My Chocolate Sweet Valentine
KNEE DEEP BAR AND LOUNGE
“Trina, I told you, this bar and lounge may already be filled beyond capacity.”
“Well I refuse to drive three hundred and eighty-five miles to Atlanta, Georgia.”
“So that you know, the drinks are on you tonight.”
“Maybe the first round.”
Darla’s light-brown eyes surveyed the bar and lounge.
“Ooh, I see a table in the back.”
Darla and her friend, Trina, squeezed through a path of congested patrons.
Darla placed her purse on the wooden surface of the bar table and pulled out a bar chair. She turned to face Trina. “I’ve heard about…”
Her fingers were mashed against the back of the seat. She turned around. A man had taken up her seat. His friend claimed her friend’s chair.
Darla lifted her restricted hand. She tapped the gentleman on his shoulder.
Hunter pivoted his head.
“Excuse me, but this seat is already taken.”
“Yes, by me.”
“Technically, I had my hand on this chair.”
“Technically, we are not in grade school.”
“Come on Darla, I see booth table in the back.”
“Yes, some people do not know the meaning of chivalry.”
“Yes, and some people do not know the meaning of, ‘I don’t give a damn.”
Darla’s eyebrows rose. The man was insufferable.
“Come on Darla.”
“Yes Darla, why don’t you listen to your friend?”
Hunter’s walnut-colored eyes cruised over the sassy beauty’s physique.
“Since, I’m bigger than you; I will have you physically removed.”
“You wouldn’t dare.”
Trina pulled on Darla’s suit jacket sleeve. “Let’s go.”
Darla flung Trina’s arm away. “No, this…this bully needs to learn some manners.”
Hunter eased off the bar-style chair and stood.
Wow the man’s height placed him well over six feet five inches.
Darla had to bend her head back to meet his stern dark-brown eyes.
“You were saying.”
“I said you wouldn’t dare.”
Hunter had to give it to the woman; she did not back down an inch. He stepped closer. His chest mashed up against her soft breasts.
Due to the limited space. Darla could not step backwards.
Hunter bent his face to her eye level.
“This is not the city, a woman knows her place.”
Darla thumbed her hips.
“And this is not the hicks; a man knows how to treat a lady.”
Hunter looked into Darla’s eyes. He looked at her facial features. He wondered was her flawless mocha skin tone complexion smooth as it appeared.
“Hunter, this is not the time.”
“I think you need to listen to your friend, Hunter.”
Hunter looked at Darla’s glossed full lips. Stunning, smells very good, and light-brown eyes that weakened him the minute he gazed into them.
“I guess my cousin is more tolerant of rudeness then me.”
Hunter stepped back.
“Your chair awaits you.”
Darla stepped forward and inched passed Hunter. Her buttocks grazed his groin. She pivoted.
“If only I had more time,” Hunter added.
Hunter’s cousin eased off the bar-style chair.
Hunter turned toward Trina.
“I wish you a nice evening.” He cut his eyes over in Darla’s direction. He looked down at her lips. “I would be rude, if I didn’t bid you a fair evening.”
“It appears you have a sense of humor.”
“Something you’re lacking.”
This man was not letting up she thought.
“Would this party be ordering a drink,” the barmaid interrupted.
Everyone eyes focused on the intrusion.
Darla flagged her hand in Hunter’s direction.
“These gentlemen were just leaving.”
Darla removed her leather jacket and hung it on the back of the chair.
Hunter did not miss the outline of two perfectly molded breasts, a curvaceous figure, and shapely hips he would kill for to hold against his palms. He noticed her arms were toned. He glanced down at a pair of shapely legs, stuffed into a pair of stilettos sandals. The woman even had nice looking polished toes he thought. An instant hard-on drowned his pants. Hunter cleared his throat. He looked at Darla’s lips again. Damn, what an attractive woman. He liked the way her dark-brown loose curls danced across her bare back when she rotated her head.
“On second thought, me and my cousin would be staying. Can I get two extra chairs over here?”
The barmaid left and returned minutes later with two extra bar chairs.
“Wait you just can’t…”
“What are you ladies drinking tonight?”
“You may bring me a glass of white wine,” Trina stated.
“And make that a separate order please,” Darla added.
Hunter and Darla’s eyes locked. Help his thoughts, but the woman’s lips were tempting and begging to be romanced.
“Darla, I have to use the ladies’ room, are you coming?”
“I have to wait for our drinks.”
“Which, you have not ordered.”
Hunter glanced over at Trina.
“What would you like a drink Miss…?”
“Her name is Darla, and my name is Trina.” She extended her hand.
Hunter shook it.
“My name is Hunter, and this is my cousin, Matthew.”
“Nice to meet you both.”
“Likewise,” Matthew stated.
Hunter looked at Darla.
“I guess it would be too much, to introduce yourself personally.”
“It would be.”
Hunter arched his eyebrows at the woman’s shrewdness.
“Darla, I will be right back.”
“I can get my own drink, thanks anyhow Hunter.”
“Darla, I have you.”
Trina strolled away from the table.
Hunter smiled at Trina’s departing form, which Darla happened to notice.
Womanizer as always.
She glanced at the man’s side profile.
The man is too handsome, too arrogant, and definitely full of himself she thought.
Darla positioned her person on the chair. She pivoted to face Hunter.
Why is he staring at me like that she thought?
Darla squirmed in her seat.
“Is something wrong?”
“No, just admiring the view.”
Darla cleared her throat.
“I’m sorry, my name is…”
“Darla…yes, I’ve heard.”
“Hunter, I see someone I know, I’ll holler at you in a minute.”
Matthew stood, and walked away from the table.
Hunter rested his hand on the back of Darla’s chair. His fingers brushed her bare back. Very soft. He leaned over.
“You come here often.”
“Yes, the beer is cheap.” He inched back and looked down at her lips. “And the women are food to the eyes.”
The barmaid walked back to the table. She placed Darla’s glass of wine in front of her, and a glass of white wine in front of Trina’s bar-chair. She placed a glass of beer in front of Hunter, and then one in front of Matthew’s chair.
“Would anyone be ordering any appetizers?”
“Nothing for me,” Hunter threw out.
Darla reached for her purse.
Hunter covered her hand and stroked the top.
Darla looked up at Hunter, she swindled her hand back.
“I have this.”
Hunter already handed the barmaid a twenty dollar bill. She promptly handed him his change and walked away.
“You should smile more often.”
“I have my moments.”
“I’m sure you do.”
Hunter pulled the chair up and sat on it. He rested his robust thigh against Darla’s thigh. She moved her thigh over.
Hunter’s thigh naturally followed.
Darla gasped, which Hunter caught. He was having fun at the woman’s discomfort.
Hunter lifted a few beer nuts and hoarded them down his throat. He wiped one hand off with the other, lifted his glass of beer, and took a swing.
Darla looked on. She sympathized with the handle of the glass beer mug, the man’s hands were enormous, and his knuckles were slightly calloused. She wanted to push the fallen strand back that seemed to have lapped onto his forehead.
Hunter placed the glass of beer back down on the table, he turned to face Darla.
Darla looked down at Hunter’s hands, and then up at the width of his muscular chest.
“Not meaning to pry, but what is a woman doing in a five and dime bar, I took you for one of those glitzy places, you know the establishments that serves a glass of wine from out of a Crystal glass.”
“Everywhere we went was full. I assume it has something to do with the Farmers Convention, Farmers.”
“What about Farmers?”
“I could never handle the concept of anyone getting up at the crack of dawn, milking cows, throwing hay all day, riding…”
“Farmers are an integral part of society.”
“I am aware of this; I just would not want to be one.”
“Your opinion is bias and does not lack merit.”
“I beg your pardon.”
“You are a city slicker out of touch with the real world, and too stubborn to…”
Trina returned. She took a seat at the table.
“I see you two have been getting along.”
Hunter mumbled something under his breath.
“Trina are you ready to leave.”
“After I’ve finished my glass of wine and take into consideration you have not touched yours.”
Darla lifted her glass of wine and took a sip.
A female walked up to their table.
“Hi Hunter, I thought that was you.”
Hunter swiveled his chair.
“Hey gorgeous.” The woman leaned over and planted a slow kiss on his lips. She retracted her face. “Just like I remember, very good.”
Hunter looked at Darla and Trina. He cleared his throat.
“Marcie, this is Trina, and…and …what’s your name again.”
“Hi, I’m Darla.”
“Nice meeting you two. Hunter will you honor me with a dance.”
“I can’t, I promised Darla the next dance.”
Hunter stepped off his bar chair and grabbed Darla’s hand.
Darla stepped down off the chair with Hunter’s assistance. He ushered her to the center of the dance floor.
“How dare you involve me in your personal affairs? I will not be treated like one of your… your floozies.”
Hunter circled Darla’s waist, and pulled her against the stature of his hard body.
“No love lost then, now relax and place your arms around my neck.”
“I would do no such thing.”
Hunter pulled Darla even closer.
“If you don’t, I will.”
Darla linked her arms around Hunter’s neck.
He palmed her hips and inched her closer.
Hunter kissed Darla’s temple.
“I will sound presumptions if I say the lips come next.”
Darla inched backwards.
Hunter pulled her forward.
“I don’t care for your city slick attitude, but I must add, you are a very, and I mean a very beautiful and sexy African American woman.”
“Coming from a very.., and I mean very rude Caucasian man, thank you.”
“Correction, an Italian gentleman.”
“The gentleman part remains to be seen.”
Hunter’s palms spiraled up and down Darla’s back.
Oh, such wonderful hands.
“Your world, I bet consisted of nannies, butlers, fine cars, mansions, and imported caviar.”
“Let me guess, yours didn’t.”
Hunter inched back.
“No hard work and dedication made me the man I am.”
She liked the results of muscled arms cocooning her pressure. A hard body to lean against. His cologne had a refreshing smell that lingered under her nostrils. Please tell her that’s his wallet pressing against her pelvis. For clarification she secretly inched closer. Umm what a nice package.
“Your perfume smells very good on you.”
Darla looked up as Hunter descended his face.
Hunter looked down at Darla’s lips, just go for it.
The song came to an end. Hunter did not want to disengage, she was out of his lead, but he liked her, she was a considered a plastic member of society, all the things he despised, yet he desired her. He declined his head. Darla inched back.
“I think you can let me go now.”
Hunter leaned down, and whispered in her ear, “Do you really want me too.”
His hot breath tickled her ear.
No you can hold me all night long she thought.
“Yes, I have an early morning lecture.”
“Just when I was starting to like you.”
“Is it me, or the city slicker?”
“Hunter, I think the next dance belongs to me.”
Darla stepped back. She looked up into Hunter’s dark-brown colored eyes.
“Thanks for the dance, Hunter.”
Darla looked over at Marcia and turned; she walked back to her table.
“Marcia, I have to call it a night. I have a convention I have to address tomorrow.”
“Hunter, I have not seen you in three months, and every time you visit these parts, you’re always on the go.”
“I’m sorry, the next time I’m in Alabama…” Hunter looked over Marcia’s shoulder; he watched Darla put back on her jacket, and then both women walk away from the table to the exit door.
“Marcia, I’ll catch up with you later.”
Hunter walked over to the exit door.
“I wanted to tell you ladies to have a great evening.” Hunter’s eyes never wavered from Darla’s eyes.
Trina looked from one to the other.
“I will bring the car around.”
Darla looked at Trina.
Trina walked away from the two.
“I heard you mention you have an engagement to attend.”
“I see you listen very well.”
“Only to people who interests me.”
“Well yes, however, this city slicker needs her beauty sleep.”
“Not from my standpoint.”
“Nice set of teeth.”
“I will make sure I compliment my dentist. Have a nice evening.”
Hunter grabbed a hold of Darla’s hand.
“Hold up. I’m in town for the duration of the week. Could I take you out to dinner, or buy you a glass of white wine?”
“I’m sorry; I’m only in town for a speaking engagement, and then I’m on the next plane home.”
“I own... My cousin has property in them parts. Do you mind if I’m ever there, I visit you.”
“You are very persistent I see.”
“Only for a beautiful woman, I’m interested in knowing.”
“Ooh you’re good.”
“So, I’ve been told.”
I just bet you are.
“Time will tell.”
“Does this mean, yes.”
“I think you are handsome.” Darla’s eyes dropped down to the front of Hunter’s trouser. “And may be good under the covers, but I usually don’t date...”
“Outside of your race,” Hunter finished.
“Something of that nature.”
“If you haven’t noticed this is the twentieth century.”
“I am aware of that; however, I still stand by my convictions. Have a nice evening, Hunter.” Darla walked away.
“Yeah Happy Valentine’s Day to you too.”
Hunter walked back to his table. He looked at the exit door. “Damn.”
Matthew returned to the table.
“What, you scared the ladies away.”
“No, they went willing, and I’m ready to bounce.”
HILTON GRAND HOTEL
The Next Morning
Darla walked around her hotel suite, practicing the lecture aloud she was due to deliver to a room full of, Farmers, Agriculturists, Farming Machinery merchants, and Geologists on the dynamics of using solar panel, and the green effect, and its benefits for crop production.
“Only in a beautiful woman, I’m interested in knowing.”
Darla smiled at the Hunter’s flattery remarks.
Her telephone rang.
She placed her index cards down on the dresser and walked over to the nightstand. She lifted the telephone receiver.
“This is Dr. Cabaña.”
“Yes, Dr. Cabaña, this is your courtesy wake up call.”
Darla looked down at the clock.
She replaced the receiver on the cradle.
GRAND HOTEL SUITES
Hunter lifted his cup of coffee and took a sip. He placed the cup back down on the saucer. His thoughts strayed to the woman who he would have loved to entertain throughout the night. African American woman or not, she was definitely worth the time, and it would not be the first time he’s crossed the line of the racial barrier. He took a deep breath. The bum deal his fiancée did on him, advised him to play it safe and find an Italian woman to settle down with, and possibly marry. He lifted the newspaper and glanced over the headlines of the morning newspaper.
“Farming, methods are not beneficial to our ozone, or the ecological system of today, meet and greet author, Dr. Darla Cabaña, renowned Harvard graduate, Epidemiologist Ecologist, Biochemist, , and a professor of Agricultural Studies at Miami University, for a lecture and open discussion.”
Hunter peered closer at the picture.
“I be damn, a doctor, and what does she mean, ‘farming methods are not beneficial’ Where the hell is this lecture!” Hunter scanned the article. “The Hilton Grand Hotel Meeting Room this afternoon, a reception immediately following.”
He slammed the newspaper down on the table.
“Yeah, I’ll be there all right, farmers are damaging the ozone my ass.”
Hunter stood and rushed to the bathroom.
HILTON GRAND HOTEL
Later That Afternoon
“Darla, as your Publicist and best friend, I say keep your lecture short and simple, you are scheduled for an hour to sign your book, and then meet and greet your congregation for cocktails following.”
“Are you sure, you have that flustered facial look.”
“Remember, I’m speaking in a room full of hard working American Farmers.”
“Hurt them with your knowledge.”
“I’ll try, oh, is my PowerPoint presentation ready for viewing.”
“The only thing missing is you.”
Darla took a deep breath.
“You have lectured in front of a study group, college students, and have been given credit for your agricultural field expertise, worked for Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and is in the process of working on a breakthrough Cardiac drug, you can do this.”
“I know, still the butterflies continue to dance.”
“Dance with them.”
“Then I’m ready.”
Darla and Trina entered through the backstage entrance door.
“Hunter is you sure about this. Who gives a fuck about what anyone says about farming? The shit pays the bills.”
“Man, that’s not the point. Miss. High and Mighty needs to see how it feels to be placed on the spot.”
“Hunter man, you’re barking up the wrong tree.”
He turned to face his cousin
“You left your lecture to quarrel with a beautiful female doctor, about some dumb shit you know would not bother you on any given day.”
Hunter slicked his hand back through a jet-black shag.
“Dammit, it’s the principle?” Are you with me or not.”
Matthew looked around at the convention goers floating inside the Meeting Room
Hunter and Matthew entered the ballroom. Hunter took a seat in the back row. He looked over at the News Camera Technician.
“Good, the press is here.”
“Hunter do not involve me in this crazy shit of yours.”
“Man, just shut the fuck up, and go along with the program.”
The lights dimmed.
Someone closed the door.
Trina walked on stage.
Matthew poked Hunter in his ribs.
“Everyone thank you for attending the Farmer’s Almanac Convention. We’ve had some interesting speakers in various field of studies, informative merchants, and some hands on demonstration. Now comes the best, and the last. Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado, I would like to introduce Dr. Darla Cabaña, Ph.D, a graduate of Harvard, an Epidemiologist, Biochemist, Ecologist, and a has a field of knowledge in agricultural, who I might add, is braving the way for a new drug to meet the FDA approval for clinical trials.”
“Agricultural my big toe,” Hunter mumbled under his breath.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Dr. Darla Cabaña, following her lecture she will be available to sign her latest copy, A Field of Dreams.”
Hunter folded his arms over his chest.
Darla walked onto the stage. She hugged her friend.
“Tell it like it is.”
Darla strolled across the stage.
Hunter had to sit up to look over several peoples’ head, or around the seated population, who stood, to take a picture.
“Thank you everyone for coming out to hear me speak, or for some who only wanted the free appetizers and cocktails.”
“Whatever your reason is, I thank you sincerely.”
She was too damn pretty to be a doctor Hunter thought.
“For those who have not been introduced to me, or vice versa, my name is Dr. Cabaña, and my lecture is based upon a world without its ecological systems, the ozone depletion of providing its outer shield to protect human mankind, or the consequences our neighboring farmers create, which is unintentionally. I am here to equip each and every one of you how to safely grow your crops and defer you from disrespecting the green effect.”
Darla turned on her PowerPoint projector, lifted the pointer device, and started her presentation. She talked and theorized her conclusion when she heard gasps of surprise.
Hunter could do nothing but scratch his head; some of her topics were mind boggling, and conscientious to think about.
Darla turned off the Power Point projector.
Trina flipped up the light switch.
Darla blinked her eyes; she placed the flash device on the podium. She lifted a glass, took a sip of water, and uprooted the glass back down on the bottom shelf of the podium.
“Are there any questions?”
Several people stood.
Darla answered a barrage of questions.
“Are there any more questions.”
“Very well then, and I must thank everyone for coming out. Any questions or information not covered concerning agricultural, or crop production could be found in my book.”
“Feel free to enjoy the refreshments, and I will meet everyone in the ballroom.”
Darla looked down and accumulated her index cards.
“Man sit down.”
“Yes, I have one for the doctor.”
Darla looked up; she placed her hand over her eyes to block out the ceiling lights.
“What do you have against farming, or farmers? You stand up there offering hocus pocus solutions to today’s economic problems facing farmers, yet, you have no concrete scientific facts or if any of your means of rhetoric bullshit even works, no statistics that has worked, or for that matter, if anyone even cares.”
The camera zoomed on Darla.
Trina covered her mouth in astonishment.
Darla lifted her glass of water and took another sip. She placed her glass down on the podium.
“Can the person, whom I am addressing step forward please.”
Hunter looked down at Matthew.
“You’ve done it now.”
“I got this.”
Hunter stepped sideways and stepped in the middle of the aisle.
“I have never had an unwilling student, who cannot comprehend the dedication of hard work in a while; however, I will make this simple for some of us who seem to disrupt the classroom.”
Hunter looked around the seated patrons.
“Your name sir.”
“Which is irrelevant at the moment?”
Darla walked across the stage. She dismounted the five steps.
Everyone eyes followed her movements down the aisle.
Hunter’s eyes roamed over Darla’s body as she approached.
The white strapless silk dress she had on contoured her body in exquisite taste. Minus a bra, her breast nipples lazily rested against the soft material. Her hair was pinned up, displaying her slender neck. He looked down. Her long legs were smooth, and the gold anklet draped around her ankle, made him realize the aura of her femininity was potent to his well-being.
Give him strength; his need to have her consumed him.
As Darla made out the person awaiting her presence; her mouth widened in surprise, displeasure, and then, anger.
No, his arrogant ass did not disrupt my lecture for his bravado bullshit she thought.
Hunter noticed the defiance in Darla’s eyes.
“Well we meet again.”
“It seems so.”
Trina walked up to Darla. She handed her a microphone.
Darla placed the microphone up to her mouth.
“Whoever you are, my information provided through all my lectures, is not based upon theories, but on hard facts, and years of back-breaking research.”
“So, you’re telling most of the farmers in here, to cease and exit using a well, and integrate an irritation system to help the environment? And what is this go green philosophy?”
“Yes, it’s economical, and it actually does not drain on the water supply. Rather you are aware of it, California water supply is draining, therefore, a good irrigation system would assist in proper crop maintenance, in addition, going green, means reuse, as in recycle. Go paperless if you must, or if you can afford too.”
“And the new cattle, you state are Bison.”
“Only, and I state only, if that is your preference. It’s leaner in consumption, and the residue of undigested red meat does not remain in the bowel after five years, as with some other livestock meat.”
Hunter folded his arms over his chest.
Trina turned toward the crowd.
“Appetizers are now being served in the reception hall, and please stick around for the signing of my latest book, Field of Dreams.”
Everyone seated rose; all eyes strayed over in Hunter and Darla’s direction.
“Thank you, Trina.”
Darla handed her back the microphone.
Trina covered the head of the microphone.
“I don’t know what is going on between you two, but make love, not war.”
Hunter looked at Darla’s lips.
“I never cared for the city life.”
Hunter turned and walked away. He looked down and then looked around the Meeting Room; he wondered did anyone notice he had a fucking hard-on.
Darla looked at Hunter’s back.
The man was bull-headed, arrogant, and handsome in his double-breasted blue suit. She turned and walked back to the podium. She looked back at the door.
Hunter’s eyes found hers. He turned back around, he and Matthew walked out the Meeting Room.
Darla walked back to the stage, she mounted the steps. She walked over to the podium.
As usually, someone left her a red long stem rose. She lifted the card, opened it, and read it along.
“Nice lecture and I love the legs, you are so beautiful.”
Darla looked around the Meeting Room.
Trina walked up to Darla’s turned back.
“What do we have here?”
Darla turned to face Trina.
“I thought you said this event was secured.”
“It is. I even had security to check your hotel suite, and mine for extra measure.”
“Then what do you call this.”
“A sick psycho.”
Trina removed the card and rose from out Darla’s hand; she placed it on the lower shelf of the podium.
“Are you ready to greet your fans?”
“You mean I have fans.”
“Come on silly.”
“What’s wrong with this Hunter guy, the man has been riding my ass ever since we met.”
“From the way he stares at you, I’m sure he will like to ride the two holes.”
“Shh, just don’t tell my husband.”
Both women laughed.
Hunter glanced out the floor-to-ceiling window.
“Man, you ready to go.”
Hunter turned around.
“Aah, I might stick around for a couple of minutes.” He looked over at the Ballroom door. “I need to speak with Darla.”
“After that stunt, I would not be surprised if she slaps your face.”
Hunter looked over at Darla as she took a seat to sign a stacked copy of her books. He looked around, no one seem to be bothered about his stupid outburst.
“Let me go over and...”
“Buy a book.”
“It may come in handy.”
“Yeah, hopefully she doesn’t throw it at you.”
Hunter already walked away from his cousin.
“Thank you for purchasing my book.”
The woman stepped out of line.
“Could you make this book out to the love of my life?”
Darla looked up.
“Should I write that as an inscription?”
The man leaned over.
“You tell me Dr. Cabaña.” He held her eyes.
Darla cleared her throat. She quickly signed the book, and then looked up.
Her eyes clashed into Hunter’s eyes.
Hunter took the book out of Darla’s hand, and handed it to the man standing next to him. The man stepped in front of Hunter.
“Dr. Cabaña, where does your book tour take you next?”
“Actually, this is my last tour. I will host a final reception in Miami.”
“So, there’s no chance of me seeing that beautiful smile and those long legs of yours again.”
“Yes, wrapped around my back, next,” Hunter hissed behind the man’s head.
The man turned and looked at Hunter.
“The lady’s time is occupied, as you can see.”
“For a loud mouth, disruptive asshole, I doubt it.”
Hunter moved forward. The man held his stance.
“Would you like to take this outside?”
“If need be.”
“Gentlemen, with all due respect. I have patrons waiting in line,” Darla whispered, she smiled for the crowd.
“Dr. Cabaña, we will meet again, whereas, your lap dog is not watching.”
The man turned. He bumped Hunter’s shoulder in the process of leaving.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
“That was a nice lecture Dr. Cabaña, I own a spread in Montana, and I must say, the irrigation my husband installed helped, it’s a bonus when saturating our crops.”
Hunter walked around the table and took the empty seat next to Darla.
The woman looked at Darla.
“Youngman, I think you owe Dr. Cabaña, a heart filled apology.”
Hunter looked over at Darla.
“I certainly agree ma’am. Can we talk Darla?”
Darla pivoted to face Hunter.
“As you can see, I’m in the midst of signing books.”
“Please, this is very important.”
Darla looked around the reception area.
Trina walked over to Darla’s table.
“I need a break; I will sign the remaining books in ten minutes.”
Darla stood and walked around the table.
Hunter stood and met her.
“We can talk in the Meeting Room.”
Hunter grabbed Darla’s hand.
“I’m over twenty-one; I think I can walk unattended.”
“I like the way your skin feels.” Hunter gently squeezed Darla’s hand.
“I wonder how my palm would feel against your cheek.”
Darla smiled; the man never missed a beat with his tongue.
Hunter opened the door for Darla and stepped back.
“And I thought you didn’t know the definition of chivalry.”
“Only when it matters, and at the time, you matter.”
Darla turned to face Hunter.
“Oh, now I matter, twenty minutes ago, you disrupted my lecture, stated my lecture was based on hocus pocus theories, and I’m full of shit.”
Darla turned and walked away from Hunter. She mounted the steps to the stage.
“Hunter, when I’m up here, the information I provide in my lectures is based on solid facts. Do you really think I would risk my profession as a Ph.D scholar, and my credibility with hocus pocus trickery.”
Hunter looked at Darla. He walked to the stage and mounted the steps. He planted his presence in front of her.
“I apologize; I did not mean to offend you. I must admit, some of your farming methods are worth exploring.”
“I guess you learn something new from a city slicker.”
“I have a proposition for you.”
Darla crossed her arms over her chest.
“Hear me out first. I would even pay you.”
“I hope this does not entitle me lying on my back.”
“That will come naturally.”
Darla arched her eyebrows at Hunter’s self-assurance.
“I will like to employ your services. I own two ranches in the Florida area. The concept of irrigation sounds promising. I have no well; however, this is where your expertise comes into play.”
“To sample the land, the structure, and then implant an underground irrigation system, I have to advise you, the process could take well over three months, and being under your rule of thumb for such a lengthy duration, is questionable.”
Hunter crossed his arms over the width of his chest.
“You would defame your profession, and you’re creditably for… for.”
“Yes, I would for... for.”
The lights went out.
Darla reached out.
Hunter wrapped his arms around Darla’s waist and pulled her against his body.
“Darn it, I can’t see a thing.”
“Baby hold on me tight, I will back up step-by-step, and do not let go.”
“You are not getting rid of me that fast.”
Hunter backed up an inch, every now and then he had to stop and assess his backward progress.
Darla held onto Hunter’s waist. She made several excuses to lean against his chest.
Hunter and Darla made their way down the aisle.
“Are you still with me?”
Darla squeezed one of Hunter’s buttock cheeks.
“Yes, and if you get out of line with me again, then I’ll smack the facial one.”
She enjoyed his throaty laugh.
Hunter’s back finally braced the door.
“Have dinner with me tonight Darla.”
“No thank you.”
“If not for the company, for at least saving you.”
“I can’t argue with that.”
“So, you’ll have dinner with me tonight.”
“Thank you for rescuing me.”
Darla leaned on her toes; she slid her palm over Hunter’s face. She leaned up and kissed his chin.
Hunter bent his face. His lips landed on hers.
Darla inched back.
Hunter pulled her closer and submerged his emotions in the kiss.
Darla wrapped her arms around Hunter’s neck. She allowed herself to be inundating in her submission.
Hunter’s tongue slivered inside Darla’s mouth.
“Uumm,” two voices blended as one.
Hunter kissed under Darla’s chin. He dipped his knees and kissed a breast nipple through the material of her dress. He squeezed her derrière.
Hunter’s tongue journeyed up Darla’s cleavage. He kissed the side of her neck, and traveled the tip of his tongue to her earlobe.
“This is only the beginning, city slicker,” he whispered in her ear. He kissed her earlobe.
Darla opened her eyes.
“I…I’m sorry.” She spaced her face.
Hunter reached behind himself and pushed the door bar down. He bumped the door open with back. Hunter grabbed Darla’s hands.
Both walked out.
“There you are; I have been looking all over for you.”
Hunter dropped his hand from Darla’s hand. She never knew a quiet act could weigh so much.
“I will leave you ladies to talk.” Hunter looked at Darla’s lips. Wow, he would make sure she agrees to his proposal. “Tonight.”
“What time should I come and pick you up.”
“Oh, I’m staying in suite 709, surprise me any time after six.”
Hunter blushed. His smile was devastating not to forget his dominating mouth, and intoxicating lips, the whole masculine package counseled her to tread carefully.
“Oh, you’re good.”
“So, I’ve been told.”
“Darla are you all right.”
Darla touched her lips.
Hunter winked at her.
“I will see you this evening Dr. Cabaña.”
Hunter walked away.
“That was a quick change of heart.”
“Not a bad change, I must say.”
Darla turned toward Trina. She grabbed her hand and ushered her to the corner of the reception hall. She dropped her hand.
“What is it?”
“Trina, I know those lights were deliberately turned off., and when Hunter and I were talking in the Meeting Room. I could have sworn I heard someone moving behind the stage.”
“I told you to hire a full-time bodyguard.”
“I could only imagine what that would do for my image.”
“At least you would be safe.”
“I’ll think about it, hey, do you mind, if I cancel out on you tonight, I have a handsome gentleman, who, I will love to make eat his words.”
“I’ve seen that look before.”
“Then you know what I have in store.”
“The poor man would not know what hit him.”
Darla and Trina walked back over to the book signing table.