Alyssa stood around the ballroom and smiled like a proud parent watching their child take their first steps. Her dream, at least part of it, was coming true right before her eyes.
Aside from a few minor hiccups, The Curls Come Out at Night was proven a huge success. All the vendors and sponsors showed up, the banquet hall was almost at full capacity, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. There were a few hair demonstrations and lectures, sample makeup applications, product giveaways, and the dance floor was pumping all night.
She should’ve been happy. Everything was perfect. She was miserable.
She was fortunate she was so busy she didn’t have time to text or call Ryan, though she knew that was just a lame excuse. If she wanted to talk to him, she would’ve. No, that wasn’t true. If he wanted to talk to her, he would’ve. He didn’t call or text and Alyssa considered their relationship as good as done.
Maybe it was for the best. She was vegan, he was a carnivore. She struggled to make ends meet while she launched her natural hair and body care. He didn’t have to worry about money for the rest of his life. She loved R&B and hip-hop, with the occasional jazz joints thrown in. He was a solid rock ’n roll type of guy. She loved to accessorize and he was bare minimum.
They loved the same movies and TV shows. They found a common ground in blues and their love for the greats. They both were fitness fanatics and took pride in maintaining their respective forms.
I want to please this sweet little pussy just a bit longer.
Alyssa could vividly remember how his fingers trailed up and down her sex, tickling her clit and playing with it until the rosebud grew between his fingertips. Then his hot mouth dove into it, circling and bouncing it around his tongue until she screamed and shuddered into orgasmic delight. When he finally entered her with his cock, his thick length filled her completely and to the hilt; she pulsated around his cock as she accommodated him.
He’d always started slow, with methodical and easy strokes until he increased his tempo to hard, forceful strokes, as if he was claiming Alyssa and wanted her to know she belonged to him. When she climaxed again, her legs quivered and her entire body slowly convulsed as the orgasm coursed through her.
Alyssa let out the hard sigh she’d been holding. No more heartache and no more bullshit. She was one step closer to building her brand and seeing her product being endorsed by the likes of Hollywood and music elite. A special on one of those home shopping networks was in her future and she was going to have her own store in every mall of America.
She’d mourn her broken heart later.
Ryan walked into the ballroom of the hotel and looked around. A wide range of vendors hawking various products from sex toys to clothing and hair wraps, sample facials, and hairstylists on deck doing demonstrations completely filled the ballroom corner to corner. The event was a lot larger than he’d imagined it was going to be. The thought made him smile; his girl made it.
Things were still muddy between them. They hadn’t spoken to each other in several days and maybe it was for the best. He’d already forgiven her but that was the least of his problems. He’d spent most of the past days mulling over the insidious offer from Nikki. He would be a fool, a complete and absolute one, to turn it down when things between him and Alyssa were still relatively new.
He also knew the potential side effects of said offer, and visions of Nikki parading around in very expensive clothing, showcasing an equally expensive engagement ring followed by planning the most expensive wedding Buckhead has seen in years, began flooding his brain.
His business or his relationship? That was one heck of a conundrum he was in.
He’d have to make a decision later. He was going to talk to Alyssa and make things right with her, with them. If she said hell no to him again, the decision was easy and a call to Nikki was in order the very next morning. If Alyssa said yes, however… well, things were going to be interesting.
“I’d like to thank everyone for coming out tonight!” Alyssa got to the center stage to a round of applause. “This event has been years in the making and I’m so, so glad to see such a large turnout. I’m very happy that you all came. For now I’d like to thank all of the vendors, hairstylists, chefs and their respective restaurants, for coming! I would also like to thank all of the attendees! I hope tonight’s event has been enlightening to all of you!
“But, you’re not here to watch me flap my gums; you want to know the results of the first raffle! Everyone get out your tickets!” Alyssa grabbed the package from one of her assistants. “First prize of the night—a bucket full of products from my own line, Buttered Soul. You will get to sample Oil Me Down in scented shea butter and grapeseed oil; Whip Me Real Good in gardenia, coconut oil and cocoa butter; and Gettin’ Kinky in jojoba, avocado, and vanilla. As an extra bonus, my new product, Scrub Me Baby in lemongrass and pomegranate. If you don’t win this time, don’t worry, there are more raffles later on tonight for another chance to win! So the first person to win a bucket of Buttered Soul is number 725. 725, come on up!” Alyssa looked around and didn’t see anyone in the sea of people approach her. “725, I just called you! 725, going once! 725, going twice! 725…”
“I’m here,” Ryan called out as he approached the stage.
Alyssa swallowed her pride and seemingly every emotion inside her body. Her stomach flip-flopped as he approached, and her heart swelled with all sorts of emotions. The prominent one—love—stood up and once again began belting out show tunes. She watched him move towards her in seemingly slow motion.
When he was right in front of her, Alyssa took a deep and longing inhale and exhaled. He smelled of earth, wood and man. She’d memorized his scent, studied it, and tried in desperate vain to find it at the department store. She then remembered he once said his signature scent was a mixture of different products and he wouldn’t divulge what he’d used. Not that it made a difference; there wasn’t nothing, and no one, like Ryan.
Alyssa smiled and handed Ryan the basket. “Congratulations. I hope you enjoy the basket.” Her heart was pounding through her chest.
“I hope to use it on my girl,” Ryan replied, his voice dripping with heat and sex.
“Your girl?” A swell of jealousy blanketed Alyssa’s heart, tempering the choir inside. Surely, he hadn’t moved on that quickly.
“Yeah,” Ryan moved closer to Alyssa and pressed her body against his, “my girl.” He took her mouth in a demanding kiss that seemed hungry for the next taste. The sudden action caused ‘oohs’ and applause from the crowd.
Alyssa pulled away from Ryan and turned off the mic. “I’m assuming this means you forgive me.”
“As long as you trust me, I’d always forgive you,” his baritone rumbled, “but I need you to trust me.”
“I trust you, baby,” Alyssa replied. She took his hand and they walked off stage. “I’m sorry for not trusting you before. It’s just in past relationships, I’ve…”
“I don’t care about your past as long as I’m your present and hopefully, your future.” Ryan smiled. “Now, you’re going to go back out there and be the most awesome hostess.”
“And where will you be?” Alyssa wondered.
Ryan presented a hotel key. “In our hotel room, Mrs. Jeffers.”
Alyssa liked the way Alyssa Jeffers sounded in her head. It sounded even better when it rolled off Ryan’s tongue. “Should I even ask how you managed to do that?”
“When you deliver the best coffee in town, it’s amazing how many favors people will owe you.” His lips curved into a sensual smile and his blue eyes twinkled with pleasure. “Besides, I didn’t like your room so I upgraded it.”
Alyssa brought Ryan in for a lingering kiss. “You’re full of surprises, Mr. Jeffers.”
“And I certainly hope to show you some of them tonight.”