wasnât serving. He was receiving. That meant that while he met all her physical requirements for a man, he certainly did not come close to the minimum seven-figure-salary criterion she had set for even her one-night stands.
âWhatâs the holdup?â someone shouted from the back of the line.
âBrother Horace, tell the woman what you want, or keep it moving. This ainât no line at a museum,â Sister Bryce scolded.
âSister Bryce, the scripture is true. Every good and perfect gift comes from above,â he said, still holding Grace under arrest with his stare.
âIs that the new Christian pickup line?â Grace snapped.
âLeave that girl alone, Horace,â Sister Bryce ordered.
âI donât know what it is about you women that makes you think everything is about you. I was talking about that braised chicken. May I have a breast please?â Horace retorted.
Grace could not ascertain whether he was trying to be fresh or serious with that last remark. Avoiding Horaceâs eyes, she slapped a breast on his plate. âYouâre not my type,â she whispered so that only she and Brother Horace could hear what she was saying.
âMy Lord can fix that,â he declared, then walked away with his plate full.
Grace tried to fight the desire to watch him walk away.
âIf you bite down on your lip any harder, you gonâ have a hole in it. Pull it together, girl. This is a church,â Sister Bryce said, popping the side of Graceâs leg with a spoon.
âWho is that?â Grace inquired, whispering over her shoulder to Sister Bryce.
âOh, heâs a regular here. Iâm shocked he didnât try to hit on you Friday night. That is Brother Horace BrownâMount Carmelâs most eligible bachelor.â
Grace was shocked as well. How could such a large serving of fineness get past her radar? Besides being a fashion connoisseur, Grace liked to consider herself a master appraiser of the male species. She could recognize the finest man in the darkest place, so missing Horace on day one was perplexing to her. The more she thought about him, the larger her interest in the possible uses for him in her life grew. He could serve as a wonderful diversion, one that would make her sentence fly by, or he could become her new favorite pastime, now that drugs and alcohol were off the table.
Grace shook herself and asked Sister Bryce if she could be excused. In the privacy of the bathroom, she splashed cold water on her face and slapped herself a few times. He canât even buy you a meal, Grace. With those lips, whoâd be thinking about eating? She doused herself with cold water again and looked in the mirror. All she could see was Brother Horaceâs toasty skin. She couldnât shake his hypnotic eyes, his commanding gait, and his wide back. Get it together. It hasnât been that long since you were with a man.
Her little pep talk didnât work. Brother Horace was still on her mind, so Grace pulled out her phone to call the one person who could alwaysâwell, almost alwaysâget her thinking in order.
âEthan, what took you so long to pick up?â she demanded after the fifth ring.
âI canât talk now, Grace.â
âEthan, I need you.â
âGrace, Iâm sure it can wait. Are you at the church?â
âThen you canât get into that much trouble.â
âThatâs what you think. Thereâs this guy here. He looks likeââ
âIâm way downtown with Candace. Jesus is closer, so try praying. Donât forget you have anger management tomorrow morning. Bye,â Ethan said hurriedly before hanging up on her.
Grace frowned at her iPhone. No booze. No boys. No Ethan. Why on earth would she pray to the Lord, when He insists on torturing her?
With her attention still focused on the screen of her phone, which was now dark, Grace walked out of the bathroom