(AUTHOR'S NOTE: I apologize for the lateness of this chapter addition; this series didn't receive as much attention as the others and I thought it was time for Duke and Quinn to give up but the feedback I have received for this has been overwhelming, so I hope you enjoy)
I was going to win Duke Erving back if it was the last thing I did. I knew what we had was too strong to just let die. I knew it and I knew he knew it. Our love was real.
And if I had to skank it up a bit, I was going to.
A week after Duke had saved me from that horrifying near-death experience, I still hadn't heard from him so I decided to be aggressive in my approach to him. Wearing a pair of what could only be described as fluro pink booty shorts and a tight white t-shirt with the word "Holler" printed on it in black font. His wedding was in two weeks so I have exactly 14 days to stop it.
Armed with a plate of freshly-made chocolate chip cookies, I drove over to his apartment complex, waltzed up the elevator and knocked on his apartment door. Several moments later, Duke answered the door with a very surprised look on his face.
'Quinn?' he mumbled.
With a big smile plastered on my face, I weaved passed him and into his apartment. I placed the cookies down on the kitchen counter and took a seat on the counter stool, making sure to flash Duke some leg, knowing that it was his favourite part of my body.
Duke followed me with a confused look on his face and eyed the batch of cookies suspiciously.
'What are you doing here?'
'Well, I never properly thanked you for saving me from that brutal assault last week, so here I am,' I said happily.
Soon, Duke's bedroom door opened and appeared a petite little blonde woman I assumed to be Maria. This didn't startle me or even put me off; in fact, I had hoped for this to happen.
'Maria, this is Quinn. Quinn, this is Maria.'
Maria looked at me and then her eyes widened. She recognised me from all the publicity Duke and I had received previously.
'Pleasure to meet you, Quinn,' she said, extending her hand out for me to take.
Refraining myself from slapping her across the face, I shook her hand and greeted her. When she turned around, I gave her the once over and saw that everything about her was tiny; her breasts, her ass, her stature. She was like a pixie. I looked down at her legs and they weren't even what Duke liked. I knew I had this one in the bag.
'Duke told me what happened to you last week,' said Maria as she helped herself to one of my cookies, reminding me next time to poison one especially for her, 'I'm so sorry you had to go through all that. That is the most terrible thing I've ever heard. Are you okay?'
'Absolutely,' I exclaimed.
Thinking on my feet, I reached over to Duke's fruit bowl and grabbed a banana and quickly peeled it. I began to eat it suggestively in front of the couple; while Duke was completely oblivious to my attempt at humour, Maria was eyeing me like a hawk and then she'd turn back to Duke to see if he was seeing the exact same thing she was.
'I'm so excited to get married,' Maria broke the silence, 'it's always been a dream of mine to get married on the beach.'
I had to admit that hit a nerve with me. Duke and I would often ponder about a wedding on the beach as I knew he loved his sand and surf. I quickly recovered and continued giving head to the banana.
'How are you Duke? Are things going okay?' I asked him, completely ignoring Maria's attempt to make me jealous.
'Fine,' he mumbled as he stood there awkwardly in the kitchen, not knowing whether to put his arm around Maria or eat one of my tempting cookies. He soon chose the latter and bit into them; he immediately groaned in pleasure and quickly down the cookie and went for a second. I smiled; I knew what made Duke's stomach happy.
'Nice shorts,' pointed out Maria.
'Thank you, I made them myself,' I said proudly.
Maria excused herself and disappeared back into the bedroom not before leaving a kiss on Duke. After the door had shut behind her, Duke's gaze penetrated me almost aggressively.
'What are you doing here?' he asked me quietly.
'I am simply just thanking you for saving me,' I said innocently.
Duke opened his mouth to reply but then he finally noticed me eating the banana and he froze; a slight smile even came across his face before he snapped back to reality and finished his fourth cookie.
'I don't think it's a wise idea that you be here right now,' he explained.
'On the contrary,' I said, getting off the stool and walking to him, 'I think it's a great idea.'
Duke backed away into the kitchen sink and I stood only inches in front of him, my nose almost touching his. His breath caressed my face and he closed his eyes as if to say he was welcoming me although he knew he shouldn't.
'I miss you Duke,' I whispered.
'I miss you too,' he mumbled.
I left him a soft kiss before returning back to my stool just in time as Maria appeared in a skimpy little summer dress. She grabbed another cookie and sat down on the sofa, switching the TV on to watch some renovation TV show.
'I think I should head off now,' I suggested.
'I'll walk you out,' said Duke.
I walked passed Maria, froze and then turned to face her. She looked at me menacingly as if she was trying to intimidate me but I bounced it right back to her with a plastic smile.
'It was lovely meeting you, Maria,' I said.
'Likewise,' she replied.
Duke followed me to the front door and opened it for me. I spun around and faced him as he stood in the doorway looking at me with such love in his eyes.
'I don't know if it's a good idea if you come around anymore,' he said, knowing that Maria couldn't hear us.
'Why?' I said as I approached him.
'B-b-because,' he stuttered.
'Because you might love me more?'
I planted a kiss on Duke's neck and I heard him sigh and felt him crane his neck, inviting me to kiss him some more but I pushed myself off him and looked up at the love of my life. His eyes bore into mine and he looked as if he was in a state of regret.
'Why are you doing this to me?' he whispered.
'Because I love you, Duke, I love you and I know you love me and I know what we have is real and I know you know that's true.'
Duke looked over his shoulder and then back to me. I glanced down and grabbed his hand, sighing wtih relief as I felt his warm masculine hand cradle mine for the first time in a while. His thumb rubbed the back of my hand and I looked up at him to see him smiling at me.
'I'll make you a deal,' he said, not denying what I had just told him, 'I'll swing by tomorrow morning and we can have breakfast together. Nothing more than just a breakfast where we can talk. Is that okay?'
'That sounds perfect,' I said.
Duke let go of my hand and smiled at me so sweetly. I was dying to leap into his arms and kiss him and tell him to hold me and never let go but I knew now wasn't the time, so I opted for a simple pat on his broad shoulder and I left him standing in the doorway staring at me as I walked away.
As the elevator door shut in front of me, I collapsed against the wall and thought about Duke. My love for him was so strong. I had to get him back or I wouldn't know what to do with myself.