"Well, Nina and I are both explorers, so sometimes we wind up in uncharted territory."
"Explorers of what?"
"We really believe all that stuff we spout at the institute. We believe that in order for people to survive in a relationship, they have to open themselves up to each other without fearing the outcome or the ramifications. They need to explore their sexual selves with each other, without holding back or worrying how things will look to anyone outside the union."
"You've really managed that?" I asked.
"Your question leads me to believe you haven't," Sam said as the waiter put a dessert plate down in front of me. I inspected the hard chocolate shell filled with ruffles of chocolate mousse, and rather than respond to Sam's question, I spooned some of the mousse into my mouth, letting the chocolate dissolve on my tongue, concentrating on the bittersweet taste.
Suddenly, Sam had ceased to be interesting or eccentric. Probing too deeply, getting too near those parts of myself that I'd long ago closed off, he had become intimidating.
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