Nothing could come between best friends except for . . .
“So. Like. Stop being my shadow. That’s all,” James Madison pleaded. He had his eye on Sally and needed space to get in the groove.
“I know you, man. You aren’t listening. That’s all I’m saying.” Henry Smith bounced a hand off James head. “She is a user. You are just falling for that come hither look.”
James rubbed his skull but the stars in his eyes hadn’t stopped shining. “She is something, isn’t she?”
“She’s my little sister, dude. Just because she’s grown up doesn’t change that. How many times have I watched her practice that look in her mirror. You aren’t listening.” Henry couldn’t take it anymore. He shook his head, turned, and walked away.
“Might as well hang out at your house, James. Ought to be calm and quiet there,” He murmured to himself thoughtfully. The two friends had grown up next door to each other. They had been best friends all their lives. Neither had seen the sweet lure of romance coming to drive a wedge between them.
“Hey, Susan. Your brother is panting after Sally and brother, is she leading him on. Any coke in the fridge?” Henry pulled a cold one off a shelf and popped the lid. He choked on the first swallow.
“Wow. Look at you.”
“Did you just slap yourself?” Susan Madison winked and turned in a circle.
The flair of hip and thrust of breast was like a shot out of a cannon when the sight struck James another blow. “Have you and my sister been practicing together?” He rubbed his eyes in disbelief. This was a side of his best friend’s sister he had never seen before. “Did you do something to your hair?”
“No, silly. I’m flirting. It’s all in the body talk. Isn’t it fun? You should have seen the reaction of Bull Thomas when I walked by the barbershop. He pushed the barber aside, launched out of his chair and was almost licking the window with his tongue with his eyes popping out of his head.”
“The town bully? You were throwing that at him and he melted? Too cool. I like the weapon,” Henry did a little more admiring before shaking back into himself. “Who’s that knocking at the door? Expecting company?”
Susan edged over by the curtain, pulled it aside, and gasped at the sight staring back at her through her window. “Bull Thomas with flowers in his hand. What do I do?”
Henry simply gawked. “You are on your own, girl. You uncorked the bottle and the genie came out.”
The seconds ticked away. Bull’s eyes were glued on Sally. HIs hair was neatly combed and he had on a fresh set of dud’s that still had the wrinkles in them from the store he had bought them in. “He’s blushing. Bull Thomas is blushing,” Sally batted her eyelashes at the big bully who for years had made life a living nightmare for everyone on the block. “Have you ever noticed how big his muscles are?”
Henry had had personal experience with those and a few black eyes left as gifts along the way. “Like riding a tornado, Sally. Think before you leap on.” But she was already swaying seductively in slow motion towards the front door. Bull stopped drooling on himself, ate an old colorless petal off one of the flowers in the bouquet he’d brought and turned to follow.
“Oh, Oh. Here comes trouble.”
There was his friend James walking all stiff-jointed like he didn’t fit in his body with his eyes glued to Sally, Henry’s little sister. With his heart beating out of his chest Henry went into high gear shooting like an arrow towards the front door. For years the battles had been escalating between the Bull and James.
James was always the trickster who loved nothing better than putting something over on Bull Thomas and Bully loved rubbing James face in it to teach him a lesson right after. That kind of thing had entertained the whole school for years. Thunder and lightning had flashed between the two storming around each other. Now the face-off was coming. “I’ve got to do something.”
He got to the open front door just in time to see the girl’s new weapons put on full display. His sister and her best friend had Bull looking from one to another with such dizzy confusion on his face that it looked like he had lost his mind.
“Oh, Bull. are those for me?” Sally snatched the flowers as they fell from the big guy’s ham-like fist.
Susan winked and simpered adoringly. “Bull. Look at you. Can I feel your arm? Is that all muscle?”
Watching Bull melt into a soft puddle of longing emotion was like seeing a giant fall. Henry’s eyes met James. The two friends shook their heads in sudden understanding. “We’ll have to save him from himself. Two ganging up on him isn’t fair.”
The stars in the bully’s eyes had glazed them over. He shared a sappy grin as one girl after another squeezed and hung from each of his biceps.
“Too late. We’ll try to recover what’s left of his senses after they get bored turning him into mush.” James and Henry were best friends again and might just have a new one if they could knock some sense into Bull when the sisters stopped playing him. Then again . . . maybe they’d wait awhile. It was kind of nice having the biggest threat to their welfare on a leash.