Big Dick Energy - Cindi Madsen

1

Penny

“Cheers to having a dick. Must be nice,” I said, lifting my drink in the air, and my two girlfriends gaped at me, their glasses lowering to our usual table instead of lifting.

Catalina Mendes, the bad-ass attorney of our group, pursed her lips, and I flinched, steeling myself for her to let me have it the same way she did to whoever dared to cross her in court. “That’s a piss-poor toast, Penelope Jones, and I refuse to cheers to anything involving piss. I’d happily celebrate you finally catching a dick after your lengthy dry spell—”

I made an offended noise in the back of my throat. It’d been four months, and I was still healing. Healing and horny, as it were, but that was a different subject entirely.

“—but this is merely a hurdle on your way to greatness, and you’re going about it the wrong way.”

There was a right way to deal with having my dream project yanked out from under me?

My stomach sank, the numbing effects of the alcohol not doing much with the booze still in my glass instead of infiltrating my system. For two months, several renowned architecture firms and I had courted a client no one believed I could land. It was the biggest project San Diego had seen in a while, and they’d picked me.

Only for my boss to insist I didn’t have enough experience to handle designing a soccer complex all by my lonesome.

If he would just give me the chance, I’d show him not only what I could bring to the table, but that I didn’t need help. But he’d told me he was calling in an experienced architect people referred to as the Home Run King, end of story. No doubt the dude would be some mansplaining douche who’d reject my ideas before using them to get promoted over me.

You need to show initiative, Mr. Bishop had said when I’d asked why Ron got the promotion over me, which had taken a lot of courage, FYI. Establish yourself as a leader, like Ron has.

If leadership skills meant taking credit for other’s ideas, then yeah, Ron was excellent. The year before in my review, Mr. Bishop had told me to show I could step up, which somehow meant he expected me to fetch the coffee—something he’d never asked my male counterparts.

I gripped the stem of my glass with extra gusto and glugged the salty sweet mixture inside. “I know I’m supposed to be the wide-eyed optimistic one, but my boss treating me like some ditzy, inexperienced damsel really took the wind out of my sails.”

Ellie reached across the small circular table we frequented and placed her hand over mine. Due to the noise of the typical Friday night crowd at Paddy’s Gaslamp Pub, she had to raise her voice. “Totally understandable on that last part. As for the first, when have any of us ever pigeonholed one another?”

“Well, there was that night in college when we drank all that cheap rum,” Cat said. I snickered, a bit of sunshine breaking through my stormy mood. During an epic cuddle session brought on by three simultaneous breakups, Ellie had suddenly squeaked and told Cat she was sorry if she’d given her the wrong idea. Turned out the discarded bottle had gotten a bit friendly with Ellie’s bum, and she’d assumed Cat was making a move. With what, we still weren’t exactly sure, and we often teased Ellie about it, even to this day.

As we’d lamented that night, though, we were one hundred percent into boys. Which we’d also joked proved that no one in their right mind would choose to be straight.

“Like Penny,” Ellie said with a longing sigh, “I haven’t been anything- holed in a very long time.”

The three of us burst into laughter, raucous enough that several of the men lining the bar glanced in our direction. With her tan skin and shiny dark hair, Catalina was no stranger to the male gaze, and Ellie could go from cute brunette next door to sexy siren with a hair flip and a red lip.

With my sun-kissed skin and blonde beachy waves, I looked like the typical SoCal female, although I had a little more cushion for the pushin’ than my surfer counterparts. Whereas they caught waves, I liked to snooze and catch rays, and I was used to third-wheeling it when men hit on my gals.

I snagged fries from the basket we’d ordered before the place had gotten so busy and dunked them in the

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