Coming November 23, 2015: Blind Salvation

Coming November 23, 2015: Blind Salvation

“And so the light fell in love with the dark, even though it was the light that could not see and it was the dark that bathed in the sun…”- Blind Salvation

The first installment of the Dark Royals Series, Blind Salvation is an interracial, paranormal romance novel about a vampire prince who finds his soul in the heart of a blind woman. Damien is being forced to marry through the will of his father, Hadrian, The Great Vampire King of their bloodline due to a prophecy that he perceives to be a threat to the races’ survival. Kennedy, legally blind since birth, is an African American woman nearing her thirties has spent the last five years of her life alone-her only companion, an incredibly intelligent Golden Retriever by the name of Hubert, is rescued by none other than Damien one evening from a gang of thugs and as fate should have it, he connects with her instantly. Awed by her independence despite of her obvious handicap, Damien is smitten by her and desperate to protect her from what should have been an ordinary and mundane existence of a blind person.  Unfortunately, his kind are being hunted by a relentless Slayer by the name of Rothbart all because of a misunderstanding orchestrated by his older sister Lucinda, in the quest to protect his family and the new love of his life, Damien and Kennedy discover that she is an heir to the “lost” Fae King and as the story unfolds both of them fight against time to find the salvation they both had been searching for all along.

Preorder links are available. Order your copy today!


Another excerpt from Raphael…(Current WIP)

Chapter eight

Raphael swung at the air in frustration. His so called “savior” had not only abandoned him, but now she was pulling out all stops to ignore and evade his advances. To finally have met her in person, and not as an apparition or in the form of a vision had been the greatest joy he had experienced since his imprisonment. Sure she was a bit inexperienced in her gifts, but the fact remains that she is gifted indeed, and perhaps much stronger than she knew. Her grey eyes were unmistakable; such a peculiar shade of grey, smoky and indistinct; with a deep blue tint to it. He wondered where she inherited the gene. But besides all of that, she fooled him, disappeared and then using not only her powers but her wit to avoid him. However,  he doubted her wit would best him when it came to a test of wills. Since she mentally blocked him from visiting her in her dreams, he would appear in every single one of her reflections until she is driven to the point of madness. He would disrupt every moment of her daily life until she consented to freeing him from this cursed dungeon. He would free himself and his brothers, and rid the world of the person responsible. He knew she had the power to not only free him but send him back to his time where he could regain his life back, raise his children and recommit himself to his wife. After that, she could go back to whatever life she was living undisturbed.

He opened his mind to search for the connection to her, and to his dismay, she was sleeping and therefore had him blocked. He would reach out to her again in a few hours when he was sure she was awake. But in the meantime, at least he knew for a fact she was of age and ready to assist, and he would do whatever it took to convince her to do so. He took a seat against the wall, and rested his arms onto his knees. It had been centuries since he had tasted food and drink; centuries since he felt the tender touch of a woman and almost a millennia since he wielded his sword. He had been suspended in time, trapped in isolation and for the life of him could not figure out why-well, he knew why or at least part of the why: the bastard was after his land…and his poor wife.

He knew that he and Annamarie were not exactly on the best of terms prior to his capture. For whatever reason she had distanced herself from him, perhaps to deal with her fears regarding the pregnancy alone since she wasn’t one to really share her thoughts and feelings anyways. But no woman could resist him. He had never had a problem when it came to winning the heart and body of a woman, but for this woman, he actually had to put in effort to win her affections; and when he did the victory that followed felt…hallow.  Even when he took her on their wedding night, he recalled her response to be less than enthused…

The eating and drinking and the rest of the festivities that took place from the moment their vows were exchanged would probably continue well into the next sunrise for this was a momentous occasion for the Caspian men. Raphael was the first of his brothers to wed, and the people that his family had protected since the dawn of time were anxious for another heir.  Raphael whisked his new bride away to a small castle that his father had built from the ground up as a wedding gift to his mother. After her death, Raphael had sworn that he would give whoever the lucky woman that won his heart the very home that his father had built for a woman that had done more than won his heart. And so, that is what he did. Once he secured her onto his horse, her long white gown flowing across the back of the white mare and onto the grassy plain, he hopped on effortlessly and off they went into the wind. The crowds behind them cheered them on, and although he himself was filled with joy, his new bride did not possess the beaming quality most women wore when they finally wed the man that their hearts desired. He managed to brush it off as wedding jitters, and with her still being a virgin, he could understand her fears. But he promised himself that he would take his time, be as gentle as he could with her, and make sure that she enjoyed every second of his love. He kissed her lovingly on top of her head as they rode off into the distance.

Night had come when they reached their destination. The castle had been prepped for their arrival; the staff was ready at the gates to greet them; the banner with his family’s crest was lifted and on full display, and once she was safely off of the horse, he carried her across the threshold just as any doting husband would. Once inside, he personally gave her a tour of the home he grew up in, and every now and then she would admiringly gaze at the pictures of his family that hung sporadically throughout the halls. She seemed impressed with the décor: a cross between two periods of Gothic and Medieval and a few items here and there that differed in culture and theme. He wanted to show her every nook and cranny of the 14 room abode, but there were more pressing things that he was anxious to get to, and one of them creating a magnificent bulge in his britches.

He guided her to their room, where he had hoped to spend a great deal of time in; and she nervously glanced around at the hundreds of tiny candles that he had his servants light to create a romantic and calming ambiance to set the mood. The massive bed was scattered  with rose petals from the garden, and he had the purple drapes opened just so that the light of the moon could serenade them a silent song of light. He wanted to show her that he was more than a warrior-he was a man of worth; someone who was thoughtful, open and ready to give whatever she asked for. He would be her slave tonight and she would be his master. His manhood thickened in anticipation. She took a seat on the edge of the bed and when he neared her, she jumped up quickly and said, “I-I need to freshen up.”

“Don’t worry about that Annamarie. I know that you were bathed and prepped for this moment,” He whispered gently to her. “I want to taste everything about you…and I don’t mind a little sweat.”

“But we were on the horse a good while and-“

“Come to me as you are darling. I cannot bear to wait another second for this moment…”

She tried to resist but he quickly took her mouth with his and he held there, tasting every nook and cranny of her mouth… he scooped her up and gently laid her on the bed, positioning her beneath him. Kicking off his boots and removing his sword, he went to work on unfastening each button, untying each lace before her smooth naked body tremored beneath him. His mouth went dry the moment his eyes were greeted with the most perfectly large breasts that fit so naturally with her curvy body. Her green eyes staring back at him in nervous anticipation. He unfastened the tightly wrapped coils that were her hair and watched it cascade down in waves across her chest. The creamy mounds of flesh that made up her breasts were topped with a cherry of nipple that tightened from the chill of the night air, and once he spread her legs before him, her valley, now fully exposed and ready for his exploring made him dizzy from the sight. Her legs were already trembling and he had yet to do anything other than kiss her, but he figured it was nothing but anxiety from this being her first encounter. He crushed her body with his, and she gasped while he kissed her deeply and lovingly. He left trail after trail of kisses until her face flushed crimson and she cried out for more.

Delirious from pleasure and hungry for more, he hurriedly stripped from his clothing before crushing her again, this time anxiously easing the tip of his prized possession into her core. She flinched only slightly from the invasion, but even in his pleasure maddened state, he realized that there was no barrier as other maidens had upon their first encounters. He should know… As he pushed himself deeper, and she cried out from the pleasure, and still…no barrier…no resistance at all. His body responded in kind to her slick, wet, cavern and he proceeded to take her in the manner that any other man would. All gentleness went out of the window as his demands took over; and she responded in kind. She bit her lip, scratched his back, and opened her legs wider to take more of him into her, and he rode her until her legs could no longer tremble and she was weak from exhaustion. His climax was intense and when he finally rolled from on top of her, she rolled over and said not one word until the time came for breakfast that morning.  He never brought it up to her either, he simply let the concern go in hopes of being able to enjoy what was supposed to be the happiest moment of his life. Although, when he did take her several more times before heading back to his main fortress with the rest of his family, the fact that there was no barrier plagued him; and since that day he never brought her back to that castle. He would allow one of his brothers to have it if requested.

He shook off the memory. There were many more like that and most of them he swept under the rug for the sake of his marriage. There was no question Annamarie had been with another, perhaps that man he had wooed her away from, he was not that naïve. The question that had always remained in his heart was did her love equal to that of which he carried in his own heart? The only way to find out would be through this Winnie woman. She could set him free and send him back. He would just have to work harder to convince her; and he would do so by any means necessary.

(Release Date: TBD)

New Character Alert: Raphael (Book 1 of the Marked Series) Release Date TBD

Chapter Two A Slave With Two Tongues

1350 A.D.

Nothing but the sound of his own heartbeat flooded his brain as he drove his blade deep into the chest cavity of the entity that had long plagued his village with a war that seemed to be as endless as Time itself. The two clans had been warring for so long that no one really knew how or when it started. But he knew one thing; he was going to finish it one way or the other. He would not bring his children into the world to fight what their father could not, and never know the sweet joy of what true peace felt like. They would never live in fear; know what it takes to the learn the mysteries of the swords they would carry…no. This fight would end before they entered into the world; there is already enough evil and turmoil in the world that they would have to adjust to and dealing with the Lizard clan was not an option.

The sword pierced the black heart of the Lizardman before exiting through his back. The creature’s eyes widened, his red pupils expanding then retracting as he screamed and gurgled before his body finally succumbed to the darkness from which it originated from, and Raphael watched without emotion as the lifeless body collapsed onto the muddy ground. His brothers were busy themselves, fighting back the enemy that had destroyed the hundreds of small villages that surrounded their main stronghold. The Isle of Capsos’ which was just north of Ireland and almost twice its size had become a booming nation in the sea trades, and his family had not only been one of the few ruling class families that dominated the ports, but were also of warrior blood. Training in combat had been one of his family’s specialties, and many generations before him, men of his breeding also took interest in the business of mercenary work; hiring off their skill set in exchange for exorbitant pay by the princes, kings, and men of power and prestige seeking to put an end to their enemies.

He skillfully dodged a swing from behind, and turned to face his enemy: another one of those disgusting soldiers. Red hateful eyes greeted him with a twisted snarl. The human entity that met him with a serrated toothy grin, stood at almost 9 feet in height, and built like one of the many Redwoods that offered a protective refuge to his camp. The Lizard man, as those of his kind were called, wore nothing but tattered rags that barely covered his waist, leaving a great deal of his body exposed and vulnerable. Raphael reacted quickly and lowered a powerful punch into the creature’s jaw, forcing it to stumble back. Despite its lack of protection, the Lizards were a powerfully formidable race. They possessed skills that rendered them almost unstoppable in battle, well except for him and his brothers. They knew exactly how to kill them.

The creature quickly recovered and charged, moving at a speed impossible for the human eye to follow and slammed into Raphael, knocking him to the ground and into a thick puddle of mud. The impact, despite the muddy cushioning not only left him stunned, but left at a disadvantage. The entity, now piled on top of him, layered a series of punches to his face, and had it not been for Micah’s arrow piercing the creature from behind, Raphael knew that today would have been the day he met his fate. He rolled the creature off of him, as his brother emerged from the shadows, cautiously surveying the scene for a potential ambush. When he saw there was none he hurried over to his brother’s side and extended his hand which Raphael gratefully grasped, and helped him to his feet.

“Looks like you almost had it there brother,” Micah mused pointedly.

“Indeed I did…”

“Are you well?”

“Not a scratch.”

“How many?” Micah quizzed  still looking around. The sun had long set, and the surrounding darkness did nothing to ease the sense of dread that begun to fill the pit of his stomach.

“Twelve this time. They attacked the villagers on the eastern side of the lake. It was another ambush. Half of the village is either dead or dying. A few managed to escape and are taking refuge in the church where we have men standing guard.”

“They are becoming much more aggressive in their tactics brother,” Micah said rubbing the stubble that was forming on his narrow chin.

“Indeed. We need to figure out the source of their power; we know very little of their origins and have only within recent centuries have uncovered their vulnerabilities. Father says they may-“

“Enough for now,” Micah exhaled with a slight grin. “Your wife awaits you. She sits by the window  watching the sun rise and set as while the young within her grows. I believe she fears that someday you will not come home. Mother has tried to persuade to come to the gardens with her but she declines…”

“Ah, I will go to her. I had no idea that she awaited me with such longing. I have been too preoccupied with-“

“Winning a war that cannot be won. Our men are dying-“

“Which means our children will have to pick up the fight.”

Micah ran his fingers through his dark shoulder length hair that was  pulled back tightly behind his ears, and lowered his gaze. “It is an unfortunate fate to inherit.”

Raphael said nothing more as he tried to wipe away some of the mud from the back of his leathers, and tried not to think about the growing distance that seemed to have his pregnant wife beyond the edge of his grip. Something was amiss with her, and he had spent many days trying to convince her to open up but to no avail. He figured her moods may have something to do with the pregnancy and hoped by the time the babes were born, she would return to her normal talkative self.

He picked up his sword that had fallen just a few feet or so away from the fallen entity and returned it to its sheath. He took one last look at the creature whose race had plagued this nation’s history since its inception, and made a mental note to return after consorting with his wife, to properly dispose of the body. There was already enough death that haunted the valleys that kept his people awake at night, and the last thing he needed was an epidemic like that of the Black Death that was currently sweeping through Europe at rate that was almost exponential. When he was ready, he allowed his brother to take the lead, so that he may have time to gather his thoughts.

This was life for him and the people of Capsos; when night fell the blossoming economic cities had to take refuge behind monolithic gates made of iron, and the small villages had to hunker down as best they could underneath the protection of the masters of the castles that ruled over them in the areas that extended far beyond the grasp of the cities. And once daylight arrived, what it would reveal would haunt the memories of the people for a lifetime. Small towns burned to the ground, some of its residents left half eaten, or worse: turning into one of those lizard entities just to begin their own reign of terror in the next village.

They continued their walk in silence until they reached their horses on the other side of the bank, safely hidden behind a thicket of trees and bushes that provided the landscape a protective covering that would have been the perfect escape route for a villager on the run from the menacing jaws of Lizard men. Once he mounted his horse, an all-white mare of impeccable breeding, he would only have a few short hours to recover before he was out to battle again. Being a Shadow Warrior was indeed an unfortunate fate to inherit.

Annamarie sat nearest the window facing the gardens inside the stone walled monolith that not only protected her and her family from the rest of the world that is now being terrorized by the race of demonic men whose purpose was unclear. She brushed her hand across her belly, feeling the firm roundness and the tiny indent where one of her young had pressed upon with she assumed to be its foot. She smiled, but only for the minute joy of giving birth to children that are undoubtedly hers. Since the moment her nursemaid informed her that she was with child, while her husband found every moment he could to celebrate, and the entire fortress lit up with excitement, she knew that time had become her prison. Once the children were born certain undeniable truths would be uncovered, and then she would either have to flee for her life or risk being executed by the same man who protected her valiantly.

She blinked twice to shed the huge droplets that were making her eyes blurry at the thought of what may be a part of her fate. She hoped that the children come out looking so much like her that no one would dare to question their paternity, but then that was nothing more than hope. She had seen families where an entire brood of children looked like mini replicas of their mother while the father looked like the odd man out. It made her wonder if Raphael knew about her indiscretions and was simply waiting for the moment of truth before coming to a conclusion, but then again, unlike his brothers, Raphael was always the first to react.

She looked down at the gardens where she and her husband used to stroll hand in hand prior to the wedding. Unbeknownst to him, her heart belonged to another although there wasn’t anything about the warrior that made him difficult to love. It was just her father did not like the man that had stolen her heart, and he wanted her to marry someone that not only could protect her but provide for her as well; and although Raphael took his responsibilities seriously, and nor did he fail in any shape or form, but the one who was meant for the soul is the hardest to release, and that was just it in her case.

She carefully stood up so that she could grab a taste of the moonlight that washed over the acres of land that Raphael had declared as hers. The phantom moonlight caress was all that she needed to return to a semblance of “normal” just in time for her husband to arrive. She could hear him down in the main room with his brother Micah, his voice low in less than audible whispers for reasons she assumed to be so that she may be unaware of his recent battle. She dared not leave their bedroom where she had confined herself for many days because for one she was underdressed in the night gown that now failed to cover her growing assets, and two, because she just wasn’t ready to face her husband. She purposely kept her distance from him, and she hoped to do the same tonight.

She crawled into their spacious bed blanketed with bear skin, and thought to pretend to be ill so that she could avoid any of his questions, but most importantly his touch. She tied her thick waves of blonde hair high above her head to prevent him from being tempted to run his fingers through it. It had been months since they had joined together as one, and despite his bedroom skills were legendary, the burden that she carried did not allow her to enjoy his touch or his masculine scent the way that she used to. The idea of him touching her was enough to make her vomit.  She snuggled deeper underneath the blankets and closed her eyes and prayed that sleep would find her. As she heard his heavy footsteps in the hallway, his destination clear, a plan began to weave its way into forefront of her mind; and once she heard the door to the room creak open announcing his presence, she wondered if time would permit such betrayal.

Arian’s Tale: My WIP

Arian’s Tale: My WIP

Arian’s Tale is the retelling of the Little Mermaid, but instead of a mermaid falling head over heels for a human male, this story is a reversal of the story taking place in a modern setting. Arian’s Tale is the first of a series that I have entitled The Retelling, which will involve my versions of famous fairytales including Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty and Little Red Riding Hood. Arian’s Tale is still in the infancy stages but I am shooting for a September release date. And for those of you who are new to my blogs, check out Viper which will be available July 1, 2015.

Chapter 1


Arian sat by his father’s side in front of a mass gathering of mermaids vying for his approval. It was time for him to step up to the plate and begin training as co-ruler, since he is King Triton’s only son, and Atlantea’s future king. The throne upon which he sat had been constructed by Atlantea’s finest coral, and adorned with jewels found in the abandoned and sunken ships left behind by humans: jewels ranging from rubies, sapphires and diamonds, encrusted up his throne as an indicator of his power. Any other merman or tritone would have loved to be in his fins: to be considered the most eligible merman in the seas with all of the powers that came with it, and a harem of mermaids at his beck and call should have had him itching for a chance at the trident. But it didn’t. Sitting in front of a bunch of eerily beautiful yet superficial females with heavenly voices; but possessed personalities equivalent to that of a sand box just didn’t do anything for him. He wanted to get away; disappear into much more shallow waters, and practice taking human form so that he may walk among his two legged counterparts.

He smoothed his long, raven dark hair back even though the subtle movements in the water caused it to continue its drift with the current. His tail, a scaly and iridescent green that extended beyond his waist stretched out over seven feet into a pair of fins that spread out in opposing directions measuring two feet across, flinched anxiously as his father prepared to welcome the crowd of at least fifty of Atlantea’s best females. All of them ranging in size and color, these were Atlantea’s most desired mermaids, each one a prize among her clansman, and not one of them stood out to him. He wondered if there were truly such a thing as true love; and if so, did he not meet the requirements for such a wonder?

His father, King Triton is a merman of legend. A god among gods to his kind and the son of Poseidon. Under Triton’s rule, their kind have remained safely hidden underneath the waves of the sea, and it had been centuries since the war with Man, and as long as the Tritone people remained under his care, there would be peace. Arian understood this and desired to maintain and uphold his father’s laws; but he simply did not care for his moment. Triton rose to his full nine foot height, his golden tail shimmering against the current, displaying his role as king. Twenty feet across from them sat the potential brides awaiting their chance at finally being introduced to the one and only Arian, Atlantea’s future king. His thickly muscled chest flexed without his doing, his blonde hair billowing in the current, his emerald green eyes ablaze with hope and excitement for his son’s future, and without glancing in Arian’s direction, he smiled warmly at his private guests before finally speaking.

“It is my pleasure to be in the presence of such exquisite beauty,” he began. “I would like to welcome all of you on behalf of myself and my son Arian. Hopefully tonight he will choose his bride so that he may begin his training by the next full moon; and then it is within even greater hope that we could expect an heir by the next Great Tide to celebrate the continuation of my legacy. Your families have been assured that all of you will receive a private escort home to ensure a safe passage back to your seas.” He paused a moment to take in the view of smiling and hopeful faces before continuing. “Again, welcome to my palace!”

The mermaids gazed around in wonder and amazement at the exquisite architecture that had been Atlantea’s charm for eons. Hidden far below the deepest depths of the ocean, in the Mariana trench, the kingdom of Atlantea stood proudly. Crafted by none other than Poseidon himself, the entire city had been built from the ocean’s finest of coral, and stone straight from the underwater volcanoes-Obsidian. Atlantea was a complex networking of pyramid structures outlined with the finest of precious metals. The palace itself was a monolithic structure that defined Atlantea: completely made from glass, it shown in the distance as a giant prism, with various portions of the glass palace tinted in varying hues of green, purple and blue. Atlantea was a gem; the ocean’s best kept secret, and for any mermaid to come as an invite is without a doubt the highest honor. The city emitted its own natural light, courtesy of the powers of the King Tridon. All members of his royal line possessed those sacred abilities, otherwise the mer-people of the city would have had to manage to survive in much more shallow waters.

Each of the fifty or so invited guests, eyed their beautiful surroundings with hope in their hearts that they too could somehow become a part of Atlantea’s majesty. Beautiful floral arrangements of coral, sea anemones, lined the 2500 sq. foot main room along with the hallways; pearls strewn together in a whimsical decoration across the glass ceilings like white diamonds against the backdrop of vast and mysterious ocean. Several huge merman, almost as thickly built as the king that they served guarded the entryway, armed with specially made swords, and 10 foot tall spears that they held tied across their backs, and their bluish-green tails swishing about at the ready, the people that inhabited Atlantea had lived very protected lives since its construction. The mermaid guests that sat about anxiously for their introductions to Arian understood that if unsuccessful they were to return to their own parts of the ocean where they belonged and had to pay tribute to King Triton. Atlantea’s residents were all natural born and those that weren’t had to request the king’s clearance to relocate into its protective walls. And so for all of the lovely mermaids in attendance, becoming queen was the only option.

An older merman, the King’s advisor swam out from behind a curtain of kale and introduced himself to the female guests. “Good day ladies,” he began, smoothing away his paling red hair back away from his narrow face. “My name is Dash and I will be sort of like a consultant to the king and the prince in making his decision. Arian has expressed his interest for the time being-“ he said turning to face Arian, his expression smug and condescending. “-in only choosing his main wife. Perhaps later on in the future he would be open to selecting a second wife to guarantee the arrival of an heir by the next Great Tide. Now, I will need for you ladies to follow me down the hallways where all of you will wait to be called individually. It is only when you are called will you have the opportunity to demonstrate to the king and his son your uniqueness and why you should be Atlantea’s future queen. Follow me…” Dash turned quickly and without much warning disappeared down the corridor. After a brief moment of hesitation, the mermaids followed the trail of disappearing bubbles Dash had left behind to a smaller room in the center of the palace, bypassing a variety of sea shelled décor of a multitude of pastel colors. Perched high above their heads on the mantels of proud pillars sat massive clam shells; their jaws open and wide and in the center balls of white light helped to illuminate the palace. The mermaids giggled excitedly amongst one another, for none of them had ever experienced such splendor. Once inside the single room where all fifty of them sat in seats made of coral, sand stone, and lined with rare emerald, Dash disappeared back into the main room where both Arian and his father waited anxiously. As Arian surveyed the expectant faces of both his advisor and his father, he realized that this was going to be a long night.

Blind Salvation: A Quick Overview

Blind Salvation: A Quick Overview

“And so the light fell in love with the dark, even though it was the light that could not see and it was the dark that bathed in the sun…”- Blind Salvation

The first installment of the Dark Royals Series, Blind Salvation is an interracial, 80,000 word paranormal romance novel about a vampire prince who finds his soul in the heart of a blind woman. Damien is being forced to marry through the will of his father, Hadrian, The Great Vampire King of their bloodline due to a prophecy that he perceives to be a threat to the races’ survival. Kennedy, legally blind since birth, is an African American woman nearing her thirties has spent the last five years of her life alone-her only companion, an incredibly intelligent Golden Retriever by the name of Hubert, is rescued by none other than Damien one evening from a gang of thugs and as fate should have it, he connects with her instantly. Awed by her independence despite of her obvious handicap, Damien is smitten by her and desperate to protect her from what should have been an ordinary and mundane existence of a blind person.  Unfortunately, his kind are being hunted by a relentless Slayer by the name of Rothbart all because of a misunderstanding orchestrated by his older sister Lucinda, in the quest to protect his family and the new love of his life, Damien and Kennedy discover that she is an heir to the “lost” Fae King and as the story unfolds both of them fight against time to find the salvation they both had been searching for all along.

Coming soon…

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

Chapter Six


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.”