When friends-with-benefits turns into friends-with-a-baby-on-the-way…
It’s supposed to be just a no-strings attached fling with big, brooding, football player Cash Young. He is going to whisk me away for a week in the sunshine while my three kids spend time with their grandparents.
No one screaming, “Mom!” No tears. No absurd homework assignments or problems at the struggling bakery I own, Sugar Lips.
Nothing but cocktails and sexy fun for days with a man I’ll never fall in love with.
It’s not that Cash isn’t a great guy, because he totally is. But he’s way too young for me, and way too country boy calm, with that slow drawl, and his insistence on calling me “ma’am.” He thinks it’s respectful, which it’s not. It’s infuriating. And while we’re friends, we’ll never be anything more than that, with a little hot, headboard-banging sex on the side.
Until two pink lines change everything and Cash wants me to go from single mom to Mrs. Sera Young.
But the biggest surprise of all may be that the unexpected idea has a certain, sexy ring to it…
I wasn’t exactly an ideal candidate for jumping on a dating app, aka a hookup app, and navigating the waters of casual sex. I wasn’t and I knew it. It was why I hadn’t and why I was currently mildly drunk at my sister’s New Year’s Eve party lamenting out loud the lack of dick in my life.
Cash tossed his now empty paper plate into the trash at the end of the island.
For a second, I didn’t think he was going to say anything else, but then he put his large hands on my shoulders and looked down at me. It disarmed me. Given I’m six feet tall, not a lot of men tower over me like he did. But he had a good four inches on me.
“Cash.” I fought the urge to giggle. He sounded so serious and he was close to me. I could see the flecks of gold in his brown eyes and where he’d missed a spot on his chin when he had shaved. He was wearing a subtle aftershave.
“Promise me you won’t meet up with some random stranger. It could be dangerous, but more likely it will just be disappointing.”
I knew he was right. But Cash was easily seven or eight years younger than me and he sounded so stern. So fatherly. It added to my urge to giggle.
“I’m not going to meet up with total strangers. I can promise you that.”
He eyed me for another second, then nodded, like he’d decided he could believe me. Then he cocked his head and shifted his hand from my shoulder to my hair. He flicked the ends of it, making me shiver a little. What the hell was he doing? I didn’t think he’d ever touched me before tonight and now this was the second time he had in two minutes.
“Did you dye your hair? Weren’t you blonde before?”
Really? He’d been standing and talking to me for ten minutes and he had finally noticed I’d gone from a blonde to a brunette? “Yes, I was blonde. My whole life, mostly, aside from dying it pink once in high school. I just needed a change.”
After my teenage daughter had posted my photo on dating apps and given me the username TallHotBlonde. It was beyond mortifying. And nothing about my current state of being felt “hot.”
“It looks nice.”
That was a lukewarm endorsement.
“Blondes have more fun. I’m not having any fun so it seemed like false advertising.”
“If you get pounded, you’ll dye it back to blonde?”
Now I did laugh. “I guess so. I hadn’t thought it through exactly.”
“I prefer your natural blonde, I’m not going to lie.”
As if I had asked him. “And I would prefer to be having fun via getting pounded, but now we’re just trodding back over old territory.”
“What if you and me solved our mutual problem together?”
It was my turn to choke. I had been taking a sip of my martini and at his unexpected words, I coughed and sprayed vodka and liqueur over my own hand. “Are you suggesting… that we… that you and me… ” I couldn’t say it. I would start giggling again.
Me and Cash? Doing the dirty? It was a ridiculous, silly, impossible, intriguing, practical proposition.
That’s all he said. Nothing else.