They drove toward the house in silence. She could see the sweat beads forming on the side of his face, and wondered was it as bad as he made it seem.
"Calm down." She said softly to him.
"I'm just so nervous." He said pulling into their long driveway. "Do you remember everything we went over?"
Her mind reverted back to the past week were he had been giving her non stop information on their fake relationship. She laughed to herself remembering how he would call her with pop quizzes.
"Yes I remember everything." She said. "I even made little flash cards just in case and put them in my purse." She said causing them both to roar in laughter.
She knew he needed that laugh, and it seemed to make him less tense. He came around to her side of the car, and opened the door.
She got out of the car, and looked up at the big house. It looked like a home that a large family lived in, she could imagine children running around on the large front lawn.
The front door swung open before they could even make it up the red brick front steps. A male figure emerged from the house standing as wide as the doorway.
He ran towards them at top speed, causing Kamille to jump back not knowing what he was doing. He wrestled with Malcom for a moment before putting him in a headlock.
If it weren't for the laughing and smiles in between grunts Kamille would have thought they were serious. Her heart calmed down as she watched them tussle around on the grass.
"Say uncle!" The man demanded while rubbing his knuckles through Malcom's curly hair.
"Uncle uncle uncle!" Malcom yelled between laughter.
The man let go of Malcom, and Malcom threw his hands up surrendering.
"Where's a white flag when you need one?" Malcom joked.
"Who's this pretty girl?" The male asked looking Kamille over.
"This is Kamille." Malcom said proudly while grabbing her hand. "And Kamille this is my younger brother Tony."
It was hard to believe Tony was Malcom's younger brother given his size. He looked like a line backer, his muscles buldged out of his shirt, and he had to be atleast six feet four inches.
"Good to meet you Kamille!" He said shaking her hand.
"The pleasure is mines." She said offering a smile.
"Well yall come on in mom's just setting the food out." He said. "As soon as Dereck's big head **** get's here we can eat!"
Tony led them inside the house to the living room area where a few people were sitting.
"Malcom's here!" Tony yelled signaling them all to look in their direction.
"Malcom!" An older lady screamed jumping up from her seat.
She rushed over to him and planted kisses all over his face, before hugging him.
"You look skinny... have you been eating?" She asked with one hand on her hip.
"Mom!" He said looking from her to Kamille with a look of embarrassment.
"Oh I'm sorry I didn't know you brought a friend!" She laughed while looking at Kamille. "I'm his mamma...you can call me Bernadette."
"Nice to meet you." Kamille said shaking her hand.
She examined the woman's face for a moment looking at the small lines that appeared around her eyes, and mouth. She could tell she was beautiful when she was younger. Her cinnamon skin was flawless besides the few wrinkles, and her big brown eyes had a glistening effect.
She moved her salt and pepper hair out of her face, and looked over Kamille, it was now her turn to examine.
"Your a pretty girl." Bernadette said.
"Why thankyou." Kamille said.
"Better than that last thing he brought home." Tony mumbled causing the room to erupt in laughter.
"Now in all fairness Bridgette was very nice." Bernadette said trying to hold back her laughter.
"Nice and ugly!" Another male shouted out from on the couch.
Everyone burst into laughter again, and even Malcom was laughing pretty hard. Kamille could only imagine how unattractive this woman was.
"This is Malcom's other brother Daniel...and his wife Laurie." Bernadette said pointing to the couple that was sitting on the couch.
They all gave friendly exchanges before Bernadette made everyone go sit in the dining room. The food that was lined up down the middle of the table made Kamille's mouth water. Bernadette had made everything from potatoe salad, to ribs, to crabcakes.
"My God this looks wonderful." Kamille said.
Bernadette's food reminded Kamille of her own mother's food. Her mother always made a big feast when she expected company, and it was the best soul food one could imagine.
"Thank you darling!" Bernadette said before sitting down.
After Malcom pulled out Kamille's chair she sat down next to Tony, who was sitting next to Daniel and his wife. Bernadette sat at the head of the table, and Kamille wondered where her husband was that was suppose to be sitting at the other end.
"I'm here!" A male voice yelled.
Kamille listened to the footsteps get closer to the dining room. She could tell it was a male and a female by the heels clicking on the hardwood floors.
The man that entered that room caused Kamille to loose her breath. She watched him kiss his mother's cheek, and go down the line greeting people starting with Daniel and his wife.
When he got to Kamille their eyes locked for a moment, each of them sending eachother silent messages.
"So how'd you like the book?" He asked suprising her.
She thought that he would do what she originally planned to do, and just pretend they had never seen eachother before.
"Haven't finished reading it." She answered.
"You two know eachother?" Bernadette asked with raised eyebrows.
"We met in a bookstore not too long ago...she brought one of my books." He answered.
"He's such a talented writer." The woman who's hand he was holding cut in and said.
She was wearing the tightest black dress imaginable, with more cleavage than should have been allowed. The dress hugged ever curve on her body, and left nothing to the imagination.
"And who are you?" Bernadette asked looking the woman over suspiciously.
"Ma this is Angel." Dereck introduced smiling from ear to ear while his brothers gave him the nod of approval.
'Men are disguisting.' Kamille thought as she looked at all of them staring the woman down.
After Dereck introduced his date to everyone including Kamille, a prayer was said and they all began to eat.
"This food is so good ma!" Tony said with a mouth full of food.
"Boy shut your mouth with all that mess in it!" Bernadette scorned. "Ol nasty self!"
Everyone laughed at Tony being admonished. Kamille could tell that even though all the boys were grown Bernadette still had them in check.
Kamille couldn't help but to secretly admire Dereck, he was very attractive and something about him made her shiver. She tried to be as discreet as possible, but she couldn't force herself to look away.
"So how long have you and Malcom been dating?" Bernadette asked.
All eyes were on Kamille, and it made her feel a little uncomfortable.
"About four months." She said just the way she and Malcom rehearsed.
"You must be special cause Malcom never brings anyone home." Dereck said briefly making eye contact with Kamille.
"Well I should hope so." Kamille responded while grabbing Malcom's hand and smiling at him.
"Well just look at her!" Tony yelled. "Hell I'd date her too..matter fact if my brother don't treat you right I'm available."
"Tony!" His mother scorned.
"Boy shutup don't nobody want your fresh out of the womb tail!" Daniel laughed. "Ol muscle head looking self!
Everyone began to get in one of those famous laughing fits. While everyone laughed Dereck and Kamille locked eyes with eachother, causing her heart to flutter. She wondered what he was thinking, and did he feel the same thing she felt.
He mouthed the words "I need to talk to you." Before he looked away and joined back into the conversation.
Kamille sat there quietly listening to all the chatter around her, but unable to focus on them. She wanted to know what Dereck had to talk to her about. She began to feel like it was a mistake coming there. She most certainly would not have come if she had known Dereck would have been there.
"Desert?" Bernadette asked Kamille.
Kamille nodded her head while she attempted to snap out of the daze she was in. She could feel Dereck's eyes burning a hole in her skin. She didn't dare look at him she kept her eyes on Bernadette who was sitting a plate of peach cobbler infront of her.
"Smells delicious." Kamille commented before taking a small bite.
"So Angel...how is it that you know my son?" Bernadette asked.
"Oh well I met him at one of his book signings." Angel said before flipping her long fake hair over her shoulder. "He signed my book and we exchanged numbers."
"Oh so now you bring fans home?" Bernadette asked looking at her son with a face of dissapproval.
"Mom!" Dereck pouted looking like a little boy. "She's more than a fan."
Kamille watched Angel's face frown up, as she rolled her eyes toward the cieling.
"When will he learn Lord." She mumbled as she began clearing dishes off the table.
"Let me help." Kamille said before grabbing a few plates and carrying them into the kitchen.
Kamille couldn't figure out what Bernadette had against Angel, but she was curious to find out.
"Why don't you like her?" Kamille asked before placing dishes into the sink.
Bernadette shook her head from side to side with a look of disguist on her face.
"One thing you should know about my boys is that they never listen to me." She said.
"I don't think any men listen for that matter." Kamille responded.
Bernadette grunted, and nodded her head in agreeance.
"Well my boys especially don't!" She said with one hand on her hip. "Especially that damn Dereck. Always bringing home these little girls he meets at his book signings. We go through the same cycle everytime...he meets em'...sleeps with em'...and then does it all over again. I tell him only bring a girl here if you serious about her."
Kamille listened to Bernadette go on and on about her son Dereck. She could tell Dereck was the one who gave her the most grief when it came to women. He seemed to run through them like water.
"Mom can I steal her for a minute?" Dereck asked entering the kitchen.
Bernadette didn't answer she just turned her back to him, and started washing the dishes. Kamille followed Dereck onto the patio, and watched him light his cigarette.
"Want one?" He asked after blowing smoke out of his nose.
"I don't smoke." Kamille answered. "And you shouldn't either."
"Yeah yeah yeah." He said waving his hand at her.
Everything was silent for a moment, and all that could be heard was the wind restling with the leaves. Kamille wondered what he was going to say next...she prayed he wouldn't want to discuss how she turned him down at the bookstore.
"Your not dating my brother." He said suprising Kamille.
"What are you talking about?" She asked looking at him with a fake look of confusion.
She hoped that he hadn't caught on to their scheme. How would he know?
"Look you might be able to fool everyone else in this family, but not me!" He said before flicking his cigarette over the side of the patio.
"And what makes you think that Dereck?" She asked. "Because I'm not groping him under the table like your date is doing you?"
He looked at Kamille for a moment clearly unmoved by her comment.
"Your not fooling me." He said. "My brother never brings anyone home and there's a reason for that. And now all of a sudden you show up...you wouldn't give a guy like him the time of day, so I'm not sure why your even here."
"Oh I understand what this is about...your just jealous because I wouldn't give you the time of day!" She said shaking her head from side to side. "Your really pathetic."
She walked back inside the house, leaving him to stand alone outside.
"You ready to go?" Malcom asked.
"Absolutley." She said before rolling her eyes at Dereck who had entered the living room with a smug look on his face.
Kamille despised him from that moment on. She hated a jealous man...instead of being happy for his brother he resulted to jealousy.