Chella plays the game of Taking Turns with three men as she comes to terms with her sexuality.
I’ve never been afraid of the dark...but that doesn’t mean I wanted to live in it. And maybe everyone wants what they can’t have, but I should’ve thought it over before I accepted the key and unlocked the door to their forbidden world.
Number One is mostly silent. He watches me with them very carefully. His gaze never wanders. His interest never wanes.
Number Two is mostly gentle. But it’s the other side of him I like best. The wild side.
Number Three is mostly reserved. He refuses to cross the line. Even when I beg.
It was carnal, it was sensual, and it was erotic. That’s it. That’s all it was supposed to be. A trip into the dark. A peek into the forbidden.
I just didn’t expect to like them.
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JA Huss is the author of the Amazon bestselling Rook and Ronin series, the epic science fiction I Am Just Junco series, and hundreds of kid-friendly science books in subjects such as biology, physics, anatomy and physiology, astronomy, and forensics. She has an undergraduate degree in equine science and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology. She has never taken a creative writing class and she hopes she never will.
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“OK. That’s fine. I accept that. All we need to know is if she’s all right. That’s it. Was she stressed out?”
Marcella thinks about this for a moment and then says, “Yes. I’d call her stressed out.”
“Do you think she was afraid?”
More thoughtful consideration from Marcella. “I don’t know if I’d call it afraid. But she was crying when we talked that afternoon.”
“Do you know why?”
Marcella shakes her head no.
“No idea at all? I mean, come on, Marcella. We love her, OK? Not equally and not all in the same way. But we love her. We need to know if she needs our help.”
“She did not confide in me, Mr. Bricman—”
“Bric,” I say. “Just call me Bric.”
Marcella sighs. “I don’t have the answer you need. I promise, I’d tell you if I thought she was in trouble and needed help. I think she has something going on. For sure. But I got the feeling she was handling it.”
I nod my head and take a seat on one of the bar stools. “And you? You came upstairs…”
“I don’t want to talk about it. It was obviously a mistake.”
“Maybe,” I say. “Maybe not.”
“Your friend is weird, Bric. I’m not getting involved with him.”
“Then why did you let Quin fuck you?”
She blows out a long breath of air.
“I’m not trying to be mean, Marcella. I’m trying to understand. And I’m trying to figure out if you’re interested.”
“Interested?” She laughs. “In that sex game you were playing with Rochelle?”
“If you knew about it—and you clearly did—and you didn’t want to partake—again, you clearly did—then why let Quin fuck you?”
Marcella leans her hip into the granite counter next to the stove and folds her arms across her chest. “What do you want me to say? I was horny? It sounded dirty and I wanted to get in on it?”
“That would be a good start.”
She grunts in denial.
“We’re interested, Marcella. That’s why I’m here. We are interested.”
“You need a replacement before the weekend?”
“I have never seen Rochelle on the weekends. I have Wednesdays and Thursdays.”
“Oh.” She laughs. “My mistake. You need a fuck buddy before tomorrow?”
“Can you just be serious for a minute?”
“Sure,” she says. “Sure. Let’s be serious about what you’re offering me. You and your friends want to own me. Share me. Fuck me senseless, any way you want. Let’s get serious about this.”
“You don’t have to be condescending.” I shrug. “Some people like the dark side of sex. And let’s get real as long as we’re getting serious. You like the dark side, Marcella.” I get up and walk around the island so I’m standing in front of her. “You like the forbidden world we live in. Because if you didn’t, you’d never have agreed to whatever plan Rochelle sold you. So why don’t you just shut the fuck up with your holy self-righteous attitude and listen to my offer.”
“You have some nerve coming here—”
I grab her face with one hand, my thumb pressing into her jaw and my forefinger wrapping under her chin. “Shut. The fuck. Up.”
She breathes hard and heavy, but she doesn’t do anything but obey.
“That’s better,” I say, letting go of her face. “I’m going to pick you up on Friday and we’re going on a date.”
“I’m working Friday,” she says. Her voice is smaller now. Slightly—not all the way, but slightly—submissive.
“I know.” I’m trying my best to be patient with her. “The gallery. We know Matisse. We’re all going to that opening. So I’m going to pick you up at five-thirty and you and I are going to go together.”
“You and I?” she asks.
“Quin and Smith will be there, but you are my date. Understand?”
She says nothing, so I wait her out. When the seconds continue to tick off with no answer from her, I explain it another way. “It’s a job interview, Marcella.”
“A job?” She pulls away from me, her upper body leaning back against the granite countertop. “A job with lots of benefits.”
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