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I slowed the thrusting down and tried to get my mind back on track. Who cares if she was putting on a show, I was getting laid, wasn’t I? My dick was full-up inside her, what was the problem? No problem.

“You’re so good,” she cried out again in a breathy voice.

I bit my lip. What the hell was she doing? I liked porn but I liked it realistic and raw, not cheap and tawdry and that’s exactly what she was acting like. For the first time ever she was acting like someone else, someone…insecure.

Then it hit me. This was about Perry, wasn’t it? Oh of course it was. I was a fucking idiot for not seeing it.

Naturally, I was turned on, inside her to the hilt and my load was threatening to blow at any minute, so her cheesy porn star act and insecurities weren’t enough to make me stop or distract me. But the thought of Perry herself, well, that was distracting.

And pleasantly so.

I moved my hands down to Jenn’s tight ass, increased my speed, and closed my eyes. No one could complain about Jenn’s body, but I wondered what it would be like to have Perry on all fours in front of me. If it was her I was fucking, with that big, gorgeous ass of hers, I’d have a lot more under my hands, soft flesh I could squeeze and kneed and lick and bite. I wondered if she’d like it from behind, if she’d moan with every inch of me. I wondered if she’d let me grab her thick, dark mane and hold it like a pair of reins, if I could make her come with my girth alone or if I’d need to reach down and stroke her until she literally dripped on the carpet.

Fuck.

I came hard.

The hardest in a long time. I dug my fingers into Jenn’s ass, causing her to give a legitimate whimper of pain, and bit my tongue to stop me from screaming out Perry’s name. My legs shook as the deluge pumped into Jenn in endless, brain-seizing waves. I couldn’t stop seeing Perry’s face, someone so innocent that needed to be defiled. Someone who might possibly need me to show her some things for a change.

When I was finished, I pulled out of Jenn and walked to the bathroom, feeling dizzy, my heart firing at a million beats a minute. I heard her cry out in indignation at something or other, but it didn’t matter. I went in and closed the door behind me and leaned against the sink.

What the fuck is wrong with me? I thought.

I just got off thinking about Perry, my 22-year old potential partner, and it was the best orgasm I’d had in months. Years.

I wiped the sweat off my brow and looked at myself in the mirror.

You, sir, are asking for trouble.

I closed my eyes to my flushed reflection and bright, dilated pupils. Immediately an image of Perry sprung up on my head again, this time she was on her back, lying beneath me, her breasts rising, anticipating me.

I quickly locked the bathroom door and stroked myself at the thought.

I came again and right away.

Fuck trouble. I wasn’t asking for it.

I was inviting it.

BUTTERFLY CAUGHT

“So have you made love to her yet?”

I shot Maximus a look. “Made love to her? What the fuck is wrong with you dude, it’s not the 50’s.”

He shrugged and kept a stupid smile on his lips while turning his attention back to the desert. His flaming red hair matched the dust that blew past the jeep.

“Anyway,” I said, trying not to grip the wheel too hard, “and not that it’s any of your damn business, but no. I have not made love to her. Nor have I fucked her. We’re just partners.”

“Good,” he said. I didn’t like his tone. It sounded like he was patting me on the back or something. Fuck that. It seemed ever since Max randomly stepped back into my life in Red Fox, every second with him was rubbing me the wrong way. Apparently, I still had an axe to grind and if I didn’t know any better, he had one to grind with me. He was just hiding it behind his stupid drawl and fake air of decency.

I bit my lip until I tasted blood. With no meds in my body, I felt royally screwed up and I was constantly battling the urge to act up and out. What I really wanted to do was pull the car over to the side of the road, tell him if he wanted to keep his dick attached, he needed to stay far away from Perry. Then I’d kick him out and make him walk to the ranch. Perhaps he’d get eaten by a coyote while he was out there.

Wishful thinking. Deranged, but wishful thinking.

He gave me a sly look out of the corner of his eye.

“What?” I asked testily.

He shrugged again. My grip tightened. I wanted out of the car. Why did we have to go all the way into town to do the atmospheric shots? It was too damn hot and I couldn’t spend another moment in this inferno with him. All his red hair just fanned the heat.

When he didn’t say anything, I flipped on the stereo, letting the Deftones distract me. Unfortunately angry music doesn’t help an already angry guy.

“She’s cute, you know,” he commented, his voice raised over the music.

“Yeah, so?”

His shoulder’s lifted up.

“Don’t you dare fucking shrug again!”

He smiled and looked down at his all too clean fingernails.

“I’m just saying, she’s cute. I’m surprised you haven’t made a move on her,” he said. Then he added under his breath, “Since you make a move on pretty much every woman you come across.”

Ah, here was the axe. Grind, grind, grind.

I cleared my throat. My god I needed water. Or a beer. Or a bottle of bourbon with a bucket of ice. It felt like I swallowed the contents of a vacuum bag.

“I have respect for Perry, believe it or not,” I told him.

He chuckled to himself. “Right. I’m gonna guess you already tried to put the moves on her and the little lady turned you down? What did you do, the good ol’ Dex Foray special, tried to put your Johnson up her ass?”

“What the hell is wrong with you?” I countered. “I did no such thing, and you know that’s not the Dex Foray special. The Dex Foray special involves two lubed fingers, a lot of tongue and a cigarette for afterwards.”

Speaking of cigarette. I fished one out of my pocket and lit it with one hand.

“Do you mind if I smoke?” I asked not caring what his answer was.

“Yes.”

“Didn’t you used to smoke?” I brought the cigarette to my lips and inhaled. I blew the smoke out at him and grinned.

He coughed and waved at me, annoyed. Good. “I used to do a lot of things Dex.”

“So where you been keeping yourself all these years?”

“I already told you. Nice way to change the subject. You’re still the king of that.”

“Better than thinking I am the king. When you going to get rid of the Elvis do, Max? Guess that’s a thing you still do. You know, look like a douchebag.”

“Funny,” he remarked. “Same insults.”

“I’m the same boy, Max. So are you.”

“I’m not. And it’s Maximus,” he shot out. He looked back to the dry scenery flying past, the hills of stark rock and dark chasms. In the distance lay the ranch. We had arrived, thank god.

Just as we were pulling up to the Lancaster’s house, Max had to get one last thing in.

“So is she single?”

I slammed the jeep into park. “Who?”

“Oh, you know. Perry. The little lady with the...nice endowments.”

I wanted to wipe the shit-eating grin off of his freckled face. I couldn’t even answer. If I said no, I’d be lying. If I said yes, he’d start going for her. And given the weird way I felt about Perry and the even weirder history I had with Max, that was one hell of a bad fucking idea.

So I didn’t say anything. I just shot him a dirty look and hoped to god he didn’t round up the courage to start hitting on her. He had a strange sense of confidence though. I guess being built like a small giant had its advantages. Chicks always fell for it. I had to rely on my good looks and god damn charm.

We walked back to the house, me leading the way. The sad sack that was Will was standing at the foot of the front steps, his dark eyes searching the rugged horizon of his ranch.

“Hey Will,” I said. I stopped beside him in the dry dust and tried to follow his gaze. “Whatcha looking at?”

“Bird,” he replied absently.

“Fair enough.”

I left him in the desert and went with Max inside. It was wonderfully cool in the house, though I’m sure having a frigid bitch like Sarah as a wife probably had something to do with it. I went straight for the couch and flopped down on it. Sure, I was a guest here and it was probably rude to just put my sweaty body on their furniture, but whatever. It’s hot out. Deal with it.

After a few seconds, I realized the frigid bitch herself was sitting on the chair across from me. She was staring right at me. I mean, she had those damn shades on so I couldn’t see her eyes, but I could feel them. Blind as a bat and I could swear she was watching me. That and sucking the thoughts out of my brain. I shivered despite the heat.

“So, where’s Perry?” I asked, wanting to make some conversation. I knew she was probably upstairs in our room anyway. I had an image of her reeling from the heat, lying down on our bed in next to nothing. Crap. I really hoped Sarah was blind because she did not need to see the rise in my pants.

“She’s gone. Missing. Bird has gone looking for her,” she told me calmly.

My head snapped up. “What?”

“You heard me. You really ought to keep your wife under control. She’s becoming a nuisance.”

I heard her, barely. I got to my feet, shoving down the panic that was building up in my chest, and ran for the door. Max, who was nearby in the kitchen (always fucking nearby) followed behind me.

I flung myself down the steps to say something to Will when out in the distance I saw Bird and Perry walking together. Well, Bird was walking. Perry was limping. She looked like she’d fallen off a cliff.

She was alive, which was a plus. But she was hurt and I had a feeling it was all because she didn’t fucking listen to me.

Fuck. I was mad. Mad? I was livid.

Whatever anger I felt earlier because of Max, it was coming out now and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I let my emotions run wild and ran up to her, throwing my hands in the air.

“What the fuck happened to you?”

She looked scared at my reaction but I didn’t care.

Bird gave me a sympathetic bullshit smile. “She took a little tumble, she’s fine.”

“She’s not fine,” I spat out, struggling to keep my voice down.

She was scraped from head to toe with a giant bloody gash at her cheek. Her tank top was ripped and bloodied and she was barely standing up straight. I’d never felt such an intense rush of anger and sorrow before. I wanted to yell at her, then take her under my wing and make sure nothing like this ever happened to her again.

Bird knew when to leave. “I’ll go get the first aid kit.”

I gave him a look and then turned back to Perry. Looking at her was breaking my heart into a million pieces. I wanted to hurt the bastard who did this to her and it was hard knowing there was no one to blame except Perry.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “It’s no big deal.”

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