Though Aisha had been warned about Bonz’s attractiveness, she had no idea that he would be this stunning in person.
Okay, pull yourself together, girl, Aisha told herself. He’s just a man. When she went on to remind herself that Bonz was the man that killed her brother, she regained her full composure.
With thoughts of Dominic empowering her, Aisha dragged her attention away from Bonz. It wasn’t good for her to admire the enemy’s assets for too long. She might start to like him. Aisha couldn’t afford to do that. Now if only her pulse would return to normal. She took a deep breath to help it along.
“Do you think wolves can be tamed, Jarrett?” Aisha asked, giving him her attention again.
Jarrett returned to wiping down the counter. “Yes, but not by innocent little lambs like yourself,” he replied, trying to deter any interest she might have in Bonz.
Though Jarrett clearly didn’t stand a chance with Aisha himself, he’d rather see her with any other man on the planet than the one that just walked into the club. Bonz went through women faster than a car at a drive-through. Jarrett didn’t want a classy woman like Aisha to become just another notch on some drug dealer’s belt, even if the man did own part of this club and thus was one of his bosses.
“But what if this little lamb suddenly became a fierce lioness?” Aisha countered, taking another deep breath. “People can change, you know. Plus, people aren’t always what they seem.”
Aisha spoke from the heart with that last statement. She wasn’t nearly as innocent as Jarrett painted her to be. Some of the things she’d done in her twenty-six years would probably make him blush. She’d had her own fair share of lovers, was a member of the mile high club, and was as adventurous as they came in the bedroom.
“Yes, people can change, Aisha,” Jarrett said, propping his elbows upon the bar. “And yes, many aren’t what they appear to be. But some people only change for the worse. And some of them are exactly what they appear to be.” He leaned closer to her, lowered his voice and added for her ears only, “Don’t let anyone make you into something you were never meant to be, Aisha.”
If Jarrett’s grandfather was alive to hear him now, he’d be so proud. Thinking about his grandfather caused Jarrett to remember that he hadn’t called his grandmother in a while. He made a mental note to do that very soon.
“You’re so sweet,” Aisha said, truly touched by Jarrett’s concern for her. She was so touched that she got out of character for a brief moment and gave him an affectionate kiss on the cheek.
* * *
Across the room, Bonz and his group settled into their usual northwest corner VIP booth. They were the ultimate preferred customers since two of them owned the place and since they were such great tippers. As a result, waitresses secretly fought to service their booth.
Tonja, tonight’s lucky waitress, had watched the door like a hawk all evening. Then as soon as the VIP’s arrived, she rushed over to their booth and waited with her order pad in hand, a wide smile on her face. For that kind of diligence, Tonja received a large pre-drink tip from Bonz who was the most generous of his crew.
After their drink orders had been taken, Bonz watched the shapely waitress sashay back towards the bar area. He loved the female form. He tried to partake of it as much as possible, as many times as possible. The only reason he hadn’t had Tonja in his bed yet was because he never slept with employees. It was bad for business.
Suddenly something else caught Bonz’s attention. Or rather someone else.
The most beautiful woman Bonz had ever seen in his life was kissing Jarrett aka College Boy Floyd on the cheek. Bonz gave him that nickname because Jarrett was only bartending to help pay for medical school expenses.
Usually Jarrett waited until he was off-duty to smooch with some honey, only engaging in harmless flirting while on the clock. Yet when Bonz saw how gorgeous the woman was, he understood the bartender’s haste. His relaxation of company policy.
Why wait until after you were off the clock to be kissed by a woman like that? A woman like that was worth getting into a little trouble for.
What Bonz didn’t understand was the sledgehammer of jealousy that rocked his soul right after the mystery woman gave Jarrett that kiss. Why did it matter to him who she was kissing? She wasn’t his woman. He didn’t even know her.
Unable to tear his eyes away from the bar area, Bonz watched as the mystery woman then blessed Jarrett with a tender smile that included two delectable dimples. He felt hot, then cold, and suddenly warm all over. His fingertips tingled.
If somebody had asked Bonz his name right now, he wouldn’t have been able to recall it. Right now he was more concerned about her name.
Who was she? Where she did come from? Was all that hair real? What Bonz wouldn’t do to have the dimple-faced woman look at him like that.
Why can’t I have that? Bonz suddenly decided. He was used to getting everything he wanted now anyway. He wasn’t that impoverished boy from the hood anymore. He was a grown man with more money than he could spend in a lifetime. Why not shoot for the moon while he still could?
“I forgot to order one last thing,” Bonz told his companions. “I’ll be right back.” He stood to his feet. It was easy for him to leave the booth since he always sat on the outer edge.
E-Blade, one of Bonz’s partners in crime, put a hand on his arm to halt him. “You ain’t got to do that, man. Let one of these chicken heads get it for you,” he said. “Considering all the loot we spent on them so far today, it’s about time they started earning their keep anyway,” he added, further degrading the women in their midst.
Though the women scowled at E-Blade in return, he gave them a look that said, ‘You better choose what you care about the most – your feelings or your pocketbook’. With rent to pay and groceries to buy, the ladies quickly got back in line.
“Nah, I got it,” Bonz said, drawing E-Blade’s attention back his way. “This is one drink I’m going to get for myself.”
© 2005 by Suprina Frazier