It had been over two years and I haven’t spent one day I haven’t thought of him. Of us. How much I missed him. How much I’m still in love with him.
Soul Ellison. The love of my life. The worst heartache of said life.
I chose my career over him, though it was a decision I knew was a huge mistake the moment I made it. When I left him back at his Harlem townhome, I wasn’t expecting him to come back.
He did. With a vengeance.
Our obsession with each other was only complicated by our intense desire and love. I needed him like I needed air. He was my drug and I didn’t want to go to rehab. He was richer than sin, a craving stronger than the most decadent dish, and he was all mine.
Navigating through a world where paparazzi follow my every move and I become the gossip fodder I once reported on, I wonder if this is a life I want? Soul promises he’ll do anything to protect me. I only wonder if we’re strong enough to protect each other.
Bestselling and USA Today featured authorVera Roberts’s Ellison Brothers series concludes with Sweet Nectar, a sexy venture into the fashion industry, insta-fame, and if love truly conquers all.
I watch Soul ask the chef prepare a quick meal for us in the kitchen, and she happily obliges. I wonder if this is special treatment only reserved for being sweet on me or if this is how Soul is no matter what time of day.
I already know the answer: this is who Soul is. Unpredictable. Crazy. Poignant. His mother was right to christen his name. It perfectly fits him.
“Savior won’t get mad you’re doing all of this?” I ask.
“He probably will,” Soul watches the chef stir the jumbo shrimp on the skillet. “I’ve done this before but I’ve always left nice tips. Savior is just OCD with his businesses. I can’t blame him. I have five and I know what’s going on with them at any given time.”
“You’re so focused but you’re very close with your brothers and parents.” I note, “most other rich people would be whatever about family time.”
“Nah, we have our issues but it’s mainly contained.” A waiter comes by and pours glasses of wine for us. “We’re not going be giving press conferences or taking out full page ads on why we hate each other. But sometimes you need a little distance to keep the peace.”
“You’re located all over place.” I reply. Savior is situated in L.A. with his wife, Keisha, and their baby, Lyric. Senator Ocean is based out of California, but he seems to spend more time in Atlanta with his girlfriend, famed celebrity tattoo artist, Aaliyah Smith.
And then there’s Soul, straight outta Harlem. He moved there when he was 17 and never looked back. Most people who know him are surprised he’s an Ellison Ellison because he completely separates himself from his family.
He’s rarely in expensive suits and I get the feeling he doesn’t really like them, anyway. He only wore one for Savior’s lowkey wedding. I also learned Soul designed everyone’s outfits, including Keisha’s gown, for that day.
Soul mainly uses his social media accounts to promote his clothing line and that’s it. He’s not a social media activist, and doesn’t use his fingers to express his disgust with the system.
Instead, Soul uses his money and influence. He constantly donates money to a number of causes and has sent numerous men to college on his dime. His only request is that their grades are a 3.0 average. He’s also a well-known philanthropist and his estimated donations are in the hundreds of millions across several charities.
He still has a close relationship with his parents, who fully supported the false allegations against him when they were levied. I cringe when I think about my role in that, but it seems it’s in the past. At least I hope it is.
But if I’m going to be a part of Soul’s world, it would also mean I’m going to interact with his family at some point or another. I’m sure his mother and father feel some kind of way about me and that’s a family dinner I’m not looking forward to.
His parents still haven’t spoken to me directly about the article and I made sure to avoid contact with them at Briana Gooding’s fundraiser. Even if I happened to catch a glimpse of Thomas and Starr looking in my direction, it happened so fast I wondered if I imagined it.
I can’t worry about awkward family dinners when Soul is with me. Dinner is quickly served and we sit in the kitchen, quietly eating our meal. After dinner is done, the servers clean up everything and all is back to normal as if we were never inside the kitchen at all.
He leads me out to the lounge area and it’s not quite dark. Some patrons are eating, some are playing games, and others are engaged on the dance floor. Some of the lights are still on and he heads over to the DJ booth.
Soul shakes his head as he looks at the set-up. “Real DJs know how to mix and scratch. Nowadays, all a person needs an iPod and that’s it. The fuck is this?” He holds up a USB cord. “I bet this fool has no idea who Special Ed is.”
Neither do I but that’s not something I’m going to share with him.
The DJ comes back and Soul whispers in his ear. The sounds of Kut Klose come on overhead. He walks back out onto the dance floor and holds his hand out. His eyebrows rose up as if they were asking, ‘Want to dance?’ I don’t even hesitate.
I grab his hand and he pulls me close to him. His muscular body envelopes my lithe one and yet, it’s all natural. I feel his heartbeat pound against his chest and we’re in sync. Once again, I breathe in his cologne and the feelings wash over my body.
It goes beyond just being in lust or feeling protected by Soul. I can fully admit I’m in love with this man and I have been for a long while. I thought if I moved away from him, get wrapped into a career I don’t care for, the feelings would go away.
Yet, they never did. They came back stronger than before.
Now I’m stuck. I know Desiree will support me leaving L.A. but what about my work? If I leave the Sista Gal show, there are no other jobs lined up for me. I would have to start all over again from scratch and how will that pan out?
I’m not cut out to be a socialite or some clout-chasing bottle service girl on IG. I want a legit career in journalism, but Sista Gal is my way into that. And I would need to give Laura enough time to find an ample replacement for me.
I sigh as I lay my head on Soul’s chest. What am I going to do?
“Don’t think about it,” he whispers in my ear, “things will happen the way they need to and in the order they should.”
My body releases another sigh I didn’t know it was holding. “You’re confident about us.”
Soul slightly pulls away from me and cups my face in his strong, tattooed hands. “I didn’t get where I am second-guessing every move. If it flopped, I did better next time. If it was successful, I improved on that formula. My point is, I stopped giving a fuck about what others had to say about me a long time ago. I suggest you do the same.”
Soul gave me life advice, but we both know he’s referring to his family.
Sweet Nectar will be out this week. It is the final book in the Ellison Brothers series. Cover reveal later this week!