Nearly a week had passed since she and Derrick had decided to take a chance and pursue a relationship with each other, and she was on cloud nine. Things were not strange between them at all. She had the best of both worlds…her friend and her man. Who could ask for anything better than that? She wondered as she drove to the grocery store.
Rae rounded the corner to the local grocery store and parked in a spot in the front. She was surprised there was one open at Kroger. Usually so many people were in this store that she felt like she should have just gone to Wal-mart. As she made her way up to the entrance, she noticed a man who looked exactly like Derrick with a woman wrapped all over him. She peered a little closer without being noticeable. It was Derrick! She would recognize that smile and dimple in his left cheek anywhere. What the hell is he doing? I guess the honeymoon is over, she muttered. She turned to leave, not wanting to make a scene in public.
Before she could reach the door, Derrick called her name. She stiffened her spine and kept walking. Tears stung her eyes. Damn him! She hurried to her car before he could reach her because knowing him he would be right behind her.
Shit. Too late. “D, just go away.” She pulled open her car door to get in but he closed it back before she could get in.
“Did you hear me call you inside?” He knew she had but was avoiding him. It was a rhetorical question, however, he wanted to hear her answer.
She sighed. “I heard you but you seem to have had your hands full before I entered the store.” She turned to face him and she knew her eyes blazed with anger.
She was jealous. “So let me get this straight, you saw me with some woman draped on me, decided to leave and then when I called you, you ignore me because you think I’m cheating? Is that right Raquel?”
Uh oh. He rarely called her by her first name unless he was upset or professing his love to her. In this case, he was mad as hell. She crossed her arms over chest. Well, she was mad too. “Yeah, that about sums it up.”
He shook his head. He knew he should have avoided Vivian’s ass but she had pounced on him as soon as he entered the store. He would never cheat on Rae but apparently she thought otherwise. He tried not to be upset with her but failed. “Rae, I can’t believe that you think so little of me. I’m not your damn dad or any other man who has screwed you over. Did you even see me all over her? No. You know why? Because I’m with you and only you. I admit it may have looked bad in there but you could have at least given me a chance to explain instead of drawing your own damn assumptions. And to think I was anxious to see and be with you today.” He ran a hand over his face. “Now, if you will excuse me, I’m going to finish shopping and go home.” He turned and stalked away.
She watched his retreating back as he went back inside. He was right. She had jumped to conclusions. Double shit. Well, you really messed up this time Rae. Give yourself a round of applause, she muttered to herself. She sighed then opened her door to her car and drove back home. He wouldn’t want to talk to her right now and she couldn’t blame him.
Derrick kept tossing and turning in his bed. Sleep would not come easy tonight and he knew the reason. Rae. This was the first night he’d been without her. Normally, they slept over each others house but not tonight. Not since their fight. He gave up trying to sleep and got out of his bed. He needed some air. Well, not really. It was the only thing he could think of besides getting next to Rae. He wanted to go to her but he wasn’t sure were her head was right now. He wasn’t angry anymore but he wasn’t past it…Mainly because he felt like she was trying to sabotage their relationship somehow. He wasn’t sure but something was going on. He stepped out onto his patio and a scent immediately caught his attention…the scent of jasmine and lilac….Rae….He turned his head and met her eyes. She was sitting in the swing on his patio.
“Hey, D.” She said softly
The air was thick with tension as he stood there then he spoke. “Rae, what are you doing out here so late?”
She shrugged. “Thinking. Wanting to be near you without you actually knowing I was here. Guess I didn’t do a good job because you found me.”
That got a smile out of him. She always did know how to lighten up the mood. He stepped closer to her. “Rae, listen–
She shook her head. “No, wait. Let me say something first.”
He nodded. “Okay.”
She licked her tongue across her lips. Her mouth was suddenly dry. “I apologize for making assumptions. I wasn’t trying to compare you to my father or any other man who may have been in my life. I just made a bad move today. I should have just asked you instead of jumping down your throat.Will you forgive me?”
He went to sit beside her on the swing. He picked up her hand and kissed the inside of her palm. “How can I not forgive you with an apology like that?”
She smiled. “Thank you, D.”
He stared into her eyes and they held him captive. She had his heart and he loved her so much he thought his heart might burst for a moment. He slid his finger down her cheek. “I’m sorry too. I missed you so much.”
She grinned. “Oh yeah? I didn’t receive a phone call or anything.” She teased
He chuckled. “Okay, I see your point. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t though. I wanted you to come to me when you were ready.”
She nodded. “I missed you too, Derrick. I hate fighting with you.”
“Me too.” He said before covering her mouth with his own.
She moaned loudly. She stroked her tongue over his and his over hers. They created one erotic kiss.
He pulled away for a moment. “Maybe we should fight more often.”
She laughed softly. “Maybe we will make up a reason to fight every now and again. It will keep us on our toes.”
“I think you got yourself a deal.” He sat back on the swing and pulled her back to his chest.
She wrapped his arms around her. “I love you, baby.”
“I never get tired of hearing you say that. I love you too. Do you trust me?”
She turned in his arms so she could look into his eyes. “Yes I do. I won’t jeopardize that trust again.
He stroked her hair. “Then I think we will be just fine, Rae.”
“I can’t stand you, dammit!” Brooke threw a glass across the room at him from the kitchen.
This woman must be out of her damn mind throwing his belongings in his house. He ducked before the glass could hit him and instead it hit the wall behind him. “You need to get out of my house with all that.” He said angrily
“Why can’t you spend time with me? You can spend all day with your boy, Matthew, but you can’t find any time for me? How is that fair?” Brooke whined
He tried to reign in his temper but her ridiculous whining was irritating him. “Brooke, I make time for you. Hell, I spend almost every day with you. You just can’t accept the fact that you can’t have me all to yourself. You’re selfish and spoiled. You always have been since the start of this relationship. Hell, even before we became a couple.”
She screamed and stomped her foot in a childlike manner. “You don’t know a good thing when you see it. I’m tired of wasting my time with you.”
He frowned deeply. He was so fed up with this shit. It was time to end this. “So, now you’re wasting your time with me? Well, you know what? Let me help you out then.” He walked over to his door and opened it for her. He watched as her eyes widened and realization dawned on her that she was being kicked out of his house. “You can leave now.” He said when she didn’t move.
She held her head high. He would not get the best of her. “You know what? You’re not worth it. I’m out of here.” She walked through the door with her head held high and he slammed it shut behind her.
Women… What was that saying? You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them. He had a different viewpoint on that theory. He had to calm down before he lost it. If Brooke hadn’t left, they may have ended up fighting. He’d never hit a woman in his entire life but he’d come close to it with her. She had a way of annoying the hell out of him with her constant whining and neediness. He did not understand women. It was as if nothing was ever good enough for them. Sometimes, he just wanted to give up on them all together and live the rest of his life as a single, unattached man. He was a decent guy with his own architectural business, car, and house. He was thirty-five years old, six feet tall, African-American, one-hundred and seventy pounds with caramel skin, gray eyes, low cropped hair, and a well sculpted chest and rock hard abs from the countless times he benched weights at the gym. He wasn’t conceited about his looks, just a humble guy looking for a do right woman, yet he seemed to get involved with the craziest women.
He’d met Brooke December 2009 on Rodeo Drive when she was walking out of Louis Vuitton. She’d had a ton of bags and like a gentleman he’d offered to help her carry them to her car. His first assessment of her was that she was strikingly beautiful and seemed to have a good head on her shoulders. After their second date, she had been discussing marriage with him. He was not ready for that step. Of course, Brooke definitely seemed like she could have made a wonderful wife someday. During their relationship, she’d cooked his meals, cleaned his house, washed his clothes, and still managed to make time to spend time with him. He hadn’t even asked her to do those things for him. Not that he ever would have. He was more than capable of doing things on his own. Although she had some perfect qualities that any man would want, she was just too clingy most of the time. It was as if she didn’t have a life of her own. When he would go out to hang with his best friend Matthew, she would cry believing that he didn’t want to spend time with her. The ironic part was that he’d spent most of his free time with her yet that still was not enough. He’d spent way too much time trying to please someone who found fault in everything. He’d had enough of her antics after this last episode of hers. There was only so much a man could take. He’d always tried to avoid drama but somehow it always managed to find him. Sighing heavily, he decided that getting out of the house for a few hours was a good idea.