Read Trouble with Luv' Online

Authors: Pamela Yaye

Trouble with Luv' (9 page)

BOOK: Trouble with Luv'
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Unable to share in her friend's laughter, Kendall stared sadly out of the bedroom window. “I just don't know what to do anymore. Turner just doesn't seem to get it. I'm thirty-three.
” she stressed, “but he keeps saying, ‘We're young, we're young. Don't worry, don't worry. We've got plenty of time.'
My biological clock is ticking so loud it's keeping me up at night!”

Ebony knew her best friend was being serious, but she couldn't ignore the hilarity of it all. When Kendall was upset, she was as funny as a stand-up comedian. Applying mascara generously to her eyelashes to create a sultry look, Ebony watched her friend through the three-way mirror. “Don't you think you're being a tad dramatic, Ken? Turner's right, you're only—” She broke off when she saw Kendall's eyes fill with tears. “Go on, Kendall, I'm listening.”

When she spoke again, her voice was full of emotion. “I want to get pregnant more than anything in this world.”

Ebony wanted to ask Kendall if that included the dreams they shared for the business, but didn't. Great question, wrong time.

“I want to wear cute maternity clothes from Two Peas in a Pod, send Turner out in the middle of the night to satisfy my cravings and decorate the baby's room in shades of pink or blue. I want to be a young mom. I don't want to be pushing a stroller when I'm in my forties.”

“What are you going to do about it?”

Kendall's shoulders sagged. “Don't know.”

“That's the problem with love,” Ebony announced, as if she was a trained therapist and Kendall was one of her clients. “Women compromise to make their partners happy and when it's all said and done, they end up losing out. In every relationship, there is one who gives and one who takes. Kendall, I hate to say this, but you're the giver and Turner's the taker.”

Kendall fingered the tassels on the Egyptian-style pillowcase. “You're not helping, Ebony. I need advice about what to do about this baby issue. I don't want to hear your opinion about what's wrong with relationships.”

“The solution is actually quite simple, Ken. Tell that husband of yours that you're ready to start a family and if he doesn't get with the program, you're going to have to look into other alternatives.”

“I can't do that! I don't have any other alternatives,” she said.

Maybe I need to take another approach,
Ebony thought, turning around to face Kendall. Her best friend looked utterly pitiful. Long face, sad eyes, hunched shoulders. Ebony sat down on the bed and wrapped an arm around Kendall. “Tell Turner exactly what you just told me. Your husband's a stand-up guy. He'll come around, I'm sure of it. And if he doesn't, implement the ‘no baby, no nooky' rule.”

“The what?”

“You heard me, the ‘no baby, no nooky' rule. If Turner doesn't get his act together, then cut him off.”

A small smile formed on Kendall's lips. “I like that.” She giggled to herself. “‘No baby, no nooky.' That could be my new slogan.”

“Now you're talking!”

Ebony was set to give more advice when she heard the doorbell chime. She sprang to her feet like a racehorse out of the gate. Hauling Kendall off the bed, she pushed her toward the bedroom door and said, “Go and let Xavier in. Tell him I'll be down in two shakes of a lamb's tail.”

Kendall planted a hand on her hip. “Well, how about that? Ms. Ebony has gone off and found herself a man!”

Chapter 9

h, mercy, mercy, me, Xavier thought, repeating the infamous words of R&B crooner Marvin Gaye. His eyes raked over Ebony's mouthwatering physique and lingered on her hips.
Nothing is more aesthetically beautiful than a black woman's body.

Sauntering down the stairs as if she had all the time in the world, Ebony shot him an award-winning smile. Her electric-blue, off-the shoulder top outlined the mold of her breasts, and her short black skirt, which grazed her thighs, highlighted the definition in her long legs. Bouncy curls framed her face and the sumptuous smile she was wearing suggested she was ready for more than just an afternoon in the park.

Xavier ran a hand over his hair. He would need an extra dose of discipline and self-control today. Ebony was sensual and erotic and had the bodacious personality to match. Her hip-swinging walk, the way she ran her tongue over her bee-stung lips, and her throaty laugh were mesmerizing. Xavier found himself wanting to touch her, and the twinkle in her eyes told him she was reading his thoughts.

When Ebony reached the foot of the stairs, she bent down and adjusted the straps on her sandals. Her shirt dipped, exposing the soft curves of her cleavage. Xavier gulped. Yeah, Ebony Garrett knew exactly what to do to make a man sweat. It was bad enough he was nervous, now he had to worry about gawking at her every time she moved. Xavier felt like it was prom night—minus the overpriced limo, frilly corsage and awkward meeting with her parents, but he was just as tense. He had the sweaty palms and ragging pulse to prove it.

Xavier didn't hear her friend say goodbye, but he did hear the front door close behind her. His eyes brushed over her body approvingly. Her fine hips and well-rounded thighs were nice and firm. “Blue is definitely your color,” he heard himself say out loud.

Ebony inclined her head to the right. Had she heard him right? Was he actually complimenting her? She resisted the urge to shake her head.

Xavier took a lungful of her floral-scented perfume, feeling no shame for what he was about to say. “If I had to sum up your look in one word, it would be sexy. You look amazing and you smell good, too.”

Desire shone brightly in his eyes and there was an unmistakable bulge in the front of his shorts. Ebony smiled sweetly, impeding the laughter rising up her throat.

“Thanks,” she told him. Her hungry eyes worked their way over his six-foot frame. “You don't look too bad yourself, Xavier. Nice legs.” A short sleeve camel-brown T-shirt had been paired with black shorts and sandals. He resembled a Scout leader in his casual attire, but his quiet confidence was definitely a turn-on.

They smiled at each other, neither one sure of what to say. Xavier felt a powerful desire to kiss her, but he didn't. As tempting as it was, he didn't want to start off their time together by making out.

the CD set, Xavier,” Ebony confessed, “and all the other gifts, as well. Thanks for brightening up my week.”

“I felt bad about…well, everything and I just wanted to make it up to you.”

A seductive smile fashioned itself to her lips. “You didn't have to go out and buy me anything,” she said moving closer. “You could have given me something else. Something more…um, personal.”

Xavier reached out and slipped a hand around her waist. A great tenderness washed over him as she curled herself into his body. All he wanted was one kiss. That would satisfy his curiosity. Her sultry sex appeal was hypnotic: the depths of her nut-brown eyes, her delicate button nose and her soft, luscious hair. And the more time he spent with her the more he felt his self-control and common sense recede. Now was a perfect example. The desire to kiss her was suddenly an all-consuming need.

Ebony waited. She wanted to kiss him, but didn't want to risk driving him away. Xavier had to be the one to set the pace. He had to be the one who called the shots. An old-fashioned guy like Xavier wouldn't take well to a woman putting the moves on him. Acquiescence was a new role for Ebony, but it was one she was willing to try. Something told her Xavier was worth it.

“So,” he began, unsure of what to say.

There's nothing wrong with giving him a little push,
Ebony thought, angling her head to the right. “The ball is in your court, Xavier. What's your next move?” Parting her lips to receive his kiss, she closed her eyes tight, and waited.

He responded to her query by grazing his lips across hers. When that failed to mollify his desire, he captured her lips with his mouth. Xavier had never tasted a mouth so sweet. So willing. So open.
Ebony Garrett sure knows how to kiss,
he thought, as her tongue probed his.
She's kissing me like she's making love to my mouth!

Ebony's passions were kindled by Xavier's light intimate touches, but then he sucked on her bottom lip like it was a cinnamon-flavored lollipop. All hell broke loose. Pressing herself to his chest, she slipped a hand under his shirt. She threw her head back as if she was being tormented and Xavier granted her unspoken wish. He planted kisses down her neck, touching and teasing her breasts through her shirt. Lost as he was in the moment and the feel of her caress, his mouth slowly adjusted to her speed and intensity.

The shrill of the telephone jarred Xavier back to the present. His eyes flapped open. He was in Ebony's living room, not back in his bedroom like he'd envisioned.
This is the first date for God's sake! Get it together, man.
Xavier released his hold.

Ebony stared up at him, her face lined with confusion. Kissing Xavier Reed was a truly sensual experience, one that she wasn't ready to end just yet. God, he can kiss, she thought.
I bet that's not all he can do.
She liked his technique. Lots of tongue. Lots of passion. Her kind of kisser.

“The phone's ringing.” When she made no moves to answer it, he said, “Aren't you going to answer it?”

She stepped back into his space. “That's what answering machines are for.” But when Ebony heard Gavin's sleepy voice beg her to pick up the phone, she almost knocked Xavier out of the way to answer the call. Not because she was anxious to talk to her ex, but because Gavin was notorious for leaving lengthy messages. Once, when she was away for the weekend, she returned home to find ten messages on her machine. He had blathered on and on about how much he missed her, but she never returned his call.

Ebony snatched up the receiver. “Gavin, I can't talk to you right now. No, I won't be home.” She agreed to call him later and expeditiously ended the phone call. A smile was on her face when she turned back to Xavier. Ebony didn't know why, but she suddenly felt the need to explain. “That was an old friend.”

“An old friend, huh? What kind of friend?”

Ebony sidestepped his question by asking one of her own. “Ready to go?”

Xavier looked around the living room. The sun streamed in from the windows and bounced around. Everything, from the furniture to the antique picture frames to the vibrant, oriental-themed rugs, looked ridiculously expensive. The room was as wide as it was long, and housed an enormous cantilever that held the biggest big-screen TV he had ever seen. Ebony obviously attached a lot of importance to material possessions and had spared no expense in outfitting her home. “What? Trying to get rid of me already? I was hoping you'd give me a tour of your
” Xavier teased, a wide smirk on his lips. “I've been dying to see how the other side lives.”

“The other side?”

“The rich.”

“I'm not rich.”

“I beg to differ, Ms. Garrett.”

Ebony didn't appreciate being teased. She had worked hard to buy this house and she didn't like Xavier poking fun at her. Her face took on an ugly look, as she crossed her arms under her chest. Ebony had dated enough to know that most men were intimidated by women who made more money than they did. She didn't care what a man did as long as he treated her well. Diamonds and furs didn't mean anything to Ebony; it was confidence and intelligence that won her over each time. “Does it bother you that I make more money than you?”

“Of course not!” Xavier touched a hand to her shoulder. “I didn't mean to upset you, Ebony. I was just joking around. This place looks fabulous. Really.” He turned the corners of his mouth down and stuck out his bottom lip. “Forgive me?”

Ebony cracked up. Xavier looked like a puppy dog with his droopy lips and sad eyes. She told him all was forgiven and laughed some more when he pulled her back into his arms for a bear hug.

“I still want a tour.”

Thankful she had taken a few minutes to straighten up that morning, she took him by the hand and led him into the kitchen. Ebony didn't want Xavier to think she was a slob, so she wisely sped past the main floor laundry room. Upstairs, she gave him a quick tour of her office, the spare bedroom and the game room.

When they reached the master bedroom, Xavier's eyes spread wide in shock. It was hard to believe that an outspoken, business-minded woman like Ebony Garrett could be so feminine. The room had pink walls, enough flowers to beautify a church and red heart-shaped pillows sat on the middle of the king-size sleigh bed.

The next stop on the tour was the fully developed basement. Xavier paused to examine the graduation pictures hanging on the wall. “Are these your parents?”

“Simeon and Ingrid Garrett,” she said, in a flat tone of voice. Ebony loathed the photograph, but it was the only picture taken with her parents at graduation. Her father was scowling as if he had stubbed his toe and her mother didn't look much better in an unsightly, black and white polka dot dress that should have been tossed out years before. Ebony remembered how Simeon had raised hell when Ingrid asked him for money to buy a new dress. “Money doesn't grow on trees,” he'd barked, cutting his eyes in her direction. “Just wear some ole thing in your closet. Nobody's going to be looking at you anyway.”

Ebony would never understand why a grown woman, who worked full-time and earned twice as much money as her husband, had to ask
for money. Not wanting Xavier to ask any more questions about her family, she shepherded him back upstairs and out the front door.

BOOK: Trouble with Luv'
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