A beautiful story of love between a man and a woman. Photographer Kennedy Holloway has changed her life, and is now pursuing her first love in a career of creating beautiful art from behind the lens of a camera. A freelance photographer for Courtside Magazine, she’s begun rubbing elbows with some of the NBA’s elite players. Running from heartache and disappointment, she’s come to the end of the road when she meets Atlanta Cobras’, Elias Dacosta.
Touted as the NBA’s #1 shooting guard and designated all-around ladies’ man, Elias’ private life is off limits to the paparazzi. No one really knows the man off the court, and he’s blocking every attempt from anyone getting too close, until he meets Kennedy on assignment. Her attempts to hide behind the camera only piques his interest further. He won’t rest until he wins at the game of love.
Follow Kennedy and Elias through three years of ups and downs, as they learn about one another and themselves. Deemed to be the “perfect couple,” Kennedy’s past rises up as a barrier between them. Will a lesson in sacrificial love keep the two of them apart, or will it be the bond that they need to bring them together again?
Finishing her last shot of the night, Kennedy had packed her bags away in her trunk. Tired, she had decided she was going home after capturing the last shots. The entire day had been spent running errands for her paternal grandmother, developing photos for a family she had recently taken family portraits of, and working on her own website.
She returned to get something to drink, when she heard the announcement about a new neo-soul band that she had been wanting to check out. Despite being tired, at the last minute, she chose to stay at the café, since she had nothing else to do. It would be a break from the monotony that had become her life. Most days she came home after work to develop photos, and when she finished that she would sit in front of the TV and veg out or read a good book.
Outside of her photography, Kennedy loved a good book and music. Her favorite music artists were Ledisi, India Arie, Kindred and the Family Soul, Floetry, and Lucy Pearl. Tonight’s featured groups included, Eggs and Toast, a pop band, and a neo soul group she had heard much about, RohoMalkia.
Their name, which meant Soul Queen in Swahili, was meant to empower and uplift black men and women alike. As important as they believed it was for women to be powerful, they also believed it was just as important to lift and support the black man, to keep the black community and families strong. Kennedy connected with that deep within her soul, because her family had failed all around.
“Thanks,” Kennedy stated, grabbing her cup of chai tea and fruit salad from the café attendant at the bar.
Smiling, she maneuvered her way through the growing Friday night crowd. Chairs were filled up with a few empty seats here and there. Couples and a few individual people danced on the floor in front of the stage. Kennedy spotted a free space near the tinted windows to the left of the stage, and quickly made her way there. Sitting down in the empty club chair, she set her food and mug on the table.
The fast, upbeat tunes made its way throughout the café, as she enjoyed her small meal. After a big lunch, she decided to go light on her dinner. Fruit and tea were the perfect recipe to keep her feeling light tonight.
Snapping her fingers to the frenetic, fast-paced beat, she enjoyed the atmosphere. The rhythm made her want to be wild and free in the outdoors. An hour had passed in no time, and Kennedy was feeling extremely relaxed.
A café attendant had come by and replaced her mug of tea, with a glass of white wine. She had placed the order earlier when she had paid for her fruit and tea. Laid back in the comfortable chair, she applauded with everyone else, as RohoMalkia came onto the stage.
Their reputation proceeded them, and she looked forward to what they had to offer. She wasn’t disappointed as the soulful, powerful vocals of the two sisters on stage took over the café. No music accompanied their lyrics, just the snap of their fingers, and the sway of their hips.
Kennedy’s shoulders loosened as she began to flow with their beat. Closing her eyes, she rested her head against the chair’s back. Fingers lightly gripping the stem of her wineglass she pulled it up to her lips and took a sip.
The taste was cleansing, light, and crisp. A soothing feeling coursed through her, as she let the power of the lyrics pour over her. The twang of a guitar kicked in with the tinkle of piano keys.
The song Pour It Out, talked about a woman being healed from a previous heartbreak by the love of a good man. It described a love that he poured into her, that was so amazing and powerful, it allowed her to pour out all her heartache and pain, and become a better, stronger woman. It talked about how her newfound confidence and power, became her new man’s refuge and strength.
Tears made their way down her face, as she let the meaning of the lyrics penetrate her brain. She pushed the thoughts that threatened to overwhelm her to the side. A cool breeze passed in front of her, and she felt something lightly brush up against her arm.
When the touch moved from her arm to her shoulder, Kennedy finally peeled her eyes open. Surprised to find Elias kneeling in front of her, he held a tissue out to her. Smiling she accepted the tissue from his hands.
Elias pulled his tall, muscular frame up to his full height. “I’ll be right back.”
She watched as he disappeared behind the stage and she turned her attention back to the group on stage. Kennedy worked hard not to get pulled too deep into the lyrics, because she was embarrassed to have been caught crying the way she had. She didn’t want to experience another crying jag.
Within moments, Elias returned with an armchair that matched hers, and sat it beside her. His long legs stretched beyond their table, as he crossed them at the ankle.
He never spoke, simply nodded his head to the beat of the music. What intrigued her the most, was the fact that none of the patrons seemed to be caught up in his presence. While they nodded and smiled when he came in, and appeared to display the highest level of respect, they did not flock to him and disturb his space. They simply enjoyed the live entertainment.
After that set ended, Groove Theory flowed through the overhead speakers, and Kennedy turned her attention to Elias.
“No groupies or fan clubs out tonight?” she asked, holding her hand midway in the air, one eyebrow lifted.
Elias held his head down and chuckled. “Nah, not here. This isn’t even that type of place.”
She nodded her head slowly. “I’d’ve thought a celebrity of your stature wouldn’t be able to go anywhere in public without a mob coming after you.”
“I get that some places, but there are many places celebrities can go and feel free to live without all of the attention and the paparazzi following us. I told you, we’ve got our spots. We pay a high price for our privacy, but it’s well worth it. This is one of those places. A chill spot that welcomes different people from different walks of life, but there are boundaries in place that must be respected.”
“That’s good, Elias. I always worry about that for you guys. I know that I couldn’t live my life in a glass bubble, always under the microscope, with someone dissecting my every move.”
She watched in the dimly lit room as Elias’ facial expression changed from light and fun-loving, to dark and grim.
“Did I say something wrong?” she asked.
“Nah, just lost in thought about some business I need to tend to.”
“I really like the groups you had out here tonight,” she stated, changing the subject. She somehow doubted the truth behind his words.
“Thanks. They’ve worked hard to get where they are, and they’re still putting it in to keep moving. I just do my part by supporting their dreams. Speaking of…what’re yours?”
Kennedy finished sipping the last of her wine, before handing it off to an attendant who had come to her side.
“What do you mean?” she asked, turning her head to watch RohoMalkia sign autographs.
“Your dreams? What are they? All I know about you is that you’re a beast behind that camera. You bring things to life in a way I’ve never seen before.”
“So, you’ve said. And you’re a beast on that court. You really did your thing by the way,” she said, lightly patting his hand.
“What’s so funny?” his low voice asked, sounding so intimate in the public space.
“Just that I’m not a sports fan, but I really enjoyed myself that night. I was so caught up in the energy that flowed through the arena, that I felt like a diehard fan, although I had no idea what was going on.”
“Do you do that often?” Elias asked, rubbing one finger on the back of her hand.
“What’s that?” she asked, dropping her voice low and her eyes to his finger.
Kennedy swallowed, pulling back the heat that surged through her. She wasn’t certain if it was the wine, the dim lights, or just his nearness. Biting her lip, she pulled her hand back from his touch.
“You always manage to turn the subject away from yourself. I know very little about you, even after the long talk we had the night of the championship game.”
Pressing her lips together, she wished in that moment she was anywhere else but there.
Bel Amour Coming Soon...
Women's fiction author and blogger, Chelle Ramsey brings a refreshing perspective into the lives of her readers and wants them to find entertainment, healing and inspiration in each novel. Using real problems and challenges faced by ordinary people, Chelle wants readers to become empowered to rise above life's adversities, with faith in God, and belief in themselves.
Her stories are relatable to individuals of diverse demographics, who have suffered a loss, been hurt, have low self-esteem, have lost hope, or need a word of encouragement. She strives to take your emotions on a roller coaster ride, one page at a time. Chelle holds an MBA in Human Resource Management, which she puts to use in her Human Resources role by day, while she writes her fiction novels at night. And in her spare time, she’s a blogger, freelance writer, and ghostwriter.
Her most important roles are those of a wife and mother of three. During her “me time,” she becomes enraptured with the enthralling stories of Terry McMillan, Nora Roberts, James Patterson and Stuart Woods. Chelle Ramsey resides in a rural community in Atlanta, Georgia and enjoys writing, family time, and watching NBA games.
She hosts the annual 20 Days of Love authors’ blogging campaign, March Madness authors’ giveaways campaign, and showcases other authors on her blog at www.chelleramsey.com/beautifully-inspired-blog. Her novels can be found online at Chelle Ramsey Amazon.
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