“This one has ‘fem dom’ in it. What’s that?”
For the next ten minutes they scrolled through page after page of book covers in full HD color. Blush by Lauren Jameson. Anything He Wants by Sara Fawkes. A bunch of books by someone named Maya Banks. He suspected the book Burn had nothing to do with firefighting.
Surrender by Melody Anne. Bared to You by Sylvia Day. Release Me by Julie Kenner. They all had tasteful little objects on the covers, with pearls and cufflinks and shadowed faces, but as Mike opened one and randomly flipped through to what looked like a sex scene—
My, oh, my.
Laura had quite a little kink going on here.
In her mind.
Dylan’s pants tightened as his eyes skimmed over the words. Women in bondage. Long, drawn out scenes that went on page after page. Master/sub contracts. And then…
“Their Virgin Princess! That’s the book Josie was joking about at Jeddy’s,” Dylan pointed out. Mike had remained remarkably silent as they stood there, transfixed.
A few taps and they scanned the first few chapters. Three bodyguards for a princess in a land where three men and one woman was the norm.
“THREE?” Dylan grunted. “Do we need to make room for another razor in the house?” He snorted. “Then again, it’d be just another guy who won’t be getting any.”
“Shhhh,” Mike whispered, entranced. Dylan could see his eyes racing across the page, eating up the words. And those were some words. You name a descriptor for male and female genitalia, it was there. And the dom in the story was—whoa.
He made Dylan feel like a wuss.
Butt plugs. Three ex-military bodyguards. A plane crash in the desert—Josie wasn’t kidding! That meant she was reading these books, too. Were all women reading this stuff now that Fifty Shades of Grey and eReaders had unleashed something? This wasn’t his grandmother’s romance novel. Noni had always read bodice rippers, with covers that showed a gleaming man’s bare chest next to a damsel whose dress was pulled down around her shoulders, his mouth pressed to the woman’s neckline for a kiss.
“My stories,” she called them. Noni invested a lot of money in her stories. When she had died, they’d found more than four hundred paperbacks, mostly Harlequin books, stacked neatly in grocery bags in her guest room closet.
The local nursing home residents had been thrilled to get them.
Now Dylan wondered what the hell was between those covers. This was like crack for romance lovers.
And Mike was quickly becoming addicted as he gently pulled the eReader from Dylan’s hand and walked over to the couch, settling in for a good, long read.
Good and long being the operative adjectives.
Those three bodyguards knew how to please a woman.
For the next twenty minutes Dylan was transported somewhere else.
And so was his cock, which twitched and grew, straining against his jeans. While his hand, a bottle of Laura’s coconut-scented lotion, and YouPorn had held his needs at bay for a bit, he was desperate for the old sex life he, Laura and Mike had shared. Thoughts of Laura filled him, pumping through his mind as he imagined she was the princess in the book, being readied for her three (no, two…) men.
What—two wasn’t enough?
By the looks of it, Laura needed hundreds of men. Pages of long, drawn out temptation and longing, then fevered denial and brutal—yet passionate, and loving—bondage and domination greeted his eyes as he drank it in. Mike sat next to him, their bodies touching, breathing even and steady as they comfortably read through the next few chapters of the book, shifting occasionally in what Dylan imagined was arousal.
Or, more likely—envy.
The men in these imaginary worlds got everything they wanted. Sex. Love. The woman. A forever ending that he, Mike and Laura already had.
Minus the sex.
It wasn’t about the orgasm. Really—it wasn’t. What he missed most was the sound of her breath hitching in that oh-so-sexy way she had, the little give that told him she was getting ready for him. How her face flushed with need when she was aroused. The wetness of her walls as he slid one finger in her, his mouth eager to taste her juices.
Everything sensual and alive and skin was missing right now. Collapsing into the goodness and animal need of a world where the bedroom made everything else fade, where the three of them could just be raw nerves and want and naked lust was…gone.
As if it had never happened.
There was no lack of affection in their lives. Hugs and kisses and cuddles abounded. But when he or Mike tried to turn a peck on the lips with Laura into something deeper, she went shallow. Neither wanted to push because, well…they were respectful. Nice. Honorable.
Learning that it turned out she’d been filling her head with this every day, for hours and hours, made him re-evaluate the last few months. Not in the sense that he should ever violate her boundary—if Laura didn’t want sex, Laura shouldn’t have to have sex. Period. End of discussion. No meant no, always.
But what did all this BDSM reading mean?
“Where did we go wrong?” he asked Mike.
Mike shook his head slowly, not taking his eyes off the screen. Running one hand through his shaggy, blonde hair, he mumbled, “I don’t know, but damn, this writer can write.” A long, slow sigh poured out of him, his lips pursed, face deep in a frown. He looked like a Norse god troubled by thoughts of war.
“No shit. You as worked up as I am?”
Mike looked longingly down the hallway, toward their bedroom door where Laura now slept. “Yeah.”
Unable to stand it any more, Dylan stood and marched over to the kitchen, willing his erection to go down. Heel, boy, he ordered it. Reluctantly, it began to fade. Reading all that had triggered more in him than any porn ever could. The words elicited reactions and emotions far stronger than any image or video ever could.
Maybe that’s why romance novels were so popular. If that was why Noni read so many…
He shook his head like a dog trying to brush off a burr. Don’t think about Noni aroused. Gross.
The new espresso machine gave his hands something to do, scooping the coffee in, tamping the grounds, and then—yes! The familiar hiss of manna being brewed. Two little cups later, he brought Mike one and reclaimed his seat. Browsing through a new book, Mike took the cup in one big hand, his other cradling the eReader.
“I can’t believe this is what Laura’s reading!” Mike whispered.
“We need to do something about this,” Dylan insisted. “It’s obviously her fantasy.”