"Okay." I said. He tilted his head at me, confused.


"Okay?"

"Okay. I thought about it. I'll try it one time. Then I'll decide about us."

CHAPTER 31

A giant grin broke out on his face. "Really?"

"Yes. But if I want to back out at any time, I can. And if I have a billion stupid questions, you have to answer them all. And-" he silenced me with a firm kiss, grabbing my waist and lifting me up to him, moving his hands to my ass so that I was forced to wrap my legs around his waist, our wet skin touching.

"Yes. Whatever you want, yes. You make the rules."

He gave me another kiss and set me down gently, trying to bust a move by pushing me towards his bed and pulling on my towel, but I spun out of his reach and ran to the closet, him tackling me halfway there. We went to the floor and he pinned me, resting his weight on his elbows on either side of me and giving me a long, deep kiss, then rolled off of me and jumped up. I propped myself up on my elbows and smirked up at him. "I need clothes. Mine are soaked."

"Hmmm… Everything I have is my size. How about a big v-neck tee?"

"As long as it's clean, I'll take it." I frowned, rethinking that. "Actually, do you have a sweatshirt too? Your house is really cold." He offered me his hand and hefted me to my feet. Turning on the light in his closet illuminated rows and rows of Italian suits, pressed shirts, and polished shoes. The back half of the closet held his casual clothes, and he grabbed a Gold's Gym sweatshirt and plain white tee, tossing them to me. He pulled a shirt over his head, and some gym shorts on.

"You seriously don't have a stitch of women's clothing in this house? No niece, ex-girlfriend, or friend has left any clothes here?"

"If they did, Helga or Martha put them somewhere. I'll have to ask them where in the morning."

"They’re your maids?"

He paused, in the middle of flipping through some shorts. "Helga is, part-time. Martha more runs the house. If you call her a maid she'll bit your head off and I'll be eating burnt food for a week."

The walk-in closet had a granite counter and I hoisted myself up on it, pulling the shirt and sweatshirt on once I was seated. "What time does Martha get in each day?"

"Typically around 6:30; really whenever she gets out and about. She lives above the garage, in the carriage house apartment."

I stopped swinging my legs. "She lives here? Why don't we just borrow some clothes from her? It's only like, seven o'clock."

He raised his eyebrows and looked at me. "I'll wait for you to meet Martha. She's not someone you want to borrow clothes from on her time off. She commits 40 hours a week to me and has made it very clear that living on property does not make her available to me after hours. I have to respect that."

I raised my hands. "Okay, it was just an idea. Obviously, not a good one."

He had pulled a set of shorts out of the stack, and handed them to me. "These are the smallest I got. They have a drawstring, so you can probably tighten them to a point where they won't slide off. They'll look ridiculous, but I won't tell anyone."

I pulled the shorts on and jumped off the counter, pulling them the rest of the way up. I cinched the string as tight as I could and tied it.

"So, you gonna feed me, or should I pick up fast food on my way home?"

He grabbed me, lifting me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, and I giggled as he jogged down the stairs and into the frigid downstairs. He deposited me on the kitchen counter and headed to the fridge.

His kitchen was built with three materials - stone, granite, and stainless steel. It was commercial grade, though I was pretty sure cooking wasn't in his skill set. As if he was reading my mind, he spoke from behind the open refrigerator door.

"I don't cook, but Martha always leaves more than enough food. Let's see, we got chicken and rice, vegetable soup, and meatloaf. Any of those sound good to you?"

"They all sound great. I'll take some chicken and rice if there is enough."

He pulled an armful of Tupperware containers out, stacking them on the counter. I could see the meals he mentioned, plus a few vegetables and a salad. One container looked like banana pudding. My stomach growled.

We ate at a small round table in the kitchen, on paper plates and with disposable silverware.

"You and Martha typically eat together?"

"No. She likes her space."

I raised a brow. "Antisocial?"

"Sort of. She's like the grouchy neighbor everyone stays away from. We have an understanding. I stay away from her, and she keeps the house running and fridge full. She respects my privacy, and I respect hers."

"Sounds a little cold."

He looked up at me while waiting on his soup to cool. "A lot of people are overly interested in my activities. It's nice to have someone who keeps their distance."

I toyed with a piece of broccoli. "So, about your activities…I have some questions."

"Shoot."

"What would happen? I mean, explain the scenario that would occur."

"That would all depend on you. The purpose of the meeting is for your pleasure. What are some things that turn you on?"

"You know, normal stuff."

"Normal stuff?"

"Yeah."

He sighed. "Julia, we are kind of doing this backwards from a normal flow. Typically, we would grow in our relationship until we are at the point where you would be comfortable sharing your fantasies with me - no matter how sick or slutty or dirty you may think they are. Then we would find a way to play out those fantasies, together. I want you to know that you don't have to do any… activities right now. We can have a normal, typical relationship until we build the level of intimacy where you can share those fantasies. Then we can act on those. I only brought this up now because I didn't want to sideswipe you with my lifestyle late in the relationship. I wanted to be honest with you now, in case it was a deal breaker for you. I don't want to waste your time, or mine."

"And I want to find out now if this is something that I would not be okay with. So I won't waste my time or yours if it is something that I can’t handle."

"Understood."

"So, going off of the understanding that I am turned on by basic, vanilla stuff, how would the scenario play out?"

He spoke carefully, not taking his eyes off me, as if walking through a minefield. "There are a few ways this can play out. First, we can either go to a club and pick a partner, or you can describe to me what you want, and I can give you a selection to choose from - their applications if you will. Then I would bring that person to you."

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