Home > Professor Feelgood (Masters of Love #2)(10)

Professor Feelgood (Masters of Love #2)(10)
Author: Leisa Rayven

I sip at my drink as I ponder what it must be like to love someone so much that you’re ruined when they leave. Some sick, curious part of me wants to find out. Huge heartbreak means epic love, right? I’ve only had one real heartbreak in my life, and that was back in high school. Even though I still think about that relationship, I doubt my pain is in the same league as the professor’s. I wonder if he’ll ever love again after losing his soulmate, or if all women from now on will play second-fiddle to the one who got away.

“Ash?” I look up to find Eden returning to her chair and staring at me. “Did he reply yet?”

I shake my head. “Still waiting.”

“Then what’s that expression you’re wearing?” Eden sits forward, her eyes bright. “Holy shit. You totally want to sex this guy, don’t you?”

“Eden — “

“No, don’t try to deny it. It’s written all over your face. This guy has you under his thrall. Right, Joanna?”

Joanna doesn’t look at me but nods anyway. “Yep. Very thrall-y.”

“Not that I blame you,” Eden says, stirring her drink with her straw. “Even I’ll admit that he’s a damn fine specimen. Plus, any guy who rips open his chest to show how damaged he is definitely rates as extra-boneable. You should offer to soothe his poor heartsick soul, with like, your mouth around his cock.”

I roll my eyes. “I want to publish him. Not screw him.”

“Can’t you do both? He’s hot. You’re hot. Have good time together.”

“No, thanks. Not really my thing.”

Eden flops back in her chair. “Ash, can’t you just put aside your stupid man-checklist for once and allow yourself some pleasure for the sake of it? I mean, I’m not advocating that you take after the pre-Max me and only have meaningless sex, but every now and then, there’s zero shame in enjoying something that’s purely physical. Life’s too damn short.”

“In case you’ve forgotten, I have a man for sex.”

“No, you have a man in a different country with whom you’re texting and emailing. There’s zero hot sex happening between you two.”

Well, that’s true. And also, false.

“You haven’t heard of something called phone sex?” I say.

“Heard of it,” Eden says. “Tried it. Hated it. Right now, I can get more action than you by riding the Coney Island carousel, which is just plain sad.”

“Funny story,” Joanna says, picking up the thread of the conversation. “I had my first orgasm during a riding lesson when I was twelve, so yeah, one of those hard, wooden carousel ponies would definitely do the trick.”

Eden nods. “That’s what I’m saying. Having a hot man in a different country is like a pencil with no lead.”

When Joanna frowns, Eden whispers, “Pointless.”

They both laugh, but I can’t bring myself to join in. As usual when Eden brings up my boyfriend, I try to change the subject. If she found out I’ve been lying to her all this time, she’d pummel me. Avoidance seems the best tactic.

“Regardless of my relationship status,” I say as their laughter dies down. “I’m just not interested in sleeping with guys I barely know. Removing my clothes in front of a guy is traumatic enough without it involving strangers.”

“But don’t you ever just meet a guy and want to …” Eden mimes climbing on a horse, then does a pelvic thrust thing accompanied by an arm wave and sexual grunting that makes me cringe and Joanna laugh.

“Eden, the last time I felt that way about a guy, it turned out to be your soul mate, so clearly I can’t be trusted to follow my hormones.”

She gives me a dismissive wave and flops back into her chair. “Pfft. Wanting to do Max is a natural female reaction. No straight chick with a functioning vagina is immune to that hot piece of man.”

I still grimace when I remember the night I first laid eyes on Max. I thought he was the most gorgeous guy I’d ever seen, but it didn’t take long for me to realize I wasn’t the Tate sister in which he was interested.

“What about you, Joanna?” I ask, desperate to shift the attention away from me. “You hardly ever talk about guys.”

Joanna smiles, and it’s clear from how long she takes to blink that she’s reached the drowsy portion of her drunkenness.

“Well, I’ve taken a vow of chastity for the past year to protest the sexualization of women and girls in media, so right now, guys aren’t really on my radar. But honestly, after my divorce from Prince Abdulla, I just needed a break from relationships for a while. He may have been an asshole, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss him. I can’t even look at a camel anymore without remembering how we made sweet love in the dunes on our honeymoon.”

When she’s done talking, there’s a moment of silence in which Eden and I share a look. There was a time when we thought Joanna was a compulsive liar, because most of her claims were too crazy-over-the-top to be true. But the more we got to know her, the more we realized her life should be fictionalized and turned into a crazy-hot series for HBO. Some of the things she’s done and seen are extraordinary, and yet she continues to drop these little pearls of knowledge, such as, “I’m voluntarily celibate,” or “I’ve received royal dick pics,” or “I used to be married to a prince,” as if we’ve always known them.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a kick out of it.

“A real-life prince?” I ask. “Please tell me he rode a white horse.”

She nods. “He only rode white horses. Arabians.”

Eden’s still processing, but eventually she finds her voice. “How the hell are you old enough to be married and divorced already?”

Joanna takes a sip of her drink. “It’s not a big deal. I went over as part of a youth diplomatic core when I was eighteen, had a fling with a hot guy… and suddenly, boom. Next thing I know I’m getting married in the royal palace. Could have happened to anyone.”

“No,” Eden says. “These crazy things only ever happen to you, and I don’t understand how you can be so chill about it. You married a prince.”

Joanna leans her head back and closes her eyes. “Yeah, but a prince can be a douche as much as any other guy, and Joe Average from Smalltown Nowhere can turn out to be better than any royalty on the planet. It’s all relative.”

Eden and I share another look. Our lives are definitely more interesting because of Joanna. I’d have a better chance of choosing winning lotto numbers than predicting what’s going to come out of her mouth on any given day.

“Gotta pee,” Eden says, heading toward the bathroom. “Don’t have fun while I’m gone.”

As she leaves, my phone buzzes on the coffee table. When I grab it and check the screen, I smile.

“Well,” Joanna says, “are you going to share?”

I turn my phone around so she can see it.

<I miss you, mon Cherie.>

Joanna gives me a sappy look. “Awww. Look at these texts.” She scrolls up my messages, and I don’t stop her. “‘Can’t wait to see you again.’ ‘I’ve been thinking about you all day.’ ‘Sitting here remembering how beautiful you are and how it feels to be with you.’” She looks at me. “So swoony.”

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