This is something that has been rattling around in my mind for several years, ever since an old friend of mine told me how he’d been able to pull his imploding marriage back from the brink with the help of counselling and a sex surrogate. It got me wondering; what was the real story behind the use of surrogates, and not the tabloid press version, and how do friends and relatives react? I’ve been writing and rewriting various versions of this story for the last year, I hope that this version works for you.
The timeline flits back and forth between the two main characters, not always in perfect sequence, but that’s how the story grew in my mind; so I’m afraid you will have to live with the confused musings of my imagination.
I can’t thank Romantic1 enough for the time he spent reviewing and editing the original version of this story. And a very special thanks to BlackRandl1958 for her kind offer to review and polish this version of the story.
I picked up my cup of coffee from the counter and walked to a table between two comfy chairs by the window. Sitting down, I pulled out the book of erotic short stories I’d bought a few minutes earlier at the bookstore downstairs and opened it to the first story. Four words leapt out at me from the page: ‘We need to talk’. With a wry smile, I realized I’d been sitting in the same spot five years ago when the most beautiful girl in my life had uttered the same four words to me, turning my world inside out.
How did my tale start? It was downstairs in the same bookstore, five and a half years ago. I had been sitting in a comfy armchair that was tucked away between a pair of bookshelves. I was keeping an eye on Ian as he signed his name in a book. He smiled at the woman on the other side of the desk as he returned the book to her.
My agent had shanghaied me into offering Ian moral support at his first book signing. I remembered my first one, the sweaty palms, the dry throat as you sit there hoping that someone, anyone, will turn up and want you to sign a book, so I felt a degree of sympathy.
My name is Daniel Davidson, and I’m thirty-six. I am also an author; I began my writing career by posting semi-erotic short stories online over ten years ago, mainly for my own entertainment. I’d managed to hit a chord with the readers and had generated a following. Eight years ago, a literary agent saw of one of my stories and liked it enough to contact me. I was one of the lucky ones. She found me an editor and between us, we managed to turn a series of linked short stories I’d written into a book.
I’d used the pen name Alexander Peters. I’m not sure why we’d chosen that name, it just seemed right at the time, and now I’m stuck with it. The book did well enough that the publisher offered me a further five book deal. They waved a cheque with enough noughts on it to make it possible for me to consider jacking in my real-world job.
My publisher and agent are based in the States. The Internet makes this possible, as I’m British, and in those early days, I still lived in the U.K. They suggested I should move to the States to write the other books. There was nothing to keep me in England. My parents died with months of each other a year before, and I was an only child. The only other person was Liz, my bitter unfaithful ex-fiancé. The woman had torn me apart with her affair and the following bitterness. I can’t say I was on the next plane, but it was pretty damn close.
For the first few months in America, I’d hung around Chicago where my agent had her office. She’d found me an apartment to rent while I was selling my home back in the small village in the south of England. I was surprised to discover that the house I’d grown up in sold for a whopping million and a half pounds.
With that financial freedom, I started to look for somewhere else to live. I don’t like big cities; I was finding it difficult to write in the enclosed space of the city.
I’d lived and worked all my life in a small village set amongst the rolling hill and orchards of the Kent countryside. The only time I’d left it had been for the three years it took me to get my degree in history at university.
Jenny, my agent, listened to my tales of frustrations of ever finding just what I wanted, and suggested I look further afield. She’d grown up in Denver and proposed we take a trip to have a look at the towns in the hills above Denver. Take a trip with a beautiful blonde, I’d say so. Then she dashed my hopes by saying she was bringing her girlfriend with her on the trip.
We found just what I was looking for an hour to the south-west of Denver. It was a three-bedroom log cabin set in the hills just above a small lake on the outskirts of a town called Evergreen. I fell in love with it the moment it came into view as we turned the bend in the dirt road. It was a large modern A-frame design, and the whole of the end wall was glass with the most amazing views of the lake and the hills beyond.
I told Jenny, “This is the one, I love it.”
She shushed me and then proceeded to demolish the poor real-estate agent. We agreed on fifty thousand under the asking price. I honestly think if Jenny had spent a couple of more hours, the harassed agent would have considered paying me to take the place off her hands.
Six weeks later, I was all moved in and with a working Internet connection, I was half way through the editing of my second novel.
Two more years, two short relationships that failed in part because of the insecurities that Liz had left me with. Three further best sellers bring us back to Ian’s first book signing In the bookstore in Evergreen, the town near where I lived. Jenny had begged, bullied and blackmailed me into going. I don’t like attending my own signings, let alone anyone else’s, and I never did a signing this close to home, I kind of like my anonymity. I’d agreed in the end. So long as she stayed with us until we dragged our tired asses out.
Of course, Jenny had disappeared, leaving me on my own. I was sitting and watching as Ian grew steadily more confident as he saw the line in front of him growing. I stood to leave, texting Jenny to let her know I was going.
I wasn’t looking where I was going and ploughed into someone walking over to join the line holding a book in their hands. The book fell to the floor, I bent down to pick it up and straightened to look into a pair of the most mesmerizing brown eyes I’d ever seen. Long glossy black hair was swept back from her oval face that had the hint of the orient in her features. I couldn’t tell what the rest of her looked like, other than she was probably in her late twenties or early thirties and she was about five-eight. The rest was hidden under the bulky long coat she was wearing. It was three weeks before Christmas, and it was well below freezing and snowing outside.
“I’m so sorry,” I said.
I think she was about to ignore me, but my British accent held her attention long enough for her to calm down a bit. Then she saw how long the line was, and cursed.
“Shit, this going to take forever and I’ve got to get back to the office,” she moaned.
Her eyes had struck deep into my soul, and I saw the perfect opportunity to connect with her.
“Give me the book please, I can fix it for you,” I said, and then thought to ask whom the book was for.
“Oh, It’s for me.”
“And you are?”
I hurried off to the desk and managed to catch Ian’s eye. “Quick, sign this one for me, and make it out to Mia.” I thrust the book at him.
He grinned up at me and wrote on the blank page facing the title page.
Enjoy the book,
or better still ask
Daniel to read it to you.
I smiled at the comment and hoped that Mia wasn’t too upset with the addition. I walked back to Mia and handed her the book back. She gave me a quizzical look and then she glanced at the inscription and a small smile flashed across her face.
“I guess you are the Daniel he mentions,” she said, then she looked at her watch and cursed.
“Look I’m sorry,” she said, “I have to go, or I’ll be late for my next appointment. It was really nice meeting you Daniel.”
I fumbled in my pocket for a card and scribbled my number and e-mail address on the back of it.
I said, “I know we’ve only just met but is there any chance could we go out for a drink or a meal? You can get me on these numbers, please call me,” I said as I tucked the card into the book.
She hesitated and looked at me, then she gave me a smile that lit up her face. “I think I’d like that,” she said, “I’ll get in touch later in the week.” She gave me a quick peck on the cheek and left the store.
I returned to the signing and found that Jenny was back.
“Where were you?” she asked.
“I just needed to stretch my legs.”
She gave me a long look, “I don’t suppose you’d consider...” I stopped her with a look.
“Sorry, you know my rule; I don’t do book signings so close to home.”
“You can’t blame a girl for trying can you?” I laughed and left her.
.... There is more of this story ...