Two days had passed since I acted like a cat in heat in my office and Noah was only too happy to take me out of my misery. We’d moved from my desk to the wall, then to the floor, barely stopping to breathe in between sessions. Sex between us had always been a marathon where we teetered between sprinting and going long distance. Whatever way we came together it was always in sync. We instinctually knew what to do to please each other. He knew how to bite my neck at just the right place right as I was getting ready to climax. I knew to pull his ass into me just as he was close to murmuring or hollering my name.
We know each other and I know that I’m falling and falling fast.
When we finally stopped to rest, me straddling him on his lap, our breathing slowing, he rubbed my back and I snuggled and sighed into his neck breathing in the musky scent of him. That moment was what it was all about. That moment when you know you are with the one that brings you peace. When you feel most like yourself and not like an imposter. When you feel love and know you are loved.
I drove out to Cami’s apartment in Highland Park that Saturday, to join her for a jewelry party she was hosting. Cami had an entrepreneurial spirit that showed itself in the form of her selling jewelry, candles, and skin care products. Me being the wonderful friend that I am, I supported each venture stopping short of signing up to sell the products too. I just don’t have the time to invest in all the parties and stuff. Or maybe it’s because of all the social contact involved in the hours I’d rather be alone. Either way, I enjoyed these things with her handling it and me chewing on tasty hors d’oeuvres while selecting items I had no real use for but ended up being displayed in my house. Cami is my girl.
I entered her apartment with my key, the smell of Mexican cooking hit me, smiling as I listened to her singing off key to Beyoncé’s Crazy In Love. The big bright pink fiesta sign that said, “Hola” let me know what her theme was for the evening. I moved toward her small galley style kitchen and surprised her when I joined in on her singing “Got me lookin so crazy right now. Your love’s got me lookin so crazy right now!”
“Girl you scared the mess out of me!” She was holding onto her chest and I might have been worried if she wasn’t grinning. She gave me a quick hug before going back to her grilled chicken pieces.
“Need help with anything?” I asked hoping she had it covered while moving to sit down before I fell down. Having hot sex for the first time in a long time tended to wear you out. I was worn o-u-t. You hear me? Well. Fantastically worn. The way his hands held my hips, pulling me into him on each deep thrust. I had to do a mental head shake just to clear my head of the image of our skin sliding against each other as we worked our way to another mind-blowing orgasm.
Pretty soon my hands would start to tremble if I didn’t stop thinking about him. But his constant texts with my responses back to him were a reminder of what we’d done and that we wanted to do it again, preferably today. But I was avoiding the look he’d given me before he walked me to my car the other night. It was the look that said he wouldn’t accept just this. There had to be more.
“What did you do, girl?” I looked over at Cami who was observing me intently.
“What are you talking about?” Dang. She didn’t miss a thing!
“Well for one, I told you I was cool that I just needed you to help me greet folks when they start rolling in at five. And the other thing is you have this “he fucked the shit out of me” look that I haven’t seen since. . . wait, since you were with Noah.”
I couldn’t hide my grin; unable to contain it despite the consequence of her asking me more questions I really didn’t want to answer.
“Did you hook up?” When I nodded she sat down next to me at her bistro table. “I mean did you screw him?”
“Yes! And why must you be so, so, crude about it. We had sex.”
“Amara, you and Keith have sex. You and Noah, screw. Y’all go hard, heavy. Get it in. He blows your back out.”
I busted out laughing. “You are a mess. Okay, yes. We screwed and it was good.”
“I can tell. You are glowing,” She smiled.
Her words were sincere. Not one bit of sarcasm which made me admit, “I’m afraid though.”
“I knew you would be when this happened,” she said and when I gave her a look she said, “Come on; the whole world knew you’d make it back together. You just needed to stop fighting it, Sis. So tell me, where did you do it? Some broom closet somewhere?”
“No,” I laughed. In my office. On the desk. Against the wall. Sideways, upside down. You name it, we did it. But I kept that to myself. Some stuff you just didn’t share—not even with your closest girlfriend.
“So what comes next?” I shrugged, because admittedly, I really had no idea. When I said I’d worry about picking up the pieces afterwards, I never anticipated there’d be no pieces. I didn’t feel pulled apart really. Only fantastically whole, like he was what I needed in order to feel alive, and again, I was terrified and giddy at the same time.
I watched her get up to take the chicken off the fire and move it to the side and start chopping veggies for the fajitas.
“I have to give that more thought, Cami. This man, has me all wrapped up and we’ve just started again. That’s what terrifies me about him. That he can do that to me. It’s like he pulls the strings. But where will he try to pull me, if I let him?”
She sighed while now sautéing the peppers and onions. “That’s called love, Amara. When you love, you have to trust. There is no other way to do it. See where it takes you. If it falls apart, you will have had one of the greatest times in your life. If it lasts forever, you’ll never have to know what it feels like for it to end. But until you take a chance, you’ll never know.”
She kept her back to me but her posture was so tense like she was holding back something and I realized it had been a while since I asked what was going on with her. The project, Noah, my mom. My father. All of it had kept me in my own feelings.
“I hear you.” Wanting to change the topic and to become a better friend I asked, “So what’s been going on with you?”
“Nothin’,” she said while her back was still to me.
“Which tells me everything. You always have a million and one things going on.” And she did. She was a kindergarten teacher, she volunteered at the senior citizen’s home in Glendale. She was an active member of her sorority, running fundraising events every month. And she had all these side hustles.
She turned to me then and leveled with me finally. “Okay. I’m seeing someone but before you ask me a lot of questions, it’s new and I’m not sure about him yet.”
“So how can you tell me to trust and go full steam ahead?”
“Because you and Noah are like two halves of a whole—that’s why. This guy is new and I need to see if he’ll do the things he says he’ll do. Been down that road before.”
“I know.” And we both remained silent reflecting on the man that left her pregnant with a black eye and broken heart. Timothy was the reason I was putting the brakes on Keith and I. When that loser found out she was pregnant, he got violent and she ended up staying with me for a few months before finding a place on her own. While she was with me, she’d lost the baby.
She always claimed it was a blessing in disguise and I guess I could understand that. Not wanting to be tied to a person with such ugliness inside of them. But still to lose both things you wanted, had to be hard. And hard seems like too simple a word.
“Well, whoever he is, he needs to treat you right. And when you’re ready to tell me more, I’m here to hear about him.”
She gave me a small smile but it never reached her eyes. She seemed a little sad but intent on not talking about it which I understood all too well. When you weren’t ready to talk, no one could pry it out of you. They needed to just let you be, and that’s what I had to do for her. I let it go and finished helping her set up even with my awesomely sore limbs.
That night after I left her place, having ordered three pairs of dangling silver earrings and a sterling silver bangle bracelet, I thought about what Cami had said. Love and trust must come hand in hand. Otherwise it doesn’t work. And Noah wanted my trust along with my love. He already had one from me. Could I risk it all and give him the other?
I got in the house and started a bath. While I waited for the tub to fill with Vanilla scented bubble bath and some Epson salt, I grabbed my phone and sent a text to Noah. “I’m ready. At least I’d like to try.”
Before I could even put my toe in the water he replied with, “I’m happy to hear it. Can we start right now?”
“I’d love to,” I responded while hoping he’d at least allow me to soak so I could be ready for more of his sweet punishment.