“Everything is fucked up right now.” He didn’t like how easy he was to read.

“I always love it when a businessman talks dirty.”

“Hey, that’s me you like talking dirty,” Russ said.

“I’ll leave you two alone.” Richard got up and made his way toward the door.

“Talk to her,” Anna said. “Talk to Temperance before you start assuming what she wants, and try to make sure she’s part of the decision. You billionaires are a little self-centered at times.”

Richard nodded. “Take care of yourself.”

“I will.”


“Tempe, can I come in?”

Curled up in bed, Temperance stared at the door that concealed her best friend from her. She didn’t want to deal with Jay right now. He was a problem that she didn’t see coming. Yes, she loved him. He was her best friend, and she couldn’t imagine life without him in it, but that kind of love, that had disappeared long ago, or at least she thought it had. Now she was struggling with all of her feelings.

He took her virginity because she asked him to, and she didn’t want anyone else for her first time.

“Come in, Jay,” she said.

Seconds later he was lying beside her on the bed. “Hey, bumpkins.”

“Don’t. Don’t use childhood sweet names right now. I’m not in the mood.”

He sighed. “I’d have told you sooner.”

“How long, Jay?”

“Forever.” He didn’t even try to pretend that he didn’t know what she was talking about.

“That makes no sense. You’ve been screwing your way through every single woman that comes your way. You’re telling me that you’ve loved me all that time?” She didn’t believe it, not for a second.

“Yeah, I’ve loved you since the beginning. The night I took your virginity, in my head, that was it. You finally understood what I felt.”

Temperance remembered the day, and she felt her cheeks heat. She’d woken the next morning and asked that they never talk about it again.

“You could have said something.”

“How? You couldn’t even look into my eyes as you spoke. I didn’t want to lose my friend, and you’ll always be my friend.”

“This is going to be hard.”

“Give me a chance, Tempe.”


“I’m not going to go anywhere,” Jay said. “Richard, do you really think he’s the sticking around kind of guy?”

“I don’t know what kind of guy he is. I know bits about him, but, don’t do anything stupid.”

“Tell me something,” he said.


“Do you like him?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Do you think you could love him?” Jay asked.

“I don’t know.”

“Do you think you could love me?”

“I do love you, Jay.”

“Not as a friend, as a lover?”

Temperance closed her eyes. “I can’t answer that right now.”

“Okay, we’ll just go to sleep.”


Richard was everything Jay hadn’t imagined. How could his luck be that bad? Temperance had always wanted a man like Richard, and it didn’t have anything to do with the money either. She liked them muscular, strong, and with a sense of humor. When he’d been in high school, and she’d admitted her fantasy to him, Jay had signed up to the gym and begun tryouts with the weight lifting team.

Damn, one of the reasons he’d held off pursuing Temperance was his own desires. He loved threesomes, and over the years had come to see how erotic it was to watch his woman let go in the arms of another man. There were moments where he’d imagine Temperance as that woman. Together they could find another man who they could trust to give them both what they needed.

All this time he’d truly believed Temperance wasn’t the threesome kind. There was no way he could share her with Richard, was there? His cock thickened at the thought. Temperance was clearly attracted to Richard, there was no doubt. Could this be what he’d been hoping for?

It had been some time since he’d allowed himself to dream of a future with her.

When he actually thought about what he’d done to gain her attention, Jay wanted to kick himself. He’d done everything—apart from actually tell her he wanted her. On the night he took her virginity, he truly believed their relationship was going to start over, and he would finally have her.

She had woken up, and looked like she was going to vomit.

Jay would have her as a friend rather than not have her in his life.

“I love you, Temperance.”

She turned to face him, and stared back. “I love you, too, Jay.”

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