Sunday Sample is a throwback to ‘The Promise’, which is currently on #sale …checking back in with this British bad-boy, Keith Parker … This is an interracial romance.
Hope you’ll enjoy!
The Promise – Tactics of Love,
#LoveChancesSeries, Book 3
“Of course, Jules was right. But, as every girl knows, when or ‘if ‘ you run into your ex-man, you want to be looking friggin’ amazing not like a drowned duck who’d just gone through the blender.
Walking into the narrow dead-end street, I stepped onto the terrace of the restaurant, my heart pounding as my eyes found Roger leaning casually next to the entrance, phone in hand. ‘Say no more’, my heart skipped several more beats, as I peered through the large glass panes at the group of guys huddled in the far corner right at the back, next to a pool table. The faces were all familiar, I even recognized Roger’s sidekick Rawle, who was part of the band’s security team, playing pool with Stu.
Aaron was sitting bouncing Milie on one knee, but all I could focus on was Keith.
Slumped back in his chair, a tam on his head, listening to the loud shit-talking unfolding around him, he had a playful smirk on his face.
I froze and stared through the glass, drinking him in. Time kind of stood still, or slowed down or something, all peripherals were blinded out. I watched Keith snort out a cheeky laugh, which wasn’t quite as gregarious as normal.
He looked distracted, as if he was playing along, enjoying the lime but not totally signed-up.
Milie had her hand on Keith’s wrist and she was playing with his collection of leather bands and bracelets, perhaps even the one I’d given him. He was letting her, sending her intermittent funny expressions, which she would giggle at, receiving a wink in return, as Keith managed to continue two conversations at once. It was sweet.
As Jules went to the door, I tugged on her arm signaling I’d taken her up on the offer to wait outside. She rolled her eyes, but nodded, watching me turn to the railing.
“How’s it going?” I asked Roger, feeling my pulse raise an extra notch. It was now hammering, as I struggled to tune back into reality.
Roger shot me this sweet understanding look, almost managing to convey he missed me.
‘Perhaps he did? Who knows.’ I had no idea how Keith was doing.
“Good, good… missed you though,” his deep baritone drifted over me, his gaze holding steady to mine until I couldn’t take it anymore and had to look away into the dark alley.
“I missed you too. How’s the family?”
“They’re keepin’ well,” he replied, stuffing his phone away.
“Glad to hear it.” Things were a little stiff.
“Look, Ima head back inside. You comin’?”
“Not this time,” I breathed biting down on my lower lip.
“Well, take care of yourself, Miss Monroe,” he said, giving me another warm smile.
“You too,” I whispered, feeling a sadness welling up inside of me.
If this feeble exchange with Roger had conjured so much emotion, thank God I’d stayed outside. There was no way I’d hold it together in front of the whole crew. ‘In front of Keith…’
As my hands clasped the cold iron railing, my fingers fell numb. Struggling to calm myself, I rubbed my hands together, only then realizing I’d been holding my breath at long intervals, breathing unnaturally, my heart still pounding up a storm. It was the right call. I would have fallen apart in there. There would be drama for sure. There was no way I could do casual with Keith. We weren’t just friends. ‘I don’t know what exactly we were to each other at present, but… definitely not that.’
Things were a mess, but I knew it was impossible to pretend some platonic fake shit when that was definitely ‘not’ what Keith and I were.
I looked up at the night sky. There was a new moon rising, which reminded me of Jules and her passion for spiritual cleansing. I could do with some of that. I snorted out a soft chuckle.
I heard the restaurant door open behind me, and, I swear, I felt him before I smelt him.
That amazing scent came next, all woodsy, citrus fresh, tinged with a hint of his smokes.
My back was turned, but I knew he was there. ‘I knew it…’
My suspicions were confirmed when the hardness of his body pressed up against my back, his arms coming to rest on the railings on either side, caging me in. I glanced down at his strong arms, his bracelets, my bracelet, feeling his chest rising and falling at my back…’
The Promise, Tactics of Love © L.S.Bergman 2017