Is Darnell Simmons Naughty or Nice?
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CLAIMING WHAT”S MINE
Liberty pushed away from the counter and hurried before someone rang the bell again and disturbed her son who was sleeping. Not bothering to look in the peephole, she yanked open the front door and gasped in surprise when she saw who was standing there.
She wasn’t sure why she remembered his name. He’s so sexy, she thought as her heart thundered in her chest. Was he really standing at her doorstep or had her mind conjured him up since she’d thought of him often the last few days?
“Darnell… can I help you?”
“Actually Liberty, you can.” Without waiting for an invitation Darnell stepped inside the house, causing her to gasp. What the…
She called after him. “I didn’t invite you—”
“No, but we need to talk.” Without waiting for a response he strolled into the living room.
Why was Darnell in her house? Liberty hurried to shut the door and stormed into the living room to find him standby near her shelf holding a picture of Chance. Her maternal instincts kicked in.
“What do you want?” she asked tapping her foot impatiently and suddenly was having second thoughts about letting him in her house.
She moved closer to the umbrella on the side of the couch, prepared to grab it and swing if needed. “I asked a question. What do you want?”
“When was this picture taken?” he asked, looking at her while pointing at the photograph.
With purposely strides, she stormed over and practically snatched the photo from him. “That’s none of your business!”
He gave a rude snort. “No. I’m afraid it is my business and would appreciate it if you would quit playing games and answer the question.”
“Excuse me? You’re the one who came barging into my house!” She spat.
“Because I want answers.”
Oh God, he smelled incredible. Seeing him again, threw her for a loop, but now that she had recovered from the shock, she was anxious to send him out her front door. “What answers?” she asked, while stepping backwards. “Does this have something to do with your membership? If there’s a problem we can talk about it at my office tomorrow.”
“This has nothing to do with my membership,” he snarled then gave her a long hard look that caused her to take another step back. “Why are you acting like we haven’t met and you don’t know who I am?”
Liberty shook off the effect of his cologne as her chin came up in a challenge. “Because I don’t.” He stared at her, eyes probing like he thought she was lying. “I’m serious. I have no idea who you are.”
He chuckled and returned the photo to the shelf then had the nerve to shrug out of his dark brown leather jacket as if he’d been invited to stay. “See… this is why I don’t do relationships. Ya’ll women play too many games.”
Her mouth dropped. “Y’all women?”
Nodding, he draped his jacket across the arm of her couch. “Yeah, you heard me.”
“Well this woman doesn’t’ know what gave you the idea you could just come up in here making demands. I said I don’t know who you are, so you either get outta my house or I’m calling the police.”
With that Liberty pivoted on her toes and stormed to the door, only to her dismay, Darnell didn’t follow.
“I’m not going anywhere until we talk,” he called after her, and although his words were soft there was a lethal calmness that caused her body to shiver.
Liberty swore under her breath then walked back into the room to find Darnell seated on a pastel blue love seat. For some odd reason, she wasn’t afraid of him, nor had he given her any reason to think he’d do her bodily harm, nevertheless, the sooner he was gone the better.
She stood in the doorway, her fist knotted at her sides with shoulders back. “I told you I have no idea who you are. Therefore, I don’t know what it is that you want.”
There was that confident look again.
“Liberty,” he began then shook his head. “We both know I’m here about Chance.”
Her breath stalled. “Chance? Why are you here about my son?”
Darnell dragged a hand across his head. “Listen, Liberty. I know I can be an ass, and some people even call me selfish, but believe me when I tell you, I’m sorry for seducing you and not calling you back.”
“Seducing me? When did you seduce me?”
“Okay, I guess I phrased that wrong. ‘Had sex with you.’” He tossed quotation marks in the air. “Whatever you want to call it, just so you’ll know, it wasn’t you… it’s me.”
Liberty shook her head growing more confused by the second, and moved over and took a seat. “What are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about the way I treated you,” he began “I’ll admit a few years ago I did have a bit of a drinking problem and half the time I couldn’t remember who or what I did the night before.” He spoke slow and precise and she caught herself watching his lips. “But I’m not that man anymore. Well… at least the excessive drinking part. What I’m trying to say is I’m’ sorry for misleading you and making you feel used that you couldn’t even come to me and tell me you were carrying my son.”
His words stifled the power for her to speak. Son? She sucked in a shocked voice and said, “What makes you think Chance is your son?”
Darnell cracked out a laugh. “Come on. There are too many similarities. I saw the way he walks and that silly way he smiles when he wants something and then—”
“Wait a minute, you’ve been watching him?”
He was quiet, thinking carefully about his answer. “I hired someone to track you both down.”
“What?” She sprung from the chair. “Why?”
“Liberty, playing games isn’t my style,” he said accusingly. “I take family way to serious for that.” Darnell paused and rested his hands on his knees as he leaned forward. “Just tell me where we met and get on with this. He’s my kid, you and I both know it.”
“My son has a father.”
“Who? Your deceased husband?” he snarled.
She paused unable to respond. Darnell was way too arrogant and hurtful for his own good.
“I’m sorry. That didn’t come out right,” he said and his eyes had softened a bit.
She nodded but didn’t dare speak.
He drew a deep breath and closed his eyes briefly. “Listen Liberty… I don’t know why you won’t tell me where we met. And that’s cool. You don’t have to. All I care about is my son.”
“Son? Don’t be ridiculous. Chance isn’t your son. Before you walked into my gym I had never seen you before in my life.”
Now Darnell looked frustrated before he shook his head in disbelief. “I think you’re lying.”
Another jolt of anger pulsed through her. She had way too much integrity to just sit there and let him call her a liar. Instantly, she sprung from the chair. “I think it’s time you leave and if you don’t I’m calling the police for real this time.”
He rose from the love seat, rushed over, and his arm curled around hers. And the next thing Liberty knew, she’d collided with Darnell’s hot, hard body.
“Tell me the truth, otherwise, I’ll see you in court. Nothing or no one is going to keep me away from my son.”
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