Saliva pooled in Royal’s mouth at the sight of Delia at the concession stand. She looked so good standing there in a pair of formfitting jeans, 5” black stiletto boots, and a red sweater that hugged her bosom in all the right places.
It was a good thing Layla was already in the theater reserving seats for them upfront. Otherwise she would have seen him lusting for her patient. Royal did not want to have that particular conversation with Layla until he was sure that Delia was his.
Because he wanted to make sure Delia was willing to fight for their relationship, too, once word got out about them, considering her past and the fact that she was an ex-patient of his. Royal especially didn’t want anyone trying to talk him out of dating Delia. Not Layla. Not his mother, whom Layla would definitely tell that bit of information to once she found out. After all, Royal had sworn Layla to secrecy about Vanna and yet his mother still found out anyhow.
Though Carmen refused to give up her source, Royal knew exactly who’d snitched on him. He’d forgiven Layla and restored the friendship anyway. Yet he’d made a mental note to himself to keep future conversations with his colleague more centered on business topics.
Deciding not to waste this opportunity to converse with Delia, Royal walked over to the concession stand where she was buying popcorn and a drink. Taking advantage of her distraction with the cashier, he paid the five people in line behind Delia twenty dollars each to let him cut in line. For surprise sake, the deals was arranged silently with hand signals and gestures. One elderly couple refused Royal’s money, waving him in front of them with an encouraging smile.
“Evening, Delia,” Royal bent to whisper in her ear.
Heat shot through Delia’s body at that familiar voice. She turned her head slightly to peer back at him over her right shoulder. “Evening, Royal,” she replied, drinking in the sight of him in that gray turtleneck. The color matched the gray flecks in his eyes. The snugness showed off his amazing muscular torso, which she now knew that he kept fit in the fitness center at the hospital.
“You’re looking good tonight, precious. Real good,” Royal said a bit on the husky side.
Delia visibly shuddered at his words. “So are you.” She turned back around and paid for her items with semi-shaky hands.
“You here with anybody?”
“No.” Delia shook her head. She declined dates of any kind tonight because she hadn’t wanted to send anyone the wrong message on such a special day.
“Good. Real good.” Royal smiled with satisfaction that she was alone. He conveniently forgot that he wasn’t. When Delia had gotten her change and treats, Royal followed her out of the line, again forgetting all about Layla and the fact that he was supposed to be buying treats for them.
“Do you want to skip the movies and go back to my place?” Royal asked, after discreetly pulling Delia off to the side, away from everyone else. “I can entertain you much better than these actors.”
Delia visibly shuddered again. “I bet you can.”
“Oh, I know I can.” Royal gave her a sensual grin. “I might even be enticed to sing you a song or two.”
“You can sing, too?” Delia’s brows rose at that new information.
“So I’ve been told. Hang around me a little bit more and you might learn even more interesting tidbits about me,” Royal replied, hoping that those words would prompt Delia to get to know him in other ways. Nonsexual ways. Ways that laid the right kind of foundation for a healthy long-term relationship.
Unfortunately, Layla chose that moment to suddenly reappear. “Oh, hi, Delia,” she said, smiling pleasantly at her patient. She moved to stand beside Royal as if she belonged to him.
Delia blinked rapidly to refocus from that sensual fog she’d been in a few seconds ago. “Hello, Dr. Pacard,” she replied as her mind quickly cleared and focused on one thing in particular – the fact that Royal and Layla were here together. On Valentine’s Day!
“Which movie are you here to see?” Layla asked, too happy about being out on such a special night with Royal to notice how tense he’d suddenly become. How red his cheeks were growing.
Delia saw the tension in his body immediately. How could she not when she’d memorized every inch of that body, knew every nuance?
Swallowing over the jealous lump in her throat, Delia forced herself to answer Layla’s question. “I’m here to see the one with Will Smith in it. He’s my favorite rapper turned actor.”
“We’re here to see the one with Beyonce Knowles. Dr. Seeger seems to have a crush on her.” Layla chuckled and nudged him in the side, showing a playful side of her that even Royal rarely got to see.
“A lot of men have crushes on Beyonce.” Delia smiled knowingly, causing Royal’s cheeks to get even redder. “Well, enjoy your movie, doctors,” she concluded, before quickly taking her leave of them. Delia could only hold that smile for so long before it plummeted into an angry scowl.
Stop trippin’, girl. You’re the one that made it okay for him to see other women, she reminded herself, hoping that common sense would prevail and drive the jealousy out of her heart for good. The violence, too, since Delia had really wanted to slap-box Layla for even daring to stand so close to Royal a few minutes ago.
* * *
“Delia kinda looks like Beyonce a little bit herself with that new hair color and all. Don’t you think?” Layla asked as she and Royal made their way over to the concession stand.
“A little,” Royal agreed, avoiding the disapproving eyes of the elderly couple who’d given him free access in line earlier. They clearly thought he was a playboy, out to get two different women in one night.
“By the way, I thought you were reserving seats for us,” Royal continued, wishing that he had come to the movies alone tonight. Then he would have had unhindered access to Delia.
“I did reserve seats for us. I have a sweet old lady watching out for them now. I came back out to expand my order. Now I want pink lemonade, popcorn, and chocolate raisins.” Layla chuckled, behaving even more playful around him.
And I want Delia, Royal mused, looking over his shoulder just in time to see Delia’s perfect bottom sway in those unforgettable jeans before she rounded the corner.
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier