May 31, 2017
It's Sugar's birthday and she's sick. Someone has to take care of her whether she likes it or not.
Music Mood: Come Through and Chill
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.
Odette pulled the thermometer from Sugar’s lips and took a good look at the thin device’s screen. She pouted as she read the temperature and shot Sugar a look of sympathy. Sugar reached up from where she laid amongst her blankets and pillows, yanking the thermometer from her baby sister’s possession and stared at the digits it recorded. She sighed heavily and closed her eyes.
101.8 was her recorded temperature, which made sense because she felt like she was burning up from the inside out and her skin glistened with a fine coat of sweat. Her messy hair kept gluing itself to her face and her silk peach-hued nightie kept sticking to her skin, making her feel even hotter than she already was. Sugar let out a rattling cough that made her lungs hurt while she put the thermometer on her nightstand. She cleared her throat to loosen up the yucky stuff there before she spoke tiredly.
“Well, that’s that then.”
“I can’t believe you got sick on your birthday of all days,” Odette said.
“There’s been a bug going around at the restaurant for a few weeks,” Sugar said, sniffling her stuffy nose hard. “It was only a matter of time before I caught it.”
Odette pouted and crossed her arms over her chest. “Yeah, but it didn’t have to be on your birthday. I’ll call the girls and tell them girls’ night is cancelled.”
“What? No,” Sugar protested in a soft drained voice. “You should all go on without me. Celebrate in my honor. Make a toast or two in my name and don’t forget to take good photos of ya’ll having fun.”
“It doesn’t feel right having a birthday celebration without the birthday girl,” Odette said then her eyes lit up as an idea popped into her head. “Oh, oh! Let’s just bring the party here. We could cozy up in our pajamas, chill out, watch movies, drink hot tea, and slurp down some soup.”
Immediately, a vision popped into Sugar’s head of Helena wearing pajamas and pouring hard liquor from a flask into a cup of hot tea and did what she did best: guzzle it down and party it up.
Sugar groaned in objection and shook her head. “I don’t have the energy to do any of that. I just want to be miserable and sleep.”
“But who is going to take care of you?”
“I’m gonna take care of me,” Sugar assured. “Just because I’m sick doesn’t mean that I’m incapable of taking care of myself. You actually thought Lance stayed at home to make me soup and spoon-feed me cough syrup every time I got a bad cold? Ha!”
Odette sighed. “I just feel really bad leaving you here.”
Sugar reached over to get a soft tissue from a box off her nightstand. She blew into it, sounding like a sick elephant. She sniffled and balled up the tissue, tossing it in the small purple trashcan she had gotten out of her bathroom for that very reason.
“Stop worry about me and go home, so you can get ready. You’ve got about two hours to get ready and you know you’re a slow poke when it comes to getting dressed and beautified,” Sugar demanded in a nasally voice.
Odette leaned down and kissed her on the forehead. “Call me if you need anything, alright?”
“Mm hm,” Sugar hummed, nodding her head. “Now go.”
Odette strolled over to the opened bedroom door and stood there for a moment, giving Sugar once last look of worry—of reluctance.
“Go on, Ettie! Stop acting like I’m on my deathbed,” Sugar said, flicking her wrist at her sister as a gesture to leave.
“I’m being serious, Shug. Call me if you need anything,” Odette replied, wagging a finger at her before leaving the room.
Sugar rested in her bed, listening at her sister’s footsteps and the front door opening and closing at Odette’s departure. She sighed heavily in relief now that her baby sister was gone and snuggled into the softness of her bed. It wasn’t that Sugar didn’t like the visit from her sister because she did, but she never got used to the idea of people worrying about or over her when she was sick. She picked up the remote control and turned on the television fixed to the wall ahead of her.
She flipped through the channels, unable to find anything interesting to watch. When in doubt, she always settled for a food-cooking channel. There was a food contest show on that held some entertainment value as contestants and their teams frantically scrambled around a kitchen to cook three different meals for the judges using the key ingredients of deer, quail, and rabbit.
Eventually, she found herself dozing off to sleep.
She awoke some time later to the piano ringtone, groaning a little in protest. Groggy from sleep and utterly exhausted from her cold, she blindly fished around for her cell as she laid on her side with a pillow over her head. When she found the device, she accepted the call with a swipe of her thumb and put the phone to her ear.
“Hello?” Her stuffy voice oozed with misery.
There was silence from the other end.
“Um, hello?” Then she coughed roughly, gasping for breath after it finally passed.
Once more, silence. As the quiet moments passed, she finally regained her breath.
“Being sick is never good on your birthday.” It was Chef.
She shivered at the sound of his voice or maybe, she had the perfectly-timed chills from her fever. She wasn’t sure anymore.
“How did you know it was my birthday,” she asked. “I never told you that.”
“Your mother just sent me a text message tellin’ me was your birthday with a remainder that you were ‘very much single and ready to mingle’,” he said with slight amusement.
Sugar closed her eyes and let out a groan of embarrassment.
“She’s something else,” she said in a defeated tone.
“I’m startin’ to think she wants us together,” Chef stated.
“She’s hellbent on pairing me off,” Sugar sighed. “She sent me a text message yesterday saying that you and I would look good together as a couple.”
Chef chuckled a little. “We do look good together as a couple.”
“We’re not together as a couple,” Sugar reminded. “Do I need to remind you of my conditions that you agreed upon or should I make things easier for the both of us by saying goodbye and hanging up the phone?”
“I remember your conditions quite well. Uncommitted, adventurous, no heavy emotions, no romance,” he summarized perfectly. “Just no-strings attached fun.”
“So, you do have a good memory,” she said.
“It’s one of my qualities I take pride in,” he replied, “along with my dashing good looks.”
Sugar burst out a giggle which ended with some coughing.
“Mm,” he grunted in approval before questioning, “What else I gonna say to get you to giggle like that again?”
Another shiver passed through her and she bit down on her bottom lip, gulping. “If you like the way I giggled just a few moments ago then you have weird standards. My giggles sounded like they belong to a truck driver who’s smoked cigarettes for thirty years.”
“Then you’re the sexiest cigarette-smoking truck driver I know.”
“And you’re the craziest man I know.”
“Oh, I’m crazy alright. Crazy about y—“
Sugar cut him off quickly, trying to contain her panic. “So, remind me why you’re calling me again?”
“To sing happy birthday to you.”
She bit back a laugh. “So, you’re handsome, you have good memory, and you can sing?”
“Aren’t I a good catch?”
“You would be if I were interested in catching you,” Sugar said, “but I’m not.”
“Yet here I caught in your web,” he replied with a southern smoothness that—without a doubt—sent her feverish temperature climbing up and up.
She cleared her throat. “Well, I’m waiting on that birthday song.”
“How about I sing it to you in person?” The loaded offer was utterly tempting, but her house was a total hot mess and she looked like a total hot mess. She was death warmed over and she preferred to suffer through the symptoms of her terrible cold alone without him as a witness.
“That’s…not a good idea.”
“I’ll throw in a mean bowl of my homemade chicken noodle soup,” he proposed charmingly.
Sugar hadn’t eaten all day. She had been too drained to drag herself out of bed to fix herself something.
She slipped out a small longing moan and said before she could stop herself, “Mm, that would be amazing right now.”
She widened her eyes at her mistake.
Fuck, she then thought in a panic, fuck, fuck fuck!
She wasn’t supposed to say that. She was supposed to kindly reject that offer too, but now that her desire was all-out in the open, it was too late to backpedal now. It was too final to deny, deny, deny and run. He knew the truth, he knew what she wanted, and she knew he was going to do exactly what he promised: give.
“Then it would be my pleasure to oblige,” he said, his seductive emphasis on the word pleasure prompted an ocean of goosebumps across her brown skin. “What’s your address?”
Sugar took a deep breath, an odd mixture of regret and excitement coursing through her system.
“Now, listen,” she began firmly. “I’ll give you my address, but don’t think it’s an invitation to show up whenever you want to because it’s not. Do you understand?”
“Perfectly,” he replied with slight amusement.
“I’ll text it to you,” she said.
“Ma’am, yes, ma’am,” he returned with a chuckle.
Unsure of what else to say, Sugar ended the call quickly and sent him a text containing her address as promised. Her heart throbbed violently within the prison of her ribcage as her finger typed out every single letter and number needed to send him to her front doorstep. Almost immediately, she received a text message back from him. She had changed his contact name from Do Not Answer to Maybe Answer. A small step in the right direction for a skeptical woman.
Maybe Answer: Thank you. You won’t regret it.
“Too late,” she said softly to herself before she put her cell down and tried to keep herself occupied by watching television again. She found a pay-per-view mystery film and bought it, slowly becoming enthralled in the intense plot and the characters. So much so that she lost track of time about eighty minutes into the film, the sound of her doorbell sliced through the air. Her breath hitched a little in surprise and her heart picked up in tempo.
Chef had arrived.
Sugar then climbed out of bed, wobbly on her feet from the lightheadedness that swam around her stuffy head. Sniffling and coughing along the way, she made a slow trek through her house to the front door. She unlocked the door and opened it sluggishly to reveal the sight of Chef on her doorstep holding a brown paper bag packed with groceries. He wore a dark gray fitted shirt that stretched deliciously across his sculpted chest, torso, and arms. He also wore pitch black jeans with an imposing silvery skull as a buckle from his leather belt.
His gray eyes swept over her from head to toe.
She knew she looked terrible. Her long dark hair was a frizzy mess. Her skin was slick with a light coat of sweat. Her nose was slightly reddened and utterly stuffy. She had puffy dark circles underneath her tired eyes.
His gaze trailed back up the length of her body, settling on her chest. His eyes darkened with an unreadable emotion. Sugar glanced down and immediately remembered that she wasn’t wearing a bra therefore her breasts were free and her nipples—which were apparently very erect—stood out against the fabric of her mid-thigh-length silk nightie. She was too exhausted and sick to react accordingly such as covering herself up.
Instead she stated, “I’m not putting on a bra.”
Chef, in turn, grinned as he moved his eyes back up to her face. “You won’t hear any complaints from me, sweetheart.”
She fought back a smile, moving to the side to allow him inside the house. She closed the door once he was inside and lead him into the kitchen, turning on the light along the way.
“I apologize for the wait. I wasn’t sure what you had, so I did some grocery shoppin’,” he replied as he placed the heavy-looking paper bag on the kitchen counter directly beside the stove. “Got caught up in the evenin’ rush. Long lines. Not enough checkout lanes open.”
“Words won’t do you any good leaving a woman in need waiting,” Sugar said in mildly teasing tone as she stepped up to the counter beside him and peeked inside the brown paper bag to be nosy, “I take the ‘mean’ chicken noodle soup you promised as a proper apology.”
There were spices, fresh vegetables, raw chicken, and much more piled inside the bag. She peered at him, impressed by his selection of ingredients.
“You should go back to bed and rest while I do some dirty work,” he said.
“You’ve only been in my house less than five minutes and you’re already bossing me around,” she chaffed, arching a delicate eyebrow. “What happened to whole ‘you give, I take’ spiel?”
Chef bent his head so his face lingered just above hers as she looked up at him. “I gave you an order and I expect you to take it, so I can take care of you,” he said.
Sugar eased a little closer to him and stared him down with a challenging defiance in her eyes, tapping an index finger against his defined right pectoral. “You promised a birthday song, chicken noodle soup, and nothing more. Nowhere during our phone conversation did you ever mention—nor did I agree—to the idea of you taking care of me. And just to make it clear, I don’t need any one to take care of me.”
“Too bad ‘cause I’m gonna,” he returned.
“What makes you think I’m gonna let you? I could kick you out of my house anytime I want to.”
“You could,” he agreed with a nod, “but you won’t ‘cause deep down you wanna know what it feels like to be taken care of by me. You wanna know how I’m gonna pamper you.”
A bolt of curiosity and arousal struck her hard. She bit down onto her bottom lip hard to keep herself from gasping at his words before she gathered the courage to speak. “Sounds a lot like romance to me,” she breathed, her voice shakier than she wanted.
A slight grin quirked on his lips. “If that’s what you want to call it.”
“It’s not what I want to call it,” she returned. “I don’t want romance. I want—“
“I know exactly what you need,” he cut her off smoothly.
She scoffed. “And what’s that, Chef?”
“To go back to bed and rest,” he paused, the right corner of his mouth lifting a smidgen while those gorgeous damn gray eyes danced with a bold challenge—a promise he wanted to make good on. “Unless, you want me to put you to bed myself.”
Sugar gulped. “You said that so freely that I’m starting to wonder if you put women to bed often.”
“I believe in quality over quantity. I’ve put very few women to bed, but when I did, they enjoyed it immensely,” he replied. “So, what’s it gonna be, Sugar? You gonna go to bed willingly or do you want me to tuck you in myself?”
“I’ll tuck myself into bed,” she informed stubbornly even though every fiber of her screamed in protest at her decision. “Thanks for the offer though.”
“What a shame,” he said. “I was lookin’ real forward to carryin’ you in my arms back to your room.”
“I’m sorry to disappoint,” she returned in mock-sympathy before she mustered up the strength she needed to leave the kitchen without a second glance. She returned to her bedroom and climbed back into her bed, nestling amongst her blankets and pillows to get comfortable but she was everything but comfortable. Over the volume of her television, she heard opening and closing cabinets and drawers, clattering of pots and pans, running water from the kitchen faucet, and orchestra of noises as he familiarized himself with her kitchen to begin cooking. Eventually, a mouthwatering aroma filled her entire house, which made her stomach grumble and groan in want.
After some time, she heard footsteps come down the hallway and pretended to show interest in the soap opera masquerading as a reality show about a luxury yacht crew. She nodded her head as she focused her attention intensely on two crewmembers arguing over incomplete chores, but from the corner of her eye, she saw Chef appear in her doorway. A green bowl with a spoon inside of it was in his possession.
“Dinner is served,” he announced as he entered the bedroom, sauntering over to her.
Sugar finally turned her attention to him, blinking her eyes as if she just noticed that he was there. She had a coughing fit and cleared her throat, patting her throat. She sat up against her pillows and took the offered bowl from him.
“Thank you,” she said as she looked down into the bowl, licking her lips at the sight of chopped egg noodles, vegetables, chicken chunks, and spices swimming merrily in a delicious broth. She took a spoonful into her mouth and closed her eyes, moaning aloud in contentment. Immediately after, she had another spoonful. This truly was a mean bowl of chicken noodle spoon with every single sip and chew. Bit by bit, she felt better like the soup was causing her terrible cold to recede centimeter by centimeter like a glacier to a warming climate. Her throat wasn’t as sore. Her nose wasn’t as stuffy. The itching urge at the back of her throat to cough was dull. Chef watched her as he stood at her bedside. His arms crossed over his chest.
“It’s,” Sugar paused, “alright.”
He chuckled, shaking his head. “Why is it always hard gettin’ a compliment outta you?”
“Why are you trying to fish for a compliment?”
“I need to know the things you like so I can keep givin’ them to you,” he said. “That’s my only goal, honey.”
Sugar brought another delicious spoonful to her lips and ate it as she contemplated his words, feeling guilty for giving him a hard time. “It’s very delicious,” she then said genuinely. “Compliments to the chef. It’s so good that if you had a ‘kiss the chef’ apron, I…might have obliged.”
Chef lifted his shirt to reveal a mildly tattooed torso and chest—a gallery of various artistic symbols inked in pale flesh. She admirably noted his dark chest hair. There wasn’t too little. There wasn’t too much. It just enough and she loved the sight of it. Using his spare hand, he pointed to a certain tattoo on his left pectoral. The tattoo consisted of a red heart wearing a cocked chef hat with bolded black cursive words in the foreground that read ‘kiss the chef’.
“Didn’t bring an apron, but will this do?”
She was absolutely dumbfounded and utterly aroused by his reveal.
“Yeah,” she voiced distractedly. “That’ll…do just…fine.”
Chef chuckled, lowering his shirt.
Sugar cleared her throat and resumed the task of finishing her soup eagerly to keep her mouth busily before she put them to better use by rising his shirt back up so she could kiss that tattoo.
“I’m gonna clean up the kitchen,” he said, nodding his head towards the opened bedroom door.
“Okay,” she said with a mouthful of chicken, vegetables, and noodles.
She leaned to the right, craning her head as she watched his glorious backside leave the bedroom and walk down the hallway. “God help me,” she breathed out pleadingly before she shoved another spoonful into her mouth, chewing roughly as she dealt with the worst kind of frustration: pent-up sexual frustration.
It didn’t take long for her to gobble up the rest of the soup.
She felt much so much better, but her cold was still very much there.
She decided to put the bowl in the dishwasher, so she got out of the bed and went to the kitchen where Chef took his time cleaning up. His back was turned to her as he worked through his task, but he had no clue that she was behind him. He muttered to himself.
“Be a good boy and behave.” His voice a little smidgen above a mutter. “She’s sick for Christ’s sake. She doesn’t want you pawin’ all over her, but…she’s…fuck if she ain’t…”
Sugar bit her lower lip as she listened to him battle with himself.
“Fuck if she ain’t what,” Sugar asked, deciding to make herself known.
Chef turned halfway to watch her as she walked into the kitchen and rubbed the back of his neck. “You like bein’ nosey?”
Sugar smiled a little. “Mm hm, especially when it involves me. So, fuck if I ain’t what, Chef?”
“I thought you were supposed to be in bed,” he said, cocking his head.
“Not an answer,” she said as she strolled over to the dishwasher and opened it, leaning down to put the empty bowl inside the top rack. The mid-thigh length hemline rose as she was bent over, revealing the bottom-half of her silky peach panties that matched her nightie. She did it on purpose and immediately reaped the benefits of how that man looked at her. His eyes were like a graphic picture book of all the things he wanted to her and she liked what she saw. It felt amazingly good to know that even though she was sick and hadn’t tried to seduce someone in five years, she still had something.
Closing the dishwasher, she straightened her back and swallowed back the urge to cough by clearing her throat. “Kittycat caught your tongue?”
“I haven’t caught my tongue inside a kittycat in a while, but if you wanna throw an old dog a bone to remind him how good it can taste,” Chef trailed off, a hungry look in his eyes.
“I have a cold,” she reminded him.
“And I have a hardy immune system,” he returned.
“I’m pretty sure I can get you sick from doing,” she paused, “that.”
“I have a better chance at gettin’ sick from you coughin’ on me, so I’m pretty sure that ain’t possible,” he said, “but there’s only one way to find out.”
She rose her eyebrows. “You’re being serious about this.”
“As a heart attack,” he said, “and it fits within your conditions. Adventurous, uncommitted, no-strings attached fun, right? And what better way to do that than by me eatin’ you out?”
She let out a noise in between a gasp and a shocked laugh at his boldly colorful words. It was one of the most arousing things someone had ever said to her. A storm of heat ripped through her.
“You have quite a filthy mouth,” she breathed, but it didn’t sound like a complain like she had wanted it to.
“I think you like my filthy mouth, don’t you, Sugar?”
She gulped hard and let out a shaky breath. “I—“
Her home phone’s ringtone sliced through the air.
She took it as a blessing in disguise and she practically rushed over to the cordless phone, plucking it off the dock. She answered the call in a stutter. “H-h-hello?”
“I was on my way home from a business meeting halfway across town this afternoon and I passed by our old apartment complex.” It was Lance.
Sugar blinked in surprise at the sound of his voice.
“Brought back a lot of memories. Most of them good, but some were bad too,” Lance said, “but it’s the good times that counted, right? Happy birthday, by the way.”
“A happy birthday from my cheating ex-husband. You’re so kind, Lance,” Sugar scoffed, locking eyes with Chef. “I’m surprised you even remembered because the last six years of our marriage you conveniently forgot.”
“I was a busy man, Shug,” Lance said.
Before Sugar could even react properly to Lance’s statement, Chef went to her and took the cordless phone from her hand. “Don’t ever call this number again,” Chef said in a cool authoritative voice that only a soldier could possess.
Sugar heard Lance’s yelling from the phone. “Who the fuck is thi—“
Chef hung up the phone, putting it back on its charging dock.
Sugar frowned. “That was unnecessary.”
“Him callin’ here is unnecessary. You and I were havin’ an important conversation,” Chef stated gruffly, a pinch of jealousy worming its way into his voice.
“Us talking about,” she paused, clearing her throat roughly, “you going down on me isn’t exactly an important conversation.”
“Speak for yourself, honey,” Chef said.
The phone rang again. Chef snatched it off the hook again and answered the call. “I said don’t ever call this number again,” Chef repeated, narrowing his eyes. “Are you slow in the head?”
Chef smirked as he listened to Lance’s expressed anger on the other end of the call. Whatever her ex-husband was saying, she couldn't hear.
“Who the fuck am I you ask? I am hangin’ up. This is your last warnin’,” he then said before ending the call once more. After returning the phone back to its dock for the second time, he nailed Sugar to the spot. “Where were we?”
“Um,” she began, still processing her past and present collided before her very eyes.
“Oh, now I remember where we left off,” Chef said. “Could you please take off your panties for me?”
“That isn’t where we left off,” Sugar said after gasping.
“I might have fast-forwarded our conversation a bit,” he admitted.
Sugar laughed in disbelief. “A bit?”
He closed in on her, caging her against the kitchen counter.
“Pretty please with Sugar on top?”
She was in big, big, big trouble, but she only had herself to blame.
He knew her conditions quite well and he was using them against her. Bending and twisting her words with such skill to work in his favor that it surprised her—terrified her even.
But what terrified her more was that she was going to let him do it.
Teachers have been allowed to go back into our classrooms early before school starts and Thursday and Friday was so ridiculous. My new grade level partner I've been telling ya'll about is absolutely evil. She got into an argument with me, but she picked the right one 'cause I put her in her place then she gonna run to the principals and tell them all these lies about me. Then her and the principals gonna come to me like they are trying to stage an intervention. She had tears in her eyes and played the victim quite well. It was a bunch of bull. It totally tanked my muse because I was planning on updating this story yesterday, but I was so disgusted by everything that transpired that I didn't have the memory.
I got my muse back today though. Keep me in your prayers because I need it. I am surrounded by snakes with two legs.
I hope you all enjoyed this chapter. Your overwhelming support for this story means a lot. It's my goal to try and update Sugar Mama, His Mercy, and Save Me From Myself this upcoming week before school starts. Maybe even Baby, It's Cold Outside too.
Chef wants Sugar, sick or not. He don't care. And he's using their agreed conditions against her and she knows it, but she's not gonna stop him.
BTW, Chef was going to say "Fuck, if she ain't sexy as all get-out."
Feedback is greatly appreciated!
Have a wonderful Saturday night.
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