THE SWEETEST LOVE BY D. ROSE
Malik Thompson had it all. He was at the height of his basketball career, had every endorsement he sought after, and women vying for his love. Even with all the good in his life, the one thing he was missing and wanted more than anything was the woman he’d loved since childhood – his best friend, Selimah.
Selimah Wilkerson was a force to be reckoned with in the modeling industry. When she wasn’t storming the runway modeling the finest in couture designs, she was working with non-profits to help underprivileged girls. She, too, was at the height of her career and had no plans on slowing or settling down. That was until she surrendered to her ever-growing feelings for her best friend, Malik.
Since the tender age of five, they’d been the best of friends. Back then, the loved they shared was sweet and innocent, as they were unaware of how complex and complicated love could be. Now older, and well versed in relationships, they decide now was the time to give their love a chance. Their road to love would be anything but easy as they navigate through skeletons, rumors, and unrelenting exes.
Can Selimah and Malik put their pride aside and fight for love? Or will they continue to allow fear to keep them apart…
The Sweetest Love is book two in the For Keeps series and can be read as a standalone.
Malik was insistent on picking me up from the airport. I was sure that he was tired from his final game in Denver the night before, but that didn’t seem to matter to him. He was at the airport bright and early waiting for me. I found him signing autographs outside his car with a half-hearted smile on his face. He was hurt that they didn’t make the playoffs. He hadn’t said it yet, but I knew. His mahogany colored eyes lit up when I reached his car. After wrapping up a conversation with a fan, he pulled me into an earnest, yet tender embrace. His sandalwood scent enveloped me, and my cheeks flooded with heat.
His hugs always made me feel giddy, warm, and most importantly, protected. The sounds of horns and people’s luggage dragging across the concrete sidewalk drifted to the background.
“I missed you, Lola.” His lips were pressed against the shell of my ear. When I looked into his eyes, my heart skipped a beat. They were low, inviting.
“I missed you too, Mal.”
After a moment of staring deeply into my eyes, he ran a hand over his face and sighed. “Let’s get out of here.” There was a hint of hesitation before he released the arm he had around my waist.
My hand was perched outside the window as I took in the fresh spring air. Malik had been driving for almost two hours and we were drifting from the suburbs to winding roads. We stopped at a cute diner for breakfast before hitting the road. The first hour was spent talking about my time in Europe. I’d told him every detail during our calls, but he wanted to hear it again. He engaged me and asked questions, but I could tell he was trying to avoid talking about how their season ended. He was competitive by nature and losing hurt no matter how long he’d been playing. Every loss stung like the first. For about twenty minutes, I slept. My body was already experiencing the effects of the time difference; my early morning flight only made it worse.
I glanced over at Malik. The playlist he listened to before his games played as he bobbed his head. His attention was on the road, but he never missed a word of Nipsey Hussle’s “Hussle & Motivate.” I joined in rapping the few lyrics I knew, making him laugh. He looked over at me and smiled.
“Wanna talk about it?” I asked turning down the music some. He shook his head then gripped the steering wheel tighter.
“Okay,” I whispered. “Where are we going?”
“It’s a surprise.”
“How long will we be on this adventure?” I pressed.
“A week,” he stated simply.
I gasped, “What if I have something to do within that time? I have to meet with my mentees.”
His silky baritone filled the car when he laughed. “Gwen took care of that. Your mentees are cool with not meeting with you this week.”
I was speechless.
“You coordinated this surprise with Gwen?”
“Yup, and Nini. Everything is copacetic, Lo. Just relax, I got this.”
With my arms folded, I released a long dramatic sigh. He laughed and continued, “When have I ever not come through with a good surprise?”
My brow rose, ready to challenge him. “December 30th, 2008. You surprised me and took me to see Lil’ Wayne.”
He belted out another laugh and it made my fake scowl turned into a smile. “You used to love Weezy.”
“No,you loved Weezy and knew your mother wouldn’t let you go alone so you dragged me into it.”
That was just one of the many times he used me as an accomplice in his shenanigans.
“Aight, but you still had a good time though, so that doesn’t count.”
“Or all the times you had me waiting in line for some damn Jordans.”
“Always been a rider,” he mused with a sly smirk. “Have I told you how much I missed you?”
“Yeah, yeah,” I waved him off.
“We’re almost there, Lo. Just sit tight,” he smiled and focused back on the road.
ABOUT D. ROSE
D. Rose is a blogger and author based out of the DMV. She writes contemporary romances with African American heroes and heroines that are guaranteed to fill your heart. Since childhood, she has always had a passion for reading and writing.
In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and, spending time with family.