It should have been easy: take a well-deserved vacation from my high-pressure job as a cardiac surgeon, check into my hotel in paradise, drink my weight in mai tais, and hook up with someone who would not only give me multiple orgasms but make me forget my cheating ex, the very reason I hadn’t had any orgasms—at least not the partner-induced kind—for over a year. Instead, I spent my vacation sleeping, swimming, and half-heartedly flirting with men at the pool, but in the end I hadn’t been able to sleep with any of them.
I’d gotten close.
I told myself that it was all I needed to get rid of the odd restlessness that had been popping up more and more lately, the one that made me worry whether I was somehow losing my edge.
But one minute I’d be kissing a guy, enjoying him touching me, and the next thing I knew I’d remember Samuel’s betrayal, my mind and body would shut down, and I’d have to get away from him as fast as possible.
Now here I am back home, scheduled to return to work in two days, feeling like a pathetic horny loser. A loser who couldn’t even engage in a revenge fuck a year after Samuel cheated on me. Of course, it wasn’t as if I couldn’t try again tomorrow, or next week, or next month, but the thought of going to a bar, club, or hell, even the gym, to try again anytime soon made me want to hurl.
Which is why I was currently staring at the app my friend Bonnie installed on my phone after she picked me up at the airport, and I confessed I hadn’t done the horizontal mambo with anyone while in the Dominican Republic. I’d never done online dating. I met Samuel when we were both in medical school, and by the time we graduated, we were engaged. Too bad almost ten years of marriage hadn’t stopped him from cheating on me.
I was a damn doctor. A damn doctor who was almost forty years old. I’d planned to delete the app, but now…
I stared at the app’s pink heart logo.
So what if I hadn’t been able to pull the trigger while on vacation? I’m a modern, strong, independent woman. I have an amazing career that most people only dream about, and sure I’ve been in a funk, haven’t quite been myself, but what if Bonnie is right? What if all I need is one night—one night of hot, mind-blowing, fuck-my-brains-out sex with a random stranger—to get my groove back?
With a bracing breath, I rearranged the bed pillows, grabbed my glass of pinot grigio, took a big gulp, then clicked open the app.
A few minutes later, my profile and match preferences were up and running. My name of choice? Lana, because it started with an L like Lauren, and let’s be real, sounded ten times sexier. I used a photo Bonnie had taken of me in short shorts and a tank top, wearing a ball cap, only the lower half of my face visible. The photo gave me a flirty, mysterious air. I input what I was looking for: male, age 25-45, distance fifteen miles.
No sense in beating around the bush, and while I’d never considered hooking up with a guy who was younger than me, in this case, the more energetic the better. If I was going to break loose for a night, I might as well get the most out of it that I could.
Photos of eligible candidates began filtering onto my phone screen. Some guys seemed decent enough, while others were beefcakes who’d uploaded bathroom shots of their abs. Pass. Other guys’ profiles screamed bitter—“I want a woman who’s honest and isn’t into drama.”
I swiped right on a few of the decent ones, my initial nervousness quickly changing into exasperation. Then boredom. Then the sad realization that my choices were limited. Where were all the hot men when a girl wanted to hook up?
A message popped into my inbox, startling me so much I almost dropped my phone. Clicking it open, I read: hey. Nothing else. I rolled my eyes, deleted the message, and kept swiping, refilling my wine glass (I’d brought the bottle to bed with me) from time to time.
A few more messages:
Hi there your hot
Ugh, I know it’s just sex, but he has to know the difference between your and you’re.
Wanna get a drink?
You like peanut butter? I’d love to eat peanut butter with you. ☺
Okay, enough of this.
Just as I was about to hit the button to lock out my phone, however, his face popped up.
Like something out of a steamy romance novel meets Greek god myth, his picture alone was enough to send my pulse racing. He was shirtless, but all you could see were the tops of his pecs—wet, dripping pecs—as he rose from crystal blue waters similar to those in the tropical paradise of sun, sand and waves I’d just left. This was no beefcake taking photos of himself in his tiny bathroom in depressing, muted light. This guy was model material. In fact, he seemed too perfect, and I wondered if he’d used a fake pic. His image got even better as I worked my way up, with that gorgeous, muscular chest sprinkled with a hint of hair connected to an exquisite neck.
But when I got to his face, the deal was nearly sealed.
I sighed in appreciation. His chin was classic and square, the perfect shape and size to compliment his chiseled cheekbones. His skin was just dark enough to make you wonder whether it was tan or naturally olive, and he had tousled brown hair that looked silky soft. The real focal point, though, were his piercing ocean-green eyes, probably a trick of light and water. The way he stared right into the camera made me suddenly wish for a career as a photographer, lifeguard, or hell, even a hermit crab, for that matter. I’d scuttle across the sand just to pinch his big toe. Anything that got me in the path of that intense gaze for a night.
I had to laugh out loud. Talk about desperate! One photo of a hot twenty-something and I was salivating like a dog after a bone. I really did need to get laid, otherwise I might attack the next available guy I encountered, even if it was peanut butter man from the previous message.
About me: I’m more interested in fixing hearts than breaking them, which is why I’m in medical school (you can call me doctor). I like surfing, Thai food, and dogs. I basically go to school and sleep, but if you’re looking for something fast and casual, hit me up.
Both vague and quite specific, setting the parameters of what he was looking for without coming off as a total ass. I appreciated his honesty regarding why he was using the app, and the fact he was in medical school and had an interest in “fixing hearts,” (or at least had the creativity and balls to fake that he was) also earned him points in my book.
I swiped right instantly and waited. And waited. I got up to pee, came back, and waited to see if he swiped right too. To my disappointment, he didn’t, and that didn’t change over the next half hour. Gah, I’m pathetic, I thought. I was about to turn in for the night when I got the notification: HeartBreaker531 likes you!
Pathetic or not, my pulse sped up again. I opened the message screen.
Nerves in my throat, I decided to go with flirty, but short. I was just at the ocean. Too bad I didn’t see you there. Would’ve been a game changer.
I waited in anticipation, staring at my screen for nearly a minute before laughing at myself. Like he was going to message back that quickly! I rolled my eyes and tossed my phone away. I needed to go to sleep. Tomorrow was another day, and a clearer head was probably needed before jumping into the one night-stand territory anyway.
Just as I closed my eyes my phone dinged with a notification. I brought the phone closer and unlocked the screen only to find a message waiting for me from HeartBreaker531 himself.
Hey there gorgeous. Wish I’d seen you at the beach too. Game changer?
I hesitated. Told myself it was too late, too flirty, too much. This was a bad idea. I had no idea who he was. He could be some creep living in his mom’s basement, fingers stained with Cheetos dust.
Only somehow I couldn’t stop myself, because what if he was real? What if this gorgeous man was truly interested in me and could serve my purpose? My simple, shallow, selfish purpose, but a purpose nonetheless?
Taking a chance, my fingers moved as I settled back into my overstuffed pillows.
OH GOD, what had I done?!
Hi back? Was that really the best I could come up with?
What was I, sixteen years old again? I was a grown woman for goodness sake. Not some awkward teenager talking to her first real crush.
“Smooth, Lauren, smooth,” I grumbled to myself. I rushed to add another line of reply before mystery man ran for the hills.
Yes, game changer, I typed. Seeing you would’ve changed everything about my trip. I certainly wouldn’t have slept alone.
Holy crap, did I really say that? I was full-on flirting with HeartBreaker531. My fingers tingled with anticipation. How would he respond?
Actually, you wouldn’t have slept at all.
My heart raced. I smiled. It’s not like I’d never flirted before, but it’d been a long time. I’d forgotten how fun it could be. I had to keep going.
I would apologize for keeping you UP this time of night, but the mental image I have of you in that condition is too good. I’m unrepentant.
I was getting better at this. Sexy word play was a good move, and I even managed to work in a multi-syllabic phrase this time.
The phone politely buzzed, alerting me to his reply.
If I’m UP, then what are you? 😉
For a moment, I heard nothing back. Crap, had I scared him away with my blunt directness? Was I overdoing the confident woman thing? But then, his reply arrived:
I like that. What are you wearing, Lana?
For a moment, I wondered who the fuck Lana was. Then, I remembered it was my chat name! And apparently, things had quickly escalated and we were moments away from chat sex.
It was now or never. Did I want a meaningless tryst or not?
Gulping down another swish of wine, I looked down at my heather grey sleep pants and worn-in, navy blue t-shirt that was one of my favorites to sleep in. Not exactly va-va-voom.
I knew suddenly that no matter how handsome and sexy he was, no matter how daring I was currently acting, I would never meet him somewhere. Chat sex was as far as it would go.
It would be perfect actually. Harmless. No strings attached, no foul. It’s all good, Lauren, you nervous little minx.
Putting the phone down on the covers, I quickly slid off my pajama pants and then just as quickly dispersed with my top, leaving me sitting nearly naked, exchanging messages with a strange man over a dating app. I almost laughed at the absurdity of it.
Picking up my phone I tapped out my message and hit send with anticipation.
Why should I tell you? I teased.
His reply was quicker this time.
I promise I’ll make it worth your while.
I raised my eyebrows. Cocky, for sure, which only made him sexier.
I’m wearing black panties…and nothing else.
Nice. What kind of material?
Silk with lace around the edges and on the butt.
Touch yourself, Lana.
I hesitated. He’d used my chat name again, and it suddenly made me second guess what I was doing. Was I really going to do this? HeartBreaker531 could be some weird creeper. Or a stalker, or married, or or or…
“Stop it, Lauren. Grow up and let loose a little,” I told myself.
It wasn’t like I was ever going to meet this guy in person. He was probably using a fake picture, and so what? It was all for fun fantasy anyway. Wasn’t the end of the world. He probably thought my photo was fake, too. Come to think of it, I probably should have picked an image from some super model bikini shoot of someone with less hips and longer legs.
What did I have to lose? I’d had a hell of a year, and soon I’d be back to my professional, hard-working, life-saving self. That settled that then—I was all in.
I held the phone with one hand, while dragging the other slowly down my torso, over my stomach and onto the minimal waistband of my low-rise bikinis. Good thing I had lots of experience typing with one hand while juggling medical charts with another.
Are you touching yourself now? he asked.
Tell me how it feels.
I imagined he had a bit of a rasp to his voice, probably a baritone, yes, most definitely a baritone, and the question would have rolled over his tongue like whiskey, smooth on the ear initially, but with a follow-up shudder once the impact hit you.
Soft, smooth, warm…wet.
Whoa, bolder. I gave myself an internal pat on the back for that one.
Touch yourself like I would touch you.
Dear God. That sent a spike through me. Inhibitions melted away in the relative safety of my perceived anonymity, and I lowered my hand further, applying just the smallest amount of tantalizing pressure. The material was slick, the skin underneath getting slicker by the moment.
Can you feel how hot you are for me already through your panties? he messaged.
My touch felt electric and I slowly, leisurely moved my hand up and down over the slick material, leaving tingling tightness in its wake. This felt way better than masturbating by myself.
I closed my eyes as I continued sliding my hand leisurely, side to side, up and down. Was he turned on by this as much as I was? Was he stroking himself through his jeans? He was definitely wearing jeans and nothing else, I had decided. Open buttoned jeans pulled down to reveal his hard thickness.
Emboldened, I used my free hand to tap out another question. Are you touching yourself?
I imagined him biting his lip. In my mind he definitely bit his lip.
I wasn’t planning on it, but I am now.
My mystery Adonis had a sense of humor. My insides clenched a little tighter.
How does it feel?
Hard, very hard. And hot. It feels good, but not as good as if you were stroking me.
Oh, man. I was way, way in. I imagined him sitting alone in a hotel room, godlike body roped with smooth muscles, stroking his rock hard cock while thinking of me in my black silk panties. The mental image alone was almost enough to make me get off.
Put your hand inside your panties, Lana. Rub yourself for me.
Bossy. I could get on board with that.
Shifting positions for a better angle, I slipped my hand under the waistband, working my fingers slowly over my mound, pausing briefly on the cliff edge near my clit and then working further down. I hovered over my opening.
Another message from him: Do it.
It was like he was in the room, watching me. The thought of this sexy beast of a man watching me touch myself at his command had an audible groan escaping my lips. I dipped a finger just barely inside myself, confirming how wet this little verbal back and forth made me. I was willing to bet everything I owned that his groan was as sexy as I was imagining. Eyes closed, low and guttural.
Tell me how much you wish I was there with you right now.
I do. I wish you were here to feel this, I typed.
I could tease you, in and out all night long, Lana. My thumb rubbing over the head of my cock wouldn’t feel as good as rubbing it against your clit.
He was going to be the death of me, and with only a few dirty words. Pushing my fingers in a little further, I began working myself in earnest, feeling how slick this unlikely encounter was making me. I used my other hand to tease out another message for him.
I can feel your hard cock inside me.
That’s right. Imagine me inside you, filling you up.
Filling me up. YES. It was impossible, insane even, but I was getting close. That tingling, clenching sensation deep in my core was turning into a raging inferno. Was he stroking himself in time to mine? Did he want his fingers inside my pussy, closing his eyes to imagine it?
That’s it gorgeous, work those fingers in and out, faster now, a little harder. Those tiny fingers couldn’t possibly fill you up like I would. You know it’s just a taste.
My fingers flew in and out faster now, slicker than ever before. The heat was coiling tight, I was so ready. I needed a release. Needed to feel him deep inside me, rubbing his hard chest against my soft breasts, thrusting deep up into me with every move of his gorgeous hips.
Oh my God.
Yes, do it, Lana.
I could see his beautiful body now, with those striking eyes, that unruly hair tumbling ever so slightly onto his face. It was too much and not enough, all at once.
My insides clenched as my fingers worked over my most sensitive parts, stroking myself to an explosive, breath-stealing orgasm. My back arched as every muscle in my body tensed up at once, letting the warm, electric sensations roll through me. I collapsed back onto the covers in a state of incoherent bliss, resting my mind and body while I caught my breath. Remnants of my orgasm were still pulsing through my body as I heard the phone ding from my side where I had dropped it in the midst of ecstasy. I picked it up, eyes already half drooping in my newly relaxed state.
I want to see you.
Instantly, my fuzzy, post-orgasmic bliss brain got back into high gear. A little sexting with a random stranger was one thing, but a hook-up after this? Meeting with someone in person, after what he…I… had done? What had I been thinking? No, no way. Just no.
I had a career, a reputation. What if someone found out? What if he was really some creep in his mom’s basement? What if he looked exactly as gorgeous as his avatar and he had an ego to match?
My phone dinged again.
How about tomorrow night?
I paused, fingers hovering yet again. This wasn’t my game. I was older, more sensible, a big girl with big girl responsibilities, not some twenty-something who could play hook-up with random men for a bit of weekend fun. I had worked too damn hard to get where I was, crawled from the bottom up out of that hellhole, secured my place among the best of the best.
With a decisive stroke I went to settings, and the damn thing asked me if I was really, really sure I wanted to delete all of my information, contacts, pictures and conversations, etc. Yeah, I was sure! I deleted it immediately, and the app icon quickly disappeared, along with HeartBreaker531.
I had a moment of regret, but only a moment. Easy come, easy go.
Plugging my phone into the charger, I settled into bed for the second time that night. As my head hit the pillow and the remnant intoxication of both alcohol and sexual release forced my eyelids closed, I summoned up a mental image of Sexy HeartBreaker Adonis’s picture in my head one more time. As I succumbed to sleep my last thoughts were muddled reassurance—he wasn’t really the first man in over a year to make me come…I did it myself with just a little help. He was no one I needed. No one I wanted. We had fun but now it was business as usual.
Goodbye, Lana, woman-who-obviously-needed-some-so-was-willing-to-hook-up-with-a-hottie-even-if-it-was-only-through-a-dating-app.
Hello, Dr. Lauren Decker, woman-who-got-that-out-of-her-system-and-is-now-ready-to-focus-on-her-career-and-never-let-a-man-screw-her-over-again.
Virna DePaul is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, and a former criminal prosecutor who writes thrilling, sexy stories about ordinary people overcoming extraordinary obstacles to find love. She has been traditionally published with Penguin, Harlequin, and Random House, and is also a bestselling Indie author.