Authors: Tina Martin
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #United States, #African American, #Romance
Watch Me Take Your Girl
(The Alexanders, Book 2)
By Tina Martin
2014 @ Tina Martin
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, photocopying and recording, without prior written consent of the author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, businesses and products are used fictitiously. Any similarity to actual events is entirely coincidental.
[Cover image by stockimages freedigitalphotos.net]
Also by Tina Martin:
Accidental Deception, The Accidental Series, Book 1
Accidental Heartbreak, The Accidental Series, Book 2
Accidental Lovers, The Accidental Series, Book 3
What Donovan Wants, The Accidental Series, Book 4
Dying To Love Her
Dying To Love Her 2
The Millionaire’s Arranged Marriage (The Alexanders, Book 1)
Secrets On Lake Drive
Can’t Just Be His Friend
The Baby Daddy Interviews
Just Like New to the Next Man
The Millionaire’s Arranged Marriage
(The Alexanders, Book 2)
Tyson rolled over
to slap the snooze button on the alarm clock that sat on the nightstand next to his king-sized bed. The time displayed 4:00 a.m. in bright, red numbers, illuminating brightly in the darkness of his room. As he did every morning around this time, he stood up from the bed, stretched his arms straight up in the air, awakening his six-foot-three athletic frame in preparation for his morning run.
slipped on a pair of gray sweat pants over a pair of thin, silk boxers and pulled a white tank top over his head and down his torso, layering it with a navy blue hoodie. After a brief visit to the bathroom and a dash of water to his face, he walked out the front door, did some stretch exercises and started a slow jog.
ran along the Carolina shoreline, using the force of his strong thigh and calf muscles to exert himself at a steady pace, trampling sand underneath his Nikes, he thought about her, Gabrielle, as he often did during this daily ritual.
For months, she’d shared this piece of his
world – running with him, inhaling fresh morning air, laughing with him and enjoying his company. After the run, they would eat his freshly prepared breakfast and talk about life. He could talk about anything with her. Now, they weren’t speaking, or better yet, he wasn’t speaking to her.
Gabrielle tried to
reach him a few times by phone. The last contact came by way of a text message that simply said,
. Tyson, however, hadn’t responded. He didn’t know what to say to her and he wasn’t sure if he would be thinking rationally if he answered her call. So instead of saying something he’d later regret, he said nothing.
That was two
, long months ago, and he hadn’t heard anything from her since...
The time without her around
gave Tyson time to think clearly and reasonably. He’d come to the conclusion that it
a rash decision on his part to basically put Gabrielle out of his home and take it upon himself to lease a furnished apartment for her, thus cutting her out of his life and forcing her to live alone in Roanoke Island, a town where she didn’t know anyone. Only him.
He hadn’t even given her time to explain anything
when it came to Dilvan. His anger wouldn’t allow her to state her case, because in his mind, why would an abused woman go to have dinner with the very man who’d abused her?
Dilvan Alexander was his
first cousin, but the man had some serious personality flaws. He was one of those men who thought the world revolved around him. That people who didn’t even know him should respect him. That people should bow down to him because he was
. He had money, and instead of being a philanthropist as his Mother, Father, brothers and Tyson were for that matter, he’d taken a different path and became a model. An underwear model. An almost naked, let-it-all-hang-out, show-off-your-package model. The profession suited him well, because in addition to money, cars and clothes, his body was of great importance to him. He had to look good no matter what and being a model gave him a following of women who gushed over his magazine spreads and billboard pictures. With a pair of gray, exotic eyes, black, curly hair and light skin, he could handpick any one of those women falling at his feet, but he hadn’t. He wanted a woman who no longer wanted him. He wanted Gabrielle.
Gabrielle claimed to not want him, but why
would she go to dinner with the man? The man who broke her spirit? Who demeaned her? Who forced himself on her time and time again? That’s what bothered Tyson the most – her intentions. As he jogged along the beach, he realized that he needed to give her a chance to explain things instead of jumping to conclusions on the matter. He couldn’t just assume that Gabrielle had romantic feelings for Dilvan. And even if she did, why would it bother him so much? It’s not like Gabrielle was
woman, right? Was he jealous?
That’s what it c
ame down to. Jealousy. Tyson developed a deep affection for Gabrielle, even though he told himself he was just helping her get back on her feet. That she was too young for him. That she was too inexperienced to be with a man who had experienced it all. He tried to keep his distance away from the relationship arena, but with Gabrielle, he ended up going the extra mile, more so than with any other woman he’d ever encountered. Never before had he shared his quaint beach house with a woman, but to have Gabrielle there for nearly four months made him realize how much he missed being in a relationship – how much he wanted to love again.
At thirty years of age, h
e longed to share his life with someone as he had with Gabrielle temporarily. He wanted to cook meals for a special lady. Make delectable desserts and have stimulating conversation. He wanted to run in the rain with a lover and make love to the woman of his dreams in his bed while they listened to the waves crash ashore through an opened window.
The more he thought about it, the more he realized he wanted that woman to be Gabrielle. It didn’t matter that she was
nine years his junior – she meshed with him. She blended well with his life and he missed her so much that he had frequent dreams about her – dreams so graphic, dreams that felt so real, they had him walking up hot and bothered in the middle of the night and taking cold showers in the mornings. It was time to pay Gabrielle Robinson a visit.
I came to
say goodbye,” Gabrielle said as she sat on the brown, leather sofa in Padma’s living room. She watched a frown intensify in Padma’s forehead and instantly felt tears well up in her own eyes. She had been fighting back tears on her drive to Padma’s house because she hadn’t given Padma any sort of warning that she wanted to leave. She hated to blind-side her with the news, but realizing it would’ve been much worse if she left without saying a word, Gabrielle knew she had to stop by to tell her, no matter how painful it was for both parties.
“Padma, did you hear me?”
Gabrielle asked because Padma sat speechless and motionless. “Padma?”
Snapping out of
a temporary shock, Padma covered her opened mouth with her trembling hand. For a moment, words were hard to come by. Was she hearing things? She loved Gabrielle like a daughter. Was she really saying goodbye?
Padma, the Mother of three sons, always wanted a girl. It just never happened, and after she gave birth to her last son
, Dilvan, all those years ago, she was told by doctors that she couldn’t have any more children, tossing her chances of having a daughter out the window. So the time she spent with Gabrielle, mentoring her and being there for her, filled that void. Now, Gabrielle was leaving.
“Padma, did you hear me?”
“I heard you, Gabrielle,” she said. Her eyes brimmed with tears. “But I don’t understand. What do you mean you’re saying goodbye? What...where—”
moving back home for a while.”
Gabrielle was Greenville, North Carolina, a three-hour drive from Southern Shores. It was where her father and two sisters lived. She missed her family and hadn’t seen them since moving to the Outer Banks. She longed to find out what her sisters were up to as well as finally finding the inner strength to tell her Father that the ‘arranged marriage’ between herself and Dilvan hadn’t worked out. And how would her father feel to know that she was never officially married to Dilvan in the first place? Padma had informed her of that fact a month ago.
Gabrielle let out a worrisome sigh. There was so much her Father wouldn’t understand, and she was certain that he’d be enraged once he found out how Dilvan had been treating her.
“Why are you moving, Gabrielle?” A lone tear traveled down Padma’s face.
Before she could answer, Padma asked, “Is Dilvan still bothering you?”
Gabrielle told Padma before how Dilvan had claimed that he loved h
er now after he mistreated her, something neither of them understood. Dilvan made Gabrielle’s life miserable – made her eat from the floor, told her she was ugly, that she was stupid and even abused her to the point where she had two miscarriages.
Now, every time he saw her, he
made it a point to speak, following up with apologies for his past actions. He made it clear to her that he wanted her back, promising to be a better man. Gabrielle, however, wasn’t buying it, because as Ms. Beatrice once told her, once a person reveals to you who they
are, it’s up to you to open up your eyes and see it.
several factors that went into my decision,” Gabrielle finally said, tears falling from her eyes.
“Gabrielle, if it’s Dilvan—”
“No, well, yes, sort of.” Though Dilvan had been annoying her for quite some time now, he wasn’t the source of her sadness or her decision to leave. “Like I told you before, Dilvan has been trying to get back with me, playing nice and being extremely apologetic. He wants me to go away with him for the weekend so it’s just us alone, without any distractions...said we both should be
that it’s really over.”
Padma shook her head.
“You know the grand opening of the new restaurant is this weekend, right?”
“Yes. I’ll be there.
Dilvan said he wanted to go immediately following the grand opening celebration. I’m sure he’ll be waiting for me to let him know whether or not I’m going to leave with him.”
“Padma, to tell you the truth, I don’t know yet. This is just all too much for me, which is why I need to move...to find out who I am. I don’t want to be one of those women who need a man to define them...a woman who’s so wrapped up in a man that her life drifts by unfulfilled. I want to be my own person, have my own life and career.”
“I know that feeling, darling.”
“Yes. When I met my husband,
he was already wealthy, running his business and I felt like I was lost under his umbrella...like I had no identity because he was the breadwinner. So I joined him...helped him to grow. That’s what marriage and relationships are all about, sweetheart. Helping each other to grow.”
“Well, I’m not
sure if I’m going to be doing any growing with Dilvan.”
Padma smirked. “Who said anything about Dilvan?”
Gabrielle frowned. “Then who are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about the man you
’re in love with.”
Gabrielle’s lips trembled and a
single tear rolled down her face.
Padma continued, “If you think for one minute that Tyson doesn’t miss you, you’re mistaken, Gabrielle.”
Gabrielle shook her head. She missed Tyson, but he hadn’t missed her. She even tried to contact him a few times, but he hadn’t answered or returned any of her phone calls and texts.
“I don’t think
he does.” Gabrielle smeared her tears away.
“I do. I can see it in his face, every time
I run into him at the restaurant. The spark he had when you were around is completely gone.”
sighed. “I’m just ready to move on and I can’t do that here. I love you, Padma. I do. But I can’t stay here anymore.”
Gabrielle dabbed her eyes with the back of her hand. “I appreciate everything you’ve done for me and I admire you for everything you do for the community. You’re a special woman, Padma. You’re the Mother I never had.” Gabrielle whimpered more while Padma, in tears herself, tried to comfort her.
Gabrielle stood up. “I’m not going to drag this out. I already have my bags in the car, so...goodbye.”
stood up too and folded her arms around Gabrielle, squeezing her into a warm embrace. “I love you, Gabrielle,” she said, in tears.
“I love you
too, Padma,” Gabrielle cried. “I’ll see you this weekend, okay?”
Padma was too upset to respond. She only nodded.
With that, Gabrielle sadly walked away, out the front door and to her jeep. Before starting the engine, she sat there a moment and cried, her forehead leaned against the steering wheel. This place had been her home for a year, the place where she got to experience adulthood without any of her immediate family around. She learned and endured a lot here. The experience opened her eyes to things she wanted and did not want. She wanted love, but only when she was ready for it. She wanted a life, a home, a career. She wanted a new beginning and she knew she couldn’t have that in Southern Shores. So drying her eyes, she started the engine and began the three-hour journey to her home.