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Monique’s #WritingOnDemand Request“That’s the Way Love Goes”Ivy & Keith

Ivy “Vee, you can’t seriously be throwing a housewarming party without chicken wings. Like, what are we supposed to eat?” “Well, you can start with that white shit you brought a ten gallon bowl of, since nobody else is gonna touch it.” I loved Lynn with all my heart, but she always missed the mark when it came to pot-luck. Always showing up with something covered in white cream that was sure to be occupying a fourth of somebody’s refrigerator until they mustered the courage to throw it out. But not my refrigerator. I’d finally gotten the keys to my place, and I’d be damned if she was gonna guilt me into storing food that I, nor any of our other friends, were ever gonna eat. “Excuse me? I’ll have you know that marshmallow salad is a favorite amongst my family.” Lynn defended the creamy, lumpy catastrophe of a dessert she’d covered with saran wrap and stored in my crisper. “On the white side, I’m sure.” I teased, shaking my head at my poor friend as I rolled the last of four dozen soy meatballs and placed them on a baking pan. “The black side, actually.” She smirked, stepping back as I opened the oven and slid the meatballs in. “It’s no wonder my Dad went for a white girl. His family’s white as fuck.” I laughed out loud, putting twenty minutes on the oven timer and hurrying to the sink to wash my hands. “That’s fucked up, man.” I looked over my shoulder to find Lynn picking a fresh cherry from the bowl of fruit on my bar top and popping it in her mouth. “Tell me about it.” She spoke threw a set of juicy, chewing lips. “Is Pops coming?” “No.” I widened my eyes for emphasis. “This party is for The Crew only.” “Even Keith?” She hiked a brow, knowing that name alone would cause a reaction. I pretended not to hear her, choosing instead to focus on my faux buffalo wings, which were actually heads of steamed cauliflower rolled in buttery breadcrumbs and tossed in homemade buffalo sauce. “I know you heard me, woman.” She pressed, plopping down in one of the barstools in front of my kitchen bar, propping her long arms up on the bar-top and resting her head in a skinny palm. “Y’all still playing that game?” “What game?” I asked without looking up from my project. “You know, the one where you pretend you don’t wanna jump his bones, and he pretends he hasn’t been fantasizing about having your nipples in his mouth since he met you on that funky ass couch?” “Oh, that game?” I returned, knuckles deep in homemade buffalo sauce. “Yeah, that one.” She tipped her head to the side, sending a long bundle of chocolate wand curls falling over the bright pink sweater that hung off her shoulder. I hated to admit it, and wouldn’t out loud, but the thing with me and Keith had been a thing since the first time he flopped down beside me on the old plaid sofa in our home economics class room. I was a lowly sophomore, and he, a popular senior. But we became fast friends from that day on, when he took it upon himself to become my on-campus big brother, easily gelling me with a group of five other friends to form a group we called The Crew. Twelve years later, it seemed that Keith and I were the only two that hadn’t found ourselves boo’d up at some point. The rest of the crew teased us as often as possible, sometimes in group texts, but more annoyingly so when we were together on celebratory occasions like tonight. It was an ongoing joke that the only reason we couldn’t entertain a monogamous relationship was because both of us were waiting for the other to make the move. I prayed that wasn’t the case on Keith’s end. Cause if he was waiting for me to profess my love to him, he’d have a shorter wait in the line at any given Popeye’s on two-piece Tuesday. And all jokes aside, the dude could literally have any woman he wanted. Owned a fitness center in Arizona, and had the body to advertise results. I was proud of him, and would be a fool not to consider him a looker. But there was a fine line between love and friendship, one that I was hesitant to cross… again. “Keith’ll be missing due to a prior engagement.” I sighed, glancing at the oven to see that there were only eight minutes left on the soy meatballs. “But you already knew that because your instigating ass got the same notification via group text.” “What? I don’t be checking my messages like that.” She smacked her full, glossed lips. “You know me and Eric are going through it. I aven’t had time to do nothin but make sure his ass is where he says he is.” “Yeah, well you know how I feel about that.” I replied dismissively, not at all interested in dampening my mood to discuss her cheating ass boyfriend. The doorbell rang just in time to interrupt Lynn’s sob story about how she’d forgiven Eric half a dozen times, and would forgive him a dozen more because we’re all humans who make mistakes and blah blah fucking blah. The truth was that Eric was broke as hell, and had a dick longer than the parking spot he’d been pulling her car into at ole girl’s condo everyday while Lynn was at work, making sure all the bills got paid. But that was none of my business. Wouldn’t even know about it had she not been such a generous sharer. But Lynn was my girl, and when it came to being a fool for the D, if she liked it, I loved it. I rinsed the buffalo sauce off my hands and dried them before shutting off the timer and pulling the soy meatballs from the oven while Lynn answered the door. A loud cackle and the smell of Juicy Couture invading my spacious entryway, was a dead giveaway that the loud friend, Henry, respectfully known as Ree Ree, had just arrived. “Bitch, it smells like white people food in here!” She yelled over the “Housewarming” playlist I’d thrown together courtesy of Spotify. “I sure as hell hope that ain’t no creamy shit from Lynn’s kitchen.” She giggled, releasing Lynn from an embrace, and handing her one of the two bottles of Boone’s Farm she’d walked into my kitchen with. “First of all, this ain’t no damn white people food.” I punched in twenty minutes on the oven timer after sliding my faux wings in. “And second, where the hell did you find Boone’s Farm? That shit’s been discontinued.” “Not on Amazon, it hasn’t.” Ree Ree pulled the frig open and placed her bottle next to Lynn’s marshmallow salad in the crisper, looking up at me and saying “Ain’t nobody going near that shit. My bottle is safe as fuck.” We both busted out laughing, falling into a tight, rocking hug while poor Lynn left the kitchen and took her seat back on the barstool, grabbing a handful of cherries. “Fuck y’all.” She stuck out her tongue, laying her phone on the counter and swiping away. “What? It’s not you, Lynn Lynn.” Ree Ree left my side to grab a stool next to Lynn. “It’s just your food, man. You know I love your light-skinned ass.” She roped a toned arm around Lynn’s tiny waist, pulling her attention away from that phone and putting a hesitant smile on her face. “So, where are the other heathens?” Ree Ree asked after mending Lynn. “You mean the three penises?” I smirked. “Dragging their asses as usual.” “Except the one who's not coming, and throwing your girl all the way off.” Lynn inserted her two unsolicited cents. “Oh really?” Ree Ree snickered, leaning forward on the bar-top, chinky eyes widening while I rolled mine at her and Lynn. “Y’all finally tired of being childish?” “You know what, sometimes I forget why I didn't push y'all off the float at Schlitterbahn's back in ninety-nine.” I took a bite from one of the kale chips I was putting into a huge yellow bowl, then flicked a piece across the kitchen at two of my favorite assholes. “Cause you didn't wanna mess up those fingerwaves jumping in to save us.” Lynn reminded me with the snap of her neck. “Bitch rode all the way to a water park with no intentions of getting her hair wet. What kinda shit?” “Nana made me swear not to ruin my hair.” I defended, making my way to the living room to place the kale chips and hummus on the coffee table. “Y’all know she didn't play when it came to my hair. Barely signed the damn permission slip when she found out where we were going.” “Cause you lied so much, dog.” Ree Ree piped. “I seasoned the truth.” I marched back into the kitchen. “Did it for your trifling ass a few times, if I'm not mistaken.” “Yeah, but this ain't about me.” Ree Ree hiked a brow then slumped her coffee brown shoulders. “Always tryna cast your sins on Ree.” She mumbled, laying her phone on the bar and unlocking the screen. “Y'all we’re both pretty trifling.” Lynn hopped from her seat, prancing into the kitchen on bare feet to grab a bottled water from the frig. “Glad I was the good one.” She tipped her chin up. The doorbell rang just in time to save her from being called a boldfaced lie. “Girl, go get that door before lightening strikes.” Ree Ree slanted her eyes up at Lynn. Lynn shot her the finger and dragged her feet to the door. Up on her tip toes, she looked through the peephole and yelled “If that's not real food in those bags, you can turn your ass around!” “Girl, open the damn door before I call Pop Moore and tell him you lost your virginity under the bleachers.” A high pitched voice that unmistakably belonged to the craziest member of The Crew aside from Ree Ree, Lance, yelled back at Lynn through the closed door. She quickly pulled the door open, smacked him upside the head then welcomed him in with a hug around his neck. “My Daddy still thinks I'm a virgin, so you can shut that funky mouth.” She said as he released his long arm from around her waist, while carrying a full paper bag in the other. “Bless his heart.” Lance shook his head, looking Lynn up and down with his lips curled in disgust. “Heard you got up off that floor with gum and stale nachos stuck to your back.” Me and Ree Ree hollered! Lance was always ready and willing to give any and all of us a hard time. “Y’all laughin a little too hard over there.” Lord, now he’d set his sights on us. “Lance, don't come over here with that shit.” Ree Ree looked up from her phone and warned him. “You know I don't play fair.” “And neither does your beautician.” He completely ignored her request to chill the fuck out. A smile spread across my face at the thought of those two going a few rounds. “Look like somebody dropped a bag of burnt crinkled fries on your head. You still my nigga though.” Lance put the paper bag down on the kitchen counter, and rushed up on Ree Ree with a tight hug, lifting her effortlessly from her seat. “Get off me, ugly ass.” She swatted the back of his head and squirmed out of his long, skinny arms. “And it's called a twist out, asshole. If you stopped fucking bitches who never take their weave out, I wouldn’t have to tell you that.” She hopped back in her barstool, chunking a red grape at the back of his head as he left her to greet me in the kitchen. “Lance?” I propped a hand on my hip, bracing myself to be picked apart by the comedian. “What? Why you gotta Lance me like that, Vee?” He raised his bony shoulders, hands out to the side like he was innocent. “All I was gonna say was, I heard you be eating grass and shit, so I brought some meat for everybody else.” Now it was Lynn and Ree Ree's turn to laugh at my expense. “Bring it in, sis. You know I love you.” He extended his arms for a hug, pushing up the sleeves of his baby blue sweat shirt, exposing his many tattoos. “You and that flesh can go to hell.” I rolled my eyes as he stepped into my space and wrapped me up in a hug. “I can not stand your skinny ass!” I gave in and hugged him back. Lance was a piece of work, but the crew wouldn’t be complete without him. & Loud music and the smell of real and fake meat filled up my place, after Lance popped his Daddy’s famous barbecued beef ribs in the oven to heat them up. We played another round of the dozens over kale chips and Boone’s Farm after the knuckle head of the group, Jackson, showed up, with his longtime girlfriend, Rayna. “So, y’all still ain’t popped out no babies?” Ree Ree asked Rayna and Jackson, sitting on the floor with her legs crossed, shuffling half a stack of Uno cards. “We all know fertility runs in Jax’s family. Nigga got a dozen sisters and brothers.” “Eight.” Jackson leaned forward, elbows on his knees with his long legs spread open, making my sofa look a lot smaller than it did when I sat on it. “And we ain’t ready for that yet.” “Never will be.” Rayna sucked her teeth, twirling a finger through a head full of jet black bundles that she’d more than likely paid in upwards of five-hundred dollars for. “The fuck is that supposed to me?” Jackson leaned back and glared at the side of her light brown face. She didn’t respond, continuing to twirl away at her hair and pop her gum like she always did, disconnecting from the conversation and pretending that Jackson wasn’t even there. I don’t know how they’d survived like that for five years. She never seemed happy and Jackson refused to talk to us about it. Granted, our boy was a bit of a handful, choosing to make his money the tax free way instead of working a traditional job. He was still a good dude, and if Rayna didn’t figure out a way to appreciate that or motivate him to take a different route, I couldn’t see growth happening in that relationship for either party involved. The steam rising from Jackson’s ears settled when I hopped off the sofa across from him and Rayna to go grab some more drinks from the kitchen. He followed me, noticing the way I scanned the two of them on my way out of the living room. I knew Jackson wasn’t all sentimental and shit, but he’d at least wanna let me know he was good. “I saw that.” He poked my side, standing beside me as I filled three Solo cups with ice. “We’re good, man. Just going through a rough patch.” “More like a rough pasture.” I slanted my eyes up at him. “You sure it’s worth all this, Jax? I mean she’s pretty but—“ “You know it ain’t about that, Vee.” He cut me off. “Pretty comes a dime a dozen. Rayna’s… she different. It’s actually me fucking this up.” “Well, un-fuck it up, then.” I hiked both brows. “How the hell am I gonna become an auntie if y’all beefing all the damn time? You see all the other candidates. You and Rayna are my only hope!” I teased, sending his smooth brown lips into an easy smile and that hissing laugh we all came to appreciate. “I hear you, sis.” He nodded his head, picking up two of the cups I’d filled with trash can punch. “I’m working on it. On God, I’m working on it.” I gave my friend a nod of hope and understanding before filling three more cups and picking them all up at one time, utilizing the waitressing skills I’d accumulated back at my first job at Booties. Granted, I only worked there two weeks before Keith, Lance, and Jackson came in on a day when I’d pulled an extra shift, saw me passing by in a pair of shorts that had the unders of my butt cheeks all the way exposed, and dragged me outta there with Keith’s shirt covering me down to my knees, and took my ass straight home. I’d strategically had my schedule fixed to avoid that very thing happening because I knew neither of them would approve of me wearing the official Booties uniform. But as is always the case, fate messed me over and robbed me of some pretty decent tips, all because my best friends were too damned over-protective. I distributed drinks to everybody and Keith did the same. His phone pinged just as he was taking a seat next to Rayna, and he stood back up. “I’ll be right back.” He looked down at her and said. “Vee, I gotta run downstairs right quick.” He added, to which I sighed and looked over at a frustrated Rayna, lowering her eyes from me to her lit phone screen while shaking her pretty head. “Alright, who’s ready to get their asses whooped?” Ree Ree rubbed her hands together like Birdman over the Uno cards. “Girl, please.” Lynn smacked. “You left the last kickback with a whole deck of cards in front of you. Calm down.” “Lynn, it’s amazing how you can remember the last kickback but can’t remember where you parked your car.” Ree Ree squinted while me, Lance, and Rayna laughed. “She can’t remember cause Eric always driving that mother fucker.” Lance threw a jab. “Only nigga in Texas that been putting in job applications for three years and still ain’t got no job.” “That nigga is Jody.” Ree Ree added. And we were right back laughing again. “You know what, fuck y’all again.” Lynn shot two fingers in me, Lance, and Ree Ree’s direction. “And Rayna, what you over there ke-ke-ing at? Last I heard, Jax ain’t working either.” At that, Rayna dropped her phone in her lap, running a hand over her jean-clad thighs, and giving Lynn her undivided attention. “First of all, let’s be clear.” She pointed a long, yellow, manicured pointer fingernail in the air. “Jackson may not be working a nine-to-five, but he’s far from broke. And I ain’t never had to worry about him taking my car to transport other bitches no got damn where.” Rayna sat back against the sofa cushions, eyes still fixed on Lynn like she was daring her to speak another word against her man. There was the fire that had been absent between the two of them. I wondered why it wasn’t there when he was sitting right beside her. “That’s only because you can’t fit bitches and dope in a two-seater, sis.” Lynn snapped back. “Bet y’all be driving the speed limit like a mother fucker on all those out of two trips.” “Alright now.” I interjected. “This is a housewarming, not Jerry Springer. Y’all can save that shit for the streets. Here.” I passed Lynn her drink, and shot an eye at Rayna. She rolled her eyes and nodded back. I hated drama and wouldn’t have it killing my buzz. “I got it!” I heard a rustling at the door. “Man, I said I got it. Damn.” I looked over my shoulder and almost passed out when I saw who’dstumbled into my place. “Man, I know you swole, but you gone drop all this shit.” Lance kept on fussing, tugging at what had to be five huge shopping bags filled with yellow tissue paper in one of Keith’s hands, and three of the same size in the other. “Oh my God! It’s Keith!” Lynn jumped off the sofa beside me, and Ree Ree, Lance, and Rayna jumped up right behind her, rushing over to attack the statuesque giant that completed The Crew. I tried standing, but couldn’t. I’d accepted the fact that he wasn’t coming and was content with the situation. But now he was here, looking like perfection in a pair of black sweatpants, unintentionally heating my insides in a way that was highly inappropriate. If I was gonna survive whatever had come over me, I was gonna need more ice in my drink. Like a whole fucking bag. “Look at ole Keith. Looking like a slut in these sweats. Vee, you see this?” Ree Ree teased, tugging at the waistband of Keith’s pants as he sat a gang of gift bags on my dining table. “This girl don’t never chill.” Keith swatted Ree Ree’s hand away, situating the bags before turning to face me. I swear the music stopped and the room stood still. Keith’s teeth were sparkling and so was his beard. Whatever he’d oiled his coils with was reflecting the light over my kitchen table, casting a glow over his being that was damn near angelic. I needed to snap out of this before somebody noticed. They’d never let me live it down if they caught me swooning and shit. I stood from the couch, trying hard to soften my smile. Then cleared my throat as I approached him, bare feet gripping the carpet, feeling like I was literally falling in love. “Sluttier than ever.” I thanked God those words translated from my brain to my lips, cause it seemed impossible to do anything but lick my lips in approval of the way that t-shirt hugged his toned chest. “I see you’re still with the sneaky shit.” I shook my head, waiting for him to step forward while the other nosey friends looked on. “Wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t.” He stepped forward, pulling me in at the waist without asking permission, giving me no choice but to lift up on my tiptoes and rope my arms around his neck. “I missed your crazy ass.” He whispered in my ear, lips accidentally grazing my neck and sending chills down my spine. “I missed you too.” I whispered back, planting a kiss on his cheek, wishing it was his lips. “Alright, break it up.” Lance said. “We all know y’all be low-key fondling each other. Let’s show some consideration for the rest of the visitors.” “Shut up, Lance.” I lowered to flat feet as Keith hesitantly released me from his hold. He felt so warm and firm against my body, I honestly could’ve stayed like that for at least another thirty minutes. “So you’re the one who bought it?” Lynn said, pulling a limited edition boxed gift set from one of the bags Keith had brought in. “And this too.” Ree Ree pulled a matching towel set from another bag. “Nigga, did you buy everything on the gift registry?” Jackson and Rayna were now looking through the bags. “Me and Ray tried to grab something, but it was all checked off.” Everybody looked at Lance who had nothing to contribute to the conversation. “The fuck y’all looking at me for?” He squeaked. “I brought ribs. You can’t get those at no Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Say thank you.” We all shook our heads as he took a swig of trash can punch from his cup, and grabbed a rib from the pan that he, Jackson, and Ree Ree had been running a train on. “Why do we keep him?” Ree Ree shrugged, standing between me and Keith. “Just look at him. Like he’s the Natavia of our group.” “Who the hell’s Natavia?” Keith looked to the side at Ree Ree. “Exactly!” Ree Ree laughed, shaking her head all the way back to her seat on the floor. The next couple of hours were filled with laughter and sore losers on the Uno table. Ree Ree got accused of stacking the deck after winning three games straight, but was quickly pardoned when Jackson won game four, gaining himself a rare kiss on the cheek from Rayna. Keith was visibly tired from his flight, dosing off after the fifth game, and waking up to a face full of make-up courtesy of Lynn and Rayna. And even in liquid eyeliner and bronzer, this man was a specimen to behold. I needed to get him out of my place and back to Phoenix from whence he came before my heart took over my head and made me say something I couldn’t take back. “It’s been real y’all, but I got work in the morning.” Lance grabbed his to-go plate of the kitchen counter and headed toward the door. “Congratulations on the spot, sis. All it’s missing is some meat.” He stopped to hug me good bye on his way past the dining room table, where I was wiping things down. “Whatever, Lance. Love you.” I pinched his side, giggling when he screeched like a girl. He dapped and hugged everybody, then went on his way. The rest of The Crew slowly trickled out, each taking what was left of the soy meatballs and faux buffalo wings, after they’d given me so much grief about the vegan appetizers. I’d been the designated cook for as long as we’d been eating meals together. I don’t know why they assumed that my newfound vegan lifestyle meant there’d be a compromise in the kitchen. As I sprayed Fabuloso on the stove top to let it soak, I reached back to grab a half-empty glass of wine and noticed one body left in the living room, swiping away at his phone. Keith had stayed behind for whatever reason, which wasn’t uncommon amongst The Crew. We didn’t get to visit that often, and he always took advantage of alone time. “You alright over there?” I asked from the kitchen, walking into the living room. “That bronzer did wonders for your cheekbones.” I teased. He hissed out a chuckle. “I owe y’all one.” He looked up from his phone, sleepy brown eyes squinting with amusement. “I had nothing to do with it, boss.” I threw my hands up and flopped down beside him on the sofa. “You were the photographer, buster.” He elbowed my arm. “You’re always the photographer.” He leaned back against the cushions. I pressed my fingers together and zipped them across my lips. I’d been sworn to secrecy until the alleged photos could be used for bribes, leverage, or whatever else The Crew saw fit. My housewarming playlist was on its fifth spin. I’d lowered the volume once the crowd dispersed, but still left it on because it helped during the cleaning process. It wasn’t usually strange to be sitting alone with Keith. But on this particular night, there was something different. His eyes were saying things that made it hard for me to look into them. “So, are we gonna discuss the huge elephant sitting in this room, or are we gonna keep ignoring it?” He asked, catching me completely off guard. “Huh? There’s an ele—“ “Don’t do that, Vee.” He cut me off. “You know me too well to play this game.” “I’m sorry, but I don’t—“ “The beach house.” He cut me off again. And all I could do was pour the rest of that wine down my throat. I hadn’t forgotten that night in Galveston. Couldn’t even if I tried. But we were both intoxicated, and I’d just lost my Nana, the grandmother who stood in as a mother after my own passed away when I was just five years old. So much had happened since then, and we hadn’t spoken of it since. Had he been holding on to that shit for six months, waiting to lay it out on my literal coffee table? “I thought we agreed to leave that where it was.” I said, placing the wine glass on the round glass table beside my sofa. “We were drunk, I was vulnerable. Neither of us were thinking clearly, Keith.” “It was more than that, and you know it.” He folded his hands behind his head, slanting those eyes at me. It was hard to tell if Keith was at ease or upset. He never raised his voice. The shit was unnerving. “Like what?” I asked, folding a foot under me, insides tingling with anticipation. “If it was more than that, then what exactly was it?” I propped my elbow on the back of the couch and rested my head on my fist. I’d imagined this happening a million times in my head, but never let my thoughts travel too far. As if it had been ordained by God himself, the intro to Janet Jackson’s, “That’s The Way Love Goes” started to play over the surround sound speakers that my Daddy had installed in my living room the week prior. Keith’s hands dropped from behind his head and he leaned forward to rest them on his lap. With clenched jaws and locked hands, he looked over at me and said “When I said I missed you, it wasn’t like you probably think. Like it’s always been.” I swallowed, wishing I had another ounce or two or ten of wine to drink. “Keith, I don’t think we should—“ “I know you don’t.” He interrupted, straightening his back. “And I understand why. We got a lot to lose if it doesn’t work. You’re my best friend.” “And you’re mine.” I added. “So, why even go there? Yes, we had fun. Yes, the sex was amazing. But that’s because we set boundaries. Made a promise to never do it again, because shit gets messy when you add sex.” “Shit like my beard?” He cracked a smile, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t wanna smile too. But I didn’t. One of us had to be the voice of reason, and Keith had been sitting with this too long to pull himself out. “I know somebody’s gotta have your eye in Phoenix.” I suggested, trying my best to defuse the situation, because honestly, the shit was too intense. “Nope.” He replied dryly, refusing to break from his stare. “All I’ve been thinking about for the past six months is how to convince you to give this thing a try.” “Well, I’m sorry you wasted your time, but I’m not interested.” I stood from the couch, grabbing my wine glass and preparing to head toward the kitchen to cool off. But I was stopped in my tracks when Keith stood up in front of me, towering over me like an oak tree. “I love you.” He said. “And I love you too.” I returned. “I’m in love with you.” He spoke again without hesitance. “And you don’t have to respond to that. I’ve been practicing saying that shit since the day I sat next to you on that funky plaid couch.” “Keith.” My shoulders slumped, heart racing in my chest. Everything in me was telling me to surrender, but my common sense kept saying there’s no way that this could work. I’d loved him as a friend, hell a brother for so long, that anything more just didn’t seem possible. Granted, we’d made love, sweet delicious forbidden love. But that was a moment of vulnerability that I honestly hadn’t mapped out. And what was life without a map? How could I know with certainty that throwing caution to the wind and becoming lovers with my best friend wouldn’t end in catastrophe? Was it really worth throwing away twelve years of friendship for a maybe love? “Keith, I just—“ Lips taken over by the sweetness and warmth of his kiss, I was unable to speak or refuse his advances. His hold around my waist, pulling me in so close that we were practically one body, rendered me helpless against what was inevitable. I was intoxicatingly, head over heels in love and there was nothing I could do to stop it. Keith She tasted as sweet as I’d remembered, letting me paint the inside of her mouth with my tongue. I could feel her nipples hardening against my abs, warm body giving into me just like I’d hoped she would. Ivy had to know that nothing short of Jesus himself returning to stand between us would stop me from pursuing her with all I had. I’d promised her that while she slept in my arms that night. The night we both surrendered to what was always supposed to be. I loved her from a space that I’d reserved for specific things. Things that I desired. Things that I treasured. Things that I wasn’t willing to share with anybody else. The Crew as a whole was my family in every way, but there was always something different, something more special when it came to me and Ivy. And everybody knew it. Spoke on it and teased us about it every chance they got. I don’t know what’d taken me so long to just give in. Guess I was scared the feeling wasn’t mutual and I was making it all up in my head. With little to no effort, I hoisted Ivy up off the floor. She wrapped her arms around my neck, squeezed her legs tight around my waist, and grinded against me like it was something she’d needed. I rarely ever took Ivy’s words over her actions. Her eyes always told me what she really meant. I was so anxious to be this close to her again that I left my gym in the hands of an associate just to hop on a plane and make it to her housewarming. “You’re asking for trouble.” She panted in my ear with my dick throbbing and swollen against her center. “When this goes to hell, it’s gonna be all your fault. You hear me?” She sucked away from my lips then smashed back into a kiss before I could respond. So I didn’t respond, at least not verbally. Because honestly, there was nothing to say. We wanted each other, seemingly needed each other. Our souls had been connected from the day we met. With Ivy attached to me, swallowing my kisses, I navigated my way to the kitchen for a smooth place to lay her down. Surprisingly, she didn’t object when I knocked all of her place settings to the floor. “I’ll replace all that.” I breathed into her ear before standing to rip off her leggings. Ivy’s smooth brown skin glowed under the bucket lights that hung high over her dining room table. I took a minute to breathe her in, heart beat triggered when she looked up at me and smiled. I fucking loved this woman and everything about her. How the hell did it take me so long to act on this? “What you looking at?” She giggled, bare thighs closed together, begging me to separate em. “You.” I said without a trace of a smile. I was serious about committing every angle of this moment to memory. With lust shooting through my groin, and a desperate need to have her pussy on my pallet, I grabbed her panties at the waist and pulled them down her thighs and off over the tips of her toes. Ivy kept her eyes locked into mine as I spread her legs apart, sliding a finger into her pussy. She arched her back up from the table, and one moan from her lips made my dick rock solid. I lowered my face between her legs, tasting her again for the first time in months. She squeezed her thighs against my cheeks, gripping the back of my head and holding me there while I licked her wet folds and circled my thumb over her clit. Vibrations from my mouth as I moaned between her legs, had her grinding against my face fast and hard. With one hand pressed to her belly, I could feel her about to erupt. I kept my rightful place between her thighs, accepting the mess that she made on my beard. Having waited far too long to have this woman in this way, I didn’t hesitate to step outta my sweats and bend her ass over that table. Her pink folds seemed to be calling me as I slipped a leg between her thighs to open her all the way up. I sank into her deep, grabbing a hand full of thick, black curls, and daring her to try and pull away. Not that she would. Not with the screams coming from her mouth, and the force with which she was throwing those wide hips back against my pelvis. As tight as she was around my dick, it was obvious that nobody’d been inside her but me. But even the thought of that being possible pissed me off, so I asked to be sure while I slammed into her harder. “No.” She whimpered a response, body taken over, legs trembling. I leaned forward and pulled off her top before flipping her over on her back. “I need you, Ivy.” I slid back into her pussy. “You gotta trust me.” I said, looking straight into her eyes. “I won’t hurt you.” I stroked her, sucking my teeth, about to explode. “I love you.” I leaned in to kiss her lips, chest pressed against her titties as she tightened her legs around my waist. So swollen it almost hurt, I plunged into her harder, feeling her nails scrape the spread of my back, clawing as we both fell into a tunnel of sexual bliss. Heat circled in my pelvis, my nuts tingled ready to be emptied. And with a soft purr from Ivy’s mouth to my ear, I came completely unglued, spilling out inside of her. Knowing full well I was too heavy to be collapsing on top of her or her table, I lifted her, and laid us both down on the carpeted floor. Ivy’s tired head rested against my chest. I cradled her along the side of my body, never having felt more at home. “You know we’re gonna fuck this up right.” She whispered, wet lips grazing my nipple, sending sensations straight to my dick. “Then we’re gonna have to deal with The Crew and all their shit. Can you imagine how much energy it’s gonna take to not kill them?” “We’ll be fine.” I looked down into her eyes, grinnning. “I don’t know why you’re so dead set on running from this shit, but we’ll be alright. And The Crew’s the least of our worries. How you think I got here without you finding out?” “Those sorry mother fuckers!” She yelled, climbing on top of me, sending my dick from semi-soft to rock solid. “You convinced our friends to lie to me? That’s right up there with the ultimate betrayal.” She was saying mad words, but her body was saying the opposite. “Aye, what can I say?” I popped her on the ass. “That’s the way love goes…” The End 

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