“Just answer the fucking question. What is your favorite ice cream?”
“Butter pecan,” I sigh.
His eyebrows rise sardonically. “Butter pecan? I didn’t think anyone under seventy liked butter pecan.” He shakes his head. “Anyway. How do you know butter pecan is your favorite?”
“Because it is.”
“But how do you know?” he presses.
“Because I like it more than—”
I stop midsentence. Understanding.
“More than any other flavor you’ve tried?” Drew finishes. “Better than vanilla, strawberry, or mint chocolate chip?”
“Yeah,” I admit softly.
“And how would you have known that butter pecan was the flavor for you—not just your default choice—if you were too afraid to ever taste anything else?”
“I wouldn’t have.”
He waves his hand, like a magician. “Exactly.”
See what I mean? The devil.
Still . . . it’s similar to what Jenny said, the questions she raised. Can we really mean it when say we love one another if all we’ve known is each other? Are we strong enough to pass that kind of test? And if we’re not, what kind of future do we have together anyway?
A slap to the arm snaps me from my introspection. “Look, Shaw, this is supposed to be fun. If you’re not having a good time, if you’d rather take off, I won’t think any less of you.”
I snort. “Sure you will.”
The corner of his mouth twitches. “Yeah, you’re right, I will. But . . . I won’t tell the guys you pussed out. It’ll stay between you and me.”
Before I can answer him the girls walk back into the room. They’ve changed into loose-fitting, strappy pajamas, shiny in satin. I can smell the mint on her freshly brushed teeth when the blonde leans over and says to Drew, “Come on, there’s something in my room I want to show you.”
He stands smoothly. “Then there’s something in your room I want to see.” Before they advance to the hallway, he glances my way. “You good, man?”
Am I good?
The curly haired brunette stares at me expectantly—waiting for me to make my move. And the realization finally sets in that . . . there’s not any reason to say no.
“Yeah. Yeah, I’m good.”
Drew takes the blonde’s hand and she leads them into the room at the end of the hall.
Left alone with my dark-haired companion, I take a minute to look at her—really look at her. She has breasts larger than I’m used to, a tiny waist, and a firm bubble bottom that balances out the whole package nicely. The kind of ass a man could hold on to, knead with his fingers and guide forward and back, up and down. Her legs are smooth and toned, her skin flawless and tanned.
For the first time tonight, genuine attraction unfolds low in my gut, stirring my poorly underused dick from his five-month hibernation.
I don’t ask her name and she hasn’t requested mine. There’s a thrill in anonymity, a freedom. I’ll never have to see this girl again—what we do and say tonight won’t leave this apartment, won’t come back to haunt me, won’t find its way to judgmental ears in a small town far, far away. A thousand fantasies, each more deviant than the last, flit through my brain like smoke coming off a campfire. Acts I’d never dream of asking Jenny to perform—things she’d probably smack me for even suggesting.
But a beautiful, nameless stranger . . . why the fuck not?
“You want to see my room?” she asks.
My voice is deep, rough like my thoughts. “Okay.”
Her room is a swirl of dark reds, browns, and burnt orange, not overly feminine. I sit on the edge of her bed, feet on the floor, knees spread.
Any trace of indecision has left the building.
As she closes the door she questions, “What’s your major? I meant to ask earlier.”
She moves in front of me, standing an arm’s length away, regarding me with an angled head and hooded eyes. “Why do you want to be a lawyer?”
I smile. “I like to argue. I like . . . provin’ people wrong.”
Taking a step closer, she picks up my hand. Then she turns it over and traces my palm with her fingertip. It tickles in a stimulating kind of way that gets my pulse hammering.
“You have strong hands.”
There are no soft hands on a farm. Tools, rope, fences, saddles, lifting and digging makes for tough palms and hard muscles.
“You know what I like best about sculpting?” she asks on a breathy sigh.