Friday, October 27, 2006

Author Note

Stuff that I just want everyone to know:

  1. There is another one of my books online for free at It is called My Lover, My Friend. Let me know what you think of it.
  2. My other blog at is featuring a progressive story entitled more than a number. Please note that it is from my secular line, so be prepared for a different kind of wholesome reading with an edge.
  3. Hump Day (the novel currently featured on this blog) will only stay up for another week, so try to read all of it while you can. In November, half will be taken off with only a teaser left and the whole story will then have to be purchased as an e-book or in paperback form.
  4. Remember that My Website also features a free read entitled Bound By Love. That link is
  5. To buy most of my books, you need to go to the ordering pages on My Website. The rest are at Thanks for your support.

Suprina Frazier/Mi'Chelle Dodson

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Letter to Readers

I hope you enjoyed Tabitha and Sebastian’s story. I certainly had fun writing about those wild characters. Incidentally, this was my first time using cops as the hero and the heroine. Doing research for this unique occupation gave me and I hope you valuable insight into the lives of those who pledge to serve and protect us.

To all the good cops out there, I want to personally say thank you for putting your lives on the line everyday for people whom you may never personally know, but whose quality of life depends on you doing a quality job. To the bad cops, well…let’s just say that a lot of people would be thankful if you changed jobs…soon.

Now on to other things…

Nestled within Hump Day are several references to the Seeds of Peace program that was founded by John Wallach in 1993 after the first attack on the World Trade Center. This program was designed to bring together young future leaders from regions of conflict and to equip them with the leadership skills required to advance reconciliation and coexistence.

I wanted to highlight the Seeds of Peace program because I believe in it and I believe that programs like it are extremely necessary in today’s world. This is also why I had Tabitha to establish a type of spin-off program in order to change her own community. For more information about the Seeds of Peace program visit:

Finally, I touched briefly on the subject of Schizophrenia due to an experience I had with someone who was unfortunately afflicted with this disease. I saw this otherwise very sweet woman change into someone else right before my very eyes. It saddened me deeply to see her confused, extremely angry for no logical reason, and out of touch with reality.

If this book ever reaches that woman, know that I don’t hold your disease or the things you did while under the weight of this disease against you. I’m also praying for your complete recovery, dear one. After all, God is a God of miracles and nothing is too hard for Him.

After that experience, dear readers, I decided to not only be compassionate towards those suffering from this severe mental disease, but to also be informed. And because I want you to be informed as well, I’ve included a few facts about the disease below:

  • Schizophrenia is characterized by unpredictable disturbances in thinking. The very word means a splitting of the mind. It refers to the characteristic schizophrenic behavior of withdrawing from reality and thinking in illogical, confused patterns. The term does not mean that a patient has more than one personality.
  • Schizophrenia is one of the most common mental disorders and afflicts about one percent of the world’s population. Most patients develop the disease from their late teens to mid-twenties. Men tend to develop it earlier than women and often more severely.
  • Many people with schizophrenia develop delusions and behave as though they live in a fantasy world. They may hear ‘voices’ that others cannot hear and may believe that these ‘voices’ carry messages from important people, or even from God.
  • Schizophrenics often suffer disturbances in mood and behavior. Some patients seem to feel no emotions, but others may display inappropriate emotions, such as laughing at sad situations. Some patients withdraw from their family and friends and talk mainly to themselves or to their ‘voices’.
  • Physicians do not know the cause of schizophrenia. Viral infections, drug abuse, or trauma during birth may increase a person’s risk of developing the disease. Genetic factors may be partly responsible for some cases. Abnormal brain chemistry also plays a role.
  • There are currently drugs available that can control the symptoms of schizophrenia with fewer side effects. Many have found psychotherapy and rehabilitation programs helpful in allowing patients to live outside the hospital. Unfortunately, a small number of patients do not respond to treatment and must remain hospitalized.

Article citation: Thompson, Paul M. “Schizophrenia.” World Book Online Reference Center. 2005. World Book, Inc. 26 Jan. 2005.

I hope this information helped someone. Be blessed.

© 2006 by Suprina Frazier

(Don’t forget to stay tuned for Diesel’s story in Diesel’s Fuel)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Launch of New Blog

Just wanted to tell everybody about the new blog I started on MySpace. As many of you know I've been trying to spread my literary wings a little bit more. I'm now writing secular romance, as well. I've even established a new pen name (Mi'Chelle Dodson) for this fresh endeavor.

I'm inviting all of you to go to to check out the stories that I'm going to feature there. Keep in mind that these stories are a bit steamier and rawer than the ones on this blog. Yet there is still a positive message attached to them. After all, I am still the same person inside.

While you're at my new blog, don't forget to leave a comment. Or if you like, sign in as a friend. I would really love that. Until next time...

Suprina Frazier

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hump Day - Ch. 12

Sebastian and Tabitha immediately sprung into action. He rolled to the side of her and slid along the floor towards the tote bag where his gun was located. She slid along the floor as well towards the crate where her own weapon was. The whole time Tabitha silently prayed the 91st Psalm. She always prayed that psalm whenever danger was near.

Snatching her holster down without even lifting her head, Tabitha handled her revolver at the same time that Sebastian had his. It was as if they were partners again.

“Call for help while I check to see if our welcoming committee is really gone,” Sebastian said as he advanced to the back door on all fours, careful to stay under the window’s height. There was no need to tell Tabitha to watch the front door since she would automatically do that anyway.

Doing as he instructed and instinctively watching the front area, Tabitha briefly glanced sideways to the place where they’d been on the floor kissing. As she whispered into her cell phone, her eyes scanned the proximity of the window to the kissing area. That’s when she realized that whoever shot at them hadn’t been trying to kill them. If they had, they could have easily done that while she and Sebastian were standing up kissing in clear view of the window.

No, whoever the shooter/shooters were had been trying to scare them off, particularly Sebastian since his car was the main target of interest outside.

Within minutes, help was dispatched to the Armstrong property under a Code 8. Code 8 meant that an officer was calling for assistance. Therefore every other working officer, who didn’t have an arrestee, was expected to drop what he/she was doing in order to aid their endangered colleague.

Upon hearing that Tabitha was in trouble again, the female dispatcher deemed this incident of the greatest important. Be they white or black, the girls connected with the police department stuck together. They had to since they were outnumbered and often outranked. Fortunately, Tabitha Montebello was trying to change all that.

Unfortunately, since the property was closer to the outskirts of town, it could take up to twenty minutes to get there. Tabitha decided to spend that time in a state of watchfulness and prayerfulness.

For He shall give His angels charge over me, to keep me in all my ways, she prayed while the adrenaline continued to rush through her body in waves.

* * *

In the meantime, Sebastian continued checking the immediate perimeter outside. Like any smart cop, he avoided blindly turning any corner. In fact, Sebastian came just short of every corner, peeked around quickly, and proceeded only when it was clear. If had been dark, he would have used his flashlight in quick spurts so as to keep his position hidden.

Finding nothing but a white note taped to Tabitha’s car, he made his way back inside and locked the door behind him. “All clear, Tab,” Sebastian said, standing to his full height of 6’1 now. His anger was apparent by his flaring nostrils.

How could a very dangerous someone have gotten this close to them without their knowledge? Certainly close enough to have attached a note to Tabitha’s car? And why didn’t this person shoot to kill when they had the chance to?

“Somebody doesn’t want you back in town,” Tabitha replied, now standing to her feet, as well.

“I know. Whoever it was has a V-8 engine with a bad muffler,” Sebastian noted, deliberately channeling his anger into a more positive direction. First chance he got he would gather all the information he could on cars with V-8 engines.

“Whoever it was also doesn’t realize that they’ve just given me another reason to stick around for a while,” Sebastian continued. “Looks like you just got yourself a housemate, baby,” he added, looking at Tabitha.

Dumbfounded, Tabitha adamantly shook her head. “Seb, you can not move in here with me. Regardless of what almost happened tonight, I can not shack up with you. That would be like piling sin on top of sin.”

“Not if you’re my wife,” Sebastian proposed resolutely as things suddenly got very personal again. “No one is going to hurt the woman I love. I’m going to stay here and make sure of that.” His hand crumpled the paper tighter as he momentarily forgot that it was evidence. But then again, Sebastian had never experienced murderous rage before either.

Tabitha’s temper flared hotter than his, yet for different reasons. “I don’t need you protecting me! And I definitely don’t need a man who’s only marrying me to be my bodyguard.” Suddenly she paused. “Wait a minute…why would I need a bodyguard? Wasn’t it your vehicle and your parents’ home that was shot at?” She put her hands on her hips. “What aren’t you telling me, Seb?”

Sebastian reluctantly produced the note. “It looks like they want you to leave town with me this time,” he said as she read the white slip of paper for herself.

“No one is going to run me out of town,” Tabitha sprouted angrily. She held the note by the edge so that her fingerprints wouldn’t smear any others that were on there.

“You got that right.” Suddenly hearing sirens coming from the west, Sebastian relaxed somewhat now that help was near. “Together we’re going to find out who’s behind this and why. And we’re going to do it as man and wife, too. Not only because I love you, but also because if we don’t get married soon we are going to fornicate,” he continued, giving Tabitha an intense stare. As proof, Sebastian pointed to the disheveled condition of their clothes which had not been caused by them responding to gunfire in the vicinity.

Although that was not necessarily the proposal Tabitha had wanted or had dreamed about since she was a little girl, she accepted it anyway. Why wouldn’t she accept it? She still loved Sebastian, she still needed his help - now more than ever before, and she also knew that he spoke truth about the likelihood of them fornicating soon.

Two times they’d been alone in a private setting and had almost consummated their love. Tabitha had dated numerous men over the years and hadn’t gone beyond a goodnight kiss with any of them. Yet with Sebastian, she seemed ready to fly out of her clothes at the drop of a hat.

“I’ll marry you,” Tabitha finally replied. “Tonight,” she added, setting the timeframe.

To that Sebastian smiled wide. He would have sealed the moment with a kiss, but their colleagues rushed in at that exact moment, prompting them to return to a certain level of professionalism.

Later, after all statements had been taken and necessary evidence collected, Sebastian and Tabitha took a trip over to her parents’ townhouse. He personally wanted the Montebellos to know that he was marrying their daughter, to ask for their blessing, and to invite them to come along to the next county to witness their nuptials.

Royce and Christeene were surprised, but not unhappy about the news. They’d always liked Sebastian. The fact that he asked for their blessing and wanted to include them in such an important occasion meant a lot to them.

Assembling into two vehicles after their long talk, Sebastian and his future in-laws caravanned to the next town.

* * *

While Sebastian and Tabitha were enroute to get married, a cell phone call went through to a mansion on the far west side of town. That call had everything to do with evil and nothing to do with righteousness.

“They’re leaving town now, sir. Even got the folks and the little brother with them,” said a red-haired man. His voice was filled with a sense of accomplishment. He deemed his assignment complete and his results positive and immediate. So confident was the red-haired man that he cruised into the parking lot of the local McDonald’s for what would be a large, yet cost-efficient victory meal. Triumph sure gave one quite an appetite.

“They’re gone already? Somehow I don’t see Ms. Montebello as the type to give up so easily. If she was, she would have been gone a long time again,” said a stocky gray-haired man as he sat in his window seat looking out at the last rays of the setting sun. He secretly admired Tabitha’s tenacity…among other things.

“Now that Mr. Armstrong is another story. He can’t stand being here no more than we want him here. Tell you what, just continue to watch the house and let me know the minute they come back to town,” the gray-haired man continued as he puffed on his favorite brand of Cuban cigar. He could care less that the strong smell would not easily leave his gray, single-breasted designer suit. After all, he had plenty of money to have it dry cleaned or else replaced.

“If you want, I can take care of them permanently when they come back, sir,” the red-haired man replied. His eagerness to please was apparent in his voice. He turned off his car and just sat in the McDonald’s parking lot for a while to finish his call.

“Although I don’t care two hoots about disposing of Mr. Armstrong, Ms. Montebello must not be harmed. Too many of our growing minority population looks up to that do-gooder. If she mysteriously dies, there’s liable to be some type of uprising, followed by a demand for a thorough investigation and the like. And we definitely don’t need that here. Therefore, Ms. Montebello must remain alive, at least while she’s in this town.” The gray-haired man puffed on his cigar again and looked away from the window. He knew that if killing Tabitha was the answer to his problems, he would have had that done a long time ago. It was bad enough that the newspapers had a field day with the police department when she was shot ten years ago.

Every black and female reporter in the county had called foul when they learned that Officer Montebello – who faithfully worked with the youth every Saturday at the city’s main recreation center - had been paired with a rookie. A rookie who’d barely made it out of the academy and was reputed to be trigger happy. In fact, it was that same trigger happy rookie who’d initiated the gunfire that led to Tabitha’s near fatal injury. If that wasn’t bad enough, he then fled the scene without her, leaving Tabitha at the mercy of the man who they’d been trying to arrest for domestic abuse.

If it hadn’t been for God’s mercy in causing the abusive man to flee the scene upon shooting a cop and the kindness of some neighbors who called for an ambulance while kneeling over Tabitha’s still figure in prayer, she would have surely bled to death that day. The eldest of those praying women later came to the hospital to see the wounded officer and to officially lead Tabitha to the Lord once she was truly conscious again.

“Okay, so she has to remain alive in this town, which means…” the red-haired man began.

“Before you get any ideas about following them out of town and killing them, keep in mind that that would only stir up trouble for us, too,” the gray-haired man quickly inserted. He knew where his flunky’s mind had gone and was trying to deter it. “People aren’t as stupid as we think. They would surely tie the two incidents together. Especially since they happened so closely together.”

Idiot! No wonder he was at the bottom of his graduating class, the gray-haired man mused. How did he ever make it out of the academy in the first place?

“So you want me to just standby?” Frustration could be heard in the red-haired man’s voice.

“Exactly, and report any information you get back to me before taking any further action. Which means cool it with that trigger finger, all right? You were only supposed to target Mr. Armstrong tonight, remember? I heard about that little note you left for Ms. Montebello. I hope you at least had the sense to wear gloves when you put it on her car.”

Amateur, the gray-haired man mused derisively as two more puffs of smoke went into the air. If he wasn’t running out of loyal men who thought like him, he would have never contracted this kid for such a delicate job. Especially since the red-haired man happened to have a bad case of revenge for the woman who’d cost him his career.

“Of course I used gloves, sir. I even typed the letter on a computer,” the red-haired man said, not wanting to be thought of as an amateur. Needing a smoke, he reached into the right pocket of his black jeans for a pack of cigarettes. The silver lighter he usually carried was in the left breast pocket of his black hard metal t-shirt.

“Good. Now one last thing. You need to get rid of that vehicle of yours. Take it to an out-of-town chop shop or something. Mr. Armstrong positively identified the kind of vehicle it was simply by the sound of the engine and that bad muffler of yours,” the gray-haired man said. “I’ll also need that gun you used tonight.”

The red-haired man winced. Now he wished he’d thought to drive another vehicle that evening. He didn’t want to get rid of his most prized possession. He loved his black Chevy Silverado. As for the gun, he could always get another one of them.

“I’m assuming you’re going to reimburse me for this loss once I do get rid of my car, right?” Cradling the phone in the crook of his neck, the red-haired man used his free hands to light a cigarette and insert it into his mouth. The cigarette pack and lighter were soon returned to their holding places.

“Of course, you’ll be reimbursed. In fact, I want you to buy yourself a new, quieter vehicle while you’re out of town. Your money can be found in its usual place,” the gray-haired man said before promptly concluding the call. He had some money to wire to an out-of-town account. The same account that a certain red-haired man had a debit card to.

© 2006 by Suprina Frazier

Hump Day - Ch. 11

Tabitha would forever remember last Wednesday with fondness. Although she and Sebastian had eaten out at a regular all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant with none of the frills that he normally would have had with Alzora, she’d still felt special to him. Not only did he allow Tabitha to have the seat of safety, Sebastian continually touched her hands over dinner, stared lovingly into her eyes as they conversed, and basically handfed her most of her meal.

Even now, Tabitha felt her body stirring as she remembered how sensual it had been to have Sebastian’s hands upon her mouth as he fed her, to have his large fingertips caress her bottom lip before he withdrew each time.

After dinner, they went to the park and walked and talked for hours on that mild, starlit March night. They talked about everything and anything that came to mind. When they finally said goodnight later at her car, Sebastian kissed Tabitha on the forehead and admonished her to ‘give them heck up there in Leeward’.

The fact that Sebastian substituted ‘heck’ for another word was further evidence of his change of heart. He’d been one cursing cop while they were partners. She had been, too. But then again, most of the cops Tabitha knew swore as if it was another thing that had been ingrained in them during training.

Fortunately, she tried to use other words now, garnering her yet another nickname among her peers. Tabitha would take squeaky-clean any day over half-bred, which was the name she’d been called from grade school through high school.

Although Sebastian had said nothing of returning to Leeward himself, Tabitha was almost positive that he would one day. After all, her destiny was there and if they were going to be together, he would have to find his way back there, as well. Especially since all the things she was called to change in Leeward would take some time. And Chief County Detective Armstrong was not known for his patience.

This cool and windy last Wednesday in March, Tabitha was far from bored. For one thing, her workload was increasing because she was now being utilized in the field more. No longer could the department justify keeping her behind a desk for most of the day – doing lousy paperwork that no one else wanted to do. Not when she had specialized skills that were needed on the streets of their growing city. No longer would there be a problem with finding a proper partner for Tabitha. A lot of the things she did now didn’t require one, or at least a steady one.

As for those specialized skills, in one week Tabitha had already proven herself to be a noteworthy detective. How? By providing important information on a case that had others in their department stumped.

This particular case involved a local doctor whose wife had supposedly committed suicide with one gunshot to the head. None of their neighbors, friends, or relatives had even known that the woman was depressed, much less depressed enough to do something like that. Yet the husband insisted that his wife had been suffering from depression for months now. He’d been treating her himself and had the medical records and pharmacy data to prove it.

Although for all intents and purposes it appeared as if this was another open and shut case, Tabitha’s gut feeling told her that something wasn’t quite right in this picture. Not only was the man too calm for someone who’d just lost his wife, he was also too focused on winding his black-faced Rolex watch every five minutes or so.

From Sebastian’s class, Tabitha learned that the body always wanted to tell the truth even when the mind didn’t. And that in keeping our bodies from doing so, people would display many contrived mannerisms like wringing of the hands, pulling of the earlobes and hair, adjusting the clothing, etc. In this doctor’s case, he was too focused on his watch, as if he needed to do something with his hands.

Going on that gut feeling, Tabitha went back into the man’s history to find out if any other women in his life had ever committed suicide. As it turned out, the doctor’s college girlfriend had also killed herself and in the same manner – one gunshot to the head. It had also been an open and shut case. The zinger was the fact that the then medical student boyfriend claimed that his girlfriend had been depressed and stressed out about her studies. That she’d also been too ashamed to tell anyone about it but him in order to explain why no one else knew of the woman’s distress.

Taking her findings to Capt. Meacham and others in her department, Tabitha’s hunch was soon acted upon. The doctor ended up confessing to both murders after a lengthy interrogation. Unfortunately, Tabitha was not given public credit for providing such pivotal information. Yet she was looked upon with more respect within her department than she ever had before. She deemed that at least something to be grateful for and swallowed the sense of injustice she felt about the rest.

In time, Lord, Tabitha mused, willing herself to be even more patient.

She smiled as she recalled what else she could be grateful for. Today was the day that she was going out to the Armstrong property to take down that ‘For sale or lease’ sign. She’d finally taken Herschel and Cree up on their offer and was now going to be leasing their property. Goodbye studio apartment. Hello rolling hills and serene lake.

Tabitha’s ten-year-old brother, Roland, was going to love all that extra room to roam and play. He often complained of feeling cooped up in the new townhouse their parents moved into three years ago when their old home had been sold to make way for the new shopping mall.

The Montebellos deliberately opted not to purchase another single dwelling where they’d have to be responsible for the outdoor maintenance. Christeene and Royce were getting up in years and were interested in making their lives as carefree as possible now, which is why they chose to live in a townhouse.

When Tabitha went out to the Armstrong property later that evening right around sunset, she discovered that someone had already removed the ‘For sale or lease’ sign. That same someone had also started trimming the grass around the main house with a riding lawnmower which now sat in the yard unoccupied.

Driving up the lengthy stretch of road to the elongated four-bedroom red brick edifice and its matching rear placed two-bedroom guesthouse, Tabitha immediately recognized the white vehicle parked out front. It looked just like the Chevy Tahoe that Sebastian drove.

Could it be him? Tabitha mused as excitement slammed into her.

Quickly getting out of her own vehicle, everything in her wanted to run into the unlocked house and throw herself into Sebastian’s arms. But as a wise policewoman, Tabitha couldn’t help but be cautious. After all, it might be someone who just had a car like Sebastian’s.

Making hardly a sound, she slowly opened the front door. Tabitha’s eyes scanned this way and that as she stealthy entered the house. The living room and kitchen lights were on. From what she could see, only scattered crates and boxes, and a black tote bag near the east wall populated the immediate area.

Whose bag is that? Tabitha mused, acutely aware of her weapon at all times like the good cop that she was. In fact, her right elbow was pressed against the glock now. Her right hand was ready to draw it out at any moment.

Tabitha knew that if an officer’s weapon was taken from him/her, chances were that he/she would be killed with it. She wasn’t about to let that happened to her. Not today. Not when she had so much to live for.

“Very good, Detective Montebello,” a male voice said from around the living room corner near the kitchen area.

Tabitha instantly recognized that voice. Then when the stranger finally stepped into her line of vision, her eyes glossed over with joy.

* * *

“I heard your vehicle coming up the drive. But I deliberately stayed in the house to see if you would forget about being a cop for even a second and come rushing into an unlocked dwelling without taking the proper precautions,” Sebastian said as he entered Tabitha’s presence more fully with his hands raised above his head.

“I knew it was you.” She beamed as her body visually relaxed.

Sebastian gave her a wide grin. “Of course you did. Now are you going to pat me down or just stand there gawking at me?” he teased, keeping his hands in the air. With his arms raised like that a bit of hairy torso could be seen under his gray Calvin Klein cotton sweatshirt.

“You must want to be shot, trespassing like this.” Tabitha laughed as her eyes zoomed in on that glimpse of mahogany torso.

She approached him, removing her black holster as she did. She sat it on the wooden crate by the living room closet on the west wall. She didn’t need a gun around this man. Tabitha trusted Sebastian with her life. Maybe not with all of her heart just yet, but most definitely with her life. That missing part would undoubtedly come later once she was sure that he wouldn’t be leaving her again.

“Property owners can’t trespass,” Sebastian countered as he lowered his hands to his sides. “You haven’t actually decided to buy the land yet, remember?”

“Right, right. So to what do I owe this pleasure? Last I heard, you were never coming back to Leeward. And why aren’t you in class tonight?” Tabitha asked, standing in front of him now with legs wide, one foot back, chest out, and arms and hands free. Not only did her stance provide for better balance and stability, the personal space she gave them both made for a quicker reaction time in case of trouble. All smart cops practiced it, because they knew that it could mean the difference between life and death for them.

“My next class doesn’t start until April,” Sebastian replied as his eyes scanned Tabitha’s appearance. He liked that the sapphire-colored turtleneck matched her eyes. That the black slacks were formfitting to her shapely frame.

Yes, this is why I ‘had’ to return, he mused as the desire in his body jumped around like corn kernels in hot oil.

Suddenly Sebastian’s face and tone grew serious as he unveiled his innermost thoughts. “As for what brought me back, that was you, Tab.” He reached for her waist and pulled her to him, not wanting any personal space between them.

“Me?” Her eyes danced with excitement at his words. Their lips were only inches apart now.

“Yes, you. I wanted to make sure that the property was in tip-top shape for you before you moved in. I also couldn’t wait any longer to see you again,” Sebastian replied, allowing his breath to mingle with hers before his lips slowly descended.

Tabitha willingly allowed his tongue access into her mouth. She was hungry for Sebastian, her soul-mate. Putting her arms about his strong neck, she surrendered wholeheartedly to the joy of kissing him again.

Sebastian released a deep groan at her eagerness. It excited him so much that he drew her down to the newly swept hardwood floor and placed himself securely between her willing legs.

“What a welcome home, baby,” Sebastian said, breaking the kiss briefly as he pressed himself even closer to her, willing her to meet his challenge.

Tabitha met the challenge readily as she wrapped her legs about his waist. “You’re not home yet, baby. This is just first base. You still have to make it past second and third.” Then she instinctively began to buck against him, displaying that hot-blooded side that Sebastian adored so much.

Though he chuckled at her words, his laughter soon turned into fierce desire as their lips met again for another intense kiss. In the time that it took Sebastian to dip his head lower to deepen the kiss, there was suddenly the sound of breaking glass.

The curtain-less living room window had been struck by several bullets fired from outside. Two more shots were fired shortly thereafter, hitting the driver’s side window of Sebastian’s vehicle. The sound of a car speeding away followed right after that.

Someone had obviously been watching the kissing couple from the main road. That same someone had decided to give Sebastian another kind of welcome home.

© 2006 by Suprina Frazier

Hump Day - Ch. 10

On the last Wednesday of class, Sebastian’s students breathed a collective sigh of relief. They’d just gotten the news that they all passed their exams with flying colors. When it was announced that Tabitha was the valedictorian of the hardworking group, no one was surprised. They’d all seen how hard she worked on every assignment (written and fieldwork) and deemed her deserving of such an honor.

At the end of that class, Sebastian’s students surprised him with a gift of appreciation. It was a new platinum briefcase that they’d all pitched in and purchased together. For the first time, they saw a wide grin cross Sebastian’s usually serious face. They knew then that they’d struck gold with their gift. In fact, he couldn’t stop thanking them for it even as they filed out of the classroom one by one.

Sebastian would never know that Tabitha was the idea woman behind that gift. That she’d seen him flipping in many a catalog over the last six weeks during their break times. That from her careful study of him, she deduced that he was trying to find the perfect briefcase to replace the one he’d had for years.

Tabitha had noticed something else about Sebastian lately. Namely the fact that he didn’t seem to have a girlfriend anymore. Alzora hadn’t shown up once over the last month and rumors were that they’d broken up. No one claimed to know exactly why though. But Tabitha knew why. She could almost quote Sebastian’s last personal words to her verbatim.

After what just happened between us, I could never let you go in every way. Yes, I’ll teach you to be the best detective this side of the Mississippi, and I’ll do it without personal involvement, too. But once this course is over and you’ve done what you set out to do in Leeward, you and I are going to finished what we started,’ he’d said.

Tabitha had no doubt that that was why he’d called things off with Alzora. Why he was now available to date again.

Waiting until everyone else had gone; Tabitha approached Sebastian at his desk as he was still admiring his new briefcase. It did her heart good to see how much he liked his gift.

“Permission to speak freely, sir?” Tabitha asked, trying to keep things on a professional level. She hoped they would stay that way. Last time things had gotten way too personal between them.

When Sebastian raised his gaze and looked at her, Tabitha was almost slammed speechless. There was an abundance of love shining in his dark pools. So much that she actually felt weak in the knees.

Yet despite the personal sentiment in his eyes, Sebastian’s voice was just as professional as hers had been. “Of course, Detective Montebello.” He stood to his feet, quickly towering over her short frame.

“I just wanted to personally thank you for all that you’ve done for us, particularly for me. It means a lot to know that I’m well equipped to handle being a detective anywhere in the world, and especially in Leeward. I couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks again, Chief Detective Armstrong.” At the end of her statements, Tabitha extended her right hand to him in gratitude.

Sebastian took her hand, but instead of shaking it, he used it to pull her close to him. “You’re welcome, Tab,” he replied, dropping all professionalism now as his warm breath caressed the side of her face. “But know that as of this moment, I am no longer your instructor and you are no longer my student. Which means I can take you out on a date to celebrate this major milestone in your life, and I plan to do just that. So tell me, where would you like to go?”

The nerve of this man! Just assuming that I don’t have any plans tonight! Tabitha mused hotly.

Though she really didn’t have any plans tonight since her parents were going to throw her a party this weekend, Sebastian didn’t need to know that. Neither did he have to know that she’d declined to go out partying tonight with the rest of her classmates because the club scene just wasn’t her scene. Never had been.

“I…My classmates were going out partying tonight,” Tabitha replied, stating a fact without stating whether she was going out with them. Interestingly enough, she hadn’t moved away from Sebastian yet. Nor did she want to, despite her offense at his take-charge manner.

“You can’t go,” Sebastian said calmly, as if seeing right through her insinuation. If Tabitha had any intentions of going out partying with her classmates, she wouldn’t have lingered behind for so long.

At those words, Tabitha finally snatched her hand back and moved completely away from him. “You’re not my daddy! I can go anywhere I darn well please,” she hissed, showing that fiery temper of hers as her will bucked against his.

* * *

Sebastian smiled at Tabitha’s fiery attitude. He loved it. It excited him to see her nostrils flare and the freckles on her nose deepen in color. Those were the signs her body gave off when she was highly stimulated about something.

Sebastian could easily tell that Tabitha was highly stimulated by him right now. Why else would her breasts be taut and straining against the red button-front shirt she wore? Why else would she be staring at his sage-colored shirt with such longing while her eager hands danced along the thighs of her black jeans just to keep from touching him?

“Yes. You can go anywhere you please,” Sebastian said, agreeing with Tabitha’s very last statement. “And you please to come to my house for dinner tonight,” he continued, deliberately stroking the flames of her temper up higher. “You also please to spend all night with me, talking and just getting to know me better…without having sex.”

Tabitha’s mouth snapped open and shut without a word spoken in between. She’d been all ready to tell him off. Yet as soon as he added that sweet addendum to his comments, she’d been rendered speechless. But that was obviously okay, because Sebastian had much more to say anyway.

“That’s right. There will be no fornicating between us tonight,” he said, grinning at her shocked expression. “While you’ve been busy studying to be a better detective, I’ve been busy studying to be a better human being. In fact, I’ve been reading up on this whole Christianity thing. Since I no longer have a girlfriend, I’ve had lots of free time on my hands lately. Plus, my parents have been very helpful in explaining things even more to me. I don’t know if you know this or not, but they became born again Christians a year before they moved out west.”

He paused and looked puzzled for a moment. “They never did tell me what happened in Leeward to change them from being flower children, who believed that there are many ways to get to God, to being born again Christians who only believe in one way to get to God.”

Tabitha knew how the Armstrongs had changed their way of thinking, but she wasn’t telling. If Sebastian’s parents hadn’t volunteered that information themselves, she wouldn’t either. Tabitha knew not to toot her own horn. She also knew that Proverbs 27:2 was very clear about how we should let another man praise us, and not our own mouths.

However, the whole truth of the Armstrongs’ conversion went like this: Shortly after Tabitha was fully converted in the hospital by Mrs. Abraham, one of the women that prayed for God to save Tabitha’s life, she went on a save-all-my-friends-and-loved-ones crusade. Her parents and Sebastian’s parents had been part of that crusade.

Getting her parents saved had been a piece of cake for Tabitha. They were so grateful to God that she was alive that they readily accepted Christ.

The Armstrongs had been a different story. Because they were more indoctrinated with various religious beliefs from other cultures they’d been exposed to over the years, they didn’t easily take to this theory of there only being one sure way to God. However, Tabitha was known for her patience. It showed in her extensive rehabilitation, her job, and in the fact that every week non-stop she mailed gospel tracts to the Armstrongs.

Tabitha started her mailing campaign from her hospital bed. She continued even after she was discharged and sent home to her apartment. On the back of each tract, she always invited the Armstrongs to her church.

This continued for years until Herschel and Cree finally showed up at Tabitha’s church one Sunday morning. Once there, all it took was the anointed truth of God’s Word and lots of yoke-breaking praise and worship to convince the Armstrongs to commit their lives to Christ.

Herschel and Cree were so grateful to Tabitha for blessing them with such thought-provoking gospel tracts, that they offered to let her have first-consideration to rent (with an option to buy) their property when they left. The Armstrongs always knew how much Tabitha loved their piece of prime lakeside real estate. They wanted her to have the first shot at it when it became available to the public.

“Are you saying that you’re now born again, Seb?” Tabitha finally managed to squeeze out of her mouth. All professionalism was long gone by now. So was all of her desire.

Sebastian smiled wider. “If that means accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior, then yes, I am. I finally sealed the deal just last night.” His eyes lit up at those words. It was obvious that he’d had a great encounter with his Creator.

Tabitha swallowed the lump in her throat. She was fast running out of reasons not to fall head over heels back in love with this man. First, Sebastian eliminated the girlfriend issue. Then he kept his word to her by making sure she was properly trained as promised. Now he was a believer, too.

The only thing standing in their way now was of a geographical nature. Would Sebastian consider changing that, as well? Tabitha would never know unless she spent some time with the man, learned who he was now.

“I’ll be glad to join you for dinner,” Tabitha told Sebastian. “But not at your place. Too much temptation there. At a public restaurant. Chinese, in fact. Afterwards, maybe we could take a walk in the park or something. Affirmative?”

Sebastian smiled with approval. “Affirmative,” he replied. I wonder if she’s going to challenge me for the seat of safety at the restaurant, he added to himself. I hope so. Sebastian was looking forward to the inevitable heated debate following that particular challenge.

As a rule, on or off-duty cops always wanted their backs against a wall with their faces actually facing any available door. Additionally, when they parked to write reports, they usually backed up against something or parked in the middle of a huge, empty parking lot. This way, they could observe any danger coming their way. These were just a few of many simple, yet effective things that cops did in order to stay safe.

Although Sebastian already knew he was going to let Tabitha have that seat of safety, he was going to enjoy every bit of the intense verbal sparring match that preceded his final surrender.
© 2006 by Suprina Frazier

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hump Day - Ch. 9

Like Tabitha, Alzora thought she was in for a night of passion, as well. Yet that wasn’t the case at all when she arrived. Instead of getting an open-mouthed kiss from her man, she got a brief peck on the cheek. And Sebastian wouldn’t even hug her.

“What’s wrong?” Alzora asked, noticing how somber and stiff he looked as he closed the door behind her.

She also noticed that Sebastian was dressed differently than before. Though she expected him to be in clothes other than the ones he’d worn to class and dinner, Alzora assumed they would at least be dry clothes. The gray t-shirt and matching sweats he had on looked like they’d been put over a dripping wet body. Why else would there be so many damp areas clinging to him?

Alzora would never know that Sebastian had rushed through the whole drying off process after his shower, a cold shower at that in order to cool down his heated body. Nor would she know about his ripped shirt. It was currently balled up in the kitchen garbage can to be disposed of later. Incidentally, Sebastian had looked for the buttons to his shirt, but hadn’t been able to find them all in time.

“You must have taken a long shower to just be finishing up now,” Alzora inquired as she sat on the east couch. She felt a hint of rejection when Sebastian didn’t sit down beside her. Instead he sat on the westward couch.

“Is that a button under your couch?” Alzora continued, pointing out something else that was different in the room. A lone black button sat under the couch Sebastian occupied. It hadn’t been there when Alzora left earlier tonight. Now it was one more thing she was curious about.

“Alzora, let’s not talk about my shower or a missing button,” Sebastian replied, steering them clear of certain danger zones. “Let’s talk about the fact that you were absolutely right in saying that there was some unfinished business between Tabitha and me. I tried to deny it, I even tried to fight it, but I ended up lying to myself and to you. I’m sorry for that.”

Tears instantly sprung to Alzora’s eyes. She saw compassion leap into Sebastian’s as he paused and took a deep breath. He obviously hated hurting her like this. That made her feel a little better.

“Are you breaking up with me, Sebastian?” Alzora asked in a tearful voice. Her hands were clasped tightly in her lap.

He nodded sadly. “Yes, I have to. You deserve to be with a man that can love you with his whole heart. I can’t, not if a large piece of mine still belongs to another.”

Love? This is the first time he ever mentioned that word since we’ve been dating. He ‘must’ be serious about her, Alzora thought dolefully.

“So you’re going to be with her now, huh?” With anger replacing rejection, Alzora wanted to take back all the food she’d ever fed Tabitha. The compliments, too. Then she wanted to scratch her eyes out.

Sebastian shook his head. “Not right now. But one day in the near future, I hope. Not only does Tabitha have a lot on her plate back home, she wouldn’t dare date me as long as I’m involved with someone else. And personally, I wouldn’t be able to stand the guilt of trying to date her knowing that I was still involved with someone else.”

“Let me get this straight,” Alzora said as she wiped the tears from her eyes. “You are still in love with Tabitha. A woman, who not only has no time for you in her righteous crusade against hometown injustice, but who is also not even thinking about leaving a town that you hate.”

“Y…yes, something like that,” Sebastian replied, looking very uncomfortable right now. He was very uncomfortable right now.

“On the other hand, you’re dumping me.” Alzora pointed to herself. “A woman that not only plans her whole schedule around yours, but who would also follow you to the ends of the earth just to be with you. Based on what you told me before, Tabitha wouldn’t even follow you out of the county. Sebastian, I hate to say it, darling, but you sound like a fool for trying to get this unattainable woman.” Alzora stood to her feet to leave. She had no more time for a man that would reject her through no fault of her own.

“I feel like one, too, especially for giving up someone as sweet as you,” Sebastian replied, agreeing with everything she’d said. He stood up as well in order to walk Alzora to the door. “But whether I’m a fool or not, I have to see this thing with Tabitha through to the end. And even if it turns out that she still won’t have me, at least I know that I tried to make it work.”

At the door, Alzora turned around to face him again. “I hope you don’t expect me to be waiting for you in the wings when this backfires in your face,” she said, holding the doorknob with her right hand. She was determined to let herself out tonight when she would have normally allowed Sebastian to open the door for her.

“No, in fact, I wish you all the happiness in the world, Alzora. You’re a wonderful woman and will make some other man very happy,” Sebastian replied, doing his best to soften the blow of their breakup.

“Yes, but I guess I wasn’t wonderful enough for you, huh?” Then turning sad, angry eyes away from him, Alzora opened the front door, walked out of it, and slammed it behind her.

As she walked to her car, Alzora felt that familiar sense of heaviness start to descend upon her mind. Although it hadn’t visited her since she was in high school, she still recognized it as the hands of severe depression. The kind of depression that had the ability to change who she was on the inside and turn her into a completely different, very unlikable, and irrational person on the outside.

Perhaps it’s time for a vacation, Alzora mused, determined to fight against her depression before it had a chance to get worse.

* * *

Sebastian stayed up very late after Alzora left. He kept thinking about what he could have done differently tonight. If he could have ended their relationship without any pain, he would have. Yet the more he thought about it, the more he realized that honesty had been the only way to go in this situation.

Alzora would have been hurt even more if Sebastian had strung her along while he had such strong feelings for another woman. Look at what happened, or rather what almost happened earlier tonight. If that phone hadn’t rung when it did, Sebastian would have surely cheated on Alzora tonight. She deserved so much more than that from him, from any man.

If You are real, Jesus, then I ask that You help Alzora move on with her life. If not today or tomorrow, but soon, Sebastian prayed, evoking the ear of the Person Tabitha seemed to have such a good relationship with.

This was the same Jesus that his eccentric parents seemed so excited about these days, as well. HE even had them acting almost normal. In fact, the last time Sebastian visited them in California, his father actually had on sneakers. Before Herschel only wore sandals everywhere he went and walked barefoot as much as possible.

Sebastian continued to mediate about this Jesus Person until his tired eyes finally closed in slumber.

* * *

From the next four weeks, Tabitha and Sebastian saw each other every Wednesday from 8am to 7pm. Each Wednesday was filled with valuable instruction and invaluable demonstrations of what a top-rate detective should be.

Sebastian gave his students the best. He expected and demanded no less than the best from them, particularly from Tabitha whom he often piled extra assignments upon. The other students thought he was being unusually hard on his former partner by expecting so much from her. Little did they know that she’d secretly requested such special attention.

Although Tabitha was definitely up for the challenge of her class load, she was blindsided by the other things that came along with each Wednesday. Now every hump day was also filled with strong undercurrents of suppressed love and sexual tension. Now she had to work extra hard to stay focused in class.

Tabitha soon began to long for the boring Wednesdays of yesterday. She hadn’t had all this emotional turmoil back then. On the bright side, she no longer had to deal with her most aggressive male admirer anymore. Ever since Tabitha dyed her hair reddish brown, Brennan had kept his distance, proving that he really had been only into blonds.

As for Sebastian, he was pleased to know that the male students were now keeping their distance from Tabitha. Brennan, because he wasn’t into redheads. The rest, because they all had so much work to do under the demanding tutelage of Chief County Detective Armstrong.

Sebastian was also pleased that in challenging his students to such a degree over the last month, they were finally becoming the kind of detectives any department would be proud of. They were also becoming the kind of detectives that any department would be proud to have since a few of them were going to be transferring to other cities once they graduated.

Unlike many student detectives who are given a light workload of relatively minor cases such as theft and things of that nature, Sebastian’s students were able to handle much more than that. In Tabitha’s case, she was equipped to handle a major murder investigation if need be with all the things he’d taught her.

© 2006 by Suprina Frazier

Hump Day - Ch. 8

“Ever since you walked into that classroom, I’ve wanted to touch you like this, kiss you like this, let you feel me like this,” Sebastian whispered in between kisses as he pressed Tabitha even closer to him.

She moaned out her pleasure. “I wanted the same things, baby.”

“I want you to feel even more of me, Tab. Take my shirt off as only you can,” he urged fervently. Although Sebastian had had to buy new shirts the whole time they were together before, it had been so worth it to see how she disposed of his old ones.

Surrendering to her long suppressed savage side; Tabitha promptly placed both hands at Sebastian’s collar and pulled. The buttons on the expensive shirt flew apart as she ripped the garment open.

“I’ve wanted to do that ever since class today. Had even thought about it once or twice over dinner tonight,” she confessed as her eyes greedily perused his torso.

Before Sebastian could respond, Tabitha leaned forward and licked a sensual trail from his collarbone to his bellybutton. All he could do was moan.

“I’ve always loved your chest,” Tabitha said, lifting her head to look at it again before descending upon it again with ravenous lips.

Sebastian’s chest was still deliciously hairy, yet the muscles were more defined now. The color of it was deep brown, as if God had made him from the richest clay. When an oil-based lotion was applied to Sebastian’s skin, it caused him to look like a radiant Nubian prince – regal, highly attractive and extremely desirable.

As Tabitha continued to lap at him like a thirsty woman, Sebastian moaned louder. His passion level rose even higher as she used her lips and her hands to start all kinds of bonfires upon his torso.

This was the kind of fire that Sebastian missed. The kind that he still craved. That much was evident by the hungry way he gripped at Tabitha’s supple curves even through the chocolate-colored knit top and formfitting jeans she wore.

Although Alzora was a great lover in her own right, she was more prim and proper in the bedroom, more subdued. She probably wouldn’t be verbal while making love even if someone dared her to.

On the other hand, Tabitha was feisty and aggressive. She challenged a man to rise to the occasion, both physically and figuratively, with her sexual energy. She could shout or whisper things in a man’s ear during intimacy that had him wanting to please her forever.

Sebastian thought he needed an exact opposite in a woman to balance himself off since he was more on the hot-tempered, hot-natured side himself. Now he longed to have the kind of woman that was his equal in every way. The kind of woman that could make him feel alive just from watching her bow-legged stride alone. The kind of woman that could make him wonder if he’d been asleep for the last ten years while he wasn’t with her because everything in Sebastian was tingling with stimulation now.

“What kind of panties do you have on, Tab? Because I’m going to tear them off you with my teeth,” Sebastian said huskily, savagely. Tabitha hadn’t been the only one ripping garments while they were together. She’d prompted him to rip a few off her, as well - undergarments, that is.

At the delicious memories Sebastian invoked, Tabitha’s sapphire eyes darkened in color. Now they looked like the deep blue sea as condensed passion swam in their depths. She felt more alive than ever, as well, energized even, able to conqueror and accomplish any goal. Sebastian had always had this affect on her and she loved it.

“Why don’t you have a look,” Tabitha tantalized, standing to her feet to unfasten her jeans. In just a few seconds, he would see the lacy red thong she wore underneath.

Just then, the telephone rang. Sebastian and Tabitha ceased from all movement. They both were temporarily in shock from the unexpected distraction. By the second ring, Tabitha had sprung into action and was now straightening her clothes as fast as she could.

Sebastian sat in guilty silence, trying to decide if he should answer the phone or not, considering the current circumstances. His breathing was still ragged, as if he’d just run a marathon. His loins were so filled with aching need that he seriously doubted if he could walk two steps without pain.

Meanwhile, Tabitha was busy pulling her clothes and her thoughts back together. They’d both been in complete disarray just a few short minutes ago. No wonder she almost surrendered to those primal urges.

God, what is wrong with me?! Tabitha mused hotly. She didn’t understand how she could have put herself in such an awkward position? How could she almost ruin ten good years of celibacy and negate everything she’d come to Pavilion City to do?

Worse, if her prejudice superiors back home got wind of this, they’d accuse her of sleeping with the instructor and would never take her seriously as a detective. Therefore, Tabitha had to put a stop to this right now. Why should she jeopardize her destiny for a fantastic roll in the hay with a man who already had a girlfriend? A girlfriend that was calling him at that exact moment based on the voice on the answering machine.

* * *

“Sebastian, darling, are you still awake? Maybe you’re in the shower. I hope since I’m suddenly feeling in the mood for love,” Alzora said, singing a few words from an old song. She chuckled when she was done. “Anyway, I’m leaving home right this minute and if I hurry, I might be there in enough time to help you dry your back. See you soon, darling.” She made a kissing sound in the phone and hung up.

By the time the message was complete, Tabitha’s clothes were in order again and she was headed towards the front door. Sebastian leaped up from the couch and hastened behind her. He could not let her leave with things still so unsettled between.

“Standby, detective,” Sebastian said, using professional jargon and an authoritative tone to get her to halt. When that didn’t work, he grabbed one of her arms. “I said standby, Tab.”

Tabitha stopped in her tracks and looked back at him. She kept her eyes above his neck to keep from staring at his chest through the ripped shirt. “If I do that, Alzora will find me here and she’s going to want to know why. How are you going to explain my presence in your house at this time of night, Seb? How are you going to explain your torn shirt? Or the fact that my lip-gloss is on your body in places it should never be?”

When Sebastian tried to answer, she interrupted. “No, let me go, Seb. And I mean in every way. It’s what best for the both of us. You already have a wonderful woman in your life and I have to respect that. On the other hand, I have a ten year and counting vow of celibacy to uphold, plus a destiny to fulfill in Leeward. And I need for you to respect that.”

She hasn’t been with another man ‘since’ me? Sebastian mused, focusing on the part that appealed to him the most. This Jesus Christ ‘must’ be real to make a hot-blooded woman like this abstain for that many years, he thought, still staring at Tabitha in shock.

As the shock rapidly wore off, Sebastian nodded, yet he did not release her arm. That nod was one of acceptance of Tabitha leaving his home right now. It was not one of her leaving his life as a whole.

“I heard you, Tab. Loud and clear. But now hear me. After what just happened between us, I could never let you go in every way. Yes, I’ll teach you to be the best detective this side of the Mississippi, and I’ll do it without personal involvement, too. But once this course is over and you’ve done what you set out to do in Leeward, you and I are going to finished what we started,” he said, finally releasing her arm.

“There you go again, still making decisions for others,” Tabitha countered hotly, even though every word he’d said inflamed more than just her temper.

“Even so it will come to pass, Tab. You can bet on that,” Sebastian insisted. As he spoke, he removed his shirt and crumpled it into a ball in his hands. Now his muscular chest was exposed in all of its glory.

Suddenly the air became sexually charged again as Tabitha broke their intense gaze and stared at his hairy chest. Her tongue seemed to lick her lips of its own accord.

Sebastian felt another round of heat surge through him at the hungry way she looked at his chest. He fought with himself not to assist her with her lip-licking task.

“If you’re going to leave, Tab, you better do it right now. Because if you stay here much longer, I’m going to make love to you tonight and worry about the consequences later,” Sebastian said in a low husky tone.

At those words, Tabitha tore her eyes away from his chest and promptly headed out the front door. She recognized a way of escape when she saw one, which is why she left Sebastian’s presence without daring to look back.

Moving quickly, Tabitha was careful to stay in the shadows in her quest not to draw undue attention to herself. Fortunately, she made it into her navy-blue vehicle and down the street just in time before Alzora rounded the corner to Sebastian’s house.

As Tabitha drove home that night, she was prayerful as she repented for her promiscuous actions this evening. She also prayed to be purged of all jealousy towards Alzora who was no doubt about to have a wild night of passion with the man that Tabitha’s heart still secretly craved.

© 2006 by Suprina Frazier

Author Note

Speak up, my good people. Let me know what you think of the story so far.


Hump Day - Ch. 7

After her date with Brennan, Tabitha decided to do two things. The first thing involved her dying her hair some color other than blond as soon as she got home. After being around a man that was obsessed with blond hair, she grew to detest that particular color. Tonight Brennan didn’t even bother to get to know who Tabitha was on the inside for all of his focus on her outside.

I wonder what would have happened if I told him that I wasn’t a ‘natural’ blond, Tabitha mused as she drove through the streets of Pavilion City. Or better yet, that I’m actually half-black and that the chance of me having any blond children with him is slim to none.

As a biracial person, Tabitha knew that any children she had with Brennan - if their relationship had even stood that kind of a chance - might never have a blond string in their heads. After all, Tabitha’s father had light brown hair and came from generations of people with the same light brown hair trait.

The second decision Tabitha made tonight was to stop off at Sebastian’s house. Last Wednesday had left her feeling unsettled in her soul. As a result, she was determined to clear the air between them once and for all. Tabitha would accomplish her goal, no matter how late it was, and even if she had to do it in front of Alzora. Plus, she needed to ask Sebastian for a special favor. She would not let old feelings or pride stand in the way of that, either.

Like the good cop that she was, Tabitha parked two houses away from her destination. Police officers never wanted to announce their arrival directly. More than a few had been killed by a bad guy who was lying in wait at the location they've been dispatched to.

Tabitha also opted to walk through Sebastian’s closely trimmed grass rather than up the walkway when approaching his house. Additionally, she avoided walking in front of his windows for the same reason. When she rang the doorbell, she stood to the side of the door rather than right in front of it.

Even though this residence belonged to someone Tabitha knew, as a cop, it was ingrained in her to be extra careful at all times. One never knew what might be on the other side of that door. If she was with a partner, one of them would have stood adjacent to the door. The other would have stood back on the opposite side to get a clear view inside when the door finally opened.

After ringing the doorbell, Tabitha quickly looked at her watch while she waited for Sebastian to answer. Her date with Brennan had lasted for two hours and thus it was now well after 9 p.m.

Those were the longest two hours of my life. Too bad I can’t get that time back, Tabitha mused. She wished she’d spent that time studying instead.

And what’s with some men and blonds anyway? she thought, once again recalling Brennan’s obsessive fascination with lighter hair as she waited at Sebastian’s door.

Unlike some women, Tabitha hadn’t dyed her hair to get dates or extra attention. Her going blond for a while was just a look that she could easily change from month to month. A look that she had changed frequently for the last decade as she experimented with different hair shades. If dyeing her hair was wrong, then that was Tabitha’s only major vice since she didn’t drink, smoke, or have premarital sex.

* * *

Fresh from his own date, Sebastian looked through the peephole and felt the bottom drop out of his stomach. It was Tabitha.

I wonder what she wants, he mused, even as he quickly unlocked the heavy, steel-plated door to find out.

“We need to talk,” Tabitha stated coolly as soon as he opened the door.

“I imagine we do,” Sebastian replied, noting how she stood in a professional stance. She seemed to be using her training as a shield for her emotions. “Come in, have a seat and make yourself comfortable,” he continued, ushering her into the warm house.

Tabitha followed him inside and sat on the black and brown sofa on the west wall. Sebastian sat on the matching eastward placed one. When they were both as comfortable as they could be in such an awkward moment, Tabitha began to explain a few things concerning her past. Some of those things Sebastian already knew, others he had no idea.

“First of all, let me just say that, yes, you were the father of my child. Our child,” Tabitha informed him in a matter-of-fact tone. Yet her voice did get slightly higher with emotion at the end.

Sebastian exhaled with relief. I knew it! he mused. Finally his paternity had been directly confirmed.

“I really didn’t know about the baby until it was too late. I saw no need to tell you I’d lost our daughter, because I knew it wouldn’t change anything. It wouldn’t bring our baby back and it wouldn’t bring you back,” Tabitha continued, still speaking in that same emotionally detached tone.

It might have, Sebastian mused, keeping his thoughts to himself. He really didn’t know what he would have done if he’d known about the baby back then. Or maybe he did.

“Over time I learned to accept my losses and move on with my life. Establishing a relationship with Jesus Christ has helped me to do that. In fact, that same relationship and a life mission scripture in Jeremiah that a praying lady gave me in the hospital, has given me even more peace about staying in Leeward. I’m more determined than ever to allow God to use me to break a few barriers there,” Tabitha said, barely pausing to breathe during her long disclosure.

“The barriers against minorities?” Sebastian prompted, giving her a chance to catch her breath.

“Of course, including the ones against women. As you know, I represent two minorities. And although my upward mobility has been long and hard, my patience has paid off. I will be the first female and the first black detective in Leeward’s history. Therefore, I have to excel. If not for the simple reason that others like me are counting on me to succeed, then definitely for all the people who are counting on me to fail.”

Sebastian noticed how Tabitha’s voice got very intense at the end. So did her gaze. It was obvious that she truly believed in that which she spoke of.

“But in order to do all those things, I’m going to need your help, Seb,” Tabitha added, taking the conversation to a whole nother level now.

He shook his head. “I can’t go back there, Tab. Please don’t ask me to do that.”

“I accept that. However, that’s not the kind of help I need from you right now. I’ve read up on your record. I know what you’re capable of.”

Then Tabitha began to state Sebastian’s many accomplishments, sprouting them off the top of her head as if he’d been a case study for her. He had. Yet even if Sebastian hadn’t been an object of study, all those trophies, certificates, and plaques in his glass trophy case was proof enough of his successful endeavors.

Tabitha talked about how Sebastian was Chief County Detective of the Pavilion City D.A. Office and had been for the last three years ago. How he served in that office for a number of years before that and held the positions of investigator, detective, and deputy chief. How he received recognition for working undercover narcotics investigations, numerous homicides, and fraud investigations.

Tabitha also talked about how Sebastian currently supervised the Pavilion City D.A.’s Detective Bureau staff of sixty employees and was responsible for investigating and preparing criminal cases for prosecution. How he was also formulating policy concerning the operation of that distinguished Bureau.

Tabitha talked further about all the degrees Sebastian had acquired over the last ten years, especially the ones in Sociology and Criminal Justice. How he was fully certified up the wazoo and had countless commendations and awards from prestigious organizations all over the nation. She also sited how Sebastian was a narcotics expert in the detection and identification of drugs, sellers, and users.

“So you see, Seb, you’re one of the best detectives in the southeast, if not in the whole nation. You had to be considering how fast you ascended up the ranks. And by the pure fact that you’re now teaching at the Pavilion City Police Academy,” Tabitha said, bringing her lengthy statements to a close.

“Wow! You really did read up on me,” Sebastian replied, wondering if he should get her a drink of water. Her throat had to be dry after that long speech. “Do you want something to drink?”

Tabitha shook her head. “No. What I want, more specifically what I need, is for you to teach me everything you know. Give me extra homework, tough assignments, challenge me above and beyond what you would your regular students. Make me as good as you are, Seb. That way, I can go home and transform Leeward for good,” she pleaded with unbridled fervor and glossy eyes. Tabitha couldn’t help but be emotional now. Talking at length about a subject that was so near and dear to her heart made it impossible to remain detached.

“You got it, Tab.” Sebastian nodded, watching her blink away her tears. He felt a bit teary-eyed himself. He’d been impressed and touched by every word she said. Although he would not go back to Leeward, he would make sure that Tabitha was equipped to thrive while she was there.

“Just don’t be complaining about all those extra assignments later now. And learn to pay better attention in class,” Sebastian added with a smile, reminding her of her lack of focus today.

Tabitha broke into a wide grin. Sebastian was actually going to help her! Letting her guard completely down now, she leaped up from the sofa and went to give him a big hug of appreciation.

“Oh, thank you, Seb. Thank you so much. I’ll never forget this. I promise to stay alert and to never complain. Ever,” she gushed out as she wrapped her arms around him.

The second Tabitha touched him, Sebastian inhaled sharply. His eyes closed in bliss. His heart and loins began to stir furiously within him at her nearness.

Slowly releasing the breath he held between pursed lips as Tabitha withdrew, Sebastian suddenly felt her eyes on him. Opening his dark pools, he inhaled sharply again. He hadn’t been prepared for her poignant expression of desire to match his own.

When Tabitha met his gaze, the smile she had on her face froze like a block of ice. She had no idea that the hot, smoldering desire in his eyes would mirror the same heat in her body. The shock of it rendered her temporarily speechless.

Once Tabitha found her voice again, it was halty and full of breaks. “I…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…” she began as she started to move completely away from him.

Sebastian nodded his understanding, but that didn’t stop him from leaning towards her and lightly brushing her lips with his. He had to know if there was indeed unfinished business between them. This kiss was going to tell the tale.

When Tabitha didn’t move away or give him one of her famous karate chops, Sebastian touched down upon her lips again. This time he deepened the kiss, sending his probing tongue into her warm, welcoming mouth.

Suddenly, he had his answer as things quickly escalated beyond his control. There was unfinished business still between them all right. Tons of it.

Sebastian moaned deep within his throat as Tabitha returned his kisses with equal fervor. He groaned with need when she actually straddled him on the sofa and pressed herself closer to him. Palming that alluring derriere of hers, Sebastian began to move beneath her.

Each motion of the hip was an attempt to remind Tabitha of the fervent way they used to move together all those years ago. Each motion was also an invitation for them to move united like that again, tonight if she wanted to.

© 2006 by Suprina Frazier

Hump Day - Ch. 6

On the second Wednesday of training, Sebastian began the day taking roll as usual. Tabitha answered to her name from the same front seat she’d sat in last week. Like the rest of the students, she looked ready to learn on that breezy day. Sebastian had a lot to teach them today. That much was obvious by all the notes on the blackboard.

“All right, detectives. Let’s begin,” Sebastian said, after everyone had been accounted for. He stood up in front of the class, went to the blackboard and pointed to the first of many notes that he’d written out before class started.

Help me, Lord, Tabitha mused as she suddenly got a good eye view of Sebastian’s tight rear end in the khaki Duck Head pants he wore. His cute tush had always been one of her favorite things about his body. That and that hairy mahogany chest of his, which just so happen to be covered up by an expensive blue and white striped, button-down dress shirt today.

“Imagine yourself walking through a crime scene. You have latex gloves on your hands and those hands are behind your back so you won’t accidentally disturb any evidence. Can you picture that?” Sebastian said, leading into his lecture. Pausing for nods and affirmations, he looked backwards at his students.

I can picture something all right. I can picture two good pulls, Tabitha mused, wanting to rip Sebastian’s shirt off right now. She was unaware that her sapphire eyes revealed her every thought as she zeroed in on his chest area.

When Tabitha’s gaze traveled upwards towards Sebastian’s face, she saw a glimpse of like passion before he quickly hooded his eyes. Then she was given a hard, stern look before he cleared his throat and promptly turned back towards the board.

“Now imagine yourself taking your initial photographs, always careful to watch where you’re stepping,” Sebastian said, returning to his lesson. “For many that’s the easy part. But now comes the part that gets a little tricky – interviewing witnesses and suspects and trying to determine if they’re lying or not.”

Then Sebastian began to give them tips about how to discern even the little white lies that people told police. Especially since it was a known fact that people lied to cops everyday. No wonder police officers had a distinct lack of trust and tended to second guess everything. If they put too much trust in people and situations, they could get hurt.

Tabitha felt a bit hurt right now. That reprimanding look Sebastian gave her for not paying attention had provoked a boatload of conviction within her.

I’m sorry, Lord, she mused, vowing to make a better effort of staying alert in Sebastian’s presence from now on. Too much was riding on her success to allow the past to cloud her mind.

Tabitha mentally tuned back into class just in time to hear Sebastian talk about how non-verbal behavior was responsible for more than half of all communication. And how cops of all ranks needed to learn how to focus on what a person did over what he/she said.

“Watch out for the shifting of the torso. It reveals internal conflict and may be accompanied by movements of the head and limbs. Also look out for any attempts of the suspect or witness to stand up or leave. Most liars will normally return to their seats, truth-tellers won’t. Also liars tend to delay answering questions. Truth-tellers usually answer questions directly and spontaneously. After all, they have nothing to hide,” Sebastian continued. He was on a roll now and seemed completely oblivious to the fact that Tabitha was even still in the room. Right now, she was just like any other student to him as his teaching gift took over.

Grateful that her moment of temptation had passed, Tabitha hastily typed onto her laptop like all the other students. The things that Sebastian had written on the board were just too valuable not to record. She felt the same way about all the additional comments he made. The more Sebastian talked, the more Tabitha saw just how knowledgeable he was. She couldn’t have been more proud of him.

* * *

At the end of class, Sebastian’s teacher persona began to fray at the ends. The everyday man in him couldn’t help but notice that Tabitha and Brennan had paired off again. In fact, they were about to go on an after-school date.

So she’s actually going to keep that date with him, huh? Sebastian mused, recalling last week’s rain-check.

Why did Tabitha have to be such a woman of her word? Although Sebastian admired that trait about her, in this case, he wished that she wasn’t so honorable. Yet as he sat at his desk, he knew that he had no right to wish that. Especially since he already had a woman in his life.

Sebastian kept reminding himself. A good woman that was walking in the door at that very moment.

“Alzora, I thought we were meeting at the restaurant,” Sebastian said, getting up to meet his girlfriend halfway. He took his black leather briefcase along since he would not be coming back into the classroom.

“I know, but my car wasn’t finished being detailed yet, so I asked the service to drop me off here. That way I could ride to dinner with you. I hope you don’t mind,” Alzora replied.

She couldn’t have been a worse liar. Her eyes were shifty and unable to look at Sebastian directly. Her cheeks were almost beet red, making the color of deceptive especially noticeable against the ivory-colored, jewel-neck jacket and skirt suit she wore.

Sebastian frowned. He couldn’t understand why Alzora was still doing all this lying. Why weren’t her insecurities alleviated by now? Especially after he’d filled her in about him and Tabitha’s personal history together and did his best to reassure her that what they had was over.

Yet instead of being eased by his open disclosure, Alzora seemed more insecure than before. Why else would she show up here unannounced, lying again and putting herself through unnecessary distress?

Escorting Alzora to a private corner in the hallway, Sebastian promptly addressed the same issue he’d talked about just last night. “You know I don’t mind you riding with me, Alzora, but I do mind you lying to me,” he said in a low tone.

“Lying? I’m not lying about anything,” Alzora protested, still unable to meet his eyes.

“Yes, you are. Now if you’re here because you’re still feeling insecure about Tabitha being in my class, just take a good look behind you.” Sebastian continued to make his point as Alzora turned to look at a departing Tabitha and her handsome gray-eyed classmate. “Right now she’d headed out to dinner with that guy. If that’s not a clear sign that she’s gone on with her life, I don’t know what is.”

Feeling guilty, Alzora turned to Sebastian with an apologetic look upon her face. “I’m sorry for not trusting you, darling. It’s just that I get the feeling that you two aren’t really finished yet and it scares me.”

Sebastian cupped her chin in his free hand and smiled tenderly down into her face. “Like I told you last night, whatever Tabitha and I had is over. As for any unfinished business between us, I’m sure it can be worked out with just a simple conversation.” He smiled wider and added, “Now can you and I please go to dinner? I’m starving.”

“Sure, darling,” Alzora replied. She seemed to feel a little bit better. Yet there was still something niggling at her. Something that suggested that Sebastian was the liar now. The unfortunate part was the fact that he was doing the most lying to himself. That unfinished business between him and Tabitha would take more than a simple conversation and that’s what Alzora was so afraid of.

© 2006 by Suprina Frazier