Baker 6 Chapters 28 & 29

28.

Camille

 

A day later: And it was the day of the Halloween Bash.   So many emotions were going through me as I arrived to The Drake Hotel. I decided to visit my mother before heading to work, only to find myself in an argument with my dad regarding my relationship with Trevor. I do not know why my dad is so upset over Trevor and I being together.  He never had a problem with us being friends, so what’s the big deal now? I cannot imagine it would be the fact that I’m black and Trevor’s white; I mean my dad is not a racist.

As I pulled into the nearest parking spot, I turned off the ignition and lay my head on the headrest. I closed my eyes to think about everything that has occurred in the past week. From being with Trevor, to finding out my mom has cancer and could possibly die soon, to organizing this huge party, my mind suddenly felt like it wanted to explode. Not only that, but I’ve received a certified package yesterday from Madison Law Firm that held the divorce papers that Chad drew up. I couldn’t believe the nerve of that man! He surely didn’t waste any time when he was the one doing the cheating before and possibly throughout our marriage.

Hopefully I can finish the preparations early so I could go to Trevor’s. I really need to see him because I know my day will only get worse. At least I know when I’m with him; all my problems are a distant memory.

My thoughts were suddenly interrupted when I heard a tapping noise outside my car window. I looked up and noticed Tamara tapping repeatedly on the driver’s side. I looked at her as I got out of the car.

“You know we don’t have time for daydreaming. We have a lot of stuff to do before the party.”

“I know, I know. I just wanted to get a little rest in before I went in.”

“What’s wrong; Trevor keeping you up all night?” Tamara said while laughing.

“Ha, ha; wait, how did you know about us?”

“Gerald, of course, Trevor told him the other day and of course Gerald told me. We all knew you two would hook up. I mean come on; for all I know, you two probably hooked up before but never told anyone.”

I looked at Tamara and smiled. She lightly pushed me as she started to scream.

“I knew it! I knew you two did; when?”

“After homecoming, when we came back from Plaza.”

“You two had drunk sex; how ironic.”

“Like you never done that before? Anyway, we had sex three times that night and never did it again, until two days ago.”

“Wow; well I’m happy you finally got your man, even though it took eight years to get him.”

“Try twenty-eight.”

“Either way, I’m happy for you two. Is he coming tonight?”

“Of course; not sure what costume he’s wearing, but whatever it is, it’ll be hot.”

“I’m pretty sure. Not sure what Gerald coming as either, but I hope it’s something hot and not a hot mess.”

“Really Tamara.”

“Well, Gerald is my man, so he is a reflection of me now.”

I laughed as we entered into the ballroom. We looked around at the spacious room wondering where to start. As I went to the stage area, Tamara decided to go near the center to check on the lighting.

“One thing I have to ask. What took you two so long to admit you both had feelings for each other?”

I turned to Tamara and smiled.

“I think we, especially Trevor, were scared to move into a relationship and seeing where things will go. We’ve been friends for so long, so it would be scary to think where our friendship will be if things didn’t work out.”

“I can understand that. I felt that way with Gerald; but with Rachel passing, I realized that it’s okay to take a risk in life. Life is too short to think about what ifs and should of, could of.  Just take things day by day and see where it goes.”

“Great advice, Tam.”

“Anytime.”

“Have you talked to Melanie lately? I visited the boutique the other day and she told me some big news.”

“If it’s about her and my brother, I rather not talk about that.”

“I think it’s great they’re dating.”

“Yeah, you think so. I hate it.”

“Okay, why do you hate it?”
“Where should I start?”

“Tam, if Derrick is happy, then let him be. Don’t you think he should be?”

“I want him to, but not with her. You know how she is with men. She manipulates them and uses them to her advantage. I don’t want my brother to fall into that trap.”

“Is there something you’re not telling me about Melanie? I don’t remember her being a manipulator. Yeah, she dated lots of guys, but we all did. What’s the problem?”

“You don’t understand. You don’t have anyone to protect.”

“What that’s supposed to mean?”

“You’re an only child, you don’t understand about looking after a sibling.”

“I may not understand, but I do look after the people that I care about. Don’t you think Derrick can look after himself? He is your big brother.”

“I know that, but we’ve been through so much growing up. I just want him to be happy without the drama.”

“I think you’re the one who is bringing up the drama, not anyone else.”

Tamara sighed and turned her back to me. I rolled my eyes and sighed. Tamara can be so stubborn sometimes.

“Can we stop talking about my brother and Melanie, please?”
“Sure, but going back to siblings, I always wished I had a brother or sister to hang out with. It was kind of lonely being an only child. If Trevor wasn’t around, I don’t know what I would have done.”

While I was talking, I noticed Tamara starting to clam up at the mention of siblings. Why one minute she was angry about hers and the next nervous when I bring up the word again?

“Is something wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong. Why you think that?”
“I don’t know; you started to tense up when I was talking about siblings.”

“There is something that I probably should tell you, but don’t know how to.”

I stopped looking at the stage and gave Tamara my full attention.

“Just tell me.”

Tamara sighed as she walked over to me.

“Gerald found out something the other day that doesn’t sit right with him.”

“Okay, what does that has to do with me?”

“I’m getting to it. Anyway, he went to his mother’s house to look for something when he came across a document that looked like his birth certificate. It had his father’s name on there, but his mother’s name was someone else. It was your mother’s name.”

I stared at Tamara to see if she was joking. But the look on her face looked far from playful.

“I don’t understand.  Why would Gerald think that the birth certificate he found was even real? It could have been a fake or something.”

“That’s what he thought, but why would his mom keep a fake birth certificate? Why would she hide that one, let alone have it if it wasn’t true?”

“I don’t know Tamara.”

“We talked about it and he did try to dig up some proof through his family, but of course no one’s talking. The only person he hasn’t confronted was his mom; I guess because he’s afraid to find out what she’ll say.”

“So you’re saying that my mom cheated on my dad and had another child with Gerald’s father? You’re saying that Gerald is my brother?”

“I don’t know Camille! Gerald is just as confused as you are right now.”

“Why he didn’t confront me with this? I mean evidently it’s a joke. My mom would never cheat on my father!  She would never keep something like that from him or me!”

She did keep her cancer from me. What else could she be keeping from me? I wondered.

“Cam, I don’t know how to explain this. All I know is that as crazy as all this sounds, you may need to look into this.”

“Give me a reason why I should? For all you or Gerald knows, it could be a prank or something. I mean, what make you two think that it’s my mom on the birth certificate?”

“I remember some time ago you mentioned your mom’s maiden name is Waters, and that what was on the birth certificate- Claire Waters.”

“There could be a million women on the planet that has the same name as my mom’s. If she was pregnant before, how could she have kept it from my dad?”

“Maybe your dad knew about the entire situation. Maybe there was some agreement in which everyone went along with. Listen, I really think you need to talk to Gerald about this. Maybe you two can come up with a solution to this problem.”

“It’s not a problem to discuss. Now, can we go back to setting up the party, please?”

Tamara nodded her head as she went back to her station.  While she started back working, I continued to stare at the stage wondering whether to believe Tamara’s accusation. A part of me want to forget I even heard the ridiculous story and continue to work, but a part of me wanted to know more.

“I have to go.”  I said as I stepped off the stage and headed towards the exit.

“Where you’re going?”

“I need to know whether your accusation is true. I have to find Gerald.”

“He should be at Trevor’s. He mentioned he was going by there.”

“Okay, I’ll be back.”

“No; you’re not driving anywhere while you’re emotional. I’ll drive. I’ll call Clara to come a little early to set up.”

“Okay. I’ll call Stacy to come in too.”

“Let’s go.” Tamara said as she picked up her handbag.

Right now, I don’t know what to think about the news I’ve just heard, but whatever it is, I need to put a stop to it immediately.

 

***

Gerald

As I pulled into Trevor’s driveway, all I could think about was the issues that have been plaguing me for the past couple of days. From Tamara’s ex-boyfriend (which I feel something else is going on there) to what I discovered at my mom’s, I don’t know what to think or feel at this point.

I stepped out of my Chevrolet Tahoe and went up to the door. As soon as I was about to knock, Trevor opened the door with a bottle of beer in his hand.

“How you know I was here?”

“Saw you pull up. Here, I think you need it.” He said as he handed me the bottle.

“Yes, I do. Thanks.”  I said as I took the beer from Trevor and walked inside.

“I’m still in shock over what you told me. You really think Camille’s mom is your mom? Did you find any proof to back up your claim?”

“I’m still looking. I don’t know Tre; I mean, what if this claim is true? I’ve basically been lied to by everyone in my life.”

“Why don’t you talk to your mom about this? I’m sure she will explain everything.”

“How can I when she was the one who was probably lying to me in the first place. I’ve tried to talk to relatives on both sides of the family and no one wants to talk. I even talked to Grandmother Smalls about everything, and she was the only one who tried to tell me the truth, but it was in codes.”

“What did she say?”

“She did mention that my parents were having problems around the time I was born, mainly because of my dad being out of work. He did disappear for a couple of days, but returned and everything was normal again. A couple of months later, I was born.”

“She’s saying that anything could have happened between that time?”

“She wouldn’t tell me if my mom was actually my mom, but what if my parents were having problems and my dad left? What if he actually did cheat on my mom with Mrs. Thomas?”

“I don’t know Gerald.”

The doorbell rang, in which Trevor gave a confused look.

“Who could that be?” He asked as he went up to the door. He looked at the peephole and opened it. Camille walked in and gave  him a wide hug follow by a kiss on the lips.

“It’s still hard to believe you two are together now.” I said as I looked at the two and smiled.

“Well anything is possible, right.” Camille said as she walked over to me. I noticed Tamara standing behind her. She gave me an apologetic stare, indicating that she told her about my theory.

“Don’t you two supposed to be setting up for the party?” Trevor asked.

“Yeah, but I needed to talked to Gerald. Tamara said you would be here.”

“Before you start, let me explain…”

“What gives you the right to think that my mom would cheat on my father?  My parents have been committed to each for the past thirty years!”

“Baby, no one is accusing anyone of cheating. No one even knows the entire story. Just hear Gerald out first before jumping to conclusions.” Trevor said.

Camille looked at Trevor and sighed.

“Fine.”

I took out the certificate from my pocket and handed it to Camille. She took it and looked at it. She handed it back and sat down.

“Why would you automatically assume it’s my mom? It could be someone else with the same name.”

“Could be, and I was never accusing your mom was my mom. It was just a theory. I asked Tamara about your mom’s maiden name, but I just didn’t automatically declare she was my mom. Camille, I’m just as confused as you are. Once I saw this, I automatically wanted answers, but no one is giving them to me.”

“You want me to ask my mom if she cheated on my dad. Gerald, my mom is going through so much right now; I really don’t want to put this on her.”

“I don’t want you to. I just want to get some kind of facts down before I figure out what I wanted to do.”

Camille gave a  long sigh before getting out of her seat.

“Gerald, we’ve known each other for such a long time, and you know that I would do anything for you. If you want me to talk to my mom, I will, just to put your mind at ease.”

I looked at Camille as I went up to her and gave her a hug.

“Thank you. Did you want me to go with you?”

Camille nodded and  to the door. Trevor goes behind us as he gave her another kiss before leaving.

As I closed the door, Camille looked at me and smiled.

“Let’s go find out if you’re my brother.” She said before heading to her childhood home.

I don’t know what type of emotion I should be right now, but whatever news Camille and I experience, it will definitely change our lives forever.

 

 

29.

Camille

 

As soon as Gerald and I reached my parents’ doorstep, I immediately began to sweat. Normally, I can handle tough situations, but when it came to my parents, I instantly become the little girl that they will always remember me as. I would use my key, but I’ve stopping using it three years ago after I walked in on my parents having sex in the living room. I began to knock on the door, wondering who will answer. When the door opened, it was my mom, who looked even tired from the last time I saw her, which was only a couple of hours ago.

“Mom, where’s Dad?”

“He went out for a few minutes. Hi, Gerald; how are you?”

“I’m good, Mrs. Thomas. How are you?”

“I’m getting along. Come on in.” she said as she stepped aside for us to enter.

I began to wipe my sweaty hands onto my jeans as I went straight to the loveseat while Gerald took the armchair. My mom gave us a perplex expression as she took a seat beside me on the love seat.

“You two look serious. Is something wrong?”

I began to clear my throat as a lump was beginning to form. I was so nervous, I didn’t know if I was going to faint or throw up.

“Mom, we need to talk to you about something. If you’re not feeling up to it, then we won’t discuss it.”

“I’m fine honey. Just tell me what’s wrong.”

I looked at Gerald as he nodded his head for me to go ahead.  I took a deep breath before speaking.

“Mom, Gerald found something at his mom’s house the other day that had us thinking and we wanted to talk to you so you could clear the air over it.”

“Okay, what is it?”

Gerald took out the birth certificate he had in his pocket and handed it to my mom. She took it from Gerald and looked at it. Her face automatically gave a shock expression as she looked at Gerald then at me.

“Is it true?” I asked, hoping against hope that it wasn’t.

“You have to understand that neither I nor your father wanted to hurt you, Gerald.”

“It is true.” Gerald said as he put his head in his hands.

My mom looked at me as she began to speak.

“At the time, your father and I were going through some financial problems.  We used to argue constantly, so he moved out the house for a little while.  When your father was gone, it was really hard for me. I was really lonely, so I begin to go around Gerald’s parents a lot. We were all friends then, so it wasn’t a big deal. One night, your parents had a neighborhood party and everyone was having a good time, expect me. I was still sad over your father, so I decided to leave early. Your father came by the house because I forgot my purse. We’ve been talking a lot during that time, because he and Ebony was having problems of their own so we sort of related to each other in that aspect. Before I knew it, we starting kissing, and one thing led to another and we had a one- night stand.”

“Wow.”  I said while I held my head down. Gerald still had his face in his hands, still unsure what to make of the situation.

“Of course, we didn’t use protection that night, and I winded up pregnant. When I first found out I was pregnant, your father returned home and we tried to rebuild our marriage. I couldn’t tell him I was having another man’s child, so I lied and told him that it was his. But Gerald, your father wouldn’t have any of it. He was livid when I told him my plan; he wanted to be a father to you, so I had to come clean, because if I didn’t he was going to tell David anyway. When we told David and Ebony what happened, we decided to act as if nothing happened and Ebony and Tyler raised you as their own and a year later, I had you, Camille.”

“So, you all forged a fake birth certificate to make it believable?” Gerald asked.

“Of course with the hospital, we had to put the parents on there, but yes, we drew up another birth certificate with your parents’ names on it. Ebony kept the real one and hid it, until now of course.”

“Why go through all the trouble? You could have been a part of my life; instead, you passed me off to someone else!”

“The reason we arranged this was because Ebony couldn’t have a child. Everyone knew the two were having problems, and many said it was because of Tyler’s unemployment, but it was really because Ebony wasn’t ovulating properly. She had a hard time conceiving.”

“Anovulation,” I quietly said.

“I knew how much Ebony wanted a child, so even though I put my name on the birth certificate in the hospital, I relinquished my rights as your parent to Ebony so she could have the child she always wanted.”

Tears were flowing down both mines and Gerald’s cheeks as we listened to my mother’s story. I couldn’t believe mines and his parents would do this to Gerald!

“This is unbelievable! I can’t believe you all would do this to me! And the fact that I used to come to this house and no one would say anything to me!” Gerald yelled through years.

“You didn’t think I wanted to Gerald?! Every time  I saw you, I wanted to hold you in my arms and tell you that I’m your mother, but I couldn’t because I’d made a promise to your parents that I would never get in the way of raising you. That’s why I was so happy that you and Camille became friends, because it was a way to see that you two had some sort of relationship.”

“Mom, Gerald’s my brother! If he didn’t find his actual birth certificate, we still wouldn’t have known!”

“I know that, and I’m sorry that it took thirty-one years to discover it.”

“I can’t deal with this right now.” Gerald said as he got up from his seat and went towards the door.

As my mom and I watched Gerald leave, I turned to look at her. Although what my mom did was unspeakable, I couldn’t be mad at her.

“I’m sorry Camille. I really thought if the truth didn’t come out, then no one would know.”

I went up to her and gave her a hug.

“Please don’t be mad at me.”

I sighed as held my mom even tighter.

“I could never be mad at you, Mom. Don’t ever think for a second that I would.”

Book Blitz- More Than Exes by Elizabeth Briggs

Congrats to Elizabeth Briggs on her new release this week!! 

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MoreThanExeseBook
More Than Exes
Elizabeth Briggs
(Chasing the Dream 0.5)
Publication date: October 28th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Blurb:
Keyboardist Kyle Cross may look like a bad boy with his tattoos and piercings, but he’s really the good guy who’s always stuck fixing his band’s problems and never gets the girl. His band is competing in a college Battle of the Bands, but when their bassist doesn’t show, Kyle must track her down with the help of the person he least expects: his ex-girlfriend Alexis Monroe.
Kyle hasn’t seen Alexis since she dumped him in high school, and she’s dropped her preppy image for fiery red hair and a bold new attitude to match. With only hours before his band goes on stage, Kyle has to be a little bad if he wants to win both the Battle and the girl he’s never gotten over. But when their old problems resurface, the good guy might just get his heart broken all over again.
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Goodreads
Prequel to:
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About The Author
Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She plays the guitar, mentors at-risk teens, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of small, fluffy dogs.
Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter

Interview:

Where did you get the idea for More Than Exes?

 

In More Than Music, which is about Kyle’s friend, Maddie, and his brother, Jared, there’s a part where Maddie thinks about how it must be difficult to be Jared’s brother sometimes. That made me wonder about how Kyle sees his brother, and I quickly jotted down what would become the first chapter of More Than Exes. Right then I knew I had to tell Kyle’s story, too. I also had many fans of More Than Music tell me they loved Kyle and wanted a book about him, so that sealed the deal!

Do you need to read More Than Music to read More Than Exes?

 

No, definitely not. More Than Exes is a novella set about a month before More Than Music and can be read as a standalone. There’s nothing in it that would be confusing if you haven’t read More Than Music – but if you have, it will also shed light on a few things in that book. You can read them in any order, even though More Than Exes is a prequel.

What is your favorite thing about More Than Exes?

There are so many things I love about this book – the fact that it takes place over a few hours, the sarcastic humor in it, and the love story of two high school sweethearts getting back together… but my absolute favorite part is the close sibling relationship between Kyle and Jared. I loved showing Jared from Kyle’s point of view – Kyle views his brother very differently from how Maddie does in More Than Music, but still loves him and would do anything for him.

What was the hardest part about writing More Than Exes?

More Than Exes is the first book I’ve ever written from a guy’s point of view, and that was a lot of fun but also challenging at times. I had to make sure that Kyle would be sympathetic to romance readers but also feel like a realistic 21 year old male. I don’t think there are many romances told from only a male perspective, but I hope people will give this one a chance!

If you weren’t a writer, what would you do?

A rock star, of course! I play the guitar, though I don’t have time to practice as much as I’d like. I’ve always wanted to be in a famous rock band, but now I just write about them instead.

What’s next in the Chasing the Dream series?

I’m currently working on More Than Comics, a novella about the drummer of the band, Hector, set at Comic-Con about a week after More Than Music ends. After that, I’ll be writing books about Maddie’s best friends, Julie and Carla, who both go on their own reality TV shows!

 

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Book Blitz: At Any Moment by Brenna Aubrey

Congrats to Brenna Aubrey on her new release this week!

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At Any Moment by Brenna Aubrey
(Gaming the System #3)
Publication date: October 31st 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Synopsis:
It’s Dangerous to Go Alone!

Mia Strong never expected to be deciding the rest of her life at age twenty-two. Is she willing to become a human lab rat? Does she need to write a will? Does she ever want a family–and if so, with whom? She can’t dodge the tough questions–not if she plans to live to see twenty-three. With her life hanging in the balance, Mia wants nothing more than to rely on Adam Drake, but he’s hurt her before.

You Must Gather Your Party Before Venturing Forth…

Adam Drake knows that he’s made mistakes, but when he discovers what Mia’s facing, he realizes how much those mistakes could cost him. Now he has to choose between being the man who can save Mia’s life or the man she can love. No matter how much it tears him apart, Adam knows he has to put Mia first…even if it means he’s out of the picture entirely.

Will their love survive this epic battle or is it game over?

This novel is the third and final book in Adam and Mia’s trilogy, but they will be featured in future Gaming the System novels.

Purchase:

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AUTHOR BIO:

Brenna Aubrey is an author of New Adult contemporary romance stories that center on geek culture. Her debut novel, At Any Price, released December, 2013.

She has always sought comfort in good books and the long, involved stories she weaves in her head. Brenna is a city girl with a nature-lover’s heart. She therefore finds herself out in green open spaces any chance she can get. A mommy to two little kids and teacher to many more older kids, she juggles schedules to find time to pursue her love of storycrafting.

She currently resides on the west coast with her husband, two children, two adorable golden retriever pups, two birds and some fish.

Brenna’s short story “The Love Letter” was the Grand Prize winner of the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest. As such, it was included in the anthology of the same name (Ballantine, 2011)

GIVEAWAY
Blitz-wide giveaway -Ends November 11th!!!
3 different winners:
1 compass locket on a chain (US only)
Signed copies of all 3 books in the series (US only)
$15 Apple iBooks or Amazon Kindle gift card (International only)
Sign-up at the link below:

Is The LLH Series Too Sexual?

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cute young african american couple kissing in bed

 

Happy Sunday everyone!!!

Since the Love, Life, & Happiness series debuted last year in December (which is hard to believe that it’s almost a year), I have received various reviews regarding the books in the series. There were some that loved the series and the characters, but there were others who felt the series was a little on the raunchy side. Although I wrote a post regarding this earlier this year with the issue of how much sex was portrayed in Love Unbroken, now it’s the issue of the entire series that is in question.

Now, I understand that this is a series involving young adults who are in college who are experiencing love for the very first time, but never did I portray these “young adults” as squeaky clean. They are just that; adults who ages ranging from eighteen to twenty-three, who are going to experience sex. I don’t know how college was for some individuals, but when I was in college, this is what happened on a regular basis. It might not have happened as much as these characters experienced, but it happened.

Certain scenes were brought up in the series, especially during Love Unbroken. In the post I wrote earlier regarding the first book in the series; yes, maybe the story was heading to borderline erotica with some of the things the two were doing, but with any couple that is in that stage in their relationship, they will want to experience certain things. It not as if they were experimenting with other people; they were with each other and only each other.

Some had even brought up about Unconditional Love and the amount of sex  scenes Britney and Jayden had. This book was about first love and mind you, the two were virgins and only wanted to be with each other before they actually went through with it. Yes, at the time of the story, they were only 18, but some people get married at 18; so what is wrong with these two having sex?

With each story, it talked about the issue of love and being in love; it’s not about seeing how many people these characters can sleep with or engaging in other activities that deemed inappropriate.

While some believed the characters were lacking direction and only thought about having sex; that was not true at all. Each character was determined and driven with their college education. No one looked at the fact that Shawn and Riana were working on a class project when they were introduced; or Cheryl trying to be independent and working on furthering her education to go to medical school. So sex was not always on these characters’ minds.

For anyone who has read the series, do you think the stories are too sexually charged, or are the stories depict what people who are in love with each other do? Let me know by posting your comment below.

And for those who have not read the post titled “Sex Scenes in Love Unbroken,” I included the link: http://sheenabinkley.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/sex-scenes-in-love-unbroken/

As I mentioned in the previous post, I hope I’m not offending anyone with this post, but this is something that I wanted to express and whether anyone agreed with the subject. If I am offending anyone, that was not my intention and I sincerely apologize.

And in case you are wondering,  Love Always only have two sex scenes.  :-)

Baker 6 Chapters 26 & 27

Chapters 26 & 27 are now posted. :-)

26.
Tamara
“Clara, did you confirm with Camille regarding the venue for the Halloween party?” I asked while sitting in my office.

“Yes, she mentioned The Drake Hotel for the venue.”

“Excellent. Now, we need to see the guest list as well as the caterer.”

“Already talked to Camille; everything is taken care of Tamara.”

“Wow, thanks Clara. I guess I need to work on my other projects then.”

“I can think of one you could work on. Gerald.”

Just the mention of Gerald’s name made my body quiver. Ever since our night of passion, I can’t stop thinking about him. We went out a couple of times after that, but we both realized we wanted to take things slow and see where things were heading before going into a full-fledged relationship. I suppose to meet up with him today to go over a few prospects I’ve lined up for him, including a radio spot with KBKI 97.8 The Beat. I really want Gerald to succeed with his career and I will do what I can to make that happen.

“Yes, in fact, I have a couple of things lined up for him this afternoon.”

“I’m not talking about his career Tamara; I’m talking about a relationship. I know the two of you been seeing each other.”

“Aren’t you a little nosy Clara?”

“Oh please, it’s written all over your face that there’s something more going on between you two, especially after the funeral.”

I smiled at the thought of Gerald and me making love. It was better than I imagined. That man can do something to my body that no one, even Colton, has done.

My mind suddenly left daydream mode when the door to the office open. I was hoping it was Gerald, but to my surprise, it was none other than Colton Brown walking into the suite with a smug look on his face.

My smile quickly turned into a frown at the sight of Colton through my glass partition. Although I could not stand the sight of him, I had to admit, he did look pretty good right now. His chocolate skin looked smooth and was actually glowing when he approached me. His close cropped fade had tiny waves and he had a short goatee, which made him look older, but sexy. He was dressed in a blue button down dress shirt and dark denim jeans with a pair of black loafers. He gives me a flashy smile, which showed all his pearly white teeth.

I sighed as he walked right past Clara and to my office. I was going to slam my door, but I didn’t want Clara to feel the wrath of this man, so I walked out of my office with a scowl on my face.

“What you doing here Colton?”

“I can’t visit my oldest and dearest friend Tam Tam? Well, I really can’t say friend, because we were much more than that.”

“I’m really busy Colton, so I don’t have time for your visit or anything else.”

“Why you been avoiding my calls Tamara? I’ve been trying to reach you for weeks. I just wanted to offer my condolences regarding Rachel.”

“Thank you. You told me, so now you can go.”

“I don’t think so. There’s more to talk about between us.”

Clara looked at me and mouthed the word “security.”

I shook my head, knowing that I could easily get rid of Colton before Gerald arrives.

“How is everything? Seems like you doing good for yourself. You’re running a high profile company; you have the best clients at your beck and call. I remember not too long ago how much you were in need of money and needed my help for it.”

“Don’t go there Colton. As much as I appreciate your help on some things, you know damn well I was the one who got to where I am now.”

“Oh, really. Now that you’re Ms. High and Mighty, you think you were the one who got you this business? Don’t bite the hand that fed you, Tamara.”

“It’s time for you to go Colton.”

“Or what?”

As soon as he said that, Gerald walked into the office. He looked at me and Colton wondering what was going on.

“Is everything okay?”

I looked at Colton who glanced over at Gerald.

“Everything’s cool.” He said as he walked past Gerald, who intently bumped him before heading to the door. Gerald gave him an awkward stare as Colton turned to look at me.

“Remember Tam Tam, I know your secrets. Mess with me, and they will surely come to light.” He said before going to the door.

I started to feel uneasy as Colton said those words to me. I know he can expose my past life if he wanted to.

Gerald turned to look at me.

“Who was that?”

I gave Gerald a tiny smile as I tried to act convincing to him and to myself.

“A former client; he’s upset I dropped him.”

Gerald nodded his head as if he understood. I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I’ve dodged a bullet. But as I looked at Clara, she gave a look reading what is going on?

I wish I could tell someone about my past life, but if I do, my career and my life would be completely over.

***

Gerald

Before heading to my meeting with Tamara, I had to stop by my mom’s house to ask her a minor favor. I wanted to cook a special meal for Tamara to show her my appreciation for helping me with my career, along with just being a great and beautiful woman. Since my mom is a master in the kitchen, I wanted to get a couple of her wonderful recipes as well as some advice on my growing relationship with Tamara.

After the night Tamara and I shared, I didn’t know what to expect with our friendship and whether things would be awkward between us. I suggested that we go on a date to really get to know each other, which Tamara thought was funny considering we’ve been friends for years. But as we went out, we did find out things about each other that we never knew, which was good because it showed that we were able to open up to each other more as a couple and not as friends. Just the thought of Tamara and I being in a relationship made me smile because I would have never guessed that we would even been more than friends.

Before reaching my mom’s, she mentioned she had to run an errand, so I could let myself in to get the recipe box from the kitchen. As I took out the key to my childhood home, I turned the lock and walked inside. I quickly went to the keypad for the alarm and typed in the code before my mom received a call from the alarm company indicating there was an intruder. I went into the kitchen and started to search for the recipe box. My mom always moved things to different places, so I never knew where everything was. After a few minutes, I started to give up, before I noticed a large gold box near the microwave. I went to it and opened it to reveal a couple of documents. I started to study the contents more carefully as I noticed some personal documents from my mom and dad.

After my dad passed away two years ago from cancer, my mom kept some of his personal papers throughout the house; so this was not a surprise that she kept a box in the kitchen. As I continued to snoop, there was one document that caught my eye. I put down the other papers I had in my hand and look at the document before me. It was a birth certificate from St. Luke Hospital that had my name on it, but the name under the line for “mother” was not my mother’s name. My father’s name was correct, but my mother’s name had Claire Waters. My mother’s name was Ebony Smalls, so why is another woman on my birth certificate? I quickly put the certificate into my pocket, trying to figure out if this certificate was real. If it was, then what did my mom give me to keep in my possession?

I shook my head at the thought that was triggering into my mind. There’s no way my mom would lie about anything concerning my birth. My mom is Ebony Smalls. She’s been my mom for thirty-one years. She raised me to the man I am today. So this was definitely a fake.

As I thought about the name Claire Waters, I had to wonder why that name sounded familiar. I believe Camille’s mom name is Claire, but I’m not sure what her maiden name was considering I’ve known her only as Thomas.

I know my dad was always a drifter, but I don’t think he would have cheated on my mom. And I don’t think it would have been with Camille’s mom? If Mrs. Thomas did have another child, why wouldn’t Camille have known?

Why would that even cross my mind? This is crazy! I thought as I forgot all about the recipes and left my mom’s house. Although I tried to push the thought out of my head, I couldn’t help but to think maybe my theory could be true. What if my mom is not my mom, but actually Claire Thomas? What if Camille is my sister?

To prove whether my theory was just a theory; I had to get some facts about Claire Waters. And I think I knew who to talk to get the evidence I needed.

Once I got to Tamara’s office, a confrontation was going on between her and some dude. I actually seen him before when we were going to University of Houston and even after that, but don’t really know his name. As he walked pass me, he purposely bumped into me. I gave him an angry stare while he looked at me and laughed. Jackass!

Tamara looked as if she wanted to cry.

“Who was that?”

“A former client; he’s upset I dropped him.”

Even though I nodded my head to drop the conversation, I knew it was more than that. I’ll try to find out the real story later; now, I have other matters to tend to.

“So, ready for your meeting?” Tamara asked as she walked into her office.

“Yes, but I have to do one thing first.” I said as I grabbed her by the waist and planted a longing kiss on her soft lips. As we pulled away, Tamara had to catch her breath as she looked over at Clara. I turned to see Clara fanning herself with a piece of paper.

“I think we better go into my office.” Tamara said as she took my hand and we headed through the door.

As soon as she closed the dark brown door, she went over to me and kissed me. I begin to kiss her neck while she took off my sweater. As she was about to unbutton my shirt, I put my hand on hers and smiled

“You do know these walls are see-through?”

“I know; but no one is here.”

“Clara is.”

“She has an office.” Tamara said as she began to lightly bite my ear.

“Why don’t we save this for later? I want to invite you over my place to cook you dinner.”

“Oh, wow. So I guess this will be our dessert?”

“Definitely.” I said as I kissed her lips.

“Okay, I guess I could wait. But can we at least preview tonight’s activities?”

“No; in fact, I came here for a meeting, so let’s get started.” I said as I took a seat in a mahogany armchair by her desk.

“You’re kidding, right?”

“Nope, now, let’s get started.”

“Fine; I guess business now and pleasure later?”

“Yes. But first, I need to ask a question.”

“Sure, go ahead.”

“Did Camille ever mention her mother’s maiden name before?”

“I think so. In fact, she did mention it one time before. I believe her name is Waters. Why you want to know?”

As soon as Tamara said the name Waters, my heart literally stopped. My face turned pale as I looked at Tamara, wondering if I should inform her of what I just discovered.

“This can’t be happening.”

“What? What’s wrong Gerald?”

“I think Camille’s mother is my mom.” I quickly uttered.

As Tamara looked at me in disbelief, I put my head in my hands, not believing what I just heard.

27.
Melanie

“Here you go. Thanks for shopping at Parson’s.” I said to a customer who just purchased over five hundred dollars’ worth of merchandise. If this trend continued, I could open up my second boutique very soon. As I let one of my employees know I was taking my lunch break, I noticed Camille coming into the boutique. Camille looked beautiful in a teal colored wrap dress and black riding boots. Her long hair bounced back and forth as she walked towards me and gave me a hug.

“Hey, girl. I didn’t think you would be here today.”

“Yeah; the boutique is short staff once again, so I came in to help out. What are you doing here?”

“Taking a long lunch break; I wanted to do some shopping, and what better place to come then my girl’s boutique.”

“Well of course! What are you looking for?”

“I need something sexy. Like this.” Camille said as she went over to my lingerie table. She picked up a bright red nightie with a matching thong.

“Okay, I know we haven’t talked much since Rach’s funeral, but tell me that’s not for Chad?”

Camille gave a huge smile as she went up to a mirror nearby to look at the outfit.

“No; it’s for Trevor.”

I felt my mouth go to the floor as I put my hands to my mouth to avoid screaming.

“Oh, my gosh! You two finally hooked up?”

“Yes. We’re together now. We weren’t going to tell anyone about us since I’m separated, but it kind of slip out when my dad saw us together.”

“I’m so happy for you two. You do know that everyone saw this coming. And I’m pretty sure Chad did too.”

“I know, and that’s what I’m afraid of. When we do go through the divorce proceedings, he could spin it around and say I was the one who was cheating during the marriage.”

“Let him; you know the truth, and if you can get proof to back it up, then everyone will too.”

“That’s the problem. I have to find proof that he’s cheated. It’s kind of hard when I don’t even know where to start.”

“Leave that to me. I know a couple of people who can give you what you need.”

“Really? Thanks, Mel.”

“No problem. I want you to move on from that jerk, so I want to help anyway I can.”

“Well, I need all the help I can get. But enough about Chad; are you coming to the Halloween party Tamara and I throwing this weekend? It will be fun.”

“Of course. I already got the invite from your assistant.”

“Great. That girl can sometime be incompetent, so thankfully she sent out the invites. Are you bringing a guest?”

I looked at Camille and smiled.

“Maybe.”

“I see I’m not the only one keeping secrets. Is there a new guy you haven’t mentioned?”

“Sort of, but you know him. I’m not sure I’ll ask him though. He might already be going.”

“Who would that be?”

“Derrick.”

This time, Camille’s mouth was on the floor.

“Tamara’s brother. Are you for real?”

“Yeah; we’ve been seeing each other for a couple of months now.”

“How does Tamara feels about this? She must know, right?”

I gave Camille a doubtful look. Although I know Tamara has her suspicions, she never approached them to me or Derrick.

“I’m not sure if Tamara knows; besides, I’m pretty sure she’s busy being with Gerald to notice.”

“Wait, what? Tamara and Gerald are together? When did that happen?”

“That’s what I heard from Derrick. The two became really close during the funeral.”

“Wow; well I’m certainly happy for the both of them. They deserve it. And don’t worry about Tamara. I think she will be cool with you and Derrick dating.”

“I hope so. I really don’t want our friendship to be ruined because of it.”

“So tell me, how did you and Derrick become a couple?”

“It just sort of happen, I guess. We were always in the same circle, so one day we decided to talk and we just had an instant connection.”

Camille smiled as she gave me another hug.

“Well, we have to do a triple date one day. It would be fun for all of us to hang out.”

I smiled at the thought.

“Yeah, it definitely will be.”

***

Later that afternoon, I had to tend to my other job, which was starting to become a huge headache. Derrick and I still have not found the information we needed to nail Colton Brown, and with Tamara no longer associating with him, we can’t find his whereabouts or anyone that could tie him to any drug activities in the city.

Now, Derrick and I decided to take a break from work and have some alone time. We were seated in Las Hermanas Mexican Restaurant ordering dinner. I looked at Derrick as he took a long sip of water.

“Do you think we’ll find anything on Brown? We have been through every source and came up empty.”

“We will in time. Evidently, Brown going to slip up, so we’ll get him.”

“I hope so. I don’t know how much of this I can take.”

“Who are you telling? I just want my life back. Maybe spend more time with you without thinking about work.”

“Yeah, but I wasn’t just talking about the case. I was talking about the job in general. I’m thinking about quitting the bureau after the case is finished.”

Derrick put down his water and gave me a tiny smile.

“I don’t blame you. This job is not cut out for everyone.”

“What do you mean? Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, I just don’t know how long I can continue lying to everyone about my profession. When I took my position on the bureau and this case, I made a vow to never reveal my true intentions to anyone, but it’s kind of hard to do when the people I cared about are the ones I’m lying to. I’m afraid that I will slip up one day and tell someone the truth.”

“I feel like that sometimes, especially to Tamara. When she’s thinking I’m going out of town for business, I’m really going to solve a case. I know with our jobs, it’s complicated to explain to anyone, especially when you have to do investigations that they may be involved in.”

“Like Tamara?”

“Yeah; I really think she no longer associating with Brown. She hasn’t mentioned anything about him for a while, especially since she’s been dating Gerald.”

“That’s a good thing, isn’t it?”

“Not if Sutton has anything to say about it.”

“Why are we talking about work? This is the first time in a long time that we’ve been out in public. Let’s just focus on us and our time together.”

“Sounds like a plan to me.” Derrick said as he leaned over the table and kissed me. As we were in the middle of kissing, I noticed Derrick’s eyes wandering over to the hostess table. I pulled away from him and turn towards the front to see Tamara and Gerald walking in. I began to roll my eyes, knowing that our alone time is completely over.

Tamara noticed the two of us while talking to the hostess. She began to walk over to our table with Gerald behind her. She gave Derrick a smile before giving him a hug.

“Hey, bro, how’s everything going?”

“Good, thanks. Hey, Gerald.”

“Hey, Derrick.”

“Mind if we join you two? We told the hostess we’ll just sit at your table since you two were already here.”

“No problem. No problem at all.” I said as I began to sigh.

“I knew you would understand.” Tamara said as she and Gerald took a seat in the chairs in front of us.

“So, what brings you two out?” Derrick asked.

“Gerald was going to cook me a special dinner, but we decided to go out instead.”

“Yeah, what she said.” Gerald quietly agreed.

“You know it’s always great to see you sis, but Melanie and I are on a date.”

“Oh.” Tamara said as she looked from her brother to me.

“Something we should be doing, right Tamara?” Gerald asked.

“Well yes, but I just thought we could hang out together since we haven’t seen each other since the funeral.”

“Tamara’s right; let’s just hang out a bit, okay.” I said as I tried to keep the peace between Derrick and Tamara.

“Fine.” Derrick said as he threw his napkin on the table.

“What’s your problem?” Tamara asked.

“As if you didn’t know; you’re purposely ruining our date.”

“I just wanted to spend time with you guys.”

“Tamara, you hate the fact that I’m dating your friend, admit it.”

“Fine, I’ll admit it. I really do not like the fact that you’re dating Melanie. Happy.”

I gave Tamara a confused look, wondering why she would.

“Can you explain to me why this is a bad idea?”

“I don’t know Melanie; let me count the many men you seduced and left because they weren’t rich enough for you.”

“Oh boy.” Gerald whispered.

“Are you kidding me? I’ve never dated men for their money! Why would you think that?”

“Oh please! Back in college you were known for dating multiple men. I just don’t want my brother to get hurt by you.”

“You are being a hypocrite right now. Back in college, you’ve done a hell of a lot more than I ever done. Does Colton Brown ring a bell to you?”

I really didn’t want to bring up Colton’s name, but Tamara was being a real bitch right now. I known about Tamara and Colton’s relationship and the fact that he did run a strip club back in the day. I don’t know if Tamara was involved in Colton’s business, but I do know that she was always strapped for cash and suddenly she wasn’t. Anyone could put two together to figure what was going on.

Tamara gave me a smirk as she grabbed her purse.

“Don’t ever bring his name up, ever again!”

“Well, don’t bring up my past if you don’t want yours out in the open.”

Tamara looked at Derrick and shook her head.

“Give me a call when you dump her ass.” She said as she turned around and went towards the exit.

Gerald looked at the both of us and shrugged before going after Tamara.

I turned towards Derrick who gave me an evil stare.

“What did I do? She was the one who started it.”

“Yeah, but she was our only way to get to Colton. Now, that’s ruined.”

I sighed as I threw my napkin on my plate. I suddenly lost my appetite.

***

Tamara

“I cannot believe that bitch!” I yelled as I kicked the wall outside of Las Hermanas. I was so furious with Melanie right now. I can’t believe she would even bring up Colton’s name in front of my brother and Gerald.

“What the hell just happened in there? Who is Colton Brown?” Gerald asked.

I sighed as I looked at Gerald. I might as well tell him the truth. If I want any type of relationship with him, he has to know what I done in my past. Hopefully he would be able to see past my misdeeds.

“You may have seen him a couple of times back in college, but I’ve never really talked about him, let alone introduced him to anyone. Well, maybe except Rachel.”

“So how does Melanie know about him?”

“She sort of found out unexpectedly. Anyway, we dated back in my last year of college and he was sort of bad news from the start.”

“How?”

“For starters, he owned a strip club. But he mainly was known for his party promotions around campus and clubs around the area. I met him while attending one of his parties and we became good friends.”

“How did you two become more than just friends?”

“We hung out a lot, then one thing led to another and we hooked up. After a while, we became business partners in a sense. He wanted to venture away from opening strip clubs and party promoting and I decided I wanted in. A couple of months later, we went into business together and it helped jump start my PR firm.”

“So you’re telling me that this guy helped you with your company. Where is he now?”

“Remember the guy at the office earlier. The one I mentioned I had to drop as a client? That was Colton.”

“I knew he looked familiar. I saw him around campus a lot. Why you just didn’t tell me that.”

“I didn’t want to relive the past by mentioning that my ex-boyfriend was in the same room as my current man. Gerald, Colton was my past and I would like to keep it that way. I want to focus on my future and what life has in store for me in the present.”

“I hope I’m included in your plans?”

“You know you are.” I said as I went up to him and gave him a kiss.

As Gerald put his arms around me, I had to breathe a sigh of relief. Yes, I told Gerald the truth, but not the entire truth. There’s no way anyone is going to find out that I used to be an escort. And hopefully, my secret will stay one while I’m still alive.

Baker 6 Chapters 23-25

Hope everyone is having a great morning! The next three chapters are now posted. If you have read The Wedding Part I, chapter 24 will be very familiar, as Camille and Trevor go on their first date (I loved that scene, that’s why I used it for the published version). Enjoy!

23.
Camille

This seems so surreal.” I said as I kissed Trevor.

After leaving the funeral, we decided to stay at my house and just be together. No entertainment and no interruptions. Even though no sexual intimacy was involved, just the feeling of being near each other was more than enough.

“I know. I didn’t think us being together would ever become true.” Trevor said as he caress my cheek.

“Well believe it. I just hate it took so long to happen.”

“Don’t think about that. Just as long as we’re together now, that all that matters.”

“I just wish we could tell people about it.”

“You’re the one who suggested it, all for good reason though.”

“I know. I have a feeling Chad is cooking up a scheme as we speak. He’s been too quiet about everything that has happened.”

“Why would he talk? He’s the one who cheated and finally got caught. Who knows how many other affairs he may have had while you two were together?”

“I know; I really don’t want to know if there were others.”

“Why are we talking about him? Let’s focus on us and our first date.” Trevor said as he kissed my neck.

“Our first date; I really like the sound of that.”

I started to regret my request of not sleeping together as Trevor moved his lips from my neck to my collarbone, giving me multiple tingles in my body. Just his lips alone can give me an immediate orgasm.

“I actually want to keep it as a surprise.”

“Shouldn’t I get some sort of hint since I was the one who suggested it?”

“No. Besides, you’re going to love it. It’ll be a walk down memory lane.”

“Sounds exciting; in that case, I guess I can wait a little longer.” I said as snuggled up to Trevor.

To be honest, it didn’t matter where we went; just the thought of us having our first date was enough for me.

***

I didn’t have to wait any longer to find out our plans for our date. A week later, I was leaving the office when Trevor called telling me to dress casual as he was coming to my house in an hour.

I quickly went home and showered. I grabbed a pair of black skinny jeans and a cream colored shirt that flowed to my waist. I looked at myself in the mirror as I put on a pair of flats. I started to wonder if I was too causal and if I should put on a dress when the doorbell rang.

I ran downstairs to open the door. As soon as I opened it, I had to catch my breath at the sight before me. Trevor always looked good, but today, he was looking extra hot in a deep purple long sleeved shirt, and black jeans. His wavy black hair was cut shorter and was starting to look a little curly, which I absolutely adored.

“Good evening Camille. These are for you.” Trevor said as he handed me a dozen pink roses, which are my absolute favorite.

“They’re beautiful; thank you, baby.”

“You’re beautiful.” He said as he bent down to kiss me.

I looked over my shoulder and noticed my neighbor, which is also the neighborhood gossip, Mrs. Adams, staring directly at me kissing Trevor. I turned away from Trevor and looked at Mrs. Adams.

“Is there a problem, Mrs. Adams?”

“Oh, hi Camille. I didn’t know you would notice me standing here.”

“It’s quite obvious that you were. Is there something I can help you with?”

“Well, I was just wondering about your husband. I’ve noticed that he hasn’t been home in a couple of days and now that I see you kissing another man…”

“With all due respect Mrs. Adams, what goes on in or outside my home is none of your business.”

“Obviously if you wanted your business private, you wouldn’t be displaying it outside for everyone to see.”

“Listen Mrs. Adams, I can do whatever I please outside my property….”

Before I could say anything else, Trevor grabbed me and pulled me into the foyer and closed the door. I looked at him with disbelief while he walked into the living room.

“I was just about to tell that nosy woman off.”

“I know, and to avoid a public disturbance, I pulled you inside. She may be nosy, but she does have a point.”

“About what?”

“About you displaying your business for everyone to see. We’re supposed to keep our relationship private right now. What if Chad comes by and one of your neighbors, especially Mrs. Adams tells him about us?”

I sat down hard in one of my brown armchairs.

“I guess you’re right. But it would have been your fault since you kissed me.”

“You didn’t try to stop me, did you?” Trevor said as he came closer to me.

“Why would I?” I asked as I stood up to face him.

Trevor leaned into me and began to kiss me. I put my arms around him as we went towards the couch. I lay down while Trevor lay on top of me. The date was starting to become a distant memory as I started to run my fingers through Trevor’s hair. Trevor began to place his hand underneath my shirt, as he touch my abs and move up to my breasts. While I wanted so much for us to continue, I knew we shouldn’t. I started to move away from Trevor while he sat on the couch with a sigh. We looked at each and smiled.

“Maybe we should start our date.” I said.

“Yeah, we should.”

“Am I going to get any hints about where we’re going?”

“You will; once we get there.” Trevor said with a wicked grin. He got up from the couch and extended his hand to me. I smiled as I grabbed his hand and my clutch that was nearby. I already know that this evening will be one that I will never forget.

24.
Trevor

When Camille mentioned us having a first date, I automatically knew where I wanted to take her. Well, it was actually a bunch of places I wanted to take her. With so much that has happened, I think this date will not only put a huge smile on Camille’s face, but on mine as well. Now the two of us were in my BMW 3 Series Coupe, heading to our first stop down memory lane.

“Did you really have to blindfold me?” Camille asked. She turned her head towards me, pretending that she could see me.

I looked at her and laughed.

“Are you seriously looking at me right now?”

“Of course. I know you have that devilish grin on your face. You’re up to no good when you have that grin.”

“Really Cam? Just to let you know that the places we’re visiting are places we both have been to.”

“There are a lot of places we’ve been to.”

“I know, but there are some that were pretty significant.”

Camille began to smile as I turned on the radio.

A few minutes later, and we were at our first destination. As I turned off the ignition, I took Camille’s hand and kissed it. She smiled at me as I turned to unlock the door. I went over to the passenger’s side and opened the door to let Camille out. I took her hand as she carefully got out of the car. As we went to the front door, I opened it to let Camille in. We step inside and pulled Camille to the side to take the blindfold off. As soon as the place was revealed to Camille, she began to smile widely at the sight before her.

“Are you serious?” Camille said as she looked at me.

“I knew you would like it.”

“Of course I would! We used to go here all the time in middle school.”

Yeah, our first stop was to Willis Arcade. To some people, this may have been a weird place to take a date; but I knew with Camille, she would love it.

As we stepped further inside, Camille ran straight to the air hockey table, which is one of our favorite games. Just looking at her made me remember the first time we came here by ourselves in the sixth grade. We felt so grown up at that time. We spent hours and our allowances playing all the games and eating greasy pizza. My mind suddenly went out of memory mode when Camille hit the puck across the hockey board and landing straight into my goal. Camille raised her arms up in victory.

“You do know that’s your first and last goal, because I’m going to win.”

“Oh please Williams, you know I’m the best when it comes to air hockey.”

I started to laugh at Camille and began the next round.

After playing three games (which I won the first two and Camille on the third), I decided to skip the pizza and head to our next destination for dinner. Camille looked at me as she grabbed my hand and squeezed it.

“I’m having a great time so far. I still can’t believe you remembered the arcade.”

“I still can’t believe that place is still open, with the same people running it.”

“I know. It’s great to relive some of our childhood.”

“Well, the evening is not over; we have more stops to come.”

Camille smiled as she leaned her head back onto the headrest.

As I pulled into the parking lot, Camille looked at me and shook her head.

“Wow, Royal Plaza. I haven’t been here since…”

“Prom night with those horrible dates.”

“Yeah. But we had a great time at least.”

“Yeah, we did.”

As we walked into the hotel, I led Camille straight to the hotel’s restaurant, The Grove. As I confirmed our reservations, the hostess led us to a table near the back of the restaurant. We both smiled at the hostess as she gave us our menus and returned to her post.

“I have to imagine where you taking me for our college years?” Camille said.

“You’ll like it, trust me.”

As we ordered our food, we continued to talk about our high school memories. Just talking about our friends and the fun we had made me realize just how lucky I am to know such a great group of people. Camille reached across the table and took my hand.

“I’m really lucky.” She said.

“I was just thinking the same thing.”

After eating our food, we decided to take a look inside the ballroom in which our prom was held. Luckily, the door was open, as we walked the entryway, hoping no one was inside. As we looked around, I remembered how the room was decorated like paradise as we had a Jamaica theme. Camille looked at me as she walked further into the empty ballroom.

“Do you remember the song we dance to that night?”

“How could I forget? That’s when we first kissed.”

“I wish we could dance now.”

“In due time Cam. Come on before someone sees us in here.” I said.

Camille gave a pretty pout as she walked towards the door. I take one last look before following Camille to the exit.

So far, the date has been a success, but I had two more stops for Camille to remember. Since it was Friday night, I knew a perfect spot downtown that we all frequent in college. Some nights, Camille and I decided to leave our friends behind and spend some time together, just enjoying each other’s company. Once we went to the parking garage, Camille instantly knew where we were.

“Venue?”

“You ready to dance Ms. Thomas?”

“Of course, Mr. Williams.”

We got out of the car and headed out of the garage. Once we approached the club doors, we noticed the long lines of people anxiously waiting to get inside. We looked at each other wondering if we dressed right for the club, but decided it was fine since we wasn’t staying long.

Twenty minutes later, and we were inside. Camille and I headed straight to the bar. While I ordered a couple of shots, Camille started to feel the beat of the music pounding loud on the speakers nearby. I watched as Camille moved her body to the music, which was giving me all types of thoughts to how I wanted to end the night. Camille gave me a sexy stare as she put her back on the counter.

“Come on baby, I want to dance.” She said as she took my hand.

I quickly took my shot as we headed to the dance floor. As a new song came onto the speakers, Camille began to dance seductively against me. I remember all those times in college when Camille and Rachel used to do dance contests on the dance floor, causing many to stop and stare at the two battling each other to see who was getting the most attention. My memory started to fade as Camille began to rock her hips onto me. I grabbed her waist as she grind on me. She turned around to face me as we begin to dance seductively on the dance floor. Camille leaned over to my ear and began to run her tongue down my earlobe, which made me even more horny.

“Why don’t we finish the date now.” she whispered.

“Not yet. Have one more place to go.”

After a couple of more dances, we decided to leave Venue and go to the last place for our date.

As I drove towards the parking lot of Lost Creek Park, I turned the headlights off and stared at Camille.

“Our last stop.” I said.

“The park; you definitely went back.”

“Yeah, to when we had our first play date.”

“I remember when you pushed me in the sand box.”

“I wasn’t trying to; I accidently tripped.”

“Sure you did.”

“You want to swing for old time sake?”

“Sure. We better do it quick though, since cops drive around here.”

“Let’s go.”

We both got out of the car and ran to the swings. As we both grabbed one, we started to swing without a care in the world. Just doing this brought back memories to when we used to be at the park with our mothers. They would sit on the bench watching us swing until we both were tired. Camille started to laugh as she started to go higher on the swing. I kept a steady pace as I watched Camille swing back and forth. Strangely enough, she looked just as she did when she was a little girl in pigtails. Just the way she smiled and looked made me feel like a little kid as well.

We continued to swing for a couple of minutes and raced back to the car. As we got inside, Camille stared at me as she leaned in for a kiss. She put her hand on the back of my neck while I put my hand on her thigh. Our kiss deepened, as she slid her tongue into my mouth. She stepped over from her seat and into my lap, as she ran her hands towards the end of my shirt and lifted it up. She leaned down and kissed my stomach and up to my chest. I leaned my head back onto the headrest and let out a low moan.

Before we went any further, I grabbed Camille’s hand and smiled.

“As much as I would want to, we can’t do this here; unless you want to get arrested.”

“It would definitely be worth it.” Camille said as she kissed my neck.

“Let’s go back to my place.”

“I would love to.” Camille said.

While Camille goes back to the passenger seat, I had to regain my composure as I started the car.

***

My house couldn’t been close enough as I made it in record time. As we both got out, I went over to Camille and passionately kissed her. She jumped on me as I continued to kiss her lips and then her neck. With Camille still wrapped around me, I carefully walked to the door. Just as I was about to open the door, I noticed Mr. Thomas in his driveway staring at the both of us in disbelief.

“Mr. Thomas.” I slowly said, causing Camille to quickly jump off of me.

“Trevor. Camille.”

“Dad! What you doing outside so late?”

“I’m on my driveway coming from the store. I should be asking you why you’re at your best friend’s house at one in the morning looking like you two about to..”

“Oh wow.” Camille said as she lowered her head.

“What’s going on? Why you’re not at home with your husband?”

“You didn’t tell your parents?” I whispered to Camille.

“It never came up.”

“I would like an answer, Camille.” Mr. Thomas impatiently said.

“Daddy, Chad and I are having problems. We’re no longer living together.”

“Camille, what happened? You two seemed happy the last time your mom and I saw you.”

“That was just an act, Dad. Can we please talk about this later? I’ll come by the house before I go home.”

Mr. Thomas looked from Camille to me and sighed.

“Sure. Just don’t do anything you shouldn’t, alright.”

Camille looked at her dad and nodded her head.

I gave Mr. Thomas a tiny smile as we walked into the house. I closed the door and went up to Camille. I wanted to pick up where we left off, but I had a feeling that wasn’t going to happen.

“Baby, I think we should just get some rest. My dad kind of killed it for me.”

I sighed as I watched Camille go into my bedroom without another thought. I sat on the couch and put my head in my hands.

25.
Chad

“So you have no photos on my wife? I know she’s having an affair!”

“Listen, Mr. Anderson, we followed your wife for the past week, we have not found anything suspicious on her part. If anything, she’s living a boring life. She just goes to work and home, that’s all.”

“Maybe she knows you’re on to her. Come on Chad, I’m pretty sure Camille knows you’re up to something.” Melissa said.

I looked at Melissa and rolled her eyes.

Since the funeral, I decided to take action into my own hands to find out whether Camille and Trevor are dating. I hired a private investigator to get some proof on whether the two are hooking up, but to my surprise, there is no evidence. I know Camille is cheating, she’s just finding a clever way to do it.

“So you telling me that Camille were at home all night last night? No one came by the house; because from what I heard from my next door neighbor, someone did stop by, and the two left.”

I knew this private investigator was incompetent, so I decided to dig up some proof of my own. I went by the house to pretend I was getting the rest of my things, when nosy Mrs. Adams didn’t waste any time telling me that Camille and her best friend were kissing on each other and left the house together.

“There was one time last night that she left with a guy around seven and they headed to a couple of places. I told you I had to cut the job short because my daughter was sick.”

“You telling me that you didn’t get any evidence last night because your daughter was sick!”

“You know what, I quit!” The guy said as he went to the door.

“Fine, I was going to fire you anyway!” I yelled at him as he closed the door.

“At least you know they were together.” Melissa said.

“Yeah, but I don’t have the evidence to prove it, thanks to the idiot I hired.”

“Chad, I know you’re trying to dig up something about Camille and Trevor; trust me, I’m all for it, but how do you know she’s not finding any dirt on you? You were the one who cheated on her throughout your marriage.”

“She won’t find out about it. When we go through the divorce proceedings, I will have to give her half of my assets. I refuse to do that; I worked too hard for my stuff.”

“This is what the private investigator is for, because you don’t want to pay Camille.”

“Mainly that and other things.”

“Would you like to share with me what the other things are?”

I looked at Melissa as I went to the armchair and sat down.

“I don’t know if I should.”

“If you think I’m going to run off and tell Trevor about your misdeeds, then you don’t know me.”

“Melissa, I really don’t know you.”

“True, but you know I wouldn’t tell Trevor. I can’t stand the sight of him right now.”

“There are some things that no one knows about me. Except Rachel, and she’s dead.”

“What is it?”

I sighed as I leaned back onto the chair.

“You pretty much know about my affairs while I’m on the road, but there is one that I don’t want anyone to know because not only will it affect me and my job, but also the person I’m having the affair with. This person could lose everything.”

“I’m assuming the person is someone you work with?”

“Yeah, and right now, I don’t know whether I should continue the relationship. I can’t let this come out about us, especially if Camille goes digging for information.”

“What are you going to do now?”

“I’m going to do what I should have done in the first place. I’m going to expose Camille for the liar that she is.”

***
Camille

The night didn’t end with Trevor and I having sex. To be honest, I was kind of glad my dad stopped us, because I would have broken my rule of having sex while still married. Don’t get me wrong, I want us to make love, but I just don’t want the idea of being married hanging over my head.

As I lay in Trevor’s bed, I had to look around to notice anything familiar in his old room. I’m surprised he wanted to take his childhood room instead of the master bedroom. But knowing Trevor, he probably didn’t want to since that was his parents’ room. He probably would have thought about the things they done in there and wouldn’t want to stay there.

I looked down at my sleep shirt, which was one of Trevor’s plaid shirts. I press my nose against the collar and smelled his favorite cologne, Gucci Envy. I took one more look around the room and got up, figuring it was time to face Trevor and what happened earlier.

I slowly traveled down the stairs and noticed Trevor on the couch sleeping. His bare chest was slowly weaving in and out, while he had his hand on the waistband of his pajama pants. I had to smile at the sight before me. Even when he’s sleeping, he still looked sexy.

I went over to him and gave him a tiny kiss on his cheek. He slowly opened his eyes and noticed me standing before him.

“Hey. What time is it?”

“A little after nine. I just woke up myself.”

“Sorry I didn’t come upstairs. I decided to sleep on the couch.”

“It’s cool. I know after what happened last night, you wouldn’t want to.”

“It’s not that; it’s just that we went too far last night. You said you wanted to wait for us to make love, and we would have broken that promise if your dad didn’t stop us.”

“I know baby, and I probably would have been pissed about it, but I wouldn’t have regretted it if we did. The timing just wasn’t right last night, that’s all.”

“That’s how you’re looking at it?”

“Yep, and I’m sticking to it. But I kind of wish you came upstairs.”

“I know, but with everything that happened and looking at you now in my shirt, I don’t think I could have handled it.”

“And what would you have done?” I said as I straddled Trevor.

“Well, I would have started here.” Trevor said as he kisses my neck. He lowered his lips to my chest. He unbuttoned two buttons on my shirt to expose my braless breasts. He took his mouth and began to suck on the left nipple before moving to the right one.

Just the feeling this man was giving me was more than enough for me to break my rule.

“Forget the rule.” I whispered.

“What?”

“I want you, now.” I whispered as I kiss Trevor.

“You sure?”

I lean over and began to kiss Trevor from his lips to his chest. As I began to go lower, Trevor pulled me up and I wrapped my body against his. We began to kiss as we headed upstairs.

***

“Wow.” I said as I looked at Trevor. We stared at each other in total amazement.

“Do you regret what happened?” Trevor asked.

“I shook my head and smiled.

“Not at all,”

“How do you feel?”

“Good. Actually, I feel fantastic.”

“I’m just glad you’re happy. I miss seeing that pretty smile of yours.”

“You’re the reason for that. I haven’t felt this good in so long, and it’s all thanks to you.”

“Maybe so Cam, but you should give yourself the credit for your happiness. You’re the one who broke away from Chad; I was just here to help you through it.”

I smiled as I cuddled close to him.

“I love you.” Trevor said as he kissed my forehead.

“I love you too.”

***

After making love for a second time, Trevor and I left his house hand in hand. It was time to face my parents and tell them everything from me getting ready to divorce Chad to me and Trevor becoming a couple.

“I guess my parents will be the first to know about us.” I said as I rang the doorbell.

I looked over at Trevor who seemed pretty nervous.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m cool.”

I smiled while waiting for the door to open. My dad was on the other end looking at the two of us in disbelief again. I wish my dad would have a different look when he looked at us.

“Good morning. I see you two finally decided to get out of bed.”

“Dad…”

“Listen, I know you’re grown now and don’t need any advice from me, but I just want you to be careful. Just be clear minded and think about what you should and shouldn’t do. Even though you’re separated from Chad, you’re still married, so think about that.”

“Dad, my mind is very clear about Chad and our marriage. If you let us in, I can tell you why Chad and I are separated.”

My dad opened the door wide for Trevor and I could walk in. As we went inside, we went straight to the couch while my dad went towards his favorite chair. That man had that chair since I was born, so imagine how it looked now.

“Where’s Mom?”

“She’s sleeping Cam.”

“Really, it’s after eleven.”

“Cam, it’s something you should know about your mother…”

“I thought I heard voices.” My mom said as she came down the stairs.

“Hey, Mom,” I said as went to her and gave her a hug. As soon as I did, I could sense something was wrong.

“Is everything okay, Mom?”

“I’m fine sweetie. Hi, Trevor,”

“Hi, Claire,”

My mom smiled at Trevor as she went over to the love seat to sit down.

As I noticed my mom, I couldn’t help but to feel a little sad. I could tell from her appearance and the fact that she was sleeping more than she should, could only mean she wasn’t well.

“So your dad said that you and Chad are separated? I wouldn’t be sad if it’s true.”

“Really Claire,”

“You know I could never stand Chad. I basically tolerated him because of Camille.”

Trevor started to laugh after my mom’s comment.

“Anyway, it’s true. I found out that Chad cheated on me twice with Rachel; once during college and the other before our wedding.”

“Oh, Camille,” My mom said.

“Sorry to hear that Camille; but you have to realize it was before your marriage. Did he cheat on you during the marriage?” asked my dad.

“That’s not the point Dad; we were in a relationship; he had no reason to cheat on me! Besides, I’m pretty sure he’s been having an affair during our marriage; I just don’t have the proof to back it up.”

“So you’re saying you been completely faithful to Chad, even before your marriage?” my mom asked while she looked at Trevor.

Trevor looked at my mom to me while I gave my mom a “don’t-go-there” look. I knew where my mom was going, and this was not the time to prove her point.

“Mom, please.”

“Now that your marriage is practically over, you need to admit your feelings to the man sitting beside you. Camille, you’ve been in love with Trevor for years. Hell, it could have been when you were kids; the point is, you need to put your feelings out on the table and figure out what you want for your life. Evidently, Chad is not the one and to be honest, he never was.”

My dad looked at the two of us and sighed. Trevor smiled as he took my hand into his.

“I think you need to tell her Cam.”

I smiled and looked at my mom.

“You are right about one thing, I always had feelings for Trevor, and I recently realized that he always had feelings for me and we decided to give a romantic relationship a try.”

“Oh baby, I’m so happy for you.” My mom said as she went up to me and gave me a hug. As we broke apart from the hug, she went to Trevor and hugged him too.

“Maybe I wasn’t faithful to Chad too; emotionally faithful. I always had feelings for another man and never faced them, until now. So really, we both done our share of dirt, and now, we just need to end our marriage so we both can move on.”

“Honey, should you at least try to figure some things out before you move into another relationship? Although you know each other, you’re both moving into a different territory.”

“We know that, but we’re willing to take a chance. Mr. Thomas, we love each other and we’re willing to make this work.” Trevor said.

I looked at Trevor as I put my head on his shoulder. My mom smiled at the two of us while my dad looked as if he wanted to explode.

“Well, you know how I feel about you two, so I’m happy. You should be too David.”

“I would be if these two slow down and think about this.”

“Our minds are made up Dad. Now, can we move on from this discussion, please? You were mentioning something earlier…”

“I don’t think we should discuss it now Camille.” My dad quickly said.

I looked at my dad, who then looked at my mom. My mom gave my dad a disapproving look.

“What’s going on? I sensed something was up the minute we walked in. Mom, is something going on with you?”

“Why would you think that, sweetie? Everything is fine.”

“I don’t think it is. You’ve been acting different lately. And just a couple of minutes ago you just woke up. I find that odd considering that you’re usually the first person up in the morning.”

“Camille, everything is fine. There’s nothing to worry about.”

“That’s not reassuring, Mom.”

“Claire, tell her the truth! She deserves to know!” My dad exclaimed.

“Stop, David.”

“Tell her, or I will.”

I looked at both of my parents wondering what was going on. Trevor started to give my hand a small squeeze.

My mom told a deep breath before walking over to me. She put a hand on my knee while looking straight in my eyes. Just the look she was giving me made my heart break in two.

“I don’t know how to tell you this.”

“Please Mom, whatever it is, we can get through this.” I said in tears.

A sob escalated out of my mom, causing me to cry uncontrollably.

“Baby, I have lung cancer.”

I tried to speak, but the words just couldn’t come out of my mouth. I’m not sure what to think or feel right now. How could this happen to my mom, the strongest person I’ve ever known. This must be a bad dream and I’ll wake up any minute now, I know it.

When I was finally able to speak, it came out in between sobs.

“How did this happen? I’ve never seen you smoke.”

“I smoked heavily before you were born. Of course I quit when I was pregnant, but after you were born, I did continue to smoke every now and then. Now, I guess it finally caught up with me.”

“How long have you known? Have you started any treatments?”

Tears started to flow from my father’s cheeks, which only meant one thing.

“Baby, I didn’t take care of myself like I should of. I didn’t scheduled regular check- ups and when I started experiencing coughing and wheezing, I just assumed I was having a cold, so I never went to the doctor….”

“Are you trying to say the cancer has spread?” I quietly said.

My mom nodded her head while the tears stared to fall down her pale face.

“There’s nothing your doctor can do. You can’t do radiation or chemo?”

“If I did, my body would reject it. I’m so sorry baby. I’m sorry.”

Trevor let go of my hand as I put my arms around my mother. The tears started to flow between the both of us as we cried together over the news.

“Mom, you have nothing to be sorry for. I just wish you would have told me sooner.”

“I just couldn’t tell you. I didn’t have the heart to.”

“How long you have?”

“Dr. Rivers said it could be days or months, just depending on how my body response day to day. I’m just doing what I can to stay here a little longer. But if it is my time to go today or tomorrow, I wouldn’t be sad; and I wouldn’t want you to be either.”

“Don’t talk like that Mom.”

“Baby, please don’t be sad. I accepted this. I know this will take some time, but I hope you will too.”

I looked at Trevor as he was holding back tears of his own. He put his arm around me as I continued to shed tears over what I just learned.

In a matter of minutes, the happiest day of my life has turned into my worse. I never imagine my life without my mother, and now, I might have to.

Baker 6 Chapters 21-22

Hi everyone! The next two chapters of Baker 6 are up as Rachel’s funeral begins, Ms. Addison flirts with Trevor, an unlikely alliance is formed and another secret is exposed.

21.

Tamara

The day has finally come. The day I have dreaded the most, laying my best friend to rest. As I looked around the main sanctuary of St. Peter Catholic Church, I noticed the beautiful arrangements of pink and white lilies and daffodils lining alongside the pews and around Rachel’s casket, which was outlined in her favorite color, pink.

I walked over to the open casket and looked at my best friend who looked rather peaceful in a cream colored Stella McCarthy wrap dress (which was her favorite outfit). The mortician did a nice job with Rachel’s makeup as her appearance looked more angelic than ghostly. I reached for her left hand, which was centered against her right, and took a deep breath. I know today is going to be one of the hardest days we will all face, but I know each one of us will get through it together.

I suddenly felt a hand go across my back. I quickly turned around and noticed Derrick standing beside me. I went up to him as he wrapped his arms around me. Just having my brother there made me feel a little better.

“How are you holding up, sis?”

“Not too good.” I said while holding back tears. I’ve cried so much from the day I heard Rachel’s passing to earlier this morning that I did not think I had any more tears left. Evidently I did.

“I know today will be hard for you. You two were practically sisters.”

“I just wish I could figure out why she was driving that fast on Kelly Court, let along driving that street late at night.”

“We can’t always figure out what is going through a person’s mind. We probably will never know what happened that night.”

“That’s the problem; I need to know what happened that night. Rachel could have been in trouble and no one would ever known.”

“You think it wasn’t an accident?”

“No, I don’t. Rachel had a lot of enemies and it just too convenient that she died accidently. I really think someone tried to kill her.”

Derrick gave out a long sigh while I looked at him with a fresh batch of tears. I started to hear footsteps against the hard wood floor. I look up to see Gerald walk in wearing a black suit and cream colored tie. At the request of Rachel’s family, guests were to wear cream since it was one of Rachel’s favorite colors. I began to wipe my damp hands on my cream and black striped dress as I looked at Gerald.

“Hey.”

“Hi. I didn’t think we would be the only ones here.”

“I think everyone’s is in atrium waiting to come in. I snuck in the back so I could say goodbye before anyone else came in.”

“So did I. Hey Derrick.”

“Hey, Gerald.”

“I’m not going to ask how you’re doing. I’m pretty sure you feel the same as me but a little worse.”

“Pretty much.”

“Well, just know that we’re all here for each other. Even though last night was a disaster, I know that everyone will have respect for Rachel today.”

“I hope so.”

Gerald gave me a light squeeze on my shoulder. I looked at Gerald while he stared at me. Why am I having any type of thoughts right now while I’m at my friend’s funeral at a church no less? But just staring at Gerald and his lips making me think thoughts I shouldn’t be having.

I can sense Derrick is wondering the same because he starts to clear his throat, interrupting our little moment.

“Maybe we should go out to the atrium and wait on the others.” Derrick said.

“I think that’s a good idea.” Gerald said as he took my hand in his. I looked over at Derrick who nodded his head as the three of us went out to the front entrance.

***

The ceremony was simply beautiful. The Addison family had done a wonderful job in remembering their daughter and sister as a wonderful and beautiful person. Myself and the rest of her friends each went to the podium during the benedictions and expressed how much Rachel meant to us as a friend and as a person. Trevor delivered a beautiful speech that brought people to ever more tears as he brought up the side of Rachel not too many people; expect her family and friends, knew about, and that was her being the caring and sympathetic person who went out her way to help people no matter what. Although she may not have showed it all the time, she did her best to be the angel that we knew her as.

The church was overflowed with people from not only her hometown of Baker, but also from the entertainment industry and some of the cast from Park Place. Even Reese Oliver was there, which I was kind of surprise at, because her and Rachel got into a confrontation about a month ago, which resulted in Reese being back burned for a couple of episodes.

As I looked around the sanctuary, I realized that Rachel was truly loved and that she will definitely be missed not only as an actress, but as a person.

After the service, everyone headed to Rose Park Cemetery to say our final goodbyes. Her family and friends each put a pink rose onto her casket as workers began to lower the casket into the ground. I watched as the casket slowly went into the dirt, making me feel even worse than before, because I now know my friend is truly gone.

Gerald was by my side the whole time, holding my hand or hugging me when he knew I needed it. Derrick looked over at me a couple of times to make sure I was okay, but he knew I was since Gerald was there. I could tell he had has hands full with Melanie as she continued to cry into his chest. Once everything calm down from the funeral, I have to find out what is going on with her and my brother, because honestly I do not like it.

Don’t get me wrong, Melanie is my friend, but seeing her with Derrick is something I care not to see while I’m still breathing. Maybe I’m just a little overprotected of my big brother, but I know he can do a little better than Melanie, who is practically a gold digger with the men she used to date. I just don’t want Derrick to get hurt. Especially all we gone through growing up; we deserved to be happy.

Once the funeral concluded, half of the visitors arrived at the Addison’s for repast. While people were feasting on a variety of Rachel’s favorites, including sushi and chicken, I decided to head out to the patio to take in the exceptionally beautiful afternoon. As I sat down on a lawn chair nearby, I looked ahead at the lake situated in front of the backyard and noticed how clear and calm the water looked. I glanced up at the clear, blue sky wondering what Rachel is doing in heaven. It still hard to imagine that she is no longer here on Earth, but I know that she is in a much better place.

I suddenly felt a chill as I turned around and noticed Gerald standing by the door.

“I thought I saw you come out here.” He said as he started to walk by me.

“I needed some fresh air.” I said as I started to stare back at the sky.

“Mind if I join you?”

I smiled as he took a sit beside me.

“It was a beautiful service; nothing less for Rachel, huh?”

“Not at all”

Gerald took my hand in his and smiled.

I put my head on his shoulder as he wrapped his arm around me. I think then we didn’t need to talk any longer. Just being in each other presence was more than enough for us to share.

***
Trevor

“Thank you so much for coming, Trevor. Rachel always had a soft spot for you. I just hate you two ended things the way you did.” Rachel’s mother, Sophia Addison, implied.

I looked at Sophia and smiled. I didn’t really know what to say to that comment. I know Rachel’s mom always wanted us two to be together, so I think it was more of her thinking than Rachel’s thoughts.

Camille was nearby talking with a mutual friend when she looked me in the eyes. I’m not sure if it was a hint of jealousy on her face, but she stared at me like I was the one who made the comment.

Camille and Rachel were good friends, but they did have their share of rivalries. I guess trying to snag me was one of them.

“Well, I will never regret the time we shared together, Ms. Addison.”

“I’m sure. Why your fiancée not with you? I would have thought she would have been by your side.”

“She decided not to come. She wasn’t feeling well.” I suddenly blurted out.

Camille gave me another confused look to my comment.

Since Camille and I are keeping things between us quiet, I couldn’t possibly say we were together.

“Well, tell her I would like to meet her. I need to see the woman who snagged you up. If I was twenty years younger, I would definitely have tried to.”

I suddenly started to become uncomfortable with Ms. Addison’s comments. I really don’t think she needs to be coming on to me at her daughter’s funeral!

“Uh, excuse me Ms. Addison, I just noticed someone I graduated from high school with and wanted to say hi.” I said as I quickly turned around and walked away.

I breathe a sigh of relief as I walked over to the other side of the living room, wondering whether that was grief talking or Ms. Addison’s true feelings.

“So, I see Ms. Addison has a thing for younger men.” Someone whispered.

I turned around and noticed Camille smiling at me.

“Yeah; it would be kind of flattering if I wasn’t totally freaked out.”

“Oh come on; Ms. Addison is gorgeous.”

“Yeah, but she’s also my ex’s mother. Besides, we’re at her daughter’s funeral. Not exactly a place to be flirting.”

“I know. Maybe it was just the grief talking. I know this must be hard for her. She and Rachel were really close.”

“I know. How are you feeling?”

“Okay, for the most part. I still can’t believe Rach is gone.”

“I know; me too. I’m glad you’re here with me though.”

Camille smiled. “I am too. In fact, I was thinking maybe we should go back to my place and just watch TV.”

“Cool. You think Chad might show up though?”

“Hardly doubt it. In fact, I haven’t seen him at the funeral, which is kind of strange.”

“Maybe he didn’t want to start any more trouble after last night.”

“Maybe so. Let’s say our goodbyes and go.”

I smiled as I watched Camille sashay over to a group of people. I had to shake my head at how lucky I am to have her as more than just my best friend.

I just wish I was able to tell someone about our relationship.

***
Chad

I stared at my blank television screen in my hotel room thinking about what I witnessed today. I did attend Rachel’s funeral to pay my respects, but what I witnessed was far more than what I anticipated. Yes, I always knew that my wife had feelings for Pretty Boy Williams, but I never thought she would flaunt her boy toy around while she still married at her best friend’s funeral! I’m pretty sure she probably wasn’t trying to, but anyone can see the two either have hooked up last night or on a friendlier level than ever before. If no one can see it, then they are definitely blind.

Last night, after I discovered my stuff sitting outside my home, I had to quickly pick everything up before the sprinklers came on. I didn’t think Camille would throw me out the house like some piece of trash, but knowing her, this was the perfect opportunity to bang her best friend.

I sighed as I pound my fist against the coffee table, realizing that my wife is trying to play me for a fool. I owned up to my dirt, but her denying her sudden relationship with Trevor is ridiculous, and I will prove it to everyone.

With a bit of soul searching, I had to figure out something to keep my entire life in order. Not only was my second life in jeopardy, but also my estate. I was not going to let anyone, including my wife, know about the affairs I was having while married. If anything, I will expose those two hypocrites, especially Camille, because I will not give her a dime of my money if she decided to cheat while we’re still married.

My thoughts were interrupted when the doorbell began to ring. I went to the door and looked through the peephole. A smile spread across my lips as I turned the knob to open the door.

“Well, hello there.”

The woman smiled as she walked past me and into the tiny sitting area. I closed the door and fell into step behind her.

“I was kind of surprised that you called me. I figured you would still be at the funeral.”

“I was there, but left early. I didn’t want anyone to see me there.”

“Why not? You were her friend too.”

“Yeah, but didn’t want to cause any trouble.”

The woman came up to me and smiled.

“So, what do you want to talk to me about?”

I gave a seductive grin as I brushed my fingers through her straight locks.

“I think you know the reason.”

I stared directly at Melissa Peterson knowing that my plan to bring down Camille and Trevor was about to go into motion.

22.

Melanie

Saying good –bye to Rachel was one of the hardest things I had to do in my entire life. Even though we had our differences in the past, I could not imagine her not being in my life. I remembered the day we met like it was yesterday……

It was my first day of eleventh grade and I was terrified of being the new girl. Since moving from Atlanta, I didn’t really have any friends, so I tried to do what I could to fit in quickly. As I tried to scope out who I thought could been the cool kids, I noticed one girl giving me a long and engaging stare. I started to look around to see if she was staring at someone else, but when I noticed no one was around, I gave her an annoying look, wondering why she was looking at me.

The girl smiled as she walked over to me and took a seat at my table.

“Sorry, you probably think I’m crazy or something.” The girl said.

“No, just a little curious to why you’re staring at me and now you’re sitting at my table.”

“Don’t be curious. I just thought you might need a friend. That and I love your top. Where did you get it?”

“Forever 21.”

“Love that place. Well, my name is Rachel.” Rachel said as she extended her hand.

“Melanie.” I said as I took her hand in mine.

I suddenly felt a little tingle as I shook Rachel’s hand. I pulled away as I quickly placed my hand in my lap.

“So I’m assuming this is your first day? I haven’t seen you around school before.”

“Yeah; I just moved from Atlanta. My mother’s job got transferred, so of course we had to relocate.”

“Well, trust me; Baker is a great place to stay. It may get a little boring at times, but that’s why my friends and I head to Houston.”

“Oh, cool. So what do ya’ll do for fun?”

“Lots of things; we usually go to this teen spot called Haven. In fact my friends and I are going this weekend. You should come with us.”

“Sure, I’ll check it out.”

Rachel gave me a sweet smile as she started to talk about what to expect at Baker High. While she was talking, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful Rachel was. Normally, I wouldn’t check out another female, but for some reason, there was something different about her that I couldn’t place. Whatever it was, I was already intrigued and wanted to know more about Rachel Addison.

That weekend arrived, and I was meeting Rachel and her friends at Haven. Since the day we met, we started to spend a lot of time together, which was cool with me since I didn’t know anyone else in town. My mom was especially thrill, considering since I needed to have a social life, she said. I was happy to have someone else to talk to. My mom and I moved during the summer, and while all my old friends were getting ready to plan their daily trips to the beach, I was packing my belongings into boxes. So being around another person besides my mom was pretty wonderful.

My thoughts were suddenly interrupted when the doorbell rang. I went up to the door and opened it to reveal Rachel standing on the other side looking gorgeous in a short fitting black mini dress with black and white pumps. I couldn’t help but wonder if I was underdress as I stared at my black jeans and a black and white halter.

“You looked great Melanie.” Rachel said as she stared at me.

Even though Rachel and I suddenly met, I really started to feel a connection between us. This feeling was weird for me, because I’ve never thought of another girl in any way but a friend, but suddenly, my feelings were definitely starting to change.

“We better go. My friends are waiting in the car.” Rachel said as she grabbed my hand.

“Sure.” I said as I clutched my keys to lock the door.

We held hands as we approached her friend’s car. Rachel looked at me and squeezed my hand tighter, which made me wonder if Rachel is having the same unexpected feelings as I am….

As we arrived at Haven, the place was already packed. From what Rachel’s friend Camille explained, Haven was the place to be on a Saturday night, making this the place to be and be seen.

As we all got out of Trevor’s new Ford Explorer, I tried to take a peek at Rachel and Trevor talking. I’m not sure if the two were together, but I could tell some major chemistry was going on.

Camille looked over at me as she noticed Trevor and Rachel talking. I quickly turned away and pretend I was looking for my cell phone.

“I’m not sure what’s going on with them; Trevor always with someone new, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they did hooked up.”

“From what Rachel said, you and Trevor are best friends?”

“Yeah; we’re next door neighbors since we were two.”

“Wow, that must be great to have someone practically grow up with you.”

“Yeah, it has been.” Camille said as she gave the two another look before heading to the long line that was wrapped around the side of the building.

If Rachel and Trevor are together, maybe the thoughts I’m feeling for Rachel are one-sided. Maybe what I’m seeing is what I want to see and that Rachel does not feel the same way I do.

“You ready to have some fun?” Rachel asked as she put her arm around me and smiled.

“Of course.” I said as we went into the line.

Twenty minutes later, and we were inside. Everyone wanted to hit the dance floor, which I didn’t at first, until Rachel pulled me to an available space to dance. As she started to move her body to the beat, I just stared at her wondering what is coming over me. I should not be feeling like this about anyone, especially a girl, in this short amount of time. But as I watch her put her arm around me and started to grind on me, my feelings overstepped my thoughts as I started to dance with her. Just her arms around me and her breathing on my neck made my stomach do flip flops.

Rachel gives me a look of desire, as she pulled away and began to literally seduce me on the dance floor. As others around us, including Trevor and Rachel’s other friend Gerald, looked on, I suddenly felt embarrassed, but extremely turned on at the same time.

That moment alone I realized that I wanted to be more than just friends with Rachel….

After three hours being at Haven, we all decided to call it a night. As Trevor was dropping me and Rachel off at my house, an unexpected thought cross my mind. I forgot that Rachel asked to sleep over at my house, which meant I would be around her the entire night which made me extremely nervous.

“See ya’ll later.” Rachel said as she was getting out of the SUV. She stared at Trevor as she gave him a kiss on the cheek. I could have sworn I saw smoke coming out of Camille’s ears as she scowled at the two.

As soon as we went upstairs to my room, Rachel immediately took off her pumps and laid on my bed.

“I am exhausted. Whoever said dancing was a form of exercise is so right. My feet are killing me.”

“I can imagine. You practically danced the whole time we were there.”

“I couldn’t help it. Haven was on point with the music tonight.”

I walked over to my TV stand and grabbed the remote. I turned it on to see what was playing. As I sat down on the floor, Rachel gave me a side eye as she stared at me.

“I’m sure you rather sit on your bed instead of the floor.”

“I figure you were on it.”

“Your bed is big enough for the both of us.”

I smiled as I sat beside Rachel. She took her hand and started to run her fingers through my red locks, giving me a slight shiver throughout my body.

“Are you cold?”

“A little.” I said as I pick up my blanket that was lying on my armchair.

“You have a great room. It shows you have style.”

“Thanks. So tell me, what’s the deal between you and Trevor? You two seem pretty cozy tonight.”

“Oh Trevor; he’s cool, not to mention sexy. That boy can have any girl he wants. We flirt a lot, but nothing more.”

“If given the chance, would you date him?”

“I don’t know, I mean I’m young, I really don’t want any type of relationship right now. I just want to have fun.”

“That’s how I feel. Why get into a relationship when you have your whole life in front of you.”

“Exactly.”

“So I guess you didn’t have someone special in Atlanta?”

“I did; his name was Jeremy. But I didn’t want to be in a long-distance relationship. I ended things before I left.”

“So you telling me that you are free to do anything?”

“Yeah, I am.”

Rachel looked at me as she pushed a strand of hair from my face. I gazed at her and her red lips, wondering what it would be like to taste them. I didn’t have to wonder as Rachel leaned over and gave me a soft kiss on my lips. Just touching her lips felt really weird, especially since her lips were gentle and velvety like mine. Although it was weird, I definitely wanted more.

As if she heard my thoughts, she deepen the kiss, while putting her hand on my back. I parted her lips with my tongue, giving me access to go even further into our kiss. Rachel moved her hand up to the tie of my halter as she untied it. She watched as my halter fell to my stomach, revealing my braless breasts.

Rachel gave me a seductive glance as she began to kiss me again, and we both fall on the bed…..

What we shared that night was my first sexual experience with a girl. To be honest, it was first sexual experience ever. After that night, things were a little awkward between Rachel and me, but we didn’t let it show around the others. Instead, we kept things friendly. As time pass, we slipped back into the lover mood every now and then, but things really turn from lovers to enemies as we approach college. I realized that my fling with Rachel was just that- a fling. Rachel, on the other hand, wanted it to be more on her terms. She wanted to keep me around as her play thing while she did whatever she wanted with other men. I’m not sure if she had sexual encounters with other women, but she did do a lot of bed hopping back in the day.

After the fling between Rachel and me, I realized that I was just curious with the idea of being with a female; I accomplished my goal and moved on. While I decided to date guys, Rachel became jealous and even a little possessive over the idea. Although my friends never knew what happened between us (still doesn’t to this day), they knew that things suddenly changed between our friendship, making us more frenemies than actual friends. So in actuality, sex does change a friendship, because our relationship was never the same after that.

After the funeral, I got a call from Agent Sutton summoning me to the bureau for a review of the Brown case. As I walked into the bureau, I noticed Derrick sitting in Sutton’s office. He turned towards the glass wall and gave me a sullen look.

Could this day get any worse?

As I slowly stepped into Sutton’s office, he gave me a nod as he goes to his door and closed it.

“Let’s get straight to the point. You two have been on this case for almost two years! How come there is no evidence against Colton Brown? The man should have been locked up instead of on the streets pushing drugs on young children!”

“We’ve been trying to find some sort of evidence that will stick on Brown, but we haven’t found anything.” Derrick said.

“And I suppose to believe that knowing that your sister is an associate of Brown’s. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea having the both of you on this case.”

“I tried to tell you that.” Derrick said in a whisper.

“What was that?” Sutton said.

“Agent Sutton, we’re doing what we can to get Brown off the streets; believe us, we want him locked up just as much as you do; but right now we do not have the information we need to do that. We have to have concrete evidence and not something that will easily get him out in a couple of months.”

“Melanie’s right. We have been trying to get Tamara to mention anything about Colton, but I really think she no longer associates with him.”

“That’s what you want to believe. You heard the past conversations. You know she spoke with him a year ago.”

“Exactly; she could have cut all ties with him now.”

“Well as her big brother, you need to find out if that is true. I put a lot on the line to have you two on this case. I’m getting flak from upper head about what I’m not doing on this case. So you two either need to find the evidence to get Brown off the streets, or I’m going to have to find a team who will. Understand?”

Derrick and I looked at each other and then at Sutton.

“We understand completely.” said Derrick.

We both got up from our chairs seated in front of Sutton’s desk and walked towards the door. Derrick closed the door behind him; he gave me sigh and walked over to his desk.

“I can’t deal with this right now. I think we already dealt with enough with Rachel’s funeral.”

“I know. Thank you by the way.”

“For what?”

“For being by my side. You could have easily been with Tamara.”

“I know, but Gerald pretty much had that handled.”

“I noticed. So Tamara and Gerald are dating?”

“I wouldn’t say that. I think they’re just being good friends to each other right now.”

I looked at Derrick, wondering if what he’s said was true.

***

Gerald

“You sure you want to invite me in?” I asked Tamara.

After the funeral, Tamara asked if I wanted to come by her place to talk. I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea, considering how good Tamara looking in that cream and black dress. I know my mind should not be going in places unknown, especially since we just buried our friend, but people said funerals does bring people’s emotions out, whether it was grief or just plain lust.

“It’s fine Gerald. I really don’t want to be alone right now.”

I nodded my head as I walked into my friend’s condo. The place was beautifully decorated in deep brown with a dash of beige in certain areas of the living and dining room. As I sat down on the brown and red sofa, Tamara went into the kitchen to grab a drink.

“Did you want anything?”

“Water is fine.”

A few seconds later, Tamara walked into the living room with two bottled waters. She handed me mine while she opened her and took a long swig. She sat beside me and laid her head in my lap.

“I’ll stay as long as you like.”

“Thanks,” She softly replied.

I begin to stroke her dark brown locks while she looked up at me. I really wanted to kiss her, but didn’t know if the time was right. Although we’ve been friends for years, we never been as close as we were over the past couple of days. I never thought about stepping out of the friend territory, but looking at how beautiful Tamara looked while staring at me made me think otherwise.

“What is going on between us?” I asked.

“That’s something I’ve been wondering too.”

“I didn’t think I would start to have romantic feelings for a friend. It just seems kind of…”

“Rushed.” Tamara implied.

“Yeah.”

Tamara sat up as she stared into my eyes.

“I wouldn’t try to figure it out. From what I’ve learned the past couple of days, life is too short. We need to embrace whatever choices and decisions we make; and right now, all I want you to do is take me into my bedroom and make love to me until we’re too tired to.”

I looked at Tamara as if she lost her mind. Even though she was serious, she started to giggle.

“I know I sound kind of eager….”

“No, you kind of shocked me, that’s all. You sure; I mean we’re both grieving right now and I don’t want us regretting this later on.”

“Gerald, does it look like I’ll regret it. You just don’t know how long I’ve wanted you to kiss me let alone be inside me. I need to feel you; I just need you here with me.”

“And I will do that and more. I just want you to think with a leveled head right now.”

“I am. My mind has never been clearer. Besides, just looking at you right now, I know you want it too.” Tamara said as she looked at my face and then down to my pants. I looked down and noticed that little Gerald was starting to grow from the mention of making love to Tamara.

“I guess I’m right.” She said with conviction.

“Of course he’s going to agree, but I’m thinking with my top head. I don’t want to be like those friends who lose their friendships because they wanted to take it further. Not only that, but we supposed to have a professional relationship. We can’t mix business with pleasure.”

“Does it look like I’m concern about business right now? Gerald, let’s just think about right here, right now. Let’s not think about work, or the funeral, or the entire world. All I want is your body on mine, kissing me all over.” Tamara said as she moved closer to my neck. She started to nibble on my earlobe, making me forget about the thoughts in my head.

“I just want you, Gerald.” She said as she continued to kiss on my earlobe.

I couldn’t resist the feeling Tamara was giving me. Just as she requested, I didn’t care about anything but giving pleasure to this beautiful woman, and I plan on doing that all night long.

I got up from the sofa and picked Tamara up. We began to kiss passionately as I carried her to her bedroom.