Authors: Angie Daniels
Do Me Baby
by Angie Daniels
Caramel Kisses Publishing
Copyright © 2013 by Angie Daniels
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, is forbidden without the written permission of the author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
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THE BEAUMONT SERIES
The Second Time Around
The Playboy’s Proposition
The Player’s Proposal
For You I Do
Before I Let You Go
Every Second Counts
A Beau for Christmas
Do Me Baby
Do Me Baby
by Angie Daniels
Caramel Kisses Publishing
“You are lying!”
Debra Anderson wished she was. She switched her cell phone to her other ear. “You know I wouldn’t joke about something like that. And don’t you know all she had to say was, ‘I’m sorry.’?”
“Sorry?” Her best friend Bianca Beaumont Brown repeated. “Does she have any idea how many hours you spent preparing those cupcakes?”
“Apparently she doesn’t care.” Debra was seething with anger, which was probably why she suddenly had road rage. She whipped the wheel, making a right turn at the light and heading towards the interstate.
Debra was the owner of
and had been scheduled to deliver more than eight dozen red velvet cupcakes for an afternoon tea at Freda Parks’ house, the socialite who was the mayor’s wife. She had driven halfway to their home when the mayor’s assistant called to cancel the order. Apparently, they had found someone else to cater the desserts, but had forgotten to give the required forty-eight-hour cancellation notice.
“Did she think I just had a hundred gourmet cupcakes lying around?” Debra shook her head. With the passenger window rolled down, her too-long, too-curly honey-brown curls whipped into her face, until she reached over and hit the automatic button to raise the window. “Now I’m stuck with enough cupcakes to add another twenty-five pounds to these wide hips,” she fumed, and felt her van closing in fast on the Honda in front of her. Debra pulled back her foot, realizing she was allowing her anger to get the better of her.
“I hope you’re still planning to charge her bougie ass!” Bianca said.
“You better believe it. I gave up an afternoon with Sony to prepare for her social event,” she replied with mounting frustration. Her boyfriend of two years had not been at all been happy about the lack of quality time. Debra released a frustrated sigh. Sometimes she understood his frustrations, but as she had tried numerous times to explain to him, if she intended to remain successful she had to be able to meet the growing needs of her customers. Ever since she had opened her bakery three years ago, her services had been in high demand. But Sony couldn’t seem to understand that.
Debra released another weary sigh. “Anyway, I’m heading home. He should be getting off work shortly, so maybe I can get in a quickie before the birthday party I’m catering tonight.”
There was a brief pause before Bianca replied, “How about dropping those sweets off at the restaurant? I’m sure my husband will be happy to get them.”
A smile curled Debra’s lips at the suggestion. The last thing she wanted was to let Sony see the baked goods were still in her work van. She would never hear the end of it. “You don’t think London will mind?”
“Hell, no. He’ll be glad to get them. Miss Marlene has been feeling under the weather and hasn’t been baking like she used to. I’ll call him and let him know you’re on your way.”
“Thanks, Bianca.” Debra ended the call and focused her attention on the road as she headed toward downtown.
What would I do without my best friend?
Bianca Beaumont Brown was as down-to-earth as it got. Who would ever believe she was the youngest of four siblings and heir to the Beaumont Corporation,
a chain of full-service five-star hotels in cities and vacation destinations across the country? Customer satisfaction was their mission, and t
he corporation’s customer loyalty program was one of the largest of its kind. The Beaumont Hotel of Sheraton Beach was one of the most prestigious hotels on the East coast, with breathtaking views and access to every amenity imaginable.
Bianca and Debra had been friends since high school, and had been thick as thieves ever since. Bianca was now married to London Brown, the chicken king and owner of the Clarence’s Chicken & Fish House, with locations all around Delaware. They were the proud parents of four-year-old Sierra.
Debra made a right onto Main Street, which was right in the heart of downtown Sheraton Beach, with its cobblestone streets and mom-and-pop stores. She found parking on the street a few feet from the restaurant and climbed out.
“Need some help?”
She looked over her van and spotted London strolling out the door of the restaurant. His grin was so infectious she couldn’t resist a smile of her own despite the type of day she had been having. “Absolutely.”
Nodding, he disappeared inside, and by the time she was removing the first black box with the pink
logo, London had returned with two teenage helpers. The business was adamant about hiring students for the food service experience.
“Ma’am, let me take that,” said a cute girl with short spiked hair. Debra eagerly lowered the box into her outstretched arms. She then reached inside and handed over one of the other boxes to an adorable Asian girl, while London reached for two.
“Bianca told me what happened. It’s unfortunate, but you have no idea how happy I am to get these. The natives have been restless since Ms. Marlene got sick. Her baked goods are what kept our customers coming.”
, dude,” Debra countered with a playful eye roll, causing London to chuckle. “We all know it’s your catfish.” The fish was so good she’d eaten there at least once a week for as long as she could remember, and she had never grown tired of it.
“Well, whatever the case, my customers are going to be happy to see these.”
Grinning, Debra reached for the last box, then shut the door to her van and followed London inside.
The lunch rush had just ended, so the restaurant was relatively quiet. Debra took in the rock-and-roll memorabilia and checkered tablecloths. It was a very simple, no-frills location, yet it was Sheraton Beach’s most popular restaurant.
Debra followed London to the back and lowered the box onto the large prep table in the kitchen. “London, I really appreciate you taking these items off my hands.”
He shook his head. “No problem. Like I said, you did me a favor. I don’t know why I didn’t think of asking you before.” His eyes swept the beautiful red gourmet cupcakes covered in rich cream cheese icing. “How much do I owe you?”
“Oh, no!” Debra shook her head. “They’re free of charge.”
“No, I have to give you something. I know you spent hours preparing these.”
“Yes, and I have every intention of being compensated, but not by you,” she said with a narrowed look before softening her expression with a smile. “For me, the biggest reward is having somebody enjoy them. Nope. It’s not up for discussion,” she said, and London had known her long enough to know she was serious.
“All right. Then how about you make me another hundred, assorted, for this weekend and I pay for those?”
She grinned. “It’s a deal.”
After ordering two fish dinners to go, Debra hurried back out to the van and headed home. Halfway down Main Street she rolled down her windows and enjoyed the gentle breeze coming off the ocean, sending her curls bouncing in the wind. She had lived in the beachfront town her entire life and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
Within minutes she pulled into the subdivision of Sheraton Hills and parked in the lot in front of the apartment she shared with her boyfriend of two years. Just thinking about him caused her to sigh. Sony was the closest thing she had ever come to being serious, yet lately something had been missing from their relationship. She couldn’t put her finger on it. It felt like they were more roommates rather than two people who were in love, and that’s what bothered her. She wanted what Bianca and London had. Those two were so in love that even after five years anyone could see the love shining from their eyes.
Lately she and Sony had seemed so distant. She felt that part of the reason she spent so much time catering was to avoid going home and listening to him complain about how she was never around. Which was ironic, because when she was around they rarely had anything to say to one another. Their relationship was going to fail fast unless one of them did something to revive it. Some days she missed her carefree single life, when she’d
had a date
penciled in for almost every weekend of the month. But after Bianca had married and given birth to her daughter, Sierra, Debra suddenly had the overwhelming urge to settle down herself and start a family. Something she hadn’t had much of growing up.
She parked and climbed out, grabbing the two Styrofoam containers. As she moved across the lot toward the building she spotted Sony’s Avalanche truck parked under a tree.
“Maybe it’s time for a little whip appeal,” she told herself with a salacious grin. Maybe an afternoon quickie was just what they needed to get their relationship back on track. She hoped so, because their sex life was in desperate need of an overhaul.
Debra waved at one of her neighbors coming up the walkway.
“Hey, Casey,” she greeted.
“Hi, Debbie! My mother is still raving about those lemon meringue cupcakes.”
Beaming, she replied, “I’m glad she liked them.”
The leggy graduate student’s brown eyes twinkled as she spoke. “She
them. I’ll have to have you make me some for her birthday, if she can wait that long.”
“No problem. Just call me at the bakery.”
“Will do.” Casey nodded, and then scratched her neat little afro. “I really hate that you’re moving. I love the smell of cupcakes coming down the hall.”
She gave Casey a puzzled look. “Moving? I’m not moving.”
Now it was the caramel-colored woman’s turn to look confused. “Really? Sony said you were. He’s been moving stuff out of the apartment all day.”
She felt a moment of panic. “Will you excuse me?” she muttered before hurrying off.
Debra hurried into the fourplex and up the stairs to the unit on the right. As soon as she stepped into the apartment, she stalled. Things were missing. Or better yet,
things were missing.
“Sony!” she called as she moved through the living room toward the bedrooms in back. “Sony!”
As she stormed into the master suite, Sony stepped out of the bathroom, drying his hands on a towel, his light brown eyes wide with surprise. “Debra, you’re home early.”
“Where the hell are my things?”
He held her gaze for several moments before saying, “I took the liberty of moving them for you. They’re in storage.”
“Storage?” she barked with outrage. “What the hell you do that for?”
He fixed her with a hard stare. “It’s not working out between us, so I decided it was time for you to move on.”
His words hit her hard. “Me? I’m the one who found this apartment.” And at a great price for prime beachfront property. “You have no right. My name is on the lease as well.”
“The operative word is
. Our lease was up for renewal a month ago. I went into the leasing office and told them you were leaving and I was staying and signed a new lease effective the beginning of this month.”
She racked her brain and remembered their lease expired in March. Had it really been a year already? “Why didn’t you say anything? Before I gave you my half the rent?”
Sony shrugged. “I’m a jerk. What can I say?” The proof of it flickered in his eyes.
Fuming, Debra shook her head. How could he just pretend she didn’t matter after they’d spent the last two years curled up in the bed beside each other? “You bastard. How could you do this to me?”
“C’mon Debra. Don’t act stupid. We both know that things haven’t been good between us in a long time.”
She couldn’t argue that. Debra took a long deep breath from between clenched teeth. “True, but we could have at least talked about it.”
“I planned on talking to you about it tonight. Unfortunately, you came home early.”
“Sony, sweetheart, I can’t find the—”Debra’s eyes traveled over to a beautiful dark-skinned chick who had just stepped out of the bathroom wrapped in one of Debra’s brand-new bath towels. As soon as she spotted Debra, she blew out a long breath. “I thought you said she moved out.”
Debra’s eyes traveled from one to the other. “Sony, who the hell is this?”