Authors: Té Russ
Tags: #United States, #African American, #Romance
A Spring Affair
Hey Readers and Welcome to Spring!
Welcome to my brand new series, The Four Seasons of Love! I'm so excited about this series and I hope you enjoy it! Of course there will be three more books after this one. Each new book will come out on the first day of the season. Here are the names and dates for the rest of the books in the series:
Sensual Summer Days, June 21, 2015
Autumn Kiss, September 21, 2015
Sultry Winter Nights, December 23, 2015
Of course along with these books, the McAllisters will be back later this year as well, and so will the good people of Coalton, Texas! Also be on the lookout for another new series, In the Line of Love feature two new books, Let Me Love You and Love's Taken Over.
As usual, thank you all for continuing this journey with me with your support and reviews!
Love you guys, 2015 is going to be awesome!
Keep in touch!
"You need to get away."
Xavier cut his eyes in the direction of his younger sister, Lena, then continued taking inventory on the wine he needed to order to restock in the store section of his wine café, Wined & Dined .
"It's been six months Xay," she said, referring to his nickname she been calling him since she was a toddler. She pronounced it with a 'z', and would go around calling him 'Xay Xay'. As they got older it got shortened to just 'Xay' and now it stuck.
Xavier sighed at the mention of his ex. Lena didn't have to remind him how long it had been since he'd ended things with Darby.
"Shouldn't you be out there serving customers?" he asked, trying not to let her annoy him.
Lena, who was in grad school, worked part time for Xavier. He didn't have a problem hiring her, but sometimes she got on his nerves a little with her constant need to be in his business. Like today.
"Would you at least
about taking a vacation?" she prodded. "Ever since...the break up, you've done nothing but bury yourself in your work."
Xavier lowered his clipboard and briefly eyed Lena. "If it means getting you out of my hair...fine. I'll think about it."
Lena smiled, then gave him a quick kiss on the cheek before she went to make her rounds.
Xavier went back to work, but stopped again when he grabbed a bottle from the Russell Oaks Winery, one of his distributors.
"Napa," he said quietly.
He'd always wanted to visit some of the places where the wines he sold were made.
Lena was right, he did need to get away.
Spring was arriving and Wine Country seemed like the perfect place for a nice little vacation.
I'm Coming To Napa
Amaya Thorton gasped as she read the subject title on the email from Xavier Fuller. They'd been corresponding for several years through emails and phone calls for business with Russell Oaks and Wined and Dined, but had never met face to face.
Maya sat at her desk, staring at her computer screen with the mouse hovering over Xavier's email. She closed her eyes and remembered his deep, baritone voice that always made her skin tingle. She'd always had a small crush on the man she'd never met, but she would never dare say anything about it.
Not when he was always talking about his precious Darby.
Maya rolled her eyes and scoffed.
perfect'," Maya mumbled with disdain as she finally opened the email, clicking on the mouse with more force than necessary.
I'm taking a vacation and I've decided to finally visit Napa. I would love to get a tour of Russell Oaks and finally put a face to that lovely voice yours.
See you soon,
Maya reread the email over and over, zoning in on the last part where he said she had a lovely voice. She tried to tell herself not to think too much of it, that he was probably just being polite. But she couldn't stop her heart from doing the tiny little flip flop in her chest.
She jumped at the sound of the phone ringing and turned to answer it.
"Russell Oaks Winery, this is Maya speaking."
That tiny flip flop turned into full on somersaults at the sound of Xavier's voice on the other line.
"Well, hello stranger," she said, as a huge grin spread across her face. "Where have you been hiding?"
Before the email she'd received, she hadn't heard much from Xavier over the last few months.
"Just been busy," he simply said.
"How's Wined & Dined doing?"
"It's been doing good, which is part of the reason I'm calling."
"Time to reorder?" Maya asked, reaching over to open the computer software where they took orders.
"Yeah, and I want to double my order this time," Xavier said.
"Really?" Maya asked as she filled out the order form.
"Yeah, your wine is one of the most requested ones I have."
"That's great," Maya said, excitedly. "The boss will love to hear that."
After a few more minutes, Maya was finished with the order. "You're all set, Xavier. Your order will be shipped within the week. I'll email you a confirmation."
"Great. Speaking of emails..."
"I was just reading the one you sent me," she said, answering his question that he hadn't asked yet.
"I'm looking to make the trip within the next few weeks," Xavier informed.
"You'll love it. I don't think there's anything better than Napa in the spring, with the magnolia trees and mustard flowers...it's just beautiful," Maya sighed. "What made you decide to take a trip now?"
She heard him sigh before saying, "There's just been a lot going on lately. And my sister has been nagging me about taking some time for myself."
"How is Lena?" Lately, she'd been the one calling and putting in the orders for the café's shop. Maya would have been lying if she said she was a little disappointed when she saw Xavier's number show up the last few times, only to hear his sister's voice.
"She's good. Bothersome as ever," he said, feigning annoyance.
Maya laughed. "You know you're the proud big brother. She's graduating soon isn't she?"
"Yeah," Xavier replied. She could hear the fondness in his voice. "This May."
"That's great," Maya said. "And she's right you know? You have to make time for yourself...to relax."
She could hear the strain in his voice, she knew something was going on with him. But she wasn't in a place to ask him what was going on. He had...
for that kind of thing.
"How long will you be in Napa?" she asked, not wanting to think of his girlfriend that he always spoke highly of...that he had yet to mention today.
"Probably just for the weekend. But I want to tour as many wineries as I can."
"I'm glad you chose ours as one of your stops."
"You were my top choice," he said, with a smile in his voice. "I couldn't come to Napa and not meet you after all of these years."
She didn't quite know how to respond to his comment, but before she could think of something to say, he asked, "Do you give the tours?"
"Sometimes," she said. Something pushed her to add, "But I can definitely make myself available to do a special private tour for one of our best customers."
"I'm looking forward to it," Xavier said.
"So am I," Maya said. She had to admit, she was probably a little more eager than she should be to finally meet a man she'd only had a business relationship with over the last few years...and he had a girlfriend, whom he was more than likely going to bring with him. She just couldn't imagine him visiting without bringing her along.
"I'll message you when I have my travel dates set," Xavier said, breaking Maya from her thoughts.
"Okay," she said, quietly.
"Well, I've got to go and finish my inventory," he said, sounding a little hesitant to get off of the phone.
"Yeah I've got...work to do as well."
"I'll talk to you later...and Maya?"
good hearing your voice again."
Long after she got off the phone with Xavier, she couldn't get his parting words out of her head. Or the fact that
did he mention the almighty Darby.
Once again, Xavier found himself rolling his eyes at Lena. He was behind the bar, filling glasses of wine for some customers to sample. He'd just told her about his vacation plans and she looked at him with disgust.
"What's wrong with Napa?" he asked. "
were the one who told me I need to get away."
"Yeah, but...I meant
get away. Like somewhere on the East coast, or some island. Not...
. Napa is not a vacation, it's a
cation. It's only an hour away."
"Exactly, so if anything happens here while I'm gone, I can get to you and help."
Lena shoved her fist on her hip and glared at Xavier. "Do you not trust me to care for your place of business while you're away?" she asked, sounding slightly offended.
"Lena, you know that's not the case," he said, sitting the wine bottle down.
"Then what is it?" she asked, clearly agitated with him.
He placed the glasses of wine on a serving tray for Lena, then began wiping down the bar.
"You're studying for your finals. For your
. I know how daunting that can be. If things get overwhelming for you, I want to be close enough to come help you pick up the slack. I don't want you losing focus on your studies because of this place."
Her face morphed into understanding and she nodded, accepting his explanation.
"You're always looking after me," she said with an appreciative smile.
He reached out and gave her shoulder a gentle squeeze. "Mom and Dad would want me to," he said, a wave of sadness drifting over the both of them at the mention of their parents.
Xavier watched as Lena nodded her head, then swiped a tear away before grabbing the tray of wine.
He watched her as she walked off to serve the customers.
be proud. If they were still alive.
Xavier knew the café would be in good hands with Lena and the rest of his staff. There was no one he trusted more to care for the place.
He smiled when Mrs. Peabody, one of his regular customers came up to the register.
"Hello, Xavier," she said.
"Hello, Mrs. Peabody, how are you?"
"I'm good, but I'll be even better if you tell me you've got some of that Russell Oaks in stock."
"Well, I just had to call in a new order to restock. It should be here in a few days."
"Oh, I was hoping you had some. That's one of my favorites," she said.
He watched as her face began to drop in disappointment, then he leaned over the counter and whispered, "But I'll let you in on a little secret. That's one of my favorites too, so I always hold on to a few extra bottles for myself."
Mrs. Peabody's face brightened immediately. "Do you think you could part with one of your bottles? It's my birthday and I wanted to toast with a glass of Russell Oaks."
"For you? On your birthday?" he said with a wink. "It will be a pleasure. I'll go grab it from the back."
He went to his office and grabbed one of the bottles. Luckily, he hadn't taken the wine home yet. He saved a few bottles from every order to add to his personal collection.
He looked down at the bottle, not
wanting to part with it, but Mrs. Peabody was one of his oldest and best customers and it
her birthday. As he ran his hand across the label, Maya's voice drifted into his thoughts.
He'd never noticed before how sweet and soothing her voice sounded. Of course
he'd been in a relationship.
Xavier was most definitely no longer in a relationship, and hadn't been for six months now. It had been painful to end things with Darby, but necessary. She'd seemed like the perfect woman, but things weren't always what they seemed.
Lena had been trying to convince him that he needed to move on, get over Darby; but her betrayal had cut him deeply and it took some time to get over it.
But he was beginning to feel like he was finally ready. There were still things out of life that he desired. Love, marriage, children. He wouldn't be sharing all of those things with Darby like he originally planned, but he had hope that there was still someone out there for him.
He was ready to start his search again.