"As if sleeping with the enemy wasn't disastrous enough..."
For Camryn Cox, living a private, purpose-driven, drama-free life is a top priority. And in her opinion, Maverick Woods represents everything opposite of that.
He's social media-famous, ultra fine, and completely irresponsible, making him something like the enemy as far as Camryn is concerned. But everything changes when a surprise moment of passion between the two of them results in a positive pregnancy test.
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“Please leave before I strangle you.”
“Damn. Violence ain’t gotta always be the answer, mamas,” he laughed, making his way to the door before turning back to add, “And besides, if your hands are ever wrapped around my neck, it damn sure ain’t gonna be cause you’re tryna hurt me.”
It was out of pure reflex when I grabbed the closest thing within arms reach and launched it at him, a little bit tickled to watch Maverick dodge the item before he snapped, “Cam, what the fuck?! Were those scissors?”
I shrugged, smirking mischievously as I told him, “Had to make sure my violence didn’t get mistaken for anything else.”
“What if they would’ve stabbed me? Or hell, poked my damn eye out?” he whined. “I could’ve been patch-bound like Slick Rick for the gala fuckin’ around with you.”
The thought alone made me cackle, even more so when I realized, “Considering this old ass artist you booked for us, it would’ve been very onbrand.”
Chuckling a bit himself, Maverick stepped back inside of my office and insisted, “You hatin’ now, but I bet you dinner she’s gonna kill it.”
My eyebrow piqued at his wager. “As in, I’ll UberEats you a meal of choice if you’re right and vice versa? Cause dinner with you, even with you treating, is still not exactly a win.”
“It’s a lotta women out here who would pay good money to have dinner with me, Camryn,” he immediately defended. And while I couldn’t exactly disagree, I also knew where I stood about it, laughing to myself as I rose from behind my desk and replied, “Oh, I’m well aware. And something is truly wrong with them all.”
Instead of responding right away, he took a second to ogle my full look of the day, an outfit I was too stressed to put much time into this morning after waking up to the news about our performer needing to be replaced. But considering the way Maverick slowly scraped his teeth against his bottom lip while sizing me up, you would’ve thought I had on nothing at all. And I was mad at myself for warming up a little in response to his gaze as he finally agreed, “Fine. UberEats then since you can’t even stand to break bread wit’ a nigga.”
Again, I laughed. “Oh my God, why are you acting so butthurt? I mean, do you really think I wanna be the first girl you’re seen out with after your breakup, even platonically? You tryna have the Banksy Boos coming after me too?”
“They ain’t even that bad,” he insisted with a shrug like Lillian’s fan club hadn’t been harassing his ass all over social media since the breakup and like he hadn’t already done something in an attempt to contain some of the harassment.
I had that to lean on when I pointed to the phone in his hand while replying, “Open your newly-private Instagram and tell me that lie again.”
“Aight, so maybe they are wildin’ a little bit,” he admitted. “But I didn’t say dinner had to be at a public place.”
“I know. It’ll be in the privacy of my apartment where I’ll devour fifty dollars worth of some good eats on your dime while binging old episodes of The Bernie Mac Show, alone.”
The way he frowned in response, I assumed he was offended by my desire to exclude him from my plans. But to my surprise, it was… “Fifty dollars? I mean, I know those little convenience fees and shit add up, but damn.”
“All that ballin’ you do for the ‘gram and you’re trippin’ over fifty bucks?” I asked amusedly, crossing my arms over my chest as he answered, “Nah, but you might be when you’re wrong and gotta spend that same amount on me. I know my mama pays you well, but…”
Before he could finish, I cut him off with a gentle shove towards the door. “I’ll see you Saturday at the gala, Maverick.”
“Looking forward to it, Camryn,” he replied with a wink that had my dimples threatening to make an appearance until I saw my boss lurking nearby, sending me on a not at all obvious dash back to my desk as Maverick told her, “Let me know if y’all need anything else, Auntie J.”
With a kiss to her cheek, he disappeared to wherever as she curled into my office. And while I tried my best to make it look like I was working, I assumed Janet was getting ready to call my bluff once she started, “Patiently waiting on the day you two stop playing and get together already.”
Wait a minute… huh?
My face went tight with confusion when I asked, “What two? Me and Maverick?”
Her enthusiastic nod in response made me snort a laugh that turned into much more as I told her, “Oh, Janet. I’m so sorry, but you’ll have to ship us in your dreams cause there is no way in hell I’d ever date that man.”
Like I was being ridiculous, she frowned while asking, “Why not? My nephew is cute!”
This time, it was me nodding as I continued to giggle and agreed, “He is cute. Very cute, and equally annoying.”
“He’s only like that cause he likes you,” Janet reasoned with a grin, though her explanation really only gave more fuel to my giggles.
“What is this? Kindergarten? And why are you so convinced that Maverick likes me as if he wasn’t just in a very serious relationship with someone else a literal two days ago?”
Brushing that off as nothing, Janet insisted, “Lillian was cool and all, but she’s no you.”
Truthfully, I wasn’t in the business of comparison and had no shortage of confidence. But her statement made it way too easy for me to counter, “Tell the rest of America that, and they’ll laugh right in your face the same way I’ve been doing.”
That brought her frown back as I continued, “All of this is irrelevant anyway cause I don’t even like Maverick like that.”
I was stating it as a fact. But for whatever reason, Janet seemed just as sure when she replied, “Camryn, please. The only reason that boy gets under your skin the way he does is because you’re trying so hard not to like him.”
Her assumption felt like a Michael Jordan dunking in Space Jam kind of reach. I tolerated Maverick out of respect for his mother, respect for his family. We could share a room without me attacking him… for five minutes at a time. And maybe when I first started working for the foundation, I might’ve had an insta-crush since he was the kinda fine you only saw on the internet. But all of that stopped once I got to know him and his online persona that was so perfectly disappointing I couldn’t help but laugh as I told Janet, “Trust me, I don’t have to try at all. He makes himself very easy not to like.”