"Ha. Ha. I'll answer your question, if you take the shot with me."


"Sounds like coercion."

"Guilty as charged. I'll let you figure out my punishment later." He held up his shot and I met his with mine. "Toast?"

"To guilty men." I clinked my glass to his and we downed the yellow fire. I winced and grabbed a lime, biting down on the tart fruit. I followed that with a sip of tea, and pointed at Brad, indicating for him to answer the original question.

"Fine. It was bad for me because she was too loud. Moaning and wailing the entire time, she acted like she was constantly either orgasming or on the verge of orgasming. She supposedly had about twelve during the twenty minutes we had sex. I finally stopped and told her I was done."

I thought of our experience together and blushed. Best I could recall, I had been pretty vocal. He caught my look. "What?"

"Nothing."

"Come on. What?"

"I was pretty vocal with you also. Maybe it's an intern thing."

"Julia." He reached forward and grabbed my hand. "You are a intriguing, beautiful woman. You are incredibly sexual and I love how you are during sex. Being vocal is a great thing - she took it to the extreme and made me think she was over-embellishing. That was the turn-off. I want a real, genuine reaction, not an imitation of a  p**n  star."

I sighed, and licked some ketchup off my finger. "I was just stating an observation, I'm not worried about my bedroom prowess."

"And I was just explaining the difference between you two."

"So, that was it, you guys never did it again?"

"Oh no, we did. I just gagged her the next time."

"What?! You did not!"

He shrugged. "She was kinky and into that type of stuff anyway - kept wanting me to hold her down, spank her ass, that kind of thing. I worked it into the foreplay and she was hot for it. Kept her quiet and the sex was better that time."

"So you kept seeing her?"

"No. Like I said, her outfits were beyond inappropriate, and her behavior at the office made it obvious what was going on. I told her we had to stop. It wasn't worth the headache I got from Broward and Carter. They moved her to another attorney, and ranted and raved for at least two weeks - sent me down to HR for a chat like I was a junior associate."

"Yet here you sit with me."

"Well. I've got to misbehave every once in a while just to keep them on their toes."

"Plus, no one's ever going to find out about this trip," I reminded him.

"Right. Plus no one's ever going to find out about this trip." he monotoned.

"I'm serious!"

"Hey," he said, raising his hands. "I don't have a problem keeping my indiscretions secret. It's the girls who always talk. I can't help it that I make such an impression."

"Oh lordy. Is there enough room for your ego at this table, or should we pull up an extra chair?"

He laughed. "In all seriousness, it would make my life at the office easier if you kept this to yourself."

"First of all, you're not that great, so I have nothing to tell anyone about. Second, no worries. Our secret is safe with me. Plus, once we are back home, we are steering clear of each other, right?"

"Definitely. And you're okay with that, right? No more dates, no nightly phone calls, or gushy emails?"

"You got it."

"God, you are the perfect woman." He leaned in, and I kissed him briefly. Leaning back, he looked at me with a sly grin. "Now, do we have time for a quickie before our flight?"

I tossed my napkin and him and stood. "You are incorrigible! Get the damn check, we need to head to our gate anyway or else we'll be involuntarily staying here another night."

CHAPTER 27

I woke up Monday morning in my old bed, looking up at my popcorn ceiling with the one suspicious water stain that our landlord insists is from an old patched spot. The alarm was rudely blaring, and I reached over and smacked it until it went off. Back to the real world. I yawned and rolled out of bed, rubbing my eyes.

I had gotten home at 11:40pm last night. I hadn't bothered unpacking; my bags were sitting in the middle of my room, and I stubbed my toe on one as I tried to get into the hall and to the toilet. One benefit of having slacker roommates was that I didn't have to fight anyone for the shower in the morning. I stood under the pathetically gentle spray and missed the body jets and rain head at Bellagio.

Life goes on, baby. I turned off the shower and stepped out, wrapping my body and head in a towel. Brad had dropped me off last night, giving me a quick kiss and helping me with my bags. I hadn't invited him in, and we paused on the front stoop.

"It's been fun." he said.

"It has. Thank you for the invitation."

"I'm glad you took me up on it."

"Ditto." I grinned at him and he pulled me into a strong hug, squashing me a little.

He started back to the car, and I rummaged in my bag for my keys. Putting them in the door and cracking it, I gave him one last wave and heard his car start in response. I opened the door to weed smoke and the smell of pizza. Home Sweet Home.

I scrolled through my closet, settling on a boring brown pantsuit and low heels. I didn't bother with contacts, just brushed my wet hair into a low bun and put on light makeup. Brad and I had agreed to stay away from each other, which should be easy for me, seeing that Broward had strict rules for me on that regard anyway. Now I would just actually follow them.

The week passed quickly and easily. Broward actually gave me a lunch break on Thursday, so I met with Becca and Olivia at Panera. Over chicken and rice soup I gave them most of the scoop on the weekend. I left out the shower sex and my girl-on-girl action, but included pretty much everything else. The girls, as expected, had strong opinions on everything. Olivia was adamant that I keep my distance from Brad, her opinion of him only slightly higher than that of a pedophile. Becca thought I should be his travel hoe, and wanted to know if there was room for her on the trips. I navigated through their endless questions and finally begged off, telling them I had to get back to work.

By Friday I was watching the clock, and when Broward finally banged on my door at 8:30pm, I was more than ready to leave. I shut down my computer and hurried after him. He held the elevator for me and we rode down together. As the elevator clicked and hummed, I leaned against the wall.

"Big plans for the weekend?" Broward asked.

"No. Sleep." I smiled at him. "You?"

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