It all started with a bet…
Connor has always enjoyed the company of a woman but when his coworkers bet him to woo a woman of color, they chose an African American woman. Doctor by day and notorious playboy at night, Connor assumes his charms will knock the socks off the woman's feet, but he's sadly mistaken when she refuses to entertain him. Feeling defeated, he's on a mission to succeed, stopping at nothing to win the bet. The turn of events has him questioning his own motives and his upbringing because of her since his type never involved messing with a black woman. When the slip of the tongue causes all hell to break loose, will Connor allow emotions to guide his heart or will the playboy remain untouched by love?
Although their first encounter was a disaster, she’s learned just because their skin is designed differently didn’t mean she tolerated racism. While working together on a project, Simone is fascinated by his upbringing. She begins to open her heart while uncovering layers of Connor's insecurities. She teaches him how to love someone from the heart and not the color of their skin. Thinking she’s found the one, a devastating secret is exposed. It causes her to turn her back on him. Will she allow the green-eyed hunk to convince her that it was bad judgment on his end or give him the boot?
Simone Evette casually wandered inside of Come ‘N Relax café and heard a slew of ‘hellos’. She nodded her head at the café workers as soft tunes of a Keith Sweat song played throughout the intimate building. The café presented dim lighting, warm hues, abstract art on the walls, and nice comfortable seating. Simone turned her neck and noticed a diverse of people ranging from young to older adults. Some were studying, others were hanging out, and some just grabbing a cup of Joe. She placed her belongings in a booth, stepped to the counter to order a caramel latte, and returned with a leisure pace to the booth, sliding down onto the cushioned seat. Grabbing the pen from the spiral part of the notebook, Simone glanced up sensing a presence on her right side, walking in her direction.
The waitress placed the hot steaming latte down in front of her. “Simone?”
Simone nodded her head and smiled pleasantly. “Thank you,” she said picking up the latte and putting her lips over the small opening, breathing in the aroma. She slowly lifted the cup up to her lips for a full sip.
Placing the latte back down on the table, she flipped open the notebook but couldn't get in fifteen minutes worth of studying because of rambunctious laughter at a nearby table. To her, they were disturbing the peace. Lifting her head, Simone glared at the table of ‘white coats’. Rolling her eyes and scrunching up her nose, she cocked her neck at an angle, lifted the corner of her inner lip as she blew out an annoyed breath. Their disturbances attracted unwanted stares and whispers as a few patrons shushed them which caused a giggle to slip from her mouth.
Simone turned her head in the direction of the profound laughter. His deep, rowdy laugh piqued her interest as he threw his head back and flashed perfect teeth. She ogled his tanned skin while touching the front of her neck as she studied his dark tousled high fade. With a full beard gracing his rectangular face, Simone felt moisture gathering in the seat of her crotch as she squeezed her thighs together. She flipped her hand up and down to keep herself cool as her skin burned with desire. On top of his handsome face, he had the nerve to sport a small black hoop earring snugged in his right earlobe which was uncommon to her for a professional with such jewelry on display.
His overall appearance was compelling but the color of his irises pulled her in further, hypnotized by the hue which brought unpleasant and naughty thoughts to collect at the forefront of her mind.
The buzzing sound vibrating on the table caused her to shift her sight from the guy and down to her cellphone. Giving a quick glance, she realized it was her friend sending a text. Simone glanced back up into the guy's face and shook her head in embarrassment. He wasn't the only one attractive at the table. There was a fair-skinned gentleman with dark hair in a man bun with brown eyes, a neutral tanned guy with short chopped, blonde spikes on top of his head, and a pale guy with blues eyes, angular nose, and strawberry blonde curls upon his head. But this guy who captured her vision had the most gorgeous set of green eyes on him which caused her to get upset.
“Why the hell are y’all so damn loud? Y’all are not the only ones in here,” Simone hissed, screwing up her whole face as she averted her gaze, glancing down to read over her notes. Too bad she didn’t have any headphones to block out unnecessary commotions coming from a group of people who should have known to behave. Running her hands over her side ponytail and flipping the notebook closed, she stood up and strolled toward the bathroom. When she returned minutes later, Simone overheard brutal comments coming from the table which caused her to pause her footing as she squinted her eyes. She slid into the booth, her gaze falling on the table full of hospital employees as their conversation consisted of interracial dating. Simone tried to ignore them and study at the same time but fail to focus when the group voices elevated.
“Wait, wait, Carla is trying to say something,” a guy spoke, his voice carrying an octave higher over the table.
“It doesn’t matter the color of the person. It’s who and how they treat me,” the female replied tight-lipped.
“You would say that because you’re a woman,” another man’s voice replied.
“Aye, I heard black women are just as competitive as white women.”
A male’s voice chimed in. “I heard they are feisty. I also heard the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice.”
The table chuckled again except the woman.
“It’s not the color of people’s skin. It’s the men who we get involved with,” the woman stated firmly.
“If I ever start thinkin’ about datin’ a woman of color then I know the world is comin’ to an end.” The green-eyed man's voice echoed causing the other men to share in his laughter while the woman shook her head in disgust.
“Idiot,” Simone mumbled, biting the inside of her lip as she rocked her head side to side. She planned to transfer to another seat but the nosey part of her wanted to hear the end of their discussion, so she leaned forward with her elbows planted on the tabletop.
“Aye, what if she got a bangin’ body.”
“In that case, she has to be light-skinned and petite.”
“You all are pigs. I’m tryin’ to tell you sooner than later Connor, you’re gon’ to be on my side sayin’ it’s not the color of a person’s skin but the person that you’re dealing with.”
Among the other people sitting in the booth, he stood out. She then heard the guy say, ‘that’s why we should stick to our own’. Simone’s scowled at the table before voicing her opinion, “Arrogant ass.”
Connor came to the café tonight to meet up with his colleagues after a long day of work. They started talking about dating and such, but somehow the conversation steered to dating women of color. Nothing was wrong with having black women as friends but dating them wasn’t in his book. He wasn’t even looking for a relationship. He was a man who enjoyed women from blondes, brunettes, redheads, to petite and submissive. His ideal type didn’t include brown to dark-skinned African American women. Many have called him prejudice but that was his choice, he had standards.
“Connor, I bet you can’t bed the woman in the booth wearing the purple shirt,” his co-worker Scott, the physician assistant, pointed over his broad shoulders.
Connor twisted his neck in the direction of Scott’s finger and his stomach did a somersault. It was an African American woman and she was darker than his usual likes.
“Connor, I thought you were a ladies’ man,” Carla pursed her lips as she stretched her brows upward.
A frown slipped from his tight-lipped face as his eyes squinted at Carla. She was Asian American, and a nurse practitioner, who nudged him on the arm.
Arms crossed over his chest, he snickered in a deep voice. “You know I am.”
With a smug sneer, Mark's strawberry blonde curls bounced on top of his head. “If so, then prove it to us.”
“Prove what?” Connor asked with a jerk of his neck, running a hand through his high fade.
“Prove that you can charm the woman of our choice,” John announced as the hue in his eyes darkened as he slid two hundred dollars across the table.
Connor tilted his head as he glanced down at the money, shaking his head in distress. “Come on, guys. What’re we doin’?”
“The bet is four hundred---” Scott stated as he grabbed his wallet and pulled out his portion before he was interrupted by Mark.
“Nah, make that six hundred.” Mark chuckled as his irises turned an icy blue, sliding his money across the table.
Scott’s chocolate irises darted around the table before meeting Connor’s glare. “Like I was saying earlier, the bet is to score,” Scott publicized with an enthusiastic attitude while pounding John’s fist.
Connor stretched his legs and stood to his full height over six feet. He let out a harsh breath, glanced down at the six hundred dollars, and shook his head at Mark, John, and Scott as they held a sinister smirk upon their faces.
“You have to score within three months top. We need proof. A photo to be exact. Kissing, hugging, or whatever. If you win, then six hundred is yours, but if you don’t, you lose. You go down in history as the playa who couldn’t score a black woman. Simple as that. Playa, playa.” John placed his hand on top of the money before he withdrew everyone’s portion from the table and handing them their money.
With prolonged eye contact at the fellas at the table, Connor popped his collared white jacket around the neckline. “When I win this bet, I don’t wanna hear shit from y’all ever again,” he groaned. “The bet is on and you all are gon’ to lose my friends.” He pointed to each one of his coworkers before bobbing his head up and down, flexing his muscles under his shirt as he approached the African American woman, giving two thumbs up to the table before closing the gap of their selected choice.
Upon arrival at the woman’s table, he caught a scowl on her face and instantly the corner of his mouth lifted upward already sensing that this conversation was going to be rough. Connor didn’t have to try hard with other women, it came naturally but the way she frowned at him, he believed it was going to take a lot of coaxing to get her panties. Raking his hand through his high fade, he stopped short on the side of her booth. “Hello, how are you?” he asked, his voice smoother than a baby’s bottom.
“Fine and yourself?” she answered in an attitude.
“I’m good. My colleagues and I were wondering---” he declared haughtily, broad stance while standing as he looked over his shoulders then back to her.
She raised her hand in the air. “If interracial dating is possible? No, not in your case, but I’m open to it,” she said, slamming her notebook closed and rolling her eyes.
Her reaction caught him off guard the way she scooted toward the edge of the table, grabbing her materials, and reaching for the empty cup before rushing past him. ‘I'm not interested’ was written in her face as she stormed away after tossing the empty container in the nearby trash can.
“See, that’s why I don’t deal with them now. They have fucked-up attitudes.” Connor was hot, his cheeks flushed with heated pressure growing up under his skin. He didn't have to see himself in the mirror to know his face was the color of crimson. As he stood in the same position she left him in, his nostrils flared, glaring at the back of her head. No woman had ever walked away from him willingly.
He was stunned, to say the least, because of her dismissal. He pinched the bridge of his nose and sucked in a heated breath, disturbed by her character. He regrouped the stinging rejection before pivoting and returning to his co-workers. Once he slid into the booth sitting beside Carla, the men clowned him as Carla gave him a side-eye smirk.
Friday evening, Connor waited outside of the café for John. While he lingered, he glanced down at his watch.
“Damn, John. You're never on time,” he disclosed as he lifted his head and to his surprised, his heart began racing. It even skipped a beat. It was her. She was walking with another woman. As she stepped closer, their eyes locked but the instant she covered her face with her hand, he laughed.
The woman picked up speed as she sprinted passed him without opening her mouth.
“You’re just going to walk past me without speaking,” he vocalized, shaking his head with a sense of humor as he waited for John.
As they entered the cafe, he noticed the friend tapping the mystery woman on the arm. Not once did she stopped and glanced back which ticked him off. His gaze focused on his watch again but as he made up his mind to eat lunch by himself, John walked up with a pretty boy swag.
“Sorry man, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.”
“Yeah, you say that like it’s something new. You know we only have an hour before-” he was cut off when two gorgeous blondes walked past them.
“Can I say fineee,” John said, eyeing the women’s backside.
“Yeah and underage.” Connor yanked the door ajar and strolled up to the counter to order their usual lunch. They spotted an empty booth when all of a sudden Connor's bladder hit him.
“I gotta run to the bathroom,” he said, his walk laid-back as he entered the restroom and returned in a flash, catching John texting on the phone.
“What's good,” Connor announced as John's mouth began moving, talking about nothing in particular. Connor pretended he was listening while he rotated his head over the cafe in search of the mystery woman. He found her and the friend sitting in a corner of the café.
“Here you go,” a cafe worker stated as she placed a Cuban and Rueben sandwich down in front of them.
“Thank you,” he said as he grabbed his Mountain Dew off the tray and passed John his Coke.
As they ate, his gaze kept reverting back to her table. As he stared boldly, he expected her to glance at him but she didn't. He nodded his head and focused on his colleague.
“Man, what the hell are you talkin’ about?” Connor asked, jokingly as he finished off his sandwich.
“That fine-ass nurse, Bella that keeps walking to the back so I can see her,” John replied with a smirk on his face.
“You do realize she’s working right,” Connor asked, raising his hands in the air.
“She knows what she’s doing. Coming to the back, batting her eyelashes and shit.”
Connor smirked as he ran a hand through his hair as listened briefly to John. He caught glimpses of her chestnut brown-skinned and orange undertones as she tilted her head back and laughed openly. Connor squinted his eyes as he recognized a challenge because her defiance intrigued him. He challenged himself to fuck her by the end of the month instead of waiting the full three months.
John coughed jarring him from his thoughts. “Isn’t that the mystery woman?” He pointed his index finger.
“Yeah, but put your finger down,” Connor spoke, swatting his hand.
John’s chuckled deep within his chest walls. “Man, I don’t blame you if you start catching feelings for her for real because she is fuckin’ hot.”
“As I recall, it’s a bet,” Connor hissed. “I’m gon’ to prove to y'all dicks that I can bed any woman regardless of her color.”
“You know it wouldn’t be a bad thing if you settled down.”
“I’m a playa'. I like women, plain and simple.” Connor snickered, his jaw muscles tight as he knitted his brows at John.
“Yeah, you like ‘em young, dumb, and blonde.”
“Don't forget I like brunettes too.” Flustered, Connor added, “I don’t see that you’re ready to settle down yet.”
John picked up his Coke and sipped before stating, “Unlike you, I’m waiting for her to find me and make me marry her.”
Connor chuckled while rubbing his hand over his full beard, averting his gaze away from the mystery woman.
“Anyways,” John declared. “What fine lady has been pinning after you?” he asked in a playful tone.
“All the women but you know me,” he pointed to himself. “I keep 'em at a distance unless I see an easy score.” Connor joked.
“Awe shit, let's head back to work,” John announced as they dumped their trash in a nearby trashcan and strolled out of the café not before Connor glanced over his shoulder to catch glossy eyes pinning for him.
It didn’t take long to reach their destination since it was ten minutes from the allergist practice. Connor worked as an Immunologist who treated allergies and autoimmune diseases.
Hours later, Connor was greeted by his visitor exactly at 10 p.m.
“Hey honey, you missed me!” his female companion asked as she kissed him on the lips.
“You know I did,” he stated as he sat down in his chair, tossing back scotch on rocks. The beautiful blonde sashayed over to his lap and sat on top. A few hours later, he left his companion in bed while he searched on the computer for price ranges of houses in Montgomery, Alabama.
He recalled wanting to move closer to home after graduating from medical school. While in medical school, his mother encouraged him to expand his horizon, to further his education, and to set no boundaries. She taught him how to reach for the stars, grab for the moon, the earth, and a little bit of heaven as he achieved his fullest.
The corner of his mouth dropped as his heart suddenly got heavy. He closed his eyes as his mind wandered to a faraway place thinking of his mother’s untimely death. It changed his perspective on life in general as it hardened his heart. After all, he no longer wanted to find that special someone because he felt she would leave too and that’s why he preferred to bed them. Love them, no. Fuck them, yes.
Shoving himself from the computer, Connor got up and left his office. He strolled down the corridor of his rented house and made his way into the kitchen to grab a bottle of Bud Light. He popped the top and drowned it in less than two minutes. He marched to his bedroom and jumped into bed, grabbing slim hips as he spooned her.