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Chapter 10

December 18, 1995

Kojo and Asia were completely absorbed in each other. Eating, laughing, and sharing intimate details of each other's lives, without realizing that hours had past.

"Oh God. It's eight thirty. My mother is gonna kill me," said Kojo excitedly.

"Don't tell me we had this great dinner and conversation and you have a curfew." Asia said humorously.

"No, smartass," he replied, feeling more comfortable in her presence. "She hasn't eaten yet and is waiting for her food," he said, gesturing for Nancy to bring the check. She did.

"If I were you, I would take this straight home," said Nancy, handing him the carryout, letting him know his mother had been calling.

"I'm on my way." he replied placing money on the check tray. "Keep the change, Nancy. Got to go."

As they arrived at the valet post, his car was already waiting. "Good looking, Brian." said Kojo, handing him a twenty-dollar bill.

"Thank you, Mr. Hammond. Have a wonderful evening," he responded, opening the door for Asia.

Kojo pulled his majestic piece of German engineering onto the highway, heading toward his home. The Quiet Storm was in full swing on the radio. 'Dear Lover' by Teena Marie was playing softly. The air was brisk. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the stars were glistening like jewels on display, for the entertainment of lovers. Asia laid back in her reclined seat, silently lip-synching the words of the song. The light of the full moon reflected off her long flowing auburn hair, partially covering the right side of her face and exposing a teasing bit of her flawless skin and full pouting lips to his peripheral vision. She was pleasurable to watch. He couldn't believe the vision sprawled out in the passenger seat of his car, and he couldn't help glancing over at her.

"I see you looking at me," she said in the most sensual voice he'd ever heard.

She reached over and held his hand. "Now pay attention to the road."

His only response was to smile. Her touch was electrifying. Neither of them spoke a single word the rest of the drive. The night, the stars, and the music set the perfect mood. Nothing needed to be said.

They arrived at his home in what seemed like an instant. If they could have had their way, they would have ridden forever. He lived in a small cul-de-sac not far from Othello. The front yard was well maintained, with Christmas lights adorning the trees and bushes. He pulled up in the driveway in front of a Toyota Land Cruiser with a large reef and Christmas bow strapped to the front bumper guard. Asia sat up and looked attentively.

"Sit tight. I'll be right back. I'm dropping this off and we're out," he said, leaving the car running, grabbing the bag, and exiting the vehicle.

Charlene was in the entertainment room. She was lying on the couch in front of the fireplace, nursing a glass of Beringer White Zinfandel and listening to the Isley Brothers' 'Groove with You' when he entered the two-level brick house.

"Ma, I'm sorry it took so long. I lost track of time," he said, as he ran down the steps, setting the bag of food in a chair.

"Kojo, who is the hooker that you was out wining and dining for two hours while your mother was at home starving?" she calmly asked with apparent displeasure.

"Ma, she ain't no hooker. And I promise to tell you about her later, but right now, I gotta go." he explained, laying the food out on the table and kissing her on top of her head. "Bye-bye. I love you."

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