A Pleasing Temptation

By: Deborah Fletcher Mello

CHAPTER 1

“Finding a man has never been my problem,” Kamaya Boudreaux mumbled under her breath as she exchanged a look with her older sister, who grinned. “I can find a man. A very large, well-endowed man!” Her tone was low, the comment meant for her sister’s ears only. She winced when she realized her twin brother had happened to overhear.

“Ewww! Way too much information,” Kendrick Boudreaux muttered, a deep frown pulling his full lips downward.

Kamaya shot him a look as she rolled her eyes.

The private jet had barely taken off before Kamaya was being interrogated by her parents about her personal life. Or lack thereof, depending on how you chose to look at it. Her family had just left Arizona where her parents had married off their youngest daughter. Now, they were suddenly focused on Kamaya, the only one of their nine children still unmarried. Both had had way too much to say. Kamaya shook her head and rolled her eyes a second time.

“You work too hard, Kamaya,” Senior Boudreaux noted. “You can’t find a man when you’re always in that office by yourself!”

Kamaya took a deep breath. “I really don’t, Senior. But aren’t you the one who always told us to handle our business first? That all the rest could wait? That’s exactly what I’m doing.”

Obviously still giddy that her most pretentious child had gotten married in the most pragmatic manner, Katherine Boudreaux laughed. “She’s not alone all the time, Senior. That Paxton boy is always sniffing around. Just waiting for Kamaya to show him some attention. Isn’t that right, Kamaya?”

Laughter rang warmly through the space. Kamaya was beginning to wither under the parental assault, and her siblings seemed amused as she sank deeper into her leather seat. Beginning to look like a twelve-year-old under the scrutiny, it was clear she wasn’t entertained by their conversation. Without some sibling intervention she knew the plane’s landing would be her only saving grace from their old people’s impromptu relationship intervention.

“Paxton’s cool and all,” Kendrick interjected, referring to Kamaya’s friend and business partner, “but he’s not right for Kamaya. You know anyone she dates has to pass my approval first, right? Can’t have my twin with just anybody!”

“I know that’s right!” their brother Darryl interjected. “Only the best for our girls!”

Their oldest sister, Maitlyn Sayed laughed. “Yeah, right! You boys used to get a kick out of scaring our guys away more than anything else. Just ask Tarah!”

“Tarah’s glad we scared them off,” Kendrick countered. “If we hadn’t she wouldn’t be Mrs. Nicholas Stallion. Knowing how she used to pick ’em, she’d be married to that guy with the crossed eye.”

“I thought he had a squint eye,” Katherine teased.

Kendrick shrugged. “Crossed, squint, whatever. He wasn’t the right guy, either.”

Kamaya released a soft sigh. “Well, I really appreciate all this family love and support but, really, I don’t need any help right now. When I do, you all will be the first to know.”

Her brothers and sisters all laughed as one of them changed the subject, reminiscing about everything that had been good and right about the wedding. Then their mother shifted the conversation back to Kamaya.

“Kamaya, have you thought about where you’d like to be married? Do you want a big wedding or small wedding?”

“Weren’t you just pointing out that I needed to find a groom?” Kamaya said snidely. “Let’s not put the cart before the horse. Isn’t that one of your favorite mantras?” She paused. “You all really just need to leave me the hell alone!” she snapped.

Katherine cut an eye at Kamaya then, her stare noting her displeasure with Kamaya’s curt tone.

The entire space went quiet, everyone holding a collective breath. A cloud of tension suddenly hung low enough to touch. Gazes skated back and forth between Kamaya and their parents, waiting to see who would jump first. Only the hum of the plane’s engines sounded in the air.

Kamaya suddenly tensed, her eyes widening. “I didn’t mean to say it like that,” she mumbled, contrition furrowing her brow. Her eyes skipped from one of her parents to the other. Her father had shifted forward in his seat and her mother’s jaw had locked tight as she sat with her arms folded over her chest. “I apologize. That was really rude of me.”

Katherine nodded. “It was downright disrespectful and I expect better than that from you. From all of you! That’s not how your daddy and I raised any of you kids.”

“Don’t let it happen again,” Senior said matter-of-factly. “You all know how to speak to your mother like you got some sense! I won’t tolerate any disrespect toward this woman and I don’t care if you are in your feelings!”

Also By Deborah Fletcher Mello

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