Get to know Darren . . .



The plan had been a warm shower and early night, but when Trey got in around eight, he apologized for missing their workout and explained that Darren was on the way over. Didn’t matter to her; they would eat dinner and go their separate ways like they always did.


But when Darren showed up around eight-thirty he was wearing faded jeans, a yellow long-sleeved shirt that clung to his very impressive chest and made the most of his dark-as-molasses complexion; and as a bonus, cologne that made Shayla want to swoon. He seemed to occupy the entire kitchen with his overwhelming masculinity, all biceps and shoulders and booming laugh. It was impossible not to flirt with a man like him, and he clearly enjoyed flirting back.

“What you doin’ tonight?” he’d asked as they all finished up with the meal. “Go on get dressed and come out with us.”

Shayla noticed that Trey said nothing, so she refused at first, looking at him out of the corner of her eye. For all she knew, he had plans to pick up some woman and bring her home, and if she was along for the ride, it would make things a little awkward to say the least when his conquest realized she lived in the same house.

“Don’t look at him,” Darren said, noticing the glance. “You’re rollin’ with me.”

Feeling caught, Shayla said nothing.

“No, you should come,” Trey said finally but without enthusiasm. “Go ahead. Get ready. We’ll wait.”

So she’d gone down to shower and change, managing to find a pair of close-fitting jeans and a yellow slip top which she wore with black high-heeled sandals. At the last minute she even pulled her braids up into a swing ponytail and put on a little lipstick and eyeliner. She had no idea how she looked—she was so out of practice with that stuff—until she walked into the kitchen and saw an expression of unmistakable appreciation cross both men’s faces.

“You clean up good, girl,” Darren said, his eyes running over her. “You’re most definitely riding with me. Trey, you can take your car.”

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Woman-Centered Fiction Writer, commenting on books, culture and the human condition.

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