After tidying up herself and the mess she’d made in the bathroom, Delia went to look for Royal. She didn’t have to look far. He was waiting for her at the end of the hallway.
Gone were his blue scrubs. Now he wore a white ‘wife-beater’ t-shirt and tan cargo shorts. His feet were bare. Delia had never seen him look better. And those hairy legs of his were doing wonderful things to her insides.
“Since this is your first time in my home, it dawned on me that you wouldn’t know that I was waiting for you in the den,” Royal said, explaining his presence in the hallway. “Would you like a drink? I was just about to get one for myself.”
Delia shook her head as she walked towards him. “I’ve had enough liquids tonight, thank you very much,” she teased, handing over her wet garments and the power mop. “Even though I’m not breastfeeding anymore, I still don’t drink alcoholic beverages.” The last time she drank alcohol, she’d killed someone, but she wasn’t about to tell him that.
Royal laughed, receiving the items she handed him. “I wasn’t offering you alcoholic beverages since I don’t indulge in them myself,” he replied, leading the way to the den. “I was talking about juice.
“Oh my bad,” Delia replied, starting to feel nervous again as evident by her return to slang. The man was just too handsome for his own good. “Even so, no thanks. Like I said before, I’ve had enough liquids for tonight.” Delia laughed to cover her nervousness as she followed him down the hallway.
“I imagine you have.” Royal chuckled, sending a warm smile back over one shoulder before facing forward again.
Delia’s laughter dried up in her throat at the sight of those dimples. She suppressed a moan. Her eyes scanned downward from Royal’s broad shoulders, muscular back, narrow waist, and tight…
That was the sound of heavy-handed guilt smacking Delia up side the head for admiring another man. A man other than E-Blade. She instantly remembered the old maid sentence she’d imposed upon herself and became somber again.
More guilt settled upon Delia’s shoulders about a few other things. Things that she would discuss with Royal when he returned from the laundry.
When Royal returned to the den, he found Delia sitting on the long gray couch where he’d left her. She was staring down at her hands. A serious look was upon her face.
“Is something wrong?” Royal asked, making his presence known in the room. “I hope you’re not still feeling embarrassed about the bidet.”
Delia’s gaze rose to his. “No, I’ve lived with worse forms of embarrassment than that. Actually, I was feeling a little guilty about not coming back to see you for my yearly checkup. I just couldn’t, not after…you know.” She looked away briefly before fearlessly meeting his gaze again.
“I know.” Royal smiled in understanding, glad she hadn’t returned to his patient roster. It left an opportunity open for other things. “Have you been to see anyone yet? Annual checkups are important, you know,” he said, prepared to recommend her to someone else. Anyone else but him.
“Yeah, I saw a Dr. Pacard just this week. She was nice and very thorough. I mean, she checked me for everything in the world before finally giving me a clean bill of health, yet her hands were freezing.” Delia laughed, shivering now at that memory. “They never warmed up during the whole exam.”
Royal’s brows rose. “Dr. Layla Pacard?” he asked, going towards the fridge on the east wall for a bottle of his favorite beverage – orange juice.
“Yeah, that’s her. Do you know her or just know of her?”
“Layla is a personal friend of mine,” Royal replied, turning away from the fridge for a moment. “You should know that despite her cold hands, she has a very warm heart. Layla genuinely cares about her patients and does her best to make and keep them well.” He turned back to the fridge and retrieved a bottle of juice.
Delia’s brows rose this time. Unexpected jealousy shot through her body at his defense of his ‘friend’. She wondered how personal Royal and Layla were with each other.
“I never said she wasn’t a good doctor. Just that her hands were freezing,” Delia clarified, taking great care to keep the jealousy out of her voice. A spirit of competition rose within her from the old days.
“Duly noted. I guess I’ll have to buy a heating pad for her next birthday. I wouldn’t want her to lose patients over some cold hands,” Royal said, closing the fridge.
Delia’s ears perked up at the word birthday. “Have you two dated?” she found herself asking. After all, most married men didn’t even remember their wives’ birthdays. Was Layla that special to Royal for her birthday to be so memorable?
“No. Layla’s just a friend,” Royal replied, looking surprised that Delia would even ask about his personal life. The fact that she had asked made him smile.
“Is she a friend with benefits?” Delia asked. Where she was from friends with benefits were called ‘cut buddies’.
“What kind of benefits?” Royal sat down on the sofa, leaving a respectable amount of distance between them.
“Sexual benefits,” Delia said, slowly crossing her legs.
Royal’s eyes were instantly drawn to her lower limbs. Desire slammed into his body like a Mac truck at the smoothness of her sexy legs. His fingers tingled to squeeze her shapely calves.
Was Delia trying to tempt him? If so, it was working.
“No, Layla is a platonic friend. We went to med school together,” Royal replied, dragging his gaze back up to her face. “What about you? Do you have any friends with benefits in your life?” His eyes held hers captive now.
“No. I don’t want any, either.” Delia broke gaze and looked away.
“Too bad,” Royal muttered under his breath.
“What did you say?” Delia asked, looking at him again.
“It doesn’t matter,” Royal replied, dodging her question since it was futile to even answer it now. Delia had spoken as if her mind was truly made up on the issue of romance. He couldn’t think of anything to change it right now.
Unscrewing the top of his juice, Royal took a long swig, hoping that the cold liquid would cool his hot body down.
Like so many other women before her, Delia became mesmerized by Royal’s large Adam’s apple. She watched it bounce up and down as he swallowed. The man even drinks sexy, she mused, starting to feel hot now herself.
“On second thought, maybe it does matter,” Royal said, returning to the previous conversation after his long drink. “Why don’t you want a special friend in your life? A beautiful woman like you could have her pick of eligible bachelors.”
“I…you think I’m beautiful?” Delia asked a bit on the breathless side, too turned on right now to answer his question. Her legs crossed the other way, one slowly rubbed up against the other in a most sensual manner.
“Yes. Very beautiful,” Royal whispered huskily. He’d seen the hitch in her breath, the crossing of her legs again. She was ripe. So ripe.
Deeming this the opportunity he’d been waiting for to finally pluck this particular fruit, Royal put his drink down on the nearby end table and moved closer towards Delia.
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier