Three is a crowd, p.1

Three Is A Crowd, page 1


Three Is A Crowd

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Three Is A Crowd


  (In Order):





  PARTS 1-3




  PARTS 1-3









  Copyright © 2019 Chenell Parker

  Published by Chenell Parker

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without prior written consent of the publisher, except in brief quotes used in reviews.

  This is a work of fiction. Any references or similarities to actual events, real people, living or dead, or to the real locals are intended to give the novel a sense of reality. Any similarity in other names, characters, places, and incidents are entirely coincidental.

  I’m so thankful to God for EVERYTHING. My self-publishing journey has been a blessing and I can’t complain. To every reader, new and old, thanks for taking a chance and rocking with me.

  To CCC, the best reading group EVER. Don’t debate me. I said what I said. The laughs never stop and the fun never ends. It’s too many people to name but I love and appreciate every member.

  To my test readers, error proof readers, Etc., I appreciate you being my second set of eyes. It helps more than you know. You know who you are and just know that I’m forever grateful.

  Thanks to Elle Welch for this bomb format and for finding my rings (Insider). Hit her up if you want to add a little life to your book and make it pop!

  Quo Vadis…no words, just on to the next one!

  J ersi felt his eyes on her the entire time she got dressed but she continued to ignore him. She had been knowing Blake all her life and his attitude was still the same. She got to know him even better since he became her boyfriend three years ago.

  Their families had been friends for generations, dating back to their great-grandparents. Since there was a five year age difference between them, Jersi’s mother, Dena, didn’t agree with them being in a relationship. Jersi was only seventeen at the time and he was twenty-two. By law, she was considered an adult but that didn’t matter to her mother. They all knew that Blake had been crushing on her since forever and the age difference didn’t matter to him. After a while, it didn’t matter to anyone else either. He loved Jersi and his actions always showed it.

  Even when it came to intimacy, Blake waited until her eighteenth birthday to take her virginity. As crazy as it sounded, she took his virginity that day too and he was twenty-three years old at the time. That was a secret that he never wanted to come out because it was too embarrassing. He promised to save himself for her and he made good on that promise. They became inseparable after that until Jersi went to a college that was over four hours away. She and Blake drove back and forth to visit each other every weekend for the first year but he was already over it. Jersi was now a twenty-year old sophomore with two years left. He was used to seeing her every day and he was having a hard time adjusting to the distance. Blake was a pre-med student and his curriculum was getting harder by the day. He needed her there to help take some of the stress away.

  “Can we not have an argument today? I’m home for the holidays and I want to enjoy my stay,” Jersi said when she got tired of him staring at her.

  “I didn’t even say anything,” Blake retorted.

  “Not verbally but your eyes are saying a lot,” Jersi noted.

  “I thought you were going to the gym just to tone up. You’re almost disappearing,” Blake frowned as he eyed her curvy frame.

  “Stop overexaggerating Blake. A size fourteen is hardly disappearing,” Jersi replied while rolling her eyes.

  “You were a size sixteen a few months ago,” Blake pointed out.

  She knew that he loved her thick frame but it wasn’t about him. Since going to college, Jersi ate nothing but fast food and she’d packed on a few extra pounds. She and some of her classmates decided to start a workout group and they had been going strong for months. Jersi cut down on the fast food and snacks and she was pleased with the results so far.

  “I go to the gym four to five times a week Blake. Losing weight is inevitable. Stop always looking for shit to start an argument,” Jersi snapped.

  “I’m not trying to start an argument. I’m just voicing my opinion,” he replied as he continued to look at her.

  Jersi’s skin glowed like a firefly at night. Her complexion looked as if smooth chocolate was melted and poured over every inch of her. She’d never had a relaxer in her entire life and she didn’t need one. Her hair was jet black and wild with curls. Her teeth were straight and beautifully white. Her hazel eyes were exotic and one of her best assets. She looked like a dark chocolate baby doll and she got compliments everywhere she went. Blake loved when people looked at her when she was on his arm. His chest swelled with pride because he knew that Jersi was all his.

  “You need to get dressed so we can go,” Jersi said when she looked at him still stretched out in the bed.

  She was home for Thanksgiving break and she went straight to his house when she drove in. Blake’s family, just like hers, had what was considered generational wealth. They had millions of dollars that were passed from one generation to the next. She didn’t know where his family’s money came from but her father’s funds were a result of oil and gas. He always told them that he would never live long enough to spend all of his money and he wanted to make sure that his kids and grandkids were financially stable. He never verbally disclosed how much he was worth but Jersi knew that it was a substantial amount. All three of her brothers were driving Bentley trucks that were purchased by him, so that said a lot. When she asked for a Range Rover a year ago, he told her to pick out the color and she had it the very next day. Even with all they had, her father was all about giving back. He donated to charities all the time and they all volunteered at the homeless shelter several times a year. Her mother did a huge toy giveaway for Christmas and they were always covering several grocery bills for people when they went into the store. Her father always told them that they were blessed and they should be a blessing to others.

  Blake’s family was a little different though. They took care of their kids but that was about as far as it went. They weren’t into doing for others and they weren’t ashamed to say it. They wanted their money to stay within their family. Blake was already a homeowner and he was the youngest resident in the upscale subdivision that he lived in. The plan was for Jersi to move in with him and attend Tulane University when she graduated high school. When Grambling State University offered her a full scholarship with lots of other perks, the plans changed at the last minute. She could have gone anywhere with her father’s wealth but she was proud to attend the HBCU in her home state. Jersi was a finance major and she did what was best for her. Unfortunately, Blake never let her forget about the broken promises that she’d made. He was focusing on his career and Jersi was doing the same. She wasn’t about to help him accomplish his goals and let hers go unfulfilled.

  “Who’s hosting Thanksgiving this year?” Blake asked when he sat up in the bed.

  “My parents,” Jersi replied as she stepped into her jeans.

  Since their fathers were best friends, they each took turns hosting different functions at their homes. Their fathers and grandfathe
rs had done the same thing years before them and they wanted the tradition to live on. Jersi and Blake never had to divide their time up in between families because they always did everything together.

  “What should I wear?” he asked her as he opened his huge walk in closet.

  Jersi sighed, trying not to speak on one of the things that she hated about Blake. He acted like he couldn’t think for himself. He always depended on Jersi to tell him what to do and he always did exactly what she said. Jersi walked over to his closet and started sorting through all of his designer labels. Blake was preppy and he didn’t really have many clothes to just chill in. It took her a few minutes but she finally found a pair of the Levi’s that she bought him and paired it with a polo and some Nikes.

  “Here you go,” Jersi said when she walked out of the closet and handed him his attire for the day.

  “Thanks baby. What else do you have planned for us today? Can we go catch a movie or something after dinner?” Blake asked as if she were his mother and not his girlfriend.

  “We can do that. I have to go see Tabby first though,” she replied, making him frown.

  “I hate going over there. I don’t know why you even bother. Her husband hates you and it’s always so uncomfortable,” Blake complained.

  “I know Blake but it’s Thanksgiving. I hardly ever go over there when I’m home and she begged me to come over today. It’s okay if you don’t want to come. I can go alone,” Jersi replied.

  “As if I would ever let that happen. I’m going with you but I hope you don’t stay too long,” he replied.

  Jersi smiled as they continued to get dressed. Once they were done, she and Blake left his house and headed over to her parents’ house for dinner. When they pulled up to the security booth, Jersi smiled and waved at the guard right before he opened the gate for them to enter. Being that her mother was a Christmas fanatic, Jersi wasn’t surprised to see that their huge two-story home was draped in Christmas lights and décor. Dena had been paying the same company to come out and decorate for years. It was always done the week before Thanksgiving and she kept it up until after the new year. Luxury cars lined their paver stoned driveway but it was still big enough for Blake to have somewhere to park. As soon as they got out of the car and walked up the stairs, the front door swung open and her father greeted them. He was always watching the cameras so Jersi wasn’t surprised that he knew they were there.

  “There’s my baby,” Jacob said as he pulled Jersi in and gave her a tight hug.

  “Hey daddy,” Jersi smiled as she hugged him back.

  Everything, including her complexion and thick curly hair, came from her father. Jacob’s smooth chocolate skin and snow white teeth had lots of women turning their heads to get a second look. He was over fifty years old and barely looked a day over forty.

  “Look at my baby. You look great Jersi. The gym is definitely agreeing with you,” Dena said as she moved her husband out of the way and hugged her daughter.

  “Yes, you look amazing baby,” her father agreed. “How are you Blake?”

  “I’m good Dr. Bradford. Hey Mrs. B. Happy Thanksgiving,” he smiled while giving Jersi’s mother a hug and shaking her father’s hand.

  Jersi’s father was the head of the cardiology department at Tulane Medical Center and Blake’s father, Braxton, worked under him. Blake’s mother was a housewife, while Dena ran her own medical coding and billing company from her home office. Add their income to the money that they already had and Blake’s family couldn’t touch them financially.

  “Hey son,” Blake’s father, Braxton, greeted when he and Jersi walked into the dining room.

  They both walked around greeting everyone before they sat down to eat. Jersi’s father said grace and everybody dug into the catered spread of food. Jersi watched what she ate every other day but that rule didn’t apply on Thanksgiving. Her mother was a great cook but she never prepared her own meals for holidays. She had one of the best chef’s in New Orleans to do it for her.

  “Where’s Dray?” Jersi asked her mother, referring to her older brother, Draymond.

  She actually had three older brothers but Dray was the only one by Dena. Her two oldest brothers, Jacob Jr. and Justin, were by her father’s ex-wife who was now deceased. Their offshore jobs didn’t allow them to come around very often but she talked to them a lot. She loved all three of her brothers but she was closer to Dray. They were only four years apart and they grew up under the same roof. She also had an older sister but they didn’t talk or see each other as much.

  “Who knows where he is. He called earlier and said that he was on his way but that was hours ago,” Dena replied.

  “Is Dray or Draya showing up?” Jersi snickered, making her mother laugh too.

  “That’s another question that I can’t answer but I guess we’ll see,” Dena shrugged.

  Dray was openly bisexual and he loved the company of both women and men. Every time he came to a family gathering, they didn’t know what to expect. Unlike some affluent families, Jersi’s parents loved and accepted who their son was. They didn’t care who he was with just as long as he was happy. Blake had an openly gay brother as well but his parents practically disowned him. Blake and his other siblings stayed in contact with him but they were the only ones. His brother, Evan, was the second oldest and he was married to a man. He and Dray were best friends but he didn’t see his parents too often. He did drag shows and Dray was always there to support him. It was almost as if Blake and his other brothers and sisters were the only kids that existed to their parents. It was a total of six of them but the other three boys and two girls were the only ones who they ever spoke of. Dena didn’t agree with what they were doing but she kept her comments to herself.

  A little over two hours into dinner, the doorbell rang and Jersi rushed to answer it. She knew that it was her brother because she looked on the monitor and saw his car parked out front.

  “Dray!” Jersi yelled as she fell into her brother’s arms.

  Her brother had also inherited the same complexion as their father and he was just as handsome. Dray did everything from personal styling to choreography and he was well known. He had been a background dancer and did choreography for a few well known singers and Jersi was always right there with him. She loved when he got backstage passes to concerts because she got to meet some of her favorite entertainers. Jersi had pictures with everyone from Beyoncé to Drake and lots more.

  “Calm down bitch. Stop acting like it’s been that long,” he replied as he smiled and hugged her back.

  Just by his conversation, Jersi knew that Draya had shown up for family dinner. The handsome man who was standing there with him confirmed it.

  “Hi,” Jersi said as she greeted their guest.

  “Donovan, this is my baby sister Jersi who I’m always telling you about. Sis, this is my boo, Donovan,” Dray said as he introduced the two of them.

  “It’s nice to meet you Jersi,” Donovan said as he shook her hand.

  “Same here,” Jersi smiled as she ushered them inside.

  As soon as they walked into the room, Blake’s mother, Eva, discreetly turned up her nose. She didn’t understand how her best friends could be okay with their son’s lifestyle. She wanted no parts of her son or his husband and he knew it. He barely came around and that was fine with her. When Dray introduced his friend, she and her husband gave a dry wave while the Bradford’s greeted him like he was family.

  “It’s nice to meet you Donovan. Feel free to eat and drink as much as you want to. We have more than enough,” Jacob said to his son’s companion.

  Jersi could see the shocked look on Donovan’s face at such a warm welcome. He was probably looking to be shunned but their family was nothing like that. Money didn’t change them because they’d had it all their lives. She loved that they didn’t care about appearances, unlike Blake’s family. Braxton and Eva Harding demanded perfection in every area of their lives. When their oldest son got his girlfriend pregnant, they mad
e sure that he married her before the baby came. He wasn’t in love with her and he was always cheating. That didn’t matter to them as long as things appeared to be normal. There was no in between and they made no exceptions. Jersi made sure to take her birth control faithfully because she refused to be forced into anything.

  “I’m gonna be leaving in a little while. I have to go see Tabby,” Jersi said as she helped her mother clear some of the dishes from the table.

  Everyone had eaten and the men had retired to the theater room to watch football. Dray and his friend were outside lounging by the pool while some of the other guests were still at the dining table talking.

  “You be careful over there baby. And call me the minute you get there. I don’t like that husband of hers,” Dena replied.

  “I know ma, but I won’t be too long. She asked me to come over and I just wanna go show my face. Her husband doesn’t scare me,” Jersi replied.

  “Is Blake going with you?” Dena asked.

  “Yeah, he’s coming,” Jersi replied.

  “Good. That makes me feel better,” Dena said.

  “Are we still playing some games?” Jersi asked once she and her mother were done straightening up.

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