excerpt

Excerpt- Believe In Love

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Hey everyone!! The latest Love, Life, & Happiness spin-off, Believe In Love, is coming next week! Can’t wait to read an excerpt from the book? Well, you all are in luck! Here is an excerpt of the first chapter of the story from Cheryl’s POV (this excerpt does contain explicit language).

Enjoy! 🙂

Growing up, I always remembered my grandmother saying, “Your life is what you make of it.” At first, I always wondered what she meant by that, but as I got older, I knew the concept behind the phrase. Especially now as I’m adjusting to everything that’s happening to me.

A few years ago, I never imagined my life to be where it is today. Honestly, I didn’t think I would see another day with how my life was heading. From being abused both mentally and physically, I was able to know my worth and overcame all the negativity that I was facing. Now, I’m married to a wonderful man, have two beautiful children, and is fulfilling my dream in becoming a surgeon. I never thought it would be possible, but by the grace of God, I was able to see my dreams come true.

But is my life as perfect as I imagined it to be? Not by a long shot. With goals, they also come with obstacles that could discourage you from fulfilling them. I have endured several tests in my life to get to where I’m at. I thought they were over, but of course they never are.

I slowly rose out of bed to see the sunlight shining through my bedroom window. I looked over to see the bathroom light on and heard the water from the shower turning off, realizing that my husband, Marcus, was at home. I gave a tiny smile, glad that he was.

Since he resigned from his accounting job and decided to become a full-time club owner, I barely see him at home. The clubs that he co-owns with his brother Shawn, and cousin-in-law Jayden, is doing so well that they decided to open two new clubs in Atlanta. One is a 2,000 square foot club, which they opened almost five months ago, and their recent venture is a coffee house, which is something Marcus and Shawn always wanted to open. Between him going back and forth to Atlanta, and being in Baker and Houston, I’m starting to wonder if he’ll be at home for more than two days. I hope so, because I really miss him being at home when I do see him because my schedule isn’t any better. With my residency, I’m barely at home myself, so it seems as if we’re more roommates than husband and wife since we’re always missing each other.

The door opened, and Marcus walked out wearing only a towel. My heart started racing as I glanced at his hard, mocha chest. I slowly bit my lip, wishing I had time to rip that towel off of him and ride him senseless. But I only had an hour until I was going back to the hospital. Damn it!

He looked over at me and gave a sexy smile, which made me rethink my schedule. I could be late a minute or two. Or more.

I gave a wide grin as Marcus came over to me. “What’s with the wide grin?”

“I’m just happy to see my husband this morning.”

“Really, it is nice to see you in the morning, since you’re normally at the hospital.”

He leaned over, and his lips connected with mines. He gave a slight tug, and my pussy throbbed. Yeah, I’m going to be late.

“Did Kevin bring the kids back?” I whispered as I quickly tugged on his towel. It fell to the floor, exposing all of Marcus’ goodness. Damn, I missed him.

“Not yet, but he’s on his way.” Marcus whispered. His lips went to my neck, giving me gentle kisses down my collarbone. Since the two of us are always gone, my siblings, Kevin and Elise have been helping with taking care of Troian and Preston. Although I hate not being able to see them on a regular basis, hopefully all of my hard work will pay off so they could have a better life. I felt guilty before I started the program, but I really have been feeling it more recently, because I don’t want to make the same mistakes as my mother, Jackie did, when I was growing up. She was barely there for me, so I don’t want that to rub off on my kids, especially when they get older, because that will always be installed in them. Trust me, I know.

Even though I was on-call, I decided to come home to see if Kevin would had brought the kids back, but I guess I ended up falling asleep.

“Hopefully, I’ll see them before I leave again.” I said as I pulled Marcus to me. He pulled up my sleep-shirt as his fingers played with my clit. I closed my eyes, enjoying the feel as I laid down on the bed.

“He was going to bring them back last night, but I told him not to since you were asleep.”

I looked into Marcus’ gray eyes and sighed. “I really do hate this. I don’t want my kids to think we’re neglecting them.”

Marcus slowly sighed. “I know. That’s why I need to cut back on going to the clubs. One of us needs to be here.”

“But you still need to get the coffee house together.”

“I know, but I’m a parent first. The Phoenix in both Baker and Houston are running themselves and the Atlanta club is quickly thriving. I need to be at home more.”

“I should too.”

“And you will once your residency is over. We both agreed that you’ll get through it and I’ll take care of home.”

“But…”

“Baby, I know it’s hard, but it’ll be worth it once it’s over.”

“Even if my kids barely see me?”

Marcus swept some hair away from my face and sighed. “What if they get older and realize that we weren’t at home when they were growing up? That could make them hate us. I can’t have them go through what I went through growing up.”

“And they won’t. Baby, you are a good mother, so don’t ever forget that.”

“How am I when I only see them for a few hours a week?”

Marcus gave me a kiss on the forehead and I sighed. “You’re not Jackie, Cher. Don’t ever compare yourself to her, okay.”

Although Marcus was saying the right things, it wasn’t making me feel any better.

“Not in the mood now, huh?” he asked.

I shook my head and he gave me a hug. “It’s okay. Besides, I have to make a call to Nisha to find out if the liquor shipment came in,” he said. He cupped my chin and gave me a slow, yet sexy kiss. He caressed my clit, teasing me while kissing the tip of my earlobe.

“If only we didn’t have a busy day today, I would have you cumming in every position possible.”

Fuck it.

I pulled him down on me and spread my legs to invite him in. I grabbed onto him, feeling his hardness as I stroked him. I haven’t had sex with my husband in almost two weeks, so this was long overdue.

He slowly found his way in me while giving me gentle kisses to my neck and chest.

“Two weeks is too damn long, baby,” he whispered.

My heart was still racing as we slowly found our groove together. My nails clawed his back as I titled my head. This felt too damn good, that’s why I knew this wasn’t going to last. My thoughts became true when my pager started beeping on the nightstand. I closed my eyes, wishing I could throw that piece of metal out the window.

“Ignore it, please.” Marcus whispered.

I wanted to, but I knew it was important. “I can’t baby.”

“Fuck,” Marcus sighed.

He held me as the pager continued to go off. The doorbell began ringing as well as we knew it was Kevin and the kids.

“I guess it wasn’t happening anyway,” he said.

I gave a tiny smile as Marcus gave me another kiss on my forehead. He quickly got up and found some clothes that were on the armchair. I had to quickly get ready so I could make my way to the hospital, but I had to see my kids before I go. Even if it was for a quick second, at least they were going to see me.

 

If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy yet, you still can. The link is below:

http://amzn.to/2o3Emx2

 

 

 

 

Sample Sunday- How Deep Is Your Love

November 8th!!

Happy Sunday everyone!! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

For today, I will be giving a sample of my upcoming book, How Deep Is Your Love. This is the third chapter from the third book in The Love Chronicles series, as Andie experience a typical day at her internship. She also goes into dream mode about a happy moment with Dexter.

Remember, How Deep Is Your Love will be available on November 8th. Until then, enjoy this wonderful, unedited excerpt. 🙂

 

“Beeeeeppppp!”

 

I stared at the ceiling, realizing another day has begun. It was also another day at the internship from hell.

 

My alarm continued to disturb me as the bright sunshine from the window made me even more irritated. I hit the alarm, causing more force than I expected, and it fell on the floor.

 

“Damn it,” I muttered.

 

I pulled the covers over my head, not wanting to get up when I felt someone yanking them from me.

 

“Must we go through this every morning? We both know you hate your job, but you still have to go, so wake up.”

 

I stared at my roommate and sighed. “I don’t want…”

 

“To go. You say that phrase every morning too. What happened to the Andie Williams that I used to know? Even though I couldn’t stand you then, you have really become very annoying.”

 

I slowly rose and looked ahead at the white wall. “That Andie is long gone.”

 

“Yeah, and whiny Andie took over. Get your ass up so we can make it to the office on time.”

 

She pulled me up and put her hands on my shoulders. I shook my head and sighed. “Thanks for the small pep talk, LaToya. You definitely know how to get my day going.”

 

She smiled. “Of course. Who else is going to tell it like it is to you?”

 

“I know a few people, but you’re the only one who’s available.”

 

She smirked and I smiled. I guess I should mention that LaToya, my ex-friend and Dexter’s ex, is also my roommate. I still couldn’t believe it. Although the two of us couldn’t stand each other, we helped each other out when we got this studio apartment. Rent in New York is not cheap, and with the salary I had, it was a no-brainer that I needed a roommate. Since LaToya also works at The Region as an entry-level accountant, we decided to get a place together. That, and because we didn’t know anyone else in the city.

 

I can admit that since the two of us are staying together, I have become acquainted with the LaToya that I used to know. We were good friends back in the day, until LaToya revealed her true feelings for Dexter. Now that is under the bridge, we sort of have something in common, which slowly made us rebuild our friendship. Although she gets on my nerves sometimes, it’s a lot better having her here than being lonely in an unfamiliar city.

 

“I already took my shower, so the bathroom is yours.”

 

“Thanks,”

 

I gathered up my outfit when LaToya started tapping her foot on the hardwood floor. I stared at her, wondering why she was doing that.

“That’s annoying.”

 

“Sorry; I was just trying to find something to do.”
“Try something else.”

 

“Ugh! Did you finally open that letter from Regina?”

 

I turned around and stared at her. She had a look mixed with sadness and anger as she tapped on her foot again.

 

“Can you please stop with the tapping.”

 

“I do this when I get nervous. So, did you? What was it? It looks like a wedding invitation. Is she and Damien getting married?”

 

I put my outfit down on the bed and walked to her. I sat beside her as I didn’t say a word. She looked at the wall and sighed.

 

“I guess that’s a yes.”

 

“Sorry I didn’t tell you last night. I tore up the invite anyway.”

 

“I’m happy for Damien. I hate how things ended between us, but if he’s happy, then I am too.”

 

“That’s good.”

 

“Are you going? I know you probably don’t want to because of Dexter.”

 

I sighed. LaToya pretty much know everything that happened between Dex and me. She was actually a great confidante during that time. It was a bit awkward at first talking to her about it, but she was there when I needed a shoulder to cry on. And there were a lot of nights when I needed one.

 

“I don’t know. I think it’s best if I don’t go.”

 

“Aren’t you and Regina friends, though?”

 

“We kind of fell out after what happened with Dexter.”
“She only got upset with you because of a certain person; it wasn’t because of your break-up with Dex.”

 

“All the same. That was a mistake anyway.”

 

“You wanted to see what else was out there. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

 

“Only because of what I did to Dexter. I felt things wouldn’t have been the same after I left. It doesn’t matter anyway. That relationship wasn’t going to work. Just like the relationship I had with Dexter.”

 

“You know you’re lying to yourself. You got scared and left.”

 

“I didn’t get scared.”

 

“Andie, you can say what you want, but you got scared when you felt your life wasn’t going according to your plan and you bailed. You thought you could handle it without being with him until you saw him that day. You reconnected, but got scared and left again. Do you see a pattern here?”

 

I rolled my eyes and sighed.

 

“You jumped into something thinking that it was really over between you and Dexter, but it didn’t work because you were still in love with him. You’re still in love with him now; that’s why you don’t want to go to Regina’s wedding.”

 

“I don’t want to go because it could be a set-up. I haven’t been back to Houston in four years. Do you really think everyone hasn’t gotten over what I’d done to Dexter? I’m pretty sure Aunt Tia will have some choice words to me about how I hurt her son.”

 

“Oh, she definitely will. She gave me a couple back in the day.”

 

“That’s because you cheated on him.”

 

“True, but I never had his heart like you did. That’s worst compared to what I did.”

 

She got up as I continued to stare at the wall. I really didn’t want to cry right now. It was too early to already be feeling sad.

 

LaToya gently tapped my shoulder and I suddenly turned to her. “There’s no time to daydream. You wasted enough time talking. Get ready for work.”

 

I really wanted to crawl back into my bed and sleep the day away, but there’s no point in moping around. That wasn’t going to solve anything. Besides, I had a job to do.

 

 

***

 

Once I was finally able to get ready, LaToya and I took the subway to The Region office. I still had my car, but I’m still not used to New York traffic, so I just ride the subway with LaToya. It’s actually pretty interesting to be around different people and have that experience to ride on one. You haven’t visited New York if you haven’t been on one.

 

Twenty minutes later and we both rushed inside the building, holding our badges to security and running to the stairs to the sixth floor.

 

“You want to go out tonight? Cecil was telling me there’s a great happy hour at Wilson’s.” LaToya asked.

 

I really didn’t want to, but I barely ventured out since I’ve been here. Maybe it’ll do me some good to be around other people.

 

“Why not.”

 

“Cool. Meet you outside when we get off. And leave the depressed attitude behind, please. We don’t need that tonight.”

 

I rolled my eyes and LaToya smiled before going to the accounting department. I headed to the editorial side of the office and sat down at my desk.

 

I stared at my computer, thinking about what LaToya said earlier when I heard a thump. I looked up and saw the senior editor, Kelsey, giving me a smug look. I looked down and saw the stack of papers she placed on the desk and sighed.

 

“Seriously,” I mumbled.

 

“Good morning to you too, Andrea. Now that you’ll here, you can get started on these.”

 

“What are those?” I asked.

 

“They’re letters for our advice column, Ask Region. Since no one wants to do them, you finally can show your writing skills. Aren’t you glad about that?”

 

“Advice column? I didn’t know the paper had one.”

 

“Like I said, no one wants to write for it, so it goes unnoticed. We need it by tomorrow, so get to it.”

 

I sighed. I guess it’s better than walking her Shih Tzu and picking up poop everywhere.

 

I pulled out a letter from the top and read it. I had to shake my head at how ridiculous this person sounded. How am I going to give anyone relationship advice when my life is in ruins? Maybe I could ask Mashawn about some of these letters. She’s in love, so she would know.

 

I put the letter to the side and picked up another one. I started to read it, becoming interested in this person’s dilemma. It was a female contemplating on if she should follow her boyfriend to another state. He just accepted a job offer in Florida and have to leave by the end of the month. She didn’t want to leave her family and friends, but she loved him and knew that they’ll get married soon.

 

I stared at the letter, thinking about my own life and how happy Dex and I was when we arrived to our new place. That was when things weren’t so complicated…

 

January, 2037

 

“We’re here!” I exclaimed as Dexter and I entered our new place. It was a tiny one-bedroom with a closet for a bathroom and barely enough storage for our belongings, but it’s our home for the next three years.

 

“Yes, we’re here, so we should do it right.” Dexter said. He picked me up, causing me to shriek as we entered the apartment. We got to the couch when he put me down.

 

“You know that only happens when we’re married.”

 

“Who cares about traditions. Besides, we’re engaged, so it’s close enough.”

 

He pulled me to him and kissed me. I put my arms around him as he gave me a kiss on my neck.

 

“I can’t believe we spent four days on the road, so I’m happy to be spending a night in our own bed.”

 

“Me too. The trip was fun at first, but I felt like it was never ending.” I said and sat down. Lucky for us, the apartment we got was furnished, although Uncle Charles had to pay an additional deposit. Of course Dexter will have to pay him back, but it was worth it not to come into an empty apartment.

 

“I really don’t feel like getting our bags from the car.” Dexter whined. He sat down beside me and leaned his head on the back of the couch.

 

“Leave them out there for tonight. Besides, it’s not like we’ll need clothes anyway.” I said and gave him a sexy grin.

 

“Look at you; you’re trying to get me out of my clothes already, aren’t you?”

 

I laughed. “I’m not doing no such thing.”

 

“Please. But you don’t have to ask, because I’ll gladly do it. I’ll help you out of yours too.”

 

I blushed as he gave me another kiss.

 

“You do know our toothbrushes are in our suitcases.”

 

I smiled as I pulled out our travel bags from my tote. Dexter smiled. “Race you to the room,”

 

I quickly got up as he playfully tackled me. I started laughing as he turned me to face him.  He held me as his lips grazed the side of my neck. His hand went underneath my shirt, causing me to moan.

 

“I thought we were going to race.” I whispered.

 

Dexter smiled. “I like this much better.”

 

His hands caress my back as he led me to our bedroom. I think I liked this better too…

 

“Andrea! Andrea!!”

 

“What!” I exclaimed.

 

I looked to see Kelsey giving me a nasty glance. “We need you to go to Starbucks and get a round of Caramel Frappuccinos asap. And stop daydreaming. That’s not part of your job,” she said and walked away.

 

I sighed. “Neither is being an errand girl.” I whispered.

 

I looked down at my desk and noticed she didn’t even leave any money for the drinks. I shook my head. I didn’t even complain as I got up and grabbed my crossbody bag.  Since I’m paying, I might as well get me one too.

 

 

Sample Sunday- Just Right

Happy Sunday everyone!! Just Right, the Something Just Ain’t Right novella, is coming very soon, and  I haven’t even posted an excerpt yet.

 

Here’s the first chapter from the story from Morgan’s POV. This chapter is unedited.

This is three years after the series, so a lot of changes have occurred between Hales and Morgan. Don’t worry, the two are together and happy. But, for how long?

Check it out. 🙂

****************************************************************************

Love.

A lot of people take that word for granted. Some does it because they’re scared to be loved by someone, or feel that they shouldn’t be. I have felt that way before, all because of the things I have done. I never thought I was worthy of it.

Until I met Hayley.

Hayley is and always have been the love of my life. When I first laid eyes on her, I knew she would be the one for me, but I let my personal views on love and life get in the way of happiness. When she made me realize how precious life can be, I let all of my feelings go and just live. That’s something I haven’t done in a long time. Since I have been with Hayley, I never looked back. Even with all of the bullshit that has happened with us, our love became stronger, which I’m happy for every single day.

Since Hales and I got married, we have been living a pretty normal life. We have a two-year-old son, Morgan Jr., who we call MJ. That boy is certainly a handful, but I enjoy being a father. It’s definitely a highlight of my day. Not only are we’re parents, but Hales is working as a private event consultant with a high-profiled agency, while me, I took an extremely different career path. I decided to become a cop.

Yep, a cop.

After the incidents concerning my family, I wanted to give back to society in some sort, so I decided to go to the academy. Throughout the training, I was wondering if I was doing the right thing, but when I looked at what I have been through and the future I will have with my family, I knew I was making the right decision. Two years later, and I was promoted to being a detective. With my new title, I knew one thing I wasn’t going to do, and that was abuse my badge like my so-called father did. To be honest, I think that was another reason why I went into law enforcement.

Sometimes, I have to laugh at the life I’m living right now. Me, Morgan Carter, the former womanizer, is talking about happiness and love and living a normal life. That’s something I’ve never experienced, but I’m glad that I’m able to now.

“Morgan? Morgan?!”

I looked over to see Hayley staring at me. She is still as beautiful as when I first laid eyes on her all of those years ago. Her curly hair was now a honey brown color to match her honey skin tone. Her brown eyes looked into mine as she gave a huge smile and leaned closer to me.

“Hey, baby. I didn’t hear you come in.”

“That was because you were asleep. Long day?”

I slowly sat up from the couch and looked around. I looked at my clothes, realizing I was still wearing the suit that I’d went to work in.

“You must really have had a long day if you’re still in your clothes.”

“I guess I laid down as soon as I walked in.” I slowly replied.

“Luckily MJ is with staying with my parents tonight, or you probably would have forgotten to pick him up,” Hales said. She paused before speaking again. “Or did you forget that he was spending the night there?”

I sat up on the couch and ran my hand through my hair. “I guess it’s this case I’m working on. Between meeting with the sergeant and working these damn stakeouts, I guess I just lost track of everything.”

Hayley smiled and sat beside me. She motioned for me to turn so my back was facing her.

“I guess a massage is in order then.”

“That would be nice.”

Once her hands were on my body, I immediately relaxed. Just having her near me was all I needed.

“I know you can’t talk about any of your cases, but…”

“You’re right; I can’t. As much as I want to, but I can’t jeopardize any type of information we have on certain suspects. Not just that, but I don’t want to put yours or MJ’s life in danger.”

“I understand, baby. I just want to understand how your days are with working on the force. I still find it hard to believe that you’re on the force.”

I chuckled. “I think no one saw that coming.”

She turned me so I could face her again. She ran her fingers through my hair and smiled. “I know why you’re doing it, though. You needed to find a purpose for everything that has happened with your family.”

“Let’s hope I don’t have to deal with any of them again.”

“I hardly doubt it. With Travis, Will, Caroline, and Sophia still in prison, and Rick dead, that will be highly unlikely that you’ll come across any of them again.”

I leaned my back on the couch and sighed. “I have thought about it, though. Whether anyone would try and come after us again.”

“Morgan…”

“Hales, even though we have been living this perfect life, we still shouldn’t let our guards down. There could be other people out there who are working with Travis, but just haven’t made their move yet.”

“Do you think you’re overreacting a bit? It’s been almost three years, baby. If anyone was going to do anything, they would had already.”

“Do you really think that? If anyone does make another move, cop or not, I will be ready.”

Hayley sighed. “Maybe I just got too comfortable with actually living a normal life compared to us always on the run, looking over our shoulders.”

“I sort of forgot too, but just for a little while.”

Hayley leaned her head on my shoulder and I wrapped my arms around her. She gave a soft sigh.

“Should we be worried about this now, though? Your cousin is getting married next week, so whatever thoughts you’re having, you shouldn’t worry him about it.”

I caressed her shoulder, knowing she was right, but I can’t stop thinking about it, especially when I have information about Travis being released from prison. I didn’t know if I should tell Hales about it, especially since everything is going so good between us.

I’ll tell her when the time was right. Whenever that may be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt – Say That You Love Me

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Hi everyone! And Happy Valentine’s Day! Say That You Love Me will be released on February 23rd, so that means it’s time for me to share an excerpt with you all! I’m so excited for the release of the second book in The Love Chronicles series, as Andie and Dexter move on to college as they deal with even bigger challenges in their personal lives and in their relationship.

The unedited excerpt follow the two as they prepare for their first day at Smith University. This is from Andie’s POV. Enjoy! 🙂

College. The epitome of what some people say as the beginning of your adulthood. This is the time when the decision-making is all your own and you have a bit of freedom.

So they say.

For me, college is a bit of that, but also knowing what you can handle. I think I can handle it all. I was able to study and engage in activities in high school, so college shouldn’t be any different, right? Well, that was before Dexter.

Even though the two of us started our relationship a few months back, things over the summer changed between us, and now, we’re inseparable. I don’t think we have been apart from each other for even a second. We went out together, worked together at the neighborhood community center, and even volunteered together. If we had our way, we probably would had went to sleep together. I’m sure our parents would have had a fit if that happened. Now that we’re in college, I’m sure that will change.

Maybe.

I pulled into the student parking lot of the Richardson dorms at Smith University. I looked around, taking in the entire campus as a huge smile spread across my lips. I have to admit, Smith is a beautiful campus. It may not be my dream college, Yale, but it’s close to it. Besides, it has the most impressive communication department in Texas, so that’ll be a plus for me.

“Will you stop daydreaming and get out of the car? I’m ready to see our room.”

I looked over at my friend, Mashawn Peterson, as she gave a huge smile. The two of us has been tight since middle school. I still don’t see how we became friends since we’re so different, but as the saying goes, opposites does attract. Despite our differences, we have always been there for each other.

“I’m getting out in a second. I’m waiting on Dexter.”

 

Mashawn rolled her eyes. “Damn, you two can’t do anything without the other. I wonder do you two go to the bathroom together.”

“That’s just crossing the line.”

“I have to wonder.”

“Why you just didn’t drive down here. You do have a car.”

“Because it’s in the shop again. My parents going to bring it down later.”

I nodded, wondering how that will go. The three hasn’t had the best relationship before the summer, but things has become really rocky since they caught her and her boyfriend, Andrew Pierce doing a lot more than making out on the couch. Personally, Dex and I wouldn’t had done that in the living room, but that’s just me. Actually, Dex and I haven’t even gotten to that point yet, so that’s not a concern with us. For now.

“You’re not going to need reinforcement, are you?”

“Everything will be fine. Andrew just can’t come to the house anymore while they’re out. Doesn’t matter because I won’t be going there for break.”

“Where will you be staying?”

“I was hoping with you.”

I rolled my eyes and sighed. “We’ll see.”

I noticed Dexter’s car pulling up beside mine which made me smile. As soon as he got out, my heart started to skip a beat. I never thought I would say this, but I’m deeply, madly in love with him. I love everything about him, which can be good, but also a curse. In the summer, we didn’t have too much to worry about, but now that classes will start soon, I hope it doesn’t affect our education. I know Dexter wouldn’t let it, but I’m a little worried that I will.

“I’m surprised your parents aren’t here yet. I’m sure they don’t want you to go. They might think you’ll go buck wild here.”

“You know that won’t happen, Mashawn.”

“Please; you have your boyfriend here, which I might add, is looking delicious in that blue shirt. Do you really think you two will still be able to control yourselves here? I don’t think so.”

I glanced over at his car as he gave me a bright smile. He came over to mine and tapped on the window.

Mashawn gave me an unconvinced look and I hit her arm.

“Resulting to violence now?”

“Shut up.”

He stood back as I got out of the car. He gently grabbed me and gave me a heated kiss. I slowly melted against him, enjoying the moment with him, but I always do every time.

“I missed you.” he whispered in my ear.

“We just saw each other at your house.”

“An hour is too long without seeing you.”

I blushed and smiled.

“God, you two are sickening.” Mashawn teased.

“Don’t you have a boyfriend you can go bother?” Dexter asked.

“Do you see him here?”

“That’s still your cue to leave.” Dexter said while giving a smirk.

“Not until my roommate and I check out our room. We should make our entrance together, so you two can carry on.”

I smiled. “She’s not leaving, Dex.”

“Fine, we’ll just give her more to be sick over.” He said and kissed me again. We were still going at it when we heard several people clearing their throats. I didn’t have to look behind me to know who they were.

“Look at you two giving people a show.” Dexter sister, Regina said while laughing.

I looked at her parents and mine as they were giving Dexter and me funny looks. Mashawn giggled as I gave an embarrassed look.

“Leave them alone. They’re in love, so it’s natural.” Dexter’s mom, Tia, said and smiled.

My mom came over and gave me a hug. “I still can’t believe you’re in college. I’m going to miss you so much.”

“It’s just an hour away, Mom.”

“I know, but this is your first time being alone without any supervision. Anything can happen.”

“Don’t worry, Mrs. Williams; with Dex and me here, she’ll be in good hands.” Mashawn said and smiled.

“That’s not reassuring.”

“What are you trying to say?” Tia asked.

“Nothing against you, Dex, but I just don’t want anything happening to my baby.”

“Mom, I’m not a child. I can take care of myself.”

My dad came over to me and put his hands on my shoulders. “We know, but you’re our only child. We know this is an exciting time for you, but it does come with a lot of responsibilities.”

“They think you two are going to have sex.” Mashawn whispered.

My dad stared at Mashawn and continued talking. “We just don’t want anything to come in between your studies.”

“And they won’t, Uncle Trevor. We both assure you and Aunt Camille that our education is our top priority.” Dexter said.

“Absolutely.” I agreed.

“Why are you two concerned? You know these two have good heads on their shoulders. Nothing will happen.” Dexter’s dad, Charles, responded.

“We all have been to college, so we know what happens.”

“That doesn’t mean these two will fall into that trap.”

“You never know. I’ve seen a lot of stuff happening at my art school. No supervision and access to anything you need can cause trouble.” Regina added.

“You’re not helping the situation.” Dexter said.

“And that’s why you’re no longer there.” Her dad added.

“Mom, Dad, I know you’re both concerned, but we talked about this; I’ll be fine.”

“I guess you’re right. Besides, we can always visit.” My mom said.

I sighed, knowing they probably just might.

“We won’t let that happen. You two just enjoy your time in college. We all were young once, so enjoy it.” Tia said.

“Thank you, Aunt Tia.”

“And if you two do try, we’ll take your keys away.”

“That’s fine; we’ll just take yours. We know all of your hiding places.” My mom said.

Tia smirked as everyone grabbed items from the trunk of my car. I looked around again, still in awe over the campus.

While Mashawn was looking at the room checklist for the room number, Dexter gave me the once-over, which made me blush again.

“Your parents does have a point.”

I stared at him, wondering what he meant. “What part?”

“We will be spending a lot of time together, and we won’t have to sneak around, climbing into each other’s bedrooms.”

I stared at him, becoming nervous to what he was saying. Is he thinking about us going to the next level? We’d talked about it a lot over the summer, but we both agreed we will when the time was right. I have been thinking about it a lot, though, but I just didn’t want to jump into it and regret it later.

“I didn’t mean to make you nervous.”

“It’s not that, Dexter.”

“Then what is it?”

“What are you two talking about?” My dad asked while staring at us. I didn’t realize we had stopped walking and was in the middle of the hallway.

“Nothing, Uncle Trevor. Let’s go check out your room, Andie.”

I nodded, knowing there will be another time when this conversation will come up.

My dad turned to stare at a guy who had his shower gear with him as he was heading to the bathroom. He stared at me with a disappointed glance.

This is a co-ed dorm?!”

I sighed. I didn’t tell my parents because I knew they wouldn’t approve. Mashawn and I planned to move to the Watson, the dorm we spent the weekend in during our campus visit, but Housing made an error, giving our room to someone else; therefore, we had to opt for Richardson, which is in fact, co-ed.

Of course Mashawn didn’t have a problem with it.

“Dad, stop.”

“Why you didn’t tell us it’s co-ed?”

“Because you wouldn’t have let me stayed on campus. Housing made an error, so they found us a room here.”

“You don’t have an issue with this?” Charles asked Dexter.

“I trust my girl. Besides, I’ll be here all of the time, so it’s fine.”

“That makes me feel so much better.” My dad sarcastically replied.

“Enough! Trevor, Andie is right; we need to trust her. She’s been wise beyond her years, so we don’t have to wonder about her. She’ll be okay.” My mom said.

“It’s not Andie I’m concerned about; it’s everyone around her that has me on edge.” He said while staring at Dexter.

“Even me?” Mashawn asked.

“Especially you.”

“Okay, stop! Let’s just check out our room.” I said, quickly becoming annoyed with this conversation.

I grabbed my key, which we picked up from Housing a couple of days ago, and put it into the lock. Mashawn and I wanted to check it out when we received our keys, but the office mentioned they had to clean it before letting us see it.

I slowly opened the door, smiling at how huge the room was. Instead of being one room, it was actually a suite with our rooms connected by the common room.

Mashawn quickly put down her bags and went to the kitchenette near the window. “Wow, this is like a mini apartment! This is really cool!”

“This is where our money went?” my dad asked while looking around. “We definitely didn’t have this in college.”

“Times have definitely changed.” Charles pointed out.

“Is this how yours and Andrew’s room set-up?” Tia asked Dexter.

“Ours a regular room. You two definitely lucked out.”

“That we did. Hallelujah!” Mashawn exclaimed.

We continued to look around when Andrew walked in. “Wow, you girls definitely lucked out. I guess I’ll be here all the time, then.” He said while going to Mashawn. She gave him a kiss before he stared at everyone.

“Thanks for giving me the room number.”

“Of course. Glad you were able to find it.”

My dad sighed and asked which room was mines. I looked at Mashawn who shrugged. “Take whichever.”

“On the right.”

He grabbed my things and went in.

“Don’t worry about him; he’ll be okay.” My mom said.

“You’re worried too.”

“Not as much as him.”

“I can handle myself.”

“I know, baby; but as I mentioned before about having sex; get on birth control. And use a condom. Always.”

“We don’t have to have this talk.”

“We need to. You’re 18, but you’re still my baby.”

I nodded as she gave me a hug.

As everyone was putting items into the common room and our bedrooms, the suite started to look like home. Once everything was situated, Dexter, Andrew, along with Dex’s parents and Regina, went to go to their dorm room, leaving me, Mashawn, and my parents in the suite.

“Did you two need anything while we’re still here?” my mom asked Mashawn and me.

“No, we’re fine, but thank you all for helping us.”

“Of course, sweetie.” My mom replied.

“But if there is anything, please don’t hesitate to ask.” My dad said.

“I know. I love you both.” I said as I gave them both a hug.

“Love you too, sweetie.”

“Call me when you get back home, okay.”

“We will.”

I looked at them as my mom gave me another hug. “Remember what I said, okay.”

“Mom.”

“I know, I know.”

The two went to the door as Mashawn opened it. They didn’t want to leave as she gently pushed them to the hallway.

“Thanks again. Bye bye.” She said and closed the door.

“Mashawn!”

“What? Those two need to loosen up. You’re an adult, which means you can make your own choices. They can’t and shouldn’t baby you any longer.”

“You know they’re not going to like you after that.”

She shrugged. “Once I give them the old Mashawn charm, they’ll like me again.”

I shook my head. She was right about that.

“But seriously, I have to agree with your parents on one thing: Now that you and Dex have a bit more freedom, you do know he’s going to want to take things a bit further.”

“What is it with everyone about sex? If we wanted to do it, we would had already.”

“That’s true, but now you two don’t have to sneak around to do it. You both have a lot more access to do what you want. Trust me, it’s going to happen.”

I looked at her as she grabbed her bag and went into her room. I looked at the heart necklace that he bought me for my birthday. I sighed, realizing she could be right, but was I ready to take that step?

 

A Day At Suds

Hi everyone!! Since Into You will be released this Saturday, I wanted to share one more excerpt from the story. This edited excerpt is from Vanessa’s fourth day at Suds when a lot is going on between the customers and the employees.

The excerpt is from Vanessa’s POV.

When I arrived at work, it was already busy; there was a line was wrapped around the building and down street. I looked at the clock on my dash, seeing it was only 7:30. I hopped out of the car, went inside, and saw that it was completely packed. Simone was at the register ringing up customers when she glanced at me. She motioned for me to hurry and clock in.

“I told you not to be late,” Simone hissed when I came to the register. “While you were sexing Mark, I had a line of customers at seven!” She gave a receipt to a waiting customer who looked between us before leaving.

“It’s only 7:30! Technically, I’m not late.”

“With Avery, you’re on time at seven; 7:15 is partly on time, and at 7:30 you’re late. We open as soon as a customer drives up, no matter what time it is.”

I sighed, and looked outside and saw two employees almost about to fight. I looked at Simone, who took a deep breath.

“Don’t pay them any mind; its just Louis and Terry. Those two always trying to fight each other over tips. Probably either to get drunk, high, or buy a hooker.”

I was still staring, curious to see if they would actually fight, when a customer approached the counter. I glanced at Simone as she continued to ring up hers.

“And I wasn’t sexing Mark. We haven’t gotten to that stage yet,” I finally said.

“Well, you two were doing something. I heard your loud asses last night; I had to put my earphones on.”

“Excuse me, but do you think you should be talking about your personal business at work?” my customer asked, glaring at us.

“Sorry, ma’am,” I apologized and began her transaction. I already knew today was going to be a strange one.

And as the day went on, my theory rang true: Every customer I encountered was either crazy, angry, or just plain cranky. I received complaints ranging from the soap not being sprayed on their cars to the vacuuming to even one of the employees not saying ‘have a nice day.’ Even though I’d run the store by myself the other day, I was glad Simone was working with me, even though she’s not speaking to me.

Mark came into the lobby a few times, and each time, he was greeted with a nasty stare from Simone. I really had to find out what the hell her problem was after our shift.

When I began ringing up another customer, she tapped her fingers on the counter. I glanced at her and saw her wearing me an impatient expression.

“You know, I’ve been standing in line for the past five minutes, and you have been extremely slow. I have an important meeting to get to in 20 minutes, so I don’t have time for it right now.”

I was completely shocked by her attitude and glanced at Simone. She shrugged then turned back to work.

“I’m sorry if I’m moving too slowly, but I’m new and – ”

“Figures! Why would they schedule a new person on one of the store’s busiest days?! Where is Maya or the other girl that usually be here?”

“I wouldn’t know, ma’am. But in the time you’ve complained about me and my work ethic, I could have been done processing your transaction,” I retorted.

“V?!” Simone whispered loudly.

“Where is Avery?!” the customer yelled. “I’ve been coming to this store for too long to be talked to like this from some uneducated cashier!”

My blood pressure began rising, so I took several deep breaths. I wanted to reach over the counter and snatch that blonde hair of hers. Instead, I called the next customer. If she thought I was just some uneducated cashier, then someone else finish her transaction.

“Excuse me?! What are you doing?” she asked.

“I refuse to service you. It’s my right as an employee to do so, especially when the customer is bullying the cashier.”

“Says who?! Simone, get Avery in here, now!”

“Yes, Ms. Windsor,” Simone agreed and paged him.

“I hope he fires you,” she snarled.

“Have a nice day, ma’am. And please come back to Suds soon,” I replied with a smile.

I wasn’t going to let some rich bitch steal my joy. I already didn’t want to be here, but at the moment, I didn’t have a choice. I just had to find another job soon.

After Simone got Avery inside, he apologized to Ms. Windsor for my behavior and gave her a free car wash. Guess whose check it was coming out of?

Now I was in his office to discuss what had just happened. I looked at the cameras, upset that I was in there, leaving Simone by herself.

“You do know that if Rosario was here, she would have told you to clock out, right? But I’m not going to do that. Instead, you’ll learn from this incident and try not to be snarly with any other customer again, especially someone like Ms. Windsor. She has been coming here for years and knows Enrique personally. If he knew about this, he would be upset.”

“She started being rude to me when she first stepped in my line,” I argued. “She knew it was busy, so why would she come here, especially when she had a meeting to go to? She should think about managing her time better and choosing what’s more important: getting her car washed or being at her meeting on time.”

“That’s not your decision to make, Vanessa. Every customer who walks into this store expects to have the same service, and they should. I know this is only your fourth day here, but I’m extremely disappointed.”

I sighed and glanced at the cameras again. I saw Mark in the lobby speaking with Simone. She probably was explaining what had happened.

“We’ll just chalked this incident up to a learning experience and move on. Just don’t let it happen again, okay?”

“Of course.”

“But you are doing a great job. You did really well running the lobby by yourself the other day. I was impressed, so don’t let this one incident ruin that.”

“I said it won’t happen again.”

“That’s good to hear,” he said as he came over to the other side of his desk. He tried to take my hand, but and I stepped back.

“Avery, we’ve talked about this. I said if you touch me again, I’m filing a complaint.”

“It was a small gesture,” he said, moving closer. He looked down at my breasts then back to my eyes .

“I have to admit, you are one beautiful woman,” he commented, slowly putting his hand on my thigh. He tried to spread my legs, but I pushed him away from me. He looked shocked; luckily, there was a knock at the door.

“I’m in the middle of a meeting!” Avery yelled.

“You need to come out here! Now! Dominic’s wife is at it again!” I heard Mark say. Avery looked at the cameras and groaned. A fight was happening out front; a woman, who I assumed was Dominic’s wife, threw one of the employees on the ground. I looked closely and noticed it was the girl Dominic had been talking to after my interview.

Avery rushed to the door; when he pulled it opened, Mark was standing in the doorway. Avery ran past him and went outside. Mark looked at me and mouthed, “What happened?” I gave him a look reading “I’ll explain later,” then we both went towards the door. We watched Dominic try to get his wife off of the girl, but his wife sucker punched then kicked her in the head. She was wearing stilettos, so I knew that had to hurt.

“That’s enough!” Dominic yelled, pulling his wife away from the employee. She turned around and started hitting him.

“I told your cheating ass if you do this again, I will come up here and kill her!” she exclaimed then started speaking Spanish. I looked at Mark, who began translating. It was things I didn’t need to know.

“You need to go before we press charges, Elena, Again! And Dominic, take the rest of the day off. I need to take Cecilia to the hospital,” Avery ordered. He helped Cecilia up, who was holding the side of her head.

Mark sighed as he looked at all the customers, employees, and even people from other businesses watching.

“I told Dominic to keep it in his pants,” He finally said. “The man doesn’t listen.”

“Well, that’s just your typical day at Suds. Something unexpected always happens,” Simone remarked.

Mark and I looked at her, and she shrugged.

 

Pre-order is still available! Purchase now for $0.99 before it goes to $2.99 on release day!

https://www.amazon.com/Into-You-Sheena-Binkley-ebook/dp/B01K6DY4XO/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

Sample Sunday- The First Date

img_0426-3

Happy Sunday, everyone! Here’s another preview from Into You, which is an extended excerpt of Vanessa and Mark’s date. 😀

The excerpt is unedited and from Vanessa’s POV.

I walked back to Mark’s truck, who had his head leaned back on the seat listening to music. I tapped on the window as he looked over. He gave me a huge grin before stepping out.

“Wow, you look beautiful, Vanessa.”

I became nervous again as he took a better look at me. He gave another smile while slowly taking my hand. “Extremely beautiful.”

“Thank you.”

“You didn’t have to dress up though; we were just going someplace causal.”

“I haven’t worn this dress yet, so don’t spoil it for me.”

He chuckled. “Okay, I won’t.”

He never let go of my hand as he walked me over to the passenger side and opened the door for me. He helped me in and closed the door. He hopped into the driver’s seat and glanced at me.

“I hope you don’t mind the music. I can change it if you want.”

“No, it’s cool.”

He nodded and started to back out of the driveway. During the drive, we talked about my first day at Suds, what we like to do for fun, and our favorite TV shows. I felt really comfortable around him which was making it even harder for me to uphold my promise.

As he continued to drive, I looked at my surroundings wondering where we were. He glanced over and smiled.

“Relax, we’re safe.”

“Where are we?”

“How long have you stayed in Houston?”

“All of my life.”

“And you have never been to the east end of town?”

“I never had a reason to.”

“Well, you do today. Besides, this is where my dad grew up. This is also where he met my mom.”

I noticed how his facial expression changed when he mentioned his mom. I had a feeling then that his mother was no longer living, so it must be hard for him to cope. I wanted to touch his hand to let him know it was okay, but I felt it was too soon for that.

He looked at me again and smiled. “We’re almost there.”

I nodded as I noticed a food truck in the distance. He slowly drove down a winding road and stopped in an empty parking lot.

I gave him a crazed look. “This is where you’re taking me?”

“I said it was causal.”

“A food truck? I don’t do food trucks.”

“You don’t or you never tried one?”

“I never tried one.”

“So, why you said you won’t eat anything from one if you never tried one?”

I rolled my eyes. “You probably think I’m acting like a diva right now.”

“Honestly, yes, but trust me, this place will definitely make you change your mind.”

I noticed the smile that was slowly forming and sighed. He better be right.

We got out and approached the food truck as one of the workers acknowledged Mark.

“Hola, Mark. Como esta?”

“Bien, y tu, Xavier?”

“Bien, bien. Quién es la mujer hermosa?”

“Ha, si, esta Vanessa. Vanessa, this is a good friend of mine, Xavier. He owns this food truck. He makes the best asopao de pollo in the entire city.”

“Oh please, my Puerto Rican stew doesn’t hold a candle to yours.”

“You cook?” I asked while staring at him.

He shrugged. “I can whip up a thing or two.”

“A thing or two? He’s lying to you. The man you’re standing next to can be a successful chef if he wants to. He can make anything for you.”

“I wouldn’t go that far.” Mark implied. He seemed slightly embarrassed as his face was turning bright red.

“Okay, well I’ll take your offer up on the stew, but only on one condition.”

“What’s that?”

“If you make it for me someday.”

He looked at Xavier, then back at me and sighed. “Fine. My place in two weeks.”

“It’s a date.”

We stared at each other as Xavier began to make our stew. Once he was done, we grabbed that and our drinks and went to a picnic area near the truck. I looked around, seeing a bunch of kids playing in the park while several teenagers were playing basketball nearby.

I took a spoonful of the stew and instantly moaned. It was really good.

Mark looked at me and gave a wicked grin. “If Xavier’s stew made you moan, I can only imagine how you’ll react to mine.”

I noticed the desire in his eyes as he began eating. He gave me another smile which made me melt. I think the promise I had for myself is null and void.

We sat in silence to eat when Mark stared at me. “So, Vanessa, why is a beautiful woman as yourself not attached? I’m sure there has to be some man out there that you’re dating.”

“Nope, not a single one.”

“Hmm, maybe that’ll change soon.”

“What makes you so sure?”

“Trust me, it will.”

“Aren’t you confident?”

“I’m sure that I could make you change your mind on a lot of things.”

I smiled. “I bet you can. I guess I should ask you the same question, or are you seeing someone? Maybe Maya, perhaps?”

Mark put down his drink and sighed. “We dated a few years back. I was in my junior year of college and she started at the boutique.”

“Did you two really date or just sleep together?”

“We dated, but yes, it was more sexual than a relationship.”

“I think someone wanted more from it.”

“She did, but that was something I wasn’t willing to do.”

“So why am I so different?”

Mark was surprised at my question as he reached for my hands. I glanced at him as his expression was serious.

“Because you’re someone I really could see having a relationship with.”

“You barely know me.”

“Which I hope will change someday.”

I smiled, completely smitten by him. I really need to control myself. I have only known him for two days, so I shouldn’t be feeling any type of feelings for him.

“If you’re nervous about us spending time together then don’t be. We’re adults, so it’s not a problem.”

“But we work together. Just because you’re the owner’s son doesn’t mean the rules doesn’t apply to you.”

“You’re right. The rules apply to me as well; but if I want to spend time with you, then I will. Not even my dad can stop that.”

His hands gently caressed mine as he stared into my eyes. He leaned forward to give me a kiss, which I was caught off guard with. I didn’t think he would kiss me again, but I’m glad he did. This one wasn’t as passionate as the one at Simone’s; it was sweet, as if he wanted to take things slow, which was fine by me.

He pulled away and touched my lips with his finger. “I do want to take things slow with you. I want us to see where things go between us.”

I nodded. “I do too.”

“Wow, I can’t even believe I’m saying that after two days of knowing you. You must really have an effect on me, Miss Hartwell.”

“I can say the same about you, Mr. Fernandez. Of course, we can’t be obvious about us seeing each other.”

“Of course not; but that’s something you don’t have to worry about too much. Practically everyone there is either dating or banging someone, so if you do see some crazy stuff happening, they won’t say anything if you won’t.”

“What if your dad comes by?”

“He does visit every now and then, but he’s been slowly stepping away from the business, so eventually, he won’t be a factor either.”

“Is he thinking about selling?”

“Sort of. He actually wants me to take over.”

I smiled. “Really? That’s great! But why does that sound like a bad thing?”

He sighed. “Because that’s not what I want. My dad only asked me because my brother and sister didn’t want the business. He only asked me to keep it in the family.”

“Why don’t you just tell him, then?”

“Because there’s a reason why. I’m planning on opening my own business with a friend of mine. It’s a Puerto Rican restaurant. He’ll be one of the chefs there, while I’ll be sort of the business manager. I figured I should put my business degree to use.”

“That explains the meeting at the bank. You were getting a loan?”

“Yes, which we were approved for.”

“Congratulations. That’s wonderful news! If you need help with the management aspect, I can definitely help you. That was my job until my company folded.”

Mark gave me a sympathetic glance and sighed.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Nothing, it’s just that this is wonderful news for me, but for my dad, it probably won’t be.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because he thinks I’ll probably fail at it. I’m sure he probably would think Suds would fail too, that’s why he didn’t ask me first, his first born.”

“Maybe you should prove him wrong and tell him about your business venture. I’m sure he’ll be proud of you.”

Mark gave a tiny smile and pushed his stew away from him. “Maybe. I disappointed him enough throughout the years. From rebelling against him to leaving Houston to do my own thing. I just got fed up with him and his ways. Maybe now it’s time for me to bury the hatchet and just be his son for once.”

“Aren’t you doing that by coming back to help out as a salesperson?”

“There’s a lot you don’t understand, Vanessa. I’m actually considering his offer, but only because of my mom.”

“I noticed your facial expression changed when you mentioned her earlier. What happened to her, Mark?”

“Simone never told you?”

I shook my head. “No.”

“She passed away ten years ago from a stroke; but she died long before she became sick.”

I gave a confused look as Mark sighed and got up from the bench. I got up as well, wondering what just happened.

“Is everything okay?”

“We probably should head back.”

“If there was anything I said that made you upset, then I apologize.”

Mark wrapped his arms around me to give me a hug. I closed my eyes, loving how his body felt against mine, but I could tell something was really bothering him.

“It’s nothing you said, Vanessa. The conversation is bringing back some memories that I don’t want to think about right now.”

I nodded. I could understand that he doesn’t want to talk about his mother’s passing. That would be difficult for anyone.

Sample Sunday- The Love Chronicles 

Happy Sunday everyone! Here is another excerpt from The Love Chronicles, which will be available this Tuesday, July 5th! Yes, I decided to release the story a week early! I know a lot of you have waited patiently for this book, so I didn’t want to anticipate the wait any longer. If you have pre-ordered, you will recieve it on the new release day. 

And here is the excerpt from both Dexter’s and Andie’s POVs when the two are getting ready to have a typical dinner with their parents. 🙂 

Dexter

***

After pulling off my clothes and taking a long shower, I went downstairs and saw that everyone had arrived. I looked at Andie, who was dressed in her infamous over-sized plaid sweater and baggy sweats. As far as I could see, she never cared about her appearance.

“Hey, Aunt Camille, Uncle Trevor.”

“Hey, Dexter. It looks like you’re growing every single day. You’re going to be taller than your dad and me combined,” Uncle Trevor teased.

“I guess I have good genes.”

I glanced over at Andie again, who rolled her eyes. That’s her problem now: She’s always too serious.

“What are we having? “Aunt Camille asked from the couch. My mom pulled her up and led her to the kitchen.

“Come help me cook.”

“Are you serious? I’m tired.”

“If there are two hands in the kitchen, then dinner will be done faster.”

Aunt Camille moaned as my mom pulled her to the kitchen.

“Huh, Trevor, could you help me with something in the garage, please?” my dad asked.

Uncle Trevor raised an eyebrow. “When have you ever asked me for help?”

“Just come on.”

Uncle Trevor looked at us then got up and went with my dad.

Andie and I sat in silence as neither of us had anything to say to each other. At least I knew I didn’t have anything to say.

She turned her head really quickly and looked at me. “Your parents planned this because they know about your grades.”

I looked at her, wondering what she was talking about. “What?”

“They know that your grades are down, Dexter.”

I looked from her to the kitchen, wondering how they knew about that. That was something I’d tried to keep quiet for some time now.

“How did they know about that, Andie?”

“I was talking to my mom, and –”

“That wasn’t your place to say anything!” I interrupted her.

I could tell I startled her since she jumped. I closed my eyes, a little peeved that she would go there, but I only had myself to blame.

“Were you trying to get back at me for what happened years ago?”

“Why would you think that?” she asked.

“Oh, I know what this is. Trust me, I don’t want your valedictorian spot.”

“Dexter, I really thought your parents knew.”

I shook my head, looking towards the kitchen again. Now, I really had to be on guard during dinner, because I didn’t know when either one would pop off.

I looked away from Andie as she tried to tell me what happened. She could save whatever explanation she had. I wasn’t going to listen to her.

“Alright, dinner is ready you two,” my mom announced with a smile.

I slowly got up and started walking to the dining room.

“Dexter.”

I didn’t even turn around. I just hoped this ended quickly and painlessly.

Andie

I sat down at the dining room table, feeling a little guilty that I’d done this to Dexter. At first, I did want revenge; but now, seeing the look on his face, I wished I would have done things differently. We haven’t even started our project yet, and we’re already having problems. This definitely wasn’t the way to start with building a solid relationship.

I glanced at Dexter, who tried to look happy, but I knew he was worried. He didn’t want his parents to know that he was onto them, and he was struggling to keep a straight face.

“Besides learning you two will be married, how was the rest of your day?” my mom asked Dexter and me after she took a sip of Dr. Pepper.

“It was okay,” Dexter answered and took a small bite from one of his tacos. I knew he was nervous then because he was barely eating, and tacos were his favorite meal. I don’t know how I still remembered that, though.

“Was it really, Dexter?”

He looked up and glanced at his dad, who was glaring him.

“What’s going on?” my dad asked.

“We know about your grades, Dexter. And don’t try to deny it, because we’ve already spoken with Mr. Ceborn,” Aunt Tia told him with a glare.

“Look, I can explain –”

“Explain what, Dexter!” his dad interrupted. “That you don’t give a damn about your education? This is your senior year; why would you mess up now?”

“I think we’d better go,” my mom said, standing up. Aunt Tia shot her a death glare, and she sat back down.

“If it wasn’t for Andie, we still wouldn’t have known about your grades. Now tell us, what have you been doing with the emails of your report cards?” Aunt Tia asked.

“Mr. Ceborn told us that along with the paper version, electronic copies are also sent. So, were you deleting them from our inboxes?” Uncle Charles asked him.

“And if so, how did you get into our accounts?” Aunt Tia added.

“It wasn’t hard to do,” Dexter answered. “I know your passwords. And as far as the paper versions go, Andrew changed them so it would look like I was passing.”

“Wow! This is unbelievable!” Aunt Tia yelled. “You went through all this trouble to hide the fact that you were failing two classes! Two, Dexter!”

“I know, and I’m sorry. I knew if you all found out, you would be upset.”

“And you don’t think we are now?! Boy, you’re on thin ice right now,” his dad stressed.

“Come on, you two; yes, this is bad, but you were young once. You’ve done this to your parents.” My dad said.

Uncle Charles looked at my dad with a raised eyebrow. “Yeah, I admit, I did some stuff back in the day, but lying about my grades was not one of them. If I had, your grandma would have whupped my ass. You better be glad I’m not going to do that to you.”

“Oh no, we’re going to hit you where it really hurts,” Aunt Tia quipped with a smirk.

Uncle Charles continued, “That party you were talking about, you’re not going. Instead, you’ll be doing your damn homework all weekend. And when you’re finished with your assignments, you’ll still be doing work we provide for you since you don’t like doing school work.”

Dexter looked at his parents like they’d lost their minds. “What?!”

“You heard us. You’re not going to that party,” Uncle Charles replied.

“But this is the biggest party of the year! Everyone in the senior class is going!”

“Well, you won’t be.”

“This is some bullshit,” Dexter mumbled.

“What did you say?!” his dad asked, getting up and going to Dexter.

“Now, now, that won’t be necessary. Dexter, you’re in enough trouble, so you better shut that smart mouth of yours,” Aunt Tia scolded then turned to my parents. “Anyway, that’s why we asked you to come here. We have a favor to ask, Trevor?”

“What is that?” my dad asked.

“We want Dexter to stay with you this weekend. We would be here, but Camille and I are going to Dallas to plan Spencer Hightower’s wedding, and Charles is going to a conference in Austin,” Aunt Tia explained.

 “I have work to do myself. I have a big campaign coming up that I have to work on,” he replied. While my mom is an event planner, my dad had his own advertising consulting firm that he opened a few years ago. He’s done a lot of great advertising for some of the most popular brands on the market. I’m proud of him and what he’s accomplished so far.

“That’s fine, because we want Andie to supervise him. You have to be around each other anyway, so this will be perfect.”

“And just because we’re going out of town, that doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. We couldn’t get out of our commitments in time to be here ourselves,” Uncle Charles told Dexter.

“But when we come back, you’ll be under lock and key in your room for the next two months. No phone, no TV, no computer or tablet. You’ll be under house arrest, you understand?”

“Loud and clear,” Dexter muttered.

“Since you want to act like a child, we’re going to treat you like one. And Andie, we want you to call us if anything goes wrong. We’ll also be calling you and your dad to see how everything is going,” Aunt Tia said to me.

I nodded, not sure if I wanted to do this. In fact, I hadn’t even agreed to it.

“Uh, Aunt Tia, Uncle Charles, I never said I wanted to do this. I have things I have to do, and babysitting Dexter isn’t one of them.”

“We know we’ve put you in a tough position, but we know you’re responsible. We trust you and know that Dexter won’t do anything he isn’t supposed to if he’s around you. Besides, Trevor will be around, so you two can take turns if needed,” Uncle Charles reasoned.

“And we’ll pay you for it. It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t, right?” Aunt Tia added and laughed.

Dexter was still looking at his parents like they were crazy, while I sighed. I glanced at my dad, who shrugged.

“Fine, I’ll do it,” I agreed.

“Great. Thank you for doing this.”

I nodded again as my parents stood up. I quickly got up as well then went to the
door. I turned around and saw Dexter giving me the evil eye. I turned and opened the door. This was not how I planned to spend my weekend.

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