“It’s not too late to change your mind.”
Jimmy’s face did little to belie the apprehension in his voice. Not apprehension for the task, but rather a concern for his friend. It had been what? Six years now, they’d known each other? Who would have thought a casual encounter at a bookstore would eventually lead to tonight?
“I’m not going to change my mind.” Dana took another sip of wine and placed the stemware back onto the coffee table. “We’ve spent a lot of time planning this. And…I’ve earned it.”
“I don’t know, Dana. On one hand, I’m glad it’s me. I’m honored you would choose me.” He paused as if perplexed as to what to say next, and her gaze drifted to his Adam’s apple. “On the other hand…no matter what, I will look at you differently from now on. There’ll be no going back.
I’m just sayin’…”
Dana stood and walked over to him. As she sat, her robe threatened to open, but she clutched it closed. Jimmy had to have seen the gap displaying her cleavage, but he’d quickly cast his eyes downward before his gaze could linger.
She wanted to smile, but kept her face impassive. He was nervous enough already. Then again, so was she.
She took his hand. He kept his face downcast, and a blush colored his neck. This uncharacteristic shyness endeared him to her.
“It’s okay for you to look at me differently after this, Jimmy.” Dana mentally willed him to face her, to find her eyes with his—and for some reason, he complied. “Just always—please—be my friend.”
He exhaled. “You’re sure neither of us will want more after this?”
His hazel eyes captivated her. They always had. She loved the way his long brown lashes and dark brows accentuated them. Dana hardly recognized his crooked nose as being other than ordinary on most occasions. Tonight, though, she visually traced the place where it lost its straight line. She forced herself to recapture his eyes.
“Would that be so bad?” she inquired softly. Her heartbeat quickened. “For either of us?”
He started to speak. The melodic chime of the doorbell broke through before he had a chance to say more than her name. She waited for him to continue, but he only cocked his head toward the door.
“Show time.” He grinned.
She smiled in return and walked to the door. As she wrapped her hand around the doorknob, she called back to him. “Thank you, Jimmy. I love you, you know.”
His smile widened, and he blew her a kiss. “I love you, too. Let’s celebrate your anniversary.”
* * * * *
Jimmy walked from candle to candle and lit each one. They’d decided they wanted the long burning kind and had purchased a few scented ones weeks ago. Now, the calming scent of vanilla wafted through the air.
Collin moved about inside the bathroom, and the sound of running water filtered into the bedroom. Without seeing him, Dana knew he was lighting the candles in there, too.
The two men had planned the evening. Her instructions from them were simple: Enjoy it. So for now, she sat on the edge of the bed, running her fingers over the embroidery of her plush comforter.
When Collin stepped through the doorway, he was both shirtless and barefoot. His blond hair and narrow athletic body were in physical contrast to Jimmy, who was dark and built like a tank. Where Collin would forever be sought for his swimmer’s physique, Jimmy’s wall of solid muscle ensured he was the guy people avoided in a dark alley. Dana, however, had gravitated toward him immediately.
She knew she should be elated at having such fine examples of male perfection in her home. Instead, upon seeing Collin, a lightning?quick streak of panic filled her before she forced it back down.
Jimmy stepped behind her and settled his strong hand on her shoulder.
She closed her eyes.
“Ready?” he asked.
Dana opened her eyes, turned to him, and nodded. She took his outstretched hand and stood. Collin moved forward and stood close enough for her to see, even in the candlelit room, the concern on his face. At the sight of it, the last vestiges of her apprehension fled. For them both to be so concerned for her welfare, she must have chosen appropriately.
She pulled her hand from Jimmy’s and loosened the sash at her waist. With her shoulders held back and her chin high, she let the satin robe fall open and then slide to the floor. Immediately, the air?conditioned breeze cooled her naked flesh. Jimmy stared at her for a moment, his Adam’s apple bobbing in his throat. She looked toward an equally transfixed Collin, who could only gawk.
“Shall we get to work?” she asked when neither of them moved.
Jimmy was the first to react. He pulled his shirt over his head and pried off his pants in two swift motions. In less time than it took for her to say his name, he stood before her in just a pair of black boxer?briefs. Dana’s gaze raked the outline of his proud cock as it pressed against the cotton. A shiver crept down her spine, and she shook it loose with an audible exhale.
Collin did not remove his unbuttoned pants and simply held out his large, warm hand. Dana took it, walked closer to him, and allowed him to review her body as she passed by.
“Beautiful,” he murmured, following her in.
Jimmy trailed after them both and turned off the faucet in the tub. The crash of the water filling it trickled to a stop. It took a moment for Dana’s eyes to adjust to the altered lighting. The bedroom was dimly lit; in here, she could read a book.
“Ready?” Jimmy asked again. She knew what he meant. It was her final opportunity to say no. One last chance to change her mind.
For Dana, however, there was no turning back.
She reached for Jimmy’s hand and placed it on her breast. Then she put her head close to him, stood on tiptoe, and touched her mouth to his.
He seemed too stunned to react.
Dana grunted a rude noise and kneaded her hand over his, forcing him into motion. He dipped his tongue inside her parted lips, and she allowed him entrance. His hand continued to knead, without her encouragement now, and moved on to explore the contour of her hardening nipple.
She hadn’t forgotten that Collin’s hand was entwined in hers. Giving it a gentle squeeze, she placed it over her other breast. He needed no additional prompting and dropped his head low. His tongue barely touched her areola, his touch teasing and light. The hair of his goatee tickled her skin.