Authors: Toye Lawson Brown


She tossed her hair over her shoulder and folded her arms
tightly across her chest.  Hearing the back door slam, she said under her
breath. “I figured you would see it my way.”


 Cracking open her eyelids, Taylor adjusted her head on
the pillow to stop the strands of her plush hair from tickling him under his
nose as he attempted to sleep.  The irritation came from her head resting
partially on his shoulder.  She tried to roll over to her side of the bed, but
the move was futile. Seconds later, he pulled her back to resume the cuddling
position.  She brushed down the curls of her hair with her hand hoping to solve
the problem.  He batted her hand away draping her arm across his bare waist.

She lifted her head to check the clock that sat on the
nightstand on his side of the bed.  It was 4:25am.  She closed her eyes
sighing.  She was exhausted and having trouble sleeping in a strange bed.  They
left Uncle Vernon’s house around 1:00am and arrived at Mario’s house around
1:45am, then pleasured one another until the wee hours of the night.  Taylor
longed to sleep in her bed, but stuck with plans to spend the night with him.

She recalled the baby shower and was happy he’d joined
her after all.  Her family had given him an accepting welcome, which allowed
him to relax and be himself.  The men in her family behaved and keep him
entertained in her absence and the women were on their best behavior also.  In
all, the night was a success.

Mario’s head shifted filling his face with her soft
springy curls once again. Deciding she wanted him to wake up, her hand wandered
beneath the loose sheet to grab a bountiful handful of him.  Her fingers trace
his impressive flaccid length.  Mario stirred indicating he was awakening from
her touch.

“Umm,” she murmured as he responded positively to the
gentle caressing of her hand. “You are awake.”

A low gravelly moan escaped his throat.  Sweeping fine
wisps of hair away from his face, he said, “I can’t sleep with your hand doing

She turned over to lie atop him. “Am I too heavy?”

“You’re crushing the life from me,” he said grinning. 
She started to roll off him, but he swiftly grabbed her by the hips stopping
her. “I was only kidding.  You’re light as a feather.”

Taylor folded her hands across his chest propping her
chin up to give him a side-eyed glance. “Don’t play like that.  Women are
sensitive when it comes to weight issues.”

“Forgive me for teasing you.  You are in no way
overweight; you’re light as a feather.”

She brushed her lips against his cheeks before kissing
each of them. “I love the way you duck hot water when thrown under the faucet.”

Folding his arms around her body pressing her tightly
against him, he nibbled her neck. “Taylor, are you ready for a serious

“What do you want us to be, Mario?  Are you ready to be
exclusive with only me?”

“The minute I made love to you, I was ready for that
commitment.  I don’t know what it is about you, but I have to be with you day
and night.”

“I’ve been told I have that effect on people,” she said
tracing the tip of her tongue along his strong chin.

She tipped the box of condoms over on the nightstand
plucking a foil packet from the box.  Tearing the foil open with her teeth, she
reached between their bodies to sheath him without moving from her position.

“Are you sure you’re ready for more?”

The pulsation of his penis beat against the flesh of her
thigh.  He was warm and hard as steel.  She moved her legs to straddle his
thighs and raised her hips to allow him access to the gates of her heat.

Kissing his rock hard chest, she licked the flat of his
nipple. “What do you think?”

He flipped her over, changing their positions, so he was
on top of her. With a firm hand pressed against her belly, holding her down, he
slid lower on the bed until nestled between her lithe thighs.  He caught her
gaze when he looked up at her.  She knew what was to come and bowed her back
when his mouth covered her womanhood. 

Left helpless of everything including breathing, she
moaned.  His mouth was so hot, so delicious, and so skilled, as he pleasured
her orally. A soft release of his name flowed from her lips as his fingers
moved inside of her.  Pressing, exploring, moving in and out of her all the
while his tongue flickered against her engorged clit. She couldn’t get enough
breath in her lungs to release the scream caused by the crashing waves of
ecstasy coursing through her body.

Slowly she opened her eyes to Mario hovering over her,
watching her recover from the body-splitting orgasm.  With a glimmer in his eye
and a smile on those amazing talented lips, her body shuddered from the ripples
of aftershocks hitting her. “I honestly don’t know if I can handle more of you
tonight,” she said swallowing to coat the dryness creeping in her throat from
the heavy panting.

His hand caressed her inner thigh, parting her legs as he
positioned himself to enter her womanhood. “You have to have something left for

She complied with his demand by dropping her knees apart
to allow the first push of him to stretch her opening. “Yes, I’m sure I do have
a little something left for you,” she said filled with arousal and pulling his
hips to place him so he could placate the building ache growing in her loins.

She buried her head in the crook of his forearm as he
drove inside her sore cavity.  Although she was not a virgin, it had been a
while since she’d had sexual intercourse and was tight.  “Are you okay?” He
asked holding still.  Her warm, wet heat wrapped around him like a tight
glove.  Unlike the first time, he wanted to give her a second to get used to
him and ease the tenderness she had from the first go-around.

His arms strained holding his body in position above
her.  Every muscle inside of him wanted to move, feel the friction of her body
against him, but he needed her to be comfortable and ready to accept him
without pain.  She arched her back and tightened her legs around his waist.
“Don’t stop moving,” she said grinding her hips and squeezing her inner muscles
teasing him.

“Then stop doing that before I have an accident.”

She did, and he began moving his hips using short, easy
thrusts.  She kissed his forearms, tasting the moisture building on his body. 
He lowered his head to take a nipple in his mouth.  Taylor’s body trembled half
from pain and half from pleasure as his lips closed over her breast.

Her hips were now moving in unison with his.  No sounds
outside of the soft moans and the meshing of their bodies causing the
bedsprings to sing; came from the dark bedroom.

Taylor winced out in pain when Mario’s teeth scraped
across her swollen and sore nipple.  The long erotic hours from earlier had her
body sore, but not to the point she wanted him to stop.  He mumbled an apology
and switched to her other breast to feast.  The embers of an orgasm brewed in
her body with each of his thrusts in and out of her body.  He sustained the
short thrusting, but his arms were weakening from the strain of supporting his
own weight.

To relieve the stress from his arms, she took hold of
each of his wrists, pulling his arms over her head.  The move forced his
full-weight to rest on her.  He mumbled in her ear. “I will smother you.”

“No, you won’t.  Besides, I like the way you feel.”

His grunting and growling vibrated in her ear as he
dropped his head on her shoulder.  She loved the manly sounds he made, knowing
it was her bringing him such uncontainable pleasure. And the mere sight of his
hips pumping rhythmically was enough to make the fire between her legs

Immediately she concentrated on their bodies melding
together.  She unlocked her legs from around his waist, arching her hips upward
to meet each of his powerful downward thrusts against her pelvis. Her ravenous
hands roamed his backside.  Her fingernails raked across the damp, slippery
skin of his muscular back then lower to caress the firm mounds of his buttocks
as he clenched and unclenched.

He moved his arms so his hands could take a hold of her
butt cheeks to spread her further apart to accommodate him. His length
penetrated her enough to brush her cervix.  She jerked as the sharp pain
pinched her, and he adjusted the vigor of his thrusting.

The slapping of sweaty bodies and the aroma of pure hot
sex filled his bedroom. Taylor gripped the fitted sheet, sucking in long drags
of air.  Her head was light from the lack of oxygen filling her lungs.

Suddenly her body lost control and bucked wildly under
him.  The orgasm came from nowhere, splintering her body in different
directions as she clutched onto his shoulders. He didn’t hold back his
demanding raid on her as she shattered from a massive orgasm to collapse under
him.  He didn’t have time to revel as his own powerful orgasm drew from the
base of his manhood to skyrocket him to orbit.

A low grating growl rose from the depths of his belly as
he released his seed, filling the condom and wishing it wasn’t working as a
barrier between them.  He wanted the natural juices of their lovemaking to
mix.  And if the unmentionable happened, then so what, he was ready to settle
down and start a family.  He would not have a problem marrying Taylor James if
he got her pregnant.

Holding his position for several minutes, he rolled off
her and onto his side of the bed.  Taylor was too outdone to move.  Her heart
pounded the walls of her chest at a tempo that scared her.  If she didn’t get
it under control, she would have a freaking stroke.

Mario got out of bed disappearing into the bathroom
connected to the master bedroom.  He returned with a glass of water handing it
to her. “Drink this.  It will help you get your senses together.”

She pulled her achy body up to rest on her elbows. “Baby,
you are killing me.  I exercise and still don’t have the stamina to keep up
with you,” she said taking the glass and tipping it to her parched lips.

As he sat next to her rubbing her damp thighs Mario’s
lips quirked. “You’re in shape physically but don’t worry, I will eventually
get you to match me stroke for stroke.”

She drained the last of the water handing him the glass.
“You are challenging me….I like that.”  She yawned stretching her arms over her

Mario’s pupils dilated with the rise and fall of her
ample breasts.  He shook his head not believing he was becoming aroused yet
again.  Even he realized he did not have the energy to go another round without
having a few hours of sleep to recover. “Baby, why don’t we take a quick shower
and get some shut-eye?”

She glanced at the clock it was 6:05am.  “The sun will be
up in a minute.  We’re supposed to have breakfast with Dillon in a few hours. 
Do you think we can pull it off without looking as if we’ve been doing the
naughty all night long?”

He held out his hand to help her up. “You might have to
ask for a raincheck.”

She shook her head standing up. “No, we have to show for
breakfast.  He already suspects something is going on between us.  Set the
clock for 9:00am; we’ll have to pull this off somehow.”

He set the clock alarm and recited in Spanish. “Nosotro
no nacesitamos hacer esto si el supiera la verda.”

Taylor waited by the bathroom door. “What did you say?”

He joined her by the door. “I didn’t say anything.”

She trailed her finger down his chest. “Ya know I’m going
to learn Spanish and know what smart remarks you are saying to me.”

He kissed the back of her hand. “I will teach you.  Just
let me know when you are ready.”

“You are too smooth, Mr. Infante.  Too smooth,” she said
grinning and stepping backwards into the bathroom.

Chapter 8

Sitting in IHOP Mario sipped his coffee, amused by
Taylor’s disheveled appearance.  She combed her usually immaculate hair
straight and secured it in place with a headband.  Missing were the healthy
curls she sported the day before.   She hid her bright brown eyes behind large
dark sunglasses.  Her outfit was too casual for her fashionable style.  Dark
blue jeans, a plain white knit shirt, and white tennis shoes did nothing to
emphasize her curvy body.  He found it hard to believe she was in public and
not wearing designer clothing or her signature high-heels.

Taylor removed her glasses placing them on the table to
rub her temples. “I cannot believe we are up this early, on a Sunday morning,
and Dillon isn’t even here yet.”

“Sweetheart, it is just 10:00am.  Trust me, Dillon will
be on time for his date with you.”

She added half- &-half to her coffee cooling it
enough to drink and not burn her lips. “Now is not the time to be cute, Mario;
I’m too tired and sleepy to argue your hang-ups about Dillon.  I’ll need more
than three hours of sleep to deal with that.”

“What?  Do you not agree Dillon will not miss this
opportunity to be with you alone?  Only he will be surprised to see me.”

 “I know we’ll have to explain your presence but let me
handle it. I asked Kelly to come this morning to be a buffer.”

He nodded slowly. “The woman he wants to dump is going to
be a buffer.  Taylor, the tension will be so thick we’ll need a knife to cut
through it.  Baby, I think inviting her was a mistake.”

The stinging glare had her forgetting the pleasure he
bestowed last night. “I’m his friend and know him better than you do.  You’re
free to go to avoid the drama, if you want.”

“I only seem to upset you when we talk about Dillon.  May
I be honest and ask you a question without getting coffee thrown in my face?”

She crossed her legs sitting straight with her back
against the leather booth. Her tone was dry and unfriendly. “Say what you have
to say and I’ll determine if I’ll answer the question or not.”

He palmed his coffee cup staring directly at her. “OK. 
If Kelly weren’t in the picture would you be interested in a relationship with

Her tired eyes were dry and ached like sandpaper lined
her lids when she blinked. As painful as they were to shut, she managed to
narrow them in his direction. “I’ve told you on numerous occasions that Dillon
and I are only friends.  I was in the picture before Kelly, and I never had the
desire then or now to be anything more than his friend.”

“Yes, you have said that.”

“You know what, Mario?  Maybe having you come along
wasn’t a good idea.”


“I do believe it is my turn to speak.”

“Pardon me, continue.”

“Ever since we’ve been together, you’ve had nothing nice
to say about Dillon.  You almost had me believing he was stalking me or wanted
to do bodily harm to me because he has keys to my house.  I’ve never had a
reason to fear him before you came into my life.  Baby, are you threatened by
him?  Is that why you want him totally out of my life?”

“I am not threatened by Dillon; trust me when I say

In an assertive tone, she asked. “Then what exactly is
your problem with him.”

“My problem is how you react when I say anything about
him you don’t approve of.  He is showing you two faces, Taylor.  What is it
going to take to get you to see that?”

“More than what you are offering.  Dillon has keys to my
house and never once entered without me knowing about it.  We have gone on
business trips together. He has never come onto me. He has always been a
gentleman and a true friend.  I will not allow your petty jealousy to destroy
my friendship with him.  If you can’t accept our friendship, then you can take
a walk because true friendships last longer than one-night stands.”

He rubbed his chin not reacting to her flare-up. “Taylor,
is that how you feel?  Was last night a one-night stand for you?”

Moisture filled her eyes but she refused to cry in front
of him. Her voice was unsteady, as she nodded, “Yeah.  We teased and lusted
after one another for weeks until we finally had sex.  We’ve done the sex now it
is time to move on. We can work together but that is all I see happening
between us.”

He leaned back tapping a finger on the table.  “Wow, I
did not see that coming, but you are calling the shots.  I will take my walk
and not bother you again.”  He slid from the booth stopping to caress her hair.
“Take care of yourself, Taylor.  Adios.”

His thick accent lingered in her ears as the scent of his
cologne dissipated from the area as he walked away.  Looking through the large
plate glass window, she saw him get into his car and drive off.  One single
teardrop traveled down her cheek to fall on the tabletop.

She wiped her eyes with a paper napkin deeming another
prospect gone before it even got started.  Crossing her arms over her chest,
her breasts remained sore and tender from their lovemaking.  The flashbacks
from less than four hours ago blinded her vision.  She had developed an
emotional attachment to Mario, and now it was over.  How would she be able to
work closely with him and not feel or show affection for him?  His cologne, the
swagger in his walk, the sexy way words rolled off his tongue, those gorgeous
charcoal eyes that pierced her soul when he looked her, and his incredible
intelligence that drew her to him in the beginning.  All of it gone in a split

Men of his caliber didn’t come around often, and she
showed him the door to protect a childhood friendship.  As she drank her cold
coffee, she saw Dillon and Kelly entering the restaurant.  Taking her compact
from her purse, she opened it to see her reflection in the mirror; she was a
mess.   She sponged makeup under her eyes to cover the dark circles forming. 
The redness staining the white of her eyes came from a lack of sleep, and she
didn’t have any eye drops to use to rid that.  Checking her reflection again,
her appearance wasn’t going to get any better and closed the compact putting it
in her purse before Dillon and Kelly arrived at the table.

She adjusted her phony smile as the happy couple slid
into the booth.  “Good morning Taylor,” Kelly said with a wide grin on her

“Good morning, Kelly.  Good morning, Dillon,” she said
noticing the scowl on his face.

“Hey,” he responded picking up the menu the server placed
on the table.

Taylor held her cup out for the server to refill with
fresh hot coffee.  “Okay, what’s going on?  Dillon your face is dragging the
ground and Kelly is faking happiness.”

Kelly arranged her hair around her shoulders to avoid
sitting on it. “Nothing is wrong with us but you look a little upset.  Is
everything okay?”

Dillon’s head snapped in Taylor’s direction and she
lowered her eyes. “I’m just tired.  I was out late last night and up early this

“Did the baby shower last that long?” Dillon asked.

“It lasted longer than I expected.  I hung around to talk
with family members I had not seen in ages.  The hours just flew once we got to

Dillon folded his menu sliding it across the table. “So,
what time did you get home?  Was it later or earlier than midnight?”

Kelly nudged him. “Dillon, she is a grown woman.  Quit
questioning her like she is your daughter who missed curfew.”

“I’m not questioning her.  I’m just asking what time she
got home.”

“You sound like her father.”

He sighed. “Taylor, I didn’t mean to sound as if I was
questioning you….sorry.”

A mild thumping beat behind Taylor’s eyes.  “It’s okay. 
Kelly, I am used to Dillon questioning me about my whereabouts.  He’s worse
than having a big brother.” 

She picked up her menu when the server returned to take
their orders.  “I’m starving.  I think I will treat myself and have bacon and
eggs this morning.  What are you guys having?”

Kelly flipped the menu over scanning it. “Hmm, I will
have the fruit and oatmeal breakfast platter.  I have to watch what I eat if I
want to fit in my wedding gown and have room left to move.”

Taylor caught sight of Dillon’s red face as he ordered a
short-stack of pancakes and sausages.  Taylor turned her attention back to
Kelly.  “So, Kelly, have you had a fitting for your wedding dress yet?”

“Oh, Taylor, I have and the dress is just gorgeous on
me.  You should come with me for my next fitting so you can see it.”

Playing with the silverware on the table, she wasn’t sure
how to respond knowing how Dillon dreaded the upcoming nuptials. “Um, sure, I
would love too.”

“Speaking of the wedding, I have a favor to ask you,

Dillon rested his head on his fingertips, in an annoyed
manner. “Why are you asking Taylor for a favor now?  Can’t you see she’s

Taylor shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t mind.  Kelly,
what do you need?”

“Apparently Dillon doesn’t approve of me asking you this,
but one of my bridesmaids had to drop out of the wedding.  I was hoping you
would replace her.”

Taylor bit her bottom lip as Dillon spoke up. “See what
you’ve done! You’ve put her on the spot.  Kelly, explain to me why you’d think
Taylor would want to be the only black person in our all white wedding?  How
awkward would you feel if you were the only white person in an all black

Taylor opened her mouth to speak but Kelly beat her to
the punch.

Kelly’s voice deepened as she hissed at Dillon. “I didn’t
think about that at the time, Dillon.  I consider who my friends are before I
look at their race!”

“I told you last night not to ask her, but you don’t
listen! You hear or do what you want and screw what anyone else, or in
particular me, has to say!”

Taylor’s eyes crossed trying to decide if she should jump
in the argument brewing before her.  Mario was right about the thick tension,
only it didn’t have to do with them hiding anything from Dillon. Dillon and
Kelly were obviously in need of serious counseling before getting married.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa! Will you stop bickering and lower your
voices?  We are in a public place, and you are drawing unwanted attention,” she
said finally getting a word in.

Dillon removed his glasses pinching the nerve on the
bridge of his nose. “Damn, this is not what I wanted when I asked you to have
breakfast with me, Taylor.  I wanted us to catch up on what is going on in your
life, not talk about the damn wedding.”

Kelly shoved Dillon with all her might almost knocking
him from the booth to the floor.  “I’m sorry I ruined your stupid breakfast by
coming with you.  Taylor, I apologize if I offended you with my request to be
in the wedding.  That was not my intention.”

“Kelly, please calm down.  Wh-what on earth is wrong with
you two?”  Taylor asked stunned they were acting inappropriately in public.

“It’s a long story,” Dillon said not looking down at the

Kelly rolled her neck. “Actually it is a very short and
simple story, Taylor.  Dillon doesn’t want to get married.  He is blaming me
for ruining his life, and keeping him from the woman he’s truly in love with!”

People in the restaurant turned to eye the table with the
loud commotion.  Slightly embarrassed, Taylor wished she had followed Mario’s
advice and cancelled breakfast. “Okay, first we need to bring the voices back
down.  The people in here don’t need to know your business.  Secondly, Dillon
has never once put you at blame for what happened.  He doesn’t talk about it,
but said it was a freak accident.”

“Taylor, he has you fooled. He doesn’t care about our
dead baby or me! He won’t even talk about it with me.”

“Cut it out, Kelly.  You are making a scene,” Dillon

Kelly pulled the big guns from her holster.  “Dillon, am
I an embarrassment to you?  God forbid I make the hotshot lawyer look bad in
public.  Oh, but wait, that will give you another reason to continue your

“For the last time, I’m not having a fucking affair with
anyone!” Dillon replied loudly and quieting the section of the restaurant they
were seated in.

Taylor’s eyes widened. “Hold up a minute.  Kelly, if you
are saying stuff about an affair assuming I know what you’re talking about,
well I don’t.  If Dillon is seeing someone other than you, I have no idea who
this person is.  I will not drill him for information to find out either.”

Dillon spat out angrily. “Taylor, I told you she is
fucking crazy! Kelly is paranoid, and I am tired of hearing about a woman that
does not exist. Wait—she exists but only in her mind.”

Bothered by the disrespect he was showing Kelly, Taylor
lost her temper.  “Dillon! Show her some respect.  She is upset.  Ask what is
bothering her instead of accusing her of being crazy.”

“What’s bothering her is bullshit, Taylor.  I won’t
entertain her imagination.”

“You know I love you and Kelly, but my number one rule is
to stay out of other’s business unless I am retained as legal counsel, and you
don’t need a lawyer for this; you all need a marriage counselor to help you
work through these issues.”

“I’m not going to a damn stranger to air my dirty
laundry,” Dillon barked. “I just want this shit to be over with.”

Kelly sobbed harder, slumped against the windowsill.  Her
words and actions complied with a woman scorned.  If Taylor didn’t know Dillon
as well as she did, she would opt to believe Kelly’s claim of infidelity. 
Kelly sniffed choking on her tears. “I’m not crazy! She does exist! You know
who she is, and she is ruining our lives!”

Having enough, Taylor got her purse and slid from the
booth as the server returned with a tray loaded with breakfast food. “I don’t
know what is going on and I don’t want to be caught in the middle of a serious
personal matter.  I’m leaving so you can talk about it without me present.”

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