I’m super excited to be back with a fresh Sample Sunday!
If you’ve read, Oops!, you can probably guess who this book is about. But for those of you who haven’t, meet Malinda Woods ❤
Note: Sample is unedited and subject to change because stuff happens 😉
“So… am I fired, or are you going on this blind date?”
It could’ve been both. It could’ve been neither. But it ended up being a mix, my eyes tight once I answered, “You’re lucky I need a drink and a cheat meal after this crazy busy week we’ve had, or your ass would be grass.”
Letting out a sigh of relief, she pulled out her phone and sent a quick message that made mine buzz as she explained, “I just text you his number and where y’all are meeting at.” Then she pulled a dress from the rack that just so happened to be one of my favorites from this season’s collection, something I was sure she knew and was attempting to use as a weapon to make me feel better about all of this as she handed it my way and insisted, “I’ll update the inventory and add the cost of this dress to my super-discounted employee tab.”
“You know I’m not letting you pay for this,” I sighed. “But please do update the inventory so we don’t have any hiccups in the system,” I told her, finding some shoes to go with it before I went to change in the tiny dressing room we used during photoshoots. And once I had the dress on, I was tempted to have Jamie snap a couple of photos for the company’s Instagram feed until she reminded me about my hair.
“Girl, you look like you’re playing dress-up in your mama’s clothes with this “fresh off the playground” ass bun you got goin’ on,” she joked, making me laugh too even as I asked, “You gonna keep talking shit, or you gonna help me?”
Pulling me over to the vanity set-up we used for hair and makeup, she waited for me to sit down before asking, “You ever seen those pictures of little girls before the first day of school and then after?”
Again, I laughed. “Now you wanna play stand-up comedian like your ass wasn’t real quiet a couple minutes ago.”
“You damn right I was quiet. But now that I know my job is secure, I’m gonna get these jokes off.”
Shaking my head with a smile, I watched in the mirror as Jamie put my hair in a slick top knot that made my facial features more prominent and looked as if I’d given it some real effort, a proud smirk on both my face and hers as she said, “I’m gonna be so salty if I made you look this good and you don’t let Walter completely destroy it tonight.”
Giggling, I agreed, “It is cute. But I’m really only going for the meal and drink.”
“Yeah, you sayin’ that now,” she muttered, the side eye I shot her through the mirror making her playfully groan, “Anyway. Have fun! I’ll finish up these orders and get a head start on tomorrow’s just in case you need to sleep in.”
“Mmmhmm. I’ll see you in the morning,” I told her confidently, doing one final onceover in the mirror before I grabbed my things to head out.
After double checking the restaurant I was supposed to be meeting Walter at, I realized it was close enough for me to walk, the cool night air keeping my temperature regulated until I made it inside and immediately started looking around like I even knew who I was looking for.
“Hello, ma’am. Can I help you find your party?” the hostess asked, only making me more anxious as I smiled and waved her off so that I could send a text.
“Hey, it’s Malinda. I’m here. Where are you sitting?” – M
“Back left corner in the booth.” – Walter
“Ugh. A booth,” I thought, gesturing to the hostess that I knew where I was going before I slowly headed in that direction. But the closer I got to the fine-from-the-back man sitting in the back corner booth, the more my nerves picked up, my bottom lip pulled between my teeth as he slid out of the booth to greet me and I realized, “Wait a minute… I know you. Sort of.”
Meeting my look of confusion with one of his own, the man I was only familiar with under the moniker DJ Whoa smirked before giving a little point to ask, “You’re Maverick’s sister, right?”
Seeing him full-on had me forgetting words since the fine-from-the-back very much matched the fine-from-the-front, the little nod I gave enough for him to chuckle and reply, “Damn. Small world.”
“Small world indeed,” I sighed, once again gnawing at my lip as I was met with mixed feelings.
On one hand, I was grateful that Walter really wasn’t some weird old man. In fact, he was every bit of my type with his hickory brown skin, neat facial hair, and a fresh fade that was somehow complemented by the tasteful gold cuban link chain that was sitting against his fitted black button-up shirt. But on the other hand, of all the people in this city, I’d somehow been set up on a blind date with a nigga I’d seen in one too many of my brother’s Instagram pictures?
Walter didn’t seem bothered by that one bit, sizing me up before he asked, “I thought your name was Mali?”
“Mali is short for Malinda,” I explained, watching him nod as he extended his hand to shake mine.
“Well it’s nice to finally meet you in person, Malinda. Or Mali. Which do you prefer?”
He kept my hand in his while he waited for an answer, the weight of his palm making me tingle as I swallowed hard before responding, “Mali is fine.”
With a nod, he dropped my hand and gestured back towards the booth to ask, “Well should we sit down, Mali?”
My initial reason for recognizing him made me hesitate; though another look at his fine ass changed all that as I moved towards the opposite side of the booth while responding, “Uhhh yeah. I guess. I’m sorry. It’s just that I usually hate all of my brother’s friends, and I know that’s not fair to you, but…”
“Let me change your mind then.”
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