Damn... there she is after fifteen years, still, even button-upped, a living breathing wet dream in the flesh.
Feeling breath on her neck, Crea Flournoy turned to find James inching behind her. It had been years since she saw him but it was definitely James Broadnax, her first lover and love. Backing up, she nearly stumbled but he caught her, pulling her up the step. Lightheaded, she balanced herself, snatching away.
“You’re on steps, and that concrete has no give.” He said in that lazy voice she once lived to hear. Unable to say anything, she felt as if caught in a time warp. Her belly churned with the anxiety of seeing him, the taste of bile on her tongue. Crea stared, more than fifteen years had passed but he looked mostly the same: tall, broad, with massive shoulders, slightly bowed legs causing him to stand almost awkwardly. But, those same legs had not hindered him from being a basketball phenom in high school and the one year he tried college but college wasn't his thing. He was dressed in baggy sweats, a t-shirt and denim jacket, gazing at her with fierce intensity. Jet black eyes beneath his heavy but perfect brows had always been startling.
Watching her pull her sweater closer, he sensed Crea wanted to flee. Crea moved slightly, arranging her features. Her face was calm but her eyes weren’t.
“You look good, real good.” James said. “Like you saw a ghost but I’m real.” Moving a step down, James was closer to Crea, so close, the scent of coconut oil wafted from her hair.
“I been here about six months. I hear you’re doing great things. I thought about you often. You’re thirty-two and already a principal, that’s what’s up. I’m actually doing legitimate work. My sister opened a fresh food place and I’m running it.”
James continued, his eyes never wavering from her, drinking her in, trying to feel her energy. The energy that fed him from afar for years. Watching her pull the sweater even closer, he bounced a bit on his toes, releasing energy.
“That’s nice. That store changed the neighborhood. I hear it’s doing extremely well.” Crea said, her voice sounding strange to her own ears.
Backing up a bit, she clenched and unclenched her fingers, fighting the craving to touch him.
She knew what Janice Broadnax was doing and applauded it but she and his sister lived in different worlds. She had no idea James was back, however. The last time she saw him was on the news wearing an orange jumpsuit. He had been found guilty of fraud and money laundering and received a twenty-five-year sentence as the mastermind. Mastermind was true, James had one of the finest minds she knew. He used his mind for things outside the law. She never thought of him as a criminal, just the man who filled her soul before being snatched away. She also knew it was mostly his uncle’s business. The uncle James felt saved him.
“You should roll through. You’re clearly on your fitness. You’re not as thick as you once were but everything is right.”
His eyes lazily roved over her from head to toe. Crea was wearing a knee-length mocha colored dress with a sweater and her legs were bare. A tall woman she was heavier and curvier years ago. She was leaner and firmer with more defined curves. She also no longer had a yard of hair resting on her backside.
To those she came in contact with, she was reserved. But James knew of the rebel and passionate girl-woman she had been when they were lovers and racing through the countryside on his motorcycle. The same girl who read the classics and whose brain was like a computer but crawled over him like a tigress with passion, clawing up his skin. Blinking, he tried forcing away the visuals.
“What are you doing here at the recreation center anyway. This ain’t you...”
“You don’t know who or what I am.” Crea snapped. “I’m a principal and wherever my kids are, I’m there. Excuse me.” Turning, she walked down the steps, making her way across the street.
James watched her, a smile on his face.
That ass ain’t lost nothing.
Grinning, he walked inside the recreation center to work with the kids he was coaching. Crea had been on his mind since he walked out the doors of the prison, leaving that life behind him.