Riana hung up with Cheryl and stared at Shawn, who was busy looking at the road. He glanced at her and smiled.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” She replied. She knew what Cheryl was up to. There was only one diner near a park, and that was near Marcus’ apartment. She knew she was trying to find some way for the two to talk, which was fine with her, but would probably piss Shawn off.

“What Cheryl wanted? And why she mentioned Dominique and Terrance?”

“She has some big news that she wanted to share with us. She told us to meet her at Murphy’s Diner.”

“Really? I wondered what that could be.”

Riana shrugged and glanced at the road ahead.

“Have you found anything for your story? You haven’t mentioned much since the first assignment?”

“No, not yet; but Professor Caldwell loved the trial article I submitted. He said there is a position on the staff if I want it.”

“Well, isn’t it?”

“It is, it just now, should I really be digging up information about GZG? At first, I was eager to, but now, I’m not so sure.”

“What made you change your mind?”

“Based on what happened earlier today, she has the mind to do anything if you cross her. I just don’t want to find out what she’s capable of. But a part of me wants to find out.”

“Baby, you should do what’s best. In fact, maybe you should drop out of pledging.”

“I would, but it’s Cheryl…”

“I know, her dream; but I think Cheryl wouldn’t mind doing the same, especially if she knows something about Dominique.”

Riana sighed as Shawn pulled into a parking spot near the diner. The two got out and went inside. Riana gave a disgusted look, wishing Cheryl would have asked to meet somewhere else. She heard stories about this place around campus; now she saw why. That’s probably why she told her to meet there, because no one, particularly Dominique nor Terrance, would see them there.

She was hesitant to sit in the booth as she looked at the seat. Shawn shook his head and pulled her into his lap. “Better?”

“Definitely.” She smiled.

He kissed her while caressing her back. “Hopefully she’ll come so we can go back to your place.”

“She will.”

The door opened and Cheryl and Marcus walked in. Shawn looked from them to Riana and sighed.

“Is this a set-up?”
“Shawn, please, just calm down.”

“Why? I said I didn’t want to talk to him.”

“Maybe it’s time you do.”

He shook his head as they approached the booth.

“Hey.” Cheryl said. She looked at Shawn, who had a heated expression.

“Hey Shawn.” Marcus said.

Shawn rolled his eyes and looked to the door. “Was this the big news you wanted to share?”

“Sort of, but I really have some news about Dominique and Terrance, but I think Marcus should be the one to tell you.”

He gave a curious glance while looking at him. “Why would you have information about the two?”

“Because I sort of know Dominique.”

“Seriously?”

“Remember the incident that happened at the off-campus party during your freshmen year? I was a part of it; so was Dominique.”

“What?”

“We talked during the party and we had sex, but one of her sisters caught us, so she claimed I’d raped her.”

Shawn looked at his brother, not knowing whether to believe him, but the look he had on his face told it all. He was telling the truth.

“Terrance is also Dominique’s stepbrother. She mentioned that to me during our conversation.”

“So it all make sense now with you dating him. He spotted you out at the party and talked to you. I’m sure she put him up to it.” Cheryl said to Riana.

“That bitch.” Riana muttered.

“Are you still involved with her? I know Cheryl mentioned Riana is trying to dig up dirt on the sorority.” Marcus inquired.

“Sort of, but I think Ri is having a change of heart. She wants to quit.” Shawn said while staring at her.

“I don’t know now. Since I learned this, I really think I need to continue. If she’s capable of that, I’m sure she has done things in the past to humiliate pledges.”

“Ri…”

“Shawn, I think I need to continue. If you want to quit Cheryl, you can, but I’m staying.”

“Shawn’s right; you need to quit, Ri.”

“No, I’m not.”

Cheryl sighed while Shawn closed his eyes in frustration.

“Come on, Ri; I need to talk some sense into you.” Cheryl said. Riana glanced at Shawn and Marcus, wondering if she should leave them alone. Cheryl noticed the look and motioned to the door.

“Fine.” She said. She got up from Shawn’s lap and the two went to the door.

Shawn looked at Marcus while he began to wring his hands together.

“I’m really sorry she put you through that. I knew during that time you kept your distance from everyone, but I didn’t know why.”

“I know. I was trying to protect you. I didn’t want you to be bombarded with people asking questions about what happened.”

“Does anyone else know?”

“Chris does.”

“So that’s why he warned me about her.” Shawn realized.

“Listen, I know we’re not on speaking terms right now, and I understand, but you’re still my brother and I care about you. I don’t want anything to happen to you, so just watch your back around her.”

Shawn nodded. “Thanks.”

“Riana needs to do the same.”

“I agree.”

“As for Ri, I’m really sorry for what happened. I should not have crossed the line with her and I’m regretting that decision every day.”

“You really hurt me. It wasn’t the idea that you pursued her, but it was the fact that you betrayed me. We’re supposed to be family and you stabbed me in the back.”

“I know that, and believe me, I’m not proud of that.”

“I wonder should I forgive you, because I miss you. I mean, I forgave Riana, but I can’t with you.”

Marcus nodded. “I understand if you can’t. I know it will take some time for you to do that.”

“Let me finish. Although there are still a lot of issues we need to resolve, I don’t want us going through life not being around each other. Women will come and go, but we’re family, and that will never change.”

“So, what are you saying?”

“I’m saying we need to try and establish a relationship again. Not only for our sake, but also for Mom and Dad. She called today and she’s still pissed that we’re not talking.” Shawn said.

“I can imagine.” Marcus said.

“So are you willing to work things out?”

Marcus nodded. “Yeah.”

Shawn went up to him and gave him a brotherly hug. They pulled apart and Marcus smiled.

“Just promise me one thing?” Shawn asked.

“What’s that?”

“Don’t pursue Riana again.”

Marcus nodded. “Of course I won’t.”

“Good, because I’m not trying to kick your ass again.”

Marcus laughed. “Seriously? I think I kicked yours.”

“If you say so.”

Shawn playfully shoved Marcus and he grinned.

“Now that has been resolved, what’s going on with you and Cheryl? Are you trying to do a repeat with her and Chris?”

Marcus sighed. “Honestly, I don’t know. She’s been hanging out with me because Chris told her to keep an eye on me, but she has been a really great friend.”

“How bad off were you?”
“I recently was arrested for assault and I’ve been drinking a lot lately.”

Shawn gave a sad expression. “Man, I didn’t…”

“It’s okay; it was my fault for my actions lately, not yours.”

“Yeah, but…”

“Little bro, stop. I’m okay now, thanks to Cheryl. She has helped me see that what I was doing was wrong and I should turn any negative energy I have into something positive, which I did.”

“What was that?”

“I decided to go back to school for my master’s.”

Shawn smiled. “Really? That’s great.”

“Yeah. I already have a couple of courses I’m thinking about taking, so you never know, I might actually quit the force.”

“Mom would be glad to hear that. Or is there another reason why you would be quitting?”

“I haven’t been to work for the past two weeks now; and now with the arrest, I might not even have a job.”

“Sorry, man.”

Marcus nodded and looked at the door. He saw Cheryl and Riana smiling at the them.

“I see they’re happy we’re speaking again.”

“Of course they are. Now going back to Cheryl, you do know she’s with Chris, right?”

“Shawn, it’s nothing going on.”

“Really, because it doesn’t look that way to me. I could tell by the way you’re looking at her.”

“We sort of kissed earlier tonight.”

Shawn shook his head at his brother. “I see you haven’t learned anything.”

“Why is it my fault?”

“Is it some sort of goal you’re trying to reach to get with a group of friends? First Britney, then Ri and now Cheryl. I’m surprised you haven’t got with Monica.”

“You think this is funny?”

“No, I don’t. If Chris finds out about this, he will kick your ass, and I’m sorry, but I probably won’t stop him.”

“I deserve that.”

“You damn right you do. Before you mentioned about him, I already knew he was still talking to you. Ri let it slip.”

“Don’t be mad at Chris.”

“I’m not; I just wished he had told me.”

“Are you going to tell him about Cheryl?”

Shawn shook his head. “No. That’s between you and Cheryl. I’m not taking any part in that.”

“Thanks.”

“Do you have feelings for Cheryl? I mean, I know you said that about Ri…”

“It’s too soon to tell, but she has been really great “

“Just be careful.”

Marcus sighed as Riana and Cheryl walked back to the booth.

“So, you two made up?” Cheryl asked.

“Yeah, we did.” Shawn said.

Riana smiled and kissed Shawn on the cheek.

Cheryl looked at Marcus and smiled. He smiled as she put her hand into his.

Riana looked at the two, wondering if she should warn Cheryl again about spending too much time with Marcus. She was going to while they were standing outside, but realized she shouldn’t. She has no right to judge her, especially with everything she put him and Shawn through.

“If you want, we could go to my apartment and watch a movie or something.” Marcus said.

“Yes, please. I didn’t know how long I can sit in this place without needing a shower or a flea dip.” Cheryl said.

Marcus looked at Riana and Shawn. “The offer stands for you two as well.”

The two looked at each other and gave Marcus a smile.

“Why not. Lead the way, brother.” Shawn said.

And the four left out of the diner.

***

Terrance and Dominique sat outside of Murphy ‘s Diner watching the four go to their cars. Dominique gave an evil glance as she watched Shawn and Riana get into his car. Terrance looked at Dominique and sighed.

“Did you really think those two were going to be apart for long?”

“I can’t believe them. I really thought Shawn was different.”

“He’s in love with her. Can you just let go and move on.”

“But he made a commitment to me. He’s basically cheating on me with her. I bet that brother of his told him about what happened.”

“How do you know?”

“The two haven’t talked in four months, so what else could they been discussing?”

“Isn’t her cousin with Chris?”

Dominique laughed. “She’s just like Riana. A damn whore. Now that I know the truth, they won’t know what hit them once I’m done with pledging.”

Terrance gave her a worried look. “I really hope you’re not going to do anything stupid.”

Dominique continued to watch them with a smile across her lips. “Trust me, it will be big. Really big.”

***

Monica put her shirt back on and stared at Chris. She couldn’t believe what just happened. Although she enjoyed it, she felt guilty knowing what she did to Cheryl.

Chris stared at her and smiled. “Are you okay?”

She nodded. “Yeah.”

“If you regret what happened, please let me know.”

“You don’t feel guilty about it?”

“I do, but honestly, I don’t.”

Monica looked at him in shock. “Really?”

He went over to her and kissed her.

“Chris, I don’t know if this is a good idea.”

He kissed her neck, which made her tilt her head back.

“We can keep it a secret, can we?” he whispered, which gave Monica all sorts of tingles through her body.

” I guess we can.” She whispered.

He sat her down on the counter and continued to kiss her, which made Monica forget about everything, including her guilt over Cheryl.

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