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Guiltily, he bit his lip knowing he’d let something slip out that he wasn’t supposed to. “Okay, I’ll admit some things but only because I don’t want you to think I’m creepy. I’ve been watching you for the past six months trying to get the gumption to walk over there and speak to you.”
“Yeah,” he said as if that should be obvious.
“Six months ago my younger sister calls me reluctantly to come over and pick her up because she was stranded. When she didn’t come out to the car, I came into the club and I saw you. Sitting at a booth while Lauren and Jezica constantly got asked to dance by other guys, I wondered why the hell didn’t anyone ask you and I wanted to ask you, but…” His voice trailed off and he looked down ashamed.
Was that a blush? She’d never seen a grown man blush before and damn if that didn’t make him look even more handsome.
When he looked back at her, he smiled rubbed his bottom lip nervously. “I hope this isn’t creeping you out.”
Shaking her head, she was just in disbelief about what she was hearing. Had Lauren put him up to this to make Stefanie forget about how much money was owed? Would Lauren stoop so low to use her boyfriend’s boss to seduce Stefanie to forget about the money?
Damn! Because the plan might actually work. Stefanie was finding herself very infatuated with Axel Black.
“Please keep going,” she insisted. “Why didn’t you ever come over and introduce yourself to me and does this involve your employee, Dexter?”
“Like I said, I was reading algorithms since I was ten. Math doesn’t teach you how to talk to girls, so I found myself confused about what to exactly say to you. On top of that, I never saw you speak to guys like me so I didn’t approach you.”
She interrupted him. “Guys like you?”
He flushed. “White men?”
Gasping in shock, she asked in a deadly serious voice, “You’re white?! I just thought we were waiting for your color to come in.”
Axel looked absolutely dumbfounded and she couldn’t help to chuckle in amusement.
She explained her teasing, “It’s just a saying some people like to tell new mothers when the baby comes out too light.”
He smiled handsomely taking her breath away. Stefanie tore her eyes away because she was so tempted to kiss him.
“Is that why you sent Dexter over?” she questioned. “Because you were shy and you thought I wouldn’t like you because you were white. Even though you can clearly see we have so much in common?”
“Yes, Stefanie, I did think my color could be a determent to you liking me. I hid in the crowd and just watched, but I was disappointed about Lauren’s interference.”
“So was I. I think Dexter’s pretty cute,” she teased and noticed how he frowned flashing a little jealousy in his eyes. “But I think they’d been drooling with envy if you’d have come over instead of Dexter. I’d have love for you to have come over and sweep me on the dance floor…” She blushed this time. “Even though I don’t know how to dance.”
He smiled proudly. “I’ll have to teach you then.”
Stefanie smiled with a nod. “I do understand though Lauren over shadowing me. I’m used to it. I blend in or disappear when Lauren or Jezica is around.”
Emphatically, he said, “No you don’t! You actually stand out so much that I can see why guys are intimidated by you.”
Now he was going overboard!
Looking around as if someone else had come up beside her, she asekd him, “Did Lauren put you up to this ?”
“What do you mean?” he questioned confused.
“Axel, really?” she snickered sarcastically. “I would have almost believed you were you actually stalking me if you hadn’t said that.”
“Stefanie, I’m dead serious. I’ve been attracted to you since I first saw you.”
“And I’m next in line for the Pope.” She stepped away from him very ready to tell him to get the hell out of her house.
He jumped up and grabbed her hand, but she snatched it away.
“No more games, Axel,” Stefanie said. “Tell Lauren she can send Denzel Washington or George Clooney my way, but it won’t make me forget she owes me money.”
“What are you talking about? I have nothing to do with Lauren or Jezica” He looked duly insulted. “Please don’t push me away, Stefanie! Please!”
Was he honestly begging?”
Damn! Stefanie turned away from him, but didn’t walk away. She was utterly confused to this whole situation. Why did she want to believe him? Yet, why would he be so attracted to her compared to Lauren and Jezica, when no other man seemed to be.
Turning back to him, craning her neck to look up at him, she asked, “Be honest with me, Dexter.”
“I can be no other way, Stefanie.”
Her neck was hurting from looking uop at him and she moved to a stool. He sat next to her with a very serious look in his different colored eyes waiting or her to speak with baited breath.
“When Dexter came over to the table, he seemed to be only interested in Lauren.”
“Even he agreed you out shone them all. Lauren was rather aggressive at taking the attention off of you and on her. He didn’t want to be rude,” he explained. “Plus, he thought to dance with her to find out more about you.I saw you leave out, but i was still too shy to speak with you.”
“and the date he took her on afterwards? The dinner? His boat?’
“I convinced him to take her to a nearby sports bar, but it was just to ask more questions about you, although he said she talked mostly about herself, but told every embarrassing and horrible story you’ve ever experienced around her.”. He looked confused again. “I’m not saying I know all my employees business but I do know I don’t pay him enough to get a boat unless he doing something I don’t know about.”
Putting her face in her hands in humiliation, Stefanie could only imagine the horror stories Lauren told him.
“Can I ask you a question now if I haven’t creeped you out too much?” he asked warily.
She gave him permission by nodding.
“Why have you hung around them for so long?”
Stefanie sighed regretfully. “I guess they’re the only people I have in my life since I was young and I keep them around to remind me of something familiar.”
“What could you possible want familiar with them?”
“Let’s just say I didn’t have a good home life.”
“What about your real family?”
The word was rather foreign to her since she really never had one. “I’m an only child. Well, that I know of. My mother was an alcoholic.” She rolled her eyes. “Not just a plain alcoholic, she was a super alcoholic. I think I saw my mother eat food five times in my whole life. Other than that, she had a bottle to her lips any chance she got. She even drank my cold medicine. I used to go to school so hungry because there was never any food in the house. I remember one summer I lived a week on basil, cinnamon sticks and seasoning salt.” she had never really told anyone everything of her lie with her mom. “She was angry at a lot of things that had happened to her when she was growing up. And she used to tell me I looked like my father, so that was her reason for always yelling and screaming at me all the time. I used to think all mother’s did that until I saw how nice Lauren and Jezica’s mother treated them.”
Axel looked completely devastated as if someone had slapped him across the face.
“Don’t be sad though,” she insisted. “I survived. I wasn’t abused physically or sold for drugs.” she tried to chuckle to make light of the situation. “I just remember being hungry all the time when I was little. We didn’t have anyone else to turn to and basically my mother’s drunk pals enabled her or felt pity because she had a child. At least we had a house to stay in. Water, heat and electricity were always optional though. Clothing were usually hand me downs I learned how to sew so I didn’t look completely dirty or homely.”
He cleared his throat. “And your dad?”
“That’s a real joke. He ran off when I was still in my mother’s stomach. Later on I found out ironically, he was killed in a drunk driving accident and my mother had drunk all the insurance money that was supposed to go to my college education. I had to do something to get out of there because I refused to end up like her. Back then, everyone who was smart enough knew computers were the wave of the future and if I wanted to make some money, I had to be better than everyone else. If I wasn’t hanging around trying to be a girl with Lauren and Jezica, I was living at the library and staling food out of garbage cans.”
“I’m flabbergasted over what you experienced, Stefanie. It just makes me like you even more. You’re stronger than what I felt you were.”
“Please stop that, Axel,” she insisted.
“Stop what? Liking you?”
“Stop saying things like that – that aren’t true.”
“But I do like you, Stefanie. ‘m not lying. I’ve waited a long time to hae this time with you. I’ll show you every damn receipt I spent up in that club sipping on nasty ass club soda, waiting for you and watching you. Why is that so hard to believe?”
She decided to be very honest with him. “Because you’re too damn perfect! You’re rich, gorgeous beyond belief and you’re nice.” Shaking her head, she emphatically stated. “Guys like you don’t look twice at girls like me. I’ve been through too many of them to know they either stay around me to get closer to Lauren and Jezica or try to use me for my money. Plus Lauren’s already staked her claim in Dexter, so that means friends are off limit as well. She’s all ready calling him the next Mr Lauren.”
He looked devastated at her. “Have they fucked you up mentally that badly, Stefanie?”
His language surprised her, but his words hit her hard in her gut. “Like I said, they were familiar to me.”
He stood up and she craned her neck to look at him. With ease, he moved down and literally lifted her with no effort to sit on the counter so she was eye level with him. There was this intense yet worshipful look in his eyes that seem to mesmerize her soul. He didn’t need to say his attraction to her, his look clearly told her how much.
And yet she was still overwhelmed with his attraction to her.
“I also don’t need your money, Stefanie,” he said insulted. “And even if I had a ten foot pole and they paid me all the money in the world, I still wouldn’t touch Lauren or Jezica.”
Stefanie burst out laughing. “Oh that was nasty!”
Through his chuckles, he agreed, “It was, wasn’t it?!” His gorgeous smile was almost too delicious for words.
“Has anyone ever told you, you’re too good to be true, Axel?”
Leaning down, he kissed her cheek. “If I’m your dream come true, I hope you never wake up, Stefanie.”
She was positive her heart fell out of her mouth this time.
La Revanche des Trois (Revenge of Three) – Chapter 17 (c) 2011 Sylvia Hubbard. All Rights Reserved.