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Three months into our now-official relationship, I am in heaven. The frequent visits to my job just to take me out to lunch, the 'hope your day is going well' emails, the call every evening before I go to sleep to wish me a goodnight. All reminders of why I am loving the place I am in. Gosh, I haven't had a last call in so long.
He has become my last call. And I am in heaven.
Abram looks across the small wooden table at me, his eyes soaking in my white, slinky, halter-dress, dangly earrings, and perfect makeup. My hair bounces in big curls, a few draping my left eye for dramatic effect. He looks at me like I'm the most beautiful thing he's ever laid eyes on, and I feel it.
He smiles. "Have I told you how beautiful you look tonight? I mean, you are a knock-out 24-7, but tonight, wow. There is something extra. And you look happy, ....and that makes me happy."
"Only ten times tonight." I joke. "You are the source of my happiness. So my smile shouldn't surprise you. It actually has been surprising me. I can't believe how perfect you are."
"Sweetheart, I'm no where near perfect. I'm trying to be the perfect man for you though. That's all I can do. It's funny 'cause I used to tease my boys for doing and saying some of the very same corny things I find myself doing now. They love it though, now they can clown me."
His words always make me smile. More importantly, he backs those words up by his actions, and that is what has my heart fluttering with every beat.
"It's only a little corny. Mostly sweet." I say, taking a sip of my Tej Honey Wine. It tastes wonderful, a little sweet, a little fruity, a little tangy.
He just laughs. "See, even you're thinking it."
The dim, romantic lights of the Blue Nile make Abram's dark, sexy eyes look even darker and sexier. They pierce through my layers as he takes my hand in his and kisses it softly. It was his idea to bring me to this Ethiopian restaurant, and I am pleased at the intimate, private, setting and soft lighting. When I told him earlier that I had never been, he'd decided that this was the place we would be dining tonight.
After not seeing each other for a whole week a couple of months ago, Abram decreed that we plan at least one day together each week that was not to be rescheduled, changed, or even put off for the next day. It has become one of my favorite things to do, even rivaling my day of retail therapy with my mother.
"So, I've decided where our next shoot will be." I say, remembering the beautiful park I spotted earlier this week.
"Oh really? Where? And what do I have to wear? And I really think you should employ some real models, cause I don't want to be the reason you fail your classes." He chuckles.
His humbleness is endearing, but he knows he is a natural. In both of the shoots we've done so far, he has been amazing. Then again, all he really needed to do was stand there and look like Abram.
"This park near U of M. It's beautiful. You will look dynamite against the water. This is...a somewhat private shoot though. So I won't be employing any other models just yet. And no shirts will be allowed on the premises." I say sexily, taking another sip of my honey wine.
He pauses, his hand holding a piece of injera, a spongy, Ethiopian wheat bread on its way to his mouth.
"So, that includes you too then, right? It's only fair."
"Ha. Don't you wish."
"Well then that is no fun." He flirts back, finally completing his left hand's short trip to his mouth. The waiter offered us traditional forks and knives, but we opted to eat it the way it was made to be eaten, with our hands. We are two corny lovebirds, taking turns feeding each other over our small, square, tile-topped table.
He even chews sexy. What did I do to deserve him?
He's giving me that look again, staring so intently it feels as though he can see clear through my dress, straight past my skin, and count the beats per minute my heart is pumping.
"It's for my enjoyment, not yours, thank you."
He raises a dubious eyebrow. "Oh? Okay I see I'm going to have to lay some ground rules when it comes to this whole taking-pictures-of-Abram thing. If I can't get behind the camera, then you can't. Your beauty is much more appealing to a camera than I am. You can't be the only one who gets to have fun, my dear. I'm not having it."
I am about to provide some witty, naughty reply when I am interrupted by a deep, raspy voice with a slight southern drawl, belonging to someone who has somehow walked right up to our table without my knowledge.
"My, my my. The lovely Ms. Nafi James. Long time no see."
The voice rings clear in my ear. Nafi. Only one person calls me that. I know exactly who its owner is. What I don't know is why I am hearing it. Didn't he move to Houston or something?
I look up, my eyes traveling up the expensive beige suit to his deep chocolate face. Yep, it is him. Jaylen Reynolds. The ex who left me with a broken heart and an empty bank account.
Damn, and the night was going so well.
I shoot a look over at a confused Abram, who is looking to me for signs as to whether he should be cordial or tell dude to step.
I look back up at Jaylen. "Jaylen. Not long enough I see. I thought you moved to Texas."
He cuts his eyes Abram's way. "Yeah, well I'm back. How you been, girl?"