“Who says beau anymore, Dev?” I snort.

“But I mean, I wouldn’t be cramping your style? Interrupting all the hot sexy-times I’m sure you two are enjoying…”

My laughter grows louder. “Trust me, the penthouse is big enough that you wouldn’t hear us from the guest bedroom on the far end. No worries there.”

“Guest bedroom. Jesus Christ. Now I know you’re trying to kill me,” she mutters. But it’s a happy mutter. I know her well enough to parse that tone. “Okay, fine, you’ve convinced me. I’ll deign to visit you in your new fancy as hell digs.”

I let out a whoop of triumph, and she cuts me off again, laughing.

“But on one condition, Mel. You’re the one who’s going to help me talk Arletta into covering. Because with both of us gone, you know the restaurant is going to be a shitshow.”

“I can convince her,” I promise, picking up Xander’s credit card and spinning it between my fingers. “Don’t worry about that. Just go find your computer.” My smile grows wider. “We’ve got a flight to book you.”

10

Melanie

The next few days pass in a blur of bliss. Xander has to spend at least several hours a day at the office, but in the meantime, I get in a fair amount of exploring. I make friends with Andrew, who lets me sit in the front of the chauffeured car since I feel weird riding in the back when it’s just the two of us, in exchange for me promising not to let Xander know I broke this little rule of servant life, or whatever it is.

He drops me off at all the stores I’m dying to visit, and the sights I’m eager to see. Then Xander meets me after work for less touristy activities—sailing on his friend’s yacht or going to an art gallery opening for a famous artist who Xander’s father is friends with.

And most nights in between, not to mention most of the days we spend together at his penthouse too, we explore one another. The first time I go down on Xander, in the enormous walk-in shower he has attached to his bedroom, will stick in my mind forever. The taste of his skin, wet from the shower water cascading over both of us. The way that gorgeous, sexy, thick cock of his felt when I traced my tongue along the shaft, then swirled it along the spongy tip before I let him part my lips and slowly ease into my mouth.

I never realized cock could taste so fucking good. Not until Xander. And the sensation it gave me when he came in my mouth, when he lost control and cried out my name… I never realized what a fucking turn on it could be to go down on a guy either. Not until I met the one man I long to make lose control, as often as I can.

Before I know it, though, the weekend is approaching, and with it, my best friend on the flight Xander was happy to buy for her.

“You’re sure you don’t mind that I spent your money on this?” I asked for the dozenth time that morning in bed, as Xander’s arm snaked around my waist.

He leaned in to nuzzle his nose into the crook of my neck, before kissing me softly. “I told you, Melanie. Anything that makes you happy. Of course I don’t mind.” He smiled, then, and it was impossible not to fall into those gorgeous eyes of his. “Besides, I’m looking forward to getting to know your best friend better,” he murmured. “If I’m forcing you into meeting all of my family, then I’d like to get to know yours as well.”

I grinned at him then, and leaned in to kiss him once more. “Fair enough, I suppose,” I whispered against his lips.

“I try to be,” he responded softly. And then neither of us were able to concentrate on much else for longer, because he was too busy showing me just how fair he could be. His lips worked their way down the edge of my throat, along my bare collarbone, and with every shiver, I felt my toes curl beneath the heavy cushion of his comforter.

I didn’t think I’d ever felt this way about a guy before. Certainly not as easily or as quickly. And the thought terrifies me, because a little part of my mind can’t stop reminding me that sooner or later, this is all going to have to come to an end.

But for now, at least, I can enjoy the ride.

When the buzzer sounds, I practically leap out of the armchair where I’ve been curled up reading a new book I picked up at the Strand, ever since Xander headed into the office earlier in the afternoon. Andrew had been sent to retrieve Devan from the airport, which left me home alone trying and failing to focus on my reading. I should have just gone with him for the drive, even though the route to JFK isn’t the most scenic one in town.

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