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Somebody's Gotta Be On Top
By MARY B. MORRISON
Dafina BooksCopyright © 2004 Mary B. Morrison
All right reserved.
Chapter OneMonogamy wasn't natural. Monogamy was a learned behavior that Darius couldn't be taught. When would women realize, sex wasn't a bed partner of love? Besides, who could teach Darius how to be faithful? Jesse Jackson? Bill Cosby? Willie Brown? Bill Clinton? His dad, the m�nage � trois king? All the men he respected, all the men he knew, were men. Fornicators. Adulterers. Players. The distinction of a real man was that a real man kept his family in the foreground and his females in the background. Like backup singers. Once the song was over, their job was done. Thanks for having made him cum. Now go. With Darius, not many of his lovers deserved an encore.
"Ha!" Darius laughed, then said aloud to himself, "You a fool boy." His office was quiet all morning. No constant phone calls or welcomed interruptions by his sexy secretary, Angel.
Any woman who wanted Darius Jones had to commit to him and only him. His woman had to have a job. Not any job. A high-paying job. Preferably her own business. So what if he had enough money to take care of her. Her mama. And her grandmamma. A woman without a steady income was venomous. A woman with too much idle time was lethal. No piece of ass was worth his millions of dollars. He was the only heir to his mother's empire and one day would split his father's fortune with one of his stepbrothers who was barely four years old.
Darius flipped through the Los Angeles Times, pulled out the sports section, then slid the rest of the newspaper to the edge of his desk. He'd read the business section next. Darius bit his bottom lip in disgust. On the front page, another brother handcuffed, this time a football player, charged with allegedly raping a groupie. "Stupidass athletes. That fool was so busy trying to get laid he couldn't see that trick was tryna get paid. Now his ignant ass might end up broke and in jail. Trick was probably smiling the whole time she was fucking dude." Darius learned observing his mother how a woman could be a man's best advocate and his worst enemy at the same time.
Scanning the other twelve pages, Darius thought, that would've never happened to me if I had gone to the NBA. Those broke leeches in thongs, jiggling their asses on beaches or benches, at the bus stop, were the ones who were constantly plotting and planning-pregnancy, rape, battery-on how to become rich off of a man. For sex. For real. Any wealthy man would suffice. Mike. Kobe. Deon. Including him. Bullshit conniving tricks. They weren't privy to suck his dick.
Fed up with the media favoring the woman's side, Darius traded the sports section for business. While he'd slept, the value of his stocks increased. Money made Darius think about how rich pussy like the Vivica As, and Mary Js, Halles, and Janets of the world needed stroking too. But they also had reputations worth protecting. To them, lawsuits translated into bad publicity. Lost revenue. They'd end the relationship before bringing forth charges. That's the type of women Darius wanted. And if Darius ever caught one of his women cheating, she didn't need to waste his time explaining because he'd personally dismiss her. Immediately!
Thinking about women brought his number-one lady to mind. Darius smiled, picked up the phone, and pressed sixty-nine on his speed dial. His lungs expanded. The warm air escaped his nostrils, grazing his smooth upper lip. Darius removed the elastic band holding his ponytail. Three-hundred sixty-two black pencil-width dreadlocks fell slightly below his shoulders. Darius mastered and measured everything about his body. Dick: nine and three-quarters of an inch long, and four inches thick. Body fat: six point seven percent. Pimples: none. Birthmarks: two. One faded abstract image on the right side of his ass. The other was a black spot on the back of his left earlobe beneath his princess-cut two-carat diamond earring.
"Hey, you," she happily answered.
Her voice penetrated his soul. Chill bumps invaded his skin. The hairs on his arms stood tall. Darius wasn't cold. He swallowed the lump of air clogging his vocal cords then said, "You packed yet? I can't wait to see you tonight. Make sure you arrive two hours early at the airport." Darius deepened his voice then emphasized, "You'd better not miss your flight this time."
Unbuttoning his collar, Darius rolled his burgundy leather high-back chair until his abdomen pressed against the edge of his glass-top desk, creating a crease in his brown Versace jacket. Slowly he placed his finger over the photographic image of her naturally pink-colored lips. Thin and seemingly oh-so-very soft. She looked righteous-not as in holy, as in fine as hell-in the family picture they'd taken a month ago at Thanksgiving dinner with his parents.
"Are you still in the office?" she asked.
Darius's hand traveled from her temple and traced the outline along her straight black hair, which cast a strikingly beautiful contrast against her nearly white complexion. His eyes fixated on hers. She was always nice and polite with a caring-Cancer demeanor other women despised. She was perfect marriage material. She was the ideal woman to rear his kids.
Loving someone more than himself, more than life, more than making money, was absurd and not what Darius had planned. But this special woman-naw, she was more than a woman, she was a lady-had stolen his heart. First she'd become his platonic childhood playmate. Now she was his best friend. With the exception of his boy Keenan whom everyone called K'Nine, she was Darius's only other friend.
The honeysuckle scent of her hair, the subtle movement of her hips when she walked, the provocative melody of her voice each time she innocently laughed while calling his name, the gentleness of her touch whenever she groomed his dreadlocks, the taste of her words lingering on his palate as he gasped into the receiver consumed his thoughts. Nervous energy rumbled in the pit of his stomach. Consciously he erased his boyish grin. She evoked feelings Darius swore he'd never possess for another woman after having been betrayed by his ex-fianc�e.
"Of course I'm still in the office, woman. And my staff too. Just because it's the week between Christmas and New Year's doesn't mean the entire week is a holiday. They're not entitled to leave early but I might let 'em go at three. Maybe. Now answer my question." Darius began rearranging the few items on his desk.
"Don't worry. I packed last night. And my dad is dropping me off in a few. I'll call you when my plane gets into LAX." She paused, then whispered, "I miss you, brother."
Why did she keep calling him brother? He was more like a play-brother. Everybody in California claimed relatives that weren't blood related. Play cousins. Sisters. Aunts. Uncles. Mothers and fathers too. His birth parents weren't hers so technically they weren't related. And since Darius's morn was remarried to Wellington Jones, the man his mother should've married instead of marrying Lawrence, Darius felt Ashlee and he were two consenting adults capable of making their own decisions.
Darius remained silent. He rearranged his gold-and-crystal triangular clock to the left side of his nameplate then moved his in-and-out baskets to the opposite end. The shuffled newspaper, cordless phone, notepad, and gold-framed photo were neatly positioned on his spotless desk.
Although Darius spoke with Ashlee every day, three-to-five times each day, he'd practically forgotten about the incident with her dad. Darius hadn't seen Ashlee's father since the day, almost two years ago, when he'd beaten her father for abusing his mother. In retrospect Darius understood Lawrence's frustrations with his morn. After Lawrence's black eye and bruises healed, Darius's mother gave him the shock of his life. Since that day, Darius's feelings for his mother numbed his compassion toward women even more. If his mother were a liar, then every other woman was too. Except his lady on the opposite end of the phone. But the feasibility existed so he couldn't completely trust her either. What a fucked-up world to live in, Darius thought, when the only person he could trust one-hundred percent of the time was himself.
Forgetting about her dad and his mom, Darius massaged his erection through his pleated slacks, hoping she'd continue talking but hopefully not about her dad. Anticipating the sound of her voice made his dick harder. She had him so turned on he wanted to make love. To her. For years. Say something. Anything. Please. His dick urged repeating her tone in his mind. I miss you. He'd missed her too.
She finally broke the silence. "Did you hear me?" Lightly she articulated, "I said, I miss you."
Ashlee's delayed response made Darius believe she was also thinking about him. The cordless phone slipped from between his ear and shoulder so Darius quickly activated the speaker. "Of course I heard you. I just wanted you to repeat it. That's all." He placed his fingers against his thick chocolate lips then laid the same two fingers atop the glass frame over her mouth.
She inhaled then softly said, "I miss you. I miss you. I miss you. I miss you. I miss you. How's that? Turn on your cam so I can see you."
No way, Darius thought, staring at the flat-screen monitor on the glass-top L-unit connected to his desk. Kimberly's nude layout changed from covering her tits with sand on Venice beach to clenching a lollipop between her vaginal lips with a caption that read, "Sweeter than candy." Darius unzipped his pants and squeezed his head, suppressing the pre-cum trying to escape his hard-on. He imagined what Ashlee looked like in the nude. Although they'd visited one another for more than ten years, he still had no idea if her nipples were lighter or darker than her breasts. If her pubic hairs were curly or straight. If her clitoris was small or large. Would Darius care for Ashlee the same if they lived together? Would he love her if he married her?
"Hey, lady. I've gotta run. I'll see you later." Darius stood. He secured his relaxed muscle into his black silk boxers, then watched the tiny metal clamps overlap until the last one reached the top.
His lungs suctioned in the much-needed oxygen for his brain when she exhaled an intoxicating, "Bye."
Darius waited until Ashlee hung up, then removed his coat and tossed it onto his chair. He entered the private rest room connected to his office and vigorously rinsed his face with cold water. While staring at his reflection in the mirror, Darius wondered why his mother had lied to him about his biological father. Why she'd waited twenty years to reveal the truth. Why didn't his biological father, Darryl Williams, Sr. display the same love for him as he did for Darius's two half-brothers, Kevin and Darryl, Jr.? The relationship Darius's father had with Darius's half-sister didn't count because daughters were naturally closer to their fathers than sons.
Darryl was a former NBA all-star whom Darius idolized most of his childhood, including the four years Darius started on the varsity basketball team in high school. Darryl was his college basketball coach at Georgetown, which explained why Darius's mother never came to any of his college games. His mother apparently had had an epiphany when her mother died and decided it was time for a damn confession. A truth that mentally scared Darius. Possibly for life.
"Fuck Darryl Williams!" Darius's fists swung fast. Hard. Hitting nothing but air. "Darius Jones don't need anybody but Darius Jones." Darius's anger resurfaced each time he relived the day his mother told him the truth. Tears swelled his eyes. Darius squinted and sighed. His beloved grandmother, Ma Dear, the only woman that never lied to him would've said, "Don't waste time disliking people who don't like you when you can appreciate the many people who do love you." Regaining his composure, Darius knew Ma Dear was right but after his grandmother died, disappointment and resentment befriended him.
Although sometimes Darius drowned in waterless tears, real men, when their hearts ached with sadness and their souls suffocated from failure, didn't show signs of weakness. Darius remembered because Ma Dear's husband Grandpa Robert, whom she'd joined in heaven, told Darius when Darius was four years old, "Boy, looks like you been crying. Crying is for girls and sissies. Remember that." Darius never forgot. Tears. Confessions. There was no way Darius would ever let down Grandpa Robert by displaying a wimpish attitude. Sensitivity belonged to losers like Rodney, the undercover bisexual brother who infected Darius's ex-fianc�e with HIV. Darius thought again, what a fucked-up world to live in.
Buying his three-story office building and loaning him a million dollars was just another one of his mother's ways to compensate for her guilt. And Darius had every intention of making his mother suffer for the next twenty years or at least until he felt she'd repaid her debt. Everyone was indebted to something or someone. But if his mother hadn't married Lawrence, Darius wouldn't have met his number-one lady. So perhaps he should've been grateful, but gratitude required expressing feelings.
Shifting his thoughts back to his lady, Darius smiled in the mirror, running his fingers over his locks. He gathered each strand back into a ponytail then admired the sweet brown succulent flesh that hundreds of women had enjoyed feasting upon. Ashlee' flight would arrive at ten o'clock tonight. What would she wear to his parents' New Year's Eve ball? Hell, it didn't matter. Possessing the same qualities as his mother, his stepsister always looked great. Just like his ex-fianc�e, Maxine. Ladylike. Feminine.
Darius returned to his desk wondering why was his childhood so gullibly innocent and his adult life so cynical? As a child, if Darius had done wrong, he was easily forgiven. Women adored him. Fantasies of having his own family. A loving wife who'd only love him and he'd exclusively love her. At one time Darius believed that was possible. Until those two fifth-graders told him he could have both of them or his boring girlfriend. She wasn't boring. She was quiet. There was a difference. But two were definitely better than one. Darius had once believed marriage was sacred. Until he witnessed his mother divorcing Lawrence for no apparent reason other than she wanted to marry Wellington.
Why did grown-ups simply lie about shit? Santa. Where babies came from. The Easter bunny. Who was this dude Cupid? Someone who was supposed to make Darius believe he was in love? Most people weren't. Most people were lonely or afraid of being alone so, good or bad, they clung to the familiar. Not Darius.
Chapter TwoDarius walked out of his corner office, one flight down the back exit stairway. The heavy fire door squeaked as he entered the second floor. "How's it going, Randy?" Darius asked his accountant.
Excerpted from Somebody's Gotta Be On Top by MARY B. MORRISON Copyright © 2004 by Mary B. Morrison. Excerpted by permission.
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