Xyla Turner’s Under Further Review book is live on Amazon!

  
Blurb:

Under Further Review is a contemporary, standalone, sports romance. 

Shane Sinclair, a professional football player who does not like, entertain or talk to reporters, even when he is mandated to appear for the press conferences. Shane has his reasons for his stance, which strengthens when a reporter blurts out that his father had passed, and he was not informed yet. The only reporter that gave their condolences was one of the lone female sports reporter, Diamond Reeves. Although, Shane kept his stance about the story-hungry reporters, Ms. Reeves wiggled her way through his defenses and Shane finds that he needs to maneuver past hers so that their odd friendship can go to the next level. Shane’s ex-fiancé does not take the break up easily and sets out to cause havoc for the new couple and herself. 

To get your copy, click here:

Under Further Review Amazon link

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A Season To Wed: Three Love Stories (A Year of Weddings novella)

a season to wed

They’ve helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

Love at Mistletoe Inn by Cindy Kirk

Hope Prentiss discovers after ten years that what she thought was her almost-wedding to John Burke indeed actually counted. As fate would have it, John has come back in town for good. After spending time with John and helping plan a Christmas wedding for a mystery couple, Hope begins to wonder if she really wants a divorce…or a real wedding of her own.

A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck

Revealing the beauty in other women might be Ginger Winters’s specialty–but it will take an unexpected kind of love to help Ginger see the beauty in herself.

Ginger Winters will be the “beauty-maker” for the Alabama society wedding of the decade. But when high-school crush Tom Wells shows up looking for a haircut, Ginger’s thinly veiled insecurities threaten to keep her from love once again…despite Tom’s best efforts.

Serving Up a Sweetheart by Cheryl Wyatt

Meadow knows how to serve delicious food to match any wedding theme. But can she accept love when it’s served on a silver platter?

Meadow Larson is having the mother of all Mondays when her roof caves in during a blizzard, right before the most important wedding contract of her career. Renovation contractor Colin McGrath offers to fix Meadow’s roof, even though he knows he is the last person she would accept help from.

But the more Meadow gets to know the new Colin, the more she realizes God may have something more permanent in store than a new catering kitchen.

My opinion of the book:

All three stories in A Season to Wed represented the willingness to forgive old mistakes and to open up your heart to the future and not to keep looking to the past. In Love at Mistletoe Inn, Hope’s deep rooted fear of not being financially stable (due to seeing her parent’s bicker over money) caused her to leave a man that truly loved her yet she could not see the error in her decision until John returned home. This story was very well written and touched on a very sensitive topic…money. I also loved how her aunt imparted her wisdom onto Hope and did a little matchmaking of her own.

In A Brush with Love, Ginger was use to making others look and feel beautiful, but never truly loved herself due to her scars from a fire she was in as a child. This story truly touched me because I could feel Ginger’s pain. She wanted love but felt that because she did not have the outside beauty that others had, she would never get what she wanted. I loved Tom’s persistence. He never gave up on Ginger and helped her to feel beautiful through God’s love. This story was a tear-jerker and I’m sure others can truly identify with not having self-love.

In Serving Up a Sweetheart, Meadow Larson has been scarred by her past in which her peers taunted her and pretended to be her friends only to back stab her. She has become bitter and Colin McGrath (the contractor that helps her repair her kitchen) was among the same peers that taunted her. When he comes back into her life just as crisis takes place with her kitchen, she is wary of him. She believes him to be the same person from her high school days. She soon learns that he is not the same person and has grown up. I really liked how her and Colin’s relationship developed into something more. Even though they had a few hurdles to get over, they both made the decision to forgive one another. I won’t give all the details but this one was a very good story as well and will have you sniffling just a little.

***I was provided a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review***

 

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

I love writing, it’s the center of my life. If you don’t love what you do, you’d better find something else to love. Otherwise, you don’t have a reason for living.

~Ray Bradbury~

ECSTASY IS YOU

Your lips touch mine
and I find it hard to breathe.
I suck in a lungful of air but it does nothing
to tame my desire for you.

You drink from my mouth greedily
and I hold on tightly
Hoping that this fire between us
doesn’t consume me.

I love how your passion
embraces me. Like a tidal
wave, it knocks me over

and floods every part of me.

Oh, let me count the ways of your gentle

strokes across my skin and your tender

caresses on my body. I’m slowly drowning

in a sea of ecstasy…No need to save me.

I will happily drown as long as you

 are right here next to me.

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ADDICTED

Your beauty is like a drug in my system
When I revel in it, euphoria surrounds me
And I ride high…high…high on the smoothness of your skin, on the sweetness of your lips, and the honey drip between your thighs.
It’s like I’m caught up in a wave of overflowing ecstasy.
Can’t stand when you’re away from me.
Withdrawal symptoms taking over me.
You’re like an itch I have to scratch
A blunt I have to hit
Like a moth to a flame
I’m drawn into your essence
Man, I’m so addicted….

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Forever and Always Pt. 2

Vanessa threw her pen down on her desk and sighed. She could not concentrate on her work. It hadn’t been hard getting back into her normal work routine as an accountant. Especially since she’d kept up with all the company news while she was out. However, that wasn’t the problem. Terrell had consumed her thoughts for the last two days. She hadn’t heard from him at all. And why would she? He’d pretty much left the ball in her court. She’d seen him at work a few times but he never came to her nor did she go to him. She sighed again and gave up on working. While packing her briefcase, she heard a knock at her door.

“Come in.” She called to whoever it was

“Miss Sinclair, I.. Oh, I’m sorry. You’re leaving.”

Vanessa looked up to see that Mrs. Retta, Terrell’s secretary, had come in with some papers for her. She smiled warmly at the older lady. “It’s quite alright. You can just leave it on my desk, Mrs. Retta. Just let Terrell know I will get to them tomorrow.” She started for the door when she heard Mrs. Retta speak.

“If you don’t mind, I would like to say something.”

Vanessa narrowed her eyes. “Oookay.”

Mrs. Retta took a deep breath and then released it. “It’s none of my business but Mr. Williams has missed you so much. For months, I’ve watched him wallow in self pity. Now I know you think he cheated but trust me when I say he didn’t. For the last year and a half, Theresa had been calling him at the office. I know because I answered her calls. She bought gifts and flowers and I sent them back to her per Mr. Williams’s request. He wanted nothing to do with her and when he told her that, she threatened to break you two up. And well, it looks like she succeeded. I just thought you should know,dear.”

She stood there and absorbed what Mrs. Retta had told her. A small part of her had known he hadn’t done anything but she had felt humiliated and thats what had made her flee to Hawaii. She should have stayed and worked it out but she could be such an ass sometimes and more than likely she wouldn’t have listened. She sighed and pushed her hair out of her face. “Thanks for telling me, Mrs. Retta.”

She patted her hand. “You’re welcome, dear. Have a good rest of the day.” With that she walked out and left her alone to think. She went over and plopped onto her love seat. How was she going to fix this? She wondered. Did she want to fix it? She didn’t have to think on it for too long. Yes, she wanted to. She still loved him just as much as she always had. And he still loved her despite the fact that she’d left without any explanation as to where she was going and was rude to him upon her return. She moaned as her head began to pound. Great. Now she had a headache. She laid her head back on the plush pillows and allowed herself to fall asleep.

Terrell locked up his office for the night. For what seemed like the millionth time today, he looked across the skywalk at Vanessa’s door. For the last couple of days, he’d wanted to go to her and beg her to stay with him. But he couldn’t do that. It had to be her choice. He looked away but then he looked again a second time, and realized her desk light was on. She was never here until after seven in the evening. He decided to go over there and make sure she wasn’t there. At least that’s what he told himself.

Once he reached her door, he knocked but she didn’t answer. He knocked again and still no answer. He turned the door knob and found it unlocked. Pushing open the door, he saw her curled up on her love seat. He smiled softly. She looked so cute. He couldn’t deny that he loved her, even if he wanted to. That’s just the kind of pull she had on him. The need to hold her was overwhelming. He couldn’t resist. He walked inside and let the door close behind him. He locked it and slowly walked over to where she was sleeping. Gently, he lifted her into his arms and then he sat in the love seat with her in his lap. He felt her squirm to get closer to him and he sucked in a sharp breath. He willed himself not to become aroused but it was hard not to when she was sitting on his penis. He decided it was better to concentrate on something else.

Looking down at her, he admired her beauty. It had been so long since he’d been this close to her. Her soft curly brown hair fell to her shoulders and her eyelashes fanned across her flawless face. Her full lips made his mouth water. Damn, he was becoming aroused again. He shifted his position again and this time she stirred. Her gray eyes met his brown eyes.

“Hi.” She whispered.

“Hey you.” He said softly

She stretched her arms and legs then settled back onto his lap. “So, are you going to tell me how I ended up in your lap?”

He slid a finger down her cheek. “I wanted to hold you while your claws were down.” He teased

She laughed. He’d always made her laugh. “Am I that bad?”

He shrugged. “Sometimes. Are you doing okay? Getting enough sleep?”

She chewed on her lip for a moment. “Not really. Sleep has not come easily the last few days. Too much on my mind, I suppose.”

He observed her for a moment. What could possibly be keeping her awake at night? He asked himself. “Anything serious?”

Might as well the truth, she gathered. She sighed. “I’ve been wondering if I made a mistake with you. It’s what’s been keeping me up.”

He skimmed his fingers down her cheek again. “And what did you decide?” He held his breath, hoping that she’d give their relationship another try.

She smiled and snuggled closer to him. “I think we should try again.”

He expelled the breath he’d been holding. “I honestly wasn’t sure if you would give me another chance.”

She looked into his eyes. “I can’t blame you for thinking that. I’m sorry about the way I acted, for leaving abruptly, and for not believing you. I’m a certifiable idiot.”

“Shh…Let’s just forget about it.” He lowered his head and kissed her full lips. He heard her groan and that sound heated the blood in his veins. He’d always loved kissing her. The passion between them had always been off the charts. He licked the seam of her lips and she opened for him and he deepened the kiss. His tongue glided over hers slowly and erotically. She returned the same erotic movement with her tongue and he was lost…lost in the feel of her mouth on his…of her clinging to him.

Vanessa moaned as he suckled her lower lip into his mouth. She needed to get closer to him…feel his skin on hers. Releasing a frustrated sound, she stood, turned, and unzipped her skirt. She gave him an eyeful of her plump derrière that he’d always loved. She removed her jacket and blouse and tossed them to the floor. Before she could walk back to him, she felt him behind her. His body heat consumed her. His hands slid down her taut stomach and stopped just above her sex, making her quiver uncontrollably. His other hand rested on her breast.

He kissed her hair. Nessa, will you marry me? The last time, I let you go without a fight, but this time I won’t. I love you. I need to know if you’re serious about us before we go any further.” He rasped in her ear. He needed her and he’d be damned if he let her just walk out of his life..again. No way.

She tilted her head to the side to look into his eyes. She knew he would never say something like this unless he was serious. She blew out a breath and tried to control her body’s quivering. “This is one helluva a way to propose.”

He grinned. “Would you prefer that I ask while I’m doing this?” Sliding his hand down inside her underwear, he gently parted her wet folds and slid one finger inside.

She moaned and closed her eyes. Spreading her legs wider, she moved against his finger.”That’s so not fair.” She panted. Damn, it had been too long since he’d made love to her.

He licked her earlobe and gently tugged. “Yes or no, baby?” He whispered then moved his finger deeper inside her.

Her breath caught in throat. “Terrell, please.” She begged. Normally, she didn’t beg but he was driving her crazy and she wanted him so much.

He hummed near her ear. “Please what?”

Damn him and his games. If he wanted her to say yes to his proposal then he didn’t have to go this far. But dammit, it felt so good. She whimpered shamelessly when he slid another finger inside her. She clamped her legs together to stop him from moving his fingers inside her but it just made him all the more persistent.

He nipped her shoulder with his teeth. “Stop fighting it. I love you and you love me. Share your world with me, Nessa.” He groaned when he felt her tense around his fingers. She was so close to having an orgasm.

Vanessa’s head fell back as he fingers continuously pumped inside her of her sex. She wanted to say yes to his proposal so what the hell was the problem? She didn’t get to think about it for long before her body began to spasm and her orgasm took over her thoughts. Oh, damn. She bit down on her lip to keep from screaming. God knows who else was still in the building. Once the spasms ceased, she slumped against him, unable to move.

He lifted her into his arms and then he gently stretched her out on the sofa. Pushing her hair out of her eyes, he kissed her eyelids, her nose, and then her soft mouth. “I will give you some time to think on it.” With tremendous effort, he stood and turned to leave her office. Maybe he had gone too far, asking her to marry him. Shit. He needed to stop thinking with his heart and start using his damn head.

Where the hell is he going?” Alarmed, she lifted up onto her elbows and called out to him. “So, my fiancé is just going to leave me here alone and half-naked?”

He whirled around to face her, his heart in his throat. “What did you say?”

She swallowed the lump in her throat as she saw the naked emotion in his eyes. “You heard me.” She breathed. Before she could blink, he had her in his arms and was smothering her face with kisses. She giggled and held onto him tightly.

He pulled back from their embrace and tweaked her nose. “You just couldn’t say yes right away, could you?”

She smiled wickedly. “Now where would the fun be in doing that?”

He chuckled.”Woman, you are so frustrating sometimes, I swear.”

She slid her hand down his chest and then lower to his erection. “But you still love me, right?”

He moaned as she caressed him. “Of course I do.”

She smiled knowingly. “That’s good to know. I love you too, Terrell.” She watched as his eyes rounded in surprise and then he gave her that devastating smile of his.

“I love hearing you say that. Now, come here so I can make love to you.”

She willingly went back into his embrace. She sighed as his lips skimmed her neck. Her heart was so full of happiness and joy. Lacing her fingers through his, she whispered “Forever and always, right? You and me?”

He met her gaze and kissed her lips. “Forever and always.” He whispered against her mouth. Then he lowered her to the sofa to make love to her. She would forever and always have his heart.

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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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