“Get your ass in here and close the door.” Lexi dragged me up the stairs to her bedroom as soon as we walk through her front door from the girls’ soccer game.
“Slow down, I’m not going anywhere,” I call, playfully. Lex plops down on her bed and pats the mattress waiting for me to join her. I kick my tennis shoes off and lay down to share with her about Aiden.
“Spill, please. I want to hear everything.” Lexi props herself up on an elbow, and I do the same.
I can’t help it, I giggle. “We had pizza and beer.” I watch her eyes widen.
“No fucking way, you’re lying,” she accuses me.
“I’m serious we did. I know I was vague with my texts this morning to you and Vi, but that was because I needed some time to process that I had sex with him.”
She shoves my shoulder, knocking me to my back. “Shut the hell up! You did not.”
“My God, Lex,” I prop myself back up to my elbow. “I did, we had sex five minutes after he walked through my front door to pick me up.” I laugh, this is a rare moment, Lex’s mouth is open, and no words are flying out.
“I don’t know if you are telling me the truth or if everything you’ve just said is you trying to get back at me for something.”
I feel my brows rise, “Really? When have I ever teased or punked you over something this serious.”
“You’re serious? You had sex with him?”
I nod, yes, watching her process. She shouts, five octaves higher than usual, “You had sex with him at the beginning of the date?!”
I fall to my back and cover my eyes, “I did. I don’t know what possessed me to do that, have sex at all, and on a first date. But to have it so soon after he walked through my door, I don’t know Lex, and I don’t know if it is all fucked up now. I don’t think it is, but I know now what you and Vi were trying to tell me. I should have prepared myself better for all possibilities.” I turn to my side. “I cried afterward.”
“Oh, honey, tell me everything. The night must have turned out all right. He took you out for pizza and beer.” She smiles softly. She tucks my hair behind my ears. “You know this is a good thing, and it means you’ve moved on. It’s okay to cry. Though, maybe next time, try to wait and hold it in until you are home alone. How did Aiden handle it when you cried? Was he good to you? He didn’t get upset?”
“No,” I shake my head. “He was upset, obviously. The woman he just fucked close to an inch of her life balled like a baby in the bathroom ten minutes afterward. As soon as my legs could carry me, I went to the bathroom, looked into the mirror, and cried, Lex.”
“Let’s go back to the start of the night, how did you go from a whatever attitude about sex to taking him to your bed five minutes into the date? I would never, ever judge you, believe me, you know I’ve had a good time and enjoyed men. But I didn’t think you would be bold enough and let yourself enjoy the moment. I’m proud of you, you wanted sex, and you took it. I’m done blabbing, answer my question. How did it happen so quickly? No, wrong wording, how did you get yourself to relax enough to go for what you wanted so quickly?”
“It was his eyes, nose, jaw, his tall, muscular, thick body, the way you can smell the power, strength, and confidence that surrounds his being. It was many things but when he kissed me, really kissed me, my mind shut off and my body took over. It didn’t feel like a kiss from a first date, a strange man; it was soft and deep. I don’t know Lex; maybe it was all because I’m a nut job deprived of sex, and her vibrator no longer satisfies her. I’m not sure about anything today. I know I can be slow on the uptake, the boys have teased me for years about how I’m always the last one to get the joke. Yes, I’ve been slow to get things, and I can get lost in my bubble, but I thought the night ended well. We almost had sex again. We have a date tomorrow for lunch. He said to plan on having dinner too, but I’ve been thinking, of course, he asked me out for another date because I cried, for fuck’s sake.”
“Why didn’t you have sex the second time?”
“He didn’t want to, he stopped it, that’s another thing I’m not sure about today. I thought it was sweet last night. He wanted me to be comfortable, he had no intentions of the sex so soon either, and he thought it was best if he left. I tried to talk him into staying, Lex. Now, I think I looked needy.”
“Hmm, we’ll come back to that, what time did he leave after you ate pizza?”
Her pupils dilate, “Three-thirty this morning? What time did you get back from dinner?”
“We never left my house, we ordered in.”
“Okay, so a seven-hour date, Willow. I think you can let go of the thoughts he needs to ask you out again out of some sense of obligation for fucking you right after he walked through your front door.”
She giggles, but I can’t, “Lexi, I’m serious. I’ve had zero sleep. I can’t stop replaying every little detail, and a lot of those details are not a good look for a sophisticated, interesting woman of the world.”
“Meaning, I did most of the talking, and all of it was about my children. We talked about Ryan a bit, but mostly it was me yapping about my grown kids. Which is fine because if I’m ever going to be involved with a man, he would have to know my children are number one, period, the end. Still, I never strayed off the topic of them. I didn’t talk about myself or my goals or achievements, politics, religion, future career paths, nothing Lex.”
“Calm down, my God, you are overthinking everything too much. Here’s what I know, no man, especially a man like Aiden Markley, spends seven hours on a date unless he’s into it, trust me.”
I blow out a breath and lay my head down on her purple decorative round pillow. “Okay, I’m calming down.”
“Good, can I ask about the sex now?” She smiles.
I roll my sleepy eyes. It was cold at Stella’s game, and now that I’m warm, I’m starting to get tired. “No, you cannot. It was good, possibly the best sex I have ever had, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.”
Her eyebrows arch up, “I have to ask a few questions. First, I have something to admit, Violet and I did share a few looks last night—”
“I know, I wasn’t prepared for the emotions, and you two were right.”
“Be quiet, and our shared look had more to do with what we chose not to share with you. Rumors I’ve heard and spoke to Violet about. We didn’t think we should fill your head with rumors, so we kept it to ourselves and let you go in blind. But now that you have had sex with Aiden, I want to ask you some questions.”
“What rumors didn’t you share with me?” I ask pouting and hurt that there was a secret look, and I was kept out of the loop on purpose.
“I started grilling Al and discretely asking Lamar and a couple of friends about Aiden. Al more or less confirmed what I heard from Joan was true by scolding me that it was no-one business, but Aiden’s. He was also quick to remind me I have my own kinks.”
I’m looking at her as if she’s a loon, “What was the rumor, and what the hell are you going on about? I admit it this time; I’m lost.”
“Willow, Willow, Willow, we are talking about sex. The rumor is Aiden likes different things when it comes to sex. I don’t know anyone who has first-hand knowledge of this, and it’s only hearsay. I told you I don’t really know him. Al only knows a little bit from swimming with him at the club. Joan, my neighbor, you met her last weekend. When she asked how we got Aiden Markley to come to our Sunday gathering, I told her I was as surprised as she. I asked what she knew about him because I didn’t know much. She told me a story about her cousin, who is a lawyer practicing in Cleveland. She took a case that brought her to this area, she met Lamar, Aiden, and a few other men, through a colleague. She and Aiden got it on for the weekend that she was in town.”
My nose scrunches, and my hand goes to my chest. “I don’t want to hear it. You were right I don’t want rumors clouding my already cloudy head.” I shake my head, my mouth curls because it’s none of my business, and I don’t want to have a picture of Aiden with another woman, not now, not ever.
“Okay, I understand, I’ll skip a lot of it. But I need to tell you because I’ve had two women share similar, yes, second and third-hand hearsay, but similar tales of Aiden and his likes—”
“Like what?” I interrupt.
“It’s common knowledge he visits a club in the city known for being a sex club.”
I spring up on my butt and sit staring in disbelieve at what she just said. “We’ve had this discussion before, Willow. Sex clubs are real, and they are all around us. Some of the romance books we read portray real-life shit, especially among the upper class. I sent you some articles from HuffPost on the topic, to prove to you they were real. Hell, two articles featured were from our state. I’ve been to a sex club, and Violet has been to several.”
“What?” I can’t believe what I’m hearing. “I know they are real, Lex. I just didn’t expect to go on a date and have sex with a fucking Jesse Ward! What the hell? Have you been to a club before? Vi doesn’t surprise me, and I don’t want to know to tell you the truth, but you have been to one before and never told me? Even during our romance book club conversation, and we fucking talked about it, A Lot! Why didn’t you tell me? I don’t care what you do, with whom or what your “kinks” are, you know that.” I feel crushed. She didn’t share that with me.
“I know I can, but I thought it was best to do it face-to-face, which is why I just confessed. Honey, you have been with one man since you were a girl. You missed a lot of things the rest of us women have gotten to experience. We gossiped about boys. We shared our deepest feeling and secrets about many things, but we missed that part of our relationship; the part where we bonded over girly sex talk. I was enjoying being a free, single intelligent woman. I was out drinking, dancing, and screwing men, and you were home dealing with real shit, like children, multiple businesses, so we skipped the sex-sharing stage.”
I sigh, I guess we did. I flop back onto her pillows, “I can’t handle anything else today, I don’t need another thing to obsess about.” I yawn. I wish I could take a nap.
“No more talk. Thank you for going with me today, you made Stell’s game a lot more enjoyable. I can see you are wiped out, and I promised to feed you. Why don’t you take a catnap, and I’ll wake you up when Al takes the food off the grill, and everything is ready. I’ll feed you, and then you can duck out and go home and hopefully get some sleep tonight.”
“Deal, I really could use a nap, if I go home now, I’ll fall asleep and not eat. I need food before I crash, feed me please.” I yawn, close my eyes, and roll to my side.
Lexi throws a blanket over me, “Relax, and I’ll wake you in an hour.”
I knock on Al and Lexi Reed’s front door holding the six-pack of IPA I brought with me. I have an open invitation to any of their Sunday football viewing parties, and I know it is obvious why I find myself here again so soon. Al opens the door, and his eyes widen. The ass smirks, “Come in, Aiden. Glad you came over for the game, it’s about to start.”
“Thanks, the Patriots should have a tough one tonight.”
Lamar walks into the foyer and busts out laughing. “I told you, man; he has the hots for Willow.” He slaps Al on the back.
Al smiles, “He must have worn her out last night, she’s upstairs sleeping in my bed. Lex couldn’t even wake her up to eat dinner.” He looks at Lamar and over his shoulder to the hallway that leads to the back of the house. “It’s the room with the double doors, wake her up, feed her, and take her home. Lexi said she didn’t sleep last night.”
Lamar’s laughter can be heard all through the neighborhood. I hand Al the beer, flip the asshole, Lamar, the bird and take the steps two at a time to get to Willow. I ignore the chuckles of the men. There is no need to pretend that I’m here for any other reason than to see Willow.
I stand and listen outside the bedroom. I breathe deep before I open the door. I know I’m chasing, hell, I am half-stalking her. I hope it doesn’t upset her that I showed up tonight when we will see each other tomorrow for lunch. There is something different about her, something about her that calls to me. It’s a new feeling, and I’m not prepared for how strong I’m drawn to her. I’m in the beginning stages of making significant changes in my career. Fucking Ryan is a headache to me, and now it seems I have a beautiful, soft, naive woman consuming my thoughts. I walk inside the dimly-lit room.
I tiptoe over to the bed. My heartbeat quickens. Jesus fucking Christ, I want to pick her up, fuck her hard, and then wrap her up in my arms and hold her tight while she sleeps safely beside me. She has no idea how badly I wanted to fuck her again last night before I left her house.
I sit softly on the bed beside her, and I brush her hair away from her face. She curled up on her side with both hands under her face. I run my finger down the line of her jaw, from her ear down to the tip of her chin. Her nose scrunches up, and her pink tongue comes out to lick her lips. Her green eyes slowly open. “Hi,” I whisper to her.
She smiles a sleepily smiles, blinks her eyes, and giggles quietly. “I had a dream, and you were in it.”
I bend and kiss her lips softly, “I like to hear that, Willow. What was I doing in your dream?” I run my fingers through her soft brown hair. I stop when I see her cheeks heat. I smile, “Tell me, baby.” I kiss her again, this time I take a little taste of her lips and nip them. “Why are you blushing, what was I doing in your dream?” I whisper against her lips. I need to remember I’m in another man’s house and bedroom. I need to get Willow home. I wish I could see if she was wet from her dream. Yes, a dream about me.
She kisses me and licks my lips. I groan, fuck, my dick is screaming for me to take her. “I don’t want to go to sex clubs, Aiden,” she whispers.
I back away, shocked, “What?”
She flushes a deep red, “What?” she repeats to me.
I can see her struggling to wake up, and she has no clue what she just said to me.
“Why did you say you do not want to go to a sex club, Willow? Why did you mention a sex club? Were you dreaming we were in a sex club?” I watch her struggle to sit up, and I gently lay my hand on her shoulder to keep her where she is. “Answer, please.” My heart is pounding for an entirely different reason now. Lexi Reed has been asking questions and filling Willow’s head with fucking who knows what. I’m sure questions about my old man are close behind.
“I heard some gossip, and it must have been in my mind when I fell asleep. What time is it?” She removes my hand from her shoulder and sits up. I stand and help her up to her feet.
I blow out a breath and hug her to me, “Don’t listen to gossip; it’s hardly ever backed up by hard evidence.” Her head looks up from my chest. She’s small compared to my 6′4" frame. She rests her chin on my chest, and bright green eyes look into mine.
“So, you have never been to a sex club?”
I don’t break our eye contact and answer, “I have been to a private club.”
Her reply, I didn’t expect. She rolls her eyes, “Apparently, I’m the odd man out once again.”
My eyes narrow. This subject is pissing me off; this is why I don’t socialize. I knew gossip and rumors would make their way to Willow. The truth is, no one knows what the fuck I do, and I like it that way and plan to keep a tight lid on my personal affairs.
“Why does that make you angry, are you pissed I’ve never been to a sex club?”
I calm myself down. Once again, Willow’s naivety shows itself to me. “No, I’m upset because I don’t like people speaking about me. Willow, I’m successful and well known. I like my private life to be private, always.”
“Oh,” she says.
“Oh, good, you’re awake. Hey Aiden, Al told me you were here. How are you?” Lexi walks into the room and looks between the two of us. “Is everything okay? Did you sleep well, Willow? I hid some food for you, I promised to feed you, and I knew the guys would gobble everything down if I didn’t.”
Willow smiles and takes ahold of my hand.” Thanks, Lex, sorry I slept so long. Could you give us a minute and we’ll be right down to eat and join everyone.”
“Lexi, I was hoping to have a late dinner with Willow this evening. There are a few things we need to discuss. I hope you won’t be upset if I steal her away from you tonight?”
Lexi smiles, “Of course I won’t be upset. Willow, call me tomorrow, and are we good for lunch Wednesday?”
Willow doesn’t answer her for a minute. She’s too busy staring at me with a look somewhere between pissed and confused. I shake my head, “Willow, are you awake?” I ask her to get her to answer her friend so we can get the hell out of here.
“Yes, I’m awake, Aiden.”
She walks over to Lex and hugs her. “I’ll call you later and tell the girls again. I said great game, and I had fun. I’ll see you Wednesday.”
She whispers something to Lexi. I can’t make out her words. Lexi smiles and rolls her eyes. “No worries, call me.” Willow looks at me, turns, and walks out the door leaving me to follow her like a goddamn puppy.