This is a re-release of my 2011 novel, set around that time. It might be dated in spots (i.e Georgie has a Black Eyed Peas ringtone. Heh.)
Georgie Salter didn’t so much exit from the taxi as ooze out of it. Her ten-dollar flats met a street damp from the last slushy remnants of one bitch of a winter. Her skirt rode up to the tops of her thighs, and she worried she was giving the line of people standing outside of the bar their money shot for the evening. She tried to stand upright, but her legs had other ideas and told her kneecaps to turn to jelly. Luckily for Georgie, someone caught her before she could land in a puddle and douse her black panties with the pink PRINCESS written on the ass and the heart-shaped charm just below her belly. Fingers laced with hers.
Georgie looked up, and her mood brightened from pleasantly drunk to genuinely thrilled. “Oh my God, Anthony!”
“Careful, Gee.” He hauled her onto the curb. The top of her head smacked his chin. “Oooh, sorry!” she said and reached up to adjust the cardboard party hat she had been wearing all night: Mr. Ding, an erect and smiling cartoon penis.
When she looked up at him, Anthony Gaines’s delicious lips curved into a smile, and his cinnamon eyes shone. Georgie’s blood raced to all the right places. She curled her toes and took a moment to enjoy the tickle that wiggled from the soles of her feet to the tip of her tongue and back down, settling on the equator between PRINCESS and the pink heart.
She smiled, then gasped in surprise. “You cut your hair off!”
Anthony laughed when she freed one hand from his and rubbed the scalp that used to be a shaggy mess covering his eyes but was now cropped close to his narrow head. “I save a bundle on conditioner now.”
“Yeah, but you make up it for it in gel. Ew.”
She wiped her sticky palm on his shoulder. He was jacketless, and the warmth of his body through the polo he wore went along her arm like honey.
The spray of the cab’s tires pulling away from the curb speckled her bare legs as she ran her hand up to cup the back of his head. She stood on her toes and tilted her head back. Without a second’s hesitation, Anthony lowered his mouth to hers.
They’d been a couple for about the blink of an eye, doing what couples in love were supposed to do. They genuinely liked one another, and the sex was fantastic, but they were terrible at being a couple. The fuck buddy dynamic had begun almost immediately with that first midmorning coffee meeting spent trying to maneuver between boyfriend/girlfriend to exes.
Their relationship since was one hundred times better than the one they had left behind. At least, it had been until Georgie heard he was getting serious with Etienne. News of his new relationship had hit her harder than she had anticipated. Anthony was notorious for bouncing from one woman or man to the next. His relationships rarely evolved past “fling.”
She’d heard that his latest foray into being a couple was going better than ever, and it depressed the hell out of her. She’d been avoiding him for the past month. His texts, voice mails, and e-mails had gone unanswered until she’d found a letter in her in-box that was loaded with F-bombs and the Caps Lock of doom.
The way his tongue was now exploring hers suggested to Georgie that the rumors of his commitment to Etienne were untrue, and that PRINCESS was going to end up in a crumpled heap at the foot of his bed.
She closed the gap between them and moaned just loud enough for him to hear as she sucked his tongue deeper into her mouth. Anthony responded with a grunting sound and slipped his knee between her legs, bringing it up so his hard thigh rubbed the thin fabric of her panties against her pussy.
Warm rings of pleasure tickled along the length of her pussy. She would have hailed another taxi to take them both back to her place if it wasn’t for the obnoxious “Ahem!” behind her.
Tera, Georgie’s best friend, stood shivering in front of the taxi stand in her red bridal veil with the devil horns jutting out of either side. She’d colored her hair a deep black for the occasion. A homemade YES I FUCKING DO sash strained against her enormous boobs. In one hand, she held a candy dispenser in the shape of a dick that popped out little white candies whenever she jerked the length. In the other, a bag of tiny gummy vaginas to give out to unsuspecting revelers who had no idea the hen night from hell was about to come down on them like the apocalypse.
She shook her bag of gummy vaginas and raised her brows. “Hello? Getting married, here? First and last night out without the baby? Still sober? Hell-o-o-o?”
Georgie grinned but didn’t let go of Anthony’s hand. “Go on in,” she told Tera. “I’ll be right behind you. Show everyone your new toy.”
“I can’t. You’re the only one who can catch the candy in your mouth. Without you, it’s just a big plastic dick.”
Tera wanked the toy. A shard of cheap candy flew out and nailed a girl in a minidress between the eyes. Tera glared at the girl. “What? Don’t look at me like that. It’s not like that’s the first time you got a shot in the eye, and everyone knows it.”
Georgie squeezed down on Anthony’s hand. “Have you ever been to one of these things before?” she asked him. They were chest to chest, and she could feel the beginnings of an erection pressing through his jeans.
“No, but it can’t be any worse than one of Tera’s sex-toy sales parties.”
“That’s what you think,” she muttered, her gaze on his lips. “It should be a short night. This is the first night Chris has been alone with the baby, so she wants to be out of here by midnight. We could go for a slice of pizza or some coffee.”
“Do I get a private demonstration with the big plastic dick?”
“I’m going to ignore the implications of that request.” She laughed and tilted her head back as he kissed her again. He slipped his hands under the hem of her thigh-length jacket and cupped her ass, holding her in place while he moved his hips just slightly. His growing erection pressed against her belly.
Georgie waved off Tera’s intrusion.
Half an hour. Just a half an hour, and then we can leave without her getting pissed. Half an hour and he’ll be screwing me up against the pile of boxes in the kitchen.
Her clit throbbed with anticipation.
He flicked the tip of his tongue against hers, and she ground herself against him.
“Anthony.” Tera’s voice was closer now.
Fifteen minutes. Long enough to have a couple of shots, dance to one or two songs, stuff three of the penis-shaped lollipops in my mouth for a laugh, and then we can make out in the cab on the way to his place.
He discreetly pulled the hem of her dress up so the jacket was the only thing between her bare ass and the night chill. Georgie could have gone off like a shot when his long fingers evaded her soaked panties and ran along the length of her wet slit.
Five minutes. One shot. One spastic dance. Deep throat the plastic dick. Ha-ha, everyone laughs, and then I’m getting ridden by the God of the Thrusting Hips.
He moaned, and the vibration rippled through her, meeting the electric thrill of the tip of his middle finger probing deeper.
Fuck the party. I’m going to come in front of thirty people who are waiting to get into the lousiest bar in Halifax. It’ll be all over the Internet. There’ll be Facebook groups dedicated to me, The Girl Who Came On Brunswick Street. People will point at me when I’m waiting in line at Starbucks and shout “Hey! That’s her! The Girl Who Came on Brunswick Street!”
And it will be soooo worth it.
“Hi, Etienne!” Tera’s voice intruded like a morning alarm clock. Georgie pulled away from Anthony so fast, the elastic in her panties snapped and she felt definite droopage. The droopage was nothing compared to the humiliation and shame that came over her all at once. Strolling up to the entrance of the bar was Anthony’s boyfriend, Etienne Delagarde.
There was absolutely no expression Georgie could muster that didn’t fall into the category of I Did Something Bad. Worse, Anthony still had one arm cinched around her waist with a wad of her skirt bunched in his fist like he wanted to keep her from bolting.
“That was quick,” he said to Etienne without taking his gaze off of Georgie’s flushed face. “You broke now?”
“I never made it to the ATM.” He had a distinctive accent of the smaller French Canadian communities on the East Coast, a little bit of French and Scottish mingled with English. He shrugged. “I was standing under the overhang in front of the old newspaper office trying to check my messages while some drunk kept screaming at his own reflection to give his lawnmower back.” Etienne’s blue-eyed gaze slid to Georgie. “Hey again.”
“Hey.” She yanked Anthony’s hand away. She couldn’t look directly at Etienne, not after he walked up on her making out with his boyfriend, and so she concentrated on a faded scar on his chin.
He didn’t look pissed, as she would have been and as anyone in their right mind would have been. His poise was relaxed and practically identical to Anthony’s, hands shoved into his pockets and head tilted a little to the side. She could have sworn he was on the verge of smirking.
Oh man, they’re making fun of me.
It was worse than having the imaginary neon SLUT blazing over her forehead she had envisioned only seconds ago.
She felt a little sick and more than a little ashamed. To make matters worse, when she looked to Tera, her best friend actually had pity on her face.
Covering her embarrassment up with a flick of her hair, Georgie lifted her chin and smiled. “Well, we can’t have Tera’s hen party without Tera, can we? After you.”
Tera’s face brightened as she stepped into line next to Anthony. She held out the cellophane bag she carried. “Anthony, do you want vagina or dick?”
“Like I always say, can’t I have both?”
“It must be so hard to live your life, Anthony.”
Georgie trailed in the rear behind Etienne. Each miserable step made her feel a little more desperate for a jiggling tower of Jell-O shots. She kept her eyes to the ground and watched his feet shuffle ahead of hers as the bouncer waved them in.
Once they’d left their coats at the check, Etienne turned to Georgie. “Your hat is squished.”
“What?” And then she remembered. Her hand flew up to the party hat she’d donned, the one with the erect penis with a smiley face.
Oh God, just kill me.
Etienne’s shoulders shook with laughter as she trudged in his wake, into the flashing lights of what promised to be the crappiest hen night in history.
* * *
After the social hiccup outside, Georgie was making every effort to avoid Anthony and Etienne. She immediately retreated to the dance floor and stayed there until Tera crashed through the crowd to drag Georgie into the ladies’ room.
Georgie glanced in the direction of the small nook the party had claimed. Anthony and Etienne sat close together, the latter’s arm draped over the back of Anthony’s chair. Jealousy speared Georgie right in the heart. She hated them both a little for making her feel so cruddy.
“It’s a good thing Melanie isn’t here.” Tera made a gagging face as she mentioned Anthony’s sister. “I probably would have busted that stick up her arse over her head by now,” Tera said as they tiptoed into the ladies’ toilet, swerving like race car drivers to avoid the ominous puddles that dotted the checked floor. “Did you know that she’s been giving Anthony shit about Etienne? Can you believe it?”
“Actually, yes I can.” Georgie leaned against the sink as Tera shoved aside a skinny girl who was vacating the nearest stall. “Ever since she hooked up with Grant, she lives on another planet.”
Tera closed the stall door. “If I ever get like that, just bludgeon me to death. I swear, Georgie, if you ever see me scrapbooking, just kill me.”
Georgie couldn’t aspire to the kind of bitterness Tera felt for their former cohort, but Melanie was a sore spot indeed. Melanie was Anthony’s younger sister, and once she had been Georgie’s best friend, as far back as the sixth grade. She had laughed harder with Melanie than she had laughed with anyone else. They’d shared their first vodka cooler. They’d smoked their first cigarettes together on their way home from school. Georgie had always been the more spontaneous of the two, but Mel was always the more extreme. She went through men like most people went through clean socks and had lived in a polygamous relationship with two women she had met at the Gap. Her first child was the result of a late-night hookup with a guy she met in a chat room.
Georgie was certain that, given the events leading up to her marriage, meeting Grant was the best thing to happen to Mel, but that didn’t make it any easier now that Mel’s personality had been transplanted into something generic and often ugly. It was hard being Mel’s friend. Georgie expected it was even harder being her openly bisexual and laid-back brother.
Georgie used her toe to trace the outline of a floor tile. “So what’s her problem this time?”
“You’re the one moving into her basement apartment. Haven’t you talked to her?”
“Not for a few days, and she never talks about Anthony. Tell me.”
“She doesn’t feel comfortable having him around, she told him. Who is she kidding?”
“Herself. She’s blocked out everything that happened before she joined that Christian Mommy chat room.” Georgie scowled at the graffitied stall door. “How do you know about this?”
“Anthony told me. I’ve never had him inside of me, so I don’t get weird when he asks me for coffee.”
Georgie hung her head back.
I’m such a shit.
“There was this big thing about Easter Sunday,” Tera went on. “Mel wanted to have the thing at her place, but she made a point of saying Etienne wasn’t invited. Anthony had no intentions of inviting Etienne anyway, since Etienne was driving back to Shediac to spend the long weekend with his folks, but her attitude really got to him. Even their mother was surprised by how nasty Mel was about it, and you know how conservative she is.”
“Compared to some of the shit Mel pulled before she got married, Anthony is an angel.”
“So yeah, he’s having a bit of a rough time. Of course”—Tera opened the stall door and raised her eyebrows at Georgie—“you’d know that if you had picked up the phone and called him, but I suppose sucking his face on the side of the road is good too.”
Georgie rolled her eyes to the ceiling. “Okay, I deserve that.”
She felt wretched. Anthony wasn’t her boyfriend. She didn’t even want him as her boyfriend, given how unhappy they had both been with the relationship yoke on her neck, but that never stopped her from having second thoughts whenever he found another playmate. As much as she didn’t want to admit it, she’d been miserable when she had discovered Anthony had really hit it off with Etienne. The way she saw it, she had the choice between giving that tight, maniacal, good-for-you smile, or just phasing out of the friendship.
“You know what I deserve? I deserve to have all my people getting along. It’s my hen party, for Christ’s sake.” Tera popped open the little purse hanging at her hip and pulled out a tube of lipstick. “So tonight, Georgina, you are going to help me make sure everyone is having fun. You are going to put away your sad face, you’re going to show a little ass, and in case you set a precedent, you’re going to make out with all my guests if you have to—including Mr. Delagarde.”
Georgie giggled. “Like that would be hard.”
“I know, right? Kind of makes me hate Anthony.” Tera swiped her lips and blew a kiss at her reflection before running her fingers through her hair. “He gets to go home to tall, dark, and French. I have shitty diapers and a fiancé who is already possibly married to his Xbox.”
“I get to go home to my fish. It’s okay, though. Mercutio loves me unconditionally.” She followed Tera back into the bar. Her eardrums were assaulted by loud garbling, and she winced. “What the hell is that?”
Tera gasped and bounced up and down. “Karaoke! They’re letting us sing karaoke!”
“You call that singing?” They stepped out of the alcove dividing the washrooms from the rest of the bar. Georgie groaned. Etienne, Anthony, and a couple of guys who had worked with Tera at the cable company were abusing a New Kids on the Block song and knocking into one another while attempting the dance moves.
“There are so many things wrong with what my eyes and ears are experiencing right now,” Georgie said just as Anthony almost fell off the stage attempting some kind of kick. “Someone is going home in an ambulance tonight.”
Tera grabbed Georgie and gave her a shake. “We have to do that Spice Girls song. No, don’t shake your head. You have to. It’s my night.”
Dragged toward the stage by Tera, Georgie groaned. “Allow me to amend my prediction. I’m going home in an ambulance tonight.”
* * *
“Coke. Diet. No lemon or lime. No fruit of any kind near the glass, please.”
Resting her forehead against the heel of her palm, Georgie groaned as she stared longingly at the wall of multicolored liquor bottles on the opposite side of the bar. Her mouth had a funky taste from catching those white candies on her tongue. She was pretty sure one was lodged in her bra, but she’d be damned if she could find the little sucker. The bartender set her drink on a napkin in front of her, and Georgie took a gulp.
Her penis hat had been confiscated by an American soldier who had drawn a moustache and sideburns on it and was now wearing it like a unicorn horn. Georgie had on Tera’s red devil veil and a feather boa wrapped around her neck. In honor of the bride, they’d played Cher’s “Believe” twice, and Tera refused to let anyone off the dance floor until they sang the chorus just like Cher. As a result, Georgie’s feet were killing her and her throat was burning.
Someone jostled her from behind and she turned, ready to take out her irritation on anyone, but her retort backfired down her throat when Etienne slid onto the stool next to her. He smiled, and Georgie was taken aback by its sincerity. Surprise bred paranoia. She pulled her drink closer to her as he ordered a beer.
“I’ll pay for yours too,” he said and pulled out his wallet. She muttered her thanks and glanced around the bar, hoping to find Tera waving her back onto the dance floor, but the bride-to-be was nowhere to be seen. Georgie was stuck with Etienne.
She watched him count out his change and then slide some coins onto the bar for a tip. She was looking for some sign that payback for the incident with Anthony was on its way, but she could detect none. He looked happy and relaxed, like he was having a good time.
He took a sip of his beer and nodded. “Are you having fun?”
“I’m wearing a veil, and I think my bra is filled with candy.”
Etienne lifted his brows a notch. “So you’re kind of like a fancy piñata?”
Georgie tried not to laugh. She bit her tongue and glanced down at her drink, but her determination was no match for the tiny bubbles of laughter that crept up her throat. She giggled into her soda. “Yeah, only a piñata will put up a fight when you come at it with a big stick. I’ll just run away.”
“Then I’ll just have to outrun you if I want what’s in your bra.”
Her smile froze, and her stomach flopped. Combined with that smooth tone, it sounded like he was flirting with her. She took a sip, and when she laughed, the sound was forced.
“Sorry,” he said, looking sheepish. “I tend to get cheesy when I’ve had too much sugar and vodka.”
“Well, everyone has their vices.” She took a minute to study him and felt a little ridiculous as the word “rival” floated around in her brain. For Anthony’s affections, Etienne was her rival, and from what she could tell, he had a leg up on her. Watching them on stage, on the dance floor, and sitting at the table, they really seemed to click together. She’d always been able to derive a kind of triumph whenever Anthony would introduce a new significant other to their friends and tension hung in the air, but this was different. While Georgie skulked on the sidelines, Etienne had been embraced by their social circle. She had no one to blame but herself, but she still simmered with resentment.
Not that there was anything wrong with Etienne. Hoo boy, far from it. He was one of those sexy/smart types who could probably speak six different languages and had talk radio preset into his car stereo. The first time she’d met him, she’d been sitting next to Tera at a table for ten. Georgie’s eyeballs nearly bugged out of her head like a cartoon’s. The curly black hair. The ice blue eyes. The long lashes. The shadow of stubble surrounding an angular jaw.
“Excuse me, but can I get some rum in this?” she said to the bartender, who rolled her eyes as she refilled the glass. Georgie glanced back at Etienne and was a little annoyed to find him watching her. “Are you having fun?”
He shrugged. “I’m on call tonight, so I can’t really unwind. Every time my phone vibrates, I have to stop having fun and get serious.”
“Ah, right, the…thing.”
Etienne worked for the Benjamin Mitchell Society, a small nonprofit organization that helped homeless and troubled teenagers. The night she’d met Etienne, he’d had to skip out on dinner because one of the girls he’d gotten into a group home had called him with a crisis. Anthony hadn’t been ticked off that his date had taken off on him. He’d looked proud. It ate Georgie’s guts.
“What about you? Anthony says you’re working at the Department of Immigration?”
She curled her fingers around her glass and swallowed the little ball of misery forming at the back of her throat. “Yeah, but I’m done in a few days.”
“That must be interesting.”
“Not really. I work in a cubicle and type names in a spreadsheet,” she said. “I liked working for Parks Canada. At least there I could look at pictures of the national parks while I wrote reports, and I could eat my lunch in the museum courtyard.”
She felt herself sinking lower and lower as she talked about herself. She’d been a temp for over a year, and it had yet to yield the benefits the agency had promised. She had no job offers from the government like the recruiter had suggested would come, and the pay was so awful, she’d had to sell her car because she couldn’t afford the insurance. Worse, a few weeks ago, she’d been forced to give her notice to move. She was going to live with Mel in a crappy basement apartment out in the boonies.
“What about one of those call centers downtown?” She shot him a dirty look. Etienne winced. “Sorry. I’ve sent a lot of kids to the one above the mall.”
“My first job was in a call center. I’d rather live in a cardboard box than spend eight hours a day taking complaints for the bank.” She shrugged and then felt a smidge of guilt. “But I guess to teenagers starting off with nothing, it must be a dream job.”
“I didn’t mean it like that,” he said and placed his hand on her shoulder. She stiffened a little, not used to virtual strangers touching her, and Etienne let his hand drop. “I wouldn’t want to work there either. Some of them are pretty shady. So are some of the companies who hire temps. One of the girls who used to come into the office went to work for the big automotive financing company across the bridge. They kept her on for two years without offering her a permanent position. They ended up letting her go without any notice after she’d stuck it out with them without getting any benefits or raises.”
Georgie raised her glass. “Right here. Eastern Pharmaceuticals. Nine months of my life down the toilet, and all I got was a gift certificate for Chicken Chalet and a T-shirt with the company logo on it.”
“Ouch.” Etienne shook his head and started to peel the label off his bottle.
He had big hands with long fingers crisscrossed with paper cuts, and scuffed knuckles. “If it makes you feel any better, my first job was dressing up as a potato and flagging down cars.” She raised her brows at him, and he laughed. “It was for my dad’s fish-and-chips stand. I was fourteen. I was a potato, and my best friend was the fish. Not only was it my first job, but when I went back last summer, he talked me into doing it for the Canada Day weekend. I was a thirty-year-old man dressed up like a potato waving at cars on the side of the road.”
“Yeah, but you were doing it because you were a sucker. I have to demean myself to eat.” She sank a little lower as she spoke. “I’d dress up as a potato. I’d even let teenage hooligans pelt me with sour cream and bacon bits for a raise.”
She glanced at Etienne. His lips were pressed together, and his face was quickly changing color. His left eye twitched, and then he burst out laughing. “Sorry. Sorry. So sorry. I’m just picturing you as a cute little potato.”
“Excuuuuuuuse me, but I’m not having fun,” a voice announced from behind. Etienne and Georgie swiveled in their seats as Anthony strolled up to them.
He slipped his arm around Etienne’s shoulders and ruffled the dark hair at the back of his head. “You haven’t danced with me, you wench.”
Georgie cringed. “No offense, but I don’t want to get smacked in the mouth by those muscle spasms you call dance moves.”
Over the top of Etienne’s head, Anthony stuck his middle finger up, then turned to Etienne and held up his right hand. “Your phone has been singing.”
Etienne took the tiny phone, and his fingers danced over the buttons. His brows came together, and he bit his lip with such consternation on his face that Georgie smiled at how boyish he looked. “Shit. I think I’m going to have to leave.”
“You’ll have to sneak out,” Georgie said. “If Tera catches you skipping out on her party, she’ll bust both your kneecaps.”
He chuckled and looked to Anthony. “I’m going to grab a cab. Can you drop off the SUV to me tomorrow?”
Anthony cocked his head and leaned closer to Etienne. “What do I get in return for my services?”
Etienne angled his head to one side. His lips moved, but he spoke so low that Georgie could only hear the rumble of his voice. Whatever he said made Anthony’s smile widen, and the awful moment Georgie had been waiting for came when they kissed. It was just a peck and lasted only a second, but it was enough to send her spirits plummeting. Bitterness filled her mouth. She hated them both. She hated Anthony more because he’d taken her drink and she had nothing to hide behind.
Etienne slid off his stool and handed his beer to Anthony. To Georgie, he said, “It was good talking to you…finally.”
“See you, Spudman.” She managed a smile as he headed for the exit. Before she looked at Anthony, she waved at the bartender for another rum and Coke. Anthony slid into the seat Etienne had vacated and cinched his arm around her wrist.
“I’ll get that,” Anthony told the bartender and gave Georgie a smirk. “Least I can do.”
A bubble of laughter broke in her throat and chewed up some of her misery. She took a moment to enjoy it with a roll of her eyes. “Bullshit, but thanks. I seem to be really popular tonight. All the boys want to buy me drinks.”
“We were all just impressed by your ability to catch all those little sperm candies on your tongue,” he said as the bartender placed a drink in front of her. Anthony’s expression changed from playful to serious, and poof, her mirth was gone. His eyes narrowed slightly, and she was on the receiving end of what looked like pity.
Georgie sucked the end of her straw. “What?”
“You said you were moving. You never told me where.”
“Oh hell, I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Really, Gee? With Melanie? That’s the bottom of the barrel.”
“Sadly, yes, it is.” She grunted and slurped her cocktail. “Actually, my last resort is the Y, but getting felt up in the middle of the night by a Czech janitorial student doesn’t have the glamour it did in my early twenties.”
The weight of that single syllable pushed down on her shoulders. It sounded pathetic, and she felt pathetic.
“I know, I know. Tera offered to let me stay with her, and I would have jumped on it if she had the room and if I didn’t think it would be too much, but with the wedding and the baby, it wouldn’t be right for me to couch surf.”
“And Mel has been talking about renting out the basement to someone for a while now, and it had to be someone she could trust around the kids. It’s only three hundred a month, and I get to take the fancy express bus with the cushy seats.”
“Shut up, Anthony. Can we discuss something else, please?”
He shook his head, and that pitying look lingered, but he backed off.
It was too late for Georgie. She already felt worse than she had before. The humiliation of being a thirty-year-old temp heaped on top of the essence of skank left on her by their make-out on the street. She neither needed nor wanted the voice of reason to tell her that renting the basement apartment in Mel’s house was a stamp of failure right on par with dropping out of community college four times.
One thing Anthony shared with his sister was the tendency to analyze Georgie when he thought she needed it. Usually Anthony’s lecture was so well made, it left her with a spark of ambition and the warm fuzzies, but tonight she just felt slimy.
He called for a shot of vodka, and after gulping it, he scooted forward until his knee bumped hers.
“You know, the party is winding down up there,” he said after a minute. “I’ll take you home.”
“Fuck, no!” She said it before she could stop herself. She clapped her hand over her mouth and endured Anthony’s tickled smile. “No offense, but no. I’ve been shamed enough. All I need now is my scarlet letter.”
“I don’t get why you’re so embarrassed. It wasn’t a big deal.”
“Listen, I’m pretty sure that if Etienne was a woman, I’d still be scraping bits of eyeball and scalp off of the pavement.”
“Trust me, you have no idea what you’re talking about. He’s not pissed. If he was pissed, he wouldn’t have parked his ass next to you and struck up a conversation. In fact, his goal for the evening has been to make nice with you.”
“Oh, that was swell,” she said with a deep breath. “Look, he seems nice, but this is a level of awkward I’d rather not explore.” She took another sip of her drink, looked around the bar as the dance floor started to fill up once more, and then she said, “Are you going to get married?”
Anthony’s jaw dropped, and he stammered wordlessly. She’d never actually seen someone do this before and would have been amused if it wasn’t for the Hammer Horror music that had suddenly pounded up inside her head.
“Oh my God, why would you ask me that?”
“Well, why not? You’ve been together for a few months now, and everything is peachy keen—”
“Not that you’d know for sure since you’ve been ignoring me for half that time.”
“—and you can. It’s legal, and it’s the thing to do now. I’ve been to three weddings in the last year, and if Tera can hang up her love paddle—”
“It’s your turn to shut up now. No one is getting married, and I’d like to be there when the rum soak wears off and you realize you asked me that.”
“I’m not drunk…anymore. I’m just toasty now. And it’s not a stupid question.”
“Yes, it is. Now get your fucking coat.” He grinned, and his gaze moved from the top of her head to her toes. She felt hot all over by the time he made eye contact again. “I’m taking you home.”
Her argument was cut short when he took the hem of her veil and flipped it over her face. She made a sad little “gawp!” when he shoved a clump of gauze into her mouth and led her back to the table to announce their departure.
He kept her close, his hands on her hips while she dug into her purse for her keys. She was so turned on, she was shaking. It seemed like an impossible feat to work the lock to the lobby door. She gave up with a sigh, and he closed his hand over hers to work the lock.
“You know, that probably shouldn’t have turned me on like it did,” she said.
They rode the elevator up, then went flying through the heavy door into her darkened foyer. He bumped her from behind, urging her toward the bedroom, and stopped when she flicked on the overhead light.
Anthony looked around. “Where the hell is your bed?”
“I sold it.”
He yanked her jacket down her arms. “Fuck, do you sleep on the floor?”
“No, on the futon in the living room.” She pulled her blouse over her head. He dragged her along, and when she could see again, she was standing amid the boxed rubble of her living room. Anthony eyed the futon.
“This thing is going to be a pile of splinters in an hour,” he said and snapped her bra before he started working on the hooks.
In a moment, all that was left were her flats. He plunked her into the concave mattress, and she kicked. One shoe flew against the balcony door while the other landed on a pile of boxes marked KITCHEN.
I’m going to bite him, she thought as she worked his belt. I’m going to flip him over and just sink my teeth into his ass. He can’t stop me. I just have to do it.
“Hang on, Georgie.”
“Hang on? I’m already trying not to throw you down and ride you through the floor.”
Anthony shucked off his polo over his head and then snagged his wallet from his back pocket, from which he extracted a small red packet. He held it between his teeth while she peeled his jeans and briefs to his knees. His cock sprang up, arcing away from a sparse smattering of blond hair.
Georgie couldn’t keep her hands to herself a minute longer. While he was tilting back and forth trying to get out of the last pant leg, she ran her hand along his inner thigh and cupped his balls.
She leaned forward and swept her tongue over the swollen head of his cock. Anthony hissed. He pulled back, spit out the condom, and caught it in both hands. “No. I’m ready to go off.”
“Let me.” She reached for the wrapper, and he slapped her hand away.
“I don’t think so. I don’t trust you. I’ve been on the receiving end of enough of your handjobs to know better.”
While he tore open the foil, Georgie contented herself with skimming her fingertips along the backs of his thighs, up to the plump curve of his buttocks. He rolled the condom over the length and reached out to take her wrists.
Her breath caught at the back of her throat, and her heartbeat picked up as he covered her mouth with his. Georgie tilted her head to one side, opening her mouth to his insistent tongue.
Anthony’s drive had shifted from the teasing display earlier to this, the single-mindedness that would lift her up and drag her down at his whim. He cupped her head and held her in place. His tongue was silky and insistent as he curled it around hers.
Impatience skirled in her belly with every delectable stroke. She sucked his tongue deeper into her mouth. Anthony moaned. He urged her against the stuffed cushion. Once more she reached around his body and splayed both hands over his round ass. The hissing sound as he sucked in a quick breath spurred her. She curled her fingers, digging the tips of her nails in. His moan gurgled around her tongue, and she puckered her lips around his, sucking him deeper into her hot mouth.
Only when one of her hands meandered over his hip and she reached for his cock did his tolerance wane. He snatched up both her hands with a “Gotcha,” and tucked them behind her back. He stood.
“Come on, Anthony.” She tucked her feet up on the edge of the futon in a lewd display. “I’m going to peel my own skin off in a minute.”
“Please. When has begging ever gotten you anywhere?”
He went to his knees before her and nuzzled the bare flesh above her swollen cunt. His tongue darted out. Rings of pleasure throbbed in her belly as he drew a half circle around the puffy flesh hood. Instead of completing its descent southward, he licked a trail over her belly and upward, between her breasts and over her throat to meet her lips again.
He didn’t kiss her, merely brushed her mouth as he spoke. “I’m not going to fuck you yet, Gee. I’m just going to play with you a little bit.”
The soft hair on the back of his hand brushed the insides of her thighs as he touched her. Her cunt warmed. Moisture seeped out even before he ran his thumb over her clit.
With a half smile, he watched her face as the effect of his fingers manifested in a long shudder.
“You know, I carry around a little clip of you on my laptop of the night of the pub crawl Tera talked us into.”
The recollection flared up before her. She’d seen the video: Georgie spread-eagle on her bed, one hand gripping the headboard above her. It had been Anthony’s idea. He’d just gotten the slim little camera and with a wink had suggested they test out the video function.
“When I’m alone in some hotel room miles away and feeling a little horny, I just slip the headphones on and loop it over and over again and just imagine I’m fucking you like that again.” He rubbed his thumb around her clit. “God, you were in a mood that night. I kept catching you rubbing yourself under the table.”
“Catching me? You kept reaching under the table to make sure I was still doing it.”
She tucked her tongue at the corner of her mouth as she watched him pull back the sheath surrounding her clit. She curled her fingers behind her back and pushed down on the futon frame, inviting him to go on.
As if Anthony had ever needed any invitation. Sliding two fingers deep inside, he dipped his head and licked her. The first expert tickling at the sensitive underside of her clit brought her pelvis up off of the futon. She tilted her head back against the cushion and closed her eyes as tiny waves of pleasure ebbed through her body with every swipe of his tongue.
She wanted this, and at the same time she wanted to wrap her legs around him and hold on as he fucked her, or to have his hands on her hips as he pumped into her from behind. Impatience squirmed under her skin as she warred with herself.
It was a steady, slow-building burn that was most powerful between her legs but she felt everywhere. Hungry for more, she spread her legs wider and cupped the back of his head. With a growl, she realized again he had cut off his hair and she had nothing to grab onto any longer, and so she just held him against her.
She could always count on him to know exactly how to get her off. There was no hesitation on his part. His fingers fucked her with a steady cadence to match the hot suction of his mouth and the flick of his tongue. She dug her nails into his scalp and felt the momentary tension against her, lasting no longer than a deep intake of breath.
His thrusts became more intense, pumping his fingers to the knuckle. His tongue rapidly circled her clit, applying just the right amount of pressure to just the right places. Her whole body was charged and throbbing as she rocked her ass against the seat.
She moaned as the first pulse ricocheted along her pussy. Her inner walls throbbed around his fingers. With the next throb, she jerked and closed her fist around the back of his scalp. With the third she pushed against the futon and ground her pussy against his mouth, holding him between her legs.
The heat his lips and tongue stoked swirled deep in her belly, reaching outward until she was overflowing with pleasure. She pushed against the futon and ground her pussy against his mouth as her orgasm thumped through her body.
She let out a long breath and eased her grip on him. “Oh boy.”
Anthony flexed his fingers inside of her. Grinning, he licked his lips. “That’s another reason I chopped my hair off. You always want to grab at it when I’m going down on you.”
“You never complained before,” she said and tensed as he withdrew his fingers. “I thought you liked it when I pull your hair.”
“Pull my hair, yes. It’s the yanking it out in big chunks I have a problem with.” He pursed his lips as he rubbed the length of her pussy with his thumb.
He stood and bumped the edge of the futon with his shins. His forehead crinkled, and his mouth twisted up as he started to laugh. “Really? You sold your furniture?”
“Shut up. I need the money more than I need the furniture right now.” She looked away quickly. She didn’t want to talk about it, not with euphoria still pumping through her. Anthony reached out and ran his hand along her cheek.
“Gee, you’re hopeless.” He hooked his finger under her chin. Georgie drew a quick breath before his mouth met hers. With Anthony, she never knew just what to expect with his kiss. Sometimes he could be brusque and demanding, and other times he was such a tease.
This time he was soft and slow, sucking gently on her bottom lip before curling his tongue around hers. The taste of her own gratification, tart and musky, was still on his tongue. She cupped his face and invited a deeper kiss, then slipped her other hand between them. Her knuckles bumped over the ridges of his ab muscles. She hesitated just above his cock.
He didn’t resist, not this time, and so she closed her hand around his shaft.
“Are you ready to get really serious?” he whispered, smiling against her mouth.
Georgie giggled as she squeezed down. “You bet your ass.”
He knelt between her legs and hooked both hands under her knees. He spread her out while Georgie guided his sheathed dick to her wet cunt. He pushed just an inch and then reached forward to grasp the back of the wooden frame, boxing her in. Georgie placed both hands on his hips. Slowly she ran her hands around him until her fingers sprawled on his ass.
Georgie pushed down. Anthony filled her with one fluid thrust. The fat tip of his penis glided past her G-spot and sent a little current through her. They were chest to chest. When he sucked in a deep breath, she felt pinned.
He withdrew and rotated his hips with his second pass. Georgie leaned forward enough to flick her tongue against his nipple. She bit down as a ripple pulsed the length of her pussy. Her moan was wet and muffled against his pectoral. She dug in. Her fingers dimpled into his ass, and the muscle went taut as he started to work his cock in and out, faster and harder with each wet thrust.
“That’s good,” she said, grinding her words out as the tempo escalated and heat spread through her belly. “Just keep going like that.”
He made a sound like a purr that skittered from his body to hers. “You’re pretty wound up tonight. Usually you like being fucked nice and slow first.”
“Humor me. I spent most of the night with a paper penis on my head.”
“You looked cute, princess.”
She squeezed the hot walls of her pussy around him and felt a small, triumphant thrill race through her as he sucked in a deep breath. His gaze flicked down to where their bodies met, and Georgie’s followed.
“Christ, look at how wet you are.”
Even in the shadow his body cast over hers, she could see how swollen she was. She felt gloriously exposed, and seeing what he was doing to her only increased the hot urgency running through her body. She cut her nails into his ass and rested her head against him as she watched him work her faster. Every time he pumped into her, the burst of pleasure she felt became more intense.
He grasped her wrists, then dragged her arms up and pinned her hands beneath his against the back of the sofa. His pace picked up at once, hard and unrelenting, battering his body against hers. With no other freedom to move, she rocked her ass against the cushion in time with his thrusts.
Anthony shoved balls-deep. His thighs pushed against hers. “Come on, Georgie. Squeeze down on me. Let me feel you burn.”
He steadily worked his cock in and out and continued to urge her on. Every illicit word was as good as his body moving inside of her. As the escalating pleasure built and built, her self-control diminished until there was none. She moaned long and loud from the back of her throat.
“That’s it.” Anthony’s voice sounded so far away as the sound of her own heart beating surrounded her. She lolled her head against the cushion and took deep, gulping breaths as she was flooded inside and out.
White-hot waves undulated along the length of her pussy. One, two, three, each more powerful than the next, taking over her completely.
She was finally able to take a breath while he withdrew until only the head remained inside, and then he began to pump into her with more rigor than ever. Left tighter than ever by her orgasm, she felt every inch of every thrust. This was the familiar. This was the fire she had missed when she’d pushed Anthony away. She hadn’t realized just how much she missed it until that moment as she watched his features morph from boyish to ravenous. In the aftermath of her orgasm, her pussy pulsed. She held him tight against her as he drove deep one last time, crushing her against the futon.
“Oh God, Georgie,” he said with a grunt as she clenched around him. His fingers loosened and he sagged against her, arms draped over the back of the futon. Georgie slipped her arms around him and nuzzled into his chest, letting the taste and scent of him linger as they both came down.
* * *
“There’s a wet spot on my cushion.” she said and swung her leg over his.
Anthony popped one eye open. “I’m not the one who made it, thank you very much.”
They were tangled together on the futon, wrapped in a fuzzy fleece blanket. There was, in fact, a wet spot beneath Georgie, and she was fairly confident she had been the culprit. “Well, I didn’t do it alone,” she said.
“Yes, you did. In fact, you yourself are an entire wet spot.” Anthony grunted as she elbowed his shoulder in her attempt to get to the other side of his body. “You lazy arse, get up and walk around me.”
“I’d have to get out from under the blanket!”
“Tough shit—watch the knee! I need those. You need those. They’re very important to both of us.”
She plopped on the opposite side of him and tucked the blanket up to her chin, then eyed the stain. “Eeew.”
“Quiet. It’s a symbol of something entirely natural that occurs between a man and a woman and silicone rubber.” She giggled and hid her face against his shoulder. God, she loved how weird he was. He turned his head and raised his eyebrows. “You know that liquidation store by the bank up by my place? They sell vibrators behind the counter. Personal massagers. Not one of those spidery-looking ones they sell in the drugstore, either. A real one, like a Pocket Rocket.”
“Did you buy one?”
“No, but I did entertain myself for about five minutes by asking some really detailed questions about it. The guy behind the counter had no idea. He kept looking down at me with those glasses on the end of his nose.”
“You should have bought it for me. I would have used it.”
Anthony raised his eyebrows. “Would you let me watch?”
“And, of course, let me use it on you.”
He leaned in and kissed the top of her nose.
She couldn’t believe how elated she was. It was like she had gotten laid for the first time all over again. At any minute she would start dancing around on her toes, flipping her hair, and shaking her jiggly parts for the fun of it. She curled in closer to him and nuzzled her cheek against his shoulder.
He made a small sound of approval and propped his head against the top of hers. “There’s no way I’m sleeping on this thing.”
“I’m not done.” He swung his arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer, then kissed the top of her head. “Missed you.”
“Missed you too.”
“Don’t block me like that again, okay?”
He went still. “I mean it. I know you’re freaked out about Etienne, but—”
“Can you not talk about your boyfriend after you fuck me, please?”
The conversation was inevitable, but she wanted to be the one to initiate it in her own style, by being a little pissy, a little pouty, and very sorry.
“I just don’t get what the big deal is,” he said and let it drop, lifting his head and blinking at his surroundings. “You have a lot of shit. Shit in boxes. Lots of boxes. Do you still have a shower curtain, or did you sell that too?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Is it a garbage bag attached to the rod with two hair clips?”
“I’ll have you know I have an excellent shower curtain. It cost me one dollar, it’s missing three rings, and if the heat kicks in at just the right time it wraps itself around you and tries to suck your skin off.”
“I’ll risk it. Come on.” He bundled her up and dragged her off of the sofa, then glanced back at the futon. “I’ve got to say, that thing is well made.”
“Now I have to steam clean it, you bastard.”
“I don’t like this ongoing implication that I’m responsible for the wet spot.” In the bathroom, he tossed the blanket onto the floor and followed her into the tub. “And I’m moving the mattress on the floor to sleep.”
He turned the knob and backed up. After years of showering in her crappy apartment, he knew its quirks, such as the blast of freezing water that lasted thirty seconds before it turned hot.
She wrapped her arms around his waist and gave him a squeeze from behind.
He winced when he put his foot under the water. “Can you be available at around two o’clock tomorrow?”
“Jeez, I’m naked and in the shower with you now, and you’re making plans for tomorrow?”
“Not for sex. For the job interview, if I can set it up.”
She rolled her eyes and buried her face between his shoulder blades. “Again, Anthony?”
“Hey, you’ve got to open the door when opportunity knocks. Stop pinching my bum.”
He wiggled his toe under the water and, satisfied, yanked the latch that started the shower.
Georgie ducked her head under the water long enough to wet her hair. “Why are you so hyper about this job? Does it pay scads? Do you want to be a kept man?”
“I owe a favor. Getting someone available and halfway competent will get me off the hook.” Shampoo in hand, he turned and squirted a dollop on her head. He drew a deep breath as he worked up a lather. “Minty.
“Available and halfway competent. I should put that on my résumé.”
“You know what I mean. Anyway, it’s for a small office. You’d answer to the boss because you’d be the only other one in the office. Monday to Friday, nine to five, the occasional Saturday afternoon. The boss is kind of scatterbrained, though.”
She took the green bottle from him and squeezed out a drop, seeing as he had so little hair now and the stuff was ten bloody dollars a bottle. She reached up and scrubbed his scalp so rigorously, his face scrunched up in delight and she expected his leg to start shaking like a dog’s. “What’s she like?”
“He, and he’s fair. I’ve worked in other offices like it, and the managers tend to nitpick over the small, stupid things and drive their staff bonkers, but he subscribes to the opposite school of thought as you—human beings are perfectly capable of thinking for themselves, and therefore they should. Basically, do your job and he’s happy.”
They rinsed out under the water and commenced squelching their hands together on the strip of soap that clung to flimsy, translucent life.
“What type of job is it?”
“Office clerk. Answering phones but no reception. The office is always locked on account of some of the stronger personalities that mosey on in. You can’t even get into the building without the code. You have to page your request up.”
Georgie paused, silent as he lathered up her shoulders. It felt like there were some pieces coming together at the back of her brain. “Uh-huh.”
“Some accounting, some event planning. It’s mostly correspondence, and you are a great writer.”
“Yes, I can fire off six text messages in a minute without breaking a nail.”
“Which is good, since the boss is a phone freak.”
“Really.” She soaped up his chest and cocked her head to the side. “Can I ask you something?”
“Not while I’m fondling your tits, no. Turn around.”
She held her arms up and enjoyed the efficient yet entirely erotic attention he paid to every inch of skin above the waist, his bony hands cupping and squeezing her breasts and tweaking her nipples until they peaked into hard buds. His tongue skittered over the curlicue of her ear and then across her lower lip. His hands moved lower, one in front and one behind, both working between her legs.
She was still sensitive and winced at such brusque treatment, but enjoyed it nonetheless as slippery fingers rubbed between her pussy lips. By the time he had finished and she turned around, she was in a full-body throb.
Anthony thumbed her swollen slit, giving her a quick kiss as a shudder rolled through her from head to toe, and then it was his turn.
Georgie squeezed her legs together and ran her hands over his bare chest. “As I was saying…”
“Damn. I thought that would shut you up.”
“What’s the name of this place, anyway?”
“It’s got a long, complicated name. Best you not think about it. Best you read from a series of cards taped next to the phone.”
“Don’t give me crap, Gee, not while I’m excited about you playing with my bad places.”
“Anthony, you prick!”
She turned away from him too fast and went flying with a yelp.
Anthony caught her around the waist. Fright morphed to fury, and he gave her a shake. “Christ, be careful! You could have cracked your head open.”
“I’m going to crack your head open. Cool Phone Guy is Etienne, isn’t he?”
“So? He needs an office monkey. You need the job. Everyone wins.”
“Get out of my shower, you, you…dickass!”
His brows flew up, and he burst out laughing. “Dickass? What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“I don’t know, but it’s what you are.”
She shoved away from him and stood at the opposite end of the tub, arms folded across her waist, hip jutted out to one side. It might have been an effective pose if she hadn’t been naked and suffering an eye-twitch from an errant spray of water veering away from the showerhead and hitting her above the eyebrow.
Anthony rolled his eyes. “Gee.”
“I mean it. Out. You don’t get to pity fuck me and then use me to curry favor with your boyfriend.”
“Pity fuck? Pity fuck? Fuck you!”
He jabbed his finger in front of her face. She slapped it away, but he seized her around the waist and put her into a full-body vise that no amount of soap and water could wriggle her out of.
“You don’t get to be all huffy with me after you spend the last few months pretending you’re busy, just so you could decide the next phase of our friendship all on your own. I’m offering to get you the job because I love you, because you’re my best friend, and because the idea of you living with my nut job of a sister and her family is bullshit.”
“I’ll tell you what’s bullshit, Anthony—”
“Stop talking. And as for this pity fuck, there was nothing pitiful about it.”
He slid his hand between them and worked two fingers into her slippery passage.
“Oh…my God” was all she could say, or rather breathe as she stood locked with him, his fist digging into the small of her back and his fingers…just there.
It had been a damned long time since she’d seen Anthony mad, let alone been the spark that set him off. For a moment she just trembled against him, not sure whether to burst out crying from the sudden outburst or beg him to fuck her against the shower wall. Both seemed like perfectly good ideas until Anthony loosened his grip, and slid his fingers out of her. The anger on his face faded into a slight crease between his brows, and he bent to scoop up the soap that had gone flying with her spill.
“I just don’t want you to live with my sister. She’s like poison lately. I can’t even be in the same room with her anymore. The idea of that rubbing off on you worries me.” He clapped the wilting strip in her hand and stood back with his arms stretched out. “I do believe you were about to wash my naughty bits.”
She stared at him, then down at the soap, then at his naughty bits which had fared very well in the heat of battle. His cock was partially erect, and this, combined with his pose, brought an involuntary smile to her lips.
She waffled a moment longer, squeezing the soap fragment into a ball, and then shrugged. “I don’t get you.”
“Yeah, you do.” She stepped into his arms. Eager, she opened her mouth for his kiss and melted against him as he explored the wet heat of her tongue.
Ten minutes later they were out of the shower, pink and glowing from the heat. Georgie went in search of more condoms and returned from her pile of boxes to find him clearing the floor. She giggled madly as his dick, fully erect and eager as ever, bobbed while they worked to move the futon mattress to the floor and wrap it in the sheets he’d made her dig out of her pile of boxes.
The instant the bed was made, she was thrown onto it and Anthony followed, snuggling against her as expectant as the erection rubbing against her belly.
“Is this the part where you suck up to me for that dirty trick?”
“You didn’t think my preemptive strike was enough?” He threw the blanket over them and cuddled her close. “What if I make you grilled cheese?”
“I have no cheese. I have two slices of bread and a can of spaghetti sauce.”
“You are definitely going to the job interview.”
“I’ll think about it.” Beneath the blanket she skimmed her hand over his belly, but before she could wrap her fingers around that eager length, a thought popped into her head. “I forgot to feed Mercutio!”
Anthony flopped back with a groan as she bolted from the mattress. She grasped the edge of the blanket and yanked, stumbling when he yanked back.
“No. Absolutely not. You leave the blanket. It’s freezing in here.”
“You’ll have to come with me then,” she said. He pushed up, and they did a little two-step until the blanket was wrapped around them. Georgie in the lead, they shuffled through the labyrinth of boxes to the far corner of the dining room where a five-gallon fish tank sat on an old TV stand.
She wormed her hand out and flipped the top of the tank, then turned on the light. Seconds later, two huge eyeballs appeared from inside the terra-cotta planter dug into the pebbles. A black goldfish roughly the size of a golf ball swam to the surface.
“Holy shit! He’s huge!” Anthony tucked his chin against her shoulder. “What are you feeding him? Uranium?”
“Are you implying that my fish is fat?”
“No, I’m implying your fish is a mutant.”
“Poor baby, I forgot all about you.” With one hand she snapped open the container of food. “He’s not a mutant. He’s just a little pudgy.”
“He’s like the plant in Little Shop of Horrors. Oh God, that’s it, isn’t it? You’re feeding him people.”
She ignored him as she dusted little flakes in the water. The fish went into an ecstatic full-body wiggle as it gaped at the surface.
Anthony cinched the blanket around them and laughed. “This is like watching the Discovery Channel.”
“Stop making fun of my baby. He’s all that’s left of my maternal instincts. We’ve bonded. He even likes to swim to the top and sit in my hand while I rub his belly.” She closed the lid, then turned in his arms. She lifted her head and studied him. “What’s the deal with you and Etienne, anyway?”
“I thought you didn’t want to talk about it.”
“I didn’t, not while I was all sexed up. Now I do.”
He nuzzled into the crook of her neck. “Like you’re not still sexed up. Come on. Back to the mattress. If I’m going to have my brain picked, I at least want it to be on a field where I have the advantage.”
Leaving the fish to its late supper, they flopped back down onto the mattress, rolling until Georgie was snuggled beneath him. He angled his mouth over hers, and slipped his tongue past her lips. She turned her head and made a gargling sound of dissent.
“Tell me. If you’re with him, why are you here?”
“Since you insist on thwarting my every attempt to get laid again, fine.” He rolled away from her and squashed his head into the pillow. “Etienne and I aren’t exclusive. Yeah, we’re close, but it’s not like we’re a real couple. He knows you and I were once a thing, and he wouldn’t be surprised or upset to find out I went home with you.”
“Is he like you? I mean, is he bisexual, or is he gay?”
“He’s definitely bisexual.”
The laughter in his words gave Georgie a pinch. She lifted her head. “What?”
“Nothing. If I tell you, you’ll flip out.”
“No, I won’t. Promise.”
“Oh yeah, right. You’d never freak out.”
“Come on. I promise.” He shook his head, and she gave him a kick under the covers. “All right, all right. I was just thinking how Etienne must come off to you, like he’s an innocent puppy. He’s actually pretty open, sexually speaking.”
He bit his lip, and she gave him another kick. He kicked back.
“You know how I told you I met him when I did some work in his office? That’s not exactly true. I met him about a month before that. He and his girlfriend had put an ad on the Internet looking for a third.”
“You answered a sex ad on the Internet?” She couldn’t stop herself.
“I knew you’d freak out.”
She tucked her hand back under the covers. “Nope. Not freaking out. Go on.”
One eyebrow went up and seemed to pull the corner of his mouth with it. “Like I was saying, he put an ad up. We exchanged pictures, and then we met for a game of pool. He kicked my ass, we had a few beers, and then we went back to his place.”
“So what happened to the girlfriend?”
“She freaked out after the second time.”
“And you two decided to stay together.”
He turned onto his side. His hand slid over her hip to the curve of her ass. “She wasn’t as fun as you are.”
“So. Etienne’s got an adventurous streak. Interesting.” She tucked her nose into the edge of the comforter. “Well? What’s he like?”
“Different. My type has always been, well, like me.” He scooted closer to her. “He’s more your type.”
“You know I don’t have a type.”
“Yeah, you do. You like ’em big and growly. Maybe you should come spend some time with me and Etienne.”
A little thrill went through her, zinging through to the tips of her fingers and toes before spooling through her pussy. In her mind she saw herself flanked by the light, Anthony, and the dark, Etienne, hands sliding over her bare skin, three bodies working together for one goal.
She turned her face into the pillow, and Anthony laughed.
“What? You’re not even a bit interested?”
Georgie shook off the images in her mind. “Remember how I said I wouldn’t freak out? I lied. I will totally freak out if you suggest I join you and your nonboyfriend for a threesome. Also, you just talked me right out of that job interview. I know way too much about my potential boss now.”
“You’ll go because you need the cash. Your mutant fish needs his transient corpses to survive, and how else will you lure them in? You need to buy cheeseburgers.” He kissed the corner of her mouth as he ran his hand over her hip and along her ribs. “I mean it, Georgie. I don’t want you living with Melanie and Grant. I don’t want you to turn out like my sister.”
Georgie caught the flint in his voice and felt a stab of pain as he kissed her. She wanted so badly to ask him about what was going on with his family, but she didn’t want to be reminded of her slight against him. His tongue parted her lips and touched hers.
“I’m sorry, Anthony,” she whispered. “I should have been a better friend.”
With a smile he reached across her and tore a condom from the string. “Make it up to me.”