Archive | September 2020

Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 22

After their date, Janet and Diego talk about having sex.

Diego laughed, his dark eyes catching the last rays of the setting sun. “Not to worry. She doesn’t have to. My old man and my brother help me out. And I’m almost eighteen…. Weird conversation we’re having, Janet.”

“I couldn’t talk to anyone else like this. I’ve known you forever, Diego. You’re a part of me like no one else. This feels right, us being together. Part of me always knew we’d end up this way. And one day, we’ll make love, and it will be the right time. The pieces need to fall into place, that’s all.”

He kissed her almost desperately. “I love you so much, it aches inside. I know I won’t feel right until we’re together,” he whispered.

Diego walked her up to the door, kissing her good night on the porch. They’d been there a few minutes when Sookie turned on the lights, laughing at their consternation. Janet was ready to kill her, but Diego held her waist, kissing her once more.

“I can’t tell you what some younger sisters and brothers have done when I was saying good night. That’s pretty tame. Think what you were like at ten.”

“Yeah, boys were icky.”

He laughed. “I’m glad you got over that.”

“Me too.”

“See you tomorrow?”

“Call me after church. I’ve got a solo tomorrow. I’m so nervous.”

“You’ll be great. See you tomorrow.”

He gave her one last kiss. She went in the house and he headed to his car, waving as he drove away.

“Janet’s got a boyfriend! Janet’s got a boyfriend!” Sookie teased when her older sister walked in the house.

“Yes, I do, squirt. And he’s a really nice guy, so don’t mess it up for me.”

“Does Mom know?”

“Yes, Mom knows. And Mom likes him, so be nice to him.”

“You gonna marry him?”

“Maybe one day. Not anytime soon. We’re kids!”

“Are you gonna have sex with him?” Sookie leaned forward, frowning as she challenged her sister.

“Go to your room, Sookie,” their mother said from the dining room table.

The little girl flounced off to her room, slamming the door. Ilene stood, smiling at her daughter.

“Did you have a good time?”

“Yes. We saw the movie and went to Taco Village for dinner. Then we swung on the swings at the park.”

“Sounds like a fun first date.”

“Mom, it was so cool! Diego’s great! I’m so lucky!” She danced in circles while her mother laughed.

“We’d better call the doctor Monday about that pill,” she said with a sigh. “You’re not going to last much longer.”

“Is kissing always that divine?” Janet asked without really listening to her mother. “Like you’re melting inside?”

“If the man knows what he’s doing, it is.” She walked over to Janet. “I never thought I’d see you so happy. I know I haven’t always been—the most considerate. I spoil Sookie and take out my frustration on you, and that’s not right. I’m sorry.” She pulled Janet’s hair into a pony tail, smoothing it off her shoulders. “You deserve a good man and I think you found one. You just be careful. Think before you leap.”

“I will, Mama. I pro….”

“Don’t promise,” her mother said, putting her finger to Janet’s lips.

“Yes, ma’am. I’ve got some stuff to read for Monday,” she said, suddenly remembering. “Night, Mom!” She hugged her mother and went to her room, humming.

Ilene Yarkowsky hugged herself, fighting back the tears. She’d done a lot wrong in her life, starting with the night she walked out on Evander. Despite what she’d told Janet, she had left him because he was black. Maybe she would have married him if she’d known, maybe not. She wasn’t sure. But she’d walked out in anger, and regretted it ever since.

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 21

After the movie, he introduces her to his co-workers and invites her to dinner at her favorite restaurant.

Several of their friends were lined up at the concession stand in couples or groups. They stopped to say hello. After chatting a few minutes, they headed to Taco Village, owned, by Diego’s uncle, and ordered their meals.

Diego’s cousins all worked for their father. They made a point of coming over to visit. Janet felt very on display. Diego could tell it was making her uncomfortable. When their food was served, he asked the cousin who served it to tell the others to stop.

“It’s like you guys never saw me with a date before. Why’s it such a big deal?”

His cousin Concetta tilted her head, staring at him a moment. “I dunno. You just look different. So happy. I guess we never saw you this way.”

“I look the same, Concetta.”

“Okay,” she said with a shrug. Tossing her long, black ponytail, she walked away.

After their meal, they drove to the park near Janet’s home and sat on the swings. The golden sunlight of the late summer sunset wreathed Janet in glorious orange and pink, turning her hair into a bronze halo.

Diego hopped off his swing, catching hers. He held it still, pushing the swing back until her mouth was even with his. She hung, suspended by the chains, mere inches from him. He stood between her legs, pressing against her, as his lips met hers.

Janet felt something firm press against her inner thigh. It took her a moment to realize what it was. When she did, she didn’t know whether to be surprised or humiliated. Moisture flooded her panties, making her self-conscious. Could he feel that, the way she felt him? Had she peed on herself? What was it?

Diego held her close, rubbing against her, throbbing hard and hot against her leg. She wanted to pull away, but at the same time, she didn’t. It felt naughty and wonderful at once, and she didn’t want it to stop. In fact, she wanted it to continue. It felt amazing. His mouth moved from her lips to her earlobe and down her neck. He nibbled on her shoulder and licked behind her ear. His breath felt hot in her skin, making her shiver. A small moan escaped her.

Janet felt Diego’s lips twitch in a smile. He’d done that on purpose, just to see how she’d react. Her nipples stiffened and another gush of warmth flooded from her. She had no idea how to respond to his advances. She knew he should stop, but it felt so incredibly good, she didn’t want to.

A piercing whistle got their attention. “Hey, you kids! The park’s closing!” A stout police officer walked across the lawn. “Need to head home, park’s closing.”

“Sorry, officer. Yes, sir,” Diego said.

“Yes, sir,” Janet said quietly.

“Sorry to butt in,” the man said. “But if you hang around, I gotta take you to the station. It’s my job.”

“No, we understand. Lost track of time,” Diego explained.

“No problem, kid. You have a nice evening.”

“Thank you, sir. You too.”

The officer waited until they got in Diego’s car and drove off, before heading to his vehicle. Diego was careful of his speed, suspecting the officer might follow them. His concern was well founded. They spotted the police cruiser when they turned down Janet’s street. It drove by on the cross street, not following them down the narrow side street.

“Well, that was interesting,” he said with a nervous laugh.

“It’s okay. He was nice about it anyway.”

“Yeah, some cops get nasty—white girl with a Chicano.”

“Why?”

“Hot blooded Mexican man with a white girl?” He rolled his eyes. “What do you think?”

“You’d never hurt me,” Janet said. “I’d trust you with my life.”

“I love you, Janet.”

“I love you, too.”

They kissed for some time, sealing the declaration of love they’d just shared. Diego stopped kissing her and he sat with his forehead resting on hers.

“Don’t make me wait too long, baby.”

Janet remembered how he felt between her thighs, so hard and hot, pulsing with every beat of his heart.

“I won’t,” she said softly. “But I want it special. I don’t want to be in the back seat of the car.”

“Me neither,” he said with a chuckle. “I’m too tall.”

“Mom wants me on the pill,” she said quietly. “I told her we were dating.”

“She was cool with that?”

“Yeah, surprisingly, she was. She said—she said…. She’d buy—supplies.” She covered her face. “I can’t believe I said that. Our first date’s not even quite over and I’m telling you my mom will buy us condoms.”

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Epiphany from Whose Book Is This Anyway? ~ A Love Under the Sun Romance by Dellani Oakes

Sometimes, couples will have known one another for a while before taking it to a different level. For whatever reason, they don’t see that they’re in love. Several of my couples are good friends, often involved with other people. However, the bond between them is strong. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, completely by surprise, they realize that they’ve been in love for ages, and didn’t see it. I’ve decided to call these Epiphanies and I’ll be sharing them in and among the First Meetings.

Duff and Grace have been roommates and friends for over four years. Although Duff had carried a torch the entire time, Grace has kept him firmly locked away in the Friend Box. He keeps hoping something will change, that she’ll realize how much he loves her. He’s been waiting for the right time to talk to her, and finally one night, he has the chance. Her parents are visiting, and he’s talking to her father about what he wants to do once he graduates from college.

“Eventually, I want to do some teaching, but Grace comes first.”

I glanced at her. Tears welled in her eyes.

“What’s wrong?” I put my arms around her, holding her close.

“No man ever put me first,” she whispered. “Except you.”

“Gracie, you’re always first with me. No matter what.”

Nash and Emily quietly left the room. I held Grace, letting her cry. I just hold her until she’s done, I never tell her to stop. I learned a long time ago, that’s the way to make her angry, or make her cry longer.

“Why didn’t I ever see you?”

I didn’t answer, suspecting it was rhetorical.

“You’ve always been so good to me. You take care of me. I went from one moron to another, but you always stuck with me, comforting me when they left.”

“They weren’t all morons. Some of them were pretty nice.”

“Those guys didn’t get the part where we lived together.”

“Well, you have to admit, it’s not the most common arrangement.”

“True. They couldn’t believe we’d never been to bed together.”

“Men wouldn’t get that. There’s no straight man in the world who wants to be just friends with a woman. There’s always an agenda.”

“For what?” She turned wide eyes on me.

I shrugged as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “Sex—duh. I shouldn’t even have to clarify that for you, Grace.”

“Was there for you? Have the last four years been part of an agenda?” She shoved away from me, sliding off the opposite side of the stool.

“Think for a second, how crazy that sounds.”

“You just said—”

“I love you, Grace. I’ve loved you for ages. I always hoped you’d eventually fall for me, too. I stayed on, as your friend, because it was the only piece of you I had. I could have left, but it would have killed me.”

“Seeing me with other men must have been torture,” she sighed, moving into the circle of my arms.

“Yeah.” I couldn’t say anymore. Just knowing there was another man sharing he bed, making love to her, made me sick. Many long nights, I’d lain awake listening to them having sex on the other side of the house. It was torture.

She kissed me deeply, pouring her love into it. Breathless, overwhelmed, I kissed her in return. It felt so good having her in my arms. This was where she was meant to be. There was only one place I wanted her more, but not with her parents in the house.

Her phone rang—that special ring tone. She reluctantly reached for it, but I took it from her.

“Hello?”

“Who’s this?”

“This is the roommate. Who the hell is this?”

“Mark. Her fucking boyfriend.”

I paused, considering. “Nope. You gave up that title when you left town without telling her. But that’s okay, because a better man is in your place. Thanks for that.”

“You? She’s dating you?”

“Yup! Just spent the most fantastic weekend of our lives. Lose the number, Dick.”

“Mark.”

“Whatever.” I hung up.

Grace stared at me, a smile twitching her lips. “You lie way too well.”

“It’s that theatre training. I simply elaborate on what I imagine us doing.” I shrugged like it was the most simple thing in the world.

Grace didn’t answer. She stepped closer, holding me tightly, her head pressed on my chest. “I love you so much, Duff. So very much.”

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 20

During the movie, Diego and Janet start kissing. She realizes what her mother said about going too far, is true.

Soon, there was nothing on her mind but his lips on hers, his arm around her shoulders, his fingers in her hair. His left hand brushed her neck, making her shiver. Lower it dropped, to her shoulder and down. She felt the heat of his hand near her breast, not quite touching. The heat intensified as his fingers moved tantalizingly close to her chest. The touch of his hand scorched her with fear, desire and embarrassment. She pushed away from him. His lips followed her retreating mouth, desperately trying to recapture her. Opening his eyes, he realized what he was doing. His hand jumped away from her body, and a guilty smile replaced the lust.

“Sorry,” he whispered. “Went into caveman mode.” He kissed her neck and nibbled on her earlobe by way of apology. His left hand stayed steadfastly in his own lap.

“When do you think I’ll be ready?” Janet asked, bowing to his experience.

Diego chuckled. “Baby, I have no way of knowing that. That’s different with every girl. When you feel like the time is right.”

“What about you?”

He laughed loudly, fortunately, it was a funny part of the film. He put his arms across the back of her seat and the one to his left, tossing back his head.

“Janet, I’m a man. It’s always right for me.”

She looked so hurt, he stopped laughing. “I’m being an asshole. I’m sorry. This is all yours. You have to decide when it’s time. I won’t push. All you have to know is that I’m here, I’m ready and I want you whenever you give me the word.” He took her face in his hands. “Do me a favor, though. Don’t make me wait too long, or I might bust.” His kiss was playful.

“How long do most girls wait?”

He shrugged, pulling her close so she could put her head on his shoulder.

“Some a week, some a couple. I’ve never been with—someone like you.”

“A virgin?” she said the word rather harshly.

Diego flinched as if she’d hit him. “Yeah.” He glanced at her, kissing her lightly on the nose before turning back to the screen.

“Why not?”

“I dunno. Never happened before. Tell you the truth, it scares me a little.”

“I didn’t think anything could scare you.”

“I didn’t think so, either. I don’t want to hurt you. That scares me.”

She nodded, snuggling closer. “You won’t hurt me,” she replied confidently. “When we make love, it will be wonderful.”

Finally, the movie ended and the lights came up. They gathered up their trash and headed to the exit. Workers came in with brooms and dust pans. Diego proudly introduced Janet to all of them. One woman was a little older than the rest. She took a motherly interest, having some teenage children herself.

“So, this is the girl that’s made you dreamy for the last few days. Hi, Janet. I’m Charlene.”

“Hi, Charlene.”

“I’m Raul’s mom. Diego helped me get this job when I lost mine at the sugar plant. It was a life saver.”

“Raul’s a nice boy,” Janet said. “He’s always been very polite to me.”

“He’d better. I’ll knock him upside the head,” she said with a laugh. “You kids have fun. Behave,” she cautioned, shaking her finger at Diego.

“Yes, ma’am,” Diego murmured. “Want something to eat? It’s a little early for dinner….”

“You can come by, I can warm up some leftovers.”

“I thought you might like a night off from cooking. I thought, if you’d like to, we could go to Taco Village….”

“Oh, you wonderful man! I love their food!”

Diego grinned, nodding. “I know that.” He nibbled her lip. “Their cheese enchiladas taste almost as good as you.”

“Now you’ve put that in mind, how can I say no?”

“Good, cause they’re calling my name.” He put his arm around her shoulders as they walked out to the lobby.

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 19

It’s Saturday, and time for their first date. Diego makes a funny noise after he kisses her, and he decides it was a purr of contentment.

He shrugged, chuckling. “Yeah, well…. You make me content, happy….”

He didn’t add that she also filled him with lust, unmatched by any other he’d ever felt. He wanted to be with her more than any other girl he’d dated. It wasn’t that she was any prettier, or any sexier, it was that he loved her.

It took a moment for his mind to find its way back to the mundane. He’d been falling deeper into lust mode, and had to climb out again. He hoped she didn’t notice that his pants were now extra tight across the front. He wished now he’d worn loose fitting jeans. Mentally kicking himself, he opened her car door and helped her get settled.

They parked behind the theatre in the employee parking lot and walked around the front. The girl at the ticket counter didn’t charge them for the tickets she gave them. They were able to walk right in and head to the concession stand for popcorn and drinks. The girl there charged only half price.

“Oh, the perks of dating a man who works at the movies,” Janet murmured as they walked into the theatre.

“It’s part of the job,” he said. “Really, she should have charged me for your ticket, but we’re buddies.”

“Is she one of your old girlfriends?” Janet turned somewhat chilly.

Diego took her chin, turning her face to his. “No. She’s a friend. We never dated. She’s with a buddy of mine, and has been for six years. Just so we’re clear, I haven’t dated anyone here. Feel better now?”

She smiled, kissing him playfully on the nose. “Yes.”

“Good. Where do you want to sit?”

“I’ll let you choose. You’ve been here more than me.”

“Would you be willing to sit in the balcony?”

“Depends on where. I’m not good with heights.”

“I won’t let you fall,” he promised, holding her close. “Balcony has the best view.”

“Okay, I’ll take your word for it.”

They walked up to the balcony and he led her to a pair of seats about halfway up, in the center. Janet’s head spun a little. She closed her eyes when she sat down.

“You okay?” Diego asked.

“Yeah. This will take a little getting used to.”

“Maybe I can help.” He set their food and drinks down.

Next thing she knew, he kissed her. The strength of his embrace made her forget everything else. Now, the dizziness was from desire, not fear. That dissipated too, leaving her feeling content.

The house lights went down and the cartoon started. They sat close, watching and laughing. The previews came next and Diego told her about things he wanted to see. He was a real movie buff, just like she was, and they had the same taste in movies.

“We’ll see that when it comes out,” he told her after each of them.

“I’d like that.”

“Cool.” He gave her a quick kiss.

The movie started. They watched for some time, munching popcorn and sipping their drinks. About thirty minutes in, Diego set his refreshments aside. He took Janet’s, setting them down too. The theatre was dark, nearly deserted. There was only one other person in the balcony and he was asleep. It was as close to alone as they were likely to get.

Diego’s eyes sparkled in the light from the movie as he moved closer. Janet wasn’t quite sure what he wanted until he smiled and touched her cheek. Smiling back, she leaned toward him. His lips met hers, his fingers drifted from her cheek to her neck. He played with her hair, winding his fingers in it.

His kiss was electrifying. Janet felt a tingle from her lips spreading all over her body. It lodged low in her belly, waking feelings she’d never had before. She understood now what her mother meant. It would be awfully hard to tell him no, if he wanted to take this further than just kissing. Her body betrayed her, giving in to his touch.

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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First Meeting from In the Spotlight ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes

Some first meetings don’t take place in person, such is the case with Cullen Fellowes and Jazz Rialto. He sees her performing at the mall with her brothers. Making the mistake of singing with her, he outs himself—which is a problem, since he’s a famous rock star. Later, Lowell, Jazz’s brother posts the video of their performance, and Cullen makes a comment.

“Did you share it around?” Jazz asked.

“Yes, Mom. I shared it everywhere,” Lowell replied.

“Good. How did you label it?”

“The Jazz Trio sings with Cullen Fellowes.”

“You did not! He’ll be so pissed!”

“Wanna bet? Look who the first comment is from.” He pointed to the screen, reading it aloud. “Great concert! Wish it hadn’t ended in such a weird way, I wanted to come up and say hi. You all are great, and I had fun singing with you. Sang my damn song better than me! CWF

The comment was posted under the name The Cullenator, with a picture of his sassy grin, blue eyes twinkling.

“Did you reply?” She sat next to him once more.

“That comment, big sis, is directed at you.”

“Then move, and let me answer!” She grabbed the laptop, nearly knocking him off his chair.

“Don’t be lame. Let me read it before you post.”

“Fine!”

Thinking for a moment, she started typing. Lowell read over her shoulder.

“Mmm. No.”

“What? That’s a great response.”

Mr. Fellowes, my brothers and I enjoyed your participation at our concert. We hope you can join us again. You sound like you’re replying to a business letter. That sucks completely.” He deleted her message, typing one of his own.

“No! You didn’t post— Lowell!”

He’d typed: Cullen, thanks for the duet. Let’s do it again sometime. You’re super hot.

“You bastard! I can’t believe you did that! Oh, my God, you bastard!” She was in the process of pummeling him, when her phone rang. “Behave!” she cautioned. Her phone was the official business line. If the number wasn’t on her list, she treated it like a business call.

“Thank you for calling the Jazz Trio, Jazz speaking—”

“So, I’m hot, huh?” Cullen’s voice sounded over the phone, a soft laugh followed.

“Oh, God,” she whispered, hand over her eyes.

“You’re supposed to say that later, while we have sex. Right now, it’s completely inappropriate.”

“My brother wrote that. The drummer. The youngest. He can’t be trusted. My reply was—”

“Boring,” Lowell said loudly.

“Professional,” Jazz amended.

“So—boring,” Cullen said with a loud laugh. “I don’t like boring, or professional. I’m a relaxed kind of guy.”

“Why were you there?”

“At the mall? Sometimes, I like to be—boring,” he confessed. “Honestly, I like to connect with people. Growing up rich, being a rock star, it’s easy to forget what it’s like. Your music, your voice. That makes people take notice. Sorry I spoiled the ending of your concert, with my precipitous escape.”

It took her a second for her mind to flip into high vocabulary mode. Laughing softly, she cradled the phone. “It’s okay. Not being you, I can’t imagine what it’s like to be mobbed.”

“Not quite as entertaining as it might seem. I was lucky, though. Two of the security guys helped me out.”

“Who was the guy who got arrested?”

“How did you know?” he sounded genuinely puzzled.

“My brothers saw, as they drove by.”

“Tell him I filmed it,” Lowell nudged her.

“No!” she whispered.

“No? What? I didn’t ask anything,” Cullen said.

“I was telling Lowell no. He’s like a little kid, bugging me. Go away, Lowell!” She shoved at her brother.

He didn’t move, so she trotted up the stairs to her room.

“I was calling, partly to thank you for the compliment, and partly to ask you to come to the concert this Saturday.”

“Oh, gosh, I can’t!” Her face hit her palm. “I have a prior engagement.”

“Reschedule.”

“I can’t. It’s my great-grandmother’s ninety-ninth birthday. The entire clan is meeting up for a party. We’re hoping she’ll make it to a hundred, but you never know.”

“Oh, no sure. That’s far more important. Ninety-nine, huh? I didn’t think I’d even make it to thirty, that’s pretty cool.”

“Why not?”

“Why not—what?”

“Make it to thirty. You’re not sick, are you?”

His laughter rang out. “Do I look sick? I thought I looked hot.”

“You don’t. You do! Just—” She paused. “Are conversations with you always this difficult?”

“I’d love to say no, but probably. My brother says I don’t filter, and my sister says I don’t have an off switch. Both are correct.” He chuckled softly, sobering somewhat. “I didn’t think I’d make it to thirty, because I don’t live an exemplary life. I drive too fast, like to jump out of planes, love free climbing, and want to snow board in the Alps.”

“That last doesn’t sound so dangerous.”

“It is, if you jump out of a helicopter.”

“Oh. Wow. You can do that?”

“Yeah. You can do that.”

She paused so long, he thought she’d lost connection.

“Hello?”

“Yeah, hi. I was just thinking about all those things. Dangerous. Expensive.”

“They are. Both.”

“I can’t even dream of having that kind of money.”

“Actually, you can. You have talent—all three of you. You sang my song better than I do, and I wrote the damn thing. Part of my reason for this call, besides inviting you to the concert, I wanted to see if you and your brothers are available to go on the road in a few months. We’re doing a tour of the greater northeast, and Canada. Specifically Newfoundland/ Labrador, New Brunswick, Quebec, and all those funky-do islands that I can’t remember the names of. You’d need your passports, and whatever instruments you prefer. Everything else provided.”

Her gasp left her breathless. “Are you serious right now?”

“Yes. This isn’t just a play to get in your pants.”

“Um….”

“Though, I would like that. But I can wait. The offer is completely serious. If you say yes, I’ll call our manager, and have him talk to yours.”

“Actually, I’m the manger for now. We can’t afford a regular one.”

“Then, you need a manager.”

“Yeah, but….”

“Call this number, and tell her I sent you.” He rattled off a phone number.

“Wait, hold on. Let me get a pen and paper.”

“Waiting, ma’am!”

She scrabbled around, finding what she needed. “Okay, go.”

He repeated the number. “Got it?”

“Yes. Who is this?”

“Babs Goldblum.”

“We can’t afford her! She’s the best agent in the business!”

“Call her. Talking is free. Mention my name, and that we want you on our tour. I guarantee she’ll say yes.”

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 18

Janet has a very frank conversation with her mother, talking about her relationship with Diego, and her mother and father’s marriage.

“Would you have married him, if you’d known at the time what he was?”

Her mother shrugged, shaking her head. “I don’t know. But there’s never been a man who has loved me like Evander.”

“But would you?”

Her mother smiled, tears running down her face. “In a heartbeat! You take that love you’ve got and hold on tight with both hands, Janet May. That boy loves you and you love him, I can see it when you say his name. But you take it slow, and you make him work hard to win you. Don’t give up easy. And don’t you sleep around. You stick with one man, and your life will be a lot happier.”

Janet nodded. This wasn’t the conversation she’d expected from her mother. Mama was much more prone to hateful words, and cold shoulders. While her mother was in this mellow mood, Janet asked a question that burned in her heart.

“Mama, why do you hate me so?”

Her mother burst into tears, grabbing her daughter in her arms. “Janet May, I don’t hate you! I just look at you and I see your daddy, and all I lost. I see the mean way I’ve been, and I can’t make it stop. I’m broke, and I’m tired, and I know if I’d stayed with your daddy, my life wouldn’t be so harsh. But I made up my mind, and I did what I did. I can’t take it back.”

“But what if you could? What if he’d take us back?”

Her mother smiled. “Can’t live your life on what if, baby.” Sniffing loudly, she wiped her eyes with her fingers.

Janet got her some toilet paper from the tiny bathroom so she could wipe her eyes and blow her nose.

“Now, we need to find something to carry up so your sister won’t have a snit wondering what we left her out of.” She looked around and found an ugly Hawaiian doll that danced if you touched it. “Think she’d like that for her room?”

“That’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen. She’ll love it.”

Laughing, they walked upstairs and presented Sookie with the doll. She took it to her room and stayed there all evening long.

Saturday, Janet got through her shift at the drive-in on automatic. Her mind was completely occupied with thoughts of Diego. Even thinking his name made her heart flutter. By the time her shift ended, she was anxious to see him.

At 3:02, she changed from her uniform into a new outfit. She slid on her new Levi’s straight leg, button up jeans and pulled a lime green T-shirt over her head. She switched her work shoes for a pair of leather sandals and put on a pair of plastic hoops that matched her shirt. A quick brush up on her makeup, and she was ready.

Diego walked in just as she returned to the restaurant. He took her hands, smiling.

“Is it okay if I kiss you?”

She glanced at her boss. He didn’t look like he was in a very lenient mood. There weren’t any rules about kissing someone when she was off duty, but why make him mad? She shook her head slightly. They walked out to Diego’s car. Before opening the door, he pressed his long, muscular body against hers, placing his hands on either side. The kiss, when it came, was nothing like any he’d given her before. It was full of desire, love and animalistic power. It was frightening and titillating all at once.

Janet sighed, relaxing against the car as her hands went around his waist. He made a noise in his throat that sounded like a growl. Janet tried not to laugh, but she was nervous all ready. His behavior made her more so. The laughter bubbled out, forcing them apart. He gazed down at her with a slightly glazed expression.

“What?” he mumbled.

“What was that noise?”

“What noise?”

“That one you made just now?” She imitated it.

“I did that?” He laughed, putting his arm around her shoulders, as he flopped against the car. “I have no idea. Maybe I was purring.”

She giggled, meeting his penetrating gaze. “Purring? Like a cat?”

“Why not? They purr when they’re content. Why can’t a man?”

“That’s pretty weird, Diego.”

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 17

Janet’s mother gets home and is actually nice to her.

Janet knew that she would take off her uniform and have a shower before dinner. She set the cornbread on a rack to cool and checked the chicken. It looked perfect. Oven off, she stirred the butter beans and mashed the potatoes. She put plates in the oven to warm and made sure the table was set.

Her mother came out of the shower and changed into her house dress before coming to the table. Janet called Sookie and they sat down to dinner together. Her mother offered grace and they ate in silence a few minutes. When her mother seemed in the best frame of mind, Janet broached her final subject.

“I’m going to the movie on Saturday.”

“Really? With Ramona?”

“Actually, I’m going with her brother. Diego asked me out.”

“Diego. Asked you out?”

“Yes, Mom. It’s okay, isn’t it? We’ve known them for ages.”

Her mother didn’t say anything. She didn’t lose her temper or frown.

“You’re sure this is what you want?”

Kind of a weird question.

“Yes, Mom. I really like him. He’s the nicest boy I know and he’s liked me a long time. He just didn’t think it was appropriate to ask me out before I got in high school.”

Her mother nodded. She said nothing for a long time.

“I think it’s lovely,” she said quietly. “Diego is a nice boy. He’s very bright, focused. He’ll go far.”

“Yes, I think so too. This doesn’t mean we’re getting married or anything.” Janet laughed casually.

“I think it’s wonderful,” her mother said with genuine warmth. “I’m happy for you.”

“Thanks.”

“Sookie, go clean up. Janet, I need some help with something in the storage room.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Janet cleared her dishes and they went to the basement.

The house was two levels, one above ground, one below. The finished basement had a bathroom, two bedrooms, the utility room and a large, paneled family room. Janet had the larger basement bedroom. The second, smaller bedroom was the storage room. It was crammed full of boxes and bins that her mother moved around periodically, trying to organize, but it never came to much.

She walked in, shutting the door behind them, and sat on one of the boxes, indicating that Janet should sit, too.

“I know you know about how your body works,” she said calmly. “And you’ve learned about sex in school. But you don’t know about boys, not really. This is your first real boyfriend. Are you sure this is what you want?”

“Mom, I really care about him so much!” She didn’t dare say she loved him, her mother wouldn’t believe her.

“A man only takes no for an answer so long,” her mother continued. “And then he expects certain things.”

Janet nodded, knowing where this was going. “I know, Mom. Diego won’t force me into anything I’m not ready for.”

“It’s that I’m worried about,” her mother said, touching her cheek tenderly. “He’s a handsome boy, very sweet, but he’s still a man. We’re going to start you on birth control pills. I’ll buy you condoms.”

“Mama!” Janet was horrified.

“I’m not condoning this, I want that understood. And you’d better not ever do a thing in this house but kiss him.” The stern mother was back, gaining power. “But I understand about being swept off your feet,” her mother returned to the uncharacteristic calm. “Your father, despite his faults, was a handsome, desirable man, and he lit a fire in me that I haven’t had before or since. He was my first,” she mused. “And the best. I loved him so much….”

“Why did you leave him? I mean, I know…. But was that really all?”

“It wasn’t because of his heritage,” her mother said, stiffening. “He lied to me. For years, he lied.”

“Was being married to—to a man like him, so awful?”

“It was the lie, Janet May. The flat out lie that we lived. If he lied about that, what else had he lied about? Could I really trust him anymore?” She shrugged, tears falling.

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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First Meeting from Indian Summer Revisited ~ A Love Under the Sun Romance by Dellani Oakes

I am a big fan of first meetings. These often set the tone for the relationship, and tell us a lot about how the couple will interact with one another later in the story. Although they get off to a somewhat rough start, Malin Dimas and Carina Enriques-Deza find that they are mutually interested. Carina is an art student who loves photography. She’s so absorbed in her projects, she doesn’t always pay attention where she’s going, particularly if she’s in a rush.

Class ended, but Carina hardly noticed. She had another class, then she had to work. Her less than glamorous job was waiting tables at a small outdoor restaurant on Hypolita Street.

Rushing to her class, she neatly avoided running into anyone until she got to the staircase. Going from the bright sun to the sudden shade, she was still wearing her sunglasses. She ran headlong into a tall, broad shouldered body. Her bag went one way, her body the other, while the strong male hardly moved. He did grunt, her elbow having caught him inadvertently in the midsection.

Carina sprawled on the ground, cursing in Spanish and English as the man tried to help her up. Hardly looking at him, she was trying to find the things that had fallen out of her bag.

Her phone had landed in a shallow puddle. Her pens and lip gloss were nowhere to be found. A well calloused, long fingered hand helped her up, brushing her off as a pleasant tenor voice apologized for running her down.

“I’m so sorry. I got sun dazzled I guess,” he said quietly, handing her the lip gloss and pens. “I got in this dark and I couldn’t see a damn thing. Sorry about that.” His soft Southern accent was warm and welcoming.

Carina looked up at him. He had black hair and dark brown eyes. Her own jade green eyes locked with his for a moment and she smiled.

“It’s okay. I couldn’t see either. Environmental hazard living in Florida.”

“Beg pardon?” He looked confused.

“Sunshine,” she pointed skyward.

“Well, it is the Sunshine State, right?”

“Yeah. Sorry, I really need to run. I’ve got class.”

“Oh, sure. Sorry again.”

“No problem. Sorry I elbowed your gut.”

“Missed the nuts,” he said with a grin.

Carina giggled as she trotted up the stairs. The young man walked with her, taking the steps two at a time.

“I bet your girlfriend will be grateful for that,” she said as he opened the stairwell door for her.

“Don’t have one, but I’m mighty happy you missed ’em. I’ve grown a bit attached to them over the years.”

With a sidelong glance, she eased past him as he held the door for her. He stood by it, leaning on the edge, gazing down at her. There was barely enough room to slip through, but she did because she was in a hurry. Waving to him, she dodged in her classroom as the instructor was about to close the door.

“Carina, nice you could join us.”

“Sorry. I fell,” she explained as she walked past him.

“You okay?” Those were the last words that made their way into the hallway.

Malin Dimas shouldered his backpack and walked downstairs. He would have used any excuse to walk that girl to her class. He didn’t have another class until eleven, so he headed to the nearest coffee shop, got a large double shot and wandered to the Plaza in front of Government House. Sitting on the steps of the Slave Market, he gazed out over the town.

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 16

Diego leaves and Sookie confronts Janet about the relationship.

“Were you spying on me? You little….”

“You gonna have sex with him?”

“Sookie Ann! How dare you! He’s my boyfriend. That doesn’t automatically mean…. and how do you know about that anyway? You’re ten!”

“I’m not stupid. I do watch soap operas.” Sookie rolled her eyes.

“I’m not talking to you. Do your homework.” Janet headed to the kitchen.

Sookie followed her like a pestering little dog. “I’m telling Mom that he kissed you.”

“Go ahead. He’s my boyfriend, he has the right to kiss me.” She didn’t stop what she was doing, her back to her little sister.

“He’s Ramona’s brother, does she know?” She was trying every tactic she could to get under Janet’s skin.

“Mona knows all about it. She’s thrilled.”

“But Mom doesn’t know. I think I’ll tell her. I bet she’d be real interested.”

“Go ahead,” Janet replied. “And I’ll tell her who really broke into the shed and stole her bike. Then, maybe I’ll tell her you take money from her purse all the time, so you can buy a soda at the corner store. And maybe I’ll tell her about the time you….”

“You wouldn’t! You can’t!” Sookie stamped her foot.

Janet turned on her slowly, calmly. “Maybe it’s time Mom knew that you aren’t the perfect little girl she thinks you are. Perhaps I should enlighten her.”

“She won’t believe you! She’ll believe me.”

Janet smiled secretively. “Oh, she’ll believe me, squirt. I can be very persuasive.”

“You can’t! She won’t!”

Janet shrugged, going back to her work.

“I hate you! You’re the meanest sister ever!” Sookie balled up her fist to hit Janet in the back.

Janet saw her sister in the window over the sink. She turned around in a flash, leaning menacingly toward her.

“Go ahead, half pint. Hit me. I dare you. I won’t get you back right away, you misspent, addle brained, pipsqueak….” Janet lowered her voice an octave, dropping into a harsh, croaking whisper. “But you have to sleep sometime…..” She did an evil laugh.

Sookie screamed and ran to her room, slamming the door. She locked it and pulled a piece of furniture across the door. Janet continued to laugh, enjoying the feeling of power she had over her little sister. Of course, she might pay for it later, but for now, she held all the cards.

Janet planned to tell her mother about Diego after dinner. She fixed a roast chicken and all the side dishes her mother liked best. She even baked fresh cornbread, because her mother loved it.

When Ilene Yarkowsky walked in the house, she actually smiled. “It smells wonderful in this house! What’s the occasion?”

“Do we need one to have a nice meal? I got the chicken on sale, so I thought we’d have roast tonight, then use the rest for chicken and dumplings tomorrow. What you think?”

“Oh, good idea. And boil down the bones for broth.”

“Of course! Learned that from you and Nana. Don’t waste a lick!” she said just like her grandmother.

Her mother smiled again, hugging her for the first time in ages. “That’s my Mom! Did you make cornbread?” She asked as the timer dinged. “I’ll get it.” She took the cast iron skillet from the oven, inhaling deeply. “You trying to soften me up?” She asked warily.

“No, what a thing to say. It’s a little celebration. End of the first week. And I got a place on the speech team doing a dramatic reading, and a solo in chorus.”

“Really? How wonderful! You’re gonna go far with that,” her mother said, surprising her further.

“Where’s Sookie?”

“Hiding in her room.”

“Hiding? Whatever for?”

“Who knows? Maybe she watched Dark Shadows again. Or Psycho. That shower scene scared the bejeezus outta me for weeks. I didn’t even want to shower by myself downstairs.” She laughed at her own silly fear.

“Well, serves her right then,” Ilene said, wandering to her bedroom.

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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