It took me a moment to figure out what was going on. But Peter explained that he was my highest bidder, not Justin. That “I miss you, J?” The “J” was for Josie, not Justin’s way of signing off. Peter had assumed I could see the audience from the stage, and that I’d known he was the one who had forked over $5,500 for a good meal and the pleasure of my company.
“Well, thanks for the bid,” I said. “I didn’t think I’d get any.”
Peter laughed. “You should have seen the other guy trying to bid on you. I couldn’t let that happen to you.”
I suddenly remembered Ashley and asked Peter if I could use his phone to text her. She texted back that she had headed backstage to try and find me, and that she was making her way out to the front now.
“So,” Peter said, a glimmer in his eye. Man, I missed that. “‘Star’ of a show? What’s that about?”
“It’s nowhere near as impressive as it sounds,” I said. I told him about my new job, which he kind of already knew about since Elizabeth had been the one to hook me up, and how I ended up on Social Media. When I finished, there was an expression on Peter’s face I’d never seen before, and I don’t even know if I can pin down exactly what it was. It was sad almost, nostalgic.
“What?” I asked.
“Nothing.” Peter looked down at his feet, examined a scuff on his shiny shoes. Peter’s shoes had always intimidated me—they were pointy and severe, the kind important, accomplished men wore. They reminded me of the divide that would always exist between us—growing up, I “summered” in the next door neighbor’s pool, while Peter had summered at his family’s Nantucket estate. I know that kind of stuff shouldn’t matter, but it did when we were together. I always felt like his friends and family, his ex-wife and former in-laws, looked at me like I was just his twenty-something slam piece. A fling he had to get out of his system before he settled down with a woman who played squash and knew to pass the salt and pepper shakers together.
“Hey!” Ashley was walking towards us. She handed me my clutch and gave Peter a hug. “This guy,” she said, pointing to him. “Saved your ass.”
“So I hear,” I said.
“Jos, you don’t understand. The guy who wanted a date with you? I could see his nose hairs from across the room.”
“Gross,” I laughed, looking at Peter. He still had that same sad expression, and I had to look away.
Ashley picked up on the look. “I’m exhausted,” she said. “I think I’m going to take off.”
“I’ll get you a cab,” Peter volunteered.
After we’d put Ashley in a cab (and after she’d mouthed to me behind his back, “Get it! Get it!”), Peter asked if I wanted to get a drink somewhere.
“That depends,” I said.
“On your girlfriend. If you have one.”
“I broke up with her a week ago,” he said. “I would have called you, but in your email you made it sound like you didn’t want me to.”
I was floored. I couldn’t believe Peter had stayed away because of my email. Even though I’d said I didn’t want him to break up with his girlfriend for me, I’d also added that I’d never stopped thinking about him, and that I hoped there was a time for us in the future. Peter is the type of guy who goes for what he wants, and I wouldn’t think that would have been enough to keep him away.
We decided to walk west towards a wine bar Peter liked.
“Promise it’s not far,” I said, pointing to my monster heels.
“Just a few blocks,” he said.
But as we were crossing the street, my heel got stuck in a grate on the sidewalk. I flew forward, skidded on the ground, and took off a chunk of skin on my knee. And obviously I started howling like a five year old.
“Shit,” Peter said when he saw my knee. It was pretty grisly looking. “You need to wash this now before you get an infection.”
Peter helped me to my feet, and I leaned against him while he hailed us a cab. I didn’t stop him when he gave the driver his address. It’s not like I didn’t have band-aids and neosporin at my place.
It had been a long time since I’d been in Peter’s building, but even so, his doorman remembered me. I was walking like an invalid, Peter supporting most of my weight, but I forced a smile onto my face and waved at him.
“Everything okay?” he asked.
“Just a little spill, Louis,” Peter said.
Peter helped me onto a stool in his kitchen and disappeared into the bathroom to get his supplies. He came out with a soapy wash cloth.
“This may sting a little,” he said. He knelt in front of me and pressed it against my knee, and I sucked my breath in sharply.
Peter pulled the wash cloth away and examined my knee. “There’s gravel in there,” he said.
I felt like I was going to throw up. My parents always tease me about being a wimp, and I always get all defensive about it, but the truth is, I am a big fat baby when it comes to stuff like this. I don’t even understand how women have babies. The stretching, the tearing. I can’t. “Do you think I need to go to the hospital?”
“I think if we can get it out you don’t need to.” He looked up at me. “Do you want to do it or do you want me?”
I covered my eyes with my hands. “You. I can’t even look at it.”
Peter used the wash cloth to brush away the gravel while I went to my happy place (pizza, pizza, dark chocolate almond butter with vanilla ice cream, pizza). When he was finished, he squirted some neosporin on my knee and covered the whole mess with a few band aids.
“You’re good as new.” I removed my hands from my eyes and looked down at Peter on his knees on the floor. His hand was warm on my calf.
“You always had the softest skin,” he said.
It was too much, I couldn’t take how intimate the whole scene was. So I cracked a joke as per usual. “Are you going to make a coat out of me now?”
Peter didn’t laugh. Instead, he moved his hand further up my leg, to my inner thigh. I took a shaky breath.
Peter paused at the hemline of my Tibi dress. “If you want me to stop, say it now,” he said, quietly.
I pressed my lips together and shook my head. It wasn’t a yes, it wasn’t a no, and Peter stood, rising over me and slipping his hand behind my neck. I felt his heart beating fast as he came closer still and kissed me.
He pushed my legs apart so he could step in between them, and then he was picking me up, his hands in my hair and around my waist, carrying me to the bedroom. He pulled down the zipper on the back of my dress before he put me down on the bed. I shimmied out of it while he unbuttoned his shirt and stepped out of his tuxedo pants. I felt how hard he was when he got on top of me. When he slipped inside of me, he groaned. I felt his hand between my legs and as he touched me, the way he knew I liked, the way no one else really had before him, he said, “No one knows you like this. Tell me.”
He pulled the back of my hair so that my chin came up, and he buried his face in my neck, kissing my ear and my collarbone. “Say it,” he whispered into my ear.
“No one knows me like this,” I repeated back. The words seem to invigorate him, and he thrust inside me hard, his fingers moving in a way that made me feel like there was heat in every limb of my body.
“I miss you,” he said, softly, in my ear again. He pressed his thumb into me and I gasped.
“I miss you,” I said, and I meant it. “I miss you so much.”
Peter pulled back so that he was sitting up right, looking down at the place where we connected. He held my hips and pulled me into him closer, but I wanted his hand on me again and he knew it. He wet his fingertips on his lips and pressed them into me again.
“I want to watch you come,” he said. He knew when it happened, by the way my body shuddered. He knelt over me again and kissed me, and I felt his body release too.
We were so physically spent, we didn’t even talk after that. I rolled onto my side, and Peter pushed the covers down. He made sure we were both under the sheets before he came behind me and held me to him.
“Just wake me up when you do,” I murmured, before I drifted off. Peter gets up crazy early for work, and if I got up then, I’d have more than enough time to get home and shower and get to work on the early side, which I needed to do after my conversation with William.
I went into an orgasm coma in no time at all. As I drifted off, I thought, I could get used to this...
Author Note: Thank you for joining me in my new digital digs! I will continue to post every Tuesday and Thursday at 2pm. Follow me on my personal twitter @JessMKnoll where I will tweet out the links to new posts. I hope you continue to comment and tell me when Josie is acting a fool. XX