The sun was beginning to set when they decided to call it a day. Makayla was relieved to know that she could catch a month-long break after today. She was exhausted, starved, and upset that Tamarius hadn’t stuck around to see the rest of her shoot. He wasn’t even there when she wrapped up her last shot. Makayla thought he most likely needed a break from her.
She stepped into her trailer to take off her make up and change. Before she could lock the door behind her, there was a knock. She opened the door to see a messenger holding a note. "Thank you,” she said taking the note and closing the door.
While working, a call had come in from her father. The note read: Makayla, we need your help back home. The orphanage your cousin owns is in danger. Can you please call me when you get this message?
Makayla quickly reached for her purse and pulled out her cell phone to call her father. No one answered, and as she was hanging up, she felt large hands slide around her waist while soft lips kissed her neck.
"Mmmm," she groaned. "Is that who I think it is?" She smiled and turned to face Tamarius who was grinning from ear to ear. "Oh no, it's just you." Makayla teased, pulling away from him and laughing.
"Wow, that was cold. I knew you had someone on the side. Who is he? I’m going to kill him," Tamarius said with feigned anger.
"Stop it. He's just a kid." Makayla played along while she began to pull off her bathing suit.
Tamarius rushed to lock the trailer door then turned back to Makayla.
"Please, always make sure the door is locked before showing everyone my gifts." He smiled and Makayla smiled in return.
He was everything she was looking for in a man, charming, funny, romantic and sincere. Of course this is what also scared the crap out of her. "I'm..." Makayla began, stopping to sigh and scratch her head.
She stood there naked and was amused by the difficulty Tamarius was having paying attention. "I'm sorry about earlier. I was...I don't know. Tamarius, I've been through a lot."
"I know," he said. Walking up to her, he pulled her close. "You better put some clothes on before we break this trailer." His smile was slow and sensual as he lifted her chin to kiss her lips. "I made reservations for us at a great Polynesian restaurant on the other side of the island."
"Aw, is it because I got mad? You don't have to do that." Makayla felt her cheeks heat up and pulled away. "Tamarius, you know I'm not pregnant. You don't have to like... freak out and marry me or nothing crazy like that." Makayla reached into her bag and pulled out the clothes she wanted to change into.
"Makayla, I don't care if you are or if you aren't, I just want to be with you. Can I just be with you?"
Makayla turned her head to look at him. She knew he had a quick temper and could see the anger and shock he now tried to hide, but she also admired his passion. Why do I always go for the big, hot-headed, hasty ones? she joked to herself.
"Okay, don't pop a blood vessel. All I’m saying is that I have tried in the past to get pregnant and nothing happened. I don't want you getting your hopes up or whatever. I know I should have told you before, but things are getting serious now," Makayla said as she finished putting on her clothes.
She hated thinking about the fertility problems she’d had in the past. She’d learned to not get her hopes up over a missed period or nauseated stomach. She’d fought her urge to rush to the nearest convenience store and buy out all of the pregnancy tests.
"Did you ever go to a doctor?" he asked with concern.
"Yeah, he told me to just lose weight. He didn't see anything wrong." She slipped on her shoes.
"Then you really don't know. It may have been the other guy who was sterile or something," Tamarius said, reaching out to help with her bags.
"Well, he knocked up the girl he cheated on me with," Makayla replied, fighting back her tears.
"Kay, that doesn't mean anything. All it could mean is he wasn't the right guy for you." He let the bags fall to the floor and swept her into his arms for a tender hug.
"Well, I’m on birth control. We don't need to be talking about this anyway. It's too soon.” Makayla pulled away from his embrace and headed towards the door.
Tamarius sighed. He would have to reconsider proposing to her tonight. He was afraid Makayla would run. She wasn't ready, and he could sense her fears. Stooping to once again grab her many bags, Tamarius knew he would give her all the time she needed. He was willing to wait for her. With the last of the bags hooked onto a few fingers, he rushed out of the trailer and caught up to Makayla as the limo driver opened the car door for her. They got in and got comfortable.
"I'm glad this job is over. I need a break," Makayla said resting her head back.
Tamarius leaned over to tell the driver where they were headed, but Makayla cut in.
"I want to pick up something else to wear. Do I have time to like take a shower?"
"Yes and no. You’re beautiful as you are, but we can stop on the way if you like. The shower part... I'll just try not to stand too close to the smelly chick," Tamarius said with a teasing squeeze of her shoulder.
"Oh, I wasn't smelly in the trailer," Makayla laughed.
"Yeah, but you didn't let me rub my scent on ya, so now you stink of the cabana boy."
Makayla burst out laughing. "You’re so stupid."
"Yeah, but you love me." He looked into her eyes.
Makayla was breathless as she stared into his loving gaze. Her lips would not form the words that her heart was screaming. “Yes, yes I do love you!” she wanted to say.
Her eyes filled with tears as she looked away and tried to think of something else to talk about. "So what kind of place is it?"
Tamarius chuckled to himself. "You’re going to love it."
Makayla looked down at her hands. Is this real love? She thought.
"What's bothering you, love?" Tamarius asked.
"Nothing, I just...." Makayla didn't know what to say. She was still overwhelmed by her emotions. She hated holding back all that she felt for Tamarius.
"Don't be afraid of me. I'm not here to hurt you," Tamarius said softly.
"I know that we are meant to be together.”
"You do, but because of what happened in the past you’re fearful. You told me that you dreamt of me, right?" Tamarius asked.
Makayla looked up at him. "Yeah, you remember that?" she smiled, warmed by the notion that he remembered.
"How could I forget? I was blown away. I thought I was losing it before I met you."
"I understand where you’re going, but I just don't know how to fit you in." Makayla said.
Tamarius was dumbfounded and suddenly afraid to lose her. "I don't even know the right words to say to that. You mean so much to me...." His words came out in a feeble mumble as he looked into her eyes. "Just let things happen naturally."
Makayla was so lost in the love she saw in his eyes that she didn't even realize she’d begun to speak again. "I know you’re the one for me. There is no doubt in my heart."
Tamarius pulled her close. There were so many things he wanted to say to her. He couldn't find the words to express how he felt. As the limo pulled up to a shopping plaza, Makayla pulled away from him and got ready to exit the limo.
"Tamarius, you have no fears about us?" Makayla asked.
"Only one," Tamarius replied while he gazed at her.
"What is it?"
"That we’ll walk away from what we have be because of your fears."
Makayla smiled as she teased him. "What if I die?"
Not pleased by what he’d just heard Tamarius frowned. "Well, then when it's my time, I pray that you will be the one to greet me."
"Promise me you will always put God first."
"I promise God I will always put him first," he quickly answered.
Makayla smiled at him. Though she didn’t yet seem to realize that her walls had begun to collapse with him, Tamarius could see a glow around her, and he began to hear some of her thoughts. He was elated by this new development. The only other time he’d been able to read her thoughts was when they’d made love.
The driver opened the door, and Makayla stepped out. Standing on the curb, she waited for Tamarius.
"Okay, we have one hour." His warning implied she needed to make some quick decisions.
"You’re coming with me, right?" she asked.
"Only if you promise to model for me," Tamarius teased.
"Let’s go. This will be quick." Makayla grabbed his hand and pulled him into a nearby boutique.
Makayla tried on numerous dresses, finally deciding on a black silk, charmeuse dress with black, high heels.
Tamarius, being a typical man, found a chair to relax in while she shopped. Once she’d found everything she needed, he quickly paid for everything while Makayla dressed in the fitting room.
He was breathless when she stepped out in her new dress. "Oh, my goodness. You look absolutely beautiful. You’re stunning." He smiled at her.
"Thank you." Makayla blushed and looked over at the sales associate who had helped her.
"Your husband took care of everything," the woman said.
"What? Oh, we aren't married." Makayla blushed even more. "Tamarius you didn't have to. I got it."
"Does it really matter who pays? We are both fine, and I will not let money be an issue in our relationship. Just let me be a gentleman, please." He walked over to her and extended his arm. "Now come on before it's too late."
Before Makayla could slip her hand under his forearm, her cell phone rang. She quickly answered the phone and heard her father’s voice. "Daddy!"
"Hello, baby. How are you doing?" her father asked in Chinese.
"I'm good, just doing some shopping before dinner with Tamarius." Her cheeks were suddenly hot with blush again. Her father always made her feel like she was five-years-old and, she hated to admit how she loved it.
“How’s my favorite daughter?” Fa Li asked.
“Daddy, I’m your only daughter, remember?” She smiled as she played along with the line of questioning her father never seemed to tire of. “How’s Trinidad?”
“With Coretta at my side, Trinidad is always worth having left China for.”
“And how is Lin Li?” Her aunt now lived in the Martinez mansion leaving Makayla little opportunity to see her.
“Like usual. Her granddaughter, Mei is out at the island which should make her happy.”
"So, Tamarius is with you?”
“Put him on the phone and let me say ‘hi’," her father ordered.
Makayla smiled at Tamarius and shrugged as she handed him the phone and inched closer to him to listen to the conversation.
Tamarius seemed suddenly nervous as he took the phone. "Good evening, Mr. Li."
"Hello, son. Things going good?"
"Yes, sir. We're doing good. I took Makayla to meet my cousins. They fell in love with her, and I think they are plotting to steal her from me."
"Hold onto her," Fa said with a hearty laugh. "Well, you take good care of her. She is my one and only."
"Oh, I am and I will," Tamarius reassured him, his head bobbing in a fervent nod.
"Good, I’m sure she’s in good hands. Well, nice talking to you, Tamarius. I will see you soon. Now pass me my daughter again."
"Okay, nice talking to you, too." He handed the phone back to Makayla.
"Kay," Fa said. "Listen, the orphanage your cousin Tia runs is having some problems."
Fa’s loud exhale and inhale told Makayla of the stress he was under. "What happened, Pops?"
"Look, the other day Tia came by to see me and she was real shook up. She told me the children were waking up with scratches and bruises on their skin."
"Oh my goodness, Daddy..." Makayla headed for the front door.
Tamarius stepped ahead of her and open the door for her, following closely behind as she walked out. He looked at Makayla who’d stopped and stood next to a large, cement column as she continued to speak with her father. He could tell by the heavy slope of her shoulders and the tight clenching of her fist that the call was very serious. He waited patiently for her to get off the phone, and when she walked up to him and gently wrapped her arms around his waist, he welcomed her into his arms as she rested her head on his chest. He offered her a gentle hug and planted a kiss on top of her head.
"Something bad must have happened. You rarely come to me." He forced a smile.
Makayla looked up at him. "Not true."
"Not important. What happened? What did your father say?"
"Remember my cousin Tia," Makayla began.
"Yeah, the one who takes care of those kids in Saint James."
"She got hurt pretty bad. She just got out of the hospital. The doctors couldn’t do anything for her. She’s in some kind of catatonic state and..."
Tamarius was speechless. He gently pushed Makayla back to look into her eyes.
She was crying as she continued to speak. "My dad said the only word that came out of her mouth was the name of a demon."
"What... what's the name?" Tamarius asked, trying to control the sudden rage he felt building up inside.
"Don't say the name. Just tell me what his job is." Tamarius knew that many demons’ names should not be repeated.
"He is a major one sent to seek, destroy, and kill God's chosen children. Tamarius, I have to go back home. Those children are in danger. It's only a mater of time before he finds the one he is looking for. In the meantime he will be trying to reap their souls."
Without another word Tamarius pulled out his cell phone and called his pilot. He arranged for them to leave soon. He pulled Makayla into his embrace. Feeling her hands around him seemed to calm him down as he whispered to her, "Everything is going to be alright. We can do this together."