394,638
07.03.2019

"A little baggage? Drew, she has a son. That's more than a little baggage," I complained.

"Wake up and look in the mirror baby-daddy. He's your son too. And you spent the last few years trying to f**k her out of your system with some chick you could barely stand. That's not just baggage, that's luggage, bags, suitcases, carry-ons, back-packs and Clinique make-up bags."

I gave him a questioning look.

"What? I like to moisturize. Healthy skin is the sign of a healthy life. I need a make-up bag for my exfoliators, pore cleansers and firming skin lotion."

Drew stood up and turned to face me.

“In the words of the great Maury Povich, You ARE the father."

I thanked him for the beers and the pep talk and watched him leave for his date with Jenny. Not a surprise there, considering the way he almost humped her leg at dinner the night they met. According to Drew, they’d spent every waking moment together since then. People were going out, falling in love, living their lives and I was stuck here with my head up my ass Googling litigations against condom companies and realizing that I CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH.

Could I do this? Could I really be someone's dad?

I guess there was only one way to find out.

12. P.O.R.N.

The next week flew by pretty quickly when I wasn't thinking about Carter, which was practically every second of every day.

Okay, so I guess it didn't really fly so much as go so f**king slowly I wanted to shove a rusty fork in my eye. I wanted to talk to him and see if he was okay but every time I decided to pick up the phone and get his number, I put it right back down. Regardless of how shitty the way he found out was, now he knew. If he wanted to know the whole story, if he had questions or concerns or just wanted to bite my head off, the ball was in his court. He knew where I worked, and he knew how to find me if he wanted to talk. Maybe I was being stubborn, but oh well. I was a girl and it was my right to stomp my foot and hold my breath.

I handled two parties for Liz this week and got three orders for cookie trays from the women there so things were looking up in that regard. Aside from the parties, I was keeping fairly busy. During the day, I baked and finished getting things ready at the shop and in the evenings, I bartended and tried not to stare at the door every time someone walked in, hoping it was Carter.

By Thursday I had tested out every single product from Liz’s magic suitcase and decided to hell with men. I was going to marry the Jack Rabbit. We were going to run away together and would be very happy making little tiny Jack Rabbit babies together. That thing was going to have to grow some arms and legs though. After a few years of being married to JR, I was not going to be able to walk anymore. JR would have to carry me to Pleasure Town.

I spent all day Thursday in the kitchen at the shop making white chocolate covered potato chips and baking Snickers Surprise cookies for the party I was doing Saturday night. It would be the last party I would do since the shop was opening next week. Now that I knew what all the fuss was about with these sex toys, I was a little sad to see the parties go. Liz told me I could keep my suitcase of fun though.

I made her sign a waiver that stated that in the event of an emergency or the death of Claire Donna Morgan, she was required to remove the suitcase from the premises within fifteen minutes of said emergency and/or death. It was always a good idea to have a plan like this in place. God forbid your dad or your grandmother got to the scene first and found your stash. You just couldn't allow that to happen. It’s also probably a good idea to have them delete your internet history. No one really needs to wonder why you Googled “turtle having orgasm” or were closely watching an EBay auction of a Jesus candle with a penis.

Don’t judge me. Google is my enemy after a few glasses of wine.

I was under similar contractual obligations to get to Liz and Jim’s house and erase the web history on their computer within fifteen minutes and dispose of any and all  p**n ographic movies in their nightstand, under their bed, on the top shelf of their closet, saved on their DVR, packed in the third box from the left in the garage and in the cupboard in the kitchen where the cutting boards are.

I'm not kidding. She made me a list.

As I dipped a potato chip into the big silver bowl of melted white chocolate, I looked out to the front of the store and smiled. Gavin was lying on his stomach by the windows coloring a picture. When I walked out there a little while ago, he covered it up and told me I wasn't allowed to see it. I held the chip above the bowl to let the excess chocolate drip off and then set it down on the sheet of wax paper next to me just as I heard the door connecting mine and Liz’s store open.

"You can just turn right back around and go back to your side. For the last time, I am not going to tell you on a scale of one to “holy shit” how good my orgasm was last night with the butterfly vibrator."

"Well that sucks. Can I at least watch next time?"

My head jerked up and my mouth hung open at the sound of Carters baritone voice.

Why the f**k am I always talking out of my ass around him? And why the hell is he standing there looking so God dammed hot that I want to mount his face.

"Um, you're dripping," he said.

"I know," I muttered, staring at his lips.

He laughed and I blinked myself back to reality as he pointed at the bowl.

"I meant the bowl is tipped. The chocolate is dripping out."

My head flew down and I muttered profanities as I righted the bowl and used my fingers to wipe the drips off of the lip of the bowl and the counter.

❮❯