Trope: older woman, younger man
Subgenre: interracial romance
Heat level: sensual
Sadie Jackson’s trip takes an interesting turn the night before she leaves Chicago. A chance encounter with a handsome stranger awakens her desires and just might change the entire course of her life.
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Sadie sipped coffee looking out the kitchen window of her little ranch house in a suburb of Atlanta. Outside, her son, Bradley, Jr., was washing her car. He’d become protective ever since his father passed away, taking over the tasks Senior used to do when he was alive.
Her daughter lived in New York, but she suspected Bradley remained in the Atlanta area because he wanted to stay close and worried about her being alone. Not just being alone in the house, but being alone in general. In fact, a year ago he suggested she start dating again, something that had seemed out of the question before. Over thirty years with the same person could do that to you. It seemed as if no one else could compare, but six weeks after her one-night stand in Chicago, she knew that wasn’t true.
She still relived those moments with Mark. The conversation, the sex. Mind-blowing sex that still made her body pulse with heat at the memory of it. She hadn’t told a soul. Not even her best friend, Gail, who would probably yell at her for keeping such a juicy secret. She might tell her one day, but not yet.
Sadie poured the rest of her coffee down the drain and stepped away from the window. One of Bradley’s friends was coming over in a little bit. Someone from his college days. They hadn’t been particularly close, but they’d lived in the same dorm and run in the same circles. Apparently the young man had recently moved to the area. They ran into each other at one of the hardware stores.
She puttered around the kitchen, doing a little cleanup for the company that was to arrive, and then went into her office with a fresh cup of coffee. Donning glasses, she sat behind the desk and started to read essays written by her summer students. As the chair of the African-American Studies department at Emory University, she taught one summer course, not out of obligation but out of a desire to share the history and culture of African peoples with her students. So many students, of all races, had a limited knowledge of the roles blacks played in the building of this country. She took great pleasure in sharing stories about the statesmen, entrepreneurs, laborers, extended families, and brave soldiers that lay hidden in the annals of U.S. history.
Thirty minutes after she began to work, she heard her son’s voice. “Mom! My friend's here. Where are you?"
“In my office. I’ll be right there.”
Sadie removed her glasses and stood, grabbing the now lukewarm leftover coffee before walking down the hall into the small kitchen. When she saw the man standing behind her son, she froze. Heat flushed her skin and her lips parted in surprise. The cup dropped and splintered into pieces on the tile.
“Mom!” Bradley rushed over. “Don’t move.”
Sadie stared at the man in the doorway, who also stared back at her, surprise in his powder blue eyes. Mark, looking just as impressive as the day she’d left him on the steps of the hotel. His blonde hair was cut a little short, his beard trimmed neater, but it was him. Tall, handsome, and very fine looking in a chest-hugging T-shirt and worn jeans.
She edged out of the way as her son quickly mopped up the spilled drink with a towel and swept up the chards of glass with a dustpan and broom. By the time he was finished, Sadie had managed to fix her face into an expression that no longer registered surprise, and so did Mark.
Her son took a deep breath. “Okay, now that’s out of the way.” Grinning, he looped an arm around her shoulders. “Mom, this is Mark Sullivan--Doctor Mark Sullivan. We went to school together. You probably don’t remember him, but when you and dad dropped me off at college, Mark was one of the people hanging out in the main sitting area. You know, where students were huddled together eating pizza and playing cards and all that? Anyway, after you and Dad left, I hung out with him and a few other guys. That’s how we met.”
“Y-you were there when I dropped off my son?” Sadie asked.
“Yes,” Mark answered.
That explained why she looked vaguely familiar to him. But she hadn’t seen him or she would have remembered his face, his body. Or maybe she did see him, but he’d been much younger then, probably without a beard, maybe leaner. She barely remembered that day, it was so long ago, but she did have a distinct memory of the heartache and worry she experienced leaving her eighteen-year-old behind. She’d even cried a little on the way home.
“Mark, this is my mother, Dr. Sadie Jackson, chair of the African-American Studies department at Emory University.”
Would he out her? Would he disclose to her son that not only had she lied about her name, but that they’d spent the night together?
“Nice to meet you. Your son has said so many good things about you, I feel as if I already know you.”
“It’s nice to meet you, too.”
They shook hands like strangers, but there was nothing strange about the pulse of electricity on her skin when they touched. She stifled a moan at the way her body came alive. Her palms heated and a gentle throb emerged between her thighs as if he’d touched her there.
Overwhelmed, Sadie pulled back and curled her fingers into a fist at her hip.
“Mark, let me take a run to the bathroom real quick, then we can head out,” Bradley said.
“Where are you going?” Sadie faced her son in an effort to beat back the uncontrollable way she’d reacted to Mark.
“He just moved here, so I’m going to show him some of the sights. Oh, Mom, you could probably help him get acclimated to his new job. That’s why I wanted you to meet. He just accepted a position in the English department at Emory. You guys are going to be co-workers.” Bradley grinned. “Be back in a second.”
Sadie waited until she heard the door close before she ventured a look at Mark.
“So we meet again, Sadie,” he said, a soft smile coming over his face.
She didn’t miss the emphasis on her name. Meeting him again was incredible. What were the chances?
"I was right. I did recognize you. I knew I could never forget a face like yours," Mark whispered.
Sadie put a hand to her throat, unable to digest that he was really standing there, in her kitchen, looking as if he wanted to sweep her up in his arms. “It seems you were right. So, you’ll be working at Emory?"
“And you’re friends with my son.”
She didn’t know what to think about any of this. She certainly couldn’t tell her son about the night she spent with Mark. That would be too awkward. What would the conversation be like? Oh honey, by the way, I had a one-night stand with your friend, Mark.
But at the same time, she knew her life was about to change drastically. In the weeks since she’d slept with him, she’d been on a grand total of two dates and neither had been as fulfilling or interesting as the night she spent with Mark.
And now, here he was before her again, their lives somehow intertwined. Could it be Fate, bringing them back together again?
This time she couldn’t escape. This time, she didn’t want to.
Sadie allowed herself a smile. “I'm...very happy to see you again. Welcome to Atlanta.”
This is our last episode! 😩 Hope you enjoyed Sadie and Mark's story.
Remember to mark your calendar for Wild Thoughts, Book 3 of the Brooks Family series that releases on August 10th. Enjoy the rest of your day and have a great weekend!
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