“Right, but are you comparing apples to orangutans?” Kate asked before taking a drink of her tea.

I laughed. “I don’t think that’s a thing.”

She leaned forward and tapped my knee emphatically. “Nor is it a thing that just because you lost someone you loved in a car accident—which admittedly is a horrible thing to go through—you’ll lose your fiancé because you tell him you want to . . .” She stopped, perhaps casting about for just the right words. “Expand your sexual horizons.”

Heaving a sigh, I answered, “I get it. And yet, when it comes down to it, it’s not a chance I want to take. Because I don’t want to lose him.”

Losing my childhood best friend the night before our college graduation eight years ago was hard enough. I could still recall with cruel crystal clarity the phone call. The police had found my roommate’s car wrapped around a tree. The girl I’d been best friends with since I was ten had been struck in a hit-and-run. Dead on impact.

Here one minute, gone the next.

Losing her was devastating, but in time, I’d healed. I’d learned, too, that the key was talking about it with people who’d been through something similar.

That was why I’d connected with Finn right away.

He was completely different from the other guys I’d met in my twenties—guys who believed being in touch with your emotions meant punching a wall when the Dodgers lost the World Series or cheering when you scored a coveted free-parking spot here in Vegas.

I loved a great parking spot at the Wynn, too, but when it came to a relationship, I needed a little more.

I found that in Finn Nichols.

I met him at a bar, of all places, but I knew. Knew he was different.

I saw it in his eyes, midnight blue and full of passion, and I felt it in his honesty.

Those were the traits he’d led with, and he was still that way with me. I hoped he’d always be that way—open and vulnerable, not to mention sexy as sin.

I took a drink of my latte then set down the mug. “He’s the first guy who’s actually . . . in touch with his emotions. It comes from having gone through the same thing.” Kate knew the details. Finn had struggled with loss, too, then spiraled into work, more work, and only work after his younger brother took his own life after returning from Afghanistan. Finn was finally able to grieve, accept, and move on, thanks to the help of his best man. Jake had “dragged his ass to group therapy,” as Finn put it. Finally talking through the pain and letting go of it had turned Finn into a new man.

The man for me.

The man I was sure was my present and my future. We were each other’s safe landing on the other side of grief, and I didn’t want to risk my forever with him. I didn’t want to take a chance simply because I harbored particular naughty daydreams.

What would be the point?

Kate squeezed my shoulder. “I know he’s the most important person to you. But he also values openness and honesty because of it. Don’t you think one of the reasons you have such a hot sex life is because the two of you are so open and honest? You were up-front from the start about your wounds and your baggage. He was the same about his. That honesty about your emotions had to have carried over to the bedroom.”

I considered her point. She wasn’t wrong. Finn and I had connected deeply on an emotional level, opening up in a real and vulnerable way about our pasts. Our hurts and our hurdles. Our losses and our new chances.

Maybe that did lead to crazy-hot sex.

Perhaps one of the benefits of pain was a path to more pleasure?

“You may be right,” I conceded, but even if she was correct on that count, I couldn’t be sure that brutal honesty was necessary when it came to bedroom experiments. “But I don’t know if a full confession of my fantasies is the same.” I adopted a singsong voice. “Oh hey, sweetie, did you know I watch a ton of MFM porn? Yeah, well, I do. I happen to love when two guys service a woman at the same time. Also, could you and another guy maybe both take me at the same time? Yes, at the same time. ’Kay, thanks, love ya, babe.”

Laughing, Kate answered, “Why don’t we apply logic to the ask for a threesome scenario?”

“Oh, believe you me, I’ve already worked out all the scenarios,” I said, tapping my temple. “I have the whole night mapped out from the moment they both strip naked for me.”

Kate cooed approvingly. “Excellent. Then let’s analyze this rationally.”

“Wait. Are you going to make a spreadsheet of my sex fantasies?” Kate was obsessed with spreadsheets. She used them to track her workout progress, her audiobook consumption, and her professional goals.


Tags: Lauren Blakely Erotic
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