Exclusive Excerpt from Pros & Cons of Desire
by A.E. Wasp
“You know we don’t have to meet in places like this. I’m willing to spring for some better accommodations,” I said stripping the nylon spread off the bed. Grimacing at the stiff, greasy feel of it between my fingers, I tossed into onto the faded linoleum.
“I like this,” Ridge said. “It’s perfect.”
Late afternoon sun filtered through the dirty mini-blinds, painting stripes of light across the dull beige paint and highlighting the dust on the twenty-year-old television bolted to the wall. “Perfect for what?”
“Perfect for cheap, meaningless sex. And that’s all this is.”
I bit my tongue on the argument. We’d passed meaningless that last night on Isla Rosa. The lengths we went to in order to keep seeing each other, to keep it secret, and the way we deliberately avoided talking about what this was, proved that. But I knew pointing that out would only chase him away.
“Can’t we have expensive meaningless sex? I promise I’ve had meaningless sex in five-star resorts. I don’t need much. All I’m asking for is a place with nice sheets and room service. And a mattress that may have been cleaned sometime in the last twenty years.”
Ridge pushed me against the wall. “We could, Rich Boy, but this is my world and if you want me, you get my world with it.”
“Maybe we could chip in and meet in the middle. A nice Holiday Inn or something?” My apartment, I wanted to say but didn’t. My time with him was beginning to be punctuated by things I didn’t say and conversations we weren’t having.
He kissed the side of my neck, his lips warm and soft. We didn’t normally do this during the day. Dust motes danced in the light rimming the curtains. The room was dark and smelled of things I’d rather not think about.
Except for him. The sharp, sweet fake orange smell of his soap overlay the deeper musky scent of sweat and heat. I buried my nose in his hair, gripping his shoulders through the thin cotton of his t-shirt.
“Do you like it here?” I asked, curious.
“No, I don’t like it. But this is where we are.” He looked around the room as if seeing it for the first time. Maybe he was. When we were together, all of his attention was on me. That laser focus was incredibly arousing.
A frown line creased the skin between his brows when he turned back to me. He blinked it away, replacing it with a heavy-lidded smirk. “Maybe I like making a pretty rich boy beg for someone like me in this run-down pay-by-the-hour motel.”
“Wait, how did you…why did you call me a rich boy?” How did he know?
“Really? I could smell it on you. Literally smell it on you. Your fucking Ambre Topkapi cologne, which sounds like a Pokémon for chrissake. You have perfect teeth, perfect haircut. Manicure, pedicure. You’ve never missed a meal in your life. You don’t live anywhere in the real world. Do you even know any normal people?”
“Everybody I work with,” I said, offended. I was in the real damn world every day.
He grinned up at me through his thick sandy lashes, blue eyes sparkling even in the low light. “And are you friends with them? Do you go to their houses for barbeques and kids’ birthday parties?”
I wasn’t, and I didn’t. Not really. I’d tried to bond with the people I worked with, but Ridge was right, damn him. Money did put a barrier between us. Outside of how various sport teams were doing and which show they had watched on Netflix the night before, it felt like all the conversations broke down into the pressure of demands from wives and kids and the stress of not having enough money.
How could I relate to any of those things? I had taken to watching sports just to have something to contribute. I studied football statistics and trivia as if there was going to be a test.
“That’s what I thought,” Ridge said, sliding his hand down the back of my trousers and grabbing my ass. “It’s okay. I like you this way.” His grip turned into a caress as his fingers brushed across the silky lace, and he lost his train of thought. “And I like the way you spend your money. Are these the same ones? From the first night?”
“Yes,” I said leaning my shoulders back against the wall and grinning at it. “The purple and black lace La Perla.” I’d done my damnedest to salvage them because he loved them. They might not be the most expensive pair I owned, but they were certainly the most effective at getting him to fuck me through the mattress.