Saturday, August 3, 2013


   Book I

   By Shelby Clark


Tess McDaniel fell for Augustus Escobar a long time ago. He was her friend and first love. He helped her through some tough times. But when Augustus started receiving more attention from the ladies, their relationship suffered some turbulence.  So she decided to just focus on her career.

Now the private lawyer for Augustus's father, Tess put a lot of time into her new position, something she noticed was a problem for Augustus. He seemed to want her for himself. Tess knows that the Escobar men are philanderers by nature, but will his past allow her to trust him for another chance?

If so, will their love survive the doubts they share about each other?

            Arriving before Augustus, Tess took the liberty of getting them a booth in the back of the café so no one would spot him. Not soon after she took her seat, he walked in. She observed his tall six-foot-three stature as he came toward her. He looked as if he was moving in slow motion—there was enough time for her to take in his image from head to toe. His hair was a true black interrupted only by the streaks of blonde highlighted sideburns combed backwards. They complimented his dark eyebrows and eyelashes.

            Tess couldn’t help but notice his excellent muscular physique, every woman that passed by did. The silk black shirt he had on offered no mercy on the spectator. Her jaw dropped. She felt herself panting like an animal in heat longing for her mate. Within seconds, she grabbed the complimentary glass of water and tried to pull herself together, swallowing deep and hard by the time he reached the booth.
            Come on, girl, what’s the matter with you? Get a grip on yourself! It ain’t anybody. It’s just August. He’s like a brother. Get your hormones under control! Yeah, under control, I got it.
            “Tess, I was right behind you, but someone took my parking space so I had to look for another,” he called out to her as he passed by the other tables until he reached their booth. “Thanks for coming. I thought you weren’t going to show up.”

            “Hm, so what was so important that we had to meet here? We haven’t come here in years. Come on, August, you know I’m busy. Your father needs me now more than ever.”
            “I know it’s been years, yet you remembered the spot. Anyway, there’s something I wanted to know.”
            “What do you want to know?”
           “Tess, we grew up together. My family took your family in.”
            “Hey, I know that! What’re you doing? I know where I come from.”
            Augustus grabbed her hands again to try and calm her down.
            “Wait. That’s not what I meant to say. Let me start over.”
            “Yes, start over. I don’t need you to check me! What’s your problem?”
            Tess, for the second time, pulled her hands from his.
            “Why can’t I hold your hands or touch you? I know you work for my father and the company, but has it come to this? We can no longer be friends or as close as we were?”
            It’s not that, August. It’s just, every time you touch me something happens to me. I suddenly feel horny, and it’s not right because I see you as my brother.
            Augustus stroked his hands over his hair. He fell back into his chair while he gave Tess a long stare.
            “Just tell me the truth. Is something going on? Are you seeing him?”

            Tess picked up her spoon and began pointing it at him as she scolded. “What? Seeing who? Look! I know you’re not trying to get into my personal life and running background checks on whomever I choose to see!”
            “Excuse me, Tess, but yes, I will. If I have to, yes, I will investigate, and especially if your affair concerns me. I’ll stick my nose into your business.”

            “No, I don’t think so, buddy. If anything, you need to check some of those skanks you’ve been running around town with. That’s why we’re in the back now.”
            August’s voice went deep as he slammed his fist on the table. “Don’t you think you’re being inconsiderate to this family? You’re making yourself look like a gold digger! At least those women mean nothing to me, but you… you, Tess!”

She stood up and grabbed her pocketbook. “Look, I had a long day, I haven’t had time to change, I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit here and allow you to accuse me of or cross examine me for something I have no clue of!”
            He jumped up to block her path. “No! Sit.”
            “Move, August!”
            “Sit. Please! I like when you call me August. Hold on for a minute first, hear me out. You know how I am.”
            “Yes, I do! You’re hot headed and quick to react.”
            “See. You do know me and I thought I knew you, but I guess I don’t. I don’t understand.”
            They both sat back down.

            “Understand what? How am I supposed to know what’s going on in your head. Will you just say what’s really on your mind?”

            They paused and just stared at each other. Tess felt butterflies in her stomach when she dropped her gaze to his lips, then to the exposed collar bone that introduced his broad shoulders and chest. She tightened her grip on her pocketbook in hopes of gaining control over her hormones. They were getting the best of her. She quickly bowed her head and put her hand over her face.

            Damn, he looks so hot. What is the matter with me? Stop it Tess! Get your mind right.  See, it’s that damn Escobar charm. I can’t let him know, besides he’s a player. He wouldn’t want me. Like he said, we grew up together. He doesn’t see me like that.
            “What happened? What’s wrong? Why did you drop your head like that?” Augustus responded as he caressed her arm above her elbow.
            “Nothing! I must have an eyelash in my eye, but I’m okay.”
            As soon as Augustus touched her, her attention went straight to the contact between her arm and his hand. 
            “Do you want me to look into your eye? I can see if I there’s a lash or anything?”
            “Hell no!”
            I can’t let him get that close!
            “What! Oh, OK, I’m sorry for asking. I was just trying to help.”
            “Hm. Sorry, I mean…I was just saying… I don’t want one of your lady friends to catch you all up in my face. You know, I don’t want to have to slap a lawsuit on anyone.”

            August started laughing and smiling hard, showing all his pearly whites.
“If I didn’t know any better, I would say someone sounds jealous.”
            “Yeah, jealous!”
            Tess threw one hand on her hip and used her index finger from the other to spell each word with attitude.
            “Pssh! August, please! Don’t fool yourself, why in the world would I be jealous, and for what?”
            “You...What about you?”
            “You’re jealous of the other women.”
            “Since you have all the answers, why is that then?”
            Still smiling as he grabbed hold of her hand once more, August replied. “Because you want me too.”
            Tess got to her feet as she snatched her hand back.
            “Maybe when I was younger, which was a long time ago, but not now. I’ve grown up and moved on.”
            Augustus looked at Tess with slanted eyes and a smirk on his face. “Yes, even now!”
            “You know what? All these crazy women around here have made your head swell to the point where you’ve become delirious. First and foremost, I’m not jealous at all.”
“So, you’re going to give me the count down like you always do?”
“Hell yeah! Second, you’ve wasted my time. I need to get dressed for your father’s retirement party tonight.”
“Are you done yet?”
“No! And last, but not in any way least, I have a man and he keeps me very, very happy, if you know what I mean.”
            August stood up sharply. His stature towered over hers. He looked down, his gaze distant. His jaw was tight. “Who is he? Just tell me, Tess. Do I know him?”
            “It doesn’t matter anyway. We’re not kids anymore and we’ve grown apart as friends. Nevertheless, my personal life is none of your concern. See you tonight, August,” Tess stated before walking away.
            Hm, who appears to be jealous now?
            “Wait, Tess, I’m not through talking to you!”
She walked out of the café without responding to Augustus.

No comments:

Post a Comment