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James stared down at the picture on his phone. Multi-colored post-its and photos framed the outer edges of the vanity mirror and three black aprons hung from the corner. Hairbrushes and assorted bottles and makeup items were scattered across a narrow table along with a few a bundles of bunched clothing. And two dresses hung on hangers over the top of the mirror. But the thing that caught his attention was the reflection in the strip of mirror between the garments.
His first glimpse of his mystery girl.
Her phone covered the side of her face, but he could clearly see wisps of long dark hair falling over her shoulder. Black or brown he could not tell with the lighting. The dip of her waist and the curve of her hip were also visible as was the bright purple edge of her underwear.
“That chic sexting you again?” His brothers voice tore his attention away. He had not even heard him enter the apartment.
“I am not sexting anyone Toby.” Zoe had definitely not sent him the photo so he could leer at the small strip of bare skin.
“The name is Tobias.”
“I’ve seen your birth certificate man, your name is Toby.”
“Ugh, your such a buzz kill.” Toby threw his keys on the entry table and slipped off his coat.
“Tobias is so much more sophisticated don’t you think.” Toby gazed at him with a critical eye, looking him up and down, wrinkling his nose in distaste. “How you got a name like James, is beyond me. You share your name with kings and I got Toby. It is literally the mouse from Cinderella.”
“I believe the name you are after is Gus. You should know that, it’s Callie’s favorite. ”
“Whatever, you know I don’t pay attention to children’s films. All I know is that your name is befitting of royalty and you do not deserve it.”
“So if I’m Prince charming, does that make you the pumpkin?”
Toby shot him a glare “Hardly. If anything I’m the fairy god mother. Or I could be if you let me. Look at you, home alone on Saturday night, in your pajamas. If anyone is the pumpkin here it’s you. Have you even showered today?”
“Didn’t you have plans.” James had not showered, not that Toby needed to know that.
“Dave, as it turns out has a girlfriend. Which I found out when she showed up at the club and I was introduced as his ‘friend from work.’ Do I look like I work at a sports store?” Toby gestured to the tailored slacks, midnight blue shirt and black vest.
Toby waved him off, kicked off his designer shoes and flopped down on the couch, reaching for the stack of take-away menus on the cluttered coffee table. “You really should get out of the house Jim, it’s been months.” Choosing a menu from the pile Toby placed a quick online pizza order.
Six months to be exact. Six months since he had come home from work early and found his fiancee, Olivia, in bed with their neighbor, Jared. Aside from having his heart ripped out by Olivia’s betrayal, James now only saw his four year old daughter, Callie every second weekend.
No, he wasn’t ready to go out for anything other than work. And even that was a struggle some days.
“So tell me, are you texting the cupcake queen again?” Toby asked again, turning his full attention to James.
“Yes, she asked my advice on an outfit.” James passed the phone over to his brother and Toby took the phone inspecting the choices.
“I hope you told her the black. Guys love a little black dress.”
“Yeah. They do.”
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