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A Merry Little Christmas(10)

By:Melanie Schuster

He was stretched out on his long, comfortable leather sofa with his eyes  closed, and anyone observing him would have thought him asleep. On the  contrary, he was thinking about the moment Angelique had pulled him down  to her level so she could touch her lips to his. It was something he  wasn't going to forget not ever. The heady fragrance of her perfume  wrapped around him like the warm moisture of a steam bath and the  softness of her lips sent a sensation through him that was like nothing  he'd ever experienced. He felt her start to pull away from him and he  took over, tightening his arms around her slender form so that the  delightful warmth of her, the taste of her wouldn't be lost to him.

A soft sound of surprise had made her moist, tasty lips part just enough  for his ravening tongue to seek hers out. When he deepened the kiss, he  did so hungrily, like a starving man given his first meal in weeks. He  completely lost himself in the hot sensations Angelique generated in his  body. As she slid her arms around his neck and strained on her toes to  get closer to him, he held her even tighter and slid his questing hands  down to cup her behind, squeezing it gently but firmly. She might have  started the kiss, but he was controlling it now, kissing her  passionately over and over, and tasting the sweetness of her mouth while  she did the same to him. He could still hear the arousing little sounds  of pleasure she made as her enticingly firm breasts pressed against his  chest. Only the fact that other people were entering the room made him  stop kissing her. Left to his desires, they'd still be locked together  in a passionate embrace, but it wouldn't have stopped at kissing.                       


As he lay on the couch, his stomach muscles tightened and other parts of  his body reacted almost as strongly as they had last night. A  convulsive shudder passed over him, and he welcomed the abrupt sound of  his doorbell. Jumping up from the couch, he adjusted his jeans. He was  wearing an ancient Howard University sweatshirt that mercifully covered  his now-hard member. He glared at the offending instrument and  instructed his body to behave. "I told you before, we don't like her. Go  back to sleep," he said sternly before opening the door. Oddly enough,  the sight of his visitor made his body become dormant immediately. It  was Aneesah Shabazz, wearing a red coat and a big smile. Before he could  figure out how he was supposed to react, Aneesah walked right past him  into the foyer, saying, "Happy New Year," while she did so. She removed  her coat and held it out to Donnie, who was just staring at her while  she made herself at home.

"Happy New Year, doggies. Don't get up on my account," she said dryly.  Jordan and Pippen never moved from their places on the hearth, merely  thumping their tails wearily in acknowledgement. Aneesah, meanwhile, had  sat down on the couch and was holding out a cake tin to Donnie.

"Here you go. These are some tea cakes my mother made. I was going to  tell you I baked them but you know what a lie that would be!" Aneesah  laughed uproariously at the thought; she was known for her dislike of  cooking in any way, shape or form. As Donnie still hadn't said a word,  Aneesah snapped her fingers a couple of times to get his attention. "You  know, you might want to offer me some coffee or tea or something. It's  customary when you have a visitor, especially on a holiday," she said  pointedly.

Donnie finally rallied enough to accept the tin and sit down in one of  die large leather club chairs that flanked the sofa. "Sorry. My mind was  elsewhere, I guess. Happy New Year to you, too. You look wonderful, by  the way," he added. And she really did, in a slim-fitting pair of gray  slacks with a crisp white shirt topped by a black merino jersey V-neck  sweater. Her short coif was perfect as always-what could be seen of it  under her jaunty red beret-and her smooth brown face was devoid of  makeup, also as always, her deeply set long-lashed eyes sparkled with  intelligence.

"I wish I could say the same to you, Donnie, but you look kinda bad. You  look like you haven't had a good night's sleep in a while. And you look  like your housekeeper is on vacation," she said pointedly as she looked  at the newspapers, gym shoes and other clutter around the large living  room.

Donnie sprawled out in the chair and nodded absently. "Yeah, Mrs. Montez  is away for the holidays. I wanted her to know how much I missed her  while she was gone, so I haven't picked up anything," he said absently.  "And no, I didn't sleep too well last night, now that you mention it."

Aneesah stopped smiling and looked contrite. "I'm not to blame for that,  am I? That's one of the reasons I stopped by, to make sure you and I  are okay. We've been close for so long, I don't want anything to happen  to our friendship. Even though we're not destined for marriage," she  said quietly.

Donnie blew out a loud, dramatic breath before answering. "If I said I  was pining away for you, dying for the love of you, would it make any  difference? Would you change your mind?" he asked with hope in his  voice.

It was Aneesah's turn to sigh. "No, Donnie, it wouldn't make a bit of  difference. You and I had a lot of fun when we were younger. You were  one of the best boyfriends I've ever had, no question about it. But I'm  not ready to get married. You might think you're ready, but I'm not so  sure about that," she said firmly. "And I know for a fact that we don't  have the deep, passionate, abiding love you need to make a marriage  work. We like each other, we even love each other like brother and  sister, but we're not ‘in love.' You need to be really deeply in love  for a marriage to be about anything and you of all people know that.  Look at your brothers and your sister, for example. They all married for  love, real true love, and look how happy they are." She shook her head  in exasperation. "And where is that tea, friend? I want one of those tea  cakes."

Donnie didn't respond for a moment while he pried open the tin of  homemade cookies. A burst of a delectable vanilla fragrance wafted out  and he smiled for the first time as he looked at the fat, lightly golden  pastries. His stomach rumbled and he suddenly realized he hadn't eaten  that day. He stood up and bowed slightly.

"It seems I've forgotten my manners entirely. Come with me, my dear, and  let me remedy that," he said with a gesture toward the kitchen.                       



Angelique was sorting photographs when her phone rang. It was A.J., who immediately put a smile on her face.

"I'm coming over, so come open the door. My mother says it's good luck  for a man to be the first person to cross your threshold on New Year's  Day. Am I your first visitor?"

"Yes, you are," Angelique answered with a smile. "I can't think of anyone I'd rather see. Hurry up and get here!"

Paris was sprawled across her bed, talking to one of her best friends.  "Aidan, I'm telling you, all the signs are there. When they're around  each other, the sparks constantly fly. They pick at each other, they  have horrible little pet names for each other and they're always staring  at each other. They circle around each other like two starving animals  fighting for the same piece of meat," she told him.

Aidan made the customary sound of the long-suffering on the other end of  the line. "Oh, well, that settles it. They're stalking each other like  strays fighting over carrion; it must be true love," he said  sardonically. "You're back to your Martha May matchmaker tricks, aren't  you? I've warned you about that, haven't I? Why won't you listen to me?"

Paris sat up straight to play her trump card "Aidan, you don't  understand! She kissed him on New Year's Eve! She doesn't even know why  she did it, she just grabbed him and laid one on him and he kissed her  back. Now that's definitely a sign."

Aidan was silent for a moment, and then replied. "Hmm. Unplanned kisses  with no explanation, huh? Well, there may be more to this than they  know. But that doesn't mean you need to get involved. Just leave it  alone and let nature take its course. You need to worry more about your  own love life or lack thereof, Martha May."

"A lot you know, Aidan. For your information, I have been dating. I've  been seeing three different guys, thank you very much, and having a  great time," she said smugly.

"Yes, but none of them work that oF heart of yours like the detective  man, now, do they? By the way, I saw Mr. Titus Argonne last week," Aidan  said carelessly. "He was walking through the complex with your cousin  Martin."