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Chapter 7| Decisions

In truth, I wanted to stay home, but Linda was right, I needed to put myself out there at some point. A girl has needs, but every time these thoughts arose, guilt of the worst kind ate at me.

There was a part of me that tried to convince myself that Aaron would want me to move on, but another part of me told myself that these thoughts were just a sad attempt to justify what I really wanted to do.

Aaron, he had the purest, kindest heart I had ever known. Never, not once in the five years we were together, did he ever let me feel neglected.

He always valued my opinion and encouraged me to speak my mind. He was my biggest supporter in every way.

We truly shared a deep, beautiful, meaningful partnership, and to lose that, to lose him was painful beyond words.

"You aren't cheating on what the two of you shared," my conscience whispered, "If Aaron was as good a person as you say he is, he would understand. You're simply

satisfying an itch you can't scratch."

This part of my conscience was winning, it was right, I was frustrated, in more ways than one. I craved a man's touch, I wanted to feel wanted, to feel pleasure, and while I could stay home, obsessing over Malachai and our electric, yet embarrassing encounter, what would be the point?

He ditched me-mid assault; he could have done just about anything and I would have let him, but he just walked away. His sudden disinterest bruised more than I cared to admit.

I know it's been a while, for me at least, but is this what the dating life was like now, or was it me? Did I come off too desperate? Had I misread the situation?

No, no; I wasn't going down this rabbit hole again, I'd been there and back more times than I could count this week.

The more I thought about how our encounter ended, the more decisive I got. My mind was made up, I was going out, and if I pick up a guy or two, even better.

Best way to forget someone is to get under someone else.


While I did not know where we were headed, I was lucky enough to have dressed appropriately for the occasion. When I got in the car, Linda had informed me that we were going to Ascend, a popular nightclub in the crescent district.

My ensemble did not leave much to the imagination, but the important bits were thoroughly covered and that's what mattered.

Besides, according to Linda, Matthew would be meeting us there with a few friends, maybe I could try my luck with him again.

As lost as he may seem sometimes, there is no way he wouldn't find his way tonight. Not with this dress on.

Linda pulled out all the stops tonight, VIP section, our own personal bartender, food; I didn't know clubs served food. While it certainly wasn't a fortune, it was quite some coin for a regular night out.

I wish she told me though, I could have helped with the expenses. I'm sure Natasha and Vera wouldn't have minded either.

"What's the occasion, Linda, why all the flare?" My speech a tad slurred as I attempted to shout over the music.

The shots I drank, courtesy of Steve, our bartender, were so smooth and sweet, I could hardly taste the liquor, but here I was five shots later and with the liquor coursing through my veins, I could feel my inhibitions slipping away bit by bit.

"Huh?" She shouted, I knew she heard me, I wasn't drunk enough for the hint of sarcasm in her voice to have escaped me, but I had more pressing matters to attend to, "Forget it, where's Matthew?" I shouted directly in her ear so she couldn't pretend this time.

"Matthew, huh? What happened to his ridiculously hot friend from the gala?"

I rolled my eyes, refusing to answer her question, hoping she'd get the hint.

She continued, "He just texted me, they just got here, they'll find us, they know where we are, after all, Matthew reserved the VIP."

Odd, I thought to myself, why would he reserve VIP for us? How long ago was this all planned?

While sober me would spend more time mulling over such questions, the inebriated version of me was more concerned with the music. I wanted to dance, after all, Matthew wasn't the only guy here tonight.

"Well I'm headed to the dance floor, you coming with?" She shook her head, "Go have fun Vera and I will keep lookout."

Even odder, I thought as I shot her a questioning look. Since when did Linda Marie Stewart turn down the opportunity to dance?

Again, inebriated me didn't care to know the answer. I grabbed Natasha and headed into the center of the crowd.

The moment we got there, the music changed. As a sensual beat boomed from the speakers, we were quickly separated, everyone trying to find a partner to dance with.

I turned to face the man who's hand had caught mine. To say he was handsome would be an understatement.

I drank in his features as though this would be the first and only time I would be able to. Hypnotizing hazel colored eyes met mine matched with beautiful bronze skin, an angular jaw, and the plumpest, most soft-looking lips.

He licked his lips when he caught sight of where my eyes were focused.

I soon found myself in his embrace, where I could feel his biceps flex against me, large enough to crush me.

Standing before me was all man, he leaned into my ear so that I might hear him over the music, "I'm Michael, what's your name?" He asked as he started moving us to the music.

I was flustered, but he didn't need to know that, "Amina," I responded.

"Amina," he repeated as he pulled me closer. God, the sound of my name on his lips was enough to send me into a frenzy, but I was determined to control myself.

He continued, "Amina, I'm not one to beat around the bush, so I'll be honest, I want you," he said with a hunger in his voice that shot bolts of lightning through me.

He took my earlobe into his mouth nibbling it, and my grip around his neck tightened. Seeing this as an invitation, his lips descended, kissing, sucking my neck as his calloused hands caressed my body as he gyrated against me to the beat of the music.

I couldn't help it, I closed my eyes and moaned, right into his ear. Surely the music was loud enough that no one else except him heard me.

I could only imagine the things he could do to me. I had hardly been here long, but I was ready to leave.

Just as I was about to give him my reply, he was gone. One minute I could feel his heat, the warmth of his breath against my neck, and the next minute he had vanished as though I had dreamt it.

"Is that what you like, Amina?" A deep husky voice sounded off from behind as he snaked an arm around me securing me tightly against him.

This was not Michael, of that I was I sure. This hand was rougher, his embrace more possessive.

I felt the bulge in his pants as he pressed against my backside, "Answer me," he demanded and I jumped at the tone of aggression lacing his voice.

Amused by my reaction, he chuckled and my spine went rigid as my heart pounded in my chest.

I knew that chuckle, I'd know it anywhere, I had replayed it over and over again in my head for the last week. "M-Malachai?"


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