For Jake Hanson, it was the perfect solution to a deep darkness. The accident took more than the use of his legs; it took everything that made him feel like a man. He needs their ménage. It puts him on the path to healing. With Jessie and Chad, he can conquer anything...or so he thinks.
Jessica Hanson did it all for her husband, to make him feel whole again. But when she realizes that she can't imagine life without both her husband and his best friend by her side, she'll question everything she thought completed her.
FBI agent Chad Wilson, couldn't believe he agreed to his best friend's proposal. There were too many things beyond his control that could go wrong. But when things go right, he is forced to admit to the best months of his life. Yet on the heels of his greatest joy comes his greatest fear. He's endangered them all, and the clock is ticking.
They'll push the boundaries and blur the lines, coming face to face with one of life's hardest truths: Sometimes to become whole, you have to break.
Release date: May 13, 2018
Print pages: 289
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Make Me Whole
June 3, 2014
“I wish I had died that day.” Jacob Hanson stared out the window of his shrink’s office, trying desperately to hold back the hot tears burning in his eyes.
A heavy weight pressed against his lungs, suffocating him. He drew in a deep breath, but the panic racing through his veins squashed it. Every time he focused on the events that led to his paralysis, he seized up.
Life wasn’t fair. He’d been downhill skiing from the moment he could walk. On the slopes, his mind and body were one with nature; his skis were an extension of his legs. Nothing set his blood racing with a euphoric high the way skiing did, except maybe a hot and heavy romp between the sheets with his wife.
Yet one disastrous second stripped him of his life. His jaw clenched as he gripped the arms of his wheelchair, and the moment flashed before his eyes. Intense pain rippled up his spine once again from the memory of the impact of the boy crashing into him. He’d never seen it coming. But he’d never forget how it felt tumbling down the hill at breakneck speed, or the pain of a ski boot smashing into his lower back.
That kid didn’t belong on a black diamond course and knew it, but bowed to peer pressure, changing Jacob’s life irrevocably.
Dr. Lewis cleared his throat, bringing Jacob back to the present. Jacob rubbed the lifeless flesh of his legs and gazed at the old man sitting ramrod straight in his broad-backed leather chair.
“That’s a perfectly natural feeling, Jacob.” The doctor uncrossed his legs and leaned forward. “You need time to grieve the loss of your old life. Let me help you work through those feelings and move forward. I can’t help you if you won’t let me.” He sat back and sighed. “Are you still experiencing nightmares?”
“Not in the past week,” Jacob said with a shake of his head.
“Excellent.” The doctor’s smile was hesitant. “That’s progress. What about work? Are you back in the courtroom and litigating again?”
“I’m not ready.” Jacob stared at his knotted hands in his lap, and he cracked each knuckle before returning his gaze to Dr. Lewis. “All those eyes staring at me full of pity? No way. I’m supposed to evoke empathy for my clients. How can I do that when the focus is on me?”
“Jacob, we’ve discussed this already.” Dr. Lewis paused and massaged the bridge of his nose. “You’re too hard on yourself. I’ve no doubt people will judge you, and perhaps even feel pity upon first meeting you, but it will pass quickly. We each struggle with our own insecurities. It’s how we overcome them that sets us apart.”
A whirlwind of anger circled in his chest, and he bit back a harsh retort. What did this guy know about feeling insecure? He still had functional legs.
“Really?” Jacob folded his arms tightly over his chest. “What’s your insecurity?”
“My bald head,” the doctor fired back. “It used to eat me up inside wondering what others think of it. How they must snigger inside when it turns beet red from embarrassment, broadcasting my feelings against my will. I avoided my high school reunion for years. How could I face people who knew me when I had a head full of thick black hair?”
Jacob nodded reluctantly and pursed his lips. He tried to imagine looking in the mirror and finding a bald head reflected back. “I stared at your head the first time we met. Being bald would suck. That’s for sure. How’d you get over it?”
“By accepting that my bald head is only a fraction of who I am on the outside. It doesn’t define me or who I am in here.” He thumped his fist against his chest. “Do you still stare at my head every time you visit?”
“No, I don’t.” A smirk tugged at Jacob’s lips, and he relaxed his arms against the armrests of his wheelchair. “You’re trying to make a point.”
“I am,” Dr. Lewis said with a suggestive lift of his brow. “Is it working?”
The shrink smiled and stood to retrieve a bottle of water from the minirefrigerator standing next to his desk. “Would you care for one?”
“Sure, thanks.” Jacob accepted the bottle and chugged a quarter of it down before setting it on a glass side table.
“I’d like to focus today’s session on finding ways you can reengage in life’s many pleasures. Your disability didn’t end your life. It changed your life. People who adapt go on to lead happy lives.” Dr. Lewis sat in his chair and opened his hands palms up. “So tell me what you miss most since the accident, and let’s brainstorm a way for you to enjoy it again. Shall we begin?”
“Whenever you’re ready,” the doctor said.
He didn’t hesitate in answering his shrink’s question. “I really miss fucking my wife.”
Dr. Lewis coughed into his hand and averted his eyes, fighting to school his expression. His bald head blazed red, and Jacob felt a strange sense of comradery with the old man after six months of therapy. The doctor hadn’t lied about his bald head betraying his feelings.
“Excuse me,” Dr. Lewis said, reaching for his bottle of water and taking a sip.
Jacob folded his hands over his lap and gave the doctor a moment to collect himself. “I’m sorry if my frankness embarrassed you.”
“No need to apologize,” the doctor insisted in a level tone. “I hadn’t anticipated your answer is all.”
“Really?” Jacob asked as his eyebrows inched up his forehead. “You never imagined I would miss screwing my wife above all else since the accident?”
Dr. Lewis flipped through a manila folder resting on his desk and glanced up. “According to your medical file, the accident didn’t cause erectile dysfunction. You’re perfectly capable of”—he cleared his throat again and paused—“having intercourse with your wife. I’m not sure I understand your point.”
“Then let me revise my response,” Jacob said, closing his eyes and recalling what it was like to really fuck. “I miss standing naked in the kitchen on a lazy Saturday afternoon as my wife kneels before me. God, I loved it when she’d suck my cock while gazing up at me with those gorgeous brown eyes.” He blinked and stared at the doctor. “You know what I’m talking about? Nothing like seeing myself buried in her pretty mouth from that angle. Or wrapping her legs around my waist as I take her hard against the wall in our hallway. And—”
“Yes, yes,” Dr. Lewis said, cutting him off. “I see where you were going with your answer. If I’m hearing you correctly, you’re sad about the loss of spontaneity in your sex life. Have I understood you?”
His heartbeat pounded in his ears, and Jacob nodded. “We can’t easily shift positions with these dead weights attached to the lower half of my body. I can’t please my wife anymore.” Red-hot shame burned in his gut as he covered his face with his hands. “Not the way she deserves. Definitely nowhere near what I used to do. God, if you could’ve seen the way—”
“Jacob,” Dr. Lewis said, interrupting once again. “Please look at me. Are you saying your wife is unhappy with your sexual performance since the accident? Has she actually expressed her unhappiness?”
“Hell no!” Jacob’s eyes narrowed on the doctor’s face. “She would never admit that and risk hurting my feelings. But how can she not be unhappy when it makes me miserable?”
“I must counsel you not to put words into your wife’s mouth. If she loves you”—the doctor said, pointing his pen at Jacob—“as you say she does, then she would talk to you about it. Have you tried other ways to spice up your sex life? Such as porn?”
“I’m not interested in watching other people get off. It’s always been about Jessica and our desire for each other. That’s why we decided against having kids. Call us selfish, but we wanted to pick up and go, do whatever we wanted, and have sex wherever we wanted.”
“What about toys?”
Like the drawerful in his bedroom? Dr. Lewis just didn’t get it. Brainstorming wasn’t going to solve his problem. Porn? Toys? What a fucking waste of his time. He was so sick and tired of people pushing him to find answers to issues they didn’t understand. Answers that didn’t exist.
“Doc, we could open our own store. You’re not listening!” Jacob slammed his palm against the arm of his wheelchair. “I can’t jump from the bed to the floor, flip from missionary to doggy style or get just the right angle anymore. Toys are fine, but—”
Jacob shook his head, fighting to block out the memories of everything he’d lost. They’d had mind-blowing sex every single day. Holding Jessica’s plump bottom in his hands as he drove into her while standing in the shower. The curve of her hips as he banged her from behind with her head thrown back in ecstasy—in bed, on the floor, against the coffee table—wherever. Making sweet love missionary style with her legs wrapped around his hips.
“I don’t care what you say; a dick wielded by a whole man can do things that would make even the best-selling dildo green with envy.” His shoulders deflated and he sighed, feeling utterly exhausted.
“Can we pause there for a moment, Jacob, and reflect on your last statement?”
He suppressed the desire to roll his eyes. Had he divulged some deep-rooted issue in his rant for which the true meaning needed to be fleshed out? Not likely.
“Are you saying you don’t feel like a whole man in your sex life without the use of your legs?”
“No,” Jacob said, leaning in and resting his forearms on his knees. “Not just my sex life. By not pleasuring my wife like I did before, I don’t feel like a whole man. Period. Sex was the pillar of our relationship. It meant everything to us. Don’t you get it? This isn’t just about me. Jessica’s life was forever changed too. Our sex life isn’t the same. It will never be passionate and wild again. It’s eating me up inside, knowing that it’s all my fault.”
Dr. Lewis wrote a few notes on his pad of paper and then glanced over the top edge of his reading glasses. “Well, I suggest you open up to your wife about these feelings. Then the two of you can explore different solutions for making you feel whole.”
“Unless we find a set of surrogate legs,” Jacob joked halfheartedly, staring out the window again, “I’m not sure there is a way to make me whole again.”
“Surrogate legs?” The shrink’s voice hitched. “You mean a ménage?”
Jacob’s head snapped back in attention.
“That’s certainly a possibility if your wife is agreeable to the idea.” The doctor nodded and rested his hands on his portly belly. “It’s more personable than porn. But requires mutual respect and agreement from all parties involved.”
“I didn’t mean—” Jacob paused, staring blankly ahead. The idea had never occurred to him. Could he watch as another man touched his wife, bringing pleasure to her beautiful face? “Let me think about it.”
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