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Man Hands (Man Hands #1)
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He puts the “screw” in screwball comedy…
At thirty-four, I’m reeling from a divorce. I don’t want to party or try to move on. I just want to stay home and post a new recipe on my blog: Brynn’s Dips and Balls.
But my friends aren’t having it. Get out there again, they say. It will be fun, they say. I’m still taking a hard pass.
Free designer cocktails, they say. And that’s a game-changer.
Too bad my ex shows up with his new arm candy. That’s when I lose my mind. But when my besties dare me to leap on the first single man I see, they don’t expect me to actually go through with it.
All I need right now is some peace and quiet while my home renovation TV show is on hiatus. But when a curvy woman in a red wrap dress charges me like she’s a gymnast about to mount my high bar, all I can do is brace myself and catch her. What follows is the hottest experience of my adult life.
I want a repeat, but my flying Cinderella disappears immediately afterward. She doesn’t leave a glass slipper, either—just a pair of panties with chocolate bunnies printed on them.
But I will find her.
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1 Sandwiches and Sorrow
“What you need is to be fucked.”
Ashley says this to me, and I sorta can’t breathe. The not-breathing is because I’m winded from giving Ash and Sadie a very long monologue about how desperate and alone I feel now that my divorce is final. A divorce I wanted, mind you, but the end of my marriage is devastating.
I’ve failed at marriage.
My Monologue of Despair was so all-consuming that I haven’t even taken a bite out of my crisp, gooey Cuban sandwich with garlicky mojo sauce. That’s how bad things really are—I let that slice of salty ham heaven just sit there and get soggy and cold, like my love life.
Because I am in despair.
So after Ash says, “You need to be fucked,” I can’t breathe. It’s partly because my nose is filled with snot over my sorrow, and also because, goddamn it, she’s right.
I take a bite of the sandwich, just so, you know, she’ll continue with this line of thought.
“…and I’m not talking that kind of ‘Oh you complete me’ bullshit and ‘Can I touch you here’ lovey shit. I mean the growling, fumbling, grunting—”
“Biting,” Sadie adds as she steals one of my fries.
“—biting kind of hot fucking. You know, headboard-knocking fucking. The kind where you’re all…”
“Sweaty?” I guess.
“Yes! Sweaty, but that good kind of sex sweat, right? Like when you’re done and you’re starving and you go to the store for ice cream, people take one whiff of you and they know. They know!”
“They know you got the dick,” Sadie finishes.
I sort of giggle-burp because I’m really emotional right now and this sandwich is so good, and Sadie, a therapist and a mom to newborn twin girls, isn’t one to use the word “dick”. Usually, it’s penis, if she says anything at all. She’s my most anatomically correct friend.
“What I’m saying is—” Ash holds up one finger to mark her place while she drains the rest of her beer. “—stop wallowing and let’s find you someone to screw.”
I swallow another bite of my sandwich, and then I realize a bearded waiter is leaning over the adjacent table, mesmerized. He’s polishing the same few inches of the wood surface over and over again with a dirty gleam in his eye.
Also, he’s wearing really tight hipster pants.
That’s when me and my friends—my dear friends from college, my soul sisters—share a secret glance of amusement. We’re at eye level with his crotch and the evidence therein. He’s not our waiter, but it’s clear that he’d still like to help us out with anything we want…and not just food and beverages.
Ash leans forward, maybe to get the waiter’s attention by hoisting up her boobs, or maybe she just wanted to rest them on the table. “You, sir. I can see you’re invested in this conversation. Can I ask you a rather blunt hypothetical question?”
I try to kick her under the table, but I am on my second mojito and the first mojito went straight to my fine-motor skills, meaning I am one mojito away from drooling, two away from peeing.
He blinks, and then he blinks again. He moves his skinny hips closer to the end of our table and I have to avert my gaze. “Hit me. I love this conversation.”
“Well then.” Ash shoots me a look. “Hypothetically,” she asks, “would you fuck my friend? Like, a good fuck? Not a romantic fuck?”
Blink. Blink. Blink. Then: “I’m working a double shift,” he says.
“I’m not talking reality,” Ash scoffs. “I’m talking hypothetically. You know that hypothetically means in the supposed universe, right? As in, just in theory?”
He adjusts his pants. There is a marked swelling on one side of his leg, and I can’t help but do a double take. That enlargement travels almost to his knee. I mean, it’s a fucking anaconda. He could jump rope with that thing.
“Sure,” he says. “I mean, not that I would, I’m totally engaged to my girlfriend. It’s on Instagram and everything. We had chalkboards with our names on it and the date and all. But yeah. I’d totally fuck her.” He leans down and whispers, “Against. A. Wall.”
There is a pregnant silence, by which I mean I could almost get pregnant just basking in his stare. His eyes are on my generous cleavage. Sometimes I find that sort of behavior from a waiter rude. But he’s not our waiter. And since we just invited him to hypothetically boink me, I can’t really hold it against him.
Sadie snorts, breaking the silence. “Hopefully not these walls,” she says, motioning to the wood paneling. “Splinters.”
“Ow,” he agrees, leaning close to me, and I swear he smells like wonderful things, including bacon. “I get off at three a.m. Just saying.”
There is another awkward pause, and I pass the time admiring his trouser snake. I’m a little worried that it’s going to bust out of his pants all Hulk-like. Some kind of response is required of me, but mojitos and pheromones have rendered me speechless.