Often I like to revisit favorite reads of mine for various reasons. I need a guaranteed laugh, weep, or perhaps I just want the comfort that comes from the familiar. This weekend I took a road down memory lane with Jennifer Cruise. One of my favorite trio of characters she created are the Dempsey siblings; especially Sophie Demsey from Welcome to Temptation. She and her siblings come from a long line of con men, but Sophie’s tired of taking care of her family and ready for a normal boring life. Her journey to the home, dog, and white picket fence she’s always wanted is loaded with laughter, some bad sex, a few dead bodies, one porn movie, and a long con involving the town mayor.
Here is one particular scene that proves everyone has bad awkward sex…even fictional characters.
“Where’s the bedroom?” he said, and she said, “Second door on the left upstairs.”
“Upstairs?” He put her back on the table. “Then you walk. And make it quick, before the therapist calls back.”
She was going to argue, but she heard Amy and Wes on the porch, so she slid off the table and headed for the stairs and all that headbanging sex she’d been promised.
Twenty minutes later, she was suffocating on top of him in the heat of her un-air-conditioned bedroom, the ancient box springs squeaking under them like a bad accordion, and her head was unbanged because the sex was lousy.
It wasn’t Phin’s fault. He was as thoroughly competent at the Phallic Variation as he’d been orally the night before. So it must be me, she thought, as he moved under her, doing absolutely nothing for her. She felt embarrassed by the whole situation. Zane had been right. She just wasn’t the type for headbanging sex. She was too detached. She was too prissy and straight. She was doing this to write a sex scene for a movie she wasn’t even sure she wanted to make. She was hot and sticky and she could feel her hair kinking in the heat even as Phin breathed under her, so she knew she looked awful. She was unexciting. Whatever the reason, it didn’t matter, she was never going to get anywhere at this rate.
She thought briefly about faking it, and then dumped the idea when she realized that Phin would probably see through it and make fun of her performance. That pretty much left her with no option except tapping him on the shoulder and telling him to play on though because she was out of the game. Sorry, she’d have to say. I’m not even close. Or she could let him figure it out on his own, except guys never did. They just—”You’re not even close, are you?” Phin said, breathless below her, and she refocused back on him.
“Hi, I’m Phin Tucker, and I’m inside you. I know how these things slip your mind.” He didn’t sound annoyed, but she felt bad anyway.
“I’m sorry,” she said, and he slid his hand down her back and rolled to one side so that they lay face-to-face on the damp sheets, the springs protesting under them.
“Don’t apologize.” He brushed back a curl that was stuck to her forehead. “Thinking about the therapist?” He moved against her to bring her closer, and her nerves kicked into gear.
“Who?” she said, trying to figure out what the hell he was talking about.
“Well, at least you forgot us both,” Phin said. “That was very democratic of you.” He used a corner of the sheet to wipe sweat off her forehead. “Remind me to get you an air conditioner before we do this again. I’m dying here.”
She wanted to say, What are you talking about, AGAIN? This is a disaster, but it didn’t seem polite. “Maybe we should just call it a night,” she said, and moved back from him, and he followed her to stay inside her, and that made her shiver under his hands.
“Maybe we should give it another shot,” he said as she trembled. “That’s at least one nerve you’ve still got working.” He kissed her in the damp curve where her neck met her shoulder, and she took a ragged breath and moved against him again without thinking. “And that one always works. I noticed that last night.”
“Last night was different,” she said.
“Yeah, you came,” Phin said, and she laughed in spite of herself.
“Not that. I’m distracted tonight. It’s not your fault.”
“Do me a favor.” Phin slid his hand down her sweat-damp back again. “Don’t be understanding. There’s nothing worse for a guy’s ego.”
Can Sophie come again? Does she get A/C for her bedroom? Will she ever get a new bed? You’ll have to read the book to find out but here’s a hint…Sophie discovers she’s just as bent as the rest of her family.