by Jhori Barksdale
The ringing of the telephone wakes me from another night of fighting with my bed covers. Looking at the Caller ID box, my best friend Jasmine's number pops up in the unit. Reaching over, I pick up the phone.
"What do you want?" I answer, groggy and irritated from lack of sleep and being called at 6 in the morning.
"Damn, that ain't no way to talk to your best friend since 4th grade."
Sighing I apologize, "I'm sorry Jazz. I've been waking up it seems like every 30 minutes since four o'clock this morning so I'm a little crabby." Swinging my leg over the side of the bed I still remain laying down, looking up at the ceiling.
"Still letting this thing with Antonio get to you?" she asks. "I know it's hard Elisa, but you gotta try and shake it off." She launches into her daily pep talk. "Girl you have far too much going for you to be sitting around pining and losing sleep over someone who gave you nothing but grief and pain the whole time you were together."
Rolling my eyes upward but knowing that she's speaking the truth, I get up and walk into the bathroom to start the shower. "Yeah Jazz, I know. But you have to realize that we were together for over 3 years. I can't just hop up and decide I don't love him anymore."
"But he messed around on you for the last 2 of those years. Plus he stole your credit cards and money out of your bank account." I can tell she's starting to get irritated with me and I really can't blame her. Every time Antonio would do something to hurt me, she would be the first person I would turn to. She tried to tell me so many times that he was no good and only using me for my money, but I wouldn't listen. It wasn't always like that with us though. Before I opened my investment firm he and I had what I thought was a great relationship. It just seemed that the more successful I became, the more he acted like I owed him for being there for me while I was still a struggling investment broker fresh out of college.
I'll admit that there were a few times when he helped me with some of my bills and even paid a car payment or two; but his help was not to the degree where he should have felt like he deserved to be taken care of, which I had been doing up until about 2 months ago.
"Elisa, you're my best friend and I love you to death, but I am really tired of you making up excuses for him. He didn't deserve you and you need to realize that and get on with your life."
"Besides," she begins to laugh, "I've got a big surprise for you."
Realizing that this conversation is taking longer than expected, I try to rush her. "I'm afraid to ask, but what is it? And will you please hurry up because I need to be at the office by 7:30."
"I bought us two tickets to Cancun for the next week." She yells into the phone. "Girl, it's going to be nothing but fun in the sun." she laughs.
Surprised I say, "Cancun? For the next week?" Stammering over my words. "I can't afford to be away from the firm for a week? I have clients scheduled all the way up until the end of June." I say, believing that she has truly lost her everlasting mind.
"Elisa you own the company." She tries to reason by ticking off to me all the reasons why I should go. "First of all, you act like the company will fold if you don't have your little hands in everything that goes on. What do you pay your people all that money for? Secondly, you have not been on vacation in the 3 years since you started the firm." I can just see her through the phone pulling back each one of her perfectly manicured fingers like we use to do in grade school when first learning to count.
"Lastly, I've already paid for the vacation package and you'll make me lose almost $1400 if you don't go."
"But", I try to protest but she cuts me off.
"Every since high school when you got your first job at Home Depot, you've had a one track mind to be a successful investment broker. Now that you have it all, what are you going to do? Grow old making love to a fat bank account." She says. "Judging by all the money Antonio stole from you, you should know that it ain't guaranteed to last forever. You better take every opportunity you can to enjoy your hard earned success."
Ouch! Damn that stung.
Tears spring to my eyes but I swallow hard and wait before making my next statement. Then I whisper, "Ok baby girl, when do we leave?"
"Yes!" She yells and I can just see her through the phone dancing around like Neon Deon after making a touch down.
"We leave in 3 hours." She quickly recovers. "And before you have a cow, I've spoken with Amanda at the office and she's already outsourced most of your appointments and rescheduled the rest until we return." She talks fast so I can't get a word in.
"You need to only pack a few toiletries for the trip because I took the liberty of having your secretary use your corporate card to buy you clothes for the entire week, all the way down to your underwear and accessories." By this time I'm getting a little excited about the idea of going and just sit down on the side of the tub and shake my head. Finally I ask, "So when did you start planning all of this?"
"Well actually the idea came up about a month ago but we had hoped you would be out of your funk by now. Last week we decided to go ahead and put it into action."
"We?" I question. "Who is we?" Wanting to know who else is behind this.
Sounding rather vague she answers. "Me and a few other people who have been very concerned about you lately."
"Un huh." I say. "Well since you guys have already taken the liberty to plan my life for the next week, I guess I had better get off this phone if you want me on that plane in 3 hours."
"Ok, the chauffeur will be there in two hours to pick you up." She adds before getting off the phone. At first I just sit there so I can soak it all in. Smiling to myself, I begin to realize that this just may be exactly what I need---a vacation. Taking off my clothes, I hop into the steaming hot shower and let the water massage my body. For the first time in 2 months I can feel the tension easing away and relaxation setting in.
Stepping out of the shower I hurry into the bedroom to dry off and select something to wear for my departure to Cancun. Choosing an off white wrap and sandals, I decide to be bold and throw in a big floppy white hat as well. Putting my clothes on and then checking myself out in the mirror, I smile with satisfaction.
Just for reassurance I choose to still make a few business calls to my regular clients, so I run downstairs to my home office. By the time I get off the phone, it's almost time to leave so I go back upstairs and grab the small bag I've packed and go sit in the living room to wait.
A few minutes later a white stretch limousine pulls up in front of my house and a sexy black chauffeur comes and rings the doorbell. Reaching the car door, Jasmine pops out with a bottle of champagne in her hand and hugs me.
"Let's do this girl." She says laughs.
I can only shake my head and laugh as I've done for the last few hours. The quick ride to the airport is filled with constant chatter mostly on Jasmine's part because I start to silently question if I really should be doing this.
Checking our bags we have to make a mad dash to the terminal and get there within 2 minutes of them closing the doors. Once we are seated and the plane takes off, I lean back against the seat and release a deep breath. Jasmine just smiles and pats my hands like I'm a little child, which is exactly how I feel at the moment. A little later the flight attendant comes by and asks our drink preferences and going outside the norm but feeling festive, I ask for a Long Island Tea.
The flight only takes a little over three hours and the next thing I know, we're touching down in Cancun, Mexico. Once clearing customs another waiting limo whisks us off to the Melia Cancun Beach & Spa Resort. Never in my life have I seen such blue water and white sand. Every where you look there are beautiful people with these deep dark tans wearing next to nothing. Little kids are running wild all over the place and every language you could imagine is being spoken around me. I just look at my surroundings in total awe.
Jasmine has reserved us two adjoining suites on the top floor of the hotel. Once checked in and advised that the bellhop will bring up our bags, we take the elevator up to our rooms.
"Come on, let's hurry and change so we can go down to the beach." She rushes me into my room and hurries into hers. Opening the door to my suite I am totally swept away by the décor and the mammoth size of the room. Sitting my carry on bag down, I walk over to the wall window and am mesmerized by the breath taking view of the ocean. Standing there looking out over the water, goose pimps begin to run up my arm and I get the feeling that something special is about to happen in my life. A knock at the door brings me out of my daze and I call out that it's open.
"Where would you like these Miss?" I turn to see one of the most gorgeous men I have ever seen standing in the foyer holding my bags. Smooth Hershey chocolate skin stretched taught across a muscular and lean well over 6 foot frame, provides a nice little contrast to my all white room. For a moment I just stand there staring until Jasmine walks through the door and comes up behind him.
"Why don't you have your swimsuit on?" She asks, bringing me back from my trance. Then when she sees Mr. Chocolate Candy Bar standing there looking all yummy, she kinda goes, "Oh."
"Can you please take them upstairs to the bedroom?" I direct, feeling like I just got caught sneaking my parents Oldsmobile.
As soon as he starts to ascend the stairs Jasmine turns to me and raises her perfectly arch brows. "Gorgeous, huh?" Trying to not let her see how much of an affect he is having on me I shrug my shoulders, "He's ok."
Smiling she says, "You can play that nonchalant role all you want, but before I walked in you looked like he had a time piece swinging in front of your face, cause boyfriend had you totally hypnotized."
Waving my hand in the air, I say, "Whatever."
Just as she's about to say something in response, he comes back down the steps.
Smiling out of courtesy or because he's heard our conversation he says, "I have 2 more bags to bring up Miss Pendleton." He stops in front of me and I notice the deep dimple embedded in his chin. "I'll be back up shortly and then you can be on your way to the beach." As he walks to the door Jasmine and I follow his backside with our eyes, both shaking our heads.
As soon as the door closes I can't help saying, "Damn, I think I'm gonna like this. I might even do like Stella and get my groove back."
"Well first you need to get up stairs and get into that bikini so we can at least get our groove on." She chuckles Then she says, "Listen, I'll be right back cause I think I forgot my sunglasses." She walks to the door rambling through her beach bag.
"Please be ready when I get back."
As soon as she leaves, I hurry upstairs to change into my bathing suit. Searching through the suitcases of new clothes I pray that it's in there instead of one of the ones the bellhop is bringing up. Luckily it's in the last one although I almost pass over it because it's so small. Holding the little piece of material in the air I start to blush even though I'm alone in the room. Shrugging my shoulders I decide to throw caution to the wind and hurry into the bathroom to change. Putting on the neon green little pieces, I fear catching pneumonia even though it's over 90 degrees outside.
"I may as well be naked." I mumble, walking out of the bathroom directly into Mr. Hershey's Chocolate.
"Now I bet that would be a wonderful sight to behold." He looks down into my face with eyes the color of molasses and lashes so long that they create shadows on his cheek. Looking back up at him, I feel something magnetic passing between us and unknowingly my eyes begin to close and I run my tongue across my lips before they slowly begin to part in anticipation. It seems like forever before I feel the softest brush of his tongue licking the corners of my mouth and then finally, my anxiously waiting lips.
Still holding the bags in his hand I hear them drop with a thud and then he wraps his arms around me, burning my flesh with his touch. As the kiss deepens and he begins to explore every crevice of my mouth with his tongue, the fact that I only met this man not even 10 minutes ago and don't even know his name brings me back down to reality and I gently push him away. Gasping for the intake of some of the air I just surrendered to him in the kiss, Jasmine calls my name saving me from the embarrassment of having to explain my behavior.
Backing away, I rush over to the lofts opening over looking the living area and yell back down to her. "I'll be down in a second, I just need to grab my wrap." Turning back to him. "I'm sorry. Please don't judge me on what just happened. That was no where near the real me."
"Well it felt pretty real to me." He flashes one of his baby grand piano smiles. "And furthermore, I would never judge you as being anything other than the beautiful and desirable woman that you are." Then he walks over and picks up my hand and holds my fingers to his lips almost singing the tips off. "Until we meet again-and we will meet again very soon." Slowly he kisses all of them at once and turns to walk back down the stairs.
Almost as soon as his head is out of sight, Jasmine appears with a smirk on her face. Waiting until we both hear the front door click shut she swoops down on me with a barrage of questions.
"Now what was all that about? Why did he come down the steps smiling and now I find you upstairs prancing around in little pieces of material held together by a few strings? And why is it that when I left did you have lipstick on and now it looks like blush?"
Feigning innocence, I pick up my bag and camera case from the bed. "I don't know what you're talking about." Walking over to the steps to indicate my readiness to go. "If I didn't know you better, I'd suspect I either came back just in time to save you or either too soon to let you." She emphasis the last part to leave it hanging in the air as she goes down the steps with me following behind. "If everything goes as planned, Pendleton Financial Consultants will be experiencing a new Elisa by the time we leave here next Sunday." She throws over her shoulder.
The beach is crowded with locals and tourist. Pangs of jealousy run over me as newly married couples stroll by hand in hand with nothing but pure bliss dancing in their eyes. Finding a nice spot near some palms trees, we spread our towels and sit down taking in the energy that is fluttering around us. Finding a smile creeping onto my face, I turn to Jasmine and say the only words I can think of without crying. "Thank you."
"You need and deserve it girlfriend." She reaches out and pulls me into a sisterly hug. Popping up off the towel she says, "Listen, I'm going to run and grab us some drinks. What do you want?"
"I know this ain't the Bahamas, but I want to try one of those Bahama Mamas." I say, turning over on my stomach. "And when you get back, can you put some sunscreen on my back?"
"I'll see what I can do." She walks away heading in the direction of the bar set up further down the beach. Feeling the tiredness from working non stop over the last few weeks come down on me, I find myself drifting off into a mild and relaxing slumber. All the tension and frustrations seem to lift away from me as I dream of soft hands kneading my body all the way down to the depths of my soul. A deep moan escapes from my throat as the dream masseuse begins to work the back of my thighs all the way down to my calf muscles.
"Oooh, that feels sooo good." I say in my dreamy state of mind.
"I can do so much more, if you would only let me." I feel a warm minty smelling breath blow lightly in my ear, making my eyes pop open.
Quickly turning over I realize that the hands that were caressing my body were not those of a masseuse in my dreams but the bellhop from the hotel.
"If I wasn't so angry right now, I'd scream." I try to sound madder than I really am. If I am honest with myself, I'll have to admit that I would love to feel those hands touching some places other than my back and legs. "You had no right molesting my body with your hands without my permission, especially knowing that I was asleep." Leaning over nose to nose and eyes to eyes he says, "Sleep people usually don't moan the way you just did and say what you just said unless they were dreaming something sensual and erotic." He flashes those piano ivories at me again. "I apologize for taking matters into my own hands so to speak, but I sensed that it was something you truly needed at the time." Then turning serious. " But I won't apologize for what happen in your room. I felt like that was something I needed." Then a silence settles between us from him not saying anything, waiting on my response and me not saying anything for fear of what may come tumbling out of my mouth.
Studying his face for the first time, I notice that he has not only a dimple in his chin-but two in each cheek-what I call a triple threat. His chocolate skin is so smooth that had it not been for the beads of perspiration moistening his brow, I'd swear he was born without pores. And then there is the eyes again. They seem to beckon you to take a chance and get lost in their depths.
Then he completely blows me away with what he says next. "My name is Trenton Griggs, I don't work for the hotel nor do I usually go around rubbing women up and down on the beach. I live in Atlanta, Georgia and own a travel agency downtown on Peachtree Street. I've been watching you for over 6 months but was told that you were involved in a long term relationship until recently when Jasmine, my cousin, told me that you were no longer with the guy."
I just sit there with my mouth hanging wide open. Holding his hands up, "Before you threaten to kill her, it was more my idea than hers and since I own the travel agency I arranged and paid for everything all the way down to the bathing suit you are wearing." Looking me up and down he says, "And I think I made a great selection too."
"Jasmine use to talk about you so much when I lived in DC that I was already infatuated by the time I had decided to come to Atlanta and open my business. But you were in love with your boyfriend so I just watched from afar hoping that one day you would finally see that you deserved so much more than what you were getting from him. When she told me that you had broken up with him, I was so beside myself with excitement that I wanted to go all out to impress you and make you see what it felt like to be with someone who wanted you for you and not the material things you had to offer. Knowing that you had been throwing yourself into making your business a success and barely taking even one day off in the three years since you opened your firm, we decided to set it up where we would meet in a vacation setting with no phones or emergencies to distract us getting to know one another."
A glass full of pink liquid is handed over my shoulder, "Everyone at the office knows we left together and that Trent and I set this whole thing up. They were all in on it too, so if you kill me and come back alone, they'll know you did it." Jasmine holds my drink out.
The whole set up is so outlandish that I find myself laughing and crying at the same time.
"This is entirely too much for you to expect me to dissolve at once." I take a huge gulp of my drink. Then looking up at Jasmine, I point over my shoulder to Trent. "This is the cousin that you have been trying to hook me up with even way before Antonio and I broke up?" She crosses her arms over her chest and nods.
Turning to Trent I say, "And you are the cousin that moved down here from DC and opened the travel agency we have been using to make travel arrangements with for all of our out-of-town business?"
"Yes." He too nods. "As a matter of fact, I spoke to you last week when we had a mix up of schedules for your flight to Sacramento." Remembering the conversation I can only shake my head and rub my temples from not believing all of this. Finally I get up and start walking back towards the hotel.
"Where are you going?" They both call after me.
"Back to my room." I turn around slightly. "I need time to soak all of this in. I can't believe you guys so easily manipulated my life like this."
Arriving at my room, I take off the toga wrap I have knotted at my hip and let it slide to the floor and go up stairs to lay across the bed. What I had come to think of as a nice vacation after years of hard work was now total confusion in my mind. The most puzzling of all is that I am not finding myself mad like I believe I should be. To have such a fine specimen of a man like me so much as to go through all the trouble that Trenton has, just to meet me; I am impressed more so than I have ever been in my life. And I can not deny that I have felt something indescribable between us since I first laid eyes on him. Hearing a soft knock at the door, I can feel him standing on the otherside and am not surprised when I tell him to enter.
A few seconds later he is standing over me as I continue to lay on the bed and without uttering a word I turn over and offer my back to him so that he may continue where he left off on the beach. Once again his hands begin to massage my back and legs, but in a much more sensuous manor. Leaning down next to my ear, he whispers, "Just tell me when to stop." Moaning to make him aware of my pleasure in what his hands are doing to my body, I say for the second time today, "That feels so good." And in kind he responds, "I can do so much more if only you'll let me." Stopping the flow of his hands by turning over, I look into his eyes and say, "You keep making that same promise but not carrying through with it."
Bending down, he kisses my left eye lid. "Did you watch Love Jones?" he ask before moving over to kiss the right one. Without giving me the time to answer he asks, "Do you believe in soul-mates?" With passion showing in my eyes I say, "Yes."
"Well if you feel anything close to what I feel right now, you know that this was already in the works far before I ever imagined it coming into being?" he moves down to place a gentle kiss on my lips before moving to my throat.
Not realizing it is about to be said, I say, "Trenton, please make love to me."
Stopping where he is, he lifts his face directly to mine and looks me in my eyes before asking his next question. "Are you sure you are ready to make that kind of commitment? I am very selfish when it comes to sharing and that includes 12 hour work days. If I make love to you right now, you must be sure that a commitment to be mine and all mine is what you want. Otherwise, we will have to wait until you are."
Reaching up, I pull him down to me and use my hips to grind into his bulging manhood while kissing him with passion I didn't know was still within me. Taking the lead, I roll over on top of him and reach behind me and untie the string from my neck setting my breast free from the fragments of material that is still holding them. Bending over I pull his shirt from his shorts and pull it open-popping buttons everywhere.
Unzipping his pants I pull them down to reveal the object of my desire. Sliding off the bottom part of my bikini, I place myself upon his tool and just sit there for a moment being consumed by the heat that is radiating between us. Sitting himself up on the bed, still deep inside of me, he places his hands on my breast and takes both of my blackberry-colored, hardened nipples into his mouth, sucking and licking them like whip cream and strawberries.
"Please don't stop." I murmur. "I need this more than anything right now." Emitting a low cry as I begin to move my hips back and forth and up and down on top of him.
When it seems as though I've reached the pinnacle of our lovemaking, he quickly turns over so that I am laying underneath and removes himself from within me, causing my eyes to flutter open in complete surprise. When I begin to protest, he places his finger at my lips.
"Sweetheart, we have plenty of time to reach that higher level-and I promise you that we will before we're through." He takes me into his arms. "But for now I just want to hold you and let the ambience of you finally being here with me, bury itself deep inside of my soul where it'll stay for the rest of our lives."
Feeling like I'm on the outside peeping into someone else's dream, I say, "It's not suppose to be like this."
"I just never thought I could feel like this." I shake my head.
"Well tell me know how this feels." He rolls over on top of me and places himself between my legs. Entering me he begins to stroke the walls of my desire with gentle but rough fervency, causing a fire to rise up inside of my belly and turn into a blazing inferno within my heart. Climbing to that special place once again I find myself not alone as we call out one another names upon reaching the pinnacle of our sweat drenching passion. Once our breathing is near normal, I look at him with disbelief and wonderment still lurking, "I can't believe it's like this." Anyone else probably would have been out of control finding out that someone had manipulated their lives the way Jasmine and Trenton did mine.
But 6 months later, I am still floating on cloud nine. My only stress right now is trying to plan a huge wedding for New Years day. We want to start the new millenium off as husband and wife and hope to have at least one addition to the family before we hit the year 2001. I guess that means we have our work cut out for us.