She makes a good point. With a sigh, I’m forced to admit it. “I do know that, Jorie. And I try not to be jaded. But it doesn’t mean I’m not scared.”

“Because you like this guy?”

“I’m not sure. I mean, on its face, all we really have is sex. Like great, phenomenal, mind-blowing, surreal sex. Which is all I ever thought I wanted, yet… I have to believe the reason it’s so good is because there’s an emotional connection. But how can that be? We don’t do anything but have sex.”

“But is that true? You just meet, have sex, and go on your way?”

I give a half shrug. “I mean, it started out that way. Lately, though, we’ve been talking more. We even have drinks before we… um… you know, do our thing.”

“Don’t overthink it,” she instructs. “Off the top of your head, what is it between you two that makes you think it’s more than just sex?”

I wish I knew. When I replay our conversations, nothing seems apparent. But then something strikes me. It’s not about words.

“I think it’s the way he looks at me. Like I’m an angel or something. Like I make him reconsider what he thought he knew to be true.”

Jorie reclines in her seat, crosses her arms over her chest, and nods. “There you go. Sometimes, it’s not about what is said, but about what isn’t said.”

“I’ve never been that to anyone. Not truly, I mean.”

“It sounds wonderful. Exciting. Thrilling.”

“Scary,” I add to her litany of positives.

“Maybe,” she says with a smile. “But has that ever stopped you from doing anything before?”

“Not really.”

“So ride it,” she suggests emphatically, then her tone turns suggestive. “Ride him. See where it goes.”

But I’ll keep my expectations way down, I think.

Because, in my experience, even though Jorie got me to admit not all men are the same, I tend to attract a certain type. I’m not going to hold out hope that Benjamin will be different.

CHAPTER 13

Benjamin

The doctor’s lounge at the hospital is no frills. There’s a small kitchen in the form of a refrigerator, stove, a microwave, and a long counter with a sink. Upon the counter also rests a Keurig coffee maker. It’s a place where the doctors can have some privacy while they eat a snack or a hasty meal, rather than using the hospital cafeteria. Because most of the doctors like to socialize, they’ll often use the cafeteria, so this place tends to stay empty.

I’d sucked down two protein shakes I had brought with me this morning and I’ve got about another twenty minutes before my next surgery. I’m spending the better part of my time scrolling on my phone and thinking of Elena.

Last night at her house was fun, and that’s not something I’ve had a lot of lately.

Let’s face it… the sex was the best part. But there was actual joking and laughing while we played with strawberries and whipped cream. It was fun, jovial, low pressure, and sticky.

And I didn’t want to leave, goddamn it. I wanted more time with her. I’m not sure if it was for the sex or the laughter or perhaps even both. But it took a lot of effort to walk out of her place.

The point is, I’m starting to feel again. While it’s scary as fuck, I admit I like it.

Admit I’ve missed it.

Every moment I spend with Elena feels like I’m walking through a tunnel with her. There’s a light at the end. Every time we fuck, laugh, kiss, stare at each other… the light gets brighter and brighter. The moments with her lead me closer to it.

After I had woken up this morning and gotten out of the shower, I checked my text and was pleasantly surprised to see one from her.

I feel so refreshed after a good night of sleep last night. I am so ready for you in the WH tonight.

There was no stopping the smile that came to my face. The joy that bubbled inside, knowing that in less than half a day, I would be in her presence again.

Can’t wait, I typed back.

I went to set my phone down so I could get dressed, but she immediately responded. It didn’t irritate me, nor did it feel like she was taking up my time. I snatched the phone back up, eager to see what she would say. Thought maybe we could invite another woman or two to join us tonight.

A jolt went through my body at what she was suggesting, but I had to take a moment to think about it. Let’s face it… there’s not a man I know who would turn his nose up at such an offer.

And yet, after a bit of thought, I texted back, Not interested.

Not even a little, I realize.

There have been a few occasions at The Wicked Horse where I’ve had two women at the same time. It was fun. I got my rocks off.

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