Since Victoria’s awakening, she’s had an entirely new outlook on life.
She was happy, and it felt good. Her clients were making great progress.
She was living life.
She reconnected with high school friends and spent weekends with
them. She also picked up two more hobbies: pottery and belly dancing.
Her life was full. She tucked away those feelings she had for Kevin
and focused only on herself.
Periodically, she’d visit her office to see how the construction was
coming along, and it was up to par! Kevin Meadows had a great team
that worked long and hard hours. Their work was flawless.
During her occasional visits, Kevin would suggest little things, like
them going to lunch together or grabbing coffee, but she always declined
by making excuses like she’d already eaten or had other plans.
However, she always left it open and didn’t completely shut him out
by letting him know if he had any questions regarding the work, he was
more than welcome to call her. This was her subtle way of letting Kevin
know the relationship between them was strictly professional.
By now, she knew he was only being friendly. But she also knew
with his friendliness, it wouldn’t be long before she’d develop feelings
for him, so she played it safe by not opening up that can of worms.
“Hey, Kevin. I just wanted to stop by one more time.”
He looked puzzled. “One more time?”
42 ADE’ KNIGHT
“Yes, I’m going on vacation for a month. By the time I return, I’m
sure the job will be done here. So I guess this is it. I won’t see you
anymore unless I need some work done. I suppose this is a thank-you
and good-bye.” She smiled, protruding her jaw to the left.
She can’t go! I need to talk to her. What do I do?
All this time, just as he was on her mind, she was on his mind too!
But Kevin too pushed his feelings down not only because he was seeing
someone but also because he didn’t feel good enough for Victoria. He
thought she deserved someone who could put her in a million-dollar
home and take her on thousand-dollar vacations.
Little did he know she could and had done those things for herself.
I guess this is good-bye, he thought to himself sadly.
“Aw, man, I hate I won’t get to see the look on your face when you
see the finished product.”
“Well, sweetheart, you have a safe trip, and hopefully I’ll hear from
He reached to hug her. He held her tight. She could’ve melted in his
arms. His embrace felt like being home, like it was her sanctuary. He
felt so good. He smelled so clean. She didn’t want him to let go, and he
didn’t want to let her go, but he knew he had to.
“You will. I’ll call you and thank you again after I see the masterpiece
“I’m looking forward to it.”
He went back to work, and she left to go home.
This was hard. On her drive home, she found herself feeling very
emotional and having to fight back tears.
HOT LOINS 43
What is wrong with me? Why am I about to cry? What is this sadness
I’m feeling? My feelings are just all over the place! It can’t be Kevin, and
if it is, why does he have me feeling like this? I don’t even know him!
You know what. It’s not about him. It’s simply frustration. He’s
someone that maybe I would be with, and he’s unavailable. My goodness,
can anyone I am interested in ever be available?
No, I can’t sink back into that funk! I refuse to go back there! Pull
it together, Victoria! I’ve been doing well just doing me! I refuse to go
back. I’m going to go home, pull out my checklist for everything I need
overseas, pack, go to bed, and get ready to meet my girls tomorrow
morning at the airport.
Once she was home, Victoria grabbed her luggage and packed. She
read off her checklist aloud, “Electric toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash,
razors, shower gel, lotion, shoes, swimsuits, sunglasses, thongs, and an
outfit for every day! All checks.”
She scanned her bedroom to see if there was anything else around she
may need. She couldn’t think of anything, then shrugged her shoulders
and thought, Whatever I’m missing, I’ll just have to get when I’m there.
Phew, I’m tired. That was work! Okay, what else do I need to do? Oh, let
me tidy up a bit, then I need to make a couple phone calls.
“Hey, Terra, I just wanted to call and thank you again for looking after
Blueberry, Sampson, and Delilah while I’m on vacation. Yes, their food
is still where I always keep it. And please, no table food.” She laughed.
“Oh, I’ll be walking out of the door no later than five a.m. Yes, I’m
meeting Noel and Paula at the airport. We all have seats next to each other.
I know. I wish you could be there too. That will be next, we’ll plan a trip
we can go on next time. Great, sounds good! Oh, okay, will do.”
She repeated sarcastically, “I promise to call you when I get there
and as soon as I land back in Florida. Love you too.”
She hung up and called her mom next.
44 ADE’ KNIGHT
“Hi, Mom. Yes, I have everything I need for my trip. I’m going to miss
you too. Yes, I’ll call you if I need anything. Is Dad close by? Okay . . .
Hi, Daddy! Yes, we’ll be staying in a safe area. No need to worry. Okay,
Dad, I love you too. Tell Mom I’ll call her when I land. Love you guys.
Victoria checked in with everyone she needed to call. She brought
her luggage downstairs and placed it by the front door so all she would
have to grab in the morning were her purse, keys, ticket, and passport.
She set the alarm for the house and went back upstairs.
As soon as her head hit the pillow, her cell rang. She didn’t recognize
the number with the area code 954. Who could this be at this hour?
Michael had kind of fell off. She hadn’t heard from him since he called
last. Sean had a 561 area code, and Victoria had pretty much cut him off
after he showed his true colors that night he tried to sleep with her.
If this is Sean calling from someone else’s number, it’s going to be on!
“Hi, may I speak to Victoria, please?
“Speaking, may I ask who’s calling?”
“This is Kevin.”
She couldn’t believe it! Her mouth was wide open as she lay in bed
“Hello, are you there?”
“I’m sorry, I’m here. This call was just unexpected.”
“I hope my calling you at this hour is okay.”
“It’s fine, so umm, is everything okay at the office? Do I need to
postpone my trip?”
“Oh no, everything is fine. I just wanted to call and tell you again to
have a safe trip.”
“Oh, okay. Thanks again.”
Kevin asked enthusiastically, “So, where are you going?”
HOT LOINS 45
She was thrilled to be talking to Kevin about something other than
“Costa Rica. I’ve never been, but everyone I’ve talked to who
has visited say they’ve had a blast! And I’ve heard the beaches are
She felt herself rambling only because she was excited and, for some
reason, nervous all at the same time.
That was okay with Kevin; he was glad he got her talking. He was a
listener and enjoyed listening to her talk.
“Really! I’ve never been, but that’s where my mother is originally
from. She’s shared some good stories about growing up there. I want to
go one of these days.”
He continued, “I love beaches too. I love being by water. As a matter
of fact, once I get some things in order, I’m going to buy a condo on the
“I wish I knew you wanted to visit Costa Rica. I would’ve invited
you to come along.”
“Thank you, that would be very nice, but I work a lot . . . seven days
a week and fourteen-hour days. I barely have any time to myself.”
“Wow, how long have you been working like this with no break?”
“Ever since I was able to work. I’d say since I was, like, sixteen. So
that’s fourteen years without a vacation.”
“Wow, you have to take a break. You don’t want to burn yourself
“You’re right, but when business is booming like this, I can’t afford
to pass it up. I’m not complaining though. God is truly blessing me.”
This man is educated, works hard, sounds like he loves his mother, kind,
and believes in God . . . I didn’t think they still made them like this.
“You’re amazing.” She covered her mouth with her hand. Shoot, I
shouldn’t have said that.
46 ADE’ KNIGHT
“I think you’re an amazing woman too!”
Victoria felt a little discomfort, not because she was expressing her
feelings, but because she was expressing her feelings to someone who
was obviously in love with another woman.
She could’ve talked to him all night long, but she knew she had to
pull back, so she decided to end the call.
“Well, thanks again for calling me to wish me a good trip. I really
appreciate it. But I’m gonna go now and get some shut-eye . . . gotta
“You’re welcome, sweetheart. I’ll see you when you get back.”
He called me sweetheart! “G’night.”
After ending the call, she was ecstatic! She jumped out of the bed
and paced the floor. She couldn’t stop smiling. She jumped back in bed
and started thinking.
I wonder what made him call me. He had to be thinking about me!
He thinks I’m amazing. What about me amazes him? And he said, “I’ll
see you when you get back.” Does that mean he wants to meet up? Is he
gonna call me when he thinks I’m back? I love it when he gives me little
pet names. That has to mean something.
Wait, I’m doing exactly what Terra told me not to do. Analyzing
and overthinking things. Look at me acting like I’m back in middle
Yeah, I need this vacation. It’s getting kinda pathetic . . . I’m not used
to anything and grabbing on to whatever comes my way! Like T said,
take it for what it is. He called to wish me a safe trip. That’s it. Okay.
Calm down. That’s all it is.
She finally calmed down and dozed off to sleep.
The following morning, she woke up with a smile, thinking about
Kevin and the phone call she received from him. It was hard for her not
HOT LOINS 47
to think about it. After all, she had been admiring this man from afar for
the past month and a half, and the more she learned about him, the more
Still, though it was hard, she tried to keep her focus on the trip and
all the things she planned to do while on vacation.
She called her girlfriends and told them she was on her way to the
Check-in went rather smoothly. They all arrived at the airport two
hours early. To pass the time, Victoria, Noel, and Paula excitedly discussed
their anticipated plans for Costa Rica, which included lounging on the
resort and partying with the natives.
They snacked on food they bought from the airport and read magazines
until it was time to board their flight.
Once they settled in their seats on the plane, Noel said, “What if I
meet a man and don’t want to come back?”
Paula rolled her eyes and responded, “Girl, we are going there to
have fun. That’s it. Ain’t nobody worried ’bout no man or trying to get
Victoria thought to herself, Yeah, I’m here for fun too, and besides, my
man is here in the States! Oooh, where did that come from? I’m single.
I don’t have a man . . . yet. She chuckled to herself.
Victoria agreed. “That’s right, ladies. It’s all about us right now and
having a great time.” She leaned her head back on the seat with a subtle
smile on her face.
When directed by the flight attendant to do so, they all leaned their
seats back to a reclining position and enjoyed the flight.
After a layover for a few hours, they finally landed in the beautiful
country of Costa Rica that evening. They were shuttled to the resort
where they’d be staying. It was directly on the beach, and the scenery
was gorgeous at night.
48 ADE’ KNIGHT
People were lively and friendly. There were many people out. Live
bands played Latin music, people danced, and couples loved each
The weather was gorgeous! The air smelled clean, and the breeze
was crisp and warm.
When they reached their time-share, they were speechless! The large
beds were made up perfectly. They could walk directly to the beach from
their room. Real palm trees accented the spacious suite. It had a real
tropical feel to it.
The resort delivered a bottle of chilled champagne and a large basket
of fresh fruit to the suite as a welcome gift. The fruit basket was beautiful
and colorful. It was loaded with grapes, strawberries, bananas, mangoes,
star fruit, guavas, papaya, cherries, pineapple, and watermelon to name
Several hours later after the friends settled in, they grew tired and
were ready for bed; however, before going to bed, they decided to pop
open the complimentary bottle of champagne to celebrate their arrival.
Paula filled the three glasses.
They started to take a sip before Victoria stepped in and said, “Wait.
I want to make a toast.”
They stopped before the glass touched their lips.
“First, I want to thank you girls for coming with me. And let’s promise
each other on this trip we will have no reservations. We’ll have fun and
let loose. Hey, what happens in Costa Rica stays in Costa Rica!” Victoria
said with excitement.
Paula added, “Well, all right now. That’s what I’m talking about. Let
the good times begin!”
In unison, they all said, “Cheers!”
They sipped their drinks until their glasses were empty, then went
HOT LOINS 49
Victoria said, “G’night, ladies. See y’all in the morning.”
They responded, “Night, Vicky.”
Still a bit wired about the upcoming festivities, the ladies found it
difficult to sleep at first, but eventually, all fell asleep several minutes