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“I never said it was or that she is. I said it was like it. You’re the one who harps on the difference between like and as. ‘Sheikh YaBooty’ huh? I like it.”

“Thanks. Nice job with the concussing can-cans,” I shot back, “and you’ve actually listened to me rant about the difference between like and as? I had no idea.”

“Well, you do it often enough, right? Anyway, it just seems disconnected to use flirting to get what we want and then complain about it, that’s all.”

“It’s a tough row to hoe,” I acknowledged, raising my eyebrows twice quickly in self-congratulatory acknowledgment of my double entendre. “Your mom has to put up with me flirting way too much.”

“You are a DOM,” Sean replies as he nods his head repeatedly.

“Yeah, but I used to be a dirty young man so I come by it naturally. I do flirt. Hell, I’ll flirt with any woman I find physically, mentally or spiritually attractive. Flirting is social lubricant, but that doesn’t mean I’m coming on to them. I flirt with men for God’s sake and I’m sure not thinking of hopping that fence so I can get bulled.

“So Loren was upset over guys crossing a line but you seem a touch touchy about her flirting in general: True that?”

“Maybe,” Sean replies, chewing his lip and nodding slowly and minutely. “Yes?” he admits, nodding fully, “that is, I guess you’re right.”

“Do you trust her?”

“Loren? Hell yeah. She wouldn’t go behind my back.”

“Nice answer, but that was your head talking, how about your heart? What does that say?”

“Same,” Sean replied immediately, head nodding in perfect punctuation. “Absolutely.”

“So how about you? Do you trust you? Is that what this is really about?”

“Yes and maybe. I mean, yeah, I trust me. What’d you say about hopping fences? Not me either. I’m a straight shooter. Honesty’s essential and trust is tantamount, I guess I just see so many people do such stupid things that I can’t help but worry about ways for things to go wrong.”

“I hear that. Hey, what’s like the second thing that comes out of my mouth when I start flirting with someone?”

“I have no idea. Isn’t it situation specific? You like to improv and riff when you flirt. You’re pretty imaginative.”

“Thank you!” I said beaming. “But the second thing I do when I flirt is mention Jean. I say something about my wife so the person I’m flirting with knows I’m married. Most guys on the prowl don’t start in with beatifying their bride.”

“Unless they’re living the lifestyle?” Sean quips.