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AlTonya's Opinions, Musings & Other Information…

Month

August 2012

Model Intentions- Second Installment!

Good Morning Everyone,

As promised, please find the next installment of Model Intentions. Included for your reading pleasure this week are Chapters 4-6. Enjoy! AlTonya

Model Intentions

CHAPTER FOUR

 

            As May sat in the comfortably furnished living room of her loft, her thoughts kept straying back to her horrible behavior at Uptown Publishing. It had been three days since the whole mess happened and she still couldn’t believe it. She was also dodging Tara’s phone calls, not quite ready to face her. May always had a temper and she’d always been tough, given her childhood. Still she managed to keep a tight rein on it where her professional life was concerned. Well, so much for that, she thought. Closing her eyes, she remembered the insults that flew inside that office. Teegan James just brings out the wolf in me, she said to herself conjuring up the man’s image in her mind. He was fine no doubt about it. All that wavy hair and those dark brownish green or greenish brown eyes… Wonder where those came from? She figured he must stand well over six feet and had the kind of lean muscular body that would look good in anything…or nothing. Unfortunately, all those good looks went down the drain when he opened his mouth.

The insistent ringing of the doorbell broke into May’s train of thought. When she opened the door, all other thoughts flew from her head as well.

“What took you so long?” Teegan asked, a frown darkening his handsome features.

“Well good afternoon to you too Mr. James.” May said, crossing her arms as she gave him a disgusted look.

“Sorry. Good Afternoon.” He said politely, taking in her hair which was braided and wrapped around her head. His breath stopped briefly, as his gaze wandered down to take in her full breasts pressing enticingly against the short-sleeved body shirt she wore. Her very short cut-offs emphasized the sexy length of her shapely legs. Then his gaze went back to her bedroom eyes which were shooting him an angry stare.

“Are you finished?” She politely asked.

“Are you going to let me in?” He challenged.

May felt her temper slowly rising but she calmed herself as she stepped aside to let him pass. The scent of his subtle cologne drifted over her as she admired how good he looked in the light-weight beige suit. Shaking away the thought, she slammed the door and watched him study one of the framed posters of herself.

“To what do I owe the honor of this visit, Mr. James?” She asked.

“If you’ll turn down the radio, I’ll tell you Mabel.” T.J. replied, without looking away from the posters.

May stared at him for a moment, and then picked up the remote laying on a nearby shelf. With one quick movement, she reduced the volume of the popular single.

“Alright.” May said, placing her hands on her hips.

Sighing heavily, T.J. pushed at his glasses. “First of all, I’d like to apologize for my behavior a few days ago. I don’t know what got into me.”

“Mmm hmm.” May replied, her eyes telling him that he was going to have to say a lot more to convince her.

“I was rude and unprofessional…Well?…Say something?”

May was silent a moment longer, before responding. “Apology accepted.” Was her simple reply. She sat in a cushioned chair and propped up her feet.

“That’s it? Don’t you have some apologizing to do too?”

“No. You started the whole mess when you came in on your high horse.” May raised her eyes daring him to deny it.

T.J. ran his hand across the back of his neck as he tried to get a grip on his heating temper. “Look Mabel, forget what happened three days ago, I still want you to do the interview.”

“Do you? Hmph, it sure is funny how money can make people forget things isn’t it?” She snidely remarked.

“It sure is,” He replied, just as snidely, “’cause I bet you’re gonna forget when I tell you what I’m prepared to pay.”

“Oh?” May queried, pretending to be disinterested. “How much is that?”

“Hmph.” T.J. grunted, seeing right through her. “Look I’d prefer to finish this over lunch, I haven’t eaten all day. So if you’d go and change…” He looked pointedly at her clothes.

“What’s wrong with this?” She asked defensively.

“Nothing, if you’re going to sit on the stoop, but if you’re going to ‘The Tavern’, I think it’s probably a bit too…” He paused, trying to find the right word.

“What?” May snapped, jumping from her chair.

“Round the way”. He innocently replied.

“How dare you…forget it.” May said, holding up one hand. “Just give me a few minutes to change.” She said, giving him a phony smile before heading upstairs.

After May left the room, T.J. lowered his athletic frame onto one of the sofas. Running one hand across his face, he let out a long sigh. What was it about that woman? He asked himself, picking up one of the magazines with her face on the front. How could such a beauty be such an ass? He guessed beauty really was only skin deep. Still, he had to admit that he couldn’t remember when he’d laughed so much, or at all for that matter. She was something else when she was mad. It had almost been worth that fight to see her eyes light up in anger. He still didn’t know what had gotten into him; he always prided himself on being a calm-natured person. He never had a problem with his temper, especially where women were concerned. The more he thought about it though, the more he wanted her to do the interview. He figured that the best way to convince her would be to talk on neutral territory. Unfortunately, he wasn’t sure if The Tavern was her idea of neutral territory. He walked over to the sound system and found numerous CDs and vinyls ranging from Billie Holliday and Fattburger to Tribe Called Quest and Drake. Yes, Maybelline Anderson was certainly a multi-faceted woman.

***

            Upstairs, May debated over what to wear. She couldn’t understand why she was making such a fuss, she certainly wasn’t trying to impress him. Teegan James really got to her. In more ways than one. She selected a gray V-necked suit with a short tight-fitting tapered skirt. The outfit was a cross between businesswoman and seductress. He wanted her to change clothes? So be it. She was still checking her make-up, when she heard him yelling.

“Mabel what are you doin’? I got reservations for today!”

“Aggravating, just plain aggravating,” May grumbled, heading down the stairs.

When she finally got back to the living room, the look T.J. gave her was a mix between aggravation and sensual shock.

“I hope this is appropriate enough. I mean, I wouldn’t sit on the stoop in it or anything.” May sighed, as she preceded him out the front door.

 

CHAPTER FIVE

After fifteen minutes of riding in silence, T.J. was parking his gray Cadillac in front of The Tavern. May didn’t wait for T.J. to open her door, but got out on her own and stood on the sidewalk as she waited for him to come around the car.

“I’m sorry, were you going to open my door?” May innocently asked, taking in Teegan’s disdainful look.

“No. I knew you could manage. I know what a tough lady you are.” He replied, just as innocently.

May’s eyes narrowed to brown slits as she followed him into the restaurant.

The Tavern served some of the best ethnic cuisine in the city and it was always packed. Many heads turned as the tall couple entered the restaurant. May received dozens of appreciative male glances while T.J. garnered his fair share of feminine swooning.

“Doesn’t that ever bother you?” Teegan asked, as they were seated.

May lifted her menu. “What?” She replied.

“Men staring…drooling over you?”

“Well, it can get sickening, but when I first started getting noticed I thought it was fun,” she remembered, “but guys tend to get real stupid though, all that asking for my phone number and stuff is kind of overdone now.”

“I see. Well, has anybody been lucky enough to get that number?” T.J. asked, trying to hide his interest.

May eyed him suspiciously, “Is this for the interview or do you really want to know?”

“I really want to know.” He answered in a quiet voice.

“Well…I haven’t been involved for a few years now.” She lightly replied.

“Because of work?”

“Because of choice. What about you? Is there someone special?” May asked, not wanting to discuss herself.

“Mmm hmm  my firm.” He proudly announced.

“Tee! How boring.”

A dark scowl clouded his face. “Don’t call me that.”

“Now Tee don’t get mad at me because I’m not addicted to my work.” She laughed.

“I can’t stand that name Mabel.”

“Listen, you stop calling me Mabel and I’ll stop calling you Tee.” May proposed.

A grin spread across Teegan’s face. “Well then I’ll just have to grin and bear it won’t I?”

May decided that she’d had enough. “Can we get down to business?” She asked, through clenched teeth.

“Certainly. As I said earlier, I still want you for the interview and I’m prepared to pay you very well for it.” He said, pinning her with his gaze.

“And what is very well?”

T.J. wrote down a figure on a napkin and pushed it across to her. He watched her eyes widen to brown saucers as she failed to hide her shock.

“Well I guess that’s not bad for my first interview.” She said.

“Mmmm, I agree.” T.J. tried to hide a smile as he watched her. “So does this mean you’ll do it?”

“Uh…yes, I think I’ll do it.” She said, trying not to sound enthusiastic.

“You know Mabel, you were right.” T.J. said as he signaled for the waiter. “It sure is funny how money can make people forget things. Isn’t it?” He noted, almost bursting into laughter at her murderous look.

 

CHAPTER SIX

As usual, Hendrix Modeling Agency was in an uproar. There was always someone running here or there. Agent or model. May loved coming there, because it reminded her of the craziness of her own home. The mahogany paneled walls were lined with large framed posters of their top models. May felt a rush of pride as she stopped to look at her own picture before moving on. Her feet slowed as she came closer to Tara’s office. May had been avoiding her ever since the meeting with T.J. Some of her courage was returning since she’d agreed to do the interview.

“What’s up Coco, is she in?” May softly asked Tara’s secretary.

The short, slender woman rolled her black eyes. “She’s in, but she’s in a bad mood and I do mean bad.”

“Oh brother.” May sighed as she headed to Tara’s door and knocked lightly.

“What?!” A voice thundered.

Looking back at Coco, May braced herself before going in.

“Well, well look who’s here. Where the hell have you been?!”

“T, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t talk to you after what happened at Uptown.” May explained, raising her hands defensively.

“I see…and you can talk to me now?” Tara calmly asked. “I don’t know why, I’m still pissed off!”

“I decided to do the interview.” May quietly interjected.

“I left messages.” Tara continued. “In my condition, it’s hard to get around to people’s houses but-you what?” Tara interrupted herself to stare at May.

“I’m doing the interview.”

“Why’d you change your mind?”

“Tee made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

“Tee? I see. And what else didn’t you refuse?” Tara asked suggestively.

“Nothing, but I thought it’d be good for my career and the money wasn’t bad either.” May pointed out.

“Mmm hmm.” Tara wasn’t convinced.

“What?”

“Nothing, but I’ve seen pictures of Mr. Teegan James and the brother is fine. Excuse me, did I say fine? The brother is beyond fine. That’s why you agreed to do the interview.” Tara finished in a smug tone.

“Whatever.” May gave a flippant wave of her hand while shaking her head. “Look I know you’ve probably been craving something, wanna go get lunch?”

“Yeah I’m starving.”

“Then we better find a buffet.” May teased, grinning at her pregnant friend.

“Funny.” Was the reply.

***

            “Seriously,” Tara said, as she bit into a piece of crunchy chicken, “you cannot look me in the eyes and tell me that Teegan James is not the most gorgeous man you’ve ever seen.”

“I haven’t denied the fact that he’s good-looking T, but I’m not ready to get involved with another Bouji prince.”

“Well, having been called a Bouji princess, I’ll tell you this-every black man with money doesn’t act like that jerk Dennel you got yourself involved with, Bell.” Tara firmly noted.

“I’m sorry T,” May said, knowing she’d offended her friend, “it’s just that I never fit into Dennel’s world and he never let me forget it. I can’t take that again.” She said, running both hands through her hair.

“Understood. Now be quiet so I can eat.” Tara ordered, digging into her zesty chicken again.

May nodded. “Okay. As soon as you tell me why you’re in such a bad mood?”

“I’m pregnant,” was the sarcastic response.

“And that’s it?”

Tara rolled her eyes and threw down the chicken. “Yeah, that’s it. Plus the fact that I’m behind in my work and trying to help Max get this party together. You’re coming right?” Tara asked, looking at May expectantly.

“When is it?”

“Tomorrow night!”

“Damn… T. I honestly forgot all about it.”

“You don’t even have a date do you?”

“No and I’ll be there just the same. Don’t think about setting me up either.” May warned.

Tara gave May a hard stare, but said nothing, watching as the young woman turned her attention to her salad.

***

            Unbeknownst to May, she was the object on an intense appraisal. T.J. hadn’t been able to take his eyes off her since she had entered the restaurant. He still couldn’t get over how beautiful she was. She’d never worn her hair loose when she was around him. She had today, and he still couldn’t get over the beauty of it or how sexy she looked when she used both hands to push the thick mane away from her face. He’d told himself before that beauty was only skin deep and that Maybelline Anderson was too nerve-wracking and arrogant for him. Still, there was something…he couldn’t quite put his finger on. It was as if behind all that toughness, she was hiding something, perhaps her vulnerability. He was becoming more and more determined to find out whatever it was. The spark that lit up her eyes when he said something that got under her skin, made him feel something he hadn’t felt in a long time-if ever. He just didn’t know which it was. Suddenly the need to hear her voice overcame him and he got up to head to her table.

May rolled her eyes when she saw T.J. heading towards her table. “Oh no…What’s he doing here?”

Tara’s head turned and she saw T.J., then she looked back at May. “Like I said, that’s one fine brother.” A devious smile played around her lips.

May just rolled her eyes at Tara before returning her gaze to Teegan as he slowly walked across the dining room. Yes, he was most certainly that, she agreed, watching the determined glint in his uncommon eyes and the firm set of the strong jaw, as he reached their table.

“Good afternoon ladies.”

“Hello Tee,” May irritably replied while Tara smiled brightly. “Tara, this is Teegan James. Tee, this is my agent and good friend Tara Davis.”

“Mr. James it’s truly a pleasure to finally meet you.” Tara happily replied.

“Please call me T.J. and the pleasure is mine.”

“Then you have to call me Tara.”

And somebody’s gonna have to call me a doctor, May said to herself as she watched T.J. and Tara behave like old friends.

“You know T.J., I feel like I already know you after speaking so often on the phone.” Tara was saying.

“I know, crazy huh?” Teegan laughed.

“Mmm hmm, but how’d you get May to do the interview? I understand it’s tomorrow?”

“Yeah at eleven a.m. We came to a mutual agreement.” T.J. replied, looking directly at May.

“I see. Must’ve been some agreement. She can be as stubborn as a pit bull.”

“I know and about as mean too.” Teegan remarked.

As the two burst in to laughter, May looked ready to spit fire as she leaned back in her chair and watched them both.

Tara wiped at the tears in her eyes, before she spoke. “Listen T.J., my husband Max and I are having a party to celebrate his new store opening. Why don’t you come and bring May, she was just telling me she didn’t have a date.”

“Tara!” May gripped the edge of her seat.

May was completely ignored as Tara and T.J. carried on the conversation as if she weren’t there.

“I’d like that Tara, when is it?”

“Tomorrow night.”

“Okay. I’ll be there and so will Mabel.” T.J. said assuredly.

“Like hell!”

“You’re not coming?” Tara looked hurt.

“I didn’t say that but-”

“Alright then, we’ll be there,” Teegan cut in, “I’ve really got to get back to my table now, but I’ll see you tomorrow night.” He promised, smiling at Tara. “Mabel I’ll see you in the morning.”

Tara watched Teegan as he walked away. “He’s so gorgeous and charming.” She noted, turning to see the fierce scowl on May’s face. “What?” She innocently asked.

 

THE END…FOR NOW…

 

 

The Social Author

In the early days of book marketing, authors basically relied on their publishing houses to spread the word about their work. Authors themselves had few additional options aside from book signings or attending certain literary events. Now things have changed and marketing can take on almost whatever form or facet an author can conjure. An author can continue to travel and do the signings and conferences. Advertising opportunities via websites and online magazines are prime choices to introduce oneself to the literary market, they can blog and give more in-depth insight into themselves and their work. Then of course there is the social media element. In just a few words an author can share information about a new book,  opinions on some political issue, review a movie they’ve just seen and in a short span of time begin to build a unique relationship with their readers. This is not a time-consuming or expensive endeavor. From virtually any electronic device including a phone an author can connect with his/her readers any time/anyplace.

Unless you’re like me. Even today in 2012 I am still struggling with being a social media connoisseur. It’s not easy for me to post to Facebook or Twitter more than once or twice per day. I post when I feel what I need to share benefits my friends and followers yet I do try to work harder at sharing lighter tidbits.Then I observe the posts of those I aspire to be more like and I realize that I’ve got a lot to learn. One thing I do have working for me is that I love corresponding via email. For someone like me- terrible at returning or even making phone calls, email is a real blessing. Sadly, email (like blogging) allows you to thoroughly express yourself, while communicating via social media requires one to be more concise. For me to be concise more than twice a day is a real challenge. So… in my typical long-winded way, this is a thank you to all my readers, friends and followers. Please accept this thank you for your support as I continually strive to become a more social author.

Model Intentions

                     A little something different this week. Please enjoy Chapters One thru Three of the short story- “Model Intentions”:

CHAPTER ONE

        “T.J., we thought that a cover with something real hot would be the best way to rush in summer for the magazine.”

Teegan James removed the gold-rimmed glasses from his face and watched them dangle from his fingers for a moment, before he spoke to his three editors.

“What’s your idea of…hot?” T.J. questioned, pinning his senior editor, John Williams with a green stare.

“Uh…well that’s what we hadn’t figured out yet. We just wanted to know what you thought of the overall idea.” John said, as he fidgeted in his chair.

“Mmm hmm. Well, I’ll tell you what, when you figure it out see me again. Now if that’s all, I need to get something to eat.” T.J said, trying to hide a smile at his editors. He watched them leave the room quickly. Each of them sighed in relief since they didn’t have a solid lead for the next cover.

At twenty-seven, Teegan James wasn’t much older than his employees. Unfortunately, working since he’d been nineteen to begin a publishing company had made him lose some of his youthful spirit. The only child of very successful parents, Teegan went into debt a year and a half after high school to establish his company. It had all paid off in the end. T.J. was now one of the youngest publishers in the country. His latest publication was ‘African Kings Magazine’. The magazine was geared toward African-American males between the ages of 21 and 40. T.J. had worked long hard days to make sure that the magazine was a success, and it was.

The only ‘down side’ to the success was that it hadn’t left him much time to enjoy it. In addition, the long hours hadn’t given him a chance to have relationships. Not that the opposite sex didn’t work diligently to change the fact. T.J. had a quiet boyish quality, along with a seriousness that women found very appealing. His head of wavy hair was as soft as it looked and his lean muscular frame moved with a surprising grace. In addition, his extraordinary brown eyes with uncommon greenish flecks set off a very fair complexion.

A light knock on the door interrupted T.J. as he took in the magnificent view of New York City through his office windows. It was his senior editor, John Williams.

“T.J. let’s go grab some lunch!”

T.J. shook his head and pretended to be aggravated by the man’s bellow. He took a gray suit coat from the chair and headed toward the door.

“Maybe I’ll get an idea at lunch and you’ll be right there to hear it.” John was saying as he leaned against the doorjamb.

“Lucky me,” T.J. responded in a quiet, deep voice as he stared at John. He’d hired the boisterous twenty-three year old right out of college. Even though John had practically no experience, he reminded T.J. of himself- full of hope, energy and enthusiasm. T.J. thought if he could cultivate some of that energy, John could be a major force in the industry. Besides all that, John was like the little brother he never had.

“Where do you want to eat, man?” John said after they left the office and were descending in the elevator.

“I don’t care. Right now I could eat a bull.” T.J. replied, placing a hand on his growling stomach.

John laughed loudly as the elevator opened in the lobby. They were almost to the tall, glass doors when John grabbed T.J. by the arm.

“What?” T.J. straightened the wrinkles in his jacket’s sleeve.

John was absorbed in a magazine on the news rack. The cover carried the picture of a beautiful, young woman with exotic brown eyes that slanted at the corners.

“I think you asked me what I meant by hot. This is what I meant.” John said, turning the cover towards T.J.

***

            “Girl! You are crazy!” Heads turned towards the three, beautiful women at the back of ‘The Coffee Den’, a posh restaurant on the East Side of Manhattan. Maybelline Anderson had just shared a story about one of her relatives, with her sister and niece and they’d been unable to contain their laughter. Heads turned earlier when the women first entered the restaurant, mostly in recognition.

Maybelline Anderson was being hailed as the most sought after model in the country. Not an easy feat for a twenty-two year old black woman. May decided, at an early age that she wanted a life beyond the tough neighborhood she’d grown up in. The youngest of two brothers and three sisters, May was determined to have and become more. After conning her way into a modeling session in Central Park one day, her life changed drastically. A combination of attitude, humor and toughness, May also possessed distinct poise and beauty. The camera loved her. At five feet eight inches with flawless, coffee-colored skin, she was stunning. However, it was her thick midnight waist length hair and her light brown slanting eyes that really made her unforgettable.

“Have you decided if you’re coming to the reunion?”

May eyed her sister skeptically. “I don’t know Syl. We got a lot of jealous people in the family you know.”

“I don’t know what they’re jealous of. You ain’t all that.” Sylvia drawled while her daughter Denise laughed.

“What’s so funny?” May asked, before bursting into laughter at her older sister.

“Anyway,” Sylvia continued, attempting to ignore the two younger women, “I know that there’ll be a lot of young, eligible gorgeous men there waiting to be snapped up and Lord knows you need a man.” She finished, daring her little sister to deny it.

“If the only reason you want me to come to the reunion is so you can set me up with some idiot with nothing but looks, you can forget it.” May said, staring her sister down.

“Hmph.” Sylvia directed her attention to her chicken salad.

May shook her head at her sister. She was always aggravated by her family’s attempts at finding her dates, but she loved them for trying. Besides, she wasn’t ready for another “serious” relationship. After her ‘love’ fiasco over two years ago, she decided to just dive into her work and she was glad she had. Her life was the way she wanted it and a man had no place there.

CHAPTER TWO

           “May? May! Are you in here?”

May poked her head outside her bedroom door. She turned in the direction of the voice down the stairs. “Yeah T, I’m in my room!” She yelled her mouth full of toothpaste.

“Girl can’t hear worth a damn.” Tara Davis grumbled as she made her way up the stairs to the spacious bedroom of the plush Manhattan loft. Breathing heavily, Tara plopped on the large bed that dominated the room. “I’ve got some interesting news for you.” Tara smugly informed her.

“What?” May was wiping her face with a towel as she walked out of the bathroom.

Tara’s beautiful face, slightly plump due to her pregnancy, brightened mischievously. “Would you believe someone wants to interview you?” She asked.

Me? Why?”

“You know, I’ve spent the last four hours asking myself that same question.” Tara laughed, and then ducked the towel May threw at her head.

May gazed affectionately at her agent, who’d become one of her closest friends since she began her career. After college, Tara had come to work for her fathers’ modeling firm as an agent. When May signed on with the company, Tara’s father decided to let the young women work together. In the process, the two became very successful and very close.

“T, are you sure they want to interview me?” May asked, coming to sit on the bed.

“Positive.”

“Well, who is it? Essence, Cosmo?…”

“Ever heard of African Kings Magazine?”

“I’ve heard of ‘A.K.M.”, but… isn’t that a men’s magazine?”

“Mmm hmm…”

“So why do they want me?” May asked, still completely bewildered.

“Why do you think? The face of a beautiful woman on the cover, can sell a lot of magazines.” Tara pointed out.

“Mmm…and what else do they want on the cover?” May knowingly asked.

“I know what you’re getting at, but they really do want to interview you. Unbelievable as it sounds.” Tara joked.

“I don’t know T…”

“Come on girl, I think you should do it. Most men don’t think women use the brains God gave us and we won’t go into what they think of models. At least talk to them.”

“Well…okay. I’ll do it for you.”

“Good. You have a meeting with the owner of Uptown Publishing at one.” Tara said quickly, as she got up from the bed to hurry downstairs.

“T!”

“Just doing what any good agent would! Don’t be late!” Tara yelled. She rushed out of the front door leaving May shaking her head in disbelief.

***

            At ten minutes to one, May was angling her white Infinity into a parking space outside Uptown Publishing. Brushing a speck of lint from her wine-colored pant suit, May felt the coil at the back of her neck. Satisfied that everything was in place, she made her way inside the impressive high-rise.

May had to admit that everyone certainly stayed busy at Uptown Publishing. A flurry of bodies scurried about. Many stood off in various places engrossed in conversation over the materials they held.

Even the elevator was alive with conversation, which ceased when she stepped into a car that was filled with men. May thought she’d die from laughter, when they all attempted to push the button to the floor she was headed to.

The top floor was no less exciting. After making her way through a crowd of editors arguing over an upcoming cover, she headed towards the secretary seated at the far end of the corridor.

“Good afternoon I’m-”

“Maybelline Anderson! I’ve got every magazine cover you’ve ever done! I wanted to be a model once, but I thought it was impossible.” The secretary finished.

May smiled at the pretty girl. “Well, I’ve learned that nothing’s impossible in this business.”

“Would you mind if I asked for your autograph?”

“Not a bit and please call me May.” She said, taking a notepad from secretary’s shaking fingers.

The girl danced in her seat.

“There you go,” May said, finishing with the pad. “Look, I’m supposed to have a meeting with Teegan James, is he in?”

“He’s not back from lunch yet, but you’re welcome to wait in his office. He should be back in a minute.” The young woman said, slowly coming back to her senses, as she showed May inside the office.

“Thanks-What’s your name?”

“Brenda. Brenda Garrett.”

“Thanks Brenda.” May said, as the girl smiled brightly before closing the door.

May became somewhat subdued as she took in the dark surroundings of the spacious starkly furnished office. There was a cushioned sofa to one side, flanked by two matching chairs beside a large well-stocked bar.

There were several paintings and African masks on the paneled walls. An immaculate oak desk sat in front of the large windows that gave a spectacular view of the city. May’s attention returned to one of the paintings and she was so engrossed with one of them, that she didn’t notice the man who watched her from the door.

 CHAPTER THREE

 T.J. had seen many stunning pictures of Maybelline Anderson before. He stared at that magazine cover John had all during lunch yesterday, but he never expected her to look that way in person. She didn’t. She looked better. In fact, T.J. was speechless as he watched the gracious beauty walk around his office, unaware ofhis presence.

            Now he was glad he had insisted on meeting with her first. The way the tailored, wine-colored pantsuit fit, didn’t hide her curves. Instead, it emphasized them. He took in her silky black hair trussed up in that coil and he wanted to pull the pins. His gaze wandered to her profile over the slanted eyes that were her trademark, down her nose to the high cheekbones and the full luscious lips. She was beautiful.

Get a hold of yourself, man. T.J. told himself as he softly cleared his throat.

The slight noise disturbed May and she whirled around to see a tall, very tall, very handsome man standing in the doorway.

“Jesus, you scared me! What’s with you sneaking up on people like that?” May exclaimed, placing a hand on her chest.

“I’m sorry I didn’t know I needed to knock before entering my own office.” T.J. strode through the door and shut it behind him.

“Your office?  You’re Teegan James?”

“The one and only.” He softly confirmed. “Please Ms. Anderson, have a seat.” He gestured towards a chair in front of his desk.

Miss Anderson, please. I’m only twenty-two and I hate being called Ms.” May said, still somewhat surprised by him.

“Twenty-two hmm? Well, looks can be deceiving.” The sarcasm was evident in his voice.

“You got that right.” May instantly replied, catching his tone. “Looking at this office, I wouldn’t have thought you were as young as you appear.”

“Oh? How old did you think I was?” He calmly asked.

“I think I’d be better off not saying.” She smugly answered.

“Alright Miss Anderson, let’s get down to business.” A muscle twitched wickedly in his jaw. “I assume that your agent told you about our wanting to interview you?”

“Yes she did, but I still don’t understand. Why me?” May asked in a bewildered voice.

I’m beginning to ask myself that same question, T.J. said to himself, but replied- “First, you are currently the number one model in the country. I don’t have to tell you how rare that is for a black model. Second, I’m sure that all male conversation halted the moment you stepped through the doors of this building. Those guys and thousands more like them, read my magazine every month. Simply put, Miss Anderson, I think you’ll make me a lot of money. Men are intrigued by a pretty face and even more intrigued when there’s a brain to go with it.” He finished, then sat back and regarded her with his cool, extraordinary stare.

“Well…you’ve said a mouthful Mr. James. Tell me something…are you intrigued?” She asked wickedly, deliberately trying to get a rise out of him.

“I didn’t know you before yesterday Miss Anderson, so I can’t answer truthful yet. I’ve only seen half the picture.”

“Half?” May asked, not understanding his meaning.

“Well, I can see you’ve got a pretty face, but I’m still not sure if you have the brain to go with it.” T.J, smoothly told her, a wicked smirk spreading across his handsome face.

May’s temper was quick, but never had it been roused so quickly. “You son of a-”

“Watch it Mabel. You don’t want me to take back the offer for the interview.” He said, his eyes gleaming.

“The name is Maybelline and I wouldn’t give your stupid magazine an interview if my career were going down a dingy toilet. I should’ve known better that to have a meeting with some…some Bouji publisher-”

“Bouji?!” T.J. left the black suede chair behind his desk. “Look, just because I wasn’t born in some New York gutter-”

“New York gutter?!”

“I’m sorry, was it in Brooklyn?”

May closed her eyes briefly, before whirling around to storm from the office. She let the door slam behind her.

T.J. couldn’t help it, but he laughed and for sheer spite ran after her. The hallway had quickly filled with employees. They were all trying to hear their mild-mannered boss arguing with the beautiful model.

May had just punched the elevator button, when she heard Teegan James’ deep voice coming from his office door. “Mabel what time can we set the interview for?” He sneered.

May slapped at a lock of hair that had come loose from her coil and shot him a murderous look. Then, she marched into the elevator.

T.J. closed his door as he laughed heartily. Everyone in the hall stared at each other in disbelief.

“Was that our boss?” Someone asked.

“I think so.” Someone else replied.

“But that man was laughing.” Brenda Garrett said in shock.

End of Chapter Three…. 

Dream Realized

Okay so lately I’ve been toying with the idea of writing fulltime. Actually, I probably shouldn’t use the word ‘lately’. I’ve wanted to be a fulltime writer ever since I put pen to paper and crafted my first short story. Lately though, another concern has aggravated me as I blessedly come closer to living my dream. What happens once that dream is fully realized? Specifically, will the need, the craving, the obsession for writing be as potent for me once I’m free to do it all day without having to simply make time for it during breaks and lunch hours?

Writing is more than my ‘hobby’. It’s such a part of who I am that I start to feel edgy if I go too long without putting some words down. Still, I wonder how much of that feeling is related to my passion for writing and how much is related to my ’cause’ for writing. For so long, my love for writing has been my ‘reason’ for working. Working allows me to support myself and my family which provides that needed security, while I lose myself in the creation of my characters and storylines. As I told the Round Table Readers Group of Danville, VA when I met with them last month; I’m so used to having a full plate, I don’t know how well I’d function with less… Additionally, as writing has been my passion for so long, librarianship is fast-moving up the ranks as yet another passion. I’m not feeling the desire to completely walk away from it but to rather find a way to incorporate my two loves. I suppose I won’t know the outcome of whichever choice I make until I make it. But that, my friends is a topic for another blog…

Short Stories Anyone??

Hi All,

Thanks so much for taking time out to drop me a line of encouragement about the blog. I’m very excited about this latest attempt. WordPress is really neat, so maybe that’ll be more of an incentive to keep me going. In addition to blogging, I also plan to share short stories that were written shortly after I was bitten by the writing bug. The two stories are “Model Intentions” and “Mixed Signals”. I hope to share a chapter every other week or so. Remember, these were written quite a while ago, but I recently came across them and thought I’d share, so be kind in your critiques! Seriously, I welcome all comments and just hope you guys will enjoy spending time here! Below is an overview of the first title: “Model Intentions”

Maybelline Anderson was more than a little suspicious when her agent informed her that she was wanted for the cover of a successful new men’s magazine. Of course, the fact that she was currently one of the hottest new models in the country had a lot to do with her appeal, May was still suspicious. A meeting with the magazine’s publisher Teegan James had been arranged and May was determined to find out if her face was the only thing he wanted on the cover!  Teegan James was more than a little intrigued when he saw Maybelline in his office. Her pictures hadn’t done her justice since she was far more beautiful in person.

May was just as captivated when she spied the tall, handsome man with the striking gaze. If it weren’t for the fact that he was from a polished wealthy background, seemed far older than his twenty-six years and was a painful reminder of someone from her past, she could’ve easily been swept away. Likewise, Tee couldn’t see himself interested in the tough, dark beauty either. May’s quick temper, biting comments and rebellious personality made Tee want to grind his teeth in aggravation.

Still, for their apparent ‘dislike’, their encounters were underscored by mutual attraction. As much as they wanted to deny that attraction; the more they were together the stronger it became. If only May could see past Tee’s way too serious demeanor. If only Teegan could bring out the softer side he knew May had… The best intentions for such an unpredictable relationship could become reality.

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