“I know I don’t need a man in my life, but it would be nice to have one around on occasion.” I heard the whiny tone in my voice, but couldn’t myself. I’d been divorced for three years and was lonely and horny.
“So what are you going to do about it?” Lara, my best friend, had been with me through my rocky marriage, my divorce and now my growing desire for a new man in my life.
I looked Lara in the eye, then shifted my gaze to the picture on the wall over her shoulder. Two hands reaching toward one another, mother and child passing an orange Gerber daisy between them. I wanted that. Someday. But first I needed a man in my life.
What was I going to do? I’d been asking myself that question for weeks now, ever since I’d started waking up in the middle of the night after dreams of naked bodies, sweat and sex that had left me hot and frustrated.
“I have no clue,” I admitted softly. “All I do know is that I want to meet someone who is the exact opposite of Rat Bastard X. Someone caring and sexy who can appreciate me for my weaknesses and quirks as well as my strengths. Is that too much to ask for?”
Lara was grinning by the time I finished my rant. Then she reached for her Palm Pilot. “I have just the man. Big, built and bald, he’s the most honest guy I’ve ever met.” She scrolled through her contact list, then reached for her cell phone. Without another word to me she punched a number in and waited for an answer. “Hey, it’s Lara. What are you doing tomorrow night?”
My eyes got wide and I waved my hands and shook my head, trying to stop her from setting me up on a blind date.
Lara waved me off and turned away. “Yes, I know you said you’ve given up looking for anything serious. That’s good because neither is she. Yeah, uh huh.” She glanced at me then turned away again and lowered her voice. “Remember that picture you’ve drooling over for months now? Uh huh. Yes. Okay. We’ll be there.” She hung and put the cell phone in her pocket before I could grab it away from her.
“Tomorrow night at seven-thirty. Dinner at Baker’s Square. Dress casual.”
I was so overwhelmed that I could find no words. My mind had gone completely blank. I opened my mouth, snapped it closed and then took a deep breath. “I cannot believe you just did that.”
“Why not? Kendall Malone, you need a man. You are not the type of woman who can spend her life alone. He’s perfect for you. All I’m doing is helping you find each other. What comes out of it is up to the two of you.”
“He’d not going to expect me to sleep with him tomorrow night, will he?”
Lara seemed to take some perverse pleasure at my near panicked question. “It’s time to put the past to rest. Bear is a completely different sort of man the Rat Bastard X or anyone else you have ever met before. He won’t demand you do anything you don’t want to do. But, if you do want sex, I think Bear’s the perfect specimen. But do me a favor before tomorrow night. Go buy some condoms and not out of some bathroom vending machine. Just in case.”