By Karen Harley
They're the most intimate of friends...online. Badini Sweet lives fourteen hundred miles away in Issaquah, Washington, but when it comes to sharing her deepest thoughts, she turns to David in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And lately all her thoughts are about her sensual craving for another man!
A lifelong wanderer, David Argeld changes his women as often as he changes his career. Now Badini Sweet is making him doubt his determination never to settle down. Suddenly it's not enough to answer Badini Sweet's erotic questions with his usual offhand humor. Suddenly he has to tell her of his own needs...
With only some stimulating e-mails for company, David launches on his own very male fantasy, never expecting that one simple e-mail might change everything.
"So, what are your exciting plans for the long weekend?"
David Argeld heard Ox Edmundson's hopeful question as he came out of his office. He paused. Bad idea, Ox, old boy. You'll put her on the defensive. If you're going to make your move, you want to come off smoother than that.
Then he saw whose back was to Ox at the fax machine and frowned. I take that back. If you're going to make your move on Jeannie Lin, you need the perseverance of a bloodhound, the meekness of a mouse, and the conservatism of a Yale B-schooler. A seven-foot intern that calls everyone, women included, "dude," hasn't a chance in hell.
"Not much," Jeannie's quiet voice responded.
"Ever been to a freestyle monster truck rally?"
A quick shake of her head, a grab for a small pile of paper, and Jeannie was slipping past Ox and sidling into her office.
David nodded at Ox. He glanced through the cracked doorway of Jeannie's office, spotting her long-fingered hand moving deftly over the mouse, her gaze fixed to the monitor screen.
The unfortunate Ox sighed, waved to David, hitched his laptop case over his shoulder, and left.
Oh, buddy, I feel for you, I really do.
This wasn't the first time he'd watched a victim of unrequited J-lust hang his head in defeat. Nearly every single guy at the Minneapolis Legal Advocacy Group had given her their best moves, and all had come away dateless. About eight months ago, shortly after Jeannie had been hired into the small public interest organization, he himself had succumbed and asked her out. To dinner at Goodfellow's, no less. Goodfellow's was really too upscale for a first date, especially on a civil lawyer's salary, but Jeannie was worth it. Despite her reputation, David was sure he'd hooked the lure that would get her.
He hadn't even gotten a direct answer. Not even so much as an acknowledgement. Instead, she'd smiled strangely, ducked her head, swerved around him, and avoided him ever since. That's what he assumed, anyway, since after that he only caught sight of her at meetings or on her way somewhere.
"I can't believe she dissed you," John Bakers, in for his monthly pro-bono, gibed after word reached him of David's rejection, witnessed by the gossipy secretary. "Here you are, Asian too, not to mention the suavest stud in these parts."
"Me, suave?" David drawled with faint sarcasm. He let the "stud," and the "Asian too" go unchallenged, though both irritated him. He supposed John couldn't help being a blue-blood Pilgrim descendent raised in a sheltered New England family--unlike David, whose mother was South Korean and whose Scottish father had lived in England and Canada before coming to the States. It would serve no purpose to try to explain that David's bloodline would mean little to a second-generation Taiwanese woman. John saw people in black, white, yellow, and little green aliens.
"Oh, yeah," John said. "You're the slickest talker this side of the bar, and I'm not talking about your professional life. Everyone knows, pal."
"Knows what?" He hadn't been able to disguise his annoyance then, but John just laughed and slapped him on the back.
"That you're a genius with women. Just ask Quadruple Orgasm Linda."
David had restrained himself--again. It was true he'd been with the executive from a neighboring office, and in the course of their time together she'd experienced a quadruple orgasm, several of them, actually. But he didn't blab about women, even women who knew the score--or in Linda's case, broadcast it. It was she who'd told tales of their Olympic-class romps, perhaps hoping to turn on future bed partners. In doing so, she'd managed to turn him off. The sex was good, but discretion and privacy were better.
He also hadn't responded to John's crudeness because Jeannie Lin happened to be passing at that exact moment.