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What can I say? When you add a plot and start to take beta readers suggestions into regard, you come out on top, but it does take a little bit longer. I’m catching up. I swear. I’m actually doing pretty good and with my husband taking me out of twin this weekend to a private room in Midland, Michigan, I can say, I’m going to get a lot of work done on this book, all the while working on another one.
Yes, you heard it right. I’m working on a new story, possibly a new Kindle Select. I figure it’d be a good way to pay the editor since I’m not get very many people are buying me coffee for all my hard work. (click here to buy me a cup of coffee).
This is also a pretty long chapter and so get ready to sit back and enjoy the ride. If you finish this too fast, you can always check out companion books.
The Other Side of Love (WIP)
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Reading Question of the Day:
If I made a new book to be purchased exclusively on my website, how tempted are you to purchase it? What’s a good price? what format? #RQOTD
I’m producing a short story (about 5000) words for your reading pleasure.
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Here’s my Grammarly Report for this chapter
He Touched Me – Chapter Fifteen
Waking in his bed seemed strange, almost out of the ordinary for him. As usual, Magnum did a body check, and amazingly he found no bruises. His clothes, which he knew were the same from yesterday he had put on to see her, were not torn, ripped, dirty or shredded.
Most times, when Magnum awoke from a drunken stupor, he could barely form a thought, let alone remember his name. Now his mind was running at two hundred miles an hour.
Checking his watch, which he had taken off on his bedside, he realized this wasn’t a blackout session. His body had slept for eight straight, uninterrupted hours, and woke clear-headed and unbruised.
What the hell had happened last night?! Seeing the drink on the stand last night, he was grateful because he needed the liquid courage, but damn if it didn’t seem to work like usual.
Yet, the benefit of not being drunk was he could take his time with her, get over his anxiety, and relax in the knowledge she was there for him.
Her soft voice calling his name was his undoing. Damn, he’d give her whatever she desired if she called his name like that every time.
And her sighs, gasps, and trembles…” I want to be yours, Magnum.”
He could feel his manhood respond just at the memory, but was bewildered as to how he could remember everything so clearly when he had never been able to before – not since…
A warm feeling started in his chest. Something he hadn’t felt in a long time. His hand trembled as he placed his palm over his heart as if that would silence the internal heat. There was no alcohol near the bed to help him stop what was happening.
Magnum forced himself to think about last night and not that familiar feeling.
Damn! He should have kissed her. He should have possessed her lips and then her body.
But that fear… Liquor had consumed Magnum’s life for so long he didn’t know if he’d be able to give her what she desired. Eventually, she’d demand from him what he couldn’t deliver and then… he’d cross that bridge when the situation came up. In the back of his mind, he tried to work out this problem. How could he perform sexually when he barely remembered the last time.
For now, he would just take it slow. One moment at a time, as the doctor said. Don’t rush, and he’d know when it was time. He’d know because he hadn’t felt the rush of sexual bliss with a woman in a very long time, and even then, Magnum couldn’t remember the woman, and he couldn’t remember what had stimulated him.
Perhaps, it had been the alcohol all this time keeping him from achieving a full erection, and maybe if he stopped drinking, things would be different. If he stopped drinking, he’d start remembering and connecting to somethings he needed to leave in the past.
All Magnum knew from the last experience with a woman: it was what had driven his brother to never speak to him again.
Getting out of bed running through his present memory, he found he was able to remember everything from last night – EVERYTHING!
The need for alcohol wasn’t as compelling. Yes, there was small trembling in Magnum’s hands, his lips felt a little numb, while his mouth was dry.
And then he looked down at his legs. They weren’t wobbly, and the room wasn’t spinning. He didn’t have that rush feeling to run to the bathroom and throw up; he just needed to use the bathroom.
His bladder felt like a bowling ball full of urine was stored inside and took to hurriedly relieving the pressure. All the while, he was standing there – and he stood there for an inordinately amount of time – he thought about last night.
Her body was lying there for him and then her sigh… that had been his undoing. Hearing her respond excitedly to his touch felt like heaven had opened the doors and let him in. He had to go further. He had to know what she tasted on his fingers again and then could venture to taste her directly with his tongue.
Magnum never thought something would taste better than liquor or give him a more powerful rush than alcohol had done for so many years. Drinking had consumed his life for so long; he didn’t remember being happy before what had driven him to drink.
With her, he wasn’t just aroused physically. There was this powerful stirring in his spirit to consume her mind, body, and soul.
Her effect on his body had to be witchcraft.
Magnum wanted more of her. He needed more.
Damn, she was his. Four months she was all his, and Magnum didn’t know what the fuck to do with her.
His only urge was just to go seek her out this morning, right at that moment, and lay eyes on her. Yet, there was his anxiety around women, and he was terrified this would overwhelm and ruin the mood.
“Dance with me,” he remembered his first foster mother saying. “Magnum, please dance with me.”
And he did because it was where he didn’t feel awkward with a woman. There was no talking but a way for him to take control and feel her body against his. And he learned all the steps to guide a woman’s body around the dance floor.
Yes, Magnum would enjoy this with Zuri. He would enjoy this a lot.
Coming out of his bedroom, Magnum needed something to occupy his mind and resist the urge to knock down her hotel door just to see her.
Checking his phone, he saw Reginald had called several times, and next, he saw an unknown number had called. Running his finger over the screen, he knew who that number was from, but he wasn’t going to dwell on why his brother would suddenly call when the sibling said he would never speak with him ever again when they were twenty-one.
Magnum wasn’t exactly sure what he had done to his brother to make him never want to speak with him again, but he knew whatever was done had been terrible. Yet, it wasn’t as if his brother hadn’t done a horrible thing towards Magnum. The secrets that had been kept, which had ruined their life was an abomination.
Magnum was who he was because of his brother, so why should he care if he did something to hurt his brother. Fuck him!
Yet, what could have happened to make his brother call him out of the blue?
Was that why he had the familiar feeling in his chest?
He’d missed all calls to his phone after eight last night because he had put his phone on do not disturb. He hadn’t gotten alerted for a message or notification.
He didn’t want to be disturbed. He wanted his time with Zuri uninterrupted.
His brother hadn’t left a message, but his cousin had left several. Magnum didn’t deign to look at them or listen to them.
As was his ritual, Magnum went to the bar in his bedroom and poured himself a drink while he scrolled through the rest of his notifications. He saw his doorbell had rung early this morning.
Opening the front door, he saw a thick package that was stuck in his mailbox. On the top of the envelope was a Post-It-Note with Reginald’s writing saying, “In case you changed your mind, Kimberly Gates asked me to drop this off to you.”
Inside the first page was from Gates Enterprise.
A typed letter from Kimberly Gates imploring him to think about taking on the project and Magnum would be well compensated.
As Magnum explored the rest of the papers, he closed the door and waled to his first-floor office. He decided this was something to get his mind off of anything at this point. Until he could see Zuri Carter again, and then he’d know what to do with her.
Sitting at his desk, Magnum realized he’d left his drink upstairs in his bedroom, something he had never done before, but not having the urge to go back upstairs to retrieve the liquor.
Instead, he pulled a bottle of water from the refrigerator by his desk to quench his thirst for now as he perused through the schematics of the app design the Gates. A challenge. Magnum loved difficulties when it came to working. The harder the work, the more he found joy and comfort in creating with programs with his mind.
It was a good thing he hadn’t drunk at all because if he were to get his mind off Zuri, he needed his brain’s full capacity.
Perhaps he should call the old childhood acquaintance, Richard Sanchez, when he took a break. Despite Tyler’s warning not to deal with the Count when it came to relationship advice, Richard knew enough about women.
The warm feeling came to this chest again, and when Magnum looked at his phone, the unknown number returned.
Not today, brother. Magnum was feeling different, and he wasn’t about to let his brother steal his enthusiasm. Pushing the call to voicemail, he delved into the Gates Enterprise work.
Psyched, leaving the meeting, Zuri could barely think straight. There was so much possible work with Taylor Bellini and also working on her father’s formula.
Briefly, as they waited for the valet to bring the car around, she noted Lucas and Tyler were discussing something, and Lucas handing Tyler some pictures.
Tyler looked pleased about the meeting yet disturbed about whatever Lucas had said to him. As soon as they were in the car, the lawyer was back on his phone with business calls, while Lucas returned them to the hotel. Zuri perused her father’s notes and relished carrying on his work that would profit her for years to come.
Had her mother known about this work? Why wouldn’t Brenda say something regarding this?
Mayhaps Brenda could have known Zuri would have thrown herself into her father’s work and ventured to live without her mother’s dependence would mean the world to Zuri.
Before now, Zuri didn’t have anything to live for except to finish school, and then her future was pretty much in flux. Holding her father’s work in her hands meant a future, and she really could leave the past behind.
Tyler finished his phone conversation abruptly as he started to look through the photos Lucas had given him. “Do you know her?”
He turned one of the photos around which had been zoomed in to a woman about Zuri’s age. African American, exotic-looking, lean with a high black ponytail, which was about shoulder length, the woman was dressed in an all-black leather outfit and black boots. In the picture, she was standing across from Zuri’s hotel door looking disgruntledly at the camera.
“No,” Zuri said, “Who is she?”
Tyler narrowed his eyes. “Lucas said that’s the second time he saw her around the hotel and while we were in the meeting today, she was in the lobby of this building. Like she’s following you.”
“Maybe she’s following Lucas.”
“I doubt it,” Tyler said with a snort. “Do you think she has something to do with your mother?”
A worried feeling came to her stomach. “No, my mother wouldn’t know a woman like that. My mother has never really gotten along with a lot of women. I’ve never heard her having any female friends.”
Tyler stared down at the photo. “She’s familiar, but I can’t place my finger on her.” He tucked the pictures in the inside of his jacket. “Now, I know you’re not the kiss and tell kind of person, Ms. Carter, but my client who is trying to work with Mr. Knight did want to confirm you served the drink to him.”
She shrugged, still feeling the tightness in her stomach about her mother, feeling the question about last night’s activities wasn’t too nosey. “I mixed the drink up and left it on the table like I was instructed. I can’t confirm if he drank it or not, but it was empty when I woke this morning.” She put her hand on her stomach and asked, “Do you think I should move to a new hotel or another place?”
“I thought that, but I have to speak with Magnum on arrangements. He’s never been comfortable with anyone at his home. Built a damn fortress out in the suburbs with a complex security system as if someone was after him according to what my partner, who is also his cousin, told me.”
“Why? Is he paranoid someone’s after him too?”
“According to my partner, he said, an old girlfriend kept breaking in.”
Zuri frowned with reservation. “Should we be worried?”
“About an ex-girlfriend?” Tyler snorted. “You have a lot more other things to worry about, and this old girlfriend trouble is over sixteen years old. I’d rather have you at his fortress to keep you safe as I get your affairs in order and find out what your mother had planned for you. For right now, Lucas has ordered cameras in the front room of your hotel and some other security measures.”
As they arrived at the hotel, Tyler continued, “There should be another note of your next meeting with Mr. Knight soon. My assistant should contact you in a couple of days to require a list you’ll need for the lab. I think I can find one you can privately work in for a while. Access how much time you will need, and I can hopefully work around whatever you give me.”
Zuri only nodded because she was just overwhelmed about her situation. One moment she was looking forward to being with Magnum again, the next moment, she wanted to delve into her father’s journal, all the while in the back of her mind she was concerned her mother and ex-fiance were trying to harm her? How was a person expected to think straight with so much happening all at once?
Was this adulthood? Is this why she avoided being on her own for so long?
Lucas opened the door to the car on her side.
Tyler smirked. “Have fun tonight.”
As Zuri was getting out of the car, she paused and turned back to Tyler. “Why are you helping me so much to get on my feet?”
“Because you’ll bother me less,” he answered, stepping slightly out of the car so he wouldn’t have to raise his voice.
“Is that all, Mr. Black?” she asked suspiciously.
He looked around as if he was expecting someone to walk upon them. “Of course not. I have my motives. I’m using you to get ahead. I’ve told you this.”
“I know you’re using me with Magnum Knight and some other client, but you didn’t have to help me with the lab and my father’s work.”
“Seeing your mother’s plans fail gives me pleasure,” he admitted. “Knowing your father’s wishes are being honored makes me feel I’m doing my job.”
“Do you think my father would have approved of this arrangement with Magnum Knight?”
“Would you honestly tell him about this situation? Would you tell your father about the first time you met Magnum Knight and what you allowed that pervert to do to you? I’m not here to make you feel good or bad about the choices you make for pleasure, and I’m sure neither would your father. Now when you start to do things to affect your future, your father’s legacy, then we’ll talk, if I’m still your lawyer. Otherwise, please be careful and trust Lucas to do his job.”
Zuri was satisfied with Tyler’s response and allowed Lucas to guide her to a private elevator where they returned to her room.
“Are you going to be okay?” Lucas asked. “You’ve been looking queasy since he brought up that picture.”
“Yes, I’m fine, or I’m going to try to be. The thought my mother and ex-fiancee are trying to hurt me is a bit nerve-wracking,” she answered, touched by his concern digging down in her purse for her wallet. “Can you bring me anything like notebooks, pens, or something in that regard? I need to work.”
“Definitely.” He placed a hand over hers to stop her from rummaging in her purse. “Mr. Tyler said to give you anything you requested, and it’s charged to the room, directly linked to Mr. Knight’s account. I’ve also been informed we have an appointment at the bank tomorrow to open up another one of your father’s security boxes at five. They could only schedule a private appointment after bank hours. Let me also know what you’d like for lunch. I’ll have it delivered.”
“You’re my security, not my butler, Lucas,” she said a little bit insulted because it seemed Tyler had given Lucas the task of being her calendar assistant without her knowledge.
“I was ordering lunch for myself as well,” he responded. “It’s called being nice, Ms. Carter.”
Looking apologetically, she said, “Thank you. I guess with everything going on, I haven’t even asked how your job is going or your specific job title and how do I help you with your job.”
“I’m here to make sure you’re safe. These rooms are specially designed so I can stay below you, and there are hidden cameras on your door and the hallway,” Lucas revealed as he pointed to her light switches. “While we were gone today, they installed a button by each light in the front room, bathroom, and the bedroom to press if you need help. You have my number on your phone, and while you make your list for me, I can program your phone to use the emergency signal to send me a text directly.”
Handing him her phone gratefully, Zuri said, “Let me write the list down and lunch.”
Lucas took his job seriously, but he was probably used to some people, not thinking his position was that important – her being one of those people. She was grateful to Tyler for assigning Lucas to her, but she would never reveal that to the arrogant lawyer.
When Lucas was gone, Zuri’s mind was everywhere. Coming back to the hotel reminded her of her four-month obligation. The idea lifted her spirits a lot.
At that moment, her life was kind of perfect if it wasn’t for the fact her mother and ex-fiancee were trying to do her harm. In the daytime, she could parse out her father’s work, and at night, she could explore this mysterious man who desired her.
Magnum Knight was someone she needed to know more.
Her lunch was delivered with a note in Magnum’s handwriting attached to a large box.
She didn’t bother with the food but immediately opened the note.
At nine pm, Zuri was to go to the hotel bar’s balcony and wait. In the box attached was a form-fitting rose gold dress, fishnet thigh high stockings with a matching rose gold garter, bra, and shoes. Looking throughout the gift box, she found no underwear anywhere and worried maybe they had fallen out. Going around the breakfast cart and then looking around the couch where she had opened the box, Zuri found no underwear anywhere.
Continuing the instructions, she was to stand at the far end of the balcony by the blue light and look forward. “You will stand there until told to do otherwise. Do not remove your hands from the bar for any reason.”
She saw these last sentences were underlined, and it was signed with the first initial of his first name, yet again.
Would others be around?
Would they be alone?
Excitement ran through her veins to have him touch her again, but she was starting to crave more.
Would he move forward?
Hell, would he even speak to her? Other than whispers, Magnum hadn’t spoken a full sentence to her.
It was probably why her mind had remembered that other voice, the one that had enticed her so long ago – the one that she could listen to all day and all night long—the melodious, deep voice for some reason her brain could never forget.
Zuri prepared for her night. Her thoughts had pushed the work she would start tomorrow on all her father’s notes, especially since Lucas brought a lot of the things she needed. Now, she could concentrate on Magnum Knight.
The mysterious man consumed her senses, and Zuri couldn’t understand her attraction to him. Tyler was right, he was a pervert, but from the moment she saw him on the bus, she found herself drawn to him.
Rereading his note, she realized at no time there were orders for her not to speak.
Tonight she would carefully try to speak to him. Try to find more about this man.
Just enough not to scare him away. Zuri remembered Tyler and the doctor saying Magnum wasn’t very sociable.
What could she ask? What could she say?
Overwhelmed in thought, she barely heard her phone ring.
Looking down at the phone number on the screen, she didn’t recognize the unknown number, but curiosity was killing her, and she pressed the button to receive the call.
“I didn’t think you’d answer the phone,” the male voice said, surprised to hear her answer.
He Touched Me Chapter Fifteen (c) 2020 Sylvia Hubbard @ The Literary World of Sylvia Hubbard.
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