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Slick 2, p.1

Slick 2, page 1


Slick 2

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Slick 2

  Slick 2

  Brenda Hampton

  All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.

  Table of Contents

  Title Page




























  Copyright Page



  Finding true love couldn’t be this difficult. I felt as if I’d been to hell and back with relationships. After leaving St. Louis three years ago, I was positive that I would come back and have my act together. Instead, I found myself still deeply in love with Jonathan Taylor, my ex–best friend’s husband. Being away definitely helped, but when I discovered Jonathan was getting married soon, I was crushed. I couldn’t stop the tears, and as he looked me straight in my eyes to break the news to me a few weeks ago, I couldn’t even say congrats. I rushed out of his office, vowing to never go back there again.

  Then, I did one of the worst things I could have ever done. That was indulge in sex with one of his close friends, Jaylin Rogers, during a Hell House challenge to win $100,000. Ever since, my reputation had gone even further downhill. People simply didn’t like me. I was labeled a phony, a backstabbing bitch, and an insecure woman who was confused and cutthroat. Considering what I had done to my best friend, Dana, everybody thought I was trying to be slick. Truthfully, I wasn’t. I had just fallen in love with her husband. Working for him for all those years made it so easy.

  The hard part was Dana finding out about our relationship. She was crushed, but eventually got over it. I hadn’t seen her since I left St. Louis. The last thing I heard was she remarried and was now living happily ever after, while spending another rich man’s money. I was in no position to judge her. I had my own problems to deal with. Problems that stemmed from me being in love with the one, and only, Jonathan Taylor.

  The plus side was I now had time to reflect on everything that had happened, including my mistakes. I took some responsibility for what I had done to hurt others. If I ever had an opportunity to see Dana again, I would tell her how sorry I was for interfering in her marriage. I would also tell her how I felt about Jonathan today. About him getting remarried and how much I wanted him back. But sharing my thoughts with her wasn’t the priority. Jonathan needed to know how I felt. I wanted him to know that I was still in love with him. If his feelings were the same, I hoped that he would be willing to end his relationship with the other woman. We had deprived ourselves for too long. Maybe this was the time for us to piece back our relationship and move forward together. I wholeheartedly believed that was possible, but if it wasn’t, I told myself that I was ready to move on. More so, I tried to convince myself that I was.

  I paced the floor in the living room with the cell phone gripped in the palm of my sweaty hand. I wasn’t sure if calling him was the right thing to do, or if a face-to-face meeting would be more appropriate. It didn’t take long for me to finalize my decision, so I punched in his number and waited for him to answer. Almost immediately, the deep, masculine sound of the simple word “hello” made my stomach tighten. My mouth was open, but no words escaped.

  “Hello,” he said again. “Is anyone there?”

  I was sure he’d heard my heavy breathing, so I quickly snapped out of my trance to respond. “Jonathan, it’s me. Sylvia.”

  “What’s up, Sylvia? I wasn’t sure if I would hear from you again, but I’m glad you called. Your voice always has a way of putting a smile on my face, and I can tell you already that it has definitely been one of those rough days around here.”

  A Colgate smile appeared on my face. I started to feel at ease—a little. “I know how busy things can get at the office, so I surely understand. And, just so you know, hearing your voice has an effect on me as well. But, uh, I’m calling to see if we could meet somewhere and talk. I have multiple things that I need to share with you. I don’t want to discuss those things over the phone.”

  There was a sharp silence before he responded. “Let me look at my calendar to see when I don’t have much going on. Hold on a second.”

  As he paused, I bit my nails and continued to pace the floor.

  “How about Friday? Can you meet me in the Central West End?”

  Friday? That was three days away. I didn’t want to appear too anxious, so I agreed to meet him. “The Central West End is fine. What about Bar Louie at six?”

  “Sounds like a plan to me. I can’t wait to see you again. I have a lot on my mind, too. Meanwhile, I have to run. Need to be in court in less than fifteen minutes. I’m already running late.”

  “I know how much you don’t like to be late, so go. I’ll see you soon.”

  “Most definitely.”

  Our call ended on that note. No words could express how excited I was to see Jonathan. Friday couldn’t get here soon enough. I sat on the couch, biting my nails some more and reflecting on the last time I had seen Jonathan, prior to him breaking the news to me about him getting married. That day at Lambert Airport stuck with me forever. It was difficult, as well as painful to let go.

  I was standing in Burger King at the airport, thinking hard about all we’d been through. I wanted to call him to say good-bye, so I pulled out my cell phone and punched in his number. I quickly hit the end button then dialed his number again. When I listened to his phone ring, I also heard another cell phone behind me ringing. I hung up then dialed his number again. When I heard the cell phone behind me again, I quickly swung around. Jonathan was leaned against a pole with a serious look on his face. He looked like what J.J. from Good Times would consider “dy-no-mite.” Neatly dressed in a navy blue suit and wearing a long black trench coat, he made my heart melt. I turned back around and smiled so he wouldn’t know how excited I was to see him. He came over and sat at the table with me.

  “I was wondering when you were going to call. I knew you were, but I tried to be patient,” he said. I gazed at him then lowered my head, as my eyes started to water. “None of that.” He lifted my chin so I could look at him.

  I swallowed the oversized lump in my throat then released a deep breath. “I . . . I can’t help it. Do you even know what it feels like when you know that you lost a good thing? I could kill myself, Jonathan, for what I put you through.”

  “Hurting from a loss is kind of like what I’m feeling right now. And don’t go blaming yourself because I made some major mistakes too. I should have told you about Courtney’s feelings up front, but I didn’t. That was my fault, and I can’t blame you for acting the way you did.”

  “Well, you didn’t tell me because I was always acting a damn fool. I should have just trusted you when you asked me to. I had no reason not to, other than me being so insecure.”

  “Yeah, you should have trusted me, but, it . . . it’s—”

  “Finish the sentence. It’s not worth it anymore, is it? As much as I want to throw away this plane ticket and stay here in St. Louis to be with you, you won’t let me, will you?”

  Jonathan moved his head from side to side, before placing his hand on top of mine. “You need to . . . we need to move on. I have not stopped loving you not one bit, b
ut it would be difficult for us to stay together, especially after what we’ve been through.”

  I got choked up and was so hurt that I didn’t even want to respond. I knew Jonathan was right, but I still had a tough time letting go. “So, will you and Britney come see me sometimes?”

  “Of course. And only if you promise to come visit us as well.”

  “I will. I wish you would have brought Britney with you so I could have said good-bye to her.”

  “I wanted to, but I knew what a tough time she’d have seeing you leave.”

  “Yeah, you’re right. But you be sure to tell her I love her. I’ll call her every day so we can talk. And, speaking of talking, have you heard from Dana?”

  “Every once in a while, I do. She’s got a new boyfriend and they’re doing fine. Actually, I met him several weeks ago. I didn’t tell you because I didn’t know how—”

  “How I would react, right?”


  “I really made a fool of myself, didn’t I?”

  He blushed while squeezing my hands together with his. “You don’t want me to answer that, do you?”

  I laughed and watched as he planted a soft kiss against the back of my hand.

  We talked for the next hour or so as I waited for my plane to depart. He said he wasn’t going to hire a new secretary, and if he did, he said it would be a minute. I asked him if he intended on dating again, but all he did was shrug his shoulders. That meant dating was still on the table, and when I told him what a lucky woman she would be, he just smiled.

  The announcement of my plane’s departure came over loud and clear. I stood and so did Jonathan.

  “Do you have everything?” he asked.

  “Just about,” I said, hurtfully reaching inside of my purse for the boarding pass. I pulled it out. “There it is.”

  “Okay, then let me walk you to your gate. I don’t think they’ll let me go that far, but I’ll go with you as far as I can.”

  Jonathan took my hand and we walked through the airport as if we were a happy couple, simply saying good-bye for a short period of time. A TSA security guard halted our steps when he asked for our boarding passes. I showed him mine, knowing that this was the farthest Jonathan could go. He kissed the back of my hand again, and knowing that he was hurting just as much as I was inside, again, I asked him if he wanted me to stay.

  “Baby, all you have to do is say the word,” I said, wiping a tear as it ran down my face. “I will say to hell with Atlanta and spend the rest of my life with you. From now on, I promise I’ll trust you. No more fighting and arguing. I promise you that we will figure out a way to get along better.”

  I saw his Adam’s apple move up and down, as he tried hard to fight back his emotions. He muffled his voice then slowly closed his eyes. When he opened them they were filled with water. He then made his final decision that left me even more distraught. “Go, please. I need you to go. I promise you that we’ll keep in touch.”

  “But that’s not good enough. I want to be with you.” I reached up and grabbed the back of his head. When I pulled him forward to kiss me, he gave me a quick peck on the lips then backed away.

  “Go ahead, baby, please,” he begged. ”You’re only making this harder, and I don’t want you to miss your plane.”

  With my entire body feeling weak and full of pain, I threw my arms around him to get one last hug. I then gave the TSA guard my boarding pass, and carried my small bag through the gates. I didn’t even bother to turn around because the tears poured so rapidly down my face I could barely see. I could feel Jonathan still watching me and silently prayed for a miracle to happen and happen fast. By the time I got on the plane, I looked around in hopes of seeing him. No luck. Minutes later, the plane got off the ground and headed for Atlanta. That’s when it finally sank in that our relationship was over.

  I sighed from my thoughts of the past and prayed that Friday would be everything I imagined it to be.

  Dressed to impress, I sat at Bar Louie in the Central West End, waiting for Jonathan to show. It was almost ten minutes after six. He was late. That irritated me, especially since I had gone all out for this occasion. The spaghetti-strap purple dress that I wore melted on my curves. Most of my hair was slicked back, but was curled at the tips. Several strands dangled along the sides of my face, and my gold hoop earrings matched my bangles and necklace. Plum lipstick moistened my full lips, and right before I came here, I had stopped at the MAC counter to get the hookup on my makeup and lashes. It was important for me to look my best. I was hyped, until I looked up and saw Jonathan strut into the restaurant with a woman by his side. My face twisted and my mouth fell wide open. Didn’t I tell him I wanted to speak to him, not her? How dare he bring her with him?

  The direction of my eyes traveled from the tips of her weaved-in hair to the point of her cheap-looking heels. I couldn’t help but to notice how plain she was. She had no curves whatsoever, her long, stringy hair had no bounce, and the heavy makeup she had on made her look casket ready. The red lip gloss did nothing for her pale skin, but I figured those big lips came in handy. There was no way in hell that she was Jonathan’s type, but, then again, he did like skinny-ass, light-skinned women who resembled his ex-wife, Dana. He could definitely do better than this, though, and how dare he disrespect me by bringing her to dinner? Maybe I should have reminded him to come alone.

  Since I hadn’t told him, there was a knot in the pit of my stomach making me want to throw up. I wondered if he could tell how disappointed and pissed I was by looking at the tight expression on my face. As a matter of fact, I was positive that he could tell. Over the years, he’d seen the same expression plenty of times.

  “Sylviaaaa,” Jonathan said with a warm smile on his face as he approached me.

  My heart slammed against my chest when I heard him say my name. I swear I loved this man to death. No matter how upset I was with him, this wasn’t enough to wash away my feelings. The steel gray suit he wore accented his salt-and-pepper waved, flowing hair and trimmed beard. Like always, he was clean-cut, classy, and sharp as ever. His business attire was always on point, and the smell of his expensive cologne infused the entire area around us. No matter where he was, he always garnered much attention and presented himself with class.

  With wet palms and shaky knees, I slowly stood to greet him. “Hello, Jonathan. I’m glad you could make it.”

  “So am I.” His deep voice made a chill rush up my spine. “My fiancée was on her way out with some friends. I asked her to come in and meet you. Lesa, this is Sylvia.”

  With a fake smile on her face, she extended her hand to mine. “Nice to meet you, Sylvia. I’ve heard so much about you. This is such a pleasure.”

  Who in the hell was she trying to kid? In no way was this a pleasure. Only Lord knows what Jonathan had told her about me, but, at this point, it didn’t matter. I went with the flow.

  “Same here, Lesa. I haven’t heard much about you, but I suspect that it’s all good, especially if you’re going to be Jonathan’s wife.”

  “I definitely will be,” she rushed to say. “And I must say that I’m looking forward to being the new Mrs. Taylor.”

  I cringed, hoping that she didn’t notice the twitching in my left eye. Maybe she did, because she rolled her eyes then turned to Jonathan. She gave him a peck on the lips and winked at him.

  “I’ll see you later tonight. Have fun and don’t forget what we discussed.”

  Jonathan nodded. He waved as she walked away. If I could prevent him from seeing her later tonight, I surely would.

  “Well, well, well,” he said as he pulled back the chair to take a seat. A smile was locked on his face. I could tell he was as happy to see me as I was to see him. “I must say, Sylvia, that you look spectacular.”

  “Thank you. So do you, but I would never expect anything less.”

  He searched into my eyes while rubbing his hands together. It appeared that he had something on his mind, but, whatever it was, he switche
d his attention to the menu on the table. “Let’s see,” he said. “What shall I order?”

  “If my memory serves me correctly, I’ll say you’ll be ordering the stuffed chicken with broccoli, and a garden salad with an extra piece of bread. You’ll wash it all down with white wine, and, for dessert, you’ll consider something chocolate. What you can really have isn’t on the menu. And, personally, I think what isn’t on the menu may be much more fulfilling.”

  He laid the menu down then massaged his hands together. I guessed he was surprised by my bluntness, but he shouldn’t have been.

  “That sounds exactly like what I would order, but in reference to what’s not on the menu, I’m not interested in that anymore, especially since I recently heard some things about you that concern me.”

  My brows shot up. That fast, I caught an attitude. “What exactly have you heard about me that concerns you? If Dana has shared some things with you about me, that shouldn’t concern you, because you already know how she feels about me. I don’t know who else could’ve said anything to you about me, because we don’t share the same friends.”

  He tapped his fingertips on the table while narrowing his eyes to look at me. “Interesting. I believe that if you think real hard, you may be able to come up with a name. I’m not going to tell you his name, and you’re right. He’s my friend, not yours. And just so you know, I was highly disappointed to hear about your actions.”

  Okay. Now I knew where he was going with this. Jonathan had to be talking about my little sex session with Jaylin Rogers. I suspected that Jonathan would find out sooner or later, but this wasn’t the conversation I wanted to have with him right now. Regardless, I had to say something and do my best to defend myself.

  “I’m not surprised that he contacted you, but why does anything he says about me concern you?”

  He released a deep sigh. I could sense slight anger building from the way he sucked his teeth and licked across his lips. That’s what he’d done in the past whenever I said something that got underneath his skin.

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