The famous rapper, Khia, always says to ‘Get Money, Bitch!’
Now I finally understand what she means.
As I become more engrossed into the Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless, traveling all over the world, laughing at quirky Friends references even though I have no idea what the hell they’re talking about, and introduced to how the one percent really lives, I’ll finally realize what it’s really like to be so rich, you downplay the wealth.
I also realize what it’s like to be so rich, you might forget who you are and where you come from.
I don’t want it all. Hell, I don’t even want the majority of it, though I wouldn’t mind having the latest Chanel clutch that is guaranteed to take me to the Promised Land. But I do want something that will ensure we’re on as even of a playing field as we could be.
And if Ian won’t give me that, I will have to walk away.
Nobody puts Domi in a corner.
Atlanta. The ATL. The Black Mecca.
The biggest small town in the world.
The moment I stepped outside of the private jet, it felt like home.
It felt like Sunday dinner at Big Mama’s. It felt like Thanksgiving at your favorite auntie’s. It felt like watching a marathon of Love Jones, Love & Basketball, and Jason’s Lyric.
As we ushered inside and stood in line at On Point, a mom and pop’s soul food joint, I couldn’t help but to notice the giant diamond on my finger. A single solitaire flanked by two smaller stones. It was absolutely perfect.
It was absolutely Ian.
I don’t know why I’d ever doubted him for a second. He’d proven his love to me over and over, and without hesitation or wonder. Whenever he went away, he came straight home. He would send texts during the day, even though he probably didn’t have time to. He would make breakfast every morning and never complained I didn’t cook.
He was my everything.
As I lay against him in line, I softly sigh and close my eyes. His light beard tickled my forehead as he placed a soft kiss on it. His body, a sculpture of perfection – not too muscular, but not too lean – engulfed my curves as his hands dug into my waist. We softly rocked from side to side to music not outwardly played, but in our hearts.
We had our rhythm. He led as I followed. I pulled as he pushed. He gave as I took. It was our life. It was our roles not defined by each other but by love and hope.
He lightly rubbed my shoulders while I inhaled the warm scent of his citrusy cologne and I suddenly craved oranges. His strong, muscular arms protected me from all harm, and silently promised me they always will.
I slowly opened my eyes and saw his stunning blue ones looking back at me. He was finally content, at peace, and filled with love.
The last several years of his life were painful, and the demons almost took over to destroy everything left. He beat the demons, maybe at a sacrifice of his own happiness, so they could no longer interfere for his life. He protected his brother and father, and me in the process.
We landed in ATL overnight and went straight to sleep, only waking up to have earth-shattering, lamp-breaking sex the next morning. My body slightly shudders when I think how forceful he was in bed, claiming me over and over with his mouth, his fingers, and his glorious, thick cock.
Whenever we made love, it was never just sex. Our souls connected, our lives intertwined, and we went deeper into feelings beyond just love. Even the first time when I lost my virginity to him, we both knew how important the moment was, despite how painful. He was meticulous and gentle with me, kissing me all over and being careful not to hurt me too much.
I stifled a low moan that threatened to come out. I’d already craved him again and Ian was officially my addiction.
We take our spots inside the restaurant and find a cozy spot next to the window. A Southern charm is present in everyone from the servers to the cooks to the patrons. People are joking around and laughing. Someone is playing “So Amazing” loudly on their cell phone and no one is complaining, but some are singing along.
Ian casually looked over the menu and I stare at him in awe like a groupie. Gone were the three-piece suits and open collar ensembles he loved to wear and show off whenever he could. Instead, he wore a fitted shirt and jeans, with loafers. A dark cap covered his thick mane of dark hair, but couldn’t hide his devilish grin full of mischief.
He was a beautiful man and something he knew, but was rather humble about. Instead, Ian focused all of his energy into his restaurants, his philanthropy, and supporting the rest of the Ferguson clan.
He’d given me whatever I wanted. All I ever wanted was him. Ian was always my home.
“Angel…” The words flow out of his mouth like a breathy whisper and I feel them course through my body and land on my heart. He slowly looks up at me, his blue eyes piercing through my body with the same intensity and raw sexuality like the first day we’ve met at my old job at Caffeinated. My body tingles and my breath is caught in my throat.
“What are you going to order?” I softly ask.
“Everything looks amazing,” he sets the menu down and reaches over to grab my hand. He softly kisses it and places it next to his mouth, “though, the best dish is right in front of me.”
My body hums to his words and I yearn for more. “I’m going to get the chicken and waffles with a side of mac n’ cheese. What are you getting?”
“I’m thinking about the fried catfish with a side of collards,” his British accent is lazy and relaxed, probably for the first time in forever.
There’s a small and comfortable silence between us as we just smile and stare at each other. The past couple of days were hard on us both for different reasons. Now it seems we can relax and be happy in our quietness with each other. “When did you want to make an announcement about our engagement?” I follow his lead.
“Whenever you want, though I would prefer we privately enjoy it for a bit before word gets out. Once that happens, it’ll be non-stop questions.”
Ian’s friends may not care too much but I know Ian’s rabid female fans will care a whole lot. And I’m not talking the ones that curiously stalk on his social pages.
No, I’m talking the real-life Mean Girls.
I can only imagine the hysteria amongst Regina George and the Plastics once they hear about the engagement. If they were bold enough to confront me in my own studio, who knows what other smear campaign thick full of shade they’ll come up with next. I should probably buy sunglasses. “I see.”
“You also might want to tell certain members of your family,” he pauses and let the words linger in the air.
I know he’s not referring to Sam and Candy, but Ian also knows once a few people in my family know, news will inevitably travel back to them. This is the longest I’ve gone without speaking with my father and I hate it. I hate how I used to be Daddy’s Girl until I became a child he was ashamed of.
I don’t want to enter a marriage with Ian, knowing I have unresolved issues with my father. It’s bad enough those same issues transferred into our relationship from the very start. It’s not fair to Ian, nor would it be fair to any of our future children.
Before I can respond, our server appears with water and is ready to take our orders. Once we give them to him, he quickly leaves and we’re alone and lost within each other again. “I’m afraid once they find out, they’ll start taking advantage again. They were nice because they knew how wealthy you are. Now you’ll be a member of the family, they won’t stop until they get exactly what they want from you.”
He softly blinks at me and his eyes are hard to read. “Which is?”
“Everything,” I reply, “I’m sure they know the reach of the Fergusons.”
“Is Candy still on your friends’ list?”
I pull out my phone and check Facebook. Sure enough, there she is, with an update. She finally popped. She does look good with a baby bump, I’ll give her that much. That’s all I’m giving her.
I’ll never forget the humiliation she made me feel when her and her family ambushed me at Ian’s restaurant out of all places. How I was led to believe we were finally going to have some sort of relationship, even if I couldn’t fully respect her role in my father’s life. How I thought everything was water under the bridge and we were finally cool.
Candy reminded me, once again, how incredibly naïve I am. “She’s still there. Not a message or text from her since the confrontation. She probably thinks it’s my fault.”
Ian softly blinked away and lightly sighed. He didn’t like the pain and anguish my family caused me and I wasn’t a stan of it, neither. A part of me hoped this is a chapter in history that everyone knows, but no one wants to discuss because so much good happened after. Unfortunately for me, it’s been a quite long chapter and I’m tired of reading it.
Ian was angry at the hurt my family caused and he cautiously bided his time before he did something about it. He knew I didn’t want him to get involved but I also knew he wasn’t going to just stand in the shadows while I was disgraced by the very one who gave me life. Ian’d already proven he would go to great lengths to destroy the one that caused him irreparable harm.
The bomb was slowly ticking.
Our food arrives a short time later and I grab Ian’s other hand. “Let’s bless the food.”
Before me, Ian was never a religious person. To be honest, he still isn’t but he respects my faith, even if I don’t necessarily honor it all of the time. After a short prayer, we dig into our food and eat in a comfortable silence. I share my plate as he offers his.
He knows how to keep me happy – give me food, liquor, and dick, and I will never complain about anything.
“I want to introduce you to more of my world,” he begins after a bite of the fried catfish, “I want you to know more about me.”
“I know a lot about you,” I reply.
“You know bits and pieces,” he reveals, “and that’s because I wanted to see where we were going before you knew everything. Now that I know, I want you to explore my likes and interests as well.”
A small worry shot up my spine. “Such as?”
“I want to take you skiing with me come January.”
The small worry became the size of a 7.5 earthquake. “You really want my black ass on the slopes?”
Ian chuckles and I shake my head. So, he does want my black ass on the slopes. This should be entertaining for one of us. “You might like it.”
“I know absolutely nothing about skiing.” I argue.
“I’ll teach you.” He softly blinks.
This is going to happen regardless of how I feel about it. Oh boy. “Okay, and what else?”
“Cricket.” He nods. “I want to take you to a cricket game.”
“Cricket?” My eyes narrow. “What’s that, assuming you’re not talking about the cell phone or the insects?”
“It’s a game similar to what you have baseball here.” He suggests. “It might be difficult to figure out at first but once you watch a couple of games, you’ll get the idea of how it’s played.”
It sounds like a sport rich people play. I can only imagine polo tournaments and antiquing is next on my list. “Okay.”
Our relationship has been a complete whirlwind with no signs of slowing down. He’d promised to introduce me to more of his world and his interests and I’m eager to go along for the ride. There are still many things I don’t know about the man I’m about to dedicate the rest of my life to and honestly, I probably won’t ever know everything.
As long as he’s with me, I’m ready to be with him forever.
“I want to expand your world a bit. I also want you to get a passport once we return to L.A.”
We’re about to travel the world. Emma wasn’t kidding when she said Ian wanted a hot, young wife to travel the world with. “I see.”
“Don’t be afraid,” his voice comes out as a cross between concerned and understanding. I may have grown up with money but I’d never left California other than a few interesting trips to Tijuana with my girlfriends. “I’ll never put you in an uncomfortable situation, angel,” he promises, “if you feel uncomfortable at any time, just let me know.”
I silently nod and smile. It seems the worst is behind us and we can finally start moving on with our lives.
We quickly finish our plates and Ian goes to pay. Looking at my compact, I check my face to see if I don’t have any food between my teeth. From behind me, I see a table of women looking at my direction and pointing as they chatter. It’s clear they recognize me and I’m sure Ian by default.
I continue to check my teeth even though there’s nothing in them as I inwardly growl at the unwanted attention. Oh yeah, they know me, all right. The one with the busted weave but nice teeth is nodding and speaking to her friends as she’s pointing at me, while the one with the busted teeth but nice weave is being rather animated.
I’m famous. I’m infamous. I’m notorious.
I’ve shown up on various internet gossip blogs and Dolce’s video has already been seen close to a hundred million times on YouTube. I don’t pay too much attention to the single and lonely bitches club with infinite online membership because of Angel Dance Studios and the fact I just got freakin’ engaged to the man of my dreams.
When a woman is happy, getting that paper, and most importantly, getting some good dick, she tends not to care about a lot of other bullshit.
This is what Ian meant that fateful night in the Rolls. You’re ready to be my lover, you’re not ready to be my girlfriend. Ian is one of the most photographed men in the world and it seems everyone knows his status, regardless if they want to. Being seen with any woman would cause whispers and curiosity amongst even nuns.
Can I handle the pressure of being Ian Ferguson’s fiancée, soon-to-be wife?
“You have a fan club,” Ian walks back to the table, and smiles down at me.
“I’m not the president.” I put the compact away. I grab his hand as I stand up. “Where to, baby?”
“We’re going shopping. You deserve it.” We start walking out of the restaurant and casually walk past the group of Living Single-rejects. “We’re going to stop by an animal shelter and donate, then a local food bank and write them a big check, and finally I’m going to upgrade your Bentley.” We finally exited the restaurant, walk to the awaiting chauffeured car, and get inside.
I buckled up and turn to him. “Are we really going to do all of those things?”
“We’re definitely doing the first two,” he nods to the driver, who quickly speeds off, “the last one, no.” Ian kisses my hand. “Two of those things are the most important, but only the last one will be talked about.” His blue eyes softly blink towards mine. “And this is how you keep the gossip bloggers busy.”
Barnes & Noble
To read the first three chapters, click here.