Evan reached for his cell phone to check the time. It was 9:45 PM. He had been making it a habit not to drink alcohol past 9:00 PM so he could get to the gym early and not feel like crap, but he was going to make an exception on this night.
“How about a gin and tonic first?”
Evan stood and made his way to the kitchen without waiting for Amanda to respond.
“Sure,” she hesitantly responded.
Evan made a stiff drink for both of them before taking a seat on the couch next to Amanda. He offered her the glass filled to the brim with a lot of gin and a little tonic, which she eagerly accepted.
“Nobody knows that I went to a therapist, except for my parents. I figured it would ruin the perfect perception of Evan Matthews.” Evan narrowed his brows, sorrowfully lifting his gaze to meet Amanda’s eye. “After I changed therapists, I never saw Dr. Nelson again, but I always thought about her. When I was sixteen, I had sex for the first time with my girlfriend, and Dr. Nelson was all I could think about. I remember that night. I went to my friend’s house to brag that I had had sex. When I got there, he was pretty upset.”
“As it turns out, his father was cheating on his mom. He found out when he went on the computer and saw his dad emailing a woman. It was on dontaskdonttell.com.”
“The same website you’re on?”
Evan nodded and took another drink. “Yeah, same website. My friend showed me the emails between his dad and this chick. When we were looking at the site, I saw a woman that looked just like Dr. Nelson. To this day, I don’t know if it was her or not, but as much as I tried, I could never find the woman’s profile again.”
“Tell me,” Amanda said before finishing off her drink. “Does Dr. Nelson have long, brown, wavy hair?”
Evan nodded, seemingly caught off-guard. “Yeah, how do you know?”
Amanda set her empty glass down on the coffee table, next to her coffee cup. “I know because I’m not stupid. I never saw you check out a blonde. It was always beautiful brunettes that made you do a double-take.”
“Sorry. I guess I didn’t realize I was so obvious.”
“It was apparent, Evan. If you were so into women with long, brown hair, why would you date me?”
Evan locked eyes with Amanda. “You’re beautiful.”
“You said you never thought about Dr. Nelson when we were having sex. How am I supposed to believe that?”
“Every woman I’d ever been with, all I could think about was Dr. Nelson. When I was twenty-two, I remembered the site and searched for it. It was still active.”
“So, you signed up to see if you could find the woman who looked like Dr. Nelson?”
He nodded before finishing his drink. “Pretty much.”
“Did you find her?”
“No, but I found a lot of people that looked like her.”
“So, that was what you needed to get your mind off of her?”
“That’s what I needed to finally be in a meaningful relationship without being obsessed with my therapist and think about her every time I had sex with a woman. I could search for women that looked like her, spend a couple of hours with her, knowing all she wanted was sex, and then go home to my girlfriend and be able to focus on just her.”
Amanda’s eyes widened as if she thought of something for the first time. “Did you use protection? Please tell me that you used protection.”
“Yes, of course, I did.”
Amanda eyed him apprehensively.
“I promise, Amanda. I used protection.”
Amanda and Evan looked away from one another, each unsure of what to say next.
After several seconds, Amanda broke the silence. “Thank you for being honest with me.”
“I’m sorry it was too late. I’m even sorrier that I put you in the position that I did at the mansion. Promise me that you’ll go to the police? This guy can’t get away with what he did to you.”
A knot formed in Amanda’s stomach. She looked at the glass, which contained remnants of gin and tonic. She wanted another drink but would wait until she got back to the safety of her own home, where she wouldn’t be tempted to sleep with Evan again.
“I’ll think about it.”
“Thanks,” Evan responded quietly.
“Be careful, Evan. You’re putting yourself at risk inviting strangers to your house. I get that you’re a tough guy, but you never know what kind of crazy woman will show up at your place one day.”
If only he had listened.