“You’ve never played it rough?” When Heather shook her head, Lexie sat up and slammed her hand down on the bed. “Heather! You’re thirty-three years old!”
“I know your real age, you bitch. Don’t forget I fill out all your medical forms. I can’t believe you’re thirty-three years old and you’ve never had rough sex!”
“I haven’t. Well, I hadn’t.” Was that really unusual? She thought back over her exploits, searching for any clue that any of them had wanted to go into the kink territory. The truth was that even if they had, she would never know. She was always the one calling the shots. “I guess I’ve always been particular. And kind of bossy. And maybe not very experimental.”
“Then, honey, you’ve been missing out.” Almost a full ten years younger than Heather, Lexie seemed to know what she was talking about. “Or maybe you haven’t, if it wasn’t your thing.”
“That’s just it.” Heather sat up and wrapped her knees to her chest. “I think it was my thing. I think it is my thing. But I don’t want it to be my thing. And I don’t want Seth to be my guy.” Damn, she sounded whiney. She’d just always thought she’d end up with a rich businessman or producer type. A guy like Patrick at Montblanc.
But maybe that wasn’t really who she wanted to be with since Patrick, handsome as he was, didn’t turn her on in the least. Still, she wasn’t ready to say that Seth was the guy for her.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. It reminds you too much of where you came from.” Lexie sat back on her knees. “But why? Did you know a trailer park carpenter that rubbed you the wrong way? Did you walk in on your parents spanking each other and now you’re forever traumatized?”
“God, no! I never saw my parents do…anything.” She shivered with the grossness of the idea. “And spanking…it just seems so…trashy.”
“What did you say?”
“Spanking seems trashy.”
“Are you kidding me?” Lexie fixed her with a pissed-off glare. “Heather, I try to put up with your ridiculousness, not just because you’re my employer, but you’re my friend. But this…” She pointed abstractly to the air, as if the words Heather had said still hung there waiting to be exemplified. “This blatant show of ignorance on your part? That’s what I call white-trash. Spanking, playing rough, kinky sex—none of it is bad. Or wrong. Or trashy. It’s fun and sexy, even natural, if the participants are consensual. You’d be surprised the people who partake in it. People from all walks of life. Not just sweaty carpenters and people on a fixed-income. Believe me when I say this association you have with it is one hundred percent wrong.”
Heather leaned back, startled by Lexie’s outburst. “Whoa. I had no idea you’d take it so personal.”
“I’m sorry if it hurts your feelers,” Lexie said, not sounding the least bit sorry. “But I can’t sit by and listen to you bullshit about something you seem to have very little insight on.”
“Okay, okay.” Heather put her hands up as if to surrender. “I don’t know what I’m talking about. Obviously.”
“Thank you for admitting it.” Lexie’s shoulders relaxed. “I can point you to some good websites if you’re willing to educate yourself.”
“Fine.” Who knew Lexie was an expert in kink? It sort of made Heather uncomfortable, so she changed the subject. “And I don’t have anything against carpenters. I just always planned on being with a guy who was…better than that. A guy who could take care of me. That I’d be proud to be seen with.” Did she really just say that? She really did. She braced herself for another admonishment from Lexie.
But Lexie’s expression held more bewilderment than irritation. As if she’d just grasped something she’d never thought could possibly be true. “For someone from the wrong side of the tracks,” she said, “you’re a real snob.”
“I am. I hate that about myself.”
Lexie sat forward so her head was leaning on Heather’s knees. “Well, I love you no matter what. You know that, right?” Heather nodded. “But it sounds like you might be happier if you try to put the whole status thing behind you and try to enjoy being with a guy who gives you what you like.”
“I hear what you’re saying, and I want to. I do.” She choked back a fresh sob. “But I’ve already f**ked it up with Seth. Big time.” Stupid tear slipped down her cheek anyway.
Lexie wiped at Heather’s tear. “Really? You can’t know that.”
That was certainly true. Seth hadn’t given her any indication that he was easy to scare off. In fact, she’d been nothing but a bitch to him since she met him and he kept on returning.
But there was still the issue of how he made her feel—all good and f**ked up at the same time. “Even if he did give me another shot, I don’t know if I’d handle it any differently.”
“But you could try.” Lexie and her unswerving faith. Why couldn’t Heather believe in herself the way her friend did? She wasn’t naïve enough to not realize it might have something to do with her being Lexie’s employer. Still, Heather bet that even if she stopped paying her assistant, Lexie would continue to be on her side.
And friendship or not, paid assistant or not, maybe Lexie’s words could still be true. Heather thought about not seeing Seth again, thought about leaving things as they were. She’d be fine like she always had been.
But then she thought about not keeping the status quo, thought about dumping her preconceived notions and her silly plans—plans that really only involved her being as far from where she grew up as possible. A plan she’d already more than achieved.
And did having Seth in her life change that fact? No. It did not. The only thing Seth threatened to do to her life was make it more exciting. More fulfilling. Both of which would be welcome characteristics.
She bit her bottom lip and nodded. “Yes. I could try,” she said. She would try to work things out with Seth. He might be more forgiving than she realized.
But it was a good thing the shoot had just begun. Because apologizing to Seth? She might need a few days to get up her courage.
Seth read the text message one more time before putting his phone back in his pocket. “Come to my trailer. H.” Well, at least she’d finally used his number. But after avoiding him for nearly ten days now, it seemed a like a whole lot of too little too late.