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He pulls me from my thoughts, and I open the door to see the most handsome man I’ve ever seen. I mean, he’s usually hot, but with this more formal suit and tie, he’s breathtaking. I can see he approves of me too, because he eyes me intently.

“Ready,” I say, gesturing with my hands for effect.

“I better get you out of here fast otherwise I’m tempted to skip the whole thing,” he says, his voice hoarse.

I lift my hand. “No touching then. I really wanna go,” I say. After all, especially after what we shared in the pool several nights ago, I can’t risk it. When I had his cock teasing my pussy… I wanted to break the rule so much. A self-imposed, silly rule.

He smiles. “Oh. You’ll go places tonight,” he says in a playful tone, but there’s an undercurrent of tension.

During the drive to the opulent party, he small talks about current events and the news, and I go through the motions and look out the window as we leave one exclusive neighborhood and drive to another. In a bit over one week, I’ll have to go home. Terri will return, and there won’t be a place for me in Dallas. Anxiety creeps into my stomach, my nerves jittery.Get it together, girl.

I’ve been avoiding talking about it, but the idea of not seeing him anymore lingers in the back of my mind. Still… I’m afraid to bring it up and lose whatever days we have left by sounding needy. I try to focus on the present, and mentally slap myself, and focus on the view.

Gated community, huge homes, lavish front yards…

What would it be like to live in one of those houses?

“What’s on your mind?” he asks.

I can’t really tell him about my leaving. Not now, anyway, when we’re on the way to a fancy party. “I don’t know… seeing all these mansions gets me thinking. What do these people do for a living?”

“Some were born into money, some found the right field and connections.”

“Seems like it. Was Sugar & Silk always your endgame?”

He continues relaxed, manning the steering wheel with the cool confidence he usually displays. “Did I think back then people would pay top dollar to be matched? The right clientele, yes. But I was skeptical at first, just because I wasn’t sure it’d work in the long run… and thankfully it’s been outstanding.”

“Do you think your experience being a sugar daddy comes in handy?” I say, biting my inner cheek afterward and hoping jealousy didn’t seep into my voice. I know I have no claim over Grant, and he has a past. Still, the image of him with any other woman makes me see red.

He gives me a long layered glance. “Why do I detect a sense of judgment?”

“Oh. I didn’t mean to… it’s just… you’re super-hot, rich and not entirely unredeemable. I thought you’d have no problem finding a girlfriend.”

He snorts. “I’ve had girlfriends before.”

“And also sugar babies. What’s the draw?”

“I don’t like surprises,” he says, then fixes his attention back on the road, his silent way to tell me the subject is closed.

A pang of disappointment stabs at me. I should have known this man had issues, but his ridiculous response is a turnoff. How can anyone go through life with transactional relationships just so they feel like they’re always in control? I look out the window, but this time I’m just pretending to look at the scenery.

I probably am sounding stupid and naïve right now, but a part of me hurts inside. Like… I want better for him. I want more for him. I want him to experience all the wonderful things about non-transactional relationships… though I guess that’s hypocritical of me to think this way.

After all, he’s giving me sex lessons and I’m giving him access to my virgin body. It’s not a financial transaction, but doesn’t it count? No surprises there.

We arrive at the party, and for the next hour, we’re walking around, shaking some hands. Even though he introduces me as a member of the Sugar & Silk team, I feel like some people assume I’m one of his sugar babies.

Why does it bother me?

Why am I trying to convince myself what we have is more than what we actually have?

“Come,” he says, then puts his hand on the small of my back and leads me through the backyard. It’s an extensive space with an Olympic size pool, and an endless number of trimmed bushes and colorful plants in the background.

We reach an empty area, where I can still hear the buzzing of the party but it no longer reverberates through me.

“Is the party everything you thought it’d be?” he breaks the silence.

I shrug. I wanted to come so much, but now as I think about giving him up, the glitz and glam of the party falls in the background. Is life also going to lose its color when I go back home? “It’s great. I mean… it’s tons of extravagant food and overdressed good looking people.”