tagInterracial LoveChoices and Sacrifices Ch. 13

Choices and Sacrifices Ch. 13

byCoCoNiy101©

It seemed like almost as soon as Sabrina stepped a foot out of bed, Keegan was alert and searching for her body. She'd made sure to be as careful as possible and she'd always remembered him to be a deep sleeper, but she now had to answer to his piercing eyes at 7 in the morning after trying to pack up and quickly sneak off. She had planned on saying goodbye right before she left, when she knew he'd have very little ammunition to convince her to stay.

She'd woken up to ten missed calls and twenty text messages. Some from her mother, Quincy, Janelle, her sisters and even her father. She didn't want to think about why they were calling; they probably saw her on television, heard her name on the radio or just had something negative to say in general. She didn't quite feel like dealing with any of it.

"Where are you going?" He was already panicked. She could hear the distress in his voice. She waited a beat to answer and he abruptly sat up in bed.

She hated this game she seemed to be playing with him. But the back and forth of her emotions was almost as exhausting for her as it was for him. She woke up recalling the events from the night before and was overwhelmed with all the emotions. She was happy she'd had the love of her life back. The lovemaking they'd shared was beyond anything she could've imagined. But now, she was tied to the success of his novel. She was the Sabrina that everyone across the country despised. She also had to answer to her family who witnessed the anguish she'd been through the past year and who now saw her legally bound to the man responsible. That was somewhat embarrassing.

"Sabrina," He hopped out of bed and reached down for his boxers on the heated floor beside him. Sabrina sighed, bracing herself for whatever conversation they were about to have.

"I need to take care of Venice." That was true. She needed to be walked and fed. Sabrina found his old tee-shirts and threw it over her head.

"Bring her here." He was confident when he made that suggestion. He had missed Sabrina's dog and would love to have the full experience of having Sabrina back in his life again. Venice and Sabrina were always an item in his mind. "And bring your things too."

Sabrina's palms grew slick at the idea. She wasn't sure if jumping in where they left off was the right approach or if they would start somewhat fresh again. Bringing her things to Keegan's apartment certainly felt wrong.

"I don't think—" She started.

"Do you still want to marry me?" Sabrina opened her mouth and closed it again.

Maybe her commitment to marrying him was sending the wrong message. She loved Keegan immensely and had dreamt of marrying him and spending their lives together. But that didn't mean there wasn't any work to do on their relationship. Especially now that they were under the country's gaze.

He ran his hand over his scalp and down his face. "Sabrina," He whispered intensely and took a step closer. "You wanted to have my baby last night." He regretted not doing it when he had the chance—when she so clearly loved the idea of him enough to want to spend 18 more years together. She looked bashfully at the open space beside them.

"I know what I said." She said meekly.

"I thought we had a good time. Was I wrong?" He begged, searching her eyes for some kind of answer as to why she was so eager to leave her new fiancé. "Just come back to bed for another hour so we can talk, please." He gathered Sabrina by her waist and held her securely against his chest. She held him with a lot less enthusiasm. Sabrina sighed.

When she thought of getting engaged, she thought it'd be the happiest moment of her life. Instead, she couldn't shake this sinking pit in her stomach that signified some impending disappointment. It was a constant state of anxiousness that she couldn't control.

"I just need a couple hours to myself, Keegan." She needed to think, talk to her best friend and figure everything out without his influence.

"Well, at least let me drive you." She did need a ride. She was wearing his shirt and boxers after finding a garment bag to put her gown in. She didn't feel like taking a cab. Keegan quickly got dressed and grabbed his keys off his nightstand.

They walked down to the parking garage under the apartment complex. When they rounded a concrete corner, she was shocked to see two photographers waiting near the parking lot's stretch. Keegan instinctively grabbed her hand and lifted the garment bag from her hands so she could quicken her pace. Sabrina ducked her head and hid herself behind Keegan's frame. A couple lights flashed before the talking began.

"Good morning, lovebirds." Someone called. Keegan groaned inwardly and hustled Sabrina toward the passenger side of his parked Tesla hatchback. Sabrina had to look into his eyes just to make sure he knew which car he had approached. He opened the side door and sat her inside before jogging over to the driver's side.

"Cover your face." He barked when he backed out of the space at twenty miles an hour. When he faced the cameramen, they illuminated the car with the photos they took. She hid behind her palm until they were out of sight.

*

The entire ride there, they sat in silence. Keegan latched onto her hand and held it firmly the entire ride, occasionally bringing her hand up to his lips to lay gentle kisses on it at a stoplight.

They pulled up to her apartment which looked so dull compared to his. Sabrina focused her attention on gathering her things and getting out of the awkward space. She reached her hand for the door's handle but Keegan gripped her forearm tightly. She turned to see his eyes welling up with tears in the rising sun. His face was twisted up with strife and sadness. Sabrina felt a pang in her own chest.

"Bri..." He pleaded. He hoped she'd invite him inside, suggest she'd speak to him later or at least give him a kiss goodbye. But it seemed as if she was just going to get out of the car without a word. Leaving him to lick his wounds of rejection without any idea of what was next. "Please talk to me." Sabrina swallowed roughly and ground her teeth together while her nostrils flared.

She was growing annoyed.

All of this—the proposal, the paparazzi, the sex and their relationship was way too much, way too soon. She'd made some choices while slightly intoxicated and now her sober self had to sort everything out. "I just need a second to think, Keegan." She told him sternly. He finally nodded in compliance but his hold on her arm was still firm.

"Let me take you to dinner tonight. Somewhere private." Meaning he'd be renting something out so that no one would recognize them. She wasn't sure if she'd get used to having to hide all the time.

"I'll let you know." He seemed disappointed with that answer. He grabbed the side of her jaw and brought her in for a deep, passionate kiss that attempted to translate his feelings for her in that moment. He pulled her head close to his and swallowed her breath as it flowed between them.

She pulled away and gently bit at her lip; he was such a great kisser.

"You want me to come inside?" He asked. Her loins ached under her and she closed her eyes when he went in for a kiss on her neck.

"No." She smirked and went back to getting her bags. Keegan was growing a little worried. Nothing was working. She didn't want anything to do with him—even if he was offering her orgasms into the afternood.

"You don't want me to lay you down on the bed and eat—"

"Would you stop?" She asked. Her irritation was full fledged. She made eye contact with him for the first time in a few minutes. "I'm still wearing your ring—I'm still here. I just need some time." He didn't say anything for a few seconds and she took that as her chance to go.

"I love you, Sabrina." He called right before she closed the door behind her.

*

"We should have conceived last night when she wanted it." Keegan groaned. Connor was still kind of disturbed by that comment but tried to pass it off. It was his third time hearing it and Keegan sounded more regretful every time. He knew how indescribable it felt to hear a woman you love asking for pregnancy in the heat of the moment. Keegan just wanted to know she couldn't walk away and wipe her hands of him. Which was normal but not morally correct.

"You did the right thing by waiting. You loved her enough to give her the power of full choice." Lacey replied with Connor's thoughts. The two were cuddled on their couch after Lacey made everyone pancakes and eggs for breakfast.

Connor had called Keegan earlier that morning after watching the Gala's broadcast on local television. The scene of Sabrina running to meet Keegan at the stage was being played every twenty minutes. The country was practically gushing over their real life fairytale ending.

Sabrina's name had been searched on Google almost a million times between that night and that morning. Keegan's already soaring book sales had reached an all-time high with a 30% increase over twelve hours despite being released almost four weeks ago. Sabrina was satiating everyone's curiosity and instead of finally dying down, the hype seemed to be kicking up more dirt than before.

"She tried to sneak out this morning." Connor and Lacey looked toward Keegan with furrowed brows. Keegan nodded dejectedly. That was something they couldn't believe. "She has moments where she's really into it and things feel almost normal again. And then she'll just get really unsure and distant with me."

"Well," Lacey started—taking over Keegan and Connor's chat with more knowledgeable and feminine input. "She is still hurting, Keegan. You left her and then you showed up randomly with another woman—she didn't even know you were back in town! She has a right to want to be cautious with you. She's still recovering."

"I understand that, I swear I do. But I have to be given a chance and she isn't giving me one. I feel like I'll never be fully forgiven so that we can move on together." Every time they had a good moment, she'd undo it with her self doubt. He couldn't constantly compete with that.

"If she's worth it, you'll be patient with her. And if you can't; leave her alone." She was stern toward the end. Lacey and Sabrina hadn't spent too much time together because of Connor and Keegan's relationship. She felt like it was out of place for her to reach out considering her husband's relationship with her arch nemesis at the time. But when she'd met her at the bar opening, Lacey could see how much it hurt her to see Keegan with another woman. She didn't want her to feel that way again and had grown a little protective of her. Even more so that she was now the main character of a very personal book.

"It drives me crazy not to be near her." And that was the truth. "Last night I thought she was mine forever. I thought we'd be married today and we'd be able to pick out baby names tonight. I'd buy us a house in the suburbs on Monday and she could quit her job whenever she wanted." Lacey's eyes grew wide for a moment. He had clearly given this all a lot of thought.

"Do you know how much it bothered me to let her leave? After inviting her to bring her things to my apartment and have dinner with me? I would do anything for her and I feel like that's what's pushing her away." He leaned back in his seat and let his hands fall over his eyes.

"Man," Connor was irritated with Keegan. He could tell he was rushing the process and taking a lot to heart. The woman was just overwhelmed. "She just asked for time. Give her that and stop worrying so much." Keegan opened his mouth to reply. "Before you say anything else," Connor held up a hand. "I need to open the bar so let's go." Connor stood and grabbed his key off the nearby table. Leslie outstretched in his spot and curled into herself on the couch.

Connor returned to say his goodbyes. He bent at the waist to meet Leslie's upturned face and pit a sweet peck on her lips. He anchored his arms on the back of the chair she was sitting on. They pulled apart just an inch so he could whisper to her. Whatever he said made her giggle bashfully and Keegan felt the need to look away. After a few more seconds, Connor was on his way out the door.

Connor had heard it all between the car ride to the bar and arriving.

Sabrina had lost a bit of weight—but not too much to make her any less attractive. But enough to make him miss the deep curves on her hips. He missed her braces but her smile was just "intoxicating" now. He hated her hair straight. Now, his new topic was sex.

"Has to be one of the sweetest pussies ever." Connor had preoccupied him with a strong rum and coke at the bar while he prepared to open to the public. Although, Keegan was doing a pretty good job of preoccupying himself. "I put my mouth on her last night and it might as well have been ice cream—she was so turned on I could literally drink her." Connor laughed to himself while he straightened up a nearby shelf. Keegan's rambling was amusing.

"If she enjoyed herself that much, I'm sure she'll be back very soon. Hm?" Connor turned to give Keegan a raised eyebrow. Keegan sat on his words while he took another sip of his drink.

He tried to lay it on her the best he could and from her noises last night, he thought he'd done a good job. Her eyes were rolling back in her head at points and he had a couple small scratches on his forearm that hadn't been there the day before. She had left her scent on his sheets and after dropping her off, he returned home just to bury his face in the mattress and inhale for a few minutes. Her womanhood and her sweet, clean scent had mixed together to create the most perfect smell ever.

She had to come back for more.

*

"You love that man so fuck everything else!" Janelle yelled as she paced Sabrina's bedroom. Sabrina had been listening to her for almost twenty minutes. "Fuck the fame, the opinions, the doubts—you love him, Bean. Be happy with him." She begged with pleading eyes. "I was so happy for you last night. I fell asleep smiling—thinking about all the good dick you're finally getting." Sabrina groaned aloud but she continued. "And then you call me halfway in tears because you're still in pain." Sabrina looked away from her while her words processed. Janelle decided to join her on the bed.

"I know a piece of you is still struggling to forgive him—I know." She really did sound sympathetic. That sense of abandonment she'd harbored for so long did not just dissipate within a day. She'd gone almost an entire year coping with the idea that Keegan left her and then a few months thinking Keegan had left her for someone else. The constant sinking in her stomach and feeling of genuine worry was conditioned. "But you will be upset with yourself if you let him go, right?"

Sabrina sighed, smirking. She was so good at her motivational speeches. They often include foul language but that was just her personal style. She made Sabrina think about the nooks and crannies that she would always miss.

"He has money now." Sabrina stated on an awkward sigh. She sat in the middle of her bed with her fingers outspread to gaze at her ring. A full glass of red wine was in her other hand.

"So, what?" Sabrina shrugged. "Are you insecure about it?" Was she? Or was she making things up to deflect?

"He was always handsome. Women wanted him based off of that alone but now... now he's famous and he has a Tesla and a high rise condo—" She cut her rambling short. "I feel a little out of place now." She looked around her modest bedroom.

It didn't have a his-and-her's walk-in closet. It didn't have a moonlight window so she could see the stars while she slept. It definitely didn't have heated wooden floors. But it was where she and Keegan had spent their most intimate moments. It was where they fell in love. The humility of the apartment added to the humility of the love she remembered.

"He didn't want the money. He just wanted you, Sabrina. He has the fancy stuff but he still is chasing you. He has everything he does because of you! Without you there would be no book. Does that mean anything?" Janelle grabbed her own glass of wine and brought it up to her lips.

"Yes, it does." He could have had anyone. Women would be lining up to offer their shoulders for him to cry on and share his woes about their relationship. But he had been persistent with his interest in her. He chose to use his amazing literary gifts to earn her heart back and he had succeeded. The fame and money were just extras to him.

*

"I know you wanted to spend some quality time with her and I understand but we have a lot to do, Keegan." His publisher and manager, Paul, was practically chastising him for falling off the radar almost the entire day. Keegan, like Sabrina, had woken up to a lot of missed phone calls and texts. Paul had been at the top of the list. "First, we have an interview with The New York Times next week. They want to know your availability."

Keegan was silent for a second.

He was on a bench in the park he'd met Sabrina in. He often visited the spot to destress. He spent his time people watching; wondering if anyone was having an encounter as impactful on their life as his encounter with Sabrina. He wondered if they were in love or hoping to be. He watched their dogs and their children. The aimless thoughts always did him some good.

"Cancel everything." He whispered. Paul was gaping on the other line.

"Excuse me?" It was evident Paul heard him loud and clear.

"I'm not doing anything else; I'm retiring."

"You can't be serious—you're at the height of your career! They're going to pay you a five million dollar advance if you sign the contract for the sequel—Paramount is offering you a 10-year movie contract! You cannot 'retire'!" Paul was seething. He'd never met a man with the conviction of Keegan. Nothing he did ever made sense to him but it always worked out. However, this, was something Paul couldn't have any faith in. Keegan was cutting himself short from all the benefits his talents could bring.

"If I can't have her in my life, I don't want to do this shit anymore." He growled. Living in Sabrina's one bedroom apartment where the toilet clogged, the Wifi was unreliable and her clothes barely fit in the closet was the best point of his life. His best memories were there. He'd give up everything to have those days again.

The stress of not having any privacy, dealing with the pressures of success and constant public appearances was not something he'd willingly walked into. He'd only done it for her. If that wasn't enough, he wouldn't put himself through it anymore.

*

"You're marrying him?" Her mother got right to the point. Sabrina inhaled deeply and once again, looked down at her adorned finger. The ring gleamed in the light.

"Yes." She whispered. Eventually.

"Well, I can't really blame you. The man is making a killing off that damn book." Erica mumbled to herself.

Sabrina was ticked. Erica knew Sabrina loved Keegan way before the book was a thought. She knew her daughter had been miserable while trying to move on from him. But all she could chalk it up to was Sabrina chasing after his checks. That was the only way her mother could agree with the marriage and she was now projecting onto her.

"I would have married him if he was still working at the library—and you know that. I don't care about the money." Erica made a sound of disgust over the receiver.

"Please." She hushed. "Just be grateful it all paid off and he's doing well." Sabrina didn't even think she warranted any response. She planned to just sit on the phone until she was finished talking to herself. Erica made a reflective sound before she started again. "So, I guess we have to start planning everything for the wedding soon."

We?

Sabrina couldn't believe it. After all the stress she put Keegan and Sabrina through, she still thought she'd be a part of the most important moment of their lives. She felt as if she had earned a spot in her wedding.

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