I wandered the streets of Philly looking down at my feet as I walked.
It was 9 o' clock on a Wednesday night and the tears were rolling down my face, dragging mascara along with it.
My boyfriend had just broken up with me, he said he wasn't feeling it anymore. We were going to go out, so I wore a sheer blue shirt, and light pink skinny jeans with black heels. I just looked pathetic now, and honestly the night couldn't get any worse.
As I continued walking I reached a darker street and looked up, in that moment a door hit my face and I was knocked back.
"Oh my god Dee, look what you did!" A man's voice called out.
"I didn't mean to do it!" A woman, who was presumably Dee, said.
I put my hand to my nose and felt a warm, thick liquid and realized my nose was bleeding. Suddenly a man came up behind me and pulled me into a cradled carry and took me into the building he and the woman had just come out of.
I caught a glimpse of myself and I looked absolutely ridiculous as a mixture of tears, mascara, and blood was scattered across my face.
The man sat me down on a bar stool and I looked around the building a bit confused as the man ran and got a towel.
"I'm so sorry, my sister really didn't mean to do that," the man said as he gently put the towel to my face.
"It's okay, I know she didn't," I said with a weak grin, and then a grimace as I felt a sharp pain in my nose.
The woman had disappeared and I just shrugged. "Where am I?" I asked as I looked at his face. It was the first time I took a good look at it and he was actually very attractive. He had nice bone structure and light blue eyes. His light brown hair was up, and he looked a bit concerned for me.
"You're in Paddy's pub," he smiled. "I'm the owner of the bar," he said with a proud voice.
"Co-owner," another man's voice said as he came up the stairs carrying a broom. "And since you own it too why don't you have to take care of the rats?" He asked.
"Charlie," he sneered as he nodded his head towards me, now making it clear even to myself he was trying to impress me.
"Oh, okay," I said with a little chuckle and then made my face completely serious. "Then which one of you do I sue?"
Both of their faces dropped and I couldn't help but start laughing even if it did hurt my nose.
They both looked at me in disbelief and the one that came up from the basement moved towards me and began laughing, "You're an asshole," he said patting my shoulder.
The woman came back and handed me a wet rag and a bag of ice. "I'm so sorry," she said.
"It's really okay," I said as I started attempting to clean my face up without a mirror.
"Here, let me help you," the brown haired man said as he took the rag and started to clean my face.
"Dennis, she's hurt, don't try putting the moves on her," Dee said with piercing eyes.
Dennis glared at his sister and looked down to see my grinning sheepishly. "So, Dennis? I always thought that name was nerdy," I said.
He just grinned "So what's your name?"
"Clare," I said.
"I'm Dee, and that's Charlie," Dee said to me across the bar pointing to the man who was sitting a few seats down now drinking a beer.
"It's nice to meet all of you," I smiled.
Suddenly I flash backed to reality and remembered what happened an hour ago, if not less. The tears came back into my eyes.
"Oh no, I'm not hurting you am I? I'm done anyways," Dennis said stepping back.
I looked up at the three of them now staring at me because I was crying. I took a bar napkin and wiped my face.
"Sorry, it's been a long night," I said pursing my lips and trying to pull myself together.
"Do you want a beer? Or a water?" Dee asked.
"Um... I don't have any money on me right now," I said.
"It's free," Dennis smiled.
"I'll just take a water please," I said and Dee quickly handed me a bottle.
We sat there in silence and then I looked around realizing the place was empty. "Are you guys open?" I asked.
"Yeah, but it's usually slow Wednesday," Dennis said. He sat on the bar stool next to me and looked over.
"What's up with your night?" He asked.
I started getting suspicious because I didn't know if he was genuinely concerned or if he just was trying to get laid.
I was quickly interrupted by another man busting through the door. He had thick black slicked back hair and pretty visible muscles. "You guys will never guess what just-" he stopped when he saw me and immediately advanced towards me. "Well hi, I'm Mac," he said with a charming smile offering his hand.
I took it and smiled back. I didn't want too, but he was really attractive. "Clare," I said still smiling.
"What happened to your nose?" He asked, still not letting go of my hand.
I released his and snickered a little looking over at Dee. "That's kind of why I'm in here," I said.
"It was an accident!" She cried.
He just laughed and then looked back over at me. "Well lets definitely call it a happy accident," he said smoothly.
"Hey, Mac, if you could back off, she's kinda having a bad night," Dennis offered stepping forward.
"I don't think she minds," he said looking right at Dennis.
"Excuse us," Dennis said pulling Mac aside.
They were arguing about something but I couldn't hear what.
"They always fight when a good looking girl comes in," Dee said with a sigh.
"How do you work here then? Have you been with either of them?" I asked turning towards her.
"Well Dennis is my brother and Mac... Well he's Mac," she shrugged looking a bit uninterested.
"How do you deal with hanging out with them?" I asked with a grin.
"I don't really know. They all make me feel like less of an asshole," she laughed handing me a beer.
I laughed and took it. "This is weird, this is actually my first beer... Well legally," I grinned.
"Wait... Did you just turn 21?" Dee asked.
I nodded and shrugged as I took a swig.
"Well that'll make this whole thing even more interesting. Anyways, why were you crying?" Dee asked.
"My boyfriend just broke up with me," I said quietly as I ran my finger around the rim of the mug.
Dee frowned slightly. "I can get them to stop if ya want,"
"I think after all this, it's kinda nice to have a bit of attention," I said sheepishly.
"Well you'll fit in with all of us perfectly," Dee mumbled and I took another swig of my beer and stood up.
"Thanks for the beer, I think I'm gonna get going, but I'll be back," I smiled.
Dee nodded and waved to me, "Come back anytime, just don't make me pay for that," she said pointing to my nose.
I walked towards the door and the two guys looked towards me.
"Leaving already? Look I'm sorry," Dennis said with a hint of sincerity in his voice.
"I should be getting back to my apartment," I said. "But thanks for cleaning me up, I'll come back here soon," I smiled to him and offered him my hand.
He took it with a smile and nodded, "Come back any time you like," he said.
"Yeah, anytime. I'll get you another beer," Mac said interrupting and I turned towards him.
"Thanks, it won't be too long," I smiled.
"Do you want me to walk you home?" Mac asked.
"I should be fine," I said and I started out. As I was almost down the block I heard the door open and I saw Dennis come out. He jogged towards me and took his jacket off.
"You don't have to do that," I said, but he was already putting it around my shoulders.
"Now you have to come back and return it," he said with a grin. "I hope your nose feels better," he finished and then turned and went back to the bar.
As Dennis walked back into the bar the rest of the gang looked at him. "You think she's into sensitive guys? You totally put on the sensitive guy act," Mac said.
"It wasn't really an act," Dennis shrugged, acting differently.
"Well this isn't over. We'll see who she picks," Mac said.
"Jesus Mac, why does it have to be a competition with you two?" Dee interjected.
"Why do you have to put your two cents in Dee?" Dennis asked.
"Dennis is back to being a dick!" Mac grinned.
"Do you know how old she is? She just turned 21," Dee said.
"Sweeeeeet," Mac said pulling is fist back as if he had won something.
"Mac chill out," Dennis said. "Just lay off her, I saw her first," he finished.
"So? All is fair in love and war," Mac said.
"That is probably the closest you will ever get to poetry," Dee said to him.
I looked in the mirror and frowned. If my dick of an ex boyfriend wants to break up with me then I'll show him.
I was wearing a shirt that showed a little midriff and tight blue jeans and I was going back to paddy's. I put on the jacket Dennis gave me and smiled.
He was sweet, but I didn't really know Mac. I had been single for an hour and two attractive men were coming on to me. Although they did look older. They couldn't have been that much older.
I looked in the mirror. I had to stay confident. I had to stay positive. I had to move on.
The walk to paddy's felt like forever, and I when I got there I stood outside the door.
8 was late enough right? What if they didn't actually want to see me? What if I was just delusional? I shook all the negative thoughts out of my head and walked into the bar.
The first person I made eye contact with was Dee, and she saw me and smiled right at me. I walked towards her and waited til she was done serving the few people at the bar.
"Glad the boys didn't scare you off," she smiled. "I could use another girl around here,"
I smiled at her and nodded. "I haven't made many friends since I've moved here a few months ago anyways." I said casually.
Suddenly someone put an arm around my shoulder and I looked over and saw Mac.
"I'm glad you came back," he said with a warm smile. "I was hoping you'd be back yesterday! But no matter."
"Really?" I asked with a small smile as I took Dennis' jacket off and set it on a bar stool.
"Hey I'll be right back, before I get too wrapped up in conversation I need to bring like two kegs out." He said.
He disappeared and almost immediately Dennis appeared. I smiled and delicately handed his jacket back. "Do you wanna go somewhere else?" He asked looking around. I didn't know why he was looking around, but I assumed he was looking for Mac.
I thought for a moment and nodded with a big smile and he took my hand and pulled me out of the bar and towards a parked range rover. He opened the passenger door for me and I got in and he ran to the drivers side and got in and we drove off.
"Why so fast?" I asked laughing.
"Just... Cause," he smiled avoiding the real reason. He was trying to keep me away from Mac.
"So where are we going?" I asked as my laughter subsided.
"I don't know," he grinned.
"Are you always like this?"
"Compulsive," I said laughing a little.
"Only sometimes," he winked. He then looked over at me. "We actually don't know each other very well at all, do we?" He asked.
"Good observation, but we could work on that," I smiled.
He smiled and he pulled into an empty parking garage and parked on the very top floor where it was empty. He turned off the car and turned to me.
"I hope this isn't the part where you kill me," I joked.
"No, it's not." He said laughing lightly.
"Good, good," I said looking at him.
"You're different," he said.
"Oh? How so?"
"I don't really know, but as soon as I saw you, I just felt different about you then every other girl," he said.
"Or do you just say that to every girl?" I asked.
He sighed and reached to a cooler in his back seat and pulled out two beers. He opened one and handed it to me. I took a sip and it was quite.
"I mean, asshole me probably would think of something like that, but you are different."
"Asshole you?" I asked with a grin.
"Well I mean, I'm a great guy, but I can be a little bit of a dick," he grinned.
"Well, you and every other guy in America," I said grinning back.
"So why were you crying the other night?" He asked looking intently at me.
"My boyfriend broke up with me," I shrugged. "He was some big shot athlete and had to move onto bigger and better things, and I wasn't part of that plan," I said as if I had accepted defeat.
"Oh geeze, I'm sorry to hear that," he said really unconvincingly.
"You definitely sound like it," I said grinning.
"Well I mean when an attractive guy such as myself comes across an attractive woman such as yourself, well it's always a relief to hear she's single," he grinned.
"Ah yes," I said realizing I had finished my beer. I leaned in the back and the cooler was out of my reach. This resulted in me falling in the back seat, and Dennis laughing his ass off.
He was still laughing when he got out of the drivers seat and went to open the back seat. I was still trying to get up when he pulled my arms and helped me out.
We were face to face and he put his hand through the back of my hair and pulled me in to a kiss. I immediately melted into the kiss and pulled the front of his sweater, pulling him in the back seat of the car. I could feel him grin through the kiss and he adjusted so he was laying on top of me and kissing me.
He was pressed down against me and I could feel the bulge in his pants and I pulled out of the kiss and looked at him.
"Now that shit you said about me being different... Did you mean it?"
Either he was a really good actor or he was honest because I could read honesty in his eyes and he nodded.
I pulled him into another kiss, and that led to everything.
I layed breathless on top of Dennis and smiled as he rested his head on the seat.
"Well that was nice," he grinned.
"You're telling me," I grinned back.
"And that's how I know you're different," he said with a small laugh.
"But how do I know you're different?" I asked dampening the mood a bit.
He frowned immediately and pushed a strand of hair behind my ear.
"This is what I'll tell you, and I'm being completely honest so you can't be mad," he said quickly.
I pulled the blanket up that he had pulled out of the trunk and put over us and braced for the worst.
"You're the only girl I've wanted to call, seriously, after we've had sex," he said with a shrug.
"You really are an asshole," I said after a moment of silence with a smile on my face.
He smiled back and pulled me in closely and kissed my forehead.
When I walked through the door it was about midnight and the bar was still pretty busy. Dennis was folding the blanket and tidying his car back up and Mac saw me and perked up.
"Where'd you go? I was hoping we could have a few drinks and talk," he said with a smile as he reached me he put his arm back around my shoulders as if I had never left.
Despite the fact I just had sex with Dennis and talked in his backseat for an hour, it didn't stop me from being attracted to Mac.
"Where's Dennis?" He asked.
"Oh he's just at his car," I said with a small wave as he led me towards the bar. We sat down and he handed me a beer.
"So how's your nose?" He asked with a grin standing up and leaning on the bar. It meant he was a little closer to me and I liked that.
"It's actually feeling a lot better, I'm thankful it's not broken," I said with a smile.
"Me too," Dee interjected.
I laughed with Mac for a moment and then we looked at each other and smiled.
"So why haven't we met before? Where do you live?" He asked.
"Oh I live a few blocks away. I don't know why we haven't met before," I smiled at him. His slight cluelessness made him somehow more attractive.
We began talking and I had made it through a beer before Dennis made his way back in.
He walked up right behind me and put his hands on my shoulders.
"Hey Mac," he said a little defensively.
"Dennis," Mac nodded giving him a serious face.
"Good Dennis you're back, I need help," Dee said.
"Ask Charlie," he said not looking over at her.
"Dennis," she said impatiently.
"What about Mac?" He asked.
"Mac's been helping me all night," Dee said impatiently. "Come on,"
"Sorry," he said looking at me.
I shrugged and smiled back at Mac.
"Hey do you wanna go somewhere more quiet?" He asked in the same way Dennis asked me about four hours before.
"Actually I think I should be getting home, I've actually had a couple beers tonight and as silly as it sounds, 2 should be my limit," I said sheepishly.
He shook his head in joking disappointment and then nodded towards the door. "I'll walk you back to your apartment," he said.
I nodded and we walked towards the door. I looked back at the bar and Dennis' back was towards me.
"Maybe I should tell Dennis," I said.
"Here I'll go tell him," Mac offered.
Mac approached Dennis and pointed at me while talking. Dennis shook his head at first but then I saw a sigh and he walked towards me.
"I'm sorry, I can't go with you. I'm super busy, but I swear I'll call you tomorrow," he smiled.
"I'll be counting on it," I said with a smile to him as well.
"Let's go!" Mac said before anything else could be said. Dennis waved to me and we walked out the door.
Mac put his arm around my shoulders as he'd been doing all night and I smiled.
"I'm sorry we couldn't go somewhere. Maybe tomorrow," I suggested thinking nothing of it. I was single now, an just because Dennis and I had sex, didn't mean I couldn't go out. We weren't dating. In fact we'd barely spent five hours together.
Mac smiled wide and nodded directing me right. "We could just go to my place," he said clearly already making his way there.
"I don't know about that," I said a bit hesitant.
"Don't worry," he said as he stopped in front of the door of an apartment building. "We won't do anything if you're uncomfortable with it, and you can even sleep here," he smiled.
I shrugged and gave him a small smile as he took my hand.
We got up to his apartment and he led me to the couch and turned a movie on but turned it down. "Are you feeling okay?"
"Yeah, just a little dizzy. You know, just a low tolerance level," I said shrugging.
"You're just buzzing," he said with a grin. "If you keep hanging out with us, you'll be somewhat tolerant. I mean, you are incredibly small," he said. "And beautiful," he added quietly.
"What?" I asked. "I didn't hear that last part," I said genuinely.
"I said you're beautiful," he said louder with a smile.
I smiled at him and got a weird overwhelming urge to kiss him. So I leaned in, and sober me would've never done this, but I kissed him. He kissed back with absolutely no problem.
Before I knew it I was in his bed and under the covers.
I woke up the next morning to a phone buzzing, one I assumed was mine. I remembered what happened last night when I saw where I was and sighed.
"Hello," I said in a groggy voice answering the phone.
"Who is this?" A guy asked. I looked at the caller ID and it said Charlie. I then realized it wasn't my phone.
"Shit," I mumbled.
"Uh, Mac is asleep," I said into the phone not answering his question.
"Well wake him up, we're supposed to he playing basketball. Tell him me and Dennis are waiting," the guy finished.
I shut the phone without saying anything and turned to Mac. He was really handsome... But I didn't know anything about him.
Good thing me and Dennis weren't dating... Yet.
If he found out he'd understand, right?
I sat looking at the ceiling and sighed too loudly because Mac woke up.
"Hi beautiful," he said smiling.
I smiled wide, because he was different too. As far as I could tell anyway.
"Hi," I smiled sinking back into the bed moving closer to him.
He accepted my advance and pulled me in and kissed my cheek.
I thought about Dennis.
At least I was over my ex...
"Your friend Charlie called," I said in a light voice.
"Shit, me and the guys are supposed to play basketball..." He started. He shrugged and looked at me. "I'd rather be here," he smiled.
"God, where have you been all my life?" I joked and pulled him as close as possible. I then jokingly pulled the band on his boxers and he laughed and put his hand on my lower back.
I closed my eyes and layed my head on his chest and he started running his fingers through my hair.
We were laying there for a while before I heard a phone buzz. I looked over and it was definitely mine this time.
"Hey Clare, it's Dennis."
"Oh hey," I said smiling through the phone and the happiness extended to his end of the phone.
"Would you maybe wanna get some lunch with me? Mac was supposed to me and Charlie for basketball, but he bailed." Dennis said as if it were a typical thing. I looked over and Mac was looking intently at me.
"How about dinner?" I asked.
"Sounds great, wanna meet at the bar?"
"I'll text you my address, just meet me there," I said smiling.
"Great, see you tonight," and with that he hung up.
"Who was that?" Mac asked giving me a suspicious look.
"None of your business," I joked sticking my tongue out at him.
He laughed and dived at me, tackling me, but it was obvious he wasn't using much force.
He had pinned me down and was looking at me. "Are you ticklish?" He asked grinning.
"No Mac," I said as my eyes widening.
He held both of my wrists with one Hand and I couldn't break free.
He began tickling me and I laughed uncontrollably. "Plea- please stop." I said through laughs. He was smiling so big and he leaned down and kissed my cheek.
"You have a great laugh," he said smiling.
I blushed a little and looked over at him.
"How old are you?" I asked out of curiosity.
"28," he stated. "Why?"
"No reason," I said shrugging lightly and getting up to put my clothes on.
"Where you going?" He asked.
"I have some things to do, but I'll leave my number and you can call me," I smiled.
He nodded and I put my number in his phone, finished putting my clothes on, and made my way to the bar. I had a serious problem.
"Dee, thank god you're the only one here," I said blatantly as I walked through the door.
"What's up?" She asked.
"I had sex with Mac," I said.
"Uh... Gross," she joked and continued wiping off the top of the bar.
"And before that I had sex with your brother," I said gently.
She stood looking at me for a moment and shook her head for a second. "What are you gonna do?" She asked.
"I don't know," I said.
"Well they deserve it after all the girls they've done it too," she shrugged.
"What?" I asked.
"Yeah, to be honest they're huge dicks. My only advice is to be careful. They do this whole hit and run thing,"
"Dennis asked me to dinner," I stated. "They were both so sweet," I said.
"Of course they both actually want to settle on the same girl," Dee sighed.
"Thanks for listening, I know it's probably not the thing you want to hear, but thank you."
"Hey no problem," she started. "If you need anything I'll probably be here. My only other advice to you would be to be honest with them," she said.
"Thanks so much," I said moving in to hug her.
When we pulled away she looked at me, "Just don't get involved with Charlie too," she joked.
"No promises," I said jokingly before I walked out.
I got dressed in a little black dress and gold toms and waited for Dennis. I had to tell him about Mac right away before anything else.
Someone was trying to be buzzed into my apartment and I let them in. Soon enough there was a knocking on my door and it was Dennis.
"You look amazing," he said looking me up and down and reaching out for a hug. I hugged him back tight and then looked up at him.
"I have to tell you something before we go," I said.
"Last night, instead of going home, Mac took me to his place. And we had sex. I'm so sorry Dennis I really like you and I figured before we go any further with this I needed to tell you the truth," I said really fast.
He looked at me for a few minutes, stepped inside my apartment and closed the door.
"So is it me or Mac?" He asked turning his back to me.
"I don't know Dennis. I don't usually do this I swear. I really like both of you, but I just don't know," I said weakly. He turned towards me and grabbed both of my hands.
"I'll give you a week. And if Mac is willing to do the same that's fine. Give us each our own week, just to see what it's like. Normally, I wouldn't even be here with a girl. I wouldn't have called them, but I really want to be with you. You're different. So lets go to dinner, then we'll go to Mac's apartment, and then we'll talk about this. Okay?" He asked with a weak smile.
I closed the space in between us and hugged him tightly. I knew then he was the most understanding guy in the world.
After that it was as if we'd left off where we were last night. Dennis and I got along great, and we talked through out the whole night. But I was fearing going to Mac's.
We finished up dinner and Dennis's face turned sad.
"You ready?" He asked.
"I guess," I said shrugging. He took my hand and led me to the car and we were quiet the entire way there. When we got there Dennis rang the buzzer and when Mac asked who it was Dennis answered. And Mac had no idea I was with him.
When we walked through his apartment door Mac was sitting on the couch and turned to face Dennis and saw me too. He smiled, but then his smile turned to a frown.
"What's going on?" He asked.
Dennis just waved me on.
"I really like you Mac. I really do. But before me and you had sex... I had sex with Dennis. I know this sounds terrible... But I really like both of you. A lot. I'm at a stand still here. Dennis came up with an idea that I think will work if you're willing to do it. Just let me go out with each of you for a week, as if the other wasn't even in my life, and we'll see at the end of the two weeks," I said.
Mac was quiet for a really long time and he looked me straight in the eye. "But I really do actually like you," he said.
"Just think about all the girls we've screwed over Mac. At least she's being honest, and I like her too much to just hand her over, but I still wanna be friends. Lets just see how it goes?" Dennis said as if he was level headed and completely sensible.
"How about we go every other day? I don't want to go more than a day without seeing you," Mac said sincerely.
I looked at Dennis and she shrugged and I smiled at Mac and nodded.
"But tonight, is mine," Dennis said pulling at my hand.
"Try not to make me sound like an object," I said with a sigh.
"You started this whole situation," Dennis grinned.
Mac frowned a little as Dennis and I walked out hand in hand. Before we shut the door I looked back at him and he smiled weakly at me.
'What am I putting these poor guys through?' I thought.