Though they are older and wiser, not all is as it seems in the lives of Darren, Kiki, and Myra. Best friends to the end, they still have some lessons to learn. In this second book in the Growing Pains series, the group struggles with betrayal, loss, and, most importantly, commitment. Through ups and downs, heartache and breakups, Darren, Kiki, and Myra find themselves in a quest for self-assurance, confidence, and good, old-fashioned love. But will history repeat itself? Darren has been known to have a wandering eye, and it?s possible he?ll cheat again. Will Kiki finally realize the world doesn?t revolve around her? Myra has found the true love of her life, but is she happy? Will their children repeat the same mistakes they have? Providing a glimpse into the private lives of couples and relationships, Growing Pains: Sex, Lies, and Deception follows the family lives, careers, and love lives of these characters as they make mistakes and celebrate successes.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.58(d)|
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SEX, LIES, AND DECEPTION
By Paris Love
iUniverse LLCCopyright © 2014 Paris Love
All rights reserved.
Late Summer 2004
It's a beautiful Saturday morning in California; the sun is shining brightly, the birds are chirping, and Darren, DJ, and I are spending the day at Griffith Park. I asked Maria, our live-in nanny, to prepare a small picnic basket with fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, and some burgers for the guys. I can barely contain myself. I've looked forward to this day all week. I have a new project at work, and Darren has been busy at the hospital. I realize juggling work and family isn't as easy as I thought it would be. So today, I'm relaxing and enjoying my family.
"Mom, can Rodney come with us? Please, Mom," DJ says as he's holding the phone to his ear.
"Sure, baby, but be sure he asks his parents. In fact, let me talk to his mom to make sure it's okay," I tell DJ.
After a brief conversation with Rodney's mom, I rest my elbows on the kitchen counter and reflect on my life. If people would have told me I would be pregnant with my second child at this time, I probably would have looked at them as if they were crazy. But here I am, ready to pop.
I admit I have moments when I'm excited about the baby inside of me, and then there are occasions when I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew. Can I handle two children, work, and Darren? I can barely keep up with DJ. I pray I am having a girl. I love DJ with all my heart, but I know having a baby girl will truly sweeten the deal. And I'm sure Darren will spoil her to pieces.
I stop daydreaming when I hear Darren yell from the upstairs bedroom.
"Kiki, have you seen my blue polo shirt?" Darren asks.
"It's hanging in your closet," I yell back, praying I don't have to go upstairs and point it out to him.
"DJ, are you ready?" I realize I'm yelling in the house now. We have to pick up Rodney on the way to the park, and I don't want to rush. Today is my relaxation day.
"I'm coming, Mom," DJ yells back.
When Darren comes downstairs wearing his favorite polo shirt I ask, "Can you get the cooler from the garage and fill it with ice? There's some extra water and juice in the fridge we can take with us as well."
"Not a problem. Anything else you need me to do?" Darren asks.
"Umm, let me ..." I start to say, but DJ interrupts me.
"Mom, have you seen my soccer ball?" DJ yells from the top of the stairs.
"Look in the playroom," Darren and I both say in unison.
Darren and I both laugh at the fact that we are still able to start and complete each other's sentences.
"Great minds think alike," we again say in unison.
"Stop, you're killing me," I say before Darren can say anything else.
Smiling, he says, "Sure, but you started it."
I love that man. He certainly does complete me. Today is truly a great day. After we pick Rodney up and assure his parents he's in good hands, we are off to the park. Rodney and DJ talk about school, but I tune them out after a while as I'm going through my mental to-do list to make sure we have everything.
We arrive at Griffith Park just before noon, so there's plenty of time for DJ and Rodney to play and sightsee for a few hours. Darren and I can relax and people watch.
"Do you want me to get the blankets out now, or shall we wait?" Darren asks, after we've parked.
"Hmm, you can get them out now. We might as well set everything up," I answer back.
"Mom, Dad, Rodney and I are going to play soccer!" DJ says with excitement.
I turn around to look at the both of them and say, "Yes, but don't go too far. I don't want you two getting lost. So stay where we can see you."
"Okay, see ya!" DJ shouts, as he and Rodney run off.
They run off so quickly that I can't lecture them on safety or what time we would eat. Griffith Park has over four thousand acres of parkland and picnic areas along with a variety of activities for the family. We don't come as often as I would like, but my goal is to visit more frequently once the baby is born.
As the boys play soccer, Darren starts to lay out the blanket but stops.
"You know what; let's walk around for a bit. Are you up to walking?" Darren asks.
"Sure, anything to get this baby out sooner," I answer as I'm grabbing a small container of fruit out of the picnic basket.
Darren and I are strolling along when he asks, "Shall we take the boys to the zoo or see if they would like to go horseback riding?"
"I can't, sweetie. The smell of the animals will be too much for me. In fact, let's go back to where we were. The baby and I are starting to get hungry; the fruit was only a teaser," I say, pointing to my stomach to let Darren know the baby is just as hungry as I am. I continue, "You can take them horseback riding or to the zoo if you want. I'll be fine sitting under a shade tree and relaxing."
Before Darren can reply, DJ and Rodney run up to us. "Mom, Dad, can we go to the zoo while we're here?" DJ asks as if he had read our lips just a few minutes ago.
"Sure thing. I will take you guys over as soon as we have lunch." Darren leans down to DJ and attempts to whisper, "We'll leave your mother here while we go to the zoo. We don't want her to scare the animals."
Rodney and DJ get a huge laugh from Darren's comment. I give Darren the evil eye.
* * *
"Hey there, honey bunny. How was your day?" Darren asks as he flops down on the living room sofa.
"Busy as always, but I was able to get out of the office before seven. DJ is upstairs in the playroom with Maria," I answer, as I placed my swollen feet on Darren's lap.
Massaging my right foot, Darren says, "I'm going up in a few. I just want to sit and relax for a few minutes ... unless you have something else in mind." He gives me the up-for-a-quickie-if-you-are look.
"Ha! Later, my love, later," I say with a laugh. My baby, Darren, is always ready, which is probably why we are expecting baby number two.
"So what are you watching?" Darren asks as I'm flipping through the television stations.
"Nothing really. I'm trying to find something good to watch, but there isn't anything on," I answer, feeling frustrated by the lack of quality shows.
I place the remote control on the coffee table and turn my focus to Darren. "So, how was your day?" I ask.
Darren works at UCLA Medical Center in Emergency Medicine. After his residency at Brotman Memorial, he decided to apply for a position with UCLA Medical. It's the number-one hospital in California, and I know Darren is proud to be a part of the staff.
"Well, nothing major happened today—no deaths, just cuts and bruises. It was a quiet day," he says, relieved.
"I know you're glad about that. There's some dinner in the fridge if you're hungry." I'm hoping he's not too hungry, as I could go for seconds myself.
"Kiki, I love you."
"And I love you."
He walks over, bends down, and plants a juicy kiss on my lips before he goes up to the playroom. I can't help but watch him as he goes upstairs to play with DJ. Perhaps that quickie isn't such a bad idea.
While Darren is in the playroom with DJ, I wobble upstairs to put something sexy on for him. Watching him earlier has me hornier than a nest of rabbits. After trying on three different baby-doll nightgowns, I eventually settle on my birthday suit. I hadn't realized how big I've become, and none of the nightgowns looks sexy on me.
"Well, now. Have you been waiting long?" Darren asks as he walks into the bedroom and sees me lying on the bed.
"Not really; we are patient," I say, rubbing my large belly.
"We? Huh? The baby is waiting for me too?" he says as he walks toward me, undressing.
"You are going to pick those up, aren't you?" I ask, looking at the clothes that he so happily left on the floor.
"Ahh, baby. Can't we forget about the clothes just this once? All I want to do is make love to you," he says, looking at me with his pretty hazel eyes.
"No, sweetie, pick your clothes up and then come over here," I answer. I can't believe he thinks he can get away with that.
It doesn't take Darren long to pick his clothes up and neatly place them on the chair opposite the bureau.
"You are so beautiful. You know that, don't you?" Darren says as he's cupping my breasts.
I place my hand over Darren's mouth and say, "Shh, no talking. Let's get down to business, shall we?" I can't believe how horny I am.
Darren simply smiles at me as he continues to caress me.
"So, what position are we trying tonight?" Darren asks.
I answer with a smile, "Your favorite, of course."
I position myself so I'm sitting at the edge of the bed and my legs can dangle freely. As I'm doing so, Darren grabs my body pillow and places it behind me. I can lean back and enjoy the ride. As Darren enters me, I immediately know I'm going to enjoy what's in store for me.
I pray our moans don't wake DJ up. It would be embarrassing for him to walk in on us.
"Ah, umm, ohhh. Wait! Baby, wait!" I scream.
Darren looks down at me and says, "You came already."
"Uh, no. I think my water just broke." I try to look down and see if there is any fluid on the bedsheets.
"Are you sure?" Darren asks.
"Yeah, I think so. Look and see. I can't bend over and see that far," I answer nervously. My mind is going a mile a minute. Did my water just break? Did we hurt the baby? Am I ready for the baby?
"Sweetie, I think it did, but let's make sure. Lie down, and I'll check again in a half hour," Darren says.
"What? If my water broke, we need to be heading to the hospital. I need to shower," I answer, trying to sit up.
Darren places his hand on my shoulder and says, "Calm now. I'm a doctor, remember. You are fine. Relax. Let's make sure it was your water and not one of your amazing orgasms," he says as he winks at me.
I sigh because I know he may be right. "Can you at least get me a towel so I can clean myself?" I ask. If I'm going to lie here for a half hour, I might as well do something. And I'm not going to the hospital smelling like sex. Ugh!
While I attempt to lie down, Darren goes to get Maria to tell her there is a strong possibility my water broke. DJ can stay here with her, just in case this is a false alarm. But I seriously doubt it. I can't believe how nervous I am. Hopefully today is the day I meet my little bundle of joy. I pray this baby is a girl. We've already decided on names: Daria if it is a girl and Damien if it is a boy.
Well, no false alarms. When Darren comes back to check on me, the bed is soaked, I'm wet, and all I want to do is get to the hospital before it's too late. When we do get to the hospital I'm only at four centimeters, but I am happy to know my baby will be here soon.
I'm prepped and ready for delivery. I have flashbacks of DJ's birth. Surely I won't bite Darren's head off this round. Wiping the sweat from my forehead, Darren says, "We'll have a great story to tell the baby about how she or he was born."
"Kiki, you can start pushing again," Dr. Latty states.
I don't answer Darren, because I'm not going to tell my child that we were making love before he or she was born. I do my best to push as hard as I can. I want this baby out of me. The sooner the better. The contractions are coming quick and hard.
"Argh, hmmm. Oh my God, do you see anything?" I ask, not really speaking to anyone in particular. The contractions are killing me. As soon as I'm over one, here comes another. Is my little Daria coming out or what?
"Honey, I can see the head. So much hair." Darren left my side a few minutes ago. I suppose I was squeezing his hand too hard.
All of a sudden, I don't feel like pushing. I really want to take a nap. I'm so tired.
Darren encourages me. "Come on, baby, one big push, just ..."
I interrupt him and scream, "Then you push!!! On my gosh, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean it ... aarrrrgggghhhh!" I scream as loud as I can. I push down as hard as I can, because this baby is coming whether I want to push or not.
"It's a boy! Baby, it's a boy!" Darren yells.
Crap, I really wanted a girl. I try to sit up so I can see my son, but all
I see are nurses and doctors hovering over him. Darren stops looking at the baby long enough to give me a kiss on the lips.
"We did it, baby! We have a healthy baby boy," he says.
We? Did he bump his head and forget I carried this baby for nine months and I've just spent the last few hours trying to push him out of my body? I return Darren's kiss and realize it's not about me. I should be grateful we have another healthy baby, although my heart was set on a little girl.
"Honey, he's a big one. He weighs eight pounds, thirteen ounces," Darren states.
Ouch, that's probably why my poonanny is pulsating. Dang, could he get any bigger?
My heart melts when I see him. My precious little boy has a head full of hair and light-gray eyes. His skin feels like silk, and I love the way he wraps his tiny fingers around my pinky. I want to love on him all day. I find myself staring at him for hours; I'm convinced he's the cutest baby on earth. Darren and I decide we will stick to the name Damien. Darren, DJ, and Damien. My three Ds.
"Mom, can I hold him?" DJ asks when he comes to visit me at the hospital.
"Sure, baby, come here. You have to be careful and make sure you hold his head," I tell DJ as I carefully place his little brother in his arms.
"Like this?" DJ asks. He's extremely cautious as he looks down at his little brother and tries to figure out what to do.
"Yes, baby," I answer. I wish I had a camera to capture this moment.
"Aaahhh, Mom! Get him!" DJ yells as the baby squirms around.
I start to laugh as I take the baby from DJ. The look on DJ's face is priceless.
"I'll wait until he's bigger. He moves too much," DJ says, now content that I am holding Damien.
"I was just as gaga when you were a baby," I answer happily.CHAPTER 2
Late Summer 2004
I am finally able to sit back and truly enjoy life and my family. I'm married, and I couldn't be more ecstatic. Life has a funny way of teaching us lessons. I spent years searching for Mr. Perfect and Mr. Right, when in fact, he was right under my nose. Marlon and I attended DePaul University together, but I was too absorbed in other things to really notice him. When we bumped into each other at Philips Seafood in Maryland, I was surprised to see someone from my old life but excited at the same time. Moving to a new environment can be difficult, but I've made the best of it and would not trade it for anything else.
Although life didn't happen the way I planned, I am grateful for my health and my husband. I truly believe I've met my soul mate. It took me awhile to get to the place I am in today, but looking back over my life, it was worth it. Marlon is patient, gentle, and loving. He loves Portia as if she were his own. I believe I still have a long way to go before I believe I am worthy. It's one thing to talk the talk, but you have to be able to walk the walk. And it's not as easy as people make it out to be.
I often wonder if Jeff, Portia's long lost father, ever thinks about his daughter. Does he wonder how she's doing? If she has a boyfriend? What her goals are in life? Heck, does he think about me? I wonder what I would do if I saw him again or he called. I realized a long time ago that I needed to let bygones be bygones. His loss is another man's gain, and in my case, it would be Marlon's.
* * *
On the outside, my life is picture-perfect, so I have never fully understood why I have moments when I feel like something is missing. I certainly don't want others to see how insecure I feel. I feel as though I'm living a double life. I am good at putting on a good front when I'm around others, but I don't want others to feel sorry for me for being a single parent and having had to struggle like I have. I realize over the years that I've kept to myself in fear of how others may judge me. Perhaps I'm the only one judging me. Now that's a thought. If I were a client, what would I tell me?
Excerpted from Growing Pains by Paris Love. Copyright © 2014 Paris Love. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse LLC.
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