In Adriana Herrera’s Own Words
I can’t believe we’ve gotten to Juan Pablo’s HEA. The journey with this Dreamers series has felt so full and rich and yet like it’s gone by in no time at all. Priscilla and Juan Pablo’s story is special for a lot of reasons. It’s the last of the Dreamers, so it’s my goodbye to a world and set of characters that have truly meant the world to me. But it is also my first M/F story. I wanted to stay true to the spirit of the series with these two, and I knew who Pris would be probably before I knew any of the other characters.
Priscilla is fierce and believes that justice starts with the freedom and the care that we take with our bodies. I love that I get to have a conversation in this story about the importance there is in black and brown people being able to experience joy and pleasure. I love that Pris finds her voice in that journey and that JuanPa is ready to be her support in that journey. This series has been a blessing to write, and I hope this last chapter of the Dreamers series feels like the right goodbye for those who have come along with me on the adventure.
About American Sweethearts
Juan Pablo Campos doesn’t do regrets. He’s living the dream as a physical therapist for his beloved New York Yankees. He has the best friends and family in the world and simply no time to dwell on what could’ve been.
Except when it comes to Priscilla, the childhood friend he’s loved for what seems like forever.
New York City police detective Priscilla Gutierrez has never been afraid to go after what she wants. Second-guessing herself isn’t a thing she does. But lately, the once-clear vision she had for herself — her career, her relationships, her life — is no longer what she wants.
What she especially doesn’t want is to be stuck on a private jet to the Dominican Republic with JuanPa, the one person who knows her better than anyone else.
By the end of a single week in paradise, the love/hate thing JuanPa and Pris have been doing for sixteen years has risen to epic proportions. No one can argue their connection is still there. And they can both finally admit — if only to themselves — they’ve always been a perfect match. The future they dreamed of together is still within reach…if they can just accept each other as they are.
“So that thing is not what you use for pegging, then?”
I really didn’t need to be sitting here listening to Doña Rosa, my barber’s mom, asking about prostate massagers. But I sure as fuck was not getting out of my seat until Priscilla was done with this class.
We were about five minutes from the end and I’d managed to push through half a dozen boners and one particular tricky situation with a cock ring demo that for real had me holding my breath so long I lost time.
Pris was in her element though. I don’t know how she did it, but she managed to make a sex talk for older folks fun, engaging—and God help me—sexy. I mean my mind was fucking blown.
Also, she looked happy.
It was such a far cry from how I’d found her outside of the center earlier. Face drawn, upset…exhausted. No, here, she was a different Pris, one that I hadn’t seen in ages. And she had all these people enthralled and chatty, about sex toys. I’d been certain she would talk the whole time because the audience would be too embarrassed to ask questions. But Pris had put everyone at ease within minutes and it had legit been one of the most interactive workshops we’d had at the center.
I drifted back into the conversation as Pris was wrapping it up. “Now who’s going to carve out some time for solo play?”
Everyone raised a hand and Pris clapped, delighted. “Excellent. Okay, so who has some stuff written down they’re going to buy tonight?”
All hands up again, and I was not going to let any images of these aunties getting sexy at home in my head.
Instead I lifted my own hand way up. When Pris saw me she busted up and winked. “Awesome. Thanks so much for joining me tonight, and I hope you found some of what we talked about useful and gave you a little fuel to feel empowered about your body and your pleasure. Remember to ask your partners for what you want, and screw polite.”
The room broke out in applause and fuck, the smile on her face broke my heart. I wanted to see her like this always.
I stood back as people came up to her to ask more questions or say thanks. Some people pointed at a toy, clearly wanting more info and she got to every single one of them. I waited in the back, observing with too many things swirling in my chest. I wanted to go up to her and tell her that all that sexy shit she was telling the abuelitas had me mad revved up and a little confused. That I wished I could take her home right now and fuck her senseless. Instead I took four deep breaths like my therapist showed me and waited until it was just the two of us left in the room.
I walked up slowly as she started putting her stuff away. “I’m right behind you, Detective Gutierrez. I don’t want to get popped on the mouth.” I didn’t need to see her to know she was smiling. When she turned around she still looked happy as hell.
“You’re not cute.”
She did not sound mad at all, and she handed me a little black pouch. “Here. I wanted to give you something, to say thank you for dinner and for almost punching you in the throat before.” Her mouth was twitching and I knew I was full on cheesing.
I took the bag and looked inside, trying really hard not to laugh.
“So you’re giving me a used prostate massager to say you’re sorry.”
She balked at that and I swear I was going to choke from trying not to laugh.
“It’s not used. Oh my God, J, that’s gross. It’s brand-new. I just got it the other day.”
“Thanks.” I bit my bottom lip at her contrite expression and felt sort of proud of myself that I didn’t say something greasy, because I was feeling her right then. She was in gray slacks, a yellow sweater and black ankle boots. Her hair in the bun I knew meant she needed to wash her hair soon. The little diamond studs I’d gotten her for Christmas like ten years ago in her ears.
I knew this woman like I knew myself, but I had no fucking idea how to convince her to give us another shot. To come home with me, so I could take care of her in every way possible.
About Adriana Herrera
Adriana Herrera was born and raised in the Caribbean, but for the last fifteen years has let her job (and her spouse) take her all over the world. She loves writing stories about people who look and sound like her people, getting unapologetic happy endings. When’s she not dreaming up love stories, planning logistically complex vacations with her family or hunting for discount Broadway tickets, she’s a social worker in New York City, working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
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