Read The Joneses Online

Authors: Shelia M. Goss

The Joneses (8 page)

I left Hope alone with her thoughts. I showered and met Tyler at his place. Tyler liked to pull disappearing acts, so instead of looking at him as being a viable love interest, I categorized him for what he was, a booty call. When I needed some sexual healing, he was my man.

I found myself laughing out loud every time he tried to convince
me that he was so in love with me. His words went in one ear and out the other. Eventually, I would be ready to get into a relationship, but as for now, Tyler was my in-between time man. The go-to guy to scratch the itch. The one who could fulfill my sexual desires. Nothing more, nothing less.

Tyler greeted me with a long, sensual kiss. “How are you, sweetheart?”

“Just fine.” I opened up my coat and let it fall to the floor revealing my glistening, naked body. I used a half bottle of body oil to make sure I would be soft and shiny.

Tyler scooped me up in his arms and carried me to his bed. “You came for business.”

“I sure did. Now get on your knees, so I can feed you.”

Tyler got on his knees as instructed. “I'm your genie. I'll make all of your wishes come true.”

I opened up my legs and he ate me like he was at a buffet. I had no problem providing the main course. My body shivered in pleasure as I reached climax after climax.

With wet lips, he looked up at me. “Anything else, Madam?”

“Yes. I need you inside of me. Now.”

He didn't hesitate to oblige me. Within minutes, he was dipping his latex-covered chocolate stick inside of me. I wrapped my legs around his waist as he dove deeper and deeper. I matched his movements with each stroke, bringing us both pleasure over and over again.

When it was all over, I took a quick shower, put on my long coat, and kissed Tyler on the cheek. “Thanks, we must do this again sometime.”

“I wish you would stay.”

“No, I don't think so. I'll call you later this week.” I winked at him.

Tyler had this magnetic pull. Good chocolate could be addictive.

CHAPTER 19
Hope

O
nce again, Tyler ignored my calls. I don't know how much more of this I could take. He claimed he loved me and I was his girl, so his actions needed to line up with his words. I refused to be ignored.

I grabbed my keys and drove straight to his house. I beat on his door. “Open up, Tyler. I know you're in there. I saw your car.”

Tyler, with a towel wrapped around his waist, opened up the door and pulled me inside. “Are you crazy? Knocking on my door like a madwoman.”

“I've been trying to reach you. I know you got my messages. That phone stays glued to your hip.”

“Some of us work. I just got home and out of the shower. Can a brother take a shower?”

“You could have called me when you got out of your meeting.”

“If you must know, it was a conference call. Now sit in the living room and chill out. Let me go get dressed.”

I wrapped my arm around his neck. “No need to get dressed. Since I'm here, we can do a little something something.”

Tyler moved my hand from around his neck. “Not tonight. I'm tired. It's been a long day.”

“But…,” I pouted.

“Give me a few minutes. There's some wine in the fridge.”

Tyler left me alone. I wasn't in the mood to drink anything, and
I wasn't hungry. I looked through his DVD collection and placed one in the DVD player.

It didn't take long for Tyler to dress. He took the remote from me and turned everything on. “Which one you got in there?”

“It's a scary movie,” I responded.

For the next hour and a half, I felt content cuddling with my man on his couch watching a movie. I felt my body shake.

“What?” I said, as I stretched, unaware that I had dozed off.

“It's getting late. It's time for you to go,” Tyler said.

“Why don't I just stay over? I'll leave in the morning.” I snuggled up closer to him.

“No can do. I have an early meeting.” He pushed me away.

“But, I'm still a little sleepy,” I said.

“I can drive you home, but you're going home.”

“Fine, but I can drive myself.” I could barely breathe. I had to get out of there. I couldn't believe he was kicking me out of his apartment.

I jumped off the couch, grabbed my things, and stormed out of his apartment. I sped off and let out a scream as I drove home.

I was minutes away from home when my cell phone rang.

“Was just calling to make sure you made it home safely,” Tyler said from the other end.

“I'm surprised you care, since you kicked me out.”

“Hope, you have to learn that you can't always have your way.”

“Good night, Tyler. I'm too tired to talk.”

I hung up. He called me back, but I ignored his calls. I turned the volume up on the radio to drown out the sound of the phone.

I eased inside the house soon afterward. Charity's snores could be heard in the hallway. I went directly to my room and fell on top of the bed, wondering where I went wrong. I made the mistake of falling in love with Tyler before I could get him to fall in love with
me. I wasn't used to being in this position. I didn't like feeling rejected. Is this how guys felt when I brushed them off? If so, it wasn't a good feeling at all.

I leaned back on my bed and plotted ways to get Tyler to fall in love with me. I knew the sex was good, so it had to be something else. I recalled my mom saying that a way to a man's heart was through his stomach. A light bulb went off in my head. Tyler had never tasted my cooking. I had to show him I had skills in other areas outside the bedroom.

The next day when Tyler got off, I was waiting for him with a basket full of home-cooked food.

“I should be mad at you,” Tyler said, as he bit into my homemade rolls.

“Are you?” I asked with a mischievous grin on my face.

“It's hard to be upset when a sexy woman has provided you a home-cooked meal.”

“If I had a key to your apartment, there would be more meals like this waiting for you.”

Tyler laughed. “Maybe you can show me your breakfast skills.”

“I sure can. So, that means I can stay tonight?”

Tyler moved his chair and patted his leg. I jumped out of my seat and sat down. “Ain't nobody leaving this camp tonight.”

Tyler kissed me. The kiss started off slow but intensified. We ended up ruffling up his sheets. Our lovemaking session lasted for hours. I was exhausted, but he still had stamina.

He got out of the bed to take a shower. His cell phone rang several times. I tried to ignore it, but whoever it was wouldn't stop calling. I glanced at the phone and saw the name
Baby
on the display.

“What in the world?” I hurried up and hit the button to answer. “Hello?”

“Sorry, I must have the wrong number.” An unfamiliar female voice was on the other end.

“No, you got the right number,” I yelled.

“Who is this?” the caller asked.

“You called my man's number, so you tell me.” I was livid.

“I don't have time to play games. Put Tyler on the phone.”

“Tyler's busy. Coming, baby,” I yelled out.

“Don't have me come over there and whoop your ass.” The woman screamed in my ear.

“I dare you.”

“Expect an ass whooping.” The caller hung up.

I stormed in the bathroom and ran smack into Tyler.

“Slow down,” he said.

I hit him on his chest. I shoved the phone in his face. “Who is Baby?”

Tyler grabbed the phone. “Why are you answering my phone?”

“Stop trying to avoid the question.”

Tyler moved and dried himself off. “It's none of your business.”

“Well, Ms. None of Your Business is on her way over here.”

Tyler grabbed my clothes and threw them at me. “You need to go. Now!”

“I'm not going anywhere until you tell me who this woman is blowing up your phone.”

“Hope, I'm warning you. You need to stay in your place and mind your own business. Now, I'm telling you nicely, get your stuff and get out of here.”

My eyes watered. I kept telling myself,
I'm not going to cry,
over and over. Enraged, I got dressed. I sat in my car outside Tyler's apartment and waited. I needed to see the identity of this mystery woman. Tyler was my man, and I was not about to let her or anyone else mess up what we had going on.

I waited and waited, but nobody stopped by. I drifted off to sleep.

CHAPTER 20
Lovie

“Hello?” I answered the phone in a sleepy voice. It was after midnight.

“This Dre. I just saw Hope. She's sleeping in her car.”

“Are you sure she's sleeping?”

“Yeah, man. She told me she was waiting outside for her boyfriend, but she was asleep when I first noticed her.”

“Where did you see her at?”

While Dre talked, I put on my clothes.

“At the Bridgewood Apartments. Over here by the lake.”

“I'm about to head that way now. Thanks for calling me to let me know.”

“You want me to wait here until you get here?”

“No man, I got it.”

It took me fifteen minutes to get to her location. I tapped on the window. Hope jumped.

She rolled down her window. “Lovie, what are you doing here?”

I leaned down. “I should be asking you that question. You're too pretty to be stalking some dude.”

“I'm not stalking anyone. I was too sleepy to drive home, so I took a nap.”

“Yeah, right. Who is he and do I need to go beat him up for hurting my baby sister?”

She laughed. “No. Everything's okay now. You don't have to worry about me.”

“Start your car up. I'll follow you home.”

“I don't need you tailing me.”

“This is not up for discussion.”

Hope stopped protesting, and I followed her home. Once she was inside, she flicked her bedroom light. Now that I knew she was inside safe and secure, I pulled out of the driveway.

Since I was out and wide awake, I decided to stop by my old place of employment, Bottoms Up, to see how things were going. I spoke to everyone as I made my way through the club toward the office.

Clarence sat behind his desk with one hand under the desk on his gun.

“Man, it's just me,” I said, as I walked in.

“LJ, you know you need to announce yourself before entering. I was about to reach for my piece.”

“How are things going?” I sat down in the chair across from him.

“Business is good. Several people have asked about you. Told them to reach out and touch you if they were that concerned.”

“I've heard from a few people. But, you know in this game, it's out of sight, out of mind.”

“You heard what happened to Slim?” Clarence asked.

“He might have to do some time, but he'll be all right.” I picked up a candy bar on his desk and opened it.

“That leaves a market wide open, so you know what that means.”

“Stay vested up because there's about to be some bloodshed.” I thought about what my mom and I had discussed. I guess this is as good of a time as any. “You know I'm working with my pops now.”

Clarence leaned back in his chair. “How is that working for you?”

“Boring, but easy money. At least I ain't got to watch my back. Dead people can't shoot back.”

Clarence nodded his head up and down in agreement. “So what you need?”

“I want to drop off some company flyers. We're offering discounts on services.”

“Man, you don't even have to ask. Leave some at the front. Shoot, I'll have an ad put on my website.”

“I wouldn't ask, but I promised my mom I would help with the advertising.”

“It's your family business, so do what you need to do.”

“Glad you understand. I'm new to this.”

“You always dress sharp, so it was just a matter of time before you gravitated toward your family business.”

“Oh, you always got to joke with me about how I dress. Some guys dress in jeans or jogging suits; my style of dress has always been like this.”

“You dress preppy, but you just as 'hood as I am.”

“Don't let the suit fool you.”

Clarence gave me a fist bump.

Someone knocked on the door. “Come in,” Clarence said.

A waitress I hadn't seen before entered. “Mr. C, there's some people out here fighting.”

We both looked through the two-way glass. Clarence jumped up, and put his gun in his waist. “Man, let me go handle this. I'll chat with you later.”

I followed Clarence out of the room. He handled his business. I left so I could get a few hours of sleep before going in to the office. I also wanted to avoid any type of confrontation if Clarence couldn't get it under control.

CHAPTER 21
Lexi

S
hannon called in sick, so Royce asked me to do her job until she felt well enough to return to work. I played the games
Words
with Friends
and
Family Feud
in between answering the phones.

I accessed the calendar and saw that we were booked for the entire week. For a funeral home business, that was good news. Business seemed to be going better.

Lovie rushed through the door. He stopped at the desk. “Mom, what are you doing here?”

“Shannon's not feeling well, so your dad needed me.”

“Is he here yet?”

“He had an early funeral to attend to. What do you need?”

“I need to talk to him.” Lovie seemed frustrated.

“Maybe I can help.”

Lovie paused as if he was thinking. “I don't know. Maybe I should wait.”

“If this is about the business, I have a right to know, too.”

Lovie grabbed a chair and sat down next to me behind the desk. He repositioned items on Shannon's desk and placed his laptop on it. “Mom, I think Uncle Jason has been embezzling our money.”

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