Kate and Lester's place was a thirty minutes drive away from where Mac lives. He told Braylee about dinner and drinks at Kate's place and she was cool with it, but will be following him at eight in the evening. She and her husband were going out for an early dinner.
Mac arrived as early as five in the afternoon thinking that Jone and her boyfriend wasn't there yet, he was wrong. Jone was already talking with Kate in the kitchen preparing dinner while Henri and Lester, who both didn't notice him arrive, were discussing other things while having beer.
"Mac!" Kate embraced him as he came in the kitchen.
Mac embraced her back and kissed her on the cheek, he did the same with Jone who smiled briefly at him.
Lester came in followed by Henri.
"Mac," Lester gave him a nod. "This is Henri-"
"Yeah we met," Mac said anger boiling but her kept his cool. He went to the fridge and took a bottle of beer.
"Yeah," Henri gave him a nod and went to Jone's side.
Kate looked at him then at Jone.
"I dropped by Jone's place this morning." Mac answered his cousin's questioning look.
"He did," Jone agreed.
"Oh," Kate spoke quickly. "Where is Braylee Mac?"
"My girlfriend will be here by eight," he answered coolly. "So we have all the time to chat and catch up."
The five of them had beer while the men helped the women prepare the picnic table beside the swimming pool at their back yard. Mac and Jone didn't have time to talk, because Kate was so busy giving Jone information about her wedding. Lester was cooking barbecue, while discussing the wedding with Mac and Henri.
"I thought Kate would say no again," Lester was saying.
"You mean this is the second time you asked her?" Henri asked.
Lester nodded his head. "But the first time wasn't a formal engagement. I was just trying to fish out answers from her. And she quickly said no."
"So what made you ask her this time?" Henri wants to know.
Very nosy guy, Mac told himself.
"Well, I love her that's why I asked her to marry me." was Lester's answer. "I mean if I didn't ask her I would never know that she was waiting for it right? All we have to do is ask the person, it helps to keep us from the question 'what if", right?" Lester was looking at Mac.
"I agree with you on that." Henri spoke. "That's what I kept telling Jone, if she wants something so bad she should do her best to get that thing whatever the consequence was."
"And I think Mac has to agree with us too," Lester said nodding at him.
Mac took a sip of his beer and replied. "Of course. Telling a person the way you feel lessens the burden. You guys want some beer?"
"Sure," Lester and Mac both answered.
Mac went into the kitchen and found Jone standing by the sink her back to him. He went to open the fridge and took two packs of beer. "Are you okay Jone?"
Startled, she turned to face him. "Hey, yeah I'm okay. How long have you been here?"
"Not too long. Something bothering you?"
Jone shook her head. "None at all. Is your girlfriend coming?"
He nodded his head.
Smiling, Jone said, "Great, I can't wait to meet her."
*** *** ***
Three couples had dinner that night. Mac's girlfriend arrived in a cab earlier than expected, but she didn't ate much because she was full as what she said. Mac and Braylee sat opposite Lester, Kate, Jone and Henri. Was it her or was it too obvious that Kate didn't like Braylee at all because she never tried talking to Mac's girlfriend first, Jone noticed. It was always Braylee asking Kate about her wedding plans, and she seemed to have experience as the two of them discussed. Maybe she was a wedding planner, Mac had never told her anything about Braylee, Jone didn't want to know either.
The boys were talking about the basketball game, all three of them got the same favorite basketball team, and they were disappointed of losing two points against the other team. Jone enjoyed eating silently by herself when suddenly a question came from Braylee.
"What about Jone," Braylee asked looking at her. She was gorgeous alright, almost as tall as Mac. She was the type of Mac always had for a girlfriend, the tall ones, the gorgeous ones. Jone finds women who wear a lot of make up a clown, but this one was different. She wore her make up perfectly, and her lipstick never smeared whenever she wiped her mouth after chewing or after a drink.
"Huh?" Jone managed to answer stupidly.
"When are you and Henri getting married?" Braylee asked.
Jone choked from her food and had to face the other side so not to spill it out in front of her.
Henri quickly massaged her back and gave her a glass of beer. "You alright Jone?" he asked.
Jone emptied her glass and nodded her head at Henri who stared at her and starting to grin. Lester and Kate were looking at her so as Mac and his girlfriend. She glanced at Mac, he looked straight into her eyes didn't budge at all. "When are the two of you getting married?" Mac asked her.
So they still think that Henri was her boyfriend?! It wasn't like they acted like couples, but that was how she and Henri were whenever they're together. "We uh-"
"Jone and I don't have any relationship other than being friends," Henri came to her rescue. "But I have to admit, her parents approves of me marrying her and I doubt Jone would like that."
She glared at Henri. This guy really loves to talk! "Henri's right, we are just friends and nothing more." Turning her attention to Braylee and wanting revenge she asked the question back to her. "What about you and Mac? When are you getting married?"
"Not now," Mac answered placing an arm around his girlfriend. "Braylee here got other things to finish and when everything's done that's the time we will be getting married."
"Cool," Jone answered, she felt Henri reached for her hand and entertwined his fingers with hers. It meant that he was there when she needed to talk anything. Jone was glad Lester broke the awkward silence by telling everyone that there was lots of alcohol ready for them and they were welcome to have a dip at the pool.
"I'm gonna kill Henri!" Kate exclaimed in disbelief as she and Jone came into the kitchen with the empty plates.
"Why what did he do?" Jone asked concerned.
"He doesn't have to tell Mac the truth that you were just friends! I mean have you seen his face when Braylee asked when you and Henri are getting married!"
"Henri has to tell the truth," Jone came to his friend's rescue.
"I know but not this soon! I mean you guys could play along for a few days."
"For what purpose Kate?" she asked raising an eyebrow.
Kate hesitated. "Because I know Mac still loves you and-"
"Hello ladies," it was Braylee, she was bringing some empty bowl with her and placed it on the sink.
Jone couldn't help but notice how tall she was that she was looking up at her.
"So you're Mac's best friend," Braylee was saying, she's got long black hair and a perfectly trimmed bangs which made her look like she was wearing a headdress. "He spoke a lot about you."
"Really?" she asked.
"Of course because she's his bestfriend," Kate grumbled. "And they hadn't been talking for almost two years and Mac missed her so much."
"You're right about that Kate," Braylee agreed. Turning to Jone she said, "Interesting isn't it?"
All Jone could do was stare at Braylee who smiled mysteriously at her and walked out of the kitchen. "What's with her? I don't think I'm happy for Mac to have her as a girlfriend." Jone said.
Kate was busy stacking all the dirty plates and bowls into the dishwasher. "I don't like her too."
"So when will I fit my dress?" Jone asked her best friend changing the subject.
Kate's face lit up into a smile. "Monday. Lester and I will be at his parents place tomorrow and will be back late at night."
"Cool," Jone smiled at her. "I'm glad you finally say yes. I never thought you'd like to get married."
"That's what I thought before. But it's different when you love someone."
"Hey you two," Lester came in and kissed his soon to be wife. "Go get into your bikini's now, the pool's waiting. Jone, it would really be nice if Henri was your boyfriend."
Jone laughed. "Everyone have the hots for Henri! I can't believe that's how he affects all of you starting from my family down to my friends."
"You really don't feel anything for him?" Lester asked.
She shook her head. "Sad but true."
Lester told her that Henri was sitting by himself outside while Mac and Braylee were having pda at the pool, so Jone decided to go and accompany Henri. He was wearing a white shirt paired with a black cargo shorts and a black sneakers, his hair was tied into a pony tail. He was checking his emails on his phone when Jone sat beside him on the bench of the picnic table.
"I thought you abandoned me," Henri said looking at her.
"I would never do that," she shook her head. She glanced at Mac and Braylee who were torridly kissing at the far and dark corner of the pool, she could tell that Mac was caressing her breast, then she looked away when Mac caught her staring.
"You still have feelings for him, don't lie to me." Henri spoke.
Jone looked at her friend and pursed her lips. "So what?"
"You need to tell him before that witch totally owns him," Henri adviced.
"There is no way I am telling Mac. I can live with that."
Henri sighed. "Not my problem. Although I want to play along witht he boyfriend and girlfriend thing, I told them the truth to give Mac a heads up. He has feelings for you, I see the way he looks at you and he looks at me like he wants to kill me. You know what I mean? The guy's jealous of me. I've done my part, it's your turn to work things out with him."
"He's got a girlfriend," she said in a harsh whisper. "And it is not my thing to go and wreck relationships."
"Well I did that, mostly."
"I am not you Henri. And where are these women you stole from their boyfriends? Where are they now?"
"Married to someone else," Henri answered coolly.
Jone nodded her head. "Married to someone else, and you? You're thirty years old and you aren't married yet, do you know why because karma is getting back at you."
Henri's head snapped to looke at her. "You watch your mouth small woman." He calls her that once he's irritated over something she says that may offend him.
"Am I getting into your nerve now big guy?"
"Good, that's what I intend to do."
Henri stood up, and she thought he was walking away, but he placed a leg under the picnic table the other still on the outer side and sat down facing her. "Your parents approved me to become your husband. Why won't we try? I mean you didn't want to tell Mac how you truly feel, you're single I'm single. Let's try one more time maybe it'll work."
"You're kidding right?" she asked crossing her arms.
Henri shook his head.
"You really wanna try one more time?" she asked matching his seriousness. She knows he was gonna chicken out. "You know I'd do it if you dare me to Henri. I mean we both got nothing to lose."
"So we're on?" he asked.
He touched a finger on her chest. "You and me are officially a couple starting tonight."
"Kiss me first," she raised an eyebrow at him.
"Kiss me first before I agree to become your girlfriend." she moved near him.
Henri backed slowly. "You're kidding right?"
She shook her head and move closer to him grinning.
"If I didn't told them that we are just friends I'm gonna kiss you now. What do you think they'd say when they see us kissing?"
Jone shrugged. "We'll find out," she threw her arms around his neck and kissed him on his lips. They're lips just pressed together, Henri didn't open his mouth, Jone didn't either. They were like an idiot, so Jone pulled away from him. "So did you feel anything?"
Henri shook his head in disbelief but smiled. He embrace her tightly and said, "You are such a gorgeous woman, and you have very nice traits in you. But I really don't know why all I get of a feeling is having you only as a friend! Well to be honest, you always give me a hard on."
Jone smacked his arm and wriggled away from him. "I'm sure we'd make a perfect couple, but it's sad to know that we don't have feelings for each other. Plus I don't want to be on that friends with benefits situation"
Sighing Henri said, "It sure sound fun, the friends with benefits part. Do you want a beer?"
Jone nodded her head.
*** *** ***
Mac watched Jone and Henri laughing. He was disgusted at the sight of them and especially after they kissed! Who are they kidding? Henri announced to them that they were only friends, and no friends would kiss! How pathetic! Was it only an excuse because he never have plans of marrying Jone?! He's going to kill him once he finds out that he broke Jone's heart.
"I knew she was always special to you," Braylee said.
Mac had forgotten she was there in the pool with him. Braylee had both her arms around his neck and her legs hooked on his waist. He rubbed her back and sighed. "I'm sorry babes, I was just thinking about something."
"About her?" she asked looking into his eyes.
"You can't lie to me Mac," there was anger in her voice, but she kept her cool.
He looked at her. This wasn't the time for accusations, and he didn't want to do that to her. "So what if I'm thinking about her?" He's worried he can't avoid saying something she didn't want to hear.
"Do you love her?" she asked.
"She's my friend Braylee, of course I love her."
"You know what I mean," she pressed.
"What are trying to start here?"
"Are you going to leave me now that she's back?" she went on.
Mac sighed, his anger rising. If she was not going to stop pressing the issue about Jone he will drag her back to his place and have sex with her to shut her up. "Stop it okay?"
"I knew it," Braylee unhooked herself from him and went out the pool.
Mac quickly got up and followed her, he pulled her elbow so she was facing him. "Stop acting childish Braylee."
"I'm not, I just wanna go home now." She spoke her voice hard.
"You're coming home with me," he quickly put on his clothes.
"I'm not sleeping at your place!" Braylee's voice raised, thanks to the loud music that was playing on the speakers just outside the back door, no one heard them.
"You are," Mac went to the picnic table where Lester, Kate, Henri and Jone sat. A pang of jealousy washed over him when he saw Jone leaning on Henri's shoulder. She sat up straight when he came to the table. "Hey guys, Braylee and I are headed home."
"Is there something wrong?" Kate asked. "You can drop her home and come back."
Mac shook his head. "Something came up, we need to leave."
"Okay," Kate answered.
"I'll see you Jone, Henri,"
"Sure pal," Henri answered.
Jone stood up and he went to embrace her. How badly he wanted to whisper 'I love you'. He then went to embrace Kate and went out of the house. Braylee was nowhere to be found. He quickly drove out of the driveway. From Kate's place there was a hundred meter road that headed straight out into the hi way, so Mac was sure that Braylee took a hike on the dark road. He guessed just right. She was walking furiously, and he turned his car to the right meters away from her and climbed out.
"Are you trying to kill me?!" she shouted at him.
He walked towards her angrily. "You do not walk out from me or my friends!" he glowered.
"I don't need to make you kids feel special!" she moved away as he came nearer, but too late he caught her. She was almost as tall as he was but he was stronger than she was.
He pulled her to him and dragged her to the car pinning her against it.
"What are you trying to do?!" she yelled.
"Giving you what you want," he answered huskily as he kissed her to which she responded. Everything resolved as they made out in public. Good thing the street was dark, and no one from the house could possibly see that he parked his car to take his girlfriend right there. But while he was doing her, he was thinking of Jone.