New Woman – Chapter 2

I barely slept last night. The constant images of Vicky’s lips on my own replayed in my head disobediently whilst I tried to erase the memory. What was I doing? This was not the way I behaved with a man let alone a woman. The first time Jonathan and I were intimate, I had done intense research in the way to kiss and how a man would like to be touched – ridiculous as it seems, he was my first boyfriend and with no siblings, I had to depend on a number of articles to be my guide. However, I’ve just moved to New York and here I am acting out of character, way out of character! So many thoughts were running through my mind, reminding me of the previous night, that I could barely concentrate on anything. I could barely allow one emotion to run through me because I started to think about things like Vicky’s lips on mine, remembering how soft they were on my own, how my body vibrated in unexplainable excitement and warmth, and instantly I regret even doing it in the first place and wish I could bury myself under the sheets so that I didn’t have to come out until I forgot about last night.

It didn’t help that my head felt as though two mine workers were hammering at my brain trying to find gold. I found myself wincing at the pain amongst a number of other memories which I tried to forget. I knew that I had to get up soon for work, but the thought of even raising my head felt impossible and facing Vicky today, did nothing to encourage me to leave my white silk sheets. I closed my eyes, trying to focus on eradicating one problem in hope that would make any future plans easier to organise in my head. Firstly, I needed to locate some paracetamols. There was no way I was going to have an internal war with myself when I had a splitting headache. Slowly I sat up, instantly gripping my head when the throbbing intensified due to my elevation. Taking deep breaths, I slid out of bed and carefully made my way to the bathroom, remembering the floor pattern as rising my head to look directly in front of me, would have only made everything worse. After making my way to the bathroom safely, I opened the mirror cabinet and grabbed the only tablets in there.  Feeling far too awful to make another journey to the kitchen for a glass of water, I popped two pills into my mouth and gulped the water from the taps of the sink. Once the bitter pills made their way down my throat, the image of Vicky arose in my mind. What was I meant to do? How was I meant to act with her now? Did she ever consider that before throwing her lips on mine?

My forehead tightened as I remembered another detail from last night, I’m sure she mentioned she had felt attracted to me for a long time hence why she was unsure of how to behave with me? If I took what she said into consideration that would mean, from when I first arrived in the office she had started having feelings for me? It all seemed to surreal to believe. I could imagine telling Jonathan what had gone on yesterday and him turning around and blaming me for my boss kissing me. I scoffed thinking about Jonathan and instantly regretted it as the mine workers bounced around in my head, causing me to wince. Bloody Jonathan, how could we be in a steady relationship for a few years and the time when I start to progress in life, that is when he decides to give me an ultimatum? I looked at myself in the mirror, looking at the way my brows furrowed in annoyance and the way my mouth frowned as I thought about the way in which Jonathan failed to get in contact with me after I left for the job. After staring at myself for a few minutes, I realised that I had transferred my anger, shame and guilt to Jonathan. If he had been caring, if he had stuck by my side, maybe I wouldn’t have found myself here, clutching onto the rim of the porcelain sink, my head pounding and my heart racing after every thought of Vicky. I had no right to blame Jonathan, if anything he would laugh and say the infamous, ‘what did I tell you’ line – but who else could I blame?

I dragged my feet as I walked back to bed and gently sat on my bed. I grabbed my phone and noticed that soon enough if I didn’t start to make a move towards the shower, then I would have to call into work and let them know that I won’t be showing up. And even though every muscle in my body craved for me to get back underneath those sheets and get lost in my unconscious, something within me stopped me from doing so. I had to remain professional. Maybe because I was one of the youngest of the bunch at work (bearing in mind the team was all nearing the same age), but I felt I had more to prove. I was the one with the least experience, yet still managed to find myself in a position where someone who had years under their belt should have been. I had to prove not only to myself (and the imaginary Jonathan in my mind) but also to Vicky. I needed to show her that no matter the curveballs thrown my way, my head was still in the game and I would fulfil any promises I made.

With very slow movements, I made my way back to the bathroom and ran the hot water in the shower. Watching the water spray out of the mouth of the shower hose relaxed the miners in my head. I stripped out of my pyjamas and stepped into the shower slowly, enjoying the hot water beat against my skin. Breathing slowly, I thought about nothing apart from the water being sprayed against my skin – it was much needed. The silence, the calm because I knew after I left my apartment, I would have to face the storm I wasn’t prepared for.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It took longer than normal to get to work, but as I stepped through the glass doors of Building 59, and swiped my ID on the barrier sensor I knew that I had to put on a brave face. Even though I couldn’t think of anything better than hauling a taxi and returning home. Instead I put on a bright smile and walked out of the elevator meeting Kirsty, the receptionist by the welcome desk.
“Bloody hell, how do you do it?”
Paranoia claimed me as I tried to decipher what Kirsty had meant. Do what? Had Vicky gone around and told everyone we had shared a kiss yesterday night and now Kirsty was wondering how I could show my face in the office the next day? Too stunned to speak and too scared to hear what her next line was I stood in front of her in utter silence, bracing myself for her next words.
“I mean, we all drank so much yesterday, yet here you are looking like you never went out and got the best sleep ever.”
A nervous chuckle escaped my lips as I remembered that she too was there yesterday, dancing the hardest on the dance floor. I shrugged my shoulders whilst signing in.
“Trust me, I don’t feel as good as I look.”
“I wouldn’t have guessed that you felt like shit.” She said taking a long gulp of water, whilst taking a tablet. I waved her goodbye and made my way to my desk, dreading seeing Vicky as my desk was the closest to her office. I couldn’t face any awkward situation and didn’t think I had the energy to. Once I got to my desk, Eileen was first to greet me with a disgruntled face.
“I feel bloody terrible Rebecca…you know when you think to yourself ‘was it really worth it?’ – yeah that’s my thoughts now.” She said slightly perching on my desk.
“Yeah, I seriously contemplated coming into work today – I feel like absolute crap.” Eileen looked at me deeply and then shook her head.
“Would have never thought you have a hangover, you look too good to be feeling as crap and you say you feel.”
I chuckled slightly, booting up my computer. “Don’t us females try harder when we know we look even more worse than usual?”
“No honey, that is you only. How did get home anyway? I should have texted you, but I had to share a cab with the girls because I could barely stand once I left.”
“Just a taxi.” I said avoiding any eye contact, hoping she could notice the lie.
“Did you see Vicky, she left shortly after you and I thought she may have caught up to you?”
“Nope, didn’t see her. I got a taxi quickly lucky for me. Anyone get lucky yesterday?” I asked her hoping to get her to switch topics and talk more about herself and her experience yesterday night.
“Nah,” She said shaking her head and getting up from my desk, slowly making her way back to her desk. “sadly, I was banking on someone to get lucky…even a cheeky kiss would have been exciting!”

She turned from me and walked to her desk as I looked back at my monitor. If only she knew that a ‘cheeky kiss’ was shared last night, but between the two people she would have least thought would have shared an intimate meeting.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

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Elliot & I [Part 2]

I hadn’t seen Elliot since our intimate moment on the balcony where we found ourselves confessing our love for each other one moment and then where I found myself being pulled away from him the next. I wasn’t sure what mother planned to do with me as she dragged me closer to the hall that evening. With tears streaming down my cheeks, I wasn’t even sure if she could do anything more to increase the pain I had begun feeling. But when she abruptly stopped near the rotating doors that led into the ceremonial hall and faced me and said,

“Love? You think you love him Alexandra? You no nothing of love, so get that out of your head.” It was then I realised that mother could actually somehow make this already bad situation worse. Even now as I lay on the bed thinking about that evening, I wouldn’t forget how she felt no sympathy towards my emotions. Instead she sent me to the toilet to get cleaned up (as she stood guard outside) and then told me to not utter a word throughout the rest of the night. Not as though I was planning to talk someone’s ear off anyway. It didn’t help that once we did return back to our seats, Elliot and his family had left. I couldn’t even have another chance to see Elliot and explain my love for him, explain to him how important his love is to me.

And here I lay, two weeks since I’d shared that passionate moment with him, I can’t help but find myself grow impatient. Every day grew more harder without speaking with him or seeing him. Not as though we saw each other frequently, but at least we had the opportunity to text. But ever since mother caught us, she made sure my phone was confiscated. Not only that she made it a necessity that anywhere I went I was to be guarded. I wasn’t under any threat, well – she’d say Elliot was enough to be a threat. But because of her lack of trust in me (I could only presume), the security men followed me wherever I went. I could barely leave my room without one of the guards trailing behind me, like an unwanted shadow. What still puzzled me was the fact my father hadn’t sat me down to discuss what had occurred. I was sure my mother would have instantly told my father as soon as we got into settled into the limo on our way home that night. But after he continuously spoke about business deals and future movements with other companies, I realised he knew nothing of my venture with Elliot on the balcony. Which surprised me as to why my mother would spare me? It’s almost to impossible to believe she would do anything to protect me, especially when it came to Elliot. But I knew she hadn’t told father, so I made sure I didn’t bring it up.

There was many times I thought about sneaking away from the guard that was allocated to watch over me. Last week I tried to lose Mr O’Neil in the hustle and bustle of the London streets. But after I believed to have gotten away, he showed up in front of me a few minutes later. These men were trained to follow orders and it was then I knew no amount of plotting or sneaking away would actually be successful. I sat up, tired of being caged away in my room with nothing other than my thoughts to keep me company. I was exhausted of thinking about how Elliot was or what he was getting up to. I didn’t want to think about how only two weeks ago did he confess his love to me and my mother and now I no nothing of how he currently feels. I had to do something to ease my anxiety. I slipped my feet into some casual slippers that were laid just near my wardrobe and opened my room door. I was done laying waiting for something to happen. I was going to make sure I saw Elliot today.

As I opened the door Fredrick stood firm, his gaze looking straight ahead, whilst his body remained upright and ready to defend. When he saw me walk out, he looked at me.
“Fredrick there’s somewhere I need you to drive me.”
“Miss Alexandra, I’ve received orders that you should remain at home whilst your mother and father attend their meal tonight.”
“Fredrick I understand you’ve taken orders, but there is somewhere I must desperately go. If you fail to take me, I will find my own way there. And there is nothing you can do to stop me.”
I looked at Fredrick’s build and slightly chuckled in my head. If Fredrick wanted me back in my room, there were more than ten ways he could do so without breaking a sweat. But I was determined to see Elliot today. Especially with my parents out having dinner, there wasn’t going to be an opportunity like this anytime soon. I had to seize the opportunity.
“And where would you be going Miss Alexandra?”
I hadn’t decided on the lie I was to tell Fredrick, but if I hesitated for just a second, he would know that I was planning on meeting Elliot.
“I’d prefer to direct you myself. It’s private.”

The guards had no right to intervene with our personal lives. They were there for a job and that job purpose only. Fredrick understood he had no right to question my privacy, which pained me to see him disobey his orders. But I had to start doing things for myself or else I’d never find happiness. He gave me a stern nod and walked me out of the house to the family car, ready for his directions. It took a while for us to arrive at Elliot’s house. I made sure the directions I gave Fredrick were beyond complicated so he couldn’t trace where exactly I was going. But as soon as he saw the road name, he parked the car and turned off the engine.
“Miss Alexandra –”
“Fredrick I won’t be a second. Please remain here whilst I just go and return something to someone.” Without another word, I left the car before he could stop me. My heart pounded against my chest as I grew excited knowing soon I’d see Elliot. Soon I’d be with him, in his embrace, digesting our newfound love for each other. I walked passed a few cars before getting to his property. Normally two or three cars would be parked in his driveway, however tonight, a row of cars were lined up, and even spilling to the street where other cars were parked. I quietly snuck passed the entrance and begun making my way to the back of his house, where a vine which clasped on tightly to the bricks of his home would be awaiting me to climb right into the window of his room. The vines were beside the kitchen window, where it seemed the event that must have been occurring at Elliot’s house was taking place. Different voices emerged from the kitchen, whilst cutleries were being played with constantly. Elliot could be amongst them and probably was, but I was willing to wait for him in his room, rather than check if he sat with the cluster that seemed to be going on in his kitchen.

After test a vine or two, I started to climb up when a voice from the kitchen stopped me in my tracks.
“That fucking Harold Bennett, you know what if I had the choice to build my business or kill him…I’d kill him.” The kitchen burst out into laughter, as the male voice choked on his own laughter and continued. “No that man is a bastard. I still don’t understand a nigger has managed to get what he’s got. Can you imagine Clifford is till this very day struggling on receiving clients for his upcoming technology program he’s starting. And there’s Harold Bennett, not even giving a fucking damn. I told him about Clifford and he said he’ll ‘sort something out’,” He huffed and continued. “Sort something out, the cheek like we need help from him, from people like him.”
“It’s ridiculous how things have changed.” A feminine voice spoke after the room had settled to listen to the mans story. Quickly climbing down from the vines, I slowly creep up to the window, just to see who was talking so poorly of my father. But recognised no one, just a room full of people in suits and dresses, eating a meal and bad mouthing my father.
“Don’t worry Jo, they always seem to fuck themselves up one way or the other. Am I right?”
The room fell into laughter again as these strangers mocked my family and my race. Stunned, I couldn’t find the energy to stop watching, to leave and tell Fredrick to drive me home. No, instead I looked around. Hoping to not see anyone I recognised, it was bad enough these people I knew nothing of was praying for my father to face a downfall, but if it was people I recognised I wouldn’t know what I’d do. But then I saw him. Elliot, sitting down with a plate full of food, chuckling with them. Finding the words that cut so deep to me amusing. I wasn’t sure I was seeing accurately. But the more I stared at him, the clearer everything became. He agreed with what they were saying. I shouldn’t be shocked, my father always made it obvious to him that he didn’t like Elliot. But I never assumed this would have had an affect on how he saw the rest of us. The scene that was before me was far too much for my brain and heart to comprehend. Who was Elliot? Elliot, the same man that I just recently confessed my love too, was the same man that sat amongst racists and found their disrespectful words amusing. Even as I stood there in what I can only assume was shock, I couldn’t help but remember my parents. Remember their own narrow mindset and how it discriminating it was at times. They never truly gave me a reason why they disliked Elliot so passionately, but it was obvious his skin colour was a factor. So did that mean I had a right to be angry? My parents were just as bad as the strangers in suits and dresses that sat around the table hoping for my father to fail and belittling my race?

With the pain, hurt and confusion slowly slipping its way into my muscles, I found the energy to turn away. Not aware of Elliot’s mum who stood a few steps away from me, watching me watch them talk about my father. With a pained look in her eye, she followed my previous gaze onto Elliot and then returned her gaze back to me. With no words to say that could possibly explain or reduce the shock I received, I walked passed her and back to Fredrick. Wishing I stayed in bed.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

New Woman

The only thought that kept running through my mind was why did I come here? If Eileen hadn’t pestered me to come, I know I would have stayed at home and made up a lame excuse for my absence if people asked. But there I sat, amongst colleagues I barely knew and in a bar that wasn’t my style. To make matters worse, Vicky walked in. Vicky Parsons, the editor-in-chief of ‘New Women’, and also my boss. We barely saw eye-to-eye. She’d send me on ridiculous errands throughout the day, stopping me from completing my work and then check up on me at the end of the day to see if my work was completed. It was a catch-22 situation with her.

But she looked different tonight. Her auburn hair wasn’t tied up in a tight ponytail, it fell loosely pass her shoulders and had a slight wave to it. And replacing her constant work suits was a silk sleeveless blouse and denim jeans. She greeted everyone with smiles, gave out a few hugs and then it was my turn. I wasn’t expecting anything, so I was surprised when I received a brief smile. She took a seat opposite me, and very quickly slipped into conversations that surrounded her.

Time was passing and cups were never empty. I made sure I kept my cup always half full so that I wasn’t forced to order another round. I didn’t mind drinking, but with people I was so unfamiliar with, made me feel uncomfortable. The DJ began playing his 80’s playlist, which caused everyone at the table to get excited, making them eager to get onto the dance floor. After declining for yet another time, they let me be and made their way onto the dance floor, leaving me alone with Vicky. She noticed me and gave me an awkward smile.

“It’s…”

“Rebecca.” I spoke loudly enough for her to hear.

“That’s it, Rebecca. Why aren’t you dancing?” She leaned forward.

“Not really my thing.” I lied.

“Dancing isn’t your thing and you’re only…twenty?”

“Twenty-one.”

“Exactly you’re young. You should enjoy dancing before you get too old to do it. Fine, if dancing isn’t your thing then what is?”

“Writing.” She rolled her eyes and waved her arm in the air, dismissing my comment whilst taking a gulp of her drink.

“Of course writing, you wouldn’t be working for me if you weren’t interested in writing, but what does Rebecca love doing?”

I took a sip of my drink and shrugged, “Drawing.”

“There you go, that’s the Rebecca I was asking for,” She chuckled and then moved to sit beside me. “What do you like to draw?”

“People.”

“Really? Wow, I’d like to see a drawing one day. Promise me you’ll show me one?”

I nodded, chuckling lightly as she stuck her pinkie out in front of me for me to wrap my own pinkie around. I did so and she smiled, making me feel more comfortable. I could tell the drink had made its way into her system as her movements and speech became more muddled, but it showed me a side to Vicky that I never knew was there. After we finished our drinks and ordered for another round, we fell back into conversation.

“So does your boyfriend live with you?”

“Oh, I don’t have one.”

“A pretty girl like you doesn’t have a boyfriend?”

“Well I didn’t want anything interrupting my goals.”

That was a lie. Jonathon and I were in a serious relationship for a year, until I was accepted in working for the company. Everyone in my family was excited I was accepted into one of the top five major women’s magazine companies in America, apart from Jonathon. He decided that if I left, I was leaving the relationship too. I tried calling, messaging and emailing, but with no response I decided it was time to focus on myself.

“Oh I understand, it’s almost as though men get threatened by a woman who has goals, it’s ridiculous. That’s why I always say screw men, they aren’t worth our time and we women should stick together.”

“I agree!”

“You see Rebecca,” she shuffled closer to me. “I don’t bother with men anymore. They think we need them for everything, for money, for love, for sex, but we don’t and neither do you. Because I’ve got you Rebecca and if you need anyone I’m always there for you.”

Her comment warmed my heart, it was nice to know someone was looking out for me and wanted the best for me. Especially when I found it difficult being in New York by myself away from my family, hearing that someone was there for me brought a smile to my face. She grinned back at me and stroked my cheek gently.

“You’re so pretty, no man is worth your time.”

“But then who is?”

My words came out slurred, the only evidence that I’d drank far too much than I could handle. Her eyes shone under the strobe lights of the club as she watched me. She shrugged at my question and then chuckled.

“I am.”

It took me longer than normal to digest her words. But once it finally sunk in, I still found it hard to grasp. The alcohol was making me hear things that wasn’t said, because if I believed for a second that Vicky had just said she was a worthy partner for me, I’m sure I would have panicked.

“What?”

Still confused, I question her response for some clarity, but everyone had began making their way back to the table, screaming for more drinks. And during their return, Vicky sat quietly drinking her drink and watching her feet, whilst my brain raced wondering whether she meant what I thought she meant, or maybe I’d jumped further than I could and I just misheard her.

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * *

 

 

Time had passed and I’d consumed more alcohol than I should have, but it was never enough to have made me forget what Vicky had said to me earlier and I guess with that on my mind, I needed something to settle my nerves. She hadn’t spoken to me much after her confession and it surprised me when I felt bothered by her actions. I felt as though she believed she had the ability to decide when I was worthy to be spoken to and when I wasn’t and that was what frustrated me throughout the night. I knew tonight wasn’t worth the journey. With that in mind, I gulped my drink and gathered my things, ready to put an end to this night and strictly keep my relationship with these people work-related only.

I picked up my clutch bag, along with my denim jacket and slid past two colleagues having a conversation.

“You’re leaving so soon?” Eileen said standing up, tugging me to sit down again.

“Yeah, it’s late and I’m in early tomorrow, so I’m heading off now.”

I moved her hand gently whilst saying my farewells to everyone. Vicky didn’t respond, but through my peripheral vision I noticed that she hadn’t stopped looking in my direction since I first stood up. Whilst I walked to the exit, I decided to forget about the conversation Vicky and I had, because if she felt she could be one way with me one minute and then the next the other, then I was prepared to keep my distance from her. I pushed the doors open, welcoming the cool air that graced my face. I slipped on my denim jacket, and began walking until I could haul a taxi to take home. All the while, my attempts of blocking Vicky from my thoughts failed. There was something about the way she’d approached me, was completely different to the woman I worked for in the office. She wasn’t uptight and strict. In fact, she could actually be interesting enough to converse with, what I couldn’t grasp was why she had constant changes in her personality? I understand when at work, one must be authoritative, but in the club she went from reserved, to friendly and then straight back to withdrawn before I even had a chance to understand what was going on.

Being deep in thought, I luckily managed to notice the yellow taxi parked on the curb opposite from me, with an old man leaning on the driver’s door, slightly hunched reading the New York Times. I jogged across the road and hesitantly tapped his shoulder. He peeked over his paper, squinting his eyes in confusion.

“Is that your taxi sir?” He turned to look at his taxi and then back at me.

“Well I am leaning on it, so I suppose so.”

I inwardly rolled my eyes, knowing I had no time for any sass, as I was already annoyed with the way Vicky had treated me.

“Are you on your break or are you working?” He folded his paper and opened the driver’s door. After a few moments of silence and him stepping inside the cab, I figured he was working, so I walked to the passenger’s door, waiting for him to unlock it.

“Where are you looking to go?”

“46th–”

“Rebecca!”

I turned around to see Vicky running towards me. I let go of the passenger door handle, wondering whether that was really Vicky running towards me, or whether I should enter the taxi and ignore the little voice in my head that told me to see what she had to say.

“Rebecca…”
“What are you doing here?” I asked folding my arms across my chest, shifting my weight onto one leg.

She slightly chuckled, “I’m not entirely sure. I waited in the club after you’d gone, but then I just kept thinking about you, so I literally got up and then went to find you.”

“Find me? I’m going home, you didn’t need to find me Vicky.”

“Hey lady, are you getting in or not?” The old man asked, peeping his head through his opened window. I turned around giving him a signal to wait and turned back to Vicky.

“I just wanted to speak with you.”

“If you wanted to speak with me, then why did you ignore me when we weren’t alone?”

“I don’t know.”

“Lady! Are you in or not?”

“I’m coming.”

I spoke with a hint of annoyance in my voice. I wasn’t annoyed at the taxi man; it was Vicky and her indecisive behaviour that had led to my frustration. She hadn’t batted an eye when I’d left, but there she stood, in front of me wanting to talk.

“Rebecca, I’ve been very odd with you, but that’s because I’m not sure how to behave with you. My feelings have me behaving in one way, whilst my mind is telling me to stay away from you.”

“Feelings, what feelings?”

“Okay lady, this is the last time I’m asking, are you getting in or are you going to stand out there?” I looked towards the cab and then back at Vicky, contemplating my options and realised that going home was best. I wasn’t sure what Vicky wanted to tell me, but there wasn’t a point in knowing, nothing would change between the two of us. I opened the door to enter the car, when Vicky grabbed my hand.

“What are you doing?”

“I need to talk to you.”

I pulled my hand from hers, but her grip remained firm. “Vicky, I need to go home.”

“I’ll drop you home if that’s the issue, but I really need to talk to you.”

“About what Vicky? You ignore me at work, you ignore me in the club and now you want me to listen to what you have to say?”

The driver got out the car, annoyed and resumed his previous position in reading his newspaper. I rolled my eyes and shut the passenger door then faced Vicky. She waved a black vehicle towards us and then opened the door for me to enter. Reluctantly I got in, waiting for her to explain herself.

“Lincoln could you drop us at…?” She faced me, waiting for me to fill the gap.

“46th street please.” The driver nodded and began driving.

“Thank you Lincoln.”

I faced the window closest to me, not wanting to face Vicky.

“I’m sorry Rebecca, I haven’t been fair to you. I shouldn’t have acted one way and then another, I wasn’t considering your feelings.”

“I don’t even understand why you bother with me so much, I’m just your employee.”

“There’s something about you that’s why.”

“You keep saying things like that. What do you mean? What is it about me that has you so conflicted Vicky?”

I faced her, with annoyance in my voice. Knowing I was probably pushing the boundaries with the way I spoke to her. Not only was she my boss, but also she was a few years older than I, and I wasn’t raised to be disrespectful. But at that time I didn’t care. I’d lost my ride home from a sassy driver, drank too much that I’d started to feel car sick and now I had to endure a ride home with Vicky. I could gladly say I was pushed over the edge tonight. She moved closer to me and shrugged.

“I think I’m attracted to you Rebecca.”

Staring blankly at her face, I wasn’t sure how to react. Earlier on I assumed I heard her proclaim her attraction to me in the club. But now with the words ringing loudly in my ears, my body froze as I tried to digest her confession. Vicky was attracted to me? That meant she was a lesbian. Why hadn’t I seen the signs before? It’s not like ladies who are attracted to other ladies, walk around with a sign on their foreheads proclaiming their sexuality. But, something in my body felt like I should have known this revelation before now. She was always distant at work and never tried to engage in a conversation with me. However, it was the way she looked at me when we did managed to speak, was what always had me thinking of her. Not like I’d imagined pursuing anything with her, but I always wondered what her issue was with me. But it made sense. Her cold demeanour and then the warmth she showed me, was all because she liked me.

With my mind failing to form any words, silence filled the car. It seemed as though my heartbeat that thudded hard against my chest, was loud enough for Vicky to hear. It almost felt like we’d been sitting facing each other for hours, when she began shuffling closer to me. Her movements were slow and I wasn’t sure if that was the effect of the alcohol or her actual movements. But I sat watching, as her frame filled my gaze and eventually left us inches away from each other. We were so close that I felt her breath caress my skin every time she exhaled. My core clenched in anticipation, aware of what was to come next. Vicky moved closer to me, heat radiating off her skin and enveloping me. She stared at my parted lips and then pressed her soft lips against mine before I could react. I sat motionless, not sure if it was confusion that hadn’t made me push her away, or whether it was the feeling I felt as her lips moved against mine. I hadn’t felt like this when I’d kissed Jonathon. My body had never vibrated with need when my lips connected with his. Neither did my skin become so sensitive when he touched me during our intimate moments. Yet here I sat, feeling a wave of emotions my body had never felt before. It was almost too much for my body, let alone my mind, to handle. The more our lips moved in sync with each other, the more my body tensed in excitement. Her chest brushed against my own, causing my nipples to harden in pleasure. A small moan escaped my lips, echoing through the car. It was then I realised what I was doing. Hearing my own voice woke up the more conscious side of myself. What was I doing kissing Vicky? It’s bad enough that I’ve never been with a woman, yet after kissing Vicky my body reacted in ways I never thought it could. But, she was my boss and I wasn’t attracted to women. With a shock I pushed her away from me as the car came to a halt.

Wide eyed with a hint of desire, Vicky stared at me. Her chest rising and falling in short breaths with her lips plump from our intimacy. I wasn’t sure what had come over me, but I needed space. Space to think, space to understand what had just happened. I reached for the door when Vicky grabbed my arm.

“Rebecca wait –”

Too stunned to comprehend the kiss, I lightly pulled her off of me. Afraid I’d be drawn back into her embrace and that my body would react to her in ways it shouldn’t. Once her grip loosened on my jacket, I rushed out of the car. Hearing not only the slam of my car door, but also Vicky’s. I picked up my stride, in fear of Vicky catching up with me. Once I’d reached my apartment door, my nerves took control making my fingers fumble with my keys. Aware of the footsteps behind me that increased every second, fear clawed at my throat as I imagined having to speak with Vicky after the moment we’d shared. Finding the key, I rushed inside before Vicky had the chance to reach me. My heart crashed against my chest, whilst my mind played images of us kissing. I backed away from the door as Vicky’s frame emerged with a handprint lightly pressed against the glass. I needed time away from Vicky. Everything was happening so fast and if I wasn’t careful this could end badly for both of us.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

The Howls of the Night

It was the third night in a row.

The third night they’d awoken me with their singing.

The third night they’d awoken me with their unnecessary praises.

The third night I’d sat up drinking myself to sleep and being unsuccessful each time.

No matter how much I tried to block them out, emotionally and physically, their words pierced through my walls, through the fibres of my pillows and into my ears. I hadn’t slept for months, this year pushed me around and I just let it do it without a fight. But I wouldn’t dare to let them keep making a racket as I tried to find myself in my own microcosm. I grabbed the Jack Daniels, which stood beside my alarm clock showing the time 6am. I never needed the alarm as I never slept, but it always felt normal to have it there, set to that time, because one day, maybe just one, I’d sleep into a blissful dream and be awoken by the ring of the alarm clock. I sat and stood up on the right side of the bed, with the alcohol in my right hand. I grabbed my battered boots, roughly slipping my feet into each shoe, then walked to my wardrobe. The lyrics continued to attack my bones as I tried to get a coat, my saviour…the protector….Jesus, the almighty, I love you. I quickly grabbed a coat and rushed out of the room. It was rubbish, how dare they sing things that meant nothing. Tears pricked the corners of both my eyes. I shrugged the grey trench coat over my shoulders and hurried down the stairs. Left foot, right foot, tenth stair, ninth stair – rushing to put a stop to the abomination that soared from the church building.

Once I finally got to the bottom of the stairs, I grabbed the house keys, which hadn’t moved since… every glimpse I took of those keys the air suffocated my lungs and squeezed my heart involuntarily.

I left my house, slamming the door behind me; ready to face those who were oblivious to reality. With the Jack in my right hand, I placed the keys in my coat pocket, and unscrewed the cap of the bottle. I took one swig, then another and another until the streets of Tottenham blurred ever so slightly. I trudged down the steps and pushed the gate, then took another swig of Jack. The choir continued to soar through the air, blowing loose strands of my hair backwards, seven hallelujahs… I took another gulp of the drink, soothing my throat. I closed the bottle and walked towards the entrance of the church. I reached the entrance and without hesitation pushed the doors open. There, in front of me stood the choir swaying left to right, whilst the choirmaster coordinated them. The pastor smiled, joyful of the song the choir sang. In the centre of the church the alter faced me, taunted me with candles, bibles and dreams. The anger mounted through my body, was all too much, all too false, and I was prepared to stop it.

Without thinking I threw the Jack Daniels bottle onto the ground, smashing it into pieces, each shard of glass flying around the church removing the smiles, the singing, the hope. The choir’s singing came to a halt, heads turned all to face me. I stumble through the church with my fist clenched and words slurred.

“Shut this music up! Shut it up, it’s all false, y-y-you all are false!” I started walking, ignoring the cuts the glasses were making through my boots. “He can’t hear you, don’t you get the message!!! He’s not listening anymore, so all of you shut up! It’s bloody three in the morning, let me drink in peace, instead of shouting false praises through my walls!” I clutched onto a nearby seat and took a deep breath, looking straight into the pastor’s eyes.

“Excuse me my daughter-”

“I am not your daughter!”

“I can see you’ve come in anger, what is truly upsetting you?” The pastor stood, watching me attentively waiting till I spoke.

“You, you all are upsetting me, you’re liars! Preaching false words!”

“False in what way?”

“If he, the big man upstairs loved us so, then why did he let the world take my sister? Huh! Explain that? Because…if, if, if he did “love” us as you preach about, why would he let that happen?” The pastor was about to speak when I raised my hand, cutting him off. “I loved her with all my heart, I watched over her, I wanted the best for her, so why did he take her! Explain that!” The lump in my throat arose, tears cascading down my cheeks. “I just want my sister back, I want my life back, she wasn’t meant to be taken from me, she was young, had energy – so why her? Why not me? Why did he leave me to suffer like this? There’s nothing left for me here on this world anymore.”

I wiped the tears away from my eyes, clearing my vision when I realised the pastor had found his way in front of me. He held my shoulders delicately and closed his eyes, trying to find the words to say that would relate most to me. But then he opened his eyes, and said nothing. He took an audible sigh and looked up, at the ceiling.

“The Lord taketh and the Lord giveth, there is a reason for all. Just because you may not be visible to the reason now, doesn’t mean there’s none at all…have faith young child, as the questions you have will be answered.”

And there, before my eyes I broke, similar to the pieces of glass on the floor, I broke down, remembering Edie’s face, her smile, her laugh and remembered how much I’d missed her. We used to go church together when we were younger, half listening to the sermon and half giggling at the words we didn’t understand in the Bible. Missing her was an understatement, I needed her, she’d been my life, my faith, my happiness, and just like that she’d taken everything with her. The thought of her made me weak. I clung unto the Pastor and cried, hoping that if what he had said was true, then I would find a reason as to why the world took my sister before her time.

 

Have you ever?

Have you ever had to analyse your emotions ten times over, just to make sure you’re not behaving or feeling emotional for an irrational reason? Have you ever had to question your own mind-set, because everyone around you doesn’t seem to grasp your way of thinking? Have you ever felt crazy because you just can’t understand whether what you feel is reasonable or not? Well I have, and it drives me insane. Why must I feel as though I am the one who has blown everything out of proportion, the one who took everything “too far”, the one who just always seems to destroy the mood with her reactions? I tell you it could make any sane human being feel crazy. Just because people fail to understand the way I process things why must that make me the odd one? I remember years ago when I studied psychology, I was learning about conforming. One thing that stuck in my mind was how incredible it was to see how people would conform to the majority group, just because the numbers were high. Even if the question was as simple as what is 2 + 2. We all know the answer is 4, but if the majority claims the answer is 5, we begin to doubt our own judgment. That is exactly how I feel write now. As I sit here, pen in my hand, scribbling subconsciously on the plain piece of paper before me, I wonder whether because people cannot understand me, I can no longer understand myself. Hence why I have to analyse everything I do ten times or even more.

It’s beyond frustrating when you find yourself in this cycle. Where you feel a way one minute, but instantly question it the next because maybe the majority is right about me. Maybe I am a little irrational. Maybe my thought process is abnormal. Or am I now conforming to the majority? Who says the minority isn’t right? Why can’t the way I think and feel be right and everyone else be wrong? It makes me chuckle slightly as I sit scratching my head, thinking about whether I’m sane or not. A mother of two, is up alone in her study room in the early hours of the morning questioning whether she is sane or not, is a headline that I can’t help but chuckle to. I should have my shit together by now. Almost thirty-five, two children and a husband and yet here I am, wondering whether I’m losing it or maybe it’s everyone else who’s losing it. What irks me is that there is no one I can discuss this with, oh well I could go to my counsellor (whom no one knows I visit) and explain it to her. But, then I might just feel even crazier that I’ve had to go counselling in order to reassure myself that I’m not crazy. Ha, the irony. There’s no freedom, there’s no escape. I’m constantly in limbo with my emotions, constantly going from zero to a thousand, because I’m not sure whether I have a right to feel the way I do or not. And it’s a tough battle. It brings a lot of dark nights, silent cries and fake smiles, because everything just doesn’t seem to add up in your mind. And having two children and being a role model for them, gives me no room to even have time to fail. So I hold everything in, make sure only me, myself and I, see this confused version of me. I make sure all the tears have run its course before I see my children, I make sure the internal battle that I face everyday, is kept at bay when I kiss my husband good morning. I make sure the crazy has gone into hiding when I see my family, because it’s bad enough that people look at you like your crazy, but when you looking at yourself and seeing a crazy person stare back at you – everything goes downhill from there.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Our Secret [Part 2]

With the presentation checked and completed, I was sure that the strategies I’d planned for Miss Woods would have her pleased. I smoothed the crease in my skirt and took a deep breath. It wasn’t as though I was nervous because I still failed to grasp the understanding of my dreams, It was the actual fact that I might become a PR to the famous Sienna Woods. This was more than just a huge deal for me. It was an opportunity that if I somehow messed up, could impact my career negatively. Not that I was ever too indulged into my career, but it seemed that having being presented with such an opportunity did wonders for the way I viewed my job. The many doors that would fly open if this meeting went well today kept my nerves at the edge of their seats.

I looked down at my attire, assessing whether I’d dressed appropriately. A blouse and skirt was more than appropriate. But maybe because my client was the Sienna Woods, nothing in my wardrobe seemed to be good enough. I fiddled with the buttons on my blouse and straightened out my skirt once again, when a cough filled the room. My head shot up, and there she stood with Kasey. Dressed in a sky blue designer dress, that hugged her figure in all the right places. My eyes involuntarily travelled down her body, noticing the white heels that probably costed more than my whole outfit. She looked even more stunning in reality than in the movies she starred in. Another cough pulled me out of my daze.

“Cleo, this is Miss Sienna Woods.” He directed her in my direction. I made my feet move forward, with an outstretched hand.

“Sienna would be just fine.” Our hands met in a firm handshake, whilst I tried to keep my gaze on her face. Her smile was infectious and reached her eyes, making her instantly more likeable. I hadn’t handled such a client like Sienna Woods before, but I wasn’t going to let her status frighten me.

“I’m Cleo Dane, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Her smile brightened up ever so lightly. I signalled her to take a seat as I loaded up the presentation, giving her a brief introduction on what my expertise were and where I planned to take her image.

It was a long process, and required me to talk her ear off for most of the time, but in the end she was more than on board with the plans I’d set for her. After Kasey had taken Sienna to the exit, I’d begun packing some spread sheets and documents away, preparing to head to my area to start working on the ideas set for Sienna. As I’d finished gathering the paper, Kasey appeared in the doorway.

“You did an excellent job Cleo.”

“Aw, there’s no need to thank me Kasey.”

“There is! Because of you, Sienna Woods is now apart of our clientele, that wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for you and all the hard work you’ve put in.” A smile crept onto my lips. Knowing the time I spent preparing the presentation was actually beneficial reminded me how pleasant this job truly was. I gave Kasey a nod, ready to use this energy into creating a plan that would build Sienna Woods, when Kasey stopped me.

“Nearly forgot, Sienna Woods gave me this,” He handed me a card that had information typed on it and then a hand scribbled number written at the bottom. “Sienna asked me to give you this. It’s her personal number – she really liked you Cleo. This is only the start of something amazing. Well done on the good job.”

He walked back to his office, leaving me staring blankly at the card Sienna had left for me. I looked at the information typed, whilst memorising the number written at the bottom of the card. Noting how my heart thudded a little harder as I thought of Sienna Woods praising me to Kasey…working with Miss Woods was going to be very interesting.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

His Eyes.

It was the cold air that woke me up. The slightly chilled wind that passed me was what had me blinking my eyes to darkness. I was sure I slept with the bed lamp on, so I was beyond confused when I awoke to utter darkness. All that filled my sight was dark shapes that surrounded me. Still in a haze, I try to pull the duvet over my cold body, but realise my arms are tightly bound above my head. I pull a few times, hoping the knot would ease, but instead, it cut into my flesh, burning my skin as I pulled harder to free myself. My arms grew tight and heavy, but I continued to pull hoping to loosen my arms. I look around hoping for some sort of answer for where I was and what was happening to me, but all that accompanied me was darkness and silence. Breathing out a trembling shudder, I tried to move my feet. Not surprised that my ankles too were tied together and then against another object. But even with the assumption in my mind, I still found myself shaking in fear. Becoming more powerless as the seconds flew passed, my desire to break free became erratic. Simultaneously, I struggled to free both my ankles and wrists, but with the bounds only getting tighter with my fight to break loose, I was only making things worse.

Trying to calm the heart that crashed against my chest, I took a deep breath. The air blew against my skin, making me realise I wore nothing but the restraints that held me captive. Inhaling a large amount of air, I prepared to scream, but when the air moved passed my throat, a burning sensation arose. My throat was dry, causing my helpless scream, to become a pitiful whisper. Without the ability to free myself, losing the power to use my voice and the fact that I couldn’t see anything, all rational thoughts dissolved. I pulled, wiggled and rocked uncontrollably, trying to break something…anything. Yet, nothing but my muscles and bones ached, pleading with me to stop my attempts. The feeling was something I was familiar with. As I lay trembling in fear, all my body could do was remind me that this was not the first time I’ve experienced this. Even with my wrist tied together firmly, my fingers quivered as my nerves took control of my body. I was beginning to remember this scene. Images flashed in my mind, as my brain worked to remind me what was meant to come after the shock and realisation of being kidnapped. I shut my eyes, horrified knowing what was to come next.

With a click, dim lights filled my surroundings. My body reacting to the slight warmth the lights gave and my eyelids slightly becoming lighter with the help of the lights. For a few seconds nothing happened. There’s no movements, no breathing, nothing but the lights slowly brightening. The only noise apparent was my breathing that seemed to bounce around in the room I was in. With no action after the lights being turned on, my curiosity pushed me to slowly lift my eyelids. With images flashing in my mind as to what was to come when my eyes were opened. As my eyes fluttered open ever so slowly, a frame filled my face, causing me to feel suffocated. My breathing no longer bounced across the room, but was colliding with an intruding frame that had taken its place in front of me. My whole body shook, as I opened my eyes to witness the same dark glassy blue set of pupils that stared right back at me every night.

Immediately I sat up, holding my mouth from the scream that had burst through my lips. It was a nightmare…a nightmare I was too familiar with. With tears uncontrollably streaming down my cheeks, I clutch onto my chest, trying to steady my heart that was punching my chest. It was always those eyes I found myself screaming myself awake to. I feared to close my eyes even to blink, in case the eyes awaited me as my eyelids covered my eyes. I slid out of bed, still shuddering as I made my way to the kitchen. Making sure every light was turned on. Once I reached the kitchen, the cold wooden floor helped chill my sweaty body as I ran the tap to get a glass. I opened the draw above the sink and grabbed a glass cup, glad my hands were steady to hold the cup without it slipping through my grip. I ran it under the tap and then locked the tap. Bringing the cup to my parched lips, I drank the water, thankful the water managed to relax my tense muscles and ease me slightly. I rested against the sink and took a deep breath, remembering he’d been arrested and had been for six years. I am safe…if only I felt safe.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Elliot & I [Part 1]

I think I loved him. No – I knew I loved him. The way he gazed at me like I was worth more than any soul to have walked this earth. The way he caressed my body when we were alone, and the way he stole precious touches when we weren’t alone was what had my heart racing. There was something about him that kept drawing me closer to him. Even though he was a flame that was sure to burn me, I couldn’t help but keep walking towards the light, almost like a moth that couldn’t pull itself from the bright light that teased it. The closer I moved towards him, I knew my life would spin out of control. But I was sure once I got to him, he’d centre me.

Even now as I stare at him from across the ceremonial dinner hall, I can see the small smile that crept onto his lips as he feels my gaze glide across his body. I didn’t even want to be here. These events were not to my interest, not like I was against charity events or events that gave recognition to people who had made such an impact within the community. But tonight was not the night I wanted to be out. Smiling at people I didn’t like. Sitting amongst strangers who my parents forced down my throat and engaging in conversation that bored me more than enticed me. They discussed subjects such as politics and plans for the community, as I sat amongst a number of community leaders. But none of what they had discussed reached my heart, let alone my ears.

After graduating I knew that joining a career that allowed me to explore my creativity was where I needed to be. But once my parents had caught wind of this idea, there had been an agonising two-hour argument about my life, which I obviously had no control of.

“Alexandra Bennett, you will not talk back to your mother. We have decided you will join a political program that offers you many opportunities and that is final!”

My dad shouted over my complaints. And even as tears pricked the sides of my eyes, he ignored them and shoved clothes in my face, reminding me the limo would be picking us up in 20minutes. It broke my heart that my parents knew so little about me, and still wanted to pull me away from things that I enjoyed. But the one thing they couldn’t pull me from, was him. They tried on many occasions to stop us from seeing each other. But, there is only so much a parent can do.

My mother followed my gaze and audibly sighed, nudging me slightly to wake me out of my trance.

“Harold, I didn’t know he would be here.” My father followed her gazed and caught Elliot’s eyes. Elliot ignored his stare and kept his eyes on me, whilst I bit my lip, nerves and excitement playing in my stomach.

“Neither did I. If I had known that was the case, I would have told Alexandra to stay at home.”

My father coughed pulling me out of Elliot’s trance again, causing me to stare at my parents, who were more than angry that I was entertaining this little staring battle I had with Elliot. My mother shifted in her seat as my father leaned closer to me.

“Alexandra, we will not have anymore of this behaviour tonight. You will behave and if I catch you looking over in that direction, you will have me to answer to.”

Father rarely threatened me, until Elliot came into my life. I wasn’t sure what they hated about Elliot most. Whether the fact that he didn’t fear them as powerful beings or the fact that he was white. Either way, my parents had never admitted to what it was that brought so much distaste to their mouths at the mention of Elliot, but I knew it was to do with whom he was. My parents weren’t racists, or so I would like to think. They were people who cared more about image than they did of their own child’s happiness. And if communal leader and powerful businessman, Harold Bennett, let his only daughter fall in love with a white boy, would be a shame to him and his parental skills. I’m sure it was this that had pushed my parents into keeping me away from Elliot. But they couldn’t stop the strong pull we shared, no matter how many times they tried to lock me away from him.

“Did you hear your father Alexandra?” My mother whispered in a sharp tone. I nodded my head slightly, looking at the table not trusting my eyes to not wonder towards Elliot’s direction. I heard my father whisper a ‘good’ and resumed his chatter with other businessmen he planned to make future plans with.

I hadn’t analysed a table as much as I did tonight. I told myself not to look up, as I knew Elliot would still be looking at me. But as time passed it grew harder to fight the urge to stare at him, knowing what my heart wanted but couldn’t have. My father had excused himself as he and a few other men wanted to continue business discussion away from the ladies. My mother smiled and took a sip of her wine, sliding into conversation with the other wives who had nothing better to do with their lives other than be false with each other. I lifted my head and not to my surprise Elliot was watching me. He wore a pained look, knowing something was wrong, but I gave him a small smile, an attempt to reassure him things weren’t as bad as they may have looked. He smiled back and gave me a quick wink, making me feel like a little schoolgirl who was sneaking around with her boyfriend.

“Alexandra?”

“Yes!” My head spun quickly in her direction.

“Did you hear Mrs Monroe?”

“No sorry, I was lost in thought.” My mother eyed me, before ignoring her suspicion and repeated what Mrs Monroe had told her.

“Mrs Monroe just let me know her son is single. He just recently graduated too, from what course again?”

“Law, he’s a smart boy my Kevin is. You both should meet up, I hear you’re single too?”

I couldn’t mask the horror that crept on my face as I watched my mother smile in delight. So she not only wanted to control my life, but now she was playing cupid with it too? I sat numb for a few seconds, before anger bubbled in my chest. Was not taking my life enough? What more did my family want that would make them happy enough to leave me be? It was bad enough I studied a course in university that I loathed, but I thought after I graduated the hassle would ease. But they hadn’t bargained on me meeting Elliot and instead everything got worse. I pushed my chair out, trying to keep my anger at bay, before excusing myself from the table.

“Where are you going?” My mother questioned.

“Toilet mother, unless you wish to escort me there?”

She kept quiet and with that, I took my leave desperate for air and space. They were crowding me so much I thought I was going to suffocate in their presence. I made my way to a deserted balcony, that wasn’t too far from the dinner party and took a deep breath. The air burned my lungs as I inhaled. I clutched the edge of the balcony and let the cold air brush pass the little skin that I showed in my expensive designer dress. It did little to show the beauty of my figure, and the only revealing part of my dress was the fact that it was sleeveless and had a slit running up my right leg. My parents had decided what dress I wore tonight. Making sure the family image was up to everyone’s expectations. Taking another deep breath, I sighed wondering how different my life would be if I weren’t born under the known and respected leader, Harold Bennett.

A hint of cologne teased my nose, and I knew instantly who had joined my microcosm. My body instantly relaxed as his arms embraced me softly. In sync, my body melted into his, whilst my heart thundered in my chest. I hadn’t been able to touch him in so long since my parents had done everything they could to keep us apart. Now with his hands possessively holding my hips and my back against his chest, my stomach rolled in excitement. He bent down slightly, coming close to my ears so only I could hear him as he graced me with light kisses.

“I’ve missed you Alex.” He nibbled on my earlobe, making me sigh in pleasure, as his hands held me more firmly.

“I’ve missed you too Elliot.” He chuckled and shook his head, slightly grinding his hips into me, so that I could understand how much he had truly missed me. My breath found itself caught in my throat as I felt the hardened flesh poke me softly in my back. He fully wrapped his arms around me, like a snake claiming his meal. With his hips grinding into me a little harder than the previous time.

“They’ve been keeping you from me, haven’t they?” It almost came out as a growl as he kissed my neck. I tilted my head towards the right, giving him more access to the flesh that blazed by his touch. His hands caressed my body. His left hand slowly moved towards my breasts, whilst his right hand moved towards the core that screamed his name. My breathing increased, with my heart thudding in my chest. I knew what the repercussions were if we were caught, but I couldn’t seem to find the voice of reason. Instead, I pushed myself more into his erection, hoping my need and desire was being known. He chuckled and stilled his hands. I surprised myself when a groan of frustration escaped my lips. He turned me to face him and turned around, checking if we were still alone. When he was clear we wouldn’t be interrupted, he pulled me towards the shadowed area of the balcony, with a look of ecstasy in his eyes.

Once we had reached the furthest wall, far from the windows that led us to the balcony, he pulled my body towards his. Making my body crash into his in an instant. I looked up at him as he ran his hands through my hair, still with desire laced in his eyes. He brought his lips to mine, allowing the need and hunger we had for each other to take control. The kiss had begun with passion, but once we had received a taste of each other, the kiss had turned dark. Almost as though the time we stood kissing, would never amount to the time we were apart. Pulling away slightly for air, he crushed our lips together again for another passionate kiss. My hands roamed his body, not fulfilling my desire. Nothing was going to be enough. He was my drug and the only way I’d keep going is if I had him. And with my parents depriving me of his love, I knew I had to get as much of him as I could. He pulled away again, giving me air to breath. My chest rose and fell in quick breaths, as I felt drunk with his passion.

“They’re hiding you from me Alex.” He held my body again, this time in fear of losing me. I returned the embrace with the same fear eating away in my mind.

“I love you Elliot.” His body stiffened and then he pulled away to look me in the face. After staring in my eyes for what felt like eternity, a cocky smile played on his lips as he traced my figure with his finger.

“You love me huh?” I nodded, nervous of his reaction. I hadn’t told him I loved him before, but I knew in my heart what I felt. And after what my parents had made him endure, I felt he deserved to know.

“Love… Oh my Alex, if only I could show you how much I loved you. All night I would show you why I loved you. Why I loved your lips,” his fingers lightly touched my plump lips “your beautiful body,” his hands caressed my frame, making me shudder uncontrollably as his touch sent vibrations straight through me to my core. “and then I’d roam the whole of you. Joining us as one. That’s how I want to show my love to you Alex.”

His hands moved closer to the core that ached for some attention. He stroked the thigh that was revealed due to the slit in the dress and crept his hands higher to the lace thongs I wore. A groan escaped his lips as he felt how fragile the material was. In an instant reaction, I ran my hands through his hair, enjoying the dark look that veiled his eyes as his hands crept closer to the damp area of the lace material. As his hands slowly made its way between my thighs, my core clenched, knowing soon the tension that ran through my body would soon be released by the touch of my lover. His touch left small flames of desire in its wake, making me ache with pleasure.

“God Alex I could take you here right now…” I pulled him down for another deep kiss when I heard a small shriek coming from the entrance of the balcony. Our heads whipped to the sound, when I noticed my mother holding her mouth with one hand, whilst the other clutched onto her chest. I jumped away from Elliot, not aware of what to say or what to do. Elliot stood still in obvious shock with his shirt creased from my touch and his hands in the position of where they were when our bodies were united. My mother looked between the two of us, unable to grasp anything to say, whilst my whole body trembled in fear. If my father knew, I was sure to be sent away, or receive a punishment that would ensure I never sure Elliot again. All three of us stood frozen in our places. My dress still hiked up past the respectable length where Elliot had touched me. My mouth opened to speak, yet when I tried to conjure up something, nothing came out. I took a step closer to mother, but that only made her retreat away from me. I took a deep breath and spoke.

“Mother–“

“No! Don’t you dare say a word Alexandra Bennett!” Her words silenced my pleas, whilst she turned her attention to Elliot. “And you! Don’t you dare come near my daughter again!”

“But I love her.”

I looked at Elliot, my heart squeezing at his confession and love that he has for me. Knowing that by confessing his love would do nothing but anger my mother, I couldn’t help but feel proud that Elliot had the confidence to still proclaim his love after being casted away. His words made her stumble backwards. Shocked to hear his confession, but then she stood upright, remembering who she was and grabbed my hand with so much force I almost fell.

“You will stay away from my daughter.” She turned on her heel, trying to walk back to the hall. But I needed to speak with Elliot, needed to say something, to explain what was going on and how I could make things better. Yet, the grip she had on my wrist was far stronger than I would have guessed. Pulling me towards the hall, I tried to resist, knowing Elliot would be left in the dark if I didn’t do something to save our relationship.

“Mother, please!”

“Alexandra!”

“But Elliot­–“ She span round, standing right in my face as her face twisted in anger.

“You ever say that name again and I promise you Alexandra Bennett, you will never step a foot outside of your room let alone the house.”

With that she continued to drag me back to the hall. I turned around, tears now falling from my eyes as Elliot turned into a mere shadowed figure standing alone at the balcony. I wanted to scream for help, wanted him to rush over and rescue me from the clutches of my family. But, we both knew anything else he would have done would only cause more trouble. I loved Elliot and he loved me, but there was nothing we could do about it. And I thought my family couldn’t take me away from Elliot, who was I kidding.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

The Job Offer [Part 1]

My mind kept telling me I should turn away and run, but every muscle in my body refused to obey my command and instead, I stayed sat in her midst. She looked at me numerous amounts of times, biting her lip every so lightly every time she took a glimpse at me, but that wasn’t what had my heart jumping. It was the way she managed to slide her fingers past the lace of my dress and in-between my bare thigh.

I thought about telling her to stop, but then her nails grazed my heated skin and I found myself grasping involuntarily. I had wanted more and she knew of this. I wasn’t even sure why I had wanted more, but it was as though she knew exactly how to make me dissolve under her touch. She gave me a side-glance, causing me to bite my lip as I tried to regain focus. I wasn’t even sure if she was what I wanted, I had never ventured like that with a man, let alone woman, yet she wasn’t giving me a chance to think. With her fingers crawling up my leg, leaving traces of desire and fire via her touch, my breathing increased ever so slightly. Loud enough for us to both hear, but quiet enough for no one else to notice.

Eventually, her wandering fingers found there way to my disobedient hungry heat. I hadn’t known I was holding my breath until she had now turned her full attention to me. Feeling light headed, she used her free hand to pull my bottom lip free out of the hold I had on it and whispered ever so lightly.

“Breath.” It was only then my lungs began to work again. Taking in more air than needed and with the same speed taken, the air rushed out of my lungs, burning my throat as I tried to work my voice into saying something. With her fingers slowly stroking the wet heat that came from in-between my legs, she moved closer to me, bringing her lips close to my own. Without moving, I watched as she grabbed a handful of my hair and wrapped it around her fingers. Her eyes roamed my body, taking it all in before coming back to my eyes. She smiled and in sync, came close enough so our lips were barely touching, whilst her fingers had found their way through my lace thongs, and between the damp crease that had grown even more famished.

She traced her finger along the crease of my sex, making me shudder uncontrollably under her touch. She watched me as I attempted to digest everything, finding it hard to comprehend what she was exactly doing to me. Just as I began thinking about the many ways I could pull myself away from the situation, she parted me with her index finger and gently petted the ball that had grown erect. My back arched almost instantly, my body pleaded for more whereas my mind had finally begun to register what was occurring. She gave me a small smile, and strummed the hard ball faster and a little rougher than before; causing me to grab the nearby pillows, in hope some of my frustration would seep out through my fingers and into the couch pillows. But that did nothing to decrease my desire, as my lips parted in an ‘O’ shape when her fingers had travelled further down, nearing where my disobeying body had ached to be fed.

She tightened her grip on my hair, then plunged her finger deep within my drenched, salivating sex. A moan forced its way out of my chest that was quickly suppressed by her lips. Soft, but wet had kept our taboo going on for longer than it would have if my scream had made the ears of the others. Her tender lips kissed mine, both lips dancing together to the music of our ecstasy, whilst her finger had travelled depths that hadn’t been explored in far too long. Her finger, more welcomed than any other, had no difficulty in finding its way around my heat. Swimming its way through my moans and grasps, then stopping when it came across the bubble that held so many foreign feelings. It became hesitant at first, then slowly began stroking and pushing, causing me to clutch onto her shoulders, as her fingers had vigorously started to move faster around my hidden bubble. Before I could subdue my scream, she fully covered my mouth with her own, eating my screams, waiting patiently till the shudders had come to a halt and my body had stopped trembling.

She bit my bottom lip whilst smiling as she removed her finger from the place that treasured it the most. Giving a brief look at the others that seemed to be asleep on the floor, she sat on top of my still trembling legs and grabbed my left hand. She placed my hand on her neck, and slowly pulled it down towards her chest, with her finger glistening in the light. She placed my hand on her chest that had been rising and falling at a fast pace, then allowed my hand to cup her breasts. They felt tender and smooth under my touch, apart from the diamond that stood firm through her thin t-shirt. My eyes stayed focused on her nipples that seemed to get harder under my glare, until she spoke breathlessly.

“Rub it.” I used my thumb to gently rub the tip of her nipple as she threw her head back, allowing the pleasure to run through her spine. Whilst her head was still hanging in pleasure, I decided to pinch her nipple ever so slightly, using the same technique that turned me on, with her. She jumped and held my hand, moving her hips against me getting me stirred between the legs again. Using my right hand, I ran my fingers down her chest, ignoring the breast, as my left hand had focused on them and moved between her thighs, shocked that she had gathered juices.

I walked my fingers between her thighs and into her waterfall that was still producing more juices for me to travel through. With my left hand, I tugged her nipple lightly, causing her to grasp. I pulled again, harder this time then penetrated both my index and middle finger through her folds and into her sweet love. She hummed in pleasure as I moved my fingers through her folds, moving deep within her depths and then back to her walls. She opened her mouth to take small breaths, as I began increasing the speed, making sure I watched her face intently to be sure what both my fingers were doing was what she wanted. Rolling her nipple between my fingers and performing a come hither motion inside of her, had her thighs clenching around my hand. She grabbed onto the backrest of the couch and slowly lifted herself away from my fingers, meeting my thrusts as I continued to penetrate her faster. With her breasts now lightly bouncing around in my hand, I found it difficult to play around with her nipple. So instead, I pulled her closer to me and placed the hardened nipple in my mouth, proud and surprised on the strangled cry that burst through her lips.

I used the base of my tongue to lightly caress the hardened nipple, enjoying the feel of the hard diamond against my rough tongue. Our movements sped up, sending her closer towards her release. The motion in my fingers gained speed, whilst exploring every inch of her, whilst her thighs shook as she continued to slam back onto my penetrative fingers. I used my teeth to gently pull against the rock in my mouth, causing a strong wave of trembling to embrace her body. For a few seconds she remained hovering on top of me, shaking uncontrollably, until it came to a slow stop. She slowly descended onto my laps, letting her muscles become relaxed so that I was carrying her entire weight.

After a few long minutes she lifted her head to look at me. Passion and desire still written in her eyes, but now something new shone in her eyes. A look of satisfaction had been apparent, and I couldn’t help but mirror her expression. There were a number of mixed emotions that were running through my head, but at the look she wore and the way she made me feel both overruled any doubt that was currently swimming around in my head. All of a sudden a loud beep had begun ringing, stirring those who were asleep on the floor before us. Panic arose, as I knew we didn’t have enough time to gather ourselves, without them noticing that something had gone on between us. I attempted to locate the beeping noise, when my eyes slowly opened.

It was 6:30AM and time to wake up. The alarm beside my bedside had starting ringing, interrupting another heated dream I had. It wasn’t the first time I’d found myself in a daze of emotions and desire the morning following a dream involving a woman. I wasn’t even aware when the dreams began. It didn’t even have to involve anyone I was familiar with, just a woman who had captured my eye during the day, would find her way in my dreams, hair between my fingers and tongue dancing with my own. And with each dream, I was always the one being pulled into the sexual activity, never instigating but always participating. I tightened my already closed eyes, wishing I could get a few more minutes of sleep, knowing sleep had been a disturbed feeling every since I had these intruding dreams pierce my subconscious. But, with the second alarm buzzing loudly I knew it was time to finally get up, earn money and then drag myself back into bed for another restless night.

 

*                *                *                *                *

 

During work my mind constantly drifted towards my dreams, making me question my sexuality. I wasn’t a lesbian, in fact, I’d had a recent partner who’d made me somewhat happy, until work had forced me to depart from the relationship. My job required too much of my time and I was aware of this, but he wasn’t. Up until recently, I was entirely sure that I was attracted to men and men only. Not like I’d pursued another relationship after the last one, but I hadn’t questioned what my preference was. However, after the dreams I wasn’t so certain. I never really looked at another female in the way to have made me feel as though I was attracted to them, but my subconscious was either playing a prank on me or trying to tell me some vital information that I was oppressing deep within myself.

I looked up from my computer, realising the email I should have sent to a client fifteen minutes ago, still stood static on my screen, waiting for the sentence to be complete. I inwardly sighed and rested against my chair, when I felt a presence behind me. I turned my head to meet Elise, a friend and colleague of mine, beaming a smile at me.

“You are far too happy in a place like this, what’s got you smiling? And can I have some?”

Elise spun my chair to face her properly and chuckled lightly at my expression of being forced to changed direction.

“You can’t tell a living soul!”

“Tell a living soul what?”

She placed both hands on the armrest of the office chair and brought her face close to mine. Memories of my dream flashed back into my mind, making me retreat almost instantly.

“You’ve got to promise me Cleo, you can’t tell anyone!”

In an instant, my hands flew up as though I was surrendering and nodded my head profusely.

“I promise, scouts honour.”

She slowly moved back, checking that nobody was listening and then returned her position in front of me with that same beaming smile.

“I found myself a new job!”

“Congrats!”

I jumped up and gave her a hug. Being the first colleague to approach me, Elise and I had grown quite close during our years at ‘Beverly & Co’. And as much as I was happy to see her move onto better things, it just meant my time here would instantly get dull. And with no one to take my mind off of the constant nagging clients, it would turn into a nightmare working here. As we held each other in a tight embrace, her chest rose and fell in excitement, causing me to feel her breast against my own. The image of me devouring a hardened nipple came into mind, causing me to stiffen instantly. I wasn’t sure whether the image of me being with a woman had me frozen, or the fact that it had caused my stomach to perform a pleasurable roll. Either way, Elise had sensed my distance and pulled away from me to watch my face.

“You okay? I hope you’re not upset that I’m leaving?”

I pulled myself out of my thoughts and looked at her, smiling.

“Well I can’t say I’m entirely happy you’re leaving. You were amazing to me and it’s caused us to have such a friendship I’ll treasure forever. It just sucks I won’t get to see you all the time.” I performed a fake pout that made her shimmering eyes form tears.

“Stop it. We’ll still talk and meet up, I treasure your friendship too Cleo.”

I wiped a stray tear away from her face and gave another hug, this time shorter and not as intimate as the last one, before that caused my body to react in ways that I didn’t understand.

“I’m sure of it. Look, stop crying before Kasey comes in here and starts asking questions. I’m happy for you and you should be taking this new step with happiness.” She sniffed away a few more loose tears and then lightly tapped my shoulder.

“It was your fault I got all emotional.” Wiping her tears with the back of her hand, I rub her shoulder gently and allow her to compose herself.

“Super glad for you Elise.” She nodded and with a last quick hug, she began walking back to her area of the busy environment of ‘Beverly & Co’. Just before she completely left my vision, she bounced back.

“Oh! Before I forget, a bunch of us are getting lunch together. You have to come since it may be one of my last…” Now it was her turn to pout, I rolled my eyes and nodded, knowing I had emails and calls to make, but knew it’d be Elise’s last lunch with me so I was glad to slack off just for a little bit.

Lunchtime was busy and it was Nick’s bright idea to head to ‘Café de délicieux’ to get food. But as soon as we had gone inside, we almost regretted the idea. The line to be served had extended to the entrance of the café and there were barely any tables to sit at.

“Okay, bad shout. But we might as well wait here.” Nick shouted amongst the loud customers.

“I do have clients to attend to if you didn’t know.” Halle rolled her eyes, replying to a email on her phone.

“So do I, that Miss Uptom is one pain the neck.” Nick shook, visibly irritated by his client.

“Ugh, can we not talk about our clients. I’m with Nick, we might as well stay and enjoy this free time.” Elise shrugged.

“You know what Elise, you know what I like. You order my food and I’ll find us a table.”

Swimming through waiters and waitresses, I attempted to locate a table enough to fit the six of us. But, after a few ‘excuse me’s’ and ‘sorry’s’, I gave up and began heading back to the queue, when I bumped into a waitress, dropping her tray of cutlery’s.

“Sorry.”

She bent down to pick it the scattered contents, mumbling a few insults, most probably, and then stood back up again.

“Thanks for the help.” The waitress said with a small smile on the side of her lips.

“Oh, sorry. I was looking for a table and didn’t see you.”

“It’s pretty busy during the lunch hour, getting a table is difficult. Maybe if you’d helped me with the cutlery, I may have been able to get you a seat.” She winked an eye at me and continued with her journey, leaving me frozen in the place we’d met. Was she playing or insulted that I’d offered no help? I eventually walked back to the queue, where the line had only decreased by a few people.

“No seats I’m afraid.” Everyone groaned apart from Halle whose eyes were still glued to her phone.

“I guess it’s a takeaway. Damn Nathan is in trouble with the police again, it’s definitely a takeaway for me.” I felt my phone vibrate a few times, but decided to ignore it whilst Elise frowned. I gave her a light nudge and smiled, hoping the line didn’t take too long as duty was calling me too.

 

*                *                *                *                *

 

It was getting late and nearly everyone had left the office as clients and events never slept. I normally preferred to finish all work in the office, but after finding myself daydream one too many times, I realised I too, would have to take a number of paperwork home. There was a light cough that causing me to look up.

“Cleo I need you to do a favour for me?” Kasey stood, giving me a small smile.

“Kasey, whenever you need me to do something for you, it means a lot of sleepless nights.”

Kasey wasn’t a typical boss who failed to communicate with his team. If anything he understood us and was willing to teach us in areas where we lacked knowledge. However, even though everyone may have played and joked around with him, respect was still visible and no one ever attempted to cross the line.

“I know Cleo, however, you’re a very good worker and this favour is more of an opportunity for you…well the both of us.” I turned in my chair and faced him properly.

“Okay so what do you need me to do?” He entered the cubicle and leant against the desk.

“Recently our profits have been increasing and I’m more than aware that if it wasn’t for my team, those profits would be non-existent. However, I’ve gathered that the area you handle is currently becoming more popular.”

“Event managing and PR? I assumed that was a steady sector that neither grew or fell?”

“Well, ever since the Winston brothers hosted that ‘Great Gatsby’ themed event and invited nearly everybody in the industry known to man, it boosted the way events could be ran.”

“I see, so what do you need me to do?”

“I need you to host a presentation to a potential client, your potential client. This client is a big deal, for the company and for you too. They’re were looking for someone who acquired your skills and I thought of you.”

My spine shot up as I realised what Kasey was telling me. This was an opportunity that could jet off my career. It could be the first step of many more if I accepted the offer.

“My potential client?” He nodded smiling at my interest. I bit my lip nervously and thought about the prospect thoroughly. It’d mean I’d work double shifts, and probably wouldn’t have a lot of time to myself. However, the money opportunity is one only a fool would pass and it could be the beginning of something amazing.

“That’s if you think you have the ability to successful fill the role. But there wouldn’t be a reason for me to think of you, if I didn’t believe in you.”

I nodded, appreciating Kasey’s belief in me and understood that there could be no way I could pass this offer up. I smiled and stood up.

“You have me sold. Who’s the client and what’s the presentation for?”

He chuckled and straightened his posture. “It’s Sienna Woods.”

Her name sounded familiar to my ears… then I realised where I recognised her name. She was the actress who had recently received a golden globe for playing the lead role in a horror film that had released earlier in the year. My eyes grew in shock after realising how big the opportunity was and how bad it could end if I didn’t successfully do well enough with the client.

“Yeah, the Sienna Woods. So make a presentation on potential steps she could make for her career, look at her image, if there’s any places she needs work, then you tell her. Don’t be afraid of her status, but don’t be forceful, make sure she’s on-board with all of your ideas. She is your biggest client.”

I nodded and grabbed a notepad to jot down things to research and to conduct a background search on Sienna.

“Oh one more thing,” I looked up at Kasey. “She’s coming in at one o’clock tomorrow, so make sure everything is prepared by then.” He smiled and left my section heading back to his office. Tomorrow…I guess I won’t be leaving work anytime soon.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Past Love (1st Extract)

It was getting late and I didn’t want to leave, but I knew I had to. Even though he didn’t ask me to, I knew my stay was coming to an end and as much as I was enjoying his company, I wasn’t going to overstay my welcome. We laughed and spoke all evening, even now as he repeats a story from our school memories, I find myself weary of the time. It must have began to show on my face, because he stopped speaking and raised his eyebrow. A thing he did when he knew I was zoning out.

“I’m sorry Julian, it’s just I realised it was getting late and I’ve got to be going.”
“You’ve got to go already?”
I looked down at my phone which lay on a small table just in front of the couch and saw the actual time: 22:36. Yeah, it was definitely about time I left. “I’m afraid so, you know if I could stay, I would.”
I began standing up from the couch, stretching my legs whilst grabbing my phone, checking if I had all my belongings, when Julian stood up with me.
“Are you sure you have to go Deanne? I can drop you home if it gets too late for you to be walking the streets?”
“I’m sure you would, but it’s best if I leave now.” He started pouting, making me giggle. “Hey! There’s always next week.”
“Yeah I know Dee, but I just wish you could stay a while longer.”

Julian and I had only recently rekindled our friendship of five years after bumping into each other at an event. We exchanged numbers and it was almost as though the six years of not seeing each other hadn’t even occurred. Nothing had changed between us apart from the fact we grew up and were adults, but we were exactly the same as we were back when we went to school together. Of course we’d grown mentally but also physically. Julian was never unattractive back in school. He was one of those boys who were spoken about in whispers, because he seemed so focused on his education, all thoughts of having a girlfriend was constantly thrown out of the window. Especially when he was asked to prom and he confessed he wasn’t attending; it was only then when everyone knew he wasn’t the average teenage boy and images of being his girlfriend was shattered. But that didn’t stop females from talking about the ‘what if’s’. It was only when we were paired for an assignment was when our friendship grew and built into a beautiful picture.
For years we were close, but with our career paths being so different it was no surprise when we lost communication. So, when I saw him suited and booted, I was more than shocked. Ever since that moment, we’ve been catching up as much as possible. The time we spent was never enough, but we always knew there was another day.

“I wish I could too, but don’t worry I’ll be back.”
I gave him a smile and then went to go and get my coat, trying to be discreetly quick so I didn’t delay anymore time than I had already done. He followed me to where my coat was hung and sighed.
“Dee can’t you just stay for another hour, I promise you I’ll drop you home?”
I gave him a hug, resting my head on his well-built chest and gave him a light squeeze.
“I promise I’ll see you soon, just text me okay?”
He wrapped his arms around me, and grumbled making me laugh again. His arms weren’t big, but for someone of my frame, I was drowned in his embrace. Knowing time was of the essence, I began loosening my grip signalling to leave, but instead Julian tightened his. I lifted my head to look up at him; surprised at the look he was giving me. His hazel eyes were dark and his body grew rigid in an instant. My breath got caught in my throat under his gaze. If what I thought was going to happen, actually happened, leaving was something I had to do and fast.
“I really don’t want you to go…”
His voice was deep and husky, full of desire and hunger. This only became apparent to me when his hands began moving towards my hips and lower back. Were there signs that I had missed previously? Or did I see them but ignore them? Because I was finding it hard understanding how we went from two friends rekindling their friendship over a meal, to me trapped in his embrace and not even finding the voice of reason in my head to tell him to stop. Even now as I stand looking into his eyes, I find myself tempted to see how deep his desire ran for me. There were enough reasons for me to reject his affection, and walk out on him. Yet, none ever significant enough for me to do so, and that’s why I found myself slowly unwinding under his gaze, each latch unlocking itself allowing snippets of desire to seep through my body.
My heartbeat had intensified, every beat stronger than the previous one, making me conscious that he could feel it as we were chest to chest. A wave of tingling heat ran through my body once, but once was enough. Every sense awoke with a roar, all sending the same request to my mind.

“Julian-”
He held my chin in his hand, using his thumb to gently stroke my skin that had grown sensitive, all the while lifting my head to his, closing the gap between the both of us. “Don’t go.”
His eyes burned through me, shutting down every command of sense, leaving me vulnerable and open to his needs. Another wave ran through my body, but this time only waking up the one thing I feared. My core awoke aroused, aching for some attention and affection, causing my whole body to clench and tighten. He slowly came close to me, bringing our bodies together, allowing me to fully appreciate his body and build and also the hard bulge that had appeared in his trousers. In a flash, my body had gone into flight mode. My legs began moving involuntarily towards the door, in a last poor attempt to take myself out of the situation I’d found myself in.
“Julian, I can’t.”
But nothing seemed to work, in fact the more I tried to protest against it, the more he clung onto me, allowing myself to understand what I’d done to his body. I managed to make my way to the door, in hope I could gather my thoughts and leave before things got further than I could handle. I used my left hand to feel for the doorknob and slightly turned it, with my face still in his hands, his breath so close to me at this point. The door began opening, when a slight force pushed it back, closing it. It was then I knew all attempts of leaving were clearly non-existent. The importance of time had slipped my mind and I seemed to have lost myself in the moment with Julian. Something I’m sure I’d regret eventually, but for now, my body was eager for his touch, hungry for someone to take some of the pressure off, and the only candidate worthy of doing so was Julian.
“Just once Deanne.”
I bit my lip and looked back at him. Noticing how his hunger had grown into a carnal desire. Nobody had looked at me like that for so long, or had even begged for my presence that I found myself nodding at his request. His chest rose and fell with steadily increasing speed, as he got closer to my lips. I closed my eyes, waiting…waiting for something to give me reason towards my irrational actions. And it was only when his lips touched mine, was when everything went clear. My body had stopped screaming demands and my mind had no longer wondered about my actions, in that moment I just wanted more. A little bit more. I wanted to taste his lips and find out what more they could do to me. The kiss started off as small pecks, but grew as our passion began to overflow. I hadn’t noticed when my back was against the door, but being stuck between the door and his body, gave me little to no room to move around freely and whenever I did move, I seemed to brush passed his bulge. Every slight shift I made caused a quiet groan to escape his lips.  But it still wasn’t enough. I needed more. Needed to know what it was about Julian that made me behave in a way that was foreign to me. So I went on my toes to receive his kiss in full, but by doing so meant his bulge was pressed hard between my legs, teasing my centre.

If I had any sort of thought about leaving, it had definitely disappeared, as he began moving back and forth between my legs. A whimper fell off my lips with each thrust, causing him to deepen each movement. He raised his left hand into my hair and softly tugged at it, revealing my bare neck, whilst his right hand held my behind. He used his teeth to pull on my bottom lip tenderly, then once he was far enough, he let go and moved to my neck, nibbling, licking and kissing his way through each of my barriers and right to my core.
“God, Dee you’re so sweet.”
He continued kissing my neck, nibbling just a little harder than before, showing me his patience was beginning to wear thin. His grasp on my behind had tightened, almost lifting me off of my feet, giving him a better feel. My hands struggled to stay in one place. One moment they were flat against his back and the next they were under his shirt. His lips sent sparks of ecstasy through my skin, causing me to push my body against his own, again teasing him and myself. He groaned, pulling himself away from me and looked down at me, with eyes dark craving eyes. I looked back at him, not completely sure how to process what we were doing. I had a home to get to and I’m sure time was far later than what it was when I last checked, but it didn’t seem as though I’d be able to get home anytime soon. A little voice spoke quietly enough for me to hear, letting me know problems will only get worse if I go through with this escapade with Julian. But how much more worse could things get? I’d already opened up to him, given him the opportunity to explore my emotions, my body and my mouth; what was the point of shying away now?

“Dee I won’t stop if I start…” He spoke tightly, evident that his control was close to snapping and needed my approval before he could take it as far as he pleased. This was the time. If I wanted to leave (which I should), this would be the perfect time to push him away, apologise for leading him this far and go home. But I stood still, knowing I wasn’t going to leave. I was too turned on to rationalise my thoughts.
“Then don’t stop.”
It was like those words flicked a switch in his mind. The thin barrier that I had held up against him, stopping him from pursuing his feelings broke effortlessly. In a somewhat growl, he dropped his hand from my hair to my behind. Using both hands, he lifted me up, like I weighed nothing and sat me firmly on his hips. In silence, he walked me towards what I assumed was his bedroom and kicked open the door, breathing heavily. Once we got inside of his room, he used his feet to close the door and then laid me on his bed, crawling over me, getting a full view of my face.
“You ready Dee?”

*************************

I awoke when I felt arms wrap around my naked body. The sheets beneath me were silk and smooth, which was my first alarm that I wasn’t in my own bed. Then images flooded back into my mind and the voice that was so quiet the night before was screaming loudly this morning. I messed up, so badly. It wasn’t Marcus’ hands that were draped around me, it was Julian’s. We’d had sex multiple times, until I couldn’t take no more. He kept whispering sweet things in my ear, letting me know that we should be together, not Marcus and I. How he would do everything in his power to prove to me that I should stay with him and at the time it all made sense. Marcus and I hadn’t been on good terms, especially when I realised he had cheated on me with Bernice, a female he met one night and had accidentally ended up in her bed. But I was as bad as he was.
And even though I knew I shouldn’t be kissing Julian, I found myself screaming his name in his pillow for a third time when he’d made me reach my climax. Even as I blissfully fell back to earth, he was there waiting for me. Ready to take me away once again, until it was something I couldn’t live without. Just before I’d slept, my head laid lazily on his sweaty chest, his fingers ran through my hair that had gotten clammy during our intimacy and our bodies lay closely to each other.

“Don’t go back to him Dee, I need you. I’ve needed you for a while, but I just couldn’t find where you were. I never wanted to lose contact with you, my life just got busy and before I was aware, your number wasn’t in my phone.”
I nodded, too tired to speak but not tired enough to fall asleep yet.
“I always wanted you, I was just waiting for the right time, but there never was one and that’s because I never made one available. Then I saw you and knew everything might actually fall back into place, but you were with Marcus. And I knew he was treating you badly because of the way he barely paid attention to you that night. It was then I knew my chance hadn’t completely gone, because I was going to do everything in my power to take you from him and treat you how you are meant to be treated.”
I didn’t respond, but I heard everything he’d said. That night Marcus was more occupied with friends and females than me and I’d just smiled pushing my hurt far from my mind. Then I saw Julian and everything changed. Marcus had suddenly placed his arm over my waist, stopping me from embracing Julian. He made himself known and then was quick to pull me from Julian. But when he’d gone toilet was when Julian had caught me and we’d managed to speak and exchange numbers.
Marcus caught us mid-way through a discussion and wasn’t happy, but I didn’t care, Julian was a friend of mine, a close friend…well I wasn’t sure what he was now, but then he was a friend not a threat.

“Jay…” The words slipped out of my mouth but nothing else followed through, my body had grown tired and I was through with the mental battle that was already occurring within myself. My eyes closed and my chest softly rose and fell, succumbing to the sleep that was about to take over.
“Promise me one thing Dee?” I nodded and he continued, “Don’t go back to him.” And then the sleep took me.
But now I was wide-awake and I wasn’t sure what I was doing with myself. Would I stay here with Julian or return back to Marcus, who most probably burned my phone with calls and messages. I tried to look around the room for my phone with my eyes, so I didn’t wake up Julian, but that didn’t work. He pulled me close to him, so close that I felt his breath blow the little hairs on the back of my neck. His lips soon replaced his breath; kissing my neck, causing me to involuntarily smile.

“Morning Dee.”
“Jay…”
“Mm?”
“I think I need to go.” He tightened his hold on me and shook his head, not wanting me to leave.
“Don’t Dee.”
“I have to, I need to sort myself out. I need things to fix and solve – you know I have to.”
He sighed and loosened his hold on my body. “Just because I know, doesn’t mean I want you to.”
I sat up, using the sheets to cover my body whilst I looked for my clothes that were scattered around his bedroom floor. This was not me, I didn’t do flings or one night stands. But Julian made sure if things went the way he wanted them to be, it wouldn’t be for one night, this was what was in store for me for the rest of my life. There was far too much to think about, would I leave a relationship of three years over a mistake and run to the next guy who seemed to make everything feel good in that moment, or would I try and work through things with Marcus? I most definitely needed to go.
“I’ll call you when things get clearer.”
I saw my underwear scrunched on the ground and took the opportunity to grab it, whilst getting the rest of my other clothes on. He sat up as I dressed and watched me pick up my clothes and belongings, almost like I was a prostitute gathering their items after a client had finished their hour with them.
“You know I don’t want you to leave Deanne?”
“I know Julian,” I said exasperated, this was too much for me to handle and it probably wasn’t even 8AM yet. “I don’t even know what I’m doing. My body just wants to get back in bed with you, my heart is confused and my head is telling me to go and sort everything out before I act. I don’t know what to do anymore Julian, but I do know I can’t do what I did last night again.”

He threw the sheets off of him and got up, walking towards me. I held my hand out to stop him from getting any closer, but that didn’t stop him. Instead he grabbed my arm and pulled me towards his naked body.
“I’m sorry for putting you through this situation Dee, and I understand it isn’t easy. So I will let you go, I can’t stop you from going back home to him, but I just want you to remember what’s here waiting for you.”
He moved my hand down towards his shaft, which was hard and pulsating already. My eyes followed my arm and watched as it came alive and twitched in my grip. My hand clasped his shaft tightly, causing him to inhale a sharp breath. Here was my body working  before my mind had time to tell it to stop and be sensible. I looked back up at him and watched his face flex in pleasure, eyes shut and throat gulping large balls of desire. I released him and stepped back, scared of what more he could make me do without my knowledge. His eyes opened and back was the stare filled with hunger and greed.

“Julian stop doing that.”
“Doing what?” He was about to take a step close to me, and as he did I simultaneously I took a step back.
“Julian you aren’t being fair, you aren’t giving me a chance to think.”
“I don’t want you to think.” He stepped forward, causing me to step back.
“But I need to think. If you really care about me like you’ve said, then you’ll respect that and let me leave.” He stopped moving and sighed. Rock hard and tense, he looked at me, then himself and then took a few steps back, giving me space to breath.
“Fine.”
He began helping me gather my clothes, whilst putting his own on. Once we were more composed, I wore my coat and opened the door, ready to leave. I turned around one last time and watched Julian watch me, still hard, still tense but with a slight look of worry. I gave him a small smile and then left, ready to face Marcus and his anger.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun