“We didn’t find semen but there were traces of spermicide so he must have used a condom.” The doctor said.
Arianna looked sick. The nurse, Abigail, felt for her. This was her first time dealing with a rape victim and it brought tears to her eyes.
“We found traces of methylene-dioxymethamphetamine in your system which is why you remember doing it but don’t feel like you consented.”
“Oh my God, what is that?” Arianna asked frightened.
“It’s Ecstasy.” Abigail clarified.
“It’s what?!” Tears trickled down her cheeks. She felt violated.
“Your blood alcohol level was still high, especially since you haven’t drank since last night,” The doctor continued.
“I drank before I went over there.” Arianna exhaled, shaking her head.
“I know you’re a little shaken up right now. It’s not your fault.” Abigail tried to comfort her.
“It’s fine.” Arianna dried her tears.
She got into her car and headed home. It was like her World was crashing around her. There was too much going on. She called Shane to make herself feel better. He answered right away.
“Ari, is everything ok?”
“Yes, I’m fine. There’s a lot going on. I just found out my best friend is in the hospital… and Malachi left.”
Shane smiled to himself. Maybe he would get the satisfaction of having Arianna to himself. “You’re feeling alright?”
“Not really but I’m handling everything as it comes.”
They talked until Arianna reached her house. “Um, let me call you back,” she said then hung up the phone. She was surprised to see Malachi’s car when she pulled up and was hesitant to walk in.
“So, I leave and you stay out all night?” Malachi accused when she walked through the door.
“I went to Danielle’s because she didn’t answer.” Arianna wishes she would’ve stayed home last night.
“Malachi, I don’t want to argue. I’ve had a really long day.” The tears formed in her eyes, falling gently down her face.
“What’s wrong? What happened?” He was pained to see Arianna cry.
“Nothing.” Arianna got in the shower and turned the water as hot as it would go. She attempted to wash away the shame and betrayal she felt.
“What’s going on Arianna?” Malachi asked from the door.
“Can I just please have a minute?” She begged from the shower. She broke down, crying hysterically. She had cried before but it finally hit her what had happened. Scenes from that night flashed in and out of her head making her nauseous. When Danielle finds out she’ll be devastated. And Arianna was ashamed. She was so ashamed. She scrubbed her skin raw under the hot water turning it red.
“Arianna, what’s wrong?” Malachi had never seen her break down. He had been with her through some pretty hard times. He was worried.
She wouldn’t answer. The hot water pelted her body. She wanted to wash the dirtiness away. She wanted to forget this whole thing happened.
She got out the shower and Malachi was waiting for her when she opened the door. He wrapped his arms around her and she found comfort in his arms. She needed him right now.
Her phone rang surprising her. She didn’t recognize the phone number, but she answered anyway.
“This is Arianna,” She said pushing Malachi away. She went into Carter’s room and closed the door.
“Hey beautiful,” she heard.
“Yeah. How are you? I really want to talk about what happened between us last night.”
“What do you mean between us? You drugged me. I would’ve never slept with you if you wouldn’t have put something in my drink. Loser.”
“That may be true but you had a good time. Orgasms don’t lie.”
“Stacey. What is wrong with you? Don’t call my phone ever again.” She hung up.
“What’s wrong?” Malachi asked from the other room concerned.
“Nothing.” She claimed. But there was something wrong. There was a lot wrong. The tears flowed freely from her eyes onto the pillow she held to comfort her. She rested in Carter’s twin size bed feeling horrified by what happened to her.
The next morning Arianna woke up and headed to the police station. She looked stressed and sad to the officer. The officer helped her with the police report but it was very uncomfortable. The details they asked for traumatized her all over again. She was embarrassed that she went over there drunk and even more embarrassed that she didn’t catch on to the extra sugar being something else.
She called to see if Danielle was still at the hospital. She’d been released and Arianna wanted to see her.
“Danielle, where are you?” Arianna said after Danielle answered.
“I’m at home.”
“No she went to work, or wherever she goes.” Danielle commented suspiciously.
“Cool. I want to swing by.”
“Ok, I’ll be here. I’m not cleared to go back to work. They sent the work anyway.” She laughed. I’m getting rest though.”
Arianna headed to Danielle’s house. She walked in and found Danielle in her living room on the pull out bed.
“I thought you would be in your bed.”
“I figure if I have to stay in bed another week I want to be in a bigger space. The hospital made me want to pull all of my hair out.”
“I’m glad your back home.” Arianna smiled then sat next to her best friend.
“There has been a lot going on lately. Malachi left the other night.”
“Yeah.” Arianna said hesitantly and looked away.
“Why? I thought you two were good.”
“Well, there’s this guy at work. Shane.”
“Shit, I guess I’m not the only one then.” Danielle laughed. “Shane huh? What’s he like?” Arianna told her about Shane.
“Girl, you a hot ass mess.” She laughed, “What is wrong Malachi?”
“His jealousy for one.”
“He should be jealous, you’re messing with a coworker.” She laughed uncontrollably.
“He’s jealous of you.”
“Of me?” Danielle looked puzzled.
“Yeah, he thinks you and I are… you know.” She looked at Danielle suggestively.
“No I don’t know.” Danielle raised her eyebrow.
“He thinks we’re sleeping together.” Arianna confessed.
Danielle’s eyes widened, then she burst into laughter, “Arianna!” She threw a pillow at her.
Arianna laughed with her. This wasn’t the reaction she expected but it was making her feel so much better. “Why are you hitting me, that’s what he said?”
“Ew, you told him about the time we made out.” Danielle smiled and made kissy faces at Arianna.
“Oh my God you’re so gross.” Arianna slapped her shoulder. Then lay in her lap. “Remember those college days?” Danielle nodded. “I miss them.”
“Well, they were good times,” Danielle agreed smiling.
“I’m thinking about taking the bar again. I just need something new,” Arianna blurted out.
“Well, I can help you study.” Danielle offered.
“Thanks.” Arianna said. A tear fell down her cheek, Danielle was more than her best friend. She was her support system.
“Are you ok? I was so worried about you.” Jordan panicked as she gripped her phone.
“Yes. I am,” Danielle answered.
“You need some company?” Jordan asked wanting to see her.
Jordan wasn’t the type of person to engage in small talk. She hung up with Danielle and left work right away, excited to see her again. When she got to the hospital she stood outside the room preparing to walk in and see Danielle for the second time. How is it even possible to feel so strongly about someone she’d known less than a week? She took a deep breath and entered the room. The first thing she noticed was Danielle in the bed. She was bruised and had on a neck brace but was smiling at her friend. Her smile made Jordan’s heart skip a beat.
She looked at Jordan and her smile grew even wider. Arianna saw her friend’s cheesy smile and turned to see Jordan.
Danielle introduced them, “Arianna Jordan, Jordan Arianna.”
“Hi, I wish we could’ve met under better circumstances. It’s nice to meet you though.” Jordan said shaking Arianna’s hand.
“Same here,” Arianna said half smiling. “I’m gonna go. I’ll be back tomorrow.” She turned to Jordan. “You’re gonna take care of her tonight?”
“I promise.” She said never taking her eyes from Danielle. “I missed you.” Jordan held her hands sending a satisfying wave of pleasure through Danielle’s body.
“I missed you too.” Danielle confessed.
“I’ve been worried sick about you.” Jordan claimed. She sat next to Danielle, their eyes still locked on one another. “How are you feeling though?”
“I’m good. I still think that lady hit me on purpose. The light was red for a while.”
“Did you see her?” Jordan asked.
“I know she was driving a black SUV. She was wearing sunglasses and a hat so I don’t know what she looks like.”
“It was a woman for sure?” Jordan asked curiously.
“Yes, definitely a woman.”
Jordan raised an eyebrow and rubbed the back of her head nervously with her right hand. She looked away.
“What’s wrong?” Danielle asked.
“Nothing. I’m just glad you’re not seriously hurt.” Jordan said as she turned back to Danielle admiring her beauty. Danielle’s heart pounded as Jordan leaned in for a kiss. Her panties dampened as Jordan’s skilled tongue discovered every inch of her mouth. She gladly submitted to the pleasure that Jordan so easily provided.
Danielle pushed her away, “I have to tell you something.”
“I’m in a situation.”
“You mean you have a girlfriend?”
“A boyfriend?” Jordan was confused.
“What’s going on?” Stacey asked as she entered the room, startling Danielle and Jordan. “Who is this?” Stacey asked looking at Danielle.
Danielle was surprised and angry to see Stacey. “Who is this? That’s what you say after leaving me in the hospital alone?”
“The doctors told me you would be fine and you could use the rest. How does that answer the question of who the hell this is?” Stacey pointed at Jordan. Jordan looked at Danielle.
“You’re so full of it. If you must know, this is Jordan. Happy now?” Danielle said agitated.
“And who is Jordan? Why is she here?”
“You weren’t here. Why do you even care? Just leave.” Arianna was hurt.
“You fucking her?” Stacey asked turning to Jordan and ignoring Arianna’s question.
“What?” Jordan asked moving toward Stacy.
“She’s a hoe. You probably thought this was your girl but she was begging for the D the night before this accident, so you must not be hitting it right.”
“Actually I’m not hitting it at all, but if I were, well, you wouldn’t be around. So maybe it’s you who’s not hitting it right… or at all.”
“Yeah? Whatever.” Stacey commented slightly embarrassed, but more than pissed that Danielle would have another stud in her face. She knew better.
“You wouldn’t.” Jordan said confidently and shrugged her shoulders.
“You two wanna measure straps later?” Danielle interrupted.
“Danielle why is she here?” Stacey asked irritated.
“It’s none of your business. I think you made it clear where we stand when you left me here and didn’t even tell my friends and family where I was.” Danielle winced in pain.
“You should go.” Jordan demanded.
“Who are you talking to?” Stacey said looking at Jordan.
“Stacey you can act like you have sense or you can go.” Arianna interrupted.
“Fuck this and fuck you.” Stacey stormed out of the room.
“So, you do have a girl.” Jordan said clarifying the situation Danielle mentioned.
“I had one yes. I thought she was trying to change, that’s why I didn’t return your calls.”
Jordan looked hurt. “So what is the situation?”
“Her.” She responded referring to Stacey.
“Obviously. How long have you two been together?”
“Damn it, Danielle You don’t think it’s important to tell me you have a girlfriend?”
“It’s not like that. I decided to call it off. Then I met you and she started trying again.” Danielle could feel the tears behind her eyes.
“So what is it that you’re looking for with me? Why would you lead me on, make me think that we had a chance with each other?”
“Jordan, we only talked once really and I planned to tell you. You made me feel like no one has before. I wanted to explore that. I still do.”
“How? When you’re involved with someone already?”
“I’m not. I don’t want anything to do with her.”
Stacey looked at Danielle in disbelief then turned to leave. “So… you’re gonna go?” Danielle asked?
“You think I should stay?” Jordan turned to face her.
“I want you to.”
“I don’t understand it. Explain to me how I’m just supposed to have something with you, when I just had an argument with your girlfriend. After everything we talked about?”
“Jordan, I was honest with you.”
“No you weren’t. You said just enough to mislead me.”
“I understand. It’s a complicated situation. I wasn’t trying to mislead you. I just wanted to get to know you first before I discussed it.”
“Discussed what? You keep saying situation. Are you two together or not?”
“No. The night I met you was really my first single night out.”
“I could tell.” Jordan chuckled lightening the mood. ”Look. I want to get to know you. Just don’t lie to me.”
“So, I can see you again?” Danielle asked anxiously.
“Will you lie to me again?”
“Of course not.” Danielle answered.
“Ok, well I want to see you again. You’ll be here tomorrow?”
“Yes. Hopefully I get released in the morning.”
“I’ll come tomorrow morning then.” Jordan offered.
They hugged again and said their goodbyes. Jordan walked back to her car. She really did enjoy Danielle and knew the chances of the letter and the accident happening around the same time was no coincidence. If she is back and she’s anything like she was last year Danielle is in serious trouble.
“Oh shit, Jordan!”
“Who is that?” Arianna asked suspiciously.
“Someone,” Danielle responded smiling.
“Girl why haven’t I heard of this Jordan?”
“I haven’t talked to you in a while, or her either. I thought I would try to work it out with Stacey but her not being here right now hurts. So I don’t know now.”
“It’s not going to work out with her. She knows about this Jordan?”
“Of course not. I know you don’t like her and she messes up but she was actually trying to be there for me before this accident.”
She tried sitting up but grimaced in pain. Arianna ran to her side. “It’s ok, just lay down.”
“I’m tired of laying down, I’m tired of being here. I feel trapped and anxious. And alone because I haven’t had any visits before now.” Tears streamed down her face. At that moment Arianna felt a rage building inside of her. Tears fell for her friend and herself.
Why would Stacey treat her like this? Why would she not tell anyone that Danielle is in the hospital? Arianna’s heart hurt for her best friend. Stacey has to be the worst person on Earth.
“It’s ok girl, don’t cry.” It was too late. Danielle was completely inconsolable and Arianna wasn’t much help.
“It’s not, I wanna sit up!”
“OK, ok, I’ll help.” Arianna rose the bed to sitting position. Then she helped Danielle adjust. “Better?”
“Yes. Thank you.” She wiped Danielle’s tears.
“You’re welcome. You want me to bring you anything?”
“Just my phone charger and my laptop.”
“Ok, I’ll go get it.” Arianna was apprehensive because if Stacey was still home, she might kill her. The hospital wasn’t far from her condo so she went to get her car first.
She went over every scenario in her head that could happen if she were to see Stacey. None of them ended well.
Arianna knocked on the door first but there was no answer. The anger in her turned into rage again and she struggled to open the door with her key because her hands were shaking.
This time she opened the door and checked the house to make sure Stacey wasn’t home. She exhaled in relief when she didn’t find her. She grabbed the laptop and the charger, then headed back to the hospital.
Danielle was on the phone when Arianna came back. “I don’t know ma, I haven’t talked to her.” Arianna had to assume Ms. Raquel, Danielle’s mom, was talking about Stacey. Arianna told Danielle’s parents right away that she was in the hospital.
“I don’t know when you will be fed up honey. I know I’m on the outside looking in but I don’t think I can come close to understanding how Stacey could really love you and treat you this way.”
“Me either but I don’t want to talk about it now. Can you call me later on tonight? Arianna’s back.”
“Sure baby. I love you.”
“Love you too.” Danielle hung up the phone.
“Mommy troubles?” Arianna laughed.
“Seems that we aren’t the only two people pissed at Stacey.”
“I can believe that,” Arianna said. “I brought your laptop. I also grabbed the charger for you.”
“Great, thanks girl, I love you. And I missed you.”
Danielle called Jordan and invited her over. After that Arianna and Danielle talked for about an hour until Jordan got there.
The results for the rape kit had been available for a while and she wanted to see if Stacey drugged her. She was sure she had. When she has proof, she definitely intended to make Stacey pay for what she’d done to her.
“So you’re going for sure then?” Shane asked anxiously.
Arianna smiled reassuringly. “Yes, I’ll be there.”
Shane looked at her passionately and squeezed her hand. “Good.” He kissed her lips gently, leaving her breathless and panting.
She always felt so good after she had lunch with Shane. They leave later now, Just in case Malachi decides to make another surprise visit.
On the way home from work she picked up Carter and grabbed dinner.
“I’m going to Ray’s house for a couple days.” Malachi said after sending Carter to bed.
Arianna looked up from her plate. “Why?”
“This… us, we’re not working.”
“What do you mean we’re not working?” Arianna asked attempting to sound clueless.
“I mean, I don’t trust you. You were missing during your lunch break. I go up there and the only person that you ever talk about from that job, tells me she thought you were with me. The last minute business trip just doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t know what’s going on with you but if you don’t want to be with me that’s fine. I need some space.”
“So because I got an opportunity at work you’re suspicious? I can’t believe you.”
“You know that’s not what it is.”
“Actually, I don’t.”
“Well, I’m leaving. I need to think.”
“Do whatever you want, I don’t care.”
Malachi grabbed his bag and left. She missed him as soon as the door closed and it confused her. The relationship wasn’t perfect but he meant a lot to her. If he wanted her and she left, that was one thing. But what if he didn’t want her? What if she’s not the great woman she thought of herself?
He waited until Carter was asleep to leave. He also expressed that he would still be Carter’s father no matter what happened between them.
Arianna sat at the table and twirled Malachi’s house key around her finger. She allowed the wine to relax her. Enjoying every moment of each sip.
She called Danielle but her voicemail kept picking up. After she finished her second bottle she called again. “Dani, I need you!” Arianna pleaded desperately to her voicemail. Forget it, if she wasn’t going to answer the phone she would just go to her.
She called her back up baby sitter, Marissa. She got there so fast Arianna only got half way through her third bottle and she was no longer sipping it.
Arianna answered the door. “I’m glad you’re here. I have some errands to run.”
“You’re not driving anywhere you’re obviously drunk.” Marissa said as she snatched the keys from Arianna. She closed the door behind them.
“How old are you like 12? I’m not arguing with you, give me my fucking keys!”
“I’m 24, and old enough to know better than to drive drunk!” Marissa expressed, frustrated. She removed the car key from the key ring and handed it back to Arianna. She was so drunk she didn’t notice.
“Thank you, next time don’t take so long.” Arianna snatched the keys and walked out the door.
“Whatever,” Marissa said annoyed. She was curious as to what would make Arianna act like this. She was usually very calm. Almost unnaturally peaceful. She definitely knew better than to drive drunk. She could barely walk.
Marissa made sure Carter’s door was closed then hid the car key. She sat in the living room and turned on the TV.
“Where the fuck is my car key?!” Arianna said as she busted through the front door after about ten minutes.
“I don’t know, but I suggest you call a taxi.” Arianna was pissed but wasn’t in the mood to argue. She called the taxi and headed to Danielle’s apartment.
The rain poured down soaking Arianna before she could make it to the apartment building. She got on the elevator and squeezed the water out of her shirt onto the floor. There was no answer when she knocked on the door so she used her spare key and walked in after two minutes.
Stacey was in the bed, she had fallen asleep but heard the noise coming from the living room. She crept through the hallway slowly.
“Danielle, where are you?!” Arianna yelled aggravated.
Stacey flipped the light on, “Arianna?”
“Where’s Danielle?” Arianna asked looking up at Stacey.
“She went out with her friend,” Stacey lied. Danielle was spending her second night at the hospital but Stacey didn’t see how telling Arianna that would be a benefit so she didn’t mention it.
“Oh.” Arianna said then stood up. “Maybe I should go.”
Stacey stared. Arianna seemed to have grown into a beautiful woman. The thin blue blouse she wore was practically invisible because of the rain. It stuck to her, leaving every curve exposed. Her tight leather pants left little to the imagination and Stacey knew she wanted her.
“No, you should stay. She’ll be here soon. I’ll get you a towel and a change of clothes,” she offered.
Stacey looked through Danielle’s clothes for something she wanted to see Arianna in. She grabbed a white t-shirt and some small, red, cotton shorts. When Arianna came out of the bathroom Stacey damn near blew her cover. Arianna was sexy as hell. Complete perfection. She was curved and sculpted by a God who had a woman like Stacey in mind. Because Stacey wanted her.
“What?” Arianna asked, then stumbled to the couch.
“You want something to drink? I’m making coffee.”
“Yes, thank you.”
Arianna watched as Stacey made the coffee. It looked like she put extra sugar in Arianna’s. Usually she would complain but she needed to sober up.
Stacey handed her the coffee. “I’m going to turn on some music.” Kem played softly through the speakers.
Arianna drank her coffee, finishing before the first song was over.
Stacey sat next to her on the couch. Their legs touched sending an overwhelming sensation through Arianna’s body. The music massaged her ears, relaxing her.
“So, what’s going on?” Stacey asked placing her hand on Arianna’s thigh.
“Malachi left, but who cares now.” Arianna smiled. “You’re cute.” She touched Stacey’s face.
“Thank you. So are you. You look hot too.”
“I am,” Arianna laughed. “Is that normal?”
“Well you can take your shirt off, get some extra air.”
“Yes!” Arianna whipped the shirt off and threw it across the room. “What’s wrong with me? Everything just feels so good right now.” She touched herself enjoying the familiar but newly appreciated sensations.
Stacey eyed her erect nipples. “You think it feels good now? Wait until I’m finished with you,” she said hungrily.
Last night when Danielle got home from work, the table was set and dinner was ready. They had wine and Stacey ran her a bubble bath. Danielle’s night ended with a full body massage from Stacey, something she hadn’t had in a really long time.
Stacey is a licensed massage therapist and the district manager for Salon and Body Works, an upscale salon that offers manicures, pedicures, haircuts, and full body massages.
Danielle lie on the massage table feeling relaxed. The scented candles and oils filled her nostrils forcing her to think of an ecstasy only Stacey could take her to.
Stacey’s hands were soft but firm. She massaged the tension from Danielle’s shoulders. Her hands caressed damn near every inch of her body leaving Danielle filled with a burning desire. She moaned in pleasure.
“What has gotten into you?” Danielle asked breathlessly.
“You baby. I love you and I don’t want to lose you.”
“I don’t want to lose you either,” Danielle admitted.
Stacey finished at Danielle’s feet. “Thank you for giving me a chance to make everything up to you.”
Danielle lie on her stomach wearing nothing but her G-string as Stacey packed up the massage oils. Stacey was sure Danielle wore that to tease her. She took one more glance and walked out of the room.
What did Stacey want from her? Surely she wanted sex. Danielle certainly did. She grabbed her robe and went to find Stacey. She was in the living room pulling out the sofa.
“Why don’t you come to bed with me tonight?” Danielle suggested.
“I would love to. But I want more than that. I want to prove that I can be a good woman to you.”
“Ok.” Danielle blushed. She went to bed last night on cloud nine. Stacey was behaving better than she was in the beginning. Jordan crossed her mind. She’d only known her for a short period but the connection they had was like they had known one another for years.
Stacey grabbed her hand, “Don’t worry.”
Danielle smiled guiltily. She went to bed very confused as to what she wants to do with this relationship. A part of her wants to stay to see what this new Stacey is like. A part of her feels she should just move on with her life like the original plan.
The next morning Danielle woke up to the smell of breakfast. She met Stacey in the kitchen. “Mm, what smells so good?”
“Breakfast. We have waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon, and hash browns.”
“That sounds good! I want some.” Danielle smiled and sat at the table.
“Of course! Only the best for you love.” Stacey brought her breakfast.
“How did you sleep?” Stacey asked as she sat down.
“I slept great.” Danielle looked at her plate ready to dig in. Her phone beeped with a text alert. She checked. It was Jordan. Where are you? She deleted it. She was a great woman but Danielle didn’t understand the feelings she had for her in just this short period of time. On top of that, Stacey has been acting like she wants to work it out.
Stacey glanced at her suspicious of the text message. She was legitimately concerned that Danielle had met someone else. She’d realize that although the relationship wasn’t what it had been in the beginning Stacey really couldn’t imagine Danielle being with anyone else.
Danielle got out of work a little early and headed to the car wash. It had been weeks since she had it done. She thought about Jordan again as she admired the city.
The south side of the city had changed dramatically. At least on Hamilton Street. There were new restaurants and stores.
Danielle stopped at the light and read the signs posted on the bakery next to her. In her rearview, she saw a black SUV speeding at her. She looked to see if she could go right but the cross traffic was heavy. She couldn’t move. The SUV slammed into the back of her car. Her head hit the steering wheel and the car slid into the intersection. She was hit from the side and lost complete control of the car. Her neck snapped back and she lost consciousness.
Paulina drove the black Jeep she’d stolen in a nearby underground parking garage. She changed her outfit. She could hear the sirens now. She walked back to the intersection where she caused the accident.
The police and paramedics and rushed to the scene. Danielle’s head was snapped to the side in an awkward position. The paramedics feared she suffered from a broken neck.
When she arrived to the hospital they contacted Stacey right away. Stacey, in a panic, rushed to the hospital.
“What happened?” She asked the doctor.
“We’re not sure. She just got here. She has a concussion and a sprained neck. She’s been in and out of consciousness but not long enough to say much. Right now she’s sleeping.”
“So she’s ok?” Stacey ask worried.
“She’s stable and I do believe she will make a full recovery. We’ll have to keep her for a couple days.”
Stacey thanked the doctor and headed to Danielle’s room. She looked terrible. Both her eyes were black and swollen. She was covered in bruises and had a brace around her neck but she was sleeping peacefully.
Stacey was sad that Danielle was hurt but she was happy she would get a break for at least a couple days. Being that great girlfriend that Danielle wanted required more than Stacey could stand. Why did she crave so much attention?
Well, tonight she was free and she knew just who to call.
It’s a week before the conference and Arianna still failed to tell Malachi about it. She had second, third, and fourth thoughts about going. It all came back to the fact that she really has feelings for Shane. It was something about him. It was everything about him that made Arianna’s whole mood change. He softened her. He made her feel that there could actually be someone out there that could make her happy instead of being with someone
that should make her happy but is failing. She hadn’t noticed the difference until she’d met Shane.
They went to Pierre’s Chateau, a French restaurant in town and she loved it.
“I really enjoy the time we spend together Ari.”
“Me too,” Arianna whispered fighting the quiver he sent down her spine. She loved how he called her Ari. It was beautiful. It made her feel so special like she meant something to him. It was just a nickname but to her it meant so much more than that.
“So, I know I’m bringing this up pretty much every day but you have to tell him.”
“I know. I will.”
“Tonight. Please.” Shane begged. Who was he kidding? What was he thinking with her? Why did he want her so bad knowing that she had a man? A father for her son? This was bad. He couldn’t fight it though. She was the perfect amount of everything. Her Confidence, intelligence, style, and sexiness all made him feel as if she was too good to pass on. Sure she was taken but if her man was treating her right at home would she be out with another man almost every day?
At this point Shane knew he was justifying something inherently wrong. She was taken and he was actively volunteering to be her side piece. But he wanted her. Even though he shouldn’t.
“Ok Shane. I get your point.” Arianna looked at him, admiringly.
“You’re beautiful,” he said capturing her eyes with his.
“You’re not so bad to look at yourself.” She smiled and sipped her water. “I love this.”
“This place is beautiful. Only the best for a queen such as yourself.”
Arianna blushed, “Thank you, but I was referring to being with you.”
He licked his lips. “The first time I saw you, I knew you were special.”
“Oh yeah? How did you know that?” She asked with her eyes glued to his.
“Because, the first time I laid my eyes on you, everyone else in the room disappeared.” He grabbed her hand and kissed it.
“Seriously? You expect me to believe that? It sounds like a line.” She laughed.
“I’m a grown man. I don’t need lines. I want something special with you. I know I’m a little older but I’m really hoping you decide to give me a chance.
“That’s why I’m being so honest with you.”
“I don’t know.”
He kissed her hand again sending a chill down her spine. “You’re in control.”
Arianna left that date feeling like she was dreaming. She drove back to work in silence. Shane and her always left separately and came back separately. They didn’t want to be part of the gossip.
She had never felt this way about anyone as far back as she could remember. It was strong and it was getting stronger by the day.
He was on her mind and she felt little guilt for the Shane fantasies that invaded her mind and left her body on the edge of an explosion. In one they were in a hotel and she had him handcuffed to the bed while she did very inappropriate things to him. In another she got married and lived in a mansion with him.
She stepped back into the office and Cayla greeted her at the door.
“Hey Cayla, what’s up?” Arianna asked
Cayla’s eyes bulged.
“What’s wrong with you girl?” Arianna asked.
“Um… Malachi came here looking for you.”
“Ok…? Why do you look like you’re about to have a heart attack?”
“I told him I thought the two of you were together.”
“What? Why would you think that?”
“The way you come back from those lunches I thought — but I understand now,” she said nonchalantly.
“Understand what?” Arianna asked puzzled.
“You’re having an affair.” She shrieked with laughter. “Ooh girl, with who?”
“Shh! Why would say that so loud? And it’s not true.”
“Well you should’ve told me, I would’ve covered for you but I didn’t know.”
Arianna shook it off. Damn she promised Shane she would tell Malachi about this conference. If he was already suspicious because she was missing for her lunch break, surely he wouldn’t believe the lies about the conference.
Arianna pulled into her driveway and sighed. She walked in the house cheerfully, smiling, hoping it hid her nervousness. She figured a little energy may help with the lie. “Malachi! Where are you? I have great news!” She closed the door behind her saying a quick prayer that this would work.
Malachi walked into the living room, “What news?” He asked curiously.
“I’m going to the Spring Conference. Somebody was fired and I’m the replacement. That’s nice right?”
Arianna asked trying hard not to break eye contact but remain sincere.
“When did you find this out?”
“Today. My boss called me into an emergency meeting today around 12 and asked if I would come with her.”
“Oh that’s nice babe. Congratulations.” He hugged her.
“Well that’s good news. I actually came by your job today to surprise you with lunch and Cayla, I think her name was, told me that you were out with me. I thought that seemed weird.”
“Yes, Cayla is not the smartest cookie. But we do normally have lunch together and I had to push my lunch back. I wish you would’ve waited I would’ve had a late lunch with you,” she lied.
“Maybe next time,” Malachi offered. “How long will you be gone?”
“Four days and I’ll be back. It’s next Thursday. I’m excited. This could be my chance to network with other lawyers and maybe even get a raise.”
“Ok.” He sounded suspicious to Arianna but he didn’t say anything so she let it go. Lying was hard. It took a lot out of her.