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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.


   


    She zipped up the back of her dress. Hair on sleek down her back. She had gotten a fresh pedicure and manicure earlier that day and trimmed everything that needed trimmin. She slid into her black red bottoms and checked herself at the mirror. She was smooth as Godiva Chocolate and hoped by the end of the night just as addicting. She licked her teeth, making sure no lipstick was there and grabbed her clutch. Pulling out her phone, she read the text message. I’ll be there in ten. By the time he sent it he should have been here by now. She grabbed her keys and slid the most important thing on. Her ring. Smiling, she opened the door and find him standing against his car. At the sight of her, his mouth dropped open. 

    “W-wow.” He stuttered. She locked the door to her house and walked up to him. 

    “Wow yourself.” He eyed her from head to toe. 

    “Rae you look-”

    “I know. Just open the door.” She cut him off, pursing her lips. Tonight, she was not playing any games. She had agreed to let Kwasame take her on a date, the first one in weeks. She was still angry at him and decided that instead of acting like a teenager mad at her boyfriend, she would handle it like a grown woman. He rushed to it and she slid inside. He closed the door and soon joined her. 

    “Sweetheart, there’s a lot I have to say.” 

    “It can wait till we get to the restaurant.” He clamped his mouth shut and the drive was silent. All the while, she found herself tracing the heart shape of the diamonds in her ring. When they got there, he opened the door. 

    “After you little lady.” She let him help her out of the car and waited until he returned to her side. He took her hand and together they walked into the restaurant. Once seated, he took a deep breath. 

    “You look so beautiful tonight.” She reached for her glass and took a sip of water. 

    “You don’t look bad yourself.” He swallowed. She could have smiled. The poor man was sweating bullets. Good. 

    “Rae…”

    “Kwasa…” 

    “I’m sorry.”

    “For what?”

    “I shouldn’t have invaded your space. Especially while you were sleeping.” She took a long drink before gently placing her glass back on the cloth. His expression suddenly changed once he caught a glimpse of the very object he thought he had gotten rid of on her finger. 

    “You’re… still wearing it.” She cleared her throat. 

    “Yes. I am. After I fished it out of the trash.” His throat tightened. 

    “Why Rae?”

    “It’s not your place to decide for me what I wear and why.” He remained quiet. At his silence, she continued. 

    “You made that choice for me Kwasame. I don’t like that. You’re not my damn father. I can understand you having a problem with it. But to give me no warning or say and decide for yourself to take something that means a lot to me off of my body… like I’m not even human… that shit has pissed me all the way off.” He bit the inside of his cheek. 

    “Why does it mean so much to you if you’ve let him go? How can you expect to be in a relationship with anyone still holding on to him?” She lifted her eyebrows. 

    “It should be and is my choice. That’s not what you’re understanding.”

    “I hear you little lady. But you’re not hearing me.”

    “Oh?” He leaned forward on the table. 

    “I am not going to compete for your heart. I love you Rae. I’ve been with you for two years now and I hope many more. If you can’t love me with your whole heart then I cannot be with you.” She swallowed. 

    “I don’t want to lose you to some guy in your past. What we have is amazing. I don’t want to give you up. And I’m determined to work through this with you. But you have to meet me half way darling.” She sighed. 

    “Look at me Rae.” She brought her eyes up to his. 

    “Do you love me?” 

    “Of course I love you.”

    “Well, if that is true… you would respect my wishes. I won’t force you… but if you really want to be with me… you have to let go of everything.” 

    “If you wanted to be with me, you would understand that I…”

    “What?” She tightened her fingers together. She had almost said something she didn’t mean. Taking a breath, she looked up at him, straight on. 

    “I will make that choice on my own time and in my own way. You have to understand that. I don’t love you any less Teddy. It’s just something I have to let go by myself. You can’t force me or rush it.” He reached across the table and gently grabbed her hand. 

    “All right. I understand.” She let out a sigh of relief. 

    “And another thing. If you throw out my damn toothbrush again we are going to have an even bigger problem.”

    “Yes ma’am.” She squeezed his hand. 

    “All right then. We good.” 

 

******

 

    By the time she felt the guilt it was already too late. Their limbs were tangled together and he had fallen asleep. Smooth jazz played softly but it did nothing to calm her.  She was starting to sweat and felt so small underneath him. She pushed at him and he groaned, rolling over to the side of her, fast asleep again. She couldn’t help but roll her eyes and took a deep breath. 

    This night had gone as planned. But it didn’t satisfy her. It wasn’t fulfilling her. There was something more she had a craving for. On every level physically, Kwasame was at a 100. Fine, built and lean. But in the two years they had been together, how much did she really know of him? She knew he was from Manchester, England. She knew that his parents were immigrants who had moved to Britain from Ghana. Aside from that… what did she know? He never really talked about himself or of those he was supposed to love. Why was that? 

    She sighed and closed her eyes. There was a grimy feeling that she felt afterwards… every time. The stickiness between her thighs, the way she felt like a deflated balloon… it wasn’t supposed to feel… like this right? Bruh man was sleeping good after his five seconds of fame. This was the first time she had laid in his bed actually contemplating her life. Her choices… It was strange that out of all the times they had made love, this would be the time she would start to regret it. She knew deep down that she shouldn’t have slept with him in the first damn place. His body was like strong solid steel and the feel of his black skin against hers had did it. Getting up, she sat on the edge of the bed. But she needed more from him. More communication. More attention. More understanding.

     She got up and stepped into his shower. Cleaning herself, she couldn’t help but try to clean inside herself too. The very action made her grow still. Her hand paused and she swallowed thickly. So many years ago, a small girl had stood in the shower doing the very same thing, trying to get all of who had been inside her was out of her. She dropped the small towel and hugged her body. She felt like dirt. She felt disgusting as if she had been rolling around in feces. Tears came to her eyes. It wasn’t supposed to feel like this. It wouldn’t feel this way with Roto. She bit her lip and cried silently. He hadn’t made her feel like dirt. He hadn’t made her feel disgusting. And the man had never touched her. They had made love to each other in other ways and every time, it felt better than the last. Without even having to touch him she had loved him intimately. I have to stop comparing him… I have to stop finding reasons to make Hiroto seem better…

    She took a deep shaky breath. It was time to stop having sex with him. She felt guilty deep down because she had been celibate before Kwasame. In her mind, saving up the love inside for the man she would marry. She had determined that she was going to do it right. And look where she was. She had made a mistake, many by now and it left her feeling rotten. It was her body and she was not going to mistreat it any longer. Starting tonight she would do better. Lifting to wipe the tears that had fallen, she picked up the towel and scrubbed her skin gently, smoothly scrubbing the small scars that still remained on her belly. She remembered when Kwasame had first seen them he asked about them. She had told him that she had gotten hurt by someone… didn’t give too many details. But the way he had looked at her body afterwards still hurt her. He had looked at her like she was damaged. Tightening her lips, she gripped the towel tightly. She had so many things to consider… things that could not wait. 

 

*****

    

    When he awakened, she was sitting in the dress from last night in his chair in the kitchen. 

    “Little lady?” He blinked and yawned. Didn’t even cover himself as he came in. That was okay because she wasn’t feeling it. Even though he had a morning surge of blood shoot down to greet his nether regions she sat there pursing her lips. 

    “Good morning teddy.” He yawned again and came to stand in front of her. 

    “Why’re you dressed?” 

    “I just felt like it.” 

    “You know you could’ve put on something of mine.” 

    “I didn’t want to.” He frowned. 

    “Okay…you look like you’re about to go.” 

    “I thought about it. Actually I think I am.” She stood slowly. 

    “Rae, what’s the matter?” He asked, his expression serious. 

    “I’ve just been thinking about some things teddy.” His brow creased. 

    “What things?” She looked at him. 

    “Things between you and me.” 

    “What things exactly?” She licked her lips, the lipstick from last night once smeared all over her face now gone from her skin. 

    “I’ve decided something.” 

    “That is?”

    “We’re going to stop having sex.” He looked at her, his eyes wide. 

    “What?”

    “I didn’t stutter.” He seemed fully awake by now and scratched his arm.

    “Was it something I did?” 

    “What you did and didn’t do.”

    “Tell me what it is.”

    “You didn’t use a condom first of all. I remember us agreeing to always using one.”

    “Ah shit. Babe, I’m sorry. It… it slipped my mind…” That wouldn’t be a good enough excuse if I got pregnant. 

    “Yeah I’m sure. Two, you didn’t even really make sure I was ready. You just assumed I was wet enough and did your thing.” He groaned. 

    “I feel like an asshole.” That’s because you are one. 

    “You should.”  He pulled her against him in a hug. 

    “I’m sorry little lady. I didn’t mean to make you feel so bad. I want you to feel good every time.” 

    “But I haven’t.”

    “Rae…”

    “Before I met you, I hadn’t had sex in about 13 years. I was proud of myself and then…”

    “I came along and fucked everything up for you.” He finished, his voice growing low. 

    “Simply put yeah.”

    “You didn’t have to sleep with me Rae.”

    “You’re right. I didn’t. I regret that I did.” He pulled back from her. 

    “So this is how you truly feel? Our love making is a regret of yours?” She looked up at him. 

    “Yes.” He nodded though anger had found its way into his features. 

    “If that is the case then you can leave.” 

    “You don’t have to kick me out Kwasame. I was going to leave.”     

    “Then go gah damnit.” She straightened up and began to walk past him. 

    “You weren’t any damn good anyway.” She heard him mutter before she heard the door slam behind her. She felt tears prickle her eyes but refused to cry. She was better than this. And dammit if he felt a way then screw him. She got into her car and drove off. 

 

***** 

    “He did what?” 

    “Amee,”

    “Nah. He said what again?”

    “He told me my shit wasn’t good anyway. The bastard.”

    “Whoa… Wait I… What just happened?! What is going on with you two?!” She sighed and leaned back against her pillows. Earlier that day, she had showered again and called her doctor and ordered some more birth control. She had made an appointment with her gynecologist and got tested for any STD’s. She was still good. Thank God. If he kept screwing girls without condoms, that would be a big problem for bruh man. For her, it was the end of the damn road. After that, she had come back home and gotten changed into something after another shower. She had called her sister to come over and that was how this whole conversation had began. 

    “I don’t know A. It seems lately anything can set me off with him. He’s been doing some real irritating shit lately.”

    “I don’t understand. How does he tell you your shit wasn’t good but he the one who can’t do it right?” She sucked her teeth. 

    “Girl you got me. Ain’t even go down on a sista and get that wet wet going. Such an asshole. That’s a damn common curtesy.” 

    “Girl, any man who don’t eat that cake is not a real man. I’m sorry but he ain’t it.” Amee piped up, a scowl on her face. She groaned irritably. 

    “All I ask for is a nigga who bring his damn knife and fork. Sometimes all I really be wanting is that cake being ate for real for real.” Amee nodded. 

    “I hear you Ebbie.” She closed her eyes. 

    “You know what he told me the first time I got naked in front of him?” Amee was silent. 

    “He said you look like you need to take a shower. Can you believe that?” The more she talked about it the more angrier she got. 

    “Apparently, I’m dirty but I ain’t too dirty to still get it in huh?” Amee sucked her teeth. 

    “Ebbie you deserve better than him for real. This nigga real lucky. But he mad stupid. You got a whole squad just lookin for a nigga to fuck up. Don’t he know that?” 

    “Apparently not. Best time I remind him.” 

    “Yeah I think it’s time. He need to get his mess together before he have Tre and all the rest of our gang come up to his job.” 

    “That would not look good.”

    “Exactly. Wouldn’t be good neither.” The sisters shared a chuckle. 

    “You’re finding your way in this thing Ebbie. If nothing else, I stand by you and whatever you decide to do with bruh man I support you. Hopefully you leave his ass for a man who will actually treat you right.” She looked at her sister. 

    “Well if he actually get it together before it come to that I won’t have to leave him.” She snort. 

    “Let’s hope.” She rolled her eyes and closed her eyes. 

 

***** 

 

    A week or so later, she headed into work. She wore a sleek black pant suit and platform heels with an extra change of comfortable black flats in her handbag. Large oval pearl studs and a pearl necklace. A neutral color on her lip and a natural looking face today. Nothing too extra. Sighing, she walked into the main room. At seeing her, Shelley stood up. 

    “Rae, Mr. Rossi told me to tell you as soon as you got in to go to his office.” 

    “Um… okay…” She sat her things down on her desk and headed back towards his office. 

    “Mr. Rossi?” Jenny wasn’t there this morning which was a bit odd. She was always there. 

    “Is that you Ms. Marshall?” 

    “Uh… yes? Is something wrong?”

    “Not at all. Please come back.” She opened his door and stepped inside the office. He sat at his desk, his glasses on the edge of his nose. He had his computer in front of him and typed away. 

    “Please take a seat. I’ll be with you in just a moment.” She swallowed and slowly sat down in a nearby chair. Something was off. She could just feel it. He finished typing a few moments later and sighed, looking at her with a smile. 

    “Good morning.”

    “Good morning…”

    “I have some very good news I wanted to share with you.”

    “Okay.”

    “There is an opening for an exec position that has come up. It’s with my branch in California.”

    “Okay?” He took off his glasses and folded his hands on the desk. 

    “This position pays a little bit higher than the one now. The benefits are the same as here but you get some added bonuses. The position provides a company car, paid travel mileage when traveling to other cities as well as paid lodging. It’s quite a list of things I think you would like.” 

    “Okay all that sounds great. But…”

    “Do you want it?” She blinked, watching the man in front of her carefully. 

    “Why are you giving it to me? Why not give it to Shelley Johnson?” 

    “Ms. Johnson isn’t ready for that position yet.”

    “But I am?” He sighed and stood up. 

    “Most people I know don’t ask their boss why they are getting good things. Most of them just accept it and thank them.” She pursed her lips. 

    “Well I’m not most people.” He came to stand in front of her and gently cupped her chin, making her grow still. 

    “I’m curious. What did you talk about at that last gala? With that woman?” Her eyebrows knit in confusion. 

    “What woman?”

    “The one with James.” 

    “Oh. We were talking about the newcomer in town.”

    “Who is he?”

    “You don’t know?”

    “Enlighten me.”

    “His name is Iwase Hiroto.”

    “Ah.”

    “I would appreciate it if you took your hand off of my face. It’s highly inappropriate.” He smiled before letting his hand drop. 

    “I’m sorry.”

    “Mm.”

    “I’m offering you this position because you deserve it.”

    “You sure it’s not just because you like me?”

    “I thought we discussed this. I’m not going to pursue you any longer remember? That Jones man has your affection.”

    “But your favoritism is so hard to ignore.” He chuckled and leaned back against his desk. 

    “Perhaps. Look, you don’t need to make a decision now Rae. But I expect my answer within a few weeks. I’m keeping it open for you.”

    “Don’t do that. Seriously.”

    “Think about it.” He returned to the other side of his desk and sat back down. Placing his glasses back on his face, he began to type again. 

    “That’s all Ms. Marshall. I have a board meeting at 3 pm. Bring paper and a pen to take notes. There is a specific way I conduct my meetings. I want you to continue to uphold this standard.”

    “Y-yes sir.”

    “See you at 3.”

    “See you then Mr. Rossi.” As she left his office, she shook her head. What was going on? Why was she having to come to so many decisions so fast? What was ahead? Swallowing thickly, she returned to her desk and tried to get something done until the meeting at 3. Choices, choices and more choices. What ever was a girl to do?






Chapter End Notes:

 

A/N: Hey Y'all! So, I know I said I'd wait till after midterms but decided to upload one chapter :) I've been writing a WHOLE LOT this week which isn't a surprise :) lol. I have a statistics midterm tomorrow morning and then two on friday :) So, this is it until the weekend at the very least. What do you think of Rae's decisions? To be honest, I am getting tired of Kwasame. lol. But, I have to have her hold on to him for a littttttle longer until Roto "swoop" in to save the day lol. Super Roto to the rescue haha! Even then.. their relationships to (Kiko) and (Kwasame) aren't going to go away like that *snaps*. That's gunna take time just like their feelings (more like her forgiveness... Her feelins still as strong as they were as a teenager who she frontin lol)  Do you think Rae is gonna take the position in Cali? Rossi ain't slick neither lol. Okay y'all. See you soon! Take care and God bless!

P.S-I will reply to reviews soon too! Thank you to all who have wished me happy midterms! Love y'all! D&L


 







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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.