Sunlight woke up Eli from his slumber. He cracked his eyes open and yawned before rubbing his eyes and looking for the nearest clock. It was only eight o’clock. Shit. He had to get home, check e-mail, and sleep a bit more before he picked up the boys from Faith’s home for the weekend. Knowing his kids, he wasn’t going to get any sleep at all.
The aroma of coffee wafted in the air and he followed the scent to a smiling Erica at the door. “I didn’t mean to wake you up,” she offered, “you just looked so peaceful and I didn’t want to interrupt.”
“No, it’s okay. I don’t mind a beautiful woman waking me up.” Eli motioned her to join him in bed. She put the coffee mug on Eli’s a nightstand and joined her paramour. “How did you sleep last night?”
Erica chuckled. “What sleep?” The pair went through Eli’s two condoms plus an additional two Erica had in her nightstand. Despite the soreness between her thighs, Erica could go another round with him. “We had the Sexual Olympics last night.”
“But did you gold medal, though?” His tongue darted out to wet his lips.
“You know I did,” Erica lost count of the orgasms she had. She couldn’t decide if her favorite way to climax was by Eli’s fingers, his shaft, or that incredible tongue of his. She was getting hot and bothered just thinking about it. “Anyway, I need to go to the hospital later and start my shift. I don’t want to make this a big deal and you feel you have to see me or call me because what happened last night. Whatever’s clever.”
Eli kissed Erica before falling back into bed. “How about this?” He snuck in kisses. “Let’s be friends with some wonderful benefits? No pressure on either of us. We’ll go at the pace you’re most comfortable with.”
Erica reached over for another condom. “I’m pretty comfortable with hard and demanding right now.”
Eli moved Erica onto her back and mounted her. “That sounds great.”
“You look like hell.”
Eli yawned as he sat in Faith’s kitchen drinking a cup of coffee and held E.J. It was already his second cup that morning. While he took out all of his frustration on Erica the night before, he sacrificed any sleep doing so. “And Good Morning to you, Faith.”
She laughed as she grabbed her coffee from the Keurig machine. “You wanted me to be open and honest about my feelings so there it is.” She joined her ex at the table. “Is everything okay, though? I know with wedding season coming up, everything is starting to become crazy again.”
“It’s always crazy at the shop but nothing we can’t handle,” he flashed his trademark smile, “how are you doing? Is everything okay here?”
“Yeah,” she nodded, “the boys are great. Everything is working and there are no problems I can think of.”
“Cool. Just let me know if there are any issues and I’ll send someone over to fix things,” he nodded.
“Actually, there is something you can help me with,” Faith slid her hand over her ex’s. “There is something you can definitely fix.”
Eli glanced at Faith’s hand over his and smiled. “I thought we learned in therapy sex doesn’t fix everything, Faith?”
“Sex doesn’t fix everything but it does help with some things, yes.” She mentioned.
Eli kissed her hand. “When the time’s right.”
Faith visibly shivered when Eli kissed her hand. It was then she realized how much she truly missed his touch. “When will that be?”
“You tell me. You’re holding the strings and I’m just your marionette.” Eli heard the hustle of Nathan down the stairs and the child rushed over to hug his father. “Hey, little man!”
“Hey Daddy!” Nathan tightly hugged his father.
“Are you ready for the week?” Eli asked.
“Yep! I’m ready!” Nathan yelled.
“All right, let’s go.” Eli stood up and put E.J. in his car seat. Faith followed them outside to his truck and helped them buckle up. “So next Friday afternoon is still good for drop off?”
“Um, yeah.” She walked over to the driver’s side and leaned into the window. “I started reading the marriage book.”
Eli’s face noticeably lit upon Faith’s admission. “Really? What do you think?”
“It’s pretty good. I learned a lot about myself and things I need to work on. I guess I’ll talk to you about it at some point.” She shrugged.
“I would really like that.” Eli started up the truck and smiled back at her. “Nathan, say goodbye to Mommy.”
“Bye, Mommy!” He shouted from the backseat.
“Bye, baby!” Faith waved to him. “Bye to you, Eli.”
Eli motioned for Faith to come closer to him and she leaned in the driver’s window. Their lips met each other and a flurry of emotion passed between the pair. She softly moaned when his tongue entered her mouth and quietly protested when he withdrew it. “When the time’s right,” he whispered. “Have a great weekend, Faye.”
Faith stood in the middle of the street, holding her cheek and smiled from ear to ear as she watched Eli leave. He called me Faye.
There was some hope for her marriage after all.
“All right, listen up, people. Listen up!” Joey instructed at the weekly Madre’s meeting. “We have a huge week ahead of us. The cameras will be here in about an hour! Again, if you don’t want to be filmed, just say the word and we’ll blur your faces out. Are we good? We’re good. Let’s go!” The employees filed out of the conference room, leaving Joey, Nicola, and Eli. “We have one of the craziest weeks coming up so it’s going to be a bit of a madhouse here but nothing we can’t handle.”
“That’s good to hear. I have a luncheon to prepare for Donne Forti, so I won’t be around. I think the cameras will be there and that’s good. It’ll give the women an extra confidence boost knowing they’ll be on TV. ” Nicola smiled. “How are you doing, Eliodoro?”
“Great,” he replied, “I have the boys for the week so it’ll be a little crazy but nothing too bad.”
“How’s Faith?” Nicola asked.
“She’s doing really well,” he nodded, “she started reading the marriage book and wants to talk to me about it.”
“Really?” Joey commented. “That’s great! That’s really great!”
“It is. I think there just might be a chance for us, after all.” Eli sounded hopeful. “But I told Faith it’s up to her if she wants to make this work. I’m also happy the way things are.”
“Hmm…” Nicola sipped her coffee. “A man would only say that if there was someone else in the picture.”
Joey turned to his younger brother. “Oh?”
“I’m seeing someone, yes.” Eli revealed. “We’re just friends.”
“Okay,” Joey smiled. He knew a tired sex yawn when he saw it.
“Does Faith know?” Nicola asked.
“Of course not,” Eli replied. Erica reminded him he was still a man with urges but Faith had his heart. He briefly touched his lips, thinking about their shared and heated kiss that morning. “It’s not serious enough to tell her. We only went out on one date. But I dig her. She’s a really sweet woman with just a big heart.”
“How did you meet?” Joey asked.
“At the hospital when Nate had a fever. She was his doctor.”
“A doctor!” Joey almost shouted. “It’s about time one of us dated a doctor!”
“Joey,” Nicola warned, “your brother is still married.”
“Yes, and your son is separated because of your daughter-in-law,” Joey reminded. “So tell us more about Lady Doctor.”
“Here’s a pic of her,” Eli pulled out his phone and showed them the selfie he and Erica took the night before, “that’s Erica.”
Joey and Nicola were impressed with Erica. She was beautiful with a smile that traveled up to her eyes. “Very pretty, Eliodoro.” Nicola approved. “Very pretty.”
“So yeah, I’m just seeing where it goes before I tell Faith.” Eli sent a quick text to Erica. “It might be nothing or something.”
“She deserves to know soon,” Nicola advised. “You shouldn’t lead her on to get her hopes up if you’re seeing someone else.”
“I know. I’m going to tell her when the time’s right. Hopefully soon.” Eli replied. “She has a right to know.”
“Eli,” Maria opened the conference door, “I’m sorry to interrupt but there’s a lady out in front asking to see you.”
“Who is it?” He asked.
“She says her name is Katilyn,” Maria shrugged.
“Katilyn?” Eli got up and followed Maria out of the room. “I’m not familiar with a Katilyn.”
Joey waited a few moments then chuckled. “You know how to keep silent when the mood suits you, Ma.”
“What do you mean?” She jotted some notes down. “I merely said his new girlfriend was pretty.”
“And you and I both know Erica is a carbon copy of Faith,” Joey smiled. “Eli certainly has a type.”
“I’m wondering what Erica thinks of all of this,” Nicola mentioned. “She doesn’t seem like the type who wants drama.”
“How would you know? Some Type A women want drama in their lives.”
“No, not doctors,” Nicola shook her head, “they don’t have time for that. They’re too busy saving lives to worry about what the next person is doing.” She stopped writing. “There’s a saying I like, ‘Water often rises to its own level.’”
“Birds of a feather flock together,” Joey replied.
Nicola nodded. “Erica won’t last long because she doesn’t want drama and your brother is full of it. Simone never had a chance because she would try to create the same drama he had with Faith.”
“But Faith is perfect because…”
“Despite how much your brother claims he’s tired of her dramatical, as he calls it, he’s used to it. Faith brings a certain element to Eli’s life that no other woman could or ever will.” Nicola smiled. “They’ll be back together and I have a feeling, relatively soon. Sometimes people are put together because God ordains it and no one can come between that.”
A character profile featuring all of the brothers will be on sale tomorrow for 99 cents.
Part Two of Eli’s character profile will be posted on the blog tomorrow.
Love is available now.
War will be out this spring.