“You don’t want it to be a bit more romantic than this?” I asked, seeing Percy’s head turn to look at me out the corner of my eye, “I mean just...just because it's your first time. I would want a man to be a bit more sensual….romantic...selfless with my body if it was me. Not just giving it away.”
“Is that how your first was?” Kayla asked as I felt a knot in my throat form before turning around to face forward.
“No so I don’t even know why she’s pushing that bullshit,” Tallulah laughed. “She threw hers away like everyone else. It’s life. We live life with no regrets.”
“I just can’t have a man sniffing behind me after we have sex. My brothers will kill and ask questions never,” she said with her hand slicing the air, “I can’t afford attachments.”
“See?” Tallulah beamed as Ryan let out a small burp.
“What are yall talking about again? Raping the guys?”
“Well yall need to sober up and look presentable if that's the case, or else these men won’t even let you in the damn house with the way yall look and act,” Indigo retorted.
“Alright then, bye,” Percy said as he hung up the phone. I sat back in the seat and waited for him to speak.
“Are we going to see your family or nah?” Tallulah asked with a laugh.
“It appears that way,” he mumbled, reaching to cut the air on as he glanced at me, “but you cannot act stupid like you do around me. My cousins are not as nice as I am---”
“Nigga you ain’t nice---”
“I tolerate a lot of shit that I don’t have to. I’m as nice as it gets. They will put you out of the house after they finish embarrassing you. I never go because they’re always in my face about pointless things so don’t look to me to defend you when shit hits the fan.”
“Who are the single men?” Lu asked as I laughed at Percy’s tweaked expression, “I’m only asking because tonight we have plans to get Kayla laid and I want her to have the best pick of the litter. She deserves the best for her body. Who got the most money?”
“Duncan most likely,” Percy sighed with a scratch of his head, “I just know I’m going to regret this night.”
“Is Duncan cute?” Kayla asked as I reached up to give a thumbs up, hearing the girls scream in response while Percy shook his head.
“Just be prepared for his mouth. He’s nice but he’s honest,” I warned.
“We’ll play it by ear. He has to work for it like men in the real world,” Lu stated.
“Un fucking believable,” Percy continued to mutter under his breath, “you just hurry this up. Whatever you plan on doing?” he merged the truck over to the exit lane for Paces Ferry, “you make this quick. I don’t plan on being here all night.”
“If we like the vibe, we’ll stay and you and Jasmine can go,” Lu declared as I turned around to look back at her. Tallulah smiled and winked playfully at me while reapplying her lipstick as Kayla began fixing her hair. Ryan was practically passed out, and Indigo showed me her phone that pulled up the Uber app. She had no intentions of going in the house in the first place. I focused my attention back on Percy who continued to shift nervously in his seat. Hand squeezing the wheel as he pinched his nose and looked out the window. Why was I even noticing this about him? His body language was practically in my face with nervous jittery movement. He didn’t want to go to his cousin’s house tonight. That much I could tell, I just didn’t understand why until he rubbed at the back of his neck before blurting out,
“When we get there?” clearing his throat as he glanced at me, “my cousins may be rude at first---”
“You said this already,” Tallulah cut in. “We already know----”
“I’m talking to Jasmine.”
He glanced at me before focusing back on the road as we turned down another street in the wooded neighborhood.
“I rarely spoke highly of you...so I’m not sure how my cousins will react to you being with me but if they say anything out of the way, just tell me and I will immediately correct it. They’ll say some things that aren’t true but others that have truth to it and I don’t want you to think this is how I am now… where I am mentally because it's not,” he stressed, looking at me with a firm shake of his head, “it's not. Not anymore Jasmine. So if they say something stupid. Tell me if I don’t catch it myself, and I will check them immediately. I won’t let them disrespect you or think it's okay to do so.”
I fought back a smile as I looked down at my nails for a mere distraction.
“Okay,” was all I said, but I could hear the girls in the back seat watching with their own brewing thoughts.
“Mmmm hmmm….yall cute or whatever,” Lu popped playfully as I laughed. “When you gon let him hold your hand since yall going steady?”
“Stop it,” I laughed, looking back at Tallulah who stuck her pointer finger into a makeshift hole she made with her other hand as her brows jumped playfully.
“Percy, my good sis Jasmine basically told you she wants someone to love on her body---”
“Lu?!” I shrieked with embarrassment. She wasn’t this drunk to be this careless.
“Love on her body since you won’t love on her the way she wants… Can you also make sure when you lay her down, that you pipe her down the way she wants? Be romantic on that ass?”
“Oh my God I could really put you out on the side of the road Tallulah. Please don’t answer tha---”
“You have my word,” Percy said as the girls nearly squealed and sang in response. I looked at Percy with a slack jaw, seeing he was refusing to look at me but the smile he was fighting back was apparent.
“Ooooo Jassy girl… You ain’t the only one that changed chile. I like this though… Yall are cute when yall are uncomfortable together,” Tallulah sang. The girls broke out into laughter while I sat quietly in my seat the rest of the way full of embarrassment. Refusing to look at either of them.
By the time we pulled up to the house on the corner, you could see the row of cars lined up along the street. The driveway was long and cleared with only two cars parked out in the front. All the lights were on in each window and you could see a few people inside as Percy turned into the property. Didn’t take long for multiple bodies to step outside the house before one took the initiative to walk right up to Percy’s truck.
Percy rolled his window down but Ryan rolled hers down as well as the girls leaned forward with Indigo squeezed to the back to appear uninterested. I couldn’t get a good look at Duncan’s face hidden within the shadows but I could see the dimples and smiles… His exposed chest in the red robe and glass of God knows what in his hand. The liquor smell was strong when he spoke.
“Percy failed to mention all of you were beautiful,” Duncan said with his eyes fixated on Ryan who smiled.
“Yeah well if you all stop surrounding my doors like desperate sharks, we can get out,” Percy muttered as the rest of his cousins who looked like they haven’t had contact with real women in years came up towards the truck.
“Oh my God, these men are lame… Tallulah do you see this...” Kayla mumbled under her breath as she pointed towards her window.
“But some of em are fine, and they all got money so it don’t matter,” Lu hushed as the two laughed. “This is why I only deal with street niggas because of this bullshit right here…”
There was a knock on Kayla’s window as I watched one of Percy’s cousins smile, showing braces while ducking his head low into the window to check himself out. When she rolled the windows down, it was obvious he was one of the younger nerds, pretty by nature with bright green eyes and a peach fuzz mustache when he grinned at Kayla.
“I like em chocolate like you,” he said as I covered my mouth to keep from laughing. It was like being surrounded by a bunch of Percys in different forms, shapes, and sizes.
“I might just stay for this to get a good laugh,” Indigo said as I nearly leaned over to keep from spilling out in laughter. “Yall thought you hit the jackpot.”
“Some of us did,” Lu notioned as Ryan’s door popped open with Duncan already having his hand out for her to get out. “Ah uh! She’s taken!”
“What does that have to do with me?” Duncan asked, confused as Ryan’s nervously got out while glaring at the rest of us to get out.
“I’m going to die a virgin, I swear,” Kayla muttered with irritation as she opened her door herself to be greeted by brace face.
“Let’s just see what it's about and if we don’t like it, we can leave,” Lu assured her. “Grab some drinks, snacks and dip.”
As soon as the girls got out, that just left Percy and I in the front seat together as he cut the engine off and sat back in the seat.
“You don’t want to go inside?” he asked.
“Not really, no,” reaching to take my heels off before getting comfortable. “Indigo is in there with them so she’ll make sure everything is good. Are these all of your cousins?”
“Yeah, and they’re a bunch of lame nerds,” he spat like the pot calling the kettle black, “I’m sure they will see right through my cousins for what they are but they’re just looking to have sex and nothing more.”
“Well they’re in luck I guess,” I said as I tugged at my dress with annoyance, “but I don’t feel comfortable leaving them here by themselves so I’m not leaving without them.”
“I figured that,” he grumbled before reaching in the glove compartment for his contact case and solutions along with his glasses. “Contacts are making my eyes dry. If we’re going to be stuck here all night. Might as well get comfortable. I don't want to go in the house either because I’ll end up fighting someone.”
“Who are you going to fight Hugo?” I laughed as he growled like a kid with apparent anger issues not getting his way.
I stared at this deranged man as he concentrated on getting the contact lens out of his eyes before I painfully watched one long lash suddenly curl right into the white of his eye as he squeezed his eye shut.
“Hold on, hold still,” I said quickly, tapping the light on above before reaching over to crown his head, “you have a lash stuck in your eye.”
“Some date night,” he muttered as I gently pushed the lash back in place before letting up. Percy shoved his glasses back on while tucking away his contacts and solution back in the compartment. “We might as well be home in front of the TV falling asleep at this point. I could be in my bed instead of here.”
I turned back to look at the seats before taking my seatbelt off with a loud click.
“It's enough room back here to get comfortable and watch something on my phone. I have Netflix,” I suggested. “It’s not much but I know you think I stopped this date on purpose and brought them along with me but I didn’t so this is my way of making up for it.”
I gripped the seats and climbed towards the back, not caring that my dress was rising before plopping down in the seats. Soon as I grabbed the headrest to push down, I began to fold the seats in half, expanding the massive back to one long lounge. By the time I looked back at Percy, he was staring at me like I lost my mind.
“A bottle of wine would be nice but this could work for now until they get ready to come back out,” I suggested, “If you’re up for it.”
“I’m not as boring as you think I am… I can be a little adventurous,” I shrugged as he let out a laugh while opening the door. “I can be! I’m serious!”
His laugh was a little too hard for my liking before he closed the door and calmly walked into the house. I sat back on my legs not sure how to take that until he came out a few minutes later with a large comforter, a bottle, and two glasses hanging between his fingers as his cousin yelled out after him from the doorway.
“Mind your damn business! That’s what!” Percy shouted without looking back. The trunk popped open as he gave me the glasses and sat the dark grey blanket down before walking back towards the house, still fussing at his cousin. “Go back in the damn house! What I’m doing doesn’t concern you!”
“Why won’t you bring her in? We want to see her---”
“Because you all are idiots and she doesn’t like idiots. Neither do I,” he retorted before I heard the door slam shut.
Percy came back out minutes later with pillows and a single bag of groceries as I pushed the trunk open to let him in before closing it just enough to let air escape. Our first date was in the back of a SUV and for some reason, I was excited about it. The makeshift bed was made as we stretched out, tipped our glasses together and shared a bowl of grapes and strawberries as our shoulders touched. Just a slight bump before comfortably resting against one another with our legs grazing by our thighs.
“Does this make us old Percy?” I whispered as he held his phone up with The Office playing back to back episodes. It was the only light in the dark SUV after finishing the bowl of fruit and glasses sprawled out somewhere by the seats. “This is our idea of fun?”
“We’re married. This is what married couples do now,” he stated as if he had all the answers. “We mind our business, and we make babies. That is how it's done.”
“That is not how it's done, who told you that?” I asked, turning to look at him as he focused on the small screen in front of him.
“No one had to tell me this. It’s just basic common sense. We do calmer things now as a couple. We do basic things, but together. This is how married couples operate. Everything is done together. We hold hands in public...we tend to our children and we have date nights like adults. Mature adults. I would woo you into easy submission and you will eventually do whatever I want---”
“Wait what?” I laughed. “Hugo, what? Submission? Woo me? You? You don’t have game---”
“I have game!” Percy argued as he turned to look at me like it was the biggest insult, “I have game. All of the women I---”
“Those women were delusional and only saw you for money Percy. Nothing more.”
“You’re serious?” he let out, “you don’t know me very well Jasmine---”
“Obviously,” whipping my hair off my shoulder as I looked off in a cute manner, knowing he was still staring at me, “otherwise, you would have had my attention a long time ago---”
“You never gave me the chance---”
“That’s not how, game works Percy,” throwing my hands up as I looked at him, “you either have it or you don’t. Doesn’t matter if I give you the chance…”
“Well I have it. I’ve made women scream my name, I’ve made you scream my name---”
“I don’t remember that,” I cut in as he laughed, “I honestly. Were we arguing?”
Percy’s strained mouth told me everything I needed to know, I was pushing his buttons and I couldn’t help but get a good laugh out of it.