Archive | December 2020

Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 47

Janet tells Diego about Tex, and he takes it in stride. He tells her he quit working for the CIA, because he’d nearly died.

They made love the rest of the weekend. Monday morning, she returned to school, smiling.

“You look way too happy,” Mr. Whitmore said. He still worked at the school. Not so young now, he still had a great sense of humor. They’d become good friends.

“I had a good weekend. Don’t ask, I won’t tell you.”

“I can already tell,” he said, sidling closer. “New boyfriend?”

“Old one returned.”

“Ahh….”

“How can you tell?” she whispered, casting about to see if anyone was listening.

“The smile of complete satisfaction on your face. My wife wore that same expression after our honeymoon.”

“Lucky girl!”

“She thought so. Anyone I know?”

“Remember when I was dating Diego Hernandez?”

“No kidding? Well, I’ll be. Congratulations.” He gave her a hug.

Diego stayed with her for three months. He got a job at the sugar factory as a low level executive. He made decent money. It was a good life, stable, fulfilling. They were happier than either of them could remember.

It was Diego’s birthday. They’d celebrated with his family, but were now having their own party. They’d made love twice, and were thinking of a third, when someone knocked loudly on the door. They tried to ignore it, but the banging continued. Diego glowered. Grabbing his jeans, he buttoned them up and went to the door shirtless and barefoot.

Slinging back the door, he got even angrier. Three people he hoped he’d never see again, stood on the porch. Diego was frowzy and disheveled from their love making. The three men knew they’d disturbed something, but they politely said nothing. The leader, a man who looked like he could break a tree in half with his pinky, walked past Diego and into the living room.

“Don’t mind me, Colonel,” Diego growled. “But you’re trespassing in the lady’s home.”

“Wanna press charges, kid? Go right ahead and call,” the man said calmly, smiling.

Diego refused to be dragged into a conflict. “What do you want, Colonel? I left the game. I’m done.”

“You were, until now. Your country needs you.”

“You played that card all ready!” Diego yelled. “I gave you seven years, and almost gave my life. It kept me from the woman I love. Now, I’ve got her back. We’re building a life….”

“Those men who held you, had friends,” the colonel said with a menacing glower. “Friends who will track you down and kill you, and your happy life. They’re in this country looking for you. We came to give you the means to even the score.”

Janet came out of the bedroom and stood beside Diego. He took her hand, drawing her close, slightly behind him as if to protect her from the large, angry man.

“Revenge? You came at me with revenge? “That’s pathetic, Coffey. Even for you.”

Colonel Lane Coffey eyed him grimly. “They want you dead. Only they won’t just kill you. They’ll kill your pretty, little woman, after they do unspeakable things to her body—while you’re forced to watch. If you’re lucky, it ends there. But you’ve got family next door. A beautiful sister, three darling little kids, a crippled father, an aging mother….”

“Enough!” Diego roared. “You’ve made your point, Lane. You want me back. You want me to track these guys down and bring them in.”

Colonel Coffey said nothing, shifting from foot to foot uneasily.

“I see. It’s like that, huh?”

Janet stepped closer, her arms circling his waist. “What’s going on? What does he mean?”

“He wants me to hunt down some people. And kill them,” he replied coldly.

“And no one’s better at that than you, Diego,” Colonel Coffey said with a nasty grin.

Diego’s dark eyes flashed and Janet got the impression that the man he most wanted to kill was his superior.

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 46

Living in Scottsbluff, working as a teacher, Janet had no idea that Diego would walk back into her life.

Janet was waiting for him at the bathroom door, dressed in a red ribbon and a pair of naughty high heels, neither of which he removed before carrying her to the bed. She tried to kick the shoes off, but he insisted she wear them while he made love to her.

“It’s been too long,” he sighed as he held her.

“Way too long….”

He laughed as he traced the line of her breast with his fingers. “You know what’s sad? I can’t remember the last time I had sex.”

“Me either.” She bit back any comments about Tex. Eventually, she’d tell him. But not now.

“I may not last real long,” he confessed. “It’s been damn near a year for me.”

“It’s been close to two for me, so shut up and kiss me.”

His prediction was wrong. He made love to her for almost two hours. Janet remembered their first time being good. This was so much better. She knew what great sex was like, having had a good bit of it with Tex. This was incomparable.

She clamped down on his ass, the heels digging in slightly. It should have hurt, but he found it exciting. He howled when he came, making Janet laugh.

“You turned into a coyote.”

“No, your heels caught me.”

She kicked off one, the other he removed for her, kissing her foot. His lips traveled up her leg where he nibbled behind her knee for several minutes before going further up.

“When I was over there, I thought of you. When they captured me, I didn’t think I’d ever see you again. I came home to see if Mona knew how to reach you. I had to see you, tell you how much I love you. I’ve never loved anyone like I love you.”

“Diego! I love you so much! So much!”

They made love most of the night, only stopping for a romantic bath and a snack around 3:00. Afterward, they napped a few hours, had breakfast and went right back to bed.

“This reminds me of our first time,” he said over coffee. “I was so worried I was gonna get you pregnant.”

“I wouldn’t have cared.”

“My mother would have killed me. What happened to us, Janet?”

“You went in the Navy. I went to Texas…. I—I have something to tell you. Don’t freak out.”

“You’re married.”

“What? How did you know?”

“It was the only thing you could tell me that would possibly freak me out. So, where is he?”

“He beat me,” she confessed, tears brimming. “I had him thrown in jail and I left. Only now, I can’t find him to divorce him. It was such a huge mistake, but I hadn’t heard from you in over a year. I missed you. He made me feel—I felt like I did when we were together. He was special, for a while, but he wasn’t you.”

“Poor guy,” he murmured. “Having to compete with a memory.”

“You’re condoning his actions? His beating killed my baby!”

“No! God, no. He needs to drown in his own blood. But it wouldn’t be easy for any man to live up to what we had.”

“I want to be with you forever.”

“Me too, Babe.”

“How long will you be in town?”

“How long do you want me?” Diego smirked, dark eyes glittering with merriment.

“Forever, you dope.” She smacked him playfully.

His eyes lost their glimmer. “I quit my job. I couldn’t do it anymore. They damn near broke me. I thought I was going to die. Had the military not attacked the compound where I was being held, I would have died. My people didn’t know where I was. It was a total accident.”

“No, it was God. He found you, and brought you home to me.”

“I believe that, too. Come on. Let’s go back to bed.”

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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First Meeting from Knight of Love ~ A Love Under the Sun Romantic Suspense by Dellani Oakes

The lodge was a long, narrow log cabin, tucked snugly up against the hill, the front windows facing the fields below. They came upon it from the rear, just off the kitchen, where the noises of pots clanging could be heard.

“I’m on cooking crew, I forgot!” Emily announced. “I have to fly, Gin. Go mingle. Grendel can introduce you later! Ta!”

Off she fluttered. Ginny had been left often enough by the absent minded Emily not to be concerned with being alone to fend for herself. Her natural shyness came upon her when she walked into the lodge. The building was full of dozens of busy people on ladders with hammers and banners. She chose a quiet bench by the fireplace and sat watching the noisy crew.

A young man detached himself from the fray and moved toward her. She recognized him from earlier when she and Emily had been on their way to the cabin to change. It was either Richelieu or D’Artagnan, the blond who had blushed. He smiled in greeting and recognition. He was dressed in leggings of hunter green, form fitting with a tie and flap in the front as befit the times. His white, ruffled shirt was just about, but not quite, long enough to conceal his hips. A very tasty looking leg and rear end were visible. She tried not to stare, but couldn’t help herself. He’d obviously considered the effect he would have on ladies and no doubt anticipated the stares. His blond hair was about shoulder length, soft curls tied back in a leather thong. A hint of a goatee fringed his chin. His blue eyes twinkled and he laughed at his own awkwardness with his ruffled shirt.

The neck of the shirt was cut in a low V, surrounded by three rows of ruffles. The sleeves ended with lots of ruffles too, and he seemed to be having trouble with it. Hopping off the ladder, he loped over to her bench. He was a little red in the face, the flush made him seem even more handsome. Ginny couldn’t help checking him out. Blushing herself, as he sat next to her on top of the table, his feet on the bench beside her, she forced a smile.

“Hi,” he grinned almost shyly. “We saw each other on the road earlier. I go by D’Artagnan, but my name is really Clai. Pleased to meet me?” He held out his hand, palm up.

“Hi,” she was so ashamed because she had been staring at him, her voice caught in her throat. “I’m Emily’s friend, Ginny. Well I’m Aelfwyn for the weekend. Pleased to meet me?” Her shy smile lit her face.

Clai took her hand, kissing it gently. His lips were soft, the golden hairs on his chin tickled her fingers. She felt a thrill run through her she had never felt before.

“Enchanté, mademoiselle.” His accent was quite good. He said something else in French that she didn’t understand, withdrew his hand, smiling a little forlornly. “You don’t speak French, do you?” At her negative reply, he sighed. “I keep trying. One day, maybe there will be another language major at one of these things, with whom I can communicate. Anyway, I’d rather speak to you in English, than anyone else in the room, but I have to help with the banners. These damn sleeves of mine keep getting in the way. Can you help set me free from my entrapment before I nail my sleeve to the wall? Being a Frenchman has its draw-backs.”

She blushed again as he held out his hand to her. She fumbled for a moment with the sleeve and managed to release the catch. The second was easier. She had difficulty concentrating on what she was doing, causing her fingers to fumble more. He didn’t seem to mind, so she worked slowly until it was open.

“Do you want the sleeves rolled up?”

“No, I was thinking more along the line of taking the whole wretched thing off, I just can’t manage the sleeves alone. Will you watch it for me? My sister made it, she’ll kill me if anything happens to it. She’s in costuming,” he added as if this explained everything. Removing his shirt, he carefully handed it to her. Their fingers brushing for a moment, a little shock sprang from his hand to hers. She took the shirt and folded it equally carefully, laying it in her lap.

His cologne rose from the shirt, the scent intoxicating. She wanted to press the shirt to her face, but didn’t dare with so many people around her. She watched the banner hanging with growing interest, not so much the process itself, but because of Clai’s rear end was so tight she could have bounced a quarter off it

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 45

Janet and Tex have a terrible fight, and he beats her. When she’s at the hospital, she finds out she’s pregnant.

She pressed charges against Tex, and they put him in jail for nine months. Unfortunately, her baby didn’t make it that long. She carried it four months before she miscarried. By this time, she was back in Nebraska staying with her Aunt Martha and Uncle Buck. She got a job working as a school secretary at the high school while she waited for a teaching job to open up. When it did, she took it and didn’t look back.

She hadn’t heard from Tex, and had no idea where he was. She’d tried to find him so she could divorce him, but he’d been released from jail, and disappeared off the face of the earth. After a year of teaching, she got her own place, next door to Ramona’s parents. Her best friend was married and happy. The mother of two, with a third on the way, she and Janet spent every possible minute together. They were at her mother’s house one day, helping make buñuelos for Christmas, when an unfamiliar car pulled up in front of the house. A tall, muscular man with close cropped black hair got out, stretching before he walked slowly up to the door. He had a slight limp, but there was no disguising that walk. Janet’s heart skipped a beat. Her breath caught in her throat.

“Diego!” she gasped.

Running to the door, she flung it open before he knocked. He stood on the porch, eyes wide with disbelief.

“Janet? Baby, is that really you?”

“You bastard!” She slapped him. “You quit writing. I didn’t hear from you! Where have you been?”

Diego grabbed her to him as she tried to beat him. Laughing, he held her wrists in his hands, firmly but gently.

“Not quite the greeting I envisioned,” he said with a chuckle. “It’s a long story, baby. Can I come in my mother’s house, and take a piss before I tell you?”

Janet’s kiss nearly knocked him over. Diego held her, kissing her with unequaled desire. Gasping and crying, she let him come inside. He went quickly to the bathroom, then came out to meet his niece and nephew, and see the rest of the family.

His mother nearly smothered him with kisses. His father, who was unable to rise from his recliner without help, took his hand. Ramona hugged him, standing a foot away because of her pregnant belly. The whole time his family mauled him, he held Janet’s hand. When they’d finished, he drew her to him once more, kissing her. He couldn’t believe she was really there.

“I’ve missed you,” he whispered.

“Me too.”

It took a while, since the family kept interrupting, but he explained where he’d been and why he hadn’t written. While in the Navy, he was approached by the government, asking him to work for the CIA.

“I couldn’t tell you,” he said, apologizing. “I wasn’t allowed to talk about it. I’ve been working for them for three years, but I finally gave it up. I nearly died on my last assignment. I can’t tell you a thing about it….” He looked sad, closing in on himself.

Janet took his hand, raising it to her lips. “It’s okay. You don’t have to explain to any of us. We love you, no matter what.”

His parents wanted him to stay the night in his old room, but Janet invited him to stay with her instead. He grabbed his things from the car and went with her to her house.

“I need a shower,” he said with a grin. “Otherwise you’re not gonna want to be around me. I’ve been driving for three days. I had to get home.”

She showed him the bathroom and got him towels. He sang as he bathed and she smiled when she heard the words. He was the only person she knew who’d be singing Stairway to Heaven in the shower. He shut the water off when he got to the last, “And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.”

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 44

Janet and Tex make love for the first time. He asks her to marry him.

With every trick he knew, he made love to her again and again, trying his best to convince her he was the man for her. Finally, just before falling asleep, she said yes….

The wedding took place a month later. Janet was already living with Tex in his small apartment, but they were looking for a house. He’d start his doctorate the following fall and she was going into her senior year. Tex had been promised a job as a graduate assistant as he worked on his PhD. Life was good for a time. They were happy choosing and moving into their new home together. It wasn’t a fancy house, but it was roomy.

The first night that Tex came home drunk, Janet didn’t think much of it. He’d been out with a few friends, celebrating his master’s degree. They’d had their own celebration—dinner out and lots of sex to follow. Tex had a strong drive. He needed sex at least twice every night, or he didn’t sleep.

One night, shortly after their second anniversary, he came home with lipstick on his shirt, smelling of another woman’s perfume.

“It’s nothing,” he explained when she confronted him with it. “I was at the club with the guys and some girl was dancing. She flirted with me some. That’s all.”

For the first night since they’d been married, he went to bed without demanding sex.

Janet didn’t know what to think. She called her mother to ask her advice.

“Probably he’s just tired. You can’t expect that fire to last forever. It’s been two years. Surely the honeymoon was over a long time ago?”

“I know, Mom. But to go from always being horny, to not wanting me at all? Do you think he’s got someone else?”

“Don’t sweat it, sweetheart. Just ride it out.”

Janet rode it out. That storm and many others came along. School was hard on him. He had trouble meeting his teaching obligations, and still keeping up with his classes and his dissertation. She took over writing that for him, coaching him on it when he had time. She helped him grade his papers, somehow managing to get her work done, too. Through it all, Janet never complained. Husbands and wives helped one another.

When he failed his oral defense, he came home that night, drunk and surly. No matter what she said, he got angrier. Not even the promise of love making made him happy. She tried once too often to cheer him up—that was the first time he hit her.

It didn’t stop with one blow. He beat her repeatedly, finally passing out in the living room. Janet crawled to the phone, calling 911. The police broke down the door to get to her. They arrested Tex, taking him away in a squad car. The ambulance took Janet to the hospital where she was treated for bruised and broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder and a fractured humerus.

Her doctor came in, face grave. “Mrs. Macy? I want to keep you overnight.”

“I can’t,” she said. “I have to get home….”

“I can’t let you do that, ma’am. Mrs. Macy, were you aware that you’re pregnant?”

“I am?” She brightened. This should make Tex happy.

“But given your other injuries, we’ve reason to believe that you may miscarry. We want to keep you overnight, to keep an eye on you.”

Janet burst into tears. It was bad enough to find out she was pregnant that way, but much worse to discover she might not keep it.

“Is there anyone we can call for you?”

“My parents,” she gasped.

Her father arrived half an hour later. “Mama’s not feeling well,” he told her. “She’s gone to bed. I’ve got Sookie with me.”

Her sister came in, big eyed and frightened. “The doctor told us about the baby…. He told us Tex beat you damn near to death. Janet, you can’t stay with that man. He’ll kill you!”

“I love him, Sookie. You wouldn’t understand.”

“I understand murder, Janet May,” she said angrily. “And if your baby dies, that’s what it is. You need to throw that man in jail, and leave him.”

“Mama and I will do all we can for you,” her father said. “Money, anything that you need.”

“I want to go see Aunt Martha,” she begged. “I want to stay up home for a while.”

“We’ll pack up your things. Soon as you’re better, I’ll drive you up myself.”

“Thanks, Daddy.”

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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First Meeting from Karen Made Me Write This ~ A Paranormal Romance by Dellani Oakes

Isabelle Wren isn’t like everyone else. She has special psychic powers, which set her apart. Her devoutly religious parents left her to be fostered by a spiritist named Zenobia, when she was very young. Now, she works hard at not showing how different she is. Working out at the gym, she notices someone watching her.

Slowing the treadmill to a gradual stop, she stepped off and drank from her water bottle. Feeling eyes on her, she checked the mirrors before turning around. No need to alert someone to the fact she knew she was being examined. It was a man, she was sure. Off to her right, behind her. Since there were at least six men in that corner, she closed her eyes, sending out her other senses, as her foster mother had taught her. Zeroing in on the third man from the right, she opened her eyes. Spotting him in the mirror, she examined him. He glowed, but it was neither blue, gold, nor red. Instead, he had a dark, vivid green around him. This was a color she had never seen before.

Zenobia, her foster mother, glowed purple, as did she. Green was foreign to her. Staring at him in the mirror, water halfway to her lips, it took a moment to realize he was walking toward her. Not to be taken be surprise, she swung around, ready to leap if needed. He was smiling, but anyone could smile. He lusted, that was readily apparent, but every man in the room did, to one degree or another. His hair was black, with a blueish tint. His swarthy skin was scattered with thick, black hair. She was tall, he towered over her by a good six inches. Her body was toned, fit, lean. His was heavily muscled. She would bet that even his feet were fit.

The room grew very still, the air vibrating between them as he advanced, eyes locked on hers. He moved with a sinuous grace Isabelle had never seen before. The room around them receded when he stopped in front of her. His eyes were as black as his hair, not dark brown. He gazed down at her, his lust rising.

“What are you?” he asked sharply.

“I’m Isabelle Wren.”

“I didn’t ask your name. What are you?”

“Might ask you the same,” she snapped.

Clamping her lips shut, she fussed at herself. Zenobia had cautioned her never to allude to her gifts, not to show she was anything but human. Now, she’d broken the cardinal rule, seconds after meeting this man. Color rose in her cheeks as he stared at her, undressing her with his black eyes. He seemed to peel away her skin, searching bone deep. He tried to probe her mind, and recoiled. A millisecond of fear passed across his face, and a low rumble thundered in his chest.

“Issy?” a cheerful voice broke the spell between them.

It was her friend, Candy. She was as human as can be, and a genuinely good person to boot. Isabelle hung out with her, because there was nothing artificial about Candy. What you saw, you got.

“Hey, girl! Who’s your friend?” Her bright blue eyes twinkled as they raked his body. “Hey, sugar. I’m Candy.” She held out her hand.

The dark man glared at her, then her hand, before turning his back. He walked away, shoulders hunched with suppressed anger.

“Well, ain’t he just a special sorta rude?” Candy said.

“Thanks. I wasn’t sure what to say to make him go away.”

“I saw you struggling. You didn’t know whether to kiss him, or kick him.”

“I was opting for the latter.”

© 2020 Dellani Oakes

Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 43

*CONTENT WARNING* This part is not appropriate for readers under 18.

Because she thinks that Diego has forgotten her, Janet dates Tex. They meet up at his apartment, for a special dinner she’s prepared.

“Sorry I’m late. I got hung up talking to my faculty adviser. He wants me to change my thesis.”

“Now? You’re almost done!”

“I got a new adviser. He’s changed it all up. I have to start all over.”

“I’ll help you. We’ll get through this. Didn’t we write you A papers all semester?”

We didn’t. You did. I couldn’t have done this without you.” He held her close, kissing her neck. “I can’t tell you how much this means to me—having you here, making this meal…. I love you, Janet. I’ve tried to deny it, but I’m hooked.” He stopped talking abruptly, turning away from her. “I had all planned how I was going to do this, and it all went right out of my mind.”

He took her hands, bringing them to his lips. “I know it’s only been four months, but you’re my heart. I want to be with you forever. I want to be the man you wake up with every morning, and the guy who makes love to you every night…. I want to marry you, Janet. If you’ll have a rough cut, East Texas yokel….”

“Oh, Teddy!”

He slowly let go of her hands, eyes sad. “You only call me Teddy, when you’re gonna tell me no. Don’t say it. Don’t answer yet. Let’s have this great meal, and you think about it.” He busily put his things away and washed his hands before helping her serve the meal.

“Look, I know there’s that other guy—Diego. You told me about him like day one. I know you think you’re in love with him, but I’m here in your life, not him. I see you every day. I talk to you when you’re sad, I laugh with you when you’re happy. I’m the man who wants you more than my own life….”

Janet gulped, dabbing her eyes with her napkin. She could hardly eat, she was so full of dueling emotions. She cared for Tex, loved him, in a way. But she was in love with Diego, and couldn’t see herself with any other man.

They set the subject aside by mutual, unspoken consent. Instead, they spoke about their days, his new thesis, and everything except his proposal. They cleaned up the kitchen together and sat in the living room with their coffee, talking and laughing.

Eventually, he tired of the polite civilities and took her cup from her. Moving closer, he drew her into his embrace. She went unresistingly. There had been a lot of kissing the last four months, but nothing more. Janet hadn’t felt right about going further. Tonight, he didn’t stop when she moved his hands from her breasts. His lips left hot trails down her neck, his hands searing her skin as his desire grew.

Janet never thought another man could excite her like Diego, but she’d been wrong. The more Tex touched and kissed her, the hungrier she became for what he had to offer. Finally, she quit resisting, quit saying no in her own mind, and relaxed against him.

Tex felt the change in her, and knew he’d won. She was his now, and if she wasn’t in love with him yet, she would be. She might hesitate to say “I love you”, but she would one day. Pushing his advantage, he slipped his hand under her top, caressing her breast. His tongue traced the contour of her neck from her shoulder to her earlobe. He nibbled and nipped her throat and ear, rubbing her back until he found the sweet spot just below her waist. Janet jumped against him when he touched it. Laughing and kissing, they undressed, finally heading to the bedroom in their underwear. Tex got a condom from the drawer and put it on. There was no turning back now. It was now or never….

His hand touched her inside and she melted. It excited her so much, she nearly came then. Writhing and moaning, she waited for him to make his next move, but he took it slowly. Savoring their first time, he feasted on her breasts. Finally, when she could stand it no longer, she pulled him to her.

“I do admire a woman who knows what she wants,” he murmured. “`Specially when it’s me.”

Janet gasped with delight. He made love to her as well as Diego, something she’d never thought possible for any man to do. In fact, when they peaked, it felt better than her memories of her first time. Diego was good, but he’d been a teenager. Tex was a man with plenty of experience. He knew what to do to make her scream—and she did. Exhausted and sweating, she clung to him.

“Will you think about it, baby? Will you marry me? Please? I love you….”

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 42

Janet agrees to go out for coffee, with Tex. A storm picks up, and he tells her he chases tornadoes, and asks if she has any vices.

She shrugged, tossing her hair. “I don’t give them up easily. A man has to work hard to learn them.”

“I can guess one of them already.”

“Oh, really.”

“Yup. You’re a tease. You get a man all wired up, and tell him flat out no.”

“I’ve never done that.” She glared defiantly.

“A woman with spark. I like that. Where there’s a spark, there’s a fire.”

“I thought that was where there’s smoke….”

“Nope. Not with women. Have dinner with me.”

“Excuse me?”

“Dinner. Tonight. I’ll take you anywhere you want.”

“I can’t tonight.”

“Why not?”

“My parents are expecting me home for dinner.”

“Why’s that a big deal?”

She wrinkled her nose, making a face. “My dad takes one night off a week and we have dinner at home. We’re all there, unless it’s a school obligation I can’t get out of.”

“Tell them you have to work.”

“I’d love to, but I work for my dad.”

He chuckled, nodding. “Understood. So, tomorrow? Do you have family night then, too?”

“Tomorrow, I can do.”

“Great. I’ll pick you up at eight o’clock.”

“You don’t know where I live.”

“But you’re going to show me, when I drive you home.”

“You’re right about one thing, Tex.”

“What’s that?”

“You are persistent.”

“Does that mean you’ll go?”

“I’ll go.”

He whooped, making the other patrons glare at him. “She said she’d go out,” he announced to the room in general.

The women rolled their eyes, the men clapped politely. Tex took her hand, bringing it to his lips.

“You won’t regret it,” he told her. “Not for a second.”

Lubbock, Texas. 2000.

I did regret it. Maybe not right away. But forever. Why did I ever go with him? Because I thought Diego had stopped caring. He didn’t write, he didn’t call, he didn’t send messages through Ramona. I was sure he’d found someone else and forgotten me…. I’m sorry…. I’m so sorry….

But who she apologized to, she couldn’t have said.

Lubbock, Texas. December 1979

Tex moved fast, spinning her around, sweeping her off her feet. Dinner, movies, plays, concerts. He was charming, affable, handsome—there. It had been nearly a year since her last message from Diego. He was busy, she knew that, but he’d always managed to write or call before. She didn’t know where he was stationed, what he was doing. The uncertainty was more than she could handle.

She still loved him desperately. The sound of his voice thrilled her, thoughts of him warmed her. She’d dated very little through high school into college. He’d been her first and, so far, only. No other man excited her the same way, and she wouldn’t settle for second best. She had her memories of their time together, and that saw her through.

But Tex…. There was something hot and exciting about him. He made her feel giddy, alive, loved. His kisses thrilled her nearly as much as Diego’s. He didn’t pressure her, but she knew he wanted to take their relationship further. It was their four month anniversary and she was cooking a nice meal for him at his place. He’d given her a key a month ago. She let herself in and started dinner. She’d brought candles and special dishes and glasses to adorn the table. He arrived with flowers twenty minutes before dinner. His kiss made her tingle from head to foot.

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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First Meeting from Jerrika and Delmar ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes

Sometimes, first meetings aren’t face to face. In fact, Jerrika Harper and Delmar Washington connect over the phone, and don’t actually meet face to face for several days.

The phone rang on the other end, sounding tinny in his ear. Staring at his computer screen, which was doing something he knew it shouldn’t be, he waited.

“Tech support, Jerrika speaking, how may I help you?”

“Hi, this is Delmar, Fifth Floor.”

“Hello, Delmar Fifth Floor. What seems to be your trouble?”

Her voice was bright and sparkly, somehow lightening the load he had on his shoulders.

“I’m hoping you can tell me. I’m staring at a black screen. Before you ask, yes, it’s all plugged in, the monitor is on, I’ve turned it off and on again, and it’s still black.”

“Hmm. Is there a cursor blinking?”

“Yeah.”

“So, we know it’s operational. Did you recently download anything?”

“You think it’s a virus?”

“Could be. Did you?”

“Just some files for a client.”

“Via e-mail?”

“Yeah.”

He heard keys clicking rapidly.

“Name?”

“Delmar Washington.”

“Gotcha.”

More keys clicked. Jerrika whistled. “Wow, Delmar. Do you ever clear out your inbox?”

“I thought I did. Why?”

“You’ve got over two thousand old e-mails here, love. Want I should purge this?”

“You can do that?”

“I am an Tech Goddess, I am omnipresent and omnipotent.”

“But are you omniscient? Because that’s my favorite.”

She giggled. “Only on Friday. You’re in luck! This might take a minute.”

He could still hear her breathing, and the sound of keys clicking, so he knew she hadn’t hung up. As he watched, his screen blinked blue, black and came back on.

“Whoa! What did you do?”

“I have solved your problem. The most recent e-mails are in a file marked Recent. The ones which were less than a month old are now in a file marked 30 days or less. I did a quick check of the spam folder, threw it all away, and cleared your deleted files. The rest you’ll have to decide about. I didn’t want to purge anything important.”

“Damn, girl! Will you marry me?”

“That’s just the relief talking.”

“True. But how can I thank you? That was amazing.”

“I’m fond of chocolate chip cookies,” she teased.

“I’ll send you some.”

There was a surprised pause. “You really would, wouldn’t you?”

“You bet. Hey, better yet, I’ll get you a gift card to Lucille’s Bakery on Sixteenth. They make the best chocolate chip cookies in the city. What’s your e-mail?”

“Jerrika Harper. That’s spelled J-E-R-R-I-K-A.” It wasn’t necessary to give the rest, they worked for Crossfire Sporting Goods, which had its own server.

His turn to tap keys.

“Oh, my God, you really did!”

“I was serious about that thank you. You have no idea how much I have to do before I can go home. You’re a life saver.”

“I live but to serve. Anything else I can help you with?”

“I’d love for you to keep talking to me, you have a beautiful voice.”

“Why, thank you. You’ve got a very nice voice, yourself. But if you’re that busy, I’ll distract you.”

“Also true. Much as I’d love to keep chatting, I gotta go. Thanks again.”

“You bet. That’s what I’m here for. Keep your e-mail cleared out,” she admonished playfully.

“Never gonna happen.”

Laughing, they said goodbye and hung up.

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 41

Janet recounts her meeting with Tex, to her nurse, Flora. It was in Lubbock, Texas in 1979.

Janet laughed loudly, muffling it when people shushed her. “You’re gonna get me in trouble.”

“I could get you in all kinds of trouble, but only in private,” he replied with a cocky grin. “Theodore Macy. Most folks call me Tex.” He held out his hand to her.

“Isn’t that a little redundant. We are in Texas, after all.” She didn’t take the hand or introduce herself.

“I did my undergrad in New York. Wasn’t quite so redundant there.” He shrugged. “Hello, Tex,” he said in a silly, girlish voice. “My name is…?”

Giggling, she took his hand. “Janet.”

“No last name?”

“Just Janet will do.”

“Well, Just Janet, I’m a persistent cowboy. When I see the prettiest girl in the library, sitting by herself, I have to ask why.”

“Maybe I like being alone,” she said quietly, going back to her book.

“And maybe you just didn’t have the right guy come up and talk to you.”

“Or maybe,” she said sternly, “I like being alone.”

“Nobody really likes being alone. You wouldn’t come here, if you wanted to be alone. You’d go lock yourself in your dorm room.”

“I live in town.”

“Even better.”

“With my parents.”

“Bummer. Suddenly, my pants ain’t smilin’….”

Raising an unfriendly eyebrow, she eyed him. He was good looking. Sandy brown hair, body bronzed by the sun, eyes the color of sage, chiseled jaw, nice physique…. She glared at him and went back to her book.

“Aw, come on, Just Janet. Cup of coffee…. You’re a college student. We live on coffee.”

“Are you ever going to go away?”

“No. I told you, I’m a persistent cowboy. Come on. How bad can it be, having coffee with me?”

Janet had to admit that the idea held appeal. He was good looking, friendly, charming…persistent.

“Okay. Coffee. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving you my number.”

He chuckled, standing up. “Doesn’t mean you won’t….”

She grabbed her backpack and they walked together to the front doors. There was a coffee shop within walking distance, so they headed there. Sitting together at an inside cafe table, they watched the sky turn dark and nasty. The wind picked up and they laughed as a dozen tumbleweeds chased one another down the street.

“Should have brought my umbrella,” Tex said with a sigh. “Can’t offer to keep a lady dry, if I don’t have the means.”

“We can sit here and try to ride it out,” she suggested.

Tex shook his head. “This one’s got staying power, believe me. Could be a few hours.”

“How can you possibly tell?”

“Got myself a feeling. And almost six years of meteorology studies behind me.” He grinned as he took a sip of his coffee. “Born during a hurricane, I grew up in Corpus Christi, and I’ve watched the weather for over twenty years.” He stared at the gloom with a soulful smile on his full lips. “Something about Mother Nature. You can’t tame her, you can’t predict her. Got to give up and let her do her thing, ride it out, let it happen….”

Janet watched him watch the weather. The color of his eyes picked up the gray and yellow in the sky, turning them a dark, mysterious brown. He felt her stare. Smiling nervously, his bronze skin took a rich copper tinge.

“Sorry. For me, this is a rush. I do storm chasing.”

“Storm chasing?” She shook her head, not understanding.

“Find a storm cell and follow it. Not even sex gives a rush like following that tornado, waiting to see where it will go.”

“You follow tornadoes? Are you high?”

He laughed loudly, setting his cup down with a click. “Not at the moment. You?”

“I don’t do drugs. Never have.”

“Do you have any vices?”

“One or two,” she flashed a secretive smile over her coffee cup.

“Oh, baby, would I like to find out what they are.”

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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