She went up on her toes, stretching her supple body to put an unused juice glass back in its place. The move pulled her nightshirt away from her back, offering Brady a slice of skin in between the cotton and the edge of her pajama bottoms.
He adjusted himself and tried to think about something else, and not just because his kids were nearby. Even if they weren’t, he’d bet nothing would happen. Sam’s lack of interest in sex had been from the baby weight she’d gained. Brady never minded when she was heavier—he’d joked that there was more of Sam to love. To him it was a reminder of the years they’d spent building this family, the lives they’d lived. Her hips had seemed more lush back then, too, her breasts fuller. She’d stopped letting him play with them when she was nursing, and now that she’d lost the weight, he’d been waiting for the green light to go back there again.
She’d never given it.
They’d become platonic, disconnected in a sexless marriage. He’d taught himself to shut down his impulses, trying to find satisfaction with his right hand. But now, watching her move around, her messy red hair up in a bun, he wished he could get her even messier, wished he could reach for whatever she was trying to get, and after he’d given it to her, she’d hop up on the counter and take off her shirt. She’d tell him to kiss each tender nipple, then order him to the floor. Laughing, she’d comment on how desperate she’d gotten him, how she’d bet he couldn’t wait until his face was between her thighs.
Brady tore his gaze away from her, his cheeks blazing. He wasn’t supposed to fantasize like that. A real man didn’t want his wife to order him around, to let her take what she wanted and to revel in whatever pleasure he could give her. He was the ex-football player, the breadwinner, the dad of two little girls. He was supposed to be strong. Dominant. Like the men in her books.
He’d peeked at them once when she’d left her iPad open. After months of saying she felt fat, that the kids would hear, or one of the dozens of other reasons she’d given him, he never imagined she’d be reading, well, smut. And the men who filled those digital pages gave orders and grabbed fistfuls of hair. They were rough and aggressive, took what they wanted and commanded obedience.
That wasn’t him. And if that was what Sam wanted, there was no point in reaching for her at all.
It was ironic. A real flaw in his DNA. He knew a few strands different and he’d be more like the kind of guy Sam wanted. The kind who was forceful in bed and didn’t miss half of what she was saying because he had so much on his mind he couldn’t focus. It was like the information got stuck between his ears and his brain, which often had him standing stock-still and trying to recall what she’d asked, lowering his head in embarrassment when she had to repeat it.