Tuesday, September 26 2017 / 2:41 am
“You’re beautiful and sexy, and I can’t wait to get you home so that I can do dirty, filthy things to you,” Kirk says.
I choke on my wine as he speaks to me. I can barely breathe as I force the liquid down.
“You all right?” Kirk asks with a sexy grin on his face.
I nod and smile as my cheeks, I’m sure, blush the faintest shade of pink. It’s not like he said anything that dirty, not really. I just wasn’t expecting to hear anything of the sort from Kirk. He’s been nothing but a gentleman to me since we went on our first date almost two months ago. I was expecting romance. I was expecting him to be subtler. I was expecting that tonight would be the night when we finally slept together. I just didn’t expect this.
I take a deep breath and then take a bite of my lasagna in front of me. More to have something to occupy my mouth than because I’m actually still hungry.
“Ivy?” Kirk asks.
I look up from my food. “Huh?”
Kirk shakes his head and then takes my hand, stopping me from eating any more. “You didn’t hear a word I said, did you?”
If my cheeks weren’t red before, they are now. “I’m sorry. I’m just having trouble focusing, I guess.”
“Too busy thinking about all the things we are going to be doing tonight?” Kirk asks, raising a hopeful eyebrow.
I grin. “Exactly.”
Kirk rubs his thumb across my palm. I suck in a breath as I can feel the sensation all over my body.
Kirk is good with his hands. In the last two months, every time he has touched me, I have gotten similar feelings. The kind that makes me ache for him to touch me more. The kind that makes me want to see what dirty, filthy things he has up his sleeves. I have never been with a man who is this capable of turning me on by touching me in the most innocent of places.
Maybe it’s because he is a doctor, and that makes him so good at understanding my body.
“Want to get out of here, or do you want dessert?” Kirk asks.
I bite my lip as he traces the lines in my palm. Again, this time, I feel it all the way to my toes. It’s a hard decision because this restaurant has my favorite dessert ever—cannoli. But I also really want to see what his hands can do with my naked body.
It’s been far too long since I’ve felt a man’s hands on my body. Even longer since I’ve had sex. We should have done it weeks ago. It’s not that I’m a prude. Our schedules are the main culprit. Most of our dates end early due to one or the other being called back to work.
But, if I’m being honest with myself, that isn’t the only reason.
“Dessert to go?” I ask.
Kirk laughs. “Deal.” He flags down the waitress to get my cannoli to go, pays the bill, and then he grabs hold of my hand as he leads me out of the restaurant and into his car.
Kirk grabs hold of my hand again when we get into his car, and he sweetly kisses it as he pulls out of the parking garage and starts heading toward his place.
I smile at his sweet kisses. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe he is still a gentleman and going to be romantic. At least until he gets me back to his place.
We drive for about five minutes when Kirk says, “Shit.”
He lets go of my hand, and I look away to hide my disappointment. I didn’t hear his cell phone ring, and it’s not his day on call, so he can’t be getting called back into work. So, whatever it is, it can’t be that bad.
“What?” I ask as I rest my hand, palm up, on the armrest, hoping that he will get the hint that I want him to hold my hand again.
He doesn’t. Instead, he is staring down at the steering wheel, like he wants to rip it off.
“We don’t have enough gas to make it home. We are going to have to stop for gas,” he says, frowning.
I laugh. “I think we can make it five more minutes.”
He glares at me. “I’ve waited two months. I don’t want to wait five more minutes. I’m amazed that I haven’t pulled over at the nearest hotel between here and my place and fucked you there.” He runs his hand through his hair, not the least bit embarrassed by how badly he wants me.
I unbuckle my seat belt, and Kirk raises an eyebrow. Honestly, I’m surprising myself by being this bold. But I’m tired of being alone. Kirk is hot. He’s good to me. He’s a doctor. He’s got his life together.
What more could I want in a man?
I can’t fuck this up, like I do with every other relationship.
I scoot up in my seat and kiss Kirk on his smooth neck. He must have just shaved before our date.
“Pull over and get gas, and I’ll make the drive back to your place fly by. You can drive while I do this, right?” I grab hold of his cock that is straining against his jeans.
He lets out a gasp. “You are a dirty girl.”
I smirk. “You haven’t seen dirty yet,” I say. Then, I immediately regret it. Why did I say that? I’m the opposite of a dirty girl. Or at least, I’m not anymore. I’m completely out of practice. I don’t know how to talk dirty anymore.
I shake it off. He won’t care as long as he gets sex.
Kirk abruptly turns the car, and we fly into the gas station parking lot, coming to an even more abrupt stop. I grab hold of Kirk’s arm to keep from flying into the dashboard.
Kirk grabs the nape of my neck and kisses me hard and fast. So fast that my eyes don’t even have time to shut. I barely register the kiss, and then it’s over.
“I’ll be right back,” he says.
He turns off the ignition and jumps out of the car to pump the gas. I can’t take my eyes off of him as he does so. I expect that, as soon as he starts pumping gas, he’ll be right back in the car to kiss me while we wait. Instead, he throws his hands up as I think I hear a curse escape his lips even though all the doors are closed. He points to a sign on the gas pump and then starts walking inside.
I squint to read the sign. It says the credit card reader is broken and to go inside to pay. I sigh. The world really isn’t on our side today. But, unlike Kirk, I have a little more patience.
So what if we have to wait another five minutes? Either way, I’ll still get to fuck him tonight.
I jump as a buzzing sounds in the cup holder next to me. I stare down and realize that Kirk left his phone in the car. I pick it up and stare at the caller ID. It’s from the hospital. I frown. The world really isn’t on our side.
I answer it in case it’s an emergency that the hospital needs Kirk to come back into work for.
“Hello, Kirk?” the chipper voice on the other end of the line asks.
“No, this is Ivy. Kirk just ran inside to pay for gas. He’ll be back in just a second, or I can pass along a message to him.”
“Oh. I don’t mean to bother him. I just had a break and thought I’d check in to see if we were still on for tomorrow night. Tell him to text me or leave a message here when he gets a chance.”
“And who is calling?”
“Oh, sorry. Excuse my manners. This is Jodi.”
I take a deep breath. I want to yell at her. I want to tell this woman that Kirk is mine and to back off. I want to ask a million questions about how long they have been seeing each other. How serious are they? Does she know that he’s dating another woman?
I don’t do any of those things though. Instead, I say, “I’ll tell him.” Then, I end the call.
I feel my heart racing in my chest.
He’s seeing other people. And who knows how many? And he has the balls to complain about not having sex with me when he’s been having sex with who knows how many other women.
I exhale deeply.
I can’t be mad at him. We never said we were exclusive. We never said we couldn’t date other people. I just thought it was implied. But I guess, in today’s world, nothing is implied. People can date whomever they want.
I just haven’t been dating other people. I’ve only been dating him. If I had known that this was what we were doing, I would have been dating other people as well.
Who am I kidding?
I wouldn’t have dated other people. I’m barely able to manage dating Kirk as it is.
I see Kirk walking back to the car. I realize I’m still grasping the phone, and I put it back into the cup holder.
Why did I have to answer the phone? Why couldn’t I have just let it go to voice mail? Then, I could have been blissfully ignorant to the fact that he’s fucking other women.
Kirk walks closer to me as I try to regain my composure.
It doesn’t matter that he is dating other people, I tell myself.
We aren’t that serious yet anyway. After we fuck tonight and I show him the best time of his life, we can start talking about being exclusive.
I nod, reassuring myself. That’s the plan. Pretend like the phone call didn’t even happen. Maybe I’ll mention it tomorrow, just to be nice. But, by then, he won’t even be able to remember Jodi’s name. I’ll be the only thing on his mind.
He opens the door to the car, and before he can even sit down fully, I attack him with my lips. I kiss his neck. I kiss his lips. I kiss anything and everything that I can get my lips on. My hand caresses his cock that is growing hard beneath his pants.
I don’t let him speak.
I don’t let him breathe.
I just attack every part of his body, letting him know how much I want him.
“Ivy,” he moans as I kiss his neck again.
I move back to his lips. I don’t want him to be able to speak. I just want him thinking about me. I grab hold of his cock a little harder than I intended to, and Kirk lets out another moan.
He must like it rough. So, I continue massaging his cock as hard as my fingers and the denim will let me.
Kirk grabs hold of me and pushes me away.
I open my eyes, confused as to what’s going on, and that’s when I see the pained expression on his face.
“I like it rough, Ivy, but you are taking rough to a whole new level that I’m not ready for,” Kirk says.
“Sorry,” I mumble, trying to catch my breath from all the kissing I was doing.
“Don’t stop. Just gentler.”
I nod. I can do gentler. I start kissing his neck again, but I immediately feel the urge to be rough. It’s been ages since I’ve been rough, so I’m not sure what has come over me. But I force myself to go slower, be gentle, as Kirk drives toward his home.
We finally reach Kirk’s house. I stop kissing him long enough to see where he lives. It’s a large home. Fit for a family of four, not a bachelor. I’ve never been to his home before. He said he lived in a house, but this is not what I was expecting. I know he has money. But this is ridiculous for just one person to live in. He doesn’t even own any pets. He can’t occupy more than a couple of rooms.
Unless he throws large parties here with naked women who he fucks in all the different rooms of his house. Maybe he has a different room for each woman he is dating, so he can keep us all straight.
Kirk grabs my neck to kiss me again before we go into his house, but as soon as his lips touch mine, my stomach feels sick. His touch that I welcomed and was dying to feel more of now makes me feel disgusted.
I don’t want him to kiss me.
I don’t want him to touch me.
I don’t want anything to do with him.
I push him away. “I can’t.”
He cocks his head to one side, and his eyes narrow as he looks at me. “You can’t?”
“I can’t sleep with you.”
He blinks several times and then rubs the back of his neck. “Okay. I guess we can keep moving slow. But can you tell me when you think you might be ready? Because we have been on almost a dozen dates. I’m not trying to pressure you, but I just thought we both wanted this.”
I frown. I hate how nice he is being to me. But that is how men are. They are nice to me until they get what they want, and then they destroy me. At least, that has been my experience so far. They lie. They cheat. They hurt.
I should just swear them all off. Live alone with my houseful of pets for the rest of my life. Turn into the crazy cat lady. If the last few years have taught me anything, they have taught me that.
So, no matter how nice Kirk is to me right now, I’m not going to let it affect me.
“Jodi called while you were paying for gas,” I say.
He frowns. “Okay. Thanks for the message. I’ll call her back tomorrow.” He narrows his eyes as he stares at me. That’s all he says.
I shake my head. “I can’t believe you. I know that we’ve never talked about us being exclusive, but I can’t be with someone who dates other people. I can’t handle it. I want the person I’m with to want only me.”
I jump out of the car and start walking away from his house. I know I can’t walk back to my house. It’s more than a half-hour drive from here. Who knows how long of a walk it is from here? But I can’t stay here.
So, I walk down the long, winding driveway. I’ll worry about getting an Uber or something when I get away from the house. Right now, I want to get away from the pig that I thought was a gentleman. That I thought could be my boyfriend. Maybe even my husband.
“Ivy!” Kirk yells after me.
But it doesn’t make me stop. I can’t move that fast between the heels and the tight dress that I’m not used to wearing. I’m much more comfortable in scrubs and tennis shoes. I know he’ll catch up to me soon if he wants to talk to me. But I’m through with him. My heart is already closed off. I don’t give anyone a second chance. Not when I’ve been hurt like I have in the past. Once I’m through, I’m through.
Kirk can plead and ask for forgiveness all he wants. It won’t work with me.
“Ivy,” he says again, grabbing hold of my arm before I even make it all the way down his driveway.
I stop, but I don’t look at him. I’m not sure I can look into his eyes again. I know he wasn’t cheating, but that’s what it feels like to me.
“What the hell just happened back there?” Kirk asks, his voice loud. He’s not technically yelling, but it’s clear he isn’t happy.
I fold my arms across my chest and look at him. “You don’t get to be mad at me. I’m the one mad at you.”
He shakes his head from side to side. “What fucking reason can you give for being mad at me? I haven’t done anything wrong.”
Anger flares inside me. “You haven’t done anything wrong! Are you fucking kidding me? Maybe not technically. You technically didn’t cheat. I just thought I meant more to you. I thought you would want to be exclusive with me.” I catch my breath. “You know what? Never mind. I don’t want to talk about this anymore. I’m done. Have fun with Jodi tomorrow night.”
I start walking down the driveway as I hear him say, “What are you talking about? You’re crazy! I’m not dating anyone else. Jodi is one of my best friends. I’m not sleeping with her. I think of her as a sister.” He pauses and then shouts, “I told you about Jodi on, like, our second or third date. That she was one of my closest friends.”
I shake my head and shout over my shoulder, “I doubt that!” Although I do faintly remember him mentioning Jodi to me once before.
No man can be just friends with a woman. It just doesn’t happen. He has feelings for her, and I’m not going to stick around to see what those feelings are.
“Fine. Leave. I don’t want to be with a woman who doesn’t trust me anyway,” he says.
I stop walking and freeze for a second, taking in a deep breath.
What is wrong with me? I shouldn’t be this mad about his relationship with Jodi. I should trust him.
I just can’t.
Men aren’t to be trusted.
Still, I turn around because maybe Kirk is different.
Maybe I’ll see the truth in his eyes. Maybe I’ll see how much he truly cares about me.
When I turn around though, Kirk is gone. He didn’t even bother to stick around long enough to fight for me.
I don’t cry. I don’t feel anything really. This is what I expected. For him to try to hurt me. I just can’t be hurt anymore. I will do anything to protect myself. Because even nice men like Kirk will hurt me if I let them.
I won’t go through that again.
I pull out my phone from my purse as I walk down the driveway and call for an Uber. I’m done with men. I’m happier when it’s just me and my pets. I’m good at being alone. I don’t need a man in my life. I just need to be happy.
I tie my curly black hair up into a high ponytail on my head. I can’t believe I spent time fixing it or that I bothered to wear a dress and heels for Kirk. Ridiculous. I grab my white coat from the back of my chair in my office and put it on. I should change into some scrubs and tennis shoes before I try to work, but I might as well get some use out of the brand-new pair of heels and dress that I bought for tonight. Who knows when I will ever wear either of them again?
I walk out of my office at the same time that Skye walks out of one of the exam rooms with a Scottish terrier on a leash.
She frowns when she sees me. “What did you do? Did you break up with Kirk?” Skye asks.
“You know me too well.”
“I would tell you to go home and pour yourself a big glass of wine and eat a pint of ice cream, but I know you wouldn’t listen to me.”
“I’d rather be here, working. Being useful.”
She nods as the little black dog begins pulling roughly on the leash, getting bored with our conversation that it doesn’t understand in the slightest and trying to pull as hard as it can to find something more interesting.
“Go on. I’ll pick up the next patient,” I say.
Skye looks at me with her sad eyes as she starts walking the dog back toward the kennels.
“Don’t look at me like that. I’m fine. I’m just swearing off men for a while.”
Skye nods and then disappears around the corner. I start walking toward the front desk to let Cynthia know that I can take the next patient. Although it’s close to nine o’clock on a Friday night, and I don’t expect many more patients the rest of the night. Except the occasional emergency that usually isn’t even an emergency. Still, hopefully, I’ll be able to see a patient or two to distract me tonight.
“Hey, Cynthia, are there any patients for me to see?” I ask as I open the door to our modest waiting room.
The clinic as a whole is small. We only have two vets on staff—Skye and me. We have the money and the patients to expand to a larger space, but we are happy here. Maybe, one day, we will move to a larger space, but for now, we will make do with what we have.
“What are you doing here, hon?” Cynthia asks.
I sigh. “I should ask you the same thing. Doesn’t your shift end at seven?”
Cynthia smiles at me and tucks a strand of her blonde hair behind her ear. “It ends when I get the work done. I had some paperwork to finish entering into the computer.” She raises an eyebrow, waiting for me to answer her question.
“Kirk and I broke up.”
Cynthia’s smile immediately drops into a frown. “He wasn’t good enough for you anyway, sweetie.”
I walk over to pick up the chart that I see lying on the corner of her desk, indicating that we have a new patient to treat. “They never are.”
“You should go home. Skye has everything covered here. I have a feeling it is going to be a slow night anyway.”
I shake my head. “I can’t do that. I need a distraction. And taking care of someone’s sick pet is just what I need. You should go home though. That hubby of yours must be getting lonely.”
Cynthia sighs as she shuts down the computer and then gets up. She walks over and gives me a tight hug. “You’re going to be all right. You don’t need a man in your life to be all right.”
I nod. I don’t say that I have already come to the same conclusion myself. But it is hard to accept her words when I know that Cynthia is secretly a romantic at heart.
“I put the next patient in exam room three.”
“Emergency?” I ask.
Cynthia shakes her head. “No, not an emergency.” She pauses a second as a smile creeps back on her face, but she doesn’t say anything else.
“What’s going on?” I ask.
“You’ll see soon enough. Have a good night.” Cynthia grabs her bag and then walks out the door to the parking lot.
She doesn’t drive, but as soon as she walks out, her husband’s SUV pulls up. He jumps out of the car and then runs over to her. He gives her a sweet hug and a kiss before opening the door for her. They both look so happy.
That’s what I want. A man who will wait outside my office to pick me up, no matter how long. A man who greets me with a smile and hugs and kisses. A man who does simple, sweet things, like opening doors for me, no matter how old-fashioned that notion is.
I want an honest man who loves me. I’m just afraid Cynthia might have found the last man of that kind.
I glance down at the chart in my hand. I quickly flip it open as I walk toward exam room three. There is no name listed, which is pretty unusual. I keep reading further to see the breed is a German shepherd, and the age is approximately eight weeks. The dog is just in for a checkup and his puppy shots.
I shake my head. What person schedules a new puppy exam for nine o’clock on a Friday night? The kind who doesn’t have a life.
I knock on the door to the exam room and then open it as I continue reading over the chart to see if there is any other information that I need to know before seeing the patient.
“Hi. I’m Dr. Ivy Lane. It says here, you are in for a new puppy exam?” I ask as I look up. My heart stops when I do. My hand is already extended to shake the owner’s hand, as I always do, but I immediately pull it back. I’m not shaking his hand. I’m not going to do the exam. I don’t want anything to do with this man.
Because standing in front of me is Luca. A man I never thought I would see again. And I wouldn’t have if my eyes had traveled down far enough on the paperwork to see that he was the owner. I would have passed him right along to Skye.
I have so many questions for Luca.
What is he doing here?
How did he find me?
Why did he hurt me?
But my needing to know answers does nothing to make me want to stay in the same room with him for even a second longer. I don’t say another word to him. I don’t even look to see if he brought a dog in or if that dog needs my help. I turn and walk right back out the door.
I once thought I loved Luca, but then I realized you could never really love a liar.