Read About Last Night... Online

Authors: Stephanie Bond

Tags: #Virginity, #Quarantine, #Contemporary, #Fiction, #Romance, #Betrothal, #General, #Mistaken Identity

About Last Night...

BOOK: About Last Night...
5.61Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Contents:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Epilogue

1

^ »

"
P
ineapple juice," Janine Murphy said, holding back her sister's light brown hair to scrutinize the two hickeys on her neck. Or

was it one? She blinked, trying to focus through the effects of a half bottle of wine on an empty stomach—the piece of her own

bachelorette party cake didn't really count. Two hours ago she'd eaten the exclamation points at the end of GOOD LUCK,

JANINE!! But after reflecting on her and Steve's relationship most of the evening, she was beginning to think question marks

would have been more appropriate.

"Drinking pineapple juice will make hickeys go away?" Marie met her gaze in the dresser mirror, her eyebrows high.

Janine nodded and the movement sent showers of sparks behind her eyes. She wet her lips and spoke carefully around her

thickened tongue. "The vitamin D helps the broken blood vessels heal."

Marie screwed up her face. "When you put it that way, it's kind of gross."

"Good," Janine said, letting Marie's hair fall back in place. "Because it
looks
kind of gross. You're not in high school

anymore. Besides, hickeys can be dangerous."

Her sister laughed. "What can I say? Greg's an animal."

Envy surged in Janine's chest. She'd been living vicariously through Marie's sensual escapades for years, listening to her

adventures in between offering homeopathic treatments for bladder infections from too much friction, skin rashes from flavored

body potions and strained muscles from unnatural positions. "Well, you better tell Greg to stay away from your jugular with

those Mick Jagger lips of his."

"Always the doctor," Marie said with a wry smile.

"Physican's ass…" She stopped and they giggled at her words. "Physician's assistant," she corrected primly, then fell back on

her bed where they were sitting amidst stacks of gifts. Marie fell back too, toppling boxes, and they broke into gales of

laughter.

Janine sighed and toyed with her empty wineglass. "Thanks for arranging the party, sis. It was fun."

"You're welcome," Marie said. "But don't lie. These kinds of things are always a roaring bore for the guest of honor."

She laughed—her older sister was nothing if not honest. Instead of basking in the glow of the spotlight, Janine had spent the

evening nursing a bottle of zinfandel, listening to a roomful of women talk about their fabulous sex lives. Someone had started a

round robin of, "What was your most memorable encounter?" and when her turn came, she'd recounted a fantasy as if it had

actually happened. She'd felt a little guilty about lying, but somehow, the middle of a raucous bachelorette party didn't strike

her as the best place to divulge the fact that she was a virgin. Not even Marie knew.

Janine sipped her wine and reflected on her chaste history. Her virginity certainly wasn't a source of personal

embarrassment. On the other hand, she didn't deserve to be pinned with the good-girl-of-the-year ribbon—given the right man

and the right circumstances, she imagined she would have indulged as enthusiastically as the next person. She'd simply …

never gotten around to having sex. In high school she'd been too shy to attract a boyfriend. In her ten grueling years of part-time

college and med school, she'd been too busy working and studying to be a social butterfly. And afterward … well, afterward,

she'd met Steve.

"I just wish you had let me hire some live entertainment," her sister said, breaking into her thoughts.

Janine flushed, relenting silently that her sense of modesty
was
perhaps above average. "You know that's not my style."

Marie scoffed. "After that story about doing it on a penthouse balcony?"

"Oh, that." Janine smiled sheepishly. "I, um, might have stretched the truth a tad."

"How much?"

"Like a piece of warm taffy."

Her sister laughed. "You have a great imagination—that part about you dropping a shoe really had me going."

The details were specific because she'd relived the hot summer-night scene in her head so many times. She suspected her

claustrophobia made her fantasize about open spaces, and she suspected her celibacy made her fantasize, period.

"And I thought your penis was pretty impressive," Marie continued, her lips pursed.

"Thanks," Janine said a bit wistfully. "I didn't think it was half-bad myself." Marie's brainchild of seeing who could sculpt

the best penis out of a Popsicle before it melted had been a big hit, especially after the wine had started flowing.

"I guess Steve was your inspiration."

Janine pushed her long hair behind her ears to avoid eye contact. "I got an A in anatomy."

Marie's eyes lit with curiosity. "Oh? Is the infamous plastic surgeon's operating equipment lacking?"

For all she knew, Steve's equipment could be as blue as her Popsicle prizewinner, but she decided to cover. "Marie, I'm not

going to discuss my future husband's physical assets."

Marie pouted, then assumed a dreamy look, already distracted. "Can you believe that in less than forty-eight hours you'll be a

married woman?"

She stared at the ring on her left hand, the cluster of huge diamonds perched atop a wide platinum band—a priceless

heirloom that once belonged to Steve's grandmother. "Yeah, married." She wished the lightheaded anticipation and breathless

impatience she'd read about in
Bride
magazine would sweep down and roll away the stone of anguish in her stomach. Wasn't

cold feet a malady for the groom?

Marie held up a troll doll wearing a bridal gown. "Ugh. Who gave you this?"

"Lisa. It's kind of scary, don't you think?"

"Well, she's still bitter over her divorce. She told me she ran her husband's Armani suits through the wood shredder and

mulched her azalea bushes. Cold, huh?"

"Brrr."

"Heeeey, what about this sexy little number?"

She had to hold her temple when she turned her head. Upon seeing the pink and black bustier and garter belt, she frowned.

"Sandy."

Marie pushed herself to her feet, holding the outfit in front of her curvaceous figure, and posed in the mirror. "Why the

attitude? I think it's hot."

Propping herself up on her elbow, Janine twirled a strand of honey-colored hair around her finger. Her split ends needed to

be trimmed before the rehearsal dinner tomorrow—how would she be able to fit in an appointment? "It might have something

to do with the fact that she assured me pink was Steve's favorite color on a woman."

Marie's mouth formed a silent O. "Well, she's his receptionist. She should know, I suppose."

"I
didn't know," Janine murmured, feeling ridiculously close to tears.

"Oh, come on. You don't think there's anything going on between Steve and that bimbo, do you?"

She shook her head. "Honestly, I don't think he has enough sex drive to have an affair." Her fingers flew to her mouth. Had

she actually said that?

Marie's eyes flew wide. "Oh? You should get drunk more often." She bounced on the corner of the bed, scattering more

boxes. "Do tell."

Janine hesitated, wondering how much of her musings could be attributed to last-minute jitters.

"Come on," Marie urged. "I gathered that you and Steve don't exactly set the sheets on fire, but I figured it wasn't all that

important to you."

"Should it be?"

"What?"

"Important to me. Sex, I mean."

Marie's eyes widened. "You're asking
me?"

She smirked. "Try to be objective, sis. Haven't you ever had a good relationship without great sex?"

"Let me think—no."

"You're a big help."

"Okay, I'm sorry." She crossed her arms and donned a serious expression. "What seems to be the problem? Foreplay?

Duration? Frequency?"

"Frequency would cover it, I think."

"Hey, lots of couples abstain for several weeks before the wedding to, you know—" she pedaled the air with her fists "—

shake things up a little."

"We've abstained for longer than a few weeks."

"How long?"

"A year."

Marie's eyes bulged and she guffawed. "No, really."

"Really."

"But you've only known the man for a year!"

"Precisely."

Her sister's head jutted forward. "You've
never
had sex with Steve?"

"Bingo."

"Unbelievable!" Jumping to her feet, Marie began pacing and waving her arms. "How come you never said anything?"

At the moment she was wishing she
still
hadn't said anything, and now she darn sure wasn't going to admit she was a virgin

on top of everything else. "I started to mention it several times, but I was just too … I don't know—embarrassed, I guess."

"So have you two ever talked about it?"

"I've brought up the subject lots of times, but he only said that he wanted to wait until we're married."

"Which explains why he proposed so quickly."

Janine frowned.

"And the fact that he loves you, of course," Marie added hastily. "Maybe you need to be more aggressive. You know, take the

bull by the horns, so to speak."

She reflected on the few awkward episodes when she'd tried to make her physical needs known to Steve.

"I've tried everything short of throwing myself at him."

"Hmm. Maybe he's truly trying to be chivalrous."

She pursed her lips and nodded. "And I'm glad he respects me. But it's more than not having sex. He gets angry when I bring

it up, and he shuts me out. Sometimes he doesn't call for days afterward."

Marie let out a low whistle. "Sounds like he might have some hang-ups. Maybe he's burnt out from fixing all those breasts

BOOK: About Last Night...
5.61Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Lancelot by Walker Percy
Stormed Fortress by Wurts, Janny
Just As I Thought by Grace Paley
Ticket Home by Serena Bell
Informed Consent by Saorise Roghan
Layin' the Law by Roxy Wood
Between Friends by Kitt, Sandra