Persuading Patrice, A Climax Creek Short
©2014, by Kianna Alexander
Erotic Romance- African American
Heat Level: Light Erotic- love scenes are detailed and explicit. All love scenes depict activity between one adult man and one adult woman, where both parties consent.
Setting/Time Period: Contemporary/Present Day. The story takes place in the fictional town of Climax Creek, North Carolina.
Length: Persuading Patrice is a novella, approximately 20,700 words in length.
Themes: This story explores the themes of “friends to lovers” and “rags to riches”.
Books Like This: If you enjoy the erotic works by authors like Yvette Hines and Angie Daniels, you will likely enjoy this erotic romance short by Kianna Alexander.
Welcome to Climax Creek, North Carolina
“Built on Tradition, Moving Toward the Future”
Climax Creek is a small, quaint town situated between Greensboro and Sanford in North Carolina. Bordered by I-85 and three North Carolina state highways, it’s occupied by less than sixteen hundred people. Climax Creek is the kind of town where you won’t find a Starbucks, but you can get a great cup of coffee from Paulina down at Cool Beans. Watch out for Paulina- she’ll talk your ear off if you let her. Down at Phipps Pharmacy, Quinn Phipps has got a cure for whatever might be ailing you. Say the wrong thing to your significant other? Minnie Hughes has got an “apology special” running down at her flower shop- she’ll fix you up. Feel the need for some spiritual guidance? Climax Creek has four churches- take your pick. If you’re looking for something fancy and pretentious, this isn’t the place. But if you’re looking for a little Southern comfort, the kind that you can’t get out of a bottle, then stop on by.
The Playa of Guilford County…
Dalton Dunn is the playboy son of the wealthiest family in Climax Creek. His reputation for being a serial dater is well known, and in the past has been a point of pride for him. Now, with all his siblings paired off and in relationship bliss, he’s beginning to rethink the way he’s been living his life. But if the infamous Dalton Dunn is going to settle down with a woman, not just any woman will do. She has to be his equal.
A Woman Who Knows Her Worth…
Patrice Nelson leads a pretty quiet life, working at Minnie’s Marvelous Blooms and dreaming of a career in interior design. She enjoys the company of gentlemen, and dates as widely as her high standards will allow. She’s never looked at Dalton as more than an acquaintance, but when he approaches her with an intriguing offer to be the woman on his arm, she’s somehow drawn into his plan. Not one to back down, she lays out her own challenge.
A Daring Challenge…
Dalton is sure he can win Patrice, and she’s sure she can resist him. When he asks her to take a chance on him, she agrees; conditionally. Her terms are simple: if he can win her heart in one week, then she’ll be his forever.
Taking a drink from his glass of ginger ale, Dalton watched his date’s body language. Carrie was a beautiful woman, but everything about the way she’d behaved tonight made it obvious she was nervous about something. She’d been drumming her fingers on the marble surface of the bar for the entire hour they’d been sitting there, and she kept glancing around, as if she were waiting for someone.
“Carrie, are you sure you’re alright? You seem very on edge.”
She answered with an anxiety laced giggle. “Nonsense, Dalton. I’m having a marvelous time.”
“If you say so, baby.” He set his glass down, unconvinced, but didn’t want to press her. It was their first date, after all. There were several rules he chose to abide by on first dates: he didn’t drink alcohol, always met his date in a public place, and didn’t pry into her personal life. Those guidelines had served him well, so he intended to stick to them.
He was about to ask her if she’d like an appetizer when he saw her body stiffen. Though they were both perched on bar stools, her back suddenly went board straight, and her eyes grew so big and wide they tripled in size. Her wide-eyed gaze was focused on something, or someone behind him.
Wondering what in the hell she was looking at, he turned around. Seeing the man in a tan suit storming across the room toward them, he closed his eyes and cursed. “Dammit, Carrie. Who is that?”
“My…my…husband.” She stammered the words.
With all the incredulity he felt, he shouted, “You’re married?”
By then, Mr. Tan Suit pressed past him to grip Carrie’s arm. “You’re damn right, she’s married. And who the hell are you?”
Looking into the man’s expectant eyes, he shook his head. What was he supposed to do, introduce himself and shake hands with him? He decided to take the honest road. “I apologize. I didn’t know she was married, honestly.”
“Hmph.” Mr. Tan Suit straightened his tie. “In any case, we’re leaving. And I’ll expect you to keep your distance from my wife, jack.”
Dalton shook his head. “Oh, don’t worry. Neither of you will ever see me again.” He looked to Carrie, whose gaze never rose from the floor.
While Mr. and Mrs. Tan Suit made their exit, Dalton turned back to his ginger ale. With the date being over, and having ended the way it had, he really wanted a whiskey. But to save himself the cab fare and the hassle of returning to retrieve his car, he decided to stick to the light stuff.
“Ricky, let me get another ginger ale, please.” He slid his glass into the waiting hand of the bartender. “Make it a double.”
With a chuckle, Ricky obliged him, returning a taller glass filled with crushed ice and the bubbly gold liquid. Knocking back a long draw, Dalton set the glass down and fished into his pocket for his wallet.
Before he could pull out the money to cover his and his former date’s drinks, a tall, shapely figure swung up onto the stool Carrie had vacated. The moment she sat down, he recognized her scent. The citrus and floral perfume wafted up his nostrils, and he smiled.
She turned his way, and the look of shock on her face made it obvious she hadn’t noticed him before. “Dalton. What are you doing here?” He replied, “I was on a date.”
Her eyes rolled as recalled their earlier conversation. “Oh, yeah, I remember now. So, where is she?” She looked around, as if expecting his date to appear at any moment.
“She and her husband just left.” He didn’t bother to hide the annoyance in his tone.
Patrice whistled. “Wow.”
“Wow” was right. He couldn’t believe he’d wasted his time on her. He shrugged. “That’s life. What about you? Weren’t you out on a date tonight?”
She nodded, then waved to the bartender. “Can I have a Sprite with a slice of lemon, please?”
As Ricky fixed her drink, Dalton wondered if she were avoiding his question. Curious, he repeated it.
She sighed. “My date was a jerk, so I walked out on him.” Capturing the glass set before her, she took a sip.
He watched her long, graceful fingers wrap around the glass, and followed its journey to her full, pink glossed lips. She tipped it back, and her hair fell away to reveal the slender line of her neck and shoulders. By the time she set the glass down again, he could feel a stirring in his gut. Or maybe just a little lower than that.
“The odds of us both coming to this bar after each of us had a crappy date are pretty slim, aren’t they?” He rested his elbow on the bar, awaiting her answer.
She pursed her lips, looked thoughtful. “I guess so. I’ve only been here once before, but it’s the only bar I know in Winston. I don’t really do bars, but somehow tonight I ended up here.”
His eyes were locked on her shiny pink lips. Why hadn’t he noticed how full and luscious-looking they were before now? Since he was drinking ginger ale, his mind should be sharp. Still, he felt as if he were under the influence of something much more potent than alcohol.
As she noticed him staring, she gave him a grin, the corners of her lips lifting. “What’s wrong, Dalton? Gonna let one bad date take you out of the game?”
“I might, if you’ll go with me.” The words were out before he could stop himself.
Her beautiful smile changed to a look of confusion. “Dalton, what are you talking about? What’s in that glass, anyway?”
“It’s ginger ale. The only thing that’s influencing me right now is you.”
She laughed, tossing her head back, the curled ends of her hair bobbing and bouncing. “Dalton is this your idea of a joke? I appreciate it, because after the night I’ve had I could use the laugh.”
Seeing her laugh stirred his insides even more. Taking in the full picture of her, in the long black skirt with a teasing split up her right leg, and the close fitting blue top that matched the high heeled sandals on her feet, he licked his lips. He was used to seeing Patrice in athletic wear at the track, or in uniform at the flower shop. Seeing her dolled up for a date did something to him, something he never would have expected.
She noticed his eyes traveling over her body, because she ceased laughing.
Their gazes met, locked.
The pink lips parted, but no words came out. Only a small sighing sound escaped.
Emboldened, he reached for her hand and took in it his. “Aren’t you tired of the dating scene, Patrice? Wouldn’t you want to enjoy having just one man in your life, one who’d treat you like a queen?”
She didn’t answer for a moment, still staring into his eyes. Finally, she stammered a response. “Sure…I guess. But what does that have to do with you?”
He could tell she didn’t see the potential for them, and he didn’t blame her. They’d always traded war stories on their dates, and she probably thought of him as a player. But in that moment, he realized he wanted to change that image of him in her mind. “I can be that man, if you let me.”
She blinked a few times, never taking her eyes off of him. “You’re serious, aren’t you?”
He nodded. “Very.”
“I don’t know about this, Dalton.” Her copper eyes held uncertainty.
“I understand your hesitation. I may have gone insane, but something about tonight, us meeting here this way–just give me a shot.”
She closed her eyes momentarily.
When she looked at him again, she let a small smile show through. “Tell you what. I’ll give you one week to show me you’re serious. One week to win me. Accomplish that mission, and I’m all yours.”
That satisfied him. He reached for his glass, drained the last to of his soda. “You won’t regret it, baby. And if you don’t mind, I’d like to start tonight.”
She brushed a lock of hair behind her ear. The pink lips parted. “Sounds good to me.”
Tossing a twenty dollar bill down on the counter, he caught her hand, helped her off the stool, and escorted her out of the bar.