Sugar Mama by Missus James


Thirty-seven-year-old Sugar Wallace used her bitter divorce as a sweet inspiration to pursue her lifelong dream of opening a trendy dessert and wine restaurant called Sugar Mama. Her friends and family want her to dive back into the dating game, but Sugar refuses to open her heart to another. Not when the man she gave her heart to for eighteen years of marriage crushed it after cheating on her with a young Instagram model. She's perfectly content with a busy life of running a successful business. Then one night, she witnesses a forty-six-year-old beaten man get pushed from a car and everything changes.

Categories: Original Fiction Characters: None
Classification: None
Genre: Drama, Erotica, Romance
Story Status: Active
Pairings: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 28 Completed: No Word count: 111642 Read: 114545 Published: July 18 2017 Updated: December 11 2018
Story Notes:

Normally, I write main characters that are in their twenties and early thirties. I've never written main characters in their late-thirties and forties. I've always wanted to write a story with Sanaa Lathan, but I needed a good leading man then I came across a fine specimen on Pinterest and I was absolutely awestruck. He was my leading man! He was my Miles Thibodeau. 

Here is my pinterest board for this story. It contains all the characters' pictures and inspirations for different settings in the story as I write them. 

I think I might publish this story in the near future, but I would love public opinion and honest feedback. 

1. Bittersweet by Missus James

2. Unsweet Beginnings by Missus James

3. Bitter Treasure by Missus James

4. Sour Sisters by Missus James

5. Salty Reunion by Missus James

6. Sweet Jasmine by Missus James

7. Hot Soup by Missus James

8. Yummy Cake by Missus James

9. Sweet Talk by Missus James

10. Hot Affair by Missus James

11. Sugary Sweet by Missus James

12. Sour & Selfish by Missus James

13. Tasty Offering by Missus James

14. Sweet Satisfaction by Missus James

15. Salty Scars by Missus James

16. Juicy Sausage by Missus James

17. Sweet Welcome by Missus James

18. Bitter Pretending by Missus James

19. Sour Surprises by Missus James

20. Sweet Compromise by Missus James

21. Bold Limits by Missus James

22. Bittersweet Past by Missus James

23. Warm Gratitude by Missus James

24. Rotten Intentions by Missus James

25. Bitter Pill by Missus James

26. Salty Tears by Missus James

27. Bland Departure by Missus James

28. Sweet Escape by Missus James

Bittersweet by Missus James
Author's Notes:

May 16, 2016

A bitter end brings a sweet beginning. 

Music Mood: F*ck It All by Elle Varner

The moment the judge struck his gavel, Sugar Wallace let out a minuscule but shaky breath she hadn’t realized she was holding in. Her eyelids fluttered shut for a few seconds and a wave of overwhelming relief washed over her. It was over. It was finally over. After a year of bitter warring in court, Sugar was finally a divorced woman—a free woman. Opening her eyes, she looked over to her lawyer, Rochelle, who made no attempt to hide her displeasure.

“We could’ve took him to the cleaners,” Rochelle stated in a harsh whisper.

“What we agreed upon is enough,” Sugar said, “and he can have all the rest.”

“A lump settlement of eighty-eight thousand dollars is nothing but pocket change for a banking investor. Eighty-eight thousand dollars for eighteen years of marriage is nothing short of insulting, especially after,” Rochelle then stopped speaking, shifting her attention from Sugar to the man who approached their table. Rochelle’s eyes narrowed with a sneer on her face.

Lance Wallace smoothly slipped his hands into the pants’ pockets of his sharp navy-blue Armani suit as he eased to a halt in front of the table, his dark brown eyes focused solely on Sugar. The charming smile at his lips sparked recognition in Sugar’s mind, her brain plucking out distant memories when his smile actually meant something to her. When his smile made her heart flood with gooey warmth and her knees buckle with weakness. That smile coaxed her into being his slave to do his every bidding for eighteen years, but now, she was free from its hypnosis. Now, she knew his smile was nothing more than a decoration on his handsome face.

“I highly suggest you take your happy self somewhere, Lance,” Rochelle hissed, “or you’ll catch these hands.”

He looked at Rochelle, his smile widening. “Come on, Roc. The battle’s over and the peace treaty’s been signed. Let’s put away the animosity and make nice.”

Rochelle rose from her seat and planted her palms onto the table, leaning in threatening. “The battle isn’t over until blood is shed and I’m not above staining my Louboutins to protect my flesh-and-blood. You best believe that.”

“Always the protective little sister. Sugar made a good choice having you in her corner,” Lance chuckled. “If she had hired more competent lawyer then I might’ve had something to actually worry about.”

A flash of angered shock at his audacity swept across Rochelle’s face.

Sugar then said calmly, “Roc, I’ll meet you in the hallway.”

Rochelle defiantly held her gaze with Lance.

“Please,” Sugar added. Rochelle sharply cut her eyes between Sugar and Lance before she clenched her jaw.

“Fine, I’ll be out in the hallway, but don’t take too long,” she agreed bitterly as she retrieved her briefcase from beside her chair. She left the courtroom shooting daggers at Lance from over her shoulder.

“Out of all your brothers and sisters, she never liked me much,” Lance then replied.

Sugar shook her head, smiling sadly as she recollected eighteen years of moments—good and bad—leading up to this one. “You gave her plenty of reasons not to.”

“I’m not the bad guy here, Shug. What we had was never going to last.”

“I would love to know when you figured out that our marriage wasn’t going to make it. Was it before you decided to cheat on me with some Instagram model that’s nearly two decades your junior or after,” Sugar asked as she cocked her head, arching an eyebrow at him. “I would love to know.”

His smile waned, a cold meanness setting onto his facial features. “After you gave me a stillborn son.”

She winced.

“But that’s water under the bridge now,” he said, he gestured between them. “This is water under the bridge now. Everyone can walk away happy. After nearly a year of hashing this out in court, you finally get your money and I finally get to make an honest woman out of Mariah.”

Mariah, his twenty-one-year-old Instagram model girlfriend, was pregnant with their first child: a son. She was twenty-three weeks into her pregnancy. She had it plastered proudly all over her social media. Sometimes in her moments of weakness, Sugar explored the girl’s social media outlets to peek inside the life of the side chick her husband fucked during the final three years of their marriage. Sometimes, she closed her eyes and dreamed of a life where she was young and reckless. Twenty-one-year-old Mariah spent her youthful days globe-trotting, partying, and living life large. Sixteen years ago, a twenty-one-year-old Sugar worked three jobs to put her husband through college.

Now, there was no longer a need to understand the mechanical workings of a modern-day sidechick. She no longer had the heart to blame the girl. She couldn’t issue fault to a female her husband couldn’t keep away from. A female her husband repeatedly chose to risk their marriage over.

The fault was his and yet he would walk out of this courtroom a winner according to societal standards. Lance Wallace would walk away from this courtroom with a young pregnant beautiful fiancée, a successful career, and every possession they acquired as a couple over the course of eighteen years.

Sugar stood up from her seat. “I’m glad she makes you happy, Lance.”

“I’m sure you’ll find someone out there to make you happy, but it won’t be easy. Finding love isn’t easy when you’re past your prime.”

She chuckled at his dig.

It humored her that he believed being a thirty-seven-year-old woman meant that she living past her prime and yet he was a thirty-seven-year-old trying to hold onto his youth by living recklessly and burning through his money to keep his young fiancée happy.

The double standards imposed by society sickened her. He was welcomed to have his early mid-life crisis without judgment, but if she were to seek out love at her age then she was some sort of pariah. Apparently, older men age like fine wine while older women are nothing more than wrinkling spinsters.

Luckily, she didn’t need or want romantic love from anyone.

Sugar had given enough of that type of love over the course of eighteen years and nothing good came of it.

She loved hard and suffered from it.

The man that stood before her was once the source of all her suffering, but that was no longer.

“I don’t need anyone to make me happy, Lance. This time around I’m going to make myself happy. Something I should’ve done when I was married to you, but I was too busy trying to make you happy, which according to you, I was doing a very poor job of. I denied myself happiness for you. Chalked it up as a sacrifice that I needed to make for the sake of our marriage because I thought that if I did that, I could be awarded a glimpse of that boy I fell in love when I was eighteen and decided to marry against the wishes of my family at nineteen,” Sugar stated, “but I was a fool to think that.”

“You were a fool,” he agreed. “Still are.”

Sugar moved around the table and encroached in his personal space, tilted her head up at him with a smile. “That’s the pot calling the kettle black, don’t you think?”

“I’d love to hear whatever little theory is rolling around in that head of yours.”

“Curious, Lance?”

“Enlighten me, sweetheart.”

She snickered for a moment. “You seriously think a marriage between you and Mariah is going to be fruitful? You tolerate her because she’s beautiful and fertile. She tolerates you because you’ve got money. What you two have for each other isn’t love, Lance. It’s greed. Two greedy people using each other up to get a leg up,” she paused, “but I guess that’s better than being in a marriage with one greedy person. So, maybe you two deserve each other.”

Lance smirked, boldly tucking a strand of hair behind her hair before crooking a finger to stroke along her jawline. “You’ve always had an active imagination, Sugar. Always cooking up fantasies in your head. If that’s what you want to believe to compensate the fact that Mariah’s everything you’re not—that I love her more than I ever loved you—then go right ahead. Make me the villain in your story. I don’t mind.”

Sugar snatched his wrist, plucking away from her face.

“The morning after you told me you wanted a divorce, I went on her social media and looked at her pictures, posts, and tweets to understand why you were leaving me for her. I came across a tweet, her response to question about what she liked in men? You want to know what she wrote? ‘Big dicks and big dollars’. All three of us know you meet one of those two standards. You’ve definitely got something big and brown. She has no problem finding it in your pants. It’s the only reason she’s sticking around, Lance,” she said before dropping her voice into a whisper even though they were the only ones in the courtroom. “It’s your wallet. You know that thing you whip out so freely to compensate the fact that you can’t give her the other she wants. So, I guess you and I are both lacking in something.”

His eyes peered at her. She could see flames of anger flickering around in the chocolate depths of his eyes, but the strong emotion never reached his face. Lance was a seasoned professional at the art of holding back his anger, but she knew the full extent of his wrath behind closed doors.

But that was the past.

A past she needed to move on from before she became a prisoner to it. She refused to be a hostage to a never-ending cycle of remembering and reflecting a painful marriage she devoted and wasted half of her life to.

“You’ve got quite a feisty mouth on you now. The Sugar I knew wasn’t so bitter.”

She laughed briefly. “The Sugar you knew is gone, but I have you to thank for that because if you hadn’t put the needs of your ‘spare head’ over our marriage, I wouldn’t be what I am today—right here before you.”

“And what exactly are you now, Shug?”

“A free woman,” she revealed confidently as she backed away from him.

She swirled on her heels and pushed open the fenced gate of the courtroom’s barrier that separated the would-be spectators from the three-ring circus.

As she sauntered down the aisle, she said loudly, “Send Mariah my regards.”

“I hope you find some peace in your lonely life, Sugar,” he replied, always wanting the last word but she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.

She turned halfway to face him as she opened one of the courtroom’s double doors. “I’d rather be lonely than miserable, but I’ll give it two years before you end back up in this courtroom. Then you’ll be miserable and lonely,” she stated with a warm smile while his smirk waned from his lips. Exiting the courtroom, she greeted with the sight of an irritated Rochelle.

“What took you so long,” Rochelle demanded to know.

“We were just having a little chat,” Sugar said.

Rochelle’s eyebrows shot up. “A little chat? With the enemy?”

Sugar ignored her younger sister’s comment. “Let’s go, Roc. I’m absolutely tired. I feel like we've been here all day.”

Her sister pursed her lips together, rolling her eyes. “Fine, let’s go.”

After leaving the downtown courthouse, they went across the street to the parking garage. Taking an elevator three floors up, they eventually made it to Rochelle’s car. Once Rochelle started the ignition, her bickering began.

“I can’t believe you agreed to that divorce settlement, Shug. You could’ve kept your two cars and that vacation house in Aspen, but eighty-eight thousand dollars? What are you going to do with that,” Rochelle complained as she backed her car out of its parking space. “How are you going to support yourself with that?”

“I promise you what we agreed on is just enough, Rochelle,” Sugar assured, gazing out the window as the car made its slow descent floor by floor towards the parking garage’s exit.

Rochelle ranted, “I can’t believe that motherfucker had the nerve to imply that I was an incompetent lawyer. I have my own practice with my husband and my sister-in-law and business is banging. Plus, we have a very high rate of successful cases.”

Sugar sighed, “He was just trying to get under your skin, Roc, but what he thinks doesn’t matter. You defended me wonderfully and helped me get exactly what I wanted.”

Her sister’s face softened a tad, but her stubborn displeasure etched across her face still spoke volumes.

“So, what are you going to do with eighty-eight thousand dollars,” Rochelle questioned as she eased the car to a halt beside an electronic toll collection machine. She pulled down her sun visor to retrieve a white square ticket to insert into the machine.

“I have an idea,” Sugar admitted. “I’ve had it for years and years. Lance shot it down every single time I brought it up. He said I only wanted to do it to take my mind off the miscarriages and give myself something to do instead of being at home.”

As she paid for the parking toll, Rochelle growled, “He’s such a fucking asshole.”

Once the toll was paid, the bar gate slowly lifted and Rochelle peeled out of the parking garage without hesitation.

“Everyone is going to be pissed,” Rochelle said, shaking her head.

“They’ll live,” Sugar returned. “The settlement was my decision, so they and you need to accept that. For the first time in my life, I’m doing something for my happiness.”

Rochelle glanced over at her and sighed heavily in defeat.

“Fine,” Rochelle paused, “so tell me about this idea of yours.”

A smile curled onto Sugar’s lips. “Yeah?”

“Mm hm,” Rochelle nodded. “I need something to chase away murderous thoughts.”

Sugar laughed for a moment and rolled her eyes at her sister’s words.

“Turn here,” she directed, pointing at an approaching right corner. The car turned as instructed. Sugar then gave her sister a set of directions that sent the car cruising through the busy streets of downtown.

“Pull into that parking lot right there,” Sugar commanded, pointing to a parking lot in disrepair situated on a block corner. The parking lot housed a three-story red brick building that shared an alleyway with a sports bar.

“This is it,” Sugar presented excitedly.

Rochelle scrunched her face in confusion. “What am I looking at, Shug?”

“You’re looking at Sugar Mama, premier downtown restaurant of desserts, wines, and cocktails,” Sugar said, a wide smile on her face. “What do you think?”

Rochelle blinked at her. “You…want to open a restaurant…by yourself?”

“Yes, I want to open a restaurant. Everyone loves my desserts. I have a bachelors and masters in business, so I know what it takes to run a business. For the last eleven months, I’ve developed a sound business plan that I can take to the bank for a loan, but I wanted to bring something to the table to ensure their cooperation. Plus, Mallory is helping me with—“

Rochelle snorted a laugh. “Mallory? You have Mallory helping you? Mister Bartender who can’t hold down a job and picks up chicks at the bar counter he’s working by giving them free drinks?”

Sugar exhaled deeply through her nostrils, slightly irritated by her sister’s brush-off. “Look, Mallory might not seem like an ideal business partner, but he makes some amazing signature drinks that go well with my desserts. Plus, he spent four years at that four-star steak restaurant as a wine connoisseur.”

“Yeah before he got fired for sleeping with the owner’s daughter in the men’s restroom,” Rochelle said. “I love our little brother, but come on! Lory has no self-control or business sense to help you with anything.”

Sugar frowned. “He’s good at what he does. I’m good at what I do. We work well together. He’s helping me bring my dream to life. He wholeheartedly supports it all the while you’re looking at me like I’m crazy. So, are you going to support me or are you going to side with Lance? Are you going to tell me that Sugar Mama is a ludicrous fantasy? Which side are you on, Rochelle?”

Rochelle looked through the windshield to carefully eye the brick building that stood tall, but no doubt needed much love, sweat, blood, and work. She closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose as if she were surrendering herself to the reality of it all.

“I’m on your side,” she said, “as long as you and Lory name a cocktail after me.”

“We’ll call it the Angry Bitch,” Sugar said teasingly.

They exchanged looks before they burst into a fit of laughter.

After the two sisters settled down, they gazed at the building.

The building was going to house her dream and nothing was going to stop her. Her heart raced in excitement at the prospect. Sugar was a free woman free to follow her dreams without protest. She, no longer, had to put her marriage before herself. She was going to pour every single penny that she had into this restaurant. All eighty-eight thousand dollars. She was going pour everything she had into this. Her blood, sweat, tears, and love. She was going to slave in her kitchen to produce the most delicious desserts. She was going to painstakingly plan and perfect every single detail.

She was ready and capable to climb this monumental responsibility to reach a sweeter promise land on the other side. Deep down, she knew she was capable of so much more than the doting housewife who walked one step behind her husband.

The only commitment she would subject herself to revolved around bringing this dream was life.

The only love she could give was this dream—this glittery promise of a better future.


End Notes:

Feedback is greatly appreciated! 

I will always include my pinterest board in the end notes section for easy access. 

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James


Unsweet Beginnings by Missus James
Author's Notes:

Night of April 18, 2017

Eleven months later...

Music Mood: Needed Me by Rihanna

Sugar Wallace was parked at her messy office desk, inspecting a draft menu as she gingerly chewed on her red pen’s end. She had been at it for nearly two hours now and the paper was marked to high heavens with strikeouts, carets, and sloppily scribed fresh ideas and corrections. What once had been a dull pressure at the front of her skull was now a throbbing headache from concentration. She sighed heavily in frustration and plucked the pen from her teeth, tossing it onto the desk. Leaning back into her office chair, she closed her eyes and breathed deeply through her nostrils as she massaged her temples. She knew owning and managing a restaurant wasn’t an easy task, but some days, she loved her job and other days, she wanted to jump into oncoming traffic.

There was just too much to do, but she nonetheless considered it a blessing.

There was never a slow day at the restaurant and she had enough to do to postpone going on to her empty rental house until three or four in the morning. Her hectic schedule had been the only constant thing in her life for the last five months since the restaurant opened. Before that, it was six months of working hand-in-hand with a construction company to restore the brick building and transform it into the restaurant she dreamed of.

Her office door burst wide and she cracked open her right eye just enough to see who was intruding in her own little hell. She groaned inwardly at the sight of her younger brother, Mallory. He sauntered into the office and plopped down into one of the two chairs stationed in front of her desk. He slumped lazily back in his seat, folding his hands over his stomach.

Sugar peeled back her eyelids, her attention immediately drifting beyond Mallory’s shoulder and to the opened office door he didn’t bother to shut. Down the short hallway, she witnessed an energetic kitchen swarming with her waiting staff and kitchen staff doing their proper jobs in a well-oiled chaos that could only be observed in during the evening rush. Though the sight pleased her through and through, she hated the fact that Mallory didn’t close the door behind him.

He never did.

She winced as a sharp pulse from her headache suddenly struck her like a lightning bolt.

“Why don’t you ever shut the door,” she asked in a defeated tone, arching an eyebrow at him.

Mallory twiddled his thumbs, ignoring her question as he always did. “Is this how it’s always going to be? You cooped up in this office stressing yourself out?”

Sugar frowned and said defensively, “I’m not stressed out.”

Mallory pursed his lips together and gave her an unimpressed knowing look that spoke volumes.

She casted her eyes to the ceiling and corrected herself. “I’m not as stressed as you think.”

“This place is your dream, Sugar. You’re the face of this restaurant that the customers need to see, but every night you’re slaving over that desk,” Mallory said as he untangled his fingers and spread his arms wide. “You should be enjoying yourself. Not stressing yourself out.”

The restaurant was her brain child—the only child she successfully brought into this world. She had nursed the idea for years and years, cradling and feeding it. She watched it grow and grow into something wonderful and grand inside of her mind. A single dream that always managed to bring a hopeful smile to her face at her darkest moments.

After her bitter divorce with her ex-husband Lance, she received a lump settlement of eighty-eight thousand dollars and nothing else. With eighteen years of being the loyal perfect housewife, her family and friends thought the settlement money awarded to her wasn’t enough to justify the blood, sweat, and tears she put into that marriage—into that man. However, Sugar took it without hesitation. It was exactly what she needed to make her dream a reality. She poured every single cent into bringing Sugar Mama to fruition.

Every dessert that each patron tasted was birthed, inked, and concocted by her hands first as delectable experiments. Every selected bottle of wine uncorked and every signature drink sipped was thanks to the genius mind of her annoying yet endearing little brother Mallory, a licensed bartender and wine connoisseur. Their partnership married well sometimes, but they had varying visions when it came to management and menus which was why she was editing a draft menu containing his new alcoholic ‘masterpieces’ as he called them. She wanted to ensure that his new ‘masterpieces’ complimented her desserts well.

Sugar gestured to the paperwork mess on her desk.

“None of this is going to finish itself, Lory. Someone has to do it,” she said, flicking her wrist impatiently. “I give you permission to be the pretty face of Sugar Mama. Go enjoy yourself. Mix and mingle with the customers.”

Mallory grinned confidently, smoothing his hand over his shaved head suavely. “As much as I appreciate your acknowledgement of my pretty face, I’m not a sugar mama. I’m a sugar daddy therefore I would be a terrible marketing tool.”

Sugar snorted out a laugh before she could stop herself. Mallory always thought quite highly himself in the attractiveness department and it didn’t help that women flocked to him which further fueled his ego. Mallory was no doubt eye candy by societal standards, but in her eyes, he was still lanky twelve-year-old scrawny Lory and not tall lean twenty-eight-year-old Mallory. 

“Sugar daddy,” she repeated with a burst of a giggle. “More like Sweet’N Low daddy, don’t you think?”

Mallory’s eyes widened as an artificial offended look swept onto his face. “Damn, Shug. You skipped right over Splenda and went straight for Sweet’N Low? Tell me how you really feel.”

Sugar pointed to the opened office door.

“Lory, go make yourself useful somewhere,” she ordered. “Now.”

Mallory put his hands up in self-defense.

“Alright, alright,” he agreed as he rose from his seat and went to the doorway. He gave her a mock salute on his way out, leaving the door wide open.

She let out a frustrated groan. “Lory, the door!”

Lory looked over his shoulder as he walked down the hallway, shooting her a wink and a smile. She rolled her eyes sharply as she pushed back her office chair and shot up, marching over to the door. She grabbed the knob to close the door, but stopped herself as she stared down the hallway. She hated to admit it, but the world beyond her office seemed a lot more intriguing than studiously editing a draft menu.

Maybe, taking a small break and doing a walkthrough wouldn’t hurt.

Sighing heavily, she exited the office and closed the door. She made her way down the hallway, stepping into the bustling kitchen. Waiters plucked plated desserts from a ‘ready’ table, situating them onto trays to be hoisted above their heads.

Cooks were lined up at their designated stations around the kitchen, preparing and cooking her recipes. She loved the sweet aromas of caramel, chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla that wrapped all around her. Sugar crossed her arms over her chest as she watched in an admirable awe as if she were a stranger on the outside looking in and not the key that made this possible. She took her time wandering about the kitchen, peeking curiously over shoulders and exchanging impressed smiles and praises to her staff as they did their jobs impeccably.

Eventually, she strolled out of the kitchen through swinging double doors and stepped into the server’s station, gazing out into the restaurant. The warm amber lights from a sea of dangling lightbulbs overhead were soft and dim. Six mason jars of various sizes with lit candles hiding within them was the restaurant’s signature centerpiece, providing an intimate atmosphere amongst the seated patrons. A jazz song fluttered the air. The restaurant’s walls were exposed red bricks with framed pictures of her family’s old bakery and her grandparents scattered about.

Customers sipped on their glasses of wine and cocktails. Customers ate forkfuls and spoonfuls of sweet desserts. Customers laughed and smiled and chattered.

Everything was just…perfect.

“I knew you’d come,” Mallory said with a wide grin as he entered the server’s station.

Sugar rolled her eyes. “Shut up, Lory.”

He found a spot beside her and joined her in observing the warm vibrant environment, nodding his head in approval at what he saw.

There was still a surreal sensation that she couldn’t shake as if she feared that this was all nothing but a dream and she would soon wake up to a duller world.

No, this was real.

This was very real.

Sandra, one of Sugar’s waitresses, approached her nervously. “Um, Mrs. Wallace?”

Sugar focused her attention on the pale-skinned brunette, concern splashing onto her face at the girl’s visible anxiousness. “Is something wrong, Sandra?”

“There’s a customer that wants to speak with you,” Sandra said after clearing her throat, glancing over her shoulder into the dining area.

“Is it a complaint,” Sugar asked, arching an eyebrow.

Since opening Sugar Mama, she could proudly say that there had yet to be a customer complaint aside from ones about the lengthy waits to get a table, which was sadly out of her power. However, if it was a genuine complaint about the service or food quality then she would resolve it. Honestly, she had been waiting for something like this. Another real dosage of being a manager and owner.

Sandra shook her head slowly. “Um, no. He said he’s…your ex-husband.”

Sugar blinked in surprise at the waitress’s words. Lance was here?

“I know he’s lost his damn mind coming up in here,” Mallory growled suddenly.

“Mallory, watch your mouth before a customer hears you,” she whispered to him harshly, swatting his shoulder hard.

“You want me to handle this, Shug? He and I can go for broke outside,” Mallory said angrily, but complied with her by lowing his voice.

Sugar scoffed and replied in a sarcastic tone, “Yes, Lory, go beat him up outside so the customers can have some entertainment to go with their cocktails and desserts. Brilliant idea. Now, chill out.”

He pursed his lips. She could see his struggling restraint twitching in his brow, but she knew he wanted to beat the hell out of her ex-husband.

“Thank you,” she said calmly—appreciatively—before she turned her attention back to Sandra. “Where is he?”

Sandra told her where Lance was seated and she left the server’s station, sauntering through the restaurant—her fleshed dream—in search of the man that was supposed to stay in her past. She found him seated at a table near a short platform that contained a grand piano. He wasn’t alone. He was with his wife, Mariah. They were enjoying their desserts and drinking white wine.

“What a surprise,” Sugar said as politely as she could.

Lance had been in mid-gulp of enjoying his wine when she arrived at their table. After he finally swallowed, he placed the wine glass back onto the table with a wide smile.

“It’s good to see you, Sugar,” he greeted, his eyes running shamelessly down the landscape of her body. “Really good.”

The heated look in his eyes caught her off-guard, causing her brows to scrunch briefly in bewilderment. Immediately, her eyes cut to Mariah who eyed her viciously as she slid a forkful of strawberry cheesecake with chocolate drizzles into her pouty mouth.

“I wish,” Sugar cleared her throat uncomfortably, “I could say the same. To what do I owe the honors?”

“A night out on the town. It’s been a long time since we’ve had some time to ourselves,” he said. “We thought this was the perfect place for a date.”

Their son was almost eight months old now. It was a detail that she hated that she knew.

“Must be very difficult being new parents,” Sugar returned.

Mariah—wanting to be a part of the conversation—interjected dramatically, “Extremely, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. There’s just something about being a mother. It is the most important job any woman could ever have.”

The young woman smiled sweetly as she added, “Well, for those who are capable of having children anyway.”

The statement was meant to be a sharp jab at Sugar’s painful history of infertility that Lance no doubt filled her in on, but Sugar refused to give Mariah some form of sick satisfaction the girl was seeking. She reacted by smiling kindly at the girl, but the smile never reached her eyes.

Sugar examined Mariah momentarily. Her brown skin was glowing and flawless in the moody amber lighting of the restaurant. She wore her hair in a high long ponytail that was perfect for wrapping it into a fistful and yanking Mariah roughly onto the floor for a swift kick to the face. If she kicked hard enough, maybe blood could stain her expensive cream-colored cocktail dress Mariah wore.

“Well, this restaurant is my baby,” Sugar said, “and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Now, I’m sorry to cut this reunion short, but I have other important matters to tend to…”

As she turned to leave, she heard him say, “Technically, this restaurant is mine and yours, don’t you think? I gave you the seed you needed to bring this to life.”

Sugar froze as his words collided into her like a runaway train hitting a brick wall. She blinked as she processed what she just heard him say.

Lance brought his wine glass to his lips once more, his eyes never leaving Sugar.

Of course, he wanted some type of credit or recognition after all her hardworking. He wouldn’t have been him if he didn’t try. For eighteen years, he swatted away the concept of Sugar Mama off like it was a pestering fly every time she brought it up. Now, that it was alive and thriving, he wanted to pretend he was the reason for her success.

She earned that money from that settlement.

She suffered and sacrificed day in and day out for eighteen years for that money. Her reward was long overdue. When she was a nineteen-year-old newlywed, she dropped out of college and worked multiple jobs to put him through college and support them. She did that for five grueling years. She kept food on the table and made sure it was cooked for him. In-between the shifts, she kept that tiny apartment spotless. She was his study buddy and his tutor. She had her first pregnancy at the ripe age of twenty years old, but miscarried in her first trimester because she wouldn’t slow down. She didn’t have time to mourn or cry. She had to continue working herself to death for the sake of their survival—for a promised future where she could take it easy and ripe the benefits of her hard work.

The promise was nothing more than a lie. She had never been blind to the falsehood, but once upon a time, she accepted it note for note for the sake of her sanity—for her love for him.  

Sugar stubbornly held his gaze that reflected his smug pride.

No, he didn’t make her. She made him. She made him into a successful man, but he was responsible for turning himself into a monster.

Sugar snickered humorlessly, narrowing her eyes. “That’s a big stretch, Lance, and you know it.”

He shrugged with a grin. “I think I should get a plaque dedicated to me or a big framed picture of me on the wall. No, no. I’ve got it,” he said and snapped his fingers as he got a new idea. “You should honor me by creating a drink. I know Lory can come up with something nice that encompasses my personality. Maybe, he can put a mystery ingredient in there too.”

Mariah giggled in approval. “Oh, a mystery ingredient would be perfect. You have such a mysterious air about you, baby.”

Sugar wanted to gag at the girl’s attempt to stroke Lance’s ego, but what made her want to gag even more was that it was working.

“I’m glad you think so,” he said as he took ahold of his new wife’s hand and kissed the back of it. A sickening sensation clenched Sugar’s belly at the display of affection. She hated how he kept his eyes on her while he did as if he were trying to drain out a reaction from her. She needed to get away from them before she threw up in disgust.

“What do you think the mystery ingredient for my drink should be, Shug,” he questioned, cocking his head to the side.

“Spit,” Sugar said coolly.

Mariah’s smile waned, but Lance held his smirk firm.

“What did you just say,” Mariah asked, her voice oozed with a challenge.

Sugar leaned down boldly to the girl’s level, deciding to take her up on that challenge. The fact of the matter was youngsters nowadays were always quick to fight each other, but rarely did they come across an individual who lived by old school rules and it was for the best. They’d be too busy choking on their broken teeth to call 911 or Snapchat a story for help. That guarantee was bright in Sugar’s eyes.

“You heard exactly what I said, sweetheart.”

Mariah’s fierceness shrunk quickly and the fear that rolled off her was rather palpable.

“You’ve always had a sense of humor,” he chuckled, wagging his finger at her as she stood upright again.

She couldn’t deal with this anymore.

“Well, sadly I’m going to have to cut my comedy act short. You see, I have a restaurant to manage and I happen to manage it quite well. Please, feel free to enjoy our desserts and wine and don’t forget to tip your waitress handsomely before you go,” Sugar replied before she swirled on her heels and walked away.

She marched her way back to her office and slammed the door shut before she plopped down into her office chair. The door swung wide open and Mallory barged into the office.

Sugar tilted her head back and groaned. “Mallory, close the door!”

He ignored her as per usual. “I can’t believe that fool had the nerve to sashay up in here with his little wh—“

“Don’t,” Sugar interrupted swiftly, shaking her head. “Don’t call her that, Lory.”

Mallory sucked his teeth. “That’s what she is, Shug! Why are you defending her?”

“I’m not defending her,” Sugar shot back. “I just don’t need my employees to hear you call someone out of their name. I don’t care if she is one or not. Now, I need you to go out there and make sure everything runs smoothly while I get back to work on this menu.”

He clenched his jaw tightly and shook his head, but followed her directions nonetheless, leaving the room without protest. He closed the door behind him, sealing her into the tomb of her office. Not wanting her mind to linger or wander on the fresh events with her ex-husband and his new wife, she picked up her red pen and did what she did best.

 Work, work, work. 


End Notes:

Here is the second update for the night. I hope you enjoy this latest installment of Sugar Mama. Feedback is greatly appreciated. Off to write another update. ;) 

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James

Bitter Treasure by Missus James
Author's Notes:

Early morning of April 19, 2017

Sugar witnesses something that will change her life forever.

Music Mood: Lacrimosa by Mozart

It was nearly two when the last of her staff finished closing up the restaurant. The tables were spotless. The mason-jarred candles were blown out. The floors were swept and mopped. The kitchen was pristine. The cash registers were closed and balanced. The ocean of dangling lightbulbs overhead slept. All cash earnings were securely locked away in the safe in her office. In a steady trickle, her staff trailed through the lobby and out the entrance door. Sugar stood in front of the lobby desk, exchanging smiles, brief pockets of conversation, and goodbyes with them. It was a ritual that she loved to do because she continuously established small connections with her staff that were steadily transforming into strong partnerships. In these moments, she learned so much about their lives outside of this business that was her life. It gave her a glimpse of an outside world she saw very little of.

After the last employee filed out of the building, Sugar locked the entrance door with her set of master keys and watched through the glass door as her staff climbed into their cars. Others were already in their cars driving off. While a few walked across the parking lot and onto the sidewalk, disappearing out of sight in different directions as they made their journey home on foot.

Sighing tiredly, Sugar turned on her heels and sauntered into the dining area. The soft moonlight bleed through the floor-to-ceiling storefront windows, casting a beautifully strange bluish glow that mingled well with the shadows. The sound of her high heels clicking against the floor filled the still cool air as she walked over to the grand piano.

She stepped onto the short platform and eased herself onto the leather-quilted piano bench. Her fingers lightly grazed the black and white keys. Since the opening of the restaurant, she had overhead a few conversations between her employees about the piano. Some considered it a waste of space. Others thought it to be a fancy decoration and nothing more. She considered their theories logical as the musical instrument sat empty and unused during hours of operation, but the piano was put to good use when Sugar was left to her own devices.

At the ripe age of four, Sugar’s grandmother Sally-Ann, a piano teacher and church pianist, instructed her in the musical art because of her obsessive interest in the instrument. The four-year-old girl loved tapping on the keys and listening to each unique sound that streamed from the piano as a result. Soon her youth imagination took over and she became a seasoned pianist like her grandmother, confidently playing her own musical pieces that were nothing more than sharp sour piano notes stringed together that made everyone cringe.

Finally, Papa George had enough of it and demanded his wife to “teach the child the proper way before she made enough noise to raise the dead”. Sugar was a quick learner and became quite the prodigy as the years carried on. By ten years old, she fluently mastered the musical compositions of Beethoven, Liszt, Paganini, Mozart, and Bach with an emotional precision. Her love for the piano never waned, but as she grew older, she realized that playing the piano wouldn’t secure a future for her. So, she quietly tucked that passion away in her heart and sometimes let it out to breath when she was faced alone with a piano.

She straightened her back and positioned her fingers where they needed to be. Closing her eyes, her fingers impressed upon the black and white keys in a slow mournful progression as she performed Lacrimosa by Mozart. She lost herself into the melody, surrendering to the potent concoction of emotions that brewed deep inside her. Feelings she had bottled up inside of her.

Anger, bitterness, guilt, sadness, loneliness, and regret.

Even though she had overcome mountainous obstacles and now lived successfully as a restaurant entrepreneur, she was only human when it came to dwelling in the past. It was a terrible habit she couldn’t rid herself of. She knew she had did a good job of moving on after her divorce, but she couldn’t not think about those eighteen years of marriage. She couldn’t not ponder and wonder of alternate realities where everything was different, but in the end, she always came to the same conclusion: this current reality was the best thing that could have ever happened to her.

And yet…she felt like there was something missing in her brimful life.

A familiar ringtone sliced through the air, abruptly interrupting her lonely recital and ripping her away from her thoughts. She stood up from the piano bench and stepped off the platform, journeying through the dining area and into the lobby where her cell rested on the lobby desk’s surface.

She picked up the device and accepted the call, leaning her back against the high desk while she used her spare hand to pinch the bridge of her nose.

“You still at that restaurant, ain’t you,” her twin brother Sullivan interrogated in an irritated tone.

“Well, hello to you too, Sully,” she greeted.  

“And I bet you there all by yourself too,” Sullivan continued without missing a beat.

Sugar sighed, “So what if I am? I don’t see the problem in it.”

Sullivan sucked his teeth. “You being there alone in that restaurant at some two in the morning is dangerous, Shug. How many times I’ve got to tell you that?”

It was no surprise that Sullivan was overtly protective of her. Sugar was used to it. He was the oldest of the two by four minutes and thirty-seven seconds therefore he took his big brother role very seriously. Their special bond as twins only intensified his need to keep her safe from harm. There were plenty of childhood stories and memories about Sullivan’s defensive nature when it came to her. No one messed around with Sugar because they knew they would have to deal with her twin brother’s wrath. Even Rochelle, Odette, and Mallory knew better than to play pranks or argue when they were growing up.

“Sully, I stay this late every single day and I have yet to have a problem,” Sugar said.

“I’ve got a problem with everything you just said. Some fool could be out in the shadows watching you, identifying your patterns and habits. Waiting for the perfect moment to strike,” Sullivan replied. “You’re a very attractive woman, Shug. That’s a good enough reason for some sick bastard out there.”

Sugar assured, “I’ve got pepper spray on my keychain and that defensive cat keychain you gave me to protect myself. I always check my surroundings when I lock up the building and go to my car. I can handle myself, Sully.”

There was a moment of silence.

Sullivan finally stated, “From now on, I’ll be at that restaurant right at closing to hurry you along so you can go home and sleep safely.”

She gaped at her twin brother’s promise.

“Are you being serious right now,” Sugar asked in shock.

“The hell you say,” Katrina, Sugar’s sister-in-law, stated tiredly from nearby.

“Go back to sleep, Kat,” Sullivan ordered.

Katrina huffed, “How can I go back to sleep when you’re bickering on the phone?”

“You want me to leave the room then?”

“What I want you to do is leave your sister alone,” Katrina retorted. “She don’t need or want you as a chaperone. She’s a grown woman. If she needs you then she’ll tell you. Now, hang up the phone.”

Katrina’s rant brought a smile to Sugar’s lips. She knew that she could always count on her sister-in-law to knock some sense her twin brother’s hard head.

“We’ll talk about this later,” Sullivan said stubbornly to Sugar.

“Didn't I just tell you to leave your si—“

Katrina’s sentence was cut short as the call ended by Sullivan’s doing.

Sugar shook her head slowly as she pulled the cell away from her ear. She knew her brother would try to make good on his word regardless of her or his wife’s protests.

Deciding it was time to go home, she returned to her office to retrieve her purse before she journeyed back into the lobby. She unlocked the entrance door to leave the restaurant and stepped out into the warm April night air. As she locked the door, a spike of fear leapt inside of her as a speeding car suddenly came to a screeching halt at the curb in front of the parking lot. She swirled on her heels quickly, fumbling with her collection of keys. Her heart throbbed deep and hard inside of her chest as she watched a series of events unfold before her very eyes.

A passenger door swung open and a big dark lump was pushed out of the vehicle unforgivingly.  The lump landed on the sidewalk with a thud and the car door slammed shut. The vehicle accelerated away, made a wobbly U-turn as the driver was losing control of the car, and turned a sharp right at a corner.

Sugar squinted her eyes as she tried to make out what was lying on the sidewalk across the parking lot. Then the mass attempted to lift itself up and failed, plopping back to the sidewalk. Her eyes widened as she finally realized that the lump was, in fact, a person.

“Oh my god,” she gasped loudly.

Without hesitation, she scuttled as best she could across the parking lot. A difficult feat in four-inch pumps.

“Sir, ma’am, are you badly hurt,” she asked frantically as she came quickly towards the body.

The body flipped itself over onto its back with a low pained grunt.

It was a man—a beaten man.

The moonlight from above allowed her to properly assess his bodily damage. His bloodied nose was busted with a fresh slit glistening and dribbling with blood. His left eye was badly bruised and swollen. There was a terrible bruise on his right cheek.

“It looks worse than it actually is,” he said in a grumbly tone but an edge of humor to his words that caught her off-guard.

“Let me call an ambulance,” Sugar replied anxiously as she reached into her purse for her phone, but froze when she heard his voice again.

“No,” he said in a strained tone, shaking his head slowly as he managed to get himself off the ground. It was a torturously slow struggle as he picked himself up. She wanted to help him, but he seemed like the kind of man who fought his own battles and she didn’t want to interfere with that.

His heavily tattooed arm curled around his torso as he leaned over in pain. The man assured, “No need for that.”

“But you’re injured,” Sugar said, concern oozing from her words. “You should really get some help.”

“I’ll be fine,” he stated as he lifted his head up to gaze at her, his eyes nailing her to the spot while a smile spread across his busted lips. “Truly, sugar.”

Sugar lost her ability to speak as the man smiled at her; as the man called her a term of endearment without knowing it was actually her name. His accent was baritone and deep southern fried, but she could tell he wasn’t from these parts. Regardless, her name sounded damn good coming from his mouth. A tingly warmth vibrated through her body from it.

“Um, I can’t just let you walk off without at least, offering you some ice or something. My conscious won’t allow it,” Sugar finally spoke, pointing to her restaurant. “My restaurant is right there, so you don’t have to go too far.”

“I appreciate the offer, bu—“

Sugar swiftly interrupted him. “I wasn’t giving an option.”

A expression mixed between surprise and intrigue splashed onto his features. He arched an eyebrow at her for a moment before his close-mouthed smile widening just a little more. “Ma’am, yes, ma’am.”

“Good,” she replied firmly with a nod as she went to him and grabbed ahold of his other tattooed arm, draping it across her shoulder. She aided him carefully across the parking lot and towards the entrance door.

Along the way, he said, “You’re goin’ to get my blood on your dress.”

She was wearing a knee-length deep red wine-hued dress with broad straps and a V-neckline. Four-inch silvery pumps adored her feet, which matched the silver belt around her waist. Her long hair was braided into a bun at the back of her head.

“A perfect excuse to buy another dress,” she returned playfully.

He chuckled.

When they reached the entrance door, she used her keys to unlock it and led him inside. She guided him through the lobby and into the dining area, helping him move towards the closest table. She turned on a light switch along the way, bringing the overhead lightbulbs to life.

“I’ll be right back,” she said—once he was seated—before she made her way into the kitchen and turned on the light switch. A painfully bright light flooded the sterile room. She winced at the light, her eyes adjusting to the harshness while she traveled around the kitchen gathering various things to help the man. She found a clean kitchen towel and dampened it at a sink. She found a resealable plastic bag and scooped ice into it. She also retrieved a first aid kit from the kitchen.

Returning to him, she handed him the bag of ice before she placed the first aid kit onto the table.

“Thanks,” he replied with a nod and immediately placed it to his ribs.

She draped her fingers in the wettened towel and arched an eyebrow. “Do you mind if I clean your face?”

He arched an eyebrow right back, grinning. “I thought you were calling the shots, sugar.”

“I guess you’re right,” she agreed with a subtle smile as she closed in on him.

She used her index finger from her spare hand and rested it underneath his salt-and-pepper bearded chin, navigating his head to angle upward so she could get a better look at his face. The grayest eyes bored into her brown ones boldly. The tiny laugh lines at the corners of his eyes crinkling a little as a telltale sign that he found this unfolding situation rather amusing.

Sugar cleared her throat nervously and focused her attention on cleaning the gash on his nose. With her fingers trapped inside the towel, she gently dabbed and wiped at the bleeding cut.

“Do you have any bloodborne diseases that I should know about,” she asked a little too late.

“No,” he said truthfully, “just hot-blooded.”

“Indeed,” she muttered under her breath, but luckily, he didn’t hear or maybe he pretended not to. Even banged up, she could tell the man was hot-blooded and just plain hot. The latter being a fact that made it rather difficult for her to concentrate.

“You know,” she cleared her throat, “you’re faring quite well for someone who looks like they got into a fight with a semi-truck and lost.”

“Well, it’s not every day an old bastard such as myself gets patched up by a beautiful woman,” the man replied, which caused Sugar to snort with laugh.

Sugar shook her head as her laugh faded into light giggles.

“You, sir, are quite the charmer,” she told him with a smile as she continued to clean his face. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a beaten man call me beautiful before.”

“There’s a first time for everythang,” he returned, matching her smile with one of his own. “I can’t deny that I’m a man that enjoys being the first.”

She teased, “That sounds rather selfish.”

“Oh, I’m very selfish,” he guaranteed.

Her heart quickened in pace at the promise while her brain raced with theories as to what his selfishness exactly entailed.

“Are you,” he then pondered curiously.

Sugar blinked as his question jerked her from her thoughts. “Hm? Am I what?”

“Are you selfish?”

She laughed a little and shook her head.

“Not even a little,” he probed.

She shook her head once more, adding, “Hate to break it to you, but I’m little miss goody two-shoes.”

There was a moment of silence that drifted between them.

“Soon or later, you’ve got to take off those shoes, you know,” he replied.

Now finished with cleaning up his face, she opened the first aid kit and got a bandaid for his nose.

“Maybe, I don’t want to take off my shoes,” she said as she peeled off the thin protective paper from the bandaid and crumpled it into a ball before she placed it on the table. She carefully put the bandaid across the open cut on the bridge of his nose.

“You don’t want to or you’re too scared to?”

Sugar froze for a moment as the weight of his question hit her hard. It was too intimate and her answer would be too telling for a stranger.

She cleared her throat.

“I’m done,” she said as she took a step back, feeling uncomfortable in her own skin.

He eyed her carefully, but didn’t probe or push the matter any further, which she was thankful for.

“I’ll call for a cab,” she offered as she reached for her cell.

There was a local taxi service she had a bit of a partnership with. She recommended their business to her patrons tipsy and drunk from the wine and cocktails, which was rather often. In return, the taxi service allowed her to put an ad atop of a few of their cabs. It was a win-win situation for both and worked flawlessly in practice.

“It’s alright,” he replied as he rose from his spot, wincing as he did it.

He still had the bag of ice against his ribs. She was curious and worried about what damage lied underneath his shirt. She wanted to lift his shirt up to see what was he hiding (was it bruises, wounds, or tattoos?), but she decided that it wasn’t her place to.

“Thanks for showin’ an old bastard like me some kindness,” he said.

She smiled weakly. “It was no problem at all.”

“But be careful who you show kindness to though,” he said, “because they just might keep comin’ back for more.”

Her breath hitched in her throat at his words.

“I’ll keep that…in mind,” she replied.

His gray eyes scanned her studiously from head to toe as he was purposefully committing every inch of her to his memory.

“I won’t be a bother to you any longer,” he stated as he turned to leave.

It took every ounce of her strength to keep herself from saying something else to him. She stood still like a statue as he walked towards the lobby with a modest limp and out the entrance door.

Sugar exhaled a breath she didn’t know she was holding in and sat down at the table with a racing heart and jittery nerves, a familiar feeling she hadn’t felt in a very long time.

“What in the hell was that,” she asked herself.

Her cell then chirped and vibrated on the table as she received an incoming text message. She bit down onto her bottom lip as she grabbed the device and looked at the received message.

She groaned inwardly and rolled her eyes.

Sully: ur ass better b home. >:{


End Notes:

Sugar meets Chef and lets him walk away, but he knows exactly where she is. The question when he will come back?

Feedback is greatly appreciated! Have a wonderful Friday!

Also, a photo of Sullivan's wife to the pinterest board has been added. ;)

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James


Sour Sisters by Missus James
Author's Notes:

April 25, 2017

Sugar sends some sweet quality time with her sisters, but it turns sour.

Music Mood: Hard Time by Seinabo Sey

“You really need a man, Shug,” Odette Kyle, the youngest Hartwell daughter, stated as she snuggled her back into the cushiony leather of the pedicure spa chair and surfed Facebook on her cell. Rochelle was resting in a pedicure spa chair to her left and Sugar was lounging on the one to the right. They were visiting their regular nail shop, Nailed It, that was conveniently in a central location for the sisters to leave their jobs for a bi-weekly pedi-medi treatment.

Rochelle’s practice was in an office building in the north area of downtown. Odette, a curator, worked an art gallery that was along the eastern outskirts of downtown. Sugar’s restaurant was situated towards the westside, but it was four blocks away from the nail shop. Sugar was half-tempted to walk back to the restaurant with dripping wet feet to avoid this conversation.

Rochelle nodded in agreement. “I second that notion.”

Sugar’s eyelids slid shut, sighing, “We’ve already gone over this. I’m—”

Celibate,” they interrupted, speaking in eerie unison. Odette and Rochelle exchanged glances with a sharp roll of their eyes.

It was a life choice she had exercised for nearly five years. At first, it wasn’t by choice. The last time her ex-husband touched her, she had gotten pregnant for the fourth time during their eighteen-year marriage. It was the longest pregnancy she had successful endured until towards the end when she noticed the baby stopped kicking and she immediately went to the hospital. Their monitoring machines couldn’t detect a heartbeat and the doctors decided to induce labor. She gave birth to a stillborn son and Lance lost all interest in being with her in that after that.

Plus, the timeline of when Mariah became his sidechick lined up quite perfectly and their extramarital affair lasted for three years. Then one night Lance finally admitted to having the affair after months of suspicion and demanded a divorce in the same breath. That brutal year of divorce court battles was difficult for Sugar. Everyone encouraged her to go out and date, but she didn’t have the heart to do it. Not out of loyalty for Lance who was still her husband, but because she couldn’t bring herself to give her heart to another and hope they’d do right by her.

After the divorce was final, she had spent the last eleven months consuming herself with the construction, opening, and managing of Sugar Mama. There was literally no time in her schedule to even glance at someone of the opposite sex in a way other than familial love or professionalism.

Well, not exactly…

Her mind often wandered back to that night six days ago revolving around a battered heavily tattooed man with gray eyes, but she always reeled herself back to reality by presenting herself with cold hard facts. How she found him—how she met him—was nothing short of a promise for trouble.

He looked like trouble in the flesh.

She didn’t need anyone like that in her life.

“I think this whole celibacy thing is a little too much,” Odette admitted.

“It’s actually rather easy,” Sugar assured. “Now, could we just relax and enj—“ 

Rochelle interjected, “When’s the last time you had a man?”

"What kind of question is that, Roc? I had a man for eighteen years,” Sugar replied with a frown. “You know that.”

Rochelle shook her head.

“Uh-uh, sweetheart. I mean ‘had a man had a man’,” she clarified, her hips thrust upward and she whipped the air dirtily. Sugar’s eyes bulged at the vulgar display and Odette giggled wildly.

Odette leaned over to Sugar and elucidated further, “She means when was the last time someone knocked the cobwebs out of your pu—“

Sugar interrupted harshly, “I know what she meant, Odette.”

Embarrassment smothered her from all sides at her younger sisters’ off-color behavior in a public place, earning looks from workers and patrons alike. 

“Stop acting so uptight, Sugar,” Odette commanded, swatting her oldest sister’s shoulder. “You always be acting like a nun.”

“I’m not acting uptight. All I’m trying to do is figure out why are you two so interested in my romantic life,” Sugar asked, arching an eyebrow.

“Because you don’t have one,” Odette answered.

“I don’t want one,” Sugar countered. “I’m not going to be made a fool of again by committing myself to someone.”

Rochelle let out a lengthy frustrated groan that left Sugar very confused.

“What,” Sugar queried with a frown.

“Ettie, please help me out because she’s just not understanding,” Rochelle pleaded to Odette.

“My pleasure,” Odette accepted with a nod before turning her attention to Sugar. “Look, Shug. Nobody is talking about you dating someone. We’re talking about you getting some, girl. We’re talking about no-strings-attached meaningless hot fun.”

Meaningless sex?

Sugar wrinkled her nose at the thought. “Thanks but no thanks.”

Odette sighed heavily in defeat, shaking her head before she decided to change the subject. “So, what do you want to do for your 38th birthday?”

Sugar blinked at the question, completely caught off-guard. She had completely forgot that her birthday was a little over a month away. She had been so consumed with running her business that chaotic days blended together so seamlessly that she often forgot what day it was in the week and on occasion she forgot the month. The past few years seemed so long and never-ending and yet it just felt like she was thirty-three years old yesterday and now she was a few weeks away from turning thirty-eight. 

Where had all that time gone?

“I guess a family dinner like we always do,” Sugar said with a shrug.

Rochelle sucked her teeth. “Shug, Mama and Daddy are going on that two-week cruise to the Bahamas around then. Mallory is taking Sullivan out for a boys’ night and we girls are going to take you out for a girl’s night.”

Sugar shook her head vigorously, wagging her index finger in disapproval. “Uh-uh. Oh, no, no, no. The last time we had a girls’ night, we got kicked out of two clubs, nearly caused a massive car-pile up, and almost got arrested for public indecency.”

“That’s my kind of girls’ night,” Odette approved with a laugh, high-fiving a grinning Rochelle.

“We’re having a girls’ night and that’s final, Shug,” Rochelle said firmly, a dare flashing in her eyes to challenge her decree.

Sugar rolled her eyes and exhaled through her nostrils, narrowing her eyes at her sister. “Fine,” she agreed. “Is it just going to be us three?”

“No,” Odette shook her head as she resumed her task of Facebook surfing. “Katrina, Reid, and Helena is coming too.”

Sugar pinched her nose and groaned.

Katrina was a no-nonsense woman, but when there was alcohol involved, she was just as much a wild child as Rochelle and Odette. Reid, Rochelle’s sister-in-law and law firm partner, wasn’t much of a drinker, but she loved chasing after good-looking men at clubs. Helena, Odette’s sister-in-law, was the absolute worst. She drunk heavy, partied hard, and had no self-control around men. She was the ripe age of twenty-three where consequences meant very little. She had a good heart when she was sober, but she was a party animal that acted a bit too wildly for Sugar. Often, the four other women spent a girls’ night chasing Helena down halfway across town because she decided to ride off with a man.

There was nothing wrong with having a girls’ night with women she loved and adored, but over the years, she felt like she couldn’t keep up with the increasingly rowdy meet-ups. The clubs and parties were always ‘lit as fuck’—as Helena called it—but Sugar couldn’t get into it like she should’ve—like they wanted her to. They danced, she sat on the sidelines. They guzzled drinks, she sipped and waited. She was always the designated driver; the responsible one.

She always felt out of place—like she didn’t belong. It was a feeling that she had become accustom to since childhood. Growing up, she buried herself in studies and piano. She, of course, did play and hang out with her younger siblings as the years went on, but there was always a subtle disconnect when they were together. Something that everyone knew, but no one had the guts to acknowledge it.

Sugar and Sullivan were two sides of the coin when it came to their somber natures. Sugar was on the softer end therefore more open and approachable than her twin brother while Sullivan dominated the rougher end with a difficult but protective personality. Their siblings, on the other hand, were more light-hearted and playful therefore the older Hartwell twins’ interactions with their younger sisters and baby brother sometimes resembled oil and water.

“Don’t act like that, Shug. It’s going to be great,” Odette assured, “and I promise to keep Helena in check too.”

Sugar lifted her hands in surrender. “Alright, alright. Let’s do the girls’ night.”

Odette squealed in excitement. “You will not regret this!”

Rochelle smiled. “We’re gonna get you to come out of your shell, girl.”

“I was never in a ‘shell’,” Sugar returned.

Her younger sisters exchanged ‘uh-huh’ glances.

“What,” Sugar asked with a frown. “It’s true.”

“Shug, can I be real with you for a moment,” Rochelle requested.

“Please, do,” Sugar agreed, an anxiousness buzzing through her veins as she awaited her sister’s words.

“You’re a kind of a recluse, Shug,” Rochelle revealed.

Sugar blinked, reeling her head backwards slightly as the weight of Rochelle’s announcement hit her hard—surprised her. “Beg your pardon?”

“I said,” Rochelle stated in a matter-of-factly tone, “you’re a kind of a recluse.”

“If I was a recluse then I wouldn’t be here, Roc,” Sugar replied as a desperate desire to show Rochelle the massive error in her summarized statement of Sugar’s character.

Rochelle shook her head. “You can go out into the world and still be a recluse, Shug. You’ve always found something and dragged it back to your shell to devote yourself to it wholeheartedly—obsessively even. When we were kids, you did it with the piano. Then at nineteen, it was with Lance. You stayed in that shell with him for eighteen years, but you occasionally crawled out of it to let us know you were alive and well. You were so obsessed with being the perfect wife. So much so that you even stayed with that bastard after he be—“

Sugar’s eyes widened in shock at the word Rochelle was about to utter. Was she seriously going to throw that in her face?

“Roc, that’s enough,” Odette interrupted in a swift sharp manner. “Now’s not the time or place.”

Sugar clenched her jaw. “No, she’s on a roll now. Let her finish since she’s got me all figured out.”

“You stayed with that man after he did you wrong time and time again,” Rochelle continued, deciding to rephrase her previous statement for the sake of prying ears. “And now that your marriage is over, your restaurant is your new shell. You barely get any sleep. You work yourself to death.”

“Why is everyone so concerned with how I live my life,” Sugar snapped.

“Because you’re not living it like you should,” Rochelle tossed back. As her older sisters argued, Odette closed her eyes and shook her head knowing that their heated squabble was too far gone for her to have any influence in ending it.

“That’s your opinion, Roc. You say I’m not living it the way I should, but you’re wrong. I am. I love what I do. It makes me happy. If you can’t accept that then that’s your problem,” Sugar said.

For the first time in her life, Sugar was free to do what she pleased without answering to another. She went from living under the authority of her parents to living under the authority of her husband with little room for rebellious freedom. Now, that she was a free woman, her siblings all wanted a say of how she should live her life.

Mallory wanted her to hire someone to manage the restaurant, so she could be “the face” of the restaurant. Sullivan threatened to enforce a curfew upon her if she didn’t get home at a reasonable time. Rochelle and Odette were obsessed with her getting a fuck buddy and partying.

She was nearing the age of thirty-eightand yet, she felt like a child when it came to her siblings meddling in her life. The more she thought about it, the angrier she got.

Rochelle jerked her attention to Odette. “Can you please talk some sense into your sister?”

“Uh-uh,” Odette voiced, shaking her head, “I just wanted to relax and let my feet soak before I get a pedicure, but I can’t ever take you anywhere.”

Rochelle gawked. “Excuse me?”

“You heard me, Roc. Every time we go somewhere, you’re always arguing and interrogating folks like you’re in court. This isn’t court. We’re in a nail salon trying to spend quality time together. You wanna talk about Shug being some sort of recluse and air out all her business for these folks, but she could just as easily spill some tea on you. However, I wanna do the honors today because I’m tired of all this,” Odette replied, pursing her lips. “We all know you don’t walk into a courtroom unprepared. When you land a big case, you’re locked up in your office for months on end. When your caseload is small, you want to dip your fingers into everyone else's cases to keep your behind busy. Yet you too busy to even shoot a simple text message or even like a damn post on Facebook. So, don’t come for Shug’s edges and leave yours unprotected.”

Rochelle rolled her eyes, but said nothing. She leaned back against her spa chair, focusing her eyes ahead to avoid her sisters’ gazes.

Odette gestured her arms wide. “Now, can we get back to sisterly bonding or do ya’ll want to continue this civil war? If so, then let me request another spa chair away from this foolery. So, truce or naw?”

Truce,” Sugar and Rochelle replied stubbornly at the same time.

Eventually, Sugar returned to the restaurant with a fresh French manicure and French pedicure. The early afternoon crowd was impressive but not overwhelming. She strutted into the lobby and said hello with her day shift receptionists, Clara and Darren.

“Oh, Ms. Wallace,” Darren called after her as she walked past.

She winced slightly at her last name. Even after nearly a year of being divorced, she had yet to change her married name back to her maiden name. There were lots of reasonings and excuses as to why that she often pondered in the wee hours of the morning when she couldn’t drift to sleep quite yet. There was laziness. There was busyness. Then there was the fact that she only knew how to be Sugar Wallace, not Sugar Hartwell. However, she was leaning more and more towards changing her last name, but she wasn’t in a hurry.

“Yes, Darren?” She swirled slowly on her heels to face him.

“There was a delivery that came for you. I left it on your desk,” Darren informed.

Sugar blinked in surprise. She wasn’t expecting a delivery.

“Um, thank you,” she nodded with a smile before she strutted into the dining area. She decided to assess customer satisfaction by having brief tableside conversations with the patrons about how they enjoyed the food, drinks, and service. No one had any complaints and that pleased her greatly. Her staff did an amazing job and the smiles on the customers’ faces only further drove that fact. After devoting time to that, she ventured into the kitchen, down the short hallway, and opened the door to her office. She froze in the doorway as she stared at the beautiful floral arrangement of dark pink and light pink peonies housed in a crystal cube vase.

Slowly, she walked into her office and shut the door behind her. She approached the front of her desk and planted her hands against its surface as she leaned down to take an admiring sniff of the fresh flowers. Who in the world would send her these? Her brain scrambled for an answer. She scanned the cluster of flowers for a card and found a sealed envelope in moments, She opened the small envelope and retrieved a card from inside. The written note said:

Your name is quite fitting.


Who in the devil was C?

Her face scrunched together in confusion. As a habit, she flipped the card to its backside in search of a clue. Normally, in these instances there was none, but in her case—in that moment—there was a phone number located on the back. Her heart immediately began to race at the discovery.

Sugar retrieved her cell from her purse and dialed the scribbled seven digits. Her heart throbbed even more violently than before in her chest as she placed the device against her ear and listened to it ring. She sat down in one of the two chairs in front of her desk, jittery with anticipation. She counted the rings and just before the last one, she changed her mind and hung up the phone. She tossed the phone from her hand like it was a hot potato and watched it skid to a halt halfway across her desk.

She had a very strong gut feeling that a man sent her these flowers and she had sworn off all men.

She had told herself this.

She had told her meddling sisters this.

She had told the universe this.

She didn’t need to know who C was nor did she want to deal with him, but she decided to keep the flowers because they were too gorgeous to be thrown away.

“He does have good taste though,” she muttered to herself, cocking her head as she admired the floral arrangement from where she sat.

It was then the phone rang and vibrated due to an incoming call. Fear spiked inside of her for the briefest of moments before she realized that it was Mallory calling. She picked up the phone and answered it.

“What is it this time, Lory?”

“Look, I’m not…going to be…able to…come in tonight,” Mallory announced in between wet noisy kisses. Sugar rolled her eyes sharply before she glued her attention on the ceiling.

She arched an eyebrow and shook her head, curiosity getting the best of her even though she knew her mind would be filled with cringeworthy mental images if he answered truthfully. “Pray tell me why. Are you sick?”

“Well, I am seeing…a nurse as…we speak,” Mallory spoke in between another series moist noisy kisses that made Sugar want to gag. This time around she could hear a giggle in the background, which made Sugar roll her eyes even harder.

“Will you be able to get a doctor’s note?”

“Mm hm,” Mallory hummed, which was followed by a low moan from a woman.

“Bye, Lory,” Sugar huffed in an irritated tone before she ended the call. Before she could even pry the phone from her ear, another call came. Immediately, she answered it thinking it was Mallory, no doubt, trying to explain his case as he always did.

“I don’t want to hear any of your silly excuses. I have a business to run, so every time you chase after fast tails, I’m the one who gets left in the dust. So, excuse me for being so tired of you choosing play over work. I don’t have that luxury. I can’t afford that luxury,” Sugar spouted.


“Play isn’t as expensive a luxury as you think.”

Sugar’s eyes widened slowly at the smooth deep southern voice that was very much not her baby brother’s. It alerted her at first as she didn’t know who she was talking to, but it didn’t talk long to figure out who it was. The ‘who’ she was on the phone with was also the same ‘who’ that sent the flowers and the same ‘who’ she cleaned the blood off his face in her empty restaurant at nearly three o’clock in the morning.

“So, you’re C,” she finally spoke, her voice a little shaky.

“So, you remember me then?” She could detect from his tone that he was pleased—charmed even.

“How can I forget? Our introduction was very,” she cleared her throat, “unique.”

“I wish we could’ve met under different circumstances.”

Sugar scoffed. “Actually, the circumstances we met under were perfect because it allowed me to see what kind of person you truly are.”

“And what kind of person do you think I am?”

“Trouble,” she answered. “You get pushed out of a car bloodied and battered. You didn’t want medical attention, which would have probably gotten the police involved. You probably didn’t want that, now did you? I only patched you up to be kind, but don’t mistake my kindness as an open call for a man. I don’t want one. I don’t need one and if I did, it wouldn’t be you. I’ve had more than enough seedy men in my life to know that you’re probably one. So, thanks for the flowers, but no thanks to everything else. Now if you excuse me, Mr. C, I have more important matters attend to.”

“Well, I wouldn’t want to keep you from them,” he said so calmly that it surprised her.

She just insulted him. She literally accused him of being trouble—of being a seedy person—and in return, he spoke to her with such a respectful even-tempered manner. Lance would have exploded. There would have been more than a few men that would have become extremely angry and defensive from her sharp-tongued accusations. However, there was no hint of anger or disappointment in his voice. It was almost as if he had expected her rejection and had accepted that fate well in advance before he even sent the flowers.

If that were the case then why did he even bother?

“Um, thank you for,” she paused, searching for a word as she recovered from being caught off-guard by his composed response.

“Understanding,” she finished, clearing her throat with unease.

Uncomfortable with the concept of saying goodbye, she quickly ended the call. Pulling the phone away from her ear, she stared at it for a long moment as she bit on her lower lip.

That wasn’t what she expected.

That wasn’t what she expected at all.



End Notes:

Here is another update! I went to a friend's party last night and I was tipsy as all get out, but I had a strike of inspiration and I couldn't wait to get home to write after some dancing and more drinks, of course. I had a great time at the party and writing the beginning of the chapter was great after I got home. 

This chapter was great insight into the sisterly relationships between the Hartwell sisters. Rochelle is the hardheaded arguing type. Sugar is the older shy level-headed sister. Odette is the fun cheery baby sister who is always forced to pick sides. 

And then we have the ending of the chapter where Sugar makes the decision to reject Chef and yet he was rather accepting of it, which confused her so much...

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Feedback is greatly appreciated! :) 

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James

Salty Reunion by Missus James
Author's Notes:

May 26, 2017

Sugar crosses paths with the last person she wants to cross paths with.

Music Mood: Do I Wanna Know? by Arctic Monkeys

"What do you think about this," Georgette Hartwell asked as she plucked a hanger from the clothing rack. The two pieces of scrap that dangled from the hanger were meant to be a bikini, but there wasn't enough fabric in the bikini top to cover an areola and the bottom piece was a pathetic thong. Sugar wrinkled her nose in disgust and made a gagging nose, which sent her mother into a light fit of cackles.

"I'll take that has a no," Georgette questioned teasingly with an infectious smile. 

"You can take that as a heck no, Mama," Sugar replied, a smile of her own easing across her lips.

It was three days until her parents' two-week cruise to the Caribbean with some of her father's retired Marine pals and their wives. They all reconnected on Facebook about five years ago and every year since then they planned a reunion trip together. They had been all over the country. A cabin in Maine. A luxury boathouse in the Florida Keys. A ritzy hotel suite in Las Vegas. A horse ranch retreat in Wyoming. This year was the cruise.

Georgette put the hanger back where she found it before she walked over to another rack and sorted through the outfits there. 

It had become a bit of a tradition for Sugar to accompany her mother on last-minute shopping trips right before the reunion meet-ups. Out of all three daughters, Sugar had a best taste in fashion and giving valuable opinions. She had acquired the talent from being a perfect housewife who had to look presentable at her husband's side always as a requirement imposed by Lance while he climbed further and further up the corporate ladder. Rochelle was about power suits or clingy outfits with no in-between. Odette had a love for trendy bohemian fashion. 

"So, are you excited about your birthday night out with the girls, Maggie," Georgette asked. Maggie was a nickname for Magnolia, Sugar's middle name. Only her mother and the other old heads of the family ever called her Maggie or Magnolia. Her grandparents, aunts, and uncles weren't fond of the name Sugar, but Georgette didn't have a say with the first name, only the middle name. 

The story goes when Sugar's parents were unsure if they were having twin boys or girls. Calvin had always wanted girls and Georgette wanted boys. So, they had come to an agreement that if the twins were boys then Georgette had claim over the first names and Calvin had domain over the middle name. If the twins were girls then Calvin had dibs on the first name. Needless to say, they were thoroughly shocked and surprised to have been blessed with a boy and girl. The baby-naming agreement was still in place. 

Georgette gave her son Sullivan, a family name. Calvin thought his infant daughter was the sweetest little thing that he named her Sugar much to the dismay of both sides of the family.

Now, her thirty-eighth birthday was five days away. The last few weeks had gone by so quickly. It only seemed like yesterday it was April. Now, it was steadily nearing the end of May. Heck, even the one-year anniversary of her divorce was ten days ago—that too only seemed like yesterday—and she celebrated it by going home at seven in the evening, drinking a whole bottle of Moscato and watching a marathon of films were the deceptive villainous husband dies at the end. The night was rather satisfying. A little lonely but satisfying nonetheless. 

Sugar sighed, "I think so."

The more she thought about it, her head swam with a million and one ways it could all go wrong.

"You think so? Doesn't sound like it."

"It's just," Sugar paused as she tried to figure out what she was going to confess, "girl's night gets too wild sometimes."

"Good," Georgette nodded. "You need a little wild fun in your life."

Sugar groaned. "Mama, not you too!"

"Yes, me too," Georgette huffed matter-of-factly. "You need to kick your shoes off, let your hair down, and let loose."

"You’re not supposed to encourage me to get drunk and go partying. You're supposed to steer me on the right path. Lecture me to be responsible and make the right choices."

Georgette snorted a laugh. "Magnolia, you've been doing that on your own for thirty-eight years. I can proudly say I've never had to raise a hand to you once unlike all your other siblings. You never worried me and your father silly with rebellious phases--unlike your younger sisters and brother--because you went from being our baby girl to being a wife. Now, you've paid your dues and it's time for you to throw caution to the wind. As a mature single woman, this is the moment to have the time of your life!"

Sugar sighed, "Then why do I feel like my time has passed?"

"Because you want to feel that way. You want to give yourself an excuse not to have fun."

The moment her mother uttered those words, it was nothing more than further proof that all her siblings were right. She was the thing that was holding her back. 

"Maybe so," Sugar trailed off.

"I know so," Georgette said.

Eventually, they made their way to checkout. Georgette had bought seven different outfits that totaled out to be pretty little penny. Leaving the boutique, Georgette put her sunglasses on.

"You hungry, Magnolia?"

"Starving," Sugar admitted.

"I know this place at the Docks. Your father takes me there all the time. The food is amazing," Georgette said. "Plus, the owner is now a good friend of your father. He's a retired Marine like Calvin, so of course, they'd become friends."

Georgette slid her sunglasses slightly down the bridge of her nose to peer at her daughter over the caramel-hued rims. "And it does help that he's very easy on the eyes too," she purred with a suggestive wink that made Sugar laugh in shock. 

"Mama, you're a married woman!"

Georgette rolled her eyes, flicking her hand dismissively at Sugar. "And? I'm a married woman, but I'm still a woman who appreciates a good-looking man in my presence. It’s not like I'm groping the man or running off with him, Maggie. Nothing wrong with some innocent peeking," Georgette said as they walked towards Georgette's BMW.

Once inside the vehicle, Sugar pulled out her cell from her purse to call the restaurant, but Georgette snatches the device from her hands and tossed it into the backseat. Sugar gawked at her mother's actions. 

Georgette wagged a finger at her. "You promised me you wouldn't call that restaurant, Maggie."

"I just want to make sure," Sugar began, but swallowed her words when her mother nailed her to the spot with a motherly threat flashing bright in her eyes. 

"Lory has everything under control," Georgette said. "This is good for the both of you. You need to take a much-needed break and Lory needs to learn to be more responsible."

Sugar sighed heavily in defeat, biting back the terrible urge to reach into that backseat and call anyway. She felt like a first-time mother leaving her newborn baby for the first. The separation was difficult, especially if you felt like you left your precious bundle of joy with an unreliable family member. Lory was a good manager when he wanted to be, but he played around too much to be taken be seriously at times. He was more of a friend to the staff than a supervisor, which sometimes led to mischief and drama. 

She didn’t want to come back to a restaurant in complete dismay or worse: up in flames.

"Alright, Mama," Sugar sighed in defeat.

A pleased smile plastered across Georgette's lips as she started the ignition, shifted the gears into reverse, and backed out of the parking space. 

Riverside was a quiet side of town nestled by the expansive winding brown-watered river that split the city in two. It was a trendy area with pockets of eclectic shopping strips and Instagram-worthy cafes, pubs, and restaurants. There were gloriously shady parks and playgrounds that dotted the area. Historic Victorian houses and beautiful brick houses were a commonplace. Old towering oak trees with Spanish moss covered every inch of the neighborhoods. 

Sugar always enjoyed driving through the area. It was so tranquil and beautiful on a sunny May afternoon like this.

A bit further north from Riverside were the Docks, which primarily consisted of seafood markets, marinas, warehouses, and a few bars. The difference between the two areas were very stark. Riverside was much friendlier and safer while the Docks catered to a gruffer unsavory sort. Yet her parents loved frequenting there no matter how much Sugar and her siblings complained and begged them not to. Of course, the older couple never listened.

“There it is,” Georgette said with a grin as she pulled into a parking spot at the front of the establishment

Sugar peered through the windshield with an arched eyebrow as she looked at the restaurant. The Salty Marine, with a heavily-borrowed ‘old’ fishing shack appearance, was directly beside the river with a dock of its own. The two women out of the car and Sugar apprehensively followed her mother into the restaurant. It was dimly lit inside with strings of lights weaved into lazy webs overhead. There was a fully loaded bar to the left of them and typical restaurant seating to the right. Far ahead were two pool tables.

The place smelled like beer and fried food.

And it was completely void of patrons.

“Hey, Georgie,” an old man working as the bartender greeted with a cheeky smile as he wiped down the bar counter.

“Hey, Gizzard,” Georgette greeted back chipperly.

Sugar fought the urge to wrinkle her nose at the bartender’s name. Who in the hell would want to be nicknamed that and what did they do to acquire such a name?

“Who you got there with you,” Gizzard questioned as he peered at Sugar, interest as clear as day on his face.

“Gizzard, this is my eldest daughter Sugar,” Georgette introduced, gesturing to her daughter.

He gave a toothy grin. “That’s a mighty big name to live up to. Are you as sweet as your name says?”

“It’s a lifelong pursuit,” Sugar replied, smiling back weakly, “but I’m not quite there yet.”

He chuckled heartily at her answer.

“Is the original Salty Marine here,” Georgette asked, glancing around.

Gizzard nodded his head towards the kitchen’s entrance doors.

“He’s somewhere back there. I’ll let him know you’re here. Honestly, I think he’s got a bit of a crush on you, Georgie. He doesn’t give just anyone free meals and alcohol,” the bartender said in a teasing tone.

Georgette giggled bashfully. “You’re something else, you know that?”

Gizzard winked at Georgette before he began to walk towards the kitchen doors. “You know you love it, darling. Park yourselves at a table and I’ll bring some draft beers your way. On the house.”

“You really know how to spoil a girl, Gizzard,” Georgette said.

“A girl you are not, Georgie. You’re every bit a lady and more,” Gizzard called as he went through the kitchen doors.

“Let’s go get ourselves a seat,” Georgette said before she walked across the room to a booth with Sugar following her closely behind.

Georgette folded her hands on the table. “This place is really something, isn’t it?”

Sugar glanced around unimpressed.

“It’s…something alright,” she cleared her throat.

Georgette pursed her lips together, looking at her daughter in disappointment. “Don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s a little rough around the edges, but the people are great and the food is ‘straight outta Louisiana’ good.”  

“I’ll take your word for it, Mama,” Sugar said.

Georgette regarded Sugar from across the table for a lengthy moment and folded her hands on the table like she was a businesswoman about to make a proposition. “Let’s talk about more important matters. You need to get back into the dating game, Magnolia.”

“Why are you, Roc, and Ettie keep nagging me about getting a man,” Sugar questioned, cocking her head to the side. “I don’t need one to make me happy.”

“Look, I know Lance burned you bad, but he was a boy pretending to be a man. You need a good man. A real man. Someone who can treat you like you deserve to be treated and that someone is out there waiting for both your worlds to collide,” Georgette said. “When that happens, you won’t know what hit you.”

Sugar thought about her mother’s words for a moment. “Mama, I really appreciate the advice, but I know what’s best for me.”

Georgette frowned. “You’re getting to be hardheaded, Magnolia.”

Once upon a time, she wasn’t hardheaded and stubborn. She was a submissive push-over that got walked all over like a doormat. Out of the divorce came a hardheaded firm woman with the drive and determination. She wanted to follow her own path, not the ones everyone else in her life was trying to navigate her towards.

“Two draft beers for two lovely ladies,” Gizzard announced with a grin as he approached the table, placing the two mugs filled with amber liquid and topped with crisp white foam. Sugar was more of a wine and cocktail kind of gal, but she immediately picked it up and took a deep sip to give herself something to do. Tucked underneath his arm were two menus that he pulled out and handed them to Georgette and Sugar.

Georgette glanced at the menu for no more than a handful of seconds before she handed it back. “I’ll take my usual.”

Gizzard nodded.

“You got it,” he said before peering over at Sugar. “What would you like, darling?”

“Um,” Sugar hummed as she gazed at the Louisiana cuisine-filled menu. All the options sounded delicious and the item descriptions made her mouth water. “I’ll take the fried catfish with lobster mac and cheese and filthy green beans.”

“You won’t be disappointed. I’ll put both your orders in, but just so you know, I’ve gotta leave for a doctor’s appointment,” he said with a cheeky smile once more

Georgette pouted. “Aw, okay. It was good seeing you, Gizzard.”

“Likewise, Georgie,” Gizzard said with a wink. “Chef should be out here any moment though.”

Then the older man walked away. She and her mother soon slipped into light conversation about the various activities Georgette was going to do on the cruise. 

Then Sugar brought the beer to her lips once more and in mid-gulp heard a very familiar, very smooth southern-accented voice. “You rang for me, Mrs. Hartwell?”

Her widening eyes cut over to the man who approached the table and she immediately choked on her beer in shock. She put the beer mug down coughed a little, clasping a hand to her chest as she struggled through her little hacking fit.

“You alright, Maggie,” Georgette asked in concern.

“Mm hm,” Sugar hummed after her coughing died down, nodding her head vigorously. She reached for her beer again and took another deep gulp as a means to swallow down the bitter taste of shock.

“I tend to have that effect on people,” the man said, which Georgette to laugh.

“Chef, this is my daughter Magnolia,” Georgette introduced, gesturing her hand to Sugar who was still drinking her beer and avoiding his eyes at all costs.

“What a fittin’ name,” Chef replied with a grin. “Magnolias happen to be my favorite flower. My grandparents have countless magnolia trees on their land back home. Spent many a summer day up under them as a boy.”

Georgette smiled warmly at him. “That seems like a real nice childhood.”

“It had its ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change it for the world,” Chef paused, rubbing the back of his neck. “You enjoyin’ that beer?”

Sugar pretended not to hear him.

Maggie,” Georgette trailed off sweetly, but there was an underlying threat masterfully laced in her tone that only an offspring could detect. “Chef asked you a question."

“Hm,” Sugar hummed in an artificial surprise and acted as if she hadn’t heard his question to begin with. She licked her lips and placed the beer mug down onto the table, gathering the courage to direct her eyes up at him. “I’m sorry. I didn’t catch what you said.”

His laugh lines crinkled in the same way it did that fated night she gently cleaned the blood off his face. There was no doubt in her mind that he was amused at this current predicament and she couldn’t for the life of her understand why. After that phone call, they weren’t ever supposed to cross paths again. After all, she rejected his courting attempt and insulted him in the same breath. She shouldn’t have been the only one that felt absolutely uncomfortable about their chanced second meeting.

Did God hate her?

Did she somehow die without realizing it and somehow ended up in her own personal hell?

“I asked if you were enjoyin’ the beer?”

“It’s alright,” she said as she traced her finger around the mug’s rim. “I’m not really a beer gal though.”

He cocked his head to the side, slipping his hands into his front jean pockets. “Might I ask what kind of gal are you then?”

The sexy delivery of that loaded question was not lost to her. His words vibrated through her, a tingly warm spreading across her flesh.

“I like wine and cocktails,” Sugar answered.

“Then I’ll get you something more to your likin’,” he said, putting a rumbly emphasis on the final word in his statement that made her knees weak. He reached down and retrieved her half-empty mug.

Sugar shook her head quickly and grabbed the other side of the mug, but his powerful grip wouldn’t let go of the mug’s handle.

“That’s quite alright,” she assured and gave a little hinting tug for him to let the damned mug ago.

“I insist,” he said, still firm on his grasp. 

Georgette plucked her daughter’s hand from the mug and gave an embarrassed chuckle. “My daughter has a tendency to look a gift horse in the mouth,” she said. “She’ll gladly try whatever you have in mind.”

“Excuse me while I go whip up something special for our Magnolia,” Chef said before he sauntered off.  Sugar couldn’t help but look at his backside as he went. He was wearing a short-sleeved plaid button-down shirt—tucked into his dark jeans—that did his muscular tattooed arms great justice. His shoulders were broad and strong. There was a military tattoo inked on the nape of his neck. Her eyes trailed down to his rear-end and she bit down onto her lower lip as she accidentally admired it.

“Magnolia,” Georgette snapped in a whispery voice.

Sugar jerked her attention to her mother, startled.

“What in the world is your problem? Where are your manners? I know I taught you better than that,” her mother demanded to know, in which Sugar blinked at her and plastered a mock-innocent expression on her face.

“He wouldn’t let the mug go,” Sugar answered defensively.

Georgette narrowed her eyes, crossing her arms over her chest. “He was trying to do a nice gesture and you were being extraordinarily rude. Plus, don’t think I didn’t notice you purposely ignoring him when he asked you that question.”

Her mother jabbed a thumb at the bar counter Chef was manning. “I like him. Your father likes him. We both like coming here and we want to keep coming here. You’re not going to disrespect that man in his own restaurant, especially when the drinks and the food are on the house and he has been nothing but kind. Go apologize now, Sugar Magnolia.”

Sugar clenched her jaw and slipped out of the booth, taking a slow funeral march to the bar counter. Chef busied himself with collecting a variety of bottles off the shelves behind him and poured different amounts of liquor into a stainless-steel cocktail shaker before he resealed the object and shook it expertly.

“Something else not to your likin’,” he questioned with a hint of charm, a subtle grin on his lips.

“I’m being forced to apologize to you,” Sugar replied, lowering her annoyed voice to keep her mother from hearing her displeasure.

Chef arched an eyebrow, his small grin widening just a little. He stopped shaking the cocktail shaker and put it down, placing his hands onto the counter and leaning forward slightly—tiptoeing on the invisible border that represented her personal space.

“I’m ready when you are, darlin’.”

That smug motherfucking bastard.

A tight smile of irritation stretched across her lips.

“I’m sorry,” she apologized through clenched teeth.

His grin inched a centimeter more.

“For?” he pressed.

Sugar narrowed her eyes.

“Being…rude,” she forced out the words.

He unscrewed the cap from the cocktail shaker and poured a bright green liquid into a cocktail glass. Then he placed the glass onto the bar counter. “Apology accepted.”

Sugar reluctantly picked it up and brought it to her lips, taking a gingerly sip. Immediately, her eyelids fluttered shut and she bit back a tiny moan as a sweet explosion dominated her tastebuds. The cocktail tasted exactly like a green apple jolly rancher with a smooth underlying burn of a mixture of top-shelf liquor. She took another sip, more appreciative this time around. Opening her eyes, her heart stopped she realized that his gray eyes were pinned on her heatedly.

“Verdict?” He cocked an eyebrow.

“It’s…okay,” she lied, not wanting to give him the satisfaction.

He chuckled softly, shaking his head.

“What’s so funny,” Sugar frowned.

“It must be killin’ you on the inside to want to hate somethin’ but can’t.”

Sugar scoffed. “I meant what I said. My younger brother makes way better cocktails.”

Chef stroked his clean cut salt-and-pepper for a moment, a pondering expression oozed from his face. “Maybe, I should come by to check out the competition. I’ve been known to make a mean cocktail, but if you claim your brother is better, I need to taste it to believe it.”

“I’d rather you didn’t. The one time you were in my restaurant is one time too many,” Sugar countered.

He leaned in a little closer, still skirting the edge of her personal space. “I’m nothing like the villain you’ve painted me out to be inside of your head.”

“Then why did I find you the way I did?”

“Do you truly want to know?”

“I think I deserve that much. I think I deserve to know if the man my parents are friends with is involved in some kind of shady illegal activities,” Sugar stated.

He tossed a crisp white hand towel over his shoulder. “I’ll gladly tell you over dinner tonight.”

Sugar snorted out a laugh before she could stop herself. “Wow, you’re bold. You have the actual nerve to stand there and try to coerce me into a date in exchange a simple explanation to clear my accusations of you.”

“I’m not a villain, but I’m definitely not a saint,” he replied. “I think you’re curious enough to accept my proposition, but I’ll sweeten the deal for the sake of my sanity. It’s a public place. Plenty of witnesses. No funny business. I’ll try to have you back at a reasonable hour.”

Sugar blinked in confusion, still stuck on something he said earlier. “…your sanity?”

“My mind has been runnin' rapid with what-if’s, questions, and demands since you rejected my courtin'. I want to know what your genuine laughter sounds like. I want to hear your voice when you talk about somethin' you love. I want to take you on a dancefloor just to get a chance to see how you feel in my arms,” he clarified. “There must be some divine intervention at play for us to meet again against all odds and I’m not one to sit around idly when presented with a blessin'.”

With every word uttered, her restraint to remain reserved as he spoke chipped away like a glacier. Her jaw slowly gaped open into a perfect O. An intense heat flashed inside of her and she had to steady herself by putting her hand onto a barstool. She recovered as best she could and cleared her throat.

“That’s a tall order from a man that doesn’t have much to bargain with. Plus, it’s going to take a lot more work than sugary sweet talking to get all those things you so desperately want,” Sugar said.

His grin returned twofold. Charming as hell. Sexy as all get out. “The one thing you need to know about me, Sugar, is that I love to work. Being a hard worker is a part of who I am. I keep going and going until the job gets done, but maybe my words don’t do me any justice in this instance. Say yes for tonight and I’ll gladly let you see my work ethic firsthand.”

Her breath hitched a little at his words.

This was too much.

He was too much.

She needed to end this conversation now.

Sugar plucked the cocktail glass from the bar counter.

“Thanks for the drink,” she replied hurriedly before she swirled on her heels and sauntered away as quickly as possible, guzzling down the utterly delicious cocktail to cool herself down.

She could’ve sworn she heard him chuckling lightly behind her.

Now, all she had to do as survive lunch with her mother and him standing nearby.


End Notes:

Another chapter! Finally, Sugar and Chef meet again. Fate just won't let her walk away. Sugar wants to know why she found him the way she did and Chef will tell her...on a date. Is Sugar curious enough to want to find out? Stay tune for the next installment. I've added a picture of Gizzard on Pinterest. 

The music I wrote this chapter to is absolutely perfect. It's definitely Chef's song even though the chapter wasn't in his point of view. 

Anyways, have a wonderful Monday evening!

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James


Sweet Jasmine by Missus James
Author's Notes:

May 26, 2017

Sugar lets her curiosity get the best of her. 

Mood Music: Say Yes by Floetry

Sugar squirted thick creamy pomegranate-scented lotion into the palm of her hand before she meticulously massaged into her right leg. She had just finished taking a shower and toweling herself dry. Now, she sat at the edge of her bed and applied body butter on her freshly-showered flesh as the next step in her nightly regime before bed. She loved quiet moments like this, especially after an eventfully rough day. She went shopping with her mother in preparation for an upcoming two-week cruise. Then her mother decided to take her to a pub that just so happened to be owned by the very man she had met under unique circumstances. The bastard, in turn, proposed a dinner date for an opportunity for her to learn the truth.

She let out an unladylike snort at his audacity as she moved on from her legs to lotioning her arms and shoulders.

She didn't agree to it, of course. She walked away and participated in the most awkward lunch as every single time she looked over at the bar, she always caught him staring at her. When it was time to leave, her mother essentially forced her to shake the man's hand as a parting gesture. However, instead of shaking her hand, he decided to lift her hand to his lips and kiss the back of it! Another point of approval in her mother's book. Another brick fallen off the wall of resistance Sugar had built around herself.

"Bastard," she grumbled to herself.

It was then she heard her cell chime with a received text.

She arched an eyebrow at the sound and retrieved the device that was directly beside her. She picked it up and unlocked it with a passcode. It was a next message from a contact named ‘Do Not Answer'. She had created the contact herself as a remainder to herself though she could've easily deleted it weeks ago. She reasoned with herself that it was logical to keep it in her phone, so she wouldn't forget who the number belonged to.

Do Not Answer: I'll be at the Jazzmyne Garden Club at 9:30. Come find out the truth or always wonder.

Sugar rolled her eyes sharply at the message and let out an irritated huff as she tossed the device aside before she resumed lotioning the rest of her body. When she was finished with the task, she walked over to her walk-in closet and searched through her closet for pajamas to wear.

In the mist of doing that, her eyes fell upon a mid-thigh plunging backless white lace cocktail dress with sheer cap sleeves. She bought and wore it three years ago for a romantic wedding anniversary dinner Lance didn't show up to because he was working "overtime". Yet inside of feeling a sense of bitterness at the past, a burning desirous curiosity ignited inside of her as she wondered how Chef would react if he saw her in this.

Would she be able to affect him as intensely as he affected her?

In the process, she could learn the truth and formulate a plan of action on moving forward that may or may not involve him

She carried the dress out of the closet and laid it onto the bed before she picked up her phone, eying the time. It was forty minutes to 9:30. She didn't have very much time to look decent and make it there by that.

She then proceeded to scurry about readying herself by shimmying into the dress, fishing around in her closet for five-inch white lace pumps she wore to Odette's wedding as a bridesmaid, and applying a light makeup in the bathroom. Her hair wasn't perfect but it was tamed as it cascaded over her shoulders. She was finished in fifteen minutes and clipped a white Magnolia hairclip that she had gotten for her birthday last year from an uncle on her father's side of the family.

Shoving her phone and wallet into a white clutch bag with a thin silver chain as a strap, she scampered through the house and towards her car parked in the garage. She waited impatiently as the garage door wheeled up excruciatingly slow before she sped out of the garage in reverse. She jammed the garage door remote and as the door began to close, she shifted gears to drive and raced down the street.

Along the way, she inputted Jazzmyne Garden Club into her car's GPS and followed the system's robotic-voiced directions. She pulled into the club's crowded parking lot about seven minutes late. It took about two more minutes to find a parking space. She slid into a spot and hopped out of the car, marching across the parking lot and to the club's entrance. The entrance consisted of two lengthy trellises acting as walls overflowing with sweet-scented blossoming white jasmine. There was a bit of a line to get in and she had to ten more minutes.

Eventually, she made it past the bouncers and walk down the jasmine-walled pathway that led to the club's entrance doors. Making her way inside, she was overwhelmed by how crowded the club was, but luckily, everyone was seated and bobbing their head to the music. The room was bathed in cool light hues of red, pink, blue, and purple. A live jazz band played a relaxing sensual number with a beautiful heavy-set black woman at the front mike crooning in a lovely smoky voice.

Sugar walked carefully through club, searching for Chef.

She identified him from behind by the tattoo on the back of his neck. He was seated at a table dead-center at the front. The only thing that separated him from the stage was the dancefloor. She approached him slowly before she rounded the table, sitting opposite to him. He jerked his attention from the live act to her, blinking his gray eyes momentarily in surprise at her arrival. However, the surprise melted away and a dark unreadable expression clouded his facial features as his eyes traveled from her head and downward before he returned to her face.

"You came."

"I'm curious," she admitted, cocking her head.

"And gorgeous," he added as he eyed her once more appreciatively.

She fought the urge to smile at his compliment.

"You promised me the truth if I came. I'm waiting," she said, folding her hands on the table.

He chuckled a little, stroking his beard. "Straight to business, huh? Not even a little winin' and dinin'?"

"Not thirsty. Already ate," Sugar informed him with an innocent smile.

He picked up a short glass of amber liquor on the rocks and brought it to his lips, his gray eyes never leaving her face. "You come to a dinner date with no desire to eat or drink," he said more to himself than her, shaking his head with a grin. "You're a one of a kind lady."

"I'm a one of a kind lady still waiting."

He put his drink down. "I'll give you what you want, but show some mercy and throw an old dog a bone. A question for a question."

Sugar considered his request for a moment and sighed, "Fine."

He inclined his head. "Then ladies first."

"Why did you get kicked out of that car?"

"All due to a poor decision on my part," he answered in a vague clever manner, leaning in. "My turn. What's the one thang you love most in the entire world?"

Sugar blinked in utter shock at how smoothly he tricked her by feeding her a vague answer. It satisfied the requirement of their agreement, but did not satisfy her eagerness for the truth.

She clenched her jaw, narrowing her eyes. She considered his question and thought about giving him an answer just as vague. "Music."

A pleased look drenched his face and he nodded his head.

"Elaborate what you mean by ‘poor decision'," she requested.

He grinned. "Not a question."

Sugar rolled her eyes.

"Can you elaborate on what you mean by ‘poor decision'," she reworded.

"I decided to do a favor for a friend of a friend of a friend, but I should've known better," he replied, once again vaguely. "What instrument do you play?"

Sugar frowned. "What makes you think I play an instrument?"

"Not an answer," he reminded her, his grin widening.

If it wasn't for the fact that he had the sexiest smile she had ever witnessed, she would've been much angrier, but she could only bring herself to be annoyed by his slyness.

Sugar closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "Piano."

For a moment, she saw a flash of pleasant surprise in his eyes before he peered down at her fingers that were laced together on the table. He cocked his head, observing them as he thought to himself.

She then asked, "What was the favor this friend of a friend of a friend asked of you?"

"I box as a side gig. A boxer bowed out from a scheduled match. The arrangers needed a skilled replacement and came across my name," he answered, his eyes glued to her manicured fingers as he spoke.

She straightened up in her seat, completely taken back by his confession. Everything she witnessed that night had to do with boxing? Then again, the more she looked at him, the more she realized that he was a man that could definitely take a good beating and dish out the same. He was the epitome of power and strength.

Her dark skin flushed at the thought.

It was his turn again.

Finally, his gaze lifted to hers. "Will you dance with me?"

"No," she answered hesitantly.

If she walked on that dancefloor with him, she had a strong feeling that he was going to sweep her off her feet and she couldn't have that.

She wouldn't allow that. At least, not until she knew the truth-the whole truth.

He grinned subtly at her rejection.

Now, it was her turn.

"What happened next," she answered.

"I got dropped off at the place without a clue as to the mess I was gonna find myself in. It wasn't until I got there was I told that the match was stacked. I was a newcomer to their fighting circles, so they wanted me to take a fall for a cut of the earnings. They expected me to do it, but they were sorely mistaken. It was a tough match, but I won it. Lots of folks betting on the other guy lost big. I needed a ride home and they gave me one," he answered. "I got a good beating along the way and they tossed me out...Will you dance with me?"

She had been so captivated in his story that her brain concocted kinds of vivid mental images of a rough bloody fight where Chef was crowned as winner. His question snapped her out of her thoughts, surprising her.

She blinked at him confused. "You already asked that."

"Not an answer."

Sugar regarded him for a long moment. She knew the truth. It wasn't as bad as she thought it to be. So, he didn't owe money to criminal organization. He wasn't a drug dealer. He wasn't a criminal.

"Fine," she huffed. "Just one dance."

"One dance is all I need, darlin'," he assured.

Chef stood up from his chair and rounded the table, pushing back her seat for her to raise as the band transitioned to a jazz classic, I Put a Spell on You. He offered her his hand like a gentleman and she reluctantly took it, allowing him to lead her onto the dancefloor.

His muscular arm was curled around her waist and he rested his hand at the small of her back, making her regret wearing a plunging backless cocktail dress as there was nothing but skin-on-skin contact. In return, she placed a hand on his back. His strong hand held her spare one as they danced slowly to the music. She closed her eyes and bit back a tiny moan as she felt his rough thumb tenderly stroke a tiny patch of flesh at the small of her back in an up-and-down motion.

It had been so long since she had danced with someone like this, but it was difficult for her to deny that she enjoyed the scent of his cologne, his warmth, and the overall closeness of him.

She pressed her cheek against his chest.

"You wanted to know how I felt in your arms while we danced," she then spoke. "How do I feel?"

He dipped his head down, brushing his lips against her ear.

"Like a goddamn blessing," he admitted huskily, his warmth breath fluttering against her ear as he spoke. He then kissed her earlobe and she shuddered against him, sighing a little in response. He chuckled darkly, holding her tighter against him.

"You're making this real difficult for me, Chef," she admitted weakly, frustration laced tightly within her confess.

A low rumbly chuckle vibrated in his chest once more, tickling her ear that was pressed there. "Then I must be doin' somethang right."

She squeezed her eyes shut. "I really should walk away from this all."

He suddenly took a step back from their close embrace and led her into a quick smooth twirl before he guided her back to him.

Back into his arms.

Back into his web.

"You can't walk away if I'm holding you like this, Sugar," Chef said. Sugar gazed up at him with a twinkle of desperation in her eyes and a crumbling self-control. Her pounding heart was lodged somewhere in her throat and her reliable backbone's ability to keep her upright faltered as she melted against him.

"Then let me go," she whispered breathlessly.

He dipped his head down, his lips hovering bare millimeters from hers.

"Not a chance in hell, sweetheart," he said.

It was then the song ended. She decided to classify it as a sign from the heavens and she took an abrupt step back from him, destroying any chance of an opportunity for him to kiss her.

A shaky exhale tumbled from her lips before she cleared her throat. "Your one dance is up."

"As it seems," he said. His gray eyes shined with a subtle amusement at her attempt to resist him-to take back some control.

They strolled back to the table and he pushed out her chair for her to seat down. Once she was seated, she glanced around the room to avoid his gaze.

"I'm nothing like him, Sugar."

She returned her attention back to him with a confused look. "You're not like who?"

"The pathetic boy you're comparing me to," Chef said. "I'm nothing like him, Sugar."

She leaned slightly, frowning. "You might not be nothing like him now, but maybe you will be someday. My ex-husband Lance was a totally different person when I met him, when I married him. He wanted a better life for us-for me. I felt so blessed have him in my life. I worked my ass off to help him-to help us. Then after twelve years of marriage," she snapped her fingers, "he was different. Colder. Crueler. I couldn't do anything right. Everything was always my fault. Suddenly, my existence was a burden to him."

Hot tears bubbled up in her eyes as she became overwhelmed with terrible feelings from her past, but she refused to let them spill. "I loved that man with everything I had, but it wasn't enough. He wanted children. He wanted a legacy. I tried to give him that four goddamn times, but it always ended the exact same. Me coming home from the hospital emptyhanded with my heart wrenched out and an empty nursery that would never be used. You could never understand that kind of loss. That kind of mourning."

"My daughter committed suicide five years ago," he said solemnly.

A lightning bolt of utter shock bolted through her. Her quivering jaw dropped open at his brutal confession. She was unsure of what to say.

He continued, "Burying her was the most excruciating thing I ever had to experience. My ex-wife put aside her hate for me long enough to convince me to put down the loaded gun I had against my head after the funeral. I wanted to kill myself, so I could be buried next to my daughter. I convinced myself that was the only way I'd find peace."

"So, yes, Sugar. I know exactly what that kind of loss-that kind of mourning-is like."

Once again, she had misjudged him. Once again, she assumed he was one thing and he ended up being something else entirely. She was felt an awful regret in the pit of her stomach. He lost the life of a child he had raised and built his life around.

When she finally gained the courage to speak so that she could apologize, he cut her off smoothly.

"Don't apologize," he said. "Just know both our scars aren't very different and I want to see every single one of yours. I want you to see every single one of mine. The question is will you let me in close enough for that kind of show-and-tell?"

Sugar casted her eyes downward. "I don't think I can show you all of them. I can barely look at them myself."

"Then just show me a peek of what you've got. I'm a low-maintenance man, honey," he said. "I don't ask for much. I can survive off whatever crumbs you throw at me."

His words made her weak.

His words made her want to peel off every inch of clothing so he could take a good look at her scars. Physical, psychological, emotional.

Why was he so adamant on going after her?

Sugar scoffed, shaking her head. "I just don't understand why you want me. I've judged you. I've insulted you. I disrespected you in your own restaurant. I've rejected your kindness, your interest. So, why are you still here? Why is this happening right now?"

"You showed a battered bloodied man kindness. You helped him up when he was down. You took care of him when you shouldn't have. You put his needs before your own so flawlessly that he realized that's how you are. You're a giver. You give, give, give, but you never take," he replied. "No one has ever put your needs before their own like they should, but if you let me in, Sugar, I'll always put you first. I'll give and you'll take until your heart's content."

His gaze was so intense that she had to turn her attention to the live band to give herself a chance to calm down. Her body was on fire and throbbing with want-with need. Her nerves were wired and jittery.

"I'm not some youngster who likes playing games. I've been a bachelor for eight years searching for the right woman to devote myself to," he continued on, "and my search was over the moment we crossed paths once again today, Sugar Magnolia."

Her eyelids fluttered close as his words washed over her. Now, she was hot, bothered, and lightheaded. She needed to get out of here and now.

"I need some fresh air," she blurted as she quickly rose from her chair, shrugged on her clutch's chain strap, and sauntered off as fast she could. She burst through the club's entrance doors, her high heels clicking rapidly against the ground as she raced down the jasmine-walled pathway that led to the bouncers guarding the path's mouth.

She rushed across the parking lot to her car, desperately fishing out her keys from her clutch. She unlocked the car and flung open the driver side's door, she plopped down onto the driver seat with her feet still planted on the parking lot ground. She hunched forward and took a deep breath, trying to get ahold of her senses.

"Are you alright?"

Sugar snapped her head in the direction of Chef's voice and found him standing by her car's back bumper.

"No," she said truthfully. "This is a little too much for me."

He rubbed the back of his neck for a moment, a thoughtful expression his face. "I can be a handful sometimes."

Sugar scoffed. "A handful? You're an ocean-full. What sane woman could be able to handle you?"  

"How do you want to handle me, Sugar?"

"That's a loaded question that could bring a lot of trouble," she replied as she stepped out of her car, crossing her arms over her chest.

He grinned sexily. "According to you, I am trouble. I think I can handle what you want to say. So, indulge me."

Sugar closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

"I can't handle you like you want me to. I can't commit myself to a serious romantic relationship. I want to have fun in every possible way. I want to try and experience new things. I want to live an adventurous life. I have nineteen years of catching up to do. I don't have time for heavy emotions and romantic notions. I want no-strings attached fun," Sugar said. "That's all I want. So, you say you're a giver, but can you give me that, Chef? If you can't then walk away. I won't fault you."

Run away while you can, she pleaded to him in the depths of her mind.  

"I ain't walkin' away," he said as he closed the distance between them, running his fingers through his hair.

Sugar arched an eyebrow, standing her ground and tilting her head up at him as he stopped barely an inch in front of her. "So, you agree to my conditions then?"

She could see the internal struggle in gray depths of his eyes. She knew this wasn't what he had expected-what he had wanted.

However, this was all she could give.

"I'll agree with one condition of my own," he replied as he crooked a finger and caressed her cheek. Her eyelids slid shut and she shuddered at his touch, goosebumps prickling onto her brown flesh.

She breathed, "You're in no position to-"

He interjected smoothly, "There will be no other man in your life except me. Do you understand?"

He was the only man she had let get this close. Somehow, he managed to worm himself under her skin and make a cozy home there. She decided it was futile to protest. He stubbornly rooted himself into her life therefore he deserved to be the only one. 

At least, until everything goes wrong.

 "Yes," she said.  

End Notes:

So, Sugar and Chef embark on an uncommitted relationship because Sugar is scared of being in a serious relationship. Everyone keeps telling her to go out and have fun. That she doesn't need to be in a committed relationship to have fun. So, she's taking their advice. However, Chef has made his intentions known that he wants to pursue a serious relationship with Sugar yet he agreed to her rules.

Will Chef stick to her conditions or will he slyly defy them? He did say that he was a hard worker. ;) 

Thank you so much for your feedback and support. It means the world to me and betters me as a writer. 

Have a wonderful Tuesday! <3

Pinterest Boad: Sugar Mama by Missus James 

Hot Soup by Missus James
Author's Notes:

May 31, 2017

It's Sugar's birthday and she's sick. Someone has to take care of her whether she likes it or not. 

Music Mood: Come Through and Chill 

Odette pulled the thermometer from Sugar’s lips and took a good look at the thin device’s screen. She pouted as she read the temperature and shot Sugar a look of sympathy. Sugar reached up from where she laid amongst her blankets and pillows, yanking the thermometer from her baby sister’s possession and stared at the digits it recorded. She sighed heavily and closed her eyes.

101.8 was her recorded temperature, which made sense because she felt like she was burning up from the inside out and her skin glistened with a fine coat of sweat. Her messy hair kept gluing itself to her face and her silk peach-hued nightie kept sticking to her skin, making her feel even hotter than she already was. Sugar let out a rattling cough that made her lungs hurt while she put the thermometer on her nightstand. She cleared her throat to loosen up the yucky stuff there before she spoke tiredly.

“Well, that’s that then.”

“I can’t believe you got sick on your birthday of all days,” Odette said.

“There’s been a bug going around at the restaurant for a few weeks,” Sugar said, sniffling her stuffy nose hard. “It was only a matter of time before I caught it.”

Odette pouted and crossed her arms over her chest. “Yeah, but it didn’t have to be on your birthday. I’ll call the girls and tell them girls’ night is cancelled.”

“What? No,” Sugar protested in a soft drained voice. “You should all go on without me. Celebrate in my honor. Make a toast or two in my name and don’t forget to take good photos of ya’ll having fun.”

“It doesn’t feel right having a birthday celebration without the birthday girl,” Odette said then her eyes lit up as an idea popped into her head. “Oh, oh! Let’s just bring the party here. We could cozy up in our pajamas, chill out, watch movies, drink hot tea, and slurp down some soup.”

Immediately, a vision popped into Sugar’s head of Helena wearing pajamas and pouring hard liquor from a flask into a cup of hot tea and did what she did best: guzzle it down and party it up.

Sugar groaned in objection and shook her head. “I don’t have the energy to do any of that. I just want to be miserable and sleep.”

“But who is going to take care of you?”

“I’m gonna take care of me,” Sugar assured. “Just because I’m sick doesn’t mean that I’m incapable of taking care of myself. You actually thought Lance stayed at home to make me soup and spoon-feed me cough syrup every time I got a bad cold? Ha!”

Odette sighed. “I just feel really bad leaving you here.”

Sugar reached over to get a soft tissue from a box off her nightstand. She blew into it, sounding like a sick elephant. She sniffled and balled up the tissue, tossing it in the small purple trashcan she had gotten out of her bathroom for that very reason.

“Stop worry about me and go home, so you can get ready. You’ve got about two hours to get ready and you know you’re a slow poke when it comes to getting dressed and beautified,” Sugar demanded in a nasally voice.

Odette leaned down and kissed her on the forehead. “Call me if you need anything, alright?”

“Mm hm,” Sugar hummed, nodding her head. “Now go.”

Odette strolled over to the opened bedroom door and stood there for a moment, giving Sugar once last look of worry—of reluctance.

“Go on, Ettie! Stop acting like I’m on my deathbed,” Sugar said, flicking her wrist at her sister as a gesture to leave.

“I’m being serious, Shug. Call me if you need anything,” Odette replied, wagging a finger at her before leaving the room.

Sugar rested in her bed, listening at her sister’s footsteps and the front door opening and closing at Odette’s departure. She sighed heavily in relief now that her baby sister was gone and snuggled into the softness of her bed. It wasn’t that Sugar didn’t like the visit from her sister because she did, but she never got used to the idea of people worrying about or over her when she was sick. She picked up the remote control and turned on the television fixed to the wall ahead of her.

She flipped through the channels, unable to find anything interesting to watch. When in doubt, she always settled for a food-cooking channel. There was a food contest show on that held some entertainment value as contestants and their teams frantically scrambled around a kitchen to cook three different meals for the judges using the key ingredients of deer, quail, and rabbit.

Eventually, she found herself dozing off to sleep.

She awoke some time later to the piano ringtone, groaning a little in protest. Groggy from sleep and utterly exhausted from her cold, she blindly fished around for her cell as she laid on her side with a pillow over her head. When she found the device, she accepted the call with a swipe of her thumb and put the phone to her ear.

“Hello?” Her stuffy voice oozed with misery.

There was silence from the other end.

“Um, hello?” Then she coughed roughly, gasping for breath after it finally passed.

Once more, silence. As the quiet moments passed, she finally regained her breath.

“Being sick is never good on your birthday.” It was Chef.

She shivered at the sound of his voice or maybe, she had the perfectly-timed chills from her fever. She wasn’t sure anymore.

“How did you know it was my birthday,” she asked. “I never told you that.”

“Your mother just sent me a text message tellin’ me was your birthday with a remainder that you were ‘very much single and ready to mingle’,” he said with slight amusement.

Sugar closed her eyes and let out a groan of embarrassment.

“She’s something else,” she said in a defeated tone.

“I’m startin’ to think she wants us together,” Chef stated.

“She’s hellbent on pairing me off,” Sugar sighed. “She sent me a text message yesterday saying that you and I would look good together as a couple.”

Chef chuckled a little. “We do look good together as a couple.”

“We’re not together as a couple,” Sugar reminded. “Do I need to remind you of my conditions that you agreed upon or should I make things easier for the both of us by saying goodbye and hanging up the phone?”

“I remember your conditions quite well. Uncommitted, adventurous, no heavy emotions, no romance,” he summarized perfectly. “Just no-strings attached fun.”

“So, you do have a good memory,” she said.

“It’s one of my qualities I take pride in,” he replied, “along with my dashing good looks.”

Sugar burst out a giggle which ended with some coughing.

“Mm,” he grunted in approval before questioning, “What else I gonna say to get you to giggle like that again?”

Another shiver passed through her and she bit down on her bottom lip, gulping. “If you like the way I giggled just a few moments ago then you have weird standards. My giggles sounded like they belong to a truck driver who’s smoked cigarettes for thirty years.”

“Then you’re the sexiest cigarette-smoking truck driver I know.”

“And you’re the craziest man I know.”

“Oh, I’m crazy alright. Crazy about y—“

Sugar cut him off quickly, trying to contain her panic. “So, remind me why you’re calling me again?”

“To sing happy birthday to you.”

She bit back a laugh. “So, you’re handsome, you have good memory, and you can sing?”

“Aren’t I a good catch?”

“You would be if I were interested in catching you,” Sugar said, “but I’m not.”

“Yet here I caught in your web,” he replied with a southern smoothness that—without a doubt—sent her feverish temperature climbing up and up.

She cleared her throat. “Well, I’m waiting on that birthday song.”

“How about I sing it to you in person?” The loaded offer was utterly tempting, but her house was a total hot mess and she looked like a total hot mess. She was death warmed over and she preferred to suffer through the symptoms of her terrible cold alone without him as a witness.

“That’s…not a good idea.”

“I’ll throw in a mean bowl of my homemade chicken noodle soup,” he proposed charmingly.

Sugar hadn’t eaten all day. She had been too drained to drag herself out of bed to fix herself something.

She slipped out a small longing moan and said before she could stop herself, “Mm, that would be amazing right now.”

She widened her eyes at her mistake.

Fuck, she then thought in a panic, fuck, fuck fuck!

She wasn’t supposed to say that. She was supposed to kindly reject that offer too, but now that her desire was all-out in the open, it was too late to backpedal now. It was too final to deny, deny, deny and run. He knew the truth, he knew what she wanted, and she knew he was going to do exactly what he promised: give.

“Then it would be my pleasure to oblige,” he said, his seductive emphasis on the word pleasure prompted an ocean of goosebumps across her brown skin. “What’s your address?”

Sugar took a deep breath, an odd mixture of regret and excitement coursing through her system.  

“Now, listen,” she began firmly. “I’ll give you my address, but don’t think it’s an invitation to show up whenever you want to because it’s not. Do you understand?”

“Perfectly,” he replied with slight amusement.

“I’ll text it to you,” she said.

“Ma’am, yes, ma’am,” he returned with a chuckle.

Unsure of what else to say, Sugar ended the call quickly and sent him a text containing her address as promised. Her heart throbbed violently within the prison of her ribcage as her finger typed out every single letter and number needed to send him to her front doorstep. Almost immediately, she received a text message back from him. She had changed his contact name from Do Not Answer to Maybe Answer. A small step in the right direction for a skeptical woman.

Maybe Answer: Thank you. You won’t regret it.

“Too late,” she said softly to herself before she put her cell down and tried to keep herself occupied by watching television again. She found a pay-per-view mystery film and bought it, slowly becoming enthralled in the intense plot and the characters. So much so that she lost track of time about eighty minutes into the film, the sound of her doorbell sliced through the air. Her breath hitched a little in surprise and her heart picked up in tempo.

Chef had arrived.

Sugar then climbed out of bed, wobbly on her feet from the lightheadedness that swam around her stuffy head. Sniffling and coughing along the way, she made a slow trek through her house to the front door. She unlocked the door and opened it sluggishly to reveal the sight of Chef on her doorstep holding a brown paper bag packed with groceries. He wore a dark gray fitted shirt that stretched deliciously across his sculpted chest, torso, and arms. He also wore pitch black jeans with an imposing silvery skull as a buckle from his leather belt.

His gray eyes swept over her from head to toe.

She knew she looked terrible. Her long dark hair was a frizzy mess. Her skin was slick with a light coat of sweat. Her nose was slightly reddened and utterly stuffy. She had puffy dark circles underneath her tired eyes.

His gaze trailed back up the length of her body, settling on her chest. His eyes darkened with an unreadable emotion. Sugar glanced down and immediately remembered that she wasn’t wearing a bra therefore her breasts were free and her nipples—which were apparently very erect—stood out against the fabric of her mid-thigh-length silk nightie. She was too exhausted and sick to react accordingly such as covering herself up.

Instead she stated, “I’m not putting on a bra.”

Chef, in turn, grinned as he moved his eyes back up to her face. “You won’t hear any complaints from me, sweetheart.”

She fought back a smile, moving to the side to allow him inside the house. She closed the door once he was inside and lead him into the kitchen, turning on the light along the way.

“I apologize for the wait. I wasn’t sure what you had, so I did some grocery shoppin’,” he replied as he placed the heavy-looking paper bag on the kitchen counter directly beside the stove. “Got caught up in the evenin’ rush. Long lines. Not enough checkout lanes open.”

“Words won’t do you any good leaving a woman in need waiting,” Sugar said in mildly teasing tone as she stepped up to the counter beside him and peeked inside the brown paper bag to be nosy, “I take the ‘mean’ chicken noodle soup you promised as a proper apology.”

There were spices, fresh vegetables, raw chicken, and much more piled inside the bag. She peered at him, impressed by his selection of ingredients.

“You should go back to bed and rest while I do some dirty work,” he said.

“You’ve only been in my house less than five minutes and you’re already bossing me around,” she chaffed, arching a delicate eyebrow. “What happened to whole ‘you give, I take’ spiel?”

Chef bent his head so his face lingered just above hers as she looked up at him. “I gave you an order and I expect you to take it, so I can take care of you,” he said.

Sugar eased a little closer to him and stared him down with a challenging defiance in her eyes, tapping an index finger against his defined right pectoral. “You promised a birthday song, chicken noodle soup, and nothing more. Nowhere during our phone conversation did you ever mention—nor did I agree—to the idea of you taking care of me. And just to make it clear, I don’t need any one to take care of me.”

“Too bad ‘cause I’m gonna,” he returned.

“What makes you think I’m gonna let you? I could kick you out of my house anytime I want to.”

“You could,” he agreed with a nod, “but you won’t ‘cause deep down you wanna know what it feels like to be taken care of by me. You wanna know how I’m gonna pamper you.”

A bolt of curiosity and arousal struck her hard. She bit down onto her bottom lip hard to keep herself from gasping at his words before she gathered the courage to speak. “Sounds a lot like romance to me,” she breathed, her voice shakier than she wanted.

A slight grin quirked on his lips. “If that’s what you want to call it.”

“It’s not what I want to call it,” she returned. “I don’t want romance. I want—“

“I know exactly what you need,” he cut her off smoothly.

She scoffed. “And what’s that, Chef?”

“To go back to bed and rest,” he paused, the right corner of his mouth lifting a smidgen while those gorgeous damn gray eyes danced with a bold challenge—a promise he wanted to make good on. “Unless, you want me to put you to bed myself.”

Sugar gulped. “You said that so freely that I’m starting to wonder if you put women to bed often.”

“I believe in quality over quantity. I’ve put very few women to bed, but when I did, they enjoyed it immensely,” he replied. “So, what’s it gonna be, Sugar? You gonna go to bed willingly or do you want me to tuck you in myself?”

“I’ll tuck myself into bed,” she informed stubbornly even though every fiber of her screamed in protest at her decision. “Thanks for the offer though.”

“What a shame,” he said. “I was lookin’ real forward to carryin’ you in my arms back to your room.”

“I’m sorry to disappoint,” she returned in mock-sympathy before she mustered up the strength she needed to leave the kitchen without a second glance. She returned to her bedroom and climbed back into her bed, nestling amongst her blankets and pillows to get comfortable but she was everything but comfortable. Over the volume of her television, she heard opening and closing cabinets and drawers, clattering of pots and pans, running water from the kitchen faucet, and orchestra of noises as he familiarized himself with her kitchen to begin cooking. Eventually, a mouthwatering aroma filled her entire house, which made her stomach grumble and groan in want.

After some time, she heard footsteps come down the hallway and pretended to show interest in the soap opera masquerading as a reality show about a luxury yacht crew. She nodded her head as she focused her attention intensely on two crewmembers arguing over incomplete chores, but from the corner of her eye, she saw Chef appear in her doorway. A green bowl with a spoon inside of it was in his possession.

“Dinner is served,” he announced as he entered the bedroom, sauntering over to her.

Sugar finally turned her attention to him, blinking her eyes as if she just noticed that he was there. She had a coughing fit and cleared her throat, patting her throat. She sat up against her pillows and took the offered bowl from him.

“Thank you,” she said as she looked down into the bowl, licking her lips at the sight of chopped egg noodles, vegetables, chicken chunks, and spices swimming merrily in a delicious broth. She took a spoonful into her mouth and closed her eyes, moaning aloud in contentment. Immediately after, she had another spoonful. This truly was a mean bowl of chicken noodle spoon with every single sip and chew. Bit by bit, she felt better like the soup was causing her terrible cold to recede centimeter by centimeter like a glacier to a warming climate. Her throat wasn’t as sore. Her nose wasn’t as stuffy. The itching urge at the back of her throat to cough was dull. Chef watched her as he stood at her bedside. His arms crossed over his chest.


“It’s,” Sugar paused, “alright.”

He chuckled, shaking his head. “Why is it always hard gettin’ a compliment outta you?”

“Why are you trying to fish for a compliment?”

“I need to know the things you like so I can keep givin’ them to you,” he said. “That’s my only goal, honey.”

Sugar brought another delicious spoonful to her lips and ate it as she contemplated his words, feeling guilty for giving him a hard time. “It’s very delicious,” she then said genuinely. “Compliments to the chef. It’s so good that if you had a ‘kiss the chef’ apron, I…might have obliged.”

Chef lifted his shirt to reveal a mildly tattooed torso and chest—a gallery of various artistic symbols inked in pale flesh. She admirably noted his dark chest hair. There wasn’t too little. There wasn’t too much. It just enough and she loved the sight of it. Using his spare hand, he pointed to a certain tattoo on his left pectoral. The tattoo consisted of a red heart wearing a cocked chef hat with bolded black cursive words in the foreground that read ‘kiss the chef’.

“Didn’t bring an apron, but will this do?”

She was absolutely dumbfounded and utterly aroused by his reveal.

“Yeah,” she voiced distractedly. “That’ll…do just…fine.”

Chef chuckled, lowering his shirt.

Sugar cleared her throat and resumed the task of finishing her soup eagerly to keep her mouth busily before she put them to better use by rising his shirt back up so she could kiss that tattoo.

“I’m gonna clean up the kitchen,” he said, nodding his head towards the opened bedroom door.

“Okay,” she said with a mouthful of chicken, vegetables, and noodles.

She leaned to the right, craning her head as she watched his glorious backside leave the bedroom and walk down the hallway. “God help me,” she breathed out pleadingly before she shoved another spoonful into her mouth, chewing roughly as she dealt with the worst kind of frustration: pent-up sexual frustration.

It didn’t take long for her to gobble up the rest of the soup.

She felt much so much better, but her cold was still very much there.

She decided to put the bowl in the dishwasher, so she got out of the bed and went to the kitchen where Chef took his time cleaning up. His back was turned to her as he worked through his task, but he had no clue that she was behind him. He muttered to himself.

“Be a good boy and behave.” His voice a little smidgen above a mutter. “She’s sick for Christ’s sake. She doesn’t want you pawin’ all over her, but…she’s…fuck if she ain’t…”

Sugar bit her lower lip as she listened to him battle with himself.

“Fuck if she ain’t what,” Sugar asked, deciding to make herself known.

Chef turned halfway to watch her as she walked into the kitchen and rubbed the back of his neck. “You like bein’ nosey?”

Sugar smiled a little. “Mm hm, especially when it involves me. So, fuck if I ain’t what, Chef?”

“I thought you were supposed to be in bed,” he said, cocking his head.

“Not an answer,” she said as she strolled over to the dishwasher and opened it, leaning down to put the empty bowl inside the top rack. The mid-thigh length hemline rose as she was bent over, revealing the bottom-half of her silky peach panties that matched her nightie. She did it on purpose and immediately reaped the benefits of how that man looked at her. His eyes were like a graphic picture book of all the things he wanted to her and she liked what she saw. It felt amazingly good to know that even though she was sick and hadn’t tried to seduce someone in five years, she still had something.

Closing the dishwasher, she straightened her back and swallowed back the urge to cough by clearing her throat. “Kittycat caught your tongue?”

“I haven’t caught my tongue inside a kittycat in a while, but if you wanna throw an old dog a bone to remind him how good it can taste,” Chef trailed off, a hungry look in his eyes.

“I have a cold,” she reminded him.

“And I have a hardy immune system,” he returned.

“I’m pretty sure I can get you sick from doing,” she paused, “that.”

“I have a better chance at gettin’ sick from you coughin’ on me, so I’m pretty sure that ain’t possible,” he said, “but there’s only one way to find out.”

She rose her eyebrows. “You’re being serious about this.”

“As a heart attack,” he said, “and it fits within your conditions. Adventurous, uncommitted, no-strings attached fun, right? And what better way to do that than by me eatin’ you out?”

She let out a noise in between a gasp and a shocked laugh at his boldly colorful words. It was one of the most arousing things someone had ever said to her. A storm of heat ripped through her.

“You have quite a filthy mouth,” she breathed, but it didn’t sound like a complain like she had wanted it to.

“I think you like my filthy mouth, don’t you, Sugar?”

She gulped hard and let out a shaky breath. “I—“

Her home phone’s ringtone sliced through the air.

She took it as a blessing in disguise and she practically rushed over to the cordless phone, plucking it off the dock. She answered the call in a stutter. “H-h-hello?”

“I was on my way home from a business meeting halfway across town this afternoon and I passed by our old apartment complex.” It was Lance.

Sugar blinked in surprise at the sound of his voice.

“Brought back a lot of memories. Most of them good, but some were bad too,” Lance said, “but it’s the good times that counted, right? Happy birthday, by the way.”

“A happy birthday from my cheating ex-husband. You’re so kind, Lance,” Sugar scoffed, locking eyes with Chef. “I’m surprised you even remembered because the last six years of our marriage you conveniently forgot.”

“I was a busy man, Shug,” Lance said.

Before Sugar could even react properly to Lance’s statement, Chef went to her and took the cordless phone from her hand. “Don’t ever call this number again,” Chef said in a cool authoritative voice that only a soldier could possess.

Sugar heard Lance’s yelling from the phone. “Who the fuck is thi—“

Chef hung up the phone, putting it back on its charging dock.

Sugar frowned. “That was unnecessary.”

“Him callin’ here is unnecessary. You and I were havin’ an important conversation,” Chef stated gruffly, a pinch of jealousy worming its way into his voice.

“Us talking about,” she paused, clearing her throat roughly, “you going down on me isn’t exactly an important conversation.”

“Speak for yourself, honey,” Chef said.

The phone rang again. Chef snatched it off the hook again and answered the call. “I said don’t ever call this number again,” Chef repeated, narrowing his eyes. “Are you slow in the head?”

Chef smirked as he listened to Lance’s expressed anger on the other end of the call. Whatever her ex-husband was saying, she couldn't hear. 

“Who the fuck am I you ask? I am hangin’ up. This is your last warnin’,” he then said before ending the call once more. After returning the phone back to its dock for the second time, he nailed Sugar to the spot. “Where were we?”

“Um,” she began, still processing her past and present collided before her very eyes.

“Oh, now I remember where we left off,” Chef said. “Could you please take off your panties for me?”

“That isn’t where we left off,” Sugar said after gasping.

“I might have fast-forwarded our conversation a bit,” he admitted.

Sugar laughed in disbelief. “A bit?”

He closed in on her, caging her against the kitchen counter.

“Pretty please with Sugar on top?”

Oh, shit.

She was in big, big, big trouble, but she only had herself to blame.

He knew her conditions quite well and he was using them against her. Bending and twisting her words with such skill to work in his favor that it surprised her—terrified her even.

But what terrified her more was that she was going to let him do it. 



End Notes:

Teachers have been allowed to go back into our classrooms early before school starts and Thursday and Friday was so ridiculous. My new grade level partner I've been telling ya'll about is absolutely evil. She got into an argument with me, but she picked the right one 'cause I put her in her place then she gonna run to the principals and tell them all these lies about me. Then her and the principals gonna come to me like they are trying to stage an intervention. She had tears in her eyes and played the victim quite well. It was a bunch of bull. It totally tanked my muse because I was planning on updating this story yesterday, but I was so disgusted by everything that transpired that I didn't have the memory.

I got my muse back today though. Keep me in your prayers because I need it. I am surrounded by snakes with two legs. 

I hope you all enjoyed this chapter. Your overwhelming support for this story means a lot. It's my goal to try and update Sugar Mama, His Mercy, and Save Me From Myself this upcoming week before school starts. Maybe even Baby, It's Cold Outside too. 

Chef wants Sugar, sick or not. He don't care. And he's using their agreed conditions against her and she knows it, but she's not gonna stop him. 

BTW, Chef was going to say "Fuck, if she ain't sexy as all get-out."

Feedback is greatly appreciated!

Have a wonderful Saturday night. 

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Author's Notes:

May 31, 2017

Sugar's birthday gets more eventful.

Music Mood: Drown In It by Syd

After eighteen years of trials and errors, Sugar had learned it was best to think ahead. Thinking one step ahead gave her a leg up in the world. It allowed her to accomplish so much in the great scale of things. Yet here she was drowning in a mess of her own doing. She had thought demanding a noncommitted relationship with strict guidelines was thinking one step ahead to cure her loneliness while keeping her protected from heartbreak. However, she didn’t expect the man—that had her caged against her kitchen counter—to skirt around her rules and bend them to his own benefit. She had doomed herself from the start.

A broad smile spread across his lips before he dipped his head down and lowered his voice to a seductive husky volume that made her shudder as it caressed her left ear canal like deep velvet. “Do you want me to beg? Is that it, Sugar?”

“I ain’t above beggin’,” he continued with a dark momentary chuckle, “especially when the only two things that are keepin’ me from my dessert are a pair of glorious thighs and panties.”

Her eyelids slid shut and she let out a shaky exhale as his carnal words coaxed a rising warmth inside her.

Brushing his lips along the outline of her ear, he whispered, “My mouth is waterin’ at the thought of tastin’ how sweet you are.”

He caught her earlobe gently with his teeth and tugged it into his mouth, suckling on it briefly before he let it go. Immediately, she visualized him doing the exact same thing with her clit.

“Oh, dear,” she breathed out helplessly, a strong achy pulse throbbing from the very place he wanted to get acquainted with.

“Take off your panties for me, Sugar,” he commanded.

“Um, shouldn’t we go…to the bedroom…first,” she asked, pausing briefly between strings of words to bit back a moan as his hands appreciatively roamed her curves.

He pulled away from her ear to look at her. “Where’s the fun in that?”

Sugar blinked at his question. “Where else would, um, this happen?”

“Take off your panties and I’ll gladly show you,” he said with a slight grin while mischief danced in his gray eyes.

Unable to deny him any further, she reached underneath her nightie to hook her fingers into her undergarment’s waistband and pulled them down her thighs. He moved just enough to give her some room as she began to step out of her panties hastily clumsy manner. To steady herself, she grabbed onto his brawny arm with one hand while she used the other one to finish taking off her underwear.

She squealed as he lifted her up by the waist with ease and placed her onto the kitchen counter. She was too shunned to utter a single protest. He wanted to do it here in her kitchen?

Chef lowered himself to his knees, his face directly in front of her closed legs.

“Chef,” Sugar trailed off, unsure of what to say. Her heart pounded violently in her chest.

He gazed up at her as he kissed her knees while running his hands up and down her calves tenderly.

“Let me in, honey,” he said. “Let me taste you.”

Sugar bit down her bottom lip, fear and regret working together within her. Chef must’ve seen it in her face. His brow scrunched slightly in confusion.

“What’s wrong?”

“You’ll be the second man to ever do something like this to me and I haven’t had,” she paused, her brain in search of a suitable word, “it in a very long time. My ex-husband tried it three times. He didn’t like it very much. He said he didn’t like how I…taste.”

Chef considered her words for a moment. “Your ex won’t know what to do with good pussy if it was in front of him, which is odd ‘cause he himself is a big ass pussy. I think the kids nowadays would call him a fuckboy.”

A soft giggle burst out of Sugar. “Fuckboy doesn’t seem like the kind of word that it’s in your bank of vocabulary.”

The right corner of his lips quirked upward. “I’ve got four goddaughters in highschool and college. I’ve seen their Facebook posts enough to learn the new lingo,” he paused, placing another kiss on her knee to bring them back to task. “What I’m tryin’ to say is I ain’t him and if you part those pretty thighs for me, I’ll show you how different he and I are when it comes to you.”

Sugar apprehensively spread her legs.

“Mm,” he hummed, his grin widening.

He grabbed the underside of her thighs and tugged her ass closer towards the edge of the kitchen counter before burying his face in between her legs, giving her a nice long lick. He groaned in approval.

“Pretty and pink,” he complimented before he devoted his attention to licking and sucking her inner lips.

Sugar’s head dropped backwards against the cabinet door with a soft thud, her eyes rolling deeply into the back of her head. The more she realized the situation she was in, the more aroused she became. Her bare ass hung off the very edge of the kitchen counter. Her nightie was pushed past her waist. Her left leg was now on the counter, bent at the knee. Her right leg hung over his shoulder as he knelt on her tiled kitchen floor. Her thighs were wide open and his head had found a home in between as he ate her pussy in the most torturous way. His tongue and lips took their time exploring her as he suckled, licked, and teased every part of her cunt, leaving nothing neglected.

“Mm, just like I thought,” he purred appreciatively. “You live up to your name, Sugar. Sweet, sweet, sweet.”

A quiver ran through her at his words.

He flattened his tongue and gave her a deep broad lick from the bottom of her pussy all the way to her clit. Chef draw lazy circles around her clit with the tip of his tongue, delivering an occasional flick to the sensitive pink head peeking out from underneath her clit hood. She moaned loudly, snatching a fistful of his salt-and-pepper hair with her right hand and tugged it roughly. A deep growl of approval from him vibrated her pussy, she moaned louder at the sensation. Her eyelids peeled open and she gazed down the length of her body, her brown eyes locking upon gray ones that stared up at her boldly.

She felt raw and exposed as he watched her while he devoured her pussy, so she squeezed her eyes shut as an attempt to shield her vulnerability. To give her back a sense of control.

“Don’t do that to me, honey,” Chef panted slightly, fanning warm breath against her glistening pink lips. “I wanna see those beautiful brown eyes while I eat you up. I want you to watch me enjoy how sweet you are.”

He showered a line of kisses along her inner right thigh and she trembled underneath his lips.

This was too much.

This had gone too far.

“We should stop,” she breathed pleadingly. “We should really, really st—oh, my god!”

Her jaw dropped open as he buried his face back into her pussy and caught her swollen clit in between his teeth gently, drawing the pink nub into the depths of his mouth to suck at a delicious rhythm.

“Th-th-that’s absolutely foul,” she managed to say in between her hard breathing.

He was playing dirty. A reality that she should’ve hated, but deep down, she knew she loved it.

He chuckled darkly, but kept on, relentless in his pursuit to make her cum. She continued watching him like he wanted, unable to deny how incredibly arousing it was to watch him eat her out. The pleasure he was intense and utterly foreign to her. She was overwhelmed by it. She was consumed by it, her practiced composure crashing and burning as a result. When he slid his tongue inside of her to fuck her deeply with his mouth, she knew there was no turning back. Her hips frantically rocked against his face with one hand still gripping his hair and the other bracing the counter for support.

“Oh, fuck, oh, fuck, oh, fuck,” she chanted wildly as she grew closer and closer towards an impending explosive orgasm that was burning in her lower belly ready to be unleased.

Then it hit her hard.

At first, she gasped sharply at its arrival and then as it tore through her, she tossed her head back and screamed as she drowned in white-hot euphoria. Her body went rigid as she rode out the waves of her orgasm. Chef hungrily caught her juices with his mouth and tongue, drinking and swallowing greedily.

She went slack against the counter and cabinets, panting heavily as she shuddered from the aftereffects of her long-awaited release.

Chef’s head lingered in between her legs for a few moments as he lapped her pussy clean. When he was finished, he brushed her leg off his shoulder and stood up slowly. Sugar sat on the kitchen counter with her weak legs now dangling off the edge. He placed his strong hands on her hips, putting her onto the floor.

Sugar stumbled for a moment and Chef steadied her with his signature slight grin at his lips.

“Whoa there, honey,” he said. “You alright?”

“Are you seriously asking me that right now?”

She just let him eat her pussy while she sat on the kitchen counter. Was it absolutely fucking amazing? Hell, yes. Was she alright? Hell, no.

“I haven’t forgotten my manners,” he said, the laugh lines around his eyes crinkling in amusement.

“If you haven’t forgotten your manners then what do you call eating me out in my own kitchen?”

“Dessert,” he answered in a sexy rumbly tone. Her overtly sensitive clit pulsed achily at his comment. She clenched her thighs together to relieve it—to silence it. Sugar closed her eyes, trying to regain a sense of herself, but his mere presence was the catalyst to her unraveling.

“Chef, I really don’t know what to do with you,” Sugar said softly.

“I can help you with that,” he returned as he pulled her into his arms, burying his face into the crook of her neck while his hands slid over the curve of her ass. He daringly lifted up her nightgown and spread his calloused fingers across her ass cheeks before giving them an appreciative squeeze while he nibbled at her neck. She melted against him, wrapping her arms around his neck to use him as an anchor.

“I know plenty of things you can do to me. With me,” he purred against her neck as his palms kneaded her ass sensually, unhurriedly. She squeaked when he gave her left cheek a nice pop and chuckled for a moment at her response. She enjoyed the sweet sting that hummed across the patch of flesh he spanked, but he needed to do something to get back at him.

An eye for eye.

She leaned up and boldly bit him just above the crook of his neck.

He groaned in response. She smiled against his flesh, relishing her tiny victory before she bit him harder. He let out a growl that rumbled deep in his chest and her body eagerly absorbed the vibrations. He yanked his face away from her neck to capture her lips, but she turned her head in just enough time so that he landed a kiss on her cheek.

“I’m sick,” she reminded him—and herself.

“Mm, I guess I’ll have to kiss your other set of lips,” he said with a grin as he trailed his hands down the underside of her thighs, scooping her up against him. She tightened her arms around his neck and wrapped her legs around his waist.

“I thought we were finished.”

“No, honey. We ain’t finished until you cum on my tongue again.”

She heated up and bit back a moan of anticipation.

She didn’t know what to say to that. Was there anything that could to be said?

He carried her out of the kitchen and back to her bedroom. He laid her down on the bed and settled his head in between her legs once more, his head disappearing halfway underneath her short-lengthened nightie. He maneuvered her legs over his shoulders as he helped himself to a second serving of her pussy. He gripped the underside of her left thigh and tilted it wider to allow himself better access to the sweet treat he seemed to love to eat.

She moaned aloud, arching her hips off the bed.

Pleasure was twofold as she was still very sensitive from the last orgasm that took place barely a few minutes prior.

It was then her cell rung a few inches away from her head. The ringtone belonged to Odette. She smoothed her hand over his head as a gesture for him to stop. “I need to…answer th—ahh!”

Chef kept going, unfazed by the ringing device and her weakly-delivered request.

“Please, Chef,” she whimpered. “Please let me…”

He let out a growl to voice his discontent, but did as she asked. However, he decided to make good use of his mouth by kissing, nibbling, and biting her inner thighs. She reached for the device with a shaky hand and answered it.


“Happy birthday!” A chorus of familiar voices shouted at her. She blinked in shock at the volume.

“Thank y—ahh,” she began, but gasped sharply as Chef lifted her left calf to lick the crook of her knee. She quickly cleared her throat and lightly swatted Chef’s head as punishment. He peered up at her with prideful dark humor twinkling in his eyes as he kept going.

“Thank you,” Sugar managed to say.

“Having a girls’ night isn’t the same without you,” Rochelle said.

“I wish I could’ve been there,” Sugar returned.

“You sound a lot better,” Odette noted.

“I’m getting th-th-there,” she stuttered at the end while she tried her absolute hardest to keep herself from moaning as Chef kissed his way back to where he wanted his mouth to go.

He spoke to her in a low voice for her ears only. “I want to suck your clit right now.”

Increasingly becoming a habit, her clit throbbed in consent. She, however, mouthed a ‘no’ and shook her head vigorously.

“Since you can’t come to the party, we’ve decided to bring the party to you,” Katrina said on the other end.

What?” Sugar’s heart stopped beating. 

“We’re pulling up to your house right now,” Odette informed excitedly.

In a panic, Sugar hung up the phone and tossed it out of her hands like it was a hot potato.

“Get up, get up, get up,” she chanted frantically at Chef. “My sisters are here. Oh, my fucking god.”

Chef removed himself from in between her legs and got off the bed, watching as Sugar practically leapt out of the bed and raced into her bathroom to retrieve her robe off the hook on the door. She shrugged it on quickly and tied it tightly. When the doorbell rang, she nearly went into cardiac arrest. She rushed out of the bedroom and slammed the door shut behind her, fled down the hallway, and skid to a halt in front of the door. She rose to the tips of her toes to look out the peephole. Her sisters, Katrina, Helena, and Reid were all clad in their sexy little clubbing outfits as they waited on her front porch with gift bags in their hands. Sugar closed her eyes and took an extremely deep breath to calm her fraying nerves. Then she undid her door’s locks and opened the door.

“What a surprise,” she said.

“Somebody’s Mustang is parked in front of your house at the curb,” Rochelle informed.

Sugar pretended to be surprised. “Really? That’s odd.”

The girls sashayed their way into the house and went into the kitchen.

Helena sniffed the air, a wide smile on her lips. “Mm, it smells amazing in here. You cooked?”

Sugar nervously tucked a piece of her hair behind her ear.

“I ate something,” she answered instead.

Helena went to the fridge looking for liquor like always and she would no doubt find it. Sugar always kept a bottle or two of wine in the house. Helena retrieved a bottle of Chardonnay and trotted happily over to the drawer that housed the cork opener like she always did. Odette, Rochelle, and Reid went to the kitchen table to seat. Katrina remained standing, glancing around the kitchen with a curious look on her face as if she sensed something was off.

Sugar cleared her throat. “Did you do any club-hopping?”

“We went to two clubs, but there wasn’t much going on. Just bunch of old dudes wanting to buy us drinks,” Reid pouted.

“That’s a bummer,” Sugar said with a frown.

“So,” Odette began to speak in a sing-song voice, “we decided to come by to bear our gifts.”

“That’s real sweet,” Sugar replied. “You didn’t have to.”

“We wanted to,” Helena assured. By then, she had already poured herself a glass of Chardonnay and took deep gulps while she sat on the kitchen counter. Sugar did a doubletake at Helena with widened eyes, a sense of dread filling her up as she realized that Helena was sitting at the very spot she got her pussy eaten.

Katrina then asked with a cocked head, “Shug, are you okay?”

Sugar snapped her attention to her sister-in-law. “The cough medicine just makes me, um, jittery is all,” she lied. Katrina, in turn, arched an eyebrow at her, but said nothing else as she slowly walked around the kitchen.

“You need to open your presents,” Rochelle said as she lifted the purple giftbag she brought and gave it a little shake.

“I got you the best gift,” Odette announced loudly—giddily.

Reid rolled her eyes sharply. “You got Shug the worst gift imaginable.”

Odette flipped her hair over her shoulder and smiled smugly at Reid. “Don’t hate the player. Hate the game.”

Reid rolled her eyes once more, shaking her head.

In hopes of getting them out the door quicker, Sugar decided to open her birthday presents. Rochelle got her a revealing outfit effectively as a weapon to be used to “catch a man”. Helena bought her a pair of “fuck-me-pumps”—as she so eloquently put it—that matched Rochelle’s gift quite well. Katrina got her a giftcard to an upscale spa club downtown. Reid got her scented candles and a no-doubt pricey spa basket. Finally, Odette’s gift was the last to be opened.

“Saved the best for last,” Odette said with a wink.

Now, Sugar was worried.

“Can I use your bathroom,” Helena suddenly asked with urgency after gulping down her third glass of wine. She hopped down from the kitchen counter.

“There’s one down the hallway,” Sugar said.

“Thanks,” Helena said before practically scurrying out of the kitchen.

“Come on, girl. Open it,” Odette urged eagerly.

Sugar sighed as she fished through the sea of neon green tissue paper. Finally, she retrieved a box from the giftbag. Her brow furrowed together as she stared at the gift in disbelief. It was a hot pink silicone rabbit vibrator dubbed as the ‘Wild Bunny G-Gasm Vibrator’. A detailed picture of the sex toy was plastered on every single face of the box.

Her jaw dropped open.

“Um, Shug, why are your panties on the kitchen floor,” Katrina then asked.

Sugar’s eyes widened.

Oh, no, she screamed inside her brain.

Helena then reentered the kitchen with an impressed expression on her face. She crossed her arms over her chest, cocking her head to the side. “Ettie, you got a return receipt for that?”

“She doesn’t need a return receipt,” Odette defended before she blinked at Helena in confusion. “I thought you said you had to use the bathroom?”

“I did have to use the bathroom, but I can hold it. I made a little discovery along the way.”

How did you make a discovery on the way to the hallway bathroom, Helena,” Rochelle asked, annoyance in her voice.

“I don’t go in hallway bathrooms. I only do master bathrooms,” Helena said matter-of-factly. “The good hand soap is always in the master bathrooms. I gotta keep these hands nice and soft, honey-doll.”

Sugar blinked in disbelief at Helena’s confession. “You went to my bedroom?”

Helena grinned, nodding her head.

“Mm hm. I sure did,” she said before looking at Odette once more. “Shug doesn’t need a vibrator at all. Shug, I honestly didn’t think you had it in you, but I give two thumbs up!”

Sugar closed her eyes and breathed out in a mortified voice, “Oh, dear god.”

Rochelle frowned. “Shug, what in the hell is going on?”

“Do you want to tell them or should I,” Helena offered.

“Shut up, Helena,” Odette ordered.

Helena put her hands up in defense. “Fine,” she said as she sauntered back to the bottle of Chardonnay to fill up her glass again.

“Evenin’, ladies.”

Six pairs of startled eyes jerked to the man who stood in the kitchen doorway.

His eyes locked on Sugar. “I figured since the young lady found my hiding spot, I might as well come out.”

All five women—except Helena who was guzzling down her fourth glass of wine—gawked at Chef.

Odette had an open-mouthed surprised smile on her face, her eyes lit up like fireworks. “Shug, aren’t you gonna introduce us?”

Rochelle cocked her head at Sugar, a pleased look on her face. “I second notion.”

“Third,” Katrina said, utterly intrigued by the situation playing out before her eyes.

“Fourth,” Reid added in.

Sugar pursed her lips and exhaled through her nose deeply. “Everyone, this is Chef.”

“And Chef is?” Rochelle asked in mock-innocent tone.

“A friend,” Sugar answered with a bit of sharpness to her voice.

“Well, Chef. I’m Odette, Sugar’s baby sister,” Odette introduced herself before introduced everyone else, pointing to each. “That is Rochelle, another Hartwell sister. That’s Katrina, Sugar’s sister-in-law. Reid is Rochelle’s sister-in-law. And you briefly met my nosy-as-hell sister-in-law, Helena.”

Chef nodded his head with a charming grin. “It’s a pleasure to meet you all.”

Then a flood questions were shot in his direction all at once.

“So, what’s your real name?” Rochelle’s question.

“How many tattoos do you have?” Helena’s question.

“How did you two meet?” Odette’s question.

“Do you have a brother?” Reid’s question.

He chuckled lightly at the swarm of queries.

“My real name is Miles Thibodeau. I have eighteen tattoos. Mrs. Hartwell actually introduced us,” he answered, “and no, I do not have a brother.”

All five women—except an embarrassed Sugar—perked up at the mention of Georgette Hartwell. Rochelle cocked her head and arched an eyebrow. “So you know our mother?”

Chef nodded. “As well as your father Cal. They’re both regulars at my restaurant and we’ve become close friends.”

“It takes a lot for Mama and Daddy to like someone yet alone become friends with them. If you all are close friends then you must be a great guy,” Odette said with a cheeky smile.

Chef rubbed the back of his neck and grinned slightly—bashfully. “I’m an alright guy, but I’ve found a good reason to better myself.” His gray eyes fell upon Sugar.

A tingly warmth filled Sugar up and she tugged her bottom lip into her mouth.

Katrina glanced at her wristwatch and announced, “Well, would you look at that? It’s time for us to go. If we don’t leave now, we’ll be late to that thing.”

Odette’s eyebrows scrunched together. “What thing?”

Katrina narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips. “That thing, Ettie. Remember?”

Rochelle swatted Odette’s shoulder. “You know what she’s about, Odette.”

Reid snapped her fingers as if she finally remembered. “Right, that thing. Yeah, we should definitely get going.”

The women filed out of the kitchen with a reluctant Odette. Helena, who was at the tail end of the departing group, stopped in the kitchen doorway with the wine bottle that still had about a quarter of wine left. “Can I take this on the road?”

“Knock yourself out,” Sugar sighed.

Helena gave her a wink and blew her a kiss before trotting out of the kitchen. “Thanks! Love you! Oh, and happy birthday!”

Once all the uninvited guests were gone, Sugar locked the door.

She turned around and pressed her back against the door, sighing.

This was the most eventful birthday she had ever had in her thirty-eight years of life.

Chef stepped into the foyer from the kitchen and walked towards her. “I guess this is where I take my leave, huh?”

“I think it’s best,” she agreed with a nod. “Thanks for giving me some chicken noodle soup to eat.”

He closed in on her, bracing his tattooed arms against the door. She was caged in. He dipped his head down. “Thanks for givin’ me somethin’ to eat as well,” he said in a low voice. “I’d love to know when you’re gonna put it back on the menu.”

“You’ll be the first to know if or when I do,” she gulped.

Chef dropped his right hand from the door and slid it underneath her robe and nightie, slithering two thick fingers in between her pussy’s lips. Sugar’s eyes squeezed shut and she gasped out a deep moan as his digits stroked up and down her slit teasingly. Then he withdrew his fingers and licked the juices off them, his intense gray eyes never leaving her brown ones.

This man, this man, this man.

“You better,” he answered with a devilish grin before he took a step back.

Sugar swirled around on her heels and quickly unlocked the front door, opening it for him to leave. He had to. She needed him to before she invited him to spend the night with her in her bed—with hopefully no clothes on.

“Good night, Chef,” she said after clearing her throat.

He nodded as he made his way out the door. “Good night and of course, happy birthday.”

“You know,” she began, “you never sang me happy birthday.”

He turned halfway, eying her. “You’re right, but I did manage the make the birthday girl sing. That should count for something.”

Where was the lie?


End Notes:

This chapter was so much fun to write. I was either fanning myself or laughing my behind off. Chef is off-the-chain, ya'll. Shug had the most eventful birthday in her entire life.

Thank you for your feedback and support.


I am so happy!!!!

Character pictures for Reid and Helena have been uploaded onto the pinterest board, if you're interested in taking a peek.

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James

Sweet Talk by Missus James
Author's Notes:

June 3, 2017

After her first day back at work, Sugar gets the night off early and gets a little sweet talking from Chef. 

Mood Music: You're Makin' Me High by Toni Braxton

Her first day back at work was a Saturday. Sugar had been so eager to return to the restaurant, but soon she realized that it was difficult getting back into her old routine of being the responsible manager and owner after spending three days at home doing nothing but being miserable, eating delicious chicken noodle soup, and watching television in her bed.

The day was excruciatingly long and grueling because three employees, two kitchen staff and one waiter, called out sick after catching the very cold she had just gotten over herself. So, she alternated between helping in the kitchen and waiting tables all throughout the day.

Around seven o’clock, she was absolutely exhausted. Mallory, who had arrived to the restaurant not long before, surprisingly offered to take over the restaurant so she could go home and rest. She reluctantly accepted the offer. However, on her way out the door, she discovered why her baby brother was so eager to take over as acting manager for the rest of the evening as a group of seven beautiful dark-skinned women sauntered into the restaurant lobby and told the evening shift receptionists that they were friends of Mallory who had a special table reserved for them. Sugar was too tired to go back and chew Mallory out for being sneaky, so she made note to do so the next day.

After suffering through nearly an hour of rush hour traffic, she finally managed to make it home not too long after eight o’clock. She plucked off her high heels before drudging her sore feet into the kitchen to retrieve a bottle of Moscato from the fridge. She uncorked the bottle with a corkscrew and pondered on whether to get a wine glass or drink straight from the bottle. Being too lazy, she decided on the latter.

As she journeyed to her bedroom, she took deep sips of the crisp bubbly dessert wine before she put the bottle down onto the nightstand and stripped down to her bare skin. She rummaged through her closet for an extra-large royal purple graphic t-shirt with a design of a white wolf on it. She went over to her dresser to fish for a pair of sherbet orange cotton panties and slipped them on. She had tamed and styled her hair back into a bun before returning to work, so she wrapped it in a purple and lime green silk scarf to keep it fresh and intact.

Finally, she plopped back down onto the bed and reached for the wine bottle, taking another gulp.

The sound of muffled chimes filled the air along with a vibrating sound as her cell announced an incoming text message while it was hidden inside the belly of her purse. She retrieved it and read the message.

Maybe Answer: Back to working hard, I see. Saw your car in the parking lot when I was driving by earlier.

Sugar: You were just driving by? I’m impressed that you didn’t come in to finally check out the competition’s menu.

Maybe Answer: Oh, I was very tempted, but what I want ain’t on the menu.

Sugar: And what do you want that’s not on the menu?

Maybe Answer: Every single inch of you.

Sugar had been in the middle of sipping more wine when she got that text message and nearly choked. She coughed a little and cleared her throat as she recovered. Her body was thoroughly heated and she didn’t have a fever to blame now. Deciding to change the subject, she typed him a text asking what he was up to.

Maybe Answer: Home. Bed. Comfortable.

She smiled at his answer. Her head a little lightheaded from the wine and her willpower was loosening because of it. She typed back jokingly.

Sugar: So, what kind of PJs do men like you wear to bed? LOL

A few moments passed.

Maybe Answer: (photo attachment)

Sugar widened her eyes at the photo he had sent her. It was a tilted wide shot of his tattooed body as he rested in his bed. He was no doubt naked, but his navy-hued bedsheet rested dangerously low on his hips, revealing a yummy treasure trail that was begging to be kissed and licked. He grinned sexily up at his camera, his spare arm tucked behind his head. The picture looked like an invitation to do something naughty and fun and she was aching to take him up on it.

Maybe Answer: Take a guess, honey.

She chewed hard on her bottom lip as she drunk in the photo while she took a deeper gulp. She put the bottle down and sent him another message.

Sugar: Nice…

Suddenly, her phone vibrated and rung simultaneously as an incoming call came in. It was him.

“Yes?” She very surprised at how well she managed to answer in a calm voice.

“Just nice, huh?”

She smiled, holding back a giggle. “There you go trying to fish for compliments again.”

“You’ve said your piece about me. Now, I wanna see how nice you look tonight,” Chef said.

“Sorry to break it to you, but I look absolutely terrible,” she returned as an attempt to discourage him from asking what she knew he was going to ask.

“I think that’s for me to decide,” he stated. “Now go on and send me a pic.”

Sugar scoffed. “You’re bossy tonight.”

Please, send me a pic,” he corrected in a huskier tone that washed over her like hot water. She closed her eyes and bathed in the sound.

“Fine.” She gave in, hanging up the phone.

She situated herself onto the bed and angled her phone above her. A bashful woman biting her bottom lip filled up the cellphone screen. She snapped the picture and analyzed its flaws for a long moment, contemplating on whether to retake a picture or send it as is. She sighed heavily and sent it to him. Her heart pounded in her chest as she waited for him to response—to react.

After about five minutes, her phone rang again.

“Wow, that took a long time,” she answered the phone teasingly. “Did you have to cleanse your eyeballs after witnessing such a horror?”

“A man has to take time to truly appreciate beauty.”

She laughed a little in a bashful way, but felt odd about the compliment. Though Chef freely dished them out to her, sometimes, she felt like they were nothing more than lies. Coming from a marriage where she was consistently referred and treated as unattractive, it had become a habit of hers to determine the pure worth of Chef’s compliments as truthful or false.

“You look real comfortable over there. More than tempted to climb out of my bed and make my way to yours,” he said.

She teased. “In your birthday suit?”

“Mm, if that’s what you want,” he chuckled.

“That would be,” she paused, “interesting.”

“Just interestin’, huh?”

Sugar rolled her eyes, a smile spreading across her lips. “Yes, just interesting.”

“Well, since we’re on the topic of interestin’ things. Would you be interested in accompanyin’ me to a boxin’ match next Friday?”

Sugar bit her bottom lip, a strange ripple of anticipation vibrated through her at the prospect of witnessing him dominate a boxing ring.

“So, you want me to watch you get beat up and lose, huh?”

“I’ll no doubt get a little banged up, but I ain’t gonna lose,” he assured.

She arched an eyebrow at his confidence. “How are you so sure that you’re gonna win? Is it one of those stacked matches you were telling me about?”

“No, not a stacked match. I don’t partake in scams. I fight fair and square. This upcomin’ match, however, I ain’t got no choice but to win,” Chef replied, a smile in his voice. “How else am I gonna impress you?”

Sugar tossed her head back to let out a pure burst of laughter. “You’re too much for me.”

“And you’re just enough for me,” he returned, the color of his voice darkening. “So, will you come?”

Her breath hitched softly. “Well, I’m not sure...I can’t always trust my brother to manage the restaurant.”

“Can you trust him for this one night?”

Sugar cocked her head. “Well, it depends. What’s in it for me exactly?”

Chef chuckled slightly. It was low and rumbly. The sound of it made her shiver.

“Do you have somethin’ in mind?”

“It wouldn’t be much fun if I told you, now would it? You’re a very intelligent and creative man. I’m sure you can think of something,” she encouraged.

“Hm,” Chef trailed off pensively. “I have an old friend who owns a private yacht charter business. So, how does 'cruising down the river at sunset while we enjoy a dinner, champagne and each other' sound?”

Sugar closed her eyes, her mind vividly painting a scene of a romantic dinner date on a private yacht against gorgeous sunset. She melted at the thought for a few moments too late, but snapped out of it when she realized that broke one of her rules.

“That sounds very romantic,” she said, clearing her throat, “which is very much against what we agreed upon.”

“Luckily, I have a Plan B that doesn’t break any of your rules,” he paused, “though I do hope you reconsider the yacht dinner. I think we’d enjoy ourselves.”

She bit her bottom lip for a moment. “I’ll think about it, but don’t get your hopes up. Now, what’s your next proposition?”

“After the match, I’ll take you back to my home. I’ll crack open a beer for me. Uncork a bottle of wine for you. We’ll drink and chat in the livin’ room then I’ll ask you to spend the night. You’ll say yes,” he described blow-by-blow, his baritone timbre becoming smokier and every single word he spoke made her heat up more and more. “We’ll go to my bedroom. I’ll peel off every stitch of clothin’ you got on real slow ‘cause I like to take my time. You can help me take off mine too or you can lay on my bed watchin’ me undress while I watch you right back; while I’m thinkin’ I gotta be the luckiest man alive to have a goddess like that in my bed. How is my proposition soundin’ so far, Sugar?”

Sugar breathed out shakily, “It’s alright.”

Her hand slid down the length of her body, but stopped just below her bellybutton.

He chuckled sexily before he continued, “Would it be alright if I joined you in bed next then? Would it be alright if we took our time kissin’ and explorin’ each other’s bodies?”

“That’s fine,” she gulped, inching her hand closer towards the hemline of her extra-large purple shirt.

There was a smile in his voice again. “Then that’s what we’ll do then. I want to see and touch all of you and I want you to see and touch all of me. Then I’ll make my way down your beautiful body to taste that sweet pussy of yours so I can make you cum again on my tongue since we were interrupted the last time. Would you like that?”

“Mm hm,” she hummed longingly as she lifted her shirt to slip her fingers into her panties. She squeezed her eyes shut as she brushed her fingers against her swelling clit.

“I want to taste you too,” she admitted in a breathy whisper as she sunk two fingers into her pussy.

There was a moment of silence. “Is that so?”

She nodded her head, not realizing that he couldn’t see it.

“Are you thinkin’ about suckin’ my dick while pleasin’ yourself right now, Sugar?”

She stilled her thrusting fingers as his accurate prediction, but she couldn’t bring herself to say anything. The question made her burn with shame for being caught red-handed.

“No need to be shy, baby. I ain’t gonna judge,” Chef assured huskily. “Are you usin’ that toy you got for your birthday?”

“No,” she confessed.

“You should,” he encouraged darkly. “Have you ever used one before?”

“No,” she confessed again, her voice raspier than before.

Chef then said, “You work so hard, Sugar. You should treat yourself to a good orgasm. Shame I can’t be there to help. To watch.”

Sugar pulled her fingers from her panties and reached over to her nightstand, sliding out its drawer. Inside the drawer was the rabbit vibrator. Pulling the phone down for a moment, she slipped her orange panties down her legs and flung them to the floor before she reached for the rabbit vibrator. She stared at it curiously as she returned her phone to her ear. She gazed at the toy’s embedded control panel near its base and pressed the power button. The toy vibrated wildly in her hand and she stared at it in shock, clicking the power button to turn it off.

Chef questioned with a pinch of amusal, “Test run?”

Sugar pursed her lips, annoyed that he knew her too well throughout knowing much about her at all.

She said nothing as she attempted to settle comfortably on the bed. She glided the silicone shaft up and down her wet slit before she pulled it inside, the toy’s ‘rabbit ears’ nestled perfectly on her clit. She gasped at the unfamiliar but delicious sensation of having her clit pressed into while her pussy was filled up. She pressed the power button again and gasped once more much louder as the powerful vibrations hummed into her.

“Oh, god,” she moaned, arching her hips off the bed.

“That’s right, Sugar,” Chef coaxed in her ear from the other end of the line. “Enjoy yourself. You deserve it.”

She thrusted the toy in and out of her. Sounds of pleasure tumbled from her lips while Chef took it upon himself to continue telling the rest of his plan for next Friday.

“You’ll be on top of me, bouncin’ on my cock. Showin’ me exactly how you want to fuck. Settin’ the pace and the rhythm. Usin’ me until you cum on my cock. Would you like that, Sugar?”

“Yes,” she moaned.

“I knew you would,” he said. “You know exactly what you want. That’s what I love about you, honey. You and me are perfect for each other.”

She moaned agreement, plunging the vibrating toy in and out of her faster and harder as her ‘deserved’ orgasm steadily approached.

“I only wanna make you happy, Sugar,” he said. “The question is will you let me?”

She cried out, “Yes, I will.”

A mischievousness wormed its way into his words. “And you’ll let me have complete control over how I’m goin’ make you happy?”

“Yes, Chef, yes!” She was so close.

So, so close.

“Cum for me, Sugar. I wanna hear you scream my name.”

She obeyed him, screaming his real name as she came. Soon, she laid in bed weak, sated, and out of breath. She slipped the vibrator out of her and turned it off, dropping it somewhere beside her on the bed.

“,” she panted.

“Into screamin’ my name? I accept full responsibility, but I have no regrets. You have the sweetest scream I’ve ever heard. I want to hear it over and over again.”

She shuddered at his words before she got herself together. “No, I mean you tricking me to giving you ‘complete control’ over how you’re going to make me happy.”

A rumbly chuckle caressed her ear canal for a moment. “I accept full responsibility for that too.”

“That’s foul, Chef.” Sugar frowned.

“You’re gonna take back your promise then?”

She clenched her jaw as she thought about it. Obviously, he had something up his sleeve and she was curious to see what he had in store. The fact of the matter she knew for certain that her heart was closed for business. He knew that, but he wanted to try romantic things that dwelled beyond the boundaries of her original conditions, then the only one who would end up hurt would be only him if she entertained the thought and walked away.

For the time being, she would indulge him for the simple fact that he was intoxicating. When she was around him, she felt lightheaded, drunk, and utterly warm.

The way he looked at her.

The way he touched her.

The way he treated her.

She was unable to deny that Miles Thibodeau was the realest man she had ever met. He was comfortable in his own skin. Their lives mirrored in many ways. Both were divorced from estranged ex-spouses. Both suffered through tragedies involving children. Sugar had never stepped foot in the military, she and her siblings grew up as military brats of a Marine father. She witnessed the challenges that Marines—soldiers in general—endured for the sake of their country. Though she knew very little of Chef’s military background aside from what her mother shallowly told her, she still respected him for his service. On top of all that, he was incredibly handsome with a mature swagger that was unavoidable. And his thick Louisianan accent was like a plump raspberry atop of a yummy cheesecake drizzled in white chocolate.

All these things about him made her want to stick around, but she had to remind herself—and him—that she wanted adventurous fun out in the world and physical fun in the bedroom. Nothing more, nothing less.

“No,” she decided. “I won’t take back my promise, but I need to think of a good punishment for your trickery.”

“Oh, I look forward to it,” he returned.

She cocked her head as she laid amongst her pillows.

“Were you turned on at all while I,” she trailed off.

“Were? Still am,” he corrected.

Sugar blinked in surprise, but thoroughly aroused again. “Oh, I…see.”

Damn, she wanted to see.

“Do you want to see?”

Sugar exhaled through her nostrils in frustration at the fact that it felt like he had tapped inside of her mind and read her intimate thoughts all throughout the night.

“If you want to show it to me, I won’t stop you.” She attempted to be nonchalant.

The phone call ended abruptly.

In the meanwhile, Sugar went got the sex toy and went to the bathroom to wash it in the sink. She hated to admit it, but Odette did buy the best birthday gift. However, Sugar was still a little grossed out that her baby sister took the time out of her day to go to a sex shop somewhere in the city and browse through the erotic-filled aisles in search of the “perfect” birthday girl for her “sex-depraved” big sister.

Shaking her head at the thought, she dried off the toy with a hand towel and returned it back to its new home: the inside of her nightstand drawer. After closing the drawer shut, she plopped down onto the bed and picked up her cell. Her eyebrows rose as she realized that she had gotten a text notification that Chef sent her a message around the time she was busily washing the sex in her bathroom sink. She must not have heard it the notification sounds over the rushing faucet water.

Clicking to the string of text message exchanges between the two of them, her jaw dropped and her eyes grew quite large at his latest message.

It was a photo of his long thick very erect cock lying on his defined belly.

“Geez,” she gasped as she ogled the picture.

She reached for the neglected bottle of wine she had left on the nightstand and took three deep, deep, deep gulps.

She didn’t need to be up close and personal to know that Chef was very well-endowed compared to the only other man she knew in that kind of way: her ex-husband, Lance. She had never been one for being a critic of a man’s ‘size’ because Lance was her first and only during all eighteen years of marriage as well as up to this very moment. She knew Lance was on the smaller end of the scale because he often kept slipping out of her when they were intimate with each other. Because she loved him and wanted him to please him, she researched positions to ‘accommodate’ his size after a few years, but he only liked two positions, missionary and doggy, and he refused to compromise. Over time, she realized that it was futile to try different things with Lance. He liked what he liked and he refused to budge.

She nearly jumped out of her skin as Chef called her back.

“Did you have to cleanse your eyeballs after witnessing such a horror?” He repeated the same question she teasingly asked him earlier, but his timbre had very little humor to it.

“No, but I did have to drink some wine to help me process,” she admitted, placing the bottle back onto the nightstand.

“Too much?”

“Wine? No,” she said, shaking her head.

“Not wine. The picture, honey,” he clarified. “Was it too much?”

Sugar chewed on her bottom lip for a moment. “You mean the context of the picture or the size of the, um, thing within the picture?”

He chuckled out a low, rich sound. “Answer both.” 

“Well, it’s a very, uh, compelling picture. I’ve never gotten one like it before, so it definitely sets the standard,” she answered nervously, “and as for the latter question…well, it’s, um, wow.”

“Is it safe to say that ‘it’ meets your approval?”

Sugar then blurted out, “Well, I would have to see it face-to-face for an accurate rating of my appro—oh, my god. I can’t believe I just said that.”

She slapped her hand over her mouth, absolutely mortified. The wine was going straight to her head and making her lips feel loose.

“Don’t be ashamed, Sugar. We’re grown adults. No need to hide what you want to say. You know I don’t hold back.”

Boy, did she!

“I’ll work on it,” she assured.

“Good,” he said.

“I should probably hang up the phone now, so you can handle your, um,” she paused, raking her brain for a proper word, “business.”

He teased throatily, “Thanks for bein’ so considerate.”

“I aim to please,” she returned.

“I look forward to see that face-to-face,” he countered.

Sugar rolled her eyes, unable to hold back her smile. “Good night, Chef.”

“Sweet dreams, Sugar.”

After the call ended, Sugar was too restless to sleep. She turned off her bedroom lights and switched on her television with the help of her remote control, switching through the channels.

She came across an intimate scene in an NC-17 rated movie on a premium network you can only find deep side your satellite dish listings. It was between a trucker and housewife-turned-hitchhiker. They stumbled clumsily into a cheap motel room, kissing each other hungrily while yanking off articles of clothing. The two strangers made love to each other desperately. Sugar sat up against her pillows and headboard, drinking from her bottle of wine completely enthralled by the lengthy erotic scene. When the two lovers laid tangled in bedsheets in engaged in playful tired pillow talk, Sugar had reached the bottom of the bottle.

Sighing heavily, she put the empty bottle on her nightstand and slithered underneath her bed covers. Turning off the television, she laid there in the dark lost in thought over Chef, what occurred tonight, and what would potentially occur next Friday.

Sugar reached for her phone and unlocked it, navigating to her text conversations with Chef, her eyes immediately falling upon the very last thing he sent her. She smiled eagerly at the photo.

She had repeatedly learned the hard way that Chef was mischievous, but next Friday he was going to get a taste of his own medicine.

She plugged up her cell to its wall charger and snuggled comfortably into her bed.

Chef wished her sweet dreams and after her eyelids closed, her mind swam with plenty.

All of them revolved around revenge.

End Notes:

This chapter was so much fun to write! Who knew a phone conversation could be so eventful. They were actin' like youngsters tonight, but they're still grown folk all day long, LOL. Now that pic Chef sent wasn't supposed to be apart of the orginial chapter, but the opportunity was too good to pass up, ya'll. Plus, Chef tricked her into letting him give her some romance. She think she's gonna stay on top of it and keep her heart out of it, but once again, she'll learn the hard way.

I am not sure if the next chapter will center around the Hartwell girls interrogating the official details about Chef OR the Friday date night between Chef and Sugar. I'm curious about your opinions. Either way, Sugar is going to bump into someone. ;) 

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Pre-planning week starts tomorrow, so I am officially back to work. However, I would really like to update Save Me From Myself and potentially, Baby, It's Cold Outside before the end of the week. I did manage to update two stories this weekend. So that is progress, LOL.

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James

Hot Affair by Missus James
Author's Notes:

June 9, 2017

Sugar goes on her date with Chef.

Mood Music: Special Affair by The Internet

When Mallory sauntered into Sugar’s office announced, she didn’t pay him any mind as she was in the middle of working on the schedule for the week after next like she always did on Fridays. There were some changes that needed to be made. Two waiters wanted to switch shifts. One of her kitchen staff was taking an entire week off for a family reunion in Chicago. One of her evening receptionists now needed Mondays and Wednesday evenings off after deciding to go back to college. Scheduling was like putting mismatched pieces together to make a functioning puzzle. A task, in which, was very time consuming.

However, then Mallory did something surprisingly uncharacteristic by shutting the office door, which caused Sugar to lift her attention from the computer screen and arch an eyebrow at him for a moment. Her baby brother never shut the door by his own accord. Sugar always had to demand it from him and even then, there was no guarantee that he’d do it. She studiously eyed him for a moment, attempting to pinpoint any telltale signs of illness or alien abduction, but Mallory seemed like his normal pestering self so she went back to her original task.

He plopped down in one of the cushioned chairs in front of her office desk, leaned back comfortably, stretched his legs out, and intertwined his fingers, twiddling his thumbs. He gazed at her with a cheesy grin spread wide across his face. It was a grin she knew all too well. It was a perfect warning to her that Mallory had some juicy information about someone somewhere. He had always had that goofy grin on his face since he was a child when he discovered something that was probably none of his business. As a child, he snuck into Odette’s room to read her diary often, blackmailed Rochelle into doing his chores after he caught her sneaking out of the house to make out with some boy down the block, and he secretly picked up a phone somewhere in the house to listen in on Sugar’s phone conversations to her then-boyfriend Lance.

“Weren’t you supposed to leave an hour ago,” he asked, cocking his head to the side.

She was supposed to leave an hour and a half ago, but in between bringing different employees into her office and calling others from her phone to ask if they were willing to do different shifts, she had barely put a dent into creating a suitable schedule.

“I really need to finish this schedule,” Sugar answered.

She smoothly added, “Plus, I have plenty of time.”

That was a big fat lie.

Sugar had very little time to get ready for her thing with Chef. Yes, thing. It wasn’t a date. Labeling it as a date meant that she was potentially interested in future of dating him. She wasn’t. So, she labeled her outing with him as a thing—a very complicated thing.

Mallory untangled his fingers and reached into his pants pocket to pull out his cell. “What did you say you were doing tonight? I forgot.”

“I never said.”

“Hm,” Mallory hummed as he surfed through his phone before he said, “it must be mighty important for you to want to take off early on one of the busiest nights of the week.”

Sugar closed her eyes and sighed, slightly annoyed. “Is there a point to this conversation, Lory? If not, please go somewhere and make yourself useful.”

His goofy smile widened by a mile.

“The point is I know about your boyfriend, Shug,” he admitted calmly as if he had known about it for a while.

Sugar blinked in surprise for a moment at the allegation, but quickly recovered.

“I don’t have a boyfriend,” she assured.

It wasn’t a lie.

“Really?” Mallory lifted an eyebrow before he leaned forward, sliding his cell across the desk for her to take. “Then pray tell who is this?”

Sugar pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes at her baby brother, exhaling through her nostrils in frustration at his annoying presence as she picked up the offered device. The Friendb00k app was open with a someone’s profile plastered on the cell’s lit screen.

Her eyes slowly widened as she stared at a picture of said profile’s owner. It was an older picture having mostly been scanned and uploaded onto a computer. It was a bright summer day at a busy amusement park. A twenty-something-year-old Chef with an adorable toddler girl with the most infectious smile propped on his shoulders. The little girl had bone straight black girl with a blunt bang and wore an iconic Minnie Mouse ear headband. She could see tiny pieces of Chef in the toddler’s face and immediately realized that it was his daughter.

A pang of pain clenched her heart as she reminded herself that the girl in that photo was now dead. Unable to look at the photo, her eyes scanned Chef’s profile details.

Name: Miles Thibodeau

Age: 46 (11/8)

Occupation: Proud ex-Marine, owner of the Salty Marine

Relationship Status: Taken (last updated by user 5/26/17)

Her eyebrows scrunched together as she read his relationship status, focusing on the date in which he updated said status. Why in the hell did he put that he was taken? If he was taken, she surely wasn’t the one who took him. Why did he update that status on the very night he invited her to the Jazzmyne Garden Club? She couldn’t recall any indication she might have given him to assume such a thing so he could trot back home and change his relationship status to taken. On her profile page, her status was single!

However, Chef’s relationship status was the least of Sugar’s concerns now. Her nosy baby brother knew she had a thing with someone. There were only five women knew about it, but she didn’t think any of them would blab about it!

Sugar clenched her jaw. “Was it Odette that told you?”

Out of all the Hartwell siblings, Mallory had a strong bond to Odette. They were the babies of the group with Odette coming in at thirty-three and Mallory was twenty-nine. They were the last ones to leave the Hartwell household long after Sullivan, Sugar, and Rochelle moved out to begin their adult lives in the world. Therefore, it made sense that Odette would tell Mallory about what happened.


Sugar frowned. “What?”

“It wasn’t Ettie,” Mallory admitted.

She tossed out a far-fetched guess. “Rochelle?”

“Uh-uh,” Mallory replied, shaking his head.

She took an even wilder guess. “Katrina?”

Her baby brother gave her a ‘be serious, sis’ look. They both knew Katrina would take a secret to the grave.

“Then who?”


Sugar jerked her head back slightly in shock, her face twisting in confusion. “Why would Helena tell you? As a matter of fact, why are you two even talking to each other?”

She would’ve never thought Mallory and Odette’s sister-in-law were that close. It was logical to assume that they were on friendly terms considering their familial relation to Odette, but Sugar would’ve never thought they were close enough to tell other folks’ secrets like they were schoolgirls at a slumber party.

“Me and Helena kick it at a club every sometimes,” Mallory admitted.

Of course, ya’ll do, Sugar thought sarcastically.

The two loved all that clubbing nonsense. 

Sugar closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. “Please, don’t tell me that Helena is one of your little girlfriends, Lory. Please, tell me you got some common sense.”

“It’s not like that, Shug. We just chill, sip, and dance a little.”

She let out a disgusted gag as she knew exactly what it was like to watch Helena ‘dance a little’. That girl twerked, gyrated, and grinded on the dancefloor like she was in video vixen in a 2002 hip-hop video.

“It’s harmless fun,” Mallory assured with a roll of his eyes. “Helena’s cool to be around, but she’s too wild for me. Though once she settle herself down a bit, mayb—“

Sugar clamped her hands over her ears and chanted desperately, “Lalala! Can’t hear you.”

The very last thing she needed was to visualize Mallory and Helena together in that way. She shuddered in disgust.

Mallory closed his mouth, shaking his head slowly at her.

Sugar dropped her hands. “I don’t want or need to know that.”

“When she starts sipping on that Patron, she can’t hold water on a rainy day. I only asked her about that girls night was since I knew you got sick and couldn’t go. I didn’t think she’d tell me about you getting caught red-handed with your boyfriend.”

“He’s not my boyfriend!”

Mallory sighed heavily, unconvinced. “Then what is he then, Shug?”

“He’s just a friend, Lory. Nothing more, nothing less.”

He gave her a ‘yeah right’ look.

“Look, I ain’t gay or anything, but from ole dude’s pictures on that profile, he got that sexy dark mysterious shit going on with all the muscles and tattoos. No grown woman in her right mind would have him as just a friend, Shug,” Mallory said. “They’d climb on ole dude like a damn jungle gym and do acrobatic shit on his di—“

Immediately, Sugar cut him off. “We’re friends and nothing more, Mallory.”

“But you’re going on a date with him tonight?”

“It’s not a date. It’s just a…friendly meet-up.”

A friendly meet-up that—ten times out of nine—was going to end with her in his bed.

“Well, friend or boyfriend,” Mallory said. “I’m happy for you, Shug. Helena said he’s a cool dude. You deserve some fun, some happiness. There’s no need to be sneaking around everybody’s backs about this except for maybe…”

They shot each other a knowing look and said in unison, “Sully.”

“He can’t know, Lory,” Sugar urged, pointing a finger at him in warning.

Mallory lifted his hands up in defense. “I’m staying out of that one. I’ll cross state lines if I need to when that mess goes down, but videotape it for me, so I can put it on YouTube. I need to get some more followers.”

Sugar gave him an unimpressed look. “I need to get back to work, Lory.”

“You don’t have to do everything, Shug. You’re not Superwoman. I’ll be more than happy to do the schedule myself. I’ve watched you enough to know what to do.”

She bit her bottom lip, shifting hesitant glances between her computer and her baby brother. “Are you sure you can do it, Lory?”

“Absolutely positive,” he assured with a confident grin.

Sugar shot up from her office chair and grabbed her purse hurriedly. “I really, really appreciate it. After you finish the schedule, I need you to—“

“Text it to all the employees,” he finished for her, widening his grin. “Contrary to popular belief, I’m not just a handsome face.”

For once, she actually felt comfortable leaving Mallory in charge of her restaurant, but she still needed to lay down some ground rules. “Do not, I repeat, do not bring your little herd of girlfriends here anymore if you’re gonna give them free desserts and free cocktails until closing, Lory. My restaurant isn’t an all-you-can-eat buffet.”

He defended, “It was for a good cause, Shug. One of the ladies was celebrating her divorce. I was donating on behalf of Sugar Mama to the good cause.” ”

“Well, the only way to donate to a good cause is by giving money. So, I docked your generous donation from your paycheck,” she informed him with a bright smile while his grin diminished from his lips. “Don’t screw with my money and I won’t screw with yours, Lory. Got it?”

Mallory exhaled through his nostrils, annoyed. “Got it.”

“Good,” she said as she rounded her desk and moved towards the door in rushed steps. “I’ll try to call you later tonight.”

“If ole dude doing what he’s supposed to, you won’t be calling at all,” Mallory said in a low grumbly tone that Sugar didn’t hear as she hurried out the door and down the hallway.

She attempted to avoid freeway rush hour traffic by taking the city streets, but she always growled in frustration at getting caught at a red lights and heavy pockets of traffic. However, she did make it home about fifteen minutes sooner than if she had taken the freeway.

She slid her car into the garage and closed the garage door with a quick press of a button before she hopped out of her car and ran into the depths of her house. She quickly peeled off her dress and kicked off her high heels as she made her way to her master bathroom to turn on the shower. She smelled like work: chocolate, cinnamon, and cookie batter. She wanted to smell like a woman, not her restaurant kitchen. She hopped into the shower as the icy water transitioned into a bearable lukewarm temperature in the loosest sense. It took a minute or two for the water to heat up, but by then, she washed herself vigorously and hurriedly with mango-scented body wash. She finished showering in a record time of six minutes. An impressive feat for a woman who showered typically for thirty minutes or longer.

She hopped out of the shower and toweled herself off quickly before she sat down on her bed to lotion herself. Once she was finished, she scurried over to her dresser to retrieve sheer pink lingerie that she had bought earlier in the week specifically for tonight. She enjoyed getting a heated reaction out of Chef. How he looked at her in those moments always warmed her up and made her soaking wet.

After slipping the bra-panty set on, she moved over to the closet and searched through a mountain of stacked shoe boxes for a pair of five-inch chunky-heeled black leather boots. She called them her “spunky” boots. A few years back when one of Lance’s old college buddies had their thirtieth biker-themed surprise birthday party. She painstakingly bought an entire outfit to fit the theme, dolled herself up to look like a chic biker chick, and went to the party, which was a dingy bar. Lance was tasked with the responsibility of deceiving the birthday boy by occupied throughout the day before leading the clueless man into the bar.

The moment Lance laid eyes upon her at the party, he had an absolute fit. According to him, her “spunky” boots were “whore” boots. She didn’t look like a chic biker chick. She looked like a whore that hung out around a biker bar. His comments hurt her terribly even though nearly every single person at the party showered her in compliments and told Lance that he was a lucky man to have her. Back then, she was dumb enough to convince herself that Lance wasn’t the lucky one, she was.

Now, she knew her true worth.

After finishing her boots with a relieved sigh, she escaped the closet with the shoe box and tossed it onto the bed before she resumed the task of getting dressed.

She shimmed into cuffed denim shorts she had borrowed from Helena that fitted her nicely. She slipped on plain tuba socks on her feet before yanking on her spunky boots. She put on a soft pink-and-white striped halter midriff top. She shrugged on an old leather jacket that she used to wear when she first dated motorcycle-riding Lance before rushing to the bathroom. She managed to apply a touch of makeup, but she painted her lips with matte black lipstick.

Then the doorbell echoed throughout the house and her heart stopped.

“Stick to the plan, Sugar,” she told herself in the mirror after taking a deep breath to still her nerves. “No emotions, no romance, just pure fun.”

Making her way to the front door, she unlocked it and opened it slowly.

She opened her mouth to speak, but the words died in her throat as she drunk in the sight of him drinking in the sight of her. His gray eyes started from her spunky boots, traveling up her bare calves and thighs, her shorts that accented her womanly curves and ass, the few inches of bare belly that the pink midriff top allotted, and then her face. He bit on his bottom lip and cocked his head slightly as he swept his eyes over her once more, much slower the second time around—more appreciatively.

Being trapped by his intense gaze was equivalent to having a hot bucket of water dumped over her head.

“Good evening,” she finally said.

“Evenin’,” he returned, slight grin at his lips.

A lengthy moment of silence lingered between them as they stared at each other. A pair of brown eyes glistened with anxiousness while a pair of stormy gray eyes brewed with tempting certainty. She nervously tucked a piece of hair behind her ear. She had given her signature bun a day off and now her hair was loose about her shoulders in wavy curls.

She stepped onto the porch, shutting the door behind her. She reached into her purse to get to her keys, but her fingers lost their grip and they fell to the ground with a jingle, landing at her feet.

Sugar started to bend at the waist to retrieve them, but Chef’s voice made her stop.

“Allow me,” he said, his grin widening a margin more as he squat down to get the recover the fallen keys. He gazed up at her and jiggled the keys a little with playful intent before he rose back up, somehow someway incredibly closer to her than he was before.

“Are you always such a gentleman,” Sugar teased as he handed the keys back to her.

“My grandmama and granddaddy raised me right,” he answered. “It’s a part of who I am.”

She arched an eyebrow at his comment, questions filling her mind. What happened to his parents? Did his parents die when he was young? What was his childhood like in Louisiana? What were his grandparents like? Did he have any other family? Reid had asked him if he had a brother and he said no, but did he have a sister out there somewhere?

“They did a fine job,” she complimented.

“I’m glad you approve,” he said with a slight chuckle.

Sugar turned around to lock the front door. After sliding the key into the key, she froze as she felt Chef’s head dip down and bury his nose into her hair, inhaling deep.

“Mm, you smell good enough to eat,” he said. “Mango?”

She closed her eyes, shuddering.

“Mm hm,” she hummed.

“I like it,” he said huskily.

She gulped, “I’m glad you approve.”

He let out a short but rumbly chuckle at her answer that she had stolen from him. “I gotta be honest with you, Sugar. I’m very mad at you.”

His voice didn’t indicate any sign of anger or displeasure, but after being in an eighteen-year marriage with a man who was volatile but knew how to contain his anger towards her quite well out the world while laughing and smiling charmingly, Sugar immediately became worried. 

Sugar opened her eyes, blinking in confusion. “W-what? Why?”

“I don’t know how you expect me to keep my hands to myself all night while you look so perfect.”

Immediately, her worry melted away and a heavy spike of arousal took its place.

“Who says you have to,” she asked, finally locking the door with a twist of a key. Slipping the key out, she turned to face him again.

Chef arched an eyebrow. “You givin’ me permission then?”

She smiled teasingly. “I thought I already gave you permission on the phone.”

“You sure did, didn’t you,” he replied, his grin widening even more but there was a smug sexiness to it this time around that made her knees weak. She could see his playful mischievousness dancing in his gray eyes.

He leaned his head down a few inches, his face hovering over hers.

In that moment, she thought he was going to kiss her.

She thought he was going to let her experience their first proper kiss.

“We best be on our way before we’re late,” he then said, backing away from her.

Disappointment was a bucket of cold water on her head at the lost opportunity, but she nodded her head as if she agreed with him and took a step forward to leave. However, he grabbed a hold of her hand, which caught her off-guard. Like a gentleman, he escorted her to his Mustang and opened the front passenger door for her.

“Ladies first,” he said, gesturing to the inside of the vehicle.

He helped her inside the Mustang, her hand still in his. Before he let her hand go to close the door, he kissed the back of it and winked at her. She closed her eyes, biting back a sigh. Her heart throbbed violently in her chest as she watched him round the front of the car and slip into the driver’s seat. Soon, the Mustang revved to life and he backed it out of her driveway.

Halfway down the street, his heavy calloused hand found its way to her left knee and cupped it as he stroked back and forth. Goosebumps prickled onto her skin and heat spread across her flesh like wildfire.

She looked over at him.

His attention was locked on the road ahead, but deep down, she knew he was watching her.

A question now burned at the tip of her tongue. “Why didn’t you kiss me at the front door?”

There was a moment of silence. He cocked his head briefly, a thoughtful expression on his face.

“I thought about it,” he admitted.

“I saw you thinking about it,” she returned, “but you didn’t. Why?”

“’Cause if I kissed you, Sugar, I don’t think I would’ve been able to stop myself. Control myself. I would’ve unlocked that damn door myself and carried you back inside, so I can have you all to myself,” he replied, his eyes snapped to hers as he uttered the last word in his statement, his hand inched a little higher.

Breath hitched in her throat before she gulped.

She then said softly, “That would’ve been…interesting.”

“The thought of me makin’ love to you is only interestin’?” There was a pinch of amusal in his voice.

“First off, it wouldn’t be making love. It would be just sex,” she corrected him. “And secondly, yes, it would’ve been very, um…interesting.”

He chuckled for a moment, shaking his head but said nothing.

Deciding to change the subject, she then said, “My younger brother knows about you.”

He arched an eyebrow. “You told him?”

“No, Helena did,” Sugar snorted, rolling her eyes. “He even found your Friendb00k profile and showed me it.”

“And what did you think about it?”

“It was,” she trailed off, searching for a word.

Interesting,” they both said in eerily unison. She shot him a glare and he shot her back a playful grin.

“There was one thing that stood out to me,” she admitted.

“And what was that?”

“Your relationship status,” she answered. “Apparently, you changed your relationship status to taken on the very night you invited me to that jazz club. Care to explain?”

“I am taken,” he replied.

Sugar blinked. “By who?”

“By you, Sugar Magnolia Wallace.”

“We’re not in a relationship, Miles Thibodeau. We have a thing.”

He arched an eyebrow once more. “A thang?”

“Yes, a thing.”

Chef grew quiet for a moment.

“Fine, we have a thang,” he said, his southern voice emphasizing the final word. “Therefore, my relationship status is still accurate.”

Sugar’s brows scrunched. “What? How?”

“Like you said, there’s a thing goin’ on between us. That night at the jazz club you promised me that I’d be the only man in your life and you know that you’re the only woman in mine. Therefore, I’m taken by you as you are by me.”

Sugar opened her mouth to speak, but she didn’t know what to say.

There was undeniable logic to his reasoning, which allowed her to see the flaws of their agreement—of her conditions.

“I suppose in a way,” she trailed off.

As the Mustang eased to a full stop at a red traffic light, then she added matter-of-factly, “For the time being, of course.”

Chef looked over to her with an unreadable expression claiming every inch of his face, but his eyes burned into hers. She shuddered at how he stared at her. For some odd reason, she felt as if there was an unspoken challenge simmering in his gray depths.

In that moment, she realized her words sounded like a threat to a man such as him.

Her heart raced in her chest and she could hear the drumming of her heartbeat in her ears against the terrible silence that loomed into the car.

She cut her eyes away from him, pretending to be interested in the world that thrived outside the confinements of the car. His hand, however, was still on her thigh. A constant reminder of his dominant presence. Soon, the light changed green and the car was set into motion again. She watched the city bathed in night slither by her window, noting familiar street names and various landmarks that gave her a telltale sign of what side of town he was driving to.

The Docks.

They drove through grim streets of the Docks. As they passed side streets, Sugar could see bits and pieces of the river from a few blocks away. Eventually, they drove down a street and turned into a loading area behind a boarded-up warehouse that looked like it had better years. There were lots and lots of cars parked all over the place. There were people of all kinds migrating towards a rusted entrance door elevated on a set of concrete steps.

“This is it,” she asked with scrunched eyebrows.

He said nothing as he got out the car and went around to open hers, offering his hand. She hesitantly took it and stepped out of the car. Was he angry or upset at her for what she said? Why did she feel so guilty?

She waited for him as he retrieved a duffel bag from his trunk.

“Do you come here often,” she asked, desperately wanting to break the silence.

“Not as often as I used to,” he answered as he shut the trunk hood.

She nearly sighed in relief when he willingly spoke to her. Maybe, she was overreacted. Maybe, he wasn’t mad at her after all.

“Can you help me understand why people like getting beat up for fun,” she asked teasingly with a weak smile, trying to lighten the mood.

“That ain’t the reason why folks box,” he replied as they slowly made their way across the loading area and towards the warehouse.

She crossed her arms, intrigued to learn more. “Then what is the reason?”

“Boxin’ ain’t just about two people punchin’ each other until somebody falls. Boxin’ requires strategy, thought, and plannin’. It’s almost like chess. You always gotta try be one step ahead of your opponent. You gotta find their strengths and weak spots. Boxin’ exercises you physically and mentally,” he said. “That’s why folks love it.”

He added with a slight grin, “Beatin’ them up is just a nice bonus.”

Sugar couldn’t help but giggle.

They walked up the steps and Chef opened the creaking rusted metal door for her. She walked in first, immediately in awe at what she saw. At the center of the hollowed warehouse was an elevated spacious boxing ring with thick crowd of rowdy people surrounding it, cheering and booing as two men battled it out. An industrial spotlight shined upon the boxing ring for everyone to see the violence. Whoever owned the warehouse took it upon themselves to station a functional and fully stocked bar against a far concrete wall.

“You thirsty,” Chef shouted to her over the roar of the crowd.

Sugar nodded. “A drink would be nice!”

Chef took ahold of her hand, leading her through the crowd and toward the bar. There were three bartenders manning the counter and one of them was a familiar face.

“Ain’t this a surprise,” Gizzard shouted with a grin as he approached them from the other side of the counter. “It’s good to see you again, Ms. Sugar!”

She smiled at him. “It’s good to see you too, Mister…Gizzard!”

Gizzard nodded to Chef in acknowledge. “Boss!”

“Anything she wants, put it on my tab,” Chef replied loudly.

Gizzard winked. “Absolutely and I’ll be sure to add a thirty or forty percent tip to that total. I’ll let you decide.”

Chef smirked at the older man’s words before he leaned down to speak in Sugar’s ear. “Gizz’ll take good care of you. I gotta go suit up. I’m up after this match.”

When he pulled back, she kissed him on the cheek. “A kiss for good luck!”

He gave her one last look before he left, disappearing into the crowd.

She returned her attention back to Gizzard, who eyed her with amusement and intrigue. He was probably wondering how in the hell did she and his boss end up together.

“What would you like, Ms. Sugar,” he questioned.

“I’ll take a Sex on the Beach,” she ordered.

“Comin’ right up,” Gizzard said with a nod and turned to make a drink.

Someone shoved their way between Sugar and a man who was standing beside her at the counter. It was an impatient woman who clapped her hands rudely to get Gizzard’s attention.

“Excuse me, I need a Vegas Bomb! Scale back the ice and heavy on the whisky. Top shelf only,” the woman ordered, “and I’ll know if you try can skim me on the whisky.”

“I’ll be right with you after I finish this order, ma’am,” Gizzard said though his face was twisted sourly at the woman’s impolite attitude.

“Then maybe you should get to that order instead of wasting your time staring at me with your beady damn eyes,” the woman hissed.

Sugar dropped her jaw at the woman’s audacity and took a good look at her. The familiarity of the woman’s face was too strong to ignore even if a poorly lit place like this. She cocked her head in confusion before she widened her eyes as she finally recognized the woman.


Mariah jerked her head in Sugar’s direction with a look of surprise on her face.

“Wh-wh-what are you doing here,” Mariah demanded to know, frantically glancing around their surroundings as if she were on the lookout for any other witnesses with familiar faces. 

“I’m here with a friend,” Sugar answered, arching an eyebrow at the woman’s odd behavior that could only be described as guilty.

Though already knowing the answer, she still asked, “Is Lance here too?”

This place was not Lance’s cup of tea. He loved glitz and glam and this place was most certainly neither of those things. She thought Mariah lived by the same standards, but apparently not.

“No, I’m with a friend myself,” Mariah replied, shaking her head before she slapped her hand on the counter impatiently multiple times to get Gizzard’s attention. “Hurry the fuck up!”

Sugar narrowed her eyes at Mariah. “Stop talking to him like that. He’s going as fast as he can.”

Mariah scoffed, rolling her eyes. “I can do or say whatever I want to whoever I want and no one, including your pathetic ass, is going to stop me.”

Then a tall buff dark-skinned man approached Mariah from behind, wrapping his arms around her waist. “What’s taking so long, babe?”

Mariah stiffened, horror drenching her beautiful face.

Sugar’s eyes flickered between her ex-husband’s young wife and the woman’s ‘friend’, a smile spreading across her lips. The irony in this whole situation was both sad and utterly delicious to consume.

“Aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend, Mariah,” Sugar asked, batting her eyelashes innocently. When the young woman didn’t respond right away, Sugar immediately extended her hand for the handsome football-player-looking man to accept in a handshake. The man looked so familiar, but she couldn’t for the life of her pinpoint where she had seen him before.  

“I’m Sugar. Mariah and I know each other quite well,” she introduced proudly with a beaming smile. “And you are?”

The man’s eyes widened slightly, overtly uncomfortable by the whole situation.

“Erm, Renard,” he introduced, uncurling an arm around Mariah’s waist and shaking Sugar’s hand hesitantly.


Another clue of familiarity that sent her brain scrambling for explanation.

Where did she hear that name from?

As she shook his hand, she immediately noticed an engraved wedding band on his ring finger. Her delight in the situation crumbled now that she knew there was a wife somewhere at home, wondering and worrying where her husband was. Even after homewrecking a marriage to get married herself, Mariah was still chasing after married men.

Gizzard put her drink on the counter.

“Here’s your Sex on the Beach,” he said before turning his attention to Mariah. “Your Vegas Bomb is up next.”

“Forget it,” Mariah said, shaking her head frantically. “I changed my mind. Let’s go.”

Then Mariah dragged the man into the crowd.

Sugar turned around to face Gizzard, shaking her head as she took a deep gulp of her mixed drink.

A drunk man beside Sugar asked Gizzard. “Hey, Gizz! Was that Renard Edwards I just saw with that hottie?”

Gizzard nodded. “Sure was.”

Sugar scrunched her eyebrows together. “Who is Renard Edwards?”

The drunk man looked at her in shock as if she asked him to sacrifice his firstborn son. “Renard Edwards is a wide receiver for the River City Serpents.”

Sugar blinked. “He’s a professional football player?”

“One of the best wide receivers in the league. Just re-signed a contract last year that put seventeen cool mil in his wallet,” Gizzard informed.

Mariah got what she wanted after all. A football player with a bigger dick than Lance’s and an astronomically bigger wallet.

She sipped on her drink, attempting to find an ounce of sympathy for Lance, but she couldn’t find none. The only one she felt sorry for was Lance and Mariah’s son, who was no doubt already suffering from having two selfish arrogant parents. However, if Lance and Mariah were to divorce once the truth came out then that poor child would be nothing more than a trophy to be won. If the truth came out, but it wouldn’t be by her lips. Trotting around the city with a pro football player would eventually gather the attention of someone wielding a smartphone.

After Sugar finished her mixed drink, she ordered another one and sipped at it, lingering near the bar as she observed the eighth and final round of the match from a safe distance. The round ended with clean forceful punch from a Hispanic man that knocked the other opponent, a white man, out. The referee did a mandatory eight count before declaring the standing boxer as a winner.

Once the boxing ring was cleared, the names of the next boxers were announced and the crowd roared and cheered terribly loud that Sugar’s ears began to ring, but her heart pounded violently at the mention of Chef’s name. A few pockets of people scattered about the warehouse chanted his name and others chanted the name of his opponent, Filthy Rich.

She squeezed her way through the massive crowd, slowly journeying closer and closer towards the boxing ring for a better view as the two men entered the ring and stationed themselves in their designated corners. Chef rolled his shoulders and craned his neck from left to right. He was bare-chested with royal blue boxing shorts and black gloves on his hands. Even from a distance, Sugar could tell he was ready for battle.

Filthy Rich, a light-skinned buff black man that was most definitely twenty years Chef’s junior, knocked his gloves together and shouted something tauntingly that couldn’t be heard over the sea of cheering people. Chef wasn’t fazed by it. When the boxers were called to the center of the ring, they put their stances.

When the first round began with a ring of a bell, they circled each other like predators until Filthy delivered the first hit. Chef dodged smoothly and took the opportunity to develop a clean jab to the face that knocked Filthy’s head backwards from the pure force. Filthy stumbled, but recovered with ease. They punished each other with brutal punches that made Sugar wince every single time, but Chef did a lot of dodging and blocking. He was holding back, but she couldn't for the life of her understand why. She inched closer and closer to the boxing ring, but the crowd was massive and thick, it wasn’t until the fourth round did she manage to get to a good spot. She decided not to move any further. There were about ten people between her and the fight now.

Filthy gave Chef a forceful punch that sent him against the ropes, but Chef bounced back with impressive timing and a cold hardened expression that she witnessed from where she stood. It frightened and thrilled her all at once. To return the kindness, Chef awarded his opponent with four deep hits in the gut, which made Filthy hunch over for a moment. Chef took a step backwards as if he were allowing his opponent to recover. In moments, Filthy was back upright and ready for war.

Watching Chef box was like watching art in motion. Pale tattooed flesh glistening under the harsh spotlight. Toned muscles flexing and rippling with every powerful hit he delivered and received. He absorbed violence inflicted on him well and barely reacted to it. There wasn’t much thought behind Filthy Rich’s method. He attacked when he saw any opening, but he didn’t think ahead like he was supposed to. He was opportunist, not a strategist like Chef and it showed it.

Filthy used brute force every single time, which was effective strategy during the beginning rounds, but Sugar could tell that as the rounds wore on, Filthy was tiring himself out. A boxer like him probably won fought in the beginning rounds using his brutal force, but paired with an opponent like Chef, his fighting philosophy was to be his ultimate downfall and Sugar had a strong suspicion that Chef sniffed out Filthy’s weakness from the very beginning.

Sugar smiled as Chef rained precise hard punches on Filthy who in turn attempted to return the favor, but his delivery was desperate and sloppy the more he struggled on.

Barely a minute into the fight the seventh round, Chef hurled a nasty blow to the face that caused Filthy to collapse. The referee did an eight count, but Filthy laid on the ground in utter defeat. When the referee declared a panting Chef the winner, there was a thunderous mix of cheers and disapproval. Sugar’s excited scream blended seamlessly into the masses. She jumped up and down, completely ecstatic by his victory.

Once Chef left the ring, Sugar decided to go to the restroom to pee. Fighting her way through the rowdy crowd, she managed to find the restroom after asking someone to point her in the right direction. Eventually, she made it to the restroom and when she was finished, she washed her hands. In the mirror, she saw another restroom stall door open and Mariah emerge from it.

Her ex-husband’s wife walked up to the sinks and turned on the faucet. “Look, Sugar. This whole situation is compli—“

“Don’t,” Sugar cut her off. “I don’t need or want to know. It’s none of my business and I don’t want it to be my business. Alright?”

Mariah clenched her jaw, eying Sugar as if she were trying to sniff an ill intent or truth. “Fine with me.”

“Good,” Sugar said, giving a curt nod. “Enjoy the rest of your evening.”

She went to the restroom door and opened it, but paused for a moment, looking over her shoulder. “By the way, Mariah, if I see you disrespect someone else in front of me again like you did, your pathetic ass will be unconscious on the ground. So, you better watch your mouth.”

Then Sugar left the young woman alone in the restroom to contemplate her words.

She decided to return the very place Chef had left her, so he could find her easily when he was ready. She sparked up good lengthy conversation with Gizzard centering around her parents while he served up drinks to thirsty patrons.

“Here comes the man of the hour,” Gizzard suddenly announced with a proud grin.

Sugar looked over her shoulder to see fully dressed Chef make his way towards the bar with his duffel bag. Gizzard offered him a glass bottle of beer.

“On the house from yours truly,” Gizzard said with a wink.

“Appreciate the thought, but I’d rather crack a cold one at home with good company,” Chef said, eying Sugar intently as he spoke. She bit down on her bottom lip, trying her absolute hardest to be unaffected by his words while her brain made a list of what being ‘good company’ would mean on this night.

Gizzard nodded with a grin and a wink. “Sounds like a plan. You two enjoy yourself then.”

Then the older man walked off to tend to some customers.

They made their way outside. The air was thick with humidity and very hot. An annoying ring echoed in Sugar’s ears from being exposed to continuous screaming. She crossed her arms over her chest as they walked side-by-side.

“Congratulations on your victory,” she commended, unable to hold back a smile. “Color me very impressed.”

“I’ve won plenty of matches over the years, but impressin’ you is a victory I’m most proud of,” Chef said as he shot her sexy grin before licking his lips.

Sugar giggled, shaking her head.

She felt warm and fuzzy at his words.

“Thank you for inviting me tonight,” she replied. “It was fun.”

“You talkin’ like the night is over and it’s time to say goodbye. It’s not,” Chef replied. “The night is far from over, Sugar. You know that right?”

Her heart raced with statement.

“I know,” she admitted.

“Good ‘cause I’m gonna take you home,” he replied.


The Mustang cruised down a lonely county highway that weaved and slithered through the countryside. They were ten minutes from the city limits and thirty minutes from the Docks. There were country homes, farms, and thick acres of woods all along the landscape bathed in moonlight. Sugar had always wondered what kind of home did a man like Chef go to each night and though she hadn’t seen his house yet, the area in which they were driving through was another piece to a puzzle centering entirely around him. It made sense that he’d live in the country. Though she knew very little about his past, she could tell he was a southern country boy and raised as such since the day he was born.

Eventually, he slowed the car down and turned onto a gravel driveway that led into a small patch of woods. At the end of the driveway was a beautiful one-story ranch house resting on an impressive piece of cleared land that spanned for acres and acres.

“You live here all by yourself?” She blinked, absolutely in awe.

The car eased to a stop in front of the house. “For the most part, but not entirely. I get visits from old friends and family a lot. Most of the time, they’re just passin’ through and visit for a day or two. My two goddaughters in college and their little friends come here for mini getaways all the time. They make good use of the pool and jacuzzi in the back.”

“Sounds like a revolving door,” Sugar said.

“It can be,” he admitted, “but I don’t mind it much. It’s nice not havin’ to walk into an empty home all the time.”

Sugar bit her bottom lip for a moment before she said softly, “Well, your home won’t be empty tonight.”

His gray eyes locked on hers. “You’re right. It won’t.”

About seven minutes later, Sugar was sitting on a comfortable couch in Chef’s family room while he was in the kitchen fixing them some drinks. He returned into the room with a glass of white wine, offering it to her.

“Thanks,” she said with a weak smile as she accepted it.

She cocked her head at him when she noticed he didn’t have a drink for himself. “Nothing for you?”

“I’m gonna go take a quick shower,” he replied with a slight grin.

Can I come too, she asked mentally.

“In the meanwhile, feel free make yourself at home,” he encouraged.

Sugar nodded. “Thanks.”

When he left the room, she gulped down the wine quickly and shot up from the couch to go into the kitchen to pour herself another glass.

Once her wine glass was refilled, she wandered about the front of the house drinking in the clues and details of Chef’s life. There were pictures all over the walls. A rich mixture of old and new.

As she stood in the hallway outside the kitchen, she cocked her head as she looked at an aged photo of a cheerful curly black-haired young boy with his hands in the air while he sat on a diner counter with a chef hat cocked on his head. Another older man, most likely his grandfather, grinned proudly behind the counter. On the man’s crisp white apron was a massive bold black cursive logo that read Thibodeau’s.

Then the realization hit her.

The child in the photo was Chef. He couldn’t’ve been no more than four or five years old at best. Not only that, but being a restaurant owner was in his blood.

She turned her attention to another picture, sipping on her wine. It was a professional photo of thirty-something-year-old Chef in his formal Marine uniform with a perfected stony expression.

Another photo that caught her interest was one of a twenty-something-year-old Chef kissing the forehead of a gorgeous but exhausted-looking redhead woman who laid in a hospital bed cradling a newborn baby.

“Alicia was in labor for 47 hours.”

Sugar nearly jumped out of her skin at the fact that Chef was directly behind her and she didn’t even notice his arrival. “That’s a very long time.”

“I almost lost them both. Alicia went into cardiac arrest. I was right there in the room when it happened. They kicked me out and I was scared out of my mind, but they were to stabilize her. Then they did to do an emergency C-section ‘cause Melina’s heartbeat was too weak from all the stress. Alicia hated my guts for a while. Then again, she hated me the whole pregnancy,” Chef said, rubbing the back of his neck with a thoughtful look on his face.

Sugar turned her attention back to the photo. “Why was that?”

“We were newlyweds goin’ through a rough patch. Alicia was always homesick, but we moved often. We were on the verge of splittin’ for good by her goin’ back stateside, but she thought she came down with a bad stomach bug and went to the doctor. Found out then and there she was pregnant. The problem was Melina wasn’t planned. Alicia didn’t want kids and took birth control religiously, but when her mother died in a terrible car accident around that time, takin’ the pills weren’t on the forefront of her mind,” Chef explained. “We made up like most couples do ‘cause I knew we couldn’t split when she was sufferin’ through a tragedy.”

“I hope I ain’t borin’ you with my stories,” he then added, a pinch of amusal in his voice.

“You’re not boring me at all,” she admitted, shooting him a warm smile over her shoulder.

It was nice learning more about him and his past.

Mallory was right.

Chef seemed had a mysterious air to him and yet as she truly got to know him, she soon realized that he was an open book. Or at least, he trusted her enough to want to open up.

He shared a few more stories about various pictures on his wall. They laughed a few smiles and laughs with each other, but eventually found themselves back in the family room. This time around Chef did have a cold bottle of beer in his hand. He watched her intently from the other side of the couch, a small sea of space between them. Sugar sipped on her wine as she watched him right back.

The sexual tension between them was incredibly palpable. She could feel it in the air like a steady current of electricity and it made her tiny hairs all over her body stand on end.

“When are you gonna let me taste you, Sugar?”

Sugar nearly choked on her wine.

“I’m sorry?” Maybe, she misheard him.

“I asked when are you gonna let me taste you,” he repeated smoothly before he brought the bottle of beer to his lips. The ball was in her court now and they both knew that. 

Now, her body hummed through and through with excitement. “You can do it right now. I’m not going to stop you.”

He chuckled throatily at her words, leaning forward to place his beer on the coffee table in front of the couch. She took two big gulps of wine, draining the glass before she put it down on the coffee table as well.

Chef closed the distance between them, resting his arm along the back of the couch. He dipped his head down and she tilted her head up to meet him halfway, screwing her eyelids shut. Chef pressed his lips against hers, eagerly sliding his tongue into her parted lips. She moaned at the invasion, greeting his tongue with her own. At first, the kiss was soft and tender, but soon, it became more passionate and hungry. Sugar reached up, cupping the side of his bearded face as their mouths and tongues worked together in a feverish tempo.

Sugar didn’t want it to end, but Chef pulled back slightly, so they could breathe.

Her eyes were half-closed and she was completely hypnotized by what transpired.

Already addicted to kissing him, she boldly straddled him, raised up on her knees to tower over him, and grabbed a possessive hold of his chin as she dominated his mouth with her own. Sugar had no idea where the burst of uncharacteristic courage came from, but she embraced it as she kissed him roughly. A groan rumbled in his chest and he slid his calloused hands along the backside of her bare thighs and upwards the curve of her ass.

She needed him bad and it made her feel so good to know he felt the exact same way.

Finally, they broke the kiss to catch their breath.

Now very thirsty, she looked over her shoulder to the coffee table, pouting when she realized she had downed every last drop of her wine. She reached out and retrieved Chef’s beer bottle, sitting herself fully on his lap as she took a very generous gulp.

Chef chuckled slightly. “I thought you were a beer kind of gal.”

She put the beer down where it was and turned her full attention back to where it needed to be: on him. She leaned forward, brushing her lips against his teasingly.

“Tonight, I’m anything I want to be.”

A beer kind of gal.

A bold confident woman.

A woman hungry for all he had to offer.

“And what do you want to be tonight, Sugar?”

She gave him a soft closed-mouth kiss, just wanting to savor the closeness of him and how good his lips felt against hers. She wanted to thrust her tongue into his mouth for another taste, for another frenzy moment of passion to succumb to, but it took every ounce of her to hold back.

“Yours, Chef, yours,” she whispered in a near-desperate tone.

She wanted him so badly, her entire body was throbbing and aching.

Chef let out a gruff growl and quickly stood up from the couch, anchoring her against him with a strong grip of her thighs’ undersides. She squealed at the suddenness of it all, immediately wrapping her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist. Unable to wait any longer, she smashed her lips into his and plunged her tongue into the warm depths of his mouth, twirling it around his tongue hungrily while he marched them into the depths of his house.


Final destination: his bed.  

End Notes:

Look, ya'll. Don't get mad. I had to stop it there 'cause this update is nearly 9K! That's like two updates in one! If I continued their first time together, that would've been like 11k-12k all together. So, there is a part 2 to this special affair. It will be raunchy as hell. I ain't gonna lie. Sugar is gonna be a different person in that next chapter and Chef is going to show A LOT more of his dominant side too.

I wanted to give a nice big update before the first day of school starts tomorrow. My final salute to the end of summer for me. 

I am surprised that I wrote so much between these last three days because it's been ABSOLUTE drama at my school regarding that heifer.

Anyways, feedback is greatly appreciated. 

Have a wonderful Sunday and keep an eye out for Hot Affair Pt. 2! :D

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James


Sugary Sweet by Missus James
Author's Notes:

Sugar and Chef tumble in the sheets. 

Mood Music: Starstruck by Santigold & Change (In the House of Flies) by Deftones

The moment Chef carried her into his bedroom, Sugar knew that she had ventured deep into unmarked territory. His clean and earthy masculine scent lingered everywhere, dominating her senses and giving her a blaring reminder that she was in the presence of a real man. Chef carefully set her down onto her feet without breaking the kiss. She uncurled her arms from around his neck, sliding her hands down the sides of his bearded face and resting them on his strong jawline. She eagerly pulled his face down to her to deepen the kiss, showing him exactly how much she needed him in that moment until they had to break away for air.

Her heart throbbed frantically in her chest.

Her head swam with a euphoric wooziness.

She was utterly hooked on him.

Chef tried to pull away from her completely, but she held onto his face to keep him close.

“Don’t,” she whimpered.

“I wanna see you, honey,” he assured as he kissed her forehead, “and I want you to see me.”

After a moment of thought, she reluctantly released his head from her grasp and watched the outline of his body move towards a nightstand to turn on a lamp resting there. An amber light chased away the shadows to the far corners of the room.

Chef stood by the nightstand with his body turned halfway towards her and locked his gray eyes on her.

“Sit down on the bed,” he ordered.

Sugar eased down onto the edge of his bed like an obedient child, her attention never leaving his unfaltering heated gaze. She was a bundle of nerves set afire. The breed of excitement she experienced sped through her bloodstream like an unfamiliar drug. Her flesh was feverish, making her want to yank off every piece of clothing on her body, but she knew that the task wasn’t hers to do.

She tugged her bottom lip into her mouth and gazed down at the gorgeous man as he lowered himself to one knee before her. Her right booted foot was in his possession now while his fingers untied her black laces and slipped off the spunky footwear. He repeated the process with her left foot until only her crisp white socks remained but not for long.

Chef tugged those off too and brought her left French-manicured foot to his lips. He started with her pinky toe and gave it a light kiss before working his way over to her big toe in which he slid into his mouth for a savoring suck. His darkening gray eyes latched onto her face, drinking in the sight of her eyelids fluttering shut and her jaw dropping open. The sensation was new and exhilarating, which surprised her. Never did she think having her toes sucked on would give her such pleasure, but it did.

A lingering moan vibrated in her throat.

He released her toe from the depths of his mouth and kissed along the side of her foot, trailing his busy mouth up her bare calves and thighs. She was forced to spread her legs wider to accommodate the invasion of his broad shoulders. He planted a kiss on her throbbing pussy that hid underneath her shorts. He nuzzled his nose along the shorts’ stitched seam that laid nicely upon her cunt while his calloused caressed her thighs in admiration.

“I’ve been dyin’ to fuck you with my tongue for weeks,” he admitted huskily, his lips never straying far from her pussy. “Been fantasizin’ about buryin’ my face into your pussy and lickin’ your cute little clit until you cum on my tongue.”

His raunchy words were more fuel to her fire. If she wasn’t soaking wet before, she knew that she was absolutely drenched now. She squeezed her eyes shut and shuddered as his fantasy played vividly behind her eyelids.

“That sounds nice,” she breathed in a shaky tone.

She heard a sexy rumbly chuckle that gave her goosebumps before he commanded, “Stand up and I’ll show you how nice it can be.”

Sugar snapped her eyes open at the command and gazed down at him, thinking he would give her some space to get up, but he wouldn’t budge. She stood up hesitantly, her crotch still at eye-level with his face. He unbuttoned and unzipped her shorts before he slid them down her legs, forcing the garment to pool at her feet.

He helped her step out of them before it was tossed aside.

Her soft pink-hued sheer panties were revealed to him now.

“Mm,” he hummed in approval. “Is this my reward for winnin’ the match tonight?”

“It was meant to be a punishment,” she said to him.

His grin widened a margin at her words while his eyes twinkled with a mischief she had become quite familiar with and—slowly—adore. 

“Oh, yes,” he replied. “I have been a bad boy lately, huh?”

“That’s an understatement,” she said, which caused him to chuckle once more. He hooked his fingers into the waistline of her panties and slid them down her legs slowly.

“I can be a good boy when I wanna be, but bein’ with you makes me wanna do bad things that make you feel good,” he admitted as he showed her how much of a gentleman he was by helping her step out of her panties.

Before she could even think up a proper response, he buried his face into her pussy as she stood before him.

Sugar gasped aloud sharply.

Her eyes widened in utter surprise and her legs buckled in weakness as his tongue eagerly glided deep in-between her wet folds. She reached down and grabbed a fistful of his salt-and-pepper hair as an anchor not to fall. His tongue pampered her swelling clit with hard swirls and flicks. Her head cocked backwards and her eyes rolled into the back of her head. Her mouth let out a string of airy gasps and deep moans as he took his time eating her pussy.

She cried out when he eased two fingers inside of her down to the knuckle and she tightened herself around them.

“You feel so damn good. Taste so fuckin’ good,” he breathed against her clit before he stamped his mouth on it and drew it into her mouth, sucking it with fervor while he fucked her with his thick fingers.

Her whole body trembled as she struggled to stand as upright as possible and somehow succeeded the endeavor. She tugged at his hair desperately, wanting to expedite the arrival of the orgasm that brewed stronger and stronger inside of her. She rocked her hips against him, grinding her pussy against his tongue while his thrusting fingers stroked her sweet spot over and over and over.

Then she climaxed with a silent scream that tore through her.

She trembled as she succumbed to it. She squeezed her eyes shut, relishing in the intense sensation until there was nothing but mere crumbles left. He took all she had to offer and swallowed it.

She stood there catching her breath, feeling more vulnerable than ever.

Chef slipped his fingers out of her and put them in his mouth for one last taste of her before he finally rose to his feet, towering over her. Without a word, he assisted her in peeling off her midriff top and tossing it aside. His eyes trailed down to her breasts that were framed in matching sheer pink bra that left little to the imagination as her dark areolas and hardening nipples showed through the flimsy fabric.

“Turn around,” he ordered.

A panting Sugar turned slowly on her heels to face the bed. Chef unclasped her bra and she felt it fall to the floor. She closed her eyes and shuddered as his calloused fingers slid from around her ribcage and cupped her breasts.

She was in good hands. Good hands that cupped and kneaded her breasts slowly. Good hands that pinched, rolled, and tugged at her hard nipples. She cocked her head against his shoulder and moaned loudly. He dipped his head down to rain a trail of soft kisses along the crook of her neck as he played with her breasts. All she could do was relish in all the attention he was gifting her.

God, this man knew how to touch a woman and they hadn’t even gotten to the bed yet!

“You fit so perfect in my hands, Sugar,” he breathed against her ear as he squeezed her breasts gently. “You’re so perfect.”

She whispered, “I’m not perfect.”

He forced her to turn around and smashed his lips against hers, his hand cupping the back of her head possessively. He drew back an inch, his eyes boring into hers. “You’re perfect for me, ya hear?”

Breathlessly, she nodded her head.

Chef thought she was perfect, but deep down, she sometimes believed what her ex-husband believed her to be: an abomination.

 “Now, get on the bed and wait for me,” he commanded huskily. “Then I’ll do what I’ve been waitin’ to do since I first laid eyes on you.”

Her heart throbbed violently in her chest. “And what’s that, Chef?”

“Worship you.”

How could she complain with that?

“Now get on the bed,” he ordered.

She did as she was told and began to climb onto the bed, but not before saying teasingly over her shoulder, “You don’t have to be so bossy.”

Immediately, she squeaked as Chef gave her a nice encouraging smack on her bare ass. She jerked her head over her shoulder to give him a look and drunk in the sight of him giving her a wink and a naughty smirk. She couldn’t help but smile back.

She crawled further onto the bed, situating herself amongst his pillows against the headboard. She chewed hard on her bottom lip and watched in utter admiration as he stood at the edge of the bed, tugging off his shirt, revealing his tattooed chest and torso.

He watched her right back like he promised. His gray eyes nailing her to the spot while his sexy face darkened with the promise of giving her a night she would never forget.

Eventually, he had shed himself of everything except a pair of gray boxer-briefs that clung in all the right spots, allowing her to witness the contour of his thick hard cock as it strained against the fabric.

Geez, she thought with a hard gulp.

His dick was more impressive in person and she hadn’t even seen it up close and personal yet. Now, there was a burning urge inside of her to get a proper close-up.

“Take it off. I wanna see you.”

A devilish grin eased across his lips at her command. “Take what off, sweetheart? You’ve gotta be more specific.”

“You know what I want, Chef. Take it off,” she ordered before adding, “right now.”

His grin widened a tad. “Who’s bein’ bossy now?”

“Me,” she answered, a seductive smile easing across her lips. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t soldiers are supposed to follow orders, right?”

“You ain’t wrong.”

Arching a delicate eyebrow, Sugar added matter-of-factly, “Then take them off, soldier.”

He finally obeyed her command with a nod and a ‘ma’am, yes, ma’am’ as well as a sexy smile that made her moist pussy throb before he took off his boxer-briefs. His hard cock sprung free and the sight of it made her moan in approval.

The bed dipped from the weight of him as he finally joined her. She squealed as he grabbed her left ankle and dragged her down the length of the bed, bringing her directly underneath him.

“Much better,” he purred before he dipped his head down to claim her lips, but she pressed her palms against his chest and used her strength to flip him onto his back. His bearded face was drenched with a look of pure surprise at the suddenness of it all. Immediately, she straddled his waist.

She gazed down at him triumphantly with a smug grin. “I win.”

His surprise was replaced with a look of intrigue.

“Pray tell the prize,” he queried.

She braced her hands on both sides of his head and leaned down, brushing her lips against his right ear.

“Tasting you,” she whispered before she flickered the tip of her tongue against his earlobe.

A deep groan rumbled in his chest and she smiled boldly—proudly—at the sound of it before she used her mouth to explore his colorful tattoos. She kissed and nibbled her way from his neck to his shoulders to his chest. She traced the heart outline of ‘kiss the chef’ tattoo on his left pec before she found her way to his nipple and kissed around it before she finally licked it before she kissed her way to his right nipple for some pampering as well.

She glanced up at him as she gently raked her teeth across his hardening nipple, witnessing a ripple of pleasure cloud his face. Her head swam with a sense of pride. Lance would’ve never let her take control like this, but she had to keep reminding herself that Chef was nothing like her ex-husband.

Sugar moved her way down his body, kissing, licking, and nibbling.

Her exploration ended with her knelt in between his legs. She slanted her back as she leaned down to properly greet his cock and braced her hand against his defined abs to steady herself. She marveled at how long and thick it was. She wrapped her fingers around it and gave him a nice stroke from base to tip. He growled in response.

Sugar dipped her head down to glide her tongue across his cock’s fat mushroom head, tasting salty droplets of pre-cum. She moaned at the taste before she took his tip into her mouth, swirling her tongue around him slowly.

Chef exhaled sharply, arching his hips a little.

Her body hummed in excitement at having such a strong man succumbing to her seduction. Eagerly, her head began to bob up and down as she glided her mouth up and down the length of him. She sucked him in a hard-steady rhythm while her hand jerked him off in twisting strokes.

Goddamn,” he breathed.

Sugar knew how to give a blowjob. She had to perfect the art of it to keep her then-husband’s good graces.

She pulled her head back and gazed down at her handiwork. His cock was slick and glistening with her spit and the sight of it that way made her more aroused than ever before. She spat on his tip before she went back to work, taking him deeper into her mouth.

Sugar.” His voice choked with restraint.

She ignored him and kept going, surrendering herself to a sloppy wild rhythm that only overwhelming lust could provide. She wanted him to cum in her mouth. She wanted to taste him so badly…

“Sugar, stop, honey,” he ordered in a rough raspy tone while his fingers weaved themselves through her long tresses and tugged her head back, so she could look up at him.

She breathed heavily, a string of spit stretching between her wet lips and his cock’s fat mushroom head.

“What’s wrong? Am I doing something wrong,” she panted, a little slither of panic wormed its way into her words.

“I wanna kiss your lips,” he ordered. “Now come put that pretty pussy of yours on my face so I can.”

Sugar blinked up at him in disbelief before a grin eased on her lips.

“Say please.”

“Pretty please with Sugar on top,” he stated, a grin of his own forming.

God, she loved it when he said that.

She gave in to his demand by journeying up his body and straddled his head in a reverse position. As she leaned down to take him back into her mouth, her eyes rolled into the back of her head and she gasped loudly as his tongue gave her pussy a nice long lap. She nearly lost her balance if not for him gripping her left hip. He used his other hand to palm her right ass cheek, squeezing and kneading it.

Finally, Sugar returned the favor by trailing the tip of her tongue along a thick bulging vein on his cock before she eased him back into her mouth, twirling her tongue around his thickness. Her deep moaning vibrating him as he devoured her cunt.

Sugar tried her hardest to stay on task, but Chef made it difficult for her.  His tongue licked her drenched lips and pulsing clit in firm rhythm that made her a quivering mess. His cock plopped out of her wet mouth when she finally released, screaming nice and loud.

As she tried to catch her breath, she heard him ask, “You ready to sink that pussy on my cock, honey? You ready to show me how you like to fuck?”

Sugar eagerly nodded her head.  

“Mm hm,” she hummed shakily.

“Turn around so I can see you,” he ordered, warm breath fanning against her cunt.

In a few moments, she straddled his waist and faced him as he wanted. Sugar gazed down at him nervously, her heart practically beating in her throat. She braced one hand on his chest and rose up on her knees, reaching down in between her legs to wrap her fingers around him and position him where he needed to be.

She bit down hard on her bottom lip as she lowered herself down, his meaty tip penetrating her. Invading her. Stretching her. Filling her. The hand planted on his muscular chest dug its fingernails his flesh as she took more and more of him in. She had never been filled so completely before. It was overwhelming and she tried her hardest to adjust to it—to him.  

When all of him was inside of her, she hesitantly rocked her hips to get into a slow rhythm. Soon, her hips moved with more skill and certainty until she was riding his cock hard. She planted her hands on both sides of his head and leaned dangerously low until her forehead was pressed against his. Their lustful gazes were unwavering as they stared at each other while she fucked him exactly how she wanted. Her dark tresses curtaining around them as her face hovered over his.

 “You’re so fuckin’ beautiful, Sugar,” Chef said huskily as his calloused hands slithered down to her waist and held on tight. “So fuckin’ perfect.”

Any woman would’ve been flattered or pleased by his words, but his words reminded her of everything she wasn’t. If she was perfect, she would still be a married woman with children. If she was perfect, she wouldn’t have an entire life revolving around her restaurant. If she was perfect, she would be able to wake up every single morning and accept the woman she saw staring back at her in the bathroom mirror.

She wasn’t perfect.

She was flawed.

She was damaged.

She was utterly fucked up.

And it was her own fault.

This was all her fault.

Sugar stopped fucking him and quickly climbed off him.

“This was a bad idea. A stupid fucking idea,” she told herself in a panic aloud. She rounded the bed, plucking her discarded clothes from the floor and gathering them in her arms.

“Sugar, what in the devil are you talkin’ about,” Chef questioned as he climbed out of bed. “What’s wrong?”

His baritone southern voice was an even mixture between concern and confusion.

“I shouldn’t have come here,” Sugar told him angrily as she marched towards the closed bathroom door, wanting—needing—privacy to change her clothes, so she could get the hell out of dodge. “This shouldn’t have happened at all.”

“Now, wait a goddamn minute, Sugar,” he said with a twinge of anger and irritation, grabbing ahold of her arm. Some of her things fell out of her arms and fluttered to the floor. “I think I deserve the right to know why you’re tryin’ to bust a tail outta here all of a sudden when just five seconds ago, we were makin’ love like two newlyweds.”

Sugar closed her eyes and tried to gain some composure. “I’m not the girl for you, Chef.”

“You’re right. You’re the not the girl for me,” he agreed gruffly, “but you’re sure as hell the woman for me.”

Sugar exhaled in frustration through her nostrils. “You know what I mean, Chef.”

“Actually, I don’t,” he stated. “Enlighten me.”

“I’m not perfect, Chef,” Sugar said. “You keep saying it like it’s true, but it’s not. You want it to be true, but you’re not. I am the farthest thing from perfection.”

She spent eighteen years of her marriage struggling to a slither of a perfect wife, but she couldn’t. Her parents thought her to be the perfect daughter. Her siblings thought her to be the perfect sister. Everyone thought that she was perfect and had her shit together, but she didn’t.

Chef’s eyebrows rose at her speech and he blinked in disbelief. “You’re tryin’ to leave ‘cause I called you perfect?”

The way he delivered the question in genuine confusion made her feel like the dumbest human being on the planet.

“Yes,” she said hesitantly.

He stared at her for a long moment in silence and she shifted under his gaze uncomfortably.

Finally, he spoke. “You’re not goin’ anywhere.”

Sugar blinked. “Excuse me?”

“I said you’re not goin’ anywhere,” Chef replied coolly. “You’re not runnin’ away from me that easily. I ain’t gonna let you.”

Sugar scoffed and looked at him as if he lost his damn mind. “I’m leavin’, Chef. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about that. This thing between us isn’t going to work. My black behind is walking out the front door whether you like it or not.”

“You will walk out of that front door,” he agreed before adding, “in the mornin’ when it's time for me to take you home.”

Her mouth gaped open in shock at his audacity.

“Drop the clothes, Sugar,” he commanded, expecting her complete submission.

Sugar clenched her jaw stubbornly and remained where she was.

“Drop the clothes and come back to bed with me, Sugar,” he stated.

Sugar huffed and rolled her eyes.

Chef closed in on her, cupping her face before he captured her lips in a kiss. At first, she tried to fight it, but he swallowed her muffled protests until she was moaning and melting. The clothes fell to the ground at their feet, forgotten.

“You gonna come back to bed now?” The whisper fanned against her lips as he drew his head back slightly.

She agreed to go back to his bed. He laid down onto the bed first before he tugged her on top of him, her back colliding with his chest.

“Spread your legs,” he commanded huskily with a smooth delivery of authority. She licked her lips and did as she was told, widening her legs over his. His large hands braced her from underneath her ribcage as he acted as her anchor when he instructed her to plant her feet on the bed and squat on his cock. She felt the strength of him as he helped lift her and steady her, so she didn’t fall, but having never tried this position before, she was afraid she would lose her balance.

“Slide me into your pussy.”

Sugar gulped and reached down to wrap her fingers around his hardened cock, positioning it exactly where it needed to be. She lowered herself a little, his tip slipping into her. Then he forced her down onto him suddenly, making her sink down onto his dick inch by inch. They groaned in unison. As his hands held onto her sides, he controlled her body as he guided her up and down roughly.

She tilted her head back, unable to contain her cries and moans.

“Chef,” she cried out as she bounced on his dick.

He forced her to lean backwards and arch her back, still her anchor, her support, her strength. Never losing their rhythm. Never the flow of their crude fucking. Over the orchestra of wet flesh and her raw screams, she heard his breathless voice.

“Mm, play with your clit for me, Sugar. I wanna you to cream on my cock.”

She shuddered at his words, nodding her head vigorously. She licked her fingertips and reached down, feverishly rubbing at her swollen pink nub. She didn’t take long to cum. She was overcome with a white-hot pleasure that struck her like lightning. Her mouth shaped like a big O and she screamed for him until her throat was sore while her eyes rolled into the back of her head.

His own release was hot on her heels. He grunted as he spilled his seed inside of her.

She collapsed backwards on his chest with him still inside of her. Both panting wildly in unison. Their sweaty skin glistened and glowed in the lamp’s amber light. Chef moved his palms to cup her breasts, his fingertips toying with her nipples as if they were his possession.

As their breath began to even out, a comfortable silence fell between them as they relaxed in the aftermath.

“I don’t know what that motherfucker did to you, Sugar,” Chef finally spoke, his rumbly voice sending tingly vibrations into her back, “but I’m gonna do everything in my power to prove to prove him and you wrong.”

Sugar asked tiredly, “What are you talking about, Chef?”

Her overloaded brain had began to shut down for the night.

“You’ll see, sweetheart. You’ll see.” 

End Notes:

I am sorry for this late update. The first few months of school take a hit to the muse and this school year has been very rough, but I got my muse back thanks to two wonderful ladies. SHOUT OUT TO MS. JOSIE AND MS. JOY! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you times five billion-zillion from the bottom of my heart. Without these two ladies whipping my muse into shape, I wouldn't have been able to churn out this update. I truly appreciate both of you for all your time!

Now, Chef and Sugar have officially done the deed. Sugar tried to run away and said, "My black ass is leaving out that front door." To which, Chef replied, "It will leave in the mornin'. We ain't done yet." Sugar has got some real self-esteem issues, but I truly enjoy writing her character. She's got a lot of deep flaws, but I feel a lot of people can relate to them. I know I can. Also, Chef and Sugar didn't use a glove. ;D You know Sugar gonna freak when she realizes.

I hope everyone enjoyed this chapter. Sex scenes aren't my strong suit, so I hope it wasn't too bad, LOL. 

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Feedback is greatly appreciated. 

**Update: There were some typos. I corrected as many as I could find. So sorry.

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James

Sour & Selfish by Missus James
Author's Notes:

It's the morning after and Chef and Sugar show off their self sides before everything turns sour.

Mood Music: Say It Again by H.E.R.

Chef knew exactly what he was doing and his confidence made itself known every time he plunged his cock into her with a skilled roll of his hips. His hands gripped the undersides of her thighs and widened them, forcing her to take everything he was giving her no matter how overwhelming it was. Sugar didn’t have the strength to open her eyes as she was too lost in the pleasure she was receiving—she was taking. She gasped sharply as he reared his hips back and slid back inside her with a single rough deep thrust before he went back to what he was giving her: slow deliberate fucking. Now that her jaw was dropped and her mouth was opened, he took the opportunity to swoop down to slip his tongue inside, tasting her as he kissed her.

He was intentionally driving her crazy. She had a strong suspicion that he wanted to do everything in his power to make her miss him—to make her come back to him—and she couldn’t deny it was working. Sugar unintentionally broke the kiss as she jerked her head back, moaning loudly as the delicious crescendo her ecstasy kept building and building and building.

Chef chuckled darkly for a moment before he questioned, “You enjoyin’ yourself, darlin’? You enjoyin’ what I’m givin’ you?”

Sugar nodded her head frantically, but her overloading brain couldn’t send any words to her mouth that was too busy moaning and crying out. He dipped his head down, brushing his lips against her ear.

“Open your eyes. I want you to see us,” he whispered huskily, taking the moment to swivel his hips as he continued to fuck her like he wanted to pamper her and punish her all at once. Sugar forced her eyelids open just as he pulled himself back, giving her a perfect view of his white cock disappearing inside her drenched pussy.

He let go off one of her thighs and used his free hand to brush his thumb against her pulsing clit over and over alongside the rhythm of him pumping his thick dick into her. Her pussy squeezed him tightly and her hips arched off the bed as he strummed her clit like her body was an instrument and she made pleasurable sounds to match the philosophy.

“Mm,” he moaned appreciatively. “You feel like heaven, Sugar.”

“And…oh, god…you’re giving me hell,” she rasped out breathlessly without thinking, mesmerized by his cock sinking into her over and over. She had never felt so overwhelmed. He chuckled once more. It was a low and husky sound that washed over her and made her twice as wet.

This was too much.

He was too much.

“I don’t know how much more of this I can take,” she whimpered as she suffered with teetering at the edge, but unable to fall over. She looked up at him, drinking in the sight of his arrogant smirk. He was holding her impending orgasm hostage, but soon, he switched up his tempo, fucking her a little harder and faster. Pampering her clit with rougher strokes of his thumb. Her mouth gaped open and she arched her back as she was on the verge of surrendering to her orgasm. He sandwiched her swollen clit between two fingers and rolled it. She tossed her head back and came hard. She screamed silently. Her pussy tightened around him in frantic pulses as the orgasm ripped through her. Chef now pounding her pussy as he grew closer to his release. He groaned loudly as he came inside of her, pumping his cock into her a few more times before he stilled himself.

She was a quivering bundle of nerves as she came down from her ecstasy high.

Chef rolled off her, falling onto an empty spot beside her.

Their chests heaved up and down as their lungs fought for breath. Sugar stared at the ceiling, mesmerized by the blinking dots of warm colors that fluttered around in her vision. She was absolutely spent, her pussy was thoroughly fucked, and her body was slick with sweat and deliciously sore.

Chef then sat up, running his fingers through his salt-and-pepper hair before he climbed out of bed.

“Where are you going,” Sugar asked breathlessly. “Aren’t you tired?”

She was absolutely fucking exhausted.

This man knew how to work a woman’s body.

“Honey, what we just did is my preferred method of startin’ the day,” Chef stated with a sexy grin. She looked at him disbelief, still panting heavily as if she had just ran a lengthy marathon.

She then asked, “What time is it?”

“Not even five o’clock yet. You’ve got plenty of time,” he said.

“Plenty of time for what? I don’t think I can handle another round of that, Chef. I have to be able to walk today at work.”

“You ain’t gotta worry, darlin’. I know when my work’s done,” he said, winking at her as he made his way towards the bedroom doorway, naked as the day he was born. “You’ve got plenty of time to rest.”

Then he disappeared into the hallway.

Now left alone, it didn’t take much for Sugar to drift off to sleep.

About an hour and a half later, she awoke alone. She sat up slowly, holding a navy-hued bedsheet against her bare chest. She closed her eyes and ran her fingers through her hair, vivid memories of the last few hours replayed behind her eyelids. A reminiscing smile curled at her lips. Opening her eyes, she glanced to the left of her where Chef should’ve been. Instead, she realized that there was a trail of candyfloss pink rose petals leading off the bed.

She cocked her head in confusion and leaned over the trail, arching her neck to only discover the trail continued the bedroom floor and led towards a closed bathroom door. She slipped out of the bed and carefully followed the petals, her heart racing with excitement. She twisted the doorknob and eased the door open hesitantly.

Inside the depths of the darkened bathroom was an overwhelming warm flood of soft amber glow from a sea of lit white candles with flickering flames. The path of petals guided her straight to a bathtub filled with steamy hot water and plenty of floating petals. All she could do was stand in the doorway, blinking at the view in utter surprise.

After she swallowed down her state of awe, she ventured into the bathroom and eased herself into the bathtub, sinking into the hot water. She sighed heavily in contentment as she relaxed, leaning her head against the back of the tub. Her fingertips grazed a few soft petals playfully. There was a pink loofa and a bottle of jasmine body wash. She put them to good use as she took her time washing herself.

“Room service.”

Sugar looked over at Chef filling the bathroom doorway with a serving tray. He was shirtless and only wore some dark boxer-briefs. He came inside and placed the tray down. The tray fit perfectly across the width of the bathtub. She gazed down at a flute of bubbly champagne with plump strawberry as a garnish on the rim, a plate with a stack of two french toasts drizzled in whip cream and topped with fresh raspberries and blackberries, and lastly, a plate of chocolate-covered strawberries.

She didn’t know how to feel about him pampering her like this.

“Chef,” she trailed off, tucking a piece of hair behind her ear. “You didn’t have to do any of this.”

“I give, you take,” he reminded her as he bent down to kiss her forehead. “Take what I give you.”

He plucked a chocolate-covered strawberry from its plate and brought it to her lips. “Enjoy it, darlin’.”

Sugar gazed up at him as she parted her lips to accept the offering. She sunk her teeth into the ripe strawberry, moaning a little as she savored the flavors on her tongue. She swallowed it. With another bite, the strawberry was gone. Some juices glistened on her mouth and he gently wiped his thumb across her lips to gather it up before he licked it off his thumb. She didn’t think him doing that would affect her, but it did. He made everything look so damn sexy!

Chef backed away from the tub and sat down on the closed toilet seat, his eyes never leaving her.

“Why don’t you join me,” she asked before she took a sip of the champagne.

“I already took a shower while you were slept,” he admitted, “Plus, I love watchin’ you.”

Her heart fluttered at the last part of his statement.

“Sounds boring,” she said half-jokingly.

“Trust me, honey, it ain’t,” he said in a serious tone.

She cut her eyes away from him and proceeded to enjoy the breakfast spread he made for her. With a fork and knife, she tasted the french toast. It tasted old-fashion with sprinkle of childhood memories and love like it was a family recipe.

“Last night, I saw a picture of you as a little boy sitting on a diner counter with a chef hat.”

“What about it?”

“Well, I noticed that there was an older man in the photo wearing an apron with your family name on it. Did your family own a restaurant back in Louisiana when you’re growing up?”

Chef nodded his head, his expression changing to a more somber tone. “It’s still there.”

“Who runs it now?”

There was a long moment of silence. “My parents.”

Sugar blinked her eyes in surprise. He always mentioned how his grandparents were the ones to raise him. He had never spoke of his parents, so she had always assumed that they had passed away when he was a child.

“You said your grandparents raised you.”

“They did,” he affirmed.

Sugar looked at him in confusion.

He then explained coolly, “My parents had a list of priorities…that didn’t include me.”

She casted her eyes downward, guilty flooding her as she realized that this was an uncomfortable topic for him. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked. I didn’t mean to bring up a sore subject.”

“It ain’t a sore subject. I’ve made peace with my past. The two of them are the ones who have to live with their mistakes,” he paused for a moment as if he were debating on whether to dive further into his painful past to satisfy her curiosity. “My parents were musicians.”

“Country musicians? Rock and roll?”

“Jazz,” he corrected her.

She picked up another chocolate-covered strawberry and bit into it. That explained why he took her to a jazz club of all places. He had a history with jazz.

“They had their own jazz band back in the 60s and 70s. My father was a very talented instrumentalist. He played the piano, trumpet, and the drums. My mother’s passion was singin’. They made their livin’ playing in bars, juke joints, and restaurants in any and all parishes. They weren’t too pleased to have me and they dropped me off at my father’s parents when I was only a few weeks old,” he said. “It was the right thing to do. The only other right decision was namin’ me after Miles Davis.”

Sugar’s eyebrows rose. “You’re named after Miles Davis, the famous trumpet player?”

Chef shook his head, smiling a little. “My mother was in love with Miles Davis’ music growin’ up. If she had a choice, I’m sure she would’ve married him if she could back then.”

She giggled. “I’m pretty sure Miles Davis wouldn’t have married a white woman back then.”

“She might have had a chance. My mother’s Creole,” he said.

Shock rocked Sugar. “You’re mixed?”

“One-fourth black and three-fourths white. My mother’s family are black Creoles who are very light skin, but my mother’s father was white. My father’s side of the family are Cajun through n’ through.”

“Do you talk to your mother’s side of the family often?”

“My grandmama’s goin’ on 87 next year. She’s the only grandparent I got left. I call her every Sunday to see how she doin’ and when I visit take my annual trip to back home, my cousins always drag me down to New Orleans to get into some trouble,” Chef said with a slight chuckle, a reminiscing smile tugging at his lips. Sugar adored the way he looked in that moment.

She cocked her head to the side, admiring him. “That sounds really nice.”

“You should come with me next time. Memaw would love you,” he said.

Her heart pounded violently in her chest at his offering, but she decided to brush it off by teasing him. “Memaw, huh? She sounds like a force to be reckoned with.”

“Then the two of ya’ll have somethin’ in common.”

Her skin felt warm and tingly at his words.

She lifted her flute of champagne to her lips and smoothly drained the bubbly contents to give her mouth something to do while she contemplated how to reject him even though the idea of going to Louisiana to meet his family excited her. However, Sugar had to remind herself what type of thing this was between them. It wasn’t her place to meet his grandmother. She wasn’t his girlfriend or fiancée. She wasn’t even a friend.

She was…

She didn’t know what the fuck she was.

She didn’t know what the fuck he was anymore.

She cleared her throat, deciding to change the subject all together. “I think it’s time for me to go home. I have to get ready for work soon.”

Raising to her feet, she stepped out of the tub. Chef rose from where he sat and grabbed a thick fluffy towel. She reached for the towel, but he took it upon himself to wrap it around her dripping body. He dipped his head down to kiss her softly. She couldn’t help but moan.

“You can run all you like, darlin’, but you should know from last night and this mornin’ I’ve got the stamina to keep up,” he whispered against her lips after he pulled back slightly, ending the kiss. He kissed her forehead before he left her alone in the bathroom aglow with an ocean of lit candles.

After Sugar dried herself off, she made her way over to the sink to look at the woman in the mirror but arched her eyebrow as she noticed a hot pink toothbrush resting in a toothbrush holder fixtured to the bathroom wall. She hesitantly picked up the toothbrush and stared at it for a long moment as her overwhelmed brain realized that the toothbrush was for her.

Chef had bought her a toothbrush.

He was making it harder and harder to keep this simple—to stick to her rules.

But every time she attempted to stay on course, he always did or said something that wanted to stray off the beaten path.

Sugar closed her eyes and groaned aloud as she realized that Chef was the wrong man to be a no-strings thing with. She decided to put the toothbrush to good use by aggressively brushing her teeth with some of his cinnamon toothpaste, utterly angry at herself for putting herself in this predicament. Putting herself in a situation where her damaged heart might have a second chance at love.

She promised herself that she wouldn’t let this happen.

She swore to herself that all she needed was herself, but she was steadily and surely wanting…him.

It’s not too late to fix this, a tiny voice in the back of her head.

When she was finished brushing her teeth, she went in search of him. She found him in the kitchen cleaning up his mess from making her breakfast. Her nervous heart pounded inside of her chest.

Tell him it’s over, that voice said.

“Look at me,” she ordered when he didn’t notice her presence.

Chef stopped his task and turned to face her, arching an eyebrow.

Sugar said as she slowly sauntered towards him, “You’re fucking evil, you know that? Ever since I met you, you made it your mission to infiltrate every inch of my life and my thoughts. You trying to make me addicted you so I keep coming back for more and more. You bend my rules and make me break them.”

“You’ve known since day one that I’m selfish, Sugar,” he said.

She closed in on him. “I should’ve said no to all of this.”

“But instead you said yes and you wanna know why?”

She scoffed, “Sure, since you know more about me than I do.”

Chef tilted his head down, brushing his lips against hers. “Because sweet responsible Sugar is a little selfish deep down.”

“You made me that way,” she said.

“No, you’ve always been that way,” he said. “I’ve just made it my responsibility to bring it out of you any way I can.”

Sugar gripped his bearded chin roughly. “You bastard.”

He gave her a devilish smile and undid her towel to make it fall to the floor. “Tell me something I don’t know, darlin’.”

She rose to the tips of her toes and stamped her mouth over his, thrusting her tongue into the depths of his mouth. She dominated his mouth before she pulled back enough to catch his bottom lip with her teeth and tug on it hard before she ended the kiss. A heated look radiated from his handsome face as he gazed down at her, his gray eyes pierced into her. He stole an angry kiss from her and she gave into it.

They both stumbled out of the kitchen and into the living room, collapsing onto the couch with him on top of her. She didn’t care at her neglected cellphone dug into her back as he pounded her pussy on that couch. Her legs were wrapped around his waist. One of his feet were planted on the floor for balance. His muscular arms braced the armrest that the top of her head tapped against with every deliciously rough thrust.

She crawled at his tattooed back and bit hard on his shoulder.

“That’s it, darlin’,” Chef rasped harshly as she met him hard thrust for thrust. “Be selfish with me.”

They fucked like animals. There was no flowery words in the dictionary or a thesaurus to describe it. It was rough and desperate. They fucked like they hated each other. Then she came hard. She came from how his pelvis smacked against her clit every single time he impaled her with his dick. She came from being…selfish. He filled her pussy with his cum.

When it was all over, Sugar reached underneath her back to retrieve her cell that she had been lying on top of as they both caught their breath. The screen lit up to reveal an unread text message that was sent a few minutes before.

It was a text message from her twin brother Sully.


She scrunched her eyebrows in confusion at the out-of-place text message.

On top of the text messages, there was a notification for six missed calls. She went to the call log and immediately her heart stopped as she read the first very item. It was an outgoing call to Sully time-stamped just moments before he sent that text message.

“Oh, my god,” she gasped as she began to panic.


She accidentally dialed Sully when she and Chef were having sex!

End Notes:


It's on and poppin' on! I couldn't help but burst out laughing as I wrote those last few paragraphs. I guess I was being a little selfish, LMAO. This chapter took a completely different direction and a lot of it as to do with the mood music for this chapter. I hope you guys liked it!

Feedback is greatly appreciated!

Have a wonderful Sunday evening!

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James

Tasty Offering by Missus James
Author's Notes:

June 10, 2017

Sugar has to confront her twin brother with the truth and a peace offering. 

Mood Music: Secrets by OneRepublic

“Pick up the phone, Lory. Pick up, pick up, pick up,” Sugar chanted frantically as her car sharply turned a city corner with her foot on the acceleration pedal. One hand was on the wheel and the other hand held the phone to her ear. She cursed aloud as it went to voicemail for the ninth time, but she refused to give up as she redialed her baby brother’s number. Finally, he picked up.

“Damn, Shug! What, what, what? Damn it what,” Mallory answered the call in an angry tired voice.

“I need you to open up the restaurant at noon,” Sugar said, not giving a damn about her brother’s nagging as she weaved her in between lanes of traffic.

“Uh-uh, Shug. That wasn’t a part of the deal,” Mallory returned, most likely shaking his head stubbornly like a damn toddler. “I promised to close the restaurant and you promised you would be in good enough shape to open it. Now, I’m happy that ol’ dude did a number on you and you probably walking funny, but a deal’s a deal. Just tell everyone you sprain an ankle or something.”

She let out a frustrated growl as she had to slam her brakes at a red stoplight. “Code blue, Lory.”

There was a long pause. “What did you just say?”

“I said code blue.”

Mallory queried in disbelief, “What in the hell did you and that dude do to cause a code blue?”

Between the Hartwell siblings, they had a code system when it came to family drama. Code red meant a Hartwell sibling was about to get their ass whooped by another Hartwell sibling. Code black meant a Hartwell sibling bond was on rocky terms and needed to be repaired immediately. Code blue meant a Hartwell sibling is traumatized by another Hartwell sibling. There had been very few code blues issued aside from someone walking in on a few of Mallory’s afterschool hookups at their childhood home.

Sugar’s face was burning up in embarrassment and shame.

When Chef drove her back to her house, he assured her that everything would be alright and name the time and place when he needed to meet her twin brother. Sugar simply told him it wasn’t that simple. Sully wasn’t that simple. Chef had walked her to her front door and tried to kiss her goodbye on the lips, but she turned her head to make him land on her cheek. He took the subtle rejection with stride and told her that last night—and this morning—was only the beginning. Sugar wanted to ask him what did he mean by that, but she quickly told him to have a good day and scurried into her house to concoct a peace offering.

Sully’s favorite dessert was sweet potato cupcakes with buttercream frosting. It took her over an hour to make them and package them up nicely. She took a shower while the cupcakes were in the oven and dressed into something Sugar Wallace would normally wear: a lovely dress and heels. She didn’t have time to tame her hair back into a bun, so she left her tresses in loose curls about her shoulders.

Now, she was driving to her twin brother’s job to do the very thing she had been trying to avoid for as long as she could.

“There was an accident regarding a,” Sugar said, clearing her throat, “phone.”

There was another long pause. “Did you…did you fuck-dial someone, Shug?”

She closed her eyes, groaning aloud in response.

Mallory burst out laughing. “Who was it? I gotta know.”

“The last person I wanted to know,” Sugar admitted.

The humor drained from her baby brother’s voice. “Are you being dead serious right now?”

“As a heart attack,” Sugar said.

Mallory sighed heavily. “Aight, aight. I’ll open the restaurant. Hell, take the whole day off you need to ‘cause dealing with Sully ain’t no joke.”

Sugar shook her head slowly. “That won’t be necessary. I will explain my case and be back before the lunch rush.”

“That’s if Sully doesn’t kill you before then,” Mallory said.

“Bye, Lory,” Sugar said as she pulled into a tiny parking lot with a small one-story brick office building. The business sign said Harty Jail Bonds. Her twin brother owned a jail bonds company with his wife’s family. Just as she and Mallory joined forces to create Sugar Mama, Rochelle and Sully joined forces often. Sully would recommend Rochelle as a lawyer and vice versa. It was a good business and one of the best bail bond agencies in the city.

She stepped out of the car with a white bakery box of baked sweets and sauntered into the building. It was busy as per usual, but the bell rang and caught the attention of Katrina’s uncle, Roger.

“Hey, Shug,” Uncle Roger greeted with a grin. “What’s in the box?”

She smiled at the man. “Sweet potato cupcakes.”

He got up from his desk and went to her as she opened the lid to reveal what was inside.

“Don’t mind if I do,” he said as he took a cupcake out and gobbled it up in a few seconds flat.

He shook his head and hummed, “Mm, mm, mm. That’s some good shit.”

“I’m glad you think so,” Sugar said.

“Might be just what Sully needs this morning. He ain’t in a happy mood,” Uncle Roger warned. “Came in with a stank mood and it’s smelling up the place.”

A forced smile spread across Sugar’s lips. “Maybe, these will help.”

Uncle Roger jabbed a finger towards Sully’s closed office door. “I have confidence that they will, honey. Only you and Katrina can seem to calm his ass down and make him tolerable.”

They made their goodbyes and Sugar made her way to the back of the office space, knocking on a polished wood door.

“I’m busy,” Sully said gruffly from the other side.

“I brought cupcakes,” Sugar said in a sing-song voice. Her heart raced in her chest as she heard heavy footsteps approach the door before it was yanked open to reveal Sully’s sour face.

Sugar smiled sweetly at her twin brother, lightly wiggling the box in front of his face as a peace offering. “They’re your favorite. Sweet potato cupcakes.”

Sully narrowed his dark eyes at her.

“With buttercream frosting,” she added.

“You’re here to bribe me with cupcakes?”

“It’s not a bribe. It’s a peace offering,” Sugar assured him.

He eyed her carefully before he widened the door for her to enter his office. She went inside and sat down a chair in front of his desk, placing the box on his desk. Sully returned to his office chair after closing the door and leaned back, looking at Sugar as if he could skin her alive and get away with it. The bakery box remained untouched.

“Who’s the dude, Shug?”

Sugar casted her eyes down. “His name’s Chef.”

“That’s his birth name?”

“No, his birth name is Miles, but everyone calls him Chef.”

Sully scoffed. “So, you’re dating a grown ass man who likes to be called Chef. He sounds like a good catch.”

Sugar frowned. “We’re not dating.”

“Oh, so you’re just casually bumping uglies then? That’s ten times better,” Sully said, clapping his hands. “Bravo, Shug.”

“Don’t judge me, Sullivan. I don’t see you looking at Mallory some kind of way with his one-nightstands and army of fast tail ladyfriends,” Sugar said defensively.

“At least, Mallory didn’t dial me up while he’s having a good time with one of his little friends,” Sully tossed back.

Sugar huffed, “It was an accident!”

“If it was an accident then why are you here, Shug, trying to plead your case?” Sully arched an eyebrow.

She opened her mouth to speak, but no single word could come out.

Sully wagged a finger at her. “See, you came here because you felt guilty—because you got caught. You were sneaking around trying to keep this Chef guy a secret from everyone and now you’re caught red-handed.”

He’s not a secret, she thought and her face gave away exactly what she was thinking.

Sully paused for a moment and cocked his head as a confused look oozed from his face. “Wait, he’s not a secret, is he?”

Sugar closed her eyes and sighed, “No, he’s not.”

Her twin brother’s facial expression changed from anger to pure hurt. “So who else knows about him, Shug? Mallory? Rochelle? Odette,” he queried bitterly. “Is that everyone or is there more?”

Sugar looked at him sadly, biting her bottom lip.

His eyebrows shot upward in shock. “So, there’s more? Who else, Shug?”

“Helena,” she said.

“Not surprised. She’s nosy as hell,” Sully commented, shaking his head.

“Reid,” she trailed off. “Mom introduced us.”

Kind of, Sugar added mentally.

“Mom too, huh? This day just keeps getting better and better.”

Sugar gazed up at the ceiling. “Mom and Dad knew him before me. He owns that restaurant they love going to at the Docks. The one we kept telling them to stay away from.”

“And Dad?”

“I said Dad knew him, but I don’t think he knows about us.”

“It’s good to know that I wasn’t the only one worthy of enough to kept in the loop,” Sully scoffed, shaking his head. “So, the final total is me, Dad, and Kat.”

Sugar winced at the mention of Katrina’s name and Sully caught it immediately.

“Katrina knows too? So, all ya’ll been keeping secrets from me! You got my wife keeping secrets from me,” he growled angrily. “That’s just icing on the damn cake. I’ll deal with her.”

“I asked her not to tell you.”

“Why,” he snapped. “Why didn’t I deserve to know?”

Sugar tossed her hands in the air. “Because I knew you would act like this, Sully! I knew you were overreact if you found out about him.”

“This isn’t overreacting. This is me reacting to the fact that some dude I don’t know was balls deep in my sister and I had the misfortune of listening to a few seconds of it,” he said, slamming his fist down on the desk. She startled by the suddenness of it, she jumped slightly.

“This is me reacting to the fact that everyone in this goddamn family knows about this dude except me. You trusted my own wife over me. You trusted everyone except your own fucking twin, Shug,” he voiced. “Do you understand that? Do you?”

Sugar nodded her head, but said nothing.

“I am your twin. The one person who has been by your side since day one. I’ve done everything for you. I still would do anything for you and this is how you do me, Shug? This is how you do your twin brother who picked you up when you were down? Patched you up when you were hurt? Helped you fight your battles? Protected you from that piece of shit ex-husband of yours,” he hissed.

“I almost went to jail for you, Shug! I almost lost my fucking business for you,” he kept going, pouring out his feelings, “because of that phone call seven years ago. You remember the one, right?”

Hot tears swelled up in her eyes, burning and stinging. Her bottom lip quivered at her twin brother’s question, but once again, she said nothing.

“The one where you called me crying and screaming. The one where you told me that Lance put his hands on you, but it wasn’t the first time. The one where you told me that you were tired of being his punching bag. I dropped everything I was doing like I was supposed to, called Dad and Lory, and the three of us went to that house to do what we needed to do. We could’ve got arrested for assault or attempted murder, but we didn’t care. I didn’t care because you were my sister—my twin sister—and I made a promise to myself to protect you. I was there at your bedside when you were recovering from two broken ribs, a fractured arm, and a broken ankle. I was there at your bedside when you lied to those doctors and told them that you fell down the stairs—when you covered for that motherfucker. I was right there when you took him back,” he uttered.

She let out a sob as hot tears streamed down her face.

He jabbed a finger at her. “But you don’t have the guts to tell me about some dude you’re having a no-strings relationship with?”

“I was scared,” she said softly, her voice raw with emotion.

“Of me?”

“Of what you would think of me,” Sugar answered as she tried to dab her tears away. “You’re the one person in my life that I’m terrified of disappointing, Sully. It killed me to call you that night. To tell you the truth that Lance had been beating me for a few years. I was terrified you would think I was weak. Sweet weak little Sugar who needs Sully’s protection and coddling. Everyone was telling me that I needed a casual relationship and let loose, but I knew you would think the opposite. I knew you wouldn’t approve of me sleeping some stranger.”

Sully closed his eyes, sighing as he ran his hand over the dome of his head. “I wasn’t going to approve not because it was a stranger, Sugar. I wasn’t going to approve because casual relationships aren’t your thing because you love too hard, Sugar. I don’t want you to get your heart broken again.”

“It won’t,” Sugar said. “He’s the one that wants a relationship, but I’m not ready yet. I’m starting to think that he’s the one that might walk away with his heart broken.”

“If you know that then why are you with him?”

 “He’s teaching me a lot of things.”

Sully groaned aloud in disgust. “I didn’t need to know that.”

“No, no, no. It’s not like that, Sully. I mean he’s teaching me to have fun and to stop thinking so much. He’s teaching me to indulge and to be a little selfish sometimes,” Sugar assured.

Her twin brother pursed his lips together and gazed at her carefully, his unsaid thoughts swirling around in his eyes. “He sounds like an alright guy and now that I think about it, if something was off about him then all of ya’ll wouldn’t have kept him as a secret,” he said as he finally decided to open the bakery box and retrieve a cupcake. “I’m inviting him to the annual Hartwell four-day weekend get-together.”

Every year in June, the Hartwell siblings made it a tradition to drive two hours south to a beach house and party throughout the weekend.

“What?” Sugar blinked.

“You heard what I said and I expect him to be there too,” Sully said before he took a bite of his cupcake. “I want to meet him face-to-face. Will that be a problem?”

“I don’t think he’d be into that kind of thing, Sully. Plus, he has a business,” she tried to reason.

“All I hear are excuses,” Sully said. “Ask him first and see what he says.”

“Fine, I’ll ask him as long as you agree to put this behind us,” she proposed.

Sully took two more bites of his cupcake. “I’ll put this behind us when I meet this guy face-to-face. Damn these are good.”

Sugar crossed her arms over her chest and nodded in agreement. “Fine then.”

“And be sure to tell him about the ‘no sex’ rule on this trip. The walls are too thin at that damn beach house and I’ve heard enough from you two this morning to last me a lifetime. I’m probably going to get an ear infection from those few seconds.”

She rolled her eyes sharply. “Shut up, Sully.”

“Speaking of infection,” Sully said, ignoring her previous statement. “This guy is clean, right? He showed you some papers?”

Sugar looked at her brother absolutely mortified. “Excuse me?”

“You heard me. Did you make sure this dude has a clean bill of health?”

“He’s clean,” Sugar assured, but she had yet to see ‘papers’ to be sure. It was a little too late to ask after the night and morning they just had, but she definitely would ask him later to be sure.

“Did he wrap it before he tapped it?”

Before Sugar went to pinch the bridge of her nose at the question, but froze as she thought about it.

Oh, shit!

Oh, fuck!

Fuck, fuck, fuck!

Her taking too long to answer was the answer that Sully needed to sound off. “What the fuck, Shug? Have you lost your damn mind?”

“We were in the heat of the moment.”

Three damn times, she thought. She couldn’t remember any of those three times to ask him to wear a condom? How fucking stupid was she?

“You trying to get pregnant?”

Sugar frowned. “Sully, you know I can’t get pregnant.”

“You couldn’t get pregnant with Lance,” Sully said. “Something is probably wrong with his junk.”

“And yet he and Mariah had a perfectly healthy baby boy,” Sugar reminded him.

Sully arched an eyebrow and gave her a ‘be forreal’ look. “Are you absolutely positive that perfectly healthy baby boy is his?”

Sugar gave him a ‘probably not’ look.

Sully wagged a finger at her. “Mm hm, see! You don’t think the baby is his.”

“There’s a fifty percent chance he is Lance’s,” Sugar said. “Regardless, I can’t get pregnant, Sully. When I was with Lance, I went to so many fertility doctors that sung the same tune. I’m not built to carry a baby to term.”

“You’re built just fine, Shug,” Sully assured. “Just be sure you and this dude use protection. Doctors are wrong all the time and we don’t want any little Chefs or Sugars running around just yet.”

Sugar stood up from her seat and made her way to the door. “There’s no need to worry. There will be no little anything running around, Sully. I’ve accepted that and you should too.”

“We’ll see,” Sully said as she stepped out of his office.


“There’s nothing to see,” Sugar returned. “Bye, Sully.” 

End Notes:

This chapter had been me laughing and crying then back to laughing. I love writing Sully and Sugar, but now you know why Sugar held the truth from him. She was worried she would disappoint him. That was kind of a powerful moment for her to admit that. 

Anyways, have a wonderful Sunday and I hope you enjoyed the update!

Feedback is greatly appreciated! <3

Added a picture for Uncle Roger!

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James

Sweet Satisfaction by Missus James
Author's Notes:

June 12, 2017

Sugar gets a visit from two men in her life: one from her past and one from her present. 

Mood Music: Without Me by Fantasia, Kelly Rowland, and Missy Elliott & Libertango (Improvished Piano Duet)

On Mondays, Sugar came to the restaurant early. Well, she always came there early everyday, but not as early as she did on Mondays. She arrived there no later than eight o’clock regardless of the fact she spent the weekend attempting recover from her thing with Chef and attempting to return to her normal routine of being a restaurant owner with a hefty list of responsibilities. Last night was unusually busy for a Sunday evening and she didn’t get home until nearly four o’clock in the morning. So, she currently operated on barely three hours of sleep, but the caramel latte she always got from a coffee shop along her usual route was an energy booster and a guilty pleasure all rolled into one.

Today was a special Monday for her as she would be conducting interviews. After much nagging from her parents and siblings, she finally—and very reluctantly—decided to hire a manager and an assistant manager. She had posted job ads on various job-hunting websites at the beginning of last week after having a mental breakdown from Mallory’s constant complaints about her workaholic habits.

He reasoned that hiring a management team would make her life easy tenfold and while she stubbornly agreed with him, she also determined her baby brother’s eagerness was due to her no longer giving him any mercy with his tardiness and absences since the restaurant opened.

After too many months of leniency, she now punished him where it mattered most: his bank account. At first, she was apprehensive about docking his pay because she feared he would view her as some sort of micromanaging cold-hearted dictator who was indifferent towards his monetary struggles. However, she had to remind herself that she had spoiled Mallory by letting him get away with too much and she needed to right that wrong. His paycheck now reflected the hours he put in and he wasn’t exactly pleased about that.

Smaller paychecks meant having to put necessities over luxuries and his little tribe of lady friends. If she focused less on managing and more on being an owner then he probably thought he could get away with his little antics and if that was what he truly thought was going to happen then he was sorely mistaken.

She sauntered into the restaurant lobby after locking the door behind her, sipping on her latte. She punched a code into the security alarm system to neutralize it and flicked on the light switches along the way as she ventured through the dining areas, into the kitchen, down the hallway, and toward her office. She had one scheduled interview at nine o’clock, which was perfect because the restaurant didn’t open until noon. The interview was for the head management position.

She kept herself busy with scheduling and ordering bulk ingredients from her handful of trusted vendors. About ten minutes before nine, she made her way into the lobby to wait for the interviewee, but was pleasantly surprised that the woman was already waiting at the door.

The interview went fairly well and Sugar was pleased with the interviewee’s twenty-three years of experience in the restaurant industry with six years included as a manager. Margret, the interviewee, also had a nonsense attitude, which was a perfect weapon for Mallory’s foolery.

At the end of the interview, Sugar led Margret back to the lobby, unlocking the entrance door.

“We’ll keep in touch,” Sugar said with a warm smile as she shook the woman’s hand.

“I look forward to hearing back from you,” Margret returned and then she was out the door.

Sugar gave the woman a wave as she stood in front of the glass door while she locked it once more. The office phone behind the lobby desk rung. She walked over to the desk, rising on the tips of her toes as she reached over the high desk to retrieve the corded phone from the hook.

“Thank you for calling Sugar Mama. How can we make your day sweeter,” Sugar answered kindly.

“Oh, I can think of a few things,” an all-too-familiar voice drawled.

Her heart fluttered twofold in pace.

She could hear from the background noise that Chef was in his car driving somewhere.

“W-w-why are you calling the restaurant,” she asked, hating how she stumbled over her words.

“You’re not answerin’ your cell,” he answered. She heard him turn off the ignition, get out of his car, and shut the car door.

“I was busy conducting an interview for a management position, so my phone was on silent,” she returned.

“And how did that go?”

“It went quite well actually,” she admitted. “She made a very good first impression. I think she’d be a great manager, but I don’t want to get a little too ahead of myself. I have a few more interviews scheduled throughout the rest of this week and next week. I want to give everyone a fair chance before I make my final decision.”

“Did I make a good first impression this weekend?”

“You’re,” she paused, “different. That’s different.”

“Is that so?”

“Mm hm,” she hummed.

“You wanna know what else I am?” The delivery of his words was a little huskier than before and sprinkled with amusement. She curled her finger around the spiraling phone cord as she hung on his every word.

“Mm hm,” she hummed once more, a little too eager for her liking.

“Standing at the door,” he replied.

Sugar blinked in confusion, her eyebrows scrunching.

Suddenly, three knocks against glass filled the air, startling her. She snapped her head towards the entrance door a few feet away, widening her eyes slowly as she absorbed the sight of Chef standing on the other side. He ended the call and slid his phone into a back pocket of his jeans. She placed the phone on the hook and nervously went over to the door, unlocking it.

As she did it, her confused eyes stared right into his unfaltering gaze. She hadn’t seen him since he dropped her off at her doorstep the morning after she shared a bed with him.

She opened the door slowly and gave him a quick once-over. He wore a fitted Marine Corps t-shirt and faded gray jeans. Dark shades were propped up on his head. Why did he always look so damn…gorgeous? The only odd thing about him was a sole pink tulip in a bouquet plastic sleeve that he held in his left hand.

“What’s that?”

“It’s for me,” he said with a slight grin. “I wanted an accessory to bring out the color of my eyes. Do you like?”

She rolled her eyes at him, unable to stop the smile from spreading across her lips. “I love it. You have an impeccable sense of fashion.”

“I’m glad you approve,” he said, clearly entertained by their conversation. “It also doubles nicely as a token of appreciation.”

Sugar blinked. “A token of appreciation?”

“Mm hm,” he hummed deeply, his grin widening a fraction or so. “You see, this tulip reminded me of something you gave me that was pretty and pink.”

Her body warmed up so quickly that she had to swallow back the overwhelming urge to fan her face and neck with her hand.

“Oh,” she said before clearing her throat. “I would say that’s very considerate of you, but I have a gut feeling you’re lying to me about why you brought the flower.”

“More of a half-truth,” he admitted. “I’m a bit old-fashion. My grandmama would redden my rear-end if she found out that I paid a gorgeous woman a visit emptyhanded.”

“Your grandmama taught you well,” Sugar said as she accepted the tulip and briefly brushed her nose against the smooth pink petals, inhaling the sweet fragrance.

“You gonna invite me in?”

She arched an eyebrow at him. “Are you going to cause trouble if I do?”

He held his hands up in good faith. “I promise I’ll be a good boy,” he paused, “to the best of my ability, of course.”

Chef then added, “Plus, how can you say no to a face like this?”

Sugar bit back a smile, attempting a stoic face. “Believe me, it’s easier than you think.”

That was a lie.

That was a big fat damn lie.

She took a step back, widening the entrance door for him to come inside. Chef grinned, nodding his head in gratitude as he made his way into her restaurant—her sanctuary. She closed the door and locked it.

“So, where’s a kitchen counter to sit you on? I’m absolutely famished.”

Sugar froze, heating up at his question. However, she successfully shot him narrowed eyes over her shoulder even though she felt the exact opposite.

“It’s a joke, honey,” he assured with a chuckle. “Well, it’s a half-joke. I’m quite versatile. It doesn’t have to be a counter.”

“Chef, I have a lot to do.”

“Then why did you let me in?”

That was a good damn question that she didn’t have an answer to at first until her brain recalled her visit to Sully’s office.

“Because I need to talk to you about something,” she paused for a moment. “My twin brother has invited you to an annual gettogether of ours. He wants to meet you.”

Chef arched an eyebrow. “Do you want me to go?”

Sugar casted her eyes down and exhaled. “It doesn’t matter what I want.”

“What you want always matters,” Chef said as he came to her, lifting her chin so she could look him directly in the eye. “Don’t think any different.”

“Then…yes and no.”

The right corner of his lips quirked upward slightly at her indecisiveness. “That doesn’t help our situation much, honey.”

She moved away from him and spoke to him with her back facing him. “Yes, I think I want you to go, but then us being there would imply that we are together as a couple and we’re not.”

“Would it be such a bad thang if your family thought we were,” Chef questioned as he came up behind her, wrapping his strong tattooed arms around her waist. She melted against him almost immediately.

“But we’re not,” she reminded him. “That was the agreement, Chef. We’re not together. We’re just…us. Two separate entities that get together when we have an itch that need scratching. You scratch my back, I scratch yours.”

The words felt odd in her mouth as if she were telling a lie, but she desperately wanted to believe it.

Chef dipped his head to brush his lips against her ear. “Your scratches are still on my back, honey.”

She closed her eyes, savoring his smooth deep southern voice.

“Chef,” she whimpered.

“How about this, darlin’? Let’s go to this little gettogether and play pretend. You pretend to be my mine and I’ll pretend to be yours. It will be a little dirty secret of ours,” Chef proposed in her ear. “What do you say?”

There was something deep inside of her that didn’t want to pretend, but she pushed the urge down. She couldn’t get her heart involved in this. Sully was right. She loved too hard and the more she thought about it, Chef seemed like the kind of man she could fall in love with. The kind of man she wanted to fall in love with, but her heart—her head—wasn’t in the right space.

“That might be a good idea,” she trailed off.

He chuckled sexily. “I’m glad you approve. When is this weekend getaway?”

“We leave June 30 and come back July 2,” she said. “Will you be able to stay away from your restaurant for that long?”

“Gizzard, Ethan, and Donna can manage just fine without me,” he assured. “The real question is will you be able to stay away from your restaurant that long?”

“By then, I should have a manager and assistant manager hired.”

Chef shook his head slowly. “That doesn’t answer my question, honey. This restaurant is like your baby. You can never stay away from it too long even if you had some management staff.”

“I’ll just have to learn to stay away,” she admitted before she broke free from his arms and turned to face him. “Speaking of babies or at least the act of making them, we need to talk about something, Chef.”

He arched an eyebrow, cocking his head. “Yes?”

“We didn’t use,” she paused, trying to find the right word, “protection any of those times we were together.”

He stroked his beard with a thoughtful expression on his face. “You’re right. We didn’t use condoms. I guess we were caught up in the moment.”

“We were being stupid,” she said.

“We were having fun,” he corrected.

“Having fun like that can have consequences,” she countered.

Chef arched an eyebrow once more. “Are you worried gettin’ pregnant?”

The tone of the question suggested that he wasn’t worried or didn’t care about that possibility. It was as if he considered it and accepted it that potential outcome. That itself worried her even though her getting pregnant was highest form of unlikely. 

“First of all, I can’t have children,” she said, “and second, the consequences I was talking about are STDs.” 

She hesitantly asked, “You’re…clean, right?”

“The only thing dirty about me is my mouth, honey,” he assured, a slight grin on his lips. “But I can get tested to ease your mind.”

She eyed him for a moment. “I believe you.”

“But do you trust me?”

Sugar bit her bottom lip for a moment as she considered his question. “I’m…getting there.”

“At least, I know I must be doin’ something right,” he said.

She fought back a smile and cleared her throat. “Are you heading to work?”

“The good thing about being an owner is that you get to pick and choose when you want to come in. I wanted the full Sugar Mama experience,” Chef paused, “aside from the one you gave me this weekend.”

She rolled her eyes sharply, but her cheeks burned at his words. “If you want the full Sugar Mama experience then you’ll have to wait outside until we’re officially open at noon.”

He glanced at his silvery wristwatch. “You don’t want to entertain me until then? I’m easy to please.”

Sugar crossed her arms over her chest. “It depends on your definition of entertain.”

“I’ll let you decide,” he said.

She eyed him for a long moment before she sighed heavily, “Fine. Follow me. I’ll give you a tour.”

She sauntered quickly out of the lobby and into the dining area, he followed closely behind her and caught her hand, bringing her back to his chest. “Slow down, darlin’. We ain’t in a rush.”

He let go of her hand and trailed his calloused fingers up her arm gently. Goosebumps prickled onto her brown skin and she let out a tiny breath at the sensation he was making her feel.

“This is the, um, dining area,” she uttered distractedly.

“I see you have a piano over there,” he said. “Do you play it?”

“Sometimes, when no one is…h-h-here,” she answered, once again distracted as he kissed the side of her neck.

“I want you to play for me,” he whispered against her neck, his breath fanning against sensitive flesh there.

Sugar shook her head slowly and pulled away from him, giving a nervous chuckle. “I haven’t played for someone in a very long time.”

“You know my philosophy on being the first,” he reminded her. “On being your first.”

“I know your philosophy quite well,” she said, “but I’m not sure if I’m ready to play for an audience yet.”

“How about I play for you first then you play for me?”

Her eyebrows shot upward as pleasant surprise rippled through her. “You can play the piano?”

“It was the one thing my father and I could…bond over,” Chef admitted.

It all made sense now. Now, she understood why he was so curious about what instrument she played when they played that questions game at the jazz club. Now, she understood why he stared at her fingers for as long as he did when she admitted to him that she played the piano.

He was a pianist too.

She considered his proposal for a moment before nodding her head. “Fine, I’ll do it, but only if you go first.”

He gestured towards the grand piano sitting on the raised platform in the center of the dining area.

“Ladies first,” he said with a wink.

Sugar batted her eyelashes at him sweetly as she walked towards the piano. “Such a gentleman.”

However, she yelped as she felt his hand smack her ass to hurry her along. “I ain’t that much of a gentleman, honey,” he assured with a wink.

She stepped onto the platform and sat down on the piano bench.

He sat down too.

Immediately, his fingers went to the black and white keys and began to play the beginning notes of Libertango with crisp skill, but there was an improvised flourish to his performance. An odd thrill coursed through her veins at watching him play at the flawless look of ‘getting lost in the moment’ that etched across his handsome bearded face. Wanting to be apart of it, Sugar placed her fingers on her own set of keys and played along side him, relishing in the challenge of keeping up with his improvisation of the composition piece.

All her life, she did everything the proper way, but she did it with a passion. She never improvised a composition in her life, but Chef was making her do things she never wanted to do before. She bit her bottom lip hard and closed her eyes, allowing their melting quick-paced harmonies to consume her and remind her how much she loved the piano. The euphoria of it all was utter perfection coursing through her bloodstream. When it was over, her heart throbbed violently in her chest. She peeled her eyelids open and gazed over to Chef, which looked at her right back boldly as he always did.

Quickly, she cleared her throat and fixed her eyes on a patch of bricked wall elsewhere. “Your father taught you well.”

“He was a stringent teacher,” Chef replied as he took ahold of her chin and directed her attention back to his brilliant gray eyes.

Chef leaned in, the tips of their noses brushing against each other. “You’re bad for my heart, Sugar,” he breathed. “If I gave it to you, you’d break it, wouldn’t you?”

Her eyelids slid shut and bit a corner of her bottom lip for a moment.

“Probably,” she whispered breathlessly—helplessly.

He growled as he swooped in to kiss her hungrily. She cradled his bearded face with her hands, submitting to his dominance. He ripped his lips away and kept them busy by trailing his lips along her cheek and down the column of her throat, licking and nibbling along the way. Sugar squeezed her eyes shut, relishing in the pampering attention. She ran her fingers through his salt-and-pepper hair as his lips landed back on hers and his tongue slid back inside the home of her mouth. After the kiss ended, she looked at him completely dazed.

However, she gathered the courage to snap out of it—as best she could—and she stood up abruptly and stepped off the platform. She cleared her throat, smoothing her hands over her knee-length turquoise sheath dress nervously. “Let’s resume the tour.”

She showed him the kitchen facilities, the wine cellar, her office, and she even showed him the spacious empty banquet room upstairs.

“We have an engaged couple that has booked this room for a wedding ceremony in December. They will do the ceremony up here and then they will have a reception downstairs. We have the wedding cake and desserts covered, but we’re working hand-in-hand with their caterer,” Sugar said, her voice echoing throughout the banquet hall. “It will be Sugar Mama’s first wedding and if all goes well, Sugar Mama will not only be a premier restaurant for desserts but a premier venue for weddings.”

She swirled on her heels to face him. “So, from one business owner to another, what’s your honest opinion?”

Chef glanced around the room quite impressed. “It’s a sound business strategy to penetrate other lucrative industries like the wedding industry. You could generate enough revenue to open up another location and expand your empire.”

As he spoke, his voice echoed off the walls.

Sugar giggled, shaking her head. “Oh, no. This place is my sanctuary. I don’t want to go anywhere else.”

“There’s nothing wrong with thinkin’ big, honey,” Chef assured.

“And there’s nothing wrong with staying small. Size isn’t everything, Mister Thibodeau,” she said teasingly as she approached him, tapping a finger against his chest.

Chef arched an eyebrow, his signature grin spreading across his lips. “Depends on the situation.”

Sugar rolled her eyes and fought a smile. “It’s time for me to open up the restaurant.”

“Shame. The fun was just getting started,” he said as he watched her move past him and back to the door leading to the stairwell. They made their way back downstairs and found themselves back into dining area through metal door. At the entrance doors, some of her staff were waiting for her.

“Find a seat anywhere you’d like and I’ll have someone get you a menu,” she told him as she sashayed towards the lobby to unlock the doors. She was greeted with a chorus of good mornings.

“Victoria, there is a special guest sitting in your section. Make sure he gets top-tier treatment,” Sugar told a beautiful waitress with black-and-green box braids as the woman entered the restaurant. Victoria grinned at Sugar and gave her a two-finger salute.

“I’ll treat him like royalty,” the waitress assured.

Soon, the lunch crowd trickled its way inside and daily operations of Sugar Mama was in full swing. She slipped into her manager shoes, beelining between the kitchen, her office, and the dining area. Occasionally, when she was in the dining area gauging customer satisfaction, she caught sight of Chef indulging one of her desserts and drinking cocktails from the bar. Victoria kept her word in treating him like royalty and some of the other waitresses wandered out of their sections to ask if he needed anything. As she stood behind the server’s station, she heard girly gossip about how hot Victoria’s customer was.

The gossip made Sugar roll her eyes, but it amused her greatly.

Darren, one of her receptionist, came into the server’s station looking for her. “Erm, Ms. Wallace?”

“Is something wrong, Darren?”

“There is a party of six that wants to be seated,” Darren answered nervously.

Sugar arched an eyebrow at her receptionist’s nervousness before briefly glancing around the dining area to see a few seating options available for a party of that size, but the best suited one was directly by Chef’s table. “We have plenty of room for that. You can seat them.”

“There’s a bit of a problem,” Darren returned. “Your, um, ex-husband is with that party.”

Sugar’s eyes widened at Darren’s words. She closed her eyes and shook her head in disbelief, letting out a nervous laugh.

“I’m sorry. What did you just say?”

“Your ex-husband is here,” Darren repeated.

“I see,” Sugar said, clearing her throat. “Thank you, Darren.”

Sugar sauntered to the lobby with her heart beating violently in her chest.

This was not good.

This was not good at all.

Lance and Chef—her past and present—in her restaurant at the very same time had to be some cruel joke.

“There she is,” Albert Wolford, her ex-husband’s superior, replied chipperly and widened his arms for a hug. A false look of pleasant surprise eased across Sugar’s face as she walked into her restaurant’s lobby and saw her ex-husband, his boss, and four unfamiliar businessmen.

“Albert, it’s good to see you,” she said as happily as she could as she walked straight into the older man’s arms. As she hugged the man, she shot Lance a deadly glance in which he smirked at her.

The hug broke apart and she plastered a fake smile back onto her lips.

“Time has treated you well,” Albert complimented with a wink.

“Divorce has treated me well,” she corrected him jokingly that caused him and the other four businessmen to erupt into a fit of hearty laughter. Lance let out a forced laugh a few seconds too late. A laugh she knew all too well and she relished in the sound of it.

He didn’t like her little jab and she hoped it stung.

“Lance has been nagging me for months to pay Sugar Mama a visit. He says the desserts are the best in town,” Albert said.

Sugar smiled sweetly at her ex-husband and placed a hand on her chest as if flattered. “That’s so sweet, Lance. No pun intended, of course.”

That earned her another chorus of laughter.

“Well, gentlemen, if you follow me, I’ll get you seated and you’ll be well taken care of by my wonderful staff.”

She swirled on her heels and marched into the dining area with the small army of men in tow. Immediately, she remembered that the only spot suitable for six was a table directly to the left of Chef. She gestured to the table.

“Victoria,” Sugar said to the waitress as she was about to walk away from Chef’s table.

Victoria froze and looked to Sugar. “Yes, ma’am?”

“Please, get six menus for these gentlemen,” she ordered politely.

“Absolutely,” Victoria replied before she went off to complete the task.

Sugar turned her attention back to the table of businessmen. “Victoria will take great care of you.”

“Won’t you sit down and join us, Sugar? Catch up on old times,” Albert requested. “I need to entertain our special guests with a few good stories.”

Sugar wagged her finger at the sixty-something-year-old white man. “I’m not very good at working and playing. The only one who is an expert at this is Lance.”

“Ho, ho, ho! That’s a good one,” Albert laughed heartily, slapping Lance hard on the back. “How could you let a woman like her get away, son?”

“I picked my cage’s lock,” Sugar assured teasingly with a wink.

“Then he should’ve invested in a better lock,” Albert returned with a chuckle.

Lance chuckled, but his eyes were cold. “Anyone that knows me knows that I only invest in things that are worth my time,” he replied as he turned his attention to the sharply dressed men that sat around the table. “As a matter of fact, I invested a pretty penny into this restaurant to help kickstart it.”

Sugar’s hands balled into fists, her fingernails digging into the soft flesh of her palms as she listened to him sprout lies so smoothly with his snake tongue.

“You invested wisely, Lance,” Albert commended.

Just then, Victoria returned with an armful of menus and handed them out.

“Why are you such a fucking liar, Lance,” she snapped before she could stop herself.

Everyone at the table, including Victoria, gazed at her in utter shock except Lance whose facial expression was blank. Then he suddenly broke out into an amused laugh that resulted in the other men to laugh hesitantly.

Lance rose from his seat, towering over Sugar.

“Sugar, you can’t hog all the credit and what have I told you about sampling the wine before noon? Let’s go back to your office so you can sit down and rest. Victoria, get a glass of water for Ms. Wallace,” he said as he gently put his hand on her arm, but secretly squeezed it tightly—like old times. For a moment, she thought she was still his wife and her heartbeat raced as she realized what would happen next.

She glanced around the dining area and noticed that she was garnering attention from her staff and customers. She needed to leave before this situation got out of hand. Not wanting to make anymore of a scene, she let him lead her away from prying eyes. He escorted her towards her office to keep up the charade, but his hand gripped her arm tighter and tighter. Once they were in the hallway, she tried to yank her arm of his grasp, but he was too strong.

“You think that stunt you pulled back there was cute,” Lance hissed.

A voice stopped them both. “I thought it was.”

Sugar and Lance halted in their steps and turned to the owner of the voice. Chef sauntered over to them.

Lance’s brows scrunched together in confusion. “And who are you exactly?”

“A good friend,” Chef said.

“That’s not a name,” Lance returned, narrowing his eyes.

“You should’ve been more specific with your questions,” Chef tossed back, smirking. “Now, you can let go of her now. I don’t think she needs your assistance any longer.”

Lance’s grip tightened on Sugar’s arm. She was frozen and trapped inside of her own body—her own head. She was unsure of what to do or say, so caught up in painful memories of the past that she felt like she was having war flashbacks.

Chef took a step forward and cocked his head. “Are you slow in the head or do I need to knock you against a wall to put some sense into you? Let her go.”

Her ex-husband cocked his head in return, eying Chef for a long moment as if his brain were piecing together a puzzle. Then it clicked inside of his head and the revelation was written all over Lance’s face.

“You’re the motherfucker who hung up on me twice,” Lance growled, letting Sugar’s arm go and moving closer to Chef.

“And you’re the motherfucker that called pathetically called his ex-wife twice,” Chef returned coolly, unmoved by Lance’s aggression.

Lance only grew angrier. “Who the fuck do you think you are?”

“I’m the man who’s fuckin’ your ex-wife,” Chef said boldly. Lance’s head jerked back in utter shock as he shifted his gaze between Chef and Sugar. Reaching into his jean pocket, Chef pulled out his cell and offered it out to Lance as he continued, “If you gotta problem with that then you can phone a friend who actually gets a fuck ‘cause you ain’t gonna find one here.”

“You’re about to use that phone to dial 911. You don’t know who the fuck you’re messing with,” Lance growled.

“I’m messin’ with a little boy who needs to find a stump to fit his rump somewhere before he gets knocked on his ass,” Chef replied with a smirk.

Sugar needed to end this now before Chef made good on his word. She knew he was capable making Lance swallow blood and teeth with little effort.

Rubbing the sore spot on her arm where Lance grabbed her, she said as calmly as possible, “Alright, this conversation needs to end right n—“

“Shut your damn mouth. It’s finished when I say it’s fin—”

Sugar nearly jumped out of her skin as Chef grabbed Lance by the throat and rammed him into a wall.

Lance struggled out his threat. “Get…your…hands…off…me…you…piece of…shit!” .

Lance wheezed and grabbed at Chef’s hand, but as Chef’s grip tightened.

“Don’t you ever talk to her like that again,” Chef growled menacingly. “As a matter of fact, don’t talk to her ever again. Don’t bring your pathetic ass around her again. If you see her on the street, cross the street to get to the other sidewalk. She wants you gone. Ain’t that right, Sugar?”

She hadn’t paid attention to the question. Too absorbed in the reality that Chef was hurting the man who hurt her. Chef was defending her honor. “W-w-what?”

“Do you want him gone?”

Sugar looked between Chef and Lance before she uttered breathlessly, “Yes.”

The answer felt so good on her tongue. The three-letter word gave her a shot of adrenaline—a boost of confidence and courage.

“Good.” Chef smiled at her proudly. “Now, c’mere.”

Hesitantly, she walked over to them.

“Slap the fuck out of him,” Chef ordered.

What,” Sugar and Lance replied in unison, looking at Chef as if he sprouted four heads and grew a pair of horns.

“I said slap the fuck out of him,” Chef repeated. “A goin’ away gift from you to him. This is your one and only chance to show him how much you’ve changed. To show him how selfish you are.”

Uncertainty clouded her face.

“He ain’t gonna bite ‘cause he knows that I’ll knock his teeth down his throat if he tries anything stupid,” Chef assured with a grin.

Chef released his throat and Lance took a desperate gasp of air.

Sugar stared at Lance, a rapid buildup of pain and anger ready to burst out of her as she thought about everything she had given him and everything he had taken away. As she thought about him abusing her physically, mentally, and psychologically. As she thought about how he brought her down and made her feel like she was a waste of existence.

“Shug, come on. This man is bad news and crazy as hell. I know we’ve had our differences but—” Lance’s head snapped to the side as she slapped him with everything she had. The slap sliced across the air sharply. Before her ex-husband could properly react to what just transpired, she backhanded him across the face forcing his head in the opposite direction. Just then, Victoria was walking down the hallway with a cup of water that Lance had requested therefore stumbling into the intense act of restorative justice. She backed away slowly before she went back to where she came from.

Sugar then kneed him in the balls after getting into a rhythm of issuing punishment. Lance toppled over and crumbled to the floor, holding himself as he groaned aloud.

“You want to invest in something worth your time, Lance? Invest some time in your own life and stop trying to sashay your ass in mine,” Sugar ranted. “Now, I’m going to give you three minutes to collect yourself off my damn floor and get the hell out of my restaurant. Do you understand me?”

When he didn’t answer right away, she kicked him in the stomach. “Do you understand me?”

“Yes,” he hissed in pain. “Yes, dammit, yes!”

“And don’t forget to tip your waitress,” she said before stepped over his body and sauntered towards the kitchen to resume her role as a manager.


In her wake, she heard Chef chuckled deeply to Lance, ”I guess you ain’t slow in the head after all.” 

End Notes:

I've waiting since the Sweet Jasmine chapter to reveal that Chef is a pianist like Sugar. Uuuuh, I am so glad that it's out in the open now. It's so much fun revealing Chef's background piece by piece. Hot piano sex in the future, ya'll. 

I am not going to lie this chapter was supposed to end way differently than it came out, but the weird thing about being a writer is that the characters will tell you where they want to go sometimes. The chapter was supposed to end with conversation between Chef and Sugar in her office about Lance, but Chef was like 'hell naw' to that scene and was like 'we gonna do it like this'. I think it fits better and I was like 'yaasss, Chef, yaaasss'. So thanks, Chef. LMAO

I hope ya'll enjoyed this chapter as much as I did writing it. 

Feedback is greatly appreciated. I think the next update will be about Chef and Sugar talking about Lance and playing a round of pool. ;D After that, I think it's breakfast with the Hartwell females with Helena being Helena.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James

Salty Scars by Missus James
Author's Notes:

June 13, 2017

Sugar shares her scars with Chef. 

Mood Music (one for Chef and one for Sugar): It Will Come Back by Hozier & Let It Burn by Jazmine Sullivan


It was seven minutes past two in the morning when Sugar eased her car into an empty parking space in front of The Salty Marine. She drummed her fingers on the steering wheel as she stared at The Salty Marine through her windshield, a war of indecision brewing inside of her. She could either walk her ass in there and talk to him about what the hell happened in the hallway at her restaurant or drive her ass home and pretend like the man she was fucking didn’t help her beat the shit out of her ex-husband. In the end, she decided to get out of the car as she saw Gizzard walk out as if he were about to lock up the entrance doors.

“Well, I’ll be,” Gizzard said with a grin.

She smiled back at the man. “Hi, Gizzard.”

“If you’re lookin’ for the Big Man, he’s inside,” Gizzard said as he opened the entrance door for her to slip inside. “He’ll sure be happy to see you.”

“Thanks, Gizzard,” Sugar said as she accepted his kind gesture by walking into the restaurant.

“My pleasure, milady,” Gizzard returned with a gentleman bow and a playful wink before he shut the door and locked it like he had originally intended. They waved goodbye to each other through the door’s glass before Gizzard walked to his truck, hopped inside, and drove off.

Sugar crossed her arms over her chest as she walked through the darkened ‘hole in the wall’ restaurant. Light illuminated from the kitchen entrance doors behind the bar and she made her way to them, pushing through the doors to step inside the brightened space. At the back of the kitchen was the manager’s office with a door wide open. Her high heels clicked against the tile floor as she moved across the kitchen to the door.

“Gizz, get the hell out of my restaurant and go home. Give that damn dog of yours his heart medicine before he has a heart attack,” Chef ordered from the depths of his office. “And yes, I like the dog more than I like you.”

Sugar bit her bottom lip to hold back a laugh.

Chef was on his office computer, looking at gorgeous interior shots of luxury cabins with a thoughtful expression. He didn’t notice her arrival as she leaned against the doorframe.

“Do you like the dog more than me too,” she asked curiously. Chef swiftly shifted his attention away from his computer and locked eyes with her. A subtle look of pleasant surprise eased onto his face before he settled back into being the confident man that he was.

A slight grin tugged onto his lips. “I think you and I are far past liking each other, don’t you think?”

“I plead the fifth,” she replied teasingly.

“If I had known this was an interrogation, I would’ve brought my handcuffs,” he returned, his grin widening a little.

Sugar entered his office and eased down into a chair in front of his desk. “I’ll remember to RSVP next time.”

They eyed each other for a long moment. Unspoken things they wanted to say felt palpable. To break eye contact, she gazed down at her legs and crossed one over the other, smoothing out her turquoise sheath dress.

“We need to talk about what happened in that hallway, Chef,” she said after clearing her throat.

He leaned back in his office chair. “It felt good, didn’t it?”

She avoided the question and instead replied, “It was wrong. It shouldn’t have happened.”

“He used to lay his hands on you, didn’t he?”

The question made her heart stop. A tiny gasp escaped her lips. The emotions that rippled across her face betrayed her, but in a panic, Sugar decided to play dumb.

She smiled weakly. “Why would you ask that?”

“Because I saw the look on your face when he touched your arm to escort you out of the dining area,” Chef stated. “It was a look of fear.”

Sugar casted her eyes away, fixating her attention on a framed picture of Chef’s daughter no more than eleven or twelve dressed in a beautiful gown playing the piano at a recital. Immediately, she got up and went to the picture admiring it while avoiding the reality that she had dug herself into a hole with coming here.

Deciding to change the subject, she asked, “You taught your daughter the piano?”

“No, but she was fascinated by it when she was a little bitty thang. She always wanted me to play Clair de Lune. She sit in my lap and fall asleep listenin’. She was about six when she asked if I could teach her, but I had to go on tour. Alicia put her in piano classes to keep her mind off me while I was away,” Chef replied. “Melina struggled with me being away.”

“She was a daddy’s girl?” Sugar asked, a tiny smile on her lips.

“Through n’ through,” Chef replied. “I spoiled her rotten much to Alicia’s dismay.”

“Why did you and Alicia get a divorce?”

“You gotta meet me halfway, honey. I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.”

Sugar closed her eyes and exhaled deeply through her nostrils before she swirled slowly on her heels to face him. “Only if I get to pick my poison.”

“Wouldn’t have it any other way,” Chef said.

She avoided his eyes as she made her way out of his office and through the kitchen before ending up behind the bar. Chef turned on the lights to illuminate the bar shelves. She crossed her arms over her chest as she gazed at the wide selection. She plucked a bottle of vodka off an upper shelf.

She shook the bottle at him. “You in or are you more of a beer kind of guy?”

“I’m definitely in, honey,” Chef assured as he watched her in slight amusement. She moved past him and ended up on the other side of the bar. She used a bar stool for leverage as she hopped onto the high bar counter.

She unscrewed the cap and took a deep sip before scrunching her face and coughing as the liquor’s burn coated her throat harshly.

“Keep drinkin’ like that and you’ll end up in an alcohol-induced coma,” Chef chuckled.

She past him the bottle.

“Lance almost put me in a coma once,” she admitted, watching his handsome bearded face to gauge his reaction. The humor drained from his eyes and he nodded at her to continue. She looked away from him and drew invisible shapes into the bar counter surface.

“There was a lavish Christmas party at Albert’s mansion. They had this gorgeous grand piano that his wonderful wife Karen always played at the party to get everyone in high spirits, but she passed away from breast cancer a few months prior. Albert wanted to listen to Winter Wonderland, his wife’s favorite song, and Lance volunteered me as a pawn to get in Albert’s good graces, but I didn’t feel right doing it. Helping Lance exploit Albert’s sorrow to get a leg up at his job,” Sugar said as she stared off into the distance, reminiscing about that night. “I told Albert that I wouldn’t do the song any justice because Karen did it so beautifully. Albert understood, but Lance took it as an act of defiance. So, when we got home. He backhanded me so hard, I hit my head against the wall and passed out. I was knocked out cold for nearly a day. He didn’t even bother taking me to the hospital, but he was ‘kind’ enough to tuck me into bed.”

She shook her head, sniffling at the memory. “So, to answer your question from earlier. Yes, he used to abuse me.”

Sugar glanced over her shoulder and admitted, “And yes, it did feel good taking back something he stole from me.”

Chef took a good gulp from the vodka before he passed it back to her. “I enjoyed watchin’ you beat the shit out of him. It was sexy as all get out.”

A bright burst of laughter bubbled from her lips and she shot him a bashful glance. “Shut up, Chef,” she said as she brought the bottle to her lips and took a sip.

“I love a woman who knows how to get rough,” he returned with a smirk. “As a matter of fact, that’s how I met my ex-wife.”

Sugar blinked in surprise as she gave him back the bottle. “Your ex-wife roughed you up?”

“Well,” Chef began with a chuckle, “I was stationed in Kentucky and few of the boys in my squad was feelin’ mighty lonely. So, they dragged me to this seedy ass bar that was a local waterin’ hole. All I wanted was a pint or two and be on my way, but there was this gorgeous redhead at the bar turnin’ heads. She was tryin’ to enjoy her drink, but she kept gettin’ hit on. Well, one bastard just couldn’t take a hint and she threw a drink in his face before she hightailed out of there. He followed her and I followed after him. Before he could even try somethin’ stupid, she punched him square in the face and beat the hell out of him like he stole somethin’ right in the parkin’ lot. I decided to step in and made the mistake of approaching her from behind and she elbowed me in the face in retaliation.”

Sugar clasped a hand over her mouth, trying to keep herself from laughing.

“She got me pretty good too. Gave me a bloody nose. She felt bad once she realized that I was only tryin’ to help. She took me back into the bar’s bathroom and cleaned my face up. Shoved a wad of bathroom tissue into one of my nostrils and asked me if I wanted to get a case of shitty beer at a gas station and hang out. She parked her car underneath a bridge and we drunk every bottle then we,” he trailed off with a grin and raised his eyebrows suggestively.

“Wow, you two didn’t waste any time,” Sugar replied with a smile and rolled her eyes.

“We were young and drunk,” he said, “but after that night, I knew I wanted her to be my wife. We got married three months later.”

“Lance was my first,” Sugar said, “and our first time together was on our wedding night. We were nineteen and couldn’t afford anything luxurious. So, we spent our honeymoon at a beautiful Victorian bed and breakfast just outside of town. I was so nervous. Lance managed to smuggle a bottle of champagne into our suitcase and I had my first taste of alcohol that night. The champagne helped a lot. He was so sweet and gentle with me…He was so different back then.”

She bit down onto her bottom lip as memories of Lance making love to her for the first time fluttered into her head. She extended her hand for the vodka bottle, wanting to wash away the memories before she got too sentimental—before she forgot how much of a monster Lance was now. Chef willingly gave it to her and Sugar took a deeper gulp this time around, letting the warm burn slither down her throat and course through her veins. Her head was much lightheaded now.

“Why did you two divorce,” she then asked.

“My job,” he said. “I was so close to retirement, but the war was in full swing and I had a job to do. The tours started to add up. Eighteen months here, twenty-four months there. Alicia was raisin’ teenaged Melina by herself and Melina just couldn’t handle me bein’ away.”

His voice had grown more somber as he spoke. “She got so depressed. I came back stateside with the promise of stayin’ there permanently, but they sent me back. She tried to commit suicide after that, but it wasn’t successful. Alicia had to commit her into a mental hospital and she had to deal with that all by herself. That was the final nail in the coffin for our marriage. Her having to watch our daughter’s mental health deteriorate because of me…”

Sugar passed him the bottle as a token of sympathy—understanding.

“You did the best you could, Miles,” she whispered.

“If that were true, my daughter wouldn’t have committed suicide at nineteen years old,” he said as he eyed the bottle in discontent, his deep voice heavy with a terrible concoction of sorrow, guilt, and regret. “She’d be a twenty-four-year-old young woman right now. Hell, she could’ve been married right now and I could’ve had beautiful grandkids.”

She jumped slightly as he placed the bottle onto the bar counter a little too hard. He ran his fingers through his pepper-and-salt hair, shaking his head. “I think I’ve had enough to drink.”

“Chef, I shouldn’t’ve asked. I am so sor—”

“Stop apologizin’, Sugar,” Chef said angry emotional tone, slamming his fist down onto the bar counter. “Stop apologizin’ and blamin’ yourself for other people’s problems. Just like you blamed yourself every single time your fucked-up ex put his hands on you. Just stop it!”

A pained look rippled across her face. “I think it’s time for me to go.”

She hopped down quickly and landed with a stumble, but she caught herself and marched towards the entrance door.

“Shit,” Chef cursed and departed swiftly from behind the bar counter to go after her. “Wait. Sugar, wait. Wait, dammit.” 

He carefully took a hold of her forearm before she could reach the door. “I got outta hand, honey. I shouldn’t’ve talked to you like that.”

Sugar wrenched her arm from his grasp and snapped at him, “You’re damn right you shouldn’t have!”

He closed in on her, cupping her face with his calloused tattooed hands. He hunched his back to get his face at her level. “I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. Truly, Sugar. Please, don’t go. Thinkin’ about Melina and what could’ve been always fucks with my head. I told you before I’ve got a lot of scars. Some of them are old, some of them are healing, and some just won’t close. My daughter’s suicide is a scar that heals and opens over and over again for me. Bear with me,” he asked pleadingly, his gray eyes twinkling with a hint of desperation. “I can’t fuck this up. I refuse to fuck this up. You’re too much of a good thang and I’d be slow in the head if I let you walk out that door.”

His words were medicine to her heart—to her soul.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he chanted huskily as he planted light kisses on her lips in between his apologies as he backed her into the glass door. “Take my apology, honey. Please.”

A pure aura of genuine authenticity that poured out of him as he pleaded for her forgiveness.

Mesmerized, Sugar nodded her head. “Yes, I forgive you, Miles.”

Finally, he captured her lips in a deep kiss, thrusting his tongue inside of her mouth to get a taste of her. She wrapped her arms around his neck and lost herself in the passionate kiss he was dishing out to her, but she leaned head back to break it so she could catch her breath. He put his mouth to better use as he kissed across her cheek, along her jawline, and down her neck. Sugar squeezed her eyes shut and moaned aloud, gripping the nape of his neck.

“Miles,” she whispered breathlessly to get his attention.

“I love it when you say my fuckin’ name,” he growled into the crook of her neck before he bit a patch of sensitive flesh and drew it into his mouth with hard sucking.

“Miles,” she said in a tone two notches above a whisper to get his attention once more before she moaned loudly and her eyes rolled into the back of her head as he trailed his lips back up her neck and latched his mouth onto her earlobe. “We need to stop.”

They needed to stop before she let he fuck her against the entrance door of his restaurant.

“I’m operating on three hours of sleep,” she told him. “I need to go home.”

“Then take me with you,” Chef breathed against her ear.

“You know what would happen if I let you in,” Sugar said, which earned her a husky chuckle.

“Plus, I have breakfast with my sisters. I need all the rest I can get,” she replied. “Don’t be alarmed if your ears start burning. They’re going to interrogate me about you.”

Chef pulled back to gaze down at her face. “You fit to drive yourself?”

“Sir, yes, sir,” Sugar said with a weak smile.

“Good ‘cause I’m gonna follow you in my car.”

Sugar’s eyes widened in surprise. “That’s not necessary.”

“I wanna to make sure you get home safe,” he said. “Let me do this.”

Sugar rolled her eyes and sighed heavily in defeat. “Fine.”

About ten minutes later, she was driving through the streets with Chef’s car at her tail. It was a struggle to keep from continuously glancing at her rearview mirror, but she did a fairly good job. Eventually, she eased to a stop in her driveway and got out of her car with her purse on her shoulder. She sashayed over to Chef’s car parked at the curb. The tinted window to the front passenger seat rolled down and she leaned into the open window.

“Thank you for escorting me home.”

“My pleasure.”

“Well, now that I’m home safe and sound, you are free to leave,” she said.

“I’ll leave once you’re inside the house,” Chef stated.

Sugar arched a delicate eyebrow. “Why?”

“’Cause you’ve got a glorious backside and I want to watch it as you walk away,” Chef replied with a wink.

Sugar snorted out a shocked laughter at his response. “You followed me all the way home to be a voyeuristic pervert?”

“Half-truth,” he admitted with a slight grin before he glanced around the neighborhood, scanning the surrounding area as if he were keeping watch for someone. Sugar cocked her head to the side as she watched him before the realization hit her.

“You followed me home because of Lance, didn’t you?”

“Your ex-husband doesn’t seem like the kind of bastard to take an ass-whoopin’ with grace,” Chef admitted, “and I’ll be damned if I let him do some tactical surprise attack on you.”

A genuine smile of appreciation spread across her lips. It was small, but it was there.

“Thank you, Chef,” she said.

“No need to thank me,” Chef returned. “Now, get inside and get some rest, but walk real slow up the driveway so I have ample enough time to admire from here I am.”

Sugar rolled her eyes. “Take a picture. It lasts longer.”

Chef lifted an eyebrow. “Is that an invitation?”

She shrugged nonchalantly. “Could be, but maybe for another time.”

“Don’t tease me like that, Sugar,” he said, a slightly disappointed look on his face.

“Good night, Chef,” she said.

“Night, darlin’,” he returned.

Sugar turned away from his car and walked up the driveway extra slow just like Chef requested. She shook her head slowly as she laughed to herself, glancing over her shoulder every so often to see if he was watching and enjoying what he saw. Once she got to her front door, she unlocked it and stepped inside. She kicked off her high heels and began her journey down the hallway to undress and get ready for bed.

Before she even reached her bedroom door, she heard three solid knocks on her front door. She arched an eyebrow at the sound and returned to the foyer. She rose to the tips of her toes to check the peephole. It was Chef.

She opened the door and asked politely, “Did I not walk slow enough for you? Are you filing a complaint?”

He shot her a charming smile. “While I’ll admit you could’ve walked a little slower, I’m here on a different matter.”

“And that is?”

Chef jiggled a set of keys in front of her. “You left these in my car when you were talkin’ to me.”

“Uh, that’s very interesting because I would’ve needed those to get into my house and yet I have a similar set of keys that got me into my house just fine,” Sugar replied, deciding to play his little game. “Unless, those aren’t my keys and this is some kind of ploy to trick me into letting you into my house.”

Chef took an innocent gander at the keys. “Well, I’ll be damned. These are my keys,” he replied. “I apologize for the mix-up.”

“Apology accepted,” Sugar said, fighting back a smile. “Is there anything else I can do for you, Mister Thibodeau?”

He cleared his throat and coughed a little.

“Well, I am mighty thirsty,” he replied, giving her his best scratchy dry voice, “and also a nice place to sleep would be wonderful too.”

She giggled and rolled her eyes.

“It’s very late. I live very far away and I’m quite tired,” he reasoned slyly. “Now, you wouldn’t forgive yourself if I fell asleep while drivin’ and ended up with my car wrapped around a tree. Now, would you?”

“I suppose,” she agreed.

She widened the door and allowed him entry.

“Thank you for your kindness and generosity,” Chef stated as he sauntered into the darkened depths of her home. She closed the door and locked it.

“I’ll get you something to drink for your dry throat,” she announced as she began to walk towards the kitchen, but Chef caught her forearm and brought her backside against his frontside.

“That’s quite alright,” he assured, his voice miraculously back to normal. “I suppose I wasn’t as thirsty as I thought.”

She laughed a little.

He placed his hands on her hips and slid them upward before his fingers found her sheath dress’s side zipper. “You need any help undressin’ and gettin’ ready for bed?”

He didn’t wait for her to answer as he unzipped it.

“Chef, I really need some sleep,” she whispered.

“Intimacy doesn’t only entail sex, darlin’,” he said. “I just wanna fall asleep and wake up to you is all, but first I gotta get you out of this dress.”

He undressed her in the foyer and carried her to her bedroom like she was his bride. He laid her carefully onto the bed before he undressed himself down his underwear and climbed into the bed beside her. Chef rested on his back while Sugar was pressed against his side with her cheek on his chest and her ear near his heart.

Sliding her eyelids shut, she drifted asleep to the side of his heartbeat while her own heart struggled with the reality that it was going to belong to him sooner than later.


Damn, she was in trouble. 

End Notes:

I had a strong wave of inspiration. It's so painful to write about Chef's past revolving around his daughter. It makes me cry every single time. Writing about him getting in his feelings makes me get in my feelings. 

Feedback is greatly appreciated. 

Have a wonderful Sunday night!

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James 

Juicy Sausage by Missus James
Author's Notes:

June 13, 2017

Sugar slowly learns to embrace her flaws with Chef before she has a very interesting breakfast with the females of her family. 

Mood Music: Blind Man by Xaviar Omar and Masterpiece by Jazmine Sullivan


Sugar’s internal clock awoke her, but she fought hard against it as she moaned softly in protest and snuggled her cheek against her pillow. However, her pillow was quite warm, felt more like flesh than a 5,000-thread count magenta-hued pillow cover, and was covered lightly in hair—chest hair to be exact. Her eyelids snapped open in a groggy confusion before she cocked her head up slightly to see Chef’s slumbering face. The corners of her lips twitched upward for a moment as she observed quietly, soaking up every detail of his bearded face as if she were truly seeing him for the very first time. Her analyzing brain made a list of all his perfections and flaws that were perfect in their own way. She carefully lifted a hand to his face and gently caressed the strong slope of his nose with her index finger before hovering the digit just barely over his lips, but she didn’t have the courage to touch them. Instead, her mind concocted a montage of all the times his lips dominated hers, which in turn sent a chain reaction of goosebumps across her brown flesh and rising heat through her veins.

“I ain’t gonna bite,” Chef replied tiredly, a hint of amusement in his voice while his lips quirked upward into a slight smile.

His eyes were still closed as though he were slept, which her wonder how long had he been truly awake.

“My gut is telling me that you’re lying,” she returned, a soft smile of her own easing across her lips.

His close-mouthed grin widened a smidgen. “I would never.”

Deciding to take his word, the tip of her index finger lightly graced the crease of his closed lips before Chef suddenly bared his teeth at her, growled like a wild dog, and lunged his head forward to bite her. Sugar snatched her hand away in the nick of time, a surprised laughter bursting out of her.

“Chef,” she protested through her mad giggling, playfully slapping his cheek.

He plopped his head back down onto the pillow with the look of a satisfied trickster.

“What happened to ‘I would never’,” she asked, providing a poor imitation of his deep southern voice.

He winked at her. “I can be a hell of a liar.”

“Keep up with the lying and Hell is where you’ll be going,” she said with a roll of her eyes.

“I’m lucky to have experienced a slice of heaven,” Chef replied, “so I’ll gladly take my fall to eternal damnation with grace.”

“And what exactly is your definition of ‘a slice of heaven’, Miles,” she asked, arching a delicate eyebrow.

“Bein’ with you,” he replied as he grinned at her charmingly. 

She rolled her eyes, huffed out a short laugh.

“That’s the cheesiest thing I’ve ever heard,” she said, which was true yet his words made her feel warm and gooey like melting cheese. God, she hated how he was making her feel. All he was doing was talking to her and her heart was pitter-pattering wildly like a schoolgirl getting a mere glance from a crush. It made her feel pathetic, desperate, and starved for masculine attention.

Just then, she heard her cell chippering on her nightstand. She crawled halfway over him on all fours and retrieved it. She pretended to ignore the pleased rumbly sound that Chef made at the back of his throat. It was a text message from Odette.

Ettie: Breakfast is pushed back to 10:00.

Ettie: Helena has a hangover and I gotta revive this chick with electrolytes and shit, but I really want to electrocute her. *annoyed emoji*

Though Sugar was slightly relieved that her scheduled interrogation with her sisters was pushed back an hour, she was less than thrilled about being surrounded by nosy women who were going to probe her about every single detail about her Friday night thing with Chef.

She put the phone down and went to move back to where she was originally, but Chef rested his hand on the back of her bare thighs. “Slow your row, darlin’.”

“Am I hurting you,” she asked.

“Only my feelings if you won’t let me admire what I’ve got sprawled across my chest like a goddamn Christmas gift,” he replied.

Sugar peered over her shoulder in confusion and realized he was referring to her ass covered in plum panties that was laid across his chest. She rolled her eyes and shook her head, fighting back a smile.

“Well, this is a Christmas gift you won’t be opening anytime soon,” she assured him. His hand slid up the back of her thighs before he slipped a finger past her panties’ edge, crooked it, and made the elastic snap against her left ass cheek. Goosebumps prickled across her skin at the action.

“Don’t be so sure, honey,” he returned as he removed his finger and smoothed his hand over the curve of her ass in a slow appreciative way. She closed her eyes and savored the attention like she was starved for some.

“Gimme your phone,” he ordered, breaking her from her trance.


“I wanna take a picture,” he replied.

Her heartbeat doubled in pace and her eyes increased in size. “I’m sorry. Can you repeat that?”

“I’m takin’ you up on your offer,” Chef said. “Now, gimme your phone.”

She gasped as he gave her a good smack on the ass and the vibrations from it went straight to the spot in between her legs.

She shot him a look over her shoulder and he grinned right back, winking at her. Sugar hesitantly reached for the device and crawled from over him, passing it to him. Not wanting to provide him with an opportunity for the snapshot of her ass he desired to take, she laid back down beside him. He took her bashful refusal with grace and a widening grin, finding her camera app with a few clicks of his thumb. Deciding to sit up, Chef leaned his back against her pillows and headboard, aiming her phone’s rear camera lens at her shy face.

A familiar ‘snapshot’ sound filled the air and the right corner of his lips tugged upward as his gray eyes gazed at the screen. “Perfect.”

She let out an unladylike snort and rolled her eyes.

“Very far from it,” she assured.

He cocked her phone away from his face to stare at her carefully for a moment. “Then I suppose I’ll need to gather photographic evidence to prove my point.”

“I think one picture is enough, Miles,” she replied in light protest as she went to grab the phone from his possession, but he playfully moved the device out of her reach.

“And I think one picture is just the beginning,” he returned.

Sugar gave him a look of annoyance and crossed her arms over her chest, lolling her head away from him. The fact of the matter was Chef armed with her phone as a camera meant he would no doubt use it to peel back her defenses and reveal a side of her she sometimes showed him a peek of but honestly feared wholeheartedly: her vulnerability.

“Aw, come on, honey. Don’t be like that,” Chef chuckled softly as he leaned down to kiss her temple before he pulled back. “Let me take a few photos before you kick me out of your bed.”

“Do I have an option of kicking you out earlier than scheduled,” she queried humorlessly as she brushed his face away from hears and yanked her bed sheet over her head, swallowing herself in darkness, hiding herself away in a safe cocoon. Immediately after that moment, she felt Chef’s weight remove itself from her bed and a bout of panic hit her hard as she feared that she might have pissed him off. She opened her mouth to speak as she laid hidden underneath the safety of her bed sheet, but the words never came as the bed sheet was suddenly pulled back to reveal only her pedicured feet.

“What are you doing,” she asked in utter confusion.

“Takin’ a picture,” he answered.

Her eyebrows scrunched together. “Of only my feet?”

“Of every inch of you, darlin’,” he said, “and I’ll start with these adorable toes I love suckin’ on.”

A snapshot sound streamed into her ears.

Chef leaned onto the bed slightly and kissed her toes before he drew her big toe into his mouth and suckled for a few moments, earning an airy sigh of pleasure from Sugar. The bed sheet slid up her legs and stopped just above her knees.

“You’ve got legs for days, darlin’. I love starin’ at ‘em, touchin’ em, and bein’ in between ‘em,” he complimented with a slight chuckle as he eased onto the bed and took another photo before he widened her legs, causing the bed sheet to ride up a little further. He licked a trail from along her left calf’s side and up to her knee, his head halfway disappearing underneath the bedsheet as his lips rained savoring kisses around her knee. Sugar squeezed her eyes shut and tilted her head back, tingly sensations spreading across her sensitive skin like wildfire.

“And these thighs,” he said followed by a wolfish whistle—that made her smile as she bit her bottom lip—as he wedged his bare shoulders in between her legs, making the bed sheet rest just above her panties. “They’re so damn thick and soft…”

He snapped another picture of her thighs before he leaned in, planting a kiss on her panty-clad pussy—directly on her pulsing clit. He took the time to lick at it through the thin fabric of her panties. She shuddered at the sensation and moaned.

“So sweet and pink,” he said in a husky appreciative voice against her pussy. “Mind if I have a taste?”

“Just a small one,” she consented breathlessly.

He chuckled a little at her response as he pushed her panties aside and didn’t waste any time tasting her. He probed her wet folds with his tongue, exploring and savoring the most intimate features of her. He gave her a long lick from bottom to top before he swirled his tongue around her clit and pampered it with lazy flicks. She arched the small of her back and tilted her head back against her pillows, moaning loudly. He licked her slit again much more appreciatively before the tip of his tongue teased her opening in tight circles before he trailed his tongue back up to her clit, licking the underside of the swelling bud before he drew it into his mouth for a careful rhythmic sucking that drove her absolutely insane and all of pleasurable sounds that came out of her mouth let him how much.

Then he stopped suddenly and gave her clit a farewell kiss.

“Why did you stop,” she panted as she gazed down at him after unveiling her head from her bedsheet.

“I was only permitted a small taste,” he replied, his warm breath fluttering against her clit as he spoke. “Plus, I need to finish gatherin’ my evidence…unless, you wanna try somethin’ that kills two birds with one stone.”

Sugar arched an eyebrow at him, still catching her breath. “And what’s that exactly?”

“I’ll eat your sweet pussy like it’s my last supper and you can record it,” he replied.

Sugar’s eyes widened and a shocked kind of laughter burst from her lips, but the determined look in his eyes was all the proof she needed to realize that he wasn’t joking. He wasn’t joking at all. The laughter died in her throat and immediately, she felt vulnerable. She bit her bottom lip as her mind raced with her options—options that were dwindling rapidly as Chef kissed and trailed his tongue along her inner thigh. In the end, she decided what in the hell did she have to lose?

“Okay,” she agreed in a soft breathless voice. His lips busied themselves with her inner thigh as he laid her phone on her belly before he gripped the underside of her thigh and tilted it wider as he journeyed back to her pussy.

Sugar grabbed her phone and brought it towards her face to switch the mode from camera to video. A flashing red dot appeared in a corner of the screen that mirrored a live scene that unfolded beyond her phone. Through her phone screen, she witnessed Chef deliver his end of the bargain and she immediately reaped the benefits of it. However, it proved difficult to keep the phone steady, but it became even more so when Chef slid a hand up the landscape of her body that rested underneath the bed sheet to yank down one of her bra cups to toy with her nipple. Her body was on fire now and there was a growing tightness in her belly that was ready to snap as he tormented her drenched pussy with his devilish mouth while his hand rolled and tugged onto her hard dark nipple. She rocked her hips in response, grinding her pussy into his face.

“Fuck,” she cried as he paused to blow cool air onto her clit.

Though her phone blocked her face, Miles gazed up at her intensely as if the device wasn’t there at all and all he could see was her. She gasped sharply as he tugged her clit into his mouth with his teeth while he slid two thick fingers inside her, thrusting the digits inside of her hard and slow. He curled his fingers as he pumped them into her, rubbing his fingertips against her G-spot over and over and over until she couldn’t think straight or breathe. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head as she climaxed, crying to the ceiling and trembling all over.

When it was all over, she opened her eyes as she felt her phone get plucked from her grasp. Chef licked his lips as he lifted his head.

“You look so fuckin’ gorgeous when you cum for me, Sugar.” After a few clicks of his thumb, he aimed the phone’s rear lens at her as she laid there utterly spent and took a photo. “You sing out the sweetest notes for me too.”

Pushing the bed sheet upward, he revealed her belly button and bent his head to circle his tongue along the edge of it before dipping it inside. She arched her back a little and bit her bottom lip, a groan vibrating deep in her throat.

He snapped a photo of her belly before he kissed his way up to her breasts and nuzzled his head between the valley as if he were trying to make a home there. Sugar ran her fingers through her hair. She sighed in pleasure as he lapped at her nipple lazily—the one atop of her breast that he had yanked the bra cup from. “Mm, your breasts fit so perfectly in my hands. I can’t deny I love squeezin’ ‘em and playin’ with ‘em. Tastin’ your sweet nipples are just the cherry on top.”

After he took a picture of her breasts, he finally reached her face.

“You have such soft plump lips and sweet tongue,” Chef commented with a slight grin as he hovered over her face, capturing her lips and slipping his tongue inside. He swallowed her moan as their tongues became a deep tangle of passion. She tasted a hint of herself on his lips and it surprised her how much she loved it. He pulled back, earning a disappointed whimper from her. He chuckled a little in reply and kissed both of her cheeks.

“I love the dimples in your cheeks when you smile,” he said before he kissed her nose. “I love your button nose.”

“And those big brown eyes of your slay me every damn time you look in my direction,” Chef said as his lips planted light feathery on her closed eyelids. When he was finished, she peeled back her eyelids and gazed up at his handsome face. His descriptive words of her body made her feel like a walking masterpiece even though she had an ongoing tally of all her flaws nagging her in the back of her head.

“Are you satisfied with your little photoshoot,” she asked in a soft teasing voice.

“Not quite,” Chef said with a twinkle of mischief in his eye. “I have one more thang to take a picture of.”

In moments, she was flipped over onto her belly by Chef’s doing.

“There we go,” Chef said with a satisfied grin as he took a picture of her ass.

Sugar shook her head and laughed, a sound which died in her throat and was replaced by a lengthy moan as Chef leaned down to kiss the sensitive nape of her neck before he gave her a love bite there.



The sound of white noise clogged Sugar Wallace’s ears as she sat at the diner table with her elbow propped on the table and her chin resting on her first while her free hand swirled a silvery spoon in her coffee absentmindedly. She reminisced about how she woke up beside Chef, their steamy photoshoot fueled by his determination to prove to her that she was some sort of masterpiece to him, and the searing kiss he gifted her before he left, leaving her alone in bed to miss him—to ache for him. God, she hated this. A pink sugar packet smacked her cheek and she blinked her eyes wildly as she brought herself back to the present.

“Oh, hello! Welcome back,” Odette said sweetly as she batted her eyelashes innocently. “How was your trip to the clouds?”

Sugar straightened up in her seat and rolled her eyes at her baby sister.

“Haha,” she said humorlessly, “very funny.”

“What’s funny is that you’ve clearly forgotten why you’re here,” Helena said groggily before she forked some cheesy scrambled eggs into her mouth. The young woman looked like she was barely alive due to her hangover.

With a mouthful of eggs, Helena then questioned, “Now, let’s stop tiptoeing around the question we all know needs to be answered: Can bruh throw down or now?”

“Helena, forreal,” Reid huffed before she took a sip of her tea, shaking her head at the overtly eager young woman.

“Actually, I agree with Helena,” Rochelle chimed in, which earned her a chorus of surprised looks all around the table. In which, she cleared her throat as if she were in court presenting her side of a case and further added, “Her misguided approach aside--"

Helena blew Rochelle a kiss and tossed her a wink.

“That’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever said to me,” Helena interjected and Rochelle rolled her eyes sharply in return and continued on with her speech.

Rochelle resumed, “We’re not here to drink coffee and eat eggs, and sausage—”

“We’re here to eat sausage and talk about Chef’s sausage,” Helena cut in once more loudly, garnering unneeded attention from other patrons and waiting staff in the busy diner. Sugar gave a passing waitress who overheard the outburst a week smile even though her face burned with embarrassment.

Katrina closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. “Maybe, I should plate up my breakfast and eat at work.”

“I second that notion,” Sugar agreed anxiously as she brought her coffee mug to her lips and took a deep sip, wishing the beverage was spiked with something stronger.

Odette sighed, “Just answer the question, Shug.”

“I don’t kiss and tell,” Sugar said.

Hopefully, the two of you did a lot more than kissing,” Reid returned.

Sugar clicked her manicured nails against the coffee mug she cradled in her hands while a smile accidentally curled across her lips as memories from the last few days played through her mind like a movie. The women around her caught it immediately and hassled her through a chorus of proud smiles, I-knew-it’s, and of course, Helena’s ‘yasss, queen, yasss’.

“So?” Rochelle asked in a sing-song voice, gesturing for Sugar to spill the beans.

Sugar gave them a defeated look before she started to fumble over her words. “It was amazing. The date, I mean. No, I mean the thing. The thing was amazing.”

All the females gave each other confused looks.

“Why are you calling it a thing. It’s a date. You two went on a date,” Rochelle said with a frown. “You two are dating each other.”

Sugar opened her mouth, prepared to admit the fact that she and Chef weren’t dating, but Chef’s proposal blew into her mind like a breeze.

“How about this, darlin’? Let’s go to this little gettogether and play pretend. You pretend to be my mine and I’ll pretend to be yours. It will be a little dirty secret of ours,” Chef proposed in her ear. “What do you say?”

“You’re right. It was a date,” Sugar chuckled nervously. “It’s been so long since I’ve had one that I don’t even know what to call it anymore.”

Odette began, “Semantics aside—"

“How big is he?” Helena asked. Katrina had been in the middle of sipping her tea when the question had been posed and began to cough as the beverage went down the wrong pile. Reid reached over and patted the woman on the back as she went through a coughing fit.

“Really, Helena,” Odette hissed.

“It’s a legitimate question,” Helena replied innocently.

Rochelle narrowed her eyes. “It’s not like she brought a ruler with her.”

“What’s wrong with bringing a ruler,” Helena asked.

Katrina’s hand shot up in the air as she tried to wave down their waitress. “I can’t do this anymore. Check, please!”

“Yup, whipping out a ruler on a guy is a real turn on,” Reid said, rolling her eyes.

Helena pursed her lips together, slightly irritated that the women around the table couldn’t understand her ways. “Okay, I’ll put it this way. On a scale from Lance’s little worm to Ginuwine’s 2016 leaked dick pic, how big is he?”

There was an intense silence fell upon the table and everyone’s eyes were on Sugar. Even Katrina abandoned her attempt to escape this twisted breakfast to hear the confession.

“If I answer this question, can we please have a normal breakfast before we all head off to work,” Sugar queried, arching an eyebrow.

“Yes,” Odette and Helena said in unison.

Sugar casted her eyes to the ceiling and sighed heavily.

“Ginuwine is pretty big, right,” she asked, a thoughtful look on her face as she hadn’t seen this leaked picture of Ginuwine nor did she want to.

Yes,” Odette, Helena, Reid, and Katrina said in unison.

Rochelle, being the lawyer that she was, arched an eyebrow at the quartet of women. “Seriously? Invasion of privacy much?”

“Then he’s a…Ginuwine,” Sugar said hesitantly.

Jaws dropped around her.

Rochelle asked, “How are you walking?”

Odette also asked in that moment, “How are you alive?”

Reid’s eyebrows scrunched together. “Are you sure he’s that big?”

“Of course, I’m sure. I slept him with three times,” Sugar admitted with a frown before she couldn’t filter her thoughts, which opened another can of worms.

“You slept with Mister Chef three times,” Helena said with a cheesy grin and she stood up a little, leaning over the table to present Sugar with a high-five. “I only heard about one.”

Sugar left Helena hanging as she heard the young woman’s final words to her statement. “What?”

Helena’s proud face transformed into her ‘oh shit, I fucked up’ face.

“Erm, a little birdie might have tweeted in my ear,” she admitted, “about something regarding a…code blue.”

All of the other women at the table glanced between Sugar and Helena at the mention of a code blue, but said nothing.

Sugar narrowed her eyes. “And by little birdie, you mean Mallory Hartwell, my gossiping little brother who’s going to get his head knocked in when I see him? That little birdie?”

Helena chuckled nervously. “Wrong birdie. I think my little birdie flew south already for the winter.”

“It’s summer,” Sugar said deadpan.

“He got an early start,” Helena returned in a slight panic as she stood up from her seat, shrugging on her backpack. “Look at the time, I need to get to class.”

Odette shook her head disappointedly at her sister-in-law and said, “You rode with me.”

“I’ll take the bus,” Helena said, shooting Odette a fake tight smile. “Bye, queens.”

She blew everyone a kiss and hightailed out of the diner.

Rochelle arched an eyebrow at Sugar. “Code red?”

“Yup,” Sugar nodded curtly as she took a deep gulp of her coffee, clenching her jaw tightly as she concocted fantasies of how she was going to beat the hell out of her baby brother.





End Notes:

Code red = Someone's going to get their ass whooped!

Chef got Sugar feeling like a masterpiece, but she don't know how to take it.

I was on the fence about this chapter. It was originally two different chapters and I decided to emerge it into one. I'm sorry, Ms. Josie and Ms. Joy (that music selection got me all in my feels, especially those Tamia songs), that I posted this so soon. I was just too excited because I really want to get to that four-day weekend chapters, LOL.

I hope you enjoyed this chapter. 

Feedback is greatly appreciated. 

Have a wonderful Tuesday evening! :) 

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James

Sweet Welcome by Missus James
Author's Notes:

June 30, 2017

Sugar and Chef arrive at the beach house to begin an interesting four-day weekend. 

Music Mood: The Motive by SPZKRT & Sango 

Sugar plopped her ass onto her gigantic blush pink luggage suitcase to help tame the overloaded bulge of clothes, accessories, and shoes packed inside. She zipped it with success as she sat onto it before she stood up and stared down at her triumphant victory until she realized that she had to drag the luggage towards the front door. She cursed underneath her breath as she hauled the suitcase down the hallway and into the foyer. Though the luggage had wheels, one of the wheels was stiff and unmoving which meant she had to work three times as hard. Over the years, she had meant to buy a suitable replacement, but she only ever remembered to do so when it was too late.

She sat atop of the upright luggage to catch her breath. Lately, she had been extremely tired with little effort at all. With a manager and an assistant now hired, she should’ve been less tired considering her workload had been sliced in half, but sadly, that wasn’t the case. She simply chalked it up to the much-awaited arrival of her period that was scheduled to come after this weekend. She suffered from the use symptoms: tender breasts, cramps, and bloating. As she panted madly, she winced as she suffered from a cramp and smoothed her hand across her belly.

Her moment to recover and rest was cut short by the sound of her doorbell.

She stood up from where she was and opened the front door.

As per usual, the specimen before her was delicious of the darkest sense. Chef wore a pair of “state trooper” shades that complimented him nicely. She could see her reflections in his shades. His salt-and-pepper hair was slicked back nicely that made him look like a seasoned greaser from the 1950s. He wore a fitted black shirt with a sketch of a pirate ship, dark brown leather suspenders, blue jeans, and rugged chestnut-hued boots.

God, why did he have to look so good? Why was it that every single time she saw him, he looked ten times better than the last time? How was that even possible considering he was one of the sexiest men she had ever met?

Chef arched an eyebrow high above the silvery rims of his shades at the sight of her panting, cocking his head with a grin tugging at his lips. “It strokes my ego knowin’ you get worked up by the mere sight of me.”

Sugar rolled her eyes, fighting back a smile. “Is that the only thing that needs stroking, Miles?”

“Keep sayin’ my god-givin’ name like that and it won’t be the only thing that needs strokin’,” he assured as he lifted his shades for a moment to reveal an amused glint in his eyes. Her heart began to throb violently. A warm tingly sensation went straight to her clit, which throbbed in unison to her heart.

“Sadly, you’re not the reason why I’m out of breath,” she said bashfully after clearing her throat.

“Not at the moment,” he returned smoothly.

She ignored his comment—even though it coaxed a flash of heat across her flesh—and stepped aside to present him with her luggage that’s at in her foyer waiting to begin its journey to the beach house and the crazy weekend that would no doubt unfold.

Sugar gestured to the suitcase.

“Meet the real culprit,” she announced.

Chef entered her home and went straight to the luggage.

He grabbed the thick cloth handle and lifted it, slightly taken back by the weight of it. “What the hell is in this thang, darlin’? A dead body?”

“Yes and his name is Lance Wallace,” Sugar joked.

“Well, in that case,” Chef trailed off with a smirk as he dropped the luggage to the floor unforgivingly and let it topple over with a nice thud.

Sugar widened her eyes and smacked his muscular tattooed arm.

“Chef,” she protested through her laughs.

“Alright, alright,” he said with a grin as he retrieved the luggage by its handle once more. “I thought this was supposed to be a four-day weekend.”

“It is a four-day weekend.”

“Then why does this suitcase feel like you’ve packed for a year-long vacation to Europe,” he questioned.

“I like to be prepared,” Sugar answered with a shrug before she closed in on him, tilting her head up to linger her lips a few millimeters from his. “Plus, don’t you want me to look good for you?”

“Honey, you’d look good for me no matter what. Even if you wore a trash bag,” Chef said, dipping his head to close the distance a smidgen but empty air still hovered between their lips.

A sexy playful smile spread across her lips like wildfire.

“Fine. Since we’re still here, I’ll just unpack the new lingerie I just bought,” she said, “and I’ll pack a few trash bags instead.”

He arched a dark eyebrow. “New lingerie, huh?”

She bit her bottom lip for a moment and hummed teasingly, “Mm um.”

“I suppose we could leave the trash bags out of the equation this one time,” he said as he leaned down to peck her lips tenderly.

She moaned in response before she said softly, “I’m glad you approve. I figured I could wear something nice for you behind closed doors to sate some of your appetite considering Sully has issued a ‘no sex’ rule this year. The walls at the beach house are fairly thin.”

“Did you by any chance pack a ball gag,” he questioned teasingly. “That might solve a lot of our problems this weekend.”

Sugar rolled her eyes. “I’ll remember to put that on my grocery shopping list next time.”

About ten minutes later, they were officially on the road. Cruising down freeways and highways leading towards the coast, they took turns being the commander over the radio. Chef always picked a jazz station and Sugar always chose a classical station. Over the soothing music, they bonded over tales of their childhoods, their families, and all things that they loved and all the people that they loved until there was nothing left to talk about.

A silence fell between them.

It wasn’t an awkward kind of silence.

It was the kind of silence that could only be achieved when words no longer did justice and closeness of each other’s presence was just enough.

Being in that car in that very moment was enough.

The windows were rolled down now and wind whipped through her long tresses. She reached out the window, dancing her fingers along the tangible wind and loving the feel of the natural entity wrapping around her.

It was then she felt like she was being watched and she turned her attention towards the driver who stared at her blatantly with an unreadable expression on his handsome face.

His eyes flickered back towards the road ahead.

“Is something wrong,” she asked over the wind as she rolled up the window.

He rolled up the rest of the windows while he clenched his jaw, shaking his head and saying nothing at all.

His reaction made her worry.

What had she done something wrong?

Had she displeased him in some way?

Sugar knew that Chef wasn’t Lance, but finding ways to blame herself was thoroughly coded in her DNA now.

She unbelted her seat belt and leaned over to kiss a trail along his heavily inked arm.

“Have I done something wrong,” she asked.

Almost immediately, his emotionless face softened at her question. He cut his eyes to her briefly.

“It ain’t you, honey. I’m just thinkin’ is all.”

A wave of relief washed over her, but curiosity also got the best of her. “Well, what are you thinking about?”

He smiled subtly. “You’re a nosy little thang, aren’t cha?”

She put her fingertips on his broad chest and stroked the space in between his pecs.

“Mm hm and I can be a persuasive little thang too,” she purred teasingly as she brushed her lips against his earlobe before she drew it into her mouth, grazing her teeth on it, and suckling it gently. A growl deep in his chest vibrated against her fingers.

She attempted to persuade him a little further by blowing softly on his earlobe, smiling as she instantly noticed the goosebumps popping up on his neck. “So, what’s on your mind, Mister Thibodeau?”

“Sadly, darlin’, I’m gonna have to keep these thoughts to myself,” he said.

Sugar pouted. “You don’t trust me?”

“I trust you plenty,” he assured. “This just ain’t the right time of place to talk about it, is all. Let’s just enjoy each other this weekend. When the time’s right, I’ll take your penny for my thoughts.”


“On my life,” he said.

She blinked at him, impressed by his promise. “On your life? Must be very important.”

“Oh, it’s mighty important,” he guaranteed with a charming wink.

And with that, she was at ease even though there was a sprinkle of curiosity that dwelled inside of her, planting a seed of wanting to know what was going on his mind.

Coastal highways gave way to seaside town streets as they arrived to Havenport. It was a busy beach town that became even busier during the warm spring and hot summer months. There was an endless menu of things to do, but the best place was on the sandy white beaches, dozing off and baking underneath the sun.

The Hartwell siblings tradition to come to Havenport was after one of their father’s Marine buddies offered it to them as a vacation rental after he and his wife divorced. The beach house was utterly gorgeous with a pool and a jacuzzi and the beach a few feet away with wooden gate.

In all the previous years of joining her siblings at this beach house, she always was the first to arrive and everyone trickled in throughout the afternoon until day melted into night. However, much to her surprise, all her siblings had arrived before she did.

She pursed her lips at the sight of all their vehicles parked along the curb in front of the beach house, knowing damn well why everyone decided to be here on time for once—or more appropriately, be here early.

As if on cue, Mallory exited the house wearing a turquoise polo shirt and black beach shorts. He slipped his hands into his pockets, glancing around casually as if he couldn’t see Chef’s car before he finally locked eyes on it. A mock look of pleasant surprise splashed onto his face and walked over to them as they were getting out.

“Hello, dear sister,” Mallory said chipperly. “It warms my heart to know you’ve arrived safely.”

Sugar rolled her eyes. “Cut the crap, Mallory.”

Mallory ignored her comment and met Chef halfway with an offer of a handshake that Chef accepted. “I’m Mallory. It’s good to finally meet you. I’ve heard so much about you.”

“Yes, it’s a pleasure to meet you as usual. Sugar has told me a lot about you,” Chef returned with a nod.

Mallory grinned cockily, glancing over to Sugar. “I hope Shug didn’t paint me in too much of a bad light.”

“Of course not,” Sugar said. “It was way, way, way worse.”

Mallory placed a hand over his heart, pretending to be saddened by her words. “I’ll be sure to clear my name this weekend, but enough about me. Everyone is inside waiting for you to come on in.”

Sugar glanced towards the beach house, immediately noting the seafoam green curtains parted before they quickly fell shut. She shook her head, sighing softly. Apparently, everyone was waiting and watching from the windows.

“Well, we wouldn’t want to keep them waiting,” Sugar then said.

After Chef collected her heavy suitcase and his much-smaller bag from the trunk, the three made their way towards the house. Mallory, pretending to be a gentleman, opened the front door and called out in a smooth singsong voice, “They have arrived!”

Odette, Katrina, and an unfamiliar woman were playing a board game at the dining room table and stopped what they were doing. Rochelle and Reid stepped out of the kitchen. Odette’s husband Tate, Rochelle’s husband Victor, and Sully were relaxing on the couch and recliners in the living room and watching a loud action movie with classic a chorus of gunfire and explosions. Everything seemed so innocent and yet Sugar knew it was all an act. Tate muted the movie with a press of a remote-control button as all eyes turned on Sugar and Chef.

 Helena was the one to break the silence as she said sweetly, “Hey, Chef. Long time, no see.”

Chef nodded at the young woman with a slight grin. “It’s good to see you again, Miss Helena.”

The sight of a little schoolgirl crush flickered in Helena’s eyes at Chef’s southern politeness. Sugar bit back a smile.

“Chef, you remember my sisters Odette and Rochelle,” Sugar reintroduced, gesturing to each woman. “Rochelle’s sister-in-law Reid.”

“Of course,” he said. “It’s a pleasure to see you all again.”

Sugar cocked her head at the unfamiliar woman at the dining room table, which the woman caught on immediately.

“Oh, I’m Taffy,” the woman introduced herself with a nervous giggle. “A good friend of Mallory.”

Taffy was definitely Mallory’s type. She was petite and womanly in all the right places with luscious fiery red curls that suited the coppery undertones of her chestnut skin tone.

“Right,” Sugar said with a kind smile. “Nice to meet you, Taffy.”

She glanced over her shoulder to give her baby brother an ‘are you serious’ look before she turned her attention over the men of the group. By then, her sisters’ husbands and her twin brother had pried themselves from their spots and made their way into the foyer.

“Chef, these is my brother-in-laws Tate and Victor,” Sugar introduced.

Chef put their luggage down to shake each man’s hand respectively.

“Nice to meet you,” said Victor with a grin.

“Welcome to the family,” replied Tate. “Once you go Hartwell, all ends well. Am I right?”

Odette cleared her throat sharply and coughed as a signal for Tate to shut up, which he immediately took hint of and backed off, making his way over his wife.

“Was that too much? That was too much, wasn’t it,” he whispered to Odette. She bit her bottom lip and gave him a ‘yeah, kind of’ look as she rubbed his arm affectionately.

“And you must be Sullivan,” Chef spoke, his eyes locking onto Sully as he approached.

“The one and only,” Sully returned.

The two men were practically standing toe-to-toe when they shook hands. It felt as if the world had stopped at Sully and Chef regarded each other, sizing each other up subtly to determine each other’s worth.

“I’m glad you could come,” Sully finally spoke. A tiny sign of approval that all the Hartwell siblings and their spouses picked up on within moments.

“I appreciate the invite,” Chef returned.

A wave of relief crashed over her at the exchange that was unfolding before her.

“You like beer? You like action movies,” Sully wondered.

Chef smirked. “As much as you like air.”

Sully gestured over to the living room that featured the gigantic flat screen television still displaying a football game on mute. “Care to join us after the two of you get settled in?”

“Love too,” Chef agreed.

Just like that, everyone dispersed into their own activities.

Sugar led Chef down a hallway to a bedroom at the very end of the hallway. Once they were inside, she plopped down at the edge of the bed and let out a relieved sigh that she had been holding in. After placing their luggage onto the floor, he closed the door.

He grinned at her, arching a dark eyebrow. “So what’s my final score, judge?”

She showed him seven fingers.

Chef went to her and took a hold of her forearm, pulling her to her feet before curling his tattooed arms around her waist before he planted a soft kiss on her lips. “How about now?”

“Eight,” Sugar giggled.

He kissed her again, easing his tongue into her mouth to make a comfy home there. Their lips worked in tandem as they got swept up a kiss that grew more feverish with each passing second. She wrapped her arms around his neck and rose to the tips of her toes, wanting to taste more of him.

Finally, he pulled back slightly. “Now what?”

“Nine-point-eight,” she answered teasingly.

He gave her a pop on the ass.

“And a half,” she added, biting back a smile.

“I can work with that,” Chef said.


After the movie was over, it was time for the barbeque party. It was a tradition to have one on the first day of their four-day weekend gettogether. Sully always manned the grill. Tate always talked Sully’s ear off. Victor always napped in a pool chair alongside Rochelle. Mallory always shuttled in and out of the house, fixing everyone their drinks just the way they like it. Odette and Helena always sat at the edge of the pool’s deep end, dangling their legs in the water while they chattered, cackled, and slurped down colorful cocktails garnished with colorful umbrellas.

Taffy sat in a pool chair, exploring all her cell had to offer.

Sugar could see all of this from her bedroom window.

She winced as she suffered from another terrible cramp. She walked over to the bed and plopped backwards, closing her eyes as she breathed through the pain.

“You alright,” Chef asked as he emerged from their bedroom’s bathroom.

She nodded her head slowly, rubbing her belly. “Mm hm. Just a cramp, that’s all.”

She opened her eyes and sat up, her pain quickly forgotten as a pleased look splashed onto her face at the sight of Chef in his swimming trunks.

“Very nice,” she complimented as she stood up, making her way towards him.

He grabbed her hand and maneuvered her to twirl slowly so he could see her sunset orange bandage swimsuit hugging her curves at all possible angles.

“Aren’t you glad I didn’t bring trash bags,” she asked teasingly.

“Mm hm,” he hummed and pulled her in for a kiss, but halted as he witnessed her wince once more as she endured another cramp.

“I think it might be best if you lay down and rest,” he said.

Sugar rolled her eyes. “I think I can handle a few cramps, Chef. It comes with the territory of being a woman. It just means that my period is around the corner.”

He eyed her carefully before he nodded. “Alright.”

Soon, they joined everyone outside.

“About damn time,” Helena hollered, waving Sugar to join her and Odette.

Sugar went to them and sat down at the edge of the pool, shivering as her feet eased into the crystal blue pool water. Odette playfully nudged her shoulder.

“I would bitch at you for being late, but you have a very legitimate excuse,” Odette said as she glanced in between Sugar and Chef who, after talking briefly with Tate and Sully at the grill, stepped into the pool and began skillfully swimming with effective strokes.

Sugar rolled her eyes. “We were only getting dressed.”

“Uh-huh,” Helena voiced as she watched Chef swim like he was the next best thing since sliced bread.

“While you’re ‘uh-huhing’, you should probably wipe the drool off your chin, Helena,” Sugar teased, which caused Odette laughed for a moment. 

Just then, Taffy giggled madly as Mallory flirted with her while he leaned down to take a sip of her cocktail. All three women looked over their shoulders to witness the display. Helena made a disgusted sound and rolled her eyes so far into the back of her head that she almost looked possessed.

Sugar and Odette exchanged glances.

“She’s so damn tacky,” Helena huffed before she tossed aside the straw unforgivingly and straight gulped down the rest of her cocktail.

“Sounds like you’re a little jealous,” Odette said.

Helena snorted in laughter. “Like I’d be jealous of Ronald McDonald’s sidechick.”

Odette raised her eyebrows and gasped, “You slept with Lory?”

Sugar blinked in disbelief. “I’m sorry…what?”

Helena rolled her eyes and pursed her lips, but said nothing. 

“What the actual fuck, Helena,” Odette whispered harshly. “What the actual living fuck.”

“How,” Sugar needed to know.

Helena sucked her teeth and gave Sugar an annoyed look. “What the fuck kind of bullshit question is that? Do I seriously need to tell you about the birds and the bees, Shug? You Hartwell bitches always be asking dumb questions.”

Sugar’s hormones were juiced up and she didn’t take too kindly to Helena’s rudeness.

“Keep up with the attitude and I’ll swoop down on you like a bird and sting your ass like a bee, Helena,” Sugar promised, narrowing her eyes. “You can believe that.”

“Hold on, Sugar,” Odette said, holding her hand up. “I got this ‘cause I told this little girl to stay the hell away from Lory because no good would come from it and she didn’t listen. Now, she wanna run her mouth while her ass hurt from getting bit.”

Helena gave her an unimpressed look. “And what exactly are you going to do, Ettie?”

“This,” Odette said before she pushed Helena into the pool.

“You know I can’t swim,” Helena screamed, flailing and struggling to stay above water at the deep end of the pool. Tate rushed towards the pool and dived in an attempt to rescue his baby sister. Mallory abruptly stopped his flirting with Taffy and followed suit. She didn’t suffer long as Chef saved her, holding her above water. Helena coughed, wrapping her arms around his neck. He swam over to the edge of the pool and lifted her up, setting her down. All the men surrounded her as she sat there, dripping and shivering. Sully, Tate, Chef, and Mallory coddled her. Bombarding her with questions regarding her wellbeing and giving her their utmost attention. Victor even rose up from his pool chair to swoop in, draping a pool towel on her shoulders.

Helena genuinely looked like a sad wet puppy until she glanced over Sugar and Odette, a mischievous glimmer in her chocolate brown eyes.

“That cunning little bitch,” Odette huffed.

Sugar shook her head, clapping her hands softly. “Damn, she’s good.”

Mallory climbed out of the pool and helped her to her feet, assuming the responsibility of getting her inside to lay down and rest after her near-death experience. In doing so, he left behind Taffy without so much as a second glance.

With that, their four-day weekend had officially begun.

Sugar dreaded what else was to come, but the feeling eased slightly as Chef swam over to her, settling himself in between her legs as she sat at the edge of the pool. “You want to tell me what that was all about?”

She smiled and said, “Sadly, darlin’, I’m gonna have to keep my thoughts to myself.”

Recognition flickered in his eyes as she repeated the same response he told her in the car on the way here. A grin eased across his lips.

“You don’t trust me,” he asked, arching an eyebrow as he leaned up.

“Oh, I trust you plenty,” she assured, leaning down to meet him halfway for a kiss.

Before they could seal the deal, the sound of a throat clearing sharply abruptly ended the moment. The two turned their attention to Sully who stood nearby with a stern look on his face.  

“Food’s ready. Come get something to eat,” Sully announced before he walked back towards his spot in front of the grill, eying them like a hawk with a spatula in hand. In that moment, she felt like a teenaged girl being supervised by an overprotective father and not a thirty-eight-year-old grown ass woman. She fought the urge to roll her eyes hard. She could sense Sully’s pettiness like a steady pulse.


It was going to be a long, long, long weekend. 

End Notes:

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James

Tate, Victor, and Taffy's pictures will be uploaded soon.

Bitter Pretending by Missus James
Author's Notes:

July 1, 2017

During the second night of their vacation, Sugar and Chef play with the boundaries of pretending. 

Music Mood: Brave by Jhene Aiko


As Sugar smoothed her hands along her curvaceous frame, she turned sideways and cocked her head as she gazed at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. She wore a soft rosy pink off-shoulder bandage dress adorned with sided slits along her curves therefore showing off lots of skin and a midriff cutout styled in a crisscross fashion that showed off even more skin. She wore pink cotton candy-hued high heels. The outfit that she decided to wear for a girls’ night of clubbing was the most risqué one in her wardrobe, but the dress was a birthday gift from Rochelle and the fuck-me-pumps were a birthday gift from Helena. The old Sugar would have never worn something so saucy, but the new Sugar was slowly and surely becoming more and more willing to trying new things.

Knuckles rapped on the door softly from the other side. She directed her attention accordingly and arched a delicate eyebrow at the sound.

“You’ve been in there a mighty long time and I’m startin’ to get a little impatient,” Chef spoke with a smooth playful tongue and a grin hiding in between his words.

She rolled her eyes, unable to fight back the smile that spread across her lips like wildfire. She sauntered over to the bathroom door and opened it with a twist of a doorknob, greeted by the sight of Chef leaning against the doorframe. The moment she revealed herself to him, his gray eyes took their time scanning her from head to toe and back again then once more for a third time.

“Didn’t you ever learn as a child that patience is a virtue,” she asked, cocking an eyebrow once more.

“I might’ve been sick that particular school day,” he returned as he pried himself off the doorframe and reached out, curling his tattooed arm around her waist and tugging her to him, “but this time around I’d think I’d be a quick learner with the right teacher.”

He inclined his head while his eyes twinkled with the kind of mischief that made her clit tingle as she drunk it in. “And what does being the right teacher entail, Mister Thibodeau?”

“Blindfold, handcuffs, your panties stuffed in my mouth,” he listed in a low husky voice against her ear.

Her eyelids fluttered shut as those eight words were the fuel needed to spark her wild imagination. She pictured him so clearly in the depths of her mind, lying across the bed with his hands restrained with two sets of handcuffs secured to the bedframe. Stretched out and waiting for her in anticipation with blindfolded eyes and a pair of her panties tucked in his mouth to muffle him while she did whatever she wanted to. Use him however she wanted him. Take, take, take from him just like he wanted.

“That sounds,” she spoke softly, clearing her throat, “interesting.”

A dark chuckle rumbled deep in his throat. “We need to broaden your vocabulary, darlin’.”

“So, you want to play teacher next, huh? Are you planning on giving me a vocabulary test while you’re teaching me,” she asked teasingly.

“If I’m teachin’ you, sweetheart, the only vocabulary I want comin’ out your mouth is ‘don’t stop’, ‘harder’, ‘faster’, and my name when you cream all over my—”

Knock, knock, knock.

“You who? Anyone home,” Odette queried in a sing-song voice.

Sugar let out a shaky breath she didn’t even know she was holding in and answered back, “I’ll be out in just a minute.”

Then she cut her eyes back to him.

“Time to get the show on the road. I suppose you’ll have to continue this lecture another time, professor,” she bantered.

“Not just yet,” Chef replied. “I’ve got another lecture for you.”

Sugar cocked her head and uttered curiously, “Oh?”

He used his spare to take a care hold of her chin, steadying it so she had no choice but to look him dead in the eye. “I don’t give a damn about what fella you dancin’ against on the dancefloor or what Casanova you acceptin’ drinks from at the bar, but I do give a damn about one thing and one thing only, Sugar Magnolia Wallace. On June 12, 2017, you made a promise to me I fully expect you to keep. You promised me that you’d be mine all this weekend and I’ll uphold my promise just the same.”

His thumb gently stroked the space just underneath her bottom lip, which was a complete contrast to the hardened seriousness that was nailed to his handsome face.

An unfiltered thought suddenly passed her lips as uttered words before she could even stop herself. “We agreed to just pretend.”

“I take pretendin’ very seriously,” he countered.

That was what she had been afraid of. Their pretending now felt like a practicing exercise to prepare them for the next level of their thing that shouldn’t have a next level at all. This wasn’t supposed to happen. She had dug herself deep into a hole, but she didn’t want to leave it. This wasn’t good. This wasn’t good at all.

She needed to reestablish boundaries and rules. She needed to draw a line in the sand to remind Miles Thibodeau that underneath this game of pretending was the truth of where they both stood in the order of things.

Adventure. Uncommitted. No-strings attached fun. Adventure. Uncommitted. No-strings attached fun. Adventure. Uncommitted. No-strings attached fun. Adventure. Uncommitted. No-strings attached fun.

Her rules were a steady mantra inside of her head, taking her back to the roots of what this thing was supposed to be. What it had to be.

This was for the best.

Chef didn’t know it yet, but it was true.

She manually uncurled his arm from her waist and cleared her throat, her physical retreat of using backward steps towards the bedroom door was like a symbolic punch to his gut. She shouldn’t have doubted him for a single moment to not be able to recognize the moment for what it was.

“Duly noted,” she assured as she walked out of the room, shutting the door behind her.

Severing whatever blossoming attempt at something more.

If they were going to pretend then it would be only that.

Nothing more, nothing less.

At least, that was what she wanted to believe.


There was a nagging sensation deep inside of Sugar that kept insisting that she was living a lie. It hadn’t been there before, but on the car ride over to the club, it suddenly appeared as a tight burning feeling deep in her chest where her heart was. She tried to ignore it. She tried to bob her head, smile, and dance to the Kendrick Lamar jam all everyone in the car spouted out word for word with perfection, but she felt drained…and an emotion she knew quite well: guilt.

She hated that feeling. She spent the last few years of her marriage to Lance becoming well-acquainted with that feeling, which she shouldn’t have.

She wanted to apply that same logic now.

She shouldn’t have felt guilty for how things played out with Chef back at the beach house. She hadn’t said anything wrong. She didn’t do anything wrong. He knew exactly what he was getting himself into when he agreed to her conditions.

And yet…


She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, rooting herself back to the present. When her eyelids slid back open, she was greeted with the sight of Katrina and Rochelle talking and laughing loudly over the loud pulsing music of the club. Reid, Odette, and Taffy had disappeared into the swaying crowd of folks on the dance floor while Helena had sashayed herself over to the bar to drink away her sorrows.

That sounded like a perfect remedy.

She removed herself from the booth and went over to the bar. Helena was sipping on something and chatting with a pair of dudes at the bar while her body moved casually to the music before she caught sight of Sugar. Helena’s eyes widened in excitement and used her empty hand to wave her over.

“Hey, Shug! Come meet my new friends,” Helena greeted in an already un-sober tone and kissed her on both cheeks when she arrived.

“Josiah, Adam,” Helena introduced in a chipper slur, pointing to each man, “this is my guuuuuuurrrrrl, Shug. Ain’t she absolutely goooooorgeous, ya’ll?”

The two black men were fine as hell. Both were the mere definition of tall, dark, and handsome, but Adam had a striking resemblance to a younger kinder Lance. She stared at him a few moments too long.

“Gorgeous is an understatement,” Adam replied, a charming smile fixed on his mouth as he eyed her like she was one of her sugary creations.

She cleared her throat and said, “Nice to meet you both.”

“I’d love to buy you a drink,” Adam offered boldly.

Sugar opened her mouth to speak, but Helena budded in with a bright smile, “She’d love one! She’ll take two Cumshots.”

Sugar’s eyes widened in shock and she snapped her head over to Helena at the mention of cumshots.

Adam inclined his head, his smile widening. “Two cumshots for the lovely lady.”

The words rolled off his tongue smoothly like a promise he wanted to make good on by the end of the night. He motioned for one of the three bartenders manning the counter and placed the order. Soon enough, the bartender passed over two shotglasses filled with a creamy beige-colored concoction topped with tiny swirl of whip cream. Adam offered her one of them.

Hesitantly, she took it.

She brought it to her lips for a curious sip, but Helena shook her head vigorously. “No, no, no, sis. You gotta toss it back and not waste a single drop unless you’re the kind of gal to spit, of course,” Helena said teasingly with a wink, which earned her a few laughs from Adam.

In one fell swoop, she downed the shot. It was thick, sweet, and slid down her throat in a nice burn. Its name didn’t do it any justice and if it wasn’t for the fact that its name was raunchy as hell, the drink had what it took to make a spot on her restaurant’s alcoholic drink menu.

“Atta girl,” Helena cheered. “You ready for the next one?”

She tossed back the next one effortlessly.

“Would you like another one,” Adam questioned.

“Sure, why not,” she said.

Once Sugar was gifted with another Cumshot, Helena lifted her drink in the air for a toast. “To all the swallowers!”

“Cheers to that,” Josiah agreed with a hearty chuckle and raising his drink in salute with Adam following suit.

Then they emptied the contents of their glasses down their throats. Eventually, she graduated from the soft-hitting Cumshots to liquor with a nastier punch with Helena has her cheerleader. The alcohol loosened her lips. She chattered with the three of them, sharing hilarious stories from her past and listening and laughing to theirs. God, how she laughed. It just bubbled out of her like sweet fizzy champagne uncorked. She couldn’t stop it. Neither could Helena. Sometimes, they held onto each other, giggling and laughing madly like schoolgirls.

Adam and Josiah ate it all up.

“Come on, girl. Let’s see if you can move your body as good as you move that mouth of yours,” Josiah challenged with a sexy smirk, jerking his head towards the dance floor. At his beckoning challenge, Helena drained her cranberry and vodka and abandoned the glass at the bar counter and she grabbed a hold of his hand and lead him to dance floor to show him all she had to offer.

Josiah’s barstool was free for the taking and Adam offered it to her. “Your throne awaits, milady.”

She accepted his offer by accepting his hand as he helped her onto the barstool. He took advantage of having her hand in his hand and kissed the back of it, his eyes never leaving her face.

“I want to know more about you, Sugar Wallace,” Adam replied.

The moment sobered her up a little. “My life isn’t interesting by any means.”

“I doubt that,” he said. “I bet it’s very interesting. So, do you have someone interesting in your life?”

She drew invisible circles on the bar counter, her mind wondering to all that transpired between her and Chef. “It’s,” she paused, trying to search for the right word, “complicated.”

“Must be ‘cause no man in his right mind would let a woman like you walk out of the house dressed like that and not protecting you at this club like a guard dog,” Adam said.

Sugar shook her head, laughing softly. “You’re giving me more credit than I deserve.”

“And you’re not giving yourself enough credit. You absolutely fucking ravishing, Sugar Wallace, and you’ve got a lot of admirers that have noticed,” Adam said, gesturing her to look around the club and she obliged. It didn’t take long for her to notice the heated glances and steady stares of male clubgoers directed at her.

“You’ve got a very good eye,” Sugar teased bashfully, returning her gaze back to him.

Adam cocked his head. “Or maybe you don’t think you’re worthy enough for the attention, so you don’t bother to notice.”

That was because she wasn’t worthy.

Broken things weren’t worthy of any attention and that was what she was.

Very, very, very broken.

Sugar opened her mouth to speak, but a drunk Helena and a hyped Josiah made their way back.

“That was quick,” Sugar said.

“It didn’t take much to prove him wrong,” Helena slurred happily before she swirled to face Josiah, slung her arms around his neck, and kissed him roughly.

Helena was spiraling.

Fuck, fuck, fuck.

Sugar slipped off the barstool and grabbed Helena’s arm, tugging her away from Josiah thereby severing their passionate carefree make-out session in a goddamn club.

Whaaaat,” Helena whined.

“Come on. I need to use the restroom.”

“Whatchu want me to do, chick? Help you wipe?”

Sugar smiled sweetly at the two men and said, “We’ll be right back.”

Journeying across the club, she dragged Helena into a crowded women’s restroom. The sound of running sinks, chattering, flushing toilets, the opening and closing of stall doors, and the clicking of high heels filled the air.

Helena snatched her hand away from Sugar, not caring who was listening. “What is this really all about?”

Sugar decided not to care as well. “You need to take a break, Helena. You’re doing the most with that Josiah dude.”

Helena rolled her eyes. “So, you’re my gatekeeper now?”

“No, I’m just trying to help you out before you do something really irresponsible again,” Sugar assured. The careless young woman jerked her head backwards as if offended by the truth.

“So, now the truth comes out now,” Helena laughed coldly. “You still holding what happened between me and Lory over my head. It takes two to tango, ya know! So, why am I the only one gettin’ judged?”

Sugar frowned, shaking her head. “What happened between you and Lory isn’t my damn business, Helena. Do I agree with it? No, I don’t. It was straight-up messy, irresponsible, and both of you know it, but once again, that’s none of my business. So, could you just calm yourself in here for a minute while I go use the restroom, please?”

“Go ahead,” Helena replied bitterly, pouting like a spoiled child. Sugar gave her one last look before she went into an available stall. She pushed her panties down, rose up her skintight dress, and sat down. As she peed from drinking all that alcohol, she retrieved her cell from her clutch purse and clicked on her text message app, finding Chef’s name and all the text messages that they had sent back and forth to each other.

In that moment, she visualized how the boys’ bonding was playing out a sports bar nearby. Cold beers, buffalo wings and meaty hamburgers, beautiful waitresses in tight shirts and short-shorts, and egging each other on while they played pool. A drama-free night.

She typed a message.

Sugar: How’s it going?

She stared at it for a long moment, but decided to delete every single letter before she tried again.

Sugar: This club sucks.

She deleted that too.

Sugar: I miss you.

Delete, delete, delete.

Sugar: I’m sorry.

She wasn’t going to delete it, but she wasn't going to send it either. She exhaled her frustration through her nose and decided to close the app altogether. Once she was finished using the restroom, she left the bathroom stall. She looked around the busy restroom for Helena, but the young woman was nowhere to be found.

Why did she expect anything different? After washing her hands, she exited the restroom and went back to the bar. There was no sight of Helena or Josiah or Adam.

Shit, shit, shit!

However, she caught sight of the blonde-haired bartender who had been serving them all night. He beckoned her over with a crook of his finger. She marched over to him.

“I was told to give you this,” the bartender informed as he handed her a folded white napkin. She opened it to see what was inside. It was a phone number with a message and a promise: I’m very uncomplicated and interesting.

“Where did that girl and the two guys I was with go?”

The bartender shrugged his shoulders. “No clue, but if it helps any, they closed out their tabs.”

In a panic, Sugar hurried her way back over to the group’s designated booth. Odette and Taffy were taking a rest from dancing and sipping on some colorful cocktails while they had some light friendly chitchat. Immediately upon Sugar’s arrival, Odette could detect that something was very much wrong.

“What? What happened?”

“Helena left the club with two men.”

It wasn’t the first time either. Sugar had lost count after the ninth time.

“Dammit! You can’t take that chick anywhere!” Odette growled in frustration as she got out her cell and tried to call Helena, but the attempt was all of five seconds. “It went to voicemail!”

About seven minutes later, everyone had filed out of the club and stood in the parking lot like panicking fools.

“Did you schedule a pickup with Dryver, Reid,” Odette asked in a restless voice as she paced back and forth with her phone to her ear as she tried to call her husband Tate for the third time. “Uh, what is with this goddamn family and not answering their goddamn phones!”

“Yeah, they should be here about ten minutes,” Reid assured with a nod, glancing around the parking lot as if looking for it would make their ride come sooner.

Taffy innocently asked, “Um, does she do this often or something?”

“Or something,” Rochelle answered with a roll of her eyes.

“Why aren’t you answering your phone,” Odette snapped at her husband who finally picked up after the fourth try. “Are your waitress’s titties interfering with your phone’s signal or something? You know what? It doesn’t matter. What’s wrong? What’s wrong? Your crazy ass drunk sister hightailed out of the club with two dudes she don’t even know and she turned off her phone. She always does this, Tate! You need to deal with this. You need to find her!”

Then she hung up the phone, still fuming and pacing. A few minutes later, their Dryver ride pulled up beside them in the parking lot with Chef’s car and Sully’s SUV arriving with perfect timing. Sully, Tate, and Victor piled out hurriedly of the SUV with the headlights still on and the vehicle still very much running. Sugar’s breath hitched at the sight of Chef stepping out of his car before she casted her eyes down as if she didn’t deserve to look him in the face, hugging herself tightly even though the summer night air was unmoving, stuffy, and hot.

Tate ran his hand over his shaved dome as he approached his wife real calm even though he was worried as hell. “Throw me a clue here to help me out, Ettie. You know anything about those dudes she left with?”

“Hell no,” Odette tossed back, shaking her head. “I wasn’t anywhere near your sister. No one was except…”

All the women’s eyes fell upon Sugar, which prompted the men to look at her as well. Tate approached her with a pleading look in his eyes. “Shug?”

“I hung out with Helena at the bar with the two men she left with,” Sugar admitted, scanning her eyes through the crowd before she settled unwavering gray eyes and their owner. “Their names were Josiah and Adam. They bought us a lot of drinks and everything was going fine, but Helena was getting crazy on that Josiah guy, so I took her to the restroom to calm down for a minute. I told her to wait for me while I went to the restroom and when I finished, she was gone. I went back to the bar and the bartender told me that they closed out their tabs and…”

She trailed off, her eyes widening as she remembered what the bartender gave her. She reached into her clutch purse and pulled out a wrinkled but folded napkin. “Adam, the other guy, left me this,” she said as she handed it over to Tate, who unfolded it swiftly and read it.

Tate handed it back. “Call him.”

Sugar nodded and got out her cell, dialing the number on the napkin.

“Put it on speaker,” Victor suggested.

She obliged and put it on speaker, her heart in her throat as it rang.

He answered almost immediately, a Migos song thumping and bumping in the background. “So, are you interested in something uncomplicated, Sugar Wallace?”

“I’m still sitting on the fence about that,” she said.

“Maybe, sitting on my face might help with that,” Adam suggested sexily, which prompted a series of reactions. Rochelle choked on air. Katrina widened her eyes in shock. Taffy clasped a hand over her mouth to muffle a giggle. Mallory coughed, banging his fist against his chest.

“I appreciate the offer, but I think I’ll pass,” Sugar returned, “but you could help me with something else. Is Helena there with you?”

“We’re in the same place, but she’s not here with me. That honor should belong to you and only you,” Adam said.

“Do you mind giving me an address?”

He chuckled. “It’s gonna cost you.”

“Pray tell what’s that?”

“A kiss,” he answered.

She arched an eyebrow. “A kiss where?”

“A kiss where you taste the sweetest.”

She swirled on her heels, marching away from her family to take this private conversation somewhere else. She was already embarrassed out of her mind that she had allowed her family to listen that long.

“Fine,” she agreed. “Now, can you text me the address?”

He ended the call and a few moments later, her cell buzzed as she received a text containing the address. After she sent a group message to everyone sharing the address, she closed her eyes and took a very deep breath before she returned to them.

“Ettie, I’ll see you back at the beach house,” Tate stated.

Odette blinked at her husband. “Um, how about no, Tate. We’re going with you.”

Tate opened his mouth to protest, but Odette held up her hand. “Uh-uh. We’re going and that’s final. Let’s go, ladies.”

Sugar walked over to the Dryver van, but Rochelle blocked her path. “It’s probably best if you ride with your man, so we don’t get too crammed in here,” she ordered, crossing her arms over her chest. A statement flashed in her sister’s eyes: “You know you was wrong.”

Sugar clenched her jaw and turned on her high heels, moving over to a backseat passenger door. “Come on, Lory.”

“Naw, he’s coming with us,” Rochelle announced, narrowing her eyes sharply at their baby brother. “Let’s go, Lory.”

“You just said that the van was crammed,” Sugar reminded.

“Taffy can sit in Lory’s lap,” Rochelle suggested, which piqued Mallory’s interest. “Problem solved.”

To seal the deal, Taffy shot him a flirtatious smile, flipping her long red tresses over her shoulder. The battle was lost as Mallory gave Sugar a two-finger salute before he joined the rest of the girls in the Dryver ride. Sugar slung open the door and slipped into the backseat, her closest attempt to protect herself. No more than a few moments later, Chef stepped into the car and settled into the driver’s seat, shifting the car into drive and following Sully’s SUV out of the club’s parking lot.

The ride was awful and uncomfortable.

The silence was unbearable.

“Say something,” she replied softly.

He said flatly, “Somethin’.”

Sugar pursed her lips and rolled her eyes. “Ha-ha, very funny, Miles. You’re a real comedian.”

“I’m glad you recognize talent when you see it, darlin’,” he countered.

She scoffed as she crossed her arms over her chest. “You know what, Miles? Be a big boy and ask me the question you’re dying to ask.”

“You wanna play Questions?”

“Why the hell not? After a night like this, I’ve got nothing to lose,” she huffed, throwing her hands in the air. She could see his stormy gray eyes watching her in the reflection of the rearview mirror.

He queried, “Was it not uncomplicated and interesting enough for you?”

She presented him with the middle finger. “Is that your question?”

“If it was, you sure didn’t answer it,” he said, “and I don’t count sign language.”

“To answer your question, no. It wasn’t.”

“Did the gentleman that entertained you at the bar touch you?”

She frowned. “It’s my turn now.”

“You should know by now I don’t exactly play by the rules, Sugar Wallace. Now, answer the question,” he ordered coolly.

She gazed out the window, watching the town drenched in night slither by. “Yes, he kissed my hand.”

“You must’ve left a good first impression him. He went from hand-kissin’ to offerin’ to taste your pussy in no time at all,” Chef chuckled darkly with a sharp edge to it.

“I’m starting to think that I have that effect on men. I mean, you made me soup when I was sick and ate my pussy on the kitchen counter after I met you only three times,” she tossed back. “Let’s not judge, Miles.”

“So, you gonna take him up on his offer then?”

She leaned her temple against the window and closed her eyes.

“No,” she replied gently—tiredly.


“Because we’re pretending, Miles.”


There was a full-fledged house party in progress as they pulled up the provided address. Sugar stepped out the vehicle and made no attempt to wait for anyone as she entered the party through the front door. She navigated through the sea of twenty-somethings dancing, drinking, and doing drugs like it was the last night of their youth. She had a deep feeling in her gut that Helena was probably somewhere upstairs with Josiah. So, she climbed the stairs and went in search for her, which was a short one Helena stumbled out of a bedroom at the end of the hallway giggling and kissing on Josiah. Her hair was a mess and their clothes were disheveled.

“Helena,” Sugar called as she went to her.

Helena’s glassy eyes lit up at the sight of her. “Oh, my god, sis! You made it! I knew you’d call Adam.”

“We were worried sick about you, Helena. Odette freaked out and called Tate. Everyone’s downstairs looking for you,” Sugar said.

“Your fam ain’t the type to beat dudes up and shit, right,” Josiah asked drunkenly.

“We beat up dudes all the time,” Sugar assured with a warm smile, which caused Josiah to worry.

“She’s lyin’, J. She’s lyin’. Come on. I need to go tell everyone that I’m okay,” Helena said, tugging the man along. “Oh, Shug. I’m gonna tell Adam you up heeeeerrreeeee. So ya’ll can get better acquainted.”

Then Helena gasped happily as she stood at the top of the stairs, gazing down. “Heeeeey, Chef,” she shouted over the music as she descended the stairs with Josiah in tow, “Shug up here. She up here!”

Chef came up the steps casually. With her arms crossed, she stood by the bedroom door Helena and her one-night stand had escaped from. He approached her, towering her. Then he did something that surprised her. He put his hand on the doorknob and twisted it open, gesturing for her to go inside.

“What are we doing,” she asked.


She eyed him for a long moment, trying to search his face for answers but his face was fairly blank even though his gray eyes swirled with unreadable thoughts she couldn’t decipher. She bit her bottom lip and casted him once last glance before she sauntered into the room. He followed her, shutting the door behind him.

The only light source in the room were strings of colorful Christmas lights dangling from the ceiling. The colors muddled together to radiate a deep vibrant purple. The room smelled like sex, but that didn’t distract Sugar as much as the way Chef’s eyes bored into her. She glanced from the left then to right as if she was unsure if his gaze was meant for her.

It was, and he reassured her by moving towards her.

She retreated in backward steps until her back hit a wall with a tiny gasp. There was barely an inch of space separated them now. She closed her eyes and bit her bottom lip as she felt his warm calloused hands caressed her bare thighs just below her short dress. A soft sensual gesture turned dirty as he yanked her dress’s hem up roughly, bunching up it up a smidgen above her hips. She trembled as he hooked his fingers into her panties’ waistline and taking his sweet time as he eased them down before he allowed gravity to the rest of work, pooling them at her cotton candy pink fuck-me-pumps.

In return, she unbuckled his belt then unbuttoned and unzipped his jeans, pushing them and his boxer-briefs below the cuffs of his ass to reveal his hardened cock. He nudged her thighs apart by situating his legs in between them, rubbing his mushroom head against her wetness before he bucked his knees upward, impaling her without a single thought. Sugar tossed her head back and screamed over the muffled bass of a hip-hop song from downstairs. His low groan was laced just underneath her scream at his rough invasion then he gripped the undersides of her thighs and lifting her up against him—allowing her to gain height over him, sandwiching her between him and the wall.

Her arms wrapped around his neck tightly, her chin resting on his shoulder and her head leaned against the side of his head. He controlled the force of his passion for her by punishing her with hard, deep thrusts that made her whole body ride up and bounce against him and the wall like cause and effect. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head and she gripped his salt-and-pepper hair at the back of his neck, her mouth forming a perfect O as she gasped, moaned, and cried. Then sometimes, it felt so good that she couldn’t even formulate a sound of pleasure, so her jaw hung open.

“You like playin’ pretend with me, don’t you, honey,” Chef spoke as he slowed the pace of his fucking, but not the depth. Having lost the ability to speak, she vigorously nodded her head.

“You like pretendin’ you don’t feel the same way about me like I do about you,” he continued in-between his hard-working breaths and grunts, “but don’t worry, honey. I know the truth. Your dirty little secret is safe with me. You trust me with it, don’t you? Or do you want to pretend like you don’t?”

Once again, she doesn’t answer. So in turn, he picked up the rhythm. It’s torturously fast and rough with little room for her to recover, but she loved it so much.

“Are you listenin’, darlin’? Or are you still playin’ pretend, huh? Is that it,” Chef said in a mockingly disappointed tone as he began to roll his hips upward with every thrust at a controlled momentum that could only be described as cruel and leisurely. “Talk to me, darlin’. All this silent treatment is startin’ to hurt my feelings.”

“Yes,” she breathed. “I’m listening, Miles.”

She felt a throaty chuckle rumble in his chest at her answer.

He awarded her by fucking her like she deserved. Then the bedroom door began to open, but she didn’t notice it at first. She had her eyes squeezed shut while she had high-pitched gasps as he dominated her with his plunging dick. The door hinge creaked, and her eyelids snapped open as Adam was standing in the doorway absolutely dumbfounded by the carnal display playing out before him.  

“Sugar?” Her name came out in a drunken slur.

“Miles, someone’s h—” She cut herself off with a panty moan as his pace shifted again, deep, deep, deep possessive thrusts that literally drove her up and down the wall, bouncing her chin on his shoulder.

“You like playin’ pretend, honey, so pretend he ain’t here. Focus on me. Not him. Just me. Focus on how good I’m treatin’ you. All this good dick I’m givin’ you. I’m workin’ hard, honey. I’m workin’ so hard for you.”

Adam was glued to his spot, watching her get her brains fucked out.

God, she couldn’t pretend anymore.

Not with Adam staring at her.

Not her orgasm was closing in and in and in.

“A-a-adam, get the hell out,” she commanded. “Now!”

Utterly, Adam did what he was told and retreated from the room, slamming the bedroom door shut as her orgasm slammed into her, unbridled ecstasy consuming her whole. She let out a raw scream that filled the room. Her pussy squeezed around him in tight, milking pulses as her climax ripped through her—as he pounded into her, spouting encouragement with a smile wide on his lips. “That’s it, honey. That’s it. Mm, that’s my girl. Make ‘em pretty sounds for me.”

As she rose out the last wave of her orgasm, he moved in and out of her a few more times before he spilled his cum inside her pussy. He stilled himself inside of her and against her, both breathing laboriously and trembling.

“Were you pretendin’ to cum for me or was it all real?”

She knew he was being a smartass.

“Real,” she rasped out weakly.

She couldn’t hide it anymore or doubt it.

She couldn’t…pretend anymore.


End Notes:

It's been a minute since I've updated. I've had a lot of crazy things going on with my life, but tonight my muse has cooperated. This was a long but fun chapter to write. Sugar is slowly working through her insecurities, but she's definitely not through. Everyone is kind of doing the most in this chapter. 

I really, really, really like how this chapter turned out.

I felt sad, frustrated, mad, and so many other emotions when I wrote this. It's fun writing imperfect characters. Sugar is insecure and Chef is jealous. Helena is hurting. 

I added pictures for Tate, Victor, Taffy, and a very important new character who will be introduced within the next few chapters. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James

Sour Surprises by Missus James
Author's Notes:

July 2, 2017

Sugar isn't one for surprises, but little does she know she's got a few in store for her. 

Mood Music: Blue Dream by Jhene Aiko & Runnin' by Naughty Boy


No matter business, personal, or pleasure, Sugar Hartwell led a very structured life. She believed that every moment and minute of the day should be used wisely, so she created and abided effective schedules that maximized her time. Even on vacations such as this one, there was a schedule to be followed. Friday kicked off the four-day gettogether with a barbeque pool party, which was interrupted with a near-drowning incident. Saturday was a day of beach picnics, sunbathing, napping underneath the warm sun, and splashing around in the turquoise waters then a girls’ night out at a club and a boys’ night out at a sportsbar but was ruined by a rescue mission (among other things). Sunday was supposed to be a calm and relaxing day exploring downtown Havenport, but the schedule was once again disrupted.

This time it was of Miles Thibodeau’s doing, which prompted everyone to pile in their respective cars to drive two and a half hours south of Havenport. The decision to make this off-script adventure was a unanimous agreement conducted over pints of frothy amber beer and buffalo wings. A decision that no one told the female members of the group until about an hour before departure. Sugar wasn’t pleased by the surprise change. However, she had no choice but go along with it all. She tried to pry information out of the men, but they were quite tight-lipped. She thought she could rely on her dear little brother. She was wrong. Very, very, very wrong. The emperor of gossip, Mallory Vincent Hartwell, would not utter a single detail and had the nerve to declare to her that he was a changed man.

Sugar rolled her eyes hard at the fresh memory, pursing her lips together and crossing her arms around over her chest.

Currently, she sat in the front passenger seat of Miles’ car. They hadn’t spoken much since last night. Since, he fucked her against the wall of a stranger’s bedroom then dropped to his knees to greedily bury his tongue deep into the folds of her pussy to lick her clean after he filled her up with his cum.

Such a gentleman.

A quiet gentleman who wouldn’t cough up any intel about what he had up his sleeve.

“Why won’t you tell me where we’re going?”

“If I told you then it wouldn’t be much of a surprise when we get there,” Miles returned.

Sugar plastered a sweet smile, batting her eyelashes. “Mind telling me where exactly is there?”

He shifted his attention away from the stretch of highway ahead, a grin spreading across his lips. “I’d much prefer to show you where there is like how a surprise is supposed to go.”

“I don’t like surprises very much.”

“Hate to break it to you, darlin’, but I’m gonna shower and pamper you with surprises. That’s how I operate. It’s how I handle business,” he said.

Sugar bit her bottom lip, her eyelids fluttering shut momentarily while she suffered from a wave of chills at his words. “I wish you wouldn’t say things like that.”

“And I wish you’d realize that I’m not gonna stop ‘cause I ain’t spewin’ lies dressed promises. My words are scheduled guarantees,” he said. “You’d best accept that, sweetheart. We ain’t pretendin’ anymore. So, that means I ain’t holdin’ back. The gloves are off.”

“What exactly are you trying to prove, Miles?”

His gray eyes nailed her to the spot. “That I’m worthy enough to be your husband.”

Well, there it was. Another surprise she hadn’t seen coming. The words hung in the air like a heavy fog. He had revealed to her his true intentions. Her warm brown eyes grew while her mouth sucked in a gasp before hiccupping a momentary shocked laugh.

He wanted to marry her? Where in the hell did that come from? Her brain scrambled through an archive of memories, attempting to pinpoint and isolate breadcrumbs he left behind to lead her to this revelation. Was she that fucking blind not to notice it? This man was doing everything in his power to show his worthiness to her and yet there was this ingrained belief within her that she wasn’t worth much at all.

Miles Thibodeau was pure gold. Sugar Hartwell was fool’s gold. She didn’t deserve him, but she decided to savor what they had before he finally came to realize what she knew all along. She wouldn’t marry him. She couldn’t marry him. She couldn’t accept the responsibility of loving him as his wife when she couldn’t even love herself.

She cut her attention away from him, nervously shifting her focus to her phone. Needing to change the subject, she cleared her throat and asked, “So, are we almost there?”


He reached over to her side of the car to open the glove compartment, plopping a green blindfold onto her lap.

Sugar’s eyebrows shot upward. “Who’s that for?”

“Well, it does match my ensemble, but blindfolds and drivin’ probably ain’t a good mix,” he said, winking at her. “So, I suppose, I’ll just have to live through you.”

“Do I have a choice?”

“Of course, darlin’.” Miles smirked. “You can put it on or I can pull off to the side of the road and help you put it on.”

Sugar reluctantly put it on.

“Your cooperation is much appreciated,” he replied in slight amusement.

Sugar sat quietly as she felt the car make stops and turns. When the car halted once more, she heard a humming of a window being rolled down and Miles speaking to a man.

“How’s it goin’, Cole,” Miles greeted.

Sugar could hear the grin in his voice.

“Long time no see, Chef,” Cole chuckled. “When Durant told me that you were coming down, I thought he was joking. I thought you forgot about us down here.”

“Naw,” Miles assured, placing his hand on her thigh. “I’ve been busy is all.”

Cole teased, “If that gorgeous passenger in your car has anything to do with your busy life then you’ve got a mighty good excuse. Est-ce qu'elle a un nom ou tu vas me faire deviner? Est-elle ta petite amie?

Her eyebrows scrunched together at the sudden addition of French words.

Miles chuckled for a moment. “Sugar. C’est ma futur femme. Elle ne le sait pas encore.

Yet another surprise Sugar had been unprepared for.

Goosebumps popped up on her skin like wildfire at the smooth delivery of Miles’ reply. The foreign words rolled off his tongue and melted into the air around her, spiking up her temperature. Though she knew that Creole and Cajun blood flowed through his veins, she had never considered that he spoke Louisiana French. Cole seemed to be pleased by whatever answer Miles gave him and laughed heartily in reply.

They exchanged a few more words before she heard commotion of a security gate opening. After the car eased into the gate, they drove along for a few more moments before Miles finally pulled into a parking space and turned the ignition off. She heard him get out the car. Then her door opened, and Chef helped her out.

“Where is everyone else,” she asked.

“They’ll be a few minutes late. Sullivan said they got held up by a train,” Miles answered as he held her hand, leading her towards whatever surprise awaited her. As she walked along slowly, she heard water swooshing nearby, but she couldn’t figure out where they were.

Riiiiight here,” he said as he eased her to a stop, moving behind her.

He brushed his lips against her earlobe. “You ready for your surprise, sweetheart?”

The buildup to this moment had her aching to know what the secret surprise was he guarded so closely until now. Her heart throbbed fast in her ribcage and a potent shot of excitement pumped into her bloodstream like a drug.

“Yes,” she breathed.

He slipped off the blindfold in one fluid motion and Sugar winced at the summer sun’s brightness, blinking her eyes rapidly as her eyesight adjusted. Once she had regained her proper vision, she clasped her hands to her mouth and gasped, “Oh, my god, Miles!”

They were at a marina with a fine display of gorgeous private yachts. Directly in front of them was a crisp white 70’ yacht with black-tinted windows and caramel-hued wooden fixings. In elegant cursive was its name, Arcadia.

“It’s absolutely beautiful,” she gushed.

“Wait until you see the inside,” Miles assured, nodding his head the boat. He helped her onto the yacht’s aft deck before he slipped open the black-tinted glass door leading her inside.

The interior took her breath away as sunlight streamed into the wraparound windshield into the salon, dinette, and kitchen galley, designed in flawless white, light gray, and silver color schemes. There was a set of stairs leading up to the enclosed bridge and a set of stairs leading down into the belowdecks where two fully furnished bedrooms with their own private bathrooms were waiting.

As they stood on the foredeck, she admired how spacious it was and determined it was a perfect spot for dozing off underneath the sun. Miles stood a few feet behind her, observing her carefully.

“I don’t know what to say,” Sugar said, shaking her head slowly as she glanced all around her with eyes wide with awe and wonder. “I’m speechless.”

She went back to him, raising up on her tiptoes to give him a tender peck on the lips. “Thank you.”

“No need to thank me. You beamin’ and glowin’ is thanks enough,” he said as he wrapped his tattooed arms around her waist, pulling her close her. “I love seein’ you happy. It’s intoxicatin’. So, I gotta keep you happy to get my fix.”

Sugar teased, “So, you’re a junkie looking for another fix, huh?”

“Mm hm, so keep smilin’ at me like that,” he returned before he dipped his head down to claim her smiling lips. She parted her lips to moan and he greedily took the opportunity to glide his tongue into her mouth slyly, tasting her. His hands slid down her shapely hips and to her plump ass, palming her cheeks possessively.

She giggled against his mouth, trying to pry one of his hands from her ass. “Everyone will be here any minute,” she reminded, turning her head to officially break the kiss. Instead, he kissed along the curve of her cheek and towards her neck.

“That’d be true if I hadn’t given them the wrong address,” he admitted as he held onto her ass, holding her closer to him as he leaned down further to suckle a sensitive spot on her neck just below her ear. Her jaw dropped open and her eyes rolled into her the back of her head as he suckled and nibbled rhythmically. She should be hitting him for doing such a terrible thing, but she was in a trance.

“Why would you…do such a…thing,” she breathed out.

“I wanted you to myself for a little longer,” Miles said as he planted a tender kiss on the sensitive spot he used against her as a weapon.

“Where are they?”

“At a marina fifteen minutes away.”

Sugar pulled her head back to get a good look at him, her face attempted to look stern but she couldn’t hold it for long. “That was plain dirty, Miles, and you know it.”

“What can I say, honey? I’m a dirty old dog,” Miles returned with a devilish smirk. “Forgive me, s’il vous plaît?”

Sugar rolled her eyes, fighting back a smile. “You think throwing around French words will help your case?”

“I think so,” he trailed off as he bent his head to whisper in her ear. “Je ferai n’importe quoi pour ton pardon. Je vais mendier à genoux. Suivez toutes vos commandes comme un chien.”

She hung on his every word, eating it up like a sweet confection.

“How’s that, honey?”

“I think,” she trailed off as she reached around his waist, slipping her fingers into his backpocket, “you need to work on your apology more.”

She plucked out his cell and handed it to him. “Now, give my family the right address," before she added with a playful wink, ”S'il te plaît et merci.

Pulling away from him, she sauntered inside. The phone conversation lasted no more than a minute or so and as Sugar explored the yacht’s salon, Miles stalked inside and tossed her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

“Miles,” she shrieked. “What are you doing?”

He made his way to the stairs that lead to the below deck. “You told me to work on my apology and I’ve only got fifteen minutes to show you my improvements since the previous draft.”

Sugar laughed brightly at his tenacity. He went into a bedroom located at yacht’s bow. Within a blur of moments, Sugar was atop of Miles, capturing his lips with a desperate fervor and twirling her soft pink tongue in his mouth hungrily. His left hand gripped her ass like he owned it and gave it a nice hard thwack that made her moan deeply against his lips. His other hand threaded through her tresses. There was no sex included to sate the passion they felt for each other. With a sense of urgency an imposing force that lingered around them, fooling around like unsupervised teenagers was just what they needed.

Then she felt it. A burst of nausea clenched her stomach.

She clamped her hand over her mouth and scurried off him—off the bed—and into the bathroom, dropping her knees as she emptied the contents of her stomach into the toilet. Miles had been hot on her heels, holding her hair back for her as she suffered. She heaved and coughed, trying to breath through the terrible wave of illness that consumed her. She threw up two more times before her sickness finally dissipated.

“I had no idea you were prone to sea sickness, darlin’,” Miles said. 

“I’m not,” she panted, shaking her head.

She knew exactly what it was.

She had suffered through it enough times over the years to know.

She had been on plenty of cruises before, a few ferry boats and river taxis. Miles helped her to her feet and she sluggishly walked over to the sink, turning it on to wash the awful taste out of her mouth. After she finished, she twisted off the faucet.

“I think I know what it is though,” she admitted softly, sniffling. The dots hadn’t quite clicked until now. She had missed her period, but she had chalked it up to stress. When she felt the cramps and aches over the last few weeks, she assumed it was just her period coming in late.

She turned around to face him as she announced it. “I might be pregnant.”

Miles’ eyes twinkled with excitement like he had been expecting this all along. “I suppose this was bound to happen.”

“It wasn’t supposed to happen,” Sugar corrected. “I was told I couldn’t have any more children, Miles. Because of that, I didn’t mind being reckless with the ‘no condom’ thing because I assumed nothing would come of it.”

“This is a blessing, honey,” he said. “This ain’t gonna be like the other times.”

Sugar shook her head, casting her teary eyes downward. “Forgive me for not being optimistic about this, Miles. Every single one of my pregnancies ended in a miscarriage or a stillbirth. There’s something wrong with my body.”

Miles closed in on her, cupping her cheeks. “There’s nothing wrong with your body, Sugar. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re perfect, ya hear? You’re fuckin’ perfect. This baby, our baby’s gonna be perfect too,” he said.

She squeezed her eyes shut, fighting back her tears. “This is too much, Miles. This is going too fast. I was just getting used to ‘you and me’. Now, we’re throwing around the word ‘our’. I need some space. I need some air.”

Sugar raced out of the bedroom, trotted up the stairs, into the salon and through the glass doors leading onto the aft deck. Before she could even plop herself down onto a couch to clear her head and form a coherent thought, her clan had finally arrived.

“Now, this is what I’m talkin’ about,” Mallory exclaimed with a big grin. “We ‘bout to get lit on a badass yacht!”

“Lory, if you destroy anything, you deserve to get sued, and we won’t take on your case,” Rochelle assured with a sharp roll of her eyes.

“Hey, Shug,” Odette greeted happily with a wave.

Sugar smiled weakly, trying to put on a strong front. “Hey, guys. I’m glad you finally made it.”

Everyone filed onto the aft deck with bags and coolers, making their way into the dinette and salon.

“I can’t believe your boyfriend has such a tight hookup, Sugar,” Taffy complimented, nodding her head in approval as she looked around. “A custom-built seventy-foot yacht by Gringatas. Very nice.”

Sugar arched an eyebrow at Taffy, who giggled bashfully. “I’m sorry. I’m a bit of a yacht buff. I’ve been on quite a few over the years.”

Mallory draped his arm over Taffy’s shoulder. “My yacht will be something like this with a few modifications, of course.”

A grouchy Helena moved past them. “I doubt you’ll have a yacht at all. Aim a little bit lower like a pedalboat.”

Sugar and Sully were the last ones on aft deck.

“What’s wrong, Shug?”

Sugar opened her mouth to speak, but Sully then added, “Don’t lie to me either.”

She made her way to her twin brother and he welcomed her with open arms. “What’s going on with you, sugarbear?”

She nuzzled her cheek against his chest. “There’s probably gonna be a little something running around.”


She nodded her head slowly.

“You cool with that?”

“I don’t know,” she admitted. “I truly don’t know.”

“Does he know?”

“Mm hm,” she hummed.

“Do I need to beat his ass,” he paused for a moment, “or at least, try to. He looks like he can put up a good fight.”

“No,” she voiced, “I don’t think that’s necessary. I like him…a lot. More than a lot, actually.”

Sully arched an eyebrow. “But do you like him enough to have a bundle of joy with him?”

Before she could even answer that question, she heard Miles’ voice. “We’re ‘bout to head out in a few minutes. Come make ya’ll selves comfortable in the salon,” he encouraged.

“Sounds like a plan,” Sully said as he and his twin sister broke apart from their hug. “You in, Shug?”

She shook her head, tucking some hair behind an ear. “I think I’ll just stay out here. I need the fresh air.”

Sully offered, “You need company?”

“I think I’ve got enough company,” Sugar said as she smoothed her hand across her flat belly. With an acknowledging nod, Sullivan bypassed Miles to enter the yacht’s interior space. The two men exchanged assessing looks in those moments.

Miles slid the glass door shut and sauntered to her. “Come join me up in the bridge. I’m in need of a second-in-command.”

“Sounds very tempting, but I think I’ll pass,” she declined, stepping backwards to keep the space between them. “I like it out here. It’s a nice place to sit down and think about the fact that I’ve got a tiny living thing inside of me the size of a poppy seed or something. I need to think about what am I going to do if I am actually carry to term or if this will end up like the other times. Then I need to think about you and me.”  

“Us,” he corrected her. “You want to think about us.”

“Fine,” she said. “Yes, us. Satisfied?”

The glass door slid open and Mallory questioned, “Aye, Chef, when we gonna get this show on the road?”

Thank you, Mallory, Sugar thought in relief.

“He was just about to get to that,” Sugar said, shooting her brother a warm smile. “Ain’t that right, Miles?”

“I’ll get to it when I’m ready,” Miles tossed over his shoulder, his eyes never leaving Sugar. Pleased with his sister’s tattooed boyfriend’s answer, Mallory retreated, sliding the glass door shut behind him. Unable to escape him any longer, Sugar stood her ground as Miles came to her. She tilted her chin up, holding his intense gaze.

“This is far from finished,” he warned her. “Ya hear me?”

“Crystal clear, Captain Thibodeau,” Sugar assured with a wink and a sailor salute.

He didn’t take her sarcasm very well. His stormy gray eyes darkened. He dipped his head and uttered huskily, “Tu ne peux pas courir de moi. Même si je dois t'attacher.”

Miles sealed his promise with a searing kiss upon her lips and she knew he wanted it to be burned into her memories like the other ones he had bestowed upon her.

“What did you say to me,” she asked breathlessly.

Instead, he replied, “I better not catch you alone on this boat, Sugar.”

“Is that a threat?”

“No, it’s a scheduled appointment,” he clarified boldly before he left her on the aft deck.


The yacht stationed itself about a mile from the mainland. It was a beautiful sunny day without a single puffy white cloud in the sky and everyone enjoyed it in their own way. Mallory was greasing up Taffy with tanning oil on the foredeck. Katrina and Sully was on the foredeck as well, avoiding the sickening flirting between the two younger folk by having Katrina bury her nose in a beach read while Sully chilled beside his wife, listening to his music with his earbuds. Helena tried to nap on a couch in the salon, nursing a hangover from last night with white wine and aspirin. Reid, Odette, and Tate were in the kitchen galley, making lunch for everyone, laughing and purposely making lots of noise as Helena’s punishment from last night’s foolery.

Victor, Rochelle, and Sugar occupied the aft deck. Victor was lounged across cushioned aft deck furniture with a pair of sunglasses on his face. Rochelle and Sugar sat at the edge of the deck, their feet dangling over the edge.

Rochelle nudged her older sister playfully with her shoulder. “Things must be getting serious for you and Mister Thibodeau.”

“What makes you think that?”

Rochelle pursed her lips and gestured all around them. “Asking his loaded godfather to let him borrow his luxury yacht is a pretty big deal. You don’t do that for just anyone. He has some strong feelings for you, girl. Maybe even the,” Rochelle then spoke a singsong tone, “L-word.”

Sugar lifted an eyebrow, shooting her sister a teasing smile. “Is it the L-word? Lobster? Lesbian? Labrador? Help me out.”

“That smart mouth is going to get you in trouble,” Rochelle laughed, swatting Sugar’s shoulder. “You know what L-word I mean.”

“I think it’s all in your imagination,” Sugar said, wanting to change the subject as she stared out into the breathtaking turquoise ocean, loving how the sunlight sparkled upon the glistening waves.

“I’m not imagining things. You’re just being delusional,” Rochelle said. “You can just see it in his eyes. He’s got it bad for you. The way he looks at you. It’s so intense. Woo wee! Girl, if I wasn’t married—”

Victor spoke up from where he was, “Hey, hey, hey. Stop all that ‘if’ mess. Your drop dead handsome husband is right here. You’re hurting my ego.”

The two sisters laughed at Victor’s interjection.

“I think Victor wants you to stroke his ego, Roc,” Sugar teased. “Isn’t that right, Victor?”

“Or she can just come sit on my ego too. I’m not too picky,” Victor returned, his face glowing with a grin and deep dimples as he patted on his lap. Rochelle rolled her eyes hard as she stood up from the deck’s edge and sat on her husband’s lap, giving him a tender kiss.

Rochelle pulled back with a smile. “Is that better, Big Daddy Vic?”

“Big Daddy Vic,” Sugar mouthed to herself, wrinkling her nose at Rochelle’s nickname for her husband while trying her absolute hardest not to laugh. Though she found the exchange between her younger sister and her brother-in-law humorous, she couldn’t help but admire the way they loved on each other. In all honesty, she was jealous of all her siblings in one way or another.

Rochelle and Victor were life partners and law partners, who shared a common vision and supported each other in every aspect of their lives. Odette and Tate had a youth, bubbly love where laughter and smiles were a common occurrence. Sully and Katrina had a love that was strong and mature. The two were stubborn as hell, but Katrina softened Sully’s rough edges and grounded him. Sugar even admired Mallory because you could always count on Mallory to be bold enough to put himself out there always. He was never afraid to try new things.

Then there was her.

Sugar ran her fingers through her hair and exhaled a sigh. “What in the hell am I going to do?”

Just then, the black-tinted glass door swished open and she glanced over her shoulder at the sound. Her heartbeat thumped faster as she realized who it was. She jerked her attention back to the scenery sprawled before her.

“Let’s give these two some privacy,” Rochelle said, thinking she was doing Sugar a favor when in fact she was doing the exact opposite. Sugar stood up as usual to trail behind her sister, but Rochelle blew her a kiss and slid the glass door shut. Sugar tried to open it, but the door won’t budge at all.

“Roc, open the door,” Sugar hissed as she pulled at the door, but it paid no avail.

She closed her eyes and pressed her forehead against the glass’s coolness.

It was difficult to run away on a yacht floating in the ocean.

She had to face this.

She swirled on her heels to face him, eying him carefully as he stood a few feet away from her.

“Alright,” she exhaled, crossing her arms over her chest. “Miles, let’s talk.”


End Notes:

It's been a minute. Things get crazy at the end of the year, but I managed to carve out some time to write this update, LOL. For those that are wondering, Sugar would be about four weeks pregnant. 

Because Chef is both Creole and Cajun, he speaks both Cajun and Creole respectively which are separate Louisiana French dialects, but it is very hard to find a translator that can translate English to Creole French or Cajun French. So for the sake of my brain, I'm using regular French. I am not a French language expert. So, for those that are, I am so sorry if I butchered anything. Please, don't pop off on me in the reviews, LOL!

From now on, in the end notes section, I will post a list of the things that were said in French, so you know the English translation. I will update them to this section hopefully by the end of the night.

So, Sugar isn't pretending and she can't run away. She's stuck on a yacht in the middle of the ocean. HAHAHA! The next chapter is going to be so much fun. They've gotta talk about what's going to happen next. 

Thank you so much for your patience. I hope you enjoyed this update. I will be responding to all reviews hopefully by the end of the night as well. 

Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Love ya'll! 



Cole (to Chef): "Est-ce qu'elle a un nom ou tu vas me faire deviner? Est-elle ta petite amie?" --> "Does she have a name or will you make me guess? Is she your girlfriend?"

Chef (to Cole): "Sugar. C'est ma futur femme. Elle ne le sait pas encore." --> "Sugar. She is my future wife. She does not know it yet."


Chef (to Sugar): "Je ferai n'importe quoi pour ton pardon. Je vais mendier à genoux. Suivez toutes vos commandes comme un chien.” --> "I will do anything for your forgiveness. I'm going to beg on my knees. Follow all your dogs like a dog."


Chef (to Sugar): “Tu ne peux pas courir de moi. Même si je dois t'attacher.” --> "You can not run from me. Even if I have to tie you." (This last one might be real butchered. So sorry!)


Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James

Sweet Compromise by Missus James
Author's Notes:

July 2, 2017

Sugar and Miles lay down some ground rules and compromises, but are divided on one issue. 

Music Mood: Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready) by Alicia Keys



“C’mere,” Miles ordered, patting on his right thigh after he lowered himself onto some cushioned seating on the aft deck. She did as told, closing the distance between them, putting one hesitant foot in front of another. When she reached him, she lowered herself across his lap. His tattooed arm curled around her waist, tugging her closer to him—anchoring her to him. A tiny smile quirked onto her lips at the action. She opened her mouth to speak, but with his free hand, he pressed his index finger against her lips.

“Let me say somethin’ first,” he spoke before he took ahold of her chin, his calloused thumb gently caressing her soft plump bottom lip. “You think we’re different from each other in every which way. I can see your reasoning. You drink wine and cocktails and I like to toss back a couple of cold ones. You look like a runaway model and I look like an ex-convict fresh out of prison. You love classical music while jazz and blues are my passion. You’re a planner and I enjoy takin’ things as they come. On the surface, we sound like we don’t belong together, but underneath, we are two sides of the same coin.”

He continued on, “You think you don’t deserve love. You think you don’t deserve me. I thought the same thing too. I thought after everything that happened with Alicia and Melina, I didn’t deserve love. That night you patched me up, I knew then and there I needed you in my life, but I walked away because I thought you were too good for me. I fought and battled with myself for days on whether I should put myself out there like that—on whether I should send you those flowers and give you my number.”

A slight grin eased onto his lips. “When you rejected me on the phone, I thought you were a smart gal for turnin’ me down considerin’ the circumstances we met under. Then everything changed the moment I saw you sittin’ in that booth with your mama in my restaurant. The opportunity was a gift from God and I wasn’t gonna disappoint Him by lettin’ you get away from me a third time. Now, he’s given me another gift.”

He smoothed his other hand across her belly. “You weren’t meant for Lance. You were meant for me and I’m doin’ everything in my power to help you understand that, but you gonna meet me halfway, darlin’. I once told you that I could survive off whatever crumbs you throw at me. Well, as of today, I ain’t takin’ anymore crumbs. You love to pamper me with a feast one moment then offer me a handful of crumbs the next. A starvin’ man ain’t dealin’ with that back and forth. You understand me?”

After the question was posed, Sugar didn’t get the opportunity to respond right away as he kissed. As her eyelids fluttered shut, she melted against him, surrendering to his dominance. His tongue toyed with hers, tangling and dancing heatedly within the depths of her mouth. Weakly, she framed his face, her fingernails gently grazing his beard. He ended the ravenous kiss by raining a few pecks on her lips before he finally sat back, admiring his handiwork as she sat on his lap with half-lidded eyes clouded in a hypnotic daze.

“Now, let’s lay down to ground rules,” he then said.

Her head jerked backwards slightly, her eyelids blinking rapidly in confusion. “Ground rules? What ground rules?”

“You’re pregnant with our baby. Your safety, your wellbeing, and your comfort are my responsibility,” he stated.

Sugar snorted out a giggle. “And how exactly are you going to perform this responsibility of yours? We are both run successful businesses. We live in separate households. We both have separate lives.”

“Which leads me to my first ground rule,” he returned. “You’ll be movin’ in with me.”

She choked on air, her eyes growing big and wide. “Excuse me?”

“I didn’t stutter, darlin’,” Miles said. “I’ll be damned if I let us sleep in separate beds on opposite sides of town every single night. We need a home base and it’s gonna be my place.”

Sugar was quick to part her lips to protest, but Miles cut her off smoothly with a grin. “Close your eyes.”

Instead, she narrowed her eyes at him, clenching her jaw.

Now, Sugar,” he ordered. She pursed her lips as she closed her eyes, swallowing back the objections that burned fiercely at the tip of her tongue. She breathed deeply through her nose to calm her nerves and contain the strong storm of emotions that swirled inside of her.

He then replied, “Now, picture this. After a long day of work, I’ll sit you down and take off your shoes, so I can give you a nice foot massage. I’ll cook dinner and you make dessert or you could be dessert.”

Her anger dissipated.

She could never stay upset with him for long.

Sugar peeped open one eye briefly, soaking in the sight of him grinning from ear-to-ear. She slapped his shoulder, fighting back the urge to match his grin with one of her own. “Now is not the time to be a pervert, Miles.”

“We’ll fall asleep in our bed. Take showers together in the morning to save water,” he trailed off suggestively, which caused a smile to finally break out across her lips. “Then, of course, some mornings you might send me to work bite marks on my shoulder and scratches on my back.”

She couldn’t argue with that.

Opening her eyes, she arched an eyebrow. “Alright, what’s ground rule number two?”

“You’re comin’ with me on my annual trip to Louisiana in August,” he replied. “It’s time you met Memaw and all my family.”

“Including your parents?”

A thoughtful expression dominated his facial features and he cocked his head at the posed question. “Is that what you want, honey? To meet ‘em?”

“I take it you don’t visit them when you go on your annual trip?”

“The last time I spoke to my parents was three years ago. The encounter did not go well. My father and I had a nasty argument, which ended with him gettin’ a black eye and me with a bloody nose,” he said.

Sugar bit her lower lip as she listened, regret pooling deep in her belly for even suggesting such a thing. “I’m sorry I asked.”

“As for ground rule number three,” Miles said, “no apologizin’ for things that aren’t your fault—that aren’t in your control. I’ll take you to ‘em. Introduce you to ‘em. They should meet the mother of their grandbaby.”

“Do you have a ground rule number four?”

“As a matter of fact, I do. I need you to know that I’m makin’ an honest woman out of you in a very near future,” he said. “I need you to make peace with that, honey.”

Sugar uncurled his arm from her waist and stood up, shaking her head. “I think you’re asking for a little too much. I’ll agree to the first three rules, but that rule needs to go on the backburner for a while. When the time is right, we’ll,” she paused, struggling to find the right word, “negotiate.” 

Miles rose to his feet, looming over her short frame. “That ain’t necessary.”

“Are you taking that rule off the table altogether,” she asked.

“Naw, darlin’. What I’m tryin’ to say is there’s no need for negotiatin’ ‘cause I ain’t changin’ my mind. That rule is stayin’ on the table with all the old-fashion fixin’s and a nice pitcher of ice cold ‘best accept that’.”

Sugar crossed her arms over her chest and cocked her chin up at him stubbornly. “You’ll be eating at that table alone, Miles.”

“You challengin’ me, honey,” he queried with an amused smirk of a man who already knew the future outcome.

“Using the word challenging would imply that I am being defiant—that I am being disobedient—which I’m not. I am just standing my ground, Miles,” Sugar stated.

Just then the black-tinted glass door slid open and Odette’s head popped out. “Hey, guys. Sorry to interrupt, but I just wanted to let you know that lunch is ready.”

“Give us a minute,” the two replied in unison as they boldly stared each other down.

Odette’s eyebrows rose upward as she observed the intensity that sparked between them.

“Um, sure thing,” she returned awkwardly before getting the hell out of dodge, shutting the glass door to give them much needed privacy.

A potent silence fell upon the aft deck before Miles finally spoke. “I’m startin’ to think you like doin’ things the hard way.”

Sugar crossed her arms over her chest and tilted her head. “Well, I’m startin’ to think you don’t realize there is no easy way.”

Miles smirked. “Sure there is, darlin’. The easy way is sayin’ yes. How does an autumn weddin’ at my childhood home in Louisiana sound? Or we skip the fancy details and just get hitched at the courthouse. I’ll let you decide.”

She laughed at his audacity, shaking her head. “How generous of you, Miles.”

He countered smoothly, “I aim to please.”

“I’m going inside now,” she then said. “I’m famished.”

“We’re not finished.”

“Well, we’ll have to reschedule the continuation of this talk for another time,” she said as she made her way over to the glass slide door.

“Then pencil me in for this evenin’,” he ordered.

Sugar paused at the door, glancing over her shoulder. “I don’t think I have much of a choice.”

“This time around I ain’t givin’ you one.”



End Notes:

This is a pretty short chapter, but I think it packs a punch. I just wanted to load down a little something while the muse was still kicking. Sugar has accepted most of Miles' ground rules except the most important one, but Miles ain't going down without a fight. But you gonna get Sugar some credit! She agreed to do a lot of things in this chapter, which shows a lot of character growth. It also shows she has a lot of trust in Miles. Let's see what will happen in the next chapter! :)

Feedback is greatly appreciated. 

Thank you so much for your time, support, and patience!

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James

Bold Limits by Missus James
Author's Notes:

July 2, 2017

After a trying day, Sugar's limits are tested in more ways than one.

Mood Music: Afraid by Xavier Omar & Bad Dream/No Looking Back by Syd 


The day was to stretch on endlessly like summer days were meant to do, but it did quite the opposite, which Sugar believed was cruel. The bright blue sky had somehow slipped into its evening attire of warm oranges, yellows, and soft pinks as the sun made its descent to the horizon. As the yacht made its journey back to the docks as night began its reign.

Miles Thibodeau’s scheduled appointment was near and inside her head was a ticking sound of a clock, never allowing her any sense of peace.

The Hartwells and company filed off the yacht reluctantly while voicing their gratitude and appreciation to their fine captain before making their trek towards their parked vehicles. Soon, everyone was on the road with a 150-minute journey ahead of them. Along the way, Miles made a stop at a 24-hour pharmacy and bought a home pregnancy test. The purchase further solidified the reality that ten times out of nine she had tiny living being inside of her.

However, their venture back onto the open road was short-lived as he took an exit with a florescent blue sign promising fast food, gas stations, and hotels. At first, she thought it was a pit stop for gas or food, but he passed every single fast food joint and gas station without so much as a second thought. Only then, she realized a little too late his intended destination. Her heart was wild inside her ribcage as the car turned into the parking lot of a hotel.

“Why are we here?” It was a dumb question to ask, but the panic coursing through her veins prompted her to say it.

Being the gentleman that he was, Miles answered.

“We’ve got a scheduled appointment.” Then he left the car and disappeared into the hotel lobby with the swish of automatic doors, leaving her to simmer and boil in a stew of dread and anxiousness. Ten minutes later, he returned with a card key and drove them around the main building’s corner, parking before a particular hotel room door.

Sugar chewed hard on her bottom lip as she slipped out the car, following him to the room door. Once they were inside, she didn’t even bother to have a good look at the place she was being held hostage in. She beelined hurriedly to the bathroom. She flicked on the light switch, shimmied down her swimsuit’s bottom and shorts before she plopped down onto the toilet seat.

She knew the drill when it came to pregnancy tests. She tore the thin paper box and protective plastic with eager fingers. Now in her hands was a white stick with a translucent blue cap on the part that mattered most. She plucked the cap and stuck the test underneath her, desperately searching within for the urge to pee. As she did, her eyes trailed over to the door.

The open door she forgot to close.

The open door she forgot to close, which had Miles leaning against the doorframe watching her intently like a goddamn hawk.

What in the everliving hell?

“It’s hard to pee with you just standing there,” she said with a frown.

He moved.

Not out of the way like she had wanted, but into the bathroom—into her realm of privacy. He stepped in front of the sink and turned on the faucet with a twist. The sound of running tap water filled the air.

“That should help,” he assured cockily.

Sugar rolled her eyes sharply before she slid her eyelids shut, concentrating on the sound while ignoring the sensation that came with his shadow casted over her. The urge was a miniscule tingle, which she welcomed and did what she had to do.

She capped the stick and placed it on the counter.

“Alright. We’ve got three minutes,” she announced as she slipped her garments back up and went to wash her hands under the presently active faucet, drying them off on a hand towel dangling by the sink.

After turning off the water, she braced the bathroom counter and closed her eyes, steadying her jittery nerves. She stiffened as she felt an arm curl around her chest, but her muscles relaxed as she felt a pair of lips kiss along her neck. She cocked her head to give him more access, sighing gently as he took what she had gave him for granted. His hand caressed her stomach tenderly. They stayed that way for what seemed like forever, but she didn’t mind one bit. His protective closeness and warmth engulfed her like a security blanket she never knew she wanted, but desperately needed in those moments.

Finally, she opened her eyes and reached for the pregnancy test a few inches away from her. She picked it up, eyeing the results window with two pink lines: a faint one and a solid one.

“Well, okay then,” she spoke, which wasn’t an ideal response for a woman now presented with solid confirmation of her rightful suspicions. “I’m pregnant.”

Placing his hands on her hips, he turned her around to face him and hoisted her up onto the bathroom counter by gripping the undersides of her thighs.

Now, it’s time we had a talk,” he said.

Sugar placed the pregnancy test down, staring him boldly in the eye. “I haven’t changed my mind, Miles. My answer still stands.”

“Then your answer needs to have several seats,” he returned.

“The only one that needs to have several seats is you. Let’s just be content with what we’ve agreed upon,” she said. “That’s more than enough for me—for us.”

With his signature determination and smooth persistence layered in his southern-accented voice, he replied, “It ain’t enough for me.”

“That sounds like a personal problem, Miles.” Sugar frowned, irritation building up inside her as she struggled to accept the fact that this day seemed never-ending.

She felt like a boxer fated to fail in a match as she suffered blow after blow of this trying day with little rest or breath in-between.

Why wasn’t what she was willing to give enough for him? If he was supposed to give and she was supposed to take, then why did it feel like she was sacrificing everything? Why did it feel like she was slowly spiraling down a familiar path of being a disappointing fuck-up? So many questions filled her head, which fueled this need to get out the hotel’s little bathroom that made her feel utterly claustrophobic and trapped. She hopped off the bathroom counter, nudging past him quickly as she made a retreat into the hotel room.

Being true to himself, he trailed at her heels.

She swirled around to face him, gesturing her hands wide. “What do you want from me, Miles?”

“I want you as my wife.”

Sugar shook her head frantically, tears swelling up fast in her eyes as a tsunami of emotions surged towards an inevitable breakdown.

Her voice was raw. “I can’t do that.”

“Yes, you can.”

“No, I can’t,” she snapped back. “I can’t, Miles. I can’t do that goddamn!”

Miles’ voice rose in turn. “What in the hell are you so afraid of, Sugar?”

“I can’t love you, Miles,” she bawled before clasping her hand over her mouth as the words came out and hot tears cascaded from the corners of her eyes. She breathed deeply through her nose as she suffered from an emotional attack she had inflicted on herself.

She closed her eyes and dropped her shaky hand from her lips. “I can’t give my heart to you like a wife should. I can’t love you like a wife should. You don’t want crumbs and scraps anymore, but that’s all I’ve got to give. That’s all what’s left of me, Miles. Why can’t you see that?”

“I’m trying to do better for you. I really am, Miles,” she sobbed, her body quivering, “but how in the fuck can I love you when I don’t even love myself. This has nothing to do with Lance anymore. I can’t blame him for everything wrong with me. This is who I am, Miles. I don’t know how long it’s going to take, but I need time to get this right. It’s like learning to walk when your legs have been broken all your life. Maybe, I’ll get it right one day, but right now, I can’t give you that.”

Prying open her watery eyes, she didn’t have the opportunity to react as Miles closed the distance between them and pulled her into a hug. She buried her face into his chest and fully succumbed to her tears, shivering against him as she cried. Her body weakened with every passing moment that he embraced her. He bowed his head, kissing her forehead tenderly. She lifted her head from his chest to tilt her chin, gazing up at him with reddened teary eyes.

“You’re lyin’ to yourself, Sugar,” he said softly. “Your heart’s startin’ to fall for me and that scares the hell out of you.”

She sniffled, unable to admit truth in his words. Instead, she leaned up to kiss him softly—unsurely as if she were doing it for the very first time. His tattooed arms curled around her waist, bringing her closer to him as he parted his lips, allowing her to slip her tongue inside. The tempo began as a gentle rhythm, their tongues seeking out each other and caressing each other. She wrapped her arms around his neck, bringing him further down to her level, forcing him to hunch his back to accommodate their height difference.

“You’re such a goddamn liar, Sugar,” he breathed against her lips, weaving a hand through her dark tresses before gripping the back of her head possessively. “I can feel your love for me through your kisses and how you hold onto me like you don’t want me to let go. You think I’m gonna to let you go? You’re wrong.”

He tasted the inside of her mouth with a skillful exploration of his tongue, prying out a soft moan from her as she melted against him, which made him chuckle darkly. “I ain’t lettin’ you go, honey. I’m stuck to you. I’ll do right by you and wait for you as best I can, but I’m not going to stop lovin’ you. Naw. I’m gonna love you harder and pull every trick in the book to get you to say yes. I’m ‘bout to play so dirty you’ll have no choice but to walk down the aisle.”

Miles sealed that promise with a possessing kiss that demanded her submission and nothing less. She got so swept up in his untamed passion, all she could do was take it like a good girl. His lips broke away from hers just long enough for him to yank her shirt up and over her head, tossing it aside unforgivingly before dragging her under into another hungry kiss as his fingers popped the button to her shorts and unzipped her shorts, letting the clothing fall to her feet.

“You’re so fuckin’ addictive,” he admitted huskily as he untied her knotted bikini straps before he discarded that too. “I can never get enough of you.”

She couldn’t get enough of him either.

As he planted desperate close-mouthed kisses on her mouth, he made her walk backwards towards the hotel bed until the back of her knees hit the edge. She fell back onto the downy mattress. He stood at the bed’s edge, bending down to caress her thighs with his calloused hands before he slipped off her swimsuit’s bottom, nuzzling his face into her flat belly and kissing around her belly button affectionately. She smoothed her hand over his salt-and-pepper hair, biting back a moan.

“Just when I thought havin’ you in my life was blessin’ enough, you give me another little blessin’,” he whispered throatily and gave her stomach a parting kiss before standing upright, making slow work of his clothes as his intense gray eyes watched her like a hawk.

Eagerly, Sugar spread her legs wide to welcome him.

He eased onto the bed, planting a tender kiss upon each of her knees. “You tryin’ to offer me somethin’ sweet, honey?”

Her brain never had the opportunity to formulate a proper answer as he leaned in, flattening his tongue against her glistening slit, dipping into her pink folds, dragging it up towards the uppermost achy part of her that throbbed and swelled with need. He took his time, worshipping her clit with licks and sucks that made her fist his hair to keep him in place—as if she feared he would leave—as she roughly rocked her hips in reply.

He groaned his approval at her increasing wildness.

“Mm, I need you to do somethin’ for me, darlin,” he spoke huskily, hot breath sweeping against her pussy, drawing out goosebumps across her dark flesh. “Ride my face. Can you be my good girl and do that for me, hm? Can you rock your pussy against my tongue until you cream?”

The last thing she wanted was to disappoint him or stop, so she obliged him with a breathy ‘yes’. In a few moments’ time, she straddled his handsome bearded face. She tilted her head back and let out an airy sigh as his calloused hands held onto her thighs as she rocked her pussy against his mouth just like he wanted.

Her rhythm was timid at first, but he followed along with ease, his experienced tongue plunging deep between her folds as he tasted and savored her sweet wet pinkness. Between Miles using a flat tongue and the friction she created with every roll of her hips to greet her pulsing little clit like clockwork, Sugar was gifted sharp spikes of bliss that rang through her body that made her eyelids flutter shut and moans vibrate in her throat.

When she became more sure of herself, she set herself to a confident tempo. She knew he loved it because his hands moved to her swaying ass, gripping, kneading, and clawing at her cheeks with a hungered desperate as a silent plea for her to give him more but his mouth was too full to say so. She reached down and grabbed a fistful of his hair, tugging at it sharply as her brown eyes gazed down at his gray ones that were locked on her face boldly, greedily drinking in the show she was giving him.

“Miles,” she moaned loudly, “oh, fuck.”

She cried out when he smacked her left asscheek hard like she had somehow disrespected him. A breathless command then tumbled from her lips before she could even realize what she was saying—before she even realized what she wanted.


She squeezed her eyes shut and screamed as he thwacked her again. The pleasure and pain muddled together like an addictive drug she wanted to get high from—she wanted to cum hard from.

“Again, please,” she pleaded, riding his face a little harder.

He indulged her, growling deep in his chest.

The bittersweet sensation shot straight to her clit, sending her closer and closer towards the orgasm boiling deep inside of her, ready to brim and spill over. His fingernails dug deep into her ass as she rode his face like her life depended on it. Her pace was raw, wild, and merciless as she zoned in on her wants and needs, using him as an instrument to get to her utopia. Her eyes rolled deep into the back of her head when she came. She trembled and spasmed over him as searing-hot euphoria crashed into her full-force. An untamed scream filled the hotel room provoking a neighbor to bang violently on the other side of the wall that the headboard rested against.

She let out a shaky gasp afterwards, still quivering. She bit her bottom lip as he lapped at her pussy lazily to catch any sweetness that wept from there. Sugar felt boneless as she finally unstraddled Miles’ face and collapsed onto her belly beside him, panting madly. He licked his lips tugged into a satisfied smile, catching his own breath alongside her.

Smoothing his hand over her bare bottom, he purred, “So, my sweet girl loves gettin’ her perfect ass reddened, huh?”

She rolled her eyes, still recovering. “Only in the moment.”

He leaned over, kissing along the back of her neck.

“Good thing the moment ain’t ended yet. Get on your knees,” he ordered throatily, punctuating his command with a good hard slap that made Sugar cock her head and groan, “now.”

She got onto her hands and knees, glancing over her shoulder as he situated himself behind her. She whimpered in pleasure as he rained another blow on her bottom before he stated in a low dominating tone, “I said knees. Nothing more.”

She corrected herself. Her sore ass was nice and high while rest of her body slanted slow and on the bed. At first, she didn’t understand what the big difference was between what she did and what he wanted until he penetrated with her with a single rough stroke. In that moment, she felt the difference as he fucked her with unhurried deep strokes that made her gasp sharply each time like she was feeling him for the first time. The position’s angle was overwhelming for her. She fisted and clawed at the bedsheets to cope as best as she could.

He gripped her jiggling ass greedily, delivering punishing swats when she needed it most. Her wet pussy spasmed around him each time he spanked her, which always earned her an appreciative growl from him. Deciding to exert his dominance, he freed one of his hands and reached down, wrapping it in her dark locks and pulling it, forcing her to lift her head and cock her head back while he still pounded her pussy balls-deep. Her eyes were rolled into the back of her head and her jaw was wide open.

She had never seen him like this before. All the other times she had been with him seemed to pale in comparison. Sure, he showed her peaks and glimpses of his dominance, but never had it gone this far and what surprised her more was that she was letting it happen. Had he been holding back this whole time, or had he been testing and building up her tolerance bit by bit for an inevitable moment like this one?

Or maybe, this was something she wanted all along.

“Whose ownin’ this pussy,” he demanded to know, tugging her hair for good measure.

“Y-y-you,” she stuttered in a raspy desperate tone.

“Whose fuckin’ you exactly how you like it?”

She whimpered back, “You.”

He let go over her hair, creeping his hand around her neck and using his strength to maneuver her into a knelt upright position to mirror his own—never disrupting his rhythm.

“Who do you belong to,” he interrogated huskily in her ear, keeping his powerful hand on her throat.

“You,” she panted.

“And when you finally come to your senses, whose gonna be the lucky son of gun that becomes your husband, Sugar,” he questioned with a smirk as he used his spare hand to slide down the length of her body, cupping the drenched pussy he was fucking to circle a thick digit around the swollen pink clit hiding there. “Who are you gonna give that honor to, honey? I’m all ears.”

She huffed breathlessly, “You’re an ass, Miles.”

“You’re accurate in that assessment, but not the answer I’m lookin’ for, darlin’,” he spoke in a dark teasing voice, drawing tighter circles around her most sensitive part. She shuddered against him as he coaxed out unbearable pleasure from within her that was rapidly approaching an orgasm.

“Whose gonna be your husband, Sugar?”

“You, Miles. You dammit,” she moaned pleadingly as he plunged his cock into her torturously slow and gifted her aching clit with feathery caresses that felt like a punishment, causing her impending orgasm to stall.

His smirk grew cockier at her admittance—at her submission. “Why I’d be honored, honey.”

He let go of her throat, allowing her to collapse forward onto the bed. He followed after her, pining her with the weight of his hardened body. His other hand still in between her legs, toying with her pleasure with swift strokes that made her unable to think, breath, or exist properly. Deciding it was time to give her a grand finale, he pumped his dick into her in a deep, wild rhythm like he was furious with her, whispering promises in her ear that played out behind her shut eyelids like raunchy pornos. She buried her face into the bed, muffling her cry as she came hard, pulsing and tightening around his cock as she quivered underneath him.

As she succumbed to her climax, he gave into his own, emptying his cum into her. He slowed his tempo before he completely stilled atop of her. Eventually, they climbed into the sheets. Miles rested on his back and she laid on her side, pressing into him, snuggling her head against his chest, trailing the black outlines of his tattoos. His arm was curled about her shoulders, threading affectionately through her damp hair.

He kissed her temple and pondered teasingly, “How about a lavender and blue weddin’?”

“You never proposed,” Sugar reminded him, pursing her lips at him. “And if somehow you did in the midst of screwing my brains out, I know I didn’t say yes.”

Miles grinned lazily. “If I had proposed, you didn’t say no either.”

Deciding to ignore his statement, she then said, “And if we were to get married, it would definitely be a white, gold, and pink wedding. Hypothetically speaking, of course.”

“Right, of course,” he chuckled tiredly as he stroked her hair. “A hypothetical white, gold, and pink wedding under my grandparents’ magnolia trees back in Louisiana.”

A pleasant daydream swirled in her mind. “Hypothetically, I’d be okay with that.”

In that moment, she had never felt safer. She hadn’t felt that way in a long time. At least, not in the arms of a man.

As they began dozed off to sleep, she spoke barely above a whisper, “Miles?”

He hummed, “Hm?”

She admitted meekly, “I think I am falling for you.”

The corners of his lips quirked upward slightly in a tired smile as he laid there with closed eyes. “Then I must be doin’ somethin’ right, honey.”

As she surrendered to her slumber, the last thought was how long would it take for her to do something wrong?


End Notes:

Thank you so much to Ms. Joy for being my beta reader and dealing with me! You are the bestest!

This was a very eventful chapter and it was oodles of fun to write. The beginning of it was also very emotional for me to write. Sometimes, your insecurities don't just stem from the typical circumstances. It might be something else all together. Sugar has always been insecure and unable to love herself even more Lance ever trotted himself in her life. Being married to him just made it all the more worse.

Her fragility has always been a recurring element in regards to her family. Sully's constant need to protect her. Deciding she wasn't good enough to pursue her passion even though she was a prodigy. Marrying the first person who showed her some attention and love because she didn't love herself when she was eighteen/nineteen. Unable to build friendships out of her family. This constant need for everyone's approval to validate herself. She's got a lot to overcome and some professional help is heading her way. 

On a different matter, though Miles didn't propose or anything, he made sure Sugar knew who her husband was gonna be in the end, LOL. 

We've got about nine chapters (give or take) before this story's finale. There's a lot of juicy stuff coming ya'll way. Keep an eye out!

Feedback is greatly appreciated! 

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James

Bittersweet Past by Missus James
Author's Notes:

July 4, 2017

Sugar invites Miles to a July 4th family BBQ as her man.

Mood Music: Family Reunion by Jill Scott


Sugar chewed hard on her bottom lip nervously as she peeked through the curtains of the window stationed over the kitchen sink. She squinted her eyes as if she would be miraculously gifted with telescopic vision at any moment. She had every damn right to be nosy as hell. Several feet away from the window stood Miles at the grill alongside her father Cal, Sully, and Uncle Alfred, who was using his trusty rusty outdoor portable deep fryer to cook up some chicken. All four men were quite engaged in a lively conversation as they sipped from their brown-bottled beers, grinned toothily at each other, and shared a few chuckles.

She chewed harder on her lip as her baby’s father made a comment or maybe, a joke—she wasn’t sure. Whatever Miles said, her father tossed his shaking head back with his signature roaring laugh filling the air and gave him an approving slap on the back.

God, she’d give anything to read lips.

Without warning, Miles aimed his attention directly at the kitchen window she was spying from as he brought his beer to his lips for another drink. He gave her a wink and she panicked by shutting the curtains.

“You finished spying already,” Rochelle asked from where she was at the kitchen table, husking corn.

“Or maybe she just got caught and she had no choice but to retreat,” Katrina teased as she stood at the kitchen counter, chopping up some vegetables to put in a salad.

“Oh, hush up,” Sugar said saucily as she marched over to the oven, opening the door to check on the lemon cake baking inside.

Her reply earned her some laughs from both women.

“About another six minutes,” she mumbled to herself after she poked the lemon cake with a wooden skewer to examine its doneness before shutting the oven door.

“You’re mighty feisty today,” Katrina noted as she sliced a cucumber.

“I’m just a little on edge,” Sugar admitted.

Rochelle arched an eyebrow. “I don’t see why. Miles is getting along great with everyone. Plus, he’s best buddies with Daddy. That isn’t any easy feat. Give the man credit when it’s due because he knows how to handle himself.”

Everyone’s attention snapped to the kitchen backdoor as it creaked open and a seven-year-old little girl stood in the doorway.

“Didn’t I tell you to stop running in and out of the kitchen, Yasmin? Go on somewhere,” Katrina huffed.

Yasmin pursed her lips at Katrina, unphased by the directive and looked at Sugar dead-on. “Shug, Auntie Georgette said unless you growing the potatoes, it doesn’t take damn long to get the potato salad from the fridge and bring it out here.”

Sugar blinked her eyes in surprise as the curse word slipped from the seven-year-old’s lips with such ease. She opened her mouth to speak, but she didn’t know what to say.

“Girl, who are you talking to with that cussing,” Rochelle hissed.

The grown little girl put her hand on her hip, attitude radiating off her in poignant waves. “Auntie Georgette told me to repeat what she exactly said,” she said, rolling her eyes. She then decided to end the conversation by shutting the door on them.

Rochelle clenched her teeth, husking corn aggressively. “Why did you let that little heifer talk to you like that, Shug? I would’ve straight whooped her ass.”

“I pick my battles,” Sugar replied with a shrug as she walked to the fridge and retrieved a gigantic bowl of potato salad protected with saran wrap.

“You gotta put your foot down with these little bastards or they will straight run all over you. I hope you won’t let your own children talk to you like that one day,” Rochelle voiced.

Sugar stiffened at the mention of ‘your own children’ such as the one growing inside of her—the one that only Sully outside herself and Miles knew about.

“Of course not,” she chuckled nervously as she causally escaped through the backdoor, placing the bowl on the designated potluck table filled with old family recipes beloved and not-so-much. For instance, Auntie Velma, Georgette’s aunt therefore Sugar’s great aunt, brought her famous sweet potato pie and Cousin Vernon, Sugar’s father’s cousin, brought his infamous cornbread that was sweet enough to give a healthy soul diabetes and dry enough to make anyone cough. Uncle Rufus and his wife Della came with a gigantic metal pot of good old-fashion collard greens with succulent ham hocks.

She dusted off her hands on her red denim shorts and stood by the food table, scanning her surroundings.

The older generations were relaxing in their chairs at the lined-up picnic tables, partaking in lemonade, sweet tea, beer, and gossip. Victor took it upon himself to DJ the occasion, doing a great job of playing good old-fashion music for the oldheads and some fresh music for the younglings which beckoned many young and old to the wide empty space of grass designated as the dance floor, so they could show off their best moves. Some little ones were splashing around in the kiddy pool and playing on the playground set, squealing and giggling. The teenagers were scattered about in clusters. A few of them were in the house playing a video game in the living room with Mallory while the others stationed themselves underneath the shade of an oak tree, chatting it up and laughing with each other while looking on their phones.

Then her line of sight landed on the grill where her father, twin brother, and uncle were enjoying their conversation and though Miles didn’t stray from where he was, he wasn’t an active participant like before—not with his gray eyes sorely on her with an unfaltering gaze. Her heartbeat spiked in pace when she discovered he was watching her.

“Shug, your cake,” Katrina called.

Sugar took one last glance at him before she made her way into the house. After taking the cakepan out with some oven mittens, she placed it on the counter to cool off.

For what felt like the hundredth time that day, the kitchen backdoor slung open. This time it was Georgette with an empty beer bottle in hand.

“Maggie,” the Hartwell matriarch began, an impending lecture at the tip of her tongue.

“Here we go,” Rochelle muttered with a roll of her eyes.

“Pipe down, Rochelle Delilah, this has nothing to with you,” Georgette ordered her second eldest daughter, shooting a motherly warning look before she cut her eyes back to Sugar. “Now, Maggie, why in the devil are you hiding in this kitchen when your special guest is out there. You haven’t spoken a single word to that man since you two got here and you haven’t been taking care of him like you should.”

“Uh,” Sugar stretched out the sound, a total lost for words so she decided to repeat exactly what she heard for clarification. “Taking care of him like I should?”

Georgette shook the empty beer bottle for all in the kitchen to see as she closed the kitchen door behind her, marching over to the fridge with a purpose. “You should be make sure he doesn’t need a fresh beer and fixing his plate if he’s hungry.”

Sugar laughed at the audacity. “He’s got two legs. He can take care of himself.”

The moment those words left her lips she immediately regretted it as Georgette Hartwell looked at her as if she were contemplating murdering her firstborn daughter, eyes narrowed and jaw clenched. She retrieved unopened bottle of beer from the fridge and bumped the door shut with her hip before offering it to Sugar. “Your man is thirsty. Now, swallow your pride, trot your behind out there, and give him what he needs. Go on, girl.”

Sugar eyed the bottle for a moment before she sighed heavily, taking the bottle and left the house, sauntering over to the grill.

“If it ain’t my sugarbear,” Calvin announced with a wide grin as he flipped some beef patties, hot flames swaying and licking through the charred grill rakes.

Sugar rolled her eyes at the cheesy childhood nickname, unable to fight back a smile.

“We were just talking about you,” Uncle Alfred admitted, which earned a round of chuckles from the four men.


She cocked her head, her smile tightening. “I hope it wasn’t too bad.”

Calvin patted Miles’ shoulder in a brotherly way. “Chef was wondering if you ever got spankings growing up.”

Her eyes widened slightly at the word spankings, her smile further tightening. “Is that so?”

“Mm hm,” Calvin hummed, nodding. “I told him that you only ever got one spanking. You were four years old and you loved playing on your grandmama’s piano. After Sally-Ann taught you ‘em first few notes of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, you played that over and over until Papa George couldn’t take it anymore and told you to stop and go play somewhere. You hopped off that piano bench and you were gonna do as you were told, but you had to play it one last time then you ran off like you stole something. He tore your hide up good. There was the first and last time somebody had to spank you.”

She made the mistake of glancing at Miles, witnessing his knowing smirk.

“Did your mama send you here,” Calvin wondered, changing the subject.

“Nope, I came on my own accord,” she lied.

Sully chuckled, shaking his head. “You need to work on your lyin’, Shug.”

Sugar smiled sweetly at her twin brother, batting her eyelashes.

“I’m just here to take care of,” she paused, stretching out, “my man.”

“At gunpoint,” Sully teased, jerking his head to Georgette who boldly stared from the kitchen window to make sure everything went down the way it was supposed to.

With her mother’s daggering gaze at her back, Sugar approached Miles, offering the bottle. “Thirsty, honey?”

“I’m quite alright on that end, darlin’,” Miles assured, his gray eyes glistened with subtle amusement.

“Well, let me know if you need anything, buttercup,” Sugar returned, curtsying. “I’m at your beck and call.”

Eyes snapped to the kitchen window where Georgette tapped aggressively on the glass as a warning to Sugar.

She left the men by the grill and made her death march towards the kitchen to get chewed out by her mother when she felt a warm calloused hand take ahold of hers. A protest died in her throat as she realized it was him. Without a single word, he led her to the grassy ‘dancefloor’. Her gave her a masterful twirl before he brought her back to him, their steps smooth and upbeat as Step in the Name of Love came on.

“You’re at my beck and call, huh,” Miles questioned, arching a dark eyebrow. “Is that offer expire when all this is over?”

“I’m afraid so,” she answered. He spun her around once more, but this time, she returned to him with her back against his chest. He placed his hands on her hips and brought his lips to her ear.

“No way of convincin’ you, huh?”

She bit her bottom lip as if it would halt her growing smile. “Then you’d be at my beck and call, don’t you think?”

He chuckled for a moment, the rich sound vibrating against her back.

“How’s my baby,” he then questioned, boldly sliding a hand to her flat stomach.

In a panic, she quickly positioned his hand back on her hip.

Miles,” she protested in a hushed tone, tossing him a glance over her shoulder and saw him grin. “We talked about this already. Multiple times, in fact.”

The announcement of their little bundle would be made after the first trimester. She didn’t want this time to be like the other times. She didn’t want to rally up the hopes of anyone—not like the other times.

This time was different.

This time had to be different.

She needed this time to be different.

He bent down and kissed the side of her neck tenderly. “I’m sorry, honey. I’m just so damn excited.”

Her eyelids fluttered shut, moaning a little. She turned around to face him, wrapping her arms around his neck as they slowed their tempo against the grain of the song’s beat.

“I am too, Miles,” she admitted, but there was a stubborn piece of her that was hardened and cynical, but she tried to ignore that side as she kissed him softly on the lips.

“Get a room,” a younger cousin called from somewhere in the distance.

The kiss broke from their laughter from the interjection.

“I need to get back to the kitchen,” she said with an affectionate glaze coating her eyes, tilting her chin so she could get a good look at him—so he could see how she felt him.

“You were given a directive to take care of your man,” Miles reminded teasingly, “if I do recall.”

“I don’t always do as I’m told,” she returned, uncoiling her arms from his neck.

“Sounds like you need a spankin’ to set you straight,” he said. “Where’s Papa George when you need him?”

She rolled her eyes, unable to stop smiling. “Screw you, Miles.”

He gave her one more kiss before he finally let her go. “Don’t keep me waitin’ too long, honey.”

She turned to walk away, looking at him over her shoulder as she teased with a wink, “Then I’ll be sure to take my sweet time.”

He gave her ass a nice swat before she could leave, and he repeated, “Don’t keep me waitin’ too long.”


Sugar closed her eyes and moaned her approval as she indulged in a forkful of her Auntie Della’s macaroni and cheese. After a long morning of doing too much, she finally had the opportunity to do nothing but eat. She sat at one of the picnic tables among her loved ones and the man she was falling in love with, enjoying the fruits of everyone’s hard labor.

It took everything in her not to scarf down her food even though she was terribly hungry. Through the day, she had snuck a bite or two whenever she could, which would have satisfied her until she could sit down and have a plate, but now that she was eating for two, sporadic nibbles of food would no longer be enough. It was a habit she would partake in one last time. This was quite evident to her as her stomach cramped and churned in hunger while her head swam with some lightheadedness for running around on an empty stomach. Miles had kept a steady eye on her as the day progressed but said nothing even though she had a feeling he knew what she had done. She knew she’d be in trouble with him later about it.

The chatter was lively as family shared old stories and caught up on each other’s daily lives. She slipped in and out of pockets of conversations with others around her.

Sitting not too far from her parents and Uncle Alfred, she heard her uncle say in a low tone but not low enough for her ears, “Rusty came by the house night.”

Calvin stopped chewing at the mention of Rusty, his relaxed posture quickly stiffened, and he straightened his shoulders. Georgette nearly choked on her iced tea and cleared her throat. Calvin resumed eating, pretending as if he didn’t hear his younger brother’s confession.

“You heard what I said, Cal?”

“I heard you just fine. I’m just choosing to ignore it,” Calvin returned before he sipped on beer.

Georgette smiled nervously. “Now’s not the time or place, Al. We’re trying to enjoy yourselves. We’ll talk about this later.”

Rusty was the nickname of Russell Hartwell, her father’s twin brother. Being the black sheep of the family, his bad life choices banned him from the flock nearly thirty-two years ago. The only thing she could remember of him was his warm smile and how he always bounced her on his knee when she was a little girl. Memories of him were few and vague, but they were kind ones. She couldn’t attest to whatever terrible thing made things fall apart between her father and his twin brother, but it was enough for Calvin to lift a hand to him. It was enough for Granny Sally-Ann to call the cops on her own brawling sons. It was enough to send him to prison. It was enough to put him down a road of booze, drugs, and crimes once he became a free man.

There were a few different versions of what went down that fated night.

Once she had heard the two fought over Rusty pawning off a family heirloom to fuel his new drug addiction. There was another tale that suggested that drugged-up Rusty laid a hand on Granny Sally-Ann when she tried to help her son get better. Or the story that Calvin and Rusty fought over uneven sliced pie of their inheritance left by then-newly-deceased Papa George. She was never quite sure which one was the truth and didn’t have the courage to ask her father about the painful topic of what drove him to disowning his own twin brother.

“You alright, honey,” Miles asked.

Sugar broke her attention away from that odd-placed conversation and looked at him.

“Mm hm,” she hummed with a weak smile, stealing one final glance at her father before she went back to eating.

The hours dwindled by and soon enough, it was nighttime. With an impressive stockpile of fireworks, everyone settled down and watched as a few of first-cousins put on a show. The sharp whistle of a shooting rocket. The explosion of colorful sparks up high rousing cheers, laughs, and claps. The distinct burning scent of fireworks made Sugar feel nauseous, so Miles lead her into the shadowy kitchen.

“Now, I got you to myself,” he replied, sounding pleased and relieved by the prospect.

“And what are you gonna do with me,” she asked.

“I had a lecture planned about not eatin’ like you should, but I’ll let it slide this one time,” he said. “Next time, it’s gonna be war between us.”

She gave him a mock military salute. “Sir, yes, sir. Now, that’s settled. I want to show you something.”

She wanted to show him a part of her past she rarely showed others.

Sugar then took ahold of his hand, guiding him from the kitchen and leading him up the stairs. As they neared the top, she heard her parents’ voices come from their ajar bedroom door.

“Cal, this has gone on long enough,” Georgette snapped. “We have to—”

Calvin quickly cut his wife off. “We don’t have to do anything, Georgette. We’ve been fine for over thirty years and we’ll be fine for thirty more. That motherfucker has hurt our family enough, but we’ve made it through and that’s all that matters.”

“That’s not how it works, Calvin. Now, you’re just being plain prideful,” she shot back. “Everything’s not fine and you know it. Calvin? Calvin! Where are you going?”

Heavy footsteps neared the ajar door and Sugar nearly jumped out of her skin as her father swung the door open and tossed over his shoulder, “I’m done talking about this bullshit, Georgette. I’m going downstairs to enjoy my family. You can join my side as my wife or dwell on the past. That’s up to you.”

As he stormed out of the bedroom he shared with his wife of forty years, he halted in his steps as Sugar and Miles arrived on the second floor.

“Calvin, stop running away from me—from this,” Georgette huffed angrily, trailing after her husband’s footsteps.

Her mother’s voice quickly mutated into something softer and sweeter the moment she realized they had company. “Why are you two running away from all the fun outside?”

“I just wanted to show Miles my old room,” Sugar admitted, shifting her gaze between her parents. “Are we…interrupting something?”

Calvin and Georgette glanced at each other before her father said with a cheesy grin and a wink, “You know how marriage works, sugarbear. A little lovers’ quarrel every now and then keeps you on your toes.”

Then he offered his arm to his wife, which she politely accepted.

“Be good you two,” Georgette teased before they made their descent.

Sugar and Miles shot each other glances.

“That was weird,” she mouthed to him before they resumed their journey to her childhood bedroom.

Turning on the light revealed an English rose-themed bedroom of soft greens, rosy pinks, and crisp white. A canopy bed with frilly beddings took up much of the room, a chest rested at the foot of the bed, a vanity was on the opposite side of the room, three bookcases were lined along the wall filled with piano songbooks, trophies, ribbons, and framed pictures of a young Sugar.

She went to a particular bookcase and retrieved a ruffly pink photo album. “I saw a picture of you when you were little. Now, you should see how I looked when I was little.”

They both sat down on the bed and she handed it to him.

A slight smile eased across his lips as he cracked open the album. The very first picture was a young Calvin and Georgette cradling their swaddled newborn twins at the hospital. He turned the next page which focused a collection of pictures on six-month-olds plump-cheeked Sully and Sugar dressed in matching sailor outfits.

“Your brother has been very consistent with this emotional range for thirty-eight years. That’s dedication,” Miles teased, noting how stoic her twin brother looked in the picture compared to a bright-eyed giggly coco-puffed Sugar in mid-clap who sat beside him.  

She tossed her head back and laughed. “He was an old soul who didn’t want to be reincarnated.”

As he ventured deeper through the photo album, she told him little stories and introduced younger versions of the oldheads in the pictures. In one photo, a three-year-old Sugar is kissing a grinning man on the cheek who had a strikingly similar face to her father, but his nose a little narrower and his face was leaner.

“That’s Uncle Rusty, my father’s twin brother,” she pointed out.

Miles arched an eyebrow, clearly intrigued. “I didn’t know Cal had a twin brother.”

Sugar nodded, clearing her throat as she thought about the conversation that took place between her parents and Uncle Alfred. “They aren’t on speaking terms.”

“So, twins run in your family, huh,” he questioned, a pleased thought flashing across his handsome bearded face. “So, there’s a possibility that our little family of three might in fact be four or five or—”

Her eyes bulged at the prospect of having twins or triplets.

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Miles Thibodeau,” she said.

He leaned in, giving her a peck on the lips. “I enjoy thinkin’ ahead when it comes to us. Like startin’ tomorrow we’re gonna start packin’ your things and movin’ them to my house.”

She rolled her eyes. “Don’t remind me.”

Moving was an excruciating process she was not looking forward to...even if she was very much interested in witnessing a shirtless sweaty Miles moving her things.

“You’re movin’ with me,” he reminded with a sexy grin, landing another peck then another and another, repeating that she was to move in with him in the tone of a playful growl. She laughed in between his kisses, allowing him to bring her down onto the bed before he slithered his tongue into her mouth for a more savoring one.

Her muffled giggling died in her throat, immediately replaced with a pleasant moan.

If this was what her life was destined to be then—like her father—she didn’t want to dwell in the painful past either.


End Notes:

I am so happy that I was able to write this update so quickly! 

We have about eight more chapters of Sugar Mama's end. I was finally able to plan out the rest of the chapters and it's about to be a hell of a ride. Thank you so much to Ms. Joy for being so supportive when I bug you with my ideas. Thank you to lleendah for agreeing to help me with my French. You two are the best! As a writer, these next few chapters will challenge me and hopefully as a reader, you will feel for these characters' triumphs and struggles. 

Thank you so much for your feedback and support!

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James

Warm Gratitude by Missus James
Author's Notes:

August 15, 2017 - 2AM

Sugar is eight weeks pregnant and she has a surprise for an overworked Miles, but the night takes an unexpected turn. 

Mood Music: F' It Up by Tank (There are two ways you can f*ck something up.)



A warm August breeze licked at Sugar as she eased out of her car, shutting the door behind her. She walked up to the Salty Marine’s entrance door and used her own key to unlock it before slipping inside. With a twist of a lock to secure the door, she journeyed across the darkened restaurant and carefully through the swinging double doors that led into a shut-down kitchen, quickly plucking off her high heels to conceal her arrival. The manager’s office door was ajar, a slither of bright light from within casted a slant on the tiled kitchen floor as she tiptoed closer and closer to it. Biting her bottom lip, she stopped in front of the door and peeked through the door’s crack with a prying eye. Inside the office, Miles was hard at work, shifting between piles of paperwork and his computer as he inputted data into a management software.

His shoulders were hunched over and looked tense. His jaw was tightly clenched. An concentrated look of annoyance and determination were etched onto his handsome bearded face. His hands were busied themselves. His stormy gray eyes hidden by a pair of reading glasses she had never seen before.

He looked like he needed a distraction.

He looked like he needed her.

Finally deciding to make herself known, she widened the door to make her entrance.

He looked up from his task, arching an eyebrow at her arrival before he took a gander at his wristwatch and frowned. “Why aren’t you at home in bed? It’s late.”

“I didn’t know I had a curfew,” she teased.

His face softened. “You should be in bed restin’, honey. Not drivin’ here in the middle of the night to see what I’m up to.”

Sugar rolled her eyes with a heavy sigh. “I’m not tired, Miles, and there’s nothing wrong with coming here and seeing how things were going.”

She put her heels down on the floor before she approached his desk barefoot. “These last few days you’ve been swamped with work and have been very stressed. You don’t get home until three in the morning. You barely sleep four hours and then you’re back at it again.”

Miles ran his fingers through his hair, sighing tiredly. “Staff has been callin’ out left and right for this reason and that. Donna’s out of the country for her daughter’s destination weddin’ to the Bahamas. Gizzard is at home recoverin’ from his foot surgery. I can only ask Ethan to do so much ‘cause he’s a single dad with a four-year-old son. I’ve got to do schedulin’, payroll, inventory, and orderin’ supply stock. You know how it goes, darlin’. I don’t have time to play around when I gotta handle business.”

Sugar nodded as she rounded his desk. “Of course, I do. I, also, know that a wise man once told me that play isn’t as expensive luxury as one may think.”

He rolled his office chair back just enough for her to wedge herself between him and his desk and push aside his stacked paperwork to make a cozy spot for her ass. Hopping onto his desk, a playful air about her smile. He leaned back in his seat with an slightly amused look on his face, arching an eyebrow as he no doubt wondered about her intentions.

“I have a present for you,” she admitted.

His eyebrow cocked higher. “Is that so?”

She nodded once more, her smile widening. “Mm hm, but you have to unwrap it first.”

“Pray tell, how am I supposed to unwrap this present exactly?”

Dressed in a knee-length forest green button-down dress, she brought her slender fingers up to the first button fixtured at the top of the garment’s neckline and freed it. “Just like so,” she spoke, popping free the next button before she finished her demonstration. “Think you can manage that?”

Seeming more intrigued by the prospect of unwrapping his present, a grin spread across his lips. “I’ll have a go at it.”

“Atta boy,” she encouraged with a suggestive wink.

He wheeled himself closer to her, situating himself between in between her thighs parted wide for him. Unhurriedly, he unbuttoned her dress, unveiling her simple black bra and her torso bit by bit. She bit her bottom lip as she giggled as his eyebrows shot upward in surprise as he uncovered her stomach, which had a square white envelope taped there. Curiosity got the best of him and he reached for it, but she swatted his hand away.

“You’re not finished unbuttoning me,” she reminded him teasingly.

His grin widened more, a twinge of excitement and eagerness gleaming his gray eyes as he undid the last five buttons. Her dress now undone, parted, and loose. Having followed her instructions, he carefully retrieved the taped envelope from her belly and turned it over in his hands, peeling back its lip before he pulled out a glossy monochromatic photo.

His smile evaporated as he looked at the picture in his hands—as the realization hit him.

“Fuck, honey,” he cursed, his eyes darting up to her face. “That was today?

“Well, it was supposed to be on Friday, but I got a call yesterday saying there that was a cancellation and if I wanted to move up my 8-week checkup to today. I knew you had your hands full at the restaurant, so I decided to surprise you,” she admitted before she paused, waving her hands. “So, surprise!”

Miles flickered his eyes back to the ultrasound of their baby—a bean-shape floating around a black circle. He was quiet as he stared at it. His expression was unreadable to her. It wasn’t the reaction she had expected.

She asked hesitantly, “Are you…mad that I went without you?”

He shook his head. “Naw, honey. It ain’t like that at all. I’m just in awe that we made a little person that’s got a little bit of us in ‘em. A little person that’s got the best of the two of us in ‘em.”

Then, he kissed the ultrasound gently. “This is the best damn present I could ask for. Thank you, Sugar.”

“You deserve it, Miles,” she assured. “No need to thank me. In fact, I should be thanking you.”

His eyebrows shot upward once again at her statement and he placed the ultrasound by his computer for a makeshift safe spot. A temptress smile curled onto her lips as she lifted her right foot and gently put it onto his chest, using her strength to push him backwards—making his office chair roll backwards until it bumped against the short bookcase behind him lined with framed photos and figurines, which wiggled a little from the force.

“You’ve done so much for me. You’ve taught me so much. You’ve taught me how to stand up for myself and how to be selfish. You’ve given me another chance at motherhood. Being with you has been the best thing that has happened to me. Before you, I didn’t think I was worthy of love, affection, and attention. You’ve done all of this without expecting a single thank you. So, tonight is the night I’m going to show you all the ways I can show you all thankful I am,” she said.

Sugar slipped off the desk, shrugging off her undone button-down dress before she went to him, situating herself in between his parted thighs. She leaned down to trailed kisses from his forehead and down the slope of his nose before she claimed his lips with fervor as she dominated his tongue with flicks and twirls of hers. He voiced his enjoyment with a groan that rumbled in his throat and chest. When she broke the kiss, he leaned forward in pursuit as an attempt to capture her mouth, but she shook her head and planted a hand on his chest, shoving him to sit back.

“Uh-uh,” she vocalized, wagging her finger at him. “Stay right there.”

His gray eyes stared her down heatedly, burning with want and desire, but he ran his tongue across his teeth and obeyed her command. His gaze followed her every move as she descended into a knelt position on the floor and reached for the silver buckle of his belt, undoing it while her eyes remained trained on his face. She popped out his jeans’ button and dragged down the zipper slowly, wanting to intensify the anticipation that electrified the air. She pressed her palm’s heel against his crotch, feeling his need for her swell within his jeans.

“I think you need help breaking free,” she said, chuckling for a moment as she reached inside his jeans and through the keyhole of his boxer-briefs to grasp his hardening cock that was hot in her palm. As promised, she freed him.

“Is that better, baby,” she asked.

He returned gruffly, “Much.”

She leaned in to drag her tongue along the length of him, trailing the tip of it along a bulging vein, her eyes never leaving his face. His eyelids fluttered shut at the little bit of attention she was giving him. She kissed his mushroom head before she twirled her tongue around it in a savoring way. He exhaled through his mouth, cocking his head back against the plush cushion of his office chair while his hands gripped the armrests. Finally, she took him into her mouth slowly before she gradually worked herself into an unhurried rhythm, sucking him off and caressing him with her tongue. As her head bobbled up and down, she reached for one of his hands and brought it upon the top of her head, her expressive eyes giving him permission to take control. Miles crept his fingers through her dark tresses before his grip tightened, using subtle strength to guide her.

“Mm,” she moaned on his cock.

Their eyes remained locked on each other, their gazes unfaltering as she pleased her man. She knew he loved. His breath quickened a little, his chest showing her proof. Him biting his bottom lip hard was her proof. His hand grasping tighter and tighter on her hair was her proof. His hips rocking upward slightly to drive himself a little further into her eager mouth was her proof.

She drifted him out of her mouth and lapped at the underside of his cock leisurely, tasting him all the way to a sensitive spot just underneath his head and teasing that spot. She giggled as his whole body shuddered.

“You love it when I do that, Miles,” she asked, her hot breath fanning against his cock slick with her spit. She pampered that sensitive place once more with deep flicks, which made him let out a lengthy groan.

“Yes, darlin’,” he breathed after. “I fuckin’ love that.”

Smiling, she awarded him by taking him back into her mouth, turning its up a notch by sucking him hard, bobbing her head faster, and jacking him off with her hand.

When he was close, he spoke breathlessly with a twinge of desperation, “Just like that, honey. Just…like…that.”

Not wanting to disappoint him, she did as she was told and pleased him, her rhythm sloppy and raw as she yearned to make him cum. His gray eyes rolled into the back of his head and his body quivered as he held onto her bobbing head, expressing his pleasure with a shouted profanity as he came. She was rewarded with spurts of saltiness as he emptied his seed into her awaiting mouth. She swallowed every single drop until he finished. His grip went slack on her hair and she took that as a sign that her work was done. Pulling back her head, his cock plopped out of her mouth and onto his belly, limp and glistening with her saliva.

“Thank you, Miles,” she whispered, kissing his knees tenderly.

“I’m finna fuck the shit out of you, girl.” It was a threat, which sent a shockwave straight to her clit. His hand found some strength, tugging her hair to tilt her chin up at him.

“You hear what I’m tellin’ you?”

“Yes, Miles.”

“Good. Now while I charge back up, come sit your ass on my lap,” he ordered as he put himself back into his jeans.

Sugar rose off the floor and turned her backside towards him, a pair of black panties hugging her assets. He patted his lap and she sat down, gasping as he took ahold of her hips and yank her further up before he grabbed her thighs one at a time from behind, piloting her legs to spread them wide over his thighs. Her breath hitched as he propped his bearded chin on her shoulder while one of his hands slid down the length of her body, boldly slithering past her pantyline and dipping his digits into her wetness. She leaned her head back, squeezing her eyes shut as he sunk two digits inside her.

Her eyes rolled into the back of her head as he fucked her with his fingers, curling them deep to caress her G-spot with rough rubs, which he found with ease. Now, it was his turn to tease and taunt her and he began by his reign by chuckling throatily for a moment.

“Mm, that’s the spot, ain’t it, darlin’?”

She squealed brokenly in the back of her throat, nodding her head.

Oooh,” he sung tauntingly. “I like that cute little sound you just made. Let me if I can get you to make it again.”

He recreated his efforts and in moments, a sharper version of her first squeal filled the air. With his other hand, he brushed a bra strap off her shoulder and kissed the bare skin there with grinning lips, tugging that bra cup down to possessively palm her breast.

“Sounds even better the second time ‘round,” he said. “Now, what do good girls say when someone does somethin’ nice for them?”

“Thank you,” she whispered so softly out of breath, it sounded almost like a sigh.

He toyed with her. “I’m sorry, honey. What was that?”

“Thank you, Miles,” she spoke a little louder.

“Such good manners,” he purred. “Now, let’s give some attention to a neglected little friend of ours. What do you think, sweetheart?”

He didn’t wait for her answer as he eased his fingers out of her and brought them to her clit, running his fingertips over it in an up-and-down. Her shoulders jerked and quivered as she cried out as pleasure rippled through her.

“Now, what do you say, baby girl?”

She replied in a shaky voice, “Thank you, Miles.”

“You gave me the courtesy of pullin’ and tuggin’ at your hair while you tasted me. You gave me control. So, I’ll return the courtesy,” he spoke huskily. “Now—”

Sugar cut him off. “Thank you, Miles.”

Once again, he chuckled darkly, pleased with her answer.

“Mm, slid your hand inside your panties right on top of mine,” he commanded smoothly as he continued to toy with her clit in which she reached down and followed his instructions, resting her smaller hand atop of his large one, her fingers shadowing his. “Go on now. Show me how you like it.”

She moved her index finger and middle finger from side-to-side hastily and he followed her lead.

Yes, yes, yes,” she chanted, swaying her hips in his lap as she steadily spiraled out of control. He caught her earlobe with his teeth and drew it into his mouth, sucking it as an added incentive to cum for him. He went off the script and plunged his fingers back inside of her, pampering her G-spot once more with desperate, hungry strokes. It was just enough to send her soaring as she let out a broken raspy scream as an intense orgasm slammed into her full force.


He took her on the office floor behind his desk. His weight pined her down onto the ground as he laid atop of her. Sugar’s jaw dropped, and she tightened an arm around his neck, cupping the back of his head as he moved inside of her in even calm strokes like they both had all the time in the world to live in this moment, rocking and rolling his hips like he knew best. Loving her like he knew how. His face was buried into the crook of her neck. Her other set of fingernails dug deep into his tattooed back, holding on tight as if she would lose herself if she didn’t.

Through the fog of her mind, she had somehow noticed a persistent noise.

Was that a train horn?

“Miles,” she whispered airily. “Someone’s calling you.”

He ignored her along with the train-horn ringtone of his cellphone lying somewhere on his desk and kept handling his business.

However, thinking maybe he might not have heard her, she spoke once more, “Miles, your phone is ringing.”

“I’m givin’ you all I got right now, honey, and I much prefer doin’ this than answerin’ that,” he stated gruffly.

“Bu—uuuuh!” she attempted to protest, but he interjected by punctuating his statement of indifference by rearing his hips back and punishing her with a single deep, sharp thrust that stretched her partial answer into a startled cry of pleasure. Her fingernails bit harder into his muscular back, her legs contracting around his waist as a proper reaction.

Then the ringing stopped.

“See? All that worryin’ for nothin’,” he purred in her ear as he stroked her outer thigh sensually. “Now, you gonna pay attention to me now or do I gotta pull another trick out the bag?”

He took it upon himself to change their position, hooking his arms underneath the crook of her knees and bearing his weight forward, pining her thighs against her belly as he fucked her with slow deep thrusts that felt more intense than the last time. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head and a loud gasp tumbled from her lips.

Now, she was paying attention to him again.

She had no choice.

He was demanding it.

A symphony of sounds filled the office. The raw smacking of wet flesh against wet flesh. His breathless pants and deep grunts when her pussy squeezed him just right. Her moans and cries from the attention he was giving her.

…and the blaring train-horn ringtone.

“M—” Another incomplete statement followed by another scream as he took things up a few notches, pounding into her like he was trying to prove a point and it paid off as they came near simultaneously. She outdid him by a few seconds, her pussy squeezing him in tight pulses put him over the edge.

As they laid there spent with burning lungs fighting for breath, the train-honk rang again.

“Fuck,” he snapped at the ringing phone as if he were sick of it taunting him. “Alright, al-fuckin-right!

He untangled their limbs and rose to his knees, reaching for the irksome device and took a much-needed deep breath through his nostrils before he answered as calmly as he could as he still struggled to catch his breath. “What is it?”

Sugar observed him, noting his body language and how his demeanor changed as whoever called told him something he hadn’t been prepared for. His shoulders straightened. His face etched in a surprised confusion. He ran his fingers through his salt-and-pepper hair, gripping a fistful at the roots.

“I’ll be there,” he stated before he hung up the phone and sat back on his ass, staring at the phone as if it had been betrayed him in someway.

“What’s wrong,” she asked worriedly, propping herself up on her elbows. “Who was that?”

He didn’t answer right away.

“My mother.”

Sugar blinked in utter shock. “What? What did she want?”

Miles stared off in the distance, his mind entirely elsewhere as if he were taking a bitter trip down memory lane. “My father’s in the hospital.”

“Oh, Miles,” she gasped. “What happened?”

“He had a heart attack,” he answered in a lackluster tone as he tossed the phone back onto the desk. “We’re headin’ to Louisiana a week early.”

Sugar frowned, watching as he stood up to put his clothes back on. “Don’t sound so disappointed, Miles.”

She rose to her feet as well, eyeing the phone for a long moment. Curiosity got the best of her and she picked it up, looking at his call log. The last three calls were from Clara, his mother. She jerked her eyes to him as the realization hit her.

“You knew it was her? Is that why you were so eager to keep fucking on your office floor,” Sugar growled. “Seriously, Miles?”

“It ain’t as simple as you think it is,” he returned as he stepped into his jeans.

“I think it’s pretty dry cut. You ignore your mother’s calls when it could have been an emergency like say, your father having a goddamn heart attack,” she shouted.

“Believe me when I say they’d be gettin’ a taste of their own medicine,” he replied sardonically as he did up his jeans.

Sugar jerked her head back at that reply—at his audacity. “Are you listenin’ to yourself, Miles? I thought you said you had ‘made peace’ with your past. If you did, you are sure as fuck not acting like it!”

He dragged his hand over his beard and taking a deep exhale through his nostrils. “We’re goin’ to see the both of ‘em. Alright? That’s all that matters right now.”

“At a time like this, you need to put your differences aside with—”

Miles snapped at her, sharp and icy. “Sugar, don't tell me what I should or should not do when it comes to my goddamn parents, alright? Now, let it the fuck go.”

His tone was a harsh cold bucket of water on her head and it jolted her senses unforgivingly. Her heart raced violently in her chest and out of instinct, she took two steps back.

He closed his eyes, trying to control his emotions.

His voice dulled to a softer grade, almost pleading. “The last thing I want is the two of ‘em to get between us.”

“One of them is in the hospital from a heart attack,” she reminded.

“That’s what happens when you spend your life causin’ nothin’ but heartache,” Miles replied bitterly.

Sugar slipped back on her undergarments before shrugged on her button-down dress, popping the buttons back in. “Take the higher road, Miles.”

“Naw, honey. I’m gonna be petty as fuck when it comes to this,” he returned.

“Fine,” she huffed. “I’m going to bed.”

He took a gander at her toes, lifting his tired gaze until they settled on her face. “Am I in the doghouse now?”

“Not at all. In fact, you’ve got the whole house yourself. I’ll be at Sully’s house to cool off,” she assured saucily as she marched around the desk to retrieve her heels.

“Don’t be like that, darlin’,” he said as he trailed after her, wrapping his strong arms around her waist and pulling her smaller body close. “Come on, Sugar. Ain’t no need to do that.”

He kissed her neck tenderly. “You know I don’t sleep well without you.”

She almost melted in his arms—against his lips.


“Sounds like you need to invest in a teddy bear, Miles,” she retorted as she broke free from his arms, grabbed her things, and escaped his office, wanting to get away from the salty Marine and the Salty Marine as quickly as possible.  



End Notes:

It's like an inspiration bug has hit me or something. Three updates in like a week and I plan to start writing the next chapter today! I like time-skipping sometimes. It shows a lot of growth. 

Now, we have about 7-8 more chapters. This Louisiana debacle may be 2-3. I am not quite sure. It depends on how the characters behave and when Papa Thibodeau and Miles Thibodeau get in the same room who the hell knows what's gonna happen, LMAO. 

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James

Rotten Intentions by Missus James
Author's Notes:

August 16-17, 2017

After making up, it's time to meet Miles' parents.

Mood Music: Not Discuss It by St. Beauty 


After three hours of tossing and turning in a bed within Sully’s guest bedroom, she drove towards the direction of home. Along the way, she resumed a mental session (that had kept her awake through the night) of replaying the heated argument in Miles’ office over and over again, pinpointing her mistakes and brewing up ideas of how she could have handled things differently. By the end, she felt guilty and confused—an emotional combination that didn’t mix well inside her. Maybe, her reaction was justified. Or maybe, it was unwarranted. Maybe, somehow it lingered in a realm of gray, neither black or white. Maybe, neither him or her was wrong like two sides of a spinning coin that didn’t know when to fall.

Parking her car beside his in the gravel driveway, she gripped the steering as she stared at the ranch house before she took a deep breath and stepped out. With a twist of a key, she opened the front door and went inside. Closing the door behind her, she quietly walked through the house and stopped in the picture-filled hallway just outside the kitchen. She had passed these pictures so many times and yet, she cocked her head as she stared on. It seemed like every loved one in his life had a picture on that stretch of wall. Even she had a few pictures stirred in the collection, but none of his parents.

She chewed hard on her bottom lip, a tightening pain entering her heart knowing that his relationship with his parents was broken and sharp like thousands of shards of glass. Irreparable, even.

Sugar continued toward the bedroom, the sound of a running shower growing closer and closer. After kicking off her shoes, she went to the bathroom door and opened it carefully, a wave of thick hot steam hitting her in the face. She closed the door behind her softly before she undressed and grabbed the rosy pink shower cap resting on the bathroom counter, tucking her hair inside it as she tiptoed towards the bathtub closed off by a navy-hued shower curtain. She slyly peeled back the material and stepped into the back of the tub, standing directly behind Miles as he braced the wall underneath the showerhead. His muscular shoulders and back were hunched forward, taking the brunt of the hot water that rained down upon him. His head was dropped down, almost like in defeat or resignation.

As she stepped closer to him, he sensed her presence, lifting his head and looking over his shoulder. His face was etched in a tired weariness, letting her know that he didn’t sleep a wink last night. He straightened his backbone and turned to face her, closing in her before she could properly react and forcing her to back into the wall behind her. His wet hands cupped her face and he dipped his head down, capturing her lips to drag her into a deep kiss. Her eyelids fluttered shut as she melted into it—as he devoured her lips as if they had been apart for years.

She broke her mouth away and panted, “I’m sorry.”

He delivered hungry pecks against her lips as his calloused hands glided down her curves, groping her hips and thighs.

“I don’t want your apology,” he spoke huskily. “You left me behind when we still had unfinished business between us. You made me drive all the way home and lay in a cold bed for hours on end, fiendin’ to have you in my arms like a goddamn junkie. I’m mad as hell at you. Don’t ever abandon me like that again.”

The word abandon slammed into her. His fears and worries were laced in every syllable. In that moment, his gray eyes were windows to his soul, showing her his internalized hurt and pain that dwelled within—that he battled with.

What did his parents do to him?

“I won’t,” she promised softly.

He took ahold of her chin. “I’m holdin’ you to that.”


An hour and a half later, they were on the road with a sixteen-hour road trip ahead of them. Sugar took the first shift while Miles slept in a reclined front passenger seat, exhausted. She always snuck glances at him as he slumbered with his tattooed forearm draped across his eyes. For a man so strong and unflinchingly confident, he bared his fragility to her in their shower. It was a difficult experience to process. Not because she judged his sensitivity, but because she never realized how bone-deep the wounds his parents inflicted upon him.

Had she been that blind?

How could she have ignored the trail of crumbs leading to this big reveal?

Her mind swarmed with troublesome thoughts and burning questions as she drove. Six hours in, she made a pit stop at a gas station to refuel. The gas pump’s card machine was broken, so she had to go inside to pay. She bought a bag of chips for snacking and a can of green tea to sip on. After paying for her things and thirty bucks for gas, she returned to the car, putting her purchased items into the car for safe-keeping before she began to pump the gas.

Casually, she glanced around, locking eyes with a man who was parked at the pump right behind her. He smiled at her, nodding his head up as he acknowledged her presence.

“Good afternoon,” he said.

“Afternoon,” she returned politely with a weak smile.

“It’s a lovely day.”

Sugar nodded. “Yes, it is.”

“On vacation?”

She nodded once more. “Something like that.”

“I see you’re from Virginia,” he said, his eyes glancing down to the car’s license plate. “How much further you got to go?”

“Um, twelve hours, I think,” she answered.

He let out a whistle of sympathy. “You’ve got a long way to go then. You’re driving by yourself?”

Sugar opened her mouth to speak, but the front passenger door opened, and Miles got out, shooting an appraising glance between Sugar and her gas pump neighbor. The look on his face wasn’t very friendly and the stranger cleared his throat and chuckled nervously, “Uh, have a safe trip.”

“Thanks,” Sugar replied just as the pump finished up.

Miles rounded the car, plucking the pump’s nozzle from the car and her hand, putting it back where it belonged. “Where are we?”

“About sixty miles past Knoxville,” she answered.

He nodded. “Alright, I’ll take it from here.”

“I can drive some more,” she assured.

He lowered his head and kissed the tip of her nose. “Get in the car now.”

Sugar eyed him with slight annoyance at the command, rubbing the tip of her tongue against one of her front teeth before she went to the other side of the car and slipped into the front passenger seat.

Operating on a handful hours of sleep, he drove the rest of the way, stopping here or there for gas, restroom breaks, and food. They breached the Louisiana state-line in the early hours of the morning and made it to Crowley just before sunrise. Miles checked them into a motel not too far from the hospital his father had been taken to.

After Miles brought their luggage to their room, Sugar was in the bathroom, brushing the aftertaste of fast food and flavored chips from her mouth. When she was finished, she walked into the bedroom, taking in the sight of a bare-chested Miles lying in bed, waiting for her. She undressed and joined him in bed, snuggling against him and moaning a little as he wrapped his strong arms around her. Soon enough, both drifting off to sleep in minutes.


Miles pressed the up-button for the elevator before taking a step back, all the while clenching his jaw, a hardened expression on his face. When the elevator arrived, a nurse in Winnie the Pooh scrubs stepped off. Sugar entered and he followed, the elevator doors sliding shut with a ding after he pressed a floor number button. He was a bundle of tensed nerves. She reached for his hand and brought it to her lips, kissing it tenderly.

“I’ll be right beside you,” she assured with a warm smile.

He said nothing, but she could see the gratitude in his eyes even if it only came as a lightning quick flicker. When the elevator doors opened, they stepped off and walked along a long corridor until they reached his father’s room number. The door was closed, which Miles hung a fist in mid-air as he contemplated knocking before he went through with it. As she held his other hand, she gave it an encouraging squeeze.

“Come in,” a woman called from within.

“’Bout damn time. I asked for some goddamn food over a goddamn hour ago,” a man’s voice huffed angrily as Miles had begun to open the door.

A light-skinned sixty-something-year-old woman with a cherub face and a mane of curly chocolate brown tresses was the first to witness their arrival. She was seated in a chair near the bed, flipping through a glossy gossip magazine before she looked up.

Her eyes widening in utter surprise. “You came.” 

Her husband, a man with a long thick graying beard and a striking resemblance to Miles, jerked his attention from the television he had been watching to look at his son. The permanent sour look on his aging face grew even more dour. 

“Renard came to see you, Rene,” the woman beamed.

“I’ve got eyes, woman,” Rene Thibodeau said in a rough grumpy tone.

“And you’ve got a mouth too, so use it to tell our son and his guest hello,” his wife ordered. Rene grumbled a hello under his breath, investing his attention once more at the television.

Satisfied with her husband’s attempt at civility, Clara rose from her seat and put the magazine down, throwing her arms wide to properly greet her son. Sugar tried to slip her hand from his, so that the two could properly reunite, but Miles held onto her hand tighter.

Clara cradled her son’s face and kissed his cheeks. “It’s so good to see you again, Renard.”

She pulled back, looking at Sugar. “And who do we have here?”

Sugar opened her mouth to answer, but Miles beat her to the chase. “My other half, Sugar Wallace.”

“You finally moved on from Alicia after she dumped your ass? ‘Bout time,” Rene chuckled to himself as if he had told an inside joke.

Clara chuckled, her face reddening with embarrassment. “Don’t mind him. He’s just a little cranky ‘cause he misses home.”

“He seems like his same ole’ bitter self to me,” Miles mused with a deep frown.

Rene smirked. “How you gonna talk about bitter, boy, when you got a gal named Sugar and you still walk up in my room with your face all twisted up like you suckin’ on a lemon?”

Miles grit his teeth, stalking forward, but his mother blocked his path and Sugar gripped his hand tighter to make him stop.

“Rene, that’s enough,” Clara hissed over her shoulder. “Simmer down before I make the nurse come in here to give you somethin’ to knock you out cold.”

Then she looked at Sugar with a warm smile as she went back to her chair and slid it across the tiled floor, moving to an opposite wall. “Now, come on and have a seat, sweetheart.”

Sugar bit her bottom lip, glancing to Miles for a moment as she was hesitant to accept the invitation. Clara caught the exchange and teased, “You your own woman, ain’t you? Don’t go lookin’ at Renard for permission. It’s just a seat. I ain’t askin’ for your firstborn or nothin’.”

“Alright,” Sugar said with a tense smile as she used all of her strength to secretly pry her hand from Miles’ tightening one. She then journeyed over to the offered chair and sat down.

Clara then asked sweetly, “Renard, be a dear and go down to the nurse’s station to ask for some more chairs?”

When he wouldn’t budge an inch, she glanced between her son and his ‘other half’. “I promise we won’t gobble her up.”

“It’s fine, Miles,” Sugar assured with a weak smile. “I’ll be fine.”

Her reassurance clipped away at him and he eyed her for a moment longer before he left without a single word. His mother lingered near her, crossing her arms over her chest and cocking her head slightly as she appraised her son’s ‘other half’.

“You look like you’re gonna break his poor heart,” she broadcasted. Sugar’s brow furrowed, her eyebrows scrunching together in alarm at such a bold assumption. The woman’s smile was motherly, and her voice was more than kind, but underneath all that, the words held a passive-aggressive viciousness to them.

Sugar frowned. “You don’t know me to make that assumption.” 

Clara laughed softly, her smile stretching into a more condescending creature. “I don’t need to know you. As a mother—as his mother—I feel it deep in my gut.”

“You mean as a mother who abandoned her only child,” Sugar asked, cocking her head. “That deep gut feeling might just be you digesting your breakfast, but I can see how you’d be easily confused.”

Rene chuckled deeply. “I startin’ to like her.”

Clara Thibodeau took the insult with momentary stride, but Sugar knew her words stung. It had never been her intention to say such a thing to anyone’s mother, but it was a truth that needed to be told—to be reminded.

“Don’t judge a woman based on her past mistakes she’s tryin’ to make amends for,” Clara said, narrowing her eyes at Sugar. “I know I don’t deserve a Mother of the Year award, but I’m just tryin’ to look out for my son. Even a blind man can see my good intentions.”

“Sure, if thinking that helps you sleep at night, Mrs. Thibodeau.”

Their gazes latched onto each other, intense and unwavering.

“I highly suggest you back down now while you still got the chance, Clara. The last thang I need is him throwin’ a fit ‘cause you breathed in his gal’s direction,” Rene warned, his voice gruff and teasing while he used a corded remote control to flip through the channels on the flat screen television perched high in a corner near the window.

“He won’t if no one blabs about it,” Clara said, her honey brown eyes drilling into Sugar before a smile eased across her lips. “I’m just makin’ sure your intentions are true is all. Now, let’s make nice before Renard comes back. Alright?”

Just then, the hospital room door opened by the doing of a young redhead nurse. She held the door open for Miles as he carried in two chairs. He nodded his gratitude to her before he passed her by.

With a nurse now in his sights, Rene barked, “Where in the devil is my food?”

“It’s on its way, Mr. Thibodeau,” the nurse assured politely.

“I’m ‘bout to die from starvation,” Rene growled.

“Not before I get what I need out of you,” Miles muttered under his breath, just low enough for Sugar’s ears to catch as he placed a chair directly to the right of hers before he placed the other one close to the hospital bed.

Once the nurse had left, Miles found his place at Sugar’s side. “I felt my ears burnin’.”

Clara sat down in the chair by her husband’s bedside. “We were just havin’ a little chitchat.”

His gray eyes cut over to Sugar, seeking confirmation—or a sign of distress. Not wanting to create any drama, she smiled and hummed, “Mm-hm.”

“See, Renard? We ain’t all that bad,” Clara teased. “Now onto more important matters. I’ve got your room all nice and ready for ya’ll back at the house. Just like I promised on the phone.”

Sugar glanced to him with raised eyebrows.

“No need. We got a room at the Shuteye Motel,” he stated.

“Good thing you didn’t waste too much money ‘cause you need to checkout and come on down to the house.”

“We’re fine where we are.”

Clara pursed her lips at her son. “Miles Ren—”

“We’re not goin’ and that’s final. I told you I’d come and I did just that. The man won’t even look at me in the goddamn eye ‘cause he’d rather watch damn TV than try and be civil towards his own son he ain’t seen in three years,” Miles said, anger creeping and crawling underneath the surface of his tone—of his words.

Clara shook her head, sighing, “You know how your daddy can be, Renard.”

Miles smirked. “He ain’t my ‘daddy’. He might be my father, but he sure as hell ain’t my ‘daddy’. That title’s earned.” 

Rene silently regarded his son from the comfort of his hospital bed with a clenched jaw and hardened gray eyes. “Why in the hell did you come here, boy? You so ass-sore about the past, why you even here?”

“You know exactly why I’m here.” 

Now, it was Rene’s turn to smirk. “Tryin’ to dig up ‘em old skeletons ‘cause you scared I’ll take ‘em to the grave, huh?”

Confused dripped from Sugar’s face as she witnessed a conversation she felt she shouldn’t be hearing. A secret that she wasn’t supposed to be privy to.

“Just tell me and we’ll be on our way. You ain’t gotta worry about us again. I ain’t gonna bother you again,” Miles stated in a restrained tone as he tried to keep himself under control. “Please, just tell me. I need to know.”

“You come here all high and mighty tellin’ me that bein’ a daddy is an earned title,” Rene began, scratching his beard with a thoughtful expression.

Clara snapped her head to her husband and said warningly, “Rene, leave it be now.”

However, he ignored her. “Yet your own baby girl didn’t call her daddy the day she—”

Miles lurched from his seat with a furious roar, his arm drawn back with a curled fist ready to cause hurt, pain, violence as he advanced towards his father. The two women in the room shot up from the seats at the same time. Clara blocked Miles’ path, holding out her arms while Sugar went after him, grabbing onto his arm to stop him.

“Rene, shut your damn mouth,” Clara hissed over her shoulder.

“Miles, no,” she pleaded. “Please, no.”

His whole body quivered with restraint. His face was reddened with anger. His nostrils flared out with each strong exhale past through them. His eyes were wide and wild.

“I swear on all that is holy, I’m gonna get it outta you,” Miles spoke in a tone so cold and menacing, it didn’t even sound like the man she knew and loved.

“You can try again like last time,” Rene taunted, “but we know how that went. Just ‘cause I’m in this hospital bed don’t mean I won’t send you back to wherever you came from with a tail between your legs and somethin’ worse than a bloody nose.”

A blood nose?

Why did that sound so familiar?

Almost immediately, a memory flooded into her running mind.


A thoughtful expression dominated his facial features and he cocked his head at the posed question. “Is that what you want, honey? To meet ‘em?”

“I take it you don’t visit them when you go on your annual trip?”

“The last time I spoke to my parents was three years ago. The encounter did not go well. My father and I had a nasty argument, which ended with him gettin’ a black eye and me with a bloody nose,” he said.


The nasty argument that had taken place three years ago between Miles and his father wasn’t a violent consequence of child abandonment like she had thought. No, it was about a secret about Miles’ daughter. A secret that only Rene Thibodeau knew and kept hostage.

“Miles, I think it’s time for us to go,” Sugar said in a calm voice, gently tugging his arm to lead him towards the door. She needed to get him away from his parents before it spiraled into something worse—something irreversible.

“I ain’t finished with you, old man. I can promise you that it won’t be a repeat of last time,” Miles growled. “I can fuckin’ promise you that.”

“Miles, let’s go,” Sugar urged desperately, her gentle tugging transitioned into strong yanks as she tried to lead him towards the door.

“Bring it, boy. Bring it,” Rene goaded loudly with a wide grin, gesturing his arms wide—a sign of welcome and a challenge rolled into one.

Once she had finally gotten him out the room and into the hallway, he jerked his arm free from her grasp and marched angrily down the corridor and towards the elevators, growling a string of cuss words that garnered the attention of patients in their rooms, passing hospital staff, and visitors. She followed after him, trying to manage her composure in such a public place. He jabbed roughly at the elevator’s down-button repeatedly as if hitting it hard and fast would make its arrival swifter. He ran his fingers harshly through his hair with gritted teeth before he punched the closed elevator doors and swore aloud.

She closed her eyes and flinched at the suddenness of the outburst and the display of violence against the doors.

“Miles, please calm down,” Sugar begged in a hushed shaky voice, her bottom lip quivering as she struggled to hold back her tears. “Please.”

When the doors opened, the two stepped inside, followed by a handful of guests at the very last minute. They lingered at the back of the elevator. He steeped and stewed in his ire while she struggled to keep herself together as they rode the elevator down to the ground floor. The trek through the hospital lobby and to the parking lot felt excruciatingly long, but once they had arrived at their car, they exchanged loaded glances at each other. Hers was filled with unanswered questions. His held a lack of eagerness to oblige her.

“What the hell was that, Miles,” Sugar asked after they had finally gotten into the car. “What happened back there?”

“Now ain’t the time,” he decided.

Sugar’s eyelids slid shut at his response. “I just stopped you from beating your father’s face in, Miles. Now’s the perfect time. Now, tell me what the hell is going on or—”

He cut her off, sounding pained. “Or what, Sugar? You’ll leave?”

“I’m not the enemy, Miles,” she said softly.

“No, I am,” Miles said, his knuckles ghostly white from clenching the steering wheel.

She shook her head. “You’re not the enemy either, but I can’t be there for you…I can’t support you like I’m supposed to if you don’t let me in.”

They drove in silence for what seemed like an eternity before he finally spoke. “After my daughter had committed suicide, Alicia and I searched for a note…anything that could shed some light on her final thoughts—how our baby girl felt durin’ the last days of her life. We couldn’t find anything. Two years later, Alicia was lookin’ through Melina’s phone. All she wanted to do was look through Melina’s pictures and videos, text messages, that kind of thing, but then she looked through Melina’s call log. The day she died, she had a two-hour long conversation with her grandfather just hours before she decided to take her life.”

Sugar clasped her hand over her mouth to muffle her gasp.

Tears shined in his eyes. “I didn’t know what the hell to think when Alicia told me. We had tried callin’ my parents to tell ‘em ‘bout their granddaughter’s passin’, so they could come pay their respects and they wouldn’t even pick up the phone. No one could get in touch with ‘em. It was like they disappeared off the goddamn earth. Alicia and I wanted closure, so I drove down to talk to him. I just wanted to know what that two-hour phone call was all about, but he was adamant it was none of my damn business. We argued and fought, but he wouldn’t budge. He wouldn’t fuckin’ budge. Told me he was gonna take it to his grave if he had to.”

Sugar sniffled, tears slipping down her cheeks. “That’s what you meant about your parents getting a taste of their own medicine when you ignored your mother’s calls. It’s because they ignored yours.”

“Him havin’ a heart attack makes me all the more determined to know the truth. I need to know. I can’t let him take that to his grave. I can’t let me and Alicia live the rest of our lives not knowin’,” he spoke, his stubborn tears refusing to fall. “We need closure. We deserve closure. I ain’t lettin’ him go this time. I’m gotta get it outta him.”

The determination in his voice let her know there was no stopping him from getting what he wanted—what he needed.


End Notes:, yup.

Pictures of his parents uploaded.

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James

Bitter Pill by Missus James
Author's Notes:

August 18, 2017

Sometimes, the truth is a bitter pill to swallow. 

Mood Music: After the Storm by Kali Uchis 

This trip was never fated to be an easy one. Sugar understood that now and felt foolish for thinking any different. There had been a slither of hope within her as she had clung to the possibility of Miles and his father would put their differences aside and mend their broken relationship with a teary-eyed resolution like a Hallmark movie scene. But that was before she had met Rene and Clara Thibodeau in the flesh. That was before she learned that his father was Satan incarnate and his mother was a strong contender for the Mommy Dearest award. That was before she stopped her baby’s father from sending his father to the morgue.

Now, it was a new day. A fact she couldn’t quite appreciate as she had laid in the stiff motel bed all night, her mind running amuck and working against her exhausted body—Miles’ words eating at her bit by bit, leeching the natural urge to sleep from her.

“We need closure. We deserve closure. I ain’t lettin’ him go this time. I’m gonna get it outta him.”

What did that mean? What was he planning to do? How far would he go?

Sugar had theories, but none of them were good ones. None of them possessed the potential outcome of all parties involved walking away without a bloody nose, a black eye, or worse. A wad of tissue helped with a bloody nose. A bag of ice helped a black eye. But she had no remedy for the deep psychological wounds marring his soul. The ones he had been so willing to show her since the very beginning. The ones that were reopening before her very eyes on this trip.

Dammit, she felt so useless.

She lolled her head in his direction, eyeing the back of his head. Last night was the first time he hadn’t held her in his arms. She didn’t blame him. He wanted his space and the six inches of space between them was a temporary remedy she gave him…even if it felt like they were an ocean apart.

She tugged her bottom lip into her mouth, fighting the urge to touch him. Instead, she climbed out of the bed and went into the bathroom to begin her morning routines, needing to inject a morsel of normalcy into her life. She splashed cool water onto her face to awaken her senses before she went about the task of brushing her teeth and gurgling mouthwash. Once she was finished, she decided to take a shower. Fishing out a neatly packed showercap from her toiletry travel bag, she slipped it on.

Making her way over to the tub, she pushed aside the creamy shower curtain and turned on the water before she tugged on the faucet’s tab to start shower. Her eyebrows scrunched together as she heard the rush of water redirect itself towards the showerhead, a whistling sound filling the air as if the journey was a treacherous one. There was a notable lag before the water sprinkled from the showerhead with strength equivalent to a baby’s sneeze.

“No to a shower then,” she muttered as she pressed the tab back down to let the hot water to fill up the tub. When the water reached a satisfactory height, she twisted the knob. After stripping down to nothing, she was about to step inside the tub when the door creaked open.

She turned halfway, watching as Miles entered into bathroom.

“Morning,” she greeted, her smile weak. “Want in?”

Stepping out of his boxers, he took her offer without uttering a single word. He got into the tub first and she found herself a home in between his legs, snuggling her bare back against his chest.

She cocked an eyebrow. “Sleep well?”

Miles had taken it upon himself to lather up a loofah with some bar soap and brushed it along her shoulder’s curve, speaking to her in a tired gruff voice, “No better than you did.”

“I missed sleeping in our bed is all. That bed in there is an…acquired taste,” she said.

It wasn’t exactly a lie, but it wasn’t the truth either.

“It’s good to know you’re gettin’ little better with lyin’,” Miles replied, his soft rumbly voice oozed with mild amusement. “I just ‘bout almost believed it.”

Sugar rolled her eyes. “I’ll keep at it to make you proud.”

He chuckled gently, the vibrations tickling her back. It was good to know that she could make him laugh. She felt a bit less useless.

Once his chuckles died down, a silence fell between them as he lifted up her arm and washed it with the frothy loofah from her shoulder to her fingers.

“You need to stop worryin’ about me. It ain’t good for the baby,” he finally spoke.

Sugar frowned. “I have every right to worry, Miles. You and your father nearly got into a brawl in his hospital room.”

He sighed. “I shouldn’t have lost control like that in front of you.”

Her frown deepened and cocked an eyebrow at his choice of words, peering her shoulder to lock gazed with him. “So, if you don’t think you should have done it in front of me, does that mean you’re all the more willing to do it if I’m not there, Miles?”

Miles tilted his head, running his tongue along his teeth as he eyed her carefully and considered her question. “How I deal with my father—with my parents—is my business.”

She blinked her eyes, snorting a laugh at his audacity. “Your business? No, Miles. It’s my business as much as it is yours now. You told your mother that I am your other half, well that means your burdens are my burdens too. If I hadn’t held you back yesterday, you would’ve beat the hell out of your father. Now, I’m not saying he didn’t deserve it to get his ass handed to him, but there are consequences to that. You say me worrying isn’t good for the baby? Well, you going to jail for attacking hospitalized father isn’t good for the baby either.”

Her gaze softened. “There has to be a better way to get you the closure you and Alicia deserve. If Rene isn’t going to tell you the truth willingly then there has to be something out there you can hold against him. Something that’ll make him desperate and leave him with no longer choice.”

Miles tilted his head back against the tiled wall, closing his eyes. “Beatin’ within an inch of his life out is the better way.”

She exhaled, “What’s a better legal way that doesn’t involve violence and a court trial?”

His eyelids snapped open suddenly as if a lightbulb appeared above his head, lit and blazing bright. “What did you just say, honey?”

“I said what’s the legal way of going about this?”

He turned his eyes at the bathroom door, a plan brewing up in his mind as he ran his fingers through his damp hair.

Sugar arched an eyebrow. “What? What’s wrong?”

A grin spilled across his lips and he leaned in, kissing her—catching her off-guard completely. She accepted the affectionate gesture even as her face scrunched in utter confusion at his sudden change of mood. When their mouths broke apart, she stared at him in surprise.

“What was that for?”

“Givin’ me the ammunition I needed to burn that bastard’s world down to the goddamn ground.”

Her eyebrows shot upward at his choice of words, opening her mouth to protest.

He smirked and added reassuringly, “The legal way.”


Miles had kept her in the dark about his world-burning blueprint to getting his father to confess the truth about Melina’s final phone call. After he had taken her to a diner for breakfast, he had returned her to the motel, so he could meet with a fellow named Herbert Landry, who was described to her as an old family friend. As she anxiously awaited his return, the meeting stretched on into the afternoon. Just after two o’clock, he sauntered through the motel room door.

She popped up from the bed like a daisy. “Well?”

“The meetin’ went as I had expected it to,” he answered.

Sugar asked eagerly, “Care to feel me in?”

He arched a bushy eyebrow. “Now, where’s the fun in that?”

She huffed, “Miles.”

“Trust me, honey. You’ll find out what’s up my sleeve,” he promised, wrapping his arms around her waist and tugging her close. “You’ll have a front row seat to it.”

He landed a kiss on her lips, a tactic to ease her nerves no doubt. “Afterwards, I wanna take you to an ol’ waterin’ hole of mine to celebrate. You can dust off one of ‘em dresses of yours that’ll make every man wish you were his.”

“I didn’t pack any of those,” she replied. “Only trash bags.”

He chuckled at their little inside joke before he captured her lips once more, dragging her into a soft kiss that turned feverish within moments. However, their passionate display was cut short as his front pocket vibrated against her.

She glanced down to his crotch. “Teach your dick a new trick?”

He smirked as he retrieved his phone and just before he accepted the incoming call, he said, “This old dog had good motivation to learn a new trick.”

The call was a brief exchange, a confirmation of a place and time. The place being the hospital and the time was poised for twenty minutes from now. Soon enough, they had piled into his car and drove over to the hospital. Once they had arrived at his father’s hospital door, Miles rattled his fingers against it and waited for a reply.

“Come on in,” Clara called from within the room.

Miles briefly glanced at Sugar before he opened the door. The scene was nearly identical to yesterday as sour-faced Rene sat in his hospital bed flipping through television channels with a remote and Clara sat beside him reading a glossy gossip magazine. She was the first to note their arrival. Yesterday, she had been excited to see her only child. Today, however, she was shocked with a hint of worry. She cut her eyes from them to her husband nervously and cleared her throat to get Rene’s attention.

“Renard, you came back,” Clara said, shifting her attention from him to Sugar, “and with your other half, I see. We all gonna play nice today?”

“We’ll be on our best behavior,” Miles assured as he and Sugar sat down the two empty chairs on the opposite side of the room left from yesterday. “The question is can you vouch he’ll be on his?”

Clara parted her lips to speak, but Rene beat his wife to the punch. “I can vouch for myself, boy. I ain’t lost my voice.”

“Much the pity,” Miles returned calmly.

Sugar chewed on her bottom lip, witnessing everything unfold and praying that Miles’ plan—whatever it may be—would work.

Rene snapped, “What’s a pity is you trottin’ yourself back in here like today’s gonna be any different from yesterday or three years ago. I ain’t sayin’ shit, ya hear? Now, go on somewhere before you get your feelings hurt, boy!”

Miles clenched his jaw for a moment, restraining himself from acting upon a primal urge to lash back. Sugar placed her hand on his as a sign of support—as a reminder that he wasn’t alone.

“Today ain’t gonna be like yesterday or three years ago,” he stated. “Let’s try a different approach by actin’ like rational adults for a change. Unless that’s too hard for you to handle?”

Rene curled his lip as he hawked a wad of spit and shot it into a peachy pink hospital-issued plastic cup. “Sorry, hearin’ bullshit makes me throw up from time to time.”

“Hope that symptom passes in,” Miles said, glancing his wristwatch, “five or so minutes.”

Relevantly uninterested in the exchange between her husband and son, Clara finally bud into the conversation when he mentioned the timeline. “What’s happenin’ in five minutes?”

Miles nodded his head towards the door. “An old family friend is payin’ us a visit.”

Clara eyed her son for a long moment, closing her magazine and crossing one leg over the other. “And who might that be? ‘Cause all your daddy’s friends have already paid him a visit.”

His eyebrows shot upward in mock surprise. “All three of ‘em? Good to know, they still care.”

Rene narrowed his eyes, but said nothing.

Sugar’s heart leapt in her chest as someone knocked on the door.

“Looks like he’s here a little early,” Miles replied while everyone watched the hospital door open as a plump light-skinned green-eyed black man in his seventies with liver spots shuffled into the room in a brown suit, a briefcase, and a bouquet of flowers.

Clara widened her eyes in shock. “Herb?”

The balding man grinned, showing off his pearly white set of dentures. “Good to see you, Clara.”

She stood up from her seat and went to him, giving him a polite hug and kissed both of his cheeks. “It’s good to see you too.”

After the hug broke apart, Herbert put down his briefcase and walked over to hospital bed and offered Rene the bouquet. “Good to see you’re still alive and kickin’, Rene.”

Rene scoffed. “What in the hell am I gonna do with a bouquet of flowers, Herb? I ain’t a goddamn Miss America runner-up.”

“You might have a chance if you showed some gratitude when someone does somethin’ nice for you, Rene,” Herbert said, “now take the damn flowers or you get beat with ‘em. I ain’t the one.”

Rene snatched the bouquet from Herbert, grumbling under his breath.

Herbert looked over at Miles and Sugar, his eyes falling upon Sugar. A wide smile spilled onto his lips as he waddled over and took her hands into his, kissing them. “You must be Sugar. Renard told me a lot about you. Tu es beau.”

Sugar smiled. “Thank you, Mr. Landry.”

Clara snapped her attention to Miles suspiciously, “Mind tellin’ us what’s goin’ on, Herb?”

“Ain’t it obvious, Clara? He thinks I got one foot in the grave, so he tryin’ to see if he’s in my will. Why else would he call the family attorney,” Rene growled.

Herbert let go of Sugar’s hands and went to his briefcase, making his way across the room to a windowsill wide enough to put his briefcase on. “Well, you’re half-right. I am here about a will, but it ain’t yours.”

Rene’s expression soured even more. “If not mine then whose?”

Herbert unclasped the briefcase, plucking a leather glasses case from within to retrieve thick-lensed readers. “Louisa’s.”

His parents jerked their shocked gazes to Miles. Even Sugar looked at him at Herbert’s revelation. Louisa was Miles’ grandmother and Rene’s mother. She passed away shortly after a teenaged Miles joined the military.

“What the hell is goin’ on,” Rene snapped. “What kind of bullshit are you tryna pull, boy?”

Herbert picked up two separate stapled packets of paper from his briefcase and flopped it in his hands. “Renard requested that I stop by to refresh and clarify the wishes of how Louisa wished for her estate to be handled.”

Rene barked, “Twenty-eight years later?”

Clara shook her head, her shock melting into a breed of disappointment as she looked at Miles as if she had finally caught on to what this was all about. “We already know how Mama Louisa wanted things to be. We were all there in your office, Herb, the day after the funeral.”

Herbert arched a thin eyebrow. “So, then you know that you and Rene inheirted the family’s residential estate, but Renard was to inherit Thibodeau’s.”

Sugar’s jaw dropped, her eyes growing in size.

“We came to an agreement,” Clara hissed, her face reddening.

“A temporary arrangement,” Herbert corrected.

Clara scoffed, “A twenty-eight-year-old temporary arrangement!”

Herbert sighed, adjusting his glasses, “It doesn’t matter how long the arrangement was, Clara. It’s well within Renard’s rights terminate it. Though the contract was unique in nature, you three agreed upon it. When Louisa passed away, Renard had already made his commit to serve his country therefore making it difficult for him to give the family’s business the care and attention it deserved. Therefore, it was agreed by all that you two would manage the day-to-day operations and be paid handsomely from your efforts until Renard was able to commit to the role.”

Now you’re able to commit, Renard? This is our livelihood,” Clara huffed loudly, shooting up from her chair. “If you do this, your daddy and I will have nothin’!”

“You’ll have the house,” Miles returned, unfazed by his mother’s temper tantrum.

“Which means nothin’ without money for food or bills, Renard,” she said. “How could you even consider this?”

Miles leaned back in his chair and cocked his head, his demeanor cool and calm. “I’m done bein’ nice.”

“Herbert, get the hell out now,” Clara snapped.

Herbert put the papers back into his briefcase, he too unconcerned by Clara’s behavior as if it were a daily occurrence. “I’ll be at the hospital cafeteria if you need me. I feel my blood sugar gettin’ low.”

Then he was gone.

“Since your daddy quiet as a field mouse over there, I’ll do his job for him,” Clara growled, jerking her head in Rene’s direction, “and ask in the hell do you want, Miles Renard? How can we make all this go away?”

Rene then chuckled. Softly at first then louder and more vibrant. “You know what he wants, Clara. Why even bother askin’?”

On the verge of panic attack, Clara ordered harshly, “Then tell him the goddamn truth, Rene. Swallow your fuckin’ pride and just do it! I’m tired of this! Tell ‘im the truth. Tell all of us the truth before we lose everything we’ve worked so hard for.”

Sugar repeated, “All of us?”

Clara finally settled her eyes on her son’s other half. “You think I knew what Rene and Melina spoke about during that phone call? Naw, sweetheart. I’ve been tryin’ to get it out of him for years. I’m in the dark just like everyone else, but no more.”

Rene clenched his jaw as a sign of resistance, which prompted Clara to march over to him, slapping her husband hard. “Do it, Rene! Stop tryin’ to protect him!”

Miles narrowed his eyes. “What do you mean ‘stop tryin’ to protect him’? I know you ain’t talkin’ about me.”

Rene growled, “Of course, it’s you, boy! Everything I did, I did for you! Even when you didn’t even know it. You think Melina just called me up outta the blue? Naw. Once upon a time, we talked just about every damn week. She just deleted our calls from her phone log, so you and Alicia wouldn’t find out.”

Shock crept over Miles’ face.

“The first time, though, she did call me up outta nowhere. She was cryin’, talkin’ killin’ herself. Felt like she had no one to talk to. You were overseas. Alicia was always worried about her, hovering over her. I had her on the phone ‘bout three hours tryin’ to calm her down. Tryin’ to convince her that her life was worth livin’. She begged me not to tell Alicia about her episode and I told her I wouldn’t as long as she did right. Hung up on me and I thought that was the end of that. Until a week later, she called me up to thank me for talkin’ her off the ledge,” Rene admitted, leaning back in his hospital bed.

He stroked his head as he recalled those memories, staring up at the ceiling as if they were playing out before his eyes. “It became a little ritual of ours. We’d talk about the little things. We’d talk about everythin'. I encouraged her to stop spendin’ so much time talkin’ to old man like me and go out and make friends her own age. She listened. Made some friends in ‘em community college classes no time. Alicia was givin’ her some space. She was takin’ her medicine. The therapy sessions were goin’ good, but she still wanted to talk to me. She wanted to get to know her granddaddy. I thought maybe when I burned my bridge with you that meant I couldn’t get to her, but she wanted me to be a part of her life.”

Rene’s eyes reddened up, glistening as he recounted. “Well, her friends helped her make other friends. Then she started askin’ for money. Alicia was givin’ her an allowance, but it wasn’t enough to hang out with her friends. So, I’d spend her some money. It was our little secret. Then she started askin’ a little more and a little more. I didn’t think anything of it. ‘Til I found out she was doin’ drugs and drinkin’. She accidentally texted me some mess about gettin’ high at a party. I got on her good. Told her I’d tell you and Alicia, but she said she’d straighten up. I believed her until a few weeks later, she called me cryin’ again. I thought she was thinkin’ ‘bout killin’ herself again, but she called me ‘cause she needed money. She got pregnant by some boy at one of ‘em parties and she wanted money for an abortion.”

Sugar’s mouth dropped open as she listened, a surreal horror clenching her as she processed and visualized everything Rene spoke.

Drugs? Underage drinking? Partying? Sex? Pregnancy? All these things were happening underneath Alicia’s and Miles’ noses.

Clara lowered herself back into her chair, gazing at her husband in utter shock while shaking her head in disbelief. “Rene,” she trailed off.

Sugar glanced to Miles worriedly, who had turned as pale as a ghost and trembled slightly, his hands tight in fists, veins bulging from his arms and neck from restraint as he, too, absorbed his father’s words—the truth he wanted to be told.

Rene shook his head, closing his eyelids. “Melina didn’t want the baby and you were set come to see her on leave. I gave her the money and told her that it was my last time givin’ her money. This was the last time I was gonna keep somethin’ from you and Alicia. After she got the money, it was radio silence for weeks. I tried callin’ her to check up on here, but she wouldn’t answer. I got tired of waitin’, so I texted her and told her that if she didn’t call me back then I was gonna tell everything.”

He snapped his fingers. “And just like that, she called me. She had gone to the abortion clinic almost immediately after gettin' the money and it had traumatized her. There were religious nuts outside with picket signs, harassing people tryin’ to get inside. Some of ‘em cornered her, threatening her, but some lady helped her out of that. It was policy that there was a waiting period for abortions. So, she had to wait a few days to be sure it was what she wanted. The more she thought about it, the more she spiraled, but she did it, which made her even more depressed.”

“She stopped takin’ her medicine. Started shuttin’ you and Alicia out. Stopped goin’ to her therapy sessions, but she kept talkin’ to me. Every time I threatened to tell ya’ll the truth, she’d threaten to end it all. She held that over my head. Then one day, I got a call from her and I instantly knew it was different.”

Miles shot up from his chair, putting both hands atop of his head and squeezed his eyes shut—visibly sick and shaken. His nostrils flared as he breathed in and out harshly.

“She was so soft and tired, but she wanted to talk about one person. You. For two hours, we only talked about you, Renard. She wanted to know everythin’ about you like she didn’t know you at all. Then she said things that hurt me deep. Things that made me think. Things that made me realize all the wrongs I’ve done. She put me blast. Told me I was terrible father to you and how that changed the person you could’ve been. How she knew even though you loved her, you abandoned her in your own way just like I did to you,” Rene continued on, his voice raw with emotional as he succumbed to the tears he had held back.

Rene looked at his son, tears running down his bearded face. “My own daddy wouldn’t give me the time of day. It was Thibodeau’s or nothin’. Being a musician was a fool’s errand to him, but I rebelled. I drank and did drugs. I ran away to follow my dreams. You rebelled too, runnin’ off to join the Marines. It was like everythin’ made sense. It was a generational curse that I started. She used sex, drugs, and liquor as a way to fill an emptiness inside her ‘cause you couldn’t be there, Alicia was there too much, and she blamed herself for makin’ ya’ll break apart. And knowing that, tore her apart, but as I was havin’ my own goddamn breakthrough, I thought I was havin’ a breakthrough with her. We ended the call on a positive note, but she made me promise to take everything we talked about that day to my grave.”

Sugar bit a quivering lip, sniffling as a tear ran down her cheek.

The truth was Melina thought Miles was like his father, chasing after dreams to prove a point. Everything Miles was as a man was due to his parents’ abandoning him. She thought Miles abandoned her in his own way, which turned her into what she was. She rebelled and got pregnant as a consequence, forcing her to abort—probably, convincing herself to believe abortion was her way of abandonment. A generational curse, indeed. A fact, Rene tried to protect his son from because Melina and Rene both knew Miles would blame himself if he found out.

They were both right.

Sugar watched helplessly as the truth tore Miles apart.


A pained teary-eyed Miles barked, “ENOUGH! I can’t bear anymore. Enough.”

“No, you gonna hear this, dammit. You gonna hear. When we found out she had taken her life, I knew I was the one to blame. I couldn’t bear the thought of witnessin’ my only grandbaby gettin’ buried before me. I couldn’t face that music. I killed my grandbaby. I did it. I admit it, dammit! So, I kept her promise for as long as I could.”

Miles snapped, “You waited until money was on the line to fess up?”

Rene cried, “I don’t give a damn about the money. Take Thibodeau’s. We don’t deserve it. We don’t deserve you as our son. We didn’t deserve Melina as our grandbaby.”

Clara’s face was reddened, snort dripping from her nose and tears leaked from the corners of her eyes. “Rene, why didn’t you tell me? Why? Why?”

“Fuck this,” Miles snarled. “We’re leavin’, Sugar.”


End Notes:

This was a long and emotional chapter, but I am glad the truth is out there now. In his own way, Rene was trying to protect Miles even if it meant his only son hating him because he'd rather be a cruel bastard and have Miles hate him than Miles knowing the truth and hating himself even more than he already did.

But now the truth's out. 

It cut deep.

Sugar was relatively quiet during this chapter, but that was on purpose because it was a Rene-centered chapter. Miles' scars are opening and Sugar will be here to help him clean them up in the next chapter.

Also: I have no idea if contracts can work the way I wrote in this chapter, but pretend they do. o.o

Feedback is greatly appreciated!


Salty Tears by Missus James
Author's Notes:

August 19, 2017

Tears are shed and truth is spilled.

Mood Music: Let It Be (Across the Universe cover)


Sugar’s hand snapped out like a reflex as her cellphone rang. She didn’t care who was calling her at two o’clock in the morning. Any call was better than hours and hours of no calls—and futile efforts on her own part leading straight to voicemail.

“Hello? Yes?” The words shot out of her mouth in an unfiltered panic.

“It’s Hebert Landry. I hope I didn’t disturb your slumber,” the older man’s voice streamed into her ear.

Sugar shook her head quickly as she gripped the phone and assured, “No, no. It’s quite alright, Mister Landry.”

She stood up from the armchair near the curtained windows she had been stationed at where she made a habit out of peeking out into the night every few moments. She began to pace back and forth, an attempt to stretch out her sore legs and iron out her wiry nerves.

“Well, I’m callin’ to inform you of your significant other’s whereabouts,” Herbert delivered in a flat, slow voice that did more harm than good to Sugar’s patience. “There was an altercation between him and another individual at a bar not too far from the Shuteye Motel. Police were called to the scene, but no charges will be brought against Renard. However, he had to be taken to the hospital for treatment.”

She gasped aloud, her eyes widening. “Oh my god.”

“He’s a little banged up, but nothin’ too serious. He’s been in worse shape,” Herbert reassured as if that alone would calm her down.

It didn’t.

Instead, it escalated her emotions.

“I’ll be right there,” she said hurriedly before she hung up the phone.

She yanked on some clothes, grabbed the keys, and left all within record time. With a roar of an engine, she peeled out of the Shuteye Motel and raced throughout the streets of Crowley. Every turn of a corner was sharp and wild. Every stop at a traffic light was a sudden slam on the brakes and screeching tires against asphalt. Hours ago, Miles had kissed her on the forehead and left her behind in the motel room, having told her that he needed time to think. She protested the idea, but he nonetheless departed on foot. It did comfort her some to know that he was somewhere within walking distance, but it didn’t remedy the medley of acute fear, anxiety, and impatience that dwelled inside of her.

When she had arrived at the hospital, she rushed into the ER waiting room. After a word exchange with the woman behind the registration desk, she was buzzed into the ER wing. A police officer was stationed outside a hospital room down the way, but it wasn’t the room she was looking for.

It didn’t take long to find him.

She stopped in the doorway as she witnessed Miles receive stitches from a doctor.

Her arrival prompted him to shift his eyes to the doorway. The way he looked at her was an unspoken command of dismissal. A command she blatantly ignored as she marched into the room and eased down in a visitor chair. Sugar stared at him, surveying the damage.

An impressive black bruise framed around his left eye.

A slanted gash across his temple was being stitched up.

A bluish purple bruise shined on the apple of his cheek.

A bandage straddled the bridge of his nose.

His right hand was wrapped in gauze.

With every injury she discovered, her stomach twisted with a sickness she had to fight back against.

It seemed like an eternity before the doctor had finished her task of stitching him up. There was talk of an offer for pain medicine prescription of and discharge papers, but Miles shook his head at the mention of painkillers.

“Naw, that ain’t neces—“

“He’ll take the prescription,” Sugar cut him off, her eyes solely on Miles. “Thank you.”

The doctor cleared her throat uncomfortably and asked, “It’s up to you, Mr. Thibodeau. Yay or nay?”

Sugar crossed her arms over her chest and leaned back in her seat, quietly daring him to deny her directive. He clenched his jaw for a moment before he answered the doctor’s question with a nod.

“We’ll get everything written up,” the doctor replied before leaving the room, shutting the door behind her.

Shaking his head, Miles sucked his teeth and replied, “Herb couldn’t hold water on a cloudy day.”

Sugar’s bottom lip quivered, tears building up. “That’s all you have to say to me, Miles? Are you being serious right now? You look like somebody’s punching bag!”

He ran his uninjured left hand’s fingers through his salt-and-pepper tousled hair. “The other guy looks like a cadaver.”

“If that was some kind of joke, it wasn’t funny, Miles. None of this is funny.”

“None of this is as serious as you’re makin’ out to be,” he countered gruffly.

Sugar stood up from her seat, approaching him with a cocked head. “You think I don’t know why you did this, Miles? I wasn’t born yesterday.”

He sucked his teeth. “That dumb fool started it. I merely finished it.”

Sugar shook her head. “You were aching for a fight, Miles. Craving to pound someone’s face in. A skilled boxer like you wouldn’t have walked away from a bar fight with some punk looking like this. Which lets me know that you let him go in on you on purpose. Now, why do you think that is? Why is that?”

Miles turned his attention away from her, staring a patch of wall by the door.

His voice was cold and restrained. “You’re walkin’ on thin ice, Sugar.”

“Then let me start tap-dancing then, Miles. You wanted to punish yourself, didn’t you?”

He refused to speak, his self-control no doubt wearing thin.

“You used that man for own gain. You wanted to feel pain because you think it’s your fault for Mel—“

Miles shot up from where he sat at the edge of the hospital bed and encroached her personal space, growling, “That’s enough. You hear me? I ain’t gonna hear no more of this.”

Sugar tilted her chin up at him defiantly, gazing at him head-on. “Melina’s death isn’t your fault, Miles.”

He leaned down, inching his face dangerously close to hers. “Stop it, Sugar.”

Tears brimmed his eyes, but they refused to spill over. His composure was unraveling at the seams; threads of steel snapping apart to unveil his rawest state.

“Melina’s death isn’t your fault, Miles,” she repeated.


“Melina’s death isn’t your fault,” she cut him off. “Do you hear me, Miles? You were an amazing father. You and Alicia did everything right. You two did everything you could. Nothing I can say will take away the suffering you endure every single day as you cope with Melina’s death, but I want to be there for you. But I can’t do that if you push me away.”

She took his hand and placed it on her belly. “I can’t do that if you push us away.”

His teary gray eyes slithered down to where she had rested his hand.

“Let us help you,” she whispered. He slowly pulled his hand away from her and tilted his head back, blinking back his tears and sniffling. He stroked his beard, backing away from her—doing everything in his power to keep calm.

Then there was a knock on the door sliced through the tense air. A nurse entered with discharge papers and prescription slip for painkillers.

It was time to go back to the motel, but what awaited them there?


“Here,” Sugar said as she offered Miles a cup of lukewarm tap water. He eyed it momentarily before he accepted it and tossed chalky white painkillers into his mouth before he chased them down with water. She plucked the flimsy plastic cup from his grasp and disposed of it in the trashcan. After making it back to the motel, he had stationed himself in the very armchair that she had declared watch-post hours ago.

“C’mere,” he croaked tiredly.

She obliged and approached him once more, smiling weakly as he used his free hand to take ahold of hers, tugging her into his lap. He buried his nuzzling face into her chest. She curled an arm around his shoulders, stroking the nape of his neck. Within moments, she felt his shoulders shiver and wetness seep through her shirt and lick her skin.

“I got you, baby. I got you,” she whispered.

Miles let out shaky breaths as he tried to exert control over his emotional spiral.

“Just let it out. Let it happen. It’s just us,” she encouraged, snuggling her cheek against his messy hair.

“I remember holding her for the first time. She was an itty-bitty thing. So soft and quiet. She stared up at me so curious and innocent, not knowing she had me wrapped around her tiny finger. I showered her with so many kisses, Alicia got mad at me. Told me our baby girl wasn’t goin’ anywhere, so I had the rest of our lives to love on her,” Miles spoke, his voice raw and throaty. “I shouldn’t have let her go. I should’ve held onto her for as long as I could.”

“Oh, Miles,” Sugar breathed, hot tears stinging her eyes.

“I thought stayin’ in the Marines would provide for my family, but I let Melina starve. I had always known she struggled with me bein’ away. I knew and I kept leavin’ her behind—kept bein’ the reason she’d fall apart,” he continued.

“You did what was best.”

No, what I did was selfish. I put my career over my family—over my marriage. I knew settlin’ down in Crowley and managin’ Thibodeau’s was an option, but I didn’t want nothin’ to do with my parents. I wanted to keep my family away from Crowley. I wanted to keep her away from Crowley,” he paused, his whole body shaking. “I tried to keep her from them—from him—and in the end, she preferred him over me.”

She opened her mouth to speak, but Miles went on.

“Why did she have to go to him,” he sobbed. “Why him and not me? What did I do wrong?”

Sugar closed her eyes. “You didn’t do anything wrong, Miles. She probably went to Rene because she didn’t love him like she loved you. It was easier to tell the truth to someone that was barely in your life than tell the person your world revolves around. You were that girl’s world. She loved you so much that the last thing she did was condemn your father for all his wrongs…to defend you, Miles. Don’t you see that?”

He lifted his head from her chest, his tear-streaked face staring at her with glassy red eyes. His brow knitted at her words. She could practically see the gears in his troubled mind churn as he attempted to process everything. His face scrunched as heavy cascade of tears poured down his battered face. Sugar brushed the salty teardrops away as they came, sniffling as she struggled to compose herself from his sake. Witnessing his suffering was difficult to swallow and digest.

“We traveled hundreds of miles to get the truth out of Rene. Now, we know, Miles. The truth is Melina Selene Thibodeau loved her parents. The truth is she adored her father.”

That was the truth.


End Notes:

And so the Rene-Melina-Miles arc concludes for now, but it's far from over. It's time to return home. Now, someone else is in the hot seat. 

I know this update is a bit on the short side, but I got too emotional writing this, LOL. I was like, "I need to hurry this up." 

As we near the last four or so chapters of Sugar Mama, it's about to get REEEEAAAAL emotional. Be prepared. I'm writing these next few chapters from the heart as some of it is from personal experience. 

Thank you so much for your feedback and support!

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James 

Bland Departure by Missus James
Author's Notes:

September 14, 2017

Sugar goes to a funeral, faces old skeletons, and digs herself a new grave. 

Mood Music: Speculate by Xavier Omar 


Sugar dabbed a black handkerchief at the corner of her eye, catching a stinging tear that swelled there. She sniffled and swallowed back the cry fashioned into a hard lump in her throat as the family and friends of Norman Wallace stood around his casket hovering over the mouth of his open grave. After the presiding preacher concluded his sermon and solidarity flowers were delicately placed atop of the varnished lid, the gathering of mourners dispersed from underneath the shade of the green canopy and slipped into the dreary daylight.

Norman’s widow, Sheryl sat in a black folded chair in front of his casket and stared at it quietly in disbelief, their only son Lance ushered her to a stand and led her away. Sugar was rooted in her spot, a pain tightening in her chest as she saw the frail state of her ex-mother-in-law.

Sheryl looked over at her, a weak smile on her lips. “Oh, Shug.”

She broke free from Lance’s guidance and walked over to her, pulling her into a tight hug. “I’m so glad you were able to make it.”

“I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” Sugar said as she returned the hug, eyeing Lance over Sheryl’s shoulder.

Sheryl broke away, cupping Sugar’s cheek. “Norm adored you. He always thought you were the sweetest thing to happen to our son. He, also, thought Lance was a damn fool for letting you get away and for marrying that little girl.”

Lance frowned. “Mariah is my wife, Momma.”

Sheryl snorted, tossing a disgusted look over her shoulder. “And what wife wouldn’t be at her husband’s side for her father-in-law’s funeral?”

Briefly upon her arrival to the funeral service, she wondered where Lance’s trophy wife was, but chalked up the absence to Mariah most likely not wanting to get caught in the impending rain. She’d probably melt if she did.

“It doesn’t make it any sense that your ex-wife knows how to do right, but that immoral hussy can’t,” Sheryl said.  

Deciding which battles to pick nearby his father’s grave, Lance clenched jaw and encouraged calmly, “Come on, Momma. I need to get you back to the house. Everyone’s gonna be waiting for us.”

Sheryl’s eyes glistened at Sugar with a silent plea. “You joining us for the repast, sweetheart? The family’s always asking about you.” 

Sugar smiled sadly. “I wish I could, but I can’t, Sherry. I have to get back to work. My Dryver should be here soon.”

She had already committed conniving tactics to attend the funeral. Her executed plan was too flimsy to stretch it to the limits by going to the repast to see old faces.

Four days ago, a mourning Sheryl called her up to inform her that Norman passed away from lung disease and wished for her to come to the funeral. Sugar couldn’t say no to the widow. There was no reason to. She didn’t have any issue with her parent-in-laws. In fact, she adored them as much as her own parents. Norman and Sheryl welcomed her into the Wallace family with open arms and never once treated her with disrespect. Though with the divorce, communications were naturally severed, but Sugar didn’t blame them for that.

As a grown woman, it was entirely her choice to pay her respects to her ex-father-in-law, regardless of what everyone else had to say. But she would’ve been a fool to it wasn’t in her best interests for Miles Rene Thibodeau to never found out. So, she devised a plan. On the days she worked, Miles always drove his car by Sugar Mama on his way to work to make sure she was where she needed to be. As she carried precious cargo—his precious cargo—he’d come even more protective about her safety and more assertive about knowing her whereabouts.

Under normal circumstances, he would’ve gotten cursed out a long time. However, these weren’t normal circumstances. Sugar knew his reasons and quietly recognized his fears. He didn’t want to lose another family. She, also, knew her baby’s father wouldn’t be too pleased with her attending the funeral of her abusive ex-husband’s father.

To kill two birds with one stone, she left her car parked in its usual spot at Sugar Mama to give the illusion she was there, but scheduled a Drvyer to pick her up and take her to the cemetery. She only planned on attending the funeral and slinking back to the restaurant as its owner to resume her responsibilities as if she never left.

Sheryl nodded. “I understand, honey.”

Sugar reached into her purse and retrieved a black envelope. “Here’s a card to express my deepest sympathies. I also wrote my new address and number down in case you ever need anything. Don’t hesitant to call at all, Sherry.”

“Thank you, Sugar.” The widow held the envelope tenderly to her chest.

Thunder rumbled through the air, signaling a soft sprinkle of September rain.

Sugar bit back a curse.

Lance approached with a black umbrella, shielding the two women. “We need to get you out of the rain, Momma.”

“Lance is right, Sherry. We don’t need you catching a cold,” Sugar agreed—a rarity in itself.

“Your ride isn’t here yet,” Sheryl noted with a deep frown.

Sugar pulled out a compact umbrella and reassured, “You know I always come prepared. My Dryver should be here in a few minutes.”

Sheryl’s frown deepened. “I’m not leaving you at the cemetery in the rain. Lance, talk some sense into her.”

For once in his life, Lance hesitated—another rarity. “Cancel the Dryver, Shug. I’ll take you back to the restaurant after I drop Momma off at the house.”

Uncertainty prickled her insides. “If I say yes, Sherry, will you get in the car?”

“I’ll skip to the damn car,” Sherry assured.

Sugar smiled softly and nodded. “Alright.”


Sugar squirmed in the front seat of Lance’s running car, glancing out the drenched window to avoid looking at him. It seemed like eternity since she was a front seat passenger and he was the driver. A memory of the dead ritual of being forced to sit in the backseat like a child when she was his wife stirred up old feelings of worthlessness. Being around Lance always opened up old wounds even when she was in a place in her life where she could confidently say she was nearly healed. But for as long as Sheryl was safe in her home surrounded by her loved ones during this difficult time, Sugar was willing to bite the bullet.

With the rain brought heavy traffic on all major roadways. Lance then decided to take the neighborhood streets to avoid the traffic jams.

A tensed quiet wafted through the car until he finally spoke, “I appreciate you coming. You didn’t have to, but you did.”

“I wouldn’t have forgiven myself if I didn’t,” Sugar said. “He was my father-in-law for eighteen years, Lance. Just because things went sour for us doesn’t mean I’m bitter towards your parents. I’m not that petty.”

Lance smiled sadly, shaking his head. “I’m so used to pettiness now I’ve just expected it.”

Sugar arched a delicate eyebrow. “Marital troubles?”

“You could say that,” he chuckled, scratching his chin as he turned a corner. “The cost of having a wife from a younger generation, I suppose.”

Not all pretty things were meant to be taken home, Sugar thought.

“I’m sorry to hear,” she said, clearing her throat. “Is that why she didn’t come today?”

“She left yesterday for some big makeup launch party in LA. She said canceling her appearance last minute would be unprofessional to her business contacts and disappointing to her little fans,” Lance said, shaking his head.

Sugar winced, detecting the subtle notes of pain in her ex-husband’s voice. “Just because she’s young doesn’t give a pass for being insensitive and heartless, Lance. Your wife just skipped out on your father’s funeral to play around with makeup. That’s not right.”

“That’s not lost to me, Sugar,” he snapped, his voice raw with emotion. “Believe me!”

She flinched away from him, fear spiking in her pounding heart. He pulled his car up to a curb and shifted the gears in park before he sat back, smoothing his hand over his head. Tears streamed down his cheeks.

“Believe me, I know,” he said feebly, staring through the front windshield and the swooshing wiper blades. A tear rolled down his cheek then another and another.

“Lance,” she trailed off, watching her ex-husband crumble. She took out her handkerchief, succumbing to the old habit of taking care of him as she brushed away his tears.

“I know she’s nothing like you,” he stated, gazing at her with regret glimmering in his teary eyes. “Nothing like you.”

To defuse the intensity, Sugar wiped away more of his tears and teased gently, “Of course, she’s not. Isn’t that why you married her?”

“No, I married her because she made me feel good and I wanted to feel that way forever,” he said, “but little did I know she was making other fools feel good too.”

Sugar stopped her task and her heart stopped for a moment. “You knew she was cheating on you?”

Lance snorted a laugh. “Was? She still is. The private investigator gave me enough photographs to make an erotica coffee table book. She’s got about four other guys. The ones with bigger wallets you warned me about. They’re just smart enough to not leave their wives for her and who knows one of them might my son’s biological father.”

Sugar’s brow scrunched, a gasp tumbling from her lips. “Khalil isn’t yours?”

“Come on, Shug. Khalil looks nothing like me,” he said. “He’s redbone with hazel eyes. How could a baby like that come from black-as-hell parents? I didn’t make him, but he’s my son. He calls me Daddy and looks at me like awe just like I looked up to mine.”

He scrunched his face, suffering through a sob. “I miss him, Sugar. I miss my dad damn much.”

He caught her off-guard as he leaned into her, burying his face into the crook of her neck as he cried. Hesitantly, she engulfed him in a hug before she settled into the role of his comforter, whispering words of encouragement. Once he was finished weeping, he lifted his head up from her shoulder, his face lingering close to hers.

Then he kissed her. Sugar widened her eyes in utter shock, frozen in place as her brain scrambled to process and comprehend what in the hell was happening. Her stilled reaction could have easily been mistaken for consent to which he thrust his tongue into her mouth, swiping it around wildly. Regaining her ability to move, she pushed at his shoulders roughly.

She barked, “Lance, what in the hell are you doing?”

Lance licked his lips. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what overcame me. I forg—“

Sugar stared at him in disbelief. “You forgot that you were married and I’m in a relationship with someone else? Give me a break. I know you’re emotional, Lance, but that doesn’t mean you get a pass for kissing me.”

“I miss you, Sugar,” he said. “Don’t you miss us?”

“I miss what we had in the beginning, but not what we had in the end, Lance,” she admitted before she could stop herself. It felt like a betrayal as it passed through her lips, but she frantically tried to reassure herself that it was alright to reminisce the past.

It didn’t make her a bad person.

“We’re over, Lance,” she told him sharply. “Now, take me back to my restaurant!”

He eyed her for a long moment before he obeyed her command. He returned the car back to the road and resumed their journey. The air was ultra-thick with the palpable gravity of Sugar’s rejection and Lance’s struggle to accept it.  

After what seemed like an eternity, Lance’s car turned into the Sugar Mama parking lot. Sugar slung open the front passenger door and scurried out the car, turning back to snatch up her purse, but her things tumbled onto the carpeted floor. She cursed under her breath as her fingers shoved the spilled contents into the purse’s belly.

As Lance watched, he asked, “This Chef guy has lit some fire into you, huh?”

“No, Lance. I always had fire in me. You just always made it an effort to snuff it out,” Sugar said before she straightened her back and shut the door, skittering through the rain and toward the safety of the restaurant.

She sighed in relief as she stepped into the lobby.

Darren, one of the receptionists, stared at her sympathetically upon her arrival.

She caught his gaze right away and frowned, asking, “Is something wrong?”

“Erm, Mr. Thibodeau came by,” he informed.

Fuck, fuck, fuck, she chanted inside the depths of her mind, but outward, she looked pleasantly surprised to the news. “Oh? Did you tell him that I was in the middle of an important meeting with Mallory and to come back later?”

“Well, I did until,” Darren trailed off, wincing, “Mallory showed up with a female friend of his and...blew that cover.”

She closed and pinched the bridge of her nose.

Leave it to Mallory to screw everything up.

“How long has he been waiting?”

Darren glanced at his wristwatch. “Two hours and thirty-seven minutes?”

“Thank you, Darren,” she said, shooting her receptionist a quick smile before she sauntered towards her office, her heartbeat hiking in tempo with each step she took. Was could she do? Lie? Deny? Scurry away with a tail in between her legs?

She let out a deep breath as she stepped into her office. Miles sat in her office chair, a gruff scowl carved into his bearded face. His stormy gray eyes glared at her. He wore a black-and-red plaid shirt with pushed-up sleeves and jeans. Reflective state trooper shades were propped up on his head. He arched an eyebrow at her arrival, gesturing his tattooed arms wide.

“I’d love to know where you’ve been,” he said coolly, tilting a head.

“Oh, just out and about,” she said innocently as she shut the door behind her, shrugging off her trench coat and hanging it on a nearby coat rack.

His eyebrows hiked higher and he nodded. “On a rainy day without your car?”

“I didn’t want to drive around in this nasty weather,” she returned.

Miles rose, moving around the desk to get to her. “And why exactly did you ask your receptionist to lie to me?”

“Because I didn’t want you to worry about me,” Sugar answered, swallowing as she backed into her office door.

He approached her and took a gentle hold of her chin, swiping his tongue just underneath the bottom of her lip. “I ain’t just worried about you, but now I’m worried for you, darlin’. Your lipstick is smudged and you smell like another man’s cologne.”

Dammit, Lance, she growled mentally.

Miles lifted her chin higher, forcing her to look him in the eyes. “You care to explain that? Or you gonna give me another non-answer?”

“I went…to a funeral,” she admitted, clearing her throat. “My ex-father-in-law’s funeral.”

He chuckled. It was a cold and bitter sound that forewarned her that she had dug her own damn grave. “I suppose it makes sense you tried to sneak around ‘cause you damn well know I wouldn’t be happy if I found out.”

Sugar attempted to lighten the mood. “You’re taking it surprisingly well.”

“Trust me, honey, I ain’t,” he assured, his gray eyes cutting her down to size. “Still doesn’t explain why your lipstick got messed up and you reek of some bastard’s cologne.”

In that moment, Sugar envisioned a theatrical appearance of an angel and a devil materializing on her shoulder. The angel counseled her to tell the truth. The devil advised her to lie because if Miles ever found out that Lance kissed her without her consent—correction: kissed her at all—then her ex-husband would be a dead man and Miles would be arrested for murder.

“I went to the repast afterward. Lance has a lot of men in his family and we hadn’t seen each other in so long, so there was a lot of hugging to go around,” she lied to explain the cologne.

“And my lipstick got smudged because I was eating, Miles.”

He narrowed his eyes and dipped his head down. “Are those final answers you wanna roll with?”

She clenched her jaw, becoming irritated that he wasn’t believing her lie like she had hoped. “Yes, it is. Now, if you don’t like them then oh well because it’s the truth, Miles. Now, are you finished with interrogating me? I’ve got a business to run.”

“If you’re so worried about business, honey, you should be focused on the unfinished one between us that we’ll handle when you get home tonight,” he said as he kissed her cheek as a parting gesture before he whispered in her ear, “and I’m dyin’ to know why you were so willing to tell me boldfaced lie after boldfaced lie.”

She slipped away from in front of the door, hugging herself as she watched him leave.

She was a dead woman.


Sugar drove home with a stomach twisted in knots. As she arrived at the ranch, she swallowed back her worry as she saw Miles’ vehicle parked in the driveway. Turning off the ignition, she marched the wet gravel and let herself into the ranch house. As she sealed herself into her house, she was greeted with the mouthwatering aroma of dinner cooking. Sugar timidly entered the kitchen, witnessing Miles in his natural element at the stove.

“Have a seat,” he ordered, not bothering to look over her shoulder.

She went over to the kitchen table and eased down into a seat.

“On your way home, did you think of any more fables to feed to me or are you ready to fess up?”

Sugar rolled her eyes, rising up from her spot. “You know what? I’m just going to retire early. It’s been a very long emotional day, Miles, and I’m not the mood for this. Good night.”

“You can’t go to bed on an empty stomach,” he said, turning halfway to shoot her a deep frown.

“Good thing, I ate plenty at the repast like I told you,” she reminded with a huff. In actuality, she hadn’t eaten since breakfast and after their conversation in her office, she had lost her appetite completely for lunch. Hunger gripped her stomach, but she was willing to suffer through it to prove a point. She’d just eat dinner later on when he was asleep.

As she went to leave the kitchen, there were hard knocks at the front door.

“I’ll get it,” she assured.

“No, you stay here and I’ll get it,” he ordered as he stepped away from the stove.

“Yeah, how about no.” Sugar narrowed her eyes and stormed to the front door, peered through the peephole to see who it was. Her soul nearly left her body as she saw Lance on the other side.

She swirled on her heels and pressed her back against the door as Miles neared. “I’ve got this. You finish dinner.”

“Open the door, Sugar,” he ordered. “Now.”

There was no room for discussion and she didn’t have the strength to argue, so she unlocked the door and cracked it open halfway. However, as if sensing what she was trying to do Miles carefully pried the door open further. Sugar walked outside, but wedged herself against the door, an attempt to be a buffer between the two men.

“What are you doing here, Lance? How did you get this address?”

“Obviously, he came here because he wants to die,” Miles replied coldly.

“I got your address you wrote in that card,” Lance answered, his eyes focused solely on Sugar thereby pretending Miles didn’t exist. He reached into his pocket and retrieved a familiar item.

“And you left this in my car,” he continued, plucking her wallet from his pants’ pocket and offering it to her.

She took it, remembering how her purse spilled out in his car. “Thank you, Lance.”

“Such a gentleman,” Miles quipped.

“It was good to have you at the funeral. Everyone was disappointed you weren’t able to come to the repast,” Lance replied. Sugar didn’t need to peek over her shoulder to know that Miles was no doubt staring at her with one of those looks that could kill.

“And I’m sorry about what happened,” he continued boldly.

Miles questioned through grit teeth. “What happened exactly?”

Lance tilted his chin high, slipping his hands into his pockets. “We’re having a private conversation, Chef.”

“And you’re on my private property and the law says I can shoot you where you stand if you don’t get off it,” Miles reminded. "So let's not get cocky."

“Is that right? So, you like shooting unarmed black men, huh? I had a feeling you were a bit racist, but I didn’t think you were a full-blown racist,” Lance accused.

Sugar gasped, “Lance!”

“I’m about to do your momma a favor by saving her some money. Your daddy’s grave still fresh, so there’s time to put your ass in there too!” Miles widened the front door to confront Lance, but Sugar planted her hands in the doorframe to block him.

She widened her eyes. “Miles!”

“You motherfucker,” Lance growled. “Say that to my fucking face!”

“Believe me, I’m tryin’, but she’s keepin’ me from gettin’ to you. Count your blessings.”

“Sugar, you can't seriously think this man is a catch? I can see why you told me today that you missed what we had, Sugar,” Lance replied, omitting the most important parts.

Sugar left Miles’ body stiffen at that revelation.

“Why you let me kiss you, for Christ’s sake.”

Miles drawled menacing, “I beg your pardon?”

Lance boasted, “That’s right, Chef. I kissed your Sugar.”

Sugar slapped her ex-husband across the face. “You forced that kiss on me, Lance!”

With a mean roar, Miles brushed aside her arm and bulldozed past Sugar, ramming straight into Lance. Their bodies to the ground as it rained. Miles reigned over Lance as his fist pummeled her ex-husband’s face with no mercy. Lance yelped out with each strong blow. Sugar raced toward them, grabbing Miles’ punishing arm drawn back for another swift punch.

“Miles, stop it! Please, stop it!”

Rain drenched the scene of violence.

“Get the fuck off my property,” he snapped viciously as he rose to his feet and grabbed Sugar’s hand, charging into their house and slamming the door shut.

Her tears blended well with the streams of water her face. He let go of her hand, pacing and huffing like a worked-up bull ready for a fight. Then he stalked down the hallway towards their bedroom.


Miles warned, “Don’t even, Sugar Magnolia Wallace.”

She followed after him, watching as he yanked a bulky suitcase from their closet and tossed it onto the bed and opened it. He then began to pack.

Sugar choked a sob. “Are you leaving me, Miles?”

“No, we’re leaving together.”


End Notes:

You can't always trust a snake, Sugar. Lance's life is miserable, so he wants to make your life miserable too because you're existence isn't there for his consumption. 

Thank you so much for your support and patience. I am slowly trying to make my way to the other stories. I am not neglecting them on purpose. 

Feedback is greatly appreciated. 

Pinterest Board: Sugar Mama by Missus James

Sweet Escape by Missus James
Author's Notes:

September 15, 2017

Sometimes, you can't escape your problems.

Mood Music: Insecure by Jazmine Sullivan & Bryson Tiller

To say Miles was infuriated with Sugar was an understatement of the century. Since the unexpected trip began, they barely spoke to each other and if they did, it was a posed question that could easily be answered with a yes or a no. You hungry? Yes. Wanna pull at a rest stop? No. Need me to turn up the heat? Okay. Your legs alright? Yes. You want a blanket from the trunk? No, I’m good. For him to be angry as he was with her, he always made sure that she was comfortable during the entirety of the eighteen-hour trip, which made her feel even more guilty for doing what she did. She replayed her mistakes repeatedly within the depths of her mind and though she was wrong for being sneaky and lying, she had her reasons.

It was never her intention to hurt Miles or give him reason to distrust her. However, since their return from Louisiana, their relationship changed and most importantly, he changed. Louisiana broke him and she tried to help him put himself back together again, but he came out with rough jagged edges. His smiles and laughs were a treasured rarity. At night, there was an ocean of space between them, which he used to toss and turn as he suffered through nightmares. His protective nature of her were like constricting ivy vines. As of late, reasoning with him was often a futile effort, so she picked her battles wisely and attending Norman’s funeral was a war she wanted to avoid altogether.

Now, she knew that she should’ve have just been upfront about it from the very beginning whether he liked it or not. There were a lot of things she should’ve done, but the damage was already done and the reminder of said damage came in the form of a text message from Mallory—of all people.

As they drove along the interstate toward Maine, she looked at what her nosey little brother sent her.

Mallory: Look who I saw at the hospital last night!

Mallory: (photo attachment)

Sugar widened her eyes at the crisp picture of Lance with a battered face sitting in a chair in a crowded ER waiting room. Feigning innocence, she sent a message back.

Sugar: OMG, what happened?

Mallory: Apparently, some young thugs jumped limp-dick Lance and stole his fancy wristwatch. LMAO!

She supposed that was a better explanation to tell than ‘My ex-wife’s baby daddy beat the living daylights out of me in the middle of a rainstorm’.

Sugar: That’s not funny, Lory.

Sugar: Wait, why were YOU at the hospital anyway?

Mallory: Delivered some sweet treats to well-deserving ER nurses.

Sugar rolled her eyes sharply and snorted, shaking her head. There was no doubt in her mind that one of those ‘well-deserving ER nurses’ was the latest lady-friend who had caught his short attention and appealed to his ever-shifting appetite. She looked up from her cellphone and glanced over to the driver, her gazes locking with his. As it seemed, she, too, had caught someone’s attention. She cleared her throat nervously and shifted her focus to the world that whipped by her window.

Well after crossing into Maine, they made a pit stop at a quaint mom-and-pop grocery store in a quintessential town that looked like it would be the perfect setting for a postcard or a Lifetime movie. Upon entering, Miles grabbed a shopping cart and combed through each aisle, filling up the basket with enough ingredients to last them a few weeks thereby sparking Sugar’s curiosity.

What in the world was he planning?

“How long do we intend on staying here?”

She still had no clue where ‘here’ was. Throughout the nineteen-hour trip, she played a guessing game as to where their final destination would be. As he continued northbound through New England, she mentally crossed off her inaccurate predictions each time the car passed over a new state line. As the list dwindled, she began to suspect that Maine was the winner. Canada would’ve been a likely candidate if not for the fact neither of them brought their passports.

Now, that they were in Maine, she had a feeling that this town was nothing but a pit stop.

“Ain’t sure yet,” he answered, turning the shopping cart into the fresh produce section.

She frowned. “Miles, that’s not a good enough answer.”

There was so much to be done back at the homefront. Her parents’ wedding anniversary was next week and a flood of relatives were coming from all over to celebrate. Though all of the planning were meticulously handled by her mother, all of the Hartwell siblings were each assigned a personalized list of tasks. Being that the empty space above Sugar Mama would be the chosen venue, Sugar’s load of responsibilities was much heavier than her brothers and sisters.

The upcoming celebration was very important to Sugar. If not to recognize her parents’ blissful forty years of marriage, but also announce the news of her so-far successful pregnancy as an anniversary gift.

“At least, it’s an answer and at least it’s the truth,” he countered smoothly as he picked up a russet potato and examined with a turn of a wrist. Sugar ran her tongue across her teeth, her face scrunching at the stinging dig. She reached into his backpocket and fished out the car keys.

“You know what? I’m just going to wait in the car,” she said before she walked off. She did as she promised for twenty-eight minutes (yes, she counted).

After the groceries were packed into the trunk, Miles got behind the wheel again and drove out of the small town. Venturing them into woodsy backroads for what seemed like forever, he turned the car down a road where wooden sign loomed at the corner with the words ‘COZY CABINS’ carved and painted on it.


Their cabin was nestled by a quiet lake and surrounded by a glorious forest. Browned pine needles and fallen leaves blanketed the grassy grounds, crunching underneath her feet as she exited the car. The afternoon sunlight bled through the trees, splashing its claim wherever it could. Under different circumstances, Sugar would have been in utter awe at the breathtaking beauty that surrounded her, but in that moment, she was in no mood to appreciate nature.

“Here.” He threw the cabin key in her direction and she caught it with ease.

She marched up the porch steps and opened the front door. All she wanted to do was find the bedroom and lock herself in it. According to the glossy brochure she picked up in the main lodge while Miles checked them in, Cozy Cabins prided itself for being a premier location for couples seeking a romantic getaway. Though a romantic getaway was promised being here didn’t feel “romantic”.

In fact, it felt more like a waste of time. What was the point of coming all the way here if they would only bicker as enemies and instead of enjoy each other as lovers?

She entered the cabin, lingering near the open doorway with a gaping jaw as she discovered that the only way she could lock herself away was by using the key in her hand on the front door.

Sugar now understood why Cozy Cabins touted itself as cozy. At the center of the cabin was a California king-size bed draped in deep red bedding. A few feet from the foot of the bed was a Jacuzzi bathtub. A door to a half-bathroom lingered nearby. To the north was a dead fireplace with a bearskin rug and a leather armchair tucked away in a corner to overlook it. Directly to her left was the egress to the snug kitchen. A table for eating was stationed near the front windows, a vase of fresh red roses surrounded by unlit candles at its heart.

She removed her shoes and climbed into the bed dejectedly, snuggling her head against the mountain of pillows. Even as Miles drifted in and out of the cabin, bringing in groceries and their luggage, she tuned out the commotion as she fell asleep.

Hours later, she stirred awake.

Miles rested in the leather chair by the fireplace now alive with dancing flames and crackling wood, but his gray eyes were fixed solely on her.

She sat up slowly, running her fingers through her tresses and yawned. “How long have I been out?”

“A few hours,” he responded.

She glanced at the windows, noting the slither of night in between the floral curtain. “Why didn’t you wake me?”

“You seemed so peaceful,” he uttered, stroking his beard.

Sugar chewed on her bottom lip momentarily, tracing invisible patterns on the Valentine red comforter with intricate gold threading. “Why did you bring us here, Miles?”

“We needed to get away from the madness.”

She frowned. “How can we get away from the madness if I’m the one who caused it? And I know you’re mad at me for it.”

“You’re damn right I’m mad. You lied to me repeatedly after I gave you chance after chance to tell the truth, Sugar,” he said, a bite in his voice. “You snuck off to go to a funeral, made your receptionist lie to me as an effort to cover your tracks. You got in a car with that motherfucker thereby jeopardizing your safety and the safety of our unborn child, which was the perfect opportunity for him to force himself on you. Meanwhile, I’m waiting in your office worrying about you. I had no idea where you were.”

“That’s the problem, Miles! Ever since we got back from Louisiana, you always want to know where I am. The drive-bys, the phone calls, the text messages, the random pop-ups! It’s all suffocating! I’ve been walking on goddamn eggshells trying not to get on your bad side,” she vented, frustration building up within her. “I should have woman’d up and told you I wanted to go to the funeral, but I knew you’d vehemently oppose because of Lance. It had nothing to do with Lance. Norman was my father-in-law for eighteen years and he had a special place in my heart.”

Her voice cracked as speaking of Norman’s death hit a raw nerve. She cocked her chin up to look at the ceiling and exhaled a shaky breath, hot tears stinging the backside of her eyes.

“I didn’t go to the funeral to defy you or bond with Lance. I went to the funeral to pay my respects to a man who was a second father to me,” she said, a teardrop rolled down her cheek before she brushed it away. “I went to that funeral for my closure, Miles, and I’m sorry I betrayed your trust as a result, but I’m not sorry for going. I know you’re trying to protect me from bad things, but I don’t need a prison guard. I need a partner.”

His silence unnerved her, an insecure piece of her mistaking it for apathy.

“I’m going to get some fresh air.” Sugar flung back the covers and kicked her legs over the edge, yanking on her shoes without even bothering to tie them. She stormed out of the cozy cabin and slammed the door behind her, desperately wiping away at her tears.

Fuck him.

Furthermore, fuck Cozy Cabins and by proxy Maine.

A soft moonlight bathed the world in cool shades of blue. The lake glimmered peacefully and the woods were still all around. There was a chill in the air that made her hug herself, but tolerable enough to not have a need to go back into the cabin to get a jacket. She collapsed into a cushioned wicker chair on the porch. Though she wanted to get as far from this cabin as possible, she wasn’t about to trek through a forest in the dead of night.

She clenched her jaw and hugged herself tighter, pretending not to notice the cabin door easing open from her peripheral and Miles coming outside.

“I need you to be mad at me inside where it’s nice and warm.”

“I like where I am, thanks,” Sugar replied, staring out into the forest, “which I guess should be a plus for you since you always want to know where I am, right?”

He nodded, finding a spot on a porch step. “If you ain’t gonna budge then I’ll join you.”

They stayed in their respective places, the circumjacent scenery spoke volumes with the rustling waves of the lake and the breezes whispering between the trees.

Miles bowed his head, smoothing a hand over his hair. “You say I ain’t been the same since Louisiana, but the fact of the matter is I ain’t been the same in a long time. I just happen to do a mighty good job at adapting to how fucked up I’m gettin’.”

She turned her focus to his back, tilting her head.

“Knowing the truth about my daughter twisted me up real bad and having to tell Alicia pushed me damn near the edge,” he said. “She hung up on me after I told her the truth. She called back later and apologized, but I could almost hear it in her voice. The blame, I mean. Maybe, it was all in my head ‘cause I blame me. I was supposed to protect our daughter, but I didn’t. Now, I’ve got a second chance to do this right and I wanna protect that baby with all I got. I wanna protect you with all I got and I got outta hand. I’ve become a person I don’t like. I’m gettin’ mean and my father.”

Worry coursed through her veins at his self-directed accusation. Sugar got off the chair quickly and sat beside him on the porch step. “You’re nothing like your father, Miles. Nothing like him. I know you want to protect us, but sometimes, protection isn’t holding somebody tight and never letting go. Protecting someone is a mutual understanding. A partnership. A perfect balance of giving and taking.”

Sugar leaned in and whispered tenderly in his ear, “Do you remember what you told me at the jazz club after our first dance?”

“I’ll give, you take,” he answered.

“Mm hm,” she hummed, smiling warmly. “After all that taking I was doing, I ended up giving you a baby. A perfect balance as I said.”

His shoulders shook as he chuckled throatily. It had seemed like forever since she had heard the rich melodious sound, but her eyelids fluttered shut and savored it. He turned his head, nuzzling his nose against hers—a prelude to a profound kiss.

“I’m sorry for lying,” she murmured.

He brushed his lips against hers, trailing the tip of his tongue against her bottom lip.

“This is the part where you say, ‘Darlin’, I apologize for bein’ an overprotective jackass and I’ll try to do better’,” she teased, imitating his rumbly southern accented voice.

Instead, he finally closed in on her. When their parted lips touched, their tongues sought each other eagerly. A drawn moan trapped itself in the back of her throat as his dominating mouth demanded her to take what he was giving her. His calloused hand cupped her cheek at first, entangling itself into her hair and cupping the back of her head to trap her in place as he kissed her hungrily.

A cool breeze sliced through the air, making her shiver violently. Miles broke away from her and rose, pulling her up with him and scooping up the backside of her thighs in one fell swoop—hoisting her up against him with a slight grunt.

“Still waiting on that apology, Miles,” She laughed as she showered kisses all over his bearded face. Her arms slithered around his inked neck for support.

“I wanna work for your forgiveness, honey.”

He climbed the steps and sauntered into their cozy cabin, kicking the door shut with his foot.


End Notes:

That's a good start, but their cozy time in their cozy cabin ain't over yet...

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