People say you don’t know what you’ve
got until it’s gone. The truth is, you knew what you had.
You just never thought you’d lose it.
~Author Unknown



RaShaun stood at the door staring at Kiki. “What are you doing here?”

“Damn, RaShaun. Didn’t know you were hiding this body underneath your clothes.” Kiki laughed, trying to pass off her observation as a harmless joke but her eyes were running over his bare chest as if she wanted to lick every inch of his skin  with her tongue.

RaShaun sighed impatiently. “I asked you a question. What are you doing here?”

Kiki gave RaShaun a flirtatious smile. “Can I talk to you for a minute?”

RaShaun straightened up from his lean on the doorjamb and grabbed the doorknob. “Nah, I don’t think so. I was just getting ready to go to bed, so...”

“Well, don’t let me stop you.” The offer to join him was silently offered when her eyes skimmed over his body again. 


RaShaun snorted softly and shook his head. She was being mighty bold; bolder than usual, that is. Kiki had made no secret of the fact that she wanted him, but she'd always flirted with him  when Yvonne wasn't around. She was definitely emboldened now that she knew RaShaun and Yvonne had broken up.

“It's about this situation with you and Yvonne. It'll just take a minute, RaShaun. I promise.” She squeezed inside, making sure to brush her breast against his arm as she squeezed inside. “Unless you have other ideas...”

RaShaun watched her over his shoulder, wondering what she was up to. He was also curious to find out what Yvonne had to do with it, so shrugging, he closed the door. He didn’t have anything better to do so he’d humor her for a moment or two. 

Entering his living room, he saw her pick up a picture of him and Yvonne. RaShaun took notice of the jealousy on her face as she studied the picture. He’d tried to tell Yvonne that Kiki wasn’t her friend. She was a woman who wanted what Yvonne had, and now that she thought it was up for grabs, she was making her move.

When Kiki realized RaShaun was staring at her, she quickly put the picture down. “I'm surprised you still have photos up of you and Yvonne.”

RaShaun folded his arms. “Why wouldn't I? There’s no rush to take them down, is there?”

“Well, you know…you two have broken up now, so I just assumed it would be upsetting to look at them day in and day out.”

The comment was said innocently enough, but RaShaun wasn’t fooled. There wasn’t a damn thing innocent about Kiki. ”You said you wanted to talk about Yvonne? What about her?"

Kiki did a slow strut up to RaShaun. “Before we get to her, I just want to check on you. You know, make sure you’re okay and everything.”

RaShaun laugh held little amusement. He should've known. "Sure you do. Look, I don't have time to –”

But before he could get her straight once and for all,  his phone rang. Stifling a curse, he gave her a long cold stare and grabbed his cell off the end table to take the call.




While RaShaun was on the phone, Kiki took the opportunity to scrutinize him unobserved. For what had to be millionth time, she thought about how sexy he was. A paid, educated black man who handled his business inside the boardroom and, from what Yvonne said, inside the bedroom, was attractive as hell. 

Kiki licked her lips salaciously, thinking about all the things she would do to him given half the chance. RaShaun was just the type of man she’d give her right arm to get with. He easily fit into any world, and that was an attribute that women found irresistible. Tailored suits, silk ties, and Italian shoes were made to adorn his fine ass body.

However, when he was on his own time, if the mood struck him, he could throw on a pair of jeans, wife beater, and Timbs and blend in with his boys effortlessly, personifying a hellified swagger that made women turn around and unabashedly stare when he passed by, whether Yvonne was with him or not. Kiki had witnessed it herself. Many times.

For some reason, that fool, Brandon, had thought RaShaun was soft. Kiki snorted softly. He didn’t have a clue that side of RaShaun existed until he brought it out of him.

He shoulda asked somebody before he stepped to him like that in the park today, Kiki mused silently, her mouth turning up in a smirky grin. It wouldve saved him a lot of embarrassment, that was for sure.

Yeah, she’d heard about the fight. Almost everybody had. Too bad she hadn’t been there to witness it firsthand, but one of her girls had called her as it was all goin’ down. Brandon had mistakenly thought a clean cut, professional brotha like RaShaun was weak, but from the video her girlfriend had sent her, he’d found out that wasn’t the case after Shaun beat that ass. Made Kiki want him even more. Yvonne, fa’ sho’, wasn’t freaky enough for somebody like Rah.

She frowned as she thought about Yvonne. She was a fool to have even thought about leaving this man. Rah was 6 foot 3 inches of sexy caramel eye candy. Those light brown bedroom eyes of his alone got her wet and excited and ready to rock his mufuckin’ world. If only he’d give her a chance…

Kiki had wanted RaShaun from the moment she first laid eyes on him. She had been sitting at a table one night in a jazz club along with Yvonne and a few other friends. When RaShaun came over, Kiki had flirted with him outrageously, but he’d only had eyes for Yvonne’s boring ass. From that day forward, she’d schemed to come between them, and now that it had finally happened she was making her move.

Watching him talking on the phone, her eyes dropped to his lips and watched them move. She had fantasized about Rah more times than she could count, wondering what it would feel like to kiss him, to have him sucking her breasts, licking her...

“So, you wanted to make sure I was okay?” RaShaun hung up the phone and turned back to Kiki to resume their conversation. “That is what you said, isn’t it?”


RaShaun wanted to make Kiki aware that he wasn’t a fool and knew exactly what she was up to. He tilted his head to the side and said in a deceptively calm voice, “Yvonne is the one who’s your friend. I would think you’d be with her right now…making sure she's ok.”

Kiki walked over to him and ran a suggestive finger down his bare
chest until she got to his muscled stomach. “Von is fine. After all, she’s the one who left you for Brandon. You're the injured party here. Not her.”

Kiki looked RaShaun in the eye as her finger stopped at the top of his jeans. “I'm your friend, too, boo. Let me help you through this. I know it can’t be easy for you,” she whispered. Her gaze dropped to the front of his pants. “In fact, I’m sure it’s very…hard.”

She brought her eyes back to RaShaun’s and went to boldly unsnap his jeans, but RaShaun’s hand reached out and grabbed her wrist.

“Then you’d be mistaken. I think it's time for you to go,” he said, his voice harsh and clipped.

“Aw, come on, RaShaun. You don’t really want me to leave now, do you?” She stepped closer so that her breasts meshed against his chest. “Come on, boo. Let Kiki make you feel good. I promise you won’t regret it.”

RaShaun dropped her wrist and took a step back. He looked Kiki up and down, distaste radiating from him like heat from a furnace. Kiki had fucked damn near everybody he knew. Sometimes he thought that was why he appealed to her so much. She’d tried to get with him on numerous occasions, but he always blew her off. Even if he hadn’t been with Yvonne, Kiki couldn’t have paid hi to sleep with her.

At first he’d tried to tell Yvonne that Kiki wasn't her friend and that she needed to leave her alone, but Yvonne would always say RaShaun was trying to control her, likening him to her father who she says tried to do the same with her mother. Eventually he just left it alone. It wasn’t worth arguing over.

Shaking his head, he turned and walked out of the room and headed to the front door. Kiki reluctantly followed behind him. Her attitude was now that of a woman scorned. Before leaving she flounced around to look at RaShaun.

“I don't know why you’re being so noble. Yvonne’s been fucking Brandon for months.”

RaShaun froze. “What? What did you say?”

“You heard me. Everybody knew but you. Why do you think she never complained all those nights you worked late?”

RaShaun felt like he’d been punched in the gut. For a moment, the hurt he felt showed showed on his face before he could hide it, but he quickly gained control enough to give Kiki a threatening glare.

“Get the fuck out of my house. I won’t tell you again.”

Kiki’s expression showed her satisfaction as she walked out. It was clear her revelation had hit its target.

RaShaun slammed the door behind her then leaned against it, arms outstretched, palms pressing against the wood, and head down. He took several deep breaths to try and stop the room from spinning.

Was it true? Had Yvonne been sleeping with Brandon all this time? It would explain why that bastard had acted so smug earlier today when he walked up to RaShaun. Fuck!

Growling from anger as well as hurt, RaShaun reared back and punched the door. Pain instantly ran through his hand and his arm, but it was a welcomed pain. It took the focus off of what that bitch had just told him and helped to erase the images of Yvonne and Valentine in bed together.

Bitterness invaded his body like a poisonous chemical as he thought about what a fool he’d been all this time. But this is where it ended. He was through letting this breakup with Yvonne turn him into a man he didn’t recognize.

Cradling his injured hand against his chest, he went to the bathroom and pulled out a bandage. Wrapping his hand, he thought about the phone call he’d received a few minutes ago. According to his boys, a friend of theirs was throwing his girlfriend a surprise birthday party at one of the clubs downtown. RaShaun had told them he’d pass on going, but now he changed his mind. It was time he started acting like the single man he was.


“I just don’t see why Kiki has to go with us. This surprise party is for Mika and you know as well as I do that Mika can’t stand her ass anymore than I can.”

Tara was pissed off because Kiki had invited herself along with them to go to the club where a mutual friend of theirs was having a surprise birthday party. Tara didn’t like Kiki and the feeling was mutual. Yvonne tried to keep them apart as much as she could, but it was hard to do since they all hung around the same people.

“Tara, come on. She’s not that bad.” Yvonne looked at her cousin through the mirror as she finished applying her makeup. As always, she found herself having to be the referee for the two of them just to keep the peace. “And anyway, what was I supposed to do, say no, you can’t meet up with us? She was going anyway.”

“Whatever. All I know is that the fake bitch bet not say shit to me. I mean it, Von. I’m not for her crap tonight. I don’t know how you can stomach being around her. I don’t trust her as far as I could throw her.”

“I know she rubs a lot of people the wrong way, but beneath all the bullshit she puts out sometimes, she’s actually a sweet person.”

“Sweet as a fucking rattlesnake. I just hope you don’t get bitten, because I’m sure that bitch carries some deadly venom. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Ignoring her cousin, Yvonne went back to her room and slipped on her heels. Tara followed behind her and thankfully changed the subject.

“Speaking of snakes, it was messed up the way Brandon provoked RaShaun in the park today. I’m glad Shaun kicked his ass,” Tara snickered. She had a friend on the police force who’d told her all the details. Tara, in turn, had told Yvonne. She couldn’t stop laughing, but Yvonne hadn’t found it funny.

“Look. I don’t want to talk about or think about RaShaun or Brandon tonight. I plan on going out, having a good time, and forgetting my problems if that’s okay with you.”

“Fine. For the record, I still think you’re making a mistake by–”


“Okay, okay,” Tara mumbled, walking out of the room. It was Von’s life. However she chose to fuck it up was up to her.


RaShaun bypassed the line of people waiting to get into the club and went straight to the front door. He shook hands and bumped shoulders with the bouncers guarding the entrance before they waived him in.

Less than enthusiastic, he looked around the inside of the club, noting how crowded it was. RaShaun hadn’t been out in a while, at least a coupe of months. Now he was reminded why. Too many damn people. They were packed in wall to wall, and that said a lot because the club was huge.

He stopped to exchange a few words with people he knew while trying to make his way to the bar. RaShaun couldn’t help but notice that the women were being extra touchy and flirty, which let him know word had gotten around about him and Yvonne breaking up. At first, he'd been a little uncomfortable with th; he had been out of the game a long time and the women were bolder than he remembered, but after a while he loosened up and started flirting back. It was just like riding a bike.

Once he made it to the bar and told the bartender what he wanted to drink, he turned around to look out over the throng of people dancing, laughing, and socializing. As much as he hated to admit it, he didn’t miss this scene at all, but he was determined to try and have a good time.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw someone waving at him to get his attention. RaShaun craned his neck to get a better look and saw that it was Quincy and his wife, Gina. They had a table on the second level and were waving him over. RaShaun nodded to let them know he’d be over in a second.

As he waited on his drink, he politely turned down more than a few offers to dance, taking a rain check for later. After paying and leaving a tip, he took a healthy sip of the Crown and coke before turning go to Q.’s table.

He’d only taken a few steps when he heard a sexy voice  teasingly call out, “Oh, so I don’t get one of those, Rah?”

RaShaun fixed a polite expression on his face before he turned around, ready to disentangle himself away from yet another conversation with a determined female, but when he saw who it was, a huge grin crossed his face.

“Terri! What’s up, lady?” His eyes swept quickly over his ex-girlfriend before he leaned down and gave her a one-armed hug. “What are you doing out here?”

“No, baby, the question is, what are you doing out here?” she smiled, gazing up into his eyes. “Scratch that. I heard about you and Yvonne. Sorry about that.”

RaShaun laughed when he saw her smile that betrayed the sincerity of her words. “Yeah, I can see you’re just torn up over it.” She joined in with his laughter. “Seriously, though, it’s been a little over a week since we broke up and it’s like the whole damn town knows. Bad news travels fast doesn’t it?”

Terri raised an eyebrow. “Who says its bad news? For her, maybe. For you, it opens up a whole new set of possibilities.”

Terri said the words lightly but she held his gaze to make sure he knew she meant every word. RaShaun stared at her for a moment, reading her message loud and clear. Terri never tried to hide the fact that she regretted the two of them breaking up.

“Would you like something to drink?” he asked her.

“Thank you. I’d love a drink. Do you still remember what I like?” she flirted.

RaShaun’s eyes slid over her body nice and slow. “Oh, I definitely remember what you like. No doubt.”

Their eyes held for a few moments before he moved back to the bar to order her drink. RaShaun smiled. Yep. Just like riding a bike.


Yvonne, Tara, and Kiki scanned the scene inside the club, commenting that it was more crowded than usual. People screamed their name out as they inched their way through the crowd. Their whole little crew was in the house and they were already feeling good and ready to party.

“Where ya’ll sittin’?” Kiki asked them.

They pointed upstairs. “We have four tables pushed together.”

“We’re going to get something to drink first,” Yvonne said to Tara as she and Kiki started off towards the bar. “Be right back.”

Tara nodded before continuing the conversation she was having with a group of girls. Once Yvonne was gone, one of their friends leaned in and asked Tara, “Where’s Yvonne going?”

“She and Kiki…” Tara rolled her eyes. “Are going to get something to drink. They’ll be right back. Why? What’s up?”

“She does know that RaShaun is here, right?”

“Wait, what?” Tara screamed. “RaShaun’s here?”

“Yeah,” her friend nodded. “He’s over at the bar talking to Terri. You know that bitch isn’t going to waste any time. She’s acting like she’s RaShaun’s shadow or something, making sure none of these hoes have a chance to get close to him. And believe me, they’ve all been trying.”

Tara looked over towards the bar, but didn’t see RaShaun or Yvonne. Suddenly she squinted. Wait. Was that…Brandon?

Tara gasped. Oh shit! It was! Tara’s stomach grew queasy. She looked around in desperation. She knew she’d seen a glimpse of Quincy when she first walked in. She had to find him quick because if Yvonne, RaShaun, and Brandon ended up in the same space with each other there was no doubt that all hell would break loose.


“Girl, it is so damn crowded in here.” Kiki complained, fanning her hand against her face to try and cool off from the body heat around them. Suddenly, she spun around as yet another hand “accidentally” rubbed on her ass. “I swear to God, if another got damn hand touches my booty, it’s going down up in here!”

“Well damn, Ki, you’re showing half your ass in those shorts,” Yvonne laughed.

“Yeah. I guess I wouldn’t be able to resist touching it either if I was a man,” Kiki said with her usual arrogance.

Yvonne shook her head as they made it to the bar and waited in line to order their drinks. She half listened as Kiki had something negative to say about almost every female they saw. She was in the middle of dogging some poor sista out when she suddenly went completely silent. Gasping, her mouth flew open as she patted Yvonne on the shoulder and pointed at something in a continuous jab.

“What?” Yvonne asked, turning to see what Kiki was staring at so hard. “What’s wrong?”

“Girrrlll,” Kiki sang out. “Look. It’s your ex.”

But Yvonne had already spotted RaShaun. “Oh my God,” she whispered, her heartbeat speeding up at the sight of him. “I’m surprised he’s here.”

“Girl, and he looks good.” When Yvonne cut her eyes at Kiki, Kiki shrieked in a high-pitched voice, “Well, he does!”

Yvonne directed her attention back to RaShaun. She stood on tiptoe to get a good look. Kiki was right, he did look good, but then again, he always looked good. In fact, he was so sexy he took her breath away.

Yvonne had been so busy trying to put him out of her mind and convince herself that the choice she’d made had been the right one that she hadn’t realized how much she’d missed him.

“Shaun…” She didn’t realize she’d whispered his name out loud.

“And do you see who he’s talking to?”

Yvonne blinked. She’d been so busy staring at RaShaun that she didn’t notice anything else. Finally, Kiki’s question registered and she saw that Shaun was staring down at a female and laughing at something she was saying. It wasn’t until the woman turned her head that Yvonne realized who it was.

“Terri! I should’ve known she would be up in his face the first chance she got!”

At that exact moment RaShaun looked up and locked eyes with Yvonne. She smiled tentatively and gave him a little wave, but frowned when he only responded with a short nod before going right back to smiling at Terri. Yvonne’s mouth fell open at the snub.

“Damn,” Kiki said, rubbing it in Yvonne’s face. “That’s all he got for you?”

Yvonne ignored her and turned around after she realized she was still staring. It was for the best, she tried to convince herself. They both needed to move on. Still, she snuck another glance over her shoulder at him.

Yvonne felt like a spear had pierced through her heart. She guessed she now knew how he’d felt when he found out about Brandon. He was probably only talking to Terri to get back at her. The thought should’ve made her feel better, but it didn’t.

Her eyes narrowed dangerously when she saw the heffa reach up as if she was rubbing something off of RaShaun’s lip. When he opened his lips and playfully bit her finger, Yvonne had had enough. Before she could think about what she was doing, she took off walking towards RaShaun and his ex-girlfriend.

“That’s right, girl, handle your business.” Kiki egged her on as she followed on her heels.

Yvonne weaved her way in and out of the crowd, pushing people who were slow about moving. “Excuse me…can I get by, please? Sorry…excuse me…”

She heard someone call her a bitch, as well as a few other choice words, but the insults hardly registered in her haste to get to RaShaun. At that moment, his eyes met hers over Terri’s head as he watched her bulldozing her way through a swarm of people headed his way.


Terri noticed RaShaun’s attention wasn’t on her any longer and turned around to see what he was looking at. Her face broke out into a series of thin lipped frowns when she saw it was Yvonne. She hurriedly turned back to RaShaun.

“Hey, didn’t you say you were on your way to Q.’s table?” Terri grabbed his hand and tried to pull him away. “Rah, we should go. She looks like she’s ready to make a scene.”

“Hold up a minute, Terri.”

Terri frowned but held on tightly to his hand. RaShaun kept his eyes locked with Yvonne’s until she finally stood in front of him. Terri blew impatiently as Yvonne’s gaze greedily ran over every inch of his face. She looked as if she wanted to reach up and hug RaShaun, but saw that it wouldn’t be a wise thing to do.

“Hi, Shaun,” she greeted him softly.


They all heard the coldness in his voice. Terri saw Yvonne’s eyes go to hers and RaShaun’s clasped hands. She lifted her chin defiantly when Yvonne looked at her before directing her attention back to RaShaun.

“How…how have you been?”

“Fine. You?”

“Fine. I…um, RaShaun, do you think we can talk? Just for a minute.”

“I think we’ve said all we needed to say to one another. It’s probably best if we leave things the way they are.”

Yvonne blinked in surprise. “RaShaun, please,” she whispered.

“Honey, don’t beg. It’s so embarrassing,” Terri said sweetly as her eyes mocked Yvonne.

Yvonne’s eyes narrowed to thin, grey slits. “Bitch, was I talking to you?”


“You need to mind your damn business, Terri,” Yvonne snapped.

Terri rolled her neck around on her shoulders. “Rah, is my business. He always has been.”

Yvonne took a step towards Terri, ready to slap the taste out of her mouth, but RaShaun stepped in front of her as if to protect her from Yvonne.

Terri leaned around RaShaun and shouted, “And you need to watch who you call bitch! You’re the one over here making a fool of yourself. You cheated on RaShaun, so now, you have who you wanted, and so do I. The way I see it, everybody should be happy.”

“You have no idea you’re talking about! If you think he doesn’t still love me, you’re crazy. We’ve only been apart for a week.”

“I don’t see him making a move towards a reconciliation. In fact just the opposite, but your desperate ass apparently can’t read the writing on the wall. Let me help you with that. You need to play your position. Just in case you don’t know what that might be, it’s not with RaShaun, it’s with that motherfucka standing behind you,” Terri sneered, pointing a finger. “You wanted him, you got him.”

It was only then that Yvonne noticed RaShaun’s expression had changed to one of total and complete fury as he glowered at someone standing behind her. A sinking feeling settled in the bottom of her stomach. Spinning around, she came face to face with…Brandon.

“What…what are you–mmph!”

Before she knew what was happening, Brandon framed her face with his hands and brought his mouth down to hers in a hard kiss. The entire time, he kept his eyes locked with RaShaun’s. Yvonne tried to push him back, but he refused to budge.

At that exact moment, Q. appeared beside them with Tara trailing closely behind. Brandon finally lifted his lips from Yvonne’s. Slowly wiping the lipstick from his mouth, he sent a smug smirk towards RaShaun.

“You do remember, what I told you, don’t you, son? She’s mine, now. The sooner you start to accept that, the better off we’ll all be.”

Yvonne shoved Brandon in the chest. “Stop it! Are you crazy? I am not your–”

“Know what, I really don't care.” The quietness of RaShaun’s words cut in on Yvonne’s tirade. He shrugged indifferently. “You can have her.”

Yvonne gasped, instantly forgetting about Brandon and Terri and everyone else. “RaShaun.”

The hurt she felt was reflected in the way she whispered his name, but he never even looked at her. His attention was directed solely on Brandon.

Yvonne glanced around self-consciously, suddenly realizing they were the objects of intense interest from the crowd of people who had gathered around to watch the fireworks.

“RaShaun…please don't do this.” Yvonne  knew she was damn near begging, but she didn’t care. She didn’t know what she’d been thinking, but seeing him with another woman put things in perspective for her…quick. She wanted him back.


RaShaun hardened the corner of his heart that reacted to hearing Yvonne’s pain. Hell, she had caused him nothing but pain. It was about time she felt some in return.

He looked down at Terri who was still grasping his hand in a near death grip. “You wanna get out of here?”

“Yes. Let’s go.” Terri looked at Yvonne with gloating and glee before following RaShaun as he led her through the crowd and out the door.

Tara walked over to Yvonne and put her arm around her. She knew more than anyone how much Yvonne loved RaShaun. She had just been confused and let herself get sucked into a situation with Brandon when she was at her most vulnerable. Speaking of which…

Tara glared at Brandon and shook her middle finger at him. Son of a bitch. RaShaun should’ve beaten his ass again. She was just about to tell him just that when something else caught her eye.

Kiki. The bitch wasn’t even trying to pretend to be comforting Yvonne. As a matter of fact, the slight smile on her face could only be described as…enjoyment. She was loving every moment of Yvonne’s humiliation.

Tara’s eyes narrowed angrily. She didn’t have time to analyze it now, but she would definitely get to the bottom of whatever it was that sneaky hoe was up to. For now, her focus was making sure her cousin was okay.

She turned back to Yvonne. “Sweetie, are you okay?”

“Tara, take me home. I just want to get out of here,” Yvonne sniffed. “Please.”


RaShaun held Terri’s hand as he manipulated them through the crowd of people. He was well aware that they were the center of attention, which pissed him off even more. He hated gossip and hated eyes on him because of some bullshit.

Terri, however, loved it. She held her head high, enjoying the attention as she held RaShaun’s hand tightly and followed behind him.

At least now these scandalous bitches will know that RaShaun is mine, she thought to herself with satisfaction.

She knew he still had feelings for Yvonne whether he wanted to admit it or not. But he had loved her at one time too. She was determined to make him love her again.


Once they got to RaShaun’s car, he clicked the remote to open the doors. He still hadn’t said a word since they’d left the club. After he opened the door for Terri, he went around to the driver’s side and got in. Leaning his head back against the seat for a moment, he closed his eyes.

Terri studied him closely. She knew he was thinking about that bitch, and that definitely was not going to do.

“Are you ok, Rah?” she asked softly.

He opened his eyes and turned his head to look at her. “Yeah, I’m good. I’m sorry about that, Terri. I didn’t mean to drag you into this mess.”

“Believe me, you have nothing to apologize for. I can’t believe how Yvonne acted tonight, as if she was the one who had the right to be upset. It’s nobody’s fault but her own that was out there acting like a little slut who–”

“Terri!” RaShaun’s voice ripped through the confines of the car as he glared at her. “That’s enough.”

Seeing Terri flinch, RaShaun made a conscious effort to lower his voice. He hadn’t meant to yell at her but no matter what he and Yvonne had gone through, he wasn’t going to sit there and let Terri call her out of her name.

“Look, can we just not talk about it?” He looked at her letting her know that he’d had just about enough of everything for one night.

Terri had known him for a long time and knew he wasn’t about the drama. She immediately did an about face. “You’re right, RaShaun. I’m sorry.” She leaned closer to him. “Besides, I’m sure we can think of something better to do than talk about your ex-girlfriend.” She put a finger under his chin and brought his lips the short distance it took to meet hers.

RaShaun closed his eyes and returned the kiss, but he couldn’t help but compare Terri to Yvonne. Once he did, Terri came up seriously lacking. Frustrated, he curled his fingers in her hair and deepened the kiss, letting his tongue play seductively with hers. Terri wrapped her arms around his neck and whimpered her pleasure.

RaShaun drew back and looked at her. “Your place?” he asked gruffly. When Terri nodded eagerly, RaShaun hesitated. “Terri, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. I’m not ready to jump into a new relationship right now. Whatever happens between us tonight will only be two friends enjoying themselves together.”

“Shhhhh…” Terri placed a finger over his lips, quieting the rest of the words. “You don’t have to say anything, Rah. I know you can’t make me any promises, and I’m okay with that. Just let me give you what you need, if only for tonight.”

RaShaun looked at her for a few moments then placed another quick kiss on her lips before turning to start the car and drive off in the direction that would take them to her apartment.

Terri sat back in her seat and rested her hand on RaShaun’s thigh. Right now, he might not feel the same way about her that she felt about him, but she was determined to change that. She loved RaShaun. That had never changed.

Leaning over across the middle console, she gently brought her teeth down on his ear before nibbling her way to his neck. She smiled as he leaned his head slightly to the side and moaned under his breath. If she remembered correctly, his neck was one of the erogenous zones on his body that never failed to excite him. She slid a hand down between his legs. Yeah. That was definitely still his spot.

“Hurry,” she whispered in his ear. She laughed softly when he glanced at her before pressing down on the gas.

Whether you know it or not, RaShaun Patterson, she thought as she continued her gentle assault on his senses. You. Are. Mine.


The ride back to Tara’s apartment was made in silence. Yvonne stared at the window as she replayed the scene that had just happened over and over again in her head. She couldn’t blame RaShaun for being upset with her, but she hadn’t expected such indifference from him either.

Yvonne closed her eyes. She couldn’t stop thinking about the way he had looked at Terri …the same way he used to look at her. Images of RaShaun making love to Terri right about now tortured her until they drove up and parked in the Tara’s assigned parking space.

After they let themselves into the apartment, Yvonne sat down on the couch and dropped her face in her hands. “I screwed up, didn’t I? With RaShaun, I mean.”

“Sweetie, don’t. It’s not going to help anything for you to blame yourself,” Tara said soothingly.

“Thanks. I appreciate you not saying I told you so.” Yvonne shook her head. She wasn’t going to lose RaShaun. She couldn’t. He had a right to his anger, but there was one thing Yvonne knew beyond a shadow of a doubt: she was not going to lose him.

After she convinced Tara to go back to the club and enjoy herself, Yvonne forced herself to go and change out of the dress into a pair of jean shorts and pink tank top. Restless, she turned the television on and flipped from channel to channel before turning it back off. Before she could stop it, her mind went to RaShaun and Terri and wondering what they were doing.

Determined to think about something else, she redirected her thoughts to the day she accidentally came across the engagement ring in RaShaun’s drawer. What she’d told Tara had been the truth; it had scared her when she saw that ring and everything it represented. Yvonne didn’t put much stock in the institution of marriage. Her parent’s marriage had been absolutely horrible, and her brother and sister had followed right in their footsteps, both divorcing within years of saying their vows. Yvonne refused to become another statistic and join the ranks of bitter divorcees like her family members.

Brandon had come along right when she was feeling vulnerable and unsure about her relationship. Instead of talking to RaShaun about her misgivings, she’d turned to Brandon and poured all her fears and misgivings out to him. Then she’d let him kiss her, and for one brief moment, contemplated doing more. Thank God she’d come to her senses before that happened.

Yvonne covered her face with her hands. She had to see RaShaun. She had to let him know how much she regretted hurting him, how much she still loved him.

Running back to her room, she slipped her feet in her sandals and grabbed her purse. She was prepared to do and say whatever she had to in order to fix this divide between them that she was responsible for. And she would do it tonight.


RaShaun pulled up in front of Terri’s house, then turned in his seat to look at her. She’d always been a beautiful woman and that hadn’t changed. Fair skinned with hazel eyes, she kept her tawny colored hair styled in a chic, short cut, emphasizing her sharp cheekbones and full lips.

A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth as he suddenly remembered how, years ago, one of his friends had once described her as a walking wet dream.

“What are you smiling at?” she asked.

“Nothing. Just thinking how beautiful you are.” He reached out a hand and pushed a strand of hair away from her face. “Terri, you sure about this? You can change your mind now if–”

She leaned over and covered his mouth with hers to quiet his words before pulling back to look him in the eye. “I’m a big girl, Rah. I can handle this.” She kissed him again. “Now will you please take me in the house and fuck me?”

RaShaun laughed softly and got out of the car. After going around to open her door, they walked hand in hand into her house once she unlocked the door.

Terri set the alarm behind them. Seeing RaShaun leaning against the wall watching her, she shrugged. “Would you like something to drink?” she asked.

RaShaun shook his head slowly and continued to stare at her.

“Are you sure? I have beer, or wine, or Crown…not that I’m trying to get you drunk or anything,” she laughed nervously.

Again RaShaun shook his head.

“Oh, uh, okay. Well…I guess…” Her words trailed to a stop when RaShaun straightened up from the wall and started unbuttoning his shirt and slowly walking towards her in slow, measured steps.

“I don’t want anything to drink but you. I don’t want anything to eat but you,” he said, stopping in front of her. “So tell me: Are you gonna feed me?”

Terri looked up at him with her mouth agape. Then, as if released from a daze, she stood on tiptoe and kissed him as desperately as if he were the oxygen she needed to breath.

RaShaun wrapped his arms around her and walked her back against the wall. He pulled her arms from around his neck and held them up over her head, pinning them against the wall as he continued to ravage her lips before travelling to her neck.

“RaShaunnn….” Terri sighed in reverence.


She mumbled incoherently, as if she’d forgotten how to speak the English language. Managing to slip her hands free, she reached behind her to unzip her dress. Pushing it down past her shoulders and waist, she let it drop to the floor in a flimsy pool of material at her feet.

RaShaun groaned when he saw she wasn’t wearing a bra. “Where’s your bedroom?”

Smiling, she grabbed his hand and led her down the hallway. Once they got to her bedroom, she tore RaShaun’s unbuttoned shirt from his body before attacking his belt and zipper. When RaShaun chuckled at her haste, Terri looked up at him and grinned.

“Shut up,” she said, pushing him down on the bed. After she finished undressing him, her eyes widened at the size of his erection. She had thought about him like this so many nights. Her memories didn’t do him justice.

RaShaun’s raised himself up on his elbows and gestured down to his dick. “You just gonna stand there or have you forgotten what to do with this?”

Terri needed no further prompting. Falling to her knees, she started worshipping the part of his anatomy that she found so utterly fascinating. She gagged in her haste to damn near swallow him whole.

“Fuck….” RaShaun whispered in a voice full of lust and desire. Pulling her up, he lay back on the bed with her on top. Suddenly, he let out a soft curse when he realized he didn’t have any condoms.

“It’s okay, Rah. I’m clean,” Terri said breathlessly, correctly guessing what he was thinking.
“Are you on the–”

“Yes.” Seeing the hesitation in his eyes, Terri placed her hands flat on his chest and lowered herself down the thick length of his shaft before he could utter a protest.

“Shit,” breathed out in a hoarse voice, watching her slim, agile body move on top of him. Grabbing her hips, the last of his resolve melted away as need and desire took over and carried them well into night.

The next morning, RaShaun woke up early. Glancing at the other side of the bed, he saw that Terri who was still sound asleep from the workout he’d given her. Moving quietly so as not to awaken her, he put his clothes on and reached for his shoes.

Now that he had satisfied his body’s yearning, pricks of guilt started to deflate the memories of the previous night. This wasn’t what he’d intended to happen when he’d left the club with Terri last night. He knew how she felt about him, and no matter how much she said she could handle a friend’s with benefits relationship, he couldn’t do that to her. He respected her too much to use her like that.

Finding a pen and a slip of paper on the nightstand, he scrawled out a quick note telling her he’d call her later and left it on his pillow. Remembering the code she’d used to set the alarm, he easily disarmed the alarm system and let himself out.

Once he got in the car, he backed out of the driveway and headed towards his house. Before long, thoughts of Yvonne invaded his mind, but as soon as they did, he turned the radio up loudly to drown them out. He didn’t want to think about Yvonne. Not anymore. However, by the time he pulled up to his house, the effort to erase her out of his head turned out to be a complete waste. Her car was parked in his driveway.

“What the hell?” RaShaun turned off the ignition and sat in disbelief for a few moments. Frowning, he got out, glancing again at her car again as he unlocked his front door.

Quickly walking inside, he looked around. When he got to his living room, he stopped in his tracks. Yvonne was lying on his couch fast asleep and covered with a blanket. Sighing heavily, he slowly went over to the couch. The longer he stared down at her the faster his heart pounded in his chest. No matter how much he tried, RaShaun couldn’t deny how much he still loved her.

But not everyone who loved each other was meant to be together. He didn’t know why she was there and he didn’t want to know. But she had to go. He leaned down to shake her shoulder.

“Yvonne.” He shook her again when she pulled away from his hand. “Yvonne, wake up.”

A moment later, she slowly opened her eyes and looked around slightly disoriented before blinking up at him.



Yvonne blinked several times and yawned. Where was she? She looked around the room. Why was she back at RaShaun’s house on his couch?
Then she remembered. She’d come over to wait on him last night but he hadn’t come home. Pain hit her so quick it left her slightly dizzy as the realization sank in of where he’d been, what he’d been doing, and who he’d been doing it with.

She had been so ready to convince him to give their relationship another chance. To give them another chance. But now it looked as if she was too late.

Her eyes ran over him slowly, taking in the rumbled shirt and the faint shadow of his beard. She instinctively knew he’d slept with Terri. She tried to stop the tears from welling up in her eyes, but they fell and rolled down her cheek before she could stop them.

Seeing them, RaShaun let out a string of curses. He was not going to let her make him feel guilty, dammit. “What are you doing here?”

“I came over to talk to you,” she said in a small voice.

“Yvonne, I don’t know how else I can say this. There’s nothing left for us to talk about.”


“No. I mean it. I want you to go. Now. And leave my key on your way out.”

Yvonne felt her heart break in two… He sounded so cold. So...uncaring. He'd never treated or talked to her this way before. Never. Or at least not before he found out about Brandon…

RaShaun continued to stare at her for several more moments before cutting his eyes away. Sighing in resignation, he walked to the chair opposite the couch she was lying on and he threw himself down in it. Sitting back, he leaned his elbow on the arm of the chair and he brought his hand up to his chin to study her with guarded eyes.

“Yvonne, what do you want? What do you expect to accomplish by being here?”

Mortified, she lowered her eyes at the annoyance she heard in his tone.
She had to handle this carefully or else she’d push him away even further and the best way to do that was to be open and honest with him.

“I want you back. I want us back.”

“There is no more ‘us’.”

“After everything we’ve meant to each other, I make one mistake, and that’s it? The relationship is over? Dead?“

RaShaun’s laugh was bitter and sarcastic. “One mistake,” he repeated softly.

“Give me a chance to make things right. I tried to tell you last night that–”

“And I told you last night we didn't have anything left to say. And yet, here you are.”

RaShaun never raised his voice, but Yvonne could hear the finality of his words. He remained unmoved for several long moments before finally expelling a breath that told her that his patience had come to an end.

“Fine, Yvonne. If you feel like we need to have one last, final ‘talk’ to bring closure to this relationship, then so be it. Right here, right now, we’re going to bring everything out in the open. Go on and say whatever else you need to say, because the next time you come into this house, it’ll be to pack up the rest of your belongings.” He ignored the wounded look that came over her face and continued in the same calm, even tone.

“First, going back to the night when I first found out you’d messed around with Valentine…” He paused and stared her dead in the eye.

Yvonne lifted her chin determined not to look away. She knew any sign of guilt would be perceived as a sign of weakness and willingness for deceit. She was determined to acknowledge her mistakes and deal with the consequences.

“You lied, told me half-truths over and over again until you finally backed yourself in a corner. You remember that Yvonne?”

“I was scared, RaShaun. Can’t you try to understand that?”

“So you lie to me? You know how I feel about honesty in a relationship. I can handle anything as long as you’re being truthful with me.”

Yvonne shook her head. “RaShaun…”

“I can’t be with someone I don’t trust. And I don’t trust you. It’s as simple as that.”

“And I suppose you can trust Terri?” Yvonne said snidely, jealously eating her to her core.

“This is not about Terri!” RaShaun said the words slowly and precisely. “And if we really go deeper, it’s not even about Valentine. This is about us. You and me.”

He stood up and shoved his hands in his pockets as he glared down at her, clearly becoming more agitated with each passing second.

“You and I were the two people in this relationship. No one else. Do you understand that? Nothing and no one should’ve been able to come between us, but you allowed that to happen.”

RaShaun continued in a husky voice, his eyes showing her how much she’d hurt him. “You and me, Von…I thought our bond was unbreakable Iron tight.”

He cleared his throat and looked away, visibly breathing deeply to gain control of himself. Tears were rolling down Yvonne’s face. His voice softened as he looked at her.

“I don’t want to hurt you, but its over. You need to accept that.”

As he walked away, he called out over his shoulder, “Please leave my key and lock the door behind you.”

After he was gone, Yvonne didn’t move. She couldn’t, not for a few minutes. Finally, she wiped her face with the blanket she’d used to cover up with and stood up. Taking a deep breath, she followed him to the bedroom with a determined look on her face. As difficult as it was, she couldn’t give up. Not yet.

When she opened the bedroom door, Shaun turned around and let out a low groan. “Yvonne….”

“No. You had your say; I’m going to have mine. That is what you said, isn’t it? That we’re going to say what we feel we need to before we close the door once and for all? Well, now it’s my turn. All the cards out on the table.”

RaShaun glared at her, his face showing his indifference. Finally, he gestured for her to proceed and folded his arms.

“I know it sounds stupid, but I mistakenly thought that I was missing out on some great adventure in life, that there was something else out there that I should be experiencing before I finally decided to settle down. I didn’t realize that everything I ever wanted, everything I ever needed was right in front of me. I should’ve come to you and talked to you, the way we talked about everything. I was wrong. And I’m asking you forgive me.”


When she finished, RaShaun looked at her with his lip curled up and began unbuttoning his shirt. He was past irritated and his tolerance for this conversation was gone. He’d had it with her ‘woe is me I was an innocent victim’ attitude. He was getting ready to put an end to this shit now.

“So you still contend you didn’t fuck him.” RaShaun looked down at his shirt as he finished unbuttoning it.

“No! I swear to God I didn’t!”

RaShaun nodded and looked at her intently, eyes narrowed. “He seemed pretty familiar with you last night when he grabbed you and kissed you.” He made the observation as casually as if they were discussing the weather.

“I don’t know what that was all about. RaShaun, I admitted to you that months ago I…we shared a…kiss...and...” Yvonne’s voice trailed off as she eyed him warily.

“You kissed…and…what?” he still spoke in a casual, quiet voice, but his eyes shot fire.

Yvonne remained silent, almost as if she dared not say anything else until she knew where he was going with his questions.

“All of a sudden you don’t have anything else to say?” He nodded again as if in sympathetic understanding, then pulled his shirt off and balled it up before throwing it on the bed. “Tell me, were you thinking about him when you used that cute little toy in the video you made?”

Yvonne gaped at him in shock. “No! Of course not!”

RaShaun shook his head. “I don’t believe you.” Walking up to her, he came to a stop mere inches away. Anger all but emanated from the pores of his body. Yvonne must have felt it because she moved to take a step back but he grabbed both her shoulders and held her in place.

“Listen to me. I’ve had my say. You’ve had yours. That’s it, right? Is there anything else you feel you need to add?”

Looking defeated and as if she wanted to be anywhere but in his presence, she shook her head.

“Good. Then this should be the end of it. Goodbye, Yvonne.”

RaShaun dropped his hands and went to his dresser to get a pair of clean underwear and sweats to put on after he took a shower. Suddenly, he heard Yvonne let out a horrified gasp. Dropping his head back, RaShaun stared at the ceiling before looking at Yvonne’s reflection in the mirror in front of him.

What he saw caught him off guard. She looked almost sick. One hand covered her mouth and the other her stomach. RaShaun frowned when he noticed she wasn’t looking at him. She was fixated on his back.

Frowning, he turned so that he turned his back to the mirror to see what had caused her reaction. His eyes immediately went to it. Fresh scratch marks from a woman’s fingernails.

Terri’s nails.

Sighing, he met Yvonne’s gaze with expressionless eyes. He didn’t owe her any explanations. “For the last time, I think its time for you to leave.”


Yvonne felt as if she were going to throw up. When RaShaun had craned his neck around to get a better view of the scratches on his back, she’d noticed the dark marks on his neck, as if someone had passionately sucked on his skin and left bruises. Her jealousy brought out an anger she couldn’t control.

Rushing over to him with hands curled up into fists, she started hitting him wherever she could reach. “You bastard! I hate you!” she screamed. “Do you hear me? I hate you!”

“Got dammit, stop it, Yvonne! Stop it!” RaShaun grabbed both of her wrists in his large hand and turned her around.

She continued to struggle but he wrapped his arms around her body, holding her so she couldn’t move. “Let me go!”

“What the hell is wrong with you!”

Yvonne finally stopped moving, but only because she out of breath. “Get your hands off of me,” she told him coldly.

“Not until I know you’ve calmed down! Damn! Are you crazy?”

“I’m calm! Just let me go! Now, RaShaun!”

“Fine!” He slowly moved his arms away from her, his body tense and ready in case she tried to attack him again. “You’ve been hanging around that ghetto ass Kiki for too damn long. She’s starting to rub off on you, and not in a good way.”

“At least my friends are there for me. They know that I’m human and that I make mistakes. They understand that no one is perfect. Oh, except for you, right?” Yvonne said sarcastically.

“I never said I was perfect. Far from it.”

“Whatever. Well, you have what you want. I’m finished. I won’t be bothering you again.”

Yvonne turned around and headed to the door. She meant every word. She was finished. He and his precious Terri could rot in hell for all she cared.

“You know what, that was always one of our problems right there. Kiki.” He said just before she stepped out of the room. “You always kept her in our business too much.”

“What are you talking about?” Yvonne spun around, glaring and still full of anger. "Why is it you feel I can't think for myself?"

“I never said you couldn’t think for yourself, but sometimes, you’re too naive for your own good. I never understood why you couldn’t see Kiki for the manipulative little bitch that she is. No, listen. Just answer me this,” he said when she opened her mouth to deliver what undoubtedly was a scalding reply. “After you supposedly turned down Valentine’s request to help him find a house, don’t you think it’s strange that Kiki would go behind your back and then give him your business card?”

“RaShaun, you know how she is. She thought she was being funny.”

“No, she was being messy. But let me tell you something else that you might find ‘funny’. She came over here last night? Did you know that?” RaShaun put his hands in his pocket and leaned his head to the side as he studied her.

Yvonne frowned. “What? Who came over here last night?”

“Kiki. You know, the one you defend at the drop of a hat, the one who’s ‘there for you no matter what’…”

“Wait…wait a minute.” Yvonne slowly walked back into the room. “Back up. Kiki was here? Why?”

RaShaun looked at her and scratched his head. To be such an intelligent woman, Yvonne could really have her head in the clouds sometimes when it came to certain things…or people.

“She was here to make sure I was alright since you’d left me to be with Brandon. I think those were her words. She wanted to… comfort me.”

Yvonne’s entire body trembled with anger. That…bitch!

“When I turned down her offer, with a few other choice words, she got pissed off. That’s when she spilled your little secret.”

Yvonne’s eyes narrowed. “What little secret?”

“About you and your boyfriend. She told me that you and he had been sleeping together for months.”

“She…she said what?” Yvonne whispered.

“Apparently everybody knew but me. I guess I was the joke around town all this time, huh?” Anger burned bright in his dark brown eyes.

She covered her mouth with her hands. As she listened to RaShaun, bits and pieces of conversations with Kiki began to flash through her mind. Kiki would always try to put down Yvonne’s relationship with him. She’d make fun of them preferring to stay home and watch movies or visit friends rather than go out clubbing, telling Yvonne that her life was passing her by, and that RaShaun just wanted to control her, the same way her father used to control her mother.

Of course now, it all made sense. The entire time, Kiki had been scheming to break up Yvonne’s relationship because she wanted RaShaun for herself.

RaShaun watched as everything he’d been telling her finally seemed to click. “Yvonne, I lost count of the number of times she hit on me.”

“She did what?” Yvonne screamed. “Why didn’t you tell, me RaShaun!”

“Why didn’t I tell you? Would you have believed me?? All we did was argue about that little slut. I wasn’t going to let her have that kind of power in our relationship, so I just stopped trying to talk to you about her and handled the situation myself.”

Yvonne looked away in shame as she remembered the number of times they’d fought about Kiki and RaShaun’s dislike of her. She looked back at RaShaun with eyes full of regret.

“I’m not, nor was I ever involved with Brandon like that. I swear to you.” When the look on his face screamed that he obviously didn’t believe her, Yvonne felt herself begin to panic. “Shaun, think about it. I’ve lost you. I’ve destroyed our relationship. I have no reason to lie to you. Don’t you think the minute I found out that you and…” Yvonne closed her eyes and swallowed. There was no way she could bring herself to say Terri’s name out loud. “That you had slept with her I would be only too willing to throw the fact that I’d slept with Brandon in your face?”

RaShaun remained silent, but she saw a flicker of doubt enter his eyes.

“You had just turned Kiki down, and knowing you, I’m sure you weren’t nice about it,” she smiled sadly. “She wanted to get back at you, so she said the only thing she knew would accomplish that. It doesn’t make what I did any less deplorable. I just hope that one day, you’re able to forgive me.”

She walked back towards him and reached up to kiss him on the cheek. “Goodbye, Shaun. Take care of yourself, okay?”

Hurrying out of his house, Yvonne jumped in her car and pulled out of the driveway. She drove for a few minutes before pulling over to the side of the street to wipe the wetness from her eyes. Gradually, the anger pushed aside her sadness as she thought about everything she’d just learned from RaShaun. How could she have been so stupid??

Yvonne gripped the steering wheel so tight her palms ached. Finally, she reached for her cell phone with hands that trembled and hit speed dial.

Kiki answered after the first ring. “Von? Girl, where you been? I been tryin’ to call you all night. I must have left a hundred messages.”

“I went to see RaShaun.” Yvonne was surprised how calm her voice sounded.

“R-R-RaShaun?” Kiki stuttered. “Why? What happened?” she asked nervously.

Yvonne pursed her lips to keep herself from cursing this bitch out. She intentionally made her voice tremble. “Ki…I…he was so horrible to me.”

“Girl, nooo. I told you he was no good for you. You saw how he dogged you out and chose Terri. Yvonne, you need to just leave his no good ass alone once and for all.”

Yvonne clearly heard the relief–and glee– in Kiki’s voice. “I know. You’re right, Ki. Do you think you can meet me at Tara’s? I need to talk, and you’re the only one who understands.”

“Sure, girlfriend, sure! Gimme fifteen minutes. I’ll be right there. Don’t worry, Von. I gotcha back, girl.”

After Yvonne disconnected the call, she threw the phone back in her purse and sat back. 


 "That's right, you little bitch. Come on. I'll be waiting."


Easing back into traffic, Yvonne picked up speed so that she'd get to her cousin's apartment before Kiki. There were some things she needed to take care of first, and then...


She planned on kicking Kiki's ass. 

© 2017 S.K. Hardy

All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means without the written permission of the author. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.