Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Royal went into his house and slammed the door closed, not even bothering to lock it behind him. He threw his cell phone to the ground, uncaring if it broke or not.
Three steps were the most he could take before he had to stop and lean against the wall for support. His love for Delia had humbled him, literally weakened him in the knees. No amount of pressure could squeeze the desire out of his loins.
“I knew I should have taken her in the car. And if she’d gotten pregnant, oh well,” Royal raged. “Maybe then she wouldn’t be so quick to discard me like yesterday’s newspaper. Maybe then she’d know and understand that I’m supposed to be in her life. That I’m supposed to father her future children, stepfather the ones she has now.”
Fueled by ire, Royal kicked his phone out of the way and gathered up enough strength to make it to his den. He spewed his rage and disappointment all the way there.
“She knows she wanted me just as much as I did her tonight,” Royal sprouted, recalling how Delia’s eyes had rolled in the back of her head in the car. He could still taste her sweetness on his tongue, which made him ache all the more for her.
“If I’d only gotten in her, she would be screaming my name right now,” Royal said arrogantly. “As fertile as she is, she’d probably be carrying my child before the month was out. The next time we’re together, I’m going to make sure I put a bun in that oven.”
Suddenly Royal stopped talking, stopped walking, stopped everything as the realization of how low he’d just stooped ethically pricked his conscience. What kind of doctor, what kind of man would willingly impregnate a woman just to keep her in his life?
Unacquainted with failure and disgusted by his own wretchedness, a desperate Royal turned to the only Person he could in a bind like this. He didn’t dare let his recent sin stand in the way. Nor the uncleanness of his spirit, soul, and body. He knew that God could cleanse them all.
Falling to his knees right there on the den floor, Royal uttered a humble prayer. “I’m sorry, Lord. So sorry for my sins, past and present. Particularly my sins towards Delia. I’ve tried everything I know to do to get this woman. A woman that I believe I’m destined to have. Now if I’m wrong about Delia, please help me get over her. But if I’m right, please help me gain her hand in marriage. Either way, Lord, I’m willing to change my ways. Willing to let You lead the way from now on and I follow. Because doing things my way is no longer working for me. In Jesus’ mighty name, amen.”
Peace enveloped Royal even before he was done praying. Smiling, he rose from his knees and went to take a hot shower. No need for a cold one tonight. His spirit man was finally back in control, not his flesh.
By the time Layla arrived with his car and entered through the unlocked front door, Royal was in his pajamas and actually playing the baby grand piano in his living room. The tune was Make me Over by Tonex. Royal could identify with a lot of the words to that song.
“What prompted this? You haven’t played this piano or even been in this room in ages,” Layla said, waiting until he played the last note to speak.
“A meeting of the minds between me and God,” Royal replied.
“God?” Layla’s brows rose.
“Yes. It’s time for me to change my ways. I want a wife and a family of my own one day. I don’t think I’m going to have either if I don’t switch gears.”
“Do...do you have somebody in mind,” Layla asked, afraid of the answer.
“Yes.” Royal took a deep breath and just came on out with it, uncaring who knew of his love now. “I see no point in keeping it a secret any longer. The woman I want to marry is Delia Valentine. I love her very much,” he said, waiting for the boom.
Instead of the boom, Royal got eerie silence from Layla and not a trace of surprise. It was as if she already knew about them. She did.
Then came the questions. Lots of questions.
“How long has this been going on? You weren’t seeing her while she was your patient, were you? Is that the reason she switched doctors?” Layla asked, breaking her silence after a long moment.
“Not long, no, and kinda,” Royal replied, answering each of her questions.
“What do you mean kinda?”
“I mean, Delia switched doctors largely due to our strong mutual attraction. It was a wise choice for the both of us because it opened the door for us to date.”
“When have you two dated? I’ve never seen her over here once. You weren’t even together on Valentine’s night.” Layla eyes narrowed in memory of that night. “Maybe you were together that night after all. You did leave our movie for a long time. And she did suddenly change clothes that night. Did you use me as a cover for some shameful secret love affair you were having with an ex-patient, Royal?” Anger flashed in her eyes now.
“First of all, I’ve never used you for anything, Layla. You were and will continue to be my friend for as long as you want to be. Secondly, Delia just so happened to show up at the same movie theater as us that night. Thirdly, there are several reasons Delia and I dated secretly, but none of them have anything to do with me being ashamed of our relationship.”
“What does it have something to do with then?”
“I’m not at liberty to say right now. But I will say this, once God removes those obstacles from our paths, I am going to marry that woman.”
“But what if God doesn’t remove those obstacles? What if you and Delia just aren’t meant to be together?” Layla asked.
Royal took a deep breath and exhaled. “Then I’ll let her and all hope of having her go,” he said with a pained expression on his face.
So then there’s still hope for me after all, Layla mused, grasping at even the smallest of straws as Royal returned to his playing. The more she listened to his strong alto, the more she fell in love with him.
Royal’s voice was the last thing Layla heard as she fell asleep right where she sat. When she woke up the next morning in one of the guestroom beds, she fell in love all over again.
He carried me to bed! Layla mused, marveling at Royal’s considerate behavior. He actually carried me to bed! Now she really wanted Delia out of the picture.
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier
* * *
Several links to Tonex’s Make Me Over Again song (I like the first link best):
On the way to Royal’s house, the conversation was light, fun, and extremely playful. Laughter abounded. Delia completely forgot about Vanna, the spotlight, her past and anything else that divided them. It wasn’t until she pulled into his long driveway that things started to rapidly turn serious between them.
“Thanks for bringing me home, Delia,” Royal said, reluctant to get out of the car, though he had unbuckled his seatbelt. “I really appreciated it.”
“No problem. Like you said, you did safely deliver my last child and all,” Delia teased, reminding him how he extorted this ride home.
“It was my pleasure to assist you with Tess,” Royal replied, showing no sign of offense or remorse at that reminder. “How is it going with that other thing I did for you?” he asked, referring to her restored clitoris.
Delia inhaled sharply as he issued a potent reminder of his own. “Everything’s fine,” she said, wishing that her voice didn’t sound so husky right now. But she couldn’t help it. She still loved Royal. Her body still craved him.
“You sure?” Royal’s voice was equally husky. “I could check it out for you.” He reached over and put his hand on her right thigh.
Delia shuddered. “I—” She couldn’t think straight when he touched her.
“Let me check it out for you, precious.” Royal’s hand was moving between her legs even as he spoke. He used the other hand to slam the car in park and turn off the ignition.
Delia moaned as he touched her intimately. Not like a doctor, but like a man. Her man!
And because her body recognized Royal as her man, her legs instinctively opened wider for him. What an invitation!
“Precious,” Royal whispered, moving closer to her.
Like her legs, Delia’s lips instantly parted for him. They kissed long. Deep.
Royal’s kisses didn’t stop at her mouth. Unbuckling her seatbelt, he proceeded to kiss his way downward. That skimpy dress provided little coverage and so he was able to get at all the hot spots without much effort. Soon he was at the hottest spot of them all.
Delia gasped as Royal docked at her tropical island. She moaned and trembled when he came on shore and feasted at her buffet to his heart’s content. The ravenous sounds alone that he emanated in the quiet car had her lightheaded with passion.
The man was hungry...for her!
Delia went over the edge quickly.
“Yes, precious,” Royal said, finally lifting his head. He liked watching her surrender to ecstasy. But nothing was better than being inside of her as she did.
Yet he couldn’t…at least not right now. Royal didn’t have a condom on him. They were all inside the house. He’d taken to leaving them at home since he wasn’t dating anyone right now. Now he regretted that decision.
“We need to put this on pause for a minute, baby,” Royal whispered as Delia started to descend from her mountaintop. He sat completely upright now, but his left hand stayed busy in her valley.
“Why?” Delia panted out, moving her hips in time with his hand.
“I don’t have any protection on me. Though I know you’re clean, I don’t want to take you raw in case you’re still not on any birth control,” Royal replied, looking at her with such longing as he battled with himself to wait for even the shortest time to be inside of her again. His hand action didn’t count. The rigid part of him needed to be inside of her for complete satisfaction.
“I’m still not on anything.” Delia lowered her right leg down from the headrest. The other from the dashboard.
“I suspected as much. But don’t worry, baby. I got everything we need inside the house. I’ll meet you at the front door, okay?” Royal reluctantly removed his hand from her body and opened the car door.
“O…kay,” Delia mumbled as he hurried out of the vehicle.
Unfortunately for Royal, in the short space of time that it took for him to get out of Delia’s car and walk to his front door, the fog in her head had cleared. Her common sense returned and with it…conviction.
Instead of following Royal to the house, Delia turned the ignition, slammed the car in drive and sped away. In the rearview mirror, the look of pure shock could be seen on her lover’s face.
Royal’s eyes were wide. His mouth opened. His hands thrown up in the air in frustration and exasperation.
Delia stepped on the gas even harder. She had to get away from this man, lest she do even more sinning.
Why am I so weak for him, Lord? Delia questioned God as she continued to flee.
Her intentions were good when she drove Royal home tonight and yet she couldn’t seem to stop herself from letting things go too far. She’d wanted him to touch her. To kiss her. To do everything he did to her and more.
Why didn’t You help me, Lord? Delia thought, angry at herself and at God now. I thought You were supposed to help Your children.
Oh how she wished that God would just override her will at times like these. Not leave it up to her to do the right thing. She couldn’t be trusted to do what was right all the time. Tonight proved that.
Suddenly Delia realized that God had helped her. Had it not been for Royal leaving the car when he did, she would be straight up fornicating right now, not just skimming along the edges of it.
This was her way of escape.
“Thank You, Lord,” Delia said, deciding to be grateful now instead of mad. Things could have been a lot worse.
On the floor where it had fallen earlier, her cell phone lit up with a text message from Royal. It read: “Come back. Please!”
Delia didn’t dare pick that phone up, turn it off, or marvel at how he’d gotten her new number in the first place. Instead she turned the music on full blast and kept it there all the way home.
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier
Royal waited until the show was over before making his presence known to Delia. She seemed surprised, no, shocked to see him.
“H…how long have you been here?” Delia stammered out.
“Since the beginning. Layla and I signed up for this class,” Royal replied, deeming Delia even more beautiful up close. Oh, how he missed gazing upon her lovely features.
“Dr. Pacard is here, too?” Delia began to peruse the room in search of her doctor.
“She was here. She got called away during your performance. Because I lent her my car to go to the hospital, I was hoping I could get a ride home from you,” Royal replied.
Delia’s gaze snapped back to his. Her voice lowered. “Royal, I don’t think—”
“Delia, darling, everyone says we did fabulous tonight and I agree,” said her animated dance partner, interrupting what she was about to say. “You can be my partner any time,” Eriel added, clearly proud of their performance, as well.
“Thanks, Eriel,” Delia replied, giving him a chaste hug.
“Whose your friend here?” Eriel turned to look Royal up and down with open interest, confirming his sexuality once and for all.
“This is Dr. Royal Seeger. He delivered my last child,” Delia replied. “Dr. Seeger, this is Eriel Verge.”
“Nice to meet you, doctor,” Eriel said, extending a hand his way.
“Good to meet you, too,” Royal replied, courteously shaking the man’s hand and releasing it.
“Are you married, doctor?” Eriel boldly asked.
“No, but I intend to be once the woman of my dreams finally gives in to our love,” Royal replied, sending a message to Eriel and Delia in that statement.
Eriel’s brows rose. “I see.” He smiled his approval of the love match. “Well, I wish you and her all the happiness in the world,” he concluded, bowing out gracefully before walking away to socialize with others.
“Now about that ride,” Royal continued after Eriel left them alone. “Will you take the man that safely delivered your last baby home? Or will you be ungrateful and make me call a taxi?” He gave her his most charming dimpled smile.
Though slightly irritated by his clever tactic, Delia was unable to restrain her smile. It was just so good seeing Royal again, dimples and all. So good hearing his voice again. So good smelling his spicy scent…again. Oh, how she missed this man.
“Since you put it that way, I guess I will be taking you home,” Delia finally replied, deliberately wiping the smile off her face, lest she give him the wrong kind of encouragement.
“Great.” Royal grinned knowingly.
I just hope Vanna doesn’t have a spy cam posted somewhere outside the man’s house, Delia mused, fully aware that she was taking quite a chance with this ride in more ways than one.
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier
“Royal, I’m so excited about taking these lessons with you,” Layla said as they ascended the stairs of the dance studio on the windiest night of the month. “I’ve always wanted to learn ballroom dances.”
“Well, here’s your chance,” Royal replied, fighting not to frown. He did not want Layla here tonight. Yet the moment she learned he was interested in taking dance lessons, she got on the bandwagon.
Royal had his mother to thank for this bit of inconvenience. She’d seen the brochure in his car last Sunday, questioned him about his potential enrollment and then passed the word on to Layla.
By now it was obvious to Royal that his mother was playing matchmaker between friends. He just hoped Layla didn’t fall for it. He didn’t want to see her hurt, especially since he didn’t see her as a potential love interest at all. Not even when Delia wasn’t in the picture.
Some women are just meant to be friends, Royal mused, deeming Layla in that category, despite how attractive she was. Maybe I should start playing matchmaker myself. See who I can hook her up with.
As they entered the red-brick building, Royal wondered why more men didn’t pursue Layla. She was certainly good-looking, financially stable, and very smart. Yet she could be all work and no play at times. Moody even and distrustful due to her past.
Were those negative aspects of Layla’s personality major turn-offs for would-be pursuers? Or did her positive aspects intimidate most men who didn’t have all those things going for themselves?
Perhaps a little of both.
Yet the main reason Layla wasn’t being pursued by a lot of men was because they simply got tired of being rejected. Others got tired of being teased and let down. For the men in the second category, Layla would go out on dates with them, share kisses and caresses with them, and then deny them access to her body. All due to her secret love for Royal.
Finding a seat in the back of the studio, Royal scanned the crowd for any signs of Delia. He spotted her over in the southeast corner of the room talking to a tall, dark, handsome stranger.
The man might have been a stranger to Royal, but he was obviously no stranger to Delia. Not only did they have on matching costumes, she kept touching his arm with familiarity.
I thought Aisha said he was gay. He doesn’t look gay to me, Royal mused, wondering if his cousin only told him that to ease his mind. After all, Delia’s dance partner had more muscles than him. But then again, what did muscles have to do with a person’s sexuality anyway?
“Hey, isn’t that Delia Valentine?” Layla leaned over to whisper in Royal’s ear. She’d spotted that familiar face, too. Or rather a familiar profile since Delia alternated between having her back turned to them and standing sideways.
“Looks like it,” Royal replied, deliberately keeping his tone casual and low.
“Seems like we keep running into her,” Layla noted, narrowing suspicious eyes at him. Like so many others, she’d seen the newspaper photos of him and Delia, read the articles and wondered if there was anything personal between them. They’d seemed so familiar with each other on those photos and not in a professional way either.
“Seems so.” Royal forced his gaze away from Delia in order to throw Layla off the scent. He wasn’t ready for her to know about him and Delia yet. For if Layla knew, then his mother was going to know.
Royal wasn’t ready for that level of interrogation yet. Not when his relationship with Delia was already hanging in the balance. Though Royal was willing to walk through hell and high water for their love, he had to make sure Delia was his first before doing so.
“Right now I’m just wondering if I’m going to have to wear those tight pants when I dance,” Royal continued, changing the subject altogether now.
Layla chuckled at his words and relaxed again. “I think you’ll look cute in them.”
“Yes, but will I be able to reproduce afterwards?” Royal countered.
Layla held her hands over her mouth to keep from bursting out laughing. Inside she fell a little bit more in love with him. No other man made her feel so relaxed, so capable of feeling carefree from her own sordid past.
Before Royal could say anything else comical, the lights were turned down and the show started. One by one the couples were brought onto the stage and introduced by an announcer. A little tidbit was told about each dancer and why they chose the class in the first place.
“Delia Valentine came to us proficient in the Beyonce Bounce,” the announcer said, causing the audience to laugh. “She wanted to expand her horizons. Now she can Cha-Cha, Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Samba, and Rumba with the best of them. In fact, Delia is one of our star students. Miss Valentine, give the crowd a little taste of your talent.”
Royal found himself licking his lips repeatedly as Delia proceeded to do the Cha-Cha with her dance partner. Her movements were smooth, fluent, and flawless, the same way she made love.
And her appearance.
From head to toe Delia was gorgeous. Her hair was pulled back in a tight ponytail. The red sequined dress was formfitting, short, and revealed her elegant back and supple curves. Her legs were even more toned than before from weeks of intense dance practice. The red strappy heels on her feet made Royal want to get on his knees and kiss each toe.
If he hadn’t delivered her last child himself, Royal would have never guessed that Delia had one child. That is definitely going to be my wife, he vowed, feeling his body expand the more Delia twisted and turned her body.
Suddenly Royal found himself jealous. And not necessarily of her partner either. No, he was more jealous of the fringes at the bottom of her dress. They kept caressing Delia’s shapely thighs as she danced.
Delia’s partner kept his hands on her back and arms, which wasn’t necessarily a sign of the man’s homosexuality, though it could be. Had it been Royal on that dance floor with Delia, his hands would have been all over her goodies.
“Delia’s good, isn’t she?” Layla whispered beside him.
“Yes. Very good,” Royal replied a bit on the husky side, licking his lips again.
Layla’s eyes narrowed for the second time that night. That’s when she knew something was definitely up between Royal and Delia. That knowledge inflamed her temper, though she still had no tangible proof yet.
Just then Layla’s cell phone vibrated against her waist. She looked down at the message and groaned as she read it. “Duty calls. I guess we’re going to have to sign up for those lessons another time,” Layla whispered a few seconds later, not sounding as disappointed to leave as she tried to look.
“I’m staying. You can take my car,” Royal whispered back, pulling out his key ring. His gaze kept returning to the dancing woman in red.
“You’re staying?” Layla looked shocked. “How will you get home?”
“I’ll catch a cab. Or hitch a ride home with someone,” Royal said as he pulled his car keys free from the key ring. Again, his gaze was glued to Delia.
“O…oh, okay.” Now Layla really didn’t want to leave him here alone. Yet she had to. One of her patients was in need and she tried never to let any of them down.
Carmen is ‘not’ going to like this, Layla mused as she walked out of the building a few minutes later. She didn’t like it so much herself for she already knew whom Royal would hitch a ride home with tonight.
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier
To see the dance Delia was doing in this post, click on the link below:
“Any new news about Delia?” Royal asked his cousin, eager to hear anything, great or small, about his beloved.
Delia had gotten her cell phone and home numbers changed recently, making it impossible for him to call her. Had it not been for his sympathetic cousin, Royal would not have the new numbers today. Yet Aisha only gave them to him after he promised not to use them until the timing was right or in case of emergency. Royal also had to promise to stay away from Delia’s home and business, lest he ruin all chances of ever getting her back due to stalkerism.
“There’s really nothing much to tell this week,” Aisha replied. “Delia called yesterday nervous about an upcoming performance in her dance class. The dance school she’s enrolled at is having an open house of sorts for newly enrolled and potential students to have a look at the talent of ongoing and outgoing students. Since I have a background in performing, she wanted some tips on how to remain calm in front of an audience.”
“Did you give them to her?” Royal turned into his driveway after his long commute home from work.
Aisha sucked her teeth. “Need you ask? You know how loyal I am to my family and friends. I couldn’t let Delia make a fool out of herself in front of others.” She chuckled. “After all the tips I gave her, she’s probably going to be the best dancer out there.”
Royal suppressed a moan. “I imagine she will be. Which school is this again?” he asked, ready to enroll in that school right away.
Aisha chuckled and then gave him the information he required. Before they hung up the phone, she said, “You better make this information count for something,
“Hopefully, it won’t be for much longer, cousin. Soon I’ll tell Delia all about our kinship and anything else she wants to know about me,” Royal assured her.
Then he thanked Aisha for her help again, parked the car in the driveway, and went to look up the phone number for the London Bridge Dance Studio.
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
In the privacy of his living quarters, Agent Nuevo sagged against the closed door. His heart ached for the family he left behind. Not his mother, mind you, since Greta had been the biggest leech of them all on E-Blade’s finances. No, he missed Delia and their kids.
It pained E-Blade that he hadn’t even held his last child. Had it not been for his computer hacker of a partner Agent Fila, he might not have even seen pictures of his daughter.
Always willing to have his back, Fila hacked into Delia’s home computer and downloaded the desktop photos found there of the family. Fila had his back right now as evident by the fact that she was currently in the Rec room scolding Speed in vivid Italian and English for once again trying to bait her partner with his past. In their line of business, they needed no additional torments since they all came from sordid pasts and for the most part, were trying to forget them.
Can’t think about any of that now, Agent Nuevo told himself as he fought to get his mind back on the right track. I have a new life now and so do they, he thought, recalling the day he signed up for the agency.
It was on the day E-Blade almost bled out from that shot to the chest. What he thought was his last breath before death was actually his last breath before passing out from loss of blood.
With that fateful breath, E-Blade made a proposition to the cops that were in the ambulance with him. He said, “If I only had more time, I would tell you how to win your war on drugs from here to
At the very mention of that man’s name, E-Blade instantly started to get preferential treatment. The paramedics were told to do everything they could to save his life. The body bag he was put in gave the appearance of death, but had a long slit in it so that he could still breathe through a tube. Phone calls were made. Specialists were brought in. Arrangements and deals were formulated.
Delia would go free, which was the easiest thing of all to pull off because Bonz had also been working behind the scenes on that issue. To this day, E-Blade’s eyes still watered to know that his childhood friend would look after his family, despite what he’d done to him.
Since somebody had to take the fall for the incident in order to cast off suspicion of a cover-up and thwart additional investigations into the matter, it was agreed that Cami would do no more than five years in prison. Less if she maintained good behavior.
In exchange for giving up even more big names, E-Blade’s illegal offenses were secretly pardoned and he gained a new life, identity and a new face. The face of a John Doe corpse was given his likeness so that E-Blade’s mother would have a body to bury. A fake death certificate was issued.
Finally, E-Blade’s ex-partners were given free passes. Meaning, the backgrounds of Bonz and Racker would not be investigated. The whole time E-Blade talked about his partners, he never told how many he had and he never, ever mentioned their names. He would not snitch on Bonz and Racker. Not after all the other stuff he’d done to them.
Though it wouldn’t have been too hard for the agency to find out Bonz and Racker’s identities since the men had been friends since they were boys, they did not pursue it as an act of good faith. As a result, Agent Nuevo/E-Blade stayed faithful to the agency, becoming one of their top operatives.
Now all Agent Nuevo needed to do was act like he wasn’t interested in holding onto or recapturing any part of his past. This way Speed could finally lay the matter to rest. If only that didn’t mean destroying the disk that held the pictures of Delia and the kids and ceasing those periodic inquiries into their lives.
The only thing Agent Nuevo would not get rid of was the scar on his chest. Yes, that scar reminded him of a traumatic time in his life. But it also reminded him of his last loving conversation with Delia and how not to live his life.
Unfortunately, that reminder would not be enough to keep Agent Nuevo from dipping into Royal’s past. He had to make sure the man was on the up and up for himself before he totally relaxed about him taking his place in the family. If he found Royal to be unworthy, he might have to find some way to get rid of him.
I still might get rid of him anyway, Agent Nuevo thought, deeming it too soon for Delia to be so serious about another man.
With jealousy at the forefront of his mind, he was starting to think like E-Blade again. Hopefully, Agent Nuevo would not fully surrender to his E-Blade side and have Royal killed.
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier
* * *
* * *
E-Blade’s new look (looks like Giancarlo Esposito)
Having learned the hard way about letting his anger get the best of him, Agent Nuevo forced a smile upon his face. He would not let Speed provoke him into ruining the good life he had now.
His family’s happiness was the main reason E-Blade remained ‘dead’ to them. That and the fact that he still had too many enemies out there. Some had direct access to his family.
Agent Nuevo couldn’t risk those enemies taking revenge out on his loved ones just to get to the old E-Blade, who was still alive and well, just with a different face, eye color, and new way of speaking.
The new face came from hours of plastic surgery. The new eye color was courtesy of colored contact lens. The new speech was from long sessions with the agency’s language coach, who was determined to put E-Blade’s frequent use of street slang into a neat box that he only drew from as the missions required.
Now Agent Nuevo/E-Blade mostly spoke fluent Spanish or very articulate English. The other languages he’d been taught were on an as-needed basis, too.
“Is that right?” Agent Speed said, looking at Nuevo as if he doubted every word he just said. He did.
“Yes, that’s exactly right.” Agent Nuevo got up and headed for the exit.
“Are you also glad that that same doctor is directly related to a woman you used to despise? A woman named Aisha Norwood-Forsyth?” Agent Speed provoked, trying to get in one more shot before his rival left the room.
I should have known they were kin by those dimples, Agent Nuevo mused, recalling that key feature from the face of the hero of the hour. He naturally assumed that Aisha introduced her relative to Delia at some point. He didn’t yet know that Delia met Royal all on her own.
“If he has half as much gumption as his female cousin, then I know
Agent Speed frowned behind him, disappointed that he hadn’t been able to roil his rival up more. He thought for sure this information would do the trick and send Nuevo packing, running back to his family – Nuevo’s number one weakness.
Agent Speed discovered that weakness a year and a half ago when he caught Nuevo searching through a London Bridge, Florida hospital database for birth announcements. Not just any birth announcement, but one belonging to a Tess Jackwood.
Since then Agent Speed had been trying to use that weakness to keep Nuevo distracted and off balance as they fought their way to the top of the agent pile. Some days it worked. Other days it didn’t. Today was one of those latter days.
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier
Though I answered this question in the comment section, I wanted to post it again here to make sure everyone sees it.
Q: When does the VOD start? Will you just post it on the blog when it does?
A: The VOD officially starts at Ch. 23. It would have started at Ch. 22, but I wanted to let EVERYBODY (VOD-ers and non-VOD-ers) see Royal get right with God again first (spoiler).
For those signed up for the VOD, Ch. 23 will be the first post over there. It will NOT appear on this blog.
On to other things now…
I want to take this time to personally thank all our new readers for joining in on this blog. I hope what you read here gave you a different view of inspirational novels. Perhaps even a different view of Christians as a whole. After all, we’re just people, too. We make lots of mistakes, yet it is our faith that prompts us to get back up and try it again, believing that this next time we will do it the RIGHT way.
I want to also thank those who stopped to buy books along the way. That was very encouraging. A sista really felt the love knowing that you put action behind your words when you could.
For those who signed up for the VOD, what can I say, “Thanks, and get ready to continue the fun over there very soon!”
On a floating commune that looked like a regular cruise ship, but was something else altogether, two government agents sat in a recreational area and quietly played chess. They were Agent Nuevo, a black-Hispanic male, and Agent Fila, an Italian female.
Though their seafaring headquarters had everything from the latest spy equipment to restaurants and even a mall, Agents Nuevo and Fila preferred to play chess to relax and unwind.
“Still wasting time on useless games I see,” Agent Speed quipped as he entered the room. His freckled face carried its usual smugness. In his hands was a newspaper printout from some internet database he’d recently accessed.
Agent Nuevo frowned at the arrival of his number one rival in the AAC (At-All-Costs) Agency. The AAC was a special agency for undercover operatives who were willing to win the war on drugs at all costs.
“What do you want now, Speed?” Agent Nuevo asked, relaxing some of the thick accent he’d maintained since joining the agency.
“Thought you’d never ask.” Agent Speed’s smugness deepened. “Gentlemen,” he began dramatically, including Agent Fila in that number since everyone treated her like a guy anyway, despite her attractive face and shapely body. “Take a look at this article from a newspaper in a little city called
Agent Nuevo inhaled sharply as a familiar face smiled up at him from the newspaper article - Delia. Sweet, sweet Delia. His Delia.
In what looked to be a hospital waiting room, Delia was seated between a smiling olive-skinned man and a teenage girl. The girl was holding a newborn baby in her arms. The man was practically holding Delia based on how close he was sitting to her and the fact that one of his arms was behind her neck.
Agent Speed grinned at his rival’s reaction. “I figured you’d recognize your baby-mama,” he said, trying to sound ghetto and failing miserably. “Anyway, it seems she’s being hailed as quite the heroine in her new town. Helped a local doctor deliver a baby at that business she owns.”
“I can read,” Agent Nuevo retorted, sounding more like the man he used to be - Esteban ‘E-Blade’ Jackwood, instead of the man that he was now.
Agent Speed frowned this time. “Well, can you also read between the lines?” he replied, raking a hand through his cropped red hair. “Because not only is Delia sitting where the teenage mother should have been, but according to the article, the teenager named her little girl Precious because that’s what she kept hearing the doctor say all during the delivery."
"Don't do it, Speed," Agent Fila tried to intervene.
"A hundred bucks on who the doctor was calling precious," Agent Speed continued, determined to strike while the iron was hot. "Which means, Delia and the handsome gynecologist must have something going on behind the scenes. Did I mention that Dr. Royal Seeger is the same doctor that delivered your last child, that he is an upstanding member of the community, an active churchgoer, and loves children?” Agent Speed grinned and added, “Sounds like the ideal stepfather to me.”
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier
“I remember you,” Delia said as soon as she saw Vanna at her open office door.
“Do you?” Vanna asked casually, crossing the threshold to the office, though she had not been formally invited in.
“Yes, you were at my grand opening.” Delia got up and closed the door behind her unwelcome guest. She didn’t bother to tell her to have a seat. Blackmailers didn’t deserve courtesy.
“That’s right. I was here that day.” Vanna sat down in one of the green cushioned chairs in front of the desk.
“You bought a lot of baby items as I recall.” Delia returned to her desk chair.
“I also remember you bragging about being pregnant by some prominent doctor.” Delia suddenly gasped in realization. “Prominent doctor? Is all this about Dr. Seeger? Is he the father of your child?”
“Yes,” Vanna lied. “Except he doesn’t want anything to do with me or my child. He won’t even provide support for him.”
Delia shook her head in disbelief. “That doesn’t sound like Dr. Seeger. The Dr. Seeger I know loves children. I can’t imagine him not loving one of his own or taking care of his own, regardless of the situation surrounding that child’s birth.”
“Right now, Royal only seems to love you!” Vanna retorted, telling the truth in that statement. She’d called him personally and asked if he was in love with the baby store owner. The man said yes without hesitation, wounding Vanna to her core, making her even more vengeful and jealous of Delia.
Delia’s brows rose. Ire flamed in her temper. So the woman knew about her and Royal, too.
She must have really done her homework, Delia mused, taking a deep breath to ventilate her temper.
“Look, Dr. Seeger is a free agent in every way. I’m not even seeing him as a doctor anymore, so really there’s no need for all this,” Delia said, trying to let the other woman know that she wasn’t going to stand in the way of her happiness. She’d mentally let Royal go weeks ago, despite what her heart and body wanted.
“Oh, there is definitely a need for all this,” Vanna said, raising her voice an octave. “Until I can change Royal’s mind about us, my son needs things. Things that you seem to have an abundance of in your store.” Her voice lowered again, menacingly so. “So here’s how it’s going to go, Miss Valentine. In exchange for me keeping mum about your past, you leave Royal alone and agree to give me the same deal you gave that Donita girl. Except I want an open account at your store for the next five years.”
Now Delia was really hot. Her store was doing well, especially with all the recent publicity, but it was not doing well enough to have a leech attached to it for five whole years. What was going to happen once customer interest or the current baby boom died back down?
“Two years,” Delia negotiated, keeping a tight rein on her temper by the grace of God.
“Five or I will have your face on the front page of the largest newspaper in this city by tomorrow with the headline ‘Local Heroine Helps Bring One Life Into The World After Brutally Taking Another’.
Delia got very quiet. Prayerful even. She was going to need God’s help to let this woman walk out of her office with all of her hair and teeth intact. If only she had prayed for help with her tongue, because that was what she would use now instead of her fists.
“I don’t know what’s the deal between Royal and this baby you claim is his. But I do know that he likes his women in shape. If you lose some of that baby fat around your waist, he might give you the time of day again,” Delia said, slicing deep with the sharp edge of her tongue.
Vanna bristled in her seat. Her hands and her eyes instantly went to the pudge at her belly. She’d been too lazy and depressed to work it off. Now she had all the motivation in the world to get back in shape. Especially after seeing Delia’s flat stomach and hourglass figure in that pink double-knit scoop-neck dress. It was hard to believe she’d had one kid, much less the three mentioned in recent newspaper articles.
“Do we have an agreement or not?” Vanna asked, scowling up at Delia now.
“It doesn’t appear that I have much choice at the moment,” Delia replied through tight lips.
“You don’t.” Vanna smirked and stood to her feet, sucking her stomach in as she did. “Here’s a list of the things my son needs and where I want them sent,” she said, thrusting a sealed brown envelope upon Delia’s desk. “Oh, and if you even think about telling Royal any of this, I will leak the story about your past so quick that your head will spin.”
“Oh, you don’t have to worry about me talking to him ever again,” Delia assured her, deeming the man more trouble than he was worth right now.
“Good.” Vanna smiled triumphantly. “Let’s keep it that way.” Then she turned around and left, making no mention of the interview she originally came here for.
There never was an interview, Delia realized as the door slammed shut behind Vanna. It was all a sham just to blackmail me into getting what she really wanted.
Just then, her cell phone rang.
Pulling it out from her purse, Delia looked down and saw Royal’s office number on the display panel. She scowled before pulling the phone up to her right ear. “For the last time, don’t call me no more!”
Ending the call with the press of a button, Delia threw the phone in the small green trash can by her desk. It was time for a new cell phone anyway.
‘Now’ what did I do? Royal mused, hearing the distant click of his call being terminated. What he should have been asking himself was, how much more rejection was he going to take from Delia before completely giving up?
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier
“Miss Briscoe, once again, I don’t give interviews. Not even phone interviews. Sorry,” Delia told the persistent news reporter for the fourth time this week.
This Vanna Briscoe woman had called her every day for the last four days. It was always with the same request. She always got the same answer – no interviews.
“I suggest you reconsider unless you want me to go with a less flattering story about you,” Vanna said, revealing her impatience. She’d hoped to have her interview by now and a few other things. Yet with Delia shunning the spotlight like the plague, Vanna’s attempts at using flattery to entrap her into a meeting had been futile. Now it was time to play hardball.
“What could you possibly say unflattering about that miraculous birth at my store?” Delia asked, growing increasingly annoyed by this woman. She was about to hang up on her.
“Oh, I wouldn’t be talking about that birth. I’d be talking about a certain person’s death in my article. A certain Esteban ‘E-Blade’ Jackwood. You remember him, don’t you?” Vanna chuckled spitefully. “Imagine what the good citizens of
Delia frowned. “Be at my office in ten minutes,” she said, incorporating a few things that she’d learned from her days with E-Blade.
Never, ever discuss delicate issues over the phone. Too many bugs. Too much room for entrapment. Always meet in person, and even then make sure the person isn’t wired.
“I’ll be there in five,” Vanna replied gleefully. “After all, I’m just outside of your store in the parking lot.”
“Cool,” Delia replied. Then she slammed the phone down with one hand while the other hand balled into a fist.
I knew posing for those pictures was a bad idea, Delia mused, regretting ever listening to her mother on that issue.
At the time, Valena thought it would be a boost to Delia’s self-confidence if she saw her name and face in the newspaper on a positive note. Now it seemed to have backfired on her.
Now some crazy reporter chick is stalking me. But why? Delia stood to her feet and headed to her private bathroom. She had to look her best before meeting this newfound enemy.
Never let them see you sweat, girl, Delia thought, recalling what she’d learned from Bonz’s wife. Aisha was always cool, calm, and collected in times of adversity. She seldom reacted emotionally even when deliberately provoked.
Lord, I’m really gonna need Your help with my temper on this one. You know how rowdy I can get sometimes, Delia prayed, recognizing her own weakness and seeking help for it.
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
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Royal and Delia shot out of her office at the news that someone was actually about to deliver a baby in her store. When they made it to the holding room, Royal immediately took control of the situation. He sent Jerry, the security guard, to call for an ambulance and gather blankets and other items from the store shelves. He gave his key ring to Delia and sent her to get his medical bag from his trunk while he tended to the scared pregnant teenager.
By the time the errand runners returned, Royal had the girl much calmer. His voice was soothing as he spoke to her. Yet it was downright affectionate when he spoke to Delia, calling her precious and claiming her as his impromptu nurse as they prepared to deliver the baby together.
The security guard proved to be useless after that. Jerry kept swooning, kept being nauseated. Finally Royal sent him out of the room to wait for the paramedics to arrive.
Quickly showing Delia how to sanitize her upper limbs all the way up to her elbows, they donned the handy surgical gloves from his medical bag and went to work. There was no time to lose. Donita, the pregnant teenager, was fully dilated and the baby’s head was already trying to crown.
Like true teammates, Royal and Delia worked together to help Donita bring forth this new life. Royal’s words stayed soothing to the birth mother, affectionate to his beloved.
By the time the healthy baby girl was delivered, the paramedics had arrived and were ready to take the new mother and child to the hospital. The afterbirth had been put into a small baby tub, sealed in plastic and sent to the hospital for examination also. Royal promised to follow along later after he had a moment to wash up and have a few parting words with the store owner.
“Delia, whomever you get to clean this room up, make sure they wear protective gloves at all times,” Royal told her once they were alone again. “We barely know Donita’s full name, much less her medical history and so you need to be very careful in handling anything with bodily fluids on them.”
“We’ll be careful, Royal. I promise,” Delia said, looking at him with deep admiration and awe. He’d been so good under pressure. So calm. She was more in love with him now than ever before.
“Good, now come into the bathroom so I can make sure you dispose of those gloves and wash your hands correctly before I leave. Since there’s a small blood splatter on the bottom of your shirt, you need to wash up real good and change your blouse. Hopefully that garment bag I saw hanging on the back of your office door is filled with changing clothes.”
“It is.” Delia nodded as she followed the amazing man to the adjoining bathroom. “I also have a shower in my private bathroom.”
“Excellent.” Royal smiled back at her. “I like that you always come prepared, baby. You make one heck of a nurse, too.”
Delia blushed beneath his loving gaze and compliments.
In the holding room’s bathroom, Royal stood next to her at the sink and showed her the proper procedure to remove and discard the used gloves. When it came to the washing their hands part, he stood behind her with his arms about her body.
Delia couldn’t help but moan at his nearness.
“I feel it, too, baby, but there’s not enough time to get into anything. I have to leave soon,” Royal whispered close to her ear. “Come see me tonight and we’ll celebrate our latest joint accomplishment the right way.”
Delia was about to tell him that she couldn’t on account of her new lease on life, but once again they were interrupted.
“Miss Valentine, oh…” Jerry’s voice trailed off when he noticed the intimate position the couple were standing in.
“Yes, Jerry?” Delia said, moving away from Royal. To hide some of her embarrassment, she reached for paper towels from the nearby container and busied herself with the drying of her hands.
“There are TV crews out front. Somebody must have told them what happened here, because they all want to talk to you and the doc,” Jerry replied, acting as if he hadn’t seen what he’d just seen.
Delia’s gaze sought Royal’s. “The spotlight can’t seem to help but find you, huh, Dr. Seeger?”
Royal shook his head. “I didn’t plan…” He stopped, remembering that they weren’t alone. “While you change your blouse, Miss Valentine, I’ll deal with the news crew.” He reached for paper towels to dry his hands.
“Thank you, doctor,” Delia replied through tight lips. Then she threw the used paper towels in the nearest trash can and stalked out of the room en route to her office.
Royal blew out a frustrated breath. Right then and there he knew that she was not coming over to his house to celebrate tonight or any other night until he could stop drawing so much attention to himself.
* * *
Fortunately, the newspaper and TV crews were kind to Delia, only focusing on the present, not the past. In fact, they deemed her and Royal heroes. Generous heroes at that since Delia gave Donita an open account at her store for the first year of the baby’s life. Royal gave Donita free medical care and offered to pay for her and the baby’s return to their relatives down in
It seems that Donita was a runaway, who’d left home last year with her much older boyfriend. The guy dumped her in her first trimester, leaving Donita to live from pillow to post for the remaining months of her pregnancy.
Sensing that the baby was going to be born soon, Donita had come into Delia’s store trying to steal last minute things for her child. She didn’t have enough money to buy those things for herself and didn’t have much support from the people whose she stayed with.
In gratitude to her generous heroes, Donita named her baby Precious Valentine. Precious, because that’s the name she kept hearing Dr. Seeger say all during the delivery. And Valentine, because that was the last name of the nice lady that owned the store and didn’t press charges.
Though Delia continued to keep her distance from Royal, despite the good press, she did consent to take several photos with him, Donita, and the baby for a few local news outlets.
Nearly everyone in town loved those photos. Valena framed the copies she clipped out of the newspaper. She hung one in the living room and sent the others to their friends in
Delia’s employees framed a copy and hung them near the front of the store. Pregnant customers particularly stopped to admire the photo. They liked knowing that if they happened to go in labor at the baby store, there was someone on hand with experience to help them.
Unfortunately, there was one person that hated those photos with Delia and Royal in them. It was a news reporter at that. Her name – Vanna Briscoe. She’d had her own baby by now and was struggling as a single mother in every way.
Something’s going on between them two. I just know it! Vanna thought, determined to find out more about this woman who clearly had two things she wanted most right now – access to Royal’s heart and an unlimited supply of baby items.
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier