Book 3: Unexpected Love
Sebastien Bennett is a man that is focused on two things. His career and his family. He isn’t configured to add any stumbling blocks into his already perfectly crafted routine.
That is… until love comes unexpectedly.
Imani Barasa doesn’t care about the fanfare surrounding her work life. Her only concern is making sure that her clients stay out of trouble and out of the media for all the wrong reasons. Growing her company while working on her inner self, is her top priority. She’s doing her best to stay on track with these specific goals and will stop at nothing to make sure that no one or nothing interrupts.
She stuck to the rules, until… The eldest of the Bennett Brothers make an appearance attempting to disrupt everything she’s worked hard to achieve.
Profound family drama continues to plague Sebastien and Imani in this heart-wrenching story of secrets, lies, and forgiveness.
“Strutting around here with no panties will have you splayed out on that desk.” I tugged harder, loosening the tie before unbuttoning my shirt. The next thing I see is her dainty fingers flicking her cheekster underwear towards the window that covered the wall. “I’m telling you, be careful, Chelle.” Hard chortles filled my office between Michelle Davenport and me. She stopped by to drop off lunch, which was unusual since I never allowed women I was boning to pop up in my workspace. Those who choose to go against the grain were halted by security downstairs before ever stepping foot onto the 42nd-floor into the entrance of Bennett & Associates at Law.
The highrise building consisted of many different businesses. Still, starting on the fifth floor, no access was allowed unless you were cleared via your access card or security, who went through extra lengths of keeping the building secure. The fifth level held an entire radio station, all the subsequent levels contained companies ranging from PR firms, finance handlers, insurance, and etc. Bennett & Associates at Law was the only law firm in the entire building which spoke volumes about the man who founded the business; my father, Samuel Bennett.
He didn’t always have it all together. Truth be told, when I was growing up, my family struggled financially. My mother was eighteen, in college, and my dad didn’t stop his schooling either. We lived with my dad’s mother and father until both of my parents finished college. I remember one day, my dad argued with my grandfather about being ready to move his family out, but gramps wasn’t hearing it. Grandad asserted that it was best not only for my dad to graduate from law school but that he should confirm with my mom that she was mentally prepared for them to be on their own. I could almost imagine his voice as strong as it was years ago, “Keep saving money for your family, Sam. There’s no reason to be running out into the real world, son. I could agree if you and Belinda didn’t go and have two more kids after Bastien, but that’s where we are. You have six months until graduating from law school. When you do that and pass the bar exam, then you can figure it out. You married folks think life is easy, but this is just the beginning. Marriage and problems are forever, so let me keep giving you guys a head start in the right direction. Your mama and I won’t be alive forever, Samuel.”
My grandparents provided the foundation that allowed our family to be stable by the time I hit my preteen ages. I don’t remember much about my little brother Sean coming into the world since we’re only two years apart. Although, I clearly recall Benji coming along when I was about six years old, and boy was that a transition into the real world.
"Mmm, Sebastien. M. Bennett." Chelle purred, enunciating every syllable in my name. She planted her hands flat on the surface and continued bending over my desk further and further until every inch of her body and kinky curly hair rested comfortably.
No longer did the dress conceal her full bottom but instead rested on her back. Not soon enough, I cupped her ass cheeks, spreading them apart. My slacks had already hit the floor, and I was wholly sheathed, so sliding into a whirlwind of lust courtesy of Chelle was nothing.
Not even four strokes in, Chelle started panting and throwing it back as if her life depended on it. She was no lazy lover by a long shot. She put in work just as much as I did. I pulled the ends of the curly ‘fro that she rocked to perfection, watching each loose strand that was out of my reach bounce along the arch of her back, and that curve in her spine blew my mind.
She wasn’t a woman I planned to marry. I mean, Chelle was beautiful, could provide for herself, and her career as a journalist surpassed her peers. Several news outlets wanted her, and the offerings to have her weren’t slowing down. But Chelle was charting her own path with a journalistic career that allowed her to have a healthy personal and professional balance. How could I be mad at that? Too bad, I couldn’t provide her the long-term personal happiness that she was looking for. Chelle has never made it a secret that her end goal was to be a wife and mother, so she completely understood that what we had was on a timer. My workdays did not include a social life. I made it happen occasionally, but I felt no need to change too much since I was happily single. Chelle never made a big deal when I canceled dates, nor did she go on a rant. This was the main reason I kept her around, she understood the dynamics of what we had and didn’t expect anything more.
Ragged breaths lingered with perspiration filling the table. Chelle’s fingers gripped the edge for support, but then those moans got louder. My office was secluded from the other partnering attorneys, so I assumed no one could hear. But just in case, my palms hovered over her mouth, turning me on furthermore. The low inaudible grunts escaped my airway until I could feel the involuntary muscle contractions from Chelle's cove. I followed almost immediately, and seconds after I went over the edge, knocks filled the door.
I pulled out swiftly, maneuvering to the bathroom that was located inside my office. I requested one after we had plumbing issues in the beginning when we first moved into this location. The knock sounded harder and longer this time. “You can clean yourself up, I have washcloths and extra toiletries in the closet near the toilet.”
I finished cleaning myself with the soapy cloth and adjusted my pants and shirt while pulling the bathroom door shut. I strolled to answer the persistent knocking but was too late since the intruder barged in anyway. I looked up to the giant who stood four inches taller than me. At 6’3, I wasn’t a little dude, but no matter how old or big I got, my dad still seemed to be that man; tall, authoritative, and commanding. Whereas my brother Sean took after him in the looks department, I’d inherited most of his mannerisms… good and bad.
“Smells like sex in this room. Which is odd considering the size of this suite.” My dad kept rambling on and observing the area. I leaned against the built-in bookshelf, waiting. “Smeared handprints are all over the glass desk. And they’re too small to be yours.” His buff body settled into the black lounge, “is she still here?”
He walks in, interrogates me, and finds evidence to support his claim against the crime I so called committed in my own office. In that second, I realized just how irritating I probably came across to my non-lawyer friends and family. Witnessing my dad in action was a clear indicator of how I presented myself to others. You know the whole apple doesn’t fall far from the tree thing?
Instead of confessing, I sat behind the desk, propping up my elbows. “Mr. Bennett, sir, or if you don’t mind me summoning you by your informal moniker, Dad. It wasn’t too long ago that I came into your office, and your garments were quite disheveled as I happened to stumble over my mother's belongings. Not to mention the Harry Winston earrings that I bought her were on the floor in the corner panel of the window.” I reflected for a second considering how far I would carry on with the man who put me on this earth. “Is there anything of real value that you need to discuss with me, sir?”
My dad smiled in a teasing manner, being silly as he always was outside of the courtroom. As a man he’s always possessed a ton of personality, as an attorney, he smoothed it out by adding a dose of sarcasm. Many referenced me in the same manner, except I was a bit more serious and people didn’t know how to perceive me. Good.
“I’m married, Sebastien. I can make love to my woman wherever I please. And to be honest, that wasn’t a social call when she arrived at my office. She had done some incriminating things that I had to address. So, I taught her a lesson.” He had the nerve to smile after saying those unsavory things about my mother.
I stood quickly from my chair. “Dad, you gotta go. You will not do this to me today. I care about none of your sexual acts with my mother.” He followed me to the door and excused himself out, tittering down the hallway. “My firstborn, I love you. Instead of you having meaningless sex in your office with god knows who, you need to be thinking about settling down and bringing your mother and me some grandchildren.” He finished his statement and disappeared from my office as quickly as he appeared.
The only thing I could do was hope that Chelle didn’t get any ideas of being the one I settled down with. I know she was probably listening to my dad as she was in the bathroom washing away the evidence of our afternoon quickie. Shit, I needed to get a better lock on my office door.
Even though I was on the West coast, like clockwork, my body was up at 6 am Eastern Standard Time. Since it was only 3am here, I decided to go back to sleep for a couple more hours. Before turning in, I noticed a message from Riana. Up for surfing? Hit me back and let me know. This message wasn’t new at all. She sent it yesterday morning, and due to my hectic schedule, I forgot to message her back. In the response box, I had already started typing a few sentences but never finished it. I had to do better.
She wasn’t the only one I left hanging, my parents and I spoke only twice since my two weeks stay in California, which is beyond crazy since I usually speak to them several times a day. Let’s not mention my nonexistent sex life. There have been no fireworks since I went out with Lennox, who was funny, charming, and sexy as hell. Every time he called or texted, trying to follow up on our next outing, my career always took over. No one had clear access to me, including me. I needed to make myself more accessible so that I could enjoy myself.
I caught some z’s as planned before replying to Riana, who in return accepted our meet up for later that afternoon at Topanga Beach. Before I could head out and meet my homegirl, I only had a few hours to take two mandatory meetings, set my schedule for the week, and indulge in my daily addiction, Jeopardy. Yeah, lame as hell but who cares, Alex Trebek and I were something like homies!
Surprisingly, I wrapped everything up an hour earlier than expected and was dressed in my one-piece wetsuit. I double checked to make sure that I had all my needed equipment for our girls' day out at the beach.
The sun rays blinded me as I squeezed between two sedans, trying my best to park amongst the classic beauties. I squinted, glaring across from me, where Riana was already pulling out her pink and yellow surfboard. It takes no time for me to make my way over to her, “hey, girl!” I’m stoked, wrapping my arms around her neck. She mumbled her response, “Uh, hey,” Riana says sarcastically. The girl can’t help her funky behavior, and I love her more for it.
I pushed her away from me gently, “Don’t act like you’re not happy to see me because…”
“Imani hush, hell yeah, I’m happy to see you. I got so much to talk about.” She went on a rant, not even minding the harsh heat beating against our skin. The gentle winds are our saving grace.
“That nigga dick ain’t that fucking good where he thinks he can ignore me,” Riana said with all her might.
I smirked, waiting for her facial expression to break. Because all she talked about was his dick. I’m assuming Benji's dick?
“Don’t laugh at me, hoe!”
“Sorry, I can’t help it.” I hurled over as tears stained my cheeks. I tried to be serious, but I thought it was ironic that she was complaining about getting dick while I was just musing about my lack of it. “Wait.” I gathered the strands of hair hitting my face that threatened to block my visual of Riana. “So, you’re telling me that you and Benji haven’t talked in a month? No texting, no nothing?”
That question led to her informing me about two other events between them that added to her dismay of one Benjamin Bennett. We strolled towards the shore and prepped for our playtime on the beach. I applied wax to the board to keep me intact when I decided to do my courageous tricks on my blue surfboard but paused when Riana informed me that God has tortured her enough. Those words pissed me off. I’m not the most religious, but I take God’s word and promise to us seriously. I wouldn’t judge Riana, but I couldn’t let her live in the past and feel that her view of failure was His doing. “God doesn’t torture, Riana. Don’t say stuff like that. Honestly, life is what you make it. We’re all battling something, but our outlook and decisions are key in all of it.”
The raging waters came toppling over my feet when I decided to leave this conversation that stirred my soul. I couldn’t help storming off. Just a bit of fresh air would do to keep me from saying anything I’d regret to one of my dearest friends.
I twisted my neck around, trying to find relief from the pressure I’ve felt for some days. I couldn’t tell if it was stress from work or my body crying for a break. My mood instantly changed with the feel of the grainy sand rubbing against my leg as I strapped the leash that’s attached to my board onto my ankle. This. This right here seemed to melt all of my stress away. Knowing I’m about to catch a swell in the waters ahead. I lived and breathed for this time at the beach. Not only just the beach itself, but the recreational use it provided me. I enjoyed the flexibility in my career where I can pick up and go with ease and travel, especially when I found myself frequenting California. The only concern I have with living in Georgia is the inability to indulge in one of my favorite hobbies due to the geographical location, and the whole not having a beach thing.
A faint tingle starts to stir within my core. I needed this. The anticipation of dancing on the water has me smiling from ear to ear. Riana silently crept up to join me, and asks, “you ready to hit these waves or what?”
All the BS from earlier is no longer relevant. No matter what, if you place me in my element, I can’t stay mad. I smiled at my friend, whom I adored, shaking her wild mane. “Yes, Riana!” I screeched as we positioned ourselves on our boards.
We paddled out in the raging currents that seemed to have picked up in pressure in just a little bit of time. The longboard underneath me staggered uncontrollably as I got acclimated to the turbulence. “Whew, you see that? We gon’ catch some amazing waves today. I haven’t seen pressure like this in a while,” I squealed. I’ve been waiting for months to do this again. I can almost feel a tear about to slip as I anticipated becoming one with the water.
“Girl, that’s what I love about this beach, it boasts some of the best waves and the speeds are incredible.” Riana continued, but I have my attention on a beach house ahead that’s in line with the swell in the water that’s gaining momentum.
We drifted into the water, getting as close as possible to the action. The tension builds, and we can hear the hysterical cries of the sea. Its anger, turned into a force, moving us, viciously. I tightened my grip on the edge as I swung my body upward, landing on my feet.
Next to me, Riana stood with no effort, and I’m super proud of my girl. I introduced her to this happy place of mine, and she’s been killing it ever since.
With my body standing tall, I started to elevate. The water carried my weight as if gravity wasn't in charge. I scaled higher, and the gust of wind played musical melodies all around me. It’s an exhilarating experience, the momentum, the beat of my own heart tapping away through my eardrums, then the descent through the rocky waters. “I fucking love this!” I yelled at the top of my lungs, but no one can hear me because Riana and I are tossed in separate directions.
The waterfall plunged over my head while Riana rode the top of it on the other end. I pushed my feet forward, manipulating the water to send me into the angle I’m looking for. And just like that, Riana and I came crashing onto the beach, hyped and ready for another round at sea.
This is the most entertainment I’ve had in a while, and it made me more vigilant in finding a common median to keep me happy. Work and money are cool and necessary but living and spending time with those that matter beats all of it on any day.
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Sean and Chelsea's story had the drama, comedic flare, love, and plenty of sex. A friend's to lover story. Strong, bold, and smart female who didn't take crap from anyone. Male had to mature into a man, but handled his business. Lots Lots of obstacles and barriers to overcome but worth the fight. Like the supporting characters.
Hands down the best read I've had in a while. I love Sean's personality and his story with Chelsea. This book had some much action and my emotions were everywhere! I found myself happy, sad, angry and shed a few tears. But OMG I love the other characters too. Riana had me dying laughing. I can not wait for the next series. I hope you do Benjis story next!!
I cried and laugh through the whole story. The love Chelsea and Sean shared felt so real. Very relatable but more than anything the story was a mix of love, drama, hurt but the ending was everything. I love a man that has a heart but can show the hell out if they have too. I’m ready for part 2. Hope it’s Benji this time and Riana because Riana is funny as crap.
Great story to read and kept me wanting more. Chelsea was a freak for Sean and was the same for her. This is a great friends to lovers read. I wonder if they invited Randall since they were cool now. I know this next book gonna be a hot mess with benji and riana nasty self.
This book was so real I felt like I was watching it on t v. Everyone had an awesome part, not planned just lived. You are an excellent writer keep up the good work. I was so busy reading the two books I didn't leave a review for the first book now I can.
Loved Benji and Riana. Benji was so sure of himself. cocky and confident. All sexy traits. Glad to see his family issues didn't become his downfall. Riana had her own issues and dealt with them a lot differently, but the two balanced one another out, even though Riana tried to fight it. Great read.
I enjoyed this story and already looking forward to the next one in the Bennett series. This story had drama, humor, and most of all steamy love scenes. Ri was a bit high strong at times and I think Benji was able to mellow her out. They both did their share of dealing with other people, but they always made their way back to each other. The story had some interesting turns with the other characters and the struggles they had to be overcome. I would definitively recommend you give this book a go. well done Ms. Marie.
The second story was good. Some of the rehash from the first book was spot on. The family dynamic on both parts in the story was deep. Family secrets can be a force to reckon with. Let's see what happens with the third Bennett brother.
I read the first book I liked it. When I saw the second book was out, I knew I had to read it. Once again I was not disappointed. Cant wait for the next story in the Bennett series.
This book was so freaking good
From the story line to the characters
I can’t wait to read more form the author
Whew... Benji & Rianna were taken through the wringer in Unjust Love; by each other and their families! It seemed that every time they took two steps forward, life happened and the setbacks seemed as if they would never stop. Although they were both highly successful in their respective careers, that didn't stop them from experiencing things would have broken the average person. I was so happy that through it all they were able to find their happily ever after!
Now I am ready for Lexi & Shooter... Like really ready for these two as well as Imani and Sebastien.
Kinda wish the 3rd book was out already
But this was a really good read.