After the death of his lover, Wallace returns to California. He's on a mission to reconcile with the family that threw him out when he was eighteen, as well as to uncover information about his deceased partner. Who was the real James Parks, and why did he come to such an untimely demise? Wallace discovers shocking secrets that reveal a connection with James that he never knew he had.
College professors Grace and David Andrews are a married couple keeping secrets from each other. This is no run-of-the-mill marital infidelity, though. David doesn't know that his someone-on-the-side shares a painful link to Grace's past. If the truth is revealed, it could send everyone down a path to certain devastation.
One man has had a hand in the fate of every one of these characters. His actions have resulted in the dismemberment of three families. Now that the loose ends have begun to unravel, will any of them be able to pull their lives back together?
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Both Sides Of The Fence 3: Loose Ends
By M.T. Pope
Urban Books, LLCCopyright © 2011 M.T. Pope
All rights reserved.
April 1st 6:11 P.M.
"Look, Ms. Andrews." I walked to her office door and closed it, so we could get the privacy I needed. "This is how this shit is going to work."
It was after class and we were in her office. I was supposed to be "getting help" with my problems in her Physics 254-A class. Ms. Andrews, or Grace, is one of my college professors I was sexing on the regular. She was bugging out, talking about how she wanted out, but I was not having it.
"Grace, wouldn't you lose your job if the dean of the school found out that you were exchanging grades for sex?"
Her face frowned up as to say "You wouldn't?"
Little did she know, I wouldn't, but she didn't need to know that I wouldn't say anything. It would ruin my plans. "And wouldn't your husband be quite upset if he found out you were getting bent over by a student, moreover, a female student?
"Hmm ... I wonder how that would make him feel. Me, doing what he obviously couldn't do right and finding out I was doing it better than he ever could." I tapped my chin with my index finger, pretending to think. I watched the hamster on a wheel in her head try to come up with a way out. She didn't have two legs to stand on.
"Ashley, do what you have to do." She tried to act like the power was in her hands. "I will not stand for this any longer. I am feeling very uncomfortable with this situation and I want out."
"Uncomfortable, huh?" I smiled, slyly walked around her desk, and moved close enough to her to whisper in her ear. "It wasn't uncomfortable when you let me bend your ass over this desk yesterday night. You came right in my mouth, and now you sitting here pouting and whining about how you are 'uncomfortable.'" She shivered and moaned in pleasure, as the thoughts of me going down on her from behind trickled down her spine. I was very good at what I did and she knew it.
"Y — yes ... That's what I'm saying." I had already moved my hand under her pleated, black, knee-length skirt, toward her kitty cat. She started to purr like one as I eased my hand in between her thighs and pried them open with my pinky and thumb.
"D — don't do this ... no ... not now." Her voice was sensuous and low. Her fight was growing weaker as I inched my fingers inside her and started to thumb her huge clit.
"Don't fight it," I whispered. "It won't take long, promise."
Her chair was on wheels, so I pushed it back far enough to fit under her desk and to get easier access to her sweet spot. The fight in her was now gone. I got comfortable on the floor, eased her legs over my shoulder, and pulled her closer to me. Moans escaped her mouth as I went in for the kill.
"Uh ... uhhhh," Grace grunted like a beast. She sounded like she had something caught in her throat. It was an orgasm threatening to blow, I supposed. "That's it — right — right — right — thereeee!" She sounded like a broken record as she came gushing all over my face. Her chest pumped up and down like a horse in a derby. She was trying to bring her breathing back down, but I went in again, not giving her a chance to breathe normal. I was going to show her who I was, again.
I was completely under her large red oak desk, when a knock on the door jarred us from our secret pleasure.
"Ah ... ah ... Who is it?" This bitch was about to give us the fuck away with her nervous shit. I squished myself underneath her desk far enough to not be seen at all.
"Professor Andrews," I heard a familiar voice speak through the doors.
"Co — come in," Grace answered with a pleasant, but shaken voice. Either her ass was scared that she was going to get busted or the nut I just gave her had her overwhelmed. I picked the latter, because I was just that good.
I heard the feet of a man come in, shut the door, and walk over to her. She pushed me even further under her desk. The chick had her knee in my throat and I was laboring to breath and not choke. I wanted to jab her in her gut, but decided against it.
"Hey, babe," she spoke seductively to her husband. Yes, her husband was a professor too. I only fucked with the best. No less. Grades weren't the only thing I was getting out of Grace. She was lacing my pockets with money pretty nicely too. I was only going for a couple hundred every so often. I wasn't going to be a greedy extortionist. I needed everything to stay under the radar. I had the get-in and get-out attitude. Laziness will get a sister caught up. "How was your day?" she asked him.
"Good, but exhausting." He breathed out a tired breath. The conversation labored on for about fifteen minutes or so before his tired ass decided to give us a break.
"Okay, honey. I'll be out of here in a little while. Let me finish up some of these papers and I will see you when I get home." I heard a kiss being exchanged, footsteps sloshing across the floor, and then the door closing.
"His big ass needs to be on a crack diet or something," I said, pushing my way out from under her desk and straightening my clothes. I pulled a couple of tissues out of the box on her desk and wiped her juices off of my chin. "I see now why you let me give you the mouth dick."
She shook her head in shame.
"What's wrong?" I sat on the edge of her desk in front of her. I looked in her eyes and saw pain and hurt. "You are feeling bad about doing what we doing?" The question was rhetorical, but she nodded her head yes anyway.
"You are a fifty-three-year-old coward. Man ... the fuck ... up." I looked at her like she was sickening to look at.
She hunched over in her chair and burst into tears. She must have thought that I was going to console her or something. That was for her husband to do, not me. She chose to live on both sides of the fence, now she had to learn how to be tough or hop her ass back over the fence. What she didn't know was it was easier said than done. I was only nineteen, but knew all about it.
When I left home for college I thought I was done and over sexing women after fumbling the ball with Antoinette (Tony), but it was on when I got to UCLA; it all came flooding back again. Now I am living on campus across the country from my family. It's just me and Alex, my twin brother, who was accepted here on a partial football scholarship. I was well out of control within the second year of arriving at college. At first, I tried to holler at some of the young chicks, but they just weren't on my level mentally. I stumbled onto Grace off-campus at a bar on the other side of town. It was a seedy place that most undercover bi-curious women or men frequented. It wasn't a gay bar, but it was a non-limits type of environment. Which meant anything goes.
Liquid Nights was its name and it was jumping every Friday night after midnight. It was a normal night.
"It's Not Right But It's Okay" by Whitney Houston was blasting and it was packed in the place. There was a mixed crowd of all types of men and women in the joint that night. I was sizing up the ladies in a dimly-lit corner as they walked in, trying not to be obvious, but more like copping a feel with my eyes as well. When Grace walked in, she was camouflaged with big glasses, blond wig, and her body was covered in a knee-length black trench coat. She immediately went to the bar for a drink. She looked around a little. I could tell it was her first time. She was a little jumpy as people walked by her. Several ladies approached her and I could see her turn them all away within seconds. She wasn't going to be an easy pull. I knew this only after five minutes of observing her. She had a wall up and I had to be inconspicuous in chipping it away. Homosexuality for newbies is like jumping in freezing cold water; it's a culture shock for the body because it's not used to it, but after a while of swimming around, the body adjusts and gets used to the temperature. I was about to take her into the deep end.
I walked across the dance floor and through a throng of people. A few guys tugged at my clothes, showing interest in me. And why wouldn't they? I was a good catch. I had on some tight silky black leggings, with a chocolate sweater dress that cupped my butt oh-so-right. I didn't have a big bust, but my flowing hair, baby-doll face, and thick lips deflected the attention of most from that region anyway. I had on some shades, but I would lift them and give them a brief glare deep into their eyes letting them know, quickly, that it was hands off of me unless I invited them into my space. I was not a showgirl. I was a show-out girl. Trust. But, don't get it twisted though. Dudes weren't totally off of my list. They just weren't at the top. I had evolved over the last couple of years and knew that I had to keep my options open.
"Can I get me a shot of Hpnotiq?" I sat down at the U-shaped bar and pretended I didn't see Grace across the bar nursing what looked like soft drink. It let me know she was new at this.
"We Belong Together" by Mariah Carey started to play. And I decided to make my move. It was now or never. I grabbed my drink as soon as I saw the last person ease out of the seat next to her. They didn't look too pleased. It was their loss and my gain.
"Hey, how you doing, beautiful?" I sat on the bar stool and lightly rocked to the melody of the music.
"I'm good." She spoke plainly.
"Yes, all good." I smiled. "It's all about you tonight, I take it?"
"Huh?" she questioned.
"You look so beautiful. Most women that come to a club looking as good as you do, know that it's going to be all about them the whole night they are out."
"Well, that's maybe true." She took a sip of what she was drinking and looked around the club again. I took all of her in at close range real quick. She was well put together, for sure.
"Maybe? ... nahh ... You got it! All of it!"
"Thank you." She smiled. For an older woman she was gorgeous. Almost flawless.
"So who broke your heart?" I asked.
"No one broke my heart."
"You look like you lost your best friend." I sipped on my drink and stared at her intently.
"No, I don't do friends. They are too much trouble." Again, she spoke in a low monotone. No umph to it at all.
"True that." I nodded.
"Can I buy you another of what you are drinking? What is it that you are drinking?"
"Rum and Coke."
I signaled the bartender and ordered her another drink.
"Thank you." She smiled.
"No problem. There is plenty more where that came from," I said, hoping she read between the lines.
After another ten minutes, she finally took her glasses off and I did the same. Both of our mouths hit the floor as we recognized each other in a place like this. All this time we were in class I thought she was giving me funny looks because I was not meeting up with the full requirements of the class. All the eye contact in class was her trying to figure out if she could trust me with her secret. I didn't know. I would have made my move a lot faster. I also wanted to know how she knew about me. But, as I thought about it, I knew the saying "it takes one to know one" was very true in most cases — not all, but most.
* * *
"Ashley, I love my husband and my job, but I will not tolerate you belittling me." She had the authoritative voice in full effect, but ask me if I cared. "Your little scare tactics don't work on me."
"Sure they don't." I walked back around to the front of her desk, opened my book bag, and pulled out several sheets of paper. I laid them on the desk in front of her and watched her stern face disintegrate right before my eyes.
"Wh — where did you get this from?" she fearfully quizzed me.
"Don't worry about that. Just know that I have copies. Don't make me use them." I grabbed my bag and left her in her office to think about her next move.CHAPTER 2
April 1st 6:40 P.M.
I sat at my desk and put my head in my hands. "How in the hell did she find this?"
I looked at the paper that Ashley had sat in front of me and shook my head. My past was resurfacing right before my eyes. Tears watered up in my eyes as I thought about my past. I just couldn't deal with this then or now. I folded up the papers, walked over to my filing cabinet, and neatly tucked them into an empty folder and closed the drawer back up again and locked it up.
"I will deal with this later." I walked over to my coat, on the back of my office door, put it on, then grabbed my briefcase from off my desk, and walked out of my office with my head held high. I was not going to let some wet-behind-the-ears, spoiled brat, run me. Somehow I have to get some leverage on her to even the score. I know it sounds harsh, me squabbling with a barely legal child that is less than half my age, but I needed things to go back to the way they were before I ventured out on this trail of destruction.
The wind was blowing as I walked across the parking lot toward my car, pulling my Dolce & Gabbana jacket closed with the hand that held my briefcase and fumbling with my lunch bag in the other. I put my finger on the fingerprint reader to open my door. I quickly got in, threw the briefcase on the passenger seat, put my finger on the fingerprint reader to start the car, and pulled off. I looked at the dashboard clock and it read a quarter till seven.
I was still a little emotional fifteen minutes later as I pulled up to the fancy carryout that my husband and I frequented. Because of our busy schedules as professionals, we often had to eat out or bring something home because our days usually started pretty early in the morning. It was the reason he was overweight and why I was beginning to pick up some extra pounds myself.
I walked into the take-out side of Benson's Bistro and ordered some fried chicken, pilaf rice, sweet potatoes, string beans, and a gallon of their peach tea to go. I smiled at the African owner, who knew me all too well. As he slid me my order I put my finger on the fingerprint reader to charge my bank account. I selected the correct account and was done in seconds.
"Have a good day," he said as I turned and walked out of the establishment. I hopped back into my car and head toward my home. About twenty-five minutes later I pulled up to my Tudor-style home in Ingleside and parked my car beside my husband's.
I grabbed my bags of food, the gallon of tea, my briefcase, and struggled my way up our short, cobblestone walkway. I was loaded down with baggage of pain and secrets, but my husband only saw me struggling with the bags in my hands as he opened the door.
"Aww, baby, give me that," he said as he took all the things that cluttered my hands and let me walk in the house freely. I trailed behind him as he scolded me about not calling him on the cell phone from the car.
"I'm sorry, babe." I pouted and kissed him on his cheek before I sat down at our dining room table and watched him go into our kitchen and bring back dinnerware for our meal.
My husband, David, has picked up about eighty pounds since we have been married. He was still handsome in the face, but the extra weight that threw him into 250-pound range, which he picked up over the years, was a complete turnoff for me. We had met when I was in grad school. I was twenty-six years old and he was two years younger. He was this five foot nine, 170-pound, caramel brick house. At a moment's whim he would pick me up into the air and spin me around like a rag doll. We had a whirlwind love affair for about six months before he popped the question. At the beginning of the honeymoon period in our marriage, we were having nonstop sex, we worked out together in between classes, and we both were toned and athletic. He was so romantic and spontaneous to the point where I would literally have to fight him off of me just to get a good night's sleep in.
Now, almost thirty years later, he was getting pretty sloppy, but that was only one of the reasons I was looking for attention in other places. All he wanted to talk about was work. After grad school, we both received reputable positions in both our fields of study at UCLA. Soon both our careers began moving, but his was moving a bit faster than mine. At first, I was a little jealous, but I got over it because I knew David worked really hard for his position. Over the years, his priorities shifted heavily toward his career and less on me. Now, he was just so boring at times. I know I wasn't a beauty pageant queen or anything anymore, but a sister still had it going on.
Excerpted from Both Sides Of The Fence 3: Loose Ends by M.T. Pope. Copyright © 2011 M.T. Pope. Excerpted by permission of Urban Books, LLC.
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