MY EVERYTHING by Denise Skelton
At the age of twenty, Benjamin Harrison's father dies, leaving him to provide for his mother and sister. Years later, his sister is in need of a bone marrow transplant, and Ben seeks the help of Meyers Investigations to find an unknown sibling to save her. His immediate attraction to the sexy female P.I. sets things in motion, and their relationship blossoms.
Adventurous private investigator Deanna Meyers senses her attraction toward Ben, but she is reluctant to date him after seeing what her best friends go through with their own interracial relationships.
Ben's ex-girlfriend Janet and Dee's cousin Terry have one thing in common. They both want Dee out of the picture. But only one will go to any lengths to make that happen. Even kill.
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Dee parked in front of the Quick Mart Dry Cleaning. She dropped off her laundry and then walked across the street to get coffee. A shiny black limo stopped in front of the door; she slowed her pace and watched as a handsome Caucasian male wearing a tailored black suit and black turtleneck stepped out. A beautiful, slim blonde accompanied him.
He walked gracefully to the door, reaching it before Dee, and held it open for her and his companion.
Dee walked to the counter and placed her order. "Hi, Grace. May I have a Swiss chocolate and a Cinnamon Viennese?"
"Cream only?" the woman asked.
Dee nodded. She heard the man from the limo speak; his voice was powerful, but smooth and soothing. She looked back, noticing how his suit wrapped around his broad shoulders and impressive biceps. She smiled, glancing at the blonde. Her face was oval, with a delicate nose and thin lips, and her makeup was perfect. Dee turned away.
"Come on, Janet," Dee heard him say. "I don’t have time for this. I told you I have an appointment."
"Why are you rushing me?" Janet said, her voice shrill. "I don’t like being rushed." She stepped up to the counter.
The young lady behind the counter smiled. "Good morning, ma’am. How may I help you?"
"I’ll have the Swiss chocolate," Janet said impatiently.
"I’m sorry, we just sold the last cup."
Janet looked shocked; she lifted her hazel eyes to meet the cashier’s. "Well, we’ll just have to wait until you make some more, now won’t we?"
"I’m sorry, ma’am, we don’t have any more to make," the cashier informed her.
"What does that mean? It’s still morning and you’ve run out of coffee?"
"We have chocolate hazelnut or chocolate mint. They’re both very good. I can…"
"What sort of business are you running here?" Janet asked indignantly.
"Just get something else," he said, groaning with annoyance.
"No, I want Swiss chocolate."
He shook his head, stepping around her and up to the counter. "Could you just give us three chocolate hazelnuts, please?"
"I want to see your manager," Janet said, pointing a thin finger at the girl.
"Ma’am, I’m sorry," the young woman said in a small voice, glancing nervously at Janet.
"I’m the manager," a second woman behind the counter said, standing tall before stepping forward. "Miss, I’m sorry for the
inconvenience, but sometimes this happens. We can give you something else on the house."
The man in the suit looked at the manager, his eyes communicating his empathy, and he sighed heavily. He pulled out his billfold and put a twenty on the counter, smiling apologetically. "Keep the change."
Dee had watched the entire exchange while adding sugar to her coffees. The man walked over and reached around Dee to get napkins.
"Maybe your girlfriend needs to switch to decaf," Dee said.
He laughed. As he glanced at the African American woman standing next to him, and into the most beautiful brown eyes he’d ever seen, his pulse quickened. "If you would be kind enough to stab me to death with that stirrer and put me out of my misery," he gestured toward the slim straw in her hand, "I’d be so grateful."
Dee looked up into his green eyes, framed by dark, thick lashes. "I make it a habit never to kill gorgeous men." She smiled, flashing her deep dimples. Then she took the cups from the counter, turned, and walked briskly out the door.
He followed her to the door, watching her walk across the street and into the dry cleaners.
"And just what the hell was that all about?" Hearing his companion’s voice, he grimaced; he looked over his shoulder, his eyes met hers. He walked to the counter and picked up two of the cups, and then he nodded to the coffee-shop employees.
"Ladies, have a good day." Then, turning to the Janet, he said, "Janet, I’m leaving in five minutes."
Returning to the limo, he handed one cup to the driver. "Here you go, Mike."
"Thank you, sir."
He looked across the street at the dry cleaners, trying to get another look at the woman with the beautiful eyes. Then he looked back at the coffee bar.
"If she’s not here in five minutes," he instructed the driver, "we’re leaving without her."
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