Remembering Your Heart-Chapter 2

Chapter 2

It was Tuesday afternoon and Mona was having lunch with Torie and Corey Kinimaka, they’d been Mona’s best friends since she moved into her Aunt’s house as a child. They were fraternal twins a boy and a girl, Victoria and Corey Kinimaka, they were half black and half Hawaiian. As a child they’d really made living with her Aunt and Uncle in the old neighborhood an adventure. They were the same height about 5’10”, same beautiful butterscotch complexion and wavy curly black hair. Corey was built like a bodybuilder he was all muscle since high school, he now worked as a personal trainer and with those smoldering good looks and that body he was highly sought after. Torie was gorgeous, beautiful face with a lot of womanly curves, she worked as a stripper at night and made insane amounts of money doing it. After working as a stripper, she’d become a lesbian and she and her girlfriend of 5 years, Faye lived together in Troutdale, Oregon right outside Portland.  At 38 years old these two were still the biggest troublemakers Mona knew.

“Well, what’s been up with you two?” Mona asked as she took another bite of her bacon burger. Torie rolled her eyes, “what’s up with that Torie?” Mona asked.

Mona turned to look at Corey as he sighed, “she’s hot about me and Kim.”

“Oh my god, Corey what’s up with you and your babies’ mama?” Kim was Corey’s psychotic ex-girlfriend and the mother of his two boys, Corey Jr. aka CJ and Stuart.

“It’s cool, she was tripping about this new chick I’m seeing.”

Torie’s mouth dropped in an astonished gasp, “tripping, she’s not tripping she’s doing her usual psychotic fare. She’s threatening to take him to court over custody again. Oh, that broad is just crazy.”

Mona just shook her head, she and Corey had dated for a hot minute while they were in high school but had decided to stick to friend mode.  He’d met Kim when he was a senior in high school, she’d been cool at first. Mona and Torie liked her but after she ended up pregnant she became very possessive of Corey and was extremely jealous of his relationship with Mona.

Mona avoided her at all costs, the looks and nasty comments were too much for her to put up with and she decided it was easier than popping her in her jaw.

“Wow, Corey you need to put in her place or something she needs some help.”

“She needs a man, that’s what she needs,” Torie shouted.

Mona started to laugh, Corey just sat there with a scowl on his face he didn’t like to be teased but that’s what Mona and Torie did best to him.

“Anyway,” he said in an annoyed voice, “what’s going on with you Mona. Talk about needing a man, you got one yet?”

Mona set back in the seat and looked at them both, “as a matter of fact, I do. I met somebody and we’re going out tonight if you wanna know.”

“Whoa,” Torie said in shock, “I wasn’t expecting that. Who is he?”

Mona noticed that after she said she had a date Corey got a little quiet and withdrew slightly. But she couldn’t worry about that, she was excited about her date with Luke.

“Remember the guy I told you about from the Italian deli, Luke,” Torie shook her head in the positive as her eyes widened “well, it’s him.”

“Good googly moogly, oh my god. I remember you talking about him and how hot he was.”

“Well, yea and that ain’t changed at all,” Mona laughed.

“Oh, some Italian stallion, that’s what you’re into now.” Corey said sarcastically.

Mona looked over at Corey with a frown at his sarcastic manner, “yea, Corey that’s what I want and I want it all night long.”

Torie busted out laughing and hit Corey in the arm playfully, “well, I guess she told you. Stop being a hater, Corey.”

Corey just snorted, “I gotta go to the bathroom, I’ll be back,” he pushed back his chair in kind of a huff and walked away.

“What is up with your brother?” Mona asked. She was confused at his bad reaction to her news.

“I don’t know but don’t worry about him; I’ll deal with him later on. Tell me more about this impending date.”

“Well, I’m not making too big a deal out of it. He’s a hot guy and I’m still kind of in shock that he even asked me out. I wasn’t expecting it, we’ve been flirting for a couple of months but I didn’t think this would come out of that.”

“Awww, come on Mona you have to know you are a hottie patottie okay?”

Mona smiled and laughed at Torie’s comment.

“Yea, I know I’m attractive Torie but come on I do a man’s job and that doesn’t give frequent opportunity to look like a cute girl.”

“But that doesn’t matter any man with eyes can see beyond that firefighter crap and see that beauty underneath,” Torie took her face by her chin and shook it.

“Thank you, Torie you always make me feel like being glamorous,” Mona shook her hair to demonstrate.

“You are glamorous. What you wearing on this date?”

“I have no idea, it’s been so long since I’ve been on date. My niece Amber and I are going shopping after this and see what I can find. She keeps suggesting I buy a dress but good lord Torie, the last time I wore a dress was Paulie’s wedding and heels…” she made a face at Torie “puhleeze!”

Torie giggled, “I think she’s right Mona, you got some legs on you and if he gets to see those he’s guaranteed to fall in love in a second. I wear heels all the time and I’m a lesbian so it ain’t that bad.”

Mona smiled, “when you gonna give up that life, Torie. You know you’re worth more than that job.” Mona hated to see her friend waste her life writhing on a pole for horny men’s pleasure, she’d always been smart and was excellent at math, and it just didn’t make sense to her.

Torie rolled her eyes, “as soon as regular jobs pay five thousand a week.”

“Well, I guess you got me there,” Mona shrugged her shoulders, “but I hope you think about it.”

Torie sighed, Mona wasn’t aware but she had been thinking about it, thinking hard she just didn’t think she could live on a smaller budget.

Corey came back towards the table with the sour puss look plastered on his face still. He looked over at Torie and said, “hey, I gotta go. I got a personal training appointment. I’ll see ya’ll later. Later Mona.” He turned and walked away from the table out the door.

Mona looked at Torie a little confused and a little disgusted, “what is his problem?” she asked.

“I don’t know, but he’s been getting on my one last nerve here lately. I’m gonna have to cut him off for a bit till he pulls it together, I really don’t have time for Corey’s crap.”

“Well, whatever. I gotta go I have to meet Amber downtown to shop for this date tonight. I got my nails and toes done, look.” She stuck out her hands for Torie to peruse.

“What? Not the hooker red, oh my gosh!”

Mona smacked her hands, “hey, I’m trying to be sexy and not look stupid.”

“Don’t worry you don’t have try that hard, he’ll get it.” They got up and started gathering up their things to leave, “I’ll pay for the meal,” Torie told her, “it’s not a big deal you get it next time.”

“Thank you, sweetheart.”

“And remember Mona, something simple but sexy and no pants please.”

“I’ll remember I know Amber won’t let me buy any pants for this date, geez.” Mona looked down at her watch, “oh I gotta go, I’ll see you later,” she gave Torie a peck on the cheek and rushed out of the restaurant to hurry downtown to meet Amber.

That evening in her bedroom, Mona was getting prepared for her date. She was more nervous than she’d ever been. It had been such a long time and she wasn’t sure she’d remember all this went. She’d received some great advice from her niece while picking out the dress, she’d told her, “just be yourself Aunt Mo, you really are an awesome person and he’d be a fool not to notice”. She figured she was right, she’d always had a healthy dose of confidence she kept wondering where it had disappeared to for the evening but then again she’d never knew she could attract a man as hot a Luke, as she looked at herself in the mirror she thought ‘now that you have him what are you going to do with him.’ She sighed she need to buck up; if she had to do anything she’d just fake it till she made it.

Amber had helped her pick out a soft silky black sheath dress, it dipped into a deep V neck in the front. Mona had never been known for her big boobs so the dress looked really good on her but she did buy some two sided tape just in case. Around the neckline were a line of beautiful crystals that sparkled, she’d bought a pair of peep toe black patent leather platform slingback heels from Nine West. She’d decided to forgo stockings, she hated those things anyway, they were a man made torture device and just wear her diamond studs in her ear.  She stood in front of her full length mirror set against her bedroom wall to look at herself, she’d not done much make-up this evening just black liner and mascara, and she wasn’t a fan of make-up usually made her skin feel funny, unnatural and itchy. Amber had stayed around to do her hair, she’d put it up in a bunch of heated rollers and threatened her Aunt not to take them down until she was about ready to go.

As she stood in front of the mirror removing the last of the rollers from hair and bending it over to shake it out and run her fingers through it. She looked up and was surprised to see something, a sexy woman. Mona had forgotten that once upon a time she was sexy, that men found her sexy, and that some women found her sexy too. And here she was again, a sexy woman. She thought to herself even if Luke and I don’t work out, she was determined not to ever again forget how sexy she was. The doorbell rang, Luke was here. She looked at herself one more time she wasn’t sure about this wild mop of curly hair swirling around her head but it was too late now. She popped on her shoes, grabbed her patent leather clutch and her wrap and bounded towards the door.

She could see Luke standing with his back to the door from the side panel windows next to it. He was wearing dark jeans and a black leather jacket.  She could see that beautiful black hair glistening under her porch lights; she was in for it tonight. She opened the door and he turned suddenly to greet her.

For a moment, he stood there looking at her. Mona looked down at herself; she wondered did she have something on her to make him look like that.

“Hello.” He said slowly as his eyes came up to meet hers.

Mona thought to herself, ‘this man is so pretty, he’s prettier than me’.  “Hi, how are doing tonight?”

“I’m doing fantastic now that I’ve seen you,” he said to her as he smiled.

Mona almost came on the spot, it had been way too long since she’d been complimented by a good looking man especially one she was lusting after like a piece of chocolate cake.

She looked down coyly and blushed a little, “thank you; you don’t have to say that.

“Yes, I do. I don’t want you thinking that I’m I have any problem seeing,” he told her slyly while cocking his eyebrow.

“Oh, you’re bad aren’t you?” Mona grinned at him.

“Only when it’s necessary, you have everything you need, bella?”

Mona turned and locked her door, “yea, I’m definitely ready for this evening. Where are we going?” She was madly turned on by him calling her bella from talking to Mr. Serrano she knew it meant beautiful and she definitely felt it tonight.

“Oh no, I can’t tell it won’t be fun that way. We’ll make it surprise but a good one of course.” He took her hand and led her to his car, parked behind her truck in the driveway.

Mona thought he had really nice hands, strong and smooth but not too soft like a man who knew about hard work. She did a lot to make sure her hands her soft and smooth, it was sometimes difficult in her line of work but she did her best to make sure that although she was firefighter her body didn’t show it.

As Luke took her hand, he imagined the feel of those long supple fingers all over his body and his body reacted to those thoughts. He had to get himself under control; he did not want to scare her off by acting like some teenage horndog. He knew from talking to his papa, that she hadn’t dated and she wasn’t some woman who hopped in and out of bed for pleasure’s sake not like his ex, Tasha. She was way more sophisticated than that. He opened the passenger door of his silver Porsche 911 Targa and she slid in. He ran over his side and got in and he started it up and they took off.

Mona sat there and watched the building pass in a blur, he did drive fast but she wasn’t exactly a grandmother driving herself. She glanced over quickly to see that he was full control of his car, for something so small he fit into easily and looked comfortable. He had on a pair of black leather men’s shoe boots and a charcoal grey V-neck cashmere sweater. It looked soft enough to touch but his muscular frame shown slightly under it. Mona was just holding it together barely; she knew she couldn’t throw herself at this man. He was world wise, she was sure a ton of woman had thrown themselves at him so he was used to that, she had to keep control and see who could wait the other one out longer. But as she glanced at him again and he caught her looking and smiled that gorgeous big smile at her she wasn’t sure if she was going to have the ability to wait longer than him, her legs pressed together again for the third time that evening to stave off the heat brewing between them.

Luke thought he was going to make this date special, he wanted very much to impress upon Mona how much he liked her and how much he wanted to spend time with her after this date. He enjoyed getting to know her as they’d flirted in his father’s deli over the last few months; she was sweet, funny, and extremely sexy even more than he figured she was aware. He had to drive but his eyes could barely stray away from looking at that beautiful body, she was in great shape not skinny but not big. She was muscular but not in a manly way, very feminine and didn’t look hard she looked well…she looked too soft. He trying to find any excuse to touch her but he didn’t want to be too forward, his father raised him to be a gentlemen and he was following that rule at least for tonight.

He turned for a moment to look at her side profile, she was absolutely perfect, “I think you’re going to like where we are going tonight,” he told her smoothly.

She turned her body towards him and he got an even better view of those incredible legs, “really, where are we going? Can I ask?”

“Of course, you can ask but that doesn’t mean I have to tell. Don’t worry, Mona I know how to impress a woman.”

“Oh, I have no doubt about that. I’m sure you impress women by doing absolutely nothing,” she said smartly to him.

Luke laughed at her little smart aleck comment, he liked that. She was a little sarcastic; he’d noticed that before and found it refreshing.

Mona laughed also, she liked hearing him laugh. He’d done it before but not to this depth and she found his deep laughter very arousing. They pulled into the restaurant/jazz club Jimmy Mak’s, Mona didn’t get out enough to know any bars or clubs besides the ones she frequented with the guys from her fire crew. This looked nice and she was impressed, she loved jazz music and thought she’d maybe mentioned that Luke on some occasion when they spoke but for him to remember.

“I hope you like it, I remember you mentioning you liked jazz and I hear this one of the best jazz clubs in the city. I thought I’d do something you would enjoy. I want to make sure to show you good time tonight.”

She smiled over at him, “well, you’re not doing too bad Mr. Serrano.”

“Why thank you, I’ll take all the compliments I can from beautiful women,” he smiled at her.

Mona put her face down in a shy smile, she’d never been particularly shy but the feeling coursing through her now as she walked towards the club with this handsome man by her side were those of a 15 year old with her first major crush. She was all butterflies, she kept wondering if she’d be able to keep her food and drink down this evening. As they walked to the door, Luke stepped in front of her to open the door. She was really enjoying his being a gentlemen, it had been a long time since she’d been treated like a lady. Working with nothing but men as a firefighter she was usually just treated like one of the guys.

As they walked into the foyer of the club, she looked around it was very sophisticated and she heard the sounds of jazz in the background. They stepped up to the hostess who looked up from her clipboard to notice them; she smiled and then smiled bigger as she got a good look at Mona’s date.

“Good evening sir, welcome to Jimmy Mak’s. Do you have reservations?” she nearly purred the question as she leaned across the podium shoving her cleavage in his face.

“Yes, I do. It’s under Serrano,” Luke took his arm and brought Mona in closer to his side.

The hostess looked sharply over in Mona’s direction and snorted slightly, “oh I see sir, let me find it,” she straightened up and started to scan her clipboard for Luke’s name.

Mona was outdone by the hostess’ slight rudeness, if this is how it’s going to be dating a good looking man; she was going to have to start practicing her tae bow.

“Yes, sir Lucas Serrano,” she pulled out two menus from a side box, “let me show you to your table.” She turned on her heels and led them towards their table. They reached the table; it was good location in the restaurant where they would be able to see the stage and scope out everything in the club. The hostess turned and flipped her long blonde hair over her shoulders as she stepped aside to show their seats. The hair flip she did annoyed Mona, it had always annoyed her. She had long hair herself but the blatant diss to her as Luke’s companion got under her skin.  The hostess left the table without acknowledging either of them.

Luke pulled her chair from under the table and invited Mona to take a seat.  Mona eased into her seat and tried to get comfortable, she was having a little bit of time being sexy with this dress’ plunging neckline. She adjusted herself to get comfortable and not look too silly while she was trying.

Luke sat down and just looked at her, “you look absolutely beautiful tonight. I’m just so honored you decided to come out with me tonight.”

She looked up in surprise, “Honored. That’s a strange word to use.”

He looked at her and shrugged, “I think it’s the right one. You are such a beautiful, dazzling and charming woman it’s hard to resist.”

“Oh, you are good,” she laughed at him.

“Please don’t think I’m just saying these things to make an impression. I don’t say anything I don’t mean. My papa taught me that.”

“I’m sure he did, your father is a bit of a charmer and if you inherited that from him you might be dangerous.”

Luke smiled as his eyes lit up, “My papa and mama were each other’s first and only loves.”

Mona’s head went to the side with a soft smile, “that is sweet.”

“How about your family, your parents?”

Mona was never sure what to tell people when they asked that question, so she usually said as little as possible. “My mother and father are dead. It was an accident.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,” Luke stretched his across the table and caressed her hand lightly. He was regretting asking the question.

“It’s okay, how could you know. I lost them as kid and I went to live with my aunt and uncle, they lived in Astoria.”

“Wow, that had to be tough.”

Mona shrugged as her eyes went down to look at his hand caressing hers tenderly, “Oh, it wasn’t so bad. I had three cousins to keep me company. They were close to my age and we were close and had lot of fun.”

“Girls or boys?”

“Both, my oldest cousin is Georgina, she was more of a mini-mama than a cousin. She was so bossy, has always been that way. My middle cousin is a boy, James Stanley Jr. he was my protector, always sticking up for me and then there’s Pauletta, she and I are close in age so we’ve always been more like friends than cousins. It was good upbringing. How about you, I know Mr. Serrano is your dad but how about the rest of the Serrano clan?”

He smiled deeply at her question, Luke always felt blessed by the family he had although he had disappointed them on many an occasion.

“Yes, my pop is Sebastian Serrano. He came out here after my mother died to help my Uncle Salvadore, Uncle Sal as he was known to us run the deli.”

“Oh Luke, I’m sorry about your mom.”

Luke shook his head in dismissal of her comment, “there’s nothing to be sorry about. My ma died when I was 3 years old, it was tough on my dad but he did his best. My grandparents urged him to stay in Brooklyn where they could help with us, but he didn’t want to. His Katerina was gone and he couldn’t stay in Brooklyn. So he packed all us up and we came to live out here.”

“I understand from your father you’re the youngest of seven children and the only boy. Wow! I bet that was rough.”

He laughed, she really enjoyed his laugh it was deep and vibrant like him. “You better believe it was rough, six older sisters it was torture,” he said sarcastically. Mona leaned over and touched his hand and began to laugh, Luke felt her warmth and didn’t want her to let go but she did. Mona too had noticed the electricity that flowed through them when they touched, she wasn’t sure she was ready for that feeling.

Luke continued, “no he it wasn’t too bad, they spoiled me to death. My youngest sister is 8 years older than me and I was totally unexpected so I’m like the miracle baby,” he shrugged.

Mona looked at him and smiled quizzically, “oh my god, you’re Jesus.” They both began to laugh hysterically. Luke enjoyed her biting sense of humor; he hadn’t found many women as quick as her with a comeback.

“Yes, I’m him,” he said laughing, “at least to my sisters not all the time with my pop.”

“Well, I’d like to know more about your sisters because if they adore you as much as I assume they do, I need to be forewarned. As the new woman in your life, I do not want my ass handed to me by six Italian women.”

Luke didn’t think she realized what she said, ‘the new woman in his life’ yes she was and he was not going to miss this opportunity.

“Okay, here’s the rundown on the Serrano girls, furious six as I call them. Frances is the oldest she’s 64 years old, a retired banker on her third marriage but has 2 children from her first. Annabelle is the next she’s 61 and a firecracker, she worked as an electrician all her life she’s never been married but has a friend by the name of Valerie she spends time with,” he did a knowing smile.

Mona certainly got that one, being friends with Torie had taught her that many older lesbians were sometimes more private about their lives.

“Oh, I get it Luke. My best friend, Torie leads an alternative lifestyle but she’s an awesome friend.”

“Yea, I don’t judge, I love Annabelle she’s the greatest. Then there’s Sharon, who’s 58 she and my brother in law, Anthony have been married forever right out of high school, they have four boys good kids all really successful. After that it’s Cynthia, she’s 56, she’s divorced and has one daughter. Cynthia’s a doctor, she’s does pediatric oncology. She sees a lot of sad stuff.”

Mona sighed and took his hand again and began to rub it. She knew how that was, she saw a lot of sad things too in her job.

“My sister Norma is next, she’s 54 years old and has never worked a day in her life. My brother in law Michael makes sure of that, they have 3 grown children, two girls and a boy. And last but not least my second mother, Rose, now I have to be truthful she’ll be the toughest out of all my sisters. Rose does not play when it comes to me, she wasn’t fond of my ex-wife and hasn’t been fond of any of the women I’ve dated since.”

Mona just sat there, she didn’t want to have worry about meeting his sisters just now this was their first date but she did appreciate that he was telling her the truth about what she may be up against.

“Well, I appreciate you saying that Luke but really no one can resist me once they meet me,” she smiled showing those beautiful teeth.

Luke thought himself, ‘I certainly couldn’t’.

“You’re probably right, my pop adores you.”

“Oh you’re dad is a flirt, that’s all.”

“No, he really does genuinely like you. He has wonderful things to say about you even when you’re not in the deli.”

Mona blushed  a little, she’d enjoyed talking to Mr. Serrano over the years and she was certainly enjoying talking to his handsome son. Mona didn’t know what had come over her every time Luke said something she felt giddy as a school girl. She was really relieved when their waiter finally appeared. He looked slightly disheveled, she could guess the place was packed so he was probably busy.

“Good evening folks, I’ll be your server for this evening Chris. Can I bring you something to drink?” His words rushed out like a river and he seemed to be breathing hard as if he’d been running from someone.

Luke and Mona looked at each other and chuckled slightly, she was hoping for better service but what the hell she’d take what she could get at the moment.

Luke deferred to her first to order. Mona thought for a moment and decided on something easy and standard that she could handle, hard liquor would only prove to be dangerous with a man this sexy, she’d be slipping out of this dress before she knew it. “Can I get a glass of shiraz please?”

The waiter wrote down her order and turned to stare at Luke as he ordered, “I’d like a scotch on the rocks please.”

“Yes sir, I’ll get those out to you very soon.”

“Gee willikers, he must be busy tonight” Mona commented to Luke. He started to laugh again and she fell into laughter herself. She was coming to love the sound of his laugh. The MC came up and introduced a local jazz singer by the name of Pizzazz, Mona had heard of her before at another club she was good and was excellent with the old standards. The band started playing Dinah Washington’s ‘What A Difference A Day Makes’ and she began belting out that tune it was lovely. Mona thought to herself, yea what difference a day makes, just a day or so ago she’d just been exchanging hellos and smiles with this handsome gentleman across the table from her and now here she was sharing a romantic evening with him. She wondered what the day had in store for her after this.

Luke got up from the table and extended his hand to her, “would you care to dance?”

Mona was surprised. “Sure,” she scooted back her chair and rose. Luke’s heart skipped a beat when she stood, she was so graceful and just long and lean and sexy he was hoping he could keep this impending hard on he had under control. They walked out onto the floor, Luke noticed all the other men in the place staring at them as they walked onto the floor. Mona didn’t notice but he did, yes he noticed the feral looks of lust in their eyes as he took this beautiful woman with the cooper skin and long sable hair out onto the dance floor, she stepped in front of him. Luke couldn’t help but stare at that nice round behind of hers; she had an ass made for worshipping.

Mona turned and caught his eyes go up suddenly she surmised that maybe he’d been staring at her butt. She had to say she did have a nice behind, what God cheated her out of in breasts he sufficiently made up for in butt. She stepped into his arms and they swayed to the music, it was so soft and sweet. They danced slowly and close, Mona was pleased this man knew how to partner dance not many men did in this day and age. But she was sure his father had taught him, most men just used partner dancing as a way to feel up their dates. But he was close but respectful with a strong steady hand just at the small of her back. She was so comfortable in his arms after awhile she just laid her head on his shoulder. It felt nice, Mona hadn’t felt this secure with a man in a very long time and she was reveling in the feeling. He smelled so good and felt so solid under her, they just swayed. As one song ended, the singer began to sing Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’ and yes thought Mona, good lord I am truly feeling good.

The night had gone fabulous, they’d danced a little more and had a wonderful dinner, and they’d shared a piece of decadent chocolate cheesecake for desert and drank a little more. Before they knew it was time for the place to close. Mona was disappointed she’d had such a fun time with Luke she didn’t want it to end.

As Luke drove her home, he looked over to find her asleep she’d been such arousing company all evening long for him and in more ways than one. She had turned in a little toward the center console of the car and had her face towards him on the seat rest. Those long legs were showing from under her dress, that slip of nothing she was wearing was driving him wild. That deep v-neck in the front was not helping; he kept willing it to just slip to the side so he could get a peek. She wasn’t exactly heavily endowed in the chest department but from what he could see she had some beautiful breasts that were perky to say the least. Luke looked at her quickly then turned back to the road, he side eyed her as he was driving he had to rub his cock to get it to calm down or he was going to burst out his pants. He hadn’t been this horny since he was teenager, being with Mona was better than Viagra and he should know since he’d tried it on a trip with Tasha to Mexico. As he turned on her street he had to gather all his will to reign in the tent that was popping in his pants. By the time they’d gotten to her house, he purposely bit his tongue to take his mind off his raging dick. It worked; he pulled into her driveway and turned off his engine. She must have felt the car stop because she began to awaken from her little nap.

Mona opened her eyes to see Luke staring at her smiling, she looked around they’d arrived in her driveway. “Oh Luke I’m sorry I fell asleep on you but this was a busy night for a girl like me, usually I’m just out putting out fires.”

Luke chuckled as he looked at her, he took her hands and held them, “no biggie I just let you sleep. I know I had you out on the dance floor all night long it’s my fault.”

Mona just smiled back, she liked the feeling of her hands in his, it just felt really natural. “Well, I guess I better be getting inside.” She gathered up her things and exited the car Luke was there to help her out before she could do it on her own. He was a perfect gentleman all night long. They strolled up the drive to Mona’s front door, her porch light was on so it was a tad bright but she noticed how handsome he looked no matter what kind of light was showing.

“Mona I had such a wonderful time this evening.”

“I did too, Luke. This is just the best night I’ve had in a long time. I’m so glad you asked me out.”

“I’m glad you accepted. I want to do this again.”

“Really.”

She seemed surprised that he’d asked her out again, Luke didn’t know why she was the best date and the most beautiful woman he’d been with in a long, long while.

“Yes, really. Why don’t you give me a call when you have some time off again and we’ll make plans to see each other?”

“Okay, that sounds great. I just want to thank for a great evening. Jimmy Mak’s was pretty good, service could have been better but everything else was great” she shrugged and laughed a little.

Luke was starting to notice things about her like those cute laugh lines she got around her eyes when she laughed, she was gorgeous. Before Luke knew what hit him, he leaned in for a good night kiss. Mona was surprised when he kissed her, he’d just been kind of staring at her then this. The kiss was tentative at first, soft and sweet as if he wasn’t sure she wanted to kiss him and was just trying to find out. Then he pulled her in closer and Mona went willing, she wrapped her arms around his neck and his set on her lower back. He kissed her deeper and harder and Mona’s mouth open to submit to the passion of his kiss. His mouth was soft and supple to her, his tongue came out to explore her and Mona deepened her kiss to duel with his tongue. Luke was intoxicated her lips her full and she tasted of sweet wine, he was getting drunk just from kissing her and he loved it. Damn this woman can kiss, he thought. Mona was lost in the moment, her womanly core was dripping she was completely turned on she may have leave a wet spot on her front porch. Damn this man can kiss, she thought. They finally pulled away from one another and each had to take deep breaths. Mona’s head was swimming slightly and she felt a tad unsteady. Luke had to get his breathing together and he knew his hard on had come back and was raging. Mona set her hands on his shoulders and Luke looked down at her, she looked like she was ready for loving but he knew today wasn’t that day but the day was coming soon that she’d get witness his passion head on and he was looking forward to the same with her.

“Wow! I think I need sit down,” she said.

Luke laughed pulled her into a hug; he kissed her forehead “yea I think I need a seat too. Well I better get going.”

Mona pulled out her keys and opened her door with shaky hands, “I’ll talk to you soon Luke and thank you again for a wonderful evening.”

“You’re more than welcome, bella” he took her hand and kissed it.

He turned and walked back to his car, Mona watched as he got in and closed her door. He started up and backed out she watched out of the side window as he cruised down the street.

Mona turned and leaned against the front door, her panties were completely soaked. She closed her eyes and thought that vibrator is going to be smoking later tonight as she headed for the bedroom to relieve some sexual tension.

When Luke got home he masturbated two times, it was a relief but a disappointment because his bella wasn’t there with him to release that passion.

They were both thinking it’s going to be tough to try to wait the other out. © EugeniaBerg 2011

I Love A Good Series!

I just got two new books from Amazon today, I saw them and had to order them. Both are part of a series of books I’ve been reading for awhile. I bought The Blood Red Indian Summer by David Handler, part of the Berger/Mitry mystery series and V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton, part of the Alphabet mystery series featuring the character, Kinsey Milhone. I’ve spoken about Sue Grafton before in a blog post and how much I love her as a writer. The thing I love about her is she has a series I love Series books, especially mysteries but I’ll take a series in any form. I love series because they give me a chance to really get to know a character, in depth and personal. The character almost becomes real to you, my first series was Encyclopedia Brown as a kid, I’ve loved mysteries all my life and Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol was just fantastic. If you know of or have kids that like to read this is a great set to start them off with, I also loved the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary. As a teen I started to read the Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal and that series is still going on it’s into the hundreds of books now. I read a lot of series now and it’s easy for me get addicted to a series in the last couple of years I’ve picked up a couple but I just enjoy having something familiar when I read, something about series feeds my need for consistency and stability. I want a great book to read but the book being part of a series makes it even better. I just don’t read series but I love books with a common thread. Here’s a list of the series that I currently enjoy.

  • Berger/Mitry mysteries by David Handler
  • Alphabet mysteries by Sue Grafton
  • Easy Rawlins series by Walter Mosley-one of my new ones and I am so thankful I found this, it’s fantastic
  • Noir Series by various authors-it does a book of noir stories for cities around the world by that city’s authors. I’ve got a couple of them and I love noir.
  • Phillip Marlowe series by Raymond Chandler-got hooked after watching the movie The Big Sleep with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
  • The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith-got hooked after watching the show on HBO then discovering it had a book series attached to it, I almost cried I was so grateful. His writing is brilliant and beautiful.
  • Sophie Katz mystery series by Kyra Davis-about a half black/half Jewish amateur sleuth in San Francisco, it’s zany and crazy and fun.
  • Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling-well of course I read it.
  • Amanda Bell Brown mystery series by Claudia Mair Burney-first off, she’s an extraordinary writer and this series has a lot of surprises I think you’ll be delighted by if you read it. I also read the The Exorsistah series by her.
  • Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I love Sherlock Holmes and am now enjoying the entire classic series of stories.
  • Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond series by Peter Lovesey- a new one from across the pond but so far, so good.
  • Domestic Equalizers series by Dixie Cash-these are hilarious!
  • Hobart Lindsey/Marva Plum series by Richard A. Lupoff- it’s an old mystery series but it’s really well done.
  • Joanna Brady mystery series by J.A. Jance-this is good one but she’s got three other series that I want to get started on also.
  • Starletta Duvall mystery series by Judith Smith-Levin-excellent series, she passed away a few years ago so she no longer writes the series but if you can find all of them, read them.
  • Lizzie Stuart mysteries by Frankie Y. Bailey-smart and enticing reads
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan-brings back memories of my childhood favorites, now I love them.

See I told you I like series, if you’re a mystery reader many of these are fantastic and one or two feature a love story and a couple feature a bw/wm interracial love story. I say check them all out. I always get so excited when one of my series get a new book. With the two new ones I just got today, I’m about to burst and can’t wait to read them. I’m still catching up on the Alphabet mysteries though and still at Q is for Quarry so I got a ways to go till V but I’m looking forward to it. I hope I introduced you to some great reading, enjoy.

Patience Please

When I began this blog I let all the prospective readers know that while I was sharing some of my stories, the majority of my stories being shared were in mid-completion. Now we’ve come to the point where that will put a wrinkle in the frequency of my posts. What I’ve been posting are stories I’ve already written or started that were languishing. One of the things I hoped this blog would give me is a big push in completing these languishing stories. I know those that are reading, I don’t know who you are but hello, want to see the end of these stories and only I can make that happen. Since most of these have been hanging out stinking up my mind, it’s time for them to be complete. So here is the warning, updates for stories won’t be showing up as often. I’m sorry, but they will show up so continue to come by here every once in awhile. But I’ll also be reviewing some books that I love and telling you about some great authors in the in between time. I’ll also be telling how I like my new Kindle Fire, I haven’t got it yet, it’s going to be a Christmas gift but I am looking forward to telling you about it so you can buy one too. I’d also like to start a book club, I’m not sure how I’m going to do that so any suggestions would be great. So stick around, I’ll be updating Rendezvous very soon and I’m excited about how that is going to turn out. Keep reading and thanks for hanging out.

Surviving in Dateland-Chapter 3

Chapter 3

On Wednesday while at yoga, Sophie was stretching before class. She decided today to just come inside it had been raining all day and pretty windy, she was not going to stand out in that weather and wait for Leanne who was running late as always.  She had received a couple of peeks at her profiles on the dating sites, but she still hadn’t really put any interest out there. She was gathering her courage for that, but soon enough she’d say something back. Leanne was the one that agreed to pay for these things in loving hope of her best friend finding a date, so Sophie felt no pressing need to find a date now it wasn’t her money on the line. As she stood there in the room assigned for her yoga class, she was kind of in her own world when a pleasant voice came from behind her and took her from her reverie.

“Hey there, Sophie,” she heard and turned to find Brock in front of her, he was looking as tasty as ever in black yoga pants again and this time with navy blue t-shirt loose t-shirt on.

“Hi, how you doing you tonight teach?” she joked with him.

“The teacher is fine, please call me Brock.”

“Okay, Brock well I’m glad to hear you’re doing well.”

“You look nice tonight,” he said while scanning her body, again Sophie noticed.

She looked down at herself and noticed she was wearing her yoga clothes, gray pants and t-shirt with writing on it, she’d gotten at Wal-Mart. She couldn’t imagine how he thought she looked nice that day, but she accepted the compliment, “thank you very much, Brock.”

“What do you do, Sophie?”

She looked in those beautiful chocolate brown eyes again and thought he’s mighty curious, maybe he’s just making small talk till the class starts.

“I work as a brewmaster for Passionate Brewing,” she told him.

“Wow! You do I love Passionate IPA. It’s my favorite beer of all the time. That’s really something I’m talking to the woman that helps to brew that beer.”

Sophie smiled big, she was always happy to know that people drank the brews she helped to create and refine. That also meant she could keep a job, “I’m glad you do.” Sophie thought for a moment and came up with an idea, “hey, why you don’t come down to the brewery one day and take a tour. I’ll give it to you personally.”

His whole face lit up, he looked she said she was giving him the brewery. He took her shoulders, “You mean that,” he said looking straight in her eyes.

“Yea, I mean that. Why would I say it if I didn’t mean it,” she laughed at him a little.

He blushed trying not to seem too excited. “Can I get your phone number?” he asked her.

Phone number? I don’t want to give this guy my number, then she got a hold of herself, ‘he means your business card silly’

“Yea, it’s my locker my clothes now. Can I give it to you after class?”

“Sure, I gotta get going time to start class. I’ll see you afterwards for the card,” he smiled deeply at her and Sophie nodded.

She thought he looked so good and what had she just done inviting him to her job for a tour, maybe she could pawn him off on one of the tour groups that came through the factory a couple a times a week. But it was a personal invitation and she’d have to do it personally.

She felt a tap on her shoulder and turned to see Leanne walking up looking stunning in yoga clothes, it was so unfair.

“What you two talking about?” she asks Sophie wagging her eyebrows.

“Oh, nothing…just invited him to take a tour of the brewery one day,” Sophie smiled. She knew Leanne would jump all over this she was the one in lala land thinking that Brock had a thing for her.

Leanne’s eyes widened and grinned really huge, “You did, that’s awesome. Did he accept?”

“Yes.”

“Of course, he did he’s got a thing for you I knew it.”

“He does not have anything for me. It’s just a friendly gesture. He said how much he liked the beer, so I invited him down. No big deal.”

“Well, I believe it is a big deal look at him, Sophie.”

Sophie eyes hadn’t really left him for long, he was beautiful. That was saying a lot for a man.

“Let’s just ready for yoga, Leanne. You’ve dreamed up a relationship that has no chance in hell,” Sophie just sighed and sat down on her yoga mat.

The music started and the class got situated for the day’s session.  As Sophie watched Brock as he started to instruct on positions for warm-up she smiled, he was good-looking and sweet a great catch for some lucky young lady. He began to walk about the room, giving encouragement, helping folks with their positions for warm-up. Sophie noticed that all of sudden Mindy became the bumbling bimbo calling Brock over to help her, shameless, thought Sophie. After he had to pry himself from her side he continued across the room and settled next to Sophie, she liked the way he came out on the floor sometimes to continue instruction of the class but him being close to her made her a tad nervous. She glanced over at him.

“…now hold it for 20, feel those muscles stretch and breath, remember to breath deeply,” he stated in that calm voice.

He rose from the floor and turned towards Sophie his gorgeous massive hands gripping her stomach and back for a moment she forgot to breath and he said into her ear, “you need to breath Sophie, it’s important.”  He caressed her back lightly as he let her go and rose to return to the front of the class.

Sophie glanced over at Leann who was smiling to herself and mouthing to Sophie, “I told you. He likes one.”

Sophie rolled her eyes and continued with the warm up, touches weren’t enough to convince her of his undying affection but it was enough, however, to send her body into overdrive.  She needed a man, maybe this Friday at Vino’s she could find one hopefully as hot as Brock.

After leaving work on Friday, Sophie decided to stop by her mom’s house for a quick visit. She was meeting Leann and her co-worker at Vino’s at 7 pm and wasn’t really excited about this evening’s gathering but she had promised. She’d left work a little early but she had been there at 7 am this morning to do some testing for the new brew they were thinking of adding to line of stouts they had out presently.

Sophie’s mom lived in Columbia City neighborhood with her husband, they had been raised in Renton a small city on the outside of Seattle. But her mom and Thomas had moved back into Seattle to be near her mom’s dance studio. They had an adorable little house with a nice porch and wonderful garden in the back yard where Thomas tended his flower garden as Wanda sat and watched from the patio furniture. If there was anywhere, they could be found was in the backyard, Wanda sitting reading a book while Thomas was the dirt tending to his roses bushes. Thomas was about average height with very distinct African features, wide nose, full lips, dark eyes, skin so dark it almost looked blue, his hairline was receding and he wore glasses.  Wanda was petite only about 5’3”, she’d wanted to be a professional dancer but was too small in stature to be taken seriously.  She had butterscotch skin tone and she was still thin with a body that Sophie was jealous of but she knew it was because she danced, she had long locs that were honey blonde. She’d been wearing her hair in that style and that color for years. Sophie thought her mother was the most beautiful woman in the world with her wide smile and light brown eyes. Sophie hadn’t inherited those eyes, she sometimes wish she had then something about her would at least be exotic, her sister Cleo had but Sophie just had plain brown eyes, for plain brown Sophie, she looked more like her dad than her mom.  Sophie pulled up and parked on the street a little ways away from the house, she strolled up and unhitched the fence lock and walked into the backyard, she heard her mother talking to Thomas as she approached.

“Darling, I think we need to get a pet,” Wanda said, her mother was always talking about adopting a cat.

“Wanda dear, we’ve spoken of this before, who’s going take care of the thing.”

“Probably me,” Sophie said as she rounded the corner of the house.

Wanda turned and smiled as saw Sophie approaching, “Oh baby, it’s so good to see you.” Wanda put her arms out and came towards Sophie engulfing her in a big hug and giving her a kiss on the cheek.

“Hey mom,” she looked over to Thomas and went to give him a hug also, “hello Thomas, is she trying to convince you to get that darn cat again.” They both started laughing and looked at her mother.

“Yes, she is. I don’t know how many times I keep telling her no cats. You know that poor thing would be so neglected with your mother.”

Wanda frowned, “I don’t know what you two are talking about. I’ll have a pet, a companion someone to keep me company when Thomas in his office with this books and grading papers.”

Thomas was a professor of West African art at University of Washington. He and Wanda had met at an art exhibit he was guest speaking at Seattle Art Museum.

“Oh, mom you know you don’t need no cat, leave those poor defenseless creatures alone. It would only end up being Thomas’ responsibility and he’s got enough to do with this beautiful garden. Your roses are looking gorgeous, Thomas,” she told him, she loved this garden it always smelled well…like a garden and was really relaxing.

“Thank you, darling. I had my rhododendrons come out little early this season so they’re losing their bloom now.”

“What about the tulips?” she asked looking at his tulip blooms for the season.

“Ahh, they are lovely look at them. I cut some and put a couple of vases of them in the house. Go in and see them, I’ll cut you some if you want to take with you.”

“That would be great, Thomas. Thank you so much.”

“No problem, darling.”

“Thomas, sweetheart we’re gonna go in and have some tea. Would you like a glass?”

“I’ll be in, in a second. I’m just going to gather these tulips for Sophie,” he said smiling at her and her mother, “go on in and you two talk.”

Sophie and her mom walked into through the French doors into the kitchen. Wanda’s kitchen was very eclectic as was the whole house, bright colors, fabrics, art, and sculptures, lots of photographs of Sophie and her siblings and many others of Wanda and Thomas and their travels around the globe. Once a year they went back to Nigeria to visit Thomas’ family in his village, they both forward to that trip immensely. Sophie sat at her mother’s breakfast bar as Wanda got out glasses to pour the tea into.

“So, what’s happening with you my beautiful daughter?” Sophie’s mom was always so loving and complimentary to them all even if they had done things wrong she always started your lecture off with a loving words and a compliment.

“Not much, beautiful mother,” Wanda smiled,”I’m going out with Leann and a co-worker of hers tonight.”

“Hmm. Sounds good.”

Sophie shrugged, “I don’t know mom, I know I should get back out there but it’s just so hard. It’s so much work.”

Wanda took Sophie’s hands in hers, “I know you had a hard time after the divorce and you had some uncertainty about yourself but you’re my gorgeous girl. Also, Sophie you’re so smart and talented and in general a wonderful  woman. I’m not saying this because I’m your mama but because I love you, you’re my baby. No man is worth you keeping yourself cut off from finding love again, you know you deserve it, don’t you?”

“I know mom, I do but it’s still hard to think about trusting someone again.”

“You have to be okay with the fact that you might not find on the first go-round but you’ll find it. You’ll find the love you deserve,” Wanda rose from the stool and came over to hug tightly. It always felt great when her mom hugged her, she did give the best hugs.

“So how are Cleo and her family doing?”

Wanda pulled back to look at Sophie, “Fine, some kind of drama of course with the kids and sports. Your sister does have the worst attitude sometimes, so up at that school causing trouble. I think she got that temper from your father because it didn’t come from me.”

Sophie laughed, “Mom you know if we get you going on poor Thomas, I’ve seen that man shaking in his boots sometimes at the tongue lashings you give.”

“He does not, I treat Thomas with nothing but love and respect.”

Thomas was walking in the door with a colorful bunch of tulips for Sophie, “Isn’t that right dear?” Wanda asked him although he hadn’t heard the first part of the conversation.

“Whatever you say, my darling angel, it’s totally right,” he looked at Wanda with a beautiful full smile and bent to kiss her on the forehead.

“Thomas, you didn’t even hear what my mom and I were talking about.”

“It doesn’t matter you mother is always right, that way I stay happy and this house stays peaceful,” he chuckled to himself.

“What?” Wanda said surprised, “I don’t demand that of you Thomas.”

Sophie started to laugh even harder as her mother eyed her, “See, I told you mom. You’re a tough little lady, I know that.  So does Thomas,” she said looking at Thomas.

“These are you, dear,” he said handing her the beautiful bunch of tulips.

“Thank you, Thomas these are gorgeous. I wish I had your green thumb.”

“Well, in my village I grew many things, the earth was meant to blossom things.”

“Well, what are you two doing tonight?” Sophie asked them.

“Oh, we’re going to Provost home for a dinner party,” her mother rolled her eyes. Wanda hated those fake affairs with Thomas’ colleagues from the university.

“Your mother is not happy about going, she doesn’t like these things. I’m not always thrilled about hob-knobbing at these functions but it’s part of being tenured faculty and staying tenured faculty.”

“Yea, whatever”, Wanda said rolling her eyes.

“You better watch her tonight, Thomas. Don’t let her have too much red wine or it might be on, brother,” Sophie was smiling at Thomas as he was shaking his head.

“I know, I know we don’t want a repeat of the Christmas party,” he said.

“Oh please that couldn’t possibly happen again,” Wanda told him.

“Sure, Wanda dear sure. I’m going up to take a shower and start preparing for the evening. I’ll see you later Sophie,” Thomas turned and hugged Sophie and bounded up the stairs.

Sophie turned to look at her mother who had gone over to the sink to put her glass in it, “Mom, don’t embarrass him.”

“Embarrass him? I didn’t embarrass him last time. I only told that pretentious stupid woman where she could get off, cow. Telling me that African dance had no place amongst classical ballet, stupid bitch.”

“Mom! Please, the language.” Sophie looked shocked her mother never cursed even though she did have a temper.

“I’m sorry darling, but thinking about it makes me mad. What an idiot and to think she’s teaching at the university level, eeww!” Wanda shook her head.

“Mom, I’ve got to get going. I need to get home and take a shower myself and dress up nice for this evening out.”

“You’re going to look fabulous I know it. That cute haircut, what are you wearing?”

“I don’t know mom, it’s been so long since I’ve been out, out. I’m not really sure. I think I have mini-dress something black and chance to wear some heels, I hope I can still stand in those things. Because this what I’m used to now.” Sophie looked down at her clothes from work, jeans, a t-shirt, and steel toed work boots.

“You’re still beautiful. Take those flowers and get on home and make yourself the hottie I know you are.”

Sophie smiled at her mom, at least somebody thought she was hot, “thanks mom, I’ll see you later. I love you, you’re the best old lady ever.” It was running joke amongst her siblings to call her mom old lady, she hated it.

Wanda gave her another hug and kiss, “I know now get out of here before I spank you for calling me old lady. I love you, bye.”

Sophie picked up her tulips and trotted out the front door to her truck and took off for home and a shower and supposed fabulous night out on the town.

Sophie stood outside of Vino’s looking in the window at all the people on the inside, ‘my goodness what am I getting myself into’ she thought. She could see Leann in the bar area with what looked like a short pudgy woman with brunette curly hair, Leann had straightened hers and was doing her thing looking good and probably being bad. She was surrounded by men vying for her attention of course and she had them all memorized. Sophie walked up to the entrance and showed her identification to the doorman and was allowed inside.  She shuffled through the crowd; there weren’t a lot of people in the bar but enough to make it hard to pass without bumping into someone.

“Excuse me,” she said as she passed. She got some passing glances from the guys and some looks of disdain from the women. She could never understand that, she wasn’t what she’d call a threat to any woman’s possible hook-up for tonight.

“Sophie, over here,” she turned to see Leann calling her waving her arm in the air for her to come closer, “would you guys make room for my friend,” she heard Leann say.

“Sure, sure anything for you sweetheart,” she heard one of the guys say to her. He was about 6’1” looked pretty fit, blonde hair cut close with a suit on blue eyes and looking like the all American hot boy next door.

Sophie had to look at him again, that Leann could certainly pull the good ones and they flocked to her like bugs to a lamppost all waiting to get their wings singed.

“Hey, Leann” she said over the crowd noise and some background music. She was wondering how anyone could get to know each other in such a loud environment.

“Hello there darling,” Leann reached out and hugged her,” I’m so glad you’re here. It took you long enough.”

“Well, I had to find a place to park that wouldn’t charge an arm and a leg, which means I parked a couple of block away.”

“Oh, you’re so cheap I’d pay for your parking,” Leann scolded her.

“Whatever. This place is crowded.”

“I know lots of hot guys. I’m warming them up for you.”

Sophie cut her eyes at Leann, she knew she was for absolute hell now.  She started to look around as she heard Leann’s voice in her ear. She was trying to spot the prospect that she had lined up for her. Leann was great friend and seemed to always want to play matchmaker, although were matches left you wanting a lot. For some reason today, Sophie couldn’t get a good read on whom it was but Leann’s co-worker Hayley was chatting it up with this black guy, he was nice looking dark complexion about as tall as Sophie when she caught his eye she smiled but he just looked down. It was odd but she felt that many black men thought as a black woman she’d be mad that they talked to women outside their race, personally Sophie could care less she never felt slighted in the least, it was their life not hers and she had no right to judge their choice just as no one had a right to judge hers.

Hayley turned to see Sophie, “hey, Sophie. How are you?” she reached up to give Sophie a hug.

“I’m fine, how are you doing Hayley?”

Hayley’s eyes went over to her conversation partner, “not bad, I’d say,” she smiled at Sophie.

Sophie smiled back. She spoke to Hayley’s new ‘friend’ who told his name was Theo Evans, he seemed like a nice fellow she shook his hand and chatted for about two seconds, just long enough for him to know she wasn’t judging his choice in women. Sophie let Hayley get back to whatever engrossing conversation she had with Theo and she stepped up to the bar to grab herself a drink. She wasn’t a fan of wine but while in Rome, you do as the Romans do, so she looked at the drink menu and decided on something she was familiar with a nice German Reisling, sweet and no bitter after taste.

“I’ll pay for the lady’s drink,” she heard a nice deep timbre come from behind her.  She turned to see who was making the generous offer with her luck it would probably be some guy standing 5’4” with eyeline at her chest, a potbelly and bad fashion sense. But as she turned on her spiked heels she was struck by the fact that she had to look up.  He was gorgeous about 6’4” with a smile that light up a the darkest of rooms, she couldn’t really tell exactly what was under that expensive navy blue suit but she knew it wasn’t a potbelly. His eyes were a beautiful sea green under a fashionable pair of glasses.  He had nice straight nose and strong jawline, just the way Sophie liked her eye candy. His brown hair was cut close but stylish, like he’d gone to some fancy salon somewhere in downtown Seattle no Supercuts here and he smelled delicious light scent kind of citrusy. Sophie thought for a moment she was in love, well more like really awesome lust.

As the bartender handed her the glass of wine and the stranger stretched over the bar to ask for him to put it on his tab, Sophie smiled, a big smile, “Thank you. That was very kind.”

“I wasn’t really trying to be kind. I wanted an opportunity to talk to you. I saw when you walked in and thought I really need to speak with her,” he said close to her ear.

It was a tad loud but she didn’t think loud enough for him to get that close. Some of Sophie not often used body parts started to heat up a little. “Why would you need to speak to me?” Sophie said with her eyebrows were raised in confusion.

“Because you are the most beautiful woman in this bar tonight and I just thought I wouldn’t be able to say I had a good night without speaking with you.”

Sophie giggled, my goodness, she thought had nothing changed after all this time.

“I can see you don’t believe me but I promise I’m not trying to make a move on you. I just needed a word with a beautiful woman. Now, I can go home and my night will be complete.”

Sophie couldn’t help but be drawn in by him, she hadn’t drunk wine in a long time and it usually went straight to her head. She just stared at him, feeling warm every time she took a sip of the cool liquid. Maybe it was because she hadn’t  been spoken to so smoothly in so long but she felt like she wanted badly to fall under this man’s spell, he was making a good looking Merlin at the moment.

“What’s your name?” Sophie asked she might as well get some type of identifier.

He stuck his hand out to shake hers, “Chad Lunden, how are you?”

“I’m fine Chad,” Sophie thought for a second, she was already here she might as well enjoy herself.

“And your name?”

“Sophie Robeson.”

“It’s really nice to me you, Sophie.”

The way her name rolled off his lips had Sophie a little giddy, she was giggling like a sixteen year old that just met her star crush. She glanced over at Leann who was giving her the thumbs up sign and she smiled.

Sophie had spent the majority of her evening chatting it up with Chad, he seemed reasonably nice and sane she was happy about that. He was an attorney that did maritime law, he seemed to find it fascinating and although he talked of himself, he did get in a question here and there for Sophie.  He was really surprised and intrigued by what she did and seemed like he wanted to know more. He told he was originally from Chicago and had moved out here for a job after law school 16 years ago. He was 42 years old and divorced.  She could understand the drama of that as the night wore on, they talked and exchanged smiles, he wasn’t too pushy but seemed determined to stake his claim on her at least for tonight.

“It’s getting late and I’ve got Saturday errands tomorrow,” she told him with a shy smile.

“I understand I have 8 am soccer game down at Greenlake tomorrow,” he said.

“Oh, you live around there?”

“Yes, I own a home over in Ravenna. I’ve been doing some renovations on it. You should come by sometime and check them out.”

“Well, I know nothing about renovating,” she said looking at him quizzically.

“You don’t have to, I just love to show it off. I love to show a lot of things off, “ he told her with a cocky smirk.

Sophie kept thinking this guy was extremely good-looking but something was off, maybe it was just the wine she drank that her thinking like that. She wanted to chance it, she needed to get back out on the dating scene and he wouldn’t be a bad guy to do it with.

Sophie thought for a moment and did something she rarely ever did, she put aside her sixth sense and said yes. “Sure, why not?” she told him.

He smiled a brilliant beautiful smile, he was quite striking and handsome, “Why don’t I make you dinner at my place and we’ll have chance to look at some of those changes.”

“Oh, I don’t know how about we meet for dinner and then if I’m feeling up to it I can check out your house.”  Sophie wasn’t trying to end up on the 11 o’clock news as missing girl number 10, she didn’t really know this guy.

He smiled but someone the smile didn’t reach his eyes, “Hey, whatever you like pretty lady. I’d be happy to pick you up.”

“That’s okay, I can meet you. Is there anyplace in particular you had in mind?”

“There’s a wonderful Thai Restaurant by Greenlake, you like Thai food?”

“Yes, I do. What’s the name?”

“It’s called the Royal Orchid Room, excellent. I frequent it quite a bit. How about 7:30 tomorrow?”

“Sounds good. Why don’t I give you business card, it has my cell number on it and if anything comes up you can call me.” Sophie dug into her little clutch for a business card, Leann had suggested she carry them just in case something like this happened. As she was handing the card to Chad, he had his own business card outstretched in his fingers. As she took the card from his hand, she felt him caress her slightly with his fingers and a tingle went up her spine and she could have sworn it wasn’t a good one.  He looked again and smiled at her and Sophie hoped she was doing the right thing by going on this date.

“Hey, Sophie sweetie. It’s time to go,” she turned to see Leann yawning she was clearly done for the night. Leann was excellent at playing the game, Sophie was sure had at least 5 potential dates for next week and none would step foot near her bed and she wouldn’t be giving any private parties for them. She had it down pat, she some strict rules for men and she kept them and if the guy didn’t measure up to her list, he was gone replaced by another usually in a matter of minutes.

“It was nice meeting you Chad. I look forward to dinner tomorrow.”

He smiled at her and leaned in to hug her as he did, he ran his hand down her back and patted her bottom.

“Nice to meet you, too Sophie. I know we’re going to have a good time tomorrow,” he said he let her go.

She turned to walk out of the bar with Leann.

“Where’s Hayley?” Sophie asked. About mid-evening Hayley disappeared with Theo not be seen again.

“I don’t know. I think her and that guy she was talking to took off for parts unknown.”

“You think that’s safe, Leann?”

“Hayley’s a big girl, figuratively and literally,” Leann started to giggle to herself sometimes when she drank she could be a tad bitchy, “she’ll be okay. Probably call tomorrow or be in on Monday with way too many details and a declaration of undying love.” Leanne shook her head slowly. “So what about you, what’s up the hotness.”

Sophie thought on it for a minute she wondered how much to tell Leanne without revealing some her reservations about the guy. “His name is Chad Lunden, he’s a maritime attorney.”

“Maritime, ugh booorring. Well, what else?”

“And he’s taking me to dinner tomorrow?”

Leann wrapped her arms around to pull her into her side, “that’s awesome. See I told you, you still got it mama. You’re hot and he knew it. Is he nice?”

“He’s okay,” Sophie said a little hesitant to give a full rundown on Chad,”we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

“Alright, a date for my girl, Sophie, yea!” Leanne said hugging her to side as Sophie lead Leanne to her truck so she could take her buzzed friend home.

As she got behind the wheel, she kept trying to convince herself that this date was good idea, but she wasn’t positive. But she decided to tamp those feelings down, she kept thinking about his hand on her behind and the fact that it was uninvited but for once in her life she was going to go with the flow and see where it took her, hopefully not to Loserville.

The following evening, Leann had come over to her apartment to help her get ready.

“Leann, we’re only going to eat Thai. What are all these clothing choices?”

“No, you need these. I looked through that closet besides that dress last night. Which I must say was not the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen,’ Sophie made a face at her but she kept on talking “You need to sex it up Sophie. That guy was hot, really hot and he’s a lawyer. You have to say pow! When you walk through that restaurant door.”

Sophie started to laugh, Leann was consumed with making her into the sexpot it was really ridiculous. Sophie had always been conservative, she didn’t want to false advertise, promising a man something she knew she couldn’t give. She was looking at the outfits that Leann had brought over for her, Leann knew everyone and she had a friend that owned a boutique in downtown Seattle and she’d given Leann some clothes for her to wear as a favor. How Leann did it, Sophie always wondered but she was glad she could benefit from it.

“Well what about this one?” Leann was pointing out an outfit to Sophie, a red dress with a leopard print belt and black pumps. Sophie was thinking, why am I getting so dressed up for a basic dinner. She looked at the other outfit, it was shiny black skirt with flecks of silver in it and a silver sheath with a black sweater and a pair of silver sandal pumps, Sophie was sick of looking at these things. They were pretty but they weren’t her at all.

“Leann, I so appreciate you doing this. Yes, I know it’s true I haven’t been on a date in….forever. But this is not my style,” Sophie was standing there with a look of distress on her face with hand on her hip.

Leann sighed, “Oh Sophie you wouldn’t know what sexy was if it hit you the head,” she rose from the bed and put her hands on Sophie’s shoulders leading her to the bed. “These are absolutely sexy. I think you’d look great in the black skirt and silver strappy heels. Come on, let me do this. What if this guy is your dream man, you don’t want his first impression of you to be in casual capris, and you have to sex it up girl.”

Sophie looked at the clothing choices on the bed, “Okay, I’m going to put myself in your hands, I’m tired of fighting you. Which one do you like?”

Leann rubbed her hands together with a bit of a sinister smile on her face. Sophie thought, ‘what have I done, I’m going to go out of here looking like a nitwit.’

After about an hour, Leann had finally decided on an outfit for Sophie, it was a salmon colored form fitting dress with a short white blue jean jack that was decorated in salmon, pink, blue, and green hand painted designs and crystals plastered all over it. It was little busy for Sophie but Leann thought it was not only sexy it made a statement, Sophie kept thinking the statement was ‘you might be a ho’. She had Sophie put on the silver strappy high heels sandals they had a little portion that came over her ankles like the roman sandals that were making a comeback. Sophie looked at herself in her giant-sized floor to ceiling mirror; she thought she looked sexy but silly. She was just trying to get comfortable. She’d almost cancelled the date, she’d been so nervous earlier in the day. She’d talk to her sister who had something smart to say about her once again, ‘trying to get a white man think she was dateable’ that conversation didn’t last long. She didn’t need Cleo’s commenting on her personal life when hers was barely holding on to sanity. She turned and looked at herself she did have a nice sexy shape but she was hoping this turned out well. As she thought about this Chad guy she kept thinking maybe there was something about that polished veneer of his that didn’t ring genuine. But there was only one way to prove it, go out on the date after not dating for so long she had to get over her fear and get back on the horse. It could be worse, he could be ugly, at least she had a good looking date. She got her purse and promised she’d call Leann after the date and off she went hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. ©

A Common Kind of Love-Chapter 10

Chapter 10

EPILOGUE

Naomi stood on the veranda of her new home the Calderon Estate on Tocara, she looked over atCalderonBayit was beautiful out there this time of day as the sun set in the west and made the sky an amazing glowing orange and pink. She was so tremendously happy now that she was Mrs. Douglas Harper. She and Douglas had eloped toTahitiand had gotten married on the beach, only she and he were present. It was a beautiful ceremony and they each shed some tears at the thought that they were finally being joined in matrimony. She had to come up with an amazing lie to tell her father who had wondered why she hadn’t returned after Dhani and Freddie’s wedding. She’d told him that she had decided to stay in Knoxville and help Freddie get settled. How he’d fallen for that she wasn’t sure, because after their wedding Dhani and Freddie had taken off for Greece for a month long honeymoon.

She and Douglas had spent almost three weeks in Tahiti languishing in a hut perched on top of the ocean, making love, talking, basking in the sun, swimming and eating their fill. She had such a wonderful time just discovering so many things about him. He was more amazing than she’d thought at first. He’d resigned from his new position at the CDC, they were sad to lose him but he knew that he needed to be where his wife was since she was royalty and if no Minister in Parliament objected he soon may have been himself.

When they’d finally returned toBocaraIslandand told her father about their marriage, Naomi thought he was going to have a heart attack. She’d never seen him so upset, the veins in his neck started to throb. Her mother and Zoe were completely thrilled by the news, but her mother wanted to plan a big wedding for the island to share in. After about a week, her father calmed down. He and Douglas had a long talk and her father explained in no uncertain terms what was expected of him as his new son-in-law and as Prince Douglas of Bocara. Douglas had some reservations about his new royal title but if he had to choose between that and being without Naomi he’d take on the title happily. King Milo had to call in some political favors in Parliament but their marriage had not been objected to. Most of the folks in Parliament wanted to stay on her father’s good side so they knew better than to object to his daughter’s choice of husband.

Bocarans had taken to the new Prince with love and full acceptance. The islanders loved their Princesses so it wasn’t hard for them to love Princess Naomi’s choice in a life mate. The wedding had been a huge event at St. Mark’s Cathedral, the unofficial religion of the island was Catholicism and a huge Roman Catholic wedding was called for. Naomi had settled with her fate as Princess, she went along with the planners and her mother’s wishes. She’d had the true wedding of her dreams inTahitiso she didn’t mind all the decadence of this wedding. She knew she had a duty to the people of Bocara to do it big and let them celebrate her marriage, she was happy to make them happy and have them be a part of the special love she and Douglas shared. It was inevitable, regarding some things she’d just have to include the people since she’d always be Princess Naomi to Bocarans.

The wedding had been the event of the year, her mother had it put together in record time. She didn’t want it to get out that her daughter was already married to Douglas since it would be a scandal. So while she waited to marryDouglasagain they lived separately. It had been a strain on their relationship and an amazing sacrifice for him, not being able to be with his wife every night but he understood they had to keep up appearances. They were seen together at different events in the country, holding hands and being cozy. During those eventsDouglasreally just wanted to take her into a quiet corner and rip her clothes off and make love to her like tomorrow would never come. The day of the wedding Naomi surprisingly didn’t have any jitters, how could she, she’d already married this man, this was just a repeat for the crowds. She and her mother had gone toIndiato have her dress made by the designer that designed the dress for the First Lady of theUnited States, Naeem Khan, for the India State Dinner for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Mrs. Gursharan Kaur a few months prior. Naomi and her mother had seen it on television as the news covered the event, they’d both been blown away at the elegance and beauty of the gown and wanted something similar for Naomi’s wedding just bigger and on a grander scale. He’d designed a beautiful white dressed with silver inlay, it flowed around her like a river and had a six foot train, the dress had sheer long sleeves with delicate silver inlay and a sweetheart neckline, and she’d worn royal jewels from the vault. The necklace was platinum with diamonds and beautiful diamond hanging earrings and as a Princess, an intricate diamond tiara. The jewelry and crown weighed a little less than 15 pounds, her neck was a tad strained.

The church was filled with family and guest, political and otherwise.Douglas’ family had been flown in on the royal private jets. They’d stayed at a guest house on the royal estate. She’d met his family on their first night in town and her father had prepared a formal dinner welcoming them into the household. Doug’s mother and father had been reserved at first but Queen Evie had made them feel welcome and although her father could be stodgy sometimes because of his station in life, on that evening he’d loosened up and was very welcoming and warm toDouglas’ family. His grandmother and grandfather were the funniest and cutest little old people she’d ever seen. It was cute to watchDouglaswith his Nana as he called her, she loved that Naomi called him Douglas which no one else in his family did. His sisters and their families had also come, she knew neither of her parents would know what to make of his sister and her girlfriend but they were cordial. His sister Margaret, Maggie as they called her was really funny and made jokes the entire night mostly at Douglas’ expense but he took it all in stride. His sisters teased him a lot since he was the baby of the family and told really wonderful stories about them all growing up together. It was a wonderful night, they’d all gotten to know each other and it seemed as if the family was going to get along swimmingly. His remaining family Aunts, Uncles and cousins were flown out a few days before the wedding and put up in a hotel.

The wedding had been broadcast on the television. The entire ceremony which had taken about two hours had been televised.Douglaswas so handsome in his gray waist coat although he fidgeted with the collar the entire ceremony. She’d chosen Zoe as her maid of honor even though she’d been Freddie’s she couldn’t see picking anyone but Zoe for that important job, she loved her sister dearly.  It was an absolutely formal occasion with everyone dressed for the cameras. Her mother and new mother in law looked gorgeous in baby pink. Her mother was wearing an elaborate hat she’d ordered from London. Her bridal party was dressed in pink gowns all designed by Naeem Khan. Dhani was Doug’s best man and his groomsmen including Al were all in gray waistcoats looking completely dapper. She remembered the look in Douglas’ eyes as she walked down the aisle of the church arm and arm with her father, she was so awestruck at the look of absolute everlasting love he gave her, he smiled at her with the pleasure of a child on Christmas morning, it was pure and genuine. She was glad he’d found her in this supposed ‘commoner’ manner, she’d found the most uncommon of loves.

The reception had turned into an all night celebration for the people of her country. After the ceremony she and Douglas had walked out to cheers and celebration, flower petals thrown all around her and a Bocaran military brigade saluting them as they left the church. They rode through the streets to shouts of congratulations being overwhelmed with feelings of love from the people, Naomi had teared up on the ride she’d never realized how much the Bocaran people loved her and how much that love meant to her. She was their Princess and she was immensely proud to be that at this moment.

She came out of her memories as Esther, Calderon Estate’s household manager, approached her on the veranda.

Naomi turned as she noticed Esther, “good evening Esther how are you this evening?”

“Good evening, your highness. I am doing well. I came out to inform you that I gave instructions to the kitchen regarding this evening’s dinner menu and the chauffeur has left to pick up your guests for this evening’s dinner party.  They should be arriving shortly.”

“Thank you so much, Esther,” she smiled at her. Esther turned and re-entered the great room of the home.

Naomi had been excited all this week about the prospect of seeing her guests. She’d missed her best friend Freddie, she was so pleased that Freddie’s life had turned out so wonderfully for her she certainly deserved. As children she and Zoe had played with Freddie most of their childhood, she was Naomi’s closest friend almost like a sister to her and Zoe. Freddie’s father, Quentin, had been a landscaper for the royal family and frequently brought Freddie to work with him so the girls could play together. After Naomi had returned home from school inEnglandand Zoe no longer needed a governess. It was just a natural transition to have Freddie come in and be their personal assistant. Naomi now had her own personal assistant, Carla and a personal secretary, Minerva. EvenDouglashad an assistant although he was still trying to get use to Nieman, who could sometimes be a little overbearing.

Naomi felt arms come around her waist and firm lips at the pulse in her neck.

“Hello, Mrs. Harper.”

Naomi loved to hear that coming from those shapely lips of his. She turned in his arms and put them around his neck securely, “hello Mr. Harper.” She kissed him firmly as his hands roamed her back and stopped at her round bulbous derriere.

“Boy, I got one fine feeling wife.”

Naomi chuckled, one of the best things about him was his playful nature he made being married a joy each and every day. He swung her around in his arms as he lifted her from the ground. Naomi was taken aback for a moment, she wanted to be careful she had some big news for her husband and guests tonight.

“You are a silly man, aren’t you? I was just standing here staring out at this beautiful bay, we’re so blessed to have this home.”

Doug put his arms around Naomi’s waist and looked at the sun setting on the bay.

“I’m so lucky to have this to share with you,” he held her tightly to him, “when will Dhani and Freddie get here?”

“Jack went to pick them up from the ferry station a few minutes ago. They should be here in a little while. I’ll be so happy to see those two.” She turned excitedly and said, “And I really can’t wait to see how Freddie’s fat belly looks.”

They both started to laugh at the image of a pregnant Freddie, she was now six months pregnant and looked like she was about to pop at any moment. She’d found out early in her pregnancy that she was carrying twin boys and Dhani was going to be a proud papa again. Naomi thought about her own news she planned on sharing tonight with her husband and guests.

Naomi smiled upDouglas, “I can’t wait to see…”

“Your highness,” Naomi turned as she saw the maid at the door of the veranda, “your guests have arrived.”

“Thank you, Audrey. Could you please show them out to the veranda and have the kitchen bring out appetizers for our guests.”

“Yes, ma’am right away. May I get you anything Prince Douglas?”

Doug looked at Audrey, his eyes narrowing slightly it was still weird to hear ‘Prince’ before his name every time someone said it. “No, not right now, thank you Audrey.”

Audrey turned on her heels and left quickly to bring out their guests.

As they approached, Naomi and Douglas could hear the voices of Dhani and Freddie bickering over something regarding Freddie’s shoes.

“…they are too high Freddie,” he told her in an annoyed voice.

“Shush, Dhani nothing is wrong with these shoes. You’re like an old grandmama. Stop hovering over every little thing I do, I’ll be fine. It’s not like these are six inch stripper heels.”

Naomi chuckled to herself and feltDouglaslaugh heartily as well. Those two could bicker over anything including whether it was night or day but you could always feel the love that dwelled between them.

As Freddie caught sight of Naomi outside the open french-doors, a smile as big as she’d ever seen came across her face.

Naomi ran to her and gathered her up in a big hug they’d barely been able to speak before the tears started. Dhani looked atDouglasand rolled his eyes, ‘women’ he thought. Douglas started to laugh and meet his best friend mid way on the verandah. They hugged each other like the long lost brothers with hearty pats on the backs. Douglas was so happy to see Dhani he missed his friend a lot, they didn’t get to talk or see each other as much but he was glad they’d shown up to visit.

Dhani pulled back, “What’s up man? How’s life treating the Prince?”

Douglassmirked, “how’s life treating the King?”

Dhani popped his invisible collar, “it’s all good, it’s all good.”

They hugged again and just laughed at their good fortune. The ladies finally pulled apart and wiped their tears, Naomi was looking at Freddie’s protruding belly and rubbing it. They went arm and arm to go sit down as the kitchen staff brought out appetizers.

A few hours and drinks later for the guys, they were sitting inside talking and playing catch up on what was happening in their lives.

“Well, that’s awesome man. I am so glad to hear that, you deserve it Dhani. You’ve worked hard in your life and if anyone deserves this, you do man. How does the college feel about it?”

“They’re sad, they’re losing one of their prized professors but man, I have to follow the opportunity especially with the two new little ones on the way,” Dhani turned to wink at his glowing wife and she waved back coyly. “But when they offered me the assistant dean of African American Studies at Prairie View A & M, I had to take it. A historically black college offering this to me, it would have been an insult to my ancestors if I would have turned it down.”

“So, you’re moving toTexas, wow!”

“Yea, wow is right the town is only about an inch thick,” he chuckled, “but it’s only a hop, skip, and a jump and you’re in Houston. So right now we’re looking for a house inKaty,Texas.”

“Freddie’s okay with this?”

Dhani looked over at Freddie, she was talking a mile a minute to Naomi, “as you can see, Freddie’s fine. After the twins are born she’s going to stay home with them until it’s time for them to go to school. So, it’s gonna be good. So…” he said jabbingDouglasin the arm, “how about you what’s happening with Prince Douglas,” he laughed. “Man, I can’t believe it my boy went from being a scrub to being a Prince, it’s a trip.”

Douglas smiled at his good friend. It was trip for him too.

“It’s good, still trying to get used to all this ‘royalty’ stuff but it’s not bad. I like working with Bocara’s Health Ministry, consulting on different projects the government is trying to bring down the pike. But even more than that, I love the opportunity to run the Hope Clinics,” Doug puffed up with pride. “Those are the best and the best use of my time. I’d always wanted the chance to help those that are underprivileged get the kind of health care we take for granted back in the states.”

“Well, whatcha doing? Whatcha working on?”

“Lots of stuff, it’s been a task just trying to make sure that people actually come into the clinic when they need to. Some of the folks in the villages don’t trust doctors, especially some white dude with an American accent.”

Doug had had an uphill battle getting some of the islands’ residents in the remote villages to come into the clinic for check-ups. He was still struggling on some levels but he’d made a lot of progress over the past few months.

“It’s been tough but we’re doing good things. I get some of my old colleagues from the CDC to come down on occasion and volunteer their services especially when it comes to HIV, AIDS education and treatment. I’ve finally hooked up with Doctors Without Borders and they are going to start sending folks down.”

“Aw man, that sounds fantastic. You’re doing it up big here aren’t you?”

“Well, you could say that,” Doug joked, “but the best part of my life is sitting over there.” They both turned to look at the women they loved and adored. “I don’t know what I would have done if I’d lost her Dhani. Every time I come back from my days working at the clinic, it’s like being greeted by sunshine. She’s my everything. She’s my purpose for living.”

At that moment Naomi got up from her seat across from Freddie to sit by her gorgeous husband. Freddie came over and sat on Dhani’s lap and he hugged her tightly big belly and all.

“What are you two getting into, mon?” Freddie said in her island accent she’d lost some of it and taken up with a southern one.

“Oh nothing, man stuff,” Dhani told her. Her brow wrinkled as she looked at him curiously.

“There’s no boy stuff,” she said.

“I didn’t say boy stuff, I said man stuff,” he deepened his voice to appear more commanding.

Freddie just tsked and rolled her eyes, “anyway…speaking of ‘gettin’ into’ how is Zoe doing?” She looked over at Naomi who looked over atDouglasand smiled.

“Zoe’s just being Zoe,” she looked at Freddie as if to say ‘and you know what that means’.

They all started to laugh, Doug fell over onto Naomi holding his sides he was laughing so hard.

After they calmed down, Naomi explained, “Well, she left a couple of weeks ago to start her assistant professor position atHarvardLawSchool. And well…Al’s been looking in on her a little she told me.”

“Yea, he’s been looking in on her because I told his dumb ass to look in on her,” Douglas rose slightly from his seat as he rumbled on. “That’s my sister-in-law and he could pretend all he wants that he doesn’t like her but after that debacle the night of you guys wedding, he better look in on her or I’m gonna look in on him and that ain’t gonna pretty.”

Naomi smiled, Douglas could be very overprotective when it came to her and Zoe, she found it surprisingly charming.  “She’s going to be fine, darling. She’s doing well inBostonso far but when I spoke to her a few days ago she is just really, really cold.”

They all started to laugh at the image of a shivering Zoe. Douglashugged her close to him and kissed her cheek.

Naomi put her hands on his legs and looked at him. Douglas smiled at her a little confused as to why all of sudden she looked so happy and was looking at him.

“Douglas,” she took his hands in hers, “this night is more than just an opportunity for us to enjoy the company of our good friends, it’s also a chance for me to make an announcement amongst people I love.”

“Okay, what’s going on sweetheart?”

“Well, you know my personal physician and I have been visiting frequently lately?”

“Yea, I know,” Douglas looked over at Dhani and Freddie who were grinning likeCheshirecats. “Why you two looking like that?” he asked them in confusion. They just smiled even harder.

His eyes settled back on Naomi’s beautiful face she looked gorgeous as usual, his island princess he couldn’t fathom how he was so lucky to have her in his life.

“Douglas I went to the doctor about three weeks ago and he told me, we’re going to have a baby,” she smiled wide atDouglas.

Doug was in shock for a moment, had he heard her right ‘baby, they were going to have a baby’.

He swallowed hard, “did you just say baby?” he questioned. Naomi shook her head in the positive. Doug jumped up from the sofa hauling Naomi up into his arms, “woo hoo, I’m gonna be a daddy.” He jumped and danced around with Naomi in his arms, he kissed her soundly on the mouth.

“Douglas, please let me go,” she laughed as he jumped with her in his arms.

Doug realized he needed to stop jostling his now pregnant wife, “oh I’m sorry darling. I didn’t mean to jerk you all around,” he put her down gently on the ground. “But I’m so damn excited, I’m going to be a dad. That’s awesome!” he shouted and kissed her again.  Doug turned to shake hands with Dhani and give his friend a hug. He hugged a very pregnant Freddie also he couldn’t wait until Naomi looked like she did with his child in her belly.

“Congratulations, man it’s great news. We’re really happy for you,” Dhani told him as he looked at his best friend standing there with his new bride.

Freddie hugged Naomi again and told them both, “yes, we are very happy for you,” she looked at them both as she rubbed her stomach, “you two are in for quite a wonderful adventure.”

Naomi stood hugging her husband, “yes, I know we are. I cannot wait for the baby to get here. I’m really excited, a little scared but more excited.”

“Oh don’t worry chile, between me and your mama you’ll have tons of support and lots of advice,” Freddie reassured her.

“Yes, sweetheart you don’t have to worry about a thing, you’ll get nothing but support from me and I’ll treat you like the princess mommy you certainly are,” Doug smiled over at her. He didn’t ever realize that his heart could be filled with this much love and care for one person but Naomi brought out all the best in him.

“Well, I’m sorry honey that I told Dhani and Freddie first but I wanted it to be a surprise for you. But when I found out I had to tell someone.”

He looked at her with a raised eyebrow, “am I always the last person to know stuff about this woman?” he said in reference to when they met her not telling him she was royalty.

She smacked him playfully on his chest, “no you are not, Mr. Harper.  My parents also have no idea about this and neither does Zoe but I’ll be telling them all very soon.”

“Good, I don’t want to always be the last to know,” Doug said and laughed.

“We’re just so thrilled for you both,” Dhani said, “now my little boys will have a friend to come visit and play with here in Bocara.”

“And my little boy will have the same,” Doug said proudly sticking his chest out a little.

“And how do you know it’s going to be a boy?” Naomi asked.

“Because, baby I only make boys,” he said with some bravado.

“Oh, you’re so silly,” she smiled up at him, “it’ll be a little while before we know all that but all I’m hoping for now is a healthy baby.”

“Amen to that,” Freddie replied.

They all smiled and laughed at the happiness they’d found with their mates and their friends.

Later that evening after Freddie and Dhani had gone back to their hotel, Naomi and Doug lay in each other’s arms after some celebratory lovemaking. He was particularly gentle with her this evening but Naomi reassured him that he wasn’t going to hurt the baby, she’d already asked the doctor.

Doug held her satisfied body closer to his. Her smooth mocha skin had a slight sheen on it from their earlier exertions. He kissed her softly on her temple. Naomi had settled into him and was nodding off.

“Before you fall asleep on me,” he told her, “I just want you to know that I am the happiest and most blessed man on this earth.”

“Oh, I wasn’t falling asleep, well…I was but I’m glad to know that, I feel the same way also except ten times more. You make every single dayDouglasa happy ending.”

She bent her head up and he kissed her deeply. They’d each found the love that they’d longed for and now they were living happily ever after. ©

THE END

 

I hope you enjoyed the story and yes Zoe and Al will have a story of their own, I’m still working on starting it though. But enjoy the rest of the stories here, I’m really enjoying sharing them with you. I don’t get many comments so that’s either I’m such an awesome writer, I don’t need any or I’m such a  bad one and everyone is scared to say something. Anyway I still want you all to feel free to express yourselves, I’m still working on my writing, grammar, style, other things but I have to get these stories out. They have to be released and I’m still looking for a writing partner/editor so let me know if  you’re interested. Don’t pay nothing but I’m fun to talk to. 

Remembering Your Heart-Chapter 1

New story, very sweet, kind of short but I like to keep you all coming back for more. I hope you enjoy it.

Chapter 1

“Go, go, go, do it Anderson, do it!” she heard her commander, Captain Lou Willard, shouting from beneath her, she’d turn and give him her famous, go to hell look but she was too tired. She was having a hard time today climbing these steps all this equipment on her back, full gear, an air tank, a mask, they did this once a month to stay in shape at her station. Station House 6, her home away from home. Mona Anderson has been a firefighter for 9 years and they had been wonderful. She’d taken the test for firefighter on whim when she lost her job working for the Multnomah Prosecuting Attorney’s office as a legal secretary. She’d always been in good shape and at 5’10” she was certainly tall for a woman, she was what they called in the old days ‘a big-shouldered broad’ she’d played softball and basketball while in high school and college. You could accuse of her being a girl but never a very prissy one.

Her father had been tall 6’7” to be exact and her mother had been short 5’2” so she came somewhere in between. But they were both gone now killed in a fire that had been set by some maniac in their little soul food restaurant. Now, she was the only thing left of them. She’d gone to live with her Aunt Julie, her mother’s sister and her Uncle James Stanley, they had three kids of their own and at first Mona felt like a burden but they loved her and cherished her and her cousins had come to be like sisters and a brother to her. The Sylvester household had been a good one to be raised in. But her parents had left her here and sometimes she was lonely and missed them they left their 11 year old baby her to go on without them.

Mona was a woman now, long dark sable hair that reached her mid-back that she usually wore up in ponytail or a braid because of her job and long strong legs, a lean muscular supple body, a pretty face with bright brown eyes, skin the color of cooper with reddish undertones. She was sometimes the talk of the Portland Fire Department, this attractive black woman, who could have walked anyone’s catwalk in the fashion houses of New York working this rough, dirty, and dangerous man’s job of being a firefighter. She wasn’t the only female firefighter in the city but she was the only black one and the only woman at her station house in the Northwest District of Portland by Nob Hill. It was nice neighborhood very friendly. She’d been with station house 6 going on her 4th year. She liked most of the guys she worked with, not all of them but most accepted her as just another firefighter and not some anomaly that shouldn’t have been there.

“Make it, make it. You can do it Anderson get your ass in gear and get up there.” Capt. Willard shouted from below.

Mona was huffing and puffing, one more flight and you’re done she thought. She didn’t need any ribbing from her co-workers for clunking out at the last minute. She gathered all her resolve and ran those last few steps. She collapsed at the top and raised her face mask to get some air and took off the breathing apparatus, she was breathing hard, ‘Okay, I gotta hit the gym more, I’m slipping,’ she thought to herself.

“Come on down, Anderson” she heard Willard shout at her.

She climbed down the steps with all her equipment on but had taken off her helmet completely so her wet hair sat matted to her head. When she reached the bottom step, she noticed the rest of her firefighting brothers looking at her, some giving her the thumbs up like Riley, Markum, Diaz, Bates, and Wakowski. Others just smiling at her and one in particular scowling, her sworn enemy Powell, she hated him and he hated her. She just looked at him and rolled her eyes, ‘jerk’ she thought.

Capt. Willard hit her on the back hard, she almost choked. He was heavy-handed sometimes but a great captain and really good boss. She felt lucky she got the transfer here to Station House 6 because no monkey business went on in here. “You did good Anderson. Eh, it took you little bit to get up there but you did it before the 10 minute limit, so you’re still good. But let’s see if you get that time down a bit, okay?”

“Yes sir.” Mona immediately answered back. She wasn’t about to let any of these guys get an upper hand on her.

“Okay, Kimura let’s go. You’re up next,” Willard bellowed and the hulking Asian appeared from the back ready for action.

Mona went to sit on a bench close by and drink some water. All the running up steps with a couple of pounds of equipment on her back had her a tad dehydrated. She’d taken off her jacket and breathing apparatus and set them along with her helmet down besides her. Now all she had on were suspendered pants, boots, and gray t-shirt it was truly stained with sweat. Riley came over and set down besides her.

“You did great Mona,” he told her in that truly positive air he always had about himself.

“Thanks Chuck, I appreciate that. But at the top I was having a hard time, I was really pushing myself to get all the up there.”

“Well, it certainly didn’t look like it to me. You were really keeping a steady pace, that’s the secret to doing this well, keeping a steady pace. You get that, hotheads like Powell don’t,” he said to her in a lower tone, he wasn’t fond of Powell either but he didn’t have to be, Chuck was a sergeant and outranked Powell. Chuck was truly nice guy and Mona and he had become good friends when she showed up at Station House 6. Chuck was about 6 ft tall with a head full of gray hair that he kept cut short, he was married and truly devoted to his wife of 22 years, Donna and had two kids in high school, he was awesome guy and was always fair in his dealing even with Powell.

Jeremy Powell, he was roundly disliked at the station house but she thought he just stayed so he could get on everyone’s nerves. He thought he was god’s gift to everyone but especially women, he was male chauvinist pig, with capital p. He was 29 year old hot head that barely wanted to follow procedure and just made some stuff up as he went along. He’d been with the fire department 5 years next to her 9, but he was headed for short future with the department. She was always surprised he was still a firefighter he’d almost gotten someone killed when he worked at station 18 and was blamed more than once by the family members of an elderly gentlemen who’d died in a fire he was on call at. He’d been sued for sexual harassment twice and was a bit of a racist and a complete know-it-all. He was truly a piece of work.

She turned and looked at Riley’s profile, he was really handsome man but he was older now but she could see where in his younger days he was probably a real hottie.

She turned back to watch Kimura coming down the steps and the guys giving him high fives as he passed.

“Yea, I know Chuck. I try to keep my pace steady but I really was pushing it at the top,” she chuckled more to herself than him.

“Alright, this drill is over. It’s dinner time,” she heard Willard shout to everyone. A host of cheers went up all around including from herself. That drill had taken a lot out of her and she was hungry.

“Yea, Cap what’s on for tonight” she heard Harrison shout, he was big African American guy with a body like a linebacker and smooth sienna skin.

“It’s Italian, guys. Riley, Torino, Anderson it’s your turn to get the grub,” Captain Willard ordered. “Riley you got a station house credit card?”

Sgt Riley nodded yes. They didn’t keep a lot of food in the kitchen in the station different groups of guys liked different things. So dinner time meant they had to go out and get all the fixings for tonight’s meal and if it was Italian that meant they were going to Serrano’s Italian deli and she’d get a chance to see him again. Mona got a little excited at the prospect.

Serrano’s Italian deli was busy as usual, it always was on Saturday nights. You’d think more people would be headed out to a party or club but it looked like most of Alphabet City was staying in for the night. The station house loved this deli and Mona came her even on her times away from the station house, which would start tomorrow, she’d been on duty for 7 days straight and she was about to get 4 days off and she needed it. There were a couple long days due to fires and other various emergencies in her quadrant. She knew what they were making a pot of spaghetti with meat sauce and they would be taking back a pan of Mr. Serrano’s famous lasagna, it was good enough to make you slap your mama.

“Bon journo,” they heard Mr. Serrano greet them as they came in the store.

“Hey, Mr. Serrano,” they shouted back at him.

Mr. Serrano came up to Mona and gave her a little hug. He was a ridiculous flirt for a man so old he had to be in 80’s. “Hello bellisima, how you doing my beautiful Mona,” he told in that still present Italian accent. He was smiling the smile of man who was a charmer in his day.

“I’m great Mr. Serrano, how are you?”

“I’m doing as well as an old man can do. My arthritis is giving me grief and my gout is acting up but my heart, ahh the heart is still strong,” and he beat his hand against his chest to demonstrate.

Mona just chuckled to herself and smiled, he was so cute, “You know everyone at the station is excited about your lasagna tonight,” she told him rubbing her hands together. All the guys were dying to get there mouths around a fork with that lasagna on it. Mr. Serrano said it was his mother’s secret recipe, they didn’t know what the secret was but whatever it was they’d kill to get it.

“Ah, the lasagna let me call that boy of mine from the back and he can bring it.” He went shuffling towards the back of the store. “Lucas, bring the lasagna out marked for the firehouse,” he shouted.

All of sudden there was rush of women towards the front deli counter where all the fresh meats and cheeses were stored. ‘Well, that’s why it’s so crowded in here all these desperate hoochies came to see him’ she thought to herself. But she couldn’t lie she was not going to be sad at all to see that handsome face.

It was few seconds more but then he opened the swinging door and came out to a rush of sighs and heavy breathing. He was gorgeous, almost too pretty to be a man, but he still had a masculine look. Mona couldn’t tear her eyes away and Torino was asking her something about salad dressing for a salad he was making.

“What Torino?” she turned to him finally trying not to look annoyed that he’d taken her eyes away from the most breathtaking sight she’d seen in awhile.

“Raspberry Vinegrette or this balsamic Italian, which do you the guys would like best?” he asked looking serious.

Mona had no idea, so she told him to get both. She turned to look at Mr. Serrano’s grown son coming towards her.

Torino leaned in close to her ear and whispered, “He is some kind of hot, isn’t he?” She turned to give a sly smile to Torino, everyone in the station house knew Vince Torino was gay, it was no big deal but he did say some outlandish things sometimes.

She turned as he walked slowly toward her, his gait sure and strong, he was brimming with bravado underneath that shy smile and Mona liked it.

“Your lasagna is at the front counter, Mona. So when you guys are ready to check out and it will be waiting for you.” He smiled deeply for her, she loved to see him smile it was like a toothpaste ad, straight white teeth and a dimple in his left cheek. “How are you doing, Mona?” he asked with deep sultry voice, Mona had to pull her legs tight together to make sure she wasn’t quivering at his tone.

“I’m doing fine, Luke,” she heard herself say in what could only be called the voice of a 12 year old girl.

He smiled again at her, “that’s good, I’m glad to hear it. I gotta get back and help these other customers,” he put his hand on her arm she felt nothing but heat from his touch, “I’ll talk to you later.” He walked back towards to counter to the throngs of women standing there hanging on his every move. Some of them were throwing evil glares but she didn’t care, ‘bitches’ she thought.

She went back to continue helping picking up items for the dinner tonight but out of the corner of her eye she kept watching him, she’d had a little flirting thing going with him since he’d gotten here about 6 months ago. The story was that he was 43 years old to her 38 years and once upon a time he’d been a stock broker on Wall Street, he was divorced with an adult son and had given up his high powered job and life to come back to Portland to help his dad out in his deli. She knew Mr. Serrano had seven kids and that Lucas was the only boy and the youngest. He was a damn good looking son she knew that, 6’5” all muscle with a broad chest and powerful arms, long muscular legs, and a behind that just put her in physical pain to look at it because it was so perfect. He had short slightly curly black hair and an angular face with a nice square jaw and beautiful nose, a pair of lips just full enough to suck on and the most intensely light blue eyes. It was a heady combination those eyes would have almost made him seem sinister if they weren’t laughing all the time. He was so friendly but surprisingly seemed kind of shy and reserved. She couldn’t imagine a man that beautiful being alone for long but for some reason he wasn’t dating anyone. Mr. Serrano had told her that, he seemed to think they’d make a good couple. Couple of what, she wasn’t sure of, her with this gorgeous uber hottie what a laughing stock that would be. But she did like to look at him, even if he’d never be hers it was nice just to look and dream.

“Hey, Mona,” she felt an hand on her shoulder and turned to see Riley standing next to her with a basket full of goodies. “You ready to get out of here? Did we get the lasagna?” he asked.

“Yea, I’m ready. The lasagna is up that the counter, Mr. Serrano’s son put it up there.”

He looked at her hands, “well, what did you get?”

She lifted her hands that had a couple of loaves of bread in them and tub of garlic butter, “What are you talking about I got the bread.” She looked at Riley with her brows knitted together.

He laughed and shook his head, “All this stuff me and Torino are carrying and you got bread. I see somebody has got your attention,” he looked up to where Luke was standing trying to help some customers.

“He does not,” Mona tried to ease the lie out, but she didn’t even sound convincing to herself. It was true he had her attention and he had it on lock right about now.

“Come on, Mona let’s get outta here. The guys are probably starving. Hey, Torino you ready? Let’s go,” he shouted towards Torino who came running up there way. She really liked Torino he was probie, a probationary firefighter, but he was sharp and tough, very professional and hilariously funny. They began to make there way to the front counter to check out.

hhhhh

Luke watched as she and her co-workers made their way up to the counter. He handed the order he was preparing for Mrs. Constantine over to Joey to finish up. He wanted to be sure that he was there at the register to help them get checked out. She was so pretty, just exquisite as a woman. He couldn’t remember the date he first met her but he could remember what she was wearing, she had on a pair of blue jeans that looked almost painted on they clung so tight to her delectable curves, a fitted black t-shirt that had a deep scoop neck so her bosom peeked just out of the top enticing his eyes, a pair of cowboy boots with myriad of colors and a brown worn leather jacket, it was a simple but sexy outfit. His pop had introduced them and then they started their little game of flirting. He didn’t know until later that week she was firefighter when she came in with some co-workers getting some items for a meal. She even looked good in what he assumed was their standard uniform under the fireman’s equipment, it was just a navy blue t-shirt with the fire department’s insignia on it and navy blue heavy cotton trouser and a pair of steel toed work boots and she made that look better than any woman he’d ever seen walking the streets of New York in Jimmy Choo stilettos and the latest designer outfit from the runway. Looking at her reminded him why he loved black women. They were all curves with just enough of everything hanging in all the right places. He was staring at her about to lick his lips, when he felt his pop’s eyes on the back of his head.

“Lucas, don’t be so forward. Your mama would turn over in her grave, ché vergogna” and he smacked him on the back of his head.

“Ow, pop don’t do that I’m not a kid anymore,” he said as he turned and frowned at his father. He knew his father believed in men being gentlemen and he was gentlemen. He still knew fine when he saw it though and she was fine.

He’d dated a few black women in his life but when he got married he ended up marrying a WASP from East Hampton, he’d met while attending NYU she was studying to be a psychologist and at first he thought all her analyzing of him was cute, after a couple of years it started to get on his nerves so now they had been divorced for 10 years and he had a beautiful 21 year old son, Brady to show for it. He hadn’t really had a significant relationship since he’d stopped dating Tasha back in New York over 2 years ago. He was finding that he was fast becoming enamored with Ms. Mona Anderson. She was sweet, funny, smart, mature, and sexy as hell all the qualities he was looking for in a woman.

“Okay we’re ready to get out of here Mr. Serrano,” Riley said as he piled the fixings for tonight’s station house dinner on the counter.

“Looks like you found all you’ll need,” Mr. Serrano said perusing their items, “you need some fresh parmigiano-reggiano ?” he asked.

;

“Yea, we’ll need that too. I’d get strung up if I forgot the cheese,” Riley made a look of dread on his face.

Torino and Mona started to laugh at him.

Luke was putting their items in bags and packing the lasagna in a box. “You guys been busy over there at the firehouse?”

Mona answered first since it seemed as if he was speaking directly to her since he was staring at her, “No, not really. Not many big calls, a small fire the other day but no one was hurt just someone’s bathroom was ruined. It’s been relatively quiet, couple of emergencies here and there nothing major, nothing we couldn’t handle. We’ve been counting our blessing on that one.”

“You can say that again,” Torino chimed in, “but you’re lucky Mona you’re off the next four days. Hopefully we don’t see any big action while you’re out, you’re one of best firefighters in the house.” He turned to smile at him and Mona smiled back at the compliment.

“Oh, you’re off the next four days?” Luke’s ears and spirits perked up when he heard that, maybe this would be the opportunity he’d been waiting for.

She turned back to grin at him, “yea I’m off and boy I’m I glad about it. It’s been seven days on straight and I need the break.”

“What you planning on doing?” Luke asked.

“Probably sleeping, knowing Mona,” Riley answered for her.

She laughed at him and stuck her tongue out, it was really cute gesture to Luke but also an oddly sexy one. He could imagine that tongue working his body over.

She looked at him and noticed his eyes had glazed over with she could only describe as need, “nothing much, just hanging out at my house. I got get some projects done, going to visit my Aunt maybe over in Astoria and just kind of play it by ear.”

“That sounds like a good idea,” he said smiling.

She noticed he looked like he wanted to say something so she just took the reins for him and asked, “you got something you want to ask me Luke.”

He got a little embarrassed he really didn’t want to ask her out in front of her co-workers and especially not his pop.

“Yea, I wanted to know if maybe you wanted to go to dinner with me on one of your nights off.”

Riley did the catcall whistle.

She stared at him evilly, “shut up, Chuck” she smarted to him. He just smiled innocently. “Sure I’d love to go out with you. You have some night you prefer?”

“How about Tuesday night, is that too soon will you be rested up by then.”

Mona thought he could have asked for the next night and she would have been more than rested up. “No, Tuesday is fine. Let me give you my phone number and we can work out all the details,” she took a piece of paper from a pad on the counter and wrote her number down. She doing cartwheels on the inside, this super sexy hunk had asked her out and she was in her totally unsexy work clothes. ‘Woo hoo,’ she thought.

“Good I’ll call you. That’ll be $148.45,” he told them.

Riley pulled out the card and paid but Luke barely noticed him doing so, he was busy staring at Mona’s eyes, he couldn’t get enough of those pecan hued wonders and he’d have the opportunity to stare at them all night on Tuesday.

Torino picked up the box with lasagna pans in it and she and Riley each took some bags.

“I’ll be calling you,” he shouted to her as she left the store.

“I’ll be expecting it,” she turned to say as they went out the door back to fire truck. The ladies at the counter were shooting daggers with their eyes at her now. ‘Too bad, bitches I saw him first’ she thought to herself as she sauntered out of the deli market confidently.

hhhhh

Mona heard something in her house, she opened her eyes slowly she’d finally gotten off at 7:00 am that morning and came home to shower and crash. But she was thinking now, ‘what was that noise’ she bolted out of bed and almost fell down she was unsteady on her feet she was still partially sleep, she noticed the clock said 3:23 pm. ‘What the hell’ she thought, she heard it was coming from the front of the house, her bedroom was all the back but she had some excellent hearing, it came in handy as a firefighter. She picked up her softball bat from besides her bed, she played for her station house team since she’d played in high school and college. She decided not to sneak up on whoever it was in her house in the middle of the day, ‘what dumb ass robber would rob you at 3:30 in the afternoon’ especially with her truck parked in the driveway. Mona took off bounding down the hall.

“Alright, whoever you are I’m about to kick your ass,” she shouted in her loud voice which was really loud.

She came around the corner and saw her cousin, Georgina and her niece Amber standing in the kitchen looking at her like she had two heads. Mona stopped in her tracks in her den area and lowered her bat sagging a bit.

“What the heck are you doing screaming and running in here with a bat, Mo? What you gonna do, play baseball?” Georgina said with a look of wonderment on her dark chocolate face.

Amber started to double over with laughter, “Aunt Mo, we’re just in here with some pastries and coffee for you. Mama said you’d like that, because you were getting a few days off.”

“Dang Georgie, you scared me to death. I almost had to flash on ya’ll. Oh my goodness,” Mona said with her hand over her heart breathing deeply. She’d been a little frightened and her heart was beating a mile a minute.

Georgina started to laugh a little, “I told I was coming by today, did you forget?”

“Well, no I remembered but I was sleep and you know I’m sensitive to any kind of noise, so when I heard you guys in here, I just went on alert. Okay, I’ve calmed down. What have you two been up to?”

Amber answered first excited holding out her hands to show Mona her new manicure, “Manicure and pedicures, we’ve just got out of the spa.”

Mona leaned over the breakfast counter to look at Amber’s nails, they were cute, some funky blue color with designs on them. As she looked, she also caught a whiff of fresh baked scones, “Mmm” she said, “those smell good, give me one Amber and get that clotted cream out of my refrigerator.”

Amber retrieved a hot scone for Mona from the box and placed it on a napkin to hand it to her. Mona bit into it and her eyes closed, she loved scones but she needed that cream and this would be a heavenly pastry. She took the clotted cream that Amber passed to her and and generously applied it to the scone. Amber followed suit soon after.

“Are you going to have one, Georgie?” Mona asked.

“No, I’m still trying to lose some weight.”

Mona’s cousin Georgina, Georgie as the family called her had always been in a battle with her weight since she’s been in junior high. She was always on some kind of diet, Mona never knew why, she didn’t think there was anything wrong with Georgie, she was as healthy as a horse but she’d fooled by the media into thinking thinner was more beautiful. Mona used to say something but she’d given up trying to encourage her cousin to accept herself and celebrate her beauty. Mona always tried to remember what her mom told her as a child, ‘Mona, you have to remember you have a heart and it’s there to care for and take care of people you love.’ She always had those words in her in her spirit, that’s what she tried to give to her extended family especially Georgie her Aunt was sometimes tough on Georgie expecting a lot of her as the oldest child and it took a small toll on Georgie’s self-esteem and spirit. Luckily she hadn’t passed that on to Amber, who was vibrant and boisterous and beautiful and full of life. She was 19 years old about to begin her sophomore year at University of Oregon in Eugene, Mona’s alma mater. Mona was a proud duck.

“You look fine Georgie,” Mona commented off hand and shrugged her shoulders, “Well how is my favorite sister cousin and niece been doing?”

Amber started off full blast, “I’m doing awesome Aunt Mo, the internship at Nike is going fabulous and I’m learning all this new stuff. I’m meeting lots of people and networking. It’s so fun to work there, super cool and you get Nike tennis shoes,” she lifted her leg to show Mona her new tennis, they were cool.

“I like them Amber, they look awesome,” Mona smiled big at her beautiful niece, “I am so glad you are liking the internship at Nike. That is such a wonderful opportunity for your future as an engineer.”

Amber had started college as an engineering major, a step up from Mona who had graduated with a degree in social work and that she actually used in many cases as a firefighter. Mona’s cousin Georgie was an assistant principal as a middle school in Portland. Georgie’s younger brother James Stanley Jr. and Mona’s only male cousin was a big whig in the Portland Parks Department, he was married with three children. Mona’s youngest cousin, Pauletta had just been married a few years and had her first baby, a little girl she and her husband Norris had named Serenade. She was now six months old and cute as could be. Mona had been engaged once long ago in her mid twenties but when her fiancée started a nasty drug habit, Mona decided to let the idea of him and marriage go. She was always a little jealous of her cousins with their happy families, wonderful partners and fulfilled lives. She sometimes felt that the death of her parents had stalled her in reaching those kinds of goals but maybe she could have a chance with Luke. Luke, she took a moment to ponder his exquisite male beauty again, that was man was some kind of hot and she had a date with him on Tuesday, ‘oh lord I look like I just came out of a fire station’ she thought looking down at her rumpled appearance. For everyday it was fine, t-shirt, undone nails and hair but for Luke this would never do.

“Why you looking at yourself like that?” Georgie asked as she sipped a glass of apple juice.

“Yea, Aunt Mo you’re looking like you just caught a horror movie,” Amber told her with questioning in her voice.

“Oh my goodness, you two. I have a date on Tuesday,” Mona confessed she wasn’t one for beating around the bush or keeping secrets from her family that would only be revealed in the in end.

Georgie gasped aloud and said with a shout, “Date? With whom may I ask?”

“Ooohhh, Aunt Mo yea with who? Is he hot? Well knowing your taste he’s real hot.”

Mona came around the breakfast bar into the kitchen to put away her dishes and throw her trash in the can. She was looking a bit smug and confident, her usual Mona sarcastic flair, “yes, he’s hot Amber. He’s smoking to tell the truth.”

Amber started in a fit of laughter. Georgie just stood with her heavy hips against the counter, shaking her head and tsking at Mona for being so forward. She’d tried all her life to make Mona into a proper lady but it never worked, all her effort had gone to waste.

“Mona, who is this man? What’s his name and please don’t tell me he’s white.”

Georgie had never appreciated Mona’s penchant for dating white men, she seemed to always have something to say or comment to make to Mona about taking pride in her heritage by dating a strong brother. Mona never paid that speech any attention, she’d always had her own mind and had always made it up to suit her. She could appreciate Georgie’s sentiment but Mona figured there were enough good looking men in the world why just limit yourself to one race, how boring. Mona had even helped Amber explore her racial options, of course they’d done this under the radar and without Georgie knowing. Although Mona was an adult and capable of making and standing behind her own decisions, Amber was still a child and somewhat influenced and afraid of her mother’s backlash if she did something that went against her wishes.

“No, Georgie he’s not white,” Mona said confidently. Georgie breathed a sigh of relief. “He’s Italian,” Mona corrected.

“Italian. That’s still white, at least to me.” Georgie said.

Amber was over by the sink dying laughing, she loved her Aunt Mona’s smart mouth it so frustrated her Mama. She loved watching Mo and hearing her talk to her mama, she said things she wished she could say to her mom but with her Mom paying her tuition she kept her mouth shut. She’d already defied her by going to University of Oregon like her Aunt Mo rather than Howard University. She really wanted to break away from her mama more but she knew that would come at a cost, she loved her mom but sometimes she could be overbearing.

“Well, Aunt Mo since he’s Italian how is that different,” Amber asked.

“I don’t know Amber, it may not be different at all in your mom’s eyes but in mine he has a distinctive manner and ethnicity that shows in him. He’s also got a very distinctive look and it’s a good one,” Mona answered smiling.

“Oh Mona, stop enough of exposing my child to this kind of thing. If you want to date your ‘Italian’ man I can’t stop you but you will not be exposing Amber to that, she’s a strong black woman who needs a strong black man.”

“Yea, yea Georgie whatever. Anyway, I got a date and I look like hell as far as the eye can see.”

“You do look like hell, Mo,” Georgie agreed.

Amber looked her up and down and shook her head in agreement also.

“Well just don’t look at me, help me please,” Mona said making her ‘duh’ face at Georgina and Amber.

“Okay, we’ll help you Aunt Mo. Go get some clothes on and we’ll take you shopping and you need your nails and toes done.” Amber said looking at her like curiously, “Dang, Aunt Mo you cannot have let her yourself go like this. He actually asked you out?”

“Yes, he asked me out with your smart behind. I’ll be back, I’ll get dressed and you guys can work your magic. I know you got some Georgie, you’re the sharpest dresser I know,” she said towards her immaculently dressed cousin.

Georgie just smiled and made a circle with her outfit. Mona and Amber laughed at her. Mona knew her cousin was a beauty, it was such a shame that Georgie didn’t realize it. Mona ran towards her bedroom.

“Mona do you have underwear on with that nightshirt?” she heard Georgie ask loudly from behind her.

Mona stopped in her tracks, before she reached the hall door and raised her Oregon Ducks football nightshirt to her waist and turned her bottom up to expose her butt clad in a pair of forest green boy shorts with a golden ‘O’ for Oregon on her behind.

“Oh my god, Mona that is so crass,” Georgie screeched. Amber was on the kitchen counter laughing like a hyena.

Mona just turned her head and said, “Well, you’re the one that asked me if I had drawers on,” and walked towards her bedroom to shower and get dressed laughing at the horrified look on her cousin’s face. ©

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Rendezvous-Chapter 7

This contains very explicit and graphic sexual content. 

Chapter 7

Bern, Switzerland was beautiful this time of the year thought Violet as they exited the airport to take a cab to the room they’d be sharing at the Hotel Savoy. The weather was mild, sunny and bright. Violet had tried to pack light but that was nearly impossible for her. She was so surprised when he’d shown at up Seatac Airport that morning with one small carryon and a computer case. She’d ended up with three bags, two she had to check and her purse.

As they stepped into the cab, Paul was amazed at the amount of luggage Violet had brought for a week trip. She’d packed as if they were going on holiday for a couple of months instead of on a business trip for a couple of days.

“Violet, what’s in all of those bags?” he asked her curiously.

“Clothes, of course. Why are you asking?”

He shook his head, “no reason.”

Violet looked at him again as she looked at her bags ‘men’ she knew he was just being a smarty pants because she’d packed so much. Well, she had to have choices for her trip. Who knew what would happen between them, she just wanted to be prepared.

The bellman came out and greeted them in German, “Gutenmorgen, Willkommen nachBern. Aufnehmen Sie mit uns Kontakt? Mag ich Ihr Gepäck nehmen?”

It was a good thing Paul spoke German because she was lost. “Ja sind wir. Danke. Wir überprüfen innen unter den Namen Paul Dudley und Violet Maxwell.”

Paul and Violet followed the bellman into the hotel to the front desk. The woman at the front desk was a pretty blonde with blue eyes, as soon as she set her eyes on Paul she got excited. She looked at Violet for a moment as Paul attempted to get them checked in. Whatever they were saying, it was clear that she was chatting up Paul eagerly as she continuously batted her eyelashes at him. Violet rolled her eyes in annoyance. She then handed Violet her cardkey for the room. Violet snatched it up and turned to walk towards the elevator without even a thank you. It probably wouldn’t have mattered anyway, she thought, since the only person the front desk clerk was paying attention to was Paul. Paul came up behind her a few seconds later.

“Hey, wait up. We need to go up together.”

Violet turned her annoyed face on him, “really, Do we? The way that woman was looking at you, she would have been happy to lead you to your room by your dick,” she spat out.

Paul smiled, she was jealous, she was actually jealous. If only she knew that the bimbo at the front desk didn’t even come close to being as sexy as she was with those skin tight suit pants clinging to that round firm ass of hers. He had to shake his head to come out of the trance that sexy body of hers had on his conscience.  As they entered the elevator with the bellman, Violet leaned against the wall crossing her arms across her chest. Paul leaned next to her and slyly slid his hand over her behind and squeezed hard. She turned on him and he smiled at her wickedly. Violet was still annoyed but she couldn’t help it, this man had a hold on every part of her and she couldn’t control it but right now she was feeling as if she didn’t want to. Her smile to him was small as she tried to belie the feelings that were going through her as he wreaked havoc on her hormones. Their rooms were adjoining since they were still keeping their burgeoning relationship private. Although Leonard had made sure to reserve them rooms that were co-joined.  The bellman stopped at Violet’s room first, opened the door and stepped to the side to let her enter. Paul stayed in the hallway and looked in as she entered. It was a nice room, the bellman set her luggage on the bed and turned to walk out of the room. Violet followed as he left, he turned at the door to look at her with a big expectant smile. Violet pulled some bills from her wallet and gave him a tip. He thanked her and turned to lead Paul towards his room. Violet closed her door and rushed into the bathroom to make sure she wasn’t looking too haggard after their travels. She eased her suit jacket off and loosened a couple of buttons for Paul’s impending seduction. He liked easy access to her bounty and she was willing to give it to him. She sat on the bed and crossed her legs with her foot shaking nervously. She could feel her pussy contract and get slick as she thought about Paul taking her in a few seconds. She could hear Paul and the bellman chatting. She thought to herself, ‘can he stop being chatty Cathy so we can get to fucking,’ her patience was running thin. She noticed silence from his room, then the telling low knock.

Violet rose from the bed and unlocked the adjoining door and opened it to a beautiful sight, Paul standing in the door with that sexy smirk.

“Why are you still dressed?” he asked her with a little annoyance in his voice.

“I was waiting for you to help me undress,” Violet said as she caressed his dress shirt covered chest.

“Oh!” he commented as his brows raised, “well I can certainly oblige but you have to remember we have a dinner tonight with the Swisz people.”

“How would I ever forget that,” Violet said in a sexy low tone. Her hands wandered down to caress his cock, it was already rock hard and ready to service her every need.

Paul backed Violet into her room and her legs hit the bed, she dropped back onto the bed and laid out for him. Paul’s eyes lowered to her body, he was ready to make love to her. That plane ride had been too long and he wanted to devour her. He eased onto her body and started to kiss her as they both began to remove her clothing. Violet figured she may as well help. No use in wasting time.

After a late afternoon of some seriously intense loving, they joined the Swisz merger team for dinner. The Chief of Operations, Wang Lan, who was originally fromChina, Chief Financial Officer, Gregor Thoms, Vice President, Joy Mulisa who was fromTanzania, President and CEO, Mathias Steinhof, and their more than capable liaison who was helping with the whole transition joined  Kurt Brandt at dinner that evening. Kurt and Violet had worked closely and she was looking forward to seeing him again, they’d only talked on the phone during business and conference calls. Paul had never met him but he was going to  tonight, he’d notice the easy rapport between his girlfriend and Kurt was really interested to meet this guy this evening.

Violet came out of her room looking absolutely gorgeous Paul thought she always looked wonderful to him, she could have been wearing a gingham sack and he’d be impressed. Her body was made for clothing and everything she put on went from glamorous to super sexy in seconds. She had poured that beautiful body into a print wrap dress with a ruffle at the bottom, it hung long in the back to her mid-calf and slightly above her knees in the front. She had on a light long black sweater as a cover up and her feet were in some sexy mary jane pumps. He couldn’t stop looking at her as they walked down the hall to the elevator.

“You look spectacular. How do you do it, you make every other woman look like my grandmother,” he told her as he wrapped his arm around her shoulder and caressed it.

Violet turned to look at him and laughed that beautiful light feminine laugh he loved. “Well, Mr. Dudley you aren’t looking too sloppy yourself,” she eyed him up and down. Paul was so handsome in a light grey summer suit with a lavender dress shirt, he’d decided to ditch the tie since this was just an informal dinner for everyone to meet and get comfortable with one another again.

“Paul, you are looking hot tonight and I’m going to enjoy peeling those clothes off later” she wrinkled her brows at him. A wicked smile broke out on his handsome face.

“You’ll only do that if I say so,” he told her. Violet had gotten used to his forceful manner when it came to his sexual desires and she’d found herself very inclined to give into him.

The dinner was at a new and upcoming Asian fusion restaurant inBern. When they arrived, most of the guests were already seated sipping on various drinks. Violet had met them before so she introduced them to Paul. Wang was a small thin man who wore glasses. Gregor was a man of medium height with a pot belly, he was also balding. Joy was a beautiful woman with skin the color of dark mahogany about the height of Violet just a little taller with golden eyes. They were so striking Paul was transfixed for a moment.  Mathias and Kurt walked in a little later. Mathias was a tall, middle-aged man with dark brown hair sprinkled with gray he had an amazing physique for a man in his 50’s. And then in walked Kurt, he looked like a GQ model, 6’4” light brown hair, a thin muscular body, he had amazing blue eyes and as he walked to the table Paul noticed them zoning in on HIS girlfriend. Violet rose from her chair and greeted him like a long lost friend, Violet hugged him just a little too tightly and Kurt hugged and held her like a piece of silk.  They held each other for a moment much to longer than Paul liked. When Violet moved out of Kurt’s embrace she then seemed to snap back to reality, realizing that Paul was there.

“Oh, I’m sorry Paul. Paul this is our merger liaison, Kurt Brandt, we’ve been working together on this merger from the beginning so we have intimate knowledge of one another.”

Paul’s eyebrows knitted together in confusion and anger.

Kurt stuck his hand out to shake Paul’s, “Wilkommen Paul. Violet has told me a lot about you, I was happy when you joined the team. It seems your knowledge has been most welcome and needed.”

Paul relaxed his face a bit, but he was still uncomfortable with this guy having any knowledge about his woman.  “I’m glad to finally meet you,” Paul said, still not smiling, “glad to be of service in this whole process.”

Violet turned back to Kurt and asked, “where is your legal crew?”

Kurt smiled big at her and put his hand on her shoulder, “oh no, no company lawyers tonight. I just came to have a drink and eat some good food and catch up with a good friend. There will be time for lawyers at tomorrow morning’s meeting.”

“Well, I guess you’re right. We just arrived early this morning. My mind isn’t on business right now.” She took Kurt’s arm and led him to the table to sit next her.

Paul followed, but he was not happy about the close relationship between Kurt and Violet. They were too cozy and for some reason his jealousy was starting to rear its ugly head. As they were about to sit, Kurt attempted to pull out Violet’s chair for her to sit but Paul wasn’t going to let him make any more moves on his woman, he pulled it out first. Violet looked over at him curiously, she wondered why all of sudden he’d gone all caveman on her in the middle of this restaurant with business colleagues around.  She was a little surprised, he’d seen her work with other men at the office and she’d never noticed this reaction, what was going on with him.

The evening flew by and they all had a good time, catching up and talking a little about the final steps in the upcoming merger. Paul had been quiet throughout the night, only speaking when spoken to. Violet had attempted to include him in the conversation but she’d grown weary of his childish behavior as the evening continued and just decided not to acknowledge his games. As they said their farewells for the evening, Paul was gracious as he could be with the thought that another man had set his sights on his woman. During the evening he’d kept his composure as best he could, so no one would be aware of their relationship which could jeopardize things for so many people and could present conflicts. So he just related to Violet all evening as a colleague, just someone he worked with but he’d longed to touch that beautiful golden brown skin, slide his hand beneath the table and finger her warm snatch.  He also saw someone sitting on her other side that seemed to want to indulge too, Kurt.  As they left Kurt and Joy asked if they could each get a chance to have lunch with her before they left after a few days.  Violet assured them both they’d get a chance to speak with her personally.

On the way back to the hotel, Violet noticed Paul seemed a little peeved. She touched his arm with a gentle caress hoping to calm him down.

In the car Paul was pissed at her familiarity with this Kurt fellow, she was his woman and he didn’t like the idea of some fairy boy looking at his woman as if she were the last biscuit in the tin. He also didn’t like the way that Violet seemed to revel in the attention of this guy. He had no idea she could be this kind of flirt and he didn’t know if he could handle it and he definitely didn’t like it.

Violet had decided she wasn’t going to get into this with Paul, he was acting childish. This was her job as well as his and she had been working with the team at Swisz for over 2 years on this merger. She didn’t have time to worry about him having a fit. She cared for Paul but he needed to understand that this was business, she was just having a good time tonight and she wondered why he was having  a bad one, ‘oh men!’ she thought. They could sometimes act like little babies. As they left the elevator and walked towards their hotel rooms, he seemed to speed up as he got to his door, Violet was going to say something to him but he opened his door quickly and went inside and closed it. Violet was in shock, who did he think he was playing with acting as if she was just some high school girl he could jerk around when he didn’t get his way. Violet hurried to his door and began to bang on it loudly, she knew that if someone came out in the hallway, they’d think she was a raving maniac but her ire was up and she had enough of his silliness.

Paul sat inside his room still fuming when he heard the clear, loud rapping at his door. It had to be Violet, so that’s how she wanted it well he’d show her who was boss. He bounded out of his chair to door and swung it open abruptly. There was Violet standing in the hallway, she seemed a tad shocked when he opened the door but she was standing there hand on her hip giving him the nastiest look she could muster.

“Excuse me,” she said loudly “but did you just slam a door in my face?”

Paul feigned confusion for a second, “slam a door? No, I just came into my hotel room, that’s all. Do we have a problem?” he tried to act as if the situation was not occurring.

“Do you we have problem?” he asked brusquely. Violet rushed past him to enter his room and turned swiftly to face him, her hair moved with her. All of sudden Paul was turned on and mad at the same time. She looked so beautiful, he had to have her right now in the worst way.

He closed the door behind himself as she walked in.

“You damn right, we have one. What the hell is going on with you? This little tantrum you’re throwing is just ridiculous.”

Suddenly Violet saw Paul coming towards her with purpose in those long steps. She stepped back instinctively because he had a look in his eye. She’d seen it before but never to this degree.

Paul was on her suddenly and he began to kiss her hard and with ferocity. Violet could barely keep her bearings, he’d never been this forceful with her but he was trying hard to take total possession of her body and soul. He began to rip at her clothes, Violet was attempting to help him take them off so she’d have clothing in a wearable condition later but he was having none of it. He kept moving her hands, as he stripped off clothing and underwear with lighting speed. Everywhere his hands removed clothing they returned to grab and massage her flesh. It was a little overwhelming and a little painful, usually he was fairly gentle although he could be forceful in manner. But the worst he’d done with her was a little rough petting here and there but nothing like this, this was bound to leave marks. She wasn’t sure what was going on with him but she was scared and turned on by the whole scene. She took her hands and started to stroke him through his pants, for a man who had been mad a few seconds ago he was sure turned on now. His cock was rock hard and about burst through that flimsy zipper. He pushed her hands away from his cock and pushed her back on the bed, she came down pretty fast and hard so she bounced a little. Her breasts bounced as she did, Paul couldn’t take it he was going to fuck her until she was bowlegged. He was going to let her know she was his and no other man on the earth could possess her the way he could. He’d been holding back a little on showing her his wild side, he had warned her previously and she had seen glimpses of it here and there as they’d made love but he was unbound tonight.

Violet leaned back on her elbows, her eyes as big as saucers. Paul was looking at her through hooded lenses and breathing harder than she’d ever seen him breath. She would have sworn he had just come from running a marathon, he removed his clothes promptly with pieces flying and he stood there his gaze raking over her. Her pussy was so wet, she was leaking like a faucet and only he could put out that fire. Hadn’t they just been fighting a few seconds ago and giving each other the silent treatment? What the hell had happened between now and then?

He looked at her feral and raw and told her in no uncertain terms, “Violet, you’re mine. No other man on this earth will have you the way I’m going to have you tonight. You’re mine, dammit.”

Suddenly he came across her body and started kiss her again even harder this time, he took those fingers of his stuffed them into her warm cunt. She could feel her juices coating his hand, he took his fingers out and put them into her mouth, she sucked at them greedily. She couldn’t believe that this man made her want so bad to taste herself.

He turned over onto his back, his cock rising into the air at attention and gave her an order she had never heard from any other man and one she wasn’t going to refuse from him.

“Suck my cock,” she looked at him with surprise in her eyes, his brow grew furrowed and he told her in a low stern voice “Now, Violet.” It was a request and an order all in one breath.

Violet leaned over him and took his cock into her mouth immediately. She didn’t know what had come over her, she’d been so upset and now she was savoring his sweetness. He put his hand on the back of her head and she opened up her throat to take him deeper into her mouth. He kept his hand on the back of her head, Violet knew that if any other man had done that she’d have given him the riot act but with Paul she just wanted to please him. He was so big, it was hard to take him all in and she felt like choking almost but he was moaning and wailing she could hear how turned on he was, he’d never been this loud. He began to fuck her mouth a little all the while saying dirty nasty things to her, that were astoundingly hot and making her hotter. Violet didn’t know many things about herself sexually, most of the sex she’d had was to please the man and not herself. But she felt so powerful with a mouthful of Paul’s cock, she was controlling his orgasm.

He took a moment and slapped her ass hard as he told, “suck it, suck it with your pretty mouth. You’re such a slut but you’re my fucking slut.” As he smacked her bottom again it made her pussy gush even harder. She wanted to be fucked senseless by him right at that moment but did not dare stop sucking.

“Oh suck it harder, suck that big beautiful cock. I know you like my cock in your mouth. Wait till I put it in that ass of yours.”

Violet hadn’t really heard what he said, did he say ‘ass’? All of sudden she could hear his roar, he was going to come and hard. Violet moved to pick her head up before he came but all a sudden she became emboldened, she decided to stay and drink in his essence. Paul came long and hard, he didn’t try to stop Violet from taking his seed down her throat, in a way it’s what he wanted, he wanted her submitting to him and finding her sexual power at the same time. As he unloaded his hot manhood into her mouth, Paul was so turned on. He knew she’d never done anything like that before and it filled him with male pride that she did it with him, that she wanted to please him, she really did love him.

Violet lifted her head from his pelvic region tentatively, all of sudden she felt ashamed, what if he really thought she was a slut for what she did? Violet rose and was going to attempt to leave the bed, although swallowing his cum hadn’t been that bad, it tasted sweet and salty nothing like she thought it was going to be, but the shame coming over her was terrible and maybe she needed a moment to think about what had just happened. Of course, Paul was having none of that.

Paul was still recovering as he turned to see her trying to sneak out. “Excuse me, where the hell are you going?”

Violet stood stock still, after that release she’d have thought he’d want to sleep, but who was she fooling every time they’d ever made love, the man was ready for a second round within moments of the first. She stood up and turned to look at him, “listen, Paul the little he-man thing was really cute and that a hot little session but we both have to up early in the morning for our meeting. So I think I need to jump in the shower and hit the sack. I think maybe we need some time alone.”

As she spoke, Violet noticed the scowl on his face getting deeper and deeper. Maybe she should have just laid down next to him and wait for him to fall asleep before she snuck out. She tried harder to explain why she was leaving, they’d be tired in the morning, the night had been long, they could think some things over but the more she explained the less convinced Paul seemed to be.

“Violet, now is not the time to trifle with me,” he said sternly. Why did he remind her of her dad when she was little when he said that, how weird. “You will drop those clothes immediately or I’ll be dragging you by your hair back to bed.”

Violet mouth opened she thought she’d give him a smart comment but the look on his face warned her, he may actually do what he’d just threatened but she thought he was actually teasing her but she could never tell with him sometimes. She laid her clothing down and lay back on the bed.

He turned over on his side to look at her, he was still stern in his speech but his eyes had gone soft on her. It was just so amazing to her that he could be so take-charge and vulnerable all at the same time. She was falling in love with this man so hard, it was starting to hurt her.

“Violet, I want to tell you something about tonight. Yes, I was upset this evening, the way that Kurt guy kept mooning over you. It was starting to bother me.”

“Really, Paul? Kurt is just a friend. We’ve been working on this merger so long we’ve just become close friends. He has no interest in me as a girlfriend at all. In fact, I think he’s got some interest in Joy.”

“Hmmm.” Paul was surprised.

Violet just laughed, how clueless men could be, “yea, look at her. She’s the exotic, tall, leggy, model type. Why wouldn’t he be interested in her? You should know, you were married to a model. I’m sure if I were the one we’d be skipping off into the sunset getting married,” she smiled but Paul didn’t return it.

He sat straight up and turned toward Violet, she watched as he reached those muscular arms out to grab her smaller ones. He hefted her up and she turned to look at him steadily.

“I want you to know Violet I am not hanging on to you until something better comes along. I’ve been trying during this time to let you know how much I care about you and what an important part of my life you are but I guess showing you isn’t enough.” He stared at her for a moment and then it happened, “Violet Ingrid Maxwell, I love you. I love you more than I love me. You are absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to me and I wouldn’t trade you in for all the leggy model-types in the world.”

Violet sat there silently, she’d never had a declaration of love quite like this. In her past she always felt that men told her they loved her out of obligation not out of actual genuine emotion. He was looking at her quietly studying her face, he’d just put his heart out in the open and she sitting like a stone statute. Suddenly she was terrified and just really needed to get out there, she’d been hoping he would say this but now that he had all the doubt came crushing on her again. All the heartbreak and pain of past relationships gone wrong, she couldn’t take it if she declared her love for him and then he left, she would be devastated, she wasn’t going to risk it.

Violet shrugged off his grip and told him, “I’m sorry Paul, I don’t know if I’m ready for this. I need a chance to just think,” she pleaded to him with her eyes, “I just need a chance to think.”

Paul silently conceded it to her. She gathered her clothes for a second time and walked through the adjoining door. Paul sat there and looked at it as if he could see her through it. He’d told her he loved her, couldn’t live without her and she just sat silent. His heart felt heavy, he thought she’d moved on from her past heartbreak but it looked like there was more work to do.

Violet sat on the bed, naked with her head in hands. She cried quietly she didn’t want Paul to hear and knock on the door to try to rescue her. This was her fight now. His love wasn’t going to be enough to move past the pain of disappointment regarding her previous relationships. She had to do that herself. She had to do that by herself.

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Their week in Bern had passed slowly after the night Paul told her he loved her. Violet was on auto-pilot, she was in meetings discussing aspects of the upcoming merger but she barely recognized herself. She hadn’t really spoken to Paul at all during the trip and on Thursday he’d been called back toSeattleon another important matter regarding a client at the firm. That Friday, as she packed to get on the plane she kept re-playing the scene in his room from a few days prior, what was she going to do? She knew any sane man would not wait around while she contemplated whether or not to love him, especially one as special as Paul. They’d been dating now for almost a year, although she felt love from him she wasn’t about to make a statement to that fact. That would leave her too open. Maybe she should cut her losses, the merger was almost complete and they wouldn’t need to see each other around the office much anymore. She could just stop pursuing this relationship and save herself the pain of a bad break-up. He was too wonderful not to want someone better, with a better body or better confidence. Yes, that’s what she was going to do when they returned home, do Paul a favor and stop this before anyone got their feelings hurt, most likely, her.

Paul had been so angry after leavingBernon Thursday, angry and miserable. He’d tried to call, email and even text Violet and he hated texting but she didn’t answer and if she did it was only about business. He knew that she’d gotten back Friday night, he thought of surprising her at the airport in the baggage claim section but what was the use she’d probably only look right through him and keep going. She hadn’t tried to speak to him since she’d returned, he hadn’t seen her all weekend and it was now  time for their Monday team meeting. They wanted to debrief the team about the trip toSwitzerlandand upcoming assignments to get ready and close this merger out. Harmon would be joining them for this meeting he’d wanted to be part of the debriefing.

As Paul strolled towards theRainierconference room, someone was coming behind him saying his name it was familiar female voice but not the one he wanted to hear. He turned and was greeted with a huge smile and the batting fake eyelashes of Rebecca Althorp. He’d actually been helping her with an estate issue that had overseas ties and boy had she been intrusive, she asked a lot of dumb questions, he figured it was just so she would have an opportunity to come to his office and lean over his desk to shove those fake boobs at him. He didn’t feel like talking to her right now, this just was not the time.

She sidled up to him, twisting her hips so hard he thought she’d throw one out. She came up and immediately put her hand on his arm as if to lock him in place.

“I’m so glad to see you. I’d heard you’d gotten back to work late last week but I hadn’t had a chance to come by and see how your trip was. Oh well, it was probably frightfully mundane it’s not as if Violet Maxwell leads an exciting life. She’s totally looks like no fun, too bad it wasn’t me with you inBernwe would have had a blast,” she said her chest heaving. He would say something about the Violet comment but he wasn’t exactly feeling warm and fuzzy about his lady love at the moment.

“What can I do for you Rebecca? I’m on my way to a meeting and I don’t want to be late.”

“Oh, I don’t want to keep you from taking care of business, I’m sure you’re good at it,” she was trying to use innuendo with him but he saw through her like a cheap cotton undershirt.

“Paul, I just really need your help on more matters regarding the Bourque estate. Could you pleaseee help me” she gave Paul those lost puppy dog eyes. He wondered to himself did that actually work on men? He couldn’t see how and that whiny thing she did when she wanted to get her way worked, it was nerve-wracking. His nieces and nephew had never whined like that as children, she was grown woman.

“Sure, Rebecca I’ll help you when would you like to meet?”

She perked up quickly and started to bounce up and down, “oh thank you, you’re a godsend Paul. How about we do a lunch meeting today, is that okay?”

“Sure, it’s fine, how about 1 p.m. at Danny Dunne’s Café?”

Rebecca was disappointed he hadn’t said some place more cozy and private, but any time she could get alone with this hunk of a man was great. All she had to do was wait and make her move, he was going to be hers, no woman could compete with her and she knew it. All of sudden out of the corner of her eye she spied Violet coming down the wall, she had her head down reading as she walked. She thought to herself, ‘what a loser and she’s fat.’ She’d noticed that Violet and Paul seemed to spend a lot of time together but this dang merger was about to be completed and she’d be using Paul every chance she got on this estate stuff. Just as she was coming down the hall toward them, Rebecca saw Violet look up and spot them and her eyes widened as she saw Rebecca go in for the kill. Paul was staring at Violet as she made her way down the hall, she looked absolutely breathtaking. Then all of sudden he felt something cold and wet on his cheek, he did a side-eye and spotted Rebecca kissing him on the cheek as she caressed his arm.

“Thanks so much handsome. See you for that lunch,” she turned and sashayed down the hall in a skirt way too short for any woman who wanted to be taken seriously as a professional.

He realized Violet heard Rebecca say the last sentence, how could she not she’d said it loud enough for her to hear. And then he noticed something else, a look of fire in her eyes, she was mad, she was jealous he thought, this made him perk up. Maybe this Rebecca thing could work in his favor, he hated doing things like this but if she thought she may lose him even though he was sure she should have known he’d never go for Rebecca then maybe she’d confess her love for him.

Violet was stunned, she didn’t just see what she thought she saw. Why was Rebecca being cozy with Paul. Her stomach lurched a bit, wow he seemed to have moved on really quickly and with Rebecca of all people. Maybe he wasn’t the man she thought he was, maybe he’d been playing her all this time or maybe he just needed a nice set of pillow boobs to wipe her away from his mind. He was staring at her hard, she decided she’d try to be the adult in this situation.

“Good morning, Paul” she said flatly without a hint of emotion. ‘Son of a bitch’ she thought but inside her heart was crumbling into pieces. This sealed it for her, she was done with Paul. ©