Sex, Life, & Hannah Excerpts

Making out with Ben

From Sex, Life, & Hannah: Wicked Winter Breakup (CHAPTER 3: THE AGONY OF ECSTASY)

Ben and I are lounging on opposite sides of the couch. The Christmas lights have been turned off and the music has ended. It is dark and quiet. My eyes are closed and all I can feel are Ben’s hands plying my feet and calves. He still has not said a lot tonight, but maybe he doesn’t have to. Maybe some people say enough with what they do and the energy they emanate.

I feel fantastically good. I feel better than I have since The Ex broke up with me, and maybe even longer. For the first time in a long time I admit to myself how stressful and full of anxiety our relationship really was. Maybe Jack is right. Maybe I do need someone better for me.

I am sitting in the dark with Ben, whom I barely know, whom I’ve never had a conversation with, but I feel happy. We’re two people just enjoying one another’s company. No strings attached. It’s been a long time since I felt that way with The Ex.

Inspired, I sit up and lean toward Ben. He puts a hand on the back of my head and pulls me closer. We kiss slowly, exploring each other’s mouths for a very long time. It is ecstasy—or maybe the ecstasy.

The light peeks in through the shutters. I pry myself from Ben’s lips. I tell him I need to go home. He gives me a warm hug and lets me out through the elusive kitchen back door.

To Be Continued…

Love happens when you least expect it to

From Sex, Life, & Hannah: Wicked Winter Breakup (CHAPTER 8: FALLING IN LOVE)

Love happens when you least expect it to, oftentimes with someone you least expect it to happen with, and more often than not at an inopportune moment.

You’re trying to get over your ex, tackling being single, realizing that shagging your young inexperienced neighbor is not enough, or you’re just about to leave on a philanthropic mission to Africa for the next six months.

And you meet a guy, in a women’s bathroom, who’s a little odd, and a little too tall, and a little too skinny, and maybe a little too old for you. And even though you end up drunk and passed out in a bed with him half-naked, you think little of it, or him.

Until you talk to him intimately over the phone, and find you can share personal experiences with him over drinks.

And you drive up to his house, and he opens the door looking suddenly oh-so-sexy like never before in his black baseball hat, worn jeans, and white t-shirt, telling you to unwind while he cooks for you. And he takes your body in a knowing way you haven’t felt in a long time, and you lie back with this feeling you don’t want to admit to but can’t escape: the feeling of falling in love.

To Be Continued…

Complicated Sex

From Sex, Life, & Hannah: Racy Spring Rebounds (CHAPTER 14: FRIENDS…WITH BENEFITS)

We’ve polished off the bottle of wine and everything on the tray, and we’ve wrapped up the frivolous chitchat and goofy horseplay. Mr. Smyth takes the wine glass out of my hand and sets it on the concrete. He wraps his arms around me.

“I have to say, Hannah,” he starts, brushing his lips against my shoulder, “I’m quite disappointed you don’t want us to be friends.”

I feel a knot of disappointment too; but I’m tipsy, so it’s easier to ignore the fact that…he hasn’t changed his mind.

His hands move down and squeeze my hips as I wrap my legs around his waist. I nuzzle up to his ear and lick his neck. I can’t imagine why Mr. Smyth would want to give any of this up.

“Why do you want to be my friend?” I whisper as I run a hand over his chest.

He puts his hands on my ass and pulls me against his hardness. “We understand each other,” he says—then lets out a groan as I grab his hair, pull myself, wet with anticipation, onto him, and kiss him, hard, so that he can contemplate our friendship. He responds, harder. “Right?”

I grip him firmly, dig my nails into his back so that he doesn’t forget what we have, sink my teeth into his neck, and clasp my thighs around him. I don’t say anything, losing myself in the pleasure of our bodies.

That night, Mr. Smyth and I fall into a grey area of friendship that includes complicated benefits.

To Be Continued…

Sleeping your way to…something

From Sex, Life, & Hannah: Racy Spring Rebounds (CHAPTER 17: THE BUSINESS OF PLEASURE)

The blue electronic clock lights up 9:33 p.m. on my dash as I drive home from the office. I turn the volume up on a good beat coming from KCRW. I crack my sunroof and breathe in the stiff air.

In a town like Los Angeles, you hear a lot about women and men sleeping their way to the top. The streets are littered with posers, and everybody wants to be a celebrity. Sex-and sex tapes—seem to be the golden ticket—Jack has often vouched for that and Holly seems to be living proof. But I was never one of those people. There was no “top” I wanted to sleep to—not here anyway. Sure, I enjoyed the paychecks; and I’d gotten good promotions and the paychecks had gotten bigger. But that was about the only thing I enjoyed. I was just biding my time. Waiting for The Ex and I to get married and then for me to get knocked up and quit. And then…I never planned that far ahead.

The sultry sounds of “I Put a Spell on You” come through the airwaves, and I can’t help but find it apropos for what happened tonight. I had crossed a line I never thought I would. I can’t even explain what came over me. It was like I was somebody different, someone…empowered—or completely screwed in the head. I’m not exactly sure what I slept my way into, but it was exactly how I always envisioned it would be.

I crank the volume louder.

To Be Continued…

Boat, Sun, Champagne, Sex

From Sex, Life, & Hannah: Boss Summer of Sin (CHAPTER 21: RISKY BUSINESS)

I finish my mimosa and set my glass down on the deck, again taking in my surroundings. I’ve never dated a wealthy man before. Not wealthy like Phillip Ferrari. And it was never a priority—contrary to Jack’s beliefs. Not that I didn’t think I was attractive enough, or sophisticated enough; I’d just always considered my sister’s situation an anomaly, accident, or pure dumb luck. And I’ve always been able to take care of myself, so I never went out of my way to dig into those circles, hoping to hit some jackpot…

Still, a girl could get used to this. I lean my head back, relishing the hot rays of the sun. And I’m sure the whole “snipped” thing will work itself out.

I look back at Phillip. I touch the edge of his shirt gently, touch him gently, and then lean down to kiss his smooth chest.

He stirs. I undo the drawstring of his pants, and then the buttons. I reach in and feel his firm dick. I think about tantalizing it with the tip of my tongue, but he sits up before I can enact my plan, draws me up, and occupies my mouth with something completely different.

He gets on his knees and flips me over—doggy-style…in the daylight.

Shit. I try to squirm upright, but his hands are firm: one on my shoulder, another on my lower back…

I feel his hardness at my thigh as he pulls down my bikini bottoms and takes me, right there, in the middle of all the boats, and the sun, and the squawking of the seagulls, and the shimmering of the ocean, and the champagne buzz in my brain.

To Be Continued…

I Want To Marry You

From Sex, Life, & Hannah: Boss Summer of Sin (CHAPTER 22: GETTING PROPOSITIONED)

“HJ, why are you getting involved with a man who has three kids with a woman he’s never been man enough to stay with and who’s been indicted on suspicion of embezzlement?”

I feel my cheeks redden, realizing there’s even more I don’t know about my new lover. “Is this what you’ve been doing, spying on the people I’m dating?”

“Just looking out for you, HJ.”

“Why?” I demand, pulling my hand away from his.

Christian extinguishes his cigarette and curses under his breath. “Because I love you!” he shouts, “and I want to fucking marry you!” He throws his arms up as if he’s just said something I should have known all along.

I’m hit by a sudden adrenaline rush. Over the last three years, I must have had a million thoughts about marrying Christian Knight. But just as many times I’d put him in the empty-promises box.

“Oh, that’s really fucking amusing, CK!” My adrenaline turns to anger. “Poor little me, dating some guy you don’t approve of—again.” I grab the wine bottle. “Is this your idea of taking pity on me? So that what? So that I can break up with someone who probably will never be there for me and marry someone else who never will be either?” I start dumping whatever is left of the Merlot into my glass, specks of red flying in every direction.

Christian stares, and then throws back his head. “Goddamn!” He starts laughing. “You think this is a joke!” He slaps his knee. “Of course you do—because I haven’t whisked you away on a private jet, or a boat, or have a ten-carat ring in my pocket.” He stands up and kicks his chair, breaking off the remaining back rest. “You are such a self-absorbed little bitch sometimes.”

I swallow what’s in my glass. “Excuse me? I’m self-absorbed?” I stand and put my hands on my hips. “You’re the one who comes and goes as he pleases, answers phone calls when it’s convenient, and returns voicemails, texts, and e-mails ‘when he can,’ while I’m left printing out his e-mails and coveting his saved voicemails like they’re one of the Seven Wonders of the World.” I push my index finger into his chest. “You know what? Fuck you!”

“Ahhhh!” Christian screams up at the ceiling. “You wanna talk coveting? I covet your face; your smile; your body, every time I’m privileged enough to touch it; your voice, whenever I hear it on the other end of the line; every text I get from you; every e-mail you type, even when you’re telling me you never want to see me again; the fucking stairs you walk up to get to my shithole apartment; the chair you sit on across the table from me; the chessboard I never move because I pray we get another chance to play. I covet you so fucking much I can’t stop thinking about you even when I’m getting a fucking hand job from some whore in Thailand.” He punches the wall. “Do you think about me when you’re off doing everybody else?”

I cross my arms and turn away.

To Be Continued…

Life’s Earthquakes

From Sex, Life, & Hannah: Hard Fall to Bliss (CHAPTER 29: Life’s Earthquakes)

“Move in with me,” Christian says, his eyes sincere and his voice assured. “I mean, we’re already engaged.”

Sirens wail in the not-too-far-off distance, mimicking the wail going off in my mind. “B…But you don’t even have proper closet space.”

“You’re worried about closet space right now?” He pulls away and tugs on a pair of boxers. “Why don’t you grab your computer and come to Jumbo’s with me so we can figure this out?”

I don’t answer, and instead shove a toothbrush in my mouth. Moving in with Christian is the logical thing to do. It’s what I should want. I was even going to suggest finding our own place to move into together before…my emotions became rockier than the earthquake we just had.

“You know what? Forget about it.” Christian grabs a t-shirt, his phone, and his wallet. “Stay here. Deal with it, or don’t. You know where I’ll be.”

I spit in the sink, wanting to say the right thing without sounding like a complete wrecking ball. “That’s not… I’m not… You’re not understanding me right now.”

I don’t say this loudly enough.

White debris rains down from my ceiling as he slams the door on his way out.

They say you don’t feel an earthquake if you’re moving—say in a car, off to a suitable job, or to some house in the suburbs where your husband and two kids are waiting for you. But if you’re stuck, in an unsteady place, unsure of where you need to go or what you need to do, you’ll feel every bit of it, and even though it lasts only a few seconds, it will feel like forever and leave a lasting imprint on your mind for…much longer than you’d like.

Devouring a Billionaire

From Sex, Life, & Hannah: Hard Fall to Bliss (CHAPTER33: In Pursuit of Passion)

Within minutes, we’re seated at a round twelve-person table, far enough from Phillip, now placed between his sister and his wife, to not be involved in their private conversation, but close enough to feel the polite tension.

“You look like you just stuck your dick in a tank full of sharks,” Roderick says, nudging my wine closer.

“Have you looked around?” I pick up the glass, welcoming the distraction.

And then we laugh. Because we really are surrounded by sharks. Sharks like Phillip’s ex-wife, who looks like she wants to eat…Roderick for dinner, and Phillip’s sister, who looks like she wants to kill me before dinner, and Phillip, who looks increasingly uncomfortable. Especially after I continue to cozy up to Roderick, indulging his every question, hanging on his every remark, laughing generously at his every sarcasm.

I can tell by Phillip’s glances at me—which are peppered with questions—and by how disinterested he seems in each food course, that I have destroyed his concentration…playing with that one rogue curl, biting my lip when Roderick whispers something scandalous about Gigi in my ear, batting my long, fake lashes at the people who come up to the table specifically to talk to Roderick and introduce themselves to me.

I purposely devour my dessert. The way I devoured Phillip once upon a time, pondering why I ever wanted the complications of a billionaire with a territorial ex-wife and a sister who very obviously still wishes I didn’t exist.