Sample Sunday: Foreplay

Hey. Hello. Wassup. Here’s another–tiny–snippet from To Break a Vow, which has a release date that I’m not comfortable sharing just yet. Just know that it’s coming soon. As always these words are mine, unedited, and highly subject to change. Enjoy and let me know what you think in the comments.

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Photo by Tai’s Captures on Unsplash

“Is this your first time in Vegas?” Eyes on her profile, I watched her cheeks stretch upward as she covered her grin with her glass, taking a tiny sip of the colorful, frozen beverage in front of her. High cheekbones and fat cheeks were just another thing her and Latoya had in common. When she placed the glass back on the bar, she shook her head in answer of my question.

“This is my third time here.”

“Ah, you’re practically a local by now.”

She laughed lightly. “Not by a long shot; I’ve rarely left The Strip on each visit.”

With my arms folded in front of me, I leaned on the bar top and canted my head to look at her. Her eyes were constantly moving, flitting from her drink to the couple at the end of the bar then back to her drink before venturing up to the mirror behind the bar which reflected the entire casino floor. I wanted her eyes on me. I wanted to see the flare of attraction that swam in their citrine depths when I’d first walked over to her. An inexplicable feeling began to bloom in my chest and I was seconds from following the impulse.

“What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done here?”

A ghost of a smile quirked at the corners of her lips as her eyes finally found their way back to me. They held for five seconds, not nearly long enough for me to get my fill of them, before falling to her drink. Slowly, she shook her head.

“Got married.”

My brows rose, and that impulse inside of me flared. “Do tell.”

She had my full attention and I twisted on the cushioned stool, positioning my knees on either side of her body and purposefully inserting myself into her personal space. The more we talked, the closer I wanted to be to her.

“Ugh. Do you really want to hear this? Talking about exes isn’t the best foreplay.”

My grin was wide and indulgent. I was impressed, and decided right then that I would be following through with that incessant impulse. “Is that what we’re doing? Engaging in foreplay?”

The fingers of one hand tightened around the stem of her glass as the digits on the other grazed the base of her throat and she bit her lip to hide her embarrassment. When her eyes met and held mine, I felt a strange sense of pride.

“Isn’t it?”

Sample Sunday: What’s Up With You

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Photo by Ken Yam on Unsplash

A snippet of my upcoming release, To Break a Vow. There’s no release date yet but it’s coming soon-ish. Unedited, copyrighted, subject to change, alladat. Enjoy.

 

I was cut off when a short, round woman brushed past me so quickly that I had to take a step back to maintain my balance. Turning to see where the fire was, I was surprised when the woman glanced back at us, long, golden hair whipping around her face as she stopped abruptly as if she had stepped into cement. Her mouth gaped open and she reversed direction, rushing toward us. Coming to a stop a few feet in front of me, small hands dropped to wide hips as big, brown eyes raked over mine and my brother’s bodies. If the assessing look in her eyes had held a smidge more heat I would have felt violated.

“Oh my God!” She breathed. “Y’all are fine as hell!” Her tone was low, it was almost like she was speaking to herself.

Man, there was something about this city that imbued transients with an overbold spirit that never ceased to bring me amusement. Uncertain of a fitting response to her observation, I laughingly issued my thanks.

“Um, excuse me?” Lisa glared at the woman who managed to spare her a quick look before refocusing on us.

“My bad, Sis. I meant no disrespect.” She pointed at J and I, but it was clear she was speaking to Lisa. “Please tell me they’re your brothers.”

Lisa propped a hand on her hip but J quickly wrapped his arms around her and, before she could get herself worked up, he set the woman straight.

“The only single person here is him.”

She followed his nod over to me. With a hand propped on one hip, she asked, “How single are you?”

Once again, I was interrupted before I could speak, Lisa choosing to answer the question for me. “No wife, no fiancé, no girlfriend, no kids.”

Chuckling, I shook my head, dragging the back of my thumb across my bottom lip. They called me impulsive yet here they were, thoughtlessly spouting off stats, selling me off to this strange woman for some unknown reason. “Thanks, Lee.” My…sister-in-law—for lack of a better fitting title—aimed a wide smile in my direction.

The woman tossed her straight, golden locks over her shoulder and narrowed her dark-brown eyes at me. “Fine and single? What’s wrong with you?”

This time, no one spoke before or over me. I smiled. “Apparently, I’m impulsive.”

To my surprise, the woman’s round cheeks swelled as she smiled in approval. “So, you’re perfect, then.”

My head canted to the side in partial humility. “Eh.”

Jeremiah laughed while his woman rolled her eyes, a smirk pasted on her lips. “Typical, arrogant Jer.”

I’ll be that. Sweeping my eyes back to the woman, I took in her appearance. She was cute—and bold—and I was intrigued.

“So, what’s up with you? What’s going on?

White teeth flashed at me as she smiled. “Okay, check it. My sister hasn’t had sex in like five years—”

“What?!” Lisa gasped and Jeremiah coughed through a shocked laugh.

She took the word right out of my mouth. Frowning, just that fast my interest began to wane. This sounded like the beginning of a poorly directed skin-flick accompanied by bad acting and I wanted no parts of it. The woman held up her hands.

“Wait, wait, wait! Before you say no, just hear me out.”

“Nah, I’m gonna have to go ahead and stop you right there. It sounds like you’re trying to pimp your sister out and I refuse to be involved with some crazy shit like that. I’d tell you good luck but…” My brows lifted in a shrug and I made a move to go around her, averting my eyes so not to be snared by the defeated slump of her shoulders.

“I understand.”

I edged around her, following Jeremiah and Lisa who’d already stepped away, when the woman whipped around.

“Wait!”

Sample Sunday: Lunch

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Photo by Katherine Chase on Unsplash

Hey there. Below is a teeny tiny snippet from my upcoming project, The Color Spectrum – a Duet in collaboration with Sabrina ELB Scales. It’s releasing bright and early (knock on wood) September 25th. These words are mine, unedited, and subject to change. Enjoy!

He was standing maybe about six tables away, facing in my direction. I bit my lip at the beauty that was him. He wore a slim, lavender suit with a muted orange shirt reminiscent of sherbet peeking through the lapels of the jacket. In place of those shiny brown curls was a pair of French braids that somehow enhanced his masculinity instead of taking away from it.

His lips moved as he tossed words I couldn’t make out over his left shoulder, then he laughed as that same shoulder lurched forward as if it had been hit from behind. He slid to his right a la James Brown, in a move so smooth I was sure it was practiced. My heart rate sped up and I tried to peel my eyes away from his enticing form to no avail. I watched as he unfastened the two buttons of his jacket and slid into a seat at the table.

Instantly, my gape hardened as a woman came into view. She looked to be about my height, with caramel brown skin and a big healthy looking, red-dyed Afro. Her mouth was running a mile a minute but he seemed to be heavily engaged in conversation with her. She was…cute, and my vision tinted green.

“Ooh, Eb! Is that him? He is fine!”

Shit. I had gotten so caught up in the sight of ole Pretty Boy, that I had forgotten all about Vee sitting right across from me. I shook my head and shoved more salad into my mouth, refusing to give a verbal response.

Vee chuckled. “Aww, that’s cute.”

Mouth full, I raised my brows. “Huh?”

She smirked. “You like him.”

I rolled my eyes back down to my almost completely devoured salad and wished that I could go back in time to when I mentioned him to Vee and slap myself across the face before I uttered a word. “Whatever, Vee.”

At the sound of her gasp, I gave her a sharp look of warning. She was about to be on that bull, I could feel it. Her mouth hung open.

“Oh shit. You really, like him!”

I groaned. “No, Vee, I really like this salad. Actually, I love it. In fact, I might marry it.”

“Eb, you’ll be shitting that salad out in the next six hours. That ain’t love. Mr. Fine over there, though? He got you over here zoning out on me and drooling into your romaine.”

Hastily, I swiped at my chin, glaring at my sister when I found it free of slobber. I can’t believe I let her get my ass like that. Putting down my fork, I attempted to nip this thing in a bud before her imagination went haywire.

“So what, Vee? I can begrudgingly admit that the nigga makes my titties tingle. That doesn’t mean that I like him.”

That smirk returned and she shrugged nonchalantly. “You’re right, Eb, physical attraction doesn’t mean that emotions are involved. That mug that appeared on your face as soon as you saw his lunch companion does, in fact, mean just that.”
And, well…she had me there. She knew it, I knew it, and she knew that I knew that she knew. Still, she’d have to pry a confirmation out of my shadow because I was done with this conversation. Just thinking about him beyond admiring his good looks pissed me off. I slid out of the booth and stood up. Reaching into the pocket of my jacket, I pulled a twenty out of my wallet and dropped it on the table.

“Really, Eb? You’re just going to leave? All because you don’t like what I said?” She sat back against the booth, a look of disbelief on her face.

Her expression brought me a tendril of guilt, so I knelt onto the bench on her side of the table and hugged her tight.

“Nooo. It’s not like that, Vee.” She harrumphed and I squeezed her tighter. “You know that I only get thirty minutes for lunch. The walk here and back is ten minutes in total. I’m cutting it close as it is.”

I waited for the tension to leave her shoulders on a sigh before I let her go and stood straight. She pulled cash out of her purse, tossing three tens next to her plate, which was more than enough to cover the Marsala chicken and single glass of wine she had ordered.

As we walked toward the front of the restaurant, I tried so hard to keep my eyes from drifting toward that table, intent on pretending that I didn’t see him sitting there looking delicious and sharing a plate of samosas with some random woman who had the nerve to be…cute, and not me. Due to the narrow layout of the restaurant, we would have to walk right past him to get to the exit and as we got closer to his table, Ivory stepped on the back of my shoe, causing me to stumble.

Though I was in no danger of actually hitting the ground, he jumped out of his seat with his arms outstretched, as if he planned to catch me. I caught my balance before he got to me but that didn’t stop him from grabbing my arms. I saw the recognition in his eyes and flushed with embarrassment. Without a doubt, I knew my face was as red as the flesh of a ripened strawberry, and I swore to get my revenge on Ivory Celeste Devareaux.

 

Sample Sunday: Did You Tell Him?

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Photo credit Kristina Flour

Here is another excerpt from the upcoming release To Build a Vow which is book 2 in The Vow series. These words are unedited and all mine. Enjoy!

~~~~

I was outside and halfway across the lawn when I heard my name being called. Turning around, I saw Sabrina making her way toward me. The determination on her face made me want to roll my eyes. After what had gone down with Jeremiah, I wasn’t in the mood to be fussed at by his mama. Sabrina reached me and decided to forgo all pleasantries and small talk.

“Did you tell him?”

I shook my head, my shoulders sinking. “No. He didn’t give me a chance to.”

She propped her fists up on her hips. “He’s not going to give you a chance to talk, Lisa. He doesn’t even owe you that. But you can’t use that as an excuse to keep this from him. You have to make him listen!”

It didn’t matter that she was right, I wasn’t in the mood to hear it. I narrowed my eyes. “I’ll tell him when I tell him, Sabrina.”

Sabrina stepped one foot back and cocked her head to the side. Her entire demeanor screamed that she wasn’t one to mess with. “Let me tell you something, little girl. Do not play with me. I’m giving you the opportunity to be the one who shares this, because it’s your news to give, but make no mistake; if you drag your feet, I will tell him.”

That time I did roll my eyes, and from the look on Sabrina’s face, I was lucky she didn’t slap them right out of my face. “Well, it seems like the work will get done either way. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.”

Sabrina scoffed and gave me a look of disbelief. “You and I both know that J will not be pleased if he has to hear this from anywhere but the horse’s mouth. And you know what else? From that show you put on last week, I thought you really loved my son. This mess that I’m seeing right here, is showing me something completely different. I didn’t want to believe it at first, and it took me seeing the damage done to my baby with my own two eyes, but now? I have no doubt that the woman standing in front of me could break his heart so carelessly.”

She stepped forward until we were nose to nose and I could clearly see the fury in those chestnut browns that all three of her sons had inherited from her. “It may have been a while since I was pregnant, but I vividly remember the constant emotions coursing through my body, making me think I was crazy. On the strength of that, and the love I have for you as the mother of my only grandchild, I’m going to let this attitude you’re having right now roll off my back. But, please don’t take my kindness for weakness, Lisa. I will break your little ass into two unrecognizable pieces if you try to keep this baby from Jeremiah. Know that.” She spun on the heel of her bedazzled tennis shoes and was ten feet away before she spun around again.

“Oh, and make sure you drive safe, you hear!” I nodded slowly and—seemingly satisfied with my response—Sabrina continued on, back into the house.