| 2 Weeks Later |
"You superstar son of a Bitch!" Maddox's uncle constantine was the first to walk through the door and embrace him.
"Fuck is up, uncle?" He spoke in return.
Constantine didn't respond, just palmed Maddox's face and kept going. Carmine came in after, smiling, arms open for a hug, "nephew."
"uncle Carmine..." He squeezed him in a hug.
"How are things?" He kissed Maddox's head. "Still whole i see."
"Yeah, 'you know who' is knocking on my backdoor." He coded because he saw his dad helping ya-ya. Such a mamas boy, "ya-ya!" Maddox went to hug her.
"Junior ..." She kissed his cheek, then lightly punched his gut, "you eat? Healthy?"
"Good boy," hugged him, and kept going.
Maddox finished talking and creating the rest of his family, father included. Everyone was having dinner, when Maddox's main butler came and made an announcement, "excuse me sir, but Ms. Hines it's here to see you.."
"Tell her I'm bus-"
"Ms Hines?" Constantine raised a brow, "i didn't know you had a girlfriend," he wiped hisouth and stood, "my turn!"
"Constantine..." Maddox followed behind him.
They both went to the door, Constantine clearly in the lead. He rounded the corner first and saw Janine standing in a fitting green peplum dress with black belt, black heels and her hair down and curled. She saw Constantine and immediately cursed herself, just now remembering he had people in town and she didn't know when they were coming. Welp ... She was in trouble.
"Hello, lovely of you to stop by. Constantine," he introduced himself.
Fine as hell. Janine smiled, "Janine. Hi."
"what are you doing here?" Maddox questioned.
She rolled her eyes at his greeting but said to him quietly, "I'm sorry. I didn't know what day they were coming ... I was going to see if we could do something. I'm leaving."
"No, no no," constantine grabbed her hand, "my nephew has no manners. Come, have dinner with us," he pulled her inside.
SHe couldn't argue with that statement but shook her head while being pulled in. She stopped and sighed, but smiled, "I couldn't, but thank you. I have to go anyway."
"I insist..." He smiled, "now if you deny me one more time, I'll be offended"
Janine looked to Maddox with sorry eyes, and Maddox just nodded at her to tell her to go on.
"Oh ... Okay," nodding, "I'll stay."
"That a girl..." He put his arm around Janine and led her into the dining room.
Damn her and this horrible timing. Constantine walked her to the living room where their was a small crowd of people. Constantine introduced her, "look at what nephew has been hiding." Janine only smiled.
"Oh my God. SHe's beautiful," someone said. Everyone seemed to gush while maddox's father ignored her.
"Girlfriend?" His yaya asked in her broken English.
"No ma'am," Janine finally spoke, "we're good friends."
"Wait, and you're here during the day time? Surely you don't believe my nephew would have you over if you were just good friends?" Constantine questioned.
"Not really," she looked over at Maddox, then at his uncle.
Maddox was now exhausted, "unc, she's my girlfriend, so stop harassing her," which again the term girlfriend meant nothing to Maddox, but Janine kinda did.
"Who the fuck is this?" Doc got off a phone call he'd just taken.
"Nephews girlfriend ... In the daytime," Constantine answered.
"Well this is a family dinner, and i don't fucking know you so get the fuck out!" Maddox's dad said.
"Look," Maddox was frustrated, "dad show some fucking respect and constantine, finish your fuckin pasta!" Maddox grabbed Janine by her wrist and pulled her to another room, "this is why I didn't invite you over. They can be rude."
"My skin is thicker than it looks. Besides ... I am more than sorry for this. Can't you just slip me out? Through the back? Like a slave?" She grinned.
"Doesn't matter, I'm just protective like that. Did you get what i had sent to you yet?"
"No ... You sent me something?"
"Ok. Well it should be to you any day now."
She nodded and grinned, "thanks. So ... The loud one ... Father?"
"Yeah, he's a prick, but i love the guy ..." He hunched his shoulders, "the cute older woman is my ya-ya, and the younger women are cousins and my aunt... Surprisingly my dad and uncle constantine didnt bring their girlfriends, and my uncle Carmine has a wife and two kids in Cali, he's the nice uncle."
"If the term 'girlfriend' means the same to all three of you, then i understand why. And another thing ... I am not your girlfriend."
"No, you're not, you're My boo thang..." He joked, slow rolling on her a little, "naw, but i would never call you my girlfriend... For right now." He stood straight, "better keep actin right."
"Yea ok," she chuckled, "lead the way."
| The Next Day |
Janine was messing through her apartment while Tarin was hanging out in the living room, "his father was a dick but i got through dinner unscathed. He ended up ignoring me until somebody started talking to me," she chuckled.
"I couldn't have done it. All them loud ass Italians."
"They were nice, considering." Janine heard the doorbell, then got up and looked at the peephole, "yea?"
"Courier. Delivery for Janine Hines."
She opened the door, "that's me."
He handed her the box that had all sorts of holes poked in it. "Can you sign here?" He held out a clipboard.
"Yea," Janine took the clip board and signed, took the box and went inside. She undid all the wrapping paper and ribbons, then set the box on the coffee table. She opened it and cooed, "Oooh my kitty!" She picked up the teeny smokey gray cat and kissed its head.
| Later |
Janine continued playing and then called maddox. He answered, "yeah?" He sounded slightly peeved.
She frowned, "I got the gift. Are you ok?"
"Just dealing with a true shitshow, you like your gift?"
"I love it. Thank you. I'm naming her Luna."
"Good, i was hoping you liked it. I get my monkey tomorrow."
"You're not seriously getting one ..."
He laughed, "I'm as serious as a heart attack."
"Terrible ... I just wanted to call and say thanks. Call me when you're free."
"You better love my monkey, girl!"
"We'll see. I need to go cat shopping so I'll talk to you later."
"Bye," he hung up.
Janine walked to the living room where Tarin was still sitting, "let's run to the pet store. Then i need to get ready for KBs debut tomorrow," she pumped her fist and got out her car keys.
"He didn't even invite me, you know?" Tarin rolled her eyes.
"Why haven't y'all fixed this yet?"
"Girl, have you noticed that kb always holds on to a grudge with me longer than he does with you? He's expecting me to do some shit I'm not willing to do." Tarin shook her head.
"If you want him back you're gonna have to."
"I'm not apologizing to that girl. Every time she's around, she's focused on kissing kb instead if getting to know us. Even though we've known him for years."
Janine scrunched up her face, "I didn't apologize to her either! And i told KB i was NOT kissing that girls ass," Janine wrapped a towel gently around the kitten and walked out of the door with Tarin.
"Yea, he'll come around when they breakup, in like a month.." She shrugged, following Janine out of the apartment.
| Later |
After Janine got back home and set up the cat, she texted KB, 'I want to interview you tomorrow after. You want to do it after? I'll be talking to Cee Lo after he's done.'
'Yes, that'll be great.'
'Thanks boo-boo,' then tossed her phone.
| The Next Day |
Janine ran some errands early and still had time to kill. While she was out about to grab some coffee, she fished a card out of her pocket and dialed the number. When Ricardo answered, Janine asked, "have time for that coffee?"
He smiled and leaned forward, "why yes i do, Janine.."
"Starbucks will be too crowded right now. What about Stumptown Cafe on 29th?"
"Absolutely beautiful, see you in 15?"
"Yes," Janine turned on her heels and headed towards that direction. She got there walking in 10 minutes and got a seat by the window so she could see him when he approached. She took the menus from the waiter but told him she was waiting for some one. She saw Ricardo walking across the street and up to the cafe. She smiled and stood up when he came in, "this was short notice, I almost thought you would be busy."
"I just happened to finish a meeting. I'm glad you called. You sure you're boyfriend won't get upset?" He joked.
"No boyfriend. You work close by?"
"Criminal lawyer. Long hours, no sleep, and no one to spend my free time with."
"And you have secrets. Lawyers usually do."
"Doesn't everybody?" He smiled.
"Some more than others." They continued talking for about at hour. When they decided to part, he walked with her outside after paying, "thank you for meeting me. I'm sure you were busy," she reached into her purse and pulled out a business card, then put her cell number on the back and handed it to him.
Ricardo nodded, smiled, and they joined for a hug. Parting after saying bye Janine's phone rang right away.
"Hello?" Janine answered as she walked towards the subway.
"What are you doing sweetheart?" Maddox smiled.
"Leaving Stumptown Cafe. Now on my way home to ready myself for tonight. What are you up to?"
Right then she stopped walking and giggled like a bitch, "ugh ... Why are you so cute?"
"Why are you? I need my little piece of sanity since my dad and uncle has been driving me nuts. They all said hey by the way."
"Even your father?" Got damn Maddox had to call and be cute after she gave someone her number, got damnit. Janine cursed continued to curse herself for even thinking of dealing with someone other than Maddox.
"No, except for him, sorry baby. I can't wait for tonight..."
"I'll go home and get my stuff and come over there. I'll just get ready then. That ok?" Then started down the steps slowly.
"come to the office, i want to drive you."
"Ok. Give me 10," she walked back up the few steps and high tailed it to The Suite.
Maddox was leaving one of his guys in charge for what seemed like the night, but was actually a few months. Shit on his side of the 'business' was getting hot. He was going to have to be more hands on. He saw Janine walk up and finished his convo, "hey," he turned to her.
"Hi there," she cheesed, "I'm so excited about tonight!"
"Me too," he grabbed the back of her neck and placed a lingering kids on her lips, "mmm."
She blushed so hard and then wiped the little bit of gloss off of his lips that transferred. "You really did miss me ..."
"Yea, why would i make it up?"
"You wouldn't," they walked to the car, "you ok today?"
"Just been thinking a lot, and stressed. I need vacation time."
"Then go. Maybe you'll get some sleep."
"We are..." He gave her a sly look.
"We are?" They got in the car and Janine looked at him and smiled, "i have to work ... I think my boss will be angry."
"Ehh... Something tells me he'll be fine." He cheeses. Maddox liked Janine, but not ass much ass he was leading her to believe. Truth was, he just wanted her to do whatever he needed her to, and what better way then to be every piece of man she ever wanted.
"Fine, fine ... You got me." She smiled.