“A tropical storm warning has been issued for the Turks and Caicos and all surrounding areas. This warning remains in effect until 2 AM EST . . .”
Kyra listened closely to the recording as she watched the satellite images of red and orange travel across the TV screen. White clouds swirled over a map of the West Indies before moving toward The Gulf as predicted.
Kyra glanced outside expecting to see gray skies and rain, but the breezy weather they were experiencing at the moment was misleading. The sun set the sky ablaze with color as it began to make its descent beyond the horizon. What little sunlight was left in the day was reflected magnificently on the waves.
“At 4:00 PM the center of tropical storm Anya was located about 240 miles east of the Dominican Republic, moving North-West at about 25 MPH, sustaining maximum winds near 45 MPH, with gusts reaching up to 65 MPH. At this speed, Anya is expected to make landfall late tonight or early tomorrow morning. . .” the picture cut in and out. Kyra got up to adjust the bunny-ear antennas when one of her favorite co-workers, Meeka, turned the knob, cutting off the static.
“Hey! I was watchin’ that,” Kyra whined. The most she had to endure growing up in Chicago was wind and snow, not hurricanes or tornadoes. Such extreme weather proved to be too much for her nerves.
“Girl, relax. It probably won’t even hit us,” Meeka laughed off her concerns, as though she had no reason to worry. A native of Barbados, she was used to this kind of thing.
“I hope you’re right. . .” Kyra sighed, and reached for a magazine. The last thing she wanted to think about was what could happen if it did. They had been spared thus far, having escaped the past few Hurricane seasons with only minor damage such as downed power lines and fallen trees, but she knew they wouldn’t always be so lucky.
“Oh girl, would you lookat these!” Flipping through last month’s issue of Elle, Kyra was easily distracted by a pair of Louboutins with a peep-toe front and a sky-high heel. The gold platforms jumped off the page at her. The material was covered with rhinestones, with larger gold spikes placed throughout. She just had to have them.
“Now those are some bad shoes! How much are they?” Meeka practically snatched the magazine out her hands.
“More than I can afford,” Kyra admitted the sad truth. Everything about them screamed Kyra – everything except the price tag. She had been lusting for a new pair of heels for quite some time, but at almost $4,000 they were well out of her price range.
Kyra never had to look at price tags before, but now that it was her money she was spending, it was different. In the past, Kyra wouldn’t have batted an eyelash dropping four stacks. When she was with Makai, he actually encouraged her lavish spending habits. It wasn’t unheard of for Kyra to spend more than some people made in a year, and she could do it all in one day. Her shopping sprees were legendary.
Now, she was lucky if she was able to afford her half of the rent every month. Long gone were the days where all Kyra had to do was snap her fingers to get what she wanted. She had to work hard for what little she had, and there was nothing glamorous about her new job as a waitress. Kyra was making chump change compared to the free reign she used to have over limitless credit cards. Her budget no longer allowed her to splurge. She couldn’t even afford to go and get her hair and nails done on a whim. When Kyra came back from Chicago, all the perks that came along with the fast life she’d grown so accustomed to living came to a sudden and complete stop.
Once upon a time, Kyra had thousands of dollars at her disposal, but her life as a drug princess quickly turned into a nightmare she never woke up from. It also made it painfully obvious she couldn’t rely on a man to take care of her for the rest of her life. Now that she was grown, it was time for her to prove it.
It took awhile for the shock to wear off in regards to everything that transpired during her trip, but it didn’t take long for the harsh reality of Kyra’s financial situation to set in. When she left Prince Paul, Kyra fell off, and when she fell, she fell hard. When Kyra jetted off to Chicago with Makai, it cost her everything, including her job at The Butterfly Boutique. She still felt bad about not giving her two weeks’ notice, but she hadn’t even thought about it until after the fact, and by then it was too late.
When it was all said and done, Kyra had nothing to show for the sacrifices she made to be with him. She came home broke, with relatively no work experience and no steady income to count on. A decent job was scarce, and unfortunately, Kyra learned that the hard way. If it weren’t for Matthew pulling a few strings just to get her a job at one of the restaurants in the hotel he manages, she would probably still be unemployed.
For Kyra, eating at Havana’s was one thing; working there was another. Back in the day, Kyra wouldn’t have even considered it, but in such a tough economy, she couldn’t afford to be picky. She had to take what she could get. She didn’t make much an hour and the tips were just okay, but it was better than nothing. Unlike before, she wasn’t working for a living because she wanted to. She had bills to pay.
“Okay ladies, chop, chop! Two of our best servers just called in and the kitchen is already getting backed up. We could really use some more coverage on the floor,” their boss, Chris, burst in the employee lounge clapping his hands and snapping his fingers at them as if that would get them to move any faster. Meeka and Kyra just looked at each other and rolled their eyes. Break time was officially over.
“Be right out.” Kyra tossed the old magazine aside as she stood to fix the vest on her uniform. She hated that they were required to wear starchy, long-sleeve shirts, even in the heat. The black pants were a little baggy for her taste, but she made do with a belt. Kyra pulled her hair up in an effort to look more presentable and tied her apron tight around her waist.
“Alright, see you out there,” Kyra took a deep breath to mentally prepare for the dinner rush. Friday evenings were always super busy, and Kyra quickly learned that working in a restaurant was nowhere near as fun or luxurious as she’d seen on TV. Waiting tables was a lot harder than it looked, and now that they were short two people, she was going to have to work twice as hard.
“See ya!” It was clear Meeka was in no rush to join her by the way she puckered her pink lips in the mirror and gave the air a kiss. All Kyra could do was shake her head and laugh.
Meeka was her girl. She was stop-and-stare pretty, even without all the makeup. She had skin the color of dark brown sugar and wore kinky twists in her hair. Her dark brown eyes were full of life, as was she. When Kyra first started working there, the two of them quickly bonded over their love for designer fashion. That was over a year ago, and they’ve been tight ever since.
Kyra cut through the kitchen on her way to the dining area. The space was cramped and the heat was immense, almost like walking into a giant oven. Almost everything was made of shiny stainless-steel.
Kyra’s senses were overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of the kitchen such as the loud fan that sucked the cool air out of the room, the pop of the fryer, and the sizzle of meat on the grill. Flames shot toward the ceiling when a splash of red wine was added to a hot skillet. Various aromas clashed right along with some of the chef’s personalities, as they ran back and forth in their white chef coats and chef hats ordering around their underlings, monitoring their work closely. Their job was to make sure that everything that came out of there looked and smelled amazing and it did.
Kyra emerged from the chaos that was the kitchen, and entered the dining room where the constant clank of silverware mixed with the murmur of conversation. The décor was elegant, with a soaring roof, antique furniture, and crystal chandeliers. Pricey artwork adorned the walls, and a built-in waterfall greeted guests at the entrance.
Working at a high-end restaurant such as Havana’s meant Kyra had to cater to high-end clientele. Kyra thought it was safe to assume that given their degrees and accomplishments they would’ve picked up some manners along the way, but sadly, that was not always the case. In her opinion, she didn’t get paid enough to deal with stupid people who thought they knew it all, and their complaints over the littlest things. She nearly bit her tongue off on more than one occasion trying not to react to people’s rude remarks. There were so many times when she just wanted to walk out and quit, but she knew she couldn’t.
“Hi, my name is Kyra and I’ll be your server this evenin’. May I interest you gentlemen in somethin’ to drink?” Kyra approached a group of distinguished businessmen in suits and ties with the fakest smile she could manage. A little piece of her pride died every time she had to say that opening line. She kept her head down as she took their order.
On top of the fact that she was juggling tables with little to no help, Kyra had one woman she’d been waiting on who was especially needy. She sent her plate back to the kitchen, not once, not twice, but three times, and after a thorough inspection, she even asked Kyra to bring her a new set of wine glasses and extra napkins. She ran Kyra ragged with their requests, and although she had other guests to attend to, Kyra came back to check on her every so often to ensure a good tip. It was frustrating knowing majority of their customers were millionaires when most times she was lucky if she even got 15%.
Kyra wasn’t even half way through her shift, and she was already beat. Her back hurt and her feet were sore, but she wore her smile until her cheeks hurt. She’d just finished clearing the table behind a party of four, and she still had several other hungry couples to attend to, but Kyra knew she had to keep pushing.
“Excuse me, waiter?” While carrying a tray full of dirty dishes to the back, Kyra heard someone call out to her.
“Yes?” She stopped to see what they needed, and immediately wished she’d listened to the little voice inside that told her to ignore them and keep walking.
“Kyra Jones . . . Is that you?”
Kyra was speechless. Sitting right in front of her was no other than her long-time nemesis, Veronica Pierce.
“Veronica. . . Hi. . .” Kyra played along, putting on a fake voice and a smile to match, when all she really wanted to do was punch her in the face. Kyra didn’t know why Veronica was acting so happy to see her. It wasn’t like they were friends.
“It’s been so long! I barely recognized you! How have you been?” Veronica squealed with excitement, while Kyra tried to think of any excuse not to talk to her. It was killing Kyra to be nice to her.
“Doing good,” Kyra made sure to nod and smile when she said it so it sounded more believable. She continued to scan the room looking for someone – anyone to come save her.
Behind her phony smile, Kyra just knew Veronica was judging her appearance. She’d sweat her hair out running back and forth to the kitchen so her ponytail was looking more like a bird’s nest. Her uniform was plain. Her apron had stains on it. Her sneakers were creased and dirty. To sum it up, Kyra looked a hot mess compared to Veronica, who was always so well put together.
For the first time in her life, Kyra felt basic. She secretly envied Veronica’s Gucci ensemble and the fact she looked like she came straight from the hair salon. She didn’t even have to question if the diamonds around her wrist were real. Her handbag alone cost more than Kyra made in a month.
“Good for you,” Veronica cut her off and turned to her handsome date. The way she said it, Kyra could tell she didn’t really care. She was still the same snooty brat from high school who thought she was better than her.
“Kyra, I’d like for you to meet my boyfriend, Mason Ward.” Veronica patted him on the hand to get his attention.
“Mason, honey, this is Kyra . . . I told you about her. Remember?” She used a soft voice when she spoke to him, as if he were a child.
“Nice to meet you,” Mason simply lifted his glass of cognac in acknowledgement and took another sip, oblivious to the underlying tension between the two women. The way his eyes kept wandering around the room, Kyra got the impression he was bored with their conversation long before she showed up.
“Good things I hope,” Kyra winced at her little jab. She knew exactly what Veronica was doing. She was trying her best to embarrass her, and it was working. Kyra could only imagine the horrible things she told him about her, most of which probably wasn’t even true.
“Why of course!” Veronica did her fake little laugh again, another indication she was lying.
“And how is Justin? I haven’t heard from him in ages!” Just when Kyra thought being forced to have a conversation with Veronica was agonizing enough, Veronica brought up the one topic she’d hoped to avoid. The only thing that would’ve made the experience more awkward for her would be if an actual elephant walked in the room.
“I wouldn’t know. . . We broke up. . .” Kyra put her head down to hide the tears in her eyes. Every time someone even mentioned her ex-boyfriend, she was overcome with the same sadness she felt when it first happened. Underneath every laugh and every smile was this sadness that just wouldn’t go away.
Truth was, Justin and Kyra didn’t just break up – they were torn apart, and for that reason, Kyra missed Justin incessantly. Five years had passed since she last saw him, and she still hadn’t fully recovered. She had scars that would never go away, and wounds so deep, they would never heal. It was as though piece of her heart was missing, and a part of her doubted it would ever be whole again.
“Oh that’s right. I am so sorry to hear that.” Veronica put her hand on her heart as though she felt her pain. She tried to act like she was genuinely sorry, and she was failing miserably.
Yeah I bet, Kyra thought. She held her smile, but her anger was slowly staring to boil to the surface. Old Kyra would’ve jumped across the table right then and there – and wouldn’t have felt bad about it. But the new, more mature, Kyra swallowed her insults, no matter how clever.
“Well it was nice talking to you. . . ” Kyra was reminded of the heavy tray on her shoulder when she started to wobble under its weight.
“Oh, and Kyra, before you go would you mind fetching me a refill? Thanks.” Veronica shooed Kyra away like a pest after adding her glass to the pile. As soon as Kyra turned around she rolled her eyes so hard her eyelids flickered. Kyra marched straight to the back, cursing Veronica out under her breath.
“No she didn’t!”
“What’s wrong with you?” Meeka stopped on her way to the floor.
“That girl over there,” Kyra glared in Veronica’s direction.
“Who: her?” Meeka sucked her teeth. “She comes in here all the time. . . Acts like she owns the place. . . Why? What’d she do? You need me to say something? Cause I will.” If Kyra ever had a problem, Meeka was the first person she would call. A hot head just like her, she was two seconds away from taking off her earrings and getting the Vaseline. All Kyra had to do was say the word.
“No, don’t say anything. I don’t want chu to get in trouble,” Kyra objected. Their petty beef wasn’t worth either one of them losing their job. Unlike Veronica, she and Meeka didn’t have trust funds to fall back on.
“You should spit in her food,” Meeka’s suggestion came with an evil grin.
“No!” Kyra burst out laughing at the idea. The visual that formed in her mind was hilarious.
“What? That’s what I would do,” Meeka shrugged like that was normal and walked off. Kyra seriously thought about it, too. She even thought about getting Veronica the refill she asked for and pouring it on her, but she didn’t. Although Kyra would’ve loved nothing more than to repay Veronica for the way she treated her throughout the years, she had more important things to do. She had money to make.
After checking off everything on the list of closing duties at the end of the night, Kyra was exhausted. Eight hours on her feet was hard on her body, and by the end of her shift it seemed like everything ached. Not to mention, her last customers of the night left her nothing but a headache. She was so happy when it finally came time for her to punch out, she practically ran to her car.
The downpour began just moments after Kyra left work, and its force further wore on frayed nerves. The rain was coming down so hard and with such speed, it made it hard to see, but Kyra was determined to reach her destination. A short boat ride to Prince Paul was the only thing standing between her and the one thing she wanted most – her bed.
Kyra made it to the dock just in time to learn that due to the storm ferry service had been cut short, and of course, the boat she was waiting on had been delayed. She should be home in a matter of minutes and yet, happiness seemed so far away. Times like these, Kyra questioned if she would ever know what it was like to truly be happy again.
It had been a few hours since Kyra had crossed paths with Veronica, and Kyra was still heated. Last Kyra knew, Veronica got shipped off to some boarding school in Europe right along with her good-for-nothing brother Richard, and as far as she was concerned she could’ve stayed there. Kyra hadn’t seen her since their days at the academy and had hoped it would stay that way. If she never saw Veronica again it would still be too soon.
And of course she just had to bring up Justin. Kyra couldn’t believe she had the nerve. Veronica knew she wasn’t with Justin anymore because she was part of the reason why. Not to mention, Veronica had been throwing shade ever since Kyra moved to Prince Paul. Kyra knew hearing about their break up, along with the scandalous circumstances surrounding it, was just something else for her to talk about. The only reason she was asking her all those questions was so she could be all up in her business.
Unfortunately for Kyra, all it took was even the slightest mention of her ex to conjure up memories she had been long trying to suppress. She still had her share of regrets stemming from that fateful summer in The Chi, as well as the consequences that seemed to linger long after. Kyra wished she could forget it ever happened, but she would never be able to forget what it was like holding Justin in her arms, while he lay bleeding in the middle of the street, praying God spared his life.
She could never forget the last time she saw him or how bad she felt seeing him hooked up to all those machines. No matter how hard she tried to block it out that night kept playing over and over again in her mind. Something as simple as the sound of rain was all it took to remind her. All she had to do was close her eyes and it was like she was there again. Even after all these years, it was still so vivid, so real. . .
Kyra still remembered what it was like waking up the day after everything happened. She wasn’t sure how long she’d been asleep, but the second she woke up, her first thought was to check on Justin. She opened her eyes expecting to see him lying next to her, except when she opened her eyes, he wasn’t there. There was no trace of him, almost as if he had disappeared.
Panic set in right away as Kyra began to question her sanity. Assuming the worst, Kyra ran out into the hallway screaming his name when a nurse stopped her. The nurse tried to get Kyra to quiet down, but when she refused to take her to Justin. That’s when Kyra really started acting out.
“Did somethin’ happen to him? Is he okay?” Kyra begged and pleaded with her for information, but her tears couldn’t get the nurse to listen. It was obvious she didn’t care.
Of course that was right around the time Kyra’s mom decided to show up, Matthew in toe. Both of them looked burnt out, like they hadn’t slept in days. Even Matthew looked worried. Kyra might not have realized it at first, but her decision to go to Chicago had an effect on everybody – not just her.
Kyra still remembered the moment she first laid eyes on her mom, and the feeling of being overcome by a mixture of fear and relief. Given the fact that she and Justin were both minors when the shooting occurred, the police were required to notify their parents. Kyra begged them not to call her, but there was no getting out of it. The jig was up.
From the time she found out she was coming to get her, Kyra had been dreading her mother’s reaction, possibly even more so than going to jail, but at the same time, she was glad to finally have someone there with her. Kyra knew she could always count on her mom to be there for her through the hard times, and even though she was deathly afraid of what she was going to say when she got there, to her surprise, she didn’t yell at her or cuss her out. All she did was hug her and cry.
And Kyra cried right along with her. . . Until she told her it was time for them to leave. Kyra wasn’t afraid to let it be known that she wasn’t going anywhere without seeing Justin first. She simply didn’t have it in her to walk away. She couldn’t just leave him like that. She had to say goodbye.
Kyra was able to juice the nurse for more details, and after a few more minutes of shameless begging, she managed to find out he’d been transferred to a different unit. Turns out, Justin was doing fine, but she wasn’t allowed to see him. Only family was allowed to discuss that kind of stuff, and the nurse had no problem pointing out the fact that Kyra was only his girlfriend.
Kyra turned around just in time to see a very angry Mr. Hartwell headed her way, looking like he was ready to mow her or anyone else over in his path, and suddenly, she felt more like she was standing in the middle of a battlefield. On one side of her was her family ready to protect and support her, and on the other was Justin’s, charging at her full speed. If all was fair in love and war then to the Hartwells, she was the enemy.
“Now you listen to me because I am going to only say this once! Whatever it is you thought you and my son had going on is over as of today! You are not to come anywhere near him or anyone in this family! You set so much as a foot on my property and I will have you arrested! Do I make myself clear?” Mr. Harwell roared at her, his eyes wild. The boom in his voice had Kyra’s stomach doing back flips. She was so upset she couldn’t even get a sentence out. An apology wasn’t nearly enough.
Mr. Hartwell then went on to call her nothing but a “trouble maker” and said Justin was a fool to ever fall for a “ghetto girl” like her. He swore up and down that Kyra had something to do with what happened to Justin and even went so far as to imply she had him set up. Kyra looked to Quentin, hoping he would vouch for her, but he acknowledged her with no more than an evil look. His anger radiated off him. The way he kept clenching his jaw, she already know he didn’t have anything nice to say.
All hell broke loose after that. The insults started to fly between both parties, and Kyra quickly found herself caught in the middle of a screaming match between their parents, trying to keep the peace. Her mom looked like she was ready to claw somebody’s eyes out for talking down on her daughter and Kyra wouldn’t put it past her.
Thankfully, it didn’t come to that. Eventually, security stepped in and told Kyra and her family they had to leave. As security escorted them out, Kyra tried to reason with them, but that didn’t get her very far. Security ended up having to literally drag her out, kicking and screaming.
Kyra cried the whole way home, and for what seemed like days afterwards. She was lucky to have come home from Chicago alive, even if she didn’t feel like it at the time. Kyra survived Makai’s abuse, but horrible nightmares of the days she spent living under his roof plagued her sleep for months afterwards. The stress of it all got to her so bad she lost an unhealthy amount of weight. She even lost some hair. When Kyra lost Justin, she almost lost her mind, too.
Kyra was still angry at herself for ever wasting her time on a guy like Makai. He never really cared about her. When Makai showed up on out of nowhere, begging her to take him back, she should’ve known something was up. Kyra couldn’t believe she fell for his bullshit after all that time. And after he dogged her out the way he did. She should’ve been up on game.
But, Kyra was just so mad at Justin and so hurt. She let her anger get the best of her. Kyra just could not believe Justin chose Veronica over her. Of all the girls he could’ve rebounded with he went and picked her, knowing damn well Kyra didn’t like her.
Hearsay was one thing, but to see it all up in her face every day? Kyra couldn’t take it. Makai’s offer to come back to Chicago ended up being an easy way out. That’s all it was. It was convenient, so she took it. Trusting Makai was easily the biggest mistake she ever made.
Eager to get home and escape the bad weather, Kyra made sure she was one of the first to board the last ferry of the night when it arrived, but as they pulled away from the dock, the swells continued to rise and the angry sea tossed the tiny boat about like a toy. Kyra said a silent prayer, asking God to get them there safely. She gripped the steering wheel tightly, trying to calm down, but her thoughts made that impossible. Her heart was beating so fast and so hard it almost felt as if all the blood in her body had rushed to it at once.
Kyra wouldn’t say she was happy Makai was dead, but after all he put her through it wasn’t like she cried whenever she thought about him. It felt good to know he couldn’t hurt her anymore. She could go to bed at night and not have to worry. He couldn’t come after her this time.
Still, Kyra didn’t know what was more shocking: the fact that Makai was really gone or the fact he killed himself. She could still see the look in his eyes as he raised the barrel to his temple. If he was scared to pull the trigger, he didn’t look it. One minute he was there, and the next, he was gone.
Kyra didn’t understand why Makai turned the gun on himself at first, but now that she was older it made sense. Not only did Kai lose his younger brother to the streets, he was losing his war with Reggie, and a truce was out of the question. Knowing Makai, his ego would’ve never allowed it. There was no way he was ever going to surrender and his pride would never accept defeat. In his eyes, death was the only option.
Makai was just 18 when he committed suicide. He lasted a lot longer than most, though. Before his death, he was known as one of Chi-town’s most notorious gangsters, as cold and ruthless as they come, and he certainly earned that reputation. But everyone knows once the game turns on you there is nothing you can do. Not everyone is about that life.
Kyra sat by helplessly as Makai fell apart, right along with the empire he worked so hard to build. The cops knew him by name and the Feds were onto his little operation. It was only a matter of time before he got caught, and if he was going down, he was going to try to take everybody else down with him. . . He almost succeeded, too. The fear that came along with having a gun pointed at her was something Kyra didn’t think she would ever be able to get used to.
Kyra was jolted from her dreamlike state by the sound of the attendant knocking on her window. They would be pulling into port in a matter of minutes, but she had been so consumed by her thoughts, she was the last to notice. Kyra feigned a smile, waved, and went on her way.
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Kyra slowed to a stop in front of her apartment complex, Colony Park, but her mind went into overdrive thinking about everything Justin. She caught herself wondering what he was doing right at that very moment: Where is he? Is he happy? Is there any chance he misses me as much as I miss him? Kyra thought about Justin all the time – way more than she should considering she already had a man.
Kyra and Cincere had been dating for a little over a year, but Kyra was still unsure of her feelings for him. Yes, she cared deeply about Cincere. He was there for her when everybody else walked out, and when she talked he listened. He accepted Kyra and her past: the good and the bad. He didn’t judge her for it. His love for her proved unconditional, and still, Kyra couldn’t find it in her heart to love him the way she knew he deserved to be loved.
By all accounts, Cincere was a good, respectable guy. He had a legit job working construction and Kyra appreciated the fact she no longer had to worry about the police knocking down their door at four in the morning or being shot at. Cincere was an honest man who worked hard for a living, and she never had to wonder where he was at night. Cincere was a good catch, yes. But did she love him like she loved Justin? Not even close.
In the time they spent getting to know each other, Kyra and Cincere swapped stories of their childhood. Unlike Justin who grew up living a life of privilege, Cincere knew what it was like to grow up in the inner city. Having bounced back and forth between his father’s house in Prince Paul to his mother’s in Virginia as a teen, he was familiar with what it was like to chase down ice cream trucks, ride bikes in the street, and ring people’s doorbells and run. All of these things Justin knew nothing about.
Kyra could talk to Cincere for hours about anything. And even though Kyra could be open with Cincere, she worried maybe they were moving too fast. Usually it was the woman in a rush to put a title on things, but it was Cincere trying his hardest to cuff her. Kyra knew she wasn’t ready for anything serious when they first met, but she let her feelings interfere with her thinking, and somehow she wound up in a relationship. They both agreed to take it slow in the beginning, but now that they were living together she felt like she was on a speeding train with no way to stop it.
Playing house was fun at first, but it didn’t take long for Kyra to see that domestic bliss wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Often times, it seemed as though now that Cincere had her, he didn’t put in any effort to keep her. He didn’t take her anywhere special or buy her nice things. As time went on, Kyra began to wonder where they were going and if they would last.
The second Kyra flung open the door to her domain, she was worry-free. At that moment, nothing else mattered. She stopped to soak it all in, looking over her sanctuary with a certain pride in her eyes, as though she were a queen overlooking her kingdom. She made it. She was finally home.
“Oh, shit! Did you see that?” Kyra walked in from a hard day at work to find Cincere, lounging on the couch, totally entranced by the flat screen mounted on the wall. An avid fan of UFC, it was almost eleven o’clock at night, and he was shouting at the TV.
“Can you keep it down? I have a headache.” Kyra hadn’t been home for more than five seconds and she was already annoyed. The house was a mess, dirty dishes were piling up in the sink, and Cincere hadn’t lifted so much as a finger to clean it up all day.
“Hey, babe, what are we having for dinner?” Living the last moments of the match, Cincere’s eyes were stuck to the screen. Another loud outburst came soon after.
“Hell yeah, that’s what the fuck I’m talking about!” he jumped to his feet and started clapping.
“Work was great. Thanks for askin’,” Kyra mumbled, her irritation obvious. She couldn’t even get a “Hi. How are you? How was your day?” before he asked about dinner. Coming home and cooking for him was the last thing on her mind tonight.
Kyra set down her bags and drew a deep breath. She just got home. She was in no mood to argue with him. She transferred the leftovers she snagged from the restaurant from a plastic container to a plate.
“Humph, I don’t know what kind of gourmet meal he thinks he’s getting at this time of night. . .” Kyra stood there with her arms folded, huffing and puffing, waiting for the microwave to ding she couldn’t help but think about how nice it would be if Cincere made dinner for once, but Kyra knew better than to hold her breath. The second she set his food in front of him, Cincere started attacking it like he hadn’t eaten in days. He didn’t even utter so much as a “Thank you.”
After the day she had, Kyra couldn’t wait to strip down to nothing and barricade herself in the bathroom. Kyra closed her eyes and let her muscles relax as the warm water ran down her body. As she washed off all the dirt and grease from the day, she let go of all her anger and frustration that came along with it.
Kyra let the water run until the steam clouded the bathroom. She rung out her hair when she was finished, but when she reached for her towel her hand was met by the cold steel that was the towel rack.
“What in the . . . ? I could’ve sworn I put it right there. . .” Kyra felt around blindly. With one eye open, she confirmed her towel was indeed missing.
“Cincere, can you bring me a towel?” Kyra pulled back the shower curtain so he could hear her. When she didn’t get an answer, she yelled again, “Cincere!”
When he still didn’t answer her, she took it upon herself to go looking for him.
“Do I have to do everythin’ around here,” Kyra grumbled as she stepped out of the bathtub. The second the air hit her skin she was covered in goosebumps.
“Cincere, I know you hear me calling you!” Kyra stomped from room to room, tracking wet footprints all throughout the house. The first place she checked was the living room, then the kitchen, but there was no sign of him. All the lights were off, and so was the TV.
“There you are!” Her search finally came to an end in the bedroom, where she found Cincere sitting shirtless on the corner of the bed with her towel in his hand, and a mischievous smirk on his face. The flicker of candlelight on the walls made her skin glisten.
“Looking for something?” His deep voice was as seductive as the look in his eyes.
“Boy, I know you heard me calling you,” Kyra switched up her tone real quick. Kyra knew that look, and that look meant only one thing.
“Can I have my towel back now? I’m cold.” Kyra put her hand on her hip and cracked a sassy smile. Cincere looked so good she couldn’t even be mad at him. Even though Cincere was a few inches shorter than Justin, his looks were far above average. His slanted eyes were intriguing hints of his African-American/Korean heritage and his skin was the color of a Hershey’s Kiss. His mustache was thin and there was no trace of a beard on his face. Many of his features were reminiscent of a young Tyson Beckford, and his body was just as nice.
“Let me do it.” Cincere hid the towel behind his back when she tried to take it from him. The way he licked his lips it was almost as if he were daring her to make the first move. As Kyra lay down on the bed next to him he let his eyes travel over every inch of her naked body. Now, Kyra was shivering for a different reason.
Cincere took his time with her, making sure to be patient and gentle. He started at her feet and worked his way up her legs, running the soft cloth over her calves and along the back of her thighs, careful not to leave a drop of water behind. The sensations created by a single kiss in between her shoulder blades had Kyra weak already. She even let a moan slip.
Cincere continued planting delicate kisses up and down her spine, stopping just below her ear.
“Turn over,” he instructed. Cincere suckled her earlobe before grazing the most vulnerable part of her neck with his lips. Just the sound of his voice had Kyra gripping the sheets and he wasn’t even inside her yet.
This time, Cincere started at her neck and proceeded to work his way down. His big, masculine hands contrasted her sweet, supple skin as he caressed her arms, breasts, and stomach. Cincere traced the tiny droplets with his tongue as they maneuvered around her many curves, making sure to lick up any water he might have missed.
Just when Kyra thought Cincere was done teasing her, he started the process over again, except this time, instead of using a towel, he used lotion. His big, strong hands roamed her body freely, making sure to massage it all in. Kyra bit her bottom lip as Cincere ran his hand between her thighs. He’d touched her everywhere except the one place she was longing to be touched.
“Mm, you missed a spot,” Kyra purred as she pointed down at her perfectly shaved pussy. He had her dripping wet in anticipation.
“That’s okay. I’m only going to make it wet again anyway,” he bragged. And the look in his eyes let her know he meant it. Kyra searched for any indication he may have been joking, but she couldn’t find one.
“Promises, promises. . . ” she smirked.
Cincere initiated the first kiss, but Kyra wouldn’t let him stop there. Something about his kisses was addictive. No matter how many he gave her, she couldn’t get enough.
Once the two of them started kissing, they barely stopped for air. Kyra and Cincere went at each other like wild animals in heat. They rolled around in bed, kissing and nibbling on each other, feeding off each other’s desires.
Kyra gasped for air when he first entered her, his first stroke slow, and deep. It seemed like every movement was deliberate and calculated, as each position flowed seamlessly into the next. Cincere knew just what he was doing when he handled her. He knew exactly how to move and where to put his hands.
Cincere lifted her legs up as high as they would go, and Kyra clawed at his back. Cincere continued to grind deep inside her, and Kyra moaned loud enough for their neighbors to hear. Cincere warned her to be quiet, but it felt too good to care. Watching him glide in and out of her only heightened her urge to cum.
Encouraged by the sounds she was making, Cincere dove to the depths of her wetness, soaking the sheets. He helped himself to a handful of her curls, and began thrusting so fast, he seemed unstoppable. Cincere pushed himself to the limit to please her, and Kyra begged him not to stop.
Spent from hours of love making, Cincere fell asleep almost instantly. Stillness fell over the room, as the young lovers lay fitted together like puzzle pieces in the dark. While the storm raged on outside, Kyra clung to the comfort that came along with falling asleep in his arms.
The steady sound of rain hitting the roof was similar to a lullaby, but it did nothing to soothe her. Like most nights, thoughts of Justin kept her up. Part of her felt bad for wishing it was Justin lying next to her instead. Every night she closed her eyes, she hoped to see him in her dreams.