Ellen crushed Dani to her chest as they greeted on the side lawn of Marcus’s house. She had managed to convince Daniel that she’d keep details to herself. That she just wanted to see her friend. Daniel finally caved and dropped her off in the afternoon.
“I’ll be back later,” Daniel shouted as he drove off.
Ellen waved him goodbye. Dani smiled at her for a moment before they both giggled girlishly together.
“Come on,” Ellen led her inside. “Let’s grab some snacks then we can go back on the patio”
She got a wide tray from the kitchen and filled it with fruits on one side and junk food on the other. She gestured to the present cook to carry a jug of water and juice for them. She led Dani back to the side lawn and gestured to one of the plush white chairs.
“You’ve been living the good life since you’ve been gone” Dani teased.
Ellen took a piece of sliced apple from the tray. “It was crazy at first but...I guess I can’t complain now”
Dani chose a bag of Doritos and pulled it open. Ellen stared at her solemnly as she chewed her apple. Today was suppose to be a light hearted one but she had to ask.
“Are you okay? You’re sitting a feet away from me but you keep eyeing the area”
Dani chuckled. “Sorry...I was shocked to see you with a gun. I didn’t want to react negatively last night but now I’m a little put off. Should I be worried?”
Ellen ate a few more apple slices and wiped her chin with a napkin.
“It’s nice that you’re concerned but I’m fine. Truly,” she smiled.
“These last four months have been hectic but I did what I had to do to survive. Garrett would have killed you. You were my first priority.”
Dani ate her chips and glanced at Ellen. “That’s good to know...it’s good that you’re still you”
The two smiled at each other in harmony then continued eating.
“What about Garrett though?” Dani asked. “Daniel had made a deal with Interpol to have him arrested. Since he’s dead, doesn’t that complicate things?”
Ellen peeked around the house to see if the cook was listening.
“Interpol collected his body from the apartment. The landlord gave him a bullshit story that he barged in on a previous renter and that you moved. For now, the DA is probably pissed but...he’ll have to manage”
Dani nodded with understanding.
“When Daniel approached me at school, I’m sure you couldn’t have imagined my surprise. I think that was the most exciting thing I’d done all year” she emphasized, remembering their trip to the courthouse.
Ellen laughed. “I thought going to the numerous clubs every month was fun”
Dani pointed a chip at her. “Don’t judge my choices, thank you very much”
The two became quiet again and continued eating. Marcus glanced at the patio as he made his way across the living room to the kitchen. He noticed the food platter first then Ellen sexily draped across his patio chair. She was dressed differently today in white leggings and a blue crop top that had a stylish knot at the front. Her feet remained bare but he could see the recently done, nude nail polish on her small toes.
She was beginning to drive him crazy. He hadn’t thought much of his sexual frustration when he was in prison and even now, he still bypassed it. He was able to keep himself in control. Now with the threat out of the way, it came back heavily.
He hadn’t realized how much he enjoyed her presence. She was smart. Her knowledge about business did prove useful and her quick thinking was commendable. She was also a fast learner with how she managed to grasp her combat and gun training in a matter of weeks. He continued to stare at her toes until he realized he was no longer hearing her voice.
He trailed his eyes up her body once again and found her staring at him as well. Her hair looked freshly washed and fell down her back in loose curls. A few strands fell to her face and neck as she tilted her head at him. He steeled himself for a unrelenting hard on later and approached her. He found her friend sitting next to her with a finished bag of Doritos.
“Marcus, are you okay?” She asked.
That was another thing that got him started. Whenever she expressed concern over him, the gentle look in her eyes...it did things to him. The last time anyone had felt his own emotions was when his mother was still around. Her genuine smile was able to calm him. Just as how Ellen’s smile did the same. He nodded at her gracefully.
“I’m fine. Just came to check on the voices I heard out here”
That said, he turned on his heel and went back to the kitchen. Ellen watched him leave and she turned to Dani who was smiling at her.
“What?” She asked dumbly.
“You’ve been staying here, with him!?” Dani whisper-yelled.
“He’s practically a god! Did you see his abs because I’m pretty sure they were just imprinted on my eyeballs”
Ellen couldn’t help the blush that touched her cheeks. She thanked whatever deity helped her to not gawk at him a few minutes ago. Of course Marcus didn’t have a care in the world if he was only wearing boxers and his hair was messy from sleep.
“Is he the guy you met?” Dani asked coyly. “A few months ago, our study night, you said you met someone”
Ellen sighed. “Well, yeah...its kinda him”
Dani couldn’t dim the girly squeal that left her mouth and bounced off the walls. Marcus returned this time wearing jeans but still no shirt.
“Are you two okay?” He asked looking between the two women.
Dani tried to talk but Ellen slapped her hand over her friend’s mouth. Dani managed to get a few words out despite her struggle.
“Actually, I was wondering when Ellen and I would be going back to Miami”
Ellen froze. She still hadn’t discussed with him on her plan. His eyes settled on her and he smiled.
“Ellen and I have to discuss that later. Anyway, I have some business to handle. Will you be fine for the rest of the day?”
Ellen nodded at him.
Again, he walked off with that tight feeling in his gut. She was leaving him, he thought painfully. While she was still here, he’d entertain her presence and nothing more. He pulled on a white dress shirt and tightened the laces on his sneakers.
Ellen approached him as he was going through the door.
“What are you—”
She cut him off with a quick kiss on the cheek.
“Come back okay,” she smiled. “We have a lot to talk about”
He almost couldn’t find his voice. He hadn’t expected her to be so forward. It tipped the last of his restraint he was holding onto and he couldn’t help himself when his lips fell to hers. His arm went around her waist and pulled her flush against his body.
His lips molded to hers and she responded instantly. His fingers found themselves wound in her hair and it was just as soft as he imagined. Her mouth moved expertly with his and a breathy moan assaulted his ears. He pulled back and looked at her face. Her eyelids were lowered and her cheeks a bright pink.
He released her and stepped back. “Later, for sure”
She seemed happy with this and he proceeded to leave. Ellen watched him climb into his car and drive off.
Dani’s voice rang through the house. Terrified, she slapped her friend’s arm and tried to push her back to the patio.
“Shut up Danielle” Ellen profusely blushed.
The cook eyed them both with a small smile and Ellen directed her back to the kitchen.
“And you said it wasn’t him” Dani teased.
“Will you shush already!” Ellen cried out.
She hadn’t expected him to kiss her like that. She hadn’t expected to be glued to his hard body or feel his fingers gently caressing her hair. She had decided to get a hair cut but smiled at the fact he liked it long.
“And your thinking about him again!” Dani shouted.
Ellen burst out of her seat and tackled Dani to the grass. The two playfully rolled around until they were out of breath.
“Fuck off” Ellen stated bravely.
They remained on the grass and stared up at the clouds.
“I hope Daniel does that to me later too. I can’t get him out of my head,” Dani confessed.
Ellen looked at her from the corner of her eye.
“Well look who has a crush on Daniel! Now who’s the slut”
Dani looked at her again and then the two burst into laughter. Ellen had missed this. She was glad that Dani was actually here. At least everything was falling into order.
As it should be, she smiled.