“Maybe.” She told Sam, glancing over at Ashleigh and noticing how the woman turned her full attention on her.
“Do tell.” Ashleigh encouraged and Sierra found herself sharing some of the details – definitely not all – with the two women over lunch. By the time she was through with her story, her face was on fire, and both women were hanging on her every word.
“Who knew that I’d walk away from this lunch with so much material for my books?” Then, as though she just realized she’d spoken out loud, Ashleigh’s hand flew to her mouth, and she looked stricken.
Sierra laughed out loud, and Sam joined in. “Don’t worry, your secret’s safe with us.”
“Oh my God! Do others know?” Ashleigh asked, truly startled that her secret was out.
“Just a few.” Sam told her, pushing her plate away. “I only have one question.”
Ashleigh stared back at Sam in disbelief and Sierra hung on for the one question that was burning a hole in Sam’s mind.
“Do you ever worry that you’ll put something inappropriate in one of those children’s books you write?”
Ashleigh’s eyes went wide and then the woman laughed out loud, a sound so sexy, Sierra couldn’t help but stare at her. Damn. It was quite possible that Ashleigh Thomas was close to perfect. Down to earth, friendly, beautiful, and apparently pretty damn horny. Every man’s dream.
“I do actually. I know, funny, right? But seriously, could you imagine? Even if my editor were to read it, I’d be so mortified.”
“If you don’t mind me asking, how did you get your start in writing erotic romance?” Sierra asked the question, but Sam appeared to be just as interested in Ashleigh’s answer.
“Since I was young I’ve been writing, whether in my journal or just some form of creative writing. I loved it. Then, as I got older, I started writing stories that I would just dream up in my head. And then I started writing children’s books, figuring that was the safe, respectable way to go and no one would look at me cross eyed for talking about magical horses, or princesses. But, deep down, there’s always been a part of me that I kept under wraps, and I would allow myself to write those stories, but never dreamed of publishing them.
“One day, on a whim, I decided I would publish anonymously, going the independent route because heaven forbid anyone ever find out that I write those types of stories. And then out of left field, they started selling. Like crazy.” Ashleigh told them, completely serious, keeping both Sam and Sierra riveted on the story. “I’m not sure how anyone ever tied me back to Ashton Leigh, and I will be mortified if my grandfather ever finds out.”
“Well, like we said earlier, your secret is safe with us. It isn’t our place to tell. And honestly, I only know of two other people who know the truth.” Sam stated, glancing from Ashleigh to Sierra and back again.
“Who?” Ashleigh asked, clearly concerned.
“Logan and… Alex.” Sam didn’t smile when she mentioned Alex’s name.
“Oh God! Are you serious?” Ashleigh asked, her face turning bright pink. “Well, no wonder the man chases me around so much. He must think…”
“Wait. No.” Sam interjected, placing her hand on top of Ashleigh’s. “That’s not it at all. I can assure you Alex has no preconceived notions about your sexuality.”
Ashleigh looked down at her hand, the woman was apparently lost in thought and Sierra wondered about the situation between her and Alex. Did she really think that was the only thing Alex would be interested in? Was the woman really that clueless? Not that Sierra even knew Alex, nor had she even met the man, but one look at Ashleigh Thomas and Sierra knew, regardless of her moonlighting as an erotic romance author, men would flock to her like a moth to a flame. She was that beautiful. And fun.
“So, I think turnabout is fair play.” Sierra suddenly said, hoping to divert Ashleigh’s attention. “Since you and I have both shared our intimate secrets, I think it’s time Sam gives up something as well.” She smiled sweetly back at Sam who now looked like a deer caught in the headlights.
“Me? Why me?” Sam asked, clearly stalling.
“I agree.” Ashleigh said, turning those piercing gray eyes on Sam as well. “I think it’s your turn to talk.”
The waitress returned to refill their drinks, take their discarded plates and offer them dessert. Each woman kindly declined the offer of dessert and waited for the waitress to get out of earshot before they focused on Sam once more.
“Ok. Fine.” Sam tried to sound exasperated, but Sierra noticed the smile in her eyes. “It’s no secret that Logan and I have had our share of threesomes, however, since the man we had originally chosen to come to our bed has so graciously declined because apparently the man is in love…” Sam paused for effect, grinning mischievously at Sierra. “Well, do either of you know anything about Tag Murphy?”