Authors: Rhonda Marks
For a second they simply stared at each other, not moving an inch, just taking in the other. As her eyes lowered, he reached out to lift her chin. “Good morning beautiful.” He then leaned over and slanted his lips over hers, pressing softly at first, then when she parted her lips his tongue entered her mouth and took control. Her hands landed on his barrel chest and she gave in to the feelings, loving the way he held her, kissed her.
The honking of a passing car made both of them jump apart and sheepishly glance at the other. “Um, I guess I should let you inside.” Nitika stepped aside and let Javier enter. Once the door closed, he swept her into his arms once more.
“Where did we leave off?” As his head lowered again, the sound of a tiny bell caused him to stop. “Sounds like Love Bug needs something,” he said with a hint of disappointment in his voice.
Nitika gave him a quick kiss on the lips and turned to go up the stairs. “She was doing fine when I checked on her a few minutes ago.”
Both parents hurried up the stairs to find Tesia cross-legged on the bed, her dolls scattered around the bed. “Hi Daddy!” She flung her arms wide and her father gave her the hug she wanted.
“Is that why you rang that bell, young lady?” Nitika asked with a stern look on her face.
“Yes. I heard the doorbell but was wondering why it was taking so long for Daddy to come upstairs.”
“Well, Daddy and I had grown up things to talk about, that’s all.” She felt her face flush as she told that little lie. It didn’t help when Javier gave her a wink too.
“Why don’t you go take care of yourself while I play with my girl.” He then turned his attention to their daughter who began to show him her new playthings.
Nitika was certainly grateful Javier showed up when he did. She had a big project due in the next couple days and she was woefully behind schedule. Her employer was so good to her, letting her work from home now that Tesia was out of the hospital. She didn’t want to let them down by turning in shoddy or late assignments.
As she settled into her chair and powered up her laptop, she sighed contentedly. Her life was far from perfect, but maybe, just maybe it would be alright.
let out a loud yawn and tried to stifle it with the back of her hand. She quickly looked up to see if her father noticed and tried to play off her sleepiness.
“Looks like someone
is ready for a nap,” Javier said with a knowing smile.
“Not yet, Daddy,” she replied, another yawn escaping her pouty lips.
Javier gathered up the toys they’d been playing with and placed them into the nearby bin. “Nap now, then we can play again after your lunch.”
“I wish I was stronger. Then I wouldn’t need so much slee
p,” Tesia mumbled as he covered her with the light blanket.
“That’s everyone’s wish, baby. We all want you completely well and bouncing off the walls like before.”
“You never saw me bouncing off the walls, Daddy.” She waited a beat before continuing. “When I do get well, are you still going to be around to play with me?”
A lump formed in his throat making him temporarily unable to speak. Ho
w could he get it through to Tesia and her mother that he was going to be around for the long run? “Daddy is not going anywhere, baby, okay?”
She nodded, closed her eyes and almost immediately drifted off to sleep. Javier
knelt by her bed and watched her as she slept, still amazed at the way she resembled him and her mother. Never in his wildest dreams did he think he’d meet one of the children his gift made possible.
After making sure his little girl was sound asleep, he slipped from her room and descended the stairs. All was quiet, so he assumed Nitika was still working in her office. He walked into the kitchen and grabbed a mug from the cabinet and filled it with the ever-present carafe of coffee on the counter. He took a seat at the breakfast bar and dumped in a couple spoonsful of sugar. After the first sip of the tasty brew, he leaned back on the padded bench and closed his eyes. He could get used to living like this. A child and a woman he was crazy about. What more could a man ask for?
Nitika strolled into the kitchen and stopped short as she spied Javier enjoying a cup of coffee. Her breath caught in her throat and for a minute she felt as if she were about to cry. What she wouldn’t give to have him in their life, her life, forever. She quickly shook off that thought and stepped inside the room. “Like my coffee, huh?”
He set down the cup and directed a smile at her that made her insides melt. “Sure do. Have a seat.”
While she made herself comfortable, he got up and filled a mug for her. He even put in the right amount of cream and sugar for her. “My lady,” he said as he presented the cup to her.
“Wow,” she said after taking her first sip. “A girl could get used to this kind of treatment.” She quickly averted her eyes from his and gave herself a mental slap upside the head.
“Look at me, Nitika,” Javier ordered in a silky tone of voice that made her want to strip off all her clothes. Although she wanted to ref
use, her eyes readily complied. “Who hurt you?”
She gave a little laugh and felt the familiar burn of tears in her eyes. “A better question would be who hasn’t hurt me.”
Nitika gulped some more coffee and set the cup down. “I haven’t had the best track record with men, and that’s not an understatement.
“Before my dad died, he came to see me at Elise’s house. Said he missed me and wanted to make things right between us. I was a little hesitant because he’d said things like that before and they never panned out. But he was insistent, saying he wouldn’t let me down. So I told him about an upcoming father-daughter dance and he said he’d take me. Elise’s mom went all out with a new dress for me and a visit to the beauty salon. I was so excited.” She wiped away a tear as she thought about that night.
“He promised to pick me up at seven and I stood by the window for hours, waiting for him to come. Mr. Nivens took Elise to the dance and offered to accompany me too, but I refused. Never called, never came. After that I stopped talking to him and a year or so later he was dead.”
Nitika turned to face Javier and looked him directly in the eye. “I promised myself I’d never put a child of mine through that, and I mean it, Javier.”
You have my word.” Javier reached over, pulled her close and took her hand in his. That simple gesture opened the floodgates and tears gushed forth, wetting the front of her shirt. In a flash she was in his lap where he held her tight against his chest.
“It’s alright,” he crooned. “Let it all out.”
As the tears slowed up, he began to kiss her lightly on her cheeks then her lips. Soon the kisses deepened and she felt his growing erection against her behind. She rose and held her hand out to him.
“Are you sure?” he whispered.
“Yes.” She led him from the kitchen toward her bedroom. It was time to take their relationship to the next level.
Nitika placed her ear on Tesia’s door to make sure she was still asleep before guiding Javier into her bedroom down the hall. Once inside, she walked over to the bed while he softly closed the door. When he turned to her, a bout of shyness suddenly came over her and she second-guessed her decision to bring him to her room.
“Stop thinking,” he said as he approached her and pulled her into his arms once more.
“I’m—” Her ability to speak disappeared when he lowered his head and began to lick her neck. Her legs gave way and luckily he had a good grip on her or she would have been in a heap on the floor. Heat shot throughout her body and her panties were instantly soaked.
With a wicked smile on his face, Javier swung her up into his strong arms and headed for the bed. She tried to
wriggle away from him, but he imprisoned her between his muscled arms. He settled her gently on the bed and reached for her top.
“We don’t have a lot of time here,” he said while quickly removing her clothes.
“You’re right,” she agreed while doing the same for him. “She’ll be awake soon.”
She looked down at his huge erection and actually purred. Her tongue swiped her lips, wetting them for the task ahead. Pushing down onto the mattress, she straddled him and took his throbbing penis into one hand. Before he could object she kissed the tip and he almost came off the bed. Her lips slipped over the head and she took as much of him as she could into her mouth. His hands dove into her hair while he alternated between trying to push her away and drawing her closer.
His salty precum coated her mouth and the tip bumped the back of her throat. Just as she was getting into the groove with her tongue action, he pulled himself out of her mouth and flipped her onto her back. He gave her a toe-curling kiss before reaching for his pants and pulling out a condom. After he rolled it on, he slid her body upward until his penis was at her opening.
He looked down at her with
gritted teeth and sweat pouring down the side of his face. Waiting.
She gave him a quick nod and he thrust into her body, shaking her to her core. She had to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from crying out and waking Tesia. It was as if a switch had been flicked on, the way he began to move inside of her. It took her a minute to catch onto his rhythm, but when she did it was a beautiful thing. Body slapping against body, the scent of sex permeating the room, and their muted groans made her want to
All too soon, she felt her body coming apart and an orgasm tore through her, causing her to throw her head back and let out a silent scream. He quickly follo
wed after a couple more thrusts, then rolled over so she was on top once again.
Feeling as though she didn’t have a bone in her body, she collapsed over his prone body and fell into a deep sleep with a Cheshire smile on her face.
“You’re sounding pretty happy.” Elise snagged a piece of ham Nitika laid on the platter and laughed when she tried to smack her hand. “You got some from that fine ass man!”
Nitika attempted to keep a neutral look on her face but it was useless as she remembered how good their lovemaking made her feel. A huge grin popped out and both women began to giggle like little girls.
Tesia stuck her head into the kitchen and scrunched up her face. “What are you laughing about, Mommy and Aunt Elise?”
Nitika quickly gained control of
herself and slid a cut-it-out look at her friend. “Nothing, baby. Just grown up stuff.” This seemed to satisfy her daughter because she retreated to the family room.
“She’s looking good,” Elise commented, smiling in Tesia’s direction.
“And she’s feeling much stronger. The doctors won’t clear her for school yet, but she can begin to catch up on her work.”
“So, while she’s out of our hair, give me some details,” Elise whispered.
To give herself some time, Nitika stuffed a carrot in her mouth and slowly chewed it. What was she doing to tell her BFF? In the past, she had no problem telling all, but with Javier she kind of felt protective of their time together. Although they didn’t have a lot of time to enjoy themselves, she noticed that he was a considerate lover, making sure she found her satisfaction before he took his. But there was something else, something she was afraid to voice.
“Alright, you’ve stalled enough. Out with it.” Elise perched her behind on the table in front of Nitika and crossed her arms.
“I don’t know what to say except it was wonderful. Out of all the lovers I’ve had, he has to be the most caring, most loving—” She stopped speaking and stared off into space, so overwhelmed by the memories.
“So, he’s all that, huh?”
“Yeah, he’s all that.”
“So what are you going to do about it?”
Nitika cast her gaze toward the floor and rolled her lips inward. That was the unspoken question, one she dared not think about. Or hope would have an answer she could live with.
After their lovemaking, he hung around for a couple more hours, had lunch with them and played with Tesia until she became sleepy again. A glance at the clock high on the wall showed that he’d been gone for almost three hours. She’d wanted to call him, but didn’t want to appear needy. Maybe he’ll call soon.
“Nothing. I need to concentrate on Tesia’s recovery. My needs can wait.” But hopefully not long.
do you mean you need me in Madrid ASAP?” Javier shouted into the receiver and belatedly remembered he was speaking with his boss. Ratcheting his tone of voice down a couple notches, he continued, “Did I hear you right?”
“You most certainly did. A competitor is poaching in our territory and I need you to make things right.”
Javier sat heavily onto the sofa and leaned back, trying to fend off the sense of panic rising in his chest. This was so not the time for him to be out of the country. “But Rob, my little girl is still recovering.”
“She’s out of the hospital, right?”
“Crespo, I get it that you want to be near her, but you’re the man for this job. You know the account inside out.”
“How about I do a video conference?”
“No can do. You know how the principals like to do business face
-to-face. It shouldn’t take very long and you’ll be home within a week at the most.”
Javier let out an exasperated breath and grabbed his tablet. “Send me the details and I’ll get right on it.”
“I knew I could count on you, Javier.”
As he disconnected the call, Javier felt the fingers of dread creep up his spine. Although Tesia was doing better, he still did not want to be away from her, even for a couple days. And what will Nitika think about him rushing out of town so soon after their first
time making love? He scrubbed his hand down the side of his face and opened the email his boss just sent him. Damn! His flight was leaving in four hours. There was no way he could swing by Nitika’s and say goodbye.
He ran up the stairs and grabbed a suitcase out of his closet. While gathering the clothes he needed, he dialed Nitika’s cell and said a prayer that she’d understand his predicament.
“Hey Javier,” she said with a smile in her voice. “I was wondering when I’d hear from you again. Wanna come over for dinner?”
He swallowed and took a deep breath. “I, um, can’t, Nitika. I have to leave town.
Silence hung heavy on the other end of the line and just when he thought she wasn’t going to answer, she said, “Was it something I did?”
“No baby, no. I got a call from my boss ordering me to fly to Madrid for business, that’s all. It shouldn’t take more than a few days and I’ll be back home before you know it.” He sent up a silent prayer it would only be for a few days.
“Are you sure?” she said in a tiny voice. “Tesia is going to miss you.”
“How about you?” he asked in a husky voice. “Will you miss me?”
When do you leave? Can you stop by?”
“I can’t babe. My flight is in less than four hours and I’m pushing it now.”
“Well, take care of yourself and we’ll see you when you get back, okay?”
“Yes,” she responded breathlessly.
“I enjoyed our afternoon.”
“I did too.”
“When we get back, we need to talk.”
“I’m looking forward to it. Goodbye, Javier and stay safe.”
“Take good care of my Love Bug and yourself too.” He could have sworn he heard sniffling as he disconnected the call, but unfortunately he didn’t have time to call her back. When he arrived in Madrid, she’d be the first person he’d contact. For sure.
Three weeks. Nitika picked up her cellphone for what had to be the hundredth time today and looked to see if she’d missed his call. With a loud sigh, she tossed it aside when the same blank screen greeted her. When was the last time he called? It had to be at least a week ago, if not more. Now she was beyond pissed and headed to a full-blown breakdown.
He promised her he’d contact them every
day, and he did at first. As soon as he landed in Madrid, he phoned from the airport, to tell her he arrived safely. She had a hard time hearing him because of all the noise in the background, but she was over the moon that he thought enough of her to call so soon. Every night before she fell asleep, he called to ask about Tesia and how she was doing. In the middle of the day, he’d call to speak to Tesia herself, delighting her with descriptions of Madrid and the surrounding countryside. Then the calls fell off to once every other night last week, and a couple times during the day. Now nothing. No calls, texts, emails. Nothing.
She even went so far to contact his job to see if he was having a problem, something that would keep him from contacting her. His boss, in a very sympathetic tone of voice, told her all was well, as far as he knew. He did say that Javier asked to extend his stay, but didn’t give a reason for doing so. He also promised to pass along her message when he spoke to him.
She almost called his family to see if they’d heard from him, but she talked herself out of doing that. There were some things she was not willing to do, and hounding a man’s family for information was one of them.
The hell with him!
And the hell with all men as a matter of fact. What made her believe that he was any different? Why did she believe him when he promised, no, lied about wanting to be in his daughter’s life? She sat in a nearby chair and dropped her head into her hands. Not again.
Tesia asked her daily about her daddy. When was he coming home? When is he going to call again? It broke her heart to see her daughter’s face fall when the phone rang and it wasn’t Javier. It reminded her of when she was a child and sat by the phone, waiting for her father’s calls, which never came.
She picked up the phone again and with tears streaming down her face, deleted Javier’s number from her contacts list and blocked his ability to call her. She knew better to get her hopes up about a man. Lesson painfully learned.
Javier’s face fell when he tried Nitika’s number for what had to be the tenth time today. Still no service. The mountains surrounding Pedro’s villa were beautiful to look at, but kept him from calling Nitika on his cell. He couldn’t even get any texts out. This was not good.
As much as he wanted to leave, until he made sure the account was once again in good standing, he was stuck. Pedro Guermo, the head of Cabrea Foods, insisted that he accompany
him and his family on a getaway to his mountain retreat. There was no time to let Nitika know what was going on. He barely had time to tell his boss he needed more time to get things settled.
How he missed those long talks with her. Did she miss him? Was she angry with him? He recalled her telling him about other men disappointing her and his promise never to do so. Would she understand his predicament?
“Javier, my friend,” Pedro’s booming voice startled him for a second. “There you are. Come, lunch is ready.”
Javier smiled at his host and quickly made his way over to him. “I was hoping we could talk about the account first.” And get this matter wrapped up so I can head home.
him on the back then draped an arm over his shoulders.” Always about business. Relax and slow down. We must enjoy our meal first, then we’ll talk after the siesta.”
Javier tried hard not to react to this plan, but truthfully he was on the verge of throwing in the towel and catching the first jet out of the country. Pedro was a hard negotiator and was doing his best to wring every
concession he could from him. That’s why they were at his retreat, which he found out belatedly was a dead zone for all electronic communication devices.
“You’re upset,” Pedro pointed out as he abruptly stopped walking.
“No, everything’s fine,” Javier replied with what he hoped was a neutral expression on his face.
“No it’s not. Come.” Instead of pr
oceeding inside the house for lunch, his host directed him to the far side of the house and to a gazebo in the center of the yard. “Talk to me, man to man, not as business associates. Something is troubling you.”
s just that, how can I put it—”
“It’s a woman, right?”
Javier ducked his head and nodded. “Yes, it’s a woman and it’s also my daughter.”
“So the woman is your wife?”
“No, no.” Not yet at least. “The situation is kind of complicated.” Javier gave Pedro a truncated version of the past three months, pausing every once in a while to clear up portions of the story.
“So you see, although I’m thoroughly enjoying your hospitality, I’m kind of anxious to return to the States or at least back to the city so I can call my ladies.”
My ladies. The thought of both Tesia and Nitika being a permanent part of his life made him feel good. Damn good.
Pedro dug into his front pocket and pulled out a small phone. “I’m sorry for not thinking you’d like to call anyone. Here, use my satellite phone and call your lady.”
Javier gratefully took the phone and shook Pedro’s hand. After walking a short distance away to gain a little privacy, he dialed Nitika’s number and smiled. Hopefully he was not going to be disturbing her since it was night at home. His smile turned into a frown though when the call went unanswered and the voicemail did not engage. He tried her cell and got the same response. Something was wrong.
He handed the phone back to Pedro and the look on his face must have said volumes. His host draped his arm over Javier’s shoulders and led him to the home. “Maybe they’re out of the house,” he offered.
“Maybe,” Javier replied. Maybe Tesia is back in the hospital. A chill ran up his spine at that thought. “Pedro, may I make one more call?”
“Of course, my friend.”
Javier quickly called his parent’s home and prayed that they would pick up. “Hello?” his mother answered.
“Javier! Where are you?”
“In Madrid on business. Mom, I don’t have much time to talk. Have you heard from Nitika and Tesia?”
“No, not lately.
Is there anything wrong?”
hesitated and clamped his mouth closed. He dearly wanted his mother to contact Nitika and make sure everything was alright, but he didn’t know how Nitika would react. “No, no, nothing’s wrong.”
“Are you sure dear?”
“Yes, Mom,” he replied with his fingers crossed. “Take care now, okay and I’ll see you when I get back.”
Javier rung off and once again handed the phone back. Deep down he knew that something was amiss and he needed to get back home.
“Pedro, can we make this a working lunch. I need to return home as soon as possible.”
“I understand, my friend. We will have an agreement this afternoon so you can be on your way.”
Javier gave him a shaky smile as they walked into the house. Please God let his little girl be alright.