Sunday, October 15, 2017

Lovers and Friends

"Tell me again (Tell me again my baby)
That we'll be lovers and friends (Ohh! its a good look baby)
Tell me again (Tell me over and over and over again)
That we'll be lovers and friends (Make sure you're right before you choose)" Lovers and Friends by Usher, Ludacris, and Lil Jon

Christian was telling the truth when he said having sex didn't change things between us. I didn't know if it was because we connected as friends or lovers or maybe both; I was just thankful it wasn't awkward, forced or weird. We didn't have phone sex again, but we talked and exchanged flirty text messages whenever we could.

Work occupied most of my time. 2 new interns started at the clinic Monday. For the time being, it actually made more work for me getting them acclimated to the fitness center. It would pay off once they were trained, but I recognized it as a temporary solution. I sent out another message to my former coworkers at the first job I worked at in Dallas to see if anyone might be interested in a new job.

I also began to monitor Fallon's interactions with the injured player Paul Bolen. Paul himself was a nice but I could tell he was eager to be cleared to play. I understood that, and to an extent, his trainer's Clyde Dennison desperation to speed up his recovery. What I didn't understand was Mr. Dennison inability to try to work the plan we already had-and his shitty attitude about it. While I trusted Fallon's notes and assessment of Paul's treatment, I wanted to confirm it for myself. I co-signed Fallon's plan and encouraged her to keep up the good work.

At home, after I took care of Justine and caught up on my shows, I found mundane ways to past the time. Most of the time, I played on social media, seeing what Christian was up to before commenting on my friend's posts. Dr. Chapman, Justine's vet posted cute pictures and memes of animals that seriously had me considering another pet. Instead of running down to a shelter to adopted a pet, I liked his pictures and focused my attention on the renovations I wanted to do to my house.

There were a few things I wanted to update around my house. With spring being right around the corner and Jake's step dad Eric approaching me about landscaping at the baby shower; I decided my next project would be my backyard. Eric already gave me his contact information so I could swing by the nursery to order and set up an appointment for installations, but I seriously had no idea what I wanted to do with my outside space. I spent my Friday night soaking in a hot bath, listening to music (Christian's recommendations), sipping a glass of wine and scrolling through Pinterest for inspiration. My bath was interrupted by a call from Staci.

"He stood me up!" she exclaimed as soon as I answered.

"What?" I asked confused.

"The guy I've been talking to for 6 weeks. We made plans to hang out tonight, and he sent me a text saying something came up-45 minutes after we were supposed to meet! I'm sitting at a bar, 3 martinis in, feeling dumb as hell." She gripped.

"I'm sorry girl." I said as I got out of the bath tub, sincerely feeling bad for her. "Did you drive?"


"Ok. I'm gonna call an Uber and meet you. Send me the address."

"I gave all that information to Mia in case this guy turned out to be a creep or worse and she's not even answering my calls." Staci complained.

"Well I'm on my way. Hang tight."

I threw on jeans, a tank and a hoodie before leaving. When I arrived at the bar, I found Staci in skinny jeans, a silky blouse and her hair and make-up looking flawless, but she couldn't hide the disappointment on her face.

"You look great!" I complimented her.

"Yeah. All this for nothing." She muttered, bitterly.

"No way! You can't tell me you haven't been approached by guys?"

"I don't want to deal with them tonight. Mia just snapped herself at a club dancing. Let's go join her." Staci suggested.

"I'm not dressed for a club." I declined.

"C'mon. All you need to do is put on some make-up and take off the hoodie. Please!!!" She begged.

"Fine." I gave in.

She handed me her keys and we navigated to a club in Dallas. There was already a line outside the door to get in. I pulled off my hoodie before we got out the car and applied a Kylie Jenner peachy nude lipstick that Staci confiscated from her daughter to my lips while we stood in line. Once we were at the front of the line, the bouncer gave my sneakers a frown, but a flash of Staci's cleavage had us in the club, no cover. Mia was waiting for us at the bar.

"How was the date?" Mia asked, over the thumping music.

"Lame. I cut out early!" Staci lied. "Let's turn up."

Staci ordered a mixed drink and I ordered a beer. After we got our drinks, we headed to the dance floor where Mia friends were dancing. We danced back to back through pop, hip hop and dance music before they were ready for another drink. I switched to bottled water and we battled through the crowds until we found an empty table.

"Lily!" Staci called me, thrusting her phone in my face. It was a text from some guy named Mike.

Mike: So disappointed I'm not going to be able to see you. Send me a pic of you

"Don't send him any pictures." I said in her ear over the music.

"I'm not. I'm gonna snap myself having a great time without him!" she said, taking a video of herself.

A few guys approached our table, ordering a round of shots for us. I declined but took videos of Staci taking a shot to post on Snapchat. While they flirted and chatted with the guys, I listened to the music and drank my water. When the DJ mixed in Christian's Song "Three's Company", Staci turned to me and squealed.

"We gotta dance! It's Christain's song!"

"I know. I can hear and enjoy it from right here." I protested, with a smile.

"Yeah, but I'll post a video of you sitting down while his song's playing. It'll break his heart."

I laughed, finishing off my water before standing to go the dance floor with her. We danced with each other and sang along to the song while Staci filmed it on her phone.

At the end of the night, Staci and I went back to my place. Staci spent the night, waking me up at 6am so she could go home and get ready for work. I went back to bed after she left. I got a few more hours of sleep before I got up. I decided I should go to the nursery to see what they had in order to get some ideas. I called Rocky to see if she wanted to go with me.

"Lily. It's 9am on a Saturday. No." She replied, grumpily.

I called Forrest next, but he was at his school for an all day wrestling tournament.

"You might want someone with more expertise. My backyard has a square feet of concrete and two plastic chairs." He said.

Amber's backyard was nice, but I knew she got off from a night shift and was probably sleep. Ethan was another option I had, but I knew he would stop whatever he was doing to help me and I didn't want to take up his free time, especially if he had plans already. I resigned to do it alone, until the perfect person came to mind. I quickly dialed his number.


"Hey Richard. You wanna have breakfast together?" I asked sweetly.

"Who does a booty call in the morning? You're supposed to ask me for breakfast the night before so I'll have a reason to stay until the morning." Richard responded matte-of-factly.

"This isn't a booty call Richard." I denied.

"So what do you want if it's not this d-"

I cut him off before he could get vulgar. "For you to come to a nursery with me so I can start to remodel my backyard."

He chuckled. "I'm not a landscape designer."

"I know but you know my house and you've seen what other people have done to their backyards. I just need a second opinion. Pretty Please!" I begged, shamelessly.

"Fine. I have a job that pays me today so I'll be around after 3."

"Sounds good and I'm paying you too. Dinner is on me tonight."

"How bout you be on me tonight and cook me breakfast tomorrow?" He hinted.

We play flirted like that to each other all the time, but knowing that Christian and I were sitting on the friends and lovers fence, it didn't feel appropriate anymore. "How bout breakfast for dinner? We can go to IHOP and then you go home?"

"Let's skip the food and do drinks. I'll be designated driver so you can get tipsy and make questionable decisions." He countered.

I laughed. "Not happening. I'll see you later."

I went into the kitchen and made breakfast for myself. Since I still had some time, Justine and I jogged to a dog park where I let her off her leash to play around. Once we got back home, I gave Justine a bath outside before I took a shower and got dressed. Rocky called me, asking if I was already shopping, but I told her Richard was accompanying me later. I spent the rest of my time scrolling through Pinterest until my doorbell rang.

"Tropical Oasis!" I declared as soon as I opened the door for Richard.

"Is that where we're getting drinks tonight?"

"No dummy! That's the theme for my backyard."

"I don't even know what that means."

"Like... Hawaii meets garden. Lots of greenery, colorful plants, palm trees, bamboo, maybe even a little pond." I listed while his eyebrows furrowed at me.

"A pond? Not a pool?"

I shook my head and the memories out of my mind. "No, not a pool. Too much maintenance and I want lots of grass for Justine. I need some type of water for an oasis right?"

"Sure. Show me what you like at the store and we'll make it work."

We walked around the store twice once we got there before Richard comprehended what I was going for. He suggested building a bamboo pergola and a tiki inspired bar for my deck. In ordered to make room for the bar, Richard planned to add a slate patio where I would move my fire pit and the patio chairs I already had. There would still be plenty of grassy areas for Justine and I love the idea of a separate lounge area surrounded by plants and trees.

Eric joined us on our third walk around the store and I explained to him my plans. He pointed out some plants and palm trees that he thought would work with my tropical theme. He also showed me stones and a fountain. Richard thought we could incorporate both into a stone walkway to the front and back openings of the fence with the fountain being the meeting point, and my water feature. I liked the idea of a fountain, but I didn't like the ones at the nursery so I passed on it.

Thrilled with my plan coming together, I made my purchases with Eric and gave Richard the go ahead to order the materials he would need for the patio, pergola and bar. Once everything arrived, we would make plans to start remodeling.

After shopping, we stuck to the tropical vibe and went to Bahama Breeze for dinner. Richard ordered a flight of rum cocktail flights, but I declined and ordered a tropical drink I planned to nurse during my meal. While we contemplated the menu, Bianca called me. Not wanting to be rude, I ignored her call. A few minutes later, Bianca sent me a text. It was a picture of Christian and me on the hotel terrace in New York. My back was to the camera, and I was only wearing the red bodysuit. Christian's face was clear as day in the picture as he gazed at me.

Bianca: Really Lily? "Getting to know him"? On a balcony? In lingerie? {Eye balls roll emoji}

"Excuse me." I fumed, my face heating with embarrassment and outrage. I stepped outside the restaurant and went over by Richard's car. I called her back right away.

"Where did you get that?" I demanded, in lieu of hello.

"A Vlogger out of New York City was in contact with someone trying to shop it. They sent the picture to Noelle's people to try to figure out who you are. He had to reach out to Christian first. He didn't tell you there were pictures?"

"No..." I frowned, dismayed. Who the fuck would take pictures of us? How many were there? Did any show my face? Did any show me clothed?

"After everything I went through, I didn't think I would have to warn you about your lack of privacy..."

"This is not a lack of privacy, it's an invasion of privacy! We where in a hotel room, not filming a sexy tape!" I argued venomously.

"Whatever you wanna call it, anyone that knows you were in New York with him or can identify you by your ass may sell you out. Be prepared for it." Bianca said.

"Thanks for the heads up. I gotta go." I snapped.

"You're ass looks great by the way."

"Bye Bianca!" I hung up on her.

I immediately called Christian. When he didn't answer, I called back to back at least 5 times until he finally did.

"What's up?" He asked me, concerned.

"They are pictures! Of us! On the terrace last weekend!"

"I know. How do you know?" He said in a hushed tone.

"Bianca. Apparently whoever took them was trying to figure out who I was and sent them to Noelle." I replied.

"Are you fucking serious? What did Noelle tell him?"

"Nothing! I think. I'll make sure-"

He stopped me. "Don't worry about it. Hugo is taking care of it."


"I'll explain later Lily. I gotta go back." He rushed off the phone with me.

Thoroughly annoyed, frustrated and pissed at whoever took the pictures, I rejoined Richard. When the waitress came back to take our order, I ordered a flight of shots with my meal.

"We're getting drunk?" He asked me.

"I am, designated driver." I reminded him, grabbing his last shot and downing it.

I cut myself off after one flight. The great meal and Richard's flirtatious company was almost enough to keep my mind off some scumbag with pictures of my barely covered ass.

Don't worry. How could I not worry?

On the drive home, Christian called me back. I didn't even think about Richard sitting right next to me as I immediately picked up.

"Hugo handled the pictures. They're not going to be posted anywhere." Christian promised me.

"How does he know that? I mean, what guarantee does he have?"

"I bought the pictures and got a signed agreement from the dickhead who was trying to sell them that he can never share, duplicate, release or publicly talk about them."

"Fuck Christian. That's such bullshit that you had to pay him. Couldn't we sue him for invasion of privacy?"

"That would bring more attention to him, which is exactly what that mother fucker wants. I don't give two shits about the money, but I'm not giving him an easy come up. Fuck that." He ranted.

"Ok." I exhaled, completely understanding his anger but I could see Richard watching me from the corner of his eye. Feeling bad, I ended my call with Christian. "I'm on my way home. Can I call you in a bit?"



I put my phone away and flashed Richard an apologetic smile.

"Christian huh?" Richard asked me, with a smile of his own.

I reached to put my hair behind my ear. "Yeah, we're... Dating."

"Congratulations." He said. I looked at his face for any hard feelings, but he was really sincere.

I smiled in return. "Nothing to congratulate. We're just hanging out."

"Seriously hanging out?"

"Something like that. Not yet, but possibly." I reasoned.

 "Ok." He nodded. "I'll call you as soon as I get the material and we'll work out a contract. You'll still get the friends discount, but that's it."

"Wow. So there's a staying over for breakfast discount?" I teased him.

"No. That's an optional add in of doing business with me." He winked.

"You're super gross." I said, leaning over to give him a hug. "Thank you. For everything."

"That's what's friends are for." He smiled, hugging me back.

When I entered my house, I saw Amber, Staci and another girl I didn't know in the kitchen filming a new Honey Bee video. I silenced my phone before I went to watch them. When they finished, Jessica, the bartender, left and I talked to Sammy and Amanda.

"Hey. I love your hair." I motioned to Sammy's new hair style. It was cut in long layers to her back, colored with deep brown roots and honey blonde tips. "I miss my bronde hair."

"It's not bronde. It's ombre." Sammy corrected me.

"Right." I said, dismissively. Same fucking thing. "How you been?" I smiled at Amanda.

"Good, you?"


I went to my room to grab their souvenirs. I came back and handed Sammy a New York shot glass and a bottle of gin from a distillery in Brooklyn, and a Rocking Statue of Liberty shirt, featuring the famous landmark with a guitar and flashing devil horns for Corey. I gave Amanda a New York snow globe.

"Thank you." They both chorused. I hung out with them while they cleaned. It was an awkward silent: Amanda wasn't great at small talk and Sammy was focused on putting everything away. I took a deep breath before speaking again.

"I'm going to Miami in March for the Ultra Music Festival. I thought it'll be fun to make it a group weekend trip, if y'all wanna come."

"I really can't take a trip. I'm trying to save up for a better car." Amanda shook her head.

"Is he going to be there?" Sammy asked.

I cleared my throat. "Christian is performing. I plan on seeing his set but you don't have to."

"I'm out." Sammy declared.

"Is that how it's going to be now? You don't wanna hang out with me because you don't like him?" I questioned her.

"I didn't say anything about not hanging out with you. If you wanna date him that's you but I don't wanna be around him. That doesn't change our relationship, does it?" She challenged.

"No it doesn't."


Once we got that out the way, things were less awkward. I was put off that she wouldn't give Christian a chance but as long as she was respectful, I wasn't going to let it affect our friendship.

As soon as they left, I video called Christian. I apologized for calling so late when I saw his was in bed.

"No, I'm sorry my anger got the best of me." He said, rubbing his fingers through his hair. "I wasn't mad at you, this is the shit I was talking about that night."

"Don't be sorry. I get it. I didn't really understand what you said about the branding and stuff, but I get it now. That lifestyle sucks."

"Yeah, I don't think I'll ever be ok with people thinking they have a right to get in my business. Hugo says I'll get used to it, especially the more money I get because of it."

"He's right about the money thing. Being able to payoff mother fuckers is a perk. I feel like I owe you for that."

"You don't owe me anything. You didn't sign up for people taking pictures of you. That's all me."

"You were fully dressed in the picture. I should have known better. It was my naked ass out on display. That was all me." I sighed.

"Your ass is mine now so it's still all me." He argued, his face dead serious.

I laughed at the same time my stomach clenched at his words. "Shut up."

"I'm serious though." He confirmed what his face already told me. "You know what's another perk of this lifestyle?"


"Seeing a sexy ass woman sing and dance to your song."

My face flushed, pleased that he actually saw the video Staci posted and tagged me in. "Oh yeah? You must see that a lot?"

"There's only one that I wanna see." His eyes bore into mine; I swear he was staring me down over the phone. I looked away to diffuse some of the tension before my eyes met his again.

"Well, if you're talking about me, me and my ass will be in Miami, dancing and singing while you perform." I smiled at him.

"You know I'm talking about you." His lips spread in a sexy grin. "I can't wait til Miami. Let me get a little preview..."

I giggled. "Ok. Let me call you back."

"Hurry up."

I quickly put on a black lingerie set, including a black floral bodice, matching g-string, and the pair of nude pumps he sent home with me from New York. I set the laptop on the edge of my bed, propping it up so the camera got a good shot of me. I called him from my laptop, swiping on the peachy nude lipstick as I waited for him to answer. When he did, I saw his eyes dart all over my body. I leaned over, giving him a great view of my boobs as I pushed play on my phone.

"Lover Tonight" a track he produced, played loudly from my phone. It was a sultry ballad that feature Keosha describing all the ways she wanted a man to take her for one night.

"Imma let Keosha do the singing, but I'll dance for you."

I then began to rock my hips to the beat, swaying to the rhythm of the song. I ran my hands over my body seductively as I danced. I made sure to make eye contact with him as I mouthed some of the dirtiest lyrics of the song. I could only see his face and upper body, but there was no doubt in my mind he was stroking himself as he watched me dance. He was so tense and focused on my every move while his breathing became heavier.

When the song ended, he asked me to get undressed, but I didn't. The lingerie made me feel like I was role playing, and I needed to stay in character. I did grab the laptop so I could lay in bed and he could get a better view as I posed for him. First I was on my side, caressing my breasts through my bra, tugging my nipples softly. Then, I got on all fours, arching my back and hiking my ass in the air as I streched. Finally, I sat the laptop between my spread legs so he could watch as I traced my slit through my panties. When I moved the small piece of fabric to the side, he groaned loudly.

"I'm about to cum." He said between huffs of air.

"Let me see." I breathed excitedly. He aimed the camera lower so I could see his hand pumping his erection rapidly.

"I wish you were inside of me. I want my pussy wrapped around you, not your hand." I moaned out loud, making sure he heard me.

I heard him growl before watching him climax. My eyes never left the screen as he finished. After a few moments, he focused the camera back on his face. He was sporting a satisfied smile.

"I'll be inside of your tight wet pussy soon babe. You're gonna have to beg me to stop." He swore.

I bit my lip and smiled. "I can't wait."

After we told each other goodnight, I disconnected and changed into shorts and a tank top before falling back in bed. I didn't climax from playing with myself in front of him, but I felt extremely sexy and powerful knowing he got off by just watching me.

Sunday morning, Bianca's call woke me up. It was 8am my time, so I was shocked she was up so early her time.

"I was worried about you. You never called me back. Are you ok?" She asked.

"Yeah. I'm good." I yawned. "I didn't mean to worry you. Christian took care of it."


"He bought the pictures and the vlogger's silence. What did Noelle tell him anyway?" I asked, remembering Christian wanted to know.

"She said no comment. Are you sure that guy didn't send them to anyone else?"

"Why would he do that? It would defeat the purpose of him posting it for views or trying to sell them. He was looking for a story but Christian killed it." I explained.

"Oh... Ok."

I paused, confused by her tone. She sounded like she was disappointed...

 "So are you're ok? Things with Christian are ok?" Bianca continued

"I'm great. Christian is great." I replied, shaking off my negative thoughts. "Are you ok? What are you doing up so early?"

"About to do a little yoga to balance myself before I have a concept meeting for my collaboration with Jorge." She said, proudly.

"Ohmygod Bianca!!! Congratulations!!!" I cheered, excited.

"Thank you. Thank you."

"Keep me updated. I want to know everything. Can you video chat me in the meeting?"

"No! That's  unprofessional."

"And it starts. Now, she's too professional for me. Next, she'll be too popular. Then, too rich. Finally, she won't even know me anymore."

"As long as you know what's coming." She taunted.

I laughed. "I hate you. Good luck!"

"I hate you too! Thanks!"

Since I was already up, I got ready to deliver the rest of my souvenirs. Jordan, Blake, Ethan and EJ were last on my list. I trekked out to Fort Worth to see Jordan and Blake first since their only plans for Sunday was brunch and EJ was still with his mom.

Jordan and Blake were still enamoured with each other following their engagement. The lovey dovey stuff was so nauseating, I left almost immediately after I dropped off their matching I Love NY mugs filled with coffee flavored caramels made with coffee beans from Hell's Kitchen. I did mention the trip to Miami, but there was no way Blake could get away from work and Jordan didn't want to go without him.

I knew EJ wasn't getting dropped off until the afternoon, but I headed over to Ethan's house early. He shook his head at my figurine of a duck dressed up as the Statue of Liberty, but he placed it on his mantle over his fireplace in the den next to the good luck cat from Japan and the chicken from The Florida Keys.

"Was New York business or pleasure?" Ethan asked as he brought me a glass of sweet tea as we sat in the den.

"Pleasure. I wish my job would send me away. I need a break from them." I said after thanking him and sitting on the love seat.

"What's going on?"

I told him everything: How we were short staffed, the start of the new interns that put more responsibilities on me, and finally Clyde Dennison. I logged into my email on my phone so I could show the message I sent when Ethan asked.

He smirked. "I can feel the sarcasm dripping from that warm regards."

"No sarcasm at all. He'll have the warmest regards, in hell." I grinned.

"Wow." He whistled. "Why do you think he's being obstinate?"

"That's a nice way of saying he's being a dick. It really doesn't matter to me why he is. He's not going to talk down to me or anyone who works under me. I'm not going to have that."

"Look at you; telling people what you're not going to have."

"I know right? I honestly felt like management was too much like babysitting. And it is, it's a pain sometimes, but these are my babies. No one fucks with my babies."

Ethan smirked. "Coming from the woman who said last year she would be satisfied being a trophy wife. I'm impressed."

That was high praise, coming from Ethan but I was too caught up in the trophy wife comment to appreciate it.

"I can't even keep a boyfriend, so that's not even an option." I smiled, sardonically.

The smile fell off his face. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that." He said.

"I know you didn't. It's cool."

"How are you doing? I know last time we talked-"

"I'm fine." I cut him off.

"We don't have to talk about it if you don't want to." He conceded.

I sighed. "I still think about him. Like right now, I'm redoing my backyard. When Trevor and I were looking for houses, one of the things he wanted was a pool. So he crossed my mind, but it wasn't like bitter or anger or even sadness like it was before. It's just a memory. It sounds cliche, but it gets better everyday."

"Good." He nodded.

"How are you? How's life post Serena?"

"I'm fine."

"We don't have to talk about it if you don't want to." I copied him.

"Really I'm fine. I realized I couldn't love her the way she needed to be love."

"That makes sense but it doesn't make breaking up easy."

"No, but it makes it easier to move on. Although Will is trying to set me up-"

"Will?!?" I asked, surprised. "Where does he meet women?"

"I have no idea nor do I have any intentions of finding out. I don't do blind dates." He informed me.

"It might not be bad to try something new. I mean, the old way didn't work out." I pointed out.

"Are you trying something new?" He deflected.

I thought about Christian and our friend/lover situation. It was kinda new for me. I was being completely honest with him and myself. That was definitely something I didn't do in any of my past relationships.

"Dad!?!" We heard EJ call before I could answer him. Ethan and I both stood up and walked to the front living room where EJ and Megan both waited. Megan looked confused when she saw me, but her face relaxed when I handed over EJ's gift. It was a Super Mario Backpack from the Nintendo store with a New York themed Monopoly game and a bag of apple candies inside.

"Thanks Lily!" He smiled, pulling out the board game. "Do y'all wanna play?"

"I gottta go babe." Megan said, leaning over to kiss EJ on the check. "Bye." She said as she headed out.

EJ looked at me and Ethan hopefully.

"Why don't you bring it to my house this weekend? You still need to watch Lion King again. We can have a movie slash game night if it's ok with your dad." EJ and I both looked at Ethan

"If you have a good week at school, you can." He agreed.

"Yes!!!" EJ celebrated.

"Ok. Have a good week EJ." I hugged him before I left.

As Ethan walked me to the door, I turned to him. "EJ can spend the weekend at my house." I winked suggestively.

"What's wrong with your eye?" He deadpanned.

"Nothing!" I snorted out a laugh that made him smile. "Let Will know you're free next weekend so you can try something new with someone new."

"I won't."

"If you don't, I'll tell him myself."

"A real friend wouldn't." He tried to guilt me out of it.

I placed my hand on his shoulder. "A real friend would. And I'm going to." I said, faking a stern tone.

He shook his head, but his lips twitched in a smile.

I couldn't help my smile too as I waved goodbye and left.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


"Let's talk about sex, baby
Let's talk about you and me
Let's talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be
Let's talk about sex, baby
Let's talk about you and me
Let's talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be
Let's talk about sex" Sex by Cheat Codes and Kris Kross Amsterdam.

I woke up in the middle of the night, thinking it was the noise of the city that interrupted my restless sleep. It was actually Christian rummaging around in the dark room. I pretended like I was still sleep until I peaked and saw him putting on a pair of shoes.

"Christian?" I asked, nervously. Was he about to leave?

"Sorry. I didn't mean to wake you up." He said, looking over his shoulder from the edge of the bed.

"Where are you going?"

"I have an interview with Z100."

I frowned, wondering why he didn't mention the interview earlier and was trying to sneak out.

He came over and gave me a soft kiss that eased my mind. "Go back to sleep. I'll be back in a few hours."

When I heard the door close, I relaxed under the covers. I closed my eyes, my mind going back to earlier in the night.

Christian's kisses became more intense as he laid me back on the bed and peeled off my bodysuit. Once I was undressed, he ran kisses down my neck, over my clavicles, and between my breasts before he focused on each one. He then lovingly nibbled and sucked down my stomach, navel and my inner thighs. My body responded ferally; I arched my hips up against him yearning for more. He quickly obliged me and placed his head between my legs. 

Christian lapped and sucked on me in a rhythm that brought me closer and closer to an orgasm. He ate me out for what felt like forever, but it didn't make me cum. I eventually cried out in desperation and told him I needed him inside me. I hoped that would finally push me over the edge. He grabbed a condom as I waited impatiently, rubbing my pelvis against his. Before he finally pushed inside of me, he whispered in my ear how long he has wanted to be with me...

My body tensed up as he slid inside of me. He paused, kissing and caressing every part of me he could reach. Once I relaxed, he began to move, pumping into me slowly and deeply. I thrust up into him, still needing more. He grabbed my hips to stop me, taking a deep, calming deep breath, before he moved me on my side. With my leg resting on his shoulder, he gyrated into me, hitting a new spot each time he did. I laid back and moaned, loving every second. As good as it felt, still no sign of an orgasm.

When his breathing became heavier and his body tensed up, he pulled out. He kissed me, sliding his tongue in my mouth. He pulled back, asking me what I needed to cum. He promised me whatever I needed he would do for me. I honestly didn't know what I needed, but I suggested harder and faster. His eyes lit up before he flipped me on my stomach so fast, I gasped in surprise. He lifted my hips and was inside me before I could even prop myself up. I cried out as he slammed into me relentlessly. 

It felt amazing and the pleasure and pressure built and built and built, but it never broke into an orgasm. He grunted, asking me if I was close, and I lied and said yes. When I felt the intensity change and his thrusts became faster and more erratic, I let out a long wail, faking an orgasm. Christian groaned out in relief, his body tensing in release before he went still. He gathered me in his arms, pressing kisses on the side of my face before he passed out.

I sat up in bed, reaching across it to grab the bottle of champagne on the night stand. While we were out on terrace, Christian had another wonderful surprise set up for me. The bed was turned down, white rose petals strewn across the sheets, candles were lit all around the room, and strawberries and champagne were waiting for us. It was beautiful and unexpected, especially considering he wanted to take it slow. He set everything up with the expectation of just cuddling with me.

Christian thoughtfulness made me want him even more. Even with all that want, the candles, rose petals, his handsome face, muscular body, talented tongue and  incredible stamina, I could not cum. I drained the remainder of the champagne before I fell back onto the bed, confused and frustrated with myself.

"Lily... Wake up."

I recognized Christian's voice as my eyes blinked open.

"What time is it?" I moaned, stretching underneath the sheets and comforter.

"Almost 11am." He said, running his fingers through my hair. When I heard the time, I sat up rubbing my eyes. I felt my nipples pebble due to the cool air and I quickly pulled the comforter up to cover myself. Stupid, considering Christian saw and tasted everything last night, but I still held it close to my chest as my eyes blinked open.

"Good morning." Christian said when I looked over at him. He leaned in close to kiss me, but I turned my face away.

"Bad morning breath." I muttered, still tasting champagne in my mouth.

"It's not that bad."

I cracked a little smile. "Shut up."

He gave me a grin. "I ordered breakfast. Meet me outside to eat."

"Ok." I said as he got up and left. I went to the bathroom, brushed me teeth and put on my straight outta fucks shirt before going out to the living room. I went into the second bedroom and didn't see Justine. After changing into a black romper, I joined Christian on the terrace.

 "You brush your teeth yet?" He said, standing as I made my way to the table.

I smirked. "Yes asshole."

"You've been in the city too long." He laughed, wrapping an arm around me.

"Good thing I go home today then huh?" I smiled up at him.

"No." He said, simply, turning to kiss me. My lips were frozen, temporarily, before I kissed him back. When his hand groped my ass as he deepen the kiss, I pulled away.

"Where's Justine?" I asked, breaking the kiss and looking away.

"On a walk. The attendant will bring her back in a little bit. Come sit." He said, motioning to the seat beside the one he vacated.

I sat down, grabbing a glass of water and sucking it down to calm my nerves.

He gave me a concerned glance. "Is everything ok?"

"Yeah." I wiped my face and avoided his eyes. "Perfect." I lied but my body told the truth. I was so rigid and could hear the anxiety in my voice.

He gave me a skeptical look before he responded. "Ok, because last night didn't change anything between us."

"What do you mean? Last night didn't mean anything to you?" I asked, stunned. I didn't know if I should be relieved or outraged. I think I was both.

"No, I didn't say that. I know you're still working through your feelings with- your past relationship. I don't want you to over think last night. It was amazing and it showed me how good we would be together; when we're ready." He ensured me.

His words made me heart swell, and I leaned in to give him a sweet, lingering kiss. "You're amazing. I promise I'll catch up." I mummered against his lips.

He returned my kisses with a smile. "You're already there bae."

We turned our attention to the massive feast he had delivered and set up on the terrace. There was eggs Benedict, lemon ricotta pancakes, bacon, stuffed french toast, an assortment of fruit, a basket filled with bagels, muffins and spreads and our choice of coffee, mimosas or bloody Marys to drink. Everything was delicious and we had a laid back, casual brunch. As we ate, he told me about the Ultra Music Festival in Miami and that I should invite some of my friends to tag along.

"That's really sweet but you don't have to do that Christian."

"I want you to see me perform but with the shows I'm going to be busy. Invite a few of your friends to keep you company."

"Ok. I'll let you know."

Once Justine was brought back, I got everything packed and ready to go. Christian called for a bellhop to take our bags down. Hugo was already waiting in the Maybach with Jamie when we left the hotel. Their flight to Boston left 1 hour before mine and we made it to the airport with maybe 20 minutes before they boarded. Hugo rushed out of the backseat as soon as Jamie pulled up to their gate, but Christian hung back with me to say goodbye. I kissed him briefly, meaning it to be a quick, goodbye kiss, but he held me close, kissing me hungrily.

There was a rapt on the window that made me break away from him.

"Let's Go! We're gonna miss our flight." Hugo demanded.

"Thank you Christian. For everything." I said, my arms around him in a hug.

"It's my pleasure...Thank you for coming to see me... And for last night." He replied, nuzzling my neck.

I pulled away. "Go. Don't miss your flight."

"A'ight. Hit me up when you made it home." He said, pulling on his fitted hat.

"A'ight." I mimicked him, tipping his hat to the side. He slide on his sunglasses, gave me one last kiss before he got out the car left.

When I arrived in Dallas, I sent Christian a text as promised. I gave Forrest a call to see if he could still pick me up. I was pleasantly surprised to find out not only was he already waiting, Rocky came with him.

"You brought Ace!" I exclaimed as I hopped in the backseat with Justine and Forrest put my bag in the backseat. I reached over to rub her belly.

"Excuse you?!?" Rocky promptly swatted my hands away.

"I mean, hey Rocky. You look beautiful. How's it going?" I grinned.

"Fine hoe. How bout yourself?" She said, narrowing her eyes at me.

"No complaints." I shrugged, nonchalantly.

We both cracked up laughing at each other as Forrest got in the driver's seat.

"What'd I miss?" Forrest asked.

"Nothing..." We said simultaneously.

I gave them both the cliffnote version of my trip and the places Christian took me.

"So, do you still think his a masochist?" Forrest asked me.

I smiled gently. "Jury's still out on that one, but we had a great, painless time together."

"What are y'all talking about?" Rocky said, confused.

"Lily thought he was a masochist for wanting to date her because she's still moving on from Trevor. I told her he must see something special about her if he's willing to wait." Forrest explained.

"Ok... So are you still planning to see him again?" Rocky questioned me.

"Yeah. He invited me to Miami in March to see him perform. He wants me to bring my friends along too..." I trailed off, hopefully.

"You know I can't go. Ace will be here in April." Rocky declined.

"I figured. I was hoping you might let your boyfriend go on a trip." I revealed.

"No." Forrest declined at the same time Rocky agreed. "Absolutely."

"Really?" Forrest turned to Rocky. "You want me to leave that close to your due date?"

"Yes. I'll be ok." Rocky shrugged him off.

"What if you go into labor?" Forrest pressed.

"What if I do? You're not delivering the baby." Rocky said bluntly. I had no idea if she was intending it to, but it came off really harsh.

"First of all, Ace will not be born without me. If you go into labor, keep your legs close until I get there." I told Rocky, lighten the mood. "And it's just a weekend Forrest. You mentioned work has been stressing you out. A break might do you some good. The beach, Cuban food, lots of rum..." I tried to entice him.

Forrest shot Rocky a look before responding. "No. I wanna just relax at home. Thanks for the invite though."

The rest of the ride home was awkwardly silent. I really regretted that I brought up the trip. I got on my phone and sent out a group text letting my friends know I was back in Dallas. Amber sent me a text back immediately stating she was coming over so I can tell her all about my trip. Once she saw Amber's text, Staci said she wanted to come by too. Jordan sent a text back saying that she hoped I had a great time and would catch up with me later.

Although neither Sammy nor Amanda responded to my text, I called them both to invite them over to pick up their souvenirs. Sammy said she and Corey would drop by later and Amanda texted me that she was at work.

I invited Rocky to stay, telling her the girls were coming over to hang out. Forrest mentioned that they had plans, but once Rocky made sure I would give her a ride home, she readily agreed to stay. When I got home, I made Forrest come in so I could give him his souvenir. As I dugged through my bag, I saw Christian slipped in Le Perla lingerie and a pair of nude Louboutins. I shook my head and reached past them for the Junior's recipe book.

"I couldn't bring back the cheesecake, but if you make one I'll try it and see if it's close to the real thing." I joked.

Forrest finally cracked a smile. "How thoughtful of you. Thanks Lily."

"Anytime." I smiled, giving him a hug.

Rocky hugged and kissed Forrest goodbye. As soon as he left, I talked to Rocky.

"What's going on with you and Forrest?" I asked.

She waved me off. "Nothing. It's like you said: he stressed out and needs a break."

I didn't believe that at all, but I let it go. When Amber and Staci arrived together, I handed out gifts: Amber got a New York themed tote bag with t-shirts for her kids, Staci got a taxi drivers of 2016 calendar, and Rocky got a onesie for Ace and a box of New York themed chocolate.

Rocky was the only one really enthusiastic about her gift; she dug into her treats while Amber and Staci asked for what they really wanted: details of my time with Christian. I gave them the same run down I gave Rocky of the things we did. I even showed them pictures and videos I had on my phone and Staci and Amber ohhhed and awwed over everything.

"Ok girl. Spill the tea. Did y'all stay in the same room?" Amber asked.

"Yes, but it was a 2 bedroom suite." I said, cryptically.

"Did you actually sleep in separate beds?" Staci continued.

"No-" I said, willing my cheeks not to flush. Staci and Amber both cheered excitedly. Rocky rolled her eyes but gave me a smile.

"Who made the first move?"

"What was he working with?"

"How many times did y'all sleep together?"

"Did y'all keep it just in the bed?"

"Where did he-"

"Stop! I never said we slept together." I felt my face heating up.

"But they did." Rocky said between snacking on her chocolate.

"Rocky!!!" I glared at her. "You don't know that!"

She gave me a side eye. "I could tell by the way you told your story the exact same way that you were hiding something. Add that to the new lingerie, 2 pair of Louboutins in your bag, and you blushing, I'm about 99% sure you slept with him. Tell the truth."

I gasped, my mouth wide open at her perceptiveness.


"Lingerie!?!? Let's see!"

They were momentarily distracted by badgering me to see the gifts Christian gave me. I gave in, showing them the shoes and the lingerie.

"Ohmygod, that's so sweet. I love that Christian spoils you." Amber sighed, wistfully.

"How'd you show your appreciation?" Staci asked, suggestively.

"It's none of your business." I snapped, scooping up my things to put back in my room. When I rejoined them, they got quiet.

"What?" I said, glaring at them.

"Nothing. Didn't you mention something about Miami earlier?" Rocky changed the subject.

"Christian invited me to the Ultra Music Festival in March. He told me to invite my friends too-"

Amber and Staci squealed in excitement. They immediately started planning the trip before I even really invited them.  It was just the thing to get them off of my sex life.

They left an hour or so later, but Rocky hung around, declining a ride home with Amber. I was still waiting for Sammy to make an appearance, so we sat on the couch, trying to see if there was a movie we wanted to watch.

"Do you wanna talk about something?" Rocky asked me with a raised eyebrow.

I sighed and laid back in the chaise.

"We slept together." I admitted, rubbing my temples.

"Did he try or do something you were uncomfortable with?" Rocky asked.

I shook my head.

"Ok... Was he a dick afterward?" She continued.

"Absolutely not!" I denied, vehemently. "He was kind and gentle and did everything to make me feel... Incredible, before and after."

"So what's the matter?"

"I couldn't cum. I faked it." I confided, miserably.

Rocky looked at me, relieved. "That's normal. He just needs to learn what you like." She comforted me.

"But he did. He did everything I liked. He said and did everything perfectly and I still couldn't get there with him."

"Look, we've all faked it before. I have to really concentrate to climax and even then, if I'm not in the mood, it's not going to happen."

"I never had that problem. Not that I cum every time, but I've never faked it before. Christian is amazing and he treated me like a princess and he's so patient with me. He was literally perfect and I couldn't get off with him!" I confessed. "God, what's wrong with me?

"There is nothing wrong with you. You're putting way too much pressure on yourself." Rocky told me.

I looked up at her. "How do you figure?"

"Honestly, were you trying to have a good time with Christian or were you trying to move on from Trevor?" Rocky asked me, knowingly.

"Both..." I fessed up.

"Exactly. The only reason you should be having sex is because you enjoy it and you want to. Just relax and have fun." Rocky recommended to me.

"But it's not just fun for Christian. He really likes me. He's told me how much he wanted to be with me. He knows I'm not ready for that but he's willing to wait for me. I just don't want to hurt him, ya know?"

"Lily, it's not your job to protect his feelings. He's a grown man. He chose to pursue you just like he chose to have sex with you even though you two are not in a committed relationship. All you need to do is be honest with him."

I nodded. "Alright."

Sammy finally called me and let me know she wouldn't be able to make it. She did asked if she could come by Saturday and see me while she filmed another Honey Bee Video. I agreed and got off the phone with her.

"Are you inviting her to Miami?" Rocky asked.

"I don't know." I answered truthfully.

When I drove Rocky home, Christian called me. I answered, asking if I could call him back when I got home. He told me he would be around so I disconnected with him. Before I went home, I ran to the store and picked up groceries. Once I got home, I washed a load of laundry and changed into a sleep shirt before I got into bed and called Christian back.

"You forgot to return a few things back to the store. They found their way into my bag." I told him.

"Really? What was it?" He pretended like he didn't know what I was talking about.

"Lingerie, a pair of heels."

"What do they look like?"

"You need me to send you a picture of them?"

"Only if you're wearing them."

I smiled. "Why would I do that if they're going back?"

"Good point. Just send me a picture of what you're wearing now." He said, smoothly.

"I would, but I'm not wearing anything." I said, flirtatiously.

"For real?"

"No." I giggled. "Of course I'm wearing clothes. Why would I be laying around naked?"

"If I was there, that's exactly how I would want you."

"Yeah? How else would you want me if you were here?" I asked, huskily.

"Mmm... kneeling in front of me, sucking me off while I play with your tits." His voice was so low, I almost didn't hear him. But I did, and my body pulsed in response to his words. I moved one hand down between my legs to touch myself.

"That's all?" I asked, hintingly.

"No...Then I would want you to ride my face so I could taste you again."

I whimpered as I rubbed myself harder.

"Are you touching yourself?"


"I'm so hard right now. Are you wet?"

"Yes." I inhaled deeply. "So wet..."

"I wish I was there." He groaned. "Push your fingers in and out of your pussy. Each stroke is me inside you."

"Christian..." I panted, following his instructions.

"That's right babe. Say my name everytime I push inside of you." He groaned, his breathing heavy.

"Christian... Christian... CHRISTIAN!" I cried out as I plunged my fingers inside myself. Soon, my voice couldn't keep up with my fingers and I just cried out in pleasure.

"FUCK LILY." He hissed, desperately.

His broken voice made the arousal coursing through my body peak and I thrust into myself faster until I came. I yelled in ecstasy, throwing my head back on my pillows as my body shuddered. When I finally caught my breath and relaxed, I put the phone back to my ear. I heard grunts in the background followed by a soft moan. After a few moments, his voice came back on the line.

"Lily?" He said, breathlessly.

"Yeah I'm here." I said.

"That was..." He said, exhaling.

"So good." I finished. "Perfect."

"Perfect." He agreed. "Make sure you bring the lingerie and heels to Miami. That's the only thing you should pack."

"What am I going to wear when you return them?" I chuckled, softly.

"We just talked about how I wanted you naked. Do we need to go over that again?"

"Maybe not this second, but I'll probably need a reminder soon." I smiled.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

New York

"And every song that plays
Is just like the day you had
And it's okay to cry
But I'm saying maybe that's a waste of water
You know I'm here for you
In the back of the taxi cab tonight in New York
It's just reached the morning
And you're still in my arms
And we've stopped driving
Down the boulevard
And I just kissed you, darling
I hope you weren't alarmed
It's just the start of everything
That you want: a new love in New York" New York by Ed Sheeran

My nap in first class seating of the airplane was interrupted by the plane landing in New York. I grabbed my bag and was one of the first ones off the plane. I picked up Justine before I called Christian to let him know I arrived.

"Hello?" A gruff voice answered after I dialed his number.

"Hi, can I speak to Christian?" I asked.

"Is this Lily?" He ignored my question.


"My pa is already waiting for you."

"Ok. Thanks-" I didn't even get the name of the person I was supposed to meet nor the person I was talking to before he disconnected.

It was a fucking mad house, even at 10pm local time. People were scurrying all over the place. I dragged my duffel in one hand and carried Justine in her kennel in the other as I looked around. Right when my arm started to throb with fatigue, I saw a young woman with a sign that had my name on it. I immediately went over to her.

"Hey. I'm Lily."

"Zoey. Let me get that." She tried to grabbed Justine from me.

"I got it. Can you get my bag though?" I handed it over so I could switch the hand I was carrying Justine in. "I need to find a place to let Justine out-"

"We're parked by a pet relief area. Follow me." She chirped.

"Um, so who do you work for?" I asked, taking long strides to keep up with her fast pace.

"I'm Hugo's personal assistant."

Oh, Hugo: Christian's manager.

"Mr. Wilson would have escorted you to the hotel himself but he got caught up in the studio." She explained as we approached a black Maybach. "He said you can wait for him at the hotel room or meet him at the studio if you like. Let Jamie know if you will be needing a ride." She introduced me to the man who opened the back door.

I put Justine down and smiled.

"Hi-" before I could even introduce myself, he nodded a greeting and moved to grab my bag from Zoey.

"The relief area." Zoey pointed out a sign to me. I took Justine out of her kennel and walked her over. Zoey followed, handing me a small card. "Here's your room key. " Zoey said leaving before I could say bye or thank you.

Once Justine finished, we made our way back to Jamie and the Maybach. He held the door open for us. Once he got in the driver's seat, we took off.

Justine and I were equally thrilled as we made our way to the hotel. New York City  was as vibrant and alive as the countless people coming and going. I was just as excited to be in the city as I was to see Christian.

Once we stopped at the hotel, Jamie helped me and Justine out. He handed the bags over to to the bellhop. Before Jamie left, I told him I wanted to go to the studio if he could give me 30 minutes to get ready. He gave me his card and told me to give him a ring when I was ready to leave.

I followed the bellhop through the crowds of people filtering in and out the restaurants and bars of the hotel. The hotel itself was was immaculate. A spiraling staircase and a large chandelier were the focal point of the lobby. We rode the elevator up to the 32nd floor.

When I visited New York with my dad as a teenager, I couldn't get over the feeling of being stuck in the tiny room with my dad. That wasn't the case with the suite Christian reserved. It had a living area, two bedrooms and a private terrace. The floor to ceiling bay windows offered a beautiful view of the shimmering cityscape. Between the high end furniture, the leather and marble surfaces, and the fine curtains and rugs, I was sure the furnishing in this one suite cost more than the ones in my whole house.

I had the bellhop set my bags into the bedroom that was empty. When I tried to tip him, he declined saying it was taken care of. Once he left, I set Justine up in the bedroom with food, water and a potty pad. I then hopped in the glass encased shower and washed up with the fancy sweet smelling body wash.

Afterward, I moisturized with the matching lotion and put on a black lace tank top with a plunging neckline and dark denim jeans. I also wore my Giuseppe Zanotti floral cutout knee high boots. I put my hair up in a sleek top knot and I spent the remaining 15 minutes doing my make-up. I called Jamie as I grabbed my purse and leather jacket. He told me he would be outside in 5 minutes. I put on a rose colored lip gloss before I went downstairs.

When I arrived at the studio, I had to sign in at the front desk and wait for someone to come get me. It was Zoey again and she gave me an approving nod as she approached.

"Nice boots." She complimented me.

"Thanks." I said, looking them over. They were a birthday gift from Sammy and it was one of the few time I wore them.

I couldn't help being a little nervous as we walked down the hallway. There were gold and platinum records and pictures of recording stars adorning the wall. While knowing Christian made me realize they were just people, it was still nerve-racking.

When we got to the studio, Hugo was standing outside waiting for us. He gave me a passing glance and I waved hello before I went into the studio. A beat thumped throughout the studio, it had super low bass with a haunting piano melody weaved over it. I immediately spotted Christian sitting in front of the equipment, bobbing his head to the beat while he played with the numerous dials and buttons. A girl I didn't recognize was in the recording booth, singing on the track. A rapper I did recognized as Logic was standing next to her. When she finished singing, he started rapping over the beat. There were other people hanging around, grooving to the slower, but infectious rhythm.

"Lily!" I heard someone call me. Yazzy, who I met in San Francisco, gave me a broad smile from the couch she was lounging on.

"Hey Yazzy! Nice to see you again." I smiled at a familiar face. I started to head her way, but when I looked back at Christian, he was waving me over. When I approached him, he immediately stood up and gave me a hug.

"Hey, good to see you." He said, holding me close.

"Good to see you too. Thank you so much for inviting me... And Justine." I smiled gratefully, giving him a peck on the check.

Immediately after, I felt like a dumbass for my little display of affection in front of a group of stranger. But he pulled me tighter against him, squeezing my waist. "My pleasure. Beside, with Justine here, there's no reason you have to leave early."

"Nope. None at all." I giggled. "You have me all weekend."

He pulled back to give me a smile. "Fucking right-" he started, before he was cut off.

"Yo Christian! You left us hanging. What's up?" The girl said over the microphone. We both looked up and realized the track stopped playing.

Christian flashed them a sly grin before pushing a button. "My bad guys."

"No worries." Logic responded, with a grin of his own. "No need to explain what's already understood." He said, looking me over suggestively and making me blush.

Christian shook his head and turn to the guy sitting next to him. "Let's start at the bridge." He turned to me. "Go grab a seat; we should be done in a few."

"Ok."  I quickly made my way over to the couch next to Yazzy.

"Is this for the music video?" I asked her, confused. I remembered Christian told me he was shooting the video for "Straight Outta Fucks". Logic was featured on it, but that definitely wasn't the song playing and I saw no cameras except on cell phones.

"No, that's been over. Keosha hussled a feature for her song." Yazzy murmured to me.

"That's Keosha?" I asked, excitedly. I knew her from Christian's album. She was an upcoming singer/song-writer with a sexy, soulful voice. She was obviously of mixed heritage with light, tan skin, beautiful slanted dark brown eyes,  and tiny, super petite frame. She came off as crazy cool in black leather leggings, a beige crop top that showed off her clavicle piercings, and gold lipstick. "I love her voice."

"You wouldn't if you had to hear it for the last 2 hours." Yazzy complained, jokingly.

After about 20 more minutes of recording, Christian finally called it a wrap. Once Logic and Keosha came out the booth, Christian introduced me to them. Before I could even tell them what a fan of their work I was, Yazzy pulled Logic away for a interview for the online magazine she worked for and Keosha left to speak to Hugo about some appearance Saturday night. Christian led me to an secluded corner for another, longer hug.

"You ready to get out of here? I figure we can go get the tourist shit over with tonight." He said when he finally pulled away, his arm still wrapped tight around me.

I laughed. "We don't have to do that. I did most of the tourist shit years ago. I rather see where you grew up and where you like to hang out; stuff like that." I said, sincerely.

"You've been to New York City?" He asked me.

"Yeah, my dad's first baseball coach retired with the Yankee so he came for the retirement party and dragged me with him." I said.

"Dragged you huh? Didn't sound like you had a great time." Christian pointed out.

"I didn't. I was literally dragging because we walked EVERYWHERE: the Empire State Building, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, and all these museums. The only time we got to sit down is when we ate at these fancy restaurants with tiny potions and weird sauces." I keep going as Christian chuckled at me. "I was hangry and all I wanted to do was hang out in Times Square, see who was on TRL, and eat a hot dog."  I vented.

"C'mon. I can't promise you a flash mob, and TRL is cancelled, but I can get you a hotdog in Times Square." He smirked at me.

"Sounds good."

After Christian called Jamie to come pick us up, he made the rounds around the room saying goodbye. Before Jamie dropped us off in Times Square, Christian put on a black hoodie and a black fitted Yankee cap. I made a joke about needing a cap to look like a native, and he informed me the only reason he was wearing it was to blend in and hide his face.

Times Square was super congested with taxis, buses, pedestrians, bike riders, skateboarders, vendors, sight seers, street performers and promoters. I understood my dad's refusal and Christian's reluctance to come out here at night. I, on the other hand, was loving it. I felt the hustle spirit that was so New York. I was feeding off the energy: it was so much fun.

We walked all over, taking in the sights of the numerous billboards, restaurants, shops, and people. I took pictures of the Times Square Ball, visited the Walt Disney World store to see the life size Barbie Condo, bought souvenirs of New York themed chocolates at the Hershey store, and stopped to people watch and take pictures at Father Duffy Square on the red bleachers.

Christian refused to take part in my super goofy, touristy pictures and videos. He even made fun of my introduction to my videos: Live from New York, it's Lily!!! He did act like my professional photographer and took pictures of me, schooled me on sidewalk etiquette so I didn't get yelled out (much), bought me a hot dog and a Yankee cap, and was perfectly content with with me walking aimlessly through the city.

After a few hours, I was regretting my sexy, stiletto boots and I decided to call it a night. Instead of calling Jamie, I talked Christian into teaching me how to hail a cab. After about 5 minutes of trying, Christian chuckled as another Taxi whizzed by me.

"It was off duty." He informed me.

"Fuck! Don't they wanna make money?" I exclaimed, frustratedly.

"You sound like a real New Yorker, cursing cabbies."

I laughed and pulled my cap down over my eyes and struck a pose with my arm out like I was hailing a cab. "Yeah, do I look like a real New Yorker?" I pursed my lips in a model pout.

He put his arm around me and lifted my chin so he can look me in the eyes. "Better." He said, leaning in closer to me. I moisten my lips in anticipation when a cab finally stopped in front of us.

Christian pulled away and opened the door to let me in the backseat first. Once he got in and told the cab driver our destination, I scoot over right next to him, eager to continue what he started outside the cab. I took off his cap, ran my fingers through his hair before brushing my lips against his. We shared short and sweet kisses all the way back to the hotel. I wanted to deepen our kiss, but I had no intention of giving the cab driver a show. I definitely plan to do more once we got to the hotel.

Once we were back in the room, Christian hopped in the shower why I checked on Justine. As soon as I opened the door, she looked up from her spot on the bed. I went inside, closing the door so Justine wouldn't leave. I took off my boots and jeans leaving myself in the lace tank and pulled on matching black lace boyshorts. I examined myself in the mirror and decided to remove my bra. I put my hair down, applied some more gloss before leaving the room.

When I joined Christian in the room, he was already stretched out in the middle of the bed. His eyes widen when he saw me, looking me over slowly. I hesitated, thinking maybe he meant for us to have separate beds. Once he got his fill of looking at me, he moved over to the side to make room for me. I got under the comforter and he gave me a soft kiss on the lips before saying good night.

I said goodnight too, a little concerned to why he wasn't making a move. Once I built up the courage to make a move myself, I heard his deep breathing. When I looked up at him, he was already knocked out. I shook my head at myself, thinking about how long his day must have been, and that was before I dragged him all around Times Square. I turned over on my side to get some sleep too.

The next morning, my body clock woke me at 8am. I went to check on Justine in the second room. I heard her whining at the door, signaling she wanted out. I opened the door and she raced around the living room. When she bumped into the table, but still keep going, I knew I needed to take her outside.

I went back into the room Christian and I shared. I opened the curtains, letting the sunlight beam through the panoramic windows in hopes he would wake up. I went and gave Justine her food and water. While she ate, I got dressed in black skinny jeans and a long sleeve purple top. I went to check again and see if Christian was up: he was still out cold, in the middle of the bed.

"Hey Christian." I said, softly.

When he didn't budge, I spoke up.

"Christian!" I called his name a few more times, and rubbed his shoulder before he finally woke up.


"I gotta take Justine out. I'll be right back."

"No you don't. Call the front desk and get a dog walker." He said, groggily.

"That's ok. I want to take her." I told him, moving to my bag to grab a pair of socks and my comfortable creepers. I was finishing up tying my shoes when Christian groaned and flipped over.

"Wait for me." He said, blinking his eyes in the light. I could hear the exhaustion in his voice.

"No. I can see the Central Park from the window. We'll be back in 30 minutes." I told him, confidently. I really was fine going by myself. I would rather have company, but I could managed alone. "Get some more sleep." I reassured him.

"The city doesn't sleep Lily." He rubbed a hand down his face and sat up. "Besides, you've been to Central Park right?"


"You still wanna see where I grew up?"

"Of course!"

He stood up, and I admired his muscular body in his Calvin Kline briefs he wore to bed. "Give me a minute and we'll head to Brooklyn."

30 minutes later, we were heading out the hotel together. He was wearing joggers, a matching hooded sweatshirt and a bomber jacket. Even on Saturday morning, the streets and sidewalks were filled with people.  Once we got outside, he put on his sunglasses and his hood.

"Does it suck having to hide all the time?" I asked him as we walked.

"It's not all the time. Honesty, there are still some cities and places I can go out and not be recognized. It's getting worse with Noelle's show but my music getting more exposure so it is what it is." Christian reasoned.

I saw on his Twitter that he promoted the show. It was strange to me, considering they didn't talk. Or at least, I thought they didn't.

"Do you watch the show?"

He made a face. "No. I have to post clips because it was part of my contact as a recurring guest. Other than that, I don't care about that bullshit."

We took the subway train to Brooklyn. I was immediately impressed with his ability to expertly navigate the various lines and routes that would get us there. On the ride, Christian explained how he had a metrocard at the age of 12 and it was the way he and his friends got around in the city. For someone like me who couldn't even go swimming in my own home without my dad's permission, it was crazy to think about him being 12 and completely free to travel the city alone. He confessed it was without his mom's consent, but as long as he made it home before she did he was safe. Therefore, he learnt the subway system quickly.

Our first stop in Brooklyn was a bakery that he and his mom went to all the time. We grabbed bagels, crounuts and coffee for our trek through Brooklyn. He showed me the neighborhood where his apartment was, the shop he got his first tattoo, and the bars and clubs where he was introduced to some of his favorite music.

We stopped at a pizza place and picked up a few slices of Napoli-style, brick-oven cheese pizza for lunch. We went to a nearby park so I could feed Justine and give her some time off her leash. We walked the Brooklyn Bridge back to Manhattan. It took us about an hour, considering I had to stop and take multiple pictures but it was definitely worth it. I lamented not bringing my headphones as the walk across the bridge was the perfect opportunity for me to listen to my New York playlist. Christian promised me I could blast it in the car later that evening. It wouldn't have the same affect as walking the city with the music as my personal soundtrack, but I agreed.

As much as I enjoyed Times Square, I loved exploring Brooklyn and learning about Christian more. Since his mother passed away and he had no relationship with his dad, he never talked much about family or home. Listening to his stories and seeing him smile and laugh as he opened up to me made me feel closer to him.

By the time we headed back to the hotel, I was exhausted.  When we got to the hotel room, there was two wardrobe racks and Louboutins boxes set up in the living room.

"What's all this?" I asked, cautiously.

"We have tickets to Hamilton-" he started.

"Hamilton? Like the Broadway?" I questioned, shocked. Even I heard of Hamilton and I wasn't a Broadway or play fanatic.

"Not like." He shrugged. "It is on Broadway."

"I don't even know what to wear to a Broadway Musical." I murmured to myself.

"You have options." He gestured to the rack.

I would have preferred if he would have told me so I could buy my own outfit, but I was starting to see this was how he operated. I went over and looked through the dresses and jumpsuits. They were Balmain and I resisted the urge to look at the price tags. When I looked over at the other rack, it was filled with Le Perla lingerie. I looked over at Christian with a smirk.

"If you don't want it, leave it. Pick out whatever you want." He said, coolly.

"I'll take a dress. Maybe this one." I said, pulling out a colorful striped fitted cocktail dress. It had a short length, long sleeves, and a deep v neckline.

"I like that." He then went to the safe in the room. After punching in a code and going through the safe, he pulled out a jewelry box before bringing it to me.


"Before you say anything, these really are borrowed. You can wear them tonight and return them." He opened the box to reveal a jewelry set that included a black and gold chandelier earrings and a matching pendant necklace. I had to admit it would like fantastic with the dress.

"Ok. Thank you." I said, graciously, accepting the loaned jewelry. "What time is the show?"

"We're meeting everyone in about 3 hours. I made you an appointment at the salon-" he trailed off when I shook my head.

"No. Cancel it. I can handle my own hair and make-up. 3 hours is plenty of time." I said with a smile to smooth over the fact I was turning him down.

"That's fine. Take all the time you need." I gave him a abrupt kiss on the lips before hightailing it to the bathroom.

I took a shower, washing my hair, before blow drying it straight. I watched my favorite beauty You-Tuber as I parted my hair asymmetrical and flatten ironed it perfectly straight. It took me another 40 minutes to get my lashes, contour and smokey eye right for a sultry look. After I applied a deep red lip, I was satisfied with my full face of make-up.

When I came out the bathroom, Christian was nowhere to be found. I took the opportunity to look through the lingerie rack. I eventually picked out the sexiest option to me: a red lace and silk satin bodysuit. I wore it under my dress and was struggling with the tiny clasp on the necklace when Christian returned. He looked amazing in a Balmain biker jacket with gold embellishments, black fitted slacks, a black v-neck and black and gold designer sneakers. His hair was freshly tapered on the sides, the longer hair on the top of his head brushed up and tousled to one side. His face was clean shaven; his classic handsome features reminded me of a Disney prince.

"Wow." He complimented me, staring at my exposed chest and legs before my face.

"Wow yourself." I told him with a pleased grin. "Can you help me with this?"

He stood behind me and fastened the necklace for me. When he finished, he straightened it out on my neck. "Stunning." He murmured softly.

I turned around to face him. "Yep. Thank you." I motioned to my dress.

"No, thank you for wearing that dress." He grinned.

I smiled. If I wasn't wearing red lipstick, I would have kissed him to show him my appreciation. I settled with a long hug.

"You ready bae?" He asked me after a moment.

I pulled away and went back into the living room and picked out a pair of Louboutins. They were black with a red spiky heel. They matched my dress and the chunky heels where the least intimidating of the bunch. After I put them on, I turned to Christian. "Ready!"

We met everyone on Broadway outside the theater. Everyone included Yazzy, Keosha, Hugo, and Chaz, the sound engineer Christian worked with the night before. Hugo ushered Keosha and Christian to meet with some big shoot director named Marvin Turner before the show while I marvelled at the beautiful theater. Once the show was about to begin, we were shown to our seat.

Things rarely lived up to their hype, but Hamilton did! It was all remarkable: the fantastic music, the witty and smart dialogue, the historical costumes, and the talented and diverse cast. By the end of the show, I was in love with the story, the music, the performance, with Broadway!

Afterward the cast final bow, Christian and Keosha disappeared with Marvin and Hugo backstage to meet with some of the stars of the musical. I made my way through the crowd to the merchandise area. I bought a t-shirts to every concert I been to and I planned to do the same for plays and musicals. Now that I knew how much I loved them, I planned to start a collection of shirts.

After they returned, Hugo invited everyone, including Marvin Turner and his girlfriend, to dinner at an upscale sushi bar. Hugo had a stretch limo waiting for us and once inside, he proposed a toast with chilled champagne. We toasted to a beautiful night and future together. Christian, Hugo, Keosha and Marvin discussed filming the 3rd single from Christian's album, Nomadic.  I was definitely a little envious as they tossed around exotic locations they wanted to film at but the concept sounded amazing. I already loved the song and I couldn't wait to see it.

Once we arrived at the restaurant, the hostess already had a table ready for us and escorted us straight to it. The restaurant was beautiful: it had intricate decor and an extensive menu even though I wasn't in the mood for sushi. It wasn't my choice of pre party food and no Japanese cuisine could compare to my experience in Japan...

As the waitress delivered menus to us, the owner brought 2 complimentary bottles of sake.

"Mr. Wilson, Mr. Turner-" he said, placing the bottles in front of Christian and Marvin. "It's an honor to have you here. If there's anything I can do for you, please let me know." He did a little bow before leaving.

They ordered a ton of sushi and drinks and had a boozy great time. I mostly just listened in, snacking on spicy Miso Chips with Scallops, lobster tempura and sipping sake. Other than taking to Christian or Yazzy, I kept to myself.

After dinner, we ducked out the back entrance where the limo was waiting to take us to Keosha's appearance at some lounge in the Tribeca. Instead of getting in the limo, Christian told Hugo we would meet them at the party in an hour. Hugo didn't look happy, but we went our separate ways. After walking a few steps, I stopped him.

"I'm really not up for another walking tour in these shoes Christian..."

"Jamie is waiting for us up the block." He swore. As promised, Jamie was waiting in the Maybach. Christian wouldn't tell me where we were going as we snailed through traffic. I figured it out when I saw the Junior's sign in the distance.

"Are we going to Junior's?" I asked excited.

"Yeah, I'm not even going to make you walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to the original." He replied.

"You're not Diddy and I wouldn't have made it." I squealed excitedly. "We can walk right now though."

He looked at the crowded streets. "There's a lot of people out here. We'd really have to move." He warned me.

"Let's go."

We got out the car and I moved as fast as I could in the heels.

"Is that?-"

"That guy looks like-!"

No one had time to recognize as Christian as he moved briskly through the crowds. I held on to his arm for support and sighed in relief once we made it. Christian maneuvered himself to the front of the line, holding me close to him. After a brief conversation with the host, we were being seated at a table in the back.

Christian watched me in amusement as I ordered a Manhattan and took a selfie with it. I was debating what cheesecake I wanted when he asked if I wanted to order food.

"You didn't eat much at dinner. You like sushi right?"

"I do, but I have to be in the mood for it. I'm so glad I didn't. I'm ordering like 5 cheesecakes!" I changed the subject quickly.

I didn't order 5, but I got two-plain and chocolate moose. Christian got a cherry crumb that was delicious. I would have ordered one to go, but we had Keosha club appearance and I didn't want to reveal my gluttonous side to Christian quite yet.

As we finished our amazing slices of cheesecake, Christian called Jamie so we could leave quickly. Once we were in backseat, Christian asked me to play my New York playlist, so I did. The first song was "New York State of Mind."

He critiqued my list, complimenting some choices and adding new ones while stuck in traffic. While we were listening to a song by Dua Lipa and she crooned about New York City healing her broken heart, I leaned against his shoulder.

"You tired? We don't have to go to the club. I'm not getting paid to attend." He asked, stroking my hair behind my ear.

I giggled. "No... The city never sleeps remember? I'm just gonna rest my eyes before we get there." I said, closing my eyes.

"Sure bae."

Christian woke me up when we finally arrived. I blinked rapidly, resisting the urge to rub my eyes so I didn't ruin my make up. Christian lead me inside, and I didn't even realize we were back at the hotel into we were in the elevator.

"We're not going to the lounge?" I asked, finally waking up.

"No. You were passed out."

"I'm up now." I said on a yawn.

"Barely." He reaponded as we entered our room. "I didn't want to go anyway. Let's just chill on the terrace."

"Damn. I could brought back a cheesecake."

Christian shook his head. "They have room service. Order one."

"It's not Junior's: it's not the same."

The first thing I did when I got in the room was kick off my beautiful, expensive, uncomfortable shoes. I originally planned to leave them on with the lingerie I planned to reveal to Christian, but I couldn't stand them for another minute. The second thing I did was let Justine out so she could joined us on the terrace. While Justine explored, barking at the various sounds and sirens of the city, Christian showed me some of the music video they shot. It was a rough cut, but the premise of being young, wild, and giving no fucks like the song suggested came through. In the video, Logic and Christian both wore "Straight Outta Fucks" t-shirts.

"I want one of those." I informed Christian as I nodded my head to the beat of the song.

"I got you." He said, as we heard a knock on the door. We didn't order cheesecake, but Christian ordered champagne. He return to the terrace with two glasses and a "Straight Outta Fucks" shirt.

"You got one for me?" I said, taking the shirt and the champagne from him

"No. It's mine but I'll get another."

"You don't have to do that." I smiled, sipping on my drink.

"I wanted too. Besides, I like the idea of you wearing my shirt."

I stood up, wincing slightly as my feet throbbed with pain. I sat my glass down and turned my back to him. "Help me with my zipper."

Christian stood and slowly unzipped my dress. He pressed his lips against my neck, my shoulder and then my back before pulling away. I slid the dress down to the floor, giving him a back view of the bodysuit. He inhaled sharply and I turned to give him a view of the front. He watched my body intently as I put the shirt on.

"What do ya think?" I asked, hopping he would tell me to take it back off.

"Looks a lot better on you." He said, focusing back on my face and sitting back down. I took a step towards him, planning to sit on his lap and take the shirt back off again. My plan was ruined by my sore feet and unsexy hobble.

"Do your feet really hurt?" He asked, concerned.

"Yeah, I guess the shoes kinda numb them. They didn't start to hurt until I took them off. Maybe I should put them back on..." I stated suggestively.

"C'mon. Since I had you running around in those shoes, I'll give you a foot massage." He said, standing up, grabbing the champagne glasses.

"You don't have to..." I said, as we went inside.

"I want to."

Once we refilled our glasses, we got comfortable on the couch. After I placed my feet on his lap, he began to lightly massage them.

"That feels so good." I moaned.

"Good." He said, moving his hands up my ankle before working back down to the soles of my feet. "My album release is going to be here; I want you to come back so remember how good this feels."

"I'll be here. Are you excited about the album release? It's right around the corner."

"I know. Hugo reminds me everyday. I'm ready for all of it to be over with." He sighed.

"Why do you say that?"

"The only reason the label was willing to make the album is because people care about my personal life. I hate having to advertise my life. I know I'm fortunate that I can put out an album but I wish it was only about the music." Christian explained, switching to my other foot.

"So make it about the music. Don't do the reality tv or the club appearances or interviews. Just make music." I said simply.

"People don't just buy music; they buy the brand. The music is the product, I'm the packaging. That's the way it is. I gotta keep selling the brand until I'm established."

"Not that I'm counting your money or anything, but it seems like you have enough. How much more to be established?" I questioned him.

"I'm not talking about money. I wanna be able to choose who I collaborate with. I wanna develops new artist. I wanna have my own studio, fuck, maybe my own record label one day. That's the dream." He confirmed.

I nodded. "I understand."

Once he was done with the massage, we sat there in silence, finishing our champagne, before he spoke up again.

"What's your dream Lily?" Christian asked, his fingers grazing both of my ankles. "What do you want for yourself?"

"Hmmm..." I thought about it. " I just always wanna be doing something I love, surrounded by people I love and who love me back." I smiled at myself. "I know, it seems simple, but I have a way of complicating things."

"Then don't. Go after what you want." He said, squeezing my calf. I watched him through lowered lashes, his muscle flexing underneath his tight t-shirt.

I sat up, before leaning forward to press my lips against his hard.

"No one... has taken my advice... so quickly..." He groaned between kisses.

I smiled against his lips, moving into his lap, kissing him deeper. I explored his mouth, lapping at his lips and tongue. He sucked on my lips, his hands moving under my shirt  and fondling my breast. I whimpered when his thumbs found and traced my harden nipples. I sat back and pulled off the shirt I was wearing. When I started pulling at his clothes, he stopped me.

"Wait..." He panted, moving his hands to my waist. "We shouldn't rush this."

I looked him in his eyes. "I want to know what it's like being with you." I breathed, heavily, meaning every word.

He gently pushed me back on the couch. When he stood up, I looked away, dejected, until he held out his hand to me. "C'mon. Let's go to bed and I'll show you."

My stomach clenched, I don't know if it was excitement or nervousness. I put my hand in his and stood up. I followed him as he led us to the bedroom.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sucker for Pain

Sorry! I know the post is shorter but I didn't want to go another week without posting.

"I torture you
Take my hand through the flames
I torture you
I’m a slave to your games
I’m just a sucker for pain
I wanna chain you up
I wanna tie you down
I’m just a sucker for pain" Sucker for Pain by Imagine Dragons, Lil Wayne, Logic, Ty Dolla $ign, and Wiz Khalifa

Christian decided next weekend in New York would be the best time for me to visit. He really wanted me to see him at the Ultra Music Festival because I wasn't going to South by Southwest, but he didn't want to wait that long to see each other. A week wasn't a lot of time to plan, but I was so anxious to see him and figure out what was between us, that I quickly agreed to see if I could make it work.

My first call was to Amanda to see if she could watch Justine for me. I would normally ask Sammy as both Amber and Rocky had enough on their plates, but things were still strained with her. I didn't reach out unless she reached out to me and since I hadn't heard from her, I didn't ask. Besides, I wanted an excuse to talk with Amanda anyway.

Amanda quickly agreed to watch Justine, saying she owed me for not telling her sister about her being with her ex on Valentine's day.

"That's your business Amanda. I'm not going to tell anyone." I started, while thinking about something Dr. Pereira told me once about secrets and how the one's we keep are often the ones we need to share. "Why does it have to be a secret?"

"It's not a secret or anything. I just like my privacy." She said quickly.

I felt that wasn't the whole truth, but I let it go. For now. "Ok, but since you owe me, let's hang out when I get back in town."

"Ok. Text me when you want to drop Justine off."

"I will."

After I got off the phone with Amanda, I sent Christian a text.

Me: I'm good for New York this weekend!!! {Praise emoji hands}

Christian: That's whats up. I'll send your flight confirmation.

Me: Thank you! What should I pack though?

Christian: Bring that skirt you wore to the baby shower

I smiled as I text him back.

Me: For real, what are we doing so I know what to pack?

Christian: I'm shooting my video Friday and Saturday we're going to a show. Other than that my schedule is free for us. 

Me: ok... So we'll have time to start a flash mob in Time's Square!

Christian: We are not going to Time's Square. It's a tourist trap.

Me: But I'm a tourist...

Christian: You're not a tourist. You're a guest in my city.

Me: How bout listening to Empire State of Mind while at the Empire State building?

Christian: How bout I plan where I'm going to take you?

Me: As long as you walk to Junior's to get me a Cheesecake, I'm good.

Christian: You're not Diddy...

Me: Fine. I'll take a hotdog from a vendor. Is that native enough?

Christian: I'm not feeding you from a street cart. I got you. Trust me.

Me: I do

Tuesday, I went to my boxing workout and was surprised I didn't see Dominick there. He hadn't been to the workouts I attended the week before. I was closer to Richard and spoke to him on a regular basis either through text or social media, but I definitely notice Dominick's absence at the gym. After a grueling session with his dad, I asked about him. He grunted and said that he lacked discipline. I didn't think anything else about it before I left for work.

At my lunch at work, I saw that Amber called me.

"I'm pissed at you!" Amber exclaimed when I called her back.

"Huh? What did I do?" I said, before taking a bite of the turkey and cheese sandwich I bought.

"You didn't come out Sunday night. When do I ever get the chance to go out?" She vented to me. Had I know Amber was calling because she was upset, I would have put off the abuse until I got off work.

"Um... All the time. You and Will have date nights, I've seen you meet up with co-worker for happy hour-" I started.

"That's different! I have to spend time with Will and half the time I meet my coworkers before we go to work. We are supposed to have girl's night, or are we not doing that anymore?" She argued.

I wanted to point out that going out with her husband shouldn't be something she felt like she had to do, nor was happy hour an appropriate spot to meet up at before work, but I knew that wouldn't end her rant.

"I'm sorry. We'll plan something soon."

"This weekend?"

"I can't-"

"Oh wow! Why can't you hang out this time?" She cut me off, frustrated.

"I'm going to New York City to see Christian-" before I could even finish, she squealed in my ear.

"Good for you girl! You betta get it!" Amber cheered me on.

"Get what exactly?" I said, equally startled and relieved at her sudden attitude change.

"Everything!!!" She laughed.

"I gotta get back to work so I'll talk to you later!" I said before I hung up.

I was updating the huddle board at the end of the night, when the evening receptionist paged me with a phone call. I went to the team lead office to answer it.

"This is Lily." I answer politely.

"No. I asked to speak to the person in charge. Get Clayton on the line!" A rude man commanded me, sharply.

"Dr. Clayton is the morning team lead. I'm in charge of evenings. How can I assist you?" I asked, patiently.

"You can assist me by getting your therapist to follow my rehab plan." He barked back.

"I'm sorry, who are you?" I hoped my voice stayed pleasant. It took everything not to snap back at him.

"I'm Clyde Dennison, athletic trainer of Paul Bolen. Can you do your job so I can do mine and have him back on the court in 3 weeks?" He continued to berated me.

"I'll take a look at his chart and get back to you." I responded, noncommittally.

"Yeah, you do that. I'll be getting in touch with Fahri!" He finished before hanging up.

"Jackass." I mumbled to myself as I hung up the phone. I pulled out my tablet and looked over the chart for Paul Bolen. He was a player on the team I hadn't even heard of. I read over his chart and saw he had a small tibia fracture 4 weeks ago that was originally accessed as an ACL tear by the trainer. A MRI confirmed there was no tear, but the team physician still had not cleared him to play. I took a look at the last therapist that worked with him. Fallon Barber, and she left an hour earlier. I set myself a reminder to talk to her the next day.

Wednesday morning, Christian sent me the airport conformation for not only me, but for Justine. I smiled to myself, thrilled that he included Justine. I sent my friends a text to let them know we would be out of town during the weekend, including a message to Amanda that I didn't need her to take care of Justine. In the group text, Forrest offered to take me to the airport. I quickly agreed. Normally, I would just get an Uber or a cab but since Forrest offered, I definitely took him up on it.

When I arrived at work, I spoke to Dr. Clayton before he went to lunch about the phone call I had with Clyde Dennison. He told me he never had any problems with Clyde and that he was a fine guy to work with. I seriously doubted that considering how not great he was over the phone, but I kept my opinion to myself. After my daily huddle with my team, I pulled Fallon to the side and asked her about our client.

"I know it's a small break, but I'm afraid if he does too much he's going to make it worse. I'm focusing on strength training to protect his knee." She explained, tucking her dark braids behind her ear.

"That makes sense. Have you explained this to his trainer?" I asked.

She flinched and I automatically knew he had given her the same attitude he gave me. "Once, but he wanted to focus more on speed. I'll start today." She promised, nervously.

"No. You do what's right for the client." I told her. When she looked surprised, I continued. "If anyone tells you differently, come talk to me." I reassured her. She nodded and left the room. During my lunch, I tried to call Clyde Dennison back, but I got his voicemail. I looked up his email on the site directory and I typed an email to send to him. It read:

Mr. Dennison,
Thank you for taking the time to reach out to me. Attached you will find the rehabilitation schedule for Paul Bolen. Per the conversation you had with one of our therapist, the main focus is regaining strength to prevent further harm. The plan clearly states the estimated time frame, but if you have any other questions or concerns feel free to give me a call.
Warm Regards,
Lily Harris
Team Lead

I forward it to Fahri with a note that Mr. Dennison might be giving him a call regarding our client. I also cc'd Dr. Clayton so he would be aware of everything before I went back on the floor to assist with clients.

Thursday morning, Adil was at the clinic when I got there. I thought he was there to finally help out, but I was sadly mistaken when he pulled me into the office.

"I spoke to Clyde Dennison this morning." He started.

"Good? So we're on the same page?" I stated.

"He is not but that's why my role was created; to be the go between the therapist, trainers and doctors and to solve this type of problem. He doesn't understand why we won't implement his plan." Adil informed me.

"The problem to me is he does not understand his role. As therapists, we pick the rehabilitation plan. His job is to prevent and assess injuries, both of which he failed to do for our client."

"I agree. I still wanted to speak to you about there being any room for compromise." Adil question, giving me a critical look.

"The only thing I can compromise is our client's well being. I'm not willing to do that that."

His probing stare relaxed and a small smile formed on his face. "You always did like to do things the hard way."

"No, the right way." I corrected him.

"I have somg good news: I have 2 interns starting next week to help in the evenings."

"Great. Thank you."

"No thank you. Keep up the good work."

Friday morning, I had my appointment with Dr. Pereira. I told her about my job and the comment Adil made about me liking to do the things the hard way. She asked me where I thought that came from. I explained how I spent my whole childhood trying to be obedient. I believed being defiant and obstinate were signs of independence. She asked me if I felt like I still needed to do so in order to feel independent. I told her I didn't. I honestly felt like I was doing the right thing at work and that was more important than any fallout that came along with it.

I didn't hear anything from Adil or Clyde Dennison on Friday, so I put the whole thing out of my mind. After work, I rushed home to get ready before my flight. On my way home, Forrest called me letting me know he was on his way to my house.

When I got home, I barley had time to change before the door bell rang. I went to the door and let Forrest in. He immediately helped me bring my things to the car. Once we got Justine, me and my bag settled, we headed to the airport. I asked him what was new with him on the drive.

"How is work?" I asked him.

"I would say I'm ready for spring break, but that's the beginning of spring football." He lamented.

"What's wrong with that? You love football season."

"Politics. I told Rocky. She didn't tell you?"

"No! Is that how it is now? I have to get updates about you from her?" I teased.

"No. I thought she might have mentioned it."

"I think she was preoccupied with you meeting her family. How was it?" I asked, wanting his impression of her mom.

"It was great." He said, sincerely.

"Really? Even her mom?"

"Especially her mom." He confirmed with a nod. "I know Rocky was stressed about it, but I think it went well."

"Yeah, Rocky has been stressing a lot lately. It's hormones." I shrugged.

"That's what you think?" He asked, skeptically.

"That's what I know." When he looked unconvinced, I asked him. "What are you thinking?"

"Nothing." He shook his head. "So you and Christian? Are y'all a thing now?" He asked, switching gears.

"I don't know about all that." I replied.

"Well, what do you know?"

"He knows that I'm not completely over Trevor, but he says he willing to wait it out."

"You told him that?" Forrest questioned, looking over at me.

"Yes. I had to be honest with him. I really thought he wouldn't want to hang out with me. I don't know why he still does. I wouldn't stick around if I knew he was still trying to get over his ex. Who, by the way, is dating my cousin. The whole things is weird." I confided in him.

"Does it feel weird when you spend time together?"

"Sometimes; and then other times, it's complete normal. And natural. I don't know if it's me making it weird or if it is weird."

We arrived at the airport and Forrest pulled up in the drop off lane. "Well, take this time to figure it out. That's what dating is for."

"Yeah. I know. That's exactly what I'm doing. Still, there's a small part of me that thinks maybe he's a masochist for wanting to date me." I said, jokingly, as we got out the car. He grabbed my bag from the backseat as I grabbed Justine's leash and carrier. "Thank you again for the ride. I owe you dinner when I get back."

"Bring me back a cheesecake from Junior's and we'll be even" He smiled, handing over my rolling duffel.

"I seriously told Christian I wanted the same thing!" I laughed, giving him a hug.

Forrest chuckled as he hugged me back. When we pulled apart, he looked me in the eyes. "I'm sure he sees something special about you that's worth waiting on. That doesn't make him a masochist; It makes him patient. Continue being honest with him and make sure you see something special about him too." he advised me.

I nodded, something in his tone making me want to question him, but he looked away and I did the same.

"I will." I promised, sparing him one last glance before I left.