Disclaimer: These characters are fictional and from the inner workings of my brain. This island does not exist. Please don't post this story anywhere else without letting me know about it. Hope you like it.
This story is complete. I just need to post it in parts since it's kinda long.
If you'd like to fan my ego, or take it down a notch then hit me up at:
By Mas P Gurl
I could have slapped the idiot who sat in front of me that day. He was asking me if I wanted to have sex with him. Not in so many words but "you wanna get down" sounded like a proposition to me.
"Mr. Donald," his grayish eyebrows hiked up excitedly. "Can we keep this focused on your loan please?" He winked at me. It looked more like an ant closing an eye. Yes, I know exactly how an ant closing its eye looks. Like him.
This is my problem. I attracted the weirdest men but I had no interest in attracting men at all so if I did attract men I'd at least like them to be normal…and attractive. Just not horny and ant-like.
"Okay sweetie." I listened to my teeth grind behind the smile I had to flash at him. Karl peeked inside my office. He saw that I was in a meeting with the biggest horn dog client of the bank, so he jumped back and told me he'd stop by later.
"Pussy…" I muttered.
"What was that sweetie?" There goes that S word again…
"I said great. Now let me go to my boss to get these papers signed and I'll submit this to the board ASAP." I stood up and made my way out of the office, feeling his eyes on my ass. "That's what I get for keeping in shape…" I muttered.
It was July, maybe that explained it. The excess in heat had the testosterone levels skyrocketing. The week before one of the IT guys offered to upgrade my personal computer's antivirus software for free.
He seemed to think that I liked slimy men in my personal space and I considered my entire office to be my personal space. I decided to take my chances with a new virus.
I tapped on my boss' door and smiled when she gruffly waved me inside. "…damn people can't follow directions." Ms. Peters shoved the papers in front of her away and looked up at me over her glasses. "Ms. Larnet, what can I do for you?" I smiled and handed over a file giving her a quick background on Mr. Donald. She glanced up at me over the top of her glasses when I mentioned his name. "Oh and is he behaving himself today."
"As much as he can I guess." She harrumphed as she signed her name. She was an attractive woman in that full-bodied kind of way. Though she barely ever smiled with her mouth if you looked hard enough you saw it in her eyes.
"He better be, I know his mother very well. You let me know if I need to give her a call Joanna." The woman seemed to know everyone's mother on the island. She handed over the file and reached for her constantly ringing phone. That was my cue to leave.
I passed Karl on the way back to my office. He chuckled and winked at me squeezing his eyes to make his face look like Mr. Donald. I reached out to slap his arm, needing to inflict pain so that I could feel better, then remembered that I was at work. "Lunch?" I asked instead. He laughed and said yeah.
"Mr. Donald, I have your file here singed by my boss."
"I have a very big boat we can sail on to the islands baby." I sighed and sat down heavily. It was going to be a long day.
Now this is what I'm talking about. The sun was still on the other side of the earth, sneaking its way up over my home, Potter's Island, nestled in a bay off of the state of Florida. I lived in paradise and made sure that I spent every morning I could right in the middle of it.
My thighs were burning now, turning into that dull ache when I zoned out of my run and focused on the sound of the waves instead of my breath as my lungs pushed it out of my body.
I felt each stride in my arms. When the fatigue settled in a bit more my strides increased. The few familiar faces crazy enough to be on the beach running in the sand at 5am waved in greeting. We never talked, always a small greeting to acknowledge each other's insanity.
I looked up when I saw a shadow sitting on the stub of one of the sawed off pine trees that lined the beach, creating a mini forest. I was very aware of the people on the beach at that time of the day. We all had to be with the few attacks on unsuspecting women some weeks ago. I saw a runner up ahead so sped up a bit to keep a few yards behind her. By the time I came back around again I knew that the sky was going to brighten a little so the person on the stump wouldn't have shadows to hide behind.
My run was drawing to an end. Everything fell to the back of my mind as I focused on sprinting to the end like I always did. "You have to psyche out your body," my mom told me this when I was an athlete in high school. You wouldn't think so when you looked at her now but she ran too and was about to make it to a significant track and field meet back in the day when she pulled her hamstring. The doctor told her that running was off of her to-do list for a long time. A long time turned into forever. "When you feel like you can't run another step dig deep baby. Fly." I flew. My legs moved like crazy over the sand until I reached the wooden planks that allowed the jet skis and smaller boats easier access to the water. I began to pace, nodding a hello as a runner I knew flew by.
My breath was coming in gasps as I held my knees. I faced the water, wishing I could just jump in. The sun was peeking over the ocean and I checked my watch. "Trimmed off five minutes. Good job Jo." My mom told me to never forget to congratulate myself too.
I yanked off my shirt and started to walk along the shore to cool off. The sea breeze felt wonderful as it dried the sweat that poured down my stomach. A few men smiled appreciatively but I ignored them, barely resisting rolling my eyes. The few women who studied my body had my ego purring. The hairs on the back of my neck rose before I looked to the left. The mystery person was still there. The shadow revealed them to be a woman.
From where I stood I saw that she had short hair and a coffee brown complexion. Other than that I couldn't make out her features. What I did know was that she was staring at me.
I felt a bit of a thrill run up my spine at the thought of a woman staring at me, checking me out. "You need to get laid Jo."
It had been a while. Not since my in-the-closet-lover did I have sex. Vivian had no desire to even peek out of her closet when we were together. While I wasn't out at work I sure as hell wasn't hiding myself when I went out. Potter's Island wasn't all rainbows and butterflies when it came to homosexuality, but no one was stoned in the streets or spat on. I spent my entire high school life in my self-made closet and had no plans on getting back in there.
Ironically enough, even though I was "out" to a certain degree my mother still had no idea. Or so my sister tells me. She asks Jamilla whenever I'm not around if I found a good, strong man yet.
I turned around and closed my eyes when the first rays of the sun hit me in the face. I loved that moment. Making my way up the sand bank I wiped at the sweat, lifting the braids from my neck that I had in a loose ponytail. My eyes automatically began to scan the shore for shells and pretty rocks. I wanted to make a little necklace for Jamilla since she loved the last one I made for her birthday. The cool air that moved over the skin there was a god-send. I smiled as I thought about the smoothie I was going to make that morning then I felt that awareness again.
My eyes opened and connected with a pair of light brown orbs that were glued to my stomach.
Even though I knew I had a nice body I began to feel self-conscious. I pulled the shirt from my shoulder, barely resisting pulling it over my head and loosely held it against my thigh instead. The movement made her eyes move up my body, lingering at my breasts then resting on my face.
They were even prettier when they were looking right at me; two topaz stones that glinted in the sunlight. She smiled, managing to not move a muscle as she watched me. I didn't realize I stopped walking to study her, but when I did I couldn't get going again.
"Hey," I said as my mind tried to figure out why my feet were suddenly deaf.
"Good morning." It is now, I thought. That voice, it was dipped in sex. She seemed tall. She had to be from the look of the nicely shaped calves on display underneath the cargo shorts she wore. "Quite a run you had there." There goes that voice again. I smiled and looked out to the ocean suddenly picturing my body dipped in hot caramel. I imagined that's how it felt having that voice caressing your senses…your body…
With the sun rising, more people were coming out of hiding. I studied them for a few moments then looked back at her.
She was…attractive. Her hair was styled in a rather chic hair cut that was short but obviously maintained. The t-shirt she wore was just tight enough to hint at a well-kept body, I had a feeling that I was talking to "family" by the way her shorts hung on her hips. It was a tricky thing to base a guess about someone's sexuality on but I felt it in my bones. This woman had to be a lesbian.
I was doing a mini cheer in my head. Getting hit on by a dyke on this island was like trying to strain water from blood. I could count on one hand the amount of out lesbians I knew. Now, the women rumored about and in the closet, that number was infinite.
But this one? She was screaming dyke and I was trying to scream it right back. It may have come across as a whisper with my bright orange running shorts though. Where was a good pair of camouflaged cargos when you needed them?
"Yeah, it was a good run. You run?" She smirked and shook her head. When she seemed content to just smile at me I decided that our conversation was probably coming to an end. I looked her over again, covertly of course, and with a nod murmured, "Well, have a great day…" I trailed off hoping for a name.
"You too." No name. Why didn't she tell me her name? She had to have heard the way I left room at the end. "You should hop in the ocean after a workout like that next time."
That's not gonna happen, I thought but smiled and waved anyway. "See ya." I felt her eyes on me. It freaked me out but made me feel good too. To my surprise I felt a twitch between my thighs that had been absent for a while. How long has it been Jo…?
"Too long." I looked over my shoulder when I reached my car, somehow expecting her to materialize from the forest of trees. "I need to get laid." I left the beach behind me and my new beach friend too.
"What's up?" Karl asked as he sashayed into the break room of our bank a few days later.
"I'm cool Karl. Probably have to stay back for an hour. Peters wants to get this file closed off by tonight." He snorted as he poured a cup of tea.
"Not me. My black ass is gonna be home."
"With the hubby I guess," I murmured. He looked around and bumped shoulders when he saw the coast was clear. Karl was in a surprisingly stable relationship with an investor he met in an organic food store. I say "surprisingly" because of some of the wild parties he went too all over the island and some of the shit he told me he did at them. I never did find out what he was doing in an organic store that day.
"And you? Any woman catch your eye these days?" I looked into the salad I brought from home. He knew that I was hiding something from him as soon as I shrugged my shoulders. "Tell me!"
"It's no one Karl. Really." I busied myself with salad dressing.
"Who is she?" He shimmied his chair closer waving absently at someone who greeted him.
"Karl, it's no big deal." My voice lowered. "I just saw her this morning, but I think I saw her before today…"
"Probably have on this damn island." He wiped his mouth, carefully balling up his napkin and placing it next to his cup. "Now speak."
"Well, I was jogging like I always do and spotted this woman sitting further up on the shore. It felt like she was watching me." He nodded his head. "I got a closer look and said hello. We talked a little and I left." He nodded his head encouraging me to continue. "And that's it Karl."
"Yup." He rolled his eyes and sat back.
"Firstly, there were no details about how she looked. Butch, femme, androgynous…"
"She's kinda butch, though I think it's more tomboyish." He nodded his head and held up two fingers.
"Two, you didn't say her name."
"I didn't get her name." He looked as if I just grew a second nose. "What? She didn't tell me."
"Well did you ask?" His arms crossed in disapproval.
"Not in so many words…" He shook his head at me. "What?!"
"You need to get some lessons in flirting honey." I saw the time and stood up. I had to get back to work and that was a good enough reason to avoid his critiquing of my social skills. "This could be why you're still single Jo, 'cause it sure as hell can't be your looks." He eyed me with a smirk. "Your fine ass." I rolled my eyes and pushed my chair back in place.
"Well that's that and I doubt I'll see her again. Women like her are either players or taken anyway." I waved and escaped before he could reel me in again.
I woke up. It was sudden. The sky beyond my curtains was dark so I knew it was early. I decided to just go for a run since I knew falling asleep was impossible now. When I rolled over my heart jumped to my throat as a dark figure stood next to my bed. I jumped back but it lunged for me and grabbed my throat. The face that leaned into me made me scared and angry. Its shadowed body came closer and closer then suddenly reached for me, grasping my neck. It squeezed hard as I scraped at what would be its face then all at once it was over and I was gasping for air, sitting up in bed. Alone.
"Shit!" Every month. Like clockwork. Every. Single. Month. The same dream, different variations. Only Jamilla knew I still had them. When I lived with my mom, after that one night when my dad got physical with her, they started. She knew about the early nightmares. They both knew, then I got better at hiding them. Only Jamilla knew that they followed me into adulthood. She was the only one who heard me screaming or moaning some nights in the clutches of scary, confusing dreams that even today, continue to scare and confuse the hell out of me. I wiped my face and jumped out of bed. I wasn't going to fall asleep again so a run it was.
Another reason why I was single I'm sure. I had no intention of scaring another woman to death with my nightmares. To say that they disturbed Vivian would be an understatement. They only ended up being another reason for her to leave, as if she needed much pushing. She was halfway out the door from the very beginning.
My fingers closed around my keys and I stepped out of the bedroom. Hopefully I could leave that dream hovering in the shadows of that room.
"I want to go home," I rubbed my eyes as I sat at my desk. It was 5:30 in the evening. Half an hour more and I could get the hell out of there. My boss was a woman who was demanding now and then but when you pulled through for her she showed her appreciation.
You'd ask to leave early on certain days and she'd give it too you. Or you're suddenly "sick" and she'd let you stay at home without producing a doctor's note. I especially loved her for that because those notes were expensive. I hardly ever got sick so they were always days when I wanted to play hooky.
Ms. Peters came walking down the hallway talking to someone and I hoped she was going to stop at my office to tell me I could leave. There were a few of us scheduled until six that evening but I had a hot date with my bathroom and a vanilla scented bubble bath. My phone started to beep loudly. I picked it up as I kept one eye on the door and the other on my computer screen. "Joanna Larnet, how may I help you?"
"Jo, it's Jamilla," I smiled and sat back in my chair. It wasn't so much my sister's voice that made me relax and suddenly happy, but the fact that a phone call usually meant one thing, an afternoon or a weekend with my two favorite people. My nieces, Joey and Jazmine.
"Hey Jay, what's up girl?"
"I have a huge favor to ask!" I told her to just spit it out. "Can you watch the girls this weekend AND pick them up tomorrow afternoon from school? Bobby's truck is messed up and he's taking it in. We only have my car now and for him to leave work to get to the school on time and pick me up would be too much."
"Hmmm," I thought about the trip I wanted to make to my favorite restaurant the next day and decided to include the girls in on it. Maybe a sit down dinner… "Sure, this weekend? The entire weekend?"
"Until Sunday afternoon. They like to be at your place anyway."
"'Cause I let them eat whatever they want at my place," I pointed out matter-of-factly.
"And I'll pretend I didn't hear that. Mom said to call her. Okay, I have to go. Joey just spilled the whole damn bottle of ketchup." Her rushed voice moved father and father away until I heard nothing.
In the middle of all of that I missed my boss walking by. I ran my hands through my braids and lowered my eyes to the papers scattered across my desk determined to get as much done as possible. I had my feet up on my desk fifteen minutes later as I read over a file, making corrections that were going to be taken care of by someone else. I closed my eyes and rubbed my growling stomach. I started to dream about a big, juicy burger from Jimmy's. I even heard the waves crashing against the rocky shore that the restaurant jutted over. A heavy sigh escaped my chest. Good times…
"Looks like you need to go home." The alto voice that cut through my day dreams nearly gave me a heart attack.
It was her and boy was she tall.
My eyes quickly took in the dark suit that fit her body perfectly. The shirt underneath was some cream color and the suit looked to be a black one with light pin stripes. The shiny loafers were a nice addition. I was becoming a fan of her haircut more and more. It looked well groomed and complimented a strong, pleasant face. Pleasant. That's how she looked. Okay, she looked ridiculously attractive, but I didn't want to get carried away and have her pick up on my lustful vibes. The way she seemed to be laughing at me behind that cool exterior was making me wonder if she wasn't so pleasant after all.
"You always seem to be giving me suggestions whenever I see you." I don't know where the quick and somewhat sassy response came from. I surprised myself with that one. Usually I was cursing myself for not thinking up something smart and witty to say, scrambling for some quick reply. She shot a half smile at me that lingered. Her eyes took in my legs that were still propped up on my desk. I felt myself getting embarrassed when I saw that my shoes were off. Then I saw where her eyes were looking; right down my skirt. I slowly lowered my legs. It would have taken me standing up to pull down my skirt and I wanted to be inconspicuous, so I just rolled my chair closer to the desk. She smiled wickedly anyway.
She must think I'm some ho now. I looked up at her as I straightened my skirt. "How may I be of service Ms…?"
"There's nothing you can do for me in here Ms. Larnet." The answer wasn't rushed but it still managed to sound abrupt. She leaned against the door frame, practically laughing at my surprise. She didn't make a sound; it was one of those "laughing in her eyes" moments. I hated to be laughed at. And why wasn't she giving me her name anyway?
"Are you waiting for someone?" My irritation wasn't a secret.
She shook her head and crossed her arms. I noticed how the material of her jacket strained against the muscle that pushed right back. It was a nice suit.
"I had a meeting. Now it's done." I glanced at my clock. It was nearing six. That was one very late meeting. When I looked up at her she nodded her head. "Good idea. Go home. It's late." With that she turned around and walked away.
Go home…it's late…who does she think she is anyway? "Bossy bitch," I grumbled as I stood up, only to end up laughing at my anger. I was mad at a woman I didn't even know. She was getting to me though. Our short, barely occurring interactions always left me unsteady, unsure. She wouldn't even tell me her name. I thought about this as I grabbed my purse and turned off the lights in my office. I saw Ms. Peters shaking someone's hand. The person was blocked by a wall but I caught the unmistakable sound of my mystery woman's voice.
I quickened my step but still managed to miss her. I tried not to sound annoyed as my boss stopped me to ask about the file I was working on. I shifted gears and decided to get some information from her about the mystery woman. She rambled on for a while until I found an in…
"You were working pretty late with that last client Ms. Peters. Can't have you burning the midnight oil now. You already work so hard…" Flattery will get you everywhere.
"Girl I tell ya. But Terry, I'll stay back for her any time. Good clients deserve it."
"Oh, I've never seen her before…" That was all the opening she needed. As we neared the exit followed by a few other employees who were staying a bit later too she told me all she knew about Terry. I paused when I saw Amanda in the bunch. Amanda, the bitch of the office. She made sure that she was hanging around whenever Ms. Peters did. Everyone knew that she was trying to work her way up the ladder but I knew for a fact that Ms. Peters couldn't stand the woman.
I rolled my eyes at her fake smile and gave my boss my full attention.
Terry was short for Tereesa. Tereesa Lawrence. She was a young business woman who owned a landscaping and painting business. I remembered seeing signs with "TKL Landscaping" and "TKL Painting" scattered around the island. She returned home after university even though some of the top architectural landscaping firms in Florida were courting her. How my boss knew that? I had no idea. I guessed that she knew the family somehow.
"That's a good girl right there." The way she said the last of her mini-biography made me stop. We were at her car when she patted my arm, "Go home before ya mama calls me cussin'." I barely resisted rolling my eyes. The island was too damn small.
I grumbled that even as I thought about the strange way Ms. Peters told me the last part of her mini-biography.
Did she know?
I made a bit of an effort to keep my sexuality a secret at work but I knew that the reality of it was that someone at work was going to see me with a woman at some point. As far as I knew though, my name was out of the gossip mill, but the person being gossiped about was always the last to know.
"See you tomorrow Ms. Peters." I wasn't going to wait around to find out if she did know.
As I sat down in my car I thought about the mysterious woman who managed to leave an impression on my cranky boss.
That night I had dreams filled with her face. Not particularly sensual but dreams none the less.
The rest of the week didn't bring Tereesa back. Not to the beach or to the bank. Sometimes I can swear that I felt eyes on me in the morning, watching me as I made my way down the shore. I'd look up but see no one so I blamed it on my imagination. It was pretty active that week.
A lot of hot scenes and wet dreams of me and her on my desk occupied coveted space in my head during meetings. She'd come in and swipe the files and pictures on my desk to the floor and lift me on top of the smooth, hard, glossy wood. When I pulled her closer she'd reach down between us and-
"What the hell are you thinkin' about?" I jumped up from my desk, managing to spill my tea all over my shirt.
"Shit!" Note to self: Don't daydream and drink tea ever again. I glared at Karl who stepped deeper into the office laughing. "I have a door there ya know? You can knock on it once in a while." He waved my suggestion away.
"They're talking about Sally's going away party. Potlock." His wrinkled nose told me all that I needed to know about his attendance at said party.
"I take it you aren't going." He put his hand saucily on his hip and looked at me until we both burst out laughing.
"So how's life?"
"You know that I live vicariously through you Karl." He laughed and pulled a chair out to settle his slim hips. I threw down my pen and lifted my braids from my neck. "Got the nieces for the weekend."
"Need to get a WOMAN for the weekend." He ignored the look that I gave him. "You see your butch lover yet?"
"She's not my lover Karl. She wouldn't even tell me her name." I decided to tell him about seeing her that evening with Ms. Peters.
"Ohhh she likes you! She was leaning against your door and looking down your skirt!" His eyebrows wiggled excitedly. "It's that lesbian language for 'me want sex'?"
I threw a pencil at him that he deftly avoided. "I had my feet on my desk. It was practically an invitation." He wiggled his eyebrows again. I threw another pencil. "Not an intentional one you pervert."
"Put on your sexiest jogging clothes and let's pull her outta hiding." I chuckled and looked pointedly at the door. He stood with a flourish. "When you see her again ask her for her name Jo!" He pointed a finger at me then made me promise to call him for lunch.
I sat back in my chair and looked at the photos scattered on my desk. There were three. One of my nieces, one of my sister and I together at her house and one of my mom. My mom visited the office during the first few days of me getting promoted to the new space and was very insulted by me not having a picture of her on my desk. She brought one for me the next day.
"Crazy ol' woman." She gave me a good scolding for not coming by the Sunday before for dinner. I had to commit to this Sunday before she let me hang up the phone. My mind came back to the present and I sighed when I saw I had to copy a few pages.
As soon as I stepped out of my office I felt it. Someone was staring at me. I looked up and saw her. She was nodding her head at one of the other loan officers as she looked at me. I cringed when I realized who she was talking to, Amanda, the office bitch. She didn't seem to be paying her any mind though. Just like before, she was eyeing me. I felt her gaze move quickly up my legs and stray at my breasts. They were a modest C cup compared to some of the other women on the island. She had on cargos again, a polo shirt with a logo on it and shades on the top of her head. When her gaze met mine I saw the smirk there and suddenly I had a vision of her moving over me with that same smirk on her face.
"You going to use that?" I jumped, only then seeing the woman waiting next to me.
"I'm sorry." By the time I stepped back and looked up again she was gone but the woman who was talking to her was approaching me. I rolled my eyes when Amanda came walking over with her severely made up face.
"Hey girl," she said as if we were friends. We were barely acquaintances. Amanda was a gossip and I knew that she had nothing good to say about anything or anyone as soon as she opened her mouth. I also knew that she was homophobic so Karl and I had fun discussing her latent desires. "You know who that woman was right?" I stepped up to the copier and tried to look busy. "That's Tereesa Lawrence. You better watch out." That's Amanda, as subtle as a bull horn.
"She's a lesbian. She was looking at you."
"I guess you can turn gay just by someone looking at you now huh?" She didn't miss the sarcasm. Her mouth closed and she stood straighter, her eyes turning to slits. "I have to send these off…" I left her standing there and dropped the pages on my desk suddenly wanting to get the hell out of there.
With my shades on I dug through my purse for my car keys. I pulled them out with a sigh as a rush of pleasure swam through me at the sound of my car alarm disengaging. Home. I needed to get home. My footsteps faltered when I noticed someone leaning against my car. Then I noticed who that someone was.
"You should slow down, it's too hot to be rushin' around like that." Her smile flashed at me before she crossed her feet, looking as if she were getting comfortable. It was a nice smile with strong looking teeth beneath soft looking lips. Full looking lips that…look somewhere else Jo! My eyes obeyed.
The boots on her feet looked heavy and had to be steel toe. The brown material contrasted with the white socks she had bunched up above them. The skin of her shins and calves looked smooth, touchable.
Damn, she's fine.
There was no way around it. Her skin had a sheen of sweat on it now and the polo shirt she wore was tight enough to show off strong shoulders. My imagination decided to go on autopilot and I clearly saw my hands holding her shoulders, gripping them, slipping off of that sweaty skin, over the muscles that flexed beneath my fingers…I saw this in high definition blue-ray. I wanted her. "More instructions?" She smirked and slid her body over to allow me access to my car door. There was just enough space for a sheet of paper to squeeze between us. My lungs begged for oxygen so I gasped. If she heard it she didn't show it. I felt my pussy quiver.
"Suggestions," she replied.
"I don't need them."
"Well I'm just here to help." I laughed and lowered my purse to the seat in search of composure. As soon as I found some I breathed in something spicy and decidedly masculine. I lost it all a second later. Good God she smells good… "Still not swimming after your runs though." It was her gaze that I felt in the mornings.
I looked up and stared back at my own reflection in her shades. She was even more attractive up close. Lines framed her mouth that hinted at someone who laughed a great deal and her skin was smooth and looked touchable. The very tips of my fingers started to itch. She needs to be touched. I wonder if she has a woman doing that to her already…
When she pushed away from my car I realized that I spent the entire time staring at her. From the little smile on her lips she realized it too. Damn.
"Don't want to keep you waiting Ms. Larnet." Her phone began to buzz and I watched her remove it from her waist to look down at it. She replaced it a moment later and turned her attention back to me. With a flash of her smile she made her way around a truck, her truck, that I finally noticed was parked right next to my car.
"Umm…" When she stopped I stepped closer. "You never told me your name." Even though I knew it I wanted to hear it from her.
"Well that's because you never asked." A smart ass I see…my expression must have broadcasted my thoughts because she laughed and nodded her head. "Tereesa. Tereesa Lawrence. Some people call me Terry or TK." She placed a hand on the hood of her truck as she leaned in closer, a slow smile greeted me again. "But you? You can call me whatever you like Ms. Larnet."
Her voice dropped with her parting shot. My blood pressure dropped too, all of it drained from my brain to pool right between my legs. I felt it bubbling there, searing my skin.
The logo on the side of the shiny white truck matched the one on her shirt. It got smaller and smaller until she was gone. Like every time our little worlds collided it felt like someone tipped the earth beneath me. I had a feeling that Tereesa Lawrence was going to be a handful but I couldn't seem to tell my body to keep away.
It was Saturday afternoon and I was walking along the waterfront with my nieces. They had to be the two most adorable little girls in the world.
"Can we get ice cream Aunty JoJo?" I smiled and tried to put on a serious face but it was hard when she looked up at me with her gap-toothed smile on full blast. It still amazed me that Jamilla named her after me. I remember when we discussed baby names during those dream-filled childhood years. Joey wasn't one of them. My heart swelled with pride when I found out she named her after me. I ended up calling Joey the same name that both girls called me.
"No sweets before dinner JoJo." She pouted but I yanked her from the floor making her squeal. The pout disappeared a second later.
"Me next! Me next!" Jazmine screamed, causing a few seagulls roaming the sidewalk to fly away screaming just as loudly. I lowered Joey, doing as I was told.
Joey ran ahead of us scaring away some more birds. I yanked out the camera I always had with me when I took them out with me. My apartment was filled with framed photos of them. After snapping a few I told her to stop scaring the poor birds. "Ice cream!" She shouted.
"No!" I shouted in a voice just as excited. We entered Jimmy's on the Coast and were immediately greeted by loud calypso music. How a restaurant smack in the middle of the Caribbean Sea managed to make the best burgers I've ever had in my 31 years of living was beyond me. I made sure that the girls always got the kiddy version. Exposure was key.
"A milkshake too!" Jazmine yelled to the waitress. She smiled at me.
"The usual Joanna?" I smiled at the pretty waitress.
"You know me too well." She looked down her notepad for a moment before giving me a coy look then grabbed the menus promising to bring our drinks. I was convinced that she was at the very least bisexual because my subtle flirting seemed to be making an impression. I watched her ass for a moment only turning away when Joey wanted me to look at some boat on the horizon.
By the time we were done the girls were a bit more relaxed. A full stomach gets 'em every time if you didn't know. "You want vanilla or chocolate honey?" Joey pointed to the vanilla and dropped her head back onto my shoulder. "You wanna find a bench Jazzy Jazz?" When she heard me calling Joey "JoJo" she demanded, like all siblings do, equal or better treatment. And so we have the birth of her nickname, Jazzy Jazz. She laughed at her nickname and ran off a few feet, with her little bag filled with shells rattling, to plop herself on a bench.
I tried to hold a little body and two waffle cones overflowing with dripping ice cream as I made my way over to the bench.
By the time I made it there Joey found some way to get her ice cream on my shirt. She laughed at me until I touched the tip of her nose with my strawberry cheesecake. When she crossed her eyes to look at it I burst out laughing but unknowingly created two little monsters. Soon I had two overly-excited kids trying to smear their ice cream all over my face.
When they settled down both of them had about half of my ice cream on their mouths and little noses. I was just as bad, grimacing as I felt a cold drop meandering its way down the valley of my breasts. They laughed as they pointed at my face. "We got you Aunty Jo!"
"They most certainly did."
My eyes squeezed close as the unmistakable voice, laced with promises of hot steamy evenings met my ears. Even with my little nieces next to me I felt myself responding to her voice. A voice. I was going crazy before my very own eyes. "I could be wrong but I'm sure that's meant to be eaten, not…" I lifted my head to see her laughing expression. "Bathed in." I smiled tightly.
That just wasn't how I wanted us to meet again. I didn't think about why I wanted us to meet again in the first place. Things were already messy as it were.
"And who do we have here?" She asked and bent down to the girl's level. "Hello there, I'm TK, a friend of your…" She looked up at me curiously. The sun glinted in her eyes and I was instantly mesmerized.
"Aunt," she winked at me.
"Aunt," she finished. They told her hello then grew shy. She glanced at me as I tried inconspicuously to wipe away some of the quickly drying ice cream. It was already making me feel like I bathed in glue. "You should probably get that cleaned up soon. Gonna get sticky." I rolled my eyes.
"You have a thing about stating the obvious don't you?" She chuckled and stood up, adjusting the shades on top of her head as she did. I couldn't get enough of her eyes, the color, the laughter behind them…
"Just trying to help when I can." Her voice was quieter and her lips pursed now, as if thinking about something. She lowered her eyes. "Swimming after those runs yet?" I looked away feeling my heartbeat pick up.
"And the suggestions continue…" she laughed and shook her head.
"So that's a no?" Her phone buzzed at her waist. Only then did I notice she had on her work shirt. She frowned at the number and pulled down her shades glancing in the direction of Jimmy's forlornly.
"You work on weekends too?" She shook her head. "So you just love to wear your work clothes whenever you can then?" She chuckled. The thought of her working weekends made me sad. She needed someone to keep her in bed on Saturdays, someone to rub her…sore shoulders. My eyes tracked to them and I had to pull my gaze back to her face when her lips started moving again.
"Got a big contract I want finished very soon. But no, I usually have the weekends off." Her gaze was direct and unassuming. It made me uncomfortable so I busied myself with getting the girls up and ready. She lowered her shades.
"Well, it was great seeing you Ms. Lawrence." She chuckled again tilting her head curiously.
"Not outside of the office. You can call me anything you want but that…Ms. Larnet." Definitely flirting. Her shades couldn't hide the way she was gazing at me. If I wasn't already brown skinned I'm sure I would have been as bright as Rudolph's nose.
"Jo," I said quietly. She nodded her head slowly.
"JoJo! We call her Aunty JoJo!" We both looked down at a grinning Jazzy Jazz. Guess they weren't so shy after all.
"Well, okay then JoJo I'll be seeing you around." She bent down and held out a hand to both girls who grinned as their little fingers were swallowed in Terry's. "A pleasure meeting you both ladies." We stood up and I smiled at her before we walked away. When I bent down Joey looked up expectantly.
"Turn around honey and see if the lady is still looking at us." Joey obediently turned around and waved excitedly after a moment.
"She is Aunty JoJo." I smiled and rubbed her shoulder.
"Good girl." I need to get laid, I thought. I'm using my nieces to help me pick up women now. The thought made me wonder if that was what I wanted to do with Terry. Pick her up?
I knew the answer to that before I even asked the question.
It seemed that I didn't even need my nieces. I didn't even need to do the picking up myself. All anyone needed was a pushy boss. A boss who probably had no idea she was playing matchmaker. Or did she…?
It was a routine Tuesday and though I hadn't seen Terry on the beach I'm sure I felt her there. To be there so early to just sit was a bit weird to me but strangely enough, I felt safe knowing that it was her watching me.
I was ending a meeting with a soon-to-be student and her dad about acquiring a loan when my boss gestured for me to come on over. I lifted a finger telling her I'd be a minute and smiled and shook hands until both clients were on their way. On the way to Ms. Peters' office I glanced at my watch. It was soon lunch time and I was starving. I moaned when I saw that she was talking with a woman seated in front of her desk. One of those "meet the client" moments could end up taking twenty minutes. My stomach wasn't prepared for the wait.
I smiled pleasantly as I stepped into the office. "Gina, this is the woman I wanted you to meet. She's one of my best loan officers at the bank and I want her assistantant to handle any banking needs you have." The woman turned to face me. I smiled at her and glanced at Mrs. Peters when a familiar smile greeted me.
"Hello sweetie, so you know my little Karianna do you? Why didn't she tell me about you? And you're so pretty too!" Ms. Peters seemed to have missed my look of utter confusion as she started to tell the strange woman about how I did know her little "Karianna."
"Ahhhh, Ms. Peters, who exactly is Karianna?" They both looked at me then at each other and began to laugh.
"Sorry dear, Terry." The woman patted my arm fondly and smiled at me. "Terry is my daughter." She continued to smile as she looked at me curiously. "You look like Larnet family. You family with Dorna and Garth those?" I closed my eyes briefly. The island was too damn small.
"Dorna Larnet is my mother." She smiled and ran on about how she knew my mother through her time in the hospital when my mom was a nurse. Now retired, she never saw her anymore.
"…and now I need to get this food to that girl before she starves herself. She keep tellin' me not to bring her lunch, to stay home, but if I don't bring it how will I know that she's eating good?" Ms. Peter's nodded her head, seriously agreeing with the woman. She stood up and we did too. I was still trying to keep up with the whirlwind that was Gina Lawrence.
She was still lovely even with the obvious thickening at the waist and slight stoop to her back. Terry didn't get her height from her but she could thank her mother for those soft brown eyes and general attractiveness.
"…and she can give you a ride there too." I was snapped back to reality when I saw two pairs of eyes smiling at me.
"Ms. Lawrence, I was telling her that you can give her a ride to Terry's site. You know where the new development is a bit east of the highway right? Near the water, Larson's Cay." I nodded my head and tried to voice how much I DIDN'T want to take Terry's mother to give her "Karianna" food.
"I have to go to the salon too, that appointment I have at two." We all looked at our watches. It was 1:30. She wouldn't make it if we went to give Terry her lunch. The mid-day, city traffic was nothing if not dependable.
"Well we should let Joanna take it too her since they're friends." My mouth hung open as Ms. Peters beamed at me ushering me to my office. Friends?
"Ummm, I don't think-"
"Now tell Terry that I'm coming by on Thursday to check her cupboards so she better stock up on groceries!" The fact that I was barely an acquaintance of the woman seemed to be of no importance. Saying "hello" two or three times equated to being best friends forever.
They talked as my boss ushered me to grab my purse so that, god forbid, Ms. Lawrence was late and the food turned cold. "Thank you so much sweetie. You really are a good friend. Why hasn't she mentioned you already?" Her greying eyebrows crinkled in conclusion.
Maybe because she hardly knows me, I thought as I rubbed my eyes.
They walked me to the door and Ms. Lawrence walked me to the bottom of the stairs handing over a paper bag that had beautiful scents rising from it. "She works so hard, she'll be happy to see a friendly face I think. Make sure she's drinking water too."
With that, Ms. Lawrence disappeared and I was left with a bag of food to deliver to a woman I hardly knew.
The building site was quiet.
Well, except for the Kanye West music blaring from some radio in one of the still empty yards and the dump trucks that were moving back and forth through the streets. I barely missed getting my windshield smashed by what looked like a mini bull dozer to my untrained eyes.
"Hey! What the heck you doin'? You lost honey?" I scowled as I stepped out of the car. Only when I heard the wolf whistles did I remember that I chose to wear one of my shorter and tighter skirts to work. That morning I felt very good about the shape my body was in and decided to treat the world to it; probably not the wisest of decisions when you're high off of endorphins. Now in the midst of a pool of testosterone it felt like a very stupid idea.
"I'm trying to find the site where TKL Landscaping's working. I need the boss." He looked me over and I saw a knowing look fill his eyes.
"Well shit, you're on it. They're doin' all of this." He waved at the newly constructed homes in the small development.
It was no wonder she was working on weekends.
I looked around at a loss about where to start looking. He must have felt sorry for me. After shushing the guys still trying to get my attention he pointed a few houses over. I saw a familiar truck parked near it.
"Terry's over there with most of her crew. No doubt she'll be glad to see you." He smirked at me and hopped in his bulldozing truck…or whatever it was and drove off in a cloud of dust.
When I stepped out of my car again I nearly fell on my ass. Luckily I hadn't grabbed the bag of food yet. The uneven ground beneath my feet didn't get any more even the deeper into the yard I walked and it was a big yard with very pretty trees spotted around. A lot of people in shirts the color of the one Terry had on that day in the parking lot were peppered around the yard lifting huge rocks or digging up dirt.
Only then did I realize that she had an actual company that people worked at, where employees reported to her. I saw a familiar set of shoulders standing next to a tall guy as he pointed at one corner of the property and waved his arms.
She nodded her head to something he said and pulled a pair of gloves from her back pocket. Glancing behind her as she did, the shades shone in my direction. She looked back at the sound of wolf whistles then doubled back, lifting up her shades. The big guy next to her turned around too and said something to her. She nudged him away and stood looking at me for a moment then made her way over as she tucked her gloves away.
I felt like I wanted to throw up. "Why in fucks sake did I tell her mom I'd do this? I'm a fucking idiot! She doesn't even know me!" My muttering grew quieter as she neared. She slowed the closer she got so I stopped my muttering. I watched her push the gloves in her back pocket. Her shades were slowly pulled on top of her head and the expression on her face was a mixture of confusion and pleasure. I'm sure by the way she eyed my body that there was some other expression all together lingering beyond what she wanted me to see.
"I can explain."
"Uh huh," she said. I opened my mouth to get to that explanation but Bob Marley's "Stir it up" filled the silence. She held up a finger and barked into the phone.
"Terry…yeah." She glanced at me, smiling and noticed the bag I had in my hand. An eyebrow rose curiously. "What? Yeah I'm listenin'," with her focus back on the conversation I saw her brow crease. "I said to dump that soil on lot twenty three Brian, you were standing right next to me when I spoke to the company on the phone man." Her voice was smooth and controlled but I felt the irritation rippling beneath the surface. "Brian, you better get that soil to the right site before I get mad. They got those rocks in the back yet? Get them there and call me when it's there, I could see Sammy getting someone killed tryin to move them…Okay. See ya soon." She shook her head and smiled up at me. "So what brings you here? In the neighbourhood?"
"Your mom." Her eyes widened a little in surprise.
"My mom…" I lifted the bag and held it out. She took it and opened it, peering in curiously. She chuckled when she saw the food. I heard the low growl from her stomach though. She hadn't eaten lunch yet. "So you just happened to see my mom and she told you to send me lunch?"
"Exactly." Her head nodded and her gaze slid down my body until they stopped at my feet. My skin tingled all the way down.
"You shouldn't be walking on site in those shoes, you need boots." Once again, stating the obvious. I followed her retreating form as she walked in the same direction I just came from.
"Now you tell me." Her truck beeped and I stood uncertainly as she held the passenger door open for me. "I should really-"
"I don't bite." I shook my head as a million little suggestive comebacks darted around in my brain. I ignored them, or at least tried to and took her hand hopping up into the truck.
"What is this? A monster truck?" I muttered as I tried to tug down my skirt. She opened the driver's side and turned the ignition allowing blessed cold air to fill the cab.
"Knowing her she bought enough for two." I felt bad already for dropping in like that so told her I couldn't eat her food. She laughed and shook her head. "This wasn't just for me." She handed me a container. It was minced lobster. She gave me another one and I saw bean and rice waiting to be gobbled up. After the fifth container she folded the bag and tossed it between us.
Two plastic forks materialized and I took one. She started to eat and for a few moments I just watched her. When she seemed to be content to just eat away I began to eat the food she dished into a container for me. It was like water to a parched throat. I couldn't get enough.
By the time I was done I was licking my fingers. The fried plantains were quite greasy but oh so sweet. I ended up grabbing one with my fingers. The sauce from a fritter was all over my fingers and with no napkin in sight I did the only sensible thing. I started to lick them clean.
My eyes were closed as I tried to get at every last drop of that sauce. It had to be from the devil himself. The food was too good to be true. I was already calculating the miles I had to run the next morning to burn off the calories when the hairs on the back of my neck rose.
She was looking at me.
My eyes popped open. She was gazing at my mouth with hooded eyes. The way she licked her lips made a wave of heat ripple through my body. There was nothing but lust in her gaze and it was clear enough to scare the shit out of me. Almost as if she sensed my apprehension she blinked. Her eyes lost most of its glassy look as she cleared her throat.
"Listen-" I didn't let her finish.
"I need to get back to work." I quickly closed the lids to the containers littering the dashboard. Before she could say another word I was out of the truck and stumbling my way to my car. I heard her close the door but didn't look back.
Only when I was reversing out of the driveway did I look back. She was rubbing the back of her neck with a confused but amused expression on her face as she watched my great escape.
"I'm such an idiot!" I muttered for the hundredth time on my way back to the office. The woman was intense and scared me to death.
Once again I felt that unsteadiness after a meeting with one Terry Lawrence.
After my run my body was relaxed and begging for a hot shower, but when I stepped into my apartment I felt as if something was wrong. Off. There was a strange scent coming from my kitchen. Cooked food. I never cooked breakfast during the week. I never had the time.
"That you Joanna?" I closed my eyes and cursed under my breath.
"Mom, I told you about using that key without calling me." The tiny woman who was my mother stepped in the hallway.
"Well I haven't spent much time with you lately. You came by and left on Sunday before we could talk." Dorna Larnet was a needy woman. Jamilla and I both knew this and so tried to divide our time with her. The girls helped keep her busy but there was nothing like poking around the lives of your daughters. I gave her a key a year ago thinking she may need it someday, remembering Jamilla telling me that she did the same. Since then I've had surprise cooking or cleaning visits from my mom. Turns out Jamilla only left the key out on her doorstep when she needed mom to check on something for her. The lying bitch…
"Mom, I thought you were a burglar." She waved away my worry and handed over a glass of cold, freshly squeezed orange juice. Her perfectly died hair was cut in a very nice bob. Unlike many women, she was aging gracefully. She never tired of reminding us that we got our looks from her.
"Burglars don't cook you grits and eggs." My stomach agreed loudly. "Now sit down and eat."
I took off my tennis shoes and obeyed.
"You workin' too hard in that bank. I'm gonna call Tamika to tell her stop workin' you like a mule." I shook my head.
"Mom, please don't call Ms. Peters." She shushed me and gave me more food. "I actually like my job you know?"
"If it's going to keep you away from your mother then you need to not work so hard." I had to chuckle at her reasoning. "I met a woman who said that you're close to her daughter." I nearly choked on the bacon I was swallowing. How in the hell did Terry's mom talk to my mom already?
"Umm, who?" She said the name of the woman I just met a few days ago. I tried to look surprised. "Oh, I met her. Yes, her daughter is a client of ours."
"Oh." She glanced at me as she wiped down my stove. "I know her, her daughter too. She has a company right? Gardening? Her office is on Wells Street." Her eyes were cutting to me every few seconds and I felt my heart speeding up. My mother had no idea I was gay, if you haven't caught on to that yet. At least that's what I liked to tell myself. I had no plan of breaking the news over one of her surprise breakfasts. The way she was fishing around was making me worried though.
"I think so." I looked at my watch. I still had half an hour to start getting ready for work but I was ready to end that conversation. "Mom, I have to start getting ready for work!" I rushed from the kitchen thanking her for the food over my shoulder.
I needed to get that key back someway, somehow.
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