January 19- 10:17am
The next morning, Dee arrived early at the paper. When she walked into her office, she saw a long white envelope lying on her desk.
“What have we here?” Smoothing down her pencil slim olive green skirt, she sat behind the desk. Inside the envelope, were a photo and a white sheet of paper- ‘Hope this helps. M. Walker‘ was written on it. Dee sat the note aside and looked at the photo. A bright smile crossed her face as she picked up her phone.
“What are you saying, Dee Dee?” John Charles was asking as he stared at the photo.
Dee shook her head. “Isn’t it obvious? Look, I remember that clock being in that very same park when Jimmy and I covered that pumpkin festival story. Robert Joyner was murdered at seven-twenty-eight on the evening of January six. The time on the clock in the picture has seven-twenty. There is no way Julian Reeves could’ve gotten from Brooklyn to New York City in time to commit that murder.”
John Charles looked from Dee to the picture in his hand. The shot was taken at a neighborhood rally held earlier in January. The rally had raised a lot of money for many nursery schools and had lasted well past 9:00 that evening. In the center of the photo was Julian Reeves. He was standing right beside the large clock that read 7:20. John looked at Dee again.
“If you still don’t buy it, Marcia Walker, the girl who took the picture, has a high-tech camera that gives the time the picture was taken on the back.” She quickly explained.
John smiled. “Dee enough. I believe you. I think you better talk to the police and Mr. Jeffries.”
Dee frowned. “Parrish?”
“Well, I’m sure he’d want to know about any information that would free his client. Don’t you think?”
Dee nodded slowly, unable to disagree.
“I thought you said you were almost ready when I called you from the hotel?”
Sheila rolled her eyes toward her brother who was lounging on the huge easy chair near the window in her bedroom. “I thought I knew what I wanted to wear, but I changed my mind.”
Sheila set her curling iron to the dresser. “Can you get out?” She pleaded.
Parrish tapped his finger to the cleft in his chin. “Uh-uh, I’m fine right here.”
“Why do I feel like I’m being rushed?” She asked, sighing when her brother laughed.
Parrish frowned when he heard his sister utter a vicious curse a moment later. “What?”
Sheila was examining the side of her thigh. “I got a run in my stockings.”
Parrish shrugged and stood from his chair. “You can buy some more on the way.”
“For a little run like this?” Sheila asked, watching her brother strangely.
“Well if you wanna wear runny stockings, fine with me.” Parrish lightly replied.
Sheila waved her hand. “All I need is a little bit of clear polish and they’ll be fine. I’ll just borrow some off Dee’s dresser when we get to Joel’s.”
Sheila had been more or less talking to herself as she rushed about gathering her purse and coat. Parrish, unfortunately, heard every word and he was livid.
“Why the hell does Misha have a dresser at Joel’s house?”
Sheila realized her mistake and closed her eyes in defeat.
“Sheila?” Parrish called.
“Is she livin’ with that guy?” Parrish asked, his deep voice going uncharacteristically soft.
Sheila began to wring her hands as her brown eyes darted back and forth trying to avoid Parrish’s.
Parrish cleared his throat and his heavy brows rose expectantly.
“Paris…yeah, yeah she stays with him but-” Before Sheila could finish, Parrish was out the door and heading down the stairs.
“Paris!” Sheila called, rushing after him.
Parrish had one hand curled around the brass front doorknob, when he turned to look at her. “When you’re ready, take your own car to the party.” He told her.
“Honey listen to me!” Sheila pleaded, holding one hand out to him. “She doesn’t really live with him, she just stays there sometimes.”
The explanation only seemed to worsen Parrish’s mood. He uttered a harsh sound of pure disgust, then stormed out of the house.
At six-thirty, Dee was already at Joel’s Manhattan apartment, preparing for the party. She’d just stepped from the bathroom and was putting on lotion, when she heard the doorbell ringing. She quickly pulled on a short, terry bathrobe and rushed downstairs.
A frown clouded Parrish’s handsome face when the door opened and Dee stood on the other side of it in nothing but a robe. With an effort, he forced himself to calm down as he walked inside.
Dee stared at Parrish, as he made him way inside the apartment. Behind the frown, she could’ve sworn she’d seen hurt cross his face. Dismissing the thought, she drew her robe together and followed him into the livingroom.
“I didn’t think you’d come.”
“I wish I hadn’t.” Parrish gruffly replied. “I can’t believe you’re livin’ with him.” He softly added, his back towards her.
Dee started to say something, but thought better of it. Shaking her head, she went back upstairs. She wanted to tell him about the photo but, right then, she wanted to get as far away from him as possible.
“Who was that Dee?” Joel was asking as he buttoned his shirt. Dee just smiled as she walked over to help with his tie. “It’s just Parrish.”
“Oh good.” Joel said, reaching over to grab his jacket. “I wanted to talk to him.”
Dee fluffed out her curls and frowned at Joel through the mirror. “You don’t have to rush downstairs to keep Parrish company.” She said.
“I know that baby,” Joel assured her, looking in the mirror and running a hand over his bald head, “but I wanted to talk to him about the case some more.” He replied, kissing her cheek.
Dee shook her head, watching Joel exit the room. Why did Parrish have to accept Joel’s invite? She asked herself. She was going to be a total klutz with him around tonight. She didn’t want to feel what she did for Parrish, but she couldn’t help it. It seemed that time hadn’t erased her love for him, it had only intensified it.
By the time Dee arrived downstairs, everyone was there for dinner. She paused for a moment on the last few stairs, taking a couple of deep breaths before going into the diningroom.
Dee wasn’t surprised to hear his voice. When she turned to face him, she saw the murderous expression on his face.
“What the hell are you trying to do to me?”
“What are you talking about?” She asked, frowning slightly.
“You know what I’m talking about. Answering the door in a robe. What are you doing getting dressed over here?”
Dee stared at him for a second, then shook her head. “I don’t have to explain that to you Parrish.” She headed towards the diningroom.
“The hell you don’t,” Parrish’s whisper held a vicious undercurrent. Grabbing her by the waist, he placed her a few steps above him on the stairway.
Dee could feel the heat of his touch through the form-fitting lavender dress, but she ignored it. “Parrish in case you forgot, I’m engaged to Joel. We’re getting married soon.” She informed him, staring into his light brown eyes. “And just for your information, I get dressed over here all the time.”
That was it for Parrish. His hands tightened at her waist and he pulled her close. Dee almost dropped to her knees as Parrish’s tongue slowly instigated a kiss. He teased the cavern of her mouth with long, sweet strokes that left her moaning.
Dee was almost ready to let the kiss completely carry her away, when she remembered where she was. Bringing her hands up to Parrish’s wide shoulders, she pushed.
“Don’t you have any respect for Joel in his own house?”
Parrish gave her a long intense stare, before he answered. “Not when he has what’s mine Misha. Not when he has you.” He left her staring and headed into the dining room.
Dee ground her teeth all the way through dinner. Her appetite was nonexistent, but she muddled through the five-course meal anyway. Everyone seemed to be interested in the handsome, charming attorney seated diagonally across from her. They all had thousands of questions about the case and about the relationship he and Dee once shared. Unfortunately, Parrish was all too willing to discuss the latter.
“Parrish, was Dee the newshound back then that she is today?” Lena Martin asked, her eyes lingering on Parrish’s attractive features.
Parrish smiled at the lovely woman that had been flirting with him all evening. “Well, back then, Misha was more interested in keeping things calm rather that stirring things up.” He answered, staring at Dee.
“That’s not true Parry.” Dee calmly replied, even though she felt her temper rising.
Parrish gave a small smile, tapping his finger to the cleft in his chin. “It’s true enough. I mean, that is why we broke up isn’t it?” He countered.
Dee felt her heart drop to her stomach. Before she could respond, her phone buzzed. “Excuse me.” She said quickly, as she rose from the table.
“Yeah it’s me.” She was saying into the receiver less than a minute later.
George Royale, the copy editor, was on the other end. “Dee Dee, you need to get over here right now. John Charles wants the story about the photo on the front page.”
“But, I haven’t had a chance to talk to Parrish about it yet.”
“Too bad baby. It’s on the January twenty-first front page.”
“What about the police?”
“Taken care of. John Charles wouldn’t hold back the info. They just finished arguing before I called you and nobody’s been able to get in touch with Jeffries all day.”
“Damn.” Dee muttered, “Okay I’ll be over in a little while.” She told George, before hanging up. She was actually happy the story had made the front page. She just wanted to tell Parrish about it first. “I’ll just worry about that later.” She said, headed back into the diningroom.
“I’m sorry everybody, but I need to make a quick trip to the paper.” She headed over to Joel.
Her fiance frowned slightly. “You have to go to Queens tonight?” He asked.
“Yeah Dee, can’t the paper wait? It’s so late?” Someone else said.
“I wish it could, but it’s very important.” She reasoned. Bending down to Joel, she whispered in his ear. “I’ll call you baby.” Kissing his cheek, she stood. Parrish was glaring at her murderously when she looked over at him. That look stayed with her all the way to Queens.
“I hope you didn’t come over here and show your ass earlier.” Sheila whispered angrily to her brother later that evening.
Parrish grimaced and tossed back the rest of his Hennessey. Everyone met in the livingroom after dinner for drinks. All Parrish wanted to do was get out of there, but he knew he’d have to deal with Sheila if he left too soon.
“The least you could do is pretend to be in a good mood.” Sheila suggested.
Parrish cast a fierce frown at his sister. “Don’t even try it. I’ve been nothing but sociable since I got here.”
“Bull, you’ve been actin’ like a moody child ever since Dee left.”
“I still can’t believe she’s stayin’ here.” Sleeping with that guy, he silently added.
“Well there’s nothin’ you can do about it.” Sheila mumbled.
Sheila and Parrish turned to see Joel hurrying towards them. Joel smiled at Sheila, then took Parrish’s hand in a firm shake.
“So how do you think the case is going so far?” Joel asked, crossing his arms over his chest.
Parrish sighed. “Well, I wish the investigation would move along more quickly. I hate seein’ that kid worry about his freedom, when I know he’s innocent.”
Joel patted Parrish’s shoulder. “It’ll work out. Somebody up there was smilin’ on that boy when you picked up his case.”
As Parrish talked with Joel, he tried to keep his dislike under wraps. Soon though, he found that it was hard not to like the man. It was obvious that Joel Monroe was a kind soul. Unfortunately, that would make the situation with Dee even tougher. He wasn’t about to let anything stop him from getting her back.
Dee spent two hours rewriting her story and talking with George Royale about the finally layout. She hadn’t bothered to change clothes before she left Joel’s and the strappy pumps were killing her feet. It was 12:15am when she finally dragged herself out of the building and to her car.
Dee was very weary and her senses were dulled, so she didn’t hear the footsteps behind her. The man dressed in black followed her until she’d almost made it to her car. When his arms closed around her from behind, she let out a terrified scream. The man desperately tried to drag her down, but Dee gave him a fight. Frightened as she was, Dee was determined not to go down easily. They struggled for a few minutes more, when Dee heard the stranger grunt in pain. His arms fell away from her and she sprinted for her car. Looking behind her, she saw Parrish pounding the man viciously. Blood spurted from the stranger’s nose and upper lip, Dee almost felt sorry for him. A beating from Parrish Jeffries wasn’t something a person was soon to forget.
Relief washed over Dee, when she saw two security guards running towards them. Parrish stopped hitting the man and watched him drop to the ground.
“What’s the problem over here?!” One of the guards said, as he knelt by the injured man. The other guard held onto Parrish.
Parrish shrugged off the guards hold. “This son of a bitch just attacked her. That’s what the problem is!”
Both guards looked over at Dee as she walked closer to the scene. “You okay Dee Dee?” They both asked.
“I’m fine guys, thanks.” She replied, smiling weakly.
Parrish turned and frowned at her. “What the hell are you thanking them for?” He questioned, before turning back to the guards. “And where the hell were you? Do you know what this jackass could’ve done to her if I hadn’t been here?”
“Well?” Parrish demanded, when the guards just stared at him with guilty expressions.
“Parrish.” Dee tried to calm him down, placing her hands around one of his arms. “Guys, just take him away.” She said, gesturing to the man lying on the ground.
Parrish shook his head as he watched the two guards cart the man away. “Who hired those clowns?” He asked, wiping his hands with a handkerchief.
Dee smiled at him and took the handkerchief, finishing the job. “What are you doing here?” She softly asked.
“I wanted to talk to you. I’m glad I was here.”
“Me too…but I better go.” She handed him the handkerchief and turned towards her Altima.
“I’ll be right behind you.” Parrish said, heading towards his own car.
“I’m not letting you out of my sight.”
Dee knew better than to argue with Parrish when he got like that, so she turned to her car once more. In a matter of seconds, they were both pulling out of the parking lot.
In no time at all, Dee and Parrish were pulling up in front of her home. Dee parked her car and waited for Parrish to pull up beside her. When he shut down the SUV and got out, she frowned.
“Where are you going?”
“Inside with you.”
“Parrish, there’s really no need-”
“Dee please don’t argue with me. Not tonight.”
Dee wasn’t in the mood for a confrontation with Parrish, so she didn’t argue with him. When they reached the front door, she decided that enough was enough.
“There. Door is opened, I’m safe. You can leave now.”
Parrish ushered her inside and removed his coat. “Go change your clothes. I’ll make you some tea.”
Dee was becoming more and more frustrated. “Parry, I’m fine and I don’t need…” She trailed away, realizing she was being completely ignored as she watched Parrish walk off to find her kitchen. Letting out a long sigh, she headed to her bedroom.
Dee had to admit that she felt much better after getting out of the dress and those pumps. She changed into a pair of navy blue sweat pants and a cut-off T-shirt. Then, she came into the livingroom and took a seat on the sofa.
Parrish watched as she got comfortable on the couch, a smile crossing his handsome face. Damn, she’d scared him half to death tonight. The attacker in the parking lot was the rotten cherry on top of an aggravating evening. When she’d answered the door wearing that robe, he felt his temper snap. He knew she still loved him. He could see it every time she looked at him. But he knew her. She wouldn’t hurt Joel. Heaving a frustrated sigh, he walked into the livingroom.
Dee tried to keep her eyes from widening as she watched Parrish. He looked right at home and part of her wanted him to stay the night.
“Here, drink this.” He gruffly ordered, handing her a cup of tea.
Dee took the cup and sipped some of the hot liquid. “What did you put in this?” She questioned.
“Nothing. Drink it.” He demanded, taking a seat on the opposite end of the sofa.
The livingroom was quiet for a moment. Then, the quietness began to make Dee nervous. Clearing her throat softly, she tried to make conversation.
“Thank you again for tonight Parry.”
He watched her for a while. “No problem. I’m just glad I was there. This was something worth fighting for.”
Dee caught his meaning, but chose not to comment. “I guess you want to know what was so important that I had to run out like that?”
“Actually I was wondering why Joel let you go so easily.” He said smoothly, leaning back on the sofa.
Dee’s dark brown eyes narrowed. “Joel knows how demanding my career is and he doesn’t tell me what to do.”
“Do you want to know why I was at the paper or not?” She finally snapped.
“Why were you at the paper Misha?” Parrish softly asked, a grin teasing the corner of his mouth.
She sighed and rolled her eyes at him. “I found proof that Julian is innocent.”
Parrish’s heavy brows drew together in confusion. “What?”
“That day I had the meeting with some of Julian’s friends, I saw this picture taken on the day of the murder. I didn’t realize that at the time, but when I finally got the picture, I realized that the clock in the park where the picture was taken showed the time as being seven-twenty. Julian’s friend who took the picture, has a camera that even gives the exact time the photo was taken on the back. Zero seven, twenty and fifteen seconds.”
“I’ll be damned.” Parrish breathed.
“Mmm hmm…there is no way Julian could’ve made it from Brooklyn to New York City in time to commit that murder.”
“This is unbelievable.” Parrish breathed.
“The police have probably been trying to reach you all day to tell you about it.” Dee said as she watched him tap one finger to the cleft in his chin. “Parry you aren’t upset with me, are you?”
Parrish looked over and frowned at her slightly. “For what?”
“Well,” She said, turning to face him more directly on the couch, “for finding out about the picture before you?”
“Hell no, baby. You’ve just found evidence that gives my client an alibi. Besides, I know you could never beat me in the courtroom, so my job is safe.” He playfully added.
Dee shook her head, before she hit him with one of the soft pillows on the sofa. Parrish picked up a pillow and followed suit. The pillow fight became increasingly rough. Parrish got in a few good hits, but Dee was clearly winning. She had her pillow poised for a good hit, when Parrish grabbed her wrist and took the pillow away from her. Then, he tugged her forward and she fell on top of him. The teasing look on his face vanished as one hand delved into her thick hair. Dee felt her heartbeat speed up as Parrish met her lips with his. She gasped, allowing his tongue entrance past her full lips. His tongue rubbed roughly over and under hers while his hands caressed her back beneath her T-shirt.
Suddenly, Parrish flipped her over, kissing her thoroughly, Dee moaned when she felt his hand under the soft cotton top, teasing her nipples. Parrish tore his mouth away from hers and blazed a trail from her neck to her breast. His sensuous mouth worked over the fullness of one soft mound while his fingers teased the other. Dee could do nothing but gasp his name as her hands played over his hair.
Parrish’s feverish kisses moved lower. He heard a deep moan when he kissed her navel. Pulling her thighs apart, he kissed the very center of her through her clothing.
Dee wanted to surrender to the erotic invitation Parrish was holding out, but she knew she couldn’t. She shouldn’t. She began pushing at his head and Parrish looked up at her.
“What?” He softly asked.
Dee looked away from his beautiful eyes and stared up at the ceiling. “Parry we shouldn’t be doing this. It isn’t right.”
Parrish moved back up over Dee and began kissing her neck again. “It feels right, doesn’t it?” He asked.
Dee tugged his head back to hers and they kissed again. It had been so long since they touched that way and she didn’t want to let him go, but she had to. “We can’t-”
“Why can’t we?” Parrish queried when he raised his head to look at her.
“Parrish it’s obvious that Joel’s nothing like you. But he is sweet and he’s been very good to me.”
“Hmph it sounds more like gratitude than love.”
Dee couldn’t admit to Parrish or even herself that that may have been true. It was best just to do her best to keep this whole thing with Parrish from getting too far out of hand.
Parrish was still lying on top of her. His strong fingers began a leisurely trace of her face as his warm brown eyes gazed down at her. “I don’t get the attraction.” He whispered.
Dee turned her face away. “It goes beyond that Parry.”
“But stops at the bedroom, right?”
Dee snapped her lovely eyes to Parrish’s handsome face looming above her. “I wish you’d stop saying things like that.”
“Why?” He challenged, lowering his lips to the side of her neck. “Because it’s true?”
He raised his head to stare at her. “I know he doesn’t satisfy you. Not the way I did.”
“We were kids then Parry and there have been others since you.” Dee informed him, her voice slightly shaky.
Parrish lowered his head, accepting the comment. “But you’re marrying this one.”
Dee sighed and tried to keep her mind off Parrish’s fingers caressing her satin skin beneath the neckline of her T-shirt. “There’s more to a marriage than…sex.” She softly replied.
Parrish’s brows drew together as he gave her a hurt look. “But, it’s one of the best parts.” He whispered and lowered his mouth to hers.
Dee cried out as soon as Parrish’s lips and touched her own. It gave him the chance to slide his tongue into the dark cavern of her mouth. She melted further into the sofa’s thick cushions as the kiss deepened. When Parrish wound his strong fingers around the waistband of her sweatpants, Dee snapped back to reality.
“Parry…please.” She moaned, as he kissed her.
When he stopped and looked down at her Dee felt such sadness that she couldn’t say another word. He didn’t press her. He knew she still wanted him and that was enough…for now. Without a word, he kissed Dee on the tip of her nose and got off the couch. Then, he was gone.
January 20- 12:45pm
“Dammit.” Dee hissed as she sucked on her burned finger. She’d been in a state of clumsiness ever since Parrish left the night before.
Today, she wasn’t in any mood to go to the paper, but she had promised Sheila they’d get together. It had been a long time since the two of them had had an afternoon out and she was looking forward to it. Dee could only hope she didn’t run into Parrish. What happened between them last night had forced her to do some serious thinking. Until Parrish came back to town, she was certain she wanted to marry Joel. Now, she wasn’t so sure. Joel was a wonderful man, but Dee didn’t know if she could marry him. It was obvious that she’d been fooling herself into believing that she was over Parrish. When she saw him that first day he’d come to town, she knew it wasn’t over.
Letting out a tired sigh, she unplugged the slide iron she burned her finger on. Checking her appearance in the mirror, she nodded. Her wrapped hairstyle complimented her face as perfectly as the leather jacket over the white T-shirt and blue jeans complimented her figure.
“What took you so long?” Sheila asked, frowning at her friend.
“Don’t worry about it. Are you ready?” Dee asked, looking at Sheila expectantly.
“Yeah.” Sheila said, turning to get her purse and jacket. “I like your hair, ’bout time you try somethin’ new.”
Dee gave her friend a phony smile. “Funny.”
When the two young women finally made it to Sheila’s car, Sheila let out a fierce curse.
“What’s wrong?” Dee asked.
Sheila’s voice was muffled as she searched her purse. “Can’t find my keys.”
Dee shook her head at her friend and turned to lean against the car door. A large, shiny key ring caught her attention a few seconds later. It was dangling from the front door.
“Sheila.” Dee called and the girl looked up with a lost expression on her face. Dee pointed to the front door and shook her head as she watched her friend run to the front door and grab her keys.
“Shut up.” Sheila warned.
“What?” Dee innocently replied, her double dimples becoming more visible.
“So what’s up with you and Paris?” Sheila was asking later while they browsed through a popular lingerie store.
Dee didn’t bother to look up as she went through some lace teddies. “What do you mean?”
“Oh please, you know damn well what I mean.”
“Sheila what do you want me to say? We see each other to discuss the case, if that’s what you’re talkin’ about.” Dee replied.
“Dee Dee this is me, Sheila. Now I saw how you two were staring at each other at the party.”
Dee’s head snapped up. “Staring at each other?”
“Mmm hmm…anybody could see that you two still have feelings for each other and I’m not talking about ‘professional’ feelings.”
Dee took a seat on one of the cushioned high-back chairs outside the dressing rooms. “I wonder if Joel noticed.”
Sheila’s naturally arched brows rose in faint surprise. “So I was right.” She said.
Dee let out a long sigh and shook her head. “I don’t know what’s right. I really thought I wanted to marry Joel, but since Parrish came back, I’ve been having a lot of second thoughts. I mean, Sheila, Joel’s a great man, but I just don’t feel the way a woman should feel about the man she’s about to marry. But…”
“I don’t want to give up Joel chasing after some dream with Parrish. Joel is so safe and stable and Parrish is so hotheaded and arrogant…Am I being selfish?”
“Mmm hmm…plus you’re scared and I understand that. But, you have to be fair to Joel.”
“I just don’t know.” Dee said in a small voice.
Sheila didn’t say anything, figuring Dee had given herself enough to think about. “Are you getting those?” She asked, instead, pointing to the two teddies Dee was holding
“Yeah.” She tiredly replied. “I don’t know if I’ll be using them anytime soon though.”
Dee and Sheila did a little more shopping, then stopped to get something to eat. By the time they made it back to Sheila’s house, it was past 9:00pm.
“Girl, why don’t you just stay here tonight?” Sheila offered.
“No, I have too much work to do at home, but thanks.”
“Well then stay a little longer so we can pig out and talk.”
Dee knew she needed to get home, but she had such a good time that she wasn’t ready for it to end either. “Alright, but just for an hour or two.”
“Good.” Sheila said, her face brightening. She began taking off her coat, then stopped. “Dammit, I don’t have a thing to pig out with. I’m gonna run down to the store right quick alright?”
“Hurry up!” Dee called as she headed upstairs.
While Sheila was gone, Dee tried on the five pieces of lingerie and two outfits she bought during the shopping trip. She decided to try on the lingerie last. When she slipped into a black, lace teddy, she heard the doorbell.
Sheila. Dee thought, shaking her head. “Girl, you need to tie your keys-” Dee began, as she flung the door open, “around your neck.” She finished breathlessly as she stared into Parrish’s gorgeous face. “Oh my God.” She whispered, looking away.
The last thing Parrish expected to see on the other side of his sister’s door was Dee. Especially Dee looking so delicious. He couldn’t control his eye as they lowered from her beautiful face. She might as well as have been naked, since the black lace his nothing. The confining material of the teddy almost made her breasts spill from the bodice while her round bottom was more emphasized.
“For me?” He asked, coming through the door and pushing it closed behind him.
“You wish.” Dee replied, as she backed away from him. She came to a halt as her back touched the stairway’s rounded banister.
“Nice.” Parrish complimented as he stood close to her. One massive hand ran down the length of her neck, down her chest, past her waist and caressed her thighs. “Very nice.”
“Thank you.” Dee shakily replied. Parrish’s natural sexiness, combined with the hypnotic scent of his cologne was very hard to resist.
One of Parrish’s iron arms wrapped around her waist and he pulled Dee next to him. His head dipped to one side and he was pressing wet kisses to her soft neck. Dee moaned as she ran her hands over the expensive leather jacket he wore. Her nails seared his back as she arched her voluptuous body into his hard, muscular one.
The deep rumbling sound that came from Parrish’s wide chest almost made Dee completely surrender to him. Her back was against the stairway bannister when they were interrupted by the scratching of a key in the lock.
The two of them fell apart as if they had been scorched. Their gazes held while they just stood there.
Sheila walked inside and did a double take when she saw them standing there. Her eyes widened as she took in Dee’s attire.
“Am I interrupting something?” She innocently asked.
Parrish shot his little sister a murderous look as he turned away and walked into the livingroom. Dee just ran her hands through her long hair.
“Sheila, I’m going home. We can do this another time okay?” She said.
“That’s fine girl, I’ll call you.”
Dee just nodded and went back upstairs to get dressed.
“Don’t Sheila.” Parrish said to his sister when she walked into the livingroom.
“What?” Sheila replied in an irritated voice. “This is my house I come home when I get ready.” She informed him.
Parrish leaned his head back on the couch, propping his long legs up. “I know that. I just don’t want to talk about what happened, okay?”
“Fine.” Sheila replied, heading into her kitchen.
Dee came downstairs right after Sheila left the room. “Parry, where’s Sheila?” She asked.
Before Parrish could respond, his sister came from the kitchen. “You leaving Dee?”
“Mmm hmm. I just came to say goodnight.” Dee replied, staring at Parrish.
“Alright.” Sheila was saying as they walked to the front door. “Call me.” She said.
After Dee drove away, Sheila closed the door and was getting ready to go upstairs. Reconsidering, she went back into the livingroom.
“Paris, I know I said I wasn’t going to say anything, but I can’t help it. You and Dee are driving me crazy!”
“Driving you crazy?”
“What’s going on? Please talk to me.”
“Baby girl, I have no idea. You need to talk to your friend.” He said, getting up and pacing the room.
“I know she doesn’t love that guy, and she won’t give us a chance.” Parrish continued. “She just can’t believe that I’m not the same hotheaded kid she broke up with.”
“Paris.” Sheila sighed, giving her brother a doubtful look.
“No listen. You’re right, Dee does love you. I think she loves you so much that she’s afraid to take you back only to let you go again.”
“She won’t have to.”
“Maybe not, but she’s not sure of that. Joel is safe, stable, sensitive-”
“Boring.” Parrish added.
“Maybe, but Dee obviously saw something in him that made her love him.”
“Well you know what? I don’t care. I want her back. I love her and I’m going to have her.” Parrish assured his sister with fierce certainty.
After Dee got home, she tried to do a little work, but thoughts of Parrish made that impossible. Instead, she took a bath and changed into a T-shirt and a pair of cutoffs. She was on her way to bed with a cup of hot cocoa, when she heard the doorbell.
Dee wasn’t surprised when she saw Parrish’s tall, athletic frame leaning against the doorjamb.
“What?” She asked, shortly.
“We need to talk.”
“About?” She countered, still refusing to let him inside.
Parrish’s eyes narrowed and he felt his temper rising. “You know.”
Dee ran a hand through her thick hair. “I’m not in the mood for company.”
“Tough.” He said, and walked past her.
Dee slammed the front door viciously and stomped behind him into the livingroom. “Why do you always have to be this way?”
Parrish sighed and rolled his eyes. “I guess you wish I were more like Joel?”
“Don’t bring him into this.” Dee softly requested.
Dee just stared at him, then shook her head signifying that she’d had enough.
Parrish dropped his muscular body onto her couch and leaned his head back. “Dee believe it or not, but I don’t want to fight. I didn’t come here for this.” He said, pressing a finger to the cleft in his chin.
His soft-spoken manner caught Dee off guard. “What did you come for?” She asked, her voice shaky.
Parrish’s brown eyes shot her an intense look. “I came to convince you that I’d changed.”
“Oh really?” Dee asked, sounding very doubtful.
Dee stared at him for a long time, almost melting beneath his sexy, brown gaze. “No…” She said, shaking her head. “It’s just too late.”
Parrish pulled himself up off the couch. “I don’t believe that.” He said, coming to stand behind her. He placed his large hands around her waist and pulled her back against him. A small smile crossed his handsome face, when he heard her gasp. “Is it really too late Misha?” He asked, his perfect teeth nipping at her ear.
Dee wanted to resist, but she found herself pushing closer against Parrish aching to feel his caress.
Still standing behind her, Parrish placed one hand beneath the T-shirt she wore. He began stroking the smooth skin of her flat stomach. Dee moaned while his other hand undid the button of her cutoffs and unzipped them. His hand delved beneath the lacy fabric of her panties to the moist, hot center of her.
“Parry…”She sighed, as his touch continued and her legs shifted further apart. Parrish stopped the caress so that he could lift her into his arms. Finding the long hallway, he figured her bedroom was the one with the light still on. He was right.
Dee felt herself being lowered onto her queen-sized bed. The room was dark except for the shallow light coming from the bathroom.
As Parrish pressed soft, moist kisses to the side of her neck. He slid off her cutoffs and panties. Leaving her neck, he pressed hot kisses through the T-shirt and to her bellybutton. Dee let out a loud gasp when she felt Parrish’s sensuous mouth at the very center of her. The only sounds Dee made were soft moans as Parrish’s tongue delved further into the heart of her.
Dee shifted restlessly against her soft sheets. Reaching down, she squirmed out of her T-shirt, then ran her hands over Parrish’s soft hair. After a while, he moved up and over her and they kissed deeply. When he moved away, Dee pulled at his tongue with her lips. She wanted him to kiss her again and he didn’t disappoint her.
As they kissed, Dee ran her hands down the length of Parrish’s hard body. When she found the buckle of his belt she undid it. Parrish broke off the kiss and moved off the bed in order to pull away the rest of his clothes.
Dee stared at him from her position on the bed. Her long lashes fluttered close when she saw the full extent of his maleness. Parrish grasped one of her small feet and brought it up to his mouth. Dee let out a deep moan as Parrish’s tongue and sexy lips suckled each polished toe. She could feel the moisture as the caress travelled up the long, shapely length of her legs and thighs. Parrish stopped briefly again at the junction of her thighs, then moved up to kiss her navel. Settling himself between her satiny thighs, he feasted on her full breasts for a while. Dee could barely think, as she held his head close to her chest while her legs wrapped around his heavily muscled back.
Dee’s pretty eyes closed as she enjoyed his touch. After moving past her chest and nipping at her neck for several seconds, Parrish raised his head to stare into her lovely face. Dee’s breathing came in short, rapid bursts when she felt his long, hard length next to her.
“Look at me.” Dee heard him say. She opened her eyes and stared into his gorgeous brown ones as he slowly entered her. Parrish’s lashes closed as he felt Dee’s heat surrounding him.
He dropped his head onto her shoulder while he moved inside her. Dee gasped Parrish’s name softly as his hardness completely filled her. Her fingers teased his chest, stopping briefly at the scar he had from the bullet twelve years ago. Dee pulled her full lower lip between her teeth as Parrish slid mercilessly in and out. She concentrated on the exquisite sensations that coursed through her body.
January 21, 1997- 8:47am
The dreary skies outside the next morning, matched Dee’s mood perfectly. In spite of everything, last night with Parrish was perfect. It had been so long since they had been together that way. Still, she couldn’t keep her thoughts off Joel. He had been so good to her and she knew he loved her deeply. Dee didn’t know if she had the heart to tell him the truth, but he didn’t deserve anything less.
Turning on her side, Dee looked at Parrish. Even during sleep, he was gorgeous. His sexy eyes, under a pair of sleek, heavy brows, the length of his nose, the deep cleft in his chin and that mouth… Dee always loved him. Sighing at her dilemma, Dee eased herself from the comfortable bed. Donning a long, emerald silk robe, she went downstairs.
Dee had been in the livingroom for fifteen minutes reading the morning paper, when Parrish arrived downstairs. Dee pushed a lock of hair behind her ear as she watched him come into the livingroom. With an effort, she tore her eyes away from his intense gaze. She focused instead on his bare chest and the jeans that hung well below his waist.
“Morning Parry.” Dee lightly greeted, before looking back at the paper.
Parrish towered over her for a moment, before he grabbed her behind the neck and tilted her head back to meet his kiss. Dee tried to ignore the erotic sensations rising in her, but she still responded to Parrish’s deep kiss. As the kiss became wetter and hotter, Parrish began to lower her to the couch.
“No Parrish.” Dee managed, getting up from the couch and pulling her robe together.
Parrish’s onyx brows drew together in confusion. “What?” He asked, taking a seat on the arm of the chair.
Dee tensed at his aggravated tone, but answered anyway. “Last night-”
“What about it?”
“I can’t do that again.”
“What the hell are you saying?”
“We can’t sleep together again. I shouldn’t have done it in the first place.”
Parrish got up from his seat at that point. “You didn’t think about that last night did you?” He shot at her.
Dee’s own temper heated at that point as well. “Don’t play interrogator with me Parrish.” She warned.
“Maybe someone should. You have no idea who or what you want. Then again, maybe you do.”
Parrish leaned against a bookshelf. “Well judging from your enthusiastic response to me last night and your goody two shoes act this morning, I’d say you’d love it if you could have Joel’s personality and my body wrapped in one package.”
Dee’s dark eyes narrowed in anger. “Get out.” She softly ordered.
“Hmm…Looks like I’ve hit a nerve.” He smugly stated.
Dee clenched her fists to her sides and closed her eyes. “I said, get out.” She gave him her back to consider.
Parrish’s eyes travelled over her thick hair, piled loosely on the top of her head and down the graceful line of her back. Then, he shook his head as if to clear it. Walking over to her, he bent to whisper in her ear. “Let me tell you somethin’ Misha, a man like Joel Monroe will only give you a boring marriage and even more boring sex.” He told her out of sheer spite, then pressed a soft kiss to the corner of her ear.
Dee whirled around and laid a cracking slap to the side of Parrish’s face just then. He stared at her in disbelief, before grabbing her arms in a vice grip and pushing her to the sofa.
“Parrish no!” Dee called as she pressed against him for all the good it did her.
Parrish, on the other hand, let his touch do the talking. He lowered his mouth to the side of Dee’s neck, while his large hands busied themselves undoing the ties of her robe.
A low moan escaped one of them when Parrish cupped Dee’s full breast. He pulled the tip between his teeth and suckled gently. The nipple rose to a hard bud which he kept pulling as his other hand lowered to her thighs.
“Parrish I can’t.” Dee whispered, even as her legs shifted apart to allow his fingers to play in her creamy moisture. She had to pull her lower lip between her teeth to smother the screams resulting from the intense pleasure she felt.
In no time, Parrish had pulled the robe away from Dee and had removed his pants. He cupped Dee’s full derriere and held her in place for him. At that point, Dee wasn’t thinking about controlling her cries. The intensity of Parrish’s thrusts had her full attention. Each time his long, steely length caressed her, she circled her hips in a purely erotic gesture. Luckily, she managed to bring her loud throaty cries to not more than a whimper. Just then, she heard knocking at the front door. Dee managed to move from beneath Parrish and run to the livingroom windows. When she spotted Joel’s car out front, she almost fainted.
“Oh God.” She groaned.
“What?” Parrish asked, lounging back on the sofa as though he didn’t have a care in the world.
Dee whirled around and rushed toward the sofa. “You have to go upstairs.” She frantically whispered, tugging at his hand.
“It’s Joel, he’s outside. Come on!”
Parrish smirked, clearly enjoying the moment. “Well just be quiet and he’ll think you’re gone.” He reasoned, pulling Dee back on top of him.
“Parrish.” Dee whispered, trying to push his seeking lips away from her breasts. “Will you stop it now?” She cried, cursing as Joel’s knocks became louder.
Parrish finally had enough of the teasing and slowly got up from the sofa. Dee pressed her hands to the small of his wide, muscled back and urged him up the stairs.
Parrish turned and gazed at her expectantly. He watched Dee run back to the couch and throw his jeans to him. He gave her a lingering stare before continuing on upstairs.
“What took you so long?” Joel asked, frowning slightly at Dee when she finally pulled the door open.
“I uh…it’s early and I was still asleep.”
“Are you alright?” Joel asked, taking in her disheveled appearance.
“I’m fine.” Dee assured him. “Come on in the kitchen.” She mumbled, hustling Joel out of the livingroom.
“I think I’ll make you some breakfast. You look like you need it.” Joel decided, walking over to the huge white refrigerator.
Dee pressed one hand to her chest and ran the other through her silky hair. “Thanks um lemme go wash my face.” She told him and hurried out of the kitchen.
When she made it upstairs and inside her room, Dee heard the shower running. Hurrying inside the bathroom, she was horrified to find Parrish helping himself.
“What the hell are you doing?” She screamed, pulling the glass door open.
Parrish continued massaging the steamy water and soap into his sleek, dark skin. “What does it look like?”
Dee closed her eyes to shut out the delicious picture he made. “Parry listen, you can’t do this now!”
Parrish stopped and looked at her. “What? You need me for somethin’ else?” He reached out of the shower to pull her toward him.
Dee slapped at his heavy shoulder. “Will you stop and get the hell out?”
“Like this?” Parrish asked, feigning surprise at her orders.
“Get your clothes and come downstairs. I’ll be in the kitchen talking to Joel.”
“Ah Misha, you want me to be there when you tell him about us?” He purposely misunderstood her plan.
Dee gave him a sour stare, but continued. “After you’re sure no one is in the livingroom, just go out the front door.”
A deadly serious look crossed Parrish’s handsome dark face then. “I don’t like to sneak around Dee.” He told her.
Dee could only shrug. “Well now you see why we can’t do this again.” She replied, before leaving the bathroom.
When she made it back downstairs, she had changed back into her jogging pants and T-shirt from the night before. Joel already had breakfast underway and Dee heaved a sigh of relief. She hadn’t been sitting at the breakfast nook ten minutes, when she heard the front door slam.
Joel frowned and looked away from the stove. “What was that?”
“Probably nothing, I’ll be right back.” Dee called as she hurried from the kitchen. After making sure Joel hadn’t followed her into the livingroom, she walked over to the drapes and peeked out. She watched Parrish get in his car and drive off. The murderous look on his face told her that he was struggling to control his temper.
On her way back to the kitchen, the phone rang and she rushed to answer, hoping Parrish hadn’t decided to call her from his car.
“Hi. Listen, I almost have everything for you father’s birthday party together. Now you will be able to make it won’t you?”
Dee toyed with a lock of her hair. “Mmm hmm, I told you I could just tell me when and where.”
Thelma was satisfied. “Well one more thing…”
“David wants Parrish there and…so do I, so you should be prepared to see him.”
Dee wasn’t at all surprised by the news, but she didn’t say a thing. Parrish’s little visit to New York had succeeded in shaking up every corner of her life.