Grab your copy today.
Special price 1.99 — limited time only!
It’s the last day to get Manhattan Sugar for 99 pennies!
“I can be the kind of man you crave. One you can rely on, lean on, expect him to blow your fucking mind open without having to work for it. I’m him, India. You’re all I’ll ever want. Take a chance on an old man. Love me. Feel how I love you. Because I do, India. I love you until my insides boil with it.” – Gray Ellison
No one said dying was ever easy.
Like, it would be helpful if there was a leaflet on it in the doctor’s office.
Maybe in the subway.
It feels a lot like what the dictionary says; on the point of death.
Oh, yeah. I know I’m being Kardashian level of dramatic but with a baby in my belly and my gay best friend the baby daddy, not to mention running away from home with barely a clean pair of undies to my name. And what with the sudden influx of all day sickness I think I have a right to a minute of dramatic outburst.
“Hey, mama. When you’re done puking in there, do you want to brave the outside world and go for some lunch?” Called out my good friend India through her bathroom door.
I was currently camped at her luxury loft apartment in Manhattan’s meatpacking district and had been for the last four days while I got my fricking act together.
It was a lot of act to rally.
I was not a runner nor a confronter, falling somewhere in between, but here I was; hiding out and avoiding all messages on my phone.
I was being a chicken shit.
Part of me longed to switch my phone on and read the wall of messages I knew were on there from Noah. To listen to the full machine of voicemails he’d left me in the last few days. That part of me is so strong and I buried my phone in the bottom of my purse otherwise I’d crumble and see him before I’m ready to.
Before I’ve protected my soul against the feeling I have when I’m around him.
If he’s gonna tell me he’s back with Tom, the almighty overlord of the dickdouche’s as I like to call him, I need to have all my supportive walls in tact to hear that.
It won’t be easy.
It’ll destroy me.
And I’m back to feeling like I’m dying.
Around the same time my heart was crushed, the morning sickness descended on me like an unwelcome uncle at the Christmas party. I puked so hard that first morning I was sure I had an infestation of tapeworm inside me.
It was not pleasant.
It only seemed to worsen when I breathe so that wasn’t all bad…
I balanced on the side of India’s bathtub, my belly roiling with a slight case of the sweats, part due to the sickness attacking my system and part nervous expectation of having to bow down to the porcelain god any time now.
I don’t think my knees could take much more of me hurling myself onto the floor like I was a line-backer.
I recalled the horror stories from momma and her friends who talked of their morning sickness as though it was a monster overtaking their bodies and lasting for months.
God. I can’t deal with my Noah-torn erratic emotions plus this at the same time, it’s too big for one Southern woman, though my Aunt Sadie would call me a literal pussy if I dared admit I was broken over a man.
She was a card carrying man-hater after my uncle Cade was found to be cheating for ten long years with a woman from our local church.
One must give, and I know it’ll be my emotions.
I’ve already given it too much time.
What have I lost, really? A few good times in bed.
It was more than good, a tiny, slutty voice interjected inside my mind.
Yeah. I sighed. It was more than good.
That saying; the best sex ever wasn’t invented for nothing.
With Noah it was so true.
He not only rocked my body in ways I’d never experienced before, but we connected on a level that surpassed friendship.
We fucked with a single-minded need to extinguish and reconstruct.
Or at least, I thought we had.
Enter dickdouche Tom, handsome as he was sarcastic, Noah’s super-model ex from stage left to blow apart my confidence and now I don’t know what to think anymore.
I thought Noah was the one man on earth who would neither lie nor hurt me and in one night he’d done both.
I’m a coward for hiding out in a friend’s apartment.
But who wouldn’t engage defense mechanisms in my shoes?
I saw him with Tom.
They were close and intimate.
I don’t need to be a Sheldon Cooper to add up that math equation.
I shook my head of thoughts of Noah and him and rose to my feet.
It’s been more than twenty-two minutes since I last threw up, and I prayed it’s the last for the day. I can get through today if I knew food would stay on the inside of me.
Fortifying my lungs, I avoided the mirror as I swept my chin length poker-straight brown hair up into a bun. It’s lost most of the teal that dusted my tips. I liked to dye the ends different shades just because.
Maybe my next color should be blood red as a fuck you, Tom, and your gorgeous brown face and model pouty lips.
Ugh, I hate that guy.
He cheated on Noah, he doesn’t get a second turn to fuck him over again and I hate Noah for even giving him a chance at breathing the same air as him.
Noah was not a pushover. He’s not a guy to mess with.
He’s the king of Manhattan nightlife for a reason and that reason is he doesn’t suffer fools lightly. So, why in the sweet hell he’d allow Tom back into his world is beyond me.
I think at this point it’s more than just me being involved intimately with my gay-best-friend. And it’s turned ugly.
A horrible, sickening word.
But it’s there.
It crawled over my skin every night when I tried to sleep.
Was it real? Were we real at all?
Should I have left the way I did without giving him a chance to explain what I’d seen?
Probably not and it’s not permanent. Just until I can slide into a pair of apathetic pants to hear the news Noah was rekindling his affair with dickdouche and probably moving up North to buy a puppy farm with him and they want me to be godmother.
I could almost forget the baby in my belly when I’m submerged in my own misery. What kind of future momma does that even make me? I’ll be that mom who forgets to pick the kid up from school. I can see it now.
Frowning at my reflection, dark circles made my eyes look sunken into my cheeks, hollowness looked back at me. I’ve probably lost a pound or two, through no fault of mine not eating. What I eat makes a return visit and I’m constantly hungry/nauseous. A merry-go-round of misery.
I’m going to have a baby. I repeated it several times in my head.
I know how it happened. Not the sex part, we did enough of that, but even though I was taking the pill I was also sick with vertigo for a few days and like a dumbass with no brain cells worth counting, I’m the idiot female who didn’t put two and five together and realized I might need a condom instead for a few days since I’d been sick and threw up like Jabba the hut on steroids.
If this was a friend of mine, I’d tell her she deserved the morning sickness for her stupidity. It’s contraception 101 and I fell for it for a good dick.
The best dick.
Ugh, no thinking of Noah’s monster dick. A dick so good it was a long club of perfectness.
I’m ruined for all future dicks. I know that. No other dick could live up to Noah and the pleasure he gave me.
Pulling open the bathroom door I almost collided with India who was standing there looking at me speculatively. The same green-eyed look she’d given me for the past few days when I turned up unexpectedly on her doorstep and asked for a room. 2018 years later I am Mary at the Inn. Jesus. I’m a hot mess.
“What are you doing loitering out here?” I asked. “Did you think I was going to OD on toothpaste?”
She smiled at me. That pitying smile.
I told Indie most of it. My pitiful story. And fortunately for me my friend was not judgemental in any way. She listened to me tell her I’d been having sex with a gay man and didn’t once laugh.
Maybe because at the time I was crying so hard she might have been more concerned for her cream colored sofa being stained in my tears and snot.
“What happened?” she’d asked when I turned up on her doorstep.
“Don’t say you had an argument with prince moody! You guys never fight, you’re like the quintessential boring old couple who don’t fuck.”
“Plot twist.” I told her with a straight face. “We fucked.”
“WHAT! Get the hell out of here! Are we talking about Noah the gay?”
“His name is Noah Fierro, as well you know. Do I say India with the huge tits?”
She shrugged. “I wouldn’t mind. They are big D’s. Now can we get back to how you banged Manhattan’s sexiest queer, with what I imagine to be the best-looking dick this side of the Hudson? And don’t leave a detail out. Girth? Length? How long can he last?”
Even now she hadn’t rolled her eyes and told me how dumb I’ve been.
“You didn’t answer on the lunch front. I was giving you two more minutes in there and then chancing seeing you vomit to check on you.”
“No more puking, thank god. I need to Google again, this can’t be natural. I might have a unique case of sickness. Like Princess Kate, but worse.”
India snorted and handed me a glass of water. Water I can handle. It’s cool and I gulped it down in three. “You just want to bone a prince.”
I had a King. I think.
“So, Lunch?” She asked again, and she could tell by the grimace I couldn’t face going outside.
“I should go home and get out of your hair.”
“Shut your whore mouth.” She said in India’s sweet way. It brought a smile to my otherwise morose face as I plonked on her designer sofa dressed in simple pink sweats and ‘I love cheese more than I love you’ socks. “I told you already, you can stay as long as you want to. You and my god baby.”
She’d claimed godmother status and I can’t really argue with it since she took me in off the streets.
Not really. I’ve got a perfectly great apartment I love but it so happened to be Noah’s building as well so for the time being while I’m being a crappy, emotional human being I’m at the mercy of India’s generosity.
“Aren’t I cramping your style? You haven’t had any overnight guests since I’ve been here.” Indie chuckled as she pushed her feet into a pair of tan leather boots that are so gorgeous I feel the pull towards them. Maybe I’ll live after all if I’m coveting footwear. It’s the first signs of life.
Indie was a willowy blonde with boobs and looked amazing in whatever she wore, casual or formal, like she’d been styled by someone really paying attention to details.
She’s an Instagram model without ten filters.
She’s both intimidating and an allure to either sex.
She’s also a self-confessed bitch with a takes no bullshit attitude. She’s had to be working in advertising, it’s cutthroat trying to climb cooperate ladders, so she told me.
Her hazel gaze snapped to me and for a second, I thought she was going to vault over the glass coffee table and throttle me.
India took sex … or lack thereof very seriously.
She’d filled my brain with so many sexcapades over the years I’m well versed on every chapter of the Karma Sutra and a few she pasted in herself.
Issuing a sigh, she bent to tie the boots. “No worries on that front, your vagina is getting more action with a gorgeous queer dick than mine is from anyone. Oh, woe.” I blinked with surprise. “And while we’re on that subject, I’m still waiting for specifics. I’ve been patient, Sena, haven’t I? I didn’t beg for explicit down to the millimeter measurements and durability charts of just how your hubby worked that fantastic dick of his. Like, is he an animal or a gentle lover? And can he go all night? Does he prefer to give than take?” She winked and if I were in better spirits I might have laughed.
As it was I could hardly bring a grin let alone give her what she wanted because thinking of Noah in any fashion, especially naked was making me gravely ill.
I missed him more than I’d miss a lung.
He’s my person.
I can’t function without a heavy dose of Noah frequently.
He’s my drug of choice.
My happy and my all.
And I feel like I’m mourning him.
“There’s nothing to tell.” I found the leg of my pants extremely interesting. Fingers picked at a non-existent thread. I heard Indie snort and she came to sit down by me.
She nudged my shoulder with hers. I sensed she’s going to use her sympathetic poor Sena voice on me before she does.
I didn’t want her to be nice.
I didn’t want anyone to be nice for all my foolish ways.
I just wanted to be alone, so I could puke and cry and get my life together because I’m going to be a fucking mother whether I planned for it or not and the past days I haven’t been able to give it the proper head space it deserved.
And again, I felt like shit for not being mother of the year.
If this was my momma she’d have a nursery painted and the baby registered in a pre-kindergarten plus a college fund set up all while baking a plum cobbler.
I wished I was my momma.
“Sweet girl, you can lie to yourself all you want but you don’t fool me. Now tell me how fucking spectacular the sex was then I can feel okay about telling you he’s called me four times already.”
My head snapped up with shock and I flinched as if I’d been smacked.
Every neuron in my brain woke up at once like we hadn’t been thinking about him this whole time.
I’m suddenly desperate for any mention of him. Such an idiot. But that was the cold, hard truth. Just because my heart was hurting didn’t make my love for him any less.
It’s not out of the realm he’d call her and, yet my heart rate picked up until it stirred my blood. Not quite queasy but my belly rolled a little.
It’s like the tiny fetus was reminding me hey, momma, I’m here.
“W-what did he say?”
“So, no queer-dick specifics then? Fine.” She huffed good naturedly. “But I’m coming back to this, Sena, don’t think I won’t.” I accepted that she will.
“He said, and I quote;” She lowered her voice into what I assumed was meant to represent Noah’s gruffness. Again, if I were in a better mood I would have laughed at the imitation. “It’s Noah. Have you seen Sena? I told him sure. Don’t fret, my little prom queen, I didn’t let him know you’re here, but I wasn’t going to lie for a simple question, now if he’d asked if you were currently puking in my bathroom I would have said I hadn’t clapped eyes on you in ten years. He was stoic as always, but I could tell he wanted to grill me like I was a Russian spy.” She gave me another shoulder nudge, this time I met her gaze.
I could tell she felt sorry for me.
Why wouldn’t she? I would in her place.
I was a fool believing foolish things.
“Why don’t you just answer one of his calls?”
“I will.” I lied.
“Tonight?” I shook my head and looked away.
“At least let him know you’re not dead in the gutter somewhere. Don’t be cruel that way to him, babe.” Something in her voice stabbed my belly and I instantly felt shitty when I suddenly remembered India lost her brother in college, he went missing for days. India said it had been a really bad time. I tried to reach and hold her hand, but she smiled and shrugged me off before grabbing her jacket. She wouldn’t thank me for sympathy or reminding her of her brother.
“Okay, I will.” Not sure if I meant it.
“All I’m saying is, you’re punishing the man for a crime he doesn’t know he’s committed yet. Whether it’s true or not, you ran with your tail tucked between your legs and it’s not like you, Sena.”
Doesn’t it fricking suck when someone tells you the ugly truth. Ugh. Spit in my pickle juice and call me Doris, Ugh. I hated when someone said what I clearly didn’t want to hear.
“The Sena I know wouldn’t stand for a sexy black man moving in on her friendship with Noah. No way no how. Get your fucking boy-toy back. I’m down for a street fight, but after bagels. I’ll bring you food, you’ll eat.”
She grabbed her purse and left me on her couch contemplating if I wanted to watch Wendy Williams today or The View. I DVRed both so I’m spoiled for choice while I sulked in my unhappiness.
I could do some work. I have clients waiting on me.
For more than thirty minutes I sat holding my phone. The moment I switched it on it went nuts. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping.
Every text message Noah sent appeared on the locked screen.
None mention Tom. All showed concerned and wanted to know where I was. Some ranged from how he’d kill me if I didn’t get in touch to; Please, baby. Pick up the phone. Tell me where you are, I’ll come.
Baby. Baby. The endearment mocked since he’s only ever used it a few times before during sex.
I had zero control over the speed in which my heart accelerated.
I was an idiot clinging to hope.
There’s a few messages from momma but I’d wisely told them I was under a deadline so not to expect to hear from me.
I soaked up his words like they’re fresh air. I couldn’t help myself.
He’s a drug and I haven’t had a fix in days. I absorbed them in, taking them through the eyes and savored with my whole body.
Love wasn’t a choice for me.
It’s not even a conscious decision.
It happened and now I’m caught in its web.
Please, baby. Pick up the phone. Tell me where you are, I’ll come.
Before I could censor my feelings, I thumbed out a message in the long text thread I have with Noah.
SouthernBelle: I’m fine.
Worst lie in history.
Grab it for a Limited Time Only of 99 pennies!
#TheQueer #TheGeek #EvenHotterFriendship #PartTwo
#TabooLoveDuet #WhatchuDoingTom #WantMoreGray
Dying to know what happens with Sena and Noah? It Was Always Love is released April 12! Find out the conclusion to the Taboo Duet.
And for a Limit Time Only for 99 pennies!
Goodreads Shelves: https://goo.gl/4CKejZ
♡Today’s love doesn’t always have to look like yesterday’s love ♡
Love is blind.
And the universe hates me.
Serious fricking hate.
To catch you up; Southern girl falls for extremely wealthy and gorgeous gay.
We became besties.
Then in an epic plot twist my gay… caught feelings for me.
I should have known I was deluding myself.
Now I’m left broken.
Only, Noah tells me it wasn’t a lie.
Can I believe the happily ever after he promises?
It’s not only me to convince … but everyone else.
I’m Sena Black and is he still …. Straight-for-me?