I shouldn’t have looked, but hell if I could tear my eyes away now.
Arousal kicked in as soon as I read the first item on the list. When I reached the second, I was hard as a rock. And as I finished the third, I was sure I’d be imitating a skyscraper for days.
1. Get down on my knees.
2. Beg for it.
3. Talk dirty to me.
Scrubbing a hand over my jaw, I exhaled roughly.
This filthy, fantastic list.
It didn’t end there. More items filled the page, fantasy after filthy fantasy, elaborately detailed. Numbers four, five, six, seven, eight, and then nine.
Holy hell. The last few words of nine sent the temperature in me skyrocketing. F*ck me hard, f*ck me good, f*ck me for the first time.
My eyes devoured them all, my body heating like a supernova. I was a spacecraft about to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere, tearing through the atmosphere at five thousand degrees Fahrenheit or hotter.
Could I imagine it? Hell, yes. I was living it right now.
I shook my head, like I was trying to wake myself up in case this was a dream. The red-hot, dirty dream of discovering the girl-next-door’s fantasies, all of them.
Except for one that wasn’t finished. Number eleven—it looked like she’d started something with the word watch in it, but hadn’t finished.
No matter. The rest was clear and explicit.
My skin sizzled as I read it again, my mouth watering at every item on this sexual bucket list.
Including number ten.
That one taunted me the most.
I tugged at my shirt collar.
Stepping away from the list, I paced around the kitchen. I was an explorer who’d stumbled across a precious artifact, one that had great and formidable powers.
My mind assembled the movie reel of her list, frame after debauched frame. Nina bent over the couch, ass in the air. Nina on her knees, her wrists tied behind her back. Nina begging, pleading, crying out for my shaft.
I flinched, surprised at the ruthless immediacy of the film in my head, the shamelessly erotic way I’d spliced together all the images to add me into the credits of her fantasy cast.
I was surprised, too, at the hammering of my pulse.
The rushing of my blood.
And the relentless desire her list stirred in me. This was more than simply being turned on by an idea.
I was turned on by the idea of her, in all these positions.
I swallowed roughly, turning around, walking back to the counter. I slammed the notebook shut, the illustrated owl on the front cover staring back at me with a grin across his feathered face. Like he knew something.
Like he was trying to tell me something.
What words of advice did the owl have for me?
I nearly smacked myself.
“Get it together,” I muttered. “You’re talking to an illustrated owl.”
A wise man would have walked away. A wise man would pretend he’d never seen it and shove the list into the trunk in the back of his brain, locking it up and throwing away the key.
I’d thought I was a wise man. I’d vowed to become one after Rose pulled the wool over my trusting eyes, using me.
But right now, I didn’t feel wise, and I didn’t feel used.
I felt hungry.
Ravenous was more like it, and I wanted to devour my good friend.
Because according to this list, Nina—beautiful, sassy, captivating Nina—was a virgin.
A virgin with a naughty appetite.
And, it seemed, judging from number ten—find the man to give me this list—she was a virgin on an erotic mission.
I’d seen what happened to women who tangled with the wrong men. I’d witnessed far too much heartbreak from my sisters when they got involved with bad boys they hoped to turn into good guys. Never worked, never would.
The result was heartache and tears.
Some other man could find this list. Some other man could hurt my friend.
I couldn’t let Nina give up her virginity—my God, what a beautiful, intoxicating gift—to some random guy she found online, or in a store, or at the freaking gym.
There was only one answer to number ten.
That man had to be me. I had to convince her that I was the one to give her all these fantasies, and that we’d come out on the other side the way we were right now—friends and neighbors.
But first, I’d start with food, with easy conversation, with the way we were. That was how I’d want her to see my proposition for my role in the list. To see that our friendship was the perfect basis for ten filthy commandments.
The shot was perfect.
Miss Sheridan down the hall had mastered the warrior pose.
She showed it to me one more time on her phone, nudging me, proud of her prowess. “See? How about that? I can’t leave my twenty-two thousand, two hundred and one followers waiting. You are a doll for helping me shoot this video at last.”