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Ten Trends to Seduce Your Bestfriend: Chapter 38


At first, I didn’t understand why I couldn’t move or why I was so hot. It wasn’t until I opened my scratchy eyes, glanced down at my body, and spotted Byron’s arms wrapped tightly around my torso that I realized where I was and whose body lay firmly against my back. Also, other than taking off my bra, I was still in my clothes from yesterday.

My memory felt fuzzy. Remembering precisely when we’d fallen asleep was impossible. Last night, I’d resisted getting up and changing into my pajamas or doing anything other than snuggling with Byron and talking and listening to every single one of his brilliant thoughts. I’d wanted time to stand still. It seemed unfair that the evening should ever come to an end.

“Winnie?” His rumbly words stirred my hair at the back of my neck. “Are you awake?”

“Yes. Just,” I said, yawning around a sleepy smile. “How long have you been up?”

“A while. I’ve already taken a shower.” The silence that followed this statement felt significant, and I was just about to ask him if anything was wrong when he added, “I’m supposed to check in and ask before I do anything, right? Before I touch you?”

Suddenly, my body was forcefully ready for . . . whatever he wanted. “What do you have in mind?”

Removing his arms from my torso, Byron climbed over me, his lips immediately coming to my throat, his hands lifting my shirt and roaming freely. He gave my nipple a punishing twist and pinch—the sharp pain reviving me fully from slumber—then lowered his head and soothed the spot with his tongue.

My fingers threaded into his hair, sifting through and petting the soft strands. “I love it,” I moaned. I didn’t want him to stop and check in. I wanted him to keep going.

I felt his wicked smile against my skin a second before he blew a stream of cold air on the wet spot left by his mouth, one hand caressing south as he helped me remove my shirt, his mouth returning to my neck, dotting a line of soft kisses on my jaw until he reached my ear.

“I want to taste you,” he said, catching my earlobe with his teeth. “I want to lick your pussy. May I, please?”

I arched my back, panting, my forehead wrinkling as I tried to think. His fingers slid low and lifted my skirt to my waist, then delved into the waistband of my panties. A skillful middle finger circumvented my center, not touching me where I needed.

I whimpered, my nails digging into his bare back. And that’s when I realized he’d returned to bed after his shower wearing nothing but loose gray sweatpants and—oh dear God—he was so beautiful, and sexy, his body making me lose my mind, making me want to say yes even though some distant, faraway part of myself still worried he wouldn’t like it.

Byron bent again and trailed too soft kisses from the underside of my breast to my stomach, his tongue swirling, tasting my skin, his fingers hooking into my underwear and sliding them down my legs. As he returned, he settled himself between my knees and kissed the sensitive skin of my inner thigh, his fingers returning to tease my clit.

The rough friction of his stubble paired with his hot breath sent a cascading wave of pleasure from the tip of my head to the tips of my toes. His middle finger still a too light touch between my legs, I grabbed his wrist, trying to—literally—force his hand. He held firm.

“Winnie.” He kissed higher on my thigh, spreading my legs wider. “You have to say yes or no. I will do whatever you want.”

Exhaling an unsteady breath, I struggled to uncover my logic from beneath the mountain of arousal, but then he licked the interior of my thigh, just inches from my center, and my body shuddered, burying any and all worries under extreme want.

“Yes.” I gasped, tilting my hips up in offering. “Please.”

I heard him curse right before I felt his arms wrap beneath my legs and, holding me wide, he licked me. And then he groaned, a sound of pure, raw pleasure. Arms tightening, he delved right in, licking and sucking and grinding his lips against my sex.

Well, okay then. Mystery solved. I guess he likes the taste.

I huffed a laugh, relieved. But I was also perplexed by his technique (or lack thereof). The first lick—slow and soft, with the flat of his tongue—had nearly made me come. But what he possessed in enthusiasm, he lacked in finesse. His movements were too fast and chaotic.

But should I—

YES! Yes, I would tell him what I want. I should ask and trust him. He’d asked me to, but also, I deserved great oral sex.

I reached down, pushed my fingers into his hair, and tugged. “Wait—wait.”

Immediately, he lifted his head, hair askew, eyes wide, lips wet, and the sight made my body tense low in my abdomen.

“What? Should I stop?”

I shook my head. “No. But can you go slower, softer, and with a consistent rhythm? The first, uh, lick was really good. Like that.”

Listening with rapt attention, he nodded eagerly, then lowered himself again. This time, he did exactly as I asked. Using the flat of his tongue, he moved methodically, his head slowly bobbing up and down in a sensual rhythm. Damn, but he was a fast learner. And I loved that about him so, so much.

Soon—too soon—I was cursing, grabbing fistfuls of sheets and tugging. It felt so good. Too good. It felt like falling into an endless shadow, teetering over an abyss of too much pleasure, overwhelming and dangerous, and I needed to hold on to something.

And Byron, God bless him, slid a single finger from my clit to my entrance, and then slipped it inside, moving it in and out in tandem with his tongue.

I gasped, crying out, my thighs pressing against his ears as I lost control of my body. I know I said his name over and over, my voice pitched high and frantic, my lungs full to bursting. Darkness and stars filled my vision, and I was certain I’d die at the end of this. How could anything feel this perfect, this essential? How would I ever recover?

It did end. I didn’t die. But I didn’t quite recover. The retreating climax left me with a sensation of unguarded openness, and I caught myself just a fraction of a second before offering a breathless, I love you.

Eyes flying open, I bit my lip to keep the words inside, a shiver of awareness and shock coursing through me. Did I love him? Truly? Or was this biology?

This is not biology. You’ve loved him for a long time, dummy.

Oh my goodness, I have!

Then, should I tell him? Should I say it? Was now—

I glanced down, and my debate was violently shoved aside by the sight of poor Byron pulling my legs apart. I’d locked them around his head, and while I was lost to my thoughts about how and when I should tell him I loved him, I’d almost murdered him with my thighs.

“Oh my God. I’m so sorry!” I reached forward, still struggling to catch my breath.

“You’re sorry?” he asked with a cocky edge to his usual, dry delivery, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, sliding up my body and settling himself on top of me. “For what?” His voice was deeper than usual and sounded supremely satisfied.

I pushed my head back in order to see him better. “I’m sorry about squeezing your head.” And almost asphyxiating you with my vagina.

“I didn’t mind.” He grinned, his eyes dark and liquid. “And anytime you want me to do that again, please know I am at your service.”

“Really? You liked it that much?”

“Let me know when you’re ready for round two.”

“Hmm.” I sent him a side-eye but couldn’t control my smile.

“No matter what we’re doing. Take Wednesday at the awards, for example. If the mood strikes, I’ll find us somewhere to go. Or next week when we’re back in Seattle and I’m making dinner—or you’re making dinner—just say the word and I’ll get right to it. Any room in the house. Or all the rooms. Nothing and nowhere is off-limits.”

I laughed. “So what you’re saying is, no pressure?”

Twisting his lips as though considering, he said, “Maybe a little bit of pressure? I would be exceedingly sad and disappointed, and it might take decades to recover should you decide against allowing me to do this daily, but I’ll try my best not to hold it against you forever and lament it as my greatest regret on my deathbed.”

I laughed harder. “That’s what you call ‘a little bit of pressure’?”

“That is my definition, yes.” He grinned, and we stared at each other for several quickening beats of my heart.

“Winnie. I am serious. I loved it. I think we should do it every day. Twice or three times.”

I regarded him, searching for any lies. No lies detected. “It doesn’t taste bad?”

“No. It doesn’t.”

“It tastes good?” I found that hard to believe.

“No. You’re not food, Winnie. You don’t taste like strawberries and cream or anything like that. You don’t taste good or bad, you taste like you. But the smell—” His eyes grew hazy, and I watched as he inhaled deeply, his tongue peeking out to lick his top lip. “Fuck, the smell is unreal.”

“Huh.” I stared at him, incredulous. A new kind of pleasure glided upward from my stomach to my chest, it felt like wonder and silly, giddy happiness. “You like the way I smell down there?”

“Yes.” The single word sounded vehement, like he’d never believed in something so strongly before. Bending to my neck, he breathed in deeply again. “I love how you smell everywhere—your neck, your breasts, the heat of your skin, but especially. . .” He shifted to the side, his hand lowering between us to the apex of my thighs, and he cupped me firmly, his body going tense and his voice gruff as he said, “Especially here.”

“Pheromones,” I whispered, getting worked up all over again. I gulped in air and the scent of Byron’s aftershave, my body abruptly restless even though he’d literally just given me the most intense orgasm of my life.

It’s not pheromones. Maybe it’s lust.

Soon, I had him on his back, my fingers unhooking my skirt, my mouth on his neck, breathing him in, my body warm and liquid and ready for more.

Lust was definitely a possibility, but lust didn’t explain why I suddenly needed his cock in my mouth, why I couldn’t wait to watch him go mindless, or why—even though I knew how much I disliked the taste of sperm—I started an internal negotiation, part of me wanting it just to watch his expression as I gulped it down.

I wondered at myself, at this anxious, urgent hunger within me. I’d never felt lust before. So maybe it was lust.

But maybe, at least part of it, was also love.

I thought about answering the phone when Amelia called, but I was just too busy in bed with my hot boyfriend.

And this was funny because, when Byron left to go take another shower and I listened to her voice mail, she’d said, “I know you’re probably having sex with Byron right now, but when you two come up for air, call me. You have an interview for the community manager position, if you still want it. However, I also received a call from Byron’s agent about a different opportunity, and I think—well, let me leave you on that cliff. Just give me a call.”

“What’d she say? Did she mention the community manager position?”

I glanced toward the direction of his voice. He stood just outside the bathroom, one towel around his hips while he dried his hair with another. I sighed, wanting to make him sweaty and dirty again. Or maybe wanting to drag Byron into the shower and living out my very first fantasy of us together, the one that had discombobulated me so before our first video.

He needed to go to his appointment, and I needed to get dressed. But now I knew how he’d felt earlier, being forced to form coherent words when faced with the sight of him in just a towel felt impossible.

Instead of speaking, I handed him my phone and let him listen to Amelia’s message. I couldn’t think about anything but condoms and how much I needed them. At this rate, we weren’t going to last past this New York trip, not that I wanted us to wait. If it were up to me, we’d get down to business ASAP.

But first, there was the tiny matter of him not knowing I’d never had vaginal intercourse.

I wasn’t hiding it from him, but I wasn’t sure how to bring it up. Was this appropriate dinner conversation? Or did I wait until we were making out again? Or at what point does one mention that one has never had vaginal sex? And, on that note, why did I have to bring it up at all? Why was it even a thing? Was it a thing?

Maybe it wasn’t a thing. Maybe I was overthinking it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.

Byron handed me back my phone and sat on the edge of the bed, his gaze trailing over the sheet covering my naked body. “That’s good news about the job.”

“It is.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I’ll call Amelia back, then take it from there.” The job hunt, my loans, Seattle, school, the STEM fair, my social media—heck, those challenges we’d been doing and basically abandoned as well as all the public commentary on our “bestfriend” relationship—it all felt so far away.

Byron’s expression turned thoughtful as he stared at me, and he settled a palm on my thigh, fisting the fabric. “Before I head out, I have to tell you something.”


“Yes. I have to tell you a few somethings.” He tugged slowly on the sheet, revealing more of my skin.

I frowned. “Are they bad somethings?”

“No. I don’t think so.” Byron’s attention lowered to my breasts and stomach as he continued the gradual removal of the white material, his eyes heating. “In the interest of specificity and exactness, I feel compelled to tell you that I did not come to New York last month for space.”

“You didn’t?” I caught the sheet at my hips, pulling it back to my chest and sitting up. I didn’t want him or me to be distracted. This felt like an important conversation.

He released the fabric with obvious reluctance, resettling his gaze on mine. “No. I came here to deserve you.”

“What? By leaving me?”

“I took some lessons and coaching here, to fill in potential deficiencies as a partner. Like cooking gluten-free cuisine, for example. There’s a masters-level course at the culinary school for nonstudents. I did that, and now when we get home, I can cook you a different meal every day for six months. And I’ve been, uh, seeing an occupational therapist for my sensory processing issues. I’ve been learning how to better cope with crowds. You like people, for some reason, and if I want to be with you, I don’t want you to have to choose between me and a party, or me and a concert. That’s not fair.”

I’m sure I looked shocked. But at the conclusion of his little speech, I’d regained enough of my own mind to launch forward and embrace him, holding him tight, loving that he did these things but also hating that he felt like they were necessary.

“I can’t believe you did all that. Byron, you didn’t need to. I want you just as you are. Please, please, please don’t feel like you need to change for me.”

“I don’t feel like I need to change, I feel like I need to improve. There’s a difference. And, uh, there’s more.”

Stiffening at the solemn note in his voice, I leaned back so I could see him. His temple ticked, the line of his mouth grim.


He nodded.

“Should I be concerned? You look upset.”

“I’m not. I’m embarrassed and therefore irritated.” His tone held no trace of embarrassment but quite a lot of irritation. “I do not understand this embarrassment, which makes me irritated.”

“That makes sense.” I smiled, knowing exactly how he felt since being irritated by inexplicable embarrassment was basically what I used to feel whenever he entered a room.

Staring at me, expression stern, he unwound my arms from around his body and held both my hands in his. “Win, the real reason I came out here—there’s, uh, services offered in New York that aren’t offered in Seattle or most other major cities. Specifically, sex and intimacy coaches, otherwise known as pleasure coaches.”

Uh . . . what?

“Excuse me?”

“It is and is not what you think.”

I didn’t know whether to laugh or . . . laugh. Or maybe laugh? So I did none of those and just stared, dumbfounded. “Did you get a sex tutor?”

“Yes and no.”

A spike of jealousy made my spine stiffen. “Byron, did you—”

“I haven’t touched anyone but you, nor do I wish to. And no one touched me. It was mostly talking, demonstrations on dummies, like anatomy 101. But absent me bringing a partner, there’s nothing hands-on.”

“No one has touched you?” My eyes narrowed, and the ferocity of feeling, of possessiveness, made me breathless. “I swear to God, if someone touched you, they’re losing their hands.”

His irritation seemed to dissolve in the face of my viciousness, and now he looked like he wanted to laugh. “Correct. No touching.”

“Wearing gloves or over the clothes is still touching.” Wresting a hand away, I lifted an accusing finger between us. “Don’t give me any technically true BS.”

“None of that. It was only Walter and me, no women were—”

“I don’t care if it was a man or a woman or a nonbinary or anyone else. I don’t care if it was sheep! No touching, no showing on anything breathing.”

His shoulders shook with laugher he tried to conceal, like he couldn’t help himself, while struggling to also speak. “Correct. It was all very scientific and theory based. Books, lectures, opportunities to ask questions. I had to do it.”

“But why?! Why did you have to do it?” I pulled my hand from his and stood, yanking the sheet as I went. Sighing, he also stood so I could take the material with me and wrap it around my body. “I don’t like this. I don’t like that you did this. So what if you’ve never gone down on someone? Neither had I, and we figured it out. And so what if we need practice? We can practice on each other.”

“I wanted to know what to expect. And it was important to me that I not be terrible at it.”

“I don’t understand why you think I would need you to know more than you already do. I don’t understand—”

“I’m a virgin.”

I reared backward, rocking on my heels, my mouth falling open again.

Byron’s earlier amusement at my irrational jealousy disintegrated. His cheeks flared pink, then red. “And not just a virgin. When I told you back in Seattle that you had more experience than me, I meant it. I’ve watched porn, of course, but Winnie, our first kiss was my first kiss. And when we made out on the couch in your apartment, I’d never done anything like that before.”

My brain felt stuck. I couldn’t think. I was so confused.

But he’d told me before, hadn’t he? Not just the morning after our first kiss, but here as well. He’d kept telling me I had more experience than him, and I couldn’t fathom how that could be true. The world told me that men had sex, as soon as and as frequently as they could, with as many people as possible, and that was just the way it was, because biology.

“I wanted you and only you, so very much.” His voice quieted, raspy with a vulnerability that echoed in his gaze. “I knew the situations and images depicted in pornography were unrealistic, I couldn’t rely on that to be a guide. I definitely didn’t want to practice with someone else so I’d be ready, if or when you ever looked at me. I’m not built that way. I couldn’t.”

I stepped forward and once more wrapped my arms around him, uncaring that my sheet slipped and caught awkwardly between us. I only knew that I needed to touch and feel him right now.

His body surrounded me, his strong arms coming around my back, his muscles relaxing beneath my cheek and chest. Then his hands grabbed my side and hip, and he whispered, “As much as I wanted to be good for you, I also didn’t want to lose my chance with you if I were a complete disaster in bed.”

This statement drove the shock from my brain, leaving me with wry delight and so much gratitude, but also concern for him and all he’d been through these last few weeks.

“You must be so tired. A month of constantly being around people, you have to be exhausted.”

He grunted. “I’ve been in love with you for years, Fred. The only thing I’m tired of is being without you. And the only thing that exhausts me is the idea of spending another six, or twenty, or fifty years knowing I could have lived my life by your side but was too fucking lazy to do what was required to make it happen.”

I buried my smile against his chest. I loved his random grumpiness. “Thank you,” I said, holding him tighter. “Thank you for being you, Byron. But also thank you for thinking about me, and anticipating what I might need, what might make me happy. Thank you.”

“Fine. You’re welcome,” he said, kissing and nuzzling my neck. “But, as I said, my motives weren’t altruistic.”

Heaving a sigh at his determination to always be 100 percent precise, I gazed deeply into his gorgeous, unusual eyes, loving the unending wariness of his features, the slight curl of his right upper lip, the dark, judgmental-looking slash of his eyebrows, the angular line of his jaw. I loved his grumpiness, and I loved his face. And I loved him.

“I have something to tell you too.” It was time. Not because I urgently needed to say the words, but because I urgently needed him to hear them.

His wariness turned to interest, his upper lip curving in a scant smile. “Did you take sex lessons too?”

“No.” I laughed, feeling nervous but also oddly calm. “Actually, it’s two things.”


“First, I’m a vaginal sex virgin too.”

His eyebrows flew to his hairline and his lips parted. “What?”

“I’ve never had intercourse before. And, I guess, since I’m on birth control to regulate my periods, we don’t have to hunt down those condoms anymore as I’m assuming we’re both negative for STDs.”

Eyes suddenly wild, he took a step back. “Are you fucking with me?”

I shook my head. “No. No I’m not.”

His wild eyes grew unfocused. “But I thought you had a boyfriend. I thought you dated him for years?”

“I did, but I never had intercourse with him. We made out, messed around, but I never wanted to. I didn’t feel ready.”

Byron breathed out, his eyes blinking like he was having trouble absorbing this information. “That’s . . .” He gave his head a small, subtle shake. “That’s unbelievable.”


“And a travesty.”

Now I stepped back. “A travesty?”

“You haven’t seen you come,” he said by way of explanation. “We should record it so you can see it. But your body—Winnie, your body is made for sex, for having orgasms. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful. And so is your voice, and your mouth.” His hand came to my jaw, his thumb tugging at my bottom lip while his other hand slid into my hair at my neck. “It’s like if Mozart never picked up an instrument or LeBron James never picked up a basketball.”

A sudden laugh burst out of me. Sometimes Byron was overly dramatic. And it was darn cute. And it drove me to give his shoulder a little shove and say unthinkingly, “Oh my God, I love you so much.”

Except for catching my wrist as I retreated, Byron grew very still, his gaze acutely sharp and focused. “Sorry, what?” he croaked, his breath baited. “What are you saying?”

Feeling helpless beneath his increasingly forceful stare, and loving every second of it, I didn’t fight my happy smile, nor did I second-guess what I felt and knew to be true. “I’m saying I cried my eyes out when you left, and it felt like the world was ending. I’m saying I was absolutely devastated when I thought of losing you. I’m saying if you were hoping I’d hand over my fortified heart at some point in the future, too bad. It’s already yours. It’s been yours for longer than I’d like to admit, but I’d buried my feelings under fear until you made it impossible for me to hide any longer. I’m saying I love you, I’m in love with you, and you are so freaking cute sometimes, it kills me.”

Byron leaned toward me, eyes wide and searching. “Are you sure?”

“I’m sure.” I stole a kiss, just a quick press of lips, and nodded firmly. “I’m sure.”

He swallowed, hope battling doubt, his grip on my wrist growing lax. “This seems fast.”

“How can you say that?” Now I shook my head, I laughed my denial as a rush of stinging tears flooded my eyes. “It doesn’t feel fast to me.”

“What does it feel like?” The question was a rough, halting whisper and his features told me he was greedy for my answer.

I cupped his jaw again, enjoying the sensation of his perpetually stubbly cheek against my palm. “It feels like you snuck past my defenses when I wasn’t looking, Byron Visser. You were simply yourself, and I had no choice but to love you. That’s what it feels like.”

“This feels like fiction.” His stare was absorbed, a little frantic, like I might disappear if he blinked. “This feels like something I’ve conjured from my imagination.”

“Because I surprised you?”

“No.” He pulled in a shaky breath, his eyelashes flickering. “Because it’s perfect.”


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