On cue, a busty shot girl comes to our table and leans over with her hand on my shoulder and her cleavage in my face. “You need anything else, cutie?”
That pretty much answers Kate’s question, huh?
“Sure, honey. Could you bring us another round?”
As the waitress moves away, Kate’s eyes meet mine before rolling to the ceiling. “Anyway. Give me your ten.”
“I’ve had sex with more than ten women in one week.”
Cancun. Spring Break 2004. Mexico is awesome.
“Uck. Is that supposed to impress me?”
I grin proudly. “It impresses most women.” I lean forward and lower my voice as I rub my thumb slowly against hers. “Then again, you’re not most women, are you?”
She licks her lips, her eyes on mine. “Are you flirting with me?”
Shot Girl brings our drinks. I crack my knuckles. I’m up. Time to get…intimate.
“First blow job?”
I tried. I held out for as long as I could. I couldn’t resist any longer.
The smile drops from Kate’s face. “You have serious issues. You know that, right?”
Borrowing some peer pressure from The Breakfast Club, I goad, “Come on, Claire—just answer a simple question.”
Kate picks up her drink and knocks it back impressively.
I am both shocked and appalled. “You’ve never given a blow job?”
Please, God, don’t let Kate be one of those women. You know the ones I mean—cold, unadventurous, the ones who just don’t do that. The ones who insist on making love, which means fucking in the missionary position only. They’re the reason men like Elliot Spitzer and Bill Clinton risk the destruction of their political careers, ’cause they’re just that desperate for a happy ending.
She flinches as the vodka burns down her throat. “Billy doesn’t like…oral sex. He doesn’t like to give it, I mean.”
She’s got to be drunk. There’s no way in holy hell that Kate would be telling me this were she not completely and utterly shitfaced. She hides it well, don’t you think? But she still hasn’t answered my question.
As for her fiancé—he’s a pussy. No pun intended. My mother always told me, “Anyone worth doing, is worth doing well.” Okay, she didn’t actually say those exact words, but you get the picture. If I’m not eager to go down on a chick, then I’m not screwing her. Sorry if that’s crude, but that’s just how it is.
And this is Kate we’re talking about here. I’d eat her for breakfast every day of the week and twice on Sunday. And I can’t think of a single man I know who would disagree with me.
Billy is a total fucking idiot.
“So, since he’s never…you know. He doesn’t think it’s fair that I should do it to him. So, no…I’ve never…”
She can’t even say it. I have to help her out. “Given head? Sucked him off? Been tea-bagged? Blown his balls and his mind?”
She covers her face and giggles. I’m pretty sure it’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. She takes her hands off her face and blows out a breath. “Moving on. My ten. I’ve been with Billy for over ten years.”
I choke on my beer. “Ten years?”
She nods. “Almost eleven.”
“So you started dating when you were…”
So, if I’m hearing her correctly, what she’s most likely saying is no man has ever gone down on her? Don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but I just can’t wrap my mind around this. That’s what she’s saying, right?
I could cry. What a fucking sin. Spare the karaoke guy—save the bullet for Kate’s boyfriend.
“How long have you been engaged?”
“About seven years. He asked me the week before I left for college.”
Those two sentences tell me exactly what kind of man shithead Billy happens to be. Insecure, jealous, clingy. He knew his girl was out of his league, that she was going places and would most likely leave him in the dust. So what does he do? He asks her to marry him, pretty much trapping her before she knew any better.
“That’s why the ring is so…you know…small. But it doesn’t matter to me. Billy worked for six months to get me this ring. Bussing tables, mowing lawns, killing himself. This tiny stone means more to me than the biggest rock at Tiffany’s.”
And those few sentences tell me exactly what kind of woman Kate Brooks is too. A lot of Manhattan women are all about flash—the brand of the car, the name on the bag, the size of the ring. Superficial. Empty. I should know; I’ve slept with most of them. But Kate is the real deal. Genuine. She’s all about quality, not quantity.
She reminds me of my sister, actually. Even with all the money we grew up with, Alexandra doesn’t really give a rat’s ass about labels or what other people think. That’s how she ended up with a guy like Steven. He and Alexandra started dating in high school, when he was a sophomore and she was a senior. That maneuver made him a legend at St. Mary’s Prep. To this day, his name is invoked in her hallowed halls with reverence.
What’s that? Yes, I went to Catholic school. You’re surprised? You shouldn’t be. My profanity has a certain religious flavor that can only be learned through a lifetime of Catholic education. Jesus H. Christ…Goddamn it…Jesus, Mary, and Joseph…fucking Christ Almighty…holy fucking shit—and that’s just what we heard from the priests. Don’t get me started on the nuns.
Anyway—where was I? That’s right, Steven and Alexandra.
Steven is not the most handsome guy, nor the most suave. He’s not a player; he never was. Then how did he manage to bag a prize like my sister, you ask?
Steven never doubted himself. Never thought for a second that he wasn’t good enough for The Bitch. He refused to be intimidated. He always exuded that quiet self-assurance that women are attracted to. Because he knew that no one could ever love my sister the way he did. So when Alexandra left for college years before Steven could join her, did he worry? Hell no. He wasn’t afraid to let her go. Because he knew with absolute certainty that one day she would come back. To him.
Obviously Billy Dickhead Warren wasn’t so sure.
Two hours later, Kate and I are certifiably drunk. See us there? Staring at the stage, sipping our beers with those glazed looks on our faces. You can learn a lot about a person when they’re drunk, and I have learned a boatload about Kate. When she drinks—she’s a talker.
Think she’s a screamer too? Never mind; that part comes later.
Kate’s hometown is Greenville, Ohio. Mom still lives there, running the western-themed diner her family owns. It sounds like a real middle-America type of place. The kind where the locals eat breakfast before work and teenagers congregate after a football game. Kate waitressed there during her high school years. She didn’t mention a dad, though, and I didn’t ask. And despite being Valedictorian, Kate used to be quite the wild child. That explains why she holds her liquor so well. Apparently, she and the shithead spent their youth breaking into roller-skating rinks after hours, shoplifting, and singing in a band together.
Oh yeah, that’s what the donkey dick still does for a living. He’s a musician. You know what that means, right?
Why is Kate still with this loser? That’s the million-dollar question, kids. I’m not a snob. I don’t care if you pump gas or run the register at Mickey-fucking-D’s. If you’re a man, you work—you don’t leech off your girlfriend.
“Karaoke sucks,” I grunt as the blond transvestite at the microphone finishes the song “I Will Survive.”
Kate tilts her head to the side. “She’s…he’s…not so bad.”
“I think my ears are bleeding.” I motion to the other comatose faces around the bar. “And they’re dying a slow death.”
Kate sips her beer. “It’s just the wrong song for this kind of place. The right one would wake them up.”
She slurs just a little, “Betcha’ I could do it.”
“No way. Not unless you plan on doing a singing striptease.”
And that, boys and girls, is a show I would give my left nut to see.
She takes my cell phone off the table and wags her finger at me. “No pictures. Can’t have any evidence.” Then she gets up and walks on stage. Hear the groans of pain from my bar-mates as the music begins?
But then she starts to sing:
I don’t stand a chance
When you look at me that way
I’ll do anything you want me to
Anything for you
And I’ll shout it for the whole world to know
Oh, honey, that’s what you do to me
And I don’t mind at all
Good freaking God.
Her voice is deep, and perfect, and arousing. Like a phone-sex worker at one of those nine-hundred numbers. It floats around the room and washes over me like…like verbal foreplay. My body reacts instantly to the sound. I’m as hard as a fucking rock.
You know I’m not a girl who cares to see
Or gives a damn what anyone thinks of me
I go down hard, I stand my ground
But whenever you come around
Baby, I don’t stand a chance
Every time you look at me that way
It brings me to my knees
She starts swaying her hips in time to the music, and I imagine how perfect she would look on her knees. I can’t take my eyes off of her. She’s mesmerizing…hypnotic.
And I’m changing, never thought I’d be like this
But you showed me a better way
I’ll do anything for your kiss
In all my days I’ve never seen
A man who means everything to me
I can leave everything else in the dust
But it’s you I just can’t give up
She has the full attention of every man in the place. But her eyes…those stunning onyx eyes…are looking right at me.
And it makes me feel like a god.
I’ve never let anyone get this close to me before
Distance keeps me safe and keeps me sane
But now you’ve got my heart twisted with yours
Better than it’s ever been, there’s a lot to lose
But even so much more to win
She tosses her hair back, and I picture her doing just that as she rides me with long and hard strokes. Jesus. I’ve gotten lap dances from some of the best strippers in the city, and I’ve never come in my pants—not once. But that’s exactly what I’m going to do if this song doesn’t end real fucking soon.
I feel so helpless
When you look at me that way
I’ll do anything for you
Only for you
The bar erupts into hoots and whistles and clapping hands as Kate walks off the stage. Sounds like a frigging rodeo. She smiles giddily as she walks toward me. I stand up, and she stops just inches away.
She looks up at me and raises one brow. “Told you I could wake them up.”
I softly say, “That was…you…are amazing.”
I want to kiss her. More than I want to fucking breathe. Images of last night flash in my mind. Of how goddamn good she felt in my arms. I need to kiss her. The smile slowly slides off her face, and I know she needs it too. I push a strand of her hair back behind her ear and lean in…
And the shrill scream of her cell phone comes between us.
Kate blinks like she’s waking up from a trance and picks up her phone. “H—Hello?” She flinches and pulls the phone from her ear to gain some distance from the shouting voice on the other end. “No…Billy, I didn’t forget. I just had a difficult evening. No…yes…I’m at a bar called Howie’s. It’s on…” She stares at her phone a moment, and I’m guessing the dipshit just hung up on her. Her eyes are completely sober now.
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