I press my eye to the keyhole, even though I don't have to, and sigh.
Blossom’s presence precedes her. It precedes her like a motherfucker.
Her radiant, silvery light filtered into my apartment before she even got out of her car. And like always, it filled me with a conflicted longing that nearly brings me to my knees
It’s a longing that I tuck deep away, as I always do, smothering it with the reminder that she isn’t a place a can go.
This, despite, no matter how much I may want to. No matter how much the crux of who I am as a man wants to. My god says no. A firm, resounding no.
La, la yumkinuk.
So I don't.
I’m not hers. That’s not a privilege I can allow myself. It’s not one that I deserve. It’s not one my god will allow. His no is final.
I let her knock for nearly ten minutes, hoping she’ll leave, but Bloss is nothing if not persistent. It isn’t until the space between knocks gets longer and longer that I come to the door, and just seeing her through the distorted lens of the peephole is enough.
Even from a fishbowl view, she takes my breath away.
Her thick hair is piled high on her head, the fluffy mess of curls barely being contained by the hair tie contorted to tame it. The only variation in color in the dark strands is a streak of glossy silver that runs from her widows peak back into the mass. Framing her youthful face, it gives her an indication of the wisdom that she shows when she’s not demanding I give her things I can't give.
And yet I want to be close to her. I want to hear her voice, even if it’s scolding me, even when it’s laced with hurt that I’m unable to stop inflicting on her.
I should let her leave. She looks like she’s about to give up. She stares directly into the viewer, as if she can sense me there, and she probably can. I know she can. Normally, she’d call me on it, shout my hall down until I’m forced to open so my one neighbor doesn’t get annoyed. Not that I’d care if he did.
But I want to see her, and not through the viewer. I want to take in her lush curves with my own eyes. I want to smell her smell—a light floral bouquet cut with the crisp notes of a full moon night.
My hands move on their own, and the turn of the lock echoes in the silence of my foyer as I open the door.
She turns on her way back to the elevator, and I fist my hand at my side, turning my power back on myself so that it stings my palm. It’s the only way I can stop myself from scooping her up into my arms, from tasting her again.
That single kiss we shared months ago on the night Glitter went missing is like a brand on my soul. I taste her at random times, the phantom sweetness of her lip gloss, because Blossom is the kind of woman who still wears flavored lip gloss. I remember licking it off my lips as I raced after Jinx down the loft stairs and wanting to go back and taste more.
Her deep brown eyes meet mine, and neither of us says anything. We just let the silence stretch between us.
It’s been a roaring quiet since we shared that kiss—a mistake on my part, a moment of weakness that I don't wish to take back even though I should. I said it was to protect her, to distract her, but it was solely for the purpose of knowing what it was like, just once, to kiss her.
And if I can never have her, at least I have that.
Finally, after what feels like hours, and not the seconds it’s been, Blossom sucks her teeth and pushes past me into the apartment, shoving me back with a hand to my stomach.
“Took you long enough. What’d you have to do, get rid of whatever maggie you were fucking?”
She’s pissed, like she’s always pissed when she’s around me, or when she isn't around me. I feel Blossom’s raging hate every second of every day.
Except, it’s not hate. It’s a sweet, blinding, disappointed love that keeps me awake at night when I feel it pulsing out to me, begging me to love it back.
And I would if I could, but I can't. And I’ve tried. When I first met her, I, like any man who loves women, wanted her. But the moment my god recognized who hers was, that want became a spoiled ache in my gut, a rancid pain every time I even think about giving in to it.
“What do you want, Blossom?” It’s an exhausted refrain, and I know what her answer will be before she speaks.
“I want you to come around already and stop resisting what’s between us. It’s getting old, and whoever these women are that you keep on the side, they can’t compare to what I can give you as your riser, and I’d give it to you, Abra. Without hesitation.” Her deep browns plead up at me, and she takes a step forward, smoothing a hand up the abs that she shoved a moment earlier.
The door is still open, and I pull it wider.
Letting her in was a bad idea.
“I’m too tired for this, Bloss. It’s been a long day.”
Her face brightens and she holds up the hand that’s touching me. “I can help you, give you a little boost. It’ll be extra good coming from me.”
I look at her palm, waiting for Thoth to show some interest, anything, a little flicker of desire, but as he always is when it comes to her, he falls away. I feel him literally twist in my body, giving her his back. There is no clearer answer.
Blossom’s mouth tightens and she steps back like I’ve warded her off, and I know she feels the rejection, too.
I shake my head, holding my hands to the side. “I don't think so. There’s no reason to reject what you’re offering. Trust me, my god isn't one to rebuff a woman like you. You just have to accept that you’re wrong, baby.”
I keep my voice gentle, hoping that this time, out of all the times we’ve had this conversation, she’ll get it. She’ll realize that it’s not me—it’s him. And maybe some of that anger she’s been holding onto will subside.
“And what about you?” When I frown, she continues. “Not him, not your god. What about the man? Do you, Abra, want me?”
She takes a step forward, her hips swaying with the slow, deliberate movement, and I throw my hands up, backing away as she bears down on me.
“Bloss, sweetheart, don't.”
“Don't what?” She’s wearing some slinky tight dress that hangs in a sloped curtain across her breasts, the cling doing nothing but accentuating the lush curves of her petite frame.
She’s short but round in all the right places—big ass, big tits, big hips. A stupid man would call her fat and mean it as an insult. A smart man would see that fat and fuck the brakes off it.
However, nobody would call Blossom anything but beautiful, and I’m nothing if not a smart man.
Which is why, I know right away that it’s a bad idea that I let her into my crib.
Get her away.
“You have to go. Now.” I move closer to the door.
My god is going mad in my middle, shouting at me in Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Arabic, and Modern Arabic like I didn’t hear him the first time in English. He wants her gone, away from us, out of our sight, but she’s here and she’s every time we see her the most beautiful woman we’ve ever laid eyes on.
And like every time, the struggle to keep my hands to myself, to not give in to what almost feels like an instinct to take her in every dirty way I can think of, is like a living thing inside of me fighting against the warning of my deity.
“I don't want to go. I want you to do what you’re trying to act like you’re not thinking of doing to me.” She arches her back, poking her round tits up at me. She has no idea what she’s asking for, and I know this for a fact.
“You don't want that, little virgin.” I lift my brows in challenge of her act. She keeps thinking she can push me, but even I can only take so much.
“Who do you think I’ve been saving it for?” She’s all forced bravado, but beneath her arched brow and unwavering gaze, I feel the nervous energy of a woman who’s willing to risk nearly everything to get what she thinks she wants.
And it’s not a fuck. It’s love. This little goddess wants to love and be loved by someone so bad, but that someone isn’t me.
It can’t be. My god said no, and his no is final.
“You’re trying too hard.” The words fall quietly from my mouth, and I barely look at her when I say it, but a brief glance lets me know they did their intended damage.
Her face flashes with hurt, and the moxie that she was so insistent on falters. She stares at me for a long moment, the hurt slowly transforming into pity. She thinks I’m sad, that I’m a coward, and maybe she’s right.
“You’re so hurtful.” She blinks away, her eyes glossing over, and rushes past me, bumping into my side on the way.
I shift my torso, so she doesn’t hurt herself, but that second of pain that marred her beautiful features chips at the diamond construct I’ve erected around my feelings for her.
No, it’s not a chip. It’s a sledge hammer. It connects with my forced apathy so hard that before I realize it, I grab her arm as she passes, stopping her.
“Please, don’t cry, Blossom.” I stare ahead, willing my feelings back where they belong, but they won't go back so easily this time. That little crack in the foundation has revealed a truth I’ve worked hard to suppress.
I want her.
Me, the man. Abrahim Thoth. I want every part that is this woman.
Even as I think it, my deity is battering the desire down. It’s a violent effort in my chest cavity that makes me flinch with the ache.
And, yet, it isn't as great as the ache from my need for her.
But I know I should listen to him. He knows best in so many ways, and if he’s adamant about Blossom not being for me, I would be stupid to ignore it.
“I’ll make you a deal.” The words come out without me thinking, and Blossom’s expression turns hopeful and then cautious.
She narrows her eyes. “What kind of deal?”
“I’ll give you what you want, and if after, my god still doesn't recognize you, then you won't bring it up again. That’ll be it. You’ll accept that you’re wrong, and we’ll continue on as friends, nothing more—forever.” The final word feels sour in my mouth, but I force it out.
Her full, glossy lips tighten in defiance, and I wait.
If she refuses, I’ll have to figure out another way to get through to her, but I hope she doesn't. This may be the closest I’ll ever get to getting a taste of what I’ve been denying myself all this time while also nipping this shit in the bud.
She squares her shoulders, her chest thrusting out again. Only, this time, her nipples are pointy tips poking against the fabric of her dress.
My dick reacts to the sight, puffing up a bit to match her stance.
“Fine. You’ll see, though; I’m right.” Her hair has come undone without her realizing it. The hair tie finally giving up, and she tosses the poof of curls hanging about her shoulders, planting her hands on her lush hips.
“Maybe.” I offer a tight smile and hold out my hand. “So do we have a deal?”
She goes to raise her hand then pauses, uncertainty making her chew her bottom lip.
I tilt my head. “Hesitating? I thought you were so sur—“
She snatches my hand with hers and gives it a firm shake. “Deal.”
Our hands fall away, and suddenly she looks nervous. Her eyes look wide up at me as that lip is getting chewed to shit.
Reaching out, I gently ease it from between her teeth. It’s red and swollen. Then without giving her a chance to prepare, or myself an opportunity to rethink it, I bend down, lift her by her thighs and pull her up my body.
“Xuh!” She startles, grabbing at my shoulders to balance herself, but I’m already moving to the nearest wall where I press her back to it before holding her legs steady and starting to drop to my knees.
She wobbles in my grip, her eyes frantic. “What are you doing?”
“Giving you what you’ve been asking me for. Hold on, little goddess.”
“To what?” Her hands press flat to the wall as I situate her thighs over my shoulders so that my face is level with her pussy and she’s suspended above me, her only purchase the wall behind her.
I’ve kept my eyes on her face, but I let them focus on the space before me, and my brows lift before I look back up at her. The brown skin of her cheeks roses over.
“What was your plan for this?” I nod down to her bare pussy. She isn't wearing panties.
Her shoulder lifts and drops, but she fidgets like she’s embarrassed. “I don't know. I was going to—I don't know. Make you see the truth.”
“With your pussy?”
She shrugs again, and I almost want to consider that maybe she’s right. Maybe she is mine. Just the sight of her slick, swollen flesh has me so hard that my pelvis aches.
I control myself.
“We have a deal, remember? After this, we’re done.”
She makes a face. “What if I’m right?"
She won't be. She can't be. My deity says so, and he’s never steered me wrong before.
She stares mutinously at me for a moment but then dips her head.
From the moment I laid eyes on her puffy lips, I’ve been fighting the urge to face plant into her. But now she’s given her acceptance of our terms, there’s no need to wait anymore.
Making sure her thighs are secure over my shoulders, I reach beneath and part her pussy with my fingers, sliding them along her slit.
She jerks and stiffens, a gasp escaping her lips before it morphs into a moan. The sound zaps through me, a burning current that has me planting my face firmly against her and tunneling my tongue through her folds.
“Oh fuck!” One of her hands slaps against my back as I start to eat her, beginning with long, dragging licks that get every bit of her taste on my tongue.
She tastes like her name, like spring and sweet nectar. She tastes like nothing I’ve ever tasted in my life.
I get lost in it, slicing through her slickness, sucking at her labia and bare lips. When I latch onto her clit with my teeth and lightly bite down, she shrieks.
I let her go and grin up from between her thighs, flashing the grill she speaks of. “What about them?”
She pants, her eyes going glossy as I stare up at her. “They’re cold.”
I chuckle and go back to what I was doing. Her thighs are tense against my ears, and the stuttered pattern of her moans signals that she’s going to come at any moment.
I point my tongue and nudge it into her opening, going as far as I can, while at the same time, pressing down on her clit with my fingers.
That does it. She jerks, her hips arching forward, her hands scrambling to keep herself from sliding off the wall. I crowd close, holding her up with my mouth on her pussy and my hands along her sides as she comes apart, crying out without reserve until she’s left gasping and twitching in my hold.
Slowly, I ease her down, holding onto her hips when her legs buckle a little. My dick is nearly bursting from my pants, it’s a fucking heartbeat behind my fly, and all I want is to put her legs around my waist, get inside of her, and make her come again.
But that wasn’t the goal of this. It was to get a taste, to get her on my tongue, so I can get her out of my head for good. It was to soothe the part of me that wants to tell my god to kiss my ass, I’m taking her.
I run my teeth over my grill, savoring the remnants of her release.
Blossom’s still dazed, but her eyes flitter up to me, fixing hopefully on my face, looking, I know, for confirmation of what she believes to be true.
And I wish I could give it to her.
The whole time I was eating Blossom out, my deity was silent. He was letting me have this one thing, letting me get it out of my system. But now he’s back, and when I hear him inside of me, there’s no arguing.
Get her away from us. She’s not yours. You can't have her.
I pretend not to hear him for a moment, even though, he knows I do. Instead, I take as long as I can, memorizing the look on Blossom’s face, satisfied and sated. Pride that I put that look there makes my chest swell.
“You feel it, right? God, Abra, please tell me you feel it.” She leans forward to press her head to my chest, and though it takes all of me, I step back just before she makes contact. Her head lifts, and the relief that was on her face a moment ago slowly shifts to devastation. “Abra?”
I take another step back and another. My feet feel like a thousand pounds of regret already weighing me down, so that by the time I’ve made it to the door and pull it open, I’ve broken out in a sweat just from the sheer exhaustion of moving away from her.
“You were wrong, baby. And we had a deal. You’ll never bring it up again.”
Her expression changes again, this time to anger. She stalks up to me, stopping when her breasts meet my abdomen. “You’re a liar.”
I can't look at her, so I don't. “We had a deal, Bloss. It’s done. Please leave.”
I expect her to cry. I’m ready for it. I’m stealing myself for the tears that are going to tear me up inside, so I’m not prepared for when she rears back and delivers a punch to my gut.
“Oof!” I flinch as my abs contract.
The hit packs some heat in the form of a bright silver burst when she makes contact. The zap stings its way through my middle, momentarily halting my ability to breathe.
“Asshole.” She storms past me and out into the hall.
I watch as she gets to the elevator, which I make open, summoning the lift before she has a chance to stab the button.
She turns back, her gaze cutting through me. “Your god is a FOOL!”
She yells the last word, presumably so that Thoth can hear it.
He does, and for the first time, he faces her, flaring up inside of me. We meet her gaze, and I know mine burns bright.
“I am,” he says, distorting my voice, and then he closes the door.