“Please, let’s don’t get ugly,” she’d said.
“Give me my ring!” He’d bruised her finger when he’d tried to pull it off. “Even though you chased me for a whole damn year, you probably did me a helluva favor.”
“I chased you? I gave you my card at a party because I wanted to work for your father’s firm.”
“Just my luck! He hired you! You may be a good lawyer, but you’re one lousy lay.” He shoved his chair back and slammed out of the door of their favorite sushi restaurant, leaving her alone with a huge wooden serving dish filled with eels and shrimp and caviar, zero appetite, and the bill.
A lousy lay? Okay, so, yes, she had faked an orgasm or two. But only to make him happy.
What if a talented gigolo was able to teach a motivated student a few naughty tricks and make her sexier in bed?
Susana, her flaky, younger sister had tried to console her. “You’re going after the wrong type. I never liked Bobby anyway. Who wouldn’t have to fake orgasms with a man who never thought about anything but billable hours? Just a word though, maybe you should try being more intuitive. And maybe you shouldn’t boss guys around so much.”
Susana, a housewife, who’d stolen Joe, the one man Regina had loved, had had the gall to give her advice. How had Susana, a college dropout, become the successful sister?
Hello! Susana had given their folks three darling grandchildren.
“I’m not that bossy.”
“Well, don’t let your boyfriends see all those lists you make.”
“I just like to get things done,” Regina grumbled aloud to the voices in her head as she crumpled another napkin and wiped the condensation rings on her table.
She was sitting as far as she possibly could from the sexual professional, if that was indeed what he was. Too aware of his satiny black hair and flirty eyes, she tidied up her table, slipping a fresh napkin under her wineglass. Still, just knowing he was over there, alone now, had her pulse beating like a war drum.
Most of her girlfriends had shocked her by sleeping with strangers at least once, and then describing their sexual misadventures in vivid detail over long lunches. But that lifestyle hadn’t been for Regina. She’d always known she’d wanted to love and marry a respectable professional man, and she’d accepted dates only from men who met her criteria. She had a long list of criteria.
But the instant she’d seen this stranger, who should be unappealing to her, her world had shifted. It was as if the real Regina had gone into hibernation, as if Austin were a remote planet on the other side of a galaxy far, far away.
Intuitive. Dangerous word.
If ever a man was the antithesis of the ambitious, Type-A individuals the real Regina always chased, this G-word guy was it.
Obviously, Adonis was all looks and no substance. Still, his broad-shouldered body seemed made of sculpted teak, with muscles that rivaled Michelangelo’s David. What well-educated girl didn’t appreciate a masterpiece? But could he read without moving his beautiful, carved lips?
Like all Italians, he wore clothes that fit perfectly. Hello! Why didn’t she care whether or not he had a brain? A soul?
She was too entranced by the shallow stuff to dwell on deeper matters. His white shirt was open to his waist, revealing a lean, washboard abdomen. Some fierce mating instinct made her want to tear off his shirt and his ripped, faded jeans, to lick his warm, sun-caressed skin and have him do the same to her. Yes!
Despite the balmy July sea air, she thought of him naked. The idea of tasting him had her so hot she lifted her icy glass of chardonnay to her lips. Rethinking the more-alcohol move, she brought the cool glass to her warm cheek and then placed it against her forehead.
Would his babies be as gorgeous as he was?
Babies? The thought broadsided her. For a long moment she stared into her wineglass. Suddenly, dazzling golden images of a beautiful little boy and a darling little girl materialized, both with thick heads of shiny, black-satin hair, splashing in a backyard pool.
She swirled the wine in her glass so violently a few drops splashed her wrist. When he smiled, she blushed again.
A baby. His baby? No way!
What about E-321, which she’d learned about thanks to her friend Lucy? The sperm from a donor whose profile was so perfect Regina had bought the last eight vials of it from the sperm bank?
Hello, is the real Regina alive and well? The Regina who knows one doesn’t buy sperm and then sleep around?
Okay, so she hadn’t shown up on the day of her appointment for insemination.
But after Bobby, she had had a life-changing epiphany.
Baby first. Finding Mr. Right, second.
Time was running out for her to meet Mr. Right, date him, plan a wedding and get pregnant—in the proper order.