The Revelation(3)

By: Lauren Rowe

My heart lurches into my throat—and not because Josh is chastising me—I don’t care about that—but because Josh just said he doesn’t tolerate any form of sexual extortion in a relationship. Are Josh and I in a relationship?

“Jeez,” I manage to say. “Overreact much?”

“I’m not overreacting,” Josh replies. “I absolutely hate that shit.”

“Okay, okay. Jeez-us. I’m sorry. I’ll never again say, ‘If you want me to suck your dick, then fill-in-the-blank.’ Happy?”

“Yes. Thank you. I hate that shit.”

“Fine. Got it. But I must say I find your whole speech awfully ironic considering I used sexual extortion to get you to give me your application in the first place.”

He pauses. “Hey, wait a minute—you did, didn’t you? Well, that was kinda shitty of you.”

“Hey, whatever works.”

There’s a long beat during which I’m smiling from ear to ear.

“So,” I say. “You still haven’t answered my question, Playboy: Who are all the blonde playmates?”

He makes a sound of frustration. “I was hoping you’d forgotten about that.”

“No chance. I’m a Scorpio. We hold grudges. So who are they?”

“You don’t have permission to be snooping around in that folder, Kat. Click out.”

I don’t reply to him—I’m too busy looking through the folder.

“Hello? Madame Terrorist? Did you hear me? Exit the folder. You’re trespassing.”

“Yeah, I heard you. And I would totally follow your instruction, I really would—but the thing is, I’m having somewhat of a conundrum.”

“And what is that?”

“It’s kind of like a dilemma.”

“Have I done something to give you the impression I’ve got the vocabulary of a sixth-grader? I know what a conundrum is—I’m asking what is your conundrum, specifically?”

I seriously can’t wipe the smile off my face. “Well, on the one hand,” I say, “I really want to respect your request. I really, really do, because I’m actually a fairly nice person, despite the way I tend to behave around you, and also because I think you’re probably right: it was very, very naughty of me to go through your personal stuff without permission.”

“Thank you. And on the other hand?”

“Well, on the other hand, I really, really like being naughty.”

Josh makes a sexy sound. “Oh. Well, that is quite a conundrum. What on earth are you gonna do about it?”

“I dunno—I haven’t decided yet. Maybe I’ll just look through your pervy blonde-porn-star folder while I figure it out.” I scroll through the photos again, my smile hurting my cheeks. “These women all look the same, Josh,” I say, still going through the photos. “Looks like you’ve got a type, huh?”

He audibly shrugs. “I like what I like.”

“Who are they?”

He pauses briefly and then exhales. “They’re just women I’ve met.”

“Met? I’m guessing you’ve done more than meet these girls.”

He doesn’t reply.

“Have you slept with all of these women?”

“So now you’re slut-shaming me?”

“No. I’m the last person in the world who would ever slut-shame anyone.”

“You do realize the whole point of your application to me was to make me feel safe enough to reveal my inner-most perverted thoughts to you? You’re supposed to be luring me into emotional intimacy, Kat.”

“Oh crap. That’s right. Shoot. I should have warned you: I suck at emotional intimacy. I’m working on it, though, I swear.”