Steelo Part 2
Steelo Part 2
The night had come when Jaylen and I were going out. He called me the next day after I saw him at Area Lounge and asked me out to dinner, of course I said yes. Actually, because I didn’t want to seem desperate, I told him I needed to check my schedule and I would get back to him, which I did the following day. Maybe I seemed to be playing games from the jump, but you can’t let a man think you are too desperate and that your schedule is too open. I wasn’t extremely busy these days because I have not been traveling and working. I have taken some conference and business calls about upcoming shoots. I think I was just about ready to get back to work.
I couldn’t believe how many butterflies I had in my stomach as the hour approached when I expected Jaylen. I made sure Kennedey was around to answer the door and let Jaylen know I would be down soon. Once I heard the doorbell, I could hear Kennedey greeting Jaylen. I told her not to say too much to him or anything embarrassing or talk about all that weird crap. I didn’t want him thinking our whole family were freaks.
I couldn’t calm my nerves. Dang, why was I so nervous? He is just a man, Reagan. You have been on plenty of dates with men before. Yes, but none I was feeling as much as Jaylen. I gave myself a few squirts of my Happy, a couple of sprays on my neck, wrists, chest, behind the knees, ears, and one spray in the Wonder Land area. Wonder Land was totally off limits to Jaylen, or so I kept telling myself. Wonder Land had other ideas, but I would not back down. Down girl, I told myself.
I made my way downstairs and saw Jaylen standing in the foyer. For the second time upon seeing him, my heart skipped a beat. He looked so handsome. Jaylen was more than fine, that man was beautiful. Good thing I haven’t had a bikini wax lately. Jaylen’s eyes got big once he saw me, I knew I made the right choice in what I wore tonight.
“Wow, you look beautiful,” He said. “Thank you, you look good as well,” I said blushing. “These are for you,” said Jaylen handing me a dozen red roses. “Oh, they’re beautiful! Thank you!” I happily replied. I gave the flowers to Kennedey to put in water. “I’ll see you later, Kennedey, good night,” I said. “Have fun. Nice to meet you, Jaylen,” said Kennedey. “Nice to meet you too,” he replied.
I wasn’t quite for sure where Jaylen was taking me, but seeing how he was dressed, I was happy I chose to dress as well. It was better to be overdressed than underdressed. Jaylen was a true gentleman, opening the car door for me and even asking what I wanted to listen to in his Range Rover.
Our conversation during the ride was light. I found he was easy to talk to, even though I felt a certain amount of giddiness when I was around him. Jaylen and I made our way to the marina, I wondered what he had up his sleeve.
“Since it’s been warm out, I thought we could have dinner under the stars,” Jaylen said once we had parked and walked over to the dock. I looked up and saw a beautiful yacht before us called “Under The Stars”. I was impressed. Jaylen took my arm and helped me onto the yacht.
“Good evening, Mr. Powers. Good evening, Miss. Leeds,” the captain I presumed greeted us once we were on board.
“Hey Stewart, everything looks good, thanks,” said Jaylen to the captain.
We made our way upstairs as I looked around the beautifully decorated yacht. Jaylen really went all out. There was a dinner table set for two. Wine and chocolates were on the coffee table, jazz music played quietly in the background.
“Would you like a glass of wine?” asked Jaylen. I was still in awe of the whole arrangement before my eyes. I looked over at him and smiled. “I would love some.”
Everything looks so beautiful,” I told Jaylen. “Thank you, I was hoping you’d like it,” he replied winking at me.
Jaylen and I sat on the sofa and drank our wine, listening to the soft waves lap gently against the yacht. “Dinner should be ready in a little while, I hope that’s okay,” said Jaylen. I took a sniff of the wine and let it resonate in my nostrils briefly. “Oh, that’s alright. Whatever is cooking smells so good,” I replied.
I felt a rush of the alcohol hit my senses, I felt a bit more at ease even though there was a feeling of excitement and a tingling sensation rushing through my body. I could feel the yacht moving and soon we were drifting away from the shore.
Jaylen and I fell into a comfortable silence, watching the shore growing smaller. He looked over at me. “I’m really glad you agreed to go out with me Reagan. I hope tonight doesn’t disappoint,” he said. “I’m sure it won’t. I’m having a good time already. I’m glad you called,” I said feeling shy. Maybe I shouldn’t have told him that. I was too worried about seeming too eager and excited.
“Did I tell you how beautiful you look tonight?” asked Jaylen. “Yes, but you can always tell me again,” I said, flirtatiously giggling. Jaylen licked those big sexy lips of his and smiled at me. “I don’t think once or twice is enough. Everything about you is on point Ma,” he said. My stomach jumped a little as Jaylen looked at me with a twinkle in his eye, his cologne filled the night air.
He had stumped me once again and I fell silent, unable to come up with a response. “Dinner is ready, Mr. Powers,” the chef came out and told us a few minutes later. Right on time. Jaylen led me over to the dinner table. I hadn’t really thought about eating and I have not eaten that much today.
Our steak and lobster meal was delicious and went by rather quickly,. We didn’t talk about anything too heavy during dinner. We seemed to break the ice once we found out we both loved key lime pie.
Jaylen continued to impress me. Whether he was trying hard to do so or not, didn’t matter to me, he was succeeding. He didn’t strike me as the type to try too hard, he wasn’t desperate.
I was pleased that he tried to make tonight enjoyable. A desperate man was unattractive in my eyes, but Jaylen had the right balance. I liked that he went through the trouble of having a nice dinner on a yacht and not at a typical restaurant for our first date. That told me he was really feeling me, but at the same time it didn’t seem like he was trying to floss for me or that he was a hound dog. I could appreciate the fact that he wasn’t overdoing it.
I found him easy to talk to the first time we spoke on the telephone, but I preferred talking in person over being on the phone.
Jaylen looked at me from across the table. “Is your pie okay?” he asked, “Yes, this is probably the best key lime pie I ever had,” I replied. He nodded his head. “Cool, cool. So, how are you adjusting to life in the islands?” Jaylen asked. “I’m liking it very much, actually. Everything is so beautiful out here. I’ve been here before to work and I was surprised it still has an urban feel in many areas. It’s not too commercial and not too suburban. I’m a big city girl, so I didn’t want to feel like I was in the boondocks,” I said.
“I know what you mean. Being from New York and all, living on the island most of the year was a big change for me,” replied Jaylen. “I can imagine,” I said.
“What made you want to leave Starlight Shores and come out here anyway, Ma?” he asked. I didn’t really want to go into a whole big story about all the drama that was my life in Starlight Shores, so I gave him the lighter version.
“I figured a change would be good. I had lived there for over a year. It was cool at first, but I was ready to leave. At least Isla Paradiso is not too far away from everything. I can get back to Starlight Shores via a short plane ride or a long ferry ride to the mainland and just a bit of driving. It’s where my agency is based, but I work all over. I may even switch over to the Nu Model Management branch out here, that would mean having to switch agents as well,” I said. Why did I have to go into all of that about my job. He is going to think I am so stuck on myself.
“Oh, okay, at least everything is not too far away. I feel you about Starlight Shores. I am not a typical west coast type of man myself. It’s a little too plastic for me out there. I’ll always be a New Yorker. Does your sister like it out here?” asked Jaylen. “I think so. Kennedey is so anti establishment and one of the many things she didn’t like about out there was that is was so uppity. I think this is more of her pace,” I replied.
“You two seem so different, like night and day. I can tell your sister has a lot of respect for you though,” said Jaylen. That surprised me. “Oh? How so?” I asked. I wondered what Kennedey was saying to him before we left the house.
“Just that you really kept your family together after your father’s heart attack and that you were focused on taking care of your business. Don’t get mad at her, she didn’t tell me too much,” Jaylen said laughing. That surprised me even more that Kennedey would say those things about me, especially to Jaylen. I was touched, Kennedey never told me she thought that way about me.
“Kennedey is a good kid, we bump heads and all, but when the chips are down, we’re there for each other. I guess we have been through a lot together,” I said, briefly reflecting on the last few months and how Kennedey really stood up for me. I didn’t want to dwell too much on my family life because that would ultimately lead us down a path I wasn’t ready to go yet.
“So, tell me about your family. Is it just you and your brother?” I asked shifting gears. Jaylen smiled. “Yes, just us. My mother said she thought about having more, but seeing how much we got into, she was done,” Jaylen said laughing. I giggled a little. “Yeah, it’s just my mother, father, Amarre and me. It was cool though. We have a big extended family all over the place,” he continued.
I already knew a little bit about his family upon my research. “Was it hard being a twin? Did you guys play games with people growing up?” I asked him. “For sure, we would take each others classes, tests, play tricks on our friends and family, everything,” Jaylen replied chuckling.
“Did your parents ever fall for your tricks?” I asked. “Nah, we couldn’t fool them, everyone else, yes, but my mom and dad knew better. People can tell us apart now though,” Jaylen responded. “I don’t think the world could handle two Reagans. You and your brother seem a bit different. Like, I can tell you got into a lot more growing up,” I said.
“Yeah, Amarre did his thang too, he is just more low key than I am I guess. I think he has it in his mind that because he is older by a few minutes, that makes him the big brother. Like he can tell me more about life or something,” said Jaylen. I laughed a little. “Yes, I can see that. But I can tell you don’t take any mess from anyone. You’re not afraid of anyone,” I told him.
“True, the one person I am afraid of though is my mom, hands down. I ain’t even ashamed to admit that,” Jaylen chuckled, his eyes sparkling. I really didn’t know what to say to that, I didn’t know where my mother was to be afraid of her. I think that comes with respect and I certainly did not respect Apollonia. I knew how he felt, however, I was always afraid of disappointing my father, even though I have many times over the years. I liked that Jaylen wasn’t too proud to admit he was afraid of his mother, it showed he had a lot of respect for her. Jaylen seemed like he wanted to say something else to me, but held back.
We didn’t talk much longer about our families or parents, maybe Jaylen could sense this was a sensitive subject for me. Of course he had to know about my family history. It was no secret my mother up and abandoned us one night, so I was glad when he changed the subject.
“You mentioned that you would do a couple of shoots in the near future. Are you happy about going back to work?” Jaylen asked. “Yes, I am. I love what I do. It’s hard work, but I do miss it. Not really excited about all the travel, but it will be nice to get back out there,” I replied. “That’s cool. You really have made your mark, Reagan. You’re really doing your thing Ma,” he said.
“Thank you. Let’s talk about your work. What made you and your brother want to open a club?” I asked him. He shrugged. “I don’t know. It just seemed like all the spots we frequented all over just wasn’t enough. They were cool and all, but we always saw ways we could change the game up and we wanted our own stamp on something. We both took business courses in college. We got a loan, invested wisely, did our research and boom, pops up Avenue. It’s doing really well and we decided to open up Tomo. It’s not the only thing I want to do, but it’s cool. It’s a lot of work, but I’m loving it, for real,” Jaylen said.
Hearing him say that made me admire him more. Jaylen and Amarre didn’t look at their business as just something fun to do or an excuse to have a party all the time. I could tell they both took their careers seriously. Jaylen grew more wonderful by the minute. The more I learned about him, the more I liked him. Damn, why does he have to be so fly?
Rn B music started to fill the air. Once dinner was over, Jaylen took my hand. “Would you like to dance?” He asked. “I would love to,” I responded. Jaylen led me away from the table and took me gently in his arms. I felt like I was floating as I looked into his eyes while The Isley Brother’s sang “Make Me Say It Again Girl”.
‘Make me say it again, girl, you’re all I need
Yes you are
Whatever pain’s inside, you make it better
You seem to realize when I’m concerned
You are the only one who goes through the changes
Given my life directions if I am turned
Make me say it again girl
Make me say it again girl
Make me say it again girl, you’re all I need
I closed my eyes briefly. How could this be happening to me? How could I be in the arms of this man I was feeling so much, listening to some of the most romantic baby making music like The Isley’s? How could he smell so damn good, how could I control myself? How could I feel like this and this was our first date? I have never felt this way about any man before, I barely knew Jaylen. Just damn.
I let out a slight breath and opened my eyes again and met Jaylen’s gaze. I could get lost in his bedroom eyes, specks of hazel, gray, and gold. Just don’t pull me too close, I don’t want you to feel my heart beat I pleaded with him in my head. There was an easy warm sensation running through my body and Wonder Land was doing cartwheels. Chill girl.
“You are so beautiful,” Jaylen half spoke, half whispered. I was feeling so hot despite the crispness that had suddenly filled the night air. I just hoped I didn’t start sweating.
Jaylen continued to hold me, our bodies swaying to the music. We stayed in that position for several more songs; which songs I could not tell you.
Jaylen released me and we walked over to the railing. We both stood there watching the moon glow over the water, the waves going idly by. I all of a sudden saw a shooting star in the sky. I had never seen one with my own eyes before. Jaylen moved his hand onto the small of my back, sending a chill up my spine.
“Reagan, would it be alright if I kissed you?” he asked turning to face me. I looked at his lips, I easily remembered every line of his mouth. My heart started to beat louder and faster as I brought my eyes to look into his. “Yes,” I said breathlessly.
Jaylen leaned over slowly and softly pressed his lips against mine. They were so soft and gentle. I parted mine slightly and our lips became in sync and did a little dance with one another. My mouth was hungry for his. I was feeling a million different emotions, my whole body was on fire. Fireworks were going off in Wonder Land. It was as if his mouth had known mine all of my life and knew exactly where to go. Damn the boy could kiss! My knees went weak instantly.
Our kiss, gentle at first grew with just a touch of urgency, but it didn’t feel rushed. I loved to feel the strength of his mouth against mine, but with a gentility he displayed at the same time. I didn’t know how long we stood there kissing, but not long enough. I could have stayed like this forever.
We parted, his hand still on the small of my back. He looked down at me at smiled. I smiled back at him seductively. We didn’t say too much as the shore got nearer. I felt so comfortable, like this is where I needed to be. The man kept chills running through my body and I couldn’t believe how excited I was about him. I was not used to this, what could be happening to me?
Amarre and I sat around the next morning eating the pancakes I just made. My date with Reagan last night had went so well. I didn’t know what I was expecting when I went to pick her up, I was nervous about taking her out. I never felt about any other woman the way I felt about Ma. I think I kept my cool for the most part. I found her very easy to talk to, intelligent, and funny. This was major.
“How did your date with Reagan go last night, Jay?” asked Amarre. “It was really good, more than good,” I replied. Amarre nodded his head. “So I guess you plan on seeing her again then?” he asked, looking up. I nodded my head.
“For sure. Everything about Ma is on point. She is much more than what people say about her. Not that I read any of that gossip mess, but it’s hard to not hear stuff. She is deep I can tell, she has had it rough. She handles her business, which I like. Beauty and brains, that’s a deadly combination.”
My mind started to drift to that first kiss I shared with Reagan. Damn her mouth was so sweet, she smelled so good, her skin was so soft. “Jay? Did you hear me? Dang, son, you are always a million miles away when you have Reagan on the brain,” said Amarre, laughing. I laughed a little too. “Sorry A. I just don’t know what is happening to me. I barely know, Ma, but ever since that night at the club, she is all I think about, son.”
Amarre looked thoughtful. “She is a beautiful woman. I know you are really digging her and you are not used to feeling like this so fast over any woman, I would just advise you take it slow, Jay. Reagan has some baggage and you need to be cautious of that.” I frowned a little. I knew Amarre had my best interest at heart, but couldn’t he just let things be for a while? I wasn’t trying to hear all of that.
“Look Amarre, I realize that, but a person’s past is their past. Shit, we all have a past. I do, you do. I have made mistakes, but I am not going to hold that against her. Besides, what happened with her bitch ass ex is not her fault,” I countered, defensively.
“I’m not saying it’s her fault. But that is a lot to deal with so soon. I know you like her and all, I’m just saying don’t let Lil Jaylen do all the thinking for Big Jaylen,” replied Amarre, shrugging his shoulders.
“Well, Lil Jaylen ain’t all that little, I know what I’m doing,” I said laughing. Amarre starting to laugh too. “Outta here with that. You stupid Jay, but you know what I mean.”
Later that afternoon Amarre and I headed to the basketball court to shoot some hoops with the fellas. “So did you hit that shit or what?” Apollo asked as soon as we got on the court. I knew that was the first question one of these knuckleheads was going to ask me. “C’mon B, you know I never kiss and tell,” I replied.
“Since when? That means you didn’t get any!” laughed Apollo. “Man, whatever yo. No, nothing like that went down between Reagan and I, but I was good with that. I wasn’t trying to pursue that with her so soon.” I was checking Reagan and I wanted to get to know her and see her. I liked talking to her, she was very intelligent and had a lot to say, which I liked. We had a good time on our date and I was looking forward to seeing her again. I didn’t care what my dumb ass cousins had to say.
“Ha, ha, Jay mad!” shouted Apollo. He was acting as if this was the funniest thing in the world to him. “Man, you wylin, will you just shut the hell up and check the ball already B?” I said. Apollo had already gone out with Briah, I think they kicked it the very next day after we saw them at Area. He can’t talk, because I know nothing went down with Briah, because Apollo would have told us if it had. I knew he liked her a lot and all, but of course he would want to tell us if anything happened. Me, on the other hand, I wasn’t interested in sharing too much about Reagan. It was no one’s business. I had a lot of respect for her. I wasn’t sure where this thing could go, but I knew I liked being with her last night.
One of the things I loved most, was playing ball. I am really competitive, so is Apollo. We challenged one another to a dunk contest. Growing up in Brooklyn, I would always play ball in the courts, not far from our house. Ball was a good way for me to work off steam and excess energy. Speaking of Brooklyn, I had to make a trip back to New York in the near future on business. I split my time up between here and back home. Amarre and I did have a whole other club we ran back there, so I was usually in Brooklyn once or twice a month. I had always looked forward to going home every other week or so, but now I wasn’t too eager. Reagan had me tripping, she even knocked me off my game.
The following day after our date, I had a lot of running around to do. I had lunch with my publicist regarding a cover and interview I would be giving for Elle magazine in the near future. I wasn’t ready to talk about the incident and I wanted to make for sure the magazine would not be asking me any intrusive questions. Even though I had a great lunch and was busy the whole day, Jaylen was on my mind.
I walked through the front door, happy to be home. I was shocked, in the kitchen there were several bouquets of flowers, chocolates, and balloons everywhere. I couldn’t believe it, my stomach started doing flip flops.
“Kennedey!”I called for her. “Yeah?” she answered coming into the kitchen.
“Did you know about this? How did all of this stuff get in here?” I asked excitedly, like a kid at Disney World. Kennedey smiled a little. “It all came about an hour ago. I was home so I signed for it,” Kennedey said. I picked up the card:
Reagan, I had a wonderful time last night. I hope we can do it again really soon. -Jaylen.
I smiled. “That is so sweet of him, my goodness,” I said. “That was really nice. I guess your date went well,” said Kennedey. I nodded. “Yes, it did. Hold that thought Ken, I’m going to call him really quickly,” I said to her.
“Hello?” Jaylen answered after I dialed his cell phone.”Hi there. Thank you for the all the flowers, the candy and balloons. That was too sweet of you,” I said. I could hear him laughed a little on the other end. “My pleasure, Ma. I wasn’t sure what kind of flowers were your favorite, so I ordered everything they had,” he replied.
“Well, everything is beautiful. I had a wonderful time last night,” I said. “I did too ma. I hope I can see you again soon,” said Jaylen. “I think that can be arranged. How was your day?” I asked him. “It was cool. Nothing major. Didn’t get much work done, though,” he said teasingly. I found myself blushing and we weren’t even face to face.
We shot the breeze for a couple of more minutes. Jaylen asked me if I wanted to come over to his house in a couple of days. He was planning on grilling since the weather was still nice and he said Apollo would be there. I told him I would bring Briah along. I knew she had gone out with Apollo at least once since that night at Area and Briah was super sprung. She didn’t get down with him because she would have told me if she had.
I hung up with Jaylen and went back into the kitchen. Kennedey asked me if I wanted some coffee, I told her yes. We had not sat down and had coffee since we moved, just chilling.
“You seem to really like Jaylen. Where did he take you?” asked Kennedey. I smiled. “On a yacht. Not sure if it was his, or if he rented it. It was so romantic. We had dinner, had a really nice conversation and danced for a while. Everything was so beautiful. He went to a lot of trouble,” I replied. “Did you kiss him?” she asked. “Yes, and he is a good kisser, the best kisser I ever had,” I said, blushing. Kennedey giggled a little.
“That’s nice. It’s good that he tried to make last night nice and make you feel special. You deserve it, Reagan,” said Kennedey. I was surprised to hear her say that. Kennedey and I had been getting along a lot better and she seemed to be more at ease regarding our father and not on my case since she started hanging out with Micah.
“You deserve it too Ken. I know you are not one for dating really and relationships, but you and Micah seem to be having a good time together,” I said. Kennedey looked down at her mug and her cheeks grew a bit red. “I mean, yeah, Micah is cool. I like him,” she said hesitantly.
“So, have you two, ya know…” I asked her with a wicked grin on my face. Kennedey looked up at me. “Oh my goodness, Reagan, get your mind off the pepperoni! Dang you’re nosy!” Kennedey said laughing. “Does that mean yes or no?” I asked. “No, it means no. I’m not rushing,” she said. “Good, neither am I,” I said. Kennedey gave me a quizzical look. “Will you be able to tame yourself? I know how hot and heavy you are for Jaylen,” she said. I rolled my eyes. “I have control. Trust me,” I replied.
I had spoken to Jaylen each day since we first exchanged numbers. It had only been a few days since our first date and I couldn’t believe how excited I was to see him again tonight. Briah and I headed over to his house. He told me that he was grilling up some hot links and steaks and Apollo was coming over as well.
Briah and Apollo went out the next day after we saw them at Area. A little fast if you asked me. I knew she was really digging him and all, but she needed to slow down. Briah and Apollo were getting very cozy on the sofa out in the backyard. Briah sat on Apollo’s lap and they were whispering to each other and Briah giggled a lot.
“Damn, baby you looking so sexy. Love these thighs,” Apollo said while slapping Briah on her thighs. Briah started laughing. “You looking good too, did you miss me?” Briah asked purring like a cat. They acted like they were the only ones there. “Hell yeah, I missed you, boo. You smell good,” said Apollo, nuzzling Briah’s neck. I rolled my eyes.
Get a room, I thought to myself. Briah leaned over and started kissing Apollo, while his hand was firmly planted on her ass. I cleared my throat. “Briah, come to the bathroom with me really quick,” I said.
“What’s up?” Briah asked, once we were alone. “Briah, you need to slow up a bit with Apollo. You’re doing way too much girl,” I responded. Briah rolled her eyes. “How am I doing too much? We’ve kicked it a couple of times. I ain’t fucking him, damn,” she said defensively.
“I’m saying you were all over him at Area, not to mention the grand show you put on at Tomo, making your booty cheeks clap. I’m just saying, let him wait for it,” I replied. “Oh, you mean like how you made Lake wait?” Briah asked with condescension in her voice. I pursed my lips.
“Look, what went down with Lake and I was nothing. I wasn’t trying to start a relationship with him. I wasn’t feeling him like that. I know you really like Apollo though, so if you want something to get started with him, he needs to know you ain’t just another hoe that he can hit and quit,” I said, my defenses were up now. “Whatever, Reagan. Just worry about you, I can take care of myself,” she replied. I wasn’t going to say anything else to her, she was grown. I had my own stuff to deal with.
Once dinner was over, we sat around the fire making small talk. Although Briah didn’t like what I had to say, she did seem to heed my advice and she wasn’t as touchy- feely with Apollo like she was earlier.
I looked around Jaylen’s backyard. The house he shared with his brother really was beautiful. The view was astonishing. Shoot, it was better than mine. “Was dinner okay?” Jaylen asked me.
“Yes, everything was great. You’re good on the grill, I’m scared of you!” I exclaimed. Jaylen’s eyes crinkled a bit. “Thanks, I aim to please,” he said laughing.
“You have a beautiful home. It’s so cozy out here. How long have you guys lived in this house?” I asked him. “Not too long, pretty much since we first moved out here. It already had furniture when we bought the place, which was cool, because we never had time to go out and buy any,” said Jaylen. I nodded. “What? You don’t have an eye for design?” I teased him.
“Nah, not really, I get pretty much what you see on the showroom floor. My mother was always the designer in our family. I have no patience for that kind of thing,” he replied.
“You’re like me then, Jaylen. I don’t really like designing too much, I pretty much just like black and gold. I want to try other colors, but I don’t know where to start,” Briah piped up. “Well, I told you, whenever you are ready to buy some new stuff for your house, just let me know,” I told her.
“So, what’s up Reagan, are you going to start working again? Get out there on that catwalk?” Apollo asked me. “Yes, in the near future. I am mulling over different offers right now. I really can’t say too much yet, but yeah, I have some things in the works,” I replied.
I looked back over at Jaylen. It was almost surreal being at his house. I was pleased to see he kept a neat house, everything had it’s proper place and you could tell they paid some good money for it. I had it in me to go into his closet and snoop around his bedroom. Going in there wouldn’t be a good idea, I would start fantasizing too much.
Briah and I stayed at Jaylen’s for another couple of hours. I was glad to see the slight tension between us had eased and we had a very good time hanging out with Jaylen and Apollo. I just knew Apollo better treat my cousin right, because if he did hurt her, he would have me to deal with.
Over the next couple of weeks I spent a lot of time with Jaylen. He was showing me more of the islands and we were having a good time getting to know one another. I found it was very easy to be with him. He was so cool and chill, and very easy to talk to. I felt like I had known him all of my life.
We went to the movies a few times, on this particular day, we saw some weird action sci-fi mess he wanted to see. I couldn’t tell you the name because I didn’t remember. I was just happy to be with him.
“Did you like the movie?” He asked me. “It was okay, I didn’t understand it though. Sci-fi is more my sister’s speed,” I said. “That’s cool, I know it was a little different,” Jaylen said, letting out a chuckle.
I knew he was gearing up to go back to New York for a few days and I wanted to spend as much time with him as I could. I didn’t want to be too obvious though. I sometimes made things too difficult for myself, so I threw caution to the wind and did something I have never done for any man before. I offered to cook him dinner.
“Hey, um, I just wanted to pay you back for the great job you did on the grill a couple of weeks ago. Maybe before you head back to Brooklyn, you can come over to my house and I can cook for you this time,” I pushed out the last sentence very quickly, as if that would make it easier. Jaylen smiled and licked his lips. “You cook?” he asked with a grin on his face. “Hey! That’s discrimination! Don’t laugh” I said giggling.
“Discrimination? How am I discriminating?” Jaylen asked, laughing a little bit. “Model discrimination. I may not cook, but I know how to cook. It’s just that I only cook for my Dad usually. Don’t get excited, I am just doing this to say thank you and be nice,” I said. “Awwwhh, I’m just playing with you, Boo. I’ll come over, just let me call my lawyer and make sure my will is intact,” he teased. I had to laugh to that.
“You know what? Just for that, you may be eating some of our cats’ Meow Mix,” I said. “Please, no. I’m sorry,” said Jaylen, holding his hands up. We both laughed at the thought of me adding cat food to his dinner.
We walked around the mall for a little while, Jaylen would be coming over for dinner the following evening. I was looking forward to it. I needed to make sure Kennedey was out of the house. No, nothing was going to happen, I was going to make sure Wonder Land would not lose control. I guess I needed to head to the grocery store if I was going to be cooking.
Once I got back from my date with Jaylen, I called my father up like I do every day to see how he was doing. “Hey Daddy,” I said to him once he answered his phone.
“Hi Gingy, how are you baby girl?” asked Dad. “I’m good, how are you feeling?” I replied.
“Oh, I can’t complain. My latest check up went very well. I need to tell you something, though,” my father said cautiously. I grew a little nervous at the sound of his voice. “What is it, Daddy?” I asked hesitantly.
“I went back to work part time a few weeks back. My doctor gave me the go ahead. I haven’t been traveling, but maybe in a few more weeks I will start getting back on the road,” said Dad. I was shocked. I was not prepared to hear Daddy telling me he had gone back to work.
“Daddy, how could you not tell me this? You’re not ready to work! If it’s about money, don’t worry about it, I told you that already. You took care of me my whole life, now it’s time for me to return the favor,” I replied feeling frustrated.
“Reagan, sweetheart, yes, I had a heart attack. It could have been much worse, but my doctor okayed it. People who have had more serious heart attacks than I have, have gone back to work sooner than me. Besides, it’s only part time. Also, Reagan it isn’t about money. I am a man and I need to work to support myself. I appreciate everything you’re doing and Marcia is great, but I really don’t think I will need her that much longer,” said Dad.
“But, Daddy…” I started. “No, Reagan, I can’t explain it. Just know what I am doing is right. I feel like a million bucks. I am exercising, fixing things around the house, I am doing well. Now, look, I have to go. I’ll talk to you soon, I love you baby,” Dad said. “I love you too, Daddy,” I sighed and hung up the phone. I didn’t know what to say. I certainly didn’t appreciate him rushing me off the phone like that. This wasn’t over.
Like I said before, I was doing something I never do, which is cook. I knew how, I just had no interest. The only man I have ever truly cooked for being my father. I knew I must have been feeling some type of way about Jaylen for me to get down in the kitchen. Micah had picked up Kennedey, thankfully we had the house to ourselves.
I knew Jaylen loved steak, so that is what I decided to make, along with Mac n’ cheese, steamed vegetables, hot water corn bread, and brown rice.
“Damn, Ma. I’m impressed, you really threw down! This is good. Shoot, I need seconds,” Jaylen said. ” Thank you. See, you were doubting me, huh?” I teased him, happy that he liked the food. He licked his lips and smiled. “I may have to pack in my suitcase and bring you to New York with me,” he said, letting out a small laugh. Wouldn’t that be something, I thought.
After dinner, Jaylen and I sat around the living room talking, enjoying each others company. He still sent chills up my spine when he was in my presence. I expected that to subside once we spent more time together, but it didn’t. I felt like I could really talk to him. I was cautious, however. It did scare me at times that I was falling so fast for someone I only met a few weeks ago. Everything I went through in the past made me more cautious about jumping into a new relationship.
As much as I wanted to open up and give myself to Jaylen, there was a part of me that held back. I needed to protect myself. I really wanted to see where this could go, but I was so afraid of getting hurt again.
“Are you ready to go back home?” I asked him, trying to hide the disappointment in my voice. “I mean, it will be nice to see my parents. I usually see them when I go out there, but they travel a lot for work. Thankfully, this trip will not be too long and only a few days,” He replied. I thought maybe he wanted to say something else, but he held his tongue. I nodded.
I really had no idea what his life truly was like back in New York. I knew he was going for work, I just hoped like crazy there wasn’t someone else like an ex back there that he had unfinished business with. From what I gather he didn’t seem like a player, and I had not heard anything about him being a dog. But I had fooled once before, actually more than once.
I didn’t want him to think that I was just going to be waiting by the phone out here while he was back in New York doing who knows what. “I have some clients to meet within a couple of days. I should be getting back to work fairly soon,” I said. I hoped that wasn’t too obvious. “That’s cool, Ma. I am happy you are going back. You seem to really love what you do,” He replied. I nodded my head again and kept silent.
There was a big elephant in the room, we both knew no one else was here. I was not ready to go down that road with Jaylen just yet. At least my mind wasn’t, Wonder Land had other ideas.
“You smell really good, Ma,” said Jaylen, pulling me close, his voice low. The next thing I knew, we were locked in another heated kiss. Jaylen put his arm around me as his hand made it’s way across my waist. I tilted my head back and opened my mouth. Jaylen’s tongue soon found mine and we started exploring each others mouths with a hunger and passion I had never felt before.
My heart was beating fast and loud as it started to drown out the sound from the TV. My insides began to melt and I was feeling warm all over. Fireworks went off in Wonder Land that first time he kissed me, now it was as if the last ten New Year’s celebrations were going off. I wanted him so much, more than any other man. I needed him. I wanted to feel his body next to mine. I let out a sigh in my head. Got to take control. I couldn’t let Wonder Land take over.
I gently pulled my head away from Jaylen’s, I smiled up at him and he sat back down on the sofa. “Are you okay, Reagan?” He asked me with genuine concern in his eyes. “Yes, I’m fine, I just needed a little air,” I told him, breathlessly.
“I’m sorry about that, I hope that was okay,” Jaylen said, apologetically. I looked over at him. “Don’t apologize, I’m fine really. That was perfectly alright. You’re a really good kisser,” I told him. He smiled. “Thank you, so are you. Reagan, I don’t want you to think that is the only thing I am interested in, because it’s not. I have so much respect for you and I like being with you. There’s no rush, I promise. I just wanna rock with you, for real,” said Jaylen. “I know, and I like being with you too, Jay,” I said.
We sat there for another hour or so, not talking about too much, skimming the channels on TV. I felt comfortable and I am glad things didn’t feel weird. No, I wasn’t ready for that yet with Jaylen and I am glad I held back.
I walked Jaylen to the door, feeling upset it was time for him to leave already. “I’ll call you when I touch down in New York. I had a good time tonight, Reagan,” He said. “I did too. Have a good time on your trip,” I said shyly. Our lips met for one last good night kiss. I didn’t know what was happening to me, I just knew I didn’t want to kiss anyone else, not now, not ever.