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Authors: Kim Shaw

Lift Me Higher

BOOK: Lift Me Higher
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Monte picked up one of the strawberries and held it out in front of him

Torie looked up at him and opened her mouth to receive the fruit. Monte rubbed it along the outline of her lips before placing it in her awaiting mouth. Torie closed her lips around the berry, but did not bite down. Instead, she sucked it firmly and then released it. Monte’s mouth fell open as he stared at her.

 

Torie stuck out her tongue and licked the fruit in a circular motion. She let her tongue dance around its tip and then its entire circumference, before closing her mouth over it again. This time she bit down and removed a large chunk of the ripe berry. She moved closer to Monte with juice dripping down from her bottom lip. He leaned in, catching her mouth in his. They kissed until the strawberry was gone. They disengaged from their fiery kiss and Torie placed both hands on Monte’s shoulders and pushed him backward until he was lying on his back. She swung her left leg over his body and straddled him. She sat down on his upper thighs and, though he tried to pull her up higher to make contact with his throbbing manhood, she wouldn’t budge.

 

“Patience,” she said.

Books by Kim Shaw

Kimani Romance

Forever, for Always, for Love

Soul Caress

Romance Backstage

Lift Me Higher

Kimani Arabesque

Pack Light

Free Verse

Love’s Portrait

KIM SHAW

is a high school English teacher in New Jersey, where she resides with her husband and two children. In addition to writing and teaching, she is working on a literacy project aimed at improving reading and cultural awareness in her community.

LIFT ME HIGHER
KIM SHAW

Lift Me Higher
is dedicated to people who are more interested in what they can do to uplift others than in how they themselves can benefit.
You know who you are.

Dear Reader,

 

I wrote
Lift Me Higher
because I wanted to look at a relationship from the male perspective. Too often attention is paid to the single mother and how difficult it is for her to balance family, career and passion.
Lift Me Higher
asks, “what about the single father?” Men are burdened with the expectation that they be strong and unsusceptible to heartache. Monte Lewis shows that a real man is one who can put it down on the job and at home, while still being human and vulnerable. He’s a man who knows that with a real woman by his side, there is nothing he can’t do. I hope you enjoy his story.

 

Currently, I am working on several different things. There are so many interesting characters taking up space in my brain—like the sexy firefighter who likes his women as hot as his fires, until he gets burned, or the grocery clerk turned lottery winner who finds that true love doesn’t need a bunch of zeroes on the end! I continue to write to entertain, enlighten and inform, and I thank you for your continued readership.

 

Sincerely,

 

Kim Shaw

Contents
Chapter 1
Simply Stunning

M
onte scanned the day’s calendar on his PDA as he moved toward the elevator bank for floors twenty through thirty-one of midtown Manhattan’s Time Warner building. He adjusted his red tie and smoothed the lapels of his midnight-blue Brooks Brothers suit absently, thinking about all he had to do in the day ahead of him. The lobby area was just beginning to buzz with activity at seven forty-five on a Tuesday morning. Monte had an eight-thirty meeting and a string of conference calls to follow. It would be a busy day as usual, through which he would plow tirelessly, making deals come together seamlessly. No matter, he thought, because by five o’clock Monte would call it quits for the day. His boys had a Little League game that evening and, with him being their coach as well, it definitely wouldn’t do for him to be late.

Monte opened the
Daily News
paper he’d tucked beneath his arm, turning to the sports section. The ding of the elevator as it landed on the lobby floor and its doors opening drew Monte’s attention. He stepped into the elevator, pressed the button marked twenty-seven and became engrossed in the paper again. Absorbed in the highlights of the Nets’ latest
Cinderella victory, Monte didn’t look up as another passenger entered the elevator just before the doors closed. The car began its smooth ascent and Monte’s senses were suddenly assailed by the faint yet sweet scent of lilies. His eyes followed his nose and they led him to slender feet clad in six-inch stilettos, up stockingless, shapely brown calves to a stunning black skirt that stopped midthigh and hugged sinfully curvaceous hips.

Monte swallowed as his eyes continued their journey, taking their sweet time. The torso of this magnificent vision was held securely by a black suit jacket and its top button stopped at a bustline that begged for attention. Above a pearl-necklace-adorned graceful neck was the face of an angel. Hazel eyes met Monte’s, and he was at once embarrassed at his voyeurism and enthralled by her beauty.

Monte opened his mouth to speak, but before he could command control over his vocabulary, the elevator came to a halt and, with a chime, the doors opened. The alluring woman exited, without as much as another glance at Monte, who remained dumbfounded and immobile.

Monte had always prided himself on being a man who was not easily moved by a pretty face and, had she been just that, Monte probably would not have given her more than an appreciative nod. Yet, there was more to the woman than just physical beauty. There was an ethereal essence that seeped from the inside out, and a presence that had captivated him. He could only liken the experience to being caught in a spider’s web, hopelessly entangled in the strong fiber. It was not until the doors closed again and the elevator continued its ascent that he came to his senses and realized that the floor the woman had exited on was also his floor, the twenty-seventh. He quickly depressed a button for one of the higher floors, exited and caught another car headed down.

“Who was that woman who just got off of the elevator?” Monte asked the receptionist when he’d landed at the office
space of Cooper & Beardsley. The entertainment-law firm had been home to Monte for the past six years and he’d been a senior associate for the past two.

Monte’s immediate investigation uncovered that the beautiful woman he’d been ogling in the elevator was one of his firm’s newest clients, Torie Turner, a model turned actress whose career was, by all accounts, poised to take off. After spending years as a print model, she’d decided to take her career to the next level, building an impressive résumé along the way. Over the past few years she’d done a number of small theater productions, a few commercials and had recently completed the pilot episode for a new television series. Like many new-millennium actors, Torie had opted to replace the services of an agent at fifteen to twenty percent with an entertainment-law firm offering headhunting, contract negotiations and other legal services at a lower cost per diem. Torie Turner was as smart as she was beautiful, and after careful consideration, she’d hired the Cooper & Beardsley firm, with junior associate Monica Schwartz as the lead attorney, to review the contracts and offers that were beginning to come her way.

Monte knew instantly that he’d never had the pleasure of seeing any of Torie’s work because, if he had, he doubted seriously he would have ever been able to get her out of his head. Distracted, and uncharacteristically nervous, Monte kept one eye on his work all morning and the other on the closed door of the conference room where Torie’s meeting was taking place. His plan was to spring into action the moment the door opened and casually saunter in her direction. He hadn’t figured out what he would say to her, but hoped the words would come to him when needed.

The persistent flutters in Monte’s gut kept him on edge. He felt abnormal and quite unlike himself, as if he were having an out-of-body experience. While Monte had never considered
himself a ladies’ man in any sense of the term, in his youth he’d never had a problem in that department. At thirty-five years old, Monte had successfully become what is commonly referred to as an
IBM
. This ideal black man had worked hard to establish security in his career, become financially fit and was also well traveled. Intellectually stimulating, good-natured and articulate were adjectives to which he was well suited. Finally, Monte’s six feet three inches of velvet black skin and well-maintained physique made him the complete package. Monte had yet to meet the person, male or female, with whom he could not hold his own on any level, which was why he was completely thrown for a loop that this Torie Turner might actually be that person who made him feel less than self-assured, and he steadied himself to dispel that possibility at the first chance he got.

However, when the door finally opened and Monte spotted Torie from his vantage point across the corridor, he continued to sit immobile. His mind raced as he tried to force himself into motion, but his nerves held him captive. Deflated, Monte realized that it had been years—seven to be exact—since he had approached a woman to whom he felt an attraction. His late wife, Shawna, was the last woman he’d ever made an advance on or struck up a casual conversation with regarding anything on a personal level, and Monte realized that he was sorely out of practice. To make matters worse, he felt like an idiot as he sat watching her disappear down the corridor with pretty-boy Matthew Sampson trotting alongside of her and beaming that twenty-thousand-dollar cash-and-carry smile of his. Monte resolved that perhaps it wasn’t meant to be, acknowledging that he would have felt even more idiotic if he had approached her in front of Matthew and the entire office of his colleagues and found himself tongue-tied. Worse, he might have said something foolish, prompting her to laugh in his face.

Monte cast off his designs on the opulent woman, chiding himself for even considering approaching her. He had a full life, he reminded himself. With the care of his two young sons and his ailing mother as his number-one priorities, along with building a secure and successful career, Monte felt he didn’t have time for any distractions. Besides, he reasoned, what right had he to ask for more?

Irritated and disappointed, Monte plowed through the rest of his day, determined to forget about Torie Turner. It proved to be a feat next to impossible.

BOOK: Lift Me Higher
10.13Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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