Black Swan Affair(7)

By: K.L. Kreig

“Okie dokie, then.” I stop her before she digs herself any further into a hole. Then I shift subjects, not wanting to dive into my lame honeymoon, sexwise anyway. “What happened to Fifty Shades night?” I ask, genuinely wondering if she actually went through with letting her husband, Larry the plumber, flog her with the cat-o’-nines she bought from an online sex toy store.

And by the blush I see, even in the dim lighting, I’d say she not only went through with it, she enjoyed it. “You slut.”

“Hey, don’t knock it ’til you try it.” She laughs, throwing the napkin back at me, which I successfully dodge.

“What else did you do?”

MaryLou’s shoulders rise and fall quickly. Too quickly.

“Come on,” I whine. “Don’t leave me to my imagination.” When she bites her lip and looks away, I can’t resist. “Nipple clamps? Some anal beads, maybe?” Her eyes snap back when I mention the anal beads. “Anal beads?” I practically scream in disbelief.

MaryLou James is about as tight-laced as they come, and up until I plied her with enough alcohol so she’d watch Fifty Shades of Grey with me last month, she’d never been exposed to anything other than vanilla.

“You go from missionary sex and sweet nothings to floggers and anal beads in the span of two weeks? What the fuck, MaryLou? Next, you’re going to tell me you ordered a sex swing.” Her eyes shift. It was slight, but I saw it. “Oh, hell. Just stop. I don’t want to know any more.”

I may have forgotten to mention that Larry the plumber is also my cousin and is like a brother to me. In retrospect, I should have never gone down this line of questioning.

I push myself up and head through the swinging doors into the kitchen. In short order, I have all the supplies I need to start the chocolate croissants, one of our best sellers. MaryLou has already made two batches of brioches and I smell the baguettes baking that we’ll use for lunchtime paninis.

“Napoleons and apple tarts are done. The apricots didn’t come in, so I tried that organic farm in Greenwood and they sold me twelve flats of gooseberries at a steal.”

“Really? We’ve been trying to negotiate with them for decent prices for the last three months. They wouldn’t budge.”

“Well, turns out Larry’s boss’s sister, Patty O’Shea, is married to the owner’s girlfriend’s son, Burt Leeland. She didn’t take his last name, though, so we never connected the dots.”

I chuckle. That’s rural Iowa for you.

“Well then. Glad we got all that worked out. I’d love to buy more ingredients locally if we can. How are they?”

She stops filling the coffee filter with our flavor of the day, which smells like Snicker Roo, and stares at me. “I’ll tell you if you tell me how your honeymoon went. And no bullshit this time. Don’t think I didn’t know what the hell you were doing out there with your little diversion tactic.”

I let a curl turn a corner of my mouth. “I can just try it, you know. Answer my own question.”

“Mavs.” That’s all she needs to say. My name in that tone of hers.

I flip off the industrial KitchenAid and take a deep breath before I say, “It was…nice.”

“Nice?” Her voice positively drips with incredulity.

“Yeah. Nice.”

“Sex with the hottest guy on the planet was just…nice?”

I know why she’s acting like this. Kael Shepard is stunning. Tall. Lean but buff. Soulful eyes the color of well-aged Scotch, thick lashes, cut cheekbones. An ass you could bounce a quarter off of. Big hands and thick fingers, which I’m a total sucker for. But his devastatingly good looks don’t change the fact that he’s still my best friend and that my entire sexual appetite has been elsewhere. Namely his brother.

I shrug one shoulder. “It was strange, you know.” She blinks, so I elaborate. “I guess it’s what I imagined sex with my best friend would be like. It was pleasant, but I don’t know…”

…he’s not Killian, I leave unsaid.

Her sigh says it all. She’s disappointed in me. Well, the fuckup club is accepting new members. One is an awfully lonely number. “So, pleasant and nice, huh?” she injects with sarcasm.

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