An excerpt from Redemption, a book from the up coming Dark Royals Series

Chapter Six

Terri

I cannot believe the nerve of that arrogant bastard, Terri continued to fume as she finally slipped her key into the lock and turned the knob to the apartment that had been her permanent residence for the past year. After fighting almost forty minutes of traffic thanks to a three car collision nearest the freeway, all she could think about was ordering a pepperoni pizza, with bread sticks, some fudge brownies and washing it all down with a nice cold glass of Coca Cola before climbing into bed.  She pushed the door open and to her surprise and horror Mr. Thomas was sitting on her couch with a bouquet of red and white roses, a Dior gift bag and she could be wrong but a remorseful expression. She didn’t know if she should attempt to run for her gun or just run period. The bastard had broken and entered into her home and had the nerve to be sitting on her couch waiting for her. He stood up and quickly approached her before she had time to bolt down the hallway and back to her car. He closed the door behind them, forcing her to back into the corner like a cornered animal. “I just wanted to apologize for what I said. My intentions clearly did not match my words and I am truly remorseful for the anger that I caused.” He said, his mouth inches away from hers; his big brawn hunched to her level, both hands pressed against the wall behind her and his eyes intensely fixed on hers. “In order for me to properly accept your apology, I think you should give me some physical space.” She breathed, her heart racing a mile a minute from just being in such dizzying close proximity to so much man.

He straightened his posture, and only backed away just enough to give her some breathing room…but not much. He had made it painstakingly clear that he was not allowing her room to get away from him, and Terri reasoned that if he really wanted to hurt her, he could have easily done so. But, he needed to know that annoying the hell out of her would be the quickest way for him to get his feelings hurt.  “So do you?” He asked, or better yet demanded. “Do I what?” She asked, finding herself once again annoyed by his demeanor. “Accept my apology?” “For being a pompous ass? Sure. Now could you please leave?” She stepped around him, and dropped her purse on the dining room table and then kicked her shoes off leaving them right by the table and chairs as if totally unbothered by his presence. “I annoy you don’t I?” He asked following her to the living room and watching her take a seat by her answering machine and pressing play to gather today’s unanswered messages. “Yes, you do. Why? No one has ever told you that you ‘oh great one’ have an annoying presence?” She almost laughed at the sight of his jaw actually dropping at her comment. He looked downright astounded. “No woman has ever told me that I annoyed them. They have always enjoyed my presence.” “Well there is a first time for everything,” she mumbled as she hit the play button to her answering machine. He went to say something as she motioned for him to be quiet as she listened in on the dozen or so messages that were waiting for her. The first five were from Lee: “Terri, I know I wasn’t always a good man to you but we can work it out.” She didn’t bother to finish listening to them, she just erased his pathetic pleas for second chances, all the while reaping the benefits of a heat seeking gaze coming from Luther. If she hadn’t known better she would have sworn the man was jealous. But that was ludicrous, they just met. The rest of the messages came from her attorney explaining to her that the court date had been moved up and basically all she needed to do was sign and then she was free, and then of course there were bill collectors demanding payment. When she was done, she realized Luther had taken a seat on the couch, clearly demonstrating the fact that he was going nowhere.

“I came all the way down here to apologize, just for you to tell me that I annoy you,” he said with a hint of sarcasm. “Well that is your problem. You have this way about yourself that irks the hell out of me. I am done dealing with men who are assholes.” She retorted. “And how am I an asshole?” He demanded with his nostrils flaring, and his jaw set so tight she thought he would break a tooth. “It is your demeanor,” she replied coolly. “You act as if the world owes you something and everyone in it is born to worship you. You know that money talks and therefore provides you with great amounts of power over people that you carelessly flex and I refuse to be a part of it. I have enough issues of my own and I don’t have to deal with a man who would treat me any less than what I demand and what I deserve. You can’t buy everyone. At least not me.” “I don’t want to buy you,” he said appearing somewhat defeated. “You challenge me and I like it. At least let me buy you dinner and to prove to you that I am not always such an arrogant prick, I will bring you safely back home, see you to your door and leave like a perfect gentleman. Please.” “Dinner?” She mocked with a raised eyebrow. From her limited experiences with men, she had concluded many a time that when men typically bought a woman dinner, there was an expectation of a returned favor that did not involve food. “Yes, dinner. That is why I came over.” “You broke into my house-“ “I entered the same way that I did last night, so technically I did not break and enter.” The stared at each other in a sort of silent stand-off until Terri relented with an “Ok.” It took Luther a second to comprehend that she actually agreed without much of a fight when she said, “But only one these conditions: you stick to your word-no funny business. You asked me, I did not ask you and so I owe you nothing. And, you have to honestly explain to me how the hell you ended up on my couch last night.” He smiled, flashing those dazzling bright whites that could light up a room. “Fair enough.”

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