Here's another little snippet from Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing.
A week later, Troy returned from Brazil several shades darker. Michael made no mention of the new designer suits he wore over the next few evenings. When he and Michael were alone in the office several days after his return he said, “Hey, man. You never even asked me how my trip was. What’s up with that?”
Michael leaned back in his desk chair and smiled. “I didn’t want to get in your business. I figured if you had anything to tell me, then you’d tell me. Okay, so how was it?”
“Rio is incredible. You know they have nude beaches there, right?”
“Yeah, so I’ve heard. And you were running around buck-naked with the best of ¢em, weren’t you?” Michael let out a boisterous laugh.
“Well, you know what they say about when in Rome.” A grin took over Troy’s chiseled features that were responsible for weakening the wills of countless women.
“Which one was it this time? Michael asked, trying to find out exactly what the nature of his best friend’s associations with women who were his own mother’s age.”
“Victoria Charleton. She’s the ex-wife of the dude who owns the Charleton Cosmetics empire. After they divorced last year, she got a multi-million dollar settlement. While we were there, we stayed on a yacht that belongs to one of her friends. Mike, I tell you these people really know how to live. Victoria loves to shop, so we did a lot of that. She says she knows clothes make me happy, and she wants me to be happy. Ain’t that a trip?”
“You never said anything about liking her,” Michael asked, never having heard Troy say anything about the woman personally. “Do you even like her?” He wondered how Troy could be satisfied with a relationship that was inches away from being a business deal.
He gazed across the room as he considered Michael’s question. “She’s an interesting woman – well-traveled and well-educated. Until I started seeing Rita, I never dealt with women even my own age, and definitely not older women. Except for Rita, I’d gotten used to my ladies asking me to buy things for them. Victoria enjoys buying for me, and I like the feeling.”
Michael uttered a snide laugh and threw his hands up in the air. “Well, you answered my question. All I can say is have a good time, man.”
“Didn’t Krista Maxwell give her party here last week? How’d it go?”
Michael fidgeted in his seat suddenly feeling self-conscious. “It went great. No problems.”
“Does she look as tasty in person as she does on the screen?”
“Good enough to eat, man.”
“Is she as free as I’ve heard she is?”
“Free as a bird. She’s only in town for a couple of weeks.”
Troy shot Michael a curious stare. “How do you know that?”
“She told me.” He walked over to his desk, pulled out the note from the back of his calendar and handed it to Troy.
The two men had been friends since they attended the same grade school in Nana’s Brooklyn neighborhood. Closer than some brothers, they trusted each other implicitly.
“Whoa!” Troy’s eyes widened as he read it. “She gave you this? So why are you still holding on to it, man?”
“I don’t know. Maybe just to prove to myself I’ve still got game.” He snickered, still disturbed that a woman he’d never even met had such an intense effect on him. “I’m not going to call her.”
“I’ll call her,” Troy said, holding up the paper and giving it an impish grin.
Michael snatched the note from Troy’s hand and put it back in his desk calendar. “I think you already have your hands full.”
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