Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chapter 3 Part 2

Please see "Chapters You May Have Missed..." for previous chapters/parts.

“What the fuck are you doing here?”

Dayshawn swung around to see Mykell standing behind him. She was dressed in a deep brown bikini and her hair was pulled up in a ponytail with a few curly strays that fell across her brow. Her makeup was flawless, but the attitude in her face took her beauty down a few notches. Still D couldn’t help but smile at the site of Mykell’s contempt.

“I’m here with a friend. What are you doing here?”

“I’m working.”


“Yeah! Real people do have jobs, nigga.”

“Aight, Miss Attitude. And for your information I do have a job.”


“Pimpin’ is a full-time job, baby girl.”

“You ain’t no fuckin pimp. Sorry ass nigga.”

“If that makes you feel better, keep telling yourself that.”

Mykell walked off with more disgust for D than she had when she approached him. Dayshawn turned his attention back to Anja. She was no longer poolside. Determined to find and speak with her, d wandered back into the house. He heard the echo of Anja’s voice in the kitchen. Just the sound of her strong accent projected imaes of him and her naked, sprawled out on an exotic beach in the Caribbean.

He felt himself growing harder with her every word. Nothing was gonna stop him from feeling Anja’s body all over his. He eagerly hurried into the kitchen to find Anja lightly winding her hips to the beat of the music playing outside. Her hands were picking grapes from a bunch and popping them into her mouth. Dayshawn stared into her mouth, watching her tongue caress the grape then slowly lick her lips.

Anja noticed that D was hypnotized by her good looks. In an attempt to entertain her houseguest, she danced her way over to D and swayed her hips as if inviting him to a accompany her in dance. Without hesitation, Dayshawn gripped her hips and followed her rhythm. His erection grew with every brush of her ass against his jeans. Anja leaned her head against his chest and grabbed his jeans with a tug. The clearing kitchen went unnoticed from the two enticed souls. Their dance became more intimate; their hands tugged at each others clothing.

Dayshawn spun Anja around to admire her body in more detail. Her front view was luscious and mature. Anja looked up at Dayshawn’s manly frame yearning for him to take her, right there in the kitchen. D obliged her silent request. His lips found their way down her neck. Anja’s skin looked and tasted like creamy, dark chocolate. His tongue skimmed the rounds of her breasts and his hand stroked down her backside.

Gripping her thighs, Dayshawn pulled Anja atop the counter and spread her legs apart. He reached up and pulled her bikini top back, exposing her breast fully; they stood firmly & welcoming. Continuing with expertise, D proceeded to pleasure Anja’s body, lapping at the youthful body of his counterpart.

“What chu waitin on, boy?”

Without any more words, D snatch the bottom half of the bikini to the side. He pushed Anja’s body down on the marble counter and buried his face into her. Her juices flowed like a river. This was a first for him; never had he given a woman oral sex. But enjoyed Anja’s taste with great pleasure. Just as she had did in their dance, Anja grinded down on D’s face, pushing his tongue deeper inside.

Anja’s back began to arch, which pushed her free flowing breasts further in the air. He legs sat perched on the edge of the countertop. D, still diving head first inside of her, grew in his jeans. He stopped his oral internal exploration of Anja to rip the belt from it’s secured place in the belt loops of his jeans. Gracefully, he wiggled free his pants, pulling a condom from a pocket before letting them hit the floor.

With one thumb massaging Anja’s pussy lips and the other hand rolling on the latex guard, Dayshawn admired Anja’s excited body. Beads of sweat collected between her breasts. He reached up from spreading the moisture amid her legs and gripped her shoulder, thrusting himself deep inside her. Anja looked down at the action happening at the edging of the marble. A smile appeared on her face as she let out a laugh.

“Iz tat it? All tat bulge and not ting behind it?”

“What?!?” replied Dayshawn in shock.

“Chu’ve got me all hyped up fo not ting! Silly lil boy.”

Dayshawn stopped exerting his energy as his dick deflated in shame. Anja’s hysterical laughing added to his embarrassment and forced him to withdraw from her body. He reached down quickly and gathered his pants in a hurry. As he swiftly located the bathroom, D could hear Anja’s echoing laughter in the kitchen. He slammed the door shut and turned the water on in the faucet. He splashed the water on his face trying to wash the look of humiliation from his expression.

“How could I be so weak?” he questioned silently. Anja had just played him for some punk and he ran out like a bitch. There was no way he could walk back into the presence of the other guests and still look confident. He needed to leave but Torrance was his only ride back to Miami. Dayshawn juggled the dilemma in his head until a knock came at the bathroom door.

“D…you in there?”

“Uhhh, yeah. I’ll be out in a minute.”

“You sure you’re ok? Anja said that you weren’t feeling well.”

“Yeah, I think it’s the liquor from last night coming back.”

“Open the door, baby, and let me in.”

“Naw, Torrance, I’m good, ma. I’ll be out in minute.”

D didn’t understand. Why did Anja tell Torrance that he was sick? She had the opportunity to out him as a weak ass nigga and didn’t. Dayshawn got himself together and left the comfort of the restroom. Torrance stood against the wall adjacent to the bathroom. She looked at D with concern.

“You sure you’re ok? You don’t look ok.”

“Yeah, ma. I’m good.”

“Anja told us that you were in the kitchen and just started feeling sick? What you eat?”

“Uhhh…Nothing really. That’s all she told you?”

“Yeah. Do you want to go home? I mean I can leave if you’re not feeling good.”

“No. I’ll be fine. Maybe I just need some water or something.”

“Well, go see what the bartender can make you. I’ve got to get the next set ready upstairs.”


D cautiously walked outside to the cabana. He saw Anja standing on the opposite side of the pool chatting with the photographer. He quickly turned away when their eyes met. Sitting on a stool at the bar was Mykell. When she saw d coming, she hurriedly got up and walked away. The tension between D and Mykell stung his ego. What was he doing wrong?

He requested a ginger ale from the bartender and down it in one shot. His stomach was still in knots and his ego was bruised. Mykell’s avoidance of him and the resonance of Anja’s laughter in his head was making him feel unlike the pimp her proclaimed himself to be. He needed to redeem himself…and fast.

The music played on as D excused himself from the company of the array of models walking around. His attention of regaining his mental status was redirected. He found himself looking over her doing her job. Torrance finished the bedroom setup so that the photo shoot could move indoors. Dayshawn had other plans.

“Damn. Did I forget to tell you how good you look in the dress?”

“You must be feeling better?”

“I’m feeling much better looking at you bent over in that dress.”

“Really?” Torrance said smoothing out the back of her dress to assure that everything was covered.

“Yeah. But I think it would look better on the floor.”

Torrance smiled in approval. She stood and turned towards D. D stepped completely into the room and closed the door. He reached out and wrapped his arm around Torrance’s waist. Her wavy hair draped down her back and over her shoulders. Starting at her temple, he ran his fingers through her hair, brushing it back off her shoulders and resting his hand there. With his free hand her grabbed her neck and pulled her face closer to his.

Again doing another first, Dayshawn kissed Torrance with passion; his tongue entered her mouth and found a new friend. D was never one for kissing, and tongue kissing was an extreme he had never ventured into. He felt Torrance’s nails scrawl down his back. The pain was enjoyable.

He reached under the dress and pulled her panties down to her ankles. Torrance instinctively stepped out of her panties and took a seat on the bed. Without delay, D un-strapped his pants and pushed them down to his knees. He positioned himself on top of Torrance and wasted no time. He pinned her hands above her head with one hand and steadied himself with the other.
Torrance moaned in delight. Her satisfaction in Dayshawn’s performance was bringing his ego back to homeostasis. He continued to stroke her body getting more aroused with every drive. Her legs were cocked in the air when the door flew open.

“What the hell is going on in here?”

“I’m so sorry Mr. Dickson. I…I… don’t…”

“Torrance, get up! You’re holding up my shoot.”

“My apologies, Mr. Dickson,” Torrance stuttered scrounging for her panties.

“Who are you?” Dallas asked Dayshawn.

“Dayshawn, sir. I didn’t mean to disrespect your set.”

“No disrespect. Just wish you had done it somewhere other than my set.”

“My bad. It won’t happen again.”

“Well, at least not on one of my sets.”

Dayshawn and Torrance finished collecting themselves and stammered out of the bedroom. Down the hall, Mykell and the other models snickered at the interruption. Despite the adverse situation, D felt his ego and reputation returning. It was better to be caught fucking a beautiful woman than to receive criticism for not getting the job done. He walked with his head bobbing in satisfaction.

The photo shoot in West Palm wrapped later that night. After enjoying a late dinner at an upscale restaurant, the crew of models, Torrance, Dallas, Dayshawn and their host, Anja, kept the night going at a fly nightclub. The bunch began to relax after a few rounds of shots and a couple bottles of chilled champagne. The DJ played the hottest music and everyone seemed to be having a great time.

The club got rowdy when a popular song was mixed into play, creating a rush to the center dance floor. Mykell jumped at the chance to release some energy. She squeezed in next to Anja and another model on the dance floor. The rhythm of the music overtook her body and she glided across the floor with poise and sex appeal. She could feel the eyes of onlookers checking her out as she enjoyed the sounds and lyrics blasting from the speakers.

Dallas joined the girls on the dance arena. Anja and Mykell took the liberty of starting a sandwich with the sexy heap of man. The excitement grew sexual as the dancing progressed. Anja retreated back in the VIP, leaving Dallas and Mykell to finish the heated ritual.

Sweat from Mykell’s back ran down her spine into the hands of Dallas who was holding on tightly to her. The ride of her breast rubbed up against the fabric of his shirt instantly making her nipples stand. Their pelvis’ ground against each other in sync with the music. Mykell could feel the bulge trying to escape from behind the zipper of Dallas’ pants.

“We got to get you in some videos, girl.”


“They way you dancing…we got to get you in some videos.”

“Oh. Well you’re the agent. Do what you do.”

“Have you given any more thought to the exclusion in your contract?”

“The nude shit?”

“Yeah. Have you given it more thought? I think you could make a lot more money if we add that back into your contract.”

“Look, I’m ok with adding it as long as there’s no porn.”

“No what?”


“Naw, I run a clean business. I promise you…no porn.”

“Then you have a deal, Mr. Dickson.”

“I told you to call me Dallas.”

“Ok, Dallas.”

The look in his eye was one of fury. Dayshawn watched as Dallas got down with Mykell. He could see how she was enjoying Dallas’ company, allowing him to feel all over her body. Torrance stood in front of him, slightly obstructing his view of Mykell and Dallas, giving him a improvised lap dance; Dayshawn’s attention was directed far from the woman standing less than a foot away from him.

Mykell smiled with enjoyment and seemed to be having a great time with her agent. Things were heating up between them, in turn making D even more upset. His ego couldn’t take much more; he needed to halt the rising heat. Pushing pass Torrance, Dayshawn joined Mykell and Dallas on the dance floor.

Mykell turned up the seduction when she saw the D had joined them. She moved Dallas’s hand from the small of her back to the round of her ass. Slinging her arm around his neck, she poured on the sex appeal and pushed her hips even further closer to him. Dallas accepted the erotic enticement and took firm hold of Mykell.

In the shadows, Dayshawn made his move. He positioned himself behind Mykell, dancing in beat with the music. Leaning in, he whispered in her ear. Mykell threw her head back in laughter. Dayshawn was not going to be ignored, much less insulted. He grabbed her elbow and swung her around.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?”

“I’m having a great time.”

“How you just gonna show your ass out here like this?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about..”

“Oh no. You’re practically fuckin dude out here.”

“So. I do recall someone getting caught fuckin back at the mansion!”

“So what! That’s my pussy you’re out here flauntin.”

“Your pussy? Whateva. Torrance is the only bitch out here that you’ll ever fuck again!”

“Bitch, you losing your mind if you think I’m just gonna sit back while you put ya pussy all in another nigga’s face!”

“Well, haul ass then, nigga, cuz your rights to this pussy are null and void.”

“Who the fuck you think you talkin to like that? You a sorry bitch anyway.”

“Look who’s talkin. Little dick nigga. And I wish you would call me out my name again.”

Before Dayshawn could say anything else, Dallas stepped between them. He pushed Mykell into the arms of another model, who hauled her off to the ladies room, then turned to confront D. Dallas’ large, muscular frame towered slightly over his contender.

“I’m not one for getting in the mix of someone else’s shit, but look, dawg, you need to step off.”

“Man, you don’t wanna see me, cuz.”

“You right, becuz I would demolish your punk ass. So why don’t you just finish the evening with Torrance and leave Mykell alone.”

“Man, fuck you nigga. You just some broke down wannabe. I’m the real deal.”

“Aight, if that’s how you see it. It is what it is.”

“Man fuck this shit.”

Intimidated, Dayshawn headed for the exit. The night was spoiled by Mykell’s antics and he was ready to go back to Miami. He pushed through the crowd of people and stormed out of the nightclub. A bouncer standing at the exit threw him a smirk and a nod to send him off. Outside Dayshawn flipped open his cell phone and sent Torrance a text message.

“Aye, man, I’m ready to go. I’m outside waitin on you.”

“Why you wanna leave? What happened?”

“Just come outside. This shit is wack.”

“I’m on my way out.”

Torrance exited the club and looked around for Dayshawn. He was posted up across the parking lot waiting against a tree. She huffed over to him with a visible attitude. Without saying anything, their eyes connected through the darkness, both sending a message of aggravation. The silence continued between them the entire ride back to Miami.

Back inside the club, Mykell and the other models were comfortably lounging in the VIP. The hostess brought over another bottle of champagne to top off the guests glasses. Mykell down her glass without thought or hesitation. She returned her glass to the tray table and rested her head against the plush sofa. Her attempts to drown out the memory of Dayshawn with alcohol was becoming unsuccessful.

Dallas saw the distress in her face and yearned to comfort her. He refilled her glass and took the seat next to her on the sofa. R Kelly’s “Slow Dance” began to play setting the mood for Dallas’ next move. He silently offered her the glass of champagne, in which she took and sipped; her eyes locked onto his. Dallas mouthed the words of the song, seductively. His hand rested on Mykell’s knee, softly stroking it with his finger tips.

“Thanks for handling that shit with D.”

“My pleasure. How you girls get fucked up with niggas like him, I’ll never understand.”

“Luck of the draw I guess. I hope Torrance got some sense.”

“Probably not.”

“Why you say that? She’s got to be somewhat smart if you hired her, right?”

“She’s hungry, I give you that, but not hungry enough or even for the right reasons.”

“You’re hungry too, I see.”

“Yeah, but for something totally different.”

“Really? What’s that?”


Mykell smiled at Dallas’s flattery. She knew that if she wanted him, she could have him. His hand was making its way up her thigh and at that point she knew that her agent was moving in for additional rights…rights as her lover. She didn’t intend to stop him, but for some reason Dallas hesitated and pulled back.

Tayla hit the send button on her cell phone one last time before slamming it shut and tossing it back on bedside table. She had called Dallas numerous times and sent endless text messages, but received no response. Her temper was starting to rise and the feeling of anger grew in her heart. Why had he not called or returned her calls and texts? What was keeping him away from her?
She rested her back against the pillows and immersed herself in thoughts of Dallas. She knew that he was in West Palm Beach doing a shoot but it was almost 3 am and she hadn’t heard from him since he left that afternoon. Business or no business, if she was going to be his wife, she wanted him to check in with her. She was going to have to deal with him in her own way.

The thought of Dallas being out with a flock of women did not sit well with her. Tayla lay in bed restless. She sat up and picked up her phone to make one last phone call. She had no idea how he would react to her calling so late but there wasn’t anyone else she felt comfortable calling this early in the morning. The other end rang several times before a groggy voice answered.

“What’s up?”

“Hey, Dre. Sorry to call you so late. Was you sleeping.”

“Tayla, whats wrong?”

“Why does there have to be something wrong?”

“Because you don’t call me at no 3 am if you just wanted to talk. So whats wrong?”

“I don’t know. I’m just upset. I don’t wanna bother you.”

“Aye now, woman you better get to talkin before I get in my car and come down there. Something’s wrong, now tell me.”

“Dre, I seen Lelani. Well I been seen her but I didn’t tell you.”

“Where? In Miami? …When? Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Cuz…I don’t know. But that’s one reason why I’m calling. We got into it yesterday.”

“What you mean, ya’ll got into it?”

“She lives in the same dorm as me. We are both RA’s and lately she’s been spending time away from the dorms. I called her out on it last night.”

“So this whole time you’ve known where she’s been and you ain’t said nothing? Tay, you’re suppose to be my sister. How could you hold out on something like this?”

“Andre, it’s not like that. I had no idea what she was doing until last night.”

“Tayla what’s going on? Just fuckin tell me!”

“Dre don’t be mad at me. She left last night with some guy. I’ve never seen him before last night, so I didn’t know!”

“Some dude? Is this what you woke me up at 3 am for? To tell me about some dude?”

“Well, not about Lelani. I called for me, but…”

“What the fuck is wrong with you Tayla? You blowin’ my mind right now! First you tell me that you’ve known for months where Lelani’s been and you didn’t tell me. Then all you tell me that she’s fuckin with some guy. What the fuck else is there? Are you pregnant?”

“No, Dre, I’m not pregnant. I’m engaged.”

“Shit, Tayla, this is not 3 am conversation!”

“I’m sorry. I needed someone to talk to.”

“Look, babygirl, don’t stress it. I’m gonna handle the Lelani situation when I come down that way for Christmas. You still gonna make it to Nana’s in Naples, right?”

“Of course. How’s Cicely?”

“She’s good. But look, ma, I got to get up early to work tomorrow. Can I call you after I get off?”

“Yeah. But one last thing before you go.”

“What’s up?”

“My fiancé. He‘s been gone all day and ain‘t called me. I know he‘s out with some girls. Should I be worried?”

“Out with some girls? This late? What else would he be doing but fuckin off?”

“Well he owns a talent agency. Ya know, modeling, acting and shit. They were suppose to be going to West Palm for a photo shoot, but he hasn’t called or returned any of my calls.”

“Do you trust him? I mean…is this nigga trust worthy? Because I don’t want you to end up marrying this dude if he’s just gonna fuck around on you.”

“Naw, he wouldn’t do that. He loves me.”

“Yeah, dad loved your momma too, but look at us. Tayla, all I’m trying to say is, watch ya back and your front. Don’t trust that nigga for shit. He’s a nigga and niggas will cheat with any bitch who will spread her legs.”

“Damn. That doesn’t make me feel no better, Dre.”

“It wasn’t suppose to. I’m just being real with you. I love you, Tay & I’m not gonna front on shit with you.”

“I know.”

“So, just keep ya eye out. And if you get that feeling, then fuck him. You deserve a nigga to give you the world.”

“Thanks, Dre. I love you, big brother. Call me later?”

“Will do. Goodnight, little one.”

Tayla rolled over and sat her phone back on top of the table. She clicked her lamp off and snuggled under the comforter. Before closing her eyes, she let the images of her future husband play over in her head. He had been her everything for the last year, but she as still unsure if she had made the right decision by agreeing to marry him.

Dallas felt the vibration of his cell phone, again, in his pocket. He was so captivated by Mykell, that he almost forgot of his beauty waiting for back in Miami. Anticipating that the interruption was an omen, Dallas removed himself from Mykell’s temptation. He excused himself to the restroom to collect his thoughts.

In the restroom, Dallas approached the sink and turned the faucet on. He cupped his hands and splashed a handful of cold water onto his face. The bathroom attendant gathered a towel from the counter and offered it to Dallas. Drying his face in the dark linen, Dallas saw Tayla’s smiling face. He pulled the cloth down and eyed his reflection. He shook his head in disappointment. How could he let the feeling in his loins grow so intensely without suppressing them? He was trying so hard to make a change from his younger self but every attempt of correction led him further from what he felt his true self to be. Why was he so uncertain to do what felt right to him?

“Are things that bad, son?” spoke the attendant in the background of Dallas’ thoughts.

“Just can’t seem to follow through that’s all.”

“Well, let me tell you this, son,” the attendant continued. “If you have to ask yourself if its wrong, then its wrong.”

“Ha. Its not that easy, sir,” replied Dallas with a chuckle.

“Life’s not complicated. We just make it that way.”

Just as Dallas was going to respond, another younger gentlemen emerged from the stall behind him. He was dressed in a collared shirt and slacks, but Dallas could tell from his baby face that he wasn’t much older than the legal drinking age. Dallas secretly envied the younger man; he desperately wanted to return to that virtually carefree age. Then he could justifiably pursue Mykell without consequence.

Dallas tipped the attendant and left the confines of the restroom. The night was growing late and with the new day brought other responsibilities. He paid the bar tab and informed the remaining ladies that he was leaving.

Exiting the nightclub, Dallas inhaled the fresh air. He checked his ticket with the valet and awaited his vehicle. He reached into his pocket and removed the single Black cigar, that he had been craving to ease his mind. He lit his addiction and took a long pull. The smoke and nicotine were an instant fix. He was so engulfed with the cigar, he didn’t notice Mykell leaned against the wall behind him.

“So where did you go?”

Dallas turned in Mykell’s direction shocked to see her standing there.

“Damn, Mykell. I didn’t see you standing there.”

“Sorry did I scare you?”

“No, just didn’t see you there.”

“So…where did you go?”


“I thought we was vibing. Then you just got up and disappeared.”

“Oh, you mean upstairs. I had a phone call I had to take.”

“Was ya girl, huh?”


“The phone call. It was ya girl?”

“Um, yeah, I guess.”

“You guess?” Mykell said pushing herself off the wall and advancing toward Dallas.

“I mean, yeah, it was my fiancé,” Dallas responded taking another drag of his cigar.

“Ohhh, fiancé, huh? She must be pretty special.”

“Yeah, she is.”

“She a model?”

“No. Advertising student. What’s with all the questions about my girl?”

“Just curious to why we never see her. She must not be important if you leave her at home all the time.”

“Oh, she’s important. This whole environment just isn’t her thing.”

“Why not? Its your thing, right? I would think a real woman would want to support her man.”

“She does support me, just in other ways.”

“Really? Like how?”

“Other ways. Trust me she’s committed to me and BPI.”

“BPI…I wouldn’t doubt because it is a great business. But you I’m not so sure of. And I‘m not convinced of you being committed to her, either.”

“And what would make you say that?”

“Because I know what you want. And its not an advertising student.”

“And how do you know that?”

“You told me.”

“When did I tell you that?”

“Upstairs in VIP.”

The valet pulled around with Mykell’s car. She walked over to the driver’s side and paused. Looking over the hood of her car, she threw a seductive smile at Dallas. Again, he was reluctant to return her grin.

“What’s wrong? Why you hesitating?”

“I’m not. I’m trying to be respectful. Keep a boundary.”

“Scared you gonna get caught up?”

“Hesitation doesn’t equal failure, Mykell.” The valet pulls Dallas’ truck around behind Mykell’s car.

“What the fuck does that mean?” She said after watching Dallas pull up next to her with the passenger window halfway down.

“Follow me and you’ll find out.”

Friday, August 8, 2008

Chapter 3, Part 1: Hesitation Does Not Equal Failure

Please check the "Chapters you May have Missed..." for previous chapters/parts.

Chapter 3: Hesitation Does Not Equal Failure

The days rolled on for Neo and Lelani. Even after the one night that they shared hot, steamy passion between them, their relationship status was stagnant. Neo never pushed the issue because he felt if and when Lelani was ready to make that leap, she would initiate it. He continued to be the man he felt she needed, without further inquiry.

The idea of having a steady woman at his side was something he yearned to be fulfilled, and if he wanted Lelani to be that woman, he would have to hold out until her heart kicked in, overriding her overbearing superego. He never pressured her to partake in activities he felt might be used against him in the future.

Neo had made plans to spend the evening with Lelani. The upcoming Heat basketball season would keep him busy and he wanted to celebrate what free time he had left before his work dragged him back and forth across the country. His plans were to spend a quiet evening on South Beach, discussing whatever came to mind and enjoying the company of his promising future.

He pulled up in front of the dormitory and exited his SUV, heading inside the building. He entered the lounge area to see a loud crowd that had gathered for what seemed to be a private party. Contrary to his thoughts, Neo soon realized that the events before him were the makings of a fight mob, circled around a pair of upset contenders ready to match hands.

Neo stepped up a few stairs to get a better look into the crowd. Lelani and another woman were in the middle, face to face, arguing loudly. Arms were flaring in the air tryning to provoke the other to throw the first blow. Neo immediately jumped over the railing and pushed his way through the crowd. He squeezed his way to the middle of the makeshift ring and hauled his friend off with a struggle.

“Put me down! She really got to straighten me tonight!”

“Naw, you don’t need to be in here fightin, Lani.”

“Hell naw! Put me down, Neo!”

“Not til you calm the hell down!”

Tempers flared as the crowd starting booing in disappointment. The spectators were upset that Neo had broken up the altercation. Neo continued to drag Lelani outside the dormitory into the courtyard. Her face was flushed with blood and her chest was heaving in anger.

“What’s wrong with you?” Neo questioned her. “Are you trying to go to jail?”

“If that’s what it comes to, then hell yeah!” Lelanl was furious and wasn’t letting anything stop her from returning to the scene.

“Man, I’m not gonna let you fight.” Neo said firmly. “Let’s go, you need to cool off.”

Neo ushered Lelani to his truck. Her breathing was still labored although most of the color in her face began to return to its normal hue. Neo turned the ignition and sped off. Lelani flew back against the seat, concerned that if he hadn’t left so abruptly she might try to jump from the moving vehicle to return to the dorm.

They rode in silence to the boardwalk. Lelani chirped out the SVU practically slamming the door shut. She found an area of guide rail that was free from bird droppings and wood rot. She folded her arms upon the banister and laid her head on top of them. The tears that had been collecting in her eyelids began to stream down her face and arms. A few moments later she felt Neo’s warm touch upon her back.

“Hey, you gonna be alright?” Neo’s deep voice was filled with sincerity. “What happened back there?”

“Tayla Gibbons is what happened. She hates me. Always has.”

“Who is Tayla Gibbons? And why would she hate you?”

“Tayla and I went to rival high schools. She graduated a year behind me.”

“So what. That was years ago.”

“Not for her.” Lelani took a short pause. “She also happens to be my ex’s half sister.”

“Ok that still tells me nothing. Come on now, tell me what’s up.”

Lelani continued to tell Neo about how Tayla was connected to her. Her story dragged on like a soap opera.

“Tayla and Andre, my ex, have the same father but Andre was raised by his mom. Dre’s mom was his dad’s side chick when she got pregnant. Andre had always knew that and he made it a priority to stick up for Tayla cuz he felt like she was the only family he had after his mom hauled ass. So since like grade school, they always stood up for each other.”

“But ya’ll grown now.”

“ Tayla carries resentment for any chick that breaks her brother’s heart, especially me. Me and Dre got some serious history.”

“Look, Lani, I understand that you have history, but to me that doesn’t really matter if you’re living in the present.”

“What does that mean?”

“Are you done with all that? Are you ready to move out of that?”

“I’ve been done with that shit.”

“Then live for now.”

Trying to console Lelani, Neo lifted her head from her arms. He gently wiped the tears from her face, then held it in his hands. He innocently kissed her forehead, pulling her closer to his body. She felt his heartbeat pounding in his chest. His smell filled her nostrils and flowed into her mind. He continued to stroke her back and embrace her.

Their connection was broken when a ship horn sounded in distance. She intertwined her fingers with his and set out down the beach. The waters soothingly clapped against the shore, creating a peaceful soundtrack for the event. Conversation was minimal but completely unnecessary; the body heat spoke silently between them. Neo broke the vocal silence.

“Hey, this is great, huh” He paused in the sand.

“Yeah, I guess. Thanks for pulling my ass out of that situation.” Lelani obliged. “But I know its not the end of that.”

“Why not? You saying you not gonna let it go?”

“Naw, its not that. My housing is in jeopardy. I was put on probation awhile ago for missing meetings and neglecting my responsibilities as an R.A., thanks to Tayla.”

“So what you saying? They might kick you out the dorms?”


“So what are your plans if that happens?”

"Don’t know really. Get an apartment off campus, I guess?”

“Sounds like a good plan to me. You know, if you need help with your search, I’m always here.”

“I know. Thanks.”

The two continued their stroll as the evening progressed. They stopped at a beachside restaurant to enjoy a meal. Neo invited her back to his apartment as an alternative to the dorms. She apprehensively accepted. After arriving back at Neo’s apartment, the two lounged on the patio and took in the breathtaking night lake vista, sipping an alcoholic concoction that Neo had waiting for them.

Despite the explanation that Lelani had given him earlier that evening, Neo suspected that her problems ran deeper than the tiff involving her former lover’s sister. The look in her eyes as she gazed out onto the lake was something he knew he should be concerned about. She sat, hunched over with her chin on her knees without saying much.

Her actions in the remaining awake hours were questionable, including declining his invitation to his bed and a t-shirt to change into. Lelani merely slipped out of her shoes and curled up on the couch. She let out a simple yawn and closed her eyes. Neo quickly showered and returned to check on her before going to bed himself. He draped the throw from the back of the couch over her body, turned the lights off, and headed back into his room.

The moonlight shone through the cracks between the window blinds as Neo relaxed in his bed. He contemplated what was keeping Lelani so reserved and upset about her past. Was there more that she was neglecting to tell him? Would pushing her to talk to him push her further from him? Not understanding what the real situation was, Neo reluctantly drifted off to sleep, hoping that Lelani would open up to him soon.

As the weekend begun, Lelani awoke to frying bacon and running water. She sat up to see Neo in the kitchen preparing breakfast. She stroked her fingers through her hair to fix the strays on her head. Lelani was never a morning person and knew that her appearance was shabby.

“Oh don’t try and fix it now. I’ve already seen it.”

“I’m not a morning person, boy.”

“Really?!? I would have never guessed.” Neo said sarcastically.

“You laughing. Its not funny. Not everyone can wake up with they A-game.”

“Shit, A-game? Looking like that, you’d barely make 3rd or 4th string, ma.”

“Keep talking shit,” she threaten innocently.

“You like grits and bacon right?”

“Yeah, is that what you got going on over there?”

“Something like that. Got some toast and fresh fruit, too. That ok?”

“Yeah. Sounds good. Let me get cleaned up first.”

“Make yourself at home.”

Lelani excused herself to the bathroom. Neo dressed the table with breakfast, arranging fresh flowers as the centerpiece. He wanted Lelani to feel relaxed and not agitated about last night. He opened the window to let in the cool morning breeze and awaited Lelani’s return.

A few miles away, Dayshawn rolled out of bed. A slim brown skinned girl lay rumbled in his sheets. He checked over his firm body as admired himself in the long mirror hung on the closet door. The night had ended well for him and he knew that it was all due to his irresistible looks and undeniable talk game; the proof was still lying in his bed.

Unlocking the door to his bedroom, D crept quietly out into the hallway. He could hear his roommates already starting their weekend downstairs in the common room. He put on his best swag and prepared for the praises from his friends.

He entered the common area of the three-bedroom unit & headed straight for the kitchen. He pulled a glass from the cabinet, reached into the refrigerator and poured himself a glass of orange juice. The other guys sat in front of the TV, thumbing their respective controllers of the video game.

“Big D! Man, you was wildin’ out last night.”

“Naw, that was ya’ll fools. I was just being me, man.”

“So what’s up with you and Torrance? She is fly, son.”

“Yeah, but it ain‘t nothing serious. But she is seriously one thing though…”

“What’s that?”

“A straight freak! And she’s paid. Best of both worlds.”

“That bitch ain’t given your ass no money, man. She don’t seem like the type.”

“She might not to ya’ll but ya’ll ain’t me!”

“Nigga, please.”

Dayshawn finished his juice and proudly made his way back upstairs. Before going back to his room, he stopped to listen through the door. On the other side was silence, meaning that last night’s companion had not awaken. He slowly turned the knob and pushed the door open. Torrance was still soundly asleep in the same position. Her legs interwoven in the sheets and her head resting gently on a pillow.

Knowing that he did not intend to make anything official with her, Dayshawn allowed Torrance to spend the night out of pure strategy. For the moment, she was his number one draft pick and until he grew tired of her, he would treat her as if he wanted something more than just what she could offer him sexually and financially. His game couldn’t have been more on point.

He made his way across the room into his personal bathroom. There, he began running water in his shower and prepping his countertop with personal hygiene products. He took his time bathing and perfecting his look for the day. Just as he finished, Torrance turned over. She smoothed her hair and pulled the sheets over her body.

“Hey, why didn’t you wake me up?”

“Uhh, don’t know. Why you got somewhere to be?”

“Not really. Just got this photo shoot later tonight in West Palm.”

“Oh, ok.”

“Its gonna be real nice. Dallas has a few new girls that he wants to shoot.”

“Damn, I bet he enjoys his job.”

“Who Dallas? Why you say that?”

“Man, any nigga who takes pictures of fine ass women for a living is livinig the good life.”

“Its not like that…trust me.”

“Damn, I wish I could go and see for myself how much fun he’s not having.”

“Then come with me. Come to West Palm with us.”

“For real? I mean, I don’t want to be a distraction for the ladies.” He said while looking at himself in the mirror, primping.

“Naw you wouldn’t be. Plus, we usually go to some real nice chill spots afterwards. Ya know, VIP and all.”

“Shit, when we leaving?”

“Around 2. I’ll swing back through and pick you up.”

“I’ll be ready.”

Torrance pulled herself together and left Dayshawn’s place with plans to return later that day. Whenever Dayshawn saw an opportunity to meet new women, he always jumped on it. This was his chance to make some new additions to his roster. His charm and swagger was one that was incomparable to any other man’s.

Given the fact that D had never been exposed to the modeling atmosphere, he wasn’t expecting any more than just a flock of beautiful women. Torrance and D arrived in West Palm Beach just after five o’clock. They passed through a neighborhood lined with luxurious houses and upscale scenery. The journey ended at a gated mansion affixed at the end of street.

A long, winding road led up to the residence. As with the other homes, the landscape was immaculate. Dayshawn had lived in Miami majority of his life and had never seen anything like what his eyes were viewing at that moment. His dream of becoming a world renowned ladies man could never afford him the luxuries that he saw before him. He desperately wanted to meet the person who owned this property so the he could ask him how he’d come to possess such a beautiful home.

D stepped out of the car and adjusted himself as to be presentable to his future mentor. He walked around to the back of the car to assist Torrance in carrying some equipment into the shoot. Once at the door, Torrance placed the make-up kit on the doorstep and knocked. Moments later the door opened to reveal a statuesque dark skinned woman dressed in an orange bikini, sarong, and heels .

“Hey there, Anja. I’m Torrance with BPI. We spoke on the phone earlier this week.”

“Jeah. I remember. Jo boss, Dallas, tiz already inside. Please, com in,” Anja said with a heavy island accent .

“This is my friend Dayshawn,” Torrance said nodding in D’s direction.

“What’s up?”

“Berry delighted to meet chu. I’m Anja Ellis.”

“So where should I set these things down at?”

“Dey’ve already started shooting by ‘da pool. T’er is refreshments in ‘da kitchen. Please, help jo’self.”

“Thanks again, Anja, for this. I’m sure that this will help our ladies in a very big way.”

“No problem. Always willin’ to help.”

Anja escorted the two out poolside. Outside, there were people everywhere, all dressed in swimwear or white linen clothing. Dayshawn did a mental count of all the girls he assumed to be models…2...3...4. There were two more girls standing by the cabana bar chatting with the bartender. Even though there was so much eye candy and plenty of other women of interest, his eyes were still affixed in Anja. She had taken a spot on a lounge chair near the makeshift waterfall. Anja’s body was that of a woman in her early twenties, firm breast coupled with a toned abdomen.

He was quite sure Anja was at least in her late thirties, judging by her home and its décor, but she wasn’t as young as he wish she would have been. His dreams of conversing with a male mentor shifted into thoughts of lust for Anja. How could he ever pull a woman with Anja’s status or beauty? His thoughts of devising a new scheme were interrupted by a familiar voice.