What would make a normally peaceful man lose his cool? Someone disrespecting the woman he loves, even if he didn’t realize he loves her until this happens. It's another 20 Days of Love, and Chicki Brown's A Song For You is heating up the pages...
I grabbed Breelyn’s hand and pulled her back into the mass of bodies moving to the music for two more songs before I put my arm around her waist and walked her back to our table. The club had gotten crowded, and someone else had taken our seats even though we’d left our glasses there.
“Excuse me, man,” I said to the greasy-looking dude wearing a loud Hawaiian print beach hat who was reclining with his legs splayed out in front of him in the seat I’d vacated. “This table was occupied.”
He picked up his drink and took his time draining the glass. “It wasn’t when I got here.” His words
“Come on, man. You knew someone was sitting here, or the glasses would’ve been cleared away.”I tried to reason with him.
“Go to hell!” He returned to his slouched position with his meaty arms folded as though he owned the place.
Breelyn’s body tensed against my side. I squeezed her waist before I released her and took a step toward the visibly tipsy guy. If the place hadn’t been so crowded, I might have found another place to sit, but this was a matter of principle. The stupid shit-eating grin he sent me pissed me off.
“I’m going to say this one more time,” I said, standing over him. “The lady and I were sitting here. Find yourself another spot.”
“Take that yellow ho somewhere else. I ain’t moving.”
By now we had drawn the attention of people around us. If he’d merely disrespected me, I could’ve let it slide, but he’d insulted Breelyn in the vilest way. My face was burning. I grabbed the front of his sweaty t-shirt and slammed him back in his seat. His head hit the wall with a loud thump. Breelyn gasped and jumped back when the chair came out from under him and jostled the table. Our glasses went flying and crashed to the floor in a hail of ice cubes.
He was big, but he was fat not fit. He lifted his considerable bulk, swung at me and clipped my jaw. Automatically, I hit him with a sharp right cross to his left cheekbone. A string of curses shot out of his mouth. He came for me with a fury. I widened my stance, dropped into a crouch and swiped his leg. The kick took him off his feet and sent him crashing into the tables behind him.
Before he could struggle up from the floor and retaliate, club security had pushed through the crowd.
“What the hell is going on here?” one of them asked.
Spectators sitting near all jumped to answer his question squarely laying the blame on big boy. Two security men picked him up and dragged him to the exit. I turned around and found Breelyn looking stunned and breathing hard. Her eyes stretched wide and one hand covered her mouth. The other was twisting a strand of her hair around her index finger.
My immediate response was to wrap my arms around her. “I’m sorry. I certainly didn’t mean for this to happen on our first date. Maybe we should leave.”
“We can go back to my apartment,” she said softly and licked her bottom lip.
I don’t know if it was my imagination, but I thought I saw a sparkle in her eyes. She took hold of my arm, and we started towards the exit. On the way, a brother approached me and introduced himself as the club manager. Are you and the lady all right? My security men just told me what happened. I want to apologize on behalf of Jazzy Bones.”
“We’re fine. Appreciate the apology, though.”
“We’ve had trouble with that clown before. From now on he’s banned from the club. You don’t have to leave. Stay and have another drink or dinner on us.”
Breelyn shook her head.
“Thanks, but I’m going to get her back home.”
“No problem. One of the guys will follow you outside and make sure he didn’t come back. If you’re ever looking for a job, our security staff could use somebody with your skills.”
I laughed at the thought. “Thanks. I’ll keep it in mind.” We worked our way through the crowd and outside to the parking lot. The security man waited until I got Breelyn into the car and pulled off before he went back inside.
After a few moments of silence, she said, “What you did in there was unbelievable.” Her voice held a hint of wonder. “You didn’t even break a sweat.”
“One of the benefits of MMA, my regular workout. This is the first time I’ve ever had to use it outside of the gym. I’m sorry he disrespected you.”
“I’ve been called worst.” She rested a hand on my knee, leaned in and kissed my cheek. “Thank you for standing up for me.”
One of the hardest parts of interacting with women was learning to read their signals. If you misread an action, it could ruin not only an evening but the possibility of a relationship. I had the feeling Breelyn wanted to get closer, but I had to play this carefully. The kiss could’ve merely been a thank you for my chivalry, but I needed to know for sure, so I hooked a finger under her chin and turned her face to mine. My lips brushed hers. Nothing deep or frenzied, just a light gentle touch. “It’s not even eleven yet, is there somewhere we can go for coffee?”
“I have coffee at home. Tangie bought a Keurig for her store, and it convinced me to get one for my kitchen. If you really want coffee, you can have some there.” Her voice took on a low, sexy tone.
No, I hadn’t read her wrong.
Contemporary women’s fiction/romance author Chicki Brown has been featured in USAToday. She was the 2014 B.R.A.B. (Building Relationships Around Books) Inspirational Fiction Author and also the 2011 SORMAG (Shades of Romance Magazine) Author of the Year. Her novel, Don't Stop Till You Get Enough, was chosen as a USAToday 2016 HEA Must-Read Romance.
Nia Forrester, Beverly Jenkins, Lisa Kleypas, J.R. Ward are among her favorite authors.
A transplanted New Jersey native who lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
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