Book five in the Perfect Love Series
One man’s arms sends a young woman plummeting into hell, but can she learn to trust the hands held out willing to lift her into heaven?
At thirty-four Miranda Harper finds herself trapped in a loveless, emotionally abusive marriage. When her husband finally steps too far over the line, she must find the strength within to begin her life anew. After moving herself halfway across the country she finds that friendship and a second chance at love are within her grasp. However, she has to take lessons in how to trust again.
Doctors Chase Pruitte and Victor Burns, who have been intermittent lovers since their days in medical school, have their toughest case ahead of them in teaching Miranda what it means to truly be loved. The two bisexual men have been unwilling to fully commit their lives to each other due to their continued attraction and desire for women, and not always the same one. However, from the moment Miranda enters their lives they know that the skittish beauty if perfect for them, and they set out to win her heart together.
Can the three of them strike a perfect balance?
Miranda slowly made her way back to Evanston from where she worked in downtown Chicago. She looked to her right and could make out the blue of Lake Michigan beyond the grass of the park as she drove down North Lake Shore Drive. Twelve hours ago her phone had gone off, waking her from a sound sleep, to summon her back to the hospital for an emergency.
When she’d arrived, it was to find the place inundated with patients from a massive fire at a club located in the warehouse district. Miranda’s hospital had been swarmed with casualties from patrons, employees and several fire-fighters who’d been trapped when a section of the building had collapsed with them inside.
She’d spent the next ten hours in surgery, working two different cases. The first had been a young man whose chest had been crushed when panic had ensued and he’d been trampled by those trying to escape. He hadn’t made it, and Miranda had watched through a glass window as the doctor informed the family of their son’s death. The mother had collapsed in her husband’s arms, crying for her baby boy. Her wails could be heard outside the closed room and the sound of her anguish had torn Miranda’s heart in two.
Later, the other case had managed to stitch part of the edges back together. Miranda had been part of team that had worked on a young woman, who’d started to haemorrhage after going into early labour when the restaurant, next door to the club, had been evacuated. They’d managed to not only save the mother’s life, but her son as well. The baby was born at thirty weeks gestation and would have an extended stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, but mother and fathers couldn’t have been happier. That last little bit had thrown Miranda for a loop. At first when she’d stood with the surgeon to impart the happy news, she’d assumed the man standing with the woman’s husband was a friend, but it turned out he was actually the couple’s partner.
As Miranda had later prepared to leave, she’d walked by the woman’s room, unable to get the threesome off her mind. It may have not been the most professional behaviour on record, but she couldn’t help but stare in fascination as the two men hugged and kissed each other while sitting next to their wife’s bed. Her hand had been secured between theirs, and even through the sedating effect of lingering drugs in the woman’s system, the love she shared for her two men had been obvious.
Miranda had never had much exposure to anyone who was gay, and had been a little shocked by the tingle that went through her while she watched the two men kiss. Knowing that those men also made love to the woman, maybe even at the same time, had caused Miranda to clinch her muscles below as she felt moisture seep from her folds.
Miranda jolted back to the present as she realised she had almost missed her turn into Sheridan, she’d been so caught up in the memory of watching the family celebrate their good fortunes earlier. She made sure to pay closer attention as she continued to wind through town. It was three in the afternoon and traffic was busy with early commuters and carpools making their way home from school.
Finally Miranda pulled into a parking space outside of her condo complex. The green grass and flowering trees were bright against the aged red brick and brownstone façade. She’d been lucky to find a spot right outside her building. Maybe that meant good fortunes for the rest of the day. After shutting off her engine, she gathered her purse and slowly made her way down the sidewalk towards the iron gate enclosing the courtyard in the centre of the buildings, from which all entrances were reached. It seemed now that she was home, exhaustion hit her as if it were a tsunami. All she wanted to do was climb in bed and sleep for at least a few hours. Maybe Drew would let her nap till it was time to make dinner. She carefully slid the key into the lock of the gate. It seemed to take all her strength to twist the little piece of metal.
Their condo was on the first floor of the north building. Miranda made her way inside the building then unlocked the front door. When she pushed it open, she knew immediately that Drew wasn’t home. She felt a little guilty at how relieved that made her. She carefully hung her jacket and purse in the closet beside the door. A few more steps and she was in the living room. As she looked around, unbidden tears came to her eyes. There were magazines littering the floor, and a pile of clothes scattered all over the floor between the living room and kitchen. It looked as though a tornado had been through their place, with the cushions of the sofa strewn all over the place, and the rug scrounged up in front of the entertainment centre.
Miranda made her way into the kitchen to get a glass of water, and found the sink full of dirty dishes. Dishes that hadn’t been there when she’d left in the middle of the night. Enough dishes that she wondered if Drew had had a dinner party while she was gone. It seemed a nap was out of the question. Miranda knew that if she didn’t get the place cleaned up before Drew got home, she’d never hear the end of it. Never mind that it had been spotless when her phone had gone off.
She picked everything up on the floors, straightened up the cushions and rug then vacuumed and ran the duster across the hardwood floors. She smoothed out the sheers on the windows in the living and dining areas. Miranda picked up the pile of mail that had come from their box and set it on Drew’s desk for him to sort through, flipping through the envelopes to see what had come. When she saw the logo of their bank at the top left corner, she was tempted to open their statement to find out exactly what the status of their finances were, as she was every month. However, couldn’t bring herself to attempt steaming open the envelope then resealing it so Drew wouldn’t know she’d been snooping. He handled all the bills. Miranda was given a weekly cash allowance for gas, groceries and incidentals.
She’d tried not to remember the only time she’d gone through her money and asked Drew for some more, a few months into their marriage. Her ears had rung from the virulent insults reverberating in her brain for days. Now days Miranda was much more careful with keeping track of money in her wallet.
Miranda picked up a glass sitting beside Drew’s laptop, which was sitting on the kitchen table. She must have knocked the mouse because the screen came out of hibernation. It wasn’t unusual for Drew’s computer to be on, since the man did most of his work as a web designer from home. But when Miranda looked down, instead of finding the work project she’d expected, the screen was filled with a picture of giant penis being shoved inside some woman’s vagina.
The phallus was huge, dripping with secretions from the woman’s body. Thick ropey veins snaked up the length of the column. She collapsed into the chair and stared at the image, trying to deduce whether or not it was artificially enhanced. Could something that colossal really exist in nature? She rested her arms on the table to lean in for a closer inspection, and the next thing she knew the image came to life. The penis started thrusting into the woman’s body, violently. So not fake apparently. Miranda had never seen what sex looked like up close. It was messy, raw, primal and arousing.
The faceless woman was really in to it, by the moans coming from off camera. She made sounds Miranda had never heard from another human before. What would it feel like to have something that large inside her? Drew was the only man she’d slept with, and he was nothing like that thing pummelling the poor woman on screen.
Sex with Drew consisted of twice monthly interludes in the dark, under the covers. The episodes over almost before they began, after which Miranda was more glad Drew was finished than wishing it could have lasted longer. While the idea of sex aroused her, the reality was so far from her fantasies as a young woman that the quicker it ended the better in her opinion. There was nothing pleasurable about Drew pushing his way inside—while Miranda was still dry—never mind the painful twists of her nipples or the fast paced thrusts that had Drew straining in a matter of minutes. Her husband would vacate the bed to go clean up almost immediately. He always reported that being inside Miranda made the skin of his penis burn, which was why he also refused to go down on her.
Miranda jumped at the sound of a key turning in the front door. She scrambled frantically to get the video to stop. Moving the mouse arrow around, she tried to find the pause button. She looked over her shoulder and clicked the bottom of the screen, blindly. The video stopped, but in the process another window popped up. It was an instant message, and there was one line.
NSA meet. 2:00pm…same place.
Miranda heard the door open. She quickly picked up the glass from the table and ran into the kitchen. Turning on the water, she began to do the dishes. Her hands shook as she tried to move the soap around a plate. She was more focused on the sound of Drew’s footsteps behind her, not the task at hand.
“What the fucking hell were you doing on my computer?” Drew screamed.
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