“What else is there?” Adam asked, coming back out and settling on the sofa again. He patted the seat next to him and I almost hurtled the coffee table to get there. Then his phone rang. “It’s Braden,” he said before clicking on. “Hey, man. What’s up? Just hanging out with Bruce. Why don’t you come over? Just bring him. It’s no problem as long as he pees outside. Okay, see you in a few.”

“Gabrielle, Braden, and Mark are coming over,” Adam said when he clicked off.

“And you’re going to make Mark pee outside?” I asked.

“They’re bringing their dog, smartass,” he said tickling my ribs and making me squeal.

“Bad T.V. and cutsie tickles and giggles. I need a drink. Where’s the bar?” Bruce asked, looking around the apartment.

“Down the street,” I answered.

“In the kitchen to the right,” Adam said with a laugh.

“You just keep it up missy, and I won’t let you have any of my famous margaritas.”

“I’ve had your famous margaritas. They’re strong enough to get a contact hit just from being in the same room.” Bruce went off to make his paint thinner and I snuggled closer to Adam. “So, what were they doing?”

“Braden took Gabrielle out for a drink and they ran into Mark. They were just thinking about hanging out but they wanted to see what we were doing. So, I guess we’re entertaining.”

I talked Adam into downloading Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Bruce brought out two pitchers of his infamous margaritas, which was enough to get a small nation drunk. We had just gotten everything ready when Braden called to be buzzed up. Bruce announced that he was going to use the bathroom before a crowd formed. I congratulated him on his brilliant strategy.

A minute later, we were greeting our friends. Braden set Bruno down and removed his leash, and the tiny Chihuahua immediately set off at full sprint for the bedroom.

“Hey, where’s he going?” I asked nervously. I didn’t want to find any little Bruno souvenirs in my shoes later.

“He always checks a place out,” Gab explained. “Don’t worry, he’ll be right back.”

As I led Gabrielle and Braden to the living room I heard Adam quietly ask Mark why he wasn’t out getting laid. Mark explained that he hooked up with some chick earlier, but while she had “moaned like a  p**n  star,” everything else that had come out of her mouth was so annoying that he had left after only one round. Ah, romance.

“Where’s Bruce?” Gabrielle asked sitting down on the couch next to Braden.

“He’s apparently taken up residence in the bathroom,” I replied. “Try some of his margaritas if you don’t mind losing some brain cells.” Mark bravely walked over to take his chances. Maybe he needed a drink after the encounter with the annoying  p**n  star earlier that evening. I heard a sound and I looked up toward the bedroom just as Bruno came hauling ass down the hall with something in his mouth.

It took me a second to figure out what it was and then it hit me. Holy shit! That dog had my vibrator! I gasped and Adam quickly looked up. He followed my gaze and I saw recognition dawn on him. Maybe it was his courtroom training, but he was grace under pressure, and he managed to cut Bruno off before he got to the living room.

“Hey there, Bruno. How about you give that to me, buddy,” he cajoled but Bruno was having none of it. He had found a toy and he wanted to play catch … with his Daddy. I watched in horror as he changed direction and headed straight for Braden. My legs were longer than his, though, and I beat him there.

“Nice doggie!” I said desperately, trying to intercept him. Seeing that his path was blocked on two sides now, and still not wanting to give up his prize, Bruno turned, skidded, and ran full-speed in the other direction, passing Bruce, who was finally exiting the bathroom. The determined little Chihuahua then headed back into the bedroom with Adam right behind him.

“What was that he had in his mouth?” Mark asked.

“I’m not sure,” Braden said with a laugh. “He was moving too fast.” They both looked at me quizzically. I thanked God that they hadn’t gotten a better view, and I was just about to make something up, when Bruce arrived in the living room.

“Did that dog have a vibrator in his mouth?” he asked loudly. “Couldn’t you find something else to play catch with?”

Mark choked on his margarita and Braden turned his head and covered his mouth with his fist in attempt not to laugh. It failed. So much blood rushed to my cheeks that I probably turned puce. Adam came out of the bedroom, carrying Bruno, sans sex toy.

“I believe this belongs to you,” he said, calmly handing Bruno to Gabrielle. Adam seemed to be taking this in stride. He came over and put his arms around me. It probably wasn’t hard to figure out that I was feeling a bit flustered by the experience.

“Lily! I’m so sorry!” Gabrielle spoke up, looking like she felt really bad. “But don’t be embarrassed. It’s no big deal. I still have my vibrator. Braden and I were just playing with it last night,” she announced in a soothing voice. There was a reason we called Gabrielle “Too Much Information Girl.”

“Gabrielle!” Braden exclaimed. He wasn’t laughing anymore. Mark still was though. In fact, he was laughing so hard at that point that he was doubled over.

“I hope you’re going to throw that thing out. While you’re at it, you should probably get rid of the year’s worth of issues of Maxim in bathroom,” Bruce said, pouring himself another drink, as if he hadn’t seen or heard anything out of the ordinary.

“Snacks!” I called out like vendor at Yankee Stadium. “Who wants snacks?”

I took off for the kitchen before anyone answered. I was digging around frantically looking for finger foods that went well with margaritas that tasted like rubbing alcohol when Adam came in. He walked over to me and pulled me into a hug again. I think he was trying to comfort me, but he may have actually been trying to protect me at that point. Whatever his motive was, I really appreciated it, so I hugged him back fiercely.

“Lily, don’t worry about it. I’m sure it doesn’t shock them that we play with sex toys.”

“It’s not about shocking them,” I said with my check pressed tightly up against his chest. “It’s just that it’s private. First my apartment is bugged and now our friends know what we did in bed a few hours ago.”

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