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Trinity Green sagged against the closed door of her condo and sighed. She was an extrovert. She loved people, thrived on their company. Yet for some reason, Faith’s baby shower had totally exhausted her. She was happy for Faith, thrilled about the baby, a boy, and that Faith had fallen for Connor and he’d fallen for her. It made Trinity’s matchmaking heart implode with happiness. Honest to God. That’s why she’d planned the shower though Faith had three months to go. She wanted to make sure her best friend in all the world had plenty of time to get the baby things she absolutely must have but didn’t receive at the party.
But with all that giddiness and the way Connor (who’d insisted on being there) kept touching Faith and looking at her with such an adoring gaze...Trinity didn’t know why it gave her headache, but it did. A migraine, which then gave her an upset stomach. As much as she loved, loved Faith, she had to get out.
Thank God Trinity had arranged for the party at a restaurant where all she had to do was pay the bill ahead of time and let the management clean up the banquet room. And Connor had said he’d make sure the truckload of presents got to their house.
Hence the reason she was home three hours earlier than she thought she’d be. Which would give her enough time to plan a perfect dinner for Harper. She’d get out Mama’s china and the silver candlesticks, order up a delicious dinner from Vatovola’s, and still have time to pamper herself with a soak in the bath. By the time Harper got home from his Sunday golf game at the country club, she’d be scented and perfect, and there was that new negligee she’d bought with him in mind.
Men liked the little gestures that made them feel they were kings of their castles. Their six-month anniversary wasn’t until next week and Valentine’s Day was almost three weeks away so he wouldn’t be expecting it.
Therefore it was, in a word, perfect. Her migraine was starting to go away.
Trinity hung her coat in the front closet. The entry hall was too small, but the condo was a starter home. At twenty-five hundred square feet, it wasn’t conducive to entertaining, especially for Harper’s business contacts. All his working capital was tied up in a deal, and her father had fronted them the money. With three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, living room, and dining room, they could survive for a while. The kitchen was a problem, however, when the caterers got in there. Like packed sardines. Trinity hadn’t redecorated, though, and rented just the bare furniture essentials. It would only be until Harper’s deal came through in a couple of months.
Kicking off her high heels, she carried them upstairs. As she stepped into the hall at the top, she realized the shower was running. So Harper was home. No long soak. But...there were other possibilities.
She could join him.
Harper was a fastidious lover. He didn’t like to muss her hair. For the most part, she could keep her lipstick intact. Which was fine. Who wanted to wake up beside a woman who’d gotten all messy and sweaty with smudges of makeup all over her face? Trinity hated the “morning after” look. For her part, she always got up before Harper and made sure her hair and makeup were perfect by the time he joined her for breakfast.
Yet sometimes, she dreamed of unbridled lust and passion--when she didn’t worry how she looked or if she perspired. Or even if her lipstick got all over his dipstick. She wanted something totally intense.
Like the fire she glimpsed between Connor and Faith.
Before she got married, Trinity made the occasional joke to Faith about having a passionate affair with a sexy man--which was pretty much as far as their sex discussions went--but Trinity had to admit she was all talk and no action. She’d never had hot, sweaty sex outside her fantasies. Even with Harper, everything was... controlled. But really, why was she thinking about all that now?
It was Faith’s baby shower getting to her. The adoring look in Connor’s eye.
Even after six months of marriage, she’d never engendered quite that expression in Harper. He was complimentary, of course, and he loved showing her off, squiring her around, and she knew he adored her. But...
Maybe tonight was the night for unbridled passion. They’d never taken a shower together, let alone made love under the steamy spray. Harper was a private sort when it came to bathroom activities.
Nipples already hard and panties damp, Trinity undid the top two buttons of her baby blue suit as she entered the bedroom.
Harper’s shoes and his slacks lay in the middle of the bedroom carpet. His white polo shirt covered a corner of the flowered bedspread, and his windbreaker listed off the side. This kind of disarray was unlike him. He must be tired.
The water pounded in the shower, and one of her black lace bras lay across the bathroom threshold. She couldn’t remember leaving it there.
Except that wasn’t one of her brassieres. It was too...big. The lace poked up proudly and...Trinity gulped...she wouldn’t have filled even a quarter of a cup.
Steam puffed out the open bathroom door, carrying with it a sound barely discernible above the water’s beat.
A moan. Or something.
Trinity’s migraine came back full force. Vapor bathed her face as she put one hand on the bathroom doorjamb, perspiration covering her upper lip. She swallowed against a dry mouth, and it ached going down.
Please don’t, please don’t.
She thought the chant was in her mind, but then she realized her lips were moving. As much as she didn’t want to, she couldn’t not look.
The water ran in rivulets down the clear glass door, washing away the condensation. Supported by the shower wall, long, black wet hair spilled down the woman’s face, shoulders, and large breasts. Her legs spread, one calf hooked over his shoulder, she fisted her fingers in his hair and held his face to her...
Harper’s face. Harper’s blond hair. Harper doing that with his mouth. A guttural male groan wafted on the steam vapors.
Harper never made a sound with her. Except when he came, and then it was merely a grunt before he rolled off.
Oh, oh, maybe it wasn’t Harper at all. Maybe they’d broken into her house and were using her shower and...all right, that was ridiculous. And she needed to stop looking.
The woman’s enormous breasts jiggled as she moaned and rolled her head against the marbled tile. She was not so much fat as voluptuous. So not like Trinity. Harper reached up and squeezed a nipple. The woman squealed. He lifted his head and put his hand between her legs. “That’s it, baby.”
Baby? He’d never called Trinity baby.
“Scream when you come. I want to hear you scream.”
He hated it if Trinity made noise, so Trinity never made noise. It was...undignified.
Then Harper stood, water streaming down his back, his butt, his legs, and he grabbed the movable showerhead. “Hey, baby, let’s say we blast you off.”
He pinned his paramour to the wall with a hand on her breasts and shoved the showerhead between her spread legs. She squirmed and squealed and laughed, then started to moan.
The sounds assaulted Trinity’s ears, the woman’s cries mingling with her laughter as if she were actually having fun. Trinity wanted to have fun during sex, but she could never seem to let go. Not like her husband’s...fuck buddy.
“Come on, baby, come for me, sing for me, baby.” He crooned to her, chanted. And when she started to sing, as he called it, he took her mouth and kissed her long, hard, deep.
Trinity wanted to die.
She wanted someone to make her come the way Harper made his woman come. Oh God. She wanted a man to kiss her like that. As if she were the only woman that mattered in the world.
Obviously, Trinity wasn’t that woman to her own husband.
How dare he? For a moment, seeing him in the shower, a completely different man from the one she thought she knew, Trinity had lost her sense of self. Who the hell did he think he was, screwing another woman in the shower Trinity’s daddy had paid for, in the condo her father had given her the money to purchase, diddling his...his whore with the showerhead Trinity had bought?
She kicked the bra at her feet--that woman was still wailing--and gee, there were the matching panties on the bath mat. She marched right over and yanked open the shower door.
Harper stared at her, his facial muscles suddenly slack.
His lover squealed and tried to cover her breasts with her hands. It didn’t work. And really, why bother at this point?
Trinity stepped aside, holding the door. “Get.” She pointed at the open bathroom door. “Out.”
“Honey.” Harper still held the showerhead, water jetting against the side wall.
She noticed he didn’t call her baby. How had she ever thought he was handsome? His penis was the size of a...pencil. And he was a girlie-man. She couldn’t think of a worse word to call him. “Get out of my house. Or I’ll call the police and report a break-in.”
“We need to talk.” He punched the shower knob off.
A drop of sweat trickled down her scalp to her nape. More droplets gathered along the line of her bra. She hated feeling sweaty. She hated that he’d made her sweaty.
“Do you remember Lorena Bobbitt?” she whispered.
He dropped the shower nozzle, banging the tile wall.
“Well, if you don’t get out of here in five seconds” --she whipped a metal nail file off the bathroom counter and waved it at him-- “I will Bobbittize you.”
His shriveled penis went completely flaccid, and he grabbed his lover’s hand and scrambled out of the shower, slipping on the tile. They ran, seizing pieces of clothing in their path, until she heard footsteps in the hall, then feet pounding down the stairs, and finally the slam of the front door. They couldn’t have had time to dress.
“Whew, that felt good.” She blew a few blonde strands of hair out of her face and tossed the file back on the counter. Then she saw that pair of black lace panties on her pristine white bath mat.
And Trinity burst into tears.
Dammit. She couldn’t stay. That was her shower. Oh God, they’d probably done it in her bed, too. Yanking her overnight bag out of the closet, she opened it on her vanity stool and threw in the necessities.
She’d go back to Daddy’s.
Trinity stopped. No, she couldn’t go home. If her mother was still alive...but she’d lost her mom the year after she graduated from high school. Cancer. That had been the worst eighteen months of Trinity’s life, watching her mother waste away, helpless to stop it, not to mention how hard her mother’s illness had been on Daddy. He’d never quite recovered. Which was another reason she couldn’t run home with this. She’d caused enough havoc by marrying Harper up in Tahoe in a quickie wedding without telling Daddy first.
And as much as she wanted to, she wouldn’t go to Faith’s. Faith and Connor were getting ready for the baby. That was more important. Trinity couldn’t dump on her friend now.
She’d go to a hotel for a night or two until she figured out what to do. Besides Bobbittizing that cheating bastard.
Before she left, she took off her rings and tossed them in the bathroom trashcan. She hadn’t worn them long enough to leave a mark on her finger. God. That seemed so utterly wrong.
The five-star out by the airport had vacancies, and Trinity checked in less than half an hour later. She ordered room service, but couldn’t eat. After tossing off her clothes in favor of her nightie, she watched old episodes of CSI, one of which featured a woman who’d fed her husband antifreeze for months before he died. It was a slow, painful death. She narrowed her eyes at the TV screen and smiled. Hmm, maybe antifreeze was better than Bobbittizing.
Yet beneath her jumble of emotions, she ached. She wanted to curl into the bedclothes, pull them over her head, and cry until the ache went away. Maybe she could call Faith and talk. She didn’t have to say anything was wrong, but Faith knew how to listen. If Trinity gave her the chance to listen.
“I hurt,” she whispered to the room.
She threw herself out of bed, marched into the bathroom, and stared in the mirror. “I hate self-pity,” the reflection said. “It’s pathetic.”
The woman looking back at her was tall even in bare feet, though she had to admit she looked best in her three-inch heels, which put her at five eleven, or the five-inch ones, but they were a scooch difficult to walk in. Still, Trinity loved her high heels.
Her long blonde hair curled softly over her shoulders, though the back did have a bedhead quality after watching hours of reruns. She had the requisite blue eyes to go with the blonde look. But were those crow’s feet? And lines between her brows? And by her mouth? Trinity leaned in. God. They were. She’d been thirty for four months. How could she have lines?
And how could Harper want that woman? Because that...bitch had breasts. In her mind’s eye, Trinity could see his fingers squeezing a nipple. Trinity cupped her own breasts through her satin sleepshirt. At least she cupped what there was of them. Not even a handful. She undid two buttons and squished her breasts together, but she still couldn’t find her cleavage. All right, so she didn’t have breasts, but she had good legs. Sure, there were breast men, but there were also leg and butt men, too. Trinity stepped back and pulled her shirt to the small of her back and circled. Okay, not bad. Maybe her butt was a smidge big. Lose a couple of pounds?
A shower image battered her, almost bringing her to her knees until she dropped her shirt, covering herself, and grabbed the edge of the counter. Harper’s hands caressing voluptuous hips as he tasted between full thighs. Trinity closed her eyes, and the tiniest of moans slipped past her lips.
All her life, she’d striven for perfection. Ate the right things, worked out endlessly, denied herself all her favorite foods. Like rack of lamb. With a baked potato and sour cream. Bread pudding. And two champagne cocktails.
And for what? So that Harper could go down on a woman at least three sizes larger than her? Fine, yippy-doodle, it was a bitchy thought, but she was feeling bitchy. She was feeling... she didn’t know what she was feeling except wounded and yeah, a little murderous. If she knew where he’d gone, she might have run after him with the nail file and eviscerated him. It would have been oh-so-satisfyingly slow and painful.
Trinity always tried to look perfect for Harper.
Yet he’d done that woman in the shower, her hair wet and all over the place, mascara smudges beneath her eyes, her lipstick on her chin. How could he do that?
How. Could. He. Do. That?
Because Trinity herself didn’t like to sweat or get her lipstick smudged or her hair askew. She liked to dream about it, but she never did it. Had Harper ever asked to get down and nasty with her? Or passionate?
The horrible, terrible truth was she couldn’t remember. What did that say about how much effort she’d put into her marriage? How awful. How utterly pathetic. How...
“Will you stop?” The woman in the mirror blinked at her. “He cheated on you. You gave him your all, and he cheated.”
She’d always denied herself anything that some man might disapprove of. She’d structured her whole existence around what she thought men wanted. What difference had it made? Harper had chosen someone completely different.
Maybe he’d been pissed that she’d kept her own name instead of taking his when they got married. It was easier than changing all her credit cards, that’s how she’d thought of it. The truth was she didn’t know what she’d done wrong. She’d tried to make everything perfect. Why had none of it been enough for Harper?
Suddenly Trinity wanted it all, rack of lamb and bread pudding with lots of brandy walnut sauce. She wanted passion. She wanted to get her hair mussed and her lipstick smudged. She wanted to get sweaty. She wanted the hot, screaming orgasms she’d always denied herself. Even if she had to give one to herself, dammit. She deserved it. Right now.
She wasn’t going to deny herself one minute longer.