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For Love & War

By Justice Quin All Rights Reserved ©

Drama / Romance


They say all is fair in love and war. Maybe that's why Wynter Maverick (nee Cole) found herself clutching a glass of Moscato for dear life and listening to Tamar Braxton's "Love & War" on repeat. What started off like any other day quickly turned into a battle and now Wynter must fight for her husband Lucas.

Chapter 1

AUGUST 2009 – When They Met

The five foot zilch, milk chocolate brown female, with a subtly voluptuous build stood in awe. She was in the middle of the private southern university. There was commotion everywhere as students made their way around the many stations surrounding the small amphitheater. Her dark brown (nearly black) shoulder length hair was in its usual natural spiral curls with about three inches in width of the right side dyed a vibrant purple (her favorite color). She wore a hoop in her nose piercing with all three lobe piercings of her ears decked with shiny studs of varying sizes. The college freshman had chosen to dress in a beige sundress made of lace with a skater skirt and a bow cut in the back. On her feet were light brown wedges to compliment the dress. The sun was shining bright and so was her shy ambition. Going to a school six hours away from home wasn’t her choice, but her mother stressed the importance of building a relationship with her estranged father who was an attorney and adjunct professor in the historically rich town. Of course the girl didn’t come alone. No, she made sure to drag her six-foot-two, honey toned, African American best friend, Quad, with her.

Quad had arrived three weeks after their high school graduation since he was a walk-on for the football team. His tall frame, slim build, and subtle muscles made him perfect for the open running back position. He had spent his free time, when he wasn’t hanging with his teammates and other athletes, letting his best friend know just what she had to look forward to in college. That was the reason the excited girl decided to move into her suite style dorm on Thursday with the rest of the freshmen instead of on Monday two days before classes started. Now she was supposed to be meeting Quad near the amphitheater so that they could enjoy Friday’s university sponsored welcome back festivities together. She looked around while shading her eyes with her hands to cut the glare from the sun. Eventually she saw his familiar tall frame flanked by two unknown people, one female and one male. They were all on the approach.

“Wynn!” Quad exclaimed excited to see the short girl he had known since the first grade. He lifted her into his arms picking her up off her feet. She laughed hoping that her dress wasn’t rising and giving everyone a flash of her white thong. “I missed you.” Quad admitted while setting her back onto her feet in the lush green grass.

She rolled her dark brown, almond shaped eyes. “Really? Where were you yesterday when I was moving into my dorm?”

Quad scratched the back of his neck and quickly turned to the people who were with him. “Guys, this is Wynn. Wynn meet Luke and his girlfriend Abby.” He introduced.

Wynn turned her attention to Quad’s friends and felt her breath slip from her lungs. To her immediate right was Luke. Fine didn’t seem to be the appropriate word for the specimen standing before her. She had always had a thing for white guys, especially ones with green eyes. Both of which could be used to describe Luke. Wynn had always known Quad was tall, but Luke was taller. He was also more muscular, his dark blond hair was softer (looking anyway) in its subtle waves messily arranged on his head, and his chiseled facial structure with his dark handsome features was more attractive.

Luke smiled outstretching his large hand. “I’m Luke.” He re-introduced himself. Feeling Wynn’s soft small hand in his own made him wonder how the rest of her skin felt. He hid his thoughts with a friendly smile.

Wynn giggled, “Really? You look more like an Abby.” She flirted. Wynn wasn’t much of a flirt so she surprised herself. She surprised Quad too. He cocked his head and watched the exchange with squinted eyes.

“That would be me.” The girl with luscious, jet black hair spoke up causing both Wynn and Luke’s attention to drift to her. It was then that Wynn remembered Quad had introduced the girl as Luke’s girlfriend. Abby stepped forward between her boyfriend and the unknown threat. “And you would be?” She questioned folding her arms across her nearly flat chest.

Wynn took a step back. “I’m Wynter, but all my friends call me Wynn.” She introduced herself.

Abby pursed her lips. “Nice to meet you Wynter.” She emphasized making it a point that the two would never be friends. Luke gave an apologetic smile before placing his long arm around Abby’s shoulders and pulling her into his side. The girl was dressed in the shortest pair of stone washed high-waist shorts that made her long legs look ever longer with a blue graphic cropped tee that looked more like a bra. The couple walked away as Quad nudged his friend. Wynn quickly realized that she would be paired with Quad which was doing nothing to aid her attempt to get over the tiny crush she’d had on him since their junior year of high school.

She still remembered how it developed. He had come over one day and bragged about being with Shelly Cooper giving vague detail about how they fooled around. Wynn made a face of disgust which Quad responded to by claiming that she would enjoy the things he did to Shelly. Jokingly Wynn challenged him to prove it. Oh boy did he ever prove it. They didn’t go all the way, but they went far enough that Wynn assumed their friendship wouldn’t be the same. Unfortunately the next day she got to watch first hand as Quad groped Shelly in the school hallway.

The four made their way towards the free t-shirt line. Wynn looked around at the diverse student population. She would definitely enjoy being at this university.

“Quad, do you see Aaliyah?” Luke questioned looking back at the old school friends. Quad shook his head as Wynn looked up at him.

“Who’s Aaliyah?” She questioned in genuine curiosity.

Quad didn’t hear her since he spotted the perfectly sculpted caramel toned girl with loose coiled, shiny black hair, and lips that looked like they were made for kissing. “There she is!” He exclaimed before running off.

“There who is?” Wynn questioned looking around in confusion.

Abby smirked, “Quad’s girlfriend.” She answered. Wynn felt her smile drop. Her best friend had a girlfriend and he hadn’t even bothered to tell her.

For two hours she walked behind the two couples with her head hanging. She felt like the odd one out. She wasn’t included in their conversation. No one asked if she was hungry when they passed the row of food booths. In fact she stopped to grab a slice of pizza and they continued on without her. She managed to run and catch up. Eventually she had enough and decided it was time for her to part ways with the happy couples. She stopped walking as they neared the stage where a live DJ and hype man were.

“Hey Quad,” Wynn called. Her friend didn’t pay any attention. “Quad.” She tried again and still he didn’t pay attention. “Quad!” He turned to her with a smile on his face undoubtedly because of his girlfriend Aaliyah who hadn’t said more than two words to Wynn. “I’m going to go.” She announced trying to hide how pathetic she truly felt.

Quad frowned, “Why?”

Wynn shrugged trying to seem casual. “I just think I should.”

“Don’t go.” Quad reached out for her.

“No, let her go.” Abby muttered before pulling Luke away.

Aaliyah nodded folding her arms across his chest and glaring as her boyfriend. “If she wants to leave, then let her.” Wynn shrugged one more time before turning to leave. It seemed liked Quad was going to side with his new friends.

She returned to her dorm and decided to wallow in self-pity. Her suitemates weren’t home, so she curled up on the metal framed futon in the common space, shielding herself from the perpetual cold with a black throw blanket, and connected her laptop to the television so she could watch Netflix on the big screen. For about three hours, Wynn was alone with her self-pity. Eventually Quad called requesting that she come to his room where an impromptu party was taking place. Hesitantly Wynn changed out of her now wrinkled dress into a pair of jean shorts and a plain gray vest top with white Converse sneakers. She walked the five minute walk to the athletic dorms and waited for Quad to come let her into the building after she sent a message informing him of her arrival. Surprisingly Luke was the one to jog off the elevator and hold the door open for her.

“Quad couldn’t be pulled away from Grand Theft Auto.” He explained as they walked back to the elevator to journey to the sixth floor. “How do you know him anyway?”

Wynn stole a glance at Luke. “We’ve been friends since the third grade.” She explained. “You?”

Luke nodded, “We’re on the football team together. I’m his senior advisor.” He answered honestly.

Wynn’s eyebrows rose in a questioning manner. “You’re a senior?” Luke nodded. “I had no idea. You look our age.”

Luke gave a slight chuckle. He watched her warily before folding his arms and cocking his head. “Why did you leave?”

“What?” Wynn was caught off guard by his question.

Luke shifted his weight onto his right leg. “You left earlier, why?” He clarified.

She shrugged her shoulders, “Because.”

“Because why?” He waited patiently clearly expecting an answer.

“It seemed like a couple thing and I didn’t like being the fifth wheel.” She answered honestly. He pondered her response and nodded in time for the elevator doors to open. Luke led her to the right and down the hallway that looked like it belonged in a cheap hotel before they stopped in front of a red door marked 615.

Before opening the door, Luke looked down at Wynn. “Just stick by me.” He ordered. Wynn nodded following him through the door. Immediately she realized the common room was crowded with people. Some were sitting on the small beige sofa made of rope like fabric, but most were standing. The only light source was a tall lamp in the corner of the room and the light flooding in from the kitchenette where more people stood. The doors to all three bedrooms were closed and there was a line forming outside of the bathroom. “Do you want something to drink?” Luke shouted over the loud music that was being played. Wynn nodded her head not sure if he would be able to hear her. Luke nodded and led her to the kitchenette. He shoved his way through the mass of bodies, opened the mini fridge, and pulled out a wine cooler. “Here, it doesn’t have a lot of alcohol.” He handed the glass bottle to her.

“Thanks,” she accepted and using her shirt to twist the cap off. Luke shrugged and leaned against the counter. He watched her as she looked around seeming to take in the scene. Her dark eyes held a curious light to them. Her manicured eyebrows were drawn towards the center of her forehead and her button nose slightly wrinkled as her lush lips pursed. Wynn noticed his intense stare and shrank back. “You’re staring. Do I have something on my face?” She worried placing her free hand over her mouth.

Luke chuckled and shook his head. “No, you’re just…different. I can’t see you being friends with Quad. You seem like the quiet and innocent type.”

Wynn shrugged her shoulders, “I’m not that innocent. And Quad wasn’t always who he is now.” She defended. Luke cocked his head and waited for further explanation. Wynn sighed setting her bottle on the counter behind her. “There was a time when his idea of a fun night was us staying in the house, watching comedy movies, and being by ourselves. Then he joined our middle school football team and became a lot more social.” She admitted.

Luke nodded, “Did you ever play any sports?” He questioned.

“I played soccer from seventh grade until the twelfth. I also played basketball until my tenth grade year and I was actively involved in theater. As well as being in the international baccalaureate program, national honor society, student council, and student affairs committee.” Wynn informed him with a slight proud smile. Then her smile fell as she realized she had overshared. “Sorry, I tend to ramble.” Her voice lowered with shame.

“It’s alright.” Luke assured her. His eyes widened. “You were busy.” He commented.

“Yeah,” she chuckled, “I kind of was. What about you? Did you do anything extraordinary?” Her voice held a teasing quality.

Luke took a sip of the beer he had gotten for himself before he answered. “The first thing you should know about me is that I went to private school. A Christian private school to be exact.” Wynn nodded with a small grin. “I played football, obviously, and managed to be an honor student. I was inducted into the national honor society and I did about three semesters of student government before I let it go, much to my parents’ dismay. That was about it for me.”

“You were pretty busy too.” Wynn commented while picking her bottle back up and taking a sip. The music shifted and a popular Nicki Minaj song came on. She began to mouth the words while barely moving her body. It was enough for Luke’s eyes to stray to her hips. He licked his bottom lip, shook his head, and looked around for his girlfriend. He spotted Abby dancing with the only Italian basketball player on campus. He watched them long enough to see his so-called girlfriend press her fake butt into the guy’s crotch. Luke rolled his eyes and turned his attention back to Wynn.

“We should go dance.” He suggested. There were people scattered around dancing to the music. About six guys were standing in front of the thirty-two inch flat screen while one played the latest Grand Theft Auto video game on the PS4.

Wynn agreed to dance with Luke. He stepped out of the kitchenette, walked about five steps, before grabbing her hand and pulling her back into his chest. He held onto her waist and moved his own hips in sync with hers. He wasn’t too surprised that she was able to keep up. They danced for three songs with his hands gripping her tighter and tighter as their movements became much more sexualized. It was when Luke was holding onto Wynn’s hand with their arms stretched into the air as he watched her whine her body into his groin that Quad found them. His expectant grin turned into a scowl as he stomped over. In a rash decision he yanked his best friend away from his teammate.

“What the fuck bruh?” Quad demanded. “You have a fucking girlfriend.”

Luke shook his head. “Calm down dude. We were just dancing.” He explained.

Quad folded his arms. “It didn’t look like dancing to me. Look like you were dry humping Wynn.”

Wynn chose this time to speak up. “Quad you need to calm down.” She placed a hand on his arm which he shook off. “We really were dancing. You know how it is at these things.” She defended. Luke nodded in agreement.

Quad’s nostrils flared. He turned to Wynn. “You need to go.”

“What?” She was baffled.

“Get the fuck out! Leave!” He barked. She jumped back with wide eyes that searched his dark angry ones. With her head hung Wynn turned and left. Luke looked after her with a longing expression.

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