Clay nods while pouring various ingredients into a pot.
“That makes sense,” he remarks. “A lot of housing stock in NYC is pre-war, so by definition, there are going to be some older buildings around. Do you like it though?”
I nod quickly.
“Oh yes. I didn’t mean to sound ungrateful or anything. It’s just the mice … and the cockroaches … ugh. There’s nothing you can do to stop them from making an appearance each year either.”
Clay stops mixing for a moment and shoots me a look.
“You guys don’t have an exterminator?”
I shake my head.
“No, we do. The building hires one to come once a month, but it doesn’t seem to help. Even the exterminator knows it. He plugs up holes, helps to set traps, and keeps an eye out for other vermin, but when you have an old building, that’s just how life is, I guess. You share it with animals and insects.”
Clay and Casper pause for a moment and then exchange a look.
“Honey, would you like to move in?” Clay offers. “I know it’s early, but we have plenty of space and you’re more than welcome to if you feel comfortable.”
I stare at him.
“You mean, in here? With you?”
The twins share another glance.
“Yes baby,” replies Casper gently. “We hate thinking of you in some dump—”
“It’s not a dump,” I interject quickly. “It’s just old. I swear, my apartment’s really cute and cozy.”
“Yeah, but there’s no need to deal with cockroaches and mice if you don’t have to. Again, we have a number of spare bedrooms, although of course, we’d prefer it if you stayed with us. In the master suite,” he clarifies.
My cheeks go pink.
“Would we do that again?”
Clay and Casper’s gazes immediately go hot as they nod.
“Absolutely yes,” replies Clay.
“Every night. Every morning and afternoon too, if you’re not too sore, honey,” Casper growls.
I giggle because this is turning out to be a dream come true. Move into a ginormous penthouse? With two hunky men who adore my generous curves? Why, yes please! But I can’t, not really. I don’t know these men, and I can’t give up my lease without having something to fall back on in case things don’t work out.
Meanwhile, we make conversation as Clay and Casper throw together eggs, bacon, the aforementioned waffles, and other delicious-smelling breakfast foods. The scent of sizzling grease fills the air, and my stomach rumbles.
“Don’t worry, it’ll be done soon,” Clay says with a wink.
I blush. “I worked up an appetite from last night because you guys really put me through my paces. But tell me – what was that party about? Do you guys go to these things a lot?”
Both men still as they ponder my question, but then Casper nods.
“We do. We’re men who like variety, and being a member of Club Z is something we enjoy. The club provides variety in a safe setting, with the utmost discretion while also procuring beautiful product.”
Ugh. There’s that word again, and my nose wrinkles.
“Do you guys realize you just referred to the women last night as ‘product’?”
The twins start and at least they have the grace to look ashamed.
“Sorry honey, I didn’t mean it,” apologizes Casper. “I realize that that could be seen as degrading.”
“No, it’s just that my manager at City Girls also refers to me as ‘product’ sometimes. I called her out on it and she tried to pass it off as a business term, but it was still pretty icky. Now to hear you guys say it too is depressing, to be honest.”
The twins look contrite, their expressions humble.
“Again, I apologize honey,” repeats Casper in a low voice. “I would never denigrate you in any way.”
I sigh again while fidgeting a bit on my stool. This is all so confusing, and yet I’m determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. Why in the world would the Richmonds refer to women as ‘product’? Are they hiding something? For the time being, I push the issue out of my mind and smile.
“Well, I certainly hope this ‘product’ has satisfied you so far.”
“You have,” Casper growls, still penitent. He comes to my side of the counter and kisses my neck to make sure I know for sure just how satisfied he is.
I smile, appeased, but then curiosity makes me ask again.
“So do you guys go to these parties pretty often? How often would you say?”
The twins share a glance and Casper shrugs.
“Maybe once a month? Or maybe a little more? They don’t have them every weekend or anything like that. Again, Club Z is an elite service, so there’s only a small client base.”
“Okay, I see,” I say. Then my eyes flick up to them again. “But when you go, do you … well, do you like to share women?”
Clay and Casper pause as they cook.