“Nikki, isn’t it obvious that he doesn’t want to see you?”
“And that credit card was for real emergencies. How can I trust you when you go and do something like this?” She felt like such a mom these days. Or a harping wife. What had happened to their friendship? Or had it always been this way between them?
“I just want to spend time with you, Mel.” Nikki turned on her best-friend-please-love-me expression, and for once Melanie was too pissed to be affected by it.
“Well, I want to spend time with Gabe. Alone. You might as well get off the plane right now and head for home.”
Melanie grabbed the armrests as the plane began to back away from the terminal. Too late to fix this situation? Not as far as Melanie was concerned. As pissed as she was, she wasn’t against throwing Nikki from a moving plane. She wouldn’t even wait for the emergency slide to inflate before shoving her out the exit and onto the tarmac.
“I’m not going to get in the way of your time with lover boy,” Nikki assured her. “I just think it would be awesome if we were both dating guys in the same band. Wouldn’t that be awesome?”
Awesome? Well, if Shade actually wanted to date Nikki, it might be fun—until disaster struck. And Melanie couldn’t fathom the level of drama Nikki would invent in that scenario.
“I don’t identify Gabe as the drummer of Sole Regret; I just think of him as Gabe. Your feelings for Shade—if you can even call them feelings—are all about his fame and notoriety. That is the only reason you slept with him.”
“Not the only reason,” Nikki said.
Melanie blinked at her.
Nikki grinned. “He’s also sexy as hell and has a huge cock.”
Melanie released a tired breath. “Even if he does like you as more than his current dick wetter, there is no way something like that can last.”
“Who said I wanted it to last? I just want to have fun. Keep his dick wet if he wants it wet. You’re the one who seems to think sex has to be meaningful and emotional and all lovey-dovey.”
And that’s what Nikki had been moping about all week. Exactly that. Melanie’s head started to swim again. She wished the woman would make up her mind. Did she just want to have sex with Shade again or did she want something more? Did she even know what she wanted? “Don’t you want sex to be meaningful?”
Nikki gnawed on her lip reflectively. “Maybe when I’m thirty.”
Which was in like two years. Nikki had so much growing up to do before then. But there was a part of Melanie that was a little sad that she herself had grown up too soon. Part of her wished she was capable of Nikki’s idea of fun, but most of her was glad that what had started as a night of meaningless sex with a hot drummer had turned into a chance to find something more substantial with a wonderful, deep, somewhat misunderstood man.
“So what if you get all the way to New Orleans and Shade doesn’t want to see you?” Melanie asked.
Nikki shrugged. “I’ll just join you and Gabe. Every guy wants to have a threesome with two hot chicks, right?”
“Not funny, Nikki.”
“I wasn’t trying to be funny.”
“I’m not sharing him.” Nikki had a way of stealing her boyfriends from under her nose, and she was not going to give Nikki an opening with Gabe.
Nikki released a heavy sigh. “Well, you can’t blame a girl for trying.”
Melanie’s head was thrown back against the seat as the plane accelerated down the runway.
“Shit,” Nikki said. “I forgot I hate flying.”
She grabbed Melanie’s hand and squeezed her eyelids shut until they’d left the earth behind. She didn’t let go of Melanie’s hand until the safety demonstration was long over and the plane leveled out near cruising altitude. Melanie let her hold her hand, stewing over the entire mess. If Nikki ruined Melanie’s time with Gabe, she would never forgive her. She would toss Nikki out on the street and let her sucker some rich, older man into taking care of her.
“I’m sorry, Mel,” Nikki said.
“For what?” Melanie snapped. The woman owed her a list of apologies a mile long.
“For loving you so much.”
Melanie pursed her lips, trying to puzzle through the jigsaw that was Nikki Swanson. “Why are you sorry for that?”
“Because it makes me do stupid things.”
“Wow, Nikki, you must love me a hell of a lot.”
Nikki pouted the pout that worked on guys, but it didn’t make Melanie give her everything she wanted. Much.
“Now you’re just being cruel. You know you mean everything to me. Can we take off our seat belts yet?”