pomegranate

Felicia Brooks lifted her head from the bowl of snap peas and gaped in Tunde’s direction. “Silas, please tell me your brother is kidding…” Her brow furrowed in concern. “You’re kidding right?”

Silas leaned back on his chair, folding his arms across his chest as he smirked in amusement at his older brother. “Wish I could, beautiful. He’s very serious.”

Tunde smirked at the disbelief displayed plainly on her face. “What’s the matter?”

She sighed patiently. “Tunde, you can’t just propose marriage to someone you haven’t even dated. That doesn’t make sense.” She glanced over at Silas. “Hold on. Does that mean she’ll get introduced to your mother before me?”

“Uh-oh,” Tunde muttered as the smile fell from Silas’ face.

“Silas…” Felicia urged, dropping the half-peeled stalk into the bowl.

The two brothers shared a glance before Silas turned back to his girlfriend. “The girl has to agree first before that. He can’t very well drag her to see our mother.” He frowned at his brother. “At least I hope not.”

Felicia whipped her head back to Tunde and the amused grin fell off his face. “Just do me a favor, Tunde.”

“What’s that?” Tunde asked, his expression serious.

“At least try to be a normal man and go out on several dates with the girl. At least before you decide to drag her to meet your mother.” Felicia raised one shapely brow. “If after that I still don’t meet your mother first, I’ll know never to forgive your brother.”

“Hey!” Silas protested, sitting up in his seat. His eyes were wide as saucers as he gaped at his girlfriend of many years. “What did I do now?”

Felicia rolled her eyes, adjusting the bowl on her lap. “Good question, Silas Halliday. What have you done?”

Tunde fought a laugh when Silas turned his questioning gaze to him. “I’ll let you guys figure that out. I’m off.” He stepped away from the counter and walked over to pick up his suit jacket draped over the couch. “Felicia…”

She lifted her head again, brow still furrowed.

“Mom’s coming in two weeks and I promised to cook. If you don’t mind helping…”

Both her shapely brows lifted and her lips curled up in a knowing smile. “Thanks Tunde.” She cut Silas a glare. “I’ll think about it.”

“Now you’ve done it, Tunde,” Silas groaned, shaking his head at his brother.

“Stop sitting on it,” Tunde said sternly, shrugging on the jacket. “And Felicia, if he doesn’t come around by then, you have my permission to break up with him.”

“Hey!!”

Felicia giggled over Silas’ loud protesting, her eyes dancing with mirth at Silas’ brother, recalling the last time Tunde came by her place to plead Silas’ case to give him one more chance. She nodded. “Yes sir.”

Tunde nodded stiffly although a soft smile played at his lips. “See you later then.” He turned to the door, waving over his shoulder.

A few minutes after Tunde had exited Silas’ apartment, Felicia nudged Silas’ leg with her foot.

“Woman, let me rest. I’m thinking.”

Felicia rolled her eyes. “That’s your problem. You think too much.” She glanced quickly at the door before turning back to face him. “Do you think he’ll do it?”

He eyed her suspiciously as she leaned her head in, eyes keen on his face. “Do what?”

“Propose, silly.” She bit her bottom lip.

Silas sighed. “I don’t know. My brother is a very intense individual. Sees something he wants and he goes for it.”

“Unlike someone I know…” Felicia raised a hand before Silas could protest. “Have you met her?”

“No…” Silas hesitated, not sure he liked the look in Felicia’s eyes.

“Good. Ask your brother to double date with us.”

He scowled. “Felicia, no.”

“Why not?” her brows lifted. “It’ll be good to see the woman that could be your sister-in-law. And mine, if you get off your cowardly behind!” She smacked his leg before returning her attention to the bowl of peas.

Silas frowned, pulling his leg from her reach. “Are you serious…?”

“About what?”

“About meeting her?”

Felicia rolled her eyes. “No, I just felt like saying that.”

“That’s not a bad idea…” He eyed her carefully. “She’s at the Texas Medical Center.”

Felicia’s fingers stilled and she looked up at Silas. “Really now…”

Silas nodded hesitantly, noting the hooded look in her eyes that was equally disconcerting.

“That’s very good…” The young woman said, lowering her eyes back to the bowl. “Very good.”

“Don’t harass her.”

Felicia laughed. “If scoping her out is harassing her, I’m not going to make that promise.”

“Felicia—”

“Until you get serious, Silas Halliday, I have no intention of hearing what you have to say about this matter.”

Silas threw an exasperated glare at the ceiling. “I am serious about you.”

She frowned at him. “Then why can’t you grow some and introduce me to your mother?” Felicia clenched her jaw. “My parents are wondering. I’m wondering. Heck, even Tunde is wondering. Why on earth are you dancing around it? Are you ashamed of me?”

He blinked at her, stunned. “A…ashamed?”

Felicia shook her head, placing the bowl on the table. “I’ve said enough and had enough of this conversation. I’m going home.” She rose to her feet.

Silas grabbed her wrist to stop her from stepping around him. “Wait a minute.” He peered up at her. “What does that mean? Ashamed. Me?”

“I get that I’m not the docile Nigerian girl your mother wanted for you,” Felicia said stiffly. “I know she will be disappointed but doesn’t my love and adoration count for anything? Am I wasting my time waiting for you?” Her eyes glistened with tears and she lifted her head to push them back.

He rose to his feet and reached for her shoulders, forcing her to look up at him. “That’s not what I’m doing, Felicia. You have to believe me.” His heart was racing. How long had she felt like this?

She shook her head, wriggling under his hold. “I’m tired of hearing that. It’s like hot air on my face now.”

Silas swallowed hard. “I’m the one that doesn’t want you to be ashamed of me.”

Felicia blinked at him. “What…?”

He closed his eyes, not wanting to see the look on her face. “I’m not smart like Tunde or like you. I don’t care for the traditional means of making money. I am a mechanic by hobby and by trade.” He forced himself to look at her, wishing to see the love in her eyes that would dispel his doubts. “I know your parents didn’t like the idea of me, a mechanic, being with their soon-to-be doctor daughter. I’m trying my best to prove them otherwise.”

She didn’t say a word, just stared at him.

Silas sighed haggardly and dropped his hands from her shoulders. “I want very much to marry you, Felicia. And I plan on doing that… Just let me prove to your parents that I can take care of you forever.”

“You’re a clown.”

He blinked at her. “Huh?”

Felicia’s lips curled in a gentle smile and she shuffled closer, reaching for his hands. “I don’t care about all that, you fool. I love you and want very much to be your wife. My parents will support whatever decision I make about my heart. They cannot govern my choice.” She lifted his arm to drape over her shoulder. “And I choose you, Silas Halliday, so stop wasting both our time and just ask me to marry you already.”

A crooked smile tugged at his lips as he stared at this outspoken, intelligent woman. “I’m a very lucky man.”

“You better not forget it.” Felicia stood on her tiptoes and placed her mouth against his. “And don’t make me wait much longer…”

<<Part 7 || Part 9>>

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