Authors: Tracy Brown
Tags: #Fiction, #Anthologies (Multiple Authors), #Urban, #African American
The funeral took place the next day, and Trey was by her side as Chloe said good-bye to Jason. He never asked her whether she and Jason had been more than friends, but Chloe figured that Trey must suspect that was the case. She had openly wept for Jason on more than one occasion, and Trey never pried, never questioned her. Chloe was so grateful for that. She wouldn’t have lied to him if he had asked her, and she didn’t want to risk losing Trey at a time like this. She leaned on him for strength, and Trey supported her in every way possible.
One night, as they sat together late on a bench in Mahoney Park, Trey looked at Chloe in the moonlight and swept her hair away from her face. She was more beautiful to him in that moment than ever before.
“I love you,” he said. “I just want you to know that.”
Chloe’s heart melted, and she smiled. They had been through so much in so short a time. He had been there for her in every possible way, and she really appreciated him for it. She wondered if it was love and then realized that it might just be. Still, she wasn’t sure if she was ready to say the words. She took his hand in hers, kissed it, and held it against her cheek. “I know you do,” she said.
rey sat in his living room, watching one videotape after another as he jerked off. This was his favorite way to spend an afternoon—unless he could spend it with Chloe instead. The thought of her lips, the way she kissed him, and how soft her hands felt whenever she touched him made him weak. He fantasized about these things as he stroked his long, thick dick until he came in volcanic spasms all over his thighs and T-shirt. Laying his head back against the sofa, he sighed, relieved. The phone rang, and he was so physically drained that it took him a moment to gather the strength to answer it.
He paused the videotape and reached over to pick up his cell
phone, which lay beside him on the sofa.
appeared on the screen once again, and he felt his heart race. He was so sick of these calls, sick and tired of deleting unwanted voice messages and e-mails. He sent the call to voice mail and had to resist the urge to throw the whole phone against the wall in frustration. He was about to turn his phone off for good, when he got a call from Chloe. Hurriedly he answered it.
“Hey, beautiful!” he greeted her.
“Hey, Trey. I just got off the ferry, and I stopped to talk to Dawn before she went to catch her train. Now all the buses are gone and I don’t feel like waiting here. Can you come and get me?”
Before she could even get the question out, Trey had grabbed his car keys, locked his apartment door, and was heading down the stairs. “Of course,” he said. “I’m on my way.”
“Thanks, baby,” Chloe said, smiling. She knew he wouldn’t let her down.
As he drove to pick her up, Trey was deep in thought. He had noticed that since Jason’s funeral, he and Chloe had become a lot closer. She had really leaned on him as she mourned her friend, and Trey had been her rock, comforting her when she was down, making her laugh when she felt like crying, and doing everything he could to take her mind off the situation.
Trey had professed his love for Chloe and couldn’t help noticing that she hadn’t done so in return. He wasn’t used to that. Normally, women were the ones who craved the L-word and longed for commitment. But Chloe was different. She was independent
and didn’t seem to be in a rush to declare her love for Trey. He wondered what it was that made her hesitate to say it, since he’d done everything he could to win her affection. As he pulled up at the ferry terminal’s passenger pickup ramp, he saw her walking toward him and frowned slightly. He wondered what the fuck she had been thinking when she got dressed that morning.
Chloe walked over to his car in a pair of tiny white shorts, a multicolored top, and stiletto sandals. She wore a pair of Gucci shades on her face, and she turned the heads of men and women alike as she strutted over to his car.
“Hey, sexy!” she greeted him when she climbed inside. Trey noticed a man nearby watching Chloe’s ass as she got into the car, and he had to resist the urge to say something to the guy. Instead, he turned his attention to Chloe as she kissed him softly on his cheek and smiled at him.
“Why do you dress like that?” he asked.
Her smile immediately turned to a frown. “Dress like what, Trey?” It wasn’t the first time he’d voiced his disapproval of her outfit choices, and frankly, Chloe was getting tired of it.
He put the car in drive and headed toward Richmond Terrace as he answered her. “So revealing,” he said. “You don’t leave much to the imagination when you wear shit like that. You got every guy out here checking you out. And I know it must’ve been worse in Manhattan. I know them dudes out there was trying to holla at you all day.” He shook his head, bothered by the mere thought of men ogling her that way. “Where are you
coming from, anyway?” he asked. “I thought you said you were gonna stay home all day and help Willow find something to wear for her date with that guy she likes.”
Chloe looked at Trey like he was crazy. Was he interrogating her? Had he questioned her morals simply because of the way she dressed? And since when did she have to give him a planned itinerary whenever she decided to leave the house? “Pull over,” she said.
Trey looked at her, then back at the road ahead of him. “Why?”
She reached in her bag for her cell phone and looked at him as if he had completely lost his mind. “Because I asked you to, that’s why.”
He reluctantly did as she requested and pulled over across the street from the 120th Precinct. “What’s the problem?” he asked.
“You tell me!” Chloe took off her seat belt and turned sideways in her seat to face him. “What’s with all the questions and the criticism?”
“You criticize how I dress, but it didn’t bother you that I dressed like this when you met me. Now all of a sudden I’m supposed to change my style because we’re together?”
He shook his head. “Nah, I’m not saying—”
you saying, Trey? I gotta tell you where I’m going all the time now? For your information, I took Willow to the city to look for an outfit to wear tonight. Then she got a call from the guy she’s going out with, and they decided to meet
earlier. So I helped her get dressed, took her to MAC to get her makeup done, and then left her at the movies on Forty-second Street with the guy. After that, I came back to Staten Island and called you.” She sighed, frustrated that he was actually sitting there and letting her explain her whereabouts. “I’m not the type of chick who does this. I don’t like having to explain where I’ve been, and I don’t like being questioned about my style of dress. This is me, Trey.” She pointed at herself for emphasis. “I like nice clothes, I like being spontaneous, and I
like having to explain all that to you.”
Trey sat silently and looked at her for a long time. He thought about what she was saying to him, and frankly, it pissed him off that she was asserting herself this way. But he had to respect her feelings. “Let me ask you a question.”
“Go ahead,” she said, sitting back to listen.
“Do you love me?”
She was caught off guard. She hadn’t expected him to ask her that. “What does that have to do with anything?” she asked, sidestepping the question.
“Because I already told you that I love you. I guess I overreacted about what you got on. And I only asked where you’ve been because I knew that you were turning heads all day in that outfit. That’s my way of saying that you look good.”
Chloe had to resist the urge to be flattered by the compliment. At least he’d managed to acknowledge that.
Trey looked at her. “But I feel kinda insecure about where we stand. I’m not messing with no other girls, you know what I’m saying? I’m happy being with you. I try to show you that you
make me happy all the time. And all I get in return is you asking me to pick you up or buy you stuff.”
“So now you’re gonna throw that in my face?” Chloe knew that he was right, but she still didn’t like hearing him remind her of all the things he’d done for her.
He shook his head. “I’m not throwing nothing in your face, Chloe. I’m just saying that it feels like you’re a tease sometimes. ’Cause whenever I want to have sex, you shut me down. You play with me, get my dick hard, and then you back off. I tell you that I love you, and you don’t say it back. And now I’m starting to feel like a fool for feeling like this is serious if you don’t feel the same way.”
Chloe looked away, knowing that Trey was right. She had been teasing him, but not intentionally. She’d just gotten caught up in all the fun she was having, and she hadn’t wanted to jinx a good thing. She looked at him again. Trey was the total package—handsome, smart, generous, and affectionate. Maybe sometimes he could be too sensitive. But in the grand scheme of things, that wasn’t so bad. Chloe thought about it and realized she didn’t want Trey to go out and find some other girl to spend his time and his money on. “I do love you, Trey,” she said softly.
A slow smile spread across Trey’s face. “Yeah?”
She nodded. “Yeah. I do.” Even as she said it, she knew she didn’t mean it. “And I want to make love to you—I don’t want to just have sex. You’re special, and I want our first time to be special. That’s why I’ve been holding out all this time. I don’t want it to be just ordinary.” She knew as she said it that it was a lie.
She had held out for the most part because she hadn’t needed to fuck Trey as long as she had Jason around. And then when Jason was killed, sex had been the furthest thing from her mind. But she wanted to make love to Trey now that she thought about it. In the four months since they’d met, he had earned it. She decided then that it was time for her to let down her guard.
Trey leaned over and kissed her. Then he stared at her with love in his eyes for several long moments before he spoke. “I want it to be special, too,” he said. “Tomorrow night I’ll come pick you up, and you can spend the night with me. I promise I’ll make it special for you.”
She smiled and kissed him back. “Okay.”
She buckled her seat belt again, and Trey put the car in drive. He would plan the perfect night for her and make sure that their lovemaking was more special than anything she’d ever experienced. “Wanna go get something to eat?”
She nodded, glad that he was happy now. If giving him some pussy would keep him from worrying about what she wore or where she was going, then she planned to fuck him till he was speechless!
hloe couldn’t figure out why she was so nervous. Tonight was the night she would finally make love to Trey, and she was feeling an odd sense of excitement and apprehension that she had never felt with other guys. This was different. She knew in her heart that if the sex with Trey was good, it would be the icing on the cake. Trey treated her perfectly, intrigued her, and spoiled her. If tonight went well, she might be willing to be his completely. For the first time, Chloe was ready to fall in love.
After he had helped her mourn the loss of Jason in her life, Chloe felt more connected to Trey than ever. He had been so
gentle, so understanding, and so patient. And she felt that he had finally earned her complete devotion.
He came to pick her up outside her house and sat there for twenty minutes, waiting for her to come out. As she walked toward the car, he couldn’t take his eyes off her. Chloe wore a short and backless black dress and black Mary Janes. She climbed inside, leaned over, and kissed him.
“Look at you,” he said.
“Thanks!” Chloe hoped her unexpected nervousness would subside soon. She couldn’t seem to shake it. They made the short trip to his place and held hands as they walked inside the building. Chloe couldn’t help feeling disappointed that they weren’t going to dinner at some new hot spot. She wouldn’t have bothered to get all dolled up if she’d known they were only going to get right to the point.
They rode the elevator in silence from the parking garage to the fifth floor. Once they reached his apartment door, he unlocked it and they stepped into his home. Chloe saw roses by the dozens all over the place. They were every color imaginable, scattered throughout his place. Some were in vases around the apartment, while the petals of others were scattered across the floor. There were candles lit, and several feet away, she could see a table set for two.
“Wow!” she exclaimed, holding her hands over her mouth in amazement. “You did all of this for me?” Her disappointment faded.
Trey smiled shyly and ushered her into the living room. She
noticed how empty his apartment was. The crisp white walls and clean floors were the centerpiece, it seemed, peppered with only a small number of items. Stacks of videotapes were piled next to the wall unit by the floor, and she paused, frowning. “VHS tapes? Those went out with the Jheri curl.”
“Oh, those? I’ve had those for years.” Trey seemed a little embarrassed that she’d noticed them, and Chloe dropped the subject. She hadn’t meant to make him feel uncomfortable.
She saw a large television in the corner, but noticed no cable box, no DVD player. She wondered what he did for fun in the absence of all these things she couldn’t live without. But not wanting to embarrass him further, she kept silent about it. He showed her to the kitchen, where several dishes sat atop the stove. He was cooking salmon, wild rice, asparagus, and dinner rolls.
“Damn,” she said. “You can cook all of this? I can hardly scramble eggs.”
Trey laughed, and showed her the Patti LaBelle cookbook he’d studied all evening as he prepared the meal.
Chloe laughed, too. “Oh, okay. I feel better now.” Silence fell between them, and Chloe figured that Trey was just as nervous as she was. She thought it was cute. “Can I use your bathroom?” she asked.
“Sure,” he said. “Let me show you where it is.” He walked her down a short narrow hallway and directed her to the bathroom. She stepped in, peed, and washed her hands. She left the water running and, just out of sheer curiosity, looked in the medicine cabinet. She found the usual contents. A tube of toothpaste,
some Band-Aids, Robitussin. Then she noticed a half-empty bottle of pills with no label. She wondered what they were, so she opened the bottle and looked at them. They were tiny blue-and-white pills, and she wondered what they were for. She put them back in the cabinet, noticing that everything was lined up perfectly, facing forward. Chloe marveled—for a young man, Trey was extremely neat. She smiled. “That’s nice,” she mumbled softly to herself. Finally, she turned the water off, opened the door, and gasped. Trey was still standing there.