More Than Just Friends-The Wedding

Raquel blew out a breath as she stared at her reflection. She couldn’t believe that the person looking back at her was indeed her. Her hair was in massive waves around her face with a white and pink flower adorned to the side of her head. Her makeup was flawless thanks to Teri. Teri had spent at least two hours on it. Teri had helped her pick out a beautiful dress before they’d left Georgia. A white strapless gown with sequins. The upper part of the dress was a fitted bodice and the lower part billowed around her legs.It kind of reminded her of fluffy sheets that came out of the dryer. She had been a little apprehensive about how the dress exposed more cleavage than she would have liked. But Teri said it looked great on her and Derrick would love it. Derrick. She sighed. She hadn’t seen him in two days and she really wanted to see him. Nervousness was not even the word to describe her fluttering insides. She kept getting cold feet about the whole thing. There was no doubt in her mind that she wanted him as her husband but what if things went south after they said their vows? What if he changed his mind during the ceremony? What if he didn’t show up? Okay, that last one was highly unlikely so she put that one out of her head. She was trying to sort it all out in her head when Addison walked in. Tears brimmed at the edges of her eyelids and she fought furiously to keep them at bay.

“Oh dear. It appears I arrived just in time.” Addison said while walking over to her.

Rae sniffled. “I’m sorry. You weren’t suppose to see that.”

Addison smiled. “You’re panicking, my lovely girl. It’s okay. You’re not the first to do so and you won’t be the last.”

“Do you think me panicking makes me love him any less?”

“No, of course not. If anything it makes you love him more. You’re weighing your decision to be his wife and there is nothing wrong with that. Just remember that he so in love with you and his baby. You’re everything to him.”

She sniffled again. “I know he is and I am in love with him too.”

Addison smiled and pulled her into a hug. “I’m going to love having you as my daughter. I know I’m not your biological mother but I will love you as if I were.” Addison paused to gather herself before she cried. “Now don’t fret, both of you will be fine. Take it one day at a time.” She pulled back to look at her.

“Thank you.” Raquel said.

“You look beautiful. I have something for you.”

Rae waved her hand dismissively. “You didn’t have to do that.”

Addison rolled her eyes. “Now stop that. Of course I did. I brought you something borrowed. These pearl earrings were worn on my wedding day to Joshua. My grandmother Lucille gave them to me and I’m giving then to you. I also have something blue. It’s a blue garter that I’m sure Derrick will happily take off of you. And your something new is a twenty-four karat gold tennis bracelet that we’ve given to all of our son’s wives. It’s our way of saying thank you for making him so happy. I hope you like the gifts.”

Now the tears were falling. Teri was going to kill her. “I love them. Thank you so much. You’ve been more of a mother to me then my own mother. I appreciate you so much.” She embraced her again and cried for the mother she would never know.

All the while, Addison continued to hold her and rub her back soothingly. She saw Teri open the door to the hotel suite and waved her in. Teri looked over at Raquel crying and almost started crying too but she gathered herself quickly. Addison figured that Teri felt she had to keep it together. Someone had to.

Raquel lifted her head. “I’m sorry to cry all over you.” She turned to find Teri in the room with them. “I guess we have to redo my makeup now. I’m sorry. You worked so hard on it.”

Teri grabbed her hand and squeezed it gently. “Its okay. We still have a little time before the ceremony starts. Come on let’s fix you up.” She pulled her over to the vanity table and began reapplying the make up. Rae noticed her lips were trembling. What the hell? Teri on the verge of crying? She would ask her later about it. Knowing Teri, she wouldn’t want to talk about it now. Rae closed her eyes and thought about Derrick and if he was experiencing cold feet like her.

Derrick ended the call on his Blackberry. “That’s it! I have to go see her. Now.” Derrick said as he jumped up from the love-seat he’d been sitting on for the last fifteen minutes. For two days he’d wanted to see her, be with her, reassure,and hold her. His mother had just contacted him to tell him that Rae was having cold feet and that he should consider seeing her before the wedding. It must be detrimental or least close to it because his mother would never allow such a thing. He couldn’t have her backing out on him. He didn’t think he could take it if she did. He watched as Rafe blocked his pathway out the door.

“No, Derrick. Haven’t we been over this already?”

Derrick sighed. “Look, Rafe, mom just called. Rae is having second thoughts. I need to get down there.” Rafe looked as if he was about to give in when Trevor spoke up.

“No. I will go. She will listen to me.”

Derrick shook his head. “Trevor-

He held up his hand. “Listen, she is only having second thoughts because of what happened with our dad and her mom. Just trust me on this.”

Derrick sighed and nodded tersely. “Don’t let her back out, Trev. Please.”

“You have my word. She’s just scared. Don’t worry though. She won’t back out.” He tossed as he walked out the door.

Derrick could only hope she wouldn’t.

Trevor strolled down the steps to the second floor to go see Raquel. He thought about Teri as he walked. She had been avoiding him since they’d landed here in the Bahamas. They’d had a fight this past week. A pretty big fight. He’d said some hurtful things and she did also but he just didn’t care anymore. He missed her so much and without her by his side just didn’t seem right. At this point, he would grovel if that’s what it took to get her to talk to him. He’d had an ulterior motive when he’d suggested he go talk to his sister. He’d wanted to see Teri and find out if she still loved him. He truly hoped she hadn’t changed her mind about them. His palms began to get clammy as he approached the door.

Reaching his hand up to knock, the door swung open. Teri nearly collided into him and he had to grab onto her waist to steady her. She looked so beautiful in her strapless pink dress that molded to every curve on her body. Damn. He heard her sharp intake of breath and he fought a smile. No doubt she hadn’t been expecting him. Which meant he’d caught her off guard. Before he could think about what he was doing, he pulled her into his arms and kissed her bare shoulder. He felt a shiver pass through her body as he trailed his tongue across it. He willed himself to stop before he lost control, which would be very dangerous right now.

He looked into her eyes and saw the desire that lay in their depths. He swallowed hard and somehow made himself speak. “We will talk later. Right now, I have to talk to Raquel. You look beautiful by the way.” He whispered in her ear.

She cleared her throat and tried to form a coherent thought. Trevor had a way of making her forget the simplest thing. Dammit. She had done a good job avoiding him for a few days but now that she was in his arms, she could hardly think. “I, um, thank you.” Great, now she was stammering.

He placed a gentle kiss on her lips. When she attempted to put her arms around his neck, he eased back. “Later.” He winked and walked around her to talk to his sister

“Raquel we need to talk.”

Raquel sighed, knowing what he meant. “Who told you?”

“Derrick. He’s about to go out of his mind thinking that you aren’t going to marry him.”

“What? I never said that.”

Trevor’s brow rose. “So you aren’t getting cold feet?”

She avoided his piercing gaze and answered. “Yes, I suppose I am. Can you blame me though?” She said softly

He sat beside her and grabbed her hand. “No, I suppose not. Rae, listen to me. He’s not dad and you’re not mom. That was a different situation, sweetheart. In love, you have to take risks. Otherwise, what’s the point of loving? I know you didn’t come this far to give up now.”

She nodded. “I know. I just don’t want to make the same mistakes they did. I want my marriage to work.”

He understood. “That’s understandable, but remember one of them stopped trying to repair the marriage and then our dad fell for my mom and well you know the rest.”

She smiled. “Yes, I know. I love you Trevor. Half brother or not. Thank you.” She took a deep breath and stood. Teri walked in at the same time. She watched as Teri’s gaze connected with her brother’s gaze then she looked at her.

“It’s time. You ready?”

“Yes, I’m finally ready.” This time she was sure.

Raquel was in awe of the view that lay before her. In a private alcove just north of the main island, was where her wedding was being held. A trail of orchid petals were spread down the aisle. Small white lights covered the sheer netting that surrounded her guests. An abundance of small white candles were lit everywhere. Such a romantic scene. Her thoughts were temporarily interrupted when Teri placed a bouquet in her hands and placed a kiss on her cheek.

“I’m so proud of you.” Her voice shook

“Oh no. Please don’t cry because then I will cry too.”

Teri dabbed at her eyes. “Okay. We will cry later then?”

“Deal. Let’s get going. You first.” She watched as Teri nodded and turned to walk down the aisle. Trevor came to her and placed her arm around his.

“I’m sorry, Dad couldn’t walk you down the aisle. His knee has been bothering him a lot.”

She smiled. “It’s alright. At least he got to come here. That’s all that matters.”

He nodded. “Let’s get going. They’re playing your song.”

She slowly walked down the aisle to the song “Spend My Life With You” By Eric Benet and Tamia. She felt Derrick’s gaze on her and she turned her head to meet his eyes. Her stomach clenched as she saw the love he had for her shine so brightly in his eyes. How could she have ever doubted him? I’m sorry, she mouthed to him. He shook his head “It doesn’t matter.” He mouthed back to her. She smiled.

She watched as his gaze traveled every inch of her body. His eyes met hers again and this time they were full of desire. She was so caught up in his gaze that she hadn’t realized that she and Trevor had stopped walking. Derrick walked to her. It was then that she noticed the tuxedo he wore along with his best men, Rafe, Stephen, James, and Zane. She smothered back a whimper of appreciation. Oh my God, he looks stunning! Her mind screamed. He wore a black tuxedo and his feet were bare. His look told her to behave. She would. For now.

“Who here gives this woman away?” The justice of the peace asked

“We do.” Trevor and her father answered. He kissed her cheek and handed her over to Derrick.

She placed her hand in his and he drew her in for a short but gentle kiss that stole her breath away. They turned to the justice of the peace so that he could continue with the ceremony.

“We are gathered here today to bring Raquel Simone Williams and Derrick James Whitfield into holy matrimony. I believe the couple has written vows. You can start first, Derrick.”

He let out a shaky breath. He was so overwhelmed right now. Words couldn’t express how happy he was to see her walk down that aisle. “Raquel, I love you so much. I’ve waited…it seems like forever for you. You’ve been my friend, confidant, encourager, and my strength. You’re like a light to me when everything seems to be darkening around me. I’m so thankful for you, my love and promise to cherish you forever and ever.” He smiled and wiped a tear from her face.

“Raquel, it’s your turn.”

She tried to compose herself. Derrick’s words had left her shaky. They were so beautiful. “Derrick, I’ve loved you for such a long time. Being together now almost seems like a dream but I know it’s not. I’ve never experienced a love that was so overwhelming and powerful. Only you could give me that and I’m so full of joy and contentment. I’m blessed to have found you and I promise to be everything you need and more. You are my world and I love you so very much.”

“The rings, please.”

Raquel took the ring from Teri and Derrick took the ring from Rafe.

“Both of you say these words with me. “With this ring, I thee wed, to have and to hold…”

“With this ring, I thee wed, to have and to hold” They repeated

“To love and to cherish, in sickness and in health”

“To love to cherish, in sickness and in health”

“For richer or for poorer, from this day forward til death do us part.”

“For richer or for poorer, from this day forward til death do us part.”

“I now pronounce you man and wife. Derrick, you may now kiss your bride.”

Derrick smiled and linked their hands together. He gently, tugged her to him. He placed a small kiss on her lips but when she sighed, he deepened the kiss. His tongue stroked hers intimately. He wanted more but decided against it for the time being, although his body protested loudly.

“I love you.” He whispered against her moist lips

“I love you too.” She whispered back. Then they turned back to their guests so they could wish them well.

Teri stood in the back watching Rae and Derrick dance in the moonlight. She was so happy for them. She wished she could be as happy for her own relationship with Trevor. They had said some things earlier in the week. She had accused him of just wanting to have sex with her all the time instead of dating. She remembered the hurt look that came across his face. She sighed. She shouldn’t have said that and from there the fight had escalated until he slammed the door on the way out of her house. She hadn’t seen him or heard from him until he’d come to the Bahamas. Now with him being so near, she couldn’t focus or think clearly. She’d stayed away deliberately. When he’d had her in his arms earlier, she wanted nothing more than to go elsewhere with him so they could make up.

“Hey, pretty lady.” Trevor whispered in her ear.

She jumped slightly then relaxed. “Why aren’t you enjoying the party?”

“Why do you think?” He rasped in her ear.

A shudder passed through her body. God, he smelled so good. She inhaled his scent. A woodsy blend of whatever he was wearing. “I don’t know, Trevor.”

“Teri, is my behavior not obvious to you? I missed you. I have for days now and you act like you don’t. Just tell me, Teri. I’m a big boy. Do you want to be with me or not?”

She swallowed and turned to face him. “Yes, I do want to be with you. I just want our relationship to be based on more than sex.”

He smiled. “Teri, I love you. I don’t take those words lightly. Now, I can’t apologize for loving to make love to you. I’ve wanted you for a long time.”

She laid her forehead against his and a expelled a breath. “This is so overwhelming. I’ve never experienced anything like this before.” She admitted

“I haven’t either, baby. I’m not fighting it though. You shouldn’t either. Come with me, baby.” He groaned when she pressed the lower half of her body against his.

She flicked her tongue out to trace the outline of his upper lip.

“Ri Ri, take me out of my misery and kiss me.” He pleaded. When she placed her full lips on his, he moaned. He reached up to remove the pins from her hair. Once it was loose he plowed his hands into her hair and plundered her mouth with his tongue. Over and over again, he stroked and sucked on her tongue. When she began to buck her hips against his, he abruptly broke the kiss.

“Okay, we gotta go. Otherwise, we are going to make love right here.”

“Where?”

“I don’t know. Give me a second.”

“Why don’t we just go my suite and use my hot tub?”

“Can we make it that far?”

She grinned and pressed her body against his again. “We’d better make it that far.”

He chuckled. “You’re going to be the death of me. Let’s go.”

She squealed as he pulled her along.

Derrick and Raquel-After the party

“So, you were going to chicken out me huh?” Derrick asked while they continued dancing long after the party was over.

“No.” She said softly. She laid her head on his shoulder and inhaled his scent.

“Then what, baby?”

She sighed softly and snuggled closer to him. “I was just apprehensive about our marriage working. Just needed some reassurance is all.”

He kissed the top of her head. “Well I’m glad that you got what you needed. You look so radiant, Rae. I’m glad we took a chance on us.”

She lifted her head to look into his eyes. “I am too. Now it’s time to get naked. I haven’t seen you for two whole days and my hormones are out of control. Care for a swim?” She asked as she shimmied out of her dress.

His gaze landed on the garter on her leg. He groaned. “Raquel, where did you get that?” His voice rasped

She smiled. “Your mother gave it to me.”

He would remember to thank her later. He pulled off his jacket then his shirt. His slacks and boxers followed. Then he lifted her into his arms. “I’m going to enjoy taking that off of you.”

She wrapped her arms around his neck. “You’ll have to get to it first.” She challenged.

He chuckled. “Oh trust me. I plan to do just that. I love you, baby.”

“I love you too, Derrick.”

“Forever?” He whispered against her lips as he walked them into the ocean.

“Forever, my love.” She whispered back then surrendered herself to his kiss.

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More Than Just Friends (Part 8)

Raquel, open this damn door!” Teri yelled as she knocked on the door. She’d been knocking for five minutes and her best friend still hadn’t opened the door. Now she was pissed because she was taking this too far. Where is her extra key? She wondered. Just as she was about to start looking, the door finally opened. Teri opened her mouth to yell at Raquel but quickly closed it when she saw how pale she looked.
“You’re going to wake up the whole neighborhood, Teri.” She said weakly.
She went to help her friend stand. “Rae, what’s wrong?”
“I’m okay. The nausea has been coming in waves today is all. What brings you by?”
“Never mind me. Let’s get you lying on the couch and under a blanket. Have you eaten?” Teri asked as she laid Raquel on her couch. She found a blanket shortly afterwards and covered her.”
Teri, I can’t stomach anything and almost everything smells.” She laid back and closed her eyes.
“Do you have crackers?” Teri asked as she search through the cupboards.
She popped open one eye. ” Yeah. Far left cupboard near the sink.”
Teri retrieved them then poured her a tall glass of water. “Prenatal vitamins?”
“Same cupboard.”
Teri took the bottle and retrieved two. She walked over to Rae. “Here. Take those.” She watched as Rae downed them with water. “Eat the saltine crackers. They will help.”
Rae took them. “Thanks. So explain.” Rae said as she ate a cracker.
Teri sighed. “Don’t be mad, okay? We have been dating for four months.”
“Teri, four months? I can’t believe you kept that from me. I thought we told each other everything.” Raquel knew she sounded whiny but she couldn’t help it.
Teri groaned. “I know. I just…” Her voice trailed off
Rae laid a hand on her shoulder. “Just what?”
“I didn’t know if he was serious about a relationship or just trying to get me into bed. I was being overly cautious and I treated him awful.”
“Teri, my brother would not date you for four months if he wasn’t serious about you. Besides he has always had a thing for you.” She let that little secret slip.
Teri jumped up from where she was sitting. “What!”
Raquel grinned. “He didn’t tell you huh? About a year or so he has had a crush on you. I’m glad you two are an item now. And to think you despise him.” Raquel teased.
Teri gawked then laughed. “Go ahead and tease all you want.”
She winked. “If you insist. But seriously, Trevor cares for you.”
Teri sighed. “Last night he told me he loved me more than I loved him. Do you know what that did to my heart?” She was still reeling from his words and their lovemaking. Her body still hadn’t recovered fully. She doubted if it ever would.
“I know. Same thing your cousin’s words did to mine. It overflowed and made me take a risk on us and our friendship.” She said softly
Teri nodded, understanding completely. “Exactly. I don’t know if I’m ready.”
Raquel pulled her back down to sit beside her. “Teri, stop panicking. He loves you and you love him. Trust in that. He won’t hurt you. I promise. Trevor has always been someone you can count on and he’d protect you with his life. He’s not like any of the other idiots you got involved with. You’ve got yourself a keeper, honey.”
“You’re right. I just need to breathe and relax.” She let out a deep breath and reclined back on the couch.
“Um, Teri. There is one thing I need to tell you. You don’t need to plan my wedding anymore.”
She frowned. “Why not? Did you guys break up?”
Raquel shook her head and her auburn curls swished around her face. “No. We are going to the Bahamas to get married next week. We want you and Trevor to come of course and a few family members and friends. We don’t want to wait for another six months.”
“I have a lot of work to do between now and next week before we go. I can’t believe you are eloping.”
Raquel smiled. “I don’t need a big wedding, Teri. I just want Derrick and our child.”
Teri squeezed her hand. “Whatever you want, I’m game. We can go find our dresses tomorrow and bouquets.”
“Thanks girl for working with me.”
“No prob. By the way, have you told your mom that you’re getting married?”
Rae frowned.”Why? She isn’t going to come. It’s a waste of time.”
“You don’t know that, sweetie.”
Rae reared back in surprise. “Yes the hell I do. She hasn’t come to any other milestones in my life: prom, graduation, awards ceremonies…where was she then? Look let’s just let this go. I’m not calling her. Period.”
Teri sighed, knowing that Rae was not going to budge. “Okay. Has Derrick told his family that he doesn’t want a big wedding?”
“He went over there to tell his mom and dad today. I’m not sure how his mom will react.”
Teri chuckled. She knew exactly how she would react and was glad she wouldn’t be there to see it.
“You want to what?!!! Derrick, please tell me you’re kidding.” Addison said loudly
“Addie, please stop yelling at the boy. It’s his life. He can do what he wants.” Joshua said softly
Derrick was glad that had Joshua stepped in because he’d felt like he was going to have to go toe to toe with his mother over this. She was overreacting as usual.
His mother folded her arms over her chest and huffed. “But I’ve already told everyone.” She whined
“No one told you to do that. That’s what invitations are for.”
“Joshua” She said, her tone held a hint of a warning
Joshua stood to his full height and walked over to his wife. He was trying his damnedest not to smile at her pout. Even mad, she was still the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyes on.
“Addison, do you want your son to be happy?” He knew she did but he had to talk to her like this or she wouldn’t fully understand the repercussions of her outburst.
She narrowed her eyes. “Of course I do Joshua.”
He trailed his finger down her cheek. “Good. Does it matter what others think when it comes to his happiness?” She titled her chin up in that stubborn gesture he knew so well.
“Of course it doesn’t. I just wanted more for him and Raquel.” She said, her voice softened.
He smiled. “I’m sure he knows that, darling but we have to let go and let him make his choices. Keep in mind that we will be getting a vacation out of this and he’s paying for the flight.” He wiggled his eyebrows.
Addison knew what her husband was doing. He’d done it for years. Reverse psychology. She didn’t mind though. She laughed heartily. “Okay, okay. Fine.” She turned her gaze to Derrick. “I’m sorry for yelling, baby. Of course, we will go with you. We wouldn’t miss it.”
Derrick felt the tension seep out of his body. Thank God for Joshua and his quick thinking. “Good. We will be leaving Thursday morning. Please tell your sons so they can go. And maybe we will have a reception when we come back from our honeymoon.”
Addison beamed. “That would be great. I will tell your brothers. Be sure to send over the flight itinerary.”
“I will. Let me get back to Rae. The nausea has been bothering her all day.” He walked to the door and as he stepped out he heard Joshua saying “Nausea? Addie,what’s going on?” He chuckled. Apparently his mother forgot to tell him something. He whistled as he returned to his car. He couldn’t wait to see his soon to be bride.
Raquel watched as Teri’s car pulled off. She’d turned to go inside when another car pulled up…a black mustang. It seemed out-of-place here, she thought. When the car door opened and a shiny black shoe stepped out, she knew instantly who it was. Caleb Montgomery . He’d always reeked of money and he spent far too much of it for her. The tan sports jacket he wore was tailored and fit his six foot six inch frame very well and the slacks he wore screamed “rich”. He smiled and made his way over to her.
“Caleb, what the hell are you doing here?” She snapped.
“Raquel, it’s so good to see you. You look radiant.”
“I can’t say it’s good to see you. What are you doing here?” She asked again.
He grinned. “Isn’t it obvious? I’m here to see you. You didn’t return my call so I decided to drop by.” His hand reached up to cup her cheek but she evaded his touch.
“There is a reason I didn’t return the call. I don’t want to see you. I’ve moved on, Caleb and you should too.”
He chuckled. “Raquel, come on. You know you will always love me and I will always love you.”
“Wrong again, Caleb. I’m getting married. You see this engagement ring here?” She held her hand up to his face so he could get a good look at it.
He clenched his jaw. “You really shouldn’t joke about something like that. It’s not funny.”
She folded her arms over chest. “Well at least we agree on something, I wouldn’t joke about something like that.” She saw his hands curl into fists and then uncurl. Tentatively, she moved back a few steps.
“I thought giving you space and getting a divorce would make you come back to me. I did all that for you. I still love you. Don’t you understand that?”
She did,but it didn’t change anything. He was still a liar and a manipulator. It didn’t matter though, she had the man she wanted. “I get it but it doesn’t change what happened. I think it’s best that you go, Caleb.” Before she knew it, Caleb closed the distance between them and hauled her to his chest. She gasped.
“I’m not going anywhere.” He sneered in her face.
“I suggest you let her go, Caleb or we will have a problem.” Derrick said, his tone cold and brooking no argument. He watched as the man looked his way and the surprise that lit his face. He hadn’t expected him to arrive which was good. The man must have gathered some sense because he let her go and backed away. Good boy, Derrick thought. The last thing he wanted was to pummel this fool but he would for Rae. He’d gotten there just in time to see the man grab her by arms. For a moment, he’d seen red but then quickly composed himself and quickly walked over to diffuse the situation. He reached for Raquel and she quickly scurried over to him.
“Caleb, you should leave. Now.” Derrick ordered
Caleb narrowed his eyes, wondering how he knew him. “Raquel and I need to talk.” He said stiffly
“That won’t be happening. Next time I won’t be so nice when I say this. Now leave.” Caleb still didn’t move and just when he thought he was going to have to forcefully remove him from the property, his brother Rafe pulled up. Rafe, being the methodical man that he was, slowly walked over to the altercation. Derrick wasn’t fooled by his leisurely stroll. His brother served in the army and had a black belt in karate. No doubt he was thinking of the best way to take Caleb down.
“Problem here, bro?” Rafe asked while looking at Caleb.
“I don’t know. Is there a problem, Caleb?” Derrick asked calmly
Caleb swallowed hard. “Um, no. I will just be leaving like you told me to.” He slowly backed away to his car and then jumped in and sped off.
Derrick felt Rae relax against him. He titled her face up to him to meet his eyes. “You okay, baby?”
She nodded, unsure if she could speak at the moment.
He caressed her cheek. “Its okay. I won’t let him hurt you.” He looked over his shoulder at his brother. “Thanks Rafe for showing up when you did.”
Rafe clapped his hand on his brother’s shoulder. “No prob, bro.” He noticed Derrick was barely paying attention to him and had turned his attention back to Rae. He left them quietly and went inside Derrick’s house.
“Rae, are you sure you’re okay?”
She nodded. “A little rattled but it will pass.” She laid her head on his shoulder and wrapped her arms around his neck. “Thank you for showing up. I don’t know what would have happened if you hadn’t.”
He pulled her closer to him. He didn’t even want to entertain the thought of losing her. Just the idea forming in his head, gripped his heart. He exhaled a shaky breath. “I’m thankful I made it here in time too. I love you so much. You have no idea how much you mean to me.” His voice rasped.
She lifted her head to look at him and he took the opportunity to kiss her. He gave her a soft and gentle kiss, teasing her lips with his own. She sighed and he slipped the tip of his tongue between her parted lips. She gently touched her tongue to his and tugged him closer. His mouth seemed to devour hers as he deepened the kiss more and more. Her mouth was so soft and sweet beneath his that he often had a hard time pulling away. With sheer force, he pulled away slowly. He looked at her wet lips and had the overwhelming urge to finish what he started. He groaned inwardly and put some distance between them.
Instead of staying where she was, she came closer and nibbled on the side of his neck. “You shouldn’t have started this, Derrick.” She said huskily
His eyes rolled into the back of his head when she licked him. “Rafe is waiting for me.”
“He can wait, can’t he?”
“It might be important. Trust me, we will finish this later. But for now you are coming with me to my house because I am concerned about your safety.”
She pouted. “Fine.”
He chuckled. She was such a handful but he didn’t mind. He loved all of her.

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More Than Just Friends (Part 5)

Derrick watched Rae sleeping in his bed. He wanted to watch over her and keep her close to him. She’d scared him so much that he couldn’t relax. It had been at least two hours since they’d left the hospital and he was still tense. He sighed softly. It could have been worse. Even though he knew that, he still couldn’t stop the image of her lying unconscious on the floor from flashing in his head. He’d begged her not to leave him. Which meant that he’d become dependent on her and that scared him. If it ever came to a point that Rae was no longer in his life, he just didn’t know how he would be able to go on. He wasn’t even sure how his mom lived without his dad for ten years. His biological father had died in a plane crash. He was traveling back to his family from a business trip to New York when his plane encountered heavy turbulence and crashed. His father had died instantly. He remembered that day. When he, his brothers and his mother heard the news from one of the local police officers, they all began to cry and his mother had curled into a ball and wailed. He’d felt powerless then just as he did now. Somehow, his mother had survived it and moved on with his stepfather, Joshua. He hadn’t liked Joshua at first but the man eventually began to grow on him. Now they were inseparable.
He had to stop this negative thinking and focus on the good news that they’d received. He was going to be a father. His chest swelled proudly at the thought. He couldn’t believe it. He and Rae had made a baby. None of his brothers had children yet and they were married. Although he was sure that they weren’t in a hurry to make a baby. He hadn’t been either but now that he had he was excited. He couldn’t wait to see Rae with her protruding belly. He grinned. She’d definitely fuss about that for sure.
“Derrick” Rae called softly
“Yeah baby?”
She looked down at his bed then back at him. “You brought me to your place?”
He nodded. “Yes.”
“You could have taken me home, you know?”
“Did you honestly think that I would let you stay by yourself at your place with a concussion?” He said in a tone of voice that was meant to grab her attention.
Her eyes narrowed at his tone of voice. “No, of course not. I just didn’t know I was here.”
“Probably because you were asleep.” He tossed and turned to look out the window.
That’s it, she thought. She eased out of the bed to go stand in front of him. She planted her hands on her hips. “Are you trying to piss me off? Because I am about one second from biting your head off, Derrick.” She warned.
He met her gaze and saw the fire in her eyes. If he’d had the energy to argue, he would have. Instead of reacting, he gently pulled her to him, lifted her shirt and kissed her belly, the place his baby would be growing soon. “No, of course not. I’m sorry. I’m just still a little tense.”
She placed her hands on his head as he placed another kiss on her belly. “Why?”
“Because I was scared and still am.”
She lifted his face to meet her eyes. “Derrick, baby, listen to me. I’m fine. Correction…we are fine. Stop worrying. It will be okay.” She sat down in his lap and pulled him into her arms.
He inhaled her scent. “I love you and our baby.”
She smiled. He was so protective. “We love you too.”
He buried his face in her neck. “Don’t ever stop okay?”
She pulled back. “Even when I get mad at you?”
“Especially when you get mad at me.”
“I will have to think about it. I mean it could be a really big fight and I may not want to see y— She stopped when he placed his hand over her mouth.
“Would you stop? I’m trying to be serious here.” He removed his hand.
“Sorry. Just trying to lighten up the mood.”
“Thanks but not right now.”
An eyebrow rose. “Is this about your dad? Are you comparing the two?”
He shook his head. “No. It’s about the fact that you’re the closest person to me besides my mom and Joshua. Losing you would devastate me. Fiancé or not, losing you would kill me inside. I hate losing people and you know this about me. Yes, it started with me losing my dad to a plane crash but what I’m telling you now has nothing to do with that. I’m sorry if I’m getting to deep on you but it just got real tonight, Rae.” He sighed. “I’m going to go outside for a while.” He lifted her off him and walked out of the room…leaving her speechless and perplexed.
Two hours later and Derrick still had not come upstairs to his room. She’d long ago taken a shower and now she couldn’t sleep because Derrick wasn’t here. She hated that he was agonizing over this whole situation. She should have been more serious then maybe…no! She was not about to play the martyr here. Deciding she was hungry, she went downstairs in search of some fruit or something. He usually kept the refrigerator stocked. She opened the refrigerator door and pulled out a bowl of grapes and at the last minute she added some whip cream. Closing the door, she turned to go back upstairs but collided into a massive chest. She screamed. Strong arms kept her and her fruit from falling.
He swallowed a curse. “Rae, I’m sorry that I scared you.”
She moved away from his touch. “I’m fine. Going back upstairs now.” She made a move to get around him but he blocked her from going upstairs.
“Wait.”
“What?” She snapped
“We need to talk, Rae.”
“Like hell we do. You walked out on me remember?” She nearly shouted
He removed the fruit and whip cream from her hands. She just had to be difficult. He lifted her into arms and sat her on the bar.
“Hey! What are you doing?” She asked when he began lifting her shirt. ” You are not getting sex.”
His hands stilled for a moment, “Rae, you can fight me all you want but I want you and if this is the only way to get you to talk to me then so be it.”
She met his intense gaze. “Derrick I…” She gasped when he spread her legs and began to press his thumb against the sensitive nub between her legs. Instinctively, her hips moved with his strokes. He stopped for a moment to slide her underwear off. She watched with anticipation has his head lowered to lick her along the slit of her vagina. Her body arched off the bar but he gently guided her back down. He pulled her closer to his face and placed his full mouth on her.
“Oh my” She whispered feverishly as he continued making love to her with his mouth. She felt her orgasm about to bust loose but then he stopped.
“Derrick?”
He quickly glanced at her. “Do you forgive me, baby?”
“What? Now is not the time, Derrick,” She said, dumbfounded that he would stop in the middle of what they were doing.
“Now is the perfect time. Tell me or you won’t get to come.”
The man was devious, she concluded. “No. Let’s finish this first.” She couldn’t stop her stubbornness from rearing it’s ugly head. Two could play this game.
He shook his head. He pulled her butt to the edge of the bar and placed her feet on his shoulders. He lowered his head and blew on her sensitive spot. “Tell me, my stubborn fiancé.” He slid the tip of his finger inside and then withdrew it.
She dragged in a breath as he continued teasing her. “Dammit, okay. I…I forgive you. Please finish what you started.” She pleaded with him.
He smiled. “Thank you, baby.” He whispered and placed his mouth back on her. He teased and taunted until she screamed. He didn’t remove his mouth until she stopped trembling. “Feel better?”
“Hmm, yeah. I needed that. How long has it been since we last made love?”
“At least a week.”
She shook her head. “That just won’t do, will it?”
“No, it won’t. I’ve missed you terribly this past week. The wedding is becoming more important than me.”
She moved her feet off his shoulders and leaned forward to caress his cheek. “And does daddy need some attention?” She licked his bottom lip.
He groaned. “Desperately need some attention.” He tried to kiss her but she pulled back.
“Just so we’re clear, no walking out on me again and I promise that I won’t do anything to scare you. If I can help it.” She added, because she couldn’t control everything.
He stood and took her into his arms to go upstairs. “That’ll work.”
“Hey, what about my grapes and whip cream?”
He frowned. “Seriously? Just get them later.” He replied, in a hurry to get upstairs.
“I’m hungry, Derrick.”
Okay, she has to eat for both her and the baby, he reasoned. “Fine, we will go back and get them.”
She smiled wickedly. “We can eat them in another way, you know?”
He stopped short. “I love when you get creative. Now where are those grapes?”
She laughed. She was glad they were back on good terms again.

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More Than Just Friends (Part 4)

Rae woke up to Derrick tracing small circles on her back. It was only mid-afternoon and she’d slept like she was exhausted. She smiled inwardly. Technically she was after their continuous lovemaking. She turned her head to meet his eyes. Her heart did a little pitter patter when he smiled at her. God, I love this man so much, she thought.
She returned the smile. “Hey.”
He kissed her lips softly. “Hey gorgeous. How was your nap?”
She stretched. “It was really good. Thanks.”
He chuckled. “I know. You snored a little.”
She scrunched her nose. “No, I didn’t.”
He shrugged, as if he had some little secret. “Okay.”
He’s serious. She groaned and covered her face. “Oh my God. I am so embarrassed.”
“Why? It’s not the first time. I just never said anything.”
Her mouth dropped open. “What?!?”
He chuckled. “Rae, come on. It doesn’t matter. I love you. Besides, it’s a soft snore. Nothing major at all.”
She snorted. “Yeah, nothing major to you.”
“Come here.” He reached for her and pulled her to his chest. “I love you and I don’t care. Do you hear me loud and clear?”
“Yes, I hear you.”
“Good.” He laid her head on his chest and caressed her hair. He was content just being near her.
“Derrick?” She said softly.
“Yeah, baby?”
She swallowed hard. “About what you said downstairs…when you said you wanted us to be together for a long time…what did you mean?”
He sighed. He should have known that she would bring it back up. He decided to tell her what was in his heart. “Raquel, I can see myself with you forever. This isn’t just a fling for me. I want you to know that. Forever does include marriage but I know you are not ready for that. I can wait as long as you want me to, baby.”
Her heart was pounding so hard she was certain he could hear it. He wanted to marry her. She fought back the tears that threatened to spill over. “How do you know I’m not ready, Derrick?”
His hand stilled in her hair and his pulse hammered. “Rae, what are you saying?”
She lifted her head to look into his eyes. “Answer my question first, Derrick.”
“I just figured since we are just starting out that you would want to take it slow.”
An arched eyebrow rose. “Did you ask me if I wanted to take it slow?”
Now that he thought about, he hadn’t. He just assumed. “I guess I didn’t.”
She stared at him for a long moment then spoke. “Ask me, Derrick.” She said softly
His mouth was suddenly dry. He had never asked a woman to marry him. Rae would be the first and only woman he ever proposed to. “Just wait one second.” He lifted her gently so he could get out of the bed. He went to his armoire and pulled out a box that he had for the last couple of weeks. When he saw this ring in Jared’s, he thought it would fit Rae perfectly. He had it sized for her and engraved. He took a deep breath and walked back over to her. He pulled her to a standing position.
He got down on one knee. “Raquel, I bought this in hopes that you would want to marry me someday. Now I know I’m not the perfect guy but I promise that you will always be loved and cherished. I promise that you will be the only woman I ever love and be in love with. Would you Raquel Simone Williams do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
She smiled through her tears. “Derrick. I can’t believe you. She took a deep breath to calm the butterflies in her stomach. “Yes, yes, yes, I will marry you!” She held out her left hand so that he could slide the ring onto her finger. Her breath hitched when she saw how beautiful it was….A princess cut diamond with a ting of green in the center…her favorite color.
He stood. “What do you think? Do you like it?”
She shook her head. “No. I love it.”
He smiled. “I’m glad that you are taken with it.”
“How long have you had it?”
He shrugged. “About two weeks.”
She smiled. “So you’d already planned to propose?”
“Yeah, eventually. Since you insisted, I did it tonight. Naked might I add.”
She chuckled. “Hey, I like you naked.” She teased and wrapped her arms around his waist. She stood on tiptoe and pressed a kiss to his lips. “I can’t wait to have forever with you.”
His eyes twinkled. “Oh yeah? When do you want to start planning the wedding?”
“As soon as possible.” She purred in his ear.
He groaned. “Now that’s what I’m talking about.” He said and pulled her into a mind-blowing kiss.
Four glorious weeks had passed since Derrick had proposed to her. Ever since then she’d been caught up in their wedding plans. She loved it but at the same time she was completely exhausted. She wished she hadn’t called Teri, her best girlfriend and Derrick’s first cousin to tell her she was engaged. She’d told almost the whole family and ever since then things had been super busy. She barely had time to see Derrick between work, exercise, and making more plans for her wedding. She sighed heavily. She just wanted a tiny itty bitty break. As of right now she had turned all her phones off and the drapes closed. She couldn’t make herself move this morning. Derrick had called but she didn’t feel like talking just yet.
Her mind was in a whirlwind and to top it off, her head hurt and her bladder was unsettled. For the last week, she had felt the need to vomit but nothing ever happened so she just shrugged it off. Thinking it was just exhaustion. But now…she wasn’t certain at all. Her stomach began to heave and this time she was sure she was about to vomit. Oh no, she thought. Somehow she pushed herself out of bed and scrambled to her bathroom. She’d barely made it to the toilet before everything she’d eaten the night before poured out of her mouth. What the hell is going on? She wondered. When she was done, she tried to get up but failed. Her head felt funny….almost lightheaded… She tried again and managed to stand on shaky legs. Her vision became less clear as she tried to walk and she tried to hold onto something to keep her balance but everything seemed out of reach. Tripping over something, she fell to the tiled floor and hit her head hard….She moaned in anguish “Derrick” She whispered then blackness engulfed her vision.
For the umpteenth time, Derrick called his fiancée. He really wanted to see her but he knew she might be tired from all the wedding planning. So, he decided to settle on hearing her rich, sultry voice this morning. She should have answered by now. Something just wasn’t right, he thought. Sirens pulled him out if his thoughts. They were close by. God, please no. He ran to his door and yanked it open. He flew down the steps to Raquel’s house. He saw his cousin outside of Rae’s house crying hysterically.
He grabbed her by her arms. “Teri, what’s happened? Where is Rae?”
“Derrick, I couldn’t wake her up. She wasn’t answering her phone so I came over to see about her and found her on the floor of her bathroom. She wouldn’t wake up! I called for an ambulance.” She cried
His heart thundered in his chest. All the blood drained from his face. No, no, no, his mind screamed. He couldn’t lose her. He ran into the house and into Rae’s bathroom. “Raquel!” He shouted. He went to her side. “Baby, please, you have to wake up. You can’t leave me. Not now. Please.” He pleaded but it was useless. She couldn’t hear him. When she still didn’t move, he lifted her into her arms. He held her tightly to him and noticed she was still breathing. He hadn’t bothered to check if she was breathing before. He had never been so happy to see the rise and fall of her chest. Kissing her forehead lightly, he carried her through the living room and outside. The ambulance pulled up just as he stepped off the porch. He didn’t want to let her go…to let her slip away from him but he had to let the EMT’s do their job.
“Do you know what happened to her sir?”
“No. She was on the floor of her bathroom so she may have hurt her head but I can’t be sure.” He said softly
The man nodded. “Okay. We will take care of her. Can I get a name?”
“Yeah. Raquel Whitfield.”
“Sir, we can take her.”
He gently handed her over to the EMT and walked behind him to the ambulance. He looked over his shoulder to talk to his cousin. “Teri, you can follow us to the hospital.”
She nodded. “Okay.”
He nodded and hurriedly climbed into the ambulance.
Rae moaned softly. God, my head hurts, she thought. Where the hell am I? She slowly opened her eyes. She was in a bed and at least three machines were beeping around her. A hospital? What am I doing here? She wondered. Then it hit her. The vomiting…The fall she’d taken…Someone must’ve found her unconscious. She groaned loudly. Dammit. She must have fallen pretty hard to be in a hospital. She surveyed her room and noticed someone sleeping in the chair next to her bed….Derrick. He was sleeping so peacefully and she hated to wake him. Before she could get the chance, someone knocked on the door and stuck their head inside.
“Is it safe to come in?” Stephen asked with a grin
She smiled. “Sure. Come in.” Before she knew it all of Derrick’s brothers burst through the door waking Derrick. Stephen, James, Rafe, and Zane were all a piece of work. Stephen was the youngest of the five, James the second eldest, and Rafe was the middle child. She loved them all like they were her blood brothers.
“So, are you doing okay? You gave us all a scare.” Stephen said
She blew out a breath. “I hope so, Stephen.” She let her gaze travel to Derrick. His dark eyes studied her and a frowned marred his features. She let out a tremulous breath that she hadn’t been aware she was holding.
Stephen glanced at Derrick and then back at Rae. He cleared his throat. “Um, maybe we should let you two have a moment.”
“Why?” Zane asked
Rafe elbowed him in the side. “Zane now is not the time for your rude candor. Let’s go.”
Raquel watched as they all filed out of the room together. She and Derrick were alone. Her gaze traveled back to his. “Derrick, I—
He held up his hand. “Just stop, please. Rae, you scared the hell out of me today.” He stood up from his chair and walked over to stand beside her.
“Derrick, I’m sorry. I had no idea this would happen. I— He cut her off with a kiss. She moaned when his tongue slid over hers. All too quickly, the kiss was over.
“I love you so much, Rae. I felt like I couldn’t breathe when I saw you lying there. I’m just so grateful that you’re alive and well. Imagining life without you is not something I want to contemplate on.”
Before she could speak, someone else knocked on her door. Dammit, she was trying to talk here. He kissed her softly. “Come in.”
“Raquel, I’m Doctor Stevens. It’s nice to finally see you awake.”
“Thank you. Is everything alright?”
“Well, Raquel, you hit your head pretty hard so you have a concussion. However, within the next day or so you should be much better. The next thing I’m about to tell you is serious.
Rae’s eyes widened. “What? Please tell me.”
Dr. Stevens cleared his throat. “Raquel, we took some blood while you were unconscious. We wanted to make sure there weren’t any complications in your bloodstream. We found out what may have caused you to faint. You’re going to be a mother, Raquel.”
She shook her head. She must be hearing things. “Come again, doc?”
Dr. Stevens chuckled. “You’re pregnant, Raquel.”
“I’m what?! Pregnant?!” She shouted. How could this be? She wondered. She was on birth control.
“How far a long is she Doctor Stevens?” Derrick suddenly asked.
“About two weeks, give or take.” He responded.
Derrick nodded. “Thanks Doctor.”
“I’m going to leave you two alone. Raquel we should have you out of here in an hour or so.”
Once they were alone, Derrick sat beside her. “Rae, talk to me, baby.”
She felt like she couldn’t breathe. “Derrick, I’m freaking out. I don’t know how to be a mother. We are not even married yet. I mean, what are we supposed to do!”
Derrick pulled her into his arms and held her close to his heart. “Rae, slow down. It’s fine. Things just happened sooner than we anticipated.”
“But how, Derrick? I don’t even remember not taking my birth control pill. I—“She stopped abruptly as a memory surfaced. The day they had fallen asleep on his patio. She’d forgotten to take it that day. She’d been so embarrassed about his mother catching them that she dressed quickly and went running.
Derrick caressed her cheek. “Rae, what is it?”
“I didn’t take my pill the day your mother caught us you know—. I forgot.” She looked down at her hands.
He tilted her face up to meet his eyes. “I’m happy that you’re having my baby. Don’t you know that?”
She could tell that he was happy. This had just thrown her a little. She would love nothing more than to have his children. “I know you are. I am too. I’m sorry if it seems like I’m not. I just didn’t expect this.”
He smiled. “I didn’t either. I love you. Have I told you that?” He whispered
She smiled. “Yeah, once or twice.” She teased.
His gaze turned serious for a moment. “Please don’t scare me like that again. You have to get some rest and eat, baby. I need you and my baby around. Understood?”
She gave him a mock salute. “Yes, sir.”
He laughed heartily. “Rae, you are not like anyone else I know. You’re unique and I love that about you.”
She wrapped her arms around his neck. “Hmm, what else do you love?”
“Cut it out. We’re in a hospital.” He protested, although his body was betraying him.
“That never stopped you before.” She purred in his ear
True, but they needed to control themselves. At least for now. “I’ll make you a deal. If you can behave yourself until we get out of here then when we get home, I’ll give you whatever you want.”
She looked down at his erection for a long time before speaking. “You’re on mister. It’s a deal.”
Suddenly, he couldn’t wait to get the hell up out of this hospital.

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More Than Just Friends (Part 3)

The next day, Rae awakened in Derrick’s arms, where she loved to be at all times. She looked around and noticed they weren’t inside his house. They’d fallen asleep on the swing on the patio. She looked at Derrick snoring softly then nuzzled his neck with her lips. He groaned and tightened his hold on her waist. He didn’t open his eyes to look at her so she licked a trail down his Adam’s apple to the area between his shoulder blade and neck. His grip on her waist didn’t loosen. She looked up to find a pair of gorgeous dark eyes filled with desire looking at her…Finally, she’d gotten his attention. He pulled her closer…inches from her lips he flicked his tongue across her full bottom lip then he drew it into his mouth and suckled it. She whimpered…helpless to stop this invasion on her mouth…one she happily welcomed. He covered her mouth with his own and slowly made love to her tongue. His tongue swept across hers so slowly that she thought she might combust at any moment. She shivered when he began toying with her nipples through her shirt. He broke the kiss and lowered his head to her breasts. She moaned when his lips covered a nipple through her shirt. He pulled the fabric of the shirt down along with one side of her bra and began to suck on her nipple. The contact caused her to squirm closer to him. She threw her head back when he lightly teased her nipple with his teeth.
Derrick!” She gasped, forgetting that they were outside on his patio.
He made a noise in the back of his throat then lifted his head. “What baby?” He said huskily
She shook her head to try to clear her head. “Don’t forget we are outside. Let’s go in.”
“Rae, our nearest neighbor is a mile away. No one is going to hear or see us sweetheart.”
She bit down on her lip. “But-
He lifted his hand to caress her cheek. “Trust me.” He watched as she nodded her approval. He was just about to strip off her shirt when he heard someone clear their throat behind them. He felt Rae jerk and he tightened his hold on her so she wouldn’t move. He pulled up her shirt and bra and turned to see who had interrupted their time together. Shit. His mom.
He cleared his throat. “Hey Ma.”
Addison fought to keep from smiling at the odd predicament her son and Raquel were in. Well now, I see why he has been preoccupied, she mused. “Hi, son. Should I come back later?” She teased.
Hell yeah, he wanted to say but held his tongue. He would never be disrespectful to her. He tried to remember the reason his mother was here. Oh right. He’d offered to take her to the market. Damn, now he wished he hadn’t. “No.” He said between clenched teeth
“Good Morning, Mrs. Whitfield.” Rae said.
“Hi Rae.” Addison replied
“Derrick, baby, I will see you later.” Rae said and placed a kiss on his cheek. She rose to go home and left them alone.
“Ma, you have perfect timing.” He said, sarcasm lacing his voice.
She shrugged, as if his tone didn’t matter. “Dear, it’s not my fault you and Rae were out in broad daylight about to do the nasty.”
His eyes widened for a moment, and then he chuckled. Only his mother. “Ma, you are the only mom I know who says ‘the nasty’.”
She laughed and hugged him. “I’m glad to see you happy, son. Sorry I intruded. You didn’t answer the front door or your phone so I came around back.”
“It’s alright, I suppose.”
“Why didn’t you tell me that you and Rae were together?” She inquired
He wasn’t sure why he hadn’t told her or his family. Maybe because things were still new between them. “I guess I just didn’t want to jinx things between us. She is already afraid things won’t work out between us. Just trying to move as slow as possible.”
“You’ve loved her for a long time.” It was a statement rather than a question. She’d always known that her son had fallen hard for his best friend even when he couldn’t see it.
His gaze narrowed. “You knew? How?”
She smiled. “A mother knows everything, dear. I noticed the looks you would give each other, how you just had to see each other every day, and when you two were apart you were a grump. No one wanted to be around you when Rae was gone for an extended period of time.”
He remembered and still don’t want to be apart from her. “I remember.”
She sighed. “So, when’s the wedding?”
He abruptly turned his head to look at his mother. “What?!”
She studied her eldest son. She’d always known that Derrick would be the last to get married. He liked to take his time with things and plan them thoroughly. Sometimes it could be frustrating and at times useful but now was not the time to plan to the last detail. She arched a brow. “You are planning to marry her aren’t you?”
He’d thought about it numerous times but they’d just gotten together. He knew Rae wasn’t ready and he wasn’t prepared to rush her. “At some point, yes, but not right now.”
Addison cupped his chin. “When are you going to learn to stop thinking with that head of yours and use your heart? Do you honestly think she is going to say no to you?”
He sighed. “Ma, I don’t want to lose her by moving too fast.”
She huffed. “If you ask me, you guys have taken up enough time already. Eight years is a long time to be in love with someone and not tell them. Just remember to follow your heart. It won’t steer you wrong. I’m going to drive myself to the market. I see you and Rae have unfinished business that you need to take care of.”
“Ma, I said that I would take you and I’m going to do just that.”
She shook her head. “I’m capable of taking myself, Derrick. Now go see about your woman. Let me know when she says yes to your proposal. I will call you later.” She turned to walk back the way she came.
“I love you, Ma.”
“Yeah, yeah, don’t forget to bring your girlfriend to your dad’s birthday party next weekend. We will see you then.” She said and rounded the corner of the house.
He watched as his mother backed out of his driveway. Once she was out of sight, he went next door to Rae’s. He stopped when he realized her car was gone. She’s probably gone running,he thought. He went inside his house to give her call. Her phone rang three times and went to voice mail. Odd, she always use to pick up, he thought. Get a grip, Derrick. He went into his office to get some work done. He still had a couple of spreadsheets he had to complete for the accounting firm he worked for.
Derrick looked at up the clock on the wall and realized nearly three hours had passed. Rae still hadn’t called him back. What the hell? He was starting to get worried about her. He picked up his Blackberry to try her again, when he heard a car pull up in his driveway. He walked out onto his porch and saw Rae outside by her car. He let out a breath that he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. He was glad she was alright but he had the overwhelming urge to yell at her for making him worry about her.
“Derrick, please don’t be mad. I know you called and I’m sorry I didn’t return the call.” She pleaded softly
Her voice was making the tension ease out of his shoulders. “Rae, where have you been? I was getting worried.” He didn’t recognize his own voice. Normally, he would have flown off the handle by now but he just couldn’t do it. Not to his Rae. His baby. His sweetie. His soon to be wife…The realization that he wanted forever with her shook him a little. With Rae, he was vulnerable and so wide open you could snap a finger in front of his face and it wouldn’t matter. She was the only woman he had eyes for.
“I went running and then to the gym afterwards. A girl’s gotta stay in shape you know.” She winked at him.
He struggled to keep a smile off his face. “Trust me when I say, there is nothing wrong with your shape, baby.”
Her face flushed and her breath caught. Heat spread throughout her entire body, particularly in one area that was getting soaked by the minute. “Is that so?” She asked once she could catch her breath.
He walked closer to her, hating the space between them. When he reached her, he tilted her chin so that she could look directly into his eyes. “Yes, that’s right. I love your full shapely hips and round behind.” He squeezed her derriere gently, if she didn’t fully understand what he meant. He was pretty sure she did though. He lowered his head and skimmed kisses down her neck. “I missed you, Raquel.”
She moaned when he began to tease her inner thigh. “I missed you too, Derrick. Are you still upset with me?”
“No, baby. Just pick up next time, okay?”
“Okay.” She whispered before his mouth covered hers. He kissed her so deeply and passionately that her legs began to quiver. Just when she thought she might fall, he lifted her into his arms and she hooked her legs around his waist as he continued to ravish her mouth. Somehow they stumbled into his house but didn’t quite make it to the bedroom. He placed her on her feet and stripped off her shirt along with her sports bra. She stripped him of his clothes at the same time he stripped hers off. The bedroom would just have to wait. She took a moment to drink in the sight of his washboard stomach and strong arms. Damn, he is so sexy and mines for the taking. She was silly for being embarrassed earlier. Who wouldn’t want him? She pondered
“Rae, come here, baby.” He crooked his finger at her
She sauntered over to him and wrapped her arms around his waist. She kissed him deeply and he moaned when she suckled on his lower lip. Her hand trailed down to his engorged muscle and he inhaled sharply. She began to stroke him then squeeze gently. She repeated it over and over again.
“Rae!” He cried out hoarsely. God, she is driving me insane. He knew that soon he would come but he wanted to be inside her when he did. He wanted to brand her as his and no one else’s woman. He wasn’t sure where this possessiveness came from but it was a powerful emotion that bubbled to the surface. He immediately removed her hand before she pushed him over the edge and picked her up. He backed her up against the wall and she wrapped her legs around his waist. He looked into her eyes as he filled her to the hilt. Her eyes widened for a moment but then she relaxed as her eyes glazed over with desire for him. He began to thrust in and out of her warmth slowly. She clenched her inner walls and he had to bite down on his lip to hold on to what little control he had left. She began to kiss him, thrusting her tongue in the same rhythm that they were moving in. When she began sucking his tongue, his body jerked and went over the edge and released his seed into her. He thrust into her a few more times and she climaxed. Panting, they slid to the floor. He pulled her to him so she could sit between his legs.
“I love you, Raquel.” He whispered against her hair
She tilted her head back to look at him. “Hmmm, yeah because I gave you some booty.” She teased
He chuckled and pinched her nose gently. “Please, I loved you before you gave up the booty.”
She smiled. “I know. I love you too, Derrick.”
“You’d better because we are going to be together for a very long time.”
Her mouth fell open a little. He couldn’t mean marriage. Could he? She wondered. “Wh- What do you mean?” She stammered
He almost laughed at the shocked expression on her face. “You will see very soon. For now, let’s enjoy each other.” He stood and carried her to his bedroom.

More Than Just Friends (Part 2)

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.
“Rae”
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.”

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More Than Just Friends

Good Morning, my fellow subscribers! I haven’t been on here in a while and I know you’re just dying to read a short story or two. At least, I hope you are! As promised, it is here. More Than Just Friends, is a short story that I wrote about two friends who have loved each other a long time and are finally coming out about their feelings for one another. This is just the beginning of the short story. There will more to come. I hope you enjoy it! Leave feedback if you desire! Have a great day!

Derrick sat at his table impatiently waiting for his date. Where the hell is she? He muttered under his breath. He’d been waiting for almost an hour for her to arrive. Of course, he’d wait forever if that’s what it took for her to realize that he loved her. For so long, he and Raquel had been friends…since their college days but he had always thought there was something more between them…even if they didn’t acknowledge it then.
He looked at his watch again. Was she backing out on him? She could have at least called or something. It wasn’t like her not to. Something had to be wrong. He stood, dropped a few bills on the table, and hastily left the restaurant. He had to find her.
Raquel sat on her bed thinking about how much of a coward she had become. She was supposed to be on a date with Derrick tonight yet she hadn’t even made it out of the front door. She sighed heavily. Derrick, whom she loved deeply and wholeheartedly. Derrick, whom she had been friends with for nearly eight years and in love with for just as long. She couldn’t imagine life without him, but she was scared. She didn’t want to lose their friendship by becoming lovers, which she knew for a fact would happen soon if they continued to date. No woman in her right mind would not want to make love to that fine specimen of a man. Derrick was six feet tall, had a lean, hard body, his skin was the color of milk chocolate, and he had a dazzling smile that could make you wet instantly. She knew from personal experience. Oh yes, they would in fact become lovers. Except it would be different because she knew every muscle and contour of his hard sexy body…knew every cut and scrape…every hot spot he had which she had learned by accident each time they tickled each other or when she gave him a massage. There had been many intimate moments between them that she had chosen to ignore. But now…A knock at the door interrupted her thoughts. She knew it was Derrick. Somehow she managed to get downstairs on unsteady legs and swung open the door. He looked so good in his blue jeans and black sweater. She had to keep her mouth from watering. She noticed his gaze roamed over her body. She instinctively closed her robe, forgetting she only had on a black negligee beneath it.
“Well, it’s good to know that you’re okay at least.” He said in a sarcastic manner. Here he was worrying about her and she was sitting at home.
She could tell he was angry and he had every right to be. “Derrick, let me explain.”
He shook his head. “Rae, let’s just let it go. I knew it was a shot in the dark. You could have at least called me though.” He turned away abruptly. This wasn’t the time to talk about this. He didn’t want to bite her head off.
She reached out to him and grabbed his arm before he could leave her. She felt his muscles tighten against her touch. She knew this wouldn’t be easy. “D, I’m sorry about this. I chickened out. Please don’t leave.” She pleaded softly
He turned back to face her. He stared into her amber eyes for a long moment before he asked his question. “Rae, do you want this? Us? Just tell me the truth. I can take it.”
She chewed on her bottom lip before she answered. “Of course I do, I’m just so scared of losing you if this doesn’t work out. Have you thought about that?”
More times than he cared to remember, he thought. He smiled. “Yes, for the last five years.”
Her breath hitched in her throat. What? Five years? How was that possible?
He pulled her closer to him. “Stop trying to add it up in your head. This wasn’t a decision made on a whim.”
“I see. I didn’t know you’d felt this way for so long. You never said anything.”
He kissed the tip of her nose. “I know, but neither did you.” He kissed her eyelids. For some reason, he couldn’t stop kissing her. Hell, he didn’t want to.
Somehow she found herself in his arms and surprisingly she didn’t want to be anywhere else but right here. Her breath caught when he continued to shower her with kisses. “Derrick” She whispered huskily
His dark eyes looked into her eyes. Suddenly, it occurred to her that he was laying his heart on the line for their relationship. That he wanted to pursue one regardless of the risks. The realization of that touched her so deeply that she pulled his head down so that his lips could meet hers. She saw the surprise in his eyes before desire replaced it. She gently touched her lips to his and instantly she felt a flame engulf her body. It wasn’t enough though. The brief kiss only made her want more. She had to get closer. She pressed her body to his and then opened her mouth beneath his and he greedily took possession of her tongue with his own. Damn, he can kiss, she thought. She found herself lost in the passion of their kiss. If they never came up for air, it wouldn’t bother her one bit. She loved his mouth, tongue, body, personality, just everything Derrick. She’d been in love with him for so long and was glad he’d realized that he had feelings for her. She moaned loudly when she felt him cupping her round backside. Slowly, he lifted her into his arms and walked them back into her house without breaking the kiss.
Derrick wasn’t sure what made Rae kiss him ,but he was glad that she did. She tasted so good and he just couldn’t get enough of her beautiful mouth. It was their first kiss and what a kiss it was. There had been other times when they had come close to kissing but never anything like this…full of passion and fire. He vaguely remembered entering the house and lying on her bed. He finally broke the kiss to look at her. He loved how her red and brown curly hair was spread out against the white sheets. She looked every bit like the angel she was. He leaned down to kiss her slowly and thoroughly.
“Rae, are you sure about this?’ He asked once he broke the kiss.
She smiled. “Having second thoughts?”
He shook his head. “No, baby, I’m not. I just want to make sure that you know we are going to make love tonight and every night after this.”
She leaned up to touch her mouth to the base of his neck. She placed a small kiss there and heard his breath catch. “I know we are, D.”
“Rae, how did you know that was my—
“How did I know that was one of your hotspots?” She proceeded to pull his sweater over his head. “I know a lot of things, Derrick. Like how you like your chest to be caressed.” She skimmed her fingernails over his chest over and over again and watched how he was slowly losing control. Then he did something she wouldn’t have expected. He reached down, opened her robe wider, then reached beneath her negligee and ripped off her thong underwear. She gasped. God, that was sexy, she thought. When he slowly slid two of his fingers inside of her vagina, she nearly screamed from the sheer pleasure of it. She bit down hard on her lip when he began rotating his fingers then sliding them back and starting all over again. Her orgasm was bubbling to the surface too quick. It had been at least two years since she’d been with a man sexually. So it was too be expected, she gathered.
She threw her head back when her body began quivering from head to toe. “Derrick!!” She screamed
He groaned. “That’s right. Come for me, baby.”
Before she could finish her first orgasm, another one slammed into her when he began lapping up her juices with his tongue. She screamed again and tried to squirm free from his hold on her hips but he just held on tighter. After a long moment of torturing her,he lifted his head and smiled at her.
“You play dirty, D.” She
teased
He shrugged. “You started it, Rae.”
She smiled mischievously. “I suppose I did. Now take off those clothes and come here.” She hurriedly stripped off her robe and watched with utter fascination as he slowly unbuckled his belt then the button on his jeans. When both his briefs and jeans were discarded, she stared at his erection. He knew he had all that under there.
“Rae?”
“Hmmm?”
“You’re staring, baby.” He crooned
She shook her head. “I’m sorry but damn Derrick.”
He made his way toward her. “Tell me what’s on your mind.”
“You have one beautifully made body.”
“Thank you, baby.” He settled his body in between her legs. “Now you can have it all to yourself.” He slowly entered her warmth. She was so tight. He would ask her about that later. For now, he intended to give her everything she wanted. He thrust slowly inside her. He had to fight hard not to come right then and there. It had been so long for him. He’d stopped sleeping with other women about a year ago when he realized that he would never get serious with any of them because the woman he wanted was right next door to him. Her legs wrapped around his waist…pulling him in deeper. She began dipping and swerving her hips in sync with his repeated thrusts. He was sure he wouldn’t survive the end of this if she kept that up but he couldn’t tell her to stop because it felt so damn good. He thrust harder as he felt his release on the brink.
“Derrick, don’t stop, baby!” She screamed
He looked into her eyes. So many emotions were running through him. He loved her with ever fiber in his being. She had been his rock during the bad times. She had always been there for him. A true friend indeed. She’d hid her feelings for him for a long time. He knew it even if she wouldn’t say it because he had done the same thing. He lowered his head to kiss her delectable mouth as his release made him tremble. He held on tighter to her hips and he felt her come right along with him. She clawed at his back as he kept kissing her. Finally, he let them up for air.
He couldn’t hold it in any longer and had to tell her. “I love you, Raquel.” He made sure he looked in her eyes when he said it. She didn’t say anything but the look in her eyes told him that she loved him too. He pulled her on top of him and wrapped his arms around her. Even if she couldn’t tell him it was okay, but he would make sure that she did eventually.
The next morning, Derrick woke up to someone kissing his chest. He groaned and tried to get back to sleep but the person was insistent. She placed a kiss on his lips and he felt himself kissing her back.
“Good morning, sleepyhead.” Rae said once she broke the kiss
He opened his eyes and smiled. Rae. Last night’s events tumbled back into his mind. She looked so adorable with her hair all over her head. “Good morning, sweetie. How long have I been out?”
“It’s barely eight o’clock.”
He groaned. “Rae, please just let me go back to sleep. It’s too early.”
She laughed. She knew he wasn’t a morning person which is the reason she’d purposely awakened him. She rubbed her body against his. “You won’t even wake up for me?”
He popped open an eye. “I might reconsider for you.”
She laughed again. “Thanks, I think.”
He cupped her cheek. “I love seeing you smile, baby.”
She leaned into his hand. “About what you said last night–”
“You don’t have to say anything if you don’t feel the same way, Rae. Really—
She placed a finger over his mouth. “Would you shut up? I’m trying to say something here.”
“Sorry” He mumbled
She took a deep breath. “Derrick, you have been my friend for a long time, eight years to be exact and I’ve been in love with you just as long. I’ve never said anything because I didn’t want to screw up our friendship. Now that things have changed, I can finally tell you what I’ve always wanted to scream out loud. I love you too, Derrick James Whitfield. There is no other person I would rather love than you.”
He leaned up to kiss her deeply. His heart swelled at her words. She loved him. He knew it but hearing her say the words gave him so much joy. “I love you too, Raquel Simone Williams.”
She scrunched her nose. “You know I can’t stand my middle name.”
He laughed. “I know but since you named mines, it’s only fair that I name yours.”
She rolled her eyes. “Fine, whatever. Do you want some breakfast?”
He kissed her neck. “The only breakfast I want right now is you.”
She squealed as he tumbled her over. “I suppose I could make an exception.”

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