Believe In Love is the latest spin-off from the Love, Life, & Happiness series, and it is also available for pre-order! Make sure you’re one of the first readers on March 8th to download Cheryl and Marcus’ new story as they both are adjusting to changes in their personal and professional lives.
Here is the link to pre-order:
To get you ready for the new story, here is an unedited excerpt from Marcus’ POV. 🙂
Kevin and I talked for a few minutes until he had to head to the club. Since I was paying his salary, he figured he didn’t want to piss me off by staying at my house any longer, but I didn’t care. I needed the distraction, especially with what happened this morning.
I was watching the kids as I dialed Nisha to ask about the shipment at the Phoenix in Atlanta. Nisha has been the best employee ever since she started working there. At first, I was skeptical about hiring her; she was fresh out of college, and really didn’t care about the business aspect with working at The Phoenix; she only wanted to have fun. But since I got to understand her reasons and her life story while attending college, I figured I’ll give her a chance. I’m glad I did, because she has become a valuable asset to the club. I even gave her the task of handling some of the things needed at the lounge while I wasn’t in town. She has stepped up her business game, which I appreciate.
I put the phone on mute as I went to the living room to stop Troian from hitting Preston. It looks as if she took one of her blocks, which I’m sure she didn’t like.
“Stop it, you two! I saw what you did, Preston, so apologize. Troian, I’m going to put you in your chair so you can’t be hitting Preston.” I said.
While Preston just turned five and Troian almost one, it’s becoming a challenge to get those two to behave. With Troian, she doesn’t know any better, but I think Preston is slowly starting to act out to get attention. That’s why I’m trying hard to further myself from the business so I can be there more for my kids.
“Marcus! Hello, Marcus!”
I forgot I put Nisha on mute as I fumbled to unmute her so I could speak.
“Hey, Nisha. Sorry, I had you on mute. I was stopping my kids from hurting each other.”
I could hear Nisha’s lips going to a smile as she gave a huge sigh. “I can relate. My sister has three kids, all a year apart. She constantly has to break up a fight every five seconds.”
“I can understand sibling rivalry but with my kids, I think it goes a little deeper.” I said while watching Preston. He had a mean pout on his face as I went up to him.
“You still haven’t apologized.”
I looked taken aback by his remark as he folded his arms across his small chest. I don’t know what to say because I was still shocked that he was being smart with me.
“Little boy, I don’t have time for your smart mouth. Apologize to your sister, now.”
“She’s one; she doesn’t know what the word means.”
“But you’re her big brother; you need to set an example for her.”
Preston rolled his eyes and I took a deep breath. I don’t know where this little boy got this attitude from, but it’s not cute.
“You’re in time-out.” I said as I grabbed his chair near the couch. I put it in the corner and told him to go to it. He refused, so I told him again to go, but he refused again. I gently grabbed his arm and told him to sit there for five minutes. I didn’t want to raise my voice at him to go, but maybe that’ll get him to go next time.
I glanced over at Troian, who was clapping her hands and laughing. She knew completely well what was going on. I shook my head, forgetting again that I was on the phone.
“Sorry about that. Preston has been acting out lately.”
“I understand. Remember, I got a sister with kids.”
“He recently been doing this. I know it’s because of his mom and me being busy with work.”
“You might want to cut back on work, then. I know your wife’s becoming a doctor, so it’s harder for her to scale back.”
“That’s why I’m here if you need anything. Just say the word and I’ll do it.”
“You’re doing enough, Nisha.”
“I don’t mind. Besides, I enjoy the distraction. It’s just me, so I don’t mind the extra work.”
I sighed as I looked at my kids again. The doorbell rang, which startled me because I wasn’t expecting anyone.
“Maybe you should get that. Just call me back when you can.”
“Okay, but before I hang up, did the shipment come in for the club?”
“It just arrived, so I have to hang up anyway.”
“Okay. Thanks, Nisha.”
I disconnected the call and opened the door to see my mom outside. She was smiling, but it disappeared once she noticed my expression.
“What’s wrong, baby?” she asked as she walked in.
“Everything is fine, Mom.”
“You know you can’t hide anything from me. You’re my first born, so I know every expression.”
I sighed as I closed the door. “What brings you by?”
She glanced at me with a concerned look. “I have to have a reason to come by to see my son and grandkids?”
I tilted my head and she sighed. “I came to check on you. I know the past few weeks have been rough, so I want to lighten the load for you”
I stared at my mom, realizing something wasn’t right. Although she and my dad have helped out with watching the kids, they haven’t been lately, which was the reason the two been going to Kevin’s and Elise’s.
“I should be asking you how you’re doing. You usually call before you visit, so something’s up.”
My mom gave a nervous chuckle as I glanced at her. “Mom,”
“This used to be my house, so I can come when I want to.”
I gave her an unconvinced look. Yes, this used to be her home as my dad purchased it for her as an anniversary gift. They gave it to me to live in a few years back, but neither of my parents dropped by before calling.
My mom rolled her eyes and went into the living room. She took a quick look at the kids and shook her head. “What’s going on?”
“Nothing, just Preston misbehaving again.”
“Again! I told you really need to discipline him. When you were his age, you knew you had got a good swift kick in your behind.”
“That’s considered child abuse now.” I pointed out.
“It was considered that then, too, but your dad and I still did it.”
“I’m not going to do that, Mom. Preston knows right from wrong; he’s just doing this because Cheryl and I aren’t at home a lot.”
My mom sighed and sat down on the couch. Troian started wailing and she went over to pick her up.
“That is why I think I should move in, just until you and Cheryl get yourselves together.”
I looked at my mom, wondering if that’s a good idea. I don’t know if myself or Cheryl would want my mom around 24/7. We love her, but we know how she could be if she tries to take over.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“Why? Would you rather for the two to keep being bounced from house to house every time you two have to do your business? Kevin and Elise have their own lives to live, so let me be a grandmother to my grandbabies.”
“Grandma!” Preston exclaimed as he turned around and smiled.
“Keep your eyes on that wall, Preston!”
My mom sighed as she told Preston to get out of his chair. I shook my head, already becoming annoyed. If I agreed for her to stay, it’ll be a lot worse.
“Mom, Cheryl and I got this. Besides, how would Dad feel about this if you did?”
My mom blew out a hard breath. “He’s not a factor right now. We’re kind of having problems at the moment.”
“Wait, what?” I questioned. From my 28 years on Earth, I have never experienced the two to have problems. They’ll have their occasional spats, but never any major issues.
“That’s why we never wanted the kids to come by the house, because we don’t want them to sense any tension.”
“What’s going on, Mom?” I asked as I came over to her. She shook her head while waving her hand away.
“It’s nothing for you to be concerned about. We’ll work things out; right now, we just need some time apart.”
“He’s still at the house, but he’ll be visiting your brother soon. Don’t mention anything to Shawn about this; you know how he gets.”
I sighed. I’ll still warn him about our dad making an unexpected visit to Atlanta, and I’ll still tell him why. Shawn maybe the youngest, but he’s not a little kid anymore.
“Did you get the invite to Nathan’s wedding? Him and Rachel getting married at the country club, so you know how that’ll go.”
I sighed again. Honestly, I don’t know if I did receive one, but I haven’t checked the mail in days. Although Shawn and I had our issues with our cousin in the past, we did bury the hatchet a few years back after our grandmother passed away. We maybe cool now, but with my busy schedule, I probably won’t be going.
“I probably won’t go.”
“I thought you all squash everything that happened with Shawn and Riana?”
“We did, but I might have to be at one of the clubs.”
“I’m glad you brought that up, because I have a favor to ask.”
“How did we jump from you and Dad to Nathan?” I asked.
“Evidentially, I don’t want to talk about your dad.”
“Marcus, I tell you what’s going on when I’m ready. Anyway, your uncle wanted to see if you could throw Nathan a surprise bachelor’s party.”
“What?!” I asked. I already had enough going on as it is.
“Nathan doesn’t have too many friends, and majority of the force won’t be able to attend the wedding, so Nathan didn’t want a party, but since you and Shawn have a variety of clubs to choose from, I told your uncle it was fine.”
I gave my mom a crazed look as I ran a hand through my fade. “So, you volunteered our club? Why would you do that, Mom?! Not only should you had asked me first, but Jay is also the owner of every club now. He might have a problem with us throwing a party for Nathan.” I said.
My mom sighed. “Didn’t he bury the hatchet with Nathan, too? He shouldn’t be too upset anyway since Ri is happy with Shawn.”
“I get that, but…” I stopped midsentence when I noticed Preston wasn’t near my mom. I looked into the kitchen, seeing that he was trying to pull down the ceramic cookie jar from the counter. It slipped to the edge and fell on the ceramic tile, breaking the jar and part of the floor.
“Damn it! Preston!” I yelled.
I was about to go after him when my mom gently grabbed my shoulder.
“Go take care of what you have to with your clubs. I got this covered.”
“Just go. And I’ll give you the details of the party. Make sure you tell Shawn because I want the both of you planning it as well as be at his wedding.”
“And be a dear and get my suitcases out of the car. I need to tend to your kids.”
The only thing I could do was stare at my mom as she went to go scold Preston. She still had Troian in her arms as she told him to get the broom and dust pan.
I sat down on the couch, still not believing what just happened. Not only did my mom just move in, but she volunteered mines and Shawn’s help to plan Nathan’s bachelor’s party!
“This is some bullshit,” I whispered as I stared ahead at the window.
Hopefully when Cheryl finds out about my mom being here, she doesn’t have a problem with it.