Page 49 of Tripping on a Halo

I looked up at him and he smiled.

“You’re right. I’m glad you’re not pregnant.”

I scoffed, grateful for the distraction. “Um… thanks? Me too.” I guess.

We ate in silence for a while, and I foraged through the destroyed chicken sandwich and used my fork to stab up the remaining pieces. It was a peaceful silence, one I felt comfortable with, so I was surprised when I looked up to find him studying me, something on his mind. “What?”

“Could you be pregnant? I mean, if it wasn’t for the tampons.” He pulled at the neck of his tie, loosening it from his collar.

“What?” I sounded like that parrot, the one that Ansley bought during college, who we tried to teach a dozen phrases to, but stubbornly only squawked ‘what’ a gazillion times a day. It would have been humorous if he didn’t love to scream it at the top of his tiny parrot lungs at four a.m.

“I mean…” He rubbed his palms down the top of his thighs, as if they were sweaty.

“You mean from the other night?” He’s a grown man. An extremely intelligent one, based on the As that had covered every line of his college transcript. He has to understand condoms, their use, purpose, and the minuscule risks that were associated with them. “I mean, I guess. If you’re feeling ninety-nine-point-nine percent unlucky.”

“No. I mean, from someone else.” He picked up the tabletop display and studied it. “Did you want some dessert?”

Oh… Understanding dawned. He wanted to know how often I panted my way across a man’s body, and if I was doing my little orgasm act around anyone else. “I’m not really sure that’s your business.”

His eyes found mine. “You’re right. We don’t have to get dessert. Or, I can look away if you want to secretly order it.” His mouth twitched and I recognized the horribly weak attempt to redirect the conversation into a joke.

I didn’t let it slide, choosing to capitalize on his discomfort. “I’ll tell you about my sordid sexual past if you agree to get a bodyguard.”

He frowned. “No. And you were right, it wasn’t my business.”

This put me in a bit of a pickle, since I was now curious about his sexual history, and taking the high and mighty road didn’t seem nearly as fun. I scooped up a bit of mayo with a potato chip and crunched down on it. Actually, this was the responsible thing to do, right? Weren’t you supposed to discuss sexual history with someone before you had sex with them? Here I was, the touter of all things safety, yet I had dragged him to my bed without finding out anything about his proclivities. Did he have proclivities? What exactly was a proclivity?

“You’re frowning.”

“I am?” I looked up, finding him watching me, an amused look on his face. “I was just wondering what a proclivity was. Do you know?”

“It’s an inclination. A tendency to do something a particular way.”

“Oh. So, it’s not a sexual thing.”

He laughed. “I think it could be an anything thing. Why?”

“No reason.”

“Shit.” He leaned forward, lowering his voice. “Okay, now I do want to know your sordid sexual history. Especially if it involves proclivities.”

“And… you agree to the bodyguard if I tell you?”

He gave me a look, and it was a good one, the sort that was stern yet playful, and made me want to crawl over the diner’s table and kiss it right off him. I schooled my own features into a scowl, forced my attraction back into oblivion, and sighed. “Fine. But only because I believe that sexual partners should share their history with each other. And we are—or rather, were—sexual partners.”

“Are,” he corrected.

“WERE.” I huffed out my breath, then continued on before he had a chance to re-dispute the classification. “So, to answer your question, no—I couldn’t be pregnant. Prior to our night together, the last one was…” I counted backward on my hand, then squinted, double-checking my memory. “Eight months ago.”

“Who was that?”

I curled up my face. “This guy from a marketing class I was in. Entirely forgettable. And wore a condom,” I added. “Every guy I’ve been with has worn a condom. Including you.”

“Yes,” he smirked. “I remember.”

“So…” I glanced at his plate, which had been cleaned with quick efficiency, no stray fries in sight. “What about you?”

“Three girlfriends. The most recent relationship ended the day of the plane crash.” He wiped his mouth, then balled up the napkin. “Nothing since then, except for…”

“Us.” I flushed at the word, then hurried to move the conversation forward. “But you’ve gone on dates since then.”

“A date. It didn’t lead to anything.”

“Why not?”

He shrugged. “Not sure. It just wasn’t right.” He folded his napkin in half and smoothed it down on the table. “Speaking of dating, I need to talk to you about something.” He leaned forward, and my guard was instantly up.

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