Silence filled Dylan’s car. It was awkward for the first time in our long friendship. Though he was normally quiet in our group, he and I always had easy conversations. Hence, when I asked him about any job openings at Hill Inc, I wasn’t surprised when he got me an interview even though he didn’t work there.
“So…how do you like the job?” Dylan asked.
His voice was tense.
“It’s ok. I was surprised to see you stop by. I wanted to take you out as a thank you after I got my first paycheck.”
Dylan waved his hand in the air. “No need, Skylar. I’m glad I could help.”
The car wove through traffic. Instead of focusing on the death-defying driving Dylan was doing I looked at him. I’d never really took him in. We’d been friends for years but I realized in that moment I’d never really looked at him as a man. He was cute. Not at cute as Eason.
Dammit. Where had that thought come from?
Shaking the images just thinking Eason’s name caused out of my mind, I focused on Dylan. His suit was clearly high quality. The car was definitely newer and more expensive than the jalopy I’d been driving since high school. Dylan was such a solid guy I’d forgotten that his family had money.
“Why are you staring at me?”
“I was just thinking.”
“You’re cute.” I slapped a hand over my mouth.
A blush colored his cheeks. “Thanks, but I don’t think we are suitable.”
“What?!” I screeched making him swerve the car.
“Why did you just screech? I thought I was letting you down easy.”
“Geez, Dylan. Just because I said I thought you were cute didn’t mean I thought there was anything between us.” I gave him a disgusted look.
“Oh. Sorry. I just wanted things to be clear.” He focused all his attention back on the road.
I took his hand that was gripping the steering wheel in mine. “Look, we all know you’ve been in love with Piper. My thoughts weren’t of any nature other than appreciating you as a good-looking guy.”
“My what?” It was his turn to screech.
“Yeah, don’t try to deny it. We’ve always known.”
A few minutes passed and he swallowed. “Does Piper know?”
I laughed and looked out the windshield. “She’s just as oblivious as you are.”
The silence came back. We approached a high-end restaurant. I looked down at my plain skirt and blouse. The clientele I observed entering and exiting made me anxious. I fidgeted with the hem of my skirt. Dylan pulled his fancy car in the valet line.
“Come on, I’ve known you a long time. You only fidget when you’re uncomfortable. What’s wrong?”
“Fine. Don’t you think this place is a little fancy? I’m definitely not dressed for it.” I looked down at my office attire and compared myself with a woman who’d just walked in looking like she’d just stepped off the runway.
Dylan looked around at the bustling entrance with its valets running from car to car helping people from their overly expensive vehicles. I could tell he didn’t notice the difference. A valet came to our door and opened it for me. The look down his nose told me everything I needed to know about how I fit into this restaurant.
Before stepping out, I turned quickly to him. “Let’s go somewhere else.”
He crinkled his brow. “Are you sure?”
“Sir will you be staying?” The valet asked from next to me.
The valet slammed the door a bit too forcefully and marched away in a huff.
I thought about it for a minute then smiled. “The Burrito Bus.”
“Dis was da mess idea.” Dylan said with a mouthful of burrito.
I laughed. “Yeah well, I thought you were well bred enough that you don’t talk with your mouth full. Guess some things never change.”
He patted his mouth with a napkin. “There are no rules or etiquette when it comes to the burrito bus. It’s lawless around here. Right, Miguel.”
“Sure, Dylan.” Miguel, the buritto bus owner, absently answered as he handed out another order.
“Leave Miguel alone. He is a hard working guy that doesn’t deserve your shit. You do you, Miguel.”
“Thank you, Skylar but I don’t think the missus would appreciate you hitting on me. You warm this old man’s heart though.”
“Hitting on-“ I started.
Dylan leaned back and cackled.
“What is it with everyone thinking I want their body?”
“No clue but it has been quite entertaining.” He crumpled up his burrito wrapper and chucked it into the nearby trashcan.
“Whatever.” I looked down at my phone. “We better head back. Don’t want even more trouble on my first day.” Standing from the picnic table I waved at Miguel then walked over to Dylan’s car.
“What’s going on there?”
“No, you and Eason.”
I focused on getting into the car and meticulously buckling my seatbelt. When I was finally done, I said, “Nothing.”
“Wow. That was one hell of a pause. There is definitely something there.”
When I continued to stare out the windshield while he pulled away from the food truck, he chuckled. “I guess I will just have to ask Eason.”
“I’ll figure out what is going on. I’m good at figuring things out you know. I am a historian after all.”
“Why don’t you focus on your own love life?”
“Ohhh…so there is a love life there huh?”
I shoved his arm as I felt a blush creep up my neck. “Shut up.” Staring steadfastly out the window I tried to ignore the chuckles coming from Dylan. When we pulled up to the building, I tried to jump out a bit too quickly. I’d forgotten to unbuckle the seatbelt and choked myself.
“Take it easy, Skylar. I’m sure that Eason is anxiously awaiting your return.”
I unbuckled and stepped out. Turning toward him I said, “You really are a rotten friend.”
Dylan guffawed. “Love you too.”
Slamming the door, I marched back to the building.