Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Book promo! My Dream Man by Marie Solka

My Dream Man by Marie Solka


When Samantha, a home health nurse, has her first orgasm after waking from an erotic dream about Greg, a scientist and son of her newest patient, she’s both captivated and confused. 

Greg’s the opposite of her type, but Samantha feels compelled to get to know the eccentric workaholic, and she soon discovers it’s futile to fight chemistry. 

**CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+** 
My Dream Man is a steamy romance with tastefully written sex scenes intended for readers of new adult romance, contemporary romance, coming of age romance, and women's fiction. 


Chapter 1

After an exhausting day of visiting patients at their homes, I pulled into the driveway of my final appointment. The modest two-story was well-cared for. The lawn was recently cut and coordinating plants and flowers weaved around the house, giving it the charm of an English cottage.
I grabbed my bag, shuffled to the front porch and glanced at my notes. I’d already forgotten this new patient’s name. I was terrible with names, but once I got to know a patient I could look at their face and remember everything about them: their symptoms, diagnoses, medications.
I rang the buzzer and repeated the name as I waited. When the door opened, I was rendered speechless. The twenty-something man who answered was wearing a pink terry cloth robe over a crumpled white T-shirt and grey plaid pajama pants. He had pale skin with sandy blond hair and hazel eyes, which were striking.
My face flushed with embarrassment as I forgot the name and had to glance at my notes again. “I’m here to see…Michael Varo,” I eventually said.
The man looked confused. “Ah yes. The nurse. Come in,” he said, bowing as he stepped aside.
I held in a laugh, then walked past him and into the foyer. The place was immaculate. Then I noticed his feet were bare.
“Should I remove my shoes?” I asked.
He eyed them with a frown. “I think that would be wise.”
Okay. Guy’s kinda cute but he’s also a bit of a pretentious oddball.
I took off my shoes and followed him to the dining room, where an older man sat waiting.
“Hello there,” he said in a friendly tone. “You’re my nurse? Holy cow! When did they start hiring supermodels for home health care?” He turned his attention to the man in the robe. “Do you plan on introducing us or are you going to leave me hanging?”
I reached out to shake his hand. “I’m Samantha,” I said.
He shook it, then the younger man wordlessly walked away. “My son,” he said, shaking his head. “He has no manners. Lord knows I didn’t raise him to be like that.”
I smiled. “Well I’m not here to see him, am I?” I had learned it never hurt to use a bit of old fashioned charm. It helped put people at ease. No matter what the patient’s age, they were still like anxious children who were nervous about being prodded and poked, especially by a stranger.
Mr. Varo and I talked and filled out the initial paperwork.
“Call me Michael,” he said. “Mr. Varo makes me feel old.”
I reluctantly agreed. I would have preferred to call him Mr. Varo out of professional respect. Well, that, and respect for my elders, as his chart showed he was sixty, but I went with his suggestion instead.
As I took his blood pressure, his son passed through the room. He seemed to be lost in thought and since he wasn’t paying attention to me, I studied him secretly. He was slim, fit, but not skinny. And his facial features were soft, what some might call baby-faced. He didn’t look much older than me. Probably late twenties. 
While staring and trying to guess his age, he unexpectedly turned and made eye contact with me. I froze like a deer in headlights.
Mr. Varo began coughing, and I turned to him. “Are you okay Michael? Do you want some water?”
“I’m fine,” he assured me. “Just a tickle in my throat. Seasonal allergies.”
I returned my focus to my new patient. When I finished his blood pressure, I checked his pulse and notated his most recent glucose level in the computer. Then I pulled out some informational cards with sugar-free shopping tips and handed him one. “I’m giving you a little homework,” I said. “I know you know this, but it’s important to take diet seriously. Diabetes isn’t the kind of disease you want to toy with, you know? I made these cards myself, so if you don’t use them I’m going to be disappointed.” I made a faux sad face and it prompted a pleasant laugh.
“Well, I certainly don’t want to disappoint you,” he said.
“Now keep an eye on that foot. Make sure to trim the toenails and clean and dry the skin thoroughly before putting on socks. And if your allergies flare up, get Allegra D. You don’t need a prescription for that.”
“I will,” he said. Grinning, he added, “I don’t want to get too healthy though, because then you won’t have to come back next week.”
“Very funny,” I said, pointing a finger. “Until then, you take care. And lay off the sweets.”
I packed up my things and said goodbye, then showed myself to the door. As I reached for the handle I heard an “ahem” behind me.
I turned.
“Don’t forget to put your shoes back on before you leave,” Michael’s son said.
I glanced at my feet and felt like an idiot. At least my socks didn’t have holes. “Thanks,” I said.
He stood there with a smug look on his face and watched me put on my shoes. Then, as I opened the door and stepped outside, he said, “Are you going to check out the supermoon tonight? It’s supposed to be amazing. The celestial event of the season.”
I gazed at the sky, noting it had gotten dark since I’d arrived. “I’ll try,” I said, surprised, and a little unnerved by his sudden interest in making conversation. I fumbled for my keys. “Well, have a good evening.”
“Night-night,” he said while holding my gaze.
As I walked to my car I sensed he was still watching me. The man was strange. He never even told me his name.
My apartment wasn’t far from the last appointment, so I was home in minutes. I heated up leftovers and checked voicemail. My mom had called, reminding me to look into restaurant pricing for my younger sister’s high school graduation dinner.
Crap. I had totally spaced on that. I said I’d do it last week, but if I don’t write stuff down it slips my mind. Here I was only twenty-three-years old and couldn’t remember things. Probably a candidate for early Alzheimer’s.
I walked over to the kitchen counter and made a note for myself. “Check out restaurants.” Then I sat down to stare at the TV just long enough to realize how tired I was. Every muscle in my body ached for sleep and I was out right when my head hit the pillow.
Then I drifted into a dream about Mr. Varo’s son.
He had pressed me against the wall and was kissing me passionately, like I’d never been kissed before. First on the lips, then he made his way to my neck, setting my body ablaze. I panted and groped him with a ferocity that was alien to me. We began undressing each other like in the movies – tearing at each other’s clothes like animals in heat.
He removed my bra and cupped my breasts in his hands. He looked me in the eye and asked, “Have you been a good kitten today?”
I could barely breathe. “Uh huh.”
He began sucking my breast, and the sensation of his lips and tongue on such a sensitive spot made me tingly. That, combined with his amazing scent – a mixture of sweat and a hint of men’s cologne – made me lose my mind. I felt crazed. I wanted to devour him, so I dropped to my knees and took him in my mouth. 
Moments later I woke up, trembling from the ripples of ecstasy that shook me from my slumber.
I lay there, a paradox of nerves and satisfaction.
I knew immediately what I couldn’t have known until that moment. I had finally had my first orgasm.
It felt amazing. 
When I opened my eyes I was almost blinded. The moon – the supermoon – shined so bright through the window it bathed the exposed parts of my skin in its luminescent glow.
I admired my body in the moonlight, noticing how familiar yet foreign it was. Another paradox, but one that made me feel beautiful. I stretched and got up to use the restroom. I peed, washed my hands, and checked my reflection in the mirror. My cheeks were flushed and my skin looked radiant. I smiled, remembering what Mr. Varo’s son had said: “It’s the celestial event of the season.”
That it was. No argument there.
I sighed, then changed into fresh underwear. As I lay back in bed I tried to recall the intense feelings from the dream. I’d never been able to get excited before with my old boyfriend, who was a much more traditional hottie – the kind all women drool over. And we tried everything. In real life, while I was awake.
We weren’t even having sex in the dream. It was just foreplay.
Could women even orgasm in their sleep? Was it possible? It had to be possible, because it just happened to me.
Then I laughed to myself, thinking how hysterical it was: I had my first orgasm while dreaming of giving a blow job to a man that walks around his house in a pink robe!

Chapter 2

When I woke the next morning I felt great. I hopped in the shower with an extra spring in my step and turned on the hot water. As it beat against my skin flashes of the dream invaded my mind, sensuous images that shook me. I found myself aching for a guy I didn’t know in real life. A guy who wasn’t my type.
Brian, who I’d met in college, was pure eye candy. The cute jock everyone wanted to date. He was always so polished and perfect. All the girls wanted him, but he picked me.
I was never one to fuss with too much makeup or be overly obsessed with fashion, but I’d been told my long, strawberry blonde hair and green eyes were a stunning combination. I never had trouble getting asked on dates.
I broke up with Brian after one year. He was as nice a guy as he was good looking, but things just fizzled out. No chemistry. Afterward I focused on my studies, raising my GPA to a respectable 3.8.  I’d worked hard in high school too and graduated top in my class. Even took extra courses in summer that weren’t required. That had been my pattern, work hard and do my best to help people. That’s what I enjoyed most.
Now a part of me was awakened I hadn’t known existed. An animalistic side I didn’t recognize. I stepped out of the shower and stared at my naked reflection in the mirror. I noticed the soft curve of my hips, the fullness of my breasts. Then I forced myself to look into my own eyes, something I found difficult to do.
Who are you? I wondered.
The ringing of my cell phone interrupted this rare moment of contemplation. I walked to the bedroom and pulled it off the dresser and checked the screen. It was Mrs. Myszkowski, my first appointment. She’d gotten into the annoying habit of asking me to pick things up for her on my way over, like I was a delivery service. Diagnosed with emphysema, she had the nerve to ask me to buy her cigarettes. Of course I said no to her every request, but that didn’t stop her from asking. It was a little game we played. A power struggle she must have known I would never let her win.
I smirked. The lady was the picture of persistence. Age didn’t take that from her.
I arrived at her house and rang the doorbell. I knew there’d be a wait because she was in a wheelchair with an oxygen tank attached.
The door opened and she looked me over. “You come empty-handed?” she asked in her signature scratchy voice.
“Afraid so,” I shrugged. “I’m here to improve your health, not hamper it.”
Mrs. Myszkowski frowned. “You don’t know,” she complained.
I stepped in the foyer, grabbed hold of the wheelchair handles and slowly pushed her to our usual spot. Then I turned to face her. “I know what’s best for you,” I said.
“Ack,” she waved her hand in disgust.
“How about you let me take care of you,” I suggested in a soft voice, like I was speaking to a toddler. “Don’t fight me today.”
She glared at me.
“So how have you been feeling?” I asked.
I sighed, trying to hide my frustration, but failing. “Do you have any new symptoms I should be aware of?”
“Let’s see,” she said, raising her bony hand to her mouth, tapping her fingers against her lips. “I want to have a cigarette, but for some reason the people around me want to deprive me of the one thing I enjoy before I die. Does that count as a symptom?”
“No. It doesn’t.”
“Then I don’t have any new symptoms.”
I notated it in my computer. “Good to hear.” I held her gaze. “Now I know you don’t care for this, but I have to draw blood today.”
“Great! You’ve come to torture me too.”
“I promise to be gentle. I swear.”
“Fine. Let’s just get it over with then.”
I nodded, then reached into my bag and pulled out the tourniquet. After securing it on her upper arm and making sure it was snug, I wiped the bulging vein with an alcohol swab. Then I prepared the needle. After finding the best spot, I went to insert it into her vein, but something out of the corner of my eye distracted me.
A pair of pink slippers.
“Ouch!” she cried out.
I looked down in horror. I’d missed the vein.
“Oh my God! I’m so sorry,” I said while removing the needle. “Are you okay?”
“Of course I’m not okay. You just stuck me like a voodoo doll. How do you think I’m doing?”
Her face was a ball of wrinkled fury. I felt like an idiot. “I’m so sorry,” I said. “I’ve never had that happen before. May I try again?”
“Do I have a choice?” she asked bitterly, then shook her head in disgust.
I got the needle ready again and focused, letting nothing in my mind but the current task. When I had finished I said, “There. All done.”
“Thank God,” she groaned, gripping her arm. “You’d think for all you’ve put me through you’d at least give me a cigarette.”
She reminded me of a child trying to manipulate a parent. “You know I can’t do that Anna. It’s against the rules,” I smiled. She never asked me to call her by her first name, but I chose to anyway, in an attempt to make her listen.
I slipped the oximeter on her fingertip and took her pulse, then finished with her other weekly vitals and notated all the results. “That’s everything for this week,” I said. “Your oxygen tank is in good shape, but if you feel any shortness of breath, make sure to call the doctor.”
“Yeah. Yeah,” she said, shooing me.
After I left I swung by my little sister’s favorite restaurant to get package pricing for her graduation dinner, then called my mom.
“That sounds rather expensive,” she said. “Did you see if you could get better pricing?”
“I think it’s a fair price, considering what’s included.”
“So you didn’t try to negotiate…”
“It’s a package deal. Already discounted.”
“Still, it’s a lot of money.” My mom wasn’t upset. She just liked to process things out loud.
“It’s Tabby’s favorite restaurant,” I said. I knew that would seal the deal.
“Of course. Yes. Well, that sounds perfect then. Will you be bringing a date or should I put you down for just one?”
This was my mom’s way of telling me to get a new boyfriend already. My dream man popped into my mind, but I quickly dismissed the idea as crazy. “Just one,” I answered.
“Are you stopping by for dinner tonight?”
“Yep. I’m on my way.”
The first thing I saw when I walked into my mom’s house was my younger sister’s boyfriend Jack. I called him Jackass behind his back, because he seemed like a punk who’s going nowhere. What she saw in the pierced fool I’d never understand.
He nodded at me like he thought he was gangsta. “What’s up?”
“Not much,” I admitted, then passed him to see my sister.
“Mom told me we’re having the party at En Francais,” Tabby said.
“We are. My idea. Only graduate high school once, right?”
Tabby glowed. “True.”
I smiled back at her, while wondering if Jack would be able to find suitable clothing for the event. Maybe they’d break up first. That would be preferable. But then Tabby would be sad, and sad doesn’t go well with graduation celebrations. She can break up with him after. 
“Something’s different about you,” Tabby said, interrupting my mental banter. “What is it?”
I gave her a blank face. “Nothing that I can think of.”
“You sure?”
“Yeah. I’m sure,” I replied.
I got self-conscious all of a sudden, wondering if it had something to do with the fact that I finally had an orgasm. Maybe it made me look different. I had no clue. I just knew I was hungry and wanted to eat.
I caught a whiff of burgers on the grill and followed my nose. Tabby trailed me to the kitchen, thankfully dropping her line of questioning.
“Hey honey,” Mom said, giving me a hug. “Food’s almost ready. Tabby, will you set the table?” She nodded and grabbed the plates and a handful of chips, ever the multitasker.
I looked out at the patio. Jack was manning the grill next to my dad. They were actually having a conversation. A normal, human-to-human conversation.
I shook my head. My dad was usually such a good judge of character. I had no idea why he couldn’t see what a horrible boyfriend Jack was for Tabby.
My mom nudged me as she walked passed. “Don’t make it so obvious,” she said out of the side of her mouth.
I smiled at her, then headed to the kitchen table and pulled out a chair. Dad and Jack came in, and Jack plopped into a seat opposite me and winked at Tabby. I wanted to puke, but my interest quickly shifted to observing my parents. Dad used metal tongs to set a juicy burger onto each plate as Mom weaved in and out, placing an ice-cold glass of lemonade in front of each place setting. They were so in sync they didn’t even bump into each other, didn’t have to speak. They were like figure skaters, having mastered the moves of their relationship.
That’s what I wanted.

Chapter 3

Before my next visit to Mr. Varo’s house I spent double the amount of time getting ready so I would look my best. I felt like I was preparing for a date instead of going to work. I checked my reflection in the mirror and laughed. I was getting all dolled up for some weird guy I’d spent more time with in a dream than in real life.
I scheduled it as my first stop so I wouldn’t look haggard when I arrived like last time. On my way over I felt jittery, like I had drunk too much coffee. I tapped my finger repeatedly on the steering wheel all the way there.
I had made a point of buying new socks so I’d be able to take off my shoes and walk around with confidence. I also made a mental note to remember to put my shoes back on before leaving.
I rang the doorbell.
Mr. Varo answered. “Well look at you. You’re just getting prettier with each visit.”
I smiled and stepped inside. “Thank you Michael. How are you feeling today?”
“A little better. I just have to remember to take all my pills and eat right.”
I smiled, then offered an exaggerated scowl. “You know you should do as your doctor says, right? That means you can’t hide candy bars under your pillow for when no one’s looking.”
Mr. Varo feigned shock. “How did you know? Are you clairvoyant?”
I smiled. “I’m an RN. I’ve seen things. Patients and their secret stash.”
“No stash here,” he said. “My son wouldn’t let me have one anyway.”
I looked around the room, hoping to see his son appear on cue. Nothing. Not even a glimpse of his pink bathrobe flashing by. My heart sank.
“He takes good care of you,” I said.
“Well I’m not that old, so he doesn’t need to take care of me really, but he does help out a lot when he’s home. The boy’s a clean freak, which works out well. I like to cook and I don’t like cleaning up.”
The idea of them living together struck me as sweet. Or was it pathetic? Most young guys I knew moved out of the house as quickly as they could.
“So tell me about yourself,” I said. “Do you work from home or are you retired?”
“Retired,” he said. “Five years now.”
He took a seat and I set my bag down, pulled out the blood pressure monitor, and slid the cuff on his arm. “What did you do?”
“Furniture upholstery. I had my own shop. It was great for years, with lots of repeat clients and referrals, but I closed it and retired. People are different these days. They buy cheap furniture from discount stores and almost never bring old furniture in to be reupholstered. They just buy new cheap furniture to replace it.”
“I know what you mean. My parents have some old furniture around the house that could use some help,” I said. “But good luck getting my dad to spend a penny on it. He says the holes in the fabric give the chairs charm.” I typed the results of the blood pressure reading into the computer.
After I removed the cuff Mr. Varo had a sheepish look on his face. “I hate to say this in front of a lady, but would you excuse me for a few minutes? Nature calls. I might be gone for a little bit.”
“Understood,” I said. “I’ll be here when you’re finished.”
Once I heard Mr. Varo close the bathroom door, I was gripped by intense curiosity. Without thinking, I began walking down the hallway and noticed an empty bedroom. I crept inside.
The room was tidy. The bed was made and everything was in its place. Framed movie posters hung on the wall, old science fiction flicks like The Day the Earth Stood Still and Forbidden Planet. A tower of magnets arranged to look like a DNA strand was sitting atop a Spiderman comic, next to a physics book as thick as it was tall that seemed to be guarded by an army of Star Trek action figures.
I turned and saw a bookcase. The top shelf held a row of Wired magazine. The one below was filled with books. I read some of the titles. The Singularity is Near, Race Against The Machine, Physics of the Future.
I knew it was wrong to snoop. It was totally unprofessional, and was a habit that often got me in trouble as a kid. I began walking out of the room, but after a single step, I stopped. A pink terry cloth robe hung from a hook on the back of the bedroom door.
I was drawn to it. I couldn’t help myself.
I reached for the sleeve, then held the material to my nose and inhaled. The combination of sweat and men’s cologne sent a tsunami of desire through me. It was dizzying.
The sound of the bathroom door cracking open startled me, and I rushed to leave the room.
“You looking for another bathroom?” Mr. Varo asked.
My throat tightened. “Yeah,” I answered. “I…um…is there another one?”
“Yes. Past the kitchen. First door on your left.”
“Thanks,” I said, smiling. Then I turned and quickly headed in that direction.
Once inside I shut the door and leaned against it. I closed my eyes and tried to calm down. I had nearly gotten busted. It reminded me of the time my mom caught me digging through my aunt’s dresser drawer when I was nine. I wasn’t going to take anything. I was just curious. My aunt was such an interesting, colorful woman. 
I took a few deep breaths to relax, but I was still reeling from the scent on the robe. It smelled just like he did in the dream.
I checked my watch and realized I had to pull myself together. I had a schedule to keep. I used the restroom quickly and washed my hands, then I went back to finish the appointment with Mr. Varo.
“Looks like you’re gonna live,” I teased him afterward.
He laughed. “I like that prognosis. I’ll take it over the alternative anytime.”
I excused myself and practically ran to my car, then drove off to the next patient’s house. I caught every red light on the way there, and the rest of the day continued in a similar fashion. I even managed to spill ketchup on my top while eating a burger in the car between appointments. As I wiped at the stain with a napkin, I queued up my father’s favorite phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do,” in case any of my patients mentioned the ketchup in the middle of my “eat healthy” speech. Thankfully, no one said a thing.
By the end of the day I just wanted to go home and collapse. It had been a harrowing one. But then I remembered I had to hit the grocery store. As usual, I didn’t have the foresight to put a list together beforehand, so I had to wing it. I spent more time at the grocery store than anywhere else, always having to return for something I’d forgotten. I really should be better at making lists. 
I grabbed a cart and dashed forward. The cart thumped along like a car with a flat tire, squeaking at every turn. I considered replacing it with another one, but decided it didn’t really matter. It was victory enough just to pull a cart free from the corral without having to wrestle with it first. Besides, I just wanted to be done with the shopping and get back to my comfy couch. 
Ketchup stain notwithstanding, I did tend to watch what I ate at home. I figured if I expected others to strive for health I should be a good example. I didn’t want to be too much of a hypocrite like many of the doctors I knew.
In the produce section I gathered a myriad of veggies. Carrots, cherry tomatoes, fresh spinach, lettuce, mushrooms. All I needed was a cucumber.
I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked up, cucumber in hand, and found myself face to face with Mr. Varo’s son.
Suddenly flustered, I dropped the cucumber. It landed with a thunk on top the others and sent a row of them tumbling to the ground.
“Let me get that,” he offered, scooping them up and replacing them on the shelf.
Afterward he held one up. “Was this the one you selected?”
“That one’s fine,” I said, grabbing it from him and tossing it into my cart like it was a poisonous snake.
“One of those days, huh?” he asked, with a sweet smile.
“You could say that.”
“Is that blood on your shirt? What happened? Did someone die?”
I laughed nervously. “No,” I said. “I spilled ketchup on it. Like you said, one of those days.”
“Well I hope it gets better. Nice seeing you…”
“Samantha,” I offered.
“Greg,” he said.
He waved goodbye, and then I pushed my cart forward, thumping and squeaking my way to the register. I was certain everyone in the store was staring at me. Maybe they were. After all, I was beet red from embarrassment.
After a mostly-satisfying dinner, I crashed onto the couch and thought of him again. He looked different wearing khaki slacks and a plaid shirt. Less bizarre. He was more put together and professional. But those eyes. They seemed to burn into me, turning me on all over again.
I closed my eyes and smiled, realizing I officially had a dream man: a nerdy brainiac named Greg.

Chapter 4

I woke the next morning happy it was the weekend. My best friend, Valerie, our mutual friend Genevieve, and I were meeting for drinks. We made a point of trying to get together often, and we tried to mix it up so we did something different every time.
While taking care of mundane chores, I heard my doorbell ring.
I pressed the intercom button. “Who is it?”
“It’s Tabby. Buzz me in.”
I pressed the button and heard the main door open downstairs, followed by the loud clunks of her footsteps. Heavy footsteps meant bad news.
“What’s up?” I asked. “You look upset.”
She sank into the couch. “It’s Jack. We broke up.” Then she burst into tears.
More beautiful words had never been spoken. My heart rejoiced that Jackass was out of the picture. Then it sank a bit as I considered the scene before me. Jack might be a jerk, but for whatever reason, Tabby had still liked the guy.
I took a seat next to her. “Tell me what happened,” I said, using my best conciliatory tone.
“It’s kind of embarrassing,” she sniffed. She eyed me warily.
I could handle embarrassing. Heck, I could handle anything as long as Jack was history.
“You know you can tell me anything,” I said. “That’s what big sisters are for.”
She pulled her knees to her chest and shook her head in disgust. “He’s just so weird. I mean, he’s hot and all, but…”
Hot? I bit my lip.
Tabby didn’t elaborate further, so I gave her the “spill it already” face.
She sighed. “Okay. Here’s the deal. He kept pushing me for sex, and I wasn’t ready yet. I wanted to make sure the first time was special, you know?”
I nodded, glad my kid sister was sensible and had at least listened to some of my past advice.
“So I told him no, but he didn’t want to take no for an answer.”
I felt my blood begin to boil.
“So then he says maybe we should try anal sex instead. That way I’m not giving up my virginity but we can still fool around.”
I raised an eyebrow but remained calm. I wanted to strangle the manipulative piece of shit.
“I told him I had no interest in doing that, even though I know a bunch of other girls who do.”
“Yeah, really. They call it a loophole. No pun intended.”
I stifled an embarrassed laugh.
“But it’s just stupid. And gross.” She scrunched her tear-streaked face in disgust. “But Jack kept pushing the matter and I wouldn’t budge, so we broke up.” Her voice cracked at the end of the sentence.
“Maybe this is for the best,” I said, rubbing her shoulder. “You’ve got finals to focus on; you’re leaving for college soon. Maybe you two aren’t on the same page.”
A tear escaped and ran down her cheek. “That’s what Mom said.”
“You told her about—”
“No! I didn’t tell her that. I just said we broke up.”
I gave her a hug. “It’s going to be okay Tab. You’ll see.”
Mom had told me once that she’d hoped Tabby would outgrow Jack. She wasn’t Jack’s biggest fan, so I knew she must be pleased by the development, apart from the obvious pain it was causing Tabby.
“Why don’t you stay over tonight?” I suggested. “I can make your favorite soup, do your toenails. Tonight’s all about you.” I put on my best happy face, hoping it would be contagious.
She cracked a wan smile. “I would, but Mom and Dad offered to take me to dinner to cheer me up.”
“Well, if you want to come by tomorrow, let me know.”
“Thanks,” she said. “I’ll give you a call if I’m feeling up to it.”
Tabby and I chatted about school for a while, but that didn’t seem to brighten her spirits either. She left soon thereafter.
After eating a small meal I showered and got fixed up to meet my friends. On the way there I started to question the way I’d reacted to Tabby’s news. She needed compassion from me, not a secret celebration of the breakup.
I made eye contact with Valerie at the bar and my mood lifted. She was one of those bubbly people – the kind who brought the best out of everyone around her.
“Hey,” she said, and we hugged and faux kissed each other. Not because we were fake, but because we didn’t want to smudge our lipstick.
“Where’s Genevieve?” I asked.
“She couldn’t make it at the last minute. Cramps. I didn’t want to cancel though. I figured we could just hang out.” Val handed me the menu. “Check this out. They have a Lychee Martini. I’ve never heard of that before. That’s what I’m going to get.”
It sounded good. “Me too.”
The waiter stopped by and took our order, then quickly disappeared.
“So what’s new?”
“I got the promotion,” Val said. “I didn’t think I’d get it, because another co-worker had been there longer, but I guess I got lucky.”
“Congrats!” She’d worked hard and I was certain she’d get the position. When the waiter returned we officially clinked our glasses together.
“Wow. This is so good,” I said.
“Right?” she agreed. “Too bad Genevieve is missing this.”
“Damn cramps,” I said. Val started laughing and I couldn’t help but join her. Her laugh was a contagious high-pitched giggle that reminded me of Saturday morning cartoons.
Over the next half hour I sipped my concoction and listened to her divulge the details of her new gig. She always amazed me with how animated she got when she spoke. I wished I had her energy.
“So how about you Sam? Anything new?” she asked when she had finished.
I paused, unsure if I should tell her, but the booze gave me liquid courage. “I have some news, I guess.” I smiled, and my face felt warm as I thought of it. “Or maybe it was just a once in a lifetime phenomenon.”
Val raised her eyebrows, tapped the side of her glass. “Well?”
“You have to promise not to laugh,” I told her.
“I promise.”
Her eyes were glassy from the cocktails, so I couldn’t be sure she’d keep her word, but I figured it was too late to turn back now.
After taking another sip of my drink, I began. “Well I went to a new patient’s house recently, and his son answered the door.” Just thinking of him made me smile.
Val smiled too.
“And the guy’s dressed like a crazy person, wearing a pink terry cloth robe over wrinkled pajamas.”
“What?” she shrieked. “Get out.”
“Trust me. It gets better.”
“Do tell.”
“So he’s all unfriendly and standoffish. Doesn’t ask my name. Tells me to remove my shoes. Doesn’t introduce me to his dad. And then, when I’m about to leave, he starts making conversation. Out of the blue he asks me if I’m going to check out the supermoon. Says it’s the celestial event of the season.”
Val broke out laughing, and again I couldn’t help myself.
After a few minutes I wiped my tears away and cleared my throat. “Now here’s where the phenomenon part comes in.”
She stared at me, her eyes hopeful the next thing I said would prompt more giggles, even though she’d promised she wouldn’t laugh.
“I dreamt of him that night. A sexual dream. And…I came in my sleep.”
“Whaaaatttt?” she said. “No freaking way. That’s impossible.”
I nodded and began grinning like a fool.
“Are you sure Sam? I mean, how do you know?”
“Because it woke me out of my sleep. And it was the most amazing feeling, something I’d never experienced before.”
“You mean, you’ve never, not even with Brian?” she asked.
I shook my head no.
“And get this,” I added. “When I woke up the room was really bright, illuminated by…wait for it…the supermoon.”
Val howled with delight after hearing that tidbit. It was hard not to.
“You promised not to laugh,” I teased her.
“I can’t help it. It’s just too much.” She straightened her posture and made a serious face. “So how do you think you’ll react when you see this guy again?”
I thought about bumping into him at the supermarket, and how the cucumbers fell to the ground and how embarrassed I was, but I decided we’d had enough hilarity at my expense for one evening.
“I don’t know,” I said.
But I did know. I reacted the same way. I got turned on in his presence.

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