At twenty-six I’ve had my fair share of drama. Well, drama is putting it mildly.
My past is more checkered than a chessboard.
I’m tired of being treated like I’m less than I’m worth. Like I’m dispensable.
I want a man who knows what he wants—and that’s me.
From that very first handshake in the bar, I knew James was going to become an addiction.
And like a true addict, the more of him I get, the more of him I need.
His proposal of a no-strings, no future, no love arrangement sounds perfect. If he’s as good between the sheets as he is at kissing, then sign me up.
But before I know it, I’m in too deep and have fallen hard for this older man.
However, James has secrets.
His heart is surrounded by a ten-foot wall with barbed wire on top, and a crocodile-filled moat at the bottom.
And Prince Charming won’t put down his drawbridge to let me in.
Fear digs its claws deep, telling me that my own tumultuous history and whatever haunts James are what keeps our happily ever after forever out of reach.
…I took a bite of my salad and closed my eyes as a harmonious blending of flavors burst across my tongue. A vinaigrette like I’d never tasted before; spicy, grainy mustard with a hint of maple and smoky notes finishing with a citrus bite that had me all but licking the bowl by the time I’d finished. I looked up from my plate and saw James staring at me with a curious half smirk, the flash of his grin making my heart stop for just a moment. Did I have food on my face? Was I inhaling it like I came from a family of twelve wrestlers? Was I eating too much? What?
“Do you like it?” he asked with genuine curiosity and perhaps even a bit of hope in his voice.
“It’s unbelievable. Delicious doesn’t do it justice, it’s… orgasmic.” I used my finger to wipe my bowl clean, licking off the dressing.
“Orgasmic? Well if that’s how you orgasm we’re going to have some issues. I’ll never know when you’ve climaxed; you just sat there and ate the salad with your eyes closed and a tiny smile on your face. Is that how you come?”
I spat my wine out everywhere. “T-that’s not what I meant,” I stammered, wiping my lips and the counter top with my napkin. “I just meant that the salad was pure pleasure; it was wonderful, thank you.” I could feel my face getting hot; it was probably as red as the Malbec.
“So, I will know when you come?”
“Yes,” I whispered. I had my head down staring into my wine glass; this was a very weird start to our impromptu date. I dared to peek a look at him out of the corner of my eye and he was finishing his salad with a shit-eating grin on his face. Oh this man.