Tomorrow, ShanicexLola returns with “If This Isn’t Love” and it’s yet another beautifully written story to add to your collection! Here’s a look into full first chapter!
“Right now, you’re safe. Free to leave me at any time. I can’t tie you down like that, baby. Not when you deserve better than me.” -Karim Lawson
During her upbringing, Amiyah Mays swooned over her parent’s devoted foundation. She admired their twenty years of unwavering love and prayed to the heavens that she would one day attain an incontestable love of her own.
Karim Lawson fit the card. He was dangerous in the best ways-endearing when it counted the most. After six years of bliss, the revelation that they may not have the same vision began to stump their growth. Feeling stagnant in their relationship, Amiyah issued Karim an ultimatum to securely commit or be free. A happily ever after is what she’s after, even if it’s acquired without him. Will Amiyah’s demand for more push Karim away? Or will he shun his fears for the woman he loves?
Amiyah tossed and turned on her queen-sized, pillow-top mattress until she couldn’t bear to lay there any longer. For the past three weeks, late nights had lost its peaceful tranquility, stripping her of the protection and serenity she’d acquired when Karim was around. When they were together, he would hold her throughout the night, guarding her from any trouble that possibly lurked outside of their condo in the darkness. Now that they were a part, Amiyah was having the hardest time adjusting to the absence of his warm body next to her. Karim Lawson was always so warm. His strong, muscular arms were inviting. His presence alone made her feel safe.
And not only her. Karim’s authoritative aura could make anyone feel protected when he was around.
Dragging herself to the kitchen, she flipped the switch and sighed as the bright lights nearly blinded her. Everything agitated her nerves. Every small problem seemed heightened and bigger than it actually was —all because she missed him. Without him, the madness of the world drove her up the wall.
After retrieving a bottle of water from the fridge, she sat at the kitchen’s island exhausted and out of whack. Studies said it took twenty-one days to form a habit. Amiyah’s persistent tactics to move on without him was not working out the way she’d originally planned. In fact, Karim was the captivating habit needing to be broken.
How could she possibly form a habit that would distract her from craving him? He was too exhilarating to quit.
Sighing amid gradual sips of water, Amiyah peered around the kitchen and scoffed at the framed photos of them that decorated the walls. They looked so happy together and she thought they were. Karim’s reluctance begged to differ. After six years together, Amiyah was officially tired of waiting on him to want more out of their relationship.
As his woman, she’d done everything she could to please him. Amiyah performed her best tricks and took care of him emotionally and sexually all while holding him down altogether. She’d never missed an opportunity to uplift him when he was at his lowest.
When she wasn’t busy pushing paperwork and trying her damnedest to be the best secretary at Cohen’s Law Firm, her life revolved around Karim. He was the rousing man she loved—the uncontrollable bad boy she couldn’t get enough of. Karim did it for her. Amiyah couldn’t help but wonder if she did it for him too.
Fully aware that she couldn’t make a man ready for the serious, beautiful commitment she’d dreamed of since a little girl, she’d assumed waiting on him to get to that point would suffice. So, she’d waited until she realized it wouldn’t happen. Sadly, patience wasn’t doing her any justice. Things weren’t working out the way she’d planned.
Like clockwork, her cellphone rang from the master bedroom. Karim respected her request for a break, but he called her every night. Unable to quit him altogether, she never missed a call. They needed to know how each other were doing. When Karim’s deep tone blared through the phone, she felt relieved knowing that he was intact despite the troubles he may have been involved in during the day.
Closing her eyes to control the tears from falling, Amiyah sighed deeply and focused her thoughts on keeping her butt posted on the wooden stool around the island. Karim kept tabs on her. If he couldn’t physically see her, he wouldn’t stop calling for the clarity he needed. Answering him broke her down. The phone calls lasted half an hour with fifteen minutes of that time being dead air. They listened to each other breathe and felt at peace while doing it. Each time their phone call ended, the strength and composure she’d instilled within came crashing down. Living without the love of her life was hard.
Taking a deep breath when her iPhone ceased ringing from the bedroom, her eyes shot open at the sound of Karim clearing his throat. His self-made occupation caused for him to be light on his feet. He had to be precise with his moves and exceedingly careful throughout his day. She hadn’t heard him come in but now she could feel his intense eyes dancing over her flushed face.
“Karim,” she whispered. Now that he was in front of her, the night had just begun regardless of the time. Amiyah huffed, frustrated. Deep down, she was grateful to see him. Avoiding his handsome face for three weeks had weakened her. Seeing him again made the color return to a world that turned dull without him. “What are you doing here?”
“I live here, pretty girl.” Karim approached her. “And I’m ready to argue.”
“What?” She rolled her eyes and stood from the stool to back away from him. Being too close to Karim would fail her. Thus far, she’d been strong and firm about how she felt. She couldn’t give in now. Then it would have all been for nothing.
Holding back from blushing at the inside joke he’d mentioned, she looked at her feet and shook her head. Karim struggled to explain himself with words. His love was displayed in the way he kissed and caressed her body. Whenever he issued a joke that he was ready to argue, it meant he was throwing in the towel. He was ready to converse about the elephant in the room.
“Where else you gon go?” he asked when she backed herself into a wall. Amiyah trapped herself then fell victim to his enticing cologne.
“You promised,” she reminded him. He’d promised to respect her wishes—promised to obey the space she needed so he wouldn’t cloud her better judgment. “You said you would…”
“I tried!” he’d cut her off and raised his voice. Karim mumbled an apology when she jumped. His voice was too deep to shout without warning. He nearly turned the room upside down with his elevated interruption.
“Pretty girl. I fucking tried.” He groaned underneath his breath like he was in pain. And he was. He’d been holding out from seeing her for the sake of her wishes and his pride.
Karim couldn’t stand it anymore. He needed her.
“You’re breaking me down. Tell me what you need,” he spoke close to her ear. Karim’s bottom lip graced her lobe. Amiyah almost lost her mind.
In her head, she gave herself a pep talk to be strong enough to resist him. Her struggle was written all over her uncomfortable face. Amiyah struggled to push him back. Karim was overbearing as he towered over her. His chest was hard. Touching him gave her butterflies.
“I’m not going to keep explaining it to you, Karim. I can’t. Every time I do, it hurts. Don’t you understand?” Her parents were twenty years deep in a beautiful marriage. Even her sister that was twenty-five years young to Amiyah’s twenty-nine years on earth was already engaged to the man she loved. Marriage meant a lot to Amiyah. It glorified love.
“I do. Then I don’t,” he admitted. Amiyah looked at him stunned. He was right, he did come to argue. This was the first time he’d responded to a question about understanding what she ultimately wanted to come from their relationship. Karim was finally allowing her to pick his brain.
“I know I haven’t let you down that bad, pretty girl. You know I’m in love with you. In a dream, the Man above shows up every night to make sure I know you’re in love with me too. What’s the problem? What’s the pressure between us? I’ve given you plenty of rings.”
Amiyah went from swooning over his beautiful words to kissing her teeth. Folding her arms over her small chest, she ignored his gaze and shook her head, disappointed in his last comment.
“Because you’re stalling. You’ve given me plenty of rings to shut me up. How many times can you give me a ghetto ass proposal before you decide it’s time we make it official?”
“Damn. This arguing shit is tiring,” he quipped. Karim rubbed his hand over his face and huffed.
“Then get out!” She pushed him. It took all the strength she could muster but she successfully pushed him back. Amiyah didn’t stop pushing him with all her might until they were close to the front door. A few tiring minutes passed before she gave up.
As Amiyah stopped pushing him to catch her breath, she struck his shoulder with her fist. “If we don’t have the same vision…” she cried, failing to express her complete thought.
“You never asked me for my vision,” he muttered through clenched teeth. “Amiyah.” Karim sighed. Amiyah looked in his eyes when he said her name. Karim hardly called her by her first name. It didn’t fit her the way Pretty Girl did.
“Why have you never asked me for my vision?” Karim was close to her again and she was losing it. He leaned down to speak against her neck. Failing to find the right words, he kissed her collarbone instead. Kissing her gently would soothe her better than words. Karim’s soft touch settled her down. His lips against her warm skin mended her aching heart.
“Karim.” She moaned with his lips to her neck. Tears escaped her eyes. Missing him was torture. Amiyah didn’t realize how much she needed him until he’d broken his promise to give her space by returning to her.
“You missed me,” he stated rather than asking, and then chuckled in her ear. Karim hiked her lace nightgown to her waist and eased his hand into her wet panties.
When he was there, she didn’t wear any to bed. Karim would only rip them off of her if she did. He requested that she allowed her pussy the chance to breathe overnight. Truthfully, he wanted them nonexistent for easy access to taste her whenever he craved her in the middle of the night.
“Don’t do this to me.” Amiyah’s words told him one thing. Pulling him closer, she contradicted herself with a kiss to his lips. They began to move like it was their last night together. Karim’s hands roamed her slender body aggressively.
Cupping the biggest thing on her, he squeezed her ass and led them to the bed he missed sleeping in. His older brother’s couch wasn’t doing his back or heartache any justice. The king-sized bed that sat in the middle of their two-bedroom condo was where he belonged.
Karim was tough yet remarkedly gentle. Tossing Amiyah onto the bed, he stripped out of his jacket and flung it across the room. He stared at her lying on the bed and cursed himself. Fathoming a life without her essence was torture. Karim deemed Amiyah his. She was the apple of his eye and she belonged to him.
Amiyah giggled when he ripped her panties, and then pulled them from underneath her. If she had a dollar for all the underwear he’d tore from her body, she would be rich enough to own her very own underwear line.
Karim fell to his knees at her mercy. The bedroom was dark with a strip of the streetlight peering through the slight opening of the curtains. Amiyah lifted on her elbows to see what he was doing. Before she could utter a word, Karim snatched her to the edge of the bed and positioned her legs over his shoulder. Anticipating his tongue on her clit made her moan. Karim started by kissing her pussy the way he would her lips. Her clit compensated for her tongue as he swirled his tongue over it.
Amiyah traced her fingertips over his low-cut and cooed. He’d taught her to relax instead of running from the pleasure. It was a promise she never broke. A rule in their bedroom that she obeyed. She laid back with her bottom lip tucked between her teeth.
Amiyah focused ahead on the ecstasy to come. Her thighs trembled as he indulged passionately and proved just how much he’d missed her.
“Announce it,” he said. Amiyah quivered when he spoke against her pussy. Karim loved hearing her moan, but each time she stuttered and squealed during a powerful orgasm, he fell more in love with her.
“Karim!” She held his head in place to grind her hips. His thick beard tickled her clit. He approved by licking every inch of her pussy until she convulsed and screamed his name.
Karim licked his lips and stood with a boastful smirk on his face. Pulling her into his arms, he sat with his back against the headboard. Amiyah pushed her hair behind her shoulders and rested her head on his chest. It was safe there. The safest place she’d been in three weeks.
“Amiyah.” He lifted her hand to his lips for a gentle kiss.
“Hm?” she hummed, struggling to stay awake each second. Her eyes were heavy. Karim had arrived and suddenly, she could fall asleep with no issue.
“I love you,” he whispered against her forehead. Amiyah was already asleep before he’d completed the sentiment. She snored lightly in his arms but that never stopped him from talking. Those were the moments he spoke the most. When Amiyah slept, he spoke his peace without fear of an interruption, judgement or having her second guess that she was his entire world.
“Marriage doesn’t mean shit,” he whispered harshly. “My mom and dad taught me that. They walked away from each other. They regret taking it that far. She hates everything he stands for, and she blames him for the way me and my brothers took after his hustle. I’m hardheaded, Amiyah. I can’t help that shit. I can try. I just can’t have you grow to hate me after we’re married. Right now, you’re safe. Free to leave me. I can’t tie you down like that, baby. Not when you deserve better than me.” Karim kissed her forehead and sighed. He was expressing exactly what Amiyah needed to hear when she was awake and begging him for some understanding.
In the pocket of his jeans, his phone vibrated. His older brother, Rashad sent a code word through text that told Karim where to meet him. Karim slid from Amiyah’s hold, careful not to wake her. Rubbing over her cheek with the back of his hand, he whispered he loved her a final time, alarmed their condo, and rushed out the door to meet up with his brother on the business tip.
Leaving her side was never easy, only necessary to pay to the bills.