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Setting Friday Free (A Buzby Beach Novel) Chapter 23


DW is a veteran, a father, a husband, and a teacher. He's published 9 YA/NA novels thus far. The story you're reading might be next.

"Don't do it, Garrison," Calvin warned his friend.

"Calvin's right, G," Mariah added. "Never come between two sisters. There's no way it will end well for you. My bet is those two snipe at each other all the time. They'll hash it out back there, makeup, promise to be better sisters, and life will go on as before."

Garrison sat down and moved his hot dog from one side of the plate to the other.

"Do you really think they're going to be okay?"

"My sister and I go at it like cats and dogs," Mariah assured Garrison.

Calvin swallowed the bite of the hot dog he was working on. "Trust me, Mariah and her sister go at it all the time." He pointed out what was left of the frankfurter on Garrison's plate. "You should go ahead and eat before it gets cold. These dogs are good, man."

Garrison started taking a bite from his frankfurter and put it down again.

"Y'all, did Laurel tell her sister I was her boyfriend?"

"I thought she said you were," Calvin acknowledged.

Mariah held up a hand to slow Garrison down. "Laurel told her sister you were her boyfriend in the heat of the moment, G. Don't go reading anything into it."

Garrison's lips curled into a crooked smile. "You called me 'G' twice now, Mariah. When did you start calling me by my first initial?"

Mariah shrugged and downed one of her fries. "I don't know. It's just a thing I do. Sometimes I call Calvin, C. If you're not cool with it, I won't do it anymore."

"I'm fine with it, actually I kind of like it. Being called G makes me feel like the guy on NCIS Los Angeles. He's cool. Did you know he played a vet on Grey's Anatomy?"

Calvin swallowed the last bite of his foot-long frank. "He played a veteran. Why was he in the hospital?"

Garrison laughed. "No. He played a veterinarian who was dating Meredith Grey."

"Whatever," Calvin said. "I didn't watch the show."

"I did," Garrison admitted. "I figured what went on at the hospital in the show might be like what happens with my mom at work. She didn't mind me watching it because, according to her, the medicine was fairly accurate even if some of the things the doctors did would never happen in real life."

Garrison finally took a bite of his frankfurter. "Mm, these are good." He had nearly finished it when Laurel returned. He thought her eyes looked like she'd been crying.

Laurel returns to the table

"Are you all right?" he asked her when she sat down.

"Yeah," Laurel replied, wiping her eyes with a napkin. "Denver and I talked it out, and now everything's good. Is everyone done eating?"

She looked at her plate and picked up her chicken frank. "I'm not hungry right now. Are you guys ready to leave?"

"Sure," the other three chorused.

"Do you want to go back to the house and watch the third Star Wars movie?" Garrison asked.

Mariah said, "Calvin and I need to be getting home. We still have to make sure we are ready for class tomorrow, don't we, Calvin?"

Calvin looked like he'd been about to object but didn't.

The four friends exited Denver's and walked back to Garrison's house. Calvin and Mariah said good-bye, got in his car and left.

"Do you want me to take you home?" Garrison asked Laurel.

"No," Laurel answered. "Let's go inside and find a different movie to watch. Maybe the lights are back on, and we can find something on Netflix."

The idea of sitting on the couch with Laurel and watching a movie appealed to Garrison, and he readily agreed. The two went inside and searched Netflix for something to watch.

"I'm in the mood for an adventure," Laurel revealed to Garrison. "Is the new Jumanji movie on Netflix?"

"If it isn't," Garrison said as they sat down on the couch, and he picked up the remote, "it's probably on some other streaming service. I have a bunch."

Garrison found Jumanji, and they settled in on the couch to watch. Laurel rested her head against Garrison's shoulder. He put his arm around her. She snuggled in closer.

"This is nice," Laurel commented.

"Yes, it is," Garrison agreed. He pressed play on the remote, and the movie started.

By the time the credits ran, Garrison and Laurel were paying scant attention to the movie. At some point during one of the few slow scenes, his lips found hers. From that point forward, neither paid attention to what happened on the screen.

"I think the movie is over," Laurel whispered as she nuzzled Garrison's neck.

Garrison murmured a reply she couldn't understand.

Laurel slid off Garrison's lap and straightened her shirt. "You should probably take me home. It's getting late."


Garrison stared at her wide-eyed and took a slow, steady breath. "Right now?" You want to go home right now?"

"I think I should, Garrison," Laurel said as she gently caressed his jawline, causing him to draw a ragged breath, "before we get too carried away."

She slid farther down the couch and then stood up. "I really like you, Garrison, but we've only known each other a few days." Laurel reached under her shirt and adjusted her bra. "I want us to be more than just a hookup. I hope you want the same."

Garrison stood awkwardly and swiveled his hips to make things more comfortable.

"I do want us to be more, Laurel, more than a hookup, more than just friends."

Laurel sunset blue eyes met Garrison's warm brown eyes. "We are more than just friends; I promise you."

She moved into his arms, and they shared another long, passionate kiss. Before they wound up back on the couch, Laurel broke off the kiss.

"I need to get home, and, you know, get ready for class tomorrow. I have an early class. Don't you have an early class? I do."

"My tennis class is at eight o'clock," Garrison said. "Eight o'clock is as early as a class can get. At least, I think it is."

Laurel nodded and said, "It is. Eight o'clock is the earliest time. No classes start before eight."

Garrison smiled. "Then we should probably let go of each other so that I can take you home."

Laurel removed her arms from around Garrison and him his from around her.

"Um, let me make sure I've got everything, and I'll be ready to go," Laurel said as she gathered her purse and the tote bag with her bathing suit.

"You could leave the bathing suit here," Garrison suggested. "In case you decide to come over and want to go for a swim or down to the beach."

Laurel regarded the bag and then handed it to Garrison. "I'll leave it here. As you said, I might want to stop by after class for a swim before I go to work. Speaking of which, I'm off tomorrow, too."

"Are you? " Garrison replied, his twitching his brow. "You mentioned before something about having Sunday and Monday off. Interesting."

Laurel's smile widened. "I thought you might think so."

Garrison's story continues in Chapter 24

© 2021 DW Davis

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