At this point, his knowledge of my relationship with Elijah is limited. That’s how it has to stay, right? If I confide in Jason that my ex-fiancé was a good man who unfortunately didn’t excite me physically the way Jason does…that revelation could encourage him. To push this carefully balanced friendship into something more.

To touch.

To touch, like he’s doing now. Standing behind me, his palms scrape down my hips, his mouth ghosting over the nape of my neck. What is happening? Why am I letting him do this?

My panties are still wet from earlier and even more moisture coats my sex, makes the material of my thin underwear heavy. The freezer is still open and the cold air collides with my breath, creating white puffs in the air, letting me know I’m breathing heavily. I have no choice with Jason’s hot mouth poised on my neck to kiss, to move…but remaining stationary. Waiting for a signal. My silence is a signal in itself, though, because we both know I have no problem telling him no. And he has no trouble listening.

I don’t say no, though. I can’t. His fingertips tighten on my hips and he tugs them back, bringing my backside into the cradle of his lap. Oh my Lord. No. Cradle is a soft word and there’s nothing soft happening with Jason. His manhood is long, thick and able where it presses between the split of my bottom.

“Before you tell me I’m nice for buying you wine…” he rasps into my hair. “Understand that I want to drink it out of your belly button. Want to warm it on that perfect skin, sip it into my mouth, then let it drip out all over your pussy. I’d drench that pretty pink spot real fucking good so I could push in rough.”

The ache between my thighs is so intense, I can barely speak. “Mr. Bristow.”

“Mr. Bristow, what?” His tongue grants me the barest of licks on the nape of my neck, his hot breath coasting over the damp spot. “Take you to bed? Or let you go?”

“I-I don’t know.”

“You know what you want. It’s a matter of admitting it.”

“I can’t.”

His right hand moves to the front of my skirt, splaying just over the waistband of my panties. “Tell me not to squeeze your little pussy.” I sway under an onslaught of heat and land back against Jason’s chest…but no words leave my mouth. “Can’t say that, either, huh?”

I’m not prepared for my reaction when his hand journeys lower and cups me hard through my skirt. Electricity zips along my nerve endings, my nipples bundle into sharp, aching peaks and I…I almost have an orgasm.

“I want you. I want this.” His grip tightens. “I want to brand you with a J here.”

My eyes are turning glassy and I’m beginning to shudder, because here comes my climax. Can I let it happen? No. No. Who is this woman who so casually casts aside years of a relationship and lands immediately in the lap of another man?

I can’t do that. It’s not me. It’s not right.

My mother’s words from our phone call ring in my ears. I’ve been working on this wedding since you were a child. I did my job. Made an advantageous marriage, secured the right connections—the kind of connections that allow you to marry the next mayor. A war hero. The son of my best friend. How dare you walk away from this and leave me to deal with the damage, Naomi. How dare you?

I’m not just tossing away years of building a relationship. I’m forgetting a duty that is so firmly ingrained in me, I don’t know where it ends and I begin. I hate that, but it’s true.

With a burst of will, I twist away and catch myself on the nearby counter. Jason slams the freezer shut and grips the appliance, as if he’s contemplating throwing it through the kitchen window. Watching the violent flex of muscle in his arms, I have no doubt he could. The front of his jeans bulges, thick flesh tunneling down into one pant leg. Those words he said to me, the things he wants to do…I should be repelled by that kind of vulgar talk, shouldn’t I? The longer I stand here remembering them, though, the harder it is not to ask for more.

Who am I anymore?

“Go. I’ll make the fucking ice cream.”

“It’s gelato,” I breathe, uselessly.

A second later, I’m out of the kitchen and up the stairs to my apartment, feeling Jason’s gaze following my every step.


Username: UrdadsMyFave69

Good morning, Internet.

Another day, another voicing of my support for Operation Pussy Freedom.

If you’re out there, Runaway Bride, get your freak on.


Every Sunday morning, I get bagels from the same shop. Always at the same time. I get an orange juice to go and drink it on the way home, even though it’s too much of a luxury. I force myself to open the carton and drink from it, though. Force myself to recognize that I’m in a place where letting down my guard isn’t going to get me or one of my men capped. It’s my version of a baby step, even if I haven’t ventured beyond that one simple thing yet. Why should I when I’ll need to rekindle my powers of observation in a matter of months? I’ll need it.