In episode #14, after an interesting rendezvous with Kenneth, Carter went to bed alone, only to be awakened with a phone call from her fighting parents. As if dealing with them wasn’t enough, an angry Vince appeared, ready to fight over Carter’s sexy moves with Kenneth.
In this episode, Kenneth’s wife is in for a rude awakening when she visits F.A.C.E., and Carter finds herself thinking about Vince, Kenneth, and a woman whose fidelity she must test.
Cynthia and I arrived at F.A.C.E. at the same time. As we walked toward the front entrance, her eyes never left me. I knew I looked good. My red skirt suit hugged all the curves God had blessed me with, and my plaid Blahnik pumps gave my smooth legs much definition. I had spiral curled my hair so that soft ringlets framed my round face and bounced off my shoulders. Though I surely didn’t feel like a million bucks, I knew I at least looked like a million-five.
I scanned my palm and opened the door for Cynthia.
“You look different,” was Cynthia’s hello to me. She examined me from the tips of my shoes to the last curly strand of my brownish-red hair. Her face was scrunched up, so I wasn’t sure if she approved or hated my look.
“Good morning,” I said, “and thank you, I think.”
She huffed a bit and strode into the building.
Suzie looked up and a smile spread across her face.
“Good morning,” she said. “Vince is ready for you two.”
Cynthia put a little pop to her hips and sashayed her way down the hall.
“Lovely, isn’t she?” I asked. “Just want to ball her up and toss her into the nearest lake.”
Suzie giggled. “Be nice. Besides, you are looking too good today to let her ruin it.”
I laughed. “So true. Well, let me get down here.”
Suzie grabbed my arm and said, “Wait. I want to forewarn you.”
“Yeah, um, Vince is not a happy camper today.”
“Okay,” I said, dragging out the ‘ay’.
“Rico said you played naughty girl with…” Suzie tilted her head in Cynthia’s direction, “…her husband, and this morning, Vince came in here, eyes red. He was pretty despondent.”
I sighed. “Thanks for the heads up,” I said. “Let me go face the music.”
I started down the hall, and I told myself that I would push all my anger and sadness down into my Blahniks and try to recapture the joy I used to feel from being in this building, from being close to my best friend. I didn’t like to hear about Vince being anything but happy and optimistic.
I walked into Vince’s office, and found Vince sitting behind his desk and Cynthia resting her ass on the corner of his desk, her legs crossed in his direction, and a huge smile on her face. She threw her head back and laughed, the sound high and light. She touched his shoulder. I saw him flinch, but when he looked in my direction, he smiled at Cynthia and offered a chuckle.
Something was funny. Good for them, I thought.
“Good morning, Vince,” I said in my happy to be here voice.
“Carter,” he responded dryly.
Cynthia turned to me and raised an eyebrow. The smirk told me she was pleased at Vince’s slight rebuffing of me.
I took a seat facing Vince, and Cynthia sat beside me.
“So what news do you have for me, Vince?” Cynthia asked. Her voice fell an octave. It was darker, sexier.
“We’re going to have to close this investigation,” Vince answered. He placed his hands on the desk and leaned forward. “We have not found any evidence that your husband is cheating on you.” He looked at me, briefly. He eyes flashed in anger.
Cynthia sat up straight. “That can’t be possible,” she said. “I know in my gut that something’s not right.” She looked at me. “What’s wrong with you? Why hasn’t he tried anything with you?”
My face felt hot. I wasn’t sure if it was from embarrassment or anger. Vince’s face was getting stonier by the second, and Cynthia was talking to me like I was some new, naïve hooker-in-training.
“Excuse me?” I asked.
“Isn’t that what I paid for?” she yelled. “For you to seduce my husband?”
I stood and pointed directly into Cynthia’s face. “No, bi—,” I said, catching myself. “You paid for us to investigate your husband.”
Cynthia looked at Vince and asked, “You’re going to let her talk to me like this, Vince?”
I threw a hand on my hip and looked at Vince like, I wish you would try to jump in this right now. He eyed me and said nothing.
“Tell me, Mrs. Stevenson,” I said, “are you so worried about your husband because you want to take the spotlight off of your own affair?”
“What?” she said.
I lifted my open hand to Vince, and he placed a large brown envelope in it.
I opened the envelope and peered inside. I then handed it to Cynthia.
I watched her face as her expression went from anger to surprise. I knew she was looking at the pictures I had taken at the bookstore. When her expression moved to embarrassment, I knew she was viewing the pictures Rico took as he tailed her and her friend. The kisses were more passionate. The sexual need, obvious.
“You investigated me?” Cynthia asked, seething.
I shrugged. “By accident,” I answered. “Funny, the things you see in a bookstore when all you wanted was a book.”
“Does Kenneth know?”
“No, but he should.”
“Are you going to tell him?” she asked.
Both Cynthia and Vince gave me their undivided attention.
“I really think that you should be the one to tell him,” I answered. “Having said that, if you don’t, I will.”
I sat back down before adding, “Just answer me this, did you lie about everything? I mean the initial recording of you. The dossier. Was it all a lie?”
Cynthia laughed and caught me totally off guard. There was no part of this that was funny.
“Mrs. Stevenson,” Vince said, “is this some kind of game to you?”
Cynthia stood. “Game,” she repeated. “Interesting word.”
With that, she walked out the office and left Vince and I staring at one another.
“What the fuck was that?” I asked.
“I have no idea,” Vince answered.
We sat for a while in total silence, trying to absorb what had just happened.
Vince was the first to speak after the silence, “You look good today.”
I offered a small smile. “Thank you.”
We looked at one another and simultaneously said, “I’m sorry.”
Vince came around his desk and pulled me from my chair.
“No, I’m sorry,” he said. He stroked my cheek, and I swallowed hard. “I’ve been a stupid ass toward you, and the shit has to stop.”
I threw my arms around Vince and hugged him tight to me; he did the same. I smiled against his chest. It felt like heaven to be this close to him.
“I’ve missed you so much,” he whispered into my ear, causing me to shiver.
“Me, too,” I barely squeaked out.
He cupped my face and placed a moist kiss on my forehead, then a small one on my lips.
“Can we just forget all this shit for at least an hour or two and go to lunch together?” he asked.
At that moment, with his green eyes shining on me and my arms securely around his waist and his fingers playing in my hair, I would have said yes to just about anything he asked.
“Yes,” I said in a breathless voice.
“Good.” Vince slipped his hands to my back and squeezed me tight. A slight moan escaped me. “I’m starving,” he added.
I was, too, but I wasn’t sure if food could curb my hunger. In just a hug, a look, and a kiss, Vince had me dazed and confused all over again, but I would rein all those feelings in. We were trying to reconnect, and I wouldn’t let my romantic notions spoil that for anything.
Pink pajamas with red hearts on them? Check. Fuzzy red socks? Double check. Medium pizza with sausage and mushrooms, and a cola? Triple check. I was in bed with my laptop when Rico called and said, “You mad at me?”
I laughed. “For what?” I responded. I logged into BmoreFriends as HotGyrrl4U. I had already logged on earlier and posted a profile, complete with picture.
“For telling Vince about you and Kenneth?” Rico said. “I’m sorry, mama.”
I had four BmoreFriends’ e-mails. I minimized the screen before answering Rico.
“You did what you had to do,” I replied. “I will admit that I’m glad I didn’t see you earlier.”
“You know I did it because I was worried about you, right?”
“I know, but there’s no need to be, Rico. I’m not going to mess up.”
“Carter, mi camarada, it doesn’t matter what you think you’re going or not going to do. You’re one of my best friends, okay? I look out for you. You look out for me. We look out for Vince. He does the same for us. This is how it goes, right?”
“Yes,” I answered.
“Well, then let me worry, vale?”
“So,” Rico said. He paused, and I could literally hear him thinking. I laughed.
“You want to know if I’m going to see him again, aren’t you?” I asked.
“Well, are you?”
“I’m not going to approach him,” I answered, “but if he calls me, I will. Of course, that means I will have to tell him the truth, too. But this could all be besides the point because he hasn’t called me today. Surprise, surprise.”
“How you know?”
“He will. What does Vince think of you seeing Kenneth?”
At lunch, I had told Vince my intentions toward Kenneth. I liked Kenneth. I mean, what was there not to like? He was very attractive. He had a great job. He was a helluva kisser. He knew how to take command. I smiled as I thought about me telling him where to kiss my neck. Mmm. There was nothing like a man that didn’t feel emasculated because I took the lead.
“Um,” I said, trying to pull my thought process away from the sexually murky waters of my mind. “He didn’t really say much. He wasn’t angry, but he wasn’t happy either. It’s not like he jumped up and told me that he loved me or anything, you know?”
“But he does.”
“Yeah, to hear you and the gang tell it. I ain’t hear it yet from his mouth. And if he’s not interested, there shouldn’t be anything wrong with me seeing someone, correct?”
“Just be careful, Carter.”
“I will be.”
“You still don’t know a lot about this guy. Take things slow.”
I chuckled. “Thanks for the lecture, Dad. Look, I gotta go. I’m online about to find a client’s girlfriend.”
“Oh, so you get to be a lesbian tonight?”
“Si, mi sexy amante.” I blew kisses into the phone.
“You tripping,” Rico said, laughing. “Go find your Miss Right.”
“Oh, who’s tripping now. Be gone, boy. Tell Daria I said what’s up.”
“Te amo, loca.”
“Love you, too, crazy.”
I hung up, then clicked on the mail icon. There were two messages from Francine, or NotaDumbBlonde1982.
The first e-mail:
Subject: Saw your profile
Hey. U r really a hot gyrrl. 😀 Corny, I know. Ur profile said ur relationship status was ‘lookin’.’ What ya lookin’ 4? Check out my profile when u get a chance. I hope 2 c u in the chat.
Subject: Im online now
Im usually online in the evenings. In fact, Im on right now. Cum say hi if u get online!
The other two e-mails welcomed me to BmoreFriends and wished me a fun journey on my way to friendships and hopefully – crossing fingers – LOVE.
As soon as I logged into the chat room, a private message popped up from Francine, asking, Wanna chat in my private room?
I typed back yes and allowed Francine to take me back to her cyber lair.
Francine wasn’t the first lesbian I had to investigate, but she was the quickest to respond, which suggested that she probably was up to some things her boyfriend should know about.
After only an hour, she had told me she was single, that she was a college student, and that she wanted to meet me…just to say hi. I agreed to meet her the following night at The Book Bin. I figured I’d get some good coffee while she hit on me, and then I’d be done with the assignment.
At the end of our chat, Francine wanted to cyber sex me, and I conveniently had a friend in tears standing on my doorstep. She pouted but said that maybe we could do it later, after we got to know one another. I saved the chat and the e-mails on my laptop, a disk, and a key before I e-mailed it to myself. I was a worry wart when it came to electronic information.
I shut down my laptop and turned off the lights. I read the clock. 11:00. Early for me, but I probably needed a few more hours of sleep after all the craziness in my world. I laid in bed, breathing and looking up into the darkness of my room.
I had the urge to call Kenneth. I still had his card. I wouldn’t call the house, but I had his cell number. I hadn’t heard from him, and I wanted to know if he enjoyed last night. If he enjoyed me. He looked like he was enjoying me quite well. It sure as hell felt like he was enjoying me. If he was, then why no call aside from the fact that he was married? Absolutely none.
This obviously meant that last night was a fluke. I wouldn’t call. I wouldn’t subject myself to a married man blowing me off. My somewhat bruised, but intact ego could only take but so much.
I turned over on my side, fluffed my pillows and tried to go to sleep. I resigned to the fact that Kenneth wouldn’t call me, I wouldn’t call him, and the next day I needed to just throw away his business card. By the time I actually fell asleep, I reconsidered. I’d give him one more day. Maybe he had something important to do today. Yeah, I know. I’m pathetic.