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“You can’t just close your eyes and pretend I’m not here.” —Angrous
Naomi Jenkins’ parents warned her to be careful with what she asked for. Craving love and a dire need to be admired, she’d embarked upon the pressure of being utterly exalted. Angrous DuPont was a rarity she’d consistently dreamt of. Now that he was present and eager to love her, accepting everything that came with him was an ongoing battle she struggled to accede.
It was true that Angrous dabbled in more chaos than she was used to, however, nothing withheld as much importance to him than Naomi’s role in his life. Although he was desperate to do whatever it took to hold onto the woman he loves, her relentless actions to push him away could turn him cold, leaving him defeated. Will Naomi catch onto her self-sabotaging ways in fair time to right her wrongs? Or will she wind up losing the man she prayed for?
Sneak Peek — Naomi
“You can’t just close your eyes and pretend I’m not here,” Angrous said. His deep, sensual baritone was music to my ears, same as his moans were whenever we made love. I sighed pleasurably at the recollection. God, I loved pleasing moans out of that man. And he was right, I failed at pretending he wasn’t standing directly in front of me, asking to come inside of our apartment. I still saw him whenever I closed my eyes. For God’s sake, I could sense his favorite cologne when he was away. His medium-brown skin was worth obsessing over and I loved when he inevitably hovered over me. His height of 6’3 initially intimidated me when he’d approached me at a local RaceTrac over a year ago. Merely one date in, it began to excite me.
“Angrous, it’s three in the morning. I’m tired,” I’d managed to fight the urge to leap in his arms and be carried to our bedroom to make-up in the most thrilling way we knew. My self-control was seeping by the second. How did he look this good in a plain, black T-shirt and jeans with a diamond encrusted chain around his neck and the cleanest white Jordan’s on his feet? He was indescribably fine. He was all that! Angrous was my greatest drug with side effects both charming and terrifying.
“I’m tired too, Nae,” he moved me aside and barged in. Frustration may have been etched upon his face, but he remained gentle with me. He was always so gentle with me despite my harsh words and unforgivably selfish actions. “Tired of being put out like I don’t front the bills here. Tired of my feelings being disregarded like you’re the only one between us with any. Since you want to talk about being tired, Nae, I’m fucking tired of complaining like a bitch about some bullshit you refuse to change. The same illogical bullshit that you force yourself to believe.”
As he ranted, he’d backed me into a wall. Angrous had learned my tactics well. He loathed my need to escape confrontation –much-needed communication. His brown eyes were sad, and I wasn’t proud of being the reason behind it. Dropping his head, he shook it vigorously and huffed.
“Nothing is ever going to be good enough for you.” He’d mumbled it, but I heard him loud and clear. My eyes watered and my chest ached at the thought of losing him. At the thought of him giving up on me. Regardless of how much I wanted to trust him, it was so hard that it seemed unattainable. I’d given my all to someone before, only to be let down and betrayed. The ideal of loving him was so hard. Angrous hardly cared that I felt that way. Beyond my fears, he undeniably wanted to love me.
“A year. Four months. Twelve days.” he scoffed. “A nigga barely remembers his mother’s birthday, but I don’t forget shit that has to do with you.”
“Angrous,” I whined, close to tears. He was at his wits’ end with my drama. I was wearing him down. Blaming him for what another had done to me wasn’t fair. However, Angrous’s line of business was the same as my ex’s. The late nights worried me, and the discreetness wracked my brain enough to take me under. I wished he understood that not trusting him wasn’t just a choice I’d made. It was a factor that appeared impossible, taken what I’d endured from my first love.
“Now you want to cry?” he chuckled. “Go ahead.” he shrugged and inched away from me. “You owe me tears.”
“Your track record isn’t exactly perfect, Angrous.” I swallowed the lump in my throat and trailed him closely. Backing me against the wall again, he hovered over me. So closely that I prayed for him to press his full lips against mine so we could make-up and try to move on from this. He looked at me like I was utterly remarkable, but the pain I evoked was becoming unbearable.
“Yes, it is! With you that shit is taintless, and you know it. You knew I was out here heavy when we met, Nae. You fuck with the luxuries it brings but bash me behind closed doors. You wouldn’t give a glimpse of your time to a broke nigga but talk shit about my moves. Downing me every chance you get because you dealt with an amateur who fucked you over.”
‘Shut up!” I screamed at him. “You don’t know shit.”
“Got me out here paying for the mistakes of a bum ass dealer. He wasn’t shit when he had you and he’s struggling even more now. But you’re still dwelling on…”
“Shut up, Angrous! I don’t want to hear it!” I stormed away from him to run into our bedroom. He was quicker than me and had already entered before I could slam the door and lock him out of it. Confiding in him about my ex-boyfriend Quinton was the wrong thing to do for numerous reasons. They knew of each other from their upbringing in the same hood. Angrous considered him low-budget and unreliable. After pouring my heart out to him about the many times Quinton played me from fifteen years old to twenty-three, Angrous certainly wanted to knock his head off his lanky body without second guessing any consequences.
“Nigga made a mockery of you and you want me to pay for it, so you kick me out after every assumption.”
“Angrous, I’m warning you. Please stop.”
“You treat me like shit as if I don’t worship the ground you walk on,” he continued, and without any regard to my streaming tears. Before my growing anger had a proper chance to replace my sadness, he’d lifted my arms above my head and restrained my contemplated blows. “I’m not being your punching bag tonight.”
“Let me go! Get out and go back to the bitch you were with,” I spat through gritted teeth. He’d never missed a call or took more than two minutes to reply to my text. Nonetheless, I never really knew his whereabouts. Angrous was secretive with a lot of his business and I didn’t believe that was fair. To him, the less I knew about what he did, the better. He’d claimed I would always be protected this way if anything were to happen to him. The details of what that could mean wasn’t as important as me obtaining the information I wanted upon request.
“The block. You want me back out there hugging that?” he stared at me intensely for an answer. “If you tell me you didn’t miss me, I’ll leave.”
“No. You’re going to leave anyway,” I spoke through gritted teeth. My arms were tired, and I was exhausted of our ongoing battle. He didn’t understand that I just wanted more than what he was giving. And I refused to understand street code. And why did I have to if I was truly the only woman he loved, and cared deeply about?
“Your crazy ass is so fucked up in the head that its uncurable. Loving you will never be enough to fix that shit.” Releasing my arms, he walked out of the bedroom and started for the door.
“How dare you!” I shouted and followed suit. I didn’t want him to leave, but I didn’t know how to ask him to stay either. Quinton’s doings had turned me cold to a good man. There were just some things I couldn’t escape. Detrimental thoughts of what Angrous could be doing when away from me was a big part of it.
“Angrous.” I tried to grab onto his arm to stop him from leaving but he shrugged me off him. “We aren’t done talking,” I said, trying to buy more time. To no avail, he snatched the door open, almost stripping it from the hinges to walk out. His silence told me we didn’t have to be done for him to be over it. Angrous’s long strides headed to his dark blue Dodge Challenger that was parked across the lot, and I ran back to the bedroom to slide my feet in a pair of slippers. Retrieving my keys from the kitchen counter, I was ready to show him how crazy I could be.
We hope you’re ready for 7/26!
The authors of BLP.