The Hour Past Midnight

The last time I gazed into her eyes, they were murky with tears. It was then she made up her mind to walk out of my life after a drawn-out confession that the child maturing within her was not mine. Delusions of grandeur with a happy family shattered by the hard-black stone of infidelity. Without falling back into that sunken place, I was more than a little hurt, but as time passed I was somewhat able to move past it. Eventually I made peace that it was the last time I would stare into Daniella’s eye; the last time I would taste her lips teeming with the salty flavors of sorrow and regret before watching her turn away as she left me standing at the edge of a river to pick up the fragmented remnants of my heart. (At least that’s what I wanted to believe, but fate has a cruel way of bringing the past back around if a lesson wasn’t learned the first time.)

Now, here we were at the same annual Tri-City masquerade ball. I took notice of her first, almost as if I were looking for her, even though her face was concealed behind a black mask with pink rhinestones, I could never forget those hazel brown eyes after having stared into them for five years, how could I forget those lips with the crooked smiles that I’ve kissed a thousand times. Daniella. There was no doubt in my mind that it was her. It has been eight years and she still looked stunning standing there in a black lace maxi dress, virtually no change except for those supple breasts that look as if to have gone up a few cup sizes. Credit for the pregnancy I’m sure.

My heart dropped as I gawked from across the sea of masked figures.

Daniella was in the arm of the multi-talented rapper, entrepreneur, and fashion designer, Markus King. Even while wearing a mask everyone knew just who this business mogul was. The brotha wardrobe was flawless, real GQ status.

“What can I get for you sir?” the bartender had been watching me staring at Daniella and decided that I needed a drink.

“Um… Jack please,” I ordered.

“Would Tennessee Honey do?”

“Even better, thank you.”

“Coming right up sir.” Reaching underneath the counter the bartender placed a rocks glass on the top between him and me, throwing in the standard two cubes of ice. Turning around the bartender grabbed a bottle full of golden liqueur from the wall shelf. Filling the glass halfway, the bartender served the glass to me on a napkin with a considerate smile. Fumbling into the inner pocket of my dress coat I removed a money clip, a gift my dad gave to me long ago for my eighteenth, I drew a twenty, crammed it into the tip jar and returned the clip from where I got it. With the drink in hand, I made my way back to my seat. In my spectacle of my drink being crafted Daniella and Markus had vanished into the room of distinguished folks. For the best I guess, how awkward would it be if she knew I was here, hell should I even care? But I do.

My table was far enough away from the main stage that I wouldn’t have to pretend to pay much attention if things start to get a bit boring, but more importantly, it was close enough to an exit that I wouldn’t seem too terribly rude when I made my early departure. Being here made me uncomfortable; this was an event for the Black elites, the high nose, bougie as fuck crowd that I wasn’t much at all used to. If anything, I felt like an intruder— a grey collar deep undercover into the inner circles of the black nouveau riches. They wore the guises of being egalitarian, but they were practically no different from their white colleagues. They would host little events for the common folks, special things for the community, you know “Charity”. But this; this here wasn’t one of those types of affairs, it was one of their closed-ranked soirees just for them to flaunt shoes that cost two months’ worth of rent. Suits and dress made by the finest of designers with exotic names. Although this was a masquerade ball, the real mask they wore was believing they were like the rest of us lower bank statement holders.

But tonight, I was no different from them, they didn’t know my invitation was given to me by a friend that help put on this private soirée. For all they could recognize behind this mask and rented suit, was that I was one of them.

“Tonight, the mystery would play a part in the façade.” I thought to myself.

This evening, I was a well-groomed, dark-skinned brotha, who made at least six to eight figures and a walk that bolstered with confident and a million-dollar swagger.

Tonight, I was one of them; basking in the beautiful melodic sounds of Yván symphony Orchestra and Atlanta Revelation Academic Choir Society, while reading over the Ball program the usher handed out at the door, she appeared.

“Excuse me but is this seat taken?” Daniella’s voice was warm and sweet like the first sip of milk and honey, just like I remember. My heart was pounding. Could she have noticed it was me? If so why the formalities? No, no I don’t think so. The mask, I do not believe she could recognize it was me, the man she cheated on all those years ago.

Shit, maybe I am still a bit bitter over what had happened, wouldn’t you? But damn being face to face with this woman made me miss her much more than resent her.

“No, not at all. Please by all means.” I stood, pulling back a chair for her to sit. Daniella was a deep cocoa bean complexion, “slim thick” beauty. I wanted to see her naked all over again just to touch her in ways I’m sure Markus had done so many times after me.

When she sat down, her smile widened appreciatively. “Thank you.” Retaking my seat and nodded, “You’re welcome.”

“Good Evening folks. My name is Ken and I will be your server tonight. Can I start you off with something to drink?” The waiter had approached the table in a black and gold attire, he was sporting a matching elegant Colombian harlequin pattern mask. In his hands, he had a basket of freshly made rolls with a small container of butter.

After a quick glance at the drink menu, Daniella gave her order, “I’ll have a Dainty cranberry gimlet.”

“Excellent choice me lady, and for you sir?”

“An old fashion please.”

“Aye, simple but classic. A personal favorite if you don’t mind me saying Monsieur.” Ken comment as he wrote my drink into his pad. “Let me get these out to you all and I’ll be back to take the rest of your order.” Ken tucked his notepad into his apron, gave a slight bow and made his way over to the bar.

“Are you here alone?” I asked to spark some form of dialog to past the time.

“You could say that.” Daniella turned her head to the stage where Markus stood in conversation with a group of his fellow moguls.

“Aw, I see; the Queen to the King.” She smiled with her Chanel-glossed lips and nodded.

“Queen to the King, yes I guess you could say that.” We locked eyes with one another, there was something devilish behind the brown of her eyes that made my dick hard. I wanted her right then and there, just like old times. I hungered to have my tongue on that sensitive spot of her neck.

Ken had made his return with our drinks breaking our stare.

“Are you ready to hear tonight’s special?”

“Sure,” I nodded. Ken gave us the rundown of specials and even his recommendation of what to try. We ordered; I had the roast side of salmon, toasted fennel seed, charred lemon, with the pistachio pesto whereas Daniella ordered the Tuscan chicken melon salad with basil leaves and honey vinaigrette.

Ken then took our menus leaving only the drink and a small dessert menu, assured us that our meals would be up soon, gave another slight bow and walked away towards the kitchen to put our order in.

“I’ve seen you somewhere before. Not as one of my husband usual business associates, but you have a familiar presence.” My heart started to gallop as Daniella tried to study me, read me through the mask.

“I highly doubt it, I usually don’t attend things like this.”

“I see, are you from Columbus? A musician of sorts? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you downtown before at the very least, The Mix perhaps?” Daniella went on, struggling to place me.

The lights dimmed as the music faded. A spotlight shined onto the podium where Mr. Markus King stood welcoming everyone to the ball. He gave thanks to everyone who was an attendee but gave personal shouts to the Marriott hotel manager for allowing the use of his facility and to all those hard-working staffs both of his own and of the hotel personnel for helping bring all this together. After the giving the approbation, King went on to talk about how the blood, sweat, and tears that drives the grind of achieving personal wealth and success; especially as Brotha’s and Sista’s of color. Making political jokes and shade of their white counterparts referring to them as Colonizers. Thanks to the Black Panther movie the term Colonizers has been an ongoing term to describe people of European Caucasian descent.

As he and a few other rambled on Daniella and I just continued our conversation,

“No, I highly doubt we would have crossed path at a club, not my kind of scene; Maybe at Williams photo gallery?” William was Daniella older brother and notorious photographer.

“Oh okay, yea I think I remember seeing you there, what was your name again?” She asks still not completely sure. At this moment I could be anything I wish to be, and she would buy right into it. I sipped my drink. I licked my lips and smiled. From the way, Daniella adjusted herself in her seat that she was somewhat aroused, or maybe it was just my own imagination wanting her to be just as aroused as I was.

“Tristan.” Let her try and look me up, this façade would be over by the end of the night.

“Daniella, Daniella King” she purred offering her hand to properly introduce herself. The gleam from the rock of her ring nearly blinded me, it was a clear statement that this ring wasn’t cheap. I took the napkin from my lap, wipe my hands and cleaned my lips of any food debris that may have been lingering. Taking her hand, I leaned in and placed a kiss on it, “A pleasure to meet you.” Again, I flashed her smile, settling back into my seat.

Before she could get another word out Ken and another server appeared with our food in hand. They placed our meals before us, apologize for the delay and then asked if there was anything else he could help us with. With only the addition of water, we both said no.

Daniella and I ate, talked and listened; Ken brought us our waters, I read her eyes, and never once did they leave me. She was studying me like I was her, still, she was trying to place me. Perhaps it was the name she couldn’t swallow.

Daniella inquired about my family, and I altered the facts a bit that my family was in Savannah, that my grandparents originated from Jamaica. That I’m of the second generation into the states. When really, I’m only four-generation from Barbados and that my mom’s stay’s in Jackson, Mississippi and I never knew my father, but I heard rumors he stayed somewhere north. I saw her visualizing years of pure black love that ultimately lent me my deeply rich melanin skin and long loc’s that had sprinkles of grey prematurely growing throughout like ore veins in the earth.

By now I was sure that there were whispers of the masked gentlemen in close discussion with Markus King’s wife. Curious veiled eyes speculating on the kind of conversation that had Markus King’s wife smiling from ear to ear. But I could care less, no one knew me or would ever find out my identity, by the time the sun rises I’ll be home in my bed, waking up to the radio alarm, getting ready for work, grinding from eight to five like the rest of the fifty percent lower middle class in the states.

Daniella was styled stunningly, from her dress: designer and beautifully crafted. Pink and black to match that of her mask. Flawless white diamonds with pink ones that ran down the middle of the multi-layered necklace, custom crafted no doubt, complemented the dark sensual tone of her skin. The way they sat upon her full breast made me reminisces of licking and sucking on Hershey kisses nipples my favorite was the one on the right with the birthmark just above the nipple. Her ears and wrists adorned the matching set of diamonds. The Queen to the King in full regalia.

I wonder if she still bites into the shoulder when she cums, my thoughts quickly shifted gears on me out of nowhere.

The conversation during the remaining portion of our dinner was quite insightful. We talked about the ball, whom she knew, who I “pretended to know”, how delicious the food was. Politics, work, the pros and cons of marriage with fame and the joys of raising children. Daniella expressed that she just had her second child six months prior, a baby girl. The sad part of it all was the fact that Markus missed just about the whole pregnancy and birthing of the child. He was away on some trip, but Daniella confessed she was aware of the many affairs Markus was having while “away on business”. She turned away to the stage, Markus was standing backstage flirting with some IG model. To keep the conversation from going negative I told her about the book I was writing, she turned seemingly interested. After going over the details Daniella seemed impressed. Apparently writing on the freedom of sexual exploration has a way of grasping one’s attention.

I hadn’t realized it until I felt her leg gliding up and down my trousers, just how close we had gotten. Leaning into one another talking softly, our heads bowed towards each other. From the outside looking in you would think we’ve known each other for years, only I knew we did. I imagine we looked like lovers, gazing into one another’s eye I think we both felt it… that long-ago flame.

Quickly I chilled those thoughts. I can’t break the illusion, not now. Yet and still Daniella aroused me, the soft delicateness of her hands touching mines made my body warm. This woman, the wife to a King, a mother of two children, the inconspicuous hotel staff, the pristine rooms upstairs, the fact that these things happen all the time at soirées such as theses. In our polite conversation between two strangers something else was developing, even if it was for a moment I was sure if, given the chance, we both wanted to act on our primal urges.

That devil in her eyes made me realize she was feeling it as well. I started to remember her touch, her lips, how her hands felt on my skin, the adrenaline rush of having those glossed lips around my dick. My mind played with the thoughts of sneaking off and fucking Daniella on the bathroom counter, pulling out only just to eat her out until she was begging me to stop. It also played with the notation of someone stumbling in as some mask lover face deep in between the legs of the Kings wife.

“You’re an intriguing woman, Danny. I’d give anything to kiss you right now. Any and everywhere.” I wasn’t sure at first if I had thought that or said it aloud, it was only when I saw the shocked look plastered across her face that I knew I had gone too far. I didn’t know if she was going to slap THE shit out of me for the disrespect or call security or her husband to have me escorted from the premises, either way, I wasn’t going to sit around and find out.

There was an eruption of applause and everyone stood up. I took this opportunity to make my leave making a beeline for the exit. The exit had led to a flight of stairs, thinking quickly I ascended the stairs,

“STOP!” A voice, sweet and demanding echoed up the stairs. I could hear the person coming up behind me, only one set of steps, they were alone. I knew it was Daniella, it only further confirms when I tried to take another step, and she demanded yet again that I stop, going so far as to even threaten that if I take any additional steps she would scream to the top of her lungs for help.

“Shit” I froze in my tracks, too afraid to turn around. “Look Mrs. King I apologize for what I said, I don’t know what came over me, but I mean no disrespect to you or your husband.” Daniella did not answer, but I could smell the heavenly perfume. My heart felt like it was about to explode in my chest,

“Turn around.”

“Mrs. King I-”

“Turn. Around, I will not ask again.” She commanded, and I obeyed. Daniella gazed into my eye, searching for something in them. She reached for my mask, I took hold of her hand not once breaking our gaze.

“I-I’m sorry.” My voice whispered apologetically. I turned away and what happened next, I could never have anticipated.

“I’m sorry too,” she said repeating my words; Before I could take another step away Daniella turned me around and our lips met like an answer to a long drawn out question, I could still taste the liquor still on our palate. There was another roar of applause as we pulled our lips away, staring into each other through these masks.

Everything went silence like the drawn-out pause between lighting and thunder. One Mississippi. Than two. Three. Four Mississippi.

Bang. There was another round of applause.

We kiss again. Daniella stole my breath and gave it back; her kiss was like everything I could remember and more. Once more, we parted our lips, “You said you’ll kiss me any and every, where right? Well, my pussy’s wet and she’s been yearning to have your lips on her’s.”

I smiled. Reaching up underneath her dress I tore her thong from her flesh. Like a sinner at the alter I knelt between her thighs, took in the sight of her pussy and took a long lick of her clit savoring that first delectable taste. She inhaled and exhaled only when the tip of my tongue left her clit.

There’s not a sweeter taste than the flavor of woman’s nature when she’s horny. Fellas, I think the ladies all around the world can agree that the power in one’s tongue isn’t in words, but the true skillset of the tongue comes from the detail and the adequate amount of artistry one painting’s in the flesh canvas known as Pussy. The picture I drew in Daniella’s clit was abstract beauty, Picasso himself would marvel in disbelief. Wide strokes with my tongue to lay down a foundation and then the tip for the details. Her orgasm would serve as my masterpiece.

Daniella played with one her nipples and used her other hand to grip hand full of my loc’s as I ate her out. More applause rumbled from below around the same time Daniella squirted like a bottle of water being squeezed unexpectedly.

“Mmm…” I growled. Wanting more I lifted Daniella off her feet wrapping my lips back around her clit. You would think she was my life support mask from how attached she was to my face. Daniella rode my face and I worked my tongue like a maestro orchestrating the music of her pleasure. Though shorter, the encore was just as explosive as the first. My face soaked with her passion, Daniella held no hesitation dropping to her knees damn near trying to suck my soul from the tiny hole of my dick.

What she couldn’t take completely with her mouth she made up with her hands. Making a circle her hands worked in tandem with her mouth. I was on my tip toes, mind completely was blown. Shhhit! She hasn’t lost a step, I thought to myself. I looked down and she stared up, how sexy it was to see those pretty lips wrapped around me with those “I’m going to Suck you dry” eyes.

If there was ever a master in the art of fellatio, Daniella had it down pack. She released me from the wet warmth of her mouth and at a snail’s pace licked the length from my balls to the head, then gobbled me whole. My dick had disappeared somewhere in the back of her throat, from the way she started to gag I could tell she hasn’t exercised this much skills in a long time. The old Daniella would have taken me deeply and still had her tongue playing with my balls, that shit used to drive me crazy, straight head monster.

Daniella started to really show out, sucking me nice and slow, pausing at the tip, swirling her tongue around the head, then swallowed me half way sucking as fast as she could, then slow again; just when she was about to gag Daniella would come up for air with her hands working the head mimicking the contracting of her pussy walls.

I ran my fingers through her curls, my knees almost buckled when I felt her moans vibration from the back of her throat.

“Sh-shit,” I stuttered.

I could feel my dick ready to explode and from the way Daniella was working her hands and jaw, she could feel it too. I tried to pull her away, but Daniella latched tighter, she was famished for my cream, it never accrued to me that we had dinner but no dessert, holding back no more I gave her exactly what she yearned for. I release, and Daniella just held me in her mouth ingesting every drop.

Slowly she eased me from the confines of her lips, careful to catch any residual that may have leaked. Daniella stood up looking at me, we both were trembling from such a rush, we were on an adrenaline high and wasn’t ready to come down. Not yet, not until we completely fucked each other brains out.

“I want you to fuck me, Mr. Tristian.” She turned and leaned over the rails, widening her legs she gave that big round and brown a wiggle, enticing me. I grabbed her by the cheeks spreading them, giving that pussy another lick. I just had to get one more lick before taking that quarterback stance. Daniella cooed as I dove my dick into her yoni, slow and long strokes. I wanted her to feel all nine, every time I tapped that bottom, Daniella would cry out all kinds of vulgarities.

Daniella placed her back against my chest, I was sure she could feel my heart beating like a drum. She leaned her head to the side wanting to taste her residual juices Daniella kissed me like there was no tomorrow, and to be honest there wouldn’t be.

“God Damn! This pussy so fucking good!” I pulled Daniella backward bending her over the steps, fucking her even more aggressively, slapping her ass.

“F-Fuck me Baby!” she exclaimed.

My grip tightens, thrusts became more precise and rapid, the sounds of pounding flesh was thunderous as it echoed through the stairwell. “I’m coming, don’t stop Baby!” Daniella begged. “Almost there, almost there! YES!” I couldn’t contain anymore, I could feel her orgasm erupting and my dick just lost all control. We came, it wasn’t my intention to cum inside of her but shit I couldn’t stop myself and she didn’t make any attempt to me either. Collapsing on the steps, we both tried to collect our senses. Sweat pouring from our faces and our hearts racing, you would think we just completed a marathon.

The door beneath us opened, the chatters of voices could be heard. Frantically we gathered ourselves, quickly slipping away to the next floor. Once we were clear and, on the elevator back down to the main lobby, reality started to set in. The brief moment we were in that small box felt like an eternity with neither one of us speaking, just slight glances.

“Mrs. I-” wanting to break the silence I tried to speak but my lips were stopped by her finger.

“Shh…” Daniella reached up and pulled me close to her, and the rest of my words were lost in a single kiss. Time held no weight and in an instant forever had come and gone.

DING

The elevator had come to a stopped. We parted lips and just stared into each other eyes through our masks.

“Samir, tonight the mystery would play a part to our façade,” Daniella said backing up as the elevator doors slid open. I was stunned, just when did she figure it was me? How? Why? A small crowd of people piled in before I could react. I rode the elevator up and back down. I rushed back to the even only to see the cleaning crew hard at work. Shit, I thought to myself.

When I got home I undressed, showered and crashed on in the bed. My head was swimming with confusion, but I regretted nothing that had transpired, even if it was for one night I enjoyed every moment with Daniella. If could do it all again, I’ll do it in a heartbeat.

Staring at my phone I started to lose myself in social media, Facebook mainly of course, when I opened the app it greeted me with a question as it always does, “What’s on your mind?” I laid there for a minute or so staring at the question, then I looked over at my outfit thinking.

I hadn’t noticed it before but there was something hanging out of my pants pocket. I got up to investigate, it was a torn black lace fabric, Daniella’s thong that I ripped from her voluptuous ass. The sweet aroma of her pussy still lingered, the image of what had come to pass played over and over in my head.

Laying back down I went back to my phone. “What’s on your mind?” Facebook questioned. “Tonight, mystery play a part to the façade. #TRICITYBALL”

A year had come and gone in the blink of an eye. The night at the Ball both seemed so long ago and yet still so fresh. To this very day I still haven’t heard from Daniella after that night, understandable I guess. It was a moment, and I understood she had a family, no running off into the moonlight, it wouldn’t be her if she did. I’ll always have the memories, and, in some ways, she would too.

I was heading out on an errand when I had realized that I had forgotten my phone. Walking back into my apartment, I notice my phone notification had gone off, it was a Facebook message from the sound of it. Thinking nothing of it I checked it; It was Daniella, I instantly grew excited, grinning from cheek to cheek, seeing that little bubble with her sexy face.

I tapped the chat head with my thumb opening the message.

Hey Samir,

If you are reading this, it is because my best friend and our waiter, Ken, had honored my request and found you on the book. This message was written that very night after the ball and as much as I wanted to tell you then, I knew who you were the very moment I sat at the table, or better yet I had an idea it was you. What further hit the nail on the head was when you called me “Danny”.

Something only, you had ever called me, not even Markus had called me by that nickname. It was then I knew it was my Mir’ Mir’.

Samir, I missed you so much and I hate that we ended the way we did. I wasn’t completely honest with you that day.

Yes, I was pregnant but not because I had cheated but I couldn’t bear to tell you that the baby that was growing inside of me was the result of rape. The who, the when, it doesn’t matter now and no you don’t know them so don’t worry yourself about those questions.

Samir the moment you found out that I was with child your whole world got brighter and I knew you would have done any and everything for that child, but I couldn’t bring myself to let you know that the seed growing inside of me was not of love but of a sick individual’s lustful needs and I didn’t want it.

So, I aborted it. That was a burden I felt I had to care alone and wanted to tell you for so long, that just maybe you would understand but I was still too afraid. Days had turned into years and I figured you had moved on and then I met Markus. Even though we had our difference, we had got married and gave birth to two amazing children and for that, I will always love that man for those two beautiful smiles. But that’s where it ends, with Markus. I was never free to be… me. I couldn’t be Danny, I had to be the Queen to the rising King, just plain old Daniella King. I wore a mask for so long that I couldn’t see the real me any longer. Then when I saw you that night, it brought back so much love and guilt. When you said Danny, I finally, even if it was brief, was able to be me.

I needed your touch, your lips, your passion, your love and you gave it to me and then some ❤️.

The reason why this message is getting to you now and not sooner is that by the time you read this, I will no longer be of this world. Prior to that night, I was diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer, treatment wasn’t having any effect and I wasn’t long for this earth. I know this probably a lot to be taking in, but I needed you to know the reason for that night wasn’t a mistake. Somewhere a higher being gave me a chance to experiences a Love I had given away.

We both wore a mask that night but the passion we shared was so real, and I thank you for allowing me to Love you one last time before leaving this earth. Outside of my children I have no other regret other than not giving you the child and the life together we had always fantasied about on that twin mattress 😊.

I love you, Samir, I’ve never stopped loving you. I hope you find that Love we had once shared and live a long healthy life to watch your children’s children grow. Make the most of your life Mir’ Mir’. I love you.

By the time I had come to the end of her message, my eyes had been heavy with the burning weight of my tears. I had so many questions still left unanswered.

Still in disbelief, I got on her page scrolling down her timeline and sure enough, there was R.I.P with her picture all over. People still morning her lost and giving personal testimony on the kind of woman she was. Hardworking, Beautiful, A great mother and wife, etcetera, etcetera.

The tears fell like raindrops on a window. Then a knock came at the door, I took a moment to gather my self-whipping my eyes. On the second knock, I answered.

“Baby we’re going to be late, and why did you lock the door?” a woman with colored loc’s greeted me at the entrance. She had a protruding stomach.

“Sorry Baby, you know its habit for me to lock the door behind me, every time I walk in I do it absent-mindedly.”

“Mhm, if you say so, but we need to get going or we’re going to be late for the doctor. You got what you needed?” She wrapped her arms around me and gazed into my eyes lovingly. “Baby, have you been crying?”

“Naw gurl you know how my allergies get. Anyway, I got what I needed, let’s go Baby.” Assuring her everything was fine we kissed, and she smiled rubbing the awaiting addition to our family.

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