Authors: Christine Warren
Tags: #Romance, #Erotic, #Vampire/Gothic
The following material contains strong sexual content meant for mature readers. FANTASY FIX has been rated NC17, erotic, by three individual reviewers. We strongly suggest storing this electronic file in a place where young readers not meant to view this ebook are unlikely to happen upon it. That said, enjoy…
“Good lord, you should have seen her face! I thought her eyes were going to pop right out of her head.”
Laughter shook the shoulders of four of the women in the room, while the fifth took the ribbing with good-natured grumping.
“Are you kidding? And miss one second of staring at that
hunk of a man? Our Corinne would never be that stupid.” Danice topped off her wine glass from the nearly empty bottle of merlot and grinned slyly. “Besides, if her eyes had popped out, they probably would have just landed on her chin. I think it was on the floor by that point.”
Missy laughed. “That accounts for the puddles, then!”
“Hey,” Corinne protested with mock dignity, finishing off the white wine in her own glass. “There were no puddles involved. At least, not that early on.”
“And they didn’t consist of drool anyway,” Ava quipped as she selected a chunk of havarti from the plundered plate of cheese on the table in front of her. “I hope those silk sheets of yours didn’t stain, Corinne, darling.”
“If they did, I don’t want to know about it.” Regina McNeill laughed and rose from her seat on the floor of her apartment’s living room. She thought there might still be a couple of bottles of wine in the kitchen. She might as well break them out. If the company wasn’t excuse enough, the damp, dreary spring weather ought to be. “There’s such a thing as too much information, you know.”
“There is not,” Danice shouted at Regina to make sure she’d be heard from the other room. “Friends share everything, Reggie!”
“Mm, especially the dirty parts,” Ava purred. Her sleek, dark eyebrows wriggled suggestively and drew another laugh from the group.
Even Reggie laughed while she snagged the last bottle of white from the fridge and another red from off the breakfast bar that separated her tiny kitchen from the rest of her apartment. True to form for the bi-weekly girls’ nights, things had gotten raunchy by this stage of the evening. Reggie and her four closest friends had consumed a table full of munchies and more than half a case of wine, and that in only a couple of hours. It was no wonder their conversation had gone straight to the gutter. “I don’t get the dirty parts,” she commented, bringing the wine with her to the living room and reaching for the corkscrew. “I thought that’s what blue movies and romance novels were for.”
“We know you don’t get the dirty parts.” Ava nudged her wine glass toward Reggie and smiled archly. “Which is why I am motioning that you, dear Regina, are going to be our next project.”
The suggestion was met with a half-second of silence followed by a rousing cheer from everyone but Reggie.
“Oh, no,” Reggie protested, totally forgetting about her struggle with the cork. “I’m not going to be your next victim. Pick someone else.” Her eyes had gone wide and nervous, and she shook her head vehemently. Desperate, she looked around at her one-time friends for a way out. “Pick Missy. It ought to be Missy’s turn by now…”
“No way, girl. Missy already took a turn.” Danice quickly surveyed the room and pursed her lips. “In fact, she’s taken two turns. We all have. You are the only one who hasn’t yet had even one Fantasy Fix.”
“Maybe I’m not broken.” Her protests fell on deaf ears, not that she’d expected much else. No one could talk Danice Carter out of an idea, which is why the Fantasy Fixes had gotten off the ground to begin with. Danice had the original brainstorm, with Ava quickly throwing her support behind it, and since the whole thing had been born on another girls’ night—complete with its ritual alcohol consumption—Missy and Corinne had quickly jumped onto the bandwagon. Even Reggie had voted to go for it. At the time, she couldn’t see the harm. Now she could kick herself.
The Fantasy Fix started when one too many drinks led the conversation to the subject of fantasies—in particular, sexual fantasies.
“Have you ever acted one out?”
Ava had wanted to know
“One of the really steamy ones you didn’t want anyone to know about?”
Danice scoffed at that
“When would I get the chance? And with who? Reggie’s the only one of us with a long-term relationship. I’m lucky if I can get lucky, let alone find a guy to act out the good stuff with.”
“I don’t know if that makes Reggie lucky though,”
“Sometimes it’s even harder to do the fantasy thing with a real partner than it would be with someone you don’t know as well. There’s more at stake. Personally, if I’m going to admit I want to dress up in red leather and have some hunk call me Mistress, I think I’d rather do it with a stranger.”
Missy giggled and grinned
“You go, girl. I wouldn’t have pegged you for it, but I think I like this side of you. You’re right though; strangers would be easier.”
Danice agreed. “Besides, you pull out the big guns with a lover, and he’s gonna want in on the fantasizing. Lovers want to get inside your head. At least if you were doing the fantasy thing with a stranger, you can do it all the way, not worry about him whining that
wants to be the Emperor this time.”
They had all laughed, except for Ava. She’d had that look.
“You know, Corinne,”
she said slowly,
“I know someone, a real hunk, who would love the opportunity to call someone mistress without paying for it or doing the long-term thing. I could maybe hook you two up.”
“Playing matchmaker, Ava? You know, I’ve been looking for a nice mountain man to kidnap me and keep me in his cabin for a weekend or two. Know anyone like that?”
“I don’t know about Ava, but I do,” Danice chimed in. “I could fix you up with that fantasy. In fact, I bet if we put our heads together, we could maybe help each other out. All five of us. I bet we could come up with a way for any four of us to fix up the other one. Make it possible for her to live her fantasies. Give her a Fantasy Fix.”
That had been the beginning of the end. A vote had revealed the five of them to be just drunk enough and just insane enough to agree to help each other find a way to live out their fantasies. They’d drawn up a plan, collected five fantasies from each member of the group and plunged headfirst into round one. By putting their heads together, the five friends found they knew an awful lot of men who fit each other’s visions of a fantasy lover. After that, making the arrangements had been easy. Round one had gone off like gangbusters, with each woman taking a turn at acting out one of her five fantasies with one of the eligible bachelors in the Fantasy Pool. Well, each woman had taken a turn except for Reggie.
At the time the idea came together, Reggie had still been seeing Greg, had still been living with Greg, unfortunately, so she’d been exempt. They’d skipped over her, and Reggie had told herself she didn’t need a fantasy lover when she had a real one sleeping by her side every night. She hadn’t realized that while Greg slept by her side every night, he also fucked his receptionist in his office every afternoon. Their relationship hadn’t made it past the beginning of round two. The breakup had been four months ago, and while Reggie had finally reached the stage when she could admit she was better off without the scum-sucker, she still didn’t quite feel ready for a Fantasy Fix.
Of course, try to tell that to her friends.
And she was. She was trying really, really hard. They just refused to listen.
“Get the hat,” Danice instructed Missy while Corinne took the bottle of wine from Reggie’s hands and finished opening it. “Who’s got custody of Ms. McNeill’s fantasies?”
Four women looked at each other, and Reggie had the fleeting hope her fantasies had been lost to the ether, and they could just forget this whole insane idea.
“I didn’t bring them,” Missy admitted. “I didn’t know Corinne was finished, so I didn’t think we’d be drawing tonight.”
Reggie started to grin.
“No matter,” Ava dismissed. “Just get a pen and paper. She can draw up five new ones. Knowing our bashful and generally monogamous friend, her old ones probably all featured the Slimeball, anyway.”
Reggie felt the first stirrings of panic. Her friends had never liked Greg—neither did Reggie these days—but that didn’t mean she felt ready to hop into bed with a stranger.
“You know, I really think—”
“That you need to make these good, girl,” Danice interrupted firmly, handing Reggie a pad and a pen. “Now is your chance to live it up. Get fantasizing.”
Missy returned to the group and held up the straw hat she had snagged from Reggie’s hall closet. “Who’s going to draw?”
“I will,” Corinne offered and set her refilled wineglass on the cocktail table. “Since I had the last Fix.”
Reggie felt her already nebulous control over her own fate slipping permanently from her grasp. “Wait a minute, guys. I’m not so sure this is really a good idea. Maybe I’m not ready for this. Maybe I need to finish getting over this thing with Greg—”
“Trust me when I tell you, darling, the best way to get over that asshole is to fuck him right out of your memory.” Trust Ava to lay it all out in black and white. She never had been one to beat around the bush. “And since I don’t see you going out and picking up an assistant to help you with that, it is up to your friends to pick one up for you.”
“Plant it, Reg.” Danice pushed Reggie down onto the sofa and handed her a large glass of wine. “It’s your turn, and you are not backing out this time.”
Reggie didn’t even get the chance to launch another argument before Corinne took a turn with the browbeating. “No more stalling. You had your chance to veto this Fix in the beginning just like we all did, but once you threw in your fantasies, and we started round one, you were committed.”
Reggie scowled. “I ought to be committed.”
“Actually, that’s a really good point,” Missy interrupted. “She was in this beginning with round one, right? But she never got a turn. So I think,” she paused to grin at the other women, “Reggie should get a double draw. Two fantasies for the price of one, so to speak.”
“Yes!” Danice’s exclamation overrode Reggie’s protest. “It’ll be our job as the Fixers to find a way to fit the two fantasies together. Don’t worry, toots. We’ll find a way to make it happen for you.”
“It’ll be great.”
“Just trust us.”
Reggie figured that meant she was doomed, but looking at the solid wall of sisterly unity in front of her, she also figured resistance would prove futile. She was right.
“Write!” Ava ordered, pointing imperiously at the blank paper on Reggie’s lap. “We need five fantasies, Ms. McNeill, the kinkier the better.”
“No buts. Concentrate on butts.” Corinne grinned. “And pecs and abs and cocks. And really talented hands.”
They all laughed, and Reggie knew her reprieve had come to an ignominious end. She could never get away without listing five fantasies and throwing them—and herself—on her friends’ non-existent mercy.
“I don’t see the pen moving, Reg,” Missy teased her, waggling her eyebrows. “Get going. This is your chance to do all the things you weren’t sure were even physically possible.”
Reggie started to snap back she’d prefer the impossible, but she stopped when a thought occurred to her. She pursed her lips and tapped the pen against the pad. “So were there any rules about these fantasies? I can’t remember all the particulars we decided on. I think I was too drunk.”
“Anything goes, baby.” Danice grinned. “You can ask for anything you want, and if we can’t get it for you, we have to pay the forfeit. One month of celibacy each.”
“Which is not going to be a problem, darling. We can get you anything you want, Regina, so quit stalling and write.”
Reggie narrowed her eyes and obeyed Ava’s command. She knew she was being vindictive with the first four slips of paper she filled out, but she didn’t find this little stunt amusing, and she found the insistence of her friends more than a little annoying. As far as she could tell, a month of abstinence would be good for them. Maybe it would get their mind off sex for sixty consecutive seconds.
Fighting back a grin, Reggie quickly scribbled out four fantasies, each impossible for anyone to fulfill, even her resourceful friends…unless they could manage to find a vampire, an alien, Bigfoot or Elvis, still alive, in shape and fully functional. She still had to come up with one more, though, and she’d just run out of
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“Oh, you cannot tell me you don’t have enough fantasies,” Danice said, planting a hand on her hip and glaring down at Reggie while the other woman struggled to think of a final impossible request. “You are twenty-seven years old, girl, and the last two, you spent chained to Groping Gregory. You got time to make up for!”
“Don’t think,” Ava ordered, holding out the hat. “Fantasize. Now.”