Tia didn’t know what to do or say with what James asked. She knew Charlotte was the culprit but how did James find out? Charlotte didn’t know that James was her man unless she bought it up to someone and he overheard. She watched his face; calm and focused but didn’t want to open her mouth.
“I don’t go to the club to be on or under anyone.” Her voice was level. James searched for drop of guilt do to her first response. He knew that something was on her mind; she hesitated and it wasn’t the smart ass hesitation she does when she wants to be difficult. She was thinking of what to say to keep the conversation cool and keep him happy. As he read her she was reading him hoping he didn’t read through her bullshit. They were too in tune with each other to lie.
“But there was a nigga I’m guessing.” James stated looking into her pretty face.
“Yes, but he isn’t anyone that matters to me.” She responded.
“I understand that much, but you flipped when you found out about Charlotte.”
“Because you’ve hired a woman that clearly wants to fuck with you and you’ve already slept with her and she’s already kissed you.” Tia rebutted clearly asserting herself.
“But at least I told you, you came home and fucked me like nothing ever happened.”
“Nothing fucking happened.” Tia was irritated. James’s face uncovered how he felt about her attitude.
“Excuse me.” His voice was stern, it sounded as if he were reprimanding instead of having a conversation.
“You heard me. I didn’t do anything. So you and your sources can kiss my ass.” This was unlike them to argue.
“Yo, come into my office and close the door,” Tia didn’t budge as she stared at him. “I’m not going to ask you twice.” She slowly walked into his office and stood at in the middle of the room. She heard the door being locked behind her. She refused to look back to see James and she knew that she didn’t handle the situation calmly like she would have wanted. She allowed Charlotte to fuck with her and that was never a good thing. She fucked up and she had to regain her composure during this private meeting. The office was full, everyone saw her walk into the office, and she knew the office buzz would be that she was in trouble with the boss. Charlotte gave a weak smile as she walked into his office as she also assumed that Miss Perfect was in trouble with the real head in charge.
“I apologize.” Tia stated as she felt James body against her back, ass, and neck. He placed his hand around her neck and she lay back accepting his touch. He roughly grabbed her chin and pulled her earlobe into his mouth before whispering, “This nigga can’t have my woman. You hear me? He can’t have my pussy. He can’t have you LaTia Driscoll. I need for you to acknowledge that.” The control of his voice and firmness of his touch and stature slightly turned Tia on. No one would run her, but this felt quite different, quite dominant, and quite masculine.
“No one can have me.” She stated. He turned her around with his hands around her small waist.
“Say his name and say he can’t have you.” His eyes were filled with complete passion and she could tell he loved her at the moment. It wasn’t like when he knew Niecy was cheating. He shared the expression of hard, cold, yet loving.
“Ralph cannot have me. I want James.” Tia didn’t want to say his name, but she knew he’d be able to tell if she was lying and she didn’t want to fight him.
“I don’t give a fuck about anything or anyone in this office right now in this moment. Don’t make me say this again to you baby. We said it was going to be us and if that’s what we said we should keep it that way. If you want to fuck around because you’re still young, open your mouth before you open your legs. I love you but I will not share you. I shared Denise my entire relationship and I knew when I begin to doubt her, but you aren’t going to do the same here. I will let you have your freedom from me if you want to fuck around with other men.” James didn’t blink, look away, or acknowledge his ringing phone. The two stood in silence before Tia advised James to answer the phone.
“James Davenport, how can I help you?” He answered with his standard greeting. “No, the meeting is cancelled. The staff can leave, I had to open the date and fix an issue. Send everyone an email for early leave with pay. Thank you. You leave as well.” As James talked on the phone to his assistant, Tia walked around back facing James soaking in the thick air in the atmosphere. She knew one thing she didn’t want and that was to lose power. She loved him but she also loved her position beside him. She loved the intensity that he had this day; before it was allow her to do whatever to keep her happy but now it was as if a dog pissing on the side of a tree—LaTia Driscoll belonged to James Davenport. But did he belong to her?
“You see what I mean LaTia? If you need me in anyway, I can stop my entire day for you. I will stop my entire day for you. I own this fucking company, these fucking interns, and I own the decisions of what happens next in this building.” She understood all so well. “You don’t ever have to worry about wanting or needing anything queen. What you have to worry about is being the woman that is on this pedestal. You have power in many ways you just don’t know.” He sat at the edge of his desk, legs crossed at the ankle, and arms folded across his chest.
“What’s my power?” Tia asked staring at him invested in his response.
“You have one of the most successful black men in Atlanta at your beck and call. You have a face that will represent my company in due time. You are a gorgeous specimen, my dear. You have fair skin which doesn’t offend the Caucasian business men we will meet and a style that invites anyone who has eyes and power. You don’t need try to be sexy because you are sexy; you exude what men feed off of. Not only are you face worthy, you have a brilliant mind. It moves fast, creates, it calculates, and it leads to the next successful thing. But beyond that, what’s between your legs is sweet and addictive. Men who have been privileged to taste your juices must recognize this and act accordingly. Men can fuck basically whoever they want but why fuck the bottom of the barrel when you are at the top of the food chain? That wouldn’t make any sense right? Men with power, men like me, want women like you and if the chosen women aren’t quite ready, we afford them to become ready.” Tia listened closely. She soaked up one thing: She had the power to run the company and to have a very lucrative and happy life. Before anyone could speak, there was a knock at the door. Tia knew who it would be as if she had x-ray vision she knew that Charlotte wanted to get an update of what was going on in the office.
“Yes, Charlotte.” He opened the door to see her standing there.
“Are you okay?” she said as she stood outside the door unable to look into the office.
“I’m trying to fix a company emergency. I would appreciate it if I could have this day to get it together because we need all issues fixed when they first begin. If I need anything, I’ll have my assistant to call you.” He responded. Charlotte felt relieved that he said he’d have his assistant call her if need be, but the three knew it would never happen.
“Alright boss. Have a good day.” Charlotte didn’t hear or see Tia and thought maybe she missed her on the way out of the building and left the building.
“You are the prize baby girl. I will not share the prize anymore with any man again. I would prefer that you tell me what you want and we continue forward with whatever decision you want. I will not force you to be my woman. I will not make you want to be beside me. I will not make you want to fuck me. I will not stress over the woman that chooses to be here. Just as you have men that want you, I have women throwing themselves at me and I without a shadow of a doubt know who and what I want. I want LaTia Driscoll and—,”
“I want James Davenport. These men will forever be in my face and I still choose you. I know that Charlotte was where you heard anything even if she didn’t say anything to you specifically, but you have nothing to fret about.” Tia interrupted James. James begin to chuckle lightly.
“Fret? I’m not worried about someone taking you out for a drink or trying to get you out of my face. I don’t want my queen being played with by bullshit niggas that can ruin her shine, her light, and the way that I look upon her. You aren’t just a chick anymore, I keep trying to tell you that you are more than that for me and the moment you allow another man to come in between us then you dim your own light.” The thought begin to form in her head. She wasn’t just his
woman, but an idea.
Ralph begin to symbolize the end of an empire that James wanted to continue to build upon with her. If she fucked around and started acting her age, she would lose what she fought for.
“You don’t have to worry about losing me. I’m yours.” She was lost in her thoughts.
After the conversation with James, I was stunned. I saw the world in a different light and decided to meet with Ralph. I wanted to tell him that I couldn’t continue to talk with him and as I was about to text message him to meet he sent me a picture of him. He was in the gym with no shirt on, dreads were twisted and tied up perfectly with some basketball shorts and I could see the print of his pipe and I decided meeting in person wouldn’t end well.
I texted, “I have a man and he doesn’t want me with anyone else.”
He responded, “Let me tell you this shawty, I knew a woman like you were off the market. But I’m not going to let you slip away that easy. Everything is on your terms.”
“I think we should allow some days to pass without communication because I don’t want any issues with me and him.” I couldn’t believe he was trying to put up an argument.
“I’ll give you some time to think it over.” He struck me as the guy that ruins relationships and then turns out to be no good so I was completely straight on that. I didn’t respond to him either, I didn’t want to and I had nothing to say. I walked into the bathroom and begin to remove my clothing; it was one in the afternoon and I was home waiting on James to return with lunch. He cancelled the entire day to prove the point that he wasn’t about to allow another man to take me. James revealed another dimension of himself and I wanted to talk to someone that knew him.
“Hey Denise. I need to talk with you.” I felt all types of crazy for calling her, but I had to have everything back in lock and in prospective.
“What’s up lady?” She responded confidently.
“This is going to be weird, but I need advice about James.” I wanted to mumble the request.
“Can you meet me?” Niecy asked.
“Later, he’s on the way to my place now.”
“It’s the middle of the day, what do you mean?”
“He cancelled everything today…for me.”
“Now, I like you young lady but don’t have him losing his company. I’m chilling let’s talk until he reaches you.” Denise knew that something was up and I could tell she was worried.
“Charlotte was talking about me and she said that there was a dude in the club on me which in turned pissed me off because James heard her. Well, this guy did try and approach me and I was so pissed that Charlotte is always coming for me I didn’t answer his questions with my normal relaxed tone and that set him off. He told me basically no one else can have me and it’s not about having a man after me but having man change the way he sees me. Have you ever saw him turn into this intense guy that you’ve hardly seen?” I explained everything.
“Sounds very familiar. Let me tell you something James Davenport is a very intense person. When he loves, he loves without conditions. He shut the office down to allow you a chance to get your whole life together. I know you’re young, I know these niggas are on you, but I will say one thing to you about James: do not be stupid. I was so stupid, but I was also in love with my first love and now you see how everything played out. You are in love with James and if I didn’t know any better, I’d say that from his new intense level you’re seeing he’s in love too.” Denise stated.
“He says he loves me.” I advised.
“What has happened over the last couple of weeks that would make him get all intense?”
“I don’t know Niecy. We stay with each other all the time, I met his mother, and—,”
“That’s it. His mother loves you and so she solidified his love for you. She didn’t quite like me and that didn’t sit well with him but he definitely regrets choosing me. But she loves you and he can’t lose you now. What is it that you want?”
“I love him but the intensity did frighten me a bit.” I confided in her.
“He will never hurt you, but beware that he will be putting the dick on your little ass by the end of the day. He cancelled work, he’ll be punishing you with dick.” Niecy started chuckling at the thought.
“Is he possessive?” I questioned ignoring her laugh.
“They all are, but yes he is. “ She revealed.
“Please don’t tell him I called you.” I begged Niecy.
“Chile, its our secret.” I hung the phone up and begin to think about the next couple of moves to be made.
James unlocked the front door of the apartment. He had Ruth Chris for lunch and he still had a look of a hurting and very serious man. I wanted to erase the worry from him; corrupt the doubt he had.
“I want you to draw us a bath, take your clothes off, and get in the tub. I want you to wait for me.” His voice dripped with intensity once again.
“Would you like to watch me take my clothes off?” I smiled at him.
“No, when I see you in the tub and everything will be perfect.” He smiled back. Finally, a smile. It relieved me to see those pearly white teeth. I didn’t waste any time getting into the bathroom to run the water, I added scented bath salt, bubble bath, and my youthful naked body. I looked at the tattoos that were on my body and loved the way that I look. I wanted to be perfect for someone; someone to see a woman that not only has struggled but is willing to stay down and struggle with a man who promises her forever. The ghetto vision; however, had changed. This man didn’t offer me a chance to struggle with him, but to grow an empire. That wasn’t what I imagined as a little girl; we are taught in the ghetto that you have to be “down” with one man and go through all his shit with him, but never were we inspired, encouraged, or even heard of having your education and having a man offer you something more than just struggling and staying down.
My mother didn’t exactly teach me any of those things. She chose to stick it out and work her way out of the ghetto. I was a different breed of woman; a mixture of independence and fairy tales. Independence because my mother instilled and drilled taking care of myself better than anyone else, but fairy tales because I didn’t have my daddy and I had never been in love before. I refused men left and right because of that and I wanted to make sure that I would be a better woman without my father’s influence, guidance, and education. I wanted the love that my mother dreamed of but wouldn’t say it aloud. I wanted what normal women desired but I wanted that taste of success, that stingy feeling of purchasing whatever I desired, and I wanted James. He entered the bathroom fully naked, exposed, and sincere. He had a fluke of wine and a smile.
“I will give you whatever your heart desires and all you have to do is promise me loyalty and love. I will give you everything I have left in my heart if you are honest with me. I will give you all of me…” I stared into his eyes and tear swelled up in my eyes.
“Can you promise me that?” Could I?
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