One by one, they fall.
His perfect match would be his friend and companion before she was his lover and wife. Period. There was one catch. Everything about Joanne made him excited. Even when she'd looked up at him in confusion, it was the most attractive widening of her eyes he'd ever seen. His father had always said that the initial rush was not necessarily a good thing. The warning had been very insistent, so he took it to heart. He planned to take it very slow. He'd see her at night, when there were no interruptions and awkward explanations. Then, if things went well, he'd see where the wind blew. He didn't notice he'd crossed the street and walked to his door, until he noticed the special bricks outside the entrance. When he looked up, her friend was standing there before him. She had her arms crossed over her chest and was tapping her toes.
"So, Hot Chocolate, huh?"
"Uh, yes. I'm Daniel." He scanned the woman's face.
"Yeah, I know. You don't remember me, do you?"
"You're Joanne's friend."
She moved toward him and grabbed his shirt. "Yeah, and I'm Candy's, too . She and I used to talk at the clubs. What the hell are you doing?"
"I don't know what you mean," he tried.
"You go from Candy to Jo? No offense to my girl, but she's not even half of Candy, and she's black!"
"Okay, are you mad because I'm interested in Joanne, or because I'm interested in black Joanne? If this is a cultural issue..."
"Jo is a good girl. Candy was a freak," she put a hand in his shirt and felt his abdomen. "What you need is another freak to turn you out. What would Candy say, if I told her you were going after some na__ve little girl?"
"Jo is not some little girl. She can make her own choices, just like Candace did."
"Joanne," she purred as she moved her hand down to his crotch, "doesn't know thing one about pleasing a man. She's probably never even seen one of these. I know what Candy's capable of. You're gonna get really bored, really quick. You're probably doing this to get back at her. That's gonna hurt my girl, and I can't let that happen."
He pulled her hand off of his crotch and said, "Candy and I were through a long time ago. I'm sure she's forgotten about me by now. She wasn't what I needed. I can see that now."
She snaked her hands around his neck and pulled him down to her level. "Hmm, she had you trailing her like a dog. Just because you think you're smart, don't think she doesn't still have you. Hell, I could feel that you're feeling me. Where does that leave Jo? I know some of what you like..."
He smoothly said, "I won't do what you're wanting. I don't want her back. I want to get to know Joanne. I'm one thing you and Candy obviously aren't. I'm monogamous."
"Monogamous, huh? Jo's feeling Gary. I could see it on her face when they were talking."
"I'm willing to wait on her."
"So, you're turning me down?"
"Yes, I'm sorry. I'm a one woman man."
She pressed her lips to his and murmured. "What for? If you're curious about what it would be like with a black girl, why not go for me?"
He gripped her right wrist and spun her away from him. He stood up straight and smoothed his shirt.
"Because, I don't have a spark for you. It's not her color, it's the whole package. Let me tell you why it isn't you..."
The next morning Joanne woke up in a cold sweat. Jesse was sitting at the foot of her bed.
"You okay? You've been rolling around like crazy. You better be getting up. It's nearly time for class."
She groaned at her friend, "How was Terrence?"
"Oh, I decided to check out Mr. Hot Chocolate."
Jo looked at Jesse with as much animosity as she could, but didn't say anything. She shouldn't have been angry. She had told Jesse it was okay. She wasn't sure how to feel. The guy had obvious feelings for her. That should have counted for something. Her friend didn't look back at her.
"He's really polite. I caught him going into that coffee place. I buttered him up a bit, made the offer, and he told me no. Can you believe that? The guy turned me down."
"Well, I do