My One Week Husband by Lauren Blakely

“I’ll try.”

“Also, have you always believed in signs? That doesn’t seem like you, my analytical, number-crunching, strategy-loving friend.”

“I probably should have,” she says a little darkly.

I tilt my head, waiting for her to say more. I have a hunch what she’s referring to, but only a hunch. Neither of us like to trip back in time to the past—we both seem to vastly prefer the present—but every now and then, she lets slip a word or a phrase that makes me think history wasn’t any good to her.

“What about you? Do you believe in signs?” she asks.

There’s not much I believe in anymore except taking each day as it comes, because who the fuck knows what’s going to happen tomorrow? “No. Now, let me have maintenance deal with this and we’ll discuss it over breakfast.”

The footsteps grow louder.

She heaves a sigh. “I don’t know that I can fall back asleep.”

I gesture to my door. “Would you like to come in? Have a cup of tea? Some warm milk? A biscuit?”

“Go on your merry way,” she says, shooing me toward my room. “I’ll see you in the morning.”

“I’ll see you at breakfast, my lovely wife. Now go back to bed straightaway. I can’t have anyone else seeing my darling wife in a negligee.” I wink at her.

That draws a smile from her. “And you think I want everyone to check out my husband in his lounge pants?”

I give her a cheeky grin. “You love showing me off. Of course you do.”

“You’re incorrigible.”

“You mean incredible. My abs are incredible?” I ask innocently.

Twin spots of color flash across her cheeks as she grabs the doorknob. “Good night, Daniel.”

She steps inside and leaves me to deal with the maintenance crew.

But they’re excellent at their job, so they tell me they’ll take care of the mess in mere minutes. I toss on a shirt and jeans, then head downstairs to ensure there are no guests in other rooms near wayward chandeliers. Neither injuries nor the lawsuits that accompany them would be any fun.

Colin, the night manager, assures me he’ll move a couple on the third floor, and another on the fourth. Confident he has it handled, I return to my room and tug the door closed.

I draw a deep breath, ready to return to dreamland, which is not inhabited by unicorns, but rather by women.

Always by women.

Tonight, though, Scarlett has commandeered my thoughts. As I shed my jeans and toss my shirt onto the floor, visions of my sugar plum business partner dance in my head.

Dirty visions.

When I slide under the sheets, a picture flashes before me of Scarlett in her room, settling under her covers, that silky purple fabric rubbing against her body, the lace sliding over her breasts.

Maybe she plays with one of her breasts. Perhaps she pinches a nipple. Grazes her thumb along the soft flesh of those gorgeous globes.

Squeezes both of them.

And fuck, that’s an insanely sexy image.

Every rational, intelligent part of my brain tells me not to get off to thoughts of my business partner, my friend. Not to ponder what she must look like right now beneath the covers.

But all I can imagine is she’s trying to get comfortable enough to fall back asleep.

I doubt she can manage right away.

I bet she’s the type of woman who needs to unwind. Who needs a hand between her legs to slide into the land of nod. Who must let her fingers fly across her soft, slippery flesh. Then who lets out a shudder, a heated sigh as she comes. I groan at the thought of gorgeous, put-together Scarlett in her bed, spreading her legs, taking herself over the edge.

But I can’t think of her right now. I can’t, and I won’t.

So I squeeze my eyes shut, picturing unnamed women.

Seeing gorgeous female flesh.

Not her. Not her at all.

I swear I’m not thinking of Scarlett as I take my hard cock in my hand and slide my fist up and down my length.

Envisioning soft flesh. Inhaling perfume. Enjoying sexy, sensual, feminine scents.

Lavender and vanilla. Bodies and hips and tits and lushness.

I reach for the lotion on the nightstand to make this easier, to help this along. No need to fight it. Might as well make it go faster.

With a little assistance, I jerk quicker, harder.

Picturing women, women, women.

Beauty. Bodies.

Not her. Not her at all.

Pleasure barrels down my spine, an assault on my senses.