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Happy Thanksgiving

Disclaimer: This is a random short story including characters from my book Ulterior Motives and some people I am thankful for in real life. No plot twists or drama, just a story i hope makes you smile. May your day be filled with love, laughs, and great food. Enjoy💜

Ryan looked at her phone as she anticipated a response from Ava, the bubbles indicating that Ava was typing danced then disappeared and Ryan let out a breath as she set her phone down.

“Ava knows where to come if she wants to she will.” Josh reassured as he walked into the room

Ryan glanced up to respond and words caught in her throat as she looked at him. Water droplets slid down his chest and chiseled abs the only thing he wore was a towel around his waist, his locs sat neat on the top of his head making him look godly. Ryan knew the power that laid under that towel and her body reacted the closer he got to her.

“Yeah you’re right,” she replied a bit flustered then bent down to zip up her bootie heel. Distraction, one she needed before they were late or missed dinner altogether. Ryan stood and looked herself over, she had big bouncy curls in her head that she ran her fingers through to fluff them. Ryan pulled on the sleeves of her cream and brown colored crop sweater admiring her outfit, she kept her look simple wearing light distressed jeans that hugged her like a glove. Today was Thanksgiving and it was an unwritten rule in the black community to walk around the kitchen fly. Josh stepped out of the walk in closet dressed in an outfit that complimented her colors, Jean and nude was the color scheme tonight and they killed. Ryan pulled him into her and pulled out her phone, Josh put his hand in her back

pocket and kissed her cheek as the camera flashed.

“One more,” Ryan whined then Josh kissed her neck and made her giggle mid picture “You lucky this is actually cute,” she said and grabbed her leather jacket following behind him.

“After we leave yo moms, I got one more stop before we come back,” he said opening her car door

“Okay where?” Ryan asked

“Tay Tay, where you want me to put this?” Kyrah asked referring to the pot of candied yams she was carrying

“Hey, get that pot and put it on the counter for her,” Taylor instructed to a guy standing next to her while pointing to a spot on the counter

“I got it,” Kyrah said setting it down and hugging Taylor in greeting

“Hol up! These the yams from Night Kap?!” he asked noticing Kyrah for the food truck she ran with her sister.

“Yup, Kirsh should be here with the greens soon,” Kyrah answered and looked down at her Apple Watch.

“Her late ass,” Zhayna chimed in as she walked in catching everyone’s attention, she sat down the pan of Mac and Cheese she brought and hugged her friends,

“Happy Thanksgiving y’all!!” Kirsh walked in with her pot and everyone smiled at her as she set it down and hugged everyone

“Aye Kirsh,” one of the guys called from the living room already putting her in the blunt rotation before she could even take her coat off.

“My nigga!!” Kirsh threw her hands up with a wide smile and walked into the living room causing everyone in the kitchen to laugh.

“The middle Island is set up for traditional thanksgiving food and the outside counters have the non traditional food.” Taylor explained

“Oh you showing out,” Zhayna commented on the amount of food that filled the kitchen.

“It’s my first time hosting Thanksgiving so I wanted to still keep my mama happy, I told her she ain’t have to do nothing so I had to step.”

“You mean WE had to step,” Maya, Taylor’s best friend walked in carrying the tacos she begged her to make with her husband and kids in tow.

“You maddeeee them!” Taylor said excitedly greeting the babies and Joe, Maya’s husband.

“You knew I would for your spoiled butt,” Maya waved her hand dismissively and brought her in for a hug.

A knock at the door caught everyone’s attention and Taylor stepped away to answer it.

“Hopefully this is everyone so we can say grace and start eating.” She threw over her shoulder as she opened the door and in came her family and more friends.

“Ma I told you not to bring anything,” Taylor stopped her and took the dish out her moms hand

“This is for my baby, he coming right?” She asked walking past her and taking her coat off

“Yeah he said he’ll stop by later.” Taylor answered rolling her eyes. Her mom treated her best friend like he was her son and they always got a kick out of it.

As the night winded down, Music was playing and each room was filled with people who were either watching football, eating, or playing spades. Everyone had a cup in their hand and smiles on their faces. The feeling of love that filled her house made her heart warm.  Her first Thanksgiving was definitely a success. “Sosa, you can put her down upstairs if you want.” Taylor said as she saw her friend coming upstairs holding her sleeping baby

“Okay," she replied

“Let’s drink.” Sosa said with a clap of her hands

“Shot O’ clock!!” Taylor called out hands cupping her mouth and everyone knew what that meant. Shots of liquor were distributed and everyone raised their cups as they each took a shot.

“What number was that?” Bre asked

“No one’s counting,” Perri responded and everyone laughed

“Oooohh this is my song.” Zhayna turned the bluetooth speaker up and Beyoncé’s voice filled the room.

“I feel like falling in love, I’m in the mood to fuck something up.”

"Let me record this," Joey, who had been taking pictures all night said as they all got in a did the popular Tik Tok dance on cue while clapping their hands and shouting the lyrics.

Bre stepped away and opened the door because she knew no one else heard the knocking and when she saw who was on the other side her mouth fell open

“Josh?!” She screamed hugging him, it had been a while since they saw him and he was definitely a sight for sore eyes.

“Hey Bre,” he said laughing as he embraced her “I brought a few people with me,” he nodded his head back as he stepped in and grabbed Ryan’s hand. A group of guys stepped in behind him and Ava walked in last.

“Tay Tay!” Bre called out, and when Taylor came around the corner she smiled

“Zig gone be mad as hell.” Bre whispered so only Taylor could hear referring to her nickname for Zhayna. Taylor smiled at Bre’s remark and hugged Josh while scanning the rest of the group, when her eyes fell on Ava she stilled. She hugged her tightly and when they pulled apart she grabbed her hands

“Ava, I am so-.”

“Not tonight,” Ava interrupted her before she could make the moment sad. Ava didn’t want to dwell on what she lost right now. Instead, she wanted to be surrounded by love and Taylor understood that, she nodded her head ending the conversation.

“And this is Ryan,” Josh pulled her attention away and Ryan smiled and waved at Taylor who smiled back at her warmly

“I see you Josh, she’s beautiful.” Taylor complimented, “I know y’all are probably full already but there is plenty of food if you want to make a plate.”

“Thank you!” Each person said walking past her and into the kitchen

“I know you fucking lying to me!!”

Was all that could be heard when Zhayna saw Josh and Ryan step into the kitchen

“Hey Big Fine.” Josh said and flashed a smile that made her swoon

“Hey Josh.” She said smiling back at him

“You left being my Massage therapist at the gym to work with football players, what was I supposed to do?” Josh asked playfully

“All you had to do was say the word.” Zhayna said causing everyone to laugh

“This is Ryan. Josh’s girlfriend.” Taylor introduced

“Girlfriend?!” Sosa yelled and looked at the couple then said “okay then Josh,” as she hugged him.

Ryan laughed at the playful banter between Josh and the people in his life. She had been his friend for a long time but never saw him this carefree around people. She could tell he felt safe around them and it eased her nervousness a bit. The energy of these people were magnetic and it felt genuine.

Taylor shook her head laughing at everyone giving Josh a hard time when she heard her friend Dennis shout

“Get y'all sorry asses off my table!!”

Indicating him and his partner won the spades game she laughed again

“That nigga only won by one book,” Jordan laughed at Dennis then took a swig of his beer

“I got next.” Ava said walking toward the table “let’s go Ryan.” She grabbed her away from Josh.

“Ohhh I gotta see this.” Kirsh piped up and followed them into the room “Tay Tay we got the winner.”

“Bet.” Taylor said then looked at Josh, “let me talk to you for a minute.”

“My mama left waiting on you but it’s a dish in there for you.” Taylor said as they stepped  away

“Bet, I already know what it is.” Josh rubbed his hands together

“Corn pudding.” They said in unison and laughed

“I want to tell y’all story.” Taylor blurted out and Josh’s expression changed instantly “You’ve come a long way and it would be a great story to tell the world.”

“I don’t know about that shit T.” Josh tensed up immediately not liking this conversation.

“I will write it as a fiction book change some names around, I’ll send you what I have for the first chapter and we can go from there. If you like it great, If not I’ll scrap it.” Taylor pleaded her case

“You can tell it from my point of view.” Ryan said startling them, “Sorry I didn’t mean to interrupt, I was coming from the bathroom and I overheard.”

“You down for that?” Josh asked grabbing her and pulling her into him, he kissed her forehead and looked her in the eyes. He didn’t see a bit of hesitation in her stare

“No, I read your short stories. Josh sends them every month and you’re talented girl.” Ryan directed her response to Taylor “Now that I can put a face to the name, I’d love if you told my story.”

“Thank you Ryan.” Taylor smiled

“What that shit gone be called anyway?” Josh asked

“Ulterior Motives.” Taylor replied

“I like that.” Josh smiled “Run it.”

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