Hello there! This time around on Sunday Cozy Sample you’re going to be introduced to Gabriel Saxton from Chasing After Love. He and his family are a cast of new characters I’m introducing to readers. I hope you enjoy meeting him!
The problem with Sylvia, as Gabe saw it, was that she expected him to ditch his work to escort her around town to the high-society parties she enjoyed attending. As if standing around listening to her friends brag about how much they donated to poor unfortunate kids in less desirable neighborhoods (translation: the ghetto). He found her little circle of minions shallow considering most of them were a few generations removed from the ghetto. Him and Sylvia included.
Nah, Gabe would rather be in his lab developing medications to improve the lives of all people, but especially those who looked like him. He didn’t have time to traipse around with Sylvia when he was on the cusp of a major breakthrough. After painstaking months, he figured out the sequence of chemical bonds to the molecules needed to manufacture a new drug for hypertension. Hopefully, hundreds of thousands of lives would be positively impacted in the future if the research subjects responded well to the medication, dramatically reducing hypertension and the complications associated with it.
It wasn’t that he didn’t feel bad for blowing Sylvia off lately… he did… in a way. He just couldn’t bring himself to be pulled away from his work to indulge fake people jockeying to upstage each other.
The sound of the live jazz band playing a George Benson song greeted Gabe as he stepped out of his car. Entering through the backdoor into the enormous chef kitchen, the staff was in a flurry exchanging empty trays for ones over brimming with delectable bites. An embarrassing growl decided to let loose as a pretty sister with locs swept up on the crown of her head eased by him with a platter of shrimp cocktail.
“Hold on. Let me grab one of those.”
Gabe felt a jolt in the crotch of his pants when she smiled at him. Her eyes openly appraised him. He damn near dropped the decorative silver dish with the shrimp when she demurely murmured, “Help yourself.” And she sure as hell wasn’t talking about no seafood.
Not once had Gabe ever thought about stepping out on Sylvia. But with the way this beauty was brazenly gazing at him with lust in her smoky eyes and Sylvia playing the hell out of the ice queen role, the thought crossed his mind.
“Gabe, sit down and take off your coat,” Nina, his parents’ longtime housekeeper, called out, breaking the spell. She gave the server a sharp look that sent her scurrying out of the kitchen.
Obediently, Gabe followed the command while devouring one of the shrimp.
“Look at you. Turning into skin and bones stuck in that lab all day and night,” Nina chided as she grabbed a plate from the cabinet. At six-four and two hundred-ten pounds of lean muscle, Gabe was hardly skin and bones. He chuckled when Nina elbowed the chef out of the way to pile carved pieces of prime rib and roasted vegetables on the plate.
When she was done, Nina placed the first thing he’d eaten all day with a large glass of water in front of him before patting his cheek and kissing his forehead. Gabe smiled at the older Haitian woman who’d been a part of the family and taken care of them since he was three years old.
“Thanks, Nina. Have you seen Sylvia?”
Gabe didn’t know if it was his imagination or not, but the kindest woman he knew stiffened before answering.
“I saw her earlier talking to your mother.”
He tilted his head and followed Nina’s movement as she lifted a tray of caviar and crackers and handed it to one of the servers, who had tossed a silver tray on the counter. Although she had never mentioned a peep of not liking Sylvia, it was obvious that she didn’t. And Gabe couldn’t say that he blamed her. More than once, he’d had to check Sylvia for snide remarks she made to Nina.
Nina smiled at him with pity and it left an unsettled feeling in his gut.
After Gabe inhaled the food, before he could take the plate to the dishwasher, Nina reached for it.
“I got it. Go and enjoy the party.”
A tiny little thing at four-feet and eleven inches, Gabe bent down several inches to kiss Nina’s smooth brown cheek. “I’m staying over tonight. I’ll see you in the morning.”
This time Nina’s smile was the one Gabe fell in love with as a toddler. He couldn’t help blushing when she gently yanked on his arm for him to lean down again. “Later, sweet cheeks,” she teased, pinching his clean-shaven cheek.
“Gabe,” Oliver Saxton, his father, called out, waving for him to come over. The elder Saxton was gathered around the fireplace drinking cognac from a sniffer with his longtime friend and uncle.
Out of the corner of his eye, he spied Sylvia holding a drink and laughing at something his brother Caleb was saying to her. The wine-colored cocktail dress she was wearing was making her honey complexion glow. If he didn’t know any better he’d think she was flirting with Caleb. Her hair was in an updo and she was twirling the loose strands at the nape of her neck around her finger.
As he continued to make his way over to his father, he was about to make a detour and go over to Sylvia to ask her what the hell her problem was? Now she was squeezing Caleb’s bicep and Gabe could tell his brother was uncomfortable because he removed her hand and took a step back. As if sensing his brother’s gaze, Caleb’s and Gabe’s eyes met and they gave each other the what’s up nod. Sylvia glanced over her shoulder and rolled her eyes at Gabe before heading for the stairs.
Gabe shook his head. He would deal with her later.
Gabe and Oliver shared a masculine hug, like always. After they broke contact, Gabe shook Henry Stiles’ hand and then his Uncle Ezekiel’s, his dad’s younger brother.
“Son, I was telling Henry and Ezekiel how proud I am of you. And about the great work you’re doing.”
Grinning, Gabe playfully punched his father’s arm. “Come on, Dad. Stop it.” The man was always putting him on the spot singing his praises. For the next fifteen minutes, Oliver went on and on, non-stop, telling them about the synthetic insulin Gabe had developed that didn’t cause weight gain, that would be going to market after the new year. He noticed his uncle was trying not to look bored out of his mind. That’s when he decided to put an end to his father’s bragging.
“Dad, I haven’t seen Sylvia. I need to go find her.”
Oliver made a grimace as he swallowed the dark liquor. With a nod, he said, “Yes, yes. Go find her. And your mother too. She’s been asking for you all evening.”
Gabe squeezed Oliver’s shoulder. “Will do.”
Several guests stopped him as he went in search of Sylvia. Thank goodness his mother was entertaining a group of friends. Sylvia’s mother, Willow, was among them. Quickly, he made his way up the stairs. The Persian carpet runner absorbed his footsteps as he made his way down the west wing towards the guest bedrooms. The faint sound of feminine moaning as he approached the bedroom he and Sylvia shared whenever they stayed at his parents’ cemented his feet to the floor.
“That’s it … Right there… Yesss, right there, baby…”
The door was slightly ajar and Gabe’s heart pounded hard at the anticipation of what was happening on the other side. The hinges on the heavy wood made a quiet squeak as he slowly pushed the door open. Sylvia was sprawled out on the bed. A bed that the two of them shared and made love in when things were good between them.
The cocktail dress he admired her in minutes ago was pushed up past her waist, lace panties dangled from the heel of her stiletto and a man’s head was between her legs. Everything in his stomach was threatening to come up as the light from the hallway illuminated Sylvia’s face contorted in wanton pleasure.
Before Gabe could stop himself, he charged over to the woman he was going to marry in seven months and grabbed the punk by the back of the neck.
He didn’t recognize his own voice when he roared, “What the fu—”
His words were chopped off. The man he had in a death grip by the back of his neck was not only his best friend, but his cousin Lance. Uncle Ezekiel’s son.
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Until next time,