Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: One Chapter A Day
THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE
“Martini or gin and tonic?” Sergio asked.
“The sun is out, baby! Let’s do gin and tonics!” It was a rare spring evening when Seattle presented blue skies for happy hour, so after my buddy mixed our drinks, we moved outside to the deck off his kitchen.
Sergio was a business associate and we’d hit it off as friends. I hired him to provide services to my clients, and our success in business, as well as our appreciation for gin, wine, and the foods that belonged on the same table, cemented our friendship. Both fans of the chase, it was always one hundred percent shoptalk with the first gin and tonic. By cocktail number two I’d moved on to detail the hunt in my personal life, entertaining him mercilessly with a comedic rehash of my pathetic dating portfolio. Between my true-life escapades and the glow from the gin, I had him doubled over in laughter—and thanking God he wasn’t single.
“Stop it! Help me out!” I said. “Explain your species, now,” I ordered. “What’s with the vapor routine? How come no one’s fucking me? What is it with men?” Sergio held his hands up to stop me, barely able to breathe.
“OK, you stop! I got you! You’re killing me!” he sputtered. I went mute, leaning forward in my chair, and drained the diluted gin and melted ice from my glass.
“You must remember, Stolsen,” he began, almost fully composed, “that men are simple creatures. We don’t like complication, we don’t like the unexpected, and we don’t like anything that messes with our idea of the way things should be. Our comfort zone is narrow,” he held up his thumb and forefinger to illustrate, “and it operates within tight borders.”
He set his empty glass on the deck. “We can sit across a table from you, soaking in your smoking-hot body and your enlightened company. We can tell you to your face that we’ve never met anyone like you, and that we’re refreshed by your point of view. And hey, maybe we even sport a boner at the possibility of uncomplicated and uncommitted sex.” He held up the finger and thumb again. “It’s a very thin zone, Stolsen. And because of that, at the end of the day—or actually, the following day—we’re not in.”
I didn’t follow. Sergio read my face.
“We’re not in, because we can’t control it.”
He wasn’t making sense. I needed that next drink.
“In other words, Stolsen, we call the shots as long as the game gets played within our narrow scope. Sure, we complain about the bitch that wanted to change us; or we agree with you that, of course, the whole game should be different. Fact is—we wouldn’t change a thing. We control the game because she needs the relationship, not us. That doesn’t mean we don’t want it. But we don’t need it. We keep her at a distance by being assholes, and we reel her back by being sweet. It works because nine times out of ten, she’s not going anywhere. We have her till we don’t want her, but we want her because we count on her to be there. It’s simple—like us—and practically flawless.”
“Sergio, you’re fucking kidding me.” I was appalled. I was forty-four years old and I apparently knew nothing about men.
“It’s the truth! And you’re telling these guys you’re not exclusive?” He laughed as he imagined that revelation hitting the cortex of my date. “You’re implying he has to compete? Not happening, Stolsen! He might lose!” Sergio was holding his belly again, helplessly amused. “Bottom line—guys would rather snag the loyal girl who makes them nuts, along with the delusion that they have control, because control is safe—and safe means power.”
I shook my head in disbelief. This was the bedrock of heterosexuality? This was how things played out? I wanted to fight him on it, but what did I know? What he described actually explained my stalemate.
“It’s not pretty, Stolsen, but it’s true. I feel for you, but men are simple. And you’re too much.”
TOMORROW: Chapter 16
Copyright Vicki Marie Stolsen, 2014, Forever Forty-Four Publications, Publicity Rare Bird Lit, Tyson Cornell, Tyson@rarebirdlit.com, Distribution by Ingram, Available online and in bookstores in paperback, eBook, and audio format.