Gillian’s college boyfriend, Des, the one who had broken her heart, reentered her life ten years after she married a rich, hard-driving banker. She had long since abandoned her career to work free-lance. As it turned out, so had Des.
Summers were always slow, and by August they gave up trolling for projects, preferring to meander through lush parks. When the air grew too hot and their rapport too intense, Des admitted that if she wasn’t married, he would refuse to see her again. “Nothing sticky,” he said.
Luckily, Gillian’s snug marriage kept them safe: No life-altering possibilities swarmed in their minds. All they did was talk.
True, Des stroked her arms, begging her urgently for—a kiss. But he didn’t mean it. Des always stayed in control. Gillian did not, exactly. His hands charged her entire body, thrilling her so that invisible sparks filled the air.
They bought Popsicles and found a bench overlooking the river. Des laughed at what a various and satisfying sex life she must enjoy, if she wouldn’t even consider him.
“Really, Gillian, it can only get better.”
She shook her head. “It’s too much already—reclaiming myself afterwards.”
Des whistled. “How long have you been married?”
“George doesn’t take marriage literally.” Orange Popsicle dripped on Gillian’s shorts.
“Oh right. There’s what’s her name.”
“He’s very passionate with me, though,” Gillian said. “Rosemary mostly fans the flames.”
“For you or him or both?”
“I don’t know.”
“Why not?” Des asked, finishing his Popsicle. “Don’t you do anything for yourself?”
“Well—” Gillian blushed but decided talking was innocent. They could say anything to each other. She wasn’t even looking at Des; she spoke to the wind. “I have a fool-proof method.”
Des sputtered in delight. He hadn’t meant that. His question had been rhetorical. But now that she’d mentioned it, he needed details.
She stood up and he grabbed her wrist. “I’m sorry I laughed.” Des pulled her onto the grass and they gazed at the sky.
“Please,” he said, closing his eyes. “Tell me.”
She scooted away and he crawled close to her, placing a hand on her hip until she lay beside him. “Tell me what you do that’s special.”
“I didn’t say it was special.”
“Just tell me,” Des said.
So she did, and he whistled again. “Will you show me?” Her hair flew in her face. “Please,” he said; please, three times.
Her unconsidered response was: “But I could be arrested.”
“I didn’t mean here,” Des said. “I meant, show me in private.”
Odd how nearby his apartment was.