“It’s fine if you don’t want to.”

No, I want to. I really want to. I nodded. “I know.”

“We never went down your pros and cons list.” He put a line of paste on the bristles and stuck it in his mouth.

I crouched before the sink and opened up the bottom cabinet, sorting through the contents until I found the blue box of whitening strips. Cracking open the lid, I pulled out two sets. “Well… the pros were that it was hot.”

I paused. There had been more pros, hadn’t there? I peeled the top sticker off the strip and pressed it along my teeth, buying some time as I tried to remember the other reasons.

Easton brushed his teeth and there was a moment of companionable silence that he did nothing to fill. I finished my top teeth.

“And, I liked thinking about it before and after. Like when we role-played about it.”

He leaned forward and spit into the sink. “Right. What else?”

“I liked that I felt different afterward. Like, sexually empowered.” I looked down and thumbed open the bottom strip. “What did you like about it?”

He wiped off his mouth and faced me, crossing his arms over his chest. “It turned me on seeing how into it you got. But also… it felt like game day again. That competitive anticipation. It was shooting through me when he walked over to you. When he touched you. It was like this enormous rush of testosterone hitting me straight in the dick. I felt”—he lifted his hands and looked around the bathroom as if there was a thesaurus handy—“I don’t know. Like a caveman. Like I was down to my most basic instincts to kill, claim, and fuck. And you were there with me in the middle of it, with your skin glowing, and your body offered up to us, and you were so fucking hot, Elle. So fucking hot and willing and eager. It was insane and addictive, and I couldn’t believe that I was married to you. That you were mine.” He looked at me and that was it.

I yanked seven dollars’ worth of Crest Whitestrips off my teeth and snatched up the hand towel, scrubbing it across my teeth. “Come on.” Grabbing his hand, I led him to the bed and said fuck it to Whitestrips night.

* * *

“We didn’t cover the cons.” I curled around his back, my fingers tracing our initials along the tan expanse of skin.

Easton sighed. “What are the cons?”

“What happens if people find out?”

He rolled onto his back and stretched his arm out, cradling me into his side. “No one will find out.”

I readjusted, moving in closer and resting my cheek on his shoulder. “You don’t know that.”

“If someone found out, we’d deal with it together.” He kissed the top of my head and I let out a soft grumble. Deal with it together. A romantic notion that didn’t touch on the massive disaster that would mean. “What was the next con?”

“Umm… STDs? Pregnancies? A massively stretched out vagina?” I smiled.

“Condoms cover the first two. Also, I’ve been slowly stretching out your vagina for some time now. It’s practically a cavern by now.”

I poked him with my longest and sharpest nail and he jerked away from me. “Please take this seriously.”

“Okay, you have my full and serious attention. What else?”

“What if we start to need it? What if we get bored with sex with just each other?”

He rolled onto his side, so he was facing me. “I’m figuring this out, just like you are. But what we did has only made me more attracted and aroused by you. I can’t imagine a scenario where I’d ever need anything more than just you.” He frowned and a cute new wrinkle appeared in between his brows. “Has it made you less interested in sex with me? Or bored with our—”

I shook my head. “No. Not at all.” He was right. It had only poured gasoline on the chemistry between us. Still, a tense coil of nerves flexed in my stomach at the idea of doing it again. It had been three weeks. Was it too early to be discussing it again? Were we being greedy to consider diving back into it already?

He kissed me. “I think we should try it again.”

“You do?”

“Yeah.” He studied me. “And see how we like it—if you enjoy it as much.”

I nodded without daring to speak, my heart beating faster at the thought of what I was agreeing to.

“While I’m in LA, why don’t you look into it? See if there’s a website or process that you feel comfortable with.”

I inhaled. “Okay.”

Our gaze met in the dim bedroom light and he smiled. “Stop stressing.”

“I’m not stressing,” I sighed and settled deeper into the pillow. “But now I’m thinking about my cavernous vagina.”

He chuckled and pulled me closer. “You know I was joking.”

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