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SOPHIE’S SECRET

Michelle Cary

SOPHIE’S SECRET Michelle Cary www.loose-id.com

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Warning

This e-book contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language and may be considered offensive to some readers. Loose Id® e-books are for sale to adults ONLY, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

Sophie’s Secret

Michelle Cary

This e-book is a work of fiction. While reference might be made to actual historical events or existing locations, the names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Published by Loose Id LLC 870 Market St, Suite 1201 San Francisco CA 94102-2907 www.loose-id.com

Copyright © November 2008 by Michelle Cary All rights reserved. This copy is intended for the purchaser of this e-book ONLY. No part of this e-book may be reproduced or shared in any form, including, but not limited to printing, photocopying, faxing, or emailing without prior written permission from Loose Id LLC.

ISBN 978-1-59632-828-0 Available in Adobe PDF, HTML, MobiPocket, and MS Reader

Printed in the United States of America

Editor: Jana J. Hanson Cover Artist: April Martinez

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www.loose-id.com

Chapter One

Sophie Green fumbled with the lock. When she finally managed to get the door open, she slumped toward the couch, letting her purse, coat, and shoes fall as she went. With a humph, she dropped down onto the old leather sofa. The cool leather soothed her hot skin as she leaned back against the arm, stripped off her sunglasses, and covered her eyes with her forearm.

“Uh-oh. What happened?”

She barely managed to stifle a groan. What was Logan doing home this time of night? She moved her arm and opened one eye to gaze up at him for a moment before resuming her original position. His dark brown locks, in need of a good trimming to get them off his shoulders, looked unkempt, as if he hadn’t combed his hair at all that day. A five o’clock shadow softened his square jaw, unbelievably giving him more of a boyish quality than the sexy man he was. “I thought you’d be out roaming your territory already.”

He laughed. “Not tonight. My insulin levels are acting up, and I think it’s probably wise to stay grounded tonight.”

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Concern broke through her frustration and waded its way to the surface. She pushed up on her elbows to look at him. “Do you think it’s related to your being sick the other night?”

Just two nights before, she’d twice woken from sleep to find Logan retching at the toilet. Each time, she’d stayed by his side, then helped him back to bed, concerned that his illness would make his condition worse. After living with him for four years, and knowing him for nearly all her life, she pretty much understood the ins and outs of his disease. Most of the time she didn’t give it much thought, but whenever he was ill, she worried probably more than she should.

Now she had to wonder if what they thought was bad food was actually something

more.

He shrugged. “Maybe. I called Dr. Somers, and he said if things don’t stabilize in a day or two to let him know.”

“So where’s Renee or Rachel or whatever her name was? The way she was fawning all over you the last time I saw her I’d expect she’d be giving you the full nurse treatment.”

“Jealous?”

She scoffed, trying to play off his way too accurate remark. So what if she was jealous? He didn’t need to know, especially when he probably didn’t feel the same way about her anyway. “Hardly. I simply expected to have the house to myself and if there’s going to be another woman around, I’d like to know.”

He lifted her legs and eased down onto the couch next to her, letting her calves rest on his lap. Tiny currents of electricity raced up the back of her legs and built low in her belly as she realized his intent.

Great. She’d been the recipient of that particular move before, and it meant only one thing: he’d shifted into friend mode and was expecting her to share her problem. The last thing she wanted was some long conversation with Logan ending in a diatribe from him

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about her poor choice in men. Most of the time he was the perfect roommate but every once in a while he’d decide to be the friend she knew he was, a habit of his that both soothed and annoyed Sophie. Unfortunately, for him, right now she was more annoyed than happy about his presence. “So, where is what’s-her-name tonight?”

“Renee left last Friday for California and dreams of making it big in Hollywood.”

Careful not to let him see, Sophie rolled her eyes. How did someone as intelligent as Logan always hook up with airhead bimbos in search of their fifteen minutes of fame and eye candy to show off to their girlfriends? He was smart, handsome, and reliable, so why did he make it a point to search out his exact opposite? Ruminating about it would only piss her off yet again. They had more common interests than she could count on one hand, and they rarely fought. Most importantly, she loved him more than she’d ever want to admit. Still, at the end of the day, it was always some bimbo in a miniskirt with an IQ of ten decorating his arm instead of her.

“You know if I had a dime for every girl you’ve dated…” She shook her head. “On second thought, never mind. Thinking about that amount of money will only depress me more.”

He furrowed his dark brow. “You’re evading my question.”

“No, I’m ignoring your question. There is a difference.”

The frown he sported deepened, revealing two perfect little dimples on either side of his square jaw. “Sophie --”

“Don’t ‘Sophie’ me. I don’t want to talk about it.”

He patted her leg. “You never want to talk about it.”

She eyed him a second time. “Yeah, well, today I really don’t want to talk about it.”

He smirked. “We’ll see about that.” Then using his thumbs, he began massaging tiny circles along her calf. A gasp tumbled from her parted lips. Not fair! He knew a massage

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would loosen her lips quicker than alcohol. Maybe if she didn’t speak, she could continue to ignore his questions yet still enjoy the massage.

After several minutes of silence, he stopped, nearly causing her to protest. “So are you going to tell me what’s wrong, or do I have to break out the massage oil?”

Oh, boy, did that sound like a tempting offer. What exactly were her reasons for not playing along and stopping his threat? Oh, yeah. Being half-naked and all slicked up with massage oil would only make her horny, and knowing he wasn’t interested in helping her assuage that itch would, in the end, make her current situation worse. Still, she had to give him kudos. He knew exactly how to break her down.

Her lips tipped up at the corners, and her gaze drifted from the ceiling fan above her head to Logan. “You want to know what’s wrong. Men are scum; that’s what’s wrong.”

Logan grabbed at his heart and feigned a faint. “Ouch. That hurts.”

She laughed and slapped at his arm. “I don’t mean you when I say that.” Although, if she sat down and analyzed his behavior with women, he really wasn’t much better than the jerks she dated. To his credit, he hadn’t always been that way. She could still remember him as a senior in high school, and he’d dated the same girl for nearly all four years. It wasn’t until after he hit college -- correction, after his accident -- that he slowly turned into the hound he was today. Maybe because she knew the other Logan she was able to look at him differently.

His brows arched. “Well, that’s good to know. So what man had the audacity to degrade the fine reputation of men everywhere?”

“Corey Kelly, that’s who.”

“But I thought you two were getting along great. At least that’s what you told me the last time I asked about him.”

How could she possibly explain that the boyfriend she thought was Mr. Perfect was far from it without revealing too much information? It was one thing to have a conversation

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about her relationships with Logan, but it was something else entirely to share her innermost desires with him. Not that she was being sexist or anything, but those types of discussions were reserved for her best friend, Kara.

She sighed. “Do you ever notice that the longer you know somebody, the more you find out about that person?”

“Yeah, so?”

“Well, I was starting to get the distinct feeling that Corey wasn’t the person I thought he was. Tonight, he confirmed my suspicions when I walked in on him banging the chick who lives down the hall from him.”

Logan’s eyes widened in surprise. “You caught him cheating?”

She nodded. “What was supposed to have been one hell of a good day had somehow instead turned into the day from hell. The bastard. He just stood there naked, in the middle of his living room asking me what I was doing there.” She shook her head. “I hope the son of a bitch chokes on the birthday cake I had delivered. I swear, if I’d had the chance, I would have shoved the damn thing in his face.”

At the end of her sentence, her anger dissipated, leaving behind a pain she knew all too well. Tears began to build, and she fought to not let go and cry. Crying would be easier, but the shithead didn’t deserve her tears. “I don’t understand it, Logan. A couple of months ago I told him if he wanted, I’d be willing to get a little adventurous in the bedroom. Instead of taking me up on it, he goes out and finds some bimbo to hump.”

Logan arched a curious brow. “What kind of adventure?”

Oh no, she wasn’t going to go there. It would be way too easy for that kind

of

information to make its way back to her brother, and that so wasn’t a conversation she wanted to be having with Mitch. Sometimes he forgot that she was twenty-six years old and perfectly capable of making her own decisions.

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She smirked. “Wouldn’t you like to know?” She swung her legs off him, stood, and began to pace. “Really, Logan, is it me? And be honest.”

* * * * *

How could she possibly think anything was wrong with her? With long blonde hair, a petite frame, and the most generous personality he’d ever encountered, she was everything a man could want -- well, everything he’d ever wanted. “No, no, no, and no,” he replied, patting the couch. “Sit back down here, and tell me what happened.”

With a sigh, she plopped down on the couch and curled into the crook of his arm. The aromatic scent of sunflowers tickled his nostrils. Logan had to stifle the urge to lean into her neck and take a deeper sniff.

“Corey was promoted and tomorrow is his birthday, so I was going kill two birds with one stone and sneak into his place while he was at work to surprise him with a little dinner au natural. Only when I got there, I found him putting it to the bimbo who lives down the hall on the living room rug.”

The image of Sophie serving dinner naked lodged itself in Logan’s brain and wouldn’t let go. His dick surged to life, and he quickly adjusted himself so as not to accidentally reveal his thoughts. It wasn’t her fault he’d had a thing for her since high school, but made a promise to his best friend -- her brother -- to keep his paws off.

She tilted her head up and looked at him. “It has to be the sex.”

“Excuse me?” That had been the last thing he expected to hear her say. He was having a hard enough time keeping his brain engaged in the conversation when most of the blood needed for thought processes had diverted south. Having her bring up the question of her own inadequacies in the sex department wouldn’t help matters any.

“Sex, Logan.” She pushed off him and shifted on the sofa so they were facing each other. Logan prayed she wouldn’t notice the hard-on now threatening to tent his shorts.

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“If it’s not my looks or any of those other things that turned Corey off, then I must be bad in bed.”

Think cold thoughts! He shifted back against the sofa and as nonchalantly as possible pulled a pillow over his lap. “Well,” he began. Penguins, Eskimos, swimming naked in a cold lake. Logan cleared his throat. “Since I have no knowledge in that area, it would be inappropriate for me to comment.”

“And why is that?” Her look turned dark, then she sprang from the couch to resume her pacing.

Ice cubes, yellow snow…what? With his brain only working on half power, it was becoming increasingly difficult for Logan to keep up with her lightning-fast mood swings. “Why is what, Phia?”

“Why haven’t we ever had sex? I’ve known you since I was little, and we’ve been roommates for the last four years. You’ve had plenty of opportunity to try and put your playboy moves on me, but you never have.” She paused, and her eyes grew glassy. “Be honest. Am I really that unattractive?”

He couldn’t stand the idea of seeing her cry over something as trivial as sex. “God, no.” He jumped to his feet and grabbed her by the shoulders. “I’ve never made a move on you because Mitch swore to me if I ever did anything to hurt you, he’d break every bone in my body. Your brother is my best friend, and while I wouldn’t be against taking a few hits for a beautiful girl, I didn’t want to do anything that would screw up my friendship.”

Her gaze locked on his, disbelief on her face. “You think I’m beautiful?”

“Of course I think you’re beautiful. I swear to you, if Mitch wasn’t your brother, I would have hit on you a long time ago.”

A slow smile tugged at her lips and eventually engulfed her face. “I’d say you were lying to spare my feelings, but since you can’t very easily fake an erection, I believe you.”

Busted!

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He glanced down only to see his shorts poking out in all the wrong places. In his rush to calm her tears, he’d completely forgotten about his little problem.

She stepped into his arms, leaned up on her tiptoes and kissed him on the nose. “Thanks Logan. I needed that.”

“No problem. What are friends fo --” He drew in a sharp breath. She brushed a gentle hand over the bulge in his shorts as she turned away sending sparks racing up his spine. Logan barely contained the urge to snag her arm and yank her back against him. What he wouldn’t do to feel her soft warm body against his? Short of ruining his friendship with Mitch, there wasn’t much. Still, for all he knew, it could have been a completely innocent move on her part.

She bent over to pick her bag up off the floor, and Logan had to look away to keep from reaching out to touch her firm ass. She straightened and walked to her bedroom where she stopped in the doorway and looked back at him. “You know, you’d only be hurting me if I wanted more than you were willing to give. Nobody said we had to have a happily ever after, but a hot night of tawdry sex wouldn’t have been out of the question.” Without waiting for a response, she closed the door.

All of Logan’s conscious thought dissolved into a pool of sizzling lust, leaving him staring at her now closed door, mouth agape with a woody the size of the Empire State Building. Had her errant hand been an accident or a calculated move? Either way, he could shoot himself for making that promise to Mitch.

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Chapter Two

Logan stepped out of the shower, dried off, and wrapped the large fluffy towel around his waist. His days’ old conversation with Sophie still ran through his head. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t heard it all before; after all, it wasn’t the first time she’d been dumped. Still, for reasons he couldn’t quite identify, this time bothered him more than the others. Maybe it was the sadness in her voice or maybe it was something more carnal. Knowing she was willing to be adventurous in the bedroom didn’t help his libido. From the time she’d come home from high school wearing that short little cheerleading outfit, Logan had developed a thing for Sophie. If it weren’t for his friendship with her brother Mitch, he would have long since made a move on her.

Now suffocating in the steamy environment of the bathroom, he flung open the door and walked toward his bedroom only to have female voices stop him in his tracks. It wasn’t unusual for Sophie to have friends over. But it was what they were saying that caught his attention. He sidled up to the edge of the hallway where it met the kitchen wall.

“I don’t know, Kara. Maybe I’m wanting too much.”

Her friend laughed. “Honey, we all want too much, the big difference is you’re not willing to settle.”

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“Maybe I should though. Based on my most recent experiences, apparently, the type of men who are willing to tie a woman up and spank her are not the same kind of men who are going to settle down and make good husbands.”

Logan’s ears perked up along with other parts of his anatomy. So his sweet little Sophie was into bondage and spankings? Wasn’t that a juicy bit of information?

“Who says they couldn’t make good husbands?” Kara asked. Logan’s brow knit while

his lips tipped downward. Yeah, who says he couldn’t make a good husband? His scowl

deepened when he realized what he’d just thought.

“All I’m saying is I think maybe I need to reevaluate my situation. Maybe I should find myself a good one-night stand and then start looking for a husband.”

He took at step toward the kitchen only to realize that not only was he not supposed to be listening to their conversation, but he was naked, save for his bath towel.

He scurried back to his room, dressed, and looking as relaxed as he possibly could, walked into the kitchen, directly into their conversation.

“Let’s ask Logan,” Kara said.

Yes! With one hand on the cabinet door, he paused and glanced over his shoulder at them. “Ask Logan what?”

“Let’s say you have a friend who is thinking about hiring a service for sex, what would be your gut instinct?”

He turned to face them. “Why would anybody need a service?”

Sophie’s gaze fell to the floor, and her cheeks tinged with a hint of red.

He’d known they’d been talking about sex when he came out of the bathroom, but something about Sophie’s confession made him want to gather her in his arms and never let go. “Why, Phia?”

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“Because just once I want to experience a night of no rules, everything goes sex before I settle down to get married. Kara has graciously pointed out the dangers of having a one-night stand with some stranger. So, a service would be my next logical choice.”

The frustration in her voice tugged at his heart. “I can understand wanting to experiment, but why not in the safe confines of a real relationship?”

She threw up her hands. “At the rate I’m going, that’s never gonna happen. Look, I’m willing to admit when I’m doing something wrong. Expressing my sexual interest to men who I’m sizing up as potential husbands and fathers isn’t working. Apparently the same men who could give me adventure in the bedroom are not the same ones who would want to marry me.”

Who says? “Why do you say that?”

“Because every time I mention anything beyond vanilla sex, my last few boyfriends have looked like they wanted to turn tail and run. I’ve heard all kinds of excuses, about how they wouldn’t want to hurt me, to it’s against their religion, to they didn’t have the money to buy the proper equipment, like restraints and such.” She shrugged. “So, I’m hoping that I’ll get it out of my system. I’ve decided my best bet is to hire somebody to show me what it’s like.”

Logan tried to keep his emotions from clouding his thoughts. “Let me get this straight. You’re talking about being a submissive for a hired master?”

She cocked her head to one side and cast an embarrassed glance in his direction. “I guess.”

He let go of the door, closed the gap between them, and took her hands in his. “I really don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Her chin rose in defiance. “Why not? I’ve been reading up on them and at least if I hire a service, I don’t have to worry about disease. All their employees go through regular

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screenings, are fully trained, and are paid to do what I want. I don’t see where there’s a problem.”

“The problem is they’re strangers. Do you really want your first sexual encounter of that type to be with some masked person who you can only trust because you think you’re supposed to?”

Tears welled in her eyes for the second time in as many days, and Logan’s heart nearly broke into pieces. More than anything, he hated seeing her cry. “Then you tell me what I’m supposed to do, Logan. I have needs, and it’s not fair for me to have to ignore them simply because you think I should.”

He was convinced that whatever had taken place between Sophie and her last boyfriend had convoluted her thinking. It simply wasn’t like her to cry over every little thing. The fact that she was doing so now meant her confidence was standing on quicksand and sinking fast.

“I’ll do it.” The words were out of his mouth before he realized he’d said them. Almost immediately, he wanted to grab at the air and take them back. It wasn’t that he was against taking Sophie to bed, just the opposite, but there would be ramifications for his actions, and they were bound to be ugly.

“Oh my God,” Kara said from behind them.

Logan stole a quick glance over his shoulder at her only to find Kara wide-eyed, her hand covering her mouth. When he turned back, the stunned look on Sophie’s face made him more than a little uncomfortable. Was she put out by his suggestion? But she’d been the one the other night who’d asked why they’d never had sex. Maybe she’d simply been trying to console herself and didn’t actually like him in that way after all.

“You want to sleep with me?” she finally asked.

How in the hell was he supposed to answer that?

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Yes, he wanted to be buried deep between her luscious thighs, watching her as he pushed her toward climax, but if he did, there was a good chance he’d ruin his friendship with Mitch. “Yes,” he finally managed to say, fearful anything more could further complicate an already delicate situation.

“Why now?”

This was it, sink or swim. He was committing himself to a situation that could very well blow up in his face in the end. Still, even the idea of some strange man touching Sophie -- his Sophie -- was too much.

He brushed a knuckle along her cheekbone, skimming ever so lightly over her creamy flesh. Her azure eyes held both questions and hope as she stared up at him. He let his gaze drift to her plump bottom lip, then back up to meet her stare. As much as he didn’t want to admit it, he was falling for her. Maybe it had already happened and he’d been in denial, but looking down into her eyes, he knew he couldn’t deny it any longer. “I can’t stand the idea of some stranger touching you like that. I want to be the one you think of when you look back on the experience.”

Her expression shifted from one of shock to concern, with her petal pink lips thinning into a line. “What about Mitch?”

That was the question of the hour. What about Mitch? Would he understand why Logan was doing this? “He doesn’t have to know, but if he somehow does manage to find out, I’ll deal with him.”

She grabbed his forearm. “I don’t want you to ruin your friendship, Logan.”

“And I don’t want some strange man touching your body, so we’re even. Now, what do you say?”

For several seconds, she stared up at him saying nothing, until Kara’s voice broke through the silence. “Oh, for heaven’s sake, Sophie. You have a gorgeous man asking to take you to bed, what’s to think about? Say yes already, or I will.”

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She swallowed audibly and nodded. “Okay, when?”

Well, hell! He hadn’t thought that far ahead. “Do you have any plans this weekend?”

She shook her head. “No. I was supposed to go away with Corey, but that isn’t happening now, so I’m free from Friday on.”

“Good, ’cause you and I are going to spend the weekend at the shore house in Wildwood.”

“The house you share with Reese?”

Logan was completely aware that while Sophie saw Reese as a competent vet and a good friend of his and Mitch, she also knew Reese’s reputation. Their house on the Jersey shore was nothing more than a den of sex and all things taboo. He nodded. “Unless you have some other place in mind?”

She shook her head. “No, the shore house is fine.”

* * * * *

Sophie sat on top of her comforter staring at the same page of edits she’d been looking at for the last thirty minutes. As hard as she tried, she couldn’t stop thinking about Logan’s offer and the implications it carried. Not that she actually expected anything more than the weekend of hedonistic lust he’d promised, but she could always hope.

She shook her head and refocused her efforts. No, she couldn’t hope. Placing her aspirations on anything more than a physical relationship with Logan would only lead her down the path to more heartbreak. Still, she had to wonder how sleeping together would affect their friendship. When it was over, would she still be able to look him in the eye, tell him all her secrets, and expect an objective opinion in return? Or would she want him to wrap his arms around her and promise to make all her pain go away?

A knock on the door made her raise her head. Clad in nothing but a pair of blue sweatpants, which hung entirely too low on his hips, Logan leaned against the frame. “Hey.”

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Her heart jumped and lodged in her throat. “Hi,” she managed to squeak.

“I want to talk to you. Can I come in?”

She nodded and patted an empty spot on the comforter. “Sure, what’s up?”

What’s up? Sophie grimaced at her poor choice of words and hoped Logan hadn’t noticed.

Apparently, he hadn’t and sank down onto the mattress to face her. “I want to talk to you about this weekend.”

Oh, no, Sophie girl, prepare yourself. He’s had second thoughts and is going to bail.

“Really? What about?”

“I wanted to apologize for putting you on the spot earlier when Kara was here. It was wrong of me, and I’d understand if you wanted to back out.”

Was he kidding?

She struggled to keep her eyes from reflecting her feelings. As nervous as she was at the prospect of having sex with Logan, no way was she going to pass up an opportunity like this. She’d only dreamed of landing in his bed since she was old enough to know what sex was about. She shook her head. “You didn’t put me on the spot and even if you had, I could have said no.”

“So you didn’t say yes simply because Kara wanted you to?” The hope in his voice fed her still bruised ego, soothing it in only a way that he could. The corners of her lips tipped up into a smile. “I said yes because I decided you were right. If I’m going to do this, I want it to be with somebody I trust.”

He blew out a relieved breath. “That’s good. So, since you still want to do this, I think there are a few things we need to talk about.”

Her stomach once again somersaulted. What could there possibly be to talk about? It was sex and nothing more, right? “Okay.”

“First, I think you need to tell me exactly what you’re expecting from this weekend.”

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Gee, she hadn’t actually given the idea much thought beyond setting it up. What was she looking for? “Well, the last few dorks I’ve dated have all been about getting their rocks off and leaving me completely unsatisfied. So, I guess I want to experience sex where my pleasure is as important as yours.”

Logan nodded. “Gotcha. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s if you give your lady enough attention, she’ll return it threefold.”

She suppressed the need to smile. He talked a big game, but she wondered if when the time came, he’d actually deliver. “I also want to get a taste of BDSM. Nothing too heavy, just maybe some light bondage and spanking. I’m not sure I’d enjoy it, but I’d like to find out.”

His gaze turned dark, and his Adam’s apple bobbed. “Okay, I think I can accommodate your wishes.” His reply carried with it a hint of desire she hadn’t heard before. “Is there anything else?”

Knowing that what she was saying turned him on instead of off bolstered her courage. “And, I’d like very much to experience a ménage à trois…with two men.” She waited, expecting him to recoil at the idea. Instead, he scooted closer to her and shoved the papers she was working on out of the way. A shiver of anticipation shimmied up her spine as he took her hands in his and softly brushed his lips over the backs of her fingers.

When he lifted his gaze to hers, she couldn’t help but notice the desire emanating from his eyes. “I…I sort of figured that last request would turn you off.”

He cocked his head to one side, sending her a confused look. “Why?”

“Because I know some men would be leery about being naked around another man. You know, sometimes body parts touch and stuff…”

“Men who are not comfortable with their sexuality would protest such a request. Personally, I think it’s hot.”

She never would have expected him to be aroused by her last inquiry. One thing was for sure: he certainly wasn’t like the other men she’d dated. “Really?”

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Still holding her hand, he guided it downward and rested her palm over his erection. “Does this feel like I’m lying to you?”

Through the soft cotton of his sweats, she could make out the ridges and veins running

along his hardening shaft. She curled her fingers inward, wrapping around him like a glove.

A growl started low in his chest, reverberating through his body. He snagged her by the

waist with his free hand, and dragged her to him. His quick movement caught her by surprise, and she let go, moving her hand to push against his chest.

His lustful eyes stared down at her. “You didn’t have to stop.”

She let the smile she’d been holding inside show. “Yeah, I did. As much as I’d love for you to strip me naked and take me right here, I think it would be better to wait.”

He cast an appreciative gaze downward before once again meeting her eyes. “The anticipation might just kill me, you know.”

“It’s only two more days.” Quite possibly the longest two days of her life.

“Drag out the anticipation, so when we finally do give in, it will be that much better.”

She nodded. “Exactly. About my last request…”

“Yeah?”

“Do you think you can make it happen?”

“Don’t you worry your pretty little head, honey. I’d give you the moon if I could. It just

so happens, I’ve always wanted to visit the moon myself.”

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Chapter Three

Logan unlocked and opened the beach house door, then stepped back and allowed Sophie to enter first. Unlike so many of their other trips together, which were packed with mindless chatter and laughter, the hour’s drive down the Garden State Parkway from their condo to Wildwood had been filled with music from a local rock ‘n’ roll station and not much else.

“Thank you,” she murmured, before crossing the threshold and dropping her bag on the living room floor so she could rub her palms against her skirt. Never would he have expected her to be so nervous. With the moment finally in front of her, he wondered if the weekend would actually surpass the buildup.

He’d already noticed the dynamic of their relationship changing with each rub, tease, and grope that took place. To her credit, she’d given as well as she received and despite his cool facade, Logan was about ready to explode with sexual frustration. He could only hope she was too, and that the tension he felt was desire smoldering through her system, not second thoughts.

He closed the door and turned to look at her. “Nervous?”

She twined her fingers together in front of her and smiled. “A little.”

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Her honesty could move mountains. It was just one of many endearing qualities about her that he loved. Hoping to ease her nerves, he tossed his bag on the sofa, closed the distance between them, and lifted a hand to her cheek. “Don’t be. I plan on making this the best weekend you’ve ever had.”

“Yeah, but that means you’re going to see me naked.”

He noticed the quick grimace she made, obviously upset with herself over making such a silly statement. He loved how whenever she was nervous she’d get all tongue-tied and jumpy. She probably thought it made her look stupid. It only made her more approachable.

“Generally, that’s how it works, but if it makes you feel any better, you’ll get to see me naked too.”

She glanced up at him and sucked on her bottom lip. He knew the move was completely innocent, but with his dick already threatening to break under the pressure, even her innocent gestures were damn sexy. He couldn’t help himself. “Here, let me do that.”

Before she could ask what he was referring to, Logan dipped his head and brushed the gentlest of kisses across her lips. He pulled away, and his smile grew when he saw the look of shock plastered across her face. “Did you actually think I wasn’t going to taste those luscious lips, especially after the way you’ve teased me?”

A small grin claimed her features. “No, I suppose not.”

He pulled her against his chest, and heat flared between them. A mischievous twinkle in her eyes made him believe she’d finally relaxed. He laced his fingers through her hair and tilted her head back, then trailed his tongue along the seam of her lips, beseeching her to open for him.

With one hand held fast behind her head, the other followed along her soft curves, pushing against the side of her breast before tweaking a nipple through her blouse. She gasped, allowing him the entrance he sought.

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She tasted sweet, like fresh peaches, and he deepened the kiss, determined to show her every bit of the passion he held pent up inside. Their tongues sparred, challenging him in a way that only she would. He’d always known Sophie wouldn’t be like the other girls he took to bed. Outgoing and driven, he pictured her being a wildcat between the sheets. Now he was about to find out firsthand if his theory was right.

He reached for the hem of her shirt and pulled. Without hesitating, she let go of his shoulders and raised her arms above her head, confirming that the nerves holding her hostage mere minutes ago had fled, leaving only desire in their wake.

Gathering the fabric as he went, he skimmed his fingers over her bare flesh until the garment cleared her arms. He tossed the shirt on a chair and stepped back to survey what was now exposed. Her ivory skin seemed to glow under his gaze, making the pink bra she wore stand out against her flesh even more. The lace snuggled her breasts together, creating an oh-so-seductive crevice in between.

He stepped back into her embrace, and she shivered beneath his touch. “Are you cold or scared?”

She averted his gaze. “Not so much scared as I am still a little nervous.”

“Nothing to be nervous about, sweetheart, but if you’d feel more comfortable we can take it upstairs to the bedroom.”

She nodded and turned toward the staircase. For a moment, Logan watched her ascend the steps. The seductive sway of her hips beneath the short skirt she wore teased and tantalized him. Not wanting to waste another minute, he took the steps two at a time and closed in behind her, guiding her down the hallway to the bedroom he used whenever he stayed there. Ever since he’d walked into the kitchen three days ago and offered up this wild proposal, he couldn’t wait to feel her legs wrapped around him. Now, he finally was getting his chance.

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Once inside his bedroom, Logan shut the door, spun her around, and pushed her back against the paneling. Surprised by his action, she started to speak only to have his hungry mouth come down over hers.

Within seconds, she wrapped her arms around his neck and surrendered to him. Breaking the kiss, he pulled back and sucked in an uneven breath. “This weekend was about exploring the taboo, right?”

She nodded.

“Good. We start now. I’m in charge. What I say goes. Do you agree?”

She nodded again.

He grinned like a cat about to receive a huge bowl of cream. “Fantastic. Now, strip out of that skirt.”

Not wasting any time, she shoved the fabric down and stepped out of it, leaving it piled on the floor. Logan swore under his breath and dropped to his knees. She had to choose a lace thong. The tiny pink triangle did little to cover the evidence of a wax job that lay beneath. He moved closer and could smell her arousal before he’d even touched her. She wanted him. That fact shook him at his core.

Slowly, he stood, trailing soft kisses along her torso. When he reached her breasts and the beautiful lace bra holding them in place, he couldn’t unhook it fast enough. He had to see, to taste everything she had to offer. The lace slacked, and Sophie shrugged, allowing the barrier to fall away. There, staring back at him were two perfectly round, wonderfully plump mounds with the darkest cherry centers he’d ever seen.

Her pert nipples stood at attention, waiting for his touch. He raised his hands to cup her breasts, his gaze taking in every inch of her.

“Now that you’ve seen them up close, do you still like them?” Her voice was a bit low and husky, telling him she was as aroused as he was.

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He answered with a swipe of his tongue across one taut peak then the other. Her breath caught in her throat, and she grabbed his shoulders in response.

“You like that?” he whispered as he returned to the first mound and sucked.

“Yes,” she whimpered and arched into him.

Still cupping her with his hands, he brushed his thumb over one nipple while he continued to ravage the other with his mouth. He hadn’t even reached the good part yet and already his body hummed with need, his cock springing to life on the promise of a satisfying completion.

Her hands traveled down his chest and tugged at his polo. Despite his reluctance to let go, he did and shrugged out of his shirt. She reached out for him, her nails grazing over the tanned flesh of his chest.

Desire raced through him, causing his dick to jerk against his zipper. Thank God he’d decided to wear boxers and not go au natural. It would have been a bitch having the metal zipper rubbing against his dick.

With their mouths tangled once again, he slowly guided her to the bed, careful to ensure she didn’t trip along the way. “Onto the bed,” he whispered, knowing if their passion continued to build, there was no way he’d be able to hold on long.

One thing was for sure: she was good at following commands.

Like a cat on the prowl, she slunk across the mattress then turned to face him. Sitting on her knees in the middle of the bed, she looked like an angel and a temptress all in one. “Well, are you going to stand there staring, or are you going to join me?”

His brows rose. “Uh-uh. I’m in charge, remember?” Even as he said the words, he began shucking his clothing. Nothing in the world was more important right now than this moment and the woman he loved. Love? That thought stopped him in his tracks. A panicked feeling ripped through his chest. No, he didn’t love her. It was simply a poor choice of words on his part.

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Not wanting to think about it any longer and ruin the moment, he climbed onto the bed. It sank under his weight. Resting on his knees, he pulled her to him. Their torsos touched, skin to skin, while their fingers twined and their mouths linked. His cock, already hard as steel, rubbed against her belly and over the lace still covering her mound. More blood flowed south. The scent of her, the lovely aroma of sunflowers mixed with her own arousing musk surrounded him, caressed his senses and fed his hunger.

Logan slid a hand around her neck and pulled her head to his. She tilted her head back and closed her eyes, as if in anticipation of the kiss to come. He lowered his mouth to hers and softly nibbled on her bottom lip. She parted them on a sigh, and he slipped a gentle tongue inside. With slow, rhythmic thrusts, he mimicked everything he wanted to do to her, deepening the kiss and consuming her mouth as if it was the last kiss he’d ever receive.

Several long seconds passed before he pulled back, breaking their contact. Sophie blinked. Her lips curled up at the ends into a knowing smile. “I never realized what a damn good kisser you are.”

He mouthed the soft skin along her jaw, carving a path to her ear. “Kissing isn’t the only thing I’m good at,” he whispered into her ear. His hand slipped farther down, tweaking her nipple between his thumb and finger while he kissed his way back to her mouth. He swallowed her moan, knowing that he’d never get tired of hearing her make that sound. Trailing lower, his fingers were on a mission to find the elusive sweet spot he knew she had. Every woman had one place that, if found, made them purr like a kitten or scream like a banshee. Which would Sophie do? He dipped between her legs, underneath the lace, and came in contact with smooth, wet skin. “Love the hairless look,” he said. “So damn sexy.” He punctuated the last word by shoving two fingers into her pussy.

“Oh God, Logan.” She grabbed onto his shoulders. He swore she grew wetter, flooding his fingers with her juices as he pushed farther inside. Slowly, he withdrew and moved a knuckle through her swollen folds, covering her with her own lubricant. She arched her hips, her lustful gaze locked on him. He returned to her center only long enough to gather

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more of her sweet essence, before stroking again up over her clit. With every moment, he watched her, gauging her reaction and adjusting accordingly.

“Please!” Her words were breathless and needy as she spoke.

Hearing her beg stoked his fire that much more. “What, baby? Tell me what you want me to do.”

“I…I want you to fuck me. Now!”

No way was he going to let a request like that go unanswered, especially when his dick felt as if it was going to break in two if he didn’t find some release.

With two fingers lodged deep in her pussy and his thumb stroking over her sensitive nub, he plundered her mouth. Seconds later, he felt her channel clamp down around his digits, and she mewled as her orgasm overtook her. Her fingernails dug into his back. He held her steady, and when she began to come down, Logan slowly lowered her to the pillow and stripped away her last barrier.

He smiled down at her. “My turn, baby.”

With the look of mild satisfaction, she let her knees fall apart, opening herself to him. The proof of her desire glistened in the light, and Logan nearly forgot to swallow.

He reached across her, opened the nightstand drawer and pulled out a condom. The need to be inside her overwhelmed him. For the first time since he lost his virginity, he fumbled opening the wrapper. What in the hell was wrong with him? Why wouldn’t his fingers work? Finally, the stubborn foil gave way, and he raced to sheath himself. Then he nestled between her legs and, in one long slow thrust, filled her. A moan passed over his lips when her warm, wet heat enveloped him. He couldn’t help himself; the feel of being gloved inside her tight, wet core was something he’d imagined for years and never thought would actually happen. He dropped to his elbows, and she wrapped her legs around him, changing the angle and allowing him to slide even deeper inside her heated center. This was heaven, pure sweet heaven. For several seconds, he didn’t move at all, instead he simply enjoyed the

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feel of her silky heat surrounding him. When his own restless need began to grow, he rocked his hips back and forth, starting a slow rhythm.

He dropped his head down and rasped his tongue over her erect nipple. She groaned and reached down to grasp her breast. Squeezing, she offered it up to him as if it were some sort of delicious dessert. He eyed her gorgeous globe and wondered how such a sensual creature could end up getting shit on by all her boyfriends. What man wouldn’t be thrilled with a woman who was so willing to voice her needs in bed?

Logan took as much of her into his mouth as he could, sucking and pulling, his teeth grazing over her erect bud as he let her breast pop loose. She grabbed the other one, offering it up, and Logan couldn’t help but smile. As he dragged his tongue over the cherry center, it hit him -- being comfortable with her own sexuality was the exact reason why men were dumping her. She knew what she wanted and was willing to tell her man exactly that. The saps she’d been dating must have all been insecure with their own masculinity and saw her as a threat.

Questions swirled in his head, mixing with his innate desire, blending to create the perfect storm of need. What other secret desires did she harbor? Would she ever want to dominate in bed? Was she one of those girls who were into sex toys? A picture of Sophie pleasuring herself with a fake dick popped into his head, driving his libido over the edge. His balls ached for release, and his dick throbbed. Even being buried deep inside her wasn’t enough. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d needed to come this badly.

As his speed built, he rose, gripped her hips, and drove deep. The pressure in his stomach began to grow.

Beneath him, Sophie panted and quivered, her hips rising to meet his thrusts. Her gaze remained locked with his, forming a familiar connection. One he knew he’d never have with any other woman. Much to his surprise and delight, her hands covered her breasts, and she fondled herself, tugging and pulling on the swollen nipples that only moments ago he happily tortured. The picture was damn erotic and pushed Logan right over the edge.

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With one last long thrust, he buried himself deep inside her and held there, his hips rotating in small circles as liquid lightning rocketed down his spine and out the end of his cock, filling the latex barrier. Each pulse provided him with an almost painful release, as if he were being milked for his seed.

Somewhere lost inside his own orgasm, he heard her cry out. Her slick walls contracted, the action furthering his pleasure. His vision tunneled and nearly went black as his body released every bit of pent-up energy he’d been carrying.

“Oh, fuck!” he groaned when the last echoes of his climax finally began to subside. His body went limp, and he collapsed on top of her, his head resting in the crook of her neck. Unable to do much more than move his lips, he slowly mouthed the sensitive flesh beneath her jaw.

“That was so…” She dragged a hand through her hair apparently still too out of it to form an actual sentence.

“What?” Logan asked, wondering if he could ever again have sex with another woman and not see Sophie’s face.

“Incredible,” she finally uttered.

Yeah, didn’t he know it? She’d wanted to be dominated, and he was doing his best, but with no formal dominance training, save for what he’d seen on the odd DVD, Logan was making it up as he went. Hearing that she was happy with things so far boosted his confidence that he was doing something right.

The sound of the front door opening pulled Sophie away from the pillow. Wild-eyed, she looked at him. “Somebody’s here.”

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Chapter Four

Before Logan could answer, a voice carried through the house. “Hello, anybody here?”

His mouth twisted into a mischievous grin and called back. “Upstairs, Reese.”

“Reese? Why is…” Her voice trailed off as she realized his intent. “You talked to Reese about this?”

“I told you I’d take care of everything.”

When her look didn’t ease, he blew out a long breath and shifted, allowing his softening erection to slip from her. “Look, you said you wanted a ménage with two men. Reese is a good friend of yours and mine. He and I have partaken in a few situations together over the years, so I know he’ll treat you well. Besides, when I explained what it was you wanted to do, he jumped all over the idea and threatened to kick my ass if I let you run off with some strange men.”

She couldn’t think up a reply before Reese appeared in the doorway. Studying them for a moment, he arched a brow. “Starting without me, Logan?”

“I thought it might be easier for Sophie if she didn’t have to take both of us on at once.”

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Sophie’s gaze tore from Logan to Reese and back. “I…you…” Her brain was on sensory overload. Any hope she had at a coherent sentence had fled the moment she’d heard the door open.

Reese strolled into the room in a way that made her think he wasn’t the least bit nervous over what was about to happen. “So, Phia, Logan tells me you’re looking for a weekend of naughty pleasures.”

With a lump the size of Rhode Island in her throat, she nodded her reply. When she’d come up with the fantasy of being with two men, it hadn’t seemed the least bit scary. Although, to her credit, in her imagination it had been with strangers she’d never have to see again. Still, somewhere deep in the pit of her stomach a flutter of anticipation began and slowly grew. What would it feel like to be with two men she knew and cared about?

“What is it you want from us?”

“Um…” The brave facade she’d shown just moments ago melted away, and her gaze dropped to the covers. What if Reese thought she was some kind of freak for having those types of thoughts?

He curled a finger beneath her chin and forced her gaze upward. “I’m here to fulfill your fantasies, but you have to tell me and Logan what they are first.”

“But what if you think I’m some sort of sick pervert?”

Reese lowered himself to the bed. “Do any of your fantasies involve animals?”

She jerked her head up and met his gaze head-on. “No!”

“What about children?”

She shook her head. “Eww…no way.”

“How about golden showers or feces?”

Her nose wrinkled. “God, Reese, that’s gross. Stop already before I vomit.”

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His look of concern slowly shifted to one of anticipation. “Based on your replies, I’d have to say you’re well within your mental boundaries, so why don’t you tell us what’s going on in that pretty little head of yours.”

She looked to Logan for guidance only to see him nod his affirmation. “Go ahead, Phia. Tell us how we can pleasure you.”

Summoning all her courage, she looked up at the two men. “I want somebody else to be in charge for once and not leave it up to me to make all the calls. I want to experience what it would be like to be a submissive, complete with restraints and spankings. I want to know what it would feel like to have two men love me at the same time.”

Reese’s brow arched in surprise before he exchanged looks with Logan. “Honey, you do realize if Mitch ever found out about this, we’d all be in a world of trouble.”

Sophie nodded. “I know. I don’t want you two risking your friendships with him for me. If you want to back out, I’d understand. From the very beginning, I thought it might be better if this was done anonymously. That way nobody would have to know but me.”

Something flickered in Reese’s eyes right before a scowl claimed his features. “I don’t care what Mitch says. There’s no way I’m going to let you be a submissive to a couple of strangers.”

He stood up and stripped out of his polo, letting it fall to the ground. Then he unbuttoned his pants, shoved at his boxers, and stepped to the edge of the bed. She eyed his wondrous piece of flesh and licked her lips. She’d always been curious to know what Reese’s cock looked like. Now, she was getting to see it up close and personal.

“Suck him, Phia,” Logan ordered from behind. His voice was loud and authoritative and sent a rush of pleasure racing through Sophie’s body. Despite the two orgasms Logan had just given her, her pussy clenched emptily at the promise of what lay ahead. At least for this weekend, she’d finally experience what she’d been missing.

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She shifted onto her knees. With Reese’s semihard shaft staring her directly in the face, she wrapped her fingers around it and pulled upward, giving him a good stroke. He sucked in a quick breath and settled his gaze over her. “More,” he commanded.

She leaned forward and swiped a tentative tongue over the tip, lapping at the crown like a child licking a lollipop.

“Damn, Sophie, that’s so sexy.”

She paused only long enough to glance over her shoulder and smile at Logan before returning to her task. Reese’s shaft elongated and expanded against her tongue, growing harder by the second. Before long, the salty taste of precum danced over her taste buds. She paused to survey the weeping tip of his cock before darting her tongue out to swipe away a teardrop of fluid emerging from its tip.

Reese growled and fisted his hands through her hair. “You’re just a little too good at that, my dear.”

Bolstered by his compliment, she opened her mouth wide and took in as much of Reese’s shaft as she could. He groaned; his body shuddered and jerked in response. “Yeah, Phia, take it all.” His fingers tightened their grip on her hair.

Breathing through her nose, Sophie wrapped her lips around the base of his shaft and slowly pulled up, sucking as she went. This was exactly what she was looking for when she said she wanted somebody else to dominate.

A warm wet heat enveloped her and without breaking contact with Reese, she flicked her gaze downward to find Logan between her legs, lapping at her pussy as if it were to be his last drink. Her belly tightened and twisted with each stroke of his agile tongue through her slick folds. She shuddered, a whimper escaping from her lips.

“Forget what I’m doing to you and continue with your task,” Logan said, drawing Sophie’s attention away from Reese. “You are not to let go of his cock until you’ve sucked down every bit of his cum and licked him clean. Do you understand?”

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His authoritative words sent giddy excitement shimmying down her spine. Never had she imagined being ordered would be so thrilling. She nodded, all the while trying to hold off her impending orgasm. Reese jerked her hair, and she continued sucking his dick.

“Use your other hand to play with his balls,” Logan instructed. Closing her eyes, Sophie reached up and wrapped her fingers around Reese’s wrinkled sac, slowing pulling down on it as she once again took him into her mouth. All the while, Logan continued to alternate between sucking and licking until Sophie was nothing more than a quivering mass of nerves in need of a release.

She panted and moaned around Reese’s flesh, but never let go. He was close to coming. She could sense it, feel his dick pulsing against her tongue. She too was ready to explode.

Clutching head, Reese held her in place and thrust, fucking her mouth with a speed she didn’t think possible. She opened her mouth as far as she could manage and allowed him the access he craved. He shoved home and held there, crying out as his cum spurted against the back of her throat. She swallowed and sucked while he jerked and shuddered against her tongue.

Only then did the spring in her belly snap, and she screamed around Reese’s shaft, coming against Logan’s tongue. He growled into her pussy, adding to the vibrations already rippling through her body. Reese’s hand remained tight against her scalp. Eager to suck him clean on the waves of her own climax, she vacuumed her mouth tight around his shaft and swallowed, taking down the last of his seed.

Reese’s grip eased, and he pulled his now flaccid dick from her. “Oh my God, Phia. No man in his right mind would cheat on you.”

“You got that right,” Logan chimed in.

She turned to look down at him and discovered Logan with one hand wrapped around his own shaft, still slowly stroking up and down. The evidence of his release now lay splattered all over his chest. Did she really have that effect on him?

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“Well, that was a good start,” Reese said, brushing a soft hand through her hair, “but it’s going to be a long weekend for you, Phia, dear. I hope you’ve rested up.”

She grinned, all evidence of her earlier nerves had scattered on her orgasm. “I say bring it on, but before we go for round three, can we get something to eat?”

Logan scooted out from underneath her. “Yeah, I’m a little hungry myself. Why don’t we grab some lunch then see what kind of mischief we can get ourselves into this afternoon?”

“I’m all for that.”

Reese backed away from the bed and pulled Sophie to her feet.

“Don’t bother getting dressed,” Logan ordered.

She glanced between the two men. “We’re going to eat naked? What about the neighbors?”

“The blinds are closed, but if you’re up for an audience we can open them.”

“I think I’ll pass. I might be adventurous, but I’m not an exhibitionist.”

Logan laughed and swatted at her ass. “Just let me clean up a bit, and I’ll meet you two downstairs.”

* * * * *

Ten minutes later, Logan lumbered down the steps and into the kitchen where Sophie and Reese had already laid a spread of food over the island. It was weird to see his good friend and his girl walking around naked with what appeared to be no reservations. His girl? He shook his head, hoping to dislodge the emotional cobwebs mucking it up. She wasn’t his girl, and he wasn’t in love with her. This was simply about fulfilling her needs. Yeah right, and if he allowed himself to believe that, NASA would be flying pigs to Mars soon.

Sophie backed out of the space in front of the open refrigerator and placed three bottles of water on the island. Her face brightened when she caught sight of him. “Reese went

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shopping yesterday, so the fridge is stocked. I always forget if you like lunch-meat sandwiches.”

“Love ’em.” He returned her smile, then closed the distance between them. “Now that I’m thinking about it,” he said, stroking a hand over her bare ass. “Maybe eating in the nude wasn’t such a good idea?”

She giggled. “And why not?”

“Because with your gorgeous ass sitting across from me, I might forget to chew and choke.”

A flush of red tinged her cheeks and she stared down at the plate she was holding, a wide smile still claiming her features. She turned and walked to the table, leaving him standing at the counter alone, lost in his thoughts once again. It still amazed him how she could be so adamant about her desires in the bedroom, yet so shy and unassuming at the same time.

After slapping some roast beef and cheese on bread, he topped it with mustard, grabbed a bottle of tea, and joined Sophie and Reese at the table. He eased into his seat, allowing his balls time to adjust to the cold wood. Sophie and Reese were already deep in conversation.

“While I for one have no desire to be tied to one woman, I also loathe the idea of cheating. I’ve always had the courtesy to break up with one before starting to date another. What’s happened to you is a sin, Sophie. Those men have no idea what they’ve let get away.”

Her cheeks continued to flush, and she stared down at her sandwich. “It’s good of you to say, but if I keep getting dumped, then it must say something about me.”

“Maybe,” Reese replied before taking a drink of his tea. “But if you ask me, it’s not you as a person but your choice in men that’s getting you in trouble.”

Her gaze rocketed up to meet his. “So you’re saying my taste in men sucks?”

“Well, sort of.”

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Logan had listened long enough. The questions he had earlier now demanded asking. “Honey, can I ask you why you chose to start dating Corey?”

Her attention shifted from Reese to Logan. “I don’t know. He was handsome, had a good job, and he was smart and responsible.”

“All the traits you’d want in a husband and father for your children,” Logan added.

A look of confusion claimed her features. “So?”

“So, what happened to sharing the same interests, morals, and views on life? Where does the actual falling in love part fit into your plans?”

She shrugged. “I assumed that I could learn to love somebody.”

Logan wanted nothing more than to reach across the table and shake some sense into her tiny frame. How could she so easily shortchange herself like that? “Are you trying to tell me that finding a father for children you haven’t had yet is more important than falling in love?”

“No,” she immediately shot back, then hedged. “Well, not exactly.” The look in her eyes turned sad, and she set her sandwich on her plate. “Look. I’m twenty-six years old. If I started dating somebody tomorrow, I’m probably looking at two years before he would propose, then depending on if he wanted a big wedding, another year of preparation and planning. That’s three years. By then, I’ll be twenty-nine when I have my first child, that is if I get pregnant right away and don’t have fertility issues.” She sighed. “All my life, I’ve wanted to have kids. It’s bad enough I’m looking at three more years minimum, but I really don’t want to be thirty-five or forty years old when I have my first baby.”

The anguish in her voice pulled at Logan’s heart. She’d make a great mother, of that fact he was sure, but he still couldn’t understand why she was selling herself short.

Before he could ask that question, Reese interjected. “So how does having a family get you to this weekend? I’m sorry, hon, but I don’t see the connection.”

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“The kind of men who would make good fathers wouldn’t want to have the kind of sex

I’m looking for. I wanted to treat myself to this, so I could at least say I experienced it, before

I settled down to a life of what will probably be mediocre sex at best.”

Reese frowned. “I think you’re selling yourself and the men you’re dating a bit short. Who says you couldn’t find both in the same man?”

“That’s exactly what Kara said, too.”

“That’s because they’re both right,” Logan said, the tone in his voice sounding a little harsher than he liked. It certainly wasn’t Sophie’s fault that she’d been shit on by men, but casting such a harsh generalization about his gender as a whole pissed him off. He loved sex -- the raunchier the better -- but he knew if he ever had kids, he would be the best dad possible.

She looked up at him. “I didn’t mean to offend you.”

Obviously, she’d caught the anger in his tone, and now he regretted it. He hadn’t

intended to upset her. After all, this weekend was supposed to be about having fun. He stood up, walked around the table, and crouched before her. “I know you didn’t mean to, Phia, and

I could never be angry with you, but generalizing all men in that manner is unfair.”

She lifted a hand and touched his cheek. “I’m sorry, Logan. I didn’t mean to lump you or Reese in with the rest of the men I was referring to. It’s just, I know neither of you want to get married, but you both enjoy sex a lot, which in a way serves to confirm my statement.”

That’s where she was wrong. He wanted nothing more than to get married, and have a house full of children, but with his diabetes, it wouldn’t be fair to ask any woman to suffer through a future with him. Logan stared up at her, a million words running through his head, and none of them forming anything close to a reply.

“Okay.” Reese pushed away from the table and stood. “Before we totally kill the mood with all this serious conversation, how about some dessert?”

“Are we okay?” she whispered, looking at Logan.

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Not wanting to ruin the situation and cause her more guilt, he forced a smile and nodded. “Sure.” Then he glanced over his shoulder and called to Reese. “What’s for dessert?”

Reese looked over the door of the fridge. “Sophie.”

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Chapter Five

Hearing her name, Sophie jolted with surprise and shifted her gaze from Logan to Reese. While she enjoyed their teasing, she didn’t for one minute think she was actually on the menu. “Seriously. What’s for dessert?”

“Strawberries and either cream or chocolate sauce.” Reese lifted the bowl of red berries out of the refrigerator and turned to show it to them.

Sophie eyed the fruit then glanced up at Reese. “Okay, I’ll bite. Where’s the cream?”

“You’ll see.” Reese set the bowl on the counter about the same time Logan’s hands circled her waist. “Up you go, sweetheart.”

“What?”

He pulled her to him. The delicious feel of his skin against hers sent desire shimmying down her spine. Her nipples rubbed the hard wall of his chest and pebbled in response. How could she possibly want him again, so soon after their last encounter? Was it simply the fact that she knew once the weekend was over she’d never have this opportunity with him again? She looked up at him and watched, unmoving while he lowered his head toward her. Passion filled his gaze and washed over her, pooling in a warm mass low in her belly.

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His mouth hovered mere millimeters over her own. “I’m not like other men, Phia.” His words were barely a whisper. There wasn’t anger in his tone, but it was unmistakable. Before she could answer, he pulled away and lifted her onto the small round kitchen table, leaving her speechless. What exactly had he meant by that, and why was he laying her down? They had been joking about her being for dessert, hadn’t they?

He turned, reached into the bowl and pulled out the largest, reddest berry he could find. Next, he moved to the far counter and picked up a a small bowl , then lowered the berry into it. The fruit emerged, chocolate dripping from its tip. With one hand cupped beneath it, he turned and held the berry over her lips.

Sophie opened her mouth and allowed the decadent flavor to drizzle over her tongue. Logan lowered the berry, keeping it just out of biting range. She licked at the bottom of the berry, lapping the chocolate from it like a cat drinking milk. He sucked in a quick breath, covering what Sophie was sure had been a growl of pleasure.

Exhilarated by his response, she arched her neck and slowly wrapped her lips around the tip of the berry. Passion flared in his eyes as he lowered the fruit to her mouth, allowing her to take only the tiniest of bites. God, he was such a tease. Deciding she could give as well as she received, Sophie bit through the tip of the ripe berry. The sweetness of it danced across her taste buds while the juice dribbled down her chin.

He leaned forward and lapped the liquid from her chin and around the edges of her mouth. His action sent yet another shot of desire racing through her already overstimulated system. Then slowly he eased her back onto the table, her head hanging slightly off the edge.

She closed her eyes and reveled in sensations being induced by the man she loved. A small lump formed in her throat. How could she possibly tell Logan she loved him without complicating an already difficult situation?

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A sticky heat pooled around her belly button and trailed northward over each of her breasts. It was immediately followed by Logan’s warm tongue licking up every last delectable drop of the chocolatey confection. He latched on to one breast and sucked.

Lost in Logan’s teasing, she hadn’t noticed Reese move to the other end of the table and squealed when something very cold brushed through her folds.

She opened her eyes and jerked her gaze in his direction just in time for him to hold a berry up high enough for her to see it before taking a large bite. “Mmmm…strawberries and cream.”

Never in all her years had she ever imagined using fruit in foreplay, but damn if she didn’t find it one of the most erotic things she’d ever done. How could she have gone this long in her life and not tried it before now? “I can’t believe you just did that,” she managed to reply.

He arched a brow. “No? Well, maybe you’ll believe it this time.” When he did it again, dragging the fruit through her folds and resting it at the mouth of her channel, she nearly came on the spot. There was something downright naughty about combining food and sex. Having food in places better left unspoken aroused her in a way she never would have imaged. The feel of the cold fruit against her heated body sent ripples of desire tearing through her system. One thing was for sure -- she’d never look at strawberries the same way again.

Logan released the nipple he’d been torturing, reached behind him, and grabbed the bowl of chocolate off the counter. Taking the spoon, he let most of it pour off before dripping it over his cock. The dark liquid landed on his skin then dribbled in different directions, slowly coating his shaft in a chocolate sheen. Her mouth watered.

He widened his stance and guided his hardened shaft directly between Sophie’s parted lips. The taste of chocolate and man mixed, creating a heady combination of flavors that danced across her taste buds. Within seconds, the warm liquid trickled between her legs and

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seeped through her folds. As much as she wanted to watch what Reese was doing to her, she couldn’t bring herself to let go of Logan.

Reese’s tongue stroked through her folds, parting her lips as it chased the stream of chocolate. She arched her hips, providing him with easier access. In return, he speared her heated center, lapping up her juices along with every bit of sweet confection.

She gasped around Logan’s shaft and whimpered, desperate to move her hips and guide Reese’s marauding tongue where she wanted it most.

Instead he moved away. “Not yet, baby. I want you coming on my cock this time.”

She heard the tearing of foil and for a split second wondered where the condom had come from, then remembered the packets she’d seen stuffed in the front of the cutlery drawer. She’d meant to ask Reese why he had condoms in his kitchen. He drove deep inside her, his cock filling her to bursting, and she suddenly understood why. Filled at both ends, she wondered how life could get any better than this. Reese groaned, and his movements sped up. Her orgasm built, climbing to impossible heights. Just when she thought she couldn’t take any more pleasure, Reese brought his hand down and rubbed her clit with his thumb.

Stars flashed behind her closed lids, and she toppled off the precipice, taking both men with her. Logan let out a yowl right before creamy ropes of fluid drenched her tonsils. She swallowed and continued to suck him clean. Just as she released Logan’s flaccid shaft, Reese drove deep into her, groaning out his own release.

He dropped his hands to the table and hovered above her. “Wow.” He gasped. “This weekend keeps getting better and better.” He slowly withdrew and disposed of the condom.

“I’ll say.” Sophie combed a hand through her hair as Logan helped her sit up. “At this rate, I’ll have to call in sick on Monday just so I can recover.”

Reese opened his mouth, but before he’d uttered a word, his cell phone rang. “Hold that thought,” he said before stalking away to answer it.

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“You okay?” Logan asked, helping her from the table.

She nodded, but stumbled on unsteady legs and was thankful he held a steady hand around her waist. “Better than okay, however, I don’t think I’ll be able to look at fruit or chocolate the same way again.”

“I take it you’ve never played around with food?”

“No, I can’t say that I have. The closest I’ve ever gotten was some flavored body paints that tasted really bad and ended up staining my skin. For nearly two weeks I went to work every day with this red streak across my chest. Imagine trying to explain why you’re wearing turtleneck shirts in the middle of summer.”

Logan laughed. “I bet that was fun.”

She rolled her eyes at the thought. “Yeah, fun. After that I swore off anything that had artificial flavoring or coloring.”

“Fruit isn’t artificial.”

“No, it’s not.”

Reese returned to the kitchen fully clothed, a dejected look plastered across his face. “I’m sorry, guys, but that was work. The vet on call has a family emergency, so I need to go in to cover for him for a while.”

“Can’t somebody else cover it?” Sophie asked.

Reese shook his head. “The practice is only me and Marty, my partner, and we have appointments until five on Fridays. I’m sorry, hon. I promise I’ll try not to be too late.”

Not wanting him to feel bad for doing his job, she waved off his apology. “Take all the time you need. It’s your business, and you need to be there right now.”

He turned away from her, patted Logan on the shoulder, and headed out of the kitchen. Several seconds later, the front door closed with a click.

Sophie looked over at Logan. “So, now what?”

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“Want to go play in the ocean?”

A grin crawled across her face. “Sure.” She glanced down. “But I have no interest in being arrested for indecent exposure.”

Logan laughed. “Yeah, me neither. After that little sugarfest, I should probably check my glucose levels and then we can go find some bathing suits.”

* * * * *

Sophie lay on her stomach, her head resting on the back of her hands, absorbing the late afternoon rays. Warmth infiltrated her body, relaxing her muscles and allowing her mind to wander.

When she came up with this harebrained idea, never in a million years had she thought she would be here with Logan. She was glad he’d talked her into saying yes. After looking back on her original idea, going down on some stranger would have been infinitely harder than she’d first thought.

With Logan, her desire not only to be with him but do everything he asked of her was almost second nature. The fact he’d carefully chosen Reese to complete her fantasy made her smile. He’d made a point to find someone he knew she’d be comfortable with and trust. Not to mention that because he and Reese had shared women before, they worked well together.

That last thought stuck in her brain, and worked its way into her conscious. How many women had Logan and Reese shared over the years? It was probably better if she didn’t know. Still, she couldn’t shake the sudden feeling she’d inadvertently allowed herself to become another notch on their invisible bedposts.

But she’d been the one who wanted this fantasy, and she could have said no. If the men were simply getting their rocks off with her, who was she to complain? It wasn’t as if she was looking for a real relationship with either one of them. Was she? Of course she wasn’t. Despite how she felt about him, Logan wasn’t the marrying type. He’d made his lack of interest in a serious relationship clear every time he broke up with a girl.

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Sophie flipped onto her back and sat up to adjust her ponytail and sunglasses. To fall for either man would only lead to more heartbreak. From behind her lenses, she spotted Logan swimming back toward shore. While she could barely tread water and preferred the safety of the beach, Logan had always been an avid swimmer.

Now on his feet, he walked toward the shore, sloshing through the knee-deep water. Water dripped from his dark hair, trickled over his shoulders, and down the well-defined grooves of his chest and abdomen.

She resisted the urge to lick her lips at the sight of him slick and glistening in the sun. Whether he believed it or not, he’d be any woman’s dream husband, certainly hers anyway.

She frowned at her own thoughts and watched a blonde and brunette, both scantily clad, walking along the edge of the surf. “Hi, Logan,” the blonde called. She lifted her arm to wave and nearly fell out of the tiny triangles barely covering her breasts. The brunette practically tripped over her own feet trying to reach Logan before he escaped the water. She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him on the cheek.

Logan laughed and returned her hug before stepping out of the surf. Sophie gritted her teeth and fought against the urge to stomp down to the shoreline and shove the woman’s face into the water. As much as she’d like for Logan to be her man, she had no right to be jealous.

After several minutes of chitchat, all of which was too far away for Sophie to hear, the women continued down the beach, waving to Logan as they went. Still smiling, he headed for Sophie and plopped down on the edge of the blanket.

“Conquests of yours?” she asked, knowing she sounded snotty.

He glanced up the beach to where the women walked, still periodically looking over their shoulders at him. “You mean Joyce and Leslie? They live a couple of blocks over.” He turned his attention back to Sophie and narrowed his eyes. “And neither of them are ‘conquests,’ as you put it.”

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“So they’re lesbians?”

Logan’s gaze remained fixed on her for several long seconds before his lips tilted up at the corners.

“What’s so funny?”

“You’re jealous,” he replied, his amusement now reaching his eyes.

“Jealous?” She waved a dismissive hand at him. “I don’t think so. I was simply curious.”

He arched a brow. “About what?”

Heat flooded her cheeks and she wondered if he could see her blush. Despite her embarrassment, she knew she’d backed herself into a corner, so why not ask? “How many women have you and Reese shared?”

Logan’s features turned dark. “Sophie.”

She shook her head. “Just tell me, Logan. I’m a big girl.”

His gaze fell to the towel between them, and he drew in a long, deep breath. The fact he was stalling made her even more nervous about her question.

“There’ve only been a couple of women, but those women enjoy threesomes, asked for them specifically. Reese is a bit of a dog and will try anything once.”

She laughed. “Mitch says the same thing about you.”

Logan’s attention remained fixed on the beach towel, but a small smile crept across his face. “Maybe I am, but he’s one to talk.”

Mouth agape, she stared up at him. “My brother?”

He nodded. “My first time participating in a multiple was with him and Candice Jankowski in high school.”

She ripped her sunglasses off and gaped at him. “Oh my God. No way!”

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He lifted his hand to his heart. “I swear. It was after the championship basketball game. We’d all gone to a party at Wes Michael’s house. Candy was thoroughly sloshed and begged Mitch to ask me to join them.”

Her eyes were still wide with wonder, and a smile slowly engulfed her face. “And you

did?”

Logan shrugged. “It was right after Suzie Gorman dumped me for that college guy. I was young, brokenhearted, and looking into the face of every teenage guy’s wet dream. Hell yeah, I joined them. Of course afterward, I bragged to Reese about it, and the first time one of his girlfriends mentioned a ménage, he called me.”

His look turned serious. “I want you to know it’s not something we make a habit of, and the last time was well over a year ago. I’d be perfectly happy just one-on-one.”

Why did she have a strange feeling his statement carried more significance than she wanted to admit? She nodded and carefully backed her way out of the conversation. “Thank you for being honest with me.”

“You deserve nothing less, but will you answer a question for me?”

“Sure.”

“Why was it so important for you to know?”

She shrugged and began picking at the edge of the beach towel. “I don’t know.” She raised a hand and brushed the stray hair from her face, tucking it behind her ear. “I know. It’s stupid since I wanted this weekend, but I suppose I wanted to think that I was different than all the others. You know…special.”

He rose to his knees and crawled over her, placing a leg on each side of her thighs. “You are special, Sophie; and don’t you ever forget it.”

He slipped a hand behind her ear and leaned forward. “Just so you know,” he whispered against her ear. “Right now my sights are only set on one woman, and I’m beginning to want her all to myself.”

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She should say something, anything, but when she opened her mouth, he covered it with his own. Barely managing a whimper, she sank into his kiss, giving herself over to the glorious sensations whipped up by his contact. Never had she ever been with a man who would sink so much of himself into a simple kiss. Though nothing about Logan was simple. As much as she would have liked to spend time unraveling the complicated web he’d erected around his heart, it would inevitably lead her down the path to disaster. He thought she was special and at least for this weekend, that would be enough.

Seconds ticked by while she reveled in his kisses and before long the sound of the waves began to fade, replaced by their own ragged breaths. Her hands slid up his chest and over his shoulders, clinging to him. About to lean back and take him with her, Sophie groaned in protest when he pulled away and sat back on his heels.

“I don’t know what it is you do to me, honey, but I think it would be best if we went back to the house before I strip you naked right here.”

As much as she didn’t want to move, she wasn’t into exhibitionism. She nodded and began scooping up her shades and sunscreen to dump into her beach bag. Logan shook the sand from the towel and wrapped it around the obvious erection now pushing against his wet swim trunks. “Let’s go.”

* * * * *

Logan lounged on the patio chair and stared up at the star-filled night. Exhaustion coursed through his veins, making it difficult for him to find the energy to move. The dinner he and Sophie had shared at the Italian bistro around the corner from the beach house would help, but it would be a little while before he felt the full effects of the food in his system.

Sophie sashayed onto the patio, a smile on her face and a glass of merlot in her hand. Her grin was contagious and before he knew it, he found himself patting the chair in invitation. She sauntered over to where he sat and Logan spread his legs, making room for

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her on the chaise. She moved between his thighs with a comfort they’d previously shared but one he had thought might be different after their sexual experiences.

“It’s a beautiful night,” she whispered, easing down onto the chair between his thighs.

“That it is.”

“I can understand why Reese likes it here.”

So could he. The beach house wasn’t just for him and Reese to live out their sexual fantasies, but a place for them to get away from the daily grind. On occasion, even Mitch had wandered down to the shore for a long weekend of male bonding. “Yeah, even with all the summer traffic and extra people, it’s still very peaceful here at night.”

“I’d love to own a beach house someday.”

“Really? I didn’t know you had any desire to live at the beach.”

“Yeah, I didn’t either until now. That’s one of the great things about this weekend. I’m living through a host of new experiences.”

Her enthusiasm spurred the child he still harbored inside. “I never thought of a weekend at the shore as being a new experience.”

“Oh, but it is. Every day is a new adventure, Logan. Sometimes when I’m really down, I can’t wait to see what the next day will bring, if for no other reason than hoping that it will be better.”

Sophie switched her glass from one hand to the other, then shifted her position against him, relaxing. Logan quickly adjusted himself so as to keep certain parts of his anatomy from intruding on the moment. “That’s one of the things I love about you, Phia. Just by being around you, I can see life from an entirely different perspective and sometimes that’s really refreshing.”

“I can understand how it would be easy to fall into a rut,” she replied. “When Mom and Dad were killed, the future looked ominous and dark. It took a while, but I realized they wouldn’t want me to be worrying about the things I can’t control. That they’d be cheering

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me on saying ‘Sophie, you can do anything you want in life, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.’ So I try to live by their words every day.”

Logan traced a path along her arm with his index finger. “I wish I could have just a quarter of your enthusiasm. With my diabetes, I’m facing an uncertain future, at best.”

“All of our futures are uncertain. That’s part of what makes life so exciting.”

“Yeah, but not everybody has type 1 diabetes and steel rods in their back. I’m twenty- nine years old and because of my medical issues, there are some days I feel eighty.”

She turned and rested on her hip. “We all have days like that, Logan. Yours are just amplified because of your problems.”

He shook his head. “It’s not just the day-to-day aches and pains. Because of my condition, I’m facing a future that could include losing my sight, losing fingers or entire limbs, kidney failure, and increasingly limited mobility due to spinal degeneration. That’s not much to offer a prospective wife.”

“So your entire reason for not getting married has to do with things that haven’t happened yet?”

“Well, yeah. How fair would it be of me to saddle my wife with my conditions? Besides, most women want children, and I could never be a father.”

She frowned. “I’ve seen you with your niece and nephew. You’d be a great father.”

He snorted at her words. “Yeah, some dad I’d make. Because of my back problems, I wouldn’t be able to give my own kids horseback rides, wrestle with them, or even go with them on amusement park rides. Then there’s genetics to worry about.” He shook his head. “I couldn’t in good conscience have a kid, knowing there would be a chance I could pass on my condition.”

“Is that what you would have wanted your parents to do?”

He frowned. “Neither of my parents were diabetic when I was born. My dad didn’t find out about his condition until I was four years old.”

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“Yes, but pretend for a moment that he had it before you were born. Would you have wanted them to abort you simply because there was a chance you could get the disease?”

“No, I suppose not.”

“And did your father let his condition slow him down?”

He shook his head. “If Dad was able, he was involved in everything we did.”

She cocked her head to one side, giving him one of her famous ‘I told you so’ looks. Leave it to her to find a way to prove him wrong.

Logan nodded. “Okay, I get your point, though I still think it would be wrong to ask any woman to sign on for the possibility of that kind of life.”

“Don’t you think that should be her decision?”

He shrugged. “I suppose, but what woman in her right mind would willingly go into a relationship knowing what may lay ahead in my future?”

Sophie paused before she answered, and he wondered what was going through her head. Why would she even think about signing on for such a bad deal? She lifted a hand to his cheek. “I would.”

“What? Why?”

“Because love is all-encompassing. It doesn’t pick and choose based on health, money, or any other human-assigned criteria. If you love somebody, you stand by them no matter what.”

He wanted to ask her if she loved him, but fearful her statement represented nothing more than her trying to make a point, he chose a different question. “Even if that means an uncertain future together?”

“Nothing in life is guaranteed, Logan. I could be strolling down the sidewalk and get run over by a car, slip in the shower, hit my head, and drown under the spray, or walk out on our balcony and get struck by lightning.”

“Aren’t you being a little ridiculous?”

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She laughed. “Maybe, but my point is there are no guarantees. Why not live life to the fullest and deal with the hits as they come instead of worrying about what might never happen?”

“Is that why you wanted this weekend?”

Something flickered in her eyes, and her face softened. “That’s exactly why I wanted this weekend.”

He brushed the lightest of kisses over her lips, tasting the remnants of the wine she was drinking. It was a flavor he’d remember for the rest of his life.

“Man, I’m gone for a couple of hours, and I come back to find you two continuing on without me.”

They broke the kiss and turned to see Reese standing in the open patio door. Disappointment washed over Logan. He’d accepted Reese’s involvement when they first started but right now, he wasn’t in any mood to share.

“Just keeping things spicy,” he replied, hoping not to sound as let down as he felt.

Reese strolled over to where they sat, a rather large grin plastered across his face. “Well, I say let’s take this upstairs.”

Sophie took his hand and stood. “Did everything turn out okay with your partner’s emergency?”

“Yeah. His daughter was playing softball and accidentally took a bat to the head. She was wearing her helmet; however, the blow still stunned her enough that they wanted to make sure everything was okay. She has a slight concussion, but she’ll be fine.” He clapped his hands together and rubbed back and forth. “So, how about we continue on with this weekend upstairs?”

Logan pushed up from the chair and stretched, trying to work out the stiffness in his back. “Ready whenever you are.”

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Chapter Six

Sophie strolled into the house to await the men. She couldn’t help but wonder what they had planned next for her. Reese entered, followed by Logan. The look on Logan’s face, a mixture of desire and -- regret, maybe -- had her wondering what was going on inside that beautiful head of his. Once he realized she was watching him, his demeanor changed, and a smile crossed his face. Yeah, that was fake if she’d ever seen it.

“So.” She clasped her hands in front of her. “After this afternoon’s fruitfest, what do you boys have planned for me tonight?”

Reese’s grin was wicked. He grabbed her shoulders and spun her in the direction of the staircase. “You’ll see. Now, upstairs with you, my dear.”

Giddy excitement raced through her, and Sophie could barely contain the urge to run. Instead, she somehow managed to play it cool and take the steps one at a time.

Once on the second floor Logan guided her to Reese’s bedroom. Just inside the door, she stopped to await further instructions. Reese moved past her and began searching through a bottom dresser drawer. “Now, strip,” he ordered over his shoulder.

Before she had managed to so much as reach for her shirt, Logan wrapped his strong arms around her. “I’ll do that,” he growled against her ear, sending fresh ripples of desire

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rushing to her channel. As far as she was concerned, Logan could strip her naked any time he wanted.

She held her breath while his large, slightly calloused hands trailed along her sides and played at the hem of her shirt. His fingers burrowed beneath the edge and splayed across her belly. She sucked in a breath and held it, hoping the moment would never end. “When I’m done, you’re going to strip me,” he said, his warm breath dancing across her neck. Raw need pulled at her pussy as she turned her head toward him only to have him capture her mouth with his.

His kiss was hard, needy, and spoke of something deeper than the lust that had been driving them to this point. When he finally pulled away, she gazed up at him, studying the hungry look he wore. Without another word, he slowly pulled her shirt up then off and dropped it on the floor.

Sophie kept her eyes closed, relishing his touch. He slipped his arms around her and cupped her through her lace bra. “Breathe, baby,” he whispered and, with an expert hand, freed her breasts from their prison.

For several long seconds he tweaked and plucked at her nipples, working them into hard points. Just when she thought she’d go crazy from need, he placed his thumbs in the waistband of her skirt, hooking her panties in the process, and pushed both down.

Standing naked, save for the black stilettos she still wore, Sophie gazed up at Logan mesmerized by the uncloaked passion radiating from his eyes. She turned in his arms and let her lids fall closed a second time when his hand roamed aimlessly over her back.

The secure feeling when he held her bothered her more than it probably should have. Yet she couldn’t shake the sensation that she was slowly falling in love with the one man who she knew was off-limits, not simply because her brother dictated it, but because Logan couldn’t see past his own illness.

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She tilted her head and brushed her lips over the pulse point in his neck, inhaling his masculine scent in the process. For years, she’d smelled his cologne and had barely been able to keep her hands off him. Now, she didn’t have to.

Sophie freed his shirt from his jeans and shoved her hands beneath the fabric. Her fingers grazed over the soft skin of his abdomen, and he shivered beneath her touch. It was empowering to know that she could have such an effect on him. With both hands, he pulled on the neck of his shirt and shrugged out of the material.

She drank in his tanned, rippled abs and leaned forward to kiss his breastbone. “God, you’re sexy,” she whispered.

“So are you, baby.”

Her gaze flicked up to meet his. He was watching her with an intensity she’d never seen before, and it struck her deep at her core. Years of built-up passion clouded his eyes and for the first time since the weekend began, Sophie allowed herself to love him. She kissed his chest again, then eased her way down his abdomen until she reached his belt line.

Without waiting for his order, she worked open the zipper and reached into his boxers, freeing his cock. Desire fed her hunger, pushing her to taste him. She wrapped her fingers around him and stroked upward before she dragged her tongue over the ruddy-colored cap. All the while, she watched him watching her.

“Damn. Watching you two go at it is better than any porn movie.” Reese’s voice cut through the heady silence that had built between her and Logan. She turned to find Reese holding a handful of silk scarves with one hand and stroking his dick with the other. Her heart jumped. So, bondage was on the menu tonight. Damn if that idea wasn’t sexy as hell.

Logan snagged her under her arms and dragged her up his body. He pulled her tight against his chest and whispered, “Enjoy this sweetheart because after this weekend I’m not sharing anymore.”

Stunned, she pulled away. Did that mean what she thought it did?

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Before she allowed herself to ponder too long over it, she turned and climbed onto the luxurious king-sized sleigh bed. Wondering exactly how they would tie her down when there were no slats or bars to bind her to, Sophie eased facedown on the mattress. With her head turned to one side, she studied the cherry finish only to discover hooks screwed into the wood in line with the edge of the mattress.

Logan brushed his fingers along her back and down her arm until he held her wrist in his hand. “If at anytime you want to stop, let me know, okay?”

“Okay, but what are you going to do?”

His smile was wicked. “You’ll see,” he said and began wrapping the decorative silk around her wrist, then tied the other end to the hook. She felt Reese doing the same thing to her legs.

The knowledge that they were spreading her wide open for their viewing pleasure and that she was at their mercy made her stomach roll and sway. She didn’t fear either man. She trusted them both but not knowing exactly how the whole BDSM thing worked, she was glad to have both men there so if by chance one of them started to get carried away, the other would be there to reel him in.

Reese tugged one last time on the restraints. “You ready, sweetheart?”

Swallowing audibly, she closed her eyes, nodded, and eagerly awaited whatever they had in store for her.

She heard what she thought were keys jingling. Keys? What did they need keys for? That question exploded in a flurry of pain when the sting of leather across her bare ass finally registered.

She’d heard the sound of a belt buckle jingling.

With a yelp, Sophie squirmed and struggled to see which of them was administering the spanking. Not that it mattered. Barely within her field of vision, she spotted Logan leaning against the dresser, stroking his hardening flesh, his gaze fixed on her backside. That

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same heady mix of desire and something she couldn’t quite identify claimed his features once again.

The sound of leather striking flesh rent the air a second time, and the most delicious burn Sophie had ever experienced danced across her buttocks. She couldn’t imagine going through this with strangers. It simply wouldn’t have held the same level of emotion. A third slap filled the air. She whimpered and tugged against the scarves holding her tight. It wasn’t that she wanted Reese to stop but in the throes of the moment, not having control of her arms was a little more unnerving than she’d originally expected.

Four, five, six times the belt struck her sensitive and burning skin, and Sophie panted out ragged breaths, determined to wait him out. Though if he didn’t stop soon, she swore her body would simply combust from the amount of heat she was generating.

Logan appeared by her side. “You okay?”

She turned her head to look at him and smiled. “I’m fine.”

He frowned. “You look like you’re about to cry.”

“You would too if your ass was on fire. Trust me, I’m okay.”

His sagging lips tilted up at the corners. “Good, ’cause I have a job for you.”

He untied the silk restraints on her arms and slid onto the bed in front of her.

Her face to his crotch, she waited for instructions, already knowing what he wanted from her. She couldn’t wait to finish what she’d started earlier. Seeing the look of pleasure on Logan’s face and knowing she was the one responsible for it drove Sophie to give him more. Never could she imagine wanting to satisfy another the way she did with him. He fisted his dick and rubbed the mushroom-shaped cap across her lips. She opened her mouth and covered it, wrapping her lips around his shaft in one fluid motion.

With a groan, he sank back against the headboard. “Fuck yeah, Sophie. That feels so good, baby.” Lost in her new goal of satisfying Logan, she’d completely forgotten about Reese and the damn belt until once again the smack of leather meeting skin echoed in the room.

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Sophie jerked and yelped, letting go of Logan’s cock. Her gaze raced to meet his. He gave her an encouraging nod. “Do you think you can handle more?” The throb in her pussy screamed yes, while the skin on her ass begged for mercy. She nodded even as a tear broke free and trickled down her cheek. He lifted a hand and wiped the salty liquid from her face. “You’re sure.”

Knowing she held the power to stop any time she wanted turned her on more than she could have ever imagined. Wanting to push herself and see how much she could handle, she nodded and resumed her task.

After three more hits the spankings stopped. The bed dipped, and cool hands smoothed over her burning ass. Sophie relished the feel of Reese’s flesh soothing over her heated skin. Then he slid one hand between her thighs, dragging a knuckle between her folds. “Damn, Sophie. You’re soaking wet.”

She was also going to explode if he didn’t do something to assuage the growing ache in her pussy. As far as she was concerned, sweet relief couldn’t come fast enough. He shoved one finger deep into her channel, and Sophie let go of Logan’s prick to gasp for air. “More,” she begged, trying to open her legs wider for him only to be stopped by the restraints.

The rich tenor of his laugh sent yet another rush of desire racing through her already overstimulated system. “Well, hell. Who am I to keep a lady waiting? Hang on, honey. I need a second to protect us.”

Thankful he was going to fulfill her request, Sophie resumed her task when he asked a question she’d been expecting for some time. “Have you ever had anal sex, Sophie?”

“Sure I have.”

Logan stroked a loving hand along her back. “You told me you wanted to take on two men, so I’m guessing you haven’t done two men at the same time?”

“You mean one --”

Logan smiled. “One buried inside your sweet pussy, and one in your ass.”

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Yeah, that’s what she thought he meant. She shook her head.

The restraints holding her legs captive slackened, and Reese tossed the belt to the floor. Logan picked the foil wrappers off the dresser, tossed one to Reese. “You take top.”

“Are you sure?” Reese asked.

Logan’s attention shifted from Reese to Sophie. “Positive.”

He sheathed himself then grabbed her under her arms and pulled her toward him. She glided over his body until she was face-to-face with him. “Ride me, baby,” he whispered right before his cock pressed against the mouth of her pussy. She didn’t need to be told twice. After all, she’d been harboring a deep need to feel his glorious cock filling her again since their last encounter this afternoon. With one hand holding on to his hard and glistening shaft, she eased back, taking all of him in one slick glide.

Slowly he thrust into her, squeezing her ass cheeks as he went. The coolness of his hand against her still burning ass was more calming than she could have imagined. Soothed by his gentle touch, Sophie yelped when his hand came down hard against her skin, sending a cracking sound through the air. She expected a spanking from Reese, but not Logan. He’d always seemed like the type to be a kinder, gentler lover. To find out he too liked it rough nearly pushed her over the edge. Her already sensitive flesh tingled and burned beneath his touch. Still, even if he did like to dish out a good spanking, how could he possibly think she could handle any more?

Still again, his hand came down and she choked out a cry. “Logan!”

“What, baby?” His hand struck her ass again, and she screamed as her pussy clenched around his shaft. Damn if what he was doing wasn’t turning her on even more. His pace increased, forcing her to ride him harder.

“Oh, fuck,” he groaned, stilling his movements. “Now, Reese, before I lose it.”

Desire tap-danced through her brain, drowning out any coherent thoughts. Logan pulled her forward and nuzzled against her neck. “You want this, don’t you, baby?”

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“Yes,” she whispered against his cheek.

“You’ve always wondered what it would feel like, didn’t you?”

“Yes,” she said again, trying hard to keep her breathing steady when she felt Reese’s hand brush over her ass. It was followed by the cold jolt of lubricant.

Oh God, it was about to happen. For the first time in her life, she was about to experience two men at once. Her stomach churned with nervous anticipation, and her hands began to shake. Would it be as good as she imagined, with two men sheathed inside her, or would they be too much for her to handle?

Reese’s lubricated finger teased her hole, testing, pushing until he finally breached her barrier. Try as she might, Sophie couldn’t stop from flinching.

Reese placed his other hand on her bottom, holding her steady while he stretched and prepped her for what was about to come. “Easy, honey. I promise I’ll make it good.”

“I know. I trust you,” she replied. It wasn’t as if she’d never had anal sex before. On occasion, she’d have a boyfriend who would want to partake, so she knew how the process worked. Still, having two men inside her body changed the rules, once again placing her in virgin territory.

Before long, Reese’s finger disappeared, and Sophie drew in a deep breath preparing for what was coming next.

The bed sank, and he parted her cheeks, lining the tip of his cock up with her ass. “Don’t forget to breathe, Phia; and if it starts to hurt, let me know.”

She lifted her head, glanced over her shoulder at him, and nodded. “Gotcha. Now do it already. The anticipation is killing me.”

Logan let out a guttural laugh. “That’s my naughty girl.”

“And you love me that way…” The end of her sentence slid into a gasp as Reese pushed forward, slowly forcing his cock through her puckered entrance. The muscles burned,

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protesting at the unnatural invasion. As much as she wanted to hold her breath, she forced out a pant and bit back a cry as the burning increased.

“Damn, Phia. You’re so fucking tight.” Reese’s voice carried over her back. “Don’t fight me, baby.”

Logan stroked a hand along her back, kneading her muscles in an attempt to relax her. His warm breath wafted over her ear. “Relax, sweetheart, and remember to push against him.”

Not wanting to disappoint, she followed his instructions. The pressure built, then the ring of muscles gave way, and Reese slid home. She continued to pant out short breaths while she struggled to adjust to the feel of having both of them buried deep inside her. The pressure was incredible, but much to her surprise, not nearly as painful as she imagined. Still, she couldn’t fathom them moving inside her, without her simply splitting apart.

She dropped her head, letting it rest against Logan’s chest. “Oh God.”

He kissed her shoulder. “It’s okay, sweetie, take your time.”

“So full…gonna…split…in two.”

One of his hands came up to cup her breast while he continued to plant slow, drugged kisses along the exposed flesh of her neck. “No, you won’t, baby. I promise. Are you in pain?”

She shook her head. “Just really full.”

“Good. Let me know if at any time we hurt you. That’s not what this is supposed to be about.” He finished his sentence by slowly pulling out until only the crown of his shaft remained seated inside her chamber. Even that slight movement sent bullets of pleasure shooting up Sophie’s spine. She moaned and dropped her head against his shoulder. How could it possibly feel this good when at any moment she would swear her body was going to rip apart? Knowing the power of speech would soon be beyond her abilities, she simply moaned and closed her eyes.

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“That’s it, baby. Feel what we can do to you,” Logan whispered, pushing back in as Reese pulled out.

Never could Sophie have imagined the near-euphoric feeling she’d experience by taking on two men at once, but here she was, slowly climbing toward what she was sure would be the mother of all orgasms and enjoying every second of it. She writhed between the two men, both loving her so thoroughly she swore she’d never walk again.

The coil lodged deep in her belly began to tighten as both men’s rhythmic pace picked up. With each glorious stroke, the pressure increased. Hanging on the edge of her climax, she clung to the sensation, fighting to wring every last second of enjoyment from the moment. It was a battle she was about to lose. She threw her head back and cried. Her entire body wracked with shudders while her pussy and ass clenched around their invading dicks.

Reese went off stroke and drove deep, furthering her orgasm with the pulsing of his own release. Logan let out a growl and quickly followed, lifting his hips and driving home.

Completely exhausted and more satisfied than she’d ever been in her life, Sophie let her head fall back against Logan’s chest. Her eyes drifted shut even as she felt the loss of heat when Reese pulled out and moved away. She could only hope they were both replete also, because at the moment, all she wanted to do was sleep.

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Chapter Seven

Logan peered up as the roller coaster twisted and turned, and he wondered if Sophie and Reese were riding yet. After making both themselves and the sheets sticky with breakfast in bed -- and barely making it through a late lunch before initiating her with the living room furniture -- an exhausted and somewhat sore Sophie had voiced her desire to spend some time on the boardwalk.

Not wanting to disappoint her, he and Reese had agreed. Over the course of the evening, Logan had found himself tied to different park benches impatiently waiting for Sophie and Reese to return from various rides on the amusement park pier.

He would have given damn near anything to be the one to taking her on the rides, but with his back injury, anything beyond the carousel or Ferris wheel was more jarring than his body could handle.

If only he hadn’t crashed his car into that tree. Yeah, he’d been saying ‘if only’ for the last eight years.

If only he’d gone to the doctor when his symptoms had first started instead of blowing them off as college-induced fatigue.

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If only he’d called somebody that night when he decided he finally felt bad enough to go to the hospital and not driven himself.

If only he had the opportunity to go back in time and change things.

Situations like today always served as a stark reminder of why he could never get married and have children. What kind of father could he be when he couldn’t participate in all the activities other dads did? It simply wouldn’t be fair to his kids.

At least by having Reese here, it took that pressure off. Logan could disguise his disappointment by continuing to play the dominant role and order her to go on the rides. Reese played his part, choosing the wildest, scariest ones for Logan to order her on.

He couldn’t allow her to miss the fun simply because of his condition. Still, even as he’d sent her off with Reese to partake in all the rides, his stomach twisted in knots. He and Reese had shared women before and not once had Logan ever been jealous, but seeing Sophie in Reese’s arms last night, and hanging on him today as if they were more than friends, made Logan sick to his stomach.

Of course, Sophie wasn’t just any woman, and therein was the problem.

She wasn’t simply smart and beautiful; she was vivacious, outgoing, and generous. Tough as nails one moment, yet fragile as glass the next. For the first time in his life, he knew his heart was in serious trouble.

Before he could ponder that thought for long, he spotted Sophie and Reese walking toward him. The grin plastered across her flushed cheeks told him everything he needed to know. “I’d ask if you had a good time, but from that smile, I’d have to say yes.”

She nodded and reached up to adjust her falling ponytail. “It was awesome. It’s a shame you couldn’t ride it, ’cause I know you’d really enjoy it.”

“You’re right, I probably would, but I enjoy walking even more, so I’ll take your word for it.”

Her smile slowly dissipated. “I’m sorry. That was extremely insensitive of me.”

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He squeezed her hand. “No, it wasn’t. I understand your enthusiasm, and I wish I could partake, but watching you is nearly as much fun, so don’t worry about it.” The last thing he wanted was for her to feel bad about having fun. When the remorseful look on her face remained, he tried again. “Honey, you’re going to spoil the mood if you keep looking like that. Honestly, it’s okay.”

“No, it’s not, Logan. All afternoon you’ve been tied to park benches while Reese and I have been having fun. I feel bad about that.”

“Tell you what. You can make it up by riding the Ferris wheel with me.”

The frown she wore slowly slid into a grin. “You got it.” She looked over her shoulder. “You coming, Reese?”

Reese shook his head. “I’m afraid you’ll have to count me out. My phone was vibrating while we were standing in line. I need to find out who called and what they wanted. I’ll catch up with you guys over by the log flume in a few minutes, okay?”

Relieved to have some time alone with Sophie, Logan slipped an arm around her waist and guided her toward the line for the Ferris wheel.

“I bet you thought the weekend was going to be all sex, huh?”

She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear as they walked. “Not really. I mean, I expected a lot of sex and so far, you haven’t disappointed, but I also knew I’d need a rest and you’d need to recharge. Besides, it’s nice to spend this kind of time with you both. It’s giving me the opportunity to get to know you even better than I already do.”

“After buying a condo together and living there for four years, I didn’t think there was much left we didn’t know about each other.”

“Guess I blew the hell out of that theory with my declaration of wanting wild, uninhibited sex, huh?”

“Yeah, I suppose you did, but honestly, I think it only adds to your mystique.”

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Her face screwed into a disbelieving grin, and she snorted at his words. “Right, some mystique I have going on. Out of my last five boyfriends, one transferred across the country for his job, one decided he was gay, and three found the need to get their sex from some other source. The only thing mysterious or intriguing about me is why I haven’t given up on the entire male species yet.”

He stopped in his tracks and grabbed her by the shoulders. “Those men are idiots for cheating on you. I’m telling you, honey, one day you’ll make some lucky man a great wife.”

“Why is it whenever I walk up on you two, I think I’m going to have to call out the fire department to hose you down?”

Logan looked up to see Reese standing behind her, a smile plastered across his face. “Well, that was one quick as hell phone call.”

Ignoring

Logan’s

statement,

Reese

raised

a

hand

and

motioned

to

the

people

surrounding them. “There are children around, you know. If you can’t keep your hands off

each other, then might I suggest you get a room?”

Sophie giggled and gave him a good shove. “You’re such a jerk sometimes. You know

that?”

“Only trying to keep up my reputation, darling. Now how about some more rides?”

She glanced at her watch, then shook her head. “I’m starving again, my feet are killing me, and I’m exhausted. Besides, it’s starting to get kind of late. Any chance we could grab something on the boardwalk to eat and head back to the house?”

So

much

for

a

romantic

ride

on

the

Ferris

wheel.

Trying

not

to

show

his

disappointment, Logan motioned in the direction of the boardwalk. “Sure, let’s go.”

Halfway down the pier, Sophie turned to face them, walking backward while she talked. “I saw a food vendor just off the walk down at street level that had those giant boardwalk fries and funnel cakes. I’d love to have a funnel cake.” She batted her eyes at Logan.

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Amused by her attempt to coerce him, he motioned forward. “Lead the way.”

Before long, he found himself in a sea of people, all waiting in line for the same chance to order. “This guy better have damn good funnel cakes,” he grumbled.

“From what I could tell, he seemed to be the only one who sold them within a few blocks either direction. That’s probably why he’s so popular.”

Logan glanced at his watch, then back up to the line. In five minutes, it had only moved up by one customer. This could take a while. “You know, you two don’t have to stand in line with me. I’ll order, and you guys can wander around a bit.”

Reese nodded. “Sounds like a plan. Come on, Sophie, darling. Let me try to win you a prize at the booth on the other end of the block.”

Reese grabbed her arm, yet she resisted, staring up at Logan. “Are you sure? It doesn’t seem fair to saddle you with the task of taking care of the food while we go have fun.”

Logan shook his head. “Stop it, Phia. I’m fine with this. Now I’m ordering you to go with Reese and to stop worrying about me.”

A sheepish look claimed her features, and she nodded, turning away from him, making him feel like a heel for scolding her.

At least this was something he could do to contribute to the situation. He snagged her by the arm, pulling her back to him. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, trailing a finger over her cheek. “I didn’t mean to growl at you. You go with Reese and have a good time. When I get the food I’ll meet you.”

“Well.” She hedged. “Okay. If you’re sure. You’re the best.” She kissed him square on the lips then allowed Reese to lead her off in another direction.

Logan watched them go, then turned his attention back to the line, which was still moving at a snail’s pace. At this rate, he’d be there all night, just waiting to order. Ten minutes later Logan finally stood at the window waiting for the rest of his order. Keeping more of an eye on Sophie than he should, considering she was with Reese, he glanced over

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once again to find them standing several feet away. Reese leaned back against the concrete wall that probably hid the gaming booth stockroom and the kitchen for this snack shack. Sophie stood in front of him, holding a small pink something in her hand. From his angle, Logan guessed it was a stuffed rabbit, but couldn’t tell for sure.

He knew all too well that the fifty-cent toy would, without a doubt, find a coveted spot on a shelf in her bedroom. Sentimental to a fault, Sophie held on to the oddest things. Rocks, paper airplanes, and stuffed animals that -- to the unknowing observer seemed like nothing more than trash -- held a special place in her heart. One could ask her about any single object sitting in shrine in her room, and she could tell them the story behind it without batting an eye. It was those tiny details about her that made Logan realize she’d make a fantastic mother.

“Sorry about that, Mac,” the man behind the counter said, handing Logan the second funnel cake.

Logan wanted to tell him it wasn’t all right, that taking ten minutes to fill a simple food order was unacceptable. Instead, he grunted what he deemed an acceptable reply, picked up the funnel cake, balancing it precariously on top of the one below it, and turned, arms full, toward Reese and Sophie.

Before he’d taken a single step, screeching tires filled the air and Logan’s gaze fell upon a black Honda speeding around a corner through a red light. Out of control, the car fishtailed, corrected, then crashed up onto the sidewalk. Pedestrians scattered, and shrieks filled the air. The car slammed into the wall, mere feet from Logan. A cacophony of sounds assaulted his ears as the grinding of metal mixed with terrified screams and shattering glass. Debris rained down, peppering the sidewalk with tiny pieces of metal and glass. His gaze darted back and forth through the sea of panicked people. He’d lost sight of Sophie and Reese. The black Honda now rested where they had been standing seconds ago. Adrenaline shot through Logan like a zap of electricity. NO! Dropping the food, he raced toward the accident scene. “Sophie! Reese!”

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Dear God, let them be all right.

An ominous silence suddenly filled the air in the aftermath. A low murmur began to filter through the dispersed crowd and curious people began inching their way back toward the accident scene. Ignoring the growing crowd of onlookers surrounding the driver’s side of the car, Logan raced behind the vehicle to the other side. His heart nearly skidded to a stop when he spotted Sophie lying facedown on the concrete only a foot from the crumpled front end of the car. “Sophie!” He rushed forward, elbowing his way through yet another gaggle of onlookers. Just as he reached them, Reese helped her up from where she lay. Logan dropped to his knees, grabbed her from Reese, and cradled her in his arms. His heart pounded so hard he swore it would beat right through his rib cage and out of his chest. “Thank God!” Tears welled in his eyes, blurring his vision while he continued to kiss the top of her head. “It’s okay, baby,” he whispered, knowing the words were for his benefit nearly as much as hers. With his free hand, he grabbed at Reese’s forearm, desperate not to let go of either of them.

For several seconds he sat on the ground with her pressed to his chest while he struggled to regain his composure. Apparently, she didn’t mind as she too clung to him. When he could finally catch his breath, he slowly pushed her away from him to inspect her injuries. The side of her face was skinned and bleeding, as were her hands and arm, but other than that she seemed fine. “Are you okay?”

She nodded and lifted a shaking, bloody hand to her head. “I think so. We were just standing there talking, and the next thing I know, I hear tires squealing, and Reese is pushing me to the ground.” Her eyes widened in horror. “Oh my God, Reese!”

Reese leaned over her shoulder. “I’m okay, honey, just scratched up like you.”

“Thank God you saw that car coming.”

Logan nodded and turned to look at his friend. “Yeah, I owe you big time.”

Reese shook his head. “No, you don’t. I’m glad I was here.”

“Me too, pal. Me too.”

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* * * * *

Logan paced the floor for what seemed to be the hundredth time before plopping down with a huff into the nearest empty chair. It took some coercing from him and Reese, but Sophie had finally agreed to let the paramedics treat her at the scene. After an initial assessment by one very nice medic, who Logan would have sworn was barely old enough to be out of high school, they decided to transport Sophie to the hospital as a precaution.

Now, he found himself stuck in the emergency room impatiently waiting for Reese and Sophie to emerge. It didn’t matter that he knew she was okay. He still wanted to be with her, to hold her and tell her how sorry he was for not taking better care of her. Oh, sure, he knew the accident wasn’t his fault, but he had a certain obligation to keep her safe, and he’d failed.

Damn it, he wanted to know what in the hell was going on.

He rested his head against the back of the chair, his face upturned toward the soft lights glowing down from above. Never could he remember a woman capable of turning his insides to jelly the way Sophie did. For years, he’d watched her jump from loser to loser in her search for the perfect husband. Each time she came home with a new beau his stomach would drop and he’d spend the following week in a lousy mood. Maybe it was wrong of him to have kept his feelings from her all this time, but that damn promise had stood in the way.

Mitch had made it clear she was off-limits. He’d no doubt want to cut Logan’s balls off if he knew the truth. Still, that hadn’t stopped Logan from wondering what it would be like to come home at the end of the day to a loving wife instead of a roommate.

Eventually he’d have to face Mitch and while he and Sophie agreed what Mitch didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him, looking the man in the face would be a whole other story. He and Mitch had known each other since kindergarten and in all the years they’d been friends, he’d never lied to Mitch -- until now. Logan only hoped that the guilt of keeping Sophie’s secret wouldn’t eat him alive.

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He drew in a deep breath and held it. God, he was tired. His eyes drifted closed only to spring back open at the image of the black car smashed against the wall. He shook his head in an attempt to rid himself of the horrific image. It wasn’t only that he’d nearly lost Sophie tonight. No, the car itself served as an eerie reminder of his own accident. He’d been lucky in that he hadn’t killed or maimed someone else the night he passed out from hyperglycemia and ended up in a diabetic coma. How would he have felt if he had hurt another person because of his own stupidity? That question had plagued him for years after the crash.

Now, on the heels of another near miss, Logan found himself staring directly into the face of fate. Control, he realized, was nothing more than an illusion. One he’d created in an effort to keep some sort of normalcy in his life. And while he could take precautions and use his head to keep himself out of dangerous situations, nothing would stop fate from crossing his path. His life would unfold as it was supposed to, and it wouldn’t matter if he were married or not.

The double doors leading into the waiting area opened, and Reese emerged. His left hand now sported a bandage and brace, and a neat white Band-Aid covered his left temple. He spotted Logan and lifted his hand to wave.

Logan jumped to his feet and met Reese halfway across the room. “Well?”

Reese held up his bandaged hand. “Sprained wrist and some nasty road rash on the back of my hand. Other than that, I’m good.”

“What about Sophie?”

Reese shook his head. “They wouldn’t tell me much. You know, that damn HIPAA act prevents them from talking to anybody but the patient and authorized family members. However, one very sympathetic nurse did tell me that Sophie was complaining of neck and back pain so they were going to do X-rays. Other than that, I don’t know anything.”

Logan bit down on the inside of his cheek and nodded. He hated being on the outside while Sophie was all alone and suffering through tests. It wasn’t enough that they shared a

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mortgage and now a bed. Because they didn’t have that stupid piece of paper tying them together, he remained stranded in the waiting room when she needed him most.

“Hey.” Reese’s voice cut through Logan’s thoughts. “Are you okay?”

He turned to look at his friend and nodded before raking a hand through his hair. “Yeah. I’m fine. I just wish I could be there for her instead of being stuck out here.”

“She’s a big girl, Logan, and she’s not hurt that badly. I’m sure we’ll know something soon.” He paused and gave Logan a long look. “Did you take your insulin today?”

Logan scowled at his friend. “Of course I did.”

“When was the last time you ate?”

“Huh?”

“Food, Logan. Remember that thing that keeps you from collapsing into an unconscious puddle? When was the last time you ate?”

Logan shook his head. The last thing he wanted right now was food. “I’m not hungry.”

Reese grabbed him by the elbow and turned him toward the vending machines. “You know you can’t do that. Get yourself something to snack on before you end up lying in one of those beds back there. You won’t do Sophie any good if you have to be treated for hypoglycemia.”

Logan drew in a deep breath and walked toward the machines. Despite the fact that his stomach was threatening to wage war if he tried to eat anything, Reese was right. He wouldn’t do Sophie any good if he got sick too.

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Chapter Eight

“I said I want a bath,” Sophie argued while Logan helped her up the steps to the bedroom. After three hours of waiting in the emergency room to get the confirmation that, aside from some minor cuts and scrapes, Sophie was fine. Logan’s nerves were shot.

Before they’d left the doctor on call shot her up with a muscle relaxant to help with her back pain. Now, with medication coursing through her body, she wasn’t in any condition to be bathing and in even less of a mood to argue about it.

“How about a bath in the morning, honey? It’s been a long night for all of us.”

She shook her head and would have fallen backward off the step if Reese hadn’t been standing behind her. “I’m still sticky from that cotton candy I ate earlier, and I’ve got dirt and God only knows what else all over me from that damn sidewalk. I need a bath.”

“We can’t let her bathe alone. In her condition, she might drown.”

Logan looked over her shoulder at Reese. “I’ll get in the tub with her. If we take her into your bedroom, we can use the Jacuzzi tub. It should be big enough for both of us.”

Reese nodded. “Whatever you want is fine with me. You can put her to bed in my room when she’s done, and I’ll sleep in the guest room tonight.”

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The three of them stumbled into Reese’s bedroom. “Are you sure you wouldn’t rather go to bed?” Logan asked in a last ditch effort to persuade her out of a bath.

“No.” She yanked away from his grip and stumbled to one side, landing hard against the wall. Logan inwardly groaned. She wasn’t going to make it easy on him.

He motioned to Reese to take her by the arm. “Stay with her while I set the taps.”

Reese took up position next to him, and Logan rushed to the bathroom. He turned up the heater, switched on the taps, set out clean towels and a washcloth, then returned to fetch her from Reese.

Once in the bathroom, Logan stripped her from her clothes, and then kicked off his own. He helped her into the hot water, careful not to let her fall, then stepped in behind her. Slowly they eased down into the water, with Sophie eventually coming to rest between his legs. She leaned back against his chest and sighed. “This is nice.”

Despite his original concern, he had to admit she was right. There was something extremely sensual and intimate about bathing with her. He picked up the cloth, soaked it in the water, and gently began wiping it over her flesh.

He was almost convinced she’d fallen asleep when she began to speak. “When I was little, my mom used to give me a bath every night.” She snuggled a little closer to him and this time, her eyes drifted shut. “I would always beg her to fill the tub completely to the top, and she would always say yes. Then she’d send me off to my room to find my pajamas and pick up any toys I still had laying around. By the time I would return, the tub would be brimming with bubbles that threatened to spill over when I stepped in. I’d climb in and play happily until the water turned cold and every last bubble was gone. Only then would I realize my bath was one-third water and two-thirds bubbles.”

“Sounds like a great memory.”

She nodded. “It’s those memories that keep me going.”

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“I don’t know if I ever told you, but I worried a lot about you in the days after their

plane crash.”

She angled her head to the side, opened her eyes, and smiled. “You did?”

He nodded and began slowly dragging the washcloth over her damp flesh. “It was hard on Mitch too, and I’m glad my parents were there to help him get through it, but you were the one I focused on. After their accident, you withdrew so much that there were some nights when I slept over that I’d get up two or three times to check on you.”

“I never knew that, though there were times when I felt I had a guardian angel watching over me.”

“I wouldn’t call me a guardian angel, but I did try to keep an eye on you whenever I

could.”

“I’m guessing you were the one who dumped Mom’s prescription drugs and hid all the razors.”

A small smile claimed his features. “Guilty as charged. You wouldn’t talk to anybody,

and I wasn’t sure how desperate you’d get, but I didn’t want to take a chance.”

“I did think about it,” she admitted. “But only once and then I realized I’d be leaving

Mitch all alone, and I couldn’t do that.”

“Speaking of Mitch. Don’t you think we should call and let him know what happened?”

She shook her head. “I don’t want to bother him this late when I’m not really hurt. I’ll tell him tomorrow.” She yawned. “Right now, all I want to do is go to sleep.”

Logan wrung the cloth out and draped it over the faucet. “Let me get you a towel.” He slipped out from behind her, , grabbed two towels, wrapped one around his waist, then helped her from the tub and draped the other around her.

She raised a hand to his face and cupped his chin. “Whether you believe it or not, Logan, you are my guardian angel.”

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Logan wanted to chalk her words up to the drugs, but the look in her drowsy eyes told a different story. An uncomfortable feeling settled in his chest. Instead of trying to think of something witty to say, he simply guided her toward the bed.

She eased down onto the mattress and without bothering to dress turned onto her side. “Thank you for helping me with my bath.”

He pulled the covers up around her shoulders and leaned over to kiss her. “You’re welcome. I’ll be downstairs with Reese if you need me.”

“Mmmm…okay.” She snuggled into the pillow and closed her eyes.

For several seconds, Logan stood next to the bed trying to decide if he should leave her alone. Finally concluding she’d be fine, he returned to the bathroom to dress and clean up their mess, before heading down stairs.

As he passed the refrigerator on his way out to the patio, Logan stopped to grab a couple of beers from inside. He stepped out onto the patio and tossed a bottle to Reese. “Heads up.”

With his good hand, Reese snagged the beer midair and pulled it down. “How’s Sophie?”

Logan eased into a chair across from Reese. “Okay, I guess. The muscle relaxant they gave her at the hospital finally got the better of her. She was nearly out when I closed the door. I imagine she’ll probably sleep all night.”

Reese leaned back and popped the top off his bottle. “It’s just as well. Nearly being turned into a grease spot kind of put a damper on the mood. Besides, with all those scratches on her arm, I’d be too afraid of hurting her to touch her.”

“Yeah,” Logan replied before twisting the lid off his beer and taking a long pull from the bottle.

“Hey, you’re not supposed to be drinking. I don’t want to be saving your ass from plummeting blood sugar levels.”

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Logan frowned. “Don’t worry. I ate earlier.”

“A candy bar and chips are not what I’d consider real food.”

“Spare me the lecture, okay? I know the dangers of someone like me drinking, and I also know that tomorrow it could all be over in a flash, so why not enjoy life a little?”

Reese’s expression raced from concern to surprise. “Enjoy life? Hell, Logan, if I didn’t know better I would have thought you’d been the one facing the business end of that Honda.”

“Just because I wasn’t in its path doesn’t mean the outcome wouldn’t have affected me. If you were suddenly gone, don’t think for a second that I wouldn’t feel the impact of your absence.”

Reese took a long pull of his beer then shook his head. “I’m not saying I don’t believe what you said, but there’s something more going on here, buddy. You test your levels regularly, brush your teeth after every meal and, as far as I know, always use a condom. You suddenly tossing caution to the wind doesn’t make any sense. So why don’t you tell me the truth?”

Logan looked up, his gaze meeting Reese’s over the fire. “You want the truth?” He pushed off the chair and began to pace the tiny patio. “The truth is I’ve spent the last eight years mostly playing by the rules and for what?”

“Logan --”

Logan shook his head. “No, don’t ‘Logan’ me. You have no idea how terrified I was tonight when I thought…” He let the end of his sentence trail off and dropped back onto the chair.

“When what?” Reese prodded.

Logan gazed into the fire burning in the pit between them, and knew what he was about to say would change everything. He couldn’t deny it any longer. “When I thought I’d

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lost her.” His voice was barely louder than a whisper when he uttered the words, but he felt as though he’d yelled them to the moon.

“Lost her?” Reese leaned forward, set his beer on the ground next to his chair and rested his arms on his knees. “You make it sound as if she were yours to lose.”

Logan didn’t answer. Instead, he stared aimlessly into the fire while he held his bottle by two fingers, swishing the liquid inside.

“Logan?”

He glanced up to see Reese’s concerned expression, then returned his attention to the flames. “Maybe I want her to be mine to lose.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” He paused, then shot Logan a knowing look. “Oh my God, it’s finally happened.”

Logan wrinkled his nose and pulled another swig of his beer. “What?”

“Love ’em and leave ’em Logan has finally fallen in love.”

He shook his head. “I’m not in love with her.”

“Then why the sudden concern with living for the moment? You’ve come a lot closer than this to dying. Hell, you weren’t even the one in the path of that maniac earlier.”

“I said I’m not in love with her. Can we please drop this subject?”

“Right, if you’re not in love with her then I’m a virgin,” Reese shot back. “And no, I’m not going to let the topic drop. Come on, buddy, confession time.”

Logan set his now empty bottle at his feet and leaned back in the chair. “Aw hell, Reese, you’re probably more right than I want to admit. Every time I think about how close she came to dying tonight, my chest gets all tight, and I want to wrap her in my arms and never let go.”

“Then why don’t you?”

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He stared at Reese. It was a logical question. Why didn’t he just march himself right upstairs and wrap his arms around her?

“Because I’d only be setting her up for heartbreak,” he replied. “You heard her yesterday. She wants a husband and kids. I can’t give her that.”

“Who says you can’t?” Reese stood and walked around the fire, picked up Logan’s empty bottle, and went into the house.

Was it possible he was wrong about the whole marriage thing? Or worse yet, had he simply been using it as an excuse to keep an emotional distance from the women he dated, thus keeping his heart from being damaged in the process? He gave his thoughts a snort. Despite the fact that Sophie constantly had her heart stomped on by callous men too stupid to see beyond her blonde roots, she continued to search for Mr. Right.

He glanced over his shoulder and looked up to the second-floor windows. She’d made a good point yesterday when they’d talked about marriage. Keeping the women he’d been dating at arm’s length hadn’t been fair to him or them.

Still, he’d never experienced sparks with any of those women, at least not at the same level of intensity he shared with Sophie. He needed to be honest with himself, and it started with admitting that he was in love. For years he’d suspected it, but the moment he sheathed himself inside her warm loving core all his suspicions were confirmed. He couldn’t bear the thought of seeing her move on to another loser jerk after this weekend was over. But where exactly did that leave him?

He scrubbed his hands over his face and stood. He should face his fears and confess his feelings to her. All he could hope for was that she would feel the same way about him.

Then there was the issue of Mitch.

He certainly wouldn’t be happy to learn Logan had broken his promise. Having Mitch’s blessing on their relationship would make everything much easier, but even if he didn’t agree, Logan had no intention of walking away.

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He closed the sliding glass door, locked it, and slowly ascended the steps. With her still under the influence of medication, it would be next to impossible to talk to her tonight. Even if she did feel the same way, chances were she wouldn’t remember the conversation. This was definitely one discussion he wasn’t interested in having a second time.

It would be better if he waited until morning, when he was sure she was clear of the effects of the drug and feeling up to having such a serious conversation. Until then, at least he’d be able to share his bed with her and hold her in his arms. If for some reason she didn’t feel the same way, he would always have tonight.

Logan closed the bedroom door, stripped out of his clothes, and climbed beneath the sheets. As he eased down onto the pillow, she rolled over and snuggled into his chest. He wrapped an arm around her and kissed the top of her head. “I love you,” he whispered, knowing full well she hadn’t heard his words.

* * * * *

Sunlight drifted through the curtains, kissing Logan with a warm glow that made him want to duck under the covers. He’d spent most of the night simply staring at Sophie while she slept. Now morning was upon him, and he was far from being rested enough to take on the day. He could already feel the toll the alcohol had taken on his body and knew he’d probably be battling with his blood sugar most of the day because of it. Damn diabetes! Sometimes he hated that he was unable to do even the simplest of things, like drink a beer, without dealing with the repercussions the disease caused.

Beside him, Sophie stretched and rolled onto her back. Her sleep-heavy eyes stared up at him dreamily. “Good morning.”

The smile on her face brought one to his own, and he leaned over to kiss her softly. “Good morning to you. How are you feeling?”

She gave a languid stretch and grimaced. “A little sore in my hip and shoulder, but other than that not too bad. How about you? Did you sleep well?”

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He opened his mouth to answer her only to be interrupted by a loud banging on the front door.

Sophie looked at the clock. “Who in the world would be calling at this time of morning?”

“I don’t know, but I’ll go find out.” He kissed the top of her nose and stumbled from the bed. “You stay put and rest. I’ll be back.”

With little strength and even less energy, he grabbed his jeans and punched his bare feet through each leg. If he didn’t eat something soon and get his low blood sugar levels under control, things could get ugly quickly. Unfortunately, both breakfast and his conversation with Sophie would have to take a backseat until whoever was banging at the door had been addressed.

Without bothering to button his jeans, he headed out of the bedroom and downstairs. Someone had better have a damn good reason for imposing on a perfectly quiet Sunday morning. Prepared to give the person hell, Logan swung open the door and stopped dead in his tracks. The last person he expected to find was Mitch. Yet there he was, standing on the front porch looking pissed off at the world.

Logan managed to find his voice mere seconds before Mitch stepped into the house. “Dude, what are you doing here?”

“Where is she?” Anger radiated off Mitch’s frame, washing over Logan in waves. His stomach dropped. It was only a matter of minutes before Mitch discovered the truth, and they’d all be in trouble.

“Sophie? She’s upstairs in bed. What’s the --” Before he could finish his sentence Mitch pushed past him and stomped up the staircase.

Shit! Shit! Shit!

Logan closed the front door and raced after Mitch. Not only was Sophie naked, but their clothing was lying all over the bedroom floor. If he couldn’t stop Mitch before he

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reached her, the situation would no doubt turn ugly. “Mitch, wait.” Logan grabbed at his arm.

Mitch turned back to him, a confused expression on his face. “What?”

“I just think it would be better if you didn’t go barreling in on her like some tornado. She’s been through enough in the last twenty-four hours without playing twenty questions with you.”