Authors: Bijou Hunter
wake up to find a sexy half-naked man in my bed. Giving my buzzed brain a
chance to reset, I stare at his tattooed and muscular back.
much tequila. Loud music. Zulma singing
on repeat. Too much
beer. Bethany whining how being the designated driver wasn't a good look on
her. A stinky bar where I drank more beer and danced with this sexy man.
skin is still golden. Back in high school, he often worked on cars in his
driveway. I pretended not to notice, but Jamie saw through my lies. He knew I
had a crush on him much like every girl in school. He usually dated rocker
chicks sporting thick black eyeliner and bright red lips. Those girls dismissed
a nerd like me, but Jamie noticed.
were together for one week during my wild phase. He was about to move, so I
took the plunge and lost my virginity in a camping tent in the woods near our
houses. Over the years, I wondered about him. Now he is in my bed.
than once over the years, I've imagined Jamie during sex with Sandy. I often
assumed I'd romanticized my first boyfriend, making him more delicious than he
reality, the man in bed with me is a million times better than my memories.
ridiculous blushing fit comes over me as I scoot up against the headboard.
Covering my face, I struggle to be the adult woman I know still exists. I'm not
a teenager and Jamie isn't my first boyfriend.
I'm a professional woman,
Unfortunately before I regain my composure, he rolls over and
smiles at me. I'm fairly certain my face is tomato red as I smile back.
Meredith Gordon," he says, taking my hand and kissing the palm.
"How's your head?"
unsure how to do the morning-after sexy chat. Bethany tried teaching me in college,
but I never honed the skill. With Sandy, seduction wasn't necessary.
to find my inner temptress, I blurt out, "Did we?"
smile brightens his sleepy face. "You'd still feel me inside you if we
had. Don't you remember what you felt like in high school?"
fight a smile. "I was a virgin."
nuzzles my arm. "After what you told me about your schmuck husband, you're
not that far off from a virgin now."
was drunk and likely exaggerating."
get honest when they're drunk, baby," he says, sitting up next to me and
kissing my neck. "I think you're lying now."
I can answer, he kisses me on the mouth. My body instantly awakes from a decade
of boredom. Jamie pulls away slowly then glances at the clock.
I need to get to my mom's for brunch. It's a weekly thing on Sundays."
It was nice seeing you again, Jamie," I say, slipping out of bed.
me, Jamie wraps his arms around my waist. "One, it's not Jamie anymore. I
go by Winston."
brings me to number two. Tonight, I'll pick you up for dinner. We'll catch up
and I'll tell you all sorts of fun shit about me."
smiles before disappearing into the bathroom. I wait awkwardly for him, unsure
what to do with my hands or how to stand. I've regressed to my lame teenage
bathroom door opens and Winston hurries out. "I hate to wake and run, but
Mom will have a fit if I don't get to brunch on time."
only nod and follow him to the door. Opening it, he flinches at the bright
Sunday sun then smiles at me.
pick you up at five. We'll go somewhere nice. I'm a burger and pizza guy except
on Sundays. Let's do steak. Does that sound good, Meredith?"
my name shakes me loose from the silly feeling I'm wallowing in. "I'd like
kisses me again. No worries about morning breath or public displays of
affection. His kiss is warm and inviting.
New, yet comfortable.
lips leave mine, I shiver at the way he makes me feel.
Winston says, giving my neck a quick kiss.
hurries to his truck parked at the curb. The sound of the rumbling engine is
loud in the otherwise quiet morning.
Winston's truck disappear around the corner, my gaze catches a neighbor spying
on me from her front porch. Even without seeing her eyes, I feel her judgment. Sandy's only been gone for a few months and I'm already shacking up with guys.
Bethany flips people off for minor things like smiling at her. She nearly got her ass
kicked for being so quick to raise her middle finger. Yet I consider sending a
message to my judgmental neighbor. Sandy left
. I'm the victim. The
good one who was dumped. I deserve to move on.
never flip off people, especially old ladies wearing big hats. Instead, I wave
at her then head back inside.
now, I decide to shower. Except I feel worse afterwards since I no longer smell
like Winston's heavenly cologne. Too restless to do anything else, I walk into
the third bedroom of the small house. Despite our plans for kids, the room is a
gym while bedroom two is my office.
only have two obsessions and they're both pathetic. No one should be obsessed
with a Stairmaster and Skittles.
still working out when Bethany lets herself into my house. She speaks loudly
while making a pot of coffee. I hear her imitating my drunken voice. I also
hear her call me a secret slut. Through her babble, I keep stepping while
shoving handfuls of Skittles into my mouth.
boy," Bethany says, appearing at the door. "He fucked you into a
didn't have sex."
so this is your way of working off the horny. Poor Meredith."
up," I mutter. "He's picking me up for dinner."
Bethany sits on an exercise ball and drinks her coffee. "Winston sure aged well. I
saw Tyler Parker the other day. He's lost all his hair and looks about seven
months pregnant. Winston actually looks better than in high school. Rougher,
narrow my eyes at my slutty sister. "Back off."
don't want your sloppy seconds."
I say, grinning. "You always liked Winston. I saw you flirting with him in
the hallways, but he blew you off and hooked up with me. Still hurts, doesn't
Bethany raises her middle finger, sending me into hysterics. I stop the Stairmaster and
sit on the ground where I laugh and laugh until she walks out in mock outrage.
I find her sitting at the kitchen table, middle finger still upright.
but normally men drool over you. Jamie Winston was the one time a guy wanted me
more. Let me have this win."
Bethany lowers her finger. "So very true."
join her at the table with my cup of coffee. "He was sweet this morning.
I'd forgotten how gentle he could be. I only remembered the naughtier
I'll let that go since you've been married to a walking coma patient for so
long. So if you didn't fuck, did you at least squeeze his tight ass?"'
can't really remember. Sorry."
worries, big sis. You'll tell me all the
details tomorrow. I
can't wait to hear them either. Not after ten years of listening to you talk
about Sandy Snooze."
mentioning Sandy. I'm trying to fantasize here."
Bethany nods. "My apologies. What will you wear tonight? Something sexy hopefully. He
saw you half-naked last night and couldn't get enough. Don't dress like his
grandma or he'll lose interest."
don't dress like anyone's grandma. I simply choose not to dress like a hooker
like you, so I appear matronly in comparison."
Bethany taps my cup with hers. "True again. I like how smart you are today. Winston
is clearly a good influence. Don't blow it."
have no expectations. Until last night, I figured he was married with a few
kids. Now we're going to dinner. Whatever happens will happen."
pretend to be spontaneous. You can't sell the lie."
trying something new."
will pray hard for you not to fail."
being a pest and help me pick something nice to wear tonight. I want to look
attractive, but classier than last night. I don't want Winston thinking I'm
seeing all of your accent pillows, there's no way he'll think you're me."
set down my cup and stand. "Stop insulting me and drive me to the mall to
find something to wear."
Bethany cries, her smirk gone. "Finally, something we can agree
my sister's help, I search for a new dress for this fresh start in my life.
Jamie Winston is exactly the type of man who can shake me out of the tedium of
ten years with the most boring man alive.
after I arrive at Mom's house for Sunday brunch, Meredith is all I can think
about. My nieces and nephews are loud as usual. Screaming at each other and
occasionally just screaming to be heard over the other screams, they're a wild
bunch. I hear none of it. My mind is on Meredith watching me from her front
stands in the kitchen, surrounded by her daughter-in-laws. They're drinking
orange juices spiked with vodka. I hear them laughing over the kids' screaming.
Based on the sly look on her face, Mom is sharing something dirty. Call her
grandma day and night, but never call her domesticated.
brothers Kemp and Boyle sit next to me, watching the Cowboys play. We aren't
big into football. We're more baseball guys really, but on Sundays, we sit here
while the kids scream and the women laugh. It's our routine and we fall into it
Meredith Gordon last night," I say, during a commercial break.
shoves nachos into his mouth then asks, "How'd she look? I saw Misty
Robbies at Vitelli's Bakery the other day and..."
were you doing at Vitelli's?" Kemp interrupts.
Heather. With this baby, she craves onion bagels constantly and Vitelli's has
sister-in-law is a lapsed Catholic, but she insists her former faith has
nothing to do with why she pops kids out every two years. The current bun in
the oven is number six.
what about Misty?" I ask when my brother focuses too long on his nachos.
she'd gone on some health food kick. Lost a bunch of weight and looked scary
skinny. Her head was huge on her tiny neck. Freaky shit women are into these
looks great. Sexy as hell and she's a shrink now. Can you believe that?
Listening to people whine all day. I don't know how she does it, but I bet she
does it fucking great."
laughs. "You're in heat, bro. Can smell you from here."
I frown at Boyle laughing next to me, he says, "Meredith was a nice girl.
She helped me with math once. Her sister was nice too.
roll my eyes. "Shut up. You're ruining my good mood."
bitch. So is Meredith single?"
going to dinner tonight. She got divorced not long ago. Timing is
be the rebound."
I want. If I want to be the guy then I'll be the guy. I have a perfect
do you figure?"
I want Meredith for the long haul, I'll make it happen. Don't doubt chemistry."
if she thinks you're just a rebound guy?" Kemp asks. "I always
assumed those Gordon girls would grow up to be suburban bitches."
the language!" Mira yells over the kids' screaming.
waves back at his wife without looking at her. I think about his question then
does something to me. I have that kind of power over her too. When chemistry
kicks in, well, I don't think anyone will have any say in the matter."
what the shrink will think about that?" Boyle mutters before shushing us
when the game returns.
matter what my brothers think, Meredith and I are wired to work. Her boring
husband left her bored.
My wild women left me broke and
sporting a head wound. I need a change. Meredith does too. Now we have our shot
and I never lose when the prize is so perfect.
Makes Me Bold
favorite color is orange, yet I fear its vibrancy. I'm not a bold person and
only have a few orange accent pillows on a loveseat in the unused living room.
As a big believer in the beauty of beige, Sandy insisted we keep things a nice
neutral. The orange pillows were my only act of defiance.
I stand in an orange sundress and pumps, looking as bold as a raging August
going to eat you alive," Bethany says, taking a picture on her phone.
"Zulma will want to see you decked out."
twirl for the picture before checking my hair again.
look great, Meredith. Just don't act like a shrink. Be the way you are with me
that, but also sweet and irresistible."
really nervous and I'm not sure why. He saw me hung over this morning. I looked
like crap and my breath was deadly. I look like a supermodel compared to how
hideous I was this morning."
very true. I mean, you were pretty hideous when I showed up this morning and
you'd taken a shower and brushed your teeth by then. I can't even imagine the
horror he woke up to."
Bethany grins. "Winston is a real man, not some prissy bitch like you. He doesn't
care about messy hair or stinky breath. He's thinking about pussy."
feel better now."
thought that would help," Bethany laughs, patting my shoulder. "You
look sexy and you're an ace at lying. So, so good at lying. It's scary how well
you lie. Anyhoo, he'll be all over you by dessert then you'll come back here
and come and come again. Most importantly, I will pick you up in the morning
and drive you to work, so you can tell me all the dirty details. You'll tell me
again at lunch with Zulma. We'll expect a play by play. Possibly
laugh. "That'll be my favorite part. I have a special talent for drawing
her bag, Bethany shivers. "I love when you talk like a tramp."
for shopping with me. I hope the Dentist likes the edible panties you
Bethany pauses at the door. "I'll know he loves me when the Dentist eats something
sticky and sugary at my command. Oh, and doesn't brush and floss immediately
I'll know you love him when you stop referring to him as the Dentist."
I watch Bethany stroll to her Dodge Durango. She screeches out of the driveway
just to upset my neighbors. I close the door then open it again because the
empty house bothers me.
mind is on adopting a pet when Winston's silver Ford truck pulls into the spot Bethany vacated. Running my fingers through my hair, I'm nervous to the point of needing
to use the bathroom.
When did I get a nervous bladder?
looks too good to be real and I'm struck with a strong urge to shut the door on
him. I can't be with this man. Not after a decade with Sandy Moon. I've lost
whatever cool I possessed in high school. I should date the mumbling guy from
the coffee shop. Winston is too damn intoxicating in his jeans and black
buttoned shirt. I'm not sure I can handle such a sexy beast.
is all he says before wrapping an arm around my waist and pulling me closer for
need to play games or put on fronts, Winston kisses me and I melt. Leaning into
him, I ache to feel this way forever. Safe, yet electric. Hungry, yet
satisfied. Winston is addictive.
thought about you all damn day," he says, still holding me. "You
ready to head out?"
nod, unable to speak. All I do many days is talk until my voice drives me nuts.
Other times, I want to say a million things, but keep my mouth shut so my
patients can talk. Tonight, I can't think of a single thing to say. I'm simply
amazed to be in Winston's arms after so many years.
in his truck, I regain the ability to speak. "Last night is a blur,"
I say as he pulls the truck out of the driveway. "I don't remember much. I
think we danced and I might have thought you were a stripper."
share a grin. "I just don't remember anything important, so forgive me if
I ask questions you've already answered."
smirks. "You're nervous. It's adorable."
can't stop myself from rolling my eyes. Crossing my arms, I ignore his grin.
This plan lasts until his hand reaches over and strokes my knee.
you married a douche, Meredith. I can see how dating a real man would be
really is," I say, patting his hand.
not looking to party. Last night you were drunk and very willing. I didn't do
anything besides drive you home. I might not look like a good guy, but I am.
You can relax."
struggle not to laugh in a stupid schoolgirl way. For the rest of the drive, my
hand remains on his, which still rests on my knee.
restaurant is packed, so we wait outside for his name to be called. I try to
play coy, swinging my dress a bit. Winston will have none of it. He's hungry
and I'm dinner.
smell so good," he says, nuzzling his lips against my throat. "Like a
damn fruit basket."
as I laugh, my body goes soft. All except my nipples. Hard little nubs now,
they strain against my dress.
smell good too," I mumble, unable to think when my body is in control.
"I wish we were alone."
kisses me and I don't think of the people around us. Not tonight with Winston
who only sees me. Whenever I feel guilty for such a public display, I remind
myself how quickly things end in life. Winston was sweet to me for a single
week then gone from my life. I thought I'd never see him again. Now he's all I
sit across each other in a booth that finally opens up. I try to pay attention
to the menu, but I'm more interested in studying Winston's rugged face.
would you tell a patient in your position?" he asks, startling me.
position do you mean?"
she feels what you're feeling, but she's fighting those feelings. What would
you tell her to do about that situation?"
ask her what she hoped would come out of those feelings? Was she being
realistic with her desired outcomes? Could she be satisfied with a less optimal
get hard when you talk like that," he murmurs. "I figured you should
be aware of your powers. You know, in case you want to turn me on later."
red hot, I hide behind my menu. The cocky bastard just laughs.
know Winston is my rebound guy. Even if nothing else happens between us, he'll
make me smile for however long we're together.
I join Winston on his side of the booth. He moves over and wraps an arm around
my shoulders. Something about his expression makes me think he always knew I
would end up next to him.
is all he says before we look over the menu.
haven't eaten ribs in a long time because they're messy."
you get as messy as you want. I'll lick the sauce right off your lips."
he kisses me again, I slide a finger in between the buttons of his shirt and
caress his warm skin.
lips part when the waitress arrives. She smiles awkwardly, takes our drink
orders, and hurries away.
my face, I sigh. "I don't normally behave this way."
don't care," he whispers, nuzzling my temple. "I only care what you
do right now with me."
that how you live your life? Simply living for the moment without any concerns
for the consequences?"
thinks I'm judging him. Once his icy blue eyes study my face and find me
completely accepting, he smiles.
always figured life was going to give me what I was meant to have. Never thought
much harder about it. Of course, I've been a lucky man in a lot of ways. My
brother Kemp started a construction company, so I work for him without having
some bossman bitching at me. My other brother Boyle bought a house with an
apartment over the garage. He figured a renter would bring in extra cash and he
needs it since the guy has a million kids. So I live there without having a landlord
hassling me. Things fall into my lap most days. Look at you."
waitress arrives with our drinks and leaves with our food order. As soon as
she's gone, Winston's lips return to mine.
were we?" he asks, nuzzling my cheek.
thought your brothers' names were Tracy and Casey."
grinned. "Yeah, but those names didn't age well. When we moved, I found
myself in a class with a girl Jamie. Not just one Jamie either. Every class was
a different girl named Jamie. My brothers had the same problem, so we started
going by our last names. Fortunately, we have different dads."
hadn't realized Jerry wasn't your dad."
he's Kemp's dad. My dad died in a car accident. Boyle's dad too. Sounds shady
to have them die in the same way, but Mom had a thing for men with a lead
leans forward and nips at my earlobe. "Don't feel sad for me. Just be glad
I had a decent last name to fall back on."
old were you when your dad passed?"
but please don't worry about it. I had a great childhood. Dad died doing what
he loved. Breaking speed limits."
smile before a shiver comes over me from his lips sucking at my throat.
"Stop. I can't function when you do that."
don't want you to function."
you want me to eat?"
lifts his gaze to mine. "Good point. If I had my way, we'd be alone right
but you wanted to go to dinner."
the hell was I thinking?"
share a smile and sip from our drinks. I enjoy the sweet rum in my Armadillo
Punch while Winston sticks with a beer.
you ever been married?" I ask.
even close. I did have a relationship that lasted a year though," he says,
wrapping an arm around my shoulders again. "We broke up every month or so,
but never for long. Still counts as a year in my mind."
aren't you together now?"
cheated. Or maybe she stole my TV. I always get her and this other girl mixed
frown at Winston, causing him to laugh. "Look, I've always dated one kind
of woman. Do with that what you will, but I had a type and that type all played
the same bullshit. Stealing, cheating, and even eating the last donut. Real
despite my better judgment, I try not to put on my psychiatrist hat. It's
you love any of them?"
If I'd loved them, I'd have married them and had bratty kids with them then
we'd be talking about how I have a few bratty kids with a few evil
my hand on his thigh, I ask, "Why would you be attracted to women who
treat you poorly?"
did you marry a douche?"
wanted someone safe."
wanted someone wild. We both got what we wanted. Your husband bored the shit
out of you. My women stole my crap and banged random guys. Turns out what we
wanted didn't work out so well."
you still want a wild woman?"
I want you. That's what the tight pants are about."
like an idiot, I'm a slave to his hunger. Nothing else matters, not even my
ridiculous as this sounds, I missed you," I whisper. "During the week
we dated in high school, I felt invincible."
how I've felt since you walked into the bar last night."
lips are on mine again. We stop to drink then kiss again, mingling the flavors
of the liquor.
that rum?" he asks, caressing a lock of my blonde hair through his rough
nod. "I don't usually drink alcohol much. Since Sandy left, I'm trying to
"Sandy," he snorts. "That's even worse than Tracy."
grins. "When I have kids, I'm giving the boys real butch names and the
girls princess names. Nonnegotiable."
I ask, lifting an eyebrow.
laughing, Winston says, "Non-fucking-negotiable. My first son will be G.I.
Joe. Second one will be Captain America. I don't know about the third. Tonka
giggle since he's completely serious. "How many kids are you planning on
many as my woman will give me. I've got lots of practice with my nieces and
nephews. I'm ready for the real deal."
pauses when the food arrives. Once we get situated, he glances at me.
you want kids?"
about my tone draws his gaze. "Sore topic?"
and I had plans. Like a schedule, I guess. We planned to finish school and save
money to buy a house. After we found a house, we'd prepare for a child."
organized," he says and I hear his disapproval. I frown at Winston who
shrugs. "I don't like thinking of you making babies with some douche.
Sorry. Go ahead with your story."
not? Wouldn't you be upset if some old girlfriend of mine showed up?"
not particularly. In this scenario, would she throw herself at you? I admit I
might be jealous, if she rubbed her breasts on your face."
you fight for me?" he teases.
not hard. Just do the windmill move my cousin does. Girls go down pretty easy
with that move."