Duke's Redemption

Page 33

Before last night, I hadn’t had sex in I don’t know how long, and this morning, I’m giving my handyman head in the kitchen before he goes home to change clothes.
I’ve always considered myself a fairly sexual person. Even when I’m single, I enjoy making myself feel good. And when I’m with someone, I love making them feel good.
The problem is that most of the men I’ve been with haven’t always been too keen on returning the favor.
Until Duke.
It’s amazing what a man making a woman feel sexy can do for her self-esteem—and her sex drive.
As I take a shower and get dressed for the day, I hear a nagging voice in my head telling me that this whole thing is a bad idea. Duke is my handyman. I’m paying him to do work for me. From experience, I know that work life and personal life don’t always mix too well. Plus, it’s not like I will be in Texas permanently. I have a whole life back in Boston that I fully intend on getting back to once this project is done.
But there’s another voice in my head—an even louder one—that tells me to just let loose and have some fun because I know that when I get back to Boston, I’ll probably be lonelier than ever. I might as well enjoy this time while I can.
And Duke makes me feel things that I haven’t felt in way too long.
Just to name a few.
I don’t know that I’m ready to give that up.
After an hour of the ping-pong match inside my head between myvoice of reasonand myvoice of fun,Duke shows back up.
The smile he gives me makes me have no doubt as to which voice will win out. I decide that some fun is exactly what I need.
But as he and I agreed, work still needs to get done. So, he gets to work on doing some carpentry work outside while I head into my office and try to keep my head out of the clouds. Soon enough, I get lost in going through some illustrations for a children’s book we are looking to publish. Not only do I make sure all the pictures match up with the text, but I also make sure everything is kid friendly. Last thing my tiny company needs is a lawsuit for something being inappropriate.
I get lost in what I’m doing for a while until there’s a soft knock on the door.
“Yeah?” I call.
Duke pokes his head in. “Do you have a minute? I wanted to show you some samples for the kitchen when you have the time.”
“Oh, of course. I’m just finishing up here.”
He walks over to where I sit and looks out the window. I make some stupid comment about the weather, and he just sort of grunts.
As he’s walking away, he looks over my shoulder at the illustration on the screen. He points to one of the plants on the corner of the page.
“That flower looks like a penis.”
“What?” I ask, zooming in. Sure enough, theinnocentflower looks like a giant, curved piece of man meat. “Well, son of a bitch,” I mutter under my breath. “That’s not going to work.”
As I get up to follow Duke into the kitchen, I ask, “How the hell did you see that when you only looked at it for a second?”
He shrugs. “I’m a guy. Anything remotely sexual stands out. If it would have looked like a vagina, I probably would have seen it even sooner.”
That gets a giggle out of me. “I may have to have you check all the illustrations that come across my desk. We could give you an official title. Maybe penis peeper? Vagina voyeur? No, that one just makes you super creepy.”
“And penis peeper doesn’t?” He asks with a smile.
“We’ll workshop the name. But look, my budget is all tapped out for the work you’re doing on the house, so I’m going to have to pay you in sexual favors instead,” I tease.