Stroked Eagle

Chapters 1 & 2

WARNING!!!

If you haven’t read The Capital Trilogy and plan to, then do not proceed with this page. You may regret it!!!

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Chapter One | Eric:

MAN OF STYLE

The foggy mirror hid the reflection of my trim and defined physique. Dressed in nothing but a towel, a tight knot rested against my hip with a cascading split, allowing one of my toned thighs to peek out from underneath. Endless days at the gym had paid off, because admittedly, I’d let myself go. Instead of putting on weight, my trim body simply lacked definition. In the last year, I decided to work out my issues in the gym after moving across seas for some time. 

The move to Tokyo did me some good. Establishing internationalconnections and meeting new investors propelled me to the next step: owning my own real estate investment company. Cutting ties from my father and avoiding investing with my own private funds gave me the second chance that I needed. Power may not have been visible, but it sure felt tangible in the clutches of my fists. While it felt good to be home, nothing past a set of purposely placed bricks to form the highrise that housed my belongings reinforced that sensation. Nothing or no one. Regardless, nothing topped domestic living. So, to meet the condition of needing to return to America in order to receive the funds, I packed up and left to come back home to Tysons Corner, Virginia. The place where I. Am. A. Business. King.

It’d been a wild weekend. Hung out with a few hot brunettes—my favorite—played a little bit of pool, and gambled on some slots in Maryland at the MGM. I’d lost $25,000 dollars in a high-stakes game of poker against some slick Asians. The consolation price was sneaking off with two of their women upstairs into a suite with some champagne. My body felt spent after burning through a roll of condoms. It reminded me of my wild nights in Tokyo. Any other dick face would be scared of this much sex, but with timely and responsible visits to the doctor, my health was in the clear. 

Now that the mirror cleared up after leaving the door ajar for a few minutes, I reached for my shaving kit and cream to clean up my face. Rarely growing a five o’clock shadow, the slight presence of it proved that my weekend must’ve been full of activity. And here it was, Monday morning, with no real energy or willpower on my side. There was nothing I could do but head on into work; I had a company to run.

Each hair that my razor snagged from my face felt like a pluck to each sin committed this weekend. Tapping the razor against the side of my vessel sink, I reached for my small towel to pat my face clean and then applied some aftershave to the sides of my chiseled face. And just like that, each memory of all my high-roller deeds that took place from Friday night to Sunday night floated down the drain with the tiny hairs on the boats of foam. 

Gone. Clean. Anew.

Undeniably, I was a good-looking man. When a handsome man had money on his side, the world sat at his fingertips. But when a handsome man had money and a company on his side, the world no longer sufficed. Sadly, that’d become my problem, living without limits. The more I gained, the more I wanted. It was like eating on a stomach at a buffet that never got full. The fact that a problem existed wasn’t lost on me. Unfortunately, when good stuff keeps coming your way, it becomes hard to look the other way. 

Slowly, my mind and body began to accept that climbing into bed wasn’t an option, and I was okay with getting this day started. Feeling completely dry, I snatched the towel from my hip and stood naked in Nike flip-flops, hanging the towel on the hook on the back of the bathroom door. Giving myself one last look with a prideful grin, I turned away from the mirror and peeked over my shoulder at the big bald eagle tattoo on my left shoulder blade. This tattoo drove the women wild since it was the focal point on my body aside from my dick, because it was just enough decoration to complement my body. However, that didn’t stop me from considering another tattoo. Maybe because I worked in corporate America, subconsciously I played it safe even though my body remained hidden under a three-piece suit. 

Flicking the bathroom light off, I entered my oversized bedroom and headed toward the walk-in closet. One of my favorite rooms in the condo, this closet had status written all over it. Over three hundred pairs of dress shoes presented neatly against the walls fashioned in many styles: derby, monk straps, oxfords, loafers, dress boots, chukka boots, Chelsea boots—you name, I had it. Originally, this room used to be another bedroom, but I paid to have it knocked down, because the standard closet was a joke for a man of my status. 

Many suits hung with tags, making every morning like a shopping adventure with a rush that never got old. This made waking up fun. Preplanning what to wear the night before was a poor person’s problem, or someone who thrived on planning.

“Alexa, what’s the weather like in Tysons Corner, Virginia today?”

Alexa was the only woman who earned a permanent residency in my room. After she told me that the weather would bring bright skies with a temperature of eighty degrees, I went to the spring and summer section of my suits and after about five minutes of consideration, I settled on a Tomorrowland suit paired with a Thom Browne tie, tie bar, and pocket square. Black Oxfords and a Cartier watch topped off the look of the day. Every now and then I’d trade off my Victorinox for one of my Cartier watches. 

Fresh and ready to go, I kissed my housekeeper, Fiona, goodbye, as a sign of appreciation for having my food to-go. Upon my return to the United States, I made sure to hire a woman that couldn’t turn me on, even on my most drunken nights. So, when she showed up to interview clearly weighing over my deal breaker and about twenty years older than my preferred age, it became clear I had to have her. Besides, she came with over twenty-eight years of experience. Whoever was chosen had to be a great cook with an eagle eye for the smallest amount of dust. After she passed her one-month probation period with flying colors, I bumped her pay up as promised so that she could make it our here with a $75,000 salary. 

Fiona had a home outside of mine, but unless she was dismissed, which was usually two days a week for about twelve hours max, she needed to return here. At the least, Fiona was to never leave me to cook for myself. I had no talent or desire to cook. 

My biggest requirement was that there couldn’t be any detection of judgment or resistance from Fiona whenever she witnessed the way I lived. She also knew that if she could determine that I was having sex, she’d have to stop whatever she was doing and head to her room until summoned. 

Thanking her for breakfast, the only thing I decided to accept from her was a quick swig of the half glass of orange juice and the croissant placed beside the plain scrambled eggs. Chewing as I walked toward the parking garage, I hopped inside my Tesla, and headed down the street to my building, so that I could enjoy another successful day.

 

Chapter Two | Arabella:

ALMOST A WOMAN

Standing from the front desk, I called out, “Gene, I'm going on break now.”

“Okay, hon,” my boss called from the back room. 

Quickly swooping up my purse strap, it eased into my fingers from the countertop and onto my shoulder. I wanted that taco salad for lunch like I wanted the Latin fox behind the counter. Both had been on my mind all day. Problem was, aside from a hesitant stare and constipated smile, my personality wouldn’t allow me to do anything about it.

Stepping outside and onto the pavement, the summer sun lasered my skin and immediately, I shielded my face with a saluted hand. In less than thirty steps, the doors to my favorite Mexican eatery, Pachuca, stood before me. 

With every visit, my nose anticipated the same promising smell: fresh lettuce, hot beans, and cilantro. Someone would always scream out, “Pachuca time!” from behind the counter. I could always bet on there being a long line ahead of me.

Before transitioning into a regular, it was second nature to look up at the board to refresh my memory of the menu. Until one day, I decided to stop pretending to be adventurous and claim my daily desire: the taco salad. The bonus of it all was being able to use the time in line to steal furtive glances at my future boyfriend. It was a matter of me willing him into my life. Well, wasn’t that the new phenomenon?

But it mattered that this one guy in particular knew my order. It had to be the hot guy with thick pink lips, the nose like a bull—masculine and angry but without the flare of the big nostrils—and dark eyes that dared to look wherever they pleased only with blazing intensity. That stare that bullied mine away. Besides, the reason to believe he could be into me didn't hold any existence. There was no way I would expand my hopes to such heights. 

“Your usual? Taco salad, honey?” The same tall guy, lanky but friendly, would invariably start my meal off. Swiping his visor to the side, he waited for confirmation. Giving him a quick, shy smile and a nod, he got to work with the foundation of my meal. He then passed it to my cutie pie standing shorter and stockier at the shoulders. 

A slow grin slipped across his face. A large, rugged hand lay on each item as he maintained eye contact. Moving the ingredients into the shell, he said, “White queso, cilantro, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole.” He froze. “Chips?”

Mmmph. And the delicious way he said the items with a caress of correct Spanish enunciation. Reluctantly, I agreed. “Yeah.” Smiling back at him seemed involuntary. 

Once he bundled my order, he pushed it to the female working the register. “Drink?” she asked. Disappointed at the change in service, I nodded. She handed me a cup. “Eleven fifty-five.” 

Reaching for my debit, the truth nagged at me once more, that if I owned any willpower to forego the white cheese, the price would decrease by seventy-five cents. After the transaction and a stop at the fountain machine, I headed back to work and into the tiny workroom to devour my salad with a good book. 

“Whatcha got there?” 

With no need to turn to identify the person behind the voice, since the accent was distinct, clearly it had to be my one and only co-worker/friend.

Popping up beside me, Sammie bent over the table with one arm supporting her generous-sized frame as she peered at me with her blue eyes, waiting for an answer. 

“Hey, there, blondie. Just got my usual taco sa—”

“No, no you, dumb twat. I see that. It's the same cruddy thing you order every damn day. I'm talking about the book. It looks good, actually.” I was used to her tongue. She was from the U.K. and because of her accent, everything that fell out of her mouth, even the bad, always sounded good or at least harmless. She lifted a few pages with a chubby hand to see the front cover. 

“Oh. It's Chris Genovese,” I answered.

“Mmmm. Ya’ naughty now?”

“Welllllll. I think it could teach me what to expect when I finally decide to get some action.”

Sammie took a seat beside me. “Are you mad? You don't need a stupid book or anything. If the man is good, the woman falls in line.” Her hand cut the air. “Automatically.”

With a chip resting at my lips, my mind scrambled for words. Putting the chip back into the bag, I told her gently, “Well, first of all, the book isn't dumb . . .”

“Not saying it was. I mean any book! Or movies, too, for that matter.” She grabbed my arm. Sammie’s eyes awakened at her admittance. “Well, wait. I do love porn. Ohhh, yes.” Drifting off with a grin, she more so narrated her interest than explained it to me. “Yes. I like it when the man and woman act like they accidentally and innocently fell into the sexy situation. And then the man bangs her out. Better yet,” her level of animation increased, “I like it when something forbidden is going on, like there's a husband and the man sexing her is the gardener.” If she bit into her lower lip any harder, it would’ve bled. I lost her to the trance that must’ve been plastered against the wall. “Yeah.” 

Scared, I clutched the book against my chest while my other hand gripped the drink. Noticing that she damaged my inner child, Sammie came back to Earth with an, “Oh.” The grin on her face expanded more than I thought possible. “Whew.” She fanned her red face. “I need to get laid and fast. My fingers are just about arthritic from the uproar of masturbation this week.” 

I couldn't seem to control the widening of my eyes at the excessive information. By now, there should be minimal surprise, but the ideal of one being so free with his or her sexual expression took a lot of getting used to. 

I grew up in a conservative household. Even if we hadn’t gone to church, nothing had ever hinted that my mom would’ve been any less restrictive. She'd always been a private and reserved person. Though divorced now, even my daddy and three older brothers used to hurl attempts at her to be less rigid, but to no avail. And I guess being the only other female in the house—after a certain point—it just rubbed off on me. 

Still, Sammie’s judgment of me became long past tiresome, but she was right. I needed to be out on my own instead of living at home with my mom at the age of twenty-seven. Each of my brothers moved out the minute they turned eighteen. Dad left my mom a year before I graduated from college. My mom had been on her own for five years now. And, still, to this day, no date. 

“You think I should give Rick a call? Maybe I should be nice to him.”

“And what did he do, again?”

“I told you. Remember he forgot my birthday?”

In disbelief, my grip snapped, and the book fell back against the table. “Sammie. You only told him the week of.”

“But it hurt because, we’d been together for two months. Anyway,” her heavy hand plopped on my shoulder, “young lady, please let me take you out and show you what you've been missing. I beg of you.”

My reaction said, “You've got to be kidding me.” To keep her from going off into a tirade, I justified my position with, “Sammie. I don't do that kind of stuff. I don't need to go partying with all that crazy drinking.”

“You're a virgin. You got to get from underneath your mum, honey. Go. Let's live life. You live like you're actually underyour mum.” Giving me the side eye, she slid a brow into an arch and whispered, “Or are you doing your mummy?”

Smacking her shoulder, I said, “Cut it out. Don't be disgusting. I can't afford to live on my own.”

“Honey.” She shrugged. “Come on. I work for my auntie. She pays me just enough to cover the rent. You can move in with me.”

“I . . . I can't do that to my mom.” 

Sammie urged, “Your mum needs to get a life, and it sounds like she’ll barely miss you.” She poked me on the nose. “And you need to get a life.” Standing, she said, “You have no children. You should be having the time of your life, not living behind the novel of erotic sex. You shouldbe living the erotic book.” She gave my back two quick rubs before leaving the workroom. My salad didn't go down as tastefully as it normally did.  

 

Iparked my Civic in the driveway of our townhouse and fumbled for the keys to the door. The minute I stepped in, I shouted, “Mom!”

“Yes!”

“Hey! I'm home!”

“Okay!”

I climbed the stairs of our three-level town home. Mom bought it after the divorce. A place with fresh memories devoid of heartbreak. It stood brand new and untainted by the memory of my dad delivering the blow that he wanted to discover life alone, trot the globe, work through some demons. Sometimes if I closed my eyes and inhaled deeply enough, the fresh paint could still be detected. Taking the last bend of the stairs and landing onto the second floor, I found my mom in the kitchen cutting salad toppings. Brown and thin, she didn't appear a day over fifty-five, but in reality, she was sixty. 

She turned away from the sink to look at me. “Hey. How was your day?” 

“Hi, Mom.” I peeled off the zip-up hoodie, reducing my coverage to a tank top.

“Why are you wearing that in the summer?” Rinsing the head of lettuce, she squinted in confusion.

“I told you.” Each foot slid out the tennis shoes. “It's cold in the front. Gene likes a lot of AC to keep clients from feeling stuffy. Then when I got in my car, I never bothered to take it off, especially since I blast the AC, too.”

Shaking the head before turning off the water, my mom replied, “Oh, okay.”

I asked, “How was work?” 

Never the one to shake the monotone voice, she answered, “Don’t forget to take your shoes in the room with you. Work was work. Government life, it never changes. You?”

Holding the book in my hand, I told her, “The same. Just surrounded by awesome folks.”

“Well, good.” She sliced into the head until it became shredded ribbons. “Want some salad?”

I had to think about that since I’d already eaten that taco salad. “Mmmm, perhaps later. Thanks.”

“No problem.” She sighed as she drizzled the sliced ingredients into her bowl. “Well, all right. It'll be here if you decide to change your mind.” Looking up at me, she asked with a nod of her head, “What's that?”

Just like that, I'd forgotten the book in my hand until my eyes followed her nod. “Oh.” Shoot. I couldn't tell her that social media had turned me on to Chris Genovese. “Uhh. Umm.”

Losing patience, my mom wiggled her fingers at me as she made a grab for it. “Give it here.”

“Oh--”

Checking out the front and then the back, she pushed her mouth to one side as she read the blurb. Flipping it back to the front, finally, she said, “Welcome to E. Mayberry? Mmm, hmm. I knew you were reading something dirty. So that's why that head is always in a book.” Giving it back to me, she resumed her salad preparation. 

Slightly embarrassed, it only felt right to defend myself. “Oh, come on, Mom. I'm twenty-seven. Don’t you think I'm grown enough to read this?”

Without breaking focus, she stirred her salad as she replied, “I know you're not a little kid. But you're not married either. Why do you wanna fill your head up with trash?”

Irritation flushed over my soul. Folding my arms, I replied, “I'm not doing it. I'm just reading it. Besides, you don't even know what the book is about.”

Clearly feeling testy, she dropped her salad-stirring hand beside the bowl to place her gaze at me. “Legs. Gaped legs. A man towering above. Moans and groans. A few thrusts and—BAM! It’s over. What else, Arabella? There ain't no mystery there. See.” She opened her arms to me. “Look at Mommy. I got five children by doing what's in that book.” Her tiny chest heaved a little, telling me that I'd said too much. 

Regardless, she'd hurt me, too. “You didn’t want us?” My face reflected hopelessness. She was a tough dame to please. 

Without hesitation, she answered, “Of course I do. I neverregretted you guys. But it ain't easy.” She turned back to her salad. “Girl, you need to focus on your dragging career. Forget about love.” A frail hand moved to her hip. “Does it look like it lasts forever?”

My eyebrows slid inward, my lips felt dry. A boulder of pain rolled onto my chest. If my own mom doesn’t believe in love, then who does?

“Besides. Think clearly, Arabella. What do you have to bring to the table? And I’m not talking about that untainted vagina, either.” Challenging me, the need to prepare that salad became a low priority on the totem pole. Waiting for my explanation sat at the top. 

What would I tell her? What shouldI tell her? She was right. I had nothing to offer a man but coupons that knocked off twenty percent from his next massage. Sometimes we just had to admit defeat. “Nothing.” Realistically, if my love interest only had that job at Pachuca along with my salary, we didn’t stand a chance in this area.

My mom’s straightened posture indicated validation. She pointed her stirring spoon at me. “Exactly.” Watching her mix the bowl of ingredients with her hand while sprinkling vinaigrette with the other, she continued with her explanation. “All you children of the world are running around here, half complete. No jobs, no education, no motivation, no . . . nothing. Love didn't keep your father around.”

“But neither did y’alls excellent salaries.” Oops. The harsh words just kind of came out.

Mom’s hands dropped abruptly and inside her salad bowl. She peered at me through unforgiving eyes. “You’ll need a good salary regardless, smarty pants. Thank GodI have this good government job. It helped to put your ole big head through college. Do you know what your father left me when we divorced?” Without giving me a chance to respond, she said, “Nothing,” very matter of factly. 

I knew that. My brothers knew it. Many days I watched her escape upstairs to go weep. Deep down, my mom just didn't want me to get hurt. 

“I'm sorry, Mom. Really.” 

Sighing, she disapproved with a shaking head. Both veiny hands picked up the plastic bowl as she exited our gourmet kitchen. “Turn the light off for me, would you?”

Flicking off the switch, I headed to my bedroom with a sense of loneliness burning in my chest. Without the one woman who knew me inside out, I felt alone. I closed the door to my bedroom and headed for my dresser to pick up the framed photo of my sister standing beside me during her college graduation ceremony. Everyone could tell we were sisters. The only difference was her slightly heavier figure, dark brown eyes, and longer hair.

Wearing a huge grin and holding a bouquet of flowers that I’d picked up in the nick of time, she had her whole life ahead of her . . . so we’d assumed. Unfortunately, that was the problem with life. A smile full of promise didn’t guarantee a life full of anything. She and I had matching smiles with optimism beaming through our eyes. One lost her life, and the other didn’t have one.

Wiping the tear away that snuck up on my face, I placed the photo back. She was supposed to still be here. She shouldstill be here. Exhaling as the image of my mom’s strident expression and words looped in my head, I stood there wondering when I was going to be good enough for a man. 

 

Later on that night, I lay in bed with the same erotica book in my hand. Even I had to admit that the sex scenes proved my mom right. Unlike her, I didn't mind. Not one bit. I wanted the action written across the pages. Someone who wanted to ravish me, take me, make me scream and moan. And why not? I was young and attractive. With my hourglass figure and chestnut box-colored hair that swept across my brown biceps, my peers often questioned why the right man hadn't come by my side. As a recluse living at home, all the sense began to fall into place. 

I tossed my hair over my shoulder, wanting to feel that thing below that made everyone go wild. The author’s words had a way of playing with the walls of my core. This book was intense. Taking the plunge, I wanted to know what it really felt like and meant to be a woman after being made to feel like an overgrown kid. 

My fingers slid down, past the navel against my flat mid-section, under the elastic hem of my underwear, and over the hair that housed my womanhood. I squeezed my eyes shut, because closing them meant that I felt relaxed. With a racing heart and a balled-up fist glued beside my outer thigh, I took the explorative hand and jumped a finger into the unchartered territory. Well, I thought I did. I couldn't find it. My finger never made it down far enough to explore the treasures of my sea, because it felt too scary. Yanking my hand above sea level, I rolled over and grabbed my smartphone from the nightstand to call a pro.

“Ohhhh, so now you want to go out, eh?”

I was greeted by a woman of high expectation surrounded by nothing but thumping noise. 

“Where are you?”

“I'm in a club, sweetie. And you're at home, I already know. So I won't be asking you.”

“Yes.” I rolled my eyes. “But I need your help.”

“What?”

“How do I . . . you know?”

“Sweetie, you happened to catch me while having a great time. I only picked up because I was already glancing at my phone in a hallway, but don't push it. I can barely hear anything from your end as it is. So, excuse me if I don't have the time nor patience to decipher your meaning.”

I sighed, not out of irritation but to inhale my collection of nerves. “I’m scared to do the thing that hurts your wrists.”

Laughing, Sammie said, “Ohhh, waaaaait. Service your own engine? This is rich. Youwanna know how to jerk off? Masturbate, huh?”

Running low on patience, I told her, “Yes. So, can you help me or not?”

“Well, you need to let me get some air and privacy. Hang on.” It had to be like a minute of waiting and shuffling laced with random voices in the background before she came back. I was losing my mojo. “I'm back. Nowwwww, what exactly is it that you need me to do for you?”

“I’m too scared. Does the hole hurt?”

“You got that novel with you, huh?”

Taking a second to answer, finally, I answered, “And what does that matter? Yes, I do.”

“Oh, gee, honey. We've really got to find you some live dick. What the grande fuck are you looking at? Yeah! You got a problem you, douche? Yes, I said ‘dick’! Why don't you keep it movin’?”

My eyes bugged. “Girl.”

“Nosy bastards. Okay, let me fire up a cigarette. Hey, you got a smoke?”

“Me?”

“Of course, not you, dummy. How could you pass it to me through the phone?”

“I didn't think it through. Of course . . .” It was a losing battle, one in which I accepted defeat, as usual. 

In a distance, I heard her tell someone, “Thank you.” Sammie continued, “Now.” She exhaled so it must've been a smoking release. “Why there?”

“I once saw a woman on an after-dark movie do herself in front of a man. But her hand was . . . you know . . . down farther. You know, what if a man wants me to do the same? I need help growing up, quickly. Without this book or a movie, how do I turn myself on?”

“Honey, no one can turn you on but yourself, if you like what you feel or see. I can guide you on how you can rub one out.”

Confused, I agreed. “Uhhh, sure.”

“Look at my Arabella, trying to grow up.”

Frowning, my ears perked when she explained. 

“Arabella. Focus. Hang on to that one thought that will take you there. Think of someone who turns you on.”

“I was reading.”

“Well, if the scene does it for you, listen to your body. That'll jump you off.”

“Okay. So, how about the guy from Pachuca?”

“Hon, it can be a clown, a burglar, whatever you want.”

“Got it.” 

“You get into your panties. That is, if you got them on, and I know you do.”

She knew me well.

“You do know your clitoris, right? She’s the queen of the crop, the fairy of your orgasms. But, I heard some people can get off on nipples alone.”

“Sammie. I am wondering about the hole. That scares me. Not my clitoris.”

“I see. Like a breaking and entering kind of thing?”

“You got it.”

“Mmmm, I see. Honey, leave that one to the man. Master the bean first. Your hymen is gonna kill you.”

“The what?”

“The bodyguard, the literal cockblocker.” Sammie broke into a hysteria of laughter. “No, honey. Leave that wall for the taco man.”

 A glimpse of him flashed into my head. I shuddered. “Listen, I gotta go.” I hung up on her and threw the phone to the side. Tonight was the night to deal with my fantasies. Talking with Sammie only made things worse while making me realize that the deeper exploration was not for me. At least not for now.

Rolling back over onto my back, I closed my eyes and exhaled. The man with the nice pink grin and broad shoulders entered my mind. Those hands that were just right for my body rubbed my thighs up and down. He placed succulent kisses from the top of my outer thigh inward, until he nestled between my legs. The kisses were nice and slow. My groin tickled at the image. 

Approaching the hot spot, I felt the hairs under my nails. 

Finding my clitoris, my fingers moved in circles. The guy from Pachuca kissed my inner thighs before wanting to flick at the inside of my folds with his tongue. It felt good, it felt right. It felt like I'd been missing something all my life the minute he looked up at me to see the bottom of my chin below a contorted face. The length of my legs slept on each shoulder and reunited with a hug at the ankles at the base of his neck. Moving to my stomach, the hairs from his chin wiped against my skin with each kiss. 

I'd found that groove, and it included Mr. Pachuca groping my breasts with both hands. Now that the rhythm had taken over, I didn't care about anything. The feeling was too real. This goodness had awoken inside of me, a feeling that made me feel levitation-like, as the nerves gained feeling for the first time. My heart began to race, and any moment I'd expected it to pop. My nostrils labored all the breathing, inside and out, because my mouth tightened when it wasn't twisting. And even with my eyes closed, I could tell the room was spinning. Oh, yeahhhh. Something good was about to pop.

Mr. Pachuca was already in my bed. I'd never felt like this before. 

Pachucaaaa.”

Toes curled, my bare feet twisted around one another, scraping the 250-thread-count sheet up and down as the intensity grew. My other finger played between my teeth, caressed my chin, fingers ran through the sleek strands whipped across the pillow, tugged the corners of my sheets as Mr. Pachuca placed a tight nipple between his teeth. He mumbled in Spanish and smiled mischievously at me with a wink. Sitting up between my legs, he peered down at me, making mental plans of how to make me surrender under his torture as he reached for his belt. As I waited to see what he had to reveal, my body squirmed impatiently, struggling to hold on, waiting for him. My fingers were about to promise me the sensation of being an adult. I was gonna join that club. Watch me. Come tomorrow, no pun intended, Sammie couldn't tease me about anything. 

That familiar tone of manly silk spoke. “You ready?” 

Nodding my virginity away, he took two anxious hands and yanked his pants down in one impatient swoop. 

“Mmmmmmmm,” I cried. My feet raked the sheets so hard I thought the home run had already occurred. 

“Arabella!” 

Not a male voice, but the last female voice I’d wanted to hear of someone way too familiar and authoritative. A piece of hair whipped over an eye as my limbs scrambled in a panic to help me sit up against the headboard. My weak legs barely met at the knees to hide my vagina. Though not naked, my clean hand shielded my cotton-clad breasts from my mom’s harsh stare. 

Leaving the darkness and joining the light, I processed my mom standing at the foot of my bed in horror. Her eyebrows slanted in dismay like hills fit for skiers. Those oval eyes transformed into circles of dismay. And under the assumption that those lips couldn't get any tighter, I stood to be corrected. In fact, they contorted into a messy outline until her teeth protruded past the lower lip. The hands that prepared many meals of mine stood tall and stretched, laced with strained bones, ready to point and judge. 

Clearly, both of our voices stalled in our throats, because neither could talk or scream. Our horror-filled eyes did all the communicating. 

The need to address what just happened came to a head like a pimple ready to pop. “Mom? Why are you here? Why couldn't you knock?” Sometimes whining was inevitable.

A mortified finger motioned at me. “You and that trash.”

“Why didn't you knock?” I insisted. “And it’s not trash, it’s artistic.” She needed to leave. The sooner the better. Her presence left me vulnerable and severely uncomfortable.

Animated arms flung above her head. “Well, excuse me. But I heard some noises and thought I needed to wake you up from a bad dream.”

Face palm. Did she really hear my cries of pleasure? This woman had to go. “Well clearly I'm good.”

She flung a hand at me. “Yeah. A little too good, apparently. I told you that book was trash, and next, you'll be coming home pregnant.” When she marched away, I held my head in humiliation. 

This would've never happened if I had my own place.