“Just Because”

Yes, I accidentally on purpose kicked Delaney’s cell into the pool a few days ago but it’s not like I “planned” it.

It was just a thoughtless impulse that I couldn’t control when I saw it sitting near the edge of the pool like that. I already know that it was a low-class move but I’m also a man who needs the odds on his side.

I’m not sure what made Delaney stay and right now, I’m not asking any questions. I’m just happy that she accepted to stay with us instead of renting another place when the AirBnB she was in burned down.

And no, I didn’t have anything to do with that…

She had agreed with one major condition – that we just “be” with no expectations and no promises.

Yes, I accepted her “condition” but I fully intend on breaking our agreement.

Right now, we’re on our way to meet a few of my friends for a pre-Christmas Eve dinner. Delaney is sitting next to me in the car, looking cute and festive in her red dress. But for as cute as she looks, she’s frowning and stabbing at her cellphone screen, on the verge of cursing.

“This new cell you got me is too complicated. You said that it’s a local 787 number? No one will be able to reach me until my request for my other line to be forwarded goes through.”

At first, drowning her cell was my lame way of breaking her ex-boyfriend’s communication with her, at least just for a few days.

I mean, the less he can reach her, the better for me, right?

But then, when I had the new cell activated for her, my impulses took me over the edge again and…

I blocked his number on her new cell.

Don’t ask me how I have his number because I won’t tell you.

What I will tell you is that the trip I’m taking Delaney on before her new contract starts will give me a head start on helping her forget about him.

“For now, I’ll text this number to Ella and the girls, work and my mother until my request goes through” she says as I pull up and park in front of the restaurant. “What’s wrong? You’re so quiet.”

I feel her staring at me intently with those dark eyes of hers and when she puts her hand on mine, I realize just how hard I’m gripping the steering wheel.

I’ve been waiting so long for someone like her that I’ll do whatever it takes. But I still feel guilty.

I lean over and kiss her like my life depends on it. When our lips finally part, I kiss her again just as intently, leaving her breathless and dazed. Every time I kiss her, it feels like that first time on the pier.

“Hmm…Don’t start something you can’t finish,” Delaney whispers, trying to catch her breath. “What was that for?”

Just because,” I say and kiss her again, not caring that everyone is waiting on us. “Just because you are you.”

Ninety days isn’t a lot of time but it will be more than enough to convince her to stay forever.

©2016 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos directly above.

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“I’m In Love With The Girl Next Door”

pretty

Please don’t think I’m creepy but I can’t help it.

She moved in last week and I have been watching her almost every single morning. It’s not like I go out of my way to do it. Her bedroom window and balcony is directly in line with my French doors and even though there is quite a distance between the two houses, I still have a good view from the kitchen island as I drink my coffee.

She has wrecked my morning routine. After having breakfast with Nate and then sending him off to get ready for the day with niñera Alma, I used to spend that time meditating.  But instead, I am observing her, wondering where she comes from and for how long she will stay at the Wilson’s rental home. I am intrigued and not just because she is cute. And curvy in all the right places. There is just something different about her.

In the morning, her black curls suffer from a serious case of bedhead and she glides around barefoot in some kind of over-sized T-shirt, starting her day with a large mug of coffee on her balcony and looking out into the distance until it is empty.  What she doesn’t realize is that we are having coffee together.

When she is through with her coffee, she disappears for a while and reappears with a towel wrapped around her wet hair, a bathrobe hugging her body. She turns on some music but never loud enough for me to decipher what is actually playing. A smile on her face, I can see her dancing and twirling, from her bedroom to the balcony and back. I chuckle as she brushes her teeth and suddenly stops to use her toothbrush as a microphone mid-balcony. She never glances around to see if anyone is watching her and even at the odd occasion when joggers pass by at that early hour, she doesn’t miss a beat. She waves, they wave back and she continues dancing.

She doesn’t seem to have a care in the world. And just watching her somehow makes me happy. I am more than intrigued and haven’t felt that way for a long time, probably since being with Nate’s mother.

I know that she isn’t a regular tourist or vacationer.  Dressed quite chic and her wild curls tamed into a tight bun, she would disappear into the back of a black town car at 8am and resurface around 4pm.

Where is she going with nothing more than a fashionable purse everyday?

Since I have been spending full days in the studio on the east side of the house, I see the same town car pull up to the main community gate and so that’s how I know she gets back around 4pm…It’s not like I am some creepy dude with no life next door. But that’s what you were thinking, right?

From the heavenly scents coming from the Wilson’s house around 5pm everyday, I know that she is a good cook.  Concoctions that required buttery fried onions, freshly diced tomatoes, pungent herbs…Definitely a  woman who can handle herself in a kitchen and likes real food. And from the healthy curves she has in all the right places (I said that before, didn’t I?), I can tell that she appreciates a good meal. She isn’t one of those I-will-just-have-a-salad kind of girls, she is a meat and potatoes/rice and beans type of woman. A woman after my own heart.

I noticed a few days ago that she takes walks on the beach at sunset, adorned in workout clothes and ear plugged into her cell phone tight within her grasp.

I need to meet her and somehow invite her over for Christmas dinner with us.

And that’s when I decide to take Nate for a walk before his bedtime to accidentally on purpose bump into her.

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. Save

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“Tuskeegee Chunk”

From the strong masculine knock at the door, I already knew who it was. For a split second, I considered pretending that I wasn’t back from the salon but I couldn’t do that.

Not to Jacob.

Never to Jacob.

What will he think when he sees me?

When Debbie had offered to transform me into a redhead for the holiday season by installing a long weave before my hair started to fall out, I had reluctantly agreed, going against my original plan of getting a pixie cut as a way to transition to shorter hair before attempting the next round of chemo. But since she had graciously offered to do it on the salon’s dime, I couldn’t refuse her kindness.

I steeled myself for Jacob’s reaction as I flung open the door. His eyes twinkled as he assessed my new look.

“Whoa! You went long instead of short? You look hot!”

Jacob had known about my plan to go short and had even offered to go with me but I had refused. He was a total sweetheart that had his heart on his sleeve and the woman who ended up with him would be one lucky girl. But if she turned out to be some kind of bitch, believe me, I would find a way to haunt her from my grave.

“Really? You like it?” I ran my hand gently through the lush locks, a little afraid that a small tug might make it all disengage.

“It’s sexy. Is it a wig?”

“No,” I shook the hair out to show him its flow. “It’s a weave.”

“Well, being a redhead suits you. Whatever it is, you better have it strapped on tight because I’m taking you for a ride.”

“A ride?”

“Yeah, a ride. Look…”

Jacob stepped out of the way and pointed at a shiny motorcycle sitting in my driveway. It was the kind of dream bike that he’d talked about buying if he beat his cancer. And now that he had been cleared, I was ecstatic to see that he had actually followed through. It was kind of funny how Jacob and I had quickly gone from being waiting room acquaintances at the hospital to good friends supporting each other in our respective fights against our mutual enemy.

“Oh my God! You actually bought it! Congrats! That’s an awesome way to celebrate!”

“Yes it is!  I’m going to ride this bike everywhere. And I’m going to take you around with me. As soon as you’re feeling better and the weather turns, we’ll take a ride down to that Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard in Vermont that you always wanted to go to. But for now, grab your hat and coat so that I can take you for a quick spin.”

I grabbed my coat, pulled on my winter hat and quietly shut the front door. I headed down the stairs to join him as he dusted some snow sprinklings from the bike seat.

I couldn’t help but smile at how optimistic Jacob was for my future.

But I knew better and had chosen not to tell him about the truth that coursed through my fragile veins.

He didn’t need to know that his plans for us would never see the light of day.

The only graveyard Jacob and I would ever visit together would have nothing to do with Vermont.

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

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“No One In The World”

Brian was still on my mind.

I dropped my yoga gear onto the floor and slammed the front door behind me. I hadn’t been able to relax during yoga class after hanging up on Brian and now that I was home, all I wanted to do was order some greasy take-out and chill in front of the television. Without turning on the kitchen light, I washed my hands at the sink, opened the fridge and grabbed a bottle of soda.

“I thought you said that you are avoiding sugar from now on…”

Brian’s voice boomed from the corner of the room where he sat on my couch, looking totally annoyed. I surprised myself by not screaming out when I dropped the bottle directly onto my big toe. All 6 ft 4 of Brian rose up from from the couch and slowly approached me.

“What are you doing scaring me like that? How did you get in?”

As soon as I said it, I already knew the answer. He still had the emergency code to my door.

He remained silent as he stepped towards me. I outstretched my hand to stop him.

“You need to leave.”

Brian came even closer and then stopped a few feet away from me. I backed away to put more distance between us.

“No, I won’t leave. You hung up on me earlier and we weren’t done talking.”

I backed up to the door and opened it.

“There’s nothing more to talk about for now. I need space. We need space. Please just leave.”

But Brian didn’t budge.

“You can’t put all the blame on me for the other night. You were a willing participant. Instead of talking all of this out, why would you rather make this hard? You are making me crazy.”

“Brian, you made it very, very hard for me to think straight the other night. You just need to go, okay?”

A guilty look clouded his face but it quickly disappeared.

“Ok. Have it your way.”

Brian brushed past me and I moved away so that our bodies didn’t make contact. When the door slammed, I let out a loud exhale, finally feeling like I could breath deeply. Just the thought of the other night with him make my entire body hum. He had done things to me that made me blush just thinking about it.

I shook the sexy thoughts from my head and when I turned to lock the door, there Brian was, just standing there, watching me like he could eat me alive.

In one swift step, he narrowed the distance between us, took me in his arms and hovered his lips barely inches away from mine. I didn’t even have time to think about pushing him away. And even if I did, did I want to?

Brian and I stood there for the longest moment just inhaling each other’s breath. My eyes focused on lips, I felt myself propelling slowly forward towards him.

“There is no one in the world that I want more than you,” Brian whispered with expectant eyes. “If you blame me for the other night, then you’ll just have to forgive me twice.”

My brain couldn’t compute. “Twice?”

He pulled me even closer. “Yeah, for what I did that night and for what I want to do to you again right now.”

Oh, how I wanted to forget everything in that moment but I just couldn’t.

My body stiffened and I snapped out of my haze.

“No.”

The grin that had started to form at the corners of Brian’s mouth quickly turned into tensely set lips. Just as suddenly as he had taken me in his arms, he let me go and stepped away.  Again, he had managed to leave me breathless.

“I truly hate you,” I said.

“Don’t worry, I hate you too.” Brian opened the door and didn’t look back at me. “And when you finally come to your senses, it may be to late.”

©2016 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

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“Ghost of You and Me”

I sensed her presence before I saw her. I looked up from my coffee and saw her walking across the street.

Through the coffee shop window, I watched her stop and send a text. It would have been so easy to get up, call out her name and jog across to her.

But I didn’t and I couldn’t. My ass was firmly glued to my chair and that is here it was going to stay.

“What’s wrong with you?” Brian’s voice broke into my thoughts when he noticed my coffee cup stuck in mid-air.

I pointed to where Starr stood. Brian’s mouth formed an “O” when he saw her.

“She’s back?”

“Obviously.” I took a long sip of my black coffee, becoming more and more irritated at how she appeared to be fine with the world. She never took a glance at the coffee shop where I sat – the coffee shop where we first met.

“Did she tell you that she was back?”

“No.”

“Aren’t you going to go talk to her?”

“No.”

I’d allowed this girl get into my brain and mess with my head. It wasn’t a good feeling and I couldn’t shake the hold she had on me.

Sometimes, just sometimes I wished I’d never met her.

Brian didn’t press the issue and we both continued to observe her in silence.

“How many times have you been in love?”

Without thinking, I said, “Twice.”

“Really? Twice?”

Starr smiled and slipped her cell into her purse and I watched as she walked away and out of sight.

“Yeah, twice. And both times it’s been with her.”

©2016 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

“San Juan”

A week from now, all of this would feel like a dream. Like it never happened.

The knot in my stomach ached at the thought of leaving. From the moment I had set foot out of the airport, it had felt like “home”.

I buried myself a little deeper into the lounge chair and stared out into the darkness. I was close enough to watch the white foamy crests of the waves as they lapped in time with their gentle whooshing onto the beach. The night sky was clear and filled with so many stars, something I rarely noticed at home among a sea of concrete high-rise buildings.

Was this the same sky or had I been magically transported into another dimension?

One more week.

The constant moistness of humidity on my skin, the left-over grittiness of sand buried between the crevices of my toes from my daily walk on the beach, the headiness of the salt air lingering in my chest that made me feel free and happy – I would miss it all. I had sat outside many evenings like this one, just curled up in a chair, enjoying the warm soothing breeze with some kind of cool drink in hand. And every night, the ocean never failed to wash away the day and grant me a fresh new one after I closed my eyes for the night.

Who in their right mind could ever get tired of all of this?

But tonight was a little different. I wasn’t on my own outdoor lounge chair. I was enjoying a better view from someone else’s rooftop.

I took a last sip of my mint tea, unfolded myself out of my chair and went over to lean against the railing. Was it past 9:00 pm already?

Time crept so slowly down here – I wasn’t sure of how long I had been staring up the stars. But what I did know was that I should have headed back to my place a long time ago, before I got myself into a situation I would probably not regret.

“Where did I leave my purse?” I muttered to myself and then my mind immediately went blank when I felt the warmth of his body behind me.

Alejandro.

His strong hands circled my waist and he nestled his lips into the oh-so sensitive spot of my neck. He had excused himself to take a phone call and from the dampness of his hair against my ear, he had obviously also taken a shower.

“Since you aren’t working tomorrow, you could stay here tonight…”

I smiled. I had to hand it to him, Alejandro was smooth.

I turned around, slow enough as to not lose contact, his chest just inches away from mine, his hands still around my waist. He smelled so clean and so fresh. I tried to make a mental note to ask him about the brand of shower gel he used but my mind wouldn’t connect the dots when I realized that the only things between us were my sundress and the bath towel wrapped loosely around his waist.

My lips could do nothing but smile as a wave of heat spread from the top of my head all the way down to my toes. His statement didn’t make me uncomfortable but being this close took me off guard enough for my mind to go completely blank.

Blank as in blankety blank blank.

The urge to run my hands through the wet curls that dripped onto his forehead was overwhelming but I managed to keep my hands to myself, totally uncertain as to where else they may glide if I reached out. He grinned even wider and I almost hated him for it.

Those dark eyes, that chiseled chest and such a wicked smile – I knew that he knew exactly what I was thinking.

“We could watch a movie. Listen to some music. Sit out here and watch the stars. Have a little late night dessert. Anything you want. Or I can take you back to your place. It’s up to you… Though you know what my preference would be.”

My mind searched for reasons to leave but the rest of my body refused to cooperate. From the deep well of excuses I was usually able to muster up, I was coming up dry though I was quickly becoming wetter than the ocean making music in the background.

How many other women had he graced with those words? And should I even care when I had T minus 7 to go? 

I gathered my thoughts, pulled myself together as best as I could and leaned in close enough for my lips to brush against his ear.

I inhaled deeply, trying not to think of what would happen if that bath towel accidentally fell to the ground.

“Okay,” I whispered into his ear.

He tilted his head and frowned at me, clearly unsure as to what I meant.

Alejandro cupped my face within his hands, trying to read my eyes. “Okay, what sweetheart?”

“Okay,” I repeated, sliding my hands down his chest.

Content ©2015 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

“Dirty and Flirty” – Part 4


[For the previous installments, please scroll back]

“Something tells me that’s not necessarily true Ms. Davenport,” he challenged as I felt his eyes slowly travel the contours of my face.

I took a deep breath in and challenged him right back even though my body was enjoying the proximity of his.

“I’ll just have to prove you wrong, won’t I?”

Neither of us could keep a straight face and we both cracked up laughing. He backed away and sat on the edge of Mr. Bernstein’s desk.

“The look on your face was absolutely priceless.” Tyler couldn’t stop laughing. “I thought that you would pass out.”

“If you’d said something, I probably would have.” It was my turn to tell the truth. I watched him give me a slow seductive once over, from head to toe.

“Don’t do that,” I told him and sat down so that he couldn’t continue.

“I’m just trying to see how I didn’t recognize you in the first place. Then again, you were probably only 13 at the time, right?”

I nodded.

“You definitely didn’t look like this in high school.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment. When did you figure it out?”

“To be honest, it took me a few days. I don’t believe in that psychic shit so there had to be a logical explanation. It all led back to things that happened in my senior year. And then I remembered your eyes.”

“My eyes?”

“Yeah, they seemed very familiar to me from the start, as if they were laughing at me. And then I remembered having that thought once before. And it was about you. I just couldn’t remember your last name until Bernie said it.”

I leaned back in the chair, folded my arms and then crossed my legs. Tyler’s focus immediately landed on where my skirt hiked up a little.

“Yeah, according to all the other girls, I was the lucky junior to be paired up with the popular senior for orientation,” I said, mimicking a teenage girl voice.

“Sarcasm…I take it that you weren’t a fan? Did I act like an ass to you or something? I was pretty spoiled back then.”

“I know. And from the looks of it, not much may have changed,” I kidded, knowing that he could take it.

He laughed and shook his head as if he didn’t know what to do with me.

“No, you weren’t an ass to me. It’s just that being paired up with you made all the other girls want to be my instant friend. And I couldn’t just stay under the radar where I wanted to be.”

“Why did you want to stay under the radar?”

“That’s not important.” I said, skirting around his question. “The fact was that after that, I couldn’t get a moment’s peace from the latest Tyler J. news. All I heard was gossip about you, you and more you…blah, blah, blah.”

“So that’s how you knew all that stuff about me?”

I nodded.

“But what about me being afraid of water?”

“Oh, you told me that yourself when you were giving me a tour of the sports arena at school.”

Tyler was quiet and pensive.

“Well, I must have felt comfortable with you if I actually told you that.” He smiled and crossed his own arms. “Or maybe I needed to fill up all of that empty space in our conversation. You were so quiet that I thought that you might have been mute. Or a church mouse.” He grinned and gave me a flirty look. “I can see that that’s no longer the case.”

“No, that’s definitely not the case anymore.”

“So you thought I was cute?”

“Don’t fish for compliments…I never said that.”

“You don’t pull any punches, do you Laney?”

My brows arched at what he called me. Only my close friends called me Laney and by using it, he was showing me that he remembered.

“I just didn’t see what all the fuss was about, that’s all.”

Tyler didn’t flinch.

“Nothing like a little brutal honesty from a non-fan.”

“You seemed to be the picture perfect stereotypical party boy jock who everyone was impressed with.”

“Except you.”

I said nothing and stood up.

“And what do you think now?”

He got up from the desk and spun around like he was on display.

I laughed.

“I don’t know, maybe a more refined and older version of that teenage boy?”

I picked up my purse from the floor and started to angle myself toward the door but he blocked me.

“What about that coffee? You can explain to me in detail why you ran this morning. And I can tell you what I’m doing here. I know that you’re dying to know.”

I was curious but I also wanted to get away from him and regroup. I was about to say no when he stopped me before I could.

“Don’t say no.”

Tyler reached out and put his hand on my arm. I had to hand it to him, he knew how to give the kind of look that could make a woman reconsider a thing or two.

“It’s not a “no”. It’s more like a “maybe” as in maybe another time.”

Tyler laughed.

“Lawyers and their slippery words but I’ll take your “maybe”.”

I needed to get serious.

“Can we agree that you’ll never ever tell anyone about the coffee shop thing?”

He extended his hand and mimicked my seriousness.

“Sure. But only after we’ve had that coffee so you’d better jump on my offer quick. Monday – after work” I nodded. “Great, let’s shake on it friend.”

It wasn’t a real handshake – it was just an excuse to take my hand.

“Nothing about your handshake feels friendly to me Tyler.”

“It sure feels friendly to me.”

He brought my hand to his lips and kissed the back of my hand. Tyler was incorrigible and I liked it. He accompanied me to the elevators and I noticed how the receptionist eyed him as we walked by.

“One more thing…”

“If it’s for a real date, the answer is no,” I preempted him and pushed the call button.

“Now look who’s got the ego…Don’t get ahead of yourself just yet.” He laughed.

The elevator arrived. I got in and waited for him to finish his thought.

“It took a little time but I got more than what I wanted.”

He held the elevator door open to stop it from closing.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“I’d asked you for your name and number, remember? Now, not only do I know your name but I also know where you work which is much better than your number.”

As the elevator doors closed, Tyler laid one of his smiles on me.

“Because I know where to find you at all times. See you Monday, Laney.”

“See you Monday Ty.”

I laughed and shook my head all the way down the 25 floors.

This is where the excerpts for this specific story ends.

On Tuesday February 23, I will post a link to another story.

If you have enjoyed my writing, feel free to sign up for my mailing list here. I’ve been neglecting it and trying to get it up and running again. If you have any issues signing up, you can email me at simplymarquessa@gmail.com .

Thanks for reading!

©2016 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

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