When the pleasure hits, intense and quick, I pull out of Sarah’s mouth. Then I cover her hand with mine, showing her how to stroke fast and tight in the end. And with a guttural groan, I come and come on Sarah’s hand and my stomach, thick and hot.
When I can, I lift my hand and motion her closer. I kiss her lips then, soft and tender.
Then she leans back, smiling proudly. “I think blow jobs are fantastic.”
And it would be adorable . . . if it weren’t so hot.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am to hear it.” I choke out.
She dabs her finger in the come on my stomach, rubbing it between her thumb and her forefinger. And it makes me think of all the places I want to come on her.
“Next time, I’d like to try swallowing, Henry.”
Next time, she’s probably going to kill me.
And there’s another way I’d definitely go.
MY AND HENRY’S RELATIONSHIP GOES wonderfully . . . for three days. That’s when I make a mistake, a crucial error in judgment: I leave my room. While he’s filming. While he’s filming with other women, including my sister.
It begins in the dining room, where Henry’s having breakfast with all three of the remaining contestants—Penny, Laura, and Cordelia. Henry’s in a rowdy good mood, smiling and laughing . . . and teasing with them all. And that’s how it starts. There’s a bitter taste in the back of my throat as I think, He should be joking with me, and only with me.
The rational part of my brain reminds me: we discussed this. He asked me if I believed him when he said he didn’t want to continue filming and I said I did.
So why am I wondering now if perhaps he wasn’t being entirely truthful? If maybe, just maybe, he likes having three beautiful women fawning over him during the day—the pig—and a different, starry-eyed woman in his bed at night.
He certainly seems to like it now.
Laura’s eyes close in ecstasy as she eats the omelets prepared by the chef brought in by the show. And then she says, “Henry! You have to try this, it’s unreal!”
It’s fucking eggs.
But she scoops some omelet onto her fork . . . the same fork she just used . . . and offers it up to Henry.
And that’s what pushes me over the edge. I have to walk away. I don’t wait around to see if he eats off her fork. Christ, it’s like a bad idiom.
Just before I turn around, with my fists clenched at my sides, Henry catches my eye, and whatever he sees on my face makes him stop mid-chew and drop the smile from his lips.
But he doesn’t follow after me. He just keeps eating breakfast and filming.
Things continue downhill at lunchtime—like an avalanche. They’re filming outside, around the perimeter of the castle. It’s cool and windy, but the sun is warm. Henry’s walking with Cordelia and her flatulent little dog, Walter. He grips Walter’s leash and they chat as they stroll, grinning, making such a pretty picture together.
He doesn’t hold her hand or put his arm around her. He keeps Walter firmly between them at all times, like a drooling little buffer, so even when Cordelia leans in for a kiss, he’s able to lean back, turn his shoulder. and pick up a ball to play fetch.
I know all this—I see it.
But it doesn’t help the absolute wretched feeling inside as I watch them together. It’s a yearning, like my soul is trying to pull out of my body, and it’s a crushing pain, like my heart and my lungs are being squeezed by an invisible vise.
After his walk with Cordelia, Henry comes straight for me in the courtyard, his brow weighted with worry. He puts his hand on my arm and as easy as that, my stomach flutters and swoons. She’s a weak, spineless organ and it doesn’t take much to please her.
“What’s wrong with you?” Henry asks.
I open my mouth to answer, but he doesn’t let me.
“And don’t say ‘nothing.’ I know there’s something. You’re looking at me like you want to burst into tears and kick me in the balls and you can’t make up your mind which to do first.”
I chuckle, because it’s like he’s reading my mind.
“It’s this, isn’t it?” His eyes flick around us, at the cameras and crew. “That’s what’s bothering you.”
And I haven’t lied to him up until this point, so why start now?
Henry nods and his face tenses with consternation. But before he can say anything else, Penelope is there, wrapping her arms around Henry’s, looking adorable in snug cut-off jeans and a casual maroon top, without a clue about the conversation she just walked in on.
“Come on, Henry! It’s our turn in the kitchen. They’re having us make chocolate lava cake! I love lava cake but I’ve never made it a day in my life . . . it’s going to be an epic disaster!”
And then my little sister looks between us.
“What’s going on? What’s the matter?”
And it’s my sister. Of all people, I should be able to stand watching Henry with my darling sister.
I shake my head and look into Henry’s eyes. “I’m being silly. It’s fine.”
“Truly, Henry, it’s all right.”
“What’s all right?” Penny presses. “What the hell is going on with you two?”
And I see the moment when Henry decides to go forward. His face breaks into a smile and his voice changes—with obviously faked enthusiasm, but I’m the only one who recognizes it.