I put the final touches on my toenails, placing the bottle of purple polish on the table. The cool ocean breeze swept across the terrace, promising to dry my nails in no time. I leaned back in my lounge chair, deciding a quick nap was in order.
My life had improved considerably since my sister started dating Miles Maines, aka Reefer, a famous and very rich rock star. I went from living in a shitty apartment in Gastown, one of Vancouver’s roughest neighbourhoods, to Horseshoe Bay, a quiet suburb of the city without prostitutes and drug dealers on every corner.
I lived in Reefer’s cliffside mansion for a few weeks the previous summer while my sister recovered from a broken leg. Hannah was working as a stripper at a seedy club in the city. She got hired for a private party on Reefer’s yacht, where she ended up getting stranded for two weeks due to a passport issue. They hooked up, leading to a media storm. Hannah was a thirty-year-old virgin until Reefer got his hands on her. When she returned to work at the strip club, people went crazy and threw cherries at her. The crowd charged the stage, and my sister ended up with a broken leg.
“Fuck me,” I muttered when Hannah appeared next to my chair, her scowly face telling me I was about to get shit.
“You’re supposed to be watching Cleo.”
“She’s thirty-six, Hannah,” I sighed. “She doesn’t require constant supervision.”
“A tablet is not a substitute for human contact.”
“She loves that thing. Who cares if she’s on it all day?”
I pushed my shades up to my forehead, studying my sister’s face. “Are you getting enough cock, Hannah?”
“Is Miles putting the balls to you on the regular?”
“What does that have to do with you neglecting Cleo?”
“I didn’t neglect her, Hannah,” I snapped, rolling my eyes. “I’m here, aren’t I? I can think of much better ways to spend my day off, but I’m honouring my commitment to share the responsibility for Cleo, just like I promised when I moved out.”
Miles purchased a bakery so we could fulfill my mom’s dream of working together. Too bad Mom was dead. And baking was more Hannah and Cleo’s thing. I had a full time job at a beauty salon. Miles’s daughter took my place in the new family business. Lucy was autistic, but she was a Level 1 on the spectrum, whereas Cleo was a Level 2.
I lived alone in the apartment above the bakery, which suited me just fine. I loved Cleo, but I wasn’t great with managing her moods and severe OCD. I didn’t have the patience. And I wanted my privacy. For the first time in my life, I could come and go as I pleased, and fuck whomever I wanted, without Hannah’s judgement and criticism.
I groaned when Hannah sat down. She wasn’t finished lecturing me. And I knew what was next on her agenda. The same thing she’d been nagging me about for weeks.
“Did you decide if you’re bringing a date to the wedding?”
See? Did I call that or what?
“Lex,” she said, expelling a frustrated sigh. “You’re running out of time. Your date requires a security clearance and a signed NDA. You can’t just pick some random guy at the last minute.”
“Why can’t you just have a normal wedding?”
“Because we don’t want the paparazzi ruining our day.”
Hannah and Miles were getting married somewhere in the Alaskan wilderness. They rented out a lodge for a week. The location was top-secret. The guests didn’t even know where they were going. All they were told when they accepted the coveted invite was that they were required to fly to Anchorage, Alaska. They went a little overboard with the secrecy. I didn’t even know the location of the lodge.
“I probably won’t bother to bring a date,” I said. “It’s too much hassle.”
“Osk is bringing a date,” she informed me with a sympathetic smile.
Oskar Osk Blackwell was Miles’s drummer.
“What is it about that guy?”
“What do you mean?”
“You’ve been sleeping with him for a year.”
“So, do you really see this thing going anywhere?”
“No. We’re just casual. And I’m fine with that.”
“He’s a nice guy, Lex. But he’s very immature. Miles doesn’t think he’ll ever grow up.”
“I’m not planning to marry him, Hannah.”
“Then why do you keep sleeping with him?”
“Because the sex is amazing.”
“You could have amazing sex with a grown up. A guy with long-term potential,” she suggested. “A guy like Paddy.”
“He might be a stud in bed, Lex.”
I threw my head back, laughing hard at her ludicrous suggestion. “Yeah right.”
“You never know.”
“He’s never even had a girlfriend. I’m beginning to wonder if he’s gay.”
“He’s not gay, Lex,” she sighed. “He’s in love with you.”
“Paddy is not in love with me, Hannah! How many times do we have to go over this? We’re best friends. Nothing else. And a guy like Paddy could never meet my needs.”
“How do you know?”
“Can you see Paddy bending me over the hood of his car and fucking me raw?”
“Yeah. Hasn’t Miles ever fucked you so hard that you couldn’t sit down the next day?”
She glanced away, her pink cheeks giving away her answer.
“Osk is crazy in bed. And I love that. He eats pussy like a champ. And he likes to do it.”
“We’re sisters. We’re supposed to share this kind of stuff.”
She smiled shyly. “What else does Osk do that makes him such a sex God?”
“His piercing gives me mind-blowing orgasms.”
“He has a tongue piercing?”
“He does. And it feels amazing when he’s going down on me. But that’s not the piercing I’m talking about.”
“He has one somewhere else?” she whispered.
“Yeah. He’s got what they call a Prince Albert. It’s a ring in the head of his cock.”
“Doesn’t that hurt?” she gasped. “You know? When he’s inside you?”
“No. It feels amazing. That’s why he’s ruined me for other guys. You don’t find too many with cock piercings. I’ve never had orgasms that powerful before during intercourse.”
“I think you have feelings for Osk.”
“What makes you think that?”
“The hurt look on your face when I told you he was bringing a date to the wedding.”
“I don’t care,” I scoffed.
“Yes, you do,” she said quietly, reaching over to rub my hand. “I know you, little sister. You’ve caught the feelings.”
“It doesn’t matter. He’s bringing another woman to a wedding he knows I’m gonna be attending. If he wanted to be with me, he would come alone, knowing we’d hook up.”
“I’m sorry, Lex.”
“I’m gonna suggest something to you,” she said hesitantly. “And I want you to at least consider it for a minute before you say no.”
“I’m not bringing Paddy.”
“Do you want to spend the entire week alone? Most guests are either married, or bringing dates or significant others. Wouldn’t it be more fun with a date?”
“And Paddy is great with Cleo.”
“And if you’re flying solo, you’ll be staying in a room in the main lodge. If you bring a date, you get a cabin. Madeline and the girls are staying in the lodge. I guess you can just hang out with them all week.”
“You make it sound like spending time with my autistic sister and your future stepdaughter and mother-in-law is some kind of unpleasant chore.”
“I know you love Cleo, but I also know you wouldn’t be happy hanging out with them all week.”
“Paddy probably can’t get away for a week. He’s in charge of the Richmond home and the Marpole home.”
“If you ask him to be your date for a week-long trip to Alaska, I think he’ll move heaven and earth to make it happen.”
“Okay,” I agreed, an idea already hatching in my brain. “I’ll ask Paddy.”