way round. If I'm honest, I wasn't all that comfortable talking about myself so much when I hadn't in a long time.
"Can I ask why someone as nice as you is single?" he asked, glancing up at me.
"I'd rather not talk about it"
I'd found that if I ever mentioned that my husband had died of HIV, people tended to avoid me like the plague. But then again, this guy had said he wasn't interested in a quick fuck, so maybe...
"How come?" he asked. Okay, he's an idiot.
"I just wouldn't"
"Touchy" he chuckled.
I bit back the urge to glare at him. I wasn't touchy.
"I saw a photo in your wallet earlier. Who was in it?" he asked, taking a mouthful of pancake.
"My kids" I smiled.
"How old are they?"
"Sixteen" I said, arching an eyebrow as he choked on his food a little. "What?"
"You don't look old enough to have teenagers. I was expecting you to say like ten or something. Something small"
I laughed. "I'm not as young as I apparently look"
"How old are you, then?"
"You look good for your age" he smiled, and I felt like I was about to blush. His smile broadened, and I looked down at my pancakes, embarrassed all of a sudden.
"Let me guess, you're in your twenties or something"
He laughed. "I'm thirty one, but I appreciate the compliment"
I smirked, shaking my head a little. This guy was unbelievable. And then just like that, the two of us started chatting, as if we'd known each other forever. Obviously we were still getting to know each other, and a lot of information was passed between us, but it just felt like I was talking to an old friend. I found out that Andrew was a cop, and was quite often under fire for refusing to use a taser on the off chance that the person he tased had a pacemaker or a heart condition. He wasn't a Hollywood native, but he'd lived in California all his life, and had moved out here when he was offered a transfer. Everything about him seemed great. I was enjoying myself until I felt the familiar feeling of butterflies flitting around in my stomach. No, I couldn't be...
"It's getting pretty late, you should probably get back to your kids" he said glancing at his watch.
"Uh... Yeah.. No, I should" I said, nodding to myself as I stood up. Just get out of there, Hadley.
Andrew stood up as well. "How far from here do you live? I don't think either of us is in any position to drive, and I don't want you getting mugged or anything"
I frowned. "I can look after myself, y'know"
"I don't believe that" he chuckled. "You're barely over five foot, and there's not much muscle on you. If I saw you at a crime scene, everything about you would scream 'victim'"
"Thanks" I said sarcastically, rolling my eyes. "And I'll get a cab then, officer" I said, ignoring the fact that I'd gotten a cab there anyway.
"I could always walk you home instead. If it's not too far to walk, I mean"
"We live near the hospital" I said and he nodded.
"Cab it is, then" he said, leaving some money behind for the food and our waitress, before heading outside with me and hailing a cab. "Ladies first" he grinned. ignoring me when I glared at him as I got into the car.