Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: One Chapter A Day
THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE
His first email arrived only hours after we said good night at Talerico’s—a short note thanking me for the evening, as well as a compliment on my artwork. He had done his search-engine homework and found the Forever Forty-Four website with my art portfolio. I wondered if it was sincere, or merely praise to reel me in. Time would tell, but in the meantime, I gave into his tug and I wanted his attention. We had shared some magic, and my body buzzed with the memory. I wrote back, gushing over his late night performance, and accepted his dinner invitation. It had been less than twenty-four hours, and the man was under my skin. I wanted more.
“What is it with brothers and BMWs?”
“I can’t tell you about brothers, but I can tell you about BMWs. Finest ride on the road.” Andre shut the passenger door behind me, and I heard the gravel shifting under his feet in my driveway. His inference was not common, but I’d heard it before.
“Not feeling the brotherhood, are we now?” He looked at me sideways while he pulled out of the drive. He started to smile, than checked himself, taking on the tone of a patient professor.
“It’s never made sense to me. What do I have in common with a group of strangers, just because of the color of my skin?”
“Uh. Racism? Pride? Fried chicken?” He hadn’t expected that, and we laughed together.
“OK! You got me! Fried chicken—but that’s all!”
Andre operated within a self-described iconoclasm that he insisted separated him from the rest of humanity. His pride was personal. With his eyes on the road, I watched him as he drove, and recorded his influence over me. He had me with his brainpower, and how our conversations could ricochet between bullshit and significance without a missed beat. I was taken by his deep voice, and how easily he came to laughter. When he steered the car over the high bridge across the Duwamish River, the buildings of downtown reflected like jewels from the setting sun. It was a picture-postcard view, and I thought how the skyline shown as bright as I felt; I felt brilliant beside Andre Cassidy.
Dinner was exquisite. Andre picked Oceanaire, one of a new stable of restaurants with award winning chefs that had sprouted like mushrooms in the downtown core. The décor was art-nouveau mahogany, with deep private booths, and waiters in ankle length aprons. We both ordered steak: mine rare and his well done.
“That’s a brother-thing,” I told him.
“The steak. Well done. It’s a brother-thing.”
“Are you going to keep on this?” His irritation was playful.
“Probably. But only as long as it bothers you.”
“Vicki Marie! I don’t believe I’ve ever met another woman like you.” We locked eyes, our faces inches apart.
“And you never will.”
That’s when he kissed me, and that’s when I felt my heart, frozen tight for so long, leak out like warm honey.
When you dissect the love drug, and when you examine the elevated state and the super high it provides; the honest truth about the narcotic is that the rush is reflexive. Love celebrates self. The exhilarating feeling of being unique and adored is the dope love delivers; and when that source is the living and breathing object of your desire that’s as high as you go. In the radiant face of Andre Cassidy, I caught a long look in his mirror. I didn’t know him, and I certainly knew better, but there she was. In the reflection of his dark black face, and the searchlight of his clear brown eyes, shone the sacred light of love, and I could see clearly the wonder that was me.
TOMORROW: Chapter 56
Copyright Vicki Marie Stolsen, 2014, Forever Forty-Four Publications, Publicity Rare Bird Lit, Tyson Cornell, Tyson@rarebirdlit.com, Distribution by Ingram, Available online and in bookstores in paperback, eBook, and audio format.