The Date

By: J.B. McGee

To high school memories and the rare friends who stick by your side for a lifetime.





Maybe Holden Masters isn’t all bad.

He releases me from our embrace, which makes me long to be back in his arms that much more. Because while I’m in them, it’s like we’re teenagers again for a minute. Teenagers before our world flipped on its head. None of this other bullshit matters.

“Cammie?” Oliver’s voice cracks. My body shudders. If I never hear him again, it’ll be too soon. “It’s not what you think.”

It’s like my arms and legs are attached to a ball and chains, like my feet are glued in place. Trying to swallow proves impossible. The only part of my body that responds to my commands is my eyes. Except, maybe I don’t even have control over those because tears seep from my lids in a steady stream down my cheeks as I glance at Holden.

Shocker.

He’s staring daggers at what I assume is Oliver. Holden’s jaw is so tight, and every once in a while it ticks. I wonder how many of those ticks it will take before Holden explodes like a time bomb. He needs to keep his cool, though. Creating a scene at this function would not only be an embarrassment to the club, to the event, but ultimately to his mother. Holden’s made it clear for years that he couldn’t give a rat’s ass about what anyone thinks of him. That included me up until tonight.

I think.

Finally, my body starts to cooperate. I slowly glance over my shoulder, afraid of what I’m going to see. Has a crowd of onlookers gathered? Did they hear everything? Is that why Holden looks like he’s a geyser waiting to spew.

Oliver fidgets with his hands before slightly moving his feet. He’s closer than I expected, and thank fuck it’s just the four of us. I’m not sure if the space Oliver just filled is even enough to be considered a step. It’s like he’s a hostage negotiator. He’s proceeding with extra caution because he doesn’t know what’s going to tip me off. Or maybe he’s afraid of Holden. If Holden were looking at me the way he’s looking at Oliver, I’d be running in the opposite direction, not coming closer. “Let me explain,” he says. Maybe it’s just the scene he fears I may make more than either of us. Like if he keeps me calm, he’ll keep me rational—like he can reason with me to keep his secret. “Cammie, please. It’s not what you think.” He shakes his head. “It’s not that. Let’s go somewhere private so I can explain.”

I bet he can. And he should be worried because I’m pretty sure I’ve heard enough. All of it makes me want to pitch the biggest fit, but I don’t want to be the cause of embarrassment for Ms. Masters, for my parents. There’s not much I fear more than social ridicule.

Shaking my head, I part my lips, once again sending the message from my brain to a part of my body to function, but the words I want to say flee before I can utter them. How could he do this? My stomach starts to roll at the mere thought of him being with someone else other than me—man or woman—then coming back to our bed. I would have rather him broken off our relationship, but that would have put him back in the situation of being single. Fuck. What if I had not heard this tonight? What if I’d married him before I found out?

Before I ran into Holden, I’d hoped to make a clean break without Oliver knowing I’d overheard. I need time to wrap my brain around all these questions. Of course, Holden thwarted yet another one of my plans tonight. While I know Oliver and I have to talk at some point, probably sooner rather than later, now isn’t the time. Someone’s bound to walk by and see me in Holden’s arms, but I can’t seem to push myself away from him. That probably has a lot to do with the death grip he has me in. I’m not complaining. I get now why babies like to be swaddled. It’s comforting to be so wrapped up in something or someone you feel impenetrable. But more than anything, Oliver and I can’t talk right now because I can’t seem to form a single sound.

The thumping in my chest slows at the deep rumble of Holden’s voice. “I think she heard all the explanation she needs to hear tonight.” Hearing him go all alpha protective male over me causes me to lean into his rock hard abs even more. I shouldn’t.

Oliver’s head tilts.

If someone had told me earlier tonight I’d be grateful for Holden’s presence, I would’ve laughed at them. I thought this evening couldn’t get any worse after I nearly slept with him. But Holden has turned out to be the best part. I can’t believe I mistook him for Oliver. To think I was so blind I couldn’t even tell Holden wasn’t my fiancé.

My gay fiancé.

What the actual fuck? No matter how many times that goes through my mind, it’s just not sinking in. I don’t care that he’s gay. I have gay friends. It’s that he betrayed me. Now, I feel like a fool.

My body shudders. I know Holden’s fingers were inside of me earlier, but I put a halt to it as soon as I realized it wasn’t Oliver. It’s not like I intentionally cheated.

I stopped it because I wanted to honor our commitment. A small sarcastic laugh escapes. What commitment? I lean into Holden even more, which I didn’t think was possible. He pulls me to his side, one of his arms wrapping around my waist, which if I’m honest, sends shivers down my spine.