It Could Happen Again (Zulu Spectre)

BOOK: It Could Happen Again (Zulu Spectre)
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It Could Happen Again

Copyright © 2014 Aliyah Burke

Editor: Jessica Bimberg

Cover Artist: Covers by K

Zulu Spectre logo: MMJ Designs

ISBN:

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system-except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed in a magazine, newspaper, or on the Web-without permission in writing from the publisher or author. The unauthorized replication or allocation of any copyrighted work is illegal. File sharing
is
an international crime, prosecuted by the United States Department of Justice and the United States Border Patrol, Division of Cyber Crimes, in partnership with Interpol. Copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is punishable by up to five years in federal prison, a fine of $250,000 per reported instance, and seizure of computers.

This book is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is coincidental.

All trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, and registered service marks are the property of their respective owners and are used herein for identification purposes only.

Published by: Sensual Romance Publishing

It Could Happen Again

By

Aliyah Burke

Dedication

To my readers, thank you so much for all the amazing support! To my hubby, thanks for everything, I Love You! And, as always, last but never least, to the men and women who sacrifice so much for those they may never know by serving their country! Thank You and God Bless!

Blurb for It Could Happen Again

 

His rash decision changed her life, now he’s back—and wanting for a second chance.

Allie Sumani is working hard toward her dream, determined not let to anything—or anyone—stop her. When a past lover returns she realizes he still means something to her, despite everything.

Dale Curtayn is stunned when he learns who is living across the hall from him. A woman he’d never forgotten. All he has to do is convince her things are different this time and pray…it could happen again.

Chapter One

Ear piercing screams continued as the woman continued to wail and plead behind him. Dale “Lights” Curtayn never slowed in his march to the front door of his apartment, her bags in hand. There was nothing else for him to do than kick her out. Or say.

She dashed around him, throwing her body, clad in a see-through robe, against the door. Her normally perfectly made face now had streaks of mascara running down her tanning-bed-colored cheeks.

“It was a mistake, Dale.”

“Yeah, the mistake was mine,” he said, his British accent more pronounced than usual.

Julie Yale sniffed and wiped her cheeks before attempting a smile. “You were gone a long time,” she said, lips curving up farther still.

“No.” His word was curt. “That’s not what I mean. My mistake was trusting you would be faithful and not be a whore. Get out.” He opened the door, moving her aside without any lingering tenderness. Her bags landed with a thud in the blue-carpeted hall.

“No, no, no! It was amazing between us. He was a mistake, meant nothing.” Her eyes darted left, right, left. “Don’t toss away what we have.” Regardless of the open door, she opened her robe, showing her naked body. “Do you really want to lose this?”

Dispassionately, he ran his gaze over her. “I’m surprised you think I would ever touch used goods. You still have his cum dripping out of you. Leave and take him with you while he can still walk.”

Julie grew angry. “What was I supposed to do? You were gone for months. Almost an entire year!”

His patience wore thin. He sneered down at her. “Sounds like the same amount of time I was gone and had to go without sex. Only difference was, I managed to do it without cheating.”

“I love you, Daley. You can’t do this to—”

“Love?” he scoffed. “You know nothing of the word. Get out. Both of you.”

The guy she’d been screwing in their bed hurried past him into the hall where he grabbed the two bags Dale had deposited there. His pants were jerked up but unfastened, and his feet had been shoved recklessly in his shoes. Julie’s brown eyes shone with tears, yet Dale was unmoved.

“I’m basically naked.”

“I don’t give a damn. Go. Put something on from your bags.”

“You can’t do this.”

She gripped his arm, nails digging to his flesh. He didn’t allow her to remain, using his size to back her up until the lying skank was out of his place.

“I can. I am.”

“Dale!” she screeched. “I have to—”

“Lies spout from your lips. You have clothes there, so you can dress if you want. I don’t care.” He captured her wrist and applied pressure until she released him. Then, he returned the favor and let her go.

Closing the door, he bit back his desire to ram it shut on the foot she shoved in between it and the frame.

“I’m pregnant.”

“Congratulations. Don’t ever come here again.”

“What…what if I said the baby was yours?”

He sighed. The need to get away grew within him. So much for a nice homecoming. “I would suggest you return to school and learn arithmetic. I just got home. Perhaps your fuck buddy will help you. It is none of my concern.”

He closed the door with finality. “That’s one hell of a shitty homecoming.” Dale stared at the bags he’d left on the living room floor. He walked through his apartment, ignoring her lingering cries and pounding through the door. On his way to the guest room—no way in hell he was sleeping where she’d cheated on him—he swiped a bottle of Ketel One, having every intention of making it a night he would forget.

Despite his night of drinking, Dale was out running nice and early. As it was Sunday morning, there weren’t many folks on the running path surrounding the apartment complex. As he neared the building, he spied a young black boy on the sidewalk getting off his bike by the steps.

The boy stopped and waited for him to pass, not saying a word. Dale didn’t recognize the kid but then, he wasn’t exactly around a lot.

Hell, I’ve been gone for ten and a half months. He could very well live here now.

“Good morning,” he said, slowing to a walk.

“Good morning, sir.” He began struggling to get the bike up the steps to the front door.

He crossed his arms as he halted. “Can I help you with that?”

“No, thank you. My aunt said if I carried it down, I had to bring it back up myself.”

He couldn’t fault that. “How far up?”

“I’m on the fourth floor.” His mouth snapped shut as if he’d just given away government secrets.

Dale hid his laughter. “I live up there, too. I can help you.”

“You’re a stranger.” He hefted it up two more to the top. “My aunt doesn’t like me talking to strangers.”

“Smart woman. My name is Dale but all my friends call me Lights.”

Sharp eyes watched him with intent. “Does that make us friends?”

He nearly smiled over the suspicion in his tone. “At the very least, no longer strangers.”

“You can ride the elevator with me.”

Permission given as if he’d been granted an audience with Her Majesty.

“Thank you.” He held the door, and they walked to the car together. He worked the iron grate as they waited.

Once in, Dale pushed the button for their floor and glanced to the boy. He was bent over the bike, fiddling with the chain. The huge sigh that followed had him crouching down to take a peek. The chain had come off and boasted a kink. The right pedal dangled, and he knew it wouldn’t take much for it to fall off.

“Man,” the boy bemoaned. “No more riding for me.”

“Can’t your uncle or aunt fix it?”

“My aunt isn’t married; guess I’ll have to wait until my parents return.”

“When’s that?”

“Two weeks.” The door slid open.

Dale waited for him to exit first. “I can fix it for you.”

Brown eyes widened as they stared at him. “For reals?”

He laughed. “Sure. Come by with your aunt. I can fix it up for you right quick.”

“Where do you live?”

Pointing, he said, “Right there.”

“Oh, that’s across from us. Thank you; we’ll be by after breakfast.” He opened the door and called out, “Auntie, I’m back. My bike got broke but—” The click cut off the rest of his words.

Dale shook his head as he entered his place. He tossed the keys on the counter as he strode toward his bathroom, stripping as he went. He hadn’t any clue who lived over there. Even when he had been home, he’d not met anyone coming or going from that apartment. Hell, he had to admit he wondered if it weren’t empty.

Once dry and dressed—feeling immensely better—Dale opened his fridge and scowled. “Guess she was too busy fucking around to do any grocery shopping.” He slammed it shut and checked a cupboard. Same condition as the refrigerator. Settling reluctantly on a Pop Tart, he went through the two-bedroom place, removing any lingering presence of Julie. Two more boxes of her stuff sat by the door when he finished.

He drank a glass of water—again lamenting the fact there was nothing else there—and debated calling her to pick up her crap. His place was now pretty much bare, all the girly touches Julie insisted on having around gone.

The knock on his door was unexpected. I’m pretty sure the kid hasn’t eaten already.

He pulled it open and frowned. Julie stood there, her clothes so tight they appeared painted on. Dale opened the door wide enough to shove the boxes through. “Saved me a call. Get your shit or I will toss it.”

She pouted and placed an open palm on the wood. “I came back for you, Daley. Hoped you’d had time to cool off since last night.”

The tiny Japanese woman had him, in the past, wrapped around one little finger. Just one look before had the power to render him into putty in her hands. Now, she should thank his father for teaching him to never strike a woman.

“I never want to see you again.”

She smiled, her ruby red lips attempting to sway him. “Surely, you don’t mean that. I told you it was a mistake. We all make them, Daley. Give me a second chance.”

“And I agreed it was one. One I’ve fixed. Go.”

Her hand curved into his arm. He scowled and clasped his fingers around her wrist to remove her touch.

The door behind her cracked wide and out popped a small head. “Hi!” the boy said.

“Hey, kid.”

“Go away,” Julie snapped. “We’re busy.”

His grip tightened. “Talk to him like that again and see what happens. Just a minute, kid.” He stepped close to Julie. “Get your shit and get going. If it’s here when I’m done with his bike, I’ll toss it out.” He looked at the boy, releasing Julie. “You have your bike?”

“Auntie said you can come over.” He stared at Julie. “Not you, though. She didn’t invite you.”

Dale laughed at his candor while swiping his toolbox. “Let’s go then.” He double-checked the lock on his door—newly replaced in case she’d made a duplicate—and, moving past a shocked Julie, went to the other side of the hall.

He knocked on the door. “Hello?” Despite the issued invite, he wasn’t about to just stroll into a woman’s place unannounced.

“Tyler, bring him in and shut the door.” The voice was low and hit him square in the gut, vibrating with a hint of familiarity.

“This way.” They entered and Dale watched him lock the door. “My bike is in the kitchen.”

Down a hall lined with hand drawn pictures and into a small kitchen, he trailed the boy. The bike was upside down near the entrance, and Dale bent by it. The table in the back was placed against the wall beneath a clean window with a sill box on it growing flowers. The remnants of breakfast still lingered on the surface.

He looked up from the bike at the slight footsteps entering the kitchen. His breath left him in a low whoosh. She was tall and leanly muscled. Graceful. Her glossy long black framed her face. His heart skipped a beat. Then, two more.

As quickly as it hit, the feeling was shoved away. He stood and smiled. I can’t fucking believe it.

Her smile was a bit more reserved. He didn’t blame her; they hadn’t exactly parted on the best of terms.

“Alimaia,” he breathed, unsure he wasn’t imagining things.

“Mr. Curtayn. And, not that I see you using it, I go by Allie now.” She moved to the table and lifted off the two plates, not even bothering to offer her hand nor accept his.

“How have you been? This is your nephew?”

“Fine and yes.”

Three words, which were most decidedly unwelcoming. He stepped toward her but she stiffened, every inch of her. He knew why but still didn’t like it. Dale preferred her soft and willing beneath his touch.

So many touches.

“Tyler, go brush your teeth please.”

The lad dashed off, and Dale shoved his hands in his pockets while rocking back on his heels. He remembered their first meeting all those years ago. He’d totally and completely embarrassed himself before her.

“So, you know all about me, do I at least get to know your name?” He’d grinned. “Or has knowing all that made you want to keep your distance?”

“We all make bad choices; I can hardly judge you for yours.”

“I think we’ve determined my life sucks, and yet, I still don’t know your name.”

She’d ducked her head, looking entirely adorable. “Alimaia Sumani.”

“Sumani. Sumani. What nationality is that?”

“Algerian.” There’d been no hesitation on her part. “My parents are from there.”

“I’ve heard it’s a beautiful country.”

“Yes, it is.”

Tyler came back in, and Dale centered his attention on the boy as opposed to those memories previously contained, which now threatened to consume him.

“Let’s see what we have here.” He knelt and set down the tools he brought with. “Yep, we can fix this in no time.”

Dale had Tyler help, all the while remaining consciously aware of Alimaia…Allie’s scrutiny. She kept herself busy clearing off the rest of the table and putting food away. His stomach reminded him of the puny Pop Tart he’d eaten.

Her movements offered him a flash of calf as her capris leg rose up higher. The modest attire doing more to him than he expected. It’s just because I’ve been so long without a woman. Then again, perhaps because I know what it’s like with this woman.

“Like this, Dale?”

The question yanked his gaze to Tyler. “I’m sorry, Tyler, what?”

“You call him Mr. Curtayn, Tyler.” Allie gave the order before opening the fridge.

“Yes, ma’am. Do I do it like this, Mr. Curtayn?”

He had no problem with Dale but wasn’t going to say anything. Jacey—a woman he worked with—had her son call him Mr. Curtayn as well. Or at least Mr. Dale.

“Just so, Tyler. Three more turns and the pedal will be secure.”

He grunted. “It’s really tight now.”

“Good, good. Let me give it a go.”

As he finished the pedal, Tyler’s face bosomed with joy. After a huge thank you, both Tyler and the bike vanished. Dale repacked his tools and stood. Allie still watched him.

BOOK: It Could Happen Again (Zulu Spectre)
13.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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