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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Terms Of Engagement

Attorney Nelson East and I, Donnie Ray Alexander were downtown on a Saturday Morning in Jewelry store.....

''I can't thank you enough Donnie Ray...For uh doing this for me on a Saturday Morning....I-I-I mean ,I know you-you would uh much rather be with Uh Liv....." said Nelson...
"I hope you don't get this tongue tied in court man....What are you so nervous about?  What is the worst that could happen?" I asked.

''She say no." said Nelson...

''I asked you what is the worst that could happen? That's not even a possibility...I'm an ex-cop..I've had to make a lot of decisons on just my gut feeling...This one is a no brainer...You got nothing to worry about."I said.

"Easy for you to say.. I mean you been through this already...You...You...You have Liv..." said Nelson..

"Mann you spend so much time with Beverly, at her place....I wonder why you are paying rent for your apartment...and when you aren't spending the night with her...She's over your spot...Hell, you do each other's laundry....You practically are married to her!  Liv already calls you family...And Shortcake slips up and calls you her husband sometimes when she's talking about you....I wasn't supposed to tell you that...Now go on in here and pay for the damn ring and cut this nervousness out.."I said..
"This is where you went right?" said Nelson...

"Yup....I called my jeweler and I gave her Beverly's finger measurements..." I said..

''So she knows?" asked Nelson...

"No...Not a clue...I took Olivia's too...Told em I was buying em some jewelry for Christmas...I've bought them both jewelry before.."I said..
"You guys are really tight huh?" laughed Nelson who was sweating worse than a murder suspect in the "Fishbowl"

"Olivia and Beverly are my family...Only family I have up here...And now You'll be part of that family officially."I said..
"I've worked with Olivia and Beverly for a long time...They were my closest friends at the Public Defenders office...When they both left...I felt very alone..." said Nelson.....

"But see, everything worked out...And you found them.." I said..."Hold up...My phone is ringing...

It was Attorney Zoey Easter, who had just got engaged herself...

"Hello...Donnie Ray?" asked Zoey...
"Hey Zo..We are at Tiffany's...He's picking up the ring now.." I said..

''Great...I'm outside your house now...
''Beverly thinks she's going to an engagement dinner for me and Lem.."said Zoey, laughing..

I smiled..

"Well in a way, she is..." I said..

"The Joke is going to be on her though....She thinks you and Nelson went to order Champaigne....What a great liar you are Donnie Ray, you'd of made a great lawyer...."laughed Zoey..


"That's what I've been told..." I said.
Nelson walked out with the box....

''I uh was gonna wait until Christmas....Maybe I should.." he said..
"Too late now son!  It's showtime..." I said and smiled..

"Yeah....Let's do it!" he said..

''Mann relax....Beverly loves you...You've lasted longer than any of her other boyfriends...You...You're the one man..."I said.

''Hey look...She don't even have to change her name....Professionally she's known as West...And that's fine with me...And I hope Liv doesn't mind if I move in with Bev once we are married..I wouldn't dream of seperating the two....I just want to be with Bev everyday....and her place is much huger than mine..."said Nelson...

''Will you relax? We can work all of that out later...I'm certain Olivia has no problem with you living with us...Hell, you're here all the time anyway...And Beverly is going to say yes..." I said.

"Okay...Let's go."said Nelson...

Like I said...I've had suspects in custody who were less nervous!

II-
"I love this place....This is perfect."said an excited Beverly as she and her Aunt Olivia sat down in the Tony little bistro that Zoey had first taken them to..
Attorney Calvin Hunt and his wife were the first persons to arrive...They waved at Beverly and Olivia.
''Wonder what's taking Donnie Ray and Nelson so long with that Champainge...?" asked Beverly...
Olivia looked at her watch...

"They should have been here...I'm sure they are in route..." she said..

 "Hey Everybody"said Cousin Kayla
and her boyfriend, Ray...

'What's Up?" he said, smiling slyly...

Josie walked in just then...

"Heyyyyyyyyyyyyy....Donnie Ray and Nelson are in the parking lot...They'll be up...They are talking to Lem and Zoey." she said..

Within a few minutes, our good friends, Celeste and Soloman Foster walked in...

 ''Hey Guys"said Celeste..
 ''What's good folks?" said Soloman...

Bonnie and Ronald Shay...
 ''Hey Everybody" said Bonnie..
''Hey Liv, Bev.."said Ronnie.

Arthur Trout and his girlfriend , Mandy...
"Hey Folks.." he said..

"Hey Liv, Bev?" said Mandy...

''Good..At least everyone is on time!" said Beverly, waving and smiling at everybody....
"Well, almost everyone!"said Olivia.
Olivia and Josie looked at each other and smiled sheepishly....

The next couple that walked in stunned Beverly....
 Beverly's mother, Alfreda
and her new boyfriend, ADA Rockland Cambridge walked in and sat down...

"Mommy, Rockland!!!WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" asked Beverly....

''Can't I go out to eat baby girl? Olivia invited me...Rockland and I were looking for a nice Bistro and Livy suggested this one." said Alfreda... "I saw your boyfriend in the parking lot...He and Donnie Ray are on their way up." she said..

"They got the Champaigne huh?" said Beverly...
"Champaigne?? Oh Uh Yeah...."laughed Rockland...
"Hey Everybody! We're Here!" said Lem.
Lem and Zoey walked in....hand in hand....

Everybody began clapping...and stood up....

 "HEYY THERE IS THE HAPPY COUPLE!"said Beverly.
 "CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR ENGAGEMENT!!.." said an exuberant Olivia, who hugged and kissed them both!
 ''CONGRATULATIONS ZO, LEM!" aid Josie...
 "Oh wow!  I just love these kinds of things!" gushed Kayla..
 Ray just laughed and shook his head....
 Alfreda stood and clapped and smiled...She didn't know Zoey or Lem...
Rockland Cambridge clapped...He knew Lem, but did not know Zoey!

Champaigne was delivered to the table and everyone was given a glass..

''Where is Nelson and Donnie Ray?" asked Beverly...looking around...
as more champaigne was delivered to the table...

"The Champaigne is already here.." mused Beverly....


''Relax...Here they come.." said Olivia smiling....




III-
I walked in first.....I lifted a bottle of champaigne and opened it...I poured a glass for Lem and Zoey...

"A Toast to the Happy Couple...Congratulations!" I said..

 "Thank You Donnie Ray,THANK YOU   Everybody."said Lem...



"Thank You....Thank you all..."said Zoey, who cleared her throat and looked at Nelson...

Everybody's eyes were on Nelson...

Nelson swallowed and  walked over to Beverly and got down on one knee and passed her the Tiffany box...
She looked stunned..

"Nelson...What are you doing?...What is this?" she asked...



Olivia, Josie, Zoey and Kayla had tears streaming down their faces....
Beverly looked stunned...and confused....It was nowhere near her birthday and Christmas was two weeks off! Why was everybody tearing up she wondered...She opened the Tiffany box...Her eyes got as wide as saucers upon seeing the ring!!!

"Nelson!!! OH MY GOD!!!" she said...
Nelson took the ring ...He slowly put it on her finger!!!!
The Room Gasped...

"Bev...Ever since the day your Aunt introduced me to you....I haven't been able to get you out of my mind..And now...I find that if I spend one day without seeing you ,I somehow don't feel right...I want to be with you everyday of my life...Please say you'll marry me..." he asked...His hands shaking...

"Nelson why are your hands shaking? You know my answer is YES!!!!   YES I'LL MARRY YOU!" she said softly...and began crying...as he placed the ring on her finger...


Alfreda teared up....

"My baby girl is getting married..." she said...and she hugged Beverly and kissed her....

EVERYONE BEGAN CLAPPING, WHISTLING AND CHEERING!  Even the staff!

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my little niecy is gonna be a married lady now!" said Olivia, who hugged her also....Tears now flowing profusely.......
"I'm already engaged....This was for you baby girl."said Zoey ,kissing Beverly on the cheek.......
Nelson fainted!!!!!!!!....

 "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..Ole Boy is out!" said Ray,laughing...
 ''Let's get him up.."said Lem, smiling....
 ''Wowwwwwwwwww!"said Rockland.

Ray, Lem and Rockland lifted him up....

I turned to Beverly...

"It's Okay Shortcake....He'll live!" I said..

Beverly laughed....and hugged Nelson...

"Goofball! What you faintin for? Why were you even nervous? You know how I feel about you! You see me everyday..." she said...

"I love you Beverly....I always have.." said Nelson...

"I love you too baby!" said Beverly....
We popped the bottles of Champaigne and clapped again!!!
as our food came..Hot delicious Pasta...

and several cups of hot steaming tea.....

"I knew something was up when I saw you here,Mommy!" said Beverly ,hugging her mother..

''We started to wait until after Donnie Ray and Nelson entered, but Donnie Ray said I should witness
this...I'm glad I did....I'm so proud of you baby girl..."said Alfreda , crying and hugging her daughter...

''Ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu  girllllllllllllllllllll, you is gone be a married lady now!" gushed her cousin, Kayla.
Josie hugged Beverly, they both were crying...

''Wow! I knew he was going to be the one.."said Josie..

''So how long did everyone know about this?"asked Beverly...Still crying....

"Nelson came upstairs one morning about a month ago and told me he was buying you a ring and was going to ask you to marry him...After I found out Zoey and Lem were engaged, I said...Let me invite Bev's family...Her cousin, Her Mother and Zoey and Lem and make it an engagement party for both of you...Zoey, Josie and I set up the Bistro reservation and the invites during a break in the Ricky Beavers trial...."said Olivia..

''Does Daddy know yet?" asked Beverly...

"No....We are going to tell him when we all go to San-Francisco in two weeks..That's where he and Malinda are living for the moment..."said Olivia...
"Wait until Larry North finds out."whispered Beverly to Olivia..

"Let's not bring him up.." laughed Olivia..Who didn't relish the sparring he and Beverly went through over the years....
I looked at Nelson...

''Welcome to the family son!" I said.

Just then, Cole, Chance Howard, Anita Jenkins, Cherish ,Paris and Blake arrived...

"Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, Sorry we are late... but we heard...Congrats homie!" said Blake, as they all hugged a still crying Beverly and a stunned Nelson..

''Wow, Bev said Yes...She said she was going to marry me..." he said..
"Bev, kiss him...please!!!"said Olivia ,smiling....

''Yes baby girl...Kiss him , before he faints again.."laughed Alfreda...
She kissed him passionately...

"I love you baby and I'd be honored to be your wife.." she said...

"I'll be honored to be your husband.." said Nelson..

Everybody clapped and whistled and cheered...

"I'm Happy for them.....Wow!   We're both getting married..."said Lem to Zoey..

"This is wonderful..."said Zoey.

 "Girllllllllllllllllll....I can't believe it....Beverly is gettin married..."said Kayla..
"I know righttttttttttttt?" said Josie..









 Celeste,Soloman, Bonnie, Ronnie, Arthur and Mandy and Calvin and Della Hunt, all walked around the table and congratulated Lem and Zoey and then hugged Beverly and Shook Nelson's hand... It was a joyous occassion...

IV-
Later on that day....The four of us sat around our Duplex....

"Well baby girl....How do you feel being engaged...?" asked Olivia..hugging her niece and kissing her on the cheek!

"I -I don't know...I feel different....I'm so Happy Auntay!"said Beverly...still tearing up.....

Nelson, now feeling much better put his arms around her also...

"I feel great..." he said and smiled..

''You do?"said Beverly...smiling and as giddy as a teenager...She laid her head on his chest......

"Remember when I first moved up here and started seeing your aunt...You said you wanted what we have..Well Shortcake...Now you got it...You've had it for awhile now...Now it's official." I said...
Beverly hugged me....

"I wish you could walk me down the aisle Donnie Ray, you've been everything to me...Uncle, second father almost....but I can't take that from my father..."she said,tearing up...
"Heyyy Heyyy, no tears...This is a Happy Occassion....I perfectly understand....You'll always be my shortcake...no matter what."I said..I kissed her forehead.

''So who is going to be your maid of honor, Kayla or Josie..?"asked Olivia..
"Neither!  It's got to be you Auntay!!!....You're the closest to me...I want Josie and Kayla to be my bridesmaids of course..but you have to be my Maid of Honor..."said Beverly....

She was Liv's maid of honor at our wedding..
''And Donnie Ray, you have to be my Best Man..." said Nelson...

"I'm Honored..."I said..."I know Paris,Blake, Chance Howard and Cole are your groomsmen.."I said.

''Yeah,probably.."said Nelson..
''Look at yall, planning a wedding..We gotta arrange to get your things over here too Nelson!..."said Olivia...

He had asked her if she had any objections to him moving in with Beverly... 

Olivia laughed...

''Why would I? You practically live here anyway...You're here more than you're in your own apartment...I know your electric bill and other utilities are low....Half of your clothes are here...."said Olivia laughing so hard and hugging Nelson..

"I've got plenty of closet space....and I've got to go and buy a chest of drawers for him..."said Beverly...
"Ouuu I saw something at IKEA last week that would be perfect....Let's go over there tomorrow."said Olivia..

''Ouuu yes...and we better start looking at Wedding gowns and dresses for my bridesmaids too while we are over there.."said Beverly....

Nelson and I looked at the two of them planning his eventual move and the details of the wedding...

I looked at Nelson...I smiled...

"Look at that and you were nervous." I said..

He smiled and hugged Beverly..
She was still tearing up....

Olivia hugged Nelson...

"Welcome to the family Nelson.." she said..

"Thanks Liv..I feel like I already was in the family."said Nelson.
"You have been." I said.

EPILOUGE-

Nelson and Beverly walked down to her floor..
They sat on her bed in her room...Soon to be their room...

''I wasn't used to sleeping with somebody next to me.. I like it...You kind of spoiled me.." she said to Nelson...

"Is that why you'd call me and ask me to come over...because you couldn't sleep?" he asked and smiled wryly...


"Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh..I like waking up in your arms....and that's why I was in heaven during a big case...When Josie stayed over and you did too!....I loved having a place full of people..I realized that I didn't want to be alone anymore!"she laughed...

"For all your tough girl swag....You're just a big baby aren't you?" said Nelson,hugging and squeezing Beverly tight and kissing her on the cheek....She rubbed his hands softly and laid her head on his chest....
She leaned her head into his chest...

"I told you that....My bark has always been worse than my bite...but uh,I'm not a baby about everything am I?" she said...

They kissed passionately......

"No you are not....You are definitely a woman about a lot of things.." said Nelson.....in between slow, sultry kisses...

"Ummmmmmmmmmmm you are definitely a woman!....Lawd..."said Nelson in between more slow ,sensuous kisses....

"Ummmmmm and I enjoy being a woman too...Your woman!" whispered Beverly as she and Nelson continued to kiss...

"Damn this is like a dream....You're really going to marry me...I have to pinch myself..." he said..

''It's no dream Nelson...We are really getting married ...I'm going to make you so happy.."said Beverly...

''You already have...Every Single Day!"said Nelson...
 ''Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww boooo."said Beverly....


They continued to kiss passionately.....




FOR  L.