By: Tiffany Reisz

“Dude, I told Claudia that I told you back in college not to pursue Bea because of, you know, reasons. Mainly me being a pussy. Claudia hit me with a pillow and she won’t let me have sex with her until I tell you that I was wrong about doing that. So…sorry. You should probably go talk to Bea. She still likes you or something. I can’t remember exactly what Claudia said. I had trouble hearing over my hard-on.”

Ben wanted to believe Henry. Only one way to find out. Ben didn’t let Henry finish talking before he’d stalked past him and into the hallway. When he made it halfway down the hall he turned around.

Henry stood by his room, smiling at him.

“What’s her room number?” Ben had asked.

“It’s 424. Go. Have fun. Make the love. You’re welcome.”

He couldn’t believe Beatriz still wanted him after all this time. After all, he knew he’d hurt and humiliated her the last time they saw each other. He’d wanted her so badly that day he could barely breathe when he remembered seeing her beautiful naked body for the first and last time. High, full breasts, long, toned legs, hips he wanted to dig his fingers into when he buried his face between her thighs. Telling her no had nearly killed him. Only Henry’s pleading that he leave Claudia’s little sister alone, and his preemptive guilt over having sex with someone and then moving to the West Coast the very next day, kept him from taking her up on every single little thing she offered.

Maybe now he could make up for lost time.

But should he?

He stared at the door to room 424. She still lived on the opposite coast from him. They hadn’t seen each other since he graduated college. They were here to support Claudia and Henry for their wedding, not rehash all their old drama.

But then again…they might end up naked.

Didn’t matter. He wasn’t here to have sex with her. He was here to talk. Just talk. They should talk. While talking he would tell her that while he was an idiot for letting Henry talk him out of pursuing her in college, the truth was he’d been terrified he’d end up just like Henry if he hadn’t backed away from her. Henry had been head-over-heels in love with Claudia. Even back in college Henry had been ready to give up everyone and everything to make his girlfriend happy. And Ben didn’t have the luxury of falling in love and throwing caution to the wind. He’d been the first person in his family to go to college, to get a degree and an offer of a high-paying job. He couldn’t let them down by allowing his heart to steal his ambition.

“Wait,” Ben muttered to the door. “Why am I saying this in my head and not to her?”

Ben pounded on her door.

Four agonizing seconds later, Beatriz opened the door. She wore a black silk bathrobe and looked at him in total shock as if she’d been expecting anyone but him at her door.

He looked at her. God, she’d only gotten more beautiful since college. She said nothing at all as she continued to stare at him. Rare that anything shocked Beatriz enough to silence her.

One of them had to say something, right? He was the man. It should be him. He’d say the perfect thing. Something suave, something charming, something endearing that would make up for the last time they saw each other.

Ben opened his mouth to say he was sorry, to say he should have stood up to Henry and gone after what he wanted and given love a chance instead of bowing to his ambition and leaving her behind. He was going to say he should have slept with her when she offered or at least given her a damn good reason why he hadn’t.

“Will you have sex with me?” Beatriz asked.

Ben opened his mouth, then closed it again. Then opened it again.

“Good to see you again, too, Bea.”

Beatriz laughed and gave him an apologetic smile.

“Sorry,” she said, holding the door to her hotel room open, but not quite letting him inside yet. “One-track mind. I have to write an emergency book review on a sex position manual. I need a partner.”

“A partner?”

“Well, you can’t review a sex position manual without having sex, right?”

“Good point. Very good point,” Ben said. “So you want to…with me…review your book?”

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