Friday, January 06, 2006
EXCERPT - Dancing With Temptation
Tina was almost ready to slice her birthday cake in front of the hundred or so guests that were gathered in the great room to celebrate her forty-first birthday. Just as the crimson sun was setting, she welcomed the final guests into her home. It had been a magnificent May Day for a party that extended from the six-bedroom house out into the well-maintained back yard. Ethnically dressed in a beige and gold trimmed pants suit with a matching hat, she appeared to be a happily married woman.
Skimming the room, admiring all of the guests that were likewise wearing their African attire in accordance with the cultural theme of the party, she was astonished at what a magnificent job the professional party decorator had done with her immaculate home for this special occasion. From the colorful printed banner hanging over the entrance way to the table donned with African violets, Tina was amazed.
Suddenly Tina felt her flip-style cellular phone vibrating against her waist. Noticing the loud music thumping along with her heartbeat to the sound of Mary J. Blige singing, “It’s a Wrap,” she reached down to check her phone. She reviewed the second text message that she’d received this evening: “Baby, please meet me outside for your birthday present.”
Gasping for air, she quickly erased the message from her cell phone. Tina looked up, trying to conceal the panic on her face, and scanned the room for her husband. There he was in the corner, having a lively conversation with his friends Michael, Ralph, and Terrance. I could sneak out the front door for just a few minutes since everyone is inside and waiting for me to cut the cake. This man is probably not going to leave unless I meet him outside soon.
With her heart pounding and the blood racing through her veins, she took another look at the extra large birthday cake on the far end of the table. It was decorated with one of her most recent portraits recreated in the center of the cake. She was wearing a striped sundress in her favorite colors of orange and green. There were many small orange flowers with green leaves along the perimeter of the frosted cake surrounding her smiling face. It had one layer of chocolate cake and one layer of yellow cake with extra buttercream icing, just the way she liked it. Tina hadn’t eaten any sweets in months so she decided to splurge on the cake. Right now, she wished that she could go back to the day that she had taken that picture over two months ago before she started this affair with “Mr. Smooth,” Debonair Jenkins.
Tina and Martin had been planning this elaborate bash since the beginning of the New Year, and she wanted it to be a stone cold blast. However, this was not exactly the type of blast that she had anticipated having today. This was her first time having a birthday party in all of her adult life. She had wanted to have one for her fortieth birthday, but Martin and she were just too busy with their friends, Alese and Michael Wayne, who were separated at the time. Anyway, that was over with now and all of her friends and neighbors were there to congratulate her on reaching this milestone in her successful life.
“Tina, girl, are you all right? You’re not looking too good. Is something wrong?” Shenedra was touching Tina’s arm and searching her best friend’s eyes for an answer. She sensed that something wasn’t right.
“Shenedra, Debonair is outside. He just sent me a text message on my cell phone that he’s waiting for me. Girl, what am I going to do?” Tina stretched her panic filled eyes in horror.
“Girl, I know what you better not do. You better not even think about going out there to see that young man. I thought you said that you told him it was over,” Shenedra stated, eyeing Tina suspiciously.
“I did tell him that, but he’s been calling me and sending me text messages every day for the last seven days straight.”
At that very moment, Tina felt her phone vibrating against her waist again. She knew who it was but still reached down to read his third message for the evening: “Baby, please meet me—I’m waiting outside.”
Shenedra arched her thin eyebrows and stretched her gray catlike eyes as she spoke to Tina. “Please don’t tell me that was him contacting you again.”
“Yes, it’s him. This is his third time sending me a message in thirty minutes, and I don’t think he’s going to stop unless I go outside to see him. He claims that he has a present for me.”
“Well, I know somebody else that’s going to have a present for you if you get busted tonight. Now you stay right here and let me go talk to him.” Shenedra turned to walk away but Tina grabbed her by the left forearm.
“No, Shenedra. I can’t let you do that. Besides, I want to see what he got me for my birthday. Keep your eyes on Martin while I slip outside for just a minute, okay?”
“Tina, don’t even try…” Before she could finish her statement, Tina had already checked to make sure that Martin was still preoccupied with his friends as she walked towards the door heading outside.
When Shenedra looked towards the corner where she had seen Martin engaged in conversation a few seconds ago, he was gone. Before she could block his bath, she caught a glimpse of the back of his head as he walked toward the master bedroom. Oh, my God! The master bedroom is adjacent to the front door!
It was pouring down rain on a cool February morning. The kind of day that made lovers determined to stay in bed, snuggle up together, and make love all day long. It was the type of day where couples were tempted to call in sick, telling their bosses or supervisors that they weren’t able to make it into work this morning. One of those days that you could lock lips with the one that you loved, squeeze them, and rock gently against each other’s warm body until the rain stopped beating against your window pane.
With the heavy raindrops drumming against the skylight in the far corner of their master bedroom, Tina rose from slumber, gently rolled over in their cherrywood king sized high poster canopy bed, and laid her head on Martin’s strong shoulder. Easing back the green satin sheets, she slowly slid her hand down the length of his heated cocoa brown muscular body in search of his manhood. She slightly raised her head to check out the time on the digital alarm clock by their bedside. Good, we have almost an hour before we have to start getting ready for work. Maybe we’ll be able to have sex if he has a morning erection. I could sure use some hard peter today. Shoot! My body is craving this. He has always enjoyed making love in the early morning hours during romantically cool rainy days like this. It’s time for love, and I’m ready.
Once her roaming hands touched his male organ, Tina was sorely disappointed to feel that it was just as limp as it had been last night when she tried to arouse him. Releasing a small sigh, she remembered rushing home from work the previous evening to start preparing a special meal for their Valentine’s Day celebration. Since she didn’t get to come home early very often, she thought that it would be a surprise treat for Martin to have a homemade dinner with his favorites: grilled pepper steak, Italian roasted potatoes, and sweet corn pudding. Being southern bred, he was a meat and potatoes man. So after stopping at the Publix supermarket on her way home from work, she took her time preparing the best meal that she had made in months.
First, Tina made sure that their two sons were away for the majority of the evening, and then proceeded with her plan of action which included seducing her husband into having a heated sexual exchange. Setting the mood for romance, Tina went all out with the expensive Cristal champagne chilling in a sterling silver bucket of ice in the center of the dining room table. She loaded the compact disc player with several slow jazz numbers, setting the adjustments where the sound would flow through every built-in speaker throughout the spectacular house.
Tina soaked in the extra deep whirlpool tub for almost an hour before emerging to wrap herself in a heavyweight white cotton bathrobe. Then, after lighting jasmine scented candles all over the bedroom and spraying herself in all the right places with Attraction, the sexiest perfume available, she chose a delicate piece of crimson lingerie to complete the seductive evening.
Easing into a satin and lace teddy with a sheer matching kimono and a pair of red feathery high-heeled shoes, Tina smiled inwardly. Oh, yeah, we should be making love all night long. Martin loves this red outfit. He’s never been able to resist this. Even though it had been months since they’d been intimate, she smeared creamy glittering lotion all over her redbone skin in anticipation of his touch.
Martin was late getting home, as usual, and barely ate any of his dinner, which had gotten cold by that time. He simply peeled off his clothes, left them in the middle of the bedroom floor, and climbed into bed wearing his Calvin Klein boxers. He never even commented about the lovingly prepared food or the sensual atmosphere she had set up for them in their oversized master bedroom. What a waste of time and money for an evening which had started out with so much promise for the once overly romantic and head over heels in love pair.
Tina could tell right away that Martin had been drinking and was trying his best not to face her. That would explain why he was in such a hurry to jump into bed, pretending to immediately fall into slumber. Normally, he drank vodka so that she wouldn’t be able to smell liquor on his breath, but she could always tell when he had been drinking from the disoriented dazed look in his chestnut brown eyes, his slight slurring of simple words, and the careful way he stepped. The fake snoring was definitely a dead give away that he was trying to avoid any and all contact with a wife that was ready for mating season.
Now, while she lovingly caressed his soft member in her heated hands, Martin raised both arms in the air, hunched his torso upward, stretched his body, and yawned before turning away from Tina. Not being one to give up easily, Tina started lightly kissing his back, moving her tongue in an arousing circular motion, and massaging his midsection, to no avail. Normally this was all that she had to do to get his engine revving for morning love.
Finally, after several minutes of this alluring maneuver, she gave up in frustration and decided to at least try to tactfully approach the annoying subject with her husband. “Martin, are you awake?” she asked, lightly nudging him. When he didn’t respond, she tried again. “Martin, I need to talk to you,” she spoke a little louder that time using a stern voice.
“What, Red? Can’t you see that I’m trying to get some sleep?” he replied, sounding irritated as he referred to Tina by her affectionate nickname. He’d often teased her during the course of their marriage regarding her light skin and even joked about being married to a “white” sister.
“Martin, how can you sleep when we’re in so much trouble?”
He rolled over towards Tina with an aggravated look on his face as he asked, “How are we in trouble, Red?”
“Well, for one thing, we haven’t made love since Christmas; you’re coming home later and later every night; and I know that you’re drinking heavily.”
“Look, I don’t know what you’re talking about, and I need to get this last hour of sleep, if you don’t mind.”
“So you mean to tell me that it’s not bothering you that we haven’t had sex in months?” she asked, slightly raising her voice. “You’re working too many hours, and you’re drinking too much,” she added, showing the irritation in her high-pitched voice.
“What I mean to tell you is that I need some more sleep right now. Tina, I’ve got a lot on my mind, okay. I’ve got some issues that I’m dealing with, and I just can’t talk to you about them right now. I need some time to sort through some things on my own. And, of course, it bothers me that we haven’t made love in awhile, but it’s just a passing phase. I mean every man has this problem every now and then.”
“What about the other two issues, the working late and heavy drinking?”
“I’ve always had to work late when we’re working on a deadline for an important project. You know that this McGregor account is the biggest thing that our firm has ever handled. Everyone is working extra long hours trying to complete this deal. And as far as my drinking goes, that’s the only way for me to unwind after a long day at work.”
“Well, I know another way you used to like to unwind after a long day at work,” she sniped.
“Red, I told you, that’s a temporary problem.”
“You keep saying that, Marty, but you won’t tell me what’s going on. I think that your impotence is related to your drinking, but you’re not willing to face either one. You know I am your wife; you should be able to tell me anything. That should tell you that we have a problem right there,” she stated, rising up on one elbow in the bed to get a better look at Marty’s face. She could barely believe the words that were coming out of his mouth and needed to look directly at him to verify her thinking.
“Well, whatever problems we have are not going to be resolved this morning. So can we just go back to sleep, please? You know that I get my best sleep when it’s raining like this,” he stated sharply, turning away from Tina again, dangling his arm over the side of the bed.
Tina flung herself back against the warm sheets, swinging her arms out in frustration. She knew that she would not be able to get back to sleep after that unpleasant exchange with her spouse and decided to get up, take a cool shower, and start her busy day. As she rose from the comforts of her bed, wishing that she could stay inside today and do what lovers like to do, she silently cursed Martin for his irregular behavior.
Standing in the shower with the cool water hitting her directly in the face, Tina recalled how the early morning hours used to be their favorite time to get busy, especially if there was just a hint of moisture in the air. Rainy mornings were the best for the romantic, satisfying, baby-making love that they had once enjoyed so much. Whenever they came home from work too tired to please each other, they would go straight to bed and set the alarm clock to awaken them an hour earlier than usual just so they could make out. They would have so much fun in bed, using most of the hour engaged in extensive foreplay before the actual sex even took place. Those were the days when coupling was a lightweight pleasure to be enjoyed with ease. These days, he treated her like it was a burden to even hold her hand or embrace her in his arms, let alone have sexual foreplay for a whole hour before intercourse.
He’s had this problem before but it’s never lasted this long. More than likely, it’s the drinking that’s causing his sexual dysfunction. I read a Harvard report on the Internet the other day about how alcohol can seriously affect a man’s sexual drive and performance. They also reported that stress could be a major factor in cases like this, too. Since Marty has been working a lot of extra hours, he’s probably stressed out, too. That’s certainly not helping us either, but he really needs to make an appointment for a complete physical examination; he hasn’t had one of those in over a year now. But I also wonder if there could be another woman behind this sudden case of impotency after seventeen years of marriage. I know Martin is not bold enough to be cheating on me, not after what his best friend just went through with his wife. Turning off the shower, her mind continued wandering about this situation.
Martin’s best friend, Michael Wayne, had slept with one of their employees last year. His wife, Alese, took their three-year-old daughter, Bianca, and left him after learning about the one night stand with a little help from Tina. She and Alese weren’t the best of friends, but they enjoyed each other’s company on special occasions considering their husband’s were best friends, and Tina had been Alese’s natural hairdresser for the last four years. She’d known Alese since she and Michael first started dating and liked her right away, although they didn’t share a lot of common interests. They did spend time together when they could, called each other every now and then, and saw each other on a semi-regular basis outside of the hair salon. Alese normally tightened her own locks, but she would come in for a professional style session with Tina whenever she was in the mood for something different. She and Martin had both been there for their friends in their time of need. He would never imitate Michael’s mistake.
Stepping out of the shower stall, she reached for her fluffy extra long peach towel to dry off her body. She wanted to press the issue with Marty again but just didn’t feel up to it this morning. She had quite a busy day awaiting her at the hair salon, and it would be in her best interest to get there as early as possible today. The shop had been so busy lately that she hadn’t had much time to do the major bookkeeping tasks. Besides, she couldn’t wait to get to the coffee house to get a hot steaming cup of her favorite drink, _mocha java express. The Insomnia Coffee House closed late and opened early so she never had a problem getting her fix no matter how late she worked or how early she managed to make it in. That hot creamy brew would have to be her sex again today. She was getting warm just from the thought of having the brown liquid slide down her throat and settle in the pit of her stomach, giving her the satisfying feeling that she dangerously craved this morning.
Tina took her time applying scented lotion to her red tone skin as she looked in the mirror at her expressive pure honey eyes and applied mascara to her long naturally curly eyelashes. She completed her make-up routine by applying Fashion Fair’s cream to powder foundation and her favorite shade of red lipstick, Forever Red, to her full lips. She decided to wear something colorful today since she was feeling quite down. Figuring that might give her the pick me up that she needed to get through the long day ahead, Tina chose a radiant orange, red, and gold duster pants set with an opulent border print and a solid orange collar to wear. Of course, she had the matching silk fabric mules and purse to complete her lively outfit. She pulled her blonde streaked micro braids up into a topknot and secured it with a silky orange scrunchy band.
Just as Tina was about to exit the bedroom, romantic thoughts entered her mind once again while standing with her hand on the doorknob. Turning towards the direction where her husband was sleeping quietly, she stood there looking at him for several seconds before returning to the side of the bed and gently planting a kiss on his forehead. Things may not have turned out the way she had planned last night or this morning, but she still loved him beyond a shadow of a doubt. Being angry with him was certainly not going to solve the problem. It would be in her best interest to play the loving, understanding role until this undetermined time period was over. Hopefully that would be real soon. Anyway, Martin didn’t stir, but he did mumble, “Good bye, and have a nice day. I love you.”
“I love you, too, baby, but we need to talk about our situation because I don’t want to live like this indefinitely, you know.”
“I hear you, babe. We’ll talk, I promise.”
“I hope so, Martin. I need you like crazy.”
“I need you, too. We’ll talk soon.”
Tina tipped through the bedroom doorway and quietly eased the door closed. Now that she was up and dressed, it was time to get her two sons, Malique and Jordan, up so that they could get dressed for school. Malique was the oldest at fifteen and in the tenth grade at Paxton High School. He was a sports fan just like his father and played in a starting position on the football team. Although Malique usually didn’t make the honor roll, he kept his grades up enough to maintain his spot on the field. And being the good looking, well developed young man that he was, the girls had already started calling him all times of the day and night wanting to go steady with him or at least be seen on one date with the handsome rising star. Jordan, on the other hand, didn’t care for sports at all. He had just turned eleven and was attending the sixth grade at Bayside Magnet Middle School. Being a typical nerdy guy, he consistently made the honor roll and excelled in math and science. When he wasn’t working on school projects, he could be found in his room playing the latest video game. It was almost as if he had become addicted to playing on those machines. As soon as he had reached the top score for one, he was ready for another one, which usually didn’t take very long at all. Jordan wasn’t worried about being teased at school for being a smart guy and neither was he concerned with the girls for that matter. If he had his video games, he was happy.
They were both very handsome, attractive, and outgoing boys but neither one was above average height. Considering that Tina was barely five-foot-one and Martin was just shy of five-foot-six, they didn’t expect their son’s to be taller than their father. But since Tina’s father was six-foot tall, there was a slim chance that they could be taller than either one of them expected.
Anyway, after Tina managed to get the boys up and out of the front door for school, she was ready to start her day at the Braids and Locks Hair Shop where she had been the sole proprietor for the last eleven years. She’d spent five years in the corporate world at IBM as a marketing consultant just to appease her parents after completing undergraduate business school at Jacksonville State University. Although Martin really wanted her to go into business with him and Michael, she decided to take on steady employment with a major company while he worked on building up M & M Incorporated. She never had any intentions of staying in the business world once Martin and Michael had their business up and running; it was time to do what her heart had always desired as a professional occupation.
Tina’s heart and soul had always been in hairdressing from the time she was a little girl braiding her dolls’ hair with colorful beads dangling from each braid. Later on as she became a teenager, she experimented with her own natural hair and all of her other friends’ hair whenever the opportunity arose. Her mother would even let her braid up her hair on the weekends when they had their special mother and daughter times. Tina shared her dreams with her parents and while they encouraged her to pursue hairstyling as a hobby, they never spoke of her owning a hair salon. They were pleased when she announced that she was going to business school to secure a degree in business marketing and then work for a major corporation. Secretly, she chose this major because she had every intention of becoming a business owner and being able to help Martin with his marketing strategies as well as promote her upcoming hair facility. Taking a steady job would temporarily provide for her family and give her the experience necessary to promote their beginning businesses.
Her mother, the lovely petite-sized, Delilah Sloan, had been employed at Jacksonville Memorial Hospital as a nutritional specialist for over twenty years. When she first arrived in the city for a summer internship out of Chicago, she didn’t intend on staying past the six-week program. However, after meeting her potential husband, Delilah decided to transfer to the Sunshine State and eventually settled down here. Tina’s father, the rather tall and admirable pediatrician, Dr. Malachi Sloan, was born and bred in the south. He had been in private practice with four fellow doctors for the last nine years. After being the head of the pediatrics unit at Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, he wanted more flexibility and status that could only come from being a private healthcare provider with a group of his distinguished peers.
Both parents had urged her to remain with a practical career. Of course, they only wanted the best for their daughter and did not consider hairdressing a prestigious enough career considering her pedigree. They both came from a family of doctors and since Tina was their only child, their hopes were for her to attend medical school or at least something in the medical field where she could receive a doctoral degree. Tina decided early on that was not in the cards for her, but she would appease them by receiving an undergrad degree in the field that would most benefit her career aspirations.
Tina was the apple of her father’s eye, and she could do no wrong as far as he was concerned. Her every wish was immediately his command. And while Delilah loved her only daughter, she didn’t appreciate her husband spoiling their child rotten. So as Tina grew to become a teenager, she and her mother began to drift apart. Not to the point where she was ever disrespectful to Delilah, but she was keenly aware that she had to tread lightly to have her way with that parent. However, her relationship with her mother became stronger once Tina reached adulthood and started dating Martin on a regular basis while in college. She had come to rely on her mother’s outspoken wisdom when it was needed.
When her parents were first introduced to Martin, Delilah took a strong liking to him right away, but Malachi openly disliked him and angrily dismissed him as a possible suitor for his princess. That’s when Delilah stepped in with encouraging words for Tina, “Child, please follow your heart, let Malachi simmer in his own juices until he decide to come around. Your father will eventually accept the man that you love as his son-in-law.” Well, Malachi had never accepted Martin as his son-in-law, but he was at least cordial to him on the special occasions that they shared as a family, especially after the birth of their two sons.
With the loving support of her husband, Tina had decided to leave the corporate world once Martin’s business started to turn a profit, and he was financially able to support their family. She enrolled at the Unique Natural Hair School for one year to become trained and licensed in cosmetology. Then she worked at the Natural Essence Hair Salon for a year before starting her own business. She had always enjoyed doing braids and favored natural hair styles. Tina had prophesized that this growing trend would be the wave of the future; she wanted to be one of the first stylists in Jacksonville to be able to capitalize on it. In the last five years, natural styles were really becoming a hit with the urban crowds. Tina’s hair designs had been featured in the major hair magazines, including Braids & More, Braids & Beauty, Hype Hair, and Natural Hair Styles. Winning several awards at hair conferences, she was proud of her many accomplishments and growing business. Becoming the Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Owner of the Year almost two years ago had been the highlight of her career.
All of their hard work as a couple was finally paying off now. They owned a beautiful champagne-colored, Tudor styled two-story, six-bedroom house in the primarily residential community of Jacksonville Beach, located east of the city between the Atlantic Ocean and the Coastal Waterway. This area is a solid business, resort, and residential community with over twenty-one thousand people where you’ll find miles of un-crowded white sandy beaches.
Naturally, Tina and Marty were proud to own their dream home where they could take romantic walks along the beach at any time of the day or night. They had lived in the house for the last eight years and were elated to find a place with three-bedrooms downstairs as well as three-bedrooms upstairs. The house was a joy for even the richest landowner to behold with eye-catching windows all around its perimeter. Inside, high ceilings and large-scale living spaces prevailed, beginning with the foyer, which was crowned by a two-story ceiling. Martin and she shared the oversized master bedroom on the bottom floor which also included a stone fireplace. The lush master bedroom was tastefully decorated in vibrant shades of peach, ivory, and green. The cherrywood furniture looked spectacular from every angle in the room, showcasing its own vaulted ceiling and two walk-in closets. The sky-lighted master bath featured a spa tub, a separate shower, and a dual sink vanity.
They converted one of the downstairs bedrooms into an office for Martin; and the other one was converted into a fully equipped exercise room for Tina. Unfortunately, Martin was hardly ever home long enough to use his warmly decorated office, and she didn’t have time to use any of the high tech exercise equipment after spending long days at the salon, but the extra space had inspired them to purchase the house. At least they had started out with good intentions.
In addition to the three-bedrooms downstairs, there was a great room for entertaining; a huge family room which offered a vaulted ceiling, a corner fireplace, and a big screen television; a game room with a professional-sized pool table; and a separate formal dining room from the kitchen and the breakfast nook. The main dining room table, made from solid maple wood, was large enough to accommodate up to eight people with a matching china cabinet displaying elaborate dishes and crystal. Even though she didn’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking, Tina adored the huge, all white facility with the oblong, smooth pebble island in the center for chopping and preparing foods. Right above the island was a custom made automatic rotating rack for hanging pots and pans. The S-curved arch over the kitchen window brought a sense of character to the all white room.
It had taken Tina almost two years of painstaking efforts to finally finish decorating the six thousand square foot house to suit her unique taste in furniture and decorations. Every piece had to be an original product that she had never seen anywhere else before or thought that no one else had. Some pieces had been flown from overseas retailers specifically for her eyes to inspect before making a permanent decision. She was especially drawn to the European designers and sometimes traveled overseas to do her own household shopping. Tina was also fascinated with a variety of African art stone carvings and Shona art sculptures. These pieces were individually hand carved and no two pieces were identical. Whatever piece she purchased was immediately removed from the catalog once it was shipped to her. Over the years, she had put together a large collection that was prominently displayed throughout their home. Some of the beautifully carved pieces weighed more than fifty pounds and were priceless.
Each of the boys had their own personally designed bedroom upstairs with a set of twin beds in each, including a state of the art computer center for their educational enrichment. Tina seldom bothered to climb the stairs to their rooms because she was content to let them have their own private domains. It was up to them to keep it clean and livable in between maid visits. Their work schedules made it impossible to maintain a properly cleaned house, so the Merry Maid Service was employed to send someone to their home at least twice a week. Last but not least, the lavishly decorated guest room, located to the right at the top of the stairs, was painted in a serene powder blue with a matching floral ensemble for the queen sized panel bed and window treatments.
Tina drove a new white convertible Chevrolet Corvette to work every day. Martin drove a black BMW X5 sports utility vehicle; they owned all the latest designer clothing, shoes, perfume, and jewelry that they wanted; they could travel whenever and wherever they desired while dining in the finest restaurants along the way. And Martin’s commercial business, M & M Software Development, Incorporated, which he co-owned with his best friend, Michael Wayne, was doing exceedingly well. He and Michael had been like brothers since their freshman year in college. Shortly after they both graduated from business school, almost twenty years ago, they opened up their software business together with each concentrating on his area of expertise. They shared a huge one-story brick office downtown with Martin’s office in one corner of the building and his partner’s office in the other corner side of the complex. Michael secured software development projects while Martin planned them out. All of the other major duties they split between the two of them and their fifty plus employees. Martin was over the Omega Team and Michael spearheaded the Alpha Team. Each team was composed of four head program designers who supervised a staff of at least five people including competent administrative support.
Tina was living the lifestyle that many African-American women only dreamed about, and she was enjoying every minute of it. Now if she could just help her husband get his groove back, she would truly be living in paradise.
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