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Here’s a short tidbit from later than the first five chapters:
Joe and Dori stood awkwardly in the great room, listening to distant squeals of admiration from Lisa. Robert returned quickly. “She said she wanted to grab a quick shower.”
“Great,” Joe said. “That’ll be at least another twenty minutes.”
“Anyone want another beer?” Robert asked.
“No thanks,” Joe and Dori said in unison. Joe gave her an annoyed look. He didn’t want them to suddenly get along too well, Dori concluded. She withdrew to peer out of the giant bank of windows.
“Something else?” Robert said, head in the refrigerator. “I have water, soda, iced tea. White wine. Red wine.”
Neither she nor Joe responded.
Dori looked at her watch. Now that it was finally growing dark outside, the windows were reflecting the yellow-lit interior of the house. In the reflection she watched Robert open an iced tea, check his own watch, then flounce down on the massive sofa that sat in front of the fireplace. “Anyone want a fire?” he asked.
Joe said, “Don’t you have the air on?”
Robert shrugged. “I can keep it low.” He picked up a remote and flames leapt up, quickly dialed down to embers.
Joe frowned. “So where’s the mood music?”
Robert cocked an eyebrow at him. “You want me to get you in the mood?”
Dori asked, “Do you have another bathroom?”
Robert said, “You’ll find a couple of bathrooms just down the other hall there, between the bedrooms.” He pointed towards the other side of the house. Dori couldn’t help noticing that while he’d escorted Lisa, she was on her own.
“Thanks,” she said, and took off. But as she passed the kitchen and front door she noticed a tiny half bath that was closer and ducked in. She sat down, noting the funky wallpaper with its rainbow trout motif, and realized she could hear the two guys talking quite clearly.
Which meant they could hear her, too. She’d have to try to pee softly. There were some drawbacks to the great room concept. She stealthily unrolled toilet paper, reluctant even to broadcast the clunk-clunk of the roll turning.
She heard Joe say, “You’ve got quite a reputation.”
“Hey, it’s not my fault women throw themselves at me. I don’t know if it’s my stunning good looks, my charming personality, or all that money. And, frankly, I don’t care. I enjoy the ladies, and I make sure they enjoy me. I make no apologies for any of it.”
Damn. Joe was right, Robert was a skank. That was the vibe she’d been getting from him all along, of course, but it was a little disheartening to hear him own it so wholeheartedly.
On the other hand that part about ensuring the ladies enjoyed it intrigued her a bit. No doubt there was something to be said for all that practice.
Also, the size of his instrument bore consideration.
Joe didn’t sound impressed. “Have you shared this philosophy with Dori?”
“I follow a don’t ask, don’t tell policy in regards to my philosophy. But you’ve already warned her off, haven’t you?”
Joe didn’t answer, unless it was some visual response Dori couldn’t see.
Robert continued: “What I like about Dori is that she clearly has a mind of her own. She’s more than capable of making her own decisions about what might be fun. I find her very appealing, actually. She might even be a keeper.”
As opposed to the old catch and release? Dori eyed the trout motif on the wallpaper and decided she felt vaguely flattered. She knew she could not compete with Lisa or half the other eligible young women in the world in terms of physical attraction, but apparently all a woman really had to do to fascinate Robert was be unusually uncooperative. She could do that.