Hey y’all! It’s been a few, but thought I’d grace the pages of my website today to bring you a snip. Since the weather has warmed up some (in theory, compared to the frigid temps of winter, it’s… warm, I guess, in Atlanta???), my mind has turned to my favorite past time: spending time on a beach, staring at ocean water and reveling in the sound of waves crashing to the shore. That’s definitely the sentiment that I wanted to bring across when I wrote Beach Thing. If you haven’t read it, you should definitely SNATCH IT UP– it’s only $1.99 for the eBook, available everywhere ebooks are sold; paperback and audio formats are also available. Check out that link or click on the book below to get it however you like it.
If you have read this steamy, romantic #beachyblackromance, I hope you’ve dropped a good word about it on your fave retail site as well as social media. Word of Mouth sells books– and sends your fave authors on beach trips…. but I digress… Enjoy this exclusive snip and I’ll see you soon!
“I don’t think I’ve ever celebrated great sex with ice cream before.”
She grinned, scraping the sides of the small wooden bowl. Her nightly ice cream ritual was a prelude to sleep, so we’d sat in the middle of the bed and shared a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s Raspberry Fudge Chunk.
“Got to live a little, Wade. Enjoy life’s pleasures.”
“Didn’t I just enjoy one of life’s pleasures?” I leaned over to nuzzle her bare shoulder with my cold lips. She squealed and leaned away, setting the bowl on the nightstand.
“You want me to take that into the kitchen for you?”
“Nope. I want you to kiss me.”
I leaned in, brushing my lips across hers, then sucking her bottom lip into my mouth before sweeping my tongue against hers. I couldn’t get enough of her soft lips, the taste of her mouth, the sounds she made when I kissed her, like it was the most pleasurable moment of her day.
“You taste good.”
“Mmm.” She smiled, coming in again for more. “So do you.”
“So, I don’t want to crowd your space or anything. I know you need to get up early. Do you want me to go?”
The look on her face at the suggestion that I leave reminded me of the look my mother used to give me when she thought I was giving her nonsense answers. I was fine with leaving… if she wanted me to go. But I was looking forward to sleeping next to her, feeling her body heat next to mine. Well, for real, feeling her body next to mine.
Which, to be honest, was a rare want. I liked for the women I slept with to get it on and then get out. I didn’t like to share my bed, my home… my life. But Ameenah was different.
“You can stay if you want to. Unless you’re just aching to go home. I’ll understand.” She heaved a dramatic sigh. My lips did away with that.
“Nah. But would you happen to have an extra toothbrush? Bourbon and ice cream will have my breath kicking you in the face in the morning.”
She let out a cute little snort, rolling out of the bed and heading toward the ensuite bathroom. “I’m pretty sure I have a brand new brush. I’m gonna take your hint about the breath.”
“I… I wasn’t saying…. I just…”
She tipped her head out of the bathroom, smiling. “I was going to grab a shower. You’re welcome to join me.”
I rolled off of my side of the bed and in three steps was crowding her in the small bathroom.
The good food, the bourbon, the sex and the ice cream all had me knocked out until Ameenah shook me awake the next morning. She hadn’t turned the lights on in the bedroom, so through the one eye that crept open I could only see her in silhouette, with the light of near sunrise through the window behind her.
“It’s almost six,” she whispered. “I’m about to head to the shop, but I left you some muffins and coffee. Make yourself at home.”
“Unh,” I grunted, trying to come to, but the cloak of sleep was heavy and her bed was comfortable, like sleeping in a bed at the Four Seasons or the Ritz. “I gotta…go to SoulCycle anyway…”
I yawned and stretched and fought against rolling over and going back to sleep. She chuckled, then leaned over me to kiss my temple. “See you later for your usual?”
I sat up halfway, leaning on one elbow, cupped her chin and brought her face to mine for a proper kiss before she left.
I heard the front door close and the crunch of her footsteps in the mix of rock and sand down her driveway. When I finally felt somewhat awake, I forced myself out of the bed… and laughed. Ameenah had made the bed on her side, essentially cocooning me in. All I had to do was pull the sheets tight, adjust the pillows and fix the comforter and the bed was made.
I bent to pick up the shorts I had discarded the night before but they weren’t on the floor anymore. I looked around for them, finding a small pile of folded clothes stacked on a chair next to a bookcase. I bent to peruse the the titles she had collected.
There were a lot of books on building businesses, accounting for the small business owner and some of the inspirational and educational variety. The bottom shelf was full of romance, which didn’t really surprise me. I could imagine her sitting in that chair, daydreaming and reading with a view of the Bay just outside the window.
I swept my clothes from the chair and heard a heavy thunk as something fell to the floor. I picked up my phone and pressed the button to wake it up. I’d put it on silent when I left the house the day before. The only person that could break through was my mother, but we’d already talked and I didn’t expect to hear from her.
So seeing that she had sent me a text made my heart skip a beat. I hadn’t heard it because I’d left it in the living room.
He came by here earlier.
Just those five words made my lip curl. My bum ass father was bothering my mother now, probably trying to get in touch with me. I didn’t have a number for him so I couldn’t call him and let him know what was up. I checked the time; it was past 7AM. Ma was an early riser, up with the sun, reading the paper and drinking tea.
I quickly pulled on my shorts and brought the rest of the pile out to the kitchen. A small pot of brewed coffee sat on the kitchen counter, the red light glowing to let me know it was still warm. A burnt orange mug had been placed next to it, along with a tray of muffins and a note: ‘Cream in the refrigerator, sugar in the metal tin next to the coffeemaker’. She’d signed it with a smiley face.
I scrolled to a familiar number in my VIP list and put the phone on speaker. While it rang, I emptied the carafe of coffee into the mug and turned the pot off.
“Mornin’, son.” She sounded more chipper than usual, which lightened my mood some. That told me she wasn’t bothered about seeing Ruben. At least, she wasn’t showing it. “Isn’t it a little early for you to be up? The whole point of vacation is to relax.”
“It’s past seven. And I’m not really on vacation. I’m here to work. I have my cycling class this morning anyway.”
“I guess it’s good that you’re getting out, not sleeping your life away on the beach. How are you?”
“I’m okay. I saw your text. How are you?”
“Oh, I’m fine. I don’t need you to do anything. I just wanted you to know he was here.”
“Did he say anything to you? Did he come to your actual apartment or just to the building? How does he even know where you live?”
Ma laughed, making a choking sound. “So many questions. Can I get a word in?”
“I don’t want him bothering you and I want you safe.”
“It’s not like he’s dangerous. He didn’t kill nobody.”
“Nah, he just stood around and watched shit happen and went to prison for it. I went my whole life without a dad because he was supposed to get a third of the come-up and he ended up the one getting caught.”
“You’ve got to let some of this anger go, Wade. It’s useless to you.”
“He’s useless to me! He wouldn’t even name the crew he was with, on some honor shit. How about some honor to your woman? To your son?”
“Wade Anthony.” The tone in her voice, one I knew well, and the use of my middle name told me to back up and fix my attitude.
I inhaled deeply and ran a hand over my unkempt hair. “I’m sorry, Ma. I don’t mean to take it out on you. I wasn’t even thinking about him until he showed up a few months ago. Now he’s over at your place trying to get to me.”
“I just want you to check yourself, because Ruben Marshall is not worth worrying over. He’s not worth the emotion. Let it go.”
“I…” I was about to say I couldn’t, but Ma wasn’t going to be into that answer at all. “I’ll try. So how did he get in the building and how can I make sure that doesn’t happen again?”
“It’s already taken care of. I told you I didn’t need you to do anything and I meant it. He buzzed someone and asked for me and they let him in. The whole building knows now to not let anyone in asking for me. Anyone who needs to be here already has a code.”
“Okay. Okay.” I was breathing a little easier, knowing she was relatively safe. “As long as you’re alright, Ma.”
“I’m fine. Now go get your day started with your… cycling classes and whatever. I’m going to be late for stitch & bitch.”
I chuckled. “Aight, Ma. Say hey to The Biddies. Love you.”
I slid the phone into the pocket of my shorts and finished fixing my coffee. I grabbed the mug and the plate of muffins and slid open the patio door. The sun was up, a bright orange ball rising in a cloudless sky. It was turning out to be a nice day already.
I sat on Ameenah’s patio, drank coffee and ate muffins and watched the waves roll in and out. In my mind, thoughts about Ruben rolled around. His insistence on trying to contact me, his efforts to build a relationship with me after all this time. I wanted no parts of knowing him, let alone spending time with him, letting him into my circle, trusting him.
His son’s name was on some records. His son had made the Billboard charts. His son was well known in producing circles. His son was a big deal. And now that he was out of prison, he could play on that. I was sure he was already telling people that he was my father, trying to take credit for a talent that he played no part in cultivating.
All that time he was in prison, it was Ma paying for records and equipment. It was Ma lending me money for studio time. It was Ma encouraging me, giving me leads, spreading the word if I was spinning in a club or doing a local show.
It was Ma and Gage and the Coleman’s and everybody but him at the first album release party, nodding heads to my beats, smiling at how I transitioned from one vibe to another.
Ruben Marshall didn’t have shit to do with that. But now he wanted to come around and claim his son and try to “help”.
Nah. There was nothing Ruben could do for me.
And there was nothing I’d be willing to do for him.
I finished up my breakfast and cleaned up my mess before I left, pulling the door shut behind me. I double checked that it was locked, then trotted down the stairs toward the house. I already knew my cycle class was going to be spent working out some emotions surrounding Ruben. I was looking forward to it.
Beyond that, I was looking forward to seeing Ameenah after class.
I hope you enjoyed that snip… enough to grab the whole thing and #putitinyourface!