Strong or not, I took a big gulp of my margarita, which blazed a nasty, fiery trail down my throat. My lungs spasmed in protest.
“You aren’t planning to do it again, are you?” I asked once I stopped coughing. She burst out laughing and shook her head.
“Of course not!” Kimber sputtered. “For one, I’m married. Remember? You were in the wedding, dumbass … But even if I wasn’t, he’s not a return-trip kind of guy. I mean, I’d have done him again, because he’s that good—trust me—but he’s definitely not the type to stick around. He’s f**ked half of Idaho. It was fun, but I don’t get off on being one of many.”
“Do we have to talk about this?” I asked, squirming.
“No, not really,” she said. “But I wanted you to know, just in case.”
“Just in case what?”
“Well, just in case I come over. It seems weird not to tell you, now that I know you have a thing for him. I didn’t know that when I f**ked him, though. I swear. I thought you hated him as much as you hate Zach.”
“I don’t have a thing for him,” I said quickly.
“Don’t bother denying it,” she replied lightly, giving a theatrical shudder. “I can see it in your face when you talk about him, and I get it. He’s one of those guys you just want to shove down and lick all over. Which I did, actually. He’s nasty in bed, too, never tried some of that shit before. Pierced dick. I shit you not.”
My eyes widened and I took another gulp of my drink.
“Are you kidding?” I asked. “Does that mean—wait, no. No. I don’t want to know.”
She burst out laughing.
“The answer to your unasked question is yes,” she said, leering comically. “But you need to stay away from him, babe. No kidding on that one.”
I rolled my eyes. I wanted to be annoyed with Kimber, but you just couldn’t. She was too sweet and crazy to get pissed at.
“I live with him,” I said dryly. “I can’t stay away.”
Her smile faded.
“I guess that’s my point,” she said thoughtfully. “But you can keep your distance in other ways. You need to build your own life and cut out any fantasies of messing around with him, because it won’t end well. If you guys fall into bed one night, you better be ready to wake up and clear out before the next chick shows up. And the next one and the next one and the one after that. That’s just how he is.”
“I know. Pisser, hmmm?”
“Well, it’s not like you have to give up on sex,” Kimber said. “Like I said, I’m stuck at home all the time anyway. Might as well watch Noah so you can go out and get some. You’re hot—guys’ll be crawling all over you. In fact, there’s someone I want you to meet.”
“I don’t do setups,” I told her.
“You will,” she replied knowingly. “Trust me, when you see his picture you’ll be all over him. His name is Josh, he works with Ryan, and he’s loaded.”
She turned on her phone, flipped around until she found what she wanted, then handed it over.
Damn. This guy really was hot, in a pretty, clean-cut lawyer kind of way.
“Okay,” I told her.
She burst out laughing and I chugged the rest of the margarita. Ava squawked over the baby monitor and Kimber groaned.
“Fuck my life …”
As Kimber went inside to check on her, I pulled off my sarong and slid down into the pool, considering Kimber’s cute friend. Unfortunately, when I tried to imagine him kissing me, I thought about sucking on Ruger’s lip ring instead. Then I thought about sucking on other things, which wasn’t productive at all.
What exactly did a pierced dick look like, anyway? And how would it feel inside?
Kimber finally got Ava settled and came back outside, jumping into the water with me.
“So, have you started job hunting yet?” she asked.
“Not yet,” I replied. “Ruger wants to see if there’s something I can do with the club. I’m on the fence about that. Not sure I want to get involved.”
“Well, if your goal is to make good money, the best place to work is The Line.”
“The strip club?” I asked, widening my eyes. Everyone knew about The Line, of course, but I’d never been there.
“Yup. Totally paid for my degree that way,” she replied, leaning back into the water to wet her hair. I gaped as she came back up.
“You worked at a strip club? Stripping? Seriously?”
“No, I worked there valet parking,” she replied, rolling her eyes. “Yes, I stripped. Made really good money, too. I only had to work two nights a week. It kicked ass.”
“But wasn’t that kind of … icky?” I asked, intrigued. She shrugged.
“Define ‘icky,’” she replied. “I mean, sometimes it was really fun. I liked dancing on the stage and all the flirting. The lap dances weren’t quite as much fun, especially if the guys were old or something. But they aren’t allowed to touch you. At least, not unless you go back into the VIP rooms. All kinds of things happen back there—but only stuff you decide to let happen. Nobody forces you to do anything.”
I turned this information over in my brain, stunned.
“So did you?” I asked, knowing it was rude but completely incapable of not asking.
“Go back in the VIP rooms?” I asked, unable to help myself. She giggled.
“Yeah, I did,” she replied. “You don’t have to, but that’s where you earn the most money. Security keeps a pretty close eye on things. It’s not dangerous or anything.”
I stared at her. She stared back, smirking.
“Wow,” I said finally. “I didn’t know that.”
“What? Are you going to get all judgy on me?” she asked. “Fuck that. I’m not ashamed. Ryan knows all about it, too. That’s where I met him.”
“And it didn’t bother him?” I asked, even more startled.
“It would be pretty damned hypocritical if it did,” she said, laughing. “First time he came in, he paid for me all night, and I gotta tell you, we had a damned fine time in that little room all by ourselves … I swear, I fell for him on the spot. He didn’t like the idea of sharing me with any other guys, so I quit the next day. I didn’t want to f**k things up between us, you know?”