**Please be aware that this teaser chapter contains some strong language, and scenes of a sexual nature.**
Fantasies. They’re something we all have, right? Not you? I think you’re lying.
I think, deep down, we all have fantasies. Secret dreams. Guilty pleasures that we’d never dream of carrying out. But thinking about them – that’s okay, isn’t it? In your head, any fantasy is harmless.
But, what if your fantasy became a reality?
What if you made it happen?
Would it be everything you’d imagined it to be?
Would it change anything?
Would there be consequences …?
You don’t always see that curve-ball come hurtling towards you, but, what if, this time, you did?
What if you saw it coming?
And you ignored it …
“Seriously? You guys have actually talked about it?”
I throw Leo a smile, but I don’t answer his question. And then I cast a glance at Noah, who drops his head and smiles too, but he also stays silent, and I find my mouth twisting up into a smirk as Noah’s eyes briefly meet mine.
“You’ve talked about, you know? Having a threesome?” Leo’s eyebrows are practically up in his hairline at this revelation, and Noah slowly raises his head, throwing me a quick wink before he finally looks at Leo.
“Yeah, we’ve talked about it. Haven’t we, Kari?”
I shrug. “Now and again.”
“Jesus … Okay … Seriously?”
“Yeah, but, there’s a big difference between talking about something, and actually doing it, right?”
“Oh, definitely,” I agree, sliding a hand onto Noah’s thigh.
Noah looks at me again, and we both smile, but we aren’t lying. We talk about a lot of things, there isn’t much that’s off-limits as far as our marriage is concerned. I found a very special man when I met Noah Ostberg. Half American, half Scandinavian, he was born in the US but grew up in Norway. Part of a very liberal family, he was brought up by parents who were – who still are – I suppose you’d describe them as bohemian, people with extremely open minds who taught their children to love, respect and be kind to others; to be whoever they wanted to be, and to never be afraid of anything. And because of that, Noah taught me that being the person I wanted to be instead of the one others expected me to be, that wasn’t a crime. It wasn’t wrong. Nothing is wrong, as long as everyone agrees to it.
“So, you’ve never … you know?” Leo continues. “You haven’t actually done it? For real?”
Noah reaches for my hand and takes it in his, squeezing it tight, and he turns to face me, kissing me slow and deep. “Well, that would be telling.”
We haven’t done it, for real, he’s just trying to make Leo as uncomfortable as possible now, which, although amusing to watch, is a little unfair. And when I look over at Leo and Jenna – his wife, and my best friend – their expressions are ones of slight confusion, mixed with a hint of shock, although I have no idea why. They really should know us by now.
“Oh, come on. You two have known us for years, are you saying this is a surprise?” I laugh.
“I never know when to take the pair of you seriously, that’s all,” Leo mutters as he downs a mouthful of beer.
“You realise you were the one who started this conversation, right?” Noah smirks, raising an eyebrow at his friend. “And I’m half Norwegian, remember?”
“What’s that got to do with anything?”
“We Scandinavians have far more open minds than you Brits.”
Noah winks at me again, and I can’t help but smile. He certainly taught this Brit to open her mind a bit more.
“What about you, then?” Noah continues, looking from Leo to Jenna. “You guys got any fantasies of your own?”
Leo shrugs. “Maybe.”
Jenna stares back at him with wide eyes. “Oh yeah? Like what?”
“Well, for starters, what bloke wouldn’t want to sleep with two women?”
“You, I’d like to think,” Jenna replies. “Actually, do I feature at all in this female-fuelled sex fantasy of yours?”
“You’re always in my fantasies, sweetheart.”
“Okay, so, is she prettier than me? This other woman you’ve got sharing our bed?”
Leo frowns. “You want details?”
“Only, if she’s prettier than me, I’m not sure that’s going to work.”
His frown deepens, and then he realises she’s messing with him because Jenna can’t keep a straight face for too long.
“Jesus, Leo. Married twelve years and you still can’t tell when I’m winding you up.”
I glance at Noah again and he throws me another smile. A slow, sexy smile, and a glorious shiver runs up my spine so fast I have to take an extra breath to stop my body from physically reacting. Together six years, married for five, and he still makes me weak at the knees.
“Doesn’t have to be two women.”
Leo turns his attention to Noah, his frown returning. “Huh?”
“Two men, one woman. Two women, one man. Either works.”
I give Noah a gentle nudge, he’s pushing it now.
“Not sure I want another bloke touching my wife,” Leo says.
“But it’s okay for another woman to touch her?” I add, and Leo looks at me. I’m not sure he meant this conversation to get quite so deep, so I decide to end it now. It’s time we were going anyway. “All right. I think this little discussion has reached its natural end, don’t you?" I look at Noah. “Come on, handsome. It’s getting late, and you’ve got an early delivery at the restaurant tomorrow, remember?”
Noah finishes his beer and stands up. We hug our friends, thank them for another lovely evening of good company and great food, say our goodbyes and head back home. Which is only across the street, and it’s nice, living so close to our best friends.
“I might give Jack a call,” Noah says as we get ready for bed. “Get him to go in early tomorrow instead of me. He owes me a lie-in.”
“You’re owed more than one lie-in.” I lean against the doorpost and fold my arms as I watch him brush his teeth. “But when it comes to those food deliveries, I thought you liked to make sure all the orders were present and correct yourself? You know, you being such a control freak and everything.”
He slowly turns around, his face breaking into a grin, he knows I’ve got my tongue very firmly in my cheek. “A control freak, huh? That’s what you think of me?”
He pulls me against him and I slide my arms around his naked waist; move my mouth close to his as I breathe out my reply. “I like it when you control me.”
He slams his hand against the base of my spine, pushing me against him as he kisses me, my fingers digging into his flesh as the kiss deepens; as we stagger out into the bedroom, our mouths still locked together. We fall back onto the bed, both of us clamouring to remove any clothes we still have left on, and I close my eyes and laugh quietly as we finally manage to finish the job.
Pulling me over him, he slides his hand onto the small of my back and I bite down on my lip as he pushes inside me. Outside it’s an unusually warm night, but this room is strangely chilly, causing my skin to break out in goose bumps, but where his hand touches me there’s heat. When his lips brush against my neck warm shivers wrack my body, and when he looks at me I feel, as I always do, an intense rush of love overwhelm me.
He kisses me and I fall against him, feel his fingers fan out across my back as we climax together, I never tire of this. Of us. I love my husband. For six years he’s been my world, I live for him. He’s my reason for waking up each morning.
His fingers trail lazily up my spine, his hands rest gently against my neck and I open my eyes and I smile at him. He’s a handsome man, my husband. Maybe not in the conventional sense, but to me he’s everything I’ve ever wanted. Not overly tall, but taller than me, he’s lean-built with deep green eyes and short, dark hair that seems permanently mussed-up, and in my eyes he’s beautiful to look at, quirky and fun, I adore him. And I’m very lucky, that he chose me, because there were prettier women he could’ve had. Women who’d made it known that they were available, willing to do anything it took to make him notice them. He ignored them all. He chose me. When I fell in love with him, it was like the missing piece of the jigsaw had been found. And it might sound like we live in this perfect bubble of domestic happiness, but that isn’t true. Nothing’s perfect, although, in the beginning, there were times when I thought Noah came pretty damn close. The days when I was completely wrapped up in him and nothing else mattered. But then life gets in the way, doesn’t it? Reality barges in and makes its presence felt, and like any couple we’ve had our fights. We’ve had our problems. But we talk, we work through them; we never stop loving each other. I don’t think there’s anything in this world that could pull us apart.
“You’re beautiful,” he whispers, and I turn my head away slightly, drop my hand and slip it into his, his fingers instantly curling around mine. There are still days when I wonder why he chose me, because I never felt like I was anything special. I was never made to feel like I was anything special. Growing up in a family where I was always considered to be a disappointment because I refused to be the kind of daughter my mother really wanted led to a lifetime of low self-esteem and a lack of confidence I have hated and fought and never really won out, not completely. But Noah, he can make me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world, and I love him for that, but I don’t always believe it.
“Kari?” He touches my cheek, gently turns my head back to face him. “I love you.”
“Love you back,” I murmur, and he smiles and that makes me smile, too. He has the kind of smile that only serves to highlight how handsome he really is. I love his smile. Born in Dallas, Texas, to an American mum and Norwegian dad, he grew up in Bergen, Norway, after his family relocated there just after his sister Astrid arrived. And because him, Astrid and their older brother Magnus were all brought up bi-lingual, speaking both English and Norwegian, it means Noah has the kind of accent that still makes my stomach dance, even after all these years. I think I fell for him the second I met him, on Vågen harbour, in Bergen, during a mini-cruise to Norway with Jenna. A chance, random meeting but one I truly believe was engineered by fate. We were meant to meet that evening, and even if others don’t share my belief in something so tenuous, I know that Noah and I were always destined to be together.
I wrap my legs around him as he kisses me again, and I feel my entire body melt into him; feel his fingers wind in my hair as the kiss becomes harder. Deeper.
“Two men, one woman … you really think that would work, huh?” My mouth rests lightly against his as I speak, and he looks into my eyes and he frowns, just a little, but enough for me to know he doesn’t understand what I mean. “Could you really watch me have sex with another man? I mean, I know we talk about this kind of stuff, but Leo’s right. Talking about it, and actually doing it – they’re two very different things. So, me and another man … you’d be okay with that?”
He runs his fingers through my hair, keeps his eyes locked on mine and for a few minutes the room remains silent, filled with a heady atmosphere I can’t explain.
“Yeah. I’d be okay with that,” he whispers, and his eyes are still on me, still staring deep into me, so deep I feel my stomach contract.
I reach for his hand, wrap my fingers around his and I break the stare. I look down, at my hand holding tightly onto his.
“It’s just a fantasy, Kari.”
“I know.” I raise my gaze, I look at him.
He rests his palm against my cheek, and he smiles at me. A reassuring smile. But there’s something there, in his eyes; there’s something there … “Baby, it’s a fantasy, that’s all.”
“But one you’ve thought about?”
“You know I have, we’ve talked about this … Kari, I love you so much it fucking hurts; I love that we have the kind of relationship I never dreamed could exist. That we constantly evolve, as a couple. That we try things, new things, that keep our marriage alive, I love that you love me in a way that makes me know I am the luckiest guy in the world. And yes, I have fantasies, we both do. This is just one of them, remember?”
I’m not sure it’s ever been one of mine, but then I guess I’m guilty of always assuming threesomes are predominantly one man, two women. Or maybe that’s just the one I always gravitate to when I think about this shit. The one I’d be quite willing to be a part of, in my head. I’ve thought about that fantasy many times, but bringing another man into the mix …? No. Never.
I squeeze Noah’s hand, try to drop my gaze again but he tucks a finger under my chin, forces my head back up so I have no other option but to look at him.
“We have fantasies, Kari. And we’ve never shied away from sharing them; from carrying them out.”
“Not ones like that, Noah. Ones that involve just us, just the two of us, yes, we’ve played those out, but anything involving anyone else … this one, you make it sound like one you’ve given more thought to than others.”
“Maybe I have.”
I tilt my head, just a touch, and I feel his hand tighten around mine.
“I don’t want to share you, that would be crazy, that isn’t what I mean, but – I’d be there, wouldn’t I? If we did this – if this ever happened, I’d be there, when he’s touching you … I’d be there. We’d be in control.”
I stare at him, and then I feel his hand between my legs, feel his thumb lightly press against me and I gasp quietly.
“Have you never wanted to live out one of those fantasies, Kari?” he murmurs into my neck as his fingers continue to tease me; play with me. “For real? Have you never wanted to do that? To know what it would feel like, to bring another person into our bed?”
I throw back my head, grasp his wrist, my stomach dipping and diving with every touch; every breath of his that hits my skin. Have I ever wanted to live out one of those fantasies? Have I ever wondered, even for the briefest of moments, what it would be like, another person, joining us in something so intimate? Maybe. Like I said, I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to be touched by another woman; to touch another woman, never another man, no, not even for a second. But those kind of fantasies, they’re in my head. They stay there. That’s where fantasies like that belong, right? In our heads. They’re not real, they should never become real … should they?
I drop my head, my breath hitching as he pushes his fingers inside me, and he smiles as I take his face in my hands. He kisses me, and I feel that heady atmosphere fill the room once more as he carefully brings me to a calm and quiet climax, my body shuddering in his arms as I come.
“It’s just a fantasy,” he whispers, his mouth resting against mine, his fingers winding in my hair. “That’s all.”
Just a fantasy.
That’s all it is …
© Michelle Betham 2018
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