A little naughty, a lot of heart, and a happily every after
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This is one birthday I’ll never forget…
I thought my birthday would be the same as always, with little more than a scribbled card from my boys and a mumbled acknowledgement from my husband, Dan.
So when Dan slips a note under my pillow with an invitation for something new, I am a little shocked. And a lot interested.
While another man will never enter my heart, I am not opposed to having one join us in the bedroom. It’s one of my biggest fantasies come to life — and like nothing we’ve ever tried before.
But are we ready for the fantasy to become real? Or will we lose everything if we don’t first confess our truths about who we are, what we want and how we feel?
It’s only one night. What could possibly go wrong?
Naughty Shorts from New York Times bestselling author, Sarah Castille, are quick delicious bites of dirty and sweet romance that will give you all the feels. Set in a small town, and inspired by stories about everyday couples, these sexy second chance novellas contain a little naughty, a lot of heart, and a happily after.
Read an Excerpt
I pull my pink satin bathrobe snugly around me and knot the belt tight. So much for another birthday. Except for a card from my youngest son, Justin, and a kiss from my oldest, Peter, the day has been largely uneventful. And that’s the way I like it. Nothing can stop the slow creep of age, so why the big reminder?
Still, it would have been nice if Dan had at least remembered my birthday. Although why should this year be different from any other?
“You coming to bed, babe?” Dan calls out. “Don’t forget to turn off the lights. And make sure that faucet isn’t dripping again.”
I look up into the mirror and catch a glimpse of Dan climbing into bed. He’s wearing the skull print PJ bottoms I bought him for Christmas and the AC/DC T-shirt from the last concert we saw together, just before Peter was born. Except for a slight greying of his hair, and slightly less definition in his broad, muscular chest, he looks just as handsome as he did when he swept me off my feet at the bar where I was celebrating my twentieth birthday.
Me on the other hand . . . same shoulder length auburn hair, same green eyes, but my curves are more curvy, and I’ve added an extra plus to my usual plus size.
I check the tap, turn out the light, then join Dan in bed, carefully leaving a pillow-size space between us. I always leave my robe on until Dan has turned out the bedside light. After fifteen years of marriage, we seldom touch anymore. We sleep on opposite sides of the bed. Rarely have sex. And only hold hands at church on Sunday.
“Goodnight.” I fiddle with the belt on my robe, waiting for Dan to roll onto his side and plunge the room into blissful darkness.
“I have a birthday present for you,” he says. “It’s under your pillow.”
“You remembered my birthday?” I rip the pillow away and snatch up the pink envelope beneath, making no effort to hide my excitement. I can’t remember the last time Dan bought me a birthday present, and I stopped reminding him five years ago because it hurt more to see the guilt on his face than it did to just pretend it was any other day.
“I always remember, Kylie. I just . . . never know what to do anymore. I don’t know what you like.”
“You’ve lived with me for fifteen years.” I tear open the pretty pink envelope—was it chance or did he remember my favorite color? “How can you not know what I like?”
“You’ve changed,” he says. “I’ve changed. We’re like strangers sharing a bed.”
His words send a chill through my veins and I freeze mid-tear. “What are you saying?”
“I’m saying open the envelope.”
With much less enthusiasm I pull out the card and stare at the gold “Happy Birthday” written in script across the front. No age, although I suspect they don’t make cards for thirty-five year olds. No “wife” or “lover” or even “friend” below. No pictures of flowers or balloons. As far as cards go, it is about as generic as they get.
“Thank you.” I muster a smile and fall back on the good manners my mother taught me when I was young and naïve and full of dreams about love lasting a lifetime.
“Maybe I’ll save some of the fun for tomorrow.” I place the card carefully on my lap. If he’s just scrawled his name inside, I might burst out crying and Dan has never handled strong emotion very well.
“Please,” he says. “Just look inside.”
Dan isn’t the begging type. Or the asking type. At least he wasn’t when we first met. He was dominant, possessive, the epitome of an alpha male. And he totally rocked my world. Now, he’s a good provider, a good father, but as emotionally closed off as he used to be open. As a result, his plea moves me to reconsider.
“Okay.” I open the card, and plaster a smile on face that should see me through whatever I find inside. “It was very thoughtful . . .” My words trail off as I read the coupon taped inside the card.
THIS LOVE COUPON ENTITLES THE BEARER TO ONE MÉNAGE
My heat stutters in my chest and my stomach sinks. Would he be this cruel? Who would want to have a ménage with me? “Is this a joke?”
“No joke,” he says. “Although it’s just for one night.”
“Does this say . . . ménage? As in ménage a trois? As in three people in a bed? Together?”
Dan shifts in the bed, turning toward me. “You said you wanted to spice things up in the bedroom.”
“By ‘spice things up’, I meant actually having sex, or taking off our clothes with the lights on, or kissing before bed,” I say. “I wasn’t really thinking of inviting someone else to join us.”
“Things haven’t been good between us for a long time.” He rubs his palms over the blanket covering his thighs, a tell tale sign that he’s agitated. Although right now, he’s got nothing on me.
“I couldn’t possibly let a stranger see me naked.” I close the birthday card and try to tuck it back into the destroyed envelope. Maybe he had too many drinks after work. Maybe one of the other attorneys in his office put him up to this.
“Not a stranger.” He takes the card from my hand and carefully removes the coupon. “Aidan Steadman.”
“Aidan Steadman?” My voice rises to a shriek, and not just because I know Aidan, but because he is about the hottest thing to hit our town in forever, and the least likely person I could ever imagine with a thirty-five year old, married mother of two like me. “The kids’ new dentist? He’s coming to our house to have a ménage? Are you crazy?” I put my hand on Dan’s forehead. “You are a little warm. Maybe you have a fever. Peter had that terrible cold last week . . .”
“I’m not crazy.” He opens the card and pulls out the coupon. “I’ve already talked to him about it and he’s really excited.”
“I’ll bet he is,” I mutter. “How old is he? Twenty-five? Thirty? And he has nothing better to do with his time than hang out in bed with us?”
“Kylie.” His voice takes on an admonishing tone. “Don’t be so negative.”
“And just how did that conversation go?” I take a stab at mocking Dan’s deep voice. “Hey Aidan. Thanks for doing that emergency filling for Peter. And hey, do you want to come over on Saturday for dinner and a ménage with my wife?”
“No dinner,” Dan says. “He’s got plans.”
“Plans for another ménage? He’s a dentist, Dan. Dentists aren’t kinky.”
Dan’s lips quiver in a smile. “Apparently he is. That’s why he got divorced back in Ohio. His wife wasn’t into that stuff.”
“And we are?” I push myself off the bed, and tighten the belt on my robe. “Come on, Dan. What’s gotten into you? Last year, when I wanted to buy a vibrator, you told me they were unnatural. You can’t deal with toys in bed, but you can deal with another man?”
“Aidan.” He follows me across the bed and sits on the edge, his gaze on me.
“Aidan,” I repeat. “The ménage king of our lovely Tolmie, Indiana.”
“He likes you, babe.” Dan tugs on my belt and draws me over to him. “He thinks you have nice teeth.”
“Well thank God for that. It might ruin the mood if I had cavities.” I pull to a stop between his spread legs and a thrill of arousal shoots through me. Before our sex life succumbed to the rigors of babies, work and exhaustion, Dan always had to be in control in the bedroom. I hadn’t slept with many men before him, but his dominance aroused me, and although our play never went beyond soft restraints and the occasional slap on the bottom, he opened me up to possibilities I would have been more than happy to pursue if I hadn’t gotten pregnant so damn fast and he shut it all down.
Over the years, the play times became fewer and sex became mechanical, with the sole purpose of getting us both off as quickly as possible so we didn’t lose any precious sleep. By the time the boys hit their teens, we had drifted apart so far, I figured there was no going back. And why rock the boat? We were comfortable together. Wasn’t that all that mattered?
“Kylie.” He tugs on my belt and my robe falls open to reveal the cheap satin nightgown that does little to hide the evidence of my post-baby spread. “I feel like I’m losing you and I don’t know what else to do. I picked up one of your romance books last month and saw the three people on the cover . . . we talked about having someone else join us when we first got together . . . you said it was one of your fantasies . . . I figured if you were still interested enough to read about it . . .
“It’s not real.” I snatch the ends of my belt from his hands and tie my robe tight. Fifteen years ago, I loved my curves, but now I wonder if my curves have driven Dan away. Maybe he doesn’t find me attractive anymore and he needs to go to this kind of extreme to get off.
“Neither are we.”
“It was a nice thought,” I say. “But it’s just not going to happen. I know you—”
“Tomorrow night.” His low, commanding tone startles me and I shiver, remembering the days when I thought I could come just from the sound of his voice. “The boys are having a Saturday sleepover at the Richardson’s house. Aidan will be here at eight. Make sure you have something nice to wear.” His lips quiver at the corners. “Or not.”
My mouth drops open in a most unbecoming way. Who is this man and where did he dredge up the sex god he used to be fifteen years ago?
“What if I say no?”
He rounds the bed and flips back the covers, then settles back on his pillow as if it were any other night and not the night he gave me a ménage for my birthday. “What if you say yes?”
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A little naughty, a lot of heart, and a happily every after