Please see "Chapter You May Have Missed" for previous chapters/parts.
The two, along with little Camden, stood from the table and skated over to the locker which held their belongings. Neo handed Lelani the small key to the locker and turned his attention back to Camden who was sitting on the bench flinging his legs back and forth on the carpeted floor making the wheels of the skates spin. As Neo helped Camden with his skates, Lelani pulled their coats and shoes from the locker, placing them on the bench next to Camden. She let the door of the locker swing shut, revealing Tayla’s short stature on the other side. She stepped backed and looked up at Andre, who was standing just behind her nemesis.
“Leaving so soon? I told you not to try and run, didn’t I?”
“I’m not running.”
“So let me get this straight. You’re not running but you’re not staying for the countdown either?”
“Tayla, I think it’s none of your business what I’m doing or where I’m going.”
“So if you won’t tell her then I think you should tell me. Why do you keep running away from me, Jicole.”“
“I asked you not to call me that anymore, Andre.”
“Oh, so now it’s Andre. Seriously, we need to talk. You owe me and explanation.”
“I know, but this is not the time, nor is this the place.”
“So when is? I just can’t seem to get a hold of you these days. You so busy dealing with ole boy, you aint got time for shit.”
“Don’t disrespect him like that. Leave him out of this.”
“You need to tell me what’s up, Lelani.”
“Look, if you wanna talk, then meet me at Lake Eola in 30 minutes. Alone.”
“Don’t have me go out there and you not show. I’m tired of playing games with you, girl.”
“No games. Straight up. Eola, 30 minutes.”
Dre nodded in agreement and turned to leave. When Tayla lingered, he snatched her by her upper arm and pulled her away. He didn’t want her messing up anything between him and Lelani, even if it was just an impromptu meeting to discuss things. Lelani turned around and looked over at Neo. He stood and gave her a long hug. He softly whispered into her ear. He offered to accompany her to the lake, but she declined. She felt that it was time that she face Dre, and she knew that she would have to do it alone.
After leaving the skating rink, Lelani drove Neo and Camden back to their hotel. The Grand Bohemian was a luxury hotel in downtown Orlando that catered to the upper-class wealthy, superstars, and professional athletes. She pulled into the underground hotel drive and let the two out at the entrance. Neo suggested that she return after her meeting with Dre and gave her the spare key to his suite. He lightly kissed her cheeck and squeezed her hand before exiting her car. As a tear fell from her eye, she smiled at Neo’s thoughtfulness and drove off.
By the time Lelani reached the lake park, 25 minutes had nearly past. She got out and headed towards the swings. The cold, chilly air breezed through her hair. The moon was high in the sky; she could tell it was almost midnight. The light reflected off the lake’s water. She could hear the sound of the waters running over the fountain, that marked the center of the lake, splash against its stone frame. Lelani took a seat in one of the swings and twisted her feet around in the sand. She dropped her head and took a deep breathe. In just a few minutes everything would be coming into the light.
In the distance, Lelani heard footsteps crunching on the icy grass. She looked up to see a tall slender figure appear in the darkness. The silhouette resembled Dre’s. Unsure what the next few moments held, Lelani dropped her head once more and prepared for the confrontation.
Dre approached the swings and took one next to Lelani. He was quite, and with each passing moment, the tension between the ex-lovers grew. There wasn’t much to be done, they both knew they each had a story to tell and the air to clear. Lelani untwisted her feet and pushed off ground, thrusting her self into motion. The rusty chains echoed as she swung. Andre peeled himself from the swing and placed himself in position behind Lelani, initiating a push to return her forward.
“I’m sorry, Lelani. I never meant to hurt you.”
“Really? You could have fooled me. You you realize that what you did started all this? You sleeping with my best friend was like the first domino falling in a domino chain.”
“I know I fucked up, but you left me no choice. You thought school was more important than I was. I needed attention that you weren’t willing to give me. Shawnda was there and it just happened.”
“No, things like that just don’t happen, Dre. Especially since you did it so publicly! I mean, everyone knew! I was looking like a straight dumbass.”
“I’m trying to apologize. I been trying to apologize. You ran away. You didn’t even give me a chance to make amends for it.”
“What could you have done? The deed was done. You fucked her! There’s no taking that back!”
“Ok, there’s no excusing my actions, but only God’s words could describe what I was feeling when your mom told me that you left to Miami. You didn’t even tell me. You just left!”
“You made that decision. I left because you did some foul shit. That wasn’t something I wanted us to go through.”
“Us? We didn’t go through anything cuz you left me. So what the hell are you talking about.”
“Dre, the day that you and Shawnda happened, I found out that I was pregnant. When I found you guys at her house, I was on the way over there to talk to her about it. I didn’t expect you to be there doing what you were doing.”
“What?!?!? You were pregnant?”
“Yeah, Dre. Pregnant. I was scared when I found out and I needed someone. I wanted to tell you but then that other shit threw me.”
“Lelani, I had no idea.”
Dre pulled the swing to a stop and walked in front of his ex-girlfriend. He grabbed her hand and led her over to the jungle gym platform to sit down. She slid in next to him and rested her head on the cold pole that made up the gym framework. She held back the tears that were welling in her eyes.
Dre confessed the details of his affair with Shawnda. He told Lelani that she had called him over and asked him to help her with a problem she was having with her car. After several attempts to get it up and running, he told her to call his friend at the detail shop he worked at. Dre ended his tale with the sexual particulars. His tone was remorseful and Lelani could tell that he was being sincere in his apologetic attitude.
When Dre finished his confession, Lelani picked up on her end of the misunderstanding. She told him about why she went as far as to move to Miami to distance herself from him. She explained that she didn’t want the abortion, but without knowing if their relationship was going to continue, she wasn’t going to drag a child through the stress and pain that she was already feeling. Admitting to the petty antics she used to avoid him, she apologized.
“It wasn’t easy for me, and I know it wasn’t easy for you. I never told you about the baby and it was your right to know.”
“I can’t believe you would do that. And even if you had wanted that, how could you just go through with it by yourself? I was suppose to be there, no matter what.”
“Well, there’s no changing it now. Its over. We’re over. Sad but true.”
“It doesn’t have to be that way. I still love you, Lelani.”
“I will always have love for you, Dre, but I’m in love with someone else now.”
“That dude from the rink?”
“Yeah. And he cares for me, too. I can’t abandon what I have with him for something that may or may not work between us.”
“Understandable. But I do want you to know something else.”
“Shawnda and I have a child together. She got pregnant that day.”
“Really? I didn’t know. I never spoke to her after that. I put her on my black list. What you guys have?”
“A little girl. We named her Cicely Jicole.”
“Wow. Why would you do that?”
“After two of the ladies I truly love. You and my mom.”
“How does Shawnda feel about that?”
“She didn’t care. After she had her, she started trippin out. I have custody of Cicely. Shawnda comes by every now and then, but not enough.”
“Sorry to hear that. Well I wish you the best with her.”
A silence came over the conversation again. This time, the tension seem to be less invasive. Looking down at the time on his phone, Dre told Lelani he needed to get back to Cicely to bring in the New Year. They stood from the platform and they both walked over to Lelani’s car. He opened the driver side door and let her get in. He squatted down next to her in the seat and kissed her forehead. Dre apologized one last time and wished Lelani the best. He closed the door and stood in the street, watching her pull off into the night.
Lelani arrived back at the Grand Bohemian a short time later. She glanced down at the clock display and it was 10 minutes before midnight. She hurriedly exited the car and paced the hotel foyer to the elevators. She didn’t want to miss the countdown. She pulled the key from her pocket and inserted it into the door lock of room 2701. Inside the suite, she heard the echo of Dick Clark’s voice coming from the TV. She turned the corner leading into the living space, seeing Camden stretched out on the sofa and Neo curled up behind him, both asleep. They were draped in a Miami Heat fleece throw.
Lelani removed her shoes from her feet and stepped down in the living area. She leaned over Camden and kissed Neo awake. He pushed his hand into her hair, using his thumb to stroke her face. Lelani broke the kiss and stepped backward. Neo slowly removed his arm from underneath Camden‘s head, trying not wake him. Neo and Lelani made their way into the next room and closed the door. The couple brought in the new year making love.
Mykell awoke into the new year to the sound of her cell phone ringing. She rolled over and checked the display. After her eyes focused on the number, she mashed the ignore button and set the phone back upon the night table. She lifted the comforter up above her head and adjusted the pillow comfortably beneath her head.
Just as she was drifting back off to sleep, her phone rang for a second time. She reached out and pulled it into her makeshift cocoon under the covers and flipped it open to answer it. She said hello twice before the voice on the other end spoke.
“Hey, big head. Happy New Year!”
“Who is this?”
“Oh, you don’t know me no more?”
“If I did, I wouldn’t have asked.”
“Damn. Same slick mouth I used to know. It’s D, girl.”
“What do you want, boy?”
“I called to see how you was doing. I haven’t spoken to you since Palm Beach.”
“So why call me now. Don’t you think if I wanted to talk to you I would have called you?”
“I thought it was because you’ve been so busy modeling. You know you miss me.”
“Um, not really. Besides, you’re with Torrance. Why should I even care?”
“Cuz it’s me! Don’t start acting like that now. Torrance is a right now chick. She don’t mean nothing to me. I want you, Mykell.”
“You only want me now because you can’t have me. When I wanted you, you was playing me. Now look who’s getting played.”
“You think it’s a game. I will have you! Like I told you in Pam Beach, that’s my pussy!”
“Ha! You wish, nigga.”
Before Mykell had a chance to respond, Dayshawn ended the call. Mykell searched through her phonebook and dialed Dallas’ number. Before he could say good-morning, Mykell hurriedly informed him of her conversation with Dayshawn. Dallas calmed her so he could clearly get the entire story. She repeated it slowly, leaving no detail out. Dallas reassured his girlfriend that he would handle the situation. The two continued to talk until Dallas got another call.
Unable to go back to sleep after talking to Dallas, Mykell peeled back the covers and swung her body into a sitting position. She slid her feet into the plush slippers sitting on the floor next to the bed and walked across the room to exit. Mykell smelled the aroma of a southern breakfast flowing down the hall. Her mother Georgetta must have been in the kitchen early preparing the meals for the day. A tradition for her family was to have all of her extended family over for New Year’s dinner.
The light shone through the skylight in the kitchen, brightening the breakfast table. Mykell slid into the chair centered in the bay window and began fixing her plate with food. She watched her mom season the chicken lying in the sink. The silence between them continued from the previous night. Her mother looked up from the chicken and eyed Mykell with sadness.
“You can‘t say good morning, girl?” Georgetta directed towards her oldest daughter.
“Sorry. Good morning, mama,” answered Mykell.
“Why don’t you just get up and say it? Why do I have to ask you to say it?”
“Is it that serious?”
“Not serious, just a little respectful to speak to people. I taught you better than that, missy.”
“Didn’t mean to be disrespectful, mama. Just a little upset.”
“Why? What could have possibly upset you this early?”
“Nothing that Dallas can’t handle. I’m ok.”
“Well since you brought it up. Who is this Dallas character anyway? I mean you told me his name before but who is he?”
“He’s just a guy, ma. A nice guy.”
“That’s it? Just some nice guy?”
“Yeah, just some random nice guy I know.”
“If you say so, Mykell. Hurry and finish that breakfast. I got things to do at that table.”
“And your sister and Quentin will be here later. I expect you to be cordial.”
“Why should I be? Quentin robbed my sister of her young adult years by knocking her up and marrying her.”
“Mykell, watch your mouth. Your sister got herself into that. It was not just Quentin’s doing. He was just man enough to step up. So I don’t want you bad mouthing him.”
“Whatever. Well, don’t expect too much more than that from me.”
“Now that’s enough. If you cant anything nice or respectable, then I suggest you keep your mouth closed.”
“If you say so.”
Mykell finished her breakfast and retreated back into her room. She took a seat at her computer and powered it on. As it booted up, she thought about Dallas, as she could only imagine what he was doing. Mykell went through the motions of checking her emails and personal web pages. She had gotten a few modeling inquiries in her profile page at BPI’s website, but nothing that she really wanted.
An instant message window popped up from a user that wasn’t on her buddy list. She hit the accept button, curious to who would be contacting her via instant message. She maximized the message window and read the message.
“I told you that you would hear from me again.”
“Who is this?”
“Don’t worry about that. You will soon see. I’m at your house right now. Waiting for you to come home.”
“Ha. I’m not home, so you’re wasting your time.”
“I know. But you have to come home sometime. And I will be here waiting on you when you do.”
“Whatever. Well, whoever you are, I’m not scared. My boyfriend has connections and can make you disappear. So keep playing!”
“Are you trying to scare me with your boyfriend? I don’t think he’s that dedicated to you.”
“How would you know. You poppin shit via internet. You playing internet gangsta, fo real.”
“Trust me. I’m real. Just wait and see, lil mama.”
The mysterious persona, signed on as MykellIAm4U, quickly signed off and left Mykell wondering much. She paced across the room and pulled her cell from the table. Mykell dialed Dallas’ number in hopes of reaching him again. The other end rang until Dallas’ voicemail answered. She left a brief message for him to return her call. She replaced her phone on the night table, trying to slow her racing heart. Although she tried desperately to convince herself otherwise, Mykell was still skeptical about the extent of her relationship with Dallas.
Without letting her instant message conversation interfere with the rest of her day, she set her thoughts aside and prepared for the family gathering.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Please see "Chapter You May Have Missed" for previous chapters/parts.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Please see "Chapters You May Have Missed" for previous chapters/parts.
Chapter 5: Everything Comes to the Light
Outside, the wind blew softly. The holiday lights running the length of the roof’s edge, accompanied by the neon sign of the roller rink, illuminated the parking lot. Lelani pulled into a space and shifted into park. She turned around in her seat and flashed a soft smile at Camden. He shifted his weight forward and flashed an innocent one in return.
The overhead light switched on when Neo opened the passenger side door. He got out and opened the rear door to let his son out. Lelani was the last to exit. The cold air hit her, sending a shiver over her body. The threesome hustled into the skating rink out of the cold weather. Inside, Neo paid the entrance fee, rented each of them skates, and reserved them a locker to hang their coats.
The New Years’ crowd at the skating rink was always much bigger than any other day of the year. Neo and Camden drove up for the Orlando versus Miami basketball game earlier that week and decided to spend the holiday with Lelani, as she was visiting her parents while still on break from school. Orlando was a beautiful city with many things for them to do. Throughout the week, Neo and Lelani had taken Camden to Disney World, Universal Studios, and Seaworld. The few weeks apart had been had been like months and Neo wanted to spend as much time showing Lelani that she was a special person in his life.
Camden held the wall as his father stood him up on the skates. The wheels rolled beneath his feet uncontrollably and sent him crashing to the floor. Lelani rushed over to comfort him.
“Aww, poor baby. You alright, sweetie?”
“Yes ma’am. I can’t do this. Its too hard.”
“Yes you can. You haven’t even tried yet. I’ll hold your hand and we’ll do it together. OK?”
“And daddy, too?”
“Yeah and daddy, too. Right, daddy?”
“Yep. I’m right behind you.”
“Can we stay near the wall. Its scary out in the middle.”
“Yep, whatever you want, Camden.”
“You and your dad go ahead. I need to go to the bathroom first.”
“Ok. Hurry though, ok?”
“I will, Cam.”
Lelani skated away in the direction of the restroom. Neo grabbed his son’s hand and carefully escorted him to the skating floor. He skated backward in front of Camden, being careful not to trip himself in the course of assisting his son. Camden fearfully braced the wall and shuffled his skates back and forth, letting his father do most of the work.
In the restroom, Lelani slid into the first available stall and proceeded with her personal business. Just as she was opening the door to step out of the stall, two ladies walked into the restroom. Lelani recognized one of the voices and silently pushed the door back into it’s closed position. The echo of the female’s ghetto dialect sent nervous ripples over Lelani. The two ladies congregated at the sink in front of the mirror.
“Yeah, so she was cold busted as we were walking out. Then, you know this nigga chases after her?!”
“Yeah chick. So I’m like screaming after him sayin “Ain’t no use trying to run behind her sorry, slimy ass. She ain’t nothing but a trick anyway.”
“Right. Yeah, then what happened?”
“He still ran after her. I been tryn to tell him this entire time-- since they got together--I don’t know what Andre ever saw in her corny ass.”
“Yeah she ain’t that fly.”
Lelani peaked through the open seam of the door to confirm her suspicions. The female voice on the other side of the door belonged to her long time adversary, Tayla. Her anger started to boil at Tayla’s ignorant testimonial. The restroom stall door couldn’t confine her any longer. Lelani yanked the door back, causing the hinges to rattle.
Lelani stepped out from inside the stall. Her body towered over the two women standing at the mirror. Echoes of the rink DJ announcing the next song bounced into the restroom. Other than his voice in the distant background, the room was silent. Tayla and her friend noticed Lelani’s reflection in the mirror. Lelani approached the Tayla with a malice look emanating from her eyes into Tayla‘s mirror image. Lelani clenched her hands into fists and primed for an altercation . Although her voice was shaky, she assertively addressed Tayla about her prior comments.
“What’s your fuckin problem, Tayla?”
“Oh so NOW you’re all confrontational. If you really wanna know. you’re my problem. You think you can run around doing whatever the fuck you want. Andre may put up with it but I don’t.”
“You’re in here running off at the mouth about me, but back in Miami, you were the one for little words.”
“Don’t come at me like that. You know what it is.”
“What is it then? Please tell me cuz I would like to know.”
“I’m not the one you need to be addressing all your fuckin hostility towards. Why aren’t you this forthcoming when Dre’s around?”
“What happens between me and Dre is our business. Not for you to be running around the world talkin shit.”
“I’m sure you wouldn’t be all cocky if Dre was around.”
“And what would make you think that? I’m not scared of to say anything in front of fuckin Dre. I’ll tell him the same thing I’m telling you.”
“Well, sweetie, tonight’s your chance. Dre’s here, too. So I’m sure we’ll see you around tonight. Oh and don’t try running off like a bitch like you did in Miami.”
Tayla smugly walked around Lelani, with her friend in tow. Her unwavering composure led Lelani to believe that Dre was in fact there at the rink. It was New Year’s Eve and for the length of her relationship with Dre, they made an annual appearance at the skating rink. There was nothing which she knew that would stop him from coming, not even the fact that they had long been broken up. But fro some reason it had never crossed her mind that he would be there that night. She turned to walk out the restroom, knowing that she could possibly run into Dre while returning to Neo and Camden.
Thankfully, nothing transpired en route to Neo and his son on the rink floor. Lelani found the two shuffling slowly near the side wall off the first turn. She smile at the site of Neo helping his son learn to skate. Camden was a mini version of his father, with the same honey brown eyes and creamy complexion, and he had the makings of an upstanding gentleman, if Neo continued to groom his son as his father had done for him. Neo looked up at Lelani and gave her a quirky glimpse. She laughed to herself and returned the face.
The DJ interrupted the song blasting over the speakers and announced a dedication. He mixed in a classic slow jam and declared it a couple’s skate. People cleared the rink floor for the couples, leaving Lelani, Neo, and Camden scrabbling for the nearest floor exit. Lelani led the threesome to a booth nearby the concession stand and slid into the bench seat. Neo lifted Camden into the adjacent seat and slipped in next to Lelani. He rested his arm on the back of the bench behind Lelani, pulling her closer to him by her shoulder. She rested her head against the fold where his arm met his body. Camden folded his arms on the table top and rested his chin on top of them, innocently looking upon the two lovers with enjoyment.
“You guys hungry? Want some hotdogs or something?”
“Yeah, with mustard and relish!”
“What about you Lani? You want something?”
“Not now. My stomach is uneasy.”
“Why? What’s wrong, babe.”
“Nothing serious. Just a little upset.”
“Maybe you gotta fart. That’s what daddy says when my stomach gets bubbly.”
“I don’t know, Camden. I don’t think that’s the problem, lil one.”
“Your dad’s right. That’s not it, but thank you, Dr. James.”
“The bill is in the mail,” Camden said with a grin, sitting back.
“How about some water to settle you nerves?”
“Make it a bottled water, please and thank you, baby.”
Neo left the two sitting at the table to get the refreshments. A few minutes later, the music changed and the DJ announced an all-skate. A rush of people blew pass the table headed for the rink floor. Lelani proposed another round on the rink floor but Camden quickly shook off her request, anxiously awaiting his smothered hotdog. Lelani was amused by his youthful deportment; there were so many things she loved about kids and Camden made them resurface.
She looked at Camden’s face as it began to morph into a chocolate-toned little girl. Her hair was pulled into ponytails, fastened with shimmering bobbles. The dimple craters in her cheeks accented her bright smile and innocent eyes. She opened her mouth and began to laugh. The young girl’s laughs sobered and tears began to stream down her face. Her sobs echoed in Lelani’s ears. The little girl looked up into Lelani’s eyes and mouthed the word “why.” Lelani’s eyes filled with tears and her heart began to hurt.
The memory of her forgotten child replayed over in her head. She recalled that fateful day standing in the doorway of the bathroom in the apartment she shared with Dre. The white strip lay atop the sink counter as she hovered over it. The display window slowly creamed over revealing her pregnancy results. Positive. She pushed the second strip next to the first and compared the results. There was no mistaking it, she was pregnant with her first love's child. Her heart grew heavier and the pressure in her stomach increased with nausea.
The image flashed in her head and skipping past like fast forwarding through a movie. The new scene was one she remembered vividly. She rolled her head from one side of the exam table towards the window. She felt the nurse squeeze her hand and coach her through the remaining few moments of the termination procedure. Closing her eyes, she recalled how the silhouette of her unborn child looked on the ultrasound monitor. The tiny legs, hands, and feet all positioned on the tiniest body with a distinctive round head that reminded her of Dre‘s. The buzzing of the evacuation machine resonated in the room and over and over in her mind. A single tear rolled down her face and silently splashed on the paper stretched beneath her. The pressure she felt in her stomach just a moment before moved downward, lingering in between her thighs.
The images flashed again fast forwarding through the weeks she drained her body of water from crying herself to sleep, the days she lost trying to avoid Dre, and the hours she spent plotting her escape from the life she had been fed up with living. Her true reality was ready to come into the light. Lelani could feel it in her body that her secret was surfacing, much faster and so much sooner than she had wished.
As her mind went blank, the pressure that once ached in her lower body shifted to her shoulders. Lelani cleared her mind and returned from its temporary state of imagination. She turned to find a hand gripping tightly on her shoulder. Lelani traced the path up the arm the hand was attached to. Neo was standing over her speaking. Her ears were deaf on his words. She could see his mouth moving but nothing was coming out. Lelani closed her eyes, squeezing the built up teardrops out the corners of their almond shape. The tears clouded her vision as she slowly reopened her eyes. Neo stood over her incessantly shaking her, yet still Lelani was unresponsive.
A cold stream of water splashed against her cheeks. The stinging pain of a damp slap on the face awoke Lelani from her fugue state. She covered her pale cheek with her palm and cut her eyes up at Neo. Neo glared back down at her with concern. He placed his hand over hers and tried soothing her pain.
“Hey, are you ok? You zoned out for a minute.”
“Umm, yeah. I think. Did you just slap me?”
“Sorry. I’ve been calling you, but you didn’t answer. You were looking up at me, but it was like you weren’t here.”
“So you slap me?”
“What else was I suppose to do, Lani? You were acting strange. You’ve been acting strange since we got here.”
“But Neo, you slapped me!”
“Calm down. It wasn’t that kind of a slap. I didn’t do it to hurt you, just to wake you up, or whatever.”
“I’m shocked that you would do something like that. You slapped me!”
“Lelani, I think you’re taking this a bit too far!”
“Daddy, are you ok? You’re not getting mad are you?”
“No Cam. Papi’s not mad. Finish you hot dog.” Neo turned back to Lelani, “Are you sure you’re ok now? Do you want to leave?”
“No I don’t want to leave, but I cant have you slapping me in public. I know some of these people around here.”
“What are you talking about? Nobody is watching us.”
“You don’t know that Neo!”
“Why are you yelling? What’s the deal?”
“You slapped me!!”
“Lelani. I didn’t slap you to slap you. Look, if its such a big deal we can leave. I wouldn’t want to send the wrong message to any of these people that may know you.”
“Oh, so now its my fault? Remember you slapped me.”
“What’s wrong with you, baby. You’re acting weird and its making me nervous. What happened in the bathroom?”
“The bathroom?” Lelani took a short pause and recalled the incident from the restroom. "Nothing happened in the bathroom. What would make you say that?”
“Because you were happy as hell before you went and then you come out and everything seems different.”
“Nothing is different except for the fact that you just slapped me.”
“Well I’m sorry if I’ve made you uncomfortable but you really zoned out. I was worried that something was seriously wrong with you. You were crying and looking straight up at me but you didn’t respond to anything I was saying.”
“I didn’t realize I was out of it. I just remember looking over and Camden and then…”
Lelani cut her sentence short when the images and memories of her love child with Andre played again in her thoughts. She choked back her tears and slumped back against the back of the chair. Neo could tell what was on her mind. As he did the night she confessed her past to him, he wrapped his arms around her shuddering body and calmed her. He whispered into her ear words of comfort. Camden looked on with confusion, still engulfed in the remaining bites of his hotdog.
“Baby, who did you see in the bathroom?”
“Tayla. She was in there running her mouth about me. She told me that he’s here.”
“Yeah and I just got to thinking about the baby. I don’t know if I can handle the confrontation. Can we leave?”
“Yeah. I can see this is too much for you. Lets go.”
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Please see "Chapters U May Have Missed" for previous chapter/parts.
The sun rose, shining its light into the bedroom window. The ceiling fan blew a breeze across Mykell’s toes that were exposed from under the comforter. She pulled the bodypillow into her body and smile. The scent of sex lingered in the air. She could still feel his heavy frame pressed against her back. Mykell slid the bottom half of the pillow between her legs trying to shield the urge to roll over and again conquer her boss. Dallas had spent several nights over since the trip to West Palm Beach weeks ago. Since that night of freakish passion, she enjoyed the luxury and company of her agent.
The pain growing in her loins erupted. Without any luck of suppressing the pleasurable pain, Mykell pulled the cover over her head and planted her body in the middle of the bed, straddling Dallas’ legs. His manhood rested limply upon his thigh. She gently took it into her hands and stroked it. She let the saliva, accumulating in her mouth, dribble down the head. The allure of swallowing Dallas whole encompassed her and she took him into her mouth. She suckled him until he began to stir. Dallas’ hands embraced her shoulders. He intermixed his fingers into the ringlets of her hair and held on while Mykell went to work exploiting him.
The heat and wetness increased inside her mouth. Slowly, but vehemently, Mykell brought Dallas erect. He pulled the coverings back away from their bodies. His eyes opened and looked down upon her as she consummately worked. Just as he reached his peak rigidity, she pulled away from his member and released her grip. Mykell rocked back onto her knees and gazed down at Dallas. He softly stroked her thighs and followed up to her waist. She gave him a devilish smile.
“Good morning. Ready for some more?”
“Of course. That was great.”
“Oh, baby, it gets better.”
“Really? What’s next?”
“How do you want it?”
“I mean, I’m feeling the whole wakin’-a-brotha-out-his-sleep thing you got going. So right now, the way I’m feeling about you, I would want to do missionary cause I think you are beautiful and I would want to embrace you and look you in the eye as I pleased you.”
“Really. And what else?”
“I wanna whisper in your ear because I’m so happy that you’re so willing to share your gift with me.”
“And do you wanna make me happy? Do you want me to make you happy?”
“Right now? Hell yeah.”
Dallas tenderly flipped Mykell onto her back. He pushed her legs apart and buried his face between her thighs. Her wetness filled his mouth and flowed down his throat. He slid his tongue between her pussy lips and licked her clit, making her thighs tighten around his neck. He threw her legs up and pushed them toward her chest, to better access her blood-filled gift. Her clit harden in excitement and her ass rose from the bed. He explored her insides with his tongue and enjoyed her savory flavor.
Without warning, he pushed himself inside her, pulling her down on his dick as far as her insides would allow. Dallas leaned in over her body and blew into her ear. Mykell’s breathing was filled with passion. She began to call out to Dallas. He whispered into her ear to soothe her. He grew inside her walls, creating a mold of himself permanently engraved inside her. He lost all sense of control and finally gave into his desires. The former occasions involving the two had been merely incidental, impromptu moments. His feelings had evolved and, now, were uncontainable. Dallas gave Mykell everything he had wanted to give her since the first day their paths had crossed at the open call. He pushed so deep inside her, Mykell began to cry out and tears rolled from her eyes. Again, he whispered into her ear.
“Sweet beautiful, Mykell. Are those tears of pleasure or pain?”
“Tears of pleasure. I feel you so much, I couldn’t help myself,” she said between moans.
“Good, because I never want to hurt you, at least not in a bad way.”
“Just keep doing what you’re doing. Work my body, Dallas.”
Dallas continued to work over Mykell. He had memorized his stroke and fell into it rhythmically. Mykell clawed at his back with every thrust. She invitingly spread her legs wider, as to make herself more accessible. As she opened herself up to him, Dallas exploded inside, letting his juices run the gauntlet of her body. As if on queue, she poured herself. Together, the hot mixture ran from her body onto the sheets. Dallas dismounted and rolled over onto his side.
The two lovers lay next to each other for a few silent moments before moving. Mykell steadied her breathing and stroked the last of Dallas’ fluids from his body. Dallas fought back a second arousal, but the touch of Mykell’s palm wrapped seductively around his shaft brought him back at attention. He pulled away from her grasp and stood from the bed. Confused, Mykell pushed herself up on her elbows. She followed Dallas around the room with her eyes. He walked over to her side of the bed and yanked her up on her feet.
Dallas covered Mykell’s mouth with his. Lifting her up, he pushed her back against the wall near the window. Mykell steadied herself, wrapping one hand around the curtains and the other around Dallas’ neck. He entered her for the second time that morning but it still felt as if he was making love to her for the first time. His body quivered in excitement. His pumps were relentless and he thought about nothing else but her.
The moment was near perfection. He was enjoying her body and satisfying his insatiable appetite for Mykell’s spirit. He had never experienced this type of joy and pleasure with any other woman, not even his fiancée Tayla. At that moment, thinking of Tayla, Dallas stopped. He looked upon Mykell’s face and saw an immense amount of satisfaction, all due to him. He, again, placed his mouth over Mykell’s and kissed her deeply. He reached up, removing one hand from her thigh, and brushed her hair off her face. Dallas broke the kiss and moved his lips across her cheek to her ear.
“Damn, girl, I think I’m falling for you.”
“Yeah, I think I love you.”
“Dallas, are you sure? Please don’t say it unless you mean it.”
“I mean it, Mykell. I love you.”
“What about Tayla? What about your engagement?”
“That’s not going to be an issue anymore. I want you.”
“Oh, baby. Show me how much you love me.”
Dallas resumed his strokes. He cupped her breast and fed himself her body. He was determined to show her every bit of love he held for her. When he was ready, he released his love as far deep within her as he could. Mykell felt the warm load stream into her body causing her to explode. She shuddered in Dallas’ arms and freed the curtains from her grasp. Slowly, Dallas lifted her body and laid her back upon the bed. Just as he was climbing in next to her, a knock came from the door.
“Hey, Mykell. Don’t forget that we’re leaving this morning. I hope you’ll be ready.”
“Yeah. I haven’t forgot.”
“Where you going?”
“Home. For the holidays. That’s why I invited you over last night. I probably wont be back until the Spring semester starts.”
“Damn, baby, that’s a few weeks. What am I going to do without you here?”
“The same thing you been doing. Building your empire.”
“You mean our empire? I was for real about making you my official chick.”
“Yeah but you have a chick already. What about that situation?”
“I told you, that won’t be an issue anymore. I’m gonna take care of that soon.”
“I guess but you should really think about what you’re doing before you go doing it.”
“What are you trying to say? You don’t wanna be my girl? The head lady of my empire?”
“I would love to be your one and only, but you have other things on your plate right now preventing that from happening.”
“I told you not to worry about that.”
“Yeah, but I have to because its my life too. If you’re making moves, I’m making moves with you. And what effects you, effects me.”
“I like how you think, but some things are gonna have to be solely my problems.”
“Well then, you handle your problems before you come asking me to be in the game with you.”
“Understandable. Just don’t give up on me yet, Mykell.”
“I’m cool. Just handle that first.”
“In my mind, its already done.”
“In reality, its not.”
Mykell rolled away from Dallas. She was frustrated at the fact that he could just pass his relationship with Tayla off so effortlessly. She never had intentions of breaking up their relationship. All she wanted was a good shot in the industry that Dallas was so generous to provide. Sleeping with Dallas was just an added bonus and a easy way to get better jobs. Although she had enjoyed his company, her actions had given her so much more than she bargained for.
Mykell grabbed her robe from off the hook on the back of her closet door and wrapped it around her body. She left the room and headed to the bathroom to shower. Dallas gathered his clothes from the desk chair and redressed himself. Quietly, he let himself out the front door.
He walked down the staircase and got into his truck. He pulled his cell phone from the dash cradle and checked the call log. Tayla had called several times over the course of the night. He hit the send button, put the phone on speaker, and replaced the phone to its cradle. The voicemail system played through his messages.
Message 1: “Hey babe. Its me. Just wanted to find out where you were. Thought we were having dinner tonight. Call me.”
Message 2: “Ok…its me again. Me and Andre are at the restaurant waiting on you. Let me know something.”
Message 3: “Where the fuck you at? You making me look dumb in front of my brother. We’re going back to the house. You have some serious explaining to do when you come home.”
Tayla’s last message was filled with anger. Dallas prepared himself for a confrontation on his drive home. He wondered how he would break the news to Tayla that he had fallen in love with Mykell. After all, over the past year, it was Tayla that had his back and stuck by him in the first months of BPI’s development. His thoughts were interrupted by the blaring horn coming from the car behind him. He turned the corner of his housing block and approached the home he had just purchased. The driveway led up to a large contemporary house. There was a large panel of 10 ft windows on the front side of the house, revealing an open foyer. The landscaping was a makeshift Japanese rock garden, including a waterfall centerpiece.
Dallas pushed the button on the garage door opener to lift the access door. He slowly pulled inside, parking next to Tayla’s car. He turned off the ignition and waited a moment before entering the house. He advanced toward the door and pushed the button to close the garage door. The door flew open and there stood Tayla, chest heaving and with a flew blown attitude on her face.
Dallas apprehensively walked through the threshold. He deposited his keys into the dish on the side table and continued through the kitchen. Tayla slammed the door shut and followed him into the house. Dallas intentionally ignored her antics and proceeded to pour himself a glass of fruit juice. Tayla stepped less than a foot from his body and inhaled deeply as if she was searching for a scent.
“I knew it. You smell like pussy. So who is she? One of those bitches you manage?”
“Does it matter? It aint you.”
“Nigga, you lost your mind!? How could you do this to us? How could you do this to yourself?”
“Do what, Tayla? Be happy?”
“Oh so that bitch is making you happy? Is that why you couldn’t bring your ass home last night?”
“You fuckin’ right she makes me happy. But that don’t matter to you. You was just here for the money anyway. Well guess what, baby, the free ride stops now!”
“What!!!?? Dallas, I’ve been with you for over a year and I was there when you didn’t have shit! Trust me, that little chump change you making was not the reason I stayed with your ass. I thought we were in love. You put this ring on my finger. Why, if you were just gonna fuck all this up for some random slut?”
“Watch ya fuckin mouth! This is my house and you will not disrespect me in it!”
“You know what? You’re a sorry ass nigga and I wish I never met your sorry ass. My brother was right about you. I gave you the benefit of the doubt and told him you was different. But you ain’t. Sorry mutha fucka. Hope you and chick get it, cuz I’m gone.”
“Thanks for making this easy for me. Just collect your things and get the fuck out.”
“Easy? No, never. Its about to get real hard for you now.”
Tayla huffed out of the kitchen as Dallas finished off his juice. He didn’t know what she could be referring to, but Tayla was not the vindictive type of woman. She never came across as one who would seek revenge. As far as he was concerned, Tayla was now a woman in his past, and he was free to pursue a real relationship with Mykell. Dallas set the empty glass down in the sink and picked up the cordless phone hanging on the wall. He quickly dialed Mykell’s number.
The phone rang once before she answered. She informed him that she was getting ready to head out to go home. He understood but wanted to hear her voice a final time before the distance would make her inaccessible. Mykell raised the Tayla issue once more, curious as if Dallas had addressed it. With enthusiasm, Dallas reassured Mykell that he had resolved the matter. Her voice relaxed at his attentiveness. He told her that they were free to indulge themselves in each other’s company. In the background, Dallas heard Tayla dragging her things down the stairway. He abruptly ended the conversation with Mykell and wished her a safe trip and return. He replaced the phone on the wall and headed to his office to relax, as to keep his distance from Tayla.
Tayla lugged her suitcases and luggage out into the foyer. She had changed into a comfortable sweat suit and sneakers. She returned to the kitchen to use the phone. She pulled a pen and scrap paper from the counter drawer and hit the redial button on the phone. Tayla scribbled the number that appeared in the display and then hit the on button so the phone would dial it back. Her suspicions were confirmed when a female voice answered. She quickly hung up and waited a moment before she placed her initial call. Tayla made arrangements for Andre to help her move her things out.
The reality of it all finally kicked in after she hung up. She reached into her coat pocket and withdrew her keys. She unwound the key to what was now her former home and placed it in the dish on the side table. She returned to the foyer and finished lugging her belongings outside to the driveway. She loaded her car as full as she could get it, leaving three large bags in the driveway.
A half hour later, Andre pulled up. His sister was standing outside, posted against the largest of her luggage. Her face was pale from the cold and covered in dried tears. Angered, he hurriedly parked and headed up the drive. He wasn’t going to let any man disrespect his sister. He picked up a large stone from the garden and hurled it threw the air. It connected with a panel of glass and shattered through it. He turned and picked up another, repeating his vandalistic action. After the second rock shatter the adjacent glass, Dallas appeared.
“Who the fuck are you? What the hell is your problem dude?”
“Nigga, you must lost you fuckin mind, puttin my lil sister out like this. Its fuckin 50, 60 degrees out here, and she’s posted up on a stack of suitcases!”
“You threw a rock through my fuckin window, punk! Do you know how much that’s gonna cost?”
“Bill me, bitch! Let me see your ass around. Trust me, I will murder your ass!”
“Tayla, you better get this fuck nigga off my property before he sees a jail cell.”
“Lets go Andre. I’ve got a lot more than a rock through the window for his punk ass.”
Tayla grabbed Andre by the arm and pulled him toward the car. Andre reluctantly retreated. He backed out, never turning his back on Dallas. He helped to load the suitcases into the trunk and settled back into the drivers seat. Tayla backed her car out of the garage and into the driveway. She put the car in drive and slammed into the back of Dallas’ truck, leaving a dented tailgate. She flipped the car back into reverse and left, with Andre behind her.