“If you don’t want me to stay I--

“No! No, please, sorry. I just wasn’t-- I-- Uh, come in please.” He stepped to the side and gestured for her to enter the rather remarkable space. He was so reserved that it was hard for her to say who he really was. She was a strong believer that where someone lived, how their space was arranged and decorated spoke volumes. His space spoke where he wouldn’t, or couldn’t.

“Your home is really beautiful.” She faced him watching as he closed the door behind her.

“Thank you.” He took her wrap and purse and put it in an adjacent closet.

It was a modern style with elegant and elaborate decorative accents like the stair railing and the frames around the unique art pieces. She didn’t recognize any of the artists and she was familiar with the more popular ones.

“How do you pick your art?”

“Uh,” he said, joining her in front of a piece that caught her attention every time she looked at it. She saw something different each time and it startled and intrigued her. “Local art auctions mostly. A lot of them are tied to some kind of charity.”

She smiled and looked over at him.


He was a giving person. Was there something that encouraged such a desire to give back? She wanted to know. She slid her hand down is arm coaxing it out of his pocket and linked their fingers. “I realize that this may come across as strange.” She started walking and he fell in a paced leisure stroll next to her. “Me leaving and coming back. You might think I’m confused, but I’m not.” She stopped and faced him. “No man or woman has enough money to buy my body.” She rubbed her hands over his chest, over his shoulders, then linked her arms around his neck. A chill ran up her spine when she caught his attentive gaze.

She liked that.

How he looked at her like she was the only person in the world that existed. She brought their focus to the dress shirt that still wrapped around his body. “This evening, you were paying for my time. The arrangement part of the evening has ended.” She looked up into his eyes. “I want you to know that anything that happens is just me being with you.” His eyes fell to her mouth, lingered there, before finding her eyes again.

She knew what he wanted. She could see it in the depths of his hazel eyes. She slid her fingers into the hairs at the nape of his neck and stroked gently. “If you’d like to try kissing me again, I’d like that.”

The corner of his mouth lifted and he let out a sound that she interpreted as humor. He stroked her jaw with his thumb his eyes darting over her face. He slid the hand to cradle her jaw before he leaned down to claim her lips.

She moaned, exhaled, and leaned into him as he took his time drawing whatever remaining energy she might have had left after that evening’s festivities. He pulled away too soon eliciting a grumble from her.

He took her hand and led her back into the house and down into a rather spectacular sitting room with huge floor to ceiling windows that looked out over the ocean. It was dark out so she couldn’t see much, but she could imagine at sunset on a cloudless evening it’d be gorgeous.

“Do you like wine?”

She nodded. She had one glass of champagne, that she didn’t finish, at the event. That was another rule that she made up. Kept things business. Kept things classy. The madame that found her taught her many things to being an escort especially after finding out how horribly wrong her first experience was.

When David returned, with a bottle of red wine in his hand, excitement zinged through her followed by a bout of nervous energy. She didn’t want him to think she was a prostitute? She made every effort to keep clear the boundaries of the arrangements with her clients. She wasn’t planning on this one being any different, but, for some odd reason, she acted on measured impulse.

“I-I hope you like red.”

She smiled. He was nervous and she couldn’t tell if it was because of her or just his obvious general fish-out-of-water-when-it-comes-to-social-situations thing he had going.

She nodded. “What kind?” It wasn’t like he was her first awkward client. A number of her clients were in some ways socially inept, but there was something appealing about how David wore his awkward. In front of groups, he just seemed quiet and reserved. He thought through his responses and when he opened his mouth what he said was profound and considered. A man that thought before he spoke, go figure that.

“Merlot,” he replied.

“Fruit forward with easy tannins and a soft finish.”

He met her with a smirk that sent her insides into a jittery whirlwind. She pressed her hand to her stomach.

“Are you a connoisseur?”

She perched on the edge of the couch with her back straight. All she really wanted to do was put her hands on the man, but that could wait. “With great patience comes great rewards.” That’s what the madam would tell her and the other girls.

“Don’t think I’d claim it, but I’ve had my share.” She presented a genuine smile over at him.

“Men want to feel like things were their idea.” The woman was generalizing of course, but she found the Madam wasn’t wrong. Then again, most everyone wanted to feel like they were doing things that they wanted to do even if they had to convince themselves after the fact. She shook the troubling thought.

He was filling two glasses at the coffee table in front of her his attention focused on his task. She wondered what was going on in that head of his. His eyebrows were knit together, his lips tight as if he just sucked on a bag of lemons.

She cocked her head to the side forcing him to look at her. “What’s on your mind?” He froze when she touched the hand not pouring. He met her eyes, his were filled with emotion that she couldn’t place. His eyes scanned her face as if committing it to memory.

He jumped when the second glass started to overflow. “Awe shit!” He got up and disappeared up the stairs into the kitchen.

She stood and wandered over to the floor to ceiling window in the tall space and looked out at the hills surrounding them. They were just shadowed ghosts at the late hour, but there was something beautiful about their still, sturdy presence under the moon’s haze.

He breezed into the room capturing her attention.

She crossed her arms, leaned on the window frame and glanced back at David while he wiped up the mess.

“I’m sorry. I was so clumsy--” He broke off when their eyes met. He dropped his gaze to his task.

She frowned and made her way back over to him. “Is something bothering you?”

He looked up at her from his kneeled position in front of the coffee table. “I-I uh, no. Nothing’s wrong.”

She perched on the couch. “Just tell me what’s on your mind.”

He frowned and scratched his head. “I didn’t want to say anything because it doesn’t really matter. I don’t want you to think that your answer is going to change--”

“David.” He looked up at her when she pressed her palm against his chest. “Just say it.”

“Is this the only, uh--” He rubbed the back of his neck. “Have you, uh, stayed with a another guy-- uh-- another client before?”


He nodded and let his head fall.

“I’ve been escorting for near fifteen years. I’ve been to countless parties, wine tastings, charity events, traveled the world and only shared a bed with two of the men I accompanied. I understand your concern and if you want me to leave I--”

“No!” He winced. “I-I don’t want you to go. I just--” He palmed his forehead as he kneeled bowed in front of her. He finally met her gaze again. “It was stupid to ask.” He turned and retrieved the wine glasses handing her the properly poured one before holding his up for a toast. “I didn’t want our time to end when we got back to my place and you chose to, for reasons I will probably never understand, put up with me for an additional bout of time.”

“What are we toasting to?”

“To your tenacity, patience, and grace. I’m not sure how many times you saved me tonight but I’m grateful for all of them.”

She giggled clinking her glass to his. “You had an aggressive bunch tonight so cynical. I thought it was a charity event to help young people get an education.”

He took a couple sips of his wine before sliding next to her on the couch. “You would think, but that would mean the event was about the children, which in that group, it’s only ever about them.” He set back and crossed his ankle over his knee. “I don’t let it bother me as long as the competition to be the largest donor is the end result. Very competitive especially Mark.”

“Mark? He was the biggest cynic of them all.”

David laughed. “Yep, with the biggest ego. He might not like me for whatever reason, but my program is well-marketed, and well-known and he’d never miss a chance to have his name plastered in the paper taking credit for something he didn’t do anything for.”

She placed her glass on the coffee table and found the nook between his side and under his arm.

She smiled.

So warm. He was tall and slender which to her meant he was a walking heater and she was right! He was stiff at first, but relaxed faster than she anticipated.

“Do you mind that I’m here?” She rubbed her hands across his lower abdomen still covered by his dress shirt.

“No.” His voice was low. She felt it in the rumble of his chest more than the sound found her ears. His steady breathing and paced heartbeat made her relax against him. She liked it, the peace of the silence save for the confirmation of his life force. He leaned forward to set his glass down then he settled back into the couch and gathered her against him.

Her hand was leisurely exploring his chest and undoing the remaining buttons on his shirt. She parted the fabric and slid her hands beneath the undershirt. His lithe muscles flexed under her fingertips.


“Hmm?” she said, and looked up to meet his laden eyes. His hand slid around the nape of her neck and he pulled her face to meet his. He moaned and pulled her to straddle his lap. She gasped feeling his growing intrigue between her legs. As if on instinct she ground her hips into him.

He angled his face over hers delving his tongue into her mouth. Her tongue found play with his while he unzipped her dress and started peeling the cloth away from her skin.

He broke the kiss severing the electric current while he stared at her upper body only covered by the bralette. “If we’re--”

She leaned down and kissed him soundly on the lips. She didn’t want to hear his doubts. “David, I want you.”



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1 comment

  • I’m truly enjoying the book!!


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