Authors: Ruthie Robinson
Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #African American
“So you’re a nerd, huh?”
Surprised, he grinned, and chuckled quietly. No one had ever called him that before.
“Yeah, a nerd I guess.”
“Well, you don’t look like any nerd I know. You must
play sports, too, right?” She looked him over again, not
hiding her attraction.
He watched her give him a scorching once-over
again, charmed in spite of himself. “Yes, I did, and still
do. Pick a sport and I’ve probably played it.”
“So, you’re an athletic, good-looking nerd?” she said,
drawing out the compliment. “I bet your parents are
“Yes, they are.”
“Are you their only kid?”
“Yep, the only kid,” he said as he slid over a little fur
ther to her, until his shoulder bumped hers and his thigh
touched hers. “Enough about me. What’s your field of
“Education. I’m going to be a teacher.”
“I’m not one hundred percent sure, but I think I want
to make a difference to students like me. That makes me
sound noble, don’t you think?”
“Only if you mean it. What does ‘like you’ mean?”
I always had to work really hard to get good grades
even with the help of tutors, so I always felt like the odd
person out in school. I’d like to try to help kids like me,
who struggle, or maybe not, we’ll see. Teaching started
out as mostly my mother’s idea, and, absent any other
burning desire, I went along. My family would disown
me if I didn’t get some type of college degree. So anyways,
here I am, one year away from finishing.” She paused,
silent for a few seconds. “Okay, no more serious stuff,
what’s your favorite sport?”
“Futbal,” he said, pronouncing it the way that only
true soccer people did.
“What’s your favorite team?”
“The United States or internationally?”
“D.C. United, Liverpool, and, during the World
Cup, I pull for Germany,” he said.
“You traitor,” she scoffed, jabbing him in the arm
with her finger. “I like your choices, except I always pull
for the home team during the World Cup.”
“So you know soccer?”
“A little. What kinds of movies do you like?”
“Nothing mushy, so that eliminates the chick flicks,” he said, grinning at her.
“What, you don’t like happily ever after?” She cupped
her hands together and placed them under her chin, once
again batting her eyelashes at him.
He laughed some more, thoroughly entertained.
“I’m an action guy,” he said, throwing a little of his
sexy charm her way, his eyes fixed firmly on hers, con
veying a totally different meaning. Sex was now woven into a 150-watt smile now aimed full force at her.
“You’re dangerous, you know that, especially with
that smile of yours,” she said and laughed. “An action
guy, huh?” She nudged him in the ribs with her elbow, as
she chuckled some more.
He laughed, too.
“Okay, how about music? Who are your favorite
“Maybe you should be the lawyer,” he said, but he
answered her question. “I like Coldplay, Simple Plan, Fall
Out Boy . . . You?”
“I like all kinds. The ones you mentioned, but a
favorite is Stevie Wonder. My dad played him to death at my house growing up, so I’ve learned to love him, too.
Great lyrics. I’m in love at the moment with John Mayer’s
music, another guy with great lyrics. You may think this
is weird, but I love to turn off all of the lights at home at
night and listen to him in the dark.” She watched him for
a reaction but didn’t get one. “Told you, weird,” she said
after a moment.
He studied her face for a second, taking in the humor
and passion he saw there. “Not too weird, I could go for
sitting in the dark listening to music with you.”
“Yeah?” she said slowly, gazing into his eyes.
“Yeah,” he answered back, returning her gaze, eyes slightly lowered, a sinful smile on his lips, sex personified.
“You really are dangerous,” she said softly, no longer
t surprised both of them to hear the pilot announce
that they would be landing in ten minutes. Time had passed quicker than they’d expected. He’d felt a pull
toward her, sexual for sure, but maybe more, but that
could be due to the unexpectedness of meeting her. He’d
enjoyed himself, though.
“Well, I guess, this is where we part company,” Reye
said, unbuckling her seatbelt and standing. The pilot had
just given the passengers the okay to move about, and
now people were filing into the aisle in anticipation of
the doors opening. It was time to leave, yet they both lin
gered. Reye could feel him at her back, standing close
behind her as they waited. Not close enough that he
touched her, but enough to make her nerves tingle.
“Do you have any luggage?” he asked, his lips not far
from her ear.
“Yes,” she said, turning to him. Her face was close to his now, loving the way he looked up close, feeling warm
“I do, too. I’ll walk with you to the luggage terminal.”
“Okay,” she said, trying to clear her head.
Like school kids in line for lunch, they exited the air
plane, stopping to let Reye grab her bag from the over
head compartment, Stephen still at her back. They
followed the signs that led to the luggage area. Both were
quiet on the walk over, aware of each other now. Reye
spotted her bag as it rolled out of the chute, and soon
after Stephen located and grabbed his duffel. They
walked to the airport’s exit, both moving through the
sliding doors into the sunshine outside. It was good to be
back home, Reye thought. Stephen moved out of the
doorway, grabbing her hand to pull her along with him.
He let go and turned to her.
“Do you need a ride from the airport?”
“No, I’m parked in the garage.”
“Me, too. You mind if I walk you out? I couldn’t for
give myself if I saw your picture on the news later and
you’d been kidnapped and mutilated.” His face grave, his
hand placed over his heart as he pretended to be serious.
“Sure, we wouldn’t want that on your conscience,” she said and smiled. Crossing the sidewalk, they made
their way to the parking garage, and within five minutes,
they’d reached Stephen’s car.
“This is mine,” he said as he stopped alongside a
shiny blue BMW sports coupe.
“Pretty,” Reye said to him as she internally added
‘really rich’ to his list of attributes.
“It was an undergraduate graduation gift from my
parents.” Pleasure reflected in his gaze as he looked over
“Nice gift,” she said. “I am just over there,” she
added, pointing to an older red truck parked about ten
cars over. “No need to walk me, you can see me get to my
truck from here.” She turned to face him. “So I guess this
is finally where we part. It was really nice talking to you.
Maybe I’ll see you around campus or on another flight.”
He sat now, leaning casually against the trunk of his
car, legs outstretched, crossed at the ankles, watching her,
his duffel at his feet on the ground. She smiled and he
returned it with a slow one of his own.
What the hell,
Reye thought. “Hand me your phone,” she said. If he
seemed surprised by the request, he didn’t show it, as he
dug into his pocket and handed it to her.
“Call me if you want to get together, to talk, or what
ever,” she said, proceeding to program her name and
number into his cell. Stephen laughed and accepted the
phone back from her when she was done.
“Thanks,” he said and his look turned somewhat
more serious. “I enjoyed meeting and riding back with
Taking another chance that she was reading more
than casual interest from him, Reye returned his look and
stepped in closer to him, her legs straddling his, which were still stretched out in front of him. She could smell
his fragrance, feel his breath, and her eyes shifted away
from his and moved to his mouth. He watched her move
in to capture his lips in a kiss that was a soft, tentative touching. Captivated again by her boldness, he waited to
see what she’d do next. As she pulled back, his teeth cap
tured her lower lip and held it for a second. Her eyes
snapped open and met his, which were dancing. He
smiled, and then they both laughed.
“See you around, Stephen Stuart,” she said, still
chuckling while she walked to her truck.
“See you around, Reye.” He continued to lean on his
car as he watched her walk away. Nice body, he thought
again. Nice legs that led up to a small firm backside. Her
hips tapered up to a small waist. He remembered how she’d felt when she rammed into his back. Nice breasts,
he added. She didn’t look back.
* * *
Stephen arrived home from the airport in under an
hour. He parked in his garage and entered his apartment.
Leaving his duffel at the door, he headed to the refriger
ator, grabbed a beer, and walked over to the couch,
parking his body in front of the TV. School started on
Monday, and he planned to spend the rest of this, his last
free day, sitting on his couch, feet propped up. Flipping
through the channels, he settled in to watch a soccer
After law school, his focus would shift to taking and
passing the bar exam, followed by joining the family’s
law practice. This semester would be the last of his
freedom with women, away from the watchful eyes of
his parents. Dallas was large in size, but small in its social circles. At home, he’d already started to fend off women
looking to get married. Coupled with his mother and
her exacting daughter-in-law standards, he knew it
would be a battle to stay sane and single. So far, though,
he’d never been captured by the desire to settle down
with anyone for any extended period of time, and he wasn’t looking to start.
He still managed to keep in touch with Beth, an old
high school girlfriend, who was more his parents’ choice
than his. Their families were good friends who had spent
a lot of time together growing up and would be overjoyed
by their joining. He’d see. In the meantime, he wanted to
enjoy his remaining bachelorhood.
tephen thought back to this morning, Reye and the
plane ride home. She’d been funny, sexy, and enter
taining, but under the surface, his radar recognized
someone who would require work and maybe a commit
ment. He was so not going there, doing that. So kiss or
no, he probably wouldn’t call her.
It was a clear, sultry fall day in Austin, and there had
been enough rain this year to make the fields green,
soft, and firm. Soccer fields and tracks were like second
homes to Reye. She’d practiced and played on both
most of her life, enrolling in her first soccer academy at
age six. Standing here looking out over the fields
reserved for intramural games, she grew nostalgic. The
academy had introduced her to the basics skills and
strategy of the game and she’d perfected them by
playing with her brothers and later on select teams in and around the Austin area. Soccer had filled in the
spaces schoolwork hadn’t covered during the academic
school year, keeping her busy after school and on week
ends. Track had taken over her summers. Her mom had
made sure she’d been kept busy and free of boys—an
idle mind and all that.