From “Three, After Midnight” by Alexa Day.
Halloween had begun three full minutes ago. And while Deirdre knew she should wake the man next to her so that she could get started, she hesitated.
This one was so different. It might not even work this time.
The others had reminded her of her husband, at least on the surface. Tall and lean, with softer voices and long, angular features. An engineer, an account manager, an executive trainer, all strictly white-collar types.
Not this one.
Tonight she shared her bed with a wrestling coach, whose muscular, winter-tanned body lay facedown on the pillows next to her. The broad back that rose and fell beneath her sheets had stretched a hunter green hoodie to its limits. His thick fingers had caught her eye as he fidgeted with the label on a bottle of PBR at her traditional Halloween dive bar. He taught French at Bowman High, called himself Trip, and had thighs that felt like iron beneath his worn jeans.
She’d put her hand on his leg after just two drinks and smiled when the muscle went taut beneath her palm. She’d surprised him. Her forwardness had shocked her, too; she typically needed another drink before making her move. But she didn’t have time to waste this year. Trip was different, and she’d need time to try again with someone else if it ended up being weird this time.
Weird for whom?
She could hardly argue that it would be strange for her, now that she’d enjoyed the wrestling coach so thoroughly. Her limbs ached as she rolled onto her side, away from the clock and toward his sleeping form. He’d fulfilled all the promises his body had made. An athlete’s stamina and the sort of physique that inspired fantasies and works of art. Still, he’d been gentle with her on the whole. He’d loved her like a stranger who hoped to see her again, or at least one who hoped to be remembered fondly in girls’ night gossip.
Trip was not so different from the others in practice, really, but in his potential. He definitely had the tools. Cam would happily supply everything else.
That’ll be a change for him, won’t it? She had to bite her lip to keep from giggling at the thought of her husband’s response.
Trip, for all his open-mindedness, would probably think it was weird, too.
He doesn’t get a vote.
She caressed his arm, her hand riding up over the warm contours of his biceps to the ridge of his shoulder blade. Her thumb teased his earlobe before she pushed all that sand-colored hair out of her way. When none of that woke him, she pressed her body along the length of his and touched her tongue to the baby-soft skin where his sideburn ended.
He came to life slowly. “Mmm. Hey.” Sleep had added a sandpaper edge to his deep voice.
“Happy Halloween,” she whispered.
He opened his slate gray eyes and offered her a devilish grin. “Happy Halloween to you, too.” He pushed himself up and over onto one elbow to face her. “Is this a trick or a treat?”
She wrapped one leg around the thigh that had tempted her earlier that evening. “What do you think?”