Too pretty for a guy.
Way too young.
Not serious enough.
Reminds me of an ex.
Wilder. Age 27. 1 mile away. Active 24 hours ago.
I squeezed my eyes shut and reopened them, hoping that a fresh glance would help me decide whether or not I should swipe right on the guy with the impossibly kissable lips and Greek god nose wearing a tragically expensive suit in his profile pic. He was gorgeous. No, beautiful. A work of art if I’d ever seen one.
And it wasn’t that I thought I deserved to be with someone who looked like him, nor did I even know if I someone like him would go for someone like me. But I’d be damned if I wasted my yearly one-night stand with a monkey-eared, buck-toothed, popped-collared, shaggy-haired, neighborhood frat boy. I’d evolved beyond that the year I graduated from college.
A deep breath passed through my lips as my fingers drummed across the back of my phone. An air of mystery seemed to surround him, most of which probably stemmed from the fact that his bio was blank.
My heart leapt as I stared at a man with whom I already had one thing in common: my bio was also blank.
The batteries of the meticulously clean vibrator hidden under folded Agent Provocateur panties in my top dresser drawer had long worn out, a sure sign that I was overdue for the real thing. It had been maybe a year since my last hook-up, which had consisted of a drunken hotel rendezvous with a rival real estate broker I had no business associating with in the first place. The next day, I barely remembered a thing about it besides the fact that I’d felt utterly and ridiculously unsatisfied with the entire encounter.
I licked my lips, moistening them after realizing my mouth had been hanging half open as I gawked at the stunning masterpiece in the photo. His navy suit could hardly contain his broad shoulders and a knowing smirk claimed his full lips. Not a strand of his thick, dark hair was out of place, cut low on the sides with a bit of length and a side part on top. I could only wonder what his voice might sound like if it vibrated low and throaty against my ears.
My eyes traced along the strong line of his half-clenched jaw, mentally picturing how it might flex when he was on the verge of release. Wilder appeared to be a man in control of his life. A man who knew how to have a good time. A man with intention and effort. A man who didn’t have time for games and relationships, which was exactly the kind of guy I was looking for.
A warm tingle between my thighs told me my mind could waffle on him all night long, but my body had already made the decision for me. He was perfect, and he was perfect for me.
I docked my phone on my alarm clock and pulled my freshly washed sheets up to my neck, rolling to my side. Five in the morning came early, and I rarely sacrificed a minute of sleep.
The traffic symphony outside my fifth-story window told me I was probably one of the only twenty-five year olds in all of Manhattan with a nine o’clock bedtime. I lived my life in numbers. Addresses. Purchase prices. Phone numbers. Meetings. Deadlines. Appointments. Important dates. My head spun most days, which left me drained with virtually no time for romantic relationships or so much as a trace of a sex life.
My phone buzzed just as I was about to nod off. Out of habit, I lunged for it. The whole city of Manhattan knew that an in-demand broker was never truly off the clock.
A little red icon over the dating app flashed bright in the darkness that filled my bedroom. The corner of my mouth slipped into a hopeful smile as blood rushed to my head. Could I really do this? Could I hit on a complete stranger on the Internet? Was I really this desperate?
My body begged and pleaded for me to just do it. Warmth spread between my legs. I needed to get laid. I needed to get it out of my system. This was what everyone was doing anymore, my assistant, Skylar, told me earlier in the day. She was maybe twenty-two with legs up to her eyeballs and a mess of satin blonde waves that hit right above the low-cut tops she always wore. If anyone knew how to get laid in this day and age, it was her.
I pressed the icon and a message popped up.
Hi, Addison. I’m Wilder. Can you talk?
My mind searched for something witty to say and came back empty-handed. It was too busy wrapping itself around the fact that this ridiculously gorgeous stranger had swiped right on my picture.
I’m awake, if that’s what you’re asking.
I cringed and deleted my message before I sent it. I couldn’t tell him I was in bed. I didn’t want to sound like a floozy, or worse, like I had no life.
Hi, Wilder. I can talk.
I sent the message and waited with bated breath for his response. Screw going to bed early. I couldn’t possibly go to sleep now.
What’s your number?
He wanted my number? What hot-blooded American man preferred talking over texting? My face fell. What if he was a lot older than he said he was? What if this was an old picture of him?
You want to talk on the phone?
A minute passed, and I feared the worse. He’d forgotten about me. Lost interest. Found me dreadfully boring or difficult. Decided the picture of me sitting on a friend’s yacht in Cannes was too pretentious. I never should have used that picture. I wasn’t normally so showy, but I worked hard for my lifestyle. I was proud, damn it.
212-555-7764. Call me now.
“Holy shit,” I whispered out loud. I sucked in a deep breath as my thumb hovered over his number. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I practiced saying “hello” in my most sultry yet casual voice. I tapped his number and within seconds, the phone rang in my ear. I dealt with strangers all day, every day, but this was different.