Sharon spent most of the day packing her office while Monica and Scott took Anna to the police station. It was time to establish a new life with Grant. She stood with her hands on her hips looking around the box filled room and in hindsight she wished she’d taken Joy’s offer of assistance. The office itself was empty save the last of the cleaning crew who, upon making their last pass at the kitchen, left for the evening.

She looked down at the city below reflecting on her past. She and Monica had come so far from their humble beginnings; they’d risen above their circumstances. Now she was in a position to help others and vowed she would.

She spun in place when she heard a light knock and the office front door open. “Monica, I’m in here.” She called and was surprised to see Willow standing in her doorway. “Hi,” she said puzzled.

“Hey, Sharon. I didn’t mean to disturb you.” Willow said nervously shifting from one foot to another. “I’m looking for Monica.”

“She’s not here,” Sharon offered her a seat and she sat. “Was she expecting you?”

“No, she wasn’t. I was hoping to catch her…here…I…”

Sharon sensed drama and leaned against the edge of her desk and spoke softly. “What the real reason you’re here?”

Willow sighed. “I wanted to talk with Monica about Scott. I know things between them aren’t what they used to be.” She looked up at Sharon. “I just want a chance with him.”

“And you think Monica is standing in your way?”

“Yes. She has a hold on him.” She stammered breathlessly. “That is to say, I’m not sure she really wants him….but I do.”

Sharon smiled tenderly. “You really love him, don’t you?”

“Yeah,” she mouthed.

“And he doesn’t reciprocate your affection?”

“No, but I’m sure he would if Monica would let him go.”

“Monica isn’t your problem, Scott is. He loves Monica, not you and I doubt he ever will.” Sharon shook her head.

“How do you know?” Willow asked dejectedly.

“Sweetie, for an intelligent woman like yourself to show up here is proof of your desperation. To be honest, I doubt your attempt was done wholeheartedly.”

“I don’t know what’s going with me lately. Scott…Scott and I are friends but I can’t help thinking that maybe he’ll come around.”

Sharon stared at her in amazement. “Scott must have broken your heart when he turned you down.” Willow didn’t have to answer; the tears pooled in her eyes said it all. Sharon squatted in front of her. “If you love him then you will let him go—don’t throw yourself at his feet, it’ll only hurt more when he steps over you.”

“Ha!” she laughed and wiped her eyes. “I think he already has.”

“Then it’s time for you to stand up, dust yourself off and compose yourself. No man is worth fighting don’t have to fight for something which belongs to you. Monica understood that…that’s why she was never threatened by you or anyone else.”

Willow hung her head. “You think I’m a fool?”

“No, I think you fell for the wrong guy and got your feeling hurt. You won’t make the same mistake twice.” She stood. “Come on, pull yourself together. I won’t mention any of this to Monica. But promise me you’ll leave things the way they are, move on.”

She burst into laughter but the lines of rejection and shame creased her brow. “You’re something else, Sharon. Most women in your position would’ve gone off.”

“Don’t give me too much praise. My first inclination was to kick your ass but that wouldn’t have solved anything. Besides, I’ve been in your shoes. I know what it’s like.”

“Thanks, damn I feel stupid.”

“You shouldn’t feel stupid…just don’t ever let a man—a man that has told you point blank that he’s not interested drive you to confront the other woman. If he says he’s not into you, then you might wanna take his word for it.” Sharon shrugged.

Willow gave a pitiful grin and looked around the room at the boxes stacked one upon the other. “It looks like you’re ready to go. Can I help you?”

“Nah, the building maintenance guys are coming soon. They’ll move the heavy stuff downstairs.” She blew a long sigh. “I’ll be fine. Go on.”

Willow turned to leave but stopped short at the door. “Thanks, Sharon, really. Monica is fortunate to have such a wonderful friend.”

“I appropriate that. Goodnight.”

Willow closed door behind her and wandered thoughtlessly to the lift. She was knocked forcefully against the wall by an imposing man who seemed to have come bounding out of nowhere. “Hey! Excuse me!” she yelled at him but he didn’t stop or speak a word—he continued towards Monica and Sharon’s office. Willow righted herself but she sensed that wasn’t the maintenance guy. She gathered her purse and walked carefully to the lift. Every nerve in her body urged her to call for help.


First came the task of getting her life in order, this began with invoking her rights under the retraining order. At the police station her presence caused a bit of a stir amongst the officers and before long homicide detective pulled she and Scott and Monica into a private room. They listened in wide-eyed disbelief as the detective read off a list of deplorable crimes perpetrated by Anthony…they ranged from petty theft to attempted murder.

Anna nearly fainted. She had no idea his drug addiction had taken him to such lows. She fervently told the officers she wasn’t involved and hadn’t heard from him since the night he appeared in the office. Kevin Harris, the lead homicide detective, sated her fears; they were sure of her innocence since his crimes were committed before he stalked her to Atlanta—he’d used her as his escape from Macon.

He’d used her, Anna repeated to herself until anger boiled in her blood. But would she assist the police in capturing Anthony—he’d gone into hiding and the police need bait to draw him out. Fuck no! was her initial reaction.

“What if he gets me?” Anna all but whispered.

“And what if we don’t get him?” Kevin asked coldly, his dark eyes softened by a fleeting twinkle. “Are you going to keep running from him or put on your ‘big girl panties’ and fight back?”

Anna wasn’t thrilled but agreed. She looked to Monica who was deep in thought and hadn’t spoken a word as they brainstormed possible methods of luring Anthony out in the open. She looked to Scott, he too was transfixed.

“Marry Scott.” Monica blurted out unexpectedly. Like a needle dragging across a record, everyone stopped and turned to her. “If he thinks you’re getting married, he’ll poke his head out and then it’s over.” The look on Anna’s face read ‘expound please’. “If he were to get wind of you getting married to some random guy, he’d know it was a trap. You marrying Scott is believable—you ran to him when you needed help…and where do you live now?”

“She has a point,” Kevin conceded though Anna shot him a narrow eyed look.

“Do I have any say in this?” Scott asked.

“Do you have a better idea?” Monica inquired.

Scott stretched the back of his neck. “Not really but...” he whispered to Monica. “Are you sure? It could be dangerous.”

“It better than anything we could’ve come up with.” Kevin piped in. “We’ll take all precautionary measures.”

“Good,” Monica stood to leave. “It’s settled. Let’s go.”

“Wait,” Kevin said. “There’s more.” He turned to Anna. “There’s a lot more.”

Anna didn’t care for his tone but there was something warm behind his icy façade. His eyes were sharp and piercing, and his nose tapered was like none she’d seen on a Black man…it was beautiful and gave him an air of thoughtfulness and decision. She sat and listened to the men talk for hours about surveillance, decoys, and round the clock protection. By the end their voices all bled together and she’d had enough. When Kevin asked for a key to Scott’s apartment Anna’s attention perked.

“What?!” she shrieked.

Kevin grabbed his belongings. “I’ll be with you wherever you go—even in your sleep.” He exited before she could close her gaping mouth.


Grant slumped in his seat with a brandy snifter dangling from his left hand as he listened to Mr. Fitz go on about his day. Since Monica and Scott had come into their lives, the Fitz were more active, not just socially but emotionally. The demise and final loss of their only children sucked the life out of them…Monica and Scott, and by extension Joy and Anna, were a breath of fresh air in what was increasingly becoming a depressing situation.

Mr. Fitz had always been financial prudent and an energetic patron of the arts however his inner circle, the people he trust without reserve, grew smaller and smaller. Scott filled the void left by his son and more importantly never expected anything in return. Seeing Scott pulling up the driveway without prior notice always brought a smile to his face. He wanted to be there…not like the others vying for positions or money.

“What’s on your mind?” Mr. Fitz asked Grant.

“Nothing,” Grant drew a long sip of brandy. “Yes, it’s Sharon. Well, not Sharon but Monica. Scott is going to ask Monica to marry him. He’s prepared to move to LA at the end of the semester.”

“What’s the problem? So, he’ll move in a month or so.”

Grant sat forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “Monica will say yes but…I don’t know. Maybe I’m overanalyzing things but…I have a feeling Scott will have to bend in her favor if he expects her to come onboard. And you know as well as I, Scott can be stubborn.”

“He should favor her. Monica has bent over backwards for him…bettering herself in the process but still.” Mr. Fitz closed his eyes. “You mean, he doesn’t be dependant on Monica for income.”

“Oh no!” Grant corrected him. “He’s finances are in order. His manhood is tied to him physically going to work. And now I’m afraid Sharon will want to stay with Monica to help sort…well, you know how women are. I just want my woman.”

“Those two are inseparable; you take one, you take them both.” Mr. Fitz chuckled. “I’ll talk to Scott.” He rose to his feet and went to his desk. “I need your help. I’m completely rewriting my will.”

“What?! We made changes two years ago. What now?”

Mr. Fitz smiled hopefully. “Things have changed.”


“What I want is a long, slow orgasm without the need to give one in return,” Monica purred into the neck of Scott’s neck. “I want a man who can articulate his needs and wants—there’s hotter than someone telling me exactly how I’m making them feel at that precise moment, and even better, tells me what they would like to do to me.”

“You’re a tease,” He said and flipped Monica over on her back. “I’ll make you pay for that.” He bent her knees and opened her legs open. He hesitated at the sight of her swollen clit and sultry lips exhibited perfectly, entirely open and wholly exposed ready for his possession. “First, I’m going to eat you and then make love to you.”

“Make love to me? I was hoping for something a little kinkier.”

He smiled up from between her legs he bowed his head to taste her, the first contact sent shivers through her body and he covered her with lingering licks and kisses and tenderly sucked her clit and slipped his tongue inside her and drew low purring moans from her lips. “Damn Monica, you’re wet.”

The phone rang and Scott reached to answer.

Monica slapped his hand. “They’ll leave a message.”

Moments later both of their cell phones rang and Kevin began pounding on the Scott’s bedroom door.

Reluctantly, their dressed and Monica answered her phone while freshened and went to the living room.

“Anthony is in custody.” Kevin said gravely.

Scott’s eyes lit up but Kevin’s expression never changed.

“Are the name Sharon and Willow familiar?”

Scott said heavily.

“It appears Anthony went to Monica’s office looking for Anna…Sharon happened to be there alone and he attacked them before the authorities arrived.”

Anna paced the floor frantically. Monica emerged from the panic stricken.

Scott held on to her for dear life.