August 25 2014, 09:42 AM

Glass Heart V: A Short

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AYANNA

One woman.

One question.

The only question that counted when it came to me.

I thought about it, tried to sort out how I had come to this place. Regular mental functioning was not a luxury for me these days but for the millionth fucking time, I tried. I sat back in hard plastic, running my hands over my sweats. From there, I glanced down at my socks and issued foam sandals. This getup wasn’t doing much for my sense of style but who was checking for labels in here? I had traded in Balmain, Tom Ford and FEMME for rubber soles, scrubs and smocks. I wasn’t going to be on any best dressed lists anymore but I wasn’t losing sleep over that. My chronic insomnia had a far more interesting source.

The question, or more so the answer, kept me from closing my eyes at night.

I looked up, disoriented almost, missing the pair of cool blue eyes fixated squarely on me. They were different from the last pair but familiar. The others before were Henny brown, just as warm as the inside of her thighs. I couldn’t figure out why but they gave me her as the first one. I guess I was supposed to be subdued by a straight lady in her forties but she was nothing but a mark. So ill-equipped to deal with the likes of me that conquering her was almost boring. I had two fingers deep in my married mother of two before the ink had dried on my first assessment. Her professional opinion changed of course after our little interaction was discovered but I did that on purpose. Anybody that folded that quick to a conniving smile and the promise of phenomenal head, wasn’t for me. Of course my process of selection had scared away the others. I’d gone from hopelessly demented to a sex fiend with predatory tendencies. They had it all wrong. I wasn’t a hunter. How could I be when my kills made their way to me? Ever since then I had trouble identifying them by anything but eyes and parts.

That wasn’t an issue with this one.

Our past made this slightly easier but history wasn’t enough to get a straight answer out of me. She knew that from experience. I decided that I couldn’t give her what she asked for but I could offer some insight. She knew me then, not now.

"I don’t know,” I said contemplating, “after a while, all the bad things, all the things that pose a threat to you and your life, start to feel good because that’s just how screwed things are in your head. You start enjoying the perverse. You like the pain because at least you can understand that. Happiness, joy, what the fuck is that anymore? The concept of those two things are so utterly foreign that you wouldn’t recognize that shit if it knocked you dead in the face. You can’t see good and when you can, what are you supposed to do with it? It never lasts. Nothing lasts. That’s just how life is, temporary but the hurt, you can reach that. You can always access it because which do you remember: the sting or the caress? I can’t speak for anybody else but I hold onto the agony because hate, distress, malice It feeds you. One thing holds true about the world is that there’s always more bad than good. Good dies at first fire. Good offers no remuneration. You don’t get rewarded for good but bad? Bad gives you everything you can’t admit you want. It taps into that sordid part of you and it makes you aware of things you didn’t know we’re there. Bad is good. Bad makes you who you really are."

“And who are you Ayanna?”

“Criminally insane. That’s what I’m supposed to be copping to right? I’m supposed to admit to being bat-shit crazy.”

“Is that what you think?”

“It’s what I know. This is how this goes. There has to be an explanation. A double homicide and subsequent psychiatric hold has to spelled out, it’s gotta symbolize something. Why else would someone kill so barbarically? For the enjoyment alone? That’s not who I am.”

“And who are you?”

“To some, I’m filth. I’m deplorable, morally bankrupt, inhumane. To others, I’m the making of a modern day cult classic. I’m like the poster child for those too modest to carry out their twisted fantasies. I had some notoriety before with the pastimes and the company I kept but I’ll be cashing in on notoriety if things keep going the way they are. I’m getting fan art, Doc. Some dude from Ohio made me into some noir villain. AK the Deadliest Gun he titled it. I’m fucking iconography to them but then there’s the last segment of the public. They’re the ones  pathetic enough to give me sympathy. They believe I’m sick.”

“And you don’t think that of yourself?” She flipped through my file, the thickness of it, rivaling a novel. “Your three prior therapists all noted that you seemed to have no remorse for your actions, that you found enjoyment in them even.”

“I guess they weren’t as useless as they looked. Their deductions weren’t half bad. I regret nothing and you couldn’t pay me to feel bad about that. Doesn’t mean I’m sick though. Look at who you’ve dealt with, you’ve seen sick. Sick irrational. Sick is tossing acid onto the face of a woman who was gangbanged against her will. Sick is shooting an unarmed black teenager then leaving his corpse in the street to be cooked well done in the sun. Sick to me is organized religion. I’m not sick. All I am is scorned. Might not appear that way but I’m not aimless. That’s not how I choose to view things.”

“How do you view things?”

“You’ve heard of the Butterfly Effect, haven’t you? Apply that logic to my set of circumstances. One small occurrence offsets everything after and it has. The minute our blood mixed…” I paused, attempting to steady the anxiety that threatened every time I remembered. “The minute our blood mixed,” I said louder, my eyes closed, “all of my actions from then on were decided.” I opened my eyes and took a staggering breath. “I never realized until that night but there’s this beautiful clarity in chaos. My mind is wilderness more often than not but it wasn’t then. People want to believe that there’s such a thing as coincidence but it don’t exist. Random is a figment. Real motherfuckers know that. I don’t expect anyone to understand what I did but all those looking from the outside in should know one thing.”

My old friend Dr. Schafer removed her glasses to stare at me. “What’s that?”

“There’s a reason behind everything I do.” I shook my head and smiled bitterly. “Nah, I’m not sick. I’m fucking justified. I got what was due” ♥

August 24 2014, 05:14 PM
Anonymous
Where's naji?

You’ll see ♥

August 24 2014, 05:11 PM
Anonymous
Did you take down the character page?

I did 

August 24 2014, 05:11 PM
Anonymous
I began this story maybe two weeks ago and I'm totally caught up. This is the best thing I've ever read. Not just on Tumblr, period. And I'm a reader. Thank you for what you do.

THANK YOU for bothering to say this to me ♥

August 18 2014, 08:12 PM

"We kissed and even though we were exhausted we began again. With urgency, I turned her over, placing her on all fours. Out of my mind with lust and love and hunger I had never known, I sank my teeth into her wonderful ass. I slapped it after, eliciting a deep groan of approval. We were already down three but at the rate we were going and considering how mad I was for her, twenty one climaxes was looking more and more like a modest estimate. We connected, our bodies merging over and over. It was paradise. She felt like the afterward because I couldn’t be alive and feel this good but the extreme bliss didn’t help. No matter how many times there were, I couldn’t get close enough.

I wasn’t truly satisfied.

I didn’t realize it now but later I would.

My need for her was a curse disguised as a blessing 

August 18 2014, 08:03 PM

54.2

AYANNA

He was uneasy.

My internationally known, once drug slinging, now reformed bad boy from Brixton was uneasy.

I think when he promised to give me whatever I wanted, he hadn’t been expecting this. I wasn’t trying to place him in an uncomfortable situation but tonight I was channeling my inner Anais Nin. Like her, I had no taste for anything vanilla. Like my writer role model, I wanted the absurd, the questionable, the abnormal. The married senior citizens up ahead were just going to further my agenda. The late hour, the relative seclusion—it said they wanted privacy. They had probably have an evening stroll, maybe they’d gone on a date before and now they were simply having conversation. Me and Mosai here were going to give them even more to talk about. I gave him a nod of encouragement and walked toward them. He didn’t want to do this. It crossed some level of wrong in his head but he’d have a change of heart soon enough. Together we approached, looking every bit the attractive youngsters they’d been years ago. We were well-dressed and seemingly harmless. I hated that I had to crush their assumptions but I had some desires and as fate would have it, they were going to play a crucial part. In order to make this less awkward for everyone, I decided to introduce us.

“Hi,” I said politely. “I’m Ayanna and this is Mosai. He’s my boyfriend of an hour or so and he made me this pact that I could have anything I wanted tonight and I decided that I want to fuck him in front of you. I hope you don’t mind.”

Mosai was quietly embarrassed but sat on the bench opposite of them and unzipped his pants. He sprang forward, already wrapped for my enjoyment. This might be taboo to him but the forbidden always had a way of making you hard. I lifted my dress. It was no surprise that I had nothing on underneath. Holding the material up around my waist, I moved over him.

Foreplay wasn’t going to be put into play in this instance. I was going for the gold. Inside, he went. I made a growling sound. We were just getting started and my knees were buckling. You already know how I felt about the first entrance. It was something like magic, otherworldly, as religious as a girl like me was going to get. With great concentration, I tried to go slow and savor every sensation but every time I pushed down on him, he touched me where it hurt. Where it felt like I could black out. I needed that. Repeatedly. I picked up pace, twisted my hips while I found the right rhythm. I don’t know how but I seemed to forget we had a captive audience. I couldn’t imagine this getting any better but their expressions made a good thing, a great thing.

There was shock, there was anxiousness and then, here was curiosity.

Pops realized  that he was watching live sex and how morally wrong that was. He stood, about to take his church-going woman away from active sin but old girl wouldn’t budge. She sat there engrossed. Grandma was enticed. This wasn’t Wheel of Fortune, this was straight fucking. Her man sat back down, trying not to look but not able to look away. I laughed but it turned into a long moan. I had to get at this from a different angle. I bent over holding the snakes around my ankles and proceeded to bounce my ass. I peeked through my hair, holding on for the ride.

“I know this is disrespectful but I just can’t help it. He’s mine now and I just want to take advantage. You know what that’s like right? When you’re so heated for someone you’re likely to do anything? Would you look at him, who wouldn’t want some of that?” I said.

Grandma pepped Mosai closer and sat up in her seat like some action was happening with her too. This man was a model. The god-given looks were a given but there was more to his sex appeal. The body was crazy, the tattoos and that something extra that made you have to cross your legs. He was a walking wet dream and sparking something in our spectator. I sat back and put Mosai’s arms around me. He was still shy, trying to preserve some dignity but he was also holding me with an unrelenting grip. I turned my head and kissed him.

“Say hi, Mosai.”

“Hello, ma’am. Damn.”

I beamed as he cupped my breasts. He was going to pop and so was I but we had a request. Grandma was openly interested now. “Can I see?” she asked.

I leaned back against Mosai’s shoulder, running my hands against his arms. “Babe help me out.”

He grabbed the top of my dress and pulled it down. My B cups were exposed and it felt nice. There was nothing like having air on your skin and the appreciation of another. Grandma looked like she loved what she was seeing but I wanted to get her man involved. Mosai was handling me up top so I worked the bottom. I opened my legs wider, giving them a front row view. The dual senses of him filling me up and me rubbing my clit were going to put me in shock. All the noise I was making wasn’t for anyone’s benefit but my own but Grandpa reluctantly looked. I caught his eye and held it even when he pretended to be disgusted. He was pretending because his nicely starched slacks were stretching out in a certain area.

“How does it feel?” Grandma asked.

“Like heaven,” I sighed. “Better probably.” I was vibrating, that indescribable feeling radiating through me. My eyes threatened to roll back, every part of my drowning. Mosai pressed his face into my shoulder breathing raggedly.

“I would like to see,” Grandma said. “The both of you.”

I nodded. “Did you hear that Blondie? Don’t stop until you have to.”

“You don’t either. I want you to come Kelly. Can you do that for me?” Mosai asked.

“You know it.”

He gripped the back of my neck, pushing me forward so I was teetering in my heels. I thought it could get no better but with this position, I lost it. I dug my nails into my own thighs, my grimace scary. An orgasm ripped through me, my legs going all over the place. I couldn’t stop moving because it felt that good. The duration couldn’t have been more than a minute or two but the aftershocks were nothing to mess with. I suffered through the tremors, that wonderful pain and then I focused on him. In my mind, nothing counted until both parties reached a mutual finish.

“You there honey?”

Mosai wa still using me and if he kept on, I was going to pass out here. “Almost,” he groaned. “Almost.”

“Just say when.”

He clutched my hips, his strokes more frantic. “When.”

“Now?” I asked.

Now,” he thundered.

I got off of him and quickly removed the condom. Mosai reached for me, pressing his face into my chest as he heaved. I held his head, stroked his hair while he went through it. That beautiful part of him tilted upward and spewed. He shot out like a stream. The Mrs. eyes went wide. The performance was so good that she clapped. Mosai was weak. So weak that I had to help him to his feet. I carefully tucked him back into his pants and let my dress down.

“Thank you for your participation,” I said sweetly.

Granny touched her husband’s hand, her fingers slipping into his. “Thank you, young lady.”

I blew Pops a kiss and steered Mosai around the mess he’d made on the ground. We exited the park. We didn’t speak for a moment as we began walking to the hotel. Finally, Mosai broke the quiet.

“Are you going to say something?”

I glanced over at him. “Only that we have one orgasm down and twenty more to go.”

He smirked, keeping his hand on my ass as we walked, while we checked in and until we got to the room. It was plush, laid like some stuff you saw on tv but I wasn’t fixated on the ornate decor. I cared about the man in front of me. I don’t know how it was for me before. I guess I was wrapped up in other things, in other people but right here, right now, I was unbelievably overwhelmed with how I felt for him that I was going to break open.

He had me on my knees before but now I was splayed.

I loved this motherfucker.

For once, that love wasn’t tainted or marred by something else. We had no familial link, no drawn out saga-like history that would cloud my judgment and make me lose my life. We were pure. As pure as two people in this day and age could be. He was my shot at normalcy and I was going to take it.

Mosai swept his hands from my shoulders up to my face. “What’s your fantasy?”

Once upon a time that might’ve been a complex question to answer but now it was crystal clear. “Besides letting an elderly pair watch us have sex? You. You’re my fantasy. I want you to get whatever it is you need. Anything. I will do anything for you just as long as it’s what you want. I’m here only for you.” I took my dress off and stood there.

“Now what are you going to do about that?”



MOSAI

Her words stirred something in me.

Or it could’ve been the vehemence in her eyes while she spoke. Ayanna told you like it was but this was a whole other level to that. I had stayed rigid since the park, for the whole walk here. I’d done what I never had before, was feeling a way I hadn’t in so long all because of her. She made me want to sing and I couldn’t carry a tune. I wanted to do cartwheels and run through the street professing my feelings because I was loosing my damn mind. I didn’t want it back though. My blood was boiling, most of it shooting to specific areas.

It was a toss up between my heart and my penis.

Things were becoming a rage for me.

I think I had other ideas about how I wanted this to go but as the night had already predicted, surprises were in store. I stroked her face, gripped it harder than I meant to. If she were another woman, if she wasn’t my woman, she might take my gesture the wrong way but she understood. She got that she was my priority now, that I loved her in a way I couldn’t fully fathom. That much power laid behind my eyes. She saw it and it stunned her. My Kelly stared up at me like a deer caught in headlights right then. I was making her nervous and she didn’t try to hide it.

I kissed her slowly, made her think I was in the mood to make love when my mind was set on ravishing her. I grabbed her hair, pulling it on top of her head while I walked her backwards toward the waiting bed. I pushed her to lay down. Our lips met again, her trying to bring me down on top of her. I resisted the calling to plunder her, we’d get there soon enough. I caressed her most sensitive part, that soft flesh between her legs like satin, her heat mind-altering but I wanted more.

“When I come back,” I said, “you’d better be ready.”

I got up, leaving the room.

In the front area of the suite, I called to the main desk, requesting candles. I lowered the lighting and docked my iPhone, searching for the right mood music. When I found it, I undressed, answering the door five minutes later completely nude.

“Sir, you asked for candles but you didn’t specify how many. Is ten enough?” The uniformed valet kept a cool facade as he wheeled the cart in.

“For now,” I said finding my pants. I fished out cash tipping him heavily. “I apologize for my lack of clothing.”

“No need Sir. I’ve seen stranger things.”

With that he backed out, knowingly placing the “DO NOT DISTURB” tag on the door. He had the right idea. I wanted no interference for the foreseeable future. I lit half of the candles, took the media remote and pushed the cart into the bedroom. Ayanna was still in bed, patiently waiting. She was past beautiful as she layed there. With a raised eyebrow, she looked from my erection to the candles.

“Either you started the party without me or it’s my birthday. Either way I’m interested.”

“Close your eyes,” I told her, “and don’t open them until I say you can. Only feel.”

“Feel what?”

“This.”

I dragged her body to the end of the bed and leaned down as I separated her legs. I kissed the inside of her thighs, avoiding what she really wanted me to kiss. I tormented her until she was twitching, until I had her where I wanted her. I pushed her legs toward the headboard, making her hold them out of my way. I had a task.

“Mosai, I appreciate all this time and attention but—”

“But you want my tongue,” I said giving her that. “And my fingers.” I gave her those. “And something to drown out your moans.”

I hit play on the remote, FKA Twig’s hypnotic voice filling the space. Papi Pacify played. The selection was purposeful, just for her, but Ayanna failed to notice at that time. I had already buried my face against her flower, savoring the taste. I could never understand how foolish some men were about this. It was a man’s privilege to pleasure a woman this way. Eating pussy was a delicacy and should be treated that way. I didn’t become this intimate with the majority of my past partners but when I did decide to have my meal, I ate like I was starving. I dragged my tongue up and down her slit before hooking it under her clit. Ayanna squirmed, gripped my head. I threw her hands off, smiling to myself as I bit down gently. She lost hold on one of her legs then and I promptly shoved it back.

“Let go again and I’ll stop,” I threatened. I worked her more, eyeing the candles I had lit. I picked one up carefully  and held it near. “I won’t hurt you,” I said stroking her thigh. “Not permanently.”

Ayanna turned her head from side to side, writing. “That’s comforting.”

I placed my lips back inside hers and tilted the candle. Hot wax hit her stomach. Ayanna jerked and gasped, the pain sharp but delicious. I tried it again, receiving the same response. I spilled the rest, leaving a trail across her belly. She arched, opened her mouth like she wanted to speak but there were no words for this. I continued that treatment until the wax had dried on her skin, the path reaching her Brazilian. We’d been at it for a while but with my fingers buried deeply inside her and tilted upwards, she grew stiff, her muscles  shaking slightly. She was choking on her own air until she couldn’t breath at all. When I felt the outpour, I knew what was happening. She realized when it was all over.

“I just…”

“Yes you did,” I said proudly.

“I’ve never before. I mean, I’ve been almost there but there was never any proof.”

“Now there is.” I took her ankles in one hand and tossed the duvet cover on the floor. Ayanna had come, leaking onto it. Her pleasure had seeped out of her, rendering her helpless. The female ejaculation was no mythical thing. It was very much real. A peak I was happy to contribute to.

“How about we jump right into round three,” she suggested. She dug under a pillow and pulled out a string of condoms. I laughed and reached for one but she yanked it back. “No, no, no, let me do the honors.”

She stared up at me while placing one on me but gave me the courtesy of positioning her. I put her on her back, our eyes locking as I was welcomed back inside her. She ran her hands up my arms, her expression priceless.

“Go slow,” she told me. “I want to see.”

“Do you now? Then we should probably get you a better view.” I took the extra pillows by her head and placed them underneath her rear. It hoisted her up until she could clearly watch my movements. I adhered to her speed, took my time slipping in and out of her as she slowly drove me insane. The music stopped but Ayanna fumbled for the remote. Papi Pacify started all over again.

She said, “You couldn’t have picked a better song. Her voice, the lyrics…I can’t fucking get enough.”

“Yeah? Why don’t you sing it for me?”

Knees sinking into the mattress, I brought her up, gripping her backside like it was the only thing keeping me alive. Ayanna wrapped herself around me, one arm over one shoulder, another under the other. Her legs folded around my waist, her nails going into my back. She was sweating. I was sweating. Both of us were feverish but so unwilling to let go. Skin against skin, we grinded into each other as she kept up with Twig’s as best she could. She was off-key, voice strained but you couldn’t tell me she didn’t sound like an angel. Her tone was throaty, hoarse but so damn sexy. Then she inhaled, gasped one last time and put me over. Her body contracted around me, spasms squeezing around my shaft. She was out of commission after that, not able to perform at all. Her voice got lost as another orgasm followed the first. I didn’t reach mine until she was slumped against me, whispering in my ear to “keep it up and that I better not stop.”

I couldn’t anyway.

I was delirious, my thrusts practically involuntary. When I reached that inevitable point, I think I let all of Manhattan know. I collapsed, taking her body down with me. I went blank for the longest. The only thing I could do was attempt to catch my breath. Ayanna rubbed my back like she felt sorry for me.

“You went for broke man.”

“So did you.”

“Had to. I gotta step my game up to yours.”

“No need. We’re nearly equals.”

“Nearly? Fuck you, I was being modest.”

“Fuck me? You just did. Thoroughly.”

She slapped me on the rear and shoved me off her. “I’m going to remember that for our next turn. I’m going to ruin you.” Ayanna peeled my protection off carefully, apparently wanting this turn sooner rather than later.

“I look forward to it,” I yelled she walked naked to the bathroom. When she returned I pulled her down on the bed, shifting on my side. “Tell me again.”

She didn’t ask what I meant. Touching my lips, she smiled and said the words. “I love you.”

“Until when?”

She tapped her chin, giving it some thought. “Until 3005.”

“You know that’s forever for us right? I have you now, there’s no way I’m giving you back.”

We kissed and even though we were exhausted we began again. With urgency, I turned her over, placing her on all fours. Out of my mind with lust and love and hunger I had never known, I sank my teeth into her wonderful ass. I slapped it after, eliciting a deep groan of approval. We were already down three but at the rate we were going and considering how mad I was for her, twenty one climaxes was looking more and more like a modest estimate. We connected, our bodies merging over and over. It was paradise. She felt like the afterward because I couldn’t be alive and feel this good but the extreme bliss didn’t help. No matter how many times there were, I couldn’t get close enough.

I wasn’t satisfied.

I didn’t realize it now but later I would.

My need for her was a curse disguised as a blessing



AYANNA

We couldn’t stop.

We were bordering on being sickening and still we couldn’t stop.

It was like we were two magnets perpetually attracted to each other. Mosai and I, we couldn’t keep from sucking face. It probably looked disgusting but it felt like magic. This love thing, it was that. This wasn’t my first time descending into this but it was the first time I wasn’t wearing any guilt with it. I was free and clear of any wrongdoing on this one. I could say without a doubt that I loved him deeper, stronger than before. It had only been two days. Two days and I was drunk off of him.

Let’s not even mention the unlikely amount of sex we’d had.

We had met and surpassed the goal set. Every surface in that hotel room had been christened. The bathroom floor, the shower, the counter, the balcony (no less than five times), a desk, a couch, up against several wall, in windows…you get what I’m saying. I was bruised, I was sore, I was fucking happy.

But not so much now.

“Before you know it, I’ll be back,” Mosai assured me. “We’ll do anything you want then.”

“I’m holding you to that just be safe okay? No dark alleys, sketchy neighborhoods and don’t talk to strangers.”

He kissed my forehead at the gate, wrapping his arms around me. “I talked to you and look how well that went.”

I grinned and put my head against his shoulder. “You lucked out man.”

“Of course I did.”

We kissed repeatedly before the flight attendant cleared his throat. “Sir, that was the last call.”

“I love you,” Mosai said using his hold to emphasize his words.

“Love you, lover.”

He stood there like he couldn’t move. I pushed him. “Go. You can’t come back until you go.”

He walked away, looking over his shoulder. I blew him a kiss. He winked. I watched until he disappeared then turned, feeling lost for a minute. My bubble was burst as I made my way back to my car. I was so screwed up, I couldn’t even play music. I sat there in complete silence the whole way from JFK. I had no real aim today since Yoshi was taking some personal time.

With Rodney.

I heard his voice on the other end of the line. Her and him were enjoying each other’s company but she promised me a late night of strategizing and planning tomorrow with the FEMME team. Leah was figuring out traveling plans, getting things together for her trip so for the very near future, it was just me. Since I had so much time on my hands I thought it would be good for me to check out an open house.

I really had no idea why I parked and followed the signs to the fifth floor. It was a walkup, one of those tenement buildings that still had an old-school flair. It didn’t look so run down though. Somebody had kept the small lobby freshly painted and swept. I got to the highest floor and knew for certain that I was out of shape. I looked for other doors to signify other apartments but there were only one set of large double doors toward the middle of the hallway. I understood why when I entered them. This was a studio and a loft, the very open-floor plan enormous. The only wall in the place was shielding the bathroom. Ductwork ran the length of the 16-foot ceilings, windows with huge height running along three sides. The kitchen looked industrial, all chrome and steel. The wood floors had been loved but were original. Brick walls whitewashed. It wasn’t luxurious, shit it was spartan in quality but with a little TLC it could reach its potential. It said something to me.

Something like “buy me.”

I got approached by a suit who I was assuming was the agent. He looked like he had a sales pitch all ready to go but I was already sold. “How much?” I asked before he could use his opening line.

“We’re asking half a million and the owner isn’t willing to accept anything less.”

I could see that he’d thrown that in as a warning. I got it. A twenty-something black girl with big hair and an “interesting” taste in fashion couldn’t possibly have that amount of money on hand and therefore needed to be judged. It was shit like that that worked my nerves because little did he know I had the means to buy him if I wanted to.

I shot him a tight smile then looked around. “I’ll part with twenty percent more. All cash offer and I’m prepared to sign today contingent on an home inspection of course and two conditions.”

He brightened at those prospects. He could put away his racial cautiousness if it meant dollar signs. “Go ahead.”

“I need a quick closing.”

“How quickly?”

“Today.”

“And the other condition?”

“That I don’t deal with you.”

I watched him get flustered. He stepped away and called whoever would be replacing him. Somebody else would be getting this commission. With a wire transfer, a stack of paperwork and a thorough inspection, it took hours but that’s what happened when you made such an impulse purchase. Keys in hand, I went back to my spot and walked around the emptiness. I sat in the middle of the floor, then laid down.

This shit was a big step.

Not the owning part, the never having lived on my own part. It had never just been me someplace. Just my things, just myself. I don’t know what that was about but it was time that I do this. I loved the brownstone, it had been base for so long but change was happening all around. I had to just roll with it. This probably wouldn’t go over so well with Mosai but he’d get it. He couldn’t be too mad anyway. I’d only moved a neighborhood over to Clinton Hill. We were practically an arms reach away. I was more than willing to have sleepovers here and there. It would work out. It already was. I grinned to myself as I recalled the last two days of my life. I was still cheesing when I picked up my ringing phone.

“Hello.”

“I was hoping I could reach you.”

I sat up too quickly, making my head hurt. It was the motion or maybe it was the person on the other end. “It’s been a while,” I said evenly.

“I know you weren’t expecting me to have your number but your roommate, that nice girl Leah, she gave it to me. I was calling because—”

“I know why you’re calling. There’s only one reason why you would be.”

“I suppose that is true. I ask you humbly if we could talk.”

I took a deep breath. “We can. Is your place in a couple of hours okay?”

“It is. He will not be here Ayanna.”

I didn’t reply to that as I hung up.

It was funny how both of us had the same tense, apprehensive tone in our voices at the mere mention of our common factor. We were tiptoeing, being careful not to step on the broken glass or anything that might detonate on impact because that’s what he had become to his mother and I. Somehow I’d always felt it but now I knew it for sure.

Max was a ticking time bomb.

He could blow any minute 

August 18 2014, 07:26 PM
In chapter 42 it Says her body count went form 1-5 ..... 5? I thought just 3

Nope. Ayanna had some choice encounters with four others when she was with Max. Not that her body count means anything…♥

August 18 2014, 07:25 PM
can mosai be my 3005? ayanna deserves every bit of happiness coming her way.

I’m looking for one myself. Ayanna does deserve some happiness. She’ll get it. Temporarily ♥

August 12 2014, 09:10 PM
A bell chimed on the door when we entered, a scowling Latino behind the raised counter watching us as we went down a narrow aisle. I wanted something to drink but Mosai just wanted me. He grabbed me, kissing me in between rows of Windex and cans of soup. I wasn’t going to turn him away. It’d be an artic day in hell before I did that. I reared back, my hand become friendly with his crotch.
“You two, no sex in store. Take outside!”
The hawk-eyed clerk with the weight problem had caught us about to become explicit and apparently didn’t appreciate the entertainment. Grinning, I took a bottle out of the back refridgerator and went up to him. Mosai stood behind me nuzzling my neck and placing his hands all over. It reminded me of why we were really here.
“Rubbers,” I told the guy. “Magnums. I need every box you have” ♥

A bell chimed on the door when we entered, a scowling Latino behind the raised counter watching us as we went down a narrow aisle. I wanted something to drink but Mosai just wanted me. He grabbed me, kissing me in between rows of Windex and cans of soup. I wasn’t going to turn him away. It’d be an artic day in hell before I did that. I reared back, my hand become friendly with his crotch.

“You two, no sex in store. Take outside!”

The hawk-eyed clerk with the weight problem had caught us about to become explicit and apparently didn’t appreciate the entertainment. Grinning, I took a bottle out of the back refridgerator and went up to him. Mosai stood behind me nuzzling my neck and placing his hands all over. It reminded me of why we were really here.

“Rubbers,” I told the guy. “Magnums. I need every box you have” 

August 12 2014, 09:10 PM

54: 3005

AYANNA

I was living the dream.

Clove cigarette in one hand, can of Irish Moss in the other and a girl bent over in front of me.

The brown beauty decked out in the neon feathered headdress was doing her thing with the others in her group but with an intense kind of eye contact and the prior approval of my partner, she grabbed the ground and backed it up like she was in a Cash Money video circa 1998. Baby was working her ass with a fury, doing her bedazzled thong more justice than I ever could. bouncing to the tune of Beenie Man’s King of Dancehall. I assumed I had died and gone to heaven. With earsplitting music coming from an 18-wheeler, dancing in the middle of the street and women showcasing what their mothers had given them freely and confidently, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the afternoon. Steel bands, horns, calypso, weed perfuming the air, jerk chicken, roti, breadfruit, coconut water (from the actual coconut) flags in the air, masks and sunshine—it was all here at the 48th Annual W. Indian Day Parade.

Brooklyn and its peoples were out in droves, the bold, the odd and the interesting congregated.

I’d been to Eastern Parkway every year since I could remember and ever since I had discovered a small fraction of my sexuality, I had gone out of my way to make the absolute most of my time. Recently, I had stumbled upon the fact that I had an actual attraction to women and their forms and was having a lot more adult-themed fun because of it. The pretty in pink taunting me with her rotations was just a part of that. The Caribbean culture wasn’t known for being same-sex friendly but I’d seen more than a few women and men throwing caution to the wind. Folks were showing themselves and this lovely had no issue giving me love. With a sparkling smile, she stood up and pecked me on the cheek. I grabbed her hand before she could run off.

"What’s your name?"

Marjorie.

From Martinique.

She was baby mother material, not because she lacked the ability to be anything more but because looks like hers needed to be passed on genetically. She got yelled at, flashed me a look of apology and caught up to her group. I sighed contently.

"Yo," I said grinning, "that was nice."

"Even better for those in the audience."

I looked up at him, pretending to be ashamed of myself. “Did I go overboard just now?”

He gave me his sleepy, bedroom eyes as he ran his fingers up my bare back. “Yeah but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Mosai tugged at my bucket hat, pulled me closer and kissed me with a heat that rivaled the temperature. He wasn’t one of those guys that was all over you to prove a point. He was on you because he was just that into you. Or me. We were into some passionate, romance novel stuff and for once, I wasn’t even being cynical about it. I enjoyed it. I was enjoying him. It was more than that of course but I’d get into it later. We were hot and heavy and everybody was getting a show. When we were done locking lips, I got pulled away, an arm going around my shoulders.

"Aye man, we just met and I want to like you and everything but you gotta keep them hands to yourself. I saw her first. Tell accent boy I’m your man. Or your next one."

"I wish I could but I’m locked up," I replied slipping his arm off. "Besides, we would never work out. I’m me and we’ll, you’re you. Know what I’m saying Rodney?"

I went back to Mosai’s arms, offering him a shrug and a laugh. I couldn’t believe it but I almost missed having the guy around. He was the comic relief, enduring and annoying most of the time but Rodney was way more than I had ever given him credit for. Yesterday my ex-best friend’s ex-best friend had hit me on Twitter privately, wanting to talk. I assumed the worst. I thought he wanted to plead the case of his boy but when I forwarded him my new number, it wasn’t that.

Rodney called.

And he apologized.

On behalf of Max.

He told me what went down at AfroPunk, how with Yoshi’s intimidation he discovered what his boy had been up to while he was away in North Carolina for a month. I don’t think I had ever heard him sound so serious as he condemned abuse against women. He said that he couldn’t call himself a man if he stayed cool with someone who’d done that. I appreciated his words and him backing me. From what I had heard, my whole family was supporting me. Leah, Yoshi, Rodney—all of them had come to my defense. All of them were now firmly against the one person who’d been with me from the start.

It was weird.

Picking up the phone and remembering that I wasn’t supposed to be talking to Max, looking forward to seeing him, to having lunch with him or just telling him something interesting about my day was weird. It was like he had never been around at all even though I knew he had. I guess it was natural for me to feel like I was missing something but I still felt a way about it. How could I yearn for someone who made it clear, more times than I could count, that their will was more important than mine? The nostalgia passed usually but when it hit, it hit.

I wasn’t for a trip down memory lane now.

I wanted to be in the moment. I wanted to be present. With my people. With Mosai. He made it all better. They all made everything fine. The group now consisted of Mosai and I, Rodney, Yoshi, Liam and Leah. I had corralled all of them for this outing and a string of parties leading up to the parade. Everybody was doing it up, preparing to return to school and everyday schedules. Come this time next week, I wouldn’t be participating in either. I was officially going to be a college dropout because I had no plans to return to LIU. I really hadn’t been that into it in the first place. I didn’t need a piece paper to get where I wanted to be so there was no point in me shelling out thousands of dollars a semester in the name of gaining credits. I was firm on that. It wasn’t like I was a total failure. I was going into business with my girl. I had put down a significant amount of cash and signed on the dotted line to be a partner so actually this was a partial vacation after all. There were no set hours but I did have a job. All the more reason to let my hair down and do whatever.

When I wasn’t shooting video of the events, I was busy snapping pictures. For one I had gathered us girls into a group shot, our faces representing different nation with paint. I wore Jamaica on my cheeks, Leah wore Haiti and since Yoshi had a few roots in Trinidad she had red, black and white. Mosai wore St. Lucia on his shirt but since Rodney and Liam couldn’t trace anything back to the Indies but we hooked them up with the flag of their origin. Everybody looked on point. We gathered, took way too many selfies and showed our asses.

That applied to Yoshi more than anybody else.

Her frayed Levi’s weren’t holding much in which Rodney was more than happy about. He’d been trying to put the moves on her all day. Yoshi, being who she was, could be oblivious to that but persistence was paying off. It was getting to be evening and Rodney had left me alone to press up against her. It had to be going good because she was cracking up and in all my time of knowing her I’d never seen her laugh that hard.

"Do you see that?" Leah asked nodding at them.

"Yeah," I replied. "See you too."

Liam and Leah had been within an inch of each other this whole time. The private smiles, the lingering looks, the way he was wrapped around her now said that their status had changed.

"What’s up? You two verified?" I asked.

Liam kissed her head, allowing Leah to handle this one. She slipped her hands into his. “You could say that. That thing, I worked it out.” Her look faltered for a minute. Her three-way situation was rectified apparently but not without inflicting some pain. I knew making that decision had been like splitting herself in two. Tremain was in her deep. Extracting him and moving on to something totally new had to be hard. We’d talk about it but I was relieved for her. Now she could be settled. She had the love she deserved.

We had that in common.

Tanned and tired, we decided to dismantle. That was until we met up in some hours again. Yoshi had set up a dinner to celebrate our partnership. In between then and now, all of us were supposed to get cleaned up and show ourselves at an address in Park Slope. I figured that the two couples here would go off by themselves but I wasn’t expecting Yoshi to let Rodney follow her to her car. That was no accident.

"Yosh," I yelled after her.

"Yeah Ya?"

"Don’t kill him okay?"

She smirked and pulled Rodney by the waist of his pants. “No promises but I’ll try not to hurt him too bad.”

"By all means," Rodney replied, "hurt me. Injure my ass."

I laughed as she tugged him along. He wouldn’t be saying that when she was done with him. Leah and Liam headed back to the brownstone and I went to Mosai’s. It was like my second home by now, the deli at the end of the block saw me so much they knew me by name. Even the meter maid had come to know my ride. It didn’t stop her from writing me a ticket but it was that camaraderie that made a neighborhood, a community.  I knew who frequented the block. The Johnson girls lived across the street and down the way, they played with Davina when she came around. Mrs. Dorris was a widow who scowled at everyone who passed her stoop and Lawrence was the Broadway dancer who was elated to be gay. I knew of mostly everybody but if I didn’t, I was sure that I had never spotted the person standing menacingly about fifteen feet away. I only say menacingly because it had to be 90 degrees out and this person had his hood up.

It wasn’t computing.

They were to the side but I got the distinct feeling that they had or were currently watching me. I was on the verge of saying something but Mosai came up to me.

“What’s wrong Ayanna?”

I watched the person walk off immediately, like just hearing his voice had made them want to flee. And then I knew. I wasn’t sure what went through me. It probably should’ve been fear or concern, and I was feeling some variation of both, but what I was really feeling was sadness. That we were at this juncture, not romantic, not friends, not even acquaintances. We were so disconnected that he could only come close to me by stalking. I know what you’re thinking. Tell someone. Tell the big strong, boxes-in-his-spare-time man beside me that another man, from my very recent past, was close enough to do me damage. I should’ve but you know me. Ayanna Kelly never took the path of least resistance. Nothing had changed about that.

“Not one thing is wrong,” I told Mosai, shoving my better judgement away. He wouldn’t come back today but he would come back. I didn’t want to focus on that right now. “I’m peaches.”

“Peaches?” Mosai asked.

“Sweet,” I explained. “Come on Blondie, you gotta keep up with my lingo.”

We went up the steps to the door. “I’m trying but you have a unique grasp on vocabulary.”

“Hey, I’m an innovator.”

“I’d say. In a multitude of ways.”

We shared a familiar look, one laced with a sexual innuendo. Specifically, he was talking about our after hours activities last night. When we got in from that party on Nostrand Avenue, both of us were feeling a certain way and by that I meant horny. What did you expect when we were pressed up against each other for hours on end? Under dark blue lights, we did a slow groove to Shabba Rank’s Mr. Loverman. There was grinding, so much pelvis to pelvis, ass to erection action along with him whispering some choice words in my ear. That London accent got me but his Creole, when he went from sounding properly British to confidently W. Indian, was a panty dropper. They would’ve been on the floor if I’d been wearing any. Between the Patra telling me to Dip & Fall Back and Kat DeLuna instructing me to Whine Up, we’d had some major sexual tension going on. Sitting straddled on his bike after had only helped with the torment. Needless to say, I was barely holding on when we got back to the Hunter home. I was ready and willing but I got nowhere.

Mosai was still cock-blocking.

Himself.

I had no shame at that point.

I got into his favorite chair and got to work. My back was to him, my knees bent, my head hanging forward over the back while I touched myself. I wanted to be more entertaining, do this with some finess but I went right in. Two fingers in and out as I thumbed my clit. I was impatient, almost sending me and the chair over. And Mosai watched the whole thing. When I came that first time, pent-up energy drained out of me. I sank down, turning over to sit clumsily the right way. That’s when I got a show of my own. Mosai sat on the edge of his bed, one hand wrapped around his length. In the dark, his eyes stayed on mine while he stroked himself slowly. I watched him, got inspired and put one leg over each arm.

“You joining me?” he asked lowly.

“In every way. Teamwork makes the dream work babe, you know that and if you don’t, you’ll learn that soon enough.”

We breathed new life into the art of masturbation and the memory was just as vivid in his mind as it was in mine. I had half a mind to take him right now but I was trying to respect his wishes as frustrating as they were. Once inside, I kissed him, my come hither vibes changing into something more innocent. I wanted him to put a hurting on me but that wasn’t half of how I felt. Being with him, holding his hand, waking up beside him, it was all I needed to block some of my more unfortunate experiences. I mean Max was just outside, clocking my moves and Mosai had enough juice to make me forget that.

“You know we’re not expected until 8-ish. That gives us more than enough time to repeat our activities from last night. I gave him a persuasive look, my hands yanking his t-shirt up and off. I kissed his chest and stared at him longingly. Mosai held my head, grazing my cheek with his thumb.

“I’d like nothing more than to revisit that but Alto’s been after me all day. He wanted me to call him. Right now. Exclamation point.”

“I get it. Handle your bi. I’ll be upstairs.”

“While you’re up there, check out your side of the closet.”

Yes, I had legitimate space in his massive walk-in because with me going back and forth between our two places, I had just as many items in my room as I did his. I had a workable wardrobe but I would’ve remembered an Alexander McQueen garment bag in there. I unzipped the bag and cursed. The dress was black and the splits on both legs were hinting at danger that high on the thigh. I kicked off my Chucks and tried it on. With my lack of height it should’ve dragged on the floor but no, it was just right and the fit, it was perfect. I stood in the mirror and only word came to mind: sex. I looked like sex. The bodice was giving me lift and I actually had a fair amount of cleavage. The almost sheer fabric at the bottom made my struggling ass look promising and the back…I was sporting nothing but skin. All I really needed were the right shoes. That was covered already. A black box sat on the shelf above and inside were the bossiest fucking pair of sandals. I has ever laid eyes on. Black. Sude. With a gold snake serving as the ankle strap. They were Guiseppe’s and those joints didn’t come cheap. I didn’t want to be that girl who fell for a pair of shoes but goddamn, I was in freaking love.

I went to the wall unit intercom and beeped the office.

“Yes Kelly?”

“Blondie, what was your goal here? It has to be to kill me because I’m dead right now. You fucking murdered me,” I said.

He chuckled. “If you feel like that now, you might now want to see what’s on the vanity.”

I did and almost went into cardiac arrest. “I can’t with you. There’s no way you could get me this right.”

The herringbone choker sat in a velvet-lined box and was heavy enough to be something leftover from Slick Rick’s collection. They didn’t make gold like this anymore. The best part was that it was used. He left the tiny paper tag around it to show me that the gift was previously owned. That might be strange but I didn’t feel right unless I had on something vintage. I liked the idea of recycling and making purpose of someone else’s throwaways and he got that about me. Now everything was just right.

“So I see you’ve been paying attention,” I said.

“You’ve been my focus for a while now.”

I smiled. “Thank you. Don’t go thinking you can buy me though.”

I would never think that. Those are items are nothing compared to what you deserve.” I doubted that but I was learning not to down myself anymore. He never took it well when I did.

“Should I come down there to show my gratitude?” I asked.

“Not now. The manager is in talks. I couldn’t focus with you in front of me. You’re my biggest distraction.”

“I could see that.”

I left him to his conferencing and went about the beautification process. I stripped and headed for the expansive shower, piling on shampoo and conditioner on my head. Once clean, I got out and put Mosai’s robe on, wrapping my hair up before buttering myself with shae and scrubbing my face with black soap. I usually kept my grooming habits to a minimum but for the next hour, I did more than my fair share of plucking, shaving and waxing. Then, came the hair. I tackled it with determination and a blow dryer. The end result was volume. I could give Diana Ross a run for her money with how big it was. Double eyeliner, triple mascara and a wine-colored lip finished the face.

Next came the dress.

The flesh factor was off the meter but it didn’t bother me at all. I considered this progress since just weeks ago, I was shrouding myself with as much fabric as I could. I didn’t feel good about myself. Actually, I had never felt worse about myself but I guess as the bruises faded, my sense of self decided to come back. This was one of those rare times when I was fully cognizant of how great I looked. I was basking in all my glory and then suddenly I was overcome. I scurried to my designated night stand and I took it out, regarding it with reverence. We had been strangers for a while now, fucking months, but now I was coming back to the fold.

Some time later, Mosai found me sprawled across the bed, my thousand dollar heels crossed in the air. I was talking to myself, oblivious to him watching me.

“You’re writing again,” he said.

I sat up. “That surprises you?”

“No,” he said, “I just haven’t seen you do it in so long.”

“The pen was my first escape. I might put it down but I’ll never give it up.”

The constant hum of my problems was always in the background. Dealing with him just drowned it out a lot of the time. While Mosai was a true life blessing, I would never give up expressing myself even if the subject matter was painful. Mosai sat down beside me and motioned.

“Can I?”

I handed the notebook to him with no hesitation. He read it over and looked up at me, worry in his eyes. “Deep.” It would be. I was dealing with some extraordinary, crazy extenuating shit in my life. My words reflected that. “You know you can talk to me about him. You haven’t said one word since everything happened. I’ll listen to anything you have to say. He’s a bastard that shouldn’t have life after what he did to you and just mentioning him pisses me off but I’m here for you.”

The sincerity was there. He actually was willing to sit and listen to me talk about Max but I couldn’t allow that for very specific reasons. “I know that,” I said, “I just don’t want to bring him into what we have. You two are in very separate places in my mind. He meant, means, so much to me and my brain is going to revert back to him for some time to come but I’m here. With you. Because you are who I want to be with. You’re all things right. I think I was scared of that but I’m not anymore. I’m thankful for you offering but I’d rather not have him in our mix. I don’t want you connected to that. No associations and/or correlations. You have a clear lane of your own. You always will.”

He took my hand and kissed it, not commenting. I tried changing the subject by asking what his high-powered, mobster-esque manager had to say.

“About that, there’s been a scheduling issue. H & M wants me to shoot early.”

“How early?”

“Two days from now early, something about the campaign being pushed up. Alto made them come up with a significant bonus for the time difference but they still want me there for a week. I want you to come with me to Sweden. I’ll be on set but we’ll have a good time.”

That sounded like a deal except I had some pressing responsibilities as well. “I want to, believe me, but I probably shouldn’t. Yoshi’s bringing me up to speed on the business and I have to take the crash course. FEMME is serious to me and I want to do right by it.”

He sighed. “Then I guess I’ll just have separation anxiety.”

“You going to sulk on me?”

“No, it’s not very becoming. I respect your ethic. I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do without you.”

“Dido.”

I leaned closer, resting my head against his. “It’s not  like I won’t be around when you get back. I’m not going anywhere. What’s some days against the grand scheme of things?”

I put my arms through his, hugging him. He pulled me in tight, inhaling my scent. “You always smell so good to me,” he whispered. “Like home somehow. As long as you stay like this, I’ll get through it. Maybe.”

I laughed and fingered one of his curls. At my request, he had grown his hair out. “Get dressed. We’re going to be late to this thing and I know Yoshi went through a lot.”

He promised to be only a few minutes and in that time, I convinced myself that I wouldn’t miss him. That much. We had video chat, we had text messages and calls and tools to keep this from feeling like the end of the world. It wasn’t but it was sort of feeling like it. My face was drawn but I forced myself to brighten when he emerged in a patterned collared shirt, tailored pants and oxfords.

“You look very dapper Sir.”

“And you look like a felony waiting to happen,” he replied. “I knew you’d be stunning but I had no clue you’d be this astounding.”

“Hey, I have to do you justice.”

“You do that without trying,” he said kissing my neck.

We were touchy feely again and I could almost forget that he was leaving me in 48 hours. The feeling of loss didn’t come until later, until I was toasted with champagne and congratulated. Yoshi had outdone herself, securing the back patio of Faros. The Greek restaurant was close to Prospect Park, situated in a two-story brownstone. Under the candlelight, surrounded by greenery and the lowering sun, I sat amongst my people, conversation and laughter flowing. Leah was cozied up with Liam and Yoshi wasn’t making any attempts to remove Rodney’s arm from the back of her chair. Mosai was beside me, his hand resting on my thigh. This was it, a transition. It was one of those rare moments when you realized that your life and world were changing and becoming something else. I was moving on to another chapter of my life and with that came a certain awareness.

I whispered into Mosai’s ear and stood, taking him with me. “I want to say thank you to all of you for helping me commemorate this occasion. Yoshi, one of my sisters from another mister, has this crazy idea that I’ll do things with  FEMME and I’m going to do my best to call her bluff. I love all of you like cooked food and your company is all that but I have to cut out. I need some time with this very beautiful man. In other words, we out bitches.”

We got booed before the good natured comments came but everyone said their farewells, hugs, daps and pecks being exchanged. I was trying to haul ass because I had something on the edge of my tongue and it needed to be said before I lost the nerve. Mosai had me close as we walked, his cologne bathing me. A short walk up a tree-lined block and we were at Grand Army Plaza, the infamous Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch overhead. Mosai marveled at it said it looked like Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile in Paris. The light against the Brooklyn backdrop, the fountain, it was all clicking.

I was going to do this.

I started to get Mosai’s attention, intending to open myself and lay it all out for him but it was another Hunter twin that stole my focs.

“Mahiri?”

The woman I was pretty sure was Mosai’s sister stood some feet away, a white knit dress on. Her features, her complexion, she was far more beautiful than she realized. She was standing diagonal but when she looked over it was definitely her. The only thing wrong or right about this picture was that her hand was being held by someone else’s. A lady someone else. Her company had the kind of skin that made me stare, blue-black, her waist-length braids accenting the prettiest face. They contrasted but together they were art-worthy. They were too close which obviously meant something was going on. Mahiri looked like she wanted to avoid a meet and greet but she’d been spotted. She couldn’t ignore us. Slowly, she walked over.

“Mosai,” she said. “Ayanna, look at you.”

“I should be saying that. Who’s this?”

“Drew. She’s a friend of mine.” Mahiri hesitated then added, “We’re seeing each other.”

It was like she held her breath waiting for our reaction but Mosai and I only nodded. There was nothing abnormal about dating a girl. Maybe if she got this response all the time, she wouldn’t think it was a big deal either. Her girl shook our hands, fascinated more with Mosai. They sparked up conversation about an installation artist they were both familiar with from London. That left Mahiri and I to stand there pain-filled. There was some awkwardness. She’d had the hots for me then gave me ice after that. There was also that one person we had in common.

“So,” I said trying to desperately fill in the empty space, “what’s up with you? How are things?”

She started to tuck her hair behind her ear but stopped. It showed restraint. The girl was forever falling back into her nervous habits. “I’m okay,” she replied. “The restaurant is doing great. It was hard at first not having Najm around but its worked out.”

She must have realized that she’d said something noteworthy when my eyes narrowed. “Why wouldn’t he be around?” I asked.

“He didn’t tell you, did he?” No, which was why I had interrupted her right at the mention.  “You and him should talk. Soon.” She ducked her head, wanting to avoid any further explaining. “Drew, we should get going. Bye guys.”

Mahiri and her girl walked away and I was left wondering what was going on with Najm. I hadn’t had the heart to make contact but just maybe that was a good thing. Cutting the strings was something that had to happen at some point but still I thought about him. I just couldn’t give into that now. I had reached a certain immunity and I couldn’t go against that. Not so soon. I faced Mosai, wrapping my arms around his neck.

“What do you think that was about?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” I said. “Right now, I can’t care. I need to tell you something and I need eyes to do it.”

He looked at me, his clear grey eyes brilliant. I missed a beat. My heart literally skipped. Suddenly, I wasn’t afraid anymore. No matter what happened after this, I was going to box this moment and store it because I had never felt anything like this. I touched his lips, smiling softly without realizing. “Mosai Bartholomew Hunter, I fucking love you.”

There was none of the strife or panic or turmoil I had gone through when I said those words before. This was natural. It felt like I’d been saying this to him for a lifetime already. Like all of this had happened already.

Mosai broke out into a shy smile. He brushed my hair back, staring at me like I was the only thing in existence. “Why Ayanna?”

“No matter what you say or what you do, when I’m alone, I’d rather be with you. Fuck these other niggas, I’ll be right by your side ‘til 3005…”

I nodded my head in the direction of the radio someone was playing across from us. Mosai chuckled. “I don’t mean to jack Gambino but the lyrics work. They’re how I feel. You do it for me body, mind and spirit. You give me the benefit of the doubt even though you shouldn’t. You have protected me, hurt for me and I recognize that I’m very lucky to have you in my life. You make me feel normal, or my approximation of it and I couldn’t go another day without acknowledging that. I am in love with you.”

He began to speak but I put my hand over his mouth because there was more. With me there was always more.

“What I’m going to say next might ruin all of this but I have to be upfront with you so you know who and what you’re dealing with.” If I were a little smarter, I wouldn’t think of potentially ruining what was already perfect but I couldn’t keep anymore secrets. There couldn’t be any misrepresentations or twisting of the facts or confusion and for that to happen, I had to be all the way honest.

“I’m in love with another person too,” I said quickly, “not who you think either. That scenario I told you about, from my childhood, it’s still prevalent in my life. I have these conflicted, profound, and insane emotions when it comes to this person and they’re not just going to vanish. I’m trying to put them behind me but it’s going to take some time. I haven’t seen this person, we don’t even talk now but we will eventually and I need you to be okay with that.

Before you ask why you should, I’m telling you now that no sex, no anything will ever be had with this person from this point on. I wouldn’t disrespect you like that again. I’m going to be cognizant, on my best because the way I see it, I’d be a Class-A idiot to jeopardize us another time. I’m not okay with being without you. I won’t hold anything against you if you can’t agree to this whole thing. Believe me, I would get it.”

I’d said a mouth full but he only said one thing. “If that is you word then I trust you.”

It couldn’t be this easy. “Do you really mean that?”

“Yes, I do.”

I smiled so hard my face hurt. “Then I have another situation for you.” I went into the top of my dress and took out a folded piece of paper. I placed it in his hand. Once he opened it, he laughed. I’d resorted to elementary school antics on this one.

“Don’t keep me in suspense Blondie. It took a lot of courage for me to write that.”

“Yes,” he said. “Yes, I will be your boyfriend.”

Out of three hand-drawn boxes, I was hoping he’d go for that one. I was gone, so ecstatic that I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. “Damn, this feels like Christmas.”

“For you too?”

We did a movie kiss. It felt that epic.

This was how it was supposed to feel I realized. Loving somebody, having them return that love should be like fireworks. It should be like winning Mega Millions and it was all of that. I loved him. It took a minute, we had some mishaps but it was all worth it. The pain was worth it. Mosai was mine and I wanted to be his.

In all ways.

“Can we have sex now?” I asked.

“Is that what this was about? You just want to get me into bed?”

“No, it’s just a perk of being in a relationship. We get to fuck each other mercilessly.”

Mosai squeezed my waist, his hands embracing my ass. He did it with respect, if you could imagine that, but his grip said he wouldn’t hesitate to throw me down and do damage. I liked that. “Is that what you wish?” he murmured in my ear, “because you’re my woman now, it’s my duty to give you whatever you want. However you want it.”

I swallowed as I met his eyes. If he meant to make me instantly wet, he’d done that with two sentences. I had some ideas about what I wanted to go down and they involved a hotel and exactly twenty-one orgasms.

“Why that number?” Mosai asked.

“I read it. This book Pleasure. It’s doable. All we have to do is try. Two days is enough, right?”

“It’s going to have to me. Let me make a call.”

I wouldn’t let him step away as he took out his phone. Less than four minutes later he had a five-star, two bedroom penthouse. The Peninsula Suite at the Peninsula Hotel was luxury but I could care less about how exclusive the Fifth Avenue address was. I only cared about the king-sized bed.

“That solves one issue but not another. C’mon. We need to make a bodega run.”

I had spotted one a block and some change away. It was kind of difficult to walk straight when I was throbbing but we made it there. A bell chimed on the door when we entered, a scowling Latino behind the raised counter watching us as we went down a narrow aisle. I wanted something to drink but Mosai just wanted me. He grabbed me, kissing me in between rows of Windex and cans of soup. I wasn’t going to turn him away. It’d be an artic day in hell before I did that. I reared back, my hand become friendly with his crotch.

“You two, no sex in store. Take outside!”

The hawk-eyed clerk with the weight problem had caught us about to become explicit and apparently didn’t appreciate the entertainment. Grinning, I took a bottle out of the back refridgerator and went up to him. Mosai stood behind me nuzzling my neck and placing his hands all over. It reminded me of why we were really here.

“Rubbers,” I told the guy. “Magnums. I need every box you have.”

“You sure you want those?” Emilio asked. He was sarcastic but with cheese dust and crumbs on his shirt, he probably should’ve of been more low-key.

“As sure as I can be,” I replied. “My man is working with something impressive. Grande. Muy, muy grande.”

He threw the black boxes on the counter and rang me up. “No more than me mama.”

I put a 100-dollar bill on the counter. “That’s debatable. We’re in kind of a hurry to bang each others brains out so we’ll have to skip the sword contest. That’s better for you though. Spare you some embarrassment.” I took my bag and winked. “Keep the change Papo, you’re obviously hard up.”

Moasi half-lunged at him and punk went scrambling. We exited the store laughing at his expense.

“Yes, I love it when you physically threaten people in my honor. It turns me on,” I said.

“Good to know.”

We hailed a cab and made out in the back of it like two horny teenagers. I only focused long enough to retrieve a condom. I unzipped his pants, not minding that the strap of my dress and slipped down and nearly exposed a breast. There was nothing wrong with the driver watching either. I suited Mosai up and corrected his clothing.

“Are you going to tell me what that was for?”

You’ll see.” Once I saw Central Park coming up, I asked the driver to pull over. We got out and I led Mosai to a less populated area of the park. I was in search of the right spot and when I found it, the cutest old couple were seated on a bench there. The Cosbys. They looked like Heathcliff and Clair Huxtable. Somehow that was strangely alluring. He was a distinguished handsome and she was a classic betty.

I whispered in Mosai’s ear. “No. Not them,” he said guiltily. “They look like they could be our grandparents.”

“Exactly.”

He shook his head, not believing what we were about to do. “We’re going to hell,” he said

I smiled innocently and kissed his cheek. “At least we’ll go together lover” 

August 12 2014, 07:26 PM
Anonymous
When Finney made an appearance it reminded all about your other classic, Rated R, and made me have to reread it for the 50th time. How does Mosai know her?

Mosai had some shady dealings in the past and his path crossed with a younger Finney. They’ve kept in contact since ♥

August 09 2014, 08:15 AM

11. 

resistanceff:

Chris

Piercing, violent screams rang throughout my ears.

There was a sinking feeling that developed in the pit of my stomach.

The woman those screams belonged to, I knew.

She was my mother.

My heart started to race almost impossibly faster than it already had been. It drummed against my rib…

August 05 2014, 08:38 AM
I had to make a clear cut in one direction and leave behind my feelings in another.
I had to decide.
But making that choice would be like taking my heart in my own hands and ripping it open. The threads would be pulled apart, separated by force and I would feel all of it. I was going to voluntarily cut myself clean down the middle because it had to be done. Would there be pain? That was guaranteed. 
I was divided.
It didn’t come without consequence ♥

I had to make a clear cut in one direction and leave behind my feelings in another.

I had to decide.

But making that choice would be like taking my heart in my own hands and ripping it open. The threads would be pulled apart, separated by force and I would feel all of it. I was going to voluntarily cut myself clean down the middle because it had to be done. Would there be pain? That was guaranteed.

I was divided.

It didn’t come without consequence

August 05 2014, 08:33 AM

53: Divided

LEAH

“Taste.”

I held the glass out to him, wearing my most appealing look but I only got a turned up nose. So my approach wasn’t working. I tried again by lowering my eyes and opening my robe even further. I didn’t have the most impressive pair but breasts were breasts and I was discovering that they were useful in many different ways. They came in real handy when trying to entice the opposite sex. I usually didn’t have a solid reason to do that but this situation permitted it. I was trying to be sexy and realized that I was probably botching it but from his expression, I was doing something right.

“Taste it,” I said again. “Green is good for you.”

He licked his lips and smiled. “So are other things.”

I blushed, not even meaning to. I was of age, a consenting adult who was becoming fully aware of my sexuality but the mere mention of it and I felt heat at my cheeks. I was still coming down from the experience and he was all too happy to remind me. I didn’t mind. I never wanted to forget what Liam had done to me yesterday. I’d been reluctant but the small bag he’d brought home from The Pleasure Chest did something to encourage me. With the introduction of a dental dam and a few other items, I allowed myself to relax and enjoy. I think I’d gone overboard but I had honestly never felt that good.

Cunnilingus.

It was a beautiful thing.

Liam had performed it on me and I was still tingling. I’d woken up this morning with a burst of energy and the need to keep myself busy. That had resulted in me pulling out my trusted blender. Kale, pineapple and every other piece of produce I could find had gone in. I got like this sometimes, overly motivated about one thing or another but it made sense: great sex was inspirational. Now if I could get Liam to embrace my early morning health habits, I’d be even happier.

"Have you ever seen me consume anything green Leah? I’m farm bred but I’m a hunter. I’ve literally shot at animals. I’m part carnivore," he complained.

"Please. For me." I undid the sash of my robe and pushed it down to reveal a shoulder. I grinned while he shook his head.

"That’s not even fair."

"Fair or not, is it working?"

"You have no idea." With a playful glare, he took the glass and drank the contents. When he finished, Liam shook as if the concoction was vile.

"It wasn’t that bad."

"No but you’re better."

I was focused on cleaning up our diets, trying to boost immunity and clean away toxins. I wanted us to be healthy but nutrition was the furthest thing on Liam’s mind. He put me on the counter and I wasted no time dragging my hands down his back. While we kissed and my robe slid away, I gripped his behind, sliding my hands under his pajama bottoms.

I’d never been like this.

I couldn’t get enough. We’d went from attraction to a level of comfort and now a relationship so intense that I could hardly catch my breath. I loved every minute. I knew for sure now that I just loved him. I wasn’t afraid of the feeling anymore, I just knew the enormity of it. Once the words came out of my mouth, I couldn’t take them back. I had to hold out because it wasn’t the best time to make such a proclamation.

And because Liam and I had a visitor.

She cleared her throat and grinned. “Wasn’t it you giving me flack about this first?”

I snatched my hands out of Liam’s pants and scrambled for my robe. Ayanna was at the door, covering Mosai’s eyes from our spectacle. I laughed, embarrassed while Liam helped me off the counter.

"Sorry about that," Liam said.

"No worries Sir. This is a house of ill repute. All things are a go."

"Is it safe now?" Mosai asked. "Can I look?"

Ayanna gave us the once over before she took her hand away. “It’s safe but maybe you should head out. I don’t want you subjected to wanton, sexual activity.” Mosai kissed her before waving at Liam and I. “Hi guys. Bye guys. Once Kelly has spoken, I don’t go against her.”

She patted his backside playfully. “That’s right. I run this. He likes it when I take control.”

"Yes," Mosai replied with a smirk. "I love it when you boss me around." I hid my smile. "Kindly fall in line, Liam. Me and your girl need to hold court. Peep the message." Her cropped jersey was white, NO BOYS ALLOWED printed in bold black lettering across the chest.

Liam nodded. “I see, I’ll be upstairs.”

When I was kissed on the cheek and given a look that made me want to quiver, Ayanna whistled. “You’re in heat. Maybe even more than me.” She slapped me ten like we were at a sporting event. It was something normal Ayanna would say. Her eating cereal out of the box by hand was something she would do also. She sat at the table, positioning her legs on top of it. “So I know you won’t give me any sordid details but how’s the action?”

I took the chair beside her and sighed. “It’s unbelievable. I always want him and when we’re not together, it’s like I’m burning for him.”

"Wow, it must be all that if you’re getting literary on me."

"And Mosai doesn’t make you feel the same way?"

She smiled demurely, something I wasn’t used to. “It’s deep with us Lee. I didn’t bargain for it but he makes me fucking ache and more importantly, he gets me. I’m not even sure how I’d be doing without him. He means a lot to me.”

I could see that he did. It resonated through her voice, her body language, the way she looked. Gone were the nondescript clothes and bags under her eyes. Her newly blonde hair was topped with a crown of flowers, the red in them matching her lip color. Her favorite thrifted jeans and white Converses pulled everything together. Her style had returned, so had her sense of humor, her sarcasm, her presence but I knew she wasn’t all there. She couldn’t be after everything that had happened.

"I need to say congratulations. FEMME is amazing and you’re only going to make it better. I’m so proud of you. When I saw the pictures of you on Twitter, I was blown away."

"So the blue bird has that effect on you too, huh?" Her glow dimmed and I knew before she could even speak what the problem was. "Max messaged me," she said evenly. "He wants me to ‘please talk to him.’ Can you believe that shit?"

I sat up, growing anxious that quick. “You didn’t, right?”

"No but the contact clause is not changing much in my head. I have these small moments when I forget what happened with us and I look for him. I expect to go meet him at the park or find him downstairs. I start to miss him and then all of it comes rushing back. He betrayed me in every way but even as I sit here now, knowing that, I miss him. My Max, not this stranger he turned out to be." She sat back and looked down at her hands. "That’s fucked right?"

"No," I said. "It’s really not. It’s only natural that you’d feel like this. If I’m bothered by this then you have to be devastated by it. I can’t tell you why Max did what he did, I don’t even think he knows. It’s sad, especially because we love him but he made his choices, now he has to deal with them and you have to go on about your life and be your best. You’re already doing that and I admire you."

Ayanna gave me dap. “Respect but you’re the role model up and through. You may not have noticed this but you’ve done some transitioning as well. You’re not so guarded anymore. Look at you. You’re letting your hair down, getting felt up in the kitchen and you’re wearing hickeys.” I covered the markings on my neck but she was right. I wasn’t as ashamed as I would’ve been previously.

"Babe, you’re my hero."

"Well, you’re mine so it’s even."

"Now that we got that sentimental moment out the way, I need an update and an RSVP. Tomorrow is September and you know what that means. We’re hitting the W. Indian Day Parade my but after that Yoshi’s putting a dinner together and I need a head count. Are you bringing one or more men through?"

A simple question that was very complicated.

Playing the middle had its advantages. I got the benefit of sharing my time with two people I cared deeply about but then there those occasions when three was a crowd and really, just awkward. Like at the rave. Max had brought a drama to the event but he wasn’t the only one to make things strained and uncomfortable. Being forced to go between two different men in the same setting was not my favorite thing. At the rave, Liam showing up was intentional, his purpose being to stake claim. I had never really be in tune to men and their tendencies but now I was getting a crash course on how they operated. Nothing out of way happened  but the tension resting between them was palpable and I was responsible. They were at odds when in normal circumstances, they wouldn’t even know each other existed but I had brought them into something that made them enemies. I knew I was lucky that nothing more harmful than straight eye contact and standing ground hadn’t happened yet.

"I might just be by myself," I said.

"Trouble in the triangle?" Ayanna asked.

"Something like that."

"Well break it down for me."

I would’ve but then I noticed the time. “Can’t right now. I’ve got a date uptown.”

"Tremain?"

"No. If you can believe this, my mother. She wants us to meet her for brunch."

"Us?"

"Liam and I."

She gave me a look. “Breaking bread with Lady Trudeau, that’s something. I’m not going to ask about your pops. If he wasn’t impressed with a “sans-abri gamin,” I know anybody you bring home will be a hard sell.” I rolled my eyes as I remembered. I had been unbelievably embarrassed when my father muttered in French that was my best friend was a “homeless street urchin.” It was their first meeting and their last. All the things I found cool and interesting about her, he belittled. His “daughter was too good to entertain trash from Brooklyn.” Just one of the many reasons why I had ultimately lost respect for him.

“The sperm donor will not be in attendance.”

“Still, this is big. Just don’t go picking out any china patterns. When you get married I want to be there for it all.”

“There is no threat of that.”

“Not yet anyway.”

“I’m ignoring you.”

“It’s okay.” Ayanna craned her neck toward the window, putting her hand up to her ear. “Do you hear that? Don’t tell me you don’t hear that.”

“I don’t hear anything.”

“I do.” She began humming Here Comes the Bride. I got up and yanked some of her hair before kissing her on the cheek.

“On that note, I’m getting dressed. If you need me, call.”

“And interrupt you engagement brunch, not a chance but I heard you. Go about it and no funny stuff upstairs.”

I smirked. “We’ll try.”

“You’re so nasty and I love it,” she yelled after me.

I laughed on my way to my room.

Something was different about me and despite everything happening to me romantically, I liked it.





I ran my hand against his, preventing him from touching his shirt collar again. “Stop making adjustments,” I said. “Relax. She’s just my mom.”

“That’s exactly why I can’t do that. Sorry Leah but even my best behavior doesn’t seem like enough.”

“Why?”

“I love you. It makes me want to leave an impression. I just want her to know that you mean a lot to me and I also don’t want her to know about the less than respectful things I’ve done to her daughter.”

I chuckled and kissed his lips. “You earn respect in my book.”

We were in public and I didn’t even consider that we were being stared at. I was so caught up in Liam and the feeling he gave me that I couldn’t care less about what people thought about out public display. It was a new thing, I had to admit. I was the always the one uber-concerned about perceptions. Now, I did what felt right.

Liam felt better than that.

“While I’ve got you here, obviously in a good mood, this might be a good time to show you these.” He went into his messenger bag and put two things on the table. I expected the one for him but the other had my name on it. “Don’t think hard of me, I know you didn’t agree, but I was hoping this would cause you to. It’ll only be for three days and I promise you’ll love my family. From what I’ve told them, they already love you.”

A plane ticket to Scotland was in front of me.

The gesture was so thoughtful and confirmed what he had already proved through action: he cared about me but my apprehension came again. Meeting his family was a big step and it symbolized something: our seriousness. It said that I saw more than the present with him because really, I did. I could imagine us down the line, not as far as marriage like Ayanna joked about but he could very well be a fixture in my life and while that meant growth and opportunity, it would ultimately mean that I had traded one thing for another. It meant edging out Tremain and that wasn’t sitting very well with me.

“That’s not the issue Liam, I just don’t want to do something like this when I’m entertaining someone else. I know me going with you is important to you and I don’t take that lightly. I don’t want you to regret anything after the fact.”

“And how could I possibly do that? You have been my rock for everything that’s happened to me. I know you still have feelings for Tremain but that doesn’t change what you mean to me. I’m asking you to go because you are my best friend and my lover. I have to tell my family something paramount and it would just soften the blow, for me, if you were by my side when that happened.”

We stared at each other, me seeing everything he’s jus said.

I couldn’t deny him.

I said that I’d be there for him and I was going to be.

“Okay,” I said.

“Okay?”

“Okay, I’ll go with you to Scotland.”

“You’re serious? Like you aren’t going to pull out at the last minute and leave me a sad and broken man?”

I laughed and leaned in to hug him. “I’d never do that. I’m in.” I picked up my ticket. “Eleven days from now, I’ll be flying to another country with you.”

“Thank you.” We shared another kiss but in the middle of it we got caught.

“Kissing before noon, I remember what that was like.”

I pulled away and Liam abruptly stood, trying to place distance between us. He held out his hand. “I apologize Mrs. Trudeau. I didn’t know Leah was doing in this fine establishment but you should know I don’t condone that form of affection.”

My mother stared at him as if she were going to curse his name before an amused smile stretched across her pretty face. I didn’t think she would understand or appreciate his humor being the upstanding woman she was but she laughed. Disregarding his hand, she hugged Liam. My mouth nearly fell open. She had received politicians, commissioners, anybody with social standing but a thin smile and a pair of air kisses were her way of greeting others. I hadn’t been around her at all over the years but she couldn’t have changed that much.

Or had she?

The picture she was presenting wasn’t right.

Her actions and her attire didn’t fit. Claudette Trudeau had practice shielding her looks but could apparently make up for lost time. She was staring at fifty but not one grey hair had appeared in her mane and her body was still that of a ballerina’s. That’s what she had been before she dedicated her life to education and motherhood. She’d been invited by a prestigious company in Russia to dance for them but my father didn’t approve. His wife was not going to entertain people for a living. His wife was going to make something of herself and bring her family honor. He meant bring him honor because he was the only person he was referring to. Two-piece suits, office dresses and sensible shoes made up her wardrobe not flowing summer dresses, bronze makeup and a natural curl pattern. We were matching in that way. Both of us had skipped the death-defying heat of the Dominicans, trading it in for the humidity of summer.

I was amazed and at the same time suspicious.

Her total transformation had to mean something.

I stood and hugged her. Clearly something was going on. I didn’t smell White Diamonds on her but something like baby powder. Now I was afraid. We sat down and ordered but I couldn’t stop staring.

“Mother, you look beautiful.”

“You really do,” Liam added.

“Thank you both. I feel it.” A waiter came and she ordered a mimosa. A mimosa. She’d always said alcohol, in any variation, wasn’t supposed to be had before 5pm. We were far from that.

“What’s going on?” I asked. “You’re not my mother right now. Not one I can remember.”

“I wouldn’t be. Nothing is as you remember Lee-Lee.”

The nickname was old, almost forgotten. She stopped calling me that when daddy dearest said that his daughters  would be known as and referred to by their full names, “not some ghetto shortening.” This was just another thing wrong with my mother. I took her hand, seriously about my next question.

“Did you kill Dad?”

She laughed, covering her mouth as if that were the silliest thing she’d ever heard when it wasn’t. Jean-Claude was an impossible, brick of stubbornness and control. If I had imagined doing violent things to the Warden then I know she had. As his wife she had dealt with so much more so if he was face down in a pool of his own blood right now, I wouldn’t find fault with her. I’d put my law school education to practice and I’d defend her. Maybe the emotions would come later but right now, I’d considered his demise a good thing.

“You’re father? No, I have not murdered him. I’ve just left him.”

“Left like separated?”

“For now,” she said casually. “When the time comes, I won’t be a Trudeau at all. I’ll be Etienne.”

Her maiden name. This was a big deal. A huge one. It was a long time coming but I still wanted to know why. When I asked her, she sighed.

“Why isn’t the question. Why didn’t I do it sooner is a better one. Thirty years Leah. My whole adult life I have been under the thumb of a man who acted like a tyrant, who gladly took away my creativity and crushed our daughter’s spirits with his sense of ambition. You ask me why? I don’t know. He was going into another one his rants and all of a sudden, I was laughing because this could not be my life. The funny part was that it was. Right then I knew I couldn’t survive him or our marriage so I told Jean-Claude that and I left.”

“And he took that how?”

“Not well but his reaction is irrelevant. He is not my ruler. I have wasted too much of my time with him which is why I wanted to meet with you two.” Our orders arrived and she carefully cut into her omelette. I guess not everything had changed. “I know that the two of you share a friendship and something more and I only want to see that flourish. Young love is an amazing thing and I want my daughter to experience that. But only if she wants it completely.”

I stopped eating. “What does that mean?”

“It means that something is holding you back from Liam here.”

How she knew that baffled me but the context of this conversation was doing that even more. I looked at Liam. “Did you say something to her?”

“No, he didn’t Leah but it doesn’t take much to notice that something has been bothering the both of you. I don’t need to know what it is, that is between the two of you, but I don’t want either of you to be in a situation where you’re going to get hurt.”

Her real meaning was that one of us was going to hurt the other more and that person was me. I was the one seeing two people at once. I was the one splitting loyalties and this whole time I was taunting Liam with that. He kept a poker face most of the time but he was more bothered by my actions than he let on.

“That’s nobody’s intention,” I said, “especially not mine. If that’s what it seems like, it’s not the case. I care about him. The whole reason we’re even sitting at this table is because of him. I’m sorry if this sounds bad but I had no plans to reconnect with you or anyone but I did because of him. So he wouldn’t have to go through what I did because that’s what you do when you love someone. You don’t abandon them. I don’t know how you can question that,” I said defensively.

My mother touched my face. “I don’t have to anymore. You said it yourself.” She began eating again, her role in this done. I always thought I’d gotten my intelligence from my father but clearly my mom was the shrewd one. She’d gotten me to admit what I’d been holding in for months. With nowhere to run I turned and took a deep breath.

“I love you. I think I was afraid to tell you that but it’s out now. I’m in love you Liam.”

Saying that was supposed to tie everything together with a shiny bow but it only unraveled everything further. Part of me was elated. I’d finally said what had been sitting on my chest for the longest but the the other part, the one ruled by logic and common sense, knew that this was the end. As long as I had held off saying those words, I could justify what I was doing but now I couldn’t.

I had to make a clear cut in one direction and leave behind my feelings in another.

I had to decide.

But making that choice would be like taking my heart in my own hands and ripping it open. The threads would be pulled apart, separated by force and I would feel all of it. I was going to voluntarily cut myself clean down the middle because it had to be done. Would there be pain? That was guaranteed.

I was divided.

It didn’t come without consequence.

Liam held my hand for the rest of the meal, watching me intently. I didn’t have much to offer to his and my mother’s conversation. There was too much circulating in my mind for me to offer my opinion on anything. When my mother stepped away to use the bathroom, Liam put his hand on my thigh, forcing me to look at him.

“I didn’t mean for her to interrogate the words out of you. I only talked to her a couple of times in regards to my insurance, I would never talk about our relationship without you knowing. I didn’t tell her about our situation, that’s an invasion of privacy. I—”

“I know you didn’t say anything.”

“Then why do look so sad?”

“Because I have to let go,” I said. I stood up, kissing him. “Tell my mother I had to go.”

“Leah, where are you going?”

“I’ll be home later. Don’t worry about anything.” I didn’t give him a chance to stop me before I was out the door. I knew that my abrupt actions had him concerned but the urgency of this overruled propriety. I walked the ten blocks to the four story building then took the elevator up. It let out into the open space. The desks were empty. Either he’d given his staff the day off or they were out making things happen for the next big event in New York. I almost wished we weren’t alone. Because we were, I had no reason not to do this. I thought I could get away with staring at him for a minute but he notice me immediately.

“This is a surprise,” Tremain said walking over to me. “What brings you around these parts?” He hugged me, placing his lips against my cheek. Somehow the gesture made my heart ache. This was probably going to be the last time he ever did that. I buried my face into his chest, sighing tiredly. He felt my posture, how I wouldn’t let him go and he realized what I had come her to do, what I couldn’t do now that I was in his arms.

“You have something you want to tell me Leah?” I didn’t answer. I wanted to but I couldn’t. He nodded and extracted himself. The absence felt like a loss, seeing the look in his eyes felt like a dagger in my heart. “You came here to say something so do it. Neither of is going to be able to move on until you do.”

He didn’t seem angry, just disappointed and with him that was worse.

I couldn’t look at him as I spoke. “I remember when I saw you the first time. You were like one of those guys I saw on tv or in movies. Back then I was into your type, street dudes, gangsters. I wanted someone with guns on the table, who had money in a rubber band in his pocket and you were that but you were so much more than a stereotype. You were this thoughtful, methodical person who challenged me, made it okay to be me and I will never forget that. You could’ve brought me down but you did everything to shield me and I will always appreciate that. You were my first love and I think I wanted to hold onto that. I wanted to redo us and fix what went wrong the first time and I think we could’ve done that if it weren’t for…”

I hesitated. Paused because I didn’t want to say his name. It was like a slap in the face but Tremain had never been the type to avoid anything unpleasant. Instead of easing into the uncomfortable, he went full speed ahead into it.

“If it weren’t for who?” he asked with a stone face.

“If it weren’t for Liam,” I said shakily.

Saying his name in this context made tears emerge in my eyes. I wasn’t crying for sympathy. I was crying because I was never going to come back from this. Tremain didn’t do second chances. He’d only made an exception because he loved me, because ever since we broke up like we did, both of us had been incomplete. When things had no end, when things were abrupt and sudden, there was a void. He’d given us another turn, there wouldn’t be a third time. If we were done, we were done. And it was that ultimate decision causing me grief.

“I can’t leave him,” I explained. “After everything that’s happened to him, I couldn’t possibly hang him out there.”

“Don’t run game on me, Leah. Thankfully, you were never good at it so I know when you’re bullshitting. You want to put this on your man having HIV when it has absolutely nothing to do with that.” He watched the surprise form on my face. “Yeah, I figured out that piece of the puzzle a while ago, how all this devotion and concern enters your voice when you say just one thing about him. It was easy to figure out that your boy’s got something over me. He’s in your boat, which means you don’t have to worry about infecting him. You don’t gotta obsess and worry about potentially altering his life, because he’s already there. With him there is no impeding guilt. Everybody’s always pushing people not to contract but in this specific situation, that would’ve worked for me. Not against me, right?”

I shook my head. “No, it has nothing to do with that. You were right.”

“Then you tell me what it has to do with.”

I glanced in another direction about to say what would put a formal end to this debate. It had put an end to my own internal struggle. At least until I got here and had to explain it. “When I was walking just now, I thought about the both of you in the most simple way I could. I asked myself who I could go without and then I realized. I’ve lived years without you but I’ve never had to be without Liam. I never meant to bring you into anything to deliberately hurt you. I thought I loved you, I do love you, it’s just now, I love him more. I want us to work.”

Tremain remained expressionless.

His poker face always appeared when he was angry.

I waited for a response but all he did was sit back at his desk. “I’m glad I know how you really feel. It’s good for me to know that I was a convenient place holder for you while you fell for someone else. Now, I can stop thinking about you every minute. I can dump this picture of you and go back to having meaningful sex with whatever bitch pushes up on me because that’s all I’m capable of when you’re not around. I don’t do relationships. You were it. You were always it for me but I guess that’s how life goes. You put your all out there and still end up with fucking nothing. You get to move on and I get to stay right where I am, in love with you.”

I was at a loss.

Tremain never discussed his feelings in any meaningful way and I knew, for sure, that this would be the last time I, or anyone would ever hear him do it. I got that panicked, nervous feeling. I needed to make this right, making this ending not so painful.

“Don’t say it. I’m not a pet. I don’t need you to coddle me. Friendship is not an option for us. Before, yeah, but not now. I’d rather be not see or speak to you for the foreseeable future. I don’t want to be suspended anymore than I have to be.”

Suspended

It’s what I’d been ever since I placed myself between two men. I figured that out when I left Tremain. I wasn’t hanging in the air anymore. Even if it turned out to be wrong, you had to choose. You couldn’t take two roads at the same time and you couldn’t hold out on things forever. With that in mind, I took out my phone and called a contact with no name.

“Hello,” a hoarse voice said.

He sounded worse. It wasn’t even guaranteed that he’d make it to his foreign vacation.

“It’s Leah,” I said with conviction. “I’ll do it. Just give me a time and a place.”

He rattled off an address and an hour telling me his lawyer would be present. I was prepared to hang up having nothing more to say but he had a question. “Why are you agreeing to do this?”

“I don’t know Romel, I guess I just think your death should mean something.”

I hung up.

I was going to do it. I was taking Spider up on his monetary offer not to help him but to help others. I couldn’t pinpoint what emotion I was having as I walked. Near Columbia, I stopped into my favorite coffee shop and ordered a french vanilla roast. I found a table and texted Liam. Fifteen minutes later, he walked through the door.

“Leah, where did you go? I was—”

I kissed him. “It’s over.”

There was confusion and then, he got it. I was here with him and not Tremain. He didn’t gloat or jump for joy or become smug, he just gave me this look of total understanding. “I’m sorry,” he said.

That was who he was.

A person so unselfish that he was apologizing for me mourning another man. He held my hand and let me have my thoughts the rest of the time. I looked at him at one point and I knew. It didn’t feel like it an hour ago but I had chosen right. I was never going to go wrong with Liam. It was probably too soon to be saying this but I had to go with my gut on this one.

He almost felt like “the one.”

Tremain was my past.

Liam was already my future