The six of them arrived at the bowling alley. I guess it’s not that bad, thought Ben as he looked around while they got their shoes and picked out balls.
Catalina giggled at him about the ball she picked out. He wondered if they called her Cat because she sounded like a cat in heat with her incessant giggling. Maybe it was a nervous tic and if she had a drink it would calm her down.
As soon as they had their shoes on, Ben headed straight to the bar and bought a round. If it didn’t calm her, maybe it would make her squeaky voice easier to take. Cat followed him like a puppy dog.
After they had their drinks, they walked over to the lanes. Casey was wrapped around Emma kissing her neck – and she was into it. Ben frowned as a little pang of jealousy hit him in the gut. Or maybe it was just an overprotective brotherly feeling that unnerved him. It was obvious their relationship was getting serious. He liked Casey well enough, but he better not hurt his Southern Belle or there would be hell to pay.
Catalina walked up and put her arm around Ben shaking him free of his thoughts. “What’s wrong Ben. Don’t want to bowl?”
He pulled her closer and whispered in her ear, “I can think of a few things I’d rather be doing with you than bowling.”
“Ben!” she squealed and giggled. “You are a hot mess. Is that the only thing you ever think about? Come on. This will be fun.”
It took everything Ben had not to pull away from her. He knew he wasn’t going to ask her out again but he was lonely, or was he just trying to fill the void left by Emma? He rolled his eyes when Cat turned around and allowed her to pull him over to the others.
“Come on Benny Boy, it’s your turn after Emma,” called out Nick, seemingly excited at the prospect of watching Ben bowl.
Ben watched Emma take her turn. She was so damn cute. Why couldn’t Cat be more like her.
After Emma went, he decided to try and help Cat with her bowling. That was how he planned to get her into his arms, although the way she was all over him, he probably didn’t need to. The other couples were very much enjoying each other so he tried.
Cat threw a gutter ball anyway and giggled about it – again.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
After bowling was mercifully over, they all headed back to the apartment to watch a movie. As they were heading into the apartment, Emma and Casey stopped. “Guys, Em and I are going to pass on the movie,” said Casey embarrassing Emma.
“Oh…” said Rachael looking back and forth between Emma and Casey.
Nick let out a little laugh. “Rach, babe, you can stay with me tonight.” Then he looked at Casey with a knowing grin and added, “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do big guy.”
“You better not do anything he would do!” growled Ben.
“Dick-hay-ud,” came Emma’s aggravated voice, “That’s the pot callin’ the kettle black. Come on Casey.”
“Emma’s right, you are a dick,” said Casey looking pointedly at Catalina.
Catalina tugged on Ben’s arm looking confused at their exchange. Ben shot one last glance at Emma and followed Catalina into his apartment while Emma and Casey went in the opposite direction.
Once inside, Ben put on a ridiculous chick flick and snuggled with Cat on the couch. She was fine as long as she didn’t talk.
Rachael settled in Nick’s lap in the chair and the couple was soon making out. It made Ben a little uncomfortable, maybe because they were enjoying each other too much or it made him think about what was happening in the apartment across the hall.
“God Hamlin, get a room!” said Ben not bothering to hide his disgust.
Nick shot Ben a questioning look and the couple obediently got up and made their way to his room.
Ben sighed then picked up the remote and turned off the TV. “Mmmm. Much better,” he said.
“Ohhh, I was watching that,” complained Catalina.
Ben didn’t say anything. Instead he pushed her down on the couch and crawled on top of her hoping to silence her with kiss. Her giggling on the way down was more than he could take and he sat up. He wasn’t doing this.
Catalina frowned. “What’s wrong ‘Benny Boy’?” she asked using the nickname she had heard Nick use then giggled again and reached over to pull him back down.
Ben cringed and resisted. “I’m sorry Cat, I’m not feeling too well.”
“Ohhh,” she said with a pout, ” I bet I can fix that.” She slid down off the couch until was she kneeling in front of him. She reached up and began to unbuckle his pants.
Damn, thought Ben, I’m fucked. At least she isn’t giggling anymore…. “Ohhhh shit,” he said out loud as she started to slide his zipper down and then surprised himself and grabbed her hands stopping her. Was he really going to stop her? What was wrong with him? He sighed, “No sweetheart. I appreciate the offer. But no thanks. Maybe you should leave.”
“Oh…” she said pouting again, “It’s Emma isn’t it?”
Emma? Was that it? He knew full well what she and Casey were doing in the apartment next door? “No. It’s really…I just don’t feel well. I’ll call you a cab, okay?”
Catalina got up and smoothed out her shirt. “Don’t bother,” she snapped, “I can walk. I had fun anyway. See you around.”
Well, no more giggling, thought Ben. “Let me at least walk you home. It’s late,” he offered.
“Fine, a cab then.”