After lunch, Mike lies down to sleep, but Sarena joins him, enticing him to make love instead. They make every effort to be quiet. Instead of yelling like she usually does, Sarena bites his shoulder, making him extra excited. For some reason, she finds it funny and laughs at him.
“Thanks,” I said, kissing her. “You know just how to make my ego shrivel right up and die.”
“If I’d realized the effect it would have on you, I’d have done it before.”
“Like hot, bunny love, huh?” I wiggled my hips against her.
“I like any love from you,” she said, kissing my nose. “Now go to sleep.”
“Yes, ma’am. Don’t have to tell me twice. . . .” I fell asleep almost instantly.
I woke with the late afternoon sun filtering through the drapes. Sarena wasn’t in the bed, and I could hear voices in the front room. The house smelled like gingerbread and I wondered who had been baking. I got dressed, ran my fingers through my hair, and went to the living room.
Jesse and her daughter, Cleo, were talking to Sarena over tea and gingerbread. Cleo is about Molly’s age, but in much better shape. She’s tall, curvy, mocha skinned and beautiful. She has a couple of kids a little younger than me, a boy and a girl.
“Hiya, sleepy,” Jesse said.
“How did you know I was up?”
“I heard the door open. And your cologne is distinctive. Feeling better?”
“Yeah, thanks.” I kissed Sarena and greeted Cleo with a hug.
“You look good,” I told her. “How’s life treating you?”
“Better than you, right now, I expect. I was just getting the rundown.” She raised an eyebrow.
“Who’s starting? I was sitting her regretting that I didn’t get to you first.” She made a kiss face at me, her full lips dark red like berries.
“Don’t start,” I cautioned again.
She and Sarena laughed at me. I’d never had anything going with Cleo. She was divorced, and had been living with businessman, Drake Carter, for the last three years. Since he could break me in half with his pinky finger, I kept my distance from Cleo. He was a good guy and treated her well.
“He’s great. He’s starting his own business here in town. We’re tired of L.A.”
“No kidding? What’s he doing?”
“Software, mostly, but expanding.”
“My brother does computers,” I said with a grin. “He’s good. Very good, in fact.”
“Your brother interested in relocating? Drake couldn’t pay as much as a job in New York, but it would get him into the fresh air and sunshine.”
“I’ll ask him,” I said, thinking how coincidental life often was. Ma and I had just been talking about this very thing.
“He could use a man like you around too,” she added.
“I don’t know anything about computers.”
“He needs everything, Mike. Right now, what he needs most is a representative to go into offices and charm them into hiring us instead of our competitors. He needs someone to write up the brochure and do a presentation. I told him you could sell the Eiffel Tower to the French and make them ask you why you hadn’t done it before.”
“I’m not that good. I don’t do sales.”
“You are the most charming man I know. You’re warm, sincere and a gentleman. You could do this job and make substantially more than you are now. And I was just trying to convince your girlfriend to take the officer manager’s spot.”
I laughed, tossing my hair out of my face. “Damn, Cleo! You’re a persistent woman!”
“I’m scouting talent, Mike. That’s what I’m good at. I see things in people and I know what they can do. Give it serious consideration. And talk to your brother for me.”
“I will. I don’t know how well he’d take the offer from me. . . .”
“I think he’d surprise you,” Sarena said quietly, taking my hand. “He really looks up to you, Mike. He values your opinion.”
“Mine? Since when? He’d rather make snide comments about my life than ask my opinion on anything.”
“Sometimes,” Jesse said gently. “We belittle what someone else has because it’s what we want too. Didn’t you tell me he got married because he got that girl in the family way?”
I blushed, remembering that conversation well. “Yes, ma’am.”
“Well then, perhaps he envies your freedom.”
© Dellani Oakes 2014