From the Author
"Chris, wear the tealshirt."
Standing in the dressing room of his Upper West Sideapartment, Chris had just begun thinking about what he might put on for theparty when Robyn called to him from the bathroom, like she'd read his mind. Itwas one part of being in a couple that still took some getting used to--havingsomeone who knew what he was thinking sometimes even before he did. Chris neverwould have admitted as much, but at one time, he'd wondered whether Riley--oneof his best friend's wife--was his soulmate, if there was even such a thing. Notin a romantic way, at least he didn't thinkit was romantic, but she just seemed to 'get' him in a way no one else ever hadbefore.
That was before Robyn. Robyn, who one night had inexplicablyturned over next to him in bed and awakening from a deep sleep, put a warm handon his forehead just as he felt the onset of a migraine. Robyn, who could quiethis anxiety with a light touch on his knee; and make him smile with herincessant babbling even though the sound of mindless chatter was something heabhorred more than just about anything.
"I don't even know what teal is," he said to himself.
"That's the one that looks like a mix of light blue andlight green!" Robyn called as though she'd heard him.
She was in the bathroom putting on make-up and doingsomething with her hair that looked complicated. Whatever magic it was sheworked, she always looked beautiful when they went out; a different kind ofotherworldly beauty than she had everyday just walking around the house insweats and a t-shirt. When Robyn dressed up, it felt like his secret was out.
"Did you hear me, Chris? It's the blue-green one."
Chris turned toward the closet door. Robyn was standingthere in a white maxi-dress with a halter. Instead of strings at the neck, itwas held up by a link of small bamboo hoops. And somehow, Robyn had managed tofashion her hair into an asymmetrical Mohawk-type 'do that made her appear afull three inches taller. Her make-up was scarce, except for pale pink lips andeyeliner. Damn, she looked good.
Something about the way he was staring must have given himaway, because Robyn's eyes dropped for a second and she tucked her chin in,blushing before she was able to meet his gaze again.
"Did you hear me?" she said again, softer this time. "Theblue-gre..."
"Yeah, I heard you."
Taking her hand, Chris pulled her deeper into the closet andagainst his chest. He pressed his nose against her neck, inhaling a scent thathe didn't recognize, but which reminded him of the beach.
"Well, are you going to wear it?" she asked, sounding alittle breathy.
Chris smiled against her neck. He loved it that she was justas affected by his touch as he was by hers."I dunno." Reaching up to her nape, he fidgeted with theclasp until it came undone.
"Christopher,"Robyn said, gently chiding.
"It's only nine-thirty," he pointed out. "We can be a littlelate. Nothing's jumpin' off till eleven anyway."
The dress fell to her waist, glanced across her hips andthen puddled at her stilettoed feet. As underwear went, all she had on was awisp of lacy fabric that barely covered her mons.
Robyn shrugged. "No need."
"These need some coverage," Chris said, cupping them in hishands. As soon as he touched her and her nipples hardened, the twitch in hisboxer briefs became a tug.
"Are you saying they're sagging?" she asked, leaningslightly into his palms.
"I'm saying I don't want anyone looking at you and evenknowing you have them."