Later that day, and Marcus was at Cheryl’s condo. Although she was taking him out, he insisted he will drive into the city, which was fine by her. He glanced at his appearance in the glass door, wondering if what he was wearing was appropriate. He sighed and rang the doorbell. The door opened, revealing Mr. Thompson. He glanced at Marcus with a curious expression.

“Good evening, Mr. Thompson.”

“Marcus, right?”

“Yes, sir. How are you?”

“I’m fine. How about yourself?”

“I’m doing good, thank you.”

“Come on in.” Mr. Thompson insisted, opening the door wider for him to enter. He glanced at Marcus again, wondering what was he doing at his house, when Cheryl walked into the living room. Once Marcus saw her, his heart started to beat furiously. The coral dress she was wearing accentuated her body beautifully and also brought out her skin tone perfectly. Her hair was done straight from her usual spiral locks, which framed her face. She looked at him and gave a sweet smile.

“You look beautiful, Cheryl.”

Cheryl looked at Marcus, not knowing what to say. Dressed in a blue dress shirt and black slacks, she noticed that he can clean up pretty nicely.

“You look great, Marcus.”

Mr. Thompson continued to look at the two, still confused to what was going on.

“Marcus, before you two leave, can I speak to Cheryl, please.”

“Sure, Mr. Thompson. I’ll just wait outside.”

“I won’t be too long.” Cheryl said.

Marcus smiled. He gave another look at her before going outside.

Once the door closed, Mr. Thompson began to speak.

“What is going on? Aren’t you with Chris?”

“I am, Dad.”

“Then why are you going out with Marcus? And isn’t he the guy that was seeing Riana while she was with Shawn?”

“Yes, Dad. I see you and Uncle Thomas has been talking.”

“Cheryl, I don’t think you need to be going out with him. Not only are you involved with someone, but he has been around your cousin and your friend. He could be seeing someone else while he’s talking to you.”

“I’m pretty much doing the same thing.”

“Is everything okay with you and Chris?”

“Everything is fine. In fact, he was the one who told me to look out for him after what happened.”

“Does he really need someone to watch after him?”

“Honestly, yes. He’s in a really bad place and hopefully I can help him get through it.”

Mr .Thompson sighed. “Just be careful. I know you’re an adult, but..”

“I’ll be okay, Dad. Now, can I go? I don’t want to keep him waiting.”

Her dad nodded and Cheryl gave him a kiss on the cheek.

“I’ll be back later.”

“You better.”

Cheryl smiled and went to the door. She opened it and saw Marcus on the doorstep.

“Ready to go?”

“Sure.”

Cheryl smiled and took Marcus’ hand. She knew her dad was telling the truth, but right now, that was the least of her concerns.

***
Britney was having a great time with Jackie. The two spent the late afternoon eating dinner at Black Star Café, a place he wanted to take her to. Now, the two were walking out of the movie theater after seeing a movie, when Jackie began to talk.

“Did you have a great time?”

Britney smiled. “I really did. Thank you.”

“I knew you would. And you were worried.”

“I wasn’t worried, just a little paranoid.”

“It’s the same thing.” Jackie smiled. “I know we only have been dating for a couple of months, but I would realy like for you to meet my family.”

Britney turned to look at him. “Really?”

“Yes. I know they’ll love you.”

“I don’t know, Jackie. That’s a big step.”

“It is; everyone pretty much know about you and you will definitely fit in with everyone.”

Britney stopped walking. “I don’t know if I want to, though.”

Jackie sighed. “Why not?”

“Because that’s a major step. Honestly, we’re not even in a relationship; we’re just together.”

“So is that what you’re calling it, because I really thought we were.”

“Seriously, Jackie, do you really think we could be in an actual relationship when we have to come into the city to be together? I really like you, but I don’t know if I want to continue doing this. I don’t want to continue being in fear that someone will spot us. I don’t want you fired or me kicked out of school.”

“Why are you so worried about this? Nothing will happen to us if we continue to lay low. Everything will be fine once the semester is over and we can really spend time together.”

Britney sighed.

“Can you do that? If we stay together that long, then that will be time I will introduce you to my family.”

Britney nodded. “Okay.”

Jackie smiled and gently took her hand.

She smiled and the two continued to walk.

***
Once Cheryl instructed Marcus on where to go, the two were seated inside of Madi’s Mediterranean Restaurant. She glanced at him through her menu, wondering what was going through his mind right now. The two knew something was happening, but for obvious reasons, didn’t want to admit it.

“ I really hope your dad wasn’t upset about you going out with me.” Marcus wondered.

“Don’t worry about my dad. He’ll be okay.”

“I don’t want your relationship to be stained because of me.”

“Marcus, it’s okay. Now, let’s just enjoy our evening together?”

“Okay.”

After ordering Cheryl’s favorite dishes, the two talked about her classes as well as Marcus’ course selections once he start the master’s program. Cheryl smiled at him; she realized taking classes was what he needed. It was something he was excited for, which was great considering the path he was slowly going down.

After they finished their meals, they decided to take a walk around the water tower, which looked gorgeous at night. They saw a saxophonist playing Blackstreet’s “Before I Let You Go,” They saw several couples near the open area dancing to the music when Marcus glanced at her.

“Would you like to dance?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Come on.” He said. He gently took her hand and went to an open space. Her heart began to beat fast once he placed his hand on her back. She put her arms around him and they slowly swayed to the beat.

“I really had a good time, Cheryl.” Marcus said.

“Me too. You’re really a great person to hang out with.”

“You are, too. I do want to thank you, though..”

“For what?”

“For giving me a chance. I know you were doing it because of Chris…”

“At first I was.”

“But now.”

“Now, I want to be around you more. I know I shouldn’t feel this way, considering everything that has happened, but I really am comfortable around you.”

Marcus smiled.”I am with you too. You helped me face a lot of issues I’m having, including what happened with Dominique and with Shawn. Even though it’s been a short time, I consider you a great friend.”

“So do I.”

The two continued to stare at each other when Cheryl put her head on his chest. She closed her eyes, sighing at the smell of his cologne. He lifted her chin and looked into her eyes. Cheryl leaned into him and gently kissed him. He held her as he deepened the kiss, which made her slowly melt into his arms. She didn’t know she would feel this way towards another man. Only Chris supposed to made her feel this way.

They pulled apart, still staring at each other.

“You want to leave?” she asked.

Marcus took her hand and the two went towards the parking garage. They didn’t know where the night was heading, but they were both anxious to find out.

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