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chapter 1

Anniversaries Suck Cheesy Balls
VIOLET

Today is mine and Alex’s one-year anniversary, and it sucks donkey dick. Well, it’s one of our “anniversaries.” Alex likes to celebrate every single milestone in our relationship because he’s sappy and romantic like that. He also likes to have an excuse to buy me gifts. Lots of them. Extravagant ones. For my birthday he bought me a car. A nice car. With heated seats and automatic everything. New cars are scary because they don’t have dings and dents, and they need to be maintained.
Anyway, I digress. Anniversaries. This month we’re celebrating our “First Official Date” Anniversary. Alex likes to consider the first time we had sex our “real” anniversary, but since we hardly knew each other then, apart from how our genitalia fit together, I prefer to fast-forward a month to when I wasn’t thinking with my beaver. Not totally, anyway.
It’s still up for debate as to whether the day he locked me in the conference room at my work and forced me to have coffee with him later was our official first date. I’m inclined to go with the night he took me out for dinner and we ended up back at his place, banging on his couch, which is what we’re celebrating tonight. It’s marked on our calendar. There’s even a sticker with a smiley face. I’m dubbing this one our second sexiversary because it’s the second occasion when we had sex, and because it annoys Alex.
Sadly, we might not get the opportunity to fuck like it’s our third time—we did it twice that first time, for those of you keeping score at home—again tonight. Alex is currently on a bus back to Chicago with the team after a series of four away games. He’s been gone for more than a week. A snowstorm is blowing north through the Midwest, and last I heard from him, they were stuck at some rest stop—still more than two hours from home, and that’s without the snow slowing them down.
It’s already three in the afternoon. If they can’t make it back before it gets dark and the storm picks up, he’ll be stuck at a hotel for the night. We might be able to have phone sex, but that’s not the same as hugging his wood with my beaver. So that’s why this anniversary sucks.
And even if he makes it home tonight, he’s bound to be bagged, which may put a damper on the sexiversary lovin’. Not that he won’t perform. He will. He always does. But it won’t be with the level of exuberance I’ve grown accustomed to over the past year. I might only get two orgasms out of him instead of the requisite three or four he usually strives for.
Charlene, my best friend and colleague at Stroker and Cobb Financial Management, peeks her head into my cubicle. She looks disembodied with the way the rest of her is out of sight. She’s also smiling like she belongs in some kind of asylum.
“What’s up?” I ask.
“You have a delivery.”
“What kind of delivery?”
Alex likes to send me gifts at work. Once he had some guy dressed as a beaver sing a love song to me. It was mortifying. Jimmy, one of the other junior accountants, recorded it and posted it on YouTube. Obviously I made him take it down, but it had already gone viral.
“An Alex delivery.”
I brace myself for humiliation as she grunts, moving my gift into view.
I don’t say anything for a few long seconds. Alex is over the top with everything. But then, when you’re the highest-paid NHL player in the league, you can afford to be extravagant and highly ridiculous.
“Not what you expected?” Charlene asks, biting her lip to keep from busting out laughing.
“What am I supposed to do with this?” I gesture to the four-foot stuffed beaver wearing a hockey jersey. It’s almost as wide as it is tall. “I don’t even know if it’ll fit in my car.”
I also don’t want to carry it through the building.
“I’m sure we can make it fit.” I ignore Charlene’s eyebrow waggle. She’s referencing my fiancé’s monster cock. I’m not talking about a pet rooster, either. His dick is massive. I love it so much, even though putting it in my mouth is a workout all on its own.
I grab the beaver by its ears, hefting it into my cubicle so it’s no longer blocking all the walking space between my office and the one across from me. Thank the lord Jimmy isn’t in there or he’d be all over this. I need to hide the beaver. I don’t have to see the back of the jersey to know it’s got Alex’s last name and number on it. This is a giant version of the small beaver Alex sent me back when he was first stalking me. Because I’m so awesome in bed. And he loves my boobs. And I told him I loved his cock. It was quite the first encounter.
My relationship with Alex Waters, center and team captain for Chicago, started as a one-night stand. A poorly thought-out one. I would’ve run into him after our night of passion since my stepbrother, Buck, is on his team, but I hadn’t thought that far ahead when I was sticking my hands down his pants a year ago.
The beaver is holding a heart-shaped box. I pluck it from his paws while Charlene puts her arm around it and takes a selfie. I open the card; of course, it’s beaver-themed—a pair of cartoon beavers with little hearts above their heads. They’re in love, just like Alex and me.
I flip it open, expecting Alex’s usual hilarity, which is how it starts, but by the end I’m about to cry. He really is that damn sweet:

Violet,
A year ago you agreed to go for coffee with me, and then your boobs agreed to go on a real date. You came into my life and turned it upside down in the best way. I’ll never look at Spiderman pajamas the same way, or Marvel Comic boxer briefs.
I love every inch of you, all your funny quirky ways, all the ridiculous things you say in your sleep—and when you’re awake. Your unending praise for the MC also doesn’t hurt.
I know you don’t buy the whole love at first sight thing, but I believe some people are destined to be together. Maybe we came together because of lust and Fielding, but we stayed together because of love.
You’re my forever,
Alex

I sigh and hold the card to my chest, absorbing his words into my heart. Not really. I’m actually considering checking Google to see if he copied this from some sappy love poem site and made a few modifications to fit us better. However, Alex was an English major in college, so it’s possible he came up with this all on his own.
I save the Google search for later and open the heart-shaped box. I expect to find chocolate inside, but I’m pleasantly surprised to discover it’s filled with those heavenly maple sugar candies I love so much. There’s also a bag of Swedish Fish.
“You two are the weirdest couple on the face of the earth. You know that, right?”
“I prefer the term quirky, but yeah, I know.”
Charlene nabs a maple candy before I can close the box. Granted, there are a lot of them. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say there’s a good hundred candies in there. I’ll be in a maple sugar coma by the end of the day for sure. I can’t stop once I’ve started.
I grab my phone from the top drawer of my desk, but before I can pull up Alex’s contact, Charlene snatches it out of my hand.
“What’re you doing?”
“You need to pose with the beaver so we can send Alex a picture,” she says, as if this should be obvious. Which really, it should be. I’m from the generation where everything we do gets posted online for bored people to see. Welcome to the wonderful world of well-documented bad decisions.
I shuffle the beaver around. It’s not easy since he’s huge, and my cubicle is small. I back my chair into a corner and move the beaver between my legs. I shove the beaver down so his head is at waist level, and Charlene snaps a few pics. Then we turn it over, giggling like idiots as I arrange my skirt over the top of its head so it looks like the beaver’s going to town on my beaver.
I strike several different poses, including a fake orgasm face, which is the exact moment my boss walks in on our little party.
“Mr. Stroker! Hey, hi!” I push the beaver away from my crotch, but it’s too late. He’s already seen me molesting it.
“Miss Hoar.” He glances at Charlene, then to me. “Miss Hall.” His arms are crossed over his chest, and his face remote. He’s giving away nothing. “You two look like you’re hard at work.”
We’re in so much trouble.
“I’m so sorry, Mr. Stroker. Alex sent me this for our anniversary—” I gesture to the gigantic beaver. “—and Charlene and I thought we’d send a picture so he knows I got it. We’re not sure if the team’s going to make it back tonight, because of the storm.” I wave my hand toward the windows. It’s snowing like crazy.
Not that it’s going to stop him from firing me.
“He sent you a stuffed woodchuck for your anniversary?”
“It’s not a woodchuck; it’s a beaver,” Charlene says.
He raises an eyebrow. “I’m not sure I want an explanation. Violet, I’d like to see you in my office.”
“Now?”
“Yes, now.”
My stomach does a flip, but I stand and smooth out my wrinkled skirt, shooting Charlene a look of terror. She mouths sorry at me, but it’s not her fault. I would’ve done something equally as stupid with or without her help.
I follow Mr. Stroker down the hall to his office. He closes the door behind me and gestures to the chair opposite his desk. I’m totally about to get canned. This is the shittiest sexiversary ever.
“I really am sorry about that, Mr. Stroker. We were being silly. I know it wasn’t work-appropriate behavior.”
He puts up a hand to stop me. “Violet, have you seen some of the clips Jimmy and Dean slip into their presentations? You doing whatever you were doing with that beaver has nothing on those two.”
I know exactly what he’s talking about. Jimmy and Dean are the other junior accountants at our firm. They’re even more ridiculous than Char and me. Last week they threw a slide into their presentation with two hockey players mashed up against the plexiglas with the caption “Happy Hump Day!” It looked like there was a whole lot more than humping going on in the picture. And that’s one of their tamer ones.
“Still, it won’t happen again.” I sag in the chair, unable to mask my relief. I honestly thought he was going to tell me to pack up my office. Then I’d be a famous hockey player’s unemployed fiancée rather than a modest financial contributor to our partnership.
“Sounds good.”
Mr. Stroker shuffles account files around on his desk. I recognize the one on top as one I prepared, because it’s in a violet-colored folder. Alex bought them for me. He thinks they’re cute.
“I’ve reviewed your file for the Darcy account. I think you’ve made some very wise choices in terms of the funds you’ve selected. The returns have been high in the past eighteen months, and you’ve balanced their portfolio well.”
“Oh. Well, thanks.” This isn’t at all what I thought I was coming here for. His praise is unexpected. He’s a numbers guy, like so many of us in this department. It’s always about the bottom line: whether or not we’re making money for our clients or saving their asses from potential bankruptcy.
Mitch Darcy plays defense for Chicago. I met him through Alex. One night after the game his wife was there, and we started talking. She asked what I did for a living, so I told her. She seemed surprised that I worked a job other than servicing Alex’s amazing dick.
Two weeks later, Mrs. Darcy made an appointment and specifically asked for me. Mr. Stroker took a risk by letting me draw up a proposal for the account. Of course he has to review it before anything can be implemented, but it’s an opportunity I wouldn’t have without all my connections. Those sometimes make me unpopular at work.
“This is a big deal, Violet.” Mr. Stroker says, tapping his pen against the folder.
“Yes, sir.”
“You’re aware that Darcy renewed his contract for five more years at four million a year.”
“Yes, sir. He also has endorsements with Power Juice and Sports Mind totaling another two million annually for the next three years.”
“Do you think you’ll be ready to present this to the Darcys next week?”
I sit up straighter. “You want me to present?”
“His wife is rather insistent it be you.”
“But I’ve never presented to a client this big before.”
“You’ve been managing Miller’s account for the past year without an issue,” he argues.
Stroker is referring to my stepbrother, Buck, whose real name is Miller. Everyone has recently started calling him by his given name, but it’s an adjustment for me. I’m not quite there yet.
Usually the accounts I handle are half a million or less. The Darcys’ portfolio is far more significant. Way bigger than anything I’ve touched, apart from Buck’s accounts, and I’ve always had Mr. Stroker look at those before I make any kind of change. I don’t want to be responsible for screwing up Buck’s fortune.
“You’ve got a handle on it. Why don’t you call them and set up a meeting for next week. I’m open most mornings.”
“Okay, great. I’ll consult their game schedule and see what works best.”
“Perfect. You arrange it, check the notes I’ve made on the PowerPoint, and at the end of the week—say, Friday afternoon—I’ll set aside an hour and you can do a dry run for me so you feel prepared. How does that sound?”
“That sounds amazing, Mr. Stroker.”
“It’s just William, Violet. You can drop the formality now.”
He’s told me this before, but I find his last name entertaining. “Of course. Right, William.”
He gives Randy Balls, another one of Alex’s teammates, a run for his money with the dirty names.
“Great. Three o’clock Friday afternoon is open for me. Book the conference room with Edna on your way out.” He passes over the folder and picks up the phone, which means I’m dismissed.
I thank him and stop to set things up with his assistant on the way back to my cubicle.
Charlene is sitting at her desk, chewing her nails and pretending to do some kind of research. When she sees me she grabs my arm and yanks me into her cubicle. “Why aren’t you crying? Didn’t you get fired?”
“No. Stroker didn’t can my ass.”
Charlene sighs with relief. “I’m so sorry. He rarely comes down this way.” It’s true. Junior accountants usually only see the boss-man in the conference room on meeting Monday, which was this morning. “Let’s never take pictures like that again while we’re at work.”
“Agreed. We should have waited until I got home. Then we could’ve posed the beaver on the bed so it looks like he’s taking me from behind, or holding my boobs.”
“Such good ideas. So what did Stroker say?”
“I’m presenting to Mitch Darcy and his wife next week.”
“You’re what?” she practically screeches this, so anyone within earshot, which is most of the office, peeks their head over the edge of their cube wall.
“It’s okay, everyone. I told Charlene I’m thinking about going vegan.”
Jimmy seems to have returned from his coffee break. He looks suspicious, and rightfully so—I’m the first one to order a Philly cheesesteak when he gets takeout—but he’s on the phone, so he goes back to his call. The rest of the office is used to our ridiculousness, so they resume whatever they were doing, too.
I lower my voice to a whisper. “I get to present.”
“That’s a big account,” Charlene whispers back.
“I know.”
“That’s amazing.”
I know she means it, but I recognize the wistful look in her eyes. We’re close, but we’re still competing with each other, and with Jimmy and Dean, for a senior accountant position when it comes open. Being allowed to present to one of the bigger clients gives me an advantage over everyone else.
The people who don’t like me at the office are really going to hate me now.

 

Cardboard Cutouts are Terrifying
VIOLET

I get a text from Alex at the end of the day telling me they’re still hours from home. I’m super disappointed. And I swear not just because I won’t get to have awesome sex after a week with only Buddy the Beaver—my super-special vibrator that actually looks like a beaver—to take care of my orgasm needs. As cute as it is, it’s a poor replacement for Alex’s dick. And the rest of Alex, too. I miss him.
Charlene checks her phone, smiling secretly. I imagine she has messages from her boyfriend, who happens to be Alex’s best friend and teammate, Darren Westinghouse.
“How’s Darren feel about bromancing it for another night with Alex?”
Charlene glances up. “Oh, uh, you know—disappointed he doesn’t get to spoon with me tonight.”
“My beaver needs something to hug, other than synthetic dick,” I grumble.
Charlene pats me on the shoulder. “You’ve waited a week. What’s another day?”
“I have MC separation anxiety.”
I don’t get how she can be so unaffected by the delay, but then Charlene and Darren’s relationship is a little weird—and not like Alex and me weird. Darren’s a quiet guy, and private, so the media attention their relationship has garnered, and all the odd speculation about it, means they’ve had a few rough patches along the way.
Plus, Charlene can be flighty. She falls out of love as fast as she falls into it. That they’ve been dating consistently, or mostly consistently, for well over half a year is actually amazing.
“Why don’t we go out for dinner somewhere? We can celebrate you getting to present the Darcy account.”
“I don’t know if I feel like it…”
“We can leave your car here. I’ll drive so you can have a drink, and I’ll drop you off at home.”
“What about tomorrow morning?”
“I’ll pick you up.”
“Really?” Charlene can barely make it to work on time as it is.
“It’s supposed to snow like this all night. If we’re late tomorrow, we can blame it on the plows,” she suggests.
I glance out the window and look down at the streets below. They’re blanketed in white, and traffic is stupid: people honking, sliding, and braking. I don’t like winter driving all that much, and definitely not with this kind of traffic. Charlene is a much better driver than me, not that I’ll ever admit that to her. Now that I don’t have anyone to go home to, I guess dinner out sounds like a decent option.
“Yeah. Okay. Maybe I should call Sunny and Lily to see if they want to join us. We can all be dickless together.” Sunny is Alex’s younger sister. She’s dating Buck. In January she moved from Guelph to Chicago, which is a cute little city in Ontario, Canada. That’s where she and Alex grew up.
Her house in Chicago was purchased by Alex. She pays rent, but instead of putting it toward the mortgage, he puts the money into an investment portfolio for her. That’s all I know about it because Stroker deals with Alex’s account directly. Which is fine. Sometimes I feel like Alex wants me to do it, but I’m not comfortable with the insane amount of money he makes. Not yet.
Seeing how well he takes care of his family tells me what I’ll be in for when we get married, and sometimes that makes me nervous. I don’t want to be responsible for investing it as well as enjoying it. Like I said, at least not yet. I mean, my yearly salary is less than the cost of the car Alex recently bought me. With cash.
Lily is Sunny’s childhood best friend who also moved to Chicago recently. She lives with Sunny, and she’s dating Randy “Balls” Ballistic, Buck’s childhood best friend and another Chicago hockey player. I call him Horny Nut Sac—sometimes to his face, sometimes behind his back. It’s super convenient that we’re all hockey hookers. We hang out a lot when the boys are traveling for away games.
I pull out my phone, ready to send Sunny a message, but Charlene puts a hand up. “I’m on it. You pack up.”
I shrug and shut down my computer, throw a few files into my laptop bag, and grab my coat. Charlene reappears at my cubicle, ready to go. “Sunny suggested we find a restaurant close to their place since they’re both already at home.”
I make a face. “It doesn’t have to be vegan, does it?” Sunny doesn’t eat animals or animal products. I don’t have a problem with this, but if I’m not getting Alex’s meat stick tonight, I might as well indulge in a burger or something equally disgusting and bloat-worthy.
“Lily says the restaurant has a wide selection. Plus, she doesn’t think it’s a good idea for Sunny to drive in this weather.”
I sigh. “Fine.” It makes sense to go that way, and not just because getting downtown would take forever in this weather for Sunny and Lily. Going to them will put us halfway to Alex’s. And Sunny is a worse driver than me, which says a lot.
Charlene and I lug my stuffed beaver to the elevator. We get a few strange looks, but most of the people in our department are unfazed by us now. Charlene takes the tail, and I hold the head as we slip and slide down the slick sidewalk to the parking lot across from our building. Charlene and I should’ve parked our cars in the underground lot this morning, but there were no spots left. With Alex and Darren away, we sometimes have sleepovers and stay up too late. Then we have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. Last night was one of those times.
Getting the beaver into the trunk of Charlene’s car is a feat, but after some shoving and punching, we squeeze him in.
It takes three times as long as usual to get to Sunny’s neighborhood. The traffic is terrible. I’m definitely glad I didn’t drive or we’d be in a ditch.
We end up at a cute little place that isn’t just for people who don’t eat meat. They do, however, have a nice selection of food without faces for Sunny. I browse the menu. Even with the heat on full blast in Charlene’s car, and our cozy spot in the back of the restaurant, I’m still frozen.
“Maybe I should get the French onion soup and the mozzarella sticks.”
Charlene frowns. “Is that really a good idea, Vi? Onions and cheese? Those are, like, the worst combination in the world for you.”
I’m moping because I won’t get to see Alex tonight. Eating dairy is how I cope with stress and disappointment. However, it will also cause me to moop later. Dairy is hard enough on my system; add onions to the mix and I become lethal to anyone within a ten-foot radius. “Alex won’t be home to witness the aftermath.”
Lily and Sunny exchange a look.
“Yeah, but what if the aftermath runs into tomorrow like it usually does?” Charlene says.
I ponder that for a moment, before reluctantly agreeing. “Good point.”
I decide on a burger and fries, hold the onions, but I add a glass of wine. I don’t need beer bloats to go with the burger bloats.
Sunny keeps checking her phone all through dinner, which isn’t unusual. She and Buck spend a lot of time messaging each other when he’s away—and when he’s not. They’re so in love. It’s as sweet as it is surprising. Buck used to be a huge manwhore. Like, epically slutty.
Sunny has done a great job of taming him. He’s like a big, well-groomed, fun-loving yeti when it comes to her.
After we order, we settle in with our drinks. Only Lily and I have fun ones, since Charlene is driving and Sunny isn’t much for booze.
“How’s the new job, Lily?” I ask.
Alex helped get Lily a job teaching skating to kids who are looking to go pro for hockey when she decided to move to Chicago. She’s an incredible figure skater. She should have been an Olympic contender, but money got in the way of her dream when she was a teenager. She doesn’t seem to let that hold her back, though.
“Amazing! I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about the change, but I love it. I really appreciate Alex recommending me.”
“Alex is just glad he could help.” My fiancé is amazingly generous, especially when it comes to family. While Lily isn’t technically related, she grew up with the Waters family, so she’s like a second sister to him. “I guess having unlimited access to Balls’ balls doesn’t hurt either, right?”
“Oh my God, she stays there almost every night they’re home,” Sunny supplies.
Lily blushes and looks down. “He’s great. I’m meeting his mom this weekend.”
“Really? Already? That’s crazy!” Charlene says.
Lily tucks her dark hair behind her ear and looks around the table, suddenly uncertain. “You think so?”
I kick Charlene, at least I think I do, but Sunny is the one who flinches, so I flick Charlene in the side of the boob. “It’s not crazy at all. Not everyone has to wait a year before family intros.”
“A year?” Lily’s eyes go wide.
Lily looks like a porcelain doll. Except not creepy. Which is a very important distinction. She’s gorgeous and model thin, with almond-shaped eyes the color of dark chocolate and an Uma Thurman haircut circa Pulp Fiction. She and Randy have been officially dating for less than two months. But they’ve been banging each other since last summer, so it’s not that unreasonable that she’s meeting his mom.
Charlene cups her breast and shoots me an annoyed look. “We haven’t been dating a year. And my mom lives in New York, and Darren’s parents live in South Carolina. It’s not like we can drop by for dinner.”
I’d point out that Darren’s parents have been in town on more than one occasion and she still hasn’t taken the opportunity to meet them, but it’s not my relationship, so I keep my mouth shut. For now.
“I think it’s great that you’re meeting Randy’s mom. She’ll love you!” Sunny says, redirecting the conversation. She embodies her name, radiating positivity and warmth all the time. She’s also blond and blue-eyed with endless legs and a stunning, innocent face.
Lily gulps her mojito. “I sure hope so.”
“I introduced Miller to my parents the day after we met, and they loved him right away. Well, mostly, until Alex told them why he was traded to Chicago.”
He was traded last year around this time after getting caught in a public bathroom stall with his coach’s niece. The door was open.
Sunny waves her hand in the air, then twirls a blond lock around her finger. “But they love him again now, so that’s all that matters.”
Our dinner arrives, and I demo my burger and fries. I order another drink to celebrate both my unfulfilled sexiversary with Alex and the presentation I’ll be making next week. I’m the only one drinking like it’s Friday night, but then Lily probably remembers her terrible hangover from the last time we tied one on. And we all have to work tomorrow.
I’m in no rush to go home, but everyone else’s phone keeps going off. I send Alex a text, but I don’t get a reply. It’s disappointing on such a special day. Or a day that Alex has built up to be interpreted as such. I assumed there was going to be some seriously epic loving based on the ostentatiousness of this afternoon’s gift alone. Unfortunately, his last message was sent several hours ago saying they were still stuck, his phone was dying, and he didn’t think he was going to make it home tonight.
Me and my beaver are sad.
Charlene suggests we go, and Sunny and Lily agree with more enthusiasm than necessary, which I find odd. It’s still snowing when we leave the restaurant, so I can see Charlene’s point about getting home. Even though Sunny and Lily live two blocks away, they pile into the back of her car so we can drive them, too. It probably takes as long as it would to walk, but at least they don’t have to deal with the freezing cold and blustery snow.
Both of them are huddled into their jackets, texting away on their phones and giving each other sly looks while I scan Alex’s Facebook profile for signs of life. He hasn’t posted anything since this morning, and that was a cheesy update about how much he loves me. It’s sweet, but it leaves me even more disappointed.
Charlene pulls up to the house, staying a safe distance from the curb so there’s enough room for the girls to open the door and not fall face first into the two-foot snow bank.
“Isn’t that Randy’s truck?” I ask.
“Oh, uh, um, he left it here for the week so I could drive it instead of my car. The tires are way better,” Lily replies.
“Wow. He lets you drive his truck already?” It took forever before Alex let me drive his sports car. And then I dinged it and he took away my privileges. Not even blow jobs seem to be able to bring them back.
Lily shrugs. “Is that weird?”
“Thanks for the ride, Charlene! See you girls soon!” Sunny gets out of the car and pulls Lily along with her.
“Bye, guys. Thanks, Char! See you soon.” Lily waves and hurries across the street, hand in hand with Sunny.
I figure Charlene and I will go back to her house and hang out some more since it’s close. On occasion, I’ve been known to stay at her place when Alex and Darren are away, because I don’t always like to be in his big, huge house by myself. I get all freaked out even though there’s an insane alarm system. But instead of taking a right, she goes left, toward Alex’s.
“We can go to your place. I’m sure I have a change of clothes,” I suggest.
“I’m kind of tired. I won’t be much fun.” Charlene yawns, as if to prove her point.
I don’t get why everyone is acting so weird tonight. Usually that’s my job.
Charlene’s phone buzzes, and then buzzes a few more times. She waits until we’re at a stoplight before she checks it. I do the same with mine, but Alex hasn’t messaged at all. It’s really not like him. He’s always in contact. Maybe he can’t find a charger for his phone.
I don’t say much on the drive. When Charlene pulls in Alex’s driveway, the porchlight illuminates the door and the holiday wreath I have yet to take down. The driveway’s been cleared of snow, as well as the steps. If it keeps snowing like this, the maintenance guys will have to circle back and do it again.
“Are you sure you don’t want to come in for a bit? We can watch TV or something? Have a drink?” I’m already slightly buzzed; one more will help put me to sleep, and possibly take my mind off my disappointment.
I may pretend not to like all the gifts and the excessive sexiversary celebrations, but I’ve gotten used to them, just like I’m getting used to money going into my account all the time.
“I shouldn’t drink with the roads the way they are.” Charlene gestures to the white fluff skimming the windshield.
“You could stay over.”
“I don’t have a change of clothes, and all your stuff is too small. Except in the chest.” She puts her car in park. “Want some help with your beaver?”
“What?” At first I think she means my actual beaver, but then I realize she’s not propositioning me. “Oh. Right. No, I can get it.”
“Okay.” She gives me a bright smile, followed by a big yawn. “See you in the morning!”
I get that no one else is celebrating their sexiversary, but I feel like I’m the only one who’s really bummed the boys aren’t going to be home tonight.
Getting the beaver out of the trunk is harder than I expect. He’s crammed in there pretty good, and Charlene’s trunk is small and tight—almost exactly how Alex would describe my real beaver.
I tug until he comes free, close Char’s trunk, and wave at her through the rear window. She honks and takes off as I shift the beaver around so I can see the stairs.
Coming home to an empty house is like spraining a wrist while watching porn: frustrating and unsatisfying. Stupid fucking snowstorm.
Getting up the stairs to the front door also isn’t as easy as it should be. I trip on the last step and fall, but thankfully the beaver acts as a cushion, preventing me from hurting myself. I slap the snow off his beaver face and drag him to the door. Punching in the code, I shoulder my way inside. The front entry is dark, which is unusual. The lights are timed at night, unless the system’s malfunctioned. Maybe it has. Alex will have to call the guy who fixes his ridiculous security system. I heave the beaver into the foyer and hit something. I have no idea what, as I can’t see much.
Smacking the wall beside me, I shut the door, blocking out the frigid wind. I finally find the light switch and flick it on. Which is the exact moment I scream like a man with his nuts caught in a vice.
The foyer is filled with cardboard cutouts of Alex. His life-size condom advertisement is front and center, followed by his sports drink promo, the one for hockey sticks, the body wash advertisement, and even the one for the gel that soothes muscle aches. All of my Alex cutouts are welcoming me home, which would be cool, except it means someone has been inside the house, rearranging my shit. That’s freaking terrifying.
“I have a gun!” I yell. This is a total lie. I’ve never even held a damn gun. Alex, who’s from Canada where they don’t even believe in guns, has held a gun, but I have not. I’m petrified that I’ll accidently shoot someone, or myself, so I can’t bring myself to go near one. Alex thinks it’s sweet.
Right now I wish I’d had the balls to hit the shooting range at least once when Sidney, my stepdad, offered to take me this fall because this feels like the beginning of a really bad horror movie. I move the giant beaver in front of me, as if it’s going to protect me from the goddamn serial killer with an Alex cutout fetish.
A figure steps out from behind one of the cutouts, and I scream again. This time it’s blood-curdling. I shove the beaver away from me, knocking over the first cardboard-cutout Alex. A domino effect follows, the two-dimensional versions of my man dropping to the floor with a whoosh and a series of low thuds. I turn around and start reefing on the door, trying to get out, but I’ve locked it, so it’s not opening. And I’m freaking.
“Violet, baby, it’s me.” Alex’s voice penetrates the haze of my terror. I stop trying to escape and turn to face him. There he is in 3D, standing in the middle of the fallen versions of himself.
“You scared the shit out of me!” I throw my purse at him.
He lunges to catch it before it can hit the floor. It was about three feet shy of hitting him.
“I’m sorry. I wanted to surprise you.” He’s smiling through his apology, which irks me.
I point at him. “It’s not funny. You almost gave me a heart attack! I thought some psycho had broken into the house.”
“I didn’t mean to do that.” His hands are raised, probably to reassure me that he’s not a hologram, but in fact my real fiancé, and that he really is sorry. I’m not sure I buy it; he’s still got a dimple popping. He takes tentative steps toward me, just in case I decide to kung fu him in the balls or something, I guess.
“Well, consider me surprised.” It’s a good thing I didn’t have the dairy or I would’ve shit my damn pants. “Why didn’t you call me to let me know you were going to be home?”
“It wouldn’t have been much of a surprise then, would it?”
I replay dinner in my head: all the texts the girls were getting, their excitement at going home to dick-free beds.
“How long have you been planning this?” I cross my arms over my chest.
Alex’s gaze darts down and stays there, despite the fact that I’m wearing a huge winter jacket and my boobs are hidden. “Only since we got stuck at the rest stop earlier today. I really wasn’t sure if we were going to make it home. Then we got back on the road, and I decided I’d surprise you. I got here about half an hour ago. I had just enough time to set this up.” He gestures to the fallen Alexes, and then to the beaver lying face down on the floor. “I see you got my present.”
I give him my bitch brow. I spent the last three hours thinking my beaver was sleeping alone tonight. I’m still getting over that, so I’m not as nice as I should be. “Thanks for sending it to my work.”
“You don’t like it? The pictures you sent me seem to indicate otherwise.”
I roll my eyes. “It’s ridiculous.”
“Which is why you love it.” He tucks my damp hair behind my ear, skimming my cheek with warm fingers.
I try to remain annoyed. “Where are we going to put it?”
“I was thinking we could bring it to the Chicago cottage. It can be our mascot.”
Alex has two cottages. He likes to buy property. The Chicago cottage is just as nice as his Ontario cottage and only two hours away, on Lake Geneva, instead of a plane ride followed by two hours in the car. The beaver would be appropriate at the Ontario cottage, since it’s in Canada, but I don’t think they’d let it on the plane. The Chicago cottage isn’t a bad second choice. Not that this is relevant to anything.
I haven’t seen Alex in eight days. It’s our First Real Date Sexiversary, and I totally didn’t expect him to be here tonight. Although my heart still feels like it’s going to explode out of my chest for a multitude of reasons, all I want is to rub up on him like a bear on a tree, or a beaver on some wood. Either way, there needs to be rubbing. Preferably leading to an orgasm.
He pulls me close, wrapping me in his arms, and I sink into him. He’s so warm and solid and perfect. “I’m glad you’re home, even if you almost gave me a heart attack.”
“Me, too. I missed you.” His hands move to my ass, and he squeezes softly. He bends to kiss me, which is when I get a whiff of stale, oniony yuck.
I purse my lips and wrinkle my nose. “Smells like you made out with a Big Mac.”
He grimaces. “That bad, eh?”
He’s close talking, so even though I try not to breathe, I still get hit with another shot of grossness. He smells like diesel exhaust, sweat masked with deodorant, and fast food.
“What’d you eat? A plate of raw onions?”
“We stopped at a diner. I had a burger.” He sounds apologetic. Our dinners matched.
As much as I’ve missed him, I’m not having sex with him like this. I might have a year ago, but now I can wait until he showers and brushes his teeth. I should probably do the same.
“Let’s go get cleaned up,” I suggest.
Alex picks me up in a frontwards piggyback—a piggyfront—and carries me up the stairs. I don’t bother trying to make conversation; I’m too busy kissing his neck, which tastes salty, but otherwise fine. Alex adjusts his grip when we get to the bedroom and pushes the door open. Candles cast a dim glow around the room, and rose petals—real, not fake based on the smell—litter the comforter. No wonder he hasn’t had time to shower. He’s been setting up a romantic reunion—apart from freaking me out with the cardboard-cutout army, anyway.
Little does he know I have plans of my own for us, and all the important stuff is downstairs in the living room by the fireplace. The rest is in the fridge. It’s okay, though. If we don’t make it down there tonight, there’s always tomorrow, or the day after that.
He sets me on the bed and leans down, resting his head on my boobs so he can nuzzle in. When he pulls away after what I feel is too short a time, I clamp my legs around his waist.
He shifts so his chin rests in the valley of my boobs. His expression is serious, but his eyes reveal his amusement. “I can’t get clean if you won’t let me go.”
He runs a gentle hand down the outside of my thigh, stopping at the back of my knee, urging me to disengage. I can feel the monster cock. He’s already excited about being close to my beaver, so I’m reluctant to let go. Alex has a point, though.
My skirt is pooled around my waist, but I’m wearing opaque tights, so he can’t see anything important. Like my undies. I can’t remember which ones I put on this morning, having been in a bit of a rush.
Alex straightens with his palms still hooked under my knees. His hands are rough; I can hear the nylon fabric catching as he kneads the backs of my calves. I don’t care though, he’s touching me, and it’s been more than a week, so I’m good with having to buy new tights. I can afford it.
His eyes move up my body, like he’s studying a familiar map. He rubs his scruffy beard. “You want me to shave?”
“Please.” My skin is extra sensitive in the winter. I don’t want it to get all chafed, otherwise it will put a damper on sexy times this week. Whenever Alex comes home from being away, we have a lot of make-up-for-missed-occasions sex.
Alex lifts his shirt over his head and drops it on the floor. I’ll never get tired of looking at his hard, hot body. I don’t dare look away as he pops the button on his jeans and lowers the zipper. He pushes them to his ankles and steps out of them. Then the socks come off. I press my knees together as he slips his thumbs into the waistband of his boxer briefs and drags them down. It’s like a striptease with no music, except for the rapid beating of my heart and the moan I accidentally set free.
He’s gloriously naked and already hard. His erection juts straight out, the one eye staring right at me. Maybe the shower isn’t all that important after all. I can deal with the onion breath and exhaust-fumes smell. I sit up and reach for him, but he takes a step back.
A small smirk tugs at the corner of his plush lips. “I thought you wanted me to get clean first.”
“I changed my mind.”
“What about shaving?”
“Shaving’s for pussies. Bring it here.” I motion him forward, but he doesn’t move, so I pull my shirt over my head.
Which is when I realize I’m wearing a really ugly bra. It’s old, and while it was once white, it’s now all discolored and greying on the straps. There’s even a snag in the satiny fabric over my left boob.
Alex lifts an eyebrow as his focus shifts from my face to my chest. “Nice.”
“I was going to change after work!” My initial plan was to get suited up in new lingerie—which I purchased earlier in the week when Alex talked about celebrating the next sexiversary—before I was under the wrongful impression that he wouldn’t be home tonight. I hurry to unclasp it, but of course, even that isn’t in the best shape, so it’s more difficult than usual. I’m writhing around on the bed like a tasered eel.
Alex chuckles and heads for the bathroom, calling over his shoulder, “Get naked and get in the shower with me.”
He reaches in and turns on the tap, adjusting the temperature. He’s half bent over, giving me a fabulous view of his perfect, tight ass. His ass really is fantastic—so muscular, so awesome for holding onto when he’s pounding the orgasms out of me.
Alex opens the vanity and retrieves his shaving kit. He could totally forgo that part, and he knows I won’t complain, but he’s torturing me now. Whatever. Two can play at this game.
I kneel on the bed and pretend I’m watching him, which of course I am. I can also see my reflection in the mirror, which means so can he. Now that the hideous bra is gone, I take my time stripping out of the rest of my clothes while he uses the trimmer. It’ll take his beard down enough to make shaving with a razor possible.
Alex glances at me as I drag the zipper down on my skirt and let it fall to the bed. Before I do the same with my tights I pull out the waistband and take a peek at my panties. They’re also ugly and in horrible condition, so I speed up my impromptu striptease and push them over my hips together with the tights.
Thankfully, I had the foresight to take care of my beaver bush before Alex came home. I saunter into the bathroom. He isn’t even paying attention to what he’s doing to his face anymore. He keeps going over the same spot repeatedly while he watches my approach.
The room is already filling with steam. When I’m close enough, I press my boobs against his back and hug him from behind.
I run my hands over his abs, then lower, past his navel. I stop short of his massive erection, which incidentally is resting on top of the vanity with beard clippings sprinkled over it. Instead of grabbing his dick, I reach for my toothbrush and the toothpaste. If he’s going to the trouble to freshen up, I should, too.
He’s eyeing me with something close to contempt, or maybe it’s sheer animal lust. Either way, it’s reminiscent of the look he wears when he’s in the penalty box. Sex after games when Alex has gotten a penalty is always the best. He gets so riled up. I take my toothbrush into the shower with me, wiping away the fog on the inside so I can watch Alex through the glass.
He’s in a funny mood tonight. I can’t quite gauge it. He’s slow and methodical with the shaving routine. I realize this is purposeful. I denied him when I walked in the door. It might not have had anything to do with whether I wanted him, but he’s taken offense nonetheless. My fiancé is sensitive.
Once he’s finished shaving, he moves on to brushing his teeth. Then he rinses with mouthwash and follows up with a Listerine PocketPak strip. It’s probably overkill, but he’s courteous like that, and the onion breath is the reason we’re not currently having sex. When he starts cleaning up after himself, I decide I’ve had enough of waiting.
I squirt some body wash on my palms and rub them together, then massage it into my chest.
“Alex?” I wait until he looks at me before I press my boobs against the glass. “Are you ready for me?”
His lids lower and the tic below his left eye tells me what I already know: he sure as fuck is.
He drops the shaving cream on the vanity, or at least attempts to, but he misses and it hits the floor with a tinny thump. He doesn’t seem to notice as he opens the shower door and steps inside. I don’t even get a chance to turn around before he’s pressed against me. He runs a palm across my collarbone and along my neck. Turning my head toward him, he kisses the corner of my mouth.
“Don’t you have anything to say to me today?” he asks softly.
“I missed you.”
“I know that. I missed you, too. Anything else?” He skims my side with his free hand, and I jerk as he brushes past the ticklish spot.
“I love you.”
“I know that, too.” His fingers travel over my hip and then lower, stopping shy of my very hungry beaver.
He’s waiting for something, but I’m not sure what. I filter through our conversations over text today… I acknowledged the beaver, and I’m sure I thanked him for it. Then it dawns on me.
“Happy sexiversary, Alex.”
He stills, fingertips digging in. “Anniversary, Violet. It’s our anniversary.”
“I thought we celebrated that last month. Besides, all the anniversaries we have include sexing, which sounds more fun,” I explain.
“Mmm. I see your point. But I think this one is particularly special since you agreed to do more than just let me get inside you.” He sounds the tiniest bit hurt.
“Happy anniversary, Alex,” I murmur, appeasing him.
I feel his smile on my cheek. Because he’s won. I’m okay with that; in the end, we’ll both win. He turns my head so he can get to my mouth. It’s a soft kiss, warm and wet and minty. I want to turn around so we’re front to front, but he still has me pressed against the glass. When I push my ass out, he shifts his hips forward and his erection slides over my wet skin. He cups me with his wide palm, and I groan, anticipating his fingers.
Now don’t get me wrong, I jill off like the rest of the female population when our significant other is out of town, but it’s not nearly as gratifying as when the person you love does the work for you.
“Happy anniversary, baby. I’m glad I made it home to celebrate with you.”
The hand over my beaver moves up instead of down, and I start to protest, but Alex’s tongue sweeps out to tangle with mine. I grab his hair and crane my neck, leaning into him, trying to get closer even though there’s no space between us. He palms one of my breasts and groans, low and deep. Jesus. We’re so fucking horny. This first round is going to be quick and dirty.
Alex releases my chin and takes a step back so I’m no longer pressed against the glass. Now that I have room to move, I try to turn, but he tightens his arm around my waist. With his lips on my shoulder, he drags his forearm down the glass, wiping away the fog.
The bathroom door is open and the fan is on, allowing the steam to escape and preventing the vanity mirror from being obscured. Through the water-spotted glass I have a perfect view of Alex groping my boob with his mouth on my skin. I’m so glad I wore my contacts today.
He’s so much bigger than me. The top of my head barely reaches his chin when he’s standing straight, and his shoulders are twice as wide as mine. His presence should be intimidating, but I know that under all that fuckhot muscle is the sweetest, most romantic, sensitive man on the planet. Sometimes I can’t believe I managed to score such a hottie.
“You want me to take it easy on you?” he asks, sucking on my neck. He’s probably going to leave a few marks. Not that it matters; I’ll wear my hair down, if that’s the case.
“No, thanks. The opposite of that would be good right about now.”
He exhales a hard breath. “Fuck, I love you.”
Alex holds me against his chest with one hand covering my boob, his fingers separated so my nipple peeks out between them. Once again, this is intentional. He loves my boobs almost as much as he loves the rest of me. It’s unlikely he’ll let go unless he absolutely has to.
His other hand glides down my stomach, and this time he doesn’t stop until he reaches my clit. He begins rubbing circles, gentle but insistent. I hold onto the back of his neck on the not-so-off chance my legs decide to buckle. When I’m panting and moaning, Alex goes lower, easing first one finger inside, then another and another.
This is absolutely essential. It doesn’t matter that we’ve been together for a year or that he sticks his monster cock in me on a regular basis. Alex doesn’t have the kind of package I can jump on without any kind of preparation.
It’s an aberration. And by aberration, I mean it’s huge. Like Guinness Book of World Records material. I’m not exaggerating on his behalf, either. Alex and I go through a lot of lube—though mostly for boob sex. But this time we’re in the shower, and I’m wet and slippery, so we’re good to go.
I think Alex has designs on getting me off before he gets inside me, though. It’s been more than a week, so I’m not feeling all that patient. My eyes are glued to our reflection in the mirror. The shower is fogging up again, so I swipe my palm along the slick surface to clear it, then reach behind me for Alex’s cock.
We both groan when I slide the head along the crack of my ass, trying not to tense as he passes my backdoor. Alex makes all sorts of jokes about getting up in there, which is impossible. He’d never fit in a million years. Never. I don’t think.
“Holy—Violet, what’re you—” There’s a tremor of excitement in his voice, as if he actually thinks I might offer to let him try. But then I pass my Area 51 and line him up with door number one. He doesn’t react other than to curl his fingers one last time, hitting that special spot, before he withdraws.
His lips are soft on my shoulder. His expression turns to ecstasy as he pushes inside. “God, I missed you so much.”
“Me, too. I mean, I missed you. Not myself.”
The first time we have sex after he’s been away is always amazing, but the second time is usually more intense. I’m not sure that’s going to be the case this time. I’ve never been much of a voyeur, but being able to watch what’s happening to me, while it’s happening, is awesome.
I brace one hand on the glass and widen my stance, giving me an even better view as Alex thrusts and retreats. No wonder guys are either focused on the boobs or the beaver, because this looks fantastic. It also feels amazing, so the two combined make the experience phenomenal.
Alex puts his hand over mine, forcing me to lean forward. It means I can’t see as much, but he goes deeper, and I can still see his face, and my boobs are bouncing away, so it gets a thumbs up.
“I’m not going to last like this,” Alex warns.
“It’s okay,” I groan. I’m close anyway. I reach down and rub the beaver button.
“You want to do it again after the shower?” he pants, speeding up.
His eyes meet mine in the mirror, so I nod. His grin is all dimples and primal male satisfaction. He pushes my hand out of the way and takes over the rubbing.
I don’t know how he can do this while he’s still thrusting away. It takes an incredible amount of coordination. It’s like when you’re supposed to pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time. They’re two very discordant actions, so technically it should be impossible. But Alex is super amazing, so he’s able to do both.
The glass keeps fogging up even when I wipe it away, maybe because I’m panting against it, so I look down at Alex’s hand moving furiously between my thighs. He’s on a mission to make me come, bless his generous soul.
I feel it then, the telling warmth that starts as a tingle and evolves into a burn. It comes fast and hits hard.
Alex is considerate enough to keep his arm around my waist to prevent me from mashing my face into the glass. I claw at it anyway, seeking some kind of traction because sweet Jesus, all I can see are stars and galloping unicorns and hazy rainbows.
“Fuck yeah, baby. You feel so fucking good.”
Alex doesn’t use excessive profanity. He’s actually quite polite most of the time, but he seems to lose that civilized edge when we have sex—more specifically when I come. I like that he’s so enthusiastic about it.
His fierce concentration tells me he’s getting close. He swipes his arm over the glass to clear the fog.
“I’m not gonna come inside you,” he grunts.
“Why not?”
“Because I still wanna eat your pussy.”
“Good call.” See why I love him? He’s such a planner.
He thrusts twice more and pulls out. Fisting his cock, he turns to the right as I spin and sink to my knees. I open my mouth and point to my boobs, giving him options. His eyes bounce between the two, his indecision obvious. I make the choice for him when I lean forward, wrap my lips around the head, and suck.
Alex swears like a trucker as he comes. I swallow, because it’s more polite than spitting. When he’s done, he drops to his knees and kisses me. He doesn’t invite much in the way of tongue, though—not that I blame him since I now have jizz breath.
“It’s so good to be home,” he says.
I hum in agreement. Alex is the best place in the world to be.

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