Authors: Victoria Lexington
SEX AND THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Copyright © 2013 by Three Rocks Publishing LLC
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior permission of
Published in the United States by Three Rocks Publishing LLC.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or lo
cales is entirely coincidental.
For my amazing family.
I love you more than the moon and the sky and the sun and the whole world put together.
I hope all your
nights are “Wonderful Tonight.”
Thank you to everyone who helped make my dream become a reality. The support of my friends and family has been tremendous and I am so grateful.
No author is done until her editors work their magic. A big shout out to Lisa Shalek and A. Ross Cookman for their fabulous work. Thank you to Melissa Case of Honeybeeconsulting.com for editing my manuscript and making my “diamond” shine.
A huge thank you to Rebecca Royce for your assistance, support and encouragement.
And last, but not least, a very special thank you to my husband for his help, patience, and mostly for believing in me as a writer.
In a million years, I never imagined that I would be part of something so crazy, so complex. My name is Liz. Before all of this started, I was just your average desperate housewife, raising a family in the heart of upper-middle-class Suburbia. The highlights of my day generally included seeing my beautiful children and getting a good night’s sleep.
I was happy in my own little world until I realized that there was a whole other, unexplored social frontier out there. Once I took a step into it, I was forever a part of it. Before I knew it, I was caught up in a real-life soap opera of epic proportions and I couldn’t get out.
Some days, I wish I had never joined Facebook. Maybe then I wouldn’t have been the common thread woven through the lives of my philandering friends. Maybe I would never have been tempted by my ex-boyfriend.
Maybe, maybe, maybe
. But it’s too late to hit rewind on my story or any of theirs.
Each story is so unbelievable, you’d swear it was fiction, unless you were me and had witnessed each unfold… and then unravel, changing lives irrevocably.
Four beautiful women, all dissatisfied with their lives in some way, all cheating, all desperate to find that certain
je ne sais quoi
that was missing in their lives.
Before you pass judgment, it’s important that you wait. Here is what you need to know: through all the affairs, cheating, lies, and drama, I discovered that the desire to be loved is so deep-rooted, so strong, that sometimes we sacrifice everything to find it. Sometimes, being held and close to someone is all we want. Sometimes, it’s the only thing that matters.
“Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”
– Erica Jong
It’s official. Sex makes the world go ‘round. I used to think that it was money, but that was before I got caught up in a tangled web of sex, lies, and videotapes.
I had an affair. Well, sort of. I guess that depends on how you define “affair.” Let’s just say I was not completely faithful to my husband. In a million years, I never would have believed I was capable of such a thing. Not me. Maybe my friends or my neighbors or maybe even my sister, but me? No way. I was above succumbing to such a sordid act . . . or so I thought.
I had been on Facebook for a while, but had only started using it regularly when I found Maria, one of my best friends from childhood. I hadn’t seen her in ten years, and Facebook allowed us to catch up as if no time had passed at all; it was great to have her back in my life. We both had full-time jobs, but we made time in our lives to get together for drinks at least twice a month. Maria was hilarious, and we always had a fantastic time.
Maria was gorgeous, and her classic good looks had only gotten better with time. She wore her straight, blonde hair long now, just below her shoulders. Her eyes were just as lovely: almond shaped and the color of the Mediterranean Sea. Her perfect, pouty lips always looked like she was wearing lipstick. She was five feet seven inches tall and weighed just 120 pounds. She had a great rack and turned heads everywhere she went. I loved going out to bars with Maria. We always got free drinks, and we played a mean game of “good cop, bad cop.”
So when Enrique Ramirez friended me on Facebook, I had to tell Maria right away. He was a good friend of ours from high school and had been Maria’s high school sweetheart—her first love. They were so in love; I was sure the two of them would be together forever.
I couldn’t wait to tell Maria the news.
So guess who I chatted with on Facebook today?
Hint: Muy caliente!
Enrique?!? No way! How is he?
He is great! We just friended each other this morning. I might have mentioned your name. He said he hoped you would send him a friend request.
Wait, is this just you instigating?
Maybe LOL, but does it matter? You’re both married with kids.
Yeah, you’re right. I’d love to chat with him and see how he is.
Great, let me know how it goes.
Each night after the kids would go to bed, I’d get on my computer. I’d catch up on work and then log on to Facebook. Almost every night, I’d chat with Maria or another of my friends; it was my saving grace from the chaos of my daily life. My refuge. Mostly, the chats were pretty innocuous. At least until Maria and Enrique reconnected, that is. That’s when things started to get interesting.
Hey Lizzy, what’s up?
Hey! Not much. Kids just finished school a few days ago. I’m excited for the
summer. What’s up with you?
All good! Guess who I’m meeting tomorrow night?
No way! I guess you guys have been catching up on Facebook.
Yeah. We decided it would be easier to talk in person. He lives about an hour away, but he’ll be town for a few days on business, so we’re going to meet for drinks.
Cool! Say hi for me.
Don’t do anything I’d do. ;)
LMAO, don’t worry, I won’t!
I was living the dream. I was married to a successful, handsome pilot, blessed with two beautiful, healthy kids that I adored, and I had a fulfilling job. I lay in bed that morning before the kids got up just thanking God for my incredible life. I had it all. I was grateful.
That’s what makes what happened next so unreal. I genuinely thought I was happy. The grass wasn’t greener on the other side; I loved the emerald hues on the side I was on. I’d thought so anyway, until the day I actually hopped the fence. The grass on the other side was so much greener I couldn’t believe I ever thought mine had anything but weeds.
It was late spring, and the promise of summer freedom and frivolity was right around the corner. My days were full of work and kids and a whirlwind of activities. It was go, go, go, all day long, and I loved it. After the kids were in bed, I needed some alone time to breathe, relax, and recharge. I’d change into my black yoga pants and comfy t-shirt, pour myself a glass of merlot, and log on to Facebook to escape with my friends for a little while.
I went to my office, closed the door behind me, took a seat in my favorite chair, and rubbed my eyes for a moment. I opened my eyes and sighed, letting my muscles relax. My office was full of wonderful memories, and it almost always had a soothing effect on me. There was a Lladro figurine that I’d bought in Spain when I went there with my mom a year before she died, paintings my kids made, and tons of framed photos of the people I loved. It was my sanctuary.
I pulled a hair tie off my wrist and put my long, wavy, blonde hair up in a ponytail. Catching my reflection in the computer monitor, I frowned slightly; I looked tired. Friends at the office had remarked that I was looking a little worn out, but this was the first I really noticed.
Suburbia sure took its toll, huh?
I took off my wedding band and placed it in the Waterford crystal ashtray I’d gotten as an engagement gift ten years ago. I checked a few work emails, and then I logged on to Facebook. I was excited to see one of my best friends, Liz, was on. We had lost touch over the years, so I was thrilled when she found me on Facebook a few months ago. When we reconnected it was as if no time had passed at all, and once again we were great friends. I could always count on her for a good laugh.
When she told me that Enrique, my first true love, had asked about me and wanted me to friend him on Facebook, I couldn’t believe it. Just thinking about him got me all tingly below the belt. Over the years, I had thought about him a lot, but to actually be back in touch with him made me a little nervous. I checked out his profile picture and, not surprisingly, he looked ama
zing . . . just like I’d remembered him. I took a deep breath and sent a friend request to Enrique. I was curious about how he was doing and, to be honest, I was dying to see more pictures of him.
I browsed through Liz’s Facebook pictures for a bit; it was so funny to see how much her kids resembled her and Braden. The two oldest, Don and Isabella, had the same color hair as Liz, dirty blonde with streaks of sun-kissed gold, and the same deep-set hazel eyes, the same full lips. They were both tall and lean like Braden. Alexa was Braden’s “mini-me.” She had his light blonde hair and big blue eyes, but she had inherited Liz’s wild curls. The kids had the best of both parents and they were adorable.
Liz and I liked to joke about how well we were aging. We were good for each other like that. I told her what a MILF she was and she called me “Tatas”, jealous of my fabulous rack. Although we were hard on ourselves, we saw the beauty in each other, and when we went out to a bar, the lingering glances and offers from men to buy us drinks told us we were still pretty hot.
I was still smiling about my fun nights with Liz when the chat box appeared, and there he was: Enrique. The one that got away.
Hey, Maria! How are you?
Hey, yourself! I’m good, and you?
Great! I can’t believe you friended me. I was just about to send you a request myself.
Well, Liz told me you two had chatted. I just beat you to it.
Tell me what you’ve been up to for the past decade or so.
LOL, how long do you have to chat?
How about you just give me the highlights? :)
I have two kids: Paquito and Christina. I live in Jojoville and work in PR.
LOL, duh, yes. To Zack. I met him after college, he’s a pilot. Now you.
Cool, so I have my own software company. Married to Claire; we have two beautiful girls. Hey, I’m going to be downtown tomorrow evening after a client meeting. Want to get together so we can catch up more in person?
: Sure, when is good for you?
: How about 8 p.m. at the Montgomery Hotel? Meet me at the bar?
Perfect, see you then.
I took a quick peek at Enrique’s photos; he had barely changed since I’d last seen him. He wore his dark, wavy hair a little longer now, and his already olive skin seemed bronzed like he was perpetually on vacation or something. He was just gorgeous. I sat at my desk, daydrea
ming about seeing him the next day. I sighed, closed my laptop, and went up to bed. I tossed and turned all night, both nervous and excited to see my first love.