Terry leads a fast life having no time for love, until she meets Zane.
|There was nothing magical about the day I met Zaine Roman Johnston. No definitely not romantic either. Disastrous is more fitting. It had been raining all day, my hair dresser cancelled my monthly at the last minute because she’ supposedly sick’ yeah right, and my boss has been breathing down my neck all week about the booking the vile mouthed G-Dawg for this weekend, as if anyone in their right mind wanted to pay a twenty dollar admission to hear his no talented ass! As if all that wasn’t enough, there I was on the side of the road, in the rain with a flat tire, wearing my brand new hundred and fifty dollar pair of BCBGs shoes that are no doubt ruined from all the water. And to make matters worst, in my haste to get out of the damn office I forgot my cell phone so now I can’t even call tipple A. Now I wish I had gotten that car with On-star.
On a day like this you would think someone would stop and offer to help. I think this would qualify as ‘a damsel in distress’ situation, where I need a man to rescue me, but no one has even acknowledged my existence, much less make eye contact.
So there I was contemplating whether or not to start walking before it started getting dark, or keep waiting to see if ‘my night in shining armor’ will come and save me. HA! Hell would probably freeze over before that happened. I better start walking. Shoot. Why the hell did I take my gym bag out of the car? How the hell am I going to walk in three inch heels? It’s at least five miles either way to the nearest gas station.
Then out of nowhere HE was there. I was so immersed with my thoughts, that I did not notice when his car pulled up behind mine until I heard a voice say “excuse me miss, do you need some help?” Being that I was already frazzled and pissed at the world, anyone else would have gotten back in their car and drove off just from the menacing look on my face, not to mention the crass response I was about to deliver.
“No, I always stand on the side of the road when it rains with my hazard lights on just for the thrill of it,” I said in a sarcastic tone, then I immediately regretted it considering my current situation. But, instead of calling me out my name and driving off, he chuckled, and then added, “That’s one of my favorite hobbies also. So what have we got here?”
“I’m so sorry. That was very rude of me. I guess I’m a bit annoyed that I’ve been out here for nearly an hour and no one has even looked in my direction.”
“Well, have no fear – I am here.” It was so corny there was nothing to do but laugh, and as he smiled back at me I noticed that he had the sexiest lips I have ever seen, and for a moment I forgot about the flat tire and the rain, until a MAC truck roared by and sputtered more mud onto my shoes.
“Shit.” I mumbled under my breath.
“Sooooo……ready to tell me what I can do to help? I know nothing about cars, but I will try my best.”
“Oh, right, the car. I have a flat.”
“That’s it?” And he laughed, as if a flat wasn’t a big deal.
“Yeah” I said with a bit more attitude than I intended, “that’s it.”
“Do you have a spare.”
“Huh? A wha-, what?”
“Spare? You know? Donut? Extra tire in your trunk for these situations?”
“Oh” I felt like such an idiot. Of course I know what a spare tire is, but I was too busy checking him out to really concentrate. He was beautiful. A tall, well dressed, sexy caramel stud, with beautiful brown bedroom eyes, and lips that are just begging for me to kiss them.
“um – I’m not sure, I’ve never had one of these ‘situations’ before” I snapped at him. What is the matter with me? Here is this absolutely beautiful specimen of a man offering to help me and I was being major bitch.” I quickly offered a “sorry,’ then a smile. “I’ve never had a flat before, and I guess I’m a bit frustrated, and taking it out on you when you’re trying to help. I am really sorry”
“No biggie, I totally understand.”
Still smiling, he told me to pop the trunk. ‘No biggie? Who says stuff like that, then again looking as good as he does, I’m sure the ladies overlook it.
I got back in the car and pulled the trunk release lever, and couldn’t help but take a quick glance in the rearview mirror to evaluate how bad of a disaster I was. Damn! I really wish I hadn’t looked. My hair looked like a jerry curl gone wrong, my makeup had all blended together making me look like Bo Bo the clowns sister. I had to make sure he wasn’t watching me as I tried hopelessly tried to fluff my hair with my fingers, and wipe my face with one of my Aveno face pads that I keep in the glove compartment for emergency occasions. I would say this definitely qualifies as an emergency. I glanced in the rearview mirror again to make sure he was still out of sight, then smeared some gloss on my lips. There was nothing I could do about my soaking wet clothes, so there was no reason to even attempt to worry about that.
As I was about to give my hair one last hopeful fluff, I heard my name being called from the rear of the car.
I sat there in panic wondering how this stranger, beautiful or not, knew my name.
Instinctively I reached into my handbag for my mini can of mace. My daddy always said never leave home without it – or clean under wear. Tentatively I stepped out the car, leaving the door open. Flat or not, if he’s a Looney I am getting back into that bitch and driving away.
“Terry?” This time with a slight bit of annoyance in his tone. The flat was on the rear passenger side, and I took a few steps towards the rear of the car on the drivers side and stopped.
“How, how, do you know my name.” I stammered.
“Easy.” He said smiling, I’ve been following you.” My heart started pounded so hard I was sure it burst through my chest any second now. I held the mace firmly in my hand ready to spray if need be. My mind was racing with a million thoughts. I’ve seen the CNN highlights of women going missing then turning dead, or never found period. He was still looking at me and smiling. Shit! What to do? Run. No, wouldn’t get far in these shoes. Scream? Like that would do any good, there’s no one around to hear, and God forbid any one else stops to help us. Still smiling, he slowly started to approach me. If he grabbed me before I could mace him there was nothing I could do. He’s at least six foot five, looks about a hundred and ninety pounds, and I can see from his form through his rain soaked white dress shirt that he works out.
RUN! RUN you fool, my brain kept saying, but my legs would not move. Its as if they weren’t there at all. I couldn’t move, and even though it was raining, I could feel myself begin to perspire. He was only about a foot away from me now, and I closed my eyes and asked God to forgive my sins and please let me into heaven.
The sound of his laughter startled me, and now I knew for sure that I was done for. Yep – headline news, maybe even front page, “Missing: Black Female; Last seen wearing a red top, black skirt, and a hundred and fifty dollar pair of BCBG shoes.” My dad would be crying, my sister may also shed a tear, but you never know with the ice princess.
Suddenly he stopped laughing. “Are you okay? You look a bit faint. Do you need to sit down?” He reached his hand out to me, and without hesitation, I aimed directly for his face and sprayed.
“Aarrrg!!! Lady, what’s wrong with you? Did you just escape from the loony bin or something,” He was rubbing his eyes, but from his reaction I could tell that I had not succeeded with enough. Damn, if he wasn’t so darn tall I would have gotten him.
“What do you mean you’ve been following me? You wont get far you know? People will be looking for me? What do you want with me? I’m not important. We’re poor, you wont get any money for me. This isn’t even my BMW, it’s a friends.” I sobbed all in one breath.
“What in Gods name are you talking about? I noticed your license plate said ‘Terry M’ and figured that was you name. Are you crazy? Do you make a habit of going around making people who are trying to help you? What if you ad gotten it in my eyes? That stuff can blind someone!
“Well, I do believe that’s the purpose behind it. And why did you say all that stuff about following me?”
“It was a joke,” he said still rubbing his eyes.
“Well, buddy, you have a very, very sick sense of humor. I’m sorry for spraying mace on you – but you caused it on yourself.”
He smiled again, “Well if you’re going to mace someone, you better learn how to aim.”
I ignored that last comment. I was really beginning to regret that he stopped to help me, maybe I would have been better off trying to walk in these three inch heels.
I followed him to the other side of the car and tried to pay attention to what he was doing and saying, but I had drifted into fantasy land again. The rain had pretty much stopped by now. I watched as he removed his dress shirt, and thank the Lord that he had his back turned to me so he couldn’t see the lust in my eyes. He opened the door to my car and laid his shirt on the back seat of my car. He had on a white under shirt, and as he moved I watched intently every ripple of ever muscle of his arms and back. He squatted down and began working on removing the tire. As I watched him I imagined how good it would feel to have those strong muscular arms holding me, touching my body. I watched the muscles of his shoulders and back tense and relax as he did what ever he was doing with the tires. He kept on giving me a play by play of how to change a tire, but all I heard was that sexy voice of his, and it wasn’t lug nuts I thought about screwing. Hmmm, I closed my eyes and I could see us together on my king size bed with him touching every part of my body with those strong hands, and kissing every inch of my body with those delicious lips, and I just know that his dick has to be as beautiful as the rest of him. I reached for it, stroking it as he moves in on top of me and…….
“Terry? So do you?
‘Yeah. Do I what?” I Moaned, trying to snap out of fantasy land.
“Have any questions?” He was looking up at me with those ‘fuck me’ eyes and juicy lips. Yeah I had a question for him alright, like: How would you like to come home with me and fuck me crazy? But instead I shook my head no. I didn’t dare speak until I was fully back to reality for fear of what may come out of my mouth.
“Well then Miss Terry M, I guess you’re all set. Now drive carefully. Don’t go faster than forty miles an hour until you get a new tire, and I would suggest doing that right away.”
At that moment I realized that with all the excitement I never got his name.
“Thank you so very much Mr.….uh….?
“yup. Just Zaine, no Mr. Necessary. And it was my pleasure.” He pauses for a second then laughs.
“What’s so funny?”
“Nothing. Just….” And he chuckles. “Just that even though you tried to blind me, and thought I was a mass murderer, it has been a pleasure meeting you, and maybe we will run into each other again,…..under more comfortable circumstances.” Now normally I would spot that as a pick up, but considering what I’ve already experienced from Mr. Zanies sense of humor, there’s no way to tell, but what the hell, I’ll go along with it.
“I am truly, deeply sorry for making you, even though you did ask for it, I would like to make it up to you and thank you for rescuing me.” And then I held my breath.
“And what did you have in mind Miss Terry M?” He’s still smiling. Man this man loves to smile. And I love it when he does.
“Martinis? My treat?” I asked with my fingers crossed behind my back.
“Sorry. No. No thanks.” I inhaled deeply, took a step forward and extended my hand. “Well, as you said, maybe we’ll run into each other again --- under more ‘comfortable’ circumstances.” He extended his hand, and I swear I felt a surge of electricity when our hands touched, and I shivered.
“However, I would really enjoy a Baileys Irish Cream after all this hard work,”
I couldn’t help but smile. “Have you heard of Paradise Lounge and Night Club?”
“I think that sounds familiar. Don’t worry about giving me directions – I’ll Google it”
As I was formulating in my mind what to say next without sounding too eager, Zaine says “Would tonight work for you?” I thought to myself – Phew! But sill, a lady is never too willing, then they think you’re desperate and easy.
“Aw, tonight may not work. Being that it is a Wednesday night and I have a real busy day tomorrow……” See, now he has to work for my company. It makes no difference if the woman proposes the initial offer or not, you are NEVER readily available; it’s fail proof – never fails. I can guarantee what his next question will be, ‘how about we exchange numbers and I give you a call and blah, blah, blah,…’ you get the picture.
“Well,’ he starts off, takes a deep breath, then, “how about we exchange numbers, and give you a call, say around seven and see if you’re free, if not hopefully there will be a rain check.” Ha! Am I good or what! Right on the money.
I tilt my head to the side just slightly so as to appear to be considering his terms. Then, looking directly into his eyes, I gave him my most provocative smile, and nodded yes.
“OK. That works for me.” At that moment I realized that we had been holding onto each others hand the entire time. I quickly withdraw my hand from his and open my car door to retrieve a pen.
“Sorry, I left my cell at the office, and I have nothing to write on.”
“Not a problem…’ he says as he dashes to his car and returns with a piece of paper, which I then noticed was his business card.
“Zaine Johnston,” I read aloud. “Director of Human Services, Adler Investments. Well no wonder you drive a Jaguar.”
“Oh, that thing? Its not mine, it belongs to a friend.”
“Ha, ha, very funny.” He handed me both cards, and I write my cell number on the back of one and handed it to him.
“Ok, I will give you a call around seven-ish.” He turns towards his car, stops, turns back around with a smirk on his face and says, “You didn’t give me a fake number did you?”
“That’s appalling! Now why would I give you a fake number when it was my idea to begin with.”
He looks at the card, then back at me, at the card, back at me, then says, “It just seems strange that you have such a perfect number – 1999.”
Now it was my turn to laugh. “And just why is that strange? I lucked out, what can I say? I guess you’ll just have to call it to find out.” And with that I got in my car and drive away. I watch him in my rearview marrow, smiling – Zaine always has that beautiful smile.
I pulled into the garage and was relieved to see that my dads truck wasn’t there. I needed me some alone time to plan for tonight, and I only Have five hours. I’m not mad at Petra anymore for my missed hair appointment. I may actually thank her, besides I had to be at the club tonight anyway, that’s my spot. Zane is just icing on the cake. I hope.
When I’m not in the office, you’re almost always guaranteed to find me at. I’m the Entertainment PR Director. I plan and coordinate all the events, bookings, oversee advertising, and basically get blamed for anything that goes wrong. My boss Frankie pretty much leaves me alone, for the most part. Every now and then he tries to make a suggestion, but he knows better, and usually lets me do my thing.
Frankie Vallentino is the president and owner of one the hottest entertainment groups in Boston right now. Temptation Entertainment Inc.
I know what you’re thinking, but that’s far from it. Granted, his first project was House of Spice, an adult entertainment spot. However, Frankie has really come a long way and made a name for himself over the past ten years. Temptation Entertainment Inc. has four spots, currently all in the Boston area, and all hot. Frankie is determined to ‘take it global’ as he likes to say. Including House of Spice, there is a restaurant/Bistro at Faneuil Hall called Valentinos, the Lions Den sports bar and grill in Dorchester, and my baby, on Tremont St. down town Boston.
I was almost irritated when I noticed that the trash had not been put out, Thursday is trash days. Then I realized it was only two fifteen and the kids wouldn’t be home for at least another hour, and I had left the office at noon.
Yes kids. Not mine, not yet. They are my cousins kids, but she died of cancer about two years ago, and I’m in the process of adopting them. As far as my cousin Shanice was concerned my dad was the only real family she had, so in her will she requested that daddy be their legal guardian. My dad also lives with me. Mom also passed away, about ten years now, car accident. I was twenty, and away at UCLA, my sister Samyra was twenty five, and had just landed her dream job and bought a condo in New York. Someone had to look after dad, so the logical thing was for me to move back home and finish out school here at BU – Boston University.
Her death was difficult for all of us, but daddy took it real hard. He and mom had been through a lot together, and still managed to work through it all. Mom passed exactly one month after they had celebrated their thirtieth wedding anniversary. February 2nd. 1996. It was a car accident. She got caught in a real bad ice storm on her way home from a book conference in Baltimore. The very next day, daddy retired from his job that he had worked at for over thirty five years.
The adoption of my cousins, Kareem twelve, and Maya fifteen, (going on thirty) would have gone over without a hitch if daddy wasn’t a sixty seven year old single man. So that left me. If Shanice hadn’t had that life insurance policy, there wouldn’t have been any way we could keep them, but God always has a plan.
My intentions were to first get out of these wet clothes, call Frankie to bring my cell phone to the club, take a shower, and find something killer to wear. I called Frankie, and was in the shower taking a mental inventory of my closet when the phone rang. I’m not usuallsy home at this time so let the machine get it. It felt so wonderful to wash the day away, and I’m loving this lavendar rosemary soap my cousin Maria sent me. She makes them hersef. They are all natural and smell good enough to eat. You go girl, do your thang!
Out from the shower I pressed play on the answering machine on the way to my closet. I’m hoping to seek out that black number I picked up from Arden Bs last week. I’ve been dying to wear it. I found the dress without having to look, but now here comes the hard part, the shoes. It doesn’t matter what else you have on, the perfect shoes makes the outfit. My ears perked up at the mention of ‘truant officer, something, something, Maya Mallone. Shit! I stomped over to the machine and pressed review.
“Hello, Ms. Mallone, this is Mr. Casey, Maya’s school advisor. I am calling to make you aware that Maya was not present at school today, and has been apprehended by the truant officer. She will be suspended for three days since this is her third offence. Please give me a call here at the school so that we may set up a time to discuss Maya’s, um, lack of interest in school. For the present time, she will be detained until a legal guardian comes to retrieve her and signs her out. Thank you. Again, this is Mr. Casey, and you may reach me at 555…”
I didn’t need to hear the rest, we’ve already been here. Sigh!