She lifted her finger in the air and spun it around to make him twirl like he was a beauty pageant contestant. Glory of glories, he obeyed her. The rush she got out of the pure power of that was only overwhelmed by her sight of his perfect, round, cuppable ass.

“Come here.” He didn’t have to be told twice. He took a flying leap onto the bed and immediately rolled her underneath him, affording her the perfect opportunity to grab onto that ass and pull him against her.

She ran her hands all over his body, loving the sounds he made as she touched him, loving that he seemed to be enjoying this as much as she was.

“You wore panties today, didn’t you?” he said in her ear. Not waiting for an answer, he reached down and grabbed the thong she’d worn, pulled it off her, and threw it across the room. “Your turn,” he said, looking down at her.

She didn’t pretend to misunderstand him, even though she wanted to. What was that she’d been thinking earlier about how relaxed and confident she was around him? Because that feeling had faded after seeing his perfect body and knowing all of her own imperfections by heart . . . and how bright and sun filled his bedroom was. She suddenly really regretted those waffles at brunch.

He didn’t let her hesitate, though. He pulled her dress over her head, reached around her back and unhooked her bra, and then leaned back on his heels to look at her.

She tried to force herself to look at his face, but her cheeks got hot and she had to look away. Her eyes drifted down his body, and that’s when she saw clear evidence that he enjoyed looking at her body. She smiled.

“Oh, you like that, don’t you?” he said. “But wait. I was supposed to be showing you how much I appreciate you, wasn’t I?”

He slid down her body, pressing her legs open with his shoulders. She held her hands against his hair to keep him right where she wanted him. He increased the pace, and she moaned, her head shaking from side to side on the pillow. It felt so good she wanted it to stop and go on forever, all at the same time. Finally, she hit her peak and cried out as the vibrations rumbled through her body.

He crawled up the bed so his head was level with hers and lay on his side next to her, his hand stroking her stomach as her breathing slowed.

“Do you feel appreciated now?” he asked. He kissed her neck and moved down to her breasts, his hand moving up to join his mouth.

“Mmmm,” she answered. She leaned forward to kiss his shoulder, then pushed him until he fell on his back. She grinned and climbed on top of him. “I think you’ve done enough work for this afternoon, don’t you?”

She kissed him up and down his body, her fingers stroking his skin. She looked up at him: his arms were crossed behind his head, his whole body looked relaxed, and he was looking straight at her with that look that made her feel like a goddess. She ripped open the condom packet he’d left on the pillow and rolled the condom on.

Usually it made her anxious to be on top. There was so much scrutiny in that position, so many parts of her body that jiggled, so much to make her feel shy. But she couldn’t feel anything but pleasure when Drew’s eyes worshipped her body like that.

When Alexa came to, she was still on top of him, her head pillowed by his chest. He reached down to pull off the condom, and she tried to roll off him, but he held her in place. She didn’t fight it. He massaged her back as she lay there, and she felt like she could easily stay just like that for a few days. Maybe a few weeks.

He leaned forward and kissed her ear.

“Feeling appreciated yet?”

She shrugged as much as she could in her prone position.

“I mean, if that’s all you can do, I guess so.”

He growled in her ear and rolled her over underneath him as she laughed.

Alexa woke up the next morning alone in bed. She assumed that Drew was in the bathroom, but when he didn’t get back in bed after a few minutes, she sat up and saw his bathroom door open and the light off. She pulled on his robe and wandered into the kitchen in the hopes that he was making coffee, but he wasn’t there, either.

She decided that he’d probably gone for a run on the beach like he said he did some mornings. She sort of wished he’d left her a note but forced herself to shrug it off. She got back in bed with her neglected phone to check her work email. But first things first: she typed out a quick reply to a text from Maddie that just said ????????

Weekend so far: having fun, eating good food, great sex, don’t wish you were here.

Just then, she heard Drew’s front door quietly open and close.

“Oh, you’re awake.” He’d tiptoed into the bedroom, holding two cups of coffee in a tray and a bakery bag. “I thought you’d still be asleep.”

She looked at the bag, and then back to him.

“I thought you went for a run, but this is much better. What’s in the bag?”

He laughed and handed her one of the coffee cups.

“Don’t you want to ask what’s in the cup?”

She rolled her eyes.

“I know what’s in the cup. I have eyes and a sense of smell. It’s coffee! What I want to know is what’s in that bag!” She paused. “What I meant to say right there was thank you for the coffee.”

He sat down on the bed next to her, still keeping the bag out of her reach.

“Weird, that’s not what it sounded like.”

She put the cup on the bedside table so she wouldn’t spill it and reached for the bag, but he easily dodged her and flipped her over onto her back, the bag still out of reach.


He kissed her on the tip of her nose.

“Mmm, I like you in this position.”

She pulled his face down to kiss him.

“What’s in the bag, Drew?”

He laughed and tossed the bag into her lap.

“I thought I’d distracted you there for a minute.”

She opened the bag to find a half dozen doughnuts, and her stomach rumbled.

“Oh my goodness! What is all of this? This is amazing!”

He grinned.

“Now I know what you must have been like opening Christmas presents as a kid. A plain glazed, one raspberry jelly filled, one lemon jelly filled, one with rainbow sprinkles, and two with bacon and maple frosting.”

“Bacon and maple frosting? What is this place? Is it direct from my wildest dreams?”

Drew laughed as he grabbed one of the bacon doughnuts for himself.

“You have no idea how great this doughnut shop is. I almost woke you up to make you come with me, but you were so sound asleep I didn’t want to disturb you. Next time, though, you should come.”

Next time? What did “next time” mean in this context? It was Sunday, and she was leaving in less than twelve hours. Did he mean he wanted to go back there today? Or did he mean next time she was in L.A.? If so, what did he mean by that?

Don’t overthink it, Alexa.

She tried to listen to Maddie’s voice in her head and took a bite of the doughnut.

“Oh my God.” She swallowed and took a bigger bite. “These are amazing.”

He grinned at her and wiped frosting from her cheek with his thumb.

“Did you doubt me?”

After the doughnuts, and her post-doughnut thank-you that went on for quite a while, he jumped in the shower. As soon as he was out of the room, she reached for her phone again. Her boss usually didn’t email this early on a Sunday, and he’d had that wedding to go to, but maybe he’d had time to read her memo . . . Nope, he hadn’t. To relieve her feelings, she shot off a quick email to Theo in the hopes that he would have some insight on when she might get a reply.

He emailed back a minute later:

You’ve been working for him longer than I have and you know it. Don’t you have better things to do—this weekend especially—than sit around on a Sunday morning and freak out about this?

She replied:

Teddy, no matter what other better things I have to do, I will always freak out about work, you know that.

“Good news?” She looked up to see Drew standing in the doorway in a towel.

“What?” She was distracted by that rivulet of water running down from his shoulder, down that cleft in his chest, straight down to . . .