The Baby He Wants is an all new BWWM romance by our very own Cher Etan, a best selling author in the African American romance category on Amazon. You can get her new book here:
Sample This BWWM Pregnancy Romance
She was standing right against the speaker, head thrown back, plastic cup in her hands. Her eyes were closed and her shoulder length curly brown hair was all over the place. She was dressed in the shortest cut off shorts he’d seen all festival; and that was saying something at this rock fest. She did have legs for days so he really couldn’t blame her. If he had legs that long and shapely he’d live in shorts that short. She was drinking from a plastic cup. Whatever was in it was causing her to sway slowly from side to side as if to the beat. But she was wearing those head phones which blocked out all sound and there was no way she could look as comfortable as she did, if she could actually hear the sound emanating from the speaker she was leaning on. Her ears would be bleeding. She must be responding to vibration. Tristan wondered why anyone would come to a rock festival, with headphones that blocked out sound, and then lean on a speaker which was booming out the electric guitar riffs of Fireflies on Ice while the lead’s whining voice crooned over the drums.
Before he knew he’d decided to do it, he was walking toward her. She continued to sway from side to side, occasionally drinking from her tumbler, long café au lait legs tapping to the beat. He stopped in front of her, waited for her to notice him. She swayed for a bit longer before she realized a shadow had fallen over her. Opening her eyes, she stared into his.
He raised his eyebrows at her. She raised her hands in a ‘what?’ type of gesture. He inclined his head and began to walk away from the speaker, not turning to see if she was following. When they were a reasonable distance away, he stopped and turned.
“Tristan Carrington,” he said sticking out his hand.
“Ava Richards,” she replied not reaching out to shake it.
“Hey Ava, I couldn’t help noticing what a beautiful woman you are. I was just wondering if I could buy you a drink,” he said shifting his legs into a wider stance and folding his arms. He felt like he might be at war for some reason.
Ava laughed, “Wow, does that pick up line usually work?”
“Well, yes ma’am. It usually does.”
“That’s great for you. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to work.”
Tristan watched Ava walk away with a look of determination on his face. Her luxuriant hips swung casually from side to side with no special effort from her as her long shapely legs carried her away from him. He was going to have him some o’ that if it killed him. Tristan was almost glad she was playing hard to get. Nothing took your mind off bad news like chasing reluctant women. And he’d had the worst news; news he’d rather never think about. especially since sooner or later, he would have to tell his mother about it. She was a good woman, his mother, but strict. And she’d been talking about grandchildren since he turned fifteen and she bought him condoms for his birthday. Told him he could get practicing but she didn’t want any grandchildren until she turned sixty. And she would be sixty in four years… he was thinking of asking Savannah Leicester for her hand in marriage; or rather his mother had strongly suggested he do that. They’d been on and off for years, and Savannah’d declared summarily that if he wanted her back this time, he would come bearing gifts. Diamond ring type gifts.
He was ready to do it; the ring was a family heirloom, acquired from his mother and resized to fit Savannah’s finger. Dinner was set up in which it was understood by both families that a proposal would be made. But first, to save time, both individuals went for their blood tests to ensure that everything was in order. Dinner was supposed to be next Sunday; Tristan had gotten his results yesterday. He was a healthy, strapping twenty eight year old man, free of disease but his sperm count was so low that it was unlikely he would ever father any children. It was Hiroshima, Nagasaki and 9/11 combined. Carrington wealth was all well and good; but it was useless without heirs to pass it on to. Tristan was basically holding the future of the Carrington Empire in his hands, and he was unable to deliver.
So he was here, at this rock music festival, to forget everything; lose himself in physicality and sensuality for one weekend before he had to face reality in form of his mother on Monday. He was going to enjoy all the pleasures on offer, including whatever women took his fancy. It’s not like he had to worry about consequences anymore.
“Hey Ava!” he called as he followed her into a warehouse. She turned around irritably, she was lugging around a huge guitar and Tristan hastened forward to relieve her of it.
“Let me help you with that,” he said taking it out of her hands. Ava shot him an irritable look and snatched the guitar back.
“Thank you, oh nineteenth century gentleman but this is my job and I need to do it now. So if you’ll excuse me…” she said tossing her hair and walking off. Tristan watched her go.
“Damn girl,” he whispered. “You are so going to be mine this weekend, count on it.”
Tristan was still standing at the doorway, waiting for her when she finished setting up for Casey and the Flash band. She did not know what his deal was but he was at a rock concert; girls were coming out of the wood work left and right. She didn’t see why he was stuck on her. Maybe he was one of those white guys who had black girl obsessions, and that was fine; but she was nobody’s toy. He could go objectify someone else. She blew past him, walking fast and not so much as turning her head to look at him. His hand snaked out and snagged her arm. She considered for a brief moment karate chopping him to the ground; she was a black belt after all… but then reconsidered. She turned to glare at him.
“What?” she snarled.
He gave her his best puppy dog eyes. “Look, I get it. You’re a beautiful girl and being hit on by every male with a pulse must get annoying and old. But I have just had the worst news a man could get; and all I want is to buy you a drink. Please, help me forget for an hour or two. No funny business. Just drink. And talk. Come on Ava, whaddaya say?”
He sounded sincere. Ava was torn. She narrowed her eyes at him.
“One drink,” she said.
“One drink,” he repeated with a happy smile. Ava tried not to smile back; it wasn’t as easy as she might have hoped.
He took her to the VIP bar where all the performers were drinking as well as a few select guests. Her colleagues were usually found at a less prestigious spot; they liked the Black Bar located near the loading docks. It was the least popular with the festival goers because it was off the grid; but it also had the largest selection of beers. Bands took care of their roadies; it was a reciprocal arrangement. The VIP tent wasn’t bad either though; the snacks were definitely of a higher quality and the selection of alcohol was wider. Ava didn’t like to drink while working; but she was finished for the day.
“I’ll have a White Russian please,” she said to the barman as he came to take their order. She had no idea what that was but had always meant to try it out. Today seemed to be a good day to do that. Tristan ordered a scotch on the rocks – such a rich white guy drink – and then led her to one of the white leather booths set around the tent.
“This is nice. I’ve not been in here before even though we set up Monday. Is there a secret code that you guys know about to find this place?”
“Yeah. There’s a guy at the entrance that you show your black card to and they whisper it in your ear,” Tristan replied cheekily.
“Huh. It’s the Russian bodyguard looking dude isn’t it? He’s always standing around in his shades – which he wears even at night; douche bag – but he doesn’t seem to do anything,” Ava said.
Tristan leaned forward, “Actually no. That would be too obvious. It’s the mime whose stationed near the gate.”
The actual fact was that there was a mime who’d taken up a position near the gate and now Ava didn’t know if Tristan was joking or not.
“I tire of this game. Can we drink our exotic drinks and not talk?”
“If you like,” Tristan said with a shrug. They sat in surprisingly companionable silence, drinking their drinks and watching patrons talking and flirting and losing their inhibitions to alcohol. Ava decided she didn’t much care for White Russians and switched back to rum and coke; her standard drink. Tristan stuck to his scotch on the rocks. After a few drinks, Tristan asked if she wanted to go and watch Cassie and the Flash perform. Ava had seen rehearsals from back stage but had not gotten around to seeing them from the audience point of view.
“Sure. Let’s go,” she said.
So we found this hotel;
it was a place I knew well.
We made magic that night.
Oh, he did everything right!
He brought the woman out of me,
so many times, easily.
And in the morning when he woke
all I left him was a note:
I told him, “I am the flower;
you are the seed.
We walked in the garden;
we planted a tree.
Don’t try to find me,
please don’t you dare.
Just live in my memory,
you’ll always be there.”
Cassie was crooning away on stage and Ava had a bird’s eye view since she was in a VIP booth, she hadn’t even known existed even though she’d been around when they were setting up. She turned suddenly to face Tristan.
“So what is it that you do?” she asked.
Tristan laughed. “Took you long enough to ask,” he chided.
“Yeah, you’d be surprised how many people don’t care about that. But if you’re going to be carting me around on these VIP trips, I need to know that I won’t be arrested at the end of the night for using someone’s ticket and credit card when you turn out to be their driver.”
Tristan laughed long and hard. “Oh God,” he said. “I needed that. Don’t worry, I can afford to cart you around. Ever heard of the Reinchenbach Group?”
Ava shook her head, “Nope. Should I have?”
“Probably not; we don’t exactly advertise.”
“So let me guess, you’re like some super secret rich people group trying to take over the world?”
Tristan laughed again, “Oh we’re fine with just owning America. No biggie.”
“How nice. So really, what does this Reinchenbach group do?”
“We own stuff,” he said.
“Railways, mining corporations, shares in movies, fashion, internet companies; name it, we have our thumb in it.”
“Wow. American royalty basically?”
“I thought that was Bey and Jay.”
It was Ava’s turn to laugh. “Yeah, them too. So how come you’re such a reg’lar lookin dude? Also you don’t talk like hoity toity and shit. What’s wrong with you?”
Tristan’s grin lit up the room. “Well, I’m sorry I’ve fallen short of your expectations but I’m just a regular guy. I go to work Monday to Friday same as you plebeians and when Saturday comes around, I party, get drunk and try to forget that life sucks.”
“Aww, you’re just like us huh? I call bullshit.”
“Yeah okay, you think we live on some sort of cloud nine but we don’t. We just like you girl,” he said grinning at her.
“Uh huh. Drink your drink and stop lyin,” she said picking up her rum and coke. Cassie and the Flash were winding up. Next they were expecting Russell Marshall. Ava couldn’t wait. She’d missed his rehearsal and she was a legit fan. She never expected to have such a great view, but since she did; she had every intention of utilizing it.
“Thanks for such a fun night,” she said to Tristan as they walked out of the site. She was taking Tristan to his car; she and the rest of the crew were living in trailers behind the festival site so she had nowhere to go. Tristan walked past the parking lot and Ava hesitated wondering where he thought he was going. He looked back at her as she stopped and raised his brow.
“Er, where are you parked?” she asked.
“Across the road, by the river,” he replied.
“Oh well, I’ll leave you here then shall I? I gotta go take a shower.”
“Oh. Okay, if you’d like. I do have showers in my trailer though. And the water pressure has to be seen to be believed.”
“I beg pardon. You’re in a trailer?”
“Yeah. I mean it was that or a tent and I don’t do tents.”
“I kinda figured you were in a hotel in town.”
“Hey. I’m here for the festival same as you. Ready to enjoy the whole experience.”
Ava put up her hand, “Okay dude.”
“So you coming to take advantage of my shower or what?”
“Is that your way of trying to get me in your bed?”
“I won’t lie; I looked at you and was like…I have to have that. But I’ve gotten to know you in the last three hours and I’m having the time of my life. I don’t want that to end. So if you wanna end up in my bed, well and good. If you don’t; also well and good.”
Ava stared at him in stupefaction. “Fine,” she said as if she was doing him a favor. “I’ll come use your shower.”
“Thank you,” Tristan replied amused sarcasm thick in his voice. He led her to a long black trailer whose windows were blacked out as well. Ava hesitated as they came to the door remembering every movie she’d seen where some idiot girl went off with some strange guy and ended up either dead or a vampire.
“You’re not gonna like…kill me or try to bite my neck are you?” she asked as Tristan fiddled with the lock. Tristan guffawed even as he got the door open.
“Well, vat do you theenk?” he asked biting his bottom lip with his teeth so he could display their…unsharpness.
“I think…I should probably let someone know where I am,” she said still hesitating at the doorway.
“Be my guest,” Tristan replied with a sweep of his hand. “We’re on mile marker ten.”
Ava nodded and texted the location and a picture of Tristan to her room-mate, Bob. Not that he would care but at least if the police asked, there’d be a clue. Then she climbed into Tristan’s trailer, stopping short just inside the doorway in surprise. The trailer was like a mini luxury apartment.
There was an ergonomic, low-profile dash, expansive windshield and 6-way power in both cab seats. One-piece fibre glass roof, from which Ava could glimpse the stars. A sliding countertop extension stood in the living room area and opposite it was a motorized 40″ TV lift. LED lighting and frameless windows dotted the trailer. A spacious kitchen with a sliding countertop extension adjoined the living room while a Queen-sized bed with comfortable Denver Mattress was just visible in the other corner. Ava could glimpse bunk beds tucked into the wall and a 84″ interior ceiling height with padded vinyl ceiling. There was a prep for satellite dish.
Ava walked down the length of the trailer whistling softly at the softness of the leather seats and the luxury marble tops and the size of the television. She came to a stop in front of the bathroom. A one-piece shower with glass door, skylight and light marine toilet with foot flush stood in front of her. There was a bathroom powered roof vent with wall switch. It all looked very outside her experience. Tristan came up to her carrying a towel, bathrobe and shower cap.
“If you give me your clothes I can pop them in the machine so you can have clean clothes to wear when you get out.”
Ava stared at him. “You know how to do laundry?” she asked unable to leave the disbelief out of her voice. Tristan grinned.
“For someone who just met me today, you’re pretty rigid in your ideas of who I am,” he said hand held out for her clothes. Ava had to concede that this was so, and instead of replying, she closed the door between them and took her clothes off. She shrugged on the comfortable robe and opened the door, handing her clothes over.
“Thank you,” she said.
Ava closed the door again and stepped in the state of the art shower, luxuriating in the abundance of hot water. She was tempted to stay in there all night but she didn’t want to completely deplete Tristan’s supply. She sang a bit as she showered, marvelling at how at home she felt in this stranger’s digs. It was crazy. She wished she had someone to call and tell all about it but her one confidante, her mother, had passed away just six months before of cancer. It was a very quick death; she’d gone to the hospital feeling weak and dizzy, by morning she’d been in a coma and by noon, she was dead. Cause of death turned out to be a tumour in her brain. The only thing Ava had been grateful for was the speed with which she died. Her mother was a worrier, she would have hated to be sick. She’d left Ava a fully paid for house in the Bronx and five hundred dollars in her bank account.
Ava had sold the house and put the money into mutual funds. Luckily, she had a full ride to Berklee University and had just one more year to go to complete her degree in music production and sound engineering. She picked up gigs like this to make money to live on. The summer was full of music festivals, pop star tours and shows. There was no shortage of work if one knew the right people. And Ava made sure she knew all the right people.
She hadn’t been home in weeks, jumping from gig to gig without a break. She made sure to send her roomie rent on the regular though; she didn’t want him to throw her things out of her room. They’d met the first day of college when she moved to Boston; both feeling out of place and out of step with everyone else. Bob was a transgender from a small town in New Mexico; this was his first time out of the confines of his parents’ expectations and he hadn’t quite known how to handle it. Ava took pity on him and took him under her wing and he followed her around for months before he felt brave enough to venture out on his own and find himself. These days though, he was deeply enmeshed in the transgender scene in Boston and his and Ava’s friendship was based more on nostalgia than any present day ties.
Ava emerged steaming from the shower, feeling the day slip off her shoulders. She opened the door to the bathroom to the aroma of coffee permeating everything.
“Ahhhh! What is that ambrosia?” she sighed.
“Coffee?” Tristan replied.
“Hmm, usually this is the part where you try to ply with me alcohol,” she informed him.
“Do I really look like I need to get you drunk to get you into bed?” he asked.
Ava shrugged, “Two words for you; Bill Cosby.”
“Touché,” he replied. “I swear there are no roofies in your coffee.”
Ava smiled reaching a hand out for the cup. “I believe you,” she said. And she did; she just didn’t know why.
He led her to his plush leather seats and they sat opposite each other sitting companionably and drinking coffee.
“So…you said you’d got some bad news. What was it.”
Tristan rolled his eyes, “Way to kill my vibe chick.”
Ava laughed, “Sorry. Forget I said anything.”
Tristan shrugged, “Tell me about you. How does a nice girl like you end up as a roadie?”
“The money’s good. And the experience is invaluable,” she said with a shrug.
“Let me guess, you want to be a singer,” he said cynically.
“Actually, I want to be a producer,” she replied.
Tristan nodded, “How’s that going?”
“Great. My GPA is at a steady 3.9 and I have a lot of practical experience. I’ve also made pretty solid contacts over the last two summers.”
“Your GPA? You’re in school?”
“Don’t sound so surprised.”
“Hey, I can pre-judge you too. By the way your clothes are dry.”
“Great. This robe is really comfortable though. I think I’ll hang in it a bit longer.”
“So you were saying about your GPA.”
“Oh yeah; Berklee university, third year.”
Tristan gave her a slow clap. Ava flipped him the finger. Tristan stood up from his perch and came to sit right next to Ava, putting up his hands.
“I’m not trying anything. I just want to sit next to you.”
“I didn’t say nothin,” Ava replied clutching her coffee cup with both hands.
“Talk to me Ava. Tell me something great about your life.”
“I’m sitting here in this big ass trailer, after having had an epic shower. Life is good.”
“Yeah. For me too,” Tristan agreed. They looked at each other and smiled.
“You wanna spend the night?” Tristan asked suddenly. Ava lifted her eyebrows at him. “Not in the same bed obviously. I have some bunk beds.”
“I have a bed,” Ava said.
“Is it as comfortable as my beds?”
Ava opened her mouth to say, “Yeah it is,” but then found she couldn’t quite lie. She shared a tiny trailer with two other women. The bed was small and the mattress thin. Also the food was crap.
“Why?” she asked instead.
“Because you make me laugh. And I need to laugh this weekend,” he said, not pretending to misunderstand.
Ava thought about it. She had no problem being a distraction; it was why people came to these events after all.
“Okay. I’ll stay,” she said.
“Yay,” Tristan said fist pumping the air.
“But I still have to work tomorrow,” she warned.