Monday, January 15, 2018

Cake by the Ocean


"Waste time with a masterpiece,
don't waste time with a masterpiece
You should be rolling with me, you should be rolling with me
You're a real life fantasy, you're a real life fantasy
But you're moving so carefully; let's start living dangerously
Talk to me, baby
I'm going blind from this sweet, sweet craving, whoa
Let's lose our minds and go fucking crazy
Ah ya ya ya ya I keep on hoping we'll eat cake by the ocean" Cake by the Ocean by DNCE

"I have a confession to make." Uriel told me as he led us into his condo. He lived only 20 minutes away from me. He did not live in the same residential area as me but he wasn't that far from the Shops of Legacy where I celebrated my birthday.

"What is it?" I asked, my eyes quickly examining his darkened living room. I could make out a matching living room set, glass coffee table and a huge plasma before turning back to face him.

"I don't have any cake." He said, taking long strides to the kitchen. He opened the refrigerator and searched inside. "I'm not big on sweets but I have Greek yogurt, fresh fruit and sweet potatoes. I might have a breakfast bar."

"Do you really think I came over here for cake?" I asked, hiding my nerves behind a smile.

He gave me a knowing look. "I was hoping not. Do you want a drink?"

"No. I'm good."

"Come here and tell me what you came over for." He suggested leaning against the counter in the kitchen, watching as I still stood in the doorway.

I took a deep breath before making my way over to him. "Do I really need to say it?" I asked, with fake bravado as I stood in front of him.

"Yes..." He said, grabbing my hand to pull me even closer. "We need to be on the same page." He took my purse from my hand and set it on the counter. His fingertips then traced the back of my hand and up my arms, sending tingles all over my body.

When his fingers reached my shoulder, he removed my jacket. The tingles intensified when he lifted my hand to his lips and followed the same path as his fingers with his mouth. I closed my eyes, enjoying the feel of his kisses on the back of my hand, around my wrist and up my forearm.

"Tell me what you want." He demanded, sucking the crook of my elbow.

My knees weakened and I blurted out, "I wanna fuck you."

A snicker escaped his lips and he turned his mouth away in an attempt to hide it. Humiliated by my outburst and his response, my eyes snapped open and I began to pull away.

"No. Don't." One of his arms snaked around my waist to hold me in place.

I fidgeted in his embrace. "Stop. We're definitely not on the same page if you think I'm a joke."

"You're not a joke." He said, caressing my back, soothingly. When I relaxed, he moved his mouth back to my arm. "I didn't expect that from you.." He explained between kisses.

"What were you expecting?" I asked, trying to keep my defenses up as his kisses moved to my shoulder.

"For you to tease me like you did on your birthday..." He said as he kissed the strap of my tank top. "Play coy like you did at the Lexus event..." He paused as he nipped at my neck. I couldn't help the shiver that ran through my body. "Or bludgeoned me into submission like you did earlier tonight. I never expected you to be frank about what you wanted." He finished before his tongue swirled on my neck.

    I groaned, in pleasure but also in acknowledgement of the truth in his words.

    "My birthday... Was the first birthday I didn't hear from my ex. We were best friends for 9 years and it took less than a year of dating to destroy that." He pulled back slightly but I continued. "I've been all over the place trying to deal with that and figure out what I want."

    When I finished, I met his eyes, mentally preparing myself for him to run for the hills after that over share. He didn't; instead, he peppered kisses along my jaw and asked,

    "Do you know what you want now?"

     I nodded. "For the most part."

    "Tell me again." He nibbed on my ear.

    I shivered and shook my head away from his mouth. "No way. Not doing that again."

    "I'll go first." He started, softly in my ear. "I wanna fuck you." He imitated me.

    I laughed and it released the tension inside me. I turned my head to brushed my lips against his. "Shut up and do it then." I teased against his lips.

    He smiled cockily then picked me up like I weighed nothing at all, throwing me over his shoulder.

    "What are you doing?" I squealed, a little disoriented as I noticed my purple hat fall off my head and unto the floor.

    "Exactly what you told me to do." He said, slapping me on the ass as he carried me to his bedroom. I've never been manhandled like this, but I was really turned on by it.

    He carried me straight to his gigantic California king size bed and dumped me on it. I sat up, my legs dangling off the edge of the bed. I began to undress, starting with my shoes and socks before he stopped me.

     "Wait. We need to talk before we go any further."

    I looked up at him, confused. "What? Why?" I asked.

    "We need to share our std status. I have my results from November I can show you. I'm all clean." He pulled his phone of his belt clip.

    "Oh!" I said, realization hitting me. "I'm not due for another test until June. My last check was clean but I can get tested again."

    He nodded. "We'll stick to condom safe activities."

    "Ok." I agreed, nodding as he began to disrobe.

    My eyes were glued to him as he removed his undershirt to reveal broad shoulders, cut biceps, and rippling abs. My breath caught as his slacks came off next, revealing his black briefs and lean, long legs. His body was incredible; he had not an ounce of fat on him.

    He walked away giving me a view if his tight ass in his briefs. I got my fill of watching him as he went into his beside dresser and pulled out a string of condoms. He came back to the foot of the bed, removed my tank top and bra before pushing me back on the bed. He pulled off my leggings and panties with one tug before climbing on the bed too.

    He moved on top of me, settling himself between my legs. His head lowered to my chest, kissing around my breasts, before sucking one of my nipples in his mouth. His tongue circled my nipple while his finger mimicked the motion on the other. When I groaned and ran my fingers through his hair, holding his mouth against me, he shook his head free and switched nipples.

    While he lavished my breasts with affection, he rubbed his pelvis into me. When I felt his erection growing thicker and harder against me, I gasped and looked at him, in awe.

    He pulled his lips away from my skin, sharing my gaze. "Don't worry. I'll go slow."

    "Kinda too late to go slow." I breathed, stroking his hair.

    "Never too late to slow down." He said, moving up my body. I sat up slightly to press my lips against his.

    We kissed, softly at first, until I slipped my tongue in his mouth, deepening the kiss. As we made out, his hand worked between our bodies until he stopped between my legs. He moved between rubbing my clitoris and slipping his finger inside me, driving me crazy.

    "Uriel..." I groaned, arching up from the bed, needing more contact.

    "Yes?" He asked, as he stroked inside me, grazing my spot and driving me crazy.

    I responded by wrapping my legs around his narrow waist, pulling him closer to demonstrate what I wanted. He indulged me for a moment, rubbing harder against my clitoris before he moved away.

    "Tell me what you want." Uriel told me.

    "You know..." I whimpered at the lost of contact between us.

    "I want to hear you say it again. Tell me." He repeated, sliding his fingers inside me. He brought me to the edge again, before he stopped.

    "Urgh, Uriel, fuck me." I cried out, thrusting up into him.

    "What's the magic word?" He asked, maddeningly calm as he gripped my hips, stilling me.

    "Now!" I demanded.

    "Wrong." He said, moving his finger back to my clitoris. I cried out as stroked me in tight circles, bringing me closer to the edge. When I thought I was finally there, he pulled away again.

    "Please Uriel. Please fuck me!" I begged, desperately.

    He pulled away, finally grabbing a condom and putting it on. He slid his hands under my ass, lifting my hips up as he thrust himself all the way inside of me. I let out a loud wail as he pushed as deep as he could, grinding against me before pulling all the way out.

    "Please!" I gasped, longing for release.

    "I told you we were going slow." He puffed, repeating the same motion, over and over again

    "Please, please, please!" I pleaded, tighten my legs around his hips in effort to get him to move faster.

    He let out a low groan, but kept up the excruciatingly slow pace. I laid back, tilting my hips up to his, focusing on how good he made my body feel. I tensed up as I slowly built towards an orgasm again.

    "Are you about to cum?" He asked me, his eyes barely open.

    I nodded my head frantically, pleasure rendering me speechless. As soon as I did, he pulled out of me.

    My sob of desperation turned into a scream when he pistoned inside me, giving me quick, shallow thrusts. It didn't take me long to finally come, and I screamed out as my body spasmed. His continued thrusting prolonged my orgasm until he came a short time after me. He held me tight to him, shuddering as he released. My body was still spasming when he pulled away.

    "I'm going to use the guest's bathroom to clean up. This bathroom is all yours." He said as he stood up.

    "Yeah, ok. Thanks." I panted. He left and once I caught my breath, I began to search for my clothes. I crawled to the end of the bed, scooped up my leggings and underwear tangled up together on the floor. My panties were soaked and totally unwearable. I disregarded them and put on my leggings. On shaky legs, I found my bra and tank top on the right side of the bed and I put those on too. Last, were my socks and shoes.

    I took a deep breath, contemplating how the hell I got out of here. I didn't know what would be worst; him kicking me out or him being nice and making awkward small talk. I grimaced at the thought of either.  I wasn't familiar with how this worked, but the best option seemed to avoid them both and sneak out. The only other time I had an one night stand, I was at my place and he snuck out when he thought I was sleep. Since Uriel was awake, I had to get out while he was in the bathroom.

    I slowly opened the door, wincing as the door hinges creaked softly. I wasn't sure which door was the bathroom and I saw no light coming from any of them. I didn't ponder on it long as I made a mad dash to the front room. I quickly grabbed my jacket and purse and raced out the door. I didn't want to wait for the elevator and headed down the stairs 2 at a time. By the time I got down, I was winded and the front security guard was watching me curiously, but I gave a little wave before I left out the side door. I didn't catch my breath again until I was in my car.

    On my way home, second thoughts crept into my mind about what I was doing with Christian and now Uriel. I knew sex with Uriel was a one night thing. We were on the same page of not wanting a relationship: No feelings, no attachments, just sex. I enjoyed the freedom of meaninglessness sex as mush as I liked dating Christian.

    I had some feelings of guilt when I thought about Christian. I convinced myself sleeping with Uriel was only the rebound I should have had before starting anything up with Christian. I also reminded myself of how neither one of us were ready for a relationship so technically, I was free to do whatever I wanted.

    I was able to push my doubt aside by the time I got home. I took a hot shower and went to bed. I feel asleep quickly, and slept soundly for the entire night.

    Saturday, January 6, 2018

    Circle of Life

    "There's far too much to take in here
    More to find than can ever be found
    But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky
    Keeps great and small on the endless round
    In the circle of life
    It's the wheel of fortune
    It's the leap of faith
    It's the band of hope
    Till we find our place
    On the path unwinding
    In the circle, the circle of life" Circle of Life by Elton John

    As promised, Richard sent over a contract Monday detailing the cost for materials and labor for my backyard. I signed and returned it the same day. During the week, he began to bring over the material and started to construct the bar. By Thursday, it was completed and looked amazing.

    "I can put in cabinet doors if you want storage space." He explained as I walked around inside, taking pictures and videos of the interior on my phone.

    "Sounds good... Do me a favor. Film this for me?" I asked, handing over my phone.

    "Sure. I also left a space right here for you to put a grill- what are you doing?" He stopped abruptly as I climbed on the bar.

    "I've always wanted to do this." I shot him a sly grin, standing up on the bar. I channeled my inner Coyote Ugly girl and started dancing. I strutted the length of the bar, swinging my hips like Tyra Banks before dropping down low to the bar and dancing back up. When Richard laughed, I broke character, laughing too. As I hopped down from the bar, Richard tapped away on my phone.

    "I would have never built you a bar if I knew this is what you were going to do." Richard commented with a smile as I approached him.

    "Stop hating." I said as he handed back my phone. "Eric is still waiting for a shipment of palms, but he said they should be here in a week or so." I updated him on my plants.

    "I have a couple of guys available next week to do the patio and pergola if that works for you."

    "Whenever y'all are available, I'm fine."

    "You're not fine. As long as you stay off bars, you're alright." He teased me.

    "You can't be a hater all your life Richard." I smiled as he got ready to leave.

    Later that night, I called Christian to congratulate him. His single Three's Company hit platinum status in sales. I faced time and he thanked me, telling me he couldn't wait to celebrate together in Miami. When he asked me how many people were coming with me to Miami, I told him Amber and Staci.

    "That's it?" He asked.

    "Yeah. Rocky's 7 months pregnant so she's definitely out. That's basically all my friends." I said lightly.

    "What about your friends that came to Mexico? Sammy and the blond?"

    "Sammy... Can't make it." I couldn't help frowning up as I thought about her attitude towards Christian. "Jordan is newly engaged and goes nowhere without her fiance now." I added, moving on.

    "Tell her she can invite her fiance."

    "I will."

    "Sammy doesn't like me right?" Christian asked out of nowhere.

    I bit my lip. "She doesn't know you well enough to have an opinion on you." I answered diplomatically.

    "But she does. I felt it when I came to visit you and I'm sure she sub-tweeted me a few times."

    I sighed. "It has nothing to do with you personally. Just ignore it her. She's just like this-" I tried to explain, but he cut me off.

    "Alright. It's cool. Just let me know when you know the final head count for Miami."

    We talked a little while longer, mostly discussing everything that happened in the past week. I told him about remodeling my backyard and he told me about Straight Outta Fucks music video finally having a set release date.

    After we got off the phone, I saw I had notifications on my Instagram. Richard posted a video of me dancing on the bar and tagged me in it. He had the song "Practice" by Drake added and captioned it:

    I built her a bar and this is what she does...

    I read through the comments, his friends left message saying "she's the one" and "marry her". He commented back saying: "Nah, she's offbeat"

    I quickly wrote back to defend myself.

    Me: First of all, there was no music playing...

    Richard: Second of all, you were stiff {eye wink emoji}

    I said nothing more but I had a good laugh reading through the comments as most of his friends defended me and my friends playfully mocked my dance before I went to bed.

    The next day during my biweekly Friday appointment with Dr. Pereira, we talked about my trip to New York. I explained to her how I began a sexual relationship with Christian and how I couldn't orgasm with him. She asked me questions about my sex life prior to Christian and if I had problems having orgasms in the past. I told her no and even explained how I could get off during phone sex, but not in person. She asked me why I thought that was. I explained over the phone it felt like role playing, but in real life I couldn't let myself go enough to enjoy being with him.

    "Moving on is a process. You've healed yourself mentally and emotionally. You now posses the self awareness to see what you need and want in a relationship. If you feel ready, putting yourself out there is the next step-" Dr. Pereira tried to explain before I interrupted.

    "That's exactly what I'm doing- I'm putting myself out there and dating. Christian is a great guy and he's good to me. I don't understand why I'm making it so hard to just be with him." I questioned.

    "Putting yourself out there does not mean rushing into a relationship. It's opening yourself up to new possibilities and being patient to wait for the right partner. Christian may be a great guy, but only you know if he's your great guy. Slow down and figure that out first." She instructed me.

    I thought about it on my way to work. Dr. Pereira's words were right along the lines of Rocky's suggestion that I was rushing things to get over Trevor. I was so sick of everything revolving back to him- like a stupid endless cycle I couldn't break. He definitely wasn't thinking or concerned about me; why couldn't I do the same? I put it out of my mind the best I could while I was at work. When I got off, I saw that my brother called me so I returned his phone call. He was just calling to check in because he hadn't heard from me in awhile.

    "Do I need to book a flight out there?" He asked me after I told him I was ok. He thought something was wrong because I didn't sound like myself.

    "No. I'm just tried from work and I had therapy today. I always need a weekend to digest what we talk about, but I'm good. It's not even that deep." I assured him.

    "If you say so. What are you digesting?"

    "Um, this week we talked about me dating again. My therapist said I should be putting myself out there and shit." I replied simply.

    "Aren't you doing that with that Christian guy?"

    "It doesn't matter who I'm dating." I deflected. "It's about me not only being ready to be in a relationship, but having the patience to wait for the right person."

    "You have to give it some time. If Richard is good enough for you, he'll wait for you to figure it out.

    "Nice try; but I'm not telling you who I'm dating until it's official." I shot him down. "And the only thing I figure out is how to fuck things up like I normally do." I confided, only partially joking.

    "You're gonna fuck up. I met my wife at her anger management class and I fucked that up. The right person will accept everything about you like Jenna did for me. Wait for that person, whoever he is."

    "Alright Cam. Thanks for the advice, although I think Jenna has made you soft..." I teased.

    "Yeah, not soft enough to not come down there and kick that vet's teeth in if he hurts you." Cam threatened menacingly.


    "Ohmygod, you think I'm dating Dr. Chapman?" I squealed with laughter.

    "He likes almost all of your pictures. You comment on his all the time."

    "That's what you do on Instagram! I'm not dating him! Stop being creepy before I defriend you Cam!"

    We both laughed before we said our goodbyes and hung up.

    I got off the phone, feeling much better after talking to my brother. Between him and Dr. Pereira, I realized my need to rush things with Christian showed I wasn't ready for a relationship. I didn't matter why I wasn't ready, just realizing I wasn't was enough. I recommitted myself to my own personal growth and focused on bettering myself mentally, physically and emotionally so when I knew I found the right person, I would be ready.

    Saturday morning, I woke up and saw that I had a text and a missed call from Sammy. The text read:

    Sammy: Tell your bf my page gets plenty of hits without his help.

    It included a screen shot of Christian Twitter page from the last night. His tweet read:

    Shout out to all the Honey Bees! Respect ur hustle ladies. Check em out if you're in Austin, Dallas, or Miami. 

    The tweet including the link to the Honey Bees' YouTube Channel. Thoroughly annoyed by Sammy need to be spiteful and Christian not listening to me when I said to ignore Sammy, I didn't bother to respond or call her back. I put my phone away and threw myself into hosting a kick ass movie night with EJ. I got dressed and went to the store to pick up supplies for The Lion King night.

    I bought meat, cheese, vegetables and fruits for skewers, flaming hot Cheetos (EJ's favorite), animal crackers, zebra snack cakes, bug shaped candies, animal shaped chicken nuggets, and different drinks to make a jungle juice. When I got back to my house, I marinated the meat and texted Ethan to confirm what time he was dropping EJ off.

    Ethan: We should be over around 4 if that works for you

    Me: Works perfectly. See y'all later.

    I reached out to Rocky to see if she had plans. When she didn't, I invited her and Forrest over for the movie night. I also extended the invitation to Staci, Amber and Amanda. Amanda said she would stop by after she got off work and Staci had plans with her daughter. I figured Amber would be sleep, but she called me back to let me know her kids were spending the night at their grandma's house.

    "Will is going out with Ethan tonight so next weekend I'm getting a night out. Girl's night!" Amber proclaimed, excitedly.

    After I promised to leave that weekend open, I got to work transforming my living room into a jungle. I then started to put the skewers together. When the skewers were in the oven, I got changed into a high low cheetah maxi print dress. A little before 4, Rocky and Forrest arrived, eyeing my dress when I let them in.

    "I know. It's too much but this is the only animal print I have that fits the theme." I explained as we walked through the living room. I had it decked out in jungle and animal themed decorations and a folding card table set up for the jungle juice and snacks.

    "Try this." I commanded them, handing them both a skewer. I made fajita chicken and beef kabobs that I thought turned out great. I watched them as they dug in.

    "Delicious." Forrest complimented them, finishing his bite first.

    "Thank you." I smiled proudly.

    "It's so good, I'm not going to comment on your Jersey-licious dress." Rocky said, wiping her mouth with a napkin.

    "Good. Don't say anything about this either." I said, turning on the Internet station I found on my phone called Afro beats. When a song with a heavy drum beat streamed through my speaker, I started to dance around to the music.

    "Hell no." Rocky covered her face while Forrest laughed. When the doorbell rang, Rocky took it as her sign to leave. "See why I can't with deal with her? She always takes it too far." She announced on her way to get the door.

    "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa." I chanted along with the music, ignoring her.

    As soon as Rocky was out of sight, Forrest joined me dancing, doing an imitation of a tribal dance.

    "Teach me that move." I asked Forrest, before mimicking him. We were both swinging our arms to the music rhythmically when Ethan, EJ and Rocky joined us.

    "What are y'all doing?" EJ smirked at us.

    "Setting the mood for our movie night! You're definitely not going to forget Lion King again!" I said, grabbing his arms and making him dance with me.

    "Let me go!" He protested, laughing. I made him dance with me for a few more seconds before I let him go. I smiled at Ethan as he handed me a bag.

    "What's this?" I said, looking in the grocery bag.

    "I bought over some of EJ snacks but I should have known you would have it covered." He motioned to the snack table EJ and Rocky were currently making plates at.

    "That's the one thing I'm good for: snacks." I smiled, heading to the kitchen to put the food away. "A little birdie told me you and Will are going out tonight. Doing something new? Meeting new people?" I asked.

    "Possibly." He answered.

    "Don't be enigmatic. You're one of the most direct person I know. Is he introducing you to someone?"

    "It's a group outing. Women will be included." He revealed. "Why are you so interested?"

    "I don't know. I guess because I'm at the putting myself out there stage in the moving on cycle. Just comparing to see if I'm doing it right." I admitted.

    "I don't know about doing it right. It's like you said: what I was doing before wasn't working so I might as well try something new. I'll let you know how it works out." Ethan said honestly.

    "Ok." I grinned. "When did you start taking my advice?"

    "When you learned tribal dances." He smirked.

    "Shut up." I playfully pushed him.

    Ethan had some time before he had to met Will so he watched Lion King with us. I was sure he was regretting that choice as he listen to Forrest and I debated which song was the best from the soundtrack. He argued for Hakuna Matata for teaching him a new language. I countered with Can You Feel The Love Tonight as the song I was walking down the aisle to. Rocky voted for us both to shut up, which EJ seconded. Being out voted, Forrest and I quieted down to watch the movie.

    Amanda arrived at the end on Lion King so we made it a double feature with Tarzan. We discussed Disney fan theories like Tarzan being related to Elisa and Anna before Ethan had to go. During Tarzan, EJ got bored and got up to play on the Hooverboard. Rocky fell asleep, so Amanda, Forrest and I watched the rest without them, free to debate and sing along. After the movie ended, Forrest and Rocky left. EJ got on Xbox live upstairs and showed us some gamer Youtubers he liked to watch. EJ was showing Amanda some videos he uploaded with his friend Jayden while I tried to stay interested. By 1am, I fell asleep on the couch.

    I woke up sometime Sunday morning to the doorbell ringing. I opened my eyes and looked over at EJ, his limbs hanging off the loveseat as he slept. I got up, my back aching from being curled up on the couch and headed downstairs.

    Amanda had opened the door for Richard and another guy. When Richard saw the living room decorations and my cheetah dress, he started singing.

    "Welcome to the jungle. We got fun and games..."

    "Don't start Richard." I laughed at him. "What are you doing here again anyway? Don't you have a life?"

    "I guess I don't have a life considering I didn't get an invite to the party last night." He replied.

    "It wasn't a party it was a movie night. Once my backyard is done, you'll get an invite to my first luau."

    "That's why I'm here. This is my cousin Alvaro. He's the electrician to see if we can get you some power on your deck."

    "Oh ok." I said, reaching out to shake his hand. "I'm Lily. Thanks so much for coming out."

    "No problem." He shook my hand. As I led them to the backyard, Richard asked me, "Are you gonna dress up in a little grass skirt and coconut bra at your luau?"

    "Is there any other way to dress up at a luau?" I opened the backdoor for them.

    "A bikini... But I'll settle for the coconut bra." He replied as he walked outside. I shook my head and closed the door.

    I went and changed into jeans and a t-shirt before joining Amanda in the kitchen to make breakfast. I decided on a huge breakfast scramble with the leftover meat, cheese and veggies I had from the skewers. Amanda loved to bake, so she made biscuits and muffins.

    While I was finishing up cooking, Richard came inside and asked me for my speaker. I directed him to the hallway closet where I kept it. When breakfast was done, I went upstairs to wake up EJ. EJ got up and joined us down the stairs. I went outside to see if Alvaro and Richard wanted to break for brunch. EJ followed me outside with a muffin.

    Outside, Alvaro already had electricity to the deck: music was playing from the speaker.

    "As happy as I am to have electricity out here, can you change the song?" I asked, motioning over to EJ.

    Richard nodded his understanding before he reached for his phone.

    "I know this song!" EJ interjected, before he sang along. "All she wanna do is smoke my broccoli."

    "Uh-huh. And what does that mean?" I questioned him.

    "Weed!" He exclaimed with a smirk and a smoking hand gesture. My mouth dropped, Alvaro laughed and Richard quickly changed the song to Watch Me by Silento.

    "What do you know about this though?" Richard said, turning the speaker up.

    I laughed as they had a dance off. I pulled out my phone and recorded EJ hitting every move while Richard encouraged and battled him. When My Boo came on and EJ started to do the running man, Richard scoffed.

    "That is not the running man."

    "Yes it is!" EJ exclaimed.

    "No it's not new school. This is the original running man." Richard demonstrated the old school dance of running in place. He threw in some other old school moves that had me laughing as I recorded him.

    "Whose was right?" EJ asked me.

    "I'm gonna go with you EJ." I decided.

    "What?" Richard exclaimed playfully as EJ celebrated.

    "Old school has to make room for the new. Sorry." I told him with a grin before ending the video.

    After their impromptu dance battle, we went inside to eat brunch. After they eat, Richard, Alvaro and Amanda left. EJ busted out his Monopoly game and we set up to play. We were about 30 minutes into the game when Ethan called to say he was on his way. When I told him his dad was on the way, he wanted to quit the game so he can have more time on the Hooverboard.

    We were in the front yard, EJ playing on the board while I sat on the step watching Justine run around after him when Ethan pulled up. He got out of the car, said a few words to EJ, before grabbing Justine's leash and bringing her to me on the steps.

    "How was last night?" I asked him as he sat down beside me.

    "It was nice. We went to a lounge in Uptown. You ever go out there?"

    "No. Not at all. That's the neighborhood Brandon lives in right?"

    "For now. He's seriously considering breaking his lease to be closer to Ace." Ethan stated, gripping the leash tight as Justine tried to run.

    "You can let her go. She won't run off."

    "Something could happen if you don't have control of her leash. Why aren't y'all in the backyard?"

    "It's under construction. I'm remodeling it."


    "Yeah. Richard is fixing a few things for me and I ordered plants from Eric. It should be done next month. I'm having a luau slash unveil party." I smiled at him.


    "Yep. It's a tropical oasis backyard. Grass skirts are a requirement. You better dress appropriately."

    "I'm busy that weekend."

    "I didn't even tell you what weekend!" I giggled.

    "Any weekend requiring grass skirts I can't be there."

    I laughed harder. "Speaking of weekends, the next one EJ has available will be Aladdin." I told him. "Has he tried Indian food before?"

    "No. He can't get over the smell. I told him it smells stronger than it tastes, but he refuses to try it."

    "We'll see if I can change that." I pulled out my phone to show him the video of Richard and EJ dancing. "I wanted to show you this before I posted it."

    He watch the video. "Go ahead. I don't know how your friends going to feel about it, but I'm fine with it."

    "Oh. Don't worry about him, he has it coming. Are you on Instagram?"I asked.

    "No. Facebook and rarely that."

    "I'm gonna have EJ make you a profile."

    "EJ doesn't have a profile."

    "He should. All Youtubers need an Instagram and Snapchat."

    "Don't encourage that. I told him that was not a plausible career path."

    "See, normally I would agree with you, but some of these YouTubes are millionaires!"

    "That's a shame."

    "Again, I agree but it is what it is." I pointed out as he shook his head with a small smile. "I've only seen a few of his videos on Youtube-"

    I stopped when the smile fell off his face. "Who's videos on Youtube?" He looked at me, seriously.

    "Um, now that I think of it, it's his friend Jayden's channel." I cleaned up

    "But EJ is on them?" Ethan questioned.

    "It's gameplay. The only thing on the video is his voice." I explained.

    "I told him he couldn't post videos at all." Ethan frowned.

    "Technically he didn't."

    Ethan looked at me incredulously, his frown deepening.

    "I know. I know. He's wrong." I started. "I'm saying talk to him. Maybe see why it's so important to him to post videos online-"

    "I already know why. Jayden. Jayden rides the bus to school, now he wants to. Jayden plays club basketball, now he wants to try out. Jayden post videos on Youtube, now he thinks he can too. He wants to do everything that Jayden does." Ethan listed.

    "I mean, none of those are really bad things..."

    "It is if I told him he couldn't and he did it anyway." He countered.

    "I know that. I'm just saying it's hard for a kid to understand why his friend can do something and he can't. Maybe some type of compromise can be made." I argued.

    "We'll see." He said, shortly. "Thanks for letting me know." He stood up, waiving EJ over. I stood up too, taking the leash from him, holding his hand to get his attention.

    "I have no problem being a spy for you, he'll never suspect it..." I said, secretly, only partially kidding.

    He looked over at me, my hands over his, then back to my face. "A spy?" He clarified.

    I nodded. "He thinks I'm on his side. As long as he thinks that, I can get you information." I suggested to him. "Their videos literally put me to sleep, but I'll watch them. Think about it." I finished. As EJ joined us, I let go of his hand.

    Ethan turned to EJ, a hint of a smirk on his face. "Let's get ready to go. Tell Lily thank you for letting you come over."

    "Thank you Lily." He said.

    "You're very welcome." I said, pulling him in for a hug. "And you're welcomed anytime." I told him, but I looked up at Ethan and gave him an exaggerated wink.

    A smile finally crossed Ethan's face. He put his head down to hide it, but I caught his eye and smiled back at him.

    "Get your bag EJ. We need to get going." Ethan told him.

    "Bye Lily."

    "Bye EJ. Bye Ethan." I waved

    As soon as they left, I grabbed my phone and posted the video of EJ and Richard dancing on Instagram and Facebook so Ethan could see. I tagged Richard in both, captioning:

    @Richard got out danced by a 8 year old. New school for the win, Richard takes a L for the old school! #Whip #NaeNae   #RunningManChallenge #NeverMyBoo #MoreRhythm

    Richard commented right away.

    Richard: You know I killed that. It's Sunday. Why are you telling lies boo? {Salsa dancer, Praise hands, 100, and Crying Laughing Emoji}

    I stayed online, going back and forth in the comments. Some how me dissing Richard became an amusing debate about old school versus new school that gave me a good laugh. My good mood was killed by Sammy's new Twitter post.

    It was an interview with Christian and Keosha. Keosha's song that Christian produced "Lover Tonight" cracked the top 100 billboard and they were talking about the song's success. She was super flirty, taking about how much chemistry she and Christian have whenever they work together. That led to the DJ interviewing them to ask if the chemistry left the recording booth. Keosha claimed she doesn't talk about her personal life while Christian said they kept it in the recording booth. The DJ  made a crude comment about what all happened in the recording booth while they laid down the sexy track. He then followed it up by singing some of the raunchy lyrics from the song. Christian and Keosha both laughed before Christian spoke up.

    "But for real, I'm married to my music and my album is my kid. Anything or anyone else in my life right now can only be a side chick. Keosha's too good for that. Look at her. Talented, beautiful... She's wife material. You'll definitely see all of that in the 3rd single for my album, Nomadic. We're going to be shooting the video for it soon-"

    The rest of the interview was more of the same, promoting the music, with flirty bantering in between. Sammy's captioned the clip:

    Respect your hustle @Christian. Definitely understand being married to your work- I'm married to The Honey Bees and each video is my baby. Even with 25k new subscribers this week, I always find time for my main tho! #MakeTimeForTheReal #NoSideBish #MainsOnly #LoverEveryNight

    I like the video to let Sammy know I saw it and was unbothered. And truthfully, the video itself didn't upset me. The flirting was just that. He wasn't my boyfriend, so why should I care? The side chick stuff didn't bother me either. We hadn't defined our relationship and I was nowhere near ready to. It was just the way Christian came off in the video- completely real and sincere. He said he hated the fakeness of reality t.v. and selling himself, but he was a fucking pro at it. Like, was he that good of an actor? Why couldn't I tell the difference with him selling a product and him being real with me? How did I know he wasn't acting with me?

    I told myself I was reading too much into it and that it was just his job but it irked me to no end.

    Monday morning I arrived at work, still irritated but ready to put the stupid interview behind me. I was surprised when I saw that Dr. Fahri was there. He pulled me and Dr. Clayton into the team lead office as soon as I arrived. I was relieved, hoping he was there to tell us he finally hired a new therapist.

    "I thought we were all on the same page regarding Paul Bolen's treatment." He started in immediately.

    "We're not. You know Clyde Dennison wanted it accelerated but we decided against it." I answered, looking at Adil, confused. He looked at Dr. Clayton, pointedly.

    Dr. Clayton looked over at me before responding. "I looked over the chart and I agreed with Clyde. There's no reason why we can't speed up the recovery."

    I was still lost until Adil continued.

    "Is there a reason you couldn't come to me with your concerns before going to Dr. Tran?"

    My mouth dropped open before I could stop it. Dr. Tran was Adil's boss. Chain of command meant that any problems we have, we go to Adil. To go over his head was wrong. To go over his head, with one of my clients, after Adil and I already decided the course of action, was majorly fucked up.

    "I didn't go to Dr. Tran, Clyde did. He asked me for my opinion and I gave it to him." Dr. Clayton stated, plainly.

    I turned to Dr. Clayton now, my shock giving way to indignation. "Why didn't you consult me first before giving your opinion? I've worked with Paul Bolen last week. I did a stress and range of motion test-"

    "I know. I read your notes in the chart and my opinion was based off them. I don't believe there's a reason to delay his return." Dr. Clayton verified.

    Adil must have saw the outrage in my face, because he spoke before I could. "Lily, I need a team lead on the floor; do you mind going back?"

    "Not at all." I said between my teeth before leaving. I had to go through all my self affirmations to calm myself down. I was pissed off that Dr. Clayton had the audacity not only make a comment about the rehabilitation plan that I approved, but to back up the athletic trainer that he knew I was having issues with behind my back... to my boss's boss.

    I went back on the floor, but I used the phone to call Monica. She was an athletic trainer and had to work with Dennison. Maybe she knew what was going on, or at the very least could give me some insight on Dennison's character. When she didn't answer, I left a voicemail to call me back on my cell. My phone vibrated away little, but it was Christian. I ignored it and got back to work.

    Dr. Clayton came back to finish his shift after another 25 minutes with
    Adil. As soon as I could get away, I sought out Adil and found out he left immediately after the meeting. Dr. Clayton spoke to me before he left for the evening.

    "I was overly cautious at the beginning of my career too but I don't believe accelerating the plan is going to put our client in danger of re-injury." He explained to me. "That's my honest opinion and that's all I told Clyde.

    "You're entailed to your opinion. In the future, I would appreciate it if you shared your opinions on my decisions with me." I somehow mustered calmly.

    "Sure thing. Let me know if you need any help in the evenings. I know you're spread thin. I can stay later anytime you ask." He said, patting me on the back. I shuddered in disgust after he left.

    At the end of the night while I updated the huddle board, Monica finally called me back. I immediately asked her about her take on Dennison.

    "I don't work with him that often. I stay more in the training room with treatments than one on one with the players like he does. Why? What happened?" Monica replied

    I didn't give her any details considering I had no idea of the outcome of Dennison's talk with Dr. Tran. I didn't know if her loyalty would automatically be with Dennison because he was a trainer too.

    "We have to work together on a rehab plan for one of the players. Just trying to get an idea of how to cooperate with him." I supplied.

    Monica snorted. "It's his way or no way. He's impossible to work with. Good luck with that." Monica informed me.

    "Thanks." I sighed, defeated, fearing this wasn't the last of the rehab debate but having no idea what to do.

    "Hey, what are you doing tonight?" Monica quickly switched gears.


    "Why don't you come over? I'm making a pot of chili. We can have some wine and brainstorm some solutions to whatever issue you're having with the dinosaur."

    "The dinosaur?"

    "Clyde. That's what we call him. Just old and mean for no reason. I promise, whatever said will stay between us. If I can't help, at least I can tell you some stories so you know what you're up against." Monica enticed me.

    I was sold at chili and wine. There was no point stressing about Dennison when I had no idea what would happen next.

    "Ok. Sounds good."

    "Ok! See you later tonight"

    Before I left work, I took a shower and changed into a clean white tank and leggings I had in my workout bag. I rebraided my side braid before placing a purple knit beanie on top of my hair. The leather jacket and Nike hi-tops I wore to work completed my outfit. I saw I had another call and text from Christian, but I didn't respond. I figured he saw Sammy's tweet but I was in no mood to get into her, him or the interview tonight.

    I arrived at the house Monica and Trent shared in 40 minutes. The chili was already simmering, and I explained to Monica what happened as she chopped cilantro.

    "Adil left before I could even ask what the plan was. I really don't know how this will play out." I explained while I assisted slicing avocados.

    "I mean, only one of two things might happen: they go with your recommendation or Clayton's." Monica said bluntly.

    "Smells good in here!" Monica and I both looked up to see Trent entering the kitchen, a smile on his face. He didn't look surprised to see me in the kitchen with his wife, but Uriel sure did. The smile on his face momentarily froze when he saw me, but he quickly recovered when Trent waved hello to me.

    "Hi. Sorry. I'm totally crashing y'alls dinner." I said, with a small smile.

    "Nonsense. The more the merrier." Trent assured me.

    "Besides, Uriel was already crashing. He always comes over when I make chili." Monica added.

    "If you would make it for me, I wouldn't have to crash." Uriel said, pushing his thick hair that fell to his neck behind his ear, making his face free for perusal. I admired his dark, almost black eyes, narrow nose, full lips and his strong jaw covered in stubble before he caught me checking him out.

    "Hi Lilac." He said with a knowing grin.

    I narrowed my eyes at him. "You know my name is Lily."

    "Lily. Right. It's the purple hat." He said, unapologetic.

    I crossed my arms under my chest. "Sure."

    "What brings you here?" Uriel asked me, eyeing Monica and me suspiciously.

    "Lily had some drama at work that she was filling me in on but food's ready so let's eat!" Monica instructed us.

    We all fixed our bowls of chili with the toppings Monica set out. When I placed jalapenos on my chili, Monica pointed out, "So you like spicy food? So does Uriel."

    It was turn to look at Monica suspiciously as I replied "Nice."

    We all went into the dinning room to eat. Uriel brought Modelo which would have been perfect with the food, but since he was still playing the I don't know you game, I stuck with the red wine Monica poured me. By the 2nd time she topped me up, I was 100% certain Monica was trying to set me and Uriel up. Maybe (and that's a big maybe) it was a coincidence that we were both over for dinner, but she was definitely taking advantage of it.

    Monica kept pointing out things we had in common and trying to get us to talk. I politely engaged without encouraging her while Uriel flat out ignored her attempts. I should have been offended by his dismissal of her and in turn, me, but I was highly impressed by how efficiently he ignored Monica. When Monica mentioned how we both lived in Plano, Uriel cut her off.

    "Excuse me, I'm going to get more chili." He said.

    Before he could move, Monica was up, grabbing his bowl. "I got it. Stay put. Tell Lily where about in Plano you stay. You probably frequent the same places."

    As soon as she left, Uriel turned to me.

    "So what places do you frequent, Uriel?" I asked, sarcastically.

    "Did you have anything to do with Monica trying to set us up?"

    "No. I have your number if I wanted to talk to you. Why would I need to set this up?" I asked him, raising an eyebrow.

    Trent snorted out a laugh, but covered his mouth when Uriel gave him a look. Monica breezed back in the dinning room, setting a bowl of chili in front of Uriel.

    "So, what were y'all chatting about?" Monica asked.

    "My work dilemma. The reason I came over." I quickly said. "I didn't tell you about Dr. Clayton."

    I retold the whole story, adding in what Dr. Clayton told me before he left. "Then he patted me on the back and left." I finished.

    "He touched you inappropriately?" Monica gasped.

    "No... Not like that. Like he was saying good girl." I explained.

    "The only time I tell a woman good girl is in the bedroom." Uriel stated before taking another sip of his beer.

    I couldn't help the flush that hit my face when he mentioned the bedroom. I reached for my wine glass, only to find it was empty.

    "Should I open another bottle?" Monica asked.

    "No, it's ok." I declined. "Anyway, it was more like attagirl. The way you would pet a dog for behaving. It felt like he was putting me in my place. Super condescending. He knew I was having issues with this trainer and he went behind my back to plot with Dennison. That's the part that gets me."

    "That's shady, but you don't have anything to worry about. You and he are on the same level. Your boss should be the one watching his back. He went over his head right?" Trent mentioned

    "That's so true." I said, thoughtfully.

    "Has anyone asked what Bolen wants?" Monica asked me.

    I rolled my eyes. "Of course he wants to play. Which I could understand if he was Dirk and the Mavericks had a playoff chance-"


    "Hey!" Uriel and Trent both exclaimed, cutting me off.

    "We do have a playoff chance. We could still finish the 6th seed!" Trent pointed out enthusiastically.

    "Oh C'mon. Even if the Mavericks get in the playoffs, they are not beating the Spurs, or Oklahoma, or Houston and especially not Golden State." I said.

    "You're not a Mavericks fan?" Uriel questioned me.

    "Can't I be a realistic one?"

    "You didn't answer the question." Uriel pressed.

    "You know what, no. Not really. I'm from California so-" I began.

    Uriel smiled and Trent groaned. "Monica, you do not have a Warriors fan in my house!"

    "No she doesn't. Lakers all day." I revealed proudly.

    Trent proclaimed, "That's even worse!"

    "Lakers are last in the league and you're talking about the Mavericks." Uriel challenged me.

    "Whatever, we weren't talking about the Lakers, but ok. Neither the Lakers nor the Mavericks will be wining a title this year." I declared, haughty.

    Uriel laughed while Trent stood up. "Nice seeing you Lilac. You know the way to the door." He said, pretending like he was highly offended as he gathered our bowls. Monica smiled and helped him pick up the dishes to take in the kitchen.

    When I looked over at Uriel, he was watching me, intently. I stared back at him, but he had no qualms about me catching him checking me out. His appreciative gaze both aroused and disturbed me.

    "What?" I asked him, fidgeting in my chair, feeling the heat growing in my face and other places...

    "Nothing." He replied, grabbing his beer and draining the last of it.

    Staring at his lips caressing the bottle of his beer suddenly made my mouth super dry. I reached for my glass again before I realized I turned down a refill.

    "Still empty." Uriel informed me, matter of factly.

    "I know..." I said, standing up and following Monica and Trent in the kitchen. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him smile as he watched me leave the room.

    Monica and Trent invited us both to stay and watch the game that was about to come on. Seeing as I had to be at work the next morning and my hormones apparently were on overdrive, I declined. Uriel did as well and we both got ready to go.

    We said goodbye and on the walk to my car, Uriel asked,

    "You still have my number?"

    "Somewhere..." I said cryptically, knowing his card was still in my purse at home.

    "Still waiting on you to use it so I can take you out for dessert." Uriel informed me as we stopped in front of my car.

    "Why? You made it very clear you didn't want Monica to set us up." I crossed my arms.

    "You're right. I don't want Monica setting us up. I've always wanted to take you out for dessert." He said suggestively. Goosebumps ran up my arms that had nothing to do with the cool air.

    "Why does Monica think she needs to set you up?" I changed the subject, rubbing my arms.

    "She doesn't like the women I date."  He answered nonchalantly.

    "Why not?"

    "She says they're not good matches for me."

    "Ok...why does she think that?"

    "Because they're not."

    "So why do you date them?"

    "Because I'm not looking for a relationship."

    "Commitment problems? Too many women to settle with one?" "

    "No." He said, shortly, looking around, running his fingers through his hair. When he looked back at me, his eyes were even darker.

    "Well, why aren't you looking for a relationship? Don't want to fall in love or don't believe in it?" I interrogated him, knowing I hit a nerve. I could tell he was uncomfortable, but since he enjoyed making me uncomfortable I decided to return the favor.

    "I don't want love. I'm still trying to forget it." He admitted.

    The sincerity in his voice had me starring in his eyes. He put his hand through his hair again and looked away, but I could still feel the vulnerable pouring off him in waves. I knew exactly what he meant; I didn't know I felt the same exact way until he said it out loud. It had me in a trance until he spoke up.

    "Goodnight Lily." He said, turning away.

    "Cake!" I blurted out.

    He turned back around with a puzzled look on his face.

    "Um, we didn't have dessert and you owe me cake. Let's go get some." I invited him.

    "I doubt any bakery is open right now." He mentioned.

    "You're right." I said, embarrassed by how desperate I must sound. I willed my cheeks not to burn, as I searched for my keys in my purse.

    "Your cousin said you weren't picky about cake. I probably have something at my place if that's true."

    I met his eyes. I knew what I was doing was impulsive and potentially a horrible idea, but the connection I felt with him was too strong to resist. No, that wasn't true. I could have resisted. I just didn't want to. "That's true."

    "Follow me." He told me, giving me one last glance before walking to his car.

    I got in my car. As I started it up, I placed my phone on the charger. I noticed the missed calls as Uriel started his car. When he took off, I followed right behind.

    I ignored my phone for the rest of the night.

    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.