Chapter 30: No More Number One

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It was well past eleven and Safiya hadn't been updated on Alyssa. She stopped pacing in front of her bed with the closet light being the only light in her room so not to wake Ameera. She just got her back down after she begged to be fed. She pulled the cell from her ear since the only thing she came in contact with was the ringing of the other line. She called them all; Harmony, Trevor, Sam, Lela, Cairo, and she even got Daniel's number out of Alyssa's cell that was sitting on the bed.

Worry pulsed through her body bundling up her shoulder muscles. She took a deep breath as she readjusted her bra strap, with her chambray shirt still open she walked over to the crib. Her mouth curved into a smile as she gazed at the infant in the yellow polka dotted onesies with soft curls blanketing her head as she slept.

"I love much." Safiya fought the urged to brush her hand over her puffy caramel cheek for fear of waking her up. "Do you know that, Ameera Grace?" She whispered wrapping her hands on the crib railing, "Because I're my girl and you will always come first." She let out a heavy breath backing away from the crib.

Safiya slowly walked down the stairs buttoning up her shirt. Music still flowed through the living room but considerably lower than what it was early. Her mouth twisted as she caught sight of Nick tossing red Solo cups in the big trash bag planted in the middle of the living room floor.

"What are you still doing here?" Her hands fell from her buttons—a sliver of her cleavage still visible.

Nick catapulted one more cup in the bag like he was shooting a ball through a hoop, "Cleaning up." He smirked at her—his gunmetal eyes simmering under the ceiling fanlight. "Isn't that obvious." He snatched at napkin off the rug and balled it in his hand.

"You have class, tomorrow." She stepped off the last step and the cool wood floor eased the warmth burning in her body.

"I do but..." He stacked the empty plastic cups that were splayed over the coffee table. "A crisis happened here." He peeked up at her, "The cops crashed your party." He whispered as if it were a secret.

"I know I was there." She smiled lazily and then her lips fell as she watched him go back to tiding up. Uneasiness coursed through her core—churning the strong acid in her stomach like a stormy sea. "Um...Nick."


"Nick." She called again taking a couple of steps closer to the living room. "Can you look at me, please?" The last word slipped from her lips breathlessly.

Nick plucked the last empty cup off the table and straightened his full almost six feet stature. "What is it?" His thick black eyebrows knitted at the seriousness painting her face.

"Um...early..." She swallowed her feelings, the feelings that adored his humor and off-kilter comments. She jabbed her thumb to the kitchen, "You called me your girlfriend."

Nick's eyes dropped to the rug the scrolled back to her "Aren't...uh...together." He drug his finger over his eyebrow. "Are did I read this whole situation wrong?"

"Situation." She tried raked her hand through her tangled tresses but stopped at the first knot, "You have to understand, Nick. I'm a mom." Her eyes glistened as he looked passed her. "My first priority is Ameera." She pointed upstairs.

The plastic cup cracked as Nick crumpled it in his hand, "You have a baby, so what." He shrugged. "I don't care." He took hurried steps closer to her closing the distance between them. "I like you, Safiya. I don't care." He reached for her face.

"You're nineteen," She pulled her head back.

His hand fell back at his side, "You knew that...when we met at the writing lab."

"I need to concentrate on my classes and my baby." She took a step back, looking up at him. "We should be just friends...and only that."

"You want to be just friend." He peered down at her with teasing eyes, "You know friends don't kiss." He leaned down towards her.

Safiya's hand quickly went to his chest stopping him realizing why she loved his lips so much...he was Carter's son. "And maybe that's a good thing."

"Maybe." Nick stood back up—his eyes boring down on her trying to discover the secret she was withholding. "I'll be your friend, Safiya." He handed her the crumpled cup. "We'll see how long that'll last." He walked around her. "I'll call you tomorrow." He told heading towards the door.

Safiya gripped her hand around the cup—cracking the plastic even more. "Of course you will." She said under her breath then twisted on her heels after the door closed. "You're a Russell." 

Did Safiya do the right thing?  Should she tell them about her relationship with his father?

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