Full Chapter of “Desperate”

–DESPERATE–

I’ll Do Anything for Love

 

Chapter I

 

“Look, I want your job. I deserve that position. So, either you’re going to give it to me or I’m going to take it. Simply put, you can quit voluntarily, or I can make you wish you never stepped foot in this building. The choice is yours. And don’t bother trying to tell him what I said because not only will it piss me off, and you don’t want to piss me off, but he also won’t believe you. I’m Daddy’s little girl and I’ve always been his favorite. So, I’ll deny it and he’ll believe me,” I said to her and I walked out of the building like a boss.

My position was fine, but hers was better. In three years, I’d proven myself, and I deserved to be in the position right under my father. But he’d said that she was good at her job and that he couldn’t just fire her. So, I was just going to have to make her quit.

Glancing around, I made sure that no one was watching me as I walked up close to her brand new car. I looked around, watching my surroundings, as I unscrewed her gas cap and dropped the two candy bars that I was holding inside of her gas tank. I didn’t bother to even screw the gas cap back on. I just took it with me. I knew that she would probably guess that I was responsible for it all, but I had to show her that I wasn’t playing around. She needed to know that I was serious if she didn’t do what I’d told her to do. Honestly, I actually liked her. She was just in the way. Placing my sunglasses on, I put the candy bar wrappers and her gas cap in a bag full of trash and pulled off without a care in the world.

Hey, what can I say; sometimes in life you just had to take matters into your own hands. And that’s exactly what I was about to do…again.

~***~

“You’re the best thing that ever happened to me,” he said.

“I better be.” I don’t know about anyone else but being in love and actually having someone in your life that loves you back was the best feeling in the world. Nothing could compare to finding your soulmate. Nothing was sweeter than a love that takes your breath away. And after many, many years, I finally had that. I watched him until I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Before I knew it…I was asleep…

I listened to him scream my name, but I pretended as though I couldn’t hear him. But I heard him; loud and clear. Yet his screams weren’t enough to make me help him. His cries weren’t enough to make me save him.

I was still, and as quiet as a mouse on the ground as the flames that surrounded the car grew higher and higher. My body was in pain, but I didn’t seem to mind it. The only thing that I cared about at the moment, were the screams coming from inside of the burning car. I wondered, and waited almost impatiently, for them to come to an end. I knew that he couldn’t get out of the seatbelt. I knew that his legs were stuck and I knew that the door was jammed. But I’d left him there. I’d left him there to die. But he wasn’t dead yet because I could still hear him. He continuously bawled out in agony. His screams were filled with so much pain that is pierced my soul and caused me to check to make sure that my ears weren’t bleeding.

But still, I did nothing.

“Serenity! Serenity!” He yelled. He cried. He cursed. But there was nothing that I could do. I’d already made my decision. And it was all his fault. All he had to do was love me. He was supposed to love me. That was all I’d ever asked for. But I guess from him, I’d been asking for too much.

The sound of screeching tires behind me stole my attention for only a second.

“Ma’am! Ma’am? Are you okay?” I heard a man ask from behind me only a few moments later but my eyes were set on the blaze.

“Is there anyone else in the car?”

I waited to see if Rodney would scream again but suddenly, he was quiet. Nothing could be heard but the sizzling pieces of the burning steel, plastic and whatever else cars were made from these days. I waited, and waited, but Rodney said nothing. The man repeated his question and this time I answered him.

“Uh, yes. Yes. My boyfriend is stuck inside,” I said as he called for help and walked towards the car. But he was too late. Rodney was dead. There was nothing that he could do, unless he wanted to die too.

The crackling sound caused by the burning seemed to soothe me as though it was a lullaby.

“Opps,” I mumbled to myself, almost sarcastically as though I was taunting Rodney’s spirit; just in case it happened to be close by. Suddenly, the depression that I’d been feeling lately was gone. The worry about my future and of being accepted had vanished.

As the man talked on the phone and walked around the car over and over again, I closed my eyes and for the first time in weeks, I smiled…

I jumped up, clutching my chest.

“Whoa baby. Are you okay? It was just a bad dream.”

I looked back at Elroy; my honey pop for the past three years. The love of my life and I knew he loved me. But little did he know that it wasn’t just a dream; it was also a memory. What happened to Rodney was real and it had been my reality a long, long time ago. It was just one of the few things that I conveniently forgot to mention to him. Elroy looked at me as I steadied my breath.

“I’m okay,” I said. He smiled at me sleepily, and laid his head on the pillow. He closed his eyes as I made myself comfortable, and snuggled up next to him.

“What were you dreaming about anyway?” Elroy mumbled.

“I don’t remember,” I lied and turned my back to him.

~***~

“I was at home last night Serenity.”

“No you weren’t. I rode by on my way back from the grocery store,” I lied. I purposely went by his house, once he didn’t return my calls, and he wasn’t there. He’d told me that he was just going to stay home and relax that night, but he wasn’t there for at least two hours or so because I didn’t only ride by once. It was more like twenty. But after five I lost count.

Elroy looked stumped.

“Where were you? I must have called you a hundred times. And you weren’t at your sister’s. When I couldn’t reach you, I went by there too.”

“Since when did you become the C.I.A?”

Oh, he had no idea! After three years, he still only knew what I wanted him to know about me.

“I was at home. I had a few errands to run and then I went home. My phone died while I was out and while I was waiting for it to charge, I fell asleep.”

“Where?”

“Where what?”

“Where did you go?”

“I just had a few things to do. And then I went back home.”

I had a bad feeling that he was lying right through those pearly white teeth of his. He’d never lied to me before, but this definitely felt and sounded like a lie. And I lied for a living, so I was sure that I was right.

It wasn’t that we had trust issues; we didn’t. Elroy had been nothing but good to me. And I mean he had been real good to me, since the very beginning. I loved that man with my soul because all he’d ever given me was love, respect and loyalty. He was one of the best things that had ever happened to me. He cooked. He cleaned. He rubbed my feet and washed my hair. Every date we’d ever been on, he paid. He opened doors and pulled out chairs. He washed my car and mowed the lawn without me having to ask. And on top of everything else he was fine and had good sex. He was just a damn good man. But he wasn’t perfect. But neither was I. Not even a little bit. But still, I was always watching him. I was always looking, just by nature. My profession and my past taught me to pay attention to everything, every single detail, so there wasn’t too much that would get past me. And experience taught me that you have to always expect the unexpected. No matter how perfect things or a person may appear to be; everything and everybody comes with flaws. I mean take me for instance; I was smart. Beautiful. Successful. And tons of other good things but I was also crazilicious: which was my made up definition of being all of those good things, mixed with a whole lot of crazy, bad things. And I was a force to be reckoned with when I was pissed off, so I constantly tried not to be.

“I was sleep and the phone was on the charger. That’s why I wasn’t answering. You have a key. You should have just come in to see what I was doing for yourself.”

Had he been home, I would have. But as I said, for at least two hours or so, he wasn’t. Finally, I got tired of riding by and just went back home and called him over and over again until I fell asleep.

“In case you didn’t know this already, you are the only woman that I want and the only woman that I need. Serenity you are the only woman that I love. And I’m about to prove it to you,” Elroy said dropping to his knees.

I gasped as Elroy pulled out a ring.

Yasssssssss! I said in my head—in my ghetto voice.

Elroy hated when I talked like I wasn’t educated, so I didn’t say it aloud. I just shrieked instead.

Finally he was about to pop the big question!

I almost couldn’t believe that it was finally happening for me. I’d waited so long for this day to come. After three long years, conversation after conversation, finally Elroy was stepping up to the plate and about to ask me to be his wife.

“Yes! Yes I’ll marry you!” I screamed and Elroy started to laugh.

“Damn can I ask you first? Serenity Thomas, will you marry…”

“Yes! Yes! Yes! Now put that ring on my finger boy!”

I felt like I’d just won the lottery as Elroy twisted the ring on my finger. He loved me! He really, really loved me! The proof was in the pudding, and the two-carat rock on my finger, proved that he loved himself some me baby! And that was all the reassurance that I needed.

I squealed and jumped into his arms once he was on his feet. “I love you. I love you. I love you!” I screamed, kissed his face a million times and then pulled away from him. “I have to go call everybody! All of my family and my friends; especially Dion because you know he thought that you were never going to do it! Oh, I just can’t wait to show him the ring! I’m going to be like BAM! In your face boo! I told him that you loved me. I told him that you were going to make an honest woman out of me. I told him. I told him!” I said excitedly and flirtatiously, all at the same time.

“No. Wait. Don’t tell nobody yet.”

I looked at Elroy confused.

“Why Elroy?”

“Well, I put a ring on it, but we probably won’t be getting married anytime soon. Probably not for another year or two,” he said.

“And why is that Elroy?” I didn’t like where this conversation was going, and I hated to be put in situations where I had to show my true colors. For the most part, Elroy got to see my nice, professional, sweet side; the side that I preferred to be. But he’d had a few small run-ins with the side of me that just didn’t give a damn, and even then I tried to be limited with my words and my actions. But he knew that I was a firecracker and a few times he’d had the pleasure or maybe the displeasure I should say, of seeing me go BOOM! And there was a lot more to me that I was sure that he just didn’t want to see; like the side that just put the candy bars in the now ex-employee of my father’s company, or the side that didn’t help her ex-lover out of a burning car. And believe me, that was nothing.

“I’m really not in a situation for a wife yet. I just got hired on permanent at my job and I got some things I want to do and set up first before we get married. Save back up some money. I know, you make some big bucks, but I’m the man and my job is to always take care of you.”

Another thing that I loved about him, but so what, I was ready to get married…like yesterday!

“Then why propose Elroy?”

“Hell why not? I ain’t going nowhere and you ain’t either. And hell, marriage is all you talk about so,”

“So you gave me the ring to shut me up?”

“I gave you the ring because I want to marry you. I just said that it won’t be anytime soon,” Elroy came closer to me. “Now let’s celebrate our engagement shall we?”

I pushed his face away from mine, but he grabbed my hand. “Please don’t tell me that you’re about to act like this? Come on Serenity. We just got engaged,” he said and puckered up his lips.

“What’s the point in getting engaged if I can’t tell anyone Elroy? What am I supposed to say when they ask me about the ring?”

“I don’t know. Tell them that it’s a promise ring.”

“What am I? Twelve?”

“Well, only wear it in the house then.”

Did he really just say that?

“Here, just take your ring back,” I said in frustration and attempted to take the ring off but he stopped me.

“Fine, you can tell people. Now can we get down to celebrating or what?” Elroy said slyly.

I allowed him to kiss on me for a while. I waited until he was all hot and bothered, and once his penis started to swell, I pulled away.

“Nope. I’m going to go call my Mama,” I said running away from him with him cursing behind me.

~***~

“Well, you’ve wanted that position since forever Serenity. What is it the office lead or leader over all the rest of them or something?”

“Something like that. I’m right under my father now.”

That’s right. My little threat worked; she quit and the job that I’d wanted for a while now, was all mine. But already I was starting to have second thoughts.

“Well, yeah, so there’s no point in complaining now. It’s a blessing that she quit and you were able to get it. You were already swamped with work, but now being only a step under your father, all of the other folks under you, now come to you, so I can only imagine the amount of work you are about to have and the stress. If you can’t do it, tell him to hire someone else,” Elroy said. Of course he hadn’t known that I’d threatened Sarah to quit. I wanted the position, I got it, but already I was feeling the pressure. I guess you really do have to be careful what you wish for. Because you just might get it…and hate it!

“You’re right. No more complaining. So, since we’re engaged now, do you really think that it’s necessary to have two houses? We haven’t really needed two anyway for the past two years. My house is bigger, you sleep over most of the time anyway, but if you want me to move to yours, I will,” I said to Elroy on the phone.

Both of our houses were paid for, but one of them would need to be rented out or something since we were now engaged and getting married…one day.

“I’ll probably move to yours,” he said.

“When?”

“I’ll let you know,” was all that he said before saying that he loved me and then he hung up. I checked the time. It was time for me to get back to work too, so I didn’t bother calling him back to ask him more questions about his response. Instead, I headed out of the break room and walked towards my office.

“Serenity, I just laid some cases on your desk,” my father said, who was also my boss.

I worked for Thomas Law Firm, and boy did I have some big shoes to fill. My father was well-known for his cases and his work, and since I’d followed in his footsteps, I couldn’t let him down.  We’d come from much of nothing, but I’d watched my father work, go to school and take care of his family, just so we could have a decent life. And he’d done just that and so much more.

By the time that he was done with law school, he and my mother were already on baby number six, and they still didn’t stop, but he’d stuck it out and now he was more successful than even I thought that he would be. So, after years later, once I was done with school, just like he’d said that he would, he’d had a job waiting for me.

I’d only been a lawyer for about three years now, but I was pulling my own weight and he seemed to be more than proud of me. He was always in my corner no matter what, and I refused to let him down which was why I wanted Sarah’s position. She used to get a lot of the bigger cases, like my father, the ones that actually meant something and I wanted a piece of the pie. I was sure that he was going to pass down the company to me in a few years, whenever he was ready to retire so now, I was just hoping to get the other part of my life going; marriage, kids and all that good stuff before my career took another direction.

Going to school had consumed most of my twenties and I hadn’t had a chance to really live or even think about settling down. There had been a few who wanted more, with me, but after my college heartbreak, that turned deadly, I’d decided that I only needed a man for one thing…sex.

Love could make you do some crazy things; like what I’d done to Rodney. And after that, for a long time, I didn’t want any parts of anything that looked like, or felt like love. At that time, I was desperate for love, and you just never know what a person is capable of doing; especially if they’re desperate. And I never wanted to feel the way that I felt that day again.

So for years, I forced myself to stay out of that lane, and in a lane all of my own. I did anything to keep me from getting too attached. It wasn’t until I was settling into my new career that I felt like it was time. I felt like I was ready. And I started to look for more. And that’s when I found Elroy. Well; that’s when Elroy found me.

He’d come to see my father on a legal issue regarding an incident that had taken place at his old job. Needless to say, my father took on the case, and won. Elroy received a nice settlement, but three years later, he didn’t have anything to show for it but a nice car, a house and a few pieces of jewelry that he refuses to sell or pawn. So here recently, maybe about six months now, he had to go back to work.

Anyway, the day that they won the case, after chatting with my father, he tapped lightly on my office door.

“Hey pretty girl,” he’d said.

“I’m not a girl. I’m a woman.”

“I can see that. You’re all woman baby with your sexy self.”

Since my weight loss, I’d heard that a lot often than I was used to, but back then I didn’t know just how good at talking Elroy was until he’d managed to get me to agree to go on a date with him.

“Is there something I can help you with?” I’d asked him that day. I’ll admit that at first glance he might make you a little moist in between the thighs. He was light bright, almond colored man with beautiful eyes, a gorgeous smile, with all of his teeth, and so much more. Nice low haircut and well-kept facial hair. And that body; the muscles, the tattoos…my goodness! I could go on for days, but his looks, then, only told me one thing…

Danger!

I loved an attractive man, but just to look at him. I would take a good, faithful, ugly man over a fine ass one any day. But still yet, I fell for Elroy.

“Can you help me, you say? Absolutely. I’ve been searching for an angel, all of my life, and I think that I’ve just found her. Now, I may not seem like the kind of man who believes in love at first sight and maybe I don’t. But I am a man that believes that you’ll never know if your soul mate is standing right in front of you, unless you agree to go on a first date with him. And from just one simple date, maybe, and I’m going out on a limb here, but maybe you’ll realize that the person that you’ve been looking for all of your life is the person sitting next to you. And maybe you will realize that dreams really do come true. I can tell you this right not that you’ve been a part of my dreams for years; from the way you look, to that sexy ass black dress that you’re wearing. So, I’m asking you, my dream, to come true and have dinner with me. Have a drink with me. Share a laugh with me. Make a memory with me, and maybe start a future with me,” Elroy had said.

Whoo!

When I tell you that man could talk you right on out of your panties, I am not lying, nor am I exaggerating. To this day, my mouth will be saying no, and as he’s talking, my hands and my body will be saying yes and before I know it, I’ll be butt naked, giving him something that he can feel.

But from that day, that moment, three years ago, Elroy and I have been in each other’s lives and there wasn’t one thing that I could complain about when it came to him and the way that he treated me. He had never done me wrong. Even the smaller things that I didn’t like just weren’t worth complaining about when I looked at all of the good things that I was getting. Oh, I just loved me some Elroy!

Finally, I made it to my office and just as I started to work, a delivery guy tapped on the door. I looked at him and the flowers that he was holding. I smelled them as I signed and I smiled once I read the card from Elroy.

“To My Future Wife Desiree, Love Elroy.”

Desiree? Who in the hell is Desiree?

The name caused me to have a minor flashback. I knew a Desiree back in high school and I couldn’t stand her! She was so mean to me, just plain ole’ horrible! That girl was evil and I’d always said that she had the devil in her. But I got her back though. I remembered overhearing her say that she was allergic to aspirins. One day, I’d taken two from home and when she wasn’t looking, I dropped in her drink. I remembered watching her drink it and just waiting. Waiting to see what happened. After a while, she’d started choking and acting like she couldn’t breathe, and guess who helped her? Me. It wasn’t like I was trying to kill her or anything. I just wanted to see her suffer just because daily she made me suffer by teasing me and calling me names. But after that day, after I helped her, she never teased me again. For what little time she remained at the school before moving away because her father was in the army, she treated me with nothing but respect. She didn’t hang out with me or anything, but she completely stopped teasing me.

I took a deep breath and tried not to get upset and jump to any conclusions. It was a mistake. That’s all. It was just a mistake. I called Elroy’s phone over and over again. Of course he was at work and wasn’t answering, so finally I called his job.

“Yes, this is an emergency call for Elroy Ross. This is his wife.” I waited for a few minutes, and finally he came to the phone.

“Hello?”

“Who in the hell is Desiree, Elroy?”

“What? They said it was an emergency.”

“It is and if you want to keep your job, I suggest you tell me who Desiree is, or I’ll come down there and you can tell me in person.” See, a little of that other side of me slipped out again, but at the moment, I didn’t care. I mean, my father had taken us out of the hood and placed us in the suburbs, but I knew and remembered where we’d come from. And on top of that, I was part Latino, so sassiness ran through my veins.

Translation: Elroy could get these hands if need be!

“What are you talking about Serenity?”

“You sent flowers, but they say to “My Future Wife Desiree”. My name damn sure is not Desiree. So, who is she?”

“Oh, they made a mistake. Desiree is Terry’s new friend. He placed the flower order for me when he placed his for her. They must have gotten the names and jobs mixed up that’s all,” Elroy said. “Now baby, I love you. I got to get back to work.” And with that he hung up.

I looked in my phone for Terry’s number. Terry was Elroy’s good friend. They’d been friends long before I came into the picture. Of course Elroy didn’t know that I had Terry’s number, but I guess he would find out today. I’d known enough information on his friend to do a little search on him at work, and I kept his information, just in case I ever needed it.

“Hello?”

“Terry this is Serenity. I got the flowers that you were sending to a Desiree.”

“Oh yeah. How did you get them? I ordered her some and you some too for Elroy. Did you get both?”

“No. They must have gotten the names wrong,” I said to Terry and after he said that he was going to call them and complain I hung up.

I took a deep breath. Okay. It really was just a mix-up. Good. I coached myself to stop overacting. I wanted nothing more than to be Elroy’s wife and now that he’d proposed, I didn’t want to run him off by showing him a few things about myself that he might not be too fond of. My mother always said that a man shouldn’t get to know all of you until you’ve been married for at least five years. I used to disagree with that statement, but the older I became I could see why it might be some of her best advice yet. I knew that I’d better get myself together. He was as close to husband material that I’d seen around in a very long time and he was mine, so I needed to do whatever I had to do to keep him. And not run him away.

Tearing the card up, I threw it away and sat the flowers next to the other little things that reminded me of Elroy on my desk and got to work. I had a big case coming up and I needed to focus. The next time I seemed to come up for air, it was about an hour past time for me to go home.

I checked my cell. I was surprised to see that Elroy hadn’t called me. I called him once I was settled inside of the car, but he didn’t answer. He always got off about two hours before my scheduled time to leave work and I knew that if he was going to work over he would have called or texted me. He was used to me working late, so he usually would call and at least confirm that I was still at the office, but he hadn’t. After calling one more time and getting the voicemail, I texted him and waited for his response. Once I was only about five minutes from my house, finally, my phone started to chime, and I smiled, thinking that he was calling me back but it wasn’t him.

It was Dion.

Dion and I had been friends for about seven or eight years. Of course we’d had sex, but what we shared was never anything serious. He’d wanted a real relationship; I’d just wanted sex at the time. After running back into each other later on, we discovered that we made pretty good friends. He was now married, with kids, but he was always my voice of reason. I hated him for it most of the time but I was glad to have him in my corner, especially when it came to trying to figure out men.

“What are you doing Mrs. Ross? Well, soon to be that is.”

“Ugh, don’t say it like it’s a disease or something. And nothing big head. On my way home.”

“I think I saw your boy earlier,” he said.

“My man. My fiancé. His name is Elroy. You should try calling him that sometimes. And where?”

“He drove past me downtown.”

“Downtown? When was this?”

“Earlier.”

“He was at work earlier.”

“Then maybe he took a break but I’m sure that it was him. His bright red Camaro, with the huge rims for no apparent reason is pretty hard to miss.”

I wondered if it was before or after I’d called him about the flowers and I wondered where he’d been going.

“Well, kiss my god-kids for me. I’ll come see them later on this week, but I’m just getting home. I’m headed in to relax and attempt to cook dinner.”

“You’re cooking? Oh my, you’re going to kill the man. Hey, that might not be a bad thing. Go on and cook him something. That’s the only way you’re going to leave him alone obviously. If he’s dead,” Dion joked and after I cursed him out, we hung up the phone.

Dion used to like Elroy. They used to occasionally chat and share a beer at the beginning of our relationship. But somewhere all of that changed. All of a sudden Dion just started saying that he gets the feeling that Elroy isn’t the one for me. But he was wrong. There was no one that I would rather spend the rest of my life with. Elroy had been good to me. He’d always been there for me and had yet to let me down. He was more than I ever thought that love would be. And we were going to be just fine. I was sure of it.

Elroy’s car was there, at my house, but I wondered why he hadn’t answered or returned my calls. I hurried inside to find music wailing from the speakers of the radio and the aroma of fried fish was in the air. Well, he surely wouldn’t have heard a ringing phone over any of this mess. I sat down my things and then headed to the kitchen.

I giggled at the sight of him.

Elroy was wearing just a pair of boxers, some sneakers and an apron. He was singing and grinding to the music as he peeled what looked like shrimp in the sink.

My mouth started to water. But not for the food. I wanted to taste Elroy. I almost wanted to be freaky and hop on the counter for a little chef takes advantage of the overworked and stuck-up lawyer role play, but I changed my mind once I smelled my arm pits. I almost died. I smelled horrible. This chick definitely needed a shower first.

Tip-toeing in his direction, finally reaching him, I tapped him on the shoulder. Elroy jumped and turned around prepared to attack but stopped himself once he saw that it was me.

“You scared me,” he screamed over the music, grabbed the stereo remoted and turned the volume down.

“I know,” I puckered up my lips to kiss him, and once he laid one on me, I looked around at all the food.

“And what’s with all of this?”

“I just wanted to do something special for my baby. A little seafood night. It’s your favorite. So, relax. Go take a shower. Have a glass of wine, and let Chef El-Baby handle all of this for you. Go take a shower,” he said. I beamed at him.

“You said take a shower twice. I stink huh?”

“Giiiiirrrrrlllllll, whatchu’ talkin’ bout?” Elroy said as if he was some ghetto girl from around the way.

“I think you need to pray over the water first. Regular water ain’t going to help those arm pits. Some good ole’ holy water just might do the trick. I love you though,” he snickered as I stuck up my middle finger at him. I walked away from him, smiling at all of the food he had prepared.

He always knew just what to do to make me feel special. I was just glad that he was cooking so that I didn’t have to. He was definitely a better cook than I was. I could cook, but I had never bothered to learn to do it as well as others. My mama had always been a stay at home mother and being that she was Latino, of course she loved to cook and loved to teach us both American and Spanish dishes. But I never really paid attention. Sometimes I wished that I had, but I had a man that could cook so I was fine.

After I showered and slipped on something comfortable, just a pair of panties, and I headed back to the kitchen to pour myself a glass of wine just as Elroy had instructed.

“Dion said that he saw you today,” I said, taking the first sip.

“Really?”

“He said that you were driving downtown. Where were you going?”

“Downtown? I didn’t have time to go downtown today. I got off of work, headed to the grocery store and came straight in.”

“He said that it was your car.”

‘I’m sure there’s other red Camaro’s with rims in this city. I’m sure there are,” Elroy said, never bothering to turn around and face me.

Hmmm…

“Elroy, I don’t want to ruin the moment, but,”

“Then don’t Serenity.” Finally he looked at me and then walked over to check the crackling grease that was smothering the frying fish.

“It’s just…I don’t know.”

“Everything is fine Serenity. I’m fine. We’re fine. Now, come on, let daddy fix you a plate baby so that we can eat.”

Even though I didn’t want to, I decided to drop the subject. I guess Dion could have been mistaken. There were plenty of cars that could look similar to Elroy’s. But of course I’d memorized his tag number so I would definitely know his car if I see it.

As Elroy grinned and got my food together, I decided to shake it off and managed to enjoy the rest of my night with him. We ate. We laughed. We cuddled and watched a movie. And once I’d put it on him and put him to sleep, as he snored, I decided to get up and do some laundry.

I scooped up the same dirty clothes that he’d stepped out of and left on the bedroom floor and I headed to the laundry room. Checking his pockets for any trash, just as I always do, I pulled out two receipts. One was from the grocery store and another one was from the gas station; a gas station that was only…downtown.

I shook my head and headed to get my phone. I checked to see when I’d called him about the flower mix-up and then I checked the receipt. Converting the time from military time format, I found that the receipt was from about thirty minutes after I’d called him.

Had he pretended as though it had really been some kind of real emergency in order to get off work early?

Why wouldn’t he have told me that he was leaving?

Why was he downtown?

And more importantly, why in the hell was he lying?

*******************************************

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Desperate: FULL FIRST CHAPTER

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Desperate: I’ll do Anything for Love

Full First Chapter (unedited)

Chapter I

I listened to him scream my name, but I pretended as though I couldn’t hear him. I heard him. Loud and clear. But even his screams weren’t enough to make me help him. His cries weren’t enough to make me save him.

I laid still, and as quiet as a mouse on the ground as the flames that surrounded the car grew higher and higher. My body was in pain, but I didn’t seem to mind it. The only thing that I cared about at the moment, were the screams coming from the burning car. I wondered, and waited almost impatiently, for them to come to an end.

I knew that he couldn’t get out of the seatbelt. I knew that his legs were stuck and I knew that the door was jammed. But I’d left him there…

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Desperate: FULL FIRST CHAPTER

Desperate: I’ll do Anything for Love

Full First Chapter (unedited)

Chapter I

 

I listened to him scream my name, but I pretended as though I couldn’t hear him. I heard him. Loud and clear. But even his screams weren’t enough to make me help him. His cries weren’t enough to make me save him.

I laid still, and as quiet as a mouse on the ground as the flames that surrounded the car grew higher and higher. My body was in pain, but I didn’t seem to mind it. The only thing that I cared about at the moment, were the screams coming from the burning car. I wondered, and waited almost impatiently, for them to come to an end.

I knew that he couldn’t get out of the seatbelt. I knew that his legs were stuck and I knew that the door was jammed. But I’d left him there. I’d left him there to die. But he wasn’t dead yet. He continuously bawled out in agony. His screams were filled with so much pain that I checked to makes sure that my ears weren’t bleeding just like my head and my nose were. Both steadily painting my shirt and hands a bloody, crimson red.

“Serenity! Serenity!” He yelled.

The sound of screeching tires behind me stole my attention for only a second.

“Ma’am! Ma’am? Are you okay?” I heard a man ask from behind me only a few moments later but my eyes were set on the blaze.

“Is there anyone else in the car?”

I waited to see if Rodney would scream again but he didn’t. Nothing could be heard but the sizzling pieces of the melting aluminum and steel from the car.

He was dead. Rodney was dead.

The man repeated his question and this time I answered him.

“Uh, yes. Yes. My boyfriend is stuck inside,” I said as he called for help and walked towards the car. But there was nothing that he could do, unless he wanted to die too. The crackling sound seemed to soothe me as though it was a lullaby.

“Opps,” I mumbled to myself, almost sarcastically as though I was taunting Rodney’s spirit, just in case it happened to be close by. You have to be careful what you do to people. They just might not give a damn about their own life; so what makes you think that they will care about yours?

I was bloody, and sore, but suddenly the depression that I’d been feeling lately was gone. The worry about my future and of being accepted had vanished.

As the man talked on the phone and walked around the car over and over again, I closed my eyes and for the first time in weeks, I smiled…

I jumped up, clutching my chest.

“Whoa baby. Are you okay? It was a bad dream.”

I looked back at Elroy. Little did he know that it wasn’t just a dream; it was also a memory. And it had been my reality a long, long time ago. It was just one of the few things that I conveniently forgot to mention to him.

He looked at me as I steadied my breath.

“I’m okay,” I said.

Elroy smiled at me sleepily, and laid his head on the pillow. He closed his eyes as I made myself comfortable, and snuggled up next to him.

“What were you dreaming about anyway?” Elroy mumbled.

“I don’t remember,” I lied and soon I drifted back off to sleep.

~***~

“I was at home last night.”

“No you weren’t. I rode by on my way to the grocery store,” I lied. I purposely went by his house, once he didn’t return my calls, and it wasn’t only one time. It was more like twenty. But after five I lost count.

Elroy looked stumped. I knew that he was thinking of an excuse or lie, but I was already two steps ahead of him.

“And you weren’t at your brother’s. Or your sister’s. Or Terry’s. I took the long way home and I glanced to see if your care was there, but you weren’t at any of their houses either. Where were you? I must have called you a hundred times.”

“Since when did you become the damn C.I.A?”

He had no idea.

“I was at home. I had a few errands to run and then I went home. My phone died while I was out and while I was waiting for it to charge, I fell asleep. Really.”

“Where?”

“Where what?”

“Where did you go?”

“I told you, I just had some things to do. And then I went home. Why are you interrogating me like I’m one of your clients? What’s up with you?”

I had a bad feeling that he was lying right through those pearly white teeth of his. He’d never lied to me before, but this definitely felt and sounded like a lie. And I lied for a living, so I was sure that I was right.

Elroy was lying. And the way his gripping gray eyes moved back and forth from my eyes to the floor, confirmed it.

“Baby, let me find out that you’re some kind of stalker or something. Maybe I should be scared of you,” Elroy joked.

Yeah, you should be.

It wasn’t that we had trust issues; we didn’t. Elroy had been nothing but good to me. And I mean he had been real good to me, since the very beginning. He cooked. He cleaned. He rubbed my feet and washed my hair. Every date we’d ever been on, he paid. He was just a damn good man. But I was always watching. I was always looking, just by nature. My profession and my past taught me to pay attention to everything, every single detail, so there wasn’t too much that would get past me. There had never been any holes in his stories. He always kept his word, and I never had any reason to worry…until here lately.

“I swear I was sleep and the phone was on the charger. That’s why I wasn’t answering. You have a key. You should have just come in to see what I was doing for yourself.”

Had he been home, I would have. But for at least two hours or so, he wasn’t. And finally, I got tired of riding and just went back home and called him over and over again until I fell asleep.

“I’m not doing anything baby. So please don’t turn into some crazy chick and start looking for stuff that’s not even there. You are the only woman that I want. The only woman that I need. And the only woman that I love. And I’m about to prove it to you,” Elroy said dropping to his knees.

I gasped as Elroy pulled out a ring.

Yassssss! I said in my head, in my ghetto voice. Elroy hated when I talked like I wasn’t educated, so I didn’t say it aloud. But finally he was about to pop the big question!

I almost couldn’t believe that it was finally happening for me. I’d waited so long for this day to come. After three long years, conversation after conversation, excuse after excuse, finally Elroy was stepping up to the plate and about to ask me to be his wife.

“Yes! Yes I’ll marry you!” I screamed and Elroy laughed.

“Damn can I ask you first? Serenity Thomas, will you marry…”

“Yes! Yes! Yes! Now put that ring on my finger boy!”

I felt like I’d just won the lottery as Elroy twisted the ring on my finger. All of my suspicions and insecurities about the night before instantly went flying out the window. The proof was in the pudding, and the two-carat rock on my finger, proved that he loved himself some me baby! And that was all the reassurance that I needed.

I squealed and jumped into his arms once he was on his feet. “I love you. I love you. I love you!” I screamed, kissed his face a million times and then pulled away from him. “I have to go call everybody! All of my family and my friends; especially Dion because you know he thought that you were never going to do it! Oh, I just can’t wait to show him the ring! I’m going to be like BAM! In your face boo! I told him that you loved me. I told him that you were going to make an honest woman out of me. I told him. I told him!” I said excitedly and flirtatiously, all at the same time.

“No. Wait. Don’t tell nobody yet.”

I looked at Elroy confused.

“Why Elroy?”

“Well, I put a ring on it, but we probably won’t be getting married anytime soon. Probably not for another year or two,” he said.

“And why is that Elroy?” I didn’t like where this conversation was going, and I hated to be put in situations where I had to show my true colors.

For the most part, Elroy got to see my nice, professional, sweet side; the side that I preferred to be. But he was also very familiar with the side of me that just didn’t give a damn, and even then I tried to be limited with my words and my actions, but he knew that I was a firecracker and a few times he’d had the pleasure or maybe the displeasure I should say, of seeing me go BOOM!

And there was a lot more to me that I was sure that he just didn’t want to see.

“I’m really not in a situation for a wife yet. I just got hired on permanent at my job and I got some things I want to do and set up first before we get married. Save back up some money. You know, you make some big bucks, but I’m the man and my job is to always take care of you.”

“Then why propose Elroy?”

“Hell why not? I ain’t going nowhere and you ain’t either. And hell, marriage is all you talk about so,”

“So you gave me the ring to shut me up?”

“I gave you the ring because I want to marry you. I just said that it won’t be anytime soon,” Elroy came closer to me. “Now let’s celebrate our engagement shall we?”

I pushed his face away from mine, but he grabbed my hand.

“Please don’t tell me that you’re about to act like this? Come on Serenity. We just got engaged,” he said and puckered up his lips.

“What’s the point in getting engaged if I can’t tell anyone Elroy? What am I supposed to say when they ask me about the ring?”

“I don’t know. Tell them it’s a promise ring.”

“What am I? Twelve?”

“Well, only wear it in the house then.”

Did he really just say that?

“Here, just take your ring back,” I said in frustration and attempted to take the ring off but he stopped me.

“Fine, you can tell people. Now can we get down to celebrating or what?” Elroy said slyly.

I allowed him to kiss on me for a while. I waited until he was all hot and bothered, and once his penis started to swell, I pulled away.

“Nope. I’m going to go call my Mama,” I said running away from him with him cursing behind me.

~***~

“Since we’re engaged now, do you really think it’s necessary to have two houses? My house is bigger, you sleep over most of the time anyway, but if you want me to move to yours, I will,” I said to Elroy on the phone.

Both of our houses were paid for, but one of them would need to be rented out or something since we were now engaged and getting married…one day.

“I’ll probably move to yours,” he said.

“When?”

“I’ll let you know,” was all that he said before saying that he loved me and then he hung up.

I checked the time. It was time for me to get back to work too, so I didn’t bother calling him back to ask him more questions about his response. Instead, I headed out of the break room and walked towards my office.

“Serenity, I just laid some cases on your desk,” my father said, who was also my boss.

I worked for Thomas & Co. Law Firm, and boy did I have some big shoes to fill. My father was well-known for his cases and his work, and since I’d followed in his footsteps, I couldn’t let him down. We’d come from much of nothing, but I’d watched my father work, go to school and take care of his family, just so we could have a decent life. And he’d done just that and so much more. By the time he was done with law school, he and my mother were already on baby number six, and still didn’t stop, but he’d stuck it out and now he was more successful than even I thought that he would be. So, after changing my major twice, finally, I pulled it all together, followed my heart and pursued law, and years later, just like he’d said that he would, he’d had a job waiting for me.

I’d only been a lawyer for about three years, but I was pulling my own weight and he seemed to be more than proud of me. I was sure that he was going to pass down the company to me in a few years, so now, I was just hoping to get the other part of my life going; marriage, kids and all that good stuff before my career took another direction.

Going to school had consumed most of my life thus far, so I hadn’t really had a chance to settle down. There had been a few who wanted more, who wanted to have forever with me, years ago before side chicks became so popular, but after my heartbreak, that turned deadly, my senior year of college, I’d decided that I only needed a man for one thing…sex.

Love could make you do some crazy things; like not helping the man that had just broken your heart from a burning car. And after that, I didn’t want any parts of anything that looked like, or felt like love. At that time, I was desperate for love, and you just never know what a person is capable of doing; especially if they’re desperate. And I never wanted to feel the way that I felt that day again.

So for years, I forced myself to stay out of that lane, and in a lane all of my own. I played all of the games that men play. I lied to get my way, even cheated on a few that thought that we were in something serious. I did anything to keep me from getting too attached. It wasn’t until I was settling into my new career that I felt like it was time. I was ready. I started to look for more. And that’s when I found Elroy. Well; that’s when Elroy found me.

He’d come to see my father on a legal issue regarding an incident that had taken place at his old job. Needless to say, my father took on the case, and won. Elroy received a nice settlement, but three years later, he didn’t have anything to show for it but a nice car, a house and a few pieces of jewelry that he refuses to sell or pawn. So here recently, maybe about six months now, he had to go back to work.

Anyway, the day that they won the case, after chatting with my father, he tapped lightly on my office door.

“Hey pretty girl,” he’d said.

“I’m not a girl. I’m a woman.”

“I can see that. You’re all woman baby with your sexy self.”

Now, I didn’t see this as flattery. I’d heard that plenty of times, but back then I didn’t know just how good at talking Elroy was until he’d managed to get me to agree to go on a date with him.

“Is there something I can help you with?” I’d asked him that day. I’ll admit that at first glance he might make you a little moist in between the thighs. He was light bright, almond colored man with gray eyes, a beautiful smile, with all of his teeth, and so much more. Nice low haircut and well-kept facial hair. And that body; the muscles, the tattoos…my goodness! I could go on for days, but his looks, then, only told me one thing; danger.

I loved an attractive man; but just to look at. I would take a good, faithful, ugly man over a fine ass one any day. But still yet, I fell for Elroy.

“Can you help me, you say? Absolutely. I’ve been searching for an angel, all of my life, and I think that I’ve just found her. Now, I may not seem like the kind of man who believes in love at first sight and maybe I don’t. But I am a man that believes that you’ll never know if your soul mate is standing right in front of you, unless you agree to go on a first date with him. And from just one simple date, maybe, and I’m going out on a limb here, but maybe you’ll realize that the person that you’ve been looking for all of your life is the person sitting next to you. And maybe you will realize that dreams really do come true. I can tell you this right not that you’ve been a part of my dreams for years; from the way you look, to that sexy ass black dress that you’re wearing. So, I’m asking you, my dream, to come true and have dinner with me. Have a drink with me. Share a laugh with me. Make a memory with me, and maybe start a future with me,” Elroy had said.

Whoo!

When I tell you that man could talk you right on out of your panties, I am not lying, nor am I exaggerating. To this day, my mouth will be saying no, and as he’s talking, my hands and my body will be saying yes and before I know it, I’ll be butt naked, giving him something that he can feel.

But from that day, that moment, three years ago, Elroy and I have been in each other’s lives, and let him tell it finally we were headed for forever. And despite his weird behavior lately, there wasn’t one thing that I could complain about when it came to him and the way that he treated me. As I said, he’d been good to me. It was actually refreshing and the complete opposite of what I’d expected from him. But he’d proved me wrong.  I just hoped that whatever it was that I was feeling lately was wrong too.

I made it to my office and just as I started to work, a delivery guy tapped on the door. I looked at him and the flowers that he was holding. I smelled them as I signed and I smiled once I read the card from Elroy.

“To My Future Wife Desiree, Love Elroy.”

Desiree? Who in the hell is Desiree?

I took a deep breath and tried not to get upset and jump to any conclusions. It was a mistake. That’s all. It was just a mistake. I called Elroy’s phone over and over again. Of course he was at work and wasn’t answering, so finally I called his job.

“Yes, this is an emergency call for Elroy Ross. This is his wife.”

I waited for a few minutes, and finally he came to the phone.

“Hello?”

“Who in the hell is Desiree, Elroy?”

“What? They said it was an emergency.”

“It is and if you want to keep your job, I suggest you tell me who Desiree is, or I’ll come down there and you can tell me in person.”

See, a little of that other side of me slipped out again, but at the moment, I didn’t care. I mean, my father had taken us out of the hood and placed us in the suburbs, but I knew and remembered where we’d come from. And on top of that, I was part Latino, so sassiness ran through my veins.

“What are you talking about Serenity?”

“You sent flowers, but they say to “My Future Wife Desiree”. My name damn sure is not Desiree. So, who is she?”

“Oh, they made a mistake. Desiree is Terry’s new friend. He placed the flower order for me when he placed his for her. They must have gotten the names and jobs mixed up that’s all,” Elroy said. “Now baby, I love you. I got to get back to work.”

And with that he hung up.

I looked in my phone for Terry’s number. Of course Elroy didn’t know that I had it, but I guess he would find out today. I’d known enough information on his friend to do a little search on him at work, and I kept his information, just in case I ever needed it.

“Hello?”

“Terry this is Serenity. I got the flowers that you were sending to a Desiree.”

“Oh yeah. How did you get them? I ordered her some and you some too for Elroy. Did you get both?”

“No. They must have gotten the names wrong,” I said to Terry and after he said that he was going to call them and complain I hung up.

I took a deep breath. Okay. It really was just a mix-up. Good. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust Elroy. I did. But as I said the other night had my mind wondering, and a time or two before that had rubbed me the wrong way too, so I was a little on edge. I coached myself to stop overacting. I wanted nothing more than to be his wife and now that he’d proposed, I didn’t want to run him off by showing him a few things about myself that he might not be too fond of.

My mother always said that a man shouldn’t get to know all of you until you’ve been married for at least five years. I used to disagree with that statement, but the older I became I could see why it might be some of her best advice yet. Maybe I was overthinking it all, and I knew that I’d better get myself together. He was as close to husband material that I’d seen around in a very long time and he was mine, so I needed to do whatever I had to do to keep him.

Tearing the card up, I threw it away and sat the flowers next to the other little things that reminded me of Elroy on my desk and got to work. I had a big case coming up and I needed to focus.

The next time I seemed to come up for air, it was about an hour past time for me to go home. I checked my cell.

I was surprised to see that Elroy hadn’t called me. I called him once I was settled inside of the car, but he didn’t answer. He always got off about two hours before my scheduled time to leave work and I knew that if he was going to work over he would have called or texted me. After calling one more time and getting the voicemail, I texted him and waited for his response. Once I was only about five minutes from my house, finally, my phone started to chime, and I smiled, thinking that he was calling me back but it wasn’t him.

It was Dion.

Dion and I had been friends for a while. Of course we’d dated, but what we shared was never anything serious. He’d wanted a real relationship; I’d just wanted sex. After running back into each other later on in life, we discovered that we made pretty good friends. He was now married, with kids, but he was always my voice of reason. I hated him for it most of the time but I was glad to have him in my corner, especially when it came to trying to figure out men.

“What are you doing Mrs. Ross? Well, soon to be that is.”

“Ugh, don’t say it like it’s a disease or something. And nothing big head. On my way home.”

“I think I saw your boy earlier,” he said.

“My man. My fiancé. His name is Elroy. You should try calling him that sometimes. And where?”

“He drove past me downtown.”

“Downtown? When was this?”

“Earlier.”

“He was at work earlier.”

“Then maybe he took a break but I’m sure that it was him. His bright red Camaro, with the huge rims for no apparent reason is pretty hard to miss.”

I wondered if it was before or after I’d called him about the flowers and I wondered where he’d been going.

“Well, kiss my god-kids for me. I’ll come see them later on this week, but I’m just getting home. I’m headed in to relax and attempt to cook dinner.”

“You’re cooking? Oh my, you’re going to kill the man. Hey, that might not be a bad thing. Go on and cook him something. That’s the only way you’re going to leave him alone obviously. If he’s dead,” Dion joked and after I cursed him out, we hung up the phone.

Dion used to like Elroy. They used to occasionally chat and share a beer at the beginning of our relationship. But somewhere all of that changed. All of a sudden Dion just started saying that he gets the feeling that Elroy isn’t the one for me. But he was wrong. There was no one that I would rather spend the rest of my life with. Elroy had been good to me. He’d always been there for me and had yet to let me down. He was more than I ever thought that love would be. And we were going to be just fine. I was sure of it.

Elroy’s car was there, at my house, but I wondered why he hadn’t answered or returned my calls. I hurried inside to find music wailing from the speakers of the radio and the aroma of fried fish was in the air. Well, he surely wouldn’t have heard a ringing phone over any of this mess. I sat down my things and then headed to the kitchen.

I giggled at the sight of him.

Elroy was wearing just a pair of boxers, some sneakers and an apron. He was singing and grinding to the music as he peeled what looked like shrimp in the sink. But I’d rather taste him than any of the food that he was cleaning and cooking. My mouth started to water. I almost wanted to be freaky and hop on the counter for a little chef takes advantage of the overworked and stuck-up lawyer role play, but I changed my mind once I smelled my arm pits. This chick definitely needed a shower first.

I smiled at my forever. He wasn’t perfect but he was perfect for me. He was my king. And I was his queen and I always would be. No matter what anyone else thought, felt or had to say about it.

Tip-toeing in his direction, finally reaching him, I tapped him on the shoulder. Elroy jumped and turned around prepared to attack but stopped himself once he saw that it was me.

“You scared me,” he screamed over the music, grabbed the stereo remoted and turned the volume down.

“I know,” I puckered up my lips to kiss him, and once he laid one on me, I looked around at all the food.

“And what’s with all of this?”

“I just wanted to do something special for my baby. A little seafood night. It’s your favorite. So, relax. Go take a shower. Have a glass of wine, and let Chef El-Baby handle all of this for you,” he said. I beamed at him.

He always knew just what to do to make me feel special. I was just glad that he was cooking so that I didn’t have to. He was definitely a better cook than I was. I could cook, but I had never bothered to learn to do it as well as others. My mama had always been a stay at home mother and being that she was Latino, of course she loved to cook and loved to teach us both American and Spanish dishes. But I never really paid attention. Sometimes I wished that I had, but I had a man that could cook so I was fine.

After I showered and slipped on something comfortable, just a pair of panties, and I headed back to the kitchen to pour myself a glass of wine just as Elroy had instructed.

“Dion said that he saw you today,” I said, taking the first sip.

“Really?”

“He said that you were driving downtown. Where were you going?”

“Downtown? I didn’t have time to go downtown today. I got off of work, headed to the grocery store and came straight in.”

“He said that it was your car.”

‘I’m sure there’s other red Camaro’s with rims in this city. I’m sure there are,” Elroy said, never bothering to turn around and face me.

Hmmm…

“Elroy, I don’t want to ruin the moment, but,”

“Then don’t Serenity.”

Finally he looked at me and then walked over to check the crackling grease that was smothering the frying fish.

“It’s just that lately you seem, I don’t know.”

“I’m fine Serenity. We’re fine. Now, come on, let daddy fix you a plate baby so that we can eat.”

Even though I didn’t want to, I decided to drop the subject. I guess Dion could have been mistaken. There were plenty of cars that could look similar to Elroy’s. But of course I’d memorized his tag number so I would definitely know his car if I see it.

As Elroy grinned and got my food together, I decided to shake it off and managed to enjoy the rest of my night with him. We ate. We laughed. We cuddled and watched a movie. And once I’d put it on him and put him to sleep, as he snored, I decided to get up and do some laundry.

I scooped up the same dirty clothes that he’d stepped out of and left on the bedroom floor and I headed to the laundry room. Checking his pockets for any trash, just as I always do, I pulled out two receipts. One was from the grocery store and another one was from the gas station; a gas station that was only…downtown.

I shook my head and headed to get my phone. I checked to see when I’d called him about the flower mix-up and then I checked the receipt. Converting the time from military time format, I found that the receipt was from about thirty minutes after I’d called him.

Had he pretended as though it had really been some kind of real emergency in order to get off work early?

Why wouldn’t he have told me that he was leaving?

Why was he downtown?

And more importantly, why was he lying?

~***~

“They have overtime available, so I’m going to pull a double,” Elroy said.

“I was just about to tell you that I was going to do something special for you.”

“Do it when I get off. I’ll be there around nine,” Elroy said. I opened my mouth to say something, but I closed it. I guess I couldn’t argue with a man that wanted to work. Some men wouldn’t even do that.

Elroy drove the fork lift. He’d been working at the other company that he sued as a fork-lifter until the accident. But other than a few muscle spasms here and there, he was fine. Yet, my father had managed to get him a good bit of money, but eventually it ran out. I’d told him to invest his money in something a long time ago, but he hadn’t listened. So back to the workforce he had to go.

The voice in my head reminded me that he could possibly be lying to me again. I hadn’t mentioned the whole receipt thing, yet, but I planned to. I was just waiting for the right time. I knew that he was going to get defensive, and I knew that there was going to be an argument, but that wasn’t what I was worried about. I was worried about the truth and I was also worried that I wasn’t going to get it.

I just couldn’t understand what was going on with him. We were doing so good and we were on the right track, so all of a sudden what was wrong?

Satisfying the voice in my head, after driving by and seeing that his car really was still at work, I told myself that if anything was wrong, eventually it would come to the light. And I would be waiting on it.

Now that I had the rest of the day to myself, I decided to do a little shopping. There were tons of new things that I’d wanted to get and I figured that I could also pick up something sexy for Elroy to take off of me later on that night. Sneak the conversation about the receipt in after or right before sex was going to be my approach to the topic. At those moments, I knew that Elroy would be at his weakest.

Still in a white blouse, skirt and six-inch pumps, I headed to the mall. Between work and Elroy, I didn’t get to do much of anything else. I guess waiting on the wedding, if there was even going to be one, might not be too bad of an idea because I didn’t know how I was going to find the time to plan one. I had more than enough money saved up, but Elroy was just such a manly-man, so I knew that he wouldn’t budge until he at least had a good amount of funds ready and at my disposal to contribute. And I guess right now, with my workload, I shouldn’t be putting up too much of an argument; though if he wanted to get married tomorrow, I had more than enough family that could help me get things done.

I was Latino and Black. My mother was Latino and my father, Roger Thomas, was the strongest, smartest black man that I knew. I had ten brothers and sisters and I believe that I was at about twenty-seven nieces and nephews. One of my sisters, Maria, stayed pregnant, and I was starting to believe that somehow she’d gotten my share of eggs. If she was pregnant on Easter, you can almost bet that her fertile ass was going to be pregnant again by the next Valentine’s Day. I didn’t even buy her baby shower gifts anymore. Like, damn, it just wasn’t that much screwing in the world!

I was the only one of my sibling without any kids and everyone seemed to notice; especially me. I was past ready to start my own family. My family was huge, especially on the Latino side, and I’d always wanted that for myself. Now that I was in my thirties, I had to face the fact that I might not get it the way that I’d planned, but if I could get just one husband and two babies, I would be fine with that.

My first stop was to get some lingerie and then my second was to buy about five pair of shoes. As if I didn’t already have enough. I already knew that Elroy was going to have a fit about it later, but I worked hard and I deserved it.

“Um, um, um,” a gentleman said behind me as I walked out of the shoe store and headed for a bridal store. You know, just to have a look.

“Excuse me,” he said as I walked on. I was grinning only because Elroy had no idea what I went through on a daily basis when it came to men trying to get with me and all. I had it going on and I knew it too. I was sexy, smart, and my body was just right in all of the right places. I used to be a big girl, all of my childhood and even back in college. That was actually the reasoning that my college lover used when he confessed that he was cheating on me and leaving me. He’d said that I was too big and that the he and the head cheerleader had something going on behind my back. If only his dead ass could see me now. Too bad. So sad. Well, not really.

But times were different now and so were the men these days. And I didn’t have time to be playing the field and hopping from one man to the next. Stability at this point in my life was what I needed most. True, genuine love, respect and companionship, were at the top of my list, so I didn’t have time or patience for games.

“Excuse me.”

“I heard you the first time. My silence was a dead giveaway that I was ignoring you.”

“Dang, why you gotta’ act like that Ma?”

First of all, any man that called me “Ma” was definitely not on my level. I had a name and if he didn’t have the decency to ask for it, I was sure that he could have found something more appealing and pleasing to my ears than “Ma”. I turned to face him.

“Um, even prettier in the front than you are in the back,” he said.

“Yes pretty and I also have herpes. You want some? I don’t mind sharing them.”

His mouth fell open, and the look on his face was priceless. It almost made me laugh.

“I have more than enough to go around. Come on, get you a little bit,” I taunted him as he frowned, shivered, and literally ran in the opposite direction. I chuckled as he ran, and glanced back at me a dozen times.

Of course I didn’t really have herpes, but that was my favorite line to use. It always worked. Well, except this one time where I said it and the man replied, “Me too. What’s up?” That time I was the one doing the running.

Walking on, finally I came to the one store that all women dreamed about at some point in her life. The sight of the wedding dress on display took my breath away. It was so beautiful and I could definitely see myself in something similar.

“Can I help you?”

“No. I’m just looking.”

I saw her glance at my finger.

“When is the big day?”

“I don’t know yet.”

“You are the second soon-to-be bride that has said that today. I just had one in a few minutes ago with her fiancée who didn’t know when their wedding date was going to be either. Well, if you need anything, let me know,” she said and then dismissed herself from my presence.

This was the first time that I was actually looking for me. I’d been to and in plenty of weddings but soon it would be my turn. Briefly I imagined what it was going to be like on my wedding day. I’d only loved one man the way that I loved Elroy, and let’s just say, things hadn’t ended all that well between us; or for him. So for Elroy’s sake, he had better not be playing with my emotions.

I touched a few of the dresses with a smile and then I remembered that I might be moving just a little too fast. I needed to see what this receipt thing was all about first.

After a few more stops, at a few more stores, and then finally I headed towards the EXIT sign and smiled as the breeze caressed my face.

It was the beginning of Fall and I just loved the weather and knowing that holidays and family fun was right around the corner. I headed towards my car and threw the bags into the trunk. The sound of kids laughing caused me to look behind me.

Wait. Something caught my eye.

Is that Elroy’s car?

Shutting my trunk, slowly I walked over to the car and around to the back to look at the license play.

ELL-0077.

I thought that he was working over?

I paused to call his phone. He didn’t answer.

I used my key to get inside of the car and I looked around. There was nothing out of the ordinary, so I called him again.

Just as I was hanging up, the ping sound told me that he had probably sent a text message. I was right. But he was going to wish that he hadn’t.

“Call you when I get off baby,” the text said.

Call me when he get off?

He was already off!

Liar!

Seeing red, I contemplated on what I wanted to do next. I didn’t know if I wanted to wait and be sitting in his car once he returned to it or if I just wanted to leave and grill him about it later. My mind was racing and my heart was beating so fast that I thought that I was going to faint. He was lying to me. Why was he lying to me?

Why in the hell was he lying to me!

Angry and mad because I couldn’t answer my own question, I tried to control my temper but I couldn’t. And honestly, I didn’t want to. With that being said, I balled up my fist, with my keys in my right hand, and punched his driver’s side window with all of my might.

“Liar!” I screamed as I punched it again and the glass shattered. Blood oozed from my hand, but it didn’t stop me from screaming and kicking his car until people started to stop and stare.

I had a career, and causing a scene wasn’t ideal for me, so I spit on Elroy’s car and walked away.

He was trying to play me? Really?

Speeding out of the parking lot, all I could think about was the war that Elroy had just started and he didn’t even know it yet. I was the wrong woman to be lying to and trust me…he was about to find out why!

****************************************

 

 

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Also check out “The Wrong Husband” by B.M. HARDIIN

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First Full Chapter of book “Desperate”

–”DESPERATE–” Anything for Love (unedited)

Chapter I

I listened to him scream my name, but I pretended as though I couldn’t hear him. I heard him loud and clear but even his screams weren’t enough to make me help him. I laid on the ground as the flames that surrounded the car grew higher and higher. I knew that he couldn’t get out of the seat belt I knew that the door was jammed, but I’d left him there. I’d left him to burn alive. He bawled out in agony as the blood from my head and nose painted my shirt a bloody, crimson red.

“Serenity! Serenity!”

The sound of screeching tires behind me stole my focus.

“Ma’am! Ma’am? Are you okay?” The man asked me but my eyes were on the blaze.

“Is there anyone else in the car?”

I waited to see if Rodney would scream again but he didn’t. Nothing could be heard but the sizzling pieces of the melting aluminum and steel from the car.

He was dead. Rodney was dead.

The man repeated his question and this time I answered him.

“Uh, yes. Yes. My boyfriend is stuck inside,” I said as he called for help. Bloody, sore, and suddenly feeling ten times better, I laid on the ground and for the first time in weeks, I smiled…

I jumped up, clutching my chest.

“Whoa baby, it was just a dream.”

I looked back at Elroy.

Little did he know that it wasn’t just a dream. It had also been my reality a long, long time ago. It was just one of those things that I conveniently forgot to mention to him.

He looked at me as I steadied my breath.

“If you ever leave me I’ll kill you,” I said with a smile but a part of me wasn’t joking. A part of me was serious. Dead serious. Elroy grinned and rolled over and wrapped his arms around me and hugged me tightly from behind.

“Shut up,” was all that he said and it wasn’t long before we both drifted peacefully off to sleep.

And this time, I dreamt about my future, with him, and not about my past with Rodney.

~***~

“I was at home last night.”

“No you weren’t. I rode by…twice,” I lied. It was more like twenty times, but after five I lost count.

Elroy looked stumped. I knew that he was thinking of a lie, but I was already two steps ahead of him.

“And you weren’t at your brother’s. Or your sister’s. Or that trifling ass piece of a man that you call a friend, Terry’s. I rode by there too. So where were you Elroy?”

“Since when did you become the damn C.I.A?”

I’d always double checked the things that he told me. I just never seemed to find any holes in his stories, until lately.

“I was at home. I had a few errands to run and then I went home.”

“Where?”

“I told you, I ran around and then I went home. You always think somebody lying.”

Translation: His ass was lying!

He was lying right through those pearly white teeth of his. The way his gripping gray eyes moved back and forth from my eyes to the floor, confirmed it.

“Baby, stop showing out and stop riding by my house like some kind of stalker or something. I’m not doing anything so stop looking for stuff. You are the only woman that I love. You are the only woman that I need. And I’m about to prove it to you,” Elroy said dropping to his knees.

I gasped as Elroy pulled out a ring.

This was it! Finally he was about to pop the big question!

Yassssss! I said in my head, in my ghetto voice. Elroy hated when I talked like I wasn’t educated.

I almost couldn’t believe that it was finally happening for me. After three long years, conversation after conversation, excuse after excuse, finally Elroy was stepping up to the plate and about to ask me to be his wife.

“Yes! Yes I’ll marry you!” I screamed and Elroy laughed aloud.

“Damn can I ask you first? Serenity Thomas, will you marry…”

“Yes! Yes! Yes! Now put that ring on my finger boy!”

I felt like I’d just won the lottery as Elroy twisted the ring on my finger. All of my suspicions and insecurities went flying out the window. It wasn’t as though he always gave me a reason to be, but life and experience had taught me to keep my guard up at all times.

I squealed and jumped into his arms once he was on his feet.

“I love you. I love you. I love you!” I screamed, kissed his face a million times and then pulled away from him.

“I gotta’ go call my Mama! And all of my family! Oh and my friends; especially Dion because you know he thought that you were never going to do it! Oh, I just can’t wait to show him the ring! I’m going to be like BAM! In your face! I told him that you loved me. I told him that you were going to come to your senses and make an honest woman out of me. I told him. I told him!” I said flirtatiously.

“No. Wait. Don’t tell nobody yet.”

I looked at Elroy confused.

“Why Elroy?”

“Well, I put a ring on it, but we probably won’t be getting married anytime soon. Probably not for another year or two,” he said.

“And why is that Elroy?” I should have known that this decent sized diamond had come with a catch. Everything, always, comes with a catch with Elroy.

“I’m really not in a situation for a wife yet. I just got hired on permanent at my job and I got some things I want to do and set up first before we get married.”

“Then why propose Elroy?”

“Hell why not? I ain’t going nowhere and you ain’t either. And hell, marriage is all you talk about so,”

“So you gave me the ring to shut me up?”

“I gave you the ring because I want to marry you. I just said that it won’t be anytime soon,” Elroy came closer to me. “Now let’s celebrate our engagement shall we?”

I pushed his face away from mine, but he grabbed my hand.

“Please don’t tell me that you’re about to act like this? Come on Serenity. We just got engaged,” he said and puckered up his lips.

“What’s the point in getting engaged if I can’t tell anyone Elroy? What am I supposed to say when they ask me about the ring?”

“I don’t know. Tell them it’s a promise ring.”

“What am I? Twelve?”

“Well, only wear it in the house then.”

Did he really just say that?

“Here, just take your ring back,” I said in frustration and attempted to take the ring off but he stopped me.

“Fine, you can tell people. Now can we get down to celebrating or what?” Elroy said slyly.

I allowed him to kiss on me for a while. I waited until he was all hot and bothered, and once his penis started to swell, I pulled away.

“Nope. I gotta’ go call my Mama,” I said running away from him with him cursing behind me.

~***~

“Since we’re engaged now, do you really think it’s necessary to have two places? My house is bigger, you sleep over most of the time anyway, but if you want me to move to yours, I will,” I said to Elroy on the phone.

Both of our houses were paid for, but one of them would need to be rented out or something since we were now engaged and getting married…one of these days.

“I’ll probably move to yours,” he said.

“When?”

“I’ll let you know,” was all that he said before saying that he loved me and then he hung up.

I checked the time. It was time for me to get back to work too, so I didn’t bother calling him back to ask him more questions about his response.

What did he mean he will let me know?

“Serenity, I just laid some cases on your desk,” my father said, who was also my boss.

I worked for Thomas & Co. Law Firm, and boy did I have some big shoes to fill. My father was well-known for his cases and his work, and since I’d followed in his footsteps, I couldn’t let him down. We’d come from much of nothing, but I’d watched my father work, go to school and take care of his family, just so we could have a decent life. And he’d done just that and so much more. By the time he was done with law school, he and my mother were already on baby number six, but he’d stuck it out and now he was more successful than even I thought that he would be. So, after changing my major twice, finally, I followed my heart and pursued law, and years later, just like he’d said that he would, he’d had a job waiting for me.

I’d only been a lawyer for about three years, but I was pulling my own weight and he seemed to be more than proud of me. I was sure that he was going to pass down the company to me in a few years, so now, I was just hoping to get the other part of my life going; marriage, kids and all that good stuff before my career took another direction.

Going to school had consumed most of my life thus far, so I hadn’t really had a chance to settle down. There had been a few who wanted more, who wanted to have forever with me, but after my college heartbreak, that turned into death, my sophomore year, I’d decided that I only needed a man for one thing…sex.

Love could make you do some crazy things, like not helping the man that had just broken your heart from a burning car, and after that, I didn’t want any parts of anything that looked like, or felt like love. I played all of the games that men play. Lied to get my way, even cheated on a few. Anything to keep me from getting too attached. It wasn’t until I was settling into my new career that I started to look for more. And that’s when I found Elroy. Well; that’s when Elroy found me.

He’d come to see my father on a legal issue regarding an incident that had taken place at his old job. Needless to say, my father took on the case, and won. Elroy received a nice settlement, but three years later, he didn’t have anything to show for it but a nice car, a house and a few pieces of jewelry that he refuses to sell or pawn. So here recently, he had to go back to work.

Anyway, the day that they won the case, after chatting with my father, he tapped lightly on my office door.

“Hey pretty girl,” he’d said.

“I’m not a girl. I’m a woman.”

“I can see that. You’re all woman baby with your sexy self.”

Now, I didn’t see this as flattery. I’d heard that plenty of times, but back then I didn’t know how good at talking Elroy was until he’d managed to get me to agree to go on a date with him.

“Is there something I can help you with?” I’d asked him that day. I’ll admit that at first glance he might make you a little moist. Gray eyes. A beautiful smile. Nice low haircut and well-kept facial hair. And that body; the muscles, the tattoos, I could go on for days, but his looks then only told me one thing; danger.

I loved an attractive man, to look at, but I would take a good, faithful, ugly man over a fine ass one any day. But still yet, I fell for Elroy.

“Can you help me, you say? Absolutely. I’ve been searching for an angel, all of my life, and I think that I’ve just found her. Now, I may not seem like the kind of man who believes in love at first sight and maybe I don’t. But I am a man that believes that you’ll never know if your soul mate is standing right in front of you, unless you agree to go on a first date with him. And from just one simple date, maybe, and I’m going out on a limb here, but maybe you’ll realize that the person that you’ve been looking for all of your life is the person sitting next to you. And maybe you will realize that dreams really do come true. I can tell you this right not that you’ve been a part of my dreams for years; from the way you look, to that sexy ass black dress that you’re wearing. So, I’m asking you, my dream, to come true and have dinner with me. Have a drink with me. Share a laugh with me. Make a memory with me, and maybe start a future with me,” Elroy had said.

Whoo!

When I tell you that man could talk you right on out of your panties, I am not exaggerating. To this day, I’ll be saying no, and as he’s talking, my hands and my body will be saying yes and before I know it, I’ll be butt naked, giving him something that he can feel.

And from that day, that moment, three years ago, Elroy and I have been in each other’s lives, and let him tell it, finally we were headed for forever.

I made it to my office and just as I started to work, a delivery guy tapped on the door. I looked at him and the flowers that he was holding. I smelled them as I signed and I smiled once I read the card from Elroy.

“To My Future Wife Desiree, Love Elroy.”

Desiree?

Who in the hell was Desiree?

I took a deep breath and tried not to get upset and jump to any conclusions. It was a mistake. That’s all. It was just a mistake.

I called Elroy’s phone over and over again. Of course he was at work and wasn’t answering, so finally I called his job.

“Yes, this is an emergency call for Elroy Ross. This is his wife.”

I waited for a few minutes, and finally he came to the phone.

“Hello?”

“Who in the hell is Desiree, Elroy?”

“What? They said it was an emergency.”

“It is and if you want to keep your job, I suggest you tell me who Desiree is, or I’ll come down there and you can tell me in person.”

Now Daddy had taken us out of the hood, but I was part Latino, so sassiness ran through my veins.

“What are you talking about Serenity?”

“You sent flowers, but they say to “My Future Wife Desiree”. My name damn sure is not Desiree. So, who is she?”

“Oh, they made a mistake. Desiree is Terry’s new friend. He placed the flower order for me when he placed his for her. They must have gotten the names and jobs mixed up that’s all,” Elroy said. “Now baby, I love you. I got to get back to work.”

And with that he hung up.

I looked in my phone for Terry’s number. Of course Elroy didn’t know that I had it, but I guess he would find out today.

“Hello?”

“Terry this is Serenity. I got the flowers that you were sending to a Desiree.”

“Oh yeah. How did you get them? I ordered her some and you some too for Elroy. Did you get both?”

“No. They must have gotten the names wrong,” I said to Terry and after he said that he was going to call them and complain I hung up.

I took a deep breath.

Okay. It was just a mix-up. Good.

It wasn’t that I didn’t trust Elroy. I did. Most of the time anyway. For the first two years, our relationship was great. I wanted nothing more than to be his wife. But it seemed as though once his settlement money ran out and he realized that he’d wasted it and it was time to go back to work, he just seemed to act different. Maybe he was just frustrated or something, but for the past six months or so he was different. He seemed to always be late, and he never seemed to be where he said that he was going to be. So I was starting to put my guard up. I’d asked him if something was wrong and all he’d said was that he was just focused on making money. Of course I made a good bit, but he hated to let me pay for anything. Our whole relationship, he’d always spent his money on me. Anything I’d asked for, he always got.

Well, except a ring until here recently.

But as I was told, a real man always worries when it comes time to take care of his woman, so maybe he did just have money on his mind. And as long as it was money and not another woman, I guess I was fine.

I threw the note card away and sat the flowers next to the other little things that reminded me of Elroy on my desk and got to work.

The next time I seemed to come up for air, it was time to go home. I called Elroy once I was settled in the car, but he didn’t answer. He always got off about two hours before me and I knew that if he was going to work over he would have called. After calling one more time and getting the voicemail, I texted him and waited for his response.

As I drove towards my house, my phone started to chime, and I smiled, thinking that he was calling me back but it wasn’t him.

It was my best friend Dion.

Dion and I had been friends for a while. Of course we’d dated, and had even had sex, but what we shared was never anything serious. After running back into each other later on in life, we discovered that we made pretty good friends. He was now married, with kids, but he seemed to always be my voice of reason.

I hated him for it most of the time but I was glad to have him in my corner, especially when it came to trying to figure out men.

“What are you doing Mrs. Ross? Well, soon to be that is.”

“Ugh, don’t say it like it’s a disease or something. And nothing big head. On my way home.”

“I think I saw your boy earlier,” he said.

“My man. My fiancée. His name is Elroy. You should try calling him that sometimes. And where?”

“He drove past me downtown.”

“Downtown? When was this?”

“Earlier.”

“He was at work earlier.”

“Then maybe he took a break but I’m sure that it was him. His bright red Camaro, with the huge rims for no apparent reason is pretty hard to miss.”

Hmmm…

I wonder if it was before or after I’d called him about the flowers and I wondered where he’d been going.

“Well, kiss my god-kids for me. I’ll come see them later on this week, but I’m just getting home. I’m headed in to relax and attempt to cook dinner.”

“Lord you’re going to kill the man. Hey, that might not be a bad thing. Go on and cook him something. That’s the only way you’re going to leave him alone obviously. If he’s dead,” Dion joked and after I cursed him out, we hung up the phone.

Dion used to like Elroy. They used to occasionally chat and share a beer at the beginning of our relationship. But somewhere all of that changed. All of a sudden Dion just started saying that he gets the feeling that Elroy isn’t the one for me.

But he was wrong. Elroy might need a little guidance, but there was no one that I would rather spend the rest of my life with. Elroy had been good to me. He’d always been there for me and had yet to let me down. He was just a little stressed lately, but it was all going to pass and we were going to be just fine.

Elroy’s car was there, at my house, but I wondered why he hadn’t answered or returned my calls.

I hurried inside to find music wailing from the speakers of the radio and the aroma of fried fish was in the air. He wouldn’t have heard anything, especially not a ringing phone, over any of this mess.

I sat down my things and then headed to the kitchen. Elroy was wearing just a pair of boxers, some sneakers and an apron. He was singing and grinding to the music as he looked to be peeling what looked like shrimp in the sink. Damn he looked good enough to eat!

Instinctively, I felt like a hungry lion with my mouth watering, waiting, watching, my six-foot, almond colored, tatted-up prey.

I smiled at my forever. He wasn’t perfect but he was perfect for me. He was my king. And I was his queen and I always would be.

No matter who didn’t like it.

Tip-toeing in his direction, finally reaching him, I tapped him on the shoulder. Elroy jumped and turned around prepared to attack but stopped himself once he saw that it was me.

“You scared me,” he screamed over the music, grabbed the stereo remoted and turned the volume down.

“I know,” I puckered up my lips to kiss him, and once he laid one on me, I looked around at all the food.

“And what’s with all of this?”

“I just wanted to do something special for my baby. A little seafood night. It’s your favorite. So, relax. Go take a shower. Have a glass of wine, and let Chef El-Baby handle all of this for you,” he said. I beamed at him.

He always knew just what to do to make me feel special. I was just glad that he was cooking so that I didn’t have to. He was definitely a better cook than I was. I could cook, but I had never bothered to learn to do it as well as others. My mama had always been a stay at home mom and being that she was Latino, of course she loved to cook and loved to teach us both American and Spanish dishes, but I never really paid attention. Sometimes I wished that I had, but I had a man that could cook so I was fine. And besides, the few things that I could make, was more than enough for Elroy.

After I showered and slipped on something comfortable, just a pair of panties, I headed back to the kitchen to pour myself a glass of wine just as Elroy had instructed.

“Dion said that he saw you today,” I said, taking the first sip.

“Really?”

“He said that you were driving. Downtown. When? Where were you going?”

“Downtown? I didn’t have time to go downtown today. I got off of work, headed to the grocery store and came straight in.”

“He said that it was your car.”

‘I’m sure there’s other red Camaro’s with rims in this city. I’m sure there are,” Elroy said, never bothering to turn around and face me.

I sat my glass down and stared at the back of his head. I was real tempted to throw the bottle of Chardonnay at the back of his head, but I was going to behave myself.

“Elroy, I don’t want to ruin the moment, but,”

“Then don’t Serenity.”

He looked at me and then headed to check the crackling grease that was smothering the frying fish.

“It’s just lately you seem, I don’t know.”

“I’m fine Serenity. We’re fine. Now, come on, let daddy fix you a plate baby so that we can eat.”

I decided to drop the subject. I guess Dion could have been mistaken. There were plenty of cars that could look similar to Elroy’s. I made a mental not to remember to memorize Elroy’s tag number.

As Elroy grinned and got my food together, I decided to shake it off and managed to enjoy the rest of my night with my future husband. Once I’d put it on him and put him to sleep, as he snored, I decided to get up and do some laundry.

I scooped up the same dirty clothes that he’d stepped out of and left on the bedroom floor and I headed to the laundry room.

Checking his pockets for any trash, just as I always do, I pulled out two receipts. One was from the grocery store and another one was from the gas station.

A gas station that was Downtown.

I shook my head and headed to get my phone. I checked to see when I’d called him about the flower mix-up and then I checked the receipt. Converting the time from military time format, I found that the receipt was from about thirty minutes after I’d called him.

What, had he used my call as a way to get off of work early?

Had he pretended as though it had been some kind of real emergency and then left?

And why was he downtown?

And more importantly, why was he lying?

What was Elroy up to?

~***~

“They have overtime available, so I’m going to pull a double,” Elroy said.

I frowned.

“I was just about to tell you that I was going to do something special for you.”

“Do it when I get off. I’ll be there around nine,” Elroy said. I guess I couldn’t argue with a man that wanted to work. At least he would work. Some men wouldn’t even do that. Elroy drove the fork lift. He’d been working at the other company that he sued as a fork-lifter until the accident. But other than a few muscle spasms here and there, he was fine. I’d told him to invest his money in something a long time ago, but he hadn’t listened. So back to the workforce he had to go.

My only concern was if he was lying or not about working over. I hadn’t mentioned the whole receipt thing yet, but I planned to. I was just waiting for the right time. I knew that he was going to get defensive, and I knew that there was going to be an argument, but those weren’t what bothered me. I wanted more. I wanted more than the excuses or lies that he was going to give me. I wanted the truth.

After driving by and seeing that his car was still at work and now that I had the rest of the day to myself, I decided to do a little shopping.

There were tons of new things that I’d wanted to get and I figured that I could also pick up something sexy for Elroy to take off of me later on that night too. Sneak the conversation in after or right before sex was going to be my approach to the topic of the gas receipt. At those moments, I knew that Elroy would be at his weakest.

Still in a white blouse, skirt and six-inch pumps, I headed to the mall.

Between work and Elroy, I didn’t get to do much of anything else. I guess waiting on the wedding, if there was even going to be one, might not be too bad of an idea because I didn’t know how I was going to find the time to plan one. But then again, I guess I could get my family to help me out on that one.

I was Latino and Black. My mother was Latino and my father, Roger Thomas, was the strongest, smartest black man that I knew.

I had ten brothers and sisters and I believe that I was at about twenty-seven nieces and nephews. Hell, after twenty, lost count. One of my sisters, Maria, stayed pregnant, and I was starting to believe that she’d somehow gotten my share of eggs. If she was pregnant on Easter, you can almost bet that by the next Valentine’s Day, she was going to be pregnant again. It wasn’t that much screwing in the world!

I was the only one of my sibling without any kids and everyone seemed to notice; especially me. I was past ready to start my own family. My family was huge, especially on the Latino side, and I’d always wanted that for myself. Now that I was in my thirties, I had to face the fact that I might not get it the way that I’d planned, but if I could get just one husband and two babies, I would be fine with that.

Sure after being with Elroy for three long years, I’d started to put on the pressure, but I wanted more than just a ring to keep me quiet. I wanted forever.

My first stop was to get some lingerie and then my second was to buy about five pair of shoes. As if I didn’t already have enough. I already knew that Elroy was going to have a fit about it later, but I worked hard and I deserved it.

“Um, um, um,” a gentleman said behind me as I walked out of the shoe store and headed for a bridal store. You know, just to have a look.

“Excuse me,” he said as I walked on. I was grinning only because Elroy had no idea what I went through on a daily basis to stay faithful to him.

I had it going on and I knew it too. I was sexy, smart, and my body was just right in all of the right places. I used to be a big girl, back and college. That was actually the reasoning my college love had said that he was cheating on me and leaving me. He’d said that I was too big and that the he and the head cheerleader had something going on behind my back. If only he could see me now, but of course he couldn’t. Because he’s dead.

But times were different now. I was in my thirties and though I looked good, I didn’t have time to be playing the field and hopping from one man to the next. Stability at this point in my life was what I needed most.

“Excuse me.”

“I heard you the first time. My silence was a dead giveaway that I was ignoring you.”

“Dang, why you gotta’ act like that Ma?”

First of all, any man that called me “Ma” was definitely not on my level. I had a name and if he didn’t have the decency to ask for it, I was sure that he could have found something more appealing and pleasing to my ears than “Ma”. Besides, I was damn sure that I didn’t remind him of his old ass Mama anyway!

I turned to face him.

“Um, even prettier in the front than you are in the back,” he said.

“Yes pretty and I also have herpes. You want some? I don’t mind sharing.”

His mouth fell open, and the look on his face was priceless. It almost made me burst into laughter.

“I have more than enough to go around. Come on, get you a little bit,” I taunted him as he frowned, shivered, and literally ran in the opposite direction. I laughed as he ran, a glanced back at me a dozen times.

Of course I didn’t really have herpes, but that was my favorite line to use. It always worked. Well, except this one time where I said it and the man replied, “Me too. What’s up?” That time I was the one doing the running.

Walking on, finally I came to the one store that all women dreamed about at some point in her life. The sight of the wedding dress on display took my breath away. It was so beautiful and I could definitely see myself in something similar.

“Can I help you?”

“No. I’m just looking.”

I saw her glance at my finger.

“When is the big day?”

“I don’t know yet.”

“You are the second soon-to-be bride that has said that today. I just had one in a few minutes ago with her fiancée who didn’t know when their wedding date was going to be either. Well, if you need anything, let me know,” she said and then dismissed herself from my presence.

This was the first time that I was actually looking for me. I’d been to and in plenty of weddings but soon it would be my turn. Briefly I imagined what it was going to be like on my wedding day. I’d only loved one man the way that I loved Elroy, and let’s just say, things hadn’t ended all that well between us; or for him. So for Elroy’s sake, he had better not be playing with my emotions.

I touched a few of the dresses with a smile and then I remembered that I might be moving just a little too fast. I needed to see what this receipt thing was all about first.

After a few more stops, at a few more stores, and then finally I headed towards the EXIT sign and smiled as the breeze caressed my face.

It was the beginning of fall and I just loved the weather and knowing that holidays and family fun was right around the corner. I headed towards my car and threw the bags into the trunk. The sound of kids laughing caused me to look behind me.

Wait.

Something caught my eye.

Is that Elroy’s car?

Shutting my trunk, slowly I walked over to the car and around to the back to look at the license play.

ELL-0077.

Yep. That was him. I’d memorized it a few days ago.

I thought he was working over?

I paused to call his phone. He didn’t answer.

I used my key to get inside of the car and I looked around. There was nothing out of the ordinary, so I called him again.

Just as I was hanging up, the ping sound told me that he had probably sent a text message. I was right. But he was going to wish that he hadn’t.

“Call you when I get off baby,” the text said.

Call me when he get off?

He was already off!

Liar!

Seeing red, I contemplated on what I wanted to do next. I didn’t know if I wanted to wait and be sitting in his car once he returned to it or if I just wanted to leave and grill him about it later.

My mind was racing and my heart was beating so fast that I thought that I was going to faint. He was lying to me. Why was he lying to me? Why the hell was he lying to me?

Angry and mad because I couldn’t answer my own question, I balled up my fist, with my keys in my right hand, and punched his driver’s side window with all of my might.

“You bastard!” I screamed as I punched it again and the glass shattered. Blood oozed from my hand, but it didn’t stop me from screaming and kicking his car until people started to stop and stare.

I had a career, and causing a scene wasn’t ideal for me, so I spit on Elroy’s car and walked away.

Speeding out of the parking lot, all I could think about was the war that Elroy had just started that he wasn’t even aware of.

I was the wrong woman to be lying to and trust me…he was about to find out why!

****************************************

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First FULL Chapter of “Dirty Bonds” by B.M. Hardin and Lola J.

Dirty Bonds: The Series. BOOK ONE… (BOOK TWO: LOW DOWN DIRTY BONDS)

Money aint the only thing that will get you out of jail on bail….

Chapter One

I stared silently out the window as the black BMW drove speedily down the driveway and hastily out of the closing gates. I couldn’t believe that it was over.

This just couldn’t be happening to me. No, not to me. I had been nothing but a good wife to him and this is how he repaid me?

But the truth was…my husband didn’t love me anymore. He was leaving me…just like my daddy did.

Imagine my surprise to find out that my husband had a mistress…well a mister.

Huh?

Carter had all the money ten men could ever ask for. He had a beautiful home, a stunning wife, who gave him pussy on the everyday and I do mean every single day, if he was home, so why on earth would he choose him over me…them over us?

I just couldn’t understand. It just didn’t make sense. But indeed it was happening. All the pain, all the tears, and every ounce of the embarrassment…were real. Carter had left me for a man and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.

Though technically there was no bright side to this mess, or true happy ending to this story, at least Carter wasn’t being a complete asshole about the situation. He had left me the mansion, both of my cars my Bentley and BMW, and a generous amount of money—twenty million dollars to be exact.

Since he was already established before I came along, of course I signed a prenuptial agreement, so he didn’t have to; so my guess was that it was simply a gracious amount of hush money—to keep his little secret.

But who in the hell did he think I was going to tell?

I sure as hell wasn’t going to broadcast that my husband of ten years had left me for a man that he hardly even knew! At least that’s what he had told me. He had met him only three months ago but they were in love….

What is this world coming to?

Though I was thankful, no amount of money could repair the heartache that I felt.

But aside from heartache and hurt were accompanying by a ton of other emotions. I was furious, scorned, but most of all I was confused.

What was I doing wrong?

What was I going to do now?

Who was going to love me now?

With so many unanswered questions running around in my head, I headed up the stairs to the bedroom that we once shared. I thought to call my sisters Shanay and Reese, but decided that I would rather be alone. After all, I was going to have to get used to it. Unsure of what to do next, I began to whimper. I cried similar to a newborn baby who wanted and needed the touch of its mother.

 How could he do this to me?

I did everything he asked of me and more…why wasn’t that enough?

I talked aloud to myself in between my sobs for hours. I still couldn’t come up with a reasonable explanation; except for the obvious.

Carter just didn’t love me anymore…or love women anymore for that matter.

For some reason or another, the ordeal reminded me of a time in my past. I reminisced about the day that my daddy left us. He and Mama had the type of relationship that I had always wanted for myself. They were perfect for each other. I was only about ten at the time, but I was the only one of his three daughters that actually really remembered him. Reese was around five or six at the time, but she soon forgot about him after he left and Shanay was barely walking so of course her memories of him were faint; but not mine.

That day was similar to today; gloomy and rainy. I remembered hearing our Mama, Rebekka, begging him; begging him to take us with him.

“No, it’s too dangerous. I’ll send for you as soon as I can, I promise,” he had said to her.

Not that it’s anything to brag about, but back then Daddy was the man. And I do mean the damn man. He was the top dog in the drug business and he had that gut feeling that the police were about to make their move on him. Being half black and half Mexican he had plenty of relatives and connections in Mexico and had traveled back in forth plenty of times. Knowing that he wouldn’t have an issue crossing over, Daddy decided to cross the border to Mexico for a while, but he promised that he would come back for us…that promise was broken.

After he told us all how much he loved us, Daddy and his best friend Papa Paul, loaded up his bags and drove away. I remembered staring out the window at the car driving away similar to today, crying, eagerly wanting to go with him.

“He will be back soon baby,” Mama whispered in my ear.

Needless to say, Mama died, still wondering why Daddy had never come back for us.

That was almost twenty years ago. That day was the last day we ever saw him. We never heard from or seen Daddy again. But his absence would affect me forever.

Just as Carter had looked out for me, Daddy had stashed an ass load of cash away for Mama to take care of us. It took a while but as soon as the police and Feds backed off of us, one day, Mama loaded up our black SUV with us and a few other things. She made a stop at an old abandoned house and went inside. Mama came out one by one with five or six thirty gallon black trash bags full of money. She also came out with a disposable phone and a key. That day, we left Mississippi and never looked back. A few days later we settled in Columbus, Georgia, where a huge white house with a white fence had been waiting almost months for our arrival. Mama never told me just how much money Daddy had left us, but we always had more than enough and Mama never worked a day of her life, so after awhile, I stopped asking. We had everything we wanted and for awhile that was enough. Our childhood ended up being quite swell. But the memory that I hated the most was the one of Mama sitting by that disposable phone for almost five years, simply waiting; hoping that one day Daddy would call. All he had to do was make one simple phone call…but that day never came.

On my sixteenth birthday, finally Mama threw it away and told me that she would soon be remarrying again. Surprisingly, I was happy for her. As much as I loved and missed my Daddy, I loved my Mama more. She had done her part. She had waited as long as she could. We could only assume that Daddy, Vernon Jackson, was either dead…or had decided that it was best if he went on living without us.

Either way as the years went by, I continued to miss him…and hate him.

The sudden ringing of my phone scattered the images and memories in my head.

It was my little sister Shanay.

“Hey, what’s up?” I asked her, trying not to sound so sad.

“What’s wrong?” she asked immediately. Shanay was the youngest of the three. She was only twenty two. Reese was twenty six, and I was the big three zero.  Though I loved both of my sisters, Shanay was my heart. She was just like my own daughter. There was nothing that I wouldn’t do for her.

“I’m fine, honey, what’s up?” I repeated.

“I know something is wrong with you. But okay, we can talk about it later. Anyway, I got my beautician license this morning! I was calling to see if I could get a small loan from you and Carter to start my own hair salon. I promise I’ll pay y’all back,” Shanay stated, knowing paying us—well me, back wouldn’t be necessary.  I had married a movie producer; the urban, new age Spielberg, in my opinion, but long story short, he had plenty of money. So, his money had always been my money, and I had always taken care of my mama and my sisters. Strangely, Carter never seemed to mind…he had always been rather generous with money. He never seemed to care much about it; or how or where I spent it.

“Shanay, is $50,000 enough?” I questioned her, rolling out of bed and heading to my purse. I then sat in front of my computer for only a second to check my balance. Indeed, Carter had placed the 20 million dollars, along with the three hundred thousand that I already had, into my account. I could no longer see his personal account or our joint account. He must have already had them closed. I felt a lump in my throat and the tears once again, made their presence known. Having money was nothing if you had no one to share it with.  And that was nothing but the truth.

I wrote out Shanay a check and told her I would drop it by to her a little later, I decided to call Reese, simply to see if she needed money too. After all, someone was going to have to help me spend it.

Reese was the smart one; and I do mean smart.  She had just passed the Bar Exam and was going to be a lawyer…or was already technically a lawyer. I was so proud of her.

“Hey Reese, what are you up to?”

“Hey, nothing, I was just about to call you. Shanay texted me and said something was wrong with you,” she stated in concern. It was funny how closely I had to listen to her. She talked just like a white girl these days. But then again, what else was a well-educated, lawyer supposed to sound like?

“Well, don’t tell Shanay yet, but Carter left me today,” I said ashamed. I was their role model, the one that my sister’s looked up to. I was constantly telling them what to do to get and keep a good man, and I had just lost my own man…to another man.

“Oh no, I’m so sorry. Was it another woman?” she asked.

“No,” I was able to answer truthfully. I continued to tell her my version of the story, which eventually led me to asking her about her needs.

“Well, since you are going to be a lawyer and all, I figured that maybe you should start your own firm. I have a $100,000 check with your name on it…what do you say?”

~~~

Let’s just say, my sisters’ had their businesses up and running in about two months tops! I guess for the right price, you could get anything done, in just a small amount of time these days. I, for one, was very proud of their success. I had been playing the role of Mama for the past few years and I must say…job well done. Neither of them had a whole bunch of kids, and both of them were in the fields of their desired careers. Both of them were in committed relationships…well kind of. But that’s a whole different story. But nevertheless, I couldn’t have asked for better sisters.

It had been two months two long, and it was time for me to start living again. I had cried more than enough and it was time for me to get up and move on.

Of course, I still loved and was still in love with my soon to be ex-husband; despite how disgusted I was with him. But I was confident enough to say, that even if he wanted me back; he could never and I do mean never have me. I had no problem with men who chose to bat for the other team; their life; their choices, their problem. But I did have a problem with my man batting for the other team. That was some straight, you know what.

Carter had sent me text messages a few days prior stating that our divorce would be final in just thirty days. I just needed to sign a few things and that he would be sending the lawyers by my house. It was funny that he had yet to even pick up the phone and call me. He didn’t even care enough to call.

Of course, the whole separation for a year thing was supposed to be our next step but we knew some pretty important people, in a few high positions, so I’d already known that Carter wouldn’t play by the rules and that we would be divorced pretty quickly. And despite my broken heart… I was okay with that. I was still a decent age, and not to mention I was rich, so basically I had my whole life left to live…I just had to learn to live it without him.

I hadn’t left the house since the day Carter left and it was time that I pull myself together and put my ego in my back pocket. I had finally gotten the courage to completely fill both of my sisters in on my situation and of course they gave me nothing but love and sympathy. I knew that they would help me get through it…after all; all we had was each other.

When we moved from Mississippi, we left everyone and everything behind us. We hadn’t seen or spoken to any of our family since then. It had always been just us.

After getting dressed, I decided that today was as good of a day as any to check out both of their new businesses, since I hadn’t been to see them not even once; I had missed both grand openings and everything.

Hair We Go Again, was first on my list.

I walked into the beauty shop and immediately I was in awe and impressed. The shop looked absolutely amazing! The black, pink and white décor was stunning. Pink and Black chairs, hair dryers, rugs and pictures…little sis had it going on! From the constant whines, I figured that she had put the daycare in the back of the shop; just like she said she would; just like she had always wanted. If you ask me, it was one hell of a marketing strategy and from the looks of it, it was working quite well. Being able to get your hair done, while someone babysits your kids in the back…for free…a black woman’s dream come true!

And it showed; the place was packed!

Taking my attention from the objects and turning it on the people, I noticed that all eyes were on me.
Okay, so maybe I was a bit over dressed for the occasion, but what else was I supposed to wear?

I was wearing a black and red Gucci sundress, red bottom, Gucci pumps, with a matching bag and matching shades. My thousand dollar weave still had every curl in its respectable place and hung long past my shoulders, gracing the middle of my back.

Shanay immediately caught sight of me and headed in my direction.

“What a surprise! I’m so glad to see you! What are you doing here? So, what do you think?” my sister Shanay, hugged me tightly.

“I love it,” I answered her in all honesty.

“Thank you, and why couldn’t you come in here dressed like regular people?” Shanay giggled, checking me out from head to toe. I playfully rolled my eyes at her. Shanay needed not to say a damn word about my clothes, shoes or anything else for that matter; she had just as much name brand and expensive items as I did. Trust me, I know; I had the receipts to prove it.

“I just came by, just to check you out, and from the looks of it, you are doing just fine,” I smiled at her as I ignored all of the angry, hateful looks on all of the black women staring at me. They could look all they wanted to; but I dared one of them to say something. They would see one hell of a bad day. I swipe my card using credit for most of my purchases, and I’ll whoop some ass on credit too. It won’t cost them a dime to wear this ass whoopin’. No, we weren’t from the streets or the ghetto, but our Mama most definitely was and if she taught us nothing else, she taught us how to be tough and defend ourselves. And with the past two months I had had…I wish a bitch would.  

“Well, actually I was going to call you today anyway. Today is Wednesday, and every Wednesday, this guy, Vegas, brings his daughter in to get her hair done. I’ve maybe mentioned you a time…or ten. I know it’s a little soon, but we all know that eventually you’ll have to move on. And besides, you know your little problem that you have,” Shanay laughed.

She was referring to my freaky side and the fact that I loved sex. And I do mean…loved it. I always had. I loved the way it made me feel, and I loved making others feel just as good. I was addicted to a good nut and a sucker for some good dick, which is why Carter had me wrapped around his finger for the last ten years. Imagine these past two months without a piece of penis…Ms. Pussy definitely had an attitude! I was desperate these days that I was to the point of pleasing myself at least three times a day just to keep me sane. But nevertheless, the world just wasn’t what it used to be and you simply couldn’t sleep with just anybody. It was by the grace of God that I hadn’t caught anything too extreme in my teenage and younger years because I got down any chance I could; with whomever I could. I couldn’t even begin to count how many pieces of wood I had had and I wasn’t even about to try. My therapist said it was due to the lack of my father’s love; my way of seeking attention. He was probably right. But no matter how much we talked about it…the urges remained the same.

 But for the most part, Shanay was right; I wasn’t quite ready to date…not just yet.

“Speaking of the devil…” Shanay said and nodded her head behind me.

I felt her hand close my mouth. I wasn’t even aware that it had dropped open but in all honesty…it should have.

The chocolate stallion that stood in front of me could have easily been compared to a walking, steamy, urban romance novel. You know the ones with just the right amount of sex in them, and the ones that always describes the main character as a man that you can imagine taking his boxers off with your teeth…yep, that one. He was just that fine. I don’t think I had ever encountered such a black beauty in all of my life; and trust me I had encountered many.

They called him Vegas…and around him, my city…well my kitty, would definitely never sleep. With him only an arm’s length away, my pussy cat was purring as if she had just hit the jack pot. He was tall, but not too tall; six foot even at the most; jet black wavy hair, big, bright brown eyes with just the right amount of facial hair, and a pearly white smile that seemed to be a bit out of place. He made eye contact with me only for a second before looking down at the tiny person pulling him along.

“Hi! Nice to see you guys again,” my sister greeted them both and sneakily elbowing me. She gave Vegas the eye as though she wasn’t being obvious.

“Vegas, this is my sister Trina, Trina this is Vegas,” Shanay hurriedly said, grabbing the little girls hand and walked away.

~~~

It had been three weeks too long, and tonight I was going to have my way with him. To be honest, he was a tad bit more respectful than I wanted him to be. I wasn’t looking for my next love…not just yet anyway. But what I was looking for was my next, well you know the rest…and I was just being honest.  He didn’t have to make love to me or take his time with me…I just wanted him to put it on me! Hopefully…

Vegas and I had talked every single day since meeting him at my sister’s salon. Of course he was awed by what he saw…but of course he would be. Hell, even I would date me.

We had spent time together a few times. With him being a single father and all, I had to get in wherever and whenever I could. But tonight would be the first time I went over to his place instead of him coming over to mine. Though we were going to be in his territory, nothing could save him from what I was going to do to him tonight. I was a woman on a mission…and I was prepared to seduce.

All and all, Vegas had been the perfect gentleman. Never said any slick remarks out of the way, never talked dirty though I desperately wanted him to. We had kissed a couple of times here and there but he never took the next step or even pressured sex…but boy did I want him to. I guessed I was so used to Carter’s aggressiveness, that I didn’t know what to do with someone so humble. But I had grown tired of his polite ass and tonight if he wouldn’t give it to me…I was simply going to take it.

“Hey,” Vegas greeted me at the door of his two-story home. Though his home was pretty decent in size, compared to mine, I felt like I was inside of an ant hole but it was decked out with all the latest and his stock broker salary definitely showed.

The night went by swiftly; smoothly. We talked, we laughed and by my fifth glass of wine, personally, I was tired of talking.

“Where’s the bathroom?” I asked, though I didn’t really have to use it.

Vegas led me to his bedroom and then into the master bath. I was in admiration at actually how big and beautiful it was. It was nicely decorated and it smelled so fresh and clean. Closing the bathroom door behind me, immediately I began to undress. I had planned it all out. I was wearing a $500 Bordelle, black and red lingerie set, designed to make any man’s mouth water. For just a split second, the thought of rejection crossed my mind but I quickly washed away my worry at the sound of the light knock on the bathroom door.

“You okay in there?” Vegas asked softly, deeply. His voice sent chills down my spine, in between the crack of my ass and on down, and around to my throbbing clitoris. I took a deep breath and turned the knob.

“The question is—are you going to be okay?” I asked him playfully, giving him an eyeful of my goodness.

The next few minutes were a blur. Kissing, touching, moaning, groaning, the heat was all the way turned up and it was about to go down. I giggled as he kissed softly, timidly down my body. I was as excited as a felon was to be getting off of probation. My eyes were sealed shut and I could only imagine how big the smile was on my face. Vegas bathed my pussycat with fierce licks of his wet tongue. I cooed as he gave me the business with his mouth. He harassed my clitoris, taunting her time and time again. Once my moans had clearly given away my g-spot, he made it his mission to get me to the point of no return. I screamed out in pleasurable agony, as my body temperature began to rise and my legs began to shake. I could feel my most intimate juices, spilling out of my watering hole and into his mouth and on the covers underneath me. After a few more sucks and licks, I gripped the collar of his shirt and prepared myself for the inevitable. I screamed out every curse word in the dictionary as I released my creams of delight.

Struggling to catch my breath, I heard Vegas chuckle. But I knew in the back of my mind that I would have the last laugh. I was a dick sucking pro, in case you didn’t know, and he wasn’t nearly as prepared for what I was about to do to him.

As he stood up and I lifted up from my back…

Boom, Boom

Two gun shots and Vegas dropped to the floor.

*******Did you like it???? Purchase it today!

Dirty Bonds: Book one: http://www.amazon.com/Dirty-Bonds-Book-One-Series-ebook/dp/B00JTKZRL4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401732160&sr=8-1&keywords=dirty+bonds

Low Down Dirty Bonds: Book two:http://www.amazon.com/Low-Down-Dirty-Bonds-Series-ebook/dp/B00KECIOP2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1401732160&sr=8-2&keywords=dirty+bonds

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Sample Reading of Upcoming Urban Read “Dirty Bonds”

Sample Reading of “Dirty Bonds”

 

***Money ain’t the only thing that can get you out of jail on bail!***

 

Present Day

 “Lucky You Bail Bonds, how can I help you?” I answered hastily, hoping that it was a prospective new client.

“Yes, my name is Lola Wilson. I was calling to see if you could help me get my husband out of jail. You come highly recommended and I was hoping you could work with me. His bail is $100,000. I have half that is needed. I was hoping that you could help us out and that we could come up with some kind of arrangement to pay you the rest,” the panicky wife finally paused and took a deep breath.

I rolled my eyes. Not at her request; but at the fact that she had a husband. I had everything…except my own man. But that was neither here nor there.

“What’s his name, and which jail is he in? Give him a heads up and let him know I’ll be there soon to see what I could do,” I instructed her, sliding off of my California King Canopy bed, and slipping on my Gucci pumps.

 

“Devon Wilson, I’m Trina Jackson. Your wife called me about getting you out on bail,” I said to the chocolate, black stallion sitting across the table in front of me. He was the perfect definition fine, black, young, fine, sexy, tasty, fine…and did I mention that the brotha’ was fine?  I just had to make sure that that was clear. Expectedly, I began to picture him naked, body dripping wet, wearing nothing but a towel. I was becoming so excited that I was finding it hard to keep my legs closed. Ms. Pussy was on fire and she just had to have him.

“Look, I know we don’t got da’ money. But I’ll find a way to pay you back if you can come through for me. I ain’t a bad nigga, I just fucked around and got myself in a real fucked up situation. Wifey said we got half in the stash, just tell me what I gotta’ do,” Devon spoke the worse form of English I had ever heard. But still yet, it made me want him even more.

My style was blunt, straight to the point so I gave it to him, with all bullshit aside.

“Look, I don’t need the money. I have plenty of money. But let me tell you how this works. You see this contract…let me tell you what it says. It says I’ll post your bail, and have my one hell of a lawyer get you off, or pay somebody off to get you off under one condition…that DICK belongs to me; anytime, anywhere, until the contract is up. That means, your wife can’t know a thing about our little agreement and that also means that I want the works; I want to be fucked…not played with. So, where we go from here is up to you. So, what’s it going to be?” I said in closing as I liked my lips.

Devon leaned back in his chair and eyed me as if he was trying to read my mind. My guess was that he was trying to figure out if I was serious or if it all was some sick, twisted joke. But I was dead ass serious. He eyed me up and down, just before biting his bottom lip. After a few more minutes, he cleared his throat and crossed his arms over his chest.

“Okay,” he said…I grinned.

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**FREE CHAPTER SAMPLE** Full 1st Chapter of “The Wrong Shade of LIpstick

ImageEnjoy this full first chapter, 5,300 words of the new book “The Wrong Shade of Lipstick” by B.M. Hardin

Sample It. Love It…Purchase it from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, and discounted paperbacks at www.savvilypublished.com Available in #paperback #kindle #nook and more! Free Sample Below! #happyreading

The Wrong Shade of Lipstick

Chapter One

“911, what’s your emergency?”

“Help me. Please…help me—”

One Year Earlier

I stood still; almost frozen as I watched my sister and my first love recite their wedding vows. I didn’t want anyone to notice how uncomfortable I was, but I just couldn’t seem to pull myself together. I was trying desperately to smile and not cry. Since I had never been too good at pretending; it was harder than I thought it would be. I desperately hoped that the fake grin plastered across my face would take the attention away from my trembling body.  My hands were shaking uncontrollably. I held both sets of bouquets with a tight grip as they shook in silence.                       

No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t seem to stay still. Mimicking the facial expression of my parents and of everyone else in the church was impossible.                         

Though the pastor hadn’t gotten to that part yet, I wanted to raise my hand and object—but then again; what sense would that make?

What right did I have?                                             

I could picture the entire church chasing me down the street as if they were an angry mob; demanding an explanation for my objection. The visual instinctively sent all the wrong signals to my mind and to the rest of my body. Needless to say; my objection hand got the message—bad idea.                  

The quietness that filled the church somewhat made me nervous as I feared that someone would hear the sound of my heart breaking. How could my own sister be marrying the first man I ever loved; the first man that ever loved me? It all just seemed so unreal. This just could not be happening. But indeed it was. Yet, no one knew of my heartache or of my pain; no one but me. And well, maybe he had an idea. Not that it seemed to matter all that much.  It was obvious that he could have cared less about how I felt or what I was feeling. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been standing there in a white tuxedo, about to marry my baby sister. In my sisters defense, she nor did anyone else for that matter have a clue that Zack and I had been an item. Our entire relationship had been a secret; especially to my side of the family—and well, I guess to Zack’s family too. Zack had never had the pleasure of meeting my parents when we were dating back then and I had only met his mother twice. But not as his girlfriend; it was under the impression that we were just friends; just in case she would want to meet my parents; which that definitely wasn’t going to happen. Glancing at her on the first row of the decorated pews, I wasn’t sure if she even remembered me. After all, why would she remember me—the secret?                                  

Okay, let me explain.                                                                

Growing up as a preacher’s daughter wasn’t always easy. It came with more rules and regulations than a person could ever imagine. It was like prison; minus the crime and the bars. At least that’s what it felt like to me.                                

Others may disagree. One of daddy’s, Pastor Parks, biggest and most enforced rules was that while under his roof… we were forbidden to date—at all. He never really took the time to explain why; I guess he felt as though he didn’t have to. If I had to guess, I would say that it was to avoid the whole sex before marriage thing or having a baby out of wedlock. I was sure that those were the reasons behind his actions but of course, what he said went in one of my ears and right back out of the other. What Pastor Parks said never seemed to matter to me and it damn sure never stopped me from doing what I wanted to do. What he didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him. And even if it did, I’m sure I wouldn’t have given a damn.                                                                         

No, it wasn’t that I didn’t respect or love my daddy… I did. The real question was if he loved me. But that’s neither here nor there. That was a whole different story.                                                          

But back to the point, I was seventeen at the time; and wild and rebellious were both my middle and my last names.                   

I was only a junior in high school, but you couldn’t tell by the way I looked; and believe me when I say—I used it to my advantage. It was never hard for me to get alcohol, or get into clubs, even though I was under age.                                         

In my immature mind, I was a grown ass woman, and I should have been allowed to do grown woman things.                             

Anyway, I met Zack, who was at the time, a junior in college at one of the many colleges surrounding my city; the capital, Raleigh, North Carolina. I had been invited to a college fraternity party. I was always invited to college parties, but never had I saw Zack at one of them; before that night. And I could only assume that he had never saw me before either; because I’m sure if he had, he would have preyed on me and hassled me the whole time; just like all of the rest of the hormone raging, thirsty college guys did. It was just something about my too advanced for my age body. I learned quite early in life that it was my blessing… and my curse. It attracted men like honey attracted bees. And that was nothing but the truth. But with age I learned that all attention… wasn’t good attention…especially when it’s unwanted.                                                                           

Any who; now, no Zack wasn’t the first guy that I had attempted to date; but he was the first and only one, at the time, that was serious enough to hold the boyfriend title. Most of the other guys had been terrified and not nearly as bold enough to go up against the neighborhood preachers’ wishes. But Zack could have cared less about my father or what he said; which made him all the more enticing and appealing in my eyes.                                                                

Although we still had to keep our relationship a secret from my parents, I was fine with that and so was he. I smirked in secret as I thought of the first time I saw him sitting on the hood of his car, outside of the fraternity house.                                

He was holding a drink and laughing loudly; as though he was a small child being tickled. I’ll be honest; from the very first moment I laid eyes on him I was mesmerized; fascinated. 

He definitely had me at hello. I wouldn’t exactly call it love at first sight; but I would definitely call it something.                                                                                        

At first glance, I thought he was the bad boy type. Zack wore the long white t-shirt, with baggy jeans and a fitted cap. His car was an old school 1985 candy apple red Cutlass. You know; the kind of car that you heard coming up the street a whole two minutes before you actually saw it. Initially, the bad boy appearance is what attracted me to him; it’s what caught my attention— and what made me stop dead in my tracks when he spoke to me that night as I was walking by. But soon enough I found out that he wasn’t a bad boy at all.                                                                    

Zack was intelligent, witty and had manners like nobody’s business. He was a true southern gentleman. You could absolutely tell that he had been raised by a woman.                      

Although his mother and father were married; his dad was a lawyer, well to be exact; a district attorney. So, long story short; he wasn’t around as often as he should have been. But Zack’s mother, Mrs. Patty, had done a fine job all by herself. Zack opened doors, pulled out chairs, the whole shebang. Zack would even stand whenever I would leave the table and wouldn’t take his seat until I returned. That was something that I had only seen my grandfather do when I was a little girl. Zack’s mother had trained him to the tee. Zack also had goals and dreams and I was sure that one day he would accomplish them.                                                 

Listen, there was nothing more attractive than a man with a plan and I knew from the very beginning that Zack was going to be something…and I had been right. To date he was one of Raleigh’s top go-to guys in real estate.                

Last I heard, he was one of the richest men in the South.              

I believed it.                                                                                 

Naturally, back then, I fell head over heels in love with him. He was absolutely, positively—my very first love. Zack had introduced me to the true meaning of love; real love and everything it was supposed to be. He showed me what it was supposed to look like and he taught me what it was supposed to feel like. To this day, he was my blue print; for all of the men that I had come after him…including my now, fiancé, Levi.                                                   

Even though most of the men turned out to be nothing like Zack; initially, the qualities that they possessed or well portrayed were a lot like his.                                                         

I was young but Zack was everything any young woman wanted and needed. I honestly thought that one day we would get older, get marry and have a whole bunch of kids. At least that’s what I had thought.                                                          

It wasn’t until the college acceptance letters started rolling in that my happily ever after; wouldn’t be so happy after all. Understand my position for a moment.                                                    

All my life I had been sheltered, shielded from living and exploring my life on my own terms and at my own pace. I was never allowed to do things in my own way. I was never allowed to just be me. And I was more than tired of it. Everything I did I had to sneak around to do. No real freedom and I do mean none. So, when I received the acceptance letter to attend Fresno State College—all the way in California, away from my overbearing parents; my will to live a life of freedom overpowered the love that I had developed overtime for Zack.                                                                

It may have been selfish at the time, but I had to put myself first. In my defense, I tried to get Zack to understand my side; but he couldn’t…or maybe it was that he wouldn’t.          

Hell, I even tried to convince him to come with me. Being that we had been dating for over a year and he had just graduated college; since real estate was the route that he had taken, he could have done real estate from anywhere. But nevertheless, back then, he refused. He couldn’t understand why I wanted to leave so badly. He couldn’t seem to understand why I needed to leave North Carolina.  I just needed to be in a new place, even if it was just for a little while. But Zack just couldn’t seem to grasp that concept. He asked me to choose…and I did. I chose Fresno. That was over ten years ago, but the hurt in his eyes from that day was still visible in my head; as if it had only happened yesterday. Needless to say, I left Zack and never looked back. After college, I decided that California was where I wanted to be and that’s where I stayed.                         

I’d started a whole new life for myself there and letting it go just wasn’t an option. Coming home to visit was rare; at a minimum—and of course by choice. Out of four years of college, I had managed to come home a total of only ten times. Even in the summertime, I would choose to work instead of coming home to be with my family. I just didn’t want to. I never once even got home sick.                                       

Once I graduated college and began my advertising career, and moved to Long Beach, and then coming home became only a routine on Christmas. Imagine my surprise to come home last Christmas to announce my engagement only to find out that my sister, Charlotte, was engaged to my Zack. Talk about a slap in the face! Although Charlotte was about eight years younger than I was, Zack had to have known that she was my sister. Everybody in Raleigh knew or knew of the Parks; how could they not. Daddy had serviced Raleigh in the ministry department for years and had done one hell of a job too. The name Pastor Parks carried more weight in Raleigh than a weight bench over at the YMCA. In my opinion; and this is just my thoughts, although I was sure that I was right, but I believed that Zack had gone after Charlotte, simply because he knew she was my sister; and that it was some sort of attempt to get back at me for leaving him. Maybe I’m tooting my own horn but for what other reason would he pursue her? She was barely legal.           

A man of Zack’s stature could have anyone he wanted…so why her? Why my sister?                                                              

Zack was making a statement; one that I heard loud and clear.                                                                                              

But I have to admit; simply from watching the two of them together, that somewhere along the way, Zack must have fallen for her and over time he fell in love with her.                       

I had witnessed them together more times than I wanted to, so I know this to be true. Since I was Charlotte’s maid of honor and since her wedding had come around first, lately, I had been coming home a lot more often to fulfill my duties, as maid of honor, to help my sister prepare for her special day. And from what I could see… they were madly in love with each other.                                                         

Truthfully, they actually appeared to be a perfect match. They really seemed to be a perfect fit—together; as though they were pieces to a puzzle.                                                 

Although Zack was in his thirties and Charlotte was only twenty one; my parents seemed to be quite fond of him, but even I couldn’t blame them for that one. Zack was and had always been a charmer. He had been an astounding lover and friend. I guessed the fact that he was such a good guy made it harder for me to accept that he had fallen for a younger version of me. Yes, that’s exactly what he had done. People always said that Charlotte and I could have passed for twins. The old “out with the old in with the new switcheroo” was exactly what Zack had done. And that thought alone made my stomach turn. Charlotte could and would never be me.                                                                        

The whole thing was absurd. Zack was wrong for going after my own flesh and blood— dead wrong.                            

But there was nothing I could do about it…maybe.

Standing there I came to the conclusion that I was more bothered by the ordeal than I had realized. But how could I tell my baby sister that the man that she was in love with was mine? How could I tell her that I had been there and done that and that Zack Carter was off limits? How could I ruin her big day?                                                                                 

The problem was… I couldn’t and I wouldn’t; and of course, Zack hadn’t bothered to offer up the information of our history. We both acted as though we had never known each other prior to being introduced last year on Christmas. We hadn’t even bothered to have a single conversation about us or our history. I guessed that somehow we both in some way agreed, in silence, to take our secret relationship to our graves. I mean, basically, I had agreed that it was best—then why was I so jealous?

 As the couple proceeded to the area to light their ivory colored unity candles, my heart somewhat smiled as the candles reminded me of a special night, so many years ago….with Zack.

Thinking back, I thought of Zack on the night that he took my precious red ruby and officially made me a woman.          

At ease, I rested on my back on top of the black comforter that covered the twin sized bed in his college dorm. His roommate had gone home for the weekend and it was the first time that Zack and I were all alone. Zack was silent as he dimmed the lights and lit about twenty vanilla scented candles.  I remembered watching him in silence. I was as quiet as a mouse trying to sneak past a sleeping cat to get to a piece of cheese. To be honest, I was in awe of him; his style, his charisma. To me, in the words of the old folks; Zack was the best thing since cooked crack.                                    

Okay, that may not be the best analogy, but I definitely understood what they meant by it. He was addictive.                     

Zack was such a good guy and let me tell you, that that was unexpected for a guy of his time and age. But nevertheless he was all that and then some.                                                                               

I was relaxed, still, except for my rising and falling chest as a result of my steady breaths. I kept my eyes on him. I loved the way he looked and the way he moved. Zack hadn’t said a single word the entire time. Remaining quiet, Zack headed my way. I grew impatient, eager, even a little excited. Unlike most, I wasn’t nervous at all about it being my first time; not even a little bit. Instead I laid there in expectation; anticipation…waiting. I had nothing to be afraid of. I knew that I was in good hands and that Zack was going to take his time with me. Thankfully, I was right. Now, I won’t pretend as if my first time was like magic and as though it was like skipping through a flower bed of tulips. Whoever painted that pretty picture was telling a lie…a damn lie. And I would be the first to admit it. Truthfully speaking, it was horrible but sweet; messy but loving; painful but worth it. It was what it was—but most of all it was mine; ours.                                                  

Naturally, round one, was over in a hurry and I didn’t participate. Not that my participation was needed or would have made much of a difference because it was a complete disaster; and over in an instance. Though it wasn’t his first time, he could’ve fooled me—at least the first time around. But oh my, the second time; now that was a different story; on his part and on mine.                                                       

Luckily for Zack, I was a fast learner; and I had a good memory. By the second time around he had relaxed and I was like a porn star in the making. I was doing things better than the women I had studied and watched on the flicks in preparation for this very day. I promise I’m being honest.                 

I know, that might be somewhat of an exaggeration, but what can I say—I’ve always thought highly of myself.                

I remembered the way he smelled as he positioned himself on top of me—again. Although he was sweating as though he was standing at the gates of Hell; he didn’t smell musty or awful at all for that matter. He only had this sort of manly odor to him. You know that smell; the one that was around the corner from clean…but a long way from stank;

Thank God.                                                                                           

I remembered inhaling his odor and being almost shy to exhale. I feared that my breath was as sizzling as his was to me. I was somewhat nervous because I feared that the hotness of his breath might melt off my drawn on eyebrows. Now that would have messed up the whole mood! Can you say…unattractive!                                                           

I was more than happy when he moved from my face to my left side; near my ear.                                                                            

Zack breathed softly, calmly, into my ear almost as if he might start whistling. He managed to nibble on my earlobe in between breaths and whenever he felt like it, he would add a kiss or two into the mix.                                                                      

After a while, I mimicked his actions. Allowing my mouth to join in on the naughty deeds as I explored his body with my tongue; well the body parts that were within my reach that is.

My hands developed a mind of their own as they began to roam and massage his body freely; rubbing up and down his back slowly; high around his neck and then all the way down to the top of his buttocks.                                                    

I could tell that my participation was exciting him; hell it was exciting me. Then as if he had rehearsed it over a dozen times before, he began reciting all of the reasons why he loved me. And called me silly, naive or what have you, but actually I believed him.                                                       

His hands proudly roamed all over my body causing my body temperature to rise. I couldn’t quite put into words just what his touch did to me. I knew my body inside and out and I was very familiar with pleasing myself; yet nothing could ever compare to a man’s touch; particularly this man’s touch.                                                                                

The wetness between my thighs could vouch for that.  Becoming somewhat aggressive, his tongue harassed my neck for only a second or two before making its way a few inches down to drown my protruding nipples in saliva. Hot and bothered; Bothered and hot, both described me best.                        

I moaned loudly, teasingly, as though I was a siren trying to lure in her next mate. He, Zack, only responded with more aggression and thrusts of pleasure. I could feel his manhood began to swell and without warning it found its way to the opening of my pool of ecstasy. Her purrs were similar to the ones coming from my mouth. I gasped as he familiarized himself with my territory once again and….

“I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride,” Pastor Baylock said to Zack and Charlotte; interrupting my thoughts.

The churched ranged with laughter and applause as the newlywed couple kissed and turned to face the crowd. Without my permission, I started to fan myself.                       

Instantly I had become hot with hatred and angry tears started to torment my eyelids; begging for the freedom to run down my face. But not today; not on her day.                  

It just wasn’t right.                                                                         

Maybe it wasn’t as big of a deal as I thought it was.                  

I began to scowl myself for my thoughts and my jealousy. This wasn’t about me. Today wasn’t about me. It was all about them. It was hard as hell but I tried my best to turn my frown upside down.                                                                             

At the sight of my sisters backwards glance in my direction; I hurriedly faked a smile and blew her a kiss as she reached for her bouquet of flowers, in preparation to jump the broom.                                                                                 

With almost too perfect timing, once my sister faced forward, Zack looked back at me. I quickly turned my head and pretended to be staring at the dancing flames of the candles but out of the corners of my eyes I could see Zack almost with annoyance, waiting for me to look in his direction. I tried my best to ignore him but something way down on the inside of me forced me to look at him. Knowing that we only had a matter of seconds, for the first time, I gave him eye contact.                                                       

Zack’s face expression wasn’t one of a new and happily married man; not even close. His face was a mixture of sadness and regret. His eyes cried help me or maybe they said bitch why didn’t you stop me?                                                     

Either way, they weren’t saying what they were supposed to be saying on his wedding day.

Why had I let him go through with it?                                           

That was a question I had asked myself the entire wedding ceremony, but it was also a question that I could not answer. And besides… it was too late.                                                

What was done was done and neither one of us could change that now; at least that was the way I saw it. Becoming uncomfortable and somewhat guilty, I dropped my head as he grabbed my sister’s hand and jumped the broom. I followed behind them vowing that I would leave the past behind me at the altar. And believe me, that was my intention.

~***~

I watched him, watching me, as he pretended to play with his daughter. She was so beautiful; the cutest thing I had ever seen. Zack’s daughter, Madison, was as cute as a button; though she didn’t look a thing like Zack.                                      

I didn’t know the whole story behind Zack having custody of her except from what my sister had shared with me. Charlotte stated that he had taken her from her mother when she was just a baby. But she didn’t know why he had taken her and she said he never told her that piece of information. Not wanting to pry, I left the conversation at that. I guessed that her mama must have had her reasons and from the looks of Madison, I was sure she was stunning. That little girl would grow up to be a heart breaker for sure. But in a weird sort of way Madison actuality could have passed as my sister’s child. I was sure that many had made the mistake of thinking that she was Charlotte’s before. I didn’t know exactly how old she was but I knew that she was one of the luckiest little girls in the world to have Zack as her father. And I also knew that my sister adored her and was going to make a great mother for her. And together they made the perfect little family; which I admit made me just a pint of jealous. Just a little bit.                      

Yea right…who was I kidding, I was jealous as hell!                              

I would’ve made a wonderful mother for her too.                                           

It just didn’t seem right for Charlotte to have them.                         

If anyone should have them…it should have been me.                  

I had him first!                                                                                            

Zack was making it obvious that he wanted my attention; becoming uncomfortable I began to fumble with my bouquet. I hadn’t noticed how gorgeous they were. The colors were almost similar to my own wedding flower arrangements.                                                                                 Great minds think alike.                                                                           

I continued to play with the flowers a bit longer as Zack continued to stare at me. He looked directly at me as though he wasn’t trying to hide it. He spoke loudly to his daughter as if he was doing it on purpose to make me look his way; to gain my interest; so I gave it to him. I allowed myself once more to give Zack the eye contact and that he so urgently required.                                                                        

Zack stopped talking abruptly at the sight of my brown eyes gawking at him; although his little girl continued to chat away. He looked at me as if he was a starving lion and as if I was on the menu as his next meal. His brilliant coffee colored eyes seemed dull. As if they had lost their shine. He looked so sad. On the outside, he looked identical to how I felt in the inside. Moments passed before either one of us had managed to blink. I looked away from him because I’d seen all that I had needed to see. I had seen the truth; the answer in his eyes that despite how hard he tried to deny or hide it; he couldn’t.                                                                              

Zack was still in love with me and there wasn’t a damn thing that I or anybody could do about it.                                   

Humph, now how about that?                                                                      

It raised the question. If you love somebody, I mean really and truly love somebody, would you always love them? But loving someone and being in love with someone was two very different things.                                                             

Logically, it just couldn’t be possible. It had been ten years; Zack couldn’t possibly still be in love with me—could he?

Becoming agitated, I was glad when Pastor Baylock, who was my daddy’s young, and may I add, sexy assistant pastor at the church, asked for the bride and groom as well as the maid of honor and the best man, to join him in the office for the signing of the marriage license.                       

Somehow being the last to enter the office, Zack held the door open for me and waited for me to pass by him. He purposely left just a tiny amount of room for me to squeeze pass him. Zack knew that I was a part of the thunder thighs club so he knew that it would be a challenge to get by him without touching him. As my whole left side brushed up against his six foot five physique, instantaneously I was reminded of the chemistry and intimacy that we once shared. A chill slithered down my spine causing me to get mad and get glad all at the same damn time.                                                    

I could tell by the way that Zack cleared his throat that he had felt it too.                                                                         

Instinctively, I looked at Charlotte; my poor sister was too happy to even notice. She was glowing and talking Pastor Baylock to death. Well, he seemed to be enjoying her conversation. Either that or he was simply smiling and listening just to be nice. I did that to her all the time, so I guessed he was doing the same.                                                            

With their conversation coming to an end, Charlotte reached out her hand for her husband to grab it; eager for him to take his place at her side. She grabbed the pastor’s pen and without hesitation, signed her name on the dotted line. Charlotte squealed like a little piglet and reached the pen to Zack, but surprisingly… he didn’t take it.                                                   

Uh oh, I thought and looked in the other direction only for a second but I was too nosey to miss anything, so I turned my attention back to the bride and groom.                        

Charlotte attempted to hand it to him again; but he didn’t budge. Frustrated, Charlotte smacked her lips, which was followed by a million and one questions.                                                    

But Zack just stood there; in silence, unresponsive.                   

His eyes were fixed on the marriage license.                                   

You could tell that he was in deep thought as though his mind and his heart were having a disagreement and pulling him in opposite directions.                                                                        The constant babbling from Charlotte didn’t seem to faze him. After a minute or two more, Zack finally looked up—but it wasn’t at Charlotte.                                                                      

He somewhat looked passed her; at me, only for a second or two.                                                                                        

On demand, Zack’s gaze once again shifted downward, this time looking at the gold band on his ring finger. It appeared as though he had also taken a glance at Pastor Baylock’s wedding band as well.                                                        

After a while longer, Zack took a deep breath before looking the man of the cloth in his face.

“Pastor, I have a question.” Zack said.

**********

~*Sometimes following your heart will get you into trouble. There is nothing wrong with letting your mind lead the way. Eventually, your heart will follow.*~

Anonymous

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Lunch Break…By Fire

authoressndeab

Lunch Break

Charlene sat behind her desk. She’d had a bad day at work. First she left her case file at home. Then she was late for court and her client wanted to flip out. Her client didn’t want to listen to her or the judge so he was held in contempt of court and fined three thousand dollars.

She leaned back into the headrest of her chair and closed her eyes for a brief moment before her phone began to ring. Charlene answered the phone with a slight irritation in her voice. It was her lunch break and Margaret, her secretary knew she didn’t want to be bothered.

“Yes Margaret!”

“Your husband is on line one.”

“Thanks, Ms. Margaret and… sorry for my tone. It has been a long day. Please send the call through.”

“Hey Beautiful, how are you this evening?” Chandler’s smooth voice came through the phone…

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