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New Beginnings Pt.3

Punch. Kick. Punch. Zane did his best to put a hurting on his punching bag. He was without a doubt frustrated. Since his fight with Lexi, he hadn’t been able to sleep much. That was over two weeks ago. He’d tried calling, texting, and had even gone over to her apartment. Rafe had given him the address. But she was avoiding him like he was a plague. Dammit, he was tired. Tired of chasing her ass. If she wanted to talk, she would have to come to him. By the looks of it, she didn’t. That bothered him a lot because he believed they would be good together. Needing to turn his off his thoughts, he began hitting the punching bag again. After about ten minutes, he felt much better. He walked to his bedroom to go and shower, but the doorbell rang. For a second, he considered not opening the door. He sighed and grudgingly made his way to the door. He wrenched it open and his heart did a somersault. Alexis. No. No. No damn somersaults. He was still mad.

“What are you doing here?”

She took in the sight of his body and licked her lips. Focus Alexis. “I…we..can I come in?”

He blocked the entrance. “Why? You were too busy running out of here the last time.”

She knew this wouldn’t be easy. She didn’t blame him if he was pissed. If she were in the same position, she would be too. “Zane, please.”

He clenched and unclenched his fists. All he could think about was pulling her into his arms and never letting her go, but his pride was wounded. “Look, Lexi. Let’s just forget about it.”

“I don’t want to forget about it. I’m sorry that you haven’t been able to reach me the last few weeks. I was just really embarrassed that I neglected to tell you I was a virgin and pissed that you yelled at me like that. I didn’t expect it. I knew you would be upset when I came over but I just wanted you to know that.” She stepped off the porch and turned to leave. She’d made it all of two steps before she felt him grab her arm. She turned and ran right into him.

He steadied her so that she wouldn’t fall. “Don’t ever leave me like that again. I prefer to talk things out instead of running away. And don’t ever deliberately ignore my calls or texts.” He drew her into his arms. “Thank you for apologizing. I’m sorry too.”
Dammit, he just couldn’t let her go.

“Okay. You’re sure that you’ve forgiven me?” She asked as she slid her arms around his neck.

He lowered his head and mere inches from her lips he whispered “Yeah, baby. I’m sure.” He touched his lips to hers in a gentle kiss and drew back. Desire coursed through his body but he held back anyway.

She licked her lips. The taste of him was so enticing. She wanted more. “Come back here. I’ve spent almost three weeks without you. I need more than that.”

He smiled and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “How much more are we talking?”

“Come back, and I’ll show you.”

“Alexis, can I ask you something first?”

She frowned. “Okay, this is not how I saw this going.”

He laughed heartily. “We’ll get to that, sweetheart. Trust me. Why did you come back?”

“Hmm, that’s a general question. Care to be specific?” Dammit, she could not tell him it was because she loved him.

What was she hiding? He wondered. She was deliberately avoiding his question. “Please answer the question. I need you to tell me the truth.”

She braced her hands against his forearms. “I can’t tell you. It could run you off and we’re just beginning. I just can’t do it.” She said softly

“Do you want to know the reason I forgave you? Even though I had every intention of giving up on you?”

She stared deeply into his eyes. “Tell me.”

He placed a soft kiss on her lips. “Because I really like you. Not just because you’re good-looking or a good kisser, but because for as long as I’ve known you, you have always been caring and selfless. You give yourself freely in whatever you do and I love that. I really think we could be good together. But I need you to trust me.”

Aw, hell. She had to tell him now. She didn’t want him to believe that she didn’t trust him. “Zane, I came back because…Because I love you.”

His heart swelled at her words. “You love me? How long have you felt this way?”

She tried to move out of his embrace but his arms tightened around her waist. “Yes. Since high school.”

Damn. This wasn’t what he’d expected to hear from her. She loved him. That scared the hell out of him but at the same time he was happy. “That’s a long time to love someone and not tell them.”

She looked away from his piercing gaze. “I just realized it a few weeks ago.”

“Which is the reason you ran from me the first time we kissed?”

Damn, he was too perceptive. “Yes.”

“Are you ashamed to love me? You won’t even look at me.”

She abruptly turned back to look at him. “Of course not. I’m just…scared.”

Well, that was something they could agree on. So was he. “How about we just take it one day at time?”

She smiled. “I think it’s a little too late for that.”

He leaned closer to her mouth. “It’s your call. I’m scared too but I want you and nobody else.”


He placed a soft kiss on her lips. “Yeah. Really.”

She smiled mischievously, pulled out of his embrace, and walked to the door. “You coming?” She tossed over her shoulder.

His gaze zeroed in our hips and behind. With little effort, she’d managed to make him hard. Oh, he was coming alright. Without replying, he walked up behind her and placed a kiss on her neck. “Let’s go.” Then he guided her inside.

The next morning

Alexis stirred in her sleep when she felt his mouth on her hot center. When she felt his tongue prob her folds, it was all she could do not to scream. The man had a devilish mouth on him. Something she’d quickly learned as he teased and taunted her mercilessly last night. Not that she had complained. She loved how he made her feel. She gasped as he circled his tongue and then bit the tiny nub in between her folds. This was exquisite torture. She writhed against the bed as he placed his full mouth on her and suckled. Oh my. Before she knew it, she began to tremble as her orgasm hit her over and over again, causing her to cry out. She fell back onto the bed breathless. Who knew it could be this intense? She thought but it quickly fled her mind as he slowly and languidly kissed his way up her body, and she gasped at every kiss and touch. It felt just that good. She felt her gut clench when their eyes met. She would never get tired of looking at him.

“Good Morning, baby.”

She smiled. “Good morning. So, can I expect to wake up to that every day?”

He leaned down to place soft kiss on her insatiable lips. “If that’s what you want.” He murmured against her lips.

She moaned. “I want.” She deepened the kiss and ran her nails down his back, something she’d discovered was a turn on for him. She felt a shudder pass through him. She whimpered as he abruptly ended the kiss.

He smiled knowingly. He loved her in insatiable appetite. “I’m sorry, baby. I have to go into work this morning.”

She pouted. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“Unfortunately, no. Rafe called me while you were sleeping.”

She sighed. “Fine.” She made a move to get up but he wouldn’t move.

He lowered his head and kissed her neck. “Where do you think you are you’re going?”

She stammered as he began nibbling. “H…Home.”

He looked into her eyes. “I’m not going to be gone all day. You can stay here.”

She stared at him for a long moment. “I didn’t expect that.”

“I’m not letting you get away that easily from me.” He slid his fingers into her hair and kissed her passionately.

“How can I say no to that? Just one question.” She said once they broke apart.

“And what’s that?”

“Can I be on top this time?” She whispered

He looked at her body and licked his lips slowly. “Whatever you want, Alexis.”

She grinned. “Careful you might spoil me.” She rolled them over and climbed on top of him.

Damn, he was going to be late for work, he thought. But as he slid inside her, all thoughts about work fled his mind. This was worth being late for.

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Broken Hearts Mended

“What the hell am I doing here?” Marcus asked himself for the millionth time as he sat in his car in front of his first love’s home. The fact that she was here…back in Charlotte..had thrown him for a loop. He’d thought that he would never see her again but now she was here and he was having a hard time not going to her. He couldn’t remember a time when he hadn’t felt that invisible current that pulled them together. It hadn’t been like that with anyone else..not even with his ex-wife. Trying to get over Sanaa, had never worked. As much as he’d tried to..and he’d tried pretty damn hard..it just never happened. Maybe because they had unfinished business perhaps? She’d left him high and dry fifteen years ago..no explanation…no letter…no phone call..just absolutely,positively, nothing. She’d never come back to visit or see him. For years, he’d wondered why she’d left him without any explanation. He still couldn’t figure it out to this day. He sighed. Well he wasn’t going to find out by just sitting here. He opened the door and stepped out of the car. Time to go face his past…He prayed that he would stay cool, calm, and collected but he had a nagging feeling that he wouldn’t.

Sanaa closed the curtain quickly before Mark could see her. She had been watching him for the last ten minutes as he sat in his car and now he was on his way to her door. She tried her best to ignore her racing pulse and the increase in her heart rate. It had been so long since she’d last seen him. What was he like now? Was he the same person she’d always known? She sighed as she thought about what had pulled them apart and made her leave Charlotte. Her father. He’d made her leave as soon as she’d graduated from high school. He’d threatened to cut off her trust fund if she continued seeing Mark. It wasn’t so much the threat of him cutting her off. It was the dangerous glint in her father’s eye that said he would do more to get her to stop seeing Mark and leave Charlotte if he had to. He wasn’t beyond getting violent. She didn’t want Mark hurt so she’d left him and all they’d had together. Her father had never liked Mark but he had never threatened him until that day. Her father was dead now which gave her relief instead of sorrow. He had been a sorry, lonely, and vindictive bastard and she’d wished he had been someone else’s father instead of hers. Her thoughts were interrupted when she heard him knock. Oh God, he’s at the door! Okay,okay, just breathe, girl. Don’t lose it. Taking a deep breath, she crossed the living room floor and opened the door.

She plastered a smile on her face that she hoped didn’t look strained. “Mark, what are you doing here?” Damn, he was sexy as hell. If it was possible to look even better when you were older, then Mark definitely had it pegged. He was taller than her five foot two inches..much taller…His hair was grayed at the temples but the rest was black and it hung at his shoulders. The shirt he had on allowed her an incredible view of his lean, hard body, and his jeans should be outlawed. They weren’t tight on him but she could see the outline of his powerful legs and his round backside. Before, she could catch herself, she groaned. Her eyes flew to his, for a moment she saw desire there but then in a flash it was gone.

He smiled although he wasn’t sure if it was genuine or not. He was all tied up in knots. “It’s good to see you. It’s been a long time, Sanaa.” His gaze traveled over body. She certainly wasn’t the skinny teenager he once knew. Her hips were now shapely and they flowed into a slim and taut waist. Her breasts…he averted his gaze. He didn’t even want to go there right now. He was having a hard time as it was thinking straight and he was so trying not to look at her navel piercing. His gaze came back to her face. She still had the same chocolate-colored eyes and honey golden hair..except now it was cut short and wavy. Hands down, she was still the sexiest woman he’d ever known.

“Yes, it has been a long time, Mark. How have you been?” She cringed at her lame attempt to get the conversation started. Hell,they weren’t distant friends that hadn’t seen each other in a while. It was more than friendship between them.

He studied her. She looked as uncomfortable as he felt. “Truth?”

She nodded. “Yes.”

Here goes nothing. “I have been okay but not the same since you left me and Charlotte without an explanation. I did my damnedest to find you but I always got stonewalled. No one wanted to tell me anything. So, tell me princess, where the hell have you been?” He couldn’t deny he was angry with her..Angry at how she’d left and took his heart with her….Angry at how she’d never tried to contact him or find him. How could she just forget about him so easily when he’d never forgotten her? “You know what, let’s just forget it. I shouldn’t have come here.” He slowly backed out of the door and then turned to go to his car. This was a mistake. A huge mistake. He didn’t get far before he felt her arms slip around his waist and he froze.

“Don’t go, Mark. Please, let’s talk. Okay?”

He felt himself relax in her arms despite the fact that he was angry. She always knew how to get to him. He use to love when she would hold him like this. He sighed and she tightened her hold on him.

“Now, you want to talk? After all these years, Sanaa? Why couldn’t you pick up a phone or something?” Dammit, he sounded like a whiny ass man. Part of him didn’t care because she’d always had him open like this but another part of him wanted to close himself off to these emotions. To not feel hurt.

“I..She trailed off.

“You what, Sanaa?”

“I should have a called or wrote. Year after year passed and it just got harder and harder to pick up the phone. I mean, what could have said that would have made this any easier?”

Hell, if he knew. “I loved you so much, Sanaa. And you just took that away.”

She blew out a breath and blinked back the tears that threatened to fall. “I’m sorry. I still love you, Mark. No matter what you may think of me right now, know that I never stopped.” She placed a kiss on his back through his shirt. It felt good to hold him again even if it was just for a short time.

He sucked in a sharp breath. He might as well have been naked. He’d felt the heat of her lips through his shirt. Damn, he was on dangerous ground here. There was so much he wanted to do and say.

“Mark, will you please look at me?” She pleaded.

Before he could stop himself, he turned in her arms to face her. “Tell me again.” His voice rasped.

“I never stopped loving you. How could I ever do that?” She swallowed and forced herself to continue. “I never wanted to leave you. I was forced to leave by my father. He threatened to take away my trust fund but I still refused to go. Then he sort of used you to make me leave. I didn’t want you hurt so I left to go to D.C. to college and that’s where I have been ever since. I’m so sorry that I hurt you. I thought I was doing what was best. I thought by now, you would have forgotten about me.”

He shook his head. “Never. I can’t believe you left so you could protect me. I know your dad didn’t like me but…wow.”

“Yeah. I know. Do you understand now?”

He nodded. “You should have come to me though. We could have left together. Didn’t you trust me?”

She sighed. “Mark, all I wanted was to protect you. My dad was an insufferable, lonely, vindictive bastard. He didn’t care about me or you. He couldn’t wait until I was eighteen so he could get rid of me. He just used you to get me away from here. I know that now.”

He clenched his jaw. If her dad was still living, he’d pummel the man for what he’d done. He pulled her into a tight hug. “I’m sorry, Sanaa. God, I-

She pulled back and placed a finger on his lips. She shook her head vehemently.”No. Don’t do that. It’s not your fault. Not. Your. Fault.” She repeatedly fiercely.

He nodded and kissed her finger. “I’ve missed you so much.”

She lifted his shirt slightly and slid her hands underneath it. She felt his muscles tense beneath her touch. She should have come back sooner to be with him. She should have fought instead of letting her father control her. She had to stop this. That was the past. They were here together now. Feeling more boldly than she ever had in her entire life, she rose on tiptoe to kiss him. He met her halfway, apparently having the same thoughts as she. His kiss was gentle, exploring the crevices of her mouth and lazily stroking her tongue. Her hands slid up his back and the kiss changed to one of need and hunger. She held on as he devoured her mouth. God, he tasted so good. Moans and pants filled the air. Before she knew it, she was being carried into her house. She held on tight as her body trembled violently. This would be her first time with a man. Sure, she’d dated over the years but never had she felt any man was worth giving up her virginity to except for Mark. She could tell he wasn’t one but it didn’t matter.

Somehow, he managed to find her bedroom. He couldn’t believe he was about to do this. They had planned to have their first sexual encounter graduation night but that had been ripped from them. Now, he would do everything in his power to make tonight special for her. He gently laid her on the bed. He had to fight the urge to rip her clothes off. If she kept looking at him like that he wouldn’t be responsible for his actions. Pulling her to the edge of the bed he removed her shirt and sports bra. Her shorts and panties followed shortly afterwards. For a moment he looked at her…she was so beautiful. Everything he could ever want.

“You’re still dressed, Mark.” She said huskily

He grinned. “That can be remedied.”

She scooted closer to him. “Lift your arms.” She whispered. She pulled his shirt over his head and took in the vision before her. She groaned. His body was hard and lean in all the right places. His arms were bigger than they were in high school. His six-pack was so beautiful, as if it was sculpted just right. She found herself leaning over to kiss it. She heard him hiss at the contact and his hands tunneled through her short hair. She licked and nibbled then circled his navel with her tongue. She slowly unzipped his jeans and pulled them down along with his boxers. Her eyes widened as she saw how big he was. How the hell was he supposed to get that into her? She wondered. She lifted her head and met his gaze. She saw as realization dawned on him that she was indeed a virgin.

“Sanaa you’re


“You’ve never been

She shook her head. “Not like this.”

“Why? Don’t get me wrong, I’m honored but what were you waiting for?”

She looked down. Suddenly, she felt embarrassed about being a virgin and the reason she was still one. She began to push him away but he caught hold of her arm and held her still.

“Answer me, sweetheart.”

“I was saving myself for you, okay? I didn’t want anyone else to take away my virginity. There. Now you know.”

He was truly stunned. He looked at her as she tried to avoid making eye contact with him. She was truly remarkable in every way. He put her arms around his neck and lifted her into his arms. He then sat down on the bed with her in his lap. “Are you sure you want to do this? Once, we start, that’s it. I’m not pulling away.”

She nodded. “Yes, I’m sure.”

“Good.” With that, he lowered his head to her breast and flicked his tongue against her nipple. When she moaned, he pulled it in between his lips and sucked.

“Mark” She whispered. She arched her back as he paid attention to her other breast. This was incredible and they were just beginning. When he touch the folds of her vagina, she nearly screamed. He slid a finger inside her and she moved her hips with it. She looked into his eyes and he increased the pace of his finger. Oh, she felt herself spiraling out of control as she undulated her hips. Her eyes closed and her lips parted as she felt herself quivering. She could feel the pressure building and at any moment it would burst. Oh my God, she screamed in her mind.

“Open your eyes for me, baby. Let me see you come.” He put pressure on her sensitive nub and she screamed. He watched the wonder that came across her face. She was like a kid that had gotten her first taste of candy. He felt her clinch around his fingers several times. He gave her a moment to calm down.

“Wow.” She said once she could catch her breath.

He smiled. “Yeah, well we aren’t finished yet.”

She put her arms around his neck and drew him closer. “Cocky, aren’t we?” She teased.

If he could stare into those chocolate-colored eyes for the rest of his life, he would be a happy man. Where had that come from? He wondered. “No. I call it confidence.” He lifted her again and placed her on her back on the bed. “This might hurt a little but I will do my best to make it hurt as little as possible, okay?”

She palmed his cheek. “I trust you, Mark.”

He nodded. He lifted her right leg and inched his way inside her, giving her time to just adjust to his size. Her eyes widened as he continued and he thought she might tell him to stop but she kept urging him on. God, she felt so good. By sheer force, he stopped himself from plunging into her but it wasn’t easy at all. When he felt the barrier, the one that would break once he thrust inside her, he kissed her deeply. The first thrust broke the barrier and he felt her stiffen beneath him and then relax. He moved slowly until she got use to the rhythm. Damn, she was a fast learner. She clenched him tightly and then let go, only to do it all over again. Then she wrapped her legs around his waist and titled her hips. Her moans of ecstasy were driving him crazy and before he knew it his thrusts became uninhibited and he was coming. Shit. He held on to her hips and continue to plunge into her wetness until he heard her scream and knew she’d gotten hers too. He rolled to the side and pulled her on top of him. For a while, their harsh breathing filled the air.

She laid her head on his chest. “I love you.”

His hand trailed down her back and he let it rest on her hip. “Love me enough to marry me, Sanaa?”

She raised her head. “Weren’t you married before?”

“And just how do you know that?”

She blushed. “I kind of kept up with what you were doing all these years.”

He drew her close until their faces were inches apart. “How?”

“Private investigator.”

His thumb trailed across her lip. “She wasn’t you. It was a mistake. We divorced less than six months into the marriage. We both knew we’d married for the wrong reasons. So, are you going to answer my question?”

“We don’t know anything about each other anymore.”

“I know enough. But we don’t have to get married tomorrow.”

God, he is such a sweetheart, she thought. How could she not want to be his wife? She didn’t need to think about it anymore. “Okay. Yes, I will marry you on one condition?”

He smiled. ” And what’s that?”

She placed a soft kiss on his lips. “That we don’t get divorced. Love me even though sometimes I may want to do bodily harm to you for being cocky.”

He laughed. “Confidence.”

She smiled. “Whatever. Do we have a deal?”

“Oh yeah, we have a deal.” He rolled her beneath him.

“I love you, Mark.” She said softly as she gazed into his eyes.

“Sweetheart, I love you too.” He kissed her deeply. No more words were needed. He showed her just how much she had mended his broken heart.

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Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!! How could you allow yourself to get in this predicament? Alana screamed out loud. She looked down at the pregnancy test again and groaned. Who’s sick idea was this? She couldn’t be anyone’s mother. She wasn’t mother material. How was she going to do this by herself? She couldn’t count on that married jerk, Andre to help her. They were over and he wanted nothing to do with her. The feeling was mutual. He could drown and she wouldn’t give a damn. She’d help put him in the ground if it would mean that she never had to see his face again. Funny how she once thought that she loved him. Maybe she did. That was before she’d found out that he was not separated from his wife and that she wasn’t the only woman he was sleeping with. Once she’d found that out, she made sure that she got tested for any and every type of STD. Thank God, she didn’t have any. Instead, she’d received a baby. This was a certifiable mess that only she would get herself into. She had to call Gabe. Maybe he could help her.
Gabriel, her next door neighbor and friend, well almost a friend. He’d made it clear after several months of living in the house next to hers, that he wanted more than friendship from her but would settle for being her friend if that’s what she wanted. She did at first because..well…she thought he was out of her league. Gabe, had to be the most gorgeous man she’d ever laid eyes on. He was the epitome of every woman’s fantasy. There was simply no other way to put it. He was a six feet four inches,chocolate hershey’s kiss. His hair was always cut low to perfection and his eyes were a light brown color that she swear she could see herself through whenever she looked into them for too long. Gabe, was also very fit. Many a day, she found herself salivating over his chiseled body. Aside from the physical attributes, he was a sweetheart. He was so understanding about everything. Sometimes she couldn’t understand it. The man had an infinite amount of patience which she admired greatly. Sighing, she picked up her cell phone and, scrolled down to his name in the call log and hit the send button. Her foot tapped on the floor nervously as she waited for him to answer.
“Hey, beautiful.” He answered with a smile
Do not cry, she chanted in her head. “Hey, Gabe.” She wished that she had sounded more perky instead of sad.
He sat up in his bed. “Uh oh. What’s going on?” He truly hoped this was not about Andre…again. The man was a thorn in his side.
She drew in a breath and exhaled. “Gabe, I just found out some bad news.
I’m…um….pregnant.” Silence. “Gabe, are you there?”
He cleared his throat. “Yeah, baby. I’m here. I’ll be over in a few minutes, okay?”
She shook her head, even though she knew he couldn’t see her. “Its not necessary. Pl-
“Lana, I’m coming over. We need to talk.” He said in a gentle voice.
“Okay.” What else could she say? When he started speaking to her in that soft voice, she all but melted.
“See you in a few.” He said and disconnected the call.
Ten minutes later, she heard a knock at the front door. She walked from the kitchen to the door. Taking a deep breath, she opened the door. She should have taken another breath because she wasn’t prepared for the emotions gripping her. As soon as she laid eyes on him, she all but crumbled into his arms and let out heart wrenching sobs. She was vaguely aware that he lifted her into his arms and carried her inside. She felt him lay down on the sofa or bed..she wasn’t sure. He pulled her on top of him. After a while, she stopped crying. Her eyelids were very heavy and before she knew it she went to sleep.
Gabe held her tightly to him. It had nearly been his undoing when he saw her crumble like that into his arms. He would have done anything to help ease the pain she felt. As her sobs racked his body, he silently fumed. Furious, that Andre had once again invaded their space. Lana was a wonderful person inside and out and Andre hadn’t deserved her. And now…she was expecting and it wasn’t his baby but Andre’s baby. He wanted so much for the baby to be his and for Lana to be his wife. He wanted to shower her with so much love each and every day of his life but she had to let him. He couldn’t force her. He skimmed his fingers down her caramel skin and watched her sleep. He sighed. Why did he have to love a woman that didn’t love him back? He questioned for the umpteenth time.
His body froze when he felt her shift on top of him. This was sweet agony. He needed to move her before she started something that they would both have a helluva time stopping. Just as he was about to move her, she awakened from her sleep. Those blue green eyes held him captive. The tension between them was so thick and at any minute someone would make the first move. He hoped it would be her. He needed to make sure that she wanted this. He watched as her gaze shifted to his lips. All she had to do was lift up an inch and their lips would connect. He heard her sigh softly and then as if she’d heard his plea, she inched up to touch her lips to his and he was a goner. He lifted his hands to her face and tilted her head back to deepen the kiss. He slid his tongue into her soft, inviting mouth and felt extreme pleasure when she whimpered before tangling her tongue with his.
Alana could not believe she was kissing Gabe. She hadn’t planned on it but it had felt so right. It occurred to her as they stared at each other that she loved him. Denial of this very fact had been going on for months. She led herself to believe she wasn’t good enough for Gabe based on her inability to choose a good man…always going for the triflin men that could care less about her like Andre. She could have been with Gabe instead but sadly she had chosen the wrong man…again. Would he want to be with her even though she was pregnant with another man’s child? She wondered. The thought that he wouldn’t shook her. Slowly, she became aware that Gabe had stopped kissing her. Puzzled eyes looked into hers.
“Alana, talk to me.” He whispered
Her lower lip trembled. Great, now she was gonna cry. Real smooth, Alana. “I..I’m sorry I didn’t choose you instead.”
He smiled. “Everything happens for a reason, sweetheart.”
She moved out of his arms and off the bed. Instantly, she missed his warmth. “You shouldn’t be so nice to me. Why are so nice? I mean, I didn’t do anything to deserve it, Gabe. So, help me understand.”
He stood and walked to where she was standing. “Because in my eyes you are a gem. You’ve been roughed up and hurt but I’m here to make sure that you shine eventually. You deserve that and more, Lana. I love you. I have for a while now and it’s okay if you don’t love me back right now. I’m willing to wait as long as you need me to.” He wasn’t sure what possessed him to say that last part, but he meant every word.
This had to be a dream. No woman in her family got everything they wanted. Especially, when it came to men. “But what about the baby? It’s not yours. Why would you want to be with me, knowing that?”
He sighed and pulled her close to him. “Although, I’m not thrilled that Andre is the father of your baby, I still want to be with you and I will love the baby as well because he or she will be a part of you. Maybe later on, we can have one of our own.”
She smiled at the thought of that. “You’re serious?”
He kissed her full lips softly. “Of course, I am. But we will be married first.”
She chuckled and snuggled deeper into his arms. “Assuming that I will marry you.”
He laughed. “I always get what I want, don’t I?”
She pulled back and rose on tiptoe to kiss him. “Sometimes.”
He kissed her back. “I can see this is going to take some convincing on my part.”
She smiled. “Maybe. Just to set the record straight, I do love you, Gabe. I’ve kinda been in denial about it.” She watched in awe as he eyes darkened before her and were practically smoldering with desire. For her.
His head lowered and his lips covered hers as he whispered her name. “Lana” He breathed.
She didn’t protest when he kissed her. Why would she? He was fine and all hers. She moaned when he swept his
tongue against the corner of her mouth.
He dragged his mouth away and hugged her tightly to his chest. “I wasn’t sure if I would ever you utter those words. Thank you for loving me back.”
She buried her face in his shirt. “You deserve it.”
“As do you. So, will you marry me?”
She lifted her head and smiled. “I thought you’d never ask. Yes.” She stood on tiptoe to seal her answer with a kiss and as he lifted her into his arms, for the first time she felt like she was right where she belonged. In the arms of a good man.

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.
“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.
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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She was pushed hard against the wall in her dorm room and felt his hands encircle her throat. He began to squeeze hard and for the life of her she couldn’t get away from him. She had no choice but to look into his cold, hard eyes and succumb to the fact that he was indeed trying to kill her. How could she have been so wrong about him? She wondered. This was not the same man who had professed his undying love for her, made her feel special, and had promised her the world. Someone who claimed to love her wouldn’t be trying to kill her. She couldn’t figure out what had set him off. One minute they had been laughing and then when she had mentioned being pregnant, everything had changed. She was brought back to reality when he suddenly he let her go and she crumpled to the floor like a rag doll. She coughed violently and scrambled on her hands and knees to get away as fast as she could but he wouldn’t let her. He turned her over onto her back and stomped on her stomach.

She let out a shrill scream. “Ronnie, stop, please!” She begged helplessly. Couldn’t anyone hear her screaming? She wondered

“Shut up, Mahogany! You are not having this baby. Do you understand me?” He stomped on her a second time with his large Timberland boots.

She screamed again and curled into a ball. “Please, please, I’ll do anything! Just stop!”
He shook his head. “Not until you agree, Mahogany. Let me hear you say it.” He demanded from her
“No, I won’t agree to this.” She said stubbornly
His gaze turned deadly. “I don’t want a baby with you. Since you won’t agree then I will have to make sure you don’t have it then won’t I?” He lifted his foot again to stomp down on her but before he could, her door was kicked open.

Someone had come to her rescue. Thank God. She slowly lifted her head to see the other person in the room. Her friend, Jaleel had come to help her. She could always count on him.

“Ronnie, you’d better back the hell up or we are going to have a serious problem.” He warned
He couldn’t stand this motherfucker. He was always with his girl and interrupting their time together. His nostrils flared. “Dude, this is none of your damn business. Get the hell out of here!”

He snorted. “She is my business if you’re hurting her. Which by the looks of it you’re doing a pretty good job. This is the last time I will repeat this. Back up. Do it now.”
Who does this dude think he is? He walked up to Jaleel and got in his face. “And what if I don’t?” He challenged

Jaleel’s jawbone flexed. He really hoped he wouldn’t have to pummel this fool. “Mahogany, baby, get out of here now!” He commanded

“No, baby, you stay right there.” Ronnie countered

“Sweetie, don’t listen to him.” He said calmly. He saw out of his peripheral vision that she was trying to stand so she could get out of the room. Ronnie moved out of his face to grab her.

Before he could get to her, he grabbed him by his neck and hauled him up onto the wall. He took satisfaction in seeing this punk’s eyes widen like saucers. “Now, as I was saying, you need to leave her alone, and if you don’t, I will have a discussion with your father about your abuse. I’m sure the Director of Admissions would not like to be embarrassed. Wouldn’t you agree?”

He threatened. For the first time, Ronnie actually looked scared and he knew he had him. He slowly let go of him and let him fall to floor.

Ronnie struggled to say something. “Okay, I will leave her alone. Just don’t tell my dad anything.” He pleaded with him.

He smirked. “I won’t but if you aren’t a good boy then I won’t have a choice and don’t even think about trying to get your boys to jump me because I do have the evidence of the last time you abused her.”

Ronnie put his hands up and slowly backed his way out of her room. “Okay, okay, you have my word.”

“Jaleel” She called in a raspy voice.

He quickly went over to her and scooped her up in his arms. “Hey, hey, it’s alright. We need to get you to a hospital.” He said softly

“I know. He more than likely killed the baby. I’m so glad you came. I didn’t think anyone would come. How did you know what was going on?”

Baby? He had no clue that she’d been pregnant. He stroked her hair. “Well, I didn’t know at first. I was on a date. When I came back to my dorm room, my roommate told me that you’d called me and sounded frantic so I came right away. You know I’m always going to be here for you. I may have been a bit late but I’m here.”

She lifted her head to get a good look at him. “You’ve always been good to me. Thank you.” She whispered softly

For a moment, he lost his train of thought as he looked into her beautiful green eyes. He swallowed hard. “No problem. Just promise me that you won’t get involved with this chump again or anyone that will resort to hitting you.”

She held his gaze and wondered how she hadn’t see the love he had for her. It was too late now though. “I promise.” She vowed.

“Good. Now let’s get you to the hospital.” He said and carried her out of her dorm room.

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Sometimes its hard to sit back and watch what you cannot change, what you cannot take back, what you cannot redo. If it were that easy, then we could just press the rewind button and start all over. But you cannot change what was destined to happen or better yet…what was destined to be…Sometimes you just gotta suck it up and keep moving along because somehow, someway, you will forget about it or rather move it back to the farthest corner of your mind and hope that things will be better in the near future…Because…hope… is all we can do….hope and pray that we will be better, stronger, and wiser.