Authors: Reon Laudat
Their tongues moved in a type of carnal combat
before their lips came together in the deepest kiss. When he lifted her, the
skirt rode up over her bottom and she curled her legs around his lean torso. He
walked them to the sofa and dropped his glasses on an end table. The next thing
she knew he was seated on the sofa with his pants and briefs around his ankles
as she’d straddled his hips.
on this,” Dominic said,
his voice guttural with passion as he gestured toward his impressive erection.
A demand? A dare? Whatever. Kendra couldn’t resist
as he roughly gripped her bottom to pull her closer.
“Wait. Condom?” she asked, with a hand pressed
against his chest. “First things first.”
“Right.” Dominic pointed to the pants around his
ankles. “In my pocket.”
“So your sweans have pockets? Always prepared,”
she said, reaching for a packet and fitting its contents on him. With a shudder
of desire, she took him inside deliberately, tauntingly. Sinking an inch,
retreating, sinking another inch or two, retreating, descending a little more
each time, and then retreating in an attempt to whip him into a frenzy, daring
him to show weakness by rushing her.
breathing deepened as his hands clasped her waist. The muscles in his jaw flexed
and his pupils dilated, yet he made no moves to hurry her along.
She was in control.
After she had him fully sheathed inside, Kendra
moved against him with uninhibited aggression, as if each rock and roll of her
hips was a lash for snatching
away from her.
As blissful as her connection to Dominic felt,
Kendra refused to utter so much as a wisp of a sigh or whimper of pleasure as
she swayed back and forth against him. Nor did she prettify raw appetite with a
kiss or embrace.
As if he’d read her thoughts, neither did he.
Beating back moans as her ecstasy intensified, she
clasped one hand on the back of the sofa to maintain her leverage as she rode
him. Hard. Her unhooked bra bounced with the rise and fall of her breasts.
Skin slid against skin. Body pounded body.
Fabric rustled. A dog barked outside. A truck
Dominic, not one to play passive for long,
eventually maneuvered until he’d kicked away his pants and briefs around his
ankles. He pinned her supine on the sofa with her knees to her breasts and her
boot-covered feet at each side of his strong shoulders. He thrust with force
and focus. Their heated gazes locked, neither daring to look away or make a
sound beyond heavy breathing.
An erotic stare-down contest.
Who would blink first?
Kendra did, of course,
after he hit what must’ve been her
As she savored the intensely pleasurable
fluttering through her womb, she noted his fleeting, smug smile just before he
jackhammered into the last stretch and surrendered to his own climax with a
Moments later, Kendra, riding out the last ripples
of a most delicious orgasm, sprawled on the sofa until her breathing steadied.
Feeling boneless and sated, she studied him.
Now standing, Dominic put on his briefs and pants.
“Damn, that was…”
Not part of
Kendra surged upright
wordlessly, feeling self-conscious about the way she’d lost control.
“That was so hot, baby. You get the VIP
He winked, re-tying the
waist of those sweans. “Next stop, the master bedroom upstairs.”
She’d always hated when guys shifted into caveman
mode during sex with the tired “
Still, as Dominic had taken
her over the edge, she’d nearly cried out, pledging her hooha, along with her firstborn,
Her mind screamed in panic. As he discarded that stupid
novelty condom, she realized it had broken. “The condom!” Kendra gasped, her
heart hammering again.
“Yeah, it didn’t stand a chance. You were a
Kendra popped off the sofa. “Where’s the
“Powder room is that way on the right, first
pocket door.” Dominic pointed beyond the workout area. “Full bathroom
the powder room, Kendra took too long cleaning up, but she needed the time to
gather her composure.
Her skin was
flushed from their vigorous workout. She adjusted her bra, shirt, and skirt.
Nothing she could do about her bare bottom. She did a quick calculation of the
days she had left until possible ovulation and her next period. Chances of
pregnancy? Who the heck knew? Her cycle wasn’t the most regular one.
Kendra found Dominic, still grinning, in the
kitchen. He stood at the sink with running water. He dried his wet hands on a
paper towel before cutting into a large loaf of crusty bread.
“Dominic, about what just happened—”
“I’m safe. I had a thorough annual physical,” he
said. “And I haven’t been with anyone but you since.”
“Same here,” she replied, relieved she could cross
“Besides, we weren’t exactly sticklers on the
issue when I dropped all those kisses below that cute, pierced belly button of
yours and buried my tongue deep inside of you.” He flicked the tip of it at her
and winked again.
“I’m not on the Pill and—”
“No worries, babe.” He placed thick bread slices
on a plate.
“No worries?” Her head snapped back. “STDs aren’t
the only concern.”
“You mean, if we’d actually made a new life you’d
be okay with that?”
“Yeah,” he said without hesitation.
Dominic’s blithe response about such a
life-altering situation alarmed her. No way was she ready to be a mom, but she
wasn’t ready to have that discussion right now. Time to dig for answers about
Four Simple Wishes.
How had it ended up
in his hands?
“Hey, check them out.” He pointed to a pair of his
sweatpants and an unopened package of his boxers on a stool. “To combat the
breeze you must be feeling right about now.”
After removing her skirt and boots, Kendra put on
a pair of the boxers, knotting them at the waist band so they’d fit, and then
she pulled the oversized sweatpants over her hips. They drooped, but tightening
the drawstring anchored them to her waist.
“Smells delicious,” she said of the oregano and
garlic in the air. His kitchen, a sizable, uncluttered space, had what appeared
to be bamboo flooring and walnut cabinets. Sleek leather-topped stools
surrounded a butcher block island.
“We’ll start with a nice tomato and mozzarella
salad,” he faked a flamboyant Italian accent, “followed by an exquisite
ravi-lasa-ghetti with a sublime beef and pork Bolognese sauce, and for the
finish we have superb Florentines with a touch of orange zest and almonds.” He
kissed his fingertips.
“A ravioli, lasagna, and spaghetti hybrid? An
Italian version of turducken? Turkey, duck, chicken. Sounds yummy. You went all
“You mean all carry-out. For the record, I burn
water. You cook?”
“Microwave popcorn, toast, and Rice Krispy
“Ah, all the fixings for a Charlie Brown
Kendra pointed to the gleaming set of copper pots
dangling from a rack overhead and the professional grade range with a griddle
and double oven. “What about those?”
“All for show.”
“Is that for show, too?” Kendra pointed toward the
counter where bottles of her favorite imperial stout sat.
“For you, my dear,” Dominic said.
Kendra moved closer to inspect them. “Hey, this is
the limited-edition release from my favorite local microbrewery! I thought I
had missed out this time around. I overslept and didn’t get a good spot in that
long line for it. Then they were all out. I figured I’d have to wait until next
year. How did you —?”
“I have my ways.”
“How thoughtful. Thank you!” Kendra touched the
bottles of the award-winning brew as if she couldn’t believe they were real.
“And they’re warm, somewhere between fifty-five to
“I usually drink straight from the bottle, but
these are also for you.” He produced two beer snifters, seemingly out of
nowhere like a magician’s trick, and filled them.
Eagerly, Kendra watched creamy heads rise on their
drinks. “Dude, have you noticed we do a whole helluva lot of eating and
drinking? I don’t weigh myself regularly, but I’d swear I’ve gained at least
ten pounds since we’ve been hanging out.”
“If you have gained weight it’s in all the right
places.” Dominic slapped her rear. “The booty is particularly working for me.”
will have to file its own 1099 come tax time if I’m not careful. My clothes
are getting too snug. Meanwhile, you’re looking as magnificently chiseled as
you did the day we met. You and your freaky metabolism. It’s not fair.”
Dominic passed a glass to her. “A toast to us. In
perfect sync. I’m not sure how to describe this connection we have—”
“Coincidence,” she said, accepting the snifter and
moving to perch on a stool at the island before their glasses could clink.
“No, I think there’s more to it. Do you believe in
soul mates?” He dropped the empty beer bottles into a stove-side recycling
swirled her glass and lifted it to her nose to inhale the beer’s rich, roasted
aroma with hints of caramel and smoke. “If you mean there’s only
person meant for each of us, as in
, I’m not so sure about that,”
she said, sounding eerily Vanessa-like. “I know it’s the idealism behind many
Instead of sipping
to savor the velvety texture, she took several thirsty gulps and then smacked
her lips, enjoying the slightly fruity finish.
“Not all romance novels. There are quite a few
with people given second or even third chances at love.”
second and third chances?”
snorted, her pissy mood regenerated by thoughts of the
Four Simple Wishes
bomb, the unintentional sex session, and
Vanessa’s latest blog post. “In
life, it’s more like the-
on and so on. We need different things from significant others at different
points in our lives. A first love, a puppy love, is perfect for us, exactly
what we need in middle school, but not when we’re, like say, thirty years old
or fifty years old. Needs change, people change, which is why I sometimes
wonder about those foolish enough to marry their high school sweethearts
without much relationship experience or adequate means for comparison. I mean,
what’s the rush? Why settle so soon?
And at some point they all must secretly wonder and lament,
She quaffed more beer, while he had yet
to taste his own.
“But that takes nothing away from the rightness of
that relationship that started in high school.”
“But wait, there are logistics to consider. What
if you lived in Iowa and the One,
, lived in Puma?” she added.
“A remote mountain village in Nepal. How does that
connection happen?” Kendra took another gulp of stout.
“So you don’t believe in serendipity? Or at the
very least the Internet? That somehow you and
would cross paths because it was fated?”
“No, I’m not saying that.” A cogent point
struggled to break through a dense beer haze.
“It’s not Nepal, but didn’t you mention your Uncle
Alex grew up in Tennessee and your aunt grew up in Queens? How did they meet?
And based on what you’ve said, those two had a long, happy marriage, and they
got together when they were fairly young.”
bottom line is this, I think a focus on pragmatism and less on some mystical or
fairy tale and happily-ever-after notions begets better odds. About half of
American adults marry at some point in their lives. All those people would not
hit the marital jackpot if there were only
meant-to-be mate, and they happened to find that particular needle in a
haystack. C’mon,” Kendra scoffed and drank some more.
“You’re not factoring in…” Dominic suddenly
motioned toward her glass. “Hey, you might want to slow down on that. It can
sneak up on you pretty quickly.”
Kendra ignored him and took more big gulps. “Stay
on topic. You were saying?”
“You’re not factoring in rate of error due to poor
judgment. Just because someone pops the question doesn’t automatically mean the
person they pop the question to is
, which could explain why half of those couples divorce. Question popper
and question pop-pee just
. And sometimes
people simply change.”
“Yeah, I just said that. That’s why it’s a bigger
gamble to marry too young.” Kendra polished off the rest of the snifter’s
contents and smacked her lips. “Hmmm. Hmmm. Man, that was so good.”
“Remind me not to challenge you to a drinking a
Kendra suddenly felt woozy, which made it
difficult to focus on her talking points. Perhaps she had drunk too quickly.
And on an empty stomach, too.
not-so-smart move when she needed to stay sharp to get to the bottom of what
had happened regarding
Four Simple Wishes
“But anyway, this is why the whole
notion is a matter of timing,
proximity, perception, and staunch commitment to making it work and sticking it
out, no matter what, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, whether
you’re both happy or not.
is simply about
demonstrating perseverance…tenacity in the face of the arbitrary. Nothing more.
It’s not cosmic or fated by the stars.”
“Damn. You sound so cynical, baby. Do you believe
in the institution of marriage?
“I’ve been engaged before,” Kendra blurted.
“Oh?” Dominic rocked back on his heels.
“Yes,” Kendra said as if daring him to judge her
as liquid courage coursed through her system. “Three times actually. Ha!”
“Really?” Now Dominic looked as if one of the
expensive copper pots suspended overhead had dislodged from its rack and conked
him on the head. “With the ring, the whole nine?”
“Whoa. When was the last—”
“Engagement? Earlier this year. Graham Kendricks.”
“Whoa. What happened?”
“Like the others, the relationship didn’t work
out. Things started out hot, hot, hot. Fast, fast, fast. Then flamed out.
Exploded. Supernova-like and all.”
“Obviously, because, you’re, um, not married,” he
said as if he wasn’t sure.
glared at him. “No, Dominic, for the record, I am
married to Graham Kendricks or anyone else for that matter.
Unmistakable relief swept across his
face. “What was the problem exactly? I mean, if you came close enough to get
engaged, you obviously believed—”
“When we reached a certain point, it didn’t feel
right.” Kendra gave him an abridged account of the flighty fiancée
syndrome that had her in its grip, but did not label it as such.
had to be ready to bolt right about… now.
“So this is why you were so resistant with me at
first?” he asked instead.
“Yes, I needed to put up some speed bumps, so to
speak. I felt, or rather, feel so drawn to you. And I obviously have a certain
preference that hasn’t been working for me, long term, I mean. At first, I
thought you were too similar to Graham and the others. And you and I had that
unsettling Bobbsey Twins thing going.”
“It was unfair to pre-judge you. Put you in a box.
You’re not Graham, Colin, Randall, or even me, for that matter.
You’re Dominic Joaquin Tobias.”
“Ah, so you know my middle name?”
“I might have meandered over to your blog and one
of those people-search sites before we officially met,” she said to study his
reaction. Her revelation had to be a major turn-off. “You know, those sites
that advertise ‘Get Joe Blow’s phone numbers, address, FICO score, dental
X-rays, and fourth-grade report card if you click here and pay thirty-five
dollars.’ Are you afraid?”