Peri the Perfect has fallen from grace. Now a villain in his own family--he is determined to wear the cloak of greatness once more.
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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Peri Creed sighed inwardly as he opened the oak door leading into his wife’s new home. The two story brownstone was a hell of a lot smaller than their shared Victorian a mere 16 miles away, but it had her written all over it. From the deep orange color of the living room and hall walls to the purple and beige decorations in the kitchen Shea had always marched to the beat of her own drum. When they began dating she brought color into his life made him actually experience living and spontaneity. Before her he was a machine. Work and school controlled were his focus; he’d spent so long trying to step in where Yeshua had lacked that he’d felt like an old man at 17. She made him young.
He made his way to the kitchen following the wafting smells of sausages only to find his wife standing over the stove stirring in a pot. Probably grits. He surmised as she sprinkled sugar over the mystery dish. His mouth dried out at the site of her scantily clad body. She had on only her black pencil skirt that outlined every curve and dip of her body while her blouse laid on the back of a chair. Her breast only incased in a bra, she was a vision in black. He swallowed his arousal knowing it would go unsated.
“Will you grab the orange juice out of the fridge?” He smiled at her then. After 15 years together they knew each other front to back.
“I thought I knew you!” His smile faded as her words came back to him like a sucker punch to his gut. He hated the gnawing guilt that ate away at him day in and day out. She never threw the affair in his face, but she also didn’t hold back her hurt. For the first time since she agreed to be his wife, he could not console her through her pain. Not when he so heartlessly caused it.
“Is Alex up?” He knew his son was awake, but she hardly engaged him in conversation these days. He’d become a complex mix of asinine conversation and deliberate goading into altercations. He was a man desperate for his wife to look at him again.
“Yeah he should be down in a minute. I think Dean stayed over last night too. He’s been here all week.” Dean Crest had been Alex’s best friend since grade school. After meeting on the playground, they instantaneously bonded over football and being biracial. Although he could easily pass for white with his blonde hair, honey eyes, and deep tan, Dean had no qualms disclosing his heritage. Born to a Russian business mogul and Afro-Brazilian actress, he dallied with the most unique individuals. Dean had the self-assurance and confidence that most men didn’t develop until after they’d married.
“His parents are out of the country again,” Peri supplied, having received a text from Vladislav a week ago informing him of their plans. He leaned against the granite counter as she sliced the sausages and placed more in the pan to fry. Her biscuits were cooling on the stove rack and the mountain of eggs lay on a plate. With two teenaged boys and a grown husband staying for breakfast, she always prepared enough food to feed a moderately sized militia.
“Of course they are. I swear that couple spends more time travelling the world than raising their son.” She huffed, “Don’t they know that graduation is coming up? Of course both of them are staying in the city, but they’ll be adults. Moving on with their lives.” He saw through her complaints. She was taking Alex’s impending graduation the hardest, “Maybe the apartment is too much.” She turned to him then, fork speared in a sausage, “Maybe he should commute his first year.”
“We both know how important living on campus is for the first year of college.” He plucked the sausage from the prongs and ate it before she could snatch it back.
“We didn’t live on campus!” She pointed out indignantly.
“We had a baby and we were married.” He explained. He saw the fire dim in her eyes at the mention of their marriage, “We are married.” He reminded her. He found himself reminding her more so than not these days. Whenever he had the urge or felt like she was considering divorce too heavily. He reminded her that she was his wife, “We’re staying married.”
“I’m not having this fight with you Peri.” Her back was to him again. The smooth expanse of cocoa flesh taunting him as it shimmered under the kitchen spotlights.
“We’re going to have to have it eventually Shea.” He prodded stepping closer to her form. She eyed him suspiciously but didn’t move from her sausages, “I don’t think divorce is the best option.” He told her honestly. Despite knowing he was at fault for the brunt of their marriage woes, he still felt that she loved him. She was in love with him.
“I didn’t think an affair was the best option!” She sighed heavily, huffing before rolling her eyes skyward, “I don’t trust you Peri.” The truth in her words tore at him, but he locked the hurt away, “I second guess everything you say and I can’t live that way. I can’t stay married to a man whose intentions I just don’t believe.” A frown creased his eyebrows and his teeth sunk into his lip. Shea’s eyes followed the movement.
“We can build trust.” He countered, pressing closer to her. He hated to use her attraction to him against her, but refused to let her go, “I can earn your trust baby.” His hand slid around her waist, she was so warm and soft. She felt like home, “But I can’t lose you.” He buried his face into the crook of her neck appreciating the citrus scent she always wore. It’d been so long since she’d allowed him to touch her, but his body had not forgotten the way she curved into him fitting against his person so securely. He hadn’t forgotten the comfort having her near brought or the way her lips tasted on his.
She caved under the sweet pressure of his lips on hers before granting his tongue entrance into the cavern of her mouth. Groaning painfully, his hands began subtle exploration, the left one venturing down to caress the precious roundness of her bottom, while the other held her to him by her neck angling her head for a deeper exploration. He poured every ounce of pent up desire into the kiss. She gripped the lapels of his blazer before sliding her hands up his chest and around his neck. A growl rumbled through his chest at the sensations her hands caused. Squeezing the fullness of her bottom, he pulled her impossibly closer eliminating the distance between them completely. He wanted to be naked and inside of her again, but this was a beautiful first step.
After almost 10 months of separation he finally had his mouth pressed to hers. It was damn near magical.
“Oh god!” A disgusted grunt came from behind Peri. Interrupting the first intimate contact Peri had had since his wife caught him cheating. It soothed apart of his soul to know that Emily was no longer the last woman to touch him. Stifling a grin, Peri slid his arms around Shea’s back as buried her face in his chest, “What are you doing?” Alex’s voice probed the couple’s momentary embarrassment. For all of the ground he covered with his wife, Alex thought of Peri as scum.
“Blocking the breakfast.” The deep timber of Dean was closer than that of Alex’s.
“Maybe if we don’t move they won’t see us.” Shea whispered, her eyes filling with confusion.
“We can hear you mom.”
“Yeah Ma, we’re like right in the room.” Dean pointed out the size 16 of his shoes gliding nearer to the couple until he stood next to them, “Can you at least pretend to be invisible over by the eggs. I really wanna biscuit.” Before he could blink Shea’s hand connected to the back of his head, sending a sausage piece flying from his finger.
“You haven’t even said grace.” She warned, ignoring her state of undress, “Make a plate like a decent child and sit down and eat at the table.” With an indignant huff, Shea pushed her wayward husband from her praying the erection she felt so deliciously pressed into her stomach had subsided, she dared not look. With a glare she snatched her shirt from the island and brushed past them all.
Peri turned to face the ire of his greatest creation. Alex was the best parts of both him and his wife. He was traditionally handsome, his deep brows, stark green eyes, and skin the color of the Caribbean sands, Alex held more of his mother’s family than the Creeds. Strong jaws and determined glints ran rampant amongst the men on her side.
A glare currently trained on him.
Since his birth, Alex had been protective of his mother. It never irked Peri knowing his only son loved Shea more. It had taken until he was 5 for Alex to begin the idolizing phase of childhood in which Peri gladly took up the role of patient superhero ready to teach his son how to be a man. For 12 years he kept that title and in one day of terrible judgment he lost a large chunk of the most important relationship in his life.
Even if Shea agreed to end their shared misery he knew the state of his son’s relationship would never be the same.
“Alex—we..” The words stuck in his throat, he couldn’t apologize for the affection that he craved so badly.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” Alex assured him before stalking to the stove his hands shoved in his jean pockets. While most of his features screamed “Daniels” his mannerisms were all Creed.
“We’ll have to talk soon.” Peri didn’t insist hoping that Alex would come to him or be receptive to repairing the pain, but his son had Indigo’s stubborn nature, “But I won’t force it today.” Nodding Alex and Peri both sat to eat.
“I’m so ready to visit NYU.” Dean grinned rubbing his palms together excitedly, “Are you staying for the tour Mr. C?” Dean’s attempt to diffuse the thick tension in the air was greatly appreciated; Peri cast him a grateful glance.
“No, I have a few appointments to meet today, but Indigo will be there since he doesn’t have class until late afternoon today.” Peri cast a glimpse at his son who looked pleased. He tried to tamper down the disappointment, but it reared his ugly head regardless. It’d been stirring in his mind since last Thursday when Shea admitted that Alec didn’t want his father to attend NYU’s tour,
“But I’ll definitely be there next month for orientation.” He countered watching the pleasure fall of his son’s face.
“Parents don’t have to go Dad.” Alex informed him, a scowl playing at his mouth.
“We don’t, but we want to.” Shea cut off Peri’s reply as she sauntered into the kitchen. The clack of her heels hitting the tile floor. Her deep purple blouse made her skin luminescent, Peri bit down the uncharacteristic jealousy that gripped him. It was the he noticed the tell-tale tan line’s mocking presence on her ring finger that made him grit his teeth in consternation.
One Month Ago
“I found a brownstone one Wessex.” Peri’s eyes lifted from his laptop as the words dripped from his wife’s lips.
“What does that have to do with anything?” The question belied his aggravation. He chose not to hide it.
“We’re not playing this game Peri. The owner says I can move in two weeks. I signed the lease.” He took in her tired eyes and the resignation written on her face. Still she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. Even in those horrid sweats that swamped her body and an old college shirt. She was magnificent.
“You want to leave me?” Sighing he closed the face of his Mac and gave her his undivided attention. He forced his hands into a praying position before clasping his fingers together, “You really want to do this?” Everyone had warned him that she wouldn’t stay. Shea discussed her displeasure with cheaters very early in their relationship. Her parent’s marriage barely survived her mother’s infidelity, but Shea made it plain that she did not tolerate—could not tolerate—that kind of pain. Peri never thought he’d be the man that broke her heart.
Yet here he was.
“I can’t stay Peri.” She sunk into the plush chair in front of his desk. They’d made love in that chair. Christened it almost every weekend that Alex was away. Now he was losing her in it.
“Baby—Shea I can’t let you go.” Agony flittered across his features open for her to see.
“You had a wonderful time letting me go with Emily.” She reminded him, bitterness seeping into her words, “A jolly good time having unprotected sex with her whenever you could for six months.” Wisely he remained silent clenching his hands to the point of numbing pain, “And a splendid time possibly impregnating her. So excuse me, if I don’t fall prey to how difficult it is for you to let me go.” By now she was leaning forward, smooth brown elbows resting on her thighs while her words came out menacingly,
“So until I can be sure that Alex isn’t a brother you’re going to let us leave and I don’t want to hear shit about it.” With that she stood casting him a disdainful glower before storming out of his office.
He found her ring on his pillow as she drove away taking his son and life as he knew it out of their home with her.
Her rings stayed in his pocket, every night he rested it on the bathroom sink promising that he’d begin leaving it behind, but never allowing himself to. That tan haunted him each time he saw her. The tan he knew other men saw—used to strike conversation. Fear that she would find a more deserving man to love her made his heart constrict.
“You ready boys?” He found the breath to say as she mosied about the kitchen packing what was left of the breakfast.
“Yeah Mr. C.” Dean answered for both boys raising his well-proportioned six foot five inch frame from the table. The boy was a behemoth.
“Yeah.” Alex rose also standing only two inches shorter than his best friend, he and his father stood eye to eye.
“I hope the tour is awesome.” Shea sang out kissing both boys on their cheeks, “No girls.” Another wild groan filled the air, Peri smiled at the exasperation.
“But Ma, that’s all the fun!” Dean batted thick blonde lashes in her direction while Alex flashed a 1000 watt smile.
“All the fun is in getting your education.” She warned, “No girls.”
“Fine.” Alex shrugged knowing when not to argue with the pint sized mama bear, “You’re woman enough for me.” She swooned at his confession as he wrapped her into a bear hug.
“Not for me. I like my girls with a little extra padding.” Dean casually chomped down on the last biscuit remaining, “Gain about thirty pounds and we can discuss no women.”
“Alright let’s go.” Peri interrupted the playful banter with a forceful shove out of the kitchen for Dean. Kid can’t control his mouth for shit. With one last kiss on his mother’s cheek, Alex followed suit, “The car door is unlocked, I need to talk with your mom for a second.” Alex gave a noncommittal grunt as the only sign he heard his father.
Peri didn’t speak until he heard the door slam, “My kid hates me.” It was the only time Shea was moved to sympathy. Alex had been Peri’s saving grace after the wrath of Yeshua and she felt sorry for his pain even if it was self-inflicted.
“It shows him consequences.” She rationalized, sliding her small hands over her blouse and skirt, “That all actions have repercussions.”
“Don’t I know that.”
“You should’ve known before you even did it.” Sympathy left her voice entirely.
“I want a second chance Shea. I need a second chance. I can’t keep doing this.” She swallowed hard as he advanced towards her, “I know I don’t deserve it, but losing this family is something I can’t handle.” Peri worked hard to maintain his composure, but he could feel the desperation seeping out of his pores.
“Peri I don’t know.” Shea wrung her hands before grabbing her purse and keys, “You had an affair.”
“That I regret with every fiber of my being.” He countered, “That I am paying for in what feels like tenfold but I know is hardly half of what I deserve.” He sighed running an agitated hand through his hair, “I’m going to therapy, and I’m seeking help Shea. Baby I’m tryin’ so hard to be a better man; but I can’t sit here and pretend like my feelings for you are ever going to go away.” He slid his arms around her watching her silky brown eyes glaze over, “I love you. I wish—” He let out a heavy sigh near her neck hugging her prone body to him, “I wish I was the nice guy who could let you go and hope you come back to me, but I’m not him. I’m selfish. I always have been, but I love you with every selfish part of my body.”
“You don’t play fair Peri.” She looked away from him, her chestnut eyes with trepidation.
“Just date me Peri. We can begin slowly. I’ll take friends even.” He bartered for more time, “Let me earn you.”
“Friends?” She raised an eyebrow, mistrust piqued with curiosity played in her eyes.
The promise hung in the air before he sealed it with his lips pressed to hers in a chaste kiss.
The villain was one step closer to regaining his tittle.
After looking for the perfect picture for Peri and Shea, I don't know how he cheated or hwo she stays upset. They are beautiful people.
I would love some feedback. I love these two characters and Alex is my baby.
Next up is Indy and the Campus Tour!
Thank you again for reading and sorry for any mistakes, it's really hard to proofread your own work.