Chapter Four

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the brand names I might have used in this story, but I do own all of my characters and story themes. J'adore mon homme, Shane West!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Derek stayed with them while they continued shopping, to "protect them from any more old biddies" he said, laughing. After a few minutes, Amana had dragged them over to a small kiosk selling assorted milk shakes, ice creams, and smoothies. "Amana, I'm tired! Let's finish shopping so I can go home!" Audra whined. Her feet and back ached. "Exactly!" Amana stated. "Which is why I'm going to treat you to and energy revitalizing smoothie! The last time I was in the mall, I saw this little kiosk and I decided to try one. They're delicious!" Audra sighed. Amana was always trying these new little health secrets, most to no avail. A few minutes later, they had their smoothies and were headed down the mall again. "Hey, let me have a taste," Derek insisted. "Okay, but no backwash!" Audra giggled back. "Hey! I said a sip, not a gulp!" Derek responded by swallowing even more and pretending to spit in the bright red drink. Finally he handed the cup back to Audra, considerably lighter than before. Amana just smiled. Two hours later, they were walking out of the mall. "So, Audra. Where do you live?" Derek asked. "Huh?" "Remember, I'm taking you to dinner." "Oh, I was hoping you'd forgotten." Audra said dully. Derek pretended to look hurt. "Don't you like me?" He pouted. Audra laughed. "Of course I like you! I just don't want to be a hindrance! I can afford to make dinner, you know." Derek laughed, once again showing off his dimples. He's so cute, Audra thought, a shiver running up her back at his deep laugh. "Why don't you follow us home, and you can see for yourself where she lives." Amana suggested. "Sure." Derek smiled at Audra. Fifteen minutes and they were in front of Audra's apartment. She and Amana had been talking about Derek almost the whole ride home. Amana agreed with him being gorgeous. "He's a total babe, and he makes you laugh, something I haven't seen you do in a long time. Not since Barrett left." Derek honked, indicating that he was leaving, and drove off. Audra waved to Amana and slowly climbed up the stairs to her apartment. She unlocked the door and set down her purse and keys on a table beside the door. There were boxes everywhere. Audra carefully stepped around the clutter and started a bath in the bathroom. While the water was running, she walked into her room and undressed, grabbing her robe before going back into the adjoining bathroom. As she sank into the hot water, letting her long hair hang out of the tub, Audra thought about Derek. He's so nice and funny, she thought. But, it's useless for me to think of him in a romantic way. He'll never want to date me and have to worry about babysitters and such. She sighed. She climbed out of the tub and dried off. After Audra was dry, she put on a short, sleeveless yellow maternity dress and some flat white sandals. She decided to let her long, wavy, black hair hang down her back and put on some silver dangle earrings and a silver cross necklace. She reapplied her makeup and grabbed her purse, just in time to hear Derek ringing on the monitor.