Authors: Naleighna Kai
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Was it Good For You Too? @ 2014 by Naleighna Kai
Digital ISBN: 9780982682982
Trade Paperback ISBN: 9780982682906
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever or by any means including electronic, mechanical or photocopying, or stored in a retrieval system without written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For permission, contact Naleighna Kai at
Cover designed by: J. L. Woodson
Interior design by: Lissa Woodson
Printed in the United States of America
Table of Contents
All praise is due to the Creator first and foremost. A special love and respect to my guardian angels, ancestors, teachers and guides.
To my spiritual mothers: Sandy Spears and Bettye Mason Odom; to my son, Jeremy “J. L.” Woodson, who is the perfect example of determination and dedication. I love you more than words can ever say.
To the people who continuously inspire me: Renee Sesvalah Cobb-Dishman, Gretta Chamberlain, Debra Mitchell, Laverne “Missy” Brown, Ehryck F. Gilmore; the members of M-LAS: Joyce Brown (my “other” mother and my voice of reason), to Janice Pernell (Developmental Editor), Valarie Prince (Content/Copy Editor), and Katie Walsh (Content/Line Editor), Tanishia Pearson-Jones (Manuscript Evaluator), Martha Kennerson, Susan D. Peters, Candy Jackson, D. J. McLaurin, and Lorna L.A. Lewis.
To the book clubs and avid readers who support my workâI LOVE YOU!!! (there are too many of you to name!)
Pam Nelson, the woman behind the Soul Expressions Wal*Mart Tour that forever changed my life and put my literary career in orbit. Thank you for your vision, drive, and tenacity. You have the belief that books by all authors deserve a fighting chance--and we love your for it. You are the main reason I reached the national bestsellers list that year and you continue to be an inspiration and someone who I will always admire.
To the members of C.V.S. Class of 1984 who have supported my literary career and other endeavors (Quest anyone?)--Much love and respect.
To everyone I mentioned (and those that I may have forgotten to type), thank you for everything you are to me.
Wishing you allâpeace and love, light and joy.
My mother, Jean Woodson
My grandmother, Mildred E. Williams
My brother, Eric Harold Spears
My niece, LaKecia Janise Woodson,
a rising star who left us much too soon
To Leslie Esdaile Banks (L.A. Banks),
one of the best storytellers the planet had to offer.
To Anthony “Green Eyes” Johnson,
the real life “Dallas” who taught me
what unconditional love was all about
to Derek V. Fields
and the C.V.S. graduating class of 1984
(full tribute is in the back of this novel)
“Here's the deal â¦ you can be married, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're ready to be someone's partner in life.”
âJada Pinkett Smith
“What never leaves is that friend love. And that's the commitment to ride or die with somebody through every step.”
âJada Pinkett Smith
Tailan Song was juggling more balls than
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
She had given an arm and a leg to put this Midwest book tour in play, but at the moment she'd throw in a foot and a couple of someone else's toes for just twenty minutes of sleep.
“Wake me when we get to the first stop,” she said to her assistant.
“We'll wake you sooner than that if you start snoring,” Terry shot back.
“I don't snore,” Tailan mumbled, lowering into her seat at the back of the bus, hoping to catch a few winks before the luxury coach made it to Woodland.
Twenty-one authors were set to sign at twelve big-box stores in the Midwest over the next four days. That was the upside. The downside â¦ she had promised several major publishing houses that she'd bring in record sales and she had to deliver or her career was over. Thanks to the four diva authors who were thrown into the mix, she was running on fumes. Oh, and her boss was on the tour bus to keep an eye on how everything played out. Great. Just great.
Unfortunately, her shut-eye was interrupted by her boss's voice. “Attention, everyone. We'd like to introduce you to a special guest celebrity who'll be joining us for the next four days. His new novel,
The Black House,
New York Times
Bestseller,” David crowed. “Give a warm Soul Express welcome to author and Oscar-winning actor Delvin Germaine.”
Tailan's eyes flew open. She shot up from her lounging position as hearty applause rang out from the authors and the six members of the Nelson Entertainment staff. Everyone smiled as they took in the striking good looks of the man towering over David's stocky frameâeveryone except Tailan. The last person she ever wanted or expected to see was Delvin Germaine.
“This cannot be happening,” she whispered.
Sinking down in the seat, she tried to ignore the curly-haired author across the aisle who was giving her a suspicious look while mouthing the words, “Woman, what's wrong with you?”
“It'll be a pleasure to be with you on this tour,” Delvin's rich baritone voice echoed throughout the length of the luxury coach.
Tailan stuck her head out.
“I'm sure it'll be â¦” Delvin's gaze narrowed.
Their eyes locked for a split second. Heads turned, following his line of sight. Tailan crouched lower and peeked around the edge of the seat in front of hers.
“Tai?” he asked.
“Damn!” she muttered. Tailan straightened in her seat, then leaned over into the aisle, noticing that his dark brown eyes were flashing with a glint of something she couldn't quite name. Shock? Maybe. Fear? Kind of. Well, he should be scared. He totally deserved a smack upside the head from the twelve-ounce can of whoop ass she carried in her back pocket.
She snailed a nod, wishing she could deny the obvious. Given the vicious way they had parted, he should understand why she wasn't at all ready to do cheerleader splits just because he was in sniffing distance.
“It's good to see you,” he said in that same seductive voice that had always melted women's heartsâand a few other parts. At the moment, Tailan wanted to kick herself because she was no exception.
“Methinks this trip just got a bit more interesting,” David teased with a wink in Tailan's direction. She gave him the evil eye and a scowl, as nervous laughter and hushed whispers flared up around them.
Several of the “diva” authors, who had ignored Tailan since she had been forced to put them in check the moment they arrived in Indianapolis, now gave her the once-over, as though sizing up their competition.
“I'll see you all at the next stop,” Delvin announced. He bestowed one last lingering look upon Tailan before he turned to exit the bus.
He didn't have one foot out the door before a sultry voice vibrated through the bus. “You're not riding with us?”
Like spectators at a tennis match, all heads snapped toward a golden beauty with shoulder length locs, who had pinned her hazel eyes on the movie star. Delvin did an about-face and looked at Nona, who wore a breast-baring outfit that would have every newborn in the area salivating. Got milk? Indeed!
“I was added to the tour at the last minute,” Delvin countered, tightening his grip on the exit rail. “I have to check into the hotel andâ”
“So whatcha tryin' ta say?” a brash voice across the aisle from Nona interrupted. Shannon's hands flapped around in a dramatic fashion. “You too good to ride with the rest of us squares?”
Tailan stifled a chuckle as Delvin's eyes narrowed to heated slits. She held her breath, half-expecting him to fall back on his stinging wit and mention that Shannon's weave had seen its best days in its former life on someone else's head.
“Could you say that in real English?” he quipped, causing a few people to laugh and Shannon's face to blush an angry red.
The driver cleared his throat loudly. He lifted his arm and tapped his watch, reminding them they had to roll if they wanted to stay on schedule.
Nona's head rocked as she snarled, “What she
“She's saying that maybe for once you can check your celebrity status at the door and get your behind on the bus with the rest of us,” Tailan snapped.
David's glare was so intense, she almost regretted her sour words. The future of her career was riding on the success of this tour. And success was far from guaranteedâeven the publishers thought it was a long shot. David's last minute publicity stunt would have her scrambling. It already had her beyond irritated.
Delvin's eyes tossed her a warning. “I think I liked it better when you kept your mouth shut.”
Colorful, stunned dialogue moved like a wave through the bus.
“Whoa! Where the hell did that come from?” Lorna gasped, tendrils of red hair falling into her face.
“Ooooh, that was kinda cold,” J. L., the youngest of the group, said with a grimace.
“Whew, better her than me, girl,” Martha whispered to the woman sitting next to her.
Delvin glanced at David, who clamped his hand on Delvin's shoulder as though they were old buddies. “Actually people, he's had a long flight and â¦”
Tailan stood and crossed her arms over her full bosom, letting her stance speak volumes. Everyone was supposed to receive equal treatment across the board. Bottom line! This was not the right vibe to start the tour. Yet, as strong as the urge was to bark at the unfair preferential treatment, Tailan exhaled the moment Delvin turned to leave.
Then he did a complete one-eighty and locked eyes with her.
“On second thought,” he said with a sly grin. “I can just as easily catch a few minutes of sleep on this bus as I could in my hotel room.”
“You're coming with us?” David asked, a wide smile lifting the corners of his generous mouth.
Applause, hoots, and whistles followed Delvin as he headed down the aisle to take a seat.
Tailan dropped back into her seat and turned to her assistant, Terry. “Get him checked into the hotel pronto, and have them store his things in a secure location until we get back.”