Chapter VI: After the Morning After
Saturday Morning, May 9th, 9:28 a.m.
Erica’s eyes opened to the morning sun shining through her window. She tried to sit up but the slight hangover she had gotten the night before caused her to collapse back on the bed. See, this is why you shouldn’t drink, Erica scolded herself. She moved her arm slightly and felt another arm next to hers. She turned her head and looked into Darren’s sleeping face. Oh no, she thought to herself. What happened last night? She pulled the sheets back slightly and saw her naked frame underneath.
“Oh my God,” Erica mumbled to herself. She tried to slide out of the bed as not to disturb Darren but as soon as she swung her legs over the side, she felt Darren’s hand on her back.
“Good morning beautiful,” Darren said, stroking her back. His touch felt good but Erica wanted to get away and collect herself for a moment.
“Good morning,” Erica mumbled, keeping her back turned.
“Where you going?” Darren said, trying to pull her back into bed by her waist.
“I gotta go brush my teeth.” Erica had to come up with a way to get out of his reach. Her mind was spinning, not only because of the alcohol but because of what possibly, or definitely, happened the night before. “No morning breath for me.”
“Aww baby, I’m sure your morning breath isn’t bad,” Darren said, laughing. “Now mine? I don’t know.”
“If it’s all the same, I’d rather go brush and gargle anyway,” Erica said, rushing out of the bed to look for her silver silk robe. She found it and slid it on quickly.
“What you rushing to put the robe on for? I done already seen all of you anyway,” Darren said, turning over on his back and watching her as she scurried to the bathroom. Once inside with the door shut, Erica looked at her image in the mirror. Her hair was disheveled and her makeup was slightly smudged. She shut her eyes tightly.
“Dammit Erica…DAMMIT!” she whispered harshly. “What did you do?” She held her forehead in her right hand and tried to replay the night’s events: the dinner, the jazz club, the dance sessions, feeling Darren’s hardness on her ass, driving home in silence…everything after that was kind of a blur but she knew what had happened. It was obvious: they were both naked under the sheets and the gleam in Darren’s eyes told her all she needed to know. She had crossed a line that she couldn’t come back from. She didn’t want to hurt Darren’s feelings but she wasn’t trying to create any type of romantic relationship with him. If the circumstances were different, she told herself, he’d definitely be at the top of the list. Suddenly, two horrible thoughts crossed her mind. Did we use protection? What about Bianca and Dean? Too many things were playing out in her mind and she had to sit down. She decided to use the bathroom while she tried to get her thoughts together. She finished urinating and flushed the toilet, reaching for a towel to wash her face and hands. Her mind kept spinning over and over. She knew she needed to tell Darren the truth; she didn’t want to lead him on. She had told him the night before that she didn’t want a relationship but what if he read something different into their sexual escapade that night? She brushed her teeth and gargled, took a deep breath and walked back into her bedroom, ready to face the consequences of her actions.
Darren laid back in the comfort of Erica’s bed, replaying the previous night’s action. He couldn’t believe that he’d finally gotten Erica to let her guard down and let her have his way with her. He knew that it was partly alcohol-driven but he also knew a part of her had wanted to. Erica didn’t resist and she never told him no. Her body’s response to his touches and his strokes told him that she had been ready for a while, had been ready to give herself sexually to him. The night before at the jazz club, she had told him that she wasn’t looking for a relationship and Darren didn’t want to force her into one. He had wanted her but he didn’t want to manipulate her into being with him. He wanted to let things happen the way they were supposed to but the sexual part wasn’t planned. He wanted to make love to her but he hadn’t thought it would happen this soon.
Darren had hoped that Erica wasn’t feeling any regrets about the night before. It seemed like she was hurriedly trying to get away from him by running into the bathroom. He knew that she may have felt a bit awkward, especially being that it was their first intimate session. He shook it off as he reached for his phone, which was still tucked away in his shirt pocket. He had three messages: one from his mother, one from TyTy and another from a recent fling. He assumed that the fling had tried to contact him about another sex session. He had met Crystal about a month before and they had hooked up for a couple of sex sessions but he knew she wasn’t the girl for him. For one, she practically LIVED in the club and two, she was a ghetto girl. He knew he could never introduce a girl like that to his family.
Erica finally emerged from the bathroom, wearing a strained look on her face. Darren could see the regret in her eyes.
“Don’t tell me: you regret it already huh?” Darren said, suddenly feeling offended.
“It’s not that I regret it,” Erica lied, walking toward him. “It’s just that…it was our first night out and I let that happen.”
“You didn’t let anything happen,” Darren said, sitting up in bed. “I’m just as responsible for what happened as you are.”
“It was the liquor,” Erica said. “I shouldn’t have drank so much.” Darren got out of the bed, still naked with his manhood swinging between his legs.
“So you gon tell me it was just the liquor that made you give yourself to me last night?” Darren asked, walking toward her. He turned her around to face him, looking deep into her eyes. “You know it was more than that Erica. Just admit it.” He stroked the side of her face and her skin felt warm and soft. Erica’s eyes took on a soft look and Darren got his answer from that look alone.
“But Darren,” Erica began. “We can’t do this. We’re practically related…”
“How many times do I have to say it? We aren’t related baby,” Darren said, feeling a bit frustrated. Would she continue to use that as an excuse forever? “You feel the same way I feel. So are you gonna let what other people think keep you from going with your feelings?”
“No but…are they just sexual feelings or real feelings?” Erica asked.
“Why don’t we find out?” Darren said, pulling her into his arms. He kissed her lips gently, then slid his tongue inside her mouth. Erica melted into his arms and she accepted his tongue. She wrapped her arms around his neck and he carried her back to the bed and laid her down, picking up where they left off a few hours before.
Monday Evening, May 11th, 7:18p.m.
Darren replayed the entire weekend over in his mind. He couldn’t believe the difference that 48 hours could make. He and Erica weren’t exactly official but they had agreed to see where things went. They spent the second part of the weekend at Erica’s place where he cooked up a huge dinner on Saturday evening, while she cooked an authentic French brunch on Sunday morning. For the entire weekend, they watched movies on Netflix and played Spades and he taught her how to play dominoes while she taught him a card game called Belote, which is the French version of 21. Of course, they squeezed in enough time to have sex. Darren was hesitant about leaving Erica’s place Sunday night but he didn’t want to overwhelm her. After returning home, he couldn’t get her out of his mind and he had even masturbated to her pic that he kept in his phone. He was finally able to take a picture of her alone while they spent time together.
His work day practically flew by; he had plenty to do in the warehouse that day and he had even told Taylor about his weekend. However, he felt a bit guilty about lying to Dean and Bianca about his time with Erica. They both agreed that they wouldn’t reveal their sexual encounter to them, although Darren couldn’t figure out why they’d be upset. They weren’t blood relatives and it wasn’t considered incest. As he flipped through his Netflix collection, his cell phone rang. It was TyTy.
“What up my nigga?” Darren said, stretching his long legs out in front of him.
“The fuck you mean, what up?” TyTy said. “You ain’t even called a brother this weekend. You must have had a lot of fun with Miss Supermodel.”
“As a matter of fact, I did,” Darren said, running his right hand over his head and smiling.
“So…what went down? Did you see how the booty works?” TyTy asked.
“Nigga, I don’t kiss and tell,” Darren laughed.
“You a damn lie,” TyTy laughed. “What about all them females you used to take home from the club? You sure had a lot to say about them. So what, you didn’t hit? She turned you down?”
“My lips are sealed,” Darren said. He suddenly got an image of Erica’s caramel colored nude body riding him, driving him to pure ecstasy. He smiled to himself.
“Whatever nigga,” TyTy said. “But just know this: I will find out. Your ass can’t hold water.” They both laughed.
“You must have me confused with your talkative ass. I gotta go man; I need to chill a bit before going to bed,” Darren said, kicking off his shoes.
“Aight man, I’ll let you off the hook…for now,” TyTy said. “We hanging out this weekend?”
“You know it man,” Darren said.
Friday Night, May 15th, 9:37 p.m.
Darren was spending a relaxing but crazy night with his boys TyTy, Deuce and Mario, playing a hot round of Spades. The game took him back to the previous weekend with Erica, playing various card games. He tried to keep his promise not to text or call her excessively and so far, he had succeeded, although he couldn’t stop thinking about her all times of the day and night. Even during his Boys Night Out at Mario’s, she was on his mind.
“So…what y’all been up to this week?” Deuce asked, shuffling his cards in his hands.
“Just work man,” Mario said, squinting at his cards, deep in thought. “Me and Melissa supposed to be trying to get away for a weekend soon. She wants to go to New York but that shit’s mad expensive. I’m trying to hit up Atlantic City and do some gambling.”
“Melissa’s ass is gonna put a hurting on your pockets dude,” TyTy said, picking up his blunt and taking a small toke. “You already know how high maintenance she is.”
“Yeah man, but that’s just how she is,” Mario said, defending his woman. Melissa was from a prominent family from the South and she was used to the finer things in life. Mario felt that if he didn’t provide her with the lifestyle she was accustomed to, she’d take her interests elsewhere.
“If she wants to go to New York, why can’t she pay for it?” Deuce chimed in.
“Who says she’s not paying for it?” Mario said.
“If she’s paying for it, then why are you worried about how expensive it is?” TyTy asked. Mario knew he had slipped up when he mentioned the cost of the trip. It was true that he spent way more than his budget could afford when it came to Melissa but he wanted to make her happy.
“Come on y’all, lay off my man,” Darren finally said. He didn’t agree with Mario’s spending habits when it came to Melissa but it wasn’t his business. He just hoped that Mario wouldn’t end up bankrupt and single trying to keep up with the Southern Belle. “I mean, there’s nothing wrong with pitching in and spending a little bit of dough on your woman.”
“So will that apply to you when it comes to…what’s her name? Erica?” TyTy asked. Darren wanted to punch him in the throat. He didn’t want the other guys to know about his dealings with Erica just yet. They were just playing the field, nothing serious, although deep down, Darren wanted more…much more.
“Wait a minute; you and ol’ girl are together now?” Deuce asked, placing his cards face down on the table.
“No, we are not together,” Darren said, eyeballing TyTy. “We talk on the phone and we hung out last weekend but that’s all it is.”
“So is that why you spent the whole weekend at her place?” TyTy said with a smirk.
“Dammit nigga, you just like a fuckin’ female when it comes to telling shit,” Darren said, irritated. “If I wanted everybody to know I would have told them myself.” He slammed his cards down on the table and got up.
“Whoa man…you spent the weekend at her place?” Mario said, suddenly interested and relieved that the conversation had taken a turn away from him and his relationship.
“Yeah, I did,” Darren said. “It wasn’t planned; it just happened. We went to dinner and a club and had more than a few drinks. I ended up at her place and one thing led to another and…that’s it.” All three guys surrounded him with smiles on their faces.
“That’s it? So are y’all fuck buddies or what?” Deuce asked.
“No…it’s not like that,” Darren said, sitting down on the sofa. They had all forgotten about the card game. “I really dig this woman. I don’t see her as a sexual conquest. She’s a woman that I can see myself being with long term. But…”
“But what?” Mario asked, sitting next to him.
“She’s got this thing about Dean and Bianca finding out that we had sex,” Darren said.
“Why would she care what they think?” Deuce asked. “Y’all are grown.”
“She seems to think that just because her sister is married to my brother, that we’re somehow connected like family,” Darren said.
“Y’all are not related in any way, shape or form,” Mario said. “I mean, she’s Dean’s sister-in-law but there’s no connection with you.”
“I been trying to tell her that but she’s got it fixed in her head that we are,” Darren said.
“Dude, you gotta get that out of her head if you wanna be with her; otherwise that shit ain’t gon work,” TyTy said. “As long as she’s on that kick, she ain’t gon let you cross that line.”
“The line’s already been crossed; they fucked,” Deuce said. “She might as well just take the plunge.”
“She already said she wasn’t looking for a relationship,” Darren said. “She’s trying to get her magazine up and running and she don’t want any unnecessary distractions.”
“She don’t want any unnecessary distractions?” Deuce said. “So then why did she let you fuck? To relieve stress? The fuck does that mean?”
“Women are some complicated ass creatures,” Mario said, lighting up a stick of weed. “They say one thing and do another. You will never be able to figure out the female mind even if you live to be a hundred.”
“Well, I’m just gonna let things be,” Darren said. “I’m not gonna push anything.”
“In the meantime dawg, keep them sidepieces on deck my nigga,” TyTy said. “No sense in getting caught up with one piece of pussy that doesn’t have your name tattooed on it.” All the guys burst out laughing and started their usual puff-puff-pass game.
Friday Night, May 15th, 11:43 p.m.
Erica was relaxing in bed, reading an urban erotica book by one of her favorite authors, Zane, entitled Love Is Never Painless. She had come to a particularly interesting part of the book when her phone vibrated on her night stand. She reached over and looked at the screen display. Darren’s name flashed across the screen. Erica had to admit that she had been thinking about Darren all week long but she had promised herself that she wouldn’t take their relationship any further. She meant what she said about not pursuing a relationship, even though she couldn’t deny her strong attraction to Darren. The way he made love to her, the way he whispered the right things to her…she couldn’t help but feel an attraction to him. Not only was he a great lover, he really paid attention to her.
“Hello?” Erica said, trying to sound as normal as possible.
“What’s up beautiful?” Darren said. His voice sounded extra deep over the phone. Erica’s body tingled.
“Not much, just reading a book before I go to sleep,” Erica said, stretching her legs underneath her comforter. She placed her bookmark on the page she was reading because she knew that she’d spend the rest of her night talking with Darren, which she didn’t mind.
“How was your day?” Darren asked.
“It was pretty okay; I’m one month into my magazine and everything’s going smoothly,” Erica said, stifling a yawn.
“You sound tired,” Darren said. “You in bed?”
“Yeah, under the covers,” Erica said.
“Mmm…I can just picture that,” Darren said.
“Oh, can you now?” Why am I flirting with him like this? Erica asked herself.
“Yeah…I can picture other things too baby,” Darren said.
“Like?” Erica asked. She was curious as to what he was thinking and she was turned on.
“Like me laying on top of you, caressing and kissing those pretty breasts of yours,” Darren said. Erica’s love center began to tingle. She laid the book down on top of the covers and slid down under them a little further.
“What else?” she whispered, knowing that her voice always turns Darren on.
“Kissing your sexy soft lips, stroking your back, caressing your face…” Darren began.
“Go on,” Erica purred, pressing the speaker button on her phone to free her hands. She placed the phone on top of her chest and slid her right hand underneath the comforter. She found the top of her nipples and began a slow rub.
“Go on? What you doing over there?” Darren asked. It was as if he could see through the phone.
“Nothing,” Erica whispered.
“Nothing huh? You feel like some company?”
“You don’t mind driving this time of night?”
“For you? Of course not, baby. I’ll be there in 20.”
Saturday Morning, May 16th, 12:08 a.m.
When her doorbell rang, Erica wanted to sprint to the door but she didn’t want to seem anxious. She knew she had some feelings for Darren but she still wasn’t in love. She liked him a lot but she wanted to keep her word about relationships. She knew that she was getting in deeper and deeper but she couldn’t stop herself. Darren had a way about himself that turned her on, kept her sexually stimulated. Overall, she knew that she was going to have to have a long talk with him. She knew that his feelings were becoming stronger and she didn’t want to hurt him. Her body wanted him but in her mind, she wanted to keep it casual but they had crossed a line that they couldn’t come back from. She would have the talk with him soon but tonight, it was all about being sexually pleased.
When she opened the door, Darren stood in the doorway looking as delicious as ever. He was wearing a denim jacket with a black t-shirt underneath, denim jeans and Timberland boots. He wore a simple herringbone chain around his neck that accented his dark skin. His big round eyes twinkled as he took her presence in. Erica was wearing a Victoria’s Secret neon pink pleated baby doll lingerie piece. Darren walked in without a word spoken and pulled her close to him. They shared a deep kiss and Darren wrapped his hands around her waist.
“Hi baby,” Darren whispered in her ear.
“Hi,” Erica whispered in a soft voice. Darren closed and locked the door, picked her up and carried her into the bedroom and laid her on the bed. He stood over the bed and began to take his clothes off, piece by piece. Erica laid on the bed, watching him intently.
“Wait,” Erica said as Darren was about to pull off his t-shirt. “Let me do something real quick.” Darren did as he was told as he watched Erica saunter over to the night stand and turn off the lamp. The lights of Chicago’s downtown skyline lit the dark room and it was a turn on for Darren. Erica opened the top drawer and pulled out a candle lighter. She walked to the fireplace mantle and lit three vanilla candles. The candles gave the room an illuminous sensual glow and a delicious smell. Erica walked slowly toward Darren. Darren’s hands made their way down her ass and he squeezed gently. Erica moaned and wrapped her hands around his neck. She pulled him close to her and slid her tongue inside his warm mouth. Their tongues danced in a sensual rhythm and Erica felt herself being guided to the bed. Darren laid her on the bed and she watched as he slid out of his t-shirt, his belt, his boots, his jeans, his boxers. His manhood stood at full attention, pointing in Erica’s direction. He climbed on top of her and slid her out of the baby doll lingerie.
“You look so beautiful,” Darren whispered to her. Erica closed her eyes and felt the lingerie slide down her body. Darren’s fingertips felt like warm silk on her body. He pulled her panties off and spread her legs wide enough to fit his body in. His hands rubbed her thighs as he bent his head to taste her love. Erica’s moans filled the room. She grabbed Darren’s head and pushed him closer to her. His tongue did a sensual dance inside her and her legs began to shake. He moved his head from side to side rapidly and Erica pulled at his hair, eyes rolling back in her head. She saw starbursts and melting rainbows inside her mind and she felt an orgasm coming but she wanted to feel him inside her first.
“Wait…” Erica began, trying to catch her breath.
“What’s up?” Darren moaned, still between her legs.
“Let me…please you…” Erica spurted.
“You want to baby?” Darren was surprised, being that Erica never pleased him orally. It wasn’t a big deal to him; he didn’t want her to feel like she was obligated.
“Yes,” Erica said. She hadn’t pleased a man orally since Ryan but she knew that it was like riding a bike: once you learned, you never forgot how. Darren pulled away from her and lay on his back. His manhood jutted out, anticipating Erica’s mouth. Erica climbed between his legs and took his manhood in her hands, caressing it and marveling at the smoothness and darkness of it. She licked her lips and kissed the head gently. Darren felt tingles run through his body, watching Erica’s beautiful lips kiss the top of his manhood. Erica began to lick the head, then moved down the shaft, until her entire mouth covered it. Darren moaned in ecstasy and it turned Erica on. Erica picked up the pace and she felt Darren’s body stiffen, then tremble.
“Aaah…baby…” Darren moaned. “Shit…that feels…so damn good…” Darren was close to orgasm but like Erica, he wanted to be inside her.
“Let me feel that pussy,” Darren said, surprised by his choice of words. He had never been vulgar during sex with Erica but the way she had taken him in her mouth, he totally forgot about being polite. Apparently, Erica either didn’t notice or didn’t care that he addressed her vagina that way, because she simply slid his manhood out of her mouth and lay on her back on the bed. She spread her legs and Darren dove in. Neither of them realized that Darren didn’t put a condom on; they simply went for it. Darren stroked and stroked Erica’s love until the early dawn and they both fell asleep.