Love doesn’t keep business hours.
Ronnie Kent has been an executive escort for a long time. She knows the lines, the moves, and she definitely knows better than to fall for a client. But when she’s hired for a night with the gorgeous, mysterious Diana Silver, her professionalism can’t hold a candle to the heat between them.
Diana Silver is already overworked and undervalued by her wealthy parents, and now they’re pressuring her to date a “suitable” colleague. Hiring an escort would never have occurred to her, but when her best friend treats her to a relaxing night with Ronnie, sparks fly.
Diana hires Ronnie again. And again. Soon, the women don’t have an arrangement so much as a full-blown affair. But money can’t buy everything, and Ronnie can’t risk blurring the lines between personal and professional, no matter the reward. It’ll take more than a healthy paycheck to turn their steamy nights into a life together—and if they try, it could cost them everything.
This title comes with no special warnings.
Caution: The following details may be considered spoilerish. Click on a label to reveal its content.
Heat Wave: 4 - On-screen and mildly explicit love scenes
Erotic Frequency: 4 - Fairly frequent
Orientation: bisexual / pansexual, lesbian
Tone: humorous, intense, realistic
Themes: angst, bullying, commitment, duty, family, financial gap / class disparity, fitting in, isolation, prostitution, self-confidence
Kinks: bondage, clothed sex, orgasm denial
Settings: America, Seattle, Washington (state)
Careers: assistant, consultant, escort, politician
Ronnie was standing in the produce section at Short’s Grocery when her phone buzzed. She pulled it from her bra and checked the screen: Night Life. Must be a job. “This is Ronnie.”
“Hey,” a familiar voice said.
“Hey, Stacy.” Ronnie palmed a cantaloupe and studied it. “You would not believe the melons I’m looking at right now.”
For the scheduling manager of an escort service, Stacy sure didn’t have much of a sense of humor.
“Wanna hear something weird?”
“Always,” Ronnie said, replacing the cantaloupe and wandering toward the fresh herbs. They never seemed to have good basil here, but it was worth a shot.
“Okay, so you know how, usually, whoever schedules the meet has to be there in person?”
Ronnie frowned at the herbs as a fine mist of water began to spray on them. No basil. Figures. “Yeah . . .?”
“Not so much with this job.”
“I know, but hear me out. One of our regulars called—the bouncy one you’ve heard some of the boys talk about? She called and asked for our hottest blonde.”
Ronnie laughed. “So of course you came to me.”
She chose to ignore the note of irony in Stacy’s voice.
“Anyway,” Stacy continued, “she’s got some friend who could apparently use your expertise. Karla talked to her personally, and I don’t know what went down, but they agreed on it.”
“Let me guess,” Ronnie said, leaning on the handle of her cart. “Karla’s getting extra money out of the deal.”
“Oh for sure. More than you, even.”
“That doesn’t seem fair.” It’d be great to know exactly how much she’d end up with, but Stacy couldn’t get into that over the phone. Company policy was a pain in the ass sometimes.
“Yeah, well. If you feel like getting gift wrapped for a stressed-out rich girl, come in and look over the paperwork. If you think it’s too sketch, you can always turn it down.”
That was true. Sure, she’d never turned down a job before, but it was an option. Although, if this paycheck was as flush as Stacy made it sound, she suspected Karla would strongly suggest she take it.
And anyway, a couple of things about it appealed to her.
It wasn’t just the money—that sure didn’t hurt, and being considered Night Life’s hottest blonde was a big plus too. But she also enjoyed being someone’s first escort. It made her feel memorable, and she did like being memorable.
She’d also never been with a client who hadn’t arranged the job themselves. The idea of being given to someone sent a pleasant shiver down her spine. “I’ll be in around four,” she decided. “See you then.”
She ended the call, and swung her cart around. No basil meant no homemade pesto tonight. Time to see how disappointing the premade options looked.
The offer wound up being way more than Ronnie had ever pulled for a single night, even after Karla’s considerable cut. Ronnie would never be able to live with herself if she said no: the pay was too good and the job too intriguing.
So, two nights later, she was standing outside the Hotel Öde, dressed to thrill and looking hot to death. Her short hair was artfully tousled and swept away from her angular face, and she’d paired smoky shadow with a nude lipstick to emphasize her eyes. She didn’t wear this suit often, but maybe she should—it hugged her long-limbed frame enticingly beneath her gray pea coat, the white shirt left open at the collar to expose her throat.
Worth every penny.
As she was pulling out her phone to check the time, she caught movement from the corner of her eye and glanced down the sidewalk to see a woman in a dark blue overcoat approaching her. Ronnie checked the clock on her lock screen. Right on time.
The next thing she knew, the woman was at her elbow, breath visible in the February air. “Are you Ronnie?”
Ronnie slipped her phone back into her coat and turned. Time to get to work.
Her interest was captured instantly. The woman was stunning, with dark brown hair that framed her open face and brushed past her collar in soft curls. She was watching Ronnie with clear blue eyes, her expression a frank mixture of curiosity and caution. Ronnie couldn’t remember ever finding a client so attractive.
But she’d been an escort for a long time. She knew better than to get flustered. So all she said was, “You must be Diana.”
That was the name Stacy had given her, at least. As a precaution, clients and escorts started out on a first-name basis, and they never saw each other’s legal names in print; contracts were kept completely separate from one another to preserve privacy on both ends of the exchange. Some escorts gave aliases—some clients did too—but others were honest. Ronnie wondered whether Diana’s friend had bothered.
With a tentative smile of recognition, Diana said, “I’m sorry about all this.” She had one hand in the pocket of her coat, the other clutching at the collar. “My friend Phoebe seemed to think I needed . . . Well, she said you’d been paid in advance and the room was already booked, and I’d hate for it all to go to waste.”
“Sure.” Ronnie nodded. Easy does it. She tilted her head toward the hotel’s door. “You wanna go in?”
Diana’s eyes flitted to the entrance, then back to Ronnie. She hesitated for a second, drawing a sharp breath before answering. “Yes.” Then she turned and strode inside, her kitten heels clicking against the pavement. Ronnie followed.
The Hotel Öde was thoroughly modern, with concrete floors, white walls, and recessed lighting. Ronnie had been here on jobs in the past, and the whole place always had a distinctly Scandinavian feel, like IKEA in a tuxedo. As they passed the tall waterfall in the center of the lobby, Diana pulled a slim clutch from her coat and turned to Ronnie.
“I’ll need to check in. Will you wait for me by the elevator?”
“I can do that.”
Diana looked her up and down, quick enough that it might have been accidental. Maybe. “Would you like something to drink?”
“I never say no to a sweet red wine,” Ronnie said with a grin. “But I’ll take anything you wanna give me.” She hadn’t meant for that last part to sound like an innuendo, but there it was.
One of Diana’s brows quirked, her eyes darkening. Then her lips parted, and for a hot second, Ronnie thought she might pick up the double entendre and run with it.
Instead, she closed her mouth and cast Ronnie a brief smile before clipping away.
Rats. Ronnie sighed and ambled toward the elevators. This is weird, she mused as she leaned against the brushed-silver doors, watching Diana chat with the front desk attendant. First-timers usually can’t wait to get their hands on me. I guess she did say she only showed up for her friend’s sake, but . . .
But nothing. There had definitely been heat in Diana’s gaze, both outside and just now before she walked off. She looked at Ronnie like she wanted to swallow her whole, but seemed to be holding herself back.
Which is a shame, Ronnie thought, her eyes roaming the other woman’s form. She wouldn’t mind seeing what happened if Diana cut loose.
Still, she was a professional, and Diana was the client. They’d do whatever Diana wanted to.
Even if that meant Ronnie had worn her favorite lingerie for nothing.
She realized then that Diana was walking back across the lobby, bottle of wine in hand, eyes trained on her face. There was something intimate about the way she pinned Ronnie with her gaze, like they were the only two people in the room. Warmth spread through Ronnie’s body, a tingle beginning at the tips of her fingers. She could have a pretty good time with just about anyone, but it had been a hot minute since she’d been this actively affected. She shouldered away from the wall, hands in her coat pockets, as Diana approached. “Going up?”
Diana brandished a white key card in response, expression a little exasperated. “Phoebe sprang for the top floor.”
In the elevator, she offered the wine to Ronnie. “Is this all right?”
Ronnie took it. She’d never had this kind before. “It’s great.” She glanced back up, ready to turn on one of her more winning smiles, but Diana was watching the elevator’s display as it counted floors. So Ronnie rolled the bottle between her hands, staring down at the label like she could actually read the Italian on it.
After a moment of silence, Diana said, “You know, I’m a bit surprised.” Ronnie frowned at her and Diana continued: “That you haven’t . . .” She seemed to search for the right word. “Pounced.”
Ronnie grinned. “This is your first time, yeah?”
“Yes. Well, with a . . .”
“Yes,” Diana said, softer this time.
Edging a touch closer to her, Ronnie said, “You’re the client. That means you’re in charge. We’ll move at your pace, and we won’t do anything you don’t want to.”
Diana’s eyes searched her face. “Phoebe did say we could just talk.”
Ronnie nodded. “Yep. We can.” She dropped her voice slightly. “But if you do want me to pounce, all you gotta do is say the word.”
Before Diana could respond, the elevator gave a low, soothing chime, and the doors slid open. They’d arrived at the thirtieth-floor penthouse.
As they stepped into the hallway, a loud jangle made Ronnie jump. Diana closed her eyes and sighed, then pulled a phone from her coat. She didn’t even look at the screen before saying, “I have to take this.” She passed the key card to Ronnie. “Leave the door on the latch for me?”
Ronnie nodded. As she unlocked the door and slipped inside, she heard Diana answer the phone. Her tone was surprisingly pleasant, considering the face she’d made when she got the call.
When Ronnie turned and got a good look at the penthouse, her eyebrows rose. No wonder she didn’t want this to go to waste. The suite was spacious and, like the lobby, artfully minimalistic. In the main room, sleek, low-profile furniture sat around a marble fireplace, where a low fire simmered invitingly. To Ronnie’s right was an open, brightly lit kitchen and, down the hall, a closed door. Bedroom. She felt a pleasant twinge of anticipation.
She sat the wine on the kitchen island, keeping one ear on the half conversation happening outside. “You know my schedule better than anyone,” Diana was saying. “First thing tomorrow.” Her tone was brisk, professional—whatever it was about must be pretty important.
So, Ronnie mused, she’s a busy lady who gets stressful phone calls. She peeled off her coat and draped it over the back of the long, black sofa. What does she need? More important, what does she want? Comfort. Relief. Me.
An idea began to percolate in the back of her mind.
Moving quickly and fluidly, she opened the wine and poured two glasses, taking both with her down the hall, through the bedroom, and into the en suite. A large soaker tub stood against one gray-tiled wall. Perfect.
Water spilled into the tub in a white rush, and Ronnie snatched a bag of bath salts from the shelves under the sink, dumping them into the foamy froth. Steam spiraled into the air, sweet and a little spicy, and Ronnie hoped it wouldn’t melt her makeup. She’d spent too much time on her face for it to get ruined so soon. She stripped, folding her clothes and laying them on the double vanity, along with one of the glasses.
When she stepped into the tub, the water was almost too warm, but not quite. Ronnie shut off the tap right before the fragrant foam reached the undersides of her breasts. There was enough room for Diana to get in, if she wanted, without the tub overflowing, and she’d get a tantalizing view if she didn’t. Placing her wine on the floor and leaning her head back, Ronnie sighed. This is why I’m the best.
Soon the tap of Diana’s heels sounded on the hardwood floor, slowing to a stop as she reached the bedroom. “Ronnie?”
Diana appeared in the doorway, eyebrows rising as she took in the scene. “I thought we were just going to talk.”
“We are. I’m just gonna talk from here.” Ronnie grinned and nodded toward the vanity, indicating the second wineglass.
Diana glanced at it. “Oh, no, I don’t drink.” She looked almost apologetic. “My m— Well. I don’t drink. Thank you, though.”
Why bother with wine, then? But Ronnie wasn’t about to pressure anyone, so she shrugged silently and reached for her own glass, taking a slow drink. It was delicious.
When she opened her eyes, she found Diana watching her the way she had in the lobby. Her attention seemed laser-focused, but her lips were slightly parted, gaze wandering ever so slightly below Ronnie’s neck.
“You can do more than look,” Ronnie offered quietly. Diana’s eyes snapped back to hers, and she added, “Plenty of room for two.”
Something in Diana’s expression changed, going hard and hot, like she’d come to a decision.
Sure enough: “All right.”
Ronnie sipped her wine and watched with interest as Diana stepped out of her shoes and unzipped her dress with measured care. Bit by bit, she revealed smooth, pale skin and matching underthings—dusty-pink silk, pretty but modest; after all, she probably hadn’t planned on anyone seeing them. When she bent to remove her briefs, Ronnie’s eye was drawn to the crease at the junction of her hip and thigh, and all she could think about was burying her face there.
Everything about this woman was eye candy, and Ronnie suddenly had one hell of a sweet tooth.
Funnily enough, Diana seemed less uncertain now that she was naked. She lowered herself into the bath easily, making the water lap against Ronnie’s breasts. She hadn’t clipped up her hair, and the tips were soon dark and slick, clinging enviably to her neck.
“So,” Ronnie said on a sigh once Diana had settled, “why’d your buddy think you needed me?”
Diana rolled her eyes and scoffed, but a smile danced at the corners of her mouth. “Phoebe is my best friend, and I love her very much, but we . . . often focus on different things.”
“And you focus on megahot blondes.”
Diana’s laugh rang off the walls, light and unguarded. “Oh, so does she, believe me.” She visibly relaxed, sinking further into the water and lifting an eyebrow as she considered Ronnie. “And brunets, and gingers. Her escapades just involve a very different type of blond.”
Watching her was distracting; Ronnie’s gaze followed the subtle movements of her throat, couldn’t help noticing the flash of pink tongue tip that darted across her lips to wet them. Diana’s calf was smooth against her ankle beneath the water. “And what, she figured you needed some escapades of your own?”
“Apparently.” Diana tucked a damp strand of hair behind one ear. “It’s been a while since I’ve slept with anyone, and she seems to think that needs to change.”
“And what do you think?”
“If I need an orgasm, I’m perfectly capable of giving myself one.”
Now that was an interesting mental image. Ronnie took another steadying sip of wine. For somebody who didn’t want to do more than talk, Diana sure had driven the conversation straight into Sexytown.
But maybe that hadn’t been her intention. In an effort to steer things back, Ronnie cleared her throat and tried to change the subject. “So, what do you do?”
One of Diana’s brows slowly lifted, something like a smirk unfurling across her face.
Ronnie realized how it sounded. “Oh, not . . .” She laughed. “Not for that. I mean, in general.” She gestured vaguely toward the living room and the hallway beyond. “For work.”
“I know what you meant.” Diana’s smile was wide and teasing, and the room suddenly seemed a few degrees warmer. “I’m an event planner for my parents’ law firm.” She paused and frowned. “Well, I was, anyway. I’ve been repurposed.”
A heavy sigh. “My mother’s decided to run for city council next term. She’ll hire an official campaign manager, but she wants me working alongside them.”
“Wow.” Ronnie swirled her glass idly. “That’ll be interesting.”
“Won’t it, though.”
“So I guess Phoebe had the right idea, booking me.” At Diana’s questioning look, Ronnie explained: “You’re a busy lady, and you’re about to get even busier. Sounds like it’d do you good to unwind a little.”
Diana’s expression, which had gone slightly flat, grew playful again. “Hence the bath?”
“Exactly.” Ronnie cocked both elbows up to rest them on the edge of the tub, knowing full well what the movement would do. Her body slid far enough for her toes to make contact with Diana’s thigh. “This is a purely therapeutic measure.”
Diana’s eyes narrowed and went back to wandering, an incredulous smile tugging at the corner of her lips. “Are . . . are you trying to seduce me?”
“Why, is it working?”
“You’ve already been paid. Why do you care what we do?”
“I don’t,” Ronnie lied. “I just wanna help you relax.”
They watched each other for another handful of heartbeats. Then Diana nodded and said again, “All right.”
More gracefully than Ronnie would have thought possible, Diana braced herself and shifted around before rising to her knees. Ronnie downed the rest of her wine in one swallow and set her glass aside, ready to follow her lead.
But Diana laid a hand on her shoulder, just firm enough to keep her in her place. Something below Ronnie’s waist gave a distinct throb, both at the authority of the gesture and the smoky look in Diana’s eyes as she placed her other hand on Ronnie’s knee. Then she eased it aside, prompting Ronnie’s legs to spread and her pulse to quicken. Diana turned and sank into the bath once more, settling between Ronnie’s legs, her back to Ronnie’s front. Ronnie felt every point of contact like a spark of electricity, amplified by anticipation and the heat of the water. It was nice and all, but she was also a little confused.
Diana gathered her hair into a twist, smoothing it down to one side. “I carry my tension in my shoulders.”
For a moment, Ronnie did nothing but stare, strangely mesmerized by a small, dark birthmark on the nape of Diana’s neck. A massage, she realized, probably a lot later than she should have. She wants me to give her a massage.
Well, it wasn’t the kinkiest thing she’d ever been asked to do. She laid her hands on Diana, thumbs slotted against her shoulder blades, and tried to ignore the twinge of disappointment at the edges of her mind.
At the first bit of pressure, Diana hummed in contentment, and Ronnie’s stomach clenched at the sound. She could feel the softness of Diana’s hips against her inner thighs, smell the last breaths of perfume that the steam hadn’t melted away.
“How long have you been an escort?”
It took a second for the question to make its way to Ronnie’s brain. “Uh, about six years now.”
“You must enjoy it.”
“Oh yeah.” Ronnie pressed a gentle knuckle into a knotted muscle. She wasn’t kidding about the tension. “The pay is good, flexible hours, keeps me just social enough. When I first got to the city, I went through a string of gross temp jobs, but I wasn’t really good at anything.”
She ran her thumbs along either side of Diana’s spine, eyes on that damn birthmark as she kept talking. “Then my boyfriend at the time got me into cam-girl stuff, and that’s how Karla found me.”
“My boss. She’s pretty okay. A stickler for the rules.” She considered, then chuckled. “Usually, anyway.”
Diana half turned, enough for Ronnie to see her brow knit. “What does that mean?”
Ronnie used the heel of her hand to rub slow circles into Diana’s spine and tried to focus on the conversation, rather than on Diana’s quiet sigh of pleasure. “Well technically, this kinda setup isn’t supposed to happen. One person making the call for somebody else, I mean. When people schedule a meet, it’s supposed to be for themselves only—that way they can sign the paperwork, get cleared, all that.”
“Medically. Y’know, make sure they’re not gonna pass anything on.” When Diana turned fully, looking horrified, Ronnie blinked. “What?”
“How can you be sure that I’m clear?” Ronnie narrowed her eyes, and Diana rolled hers. “I am, but that’s not the point. How could you know?”
Ronnie took her by the shoulders and turned her back around, smoothing her thumbs along either side of her neck, a little too softly to be anything but a caress. “Your buddy Phoebe is a frequent flyer,” she explained. “She vouched for you. Signed on all the dotted lines and everything.”
“So if anything were to happen . . .”
“It’d be her ass in court,” Ronnie finished, nodding.
After a beat, Diana said, “You’d still be sick.”
“Sure,” Ronnie conceded slowly. “But at least we’d get compensated.”
It occurred to her that she couldn’t quite remember what her contract said about what she’d be compensated with if that ever happened. She knew the agency would get paid for damages—she just didn’t know how much of it would go to her. She frowned to herself and made a mental note to check that out at some point.
A few silent moments passed. Diana’s neck and shoulders went slightly red under Ronnie’s hands, her posture loosening significantly. As Ronnie let up on the pressure, allowing her fingertips to wander at will, Diana spoke again. “Why would you take a job like this? Was the compensation that good?”
Ronnie ducked her head, trying to think of a way to tiptoe around financial specifics. “Well, it wasn’t only the money.”
Diana stayed quiet, obviously waiting for an explanation.
“I liked the idea of being a present,” Ronnie said. “Being the best we had to offer, being . . .” She remembered the dominant edge in Diana’s earlier expression and repressed a pleasant shiver. “I dunno, gift wrapped and given, I guess.”
Her words hung in the air, joining the steam from the bath.
Diana slid away then, and every part of Ronnie’s body that had been touching hers went cold. Diana didn’t turn and her voice was soft when she said, “Why don’t you get out and dry off?”
Shit.What happened? The night had seemed to be going pretty well. Had she put Diana off by talking too much shop? Way to go.
She rose carefully and stepped out onto the mat. She could feel Diana’s pretty blue eyes on her body, and as she grabbed a plush white towel from the vanity, goose bumps broke out across her skin. Probably just the cool air.
Two terrycloth robes hung from silver hooks on the wall. After Ronnie dried off, she shrugged into one and tied it closed. No reason to keep showing off, I guess. Water licked against the sides of the tub as Diana stood too, but Ronnie kept her gaze averted—the sight of that body would bum her out all over again.
Then Diana murmured, “Will you dry me?”
She was standing by the tub with her back turned, arms held to her chest to ward away the chill. Ronnie snatched up a second towel and snapped it open, pressing it to Diana’s skin and taking a moment to enjoy the return of their closeness from before. Maybe nothing went wrong after all, she thought, hope glimmering at the edges of her mind. She ran the towel across Diana’s shoulders before trailing it down the length of her spine.
She was on one knee, sliding the towel around Diana’s thigh, when a light touch grazed her hair and she glanced up.
Diana was gazing down at her, eyes dark and half-lidded. “I think . . .”
Ronnie stood, staying close but not quite making contact. Their next few silent breaths mingled. Then Ronnie whispered, “Anything you want.”
Diana’s breath hitched. “I think I want you to pounce.”
Ronnie didn’t need to be told twice.
She instantly dropped the towel and gripped Diana by the waist, dipping her head to nuzzle in the crook of her neck. When she gently sank her teeth into the delicate flesh there, Diana breathed, “Oh God,” before turning, twining her fingers in Ronnie’s hair, and yanking her up to kiss her with scorching intensity.
The next thing Ronnie knew, Diana was scrabbling at her belt, wrenching the robe open and sliding her arms around Ronnie’s waist. Her breasts and belly were still damp; she skated her teeth along Ronnie’s bottom lip, making her groan.
They stumbled out of the bathroom, Diana finally managing to jerk the robe off Ronnie’s shoulders and sling it behind them as they made their way to the bed. When Diana shoved her onto the duvet and straddled her, Ronnie’s last clear thought was Thank you, Phoebe.
Later, they lay on the rumpled bed, bodies cooling, breath slowing. Ronnie was on her back, hand cast over her forehead. Diana had curled up at her side, one arm draped across her hips. For a while, the room was silent except for the distant hiss of the fire in the living room.
Then Diana sighed and pushed herself up onto one elbow, dark hair spilling over her shoulder as she looked down at Ronnie. “Well—” she sighed “—nothing against your skills as a masseuse, but I think I prefer this for stress relief.” She smiled.
Ronnie’s ego felt swollen enough to pop. “You’re welcome.”
Diana arched a brow, eyes skating across Ronnie’s bare body. “All that and modesty too.” With that, she slid off the bed and ran her hands through her hair, heading to the bathroom.
It hit Ronnie then that the evening was drawing to a close. She sat up and stretched, frowning. Weirdly enough, she was in no hurry for that to happen. It was a completely new feeling and, if she was being honest, she wasn’t really sure where it was coming from. She had plenty of clients whose company she enjoyed, but she was never exactly disappointed when the job was over.
When Diana reappeared, fully dressed, Ronnie gave her what she hoped was a confident grin. “So, you had a good time?”
The first answer she got was a low, throaty chuckle that made her skin twitch pleasantly. “I did. Zip me?” Diana turned, and Ronnie leaped to her feet, stepping forward to do up the dress like some sort of naked valet. “Phoebe may be a bit too absorbed in my personal life,” Diana added as Ronnie smoothed the fabric across her shoulders, “but I’ll have to remember to thank her.” She looked back at Ronnie, crystalline eyes flicking once more over her from top to bottom. “I’ll leave you to it.”
Ronnie was an old hand at getting dressed in a hurry. She was tying up her shoes in no time, turning the night over in her mind. She’d done a good job, earned every bit of her paycheck.
And she was glad Diana had had fun. She had too. Which wasn’t as important, but still. Pretty nice.
In the living room, she found Diana was standing at the door, wrapped in her coat, tapping out a text message. When Ronnie entered, Diana smoothly locked the screen and smiled up at her. “Well. Thank you again for a lovely evening.”
“No problem.” Ronnie grabbed her own coat, draping it over one arm as she considered Diana. It wasn’t exactly standard procedure to ask, but it wasn’t against the rules, either. So she hedged, “Think you’ll give Night Life a call yourself, one of these days?”
Diana quirked an eyebrow. “We’ll see.”
Ronnie grinned as another unfamiliar—but not unwelcome—feeling flooded her body at the possibility. I sure hope so.
It’s Not Nice
The morning after her bizarre, delightful rendezvous, Diana was getting ready to meet her mother—and her mother’s new campaign manager—for lunch. Her mother hadn’t revealed who she’d gotten for the job, but during her call that morning, she’d hovered somewhere between smug and cagey. She’d also told Diana to “dress nice,” which was unpleasantly vague.
So Diana had spent the last half hour going through her closet, recalling comments each outfit had garnered in the past. A pair of tailored trousers had gotten, “I’ve never seen that style on legs like yours, how creative.” For a top with a lower neckline: “That would be darling with a camisole under it.” A blousy sundress: “That looks comfortable,” the adjective laden with subtext.
She was running out of things to wear.
As she considered a dress that her mother would almost certainly deride as too casual, her phone jangled. Glad for an excuse to step away for a moment, Diana sighed and went to her nightstand. The phone’s screen read PHOEBE!!! followed by three sparkling heart emojis.
Phoebe had personalized her contact information the first chance she got.
Diana could practically hear the interrobang. “Well what?” she said, drifting back toward the closet.
“You know what.” Phoebe huffed. “What happened?”
A few choice happenings replayed in Diana’s mind and her face warmed. “We talked,” she said slowly, pushing a few outfits aside. They were fine, but her mother would almost certainly deride them as too casual. “She was nice.”
Phoebe’s voice jumped a half octave. “Nice? She wasn’t supposed to be nice, she was supposed to be sexy!”
“Oh, she was sexy too,” Diana assured her. “She was . . .” She settled on a pantsuit in deep Prussian blue while trying to think of a suitable intensifier. “Very sexy.”
An aggravated sigh hissed down the line. “So why was there no sex?”
Diana hesitated for only a moment, but it was enough.
Phoebe gasped. “There was! Oh, Dee, I’m so proud of you, how was it?”
Or, check your local library.