Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Behind the Wings by Dana Littlejohn
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Have you ever wondered what really goes on in the millitary? Wondered why they're such a tight knit and secretive group?
Growing up as General Dupree's daughter made Jade a hot commodity amoung the young airmen. It also made it difficult to find a boyfriend who didn't want to use her to get closer to her father. With her mother and her best friend 'hooking her up' every chance they got without very much success, Jade decided to put the dating game on the back burner. With another promise that this time would be the last time, Jade gives her mother that chance and now wonders if she finally got lucky in choosing the handsome Tech Sergeant Steven Jones or did the man of her dreams just dance into her life.
Jade walked along the dance floor, bobbing her head to the music. Just as she put her glass on a passing waiter’s tray, someone grabbed her hand and yanked her to the dance floor.
“Hey! What the--”
“Shh! Here, turn your back this way. You gotta dance with me. Can you Sumba?”
“What? Excuse you, but…”
“Shh! Please, help me out. I’m trying to hide, over here.”
“Hide?” She looked around quickly, letting him pull her around the dance floor. “Hide from what?”
“Not a what, a who. I don’t know who she is, but she’s been following me around since I got here.” He ducked behind her and twirled her around.
She moved stiffly in his arms and spoke crisply. “Look, I didn’t come to this party to do protection work.”
“Ok. Then why did you come to this party?” He ducked again. “Shit, don’t move. There she is,” he whispered urgently.
She peeked over her left shoulder to see a beautiful young black woman scanning the crowd. Her bottle blonde hair was filled with tiny curls and her top heavy body was stuffed into a short red tube dress. She was just two people away from them.
"What’s the problem? She’s, umm…pretty.”
He chuckled. “The problem is she’s only pretty on the outside. It only took 10 minutes of conversing with her for me to figure that out. She kept telling me everything her man could do for her and buy for her, and how she’d spend all her days and nights going out of her way to be pretty for him.” He watched her pass by them and stood up relaxing. “Check this out. She asked me what time it was, right? I said, it’s a quarter to seven. Guess what she said next?” He twirled her and went on, not waiting for an answer. “Oh that’s great! I’ve got twenty five minutes before my friend comes,” he mimicked her high pitched, cartoonish voice then laughed. “What does that tell you?”
She laughed, too. “I don’t know. Maybe she just can’t tell time.”
He laughed again. “Yeah, ok. You know, you dance good for someone who got dragged out to the dance floor.”
“It’s, you dance ‘well’ for someone who got dragged to the dance floor.”
“That’s what I said.”
“No, that’s not what you said. You said good.”
“Good is bad?”
“No, good isn’t bad, it’s just not right.”
“So, good is wrong, but not bad?”
“No, good isn’t… Are you doing that on purpose?”
“Doing what? I’m learning.” He chuckled and smiled.
“So, tell me. Why did you come to this party?”
“I came with my friend. I’m her date.”
“Her date? Your friend is a female? Well, this conversation just got interesting.”
She laughed. “Down boy, it ain’t that kind of party. We’re best friends and she came to this meet and greet to meet and greet for her company, like everyone else.” She started to relax.
“Really? What’s her company?”
“Spotless Cleaning Services. Her name is Kelley Kingsley.”
He nodded. “That’s cool. What’s your name?”
She twisted her lips at first, but then a slow smile came to them. “My name is Jade Dupree.”
He returned her smile. “How you doing, Jade Dupree? I’m Mike Davis.” He turned her back to him while they danced, holding her firmly against him, around her waist.
“Mike Davis?” she said over her shoulder. “As in Michael Davis? The one that bought the Ramada Inn? That Michael Davis?”
“Yup, but my friends call me Mike. Wanna be my friend?” he said in her ear, before he spun her back.
She relaxed a little more and chuckled. “Wow.”
“No, there’s no wow, it’s just work,” he said, modestly. “How’d you know about that?”
She danced more fluidly with him. “Well, I’m a writer at Hot magazine. It’s my job to keep up with what’s hot.”
“Hot magazine, huh? It’s that bright red one with the yellow letters and the big fire blazing behind it, right?”
“Yes, that’s it.”
“So, I’m considered hot, huh?”
“Well, you did make a huge purchase buying the Ramada Inn. It sent your net worth through the roof and moved you up to the top ten on the list of most eligible African American bachelors in the United States for 2004. Number three, if I remember correctly, behind Jamie Foxx and Terrance Howard who were one and two. So, yeah, I guess that might make you a little hot.” She giggled and smiled.
The music stopped and they clapped along with everyone else.
“Thanks for the dance and the protection, Jade. I felt extremely safe in your arms,” he said with a smile.
She giggled, again. “No problem.”
She turned to walk away, but he grabbed her hand. “Umm, can I buy you a thank you drink?”
She wrapped her arms around her chest, tapping her foot and looked him over with great scrutiny.
He was very tall compared to her and clean shaven. His sparkling ebony eyes had black caterpillars hovering over them that she could tell were brushed smooth. His black, double breasted Stacey Adams tuxedo had satin lapels and fit him perfectly, accentuating his wide chest, broad shoulders and slim waist. A smile touched her lips as she nodded slowly.
He chuckled and held out his arms. “Should I do a spin move so you can get a better look?”
She smiled wider and shook her head hard, trying not to laugh. “No, but thanks for the offer, and yes. I think I will take you up on that drink.”
He offered her his arm and they walked off the floor as another song started and it filled with people again.
“Bacardi and Coke, please.”
His eyes widened as she slid onto the stool with femininity and grace. He blinked and shook his head as he watched her dress fall open when she crossed her legs. Forcing his head to turn he slid on the stool next to her and cleared his throat.
“I’ll have a Remy on the rocks, my man. So, now that I have the Ramada I’m thinking the cleaning contracts might be negotiable. Maybe I can use Spotless Cleaning Services for my hotels. Do you have any of her cards?”
The bartender handed them their drinks. “Thank you. Nope, Kelley has all the cards with her.”
“Thanks, man. Well, do you have a card for you?”
She laughed lightly and took another sip. “You’re very smooth, Mr. Mike. I’ll give you that.”
He sipped his drink, not taking his eyes off of her.
She raised her glass to take another sip, but stopped midway. “You’re serious?”
He swirled his glass swishing the ice around. “Yeah. Why wouldn’t I be?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know. I would think that being the third most eligible bachelor in 2004 you’d have women everywhere you went falling at your feet.”
He smirked. “Really?”
She nodded. “Uh-huh. A man with your kind of juice could surely have a woman in every city he went to if he wanted. Probably two at home.” She shrugged and her glass finally reached her lips.
“You think so, huh? How can someone so beautiful be so cynical?” He chuckled. “Well, I don’t know about everyone else, but I don’t have that kind of time to be entertaining all that many women and contrary to what you may hear men say, we don’t have that kind of stamina either.” He chuckled, again. “Besides, I don’t need a bunch of women to make me happy, nor do I want them.” He finished his drink and sat his glass down with a hard clunk. “I’m just looking for one.”
“Mmm, hmm, that’s nice.”
She finished her drink clunking her glass next to his and slid off the stool.
“Well, thanks for the drink and it was nice meeting you, Mike.” She walked away giving him a smile over her shoulder.
He watched her walk away, smiling and whispered to himself, “And the chase is on.”
Jade retraced her trail around the dance floor back to Kelley. Spotting Isaiah through the crowd she quickly about faced rushing back the other way. A quick look over her shoulder let her know he was following her, closing in fast. She cut another and way bumped right into Mike.
“Oh! Mike! Thank goodness. Look, it’s your turn to save me now. Ok? Come on.”
She pulled him onto the dance floor and right into Isaiah.
“Hey Jade, I was just looking for you. You wanna dance? I’d love to hold that luscious body of yours nice and close.”
She smiled stiffly and backed up. “Thanks, but no. Mike and I are having this dance.”
He stepped in front of them blocking their path more and smiled. “I don’t think I’ve met Mike and since this is a meet and greet…” He offered his hand. “Isaiah Johnson, owner of the Greasy Spoon.”
“How you doing? Mike Davis.”
He nodded and shook his hand an extra long time. “Mike Davis? Mike Davis,” he said slowly. “Oh yeah, I’ve heard of you, man. You’re the dude that bought the Ramada Inn, right?”
He smiled. “Yup, that’s me.”
“Yeah. So, you’re money Mike, huh?”
He shrugged. “What’s up, man?”
“I don’t know, man. I guess I thought you were some old white dude.”
“Really? Well, I guess you were wrong.”
“Ok, now that we’ve all met, we’re going to take that dance now.” She took Mike’s hand back from Isaiah. “Let’s go, Mike.”
“Ok, Mike, nice meeting you, man. Maybe we can talk about putting one of my restaurants in one of your hotels,” he said as Jade pulled him away and people walked between them.
“Yeah man, nice meeting you, too. Good luck with the Greasy Sponge,” he yelled over his shoulder.
“That’s spoon, man. Greasy Spoon!”
“So what’s wrong with that guy? He seems…nice.” He smiled and pulled her close as they began their dance.
“Whatever. He’s a jerk. I bet he has lots of jerk friends, too. Pigs like himself. They run in packs, you know.”
He chuckled. “You don’t think he has women friends, too?”
She sputtered. “Not likely. I’m sure he knows a lot of women because he’s cute and all. That is if you’re into the smug, over confident, jerk type cuties, but any woman with even average intelligence couldn’t can’t stand to be around him for longer than two minutes.”
“Why just two minutes?”
“It would take about a minute and a half for you to soak in his good looks and only thirty seconds for him to mess it up by opening his mouth. Humph, he’s probably a Taurus, too.”
He chuckled, again. “All that and a Taurus? Is being a Taurus that bad?”
She shrugged. “I just don’t get along with Taurus’.”
“You know, you really are a great dancer.”
She smiled. “Thanks. So, Mike, what’s your sign?”
He dipped her and said with a straight face, “I’m a Taurus.”
Her slanted, coco eyes widened to saucer size as he brought her back to her feet. She fumbled for her voice, but he spoke first.
“I’m kidding, I‘m kidding. I’m an Aries.”
She smiled and let out a relieved laugh. “Very funny, Mike. Hmm, Aries, huh?”
“What? Is that a good hmm, or a bad hmm?”
She shrugged. “Nothing, really. It’s just that I’m a Sagittarius and, well, astrologically speaking, we’re compatible.”
“Ahh, so it’s in the stars that we’ll be together. I think I like that.”
She let him twirl her and they moved smoothly across the floor as she laughed. “Now, hold up. I didn’t say all that.”
He smiled. “Oh, but that’s what I heard.”
He twirled her one last time and they clapped as the song ended and a slower one began.
“I guess it’s my turn to say thanks to you, Mike.”
She turned to leave and he caught her hand, again.
“You’re not leaving me again, are you?”
She smiled. “You want me to buy you a thank you drink, now?”
“Nope.For my thank you I want this dance right here. Dance one more with me, Jade.”
He pulled her close to him, holding her hands by their sides, rocking her into a slow rhythm.Her forehead brushed against his nose as he pulled her closer to him. She caught a deep whiff of his warm, musky cologne. The smell was intoxicating her more than the few drinks she had consumed, and made her tingle all over. Her instincts forced her to back up.
“I, I was going to find my friend…get that card you wanted.”
He pulled her arms up and slowly wrapped them around his neck and then returned his hands to her waist and smiled. His eyes never left hers.
“That can wait until after this song ends, can’t it?”
Locked into his ebony gaze, she stumbled out a reply. “Uh, yeah. I guess it can.”
She let him lead her across the floor and let her body lead her mind, as it took pleasure in being held again. Their dance seemed to last forever and her mind escaped to a place it hadn’t been in a long time…contentment.
He brought his face down to her neck, bringing her even closer to him. “Mmm, you smell incredible. What are you wearing?”
His breath was hot on her neck. Her body betrayed her as it responded to the closeness of the tall, dark and handsome man that held her. She could feel goose bumps rise and her nipples harden under her bra as his breath tickled her shoulders. Her body moved closer to him on its own. She rested her face on his shoulder and could smell his heavy man scent as it engulfed her,
He pulled her even closer, moving slower.Enjoying the feel of her body parts pressed to his and feeling his body parts rise to press against her, all conscience thought left her.
His voice was soft and sultry as he whispered in her ear.“Jade?”
“Hmm.” She enjoyed the shiver that went down her back. “Yes.”
“Your perfume, what is it?”
Reality slowly returned. “What? Oh!” She lifted her head off his chest and tried to laugh off her embarrassment. “My perfume. Yes, umm, it’s, uh… Oh! It’s Angel, from Victoria’s Secret. Kelley gave it to me for my birthday last year.”
He nodded and sniffed again. “Mmm. It smells fantastic on you.”
The song stopped and the clapping began, but Mike didn’t release her.
She smiled and looked around. “Well, I guess we’re even now.”
“Uh, Mike, the music has stopped.”
“Has it? I didn’t notice.”
She laughed nervously. “Umm, thanks for saving me from Isaiah and, uh, it was nice meeting you...again.” She stepped out of his embrace.
“At your service, Jade Dupree.”
He gave her a slight bow and chuckled as she hurried off before he could say another word.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dana Littlejohn was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, but she has called Indianapolis, In. her home for over 10 years. Since childhood she loved to write and it showed in contest winning poetry and writing short stories to entertain her friends. To date she has published three full length romance novels, three novellas and four short stories and will participate in two anthologies. Stop by her website’s and see what’s happening next with her.
Behind the Wings by Dana Littlejohn
Printed: 230 pages, 6" x 9",
perfect binding, black & white interior ink
$14.13 from Lulu.com
Purchase Behind the Wings by Dana Littlejohn HERE!!