I wake up to the scent of something delicious, mouth-watering. Bacon maybe?
I find the bed beside me still warm, Caleb’s form missing. For a moment, my heart leaps into my throat. Then I hear the soft hum downstairs, his voice perfectly on key, and the soft sizzle of something. Not to mention the smell.
I toss on his T-shirt, the first one I find discarded on the bedroom floor, and pad downstairs. When I reach the kitchen, Caleb has his back to me, dressed only in his boxers. I take a moment to admire him, this hulk of an Adonis who I’m sleeping with. This man’s man, who dominated the hell out of me last night, filled me in every way possible, satiated me in a way I never imagined I could be. He’s the only person who’s ever completely understood my kinks—not only understood, but also reciprocated them, loved them as much as I do.
“Don’t just stand there,” he scolds, his back still turned. “Come get your breakfast.”
I laugh and step into the kitchen. Cross to his side. Before I can see what he’s cooking, he sets down the spatula and grabs my face in both hands, kissing me, long and slow and deep. When we pull apart, I finally recognize the scent.
He grins and turns back to the stove. “You aren’t the only one who can cook, you know.”
“We’ll see about that,” I reply with a grin, nudging his shoulder with mine. “Those still need to stand up to my taste test.”
“Don’t worry.” He casts me a sideways smirk. “I know how particular your tastes are. You’re a hard girl to please, Carmine. But every inch of me is up to the job.”
For once in my life, I actually believe a man who’s telling me that. I grin back at him, and lean over to snatch a piece of bacon from the plate cooling at his elbow. “Oh, I know, Caleb. I’m counting on it.”
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“So, Ram, who’s the lucky lady tonight?” Tim asks. He sits on a mound of dirt, planting flowers. He’s my boss at the landscaping outfit I work for part time. He’s an older man, married for twenty years and faithful as hell, but that doesn’t stop him from living vicariously through me. I have a reputation around town for my prowess in the bedroom. That’s a polite way of saying it. In other words, I’m the best fuck a woman will never pay for. I didn’t set out to cause a stir with the ladies, but word got around and now here we are.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” I say. “We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
I dig a hole in the center of the yard for a palm tree. With Tim’s weathered back, I’m the muscle around here and do all the heavy lifting and grunt work. It keeps me in shape, so I don’t mind it.
“Are you about done with that hole?” Tim says.
Tim wipes his forehead with a rag he keeps in his back pocket and squints his eyes against the flaring sun. “Why don’t you go ahead and take off then. I can finish up here.”
“I want a full report on your activities tonight when I see you next.”
I laugh. “You got it.”
I load my tools into the back of the truck with my surfboard. It’s well worn, scuffed on the bottom from hitting rocks and coral. It’s seen better days but it’s perfect for me. I know this board like the back of my hand and can control it as if it had a steering wheel. It has a lot of miles on it. Back in the day, I used it to compete in big wave competitions. I have a garage full of trophies to prove it. If I hadn’t injured my leg during a competition in Australia, who knows, I might’ve gone pro. Nowadays, people pay me good money to teach them to surf. It’s something I love to do on the side when I’m not working for Tim.
Once everything is loaded up, I head for the beach.
My client, a twelve-year-old kid named Ben, is waiting for me in our usual spot. The beach is packed with sunbathers, but Ben stands out among them with his bright-colored board—not a scratch on it—and his new wetsuit. I told his parents it wasn’t necessary for the expensive gear, but apparently they thought otherwise.
I slide on my wetsuit—though it’s not really cold enough to need it. I leave the top half of the suit loose around my waist and grab my board from the bed of my truck. The sand is warm and feels amazing sifting through my toes after a long day of work in steel-toe boots. The water looks choppy despite the pleasant day. The sun is high, beating down on my forehead like a molten hammer. A few clouds linger in the distance, but nothing threatening. It’s a good day to catch a few waves.