- If you haven’t read part one. Click here.
- If you haven’t read part 2 Click here
- If you haven’t read part 3.1 Click here
- If you haven’t read part 3.2 Click here
- If you haven’t read part 4 Click here
- If you haven’t read part 5 Click here
- If you haven’t read part 6 Click here
- If you haven’t read part 7 Click here
This is part 8 is almost 6000 words, which is why it took me so long to write. I’ve been given myself ten days to post out between because the day to day chapter drop was killing me. I’m getting back in the rhythm and I’m sorry I’ve made Aeden so damn awful but you know I gotta incorporate real life in this because too much romance is just harking on some magical fairy or the fates desiring that love is going to come easy and we know it doesn’t.
People hurt and if you never get over the pain of hurt all the good love in the world will never save them.
So Aeden is a lot like me in my journey to heal. I will admit I hurt a lot of people but unlike Aeden I was honest in the beginning. The people I hurt just forgot the terms and conditions of the original agreement. That’s a long backstory I’m not about to go into.
I should warn you this is my Tarantino part. the timeline jumps all over the place but in the end, it should come together. Let me know what you think in the comments. I would love to hear what you think of Aeden and where you think this might go.
(Author’s Note: I do ask that you be 18 or over to read the following content. Thank you)
His African Sweetheart
By Sylvia Hubbard
Sitting slowly on the curb as the sunset came and went, Enola looked down at her phone. Now that she didn’t have wifi anymore, there really wasn’t anything else to do with the device.
Reaching up to touch her hair, she felt very vulnerable all over again, but she strengthened her resolve to think her way out of this situation.
Closing her eyes, she pushed Aeden out of her head and thought about everyone else who had been in her life in the past two weeks. There was Victoria and of course, there was Naaji, but then there was Jack Flemyng.
Victoria had warned her Aeden’s quest for justice ran deep and others in his path would be hurt. Enola had been too blind to see she was in Naaji’s path.
Or just too stupid.
Taking a deep breath, she stood from the curb as the street lights came on and she stared at the burned rubble.
Tomorrow she would be erased. He was going to make sure she would be nothing. Hurting her the worst would be the best justice for Naaji because hurting Enola worse than what her sister had done, would tear Naaji apart.
Enola remembered her sister’s heartbreaking look and if she had opened herself to Naaji, she probably would be able to feel her sister’s sadness was actually honest.
Aeden was smart. Jack told her that. He worked hard and was good at his job, all the way until the end.
Smashing Enola’s soul to nothing would be justice.
Another statement by Jack Flemyng came to mind about her belongings.
She looked at the battery on her phone. There was still ninety percent left on the phone because it had hardly been used.
Turning on the flashlight, she carefully stepped through the rubbish remembering the pathway to her apartment on the first floor. Some of the sharp wood tried to press into the bottom of her flimsy hotel house shoes, but she did her best to avert injury.
“Behind the refrigerator in the kitchen.”
A horrible fire could burn a lot of things. She recognized remnants of items she had owned roasted in the fire, but where they were helped her path to the kitchen.
Putting the phone down, Enola pushed large pieces of wood under the largest pile in the corner where she knew the refrigerator had been.
The used to be a small white refrigerator, laying on the side, was pure black and distorted in shape. To her delight, she could see the refrigerator still protected just a little bit of wall. By now there were so many splinters in her hands, arms, calves, and feet that she had started to bleed and knew she’d be picking out splinters until next year.
Using all her strength and body weight, she pushed against the refrigerator until she could move it away from the wall it protected enough to squeeze her arms behind it as she laid her body on top of the refrigerator. By now her whole body was covered in soot and burning from all the splinters in her skin.
Hitting the low panel which easily broke away. She had to run and grab her phone to shine the flashlight into the hole.
Tucked down in the ground, there was a large orange bag.
Her heart soared. Maybe there was a chance for life to be actually on her side. Maybe she could survive this horrific chapter of her life and come out a winner.
Maybe she could make her soul stop yearning for Aeden and take care of herself and baby without anyone’s help.
Either way, Enola was determined to get through all this. The pain and shame she now felt would be the fuel she would use to keep going.
Using all her strength, she pulled the bag out of the hole and to her chest. Crying at the victory, she prayed all would get better.
ONE YEAR LATER
Naaji looked in pure fascination at the baby over the bassinet and smiled. “She’s beautiful. I’m glad you kept her and I’m doubly glad it was a girl.”
Hints of the old Naaji always came to the surface and this was a constant reminder Enola kept herself in check. She was stronger; much stronger than a year ago.
Yet, there were weaknesses in her soul. Things she couldn’t discuss with anyone except Angela.
Her daughter was feeling her mother’s deep thoughts and cooed.
The baby knew and it was just a nice distraction to stop Enola from going into the darkness.
“I think she’s hungry,” Naaji said. “She’s doing that lip sucking thing. Didn’t you say that’s what that meant?”
Enola rose from her desk where she was trying to finish off her billing cycle and came over to the bassinet where the baby excitedly jolted about knowing her mother was close. Naaji moved from the rocking chair, so Enola could sit down.
Opening her shirt, Enola pulled Angela close and sighed feeling the tug on her other breast and quickly, she closed off that feeling. Tonight, she’d send out another package. She had enough for another six months, which should be just enough if they were doing things right.
Again she had to force herself back to reality.
“You’re thinking about him,” Naaji observed kneeling down twirling Enola’s shoulder-length two-strand twist around her finger.
Angela huffed as she tried to greedily sucked but she shot Naaji her disapproval.
Naaji moved her hand away. “Okay, Angie. We all know how you don’t like your mother being touched. Jeez, I swear she’s evil just to be evil.”
Enola giggled. “Possessive.”
Angela closed her eyes and continued to suck greedily.
“I was thinking about them,” Enola admitted.
The matching ottoman to the rocker was close by and Naaji settled down. “You aren’t going to stop it, are you?”
“Why? He’s going on with his life. He’s doing what he does and he’s not looking for me or you or her and that’s what’s important.”
Naaji frowned. “How did you get him to stop?”
“Stop what?” Enola asked pretending Angela was the most important thing at that moment to look at.
“Aeden’s like a dog with a bone until he feels he has won. How did you get him to feel he won?”
“I just did what you advised; Let him see I was still broken.”
“How does he not know about Angela though?”
Enola knew sometimes her sister was smart, but she had to become a little smarter than Naaji in order to make sure she could stay on top of everything. Naaji didn’t need to know everything and she wouldn’t.
“Just like you became me, I had to become you, Naaji.”
Angela huffed but kept suckling.
That was enough to make Naaji stop asking questions and apologize. “I’m sorry you had to be that way.”
“It was actually refreshing facing him not as myself.” In a way this was true. She had used a lot of her sister’s personality to really become a lot stronger in herself.
Despite the awfulness of Naaji there was lot Enola could learn from her.
The doorbell rang just as Angela was finishing up. Naaji went to answer the door while Enola settled Angela in the baby’s room.
“Yes,” she heard Naaji talking in the front room nervously. “Enola’s here. She’s putting the baby down.”
Enola came to the front room to see the five-foot-tall, medium built light coffee skinned woman with the coiffed thick red hair peering over her glasses. Even with the four-inch heels, Redd Fleming still looked short and with the tiny waist and the wide hips she drew a lot of attention from men when she wore close that were close-fitting.
She smiled upon Enola entering the room. “Someone looks healthy,” she noted. “How are you?”
“I’m good.” Enola looked at her sister, who looked like her nerves were shot.
“Can we speak privately?” Redd questioned.
Enola nodded and led Redd into her office. When she closed the door, she said, “I’m not helping my sister.”
“Oh, we know,” Redd said.
The condition to associate with her sister had been clearly outlined and Enola really didn’t mind the provision. The group, Birds of Paradise, took Naaji’s debt seriously and only Naaji was allowed to pay it down.
Redd continued, “This is about the delivery tonight. We might have a nanny opportunity. Petrya Larry, soon to be Faust, inquired if we knew someone.” Redd winked at her own humor. “Everyone one they tried to hire her husband has rejected.”
Enola’s heart soared. After all of these months, this is the first time Redd has talked about their secret.
“I can’t be a nanny,” Enola pointed out obviously.
“I know that, but they’re going out of town to Amsterdam on some business prior to the wedding and they happen to live across from a park. Shadow thinks this is the best time.”
Surprised to hear that name, she said, “And how long has Shadow thought this was a good idea?”
“As soon as I relayed the trip plans, while I was driving over here.”
This assured Enola there was very little time for Aeden to think there was something suspicious going on.
Redd continued. “Shadow made me initiate everything by the time I got here, and just in case I had a tail, I’d lose them.” Reaching in her bag, she pulled out an outfit, a cell with a Bluetooth earpiece and a card. “Friday morning, you’ll go to the park across the street from the house. Wear this. It’ll properly cover your head and part of your face. Do not look at the house. If you get there about three and move to an occasional bench every fifteen minutes it shouldn’t draw attention from him. “That’s a burner phone. You’ll get a call. Keep the line open and just wait for instructions. They have to leave for the airport by four, but they can’t get the security to manually reset the system until four-thirty. It gives us five minutes. Two to get into the house and out. So that only leaves one minute for you. I hope that can be enough.”
Enola’s heart swelled in gratefulness. “It’s more than enough. Tell Shadow the debt will be good after this.”
“That will be welcome news. Shadow hates owing people.” Redd nodded. “On a lighter note, I dropped off the second stash. He was there. Smelled it to verify if he wanted it.”
Chuckling, she liked knowing Aeden had to be extra about everything he really cared about. “Aeden has a sensitive olfactory.”
“You could have warned a sistah,” Redd said looking uncomfortable. “He asked if I was paying the girl well who contributed the milk.”
“And what did you tell him.”
“But of course,” Redd answered rolling her eyes as if that answer was obvious. “But how would he know it was the same woman? No one’s scent glands are that define.”
Shifting uncomfortably, Enola said, “He knew the difference between Naaji and me immediately on the honeymoon night.”
“Damn,” Redd said. “Good thing we didn’t try to mix up the milk.”
“You wouldn’t!” Enola exclaimed.
Laughing maniacally, “Of course not.” Redd looked at the time. “Gotta go, bodies are piling up and your sister’s got an all-nighter to pull.”
Enola watched the redhead leave and shook off the fact that Redd was just a little bit insane, but dealing with Shadow and all the stuff she did one had to be.
Putting away the items Redd had given her just in time as Naaji came into the office, she asked, “Aren’t you leaving?”
“Yeah, I told Redd I left my wallet. She’s in the car. Are you okay?”
“Yes,” Enola said a little touched at her concern. “Shadow is setting up something to pay off a favor.”
Naaji’s eyes widened. “Really?”
Stopping immediately seeing a look of delight cross Naaji’s face, Enola said, “You know it has nothing to do with you, Naaji. Nothing at all. I won’t break my promise to them when I said I would never ever help you pay off any debt.”
Looking guilty, Naaji folded her arms across her chest. “I didn’t… I mean… you don’t have anyone else but Angela and she doesn’t need help.”
Enola tried to tamper down the annoyance because she knew there was always going to be remnants of the old Naaji there. “I don’t care if you were drowning in quicksand and I was standing on the side with a stick to throw to you, I can’t help you out, Naaji. I would not put my daughter’s life in jeopardy to assist you in getting out of the situation you’ve dug yourself in. The only reason I allow you to be in my life this little bit is because I want to at least give you a little sunshine in the hopeless darkness you will never see on your own.”
“I just thought-” Naaji sobbed.
Enola cut her off, “Don’t think, just do. Do what you need to do to get yourself out of your darkness. I’m not helping you out and you have no right to expect me to.”
Naaji left the room trying to hold back her misery and Enola allowed herself to tremble at her anger. Naaji had been awful for so long, she would probably never change and Enola had to stay strong and not engage when her sister was like this.
Feeling the need to be near Angela, Enola went into her daughter’s room and looked down at the sleeping baby. Of course, looking at Angela only made her think of Aeden. Her daughter was the exact replica of her father, including the temperament and Enola’s heart only swelled more with love for the father of her baby.
Yet, Aeden would never change and she knew this, so Enola had to do what she had to do in order to make sure she was happy.
Yes, she had made sacrifices as with everything else she had loved, but it had been a sacrifice worth making.
Leaving Angela to sleep, Enola went into her own bedroom and cried herself to sleep.
The plans Redd had given her would be followed to the letter because Enola would not mess up a chance to see her son.
Pacing was so hard not to do and Enola must look ridiculous in the dusty pink Muslim dress with hijab. The material was light and for an April day, it covered well enough but didn’t make her hot.
She did as instructed and sat in the park, but she was two hours early. Surprisingly, women assumed she was a nanny and two of them even spoke to her in a casual conversation before they had to leave.
Enola, changed to another park bench around three-fifteen for the second time to where her back was to the house. Knowing she was this close to Aeden and her son, she could barely breath and didn’t need anyone from the house seeing the erratic panic look on her face.
At the same time, the burner phone rang. Enola had already put the Bluetooth in her ear and paired the device. She answered the phone.
“You were early,” the androgynous voice said on the other line.
As always, she never could tell if Shadow was a teen boy or a grown woman.
“You’ve been watching me?”
There was amusement in the response. “I’m always watching, Enola. Now calm the fuck down before you have a panic attack and pass out in those hot ass clothes.”
Enola closed her eyes and tried to concentrate on her breathing.
“Oh shit,” Shadow said with dread.
“Someone’s coming out of the door with a baby carriage. Oh shit. It’s the wife and she’s coming across the street.”
“What should I do?” Enola asked unsure if she should run. “Is Aeden coming?”
“Just stay where you are and don’t do shit,” the voice in her ear warned. “Maybe she’ll walk by.”
Enola flight response wanted to kick in so bad. If Aeden saw her…? If she saw Aeden…?
The carriage pulled up right beside her bench and a very well dressed Black woman sat down on the other side of the carriage. The baby inside of the carriage had been crying but now was just fussy.
Enola looked over at the woman and smiled as pleasant as possible.
The woman looked extremely stressed. “It’s the first time he’s stopped crying all day. Coming to the park is the only thing that seems to calm him down.” She looked at the baby as if she wanted to cry. “He likes to look at the other children as if he’s looking for someone.”
It was hard not to look at the baby, but she fought the urge because she was terrified of what she might be inclined to do… Like pick him up and hold him so tight.
“Isn’t he too small to know or recognize another child,” Enola pointed out.
The woman snorted, “I thought the same thing, but he’s definitely smart like his father.”
The baby started to get fussy again and the woman’s stress level rose. She gently picked up the baby and tried to comfort him. He was wrapped up tightly and would not stop wiggling.
“I can handle a billion-dollar deal. I can handle New York’s fashion week. But I can’t handle a baby,” the woman complained sounding as if she was almost about to cry. “Please, Angel,” she coddled. “Please, calm down.”
Suddenly, the baby looked at Enola, narrowed his eyes and then reached for her frantically.
Enola smiled and held back her tears at the beautiful eyes just like hers looking at her. The baby squirmed hard in the woman’s lap, trying to reach more and more in Enola’s direction.
“I think he likes you,” the woman observed. “Are you a nanny?”
Shaking her head, Enola admitted, “I’m… a mother.” She almost admitted the truth.
The woman looked out at the children playing and then back at Enola. “I’m Petrya. We live right there.” She nodded back at the large house.
The baby started to cry and fuss while squirming more.
“Would you like to hold him?” Petrya asked, but it was almost a cry for help.
It took everything inside of Enola not to allow the woman to see her hand’s shaking as she reached over gently and took the child.
He immediately quieted down and relaxed over her shoulder as she rubbed his back and let his face rest into her neck.
Petrya suddenly began to cry. “I think he hates me,” she sobbed.
Enola didn’t know what to do or say. “He seems fine.”
“He’s never fine with me. I think Angelo truly knows I’m not his mother.” Petrya took several deep breaths and calmed herself down.
“You’re not his mother?” Enola was sure the woman would recognize her, so she turned her face slightly away using the baby as cover.
“He’s my husband’s child. This woman, the child’s mother, came between us. We were dating previously and then suddenly, he decided he wanted to see her… be with her forever. She convinced him to dump me like a bad habit and marry her.”
“I’m glad I never met her,” Petrya sneered. “To this day, I still do not know what power she had over him, but she died in childbirth and he came back with the baby. I told him I didn’t care what he had done. He was perfect for me and I still loved him.”
Enola closed her eyes trying not to care. Changing the subject, she asked, “You call the baby, Angelo?”
Petrya grimaced. “But he’s no Angel. If his father isn’t around, he seems upset and he’s never ever calm like this.”
Just to prove her point, Angelo started to snore rather loudly as if he hadn’t slept in days.
Enola tried not to laugh from the joy in her heart feeling her baby boy in her arms. When she tried to hand him back to Petrya, he fussed profusely while he tried to stay asleep. It was almost hilarious, but seeing the miserable look on his supposed mother’s face, Enola bit her lip to not smile.
Petrya sighed even more miserable. “This just further proves he doesn’t like me.”
“You’re his mother,” Enola said assuringly biting back a snort. “Even if you aren’t blood, he’ll eventually know you love and care for him.”
“That’s the problem. With all my money and my power, I can’t control a child? He deliberately makes me feel I have no control over anything. And I am very convinced he knows I’m not his real mother.”
“Children aren’t here to be controlled. They are here to be loved, Ms. Petrya.” She rubbed Angelo’s back. “And Mothers aren’t just made, they’re created. If his father can love you, the child should.”
Petrya wiped tears away. “I think that’s what’s missing then. Honestly, his father is probably with me because I’m a smart choice, but not his heart’s choice.”
Suddenly in Enola’s ear, Shadow blared, “Get the fuck out of there! Aeden’s coming out the door.”
Enola shot to her feet abruptly and put Angelo in the carriage. “I’ve.. I’ve got to go,” she said. “I’m sorry.”
“He’s headed across the street! Out! Now!” Shadow warned. “Follow the path, through the park and then take the alley. Hide behind the third garage.”
Angelo didn’t just fuss at being put back in the carriage, he screamed his upset at being away from her.
Turning away, just as he reached the park, she took long strides going through the park. Hearing her son’s cries, she could feel her milk production go into overdrive and the front of her shirt was soaked.
Tears blurred her vision, but she was able to find the third garage as instructed. The gate was open. She ducked inside and waited.
“Perfect,” Shadow said in her ear. “He’s attending to the baby instead of following you, but stay there. You should have moved when she came.”
“It happened so fast. And then she started talking to me…” She was breathless still nervous Aeden was coming to find her.
“He’s not coming,” Shadow assured her reading her thoughts. “Head to the other end of the alley. Redd will meet you there.”
Enola heard the line click and knew Shadow had cut off contact. Warily, she ducked out the backyard and rushed down the alley. Just as Shadow promised, Redd was sitting in a tinted windowed black vehicle and as soon as Enola was sitting inside the cool interior, Redd took off.
“Have you lost your mind?” Redd asked angrily as Enola finally started to relax. “What if she had recognized you?”’
“I wasn’t thinking,” Enola said frustrated. “I really wasn’t thinking.” She put her face in her hands, shaking in fear. “I’m so stupid.”
She stopped her panic because she could still smell Angelo in her arms. Taking a deep breath, Enola sighed miserably.
“Does this make Shadow even?” Redd questioned. “You know how Shadow hates owing people.”
“With everything you’ve done, Redd? We were even a long time ago, but yes, tell Shadow, we’re even.”
“Enola, you’ve taught me things I’d have never learned at any school.” Regretfully, Redd said, “That’s probably going to be the last time you’re ever going to see the baby. They’re leaving for Amsterdam, but the security will be tight on the baby when Aeden is not around. Once they come back, they’ll get married and they plan on moving in the Charlotte Condos. The place is worse than in this area. I’m sorry. I wish it could have been longer, Enola.”
Aeden was going to marry that woman?
Petrya’s words came back, “I’m a smart choice, but not his heart’s choice.”
Enola refused to believe Aeden could still be in love with her. Not after how he tried to destroy her life.
“It was enough,” Enola said. “It was more than enough.” Yes, her heart ached at the knowledge she would never get this close to Angelo ever again, but those few minutes with him was worth the chance she had taken.
No one was the wiser.
Her secret was safe.
Redd dropped her off at home.
Enola did some work, but it was so hard to concentrate. The day she had been one she wanted to keep and decided to write in her journal.
Afterward, she decided to just play with Angela for the rest of the day.
Near nightfall, she heard Naaji coming back.
Her sister, as usual, looked bedraggled and ready to pass out.
“Want some tea?” Enola offered.
Naaji only walked past her and to the basement where her room was.
Enola knew her sister was probably still sour about their conversation, but there was really nothing Enola could do about any debt without jeopardizing her safety and the life of her child.
After checking on Angela, assured the baby would stay asleep for the rest of the night, Enola went to the kitchen to make tea for Naaiji and herself.
Thirty minutes later, Naaji came in looking like she just stepped out of the shower.
“I’m sorry,” Naaji said at the doorway of the kitchen. “I’m so sorry, Enola.”
“I know,” Enola said with a smile on her lips. Her day had been too perfect to really allow Naaji to upset her.
“I know you can’t do a thing about the debt I’ve gotten myself in and I will be forever grateful you’ve allowed me to stay in your life.” She sat at the table across from Enola. “I don’t deserve you, Enola.”
“You really don’t.”
They chuckled together, but Naaji’s look became distant as she absently stirred her tea.
“Today was incredibly hard. I think Shadow gets the shit stuff on purpose. Nothing seems ever easy.” Naaji showed her palms. “I think I burned off the first layer of skin.”
There were scabs and blisters all over her hands.
Enola went to get her natural first aid kit and returned, while her sister drank her tea. Carefully, she applied aloe vera on Naaji’s scarred hands and then some bandages from palm leaves. Her mother had passed on a lot of things. The natural art of healing had been something Enola had taken for granted until she came to the states where a lot of health care was really expensive.
Redd made so much money being a street doctor and Enola had, in turn, to get services from Redd and even Shadow taught them some things. Being with her mother during those years without Naaji had been more valuable than she thought.
Naaji wiped the tears from her eyes. “I forget that I got myself in this situation sometimes, Enola. The old me sneaks out a lot here and there, but I’m grateful, really grateful you’ve allowed me to be apart of your life and Angela’s life.”
Kissing Enola’s cheek, she asked, “Can I watch Angela sleep for a little while? It really relaxes me after work.”
“Just don’t wake her up. I’ve had a long day.”
“I promise. Thanks for the bandages and tea.”
She watched her sister leave out of the kitchen, before cleaning up and then heading to her bedroom.
Living deep east in the city meant a lot of things were far from them, but with the mass exodus from Detroit, a lot of people barely lived over in the neighborhood. Enola was able to use the money from the bag Jack had left to buy property once she arrived in the United States.
Oddly, the Visa she had gotten for coming for the wedding was still good and once she arrived, Shadow took care of everything else.
Getting lost in the system was too easy and as a Canadian still, she didn’t have to give up her citizenship in order to stay in the United States.
Everything had to be legit and Shadow made this so, while Enola took over Jack’s old business and ran it with the knowledge she’d garnered from Aeden.
She was glad she had taken those pictures with the temporary phone which had uploaded to her cloud. Once she was able to get her hands on a new phone, she found the pictures as she scrolled miserably.
“I’m sorry this has happened to you and I have a feeling it was done on purpose,” Jack said regretfully. “All I knew was to destroy everything, dissolve the business and then leave. The money that was being put into your account was by Aeden and he must have made up the false reports to keep you thinking everything was fine.”
Enola had spent six months in frustration trying to sort out what she didn’t have and then coming to the realization she didn’t have anything, to begin with. What Aeden had destroyed, or tried to destroy was her relationship with Naaji and she made a decision not to allow him to do even that.
“The money that was made in the sell-off and all your important documents are in that bag,” Jack said. “But you didn’t hear that from me. Our contact has to be little to none or Aeden will eventually suspect something, especially if you’re trying to stay under his radar. He’s a smart man, Enola, and somehow you’re going to have to be smarter.”
“Thank you, Jack.”
It took another month, to realize who could help her and unfortunately, she had to find Naaji. By then she was so pregnant she could barely move around. Once she got to the states, finding The Birds of Paradise wasn’t that simple, but when she did, this led her to Redd, who helped her give birth to her babies away from a hospital safely.
A day later, she checked in the hospital with the baby for medical attention.
An hour after checking in, Aeden’s thick gorgeous body appeared at her hospital doorway. He was still handsome as all get out, but he was growing a thick beard around his face, which made him look so much older. His eyes cut into her with so much animosity she could feel emotional daggers being plunged in her chest.
He was angry and bitter.
She held Angelo closer to her chest knowing what Aeden had come for.
Aeden stepped in the room reluctantly and closed the door for privacy. “I was wondering if you were going to be like your sister or actually do the human thing and have the child.”
“I know you’re not here for my well being,” she said quickly moving them in the direction of where he wanted to go. “Fool me once… “
He glared at her hard.
Angelo huffed. At a day old, he amazingly showed a very grumpy personality. Like father, like son.
His sound drew Aeden’s attention and Enola watch love instantly come to the man’s face. Angelo further pulled attention his way by stretching, smacking his lips and then smiling up at Enola.
Once the baby relaxed, he nuzzled back under her breast, tucking himself as close to her warmness as possible.
“Do you want to hold him?’ Enola asked.
Aeden tore his eyes from the baby and looked at her. “You know if I do, I’ll never let him go.”
“That’s why you’re here, right? To convince me to give him up?” She lifted Angelo up, so Aeden could take the baby.
Pulling the small bundle into his arms, Aeden couldn’t seem to stop looking at the baby, but his voice was sharp. “I had to come knowing you would not resist wanting to be back around your sister. I knew you’d be weak and never forgive her despite what I did to you.”
“You did that to hurt Naaji, but that’s neither here or there, Aeden.”
He turned to her and narrowed his eyes. “You’ve changed.”
“Betrayal tends to do that to people,” she pointed out. “But I learn, hurt people; hurt people. You’re still hurting from what was done to your mother. Naaji brought a lot of that back. She does that to people and she’s paying the price for it now without my help. I want to be near my sister because no one deserves to be alone.”
“Is that why you’re making this easy for me?”
Enola looked at Angelo, comfortable in his father’s arms and knowing she would never see her baby again.
“Yes, because you’re always going to be alone. You’ve chosen that path and there’s nothing I can do about that for you, but I hope…” She stopped because the pain of giving her son away was harder than she thought. “I hope Angelo can be the bandage you need until you can heal yourself, Aeden.”
Aeden narrowed his eyes some more, but reached inside his jacket and pulled out a thick stack of papers.
Shadow had warned her of this and Enola was prepared.
“Sign my son over to me, Enola. You’ll never see him again and if you even try I’ll put you in jail,” he said coldly.
She took the pen he offered and then took a deep breath. “Destroy people all you want, Aeden, it’ll never heal you.”
Signing where she needed to, she couldn’t stop the tears from falling. Shadow had said let him see her pain because he would think he won.
Enola wanted to fight not giving Aeden the satisfaction of knowing he was yet again ripping her heart to shreds.
Aeden snatched up the papers. “Fuck you, Enola and your good heart bullshit. You’ll never learn and you’ll always get hurt because you chose not to harden your heart against your sister. Just know it’s all because of her you’re in this situation and she’s going to continue to use you until you are nothing. I’m glad I’m taking my son away from you because you’ll always be weak and stupid.”
Watching him leave out the hospital room, Enola had not imagined giving up her son would be harder than she imagined, but probably because it had been to a man she still loved.
Even now as she lay in bed thinking how big Angelo had gotten since she had last seen him, Enola still craved Aeden’s presence.
Though his last words had been harsh to her, this had not broken her attachment to him.
Her stupidity had been switched from Naaji to now Aeden. Was she sick? Did she need a therapist?
No, she needed Aeden. Despite it all, she loved him. She had fallen head over heels in love with him. The man in the hospital wasn’t him, but the man in the villa was the true Aeden. The man that was determined to seek truth and justice for other people. The man who had slammed hand on the table frustrated and desperate to make things right.
The man who had kissed her with so much passion, licked up her essence as if her life depended on it and held her close in the night while he rocked her body to pleasure was the one she had fallen for.
Manipulating her clitoris, Enola easily brought herself to pleasure thinking of all those nights with Aeden.
If anything the whole time had been worth a lifetime of memories to help her achieve some sexual gratification.
Her phone rang.
Answering it without looking at the screen she was shocked to hear Jack’s voice, but even more shocked at hearing his enraged voice.
“Have you lost your ever-loving damn mind?!” he bellowed over the phone.
She actually had to pull the receiver from her ear so her eardrum wouldn’t blow out. “Well long time no hear from,” she said sarcastically. “It’s the middle of the night here, what are you talking about, Jack?”
“Don’t play dumb, Enola. He knows! Aeden knows it was you in the park with Angelo. He knows you violated the agreement never to see the baby. And he’s going to exact punishment and file charges against you!”
Jumping out of bed in a panic, Enola’s heart felt like it was going to beat out of her chest.
How the hell did Aeden know?
His African Sweetheart – 00part 8 (c) 2019 Sylvia Hubbard. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means without written permission by the author.
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