“He would if you had a different purpose,” she says softly, but her voice contains surety. “If they weren’t your end goal. Maybe they had fulfilled their purpose. Maybe they deserved the light and peace and joy. This world is hard, Benjamin, as you well know. April and Cassidy are not suffering anymore.”

I’ve had enough. I don’t need to hear this bullshit. Iciness filling me, I point down the hallway. “You need to go. I’m tired, and I have an early day tomorrow.”

She takes one last stab at getting something from me. Her tone sounds desperate. “So that’s it? You’re not going to talk about it anymore?”

“You need to leave,” I repeat.

It causes me true pain when I see sorrow flash through her eyes and a certain regret for ever having met me. In this moment, I realize I’ve truly hurt her, and I never wanted that.

“Do you mind if I use the remainder of the membership at The Wicked Horse?” she asks, and I don’t detect a single shred of her seeking vengeance in that request. I don’t think she’s asking to get me to change my mind or hurt me, but rather as a means for her to move on.

My jaw locks, but I manage to grit out. “Of course I don’t mind. Enjoy.”

Her chin lifts, a clear indication she’s resolved about accepting the end of our agreement. “I will. Thank you.”

So polite. That’s how it ends between us.

She turns around and walks down my hallway, then through the kitchen, into the living room, and out my front door.



“It’s a dumb idea, Elena.”

Jorie’s words resound in my head even though she said them to me well over an hour ago. It was a short phone conversation where I’d told her I was headed to The Wicked Horse. In my mind, I could see her lips pursed in dismay and her head shaking slightly in admonition.

She doesn’t like I’m using the sex club to get over Benjamin or that I feel the need to get over a man in such a way.

“You weren’t anything to him, Elena, so why should he be so much to you?” she’d asked.

I wish I knew the answer to that. Wish I could explain how hurt I am he called things off between us.

The irony we fell victim to the same things we were both trying to avoid sits heavily in my stomach. We had both closed ourselves off to true intimacy. To us, sex was a release. It didn’t involve feelings. It was why we’d gone to The Wicked Horse in the first place.

But we’d both been affected by the other. I suspect Benjamin ended up letting himself go, opening himself up to his feelings, then got scared from the sensation. I’d also opened up, slightly willing to start believing not all men were the same. While I was scared, I was still willing to push forward.

And therein lays the difference. Benjamin simply isn’t willing to do the same.

And it hurts.

A lot.

The only way I know to move past him, rather than moping over him, is to get back in the saddle again.

Or… on a cock for a cruder perspective.

It’s time for the old Elena to return, immersing herself in pleasures of the flesh and locking her heart away tight once again.

Even though Jorie urged me to wait a few days, I don’t understand what difference that would make. I won’t feel any different tomorrow or the next day. I will continue to partake in the pleasures offered at The Wicked Horse as I have always done using the temporary membership she’d bought for my birthday. In my mind, there is no solid reason to wait.

Yes, I’m going to fuck Benjamin right out of my existence. And I don’t have a single qualm about it. It’s not like it would hurt him. He’s the one who broke things off.

He’d said we had run our course, so it was time for me to chart a new one.

I strut through the club, confident in the way I look. After I left Benjamin’s house and he had given me full permission to use the club, I went shopping and splurged on a sexy new dress. I then went home and pampered myself all afternoon by taking a luxurious bath and giving myself a pedicure and manicure.

Taking my time, I styled my hair in gorgeous, sexy waves, then expertly applied my makeup to accentuate my eyes, cheekbones, and lips.

I’m a fucking knockout and I know it, hence the reason for the strut.

The dress I bought is mint green with a slight silver shimmer throughout. It has a low-cut halter top and a form-fitting bodice, and it drops to just below my ass cheeks. A pair of four-inch silver sandals complete my ensemble. I’m going to get laid well tonight. There’s no doubt about it.

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