Archive | March 2013

Why WRSRG Has Captured My Heart!

WRSRG meeting spot

Why WRSRG Has Captured My Heart!

First of all, most of us use the acronym because the full title is long-very long. I have to even check the actual words on the occasions that I decide to write it all out.  However, the words do have meaning, Writer’s Review & Support Resource Group–and that meaning is felt by each member upon joining.

I remember the day the group went live.  All that was absolutely certain by the founder, Nia Forrester was that she wanted a space that felt collaborative and liberating for each member as they contributed and developed.  No one author would have a platform but rather each member, regardless of whether it is a seasoned author, a ‘newbie’ or reader would have an equal voice,.

Well this vision has been realized to become what it is today.  A place of encouragement and mutual support.

For most artists there is an ego, even with the most modest of persons.  But at WRSRG the ego is checked at the door.  We all focus outside ourselves to encourage each other.

Resources come in different forms.  It can be by means of a video or article contributed by a member.  And there is the Review part.  We are encouraged to do reviews to support one another.  There is even a place for the aspiring writing or writer with something in process. Tons of support will come from Beta Reader volunteers.

Then there is what’s become a hallmark of WRSRG–our events! Through our events, we learn so much!  From the marketing side of the business to the discipline of writing.  So the event is both a resource and form of support.  I’m happy to say that our events are pretty unique.  Our virtual room is full of warmth and support.  Despite the fact that most of us have never met each other, it feels as if we have. If I were to envision our meeting place in real life it would look much like the picture I attached.  We had the highlight event, in my opinion last Friday, when Miss Brenda Jackson joined us for our first FanChat interview with one of our authors, LV Lewis, on a teleconference!  It was wonderful and I’ve listened to the recorded interview again already!  So many nuggets of wisdom!

I guess I could gush about WRSRG for days.  But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the great admins starting with the founder, Nia Forrester, The instructor and sometimes enforcer of the rules, Christopher Bynum, The Social and Event Coordinator, Aja Graves, and last, but certainly not least, the support admin, Levon Franklin.

It’s great here at WRSRG!  If you’re not already a member, drop in sometime.  We’d love to have you!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/413322772079650/

M. J. Kane

I crossed paths with author Christopher Bynum in one of the Facebook book clubs I belong to.  We first conversed when he dropped by for an author chat about my first book. I was floored when I learned he wrote Erotica. I have not ran across many male authors (I know they exist!) who write Romance, much less Erotica…and man is he good at it! But Romance and Erotica are not the only genres he  has explored.  He goes by the pen name, The Black, and has an extensive catalog of stories to read on his website. You have to check them out!

Chris Author pic

Welcome, Christopher!

What inspired you to write?

 I think I’ve always had stories in my head. Early on I wanted to be an artist. I was always good at illustration, and I thought that I’d tell my stories that way. Then one day it dawned on me that…

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Sample Sunday~

paint, ladderlambada

Here’s an excerpt from my upcoming book, In Search Of A Healing Place.

Setting:  Farryn and Tyrone are engaging in some paint play after a brief tiff during breakfast.  Cherise and Jonathan are dancing through some awkward growing pains in their marriage.  Enjoy!

She heard Tyrone join her in the living room.  Still silent, he walked over to the small CD player and soon she heard Jay Z spitting his rhymes to the seductive beats that even she had to admit made her like it despite the fact that she wasn’t a rap fan.

She was focused in her routine of ripping tape and adhering when she suddenly realized what she was hearing from his side was slightly different. Turning to look over her shoulder, she was aghast to see that he’d never picked up the tape she’d thrown, but was instead rolling the almond mocha paint to the wall without even the least bit of preparation.  Being the daughter of a contractor, it had been impressed upon her the importance of doing a job right.  Without a second thought, she walked over to him.  “Hey! You can’t just throw paint on a wall without taping off; it leads to a big mess to clean up in the end.”

Nonchalantly, Tyrone continued painting without so much as a glance in her direction.  “Looks like it’s going on fine to me.  I’m not trying to create a masterpiece Rynnie; I just want to add some color to this cracker box.”

“Yeah, but don’t you want it to look nice?”  She was trying to maintain her cool, but it was quickly slipping away.  How could he just slap paint on the wall like that? And all in that one area? She went to reach for his arm to stop him at the same time that he was turning toward her resulting in the roller covering her left breast in one swipe.

Both stood still in shock.  Farryn looked from her sweatshirt to his face and when the corner of his mouth lifted into the semblance of a smile, she fisted her left hand as she felt her blood begin to boil.  “I can’t believe you’re about to laugh at me!” she grounded out between her teeth.

“Look I didn’t mean, it was an accident—it’s just that it’s so funny Rynnie!”

Farryn blinked a moment before her eyes hardened.  “My. Name. is. Farryn!”

Tyrone continued to smile down at her.  She was so cute, even when she was infuriated at him–maybe even especially when she was infuriated with him.  It just made him want to pull her into his arms and kiss the stress right out of her body.  How he painted his wall was no biggie.  He couldn’t understand what was setting her off. Everything didn’t have to be perfect all the time.  “Farryn,” he said softly, “why don’t you let me get you another shirt to put on?”  He slowly put his roller into the paint tray before reaching for her’s.  Then he gently took her by the hand and walked her into his bedroom.

Farryn watched as he walked toward his bureau, that she noticed he had switched from the original wall it had been the first day that she’d seen his bedroom.  She slowly lowered herself into his armchair and absent-mindedly began to fold the few shirts he’d casually over the back.

Tyrone turned to face her, and smiled in spite of himself. “Sweatshirt of tee?”  He asked holding both up.

“I’ll take the tee,” she said without lifting her head.  She was already remorseful for her tantrum.  “I feel like I need to apologize again.”

She watched as he kneeled before her.  She looked into his eyes, cautious again for what she would see. There was his usual hint of mischief but beyond that was a startling sense of compassion that surprised and comforted her.

Tyrone slowly, reached his hand out to touch hers.  “You don’t have to apologize for wanting my place to look the best it can.  I wish I had your way of seeing things. But we both know this is the first wall I’ve ever painted.  I was frontin and I should have just admitted that I didn’t know what I was doing. So why don’t we just go back in there and act like the last few minutes didn’t happen while you attempt to show me how to paint a wall decently.”

Farryn found herself smiling even as she was getting lost inside his dark seductive eyes.  It was easy because they were nearly hypnotic.  It made her understand why the women fell for him so easily.  But she was determined not to become one of them.  Still, she couldn’t make herself move away from him.  She wanted to, but she couldn’t.

Tyrone found himself repeating the techniques he’d learned in therapy in his head.  She looked like she wanted him to kiss her, but that didn’t mean she wanted him to kiss her.  He was actively breathing and then praying to a God he had to admit he didn’t know very well.  Finally he was able to stand and step back from her.  “Well I guess we better get back at it huh?”  He said roughly before turning on his heel and heading back out to the living room.

She took a deep breath and joined him a moment later.  “So, if you like, you can just watch me.  M-my dad was a contractor and this was how he taught me so…so I guess it’s been ingrained in me to do it like this. It’s good if you have someone to cut in like this,” she said softly as she kneeled and picked up the paintbrush and began to edge along the blue tape across the wall.  “If you like, you can do that wall,” she suggested while thumbing to the wall behind them, “and then I can show you the next step.”

He nodded and began to imitate her on the opposite wall, on the lower edge of the wall while she climbed up onto the stepladder and began to edge the top part of the wall that she had started.  Thirty minutes later, he was doing the same thing on his wall before he stepped down and waited for further instructions. By now, she had started with the paint roller making big sweeps onto the wall.

Tyrone watched as she picked her paint roller up, step to the wall and do what looked to him like a big W before she went back and began filling in.  In wide sweeps, she managed to put the paint down evenly and not in globs and drips as he had been doing.

She turned and looked over her shoulder.  “You want to try?”

Tyrone reached for the roller.  After adding more paint, he took her place at the wall and began to try to imitate her. A few moments later, he saw that while it was not as evenly painted as hers was, it was much better than his first try.  It did not take him long to finish the wall.  He was so into what he was doing, that he had not realized she had stepped away to the opposite wall and had not only tidied what he had done but was halfway across that wall as well.

He agreed to paint the wall beneath the pass-through while she did the window ledges and then took the darker complimentary paint to complete the moldings.  By noon, they had completed the small space and with the aid of the ceiling fan, Farryn thought the paint should be dry shortly.

They each covered their paint cans and Tyrone picked up the paint trays and walked them to the kitchen where he placed the disposable rollers, brushes and trays in a garbage bag and set them outside in the large industrial garbage container that sat on his back porch.

When he walked back into the living room, he saw that she’d already rolled up the drop cloth and was closing her cell phone, looking up as he entered the room. “The guys will be here in a couple of hours.  You wanna go grab some mocha lattes?”

“Sure why not.  Might as well take a break,” he shrugged.  “I need to go freshen up.”  As he walked toward his room, he turned back.  “Are you ok?  You need the sweatshirt or …anything?”

“Yeah, the sweatshirt and a washcloth would be great.”

                               ~*~*~*~

Cherise sat on the sofa opposite Jonathan in the media room pretending to read the new novel, What Becomes of the Brokenhearted by The Black.  It wasn’t that it wasn’t compelling, it was just the situation between her and Jon was so distracting.  The loss of what should be lay heavy on her heart and she was not sure how to bridge the impasse.  She didn’t even know with what or whom she was competing.  She just knew he seemed to prefer to be at work more than he did at home.  Now ever since that night she’d discovered he was hiding in his study, she found herself walking on eggshells around him.  She was sensitive to every mood, every expression—constantly searching for some understanding into how he was feeling.  Inside, her heart was aching and she found with each day, she wanted to diminish more of herself in hopes that she could get rid of whatever it was about her that was burdening him so they could go back to the way things once were.

So she kept to herself more, despite making an effort to make more appreciative gestures.  She left cards in strategic places to surprise him and there were days she would have gift baskets delivered to his office—all in an effort to thank him for what he had done for her.

Each gesture was eventually met with his thanks and appreciation. But they were words she didn’t and couldn’t accept in her heart because on some level it wasn’t feeling like it was enough.  In fact, she wasn’t feeling as if she was enough and that caused her great despair.   Suddenly what Jeanette, a classmate in college told her came to mind. While fuming about a guy she had been seeing and in that moment, actively deleting his contact information, she’d explained, “A guy will always let you know how important you are to him depending on how quickly he responds to you.” She had gone on to explain when they had first started dating, her texts would get a quick come back as opposed to then, where it would take sometimes hours for him to respond.  Because it was his third occasion, Jeanette was deleting him and then refused to take any calls or respond to his texts  any longer.

But Jonathan wasn’t a boyfriend, or some guy she was seeing.  He was her husband.  She wondered if the same rule applied.  Should she take it personally when he didn’t return a phone call immediately?  She just couldn’t help but to remember the way it was.  He’d jumped on a plane and left a business meeting to get back to her when Tyrone had attempted to kidnap her.  She couldn’t help but to doubt that he would move that quick for her if the same thing happened now.  Finally giving up on the book, she reached for a pen and made a note on the page near a paragraph that described a love scene between the characters Grayson and Ivy.  She stood up and surprisingly garnered Jonathan’s attention away from the Miami Heat’s game.  “I’m about to turn in.” She said in explanation to his questioning eyes.

He looked at his watch.  “It’s still early.”

“Yeah, but I’m–I’m exhausted.”

“I’m sorry that this game took so much of my attention.”

“I’m sorry that I don’t know anything about basketball to share your favorite past time.”

They both stared at each other, both searching for more words to fill a silence. Words that meant nothing and everything as they both sought to grasp on to any type of connection.

“Well, I’ll go on and head up.”  Cherise said finally, smiling to ease over the unease in the room.

He smiled back.  “I’ll be up soon.”

She nodded and began to move past him when suddenly he reached out and grasped her hand.  Cherise snapped her head to him, her eyes stretching wide in surprise.  For a moment, their gazes remained connected.  Slowly, he pulled her to him until she sat onto his lap.  She looked at him and waited.

He made himself take his time letting his gaze linger over her face.  When did this become so hard for them? He wondered.  He watched as she dropped her head and he slowly took his fingers to grasp her chin, lifting it, so that their gazes meshed again.  “I miss you,” he whispered, before pulling her closer.  Hampered by the book in her hand, he smiled at her,  “You may need to put that down a second.”

She smiled in return and lay the book down on the table beside the sofa.  She turned into his arms, and placed her arms around his neck and enjoyed the feel of him pulling her tighter against him.  She reveled in the feel of his heartbeat against hers.  Slowly she laid her head down on his shoulder and inhaled against his neck.  Tears came to her eyes as she felt his large palms against her back and then through her hair, the way that she remembered he used to do. It was things like this that made her feel loved long before they made love.  She blinked rapidly trying to bank the tears that begged to overflow.  Slowly she felt him pull back from her and inside she was crying out for him not to stop.  She looked at him, afraid he would see her wet lashes.  She waited for him to speak, but instead felt the softness of his lips against hers.  His kiss was gentle, non-demanding, still she felt herself warming inside the way honey softens inside tea.  She had forgotten how much she enjoyed his taste, enjoyed the way his tongue invited hers and then insisted on the rhythm of the dance. He’d begin with a slow wind and then it eventually became as erotic as the Lambada.

She sighed fearing more than ever that what he’d started would end before they went into flight together.  Maybe he did really miss her; maybe he felt the desperation of her hold.  All she knew was that she took comfort in the next two things–him clicking off the lamp and then him setting into motion a different dance when he turned her so that she straddled his lap.  She smiled even while she laughed within.

~*~*~*~

 Farryn steadied the picture she had just hung on Tyrone’s living room wall and then immediately stifled a yawn that overcame her.  Finally, she sat down onto the leather sofa that now adorned the once barren room.  She looked around and saw the changes they had made in the course of the day and smiled with intense satisfaction.  She’d been surprised when the truck had pulled up and instead of what was supposed to be left over furniture, was a room full of brand new furniture complete with an entertainment unit and flat screen television.  It couldn’t have been better if an interior designer had put the room together.  She was happy with the result but couldn’t help feeling conflicted over the fact that Tyrone didn’t have to work for it.  Then she looked at the expression of satisfaction on his face and regretted that she’d wanted to withhold this bit of joy.  After all, so far he had been upholding his part of the deal.  He’d been producing great changes in the mail department and already was receiving commendation on how he’d streamlined a lot of the processes, making things much more efficient than it had been. Maybe that was why his dad had decided to splurge on his son.  Anyway, if Ty continued to advance like this, he wouldn’t need her anymore.  She wondered why that thought didn’t feel her with any sense of satisfaction.  She looked up just as he walked toward her with two bottled waters.

Tyrone handed her a bottle and slid onto the sofa beside her. He looked appreciatively around the room. It was amazing that only that morning they started with little more than a blank canvas. Now his gaze swept across framed pictures, small ethnic sculptures and fig trees complimenting the Russet leather sectional and recliner placed strategically around the room so as to face the flat screen television. He could see his mother’s hand in all the choices.  She was a natural at interior design and was completely responsible for the homey despite extravagant furnishings at their family estate. He turned toward Farryn and reached for her hand.   “This is great Farryn! You have done so much for me that now I am starting to feel selfish.  I don’t even know how to thank you for all that you’ve done for me in just a few weeks’ time.” He waited for her to look at him before he continued, “You know, I never thought that I could be happy with so little in my life.  Today, it feels like the lottery.  I don’t know what you said to my dad, but I am grateful and will thank him tomorrow as well.”

She let her gaze search his face, moved by the sincerity in his eyes.  “I’m glad that things are working out for you Tyrone.  I don’t know what it was that landed you in prison, but I am glad that you are making the best of your second chance.  As far as I can see, you are doing great.”  Pulling her hand from his she patted his arm, “Well I think that I better get going and let you relax and turn in for the evening.”  She said rising from the sofa.

He stood as well.  “I can’t thank you enough Farryn,” he murmured as he walked her to the door.  He pulled her jacket out of his closet and helped her put it on.  Then he opened the door and walked her out to her car.  They walked in silence partially from exhaustion and he knew also because everything had been said that could be.  He was thankful and she was appreciative that he was.  But what wouldn’t and couldn’t be said was anything about what was growing between them.  Each of them would rather not talk about the chemistry humming between them because neither of them knew what to do about it.  So in view of that, he knew they each took comfort in the silence.  After she clicked her key fob, he reached for her door and as she slid in, felt immediate regret that she was leaving him and that he wouldn’t see her before Monday, if even then.

Sample Sunday~ An Excerpt From My Upcoming Book, In Search Of A Healing Place: Who Am I?

ISHP5

Have you ever been in a state of transition and lost who you were? Lost your sense of identity?  This is what Cherise is experiencing now …

Cherise got excited when she heard Jonathan’s car pull up.  She had good news to share with him. She finally felt ready to transition to classes on campus.  She’d made the arrangements just that morning.  It would be another step toward regaining normalcy in her life again. She had left Diamond in the nursery with Miriam and she was glad to spend some free time with Jon.

It seemed as if it had been so long since they had enjoyed private time.  She had just gotten to the top of the bottom set of the steps before she heard the door of his study close behind him.  Although the door had closed with a click, it could have been just as loud as a slam with the affect it had on her.  She paused mid-step and tried to remember if there had ever been a time that he had entered into the house without announcing he was home.  It had been their custom ever since she had known him.  The immediate angst that surrounded her heart slowed it to a mere shadow of its normal beat as the feelings of dread weighed down upon her. It wasn’t just that evening of course, it was the weeks that had gone by without any substantive communication.  He was working a lot and even when he was with her, he was distant, as if his mind was somewhere else.

Her radar began to siren in her head and her trust began to waiver.  She tried to shut down the whispers in her mind that were now telling her he had tired of her, that he had secrets that didn’t include her, but she couldn’t.  All she could feel resonating within was a hint of betrayal even when she wasn’t sure why. Something was changing and the saddest part of all was the fact that she knew she was powerless to do anything about it.

So she turned around and went toward the kitchen and made herself a cup of green tea as she considered what to do.  Things had changed so much in the months since she’d come to live with Jonathan.  It had been a whirlwind of events, and now as she sat with her cheek resting in her elbow raised hand, she for the first time in a long while contemplated what her future beheld.  Who was she and who had she become?  She was Diamond’s mother and now Jonathan’s wife, but who else?

She used to be a student with plans of entering the business world. Then she became a rape victim-then a woman rescued. But who, now that the crisis was over?  She couldn’t help but to believe the incessant whispers  that convinced her long ago that she was unlovable–that sooner or later the people that came into her life would only take up temporary residence before leaving.  Maybe this was where she was in her journey with Jonathan.

Warm tears slid down her cheeks and she tried in vain to wipe the evidence of them away.  The last thing she needed was Jon to find her sitting at the table, once again a woman in distress, once again a person in need of rescue.  She would have to figure out once and for all how to rescue herself, because the last thing she was going to be again was someone left abandoned and alone—not when Diamond was depending on her to make things safe.  She owed it to her to figure things out regardless of whether Jonathan was going to remain in her life or not.

Sample Sunday~ An Excerpt From My Upcoming Book, In Search Of A Healing Place: Who Am I?

ISHP5

Have you ever been in a state of transition and lost who you were? Lost your sense of identity?  This is what Cherise is experiencing now …

Cherise got excited when she heard Jonathan’s car pull up.  She had good news to share with him. She finally felt ready to transition to classes on campus.  She’d made the arrangements just that morning.  It would be another step toward regaining normalcy in her life again. She had left Diamond in the nursery with Miriam and she was glad to spend some free time with Jon.

It seemed as if it had been so long since they had enjoyed private time.  She had just gotten to the top of the bottom set of the steps before she heard the door of his study close behind him.  Although the door had closed with a click, it could have been just as loud as a slam with the affect it had on her.  She paused mid-step and tried to remember if there had ever been a time that he had entered into the house without announcing he was home.  It had been their custom ever since she had known him.  The immediate angst that surrounded her heart slowed it to a mere shadow of its normal beat as the feelings of dread weighed down upon her. It wasn’t just that evening of course, it was the weeks that had gone by without any substantive communication.  He was working a lot and even when he was with her, he was distant, as if his mind was somewhere else.

Her radar began to siren in her head and her trust began to waiver.  She tried to shut down the whispers in her mind that were now telling her he had tired of her, that he had secrets that didn’t include her, but she couldn’t.  All she could feel resonating within was a hint of betrayal even when she wasn’t sure why. Something was changing and the saddest part of all was the fact that she knew she was powerless to do anything about it.

So she turned around and went toward the kitchen and made herself a cup of green tea as she considered what to do.  Things had changed so much in the months since she’d come to live with Jonathan.  It had been a whirlwind of events, and now as she sat with her cheek resting in her elbow raised hand, she for the first time in a long while contemplated what her future beheld.  Who was she and who had she become?  She was Diamond’s mother and now Jonathan’s wife, but who else?

She used to be a student with plans of entering the business world. Then she became a rape victim-then a woman rescued. But who, now that the crisis was over?  She couldn’t help but to believe the incessant whispers  that convinced her long ago that she was unlovable–that sooner or later the people that came into her life would only take up temporary residence before leaving.  Maybe this was where she was in her journey with Jonathan.

Warm tears slid down her cheeks and she tried in vain to wipe the evidence of them away.  The last thing she needed was Jon to find her sitting at the table, once again a woman in distress, once again a person in need of rescue.  She would have to figure out once and for all how to rescue herself, because the last thing she was going to be again was someone left abandoned and alone—not when Diamond was depending on her to make things safe.  She owed it to her to figure things out regardless of whether Jonathan was going to remain in her life or not.

Welcome! Achoo! Excuse the dust! My Muse is on vacation!

ISHP5Welcome to my blog.  Sorry for the dust, my muse is on vacation.(smile)  But feel free to make yourself at home and take a glimpse at my upcoming book!

Meet the main cast of, In Search of A Healing Place.  Introducing Ms. Farryn Grant!

Cherise

vanessa

Jonathan

jonathan3

Diamond

mikaela2

Tyrone

Tyrone

Farryn Grant

Rochelle-Aytes as Farryn Grant

Excerpt from In Search of a Healing Place:

Tyrone’s training class ended by three that afternoon. He decided to make an impromptu visit to the office to meet his mail crew reports. As he stepped within the main office, he saw that it was empty. No doubt, the crew were out making deliveries. He looked over at the huge desk in the corner and pivoted sharply. He stepped out into the hallway. Slowly perusing the corridor, he noticed a room next door. Trying the door knob, he found it unlocked and pushed it open. He found an old supply room. Most of the things had been transferred to another location.  Tyrone envisioned it  becoming his office.  Impulsively, he pulled out his cellphone and dialed Farryn’s telephone number.

“Hi. Do you have a minute to meet me near the mailing depot?” He asked her. “ Okay, I’ll see you in a bit.” He disconnected and was glad that she was professional with no hint of the drama from the night before. It was refreshing because he hadn’t felt like addressing that in the moment. Five minutes later, he could hear her walking toward him. He took a deep breath and turned toward her.  She was stunning.  It was almost as if he’d forgotten how attractive she was. Today, she was dressed in a tan suit with a silk scarf tucked into the top of her jacket. Her skirt hit her legs mid-calf, and in a glance his gaze swept from her chignon coiffed hair style to her nude sling back shoes. Her legs looked as if she had no stockings on, but when she drew closer, he could make out the faint tint of the hosiery.

“Good afternoon Tyrone. What can I do for you?”

Okay, you may not want to ask me that, he thought. “I noticed that this room beside the depot is empty. I’d like to make this my office. How soon can we make this happen?”

He watched, as she appeared pensive. She had folded one arm across her body, resting the other arm on its wrist. The berry colored index nail tapped against her cheek, as she seemed to make a decision. Then she raised her eyes to lock with his. “Give me a couple of days. By the time you complete your training, it should be a decent office.”

He could not help but to feel a bit shocked. He had expected some resistance. He took a relieved breath and smiled. “Great. I came to meet my team, but they are out, naturally. However, there are some things I have noticed.” He said as he walked into the mail area. I think this room can be remodeled to make the process a bit more streamlined. Nothing seems to have been changed since I worked here years ago and I know some of these department heads are no longer here,” he said pointing to some of the open nooks made for the mail. “I don’t even believe these departments,” he said directing her attention to the bottom left, “are even current. Haven’t some of these departments merged?” He asked as he turned to await her response.

“I wasn’t aware of this. That is great. Draw up your plans for what you envision and I will see what can be done.”

“Wonderful. Now are you available to give me a cooking lesson this evening?”

His last question drew her up short. She looked at him, taking in his casual grin, a smirk that seemed too self-assured to her.

“Unfortunately, I don’t have the time for that.” She said as she pivoted and walked toward the door.

“That’s not what you said last night.” With his hands tucked into his pockets, he strolled toward her. He watched as she stopped in her tracks.

She turned toward him, her hands on her hips, eyes blazing, “Yeah well that was before you dropped some of your emotional baggage on my feet.”

He continued walking until he was just before her. He could feel her breath against him and he tucked his head until his lips were just beside her ear, where he whispered. “What if I say I’m sorry about that?” He could feel how much she wanted to bolt, but he admired how she stood her ground. He watched curly wisps of hair move as his breath blew against her cheek.

She felt her insides in tumult. Her nerves were on edge and her private space felt incredibly violated, but she knew she couldn’t step back. She could not let him have this power win, despite how crazy his cologne was making her. His curly hair was close enough that she only had to reach up to run her fingers through them. But what was the hardest was not to give into the insane impulse to just lean into his shoulder. She didn’t have a doubt that he would simply put those muscular arms of his around her. She didn’t even remember the last time she’d been held—by anyone. Taking a steadying breath, she drew the conclusion that it had to be temporary insanity that had her feeling so affected by this man that she had only met the morning before.

“So how does seven sound to you?” He now murmured against her hair.

“It sounds insane!” She murmured back, before turning abruptly and walking away.

“See you at six-thirty then!” he said laughing while he enjoyed the sway of her hips retreating from him. ~*~ Jonathan walked into the home. His first impulse was to yell out that he was home. Then his second thought was to simply ease into his study and collect his thoughts. He did not know why he felt bad about not coming home earlier in the day. He had done nothing wrong and yet it felt as if he had done something wrong—keeping it from her. Maybe it was not understanding of why, that left him so unsettled. Therefore, he found himself easing into the room, shutting the door behind him. They had been completely open with each other ever since they had been together. Now he was starting to feel as if he could not be his whole self anymore, at least not with her. He did not know where he fit in her world. He suddenly had inherited this new life and he wasn’t exactly sure what to do with it. How did one act as a husband? Not just a husband, but a husband to Cherise? He had been a boyfriend, a lover, and for her, he’d wanted to be her prince–the one that swept her off her feet. He had loved being what felt like her everything and now all of that seemed to have changed and through an event that was supposed to be a momentous one. He wondered if he would feel differently if she carried his child, had his child. He wondered if he was making a big deal over nothing by insisting on carrying this resentment of his brother.

He laid his head on his desk and was surprised to feel errant tears sliding down his hand and beneath his face. He had lived his whole life it seemed taking care of his brother and Tyrone had screwed up so much in defiance. Loyally he had cleaned up each mess. However, this mess was something intangible. This mess screwed with his wife’s head and was manifested in the face of their beautiful daughter while it created a constraint on the way he loved his wife and in the way he made love with his wife. He was so afraid of breaking her in some way that it seemed easier not to touch her at all. He did not know how to fix this and he felt that it was only the beginning of something changing between them forever. He resented that as well. Maybe it could work itself out on its own in time. He sat up and laid his head upon steepled fingers. Time–that was all that they needed. With resumed zeal, he leaned down and pulled out the contracts he had been carrying since that morning. This situation would work. He would make sure. Because no matter what he could not be another person to give up on his wife.