You may need another girlfriend.

Edward stepped out of the shower cubicle dripping water all over the shaggy white bathroom carpet. The water had been cold enough to jolt him out of the confusion of the heated exchange with Gladys. What had started as an erotic interlude had ended in tears and hurled accusations on both sides. Just thinking about it again got his thoughts in a spin.

He hung up the wet towel on its rack and padded into the dark toned bedroom. The unpacked luggage from his last trip almost tripped him up and he stared at it with baleful eyes. That was the reason Gladys had come back with him, but they’d become distracted and hadn’t made it to the bedroom. Edward sighed again, betrayed by the train of his thoughts. He swore as he began to fold clothes into the tall wardrobe; the rest would have to be hung up in the closet.

He was still jet-lagged from his last trip and now he was worried about his relationship with Gladys. They’d been dating for over six months, so what exactly was her problem? He’d brought up marriage in their discussion but she wasn’t impressed. In fact that had back-fired big time. She thought he was out to take advantage of her. He appreciated that she was a virgin, but maybe that wasn’t such a good thing. He was really very frustrated. It was two weeks to Christmas and almost a year since he had last had sex. He picked up his phone.

“Ole boy, why are you calling now? It’s almost midnight.” Kanayo’s voice was groggy.

“Sorry about that but I just had to speak to somebody.”

Edward heard him yawn. “OK shoot, I’m all ears. Hope you’re fine though?”

“Your pal is roasting from frustration, men. I dropped off Gladys a couple of hours ago, came back here and went right to sleep. I just woke up some minutes ago from a bad dream.”

“Bad dream my foot,” Kanayo laughed. “But I know what you mean. So you guys are not doing the do yet? After a night out she should stop over at yours for some loving, no?”

“No,” Edward replied shortly and began to pace the width of the room. He decided not to share the details of the earlier episode. In truth he would never had thought this was a topic he would ever discuss with someone else, but he and Kanayo had become closer in the past year and especially since he started dating Gladys.

“From what I know of Gladys, I’d say she’s a novice. As a rule, I personally avoid those but you’re both grown adults and can make your choices. That said you may need another girlfriend or an assistant.” Kanayo laughed into the sudden uncomfortable silence.

Edward couldn’t imagine why it sounded so loathsome; it wasn't as if he hadn't done it before. But thinking about it now turned his stomach. Of course it had nothing to do with visualizing the pain on Gladys face if she ever found out. He wiped his palm over his face.

“I don’t think I want to do that. I guess I must be getting old.”

The laughter stopped. “You know it can very easy to get a girl, in fact they would be falling over each other to get to you. And Gladys doesn’t have to find out.”

It seemed Kanayo had tapped into his deepest thoughts. Edward’s heartbeat came faster and he could feel his pulse racing. Gladys had become very close and dear to him. She was as beautiful inside as she looked and he found that he never wanted to hurt her any way.

“Even if she doesn’t, it wouldn’t be fair on her.” He went and sat on the wide bed.