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We drive in silence for a while as I stare absently out the window. I don’t note the change in my surroundings until Alex pulls onto a road which disappears into a forest.

“Where are we?”

“An off-roading trail.”

“We’re going off-roading in an SUV?” Alex is an intelligent man, so he must know this car isn’t built for off-roading. SUV or not, it’s snowy, and we could get stuck. Also, we’re on our way to brunch with his family.

“No.” Alex puts the car in park and unbuckles his seat belt. He leans over and kisses me. Roadside make out session? Yes and please.

“I want you to tell me what’s wrong.”

“Nothing’s wrong.”

“Liar.” He kisses the spot on my neck that makes me wish we were naked.

I close my eyes and debate whether or not I should tell the truth. “I’m nervous.”

“What about?”

Alex sits back, his expression somber. It’s hot. Although I’m biased; I find all of Alex’s facial expressions hot.

“I think your mom hates me. What if I say something dumb in front of your family? We haven’t been seeing each other long, and you don’t know how ridiculously inappropriate I can be in social situations. I mortify myself sometimes—quite often, actually. It's fine with my friends, not when I’m dealing with the parents of my successful, intelligent, inordinately hot, and extra-well-endowed boyfriend.”

“Once they get to know you they’ll love you, I promise.” He kisses the back of my hand. “My dad is super laid-back, and so is my sister. As for my mom, she’s probably certifiable, but she’s harmless.”

“What if I accidentally make a comment about your monster cock? What if they serve breakfast sausages, and I compare its inadequate size to your love stick?”

These might seem like stupid questions, but when nervous, I put myself in jeopardy of saying something this humiliating.

“Did you just call my cock a ‘love stick’?” He smirks.

“I don’t think you’re focusing on the issue here.”

“Baby, everything is going to be fine. You have nothing to worry about.”

His reassurances are starting to work. It’s as though he’s hypnotizing me with his voice and his touch and his pretty, pretty eyes. He kisses me softly.

The heat between us explodes and we end up making out for fifteen minutes. It’s long enough to get us both worked up and almost make us late. The sexual tension in the car is thick like potato leek soup. I’d help him out with his problem, but I think it’s only fair we both suffer through brunch unsatisfied.

Guelph is more of a town than a city, and it’s nothing like Chicago. Downtown is quaint, full of little cafés and shops interspersed with bars and pubs, catering to the college crowds. Despite the cold winter morning, the streets bustle with people, young and old alike. We turn onto a side street and pull into the driveway of a large, old, brick house.

“Ready?” He squeezes my hand.

“I think so.”

When he gets out of the car he adjusts his pants. He has an obvious hard-on. Hopefully, the cold air will help shrink it. The only thing more horrifying than me making comments about his package would be him sporting a woody in front of his parents.

Daisy greets us at the door. I’m stunned once again by the horror of her hair. It looks like the eighties threw up on her head. It seems even bigger today than it was the other night. Her matching eighties attire is a helpful diversion, though. While acid-washed and high-waisted pants have made a comeback in recent years—Lord help us all—it looks as though she unearthed her original duds from the attic. I sniff, there’s no mothball smell. How she’s managed to avoid being lynched by the fashionista police is beyond me.


He turns his face away from her hair as they hug.

“Violet, it’s so nice you could make it.” She hugs me, too. It’s another one of those loose, back-pat ones with no real affection.

Her hair is so solid I worry it might ensnare me like a fly caught in a spider web. I make the mistake of talking while hugging Daisy.

“Thanks so much for inviting me.” Stray hairs stick to my lips, and hairspray invades my mouth. It’s simply horrendous. I want to spit the taste out. I swallow repeatedly instead, spreading it around my tongue.

“Alex, why don’t you bring your bags in, and Violet can help me in the kitchen.”

Alex stands there for a few long seconds with a smile plastered on his face. He runs a hand nervously through his hair. “I already booked us a room—”

“At a hotel? Why would you need to do that?” She looks from him to me and back again, her smile calculating. Alex’s mom is kind of a bitch.

“This is Violet’s first time in Guelph—”

“Which is exactly why you should stay here. You can cancel your reservations.” Daisy loops her arm through mine and steers me toward the kitchen. “I don’t get to see enough of my baby boy, and Violet has had you most of the weekend. I think she should be able to share you for one night. Grab your bags and bring them inside, sweetie.”

Panic-stricken, I look over my shoulder as Daisy leads me away. Alex’s brows are drawn, and his lips are mashed in a line. He looks about as happy about this situation as I do. Brunch with the ’rents is one thing, a goddamned sleepover is another.

“I’m so glad Alex was able to find some time to spend with us while he’s here. We see so little of him already these days with his schedule.”

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