Publication date: February 25th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance
Being a police officer in a small town doesn’t often offer up many surprises. Working the night shift means I rarely see or do much of anything that doesn’t involve a speeding vehicle, or a drunken rant. And, while quiet nights are better than deadly ones, it still takes some getting used to after living in a big city for years.
So, I’m rather shocked when I pull over a driver and find the dirtiest audiobook playing from the car speakers. And, paint me intrigued when the hot driver struggles to get the enticing words to stop broadcasting to the entire street.
The embarrassing encounter has us both lowering our guard, and I find myself a new friend, one who suggests we start our own audiobook club.
Soon, we become more than just friends as we listen and fall into stories and new worlds together and, naturally, the sexy scenes we’re listening to become a blueprint for our own experiences to try … together.
But, when life intrudes and our audiobook club breaks up, I’m left wondering if everything was just fiction, or if maybe there is something real under it all.
Can we get our happily ever after, or will it all fizzle out before it has a chance to become something permanent?
Thirty minutes later, we have a functioning bedframe. Two minutes after that, with just a few grunts and one moan stating permanent back pain, the mattress sits on top of it.
“Should we test it out?” I ask, my hands on my hips, breathing just a little hard from the exertion to get the mattress on it.
“You mean, have sex on it?” Ethan asks around a surprised cough.
I laugh, since I’m definitely not that bold as to suggest something like that. “I more mean just jump around on it; see if it holds. But, I mean, if you’re offering …” I trail off and waggle my eyebrows, only a tinge sad when he laughs instead of taking me up on the offer.
“I haven’t jumped on a bed since I was a kid.”
“Me, neither. I wonder why we stop doing this kind of thing? Why does being an adult mean you can’t still have silly fun?” I ask, crawling up onto the bed, feeling all sorts of out of balance as I force my shaky knees to stiffen and hold me.
I have never been great with heights and, apparently, even being just a bed high off the ground is too much. Still, I need to save face now. So, I do a small jump and watch Ethan roll his eyes at me.
“If that was supposed to test the bed out, then you must have the most boring and lifeless sex in here.”
“Who says I don’t like boring and lifeless sex?” I say somewhat defensively, and then I regret it immediately. “Fine, release your inner child and jump all over my bed to prove your handyman skills and impress me,” I tease, moving off the bed, grateful to be back on steady ground.
Ethan removes his shoes, and then, much more confidently, he gets up on the bed, standing to his feet with an ease I never had. While I shook and probably went three shades paler, Ethan grins widely and is as steady as a seasoned yoga instructor.
“Ready to have your bed and world rocked?” he asks me with a cheeky smile.
“Fuck yes,” I breathe out, meaning it in more ways than just jumping on my bed. I think he knows that, given the heat in his gaze. Then he proceeds to do a small jump, perhaps testing out the strength of the bedframe.
So far so good.
Another couple of jumps, and he begins to laugh. The carefree way he does this has me grinning back up at him. He looks so joyful, so happy, and so … close to the ceiling.
“Ethan, maybe you—”
His next jump has more oomph to it, and the top of his head slams straight into the ceiling.
Drywall and paint rain over him, while his legs collapse out from under him, and he lands down hard on the mattress. This is apparently too much for the newly erected bedframe, since it cracks, perhaps the wooden slats that are there breaking, and the middle caves in.
Shock silences me, and my heart is in my throat. I fear Ethan could have been knocked unconscious. He’s not moving.
Did I just kill my neighbor? How the hell am I supposed to explain this to anyone?
Then Ethan coughs while moving his hand to cover his mouth, and then that cough turns into a laugh, and that laughs has him folding in half as tears start to run down his face.
“Ethan?” I hesitantly reach out to touch his shoulder. “Are you okay?”
I’m not sure I’m ready to find the situation funny, given he could have a head injury.
“I think … I …” He can’t stop laughing, and I have to wait a good two minutes for him to get himself under control. “I think I just figured out why adults don’t do this shit anymore.”
I look up at the head-sized hole in my ceiling and chuckle. “You could be right.”
Jessica lives in Adelaide, South Australia. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, napping or watching excessive amounts of TV. Connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.