“Laquetta, you don’t have to come get me. A friend of mine just called to say that I can crash at his place for the night,” Aisha told her stepsister.
“His place?” Laquetta frowned. “Aisha, you shouldn’t be sleeping over at any man’s house. It’s just not…proper.”
Truthfully, Aisha wasn’t really sure why she just accepted Bonz’s offer herself. It wasn’t like she didn’t have a stack of credit cards in her purse to reserve a hotel room somewhere in town. All she had to do was ask one of the emergency workers for a lift. Plus, she could easily call Jarrett or even
No, Aisha wanted to stay at Bonz’s house tonight. She needed one of his mind-boggling hugs right now like she needed to breathe. Who cares if it or anything else made sense in this confusing hour.
Shaking off her stepsister’s comments, Aisha said, “Little sis, I’ve spent the night in many men’s homes before. I’ll be fine. What you need to focus on right now is going back to sleep so that my niece or nephew can continue to grow healthy and strong.”
“Fine,” Laquetta said irritably. “But before I go to sleep, I’m going to pray that your apartment is not damaged too much, that all of your most valuable treasures are protected, and that you don’t fornicate tonight.”
“Pray all you want, Laquetta. Maybe God will answer your prayers since He definitely ain’t listening to mine,” Aisha replied with traces of bitterness in her voice. “As for that last thing you mentioned, I think I can handle that all on my own.”
Then before Laquetta had a chance to argue that point, Aisha told her that she loved her and quickly hung up the phone.
By the time Bonz drove up, Aisha had been interviewed by the police and a reporter. Both sessions were short since she’d been asleep when the blaze broke out in the rear of the building.
As soon as Aisha saw Bonz, her heart leaped in her chest. Relief flooded her body. She couldn’t wait to go into his arms.
Bonz obviously couldn’t wait to hold her, either. He wasted no time doing just that after exiting his vehicle, not even bothering to close the driver’s door behind him. For a minute there, it looked like he wanted to kiss Aisha, too, but hard lessons learned from earlier tonight caused him to restrain himself.
The whole ride over to his place, Aisha and Bonz remained quiet. To her great comfort, he kept his right arm draped about her in the car while he expertly drove with his left. Aisha leaned all the more towards him, resting her head on his shoulder, just soaking up some of the strength that exuded from his sturdy frame.
At Bonz’s two-story house, the first thing Aisha noticed was how immaculate his front yard was. There wasn’t a piece of paper or a stray leaf to be seen anywhere. The outer perimeters of the lawn were edged up to perfection.
Inside the house were lots of dark hardwood floors that shined with fresh polish. Aisha wondered if Bonz had a cleaning lady on staff or if he took the time to maintain the home’s interior himself. Yet she kept her thoughts to herself as they silently walked through the main corridor. Aisha didn’t want to upset this calm between them by intruding on Bonz’s privacy anymore than necessary. The man invited her into his home for the night. That was enough for now.
“Before I left to come get you, I set up one of the guest bedrooms for your convenience,” Bonz said, breaking the silence between and also letting her know that he didn’t intend to take advantage of her. “I hope you find everything to your liking.”
“I’m sure I will.” Aisha smiled. “Where is it? Upstairs? Or somewhere on the first floor?” So far all the rooms they’d passed consisted of a living room, den, dining room, a library and what looked like another hallway that led to a weight room.
“It’s upstairs,” Bonz replied, leading her towards the staircase. “Next to mine,” he added a bit on the husky side.
One of Aisha’s brows rose at the flames that flared up in Bonz’s eyes before he quickly looked away. “No problem,” she said, trying to keep things light. “Do you have a long t-shirt or something else that I could sleep in? I want to take a shower, but I don’t want to put back on these smoky clothes.”
Aisha sniffed the top of her nightgown and frowned in distaste. It amazed her that Bonz didn’t seem to care how she smelled right now as he continued to hold her close in the wide corridor.
“I believe I put everything you’re going to need in your room,” Bonz replied, pausing briefly to look at her again before ascending the twelve stairs that led to the second floor.
Aisha soon found Bonz to be a man of his word. Everything she needed was in her guest room. Fresh towels, washcloths, a new bar of soap, an unopened toothbrush and toothpaste, two clean t-shirts, and a pair of black pajamas awaited her on the mahogany sleigh bed. On the dresser was none other than her portfolio, missing one photo, of course – the one she promised Bonz over dinner.
“Thanks, Greg,” Aisha said, turning to him with glossy eyes of gratitude.
At her sudden display of emotion, Bonz looked like he wanted to move from his position in the doorway and come to her. Yet once again, he restrained himself in wisdom. Instead he stayed put and said, “You’re welcome. The guest bath is down the hall on your right. I’ll be in my bedroom, if you need anything else.”
Aisha nodded and then watched Bonz retreat in silence to his own room. For his hospitality in her time of need, she would call a temporary truce between them. All plans and thoughts of revenge were now put on hold…at least for tonight.
* * *
Bonz returned to his room, closed the door, and slowly counted all the way to fifty in order to keep himself in check. He thought of taking a cold shower in his private bathroom, but since he wanted Aisha to have complete access to both temperatures for her shower, he refrained.
At the thought of Aisha completely nude down the hall, Bonz started to count all over again. He had never wanted a woman with this intensity before. It almost frightened him. And Bonz was not a man that scared easily.
Waiting until after Aisha had her shower, Bonz engaged in the coldest shower he could stand. When he emerged from the bathroom a few minutes later, he found Aisha sitting on the edge of his bed.
Looks like I’m going to need another cold shower, Bonz mused, suppressing a moan of pleasure at the sight of her in his t-shirt.
© 2005 by Suprina Frazier