Renzo came out of the bathroom and walked over to her, keeping about two feet between them. Jupiter’s expression was different.
“What’s wrong, Jupiter?”
“Renzo, I don’t know what to do about you.”
“What do you want to do?”
“Is that a loaded question?”
“No. Speak freely, Jupiter. Nothing you say will offend me.”
“Common sense is telling me to tell you to leave.”
“I’ll leave if you want. No problem, no harm done.”
“But I don’t want you to.”
He grinned. “I see your conundrum.”
“Do you? You said you had no expectations of me, but you had to know how I would respond.”
“I didn’t. How could I? Out of all our grad students, you’re the one everyone—except for me—knows the least about. You always keep things professional. I respect the hell out of you for that. I know that Oliver has been trying to date you for at least two years and Hideji for the last 8 months. It’s not a secret. And Jenie is jealous because Hideji prefers you to her, even though you don’t give him or Oliver the time of day. No one knows what goes on in that gorgeous head of yours outside of the research.” Even Renzo was surprised at how much he knew about the social lives of all the graduate students in DSU’s Department of Astronomy & Physics.
Jupiter cocked her head to one side. “Jenie is jealous of me? That’s why she’s so…rude? She wants to be with Hideji? I’d better tell her that the way is clear; Hideji’s feelings for me have nothing to do with me.”
“Either way, I had no clue as to what you might say or do. All I know is that I had to tell you the truth. Do what you will with the knowledge, but please don’t embarrass me.”
“Renzo, I wouldn’t do that. I respect you too much.”
“Tell me what to do, then. Tell me to leave, and mean it.”
“What about Madalena? This is mad disrespectful to her, don’t you think?”
“Do you want to hear a story?”
“Is it a true one?”
“Is it personal?”
“It is. Please sit down.”
Jupiter sat down. This time, Renzo sat next to her.
“Two years ago, things began to change between Madalena and me. I noticed that she wasn’t as interested in intimacy as she used to be. She no longer seemed to enjoy having sex with me; she would just lie there and wait for me to finish. That’s no fun. She told me that sex was now painful for her and she just didn’t feel like it. We thought it might have been menopause, but we believed she was too young at the time. We went to the doctor and it turns out that was what it was. I thought hormone therapy would help, but basically this is something Madalena has to see her way through. When we got home, she went to our bedroom and cried. I left her alone. When she wanted to talk to me, she would. Regardless, I did my best to support her. I wasn’t always successful and I haven’t always been the best husband, but I tried.”
Renzo picked up his wineglass and downed the rest of the liquid. Jupiter sat with her arms folded, lips parted, totally captivated by what he was saying. Talk about getting personal? This was as personal as it could get.
“Two days later, she came to me in tears and told me that she was sorry she couldn’t be intimate with me anymore. Her body, her emotions, wouldn’t allow it. She was devastated because, well…we’d always had a healthy sex life, and now she had no choice but to cut me off.”
“Yikes,” Jupiter said. “Was she crying because of that or because she knew that you might step out on her if she didn’t do her wifely duties?”
“Perhaps both. I would never deliberately hurt Madalena and when I knew what her issue was, I tried to manage it like a good husband. Like I said, I didn’t always handle it the right way. A few weeks after that, I had a particularly stressful day—you were the reason—and I wanted to have sex. She could always tell by the way I looked and acted when I was horny, and we were lying in bed and I was so frustrated and angry that I went and slept in one of the other bedrooms. I couldn’t even lie next to her. It hurt me to do that, so I know it was devastating to her.”
Jupiter glared at him. “What did I do? I didn’t do anything!”
“You didn't. You wouldn’t have known that you did anything at all, Jupiter. It was just one of those days. I remember it clearly. You had on a blue Pac-Man 1980 Champion T-shirt and a pair of jeans that at once weren’t tight yet fit you like a glove. You smelled like eucalyptus and you had a sparkly barrette holding back your hair on one side. We worked closely together that day, trying to finish up an article for ARAA, setting the teaching schedule for the following semester, working on the textbook, giving you feedback on your comprehensive exams, things like that. The point is that I was around you all day and I was so aroused. You smelled so good. Since I couldn’t have you, I wanted to go home and fuck my wife and was angry that I couldn’t.”
Jupiter rubbed her arms together, remembering that day. He had seemed irritated, but he never said anything rude or disrespectful to her. She wouldn’t have put up with it if he had.
“I didn’t know,” she said.
“How could you?” he replied. “I spent years working on my poker face when it came to you. Anyway, that was the last night I was in the same bed as my wife. Three nights after that, she came to me and told me that she would be completely fine with me…having a girlfriend.”
Jupiter’s mouth opened. “Whaaaaaat? She gave you permission to cheat?”
“Pretty much. She was crying the whole time. I imagine it hurt her deeply to say those words.”
“You think??? I mean, look at it from her perspective. Madalena has this hot husband, who for all intents and purposes, has always been faithful—right? Right? Don’t you dare lie.”
“I’ve never cheated on my wife.”
“So anyways, hubby’s got a high sex drive and she can no longer physically satisfy him. Her body betrays her and she doesn’t want to lose her husband, so she makes sure she doesn’t by allowing him to sleep with other women.”
“To be accurate, she didn’t explicitly say I could sleep around. She told me I could have a girlfriend. Not exactly the same thing.”
“So you can cheat, but just with one woman?”
“Well that makes sense too, Renzo. If you’re running around Suva Oriana with a bunch of different women, acting like a whole thot, it’s bound to get back to Madalena and I know you don’t want to humiliate her. Having one mistress that she knows about decreases that risk, but you still have to be careful. Don’t hurt her, Renzo. She doesn’t deserve that.”
"A whole what?"
"A whole thot. Basically, a whore. Out there sticking your dick in anything that breathes. That would be embarrassing for her."
"A whole what?"
"A whole thot. Basically, a whore. Out there sticking your dick in anything that breathes. That would be embarrassing for her."
“Jupiter, she’s the mother of my children. I don’t want to hurt her any more than I already have. But I’m sure you can imagine my surprise to hear her suggest such a thing. It caught me completely from the left.”
“I imagine she wanted to be fair to you. I mean, you guys are fucking on a regular basis and then all of a sudden you can’t get any because of something she can’t control? How does she keep you satisfied if she can’t give you the sex you need? Believe me, she thought this through. Did she have somebody picked out for you?”
Renzo smiled. “No. She just said I could have someone.”
“So who was the lucky woman? Does she work at DSU? Or is she a rando you found online? Is she okay with being a side chick? What’s she like?” Jupiter was curious. What kind of woman would Renzo choose?
“Good questions all, but I don’t have an answer for any of them. I haven’t stepped out on Madalena yet. She’s unaware of it and I’m not going to throw it in her face. It’s been two years and I’ve managed to be faithful because I work so much, but it’s only a matter of time. And besides, there’s only one woman I really want and to initiate a relationship then would have been inappropriate.”
Jupiter focused on one thing. “You haven’t had sex in two years? Not even bad sex?"
Renzo chuckled. “No. I’ve got a lot of self-control and my work is a welcome distraction, but a man like me can only go for so long. I'm running on fumes.”
“Are you…are you here because you want me to be your…”
“I told you why I was here. I also told you that if you gave me the one thing I desired, I would happily accept it and be on my way. I’m still here. You haven’t told me to leave and I'm not strong enough to do it on my own.”
“Do you want me like that, Renzo?”
“I’m more interested if you want me like that, Jupiter.”
“What’s the difference?”
“Power. If you, now knowing everything, want me in that way, you’d have all of it.”
“How do I know that for sure?”
“You don’t. You’d have to trust me.”
“Renzo, I’ve got a boyfriend.” As if that mattered. She could do whatever the hell she wanted to do.
“I know. And?”
Jupiter bit her lip. Rashaun was technically her boyfriend, but they had an open relationship. She knew that he wanted to get married one day, but wasn’t sure she wanted to marry him. He was a good enough guy, but there was something lacking in their connection.
“That doesn’t bother you?”
“I’ve got a wife, remember?”
“But she knows and she encourages it.”
“I don’t care that you have a boyfriend, Jupiter. It might be cliché, but he doesn’t have anything to do with me.”
“You’re right. That is cliché.”
“Tell me what you want, Jupiter. I told you that I’ll do whatever you say. I would really like it if you were interested in me sexually.”
“I’d have to test drive the car first—” The words were out of her mouth before she had the chance to think about an appropriate response.
Renzo raised an eyebrow while staring at her. “By all means…test drive me.”
Fuck, he sounded good. Jupiter backpedaled. “I didn’t mean to…I wasn’t trying to insinuate...”
“You have all the power. You tell me when I can see you and when I can’t. You dictate what we do, when we do it and how. You tell me what to do and I’ll do it. I will do anything you say. This is me at my most vulnerable, Jupiter. I’m crazy about you and I’ll do and give you anything you want if you want to be with me.”
“Renzo, this sounds like more than just sex on your part.”
“I know that.”
“Sounds like there are some emotions attached.”
“And that doesn’t worry you?”
“It terrifies me.”
“You want me that much?”
Jupiter put a finger to her lips. Rashaun had never ever made her feel the way she was feeling now. To be so wanted, so desired by a man like Lorenzo Candreva was intoxicating. “Can I have some time to think about it?”
He stood up. “Of course.”
Jupiter bit her lip again. “I’ll see you to the door.”
“All right.” Renzo started walking towards the door, Jupiter behind him. He did everything he knew how to do. It was all up to Jupiter now. At least he got to taste her lips. It would do. It would have to. Jupiter was serious about her education and if she didn’t want those lines crossed, then they wouldn’t be crossed.
“Thank you for listening, thank you for the snack, and definitely for that kiss,” he said as he opened the door. “Good night, Jup—”
Jupiter reached around him and closed the door. “Don’t leave.”
Renzo turned around. Jupiter locked the door with the deadbolt and then with the hook and eye. She looked at him, her expression wild while nibbling on her bottom lip.
“I’ve thought about it,” she said. “I don’t want you to leave.”
“Then you do want me,” he said, relieved.
“I’m a fool if I don’t,” she replied. Jupiter couldn’t just let Renzo walk away, especially after he’d bared his soul and shared his secret. No man had ever done that with her before and she adored him for it. Plus, he was hot as fuck and there was more in their connection than in the one she had with Rashaun.
Renzo took a step forward and Jupiter took a step back, bumping up against the wall. He ran the back of his hand over her cheek; his fingers over her lips and pressed against her. Jupiter met his gaze, nothing in mind but her overwhelming lust. She put her hands on his cheeks and kissed him, losing herself in the feel of his body against hers.
That little voice returned. This is a mistake.
You’re willingly going to become this man’s mistress! Your mother raised you better than that!
He’s using you for sex. He basically said as much. So you’re okay with whoring yourself?
I’m using him too; it’s not like it’s going to last forever, I am in serious need of some D, and it makes us even, so shut the hell up!
What if the D is terrible?
Can’t be any worse than Rashaun’s. Besides, I doubt it. I’m willing to give it a shot.
This is a mistake. You’re going to regret this. You are really going to be sorry you did this.
I’m in control of this. He will do whatever I tell him to do, so I’ve already won.
He’s saying that to get you to agree. It won’t always be that way.
You know what? SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!
Renzo took Jupiter’s wrists and pinned them against the wall over her head. Jupiter gasped, not expecting it. God, he felt good. He was warm and strong, and his lips were unbelievable. The kiss lasted several moments. Renzo released Jupiter’s wrists and kissed her nose.
“Ball’s in your court, Jupiter.”
She opened her eyes and smiled at him. “I guess this makes me the girlfriend.”
“You can put whatever label on it you like. I don’t care. I just want you and I’ll take you any way I can get you.”
She put her hands on his shoulders and moved them to his ears. Without thought, she began to play with his lobes and he sighed, closing his eyes. He was so relieved.
“Promise me something, Renzo.”
“Don’t hurt Madalena. It cost her more than you’ll ever know to tell you that you could have another woman in your life to do the things she can no longer do. I willingly accept my role in this, and I won’t do anything that might shame her. So you make sure you do the same.”
“I won’t. Your paths won’t ever cross, unless there’s a department social.”
“I won’t be attending. I don’t like them anyway.”
“Kiss me again,” she said.
He responded by doing just that. Jupiter locked her arms around his neck and met his kisses with the same amount of passion Renzo was putting into them. This went on for a couple of minutes until she finally pulled away to catch her breath.
“Where’d you learn to kiss like that?”
“A gentleman never tells.” He leaned forward and kissed the side of her neck. “You have no idea how happy you have made me.”
“Eight years feenin’ for the same woman, two of them with no sex? I can only speculate.”
Renzo kissed her ear. “I’d better get you off this wall.”