Chapter 1

- Elsie -

 

“You have the ass of a goddess,” Isabel says, touching up my mascara.

Somehow, I let my best friend, Isabel, talk me into taking boudoir photos. She couldn’t afford to do them for herself on her own, but a local photographer was having a two-for-one sale and she nagged and pestered me until I gave in.

And now here I am in one of our hotel rooms wearing a red corset, thong and black pull-up stockings my ex-boyfriend gave me ages ago, plus a pair of sky-high heels. All during work hours, no less.

“Seriously, you look amazing, Elsie,” Isabel says, placing her hands on my bare shoulders and squaring me to her. She’s still in her bathrobe and hasn’t revealed her outfit yet.

“I’d better because I can’t imagine doing this again,” I say.

“Just think, you will be young and beautiful for all eternity. You’re going to be so happy you did this,” she says, her freckled nose crinkling and her dark eyes shining with excitement.

I glance around the hotel room and my eyes land on the perfectly made bed, complete with several silver accent pillows that match the color scheme of the room. When Isabel makes a bed, you can bounce a nickel off it. Although right now I’m not even sure if the bed stays made or not. I have no idea how these things work.

My boss Cynthia had better never find out. How on earth would I ever explain this?

Yes, I know I’m on work hours and that we haven’t paid for the hotel room and that we are using it to take risqué photos during work hours, but it’s all good, I promise.

Yeah, right. Cynthia isn’t exactly the nicest boss in the world.

Isabel would have an even harder time, since she’s a cleaner here at Good Rest Inn. I got her the job while she studies marketing at community college.

At least I’m an assistant manager and can probably get away with more. Not that I want to test that theory out. The last thing I would want to do is risk my career. At twenty-six, I’m already the youngest assistant manager in the region and I hope to be promoted to manager when Cynthia moves on to her next hotel in the Good Rest Inn chain. She hates living in Trenton, New Jersey and is desperately trying to get transferred somewhere warm like California or Florida. Anywhere but here, she says.

“Who are these photos for? I don’t even have a boyfriend,” I say, grabbing the tops of her arms and giving her a playful shake.

“Who cares? You’re going to have these photographs forever. Even you are bound to have a boyfriend at some point in your life.”

“Fat chance,” I say, breaking our hold on each other and turning away. I haven’t been able to tell her the big fear that’s been hanging over me for the last couple of years. I’m hoping I’m being paranoid about things, but if I’m not then there’s no way I will ever have a boyfriend. I bury the thought deep inside me.

“Don’t be ridiculous. Hell, if you want a man all you have to do is walk through the lobby right now looking like that.”

“If I walk through the lobby right now looking like this people would ask me how much.”

“You’d make good money if you wanted. I’m serious, look at you.” Isabel grabs me and spins me to the full-length mirror that hangs on the wall between the white door and the glossy black desk. My wavy brown hair flies across my face, and I brush it out of my eyes.

“First off, your eyes are striking. I mean, how many people have green eyes?”

“No one’s looking at my eyes.”

Isabel tilts her head and says, “I would kill for a body like this. Damn, I don’t know how you eat as much junk food as you do and look like that. I eat one pack of Twix and it goes straight to my hips.”

“We wear the same jean size, remember?”

There’s a loud knock at the door and we both startle.

“Isabel?” a woman’s voice says through the door.

“Becca, is that you?” Isabel asks as she flits to the door.

“Absolutely,” Becca says in a voice so sultry I suddenly question what the hell I’m doing.

Isabel opens the door and Becca marches into the room with purpose. Her black hair is cut into a severe bob. A heavy-looking camera bag is slung over her shoulder and lighting reflectors are tucked under her arm.

She sets all the equipment on the bed and says, “This room is perfect. Normally I’m in someone’s boring everyday bedroom. Hell, the last person I did was a forty-year-old woman in pigtails and white knee highs who posed on a bed that hadn’t been made this century. I mean, anything was bound to be better than that, but this is fantastic. Maybe I should insist on hotel locations from now on.”

Isabel and I look at each other and try not to laugh. Talk about a surreal afternoon. And we haven’t even started taking pictures yet.

“I’m going to go first and then I have to get back to work,” I say. I left Nathan in charge of the front desk, but he has a meeting and couldn’t cover the whole time, which sucks because that means I won’t get to see Isabel’s shoot. Although I have every confidence she will show me every picture ad nauseam and it will be like being there anyway.

“Sounds good, just let me set up my stuff. How raunchy do you want these to be?” Becca asks, busying herself with her equipment.

“Super raunchy,” Isabel says without hesitation.

“For her, not me. I want simple and classy,” I say. Maybe it’s a good thing I won’t be here for Isabel’s photos. She’s my best friend and all but I don’t know that I want to see her getting really raunchy with a camera. I wonder what she has on under the bathrobe. I narrow my eyes at it, as if squinting will give me x-ray vision.

“Don’t listen to her,” Isabel says.

“Okay, one nice, one nasty,” Becca says, popping open a reflective canopy.

“Where do I stand?” I ask.

“Up to you, you can stand in front of the bed and kind of prop yourself up with it, or you can lie out on it. We’ll do a mix,” Becca says. Her voice is cold and mechanical.

“But remember, classy,” I say.

“With a little bit of raunchy. Remember your pledge to lighten up and have more fun,” Isabel says, poking me.

“What on earth do you think this is if not me lightening up and having more fun?” I say.

Isabel shrugs and says, “You giving in to my begging?”

I roll my eyes and laugh knowing that I wouldn’t be doing this if she hadn’t come up with the idea, but that’s not the whole truth. I’ve made a recent decision have more fun while I still can. Boudoir photos were never on my bucket list, but I’ll tick it off anyway.

“All set, ready when you are,” Becca says, holding her camera out in front of her.

Trying my best not to look awkward, I stand in front of the bed and put my hands on my hips. It’s boring but it’s the sexiest pose I can come up with.

“Pout your lips like a Kardashian doing a kissy face against a palm tree in Barbados,” Isabel says.

I tilt my head and pout my lips, trying to look anything other than ridiculous.

“That’s great, just keep moving around and I’ll take lots of snaps and we’ll get some good ones. Don’t be afraid to try different poses and expressions because we’ll just delete the bad ones and it will be like they never existed,” Becca says, her voice commanding and all business.

Becca’s shutter snaps as I get bolder and more comfortable with the situation. Although I’m definitely still on the side of classy, I do try my best to look more Victoria’s Secret than JCPenney catalog. On a roll, I turn my back to the door and bend over the bed, arching my back and sticking my butt out, one hand clasped against my chest.

Before I realize what’s happening, the door to the room behind me flings open and a man’s voice says, “Sweet.”

Chapter 2 

- Elsie -

 

In stunned silence I spin around to face the door, trying to comprehend what is happening. A man’s frame fills the doorway, half in and half out of the room. It seems that my appearance halted him in his tracks.

His looks halt me in my tracks.

He’s wearing jeans and a tight navy T-shirt that sculpts to his muscles. One arm is coated in tattoos that run all the way down to his wrist and over the back of his hand. His dark hair is short but tousled and his eyes are bright caramel. He’s surprisingly rugged and not at all a pretty boy.

But more than any of that, the thing that freezes me is the dimple. He’s half smiling, and the dimple begs me to reach out and touch it.

It also makes me realize who he is. Xander Whitman. Heir of the Whitman fortune, reality TV star and renowned society playboy.

Although why would Xander Whitman be at my hotel? I must be wrong. It must be someone else.

I look over to where Isabel and Becca were just standing but they’ve vanished. Presumably to the bathroom. It’s the only place they could’ve gone. How nice of them to leave me alone with the strange man, especially dressed the way I am. Cowards.

Shit, I totally forgot how I’m dressed.

I let out an embarrassing groan and try to cover myself with my hands. It’s futile. Spinning like the Tasmanian Devil, I pull the black satin accent blanket from the foot of the bed and wrap it around me.

“Who are you?” I ask.

“I’m the guy who just checked into this room.” His voice is light and rich, and he definitely sounds like Xander Whitman. Not that I watch Lunatics, his girlfriend Luna Grosvenor’s reality TV show, or anything.

He saunters into the room and lets the door shut behind him.

“This room is in use. You are in the wrong room,” I say, sounding like I have more authority than I look.

“Then why did my key open the door?” He grins as he speaks, and his dimple grows even more delectable. I can’t take my eyes off it.

“There’s obviously been some sort of mistake.”

“Can I ask a question?” he asks, propping his tattoo-covered hand against the wall. I drag my eyes from his dimple to his bright eyes. When our eyes connect my insides puddle.

I clear my throat, try to stand a little taller to look composed and say, “Sure.”

“Why are you dressed like that?” he asks playfully.

“It’s none of your business. Now please go back to the front desk to find your correct room.” My mind races, trying to figure out how and why he is in this hotel, this room, of all places in the world. Not just the fact that it has to be Xander Whitman, but how did Nathan screw up and give him this room? I specifically said I was going to be in room two-fifteen. I even wrote it down on a big piece of paper and left it right smack in the middle of the reception desk.

“I like this room, it has a great view.” He rakes his eyes down the length of my body, and a shiver runs over me at the intensity of his gaze. “And since my key for the door worked and I have no idea who you are or how you got in this room, I’d say I’m in the right place and it’s you who is in the wrong place.” He smiles broader, clearly toying with me.

Well, I’m not going to be toyed with, no matter who he is. Or how sexy he is.

“This is definitely my room,” I say with conviction.

“And why should I believe you?” he says, quirking an eyebrow.

“Because I told you you’re in the wrong room. Why don’t you understand that? Isn’t it obvious that when you enter a hotel room and someone else is standing in it that it isn’t your room?” I say, raising my eyebrows and angling my head.

He looks around at the desk and eyes the telephone. “I’m going to call the manager.”

“I am the manager.”

“This hotel gets better by the minute.”

“Let me call the front desk and let them know you’re on your way back down.”

“Hold on, first I would like to register a complaint with the manager. That’s you, right?” he says, unable to hide his smirk.

“Actually, I’m the assistant manager. But I’m more than happy to let the manager know that you will be registering a complaint.” God, I hope he doesn’t register a complaint, I really don’t want Cynthia to find out about this. Please don’t call my bluff.

“Can assistant managers deal with complaints?”

“Definitely. Some days it feels like that’s all I do.”

“Oh, do people who stay in this hotel have a lot to complain about?”

“They have tons to complain about, fortunately not much of it actually relates to the quality of our establishment.” People just like to bitch about stuff and I’m the lucky person who gets to hear it.

“Well, I’d like to complain about having to move rooms.”

“You know what, since you’re so irrationally attached to the room that you have been in for all of five seconds, you can have it. I will move rooms.”

“Out of the goodness of your heart?”

“In the interest of keeping my guest happy.”

“Does this mean you’re going to leave me here alone?” He steps forward and the distance between us dissolves. I can feel the heat coming off his skin. He looks at me and my eyes flit between his eyes and his dimple.

“That would be the plan.” As much as I’d like to stay here and hang out with him, I obviously can’t.

“By the way, I’m Paul. Nice to meet you,” he says, raising his hand.

My mind races over our entire exchange and my brow furrows when I realize what he said to me. His name is Paul. Does that mean he isn’t Xander Whitman?

How can he not be Xander Whitman? Unless I’m completely out to lunch. Although I know some celebrities check into hotels under fake names. But that still leaves the biggest question of all – why would Xander Whitman be checking into a hotel at the edge of the highway in Trenton, New Jersey?

My eyes focus on the tattoo-covered hand for a moment before I slot my own hand into it. His large hand envelops mine and he gently squeezes it, filling me with warmth. I squeeze his hand back and smile up at him. There’s something natural about his touch, something that I don’t want to let go of. At least not yet. He doesn’t seem in a hurry to let go of me either and we stand, hand in hand.

“Nice to meet you, Paul, I’m Elsie Cushing, Assistant Manager here at the Good Rest Inn,” I say, examining him in more detail.

“Fabulous, Elsie Cushing. I’m Paul Newman.”

“Paul Newman?” I say and laugh. I can’t help myself and keep chuckling at the absurdity of the entire situation.

“You got a problem with that?”

“Nope. I love salad, and a good salad needs a good salad dressing.”

“I’m not so good with the salads but I do make a nice creamy dressing.”

“Shame your eyes aren’t blue like the actor Paul Newman.”

“They still wouldn’t be as nice as your green ones.” His eyes bore into mine and it’s impossible for me to look away. I stand here, feeling as though he’s searching my very being. The feeling becomes too intense and at last I pull my hand from his and drop it to my side.

Chapter 3 

- Xander -

 

I laugh at myself for checking in as Paul Newman. I always pick a different old-time celebrity name when I check into a hotel but today for once I wish I’d used a random name.

Opening the hotel door to a money shot of the perfect ass of Elsie Cushing really brightened my otherwise shitty day.

Usually women fall at my feet when I so much as glance at them, but not Elsie. She gave it right to me. Plus, she’s gorgeous. Even with that half blanket ridiculously wrapped around her like a toga. Despite trying to cover up her smoking hot lingerie-clad body, she still can’t hide her shapely calves or her beautiful eyes.

I don’t know what I expected to find when I fled New York City, but it sure as hell wasn’t this. Who knew some shitty hotel on an exit ramp in New Jersey could hold something so beautiful? I’m really fucking glad I had to leave the highway when I did.

Although I only left because the crappy car I borrowed from my housekeeper, Tonya, started overheating. Piece of shit. I would’ve gotten farther if I’d driven my Aston Martin, but I was trying to go incognito to get away from the paparazzi. Lending Tonya my Aston Martin in exchange for her old Ford seemed like a good idea at the time. At least it let me get out of New York unseen.

My plan was to get to my friend Owen’s country house on Delaware Bay and hibernate until the media shit storm blows over. That’s still the plan but it’s going to take me another day to get there.

But it’ll be worth the extra time with Elsie working here. She is exactly what I need right now.

A distraction.

Elsie clears her throat and says, “Let’s get your room situation sorted out.”

For the first time, I tear my eyes from Elsie and glance around the rest of the room. Fuck. There’s a bunch of camera equipment set up that I didn’t even notice before. The very last thing I need right now is anything to do with cameras. Even if it is a sexy woman posing in front of them. At least I assume that’s what’s going on here. Although why the assistant manager would be dressed up like that and taking photos is beyond me. Is there going to be a Girls of the Good Rest Inn calendar coming out next year?

“You know what? You got a lot of equipment set up in here. I’ll move to another room.”

Elsie’s eyes widen, and she tilts her head at me and says, “Really? How gracious of you.”

“I know. What can I say? I’m a gracious guy,” I say, smirking.

“In fact, you are possibly the most gracious guest we’ve ever had.”

“Now I know you’re lying.”

“Whatever gave you that impression?” she says and shifts her weight.

“Careful, your blanket’s slipping,” I say, and nod to her newly exposed corset-covered left breast. Her very enticing breast. I try not to stare but fail.

“Damn.” She looks down and notices her makeshift toga is falling apart and quickly hikes it back up.

“Is that a new corporate uniform?”

“Very funny.”

“Are you ever going to tell me the mystery of why you are dressed up and getting your photos taken?”

“Why on earth would I tell you?”

Shrugging, I say, “Why not? Don’t they pay you enough to cover your bills? Are you in debt? Shit, do you have a gambling addiction?”

“No, I do not have a gambling addiction. And the pay is good, thank you very much,” she says, her voice sounding exasperated.

“That’s good, I was worried about you,” I say, chuckling. She’s certainly fun to joke around with. She’s even better at this than Luna.

“Were you, now?”

“I was. The plight of sex workers is an issue dear to my heart.”

“Why? Are you a pimp or a john?”

I can’t help but laugh harder at her comment and Elsie breaks down laughing as well.

“Elsie,” a woman’s voice says. I look around the room, it seems to be coming through the bathroom door. There are more of them in here?

“What is it?” Elsie asks.

“We’re running out of time. Becca has another appointment after us, she can’t overrun.”

“Okay,” Elsie says, sighing.

“Am I ruining your party?”

“Let me call down to the front desk and have him bring you up a key for room two-fourteen.” Before I can respond, Elsie picks up the phone. “Nathan, you put Paul Newman in the wrong room. I said I was in two-fifteen, and now he’s in here with me. Yes, he did walk in in the middle of my photo shoot. Thank you very much. It’s fine, don’t worry but can you bring up a key to room two-fourteen in a hurry? And then correct his details on the computer. Thanks. I’d come down and get it but, you know, I’m not really dressed for the occasion.”

She hangs up the phone, turns to me and says, “He won’t be long, in the meantime I can let you into the room next door with my master key.”

“So that’s it?”

“Afraid so,” she says with a broad smile. I might be imagining things, but I swear her green eyes are actually twinkling.

“It’s been fun,” I say.

After grabbing something off the desk, Elsie opens the door to the room a crack and pokes her head out, turning it left and right presumably making sure no one is around. Satisfied the coast is clear, she opens the door all the way and steps through it.

“Come on, hurry up.”

I grab my suitcase and follow her out of the room and wait as she deftly opens the room next door and steps inside. The room is the mirror image of the one we just left.

Glancing between Elsie and the bed, I visualize throwing her onto it and wrapping her high-heeled legs around my neck. She looks at me and tilts her head and I wonder if she can read my mind. I wish she could.

“I hope you have a good stay,” she says, gripping the door handle.

“I have every confidence I’m going to love it here.”

“Great. If you need anything else just phone down to the front desk.”

“Who do I ring for room service?”

Elsie laughs and shakes her head, “This isn’t the Ritz. There is no room service, but you can always call Domino’s.”

No room service? I’ve never stayed in a hotel without it before. How am I supposed to eat?

“Is there a minibar at least?”

“There’s a Coke machine in the hall. And ice.”

“That’s something, I guess.”

“I’m sure you’ll survive. Now excuse me, I have to hurry.” Elsie checks the hallway and steps through the door.

“Hey Elsie,” I call, half following her out of the room.

She turns to me and our eyes connect. I could seriously get lost in them. “Yeah?”

“You can call me Xander.”

Her eyes flare wide and her mouth widens. “I knew it.”

“Shh, it’s our secret.”

“I always respect my guests’ privacy, Paul.” I may be imagining it, but I swear her voice just got breathier.

The noise of the elevator door echoes down the hallway and Elsie hurries into her room. With any luck, she’ll be working later.

Dragging my feet, I walk across the room and flop down onto the bed. I pull my phone out of my back pocket and call Owen.

“Hey, did you make it?” Owen says without saying hello.

“No, the fucking car broke down. I’m at some cheap hotel in Trenton.”

“Have you seen the latest?” he asks.

I roll my eyes and say, “What is it now?”

“She says you were into pegging.”

The weight grows in my chest again. Over the course of the day it’s turned into a crushing boulder. Knowing Luna, this is all a big joke to her. All I can do is brace for whatever she comes up with next. Although it’s difficult to imagine something worse than pegging.

Chapter 4

- Elsie -

 

As the hotel room door clicks behind me I inhale deeply, trying to catch my breath. I figured it was him, I knew it was him, but somehow I didn’t fully believe it until he actually said to call him Xander.

Although that’s not why my heart is racing and I’m so excited. I don’t follow reality TV shows. I only know who he is because, well, because everyone knows who he is. Last year he was voted the Sexiest Man Alive.

When we spoke it was natural and normal, and it wasn’t me, the regular girl, meeting famous hot guy. And when he took my hand into his, it felt like Cinderella’s foot slipping into the glass slipper.

Not that it matters, as if anything would ever happen between us. Besides he has a girlfriend, Luna. She’s the one with the reality TV show, Lunatics. He only goes on her show as far as I know, he doesn’t have his own.

“Hurry up and get in here,” Isabel says grabbing my hand and yanking me deeper into the room.

As I walk, Isabel unravels me from the accent blanket. I feel pretty silly, having been wrapped in a throw blanket while talking with the most famous person I have ever met, although at the time I didn’t really think about how I must look.

“Let’s do a few more photos of you and then move on to the nasty shoot,” Becca says in a friendly voice and winking at me. Why on earth is she winking at me?

Taking more photos was the last thing on my mind, but I feel, I dunno, sexy right now and figure why not. Isabel fluffs up my hair for good measure and I position myself in front of the bed. Becca moves in close with her camera and I strike a pose, my legs wide apart, bent slightly forward at the hips and my hands on the insides of my thighs. While I look straight into the camera, I imagine the way I felt when Xander touched me and I think the feeling reflects in my expression with my intense gaze and a hungry mouth.

“That’s it, girl. Work it,” Becca says, moving quickly back and forth capturing me in both wide and close angles. At this moment I actually do feel like a sexy lingerie model and have a lot of fun playing to the camera.

I get more and more bold, and end up sprawling out on the bed. Becca stands on a chair and takes photos of me from above while I move my hands around, running them through my hair and down over my body.

“Sorry, girls. Times up or I won’t get a turn,” Isabel says, grabbing my hand and yanking me off the bed.

“Shit, I can’t be late to relieve Nathan from the front desk,” I say and kick off my heels.

“You know he probably left the front desk like three minutes ago, right?” Isabel says.

I glance at the clock on the desk and realize she’s correct. Without caring that Becca is in the room, I step out of the thong, and realize it’s sopping wet from my interaction with Xander. I shove it deep into my purse before the others notice. Wrestling my way out of the corset, I take a deep breath, glad to be free from the restriction of the boning and that I can finally fill my lungs again and pull on my regular bra and panties. In the interest of speed, I leave on the thigh-high stockings and grab my work clothes from the closet – a navy blue skirt and matching blazer with a white blouse.

“That was crazy, wasn’t it? That guy just walking in here,” Becca says.

“Yeah, Nathan really fucked up this time,” Isabel says, laughing. She’s always teasing Nathan about his mistakes. He’ll never hear the end of this one.

After buttoning my blouse, I realize my fingers were moving so fast that I didn’t line the buttons up properly. I sigh in annoyance and quickly redo them.

“That’s fine, it doesn’t matter. No harm done,” I say. In truth I’m glad the whole thing happened, even if it is embarrassing on my part.

“I didn’t even get a good look at the guy, but he seemed kinda hot,” Isabel says.

“That’s because you chickened out and hid in the bathroom leaving me to deal with him by myself,” I say, pulling on my skirt.

Isabel burst out laughing and says, “That’s because you’re the assistant manager. It’s your job is it?”

“I wasn’t exactly in my assistant manager uniform, was I?”

“Wow, you weren’t kidding when you said nasty,” Becca says, and I snap my head around to see what she’s referring to.

Isabel has slipped on my killer heels and stands with her hands on her hips looking proud. I don’t even know what she’s wearing other than the fact that it isn’t actually clothing. It’s some kind of black satin strapping crisscrosses her body. It’s covering her nipples and crotch and not a whole lot else but damn, it certainly screams fuck me. Her boyfriend, Larson, is not going to be disappointed with these photos.

“You look like a sex machine,” I say.

“Thanks, babe,” Isabel says, not bothering to look my way.

“Okay, I gotta run,” I say, pulling on my blazer.

“Laters,” Isabel says.

“Thanks a lot, Becca. I look forward to seeing the photos,” I call out as I open the door.

“Any time,” Becca says.

Normally I’d take the stairs, even though my knee keeps giving out, but the elevator is waiting and I step into it. While it descends I de-pouf my hair, trying to return it to its normal tame appearance for my position at the front desk. The door opens and I hurry across the stark white hallway to the front desk.

The desk is more of a long counter and runs along one of the walls so that it faces the front door. Along the wall behind the desk are TVs, each one tuned into a different twenty-four-hour news station.

“You’re still here,” I say when I spot Nathan standing dutifully at his station.

“You’re lucky, darling, I had the time wrong. The meeting doesn’t start for another few minutes. And anyway, after the way that I sent Paul Newman into your room I figured I owed you,” Nathan says, his head waggling as he talks.

“I still don’t understand how you managed to do that but it’s fine, I don’t mind.”

Nathan inhales sharply and exclaims, “Because Paul Newman is really Xander Whitman, isn’t he?”

I shrug but I unable to hide the truth from Nathan. He can spot a bullshitter from a thousand yards. “I think so,” I say, trying to bargain with myself that I’m not betraying Xander’s trust by saying anything definite.

“OMG, did you see the latest?”

“No, I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“What rock do you live under, woman?” Nathan looks at me with disappointment.

“A big one?”

“It’s been all explosive Xander Whitman sex scandal all the time over the past twenty-four hours. It’s been looping nonstop on all three of those TVs behind you. Luna said she had to break the silence because he was so crazy in bed. Like even, crazy for me, crazy. And then while you were upstairs there was another breaking allegation saying he’s really, like really really, into pegging,” Nathan says, his voice getting more and more excited and his arms more and more animated with each word.

My mind spins as I digest his words. Does the sex scandal explain why he ended up at this hotel? He seemed so normal, but I guess you can never tell. I have to ask, “Okay, what the hell is pegging?”

Nathan bursts out in his high-pitched laugh and says, “Sugar, that’s when the girl straps on a dildo and pounds his ass like a Texan drilling for oil.”

I screw my nose up at him and turn to look at the screens hanging on the wall, wondering if Xander really does that.

“Why would he do that if he isn’t gay?” I ask sheepishly.

Nathan cackles and says, “Sweet naïve child, all men have prostates. Trust me, it ain’t just the flaming gay ones who like stuff shoved up there.”

I stare silently at Nathan, contemplating what it would’ve been like to wear a strap-on and ream out my last boyfriend’s ass. That would’ve been a great way of venting some of my anger at him for being such a jerk.

“I know, it leaves you speechless, right? Oh, before I forget, your doctor called, something about tests. Now I really do have to love and leave you. Kisses, darling, I shouldn’t be long. Cynthia said it was only a twenty-minute meeting on something or other.” Nathan kisses the air three times and heads off in the direction of Cynthia’s office.

Tests. I swear it’s been two years and all they do is test me more and more and never figure out what’s wrong with me. Although, at the rate my imagination works, maybe not knowing what’s wrong is better than actually knowing.

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