Whitney took down the last pin curl, and gave her head a good shake to loosen her curls. Her curls bounced around, falling softly along her collarbone. She pinned one side back with a rhinestone embellished hair comb, showcasing her diamond studs. It had been a long time since she'd been dressed up for a date. Too long. She didn’t remember having butterflies even on their first date years ago. Whitney smiled at her reflection, more and more she was starting to look like her mother, although she had the deep chocolate tone of her father. She pulled her fluffy, baby pink robe close so she could apply the finishing touches to her makeup without getting residue on her dress. She glanced at the clock sitting above the medicine cabinet. A quarter to seven. Where was Brent? Their dinner reservation was for seventhirty. She smoothed a strand of hair from her face. The half-carat, white gold diamond ring sparkled on her finger. Today, one year ago, Brent proposed to her. Today was also their four-year anniversary. They had yet to set a date for the wedding, but she hoped to discuss those details with Brent tonight at dinner. The front door shut. Brent's wing tipped shoes tapped across the hardwood floors. "Brent, sweetie...you only have a few minutes to get ready for dinner. Why are you so late?" Whitney shouted from the bathroom. Moments later, Brent appeared at the bathroom door. "Hey," he said, watching Whitney curl her lashes. She glanced at him in the mirror. His face was flushed. "Hey sweetie, you okay?" Brent lowered his gaze to the floor. "Whitney, we need to talk," he said in a low voice. "Why? What's up?" She clamped the lash curler onto her eyelash. "I can't go to dinner tonight to celebrate our anniversary." "What do you mean, Brent? You have to go back to work or something?" She took out her charcoal gray eyeliner from her makeup bag.
"No....I can't go because we have to call off the engagement." "Ouch....shit!" Whitney grabbed her washcloth and placed it on her eye. "Shit!" "Whitney, are you okay?" He placed his hand on her shoulder. She shrugged his hand away. "No, Brent I'm not okay, I just poked myself in the damn eye with my eyeliner thanks to you. Damnit!" She opened her eye, blinking rapidly. It was red and watery. She gently cleaned the liner from her lower eyelid with a makeup remover wipe. "I'm sorry." He reached to console her. "Stop! Don't touch me. How dare you try to comfort me? You just told me that our engagement is off...don't act like you care about me now." She pushed past him. "Whitney, we need to talk about this." Whitney grabbed her purse and keys off her bed, stuffed her feet into her heels and headed for the front door. "Whitney! Where are you going?" "I have a dinner reservation that I made three months ago. I'm going to dinner!" She caught her reflection in the mirror that hung by the entrance. Damnit. She struggled out of her bathrobe and tossed it onto the sofa. Brent grabbed for her arm as she reached for the door. Whitney pulled away. "Fuck you!" she said through clenched teeth. "Fuck you, Brent Kaid." She pushed him in the chest with her clutch. The door slammed before Brent could protest. Whitney rushed down the stairs and stopped at the lobby door. Her heart raced. She looked back at the staircase. No Brent. She swung open the glass door and sprinted to the curb to hail a taxi. "Sixty-third Street and Park Avenue, please." She slammed the car door. The cab driver nodded and sped off.
A few seconds later, her cell phone vibrated in her purse. It was Brent. She declined the call. Tonight was the night that she was supposed to set a wedding date and talk about colors, and the guest list, and whether they wanted to have it in the summer or the spring or the fall. Tonight was the night that she’d waited one long year for. Tonight was the night she was supposed to plan for her happily-ever-after. Tonight was the night that she lost the one thing that she felt so certain about. Tonight was the night that she was told by the man she had loved for the past four years that she was not good enough. Tonight was the night that she lost the one person that she had uprooted her whole life for. Tonight she had lost her fiancé, her security, and her ability to breathe. "We're here ma'am." The cab driver pulled over to the curb. Whitney stared at the bustling restaurant. Smiling couples went in and out, hand in hand. A sharp pain stung in her side. She opened the car door just in time for all that she had consumed that day to come rushing forth like an open fire hydrant. Her eyes watered. Throwing up always made her eyes water. "Ma'am?" Whitney pulled the door shut and took a small pack of Kleenex from her clutch and wiped her mouth. She leaned her head back against the seat. "I can't go in. I'm sorry. Please take me to Forty-second Street and Seventh Avenue please, I'm sorry." "Are you okay, ma'am?" the cabbie asked. Whitney looked at the driver's face for the first time since she’d entered the cab. She shook her head. "No, I'm not.” A smile strained across her face. The driver nodded and drove off.
Jason clicked on Whitney Ryan’s Facebook page. As soon as he clicked on her profile his gaze went straight to her status: “Engaged”.
“Engaged,” he said to himself. He clicked on her photos, then her album labeled, “Random Pics w/Friends”. There was one photo in particular that stood out to him. It was a photo of him and Whitney at last year’s holiday party. The caption read: “Me & My Best Friend, Jason Tuckerman”. He visited this photo every day, a few times a day. They had other photos together, but this one was just the two of them. They really looked like a couple. Whitney was the woman that he could see himself with for a lifetime. She was the perfect girl that he would love to take home to mom. Beautiful, kind, and so intelligent, this made her even sexier. But there was one person keeping Jason from asking Whitney out, her fiancé, Brent. “Another beautiful woman that has placed me in the dreaded friend zone.” He sighed as he stared at the photo. Whitney’s big beautiful brown eyes stared back at him. Her onyx hair was pulled back into a sleek bun, exposing diamond studded earlobes and a long slender neck. A neck he dreamed of sucking on every time he stood next to her. She wore a red satin sleeveless dress, which highlighted two tiny moles that were placed delicately on top of her right boob. He imagined kissing those cute little moles every night. Her full luscious lips looked so inviting. Many days while talking to her in the break room at work, he would fantasize about kissing her passionately. Jason’s mind flashed back to their first encounter. He was pouring himself coffee in the in the break room before work, when a beautiful, slim yet curvy lady walked in. A mahogany goddess. She smiled and introduced herself as Whitney Ryan. It was her first day. “Miss Ryan, nice to meet you, I’m Jason Tuckerman." They shook hands. "Welcome aboard, I heard we were getting a new paralegal in the department.” “Thank you, Jason. I’m happy to be here, I’ve heard so many great things about this law firm.” She poured herself a cup of decaf coffee. “So what brings you here to Milford & Brown?” Jason welcomed Whitney to join him at the small table in the room. Whitney avoided direct eye contact, rotating her coffee mug around a few times. “I just moved to New York from Georgia with my fiancé, Brent. His friend is a lawyer here, Jackie Petro and she told him they were looking for someone, so.”
“Oh okay. Yea, I know Jackie, she’s a sweetheart.” Jason stared at Whitney’s luscious lips. The fact that she had a fiancé didn’t stop him from wanting to devour her lips with his. She finally looked at him with those doe like eyes. “What part of Georgia are you from?” he asked. She moistened her lips. “I’m from Atlanta, East Point actually. Are you familiar with Atlanta?” “I’m more than familiar. I was born and raised there, Decatur actually.” He smiled. A beautiful southern belle. “Oh wow! A fellow southerner!” They gave each other a high five. A smile lifted the corners of her mouth. “How long have you been in New York?” “Only two years, but it feels like it’s been longer.” “So did you move up here alone? Do you have family here?” Whitney asked. She seemed excited to find someone from her hometown. “Nope, solo. I just wanted a change of scenery so I came up north. I have a buddy of mine from college living in New Jersey, so I stayed with him until I found a job and my own place. Is it just you and your fiancé?” “Yes, well, he has friends up here, but he’s the only person I know. He’s actually from New York, we met in college three years ago. We just got engaged before moving up here.” She smiled as she looked down at her engagement ring. Jason looked down at her ring too, but he didn’t smile. “What did you say your last name is again?” Whitney asked. “Tuckerman.” “I know a Tuckerman. My friend’s sister is married to a Tuckerman. Malcolm Tuckerman. Are you guys related?” Jason chuckled. “Are you kidding me? Malcolm is my brother!” “Get outta here!” Whitney playfully slapped Jason’s hand. “He’s married to my best friend’s sister, Shayla.”
“Yep, that’s my brother." Jason nodded. "Wow, I can’t believe we know the same people. This is crazy!” Whitney shook her head. “I was at their wedding. How did I not meet you? Well actually now that I think about it, I didn’t meet any of Malcolm’s side of the family. I mostly hung out with Tangie and our friend Shaundra. But still, wow!” Jason stared at Whitney in amazement. They had crossed paths five years ago without knowing it. He could have been her “Brent” right now. He shook his head. “Well I got to get to work, got a lot of cases on my desk. Miss Ryan, it was a pleasure meeting you.” He kissed her hand. “Don’t be a stranger now, it’s not every day I meet a Georgia Peach.” He winked at her and left the break room.
Jason logged out of Facebook. He picked up his cell phone and dialed his mother’s number. "Hey mom, how's it going?" he asked, once he heard his mom's perky hello. "Hey baby, I'm doing fine. Just getting more and more busy with planning this darn wedding. You know how much work goes into planning these things, goodness gracious." He shook his head. His mom always liked to be hands on so he could only imagine. "Look at the bright side, mom, in two weeks it'll all be over then you can relax. Although I'm sure you'll find a new project by then to sink your teeth into." "No sir, after this, I'm going on vacation! So anyway honey, what's going on with you? Are you bringing that Peggy with you to the wedding?" "Mom, her name is Patrice and no, I'm not bringing her, she is no longer in the picture." "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that, sweetie." He could hear the smile in her voice. He knew she was only asking just to ask. His mom never forgot names nor faces but she always managed to, conveniently, forget Patrice's, making it very clear that she wasn't fond of her. "Yea right mom, I bet you are." He chuckled. "I'm coming solo I guess." "Jason, why don't you bring Whitney, you know I love her. She's such a sweetheart and y'all look so cute together." Jason sighed. "Mom, you know Whitney is engaged, practically married. She's out now celebrating her anniversary. I'll come by myself, no big deal." "Well baby, like I've said before, maybe you should just come back to Atlanta and find you a good ole southern girl. You know—" Jason's cell phone beeped. Whitney. His heart fluttered. His heart always fluttered whenever she called. "Mom, hold on for a minute, it's Whitney calling." Jason swapped
calls. "Whitney…hey girl, what's wrong? I thought you’d be out to dinner with Brent?" Sniffles came through the phone line. "Whitney? Whitney, what's wrong? Where are you?" he asked, concern in his voice. "Jason, can you meet me at the Living Room Bar at the W Hotel? I need to talk." "Sure…sure. I'll be right there." Jason ended his call with Whitney and switched back to his mom. "Mom, I'll call you tomorrow. I need to go." "Baby, what's wrong?" his mom asked. "I don't know, Whitney sounded as if she was crying so I'm gonna meet her to find out what happened. Love you, bye." Jason stomped his feet into his black dress shoes and hurried out the door. Whitney sat at the bar twisting her engagement ring around her finger. Jason sat on the stool next to her. She looked beautiful as always yet sad. Her body looked deflated, like the life had been knocked out of her. If he could be her human shield to protect her from all hurt and harm, he would. She was his best friend. They had become very close over the past year. A little too close for him because he yearned for something more than just the title 'best friend'. "Whitney." He touched her arm. She just stared at her ring, not acknowledging his presence. She lifted her hand, showcasing her ring finger. "This is a reminder of what not to do ever again." "What do you mean? Never get engaged again?" "Never again." She drained her watered down cocktail. "I hope you don't mean that. You're too beautiful to let some loser make you bitter toward all men." He smoothed back her silky black hair. He noticed she wore the hair comb he'd given her for Christmas. She finally looked up at him, eyes puffy, burning with fire. His heart fell to his stomach.
He had never seen her cry unless it was tears of laughter from one of his jokes. "What are you drinking?" He put her glass to his nose. "Whiskey on the rocks." She took the cup from him and turned it up to her mouth although there was no more liquid inside. Whitney wasn’t a hard liquor kind of girl. She normally ordered wine or some fruity drink that you could barely taste the alcohol. "Bartender, can I please get two whiskey on the rocks?" The bartender nodded as he turned to prepare their drinks. "Do you want to talk about it Whitney?" Whitney let out a huge sigh as if it would take all her energy to talk about what had happened. The bartender placed her drink in front of her. She gulped down half the contents before looking at Jason. "Brent dumped me." "What the hell? What happened?" Jason asked, shocked and a tad bit hopeful. "We were supposed to go to dinner tonight, you know I told you about that. It’s our four year anniversary." She twirled the ice around with her finger. "I'm supposed to be talking about setting the wedding date with my fiancé right now, not drowning my sorrows at a bar with my best friend." She sucked her finger. Jason brushed away the strands of hair that stuck to her wet cheeks. Her sadden gaze met his. "I'm sorry Jason, for dragging you out the house tonight. I'm sure you had better things to do on a Friday night, then to sit here and watch me cry my heart out." "I wouldn't be any other place but here. You know I'm always here for you when you need me." She gave him a weak smile. "You know, I didn’t even know that he wasn’t happy in the relationship. Now I have to tell everyone that the engagement is off." She put her head in her hands. "I'm so hurt, embarrassed, angry and shocked all at the same time. The funny part about all this," she dropped her arm down, her charm bracelet clanking
against the bar, "we live together and there is three months left on the lease which is in both our names. HA!" She finished off her whiskey. Jason's heart broke for her. If only he could just hold her and never let her go. There was an instant connection with Whitney when they first met. A magnetic pull that he couldn't fight. He didn’t want to fight. He held her hand on the bar. She stared at her empty drink, as if she was looking through the glass. He squeezed her hand. She looked up at him with tear filled eyes. Whitney quickly wiped the tears away when they fell. Jason handed her a napkin. "Thanks Jason, for being here with me, honestly. I'm sorry for crying all over the place. I'm sure I look a hot mess." She dabbed at her eyes and nose. "It's understandable, Whitney, considering what you've just been through. I'm just glad I can be here for you." He kissed the back of her hand. "I'm surprised that I'm even crying now because when Brent told me he no longer wanted to be together, I didn’t cry. I just rushed out the house and headed to the restaurant." She shook her head. "I don't know why I went to the restaurant because there was no way I was going to sit there and have dinner alone." She bit down on her lip. "Whitney, you don't have to apologize for being human. We've all been hurt before, unfortunately, I know your pain." "Thank you. Whew!” She took a deep breath. “Let me go to the restroom and clean myself up. No more crying, it's killing my buzz." She kissed him on the cheek before heading to the ladies room. Whitney was a strong woman. He knew that she would bounce back from this. Nothing kept her down for long. That's one of the qualities, among many, that he admired about her. She had been his rock countless times and he wanted to be strong for her now. Jason watched her walk away. She looked so elegant in her form fitted little black dress and her black stilettos which added three inches to her 5'4 frame, accentuating her sexy legs. Whitney was the envy of most women. She ate whatever she wanted and didn’t own a gym membership. And yet, she had the body of a fitness model. Many times he had imagined how she would look naked, in his bed, curled up beside him.
Jason ordered another drink. Whitney's cell phone vibrated atop the bar. He glanced down at her phone. Brent's name displayed on her screen. "Bastard," Jason said under his breath. He cracked his knuckles. If he could get his hands on Brent, Whitney would be the last person he hurt and lived to tell about it. Just then Whitney returned to the bar. Her body brushed up against him. A whiff of her sweet smelling perfume filled his nostrils. Jason licked his lips. What he would give to kiss that that sweet smelling skin. "You missed a call," he said as she scooted her stool closer to the bar. Whitney checked her phone and rolled her eyes. "It was Brent." She sighed. "Do you plan to give him back the ring now that y'all are no longer engaged?" "I really haven't thought about it. I may just keep it to scare off losers from trying to talk to me." "No, you don't want to do that. You may end up scaring away the good ones too." An inviting smile highlighted her face. The sadness seemed to drain from her eyes. She was beautiful.
Whitney gave Jason a sideways glance. Was he flirting with her or was she just wishing that he was? What was she doing wanting this handsome man to be flirting with her when her boyfriend of four years just dumped her? Correction…her fiancé. Jason caressed her back. Her skin tingled underneath his touch. His touch took away the numbness that still lingered from when Brent told her that the engagement was off. "I can't believe I didn’t see this coming, Jason. The things that I sacrificed for my relationship with him. I moved to a city that I had never been to, leaving my friends and family behind. I followed behind him because I thought that he was in love with me and wanted to build a life together. I don't see myself getting engaged again or ever moving to be with a guy again. Because once things go wrong, I'm the one left with the short end of the stick," she said pointing to her chest. "Whitney, I know you're hurting right now but don’t let this one guy steal your joy and keep you from being with the right guy. He could be right in front of her eyes, gurl." He winked at her. Whitney loved his southern accent. Right in front of her eyes? He was definitely flirting with her. "Would you like another drink lady?" He gave her his unforgettable smile. A smile that could change anybody’s mood from sad to happy instantly. "Sure, I would love another one. I don't know how my body's going to feel in the morning but right now, the answer is a strong YES! But let's do a whiskey sour this time, whew! I don't know what I was thinking downing that whiskey straight up." Jason laughed and ordered them another round. Whitney saw him with brand new eyes. She examined the tall, beautifully sculpted, and extremely sexy man sitting beside her. Those gray eyes, beautifully accented by his dark brown, baby smooth skin, glanced at her. A cool air tickled her skin. How could this guy still be single? Any woman would want to date him and take him home to mama. Being his best friend, she’d heard all about his failed conquests with women. He was a great guy, if she hadn’t been with Brent, she would have definitely
jumped on him the first day they’d met. "So what do you plan to do about the living arrangement?" he asked. "I honestly don't know." She sipped her cocktail. "Well you are welcomed to my bed. I mean, you are welcomed to my home and you can have the bed, I’ll take the sofa bed." She giggled. "I knew what you meant, and thanks. If you don't mind I would like to stay over tonight. I can’t really be around Brent right now unless I want to go to jail for murder." They laughed. The more she talked to Jason, the more the sadness seemed to dissipate. "Well, I would be honored to have your company tonight." He smiled. She wet her lips. Was that a naughty grin on Jason's face or was it just the alcohol making her read too much into things? They finished their drinks and headed to Jason's apartment. Once there he gave her one of his t-shirts to sleep in. She sat on the bed. Jason sat beside her. He caressed her back. Whitney eyed his mouth. She moved in closer to him, and brushed her lips across his. He pulled away. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done that." She lowered her head. "No…don’t apologize. Trust me, I've been waiting forever for the moment to kiss you but I just want to make sure that it's what you really want." Whitney nodded. Jason leaned in and tilted her head up to look him in the eyes. His kiss was soft and gentle. His full lips covered hers. Whitney opened her mouth with a slow moan. He pushed his tongue deep into her mouth. She caught it and sucked gently. Giving Jason a brief preview of what it would be like it she got another part of him into her mouth. He slid his tongue from her mouth and softly pulled on her bottom lip with his. Whitney caressed his smooth baldhead as he planted wet kisses down her neck, sweeping over her collarbone. He had mentioned many times that the collarbone was one of his favorite parts of a woman's body. She lifted his head, wanting more of those delicious lips. She fell into his mouth hungrily. Their tongues danced together,
passionately. He pulled back. "I love kissing you. I know that you're just probably doing this because you're hurt and upset and in some way you're trying to get back at Brent, but…Whitney…I love kissing you." He cupped her face in his hands and pressed his warm lips against hers. Why was she kissing him? Was it to get back at Brent? What did this mean for her and Jason's friendship? "Whitney." She slowly opened her eyes. "I know I said I would sleep on the sofa bed, but if you let me, I would like to just hold you tonight." She smoothed a thumb over his eyebrows. His eyes held a deep love for her. He had never looked at her this way, or if he had, this was the first time she'd noticed. "Yes…I need that."
Jason lifted Whitney as he slid his body down until she straddled his face. Brent never did it to her this way. She watched as he nuzzled his face deep into her. She leaned over his head, her arms resting on the pillow. His stiff tongue penetrated her, she moaned and bobbed up and down on his mouth. He grabbed her hips, pulling her down more. She sat upright, rocking back and forth over his face. After a few seconds, she leaned back, allowing him an opportunity to breath. He held her hips tight. A low moan escaped her throat as she thrust against his skilled tongue. "Whitney." She moaned again. An overwhelming sensation building up between her legs. "Whitney." Whitney's eyes popped open. Jason breathed down on her. "Whitney, wake up. Your cell phone is vibrating."
It was just a dream. Damn. She picked up her cell from the nightstand. There were seven missed calls from Brent. Oh now he was calling. Now she was important. She placed the phone down dismissively. "That must have been a great dream, Miss Lady." He chuckled. "Why do you say that?" She avoided eye contact. "Because you were moaning in your sleep." She covered her face with the pillow. "Really?" she muffled. "Really. So what were you dreaming about?" She looked at him. He lay beside her, his head resting on his hand. "I can’t even remember what it was about," she lied. That kiss from Jason must have triggered her wet dream. It was something she needed. When was the last time Brent had kissed her that passionately? She touched her lips at the thought. "So, what is your plan for today? I know you have to go home and face Brent." He smoothed hair from her face. She closed her eyes at his touch. So gentle. So caring. She opened her eyes as his knuckles brushed her cheeks and studied him, his eyes and his lips. Those lips. An instant wetness formed in her panties. He took her hand, pressing each finger to his lips, never loosing eye contact. She slowly pulled her hand back. He gave her an 'Iknow-you-liked-that' smile. She shook her thoughts loose in her head. "I plan to go back to the apartment and have a much needed heart to heart with Brent. I didn't really give him time yesterday to explain himself." Jason's gaze bore into her. "Jason, why are you staring at me like that?" "I don't know. I just…" he sighed.
"What? Tell me." Her pulse quickened. What did he want to say? "Do you regret that we kissed?" "No, I don't. I mean, I don't know what it means, but, I don't regret it. I wanted it. I needed it. I mean…I'm just all confused, emotionally right now. Brent has really rocked my world with this break up. I feel so blindsided." Jason looked down at the bed. "I'm glad you don't regret it." He looked at her with admiring eyes. "If you need me, I'm here for you, okay. No matter what you need, I got you." And she knew that. Jason was one person she knew without a doubt had her back. "Thank you, Jason. I really appreciate your concern and hospitality. I'm truly blessed to have you as my best friend." "Yea, best friends for life, right?" Whitney knew that question was rhetorical. "I guess I should get dressed. It's time to go face the music. No more hiding, right?" "I guess so," he said in a low voice. Whitney dressed quickly in the bathroom. She looked in the mirror. Her lips were plump and pink from arousal. She licked them. A tiny cloud of guilt hung over her head. Technically, she was a single woman, right? So why did she feel so guilty? With one last look in the mirror, she inhaled deeply and walked out of the bathroom. "Jason, I'm ready." He escorted her to the front door. "Whitney, call me if you need me." He took her hand. She placed a lingering kiss on his cheek and slowly backed away. His warm gray eyes caressed her face. "Thank you again, Jason." Her fingers slipped through his hand as she walked out the door.
Thank you for reading this free sample of The Wedding Date. Please feel free to spread the word to your family and friends and your social media networks! To purchase, please visit Amazon Kobo AllRomance Click Here to Sign Up For Updates or Text NRBYA & YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO 16782493375 Let's Connect!! Facebook Twitter Goodreads