Monday, October 02, 2006

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

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