Joy Matthews isn’t afraid of risks. She’s quit her Fortune 500 job and enrolled in culinary school, chasing her dream. Joy wants her own couture cake boutique. Pursuing her dream by day, Joy pays the bills working nights at The Hourglass—an exclusive gentlemen’s club catering to patrons who enjoy "a little extra fine on a woman’s frame."
Joy’s catching up to her dream when a chance encounter reconnects her with Quinton Daley, a childhood friend. Mutual attraction throws the proverbial wrench in Joy’s relationship-phobic, happily agnostic life. A goal-oriented woman who "doesn’t do men with Bible breath," Joy sees in Quinton a whole lot of what she likes but doesn’t need. Tall, chocolate-skinned, and born-again, Quinton’s Christianity poses a risk even the tenacious Joy isn’t willing to take.
Quinton Daley isn’t fazed. He’s a man of faith who will willingly wait on Joy to come to God…and him. When love and lust heat up, Joy and Quinton face a predicament. Will they indulge? Or abstain? Join this wild mix of custom cakes, a saved, sanctified and sexy man, and an obsessed patron from The Hourglass who’s determined to make Joy’s life a sticky mess. It’s a recipe for a read that’s wickedly witty and delicious.
We were fully dressed, upright and not horizontal. Still, our inner connection was highly sensual, definitely intimate.
Feeling some new kind of need to know how intimate I could be without Que inside of me, I got to my feet. Without a word, I left Que where he was sitting to go scrounging in baskets neatly lining the built-in wall shelves in my closet. Returning with a small jar of body butter, I lowered the lights and lit several candles before sitting again. “Let me see your hands.”
Que complied, all curious and cautious. Que’s hands were big and solid, and a bit rough, like a working man’s.
Uncapping the body butter, I scooped out just enough to warm between my palms. “Everything in line for the grand opening?”
Que wasn’t buying my redirect. I knew he knew I was up to something. His answer was quiet and slow in coming. “Ronnie’s my boy. He came through like a champ. The work’s finished. We’re just waiting on our scheduled walk-through with county inspectors.”
“Congratulations,” I nearly purred, slowly covering Que’s hands with a thin layer of warmed body butter.
“Yaz’s baby sister recently launched her own product line. It’s her Vanilla Mango Spice. You like?”
“It’s nice,” Que suspiciously assented, as if I wasn’t worth trusting. “Relax,” I invited, releasing one of Que’s hands to change the music to what I liked: smooth, sensuous jazz. Smile locked low, I proceeded to give Quinton the hand massage of his life.
This man had shown me a satisfaction I’d only experienced while nude and nasty. Not that I was trying to get back at Que for being a flirty sadist, but I was curious as to whether I had depth enough to gift non-coital contentment to him.
“Even though I dislike your boy, Fre’Shawn, I gotta admit he’s good on his grind.”
Sitting cross-legged on the floor, I merely looked up at Que and hummed, “Mmm-hmm.”
“That doesn’t mean I appreciate the idea of another man hovering over you.”
Raising one brow, I kept at my business, slowly massaging Que’s right hand. I was firm but tender, meticulously kneading away Que’s tiredness and tension.
“And most def ’, I don’t appreciate this whole situation. So, let me put this out here: you have an open invitation to stay with me.”
I snorted a small laugh.
“I have a spare room, Joy. I’m just saying.”
My heart responded with pleasure like the beat of butterfly wings that this man cared enough to want to protect me. But I said nothing. I was busy experimenting.
The deeper, the more intense that hand massage, the more Que seemed to want to talk. It dawned on me that he was mouth-jocking, trying to avoid something. So, I shushed him to silence, intent that he feel whatever it was he was feeling.
I admit it was teasing, but not intentionally. I wanted this hardworking man to escape the cares of reopening a community center. I wanted him to relax and leave all the foolishness outside. Yes, I wanted Que to touch the sexual energy he’d unleashed in me. But this wasn’t solely about the flesh and the freak. And, okay, yes, there was a little bit of payback in it. But above all, I needed genuinely—in my own way—to convey I cared.
That right there was a lightning strike. I care for this man!
That made my head spin and my soul spread. But I didn’t back up. I let truth flow. Truth possessed me, filling me with heat, lust, and light. With only the sweet scent of Vanilla Mango Spice and the mellow sexy of jazz between us, I sat there, eyes locked on Quinton’s, and poured my whole self into my touch.
Neither of us spoke. Our sole physical contact was my hands massaging his. And I did it like I had a license. Our eyes fixed and focused on each other’s, we learned a wordless language together. Maybe it was me who was learning, and Quinton simply conveying. Whatever the case...our language was melodiously potent, hot, and unquestionably…orgasmic. When I felt neither of us could take much more without needing to cross the line to carnal contentment, I eased up.
Warming a final application in my hands, I rubbed body butter over Que’s muscled forearms before sealing all that sexy with a demure kiss to his cheek. “Let’s find something to eat,” I softly suggested, rising to my feet.
When I reached for Que’s hand, he held mine before kissing it. “Give me a minute.”
As Ma’Deen would say, “Who’d a thunk it?” Joy Matthews could lead us to a different kind of Nirvana through the touch of genuine care. I could give more of my true me. Smiling, I walked off, giving Baby Boy what he needed: time to tame and deflate that thunder beast.
Suzette D. Harrison, a native Californian and the middle of three daughters, grew up in a home where reading was required, not requested. Her literary “career” began in junior high school with the publishing of her poetry. While Mrs. Harrison pays homage to Alex Haley, Gloria Naylor, Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, and Toni Morrison as legends who inspired her creativity, it was Dr. Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings that unleashed her writing. The award-winning author of Taffy is a wife and mother who holds a culinary degree in Pastry & Baking. Mrs. Harrison is currently cooking up her next novel…in between batches of cupcakes.
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