“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.
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.
EP 6: Past Lives
It’s been two days since Jordan heard from Danielle. She really didn’t know how to feel about it but assumed that maybe she was busy. Or scared. Either way Jordan was not feeling good about the situation at all.
There were a lot of things that the two of them hadn’t talked about. Like whether they were single. How could she forget to ask? Danielle was so interested in her that it had to be real. But what if she has someone at home.
“Mom can you take me to school today?” Her 12-year-old daughter, Kiyah, asked from the bathroom.
“Are your legs broken?”
“C’mon mom please?”
“Ok girl, hurry up then.”
“Can you take me to McDonald’s too?” Kiyah asked smiling.
“I knew this was a set up. I can’t trust you,” Jordan said laughing and shaking her head. “Sure.”
Kiyah ran to finish getting ready.
She talked Jordan’s ear off the entire time they were in the car together. Jordan kept thinking about how Kiyah will be starting Middle School this coming school year. It was hard to believe. It seemed like just yesterday she was telling her mom that she was pregnant.
As Jordan headed to work she thought about Danielle again. What was keeping her?
She texted her again, Where are you? and still didn’t get a response. She was feeling a little disappointed because they really hit it off the other night. They exchanged messages all day and then it’s like Danielle disappeared.
What was going on?
Her phone rang. She got excited hoping it was Danielle. But it was Ken, Kiyah’s father.
“What’s up?” Jordan answered.
“Ugh, why you always trying to sound like a man?” He said disgusted.
“Why can’t you ever be a man?” Jordan retorted.
“I’ll always be more man than you.”
“That’s debatable,” She countered rolling her eyes. “What do you want?”
“To take my daughter away from you. That dike shit is nasty and she should know.”
She slammed the phone down. She hated giving him the time of day with an argument. Ken really was a piece of work. He has always been the biggest asshole ever. Jordan couldn’t really understand how she let it get so far with him.
She was young and he was the quarterback at the time. All the girls wanted him and since rumors always surrounded her sexuality growing up, she wanted to do something to stop them. So she dated a guy. She tried to date a guy would be more accurate. They had sex and she got pregnant.
After a long day at work Jordan liked to come home and relax. She owns five car wash and detail shops. She likes to visit one or two every day for a few hours. It’s always unannounced and chosen randomly unless there’s a complaint. Her partner fills in for her from time to time.
When Jordan pulled up she could see that Kiyah was home because the lights were on. Jordan didn’t directly give her a baby sitter but she has her neighbor Ms. Margaret check on her every couple of hours. She even does a walk through for Jordan to make sure Kiyah is safe and alone.
Jordan grabbed the mail as she headed to her condo on the top floor. Downtown Manhattan was expensive living but Jordan loved it.
She called Ms. Margaret on the way up to let her know she was home. The elevator beeped on every floor, almost as quickly as Jordan sifted through the mail.
The elevator doors opened to Jordan’s floor but she stood there staring at the familiar handwriting on the envelope addressed to her at the bottom of the stack. Jordan felt her World tumbling down around her. The color drained from her face and her eyes widened.
“Mom.” Kiyah said meeting her at the elevator.
“Yes baby,” Jordan said snapping back to reality while her heart raced with fear.
“What’s wrong? You look like you saw a ghost,” Kiyah asked worried about her mom. She glanced at the stack of mail.
“Nothing.” Jordan put the letter back on the bottom quickly so Kiyah couldn’t see it, then took the envelope directly to her room.
Kiyah stood there. She didn’t understand her mom’s strange behavior but she brushed it off.
Jordan emerged from her bedroom with a fake smile on her face, “What do you want for dinner?”
“McDonald’s!” Kiyah said with no hesitation.
“No McDonald’s, your fast food quota for the week is maxed out.”
“Well, next time can I get a warning before my last meal?” She smiled.
“How about you stop wasting it on nasty McDonald’s,” Jordan laughed. “What do you want that we have here?”
“Mom, it’s not funny,” Kiyah said laughing, “Just make whatever.”
“Ok, remember you said that. Give me 30 minutes, and dinner should be ready.”
“Alright.” Kiyah kissed her mom on the cheek and left her alone to cook dinner.
Jordan sautéed some shrimp then steamed some rice and mixed vegetables for dinner. Her mind immediately went back to the letter. How did she find her again?
She texted her brother Omar, She’s back.
Arianna watched the sunset, indulging in the moment. She realized that she and Shane shared more than just lunch. They shared an interest in people, politics, and much of the World. Sure he was fine but he was so much more than just his looks. They shared common goals and pasts. He was a companion intellectually. He was really something special.
“So I’ve been thinking. The conference is coming up and I wanted to know if you would go with me?” Shane blurted out uncomfortably.
“What? A conference?” Arianna panicked. She had known the attraction was mutual but they had never crossed the line. This would definitely change things between them. Was she ready for that next step? Was she really ready to get rid of Malachi and try to be happy with someone else?
“Yeah, with some partners. It’s a couple hundred miles away. I really mean no disrespect by it. I just want to get to know you better.”
“You’re serious?” Arianna looked alarmed, “You know I can’t just spend a week with you, I have a kid, and a boyfriend, whom I live with!”
“Why are you angry with me? I’m just trying to give us some time to see if we should pursue what’s between us.”
“Us? That’s ridiculous.” Arianna lied.
“You can’t deny that you feel it too.”
“You don’t know what I’m capable of feeling.” She was stubborn.
He really wanted her to reconsider. “Just take a couple days to think about it.”
“No. I’m not easy. You can’t just tell me you’re interested then ask me to sleep with you in the next sentence.”
“I never said we would sleep together. It’s a two bedroom suite. I just want to get to know you. I swear.”
“Swearing? Quite the gentleman’s promise.” She couldn’t help but to laugh, lightening the mood between them.
He laughed too, then grabbed her hands and stared into her eyes. Arianna’s body was convincing her that she was close to fulfilling her desires of Shane and everything that would come along with that.
“Give me a couple days to think about it.”
“Ok,” he answered sincerely.
Arianna considered going to the conference with him. He was right. There are many things they can’t do because she has to come home every night. The conference is for four days and will be out of town. It’s perfect.
On the way home from work she stopped to see her parents.
“So what is this conference for?” Her mother asked suspiciously.
“It’s for the partners. My boss invited me last minute. Someone else was supposed to go but they were fired. I can’t say I feel bad for them.”
“And why isn’t Malachi coming with you?”
“He has to work.”
“What are you going to tell him when he asks you?”
“Spouses aren’t invited and he does have to work.”
“Girl who do you think you’re fooling? You’re lying through your teeth and to your mom? Shame on you.”
“Mom, I’m not lying.”
“Mm hm,” Her mom appeared doubtful.
“Can you watch Carter?”
“So you can cheat on your little boyfriend?”
“Mom, it’s not cheating. It’s work.”
“You’re really sticking to that story? Sure, I’ll watch my grandbaby. You need to remember that whatever’s done in the dark will come to light.”
“Thank you mama and I know.”
“If you knew, you wouldn’t be doing this. You better hope Malachi believe it more than me.”
“Thanks mama. I’ll call you with the details.”
Her mom’s warning bothered her deep down. I mean she could always stick with the lie no matter what but she wasn’t good at lying and she really didn’t know where she stood with Malachi. Their relationship was rocky. The jealousy was becoming too much for Arianna. It’s crazy.
She wanted out. She wanted Malachi to care about her happiness instead of only his. He had some great qualities but all in all, she didn’t like the way he treated her.
She grabbed Carter from daycare and the weight of it felt confining. She and Malachi have been together for a little over three years. Carter’s only five and the weight of leaving the only father he’s ever really had, made her feel she was two tons.
It was definitely something to think about. It isn’t like she’s never cheated before. She just hadn’t considered leaving before.
The thought of being able to date who she wanted and have weekends of peace where she doesn’t have to fight with Malachi.
The last thing Arianna had to do was tell Malachi about the last minute trip and that Carter would not be staying with him but she really wanted to go.
She was excited by everything. She felt bad for spending a week with another man. Especially since she definitely wanted to do some very physical things to him.
He made her feel things that Malachi had been lacking for some time now.
She pulled into the driveway hesitantly. She was trying to prepare herself to lie better than she did to her mom.