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Dud to Stud


Women have always had a nasty reputation of wanting what they can't have or have been told they don't need. It typically applies to tangible items such as cars, clothes, and jewelry. More often it applies to the opposite sex. The names in this story have been changed to protect the guilty.

A few weeks ago, a close girlfriend of mine, Lisa and I decided to go out on a Thursday night, which is unusual for us since we both have to work early on Fridays like most of the waking world. Lisa is very attractive, with this great skin that's as flawless as still water, and a Gabriella Reese-type natural beauty, with a mop of curly short brown hair. She is also crazy as hell, and so goes our common interest.

Our choice for the evening was Ri Ra's; there was a vocal performance, and even though seeing live local singers isn't usually my idea of fun, I agreed to the invite.

I played chauffeur, and as I called my girlfriend to tell her I was heading her way, she announced we were having additional guests -- two male friends of hers whom I'll dub John and Mike. They were young, in their early 20s, and were unknown to me; however, I did have some insider information about Mike. It turns out that he and Lisa had one very naughty New Year's Eve romp, and as close as Lisa and I are, she still waited almost six weeks to let me in on her dirty little secret. I like her, so it was forgivable.

Mike hadn't bothered to call Lisa since, which didn't surprise her; after all, one night doesn't equal a long-term relationship, and can potentially kill the chance for a second date. Lisa wasn't offended by his radio silence, but her interest was again peaked when he called her out of the blue just a few days before. Since it wasn't a booty call, my guess was that he had an ulterior motive, or was going through a dry spell. Time would tell.

I picked up Lisa at her condo, and watched John and Mike come downstairs with her; we were driving separately. They had the typical frat-boy, button-down shirt and khaki thing going on, which was fine for the casual evening we had planned. Lisa got into my car, and we drove downtown. After a considerable conflict with the valet service that sets up shop across from Ri Ra's yet won't park anyone who is going there, the Irish-inspired pub turned out to be a blast that night. But it wasn't due to the atmosphere; it was a pretty dead night, and being the innovative professionals we all were, we made our own fun. A couple of hours and several shots later, I think the source of the entertainment shifted from the singer to us, as we were all getting on the rowdy side. Bottoms up.

During our gossip session that evening, Mike and I discovered that he used to work for me during the days when I managed restaurants. We shop-talked for awhile, and then the conversation turned to the very dangerous sequence of relationships, to dirty jokes, and on to the typical Sex Chronicles, which never fails to spice up an evening among virtual strangers -- always a bad idea for a let's-go-out-and-have-one-drink type of night.

I took a much repeated look at Mike's polished physique, and took the approach that Mike was categorically looking quite the stud. What happened next, I believe only another woman would understand. The best way I know to describe it is that I didn't exactly want to go out on a date with Mike. He was more like a shoe that I wanted to try on, but didn't necessarily plan to buy, or hell, even wear twice. Treading lightly, I disclosed to Lisa that I thought he was extremely attractive; turned out she was under the distinct impression that he might be interested in me as well. I was shocked.

"He seems really intrigued by you," she said. I, who am forever guilty of analyzing people to death, didn't see it. Mike just seemed to be a huge flirt to me, and it turned out I was indeed correct.

"I have no remote interest in him," she further explained. "I mean, we had sex on New Year's, but it was no big deal."

Then Lisa went quiet for a moment and asked me, "You really think he's that hot?"

I looked at her, dumbfounded, "You can't see that for yourself?"

Lisa shook her head in agreement and smiled, "Not at all, I never thought about him like that," as she turned to take in another glance at him.

"You don't mind sharing," I said as I nudged her. I'm very loyal to my friends, and would never cross any unspoken barrier over some guy.

"Be my guest," she said without a trace of hesitation, and laughed as if she'd enjoy being the observer. That's what friends are for.

Turns out the observer wound up being me, as I foolishly suggested that we continue our travels to Bar Charlotte, as if that wouldn't turn out to equal more drinks and a more complicated evening. The three of them ended up closing down the bar, while I left early and very much alone. Mike and Lisa, ironically, had a Rated-X sleepover at her condo, while John dutifully slept on her couch.

The next morning as I awoke for work with not enough sleep, an enormous hangover, and thanking God that pure, unadulterated lust had intervened in someone else's direction instead of mine, I called Lisa to hear a Memorex version of her impromptu night with Mike.

Lisa never said a word of what she and I had discussed regarding him at Ri Ra's and I didn't remind her. There was no way I was going to miss out on hearing her story, and how her attitude toward him was now so different. Her eyes had been opened to how attractive this guy really was, and I think I should take a little of the credit.

It makes me wonder if the evening would have turned out differently if I had initially dismissed him as well. *

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