“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.
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.
Beep, beep, beep. Beep, beep, beep, the alarm clock on her phone was relentless. Didn’t it know she’d only gotten three hours of sleep? She rolled over tapping the snooze button. She repeated this process for about two hours. “Ok, No more partying during the week,” she chastised as she stumbled out of bed and into the shower. She didn’t hear Stacey so she figured she’d left for work already.
She looked down at the stamp on her hand and last night’s memories rushed back to her. Jordan rushed back to her. Jordan. The connection they shared last night was amazing. They had one incredible conversation that lasted for hours and she was hooked. Jordan was an addiction that she was completely willing to partake in.
Stacey knocked on the bathroom door as Danielle was getting out of the shower.
“What? I thought you left?” Danielle answered.
“We need to talk about last night,” Stacey pleaded.
“Talk? There is really nothing to talk about.” Danielle opened the door, partially clothed.
Stacey stared at her body as she brushed past her. She was suddenly regretful of everything she risked losing just because she found other women attractive. “I disagree,” she argued.
“No, you just don’t like the taste of your own medicine.” Danielle smirked.
“I don’t. But that’s not the reason I want to talk.”
Danielle frowned her face in disbelief.
“It’s not the only reason Danielle damn, can I have two minutes? You slept all morning, I’m sure you could spare two minutes!”
“You’re wrong,” She said looking Stacey in the eyes, “I actually have no more time for you.” She walked out the door not waiting for Stacey’s response.
Danielle drove to work feeling good. She was gaining control of her life again. That one little assertion of power made her feel as if she could conquer anything.
As soon as Danielle began working her phone rang, she was hoping it was Jordan.
“Hello,” Danielle answered sweetly.
“Good morning, this is Jordan. Is this Danielle?”
“Yes,” Danielle smiled.
“I knew it, my heart skipped a beat when you spoke.”
“Did it?” She asked curiously as her heart fluttered.
“Yes” Jordan answered.
“Good morning Jordan.” Danielle said as a smile formed across her lips. She was blushing! Jordan thought about her continuously and threw her normal rules out of the window. She was different from any woman Jordan had ever run across.
“Save my number please.”
“Of course.” Danielle said getting goosebumps.
Jordan didn’t want the conversation to end but had to get back to work. “Well, I’m working so give me a call a little later or text me.”
“Maybe, I’ll do both,” Danielle offered.
Jordan smiled again, blushing, “Maybe, I’ll hold you to that.”