The Sex Surrogate(5)

By: Jessica Gadziala



“Dr. Hudson,” I said, swallowing hard, moving to stand.

“Chase,” he corrected, shaking his head once. “Don't get up,” he said, holding up a hand and moving toward me.

His massiveness seemed to completely overtake the intimate little seating area, making me push into the back cushions to give myself the breathing space I felt like he was taking from me. His head quirked to the side slightly, watching me, as he put the paperwork down on the closest end table, and took the chair across from me. “Can I call you Ava?” he asked, sitting back in the chair, looking completely at ease. Like he had done it a thousand times before. Which, well, maybe he had. Oh, god. Had he slept with that many clients? Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all... maybe...

“Ava,” he said, a little firmly, making my eyes snap up to his face.

“Sorry,” I rushed, shaking my head. “I just...”

“You're nervous,” he said, shrugging a shoulder.

“Yeah.” You have no fucking idea.

“We're just talking,” he said, his voice too deep to sound comforting, but it somehow did anyway. “Think of this as any normal therapy session, okay?”

“Okay,” I said, taking a breath and letting it out slowly. I could do that. I had plenty of practice with that.

“Your chart says you started therapy when you were fifteen for anxiety issues.”

“Yes.”

“And now you are...”

“Twenty-seven,” I supplied automatically.

“Any success with the treatment?”

A small half laugh, half snort, escaped me, reaching up to run a hand through my hair. “Yes and no. Every time I get over one thing that makes me anxious...”

“A new anxiety develops,” he answered.

“Yup.”

“That must be incredibly frustrating.”

“You have no idea.”

He hadn't stopped looking at me. Literally. His eyes were just... on me. Since the second he walked through the door. Why couldn't he just... look away?

“What are your current anxieties?”

I was going to sleep with this man, what did it matter if he knew all the weird little things that gave me massive panic attacks?

I tried to keep his gaze and failed, looking down at his hands instead. Strong, wide. Capable. Of what, I wasn't sure. “I have issues feeling trapped. So, work can be a problem. Someone else driving me, especially public transportation. Public speaking. And...”

I couldn't even say it. How the hell was this going to even work if I couldn't...

“And sex,” he finished, making my head snap up, eyes a little wide.

I felt a blush creep up into my cheeks. “Yeah.”

“Okay,” he said, casual. Like it was the most normal thing in the world. “I read in your chart that you don't ever remember not having a phobia about sex.”

“Right.”

“But you have tried to get more comfortable with it.”

I laughed nervously, shrugging. “Exposure therapy,” I suggested and he surprised me by laughing, a low, rumbling sound that reverberated somewhere deep in my chest and belly.

“With no success though.”

“No.”

“Yet you kept trying.”

I looked down at my hands, pale and thin fingered. “Yeah.” Four times. More than enough to start hating myself a little bit. And not be able to even kiss anyone anymore.

“So, why are you here?”

My head shot up, my brows drawing together. Was he serious? Wasn't it obvious why I was there? I mean, seriously. “I'm... frigid.”

“Are you?” he asked, leaning forward and resting elbows on his knees, way too close. Taking up all my space. “Being frigid implies an absence of interest in sex and a lack of sexual fantasies.”

“Oh,” I breathed the word out.

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