“Irreplaceable” was a fitting song.
As Beyonce’s angry and biting lyrics blared overhead, Senator Ocean Ellison sat in his ex-girlfriend’s living room. He noticed a distinct theme with the songs she’d played.
First, there was “Not Gon’ Cry” by Mary J. Blige.
Next came “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” by Rose Royce.
Then there was “Apologize” by One Republic.
Followed by “I Will Survive.” Not the upbeat version by Gloria Gaynor, but the quiet storm cover by Chantay Savage.
As Ocean listened to “Cry Me a River,” it became increasingly clear he had the work cut out for him. Aaliyah Smith was not a woman who easily caved in. She also wasn’t a woman who gave many second chances. She was stubborn to a fault, but generous with her love and time to those who deserved it.
Ocean knew he didn’t deserve even being at her home.
Aaliyah was angry. She was beyond pissed. The fire in her eyes only matched what she felt inside and Ocean knew she did everything she could to restrain herself from hitting him.
She, worst of all, was heartbroken. It was Ocean’s entire fault.
He felt his stomach coil up in tight knots and guilt choked him. If he had to be on his knees all night and wear out his best pair of Armani slacks, so be it. He was not leaving with Aaliyah, point blank period.
They had more in common than what appeared to be. She was a rocker chick who loved whiskey and Guns N’ Roses. He a wealthy doctor who enjoyed Blue Magic and the Chi-Lites. She lived fast; he loved the cautious and slow approach.
Their backgrounds were wildly different but when they connected, Aaliyah and Ocean were unstoppable. He was clean-cut and dare anyone thought, innocent. She was a bad girl with a past.
The odds were stacked against them from the start and they both treated their connection as a fling. When they made love, however, all sense flew out of the window. Her mouth was skillful and her tongue was hungry. Her hands explored every crevice of his body and demanded more from him.
They made love throughout the night. They fucked in every room of her apartment and his home. Aaliyah became Ocean’s fire. He became needy for her love and touch. He anticipated her needs before she spoke them.
The fire was still there and it smoldered between them, no matter how much they both denied it. All Ocean wanted to do was go upstairs and prove to Aaliyah throughout the night how much he was sorry and how much he’d missed her.
In due time. Everything in due time.
With his security detail waiting outside, Ocean took stock of Aaliyah’s condo. Decorated in muted colors like mahogany, cream, and peach, it was a far cry from Aaliyah’s old apartment in Los Angeles. Wall sconces gave the home a light, soft feel akin to being in a spa.
Her condo had several tall windows that gave natural light, and overlooked downtown Atlanta. Dark, hardwood tiles covered the floors, leading to plush carpeting in the bedrooms.
It was an expensive condo, Ocean concluded. It was decorated in quiet luxury that didn’t come out of an IKEA showroom, but pricey items that a certain economic threshold could afford. There were quirky items like an old, colorful credenza that sat her flatscreen TV. An equally colorful Indian rug laid under Ocean’s feet. He knew it came from a trendy store in West Hollywood because he had the same rug in his home.
Ocean’s stomach churned when he realized he was sitting in a condo his father bought and furnished.
Watercolors (Ellison Brothers #4) will be out in July.
To read the prequel, click here.