[from first part of chapter 2]
James was one of those broad strokes in Pru’s life. She wrestled with how far she’d come in her relationship with him. In the beginning it was exciting. He moved heaven and earth for her. If he could’ve given her the moon, he would have. His emails were poetic professions of his love for her. She’d look forward to hearing his soothing voice before going to bed. She’d long for his passionate kisses and slow hand caressing her milky brown skin. She’d languish in his embrace while he took his time with her, placing her satisfaction above his. Now, a few nipple twists and a wet sloppy tongue in the ear constituted foreplay.
The alarm sounded. Pru hit the snooze button without looking at the clock. She knew she had another ten minutes to ease out of bed. She lay quietly trying to regain focus through her partially open eyes. Peering across the room, her blurred vision rested upon the easel in the corner; the painting she’d been working on sat on the weathered tripod, paint brushes still soaking in the murky water. The self-portrait was shrouded underneath a paint-stained canvas cloth. The portrait wasn’t quite right, the interpretation was off. She had trouble with self-portraits in the past so she thought she’d give it another try. This one, well, it wasn’t that the portrait didn’t look like her. It did. Her dissatisfaction was more about how she felt when she looked at it. The colors, the strokes, even the choice of paint brush made all the difference. What made it difficult for her was that she tended to be too careful, too calculated. And when her decisions weren’t the best ones, with each mistake and overcorrection, she was forced to work with the choices she had made. She couldn’t ‘unpaint’ the canvas.
She rolled over and nestled her face into James’ chest, feeling his heartbeat against her cheek. He wrapped his arm around her, clutching her shoulder to pull her closer. In only five minutes, the alarm would beep again, signaling their final warning to get out of bed. She hated parting with him even though she felt a tinge of resentment towards him. These days, her moments with James were bittersweet. She wanted him, yet, at the same time, she didn’t. The dichotomy baffled her. Nonetheless, she accepted whatever time he gave her as she always had.
The alarm blared once again from the clock radio beside her bed. She bypassed the snooze button this time, slapped her hand on the off switch and pried herself from James’ grasp. He grunted as he felt the brush of cool air replace her warm body.
“Get back in bed,” he grumbled in a husky hoarse tone.
“Come on, babe, you’ve gotta get going,” Pru insisted without looking at him.
She brushed her bangs away from her face with her fingers. She’d usually make sure he was up and getting ready before she left for her weekly tennis match with Jessica. If he was still lingering in her condo when she got back from the tennis club, she expected she’d have hell to pay for not getting him out on time. Not because James would have a problem. He preferred to spend a casual morning with Pru. It was the Hell-in-Heels that concerned her — Nadine.
Things aren’t always as they seem.
Attorney, Prudence Payne, seems to have it all: beauty, intelligence, love and a sure path to making partner with her law firm. The reality is her boyfriend, James, is unable to commit. She’s dealing with recently revealed family secrets and lies. And, she’s doing it all without her best friend who died a year ago.
Richard Mayweather is a single father raising two daughters. He’s been in love with Prudence since they were tweens, and now he thinks it’s time that she knows it. But when James decides to finally commit, is it too late for Richard? Or will Prudence realize, at last, that the love she’s always searched for has been right in front of her the whole time?
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Genre - Romance, Interracial
Rating – PG13
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