Love Never Leaves-Chapter 4

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Jake entered Helena’s home it was beautiful and comfortable as he knew it would be she had photos and art all over the walls they told of her culture and travels. He was intrigued, she seemed very worldly to him and he liked that his wife Connie had also traveled the world. He found that it made her more interesting and Helena seemed to be that kind of woman.

“Jake would you like something to drink?” She asked as they entered the living room.

Helena looked at him curiously; he looked deep in thought as he perused her walls looking at the art and photos. He seemed not to be aware that she even asked him a question.

“Jake!”

He looked up startled for a moment. She was standing there looking at him oddly.

“Yes.”

“I was just asking if you’d like something to drink.”

“Oh I’m sorry, I was just really intrigued by your artwork and photos they’re really beautiful.”

“Thank you. I’ve traveled all over the world and collected art from many places. I love those photos, they remind me how wonderful my life has been and all the love I received from it.”

“Wow, that’s really special. You’re very lucky.”

“I don’t think I’m lucky, I know I’m blessed.”

He looked at her and smiled a bit but she noticed it didn’t seem happy there was something about him that was sad something in his eyes. She couldn’t shake the feeling that something terrible had happened to this man but she wasn’t sure he was ready to share it.

“Well Jake I’m headed to the kitchen to pour myself a glass of wine. I’d be more than happy to pour you a glass while I’m there.”

He did smile then, a big genuine smile, “sure. I’d love a glass of wine.”

He walked behind her into the kitchen. There was light from the porch outside streaming through the windows, it gave the place a romantic glow. He liked her kitchen it seemed lived in and used. He’d only been in his house a week or so but he barely touched anything regarding the kitchen. He thought that may have been because his wife loved being in the kitchen, it was her domain when she was alive. It seemed so sacred to him now as if he had no right to touch it or make it his own. He’d been eating out of to-go boxes and the microwave for the last couple of days he just couldn’t seem to bring himself to use the stove and cook a meal.

Helena opened the fridge and took out a bottle of Pinot Grigio she had in there, she went into the cupboard and pulled out to wine glasses and filled them. She handed him a glass and he smiled and raised it to her in a toast.

“Here’s to our new friendship.”

She raised her own glass in acknowledgment and took a sip; it was cold and tasted delicious.

“Why don’t we go back into the living room and sit and chat for moment. I’d really like to get to know more about you Jake.”

He nodded in agreement and they walked back into the living room together. Her living room seemed to invite comfort the pillows on her couch were plump and soft, at least they looked that way. She fell into the couch and seemed to relax immediately.  Jake sat on the other end and turned to look at her. She was really beautiful and he wasn’t really sure he should be there on her couch drinking wine. Maybe this was a dangerous place for him at this moment. She picked up a remote, pushed a button, and music begin to flow from speakers near them it was the soothing sound of jazz. She sighed and kicked off her shoes as she put her feet under her to get cozy in the downy softness of her sofa.

“Now I can ask you more questions,” she said to him with the sneaky grin on her face.

“I’m not sure I’ll answer them all if you do ask.”

“You mean if I ask questions you’ll dodge them?”

“I didn’t say that, I may answer and I may not. I get to make that choice.”

“Oh, are you telling me you’re enigmatic?”

“I’m just saying I may or may not answer the question. It doesn’t mean I’m mysterious just that I’m private about some things.”

“I can respect that but I’m not going to delve too deep this early.”

“I’m thankful for that, you seem like a nice lady and I think I’d like to get to know you better too but I don’t want to invade your space.”

“You’re not. I’m an open book for the most part, but I can understand that others are not like me. I mean your reception when I first came to your front door told me a lot about you. One of the things it told me was that you’d like your privacy.”

Jake had a look of deep regret on his face, he knew he’d been really rude to her when they first met and he wasn’t sure how he’d make that up to her.

“I’m still very sorry about that incident. You and your friend didn’t deserve my scorn.”

“I told you it was no big deal we lived; we’re not scarred from it. I don’t expect you to apologize again and again about it we’re supposed to be moving forward in this relationship. I only mentioned it because you said you were so private and that incident really let me know how private you were. So now that that’s over with tell me a little more about being the famous author, Earl Gall, I find it interesting that you’re a famous writer. Does it seem sublime to you that you walk around all day and no one knows you’re Earl Gall?”

Jake looked at her and furrowed his brow, “no, not really, since I like my privacy it’s nice that people don’t know. That’s one of the reasons I made sure not to have my picture taken too frequently when I’m on book tours. Some people do know but surprisingly people aren’t that pushy. Particularly here in the Pacific Northwest they seem to love to give you your space. Although I sometimes notice that people are staring and they may recognize me but they won’t come up and say anything. Some people do ask if I’m Earl Gall and I always answer honestly but they’re very nice.”

“Do you enjoy writing?”

“That’s a funny question, of course I do. I’ve been writing all my life. I have lots of drafts of stories I wrote in my teens and 20s but I never thought I had the talent to do it full-time.”

She laughed. Jake enjoyed watching her laugh it gave him joy. He felt like he should be ashamed of his feelings toward her but he wasn’t, he was happy. It confused him he’d been depressed for so long about his wife and son’s death he didn’t understand this woman who was practically a stranger making him happy. He’d met people before and they didn’t do this to him. He’d spent time with family and that didn’t make him feel happy either at this point in his life. But sitting there with Helena was just such a delight she was contagious, her happiness was contagious.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” she asked. Helena had noticed that he seemed more relaxed and the look he gave her was full on erotic.

“Helena, you’ve made me feel something I’d thought was lost.”

“What’s that?”

“I feel delight with you, it’s strange since we’ve known each other such a short time. But with you I feel at ease and I’m not really sure how to take this. I want to tell you all my secrets but I’m not sure if you can handle them. But sitting on this couch with you more than anything I want to touch you, I want to kiss you, I want to hold you.”

Helena just looked at him she was shocked he’d told her this he’d been a tad closed off the whole evening. Now here he was telling her she was bringing him delight and he wanted to kiss her. She thought, well she wanted him to kiss her too. There was something in him that she felt needed the human bond. Helena knew that she needed that bond also but in her mind she felt they were moving too quickly. But there was something about him sitting on her sofa now appearing so relaxed and so at ease it didn’t matter how quickly they moved.

Suddenly she felt herself move forward as she saw Jake moving toward her his eyes softening and filling with need. She wanted to kiss him and it looked like he was going to reciprocate that feeling. She felt herself being cradled suddenly in his strong arms as his mouth moved towards her, his lips were on hers before she could think about what was happening. It was soft at first then she felt the urgency in him his mouth crushing against hers, his tongue seeking out her own. It felt good as she wrapped her arms around him and held him tight and close. He was holding her against him as if his very body wanted to merge with her own. Their mouths separated for brief moment to catch a breath while in her ear, he whispered to her, “Helena I need you so badly. I don’t know what’s come over me but I need you.”

They looked into each other’s eyes as he moved in again to kiss her it was a heady feeling for both of them. Helena felt the stir of passion while she tried her best to keep her emotions under control. She smiled as his lips pressed against hers and felt a joyful giggle come to her lips this was the best kiss she’d ever had even better than kissing Scott. Then suddenly Jake’s body jerked away from her his arms went to his side and he had a look of complete horror on his face.

“Oh my God what have I done,” he said more to himself than to her, “I’ve betrayed you, I’ve betrayed you!” He was talking to someone but not her.

He rose from the couch swiftly and suddenly left Helena there sitting, wondering what the hell had just happened. She got up and moved to the door that he’d run out of and opened it and stared as he ran to his house. He looked back only briefly with the same look of anger and despair she’d seen the first night she met him. He opened his door slammed it hard and locked it.

She wasn’t really sure what had just happened they were sitting there enjoying a passionate kiss and suddenly he breaks away in horror. She picked up her cell phone and called him she wanted to know what happened. She was confused and angry. His phone rang and rang but she got the voicemail. She called again and got his voicemail again. She was tempted to go across the street and bang on his door like a maniac but she didn’t feel like she needed to chase him. She wasn’t sure what she’d done to make him so upset but she knew the things she’d felt from the first time she saw him were true, this man was hurting and maybe he just needed time. Maybe he just needed time.

 

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The Handy Guy-Chapter 2

imageGrace sat in Craig’s truck on a plastic tarp covered in oil wood stain. While she was stooping down in the hardware store someone’s precocious youngster had poured a can of oil stain down her back. It was in her underwear, her hair, and completely ruined her thong Birkenstocks. Craig had been mortified, he’d met this woman, and brings her on a shopping trip to get supplies only to have this happen.

‘I’m so sorry Ms. Underwood, I really am. I’ve never had an incident like this occur on a trip to the hardware store with a customer.’

She looked over at him with her eyes squinting, she was angry but not really with him but the kid well the parents more so. The parents had just let their child run wild and it seemed he’d been wreaking havoc all over the store.

‘It’s okay Mr. Bellows but I’m not sure how I’m going to wash this stuff off. You know…I have no shower. I think Mrs. Chen is gone with her kids today.’

‘I realize that you don’t have a shower. I was wondering would you like to come to my place? It’s not far and I swear I’m not going to kill you.’

Grace looked over at him suspiciously for a moment, ‘well could try but Mrs. Chen but I’m pretty sure her son came to get her today. I’m wondering would I rather be covered in wood stain or take my chances with you possibly murdering me for a shower. Although Mrs. Chen did know you were coming today so if something happens you’d be a suspect.’

He laughed a little and he saw her smile, although she smelled of wood stain she actually had a beautiful lilting laugh and she just lit up when she did. For a moment Craig found himself enchanted and wondered if this had actually been a good idea. But he needed to help her he’d gotten her into this, well sort of. He started to head for his place, he lived in a beautiful old home he’d done most of the refurbishing on himself. After he’d divorced Wendy he bought the house and went to work, it as great way to relieve the stress and anger he had towards her as she continually dragged him in and out of court. Next weekend was his time with his daughter, he had Chelsea two weekends a month, all summer, Christmas break, and they rotated holidays. He suspected that Wendy was getting ready to drag him back into court regarding parental visitation, she seemed to be getting antsy and snippy with him lately. He always knew when a battle was brewing with her. He pulled into the driveway of his house.

Grace was impressed, it was huge, two stories, a farm house of all things. She wondered if he had a girlfriend or children because one person couldn’t live in something this large. He parked she watched as he got out, she was going to make a move but thought better she was still rather oily and she didn’t want to get anything on his truck. He appeared at her door and opened it and helped her out of the cab. He was a gentlemen something she hadn’t seen in awhile, in a long while. This city was so liberal, many times she thought men forgot she was a woman. But she must say Mr. Bellows made her feel like a lady, even when she was covered in wood stain.

‘Ms. Underwood, why don’t we go around the back. That way you can use the laundry room to undress. I can bring you a robe and tell you where the bathroom is and then throw your things in the washer. How does that sound?’

‘It sounds like a good plan.’

‘Well…I always have a plan,’ he told her with a twinkle in his eye.

Grace was trying her best not to get drawn in by his charm and incredible looks and mouth watering physique but it was not easy. He lead her to the back, he had beautiful yard with a deck and stone patio. It had been well kept, she wondered did he do all this himself. He opened the door and she stepped into a mud room, it was large with black and white tiles, it was painted white and a soothing shade of blue. She was amazed if the rest of his house looked like this, it must be dazzling. She looked through another door with a glass pane into a spectacular kitchen. She was awestruck it was beautiful.

‘Ms. Underwood?’ she heard him mutter politely. She’d been scoping out his kitchen so hard, she didn’t notice him open the laundry room door for her to enter.

‘Oh I’m sorry. I’ll step in. And you’ll be back with a robe?’

‘And towel if you’d like? I know that oil is just probably driving you nuts.’

‘Yes, thank you.’

He walked through the door into the kitchen then turned and disappeared. Grace stepped into the laundry room, which was also incredible. Who did this man’s decorating, Martha Stewart? The same calming blue and white that were in the mud room were in the laundry room. He had a front load washer and dryer, Kenmore no less. He looked liked the Made in America type. She stripped down, her clothes were stained. Thank goodness these were just some casual clothes, it wouldn’t be a big loss but she had always liked that Wu-tang t-shirt. Oh well, she thought. Maybe the oil would come out, she hoped it would. Her underwear was another story, this bra and panty set were from Victoria’s Secret and were not a cheap buy. It was turquoise green so she was hoping for the best, they weren’t too stained with oil but oil stains could be hard to get out.

‘Ms. Underwood?’ She heard him outside the door, she opened the washer and dropped her clothing in. She wasn’t looking forward to a strange man handling her skivvies.

‘Yes.’ She hoped he didn’t turn out to be a pervert because she was standing their in absolutely nothing.

‘I’ve got the robe for you.’

‘I’ll stick my hand out and you can pass it to me.’

‘Okay.’

Grace cracked the door and made sure she stayed pressed close to it so he couldn’t even get an accidental peep of anything but her arm. She stuck her arm out and he handed her the robe which she grabbed swiftly and closed the door.

Craig was shocked, he hadn’t even given her the towel so she wipe out some of the oil from her hair. Even more shocking was what he saw as she stood behind that door. There was a mirror on the opposite wall, he kept it there because sometimes he liked to shave or check himself out after a long day of hard work. It was easier to do it in there when he was grimy but he figured she hadn’t noticed it. He wasn’t trying to look just happened his eyes caught sight of her backside before he knew it was her backside. Goodness, what a nice backside it was. He felt his cock jump but he had to get that under control. This was a client, maybe this was a bad idea after all. She’d had him hot and bothered the moment she opened that door this afternoon. Now her she was at his house with nothing on but his robe about to take a shower in his bathroom.

She opened the door, there she stood, all 5’5″ of her. She looked so tiny in his big robe but goodness she was incredibly sexy.

‘I forgot to give you this, I’m sorry.’

She took the towel gladly and begin to wipe her hair down. It was the most erotic thing Craig had seen in such a long time. It had a been awhile since he’d been with anyone, almost a year. There was this cinnamon goddess standing in his mud room with nothing but a robe on wiping her hair down.

She looked up at him puzzled, ‘Mr. Bellows, you can lead me to your bathroom.’

Craig came out his erotic fantasy, ‘oh, oh yes. Come this way. It’s just down the hallway.’

She followed him, it was an incredible house, the kitchen was marvelous, his decorating was simple and understated, very masculine and it was very beautiful. She noticed on the hallway walls pictures of him in different exotic locales, fishing, hunting, racing, biking, skiing, lots of outdoor stuff. Then pictures of him and his family which consisted of what looked to be his mom and some other men, she figured they were brothers but no dad. Then there were pictures of beautiful blonde little girl. She was very cute, he had pictures with her lots of them and a couple featuring another woman, she was blonde also, who didn’t look happy in any of them. But he looked absolutely joyous and in love with that child. She wanted to ask but figured it wasn’t her place, she was just his customer, they were not friends.

They reached the bathroom it was white, green with silver accents. It had large gray and white block tiles on the floor. It had a glass enclosed shower stall along with a large white clawfoot tub.

‘Here you go, in the cabinet there are more towels. In the shower there’s shampoo, it’s Sauve if that’s okay with you.’

‘That’s fine.’

‘Also in the cabinet there’s a hair dryer. The water is warm so check it before you dive in.’

Grace smiled at him as he closed the door and left her. Craig stood on the other side and just sighed. He thought maybe he had made a fatal mistake he was not in the mood for these types of problems right now.

The shower felt wonderful, it had been awhile since Grace had been in anything so luxurious. The water temperature was fantastic, it didn’t go suddenly cold like her shower at home. She needed to replace that crappy water heater. The shampoo worked well, it took a few washing to rid her hair of wood stain and the pungent smell had finally been washed out of it and off her body. She stepped out onto the plush rug and stepped onto the floor which was heated, my goodness this was a man of extraordinary talents. Too bad she couldn’t hire him for other work or maybe she could coax him into…oh goodness she needed to stop that line of thought. He was definitely fine but what did some redneck want with her and what did she want with a redneck. Grace dried her body and was drying her hair when she heard the knock. The immediately wrapped the towel around herself thinking he might enter but he didn’t, he spoke through the door.

‘Ms. Underwood, are you okay?’

‘I’m fine, everything is fine. The shower was fantastic,’ she hated to sound so eager but it was good.

He smiled to himself on the other side of the door. He wasn’t sure why it pleased him so much that she liked the shower but it did.

‘Good, it’s getting late and I was wondering if you’d like some dinner? I have some leftover pot roast, red potatoes, and salad I could give you.’

Grace wasn’t sure she should accept, but her stomach started to grumble. She hadn’t really eaten all day and it was getting late. This day was not turning out how she imagined but he’d been nice enough to ask, she hoped he didn’t drug her food. But so far he’d been a complete gentlemen not creepy or weird at all, in fact she was feeling more at ease with him every moment.

‘Sure, I’ll take a plate. How about my clothes, are they ready?’

‘Oh I’m sorry, I just put them in the dryer. They should be dry in about 30 or 40 minutes.’

‘Okay, I’ll be right out.’

‘Well when you come out you can find me in the kitchen.’

Craig turned to walk toward the kitchen and get her a plate fixed up. He’d put her clothes in the dryer without thinking it wasn’t until he pulled out those sexy lace underwear that he realized that him drying her clothes may have been a bad idea. He really hoped she didn’t think he was a sex fiend.

He was cutting slices off of last night’s roast when he saw her enter, she looked so fragile. There was something about her petite figure in his large robe that made him want to protect her. Her hair was still partially wet and sticking to her face it had come out of its stick straight form and was more wavy and curly. She had pinned it back in that same messy ponytail thing she had when he’d first met her this afternoon. He didn’t know what was happening, he felt this compelling urge to push her against a wall and kiss her senseless.

Grace was blushing at his look, she looked down at her feet as they made circles on his wood floor. She had on the robe but the way he looked she felt naked, but the truth was the look didn’t bother her as much as it turned her on. He had the look of man who had just spotted the last biscuit on the plate, open lust and hunger swam in his eyes. Grace was slightly shaken at her own primal response to it.

Craig turned to pile some potatoes on her plate and put it into his microwave to warm up.

‘I can get you something to drink Ms. Underwood.’

‘You know, enough with the formality. I’m just a Grace, please call me Grace.’

‘Okay, that’s fine and please call me Craig.’

‘I will.’

‘Now. Something to drink?’

‘Umm yes, what do you have?’

He opened that huge refrigerator it was incredible stocked shelves full of food and he did have everything. Wine, beer, Coors of course, iced tea, juice boxes, orange juice, milk, Coke, Diet Coke, Dr. Pepper, goodness he had supplies for the winter. That had Grace thinking maybe he was a doomsday prepper like she saw on TV but it couldn’t be true he seemed really…normal.

‘A diet Coke would be great.’

‘Okay, please have a seat. The plate should be warm in a minute.’

The whole lay out was open, she sat down in a breakfast room next to the kitchen. There was a place setting there with beautiful white stone ware and flatware that was to die for, Grace was more impressed by the minute. This man had impeccable taste.

‘Here you go,’ he set a plate that smelled delicious in front of her or maybe she was just really hungry. He set his plate down along with a bowl with a really appetizing salad in it. ‘We should pray before we eat.’

Grace looked up, she hadn’t prayed over a meal since, well since her mom died. ‘Okay.’ She wanted to be respectful of his home. They bowed he said a quick prayer and then she looked up. He was smiling again and she was trying not to feel uncomfortable and weird sitting at his table in nothing but a robe. She had wrapped and tied so tightly it was cutting off her circulation.

She dug into the plate and he put salad in a bowl for her. She was just overwhelmed at how much of a gentlemen he was, it had been so long since she’d met a man that was this considerate of women. She didn’t think they existed anymore.

‘Thank you so much for dinner. Who cooked this for you? A girlfriend?’ She knew it was sneaky but she was fishing for information.

He chuckled a bit before answering, ‘no, I cooked it.’

‘Really.’

‘You act like you don’t quite believe me but I do cook. I can’t go out everyday so I know how to cook.’

‘Well, this pot roast is melt in your mouth and these potatoes are seasoned to perfection. It’s a little hard to believe that a man such as yourself can cook.’

‘Such as myself? What does that mean?’

‘Well…you seem kind of, how do I say it…’

He sat looking at her intently hanging on her every syllable. Now Grace was sorry she’d brought it up.

‘…you seem kind of macho. Not exactly like the domestic type.’

‘Is there a domestic type? Boy, you sure do have a lot of nice neat boxes you like to put people in.’

Grace was indignant about his tone, ‘excuse me? I’m not putting anyone in a box, you’re the ‘Handy Guy’ I just assumed.’

Craig put his hand up in surrender the last thing he needed was a huffy half naked woman at his table. He was barely keeping it together as it was if she gotten any madder he would have jumped over that little breakfast table and tried his darnedest to seduce her.

‘I’m sorry,’ he said. He figured it was best to just apologize first and avoid the drama.

‘I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t be that rude to you in your home.’

‘It’s okay, I sometimes get pissed when people try to pigeonhole me.’

‘I know the feeling,’ and she certainly did as a black woman it was easy for people to make lots of assumptions about who she was. ‘Why don’t you tell me something about yourself so I don’t make that mistake again. Okay, Craig.’

‘I’d be happy for you to get to know me better.’ There was something in his tone that had Grace thinking he meant more than she bargained for and she didn’t mind at all.

They’d had a nice dinner, he’d even given her a scoop of chocolate ice cream for dessert. She’d learned a lot about him. He was the oldest of five boys, who’d been raised by their mom and grandparents on their farm in Eastern Washington, around Yakima to be exact. His brothers Earl, Lane, Theodore, and Marshall all lived in the Seattle/Tacoma area and none of them were married. That was surprising because if they looked anything like him she wondered what was wrong with them. He also told her that the cutie pie in the pictures was his daughter and he had been married but had been divorced about 4 years. She found out about his business and all the work he’d put into it over the last 7 years. It seemed it was his baby, the way he talked about just enthralled Grace. He came to life when he talked about his daughter and his business both of which he seemed to love more than anything. He surprised her with his knowledge and he was a college graduate, he’d gone to school for architecture. His grandfather had taught him and his brothers about construction and how to landscape. His mom was a music teacher so he knew how to play the piano. She was the one that had taught him to cook. His brother, Lane, was a chef. Grace couldn’t believe it, this man was pure renaissance. He hunted, fished, and camped which wasn’t as surprising but he was much more than what she’d made him out to be. They’d been sitting for awhile talking and laughing as he told her more about him and his life and childhood. She found herself being drawn in, not what she wanted but she couldn’t help it.

‘I better get your clothes out of the dryer.’

Grace had almost forgotten she was sitting there in his robe. ‘Oh yea, that would be great.’ Her hair he reverted to it’s natural wavy curly state and she probably looked a hot mess but he didn’t seem to notice.

Craig was in the laundry room getting Grace’s clothes out, she was so gorgeous and also seemed so interested in what he had to say. Wendy never had that kind of rapt attention when he talked about his business, which had always been a lifelong dream. At the age of 35 he was a successful businessman but she never saw that, she wanted a suit and tie guy and he was never going to be that guy. It was nice having Grace here it had been a long time since he’d enjoyed the company of any woman. He tried dating a few years ago but the business needed his attention and most women weren’t keen on that but now that things had fallen into place with The Handy Guy, maybe it was time for him to think about dating again. Maybe it was Grace Underwood he should think about doing that with. He’d never dated a black woman not that he figured they were any different than any other woman but his taste leaned more toward leggy blondes with too much boobs and not enough brains. Maybe he needed to go against his typical fare, she was definitely cute as a button and he was attracted to her. But she was a customer so he hated to mix business and pleasure but then again with an ass like that maybe it was worth it.

Craig was taking Grace home, her clothes had dried and they’d chatted a little more on their way back to her house. By the time they pulled up it was almost 8:30 pm neither realized how time had flown. He really hated for her to go, he hadn’t allowed himself to think how lonely he’d become. How he longed for exhilarating female company and she was it. She was funny and smart, they hadn’t started debating politics but he figured she could hold her own. He was really taken by her and wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do next. She sat in the seat next to him in the cab of his truck getting ready to open the door.

‘No wait,’ he said as he jumped out and rushed around to help her out. It could be tricky because his truck was tall and she was not.

‘Thank you.’ She seemed so demure but he also caught glimpses of a firebrand under there and he was intrigued by that.

‘I’ll walk you up.’

‘You don’t have to Craig, I’m okay.’

‘No it was my fault this all happened.’

‘Well that would be fine. Do you still have tools in the house you to need to get?’

‘No, I packed up most of it up. I hate to leave things lying around people’s homes even if I’m coming back.’

They stood on her porch under the light, Grace fumbled with her keys till she got the lock opened. She was feeling skittish for some reason. Well, she knew the reason, Mr. Craig Bellows was wreaking pure havoc on her senses. She felt at any moment she was about pop out of her skin. He was so close right behind her with his warm breath tickling her neck.

Craig stood there behind her feeling the warmth of her body, she smelled like that Suave lavender shampoo and it was heady. As she opened the door she turned and looked at him.

‘Thank you so much for the use of your shower and dinner. I really appreciate it.’

‘Well I’m trying to be of service. I’ll be back tomorrow and I won’t charge you for today.’

‘Really? You know you did work, I’d be happy to pay.’

‘No, no I won’t be billing you. That’d be bad customer service.’

imageShe looked at his lips as he spoke, his words seemed more of a seduction than conversation regarding charges for today’s work. He had beautiful lips, they looked strong and were full and as he spoke his tongue would peek out every so often to lick them.

Craig saw her eyes drift to his mouth, he really wanted this woman. She had just endeared herself to him today. He had to do something, say something.

‘What would be good customer service, Mr. Bellows?,’ she said jokingly.

‘This would…’ And he went for it, he kissed her as she stood there looking as if she needed a good kiss so he gave it to her. He gathered her into his arms and she didn’t fight she just melted, he kissed her hard and deep he wasn’t just going for lips he wanted all access. Grace gave it willingly, she opened her mouth and they explored each other. Her hands wrapped around his muscular shoulders as he held her against his solid chest. His hands around her soft waist as his fingers probed under the hem of that t-shirt to caress that supple newly cleaned skin. Craig couldn’t believe it she was intoxicating and his cock had sprung to life immediately. Grace’s head was spinning she hadn’t ever felt like this kissing someone. Then there was the sound of a car alarm, it startled them both back to what they were doing on her front porch, having a full blown make out session..

Craig pulled back and let her go he was shocked at his loss of control, this was a customer dammit.

‘I’m sorry, Grace. I’m so sorry.’

Grace tried to compose herself but she was flush she could feel the heat on her cheeks, in fact, all over her body.

‘Umm that’s okay, it’s not your fault. I have to go, I’ll see you tomorrow,’ she said hurriedly as she scrambled inside.

As he was telling her goodbye the door slammed shut in his face. Craig walked back to his truck trying to calm his raging hormones, he hadn’t gotten that hard that fast since he was seventeen in the back of grandpa’s truck with Heather Mooney. He wasn’t sure how he was going to be able to work anywhere near her now.

Grace was on the other side of the door cursing herself for letting it go that far but also reveling in how alive she felt because it did. This was going to be a long week with him here everyday.

Remembering Your Heart-Chapter 6

Mona had taken the day to drive out her Aunt Julie’s in Astoria, she was still living in the same home she’d lived in all her life. Mona had many fond memories of playing in the yard and family dinners and just plain love. She’d been feeling really down since her run in with Luke and his lunch date. She thought she might be ready to think about hearing him out but now she figured it was over. She pulled into the driveway of her Aunt’s house, it never seemed this little when she was a child but she remembered sharing a room with Georgie and Pauly as a kid. She smiled as she turned off the engine. Aunt Julie appeared on the porch and Mona jumped out to run into her arms. She loved her Aunt so much and she knew she loved her. They had a bond that even Georgie and Pauly didn’t share with their own mother.

‘Oh I’m so glad to see you, child,’ her Aunt said as she squeezed her tight and kissed her cheek.

‘I’m so glad I could come out.’ Mona leaned back from the embrace to look her Aunt. This woman was still strong and beautiful. She always had a regal appearance to Mona. Now she was little older and stiffer it seemed, but she was still gorgeous with gray hair she kept in a bun and as usual, she was the sharpest dresser ever. Every outfit for Aunt Julie was coordinated at all times, Mona figured that’s where Georgie got it from.

‘Come on in, I made lasagna for lunch.’

‘That sounds delicious,’ but as she said it Mona thought about Mr. Serrano’s lasagna which lead to thoughts of Luke and tears began to fall.

Her Aunt was shocked, ‘what’s wrong Mona? You never cry. You were the strongest little girl I ever saw. Okay, come on in and sit down, I need to know what’s going on.’

Mona trudged inside with tears still streaming down her face. She couldn’t believe that the mention of lasagna had in her in full blown tears.

‘Sit on down Mona. Darling, you have to tell me what’s going on.’

Mona set on her Aunt’s leather couch it was worn but still comfortable. Her Aunt sat down in her wing back chair that she’d had reupholstered a few years ago. Mona was trying to get her breathing together and stop the flow of tears but it was difficult.

‘Does this have something to do with that boy?’

Mona had told her Aunt a little about the romance between her and Luke but she hadn’t spoken about what had happened recently.

‘Yes, Aunt Julie, it is.’

‘Well, I spoke with your cousin and she told me you two had broken up awhile ago. Why are still upset? And why are you this upset?’ her Aunt’s face was a mask of worry.

‘Aunt Julie, it’s such a long story.’

‘Look here child I got all day, so you can tell it.’

Mona settled back into the couch and started to spill the whole sorted tale.

‘I couldn’t believe it Aunt Julie, I just couldn’t. I’d fallen in love with the man who had participated in the murder of my parents. How could I have been such a damn fool?’

‘Now okay Mona, I know you’re upset but no foul language in my house.’

‘I’m sorry but this entire situation has me in complete knots. I’m so hurt and torn up. I don’t know if I ever want to love anyone again.’

Aunt Julie was sitting there watching her niece. She had things she needed to tell Mona. Now looked like the opportunity she had been waiting on.

‘Mona, I need to share something with you about your friend, Mr. Serrano.’

‘What?’ Mona was confused what could her Aunt know about Luke.

‘I know him. I know you’re confused but I do know him. When your parents were killed, we tried our best to shield you from the whole situation. Now, I don’t know if that was a good thing for me and Uncle James Stanley to do, but we did the best we could. We went to the court for the trial, we met with the prosecutor. The whole thing was sad and I was angry, thank the Lord for your Uncle because I wanted kill some folks. Somebody had taken away my sister, my Emily.’

This was the first time she’d ever heard this from her Aunt. She has no idea how this had affected her too. Mona was just a child so her pain was the only important thing to her at the time, but she’d forgotten Aunt Julie had lost her beloved baby sister.

‘They weren’t sure they could find and convict that monster who did this, but then someone came forward. A witness. We were surprised and so was the prosecuting attorney but everyone was thrilled. Someone would testify to what they’d seen that night and what happened. This person knew who the person was that had set fire to your daddy’s restaurant. I was so thankful because if they hadn’t come forward, we would probably never had known who did that evil thing. You know who that person was?’

Mona just stared at her Aunt blankly.

‘It was your Mr. Serrano, I remember him. I wasn’t sure when you told me his name that this was the same man but it is. My Lord, what a small world we live in. He was brave and, yes I was mad he took part in that, but I knew he was kid and fear made him run. He didn’t help or even stay as those boys set fire to your daddy’s place and he did the right thing, he came forward. You know I think God brings people into our lives for a reason. We may not always know right then but it reveals it itself.’

Tears came to Mona’s eyes again, not tears of pain but tears of joy. He hadn’t actually been there, he hadn’t actually participated, and he’d testified against what she figured were his friends at the time. He’d done the right thing then, but she knew he’d done the wrong thing now by not telling her sooner. She wondered why. He could have easily explained this whole thing, why had he chose to keep it a secret? She’d told him about her parents, why didn’t he just say something.

‘Aunt Julie, thank you for this information. I remember when I was little my mama always telling me ‘remember baby, remember your heart, there’s a reason you have one’. I was never sure why she said that until now, my heart is forgiving. All these years I didn’t even realize I’d been keeping all this unforgiveness, all that hate in until right now. All my pain and anguish at the death of my mama and daddy. It was so unfair, it was so unfair.’

Her Aunt got up and went to sit beside Mona and put her arms around her and just held her as she cried.

‘It’s okay darling, it’s okay. You know God can give you double for your trouble. From what I’ve heard this man loves you, he treats you well. Yes, he wasn’t right for keeping that secret but I think he kept it because he didn’t want to hurt you.’

‘Hurt me? Hurt me? I’m in so much pain now.’

‘Listen Mona, we all do things that at the time we think are a good idea. I think me and your Uncle thought it was a good idea not to speak about your mama and daddy. We thought it would hurt you if we did so we just tried our best to make sure your life went back to normal. But really how is anyone ever going to be the same again when their parents die? Especially since you were so young. It was dumb of us, but we tried.’

Mona took her head off her Aunt’s shoulder and looked at her, ‘no, no Aunt Julie it wasn’t dumb. I knew you and Uncle James Stanley did the best you could in a tragic situation.’

‘Then why don’t you extend Mr. Serrano that same understanding.’

Mona had to sit back for a minute, her Aunt was right. But with all that had occurred between her and Luke she didn’t know if it could ever be the same between them.

‘I don’t know Aunt Julie. How do I overcome this?’

Her Aunt Julie looked at her with love and took her arthritic finger and poked her in the chest and said, ‘remember your heart.’

Through the tears Mona smiled for the first time in a long time. There was hope and she felt free.

‘Okay darling, come on back here and get some of this good lasagna.’

Mona realized then too that for the first time in a long time she was starving. They got up and headed for the kitchen with the smell of delicious lasagna. Mona was relieved, things would be alright.

shadow-man-woman<<<<<*****<<<<<>>>>>*****>>>>>

Luke was coming into his condo with take out, he’d been hold up there since his run in with Mona and had no idea how to mend this tragic situation. He’d been thinking about just showing up at her house with roses and the ring he’d been hiding in his sock drawer for the last 2 months. Yes, he wanted to marry her but just hadn’t mustered up the courage to ask before this debacle occurred and now it seemed it too late. He’d looked high and low for a ring to fit her and finally decided she was more unique than any diamond could express. He’d found a beautiful ruby ring with yellow diamonds surrounding it. It set him back a few thousand bucks but nothing was too good for Mona, nothing except the truth. Now it set his drawer, taunting him every time he saw it with his own stupidity. What the hell was he supposed to do now?

As he walked through the door, he saw Brady and Amber cuddled up on his couch laughing watching a movie. He really liked that those two were together and he tried his best not to put them in the middle of his drama. He’d explained to Amber exactly what happened the day they saw him at lunch with Sheila Webster, but he asked her not to tell her Aunt. He didn’t want to seem like a slithery snake running around having these kids do his dirty work. They deserved to enjoy each other. They’d both be heading back to school in the next week. He’d actually miss them both. Brady had been great to have here at the house and Amber was just delightful. He couldn’t have made a better girl for Brady. He hoped his son knew how lucky he was to have a great girl like her. It was something he knew now, he thought regretfully.

‘Hey guys.’

Brady looked up to see his dad and tried to shift so he and Amber didn’t look too intimate.

‘Hi Luke!’

‘Hey dad, what’s up?’

‘Nothing. How about you two?’

‘Nothing much just hanging out watching movies. What you got?’

‘Oh it’s Thai, do either of you want any? There’s plenty.’

‘We’re cool dad, we ordered pizza.’

Luke went into the kitchen and set down his bag and began to pull out containers. It smelled delicious but he wasn’t sure he was hungry.

Suddenly Brady and Amber appeared in the kitchen staring at him.

‘Dad, you okay?’

‘Yes, I’m fine. You guys go back and finish your movie.’

‘Luke, we’re just asking. We both worry about you and Aunt Mo.’

‘I know and you two have been fantastic but don’t concern yourself with what we old folks are doing. You two have college starting up soon, worry about that. Let me worry about what’s happening with me and Mona.’

‘Luke, I don’t know what’s up but I did want to tell you that my Aunt Mo went out to see my grandmother last week. And when she came back she was different.’

Luke furrowed his brow at Amber, ‘different? Different how?’

Amber looked over at Brady who just shook his head encouraging her to continue.

‘She seemed peaceful, not really happy but at ease. I don’t know. I asked her about it and she just kind of…I don’t know hemmed me off.’

‘Has she been like this the whole week, do you know?’

‘Yea, ever since she came back from seeing my grandmother in Astoria. It’s weird but she just seems better. I don’t know what that means for you Luke.’

‘Thanks for telling me that, sweetheart. Right now it doesn’t matter what it means. I’m just happy she’s better. You guys finish watching your movie.’

Amber smiled at Luke as she and Brady left and he returned it. He was thrilled to hear that Mona was okay, but he wondered what happened between her and her Aunt that she’d have this change of heart. He left his dinner and went into the bedroom and closed the door. He opened his sock drawer and extracted the ring box. It was beautiful box, black leather with silver stitching around it. He opened it to peer at the ring he wanted to give to the love of his life as he asked her to marry him. He looked and wondered what the news Amber had just given him meant for their chances or did they still even have a chance.

<<<<<*****<<<<<>>>>>*****>>>>>

It was 7:15 p.m. on a rainy Thursday evening. It has been getting colder as Autumn approached. Mona was sitting in the TV room with Vince Torino and Sergeant Chuck Riley at the table laughing and talking. She had a shift till 5 p.m. tomorrow then she’d be off a day then back on for a 14 hour shift. She’d been feeling better more like her old self again but she still hadn’t spoken to Luke. She knew she needed to but there was just something in her that was holding back. The odd part was after the visit with her Aunt Julie and letting her grief regarding the death of her parents flow, she’d forgiven Luke for his deceit. But there was still something that couldn’t let her face him just now. She’d been working on that but at the moment she still needed time alone to figure out where or if they’d be moving forward in life together.

The guys that were there tonight were either washing clothing or eating. Kimura and Powell were sitting on the couch watching something mindless on television, it was relatively quiet. Hopefully tonight would stay quiet, Mona hadn’t been getting as much sleep as she needed lately although but the nightmares about her parents had stopped. She wasn’t looking as haggard as she had but even she knew her glow had not returned. She kept wondering was that due to the fact Luke was still out of her life. She looked from Torino to Sgt. Riley both with happy and laughing at some joke Chuck had just told. They had loves of their own. Torino was dating a nice guy, Chuck’s family was great as ever, he and his wife were getting ready to celebrate their anniversary. That’s what Mona wanted, deep in her heart that’s what she knew she deserved. She decided right then that within the next couple of days she’d get in touch with Luke. She wanted this ache to be gone, she wanted to know what would happen between them. If the love was still there.

‘Mona, you okay?’ Torino asked.

‘Yea, Vince I’m fine. I’m just a little tired, maybe I need to turn in…’

The sound of the fire alarm cut off Mona’s reply. Time to go. She and the rest of the guys jumped up and headed for the poles, they made quick work of everything. Getting on their gear in a few quick minutes and onto the trucks. There was shouting of instructions as dispatch started giving details on the incident, a house fire, she disliked those. They could easily get out of control and spark fires in nearby homes, these houses were packed on top of each other in this neighborhood. It was a constant source of annoyance for the firefighters at the firehouse.

Mona set in the front cab of the truck, listening and taking notes as dispatch spoke. Kimura was sitting across from her, relaying information regarding the incident site. There were so many things going on all Mona could do is concentrate and pray. It never got any easier when they went out on a call, her adrenaline was always rushing, she was scared but that served her well. Frightened was good, it meant she avoided making stupid decisions at the incident site.

They pulled up and it was worse than they imagined, the fire was raging out of control. It was two story home and it looked like the fire’s origin was on the first floor. That would make it easier to try and get under control but there were so many things to watch. She was out in a flash, helping Kimura get the hoses unfurled and hooked up to the hydrant. She and Kimura worked well together he knew his role and she knew hers which made things easy. There was a couple with three kids standing near the street sobbing, the woman kept putting her head in the man’s shoulder.

She heard Chuck shout, ‘there’s one missing. There’s a kid missing,’ over to Torino and Powell.

She knew that meant, there was a person who may not have gotten out.

‘Powell. Anderson. Start searching. Torino get over here and get on the hose.’

Torino came running and Mona took off in one direction as Powell took off in the other around the perimeter searching for the other kid. She was 14 years old and named Phoebe Weiss. Mona had searched for missing people before at incident sites, she was sure that’s why Chuck sent her. She had a knack for knowing where people maybe hiding and that’s what she was praying for that this child was just hiding because there was no way anyone was going into the fire, not tonight. She heard Powell’s voice calling out to the side of her.

‘Hey, is anybody here? Phoebe?’

Then suddenly in her peripheral vision she saw him go toward the house. There was complete commotion everywhere. The last thing she needed was Powell doing something stupid.

‘Powell, what the hell are you doing?’

‘I’m going in. I hear her so I’m going in.’

‘Powell! Have you cleared that?’ she shouted running towards him. Sometimes the hissing of fire could sound like a human being, they all knew that. Why was this jackass going into that house? Even if it was the child’s voice it was too risky, especially alone. She saw him enter the burning house and thought, you idiot, this was going turn into a disaster. As she looked in she could see him, he was turning in circles as if he was disoriented, which wasn’t hard to do when inhaling smoke even with the mask on. Suddenly she saw him stagger and fall, it all happened so fast. Mona couldn’t wait, she had to get in there. She couldn’t leave a fellow firefighter to die even if she hated his guts. She was on her radio in a flash reporting to Sgt. Riley.

‘Powell is down. I’m going in after him.’

Mona didn’t wait for a reply she just charged ahead. It was foolish thing to do she knew but she no choice.

She heard a crackle and then Sgt. Riley say, ‘Anderson get the hell out of there! I’m ordering you to abort that rescue.’

Mona couldn’t hear much more as the fire crackled and sizzled around her. Items in the home were bursting from the flames and heat, the whole place was combustible. Then suddenly she heard it, the ceiling caving in and then she saw as it fell on top of Powell’s limp body which was now buried under a pile of burned wood and sheetrock. She turned to see Torino standing at the side door and suddenly Mona felt a hot swoosh as something landed on her hard. She went down as everything began to go black and the last thing she heard was, ‘Mona! Mona!’ as Torino screamed her name.

Surviving In Dateland-Chapter 9

348474-adminThe Ferry was finally pulling into the terminal at Port Townsend, it was small quaint town and Sophie was nervous about this visit. As they drove off the Ferry, she looked over at Brock and he smiled at her. She’d been quiet most of the drive and he’d been filling her in on who would be out at this gathering.

‘My mother and father, of course, Gerta and Thomas Giles, my youngest sister, my younger brother, Bailey, my older sister Brooke and her husband, Dick, oh I mean Dirk.’

She laughed when he said that, ‘why did you get his name wrong?’

‘I don’t like Dirk and he doesn’t care for me. He’s a complete snob as is my sister sometimes but she has a good heart. He has no heart. They have two little girls, cute as buttons but spoiled rotten.’

‘Oh Brock! That’s what you do with children, you spoil them. Where do they live?’

‘In Sammamish in the highlands. Dirk’s family is wealthy and in politics in Georgia but not as wealthy as ours. He seems to think I’m some kind of ne’er do well because I worry about people less fortunate than me and I’m not trying to abuse my power. Which is weird because I actually haven’t got any.’

‘That bad, hmmm.’

‘Oh yea, please don’t worry if he says anything racist or stupid I’ll set him straight. He’s not that smart it will be easy to do.’

‘Okay,’ Sophie was not in the mood to battle idiots so she was happy Brock seemed to have no issue doing so.

‘Brock. Can I ask you a question?’

‘Sure, why not. I’m an open book for you, baby.’

‘Have you ever brought a black woman home to your family?’

He started to laugh heartily, ‘what an odd question. Are you concerned?’

‘Well…yes and no, but can I get an answer to my question.’

‘Well, no I haven’t, but don’t let that concern you. I haven’t brought a black woman home to meet my family but then again, I haven’t brought many women home to met them. My family isn’t perfect and although their name is attached to a corporation and I love them. They’re my family and I only bring really serious girlfriends around. That way it keeps down trouble for me.’

Sophie turned to smirk at him, Brock caught her look. Now she was really freaking out.

As they drove Sophie couldn’t help but notice the beautiful trees, it had been awhile since she’d been out to the Peninsula and it was gorgeous. She’d tried to pack conservative clothing she didn’t want to be too provocative. From what Brock had told her his family was mildly conservative. She’d also brought evening wear. He said it was a requirement that they dress up for dinner Saturday evening. She didn’t have an evening dress so she’d gone to Macy’s to buy one. She almost went to Lindstrom’s but she thought it was would be over doing it if she stepped into their household with one of their evening dresses on. Sophie had never even heard of dressing for dinner, she’d only done that as a child when they went to her grandparents house after church on Sunday. Leann had helped her pick out something for the dinner but as usual with Leann it was low cut and sexy. She wasn’t sure she wanted to do it but Leann had reassured it was in good taste and that Brock would love it. Leann had picked out a white one shouldered mini sheath with embellishment at the shoulder and a pair of strappy silver sandals with crystals on them. Sophie remembered the last outfit Leann picked for her on the date with the narcissistic lawyer, she hoped this whole thing went over well.

They were winding down a road with not much more than fir trees to catch their eye. It was Friday and summer so it was a cool night. The moon roof on Brock’s Prius was open and Sophie could feel the breeze she heard the crickets singing in the evening and although it was almost 8 pm, it was still light outside. She loved these northern summers. They came to a road that just looked deserted and Brock turned in although it was paved it wasn’t paved well. It seemed that if another car came toward them it would be a pretty decent game of chicken going on for who got the right of way.

‘Ahh the old homestead,’ Brock chimed in and he took her hand and squeezed it.

She figured he was trying to reassure her but at this moment nothing was going to make her feel better. As they drove along the road started to wind, Brock didn’t have any issues as they made their way further in. As they went along, Sophie could see something through the trees, just peeks but it was a very large clearing and a house, well not exactly a house, a mansion and suddenly he took another sharp turn and it appeared. Sophie was blown away it was huge, it was the biggest homes she’d ever seen.

‘Wow!’

She saw Brock turn to her and grin, ‘impressed? You ought to see the Italian villa.’

She looked at him, ‘you have an villa?’

‘Well, I don’t per se but the family does. This house is just a place to relax here in Washington. This is Vatten Stuga, the Water Lodge.’

‘Do you speak Swedish?’

‘A little, I had to learn on my own. My great grandfather forbade his children from speaking Swedish he wanted them to be real Americans,’ he says with sarcasm. He didn’t seem really proud of that part of his family story. But then he suddenly cheered up and patted her knee, ‘I’m so glad you’re here Sophie, I’m so glad.’

Sophie felt like he meant those words. She was glad to be here too because suddenly the cool and collected Brock she knew seemed nervous and stiff. She wondered what that was all about.

<<<<<*****>>>>>*****<<<<<

As Brock pulled up he parked by a Porsche SUV, there were a few other luxury vehicles parked in spaces as well.

‘I see Brooke is here with Dirk, this is his Porsche. God, he’s such a douchebag I really think he’s cheating on my sister but I can’t prove it.’

Sophie exited the car quietly she didn’t know what to say to that news but the easygoing man that had driven them here was gone and this tense one had taken his place.

As they opened the hatchback Sophie noticed three people headed their way. An older woman and gentlemen and a younger man about Brock’s age but shorter and he looked like he’d been working hard.

‘Hello Mr. Giles,’ the man spoke first as they approached.

‘Hello Mr. Rundquist and Mrs. Rundquist, how are you two doing.’

‘Fine. And yourself?’

‘I’m fine Mr. Rundquist. Let me introduce you. This is my girlfriend, Sophie Robeson. Sophie this is Mr. and Mrs. Rundquist, they’re the caretakers here.’

‘Hello,’ Sophie was cordial Mr. Rundquist greeted her, the woman however just nodded her head and looked suspicious. This was not how she wanted to start this trip but whatever.

‘Felix, how are you?’

‘Good, very good Mr. Giles.’

The man spoke with a slight accent. He was Filipino and seemed very nice.

‘Can I take those for you ma’am?’ he asked Sophie and started to take her bags and put them on a dolly. He took Brock’s after wards and headed back up to the house.

As Sophie got a good look at it, she really noticed how beautiful it was. It was a giant wooden mansion with intricate detail and carvings all over it. They looked to be Swedish traditional carvings, Sophie couldn’t believe how beautiful it appeared. The place was huge with a large porch that looked as if it went all the way around. She felt Brock’s hand on her arm.

‘Hey, Mr. Rundquist is everyone around the back at the pool?’ Mr. Rundquist told him yes and Brock started to lead Sophie toward to back of the house.

‘Pool? This place is by a lake, what’s the pool for?’

‘The kids. Come on, I’ll take you back there and introduce you to everyone. I think my Uncle Peter is here and it’s been awhile since I’ve seen him.’

‘Are your parents here?’

‘Umm yea, my mom was driven out and my dad’s Mercedes is back up there parked in the garage.’

Sophie just walked silently as they strolled along a rock path toward the back of the large home. It was a long walk but she noticed the lake as they walked, it was beautiful and serene. She could see other homes across its span with docks and large boats pulled up to them. She guessed this was the time for folks to be out on Discovery Bay. Summer here had to be spectacular. Brock took her hand as they approached the back of the home. She felt much better because as they walked the yard she was overwhelmed. It had guest houses and another large two story home she saw coming onto the grounds. There was large playground, tennis courts and a basketball court and lots of land. Sophie suddenly started to hear voices, a loud discussion about politics but not like anything she’d ever heard. It wasn’t not loud with laughter, it was a stern discussion of money. There were some people not agreeing about the economic future of our country.

‘Oh goodness, not already. I knew it was coming but not this soon. Sophie, please don’t break up with me because of my family.’

Before they entered the fray he turned to hug her, he kissed her tenderly then more passionately it was a kiss she’d never felt before. Sophie was swept away, they’d kissed many times but something about this kiss was desperate and hungry he squeezed her tight and clung to her. Sophie wasn’t sure what this was about but she liked it.

‘Uh-unh.’ Sophie heard the interruption to the side of her. Brock let his grip go slightly limp but still had her in his arms. They both looked to the person who’d interrupted their little intimate moment.

She was blonde, slim with blue eyes and a tall frame and she looked rather pissed.

‘Sorry sis,’ Brock told her looking contrite.

So this was the sister she’d heard so much about. She was lovely although not as beautiful as Sophie thought she would be but she’d keep that to herself. At her feet were two adorable little girls one was blonde and the other had brunette hair.

‘And there are my favorite nieces, come give me a hug.’

The two little squeaking delights ran toward him as he stooped. Sophie smiled it was such an adorable image, she could imagine him with their kids one day. Whoa! That thought was out of nowhere, they’re kids. Sophie pushed it aside.

Brock turned and stretched his hand out to Sophie, ‘Sophie, I want you to meet my two favorite girls. This is Tate and Morgan.’

The girls twisted in their little matching outfits and played coy, they were cute. Just as adorable as Brock had told her.

‘Hello, Tate. Hello, Morgan.’ They smiled shyly at her.

‘Also, this is my sister, Brooke. Sis, this my girlfriend, Sophie Roberson.’

Brock’s sister smiled toward her and extended her hand, Sophie shook it. It was rather formal but everyone’s family wasn’t hers.

‘Come on back, Brock, everyone has been expecting you. I know they’ll be happy to see you.’ She grabbed Brock by the arm and started to drag him toward the crowd. The girls went running in front of them. Sophie came in behind them, it seemed as if his sister was happy to see him but not thrilled to see the new girlfriend.

It had been a whirlwind, there were a lot of people in the back on a large stone patio and wood deck with a huge fire pit in the middle. Brock’s family seemed happy to see him. Sophie had been introduced all around, it was a large family and they weren’t even all there. Sophie had met his Aunts and Uncles and some cousins and lots of kids. His Uncle Peter would be there tomorrow on a plane from Puerto Rico, seems he was the black sheep in the family kind of like Brock and also his favorite Uncle.

‘Mom and Dad this is Sophie, my new girlfriend. Sophie, these are my parents Thomas and Gerta Giles.’

‘Hello Sophie, so glad you could join us. Brock doesn’t bring many of his female companions here so we’re honored.’

‘Thank you Mr. Giles.’ Brock’s dad was tall about as tall as he was. He had dark hair like Brock with gray at his temples with those chocolate brown eyes like Brock and was in great shape. He also had a slight British accent. Sophie was really happy he seemed really welcoming and friendly.

‘It’s so nice to meet you Sophie. Brock has spoken about you to me, it’s just wonderful to finally meet,’ his mother spoke to her smiling ear to ear.

‘It’s nice to meet you too, Mrs. Giles.’

‘Oh no, please call me Gerta.’

‘Yes, we’re not that formal here despite what Brock may have told you,’ Mr. Giles looked over at Brock and smiled.

Sophie noticed Brock’s mother was staring at her, it wasn’t oddly, she just kept smiling. She was tall but so were most of the women in Brock’s family it seemed. She had brown hair in a blunt haircut very stylish and was slim with a athletic physique. She was a very pretty woman and looked as if she’d been a real beauty in her day.

‘Well, I’m so happy to meet everyone,’ Sophie hadn’t been this nervous meeting a guy’s family ever but she had so many feelings invested in her relationship with Brock. She didn’t want this to go badly.

‘Where is Grammy?’

Sophie giggled a bit at Brock’s use of ‘Grammy’ it was so cute coming from this strong and capable man. He looked over at her a bit embarrassed.

‘Your grandmother went to bed at 7pm. You know how she is Brock,’ his mother responded.

‘I know. Sophie, my grandmother has a regimen that is strict, up at 5am to bed by 7pm. She’s kept it all her life and the woman is healthy as a horse. Where’s Bailey?’

His dad looked at his mom, ‘Bailey is on a business trip.’ He made the air quotes as he said it.

Sophie wasn’t sure but she was sure that something was amiss about his brother not being here.

A young woman came up and hugged him tight. She looked familiar like Brock’s mother.

‘Hey there, my little Bianca.’

‘I am not little Brock. Stop calling me that.’

‘You’re still little to me,’ and put her in a headlock which had her screaming to the top of her lungs.

‘Brock, let your sister go,’ she looked over at Sophie in exasperation, ‘I swear these two have been like this forever but he loves his sister. You two stop it!’

Sophie could see that. She finally got introduced to his little sister who was actually not little, she played basketball at Gonzaga and like his mother and older sister was a beauty with blue eyes and long brunette hair. She was a lot like Brock, fun and very social. She talked a lot and had brought her roommate, Vicky, to this family gathering. A pretty petite blond who seemed to have an eye for Brock.

Everyone had been really nice and friendly, everyone except his brother in law, Dirk. He’d been quite cold and although he treated her with disdain there was something in his eyes that kept watching her with disgust and sexual longing. It creeped Sophie completely out, he just seemed like a perverted ass who was totally about image while living a hidden freaky life. She was going to try her best to avoid him the remainder of the weekend.

Later that evening most everyone had settled in for the night. She, Brock and a few of his cousins along with his sister, Bianca and her friend were still up hanging outside drinking and chatting.

‘I like your family.’

‘They’re not bad. It’s sometimes like an out of this world experience coming here.’

‘Why?’

‘Well, look around Sophie. Who lives like this? Most of the time I’m in the real world and when I come here, it just seems artificial somehow.’

‘Well, I love it.’

‘Yea a lot of people do.’

Sophie looked over at him, he was staring at the sky as if he’d just checked out of the entire conversation. She decided to settle into his embrace as they both stared out to the beautiful clear night sky.

Sophie had finally gotten sleepy. Brock was leading her upstairs toward their room. If it looked big on the outside, the house was ginormous on the inside. The were staying in the East Wing while his parents, Aunts, and Uncles stayed in the West Wing of the mansion the part occupied by his grandmother. They’d come to the room on the second floor, yes the home did have three floors.

‘This is goodnight,’ he told her as he opened the door and escorted her in.

‘Goodnight? Where are you staying?’

‘I have a room down the hall. My grandmother does not allow unmarried people to share bedrooms in her home. She’s Catholic. So no hanky panky.’

Sophie stepped into the room, it was large with a large wooden canopy bed against the wall. It was beautifully decorated in hues of rose, a deep ruby color, and gold accents. She couldn’t imagine sleeping in here the entire night alone.

‘This room is too big, Brock.’

‘What do you mean, it’s the size of your apartment,’ he said sarcastically and grinned.

‘I’m not joking. It’s a little intimidating and kind of scary.’

‘Well, I’m sorry this is it. The majority of the rooms here are now taken. Don’t be frightened you’re safe as kittens here. Come on in and relax. This is part of my grandmother’s addition to the house and see, at least you have your own bathroom. I don’t even have that and I’m a favorite grandchild.’

Great, she thought.

‘You’ll be fine.’

‘I don’t think so. Where are you at?’

‘Two doors down, left side.’

‘Okay and by the way where’s your brother? Bailey.’

‘Huh? What kind of question is that?’

‘Well your mother seemed annoyed when you asked and your father and his air quotes and eyebrow told a me something was wrong.’

‘Are you trying to get me to stay?’

‘Well, yes and no. Brock, please, just stay till I go to sleep.’

‘Okay but if you get me in trouble with my Grammy…well young lady, this relationship could be on the rocks.’

Sophie laughed at him and ushered him in. She got ready for bed and got under the covers, she had to say the bed felt like cotton. This probably would be an easy rest tonight. He was still fully dressed just his shoes were off. She got under the covers and he sat on them and held her close. It was comfortable in the house, not too cold, not too warm. Sophie figured when she got to sleep she’d sleep well.

‘Well, are you going to answer my question.’

‘Bailey is with a mystery woman.’

‘What?’

‘For the last couple of months Bailey has been M.I.A. when it comes to family gatherings. My dad said when he ask where he was, Bailey just shoos him off. My mother is upset she thinks the woman is a bad influence on him if she won’t even let him come to spend time with his family.’

‘Do you know anything about it? Who she is?’

‘No. Bailey works for the family corporation. My dad is CFO, Bailey is Assistant Chief of operations. My brother is 27 years old, he’s his own man. I don’t get why mom and dad are so worried. He doesn’t shirk any of his duties at work, he just doesn’t come to family stuff all the time. My dad told me while I was down there that Bailey took the private jet to Italy this weekend. My mom doesn’t know.’

Private jet? Sophie was so overwhelmed by the wealth of these people she didn’t know how to cope barely but she didn’t want Brock to know that. She kept thinking about tomorrow’s dinner and that dress she bought from Macy’s these women probably had their dresses made by the best designers in Europe and here she comes with off the rack.

‘Oh,’ was the only response she could think of for what Brock just told her.

‘I don’t know. Bailey is very private. He’s always been that way, we’re not close because he’s more reserved than me. He went to military school for God’s sake. But we do have one thing in common.’

‘What’s that.’

‘We both love beautiful women.’ He peered down at her and Sophie could feel him coming in for the kiss. It was intense, he was going deep and gathering her up into his solid arms. They started to caress each other and then his hands reached under her nightgown. Sophie was all in now and suddenly he pulled away.

‘What’s wrong Brock?’ she was bereft and confused at his sudden change of heart.

‘This,’ he pointed down at the hardness in his shorts, ‘I want to make love with you so badly but right now I’m so horned up I’d make way too much noise. I better get to bed, so should you.’

Sophie knew he was right. She didn’t want to disrespect his grandmother’s wishes but she was just hoping she could get a little something, it probably would have put her to sleep. He got up and got himself in working order. Sophie walked him to her door, they kissed briefly before he left and before they ended up naked on that very big bed in the throes of passion.

She closed the door as he said goodnight and left. Sophie was feeling strangely about this entire trip not just about her awkwardness at being in the midst of the super rich but also wondering why Brock had brought her. He clearly wasn’t extremely close to his family, although they seemed very loving, and wasn’t part of the family business. She wondered what the hell was she doing here.

Love Never Leaves-Chapter 3

The night had gone well, Helena had found Jake to be funny and engaging and really charming. She was just so shocked because the person she’d first met didn’t seen to match at all the person who set across from her in this neighborhood bar. They’d had a delicious meal and had decided to go a place called The Spot Lounge. It was quiet and romantic with a great Jazz quartet playing to set the mood. They were on their 2nd drink Jake enjoying a rum and coke while Helena sipped on a glass of Malbec.

‘Helena, I’m glad you decided to go out with me.’

‘Well, I think I deserved the apology dinner. I’m not going to press the issue but you weren’t the friendliest person I had ever met in my life.’

Jake lowered his head in shame, he couldn’t really tell her why he’d been so unfriendly but he wanted to make it up to her, she was nice and insanely beautiful. He kept feeling as if maybe he liked her, maybe too much.

‘I’m sorry there really is no excuse for my behavior. My grandmother would tan my hide if she were alive.’

At those words Helena thought she’d definitely be down for seeing his tanned hide. He was so sexy she’d been trying to appear more reserved but this red wine was getting to her.

‘It’s okay, sometimes days are bad,’ and she should know she had many bad days after Scott’s death. She shook her head to come out of the memory and there he still was sitting in front of her, looking better than any man she’d seen in a long time.

‘I can’t believe you’re an author and a famous one. Just wow! I’ve read your books but it’s been awhile since I’ve seen any new ones. What you been up to?’

Jake didn’t want to tell her the reason he hadn’t been writing was because he’d been depressed and mourning. She asked what he did and he almost lied but decided to just to be truthful. He didn’t want to start off on the wrong foot with this woman. So he told her that he wrote books, that he actually wrote mysteries and found that she loved his mysteries. And then he told her that he was Earl Gall. She almost didn’t believe him but he proved he was, he had some photos from a trade show he’d recently gone to. She was impressed and happy and he felt like for the first time in a long while he’d opened up to a woman. He’d been vulnerable. It felt great. For many years no one knew who he was but Connie had encouraged him to come out from under the pseudonym. He was a best-selling author so he was afraid he’d be inundated but it wasn’t that bad some people recognized him out and about but most times no one knew who he was. That suited Jake just fine.

‘How did you come up with that name? Just pick it out of a phone book or something?’

He laughed, Helena loved the way his green eyes twinkled when he laughed. He had this naughty mischievous little boy face even with his full beard.

‘No. Earl is my middle name, Gall is just shortened from Galanos. When I started writing, I was still working as an attorney I wasn’t supposed to be moonlighting. But I had to get it out. I got turned down by everyone and I do mean everyone till finally I got a call from Banner Books.’

‘Well what’s the rest of your story Mr. Gall? I’d like to know it.’

Jake wasn’t ready to tell it, ‘not much to tell. I was born in San Diego, lived there all my life until I moved here. I have one older sister, a mom and dad who live in Palm Springs, and I used to be a patent attorney. I’m 42 years old and that’s about it.’

‘I’m sure there’s more to that story but I won’t press you.’

Jake smiled and put his hands up waving no, ‘nope, there’s not much else. I’m not that interesting.’

‘Jake, please from what I can tell you’re very interesting.’

Jake saw the look in her eyes, it was smoldering. He just felt so drawn to her, he couldn’t help it he leaned over and pulled her closer.

‘Helena, can I ask you something?’

Helena was surprised she thought for sure he was was going in for the kiss.

‘Sure,’ she was embarrassed that she thought something was going to occur and it didn’t.

‘I want to kiss you but it’s been awhile since I’ve kissed anyone. I don’t want to mess this up because I like you. Is it okay if I kiss you?’

Helena looked a little taken aback she hadn’t had someone ask her for a kiss not even Scott did that. She just found it so sweet and endearing and she wanted the kiss.

‘Of course.’

The each leaned in and his nice firm lips hit hers. It felt great, his lips were soft and at first he was hesitant, he tasted of spicy rum and sweet cola. She could kiss him all night, he didn’t rush anything then suddenly it seemed they each sought more. Jake’s tongue slipped easily into the seam of her lips and Helena opened willingly to allow him access. Jake wanted to grab her and place her on his lap so she could feel how turned on he was. He was surprised by his reaction to her, his hands were on her arms and he held on to her gently. It was more than he could take, he pulled away suddenly.

Helena was left a little bereft that he’d just pulled back. She didn’t want it to stop but then again they were in public maybe what was happening between them was a little hot and heavy.

Helena was blushing although her cocoa skin wasn’t giving it away, ‘Jake we better settle down.’

Jake leaned back on the bar stool and sighed he had to get his raging hormones under control. He was like a 16 year old and it was a tad embarrassing. He also felt a small surge of guilt but he tried to put it out of his mind.

‘I’m sorry, I just wanted to kiss you. You’re so beautiful and I just wanted to feel those gorgeous lips on mine.’

‘I wanted you to kiss me. What’s going on here, Jake? I mean a few days ago, you were shooing me away from your door and now we’re making out.’

He put his head back and laughed loudly, it was wonderful and deep. He noticed this was the best he’d felt since…well since their death. He didn’t know how to feel about that, he wanted to feel this good being with someone but was it really right?

‘Helena, I’m not sure but I know I want to get to know you better. You’ve sparked something in me I haven’t felt in awhile and I want to explore that.’

‘I just find your honesty very refreshing.’

‘You’re easy to be honest with. I really am drawn to you.’

‘I am to you also but you’ve got to know something, Jake.’

He looked at her quizzically, he was nervous it might be bad news.

‘I’m a widow, my husband died in Iraq a few years ago. He was my first and only love and I’ve been alone ever since. I’m excited about you but frightened. I mean you’ve set off feelings I didn’t remember I had.’

Jake was shocked, she was a widow too. Should he tell her about Connie and Dylan? She’d told him about her husband, was he ready for this? He looked at her beautiful face, she was so sweet and soft, he didn’t think he was ready to tell her his tragic story. But then he wondered when would he be?

‘I understand what you’re talking about, Helena. I don’t want to hurt you or lead you on but we can move slowly if you’d like.’

‘That may be the right thing to do,’ she replied.

They’d walked back to Helena’s and Jake thought he’d just say good night and let her go inside. She was stepping into the door and had turned to him. He thought he’d give her a hug and maybe a small kiss then go back to his place and try to overcome the guilt of feeling this horny.

‘I had wonderful evening, Helena.’

‘I did too.’

He was moving in for the hug but there was something about the look in her eye. She moved aside from the door.

‘Jake, why don’t you come in for a nightcap?’

Jake’s mind was telling him not to enter but his body had other ideas.

‘Okay,’ he stepped through with feelings of excitement warring with his guilt. He didn’t want this night to end, he didn’t want his time with this beautiful Goddess to ever be over. He walked in knowing these next moments could change everything and he wasn’t sure if that was good or bad.

 black-woman-white-man

What Happens In Vegas…-Chapter 3

Warning: This chapter contains sexually explicit material. 

Nydia was enjoying a beautiful day in Portland. Fall was coming soon and she just wanted to enjoy the last of this spectacular summer weather. She sitting on the patio drinking coffee and picking at a scrumptious banana walnut muffin at Grinders a coffee house just a block away from campus. She loved this spot, the coffee was too expensive for most of the students so they didn’t invade the place. She could work in peace and not hear too many obnoxious students talking about the ‘sick party’ going on at whatever fraternity over the weekend. Or listen to screeching music, this coffee shop played classical and jazz much more conducive to her thought process right now. Although she couldn’t get thoughts of Emerson, that had been dancing in her head and dreams as of late, out. He hadn’t shown back up at the law library thank goodness but she was dreading running into him on campus again. She was thankful to be here, she could relax and not have to be on high alert.

‘Hello.’

Nydia heard that sweet British accent in her ear. She looked up and there he was blocking the sunshine.

‘Hello,’ she muttered. Now what to do?

Emerson spotted her when he walked into the coffee shop, through the back glass window. She was sitting in the sun looking gorgeous as usual with it shining on that beautiful dark skin. She was glowing. He’d thought about just leaving her alone she didn’t really seem interested but then again there was a little twinkle in her eye he couldn’t ignore. He wanted to explore that more and now seemed like a good time a time as any.

‘May I join you Miss Frazier or is it Mrs.?’

She looked at him curiously, ‘no, it’s Ms. Frazier. See.’ She held up her ring-less finger to show him.

‘Well. It looks as if the men in this town are absolute fools.’

He sat across from her at the small round table and put a cup of what looked to be tea on it. Nydia almost melted, oh goodness he really is a super Brit she thought.

‘Next time I meet a man, I’ll inform him of your opinion.’ She didn’t mean to sound sarcastic but he made her feel on edge and snappy.

He chuckled, ‘you really are a difficult one, aren’t you?’

Nydia looked up from her papers, ‘excuse me?’ She was not liking his tone or maybe it was fact that he was so close and smelling so good, like sandalwood and fresh laundry.

‘I apologize for being so forward.’

‘What is that?’ she asked.

‘What is what?’

‘The way you speak, it’s straight out of a Jane Austen novel. Is that the way you charm the women?’ She didn’t need to ask because it was certainly the way he charmed her.

‘No. It’s not the way I charm the ladies out of their knickers if you want to know,’ then he gave her one of his disarming smiles. ‘It’s just the way I speak, would you like it better if I said, yo ma what’s up?’

She started to laugh he did the worse American accent ever and he laughed along with her. But Nydia knew she couldn’t get too close to this man, her whole life would fall apart if she did.

Emerson looked at her as she laughed and he couldn’t help but think something was so familiar about her but he just couldn’t place it. That beautiful melodic laughter just sounded oddly intimate. So many things about her had him thinking he must know her from someplace but her name wasn’t familiar at all.

‘You really do a terrible ‘hood’ accent. That was awful.’

‘I tried. Looks like you’re working hard.’

‘I am and how about yourself?’

‘It’s afternoon tea time, so I thought I’d get myself a cuppa.’

‘Ahhhh, you are really British.’

‘I am but not in every way. I can let myself go.’

At that phrase scenes of him and her letting themselves go in Vegas popped into her head. She really needed to get out of here and away from him before she burst into lustful flames.

‘Mr. Alistair, I need to…’

‘Please call me Emerson.’

‘Okay. Emerson, I need to get back to the law library. I’ve got tons of work to do.’

‘Okay, I hope I can come across you again. It’s always a pleasure Ms. Frazier.’

Nydia rose from the table she was wearing a pencil skirt that day that clung to every curve on her body for life. Emerson was in sheer pain and joy watching her form as it turned to walk away, that behind of hers, that behind…he thought, I know that beautiful rump.

‘Or can I call you…,’ then it hit him he knew where he knew her from Vegas, Vegas 5 years ago. ‘Charlotte?’ he said aloud.

Nydia turned and looked at him with pure shock and horror on her face. He’d remembered, oh yea she had to get the hell out of there right now. She snatched up her purse and jogged in those spike heels toward the door.

‘Ms. Frazier, Ms. Frazier…’ he called out after her.

She could hear him calling her name but she didn’t turn to try to acknowledge him.

Nydia was back at her office, she couldn’t believe it. Now what was she supposed to do he’d finally figured out who she was, she should just gather up her things and leave but she had a meeting in about 2 hours and she couldn’t miss it. Maybe she would just go hide in the stacks downstairs. Many times when she needed a moment to think she’d go downstairs in the stacks and just put away books. It was always quiet down there because students rarely went there and it would definitely be a good place today because school hadn’t began. She walked out and had the library assistants look at her oddly. She shouldn’t be surprised she did come tearing in here like the police were on her heels a few moments ago.

‘Milo, I’ll be downstairs in the stacks if anyone is looking for me.’

‘Okay Ms. Frazier,’ he said still staring at her cautiously.

Nydia’s heels clacked on the linoleum floors downstairs, most people would be terrified down here and she’d heard many students say they wouldn’t come down here because it was spooky. But it was comforting to her, it was cool, quiet, not too dark but not too much harsh light and she could drag the book cart from shelf to shelf stacking books and thinking. She needed time to think now because she needed a plan of what she would say when she saw Emerson Alistair again.

Emerson was furious as well as a tad turned on, he’d found the woman that he’d thinking about since that night. He was disappointed that next morning in Vegas to find her gone when he’d awoken. What he’d shared with her was more than a one night stand, at least to him, now he’d found her. He knew he wasn’t going to let her get away and then again she had a lot to explain.

At the desk they’d told him she was downstairs. As she descended, he could hear the clack of her heels on the floor, he was quiet as today he’d opted for soft sole loafers. He could hear her as she hummed a tune and as he drew closer he knew he should warn her but what the hell she’d run away from him in Vegas and fled the coffee house it was the strangest thing he’d ever seen. He rounded the corner of one the shelves and there she was her back to him. As he once again appreciated those luscious curves. He knew, yes, that was the woman who’d introduced herself to him as Charlotte in Vegas and as Nydia Frazier here.

download‘Hello again.’

Nydia almost jumped completely out of her skin, she had books in her hand so they hit the floor. She whirled around quickly to catch a glimpse of him leaning against the stacks. She really did want to jump him but a part of her was ready to run again.

‘I see the look in those beautiful eyes, you want to flee but no if you run I’ll catch you. You aren’t going anywhere Ms. Frazier.’

Nydia was a tad insulted, ‘do you think you’re going to stop me?’ She’d taken her hand on the hip tough girl stance. Emerson found he liked it and she was giving him a raging hard on.

‘Yes, because I know how.’

She cocked a quizzical eyebrow at him. ‘What, pray tell, do you know that I don’t?’

‘I know this.’ Emerson stalked toward her and Nydia backed up till she hit the wall. He knew he was taking a real chance with this move but he wanted this woman like no other and he was going to have her. They’d talk about explanations at some other juncture.

She was looking at him walk toward her and was astounded and aroused by the look in his eyes.

‘What are you doing?’

‘Reacquainting myself with you.’

He was in front in her now as she was pressed against the wall, she thought she should argue or leave but really at this moment she didn’t want to argue or leave. There was a lot of pent up sexual frustration she had regarding this man and lot of late night fantasies because of him and just wanted to relieve some that stress.

‘Would you like to leave?’ He was looking down at her eyes swimming with sex.

‘No,’ she said softly.

‘Ms. Frazier you have to speak up. I am not accustomed to taking a lady against her will.’

She looked him squarely in the eye, ‘no, I said.’

‘That’s all I needed to hear.’

Emerson hands moved to the hem of her skirt, Nydia trembled slightly at his touch. It was light but electric, she knew they had something that night in Vegas maybe that’s why she made a beeline outta there before he woke up. She’d always known she was a scaredy cat when it came to emotions especially love and she wanted to keep tight control over it all but now she just wanted to lose some of it.

Emerson stepped closer to her and pinned her in against the wall, he wanted her still. He didn’t want to talk to her face to face he wanted to speak into her ear, wanted her to feel his body and the heat emanating from it. His cock was hard as steel at this moment, he probably hadn’t felt this much lust since his night with her in Vegas. He kept inching her skirt up and noticed she wasn’t fighting or even arguing just breathing shallow but audible.

‘Ms. Frazier, I’m pleased you decided to stay,’ he finally had her skirt around her waist he was standing in front of her so if someone came across them it was unlikely they’d realize what was happening and this little corner was rather dim also. He felt her skin under his hands so smooth and supple just like he remembered, he almost came on the spot. He had to keep it together and let her melt he wanted her back but he wanted the truth too.

Nydia could feel her bare bottom on the cool wall, she wasn’t sure what he was doing but she didn’t want it to stop. She was wearing a lace thong and she felt those long slim strong fingers move the fabric aside as he slipped into her slick folds.

‘Ummm.’

‘I’ve hit the spot. Yes…well that feels good to my fingers too,’ he assured her.

It had been so long since anyone had made her feel anything this good, these were only his fingers. She could feel herself start to writhe against his hand.

‘Does that feel nice Ms. Frazier?’

Nydia couldn’t speak so she just nodded her head to indicate yes. Emerson smiled he enjoyed that night many years ago the pleasure he brought her. She was extremely responsive to his touch then just as she was now.

‘Now Ms. Frazier I want you to ride my fingers because I know it feels good. I’m going to make sure you come right here most intensely. So put your arms on my shoulders because I don’t want you to fall and injure yourself. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if that happened.’

Nydia side eyed him she couldn’t believe how calm he was, she could feel his hard member against her body but couldn’t understand how he stayed so in control. He had one hand on her butt massaging the flesh firmly while his other hand did magic fingers on her dripping cunt and slick clit. She was doing a poor job of keeping it together, her thighs were trembling and she wanted to scream out but instead of doing that she dug her fingernails into his shoulders. She hoped she wasn’t drawing blood as she put her face into his chest and muffled a scream of ecstasy in it.

Emerson felt her nails and her face against him, she was shaking uncontrollably and coming in his hands. It was warm and wet as it spread over his fingers. He looked at her as she came it was just as beautiful as previously. He let her settle before he extracted his fingers from her. She raised her face and she was gorgeous. Afterglow suited her very well.

He wanted to release his cock and screw her right into the wall but he’d just let her think about it. He knew she wanted him but she was hanging on so tightly to her control she wasn’t ready but he’d do whatever he needed to make sure she knew how much he wanted her.

‘Ms. Frazier?’

She looked up at him suddenly as she heard her name and realized what had just happened. Nydia’s eyes began to shift back and forth like a trapped animal, she started to pull at her skirt and she straightened that severe bun on her head that had gone askew in the passionate moment. She wanted to get out of there and away from him.

He looked her in the eye and said definitively, ‘I understand you want to leave and that’s fine but as I said previously we have things to speak about. And we will speak on those. Please understand that although I did not fuck you today, we are going to fuck.’

Her eyes narrowed at him and she began to squirm feverishly to get out of his hold. ‘Let me go,’ she said.

He did exactly as she asked, he let her go and backed away. Nydia took off with her book cart out of those shelves. As she left she looked back at him and he was standing at the end of the bookshelves against the wall relaxed as her eyes glanced down she noticed he was stroking his hardened cock. She thought to herself, wasn’t this scenario familiar to her. She turned and tried her best to put that sight out of her mind but the results of her own orgasm dripping between her legs made that hard to do. The remainder of the day was pretty much shot.

Surviving In Dateland-Chapter 8

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WARNING: This contains explicit sexual content. 

It had been over a week after the big blow up with Sophie and Brock, he’d been calling her but Sophie wasn’t in the mood to hear it or him. The betrayal was too much, she’d talked to Leann about it and she told her to let it go there were a lot worse things he could be. For Sophie that didn’t matter, he was the worse thing she thought he could be, a liar. She wasn’t sure about giving him a chance. He’d sent flowers and cards and little gifts to the office, Sophie had either given them away or threw them in the trash. He’d told her he used his wealth to influence people previously, he wasn’t about to start doing that again with her. It had been almost impossible not to call him or melt at the beautiful words he’d written her in the card but she was standing strong.

It was Friday night and bunch of folks from work were going to the Harvest Moon to drink beer in celebration of them completing the brews for the Fall roll out. She’d been in charge of one herself this year, first time and was proud of her accomplishment. She didn’t want to miss it especially since the tab would be on the boss, Bob Stehr.

They were at the Harvest Moon which was a bar and restaurant, it had spectacular food but the atmosphere was relaxed. So Sophie was jeans, steal toe boots and her flower power t-shirt, no time to get gussied up so many of the folks who brewed beer smelled like hops and barley. It was an odd aroma along with some sweat, but she was used to it.

She along with the two ladies in accounting and Trudy were the only women that worked full time. There a couple part time bartenders and waitresses, but they were the steadys. Trudy was there tonight with her new boyfriend, a skinny kid with red hair he was an Irish exchange student named Kevin Sullivan, he was cute for a skinny kid. Most everyone had their girlfriends or boyfriends there with them, it laughter and jokes all around. Grant and his wife and kids were sitting down by Sophie, she hadn’t told him anything about what happened between her and Brock. He knew they were dating and had been suspicious about her snappy mood swings but he hadn’t pried. She had told Leann about it but just said they were taking a break while she reassessed some things but in her mind, she kept thinking there was a good chance this short lived love affair was over. She hated she had decided to take it this far.

‘You okay, Sophie?’

She looked up to see Grant’s concerned eyes. She also saw his wife’s attention shift towards her, she tried her best to not make Nicky uncomfortable but she couldn’t help that she and Grant were friends. She didn’t have feelings for him but she knew she could cause this woman a lot of pain if she wasn’t careful.

‘I’m fine, Grant,’ she smiled. He was holding his baby daughter Hillary such a cute little thing, blue eyes and blond little curls. Sophie reached over and pinched her little cheeks.

She’d thought once before about having children but that was a dream and it looked like her chances of it ever happening her slim to none. She was cooing and talking to the baby in Grant’s arms and noticed him look up and frown slightly. He wasn’t looking at her he was looking over her shoulder. She turned to see what he was frowning at, seems the whole table had turned to see.

‘Brock,’ she said under her breath. Yes, there he was standing in the middle of the restaurant holding a huge bunch of flowers along with a bunch of delivery men standing beside him holding all kinds of different arrangements. There were dahlias, roses, tulips, gerber daisies, carnations, and lilies and everything in between. It was amazing. It looked liked a garden had sprang up out of nowhere. He looked at her and smiled brightly. Sophie didn’t know what to say, she’d never been treated so lovingly by a man, ever. She didn’t even realize men like this existed. Then she noticed something else, he was in a suit, a very causal one but a suit nonetheless. She was about to stand but her knees got a little wobbly. She was overwhelmed, she was still upset but really this man had proven he wanted her time and time again was she silly enough to throw this chance away? She got up and rushed over to him. She was standing there in front his expectant face.

‘Are these for me?’

‘You know it babe. I’ll bring flowers everyday for the rest of my life if you’ll just give me another chance. Sophie, I’m so sorry. I was an unconscionable fool. I deserve you kicking me out that night but please, I’m begging you don’t kick me out forever. I think I’m falling in love with you.’

For a moment Sophie wasn’t sure she heard him right but she did he’d said he was falling in love with her. She stood with a complete look of shock plastered on her face and she noticed his face kind of dropping. She didn’t want him to think she didn’t have feelings for him because she did but she still wasn’t comfortable confessing those so soon. This man was amazing, she could feel herself start to smile huge then Brock’s amazing smile returned. He turned to hand the roses to a delivery guy and turned back and took Sophie in his arms. He drew her close, they were both still smiling.

‘Im going to kiss you now and I swear on everything I am and have I will never deceive you again.’

Sophie didn’t speak she was waiting on the kiss then it happened, his lips connected with hers and everything in the room came to a complete halt. Sophie couldn’t hear the cheering, whooping and clapping of the restaurant patrons. All she heard was the quickening of her heart as what she knew was the man of her dreams held her close and kissed her as if tomorrow wouldn’t come. She wanted to stay like this forever but it ended as he pulled back from her she opened her eyes slowly and saw only his gaze. Then she felt the other eyes and heard the noise. Sophie glanced around to see people staring and everyone at her table shouting and cheering, everyone that was except Grant his eyes were narrowed and he looked pissed. She turned back to Brock and put Grant’s weird look out her mind right now it was only about she and him. Even though they were in this restaurant.

‘Well, aren’t you going to say anything?’ he asked.

She’d was so totally spaced out that she didn’t respond, ‘oh’ she said with an embarrassed chuckle. ‘I’m going to to say this to you one time only. No lying not even by omission.’

He nodded his head in compliance.

‘Now that you understand that, I guess you better meet everyone before they start a parade.’

She kissed him softly on the lips. Sophie wanted to reassure him that his apology had been accepted. She took his hand and lead him to the table. The delivery folks were instructed to give a bouquet of flowers to every woman at the table by Brock, Sophie found it to be a sweet and noble gesture. At that moment she realized she didn’t want to lose him and she got to keep the roses.

He was introduced to everyone, Sophie got lots of approving looks from her co-workers dates at the table. Some of them enviable, a couple just flat out lustful. Finally she introduced him to Grant and Nicky, Nicky was all smiles and very friendly but Grant was a bit cold which Sophie just found odd but it seemed every time she mentioned Brock he was odd. She just couldn’t understand what he had against Brock but she’d ask him about it at some point at this point she only cared about Brock.

Sophie and Brock were sitting at an empty table later that evening, the dinner had broken up and everyone had gone home. They were still there sharing a piece of the most delectable raspberry lemon cheesecake she’d ever had. At the bar on the other side of the Harvest Moon was some rockabilly band playing and folks were whooping it up but the restaurant was still quite mellow.

Brock placed a forkful into her mouth, ‘oh my goodness that is sinfully rich and delicious,’ she commented almost mewling at the taste. ‘I really should stop, my hips are going to be mad at me.’

‘But I’m not going to be mad at your hips,’ he assured her as he took her by those hips and pulled her closer to him.

‘You can be a charmer, can’t you?’

‘My grandmother says that about me. That I’m a charming ass.’

‘No. Grandmas shouldn’t talk like that,’ she admonished.

‘Well she’s kind of right, I was a charming ass in my younger days. Actually I was a charming ass the other day as I tried and failed to explain keeping secrets.’

Sophie sat up slightly at attention, she figured he was ready to spill his guts and she was prepared to listen.

‘I really didn’t mean not to tell you.’

Sophie smirked and rolled her eyes to the ceiling.

He chuckled nervously and took her hands, Sophie felt safe when he held her hands. She felt safe with him.

‘I didn’t. I just thought I’d wait for the right time to tell you. I know, I know that’s a shitty excuse but I did. I found myself liking you so much as time went on I thought if I tell her now she’ll either do one of two things. Think I’m a louse and take off, surprise, surprise. Or…’

‘Be all moony eyed because you have a few bucks,’ Sophie finished the sentence for him, her face emotionless.

‘I’m sorry, I know that’s such a dick thing to say but it’s happened before.’

‘No, I get it, I get it. I’m just a broke black chick, surprise, surprise.’

Brock set back in chair and sighed, ‘this isn’t exactly coming out right.’

But Sophie wasn’t as upset with him as he thought. She got it, she really did but it still hurt her feelings.

‘I get it, Brock. I actually do but you have to understand something. I’m a 38 year old divorced black woman. In the realm of prizes, I haven’t always felt like one. I had a really crappy marriage with a guy who left because I changed careers and wasn’t paying my half of the bills. The absolute last thing I have ever been is a golddigger. I pretty much took care of myself while married and before as a single woman. Hell, I didn’t even want to go out with you. You convinced me to do that. I really like you, I do more than I’ve liked someone in a long time. Don’t make me regret that decision.’

Sophie was shocked when he suddenly pulled her into his lap. He looked at her for few moments and then kissed her deeply pulling her in, she could barely catch her breath.

‘I won’t ever do that,’ he raised his hand and told her, ‘I promise.’

A huge grin broke out on Sophie’s face, she still wasn’t sure if she was ready to reveal her true feelings to him. But she did know something, what she was feeling, he was feeling also.

They’d driven back to Sophie’s condo since it was closer. They were sitting on Sophie’s patio looking out on the black waters of Puget Sound. Since she finally knew the truth of who he was Brock was giving her more background.

‘My great grandfather was an immigrant from Sweden and he started as a tailor and it went from there.’

‘Wow, you ought to be really honored to have such a legacy. I know your family is really charitable and they do a lot for the community.’

She looked over to Brock who nodded his head, ‘yea they do but a lot of it is just for show, just for tax purposes.’

‘Well, you shouldn’t be so down on your family even if some of it is for show, people still benefit. I know they added that new cancer center at St. George’s Hospital and my mom’s husband was treated for prostate cancer there, it benefitted him. You shouldn’t be so resentful of her family’s wealth. A bunch of folks would kill to be that wealthy. I’m sure a bunch of your kids at school would.’

‘Yea you’re right, they would. I’ve got kids whose parents or parent are hurting. I’ve paid some bills for parents without them knowing.’

Sophie eyed him surprised, ‘how’d you do that?’

‘I just told them there’s a charity because there is. I sent them there for help.’

Sophie looked confused.

‘I have a foundation, Sophie.’

‘You have a what? It’s your family’s foundation?’

‘No,’ he shook his head, ‘it’s mine. Yes, I am wealthy so why not do something good with it. After I got my trust fund and I’d gone through all the crap I described before. After my time in Korea and starting to teach here, I wanted to do something. So I started my foundation, my dad helped me.’

Sophie was just staring at him in astonishment, this man was amazing.

‘I don’t know what to say, I’m just like wow! And I’m so damn stupid, I was going to let you go. I’m so sorry.’

She took his face in her hands and kissed him deeply. It had been awhile since they’d seen one another or spoken and Sophie felt stirrings in her nether region. She didn’t know what it was about this particular man that could stir her up so quickly and completely. After she moved out of the kiss they waited in the darkness staring at one another.

‘Sophie, can I ask you something?’

‘Sure.’

‘Do you think we got physical too soon? I’m just saying we were hanging out not dating and then I take you out once and bam! It’s on.’

Sophie giggled at his description. ‘I probably should have held out but I didn’t want to so I didn’t.’

‘I’m glad you didn’t too. I was nervous maybe I pushed you into that.’

Sophie smiled at him, ‘I was mad about you not telling me who were but I can’t say I regretted that but I didn’t want it to turn into a late night hot mama thing either.’

‘Never,’ he said emphatically. ‘You know what? With you standing there looking totally luscious in that t-shirt you’re about to pop out of, I’m about to pop out of these pants.’

‘Oh my goodness are you serious? You are so cheeky, young man.’

He rose swiftly from his seated position to gather her up in his arms, he held her close and tightly. It felt great to be held by someone, she could feel his manhood against her waist but she was surprised he didn’t make any other overt signals that he was interested in her sexually.

‘I know what you’re thinking Sophie,’ he looked down at her, ‘and it’s true I want to make love to you badly but not so badly that I would remove romance from the picture.’

‘That means a lot to me.’

‘You know as much as you now know about me, I don’t know much about you. But you know that’s okay, I want you to trust me and I know right now you’re working your way toward that so I’m okay with you being a bit of mystery. But trust me, I’ll solve it.’

‘You really are tenacious.’

‘Lady, you’re dealing with a Lindstrom we’re born with tenacity. Right out of the womb.’

Sophie started to let her hands roam that gorgeous body of his, ‘well, could I get a possible demonstration of that in the bedroom where it counts.’

‘You certainly can,’ he closed in on her full lips grasping and sucking them with his own, he kissed her letting his mouth ease her open for entry of his tongue. It was all heady for Sophie, those clothes were confining them both and she wanted them off.

She moved out of his kiss and breathing hard.

‘Brock, let’s move this little demonstration to where it matters.’ She led him instead he was holding her hand as they crossed to her bedroom. Sophie had a king sized bed, a gift she bought for herself she always figured she was going to be single forever so why not be as comfortable as possible.

She plopped down in her clothes, she’d removed her shoes but was still dressed. So was he, he’d taken off his suit jacket and stood in slacks and a crisp white shirt. She looked at him for a long time, he really was beautiful when he dressed up he looked like he’d dropped off the pages of GQ. She noticed the eyes at the Harvest Moon cutting her way, didn’t matter she had him and planned on keeping him.

‘What are staring at?’ he asked bewildered by her look.

‘At you. You are a sexy beast.’

‘Rawr.’

They smiled and laughed at the playfulness. He stripped off his shirt as Sophie just watched, his chest was broad and muscular as was the rest of him. She wondered sometimes how he was so flexible but he was extremely athletic. Then came the slacks, he was doing an odd striptease she thought maybe she put on background music but then again she didn’t need anything to take her attention away from this spectacular specimen of maleness. And before she knew it he was standing there completely naked. She wondered did he see the look of utter wonder and awe in her eyes as she perused his body. She was so ready for him to just take her right there it had been too long and she was slightly feigning. But he wasn’t rushing so she figured she could control herself she was a grown woman. He was a very grown up man.

‘I’ve missed you Sophie,’ he said very quietly but the seduction was there. ‘I’ve wanted to be here with you so badly and tonight I’m aching to taste your nectar.’

Her eyes shot up, she liked the directness, she loved being wanted. He moved toward her on the bed slowly. He draped his naked body over her clothed one, she could feel his hardened shaft rub against her as he unzipped her jeans and relieved her of them.

‘What are planning on doing now I’m laying here with no pants Brock?’

‘Lay back and relax, Sophie,’ he gently prodded her to lay back.

It was dark in her bedroom with just slight glow of the moon filtering in through her sheer curtains. She felt exceptional and just wanted to enjoy coming together again with this man she felt such growing love for. She wished she could tell him but for now she wanted to just feel him. She felt her panties come off as his warm breath prickled the flesh between her thighs. Sophie was so excited but he was taking forever. She moaned deep in her throat.

‘Sophie I know you want to move, I know you want to writhe but don’t just yet babe. Because I’m about to eat your pussy like it’s my job.’

Sophie giggled out loud then her giggle was cut short by the feel his tongue. She sucked in a sudden breath at his deft skill on her sensitive clit. It had been long time since a man had pleasured her like this, but none were ever this good. Sophie wasn’t sure if it was because they’d been apart for so long but his ministrations and her overwhelming need was a great combination.

She could hear him slurping and sucking to what seemed his heart’s delight. Her head was back pressed into the pillow but she looked up, she had to see him at work the man was amazing. There he was happily between her thighs his eyes closed as he concentrated on that warm center. He opened them slowly and looked up at her in the darkness she could just see shadows but she swore she felt and saw him smile devilishly around her wet snatch. Sophie was going to pieces, Brock was massaging her legs and butt as he just feasted. He licked slow, then fast, hard and light, he’d do little nibbles it was everything Sophie enjoyed. Sophie was going to come it was building fast and it was about to be a gusher, she felt the pressure then the tremble in her thighs as they closed tighter around Brock’s head. Her leg muscles began to tighten as her hands grabbed for her sheets, she pulling and stretching as her toes clenched into knots it was coming. Sophie didn’t want to hold back a moment longer so she succumb to the feeling. It hit her like beam of light shiny and warm, Sophie lifted her back from the bed as she almost screamed in unknown pleasure. Her body just felt the sensation of the orgasm as her mind accepted the feeling, she was shaking all over she had to back up to detach herself from his tongue. She could feel her heart racing and her breathing was shallow, her eyes opened and all she saw was a beautiful, muscular Brock looming over her with a smile of satisfaction and arrogance on his face. He could certainly make the claim. He did do that like it was his job.

He stood staring at her with hooded lids and desire in his eyes, his manhood heavy and hard in his hands.

‘Come here,’ he said but Sophie figured she must not have moved fast enough because before she knew it he’d drawn her up by her legs and pushed into her in one deep stroke.

It wasn’t painful, all she felt was relieved. She’d wanted to feel his cock between her folds. It felt good and right, he began to move in and out slowly. Sophie was surprised he could hold her up as her head was still on the bed but her lower body was pulled up against his as he stood. This yoga was certainly doing everyone good. Sophie was moaning as he made contact with her still delicate clit and just made the sensations of her earlier orgasm wash over. He was talking to her as he plunged deeper and deeper.

‘Oh god Sophie, you feel so good, so right. I want you like this all the time.’

‘You too, Brock. Yes, just take me.’

Sophie looked at him, she was just overwhelmed with the look in his eyes as he loved her. It was gorgeous Sophie had to look away she was about to cry she was just drowned in emotion. Sophie was suddenly not sure if she it was just sex or more.

‘Sophie, Sophie you’re so beautiful,’ he leaned over slightly and caressed her face as he moved in her. Sophie nuzzled into his hand and kissed it. Then something, she figured that surprised both of them, happened.

‘I love you,’ Brock said quietly under his breath.

Sophie was struck silent then suddenly another orgasm hit her and she moaned out loud, ‘aaaahhhh!’

‘Yeah baby, let it come. I’m coming with you.’

Then Brock let out a something akin to a roar, Sophie smiled and as they rode those lightning bolts out together. She’d never come twice during sex it was a heady feeling for her. Brock’s own release was waning but he was still breathing heavy and had her thighs in a vice grip. There would surely be bruises tomorrow but she okay with that. He eased his hold and lowered her to the bed gently. He was standing above her with a tremendous naughty grin.

‘Baby, you are the absolute best.’

‘Thanks, I think,’ she said she wasn’t sure what the compliment was for but she’d just decided to enjoy it.

As he flopped onto her bed and settled himself, Sophie turned to stare at him. She really was overwhelmed by how handsome he was, she was overwhelmed that he was here with her and she was completely overwhelmed that he’d just told her he loved. But it was during sex so that didn’t really count. Did it?

Brock reached over and pulled her snug against him, their bodies were both still slick with sweat from the feverish love making.

‘You are so sexy, just the sexiest thing I’ve ever had the pleasure to indulge in.’

‘Oh come on Brock, let’s not go overboard.’

He swatted her lightly on her butt.

‘Ow, what the heck?’

‘Don’t say those things about yourself, you’re gorgeous Sophie and I’m so incredibly lucky to have you. You say something untrue like that again and I’ll spank you.’

‘You wouldn’t dare?’

Brock pulled his head back to look at her, ‘yes I would. I love you and I don’t want any woman I love speaking about herself like that.’

‘Brock, don’t say that.’

‘Don’t say what?’

‘The ‘L’ word I know you don’t feel like that about me. I know you were swept away in a moment of passion.’

He swatted her butt again.

‘Ow, come on.’

‘I told you I’d spank you if you said untrue things.’

Sophie put her hands over her eyes and rolled onto her back. ‘I can’t deal with this, I can’t. There is no way you feel like that.’

‘Why?’

‘Because we haven’t known each other long enough. That’s why.’

‘How long have we been hanging out?’

‘A couple of months so it’s just too soon.’

‘It may be too soon for you but not me. I’m an adult and believe me I wouldn’t say this if I didn’t mean it. Also, you want to know something?’ Brock perched his face on his bent arm. ‘I know you love me.’

Sophie looked at him startled, ‘how would you know that?’

‘I just do but I know you’re not ready to tell me.’

Sophie just stared at him in the dark room, her eyes had adjusted so she could see him clearly and yes she saw the love in his eyes. She closed her own to block it out, she was sure he saw the same in hers but she wasn’t about to put herself in a vulnerable position, she had to be more sure.

‘Okay, we’ll talk about something else but I’m not going anywhere.’

She opened her eyes again as he looked down at her with that beautiful sexy smile. Gosh, she did love him and more than she thought she could handle.

‘I want you to go somewhere with me Sophie.’

‘Where?’

‘Over to Port Townsend.’

‘What? Why?’

‘Because I want you to meet the family.’

Sophie’s stomach dropped out. Family. Meet the Lindstroms. Oh she definitely was not ready for this. This is not how she thought their night of passion would end.