And then it explodes outward, and I’m coming so hard it hurts.

Hurts beautifully.

My head falls back, and I roar out my release to the ceiling, my hips still slamming into her to draw out every precious drop of feeling I’m unloading into her.

I’m gasping when it’s all gone.

In astonishment, I stare at the woman, wondering what in the hell is so special about her since I’m pretty sure that was the best orgasm of my life.

Reaching up with one hand, I pull at the slip knot and release one of her hands.

She immediately brings it to the blindfold, then she starts to push it up.

“Don’t,” I murmur, locking my fingers around her wrist and pulling it away from her face. “Not until I’m gone.”

“I don’t care what you look like,” she says, and I suppose it’s okay for her to break the rules now. We both got what we wanted.

“And I don’t care if you care,” I say stiffly, pulling my spent cock out of her and tucking it back into my pants. I roll off the bed and zip up.

Hastily, I go to the chair and snatch my jacket and tie up. Without a backward glance at the woman, I make my way out of the room, a little shaken by the experience.

But also relieved.

Seems I’m not as dead on the inside as I had once thought.

CHAPTER 4

Elena

Jorie’s birthday party is being held in the grand ballroom at The Royale Casino, which is lavishly ostentatious in the art-nouveau style. The curved windows have stained-glass centers, and oriental rugs in deep reds and navy blues cover the glossy floors. Scrolled wrought-iron chandeliers hang down the center of the room, twenty feet apart, and the furniture is heavy with ornately curved lines and boldly patterned silk cushions.

Once, Jorie confided she hated how opulent it was, but I suspect that was just a small-town girl trying to become accustomed to living in her new husband’s wealthy world.

Most people here are Jorie’s friends now, too, but they’re mostly from Walsh’s world of luxury and wealth. Prior to reconnecting with her current husband, she had been living in California coming out of a bad first marriage. She sort of slunk back into Henderson when her asshole husband had kicked her out, having the nerve to tell her she was awful in bed. She showed up on the doorstep to my humble two-bedroom apartment in Henderson, Nevada where we had both been raised, suffering from terrible self-esteem issues because of what that douche had told her. So I promptly made her my permanent roommate and then dragged her to The Wicked Horse to get her back in the saddle—or rather in the bed—and, well… that’s the story. She reconnected with Walsh that fateful night, and the rest is history.

And now he showers her with devotion, expensive vacations, jewels, and extravagant parties as is par for the course for a new husband who is crazy about his wife. Not that she wants any of those extravagances. She’d be happy living in a small house in the burbs with her man, but she lets him have his fun.

Well, maybe not a small house. They’re trying to get pregnant, and they’ve been doing so since their honeymoon in Paris last year. They’re not going overboard like timing ovulation cycles or anything. I know enough from my bestie that their sex life is robust, and there’s a frequent deposit of Walsh’s swimmers made in the hopes of getting her pregnant. But past that, they’re being laid back about it, figuring it will happen when it happens.

Once, I used to yearn for the same thing, but it’s pretty much a non-factor these days. I’ve had such a string of bad relationships I’ve given up hope of a good man existing. I mean, sure… there’s Walsh, but he’s like one in a million. He and Jorie were fated.

I have no one to blame but myself for my bad choices. I pick the same kind of man every damn time. The type who seems confident when things start out, but, before I know it, I’ve given my heart to someone who is lazy, shiftless, and totally dependent upon me to take care of him both financially and emotionally. I don’t know if I have a neon sign flashing above my head or what, but I am the furthest thing from a sugar mama imaginable. I also have no desire to be a grown ass man’s mother. Nothing attractive about that.

And it’s not like I’m rolling in the money. I’m a struggling business owner and while running my own salon is the height of success for me, it sucks on my soul most of the time with the stress. It’s not just about the freedom and the art of styling hair, but about managing employees, rent, bills, supplies, vendors, and customer satisfaction. I work my fingers to the bone, and I don’t make much more than I did when I worked in someone else’s salon.

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