New Event Coming Soon…

Hi everyone!

Before I announce the event, there are two things I would like to mention:

 

Congratulations to Heather Ayala for being the winner of the Love Always Book Blitz giveaway which was held last month.

For those of you who are wondering what happened to the remaining chapters of Baker 6; don’t worry. The last 10 chapters will be posted under the Baker 6 thread on the top header. Chapters 30 and 31 are already posted.

 

Now for the event. If you have not noticed in the Upcoming Events section, I will be a part of a huge book signing bash in Houston on February 28th.  Come check me out as well as other authors during this great event. I’ll have more details coming soon. :-)

 

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Redemption- Chapter 3

Here’s chapter 3!

 

After going to another store to purchase roses and went to Rachel’s favorite restaurant, Maggiano’s, I was back at my parents’ getting ready for the night. I watched as they were preparing to head out. This charity event was a huge deal for them since Mom was running for a position on the city council. All the big wigs were going to be there, so of course the two had to put on a show to impress everyone. That’s what they did best.

“So, I see you’re doing something special for Rachel. You know, I actually like her.” My mom said while putting on her diamond necklace.

“I guess that’s good to know.” I muttered while walking into the kitchen.

“She reminds me so much of me at her age. She’s focused and driven; something I didn’t see in that other girl. The one your cousin married.”

“I know who you’re talking about and her name’s Riana. She was very driven, Mom. She still is.”

“Whatever; I’m just glad you dodged a bullet with her. She was bad news. Bad enough she didn’t learn her lesson from high school that she winded up pregnant again.”

I sighed, wondering when this conversation would be over. I was tired of her bad mouthing people that weren’t up to her standards.

“As I recalled, Mother, you and Riana were very much alike, were you?”

My mom turned away from the mirror and gave me an evil glance.

“What did you say?”

“I think you heard me loud and clear. If not, I can repeat it again.”

“Son, all I’m saying is that your life could have been much worse if you and Riana carried on like a married couple. You two were too young to be playing parenthood.”

“Well, that’s over now, especially since I caused her to miscarry.”

“You didn’t do no such thing. She couldn’t handle the pressure from what was happening around her. She was weak and didn’t have a backbone. Besides, for all you know, those things that were said about her were true.”

“None of it was.” I whispered.

“Why are we still talking about her? Evidently, Shawn got your sloppy seconds; so just be happy with Rachel and move on.”

“Are you sure you’re not going to run her away too?”

“Why would I do that? As I said, I like her. In fact, during our last conversation, she was asking me questions about an office position with the city. I was going to put in a good word for her once she made the decision on which position she wanted to apply for.”

“Of course,” I said. At least my mom liked Rachel, so that’s was one good thing she had going for her.

“I need to ask a question about what happened with Ri?”

A frown went across her face as she gave me a stern look. “What?”

“Do you feel proud of yourself after spreading those rumors about her?”

Her eyes widen at what I said. “What? Why would you…”

“Stop it! You and Dad were the ones who told me to do what I had to do to end my relationship with her, so when I didn’t want to do it, you stepped in to do it. Your lies and deceit led her to lose our child. Now, how do you feel about killing your grandchild?”

My mom laughed at my remark. “You have got to be kidding me! You didn’t have a problem with us spreading those rumors, did you?”

“Because I didn’t have a choice, remember? You knew I loved her.”

“But you loved football more. Now, look where it got you.” She said. She gave me a smirk before heading to the stairs.

I shook my head and stared at the window. The sun was setting, as it reflected off on the water. Normally, I wouldn’t stare at the sun setting, but it was relaxing. I leaned my head back on the sofa cushion and took a deep breath. What I did to Riana still haunted me. Although I played it off to everyone around me, I had to hold a certain persona because of what I was up against.

Now, I wished I had the balls then and stood up for her and for myself…

 

January, 2012

“Are you okay, Ri?”

She looked over at me and gave me a tiny smile. It has been almost two months since we first made love and we’ve been going at it ever since. It was like we couldn’t keep our hands off of each other, which I loved.

Although Ri and I were at a good place, I still was lying behind her back. I was still seeing the girl I met at the Williams Morris party and now, I was talking to another female, which I met at the mall. Honestly, I don’t know why I was doing the things I was doing. I don’t know why when I was in love with Riana.  But a tiny part of me was thinking that since Ri was my first girlfriend, maybe I really wasn’t in love; but instead, I was infatuated with the idea of wanting to be. Whatever the reason, I was slowly hurting her and she didn’t even know it.

Or maybe the issue I’m facing is because of my parents. They have put so much pressure on me that I’m finding other ways to lash out. When I’m with other girls, I feel as if it’s an escape from everything and everyone. Also, since my parents wanted me to date other girls, I put up this front for them to show that I am, but really, I’m still with Riana.

For some reason, my parents didn’t like Riana. They felt she was an opportunist and wanted to be with me since as my mom puts it, I was “going places.” To be honest, I think they see a part of Riana and me in them when they were dating. Call me crazy, but it seemed as if they were trying to shield me away from something that happened to them.

I know I should be telling Riana everything that I was going through, but I didn’t want to put that pressure on her. I didn’t want her blaming herself with the issues I was having with them.

“Nate, there’s something I need to tell you.”

I glanced at Ri and noticed the sad look she had. I immediately knew she needed a hug. I wrapped my arms around her as she gave a huge sigh.

“Whatever it is, you can tell me.”

She looked up at me and a tear rolled down her cheek.

“I’m pregnant.”

I stared at her, wondering if this was a joke. How could she be pregnant? We’ve been using condoms every time.

“How is that possible? We’ve been safe every time.”

“Except for one. Remember what happened the night we first made love?”

I closed my eyes, remembering all too well what happened. While taking off the condom, I noticed a hole. More likely, it tore either when I was putting it on and didn’t notice or while we were in the act. I didn’t think anything would have happened, until now.

“Are you sure?”

“I took a pregnancy test, Nate.”

I took a deep breath and sighed. “Wow.”

“I know you’re probably in shock….”

“Of course I am, but I’m not upset, if that’s what you’re thinking.”

“I don’t think having a baby right now will be a great idea. I mean, we have our entire lives ahead of us.”

“Yes, we do, but that doesn’t mean our lives will end. The timing may not be perfect, but we can make it work.”

She stared at me while I smiled. “What are you saying?”

“I’m saying we’re going to have this baby and we’re going to continue with our lives. It will be altered a bit, but we can still fulfill our dreams.”

“But Nate, what about our parents? You know they’ll both go through the roof.”

“Maybe so, but we can’t worry about them, can we? Ri, I love you and we’re going to make this work.”

Riana smiled and I kissed her cheek.

“I do want to get it confirmed though; I just need to figure out a way without my mom knowing.”

“I don’t think there’s no avoiding that now.”

She nodded. “I guess not.”

“There is one thing though.”

“What’s that?”

“We should get married after we graduate.”

Riana tilted her head while giving me a puzzled look. “I don’t think that’s…”

“If you think I’m only doing this because you’re pregnant, it’s not. Riana, I really care about you and I’m willing to do all that I can for us and for our child to be together.”

“You really mean that?”

“Why would I lie to you?”

She smiled and touched my chest. “I know you never would.”

The guilty feeling I was having was coming back to me. I was lying to her just by saying I never did.

“I really think we should tell our parents separately, though.”

“Why? To soften the blow, we should do it together.”

“Trust me Ri, I think it would be best if we didn’t.”

She nodded her head while I put her in my arms again.

“Okay, that’s fine.”

I sighed. I knew it would be a disaster if we told my parents together. I rather handle them and take the bulk of the draggers they will be throwing later.

 

I sighed and glanced at the window again before getting up from the couch. I needed to get ready for Rachel to arrive.

 

***

Once my parents finally left, I began to put my plan into action. I wanted for us to sit by the water, which I set-up a candlelight dinner on the patio. I heated up Rachel’s favorite meal from Maggino’s, as I looked at myself in the mirror. I wanted to pick up her from her place, but she insisted on driving herself to the house, so I didn’t object. I was starting to wonder if I should ask Rachel if I could move in with her, especially if things didn’t change with my parents. I don’t know if I could stay here with them too much longer. That was the benefit of going off to college to get away from them.

After a few last-minute changes, the doorbell rang. I went to it and opened the door.

“Hey.”

Rachel smiled as she walked into the foyer. I took in her appearance, from her auburn-colored hair to the crimson colored dress that brought out her pecan skin tone; she was beautiful. She continued to stare at me as I looked at her from head to toe.

“Aren’t you going to close the door?”

“Yeah.” I said, completely forgetting to do that.

“I couldn’t believe you wanted to do this. It’s really sweet of you Nathan.”

“Why wouldn’t I want to? We’ve been together for awhile now, so we should be able to have a romantic evening together.”

“Hopefully your parents are not coming back soon.”

“If they are, we could always go back to your place.”

“True, which is why I didn’t know why you didn’t want to go there?”

“Because I thought you wanted to sit by the water.”

“Your place does have a great view.”

I smiled as I led her to the patio. A huge grin went across her face as she looked at the beautiful scene surrounding her. She gave me a kiss on the cheek as we went over to the table. I pulled out her chair and she slowly sat down. She glanced at me and smiled.

“So are you saying now you want things to progress between us?”

I sat down across from her and smiled. “That’s if you want to?”

“You know I do. When we first got together, it was a little awkward considering you’re Shawn’s cousin, but once I really got to know you, I realized there could be more between us.”

“I feel the same way.”

“Do you really? I was kind of receiving a different type of vibe from you. It’s as if you couldn’t let go of our past.”

I rubbed my hands together as she looked down at her plate. “Listen, I know things were strained after what happened with Riana, but what I never understood was if you cared about her, why did you do the things you did? Why did you belittle her and spread those rumors about her if you loved her? Also, why would you go and enlist Shawn to keep an eye on her when knowing those two could end up together, which they did.”

I sighed as I put my head in my hands. I didn’t think our romantic evening would suddenly turn into 20 Questions, but I guess I owned Rachel an explanation.

When Rachel and I first hooked up, it was under strange circumstances. We knew each other because of Shawn, but we never really talked until we both attended Texas Tech. At first, it was innocent; we hung out and talked about similar interests.  Honestly, I was only trying to be with her to get a rise out of Shawn since he was madly in love with Rachel, but after he became serious with Ri, he let everything go, including his supposed love for his first girlfriend.

But my feelings for her changed as well. I suddenly realized how great she was and I did want to get to know her. Maybe it’s my guilt that’s still eating at me to be with anyone, but I think if I tried hard enough, I could eventually be happy again.

“Are you still in love with Riana?” Rachel asked.

I looked up and saw the sad look she had on her face. She probably thinking I would say yes, but that’s further from the truth.

“Would you believe me if I said no?”

“Honestly, no. I could see the look in your eyes every time someone mentions her name.”

“If you would have asked me that a few years ago, I probably would had said yes; but now, that’s not the case.”
“Then what is it?”

I took a deep breath and stared into her brown eyes.

“I still feel guilty over what I done to her. She didn’t deserve what I put her through.”

“So why did you do it?”

“Because of my parents. They were about to destroy my entire life and I couldn’t do it.”

“What they could have done that would had destroyed your life?”

I sighed. I really didn’t want to talk about this.  The entire situation showed how weak-minded I was.

“I have a feeling you’re going to keep asking.”

“Yes, I am.”

“When I told my parents that Riana was pregnant, they blew a fuse. They already didn’t like her and the idea that she was carrying my child was too much for them, especially my mom. She felt as if her theory was true on Ri that she was only with me because I was about to be a huge football star. But I wasn’t going to let them destroy the one good thing that was going for me and I was going to use it to my advantage.”

“What did you have on your parents?”

I looked ahead at the stars twinkling throughout the sky. I didn’t know if I really wanted to go into details with the information I had on them. It would just make me think about that day and how my life went downhill.

“What did you have on your parents, Nathan?”

I took another deep breath before going into what happened….

 

After still going over the initial shock that I was going to be a father, I went to my house to face my parents. I knew they were going to go ballistic over my news, but they needed to know and there were no point in dragging it on.

I went through the garage and opened the door to the house. I walked into the living room and saw the two of them on the couch. My mom looked up and smiled.

“Hey honey, how was school?”

“It was fine.” I said while going to the armchair and sitting down.

My dad looked up from his newspaper and glanced at me. “Is everything okay?”

“I have something to tell you two.”

My dad put down his paper while my mom gave me a concerned look. “What is it?”

“Before I say it, promise me you won’t get upset.”

“What is going on, Nathan?” My mom asked while giving a concerned look.

I took a deep breath and sighed. “Riana is pregnant.”

My dad looked towards the window while my mom jumped up from the couch.

“What?!”

“I told you not to get upset.”

“Please! How did you let this happened?! And please don’t say because she didn’t want to use protection!”

“Why is it her fault?”

“Because I know her type. She’s an opportunist! She thinks she can get with the next thing smoking and she chose you.”

“Stop it, Mom! How many times do I have to tell you she’s not like that?”

“I thought you weren’t dating her any longer.” My dad added.

“I lied.”

My mom shook her head and sighed. “Well, you better go tell her to get an abortion. We don’t need a baby running around here.”

“Are you being serious?! I will not abort my child.”

“Please, Nathan! You’re 17. You’re don’t know a thing about being a father and we sure in the hell won’t be taking care of it.”

“So that’s how you feel about your grandchild. Just get rid of him or her, huh? What if your parents said the same about me? Would you have done it?”

“You know we wouldn’t had, Nate.” My dad said.

“Really; because from what I recall, that’s what grandma and pa said after they learned that I wasn’t yours.”

My parents stared at me in shock. I stood up and went over to my mom with a look of hatred in my eyes.

“When were you ever going to tell me that I had a different father? That you cheated on Dad and ended up pregnant at 17?”

My mom continued to stare at me while I smirked.

“Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?”

“How did you…”

“I heard you and Dad talking about it when I returned home from a game. I heard how much Grandma Hattie disliked you because you were an ‘opportunist.’ And the fact that you got drunk at a party and didn’t even know who my father was pretty much did it for me. So how can you stand here and talk about Riana like trash when you were being the real whore and sleeping with every damn body.”

My mom went up to me and slapped me across my cheek. Her eyes were filled with rage while her chest was quickly raising and falling.

“The truth hurts, doesn’t it?”

“You little punk! How in the hell are you to stand here and talk to me like I’m not your mother. You better show me some respect, especially while staying in my house.”

“You shouldn’t be throwing stones at a glass house, Mom! How can you look at yourself in the mirror with all the things you have done?”

“I do just fine, Nathan.”

I went over to my dad and shook his head. “And you. How could you still be with someone after what she did? I’m happy you stepped in and became my father, but the stuff she has done only made you look like a punk.”

“You better watch your mouth, Nathan.” My dad retorted.

“Or what? You two have done so much to hurt me, it doesn’t even matter what you do to me now. I am sick and tired of you two and your dictating ways. You both have made my life a living hell; from telling me how to spend my time to whom I should date; all so you could have this certain image for the public. I can’t do it anymore, and I shouldn’t have to. I won’t do it anymore. I will be a father to my child, whether you two like it or not.”

“Oh really?! In that case, you better get a paternity test!” my mom yelled.

“Riana and I both know I’m the father. While she’s been nothing but nice to me, I’m the one who has been a jerk to her, so I’m going to do what I can to not mess up again. No matter what I’ve done, I still love her.”

My mom laughed. “Whatever you say, Nathan, considering the way you have been going with your life. Didn’t think I didn’t know about the countless girls you have been with. Evidently, you don’t love her as much as you say you do. What if I tell your precious Riana all the things you have been doing?”

I shook my head at my mom. I glanced over at my dad, who tried not to smile.

“And you think this is funny? Some father you are.”

“Hey, you put yourself into this situation.”

I looked at my dad in shock. Instead of him being a parent, he’s standing in front of me as if he’s one of my friends out for revenge. What is wrong with these two?

“She wouldn’t believe you.”

“Really? You have to give me much more credit than that, Nate. I knew you were sleeping with other females, so I did what I had to do to protect not only you, but this family. If I have to use that to get that bitch out of our lives, then I will.”

“Do not call her that! I admit, I messed up, but do not punish Riana for this. This is not her fault.”

“You’re right, it’s not; it’s yours for getting into this predicament. I really hope you’re protecting yourself with these other girls, because I don’t need for you to be some damn baby maker. You need to be focusing on school and football and not being a father to countless kids.”

I rolled my eyes and sighed. “This conversation is over. Just stay away from Riana.”

“You don’t have that to worry about. I won’t talk to her.”

I stared at her while she gave me a devious look. When she gave that look that only meant one thing.

“And you won’t be either.”

“I’m not walking away from her or our child.”

“I think you will after what I tell you.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“We all know that football is your first love. You live and breathe it. What if all of that was taken away from you?”

“It won’t be. My scholarship to Texas Tech is intact.”

“Is it really? It won’t be after an anonymous tip informs the Athletics department that you’ve been using steroids to get you going before each game.”

I suddenly turned pale after what my mom just said. I knew my mom was vindictive, but even she would never do that to me. She would never step in the way of me going to my first college choice and doing something that meant more to me than anything.

“You wouldn’t do that. You know I don’t use drugs.”

“She will. Remember, one of my friends did attend Texas Tech, so he’s pretty well-known with the committee there.” My dad added.

I closed my eyes knowing what that meant. These two meant business, so I knew I was pretty much screwed.

“I can’t believe you two would do this to me. I’d worked hard to get that scholarship. I had done something that was meaningful to me because I didn’t need any assistance from you two.”

“And you still can live your dream; all we ask of you is to not see Riana anymore. She can raise your child on her own. I’m pretty sure she’ll find some sucker that will help her anyway.”

“So you’ll just disregard your grandchild just like that? What am I saying? This shouldn’t come as a surprise since you barely wanted to do anything with me but control me.”

“We did what we could to protect you.”

“You did what you could to protect your name! You didn’t give a shit about me and doing this proves to me that you two are conniving and evil. I guess both your roles in politics are really paying off for you.”

“Stay away from her or your scholarship will be revoked. You will be known as the player who dopes up and no one would want to play with you.” My mom said.

I could not believe this was happening. The one good thing besides being with Riana could be taken away from me. I don’t know if I could let that happen.

“Based on the unsure look on your face, I think we had reached an agreement.”

“I need football in my life and you’re willing to destroy that.”

“I’m not doing anything. You’re doing that all by yourself.”

I took a deep breath and walked out of the room. I couldn’t deal with my parents any longer. Now, I have to figure out what to do to keep both Ri and my football career intact…

 

“Wow.”

I glanced at Rachel as she wore a shocked expression. She had that expression from the time I began the story to now. I guess anyone would be with what I just said. My parents were never meant to be parents. I guess something must of happened in my past life because this was a punishment for them to be my mom and dad.

“And you chose football over Riana.”

“I’m not proud of my decision, but I know my parents would have made things worse for me and for Ri. I couldn’t risk it.”

“So why did you go along with the rumors about her?”

“That was an added bonus from my parents. They figured I would try to find some way to still see her, so they found ways to expose my dirt to other people, including the girls that I was sleeping with. More likely, they paid them to talk to Riana.”

“Wow, what kind of parents do you have to do this to you?”

“That’s not all. With the rumors, my phone was hacked into and before I knew it, everything about us was exposed. Even the night we first made love. Some people thought Peter was the one who send the video, but it was actually my mom who did.”

Rachel put her hand over her mouth while I sighed.

“They were the ones who did everything? But they’re political figures! Why would they pull childish antics like that?”

“Because they can. The funny thing about everything is that I played along with it. I’m no better than them, especially with how I acted toward Ri after the incidents.”

“Why you didn’t defend her when everyone was saying those things about her?”

“Because I knew it would go back to my parents. They have eyes and ears everywhere, so if I even tried to say anything good about her, I probably would have been chastised.”

“So that’s why you asked for Shawn to watch over her.”

“Yeah, and see how that turned out.”

“I’m really sorry Nathan. I’m sorry for what your parents did to you, but honestly, you played right into their hands. They knew you would do the things you done because they threatened you. You knew you could have exposed them both for what happened to you.”

“You don’t think I know that? I wanted nothing more than to put out their dirty laundry. I wanted them to see how it felt to be embarrassed and mistreated, but I couldn’t do it. Not only would I had been hurting myself if I exposed what my mom covered up, but I would had been hurting Grandma Hattie. She has done a lot for me growing up. Even though she had her ways towards others, she still had a heart of gold. She treated me like a human, which was something my parents could never do. I would have been putting our personal lives out to the public and that would have hurt her. I couldn’t do it.”

“I just wished there was another way you could had handled everything. She didn’t deserve what you put her through, Nate.”

“I know, and I regret that every single day of my life. I think my career ending was God’s way of punishing me for what I had done to her.”

“Nathan, things happen, plain and simple. It was unfortunate what happened to you, but you can bounce back. You can do something with your major or can find a new passion. Your life doesn’t have to end because you had a minor set-back.”

“I know. Honestly, how do you feel about Riana and Shawn married and having a child?”

Rachel shrugged. “Shawn was the love of my life at one point, but I messed it up. Now, he’s with someone that makes him happy. I’m happy for him and the life that he has.”

“So, no regrets?”

“No. He will always have a piece of my heart, but I have to move on, and I was hoping it would be with you.”

I took her hand into mine and smiled.

“You sure you want to be with me? I have a lot of baggage.”

Rachel smiled. “We all have that, Nate. Just know that there always someone in your corner.”

“Thank you.”

She nodded and put her napkin in her lap. “Now, I think we need to eat before our dinner gets cold.”

I smiled as she lifted her fork to her lips.

After telling my story, I really thought Rachel would had left. I never really told anyone that story, so it must have meant I have genuine feelings for her. I just really hope she meant what she said about sticking with me in the long run.

 

 

 

Redemption- Chapter 2

Here’s chapter 2 of Redemption!

After staring at the ceiling for another hour, it was time to go about my day. I wanted to meet up with my friend Isaac Harris before heading to go look for a job. I had to do something so I wouldn’t be in the house all day.

We were meeting at a sports bar to eat some wings and talk. Isaac and I had been friends since we met at a sports camp four years ago. Riana’s brother, Jayden, was also at the same camp, which is how they became friends.

Back in the day, Jayden and I were really great friends. We met during a teen sports camp when we were thirteen and were friends ever since. That was how I met Ri. Of course Jay was a little hesitant in me talking to her, mainly because of his overprotectiveness; but I guess it was for good reason.

Since their father passed, he was sort of her protector. He done everything for her, so I knew I couldn’t do anything to hurt her, or I would definitely feel his wrath. That was one thing I could say about Jay; he was a hothead and although he had changed somewhat after getting involved with Ri’s friend, Britney Lewis, he still had some anger in him; he just didn’t show it as much.

As soon as I pulled into the parking lot, I saw Isaac’s Jeep Cherokee. I parked beside him and turned off the ignition.

He got out of the truck and went over to my car.

“What’s up?” I asked as I gave him a brotherly hug.

“You the one who called me, so I should be asking you that.”

“I had to get out. My parents are driving me insane.”

“That’s their personalities; just deal with it.”

I sighed as we went to a booth near the window.  As soon as we sat down, I pulled out my phone, went to my texts and found what I was looking for. I handed the phone over to Isaac who gave me a puzzled look.

“Cute kid. Who is he?”

“My little cousin.  It’s Shawn’s son, Elis.”

Isaac gave me another puzzled look. “Why do you have a picture of him?”

“Porsha sent it today. I guess she wanted to rub it in at the life I could have had.”

“Which by the look on your face, it seemed as if you wanted. Now, I never knew the relationship you and Riana had, except for the times when you called her a slut and a whore.”

I sighed as I rubbed the back of my head.

“And based on that sigh, there’s more to the story, isn’t it?”

I glanced at him and nodded. “That’s definitely a lot more. When I said those things, I didn’t really mean it.”

“Wait, I’m really getting confused.”

“I only did it to make myself feel better about the situation I was in. I wanted it to seem as if she was the problem, when it was me the entire time.”

“Why? If you didn’t want to end things with her, then why did you?”
“Have you seen my parents? They would destroy anyone if they didn’t fit into their perfect world; including their son.”

“I know your parents are a little evil, but I don’t think they would disown you if you chose to be with someone they despised.”

“You really don’t know my parents.” I said as I grabbed a menu off of the table.

Thomas and Selena Bradford were the type of parents no child would want. They were evil and manipulative. They would get you to do anything to fit into their standards. If you didn’t agree to it, they would make your life a living hell. I should know; I’d lived through it since the moment I was born.

“Are you still terrified of them? Could had fooled me?”

“I’m not terrified of them; I just want my life to be in order and having them in it is sort of complicated. I didn’t want to piss them off even more, so I went along with whatever they wanted me to do.”

“Which was…?”

“I’m not telling you, even though it doesn’t matter anymore.”

“I think you need to get over what happened with Riana and start focusing on Rachel. She asked me what was going on with you. She knew you’d been kind of off since you found out about Riana and Shawn.”

“Which my parents had no problem rubbing in my face about. I still can’t believe she married him.”

“Well, you had your chance with her. No matter how you spin it, you blew it with her; so it’s time to move on.”

Isaac was right. I was a dick to her and she found someone else, so I should forget about her.

“You’re right. I need to focus on my relationship with Rachel. We have been together for a while now and I think I need to give her what she deserves. Maybe it’s time for us to move forward in our relationship.”

“You sure you want to? You should do it because you want to and not because you feel obligated to.”

“I know and I do.”

“Cool. Now, can we talk about something else besides women and relationships? This is giving me a damn headache.”

I smirked as Isaac stared at the menu. I knew I had to do something to show Rachel I cared about her. Whatever it is, it has to be good.

***

November, 2011

I looked at the clock above the fireplace mantel as I nervously wringed my hands together. I don’t know why I was so nervous. I guess I was since this was the night Riana and I was going to take things to the next level.  Or there could be another reason why. Knowing me, I would spill it all to Ri and the night would be ruined.

I continued to stare at the clock, wondering when she was going to arrive. Since we agreed to sleep together a couple of weeks ago, there was a piece of information I was withholding from her. When we talked about the issue of having sex, we both admitted that we were virgins, which Riana was surprised about on my end. We later agreed we would lose our virginities together, which was kind of romantic I guess; only I didn’t live up to my end of the agreement.

A month ago, after Dawson played William Morris High, I went to a party thrown by one of the students there. Actually, I should say my friends and I decided to invite ourselves to the party. I started talking to one of the girls that went there, who was extremely sexy. After a couple of drinks in me and a great conversation, we went upstairs and did it in one of the rooms. She didn’t even know I was a virgin, which I thought she would have picked up on, but I guess not. Ever since that night, I have been seeing the girl every now and then, which I felt really guilty about, especially since I love Riana.

I think the situation I was in had more to do with my parents then with Ri. They have constantly told me I shouldn’t be tied down to one person and date other girls. They figured since I had a promising football career that I shouldn’t be involved with anyone, especially if they try to get me into a situation I couldn’t get out of.

But they didn’t know Riana. She would never try to trap me. We are taking all the necessary precautions to practice safe sex by using condoms. I tried to get her to go on the pill, but she didn’t since she’s underage and needed her mom’s permission. She didn’t want her to know what we were doing, so I had to respect her wishes.

I sighed, realizing why I was nervous. It wasn’t because of what we were about to do; I just didn’t want to show my feelings in front of Ri. I was able to get away with it since the two of us haven’t been spending a lot of time together due to my practice schedule, but now, this may be harder then I realized.

The doorbell rang, which quickly led me to take a deep breath and go to the door. I changed my composure from nervous to happy as I opened the door. I gave a slow whistle to the beauty in front of me. She went all out for our night together. She looked absolutely beautiful, wearing a peach-colored minidress, which gave her caramel complexion a nice glow; her hair was up in a nice twist as her red lips gave a sweet smile. All the issues I had earlier were quickly fading as I pulled her into my arms and gave her a passionate kiss. She pulled away from me and smiled.

“I see you like the outfit.”

“It’s sexy, Ri.”

“Thanks. Britney and Monica helped me pick it out at the mall.”

“You actually bought something new for tonight?”

“Why wouldn’t I? This is a very special moment between the two of us.”

“I know.”

She walked into the foyer and I closed the door. I put my hands into my pockets as I stared at her.

“You look tense, Nate. I guess you’re just as nervous as I am.”

“Yeah, I am.”

“Well, why don’t we loosen up a bit?”

“How?”

“I don’t know. We could talk, or just let things go naturally. Let’s see where the night will take us.”

She batted her lashes, which made me smile. She has a certain way of making all of my problems disappear.

“Okay. Are you hungry? I could order Chinese.”

“No. We could watch a movie, if you want.”

“Sure.”

Riana went over to the couch while I went to the TV. I picked out a movie and she looked at me.

“You sure you’re okay?”

“Yeah, I’m great.”

“You seemed as if something is bothering you. If it is, you can tell me.”

I glanced at her and noticed the innocent look she had on her face. I knew the issues I had wasn’t her fault. It was mine because I wasn’t honest with myself. Maybe when I told her that sex wasn’t everything, it kind of was, but I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. She deserved a lot better than what I was giving her.

Once I put the movie into the Blu-Ray player, I stood by the TV, wondering if I should go through with this. Maybe I should just tell her what happened so at least my conscience would be clear.

“Why are you over there? Come sit with me.” Riana said. She patted the space beside her and smiled.

I walked over and sat down. I put my arm around her and she cuddled against me.

“This is what I love the most with you. Just being beside you; you holding me tight.” She whispered.

I lowered my head and looked into her eyes. I placed my hand below her chin and slowly kissed her. Once we pulled apart, she got up from the couch and held her hand out to me.

“Let’s go upstairs.”

I slowly reached for her hand. The guilt I had was fading fast as it was being replaced by full-fledged lust. I wanted her and now, I was going to have my chance.

I swept her up in my arms as I held her against me. I pulled her tighter as we went up the stairs. Once we reached my room, I was ready to be with her.

I gently lay her down on the bed as I continued to stare into her eyes. That was one of the things I loved about her. She had amazing brown eyes.

That’s when I knew I wanted to be with her and only her now and forever….

 

I looked at Elis’ picture again and sighed. I don’t know why I was thinking about the night Ri and I first made love. That night I really did experience love for the first time; it was just my life that was in the way of me having that feeling again.

I also felt terrible to how that night turned into one of the most embarrassing moments for Riana. Really, there were more, but allowing others to see that moment between us made me feel like shit. That was something I never wanted to do to her. In fact, I didn’t even know it was recorded until Peter Connors asked to use my phone. To this day, I still don’t know how my phone recorded us. The only explanation I could think of was that I accidently hit the record button while I was taking it out of my jeans pocket.

I picked up a bouquet of red roses and went up to the register to pay. I decided I needed to do this right with Rachel by surprising her with a romantic dinner at my place. Since my parents would be out for a charity function, this would be the perfect opportunity to show her how I feel.

I was in line scrolling through my phone when I almost bumped into someone in front of me. I guess I needed to pay more attention.

The person turned around and rolled his eyes.

I shook my head and sighed. “Hello cousin.”

Shawn sighed and looked ahead of him.

“Of course you won’t say anything to me. That’s typical of you.”

He turned around and smirked. “Who the roses for? Please don’t say Rachel.”

“Why; haven’t got over her?”

“Trust me, I’d moved on with my life with an amazing woman. Something you knew about but blew it, like everything else in your life.”

“Whatever.”

“That’s the only thing you can say? That’s a surprise since you’re always running off at the mouth.”

“I’m not going to waste my time with you, Walker. I have more important things to do then to argue with you in a flower shop.”

“That’s something we can actually agree on.” He said and turned back around.

“I do need to ask if you’re coming to Grandma Hattie’s birthday party.”

“Do you really think I would tell you if I was? So you could stalk Riana?”

“Something you know all too well about.”

“What did you say?” Shawn asked as he got into my face. I knew we were about to start swinging any minute now. It wouldn’t be the first time in a public place.

Shawn and I always had a love/hate relationship, mainly because of my parents. My dad and Aunt Carolyn couldn’t stand each other, but still try to interact for Grandma Hattie’s sake. I knew it had something to do with her and Uncle Roland getting married and having Marcus during their senior year of college. My family felt she was making a mistake marrying him, since at the time; he didn’t have two nickels to rub together. Now, he’s laughing all the way to the bank with the success he had as an executive accountant working with some of the city’s best celebrities. Honestly, I admired Roland and his drive. That’s something I always wanted to strive for.

But as far as Shawn and I go, he was still a pompous, arrogant jerk who felt he could get with any female just by reciting a poem or singing a song to her. Well, it did work for Riana.

In honesty, he should not be upset with me about anything that has happened. If it wasn’t for the shit I went through with my parents, him and Riana wouldn’t have been together. He should be thanking me for being with her.

I looked him in the face as his hands were in fists. If he wanted to fight, he fucking got one.

“Still a smug ass bastard,” I said.

He was about to deck me when someone pulled him back. Of course, it was Marcus. I swear, those two doesn’t go anywhere without the other.

“I leave you in here to get flowers for Mom and you’re about to fight. In a flower shop!”

“Let go of me Marcus.” Shawn said through clenched teeth.

“Shawn, not only are you a father, but a public figure with the news. You can’t be going around getting into fights with everyone, even if it is with people like Nathan.” He said while staring at me.

I rolled my eyes and sighed. “I’m leaving.”

I put the roses back into the tin and went out of the door. I was going to my car when Marcus ran outside. I don’t know what the hell he wanted, but I wasn’t going to stick around to find out.

“What, you going to hit me since Shawn can’t? Can’t ruin his image, right?” I said while opening the door.

“Listen, I know we all can’t stand each other, but I’m willing to call a trace for Grandma Hattie’s sake. As you know, she’s not doing so well, that’s why the family is throwing her a party.”

I closed the door and leaned against the car. Of course no one told me about Grandma Hattie’s health. That’s one of the things I hated about being the black sheep of the family. Well, it wasn’t me that was the problem; it was my parents no one wanted to be around.

“I didn’t know, Marcus.” I said.

“I thought your parents would have said something.”

That’s if I actually talked to them. I thought as I looked at the clear blue sky.

“They have been pretty busy, so we barely talk.”

Marcus gave a slow nod and stood beside me. He looked at the sky and gave a slow sigh.

“You might not want to hear this, but you and Shawn need to get over this vendetta you two have. Yes, what you did was shitty, but it’s over now.”

“You’re right, I didn’t want to hear this.” I said.

“All I’m saying is Shawn is with Ri now and you have moved on; shouldn’t you two just focus on your lives and your futures instead of trying to be the bigger man around each other.”

“Tell that to your brother.”

“Trust me, I will; but I’m talking to you right now. Also, I don’t want you to start up anything when Riana is present. Don’t pull any shit like you did at Toc Bar.”

“Who said I will? More likely, I will bring Rachel, so you don’t have to worry about me flirting with Riana.”

“Better not.  See you at the party.”

I stared at Marcus as he went back into the shop. I shook my head again, wondering if I really wanted to go. I know it was for Grandma Hattie, but I don’t know if I could face seeing Riana and Elis.

 

Music Playlist- Something Just Ain’t Right

It’s playlist time!!!

Of course I had to provide a playlist for my new book, Something Just Ain’t Right. This list have songs that describe the relationship between Hayley and Morgan and the events that occur throughout the story.

Shakira- Can’t Remember to Forget You

Simply Deep-Kelly Rowland

Show Me- Bruno Mars

Blow- Beyonce

It Was Always You- Maroon 5

Unkiss Me- Maroon 5

Jealous- Nick Jonas

Burnin’ Up- Jessie J

Dangerous- Jennifer Hudson

Dangerous(feat.Sam Martin)- David Guetta

Going Under- K. Michelle

My Heart Is Open- Maroon 5

Nobody- Kem

Remember (part 2) – Keyshia Cole

Love Me Harder (feat. The Weeknd) – Adriana Grande

If you are a Rdio member, make sure to check out the Something Just Ain’t Right playlist.  Something Just Ain’t Right will be released soon!!!

Cover Reveal- Something Just Ain’t Right!!!

Hi everyone! Well, this is the moment you all have been waiting for. Here is the cover to Something Just Ain’t Right, which is my first book under Write House through “Tiece Presents!”

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Morgan Carter always lived life on the edge. He never cared about anything or anyone until he set his sights on Hayley Stevens. Morgan has known Hayley since she was wearing pigtails and carried around her Cabbage Patch dolls everywhere she went; but as time passed, he noticed the little girl that used to follow him and her brother, Lamar, around isn’t quite so little anymore. She has become a beautiful woman Morgan wants to know but can’t since Hayley is his best friend’s sister.

The first day Morgan walked into the Stevens’ home, Hayley immediately noticed him. From his dirty blonde hair to his clear blue eyes, Hayley instantly had a crush on him. As time passed, she started to get Morgan’s attention, in more ways than one. She know she’s playing with fire, especially since her brother, Lamar, doesn’t want Morgan anywhere near her, but she’s determined to make Morgan hers, even if it destroys the relationship she has with her brother and the life-long friendship between Morgan and Lamar.

Morgan and Hayley know they can’t be together, but their feelings for each other are too hard to resist. Will they play it safe or give into temptation?

Something Just Ain’t Right will be released soon. I will announce the official release once it is available!

Redemption: Prologue and Chapter 1

Hi everyone!  As I’m preparing to release Something Just Ain’t Right (formerly titled Resisting Temptation), I thought about Redemption, which was actually the final book in the LLH series. Due to the book being released soon, Redemption was placed on hold to be published. Although I can’t publish it for sale, I can still release it on here for you all to read.

The chapters are unedited.

So now, here is the prologue and the first chapter of Redemption. I hope you all enjoy it!

PROLOGUE

I stared at myself in the mirror, taking in the hurt and sorrow in my eyes. For twenty-two years, I never understood why my eyes were always this way; until today. Now, I realized all of the issues that I have faced, the hurt I have caused, which led to the one good thing I had in my life slip away.
When I was in high school, I was young and foolish. I’m still young now, but I finally wised up. I was living a stigma, a persona that I tried to live up to make everyone, including my parents, happy. Never did I imagine that the one person I was hurting the most was myself.
I didn’t have a backbone to stand on. I did what I could to get the approval and love that I longed for, which honestly in the long run, bit me in the ass.
As I continued to stare, I realized that my life could have been more enjoyable if I actually lived. If I stood up for myself and lived for myself and not anyone else.

Now, I’m ready to take back everything that I have lost.

Now, it’s time to redeem myself from everything that I have done….

ONE

Three weeks earlier…
“So, Nathan, what are your plans for the summer?”
I stared at my dad as I took a sip of orange juice. One thing I really didn’t want to do was return back home for the summer. I wished I could have stayed at Texas Tech for as long as I could, but since I recently graduated, I didn’t have any other options.
For some college graduates, they probably had everything figured out. They probably began their search for a position in their field and maybe living on their own. For me, I was the complete opposite. Besides playing football, I didn’t have a clue on what I wanted to do career-wise, and  since I financially relied on my parents, I didn’t have any money and was forced to come back home.
So much has happened during my last year of college. One of the things was suffering a ruptured ligament during the Homecoming game, which I knew was the end of my career. After going through two surgeries, the doctor confirmed that I had to think of another profession, especially if I wanted to continue walking, so I had to hang up my football career for good. Now, I have to think long and hard to what I want to do, because I couldn’t continue staying with my parents.
“I have no idea yet, Dad.”
“Don’t you think you need to be looking for a job? Even if it’s not in your profession, just something to get by.” My mom decided while putting a piece of watermelon in her mouth.
I stared at my mom and sighed. She was right, but sometimes, I rather if I had suggested that instead of someone else.
“I am, Mom. In fact, there’s a city-wide job fair coming up soon, so I will be attending.”

“Nate, we know football was your life, but now that you can no longer play, you have to find other options. Since your major is Political Science, I could always find something for you to do at the station or with the city.” My dad suggested while picking up his coffee cup.
I looked toward the window and sighed. That’s definitely something I didn’t want to do.
“Thanks, but I can figure out my own profession.”

“Well, you need to decide on something, because you’re not staying here rent free. We allowed you not to have a job while you were in school, but that is over. You need to find a job and soon.” My mom continued.
“I know and I will. May I be excused?”
My dad nodded and I got up. I quickly went into my room and closed the door. Having a police chief and a city official for parents would provide for heavy connections for a job in the city, but that’s not what I want. Honestly, I don’t know what the hell I want, but I need to figure it out soon.
My phone started to beep from my pocket. I pulled it out and stared at the screen. My cousin, Porsha, texted me, asking me was I coming to Grandma Hattie’s birthday party in three weeks. I continued to look at the screen, not knowing what to texted. Honestly, I didn’t want to, because I would have to face the family. One person in particular was Shawn. Smug bastard. Just one look at him and I’ll probably punch him.
I replied, letting Porsha know I’ll think about it. She replied back, saying I better come since it is her 90th birthday. I rolled my eyes and sighed. She sent another text, saying everyone will be there, including my archenemy with a smiley face.
So the family knew about the little plan Shawn and I had done and everyone knew about the fallout. Grandma Hattie had tried countless times to get us to reconcile, but honestly, that was not going to happen. We didn’t like each other before the plan started, so it wasn’t any love lost for me or him.
Another text went through and I opened the attachment. An image of a smiling baby boy with a huge afro and big brown eyes was staring back at me. I took a deep breath, wondering why Porsha would do this.

I continued to stare at the picture, seeing a little of myself in him, which made me wondered if the child I had with Riana would had looked like him. I always had that thought in my mind if the child we had would had been a boy or a girl; if they would had the same brown eyes or either her or my nose. If he or she had survived, they would have been heading to the first grade, which made me feel a little more pissed.
I sat down on the bed and put my phone beside me. When my mom announced Shawn was going to be a father, a part of me was numb. I remembered the way she talked about Riana, saying how much of a slut she was and how much she ruined another man’s life. She even told me I should be grateful I got out while I could because that could have been me wasting my life away. I guess she still sees us as little kids and that we are well into our twenties.

I laid my head back on the bed and took another deep breath. Sometimes, I still think about the moments I shared with Riana. How things were between us. It wasn’t as bad as I made them out to be. In fact, they were really special. But being the person I am, I let everything, including pressure from my parents, get to me, which now, I kind of regret….

June, 2011
“How do you think our life will be in ten years?”
I stared at Riana and smiled. The two of us were in my bedroom staring at each other. The lights were dimmed as “” was playing on the stereo. It was hard to imagine the two of us were together. When I first saw her at her house three years ago, I was completely smitten. I didn’t think I would be, considering at 13, I didn’t even know what the word meant, but I knew I had a crush on her. She was gorgeous. Even now, she’s becoming even more beautiful, as she pulled herself up on the bed and rested her head on her hand. She waited on my answer, in which I was glad to supply.
“Hopefully married with two kids. You’ll be a kick-ass news reporter while I’m living the dream as a quarterback for either Houston or Dallas.”
“Hopefully Houston. I really don’t want to move.”
“It’s still in Texas.”
“You know how I am with my family. I wouldn’t want to leave them.”
I smiled. “Fine; anyway, we’ll be living in this big mansion with maids and servants catering to our every needs.”
“Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s not how I want my life to be. We wouldn’t need maids and servants. I’m not the type of girl to have people catering to me, unless it’s you.”
I looked at her and kissed her. “And how would you want me to cater to you?”
“I’ll find some ways.”
I pulled her down on the bed and slowly touched her cheek. She gave a slight smile as I stared into her eyes.
“Do you really think we will stay together? You don’t think this is some high school romance that might end as soon as we go to college?”
“Ri, I can’t see myself with anyone else. I don’t want to be with anyone else. I love you and only you.”
She smiled as she touched my cheek. “I love you too, Nathan.”
“And don’t think I’m saying this to get you into bed, because I’m not.”
“Why would you think that I would think that?”
“Because I could see the look in your eyes. We have been together for almost three years; we wouldn’t be together if it was about sex.”
“I know you want to though.”
“I do, but there’s much more to a relationship then sex. It’s about getting to know each other and being connected, spiritually and mentally.”
“Wow, are you really sixteen, because I don’t think any teenage boy would had said that.”
“What can I say; I’m mature for my age.”
“You really are. At first, I really didn’t think I wanted to be committed to someone, especially so early in my life; but now, I know that I want to be with you and I want us to grow together as a couple.”
I smiled. “I want to also.”
I leaned down and gave a soft peck on her lips. She pulled me closer to her as I lay down beside her.
“What if I told you I’m ready?”
I glanced at her, not too sure to what she was saying. “Ready for what?”
“You know what, Nate.”
“Really?”
“As you mentioned, we have been together for almost three years. You and I both know we will be together forever, so I think it’s time.”
“Are you sure? I hope you don’t think I’m…”
“You’re not pressuring me. I think we should consider the option. Didn’t you say your parents were going to that state convention soon?”
“That’s not until November.”
“Well, I think that would be the perfect opportunity, don’t you think?”
“I think it is, but only if you want to.”
She shook her head and smiled. “I just said I did.”
“Okay, then it’s set.”
“It’s set.”
She pulled my shirt and kissed me. I knew then how much I really cared about her. We always said we loved each other, but that day, I realized that she is the one I wanted to be with for the rest of my life…

I stared at the ceiling, wondering what the hell happened. If I really cared about her, why did I do the things I’d done to her? Honestly, I can’t say why I did, but I do regret everything that I had put her through.

Hope For Him Release Day Blitz

Congrats to Sydney Aaliyah Michelle, whose new book, Hope For Him, was released over the weekend. This is the second book in the Hope series.

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Hope for Him (Hope Series Book #2)
Author: Sydney Aaliyah Michelle
Publication date: December 8st 2014
Genres: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

What do you HOPE for, now?

Carrington Olivia Butler’s last relationship ended in tragedy, but she remains hopeful in love. Her return to school sparks the beginning of her plan to pursue happiness and to win the man of her dreams… The man who saved her life. But, she soon finds he has moved on.

Jackson Latre Mitchell wanted Carrington from the moment he laid eyes on her. Hiding his feelings after his best friend showed interest, it took him a long time to get over her. He didn’t want to sit idly by and wait for something that may never happen.

Finally, Carrington and Jackson find their way back to each other. But, will the past continue to tear them apart?

**This book contains adult subject matter. Not intended for young readers.**

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About The Author

Sydney Aaliyah Michelle

Sydney Aaliyah Michelle is a New Adult Contemporary Romance writer, a voracious reader and movie fanatic who hails from Texas.
After surviving 5 1/2 years living in China, she had the courage to finally pursue her passion and become a writer.
Sydney has been blogging at sydneyaaliyah.com for three years, where she interviews people about their tattoos, discusses her favorite movie quotes, reviews books (New Adult & only the ones she loves) and journals about her writing and editing process.
Sydney’s currently has two self-published novels, Another New Life and Hope for Her (Hope Series Book #1). Hope for Him (Hope Series Book #2) is available today!
When it come to books, Sydney reads different genres, but some of her favorite writers are Stephen King, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Cora Carmack & Emily Bronte. Under the Dome, The Great Gatsby & Wuthering Heights are her favorite books.

Author Links: 

Website: http://sydneyaaliyah.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SydneyAaliyahMichelle

Twitter: @sydliyah

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sydney-Aaliyah-Michelle/e/B00KKYD5US/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1416774109&sr=1-2-ent

Newsletter: http://sydneyaaliyah.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=63e28601c9de6c95396ab06cc&id=8893172efb