Calendar Girl (July): Chapter 8
Mia and Wes go surfing, having a fun, lovely, romantic time all reunited and actually together.
“Someone likes what she sees. Keep it up, sweetheart, and your ass will be hitting sand and my dick sinking home.”
I’d been away from Wes, enjoyed the pleasures of the flesh with Tai and Alec after I’d left him, but it wasn’t the same. Love was never involved. Before, with the other men, it was fun. Meaningful, yes, a part of my journey, absolutely. With Wes through, it was just… more.
Sorry, I stopped reading after “the pleasures of the flesh”. Did I miss any important character growth?
“You’re off today, right?”
I nodded. “Yeah, I told Anton I needed another day, but tomorrow I’ve got to rehearse because we’re taping the video the next day.”
I mean, I’m all about how you need to take breaks to get good work done, but this does seem like not a great time to take a break from rehearsal, especially since we’ve never gotten a single scene of rehearsal going well.
Wes takes Mia to a gorgeous mansion he’s thinking about using for an upcoming movie. She asks him if he’s ever been to a castle, and he says that they could totally plan a trip to Europe. This prompts Mia to remember that Wes is absurdly wealthy. She also thinks about how that’s cool, but all she really needs is “enough to get my Pops out of hock and move on with my life”. She doesn’t think about how last time she and Wes talked about their relationship, these same financial needs were part of the reason why she wasn’t in a place to commit to a more concrete, serious thing with Wes, and how they haven’t actually talked about any of that yet. So… hopefully you don’t think this is important either, because it’s not coming this chapter.
“Isn’t that expensive?” I tried to hide the anxiety that went with the simple response, “we can take a trip.”
He shrugged. “Not to me. Drop in the bucket, sweetheart.” […]
Shit. Eventually we’d have to talk about his outrageous wealth and my lack thereof.
And about whether Mia’s going to keep working as an escort and about how her dad’s loan shark debts are going to be paid off, right? No? Nothing? Just how easy it is to go on vacation? Not… the thing driving the plot of the seven books leading to this point? We’re ignoring that?
Don’t worry, it isn’t just about ignoring the entire plot. It’s also about antiquated gender roles!
Right then, I promised myself that I would not allow money to get between us. If he wanted to splurge on a trip to Germany, he knew what he could afford and what he couldn’t. Emasculating my man was not something I would do in any way shape or form
Fun fact: masculinity and having money aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s bonkers, but true!
Later, in the elevator on their way back at the end of the day, Mia and Wes start making out in the elevator (which is described as “not a soft kiss” but as a “precursor to boning type kiss”, which is just a lovely way to describe that), which gets heavy as their bodies press against each other’s (which Mia describes as him “pressing hard against my love button”, which I guess is still a huge step up from “O-trigger“). But, lo, this isn’t a sexy scene!
the sound of laughter and the elevator not moving pierced through the fog […] Anton holding the door of the elevator open and Heather holding her hand over her mouth to try and contain the escaping pearls of laughter
It’s a wacky scene!
“I’m guessing you’re the man in her life.” [Anton’s] eyes danced with mirth and his lips pursed into a pout. “Glad you finally showed up. At least you can touch her.”
UHHHHHHHHHHHHH IS THIS MOTHERFUCKER COMPLAINING THAT HE CAN’T TOUCH A WOMAN BECAUSE SHE HAS FUCKING PTSD?
Wes made an uncomfortable noise from deep in his throat
Anton is a tactless moron, and it’s not like Wes is the most level-headed guy on the planet, so… guess how this scene goes…
“I imagine after that cabron attacked her last month, you needed to see your girl. Respect man. Mad respect.” He clapped him on the back.
“Excuse me? What guy? Attacked Mia?”
Anton’s face jolted back […] “Ah, don’t worry. Her secret is safe with me.”
It gets worse.
“The no-touching thing though, shit, man, she’s beautiful, and a man wants to put his hands on her even in a friendly way, you know. Well” – he grinned
Man, Anton is so bad at using words I kind of don’t even blame Wes for reacting this way.
“You were attached? A man put you in the hospital? […] Did this guy also try to touch you uninvited?” […] he flipped around and had Anton by his throat against the wall. “Did you fucking touch her?”
It’s worth pointing out that Wes has gotten into a physical altercation with two of Mia’s six other clients.
“Wes, baby, Anton has been trying to help me get past what happened.” […]
“What’s this about you not being able to touch her? Why the fuck would you even say that?”
I like when a character says something that actually sounds like editor’s notes that the author decided to just go ahead and use as dialogue.
The scene calms down and Mia and Wes are left alone to talk. Mia worries about Wes knowing because she doesn’t “want this ruined” and “now he would see that I was damaged”, which is heartbreaking, but also makes me suspicious if Mia got attacked just so Calendar Girl had an excuse to get Mia and Wes closer. Which is… not great…
“Hey, you okay?” He tilted my head […] “What do you need?”
“I need you to love me.”
“Mia, I’ve loved you from the moment you took off your helmet at the beach.”
Especially because Calendar Girl REALLY doesn’t know where to draw the line between cute and creepy.
“Hell, maybe it even happened before, when Mom showed me your photos on the website.”
Two chapters left to see if Wes and Mia actually talk about or resolve their problems, I guess! Although we know there’s five books left in this series, so, uh, they’ll probably at least talk about this whole escort for the rest of the year thing. Presumably. Nothing makes sense in Calendar Girl, so maybe not.