His heavy locs swayed against his back with each footstep, like he had his own personal wind machine following his every move. The well tailored black-on-black tux he wore accentuated his broad shoulders well and could not hide the rippled body that Jade knew rested beneath.
Or maybe it was just her imagination.
“You look, beautiful. I meant to tell you earlier, but you were … busy.” he said, that familiar sexy voice reminding her why their phone conversations always lasted longer than they were supposed to.
He stood facing her, fighting every instinct in his body to pull her in his strong embrace and kiss her until her soul blushed. He wished the doors that separated the decadent ballroom from the large balcony they now stood on were not glass. He wished no one existed right now but she and him. Then he’d be happy.
He was close now. So close she could smell the jasmine oil that he’d used on his hair earlier mingling with the strong, sexy scent of the Acqua Di Gio rising from his skin. She could almost hear his heart beating. She was sure he could hear hers, thumping in the double time rhythm he always seemed to incite.
She looked into his dark eyes. She’d never seen eyes that were completely black. Piercing. Nigel could have a whole conversation with his eyes. Right now they were telling her everything that she already knew was in his heart.
“Thank you.” was all she could manage nearly two minutes after his original compliment.
She peaked around him, looked through those doors, saw people of all races there, fake smiles celebrating with expensive champagne and boring conversation. The only thing she was enjoying about this night were the moments alone with Nigel. This moment.
Out in this night air, the ambiance was perfect. Nigel looking like the African god he was, the music from the live jazz band playing inside fighting it’s way through the glass doors, and soft, romantic lights lining the entire balcony.
“Why don’t we just skip out on this. We don’t need to be here. I need you. Been thinking about that beautiful body of yours since you walked in in this dress tonight.” The lust in his tone was unmistakable. The love in his eyes was, too.
“They are honoring your brother, Nigel. We can’t just leave. He worked hard for this, we should be supportive. We have to be.” she said, trying to convince him and herself at the same time.
“I think I’ve done a damn good job at being supportive, Jade. I won this campaign for him, after all. All things considered, I’d say I’ve been more than supportive.” A flash of anger seared in his eyes as this passed his lips.
He had been supportive. He’d done all the dirty work that Nathaniel had refused to do, for merely twenty percent of the cost of what a real campaign manager would have cost his brother.
But that’s what brothers did, right? They were supportive. Still, she grabbed his hand, kissed his cheek gently.
“I know love, and soon you won’t have to worry about meetings, arrangements, conferences, speeches, nothing. After tonight, you can relax a bit.”
A touch from her lips always softened him. She was able to prod a slight smile out. Not enough to convince the dimple in his left cheek to show itself, but enough to let her know that it had helped.
He looked down at the swell beneath her silky, black, designer dress. At three and a half months, she was beginning to show.
“How is my little king doing? You feel alright? He giving you trouble?” He asked, letting a deep breath escape.
He placed a large, manicured hand on her belly, gently rubbing in slow circles. He didn’t care if anyone saw their closeness. She was his woman. Didn’t care about the uppity crowd inside that would frown upon this moment.
She smiled. “You don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl, Nigel. I think it’s a girl. And she’s doing just fine. I think I’m almost over this morning sickness, God help me.”
She knew the exact day and moment that their little gift had been conceived. She tried to stop the slight shudder that ran through her body when the memory of that steamy night, of Nigel’s mouth softly singing to every part of her mocha flesh played in her mind, but she couldn’t.
Nigel inhaled. The scent of Jade’s perfume and the glow of pregnancy that almost illuminated her angelic face made his attempts to stay decent in public almost impossible. His insides quaked for this woman. He shook his head, amazed at the power this one woman had over his heart, body, and soul. He needed her like he needed air.
“We should leave, Jade. Please. Only for a moment. I don’t care about this party. Don’t care about Nathaniel right now. I need you tonight, right now. We have to get out of here.” His low, husky voice was almost pleading now.
Jade stood up straight. Took a step toward the glass doors separating their two realities.
“We can’t just leave. Nathaniel needs us. You know that.”
Just as his lips parted to counter her statement, he heard the heavy doors slide open, jovial jazz music escaped and wafted into the starry abyss. Nathaniel’s cheery voice followed.
“There you are, my love. I’ve been looking all over for you. Why aren’t you inside enjoying the party?” He was happy, nearly tipsy, riding high on his win in the mayoral election tonight.
Nigel smiled. Began speaking before Jade started stuttering. “Hey, brother. I had to steal your wife for a moment. Brought her outside. She looked like she needed some fresh air. Just making sure the little one in the oven is alright. But, she’s fine. I guess you can have her back now.”
He walked towards his brother, grazing Jade ever so gently as he passed. He gave his twin brother a strong hug. Looked into a face that mirrored his own. If it weren’t for Nathaniel’s hazel eyes and short hair-cut, no one would be able to tell them apart. He felt the jealousy coursing through his body like a fast-spreading disease. He had to get out of this place.
“I’m gonna get out of here, man. Still have a lot of work to do. This is only the beginning, my brother. Make sure you get some rest tonight.”
“Sure thing, man. And, thanks for everything, Nigel. I owe you one … or seven hundred.” Nathaniel said jokingly.
“Yeah, that’s about right. But don’t worry, I’ll cash in on that soon enough. You all have a good night. Take care, Jade.” Nigel said with a nod, and disappeared into the ballroom, where a party was still going on.
Jade watched his locs sway away, in total disbelief that her life had come to this. Her heart was beating so loudly, she could barely hear Nathaniel speaking to her.
“Baby, you okay? How do you feel?” He asked, placing a large, manicured hand on her belly and kissing her lightly on the cheek.
She looked down at her stomach. If she didn’t look up into his concerned hazel eyes, if the fourth finger wasn’t the home of a platinum wedding band, this could be Nigel’s hand.
“I’m fine, babe. Let’s go inside.”