Chandler felt the air in his lungs snatch away when Inaya turned around to face him. She was one of the most beautiful women he’d ever seen. Her short natural locks bore sandy highlights and were worn in a multitude of tight coils. That bold hairstyle suited her round face to a tee. Her mocha skin was smooth and her delicious chocolate brown eyes were as kind as he imagined. She had long dark lashes that even a baby would envy.
Inaya’s curves were voluptuous and perfectly accentuated in the champagne-colored jacket and dress set she wore. Chandler liked his women curvy. He was especially attracted to curvy black women. Always had been.
Having been raised in a multicultural suburban neighborhood with a mahogany-skinned older brother and a Black-Hispanic younger sister, Chandler was drawn to browner hued people as a whole. He liked their music, animated lingo, clothing styles, and most certainly their voluptuous women.
Please don’t be married, Chandler thought, cutting his eyes at Inaya’s left hand. Yes! He celebrated inside when he saw no ring there.
One look upward past her full lips and cute little button nose revealed surprise. He’d seen that look of surprise many times before from people who heard him on the radio prior to seeing him in person.
“Miss Seabrook, I presume?” Chandler smiled, coming further into the room.
“Y…yes.” Inaya nodded, blinking rapidly. “Are you Chandler Edenfield?”
“I am. The receptionist was suddenly swamped with calls, so I volunteered to come to your office without an escort. I hope you don’t mind.”
“I…I don’t mind at all,” she stammered out, remaining by the window as if she needed more time to collect herself.
“Pardon my candor, but you look shocked to see me, even though you knew I was coming today.” Chandler stopped behind one of the black swivel visitor chairs and waited for permission to sit down.
“I am not shocked to see you.” She blinked rapidly again as if to refocus. “I’m shocked to find you so…so…different from what I imagined. From your voice you sound just like The Big E from 98.6. Are you him?”
Chandler smiled wider. “Yes, I am.” Then he did a brief radio promo to prove it. “This is The Big E keeping it live, large, and in charge on WBUZ 98.6 FM radio.”
Inaya laughed and clapped her hands at his animated recital. “I guess you are him,” she said when he was done.
“Most definitely. Now were you shocked to discover that I’m white? Or shocked because I’m so tall? I’ve encountered both forms of shock from listeners.”
“I guess both. Exactly how tall are you, Mr. Edenfield?” She finally walked toward him. Her eyes perused his frame from top to bottom, then back up again.
“6’6.” Chandler grinned, welcoming her slow perusal. He also welcomed the mutual attraction he saw in her eyes.
And those feet.
Chandler liked pretty feet on his women. Hers were the prettiest he’d seen in a long time. They were small, painted hot pink, and enclosed in a pair of champagne-colored, satin, sling-back, open-toe heels.
As if she suddenly realized she was staring, Inaya cleared her throat, hooded her eyes with her long lashes, and then looked away. She also moved away. Instead of coming over to shake his hand like he anticipated, she turned left and walked behind the desk.
“Excuse me for staring. I didn’t mean any offense. And please, have a seat,” Inaya said, not quite meeting his eyes this time.
Shy. I like that, Chandler thought, taking the seat on the right as she settled into her chair behind the desk.
“Actually, I don’t mind the staring. It’s cold outside today and your beautiful brown eyes have warmed me thoroughly,” he said.
“That’s very sweet of you to say.” She smiled, meeting his gaze head-on again.
“I’m just being honest. By the way, it’s very nice to meet you in person.” Chandler extended his right hand in greeting across the desk. He would not be robbed of the opportunity to touch those pretty hands of hers. Her fingernails were well manicured and coated with clear polish.
“Thank you, Mr. Edenfield, and it’s nice to meet you in person, too.” Inaya blushed, receiving his hand.
As soon as their hands touched, a jolt of electricity shot through Chandler, confirming what he already knew – there was chemistry between them. Lots of it. She must have felt it too because he could feel her pulse racing in conjunction with his and her incredibly soft hand trembled.
He looked down at their hands to make sure they weren’t actually on fire. They weren’t. When he glanced upwards, he saw all the fire he needed to see. It was in Inaya’s eyes.
Chandler suppressed a moan at the longing in her brown pools. At their intensity. It was as if she was reaching out to him, calling him to enter her world in more ways than one. That increased his excitement.
I wonder how soft her lips are, Chandler thought, allowing his eyes to travel down to Inaya’s full mouth. Her lips were covered with a light sheen of chocolate-colored gloss. He licked his own lips with anticipation, wondering what it would be like to kiss her.
Suddenly Inaya cleared her throat, instantly breaking the spell. “I really appreciate your interest in our program, Mr. Edenfield,” she said, discreetly removing her hand from his.
“Chandler, please call me Chandler,” he gently insisted, giving her one of his brightest smiles. “The Big E and Mr. Edenfield are for my professional life. This…this is a personal venture.” No way could this not be personal after that electrifying handshake.
“Of course, Chandler. And you may call me Inaya.”
“I-na-ya,” he repeated, wrapping his tongue around her name very slowly. “Isn’t that an East African, Swahili name?”
“Yes, it is.” She looked impressed. “It means Providence. My sister’s name is Kali. It’s a West African, Senufo name from the Ivory Coast.”
“And that means?”
“Is she energetic?”
“Very much so. Kali talks a mile a minute and she never stops moving. I once thought she had ADHD, so I dragged her to the doctor to get tested. When all the tests came back normal, I realized that she was just a natural firecracker.” Inaya chuckled.
Chandler laughed. “And are you naturally wise?”
She blushed. “So I’ve heard,” she said quietly.
Modest, too. Me likey, Chandler thought, finding her even more adorable.
By the end of that meeting, he had signed all necessary paperwork concerning the CASA program, gotten great answers to all of his questions, and had been given the name of Inaya’s favorite song. As he stood to leave, he addressed the last question on his heart.
“Forgive me if I’m overstepping any boundaries here, but I have to ask. Are you seeing anyone?”
“No, I’m currently on the shelf,” Inaya replied.
“So am I,” Chandler said, very pleased with her answer. “However, I’m more than willing to come off the shelf for the right woman.”
A fresh blush entered her mocha cheeks. “I hope you find her soon.” She looked away from him.
“Something tells me that I already have,” Chandler said, causing her blush to deepen. “See you later, Incredible Inaya.” Then he turned and exited the office without another word. He’d done enough and said enough…for now.
The only thing left to do was go home and take a super-cold shower. Being in this sexy woman’s presence had made him hotter than a bed of simmering coals.
Inaya got up and closed her office door after Chandler left. Then she took off her jacket, shoes, and pantyhose. Her body was overheated and needed extra ventilation after that steamy meeting.
So much heat had radiated between them. It had been like sitting in a sauna.
Inaya couldn’t help but like Chandler. She liked him on the air. He was even more likeable and personable face-to-face. His conversation flowed as freely as his laughter had. She found herself opening up to him just as easily, volunteering information about her personal life in a way that she usually only reserved for her sister.
Then when their hands touched, it was like coming in contact with a live wire. The fire of their mutual attraction had ricocheted through her body, charging up batteries that had long since been considered dead, instantly reminding her that she was indeed a woman. A woman with needs that had been ignored for way too long.
Inaya suspected that the slightest touch between them would be explosive. That’s what she’d been trying to avoid. That’s also why she took a detour to her desk instead of shaking his hand in greeting when he first arrived.
“He’s not your type, remember?” Inaya verbally reminded herself as she put her damp stockings in a plastic bag, then in a zippered section of her purse. If only her rebellious body would listen and obey. Every stimulated cell seemed to declare that if this man wasn’t her type, she’d never know who was.
© 2014 by Suprina Frazier