Sugar and Spice Press
Explosive sexual chemistry initially brought Jalil and Karisma together when they met in a cocktail lounge, but an unfortunate misunderstanding tore them apart after only one night of combustible passion.
Another chance meeting a few months later finds the two lovers back in each other’s arms. Jalil feels there’s more than lust bringing them together and desperately wants to keep her in his life. But a tragic event from Karisma’s past won't allow her heart to become involved. She’s more than willing to continue their sexual relationship, but for her it ends there.
Can they find happiness together, or will the barriers of trust keep them apart?
Sitting at the bar in Freddie’s, what used to be one of his favorite hangouts, twenty-eight-year-old Jalil Herrington sipped his Hennessey and coke as he watched the beautiful caramel-skinned sister enter, then wait patiently to be seated. Everything about her immediately held his interest, from her short, two-toned, wavy hair to the stylish outfit that clung in just the right places on her small but well proportioned frame. He could tell just from looking at her that she was just the kind of woman a man took home to meet his mama. She had class and sophistication written all over her. Nothing about her said easy or hoochie.
He definitely wanted to introduce himself to such a beautiful sister, but his approach had to be right. It was obvious even from a glance that she was not the type of woman who hung out in bars picking up men. She was, in fact, probably meeting a girlfriend or two, so he’d better make his move. Jalil had learned in his younger years that women were always more approachable when then were alone. Placing his empty glass on the counter, he took a quick shot of breath freshener.
Hell, he needed something to get his mind off the meeting he had with the queen bitch of the recording industry herself, Karisma Grant. She had reportedly worked with some of the music business’ most talented singers, but shunned the glam lifestyle. From everything he’d heard about her, she made her money, but preferred to remain behind the scenes. He’d also heard that she was drop-dead gorgeous, but what brother wanted a woman, no matter how fine she was, with a jacked up attitude? Unfortunately, she had a reputation for being a bitch and extremely difficult to work with, but because she was knowledgeable and well respected, her client roster was impressive.
He’d been singing professionally for almost two years now. Primarily locally, but he had traveled around the South and had done some shows in the Midwest. So far, he had done pretty well for himself, but Jalil wanted more. He wanted superstar status. When his friend Ty suggested he try working with Karisma, Jalil thought about making him an ex-friend.
“Man, you got to be kidding. Why on earth would I want to work with her? From everything I’ve heard, the woman is a first-class bitch. I haven’t met anybody who actually likes her.”
“Karisma is not a bitch. She just takes her job very seriously, and truthfully, most of the cats who don’t like her is because they couldn’t get in her pants.”
Shaking his head vigorously, he responded. “Uh uh, women don’t like her either, Ty.”
“Jealousy, dog. Karisma is what I like to call a combination woman. She’s finer than Halle Berry, got more booty than Beyonce, and is smarter than Angela Bassett.”
“So what’s your point other than she’s fine, smart, and has a hell of a body? That doesn’t make up for the fact she’s a bitch.”
“Jalil, I swear, for a brother who prides himself on his brains, sometimes you can be dense as hell. You know how petty women can be, especially against a beautiful sister like her that has accomplished so much. Karisma is cool, and she’s talented as hell. Meet her for yourself, and then pass judgment on her. Don’t listen to what other people say about her.”
“And just how do you know so much about her?”
“She went to college with my sister. I got to know her.”
“You ever hit it?”
Shaking his head, Ty added. “No. And I never tried to.”
“All right, set it up. It can’t hurt.”
Jalil had to face facts. After two years in the business, he still didn’t have a record deal. The least he could do was give her a try. Obviously, pure talent wasn’t the only way to make it big.
Anyway, for now, the bitch could wait. The only thing Jalil wanted this minute was to make the acquaintance of the caramel-skinned beauty. He caught the scent of her perfume as he approached her table. It surprised him that a woman so young and beautiful would wear Charlie Red. He recognized it because it was one of his Aunt Tina’s favorite fragrances.
“Excuse me, could I have a moment of your time?” he asked.
When she glanced up at him, he was even more intrigued by the gorgeous set of light gray eyes now looking at him.
“I’m sorry, but do I know you?”
“No. But I’d like to change that,” he replied in his sexiest voice.
“Really. Why is that?”
“Because making the acquaintance of a beautiful woman is always my idea of a pleasant way to spend an evening.”
She chuckled. “Really? Beautiful women catch your eye that often?”
“Yes, they do, but I’m very selective. By the way, I’m Jay.”
“Nice to meet you, Jay. Please, have a seat.”
Cocking his head sideways, Jalil thought silently to himself, God, this woman is sexy as hell. I could see myself really falling for her.
He shook his head slightly. The last thing he needed was to lose his head over another woman. This was the first woman he’d shown any genuine interest in since the horrible breakup he’d had with Brenda four years ago. If nothing else, the experience with Brenda had taught him to be careful how fast he gave his heart to a woman. Brenda had played him for a fool in the worst way. She’d lead him to believe that they were in a serious committed relationship when she was still sleeping with her ex behind his back.
Okay, now here he was sitting across from a beautiful woman. The last thing he should be doing was opening old wounds. Regaining his composure, he said, “Thank you, pretty lady, and your name is?”
“Kate,” he said skeptically. For some reason, he doubted she had given him her real name. “Such a plain name for such a beautiful woman.”
“It’s my grandmother’s name.”
“Oh, well then that explains it. My brother’s name is Clyde. He’s named after my father. Thank God I’m not the oldest,” he said, and they both had a huge laugh.
He was enjoying her company, but decided he’d like to take her somewhere else. A bar wasn’t a good place to have an intimate conversation with a lady you’d like to get to know better. “Would you like to get out of here and go somewhere to have a nice dinner?” Jalil asked.