- If you haven’t read part one. Click here.
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Part 9 is a little over 4200.
Loved to know what you think… and what you think Enola should do?
(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
Those were the first words Enola had learned in order to think straight. Her mother had been a more reactive person when it came to the situation and Enola was guilty of being reactive all the time in the past when dealing with Naaji, but dealing with Aeden, Enola had learned to become proactive.
Aeden thought three steps ahead of everyone and although this was a sexy trait, trying to out think him was the challenge.
Enola knew she had to think like her sister.
Aeden expected Enola to be weak and stupid and make decisions with her heart.
What she had over him was that she now could think a little bit like Naaji and Aeden didn’t really understand her heart. She didn’t think Aeden understood anyone’s heart.
In all the times they had been together, Aeden probably never expected Enola to fall head over heels in love with him. She suspected he was feeling so damn guilty about what he had done to her initially, he didn’t think she could really love him.
Which was why he was going to press charges against her for violating her agreement never to see her son.
When she thought about how far he’d go to make sure he extracted justice she should be scared, yet if she really stayed calm she wondered how far would he take it?
To see her behind bars would do what? Make him feel better about his guilt?
Or make him feel better he’d hurt Naaji some more by hurting the innocent?
Because why would he really want to hurt, Enola? She had given him what he wanted. A child… a son!
Maybe she should get down to the bottom of his pain and then he would really leave her alone.
He would have left her alone if she hadn’t tried this stunt.
Yet, Enola didn’t regret trying to see her son.
“Are you still there?” Jack asked.
“He called you and told you this, Jack?” she questioned calmly.
“No, he found me, Enola. The man found me in the middle of Canada. Showed up at my door like he knew where I was from day one when I thought no one could find me. Scared the shit out of me.”
“I thought he was going to Amsterdam.”
“He is on his way there now. Made a detour, just for you. He said he was looking for you and he had a feeling I’d know. Your friend said something about me.”
Damn, Victoria didn’t know everything, but Enola had a feeling Aeden probably still had her friend convinced he was helping.
“He wants to meet with you in return he won’t press charges, Enola.”
She immediately stopped her pacing and sat on the edge of the bed. “When?”
“When he returns. The night before his wedding.”
Sweat broke out on her entire body as she remembered the last time they had been together the night before his first marriage.
“I can’t answer that,” Jack said regretfully. “He’s a complicated man, but Aeden is a man of focus and he’s probably not through with his revenge against your sister.”
Her gut told her differently. “Aeden wants something.”
“I had a feeling he does, but he wasn’t telling me or anyone else. Why did you do it? You were off his radar, Enola. He would have left you alone forever.”
“I was just in the park and I didn’t know Petrya would come up to my bench. I didn’t know she was going to ask me to hold him. And I didn’t know how to give him back… until I saw Aeden coming.”
“He’s angry. Very angry,” Jack warned. “And if you don’t agree to see him, I’m worried he’ll do something horrible to you.”
“He can’t do anything more horrible than what he’s already done,” she said hurtfully. “He’s taken everything from me, Jack. My heart, my son, my very soul.”
“Then you underestimate Aeden Faust, little girl. Are you going to see him?”
She looked down the hallway to see Naaji standing there looking angry at her. Damn.
“Yes, Jack, but there are conditions. I’ll only see him if he allows me to exact punishment for what he did to me and then he can do whatever he wants. After we’ll never see each other ever again.”
“Whatever he wants, Enola? Are you sure you want to phrase it that way? That’s a broad term in his dictionary.”
“Like I said, he can’t hurt me anymore than what he already has. I guess that’s why I took the chance. I just needed to understand what I’ve lost.” She didn’t break eye contact with Naaji as she continued to speak to Jack. “Text me where he wants to meet me.”
“What did you do?!” Naaji screamed, trembling in anger.
“Come here,” Enola ordered, straightening her spine. “You’ll wake Angela.”
Naaji came into Enola’s bedroom and slammed the door. “You did what, Enola? What have you done? What has happened? Tell me!”
“I had twins, Naaji,” she confessed. “Redd helped me have them secretly and she took Angela while I checked myself into the hospital.”
Frowning, Naaji realized, “That’s why you left when you were in labor? To have the babies in secret?”
“I knew something was different about the pregnancy, but I knew I couldn’t be at the hospital. Aeden was watching. He knew what he had done and the minute I checked in with Angelo he appeared.”
“That’s his name?” Naaji gasped.
“He’s beautiful,” Enola said proudly remembering holding her son.
“And you gave him to that monster?! How could you?” Her sister’s tone of voice was filled with so much hate and disgust.
Enola lost it and exclaimed, “It was the only way to keep Angela or Aeden would have taken her too! He knows I’m still around you and he still hates you. He would have taken her and then what? I’d have lost my children all because of you, Naaji. I did what I had to do. As usual, I had to make sacrifices for what you did! So don’t you come at me as if I am to blame. You brought that man into my life and I’ve done nothing but suffered because of you!”
Naaji bowed her head in shame. “If Aeden finds out about Angela, he’ll take her too.”
“Not if I have anything to do with it.”
“But you’ve agreed to see him. He’ll know. You can’t hide anything from him.”
“Shadow has my back. No one can find anything once Shadow is involved. It was my mistake today that exposed me to Aeden and I have to pay the price I will, but after this, it’ll be over. I can raise my daughter in peace.” She pursed her lips together because she was going to make some hard decisions once she saw Aeden.
Staying in Detroit was going to be one of them, but she wouldn’t say anything to Naaji at this time.
“I’m so sorry, Enola,” Naaji said. “You’re right, everything is my fault. Why don’t you let me go in your place?”
“He knows the difference between us. Soon as you show up, he’ll know,” Enola said. “I’m not asking you to do anything for me, Naaji. I’ll take whatever Aeden has for me if it means my daughter stays with me.” She went to open the door to her bedroom. “We’ll talk when I return.”
Naaji walked out of the bedroom and down the hall pausing for a moment outside of Angela’s room before going down the steps and most likely to the basement.
Enola returned to bed, but she couldn’t sleep.
An hour later a text came in from Jack with the address to the hotel where Aeden wanted to meet. Was it eloquent it was the same room he had taken her virginity?
There were instructions to check in at the front desk before coming up to the room. Enola’s heart raced.
Sending a text message to Redd to meet her in the morning, Enola could barely close her eyes.
In three days she would see Aeden where she first met him.
Redd slammed the folder on the desk. She had deliberately come to Enola’s place after Naaji had gone to work so they could speak openingly without Naaji hearing anything.
“This is everything you ever wanted to know about Aeden Bertrand Faust but was afraid to ask,” Redd said with a giggle.
“Bertrand?” Enola questioned shocked.
“It’s his grandfather’s name. No one liked him either. He was a hard as nails ornery coot… that’s taken directly from a neighbor.”
Overwhelmed, checking the time, Enola questioned, “How could Shadow get this thick file in less than six hours?”
“Shadow could find out about someone whenever it’s needed. Information is power and we’re in your corner.”
Narrowing her eyes suspiciously, Enola stated the obvious, “Shadow is in the corner only if it’s beneficial.” She pushed the folder across the table. “I’m not selling my soul.”
Redd pushed the folder back in front of Enola. “You won’t owe a dime if you win, Enola.”
Tiredly, Enola said, “I’m not fighting him.”
“You’re not, but he’s going to war for his heart, Enola. We need you to win because we need him on our side.”
Pushing the folder back on the other side of the desk, Enola said, “What do I get?”
Redd could see clearly Enola wanted more.
“I can’t negotiate for Shadow and you know we can’t bargain for Naaji.”
“I want assurances for my children’s safety. If something happens to me, I need to know Shadow will do whatever it takes to get my children and keep them safe.”
Redd touched her ear as if someone had said something to her. A second later, she outstretched her hand and said, “We agree, Enola.”
Shaking Redd’s hand and she pulled the folder towards her. “You used the past tense when referring to his grandfather. I take it the man is dead?”
“Very,” Redd said. “His mother had signed over custody of Aeden as a baby to her father because Bertrand felt his daughter was weak. Sound familiar?”
Enola sat on the ottoman, sipping her tea to cover her emotions, while Redd leaned against the desk and continued.
“Bertrand died when Aeden was twelve and Aeden had to live with his mother because there was no one else. He, like his grandfather, was disgusted by the way his mother allowed men to use her and without Bertrand, the small family fortune was gone in less than a year. Unfortunately, his mother still didn’t learn her lesson and continued to find these men that tore her down until she killed herself.”
Frowning at the troubling update, Enola asked, “So it was no particular man.”
“Not really but a couple of the men were wealthy because they were sons of Bertrand’s friends. The inciting incident that led to his mother’s suicide was a couple of them got together, invited her over and proceeded to gangbang her.’
Enola gasped, “Do you have to be so cruel?”
“Shadow said they ran a train. I thought I was being nicer.” Redd said with a chuckle. “Shortly after that, she killed herself and that’s when Aeden made a vow to seek justice. He tore them down to the bone until they had nothing else and then went after their family until they either begged him for mercy, apologized and/or killed themselves. People they fucked over liked what Aeden was doing and tipped him. The scary part of all this was that Aeden was so vindictive, he would have done it for free.”
Shivering in fear, Enola stood up and went back around her desk. Picking up the folder, Enola asked, “And will this tell me more?”
“Everything, including all about his mother,” Redd assured her.
“And what can I do with this knowledge about him?”
“Do what you do best, Enola. Make people love themselves. You have this special knack for really seeing past the darkness and into the light. Aeden needs to get out the darkness.”
“Are you going to explain to me why I need to do this?”
“Only to say, if he wakes up and smells his coffee, he won’t marry that bitch. We have other plans for her and her father and she doesn’t deserve Aeden, but her father wants him to run their company.”
“Bitter much?” Enola questioned.
“Only to a man who helps get people addicted to drugs and then makes billions from the insurance company supposedly curing them but actually making them worse. I’m tired of trying to fix them because of what he did. We got plans for him and his daughter, but we need Aeden out of the way.”
“Birds of Paradise actually has a mission? Not to just torture people by making them clean all day, huh?”
Redd chuckled. “If we hadn’t bought the debt for your sister, she’d be dead by now or someone’s crack whore. She better be glad we saved her.”
“You sound like Shadow, Redd,” Enola warned.
“We both have the same ideologies about things and sometimes you don’t help people to make it easier, you do it to make them learn from their mistakes.”
Enola couldn’t complain. Her sister was learning… the hard way.
Hours later, after a lot of work and a lot of reading through the files, Enola came up with the observation, Aeden was still hurting… a lot. Naaji had just made it worse and Enola… she had no idea how to make it better.
She understood his attraction to Enola. His mother had been deemed honest, sweet and nice. Yet, Enola understood how people could take those qualities and use them. It had happened to her by her sister and even her mother. Now Aeden.
All of them, no matter how hard she tried, she really couldn’t hate.
Yet, unlike his mother, Enola felt she had a lot to live for and after her initial experience with Aeden, she was ready to get what she wanted and not what other people wanted from her.
Still, she was afraid. Aeden was formidable. Always thinking. Always two steps ahead of everyone.
She wasn’t that smart and this terrified her.
Naaji came into her office that night. Enola had been working late to make sure for the next couple of days her business would be fine. She had a manager that was triple awesome in handling a lot of day to day functions while Enola could be a mom.
“If you’re coming to say you’re sorry again, please don’t,” Enola said perturbed. “I’ve had a long day and I don’t wish to even talk about anything.”
“You’re going to see him, aren’t you?” Naaji asked angrily, folding her arms over her chest.
Enola sighed. “Yes, Naaji. I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. I have to go.”
“He’ll hurt you more. He’ll crush you this time, Enola. I know it and you’ll end up giving up Angela to him, also.”
“I won’t,” she assured her sister. “He’ll never know about Angela. I’ve done too much to protect her. I’ve sacrificed too much to make sure she’s safe.”
“Aeden’s too smart, Enola. He has his ways and until he sees that you’re nothing but a blubbering mess and my soul torn to shreds, he’ll never stop. Please Enola. Don’t go to him. You’re too weak.”
Enola almost blurted out the next part of her plan, but Naaji’s words hurt her deeper than when Aeden had said them to her.
“I’m tired of people thinking I’m still weak, Naaji.” She stood up from her desk. “I wouldn’t be in this situation if you hadn’t brought him in our lives. But no, you had to be an American citizen. You had to manipulate and marry someone rich. You had to only think of yourself!” She slammed her fist on the desk. “And then you come in here calling me weak. You’re weak to your wants and desires. I got to once again go save myself without you because you’ve thrown me to the wolf once again.”
Tears were running down Naaji’s face. “If I could go in your place I would, Enola.”
“That’s all fine and good, and I appreciate the offer, but you know he’ll know. I have to go there on my own and face him. Stop worrying. I made it this far enduring your cruelty. Aeden’s only acting out of pain. I think I can handle that.”
Naaji used the back of her dirty jacket to wipe the tears away. “You promise, Enola. If you can’t deal with anything just leave.”
“I promise. Angela is all I have left. I won’t let anyone take that away from me, Naaji,” she assured her sister, yet she could see the lack of confidence Naaji had in her.
Her sister mumbled a goodnight and trudged tiredly from the door.
Enola decided to take herself to bed. Tomorrow she would spend her time trying to work and get everything done so she could totally commit herself focusing on the task at hand.
The point wouldn’t be to outsmart Aeden, but to help him heal from the past. If this would stop his vindictiveness against her and leave her alone, she could go on with her life.
Could this make him fall in love with her?
Shaking off this fanciful notion, Enola opened up the folder and started reading through the deep investigative research on Aeden Bertrand Faust.
She didn’t need Naaji’s confidence in her.
She just needed to be well versed in this man so she could understand him on a level he couldn’t understand himself.
And if that didn’t work, guilt was always a powerful charm. She understood how to use guilt so well since it had been done on her for so long by her mother, she could exact the same on Aeden’s soul.
Enola was determined to win. Her daughter’s life to be with her depended on it, but also Enola’s mind, body, and more importantly, her heart were in this battle.
Redd dropped Naaji off early from work.
“She’s got the day off early, so I could just come to pick you and the baby up,” Redd explained.
“I could drive myself, and Nevada said she’d be by in an hour to pick up Angela.”
Redd chuckled. “Nevada, don’t drive so I’d have to go pick her up and bring her to you. After seven I get busy.” She winked as if Enola must’ve known what that meant, but Enola was not about to go into Redd’s business EVER. The woman held more secret dealings than the mafia.
“I’ll pack the baby,” Naaji said eagerly and left the room.
Enola stared after at her sister suspiciously.
“It’s okay,” Redd said, reading her look. “She’s probably happy we let her off early.”
“Shadow and I.”
“So, you own the business too?”
“Shadow leans on me a lot lately. Family issues.”
“Shadow has family?”
“Not wanted relatives, but yes, unfortunately. Are you wearing that?”
Enola looked down at her most comfortable Kanga and nodded. She wasn’t going to stop wearing her traditional garb for the sake of trying to seduce Aeden.
“It’s handmade,” Enola said.
“I can tell.” Redd pulled out a dress from her bag. “A Blue Kanga is better and I have a head wrap to match. It fits you perfectly.”
Sighing, Enola went to change. There were even shoes, earrings and a blue sapphire diamond heart wrapped in the Kanga to match. Redd had thought of everything.
Naaji was just handing Angela to Redd as Enola came back to the front room.
“You look beautiful, Enola,” Naaji said shocked.
“Thank you, sister.”
Angela squirmed in Redd’s arms once she spotted her mother and Enola started to take her, but Redd moved the baby away.
“If his olfactory senses are as strong as you say, then he’ll smell Angela, who probably smells just like Angelo,” Redd explained.
“You’re right,” Enola agreed gratefully. “Let’s get this over with before she gets too antsy.”
“Be safe,” Naaji said, handing Angela’s baby bag to her.
“Thank you, Naaji,” Enola said, but she still had a feeling Naaji was up to something. Her twin sense wasn’t necessarily cut off, just turned slightly down in order to deal without being bitter with Naaji.
When she got in the car with Redd, she said, “Can you look after Naaji? I mean keep an eye on her.”
“I’ll give that assignment to one of the sparrows. They’re bored. With Shadow constantly going out of town, they’ve grown lax with things to get into trouble with. That sounds right up their alley.”
Enola never bothered to know what the group Redd was in charge of for Shadow: Birds of Paradise. Whomever they were, they were efficient and good at whatever they put their minds to.
Looking back at her daughter delightfully gurgling in the car seat, Redd assured Enola, “She’s going to be fine. Nevada will stay holed up somewhere secret and safe until you tell me.” Redd pressed her ear as if she was listening to something and then asked, “Have you told Naaji what might happen?”
Instantly knowing Shadow was in Redd’s ear, she blushed because in the back of her mind, she’d been toying with that idea around. “No. I couldn’t… I can’t.”
With a voice of warning, Redd said, “She has a right to know. You’re her only family, Enola. She loves Angela way too much.”
That’s the problem. I’ll have to send her a letter. I couldn’t take the chance she won’t do something stupid for me to stay. I packed all my things in the office safe.” She handed Redd a key. “This will open the back door of the safe. Bring everything to me if things go sideways.”
Redd took the key and nodded. “Anything else?”
“I’ll sign the house over to Shadow. My manager can run my business even if I never go in again. She’s good like that. I already talked to her and the assistant. I’ve been running it remotely for a while now. I can continue once I get somewhere I know Aeden can’t reach me.”
Redd stopped in the back of a club and lightly tapped the horn. A seven and a half foot black man came out of the club looking mean as hell.
“What is that?” Enola questioned.
Redd chuckled. “That would be Kansas Cytee.”
“He’s about as big as a city?” She had seen how the large man had to turn sideways and duck to get out of the building and walk to the car.
“No, C-Y-T-E-E,” Redd corrected as they came out of the car. “He’s taking Nevada to the secret location and then he’s going to be on hand for both of you.” She got Angela out of the car seat. “Nevada’s still on stage?” she asked Kansas.
He only nodded.
“Give Kansas your burner phone.”
Enola handed the large man the phone that looked like a tiny toy in his large hands. He smirked white teeth at her.
When he handed the phone back to her, she looked down at the screen to see he had typed in KC and a phone number.
“He’s not a talker,” Redd said, coming around to them with Angela.
The baby wasn’t scared at all as Redd handed the small child to Kansas, but Enola wanted to hold the baby one last time. Yet, she knew Redd was right. Aeden’s olfactory senses would be up in arms.
Angela looked so tiny with Kansas. He could hold the child with one palm easily against his huge chest. About three of the baby sizes could sit on just one of his shoulders.
“She’s fine,” Kansas said in a thick deep voice assuring Enola.
Relaxing, Enola handed the baby bag to Kansas. “I’ll call you if I need you to help me get out.”
He nodded and walked away jostling Angela and making the baby giggle as a distraction of being away from her mother until he disappeared back into the club.
Redd turned to her, “I’ve told him where you’ll be, so don’t worry. Now get back in the car. We wouldn’t want to be late.”
Reluctantly, Enola sat back in the passenger side, but her insides were starting to do flip flops.
Redd started driving. “I think you’re being overly cautious.”
Glancing in the backseat missing her baby already, Enola said, “I have a right to be overly cautious. I’m going to deal with the smartest man in Detroit, Redd. How do you think I should feel?”
“I think you need to understand that he’s just a man. True, he’s got a big brain up top, but that small brain between his legs will always take precedence. I’m a doctor. I know this.”
“You’re a street doctor, Redd. You pull bullets out in your living room.”
“I’ve been dealing with men for a long time, Enola. Longer than I care to know. Men by nature cannot resist what is instinctual. He wants you. Use what you have.”
“Give him sex.”
“Yes, but don’t make it easy. Don’t just play hard to get, but hard to keep.”
“So act angry and irritated. Appease the small brain before the big brain,” Enola mocked stressed.
Redd chuckled. “Most of all, enjoy yourself.”
Enola rolled her eyes in exasperation. “You’re insane Redd.”
“I know,” she agreed, pulling up to the St. Regis Hotel near Midtown Detroit. “But you love me. Remember, Enola, he’s a man.”
Taking a deep breath, Enola got out of the car and proceeded in the hotel repeating in her head over and over again, “He’s just a man.”
In the instructions, she was to report to the desk first and give them the room number. She was asked for her identification prior to the concierge coming over to the front desk.
“Ah yes, Ms. Enola,” the concierge said, passing her an envelope and then holding his hand out. “I need your phone.”
“My phone?” she questioned holding her purse to her chest possessively.
“It’s required prior to going into the spa area.”
Reluctantly, she handed him her business phone praying they wouldn’t ask to search her bag.
The spa is located on the second floor of the hotel. “You’re instructed to just enjoy yourself.” He snapped his fingers and a young woman in the hotel uniform came beside Enola. “Follow her where you’re supposed to be, Ms. Enola.”
She nodded and did as she was instructed to.
What was Aeden up to? A spa? How was she supposed to keep her mind straight if he was being nice? When would he make an appearance?
His African Sweetheart – part 9 (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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