One man finds love and sexual satisfaction with the last person he expects—his wife...
At twenty-two, Amanda Stevenson is tired of being treated like a child. Unfortunately, her parents are devoted to controlling her life, and they’re not above using blackmail to get their way. Their greatest weapon is the final two years of her college education, which they wield against her without remorse. Amanda’s choices are limited. But her former professor and current friend, Jack Navis, has a suggestion—Amanda should marry him and take advantage of the university’s tuition remission policy.
Jack is sure he can keep everything between himself and Amanda platonic. Especially since he’s a fetishist. He needs to watch people having sex in order to achieve his own satisfaction, and he doesn’t enjoy participating in sexual activity with anyone. He’s sure of that—
Until he kisses Amanda. And when they kiss, their world is thrown into chaos with new emotions, unexpected needs, and driving hunger...
...Jack settled in the corner of the couch and stretched his arm across its back, making a space for Amanda to sit at his side. After only a moment’s hesitation, she crossed and joined him, careful about just how close she was next to him.
“You know, I think it’s so romantic what you two did,” Ellie bubbled. “Being so in love you can’t wait to get married?” She sighed, smiling. “What a wonderful way to start your lives together.”
“Yes, it was very romantic. He swept me off my feet.” The words seemed a little out of place, since there was a deliberate inch separating them. “But you and Rich had a pretty wonderful beginning, too.”
Mr. Stevenson pressed a tumbler of whiskey into Jack’s hand. “We need to toast. To my little girl finally growing up.”
Amanda stiffened next to him, and on impulse, Jack let his arm curl around her shoulders and pull her more tightly against his body. “Oh, I think Amanda was plenty grown up when I proposed,” he said, far more casually than he felt. “How about we toast to her happiness?”
“You don’t have to…” Amanda started, but Mr. Stevenson’s loud voice overwhelmed the protest.
“Of course. May you two be as happy as Amanda’s mother and me.”
“And me and Rich!” Ellie added as Mr. Stevenson tapped the rim of his tumbler against Jack’s. “Oh, you should kiss her for luck.”
Kiss her for luck.
Jack sipped at his whiskey as her innocent words echoed inside his skull. Of course, he was going to have to kiss Amanda. That’s what newlyweds did. They were expected to show affection for each other in public, and hold hands, and gush in ways he and Amanda hadn’t even considered to this point. They’d been so worried about dealing with her parents, and then with his on Sunday, they never considered how they would be dealing with each other.
He glanced down at Amanda. She had frozen at Ellie’s words, and now she regarded him with those wide blue eyes, waiting to follow his lead. She would do whatever he asked, he knew. She trusted him. It was written all over her face.
Somehow, that emboldened him enough to set aside his glass, cup her face, and lower his mouth to hers.
Kiss her for luck.
It was just acting. It wasn’t like he’d never had to do a stage kiss before, after all.
But Amanda wasn’t an actor, and she didn’t know anything about stage kissing. She gasped as their mouths met, and her lips parted, like an invitation. Her breath was warm, and she tasted like the cool ice cream they’d had for dessert. Curious, he probed her mouth with the tip of his tongue, and she didn’t pull away. In fact, it seemed to draw her closer. Her hand went to his chest, hot through his shirt, and her hair brushed against the back of his knuckles, reminding him of something soft, like silk.
They moved apart at the same time, and Amanda stared at him with confusion in her expressive eyes. Confusion and maybe something else. Something matching the pink tinge of her cheeks.
Vaguely, Jack heard Mr. Stevenson make a joke he didn’t quite catch, only Ellie’s laughter indicating it was meant to be humorous. He dropped his hand, but his fingers felt clumsy, their tips hot. That wasn’t what he’d expected at all. Amanda was his friend, his dear friend.
He caught a glimpse of gold as he sat back in the couch.
No, Amanda was his wife. For some reason, that word sounded very different to him now than it had when they’d exchanged vows...