Don't Ever Wonder

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Nate, a "reformed" womanizer, is still recovering from a tragedy and swears that his days of being a player are over. Has his new faith and new woman really tamed him, or is he just biding his time until he re-enters the game? Brendan is the type of man every woman wants -- until she gets one. But, since his heart was broken, Brendan has vowed never to commit again. Cory, a successful businessman, has it all on track. Or does he? Will his affair with his sister-in-law come back to haunt him?Each man must confront his own ideal of manhood and intimacy as he embarks on an emotional roller-coaster -- one that will keep you on the edge of your seat, as well as give women an inside look at what brothers really want.


Don't Ever Wonder
A Novel

Chapter One

Once Upon a Time

Aubette was already packed at seven p.m. People piled infor happy hour after work, and on the weekends they stayeduntil three in the morning once the party started. I hadn'tcome for mingling or party atmosphere this time though. Icame for one quick drink and a little conversation. On my cabride over to 27th Street, my fingers were crossed that mymeeting wouldn't turn ugly, even though I had been assuredthat we were adult enough to handle this.

Once inside I made my way past the bar and headedtoward the rear of the lounge. Aubette was filled with a mix offolks dressed in business attire and around-the-way girls alreadydressed for the club. As Twista's "Slow Jams" was comingto an end, I had to weave through a few dancing couplesto get to the table. I looked over to my left and spoke to my favoritebartender, Terri. She waved and shot me a smile. Assoon as I cleared the bar I saw her sitting at a small table off tomy right. A mix of emotions flared up and I swallowed hardas I made my way to her. Our eyes were locked and she stood up as I reached the table. She extended her arms and gave mea tight hug. The warmth was familiar and when she pulledaway she was sporting a smile as wide as the Hudson River.

"Mr. Dandridge. How nice to see you after all this time,"she said both sarcastically and seductively. Anthony Hamilton's"Float" was coming through the speakers and for a secondI remembered our first dance together. It was hard tobelieve that one innocent dance could have led to all of this.

I smiled at her. "It's good to see you too. You look lovely." Icouldn't help but notice that she was looking exceptionallybeautiful. Not that I had expected anything less from her, butwhen you don't see someone for a while you tend to forgetsome of what you loved about them. She was wearing a copperstrapless dress that showed off some serious tan lines andhad on the necklace that I had gotten her from Tiffany. Shehad obviously been on vacation. "Nice necklace." I mentionedand then added, "Nice tan too."

"Oh thanks." She was grinning. "An old friend picked it upfor me a while back. As for the tan, I picked that up in PuertoRico at my family reunion."

I knew about the reunion because my wife, Shelly, had contemplatedfor weeks whether or not to attend. She had decidednot to go once her mother had confirmed that Ninawould be there. We sat and the waitress came back for ourorders. I pointed at Nina and asked the waitress to take herorder first. "I'll take a glass of white zinfandel and the adoboroastedchicken for my entrée."

"I'll take a vodka martini and the shrimp dish right here," Isaid, pointing to the menu.

The waitress took the menus and headed off. There was amoment of uncomfortable silence that I tried to fill by observingmy surroundings. I was interrupted with, "Cory, areyou okay?" My hands were on the table and she reached for them. "If you are uncomfortable, we don't have to do this. Youcan leave."

I lied. "No I'm fine. I was just thinking about work. I haveto stop doing that." I paused. "So what did you want to talkabout?"

"Whoa. I wanted to have a drink and chill with you first,been a long time, right?" She released my hands. Her touchhad been so subtle I had forgotten that she was holding them."I must admit that I am surprised that you even agreed tomeet me."

I nodded my head in agreement because I was surprised aswell and it had been a long time. But I guess that deep downinside I had wanted to see her months ago just to be sure shewas okay. I granted her request and relaxed a bit while we ateand ordered our second and third drinks. It was a quarter pasteight when my phone rang. I excused myself and went downthe steps and into the restroom.

"Hey, sweetie." I said to my wife on the other end.

"Hey, do you think you can pick up Amani from the sitter's?I told Mrs. Lamar that I would be there by eight and Rockelleand I are still out trying to pick up a few things for Christina'sbaby shower tomorrow." Shelly had been planning a babyshower for her college roommate, who lived in Brooklyn.

"Why don't you call and ask Mrs. Lamar if she can stay alittle later. I am in the middle of something and probablywon't make it there for at least two more hours. I have a reallyimportant assignment and this deadline ... "

Don't Ever Wonder
A Novel
. Copyright © by Darren Coleman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Excerpted from Don't Ever Wonder: A Novel by Darren Coleman
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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