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#FirstKiss Liquor & Laundry: An Ampersand Story

#FirstKiss Liquor & Laundry: An Ampersand Story


Hadassah Ibrahim’s high school crush is in town for his little brother's graduation and she is avoiding him like it’s her job.

The last time she saw her crush, Ahmad Williamson, she drank too much and spent the night on her knees in his hotel room doing things that still make her blush and cover her face with shame. The last thing she wants to do is relive that humiliating moment. She’d much rather spend the evening at her family’s laundromat; sweeping and mopping the floor as she reconsiders her life choices.


And he’s spent every night since last summer wishing one of them had been brave enough to call. Was it just a fling for her? Was all that flirting she’d done over the years just a joke?


  • high school crush

  • #BlackRomance

  • jerked chicken wings

  • steamy laundromat make out sessions

  • dirty talkin’ hero!

CW: Grade 3 concussion (happens off page), CTE, alcohol, countered fat-shaming, explicit sex.

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Ahmad gave a surprised gasp, and when his lips parted, I slipped my tongue into the warmth of his mouth. He tasted sweet, malty, and spicy with a little bit of the heat from the jerked wings. His grip on my waist tightened, and he opened his mouth on mine with a deep moan. It felt as if he’d been dancing around this since he came through the door, and my pronouncement had given him a license to be bold. I liked it, but it scared me too. Ahmad wasn’t the sort to give in to his base urges. Usually, he was reserved, contemplative, more like he felt when he came in the door. But all of that rigid self-control slipped when he tilted his head, nipped at my lower lip, and deepened our kiss. With his tongue, he created dizzying, hypnotic rhythm that had me grinding against him, trying to get closer. His thumb found its way under the hem of my shirt, and when he touched my skin, every inch of it lit up.

“Ahmad…” I breathed and tried to back away.

“Hmm… you reacted the same way last time. What’s going on?”

Over his shoulder, I caught our reflection in the darkened windows of the storefront. In that reflection, I saw all the ways that we didn’t match up.

There was only one way to say this… I’m a fat girl.

My thighs are dimpled with cellulite. My ass was fatter than your favorite twerking rapper, and my breasts were more than most men could hold in their hands. There were times that I hated my body when I was younger, but I was at home in this body now. I liked its juiciness and the way it jiggled. I liked how it filled the dresses and other clothing I made for myself. Learning to love my body came easy when I learned how to sew.

But standing next to Ahmad…this magnificent specimen of humanity with his smooth dark skin, lean muscled body, long locs, and the type of bone structure that belonged on the cover of every magazine, I felt that insecurity rear its ugly head again.


I wasn’t drunk enough for this.

I was too aware of him, and the ways I fell short of the girls he was used to dating.

“Talk to me, Haddie. What’s going on in that head of yours?” he asked again. His hands were still on my waist, and I felt his want growing hard against my belly, but his hands…they held no urgency and his thumb kept making slow circles on the exposed skin between my shirt and waistband.

“I was just thinking that I should lock up and turn these lights off so nobody else comes in.”

He narrowed his eyes at me. “Why do I feel like that’s not what you were thinking?”

I gave him an exaggerated eye roll that I hoped was convincing. “It’s not that serious, Ahmad. I just don’t want us to be interrupted again.”

I stepped around him and walked over to the shop door. After engaging all the locks, I rolled down the security gate. I hit the light switch to turn the lights in the front of the laundromat off.

“Hey,” he said softly.

“Yeah?” I turned to find him still standing near the doorway between the shop and the stairwell.

“I just want you to know that I didn’t come here for sex. I really just wanted to see you.”

Man… he just can’t leave well enough alone, huh? I crossed my arms. “To see who exactly?”


“Who did you want to see? The loudmouth drunk girl who sucked your dick last time you were in town?”

He recoiled as if slapped. “Wow. Is jumping to conclusions good exercise? Because you’ve been doing it since I got here.”

“I just wanted to be sure that you know I’m not a groupie.”

“Who said you were?”

“No one…but I believe my actions the last time we saw each other may have given you the wrong impression.”

“Really? Okay, so you’re a groupie, and I’m some dude who uses old high school friends for meaningless sex? First of all, meaningless sex is plentiful. I don’t have to come back to Jersey to get it. And secondly, I’m insulted that you think that’s who I am.”

“Old high school friend?” I muttered under my breath. I shook my head and looked down at my feet. “We weren’t friends in high school. I was friends with your best friend’s little sister, and you're the guy I’ve had a crush on since ninth grade that I can’t seem to get over. So if an old friend is who you came to see…that isn’t me.”

Ahmad cuffed me under the chin, tipping my head back so that I was forced to look him in the eye. “I came over here to see the girl with a big ass laugh that she’s not ashamed to let everyone hear. I came to see the girl who bounces and claps like a four-year-old when she’s excited. I came to see the girl that dyes her hair purple because it matches the colors of her favorite football team—which just happens to be the team I play for. And while we’re at it, I came to talk to the girl who doesn’t pretend to like football. She actually knows what position I play and that position’s function on the field. She didn’t learn it because she thinks I’m cute or wants to get a pic with me for Instagram.” He added with a lift of his brow. “Because that’s who those girls were. Real groupies who follow the team and con their way into every VIP section and every player’s bed. They’re just girls who grab me by the arm when the cameras are around. I didn’t date any of them, Haddie.”

Feeling somewhere between embarrassed and elated, I swallowed around a lump in my throat. “Okay, but that still doesn’t change the fact that—”

“Thanks for breaking the ice, by the way. I’ve been struggling to find a way to bring that up in a way that wouldn’t feel…corny. Making it seem like I just came here to fuck made me mad enough not to worry about that, I guess. But tell me. Did you get your workout in? Are you done jumping to conclusions?”

“Fuck you,” I said, flipping him off.

“One more thing,” he said. The corner of his mouth pulled up into a smile that was so full of naked want that it made my cheeks flush. “I may not have come here for sex, but, uh… I did come to see the girl that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since she put her mouth on me. Hopefully, if she’ll let me, I’d like to be on my knees repaying the favor before the end of the night.”

The breath rushed out of my lungs at the visual his words created. I wanted to receive his favors—all of them—in any way he wanted to give them to me. Ahmad took my hands—god, his were so big—laced his long fingers through mine, and pulled me close.

“So are we good, friend? Buddy? Pal?” he asked, brushing his lips against mine.

“We’re good.”

“Can you give me a little shimmy and a bounce, so I know it’s real?”

I rolled my eyes. “I don’t bounce or shimmy.”

“Like hell, you don’t. I distinctly remember a shimmy and a bounce when you grabbed that chicken wing a moment ago.”

“Yeah, well, if I did bounce and shimmy, it was because that chicken wing deserved it.”

Ch. You’re telling me that a jerked chicken wing is more deserving of a wiggle and a bounce than the promise of me spending some time between those thighs?”

The urge to give a little shimmy built in me, but I suppressed it. “I don’t know. I’ve had the chicken wing before. And it’s good every time I eat it—”

“And I’ll be good every time I eat it.”

My breath caught in my throat. “Ahmad…”

His mouth drew into a truly wicked smile. “A gasp’ll do…for now.”

Still holding my hands, he wrapped his arms around my waist and smashed me up against him. The pleasure of feeling his hard body up against mine forced out a little squeak that he swallowed down with a kiss. If I thought I was the aggressor by kissing him first, that I held any sort of upper hand, all of those thoughts went out of the window when the kiss morphed into something I couldn’t control. He let go of my hands and grabbed my ass, pulling me even closer. The Hennessy I’d slammed back must be hitting my bloodstream because I felt dizzy and unsteady. I wrapped my arms around his neck to balance myself. He groaned and scooped me up.

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