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When heartbreak tears apart two lovers, one woman must deal with the stormy aftermath of confusion, selfishness, and mental anguish. What to do when a man abandons his commitment to love? Bestselling author Franklin White creates a topsy-turvy world of passion, betrayal, and turbulent emotions, where the characters must do all they can just to keep from drowning in a sea of uncertain loyalties and loves.

Lala Paige is floating along in life ...
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Joy & Pain

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When heartbreak tears apart two lovers, one woman must deal with the stormy aftermath of confusion, selfishness, and mental anguish. What to do when a man abandons his commitment to love? Bestselling author Franklin White creates a topsy-turvy world of passion, betrayal, and turbulent emotions, where the characters must do all they can just to keep from drowning in a sea of uncertain loyalties and loves.

Lala Paige is floating along in life with a great job, wonderful friends, and Keith, the man who stays by her side all day and night. But when she decides it's time to start thinking seriously about a family, all her well-laid plans come crashing down. Keith decides he can't remain totally committed to their relationship, and Lala won't accept anything less. As she struggles to make sense of her unraveling life, Lala must choose whom to turn to, and where her heart truly belongs. But what will she do when she discovers the real reason Keith's skipping out? Joy & Pain explores the drama of friends, hidden family secrets and lovers who attempt to endure the test of time through the eyes of one woman who's had just about as much as she can take.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416579403
  • Publisher: Strebor Books
  • Publication date: 6/3/2008
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • File size: 286 KB

Meet the Author

Franklin White is the author of Fed Up with the Fanny, Cup of Love, Money for Good, Til' Death Do Us Part, and First Round Lottery Pick. Franklin is a graduate of Central State University and resides in Atlanta.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

I never said I wasn't a freak in the sheets for my man. Subsequently on Saturday morning, I find myself eating at the breakfast bar giving him full frontal access without regret or shame. Keith's coy smile lets me know he's pleased with the freedom of my ta-tas. So far, there's been no teasing mention of his ripped T-shirt I accidentally tore while trying to get at him after his week-long business trip to South Beach. He is feeding his face as he sits across from me in his silk pajama bottoms. We both have huge appetites; we are eating hot biscuits with molasses, eggs, and country sausage. Our hunger emerged from a romantic and nonstop Friday night, full of scented candles, warm body oils, and music by Floetry, KEM, Robin Thicke and some other sexy mood-setting, neo-soul performers I had burned just for the occasion.

I knew Keith was aware that he handled his business during the night and then some. He gave a smorgasbord of love -- very satisfying in more ways than one. After six years of living together, this man can push my buttons to the limit. I can't get enough of his chocolate body and the chemistry we share.

At this point in our relationship I think we are as close as ever. Well, as close as a man ever lets a woman in his life. He talks about things that matter in his life. Asks my opinion in difficult situations and shares intimate concerns to a point that makes me feel like we are connected. Everything he is giving is fine with me. I can live and have been living with this level of commitment for a long time. I have no problem living in the moment and as time passes, I know I will get more and more because our trust is growing everyday. I am sure it's been a process all through our relationship so I don't sweat it. The main thing is we are clicking, running on automatic. It is wonderful because we are definitely drama free and feeling our connection.

"You know, I could stay like this forever," Keith says to me.

I intercept his eyes, when they seize the moment to travel down the rest of my bare body when I stand to get the pot of coffee to warm our cups. I also catch his tone. It is overly campaigning for some strange reason. So I decide to check it.

"You mean, this moment? Enjoying this moment?" I confirm.

Keith looks at me quickly without explaining, then goes for more eggs and the last biscuit.

My human radar, inherited from my mother who listened to all my father's shit, up until she left him when I was ten, zooms in tightly on his response.

He is like, "Exactly, that's what I mean, baby. This right here, right now, I wouldn't change it for the world."

If being with Keith for six years has taught me anything, it is realizing unconditionally when he's shuffling me doo-doo. I reach over the table and stop his hand from stuffing more eggs into his mouth with his fork. "Don't even try it. Tell me, what you mean, Keith?"

He glances at me like he does his jurors in the high-profile divorce settlements he has a habit of winning.

"C'mon, Lala, I was just thinking how mellow it is for us right now, and I want things to stay like this, that's all."

I push. "Like this?"

"You know, just the two of us. It takes a huge string of luck for people to get along like this -- for this long of a time period." Keith picks up his coffee cup, places his weekend special of three teaspoons of creamer down in the bottom, then begins to stir slowly and tries to dismiss my concerns. "So, you have a good time last night?" Keith is about to start patting himself on the back concerning his performance because he'd helped me to release several times through the night. He was a satisfier in the bed; almost always on a mission to please me and I loved that about him.

"Last night was okay," I let him know.

He chuckles. "Just okay?"

"That's it."

"Yeah, right."

"Would've been better, if you'd done what I asked," I say.

Keith sips his coffee. He has no expression -- almost like he doesn't hear me.

"So why didn't you?"

"Lala, I keep telling you. It's like an unbreakable habit now that I pull out. It's been our practice since we've been making love without condoms."

"Keith, you're full of it. All of the grief I've gotten from you over the years about how it's so unnatural and now all of a's an 'unbreakable habit.'"

"Grief?" He sips even more coffee and says no more.

But I can't hold back. "First of all, let's get things straight. You didn't want to practice the withdrawal method because you felt cheated, and I managed to see things your way. Then you practically begged me to get back on the pill and I gave in again. Then when I stopped taking the pill because I wanted to get my body ready for pregnancy, all of a sudden, you're now so in tune with the withdrawal method like you've never had a problem with it."

Keith looks at me over the brim of his cup. Our eyes meet and I stay glued to him without letting go. Things are becoming clear that he's been thinking of not following through with our plans. So I ask him.

"You don't want me to have your child, do you? You've changed your mind, haven't you?"

Keith doesn't say a word but he picks up another piece of sausage and shoves it in his mouth. Then he starts to chew like it is somehow a new flavor. His silence answers my question, and I need to find out why.

© 2008 by Franklin White

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