“It is a big deal,” he says, taking my hand and kissing my fingers. “But people also make it out to be more complicated than it already is. It doesn’t need to be so hard. People just like to create problems for themselves.”

I take my hand away and fold my arms. “Since when are you an expert in love all of a sudden?”

“Since I met Hunter,” he says.

And that’s when I know to shut up.

He shrugs. “I didn’t think it would happen like it did. I was prepared to love him the moment I heard about him, you know? Like I was ready for him. That’s why I wanted everything to do with his mother. I wanted everything to do with him. And when I got that call, as scary as it was to suddenly start being a father for the first time, I knew my heart was ready for it. It sounds cheesy as fuck but I don’t care. I’ve become a total fucking cheesy sweaty beast since I’ve come here and I’m embracing that too. It’s just…when you’re ready for love, everything in your life changes. Doors open. Opportunities happen. You meet new people…and you reconnect with old ones.”

I shake my head as I look him over. He’s one hundred percent sincere. I can see it, I can hear it. All my preconceived notions I still had about this big lug have dissipated just like that.

“You really are a changed man,” I muse.

He pulls me close to him, his hands going around my waist. “We all change when we’re ready for it. You’ve changed.”

I avert my eyes and look away. “I don’t know about that.”

“You have. You’ve changed from the woman I knew five years ago.”

I snort dryly. “Yeah. For the worse.”

“No, for the better. It took you a little while to find your footing but you’re there now. You’re no longer a girl with dreams. You’re a woman who turned those dreams into goals. And you’ve got it. At least, you’ve got one hunk of a man with a giant dick and, really, what more can you want than that.”

I grin at him, feeling saucy and sweet and a million emotions all at once.

“I really do love you,” I tell him, and just as those words leave my mouth, I realize he’s right.

I made it more difficult than it was.

I love him.

I love him.

He grabs my hand and places it on his erection. “How much do you love me?”

“Kessler,” I say, biting my lip as I start tugging at his collar. “You know we have a rule.”

“No falling in love with your boss? I’m afraid we both broke that one now.”

“The rule where we don’t fuck around in the office. Which means no acting like a couple and no fucking.”

“That’s a stupid rule,” he says with a devilish grin as he leans forward and sucks my lower lip in between his teeth. “And as the new boss, your first order of action should be to disavow it.”

My eyes close momentarily, my hand gripping his dick tighter.

I thought I wanted him badly before but now, after what he’s done for me, after I know I truly have his love, my desire is ten-fold.

I want him inside me knowing that I’m his and he’s mine and I’m safe.

I want him now.

“I won’t tell a soul,” he murmurs, kissing the corner of my mouth. I’m already getting breathless. “It might even help my year-end evaluation.”

“Does the sexy boss talk work in reverse?”

“Mmmm,” he says as he licks my earlobe, my weak spot. “It works for me. I can make it really work for you.” His hand reaches over my ass and tugs me into him while pulling up my skirt. “Fuck, you little tease. You’re not wearing underwear to work?”

I smile. “I forgot.”

“Bullshit.” He bites my lobe, tugging at it. “Bullshit.”

Okay, let’s throw that stupid rule out the window for today. It’s not like anyone is here in the office, at least they shouldn’t be.

“I can feel you giving in,” he says to me, nibbling down my neck and collarbone. “I kind of like it when you argue back.”

“Sorry,” I tell him. “I can’t be a cranky bitch all the time.”

“That’s too bad. I think we fight really well.”

“But I think we might make love even better.”

“We’ll see,” he says, stepping back from me. “Take off your clothes.”

I do as he says, taking off my blouse and bra and skirt, kicking off my heels.

“Get on the desk,” he says, undoing his shirt. Then he pauses, noticing all the shit scattered on my desk. So, I’m a bit cluttered. The whole clearing the desk to have sex scenario doesn’t always work.

“What is this?” he asks, picking up a large figurine of a fat hula dancer that’s meant to be for the dashboard of a truck. He peers at it closely. “Why does it say Bradah Ed on it?”

“Because it’s a guy,” I tell him, taking it from him.

“Does Bradah Ed know about it?”

“Bradah Ed gave it to me for Christmas,” I tell him, as Kessler takes it back.

A wicked gleam comes across his eyes as he holds it in his hands.

“What?” I ask warily.

He shrugs. “I don’t know, he’s so much larger than a normal hula dancer, maybe he could join in the fun.”

I shake my head in disbelief. “You’re wanting to put that thing up my ass, aren’t you?”


I take Bradah Ed from his hands and put it back on the desk. “Bradah Ed isn’t going anywhere near my asshole.”

“Okay,” he says with a grin, pulling me to him, running his hands down my naked back and giving my ass a squeeze. “As long as I’m allowed.”

“We’ll see,” I say, as I start to strip him of his clothes.

But it’s not long before my desk is cleared of all the clutter and I’m bent over it.

And it’s not long after that, when Kessler is sitting in the chair and I’m riding his cock.

And then I’m slammed against the wall as he fucks me upright, pounding me as my legs wrap around his waist, riding out orgasm after orgasm as the walls shake so hard, more paintings fall down. Bradah Ed falls off the edge of the desk. My world is just sweat and skin and moans and cries and pineapples.

Somehow we end up on the floor at the end of it, breathing hard in each other’s arms.

“Man, that was…” Kessler starts, but he’s interrupted by a timid knock at my door.

“Hey guys,” Teef’s voice comes through from the other side. Oh god, please let him not barge in this time. “Are you done with your, uh, fun times yet or are you starting up again? Because I’m doing my podcast from my office and my microphone is super sensitive. It’s picking up everything. I’m trying to keep it PG since it’s a baking podcast and all.”

Kessler and I stare at each other, wide-eyed.

“Uh, we’re done!” Kessler yells at him.

“Mahalo, brah,” Teef says.

Then we both burst out laughing.

“I can’t believe we ruined his podcast,” I say between giggles.

“I can’t believe his podcast is about baking,” Kessler says.

“You didn’t wonder why he always had a tin of cookies with him?”

“I just assumed he was always high.”

“You should try his cookies,” I tell him. “They’re amazing.”

“Mahalo Nova!” I hear Teef say from outside the door. Obviously he hasn’t moved an inch. “I like to have feedback on my creations.”

“Teef, are you still standing outside the door?” Kessler asks.


“Uh, yeah, sorry. I guess I should give you some privacy. A hoi hui.”

And then he’s gone.

Leaving Kessler and I in peace.

Still laughing our naked asses off on my office floor.

Chapter Eighteen


It’s just after dinner when the phone rings.

And not my cell phone.

The actual landline on the wall in the kitchen.

“Should I answer it?” Loan asks, even as she’s picking up the phone and going, “Hello? Hello?” She frowns at the phone and hangs it back up. “That’s strange, no one there. They hung up.”

Suddenly there’s a knock at the door.

“Who could that be?” I ask, getting up. I look over at Nova, who is sitting on the couch and watching Finding Nemo with Hunter. Her eyes widen. “Oh my god,” she says. “This happened in a book I read once. The guy would call the house and then hang up and then he’d rob them.”

“What book was that?”

“Claudia and the Phantom Phonecaller. But in the end they caught they robber and the guy calling her was just some dweeb who had a crush on her. You don’t have anyone who has a crush on you, do you Loan?”

“Hey, why did you ask Loan and not me?” I ask, going down the hall to the door.

Through the frosted glass I see a shadowy figure of a man but because it’s about seven at night, it probably doesn’t warrant me grabbing a hockey stick from the wall.

I open the door.

My jaw drops when I see who it is.

“Holy shit,” I say. “Mike, is that you?”

He nods. “It’s me, in the flesh.”

Somehow Mike Epson, the man whose house I live in, the man who gave me his job, who set me up with Loan, who made all of this happen, is standing right in front of me, looking like he never left at all.

I’m kind of speechless. “I didn’t expect to see you for a long time,” I tell him, blinking rapidly.

He gives me a bitter smile and picks up the two tattered duffel bags beside him. “I didn’t either. There’s been a change of plans.”

Uh oh.

This isn’t going to be good.

I open the door wider for him and follow him into the house.

His house.