Jake considered Janie his best bud. When his business partner dared him to marry her, he finds out she's his best of everything. And no silly law was going to change that.
Janie fed four quarters into the jukebox, her hands shaking as she pressed the buttons that would play her selection. “You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This,” Toby Keith's ballad about a woman kissing her best friend, and the man so amazed by the kiss he finds himself feeling emotions for her he never felt before. Tonight she planned to put that theory to the test.
With the sounds of the opening chords filling the room, she walked up to Jake who sat at the bar with his business partner, Rick Mason, and tapped him on the shoulder. When she saw his face, she realized her mistake, he was never in a good mood when he spoke to Rick. But it was too late. If she didn't go through with this now, she never would.
“Excuse me,” she said, hoping her voice didn't betray her fears. “Jake, may I speak with you alone for a second?”
Jake gave Rick a heated look, then smiled at her. “Sure, I'm finished here anyway.”
She led him to the dance floor and before she lost her nerve she asked, “Dance with me?”
His arms went easily around her. Whether it was Jake beating up the boys who teased her in high school, or giving her moral support when she went on her first teaching interview, Jake had always been there for her. Even though he'd never admit it, he was the kindest man she'd ever known. How could she not be in love with him?
“Everything all right?” he asked, concern in his dark brown eyes.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and stepped into his embrace. Jake stood over six feet tall, and if she was going to do this right she needed to move closer to him. “...Cuz I'll just close my eyes and I won't know where I'm at, we'll get lost on this dance floor...“ The sweet lyrics rang in her ears. It was now or never! Janie stood up high on her tip toes, closed her eyes, leaned in closer, and kissed her best friend.
But he didn't kiss her back. Jake's mouth and eyes were opened wide as if in complete shock. “...Spinning around and around and around...” And that's exactly how it felt, as if the dance floor, not her and Jake, spun in circles. She pulled away from him, and besides the loud roaring of blood in her ears, she heard the sound of everyone around her laughing and whooping it up.
Janie felt her face burn from embarrassment and saw the look of first shock, then pity on Jake's face. The tears would come, but she would hold them off until she was outside. She only stopped to get her purse before she ran outside without looking back.