By: Candace Blevins

She unlocked both doors with the button and watched him fold himself in. Sliding into the driver’s seat, she plugged her phone into the sound system and hesitated as she tried to guess what kind of music he’d like. She chose her Bach playlist and he grinned when the notes began but didn’t comment, which was unexpected.

After a few moments of silence she said, “You had something you wanted to tell me?”

He nodded. “Yeah, but now I’m not sure it’s a good idea. I mean, I’ve never told anyone outside of a couple close friends. The gossip sites would pay handsomely for it, and if you don’t trust me enough to get into my car, should I give you information that could be extremely embarrassing, if it got out?”

“Why would you even think about telling me? You’re right, you don’t know me.” He raised his eyebrows and she said, “I realize I’m not helping my case, but why would you consider telling a stranger super-secret info? Are they right? Are you gay or something? Do I have some weird vibe so I turn you on when no other girl has? So, you like me but aren’t used to talking to women, but still know how to kiss?”

He grimaced. “Please, stop guessing.” He shook his head and gave her a roguish smile. “I’m not gay, okay? Not that there’d be anything wrong with it if I were, but I’m not. I’m attracted to women.”

“But you’ve never had a girlfriend. And you just blew me away with a kiss. How is this possible?”

He closed his eyes, inhaled slowly, and opened them to say. “Will you go out with me again? I’d like to get to know you better.”

Cara wanted to know if Travis could do more than kiss, and she wondered what other surprises he might have in store. The more she thought about it, she realized it wasn’t just the kiss but the way he’d taken away her options — holding her where he wanted her, and not merely kissing her but ravishing her mouth.

She focused on the steering wheel and ran through an inventory in her head; she’d shaved this morning, and her panties were pretty sexy, but she’d worn a functional white bra. Oh well, it couldn’t be helped now. She took a fortifying breath — not sure this was a good idea, but knowing for certain she didn’t want to sit through dinner with him to get another kiss. “I’m not opposed to sex on the first date but I’ve gotten hurt with guys I’ve just met, so if we’re going to, you’ll need to come back to my place.”

“Hurt? Physically? Were you injured?”

He sounded genuinely concerned, which threw her off balance, but she merely said, “It’s not important. The point is I’ve learned going to someone’s house when I don’t know them isn’t safe, okay?”

“You didn’t strike me as...”

He stopped mid-sentence and it was her turn to finish his thought. “A slut? A whore?” She turned to face him, her eyes blazing in self-defense. “You have no room to throw stones here, Travis.”

“No, that’s not it.” He shook his head, raising his hands in a show of contrition. “It was just...unexpected. I didn’t call you a slut, okay? You’re so shy; it threw me off guard.” He smiled, hesitant. “Your housemates’ll be okay with you bringing me home?”

Oh god, what if he wouldn’t leave? Most of the guys she took home were looking for their clothes thirty seconds after they got their rocks off, but she’d judged wrong a few times and had to boot the losers out the door with false threats of Papa Bear having their ass if he caught them there the next morning. She cut her eyes to him. “Just to be clear, it’s not an offer to spend the night. I’m inviting you over for sex.”

Damn, what the hell was she doing? Her friends had done a full intervention on her years ago when she’d been addicted to one-night stands — needing the adrenaline rush of sex with a stranger the same way drug addicts craved their next fix. She hadn’t stopped until she’d landed in the hospital with two broken ribs, a cracked cheekbone, a tear in her anus, and countless bruises. Everything had healed with no lasting effects but the experience convinced her to make better choices in how and where, although it hadn’t brought a total halt to her adventuring out to find people who’d take care of the itch.

She’d only brought a dozen or so strangers home in the two years she’d lived in her current house, mainly because she’d accumulated a few fuck buddies she could call on who fucked her like she needed — rough and without care. She was sore for days after a session with Junior — her arms bruised from his hands grabbing and holding her in place, her ass aching since his idea of preparation was a pre-lubed condom. She only needed to find strangers once every couple of months now, to get her fix.